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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 23, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas A FELS a 20332 no09 10/22/99    73 SO - Ut. S T MIC RO PU BL I SH I NG 2627 E YPNDELL DR EL PPSO, TX 79903-Herald-Zeitung  *^7'^.......   rr..y  ...■iMi.:.-. & SE ...... :..........'________ Vol. 148, No. 176 24 pages in 2 sections July 23, 1999 Friday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Williams: Gas spill helps push for storage By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer An 800-gallon gas spill that might be working its way into the Edwards Aquifer has made New Braunfels’ mayor even more determined to prevent new gas stations from going up over the aquifer’s recharge zone here. The spill occurred near the Comal County line when a motorist backed over a pump at a Texaco station owned by Ram Stores, Inc., on US. 281 and Boigfeld Road. About four gallons of gasoline spilled onto the ground. About 400 feet below, 800 to 900 gallons of gasoline escaped from cracks in the line and leaked into the Trinity Aquifer before an automatic safety shut-off WILLIAMS was engaged. At least two residents in the area are without water after their private wells were contaminated. “It’s exactly what we’ve been talking about,” Mayor Stoney Williams said Thursday. New Braunfels City Council considered an ordinance in June prohibiting all underground storage of regulated hazardous substances in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone — a move that would have effectively stopped new construction of gas stations in the western part of the city. The Edwards Aquifer supplies water for several cities, including New Braunfels, San Antonio and San Marcos. The ordinance passed one reading but then died in a tie vote. The issue was brought up again at the July 12 meeting, altered so that the ordinance only applied to the city’s corporate limits. Council again had a tie vote. At that meeting, Williams warned council he would bring up the issue again when everyone was present to cast their vote. District I councilman Juan Luis Mar-tank ban tinez was absent on July 12. After the spill, Williams said he might bring it up sooner that he had planned — perhaps at the Aug. 9 council meeting. “No matter how safe you are, there’s always something you overlook,” he said. But District 2 councilman Larry Alexander, who has consistently voted against the proposed ordinance, said preventing new gas stations from going up would not help the situation.See SPILL/5A Student takes plea agreement Teen will spend year at Bastrop County camp By Heather Todd Staff Writer A 14-year-old New Braunfels boy will spend one year at a therapeutic boot camp outside Bastrop and serve three years probation for his role in an April 20 shooting incident. As part of a plea agreement reached Wednesday the Canyon Middle School student accused of deadly conduct also will not be allowed to attend school in New Braunfels or Comal independent school districts. The teen-ager pleaded true Thursday to allegations he was involved in the incident at the homes of two CMS teachers. The teachers, who attended Thursday’s hearing, agreed with the punishment but said they were hoping for something more. “I think it (the plea agreement) is more than fair,” said one teacher, who did not want to be identified. “But, an apology on his behalf would have helped. We have yet to see any sign of remorse.” The other teacher, who also did not want to be named, said “He has disrupted the lives of two families, the school district and the campus, but we have yet to get any kind of apology from him or his family.” The juvenile now will spend the next 12 months at Woodside Trails Therapeutic Camp in an isolated wooded area between Bastrop and Smithville. After serving one year at the camp, he will be on probation until he turns 18 and will have to pay more than $ 1,900 in restitution. Jonathon Wolf, program director at Woodside Trails, said juveniles performed a lot of physical work at the camp, were required to sleep outdoors and were under 24-hour supervision. He also said juveniles attended school at the camp and received therapy. The 14-year-old w ill be allowed to visit his family, but under the plea agreement, he will not be allowed to enter Comal or Guadalupe counties dunng his one-year stay. Comal County assistant district attorney Melissa Smith said, “He will have to perform community sen ice and he w ill be under intense supervision (during his probation).” Smith also said the juvenile would have to be home-schooled or attend a private school after See STUDENT/11 AVolunteers wantedNew Red Cross director looking for able helpers By Christina Minor Staff Writer Two weeks ago, Cristina Smith walked out her back door and took 293 steps to her new office at the American Red Cross, IOO Main Plaza. Living just around the comer from the office, Smith said it was easier for her to walk to work than drive. The new director of the New Braunfels chapter of the Red Cross said she planned to put that same sort of efficiency and common sense to work as she increases volun-teerism at the service center. “About 95 percent of the work is done by volunteers,” Smith said. “I want to get more kids involved.” Smith wants to start a junior Red Cross volunteer program to teach children about pet first aid and provide other safety training. For pet first aid, the children use a stuffed dog and cat to practice CPR and to splint injuries. “If we teach the kids about the responsibility of pet care, they will blossom,” Smith said. “We have had so many tragedies involving youth. I want them to learn and give them an outlet. No matter what they do, they will fit in at the service center.” Smith said she has a “must, should, may” list for service center priorities. “I ‘must’ take care of the disaster education programs, then I ‘should’ work on the health and safety programs, then I ‘may’ work with the hospital volunteers, pet first aid and youth volunteers,” she said. “The ‘may’ list is the fun part.” On Thursday, Smith asked the county to let her turn the back room of the Red Cross, once used for storage, into a classroom for disaster and health/safety training classes, including babysitting, CPR and first aid and disaster response. “The room would hold up to eight people easily,” Smith said. “We have about four classes a month.” County Judge Danny Scheel also gave Smith a parking space for a service vehicle in the courthouse parking lot on Mill Street. The Red Cross has two vehicles, including the disaster initial response trailer, which serves as a portable service center during man-made or natural disasters. Smith plans to use the parking space for a new vehicle, an emergency response vehicle, which provides refreshments to emergency personnel during disasters. Smith, who worked at Hospice New Braunfels for IO years, became interested in the Red Cross following the October 1998 flood. She decided to volunteer because she wanted to help the community. , “My phone was out, and I couldn’t drive anywhere, so I decided to go down and help out. I stayed all night,” she said. “My background is in social work. You could say I’m a people person.” Smith canceled her vacation and spent the next weekSee HELPERS/11A WAI LVHerakJ-Zertung American Red Cross director Cristina Smith reads files from volunteers who provided help following the October 1998 flood. Smith said 99 percent of the organization’s services were done by volunteers. She encouraged those who helped with the flood to assist in health and safety services. Tax reform group stops in NB By Peri Stone-P ALMQUIST Staff Writer Motorists honked and pedestrians signed petitions at Main Plaza Thursday — all in the name of lower taxes and less government control. More than IOO people turned out at a booth set up by the Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy across from Naegelin’s Bakery on Seguin Avenue. Many signed petitions: one saying there should be no taxation through litigation and one uiging members of Congress to scrap the current system of taxation and adopt a “simple and fair system of taxation.” Drivers obliged a banner that read, “Honk if you’re for lower taxes and less government.” Local volunteers and field director Carol Jones of the Austin office passed out pamphlets, yo-yos, coffee mugs, buttons and T-shirts reading, “Mr. President, tax this!” “We are concerned about taxes,” local organizer Cristabell West said. “We need to make people aware.” The group’s literature encourages citizens to get involved with politics by writing their legislators and signing petitions. Citizens for a Sound Economy started in Washington, D.C., in 1984. Its Texan chapter started See TAX/5A Inside Abby................... ................7 A Classifieds.......... 6-12B Comics............... ................8A Crossword.......... ................7A Forum................. ...............6A Local/Metro......... ................4A Movies................ .........7A. 5B Religion............... ..........9-10A Sports.................. .............1-4B Today.................. ...............2A Television............ ............8A Key code 76 WAI LVHerald-Zeitung Cristabell West (left), Allene Wofford (right) and Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy director Carol Jones urge passersby to sign a petition for tax reform on Thursday at Main Plaza. ;