New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 2, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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EL POSO, TX 799(33-Herald-Zettung
Vol. 148, No. 161
24 pages in 2 sections
July 2, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
50 centsHit-and-run suspect surrenders
By Chris CrewsStaff Writer
The man investigators believe drove the car that struck and killed an elderly New Braunfels man earlier this week turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning.
Jesse Rodriguez Gomez, a 38-year-old New Braunfels man, appeared with his lawyer, Robert C. Arellano of San
Antonio, at the New Braunfels Law Enforcement Center about 9 am Gomez was transported to the county jail and booked on a charge of failure to stop and render aid.
As of Thursday afternoon, no bond had been set for Gomez.
Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip said failure to stop and render aid was aSee SUSPECT/5A
Brother’s arrest gets constable involved
CHRIS CREWS/Herald-ZeitungNew Braunfels Police impound the car they believe was involved in a hit-and-run accident Monday.
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
When Comal County Con-stable Joe Gomez heard about a hit-and-run accident in his precinct about IO p.m. Monday, he and his deputy immediately entered the search for a light-colored, two-door car with damage to
the right front end.
Gomez did not know that less than 72 hours later his brother would be arrested.
But what Joe Gomez knew and when he knew it will become part of New Braunfels Police Department’s investigation into the accident that killed 78-year-old Ray Biggadike.
How he balanced his devotion to his family with his sworn obligations as a certified peace officer is under scrutiny.
Jesse Rodriguez Gomez, Joe’s brother, turned himself in to police Thursday morning and was booked intoSee CONSTABLES
City gears up for F ourth fun
By Christina Minor
Residents and visitors should don their red white and blue this weekend as New Braunfels celebrates the Fourth of July.
Patriotic celebrations start Saturday with a parade and program at Main Plaza and continue through Sunday with the city fireworks show at Landa Park.
Main Plaza will come alive w ith singing, decorations and people as the Old-Fashioned Independence Day Patriotic Parade and Program, sponsored by the Sophienburg Museum and Archives, makes its way through downtown.
Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, the annual event is for young and old. The parade w ill start in the Sophienburg Archives parking lot on Seguin Avenue and make its way down Mill Street to Academy Street. Participants will turn onto San Antonio Street and make their way to the Plaza.
The New Braunfels High School Marine Corps Junior ROTO color guard w ill lead the parade followed by the American Legions, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans carrying their colors.
American Legion Comal Post 179 will march in the parade and carry the post flag. Following will be the American Legion Guadalupe Valley Post 35, Veterans of Foreign Wars 7110, Veterans of Foreign Wars 11050 and the Disabled Americans Veterans Post 163. All veterans able to attend w ill march behind the flags.
American Legion Comal Post 179 also will have a flag-raising ceremony at the veterans memorial in Prince Solms Park. Sergeant-at-Arms Joe Medina will place small American flags in the holders around the memorial.
The post then w ill have a barbecue and dance at 410 W.
Coll St., Saturday. The barbecue will start at noon w ith the dance taking place from 8 p.m. to midnight. John Rex Reeves will perform. The public is invited.
American Legion Guadalupe Valley Post 35 will place American flags around the Plaza at 7 a.m. Saturday. The flags
Cathy, Christina and Tom Talcott, (top) show off their 40- by 30-foot American flag while parade coordinator Anna Lee Hicks and Pete Stocking make sure the flag doesn’t touch the ground.
County judge lifts ban on aerial fireworksResidents encouraged to play it safe, attend show at Landa Park
By Chris Crews
Local fireworks enthusiasts have a little more pop since Comal County Judge Danny Scheel lifted the ban on aerial fireworks Thursday afternoon.
Scheel rescinded the prohibition that applies to bottle rockets and comets aftercnzr ~
BJune rains abated the near-drought conditions that existed in the county.
County Fire Marshal Lin Manford recommended Scheel lift he ban after reviewing information by the Texas Forest Service indicating that SCHEEL drought conditions no
Manford also received information from fireworks distributors that the law allowing the county to implement a fireworks ban in
drought also required the county to call off the ban if conditions improved.
Manford said he forwarded the information to Scheel Thursday morning.
New Braunfels residents will have to concentrate on the city’s annual fireworks show in Landa Park Sunday at 9:15 because possession, use or transport of all fireworks is banned w ithin the city limits.
Information provided by New Braunfels Fire and Rescue indicated that tens of millions of dollars in property damage and thousands of injuries were caused by improperly used fireworks each year.
Statistics indicate that children between the ages of IO and 14, 59 percent of all injuries attributed to fireworks.
“While most parents work year-round to keep their children safe, if they shoot fireworks in their backyards they are placing their children at substantial risk," said Lt. Bud Cessna, public awareness officer of the New Braunfels Fire and Rescue.
Cessna said that even sparklers could heat up to 1,200 degrees and cause injuries to children.
For more on fireworks safety, see page 12A.
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Key code 76
Water over a troubled bridge
Pedestrians and cars must share Gruene Bridge. Local officials plan to build a new bridge to provide safer passage for both.
New crossing aimed at providing better, safer access for both tubers, drivers
By Peri Stone
A new Gruene Bridge could mean improved safety for motorists, pedestrians and tubers alike — or it could mean new hazards are on the way.
The narrow two-lane bridge over the Guadalupe River provides passage from New Braunfels to historic Gruene, known for its antique and speciality shops, Gruene Hall and a variety of restaurants.
The bridge also is a tubing hot spot.
Two outfitters are stationed nearby: Rockin’ R and Gruene River Company. Tubers often park at their lots and then are bused upstream. The bridge is where many tubers get out and others start their journey.
Between Gruene tourists, people lugging tubes and impatient motorists, Gruene Bridge
usually is crawling w ith activity.
The average daily traffic count across Gruene Bridge is 9,552 cars, according to New Braunfels city records.
To respond to this, Texas Department of Transportation and the city of New Braunfels plan to build a raised bridge and add sidewalks on both Part of a series sides. on the roads we drive j^e cjty 0f
New Braunfels w ill provide right-of-way and IO percent funding in the $1 million project.
The $100,000 from the city w ill come from a right-of-way fund — money received from people who buy rights-of-way from the city.
Federal money will fund 80 percent of the project and state money w ill fund 20 percent.
TxDOT plans to open the project for bids in fall of 2000.
“We’ll build it in the offseason,” TXDoT resident engineer Greg Malatek said. “And have it built before Memorial Day.”
During construction, motorists from the southwest will be forced to take a detour down Loop 337 to Common Street and then turn onto Gruene Road.
New Braunfels Police Lt. John Wommack said everyone people should “avoid” the