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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 14, 1989, New Braunfels, Texas J cnuunnuLtuw rLi SUITE 300 ARLINGTON, TX 76006 FDA issues warning on poisoned fruits WASHINGTON (AP) — Virtually all grapes and some other fresh fruits are gone from store shelves today as Food and Drug Administration officials try to determine the source and extent of an apparent cyanide Poisoning attempt.    See    Rage    3 Rangers & Unicorns clash in key meeting First-place Smithson Valley and second-place New Braunfels will battle at 4:15 p.m. at Unicom Stadium today in a key District 26 soccer match. The Rangers art working towards clinching the district crown while New Braunfels is fighting for a playoff spot. See Page 7 Chocolate Extravaganza a chocoholic’s dream The recent Chocolate Extravaganza to benefit the Comal County Child Welfare Board was a big success, with lots of chocolate-related fun, including puzzles and games, and a Cooking with Chocolate contest, the winners of which will be featured this week. See Wednesday’s Kaleidoscope New Braunfels >AV JsUbL Vol. 137, No. 87 707 Landa St., New Braunfels, Texas 78130 (USPS 377-880) 512-625-9144 Tuesday March 14, 1989 25 Cents One Section, 10 Pages Taxes to increase on area farm land Truss me By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer Comal County farm and ranch landowners will pay more taxes this year because of an unusual circumstance — a falling capitalization rate caused agricultural land values to rise while overall land values dropped, says the local chief appraiser. “This isn’t our fault... it won’t be an extreme increase,” said Chief Appraiser Richard Rhodes of the Comal Appraisal District. “We didn’t do this. This is set by the legislature and when that cap gets set by the state law and when that cap rate went down and the lease amounts stayed the same, then the values (went up).” Approximately 4,000 pieces of property in the district receive the agricultural-use valuation, he said. “Those 4,000 plus properties are going to pay slightly more taxes than they did last year.” After one-third of the land in the Comal Appraisal District had been revalued in December, an overall downward trend was noticed and Rhodes predicted farm and ranch land values could be less in 1989 than in 1988. But after final valuations, the farm and ranch land values went up in the district. “Out there in the Hill Country you’re talking about a bunch of money,” Rhodes said. “That’s going to only affect those people who have agricultural or open-spacc valuations.” Landowners with agricultural or opcn-space value have See VALUES, Page 2 Association proposes park tennis complex By DAVID BUILTA Staff Writer New Braunfels Tennis Association is proposing the city build tennis courts in Prince Solms Park. The association appeared before New Braunfels City Council Monday night to propose building four tennis courts at the park to replace those recently tom down in Landa Park because of insurance liabilities. NBTA would furnish $22,(KIO it has in a savings account to build tile courts. The association raised the funds for tennis court construction. Originally, the association planned to construct courts at New Braunfels High School, but has since changed plans. “I’m not sure where we accumulated the money we have, but we have approximately $22,(KH) of our own money to put into this project,” said Dick Ncvitt, president of the tennis association. “We’ve gone down this road before as far as getting money plcadgcd from H.E.B. to help us with a tennis facility.” Ncvitt said he believes tile city could apply lo H.E.B. for a grant of approximately $3(),(XX) to be used for tennis court construction. The association previously had money pledged by H.E.B. for court construction, but was unable to follow through with lite grant. He said the Prince Solms Park arca seems to be an ideal arca lo build See TENNIS, Page 2 The Sophienburg Museum is getting a little facelift this week by Texas Heritage Construction Co., which began Monday putting a new roof on the building that previously had a flat roof and many water leaks. Instead of continuing to patch the roof, Sophienburg officials decided to replace it with a pitched metal roof constructed to look like houses that are built around the Prince Solms Castle in Braunfels, Germany (Photo by Deryl Clark) Commissioners rule out variances for systems Comal County Commissioners will not consider granting variances for septic systems in illegal subdivisions and will require platting on all tracts of land deeded after Jan. 1,1989. Commissioners Court set the date at a regular meeting Monday afternoon. The action means county commissioners will not hear requests for variances for private sewage facilities and platting. More than two years ago, commissioners issued a directive to the county sanitarian not to issue permits for septic systems to subdivisions which were not platted. The court has been asked to grant numerous variances for septic systems and platting during the past 24 months. In other action, commissioners learned emergency service providers in Comal County and New Braunfels will have a National Security Exercise this spring. The last area National Security Exercise was conducted in 1969. “This will be a rough exercise that we are going to conduct this year,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Herb Syring. “We’re going to attempt to do a National Security Exercise dealing with something to do with a nuclear accident.” Syring is working with a program obtained from the state. Commissioners will design problems in a drill April 12 and then conduct a functional drill May IO Commissioners will conduct the drills at Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, instead of at New Braunfels Police Department which is designated as an Emergency Operations Center. “The New Braunfels Police Department where we’ve held them in the past is not the most suitable site for the unincorporated areas of Comal County,” said Syring in suggesting the change. He said GVTC has facilities to accommodate emergency operations and the cooperative is willing to work with the county. Commissioners also presented Syring with a certificate from the Federal Emergency Management Administration. The court also discussed plans for construction of a county Extension Service building. Specifications will be accepted and the project will go out for bids after the commissioners meeting Monday. Council seeking bids for plan to develop municipal airport The city is soliciting bids to create a master plan for New Braunfels Municipal Airport following the Federal Aviation Administration’s return of a $4 million grant application to improve the facility. City Council gave City Manager Paul Grohman unanimous approval to solicit bids. Preliminary inquiries indicate a master plan will cost approximately $90,(XX). Under the present grant program, FAA would pay 90 percent and the city would pay 10 percent of the study’s cost ibc scope of die study would include justification for a runway extension, forecasts of aviation demands, environmental impact studies, noise pollution studies and Ute additional capacity the New Braunfels Municipal Airport could provide for die San Antonio region. “FAA has indicated such a plan could enhance the city’s chances for funding to accomplish the requested improvements," said Glenn Crow, chairman of the Airport Advisory Board. “This is very important to developing our airport.” Council also authorized Grohman to accept a $27,6(X) proposal from the Accord Group of Richardson for an analysis of computer needs. If approved, a total project authorization See AIRPORT, Page 2 Trade gap dips to 1985 level WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit in the broadest measure of U.S. bade narrowed to $135.3 billion last year for the best showing since 1985, despite a steep deterioration in the balance on investment earnings, die government reported today. The Commerce Deparunent said the deficit in the current account, also known as the balance of payments, shrank 12.1 percent from the record imbalance of $153.96 billion set in 1987. The current account is the most important trade statistic because it measures not only trade in merchandise but also transactions in investments and other services. The big improvement last year came entirely from merchandise trade, where the deficit shrank by 21.1 percent to $126.5 billion. This reflected a 28 percent surge in American export sales, which was enough to offset a 9 percent rise in merchandise imports. However, in an ominous sign for the future, the nation’s surplus in the investment category shrank by 76 percent Sf • TRADE, Pag* 2 Retail sales drop after strong gain WASHINGTON (AP) — Retail sales dropped 0.4 percent in February, the biggest decline in almost a year, as business slowed at car dealerships, die government reported today. lite Commerce Department said sales fell to a seasonally adjusted $138.2 billion last month after rising a strong 0.7 percent in January, when business was aided by unusually mild winter weather. The overall rate was held back by a 1.7 percent drop in automotive sales last month, the second straight decline in that category. Car sales had dropped 1.7 percent in January and been virtually unchanged in December. Excluding autos, which account for almost one-fourth of die retail total, sales edged down 0.1 percent last month after rising a robust 1.4 percent in January. The size of February’s overall drop in sai^s last was matched by a 0.4 percent drop in April 1988. The last time there was a bigger drop was in October 1987, when sales plunged 0.9 percent. Good day The sunshine that followed patchy fog this morning will continue for the next few days. The high today will reach a warm 90 degrees. The overnight low will be 64 degrees. The forecast for the rest of the week will be similar with highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Inside: CLASSIFIED.............................8-10 COMICS.........................................6 CROSSWORD...............................3 DEAR ABBY.................................5 HOROSCOPE................................5 SPORTS......................................7-8 TV LISTINGS.................................5 WEATHER.....................................2 Stammtisch Tonight’s the night for the performance of the Singkreis Caudate from Germany at First United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. The choir consists of 45 members between the ages of 20 and 45 who come from all over West Germany. They have prepared a 90-minuic program of classical, sacred and folk music. Instrumental players will be Harald Opitz, professional organist; Mathhias Muller, professional trombonist of the Rcmschcid Symphony Orchestra; and Amd Schuler, a highly regarded flutist of Wiesbaden, lite public is invited to the free concert, after which a free-will donation will be accepted. Following the concert, the United Methodist Women will host a reception in Wesley Hall.... In an effort to gain more volunteers, the Comal County Women’s Center is offering training for volunteers and other interested persons who want to become acquainted with the program on March 15. The three-hour training session begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Women’s Center offices, 193-1/2 W. San Antonio St. Hotline volunteers will learn more about active listening and the center’s program. Once trained, volunteers take calls in 12-hour shifts. The center offers emergency shelter for battered and abused women and their children. For mere information, call 620-7520. Hic hotline number is 620-HELP... Hic New Braunfels High School RI A will have its last general meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the school cafetorium. New officers will be elected and life memberships awarded. All eighth grade students and their parents arc urged to attend the Club and Elective Fair. Student members of NBHS organizations and clubs will have information tables set up in the halls so eighth grade students may learn about each group and its activities.... The New Braunfels Safe City Commission continues its series of neighborhood crime prevention meetings tonight with a gathering for residents of the Ridgewood, Broadway and Oasis street neighborhoods. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at lite Frazier Elementary School and all neighborhood residents arc encouraged to attend.... In observance of spring break, the campuses and offices of the New Braunfels Independent School District will be closed from March 20-24. Classes and offices will resume at their regular hours March 27. This Friday, students will be released one hour early from classes. School buses will run according to the early release schedule. The NBISD and City of New Braunfels Tax Office at 407 W. Mill St. also will be closed for the holidays. It will also reopen March 27. The Comal Appraisal District will be open during its normal hours, closing on Good Friday. The CAD is SM STAMMTISCH, Page 2 Spring train-ing Miniature train conductor Davia Schoenvogel this morning packs bal-ast into the tracks of the Landa Park miniature train in preparation for the big Easter weekend opening of the Park. Easter traditionally marks the opening of the New Braunfels summer tourist season. (Photo by Deryl Clark)    * ;