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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 25, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels .TUESDAY February 25, 2003 IO pages in 2 sections WHHMi    IO    pages    in    2    SeCtKHerald-Zeitung rTT“s ^ _ —ainaa.,:.....,.'.......... £2EL2L.~~......... .........I...........J.....*................ '...... ........ ...... Vol, 152, No. 89 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Council seeks one-third of state’s share of HOT funds To help pay for river cleanup By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council threw its support Monday night behind an effort to divert one-third of the state’s hotel occupancy tax collected in the city for the cleanup of rivers. Council voted unanimously to support the initiative filed about two weeks ago by Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels. The legislation asks that 2 percent of the tax collected by the state be returned to the city to maintain state waterways in the city limits. HOT funds are divided in two categories — one is a state tax of 6 percent and the second is a local option. Council is asking for part of the state tax collected. The 2 percent the city is seeking amounts to $400,000 in tax revenue. Council members discussed whether to ask the Legislature for I or 2 percent of taxes collected. They decided to ask for 2 percent, although board members agreed it would be difficult for the proposal to pass since the state faces a $9 billion shortfall. Robert Kendrick (D-4) said before the meeting that he thought the proposal would be something everyone in town could support. Kendrick said the idea for this legislation has been floating around for a few years. But legislators felt the city should first make an effort to spend its own funds for river maintenance. Now that the city has tried to fix some of the river issues using general funds, and by creating the River Activities Committee, Kendrick said the proposed legislation is more likely to be approved because the city can genuinely assert that it has tried and needs help maintainingSee HOT FUNDS/3 A Library hikes fees for overdue books By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Public library fines are being increased for the first time in 30 years. New Braunfels City Council approved the new fees Monday night. Some of the fees go into effect as early as today. And residents who do not live within the city limits of New Braunfels must now pay an annual fee of $25 to use the library. Students in Comal County can still get free library services. The new fee structure is: ■ Fines of 15 cents per day for children’s or young adult books that are overdue with a $5 maximum. ■ A fine of 20 cents per day for overdue adult books with an $8 maximum. ■ The charge for late audiocassettes is 25 cents per day with a $5 maximum. ■ The charge for late CDs, videos and DVDs will be a dollar every day with a maximum of $10. ■ Interlibrary loans will now cost $1.50 and carry a late charge of 50 cents per day. ■ The library7 is also authorized to proctor tests and has been doing that service for free. It will now charge $10 for that service. Louise Foster, library director, said the library is simply bringing its fee structure in line with other libraries while encouraging responsible book rental. Foster said the former fines See NEW FEES/3A 5 days until warrant arrest sweep begins By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Five days before a first-ever regional arrest roundup by dozens of law enforcement agencies, local officials are reporting a brisk business in scofflaws turning themselves in before officers come find them. Local law enforcement agencies will participate in a week-long, region-wide warrant roundup beginning Saturday. More than 150,000 notices have been maik*d out to people with active unpaid warrants along the Interstate 35 corridor stretching from Round Rock to south of San Antonio. More than 1,000 notices have gone out in New Braunfels and Comal County. Comal County Sheriff’s Sgt. Max Wommack, who heads the Warrants Division, said a number of people have turned themselves in at the sheriff’s office in the wake of publicity about the pending warrant arrest sweep. “"They’ve been coming in and we’ve been sending them over to justice of the peace offices to pay them when appropriate,” Wommack said, “The main thing we want to do is have people come in and take care of these," Wommack said. Over at the New' Braunfels Police Department, warrants officer Usbaldo Patino was working Monday on lists of places officers will be stopping next week to make arrests. “We have a lot people coming in, but we anticipate picking up on pending warrants many who don’t," Patino said. New Braunfels police will be going to homes, workplaces and other known hangouts for people who have unpaid fines, Patino said. “We’ve dealt with many of these people in the past and we know what they look See SWEEP/3A Inside Abby....................................4    A Classifieds...........................3-4B Comics................................6A Crossword   4A Forum.................................5    A Movies................................4A Obituaries...........................3A Sports..............................1-2B Today..................................2A Key Code 76 8 1 56825 00001 i One winner to another New Braunfels Junior Miss 2003 Brittney Feltmann (right) hugs last year’s winner, Sarah Fumey, and accepts a bouquet after she was announced as the winner of this year’s pageant Saturday night at the civic center. Junior Miss entrants competed in categories including scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and poise. BAYLEA TAYLOR/Herald-ZeitungCounty schools closed TAKS tests pushed back to Wednesday By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Weather updates Comal Independent School District officials decided about 10:35 p.m. Monday that freezing temperatures and light precipitation had made roads too dangerous for driving today, so classes were cancelled. Makeup day is March 17. As of presstime, New Braunfels ISD still planned to have classes today. The cold temperatures that gripped the area Monday night created difficult driving conditions and sent residents inside to escape the biting cold. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Brundrett said freezing temperatures and drizzly and light rain conditions could combine overnight and this morning to create freezing conditions on some Comal County bridges and overpasses. “The forecast calls for fight rain or drizzle, and out in rural areas of the See COLD BLAST/3A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung What a difference a day makes! Jared Lipke, a sixth grader at Comal Elementary, is all smiles as he enjoys the warm temperatures Sunday afternoon. The enjoyment was shortlived, however, as winter’s grip returned Monday. With inclement weather forecast for the remainder of tile week, school officials said Monday afternoon that parents can get up-to-the-minute updates on school event cancellations or early class releases from the following sources: ■ Comal ISD updates information on its hotline, 904-INFO (4636) and on its Web site at Click on the “Emergency News” button. ■ New Braunfels ISD offers similar updates on its Web site at NBISD offers updates by telephone at 643-5700. ■ KGNB-AM 1420, a news and information radio station, provides real-time information Other radio stations to tune into are KTSA-AM 550 and WOAI-AM 1200. Justin Lopez takes a momentary break Sunday afternoon from washing his truck to soak Gussie Cortez as he rides by on his vehicle. ;