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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 18, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A— Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, February 18, 2003 % Crop Walk to benefit 3 organizations CANYON LAKE — Three local organizations will benefit from monies raised by the upcoming 2003 CROP Walk. The Canyon Lake-based Community Resource and Recreation Center (CRRC) Food Bank (formerly Canyon Lake Action Center) and Smithson Valley Food Bank will share 25 percent of the proceeds while the New Braunfels-based Rebounds flood relief organization will receive an additional 20 percent. The remaining 55 percent of the proceeds is earmarked for CROFs parent organization, Church World Service, and will benefit international hunger relief programs. In 2002, nearly 300 participants raised over $13,000 at the first CROP Walk in Canyon Lake. The 2003 CROP Walk organizing team has set a new goal of $18,000. This year s walk is slated for March 8 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Canyon Lake Dam. Registration will be held at St. Thomas Catholic Church at 9:00 a.m. Transportation is available for those who need assistance. Individual fund-raising packets may be picked up at the CRRC administrative offices at 1917 FM 2673 in Sattler ,or at local churches. Groups are encouraged to participate as teams. Following the CROP Walk, a celebratory event hosted by the CRRC will be held to dedicate the new Dam Access Road bridge opening. Area residents are welcome to attend. Call 830-964-2324 for information on the CROP Walk or bridge ceremony. Meetings COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT r- special meeting (45th Annual County Judges and Commissioners Conference), 8 a.m. Tuesday, through Thursday, Doubletree Hotel, 6505 N. IH 35, Austin. NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL — workshop meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, council chambers, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave. SCHERTZ CITY COUNCIL — regular meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, council chambers, Municipal Complex, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Schertz. NEW BRAUNFELS INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT BOARD -7 p.m. Wednesday, Conference Room B, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave. MARION ISD — regular board of trustees meeting, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Marion Secondary Cafeteria, 503 Bulldog Drive, Marion. SCHERTZ-CIBOLO-UNI-VERSAL CITY ISD — regular board of trustees meeting, 7 p.m., Thursday, Dobie Junior High School new addition, 395 Borgfeld Rd., Cibolo. NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL — regular meeting, 6:30 p.m. Monday, council chambers, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — regular meeting, 8:15 a.m., Feb. 27, commissioners' courtroom, Commissioners’ Court Building, 199 Main Plaza. ALAMO AREA COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS — public hearing on rural public transportation service, 10 a.m., March 3, AACOG headquarters, 8700 Tesoro Drive, San Antonio. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — regular meeting, 8:15 a.m., March 6 Insurance reform bill expected to get House approval today Bv NATALIE GOTT Associated Press Writer AUSTIN (AP) — The House gave preliminary approval Monday to legislation meant to help lawmakers as they attempt to reform the way the Texas homeowners insurance market is regulated. The bill requires homeowners insurance companies to release to the Texas Department of Insurance their current and future rates as well as the data the companies use to determine the premiums. The department will then compile a report based on the information. The legislat ion is expected to get final House approval Tuesday and then be sent back to the Senate. Sen. Troy Fraser, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said he expected the bill could land on the governor's desk by the middle to end of the week. “We’re gathering information at this stage,” said Rep. John Smithee, a Republican from Amarillo who carried the legislation in the House. “All I know (is) the system is broken.” The bill comes as homeowners have seen their insurance premi urns rise dramatically over the past several months even as some companies reduced their coverage or stopped writing new policies. Insurance companies blame the increased cost on water and mold claims and other factors. The state can do little to control the homeowners insurance rates because about 95 percent of the policies in Texas are written by subsidiaries that are exempt from rate regulation. Jerry Johns, president of the industry group Southwestern Insurance Information Service, said the legislation illuminates the existing problem. “The data will clearly demonstrate that insurers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in homeowners insurance in Texas,” Johns said. The lawmakers debated an amendment by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, that would have required companies to turn over information about their investments in the stock market and on the cost of reinsurance. State Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dal-las, said the information seemed relevant to the report because insurance companies can increase rates if they lose money in the stock market. The amendment failed on a 93-53 vote, after Smithee argued that any information, including stock market lexises, that insurance companies used to determine rates had to be turned over to the insurance department under the bill. Smithee said Thompson’s amendment would require that companies turn over quite a bit of information and some of it might not be relevant. CAPITOL ALMANAC An estimated 5,000 students would be denied free college tuition promised to them by the state because of cuts designed to ease a projected $10 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers were told Monday. ■ ■ ■ Hundreds of school board members, educators, parents and others gathered at the Capitol on Monday to seek increased funding for public schools. Eliminating the finance system known by some as Robin Hood has emerged as one of ttie session’s top issues. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Excessive speed is believed responsible for the Feb. 4 accident that killed a 37-year-old New Braunfels woman. New Braunfels Police Sgt. Kevin Stevens said Dee Ann Y. Cornelius apparently crashed off Walnut Avenue into a dry creek bed because she was driving too fast. The Bexar County Medical Examiner ruled she died instantly of major head trauma. Cornelius left behind four children who live with her former husband. Cornelius had apparently driven off Walnut Avenue just before the Dry Comal Creek bridge, rolling her 2000 Ford Windstar minivan and landing upside down in the bed of Eikel Creek beside the bridge. Officials believe the accident occurred late on the night of Feb. 3 or very early on the morning of Feb. 4. Police reported Cornelius Terry Aikman didn’t return home from work on Feb. 3. Comal County Judge Danny Scheel pronounced Cornelius dead after her body was found still belted into her seat at 11:40 a.m. Feb. 4. The roof of the van was crushed. Scheel ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Employees at Johnny Cannot Country Italian restaurant in New Braunfels will hold a fund-raiser Wednesday for Cornelius’ children. Dave Roukey, general manager of Johnny Carino’s, said tips and donations collected Wednesday would go to a fund to benefit the children. He said employees will also donate money and he hopes corporate headquarters will match the amount raised. Roukey said Cornelius was well liked and that quite a few staff’ members attended her funeral, although she had left her job at Carino’s four months ago. Schertz fire inspector certified as investigator Schertz Fire Department Fin* Inspector Terry Aikman is now a state certified fire investigator. Aikman joined the Schertz Fire Department in 1987 as volunteer firefighter, then served part-time until 1996 when he joined the department on a full-time basis, He was appointed to the fire insnector Dosition in 1999.Local/State Contact Features Editor Brian Grant, 625-9144 ext. 222 Unpaid fines could net jail time during March I sweep By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Remember that traffic ticket you didn’t pay? Nobody came and picked you up? You’re running out of time, if you don’t want to go to jail. Comal County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division commander, Sgt. Max Wom-mack, New Braunfels Police Department Warrant Officer Usbaldo Patino and a few dozen of their friends will be looking for you next month. Local law enforcement agencies will be participating in a region-wide warrant roundup beginning March I. More than 150,000 notices have been mailed out to people with active unpaid warrants in areas of the Interstate 35 corridor stretching from Round Rock to south of San Antonio. More than one thousand of the notices have gone out in New Braunfels and Comal County. “We’re concentrating on Municipal Court and Justice of the Peace Court warrants, but we’re looking for everybody who is wanted,’ Wom-mack said. “About the best advice we can give is to come in and pay the fines; take care of them now,” Wommack said. Patino agreed. “We’re trying to get people to come in between now and March I and clear these up.” he said. “Max and I are going to work together on how we’re going to do this. At the NBPD, we’ll have a day shift squad helping, and we’ll go into the night. We’re going to be knocking on doors and arrests will be made,” Patino said. "If they can take care of it and pay for it, we’ll allow them to do that. People who aren’t reliable enough will be hooked up and taken to jail," Where do you pay your fines? Anyone with an outstn riding ticket or warrant should read the document to determine which court they owe. ■ Municipal Court, which adjudicates infractions in the city limits of New Braunfels, is located at the Law Enforcement Center, 1488 S. Seguin Ave., adjacent to the New Braunfels Police Department ■ Justice of the Peace warrants should be paid at whichever precinct they are written in. ■ The sheriff's office. 3005 W. San Antonio St, can handle any county warrants. Anyone wishing to pay an outstanding ticket br warrant at the sheriff’s office should go to the lobby located in the center of the building and ask tor the warrants division. The office is open from 8 am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be sure to bring a money order or cashier’s check, Wommack said. No personal checks or credit cards can be accepted. ■ Fines can also be handled by marl, Wommack said. Cad the warrants division at (830) 620-3411 for court name, number and the total fines due. Mail cashier’s check or money order to: Comal County Sheriff’s Office, 3005 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels 78130. Patino said. “It’s better you come in now." Wommack, Patino and Comal County constables have worked together on warrant sweeps in the past. What’s different about this one is its scope. Dozens of agencies will be participating, and the sweep will last for a week instead of just one afternoon. “We’re going to be looking for a week. To keep from being embarrassed at work or at home, we encourage you to come in and pay your fees or turn yourselves in,” Wommack said. “This whole thing is designed for people to come in and pay off their tickets. If you don’t come in, you’ll be subject to arrest,” Wommack said. Police believe excessive speed cause deadly wreck   j-;- Water main bursts DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Rocky Wilson (from left), Rusty Mica and Art Garza check New Braunfels Utilities plans for the location of water cutoff valves after a water main broke Monday afternoon at the intersection of South Casten Avenue and Merriweather Street Monday afternoon. Residents in the area suffered low water pressure for about two hours as crews worked to repair the line. Line ‘popped’ and water shot skyward By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Water shot up almost 30 feet high throwing pieces of asphalt into the air in a residential area of New Braunfels Monday afternoon. The main line servicing the IOO block of Merriweather Street in New Braunfels broke at the corner of South Casten Avenue. Water spewed onto the street and into the front yards of several residents as New Braunfels Utility crews rushed to contain the gusher. Mary Chavez lives in a mobile home located in a lot on the corner where the break occurred. She said she heard a “pop," which she ignored as traffic hitting a pothole until her husband spotted the water shooting into the air from Chris Cavazos tosses pieces of asphalt out of a crater created after a water main broke. his front porch. Chavez said the water flowed for about a half-hour before she caUed the city. Chavez said NBU crews were on the job within minutes of her caff. Juan Ozuna, NBU assistant division manager of the Water Department, said the pop was a 10-foot asphalt bubble caused by the water leak. As water filled the top layer of street, the pressure eventually broke through. Ozuna called the pipe break routine and estimated that his crew could get the street repaired in an hour or two. ;