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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 13, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Inside Dear Abby...............5A Classifieds  .....6-8B Comics  ............4B Crossword ........... 4B Forum............... 6A Movies............... SA Sports ..............1-3B Today  ...........2A Stocks................5A 56825 00001 t „    FRIDAYNew Braunfels    june 13,2003 ■■■■■ ■HH*    18 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-ZeitungVol. 152, No. 181    Serving    New    Braunfels    and Comal County since 1852    50    cents County staves off pollution penalties By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Air quality will be crucial this summer as Comal County tries to keep in good standing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Based on air quality in the county, TCEQ Executive Director Mar garet Hoffman, recommended Thursday that Comal County not be assessed economic and regulatory penalties. Hoffman released a list of counties designated as “non-attainment” counties based on ozone air quality standards. Comal was in danger of being one the non-attainment list because of its association with Bexar County. The TCEQ recommendation is a departure from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance. Dorothy Birch, natural resources/ transportation specialist, said in a press release, the agency suggests the designation apply to the entire Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). 'Hie San Antonio MSA, set by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and Wilson Counties. Comal did not make the list though Bexar County was designated “deferred non-attainment” See AIR QUALITY/3A Uncertain weather prompts restriction on some fireworks By Ron Maloney Staff Writer All but one of the surviving victims of Wednesday’s rollover crash that killed a 5-year-old Martindale girl had been released from the hospital Thursday. Schertz police Thursday identified the deceased victim as Angelica Quintero of Martindale. The child was one of four re|jort4*dly ejected from a Plymouth Voyager in a I p.m. accident on Interstate 35 near the Schertz rest area. The van was driven by Veronica Balas, 2b, of San Antonio. Salas and an adult passenger, Vanessa Rivera, of Martindale, were headed southbound in the vehicle about I p.m. Wednesday when, police said, a left rear tire blew out. Salas lost control of the vehicle, and it rolled over several tunes before coming to rest on the frontage road. A University Hospital official said Thursday afternoon that ail of the victims except an 11-year-old Martindale boy were released. No citations had been issued Thursday in connection with the accident, which is still under investigation.Dry Comal Creek debris worries resident By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Denise Gattuso nervously watched the rain fall last week. She was afraid the Dry Comal Creek would flood. Gattuso lives about IOO feet from the creek. During the 1972 and 1998 floods, her house flooded. Last July, water from the creek inched dangerously close to her house. It wasn’t just the rainfall that worried Gattuso. Less than 50 feet from her back door, a pile of debris is stacked four feet high. Other debris piles are nearby, and across the creek there are even more. They are the visible remains of a joint city and county venture to clean up the bunks of the Dry Comal. Inmates from the Texas Department of Correctional Facilities are doing the work. Gattuso is concerned the stacks of debris could impede water flow in a rising creek and cause flooding. “AU that debris they just cut down would block that bridge and flood my house," she said. In 1998, Guttuso’s house had to be remodeled before she moved back in. The house next to hers washed away. Work to clear the creek banks began in January. From Altgelt Lane to Landa Street, debris and small trees are being cleared from 50 feet on either side of the creek. The project is on schedule and should be completed by the end of the summer. Trees less than 8 inches in diameter have been cut down and stacked with other collected logs, brush and debris. Weeks ago, pliers of debris were placed along the creek, including behind Gattuso’s home. At first, Gattuso was worried about fire risks during theSee CREEK/3A DAVIO INGRAMh.nald 7eiluny Creek Drive homeowner Denise Gattuso is upset that the city has yet to finish cleaning up debris left by state prisoners after they cut down trees along the Dry Comal Creek. By Ron Maloney Staff Wnter Comal County officials banned certain aerial fireworks Thursday because of concerns about how hot and dry it could be on July 4. The ban applies only to “sky rockets on sticks” and “missiles with fins.” I Makes effect immediately. Banned are selling, detonating, igniting or in any way using the fireworks. Possessing the fireworks is not illegal under the order although use or possession of all Fireworks is illegal within New Braunfels city limits. Commissioners took the action because of a state law requiring them to not ify fireworks venders three weeks before the holiday to allow them to adjust inventories. Notice of the ban will be posted at all fin'works stands in the county. Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Munford said he sought the ban for safety reasons, in spite of the recent rain. "A weatherman sometimes can’t tell you what the weather will he tomorrow, hut theIn other action In other action Thursday, commissioners approved: ■ A resolution to apply for a criminal alien assistance program grant; ■ An understanding with the Alamo Area Council of Governments for use of — and a $50,000 grant for — a decontamination trailer; ■ A grant application for local public health preparedness for bioterrorism; and ■ Requesting bids for removal of flood debris from pnvate property law expects us to predict it three weeks in advance,” Munford told commissioners. Munford said recent rain has lowered the county’s drought, index to an average of 460 well below the threshold for initiating a burn ban. ‘The 14 -day out look places the index in the 500 to OOO Hinge, which is when we usually implement a burn ban," Munford said. “If we have no more rain in this time and See FIREWORKS/3A Investigation continues into fatal Shertz wreck Gruene in the limelight From Staff Reports Ford picks Hill Country to launch ad campaign for new pickup trucks DAVIO INGRAMHerakJ Zeitunfl Joseph West and Frank Trinidad put finishing touches on a giant Ford emblem attached to the landmark watertower in Gruene Thursday afternoon. Ford emblems will spring up on other buildings in Gruene today as part of an advertising campaign. Automotive media representatives from around the world will be in Gruene Monday. GRUENE — Its history has a company-town feel, a village built around th** cotton-growing empire of HT). Gruene. The bold blue Ford Motor Company sign attached Thursday to the famous watertower is no sign of an ownership change. Its there merely to promote an upcoming event. Gruene will Is* one stop on a series of two-day test drives promoting Fords new FI50 — the first new Ford truck since 1996. From Monday to June 28, media writers from around the country will travel the Hill Country mad from Boerne to Gruene. “They’ll basically be driving our truck around for two days,” Ford Division South Texas District Manager dreg W<xxl said. Mayor Adam (3ork will read a proclamation to Ford executives at noon June 20. Six of the top 16 F-series dealers in the world are located in the San Antonio area. “People just love Ford trucks down here,” Wixxl said. Keller Custom Signs of San Antonio fabricated, printed and installed Ford signs of all sizes on eight bams, three water towers and six walls throughout San Antonio, Boerne and Comal (bounty, including a 30- by 100-foot sign on the Alamo Dome. Look for a copy of the Herald-Zeitung’s annual Visitor’s and Relocation Guide, with 56 pages profiling area attractions, inside today’s newspaper. ;