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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 9, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW (BraunfelsHer ald-Zeii u ng -Vol. 149, No. 37    40    pages    in    5    sections    January    9,    2000    |^jD/VY Serving Comal County since 1852    $1.00 Inside ► Ringside seats The release of “The Hurricane” opens a new chapter in Hollywood’s deep fascination with boxing. Roy Hargrove chronicles boxing tales on the silver screen./1C ► Deer in the city They eat your landscape and run in front of your cars — deer. Local experts otter advice about dealing with these wild animals in the urban setting./4A ► Prep basketball The New Braunfels girls basketball team opened District 14-5A play at home Friday night against Austin High. Find out how the Unicorns fared in Sports./! B Weather I—MmwmWlT'lffTii""! TT'''^irilOTmMEWIMM«i Saturday’s sunshine is expected to spill over into today and Monday as highs creep back into the 70s. For the complete forecast, see Page 2A. Index Abby................................... ..........2C Business........................... ...5B-6B Classified........................... .....MOD Crossword.......................... ..........2C Forum................................ ..........6A Local/Metro........................ ..........4A Movies................................ ..........2C Obituaries....................... .........3A Sports.............................. ......1-4B Today.................................. ..........2A Television............................ Montage Key code 77 AMANDA BECK/Herald-Zeitung McKenna Memorial Hospital staff nurse Maria Smith (right) administers an influenza shot to Linda Rhoades. Health officials say flu is on the rise locally. Flu continues to plague NB By Christina Minor Staff Writer Residents in New Braunfels continue to frequent doctors’ offices and the emergency room as influenza season reaches its peak. Dr. John Flanagan, medical director for McKenna Emergency Center, said emergency room doctors still were seeing many infected patients, and they expect to see more patients this weekend. “We are still getting big numbers coming through here,” he said. “We are seeing types A and B of the flu as “Eat right, sleep right. The best prevention against the flu is to immunize.” Karon Preiss County County nurse well as pneumonia and sinusitis cases. We also are seeing some cases of the stomach flu.” Flanagan said he expected the heavy patient load to continue for another month before gradually decreasing. Comal County Health Department reported 652 people suffered from the flu or flu-like symptoms during October, November and December. In 1998, the health department reported 104 cases for the year. Comal County nurse Karon Preiss said New Braunfels was getting hit hard this year by the type B strain, and people needed to take care of themselves. “People need to practice good health measures,” she said. “Eat right, sleep right. The best prevention against the flu is to immunize.” The county health department has See FLU/5A School site debate goes to bond oversight committee Trustee,s to present case for moving location By Heather Todd Staff Writer An emotional debate in southwestern Comal County about the location of a new elementary school could go before the bond oversight committee Monday. The school’s location and an alternative plan for school boundaries likely will be debated by Comal school district’s bond oversight committee when it meets at 6 p.m. at Canyon Intermediate School, 1275 N. Business 35. The alternative school boundaries are part of a plan supported by trustees John Bertelsen and Lester W. Jonas to address their concerns w ith the bond plan approved by voters in May 1999. Bertelsen said he would not discuss details of the alternative plan until after the bond oversight committee meeting. Comal district voters approved a two-phase, $141-million bond issue in May 1999. Included in the bond issue was a new elementary school that trustees said would be built in the U.S. 281 and Cibolo Creek area. In December, trustees balked at buying land on Borgfeld Road west of U.S. 281, and administrators now are looking at land east of U.S. 281 in the Smithson Valley Road area north of Farm-to-Market Road 1863. The committee, which consists of eight district patrons and three board members, was established in June 1999 to oversee the bond projects. It is chaiged with ensuring bond money is spent properly and projects in progress are completed on time. Bertelsen said Monday’s meeting was intended to get feedback from the committee on a plan he said would better serve the district. Bertelsen said the current bond plan would place schools in areas that would force many students in the Canyon Lake area to drive four or five times farther to get to school. But, some parents in sou til western Comal County say any changes would violate the bond package promoted by the district and approved by voters. Marlene Keller, a member of the district’s bond oversight committee, said board members made a verbal contract w ith voters that the school would be built on the west side of U.S.281 near the Timberwood Park subdivision. “It was stilted verbally and stated at meetings that it would be in the Timberwood Park area. It was certainly understood that was where the school was going,” she said. Both Jonas and Bertelsen said after studying new information they believed See SCHOOL/5A Council tackling tough bond questions Mayor wants costs, bond list trimmed By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer Cutting projects from the proposed $38.6 million bond issue and how to package bond projects on the ballot — both w ill be fair game at Monday’s New Braunfels City Council meeting. Mayor Stoney Williams said council would have an open discussion at the 6:30 p.m. meeting, w here any number of issues related to the bond could be addressed. At the Dec. 13 meeting, council approved $38.6 million in projects for a May bond issue. The city has until mid-February to finalize that list and answer a long list of detailed questions. Williams said he still was considering cutting projects from the list. As is, the bond could more than double the city’s tax rate. “We need to pare this list down, or I’m going to vote against it,” Williams said on Dec. 13. Walnut Avenue A proposition to expand Walnut Avenue from Katy Street to Business 35 is estimated at $5.6 million, including costs to acquire land on the south side of the street. Costs could increase depending on several factors: • Width of street; • Length affected; • How much property sells for; • Legal fees associated with negotiating prices for property; • Whether council includes drainage improvements; and • I low' council handles existing properties (i.e. demolition cost) Street and Drainage Improvements Williams said he was considering a recommendation to drop some street projects from the proposed ballot. Currently, this proposition See COUNCIU5A good quenching Officials lift burn ban amid soaking rain By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Thank God almighty—rain at last. Friday’s long-awaited precipitation not only gave the parched New Braunfels area a much-needed drink of water, but it allowed Comal County Commissioners to temporarily lift the burn ban that has been in place since Aug. 9. Residents should take advantage of mother nature’s kindness and burn today, because the ban might be reinstated as early as Monday morning, Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford said. The heavens opened up and blessed the New Braunfels area with one to two inches of a rainfall Friday, enough to decrease the extreme w ildfire danger in the county. But dry conditions were expected to rule the rest of the winter, the National Weather Service predicted. “We temporarily lifted the ban because a lot of people in the county have stuff stored, and they need to burn it,” Manford said. But the relief provided by the rainfall did not come close to eliminating the droughtlike conditions, and it will not take long for the vegetation to become dangerously dry again, he said. “If the sun is out Monday and the wind is blowing—It will dry up real quick,” Manford said. “We’re still going to be in an extreme fire danger.” In December, New Braunfels made the top three list of driest places to live in the AMANDA BECK/Herald-Zeitung Nearly two inches of rain fell across New Braunfels and surrounding areas Friday, making most aspects of outdoor activity — including shopping — less than pleasant, as this unidentified woman discovered outside the New Braunfels Marketplace. entire state, the Texas Forest Service reported. Any doubts about the necessity of a burn ban disappeared Monday after 700 acres at the Canyon Lake area went up in smoke in a blaze that officials believe was probably ignited by an unauthorized burn. Monday’s forecast calls for dry, sunny weather and the trend was predicated to continue throughout the early part of the week. Manford said he would probably meet with commissioners on Monday to decide whether the ban will be reinstated. Residents who are planning to bum today are required to contact the Sheriff’s dispatch at 620-3408 and provide them with the location of the burn. ;