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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas ROMM CORNETT/HeraW-Zeitung TCI technician Mark Sandifer makes adjustments to a cable box at the Westshore apartment complex on Thursday. TCI reportedly will abandon the New Braunfels market on April 12 as part of an exchange agreement with Time Warner, parent company of Paragon Cable. Paragon currently serves about 304,000 homes in the San Antonio area, including Garden Ridge.    fCable Comparison TCI Cablevision vs. Paragon Cable Basic service: TCI. $25.69 (35 channels); Paragon, $12.50 (20 channels) Expanded service: TCI. $39.99 (39 channels); Paragon, $30-$37 (45-63 channels) Digital cable: TCI, $49.99 (87 channels); Paragon, varies, depends on channels selected Fiber optic cable: TCI, not available; Paragon, $80 (78 channels) Installation: TCI, $24.95 ($13.95 each additional outlet); Paragon, $5 ($5 each additional outlet) Council on Monday was scheduled to perform the first of three required readings of an ordinance granting the release. The third and final reading reportedly would occur April 12. Williams said Paragon could absorb the New Braunfels market “as soon as the deal (between TCI and the city) is done.” Paragon officials plan to connect New Braunfels to the San Antonio market via fiber optics. Paragon already provides cable service to Schertz and recently acquired the Garden Ridge area. Williams said Paragon eventually would offer New Braunfels residents the same channels and prices available to San Antonio cable viewers. Paragon officials first have to map the New Braunfels market and estimate the amount of additional fiber optic wiring needed before determining when full service could be available, Williams said Until then, New Braunfels residents should not expect to see any significant changes. TCI Cablevision officials said talks with their counterparts at Paragon led them to believe New Braunfels area TCI employees would be able to keep their jobs. TCI currently operates a New Braunfels office at 160 Highway 81 West. The company also has a cable advertising office in the city. New ^UlliKIFELS 20332 MO09 10/22/90    72 SO - WE ST M10 RO PU BL I SH I NG 26 2 7 E YON DF:" LL DR EL PRSO, TX 79903-Herald-ZeitungVol. 148, No. 75    26    pages    in    2    sections    March    5,    1999    JT    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    centsMayoral race gets candidateWilliams becomes first to file for seat By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer A 33-year-old mechanical contractor announced plans Thursday to run for mayor of New Braunfels. Stoney Williams filed for the May I city election and as of Thursday afternoon was the only candidate for the mayor’s race. The deadline to file for the election is March 17. The mayoral candidate said he believed population and industrial growth would be among the most critical issues facing the city over the next three years. City residents will elect the next mayor to a three-year term beginning May 1999 and ending May 2002. “You’ve got to have controlled growth,” Williams said. The University of Texas graduate and New Braunfels native pointed to the city’s appearance in a March 8 Time magazine story about attractive US. vacation spots as prime evidence that the local population will continue to grow. ’’New Braunfels in a Tune magazine article is a positive for New Braunfels, because people see it as a good place to vacation and live,” Williams said. Providing services like police protection and garbage pickup for the city’s growing numbers could be effectively addressed through the pending comprehensive plan, scheduled for final approval by city officials in April or May. Williams said he believed the current comprehensive plan for managing city resources, adopted in 1977, was never fully utilized. “Many of the things that were in the plan back then were never implemented,” he said. Williams added that he supported the continued recruitment of “clean” industry like plastics and computer parts manufacturers, although he saidSee CANDIDATED Paragon plugs inGable television system expected to replace TCI as area’s service provider By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer Paragon Cable is expected to take command of the New Braunfels cable market by mid-April, city officials said Thursday. TCI Cablevision reportedly will abandon the New Braunfels market on April 12. The company’s departure was said to be part of an exchange agreement that would give Time Warner, Paragon’s parent company, access to TCI markets in Texas in exchange for TCI Is acquisition of Time Warner-controlled markets in Oregon and Montana. “Ifs never easy giving up something you’ve operated and been a part of, but it’s a business and that outweighs any sentimental aspects,” said TCI Cablevision regional manager Charles Hembree. New Braunfels city officials said they expected Paragon to enter the local market and start work on improving cable service as soon as TCI leaves. “All indications are that they have plans to upgrade the cable service in this area,” assistant to the city manager Don Ferguson said. Meetings between city and Paragon officials since December led to an agreement that would give the Time Warner company access to the New Braunfels market. “We’re very excited about offering the many services we have to New Braunfels,” Paragon president Navarra Williams said. Paragon Cable presently serves about 304,000 households in the San Antonio area, Williams said. The cable company’s long-range plans for New Braunfels include expanding the number of channels available, he said. The switch from TCI to Paragon would not affect New Braunfels cable viewers in 1999. City officials said talks with Paragon indicated upgrades in local cable service probably would not be seen until late 2000. Pricing changes and the availability of Paragon channels would not occur locally until Paragon crews installed fiber optic lines throughout New Braunfels. Williams declined to say when the fiber optic installation would be completed. “I can’t speculate on that,” he said. TCI Cablevision has been New Braunfels’ cable provider since the late 1980s. The company was recently purchased by Ar&T, a takeover that was expected to receive official approval from the federal government by the end of March. The transfer of local cable service in New Braunfels was contingent upon city officials formally releasing TCI from its current franchise agreement. New Braunfels City Fire is out, but another begins LM By Chris Crews Staff Writer The Comal County Commissioners’ Court heard the words they had been waiting for. “The fire is out,” Sheriff Bob Holder told the group about 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. The fire he referred to was a grassfire that scorched more than 2,500 acres near Fischer in northern Comal and southern Hays counties. The fire began Sunday afternoon and remained alive through wind-driven flare-ups through Thursday morning. More than IOO firefighters and other workers from 21 agencies responded to the blaze, officials said. No injuries were reported and only one structure, a bam, was destroyed in the fire. Capt. Jeff Murray of the Canyon Lake Fire/EMS said that a crew led by Chief Doug Rogers extinguished the last dare ups Thursday morning. Many of the firefighters had been on the scene almost continuously since being called out on Sunday. But less than 30 minutes after Rogers and his crew returned to the station from the Fischer site, they were called to a new brush fire near the intersection of I arm-to-Market Road 306 and Hoffman Lane at 11:03 a.m. That fire covered about two acres and there were no injuries or structures lost, officials said. Crews remained at the scene until after 6 p.m. on Thursday. The New Braunfels Fire Depart- See FIRED f it- W* Canyon Lake woman wins $8.5 million in Lotto Texas By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Edna L. Finke of Canyon Lake is $8.5 million richer after she bought one of two winning tickets in Wednesday’s Lotto Texas drawing. Circle K. No. 789 in Startzville and a store in Houston sold winning tickets for the $30 million jackpot. The Texas Lottery Commission announced it traced the winning tickets to the two stores, but only Finke had claimed her prize. Finke bought a quick-pick ticket that matched all six numbers. She said her plans for the money included sharing it with her daughter and supporting two charities. “Other than pay off my debts, I want to give something to Feed the Children,” Finke said. “I also want to give to the Salvation Army. I believe that it is right to give something back.” The winning numbers were 5,6, 7,13,20 and 33. Mike Gomez, manager of the Circle K. store, said it was the first time the store sold a winning ticket for the Lotto jackpot. A spokesman for the Texas Lottery Commission said both winners chose the “cash value” option, which entitled them to $8,510,562 each. “By taking the cash value option, they agreed to take how much we have at this time, which is $17 mil lion,” said Pat Overton with the Texas Lottery Commission. “If they had chosen the annuity option, they would have received $15 million each during a 25-year period. Overton said identification numbers on all lottery tickets could trace a winning ticket back to the store where it was purchased, although the identity of the winners was not known until they claimed the prizes. The win in the Canyon Lake area Wednesday night marked the sec ond time in four months a Comal County convenience store had sold a winning ticket. On Nov. 11, Sac-N-Pac No. 603 in Spring Branch sold one of two tickets for a $4 million jackpot. Luna Partners, Ltd., of Spring Branch claimed a $2 million prize. In July 1994, Sac-N-Pac #505 in New Braunfels sold a winning lotto ticket worth $3.8 million. (The Associated Press contributed information to this ret ,.) New Braunfels Fire Department captain Darren Brinkkoeter checks in with command as he scouts out hot spots Tuesday in Fischer. County authorities reported the fire to be out on Thursday, but another grass fire began later in the day. ROBIN CORNETT/ Herald-Zertung Inside Abby.......................... ......7A Business...................... :• Classifieds.................... 8-14B Comics........................ ......8A Crossword................... ......7A Forum.......................... ......6A Local............................ ......4A •' Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports.......................... ...1*48 Today.......................... ......2A Television.................... 8A J ;