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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 13, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas A 70332 C (') - UL -' r. ir\C\ \... LL 7 fo 2. f c NewJhBSBHKFELS bHerald-Zeitung J ...........:-    : ► No turning back He didn’t call it an official announcement, but Texas Gov. George W. Bush made it quite dear Saturday he for president next year. Bush confidently told Iowa Republicans, “I’m running for the presidency of the United States.” / 3A intends to run W.& ■ ► OM Glory 1*57 "\ * ’ ft > % «§j| Jai* Rag Day has meaning for all Americans, but the holiday is espedally important to area veterans groups. Rnd out what they’re doing on Monday ancUeamaboutthe history that surrounds our flag. / 1B To the bat cave PERI STONE/Herald-Zertung Bats fill the early evening sky at the Bracken Bat Cave, which might soon be opened for public viewing. Bat Conservation International, which owns the cave, received a $1.25 million grant from the Kronkosky Foundation. Grant helps conservation group get off the ground ,    By    Pew    Stone Staff Writer It^ like a dance — millions of bats sweep out of their cave onto the airy ballroom floor, forming a funnel cloud that rises into the dusky sky. With wings flapping at a dizzying speed, they stream out of their fennel in a winding, snake-like strip and then disband, scattering across the sky to find nourishment. It’s a marvel that happens almost nightly several miles west of New Braunfels between late February and November, but few witness it Thanks to a SI.25 million grant from the Albert and Bessie Mae Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, the Brecken Bat Cave, which houses the largest gathering of warm-blooded animals in the world, could be a step closer to public viewing. Bat Conservation International, Inc., a non-profit organization in Austin, owns the cave and 400 acres surrounding it. The group plans to use the grant to help plan a visitor and educational center near the cave. “This is one of the natural wonders of the world,” said executive director Merlin Tuttle. A conservation park surrounding the cave would be an international destination, Tuttle said. According to the grant proposal, “The Reserve will create lifelong ^memories for millions of children and adults, and will serve as a cornerstone for bat conservation, education and scholarly research.” Currently, only private groups visit the cave, in Hill Country ranch land several miles west of Interstate 35. Its exact location is kept quiet to keep strangers from wandering onto the property, which is on part of a working ranch. “Our first priority is protecting the bats,” Tuttle said. Owners of the ranch sold 400 acres to BCI in a series of negotiations in the past few years. See BAT/5A Environmental issues top council agenda By Pew Stone Staff Writer Two environmental issues will top issues addressed by New Braunfels City Council when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the municipal building, 424 S. Casten Ave. Council will decide how to spend $20,000 for river cleanup and consider an ordinance that effectively would eliminate new construction of gas stations in the western part of the city. District 6 councilwoman Juliet Watson will present her plan for the cleanup funds. Watson led the charge for hotel/motel tax revenues to be used for river cleanup and patrol, but the Texas Legislature failed to approve the bill in May. District 2 councilman Larry Alexander voted to earmark the money for river cleanup when council approved its budget at a recent meeting. The city already has earmarked $41,000 of its budget specifically for river patrol in the city limits, partly to help combat pollution in and around the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. But New Braunfels Police Chief Ray Douglas said looking for polluters was not a top priority. “We usually have our hands full with more serious infractions of the law,” he said. “We don’t have the resources to deal with littering.” Offenses such as possession of a controlled substance, public intoxication, theft and disorderly conduct take precedence over littering, Douglas said. “Officers will address (littering) if they see people throwing trash in the river,” Douglas explained. “But we don’t routinely track it.” Also Monday, council will vote on an ordinance prohibiting underground storage of regulated hazardous substances in the See COUNCIL/3A Weather There’s a 20 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms today, but the odds of rain continuing through the week are slim. Expect a high in the low 90s today and lows near 70 tonight. See page 2A. Index Abby.............................................2B Business................................6B,    8B Classified................................1-12C Crossword................................2B Forum.......................................6A Local/Metro...................................SA Movies..........................................2B Obituaries.................................3A Sports....................................9-12A Today.  .................................2A Television............................Montage Key code 77 $1.00Vol. 148, No. 147    52    pages    in    4    sections    June    13,    1999 Serving Comal County since 1852 Inside ► Big upset San Antonio and New York will begin the best-of-seven NBA Finals series on Wednesday in the Alamodome. The Knicks became the first eighth seed to win a conference title after eliminating Indiana in six games. / 9A Showing their Lone Star spirit TxDOT employees paint state flag on retaining wall By Chmstma Minor Staff Writer Just in time for Flag Day, motorists near Canyon Lake on Farm-to-Market Road 2722 will have some new scenery. The Texas Department of Transportation’s maintenance department painted the Texas flag on a retaining wall on FM 2722, near Bear Creek Road. Maintenance employees Joe Espinoza and Russell “Rusty” Henk finished it on Friday. “It took us three days to complete it,” Espinoza said. “It was a lot of wok but worth it It looks really nice.” Adon Nowotny, TxDOT maintenance supervisor for Comal County, had planned to paint something on the wall when it was built seven years ago. “We went through two supervisors before me. I’ve been wanting to put something up there, but it never was (done),” Nowotny said. “Now I’m painting a flag there.” The flag, which measures 12 to 14 feet, was scaled to fit in the middle of the 40-foot wall. Nowotny made the initial sketches and it was traced onto the wall. The background was painted a cream color so the flag could be seen easily. The wall was painted on Wednesday and the crew spent Thursday and Friday painting the flag. “We prepped the metal, then used a high grade paint for the mural,” Nowotny said. “Hopefully it will last a while.” , ■ # Beat the i heat with ? rest, fluids By Heather Todd Staff Writer Temperatures in South Texas are expected to soar into the triple digits this summer, so health officials are uiging residents to use common sense when having fun in die sun. “It’s important to remember that when the temperature goes above 85 degrees and the humidity goes over 50 percent, yglig should cut back chi your outside activities — both work and play,” said Kathy Gorton, director of Health and Safety Services for* the San Antonio Area Red Cross. Comal County Nurse Shel McWilliams advised local residents to engage in strenr uous outdoor activity, such as jogging, only! in the early morning or late evening hours.' The early morning, between four and % a.m., usually is the coolest part of the day.; “People also need to remember to drink; plenty of water or a kind of Gatorade prod-! uct that will replenish electrolytes^ McWilliams said. Tubing on area rivers is a popular pastime: during the summer months. Often, the consumption of alcohol plays a large role in these recreational activities. However, health officials said people should avoid alcoholic beverages when engaged in outdoor activities. “Alcohol causes you to lose liquids more rapidly and can cause you to become dehydrated,” McWilliams said. Heat can affect anyone, but health officials said young children, elderly people, and people with chronic illnesses were more susceptible to heat-related problems. “Children need to stay out of the sun in a shady area. Sunblock needs to be applied and replaced frequently,” McWilliams said. “Make sure they get plenty to drink and rest frequently.” McWilliams also said the heat was more likely to affect young infants and babies. Outdoor revelers also are urged to check their medication to make sure it does not make them more sensitive to the sun. “What we’ve seen recently is people breaking out into rashes who didn’t know it was related to their medication,” McWilliams said. Officials also offered these safety tips: • Stay indoors, lf air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.    ~ • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that will reflect some of the sun’s energy away. • Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages with caffeine in them. • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat McWilliams said local residents needed to be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion — fatigue, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, aching, headaches, profuse sweating, rapid breathing and irritability. Health officials advised anyone suffering these symptoms to get out of the heat immediately and apply cool, wet cloths. CHRISTINA MINOR/tterald-Zaiunp Texas Department of Transportation employee Russell “Rusty" Henk paints the star on a Texas flag mural Friday. The flag will brighten up a retaining wall at Farm-to-Market Road 2722 and Bear Creek Road. ;