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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 03, 2001

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 3, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Redistricting looms large for state, county From Staff Reports The first release of Census 2000 numbers did not do much to get the redistricting ball rolling. New Braunfels area school boards, city, county and state officials will remain in a holding pattern until at least mid-March when the Census Board is expected to release more detailed, regional and demographic information. Once that information arrives, the massive chore of redistricting — which occurs after the Census every 10 years — can begin. It involves the redrawing of geographic boundaries in single-member districts to maintain balance and equal representation for residents. STATE Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said Tuesday he expected to lose about 200,000 constituents to redistricting this year. “I’m supposed to have 660,000 constituents in the 25th District and the estimate is I have 850,000,” Wentworth said. “What’s apparently happened is that the senate district in El Paso is short on population. That district .can’t move not th or south, so it’s going to have to come east.” That means the next three senate districts probably will shift eastward as well, eventually affecting the northern and western reaches of Wentworth’s district. “My best guess is I’m going to lose San Angelo, El Dorado, maybe even Kerrville, maybe Llano,” Wentworth said. “My district’s going to drop from probably 17 counties to six or seven or eight. It’s going to be much more compact.” Wentworth said he could lose Round Rock and a large part of Williams County, but he expected to keep Boerne, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Seguin, part of Austin and much ofyhe Hill Country. His district will remain unchanged2001: A Look Ahead Thursday: Jack Warren Davis murder trial set for May Friday: Water officials keep close eye on levels through January*2003, he said. Preliminary figures indicate District 45 Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, also will have to say goodbye to a chunk of voters after the lines are redrawn. “Just looking at the handwriting on the wall, it’s going to happen,” Kuempel said from his Austin office in November. “I hate to see it happen, because the people of Comal and Guadalupe County have been so good to me.” If the projected population numbers for Kuempel’s district are accurate, District 45 will have surged to 162,200 residents since the last census — 19,000 more than he legally could retain. “This is statute. It has to be done,” Kuempel said. “This is just a part of the process to make sure everybody has the same representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and ensures everybody goes back to a level playing field.” Kuempel, who has served Comal and Guadalupe counties since 1982, said he believed residents removed from his district would get rolled into one of the counties to the northwest. Others said Comal County could get folded into a district on the north side of San Antonio. COUNTY In Comal County, commissioners have to balance their precincts to See REDISTRICTING^* Hotel tax committee hears final proposals By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Funding from New Braunfels’ hotel occupancy tax revenues could provide financial momentum for the proposed Comal Power Plant renovation. On Tuesday, Morgan Hill of Houston-based Morgan Hill Interests asked the hotel occupancy tax committee for $84,250 toward preliminary work on the project. Hill plans to convert the unused power plant into a seven-story hotel and conference center with 135 rooms and about 8,000 square feet of public meeting space. The hotel tax money would go toward such items as a Web site and Web Site maintenance, architectural research and historic preservation. Hill showed the committee slides of drawings of what the power plant will look like when it is finished. “It’s like looking at pictures of your family,” Hill said. “Isn’t this beautiful?” Renovating the building into a hotel will be beneficial for many economic reasons, he said. It would draw tourists to the area and serve as a “catalyst” for other development, Hill said. The plant was built in 1926 and at first supplied power to San Antonio. The plant came under the LCRA’s control in 1942. LCRA discontinued its use in 1972. Hill said he was working on obtaining financing for the project, and a grant from die hotel tax revenues would help. “Part of the importance of this funding is it is potentially the first public support of the project,” he said. The hotel occupancy tax committee was appointed to recommend how the city should spend an unallocated portion of the city’s hotel occupancy tax revenues. City officials previously said that amounts to about $250,000 annually. The committee will meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss which projects it will recommend to city council for funding. The remaining funding proposals presented Tuesday were: 0 New Braunfels Conservation Society, $11,573 for interior restoration of the Star Exchange Saloon at Conservation Plaza, 1300 Church Hill Drive; - . nSSBSHBB • Wurstfest Association, $40,000 to expand the organization’s advertising and promotion program to target a “mature” audience to increase weekday attendance at the annual event; • Huisache Grill Owners Don and Lynn Forres, $6,000 grant to restore one of New Braunfels’ first buildings; • Don and Lynn Forres, a $ 16,400 grant or no-interest, five-year loan to move and restore a cabinet shop that will be used as an open air plant/herb/flower shop; and • Don and Lynn Forres, a $54,800 grant or no-interest, five-year loan to restore and complete the exterior of the 1912 Adolph Holz building, 303 W. San Antonio. ti _ Inside Abby.......................... ......5A Classifieds................... ...4-6B Comics....................... ......2B Crossword.................. ......5A Forum.......................... .......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies.......................... .......5A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports........................ ...7-8A Today............................. ......2A www.herald-zeitung. com Key Code 76 FELSHerald-ZeitungUp, up and away K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Rebecca, Ian and Sean Sindelar (from left) play in a space station at the new location of the Children’s Museum in New Braunfels Marketplace. The museum was closed during this past week so it could move from one suite into another, much larger space within the shopping center.Vol. 150 No. 45    14    pages    in    2    sections    January    3,    2001    \T7nrvXTpr,rv    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Wednesday Murder suspect arraigned By Ron Maloney Staff Writer BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The man wanted for allegedly killing his mother in Comal County on Dec. 26 was turned back at the Canadian border after customs officials caught him trying to carry a bullet into that country. A Whatcom County Court judge set bail for Daniel P. Neal at $300,000 late Tuesday afternoon. Neal, 32, was arrested Sunday morning on charges that he shot to death Barbara Casey, 61, and then set fire to her home on Dec. 26. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Kevin McFadden said Neal already had gotten through U.S. Customs on Interstate 5 about 9 a.m. Sunday when he was detained by Canadian authorities who searched his vehicle at the border. McFadden said the search was a routine one often conducted on vehicles that cross the Canadian border. Neal was driving the red 1987 Ford Bronco II that Comal County Sheriff’s detectives reported they were looking for this past week, McFadden said. The Canadian customs officers found an unfired bullet in Neal’s vehicle, McFadden said. “Due to the fact that you can’t bring ammunition and that sort of stuff into Canada, they turned him around,” McFadden said. McFadden would not say what kind of bullet Neal was carrying. “We’re not releasing that information,” the detective said. Canadian authorities alerted US. officials that Neal might bear a second look. A records check indicated that Neal was wanted on an outstanding Bexar County probation violation warrant, McFadden said. “Customs found the probation warrant and called our agency. They took him into custody without any problem and impounded his vehicle,” McFadden said.See HEARING/4A Liliana Hernandez holds on tight to her daughter, Ana Elena, the first New Braunfels baby born in the new millennium. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung Comal’s first 2001 baby fashionably late By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer The first baby to be bom in 2001 took her time joining New Braunfels in the new millennium. Ana Elena Hernandez, who wasn’t bom until 2:17 p.m. Tuesday, was scheduled to arrive Saturday. Instead, her mother, New Braunfels resident Liliana Hernandez, stayed at home with her family on New Year’s Eve in anticipation of her first child’s arrival. Hernandez said she was hoping her baby would be the first to be bom in 2001, and her wish was granted. She did not go into labor until about 4 a.m. Tuesday. “I called my mom right away and told her, ‘Let’s go,’” Hernandez said. Ana was bom quickly, staff at McKenna Memorial Hospital said. She weighed 8 pounds, six ounces and was slightly more than 20 inches long. Hospital staff said the women’s auxiliary provided gifts to the first baby bom each New Year. Hernandez’s parents, Olivia and Anastacio Hernandez Sr., and her sister joined her in the delivery room. “It was exciting,” Hernandez said. “I really wanted my father to be in here, and he was.” Ana is Olivia and Anastacio Hernandez’s first granddaughter. “They’re going to spoil her silly,” Liliana Hernandez said. Hernandez held Ana several hours after she was bom. The baby’s cries were quiet,See BABY/4A ;