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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 1, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas Goal — $335,000 Donations so far — $345,656 To contribute to the United Way, call 620-7760 Inside Opinion.........................................4A Comics.........................................2B Sports Day...................................1B Marketplace..............................4-8B Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zettufig! The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to: Sandra Haynes, Virginia Preiss, Earl Heaton, Bryana Castilleja (44 years) and Louis Suarez (belated, 13 years). Happy anniversary wishes go to: Bobbie and Nelvia Perez (belated, 30 years) and Evelyn and George Kirst (belated, 55 years). To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-91AA. Community Blood Drlvs needs donors Everyone is encouraged to make a New Year’s resolution to participate regularly in blood drives to assure that blood is always available. The first opportunity to “keep that resolution" is at the Community Blood Drive sponsored by the First Protestant Church on Sunday. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center will be accepting donors from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Seele Parish House located on Coll Street. The drive will be conducted in the basement in the Bormann Room. For further information, call Charlene Noite at 629-1000. Rummage/craft salt on tap First United Methodist Church/Mothers of Preschoolers is having a huge rummage/craft sale. The sale will be held at FUMC's Wesley Hall from 8 a m. to 1 p.m. on Jan 18. Tables will be available to fellow crafters/rummagers for $10 each. For more information, please call Tracy Link at 629-1708. workshop slat od A spring gardening workshop will be held at the Comal County Extension meeting room at 6:30 p.m. Thrusday. Cliff Caskey, retired county agent from Hays County, will be speaking on vegetable varieties, soil preparation, fertilizing, insect and disease control. This program is being held in conjunction with the Men’s Gar den Club, which will meet immediately after the workshop. The public is invited and encouraged to attend, lf there are any questions pertaining to this workshop, you can contact the Extension office ai 620-3440. Newcomers mooting plays host to K-9 Unit An action-packed demonstration of the K-9 Unit will be presented by Corporal Bummer of the New Braunfels Police Department at the Newcomers meeting Tuesday at the Coma County Senior Citizens Center at 655 Landa St. Coffee and doughnuts will be served at 9:30 a m., and the meeting will begin at 10 a m. We hope all the Newcomers and others who have moved here in the past five years wil join us. Arthritis thorapy acquatlc program Physical Therapy Unlimited and the South Central Texas Chapter of the Arthritis Founds tion will co-sponsor an Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program Five-week classes begin Jan 21. Anyone interested must pre register by calling Physical Trier apy Unlimited £t 609-2000. Red Cross wants New Braunfels shelter By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer The executive director for the Red Cross in New Braunfels said it was time to begin looking into providing a shelter for the homeless in Comal County. Shirley Offerman said she gets eight to IO referrals a month about people sleeping in their cars or under bridges. She said she must tell these people to go to the SAMM shelter in San Antonio or a shelter in Hays County. “It just seems like our county just doesn’t have anything,” Offerman said. Ruben Garza, executive director for the Southside Community Center in San Marcos, said the center’s emergency shelter could house 26 people on a short term basis, which is typically three days. Garza said he recently had to tell a New Braunfels mother with several children there was not room at the shelter. Although he does not have any numbers, he said the shelter had taken in numerous people from New Braun fels who were referred to the shelter by the probation office, the Red Cross or the schools. “I field calls from various agencies,” said Garza. “It’s hard to tell just how many of those are from New Braunfels.” Offerman said the only shelter available in New Braunfels was the Women’s center. However, she said this does not meet the needs of everyone in the county. She said she had two women call her during the weekend needing somewhere to stay. One was the mother of small children. Offerman said she had no where to send them other than San Marcos or San Antonio. “She couldn’t go to the women’s shelter because she wasn’t beaten,” said Offerman. “It’s a shame that a woman has to be battered in our town to have shelter.” Offerman said that the Salvation Army had several sources of funds, and could put people in a hotel for the night. She said that was not an option for her. “I can only use our Red Cross funds to put them in a shelter if they have a disaster or lose their home in a fire,” said Offerman. ‘The homeless are not really a disaster victim." Lt. John Wommack, with the New Braunfels Police Department, said the department had not seen a problem with homeless individuals in New Braunfels. He said the department was given sleeping bags to provide to homeless people in town, and "they’re still here.” “We have some transients that sleep under the bridge for the night and then move on," said Wommack. “He may be homeless, hut he’s not from here." New county officials will face many of the same challenges By DENISE DZIUK Staff Writer County Judge Carter Casteel said several big issues the county must face this year are with growth and water problems. Casteel said the initial challenge for' the year would be a change in elected officials. She said with the change, officials would have to get used to each other and learn to work together. However, she is optimistic this will not take long. “That’s always a challenge, and this year will no different,” said Casteel. "I don’t think (learning to work together) will be a problem though.” Another challenge that the county commissioners will be hit with early on is the issue of consolidating the county and district attorney’s offices. After months of discussions, Casteel said the issue could be put on an agenda for possible action at the Jan. 13 meeting. Casteel said she would like to see action taken one way or the other so county business can move on. “I think it’s time to either put it to bed or pass it,” she said. Another issue that will test the county throughout the year, much as it did in 19%, is water and growth dilemmas, said Casteel. Casteel said water and growth was “one of those things that sticks around” as the population explodes over the aquifer region. However, she said she believed the county had stayed ahead of the curve in all aspects of growth. She said there have been times when state government has slowed down the addressing of problems, such as the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and F.M. 1863 and the widening of interstate 35. But, the county worked diligently to get those issues addressed, and they were, said Casteel. “I think the challenge that always is with us is growth and water,” said C asteer “People are becoming more aware of the water issues and the growth problems, so it’s easy to deal with. ... I think we’ve done very well in staying abreast of the growth .” C ast eel said as the growth in the county continues to skyrocket, the county also will liave to look at how to Turn to Challenges Page 2A New Braunfels Herald 18 pages in two sections ■ Wednesday, January 1,1997 Serving the Comal County area for more than 144 years ■ Home of Kart Heaton Vol. 145, No. 35 Drought biggest news during last year By AM LEVY Staff Writer The year 1996 showed once again that the New Braunfels area is one of the fastest growing areas in South Texas. With one of the two school districts filling buildings as fast as they're made and an increase of a repotted $54 million in new construction in the city of New Braunfels this year, the area is quickly taking on a new face. The following is a list of IO of the top stories of this past year. Mow Ii The drought There’s little argument that this summer’s drought wreaked havoc on all phases of the community. With the economy of New Braunfels based significantly on water recreational activities, many in the community feared the wont and pushed for efforts on the state and local levels that would conserve water and specifically preserve Comal Springs from going thy. Many in the community remember the Seven Year Drought of the 1950s when rainfall plummeted to record lows and brought the springs to stop flowing for the first time in recorded history on June 13,1956 until November of that year. The city and its utility department implemented two emergency drought ordinances to help conserve water in addition to the existing year-round measures. Officials from the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority cut discharge from Canyon Lake from its norm of 150 cubic feet per second to the mid-20s at times. The drought also affected many small ranchers in Comal County, who were forced to cull their herd as prices for hay and feed doubled. The callum to Ymt, Page 2A NRU OKS relief plan By ABE LEVY Staff Writer In a regional effort to conserve the Edwards Aquifer during drought conditions, the New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees unanimously approved up to $10,000 Monday to participate in a one-year pilot program to pay fanners not to water their crops. The money was pli*dged to help pay for the irrigation suspension program, which the 15-member Edwards Aquifer Authority has developed during the past few months to counteract the impact of droughts on the 175-mile aquifer. The approved motion was initiated by trustee Gene Momhin-weg and authorizes NBU General Manager Paula DiFonzo to spend up to $10,000 in the pilot program. By capping the amount, board members said DiFonzo would Im* able to negotiate a tarter deal with participating farmers. If the program does not attract enough interested buyers or sellers, the money will Im? returned, EAA officials said. Local EAA representatives Rita Banda and Doug Miller were on hand at the Monday night meeting to present the program’s details and field questions. Banda and Miller said they were pleased with the hoard’s decision. “I think it s a substantial amount,” said Banda, the Dis- Turn to NBU, Page 2A . MOO? SO WV * ’ ( HUI UBL! I DEL'- OK IX /WO" WEDNESDAY 50 cents ;