New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 18, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Ron Reaves, Lynne Holloa, Brady Miner, Joan Nelson, Linda Schiather (Saturday), Ginni Smith (Saturday), Colleen TBler (Saturday), Emily Mueller (20 years), HJL Timmerman (Saturday), Walter R. Muetter, Gerry Sosa (20 years), Grace Farias (belated), Ana Nieto, Paul Shane (belated), Rodney Mondanez (Saturday) and Oris Castflleja (Saturday).
Happy anniversary wishes go to: Atwell and Hilda Scholl (46 years) and Domingo and Rosa Villalobos (34 years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Above. Kimmv Sinclair and slater Mary nrirtnes dance on the Landa Parti Dance slab Thursday evening during a Concert In th* Park.
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nigm, rim I ncti inniwa in® crowa wnn m ciiihc rock and roM sound at the Landa Park Dance Slab
Hefatd Zeitung photo* by Michae DmmaM
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Autopsy reveals no trauma to body
By CHRIS CREWS
Preliminary results from an autopsy performed on the body of a man found dead Wednesday night in his Lakeview Park home revealed no injuries or trauma to the body, officials said Thursday.
Allen Belch, 34, was found in the bathtub of his mobile home at 334 Spanish Oaks Drive at about IO pm. Wednes
day by two former co-workers. Pamela Richel. who along with D.D. Matthews found the body, said they went looking for Belch after not seeing him for several weeks.
Lieutenant Dennis Koepp of the Comal County Shentf s Office said the case was being handled as a quest* >nable death until the toxicology report comes back from the coroner early next week. Koepp said the questionable death designation is used when a determination of death by homicide, accident or natural causes cannot be made at the scene.
pay more for water
Rate will go up late next year
By DAVID DE KUNDER
New Braunfels Utilities water customers can expect a water rate hike in the future because of the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s decision to raise rates for surf ace water,
GBRA board of directors voted at its regular meeting rn Seguin Wednesday to hike the rate from $53.03 per acre foot to $61 per acre foot.
GBRA deputy general manager Fred Blumberg said the rate increase was justified because of increased costs relating to the river authority's water operations at Canyon Dam and along the Guadalupe River.
“It has been seven years since we have increased the water resource rate,”
Blumberg said. “Over time. inflation has affected our water operations. Also we have had new and expanded areas of activ itv. for example, in flood management and water activity because of the demands from the people we serve.”
T he rate increase will take effect on Oct. I.
Paula DiFonzo, NBL general manager, said NBU will have to pay between 24 and 28 cents more for 10,000 gallons of water per month.
DiFonzo said NBL expected GBRA to approve the rate increase and was prepared for it.
“We anticipated it in the budget (for 1997-98),” DiFonzo said. “It certainly increases the cost of water. While we recognize it (need for the increase), unfortunately water doesn’t generate enough to pay for operations and capital improvements.”
Turn to Water, Page 2A
• 'aas* 5 . J., » 1 < i > * ’
Campuses still may be under construction when school starts
By DENISE DZIUK
Area school construction projects art in different stages of completion, and workmen may be a common sight on some campuses when classes begin in August.
Roy Linnartz, director of mainte
nance and operations for the Comal Independent School District, said the district has several projects under way at its schools, and not all will be complete by the first day of school.
‘This is my perspective, not the architect V* Linnartz said. They could change that next Ihursday.”
Architects for the projects ave sched
uled to give construction updates to the C1SD Board of Trustees on Thursday.
The Canyon Middle School library is being renovated and expanded, and eight classrooms are being added to the school. Linnartz said a delay in the arrival of a key piece of equipment delayed the original Aug. I comple
tion date, but work should still be finished by the start of classes Aug. 18.
Improvements on the Comal Elementary Schools are in the preliminary stages. Linnartz said the project includes new walls and mechanical and electrical upgrades. He said the work should be complete about Aug. IO.
Work at Mountain Valley Elemen
tary School, Rahc Primary School and Smithson Valley Middle School likely will not be finished w hen students enter the doors for the 1997-98 school year, according to Linnartz.
“As best we can tell right now, we can get the kids in foe schools, but it won’t be complete,” said Linnartz. “It Turn to School, Pago 2ATim Judkins: Give Joe Camel a chance — Page 6A
Dancing in the park IWalker out of public finks tourney — Page 3B
Highs in th# 90s, no chanco of rain
Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies, a high in the mid to upper 90s and a southeast wind of 5 to 10 miles per hour Tonight will be mostly clear. The low will be in the mid 70s and there will be southeast wind at 5 to 10 mph. Brief early morning low clouds will give way to partly cloudy skies Saturday. The high will be in the mid 90s and with a southeast wind of 5 to 10 mph.
Today is an ozone action day People should do what they can to make the air cleaner by avoiding excessive driving and reducing driving by carpooling.
Comal County road department has opened all the county-operated boat ramps on Canyon Lake, and the ramps should remain open. The U S. Army Corps of Engineer ramps will remain closed because of high water. Parking around the county ramps is limited.
Comal County was declared a disaster area earli er this week, which means assistance is available to help residents recover from recent flooding.
For information on the assistance available, residents can visit the disaster recovery center at 960 Farm-to-Market 78 in Schertz from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Satur day and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Anyone not wanting to travel to Schertz can also call 1-800-462-9029 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) for help.
Comal River — 322 cfs, down 2 from Thursday
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Wen — 326.40 leat above sea level, down .06 from Thursday
Canyon Dam discharge — 5,317 cfs Canyon Lake inflow — 1,065 cfs Canyon Lake level — 925.61 feet above tea level (Above conservation pool.)New Braunfel;
20 pages in three sections ■ Friday, July 18,1997
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MXD SAN ANTONIO, TX 780 * * TEXAS MIXED * *
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of
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Vol. 145, No. 177City prepares for visitors; locals decry inconvenience
Crowds again will lead to road closures
By CHRIS CREWS
Tourists know New Braunfels as a wonderful place for recreation. Residents know New Braunfels as a wonderful place to live. The interests of foe two groups often conflict.
The city again will close streets and pay overtime
for police this weekend in order to manage the traffic and crowds that descend on the city for such attractions as Schlitterbahn and Comal River tubing.
City officials said foe overcrowding problem is particularly acute this year because tubers who would normally use the Guadalupe River are flocking to the Comal.
City Manager Mike Shantis said that beginning at I p.m. Saturday aiid Sunday, police would place barricades to close Union Avenue from Garden Street to Mather Street and Garden Street from Comal Street to the tune exit.
The closures will be in effect until the crowd subsides, which Shantis said has been about 6 pm foe last two weekends. The streets will be open to residents of those areas.
Shantis said the city would employ eight officers and two park rangers to man foe barricades and patrol foe river. He said foe cost to the city for foe police overtime alone is $160 per hour.
Though provisions for overtime pay are contained in the city’s annual budget, providing foe extra services creates a drain on city resources.
New Braunfels resident Bill Grace said the inconveniences caused by the Cbcfads and street clo
sures were frustrating to long-time residents.
“I’m afraid this town will become another Corpus Christi or Padre Island,” said Grace, a New Braunfels resident for foe past 22 years. “It has become a tourist trap — there’s no more small town feeling any more.”
Chamber of Commence President Michael Meek said that although increased traffic does cause some inconvenience, the city reaps many longterm benefits from the tourist trade.
“Whenever you do something that expands the tax base, there are going to be some trade-offs,” Meek said.
Canyon Lake pilot dies in plane crash
SAREPTA, La. (AP) — Federal investigators hoped to learn where a Texas pilot was coming from, where he was going and how he happened to crash and die in some woods about five miles east of this Webster Parish community.
“We don't know where he came from. We don’t know where he was going,” Webster Sheriff Ted Riser said.
Andrew Stahl, 48, of Canyon Lake, Texas, was the only person in the plane. His body was pulled from the wreckage Wednesday night. The wreckage was found Wednesday but authorities believe foe crash occurred Tuesday night.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration’s office in Fort Worth said the pilot had filed no flight plan for his journey.
A check of the National Transportation Safety’ Board's plane registration database shows the 32-year-old plane, with the tail number N777TU, is a rental aircraft registered to Thomas W. White of Floresville, Texas.
The Mooney fixed-wing aircraft crashed in a 20-foot-tall cutover about a mile into the woods along Howell Creek. Sheriffs deputies rode all-terrain vehicles halfway, then cut their way through briars and brambles and dodged rattlesnakes to get to the site.
“The plane came in at about a 45-degree angle,** Riser said.
Andrew Stahl, 48, of Canyon Lake was tho only person in tho piano. His body was pulled from tho wreckage Wednesday night.
The impact crunched the propeller and the front of the plane. The pilot’s body was lying half out the right-hand door of the four-seater plane.
“He was pinned. The dashboard was on his legs,’’ Riser said.
Authorities believe the plane crashed T uesday evening.
A man who lives nearby told -investigators he saw a plane pass over between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday. He said he heard its engine sputtering but did not see or hear it crash.
The first hint that an aircraft may have crashed came Tuesday when a Civil Air Patrol unit picked up a faint beep from a pl- ne’s transponder, Riser said. But the signal stopped and the Civil Air Patrol had no reports of missing aircraft.
The signal again was detected about noon Wednesday. The Civil Air Patrol contacted Riser s office at 1:54 p.m. Two hours later, the Civil Air Patrol and Webster deputies pinpointed the crash.
NBU customers will