New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 31, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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With summer almost over, area businesses make one last push for summer business. Page IC
Final workers say goodbye to mill
Mission Valley Mill employed generations of NB residents
NB Middle School takes steps to end bullying
By Leigh Jones
I BACK TO SCHOOL | REGISTRATION
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 218 28 pages, 5 sections
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DEAR ABBY 3E CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS 4C CROSSWORD 4C FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 1B TV GRIDS 2,3E
By Leigh Jones
Staff Wr iter
Richard I lanz spe nt his last day of employment at Mi ssion Valley Mill saying goodbye to h is coworkers and reflecting on the 3I3 years he spent helping make cotton fabric on the banks of the Guadtilupe River.
The sprawling mill compound was eerily silent Fri day as the last 14 mill workers wand< fred in and out of the buildings and 'tossed boxes into the beds of waitin g pickup trucks.
“It’s kind of sad, ” I lanz said. “You hate to see some thing like this go down."
After handing out the company’s final paychecks just before lunch, Hanz sat in his office and remembered Ins first day at the mill in May
“It was a busy place back then,” he said, pushing his green Producer’s Co-op hat up on his forehead. “We had three shifts working seven days a week.”
Hanz started as a helper in the welding shop and gradually worked iiis way up to ;a supervisory position.
He said the mill was a good place to work — until foreign trade began to take its toll on the American fabric-producing industry.
The dedicated shop worker survived numerous rounds of layoffs but knew his job could not last forever.
“I wish it could have kept going,” he said, shaking his head. “The place was always good to me.”
While I lanz prepared to eat the lunch he had carried to work with him in a battered red miniature cooler, Reynaldo Ancira leaned with folded arms against a short post outside the main building.
Although the 23-year mill veteran said his last day on the job was just like any odier, ids lethargy betrayed a sense of sadness.
“It was like a family here," he said. “We tried to help each other out."
Ancira began his career in the finishing room. He later became a boiler operator and security guard.
For the last few months, he helped the “skeleton" crew disassemble the
See MILL, Page 3A
DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Francisco Ortega, left, and Gilbert Bustos walk out of the Mission Valley Mill with paychecks in hand for the last time Friday afternoon. The two have worked a combined 79 years at the mill.
Developer hopes to move forward quickly with mill project
Greg Porter’s experience on the football field will come in handy in his new position at New Braunfels Middle School.
The former defensive coordinator is joining the middle school staff as Superintendent one of two assistant Ron Reaves principals, charged with improving behavior on campus.
“Theres not much difference between miming an athletic team and running a school in terms of the keys to success," Porter said. “Consistency' and discipline are very important.”
Porter might not expect his new' students to run “horses" or drop and give him push-ups when they act out, but he does expect them to follow the rules.
“I think the kids will feel a difference on campus from day one, ne said. “There have been a lot of concerns expressed in the community, but we have a really good plan of attack to address those issues. We’ve been talking about it all summer."
Porter joins the middle school leadership team following a year of criticism for bullying problems and general disregard for respectful behavior among students on campus.
New Braunfels Independent School District Superintendent Ron Reaves said Porter was the right man to help impart the school’s strong expectation for positive behavior.
“I Ie will bring a good discipline presence to campus, being a former coach,” Reaves said. “But he also has a big heart for kids."
Reaves said he approached Porter about the middle school position after the coach announced he wanted to step off the field and back into administration.
Porter is replacing Assistant Principal Brenda Pimentel who is moving to Carl Schurz Elementary this school year.
Middle School Principal Demetria Cummins said she was excited to have Porter on board.
See BULLYING Page 7A
I Student registration in New I Braunfels and Comal school I districts gets under way this | week. Page 8A
By Leigh Jones
The “For !>ale” sign planted at the front of the Mission Valley Mill might soon be ready to come down.
Realtor Lee Edwards, who has been working to sell the 42-acre facility for almost a year, said negotiations with California developer Urban Pacific Builders are moving forward.
“They are doing some great design work on the project and have finished a portion of their due diligence in order to purchase the property,” he said.
Because of the mill’s historical use of cl lemicals, dyes and potential pollutants, some area residents had expressed concerns about what might have leeched into the soil in and around the facility, but Edwards said in itial Environmental Protection Agency tests conducted so far had found “nothing bad at all."
As long as the presale process continues to go smoothly, the site of one of New Braunfels’ largest
Photo courtesy of John Rightmire
With the Mission Valley Mill, seen here in 1952, closed, a developer is hoping to redevlop the area with a commercial and residential mix.
employers could become home to one of its most ambitious developments.
Urban Pacific Builders specializes in purchasing older historical buildings and converting them to commercial-residential projects.
When one of the company’s coowners ran across the mill property while visiting friends in New Braunfels, he knew it was a perfect candidate for preservation
See FUTURE, Page 3AMill has been mainstay in city for 83 years
By Leigh Jones
Construction on what now is known as Mission Valley Mill began in November 1921 and was completed in August 1922.
Workers produced the first cotton cloth in September 1923.
Five years later in tile middle of the depression, die mill owners declared bankruptcy, closing the plant’s doors for three years.
In 1931, the mill reopened as New Braunfels Textile Mills, operating under that name until March 1957.
See HISTORY, Page 3AUPDATES
Tracking the newsMeeting changed
LAST WE KNEW: A meeting to discuss the pros and cons of incorporating Startzville as a city was set for Aug. 10.
LATEST: The meeting was moved up to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative auditorium, 36101 FM 3159 in Smithson Valley.
NEXT: Startzville voters will decide whether to incorporate in an election set for Sept. 10.
District leaders wield influence at Capitol
By Kelley Shannon
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN —They watch the state Capitol from afar and know the details of school finance legislation better than some lawmakers do.
They hold power positions in their communities, and over the past few days they’ve spoken in a loud chorus about what they thought were flaws in the Legislature’s education funding plans.
They are school superintendents, and lawmakers are listening to them.
Their opinions contributed to the death of a I louse education spending bill and
“The superintendents have really beat our members up tile last few days. The school people are against it. It makes it tough to vote ”
— Tom Craddick
Speaker of the House
accompanying tax measure this past week and to the derailing of a Senate education plan — all dimming prospects for school finance legislation to pass in the summer’s second 30-day special legislative session.
“On the w'hole, this was not going to move education forward,” Amarillo Superintendent Rod Schroder said after the I louse bills collapsed.
Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland said superintendents influenced I louse members.
“The superintendents have really heat our members up the last few days," Craddick said Tuesday night. “The schtx)l people are against it. It makes it tough to vote."
State Rep. Carter Casteel,
See FINANCE, Page 7A
Two suffer minor injuries when helicopter crashes
By David Rupkalvis
A pilot and a trainee suffered minor injuries when a helicopter crashed at the New Braunfels Municipal Airport Saturday.
Sgt. Chris Snyder with the New Braunfels Police Depart-ment’s Patrol Division, reported that police and fire department personnel received a call of a helicopter crash just before I p.m. Saturday.
The helicopter, a Bell R-22, belonged to Silver State I leli-copter School. The two peo
ple on board were performing training exercises when the helicopter crashed.
Both people on the helicopter sustained minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene. Police did not release the names of the two people.
Because the incident involved aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration out of San Antonio conducted the investigation. The cause of the crash has not been determined.
Air traffic into the airport was not interrupted.
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