New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 29, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Five county players make all-district basketball team. See Page 5.
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14 pages in one section ■ Thursday, February 29, 1996
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Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of VICKI LANGHAM
Vol. 144, No. 78
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Vicki Langham (13 leap years), Angel Chavez, and Bacilio Pina (four leap years).
Happy sixth anniversary to Brenda and David Sikes.
Mold — 800 Elm —6 Cedar —249 Ash —10 Mulberry — 8 Hackberry — 4 (Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Readings taken yesterday. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — 234 cubic feet per second, down 4 from yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 624.10 feet above sea level, up .01.
Classic Car Show
Riley's Tavern and Ice House, 8894 FM 1102 in Hunter will hold a Classic Car Show, featuring music by the Stretch Williams Band, Saturday, March 2. Registration at noon, judging at 3 p.m. Prizes will be given. Event benefits San Marcos Area Youth Shelter. For information, call (512) 392-3132.
It's time to experiment with art again as the New Braunfels Art League holds another Artistic Outreach Saturday, March 9 at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery — and it's free.
Leading the three mini workshops will be Mary Beth Gibson, pastel; Annette LeBouef, drasing; and Elaine Felder, stained glass.
Members of the community from 12 to 99 years are invited to try their hand in one of three art media at no expense. The Art League provides the teachers and the supplies free of charge as a gift back to the community. And those participating can take home their creations.
The hands-on workshops begin at 9 a.m. and end about 12:30 p.m. at the NBAL Gallery, 239, W. San Antonio.
Help tho Community Band got to Germany
Spaghetti and Sousa will be on the program when members of the Comal Community Band perform at a fund-raiser supper and concert Feb. 29 at the Oak Run School.
A spaghetti dinner will be served from 5:30 p m to 7:30 p.m. and the band will perform from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost is $5 per person, with proceeds going to help the band travel to Germany this summer. The New Braunfels High School Jazz Band will perform from 5.30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For information, call Ken McGuire at 625-7728
The winning numbers
Est $4millton jackpot
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
County attorney vote could decide whether or not to eliminate office
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
That’s a wrap
Decorating Seele Elementary Principal Linda Schlather was the prize in "Math Madness," a school math contest. Here, the fifth-grade winners of Ruth Abbotts' class use rolls of toilet paper to turn the principal into a mummy.
Paula Bredewater*s third graders decorated Schlather with a crown and a grass skirt. Fourth grade had a tie between Janis Bodemann's and Pat Simmonds1 classes. They opted to celebrate their victories by having ice cream parties.
Bush asks for investigation of prison food deal
AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Rangers.and Department of Public Safety will lead an expanded probe into a $33.6 million prison system contract for a soybean-based meat substitute.
Gov. George W. Bush and Texas Criminal Justice Board Chairman Allan Polunsky said Wednesday that they wanted the state law enforcement agencies to investigate the contract with VitaPro Foods.
State and federal authorities are looking into the VitaPro deal because it was negotiated without formal bidding. Polunsky said last week that the state was taking legal steps to cancel the contract.
Wednesday’s announcement of an expanded probe came a day after Andy Collins, the retired executive director of the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, quit his $ 1,000-a-day job as a VitaPro consultant.
Yank Barry, VitaPro’s chief executive officer said the contract is worth $ 15 million for the first phase. He said as far as the company knew, the contract was properly bid and legal.
Under the deal negotiated by Collins, VitaPro sends the state thousands of pounds of the meat substitute each month. The product is used in prison kitchens in Texas and surplus supplies were supposed to be sold by the prison system to
Collins said at the time the deal was completed that the state would benefit from a healthier prison population and from sales of the surplus product.
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Voters will be choosing more than a favorite candidate when they vote in the Comal County Attorney’s race on the Republican primary ballot March 12. They could he choosing whether to have a county attorney at all.
“This is the last political speech I’ll ever give,” District Attorney Bill Reinter told an overflow crowd at last Thursday’s candidate forum sponsored by the Comal County Republican Woman. He said he wants to get rid of the county attorney position.
lf elected, Reimer said he would consider it a mandate from the people to consolidate the offices of the district attorney and the county attorney. The number of secretaries could be cut without layoffs, Reimer said.
“We can do this without hurting anyone because of attrition,” he said. Prosecutors would be paid on a scale according to their experience and the difficulty of their work, he said, saving taxpayers further.
“We can save some real money here, folks, and without losing any ability to prosecute,” Reimer said.
Assistant County Attorney Stephanie Smith Burris would serve as county attorney if she were elected, she said. “I believe there is a place for the county attorney’s office,” she said.
The county attorney’s office handles such cases as family violence protective orders, misdemeanors and Child Protective Services cases. “You don’t want to have a small case not be pros-
ecuted just because it wasn’t headline grabbing enough,” Bums said.
Each of the “small” cases the county attorney’s office handles is of primary importance to someone, she said.
“OK, we probably need to streamline that office, but let’s give it a chance,” Burris said.
Reimer and Burris are the Republican candidates for county attorney. The winner of the Republican primary March 12 will face Democrat Vicki Langham in the general election.
Dib Waldrip, uncontested candidate for the district attorney’s office, wants to consolidate also.
“One key step to avoid duplicitous prosecution locally is to streamline and contain costs in prosecution for Comal County by combining the offices of district attorney and county attorney," he said in his announcement to mn for office.
If Reimer wins the election, it would still require state legislative action — via the local agenda — before the county attorney’s office could be stricken from the Comal County payroll, he said.
State inspectors give perfect score to Kirkwood Manor
By DENISE DZIUK
For the second time in three years, Kirkwood Manor has proven the kind of care they provide their residents by having no deficiencies in the general health area in a recent inspection by the Texas Department of Human Services.
Kirkwood administrator Norm Custer said the inspections are required by law for those participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Annually, a team of two nurses, a pharmacist, a social worker, and a generalist visit Kirkwood Manor to look at all areas related to health care and the residents, including nutrition, skin condition, drug regimen, general health, and general policies.
“They’re looking at all aspects of the care given to the resident,” said Custer. “It’s the whole environment that the person is in at the home (that they inspect).”
Any facility found not to be in compliance with Medicaid and Medicare standards faces consequences ranging from a written reprimand to monetary penalties, or even the loss of the Medicaid and Medicare license.
Custer said that the loss of a license for many homes would "mean they would have to shut down."
This year, the inspection was held January 9-12. During that time, Kirkwood Manor received zero deficiencies.
Custer said the inspectors told him the local home was the first to receive the high score since a change in standards effective July 1,1995. Custer said the fact
‘I don’t like to bo second in anything. My staff knows that.’
— Norm Custer, Kirkwood Manor administrator
that Kirkwood Manor has received this score twice in the last three years is remarkable.
“(The score) is very prestigious. You’re the elite of the elite,” he said. “It’s like winning a Super Bowl. To win it once is fantastic. To get a repeat is unbelievable.”
Custer attributes the success of Kirkwood Manor to “teamwork, professionalism, and cooperation.” However, he said the support given by Dr. Carlos Campos and McKenna Memorial Hospital also played a big part. He said New Braunfels is fortunate to have such quality service provided through Dr. Campos and McKenna.
As for Kirkwood Manor, Custer said there is still work to be done.
He said you can never reach perfection. Services need to continually change and goals need to be heightened in order “to stay ahead of the game.” Custer said the staff at Kirkwood Manor will continue to work toward improvements just as they do every day.
“I tell my staff ‘what you did yesterday isn’t good enough today, and what you do today won’t be good enough tomorrow,’” he said. “I don’t like to be second in anything. My staff knows that.”
Boys arrested in ‘beating party’ case
DALLAS (AP) — James March was slowly driving through his girlfriend’s neighborhood when two small boys saw his security guard’s uniform through the car window, mistook him for a police officer and waved him over.
The boys told him several other boys were inside a nearby house beating an autistic woman. March approached the house and the youths scattered.
Five boys, ages 11 and 12, have been charged with aggravated assault and sexual assault on the 40-year-old woman, who has a mental capacity no greater than that of an 11-year-old.
Police say that for weeks, five elementary school boys held a senes of beating “parties" during which they used belts, their fists and a toilet plunger to thrash and sexually assault the woman in her home.
“These little kids ran up to my car and said, ‘They’re beating this woman over here,’ ” March said of the Feb. 20 incident. “I ran up to the house and went inside. I saw the belt whips on her arms She had a puffy eye where they had hit her in the face.”
The two boys were taken into custody Friday and were being held Wednesday at a juvenile detention center. The age of the children involved surprised even veteran officers.
“They have fights, normally over little things, but nothing this vicious, an attack almost like an animal pack attacking something,” Sgt. Ross Salvanno said.
The woman was at home after being treated for injuries.
"Physically, the wounds about her face were superficial,” Salvarino said. “Emotionally, well, she’s settled back into her normal routine.”
The victim had lived with her mother until the older woman’s death several years ago. A guardian then was appointed to care for her.
The attacks began last month after the victim’s cousin moved into her home with his girlfriend and her two sons, police said. The guardian was living outside the home.
The two boys who recently moved into the woman’s house allegedly led the beatings and invited other youngsters to join in beanng "parties,” Salvanno said.
Job fair will be held March 9 at Schlitterbahn
Schlitterbahn Waterpark will hold a job fair from IO a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at the park's employee cafe on Liberty Street.
More than 1,500 seasonal fuU-time and
part-time jobs need to be filled at the park. For information on the job fair, call 625-2351, ext. 526. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and should bnng a photo ID and
Social Secunty number.
WORD funds for Canyon Lake tourism called money well spent
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Funds from a $15,000 Water Oriented Recreation District (WORD) contract to promote the Canyon Lake area and lure tourists is paying off so far, Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Secretary Wanda Truchsess said.
"The WORD funds are going to help us in our goal in promoting year round tourism on Canyon Lake and the
Guadalupe River,” Truchsess said.
Truchsess cited the quarterly report, which was given to the WORD board at its Feb. 21 meeting. The chamber has received $7,450 from WORD since Dec. 13. The funds have been used for postage costs, educational expenses, administrative costs, membership and advertising.
The funds, Truchsess said, enabled her to go to Corpus Christi recently for the Texas Hospitality Seminar.
From this seminar, Truchsess is now a certified Texas Hospitality Instructor and will be conducting classes/workshops for Canyon Lake hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and customer related businesses on the importance of being hospitable and friendly to tourists.
“The funding is much needed because it will help educate the chamber employees and enable them to bring the tools to Canyon Lake to assist
businesses in customer related issues,” Truchsess said.
Truchsess said dunng the week of Feb. 5-9, the chamber sent out 63 tourist packets and answered 166 tourist related phone calls. Also, over 60 visitors came by the office and asked the chamber for information related to the area.
To help with tourism, Truchsess said the chamber is looking into the possibility of hiring a part-time person from
the WORD funds.
"This part-time person’s job would be to do tounsm-related things such as manning the phone lines,” Truchsess said.
The WORD funds have also given the chamber the opportunity to become an active member in the Texas Hill Country Tounsm Association, help promote hotels, motels, outfitters, bed and breakfasts and other businesses and develop a small visitor returnIH-35 corridor could be losing two tourist attractions this year. See Opinion, Page 4.