New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 27, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4A — HeraLD-ZkituNG — Sunday, July 27, 2003 .Local/State
Contact Features Editor Brian Grant, 625-9144 ext. 222
Strategy outlines county actions in case of smallpox
By Ron Maloney
In the event of a smallpox outbreak, Comal County officials would have four days to immunize 85,000 people, according to the man planning to deal with such an event.
Accomplishing the task would require numerous volunteers and an around-the-clock effort.
Israel Lopez, the county’s bioterrorism planner, has created a blueprint for getting the job done.
Thursday, he updated county commissioners on progress made since he was hind in November, 2(X)2.
Lopez works on bioterrorism and homeland security issues with County Nurse Kanin Preiss and Emergency Management Coordinator Cand Edgett.
The first mandate given hi counties by the Tbxas Department of Health was to make preparations for an emergency smallpox vaccination program.
“We wen* to develop a plan, if needed, to inoculate the entire county in four days. We’ve spent a lot of time doing that,” Lopez said.
Lopez came up with a seru*s of 12 vaccination points spread an >u rid the county and a eadn* of volunteers, including physicians, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers, among others.
The plan could Im* put into effect for any typo of disease outbreak, Lopez said.
(Jounty Judge Danny School asked who would provide inoc ulations to New Braunfels residents living in Guadalupe County.
“You can bot if something happens, th<*se people will Im* knocking on our drxir, saying ‘Hey, we live in Now Braunfels,*’ School said.
“If they live in Now Braunfels, well serve them,” Prows said. “We have a lot of
Guadalupe (Jounty residents who use our immunization services now.”
Preiss said Lopez’s plan allows for 85,(XX) inoculations.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin said he was concerned about chaos an outbreak would cause*.
“We saw the anthrax situation paralyze the country. My belief Is we; are on the verge of a calamity in this country. In that regard, all the planning we can do is important,” Minikin said.
“I think if anything happens, everything will shut down, and everyone will be standing in a line,” Preiss said. “We need to be prepared, but, naturally, we pray none of this will ever hapfM*n."
Comal (Jounty is in a vulnerable spot, Scheel said, because! of its proximity to San Antonio, which has numerous military targets.
“If something happens there*, it could have an effect hen*. Obviously, the president thinks homeland security is a very important issue because of the possible thn*at,” School said. “He’s made a lot of money available to prepare. We’re not going to just sit back in (Jo mal County and say, 'It isnt going to hap|M*n hen*.’ We can’t afford to do that.”
Seele Elementary paraeducators Linda Zapata and Cecilia Gomez receive the district’s Excellence in Service to Schools award for their dedication to become certified paraeducators through the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. They are shown with Kim Redo, NBISD coordinator of special education, left, and Trustee Penelope Biggadike, second from right.
Not pictured is Chrystie Hearron, an OakRun Sixth Grade Center employee who also earned certification.
Plan prioritizes regional grants
Man arrested on sex assault charge
From Staff Reports
An 18-year-old Houston man ha« been amated on a sexual assault allegation in connection with a July 6 incident at Canyon Lake.
Kristopher L. Lehnert, 18, was arrested Wednesday by ’Ibxas Hangers, Comal (Jaunty Sheriff's Del. Wayne I eh man said.
Comal (Jaunty Sheriff’s deputies drave halfway to Houston Wednesday evening to pick up Lehnert.
He was baak<*d into Comal
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County Jail. His bail was $50,(XX). He pow ted bond Friday.
“The aHHault happened early in the morning July 6,” Ix*hman Maid.
Local detectives, with hhhih-tance from Texas Hanger ('hance Collins, conducted the investigation.
If convicted, Ix*hncrl faces two to 20 yi*ars in state prison and a fine of up to $10,(XX).
By Ron Maloney
Comal County Commissioners Thursday approved a plan that will be used to prioritize grant applications next year but reserved the right to revise it.
The plan, prepared by a committee that considered priorities for law enforcement and related social services, is required by the Alamo Area Council of Governments.
The committee identified emergency management, recycling, combating domestic violence and substance abuse and law enforcement technology as its top priorities.
In broad terms, commissioners supported the plan but they expressed reservations about tying the county to some of its technical details,
“We’re going to tweak it just a little,” said Precinct I
Commissioner Jack Dawson.
Comal County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett presented the report, called the Comal County Community Plan for 2(X)4.
The deadline for submitting the report is Thursday.
When we apply for a grant through AACOG, they will go tx) our plan, see if the area we’re requesting grant, funding for has been identified in the plan and what priority we’ve given it,” Edgett said. “This is a formality for obtaining grant funding through AACOG.”
During discussions, commissioners said they appreciated the committee’s work, but disagreed with its findings on some small points.
"If I make this motion, I’m going txi put some language in there that we’re not rubber-stamping this and fill the recommendations,” Dawson said.
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