New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 4, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2 — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, January 4, 2011
New recycling facility opens today in Seguin
Seguin Gazette Enterprise
SEGUIN — Seguin's new recycling facility located on Fred Hyrd Lane behind the National Guild Armory will open today, Jan. 4, and will start operating with city personnel on duty there five days a week.
Ibe recycling facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Iliesday-Saturday.
"It's going to be nice," said
Susan Kent, Seguin Public Works assistant.
ITie recycling site has been lunded with a grant obtained through the Alamo Area (/Hindi of (iovemments.
"It allowed us to clear the property, install the fence and the concrete apron," Kent said.
I hey are hoping to add a shed to serve as shelter for the employees working at the facility.
(:ity employees who wil! be
staffing the new recycling site have been working for two months at the old recycling site off Nelda Street, which will be closed as the facility opens on Fred Byrd Lane.
Kent said there have been objections to the closure of the site on Nelda Street but it is not practical for the city to have two recycling facilities.
Although the AACOG grant paid for most of the cost of the new facility, the grant did not
include funding to pay the salaries of personnel staffing the facility.
To cover those salaries, the Segiun city council approved a 50-cent charge being added to city utility bills effective when the city's new Fiscal year began Oct. 1.
The recycling site is open only to residents of Seguin. Those using it will be required to show a driver's license or a city utility bill to
The city facility will accept plastic, glass containers, metal (aluminum cans and "tin" cans) and paper.
"Lverything has to be rinsed, but it does not have to be sorted," Kent said.
It was almost a year ago that the city discontinued accepting recyclables outside the local Wal-mart store.
()ne of the problems there was its usage by county resi
dents from outside the city who also put household garbage in the recycling bins.
There also were problems with the bins overflowing and the trash being blown around in t he Wal-mart parking lot.
After the recycling site at Wal-mart was closed, city officials began looking for alternatives, and eventually the grant was approved for construction of the facility on Fred Byrd Lane.
Victim stays silent in stabbing incident
By J. Louise Larson
A lot of questions were left unanswered for authorities after a man called them from a convenience store in the 1100 block of 1-35 South.
The man requested a ride
to the hospital around 4 a.m. on New Year's Day. EMS workers determined there had been foul play of some sort.
“He had been stabbed (in the arm), but he wouldn't provide information,” said Lt. Michael Penshom of the
New Braunfels Police Department.
The police report indicates the man was stabbed by an unknown assailant at an unknown location.
The man was transported to Christus Santa Rosa — New Braunfels.
Police arrest man after he drives car into wall
By J. Louise Larson
A New Braunfels man was arrested after driving his 1999 Chrysler 300M into the wall of the Pit Stop convenience store in the 300 block of State Highway 46.
"He damaged the wall and the window frame," said Lt. Michael Penshom of the New
Braunfels Police Department.
James David Daniels, 23, was charged with driving while intoxicated.
He was also charged with resisting arrest after Fighting with officers at the scene, and for four municipal court
warrants, including public intoxication, failure to show financial responsibility and speeding.
It wasn't Daniels' first brush with the law.
According to Comal County jail records, he faced marijuana possession charges in 2006 and 2008, and burglary of a habitation charges in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
State housing agency awards $2 million to expand senior housing in Schertz
SCHERTZ — The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has announced a funding award for the construction of a new affordable rental property in Schertz that will help bring stability to the lives of area seniors while providing a boost to the local economy.
TDHCA will provide $2 million in gap Financing to developers constructing the 176-unit Merritt Lakeside Apartments.
The award was made through the Department’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The property is being funded primarily with nearly $14.8 million in equity financing created through an allocation of housing tax credits previously awarded to the developers by TDHCA.
Housing tax credits provide private investors with a benefit that is used to offset a portion of their federal tax liability in exchange for the production of affordable rental housing.
"We recognize that rental housing markets across the state have tightened over the past year and that means for many older Texans living on a fixed income it can be an enormous challenge to find a decent, affordable home,”
said TDHCA Executive Director Michael Gerber. “This award will help fill a financing gap and provide seniors the long-term benefits of a stable, secure home life while generating numerous construction jobs and the payroll, taxes, and fees that help provide essential services at the local level.”
Once completed, Merritt Lakeside Apartments will serve seniors earning no more than 60 percent of the area median family income, which for (madalupe County equals an annual income of $27,780 for a two-person household.
For more information regarding Merritt Lakeside, call (888) 933-0009.
CONTINUED FROM Page 1
away from the scene ... and they reported seeing fireworks,” O’Connell said.
On New Year’s Eve, every NBFD vehicle was manned and on the road, looking for signs of Fireworks.
We had 33 sets of eyes out there,’’ O’Connell said.
In terms of actual fires, there were some bonfires and grass fires, but timely rains in three days preceding New Year’s Eve reduced the fire risk, he said.
There were unauthorized burns in the 700 block of
Comal, the 1600 block of Katy, the 1200 block of Bartels and the 1100 block of Highway 46 South.
A group of several minors and adults enjoying a 6 p.m. bonfire across from the entrance to the Stone Gate subdivision in the 1100 block of Highway 46 South were informed that the county is still under a burn ban.
Overall, reports of illegal fireworks within city limits were down this New Year’s.
“We only responded to 34 separate reports of fireworks, which is way down from previous years — with the bulk of those calls coming in
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immediately around midnight,” O’Connell said.
Between a media blitz to develop public awareness and fliers taken door-to-door by New Braunfels Fire Department staffers, efforts to reduce fireworks hazard in the city were quite successful, O’Connell said.
“There were fewer than a dozen citations issued. We collected about 50 pounds of fireworks, but that was down from last year.
“Anecdotally, that was well down,” he said. “I’m attributing the significant reduction in calls to our door-to-door campaign and getting the word out... I was extremely happy.”
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Labor Department resolves back wages case against Cemex Inc.
By Greg Bowen
The U.S. Department of Labor said an agreement has been reached in a case against Cemex Inc., which calls for the company to pay $1.5 million in overtime back wages for 1,705 current and former ready-mix drivers who worked in Texas and seven other states.
“Ensuring that workers are paid their full wages is a top priority of this department,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “This legal action is intended to ensure that the company complies with federal overtime laws now and in the future.
“Earning overtime pay is how many Americans make ends meet, even though working long hours often means significant sacrifices for workers and their families."
Cemex, which operates a plant near New Braunfels, is the United States’ largest supplier of cement and ready-mix concrete, as well as an important producer of aggregates, concrete blocks and other building materials, the Labor Department said.
Based on 2008 company information, Cemex is comprised of 18 cement plants either wholly or partially owned, 536 ready-mix plants, 102 aggregates quarries, 43 land distribution centers and 11 marine terminals.
Labor Department officials
on Monday said the amount of back wage dollars to be dis-tributed to drivers at the Cemex plant in Comal County was not immedately available. Those figures are being extracted from the data and will be made available at a later date.
The Labor Department said its Wage and Hour Division began a local investigation in Tampa, Fla., which disclosed systemic overtime violations resulting from the employer’s failure to compensate “pay-per-load” employees with premium pay for hours that they worked more than 40 in a workweek.
The investigation was then expanded to cover affected Cemex employees in Texas, Arizona, California, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina After conducting employee interviews and reviewing time and payroll records, the department’s Dallas regional solicitor of labor filed a complaint with the court on Sept. 11,2008.
The Labor Department said that the parties have reached an agreement to settle allegations that Cemex failed to properly pay overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act The agreement was filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, on Dec. 20, 2010. In addition to requiring that Cemex pay the back wages it owes its employees, the court’s consent order
requires Cemex to comply with the requirements of the FISA in the fiiture or risk being found in contempt of the order.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rate of pay, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers must also maintain accurate time and payroll records.
Cemex spokeswoman Heather Chilivetis released a statement on the issue late Monday: "We instituted a ‘pay by the load’ program that we believed was in compliance with the law. Many of the employees paid under the pay by load arrangement received more compensation than they would have under a traditional pay system. In addition, the system encouraged efficiency and recognized safety. Cemex was not the only company in the industry utilizing the pay by load system. The Cemex program ended in 2007. Cemex has been working with the Department of Labor to resolve the disputed issues related to the program, and we are pleased that we have been able to reach a final resolution with the DOL Cemex is in full compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and prides itself on being a fair employer of cl oice.”
Man charged with assault following Saturday altercation
By J. Louise Larson
Alfred James Adams, 33, of New Braunfels, was arrested Saturday evening in the 3300 block of Kingle Court. Police say he assaulted a male, and then went after his own former girlfriend after she tried to flee the apartment.
"He put her in a headlock and kept her from calling the New
Braunfels police on her cell phone,” said Lt.
Michael Penshom of the New Braunfels Police Department.
Adams was charged with assault causing bodily injury, assault on a family member/household member impeding breath/circulation and interfering with an emergency call.
The male victim was transported to Christus Santa Rosa — New Braunfels with injuries.
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However, the property value lost in fires in 2010 (up to Dec. 30) was just $1.376 million, down from $2.138 million in 2009.
“We had $1.3 million in losses this year ... but all it takes is one major structure fire, like Handy Andy (in 2009) to skew your numbers,” said O’Connell.
Under die category of rescue and emergency medical service incidents, NBFD responded with 358 cases of
medical assist or assisting EMS crews.
There were 3,637 EMS calls, excluding vehicle accidents with injuries, and 314 EMS responses to motor vehicle accidents with injuries.
The NBFD fielded 21 motor vehicle / pedestrian accidents in 2010.
There were three incidents of removal of victims from stalled elevator, and one high-angle rescue.
Water rescue and recovery
The New Braunfels Fire Department had 17 searches for persons in water, including a dozen or so high water
rescues in June's flooding.
There were 31 cases o swift-water rescue and on case of watercraft rescue.
New Braunfels Fir Department’s newly forme« official dive recovery tean had its water work cut ou for them.
“We did three or four div< recovery deployments,” saic O’Connell. “It was a busi year.”
The department nov responds to calls fron Canyon Lake ^ind rivei areas, whereas area agencies used to rely on spori divers with the San Marcoi aquatic rescue team O'Connell said.
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