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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 22, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels WEDNESDAY January 22, 2003 16 pages in 2 sections mmmmm mamma*    lf)    pages    in    Z    sectsHerald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. 60Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents County to honor student athletes By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Unicorns and Rangers banners will fly in the same room Thursday — in peace and in togetherness. Comal County commissioners will honor the county’s high school athletes who went to the state finals this year and offer a prayer for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who could soon be fighting Saddam Hussein. Other Action Thursday’s Commissioners’ Court agenda includes: ■ Consider authorizing a grant submission to the Texas Parks and Wildlife for the Village West Boat Ramp; ■ Appoint members to the Comal County Historical Commission; and ■ Open bids for document imaging service for the Road Department and County and District clerks. Commissioners’ Court meets at 8:15 a.m Thursday in the commissioners’ courtroom, Commissioners' Court Building, 199 Main Plaza. Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson will preside as acting county judge in the absence of Danny Scheel. The New Braunfels Unicorns football and volleyball teams and the Smithson Valley Rangers all will be honored for their accomplishments, Dawson said. “I’m proud of our youth in Comal County and of what they’ve achieved. These are truly leaders of tomorrow, athletically and academically,” Dawson said. In praising the local teams, Dawson couldn’t resist the urge to take a swipe at his football rival, Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin, who hails from Ohio — and Ohio State. “We’re so proud of our vol-leyball team and high schools who made it and we had our third high school almost make it,” Dawson said. “If you combined them all into one team, they’d probably have beat the [Ohio State] Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl.” 23 vehicles crash; none dead Motorists say fog, construction dust were contributing factors (Above) More than 20 cars pile up Tuesday at the Walnut Avenue bridge on Interstate 35. Fog and dust from nearby construction work drivers said were contributing factors to the accident. No serious injuries were reported. (Left) John Abeyta and Kelly Ables speak with New Braunfels police officer Eric Cuellar at the scene of Tuesday’s multi-car accident. They hadn’t even made the first payment on their new Lexus, which now is totaled. Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zertung New Braunfels police officer Eric Cuellar yells for the driver of the pickup truck with the car wedged beneath it to return to his vehicle. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A 23-vehicle pileup on Interstate 35 Tuesday morning left 15 people injured, closing the northbound lanes for four hours and backing traffic up to Schertz. The accident occurred on the Walnut Avenue bridge just before IO a.m. Motorists reported fog and dust from nearby construction work as contributing factors in the accident. The vehicles involved included four semitractor-trailer rigs, one 18-wheeled moving van and a jail van carrying five Dallas County prisoners who remained under guard throughout their time at the scene and at the hospital. None of those transported to hospitals — 13 to McKenna Memorial Hospital and two to Brooke Army Medical Center — had major or lifethreatening injuries. New Braunfels Police Lt. John Villarreal said officers and firefighters were dispatched to the scene — a very narrow two lanes between concrete barricades in the interstate construc tion zone — just before IO a.m. New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Mabe said the dispatch sounded like a routine one — at first. “God sure was smiling on us today. Everything went just right for us. Initially, it was a single-ambulance, single-engine company dispatch,” Mabe said. “It was a routine motor vehicle acci dent in the 1200 block Interstate 35. TYuck I got up there on scene first. At that point, they realized it was more than a minor (accident) and they began calling for additional units.” It was the same for the New Braunfels Police Department. See CRASH/4A New Braunfels firefighter Rick Edwards is assisted by construction workers in carrying an injured man to an awaiting ambulance at the scene of a 23-car pileup on Interstate 35 at Walnut Avenue Tuesday.Inside Abby....................................5A Classifieds...........................3-6B Comics................................7A Crossword..........................5A Forum.................................6A Movies................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports...........................,8-10B Key Code 76 56825 00001 Habitat helps mom’s dream come true By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The next time Habitat for Humanity builds a home in Comal County, Patty Villarreal will be on the paint crew, helping the members of another family realize their dream of owning their own home. When she does, she’ll be thinking about what it was like Tuesday for her and her daughter Brooke, 7, when they attended the dedication for the new, three-bedroom Mill Street home they helped build. About 50 people — most involved with Comal County Habitat for Humanity or the New Braunfels/Canyon Lake Area Association of Realtors — attended the dedication. It was opened with an invocation and a series of symbolic gifts to the Villarreals, who by this weekend will move into Comal County’s ninth Habitat home. The gifts included a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine and something a little more practical — a set of tools. Inside were wooden blinds and a washer and clothes dryer donated by the Realtors — the first Patty Villarreal has ever owned. “We would like to thank everybody,” Villarreal told the CCHFH and the Realtors. “Meeting you all was a wonderful experience. Thank you for making our dreams come true,” Villarreal said. Brooke, a Carl Schurz Ele-mentary second-grader, thanked them, too. “Thank you for coming out every Saturday and working on our house,” she said. The Villarreals got with the Habitat program rather late. Patty works at Barkel International out on Loop 337, and she had saved and hoped and was trying to buy a home last year when she found she didn’t qualify. “Mr. George Lowe was mortgaging a house over there on the comer. He said I was a perfect candidate, but I needed a second income,” Villarreal said. “Being a single mom, I hadSee HABITAT/3A DAVID INGRAM/HerakJ-Zertung Patty Villarreal and her daughter, Brooke, 7, accept the keys to their new home Tuesday morning as members of the New Braunfels/Canyon Lake Area Association of Realtors look on. Their home was dedicated to them by the Comal County Habitat for Humanity. ;