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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 2, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas Mk.    20332 NO 09 10/22/99    ?n so *we s r n i c Ropu bl I. sh i mg 26 2 7 E YR NOE. LL DR N BW (^fe&IFELS EL PASO, TX 79903Herald-ZeitungVol. 148, No. 72 12 pages in I section March 2, 1999 r ^ ^^ Serving Comal County since 1852    50    cents S. A. firm turns in low bid for cleanup By Chris Crews Staff Writer The Natural Resources Conservation Service is expected Friday to award a San Antonio Company the bid to clean the Guadalupe River channel. Gerald Kra fk a, field engineer for the NRCS, said the low bid to clear debris from this past Octo-SCHEEL ber’s flood came from J.R. Ramon and Sons in San Antonio. He said the company would begin cleaning the river channel on March 8. The contract calls for the work to be complete in 75 calendar days and, barring bad weather, should be completed by Memorial Day weekend, the traditional big kickoff to the summer water recreation season. Krafka said NRCS received 11 bids on the project, with the low bid just less than $400,000 and the high bid at $3.5 million. The NRCS provides 75 percent of the cleanup funds with the county government providing 25 percent of the money or in-kind labor services on the project. County Judge Danny Scheel said he was shocked and pleased the bids came in well below early estimates of $ 1.5 • f million to $2.5 million. J “That’s less money that will have to come out of the budget,” Scheel said. Joe Ramon Jr., president of J.R. Ramon and Sons, said his crews would work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sat- Ordinance Water Oriented Recreation District voted Monday to implement an ordinance prohibiting floating, boating or swimming within 200 feet of designated work areas. Violation of the prohibition would be a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. urday and the company could complete the job early if the weather stayed clear. He said he would be willing to work with outfitters to clear the river of work areas on Saturdays so they could provide a weekend of water recreation to locals and visitors. “But for the safety of the tubers and everyone else involved, it is important to keep the work zones flee (of water recreationists),” Ramon Jr. said. To that end, the board of the Water Oriented Recreation District voted Monday to implement an ordinance prohibiting floating, boating or swimming within 200 feet of designated work areas. Violation of the prohibition would be a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. Officials said they believed the contract with Ramon included having flagmen warning of hazardous areas. Outfitters said they would steer their customers clear of those areas. Crews will conduct the cleanup on three sections of the river simultaneously. The first section will be from Farm-to-Market 306 to the third crossing, the second section from third crossing to the first crossing, and the third section from first crossing to the Gruene Bridge. Tubers will dodge river work zones County calls for bum ban Area firefighters battle 1,200-acre fire near Fischer By Chris Crews Staff Writer Comal County Judge Danny Scheel issued a ban on outdoor burning Monday morning. The declaration of disaster for the threat of wildfires and burning prohibition came less than a day after a grass fire scorched more than 1,200 acres of open land near Fischer in the northern tip of Comal County. No one was injured in the fire, and no residences were damaged, said Doug Rogers, chief of the Canyon Lake Fire/EMS. Rogers said 75 firefighters were involved in fighting the blaze, which was reported about 4:30 p.m. Sunday and burned into the night. He said the fire was under control but more than 30 firefighters battled through fatigue and still were watching the fire scene for flare-ups Monday afternoon, he said. Fire units from New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Bracken, Bulverde, Wimberley and Blanco also responded to the fire alarm. “The wind has picked up, and it’s moving the embers around, causing flare-ups,” Rogers said. Rogers and his crew had been on the scene for more than 24 hours when interviewed. He said he welcomed the bum ban but wished it had been implemented earlier. He said strict enforcement of the ban was crucial for it to be effective. “The average fine for violation of the (previous) bum ban was $500. This operation alone probably cost $10,000,” Rogers said. The maximum fine for violation of the bum ban, a misdemeanor, is a fine not to exceed $1,000 or a jail term not to exceed 180 days. A person is considered to be in violation of the bum ban if “he/she bums any combustible material outside of an enclosure that serves to control and/or sparks, or orders such burning by others.” A bum ban is in place in Hays and other rural counties in the area. County officials said they discussed the possibility of implementing a bum ban earlier but had not adopted one for a number of reasons, primarily to allow flood victims leeway to clear their property. Scheel said recent hot weather and the dearth of rainfall were major contributors to his calling for a bum ban. The county has received only .09 inch of precipitation this year and is more than three inches below this past yearns precipitation levels for this time of year. “Three inches behind is not a good sign,” Scheel said. ROBIN CORNETT/WeraJd-Zwtung Above: Doug Rogers with the Canyon Lake Fire Department stands next to the command vehicle at the scene of the fire in Fischer. Top left: A Canyon Lake brush fire truck drives back to the command post area past ground that was burned in Sunday’s fire. New Braunfels group notes Texas Independence Day By Chris Crews Staff Writer The Texas Revolution will meet the American Revolution today as New Braunfels celebrates Texas Independence Day. : Texas Independence Day is a legal holiday in the Lone Star State and commemorates the day when the Texas Declaration of Independence was adopted by the provisional government of the Republic of Texas on March 2,1836. Much like the story of the American Revolution, it took more than adopting a treaty to guarantee Texas independence from Mexico. The siege of the Alamo ended on March 6 of that year with all remain ing defenders killed. The Texas army led by Sam Houston secured liberty for the aspiring republic by defeating Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. The Texas Revolution came to a nominal end on May 14, when Texas’ provisional president David Burnet and Santa Anna signed two Treaties of Velasco. “The main reason we celebrate is that we wouldn’t be here today if not for the strong foundation for our great state," said Dick Robinette of New Braunfels. Robinette and other members of the William Hightower Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will Inside Abby....................... ......5 Business.................. ......5 Classifieds............... .9-12 Comics.................... ......7 Crossword............... ......7 Forum...................... ......6 Local........................ ......4 Obituaries................. ......3 Sports...................... ...8-9 Today...................... ......2 Television................ 7 Young Life celebrates with banquet appear in authentic American Revolutionary dress at 6 p.m. at the Riverside Grill, 444 E. San Antonio St. in downtown New Braunfels. The story of Texas independence will be represented by the Living History Color Guard from San Antonio. Guard members will dress as defenders of the Alamo. Bv Heather Tooo Staff Writer Local residents can get a jump-start on celebrating the new millennium in the name of good, clean fun. Young Life River Counties, a local Christian-based ministry for high school students, is celebrating its seventh year in the Comal County area with a “Turn of the Century” fundraising banquet. The banquet is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday al the New Braunfels Civic Center, 380 South Seguin Ave. Organizers of the banquet have put a new spin on a familiar cause by encouraging die local business community to offer financial support. Community members or businesses can become banquet sponsors by contributing a monetary donation to the outreach organization. A $100 sponsor receives name recognition on all banquet tables, a $250Fund-raiser■ WHO: Young Life River f*Ai intiac■ WHAT: “Turn of the Century fund-raising banquet■ WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday■ WHERE: New Braunfels Civic Center, 380 South Seguin Ave. sponsor gets name recognition on all tables and in the banquet program, and a $500 sponsor receives two tickets to the banquet, name recognition on the tables and in the program. A $750 sponsor receives four tickets to the banquet as well as name recognition, and a $1,000 sponsor receives six tickets. Camla Davis, a member of the board of directors, said this was the second year the organization encouraged the business community's involvement. The banquet not only will give residents a chance to party like it’s 1999, but also will provide a gourmet meal and a video about Young Life. Youth Life River Counties provides high school students at all three local high schools - New Braunfels, Canyon, and Smithson Valley - ahvoutlet for recreation and friendship. Davis said Youth Life was a nondenominational outreach program that recruited college-age volunteers to act as mentors to local teen-agers. “The volunteers come out and meet with the kids on their own turf. They have meetings once a week as well as other activities,” she said. Area director Doug Culpepper said Young Life meetings in Comal County averaged 135 to 150 high school students, although about 750 aiea students had attended a Young Life event this year. -i ;