New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 27, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol, 148, No, 178 12 pages in I section July 27, 1999f | JF SnAY Nerving Comal County since 1852
Man loses part of his right ear in shooting
By Christina Minor
Two men shot a San Antonio man Sunday on South Seguin Avenue, taking off part of his right ear and injuring his skull.
Charles Ortiz, 25, of San Antonio was headed home about noon Sunday after visiting family in New Braunfels, when two men, driving separate vehicles, attempted to stop his car on South Seguin Avenue.
Ortiz told police he drove to the former police department building, 111 Garden St., looking for police. Ortiz said the men blocked his car, then approached him, firing one round from a shotgun.
Ortiz drove himself to McKenna Memorial Hospital and was treated and released for a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. Police said he lost part of his right ear, and the back part of his skull was hurt.
While leaving the scene, Ortiz’s vehicle struck one of the shooters’ cars.
Police said the shooters were driving a dark-colored Chevy Blazer and a light blue Ford Taurus, both older models.
“The Taurus is probably the vehicle that received damage,” New Braunfels Police Det. Sean Gabbard said.
Ortiz’ sister, Ronda Watts, said he was doing fine but was a little shaken up about the incident.
“He is going to need plastic surgery on his ear,” she said. “He was able to remember everything.” Ortiz plans to return to work on Wednesday, police said.
Gabbard said evidence collected at the scene and at the hospital allowed police to develop suspect information. Police described the shooters as Hispanics in their late teens or early 20s. Officials said they did not believe the two men were from Comal County.
“We also think this was not a random act of violence,” Det. Gabbard said. “We think the individuals had a reason for this.”
Jack Mudd, above and below, supervises inmates cleaning flood debris Monday at Walnut Avenue and Dry Comal Creek. Only non-violent offenders are assigned to work on city projects to gain work experience and benefit the community.
Inmates clean up in NB
Work crews help city clear debris
By Christina Minor Staff Writer
Several inmates from the Wack-enhut Correctional Facility in Kyle are lending New Braunfels a helping hand.
Trusties from the facility, along with their supervisor Jack Mudd, have worked throughout the city during the past several weeks cleaning up flood debris. The crew members, who will be released from Wackenhut in nine months, currently are working at the Dry Comal Creek under the Walnut Avenue bridge, trimming trees and removing brush.
Warden Ernest Dixon screened each inmate involved in the cleanup.
“I screen each individual and take only those from the top of the list to be on the community service squad,” Dixon said. “I then offer them the job. If they are on the
squad, it’s because they want to be there.”
Projects are done on a contract-by-contract basis with approval by the city of New Braunfels and Dixon.
Don Ferguson, assistant to the city manager, said, “We have forged a
relationship with Wackenhut. I think it is an outstanding arrangement.”
The city of New Braunfels plans to use the group again.
Dixon said the community need
not worry about safety.
“I live here, too,” he said. “I have kids that go to school here. If I didn’t feel comfortable, they wouldn’t be here.”
Ferguson said the community was in a win/win situation.
“We want to maximize free labor to save the taxpayers money,” Ferguson said. “The whole community benefits.”
Wackenhut also has its safety manager assess the job site to see whether the area is safe for inmates.
“I think the inmates can associate it (the work) with pride,” Ferguson said. “If they don’t feel it’s a good job, then they go back and fix it.”
All equipment is provided by the city, and the inmates, who have
Pro-life center competing with many for county funds
By Heather Todd Staff Writer
The Crisis Pregnancy Center, an outreach of the Comal County Christian Pro-Life Foundation, might not receive the $5,000 it is asking from county commissioners for capital improvements, some members of the court said Monday.
The non-profit community service ministry is one of 40 local oiganizations competing for funding in the county’s 2000 budget. This is the first year the Crisis Pregnancy Center, which provides counseling and support services to expectant mothers, has requested
“Our first consideration is whether we want to give any funding toward that program before we spend any time deciding if its appropriate to do it or not”
— Commissioner Jay Minikin
But county commissioners say they are trying to trim
Who else is seeking county’s help
— Page 4
expenditures next year.
“I think most opinions are that we already have so many requests on the list for special contracted services that there’s no money for new people,” commissioner Jay Minikin said.
Commissioner Cristina Zamora said she was concerned about burdening the taxpayers.
By Peri Stone-PALMQUIST Staff Writer
New Braunfels residents debated city priorities Monday — some advocating a new pool and others urging for a focus on drainage needs — but city council members didn’t take sides.
Instead, council allowed citizen input at two points during the meeting and then tentatively set a bond workshop for 9 a.m. on Sept. 11.
District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory. who put the item on the agenda for the meeting, said his original intent was to set a workshop date, not debate priorities at the meeting.
The agenda item in the council packet said “virtually everything about a bond election” could be discussed Monday, including approximate dates, types of bond issues that could appear on the ballot, activities to educate and inform the public and activities or methods to receive input from the citizens.
While council discussed none of these specifics, several New Braunfels residents came to the meeting ready to share their ideas.
Teen-ager Paige Flume reminded council of a master plan recommendation for an indoor swimming pool.
President of non-profit New Braunfels Youth Sports, Inc., Larry W'enzel, also pushed council to remember the need for a pool when listing possible bond items. Wenzel estimated the cost of an indoor pool at $5 million.
“The city has not done much for our youth,” he said.
A feasibility stud> Comal County conducted about a year ago estimated annual operational costs of a pool at $570,(XX) with corresponding revenues of $270,000.
In June, Wenzel said he thought the county’s estimated operational costs were high and an indoor pool would break even financially.
Resident David Feltmann told council Monday that a pool owner in Minnesota claimed it always operated in the black. “And I can’t think of a worse environment for swimming,” he said. “Don’t sit on this. Let the people vote on it."
“I'm voting for drainage,” resident George Garcia said. Garcia, w ho initially yelled from the back of the room before stepping to the podium, told council drainage concerns should be put before w idening Walnut.
A resident on Sunrise in south New Braunfels said a development that had gone up near his home rn the past five years had sparked drainage problems, which adversely affected his property values.
“Is something going to be done?” he asked. “Bools and hike and bike trails are fine, but the city needs to prioritize”
Shands said the upcoming workshop would be a time for council to work on a list of specific projects to put on a bond ballot.
Key code 76
EAA: Trinity gas spill won’t affect Edwards Aquifer
From staff reports
A recent gasoline spill in the Trinity Aquifer should not affect the Edwards Aquifer, officials said Monday.
The results from a water sample taken by the Edwards Aquifer Authority from a tributary of Cibolo Creek, downstream from the site of a gasoline release at U.S. 281 and Borgfeld Road, indicated extremely low levels of gasoline-based constituents in the creek.
Review of water well drillers’ reports and geologic maps of the area indicated die gaso
line release occurred in the Trinity Aquifer, which is beneath the Edwards.
The location of the release and the levels of contaminants in the test sample, indicated that the Edwards Aquifer would not be affected, officials said.
“We will continue to monitor the site and lend technical assistance to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission as the pnme investigator of the contamination,” said Geary Schmdel, chief technical officer for the Edwards Aquifer Authority.
Kelly Sharp gives Nancy Jackson, clerical assistant, a big smile for her student ID on Monday at Canyon High School. School officials expect more students to show up for registration packets before Thursday.