New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 3, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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EL PASO TX 79903
The Smithson Valley baseball team stuns Moody to advance to state tournament. Page 5A
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Columnist Charley Reese says government would work better with a little more civility. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 169 14 pages, 2 sections
www: _ herald-zeitung.com
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DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5A TV GRIDS 3B
? - -JUChief: City needs 12 new police officers
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfelsers might get more men and women in blue to serve and protect them if city council approves the staffing plan proposed by Police Chief Russell Johnson Wednesday.
Johnson made his proposal as part of a two-night budget workshop that brought all city department heads before councilmem-
bers to plead their cases for a slice of the next fiscal year’s revenue pie.
The police department is asking for 12 new officers for the next three years to catcli up to the national average of officer to citizen ratio.
“I know I’m not the only department that needs things,” Johnson told council. “But if we are going to have an effective
police force, we need to address these crucial staffing concerns.”
According to the Planning Department, the city currently has 44,481 residents to Johnson’s 78 law enforcers — a ratio of 1.73 to 1,000.
The national average police to citizen ratio is 2.2 officers per 1,000.
And of course, the resident figures do not take into account the
thousands of visitors who swarm the city during the summer months.
“I would invite each one of you to spend a day with one of our officers on the river sometime this summer," Capt. John Villarreal told council members. “Its grueling standing in the hot sun for IO hours, and many of these officers are working 50 to 60 hour weeks, not including river duty.”
More officers will help spread the workload around, but they will not come cheap.
Each new position will cost the city $104,000 for salary and equipment in the first year, totaling $1.248 million. The cost goes down to roughly $66,(HK) per officer the second year.
Johnson also is requesting several other departmental positions,
See POLICE Page 3A
County turns down water extension
By Bon Maloney
Comal County commissioners Thursday refused to extend a certification saying the county’s second-largest water purveyor has adequate water to serve its customers.
The action, taken against Canyon I^ike Water Supply Corp., which provides water in tile Canyon Lake area as well as parts of western Comal County, could stop additional development in the utility’s service area until it can get such approval.
CLWSC Thursday sought a six-month extension of a certification deadline that expires today. Until the certification is granted, the county will approve no additional subdivision plats that depend upon CLWSC water.
Those projects now in the planning pipeline or now under construction are unaffected by tile stoppage. But new subdivisions — or new units in existing subdivisions not yet platted — could be held up for
See WATER Page 2A
lYimerica Financial Services expands its operation in New Braunfels to help it4 customers succeed.
The Scooter Store fires back with twin court filings
By Ron Maloney
In separate actions, The Scooter Store has tiled suit against Medicare for payment for power wheelchairs or scooters delivered to its clients and asked that a government counterclaim be tossed out of court.
Tuesday, Comal County’s largest private employer responded to counterclaims the Department of Justice filed in Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas in which federal attorneys allege the company submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.
Friday, also in federal court, The Scooter Store demanded payment for mobility equipment worth millions it has delivered to Medicaid or Medicare recipients, charging that the federal government has violated its own guidelines in refusing the claims — and continues to wrongly deny them.
A spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicaid Services said Thursday evening that she couldn’t comment on matters
See SCOOTER Page 2A
CLIMB OF A UFETIME
Mt. Whitney not too much for Kriner
Farmers Markets provide alternatives in NB, Canyon Lake, Bulverde
By Melissa Johnson
Shoppers who prefer their produce picked fresh off the vine have an alternative to the frozen vegetable section of the local grocery store.
Farmers’ markets in New Braunfels, Canyon I .ake and Bulverde have opened for the season.
The New Braunfels Farmers’ Market is held weekly from 3 to 6 p.m. Fridays at the Red Rooster Antique Company, 386 W. San Antonio St.
“Vendors sell fresh vegetables, fruits, preserves and breads,” Red Rooster employee Vivian Benwood said.
Canyon Lake’s Market at the Lake is held
the second Saturday of every month on the corner of I M 306 and Canyon Park Road. The next market will be held from 9 to 5 p.m. June ll.
Organizer Rex I lenry expects more than 20 vendors to attend. Although the market’s emphasis is on arts and crafts, I lenry said he would like to add vendors of fruit and vegetables as well.
“There will be vendors selling Mexican imports, wrought iron decorations, pottery, candles, scented soaps and lotions, custom furniture and jewelry,” Henry said. “We would love to find some produce vendors.”
See MARKET Page 2A
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels resident Jay Kriner is not into relaxing vacations.
When die 24-year-old Texas State University student heads out of town, he goes to ferret out adventure and bring home a slew of great stories.
I^ast month, Kriner loaded up his truck, picked up his friend, Mark Gonzales, and headed off to California's Mt. Whitney — the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states.
“We wanted to do something we’ve never done, something crazy,” Kriner said.
Hie young men, determined to climb to the top of the summit and proclaim their victory over it, had no idea how much of an attitude adjustment they were about to get.
Hie first stop in the road trip was at Las Vegas, where the climbers spent a few days playing.
Hie trip seemed marked by destiny when die first quarter Gonzales fed to a slot machine brought up “777” and earned almost $30.
After a quick visit to I loover Dam, the climbers drove all night until they reached Lone Pine, (Mf. at the base of the mountain.
“Looking up at the mountain, it felt crazy,” Kriner said, laughing. “I kept wondering what we were doing.”
Hie climbers rented their equipment, got a pennit for camping on the mountain and told the rangers when to expect them hack—just iii
They planned to cover the first six
Jay Kriner practices climbing near his New Braunfels home. Below, Kriner makes camp while climbing Mt. Whitney, one the tallest peaks in the nation.
miles in half a day, but Gonzales developed blisters within the first mile, slowing them down slightly.
By mile two, the trail was covered by snow and they were crossing frozen streams on ice bridges.
"We got to camp by 7 p.m. and had just enough light to set up our tent and eat dinner before going to bed,” Kriner said.
Kriner set off for the summit the next morning on his own, leaving Gonzales at the camp to nurse his sore feet.
Hie taxing hike had become a laborious, steep-grade climb.
Altitude sickness began to take over, and Kriner had his first thoughts of turning back.
“I was not looking forward to the final climb,” he said. “I felt drained, no energy. I had run out of water.”
Every 20 feet, Kriner stopped to
rest and think about going back to camp.
“I was just about done when I hit the trail crest,” he said. “I’m glad I didn’t turn around. Standing up there, I was completely blown away.”
Flowing through his exhaustion was the beginning of a mountain man attitude — glory, machismo, invincibility.
As glorious as reaching the top was, Kriner said die descent was the best part of the trip.
“I wrapped my jacket around my waist and slid down most of the way,” he said. “I was sick as a dog, so I couldn’t wait to get back to camp.”
Kriner’s round-trip took only five hours, but the memories will last forever.
“Once we got back to the trail See CLIMBER Page 3A
Dancing in the park
Christian Albes gets dipped by Terri Stewart at the first Concert in the Park of the summer.