New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 10, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2004
JNE 10, 2004
SPORTS YOUNG NETTERS
Kids learn the ropes of volleyball at Canyon High School's annual volleyball camp. See photos from the event. Page SA
PORUM CHARLEY REESE
The fates of both George VV. Bush and John Kerry hinge on Iraq — something neither can control. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 182 12 pages, 2 sections
30% chance of rain
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM 4A
TV GRIDS SBEmbattled EAA board member Gilpin resigns
By Brandi Grissom
All 12 members of the Edwards Aquifer Authority board of directors at the Tuesday night meeting seconded a motion to accept the resignation of Comal County repre
sentative Cheryl Gilpin.
The board unanimously accepted Gilpin’s resignation tendered in a May 28 letter. Gilpin, who has come under fire recently for incurring excessive legal expenses and has long had a tenuous relationship with other board
members, gave no reason in the letter for the decision to vacate the post she served in for 19 months. Her term on the board that sets policy for management and conservation of the Edwards Aquifer expires in December.
“A lot of it had to do with
how the information was distributed, the lack of proper information for the decisions the board was making,” Gilpin said. “I don’t believe in voting on issues without proper information, in the proper way, in a proper amount of time. When they don’t give us the informa
tion we need to vote on these issues, I don’t think we need to vote on them.”
Gilpin said board packets EAA staff distributed to board members in CD format were often incomplete or inoperable. In recent months, Gilpin was criticized for heavy
spending on legal research. From August 2002 to February 2004, Gilpin’s legal expenses amounted to $38,051.50, according to EAA documents received in an open records request by the Herald-Zeitung. During the same
See GILPIN, Page 2A
L'.'i •'rn TOH IM TOI WHISHT <§©»AM
tmm MCD EJ I LEE TEEL
Your Communications Sr metalists
Truck kills pedestrian
By Ron Maloney
A 45-year-old man died Wednesday night when he was struck by a pickup truck on the Interstate 35 frontage road north of New Braunfels.
New Braunfels Fire Chiel John Berber, who assisted paramedics at the scene of the accident just north of the northbound 1-35 exit at Watson Lane, called for a medical helicopter and then canceled it as it circled overheard.
Lifesaving efforts were not successful, Herber said.
“We called him (dead) in the ambulance,” Herber said. “Traumatic arrest. He was hit at unknown speed and thrown approximately 50 yards.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Steve Tippett said the man, who has no known address, was walking northbound up the frontage road just north of the exit at about 10:30 p.m. when a San Antonio man took the exit in a Dodge pickup.
“The driver of the exiting vehicle crested the hill and didn’t have time to stop,” Tippett said. “He swerved to try to avoid him.”
Precinct 3 Constable Sgt. Robert Rubio said the victim suffered major head and leg injuries and was thrown into a flooded drainage ditch.
Plan change ups fiber-optic system’s costs
By Scott Mahon
A fiber-optic system that would connect die city, New Braunfels Utilities and the city school district will be housed at the library and cost $190,000 more to build.
The New Braunfels City Council approved the cost increase Tuesday, 6-1.
. Earlier this year, council finalized an agreement with New Braunfels Independent School District to connect the city, New Braunfels Utilities and NBISD through a fiber-optic network.
The communications system would allow all city departments, including fire and police departments, to share computer databases and phone systems.
City Manager Chuck Pinto said the first phase of the project was estimated to cost $899,000.
Pinto recommended Tuesday that the system’s “hub” be relocated from city hall to the public library, which would increase the cost to $1,089,000.
“Staff is recommending that all the fiber-optic lines, or the hub, initiate at our library instead of city hall because of the uncertainty of the future of the current location of city hall," he said.
The change would increase the cost of the first phase by about $200,000 because of additional fiber-optic lines required
See MMI OPTICS, Page 3A
Weather wreaks havoc
Commission rules councilwoman didn’t violate ethics
■ Road closures as of 4:25 p.m. Wednesday:
■ FM 1863 at Cibolo
■ Texas 46 in front of County Yard
■ Alt gelt
■ Ammann East
■ East Ammann
■ Bulverde Lane
■ Bulverde Road
■ Cypress Cove Road by Rebecca Creek
■ Hueco Springs Loop
■ Live Oak
■ Obst Road
■ Old Nacogdoches at 484
■ Purgatory Road
■ Rebecca Creek Road
■ River Road at Little Jacobs Creek
■ River Road nearest Loop 337
■ River Way
■ Rolling Creek
■ Schoenthal Road
■ Schwab Road
■ Smithson Valley Road
■ Spring Branch Road
■ Stahl Lane
■ Tanglewood Trail by boat ramp
TURN AROUND, DON T DROWN"
It is illegal to drive around a low water barricade Those who do risk
■ Injury or death
■ A $500 fine
■ Paying rescue costs
Due to possible road closures newspaper delivery may be delayed in some areas
By Scott Mahon
The city’s ethics commission voted unanimously that District I Councilwoman Sonia Munoz-Gill did not violate ethics when she voted on an issue regarding Schlitterbahn.
Burke Harrison, a former city mayoral candidate who tiled the complaint, said Munoz-Gill should have recused herself from an April 12 vote to remove a city council agenda item discussing Schlitterbahn.
Management Company with its own management,” she said.
The complaint was referred to a San Antonio attorney, Frank Garza, rather than New Braunfels City Attorney Charlie Zech because the complaint was filed against a council member.
Commission members said Garza would send council a formal report regarding Wednesday’s decision.
The ethics ordinance requires a report be sent to council within IO business days following a commission hearing.
The driver of a Land Rover clings to the roof of his vehicle as he waits for Bracken Volunteer Fire Department rescue personnel to help him back to dry land after his vehicle became trapped by rising flood waters Wednesday evening in a low water crossing on FM 1863 just north of Schoenthal Road.
Harrison, 61., said Munoz-Gill is employed by New Braunfels General Store, and because of the company’s affiliation with Schlitterbahn, she committed an ethics violation by not abstaining.
However, after a 20-minute dosed session Wednesday, commission members said they were advised by legal counsel that NBGS and Schlitterbahn were separate legal entities and that Munoz-Gill’s
employment with NBGS did not present a conflict of interest.
Sherrie Brammall, Schlitterbahn’s communication director, said Schlitterbahn was commonly used to refer to Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels.
“A number of companies are owned and operated by the I lenry family, but New Braunfels General Store is a totally separate entity from Waterpark
High rains wash RVs away; homes struck by lightning
By Ron Maloney
Widespread heavy storms Wednesday that washed away at least four RVs and damaged some area homes were expect -ed to trail off today with little additional flood danger.
New Braunfels police Lt. John Villarreal said four RVs parked at the River Ranch campground located under the Interstate 35 bridges in New Braunfels washed away Wednesday evening, and a few homes on Pam’s Bath and Kelly’s Way were believed to have taken some water.
“No one was hurt,” Villarreal said. “The fire department and some of our people were out there at the campground evacuating people."
T he RVs that went into the river will not be recoverable, Villarreal said.
New Braunfels firefighters work to assess and cover damage on the roof of a home in the South Bank subdivision
after lightning struck it.
In the Live Oak area of New Braunfels, the Dry Comal Creek had risen to the doorsteps of some mobile homes.
Police manned the streets
of New Braunfels with four shifts of officers in case of further problems, Villarreal said.
“It came up pretty quick. The mayor and the chief of police have been out check
ing on the situation. I made the decision of calling in both midnight squads to get a leg up in case we have further flooding,” Villarreal said.
Several thousand people who live in flood-prone areas were notified through the local telephone notification system to be aware of potential problems, Villarreal said.
As of IO pm, he said the situation seemed to have stabilized.
"We’re just praying the rain will taper off,” he said.
Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Capt. Mark Montgomery reported a blaze believed started by a lightning strike destroyed a Rhinestone home off North Cranes Mill Road early Wednesday afternoon.
The fire response was complicated, Montgomery said,
See WEATHER Page 3A