New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 12, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
The Gramm House Historic LandmarkGet ready for March Madness. NCAA brackets on Page 5A.
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2627 E YANDEL-'- DE
8 pages in one section ■ Tuesday, March 12,1996
EL. PASO, TX 7990-'
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of DEVANEE EBERHARD
Vol. 144, No. 86
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Devanee Eberhard (13 years), Cadie Jacks, Melissa Castilleja, Verna Mae Kohlenberg, Bill KolthofT (Monday), Fernando Schneider (seven years), Debra Schlather (Over 39!).
Happy 13th anniversary to Lisa and Ken Snicks.
Mold —458 Elm —trace Cedar —66 Ash — 7 Mulberry — 0 Hackberry — trace (Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air Readings taken yesterday Information provided by Dr Frank Hampel)
Comal River — 238 cubic feet per second, down 4 from yesterday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 624.29 feet above sea level, down .01.
McKenna not linked to charity
McKenna Memorial Hospital has received numerous phone calls from area residents wanting information about the services of "Help Hospitalized Children Fund." It appears that the organization is making solicitation calls in the community, according to a hospital press release. McKenna Memorial Hospital is not linked to Help Hospitalized Children Fund in any way. The hospital has not requested this organization to solicit funds, nor has the hospital received any funds from Help Hospitalized Children Fund. The hospital has received a few toys.
McKenna Memorial Hospital asks area businesses and individuals interested in supporting the hospital to present their gifts to the Comal Healthcare Foundation, 598 N.
Union, Suite 320, New Braunfels, TX 78130. For information, call 606-9111, ext. 442.
Homemaking and Art Fair coming
The 1996 Comal County Homemaking and Art Fair will be held March 15 at the Comal County Fairgrounds.
NAFE to meet
National Association of Retired Federal Employees meet at 9:30 a m., March 15 at the Senior Citizen Center. Program will be preented by Kyra Brandt on her trip to the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, California, to help decorate the floats. Visitors welcome. Refreshments will be served.
Lake Dunlap Property Owners meeting
The Lake Dunlap Property Owners Association annual general membership meeting and election of officers will be held at Riverbend Park at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15.
Class of ’43 to meet
Class of 1943 New Braunfels High School to meet at Ryans Steakhouse March 16 at 11:30 a m. for lunch. For information, call Rudy Schrey-er at 625-5352.
The Herald-Zeitung inadvertantly omitted information from an article in the Sunday Herald-Zeitung on Page 14A, on the candidacy for city council of Mary Lou Erben Erben is running in District 6._
Voters hit polls today
By DAVID DEKUNDER
Fire at the firehouse
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Volunteer firemen finish extinguising their building. The Northcliffe Volunteer Fire Department received a call Sunday at around 11:50 a.m. to respond to a fire at its own fire station. The fire started behind the station in a storage bin used for recycling aluminum cans. It spread inside the station house. The Northcliffe Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call, and was able to get the equipment and trucks out. However, the fire damaged the bathroom facilities and a corner wall of the building. Damages are estimated at $10,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed it may have been started by kids playing behind the station, according to Northcliffe Fire Chief David Slatter.
City council OKs NEU bonds in 4-3 vote
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The $4.86 million New Braunfels
Utilities revenue bond issue squeaked by the city council last night four votes to three. But not before several hours of debate and the presentation of a petition to bnng the bond issue to a referendum.
The "total payback'* on the bonds, or principal plus interest, is $5,087,272. The debt will be retired, or paid off, in 2013.
The bonds are slated to refinance some existing NBU debts at a lower interest rate and to fund capital projects. "We were able to obtain a very good interest rate," said NBU General Manager Paula DiFonzo. "The effective rate is 5.001845 percent.” That saves NBU and its rate payers $65,000 on the debt refinancing, she said.
NBU designated three construction projects to be paid for by the bonds — water and sewer improvements in Solms; water extension in the Highway 46 West area; and rebuilding the sewer Rio Lift Station.
City Secretary Bonnie Sarkozi gave Mayor Paul E. Fraser Jr. a petition with 386 signatures calling for a referendum to decide whether NBU
should be allowed to issue the bonds. The petition had arrived too late for her to verify all of the signatures, Sarkozi said.
“The law says that if the petition has IO percent of qualified voters — or registered voters — a referendum would be required,” said City Attorney Jacqueline Cullom. About IO percent of qualified voters amounts to 1,800 signatures, she said. “Having a referendum is at council's discretion,” she said.
Fraser said that under the city's Home Rule Charter the citizens should have had 45 days to collect signatures for a referendum petition. Twenty-one days elapsed between NBU’s first public newspaper notice (paid ad) about issuing the bonds and last night’s vote.
"Anything to do with a referendum initiative refers back to the charter," Fraser said. “I would have to study the charter before I could verify that,” Cullom said.
In comments that well exceeded the prescribed five-minute speaking limit. District 5 city council candidate Jim Hendricks asked NBU officials why the same lawyer represented both the city and the seller of the bonds in the transaction.
W. Jeffrey Kuhn of Fulbnght & Jaworski LLP represented both par
ties in the transaction. "It is our policy not to serve both roles unless requested,” he said. "We were requested.”
Fulbnght & Jaworski represents both parties in a bond transaction about 25 percent of the time. he said. “If I’d had any idea that this would be an issue I would not have taken dual representation,” Kuhn said.
Fraser asked Kuhn if he thought the transaction had gone especially fast. Kuhn said it had. "I think it was a function of the financial advisors seeking the best rates,” he said. "From my perspective the city has gotten all the benefits.”
"I think we should have separate representation,” Cullom said. "I think it’s a conflict of interest.”
Several citizens said that NBU and the city council had not notified rate payers far enough in advance about the bond issue. NBU had held public meetings starting in July which were covered in the newspaper and on the radio, DiFonzo said.
NBU President Guadalupe Castillo said at the last city council meeting that NBU would include rate and bond information in bills when possible. "You can't fit all the information in there, though" he said. "You have to keep up w ith it in the media.”
Citizens and council members debated whether the bond issue should go to a vote or whether the decision was included in the city council's duties.
"I passed petitions," said Bill Abbott. "I have no problem with the work on 46 or Solms. I want the opportunity to say yes, though.”
“I just think there are times when you have to leave it to the vote and this is one of them,” Fraser said.
"I don’t think that every decision should go to a vote,” Councilman Tim Walker said. "There are some issue that w e need to use our representative capacity for."
Walker said voters should have a say in this particular bond issue because of the "bad taste" left from the Canyon Hydroelectric Plant bond issue that did not go to a vote. "I think if it's properly presented I have every confidence they'll make the right choice,” he said.
"My gut feeling is this is right," said Mayor Pro-Tern Chris Bow ers.
Voting in favor of the bond issue were Council members Jan Ken-nady, Ray Schoch, Brenda Freeman and Bowers. Councilman Juan Luis Martinez, Fraser and Walker voted against.
Comal County voters are already trotting to the polls this morning as heated races for county commissioner, sheriff and county attorney will be decided or thrown into runoffs by this evening.
Thirty-two precincts in Comal County opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m.
“Overall, we expect a 25 percent turnout,” Linnell Hinojosa, a clerk with the Comal County Clerk’s office, said. “We have 40,000 voters in the county, so we estimate that 8,000 voters will go to the polls today combined with the 2,800 we had in early voting. So, we project a total of 10,000 voters.”
Weather conditions will be ideal with partly cloudy skies with a high of 11°
Hinojosa said Comal County had one of the highest early voting turnouts in the state. She said that can be attributed to the interest in the local races.
The vote totals will be given throughout the night at room 306, right adjacent to Commissioners Court in the county annex building.
The Republican Party Primary will provide the most excitement with four local races being contested in that party’s primary.
County Commissioner, Precinct #1 will feature four candidates — Douglas Kirk, Marian Whitson, Jack Dawson and Bemus Glenn Jackson. The winner will face Democrat Louis “Charlie” Millican in November. Millican is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.
In the Comal County Sheriff s race, incumbent Sheriff Jack Bremer is facing a stiff challenge from retired Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Bob Holder and Marion Police Chief Max Wommack. Jr. The w inner of the primary will face no Democratic opposition in November.
The county attorney's race features Assistant County Attorney Stephanie Smith-Burris and District Attorney Bill Reimer. The key issue in this race is whether or not the district attorney and county attorney’s office should be consolidated. Rcimer favors consolidating the two while Burris believes the issue of consolidation needs to be studied more. The winner of this contest faces Democrat Vicki Langham in the fall.
Precinct #3 Constable Jim Hanley is being challenged by Gary Zimmerman in the Republican Primary.
Also in the Republican Party primary. State Representative Edmund Kuempel of Seguin is running against Seguin businessman Harold T. Bratcher, Jr. to represent District 45. In the state senatorial district 25, State Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio is being challenged by Randy Staudt, the mayor pro-tem of Leander.
Both parties w ill be selecting their Presidential nominees. In the Republican primary, voters will have a choice between 11 candidates, among them Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, Pat Buchanan, Steve Forbes and radio talk show host Alan Keyes.
President Bill Clinton will face lesser known opposition in the Democratic Primary.
U.S. Senator Phil Gramm will be vying for his third term as senator as he faces Dav id Young and Hank Grover in the Republican primary.
lf Gramm w ins as expected, he will face the w inner of the Democratic primary w hich features Congressmen John Bryant of Dallas, Jim Chapman of Sulphur Springs, Victor Morales and Houston lawyer John Odam.
Michelson bounces back from surgery to compete at livestock show
By DENISE DZIUK
This newspaper is printed on recycled newsprint
Despite medical problems early in the school year and questions regarding w hether or not he would even be recovered in time to show, Cory “Stump” Michelson has proven he’s a fighter. He’s also proven he is a winner by placing at every livestock show he’s been to so far.
Michelson, a freshman at Canyon High School, had open heart surgery Aug. 29. The operation, which had only been performed 20 times in the United States and required a doctor be brought in from India, took nine and a half hours to move a valve from the back of the heart to the front, said his mom Joyce Michelson. She said he recovered quickly, and returned to school Oct. I.
“We figured it would mess up his school year, and we really thought he wouldn’t be able to show. He shocked (the doctors) just as much as he shocked us by recovering so quickly,”
Michelson said his surgery and recovery did not interfere with his plans to show because he was back at school for a month before he got his pigs at the beginning of November. He said he has been able to work with the pigs in preparation of the shows and has done extremely well at the ones he has already participated in.
walk them every day, wash them every week, clean their pens, and oil them,” said Michelson.
Michelson said he has already shown the two pigs in about 11) prospect and major shows, and has placed in every one. He said he has placed as high as Grand C hampion in the prospect shows and has been in the top IO in three maj’or shows. He said he thinks the
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Although he usually shows swine, Cory Michelson also works with goats.
work he does with them has been a big factor in placing.
“I work with them a lot. I think walking is good because it keeps them calm when you have them in the ring,” said
Michelson. "I also oil them with mineral oil to keep their skin shiny and clean.”
Lance Jonas, one of three vocational agriculture teachers at C HS, said
Michelson is the only one in the county to do so well this year He said many assume swine are easier to show than steers. However, he said the effort Michelson puts into it, including the half a mile to mile w alks, has paid off.
“The ones that put a lot more effort into it are the ones that do well consistently,” said Jonas. “All ofCory’s hard work is paying off"
Michelson’s mom said that they are expecting hint to do well at the upcoming show. However, she said he has done exceptionally well so far, and they can’t complain.
“For starting out so bad, it really turned out to be a good year,” she said. “W hatever he does (this weekend), we can’t complain.”
She also added that without the community’s support during her son s medical problems, he would not be as successful now.
“I want to thank everyone. It’s proven w hat good thoughts and prayers can do,” she saidFor advertising or subscription information, call the Herald-Zeitung at .