New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 7, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 150, No. 49
38 pages in 5 sections
January 7, 2001
Serving Comal County since 1852
► Music lessons
Local music educators believe teaching music to young children boosts their math and learning skills. See Lifestyle to find out about classes starting soon in the area./1C
► NETS night
The New Braunfels Unicorns took on rival Seguin in the Alamodome Saturday night. See Sports for a complete report/1 B
► Movie review
Sandra Bullock steals the show again in “Miss Congeniality.” Herald-Zeitung movie critic Roy Hargrove shares his views on this new movie./4C
Cool front expected to drop temperatures
By The Associated Press
A cool front is expected to move into a good chunk of Texas, bringing an end to unseasonably warm temperatures, though not quite a return to the icy mess experienced by some of the state.
Temperatures were in the 70s over much of southwest and South Texas.
Fog was reported early Saturday in the lower Rio Grande Valley and along the Coastal Bend . The weather service said rain was likely today, with highs in the 50s.
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Lawmakers ready for session
Comal state senators already have filed 44 bills, proposals
By Jennifer Rodriguez
Comal County’s state senators have a stash of 44 bill and amendment proposals they hope to take up during the 77th Legislative session, which starts Tuesday in Austin.
By this past Wednesday, Sen. Judith Zaffirini had submitted 31
Residents can track the bill proposals their senators file by logging on to www.capi-tol.state.tx.us and clicking on the “Search Bills” function. Current proposals are in the 77th legislature file.
bill proposals, and Sen. Jeff Wentworth had filed 13. Zaffirini, who ranks sixth in
seniority in the 31 -member body, filed nine bills focusing on longterm health care issues, eight addressing welfare reform and five dealing with child abuse and foster care.
“We want to see an increase in education opportunities for our youth; improved access to healthcare for our children; more protections for our elderly; a continuation of economic development policies.. .and protection of the environment in which we live See LAWMAKERS/5A
For the health of it
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Comal Drug’s Debbie Love (right) dips Maryline Jonas’s hand into a paraffin therapy bath Saturday afternoon at the Health and Wellness Expo. The paraffin helps with arthritis pain and dry skin conditions.
The expo, which was held at the New Braunfels Civic Center, was sponsored by KGNB AM 1420. It offered those who attended an opportunity to gather information on a number of health issues. Also, Deborah Ray and Dr. Donald Carrow, hosts of the nationally syndicated “Deborah Ray Show,” broadcast live from the Expo.
Drainage fees up for vote
Council will hear comment during Monday meeting
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
New Braunfels City Council is set to determine a monthly drainage utility fee for local residents and businesses on Monday.
The council first will conduct a public hearing on the proposed drainage utility fee during its 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Municipal Building, 424 S. Caste!! Ave. The council will consider a resolution setting the price of the fees later in the meeting.
■ WHO: New
Braunfels City Council m WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday
■ WHERE: Municipal Building, 424 S. Casted Ave.
Mayor pitches no-smoking ordinance
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
New Braunfels City Council soon could put smoking in public places in the ashtray.
During its 6:30 p.m. meeting Monday, council will consider first approval of an ordinance that bans smoking in public places — any enclosed area that is open to the public or that is a place of employment. That includes eating establishments, public restrooms, retail and grocery stores, offices, movie theaters and public and private education institutions.
The ordinance would exempt private residences, bars, rented hotel and motel rooms, private clubs, tobacco houses and outdoors.
Mayor Stoney Williams proposed the ordinance after being contacted by the
Comal County Medical Society.
Williams said he previously sponsored a similar ordinance that would have required restaurants to have a smoking section closed off from the rest of the restaurant. Restaurants already in existence at that time would not have been required to follow the ordinance, he said.
But he said some restaurants were against the ordinance.
“This one does not have a grandfather clause,’’ Williams said.
A resolution from the Comal County Medical Society states that “primary and secondary tobacco smoke inhalation has been shown to be harmful to health” and contributes to several different cancer formations, respiratory deterioration and cardiac and circulatory diseases.
The society’s resolution said it supported an ordinance prohibiting smoking in public places “in an effort to increase the well-being and health of citizens of Comal County....”
A number of other cities have similar See SMOKING/5A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
New Braunfels truck driver Demetrio Chavez said he did not think a nosmoking ordinance would pass in New Braunfels.
The fee was adopted as part of a drainage ordinance late this past year. Revenues from the fees will pay for the “maintenance, operation, administration and routine functions of the city storm drainage and flood protection facilities,” according to city documents.
Council did not set fees when it adopted the ordinance.
The proposed fee, which would be assessed against improved lots in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction, is $5 per month per family dwelling unit for residences.
Commercial property is charged a higher rate based on the square footage of a building, determined by the Comal or Guadalupe appraisal districts.
The proposed commercial fee is:
• $10 a month for buildings up to 4,999-square-feet;
• $20 a month for 5,000- to 9,999-square-feet;
• $30 a month for 10,000- to 19,999-square-feet;
• $40 a month for 20,000- to 29,999-square-feet;
• $50 a month for 30,000- to 39,999-square-feet;
• $60 a month for 40,000- to 49,999-square-feet;
• $80 a month for 50,000- to 79,999-square-feet;
• $ IOO a month for 80,000- to 99,000-square-feet;
Prison memo: Inmates escaped after unsupervised picnic
DALLAS (AP) — Seven inmates blamed for killing a police officer had an unsupervised “picnic” during the lunch hour that preceded their escape last month from a South Texas prison, a television station reported, quoting a confidential Texas Department of Criminal Justice report.
Convicts call it “spreading,” laying out a sort of indoor picnic. Six inmates working in the main
tenance department of the medi-um-security Connally Unit told their civilian prison-employee supervisors that they weren’t going to the inmate dining room, according to the memo obtained by KHOU-TV in Houston.
They said they would stay behind to “spread” their own meal with food they had bought at the prison commissary.
The seventh inmate then joined the six others “probably atter their
supervisors had left for lunch,” the memo said.
According to the report, IO civilian workers and a guard went to lunch and as each returned to the maintenance department, the inmates took them hostage.
KHOU, in disclosing the memo in its early evening Friday newscast, did not say where it got the memo, which went into detail about aspects of the escape.
TDC J spokesman Glen Castle-
bury on Saturday said the memo was being taken out of context. He said the picnic happened on the top of a work table inside the maintenance shop which was inside the fences of the prison unit and was a secure area.
“I have less heartburn over the editorial content bf the memo than I do about how a police intelligence document came to be in the hands of the news media,” he said
Castlebury refused to discuss
details of the memo, saying an investigation report about the escape will be released in the coming week
The Connally Unit is at Kenedy, 60 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Authorities across Texas continued to track leads from callers who think they’ve spotted the escapees. More than 1,200 tips have poured in since the Dec. 13 escape.New cBftAtJiNFELS
(EST AVAILABLE COPTHerald-Zeitung