New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 8, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
WHO: Comal County Commissioners Court
WHEN: 8:15 a.m. today WHERE: Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave.County nurse moving on
Comal County Nurse Shel McWilliams (left) gives instructions to immunization clerk Denise Torres (center) on Wednesday. Also pictured is part-time receptionist Ginny Meyer. McWilliams will retire on Friday after 11 years as the county’s top health official.McWilliams retiring after 11 years of helping, healing othc
By Heather Todd However, McWilliams said the role of coun- health department grow into an enfin
By Heather Todd
Comal County Nurse Shel McWilliams has gone from giving shots to calling the shots at the county’s health department.
McWilliams will hang up her nurse J hat Friday as the county’s top health official after 11 years. She was hired in September 1988 but has lived in the New Braunfels area for 25 years.
“I was really in the right place at the right time. I looked at it as an interesting opportunity for a really challenging job,” she said.
However, McWilliams said the role of county nurse has changed.
‘‘I used to give 300 shots a day, but the job has changed over the years. Initially, I was primarily the nurse who gave all the immunization shots, but that’s changed into more of an administrative role,” she said.
Nanette Burkhardt, health department office manager, said McWilliams would be missed.
‘‘Shel is the health department,” she said. “I’ve worked with closely with her for five years, and I don’t think she can be replaced.” Burkhardt said McWilliams helped the
health department grow into an entity for the whole community.
“Everyone in this town, low-income or high-income, is welcome here. She’s been here for every emergency and situation,” she said.
The Comal County nurse is primarily responsible for planning and implementing programs to enhance good health.
As the top county health official, McWilliams was charged w ith investigating communicable diseases and making sure the health department followed state laws and
See NURSE/3Cliff dive ends in tragedy
By Heather Todd
Bradley Dietrich added his name Tuesday to list of a dozen victims who have lost their lives while diving from a hazardous cliff into Canyon Lake.
Divers with Comal County Sheriff’s Office and Canyon Lake Fire Department retrieved the body of the 45-year-old San Antonio man from the lake near the North Park cliff area around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The victim’s brother told authorities Dietrich had been diving from a fenced, restricted area when he apparently struck his head on a rock outcropping.
Travis County Medical Examiners ruled Wednesday the cause of the man’s death was drow ning, not the head wound.
Jerry Brite, Canyon Lake manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was at the scene with sheriff’s deputies and Canyon Lake Fire Department officials. He said the head wound, although not the direct cause of death, probably contributed to the drowning.
“Having a head wound like that can incapacitate someone and cause them to quickly drown because they can’t save themselves,” he said.
Brite, who has been w ith the Canyon Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 13 years, has seen 12 others lose their lives in similar accidents in the area.
“People get on the rough side and they try to jump to miss the rocks below, but sometimes they don't,” he said.
CCSO Sgt. Jimmy Limmer, who investigated the case, agreed. “We get these on a pretty regular basis, maybe once or tw ice a year,” he said.
Divers found Dietrich’s body in 45 feet of water, bul Brite said, depending on the shelf level, the drop could be from five to 80 feet. He also said the w ater beyond the rocks was 80 to 100 feet deep.
The clift'has been a restricted area for 25 years because of the danger the rocks pose to divers, he said.
Brite said the rough clift' area was near the bluff' line of the old channel of the Guadalupe River where it once cut along Jonas bluff, which is part of North Park. He said Dietrich and his brother rented a campsite in North Park and were w arned by a gate attendant not to enter the restricted area.
“They agreed the area was dangerous and said they had been coming to the park for 20 years. The attendant gave them the same warning he gives to 100 people a day, but he didn't know
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Vol. 148, No. 165 14 pages in I section July 8, 1999 Thursday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
hope to modify intersection
Canyon Lake roads seen as dangerous
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
Comal County officials could spend more than $ 15,000 to reconfigure an intersection considered dangerous by residents.
County commissioners will vote today on a proposal to buy two lots in Canyon Lake Village West, one of the county’s largest subdivisions. The improvement would be made where Cindy Drive meets Colleen Drive.
Commissioners will meet at 8:15 a.m. in the commissioners’ courtroom in the Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave.
County Engineer Tom Homseth said the inter-DAWSON section was built as a “Y,” and local drivers cut comers at the intersection, making it even more dangerous.
He said the land would allow the county to transform the intersection into a tradi
tional “T” crossing.
Officials said the cost to acquire the half acre property would be about $12,000, with another $5,000 to rebuild the area.
Kathryn Hornsby, president of the property owners’ association, said more than 900 lots and 602 homes were in the subdivision. Hornsby said the $12,000 price tag for the land was a fair one.
“That’s not bad up here where some lots go for $20,000 to $40,000,” Hornsby said.
Hornsby said she was “thrilled” that Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson said the commissioners’ court wanted to protect drivers rather than risk a tragedy.
Dawson said growth in the area required a change be made.
“This intersection is so built up and overcrowded, we needed to take some action. It has been a problem for years,” he said.
Dawson said if the plan was approved, it should be finished by the end of the year.
1997 Geosystems Global Corp.
County commissioners will vote today on a proposal to reconfigure the intersection of Cindy Drive and Colleen Drive near Canyon Lake.
Sue Biedermann, treasurer for the New Braunfels Public Library Foundation, shows off the new library at 700 E. Common St. Construction is scheduled for completion this summer.
Library foundation seeking funds
By Christina Minor Staff Writer
With the walls of the New Braunfels Public Library up, a group of supporters is looking for help buying equipment for the library, set to open later this year.
The New Braunfels Public Library Foundation is accepting donations from sponsors.
Construction on the library is scheduled for completion this summer. After inspections are completed, collections will move from Dittlinger
Memorial Library to the new building, 700 E. Common St.
Director Vickie Hocker said the library should open this fall.
Foundation treasurer Sue Biedermann said, “We have started our corporate campaign, which includes targeting bigger corporations. We also have had private individuals and businesses in town give donations.” President Ramon Chapa Sr. said, “TXI Hunter Cement presented the foundation with $5,000 making them silver sponsors. We had one person donate $3,000.”
All monies given to the foundation w ill be used to buy equipment, including tables, chairs, books and electronics for the meeting room.
“We will have more shelving, and when the collection moves over, it’ll give us more room to grow. We had an increase in our materials budget, allow ing for more books,” Hocker said.
Donors can request how their money is used, or they can give unrestricted gifts, which allows money
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