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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 17, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas HH 0 9 10 / ^ ^ ^ ^ _ T    JI    I    I    '    SO    WEST    nlCROPUBLXSHTN,NEWrBlWlMwFELS »" PASO, TXHerald-Zeitung Partly cloudy skies with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s — that’s the forecast for the early part of the week. Get the details on Page 2A. Index Abby............................... .........2C Business.................... ........9A Classified........................ ...5-14C Crossword...................... .........2C Forum............................. ..........6A Local............................... ..........4A Obits............................... ..........3A Sports............................. ......1-4B Today.............................. ..........2A Television..............*........ Montage ( 0* / County breathes easy despite emissions hikes ROBIN CORNETT/HerakJ-Zertung New Braunfels General Store International is one of several companies with state permits for air emissions. Bv Bill O'Connell Staff Writer Comal County does not appear ready to stake a claim as an industrial area. Several factors, however, have contributed to deterioration of air quality in this county, but state environmental officials say it is better than many areas in the state that have the same kinds of industrial emissions. Comal County, particularly New Braunfels, has evolved into a “bedroom community,” a reference to the area’s popularity as a pleasant, uncrowded place to call home while commuting to a job in Austin or San Antonio. Added to the flow of commuter traffic on Interstate 35 was the recent upswing of commerce rumbling daily through thisSee how Comal stacks up — Page 10A area since the adoption of die North American Free Trade Agreement. The amount of traffic passing through the Austin-to-San Antonio corridor had a significant effect on air quality, state environmental off icials said. “Traffic plays a huge role in what we have to deal with,” Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission spokesman Tom Kelley said. Economic development in New Braunfels led to a growth in the number of manufacturing plants starting operations within the city limits since the 1980s. Some of the companies that built plants in New Braunfels were recruited by the city, occa sionally with property tax abatements. A property tax abatement is a total or partial tax exemption granted to a business for a designated period of time. The exemption typically is given in exchange for the business guaranteeing to create a certain number of jobs and investmentsSee EMISSIONS/9A Vol. 148, No. 42 48 pages in 4 sections January 17, 1999 Sunday Serving Comal County since 1852 $1.00 Inside ► Hot rods Local racing enthusiasts cross the generational gap as their love for the sport brings them together./ 1B ► Can’t beat feet We use them everyday, and we usually don’t think about them until something goes wrong./ 1C ► lOOth birthday Relive the past and share in the history of the Comal County Courthouse in a special section inside today’s paper. / INSIDE Weather Prosecutors: Remove Clinton or hurt presidency WASHINGTON (AP) — With a final flourish, House prosecutors demanded President Clinton’s removal from office Saturday, telling a hushed audience of senators that otherwise the presidency itself might be “deeply and perhaps permanently damaged.” Senate leaders sparred over the issue of witnesses at the CLINTON historic impeachment trial. “Morally serious men and women can imagine circumstances at the far edge of the morally permissible” in which a president could shade the truth for the good of the nation, said white-haired Rep. Henry Hyde, the lead prosecutor summing up three days of opening arguments. “But under oath, for a private pleasure?” he asked. It was a question that cut to the core of the case, allegations that Clinton committed peijury and obstructed justice in an attempt to conceal his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Moments after Hyde concluded the prosecution’s presentation, Clinton attorney Gregory Craig said the president’s legal team would be ready with a “strong vigorous defense, based on the facts, the law and the Constitu- SV meningitis alert School, county health officials try to contain disease, rumors By Heather Todd Staff Writer Smithson Valley High School students and staff are taking extra precautions after a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis Jan. 12. One SVHS student, who has not been identified, was sent to an intensive care unit Jan. 13 after being diagnosed with acute bacterial meningitis Jan. 8. Comal Independent School District officials, who were alerted of the infected student Jan. ll, said SVHS personnel were taking measures to protect students and staff from infection by disinfecting water faucets, door handles and drinking fountains in the school. Bacterial meningitis is not an airborne disease and is transmitted through close contact. Shel McWilliams, Comal County Health Department nurse, said parents and students should be concerned about the disease but should not panic. “We want informed parents but not panicked ones, lf students shared the same air space, it is not a problem,” she said. Close contact with the infected student would include contact with the immediate family and actions such as using the same dining utensils or drinking glass, kissing, or being sneezed or coughed upon. SVHS students and staff have been instructed to refrain from actions that could spread the disease. However, Yvonne Vanegas, a freshman at SVHS, said she still was concerned about her own health. ROBIN CORNETT /Herald-Zeitung Smithson Valley High School janitor Kelly McCullough wipes down one of the classroom door knobs after class Friday. “I don’t know who the (infected) student is. So, how do I know if I’ve been in contact with him or not?” she said. Kathryn Welch, a SVHS junior, said concern about the spread of bactena! meningitis on campus varied among students. “I know some people who went and got tested. I think most of us See MENINGITIS/5A What is it? Bacterial meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is spread through close contact with an infected person. Symptoms • Fever. • Headache, possibly severe. • Stiff neck, shoulders or back. • Severe shooting pains down the back of the neck. • Inability to tolerate bright light. • Nausea and vomiting. • Mental confusion, drowsiness, seizures and loss of consciousness. Treatment Large doses of intravenous antibiotics. (Compiled by News and Observer, Raleigh. NC; Sources American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies, The Complete Home Medical Reference ) don” when the trial resumes on Tuesday. Senate officials estimate that 1,500 people have stood in line each day to witness a few minutes of the drama. The trial, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding, is the first such presidential impeachment proceeding since 1868. Bulverde East OKs joining B. South By Heather Todd Staff Writer BULVERDE - Voters of Bulverde East moved this west Comal community closer to being a unified city by approving a consolidation proposal Saturday. Bulverde East residents voted 139-12 to consolidate with Bulverde South, which leaves a final consolidation election May I before Bulverde residents are part of a single city with 3,000 residents. Bulverde incorporation supporters say consolidation is necessary to prevent the community’s annexation into San Antonio. Election judge Vicki Martin said the election generated a “great turnout.’’ The November vote to consolidate Bulverde West and Bulverde South passed by a margin of 75-2. Martin said more than 60 voters cast their ballots during the early voting period for Saturday’s election. The citizens to the south now go to the polls in May to decide whether to consolidate with Bulverde East. Martin said Saturday’s election boded well for the last consolidation election in May. The consolidation process began in November 1997 when the cities of Bulverde North, South, West and East voted to incorporate. In separate elections this past year, Bulverde North and Bulverde West were consolidated with Bulverde South. Saturday’s election finally ended an ongoing discussion between Bulverde East and Bulverde South about which city had the greater population. State law mandates the smaller city must conduct the first election to consolidate. ;