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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 21, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas Ml i"iT“ j11 •;    o    rt009N EW MailKFELS    3$? "i"“ - ”' O iO /—    ,.s^    .... 7 9 9 9 3Herald-ZeiTung >Vol. 148, No. 45    14    pages    in    I    section    January    21,    1999    rp    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Thursday Photo submitted This is how the courthouse looked in 1898. Who says I OO years is old? County honors courthouse By Chris Crews Staff Writer If bands and parades and celebrations and birthday parties are among your interests, by all means go to the courthouse Friday afternoon. Beginning with the ringing of the courthouse bells at 1:20 p.m. and a parade at 1:30 p.m., the county will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Comal County Courthouse. “This is for the people interested in old buildings and the history of Comal County,” said Moe Schwab, county commissioner and chairman of the 100th Anniversary Committee. The main plaza will be closed to traffic from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. for the parade. All three of the county’s high school bands will play alongside vintage cars and horse-drawn vehicles. The parade will begin in the IOO block of Casten Street, turn left on West San Antonio Street and travel around the plaza. One hundred years to the day after the courthouse was dedicated, the same steps used by the plebes and patricians of the county for the past IOO years will be the stage for speeches and songs. A detailed history of the courthouse’s history, published in Sunday’s Herald-Zeitung, will be available at the courthouse. A German-language choir and a barbershop group will provide the songs to complement a reading of the activities at the dedication from Jan. 22, 1899. Commemorative pins will be available at the ceremony and after the commissioners’ court meeting today. The pins can be bought for $5 each. The courthouse will close for business at noon Friday. Items taken from the time capsule this past year are on display at the courthouse. Beer bottle labels, school reports and other memorabilia from the last century will be on exhibit. Insurance rates might be on rise Number of local traffic accidents up 12 percent By Chris Crews Staff Writer The number of traffic accidents in New Braunfels rose 12 percent last year, but what that will do to local auto insurance rates is unclear. A report provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety showed 2,687 traffic accidents were reported in the city in 1998, up from 2,405 in 1997. The number of traffic fatalities also increased last year, with five recoded compared to only one in 1997. The report indicated a driver in New Braunfels moe likely was to have a traffic accident than a driver in Austin or San Antonio. New Braunfels rated 90th among 283 Texas cities included in the report Statistics showed 9.4 accidents for every 1,000 people residing in the city in 1997. Austin rated number 128 on the report with 8 accidents per 1,000 and San Antonio came in at number 172 with a relatively safe rating of 6.4 accidents per 1,000. The state average was 8.1 accidents per 1,000 population. Ll. John Wommack of the New Braunfels Police Department said the number of accidents was up because of an increased volume of traffic. “The streets and roads in the city were not engineered to handle the amount of traffic that they see on daily basis,” Wommack said. The ongoing expansion of Interstate 35 through New Braunfels likely will cause the situation to get worse before it gets better, Wommack said. “The inconvenience for the five years of the project will be tremendous, but when it Is finished it will be one of the best things to happen to our city,” Wommack said. Local insurance agents said automobile insurance rate payers probably would not be affected immediately by the upturn in accidents. Randy Kasberg of Farmers Insurance Group said local rates were based on the number of accidents and the number of the claims paid in a three-county region including Comal, Hays and Guadalupe counties. He said rates here usually run about 30 percent below those of San Antonio residents. “We in this area enjoy a better rating even though a lot of people that live here work in San Antonio,” Kasberg said. Will Laubach of Farm Bureau Insurance said more than one year’s statistics was needed to bring (Mi a rate increase. “It’s got to be a trend over about five years before you would see a significant increase in rates,” Laubach said. He said the last six months of 1998 were relatively calm but the first half of the year was very active in regard to the number of claims filed. Dick Koegle of State Farm Insurance said rates were set by the state insurance board and based on the number and severity of accidents in an area. He said 1998 might have been an exceptional year and might not affect rates for a year or more. New principal in region taking on contenders By Heather Todd Staff Writer Keith Garinger has been principal for New Braunfels High School for a little more than a year, but he’s already found his way into the spotlight. Garinger was named Principal of the Year for Region 13 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in December. GARINGER Garinger was nominated for the award by administrators through the district and now will compete in against 19 other top principals statewide. “It was a great surprise and a super honor to be chosen,” Garinger said. “This honor is not just mine, but also recognizes the whole district as well.” Garinger said the honor would not have been awarded to him without the support of faculty, administrators and students. “I think it’s fantastic that he received this recognition,” New Braunfels Independent School District superintendent Ron Reaves said. “I hope it also testifies to the caliber of individuals we have in the district.” Chris Hines, chairman of the Region 13 Texas Association of Secondary School Principals selection committee, said the six-member selection committee used several different criteria to choose the principal of the year. “The No. I criteria is an application the See PRINCIPAL/3 Varsity Canyon coach played in ‘Blues,’ still likes sideline in red hues By Heather Todd Staff Writer They say everybody has 15 minutes of fame. Bobby Ramos found his 15 minutes with a little unnecessary roughness. Ramos is the assistant varsity coach for the boys’ soccer team at Canyon High School, but during his summer vacation he became an overnight celebrity. The recently released Paramount film “Varsity Blues” was filmed in and around Austin last May, and Ramos was one of many Texas athletes used as entry-level stunt men during the bone-crushing football scenes. Ramos said getting his face on the silver screen, like all opportunities in life, depended on being at the right place at the right time. Ramos, who was living in San Marcos, heard about an open-casting call in Austin for extras in the football movie. He almost missed his chance to rub elbows, and butt heads, with up-and-coming stars. “I’d had a bad day because I had all these interviews in San Antonio and I had to drive back to San Marcos,” Ramos said. “I didn’t really look forward to driving in rush-hour traffic up to Austin, but I made the drive anyway.” Ramos said he was the last applicant to be ^viewed, but the stunt coordinator likeddiis look and told him to come back fo^A second audition the next morning. Out of 3,500 open-casting call applicants, Ramos was one of 350 asked to return. Ramos said the “audition” included 40-yard dash and agility drills, which narrowed the list to 60 applicants by the next day. After more final cuts, Ramos remained as one of 38 applicants picked to appear in the movie. The film, directed by Brian Robbins, stars James Van Der Beek of “Dawson’s Creek” fame; Jon Voight; Paul Walker; Ron Lester; and Scott ROBIN CORNETT/Herald-Zeitung Wearing his jersey from the movie, Bobby Ramos gets into his stance in front of the “Varsity Blues” movie poster at the Walnut 6 movie theater. Below: Ramos, an assistant varsity coach for the boys’ soccer team at Canyon High School and teacher at Canyon Middle School, peers between movie platters in the projection booth. C’aan, son of famous actor James Caan. The movie focuses on the offensive line of a small-town Texas high school football team with a win-at-all-costs coach and a town full of football fanatics. Ramos, who played football at Southwest Texas State University, played #51 on the West Canaan Coyote football team as well as four different players on opposing teams. “I enjoyed being one of the good guys the most. There were 6,000 people sitting in th/ stands who were trained to applauJ for the good guys and boo for the bad, .guys, so when die Coyotes made a big pla£,*ityvas awesome,” he said.    s' Ramos is in his first year of coach- See VARSITY/3 Banquet tickets still available From staff reports Tickets still were available Wednesday afternoon for Friday’s 80th Annual Banquet and Meeting, hosted by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Chamber officials said this year’s event, set to begin at 7 p.m. at the New Braunfels Civic Center, will mix video presentations with an awards banquet and a few quick remarks. “This is an action-packed but brief event, and people seem to appreciate that,” chamber president Michael Meek said. The highlight of the evening will be the awarding of the prestigious Besserung Award, given yearly to a local resident recognized by the chamber as the “outstanding citizen.” Admission for Friday’s event is $18, and Meek about 15 tickets were available about 4 p.m. Wednesday.Inside Abby................................5 Business.............................5 Classifieds.....................11-14 Comics...............................7 Crossword..........................5 Forum.................................6 Local...................................4 Obits...................................3 Sports..............................9-10 Today.................................2 Television ..................7 Postal service details new By Chris Crews Staff Writer SATTLER — Postal authorities Wednesday night outlined the parameters of a proposed new Canyon Lake Postal Station to about IOO interested patrons. The 9,000-square-foot facility has been approved by the United States Postal Service and construction could begin by the middle of this year, officials said. No com pletion date for the project has been set. The station would serve residents in the 78133 zip codes and part of the 78132 area. The Canyon Lake area currently is served by a contract post office in Sattler. An agent contracts with the postal service and provides basic services to area residents, New Braunfels postmaster J.D. Hernandez said. Hernandez said rural mail carri ers would be dispatched directly from the Canyon Lake station instead of New Braunfels as they currently are. “Typically a non-incorporated area will start out with a contract office and grow into an office run directly by the postal service,” Hernandez said. Jack Logan, a specialist in finding locations and building post offices for the postal service, saidSee POSTAL/3 ;