New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
The children range from 4 to 13 years old. The children all escaped safely. They are Jqe and Jesse Sepulveda, both age 4, Jessica Rodriguez, 13, and an 8»yaar-oU girl. Who was not identified at press time.
“The cause of the fire was a 4-year-old playing with a lighter in the bathroom,” McFarland said.
At the time of the fire, both parents were working, he said.
McFarland said fire fighters acted
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeltiiitg!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Linda Pinson, William Max 1 Velbom (8 years), Victor Caballero, Randy Haugh, Ash-ey Batling (7 years), Elizabeth Jnda Martinez and Tara Schacht (I year).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Children escape McQueeney fire
By DAVID DEKUNDER
A child playing with a lighter is suspected as the cause of a house fire that occurred at Lake McQueeney Thursday morning.
The McQueeney Volunteer Fire Department responded to the first call at 11:21 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 11:32 am It took fire fighters nearly 30 minutes to put the fire out. the fire was on Ridge Road in the Lake Creek subdivision off of FM 725, Guadalupe County Fire Marshall Don McFarland said.
The home belongs to Eddie and Cecilia Sepulveda.
“When die first call came in, we were told that four children were in the house,” McFarland said “En route to the fire, we heard the neighbor (who made the first call) say that the children had gotten out.”
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“The damage was confined to parts of the bedroom, bathroom, roof of the bathroom and kitchen,” McFarland said. “There was smoke and water damage to the rest of the house.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Fir* burned through the roof of a home on Ridge Road at Lake McQueeney Thursday.
More than 60 to 70 percent of the house was saved.”
The Lake Dunlap Area Volunteer
Fire Department and Seguin Fire Department were called to assist at the scene.
County picks first safe area for fireworks
By DENI8E DZIUK
Tire county has named one of three “safe areas” for the use of aerial fireworks, which are prohibited in the rest of the county.
The court last week approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of aerial fireworks in rural areas of die county. The ordinance is an attempt to eliminate fires caused by fireworks.
County Fire Marshall Milton Willmann said he looked for areas that can be easily prepared for use, including clearing of brush and controlled burning of excess vegetation and is accessible to tire public.
The first site chosen is the county park located off of Highway 281 in the Bul-verde/Spring Branch area. Willmann is still looking for two more locations — one in die Bracken area and one in the Canyon Lake area.
“It’s the most convenient site right now, and it’s easily prepared,” he said. “The fire departments (in die area) have agreed to rotating standing by so one department doesn’t have to do it tire whole time.
“We’re working on the other sites so we’re not just inundated at one site,” he said.
Willmann said the “safe area” will be open for designated hours, likely starting with the beginning of the fireworks’ sales period. He said a complete list of the sites and hours they are open to the public will be announced later.
Violation of the ordinance banning use of aerial fireworks in other areas is a class C misdemeanor.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
New Braunfels fire fighters finish off the job of putting out a small fire that broke out at the ADM Flour Mill on San Antonio Street early thie morning.
Flour mill fire doused
From Staff Reports
An early morning fire caused about $20,000 damage to a section of the ADM Flour Mill at 398 E. San Antonio St.
Three engine companies of New Braunfels Fire Department arrived on the scene at 1: 13 a.m. and extinguished the fire in about five minutes, Assistant Fire Chief Elroy
changes face of city council
By ABE LEVY
The blaze was started by an electrical failure in the compressor of an air conditioner unit, Friesenhahn said.
“I’m glad it wasn’t in the actual mill itself because there would have been a dust explosion,” Friesenhahn said.
No injuries were reported.
Last month the voters of New Braunfels ushered in a reshuffled deck of council members, adding two new districts and electing a mayor for the first time in 30 years from the entire city.
The deck was cut with hopes of providing more minority players to the table and an efficient method of representing the city’s growing community.
The council has met three times so far after the change, and voters must wait to see what kind of hand they were dealt.
Most would agree that the added districts increase representation to the population. While this may be true, which district representative gets to pull the city's purse strings remains to be seen.
“There’s no good answer. We can’t give all the money to one district,” Mayor Jan Kennady said. “We thought this out very carefully. I don’t foresee any problems with this. I don’t think any of us has competitiveness. We all keep in mind how much we have in our budget.”
Right now city department heads and boards oversee community needs, and toward those requests to the council for approval.
In addition, it's still too early to tell what effect the half-cent sales tax will have on the city’s six districts.
Revenue from the half-cent sales tax has empowered the city with money for such items as street and drainage repairs to increasing the number of local jobs.
The revenue has been designated into four accounts, each expected to raise about $425,000 per year.
City officials agree it would be near impossible to tally up the amount of dollars spent on each district. Because city projects often overlap distncts, council members said they try to keep city money in perspective.
“We still have to maintain a global picture for our downtown,” said Councilwoman Brenda Freeman, who oversees District 3 in northwest New Braunfels. “People don’t work and shop in the same district.”
‘It’s dMllng with federal and stat* funds and giving everyone a chance to talk about how important their area is.’
— George Korbel, former MALDEF official
Factoring in an equitable manner to represent all races has also been tricky.
Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas congressional redistricting plan on the grounds that race was the principal consideration in drawing up the boundaries.
The city’s boundaries were drawn up during a time when the pendulum was swinging the other way, and courts
demanded race play a major role in drawing the boundaries.
An incident in which a Hispanic policeman was fired in 1982, led to an eventual lawsuit and further review of the city’s seven-member, at-large council. The at-large districts had been in place since 1966. Hispanic leaders claimed the system kept minorities from being elected and that at least two minority council members should be able to gain seats in light of New Braunfels’ minority population.
The council set up a charter review committee that recommended a council with three at-large seats and four single-member distncts. The committee suggested the at-large seats be elected by majority vote.
Voters approved the measure in April 1983, but the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a lawsuit shortly after, claiming the at-large seats should be chosen from the top three finishers not majority vote.
MALDEF claimed majority vote made it more difficult for a minority to gain office.
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downtown. v*oopio don’t work and shop in tho same district.’
— Brenda Freeman, District 3 councilwoman
U.S. District Court Judge D. W. Stride agreed and ordered the method be changed to plurality vote.
No Hispanic candidate was able to
win an at-large seat, a fact that led a federal judge to do away with the at-large seats after San Antonio lawyer Rolando Rios filed a suit, claiming the election process unlawfully diluted the voting strength of minority voters. A redistricting committee was appointed to draw the lines for the present districts, which were approved in January.
Former MALDEF Regional Director George Korbel said plurality at-large seats not only set up barriers for minonty voters, they also inhibit local representation.
“It creates, in effect, a House of Commons and a House of Lords situation,” said Korbel. “It makes (Hispanics) into a political party. That’s a recipe for Bosnia. It’s counter-democratic. We’re not about dividing people, but about putting people together.” Korbel, who now works as an attorney for the Texas Rural Legal Aid, said single-member districts provide healthy competition that weeds out frivolous requests within the city.
“It’s dealing with federal and state funds and giving everyone a chance to talk about how important their area is,” Korbel said. “You still need four votes to pass anything. A certain amount of politics is good. The Federalist Papers talk about those sort of negotiations.”
Mold — Not available Grass —NA Oak —NA Hack. —NA Pecan — NA Elm — NA I Pollen measured in parts par cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River—120 cubic feet per second, down 5 cfs from yesterday. Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Wed — 621.90 feet above sea level, down 05from Wednesday.
Canyon Dam discharge — 82 cfs Canyon Lake inflow — 36 cfs Canyon Lake level —906.50 feet above sea level. (Below conservation pool.)
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NBU reports pumping 7.766 million gallons of surface water and 2.176 minion gallons of aquifer water Thursday.
County rainttatM bum ban today
Due to dangerously dry - conditions, County Judge Carter Casteel has reinstated the burn ban. The ban went into effect this morning.
It is a violation of the ban to bum anything outside of an enclosure which contains all flames and sparks. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or 180 days in jail.
Last call for Starlight Gala tickets
Today is your last chance to buy tickets for the American Cancer Society Starlight Gala, to be held Saturday at the t Civic Center.
Tickets can still be pur-
• chased today at Don Maxwell Chevrolet, on the west side of Interstate 35 between Walnut
• and Seguin streets. Ticket prices start at $100 per couple.
Raffle tickets for a one-year lease on a new Chevy Tahoe will be on sale today and Saturday.
Quilt Guild to 'Jazz it up' Saturday
The New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church on Loop 337. Program will be given by Sherrie Spangler, 'Jazz It Up - Wearable Art." Public is invited.
Rattled Bagios to moot Sunday
The Retired Eagles Activities Club will meet from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Eagles Hall. Meat will be furnished by the club. Bring a covered dish. Those with a birthday or anniversary this month should bring a cake or cookies.
Unitarians to hear ipaakar on Jim Crow
The Unitarian Universalists will have Margaret Adams speak on her experiences of 75 years growing up black in New Braunfels. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Faith United Church of Christ, 907 N. Loop 337. Public invited.
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
-Former Unicorns bring title to S.A. soccer team. See Page aB.New Braunfels
16 pages in two sections B Friday, June 14,1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of WILLIAM MAX WILBORN
Vol. 144, No. 154
New park a big tribute to ‘Jumbo’ Evans
By DENISE DZIUK
When the new park in the Bulverde-Spring Branch area is christened, a public official will be honored for die 16 years he has dedicated to county government.
County Commissioner Danny Scheel made a recommendation to Commissioners Court, which was unanimously approved (with Evans
abstaining), to name the new county park located off of Highway 281 the “Jumbo Evans Sprats Parte” after Commissioner J.L. “Jumbo” Evans.
Evans is retiring this year after serving as county commissioner for Precinct I for 16 years.
“I thought that, with his retirement, it was fitting we honor him. He has spent the last 16 years of his life out in that area,” said Scheel.
Scheel said he spent a day in the
western portion of the county, which was in Evans’ precinct for almost 15 years. Scheel said he spoke with many business owners and residents about naming the park, and everyone supported naming it after Evans.
“Everyone thought it was a good idea and appreciated the work he has done for the county,” he said.
County Judge Carter Casteel said the county is excited about the development of the parte, which will serve as
playing fields for several youth groups, and said it seemed appropriate to name it after Evans.
“All of us were real pleased to be able to name it after Commissioner Evans,” she said.
“He served that area for most of the
years he served, and has always been dedicated to the betterment of the county”
Evans said the parte is a “very, very important asset” to the county, and hie is honored that it will bear his name.
“It’s very much a surprise. I had no idea, but I’m very honored,” he said. “The park is extremely important. What they name it I don’t think is that important, but I’m still honored and pleased.”
EvantDiversity plan addresses inclusiveness in CISD. See Opinion, Page 4A.