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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 2, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2004 Zeitung PLAYOFFS The New Braunfels softball team prepares to play against defending state champion Crowley in state playoffs. Pages 7 A LET AXXMKKKMKKMKX)' Al Kill l(ii.ii)571 1)5/J SOUTHWEST MICO'O (QI f: VANDELL EL PASO TX 7?') (11.111 j i.! i 1, 1111 ( IM nd Comal County since 1852. Readers write about weeds, Wein and Saengerfest and returning to a time when school books were reused. Page 4A o 8    "56825    00001"1    1 Partly Cloudy I High Low 97 74 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 48 CLASSIFIEDS 648 COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 38 FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 38 SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 48 Quick response saved lightning victim’s life By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer First responders at Schiitter-bahn put many long hours of safety training to work Monday saving the life of a man struck by lightning just outside of the waterpark. “We’re really proud of the staff and the way they responded to this,” said Sherri Bram-mall, Schlitterbahn spokeswoman. “The AED (Automated External Defibrilator) is a fab ulous piece of equipment, but it’s only one component of the emergency training. We’re proud of all the elements that came together and aided this gentleman [Monday].” At least six Schlitterbahn staff members came to the aid of Gary Blindert, 39, of New Braunfels, after he was struck by lightning during an afternoon storm that produced more than an inch of rain, hail and gusting winds. Blindert Photos by DAVID INGRAM/ Herald-Zeitung Shorty Haas cleans up limbs from a tree that was uprooted by high winds Monday afternoon as storms passed through the area. The large tree narrowly missed crashing into a mobile home that Haas rents out on FM 1101. At nearby Canyon High School, winds damaged a fence at the baseball field and moved metal bleachers across the tennis courts. Storm cools off 100-degree threat; high winds leave trail of damage DID YOU KNOUT? HEAT INOCX The Heat Index is computed using air temperature and humidity. It determines the temperature the skin actually feels. Heat index values are for shady and light wind conditions. Exposure to ful direct sun can increase values by up to 15 degrees LEVELS I Extreme Danger: 130° F or higher. Heat stroke or sunstroke likely. I Danger 105-129° F. Sunstroke, muscle cramps, and/or heat exhaustion likely I Extreme Exhaustion: 90-105°F. Sunstroke, muscle cramps, and/or heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity I Caution: 80-90° F. Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity. I Web site: www.srh.noaa. gov/ewx/html/ heatindex.htm By Ron Malonoy Staff Writer Monday afternoon’s storm gave residents a temporary respite from sweltering temperatures that pushed thermometers just short of the 100-degree mark. It might even have included a small tornado. Shorty Haas said Tuesday morning the storm blew down a couple of big old trees near his place on PM HOL “We weren’t home,” said Haas, who owns the Freiheit General Store and the property around it. “We were told it was terrible wind — the water wasn’t hitting the ground, the wind blew so hard.” National Weather Service Meteorologist Robert Blaha said Tuesday evening NWS officials had not determined precisely what kind of wind caused the damage in the FM HOI area. Elsewhere in New Braunfels, the wind took down limbs and power lines. At nearby Canyon High School, it damaged a fence and blew metal bleachers across the tennis courts. Near Haas’ house, it also twisted another tree around in a circle and dropped it to the ground. “I don’t know that an Arizona ash is a strong tree, but it would take some kind of wind to do that,” he said. A National Weather Service investigator stopped by late Monday afternoon, but didn’t tell I (aas what, Emily Montgomery cools off from the 100-plus degree heat with a dip in the spring fed pool at Landa Park. if anything, he had discovered. “He drew a diagram and went on to look at some com it knocked down near here,” I iaas said. Around the city Tuesday, residents looking to beat the nearly 100-degree heat couldn’t have done better than Beth Craft. Craft 13, went to the luanda Park spring-fed pool with her mom, Sheri, and some family friends. “I’ve been here three times,” Beth said, taking a moment out from standing in line at the trapeze swing. Mom said her idea of summer survival is to give her air conditioning a workout. “But they love the pool,” Sheri said of the children. “Myself, I stay in the shade.” As anyone driving by the bank sign near Doeppenshmidt Funeral Home late Tuesday might have guessed, shade is a very important aspect of determining temperature. The thermometer on the First State Bank sign standing there in bright sun showed 102 degrees at 4 p.m. Tuesday — the first afternoon New Braunfels was projected to top the century mark this summer. But the official temperature out at the airport was more modest one. Blaha said it had reached 95 by 6 p.m. Some variation between downtown and the airport is not unusual, Blaha said. But a variation of seven degrees was likely in large part due to the bank sign being out in full sun. “Maximum temperatures for our records are measured in a shaded place,” Blaha said. The high temperature topped out at 104 degrees Monday in San Antonio, and was projected to hit IOO in New Braunfels Tuesday. Blaha said moisture content in the air kept that from happening. Temperatures were expected to See WBATNGN, Page 3A By Brandi Grissom Staff Writer GARDEN RIDGE — A new ordinance for outdoor burning in the city of Garden Ridge will not be ready until at least July, said Mayor Jay Feibelman. Feibelman and Qty Secretary Nancy Cain will present a report tonight to the city council detailing their latest research into Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulations for outdoor burning. Compiling all of the research and drafting an ordinance that complies with allTCEQ regulations will take at least one more month, Feibelman said. “Originally, we had thought or found out as we investigated the burning process that if you have mandated garbage pickup, you cannot have outdoor burning in that incorporated area,” Feibelman said. But in meetings with TCEQ representatives, Feibelman said, they determined the city may allow outdoor burning as long as its ordi-nance complies with state burning rules. “They seem to dunk we have a little more leeway,” Feibelman said. “We can come up with an Jay Feibelman and nine companions huddled underneath a tree, taking cover from the weather, were affected by a lightning bolt that hit the tree top and came out at the base of the tree. Schlitterbahn operations director Keith Fontenot said the staff’s response was immediate and effective. “When I arrived, there was CPR in process, and shortly after that we applied the AED,” See LIGHTNING, Page 3A Outdoor burning ordinance delayed until July agricultural ban to try to stop burning on small lots, like ones less than three-quarters of an acre, and we ate working on that right now. We’re going to try to draft an ordinance that says you can’t bum except on agriculturally zoned property that must he x’ acres or above.” Currently, the city is under a bum ban instituted last week by Feibel-man when officials became aware that violating TCEQ rules See NAN. Page 3A Commission recommends annexing land By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Farming families that were hoping to strike an agreement with the New Braunfels Planning Commission were told Tuesday that city council would have to decide the issue. After months of postponing the annexation of farmland near the municipal airport the commission voted 7-2 to recommend annexing almost 2,500 acnes adjacent to the airport rather than attempting to work out the legalities of a nonannexation agreement Commission members Cheryl Casteel and Randy Vanstory voted not to recommend annexation. Austin attorney Ed Small, who said he represented a handful of farming families but had not received any compensation for his services, argued that a proposed nonannexation agreement met the city’s need to control zoning near the municipal airport. However, several commis-s i o n members were con-cerned that City Attorney Charlie Larry Alexander Zech had not had a chance to review the agreement. Also, commission member Larry Alexander, who recently completed two terms as a city councilman and also previously served on the planning commission, reminded the commission that council adopted a resolution last year against nonannexation agreements. The majority of the commission agreed that prolonging See PLANNING Page 3A FBI issues national alert for stolen rigs hauling propane gas By Ron Malonoy Staff VWiter SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio police and the FBI announced Tuesday that two semitractor trailer rigs carrying 5,600 gallons of liquefied propane gas were stolen from a gas company lot. FBI Special Agent Rene Salinas said Eds agency had put out a nationwide alert for the trucks, which were 2003 and 2004 Kenworth rigs hauling large pressurized gas tanks commonly seen on interstates. “First of all, I want to say that we don’t have anything to lead us to believe this was terrorist-related,” Salinas said. The micks were taken from a Ferrel Gas Corp lot on the east side of San Antonio sometime between close of business Friday and 8 am Monday, Salinas said. “One was loaded with 3,000 gallons of propane and the other was carrying 2,600 gallons of propane, Salinas said. The theft was unusual because of the amount of gas involved, Salinas said. “There was a similar theft about nine months ago, according to San Antonio Police Chief Albert Ortiz, and those people were caught,” Salinas said. “We’re in the process right now of interviewing those individuals.” Salinas said the FBI was assisting San Antonio police and set Tuesday’s press conference to inform the public. “We didnt call this press conference to alani) people,” Salinas said. “It was simply to advise them of what s going on. If they do spot these" vehicles, contact the local authorities or the FBI.” Over the weekend, 15 tanks containing various industrial gasses, inducting oxygen and nitrous oxide, were stolen from a medical supply company on the city’s north side. Officials have no information that shows the two incidents are connected. At the news conference, Ortiz said propane thefts are not unusual in south Texas — even if not in the kind of quantity taken over the weekend. Whoever committed the theft was familiar with semitractor trailer rigs and liquid gas. “It appeared that they checked some trucks to see if they trad kid in them and took two that did,” Ortiz said. COMING FRIDAY Tour of Faith Another dturdi is pmflUd la the widely septal. STH ;