New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 16, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2004
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SPORTS SIGNED, SEALED
New Braunfels catcher Jose Sierra signs with Cisco Junior College to ensure playing time as a freshman. Page 5A
Readers sound off on fairgrounds land deal, business tax incentives and being proactive with kids. Page AA
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 211 14 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 1B
Molina found 3.5 miles downstream
By Hon Maloney
The Guadalupe River surrendered Stephen Molina’s body Thursday morning.
New Braunfels police Detec
tive Lt. Mike Rust said possible sightings of a body were called in around 9 a.m., and a New Braunfels Fire Department crew recovered the body.
Rust said family members identified Molina and
Guadalupe County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Larry Morawietz pronounced Molina dead.
NBFD Battalion Chief Don Zercher—whose shift searched without success for Molina
Monday night — ordered a boat onto the river to search from him at 7 a.m. Thursday.
“I asked the guys to search the banks in case the body floated today,” Zercher said. “We were already in the water, and
halfway down to him when we got the call."
Molina, 19, was found about 3.5 miles downriver from where he disappeared beneath the
See DROWNING, Page 3A Stephen Molina
Protesters call for NBU to clean up plant’s discharge
New security system sees all around Comal County Jail
By Ron Maloney
It was 3:30 a.m. July 3, and it was dark outside the Comal County Jail exit where Sheriff Bob Holder parks.
A young man from Austin decided to pull a prank.
He made sure no one was around, and took the sheriff and chief deputy parking space signs.
A couple days later, he heard from Sheriff’s Capt. Dennis Koepp, who asked for the signs back — and saw to it that when the young man returned them, he was given a misdemeanor theft citation.
As he took his legal lumps, the man asked the officer, “Do I have ‘dumb---’ written all over my forehead?”
He was caught in the act by a $135,000 security camera Holder installed at the jail this spring.
The new camera system upgrades an outdated monitor system installed in 1985 that could not record and provided only fleeting glimpses of what was actually going on in the jail compared to the system now in place.
It includes 120 tamper-proof cameras slaved to digital video recorders that preserve the images they capture. When necessary, they pan, zoom, brighten darkened areas, slow action or play it in real time.
All are wired to a bank of eight monitors and a computer server in the jail control room or “bubble” — the central area where all activity in the jail or out
side is monitored and acted upon.
Also monitored are sheriff’s office administrative areas and the terrain around the West San Antonio Street facility.
Holder said the system provided officers with many extra sets of eyes.
“It not only is an advantage for security outside the walls of our agency, it s been a real advantage to have it inside,” Holder said. “It doesn’t lie. It settles disputes very quickly. It allows the people in the control room to monitor activities within the jail and building so we can possibly prevent problems before they even occur.”
Diane I lanqver is a former jail guard who is literally the keeper of the keys to the Comal County Jail. She sits in the
See SECURITY. Page 3A
By Brandi Grissom
I kindreds of spirited, sign-toting protesters at a public meeting Thursday told New Braunfels Utilities to stop dumping phosphorus into the Guadalupe River.
Protesters said phosphorus from 4.2 million gallons of water the South Kuehler Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges into the Guadalupe every day is causing algae growl h. Algae, they say, turns water downstream from the plant pea green, makes drinking water smell and taste unpleasant and ren-ders lakes Dunlap, McQueeney and Placid unfit for recreation.
They want a contested hearing before a judge in hopes of forcing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to set strict limits for phosphorus discharge before renewing NBlJ’s water quality permit.
"We want the City of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Utilities to be good neighbors for a change," said Jerry Whitten, Citizens United for Ixike Placid president.
Paula DiFonzo, NBU CEO, said the estimated $6 million improvements to allow the plant built in 1992 to treat phosphorus would increase utility bills by about $7 per
MANDY RE ARY/Herald-Zeitung
Barbara Thorburn of the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association hands out signs before a public hearing at the civic center, protesting New Braunfels Utilities’
South Kuehler Avenue wastewater treatment plant.
month for each customer. NBU is not willing to increase their customers' bills until studies prove the plant is the prime polluter.
Currently, rCEQ has no established numerical criteria for phosphorus levels, and the permit NBU has been operating undei since 1999 does not address the issue.
A draft of the three-year renewal permit requires NBU to conduct a study of phosphorus levels downstream
See PROTESTERS Page 3A
Hemld-Zeitung will feature a different house af worship.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH BULVERDE
■ Pastor: Philip Schroeder
■ Denomination: Southern Baptist
■ Attendance: 160
B Meeting time: 10:56 a.m. Sunday
■ Location: 32445 U.S. 281
■ Phone: (830) 438-
■ Web site: www.fbcbul.com
■ Worship style: blended
H Mission: To glorify God through worship. evangelism, discipleship, fellowship and ministry.
Bulverde FBC teenagers minister to area homeless
By Leigh Jones
Once a month, teenagers from First Baptist Church Bulverde go to San Antonio to hang out in an old bar under a bridge near the Pearl Brewery building.
Although it sounds like a great recipe for trouble, the kids are actually on a mission.
The old bar is home to Church Under the Bridge, a mission offering spiritual and physical nourishment to San Antonio’s homeless population.
With the help of some adults from FBC Bulverde, the youths prepare and serve meals for 70-80 people. After dinner and a church service, they hand out clothing.
“It’s a great ministry for our kids to be involved in,” said parent Bill Smith. “It teaches them that homeless people are just regular people who have gone through hard times.”
Smith said the kids minister and are
“Some of (the homeless) who have gone through alcohol or drug abuse share with the kids how bad decisions can destroy their lives,” he said.
Pastor Philip Schroeder said after four years, the church’s adults started to realize the youth group had found a great place to serve.
“It started as a youth project, but then the rest of the church got involved,” he said. “Now I percent of our monthly receipts go to Church Under the Bridge. Every time someone goes for the first time, they are thankful for the opportunity.”
Closer to home, FBC Bulverde participates in the Bulverde-Spring Branch Community Service Center, a collaboration with five other churches.
The center provides food, clothing and financial assistance to people who need help.
See CHURCH. Page 3A
Diane Hanover, the Comal County Jail s turnkey, or keeper of the keys, listens as Jail Administrator David Ott points out a scene caught by the jail s new security system, which includes 120 cameras that monitor the complex and surrounding area
Hard work ruined
Boy Scout troop worked to spruce up Panther Canyon Trail in Linda Park, only to have vandals destroy its efforts.