New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 8, 1989, New Braunfels, Texas
Two like salary increase while others are opposed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Texas Democrats have declared their support for a pay increase that would boost congressional salaries to $135,000, but many of their colleagues are calling the politically sensitive proposal “absolutely insane,” _ _
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Bengals-Bills, Bears-49ers vie for spot in Super Bowl
Berths in the NFL’s Super Bowl XXIII are on the line as the conference championship games will be played today. First up will be Buffalo at Cincinnati for the AFC crown, then Chicago will nost San Francisco for the NFC title. n ~ .
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Tuesday ’s Bridal Fair
puts details in one place
Careful planning is the essential detail behind every successful wedding. It can be a anxiety-filled experience or, with the help of the New Braunfels Bridal Fair Association, it can be a fun time.
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Vol. 137, No. 38
707 Landa St., New Braunfels, Texas 78130 (LISPS 377-880) 512-625-9144
January 8, 1989
50 Cents Four Sections, 38 Pages
DA spends $13,000 from DHR on staff
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
Investigations of a former Comal County district attorney’s discretionary fund reveals more than $13,000 was spent on dinners, groceries, furniture, seminars, gifts and other supplies between 1984 and 1988.
“We asked (Department of Human Services) several times” what to spend the money on, said former District Attorney William Schroeder about his Department of Human Resources fund.
“They said, ‘Spend it on whatever you feel you want to spend it for as long as it is relative to the district attorney’s office ’,” Schroeder said.
The fund was established in 1982 when the district attorney’s office agreed to prosecute Comal County violators of the Food Stamp program for the Texas Department of Human Resources.
The department promised to pay $250 to $600 to the district attorney after he reviewed, evaluated and prosecuted Food Stamp fraud and theft already investigated by DHR. Schroeder also was responsible for preparing complaints, specific information, indictments and trial cases.
When the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung investigated expenditures during the four-year span, it was dis
covered approximately $3,200 was reimbursed to Schroeder for various purchases; more than $2,000 was spent on staff meals; approximately $1,600 was used for travel and meeting expenses for staff; around $1,300 was spent at area grocery stores; and more than $ 1,200 was spent on items purchased at Sam’s Warehouse in San Antonio.
Also during that period, approximately $1,000 was used to give staff members bonuses; furniture worth approximately SI, I OO was bought; coffee and Ozarka drinking water was purchased for approximately $500; more than $300 was spent on flowers and birthday cakes; a staff member received approximately $171 for equipment needed to attend law enforcement school; and miscellaneous items totaled more than $700.
“These arc public funds,” said County Judge Fred Clark last week. “If they were spent illegally, they need to be reimbursed.”
Schroeder, who lost the district attorney’s race to Bill Rcimcr in the primary, contends the expenditures were used for the betterment of Comal County.
A resolution signed by Comal County Commissioners concerning the DHR contract stipulates the money should be “utilized for the bet
terment of the district attorney’s office.
“Betterment shall provide for increased and improved services to the citizens of Comal County.”
Gordon Hardy, inspector general for the Department of Human Resources in Austin, said DHR doesn’t know how district attorneys spend the money. “And that’s on purpose,” he said.
How the money should be spent is worked out on. a local level, Hardy said. “It’s not our responsibility. It’s been more successful than we ever imagined.”
Hardy did say many district attorneys use the money to enhance prosecution of Food Stamp fraud and theft. “It’s been very well received. The program works.”
District attorneys across the state of Texas receive similar DHR funds.
Schroeder said he spent the money to thank his staff members for their hard work.
“My staff worked outside of the office on various projects which enhanced our dealing with Comal County — for example, the Famil) Violence Shelter,” he said.
Schroeder said his employees often worked, cleaned and painted at thl*
See FUND, Page 2ACrash cause unknown
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
The investigation continued this weekend into the cause of Friday’s crash of a single-engine aircraft in Comal County.
The plane crashed on a Comal County ranch west of New Braunfels killing the two men on board and igniting a 10-acre grass fire.
Pilot John M. Hammond, 42, of Lugoff, S.C., and passenger Warren Koon, 40, of Waco, were “burned beyond recognition” when the 1961 Beechcraft fixed-wing plane crashed at 9:36 p.m., according to law enforcement officials. No other passengers were reported on board.
‘There’s no evidence of an in-flight fire," said Warren Wandel, air safety
investigator from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board in Fort Worth. Saturday.
Plane debris lodged in bushes and twisted among rocky terrain covered approximately 250 yards on the ranch located approximately IO miles west of New Braunfels on Texas 46 and
See CRASH, Page 2A
Investigators and inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to rummage through the
debris of Friday’s plane crash to determine the cause of the disaster. (Photo by Deryl Clark)
It looks the warm spell is over. Today’s high under partly cloudy skies is expected to reach 55.
Winds are from the north between 15 and 20 mph. Tonight will cold with a 20 percent chance of rain and a low of 35. Monday also will be cloudy and cold with a 30 percent chance of rain and a high reaching only about 45. Mostly cloudy skies and cold temps continue through the week with highs Tuesday and Wednesday in the 50s and lows in the 30s, with temperatures in the 20s in the hill country.
The next Defensive Driving Courses sponsored by the Indepen- • dent Insurance Agents of New Braunfels will be Monday and Tuesday from 6 to IO p.m. and Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classes are held at the Holiday Inn, 1051 Interstate E. If you plan to attend, they’d like a call at 625-6611.
The Charles Rose Agency is offering DDC Jan. IO and 12 and Jan. 24 and 26 from 6 to IO p.m. at Canyon High School. Call 625-8081 or 625-8576 for info....
The San Marcos Better Breathing Club will have its next meeting Jan. ll at Central Texas Medical Center classroom. Better Breathing Clubs are educational programs for people with lung diseases and their families. The meetings are sponsored free of charge as a Christmas Seals service of the American Lung Association of Texas. For more information, call Lee Grumbles at 353-8979 or the American Lung Association of Texas, 1-800-252-LUNG....
8m STAMMTISCH, Pag* 2A
U-turn causes wreck
A three-car accident on Walnut Avenue Friday resulted in the injuries of one woman and a traffic jam.
The accident occurred about 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Wood Road when Mary Bremer, 75, 1081 U.S. 81 E., made a U-turn, said New Braunfels policeman Robert Diaz.
Bremer was traveling south on Walnut Avenue when she made a U-turn into uncoming traffic, caus
ing a collision with a two-door Chevrolet Chevctte, Diaz said.
He added the impact caused Bremer’s car to turn around and hit a pickup truck stopped on Wood Road attempting to enter Walnut Avenue.
The driver of the mick was Milton Schicuelbein, 79, 947 Texas 46.
Diaz said the unidentified woman in the Chevctte was taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital.
EUWD directors planning water purchase decision
Directors of the Edwards Underground Water District Tuesday morning will consider an agreement with New Braunfels Utilities to purchase raw water for a surface water treatment plant to be built later this year.
At a Dec. 21 meeting, the Edwards Underground Water District conservation committee unanimously voted to recommend the Edwards board approve funds for New Braunfels to purchase 6,700 acre feet of raw water per year
for the next five years.
Comal County Director Dr. Kenneth Ikels is chairman of the district for Comal County and chairman of the conservation committee.
Directors of the water district are considering giving funds to the city to purchase the water for a surface water
See EDWARDS, Page 2A
NR Council will bid on post office
By DAVID BUILTA Staff Writer
The City of New Braunfels could own the old United States Post Office if City Council agrees to make the government an offer.
New Braunfels City Council will consider a resolution authorizing New Braunfels City Manager Paul Groh-man to offer $ I for the old Post Office on Casten Street during a regular meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. in New Braunfels Utilities meeting room.
"There is a possibility the city could get it for a token price, such as $1,” said Grohman. “As a lot of people in town know, the Post Office is up for bids.”
The city manager said the asking price for the building is more than $300,000.
‘To the best of my knowledge, there are no structural problems,” Grohman said. Asbestos has been removed from the building; however, there are problems with the roof.
Grohman said the building could be used for civic purposes such as a meeting area for senior citizens or youth groups.
“I don’t think it’s well suited for administrative offices,” Grohman said, recalling discussions that the building could be used to ease overcrowding at City Hall. He said having administrative offices in another building would spread city operations too far apart.
Council also will consider accepting the city manager’s plan for the use of excess 1985 street construction
City Council Monday night will consider offering the government $1 for the old post office on Casten Street. (Photo by Deryl Clark)
general obligation bond funds.
Grohman said many street projects have been completed at a lower cost then estimated. By law, money allocated to street improvement by a bond election can be used only for street construction. The city manager will ask council to authorize reconstruction of Old McQueeney Road and Gruene Road with a portion of the excess bond funds.
Hydro project faces official dedication
Canyon Hydroelectric Plant will be dedicated next weekend after about eight years of discussion and several years of construction.
Directors and employees of Guadalupc-Blanco River Authority and New Braunfels Utilities are hosting dedication ceremonies at ll a.m. Saturday at the project site. The project is adjacent to the discharge channel of Canyon Dam off FM 306.
Testing of the facility, which cost approximately $14 million, began in mid December.
The hydroelectric plant will produce energy by trapping water flowing out of Canyon Lake. Energy pro
duced by the plant will be sold to NBU by the Guadalupe-Blaneo River Authoiity.
New Braunfels Utilities is financing construction of die plant, while the river authority will own the plant and maintain its operation.
The inclusion of hydroelectric power is expected to save NBU customers on the cost of power. After debt service on the facility is paid, energy could cost a jienny per kilowatt hour.
The hydro plant represents less than 5 percent of the power needed to
See HYDRO, Page 2A
NE residents are making city a safer place to live
Council will have public hearings and consider ordinances to rezone lots on Liberty Avenue and Mulberry Street from multi-family districts to resort commercial district.
At a Dec. 7 meeting, New Braunfels Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously agreed to recommend council approval of requests by
S** COUNCIL, Pag* 2 A
Historically, the biggest month for property crimes is December, but this year New Braunfels proved history wrong.
“Seasonal expectations proved false," said Ann Bartholomew, chairman of the Safe City Commission.
“Normally, December is a. big month for burglaries but thanks to the efforts of the commission, police and local residents, that ended up not being the case last month.”
Figures released Friday by the Safe City Commission indicate crimes against property dropped 31 percent in December 1988 compared to December 1987.
Many residents apparently followed burglary prevention advice offered bv Dolice and the commission
during the holidays, Bartholomew said. “We encourage them to continue securing their homes, businesses and vehicles.”
Statistics for December 1988 reflect 54 burglaries were reported in New Braunfels, compared to 78 during the same period in 1987.
“It appears residents did a great job of securing their homes and businesses during the busy holiday season,” said Martin Mayer, New Braunfels Police crime prevention officer.
“Figures show residential and business burglaries dropped considerably last month, while only a slight decrease was noted in motor vehicle burglaries,” he said.
S** SAFE, Page 2A