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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 15, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Kendrick’s comments prompt radio to pull support By Heather Todd Staff Writer At least one New Braunfels City Council member says the local media is not doing enough to inform residents and wants to spend about $2,400 of city tax dollars to distribute a city-wide newsletter. District 4 councilman Robert Kendrick’s comments about the local media have prompted KGNB-KNBT Radio to pull out of its partnership with the city to provide free airtime for the Fourth of July Fireworks show. During the June 12 city council meeting, Kendrick discussed the possibility of cremating a monthly newsletter to inform city residents about city events and on-going projects, saying he did not believe enough people read the local newspaper or listened to the local radio station. When interviewed Wednesday, Kendrick said he was concerned local media were not getting enough information out to the public. “Not from a lack of trying. But, there are a lot of things that don’t make the paper,” he said. “The radio station has a specific format and not all residents like it. Every station has it’s own kind of format and some people like certain stations over another,” he said. Fred Stockwell, general manager of KGNB-KNBT Radio, said Wednesday that the station would not donate time to the city to broadcast music during the Fourth of July fireworks show or provide free promotional time because of Kendrick’s comments. “At this point, we’ll still participate, but we’re a business and we’re in the business of selling time so we have decid- See MEDIA/3A KENDRICK Water Restrictions ■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 6. 7, 8 or 9 can water today after 7 p.m. Well users with addresses ending in 6 or 7 can water today after 8 p.m. Help wanted Record-low unemployment means plenty of jobs available Ceremonial burn K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Bill Brown (far right) and Robert Acevedo bum one of the 138 flags gathered by the Knights of Columbus as the honor guard watches. Through the help of a New Braunfels Utilities drop site, the group was able to gather more than the usual number of tattered and tom flags.Herami ,7ritung         - • 'r'0. — I    •'    -.......... -    -    ■    -----    •    ^      —.   ■     -               V?    t    J    f    I..-in    I    .iii.-,Vol. 149 No. 149    16    pages    in    2    sections    June    15,    2000    rT"V    tt    Tnni    ‘v*ng    Comal    County    since    185    50    cents ThURSDai By Ron Maloney Staff Writer John Henry Boatright is lucky. He has a job that’s lots of work but lots of fun — one that’s flexible, one where he gets to work on his tan and one where he gets to meet lots of girls. He’s a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn, and he can’t imagine a better job. “It’s why I’m in my third year here,” John Henry said. John Henry and his peers are not having a hard time finding work this summer. In New Braunfels, with its record-low unemployment rate hovering just above 2 percent, a lot more jobs are out there than employees to fill them. Andy Clapp with the Texas Workforce Center in the Courtyard Shopping Center, 205 IH 35 South, said that at 2.3 percent, unemployment in the New Braunfels area is at a historical all-time low. That 2.3 percent figure translated in April into an available labor pool of 882 people in Comal County. “It’s hard to find people out there because there are so many positions open right now,” Clapp said. “Employers are having to get really creative in how to locate and entice summer and regular employees into coming to work for them.” The New Braunfels TWC is operated by a partnership of the Alamo Workforce Development Board, the Alamo Area Development Corporation and the Texas Workforce Commission. The center works directly with a number of area employers, trying to match them up with job seekers, Clapp said. “We try to match employers and their requirements with prospective employees,” Clapp said. “We’re there to assist any way we can — free of charge. All it takes is a phone call. “There are a multitude of services available here for employers and job seekers alike. It works both ways. For employers, we’re there as a resource, free of charge. For job seekers, there are many services here that they just don’t realize exist, also free of charge. We’re committed to help them, no matter what. If you ever had to pay someone to write a resume for you, you know it’s pretty expensive. We’ll help you do that here, on our computers, and we’ll fax it to employers for you.” Schlitterbahn is one of those employers the TWC works with. In the summertime, Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort is the largest employer in New Braunfels, with 1,500 seasonal workers. About 200 people work there year around. FELS T ax-funded newsletter proposed ■ High-tech jobs in demand./3A John Henry found out about working at Schlitterbahn through his parents, Basel and Sheila Boatright, who both work there, full time and year around. Basel Boatright is a retired New Braunfels Police Department detective who heads security/loss prevention for the waterpark resort. Sheila Boatright is the auditor. If he wasn’t working at Schlitterbahn, John Henry might be in a fast food place or maybe in a retail clothing store. “I’m not very good at folding clothes, though,” John Henry said, smiling and then sipping on a lemon-lime drink in the Schlitter bahn employee cafe. Sonic, the drive-in restaurant chain with 2,200 outlets around the country, always is looking for workers like John Henry Boatright. Jill Hudson, Sonic vice president for human resources, said the fast food industry nationwide had about a 300 percent turnover each year in its lower rungs. Sonic, she said, prides itself on having a lower rate — about 250 percent. “That means you basically have a new crew more than twice a year,” she said. It’s a brutal statistic that has implications for customer service, employee morale — and the corporation’s bottom line. “Turnover’s a vicious cycle for us. In New Braunfels, you guys are experiencing what a lot See JOBS/8A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Lifeguard John Henry Boatright, above, helps riders into their tubes and along their way down Schlitterbahn Waterpark’s Raging River. Recent Canyon High School graduate Mindy Page, top left, has worked at Sonic for three consecutive summers. Public meeting on park master plan slated today From Staff Reports Local residents are invited to discuss the development of a New Braunfels parks, recreation and open space master plan at 7 p.m. today at Landa Haus in Banda Park, 306 Aquatic Circle. Parks and recreation director Iris Neffendorf said the department was pursuing a master plan to direct the future of the city’s park system and open space resources. A series of public meetings will be scheduled to gather feedback from residents, she said. We want to get input from the community so Carter and Burgess, Inc. (a planning consultant) can produce a master plan that will address the needs of the citizens of New Braunfels who use our facilities,” Neffendorf said. “We encourage anybody who is interested in parks, recreation open spaces — runners, walkers, swimmers, historians, or environmentalists — to come.” Currently, the city’s parks and recreation department does not have its own master plan, she said.Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................5-8B Comics...............................3B Crossword........................3B Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries  ...............3A Sports............................1-2B Today.................................2    A Key Code 76 Accused kidnapper tells jurors gun was for suicide By Heather Todd Staff Writer A man accused of kidnapping his ex-wife at gunpoint earlier this year told jurors Wednesday he had the gun because he intended to commit suicide. Johnnie Lee Cooper Jr., 26, who said he was distraught over the breakup of his marriage, is accused of taking his ex-wife from her New Braunfels residence on Jan. 31 to a relative’s home near Waco while armed with a 9 mm handgun. The six-man, six-woman jury heard from defense witnesses during the second day of Cooper’s trial in District Judge Gary Steel’s courtroom. Aggravated kidnapping is a first-degree felony, lf convicted, Cooper could face life or up to 99 years in prison. Cooper was arrested by New Braunfels Police Department officers Feb. I. A month later, a Comal County grand jury indicted Cooper on the aggravated kidnapping charge. Cooper also was indicted on a second charge of aggravated kidnapping for allegedly forcing the couple’s 7-year old daughter to travel with him. Comal County assistant district attorney Ed Jendrzey said that charge had been dismissed but prosecutors See TRIAL/8A ;