New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, January 30, 2000County Local
From the Dispatch
A 41 -year-old New Braunfels woman was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio Thursday afternoon after she fell out of the back of a pickup truck traveling in the 110O block of S. Texas 46. The woman was holding a stack of mattresses in the back of a 1995 Ford pickup driven by a 37-year-old New Braunfels man about 12:06 p.m., when a gust of wind knocked a mattress and the woman out of the truck and onto the roadway. The woman was treated and released from the hospital Friday.
A 29-year-old Canyon Lake area woman was arrested Thursday by Comal County Sheriff’s officers for possession of less than 20 ounces of marijuana. She was booked into Comal County Jail on no bond.
A 37-year-old New Braunfels man was arrested about 8 p.m. Thursday by New Braunfels Police Department officers for public intoxication in the 300 block of Comal. He was booked into Comal County Jail on $150 bond.
A 21-year-old New Braunfels man was arrested for intoxication about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of S.
Interstate 35 after New Braunfels Police Department officers discovered him passed out in a vehicle in a parking lot. He was booked into Comal County Jail on $150 bond.
A storage facility at the Comal County Fairgrounds in the 700 block of E. Common was burglarized sometime between Jan. 21 and Jan. 24. Someone stole about $75 to $100 worth of beverages from the facility.
A 59-year-old New Braunfels woman who was a passenger in a 1995 Mercury 4-Door suffered minor injuries Tuesday after the vehicle hit a deer that crossed the roadway at Loop 337 and River Road. A 61-year-old New Braunfels man was driving. The woman was transported to McKenna Memorial.
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Watching for DWI’s
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Deputy Wayne Lehman demonstrates the horizontal gaze nystagmus test for members of the Comal County Bar Association Thursday.
Attorneys get lowdown on new laws
By Erin MAGRUDER
The new driving while intoxicated laws for Texas motorists were discussed Thursday afternoon at the monthly meeting of the Comal County Bar Association.
Members met at noon at the New Braunfels Police Department Training Room, 1488 Seguin Avenue, to hear a presentation by Comal County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wayne Lehman, a veteran Standardized Field Sobriety Test instructor.
Field sobriety tests are used to help police officers make arrest decisions and determine whether a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, Lehman said.
On Sept. I, the Texas Legislature enacted a law that lowered the illegal BAC limit for drivers from . 10 percent to .08 percent.
The threshold was lowered to reduce the amount of Texans killed or seriously injured in alcohol-related accidents on Texas roadways each year, he
“Alcohol is the most widely abused substance across the country,” Lehman said.
Because of the new BAC limit, field sobriety tests are even more accurate than before, and officers can better predict whether and by how much a driver is impaired by alcohol, he said.
The field sobriety test given to suspected drunken drivers has three separate tests that consist of specific clues to determine impairment.
The three tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), which measures involuntary jerking of the eyes associated with alcohol impairment, the walk and turn test and the one leg stand test.
“Our numbers increased because we are not trying to prove a . 10 anymore, we are trying to prove a .08.” Lehman said. “For testing, there is a greater probability (drivers) would be above .08 than .10.”
By performing the HGN test, officers can predict with 88 percent accuracy whether a driver has a BAC above the illegal
limit—a IO percent accuracy increase than before the laws were changed he said.
The walk and turn test accuracy also increased from 68 percent to 79 percent, and the one leg stand test accuracy increased from 65 to 83 percent, Lehman said.
Field sobriety tests can be used by officers to prove drunken driving cases even if a driver refuses to take a breath test or a blood test to determine their BAC, he said.
Under the new Texas DWl laws, refusing to submit to a breath test could result in the suspension of the individual’s drivers license.
Lehman said the dependable field sobriety tests allow him to get the dangerous, impaired drivers oft'the road and let the law abiding citizens go.
“It all boils down to we want to get the right guy,” Lehman said. “If he's not out there breaking the law, I don’t want to deal with him. If the guy’s not impaired, I’m not going to arrest hi rn... Everyone I know in the office I work in is trying to do the right thing.”
Smoke alarm saves wheelchair-bound resident
From staff reports
A wheelchair-bound New Braunfels man escaped tragedy early Thursday morning when a smoke detector — given to him by New Braunfels Fire and Rescue —woke him up.
Twelve New Braunfels Fire and Rescue workers were able to respond to the incident at 245 N. Grant and prevent a house fire, Chief Jack Collier said.
George Fischer woke up about 12:45 a.m. Thursday when an electrical short behind his refrig
erator caused enough smoke to set off the smoke detector.
The short could have caused a house fire, Collier said.
"lf he had not been awakened, he might not have been so lucky,” he said.
Anyone age 65 or older can receive a free smoke alarm and alarm installation by calling New Braunfels Fire and Rescue Administration at 608-2120.
Water service interruption set Wednesday
An interruption of water service for residents on Gode Lane and Eastman Avenue has been postponed until Wednesday afternoon as New Braunfels Utilities crews repair lines in that area. The temporary interruption of service had originally been scheduled for Friday.
The work is expected to take several hours, so residents are advised to fill containers with water for use during this time.
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United Way extends 1999 fund drive
By Heather Todd
After exceeding its 1998 fundraising goal in the wake of a devastating flood, the United Way of Comal County has extended its 1999 drive because it hasn’t reached its $425,000 target.
United Way President James Dunks said the organization did not meet its Dec. 31 deadline because contributions were 3 to 5 percent shy of the goal.
He said United Way typically ends its five-month drive at the end of the year, but has extended it into January because of slow corporate reporting.
“We really need people to pitch in,” Dunks said. “If there are any individuals who have not made their contributions, we are still taking donations for the 1999 drive at the United Way office.”
Donations can be sent by calling 620-7760 or stopping by the local office at 421 S. Seguin Ave.
Dunks said he hoped to announce the fundraising goal by the end of February or the first of March.
“If we do not reach our goal, we will have to dip into our reserve funds that are set aside for emergencies, and we don’t want to do that,” said Joe Rogers, United Way executive director.
Ninety-eight cents of every dollar raised stays in the county.
Dunks said the local agency was still waiting for its share of the Combined Federal Campaign in Bexar County.
Governmental entities in Bexar County help to raise money for the United Way drive, with a share of the funds coming back to Comal County if individuals earmark the donation for the local agency.
“A lot of people live in New
Braunfels but work in San Antonio, but they can designate the money for Comal County,” he said. “We are anticipating getting those funds but it’s making it tight.”
When the flood hit in October 1998, United Way staff and volunteers worried donations would drop off as local residents focused on flood relief efforts.
Although organizers did not make their Dec. I deadline, Dunks said they exceeded their goal by the end of December.
“I guess people were feeling good and then the reality of the flood hit this year,” he said.
Dunks said the generosity of employees at several local businesses has helped the United Way get closer to its goal this year.
“Employees at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, the Wal-Mart store and TXI have worked to bring in an average of $100 per person in contributions,” he said. “If we had all 65,000 Comal County residents average $100 we’d bring in $6.5 million.”
Dunks said Wal-Mart has contributed about $83,000 and TXI has donated about $25,000 toward the fundraising goal.
“Those two entities have helped raise about 25 percent of the goal,” he said.
“These employees are very important to the needy here and give a lot to our community.”
Dunks said donations from commuters living in the Comal County area made a significant contribution to the drive.
“People living in Bulverde, Canyon Lake and Garden Ridge, we’ve gotten a large chunk from them,” he said. “Even people as far away as Alaska and Florida want the money sent back to Comal County.”
Kid’s Mart scheduled March 3
Area school children, in grades third through sixth, are invited to sell their wares during the annual Kid’s Mart, sponsored annually by the Children’s Museum at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
Slated for March 3 from 5 to 8 p.m., youngsters will have an opportunity to experience free enterprise, create business partnerships with friends, practice making change and handling money, create arts and crafts to
sell, clean out toy boxes, shop and earn money.
Participants who register by Feb. 25 are invited to submit an advertisement to be included in the Kid’s Mart program. To complete a form to secure booth space and to pay the $3 fee, visit the Children’s Museum, located at the New Braunfels Marketplace, 651 Business Loop IH 35 N., Ste. 530. Call 620-0939.
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