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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels SATURDAY June 21, 2003 14 pages in Z sections mWKfm    14    pages    in    I    SCCtilHerald-/ EiTUNG -    i    Sit.    > Vol. 152, No. 188Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Rules prevent water tragedy LIFE K. JESSIE SLATE N/Herald-Zettung By law, all passengers boats or personal watercraft must have a coast guard-approved personal floatation device of the correct size readily available and on board, but officials say they should be worn at all times. 2-part series FRIDAY: Safety on -the county’s rivers. TODAY: Boating, kayaking, jet skiing safety issues. By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer It might be hard to find the balance between having fun and being safe while playing on Canyon Lake, but the decision could be a matter of life or death, officials said. Avoiding alcohol, wearing life jackets and operating watercraft responsibly are some of the most important rules to remember while enjoying the water, officials said. Few rules regulate swimming and cliff jumping on Canyon Lake, but swimmers should be familiar with the water they are playing in, said Lake Manager Tim Horn. Many children die from drowning, Horn said, so its important to watch children at all times. It also is best to swim in designated areas along the shoreline, he said. “If you’re not in designated swimming water, you can step off an underwater bluff,” he said. Diving from the many cliffs and bluffs on the lake also can be dangerous, because divers can’t predict water depth and obstacles, even in familiar areas. The American Red Cross suggests diving feet-first to check for water depth and to avoid head injury. On watercraft, the most important safety suggestion is to wear a See RULES/3A Gruene projects to be realized after years of debate By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council is on the path to making the Gruene Road improvement and hike and bike trail projects a reality. Monday council will discuss issuing bonds to fund the projects. Bonds could be issued as early as next week. First, a public hearing will be held concerning issuing bonds for the completed County Line Road extension and for the Gruene Road improvements and hike and bike trail projects. The $6.27 million bonds will reimburse money paid out of the reserve fund for County Line Road,* which was completed in May. Council then will consider an agreement for the final engineering and design services for construction of the Gruene Road Hike and Bike project. Bids for the sale of bonds also will be considered. Rates could be between 4 and 5 percent, City Manager Chuck Pinto said. The Gruene Road improvement project should begin in January — during the tourist off-season, said District 4 Councilwoman Valerie Hull. A timeline for the hike and bike trail has not been set. Gruene residents and business owners are happy to see the project take the next step, Hull said. The improvement project has been in the works for more than four years and has See GRUENE/3A PEMA offers more flood damage buyouts By Ron Maloney Staff Wnter A few more Horseshoe Falls Estates homeowners who were flooded out a year ago might benefit from a federal buyout program. County Judge Danny Scheel and Precinct 4 CommLs-sioner Jan Kennady Thursday reported about $375,000 remains available for a third round of buyouts under the Fed-eral Emergency Management SCHEEL Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. 'Die program partners with local government to reduce future flood losses by buying flood-damaged properties. The federal government reimburses local government for 75 percent of the costs, and local government agrees to demolish all structures on the property and to maintain it in a natural state. In the first and second rounds of PEMA buyouts, a dozen Horseshoe Falls Estates properties were purchased. Officials say the additional money would allow the purchase of three or four more. County Engineer Ibm Homseth said he would contact ll homeowners who previously expressed interest in buyouts to see if any still wish to participate. Scheel said the county was informed of the additional funds this week in a meeting with state Division of Emergency Management head Jack Collie. Kennady called the meeting “very promising.” From the very beginning, See FEMA/3AInside Dear Abby...............4A Classifieds..............345B Comics...............7A Crossword.............7A Forum................5A Religion...............8A Sports................1B Today.................2A Stocks................4A 56825 00001 Al R QUAL HYHealth Alert The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Alamo Area Council of Governments has declared today an Air Quality Health Alert Day. ■ Reduce unnecessary vehicle driving ■ Carpool if possible or combine all errands into one trip ■ Avoid use of “drive through" lanes or services ■ Don’t refuel during daylight ■ Avoid use of gas-powered yard equipment ■ Avoid exterior painting Pollution levels are posted online at: Eagle Scout project gives community direction By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer A local Boy Scout's project will direct people to the New Braunfels Municipal Airport. The .sign, made by Casey Chance, sits outside the facility. It was Chance’s Eagle Scout project. “I had to come up with an idea,” Chance said. Chance went to the City of New Braunfels’ planning department to talk about ideas for a project that would better the community. Officials there told him of the need for a sign. Chance then met with airport manager Darrell Phillips. They discussed building the sign. Then Chance visited the city’s engineer and found out what information the sign would have to display. Chance then went to parents and friends and asked for donations for materials and money to make the sign. He talked to officials of the Becker Motor Company and six others, including Chuck Waite and Bert Stevens. They donated some money.See SCOUT/3A DAVID INGRAM/Heiakl-ZeitungCasey Chance displays the sign he created at the airport. The project will help Chance earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Twice the hero After splitting his time for 12 years, Renken chooses NBPD (Above) Firefighter-tumed-detective, Scott Renken shows off the police badge he now will carry full-time. (Right) Renken (left) and Garrick Herbert check on the progress of cleanup operations after putting out a small structure fire. Renken gave up his fire shield, number 337 for his once part-time position in the New Braunfels Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Some little boys want to grow up to be firemen. Others want to be police officers. Scott Renken wanted to do both, and he has been. He spent 21 years as a fireman, and for the past 12 years, he’s also been a part-time police officer. Wednesday, New Braunfels fin* Lt. Scott Renken hung up his bunker gear for the last time and became a full-time police officer. Renken works in the criminal investigation division at the NBPD — a part-time job he’s held for six years. Now, hell do it fulltime, and Lt. Derek Wrenn takes over Renken’s former duties at fire station three on Hanz Drive. "When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought of was what I’d been thinking of for more than 20 years,” Renken said Friday. "When’s the next time I have to go to the fire station?” It would have been this morning. "I probably won t know what to do,” Renken said. Hell enjoy having full weekends off for the first time in 12 years, and he plans to spend more time with his family. “I get to go home every night, and I’m off every weekend. With my children getting older, that’s what’s important in my life right now,” Renken said. When Renken was a boy growing up in San Antonio, his father, Bill Renken, was a fireman and then fire chief in Alamo Heights. “When I originally became a fireman, that was my goal — to follow in my father’s footsteps and be a fire* chief,” Renken said. As he went up through the ranks, Renken discovered he wasn’t interested in the Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zertung    See    RENKEN3A m r1 man matt im wuMujps »esi50i ;