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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, July 12, 2000

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 12, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas New Water Restrictions ■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 3 or 4 can water today after 7 p.m. Well users with addresses ending in 4 or 5 can water today after 8 p.m. HERALD-Zftti jngA different kind of swing Testimony begins in aggravated robbery case From Staff Reports Despite a lack of physical evidence that puts him at the scene of the crime, Schertz police pointed to 39-year-old Johnny Earl Johnson as the getaway driver in a November convenience store robbery'. Police testified Johnson allegedly drove the vehicle that fled the scene of a robbery at a convenience store on Farm-to-Market Road 1103 and Interstate 35 in Schertz on Nov. 28, 1999. Testimony began Tuesday in his trial for aggravated robbery of a Schertz convenience store last November. Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony. If convicted, Johnson could face up to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,000 fine. Schertz Police Department officers apprehended Johnson in the vehicle after midnight on Nov. 29. He remains in custody at the Comal County Jail in lieu of a $200,000 bond. Police allege Johnson was one of three men involved in the robbery. Two other men fled the car on foot when Johnson was apprehended and were pursued by officers, police said. Another suspect, Terry Herron, was arrested the day after the robbery and booked into Comal County Jail. He also was charged with aggravated robbery. Police also issued a warrant for a third man suspected in the robbery, but he has not been arrested. David Anthony, an area resident who works as a security guard, testified he drove up to the convenience store about 11 p.m. Nov. 28 and saw a man wearing a ski mask and holding a pistol coming out of the store. He testified he did not see any vehicles at the store when he pulled up. He also testified the skin of the man’s hand holding the pistol indicated a dark-skinned Hispanic man or a light-skinned black man. During cross examination from defense See TRIAL74A Newsletter proposal shot down By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Councilman Robert Kendrick helped kill his own proposal Monday to provide a citywide newsletter for New Braunfels residents. The freshman councilman joined w ith other council members to unanimously vote dow n his proposal. But Kendrick’s vote wasn’t a sign that he changed his mind about the newsletter. “It didn’t go any good voting for it,” he said. “It was obvious to me by the time that it came around to me that it was defeated.” But Kendrick intends to try providing a newsletter for his district anyway. “I’m going to give it a shot and see if I can pull it together by myself without the benefit of utilizing any city money or staff,” Kendrick said. I Ie plans for the newsletter to be one page front and back, and hopes to find businesses in his district to distribute it. “Obviously, I can’t afford to have it mailed or anything else,” Kendrick said. Kendrick said he’s already had people volunteer to help design the newsletter. Others have asked where they’ll be able to get a copy because they don’t live in his district. The citywide newsletter Kendrick proposed could have cost anywhere from about $ 1,200 a year to $ 1,300 a year if it were mailed monthly.Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................6-1    OB Comics..............................2B Crossword........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................7-8A Today.................................2A Television...............................2B Key Code 76 Annexation hearing today From Staff Reports New Braunfels City Council w ill conduct the first of two public hearings at 6:30 p.m. today on the proposed annexation of 8.5 square miles. The 8.5 square miles is spread over IO areas in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction. The public hearing is at the New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Castell Ave. The proposed areas to be annexed include: T Bar M/Mission Valley Road; Hunters Creek; Northwoods; Common Street/Orion Drive; Kowald Lane/FM 110; Alves Lane/Barbarosa Road; Stonegate; Southbank; Klein Road and EM 1044 and Schmucks Road/Engle Road. If the annexation goes as planned, the areas could become a part of the city of New Braunfels this fall. City staff have said the proposed annexation affects 835 homes and an estimated 2,321 people. Today’s meeting is open to the public, and those who attend w ill have an opportunity to ask questions and voice their opinions on the proposed annexation. A second public hearing on the issue will be 6:30 p.m. July 19 at the Southbank recreation facility, 222 Southbank Blvd. K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Houston Astros outfielder Lance Berkman hits the links at Landa Park Golf Course during a break in the regular major league baseball season to allow for the leagues’ All-Star game Tuesday night. Berkman got in as many holes of golf as family and friends would allow. The Canyon High School graduate is working to get on the permanent roster of the Houston Astros. See story/7A Vol. 149 No. 170    14    pages    in    2    sections    July    12,    2000    TTT,    'u,    iV    bounty    since    1852    50    centsAllocating NB bed tax not so easy By Fred Blevens Staff Writer Committee members charged with determining how to allocate the city’s bed tax came to a meeting Tuesday with plenty of questions about how best to spend the money. They didn't hear much in the affirmative. Can the city use tile funds to renovate the old library for Sophienburg Museum display space? How about river cleanup? Renovating restrooms under the bandstand? What about new sports venues? The answers from Scott Joslove, president and CEO of the Texas Hotel and Motel Association, and Jeff Moore of the Attorney General’s office, were delicate, tactful and mostly negative. In fact, Joslove and Moore’s briefing made it clear that spending the spoils of tourism may be more difficult than actually raising the money. What’s at stake is the unallocated portion — about 20 percent — of the bed tax revenues frozen by city council before voters in a special spring election blocked the city from spending hotel/motel tax revenue on construction of a new convention center. The bed tax, which raises nearly a million dollars each year, helps fund arts and cultural venues throughout the community. And about 55 percent of the total goes to the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. for promoting city tourism. Citing a number of AG opinions dating nearly 15 years, Joslove told the committee that the 20 percent could only be spent on three narrow categories — ones that provide for advertising and promotion of local events to potential patrons in distant places. Those events also must be able to show “a direct impact” on the hotel and motel industry. “Direct impact” seemed to be the theme, w ith Joslove and Moore repeatedly admonishing committee members to work w ith chamber tourism experts and local arts venues to turn local events into tourist events, thereby increasing the scope of spending. Joslove said many of the projects mentioned Tuesday could be funded other ways, citing economic development and community project sales tax funds. The logic behind the state’s rules on spending the bed tax revenue is simple, Joslove said. “Those who bear the burden — the hotel and motel industry — should see some See BED TAX/3ANBU bills going up in AugustSoaring gas prices fuel second increase in 2 months By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Rising natural gas prices w ill calculate into higher August bills for New Braunfels Utilities electric customers. The Lower Colorado River Authority, the not-for-profit organization that supplies wholesale electricity to NBU, told the utility company about the increased fuel recovery charges this past week, according to Gretchen Reuwer, manager of customer relations and communications for NBU. The increase is the second within two months. The first increase calculated into an estimated additional $3 for customers that use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, information from NBU said. The new increase means an additional $8 for customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours, according to information from NBU. LCRA initially raised its fuel recovery charges by three-tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour in April. The increase was the first in nine years. According to information from NBU, the continued increase in natural gas prices meant LCRA DIFONZO faced a potential $50 million loss in recovering fuel costs by September. That prompted the second increase of about eight-tenths of a cent per kilowatt-hour, NBU reported. The New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees learned about the increased fuel charges Tuesday as they discussed NBU’s proposed 2000-2001 budget and five-year financial plan. “Although the increase is unavoidable, we are urging the LCRA to re-evaluate the chaine, monitor market conditions and provide our customers relief from this additional expense as soon as it is feasible,” said NBU General Manager Paula DiFonzo in a printed statement. LCRA uses natural gas to generate electricity and has been buying more electricity on the market to meet increasing demands from customer grow th, NBU reported. Natural gas is used as fuel in four of LCRA’s seven fossil fuel power plants. LCRA General Manager Joe Beal said LCRA paid $2 .20 per unit of natural gas a year ago but pays more than $4 today, according to information from See NBU/3ATaco fund New Braunfels and Canyon High School students (left to right:) Michael Amaro, P.J. Cantu, Scott Perez, Angela Perez, Jennifer Flores and Angelica Morales participated in a fund-raising event at Taco Cabana Tuesday evening, hoping to raise funds for their Young Leaders Conference Debate. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung ;