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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 5, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas /AV NEWjtiddgNFELS i03*> ■' Y**C»*OssHerald Vol. 148, No. 33 12 pages in I section January 5, 1999 Tuesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Freeman tries judge’s robes for size ROBIN CORNETT/HeraW-ZeitungJudge Brenda Freeman, right, goes over paperwork with Yolanda D’Antuono, court coordinator for Comal County court-at-law, Monday afternoon at the courthouse. By Bill O'Connell Staff Writer Peers often admire those who climb the ladder of success. When that success comes relatively early in life, all the more so. Brenda Freeman has experienced both. Formerly an attorney with a practice on South Seguin Avenue, the 34-year-old New Braunfels native was sworn in last week as Comal County Court-at-Law judge. Youth and ambition served Freeman well last year as she campaigned against Nathan B. Rheinlander before the April runoff election. She received nearly 57 percent of the vote, then ran unopposed in the November general election. Freeman said the campaign was hard woik, but preparing for the job she officially started Friday was even more grueling. The judge-elect had eight months to close her private practice and get ready for her new job, but the transition required balance. “It turned out to be kind of a tricky situation to handle, because I had to make sure I had enough work to eat between April and the end of the year without taking on things that would last past December,” Freeman said. Marketplace donates $10,000 to flood relief By Heather Toot) Staff Writer Several retail stores at New Braunfels Marketplace proved customer service means more than just clearance sales and bargain prices. New Braunfels Marketplace, 651 Business 35 North, donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross in New Braunfels after the devastation of the Oct. 17-18 flood. Melissa Krause, property manager and regional marketing director for the Marketplace, said the idea for the donation evolved as management at the shopping center became increasingly concerned about the welfare of employees and local residents. “We had 14 employees who lost their homes or had severe flooding in their homes, so we wanted to do something for them,” Krause said. Krause said shopping center employees set up an empty suite in the complex to serve as a drop-off site for clothing and food donations. “Marketplace employees got to go through the merchandise first and pick out the things they were really in need of, but the bulk of the donations, which filled up an entire suitcase, went to the Salvation Army and Community Service Center,” she said. The Marketplace corporate office decided to take the flood relief efforts one step further by contributing a $10,000 matching donation to the American Red Cross. New Braunfels Marketplace is owned by Rothchild Realty and managed by Charter Oaks Partners. “The idea was that the $10,000 would be earmarked for flood victims, and we would encourage retail stores in the Marketplace to match our donation with one of their own,” Krause said. Marketplace management contacted the corporate offices for each retail store to ask for cash or merchandise See MARKETPLACE/5 Turn out the lights \ v f* ■ I " . 'A ,v- / VV- ‘ V -V' ’ % *■:;>    . ‘    *    \    ■    v >■ i** * ■ 1 ROBBI CORNETT/HamW-Zeituno New Braunfels Utilities employee Sloppy Burt pulls Christmas lights from the trees at the Main Plaza Monday afternoon. NBU workers and city workers will continue removing the Christmas decorations from the Main Plaza today. Mrs. Dole hints at presidential race WASHINGTON (AP) - Elizabeth Dole, wife of 19% GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, announced her resignation from the American Red Cross today, apparently to pursue a potential White House bid of her own. Mrs. Dole, 62, in announcing her departure, hinted of her aspirations. “At this important time in our national life, I believe there may be another way for me to serve our country. The Red Cross has been a glorious mission field, but I believe there may be other duties yet to fulfill,” she told employees of the organization. Friends and allies said she didn’t want to explore her presidential aspirations while still affiliated with the nonpartisan Red Cross. “I know she wants the opportunity to seriously consider it and you can’t really do that when running a $2 billion nonprofit organization,” said Jenna Dom, president of the National Health Museum and a Dole friend. One Dole adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were plans to form a presidential exploratory committee within the next month. Mrs, Dole’s announcement comes as another GOP hopeful appears to be getting a case of cold feet. Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., a conservative former governor, has told at least one backer he is not likely to run. Buying groceries shouldn’t be a problem any longer. Freeman will earn $97,700 this year as judge of a court system that averages 1,800 criminal filings per year. The county court-at-law also handles civil and probate cases. Freeman’s additional duties will include going to the county jail to review bail bonds and appoint attorneys for the accused. Freeman’s ascension to the judicial level of government marked the first time a woman had been elected court-at-law judge in Comal County. She said she considered it “an honor” to be a court-at-law judge, but downplayed the personal significance of becoming the first woman to hold that office. “I think it’s more of a milestone for women in professional roles in general than opposed to a personal milestone or a personal goal," she said. Freeman graduated from the University ofTexas in 1987 with a liberal arts degree and received her law degree from Baylor in 1992. She was a clerk for several months in the Austin office of the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals before returning to New Braunfels and practicing law with her father, attorney Jack Borchers. Inside Abby......................... .......7 Business..................... ........5 Classifieds.................... .10-12 Comics....................... ........8 Crossword.................. ........7 Forum......................... ........6 Local........................... ........4 Obits........................... ........3 Sports..................... .......9 Today......................... ........2 Television................... ........8 City eyes bond for drainage TALCOTT Meeting could open talks for May election By Bill O'Connell Staff Writer New Braunfels city leaders could propose a May bond election in an effort to fund improvements to the municipality's stormwater drainage problems. A discussion tonight could be the beginning of a bond elec-t i o n process, as city officials gather for the latest of a series of meetings intended to address the topic. “I’m really planning on looking carefully at a bond election,” councilwoman Cathy Talcott said. The cost of fixing New Braunfels’ drainage problems has been estimated at several million dollars, Talcott said. “The funds are way out of the city’s reach,” she said. Talcott heard citizens’ complaints about drainage trouble areas during a town meeting in February 1998. Council recently agreed to spend $250,000 from a Community Development Block Grant on drainage improvements. Council also could appropriate sales tax funds from the city Infrastructure/Improvement Corporation. Solving the city’s drainage woes traditionally has been a piecemeal effort, as individual projects were done throughout the city. Some city residents said that was the wrong approach. “I’ve actually seen the city make it worse,” said Stan Cunningham of Edward Jones Investments. Drainage problems at his Workshop ■ WHAT: Stormwater drainage workshop ■ WHEN: 6 p.m. today ■ WHERE: Municipal building, 424 South Casten Ave. ■ WHY: City council will discuss solutions to the city’s drainage problem. property at 650 Landa St were similar to what other residents experienced for years. Sandwiched between an elevated railroad track and a residential neighborhood, Edward Jones Investments continues to experience varying degrees of flooding whenever it rains. Two large drains installed by the city run underneath Landa Street and connect with drains from Albertsons nearby. Debris sometimes clogs the drains and causes backups, but Cunningham said he was more concerned about the safety hazard the drains posed to neighborhood children. “My issue is this six-foot deep drain at my place that a child could fall into.... It just scares me to death to think about a kid drowning in that easement,” Cunningham said. Rainstorms create natural water attractions at the drains, Cunningham said, and children routinely play near his property despite warnings. Other city residents share Cunningham’s frustration. Drainage improvements that don't adequately handle water runoff, as well as parts of the city with drainage problems that have yet to be fixed, have plagued New Braunfels for years. City residents at last year's town meeting complained about drainage problems at Alves Lane, Landa Street, Seminole Drive and Hueco Drive. City leaders approved drainage ordinances in 1984 and 1985, but those guidelines See DRAINAGE/5 ;