New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 17, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
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Smifh^ Valley senior headed overseas to play soccer. Page 10ANATION lb til« 9mnmtm
Sotomayor's confirmation set for August vote. PugeSAJ^®^^^ Comal County since 1852.
Vol. IBërNo. iu.........................18 pages, 2 sections
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More than 100 acres burn in brush fire
A member of the New BraunfMs Firs Department extin-luishes flames as a grass fire along Famvto-Market 482 rns Thursday.By Scoti Ollolief
A tractor trailer with a flat tire sparked flres that threatened at least two houses and left more than 100 acres of ranch land charred Thursday afternoon, flre-flghters said.
Dennis Tomas was towing hay to feed his cattle on Thursday about 2:30 p.m. When he pulled into a driveway at 5863 Fami-to-Market 482 just south of New Braunfels, he smelled the burning grass.
"1 didn't notice it until I pulled into
the driveway." Tomas said. "I wheeled around and saw I had started up several fires along the road. I guess I had a tire out."
The fires were a testament to the danger of the dry conditions, Tomas said.
"I've delivered bales like this for weeks — about two to three times a week — and this is the first time anything like this has happened." he said. "I shouldn't have to be buying hay to feed these cattle, but it's so dry nothing grows. The cattle business is rough right now."
Flames spread through the parched
grass for about a quarter mile on both sides of I M 482.
New Braunfels, Schertz and Bracken fire departments were at the scene by 2:40 p.m.. NBFI) Battalion Chief Darren Brinkkoeter said. Iwenty-three firefighters with nine trucks fought the blaze.
I he fires were still under investigation. but Brinkkoeter said preliminary findings were consistent with what Ibmas said.
By 4 p.m.. firefighters were stamping out and hosing over smoking "hot spots."
Comal jury sentences robber to eight yearsBy Scott Sticlwr
A Comal County jury sentenced a man to eight years in prison Thursday for aggravai robbery.
Brandon Angel Mendoza, 20, piMded guttty Monday to ItJtittlgatpilj^tSe^^ Gaicia, the cadte dt a P & D comwnieiice store, on June 8, 2008.
The jury of eight women and four men heard four days of testimony before deliberatili on Mendoza's sentence in the 274th District Court of Judge Gary Steel Thursday morning.
Surveillance video from the convenience store at Spur Street and San Antonio Street showed Mmdoza pointing a gun at Garcia, demanding cash .and fleeing the store. He later was nabbed by New Braunfds police.
Defense Attorney Joseph Garcia III asked the jury to consider probation.
"We offer no excuse; we offer no justification for what happened...," Garcia said. 'Brandon cHd a very bad things and we can never make any excuse or justification for it... I am asking you to assess a 10-year term in prison... After that, we do a^ you to grant probation."
Brenda Mendoza, Brandon Mendoza's mom, testified Wednesday that Brandon had cerebral palsy. Garcia said the
See JUBV, Page 3ACOOL
H-E-B leaves open options for FM 306 site
By Chris Cobb
Plans for a new H-E-B at Farm-to-Market 306 and Interstate 35 remain in Umbo, after representatives from the grocery chain pledged Thursday to re-pay more than $500,000 in incentives to the New Braunfels Industrial Development Corporation.
The refund comes after H-
H-B failed to begin construction at that location the past five years, ch(K)sing instead to build the city's second H-I'-B at lexas 46 and Loop 337, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.
And although 1 M 306 won't have an H-ti-B -soon, representatives from the grocery chain left the door open for future development down the road.
See H-E-B, Page 3A
Local couple accused of Starving two horses
Hoffmann, 5, enjoys a snow cone at NBTreats on Thursday with his aunt n.The cold treat was a reward for behaving well at a recent doctor's
From staff reports
Lawmen arrested a New Braunfels couple Wednesday for allegedly not feeding at least two horses, starving one to death.
Gary Thomas La Rue, 43, and Tonnie Thompson La Rue, 40, were arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.
Comal County Sheriff's Office Det. Steve Morris said the La Rues reportedly deprived the horses of food for "a good while."
"They weren't feeding them properly and one of them actually died," Morris said. "Judging by die fact that one died, I'd say they must notr
have fed them for a while."
The L.a Rues were booked into Comal County Jail Wednesday about 5 p.m., and each posted their $6,000 bonds about four hours later.
Repeated calls to the La Rues' house were not answered and no answering machine picked up.
NBFD planning two new stations to modernize, keep up with growth
New Braunfels Fire Station No. 2 on Loop 337 is more than 30 years old, and time is one mny even flr^^ters OBQOOtÉyhl.
It has sorved its purpose and has done 80 for over 30 yvm but it is time to move," ilRCIiiefjQhnitobtasonssid. ntislustnotsatlsfiK^Myany-
At issue is not whether new fire statfons will get built but when and how much money will be spent
RPGA, Inc., based in the DFW area, has developed plans for twro fiee jttatkms in BflMing tothe mmmatiiiaiSMOSimdmti-bemifjpQfved by On«-dL
Hmvevei; dty ootincfl made it dear at a Kme 22 meeting
that proposed design costs, though under $365,000, were too high.
"The coundl had some very good questions about the pricing," Assistant City Manager Robert Camareno said, "and wanted us to go back and see tf we coiM bring tt» price down or cme bade and l»ovicte answers to some of the questicms tfiey had (about costs)."
Canuiieno and Robinson
will renegotiate with the architects and return in August with RPGA!s response.
"The architects are more than willing to come in and visit with the council about the design cost," Camareno said.
Construction costs for station No. 2 are included in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2010, which council and
Firefighter Matt Wölfe demonstrates Thursday how challenging it can be to turn onto Loop 337 from the driveway at Fire Station No. 2 during rush hour.