New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 24, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
Ed Hammack drinks a beer on Tuesday evening at the Hoops bar inside Paramount Bowl, 1202 Huisache Ave. To his left is an announcement from county health officials informing customers that a bartender at the bowling alley was diagnosed with Hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease.
case had been diagnosed thus far.
Comal County Nurse Shel McWilliams said officials did not know how many people the employee might have been in contact with during the two-week period.
‘it would depend on each individual and what they did when they were in the facility,” McWilliams said
The county’s last official case of Hepatitis A was reported in early June 1998 when an employee of Arby’s, 185 Interstate 35 West, was diagnosed with the disease.
The county faced an outbreak of the disease from October 1997 through January 1998 when 57 residents, including 28 children and 29 adults, contracted it.
McWilliams said there was no specific treatment to fight off theSee HEPATITIS/3A
About Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A, the least serious form of hepatitis, usually is contracted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by infected human excrement. Infected food handlers can pass the virus on if they do not wash their hands with soap after using the bathroom. About 150,000 people in the United States are infected each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Acute hepatitis A usually resolves itself within six months and does not develop into a chronic disease.
Symptoms: jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, intermittent nausea,
diarrhea Prevalence: 33 percent of Americans have evidence of past infection At risk: household/sexual contacts of infected persons, international travelers, persons in American Indian reservations or Alaska Native villages Prevention: A vaccine is available for the prevention of hepatitis A. It is recommended for people who come into contact with an infected person.
A common recommendation is to avoid alcohol, which, as a toxic substance, can weaken an already damaged liver.
Most infections with hepatitis A are acute. The infection lasts for less than six months and can eventually be treated.
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Flood forum brings questions, answers
By Chris Crews Staff Writer
About 30 flood victims gathered at the New Braunfels Municipal Building Tuesday night to discuss problems they experienced from the October 1998 flood.
New Braunfels City Manager Mike Shands fielded questions from the group for almost two hours. Most of the questions focused on the role of the city in helping citizens solve their problems.
Dick Carroll, a Sleepy Hollow resident, said his area was hit hard by the flood and its results still were evident.
Carroll said the area was filled with flood debris, even though the city had sent garbage trucks to pick it up. He asked if or when the city would return for another pickup.
‘‘We won’t be back without charging — that’s the official stance,” Shands said.
The city paid SKK) to empty each truckload into the landfill. Shands said many contractors and individuals hired private companies to provide dumpsters.
Larry Phelps, volunteer coordinator for New Braunfels Rebounds, a non-profit group dedicated to helping people rebuild their homes, said private dumpsters were not an attractive alternative.
‘‘A dumpster cost $349. If we spend $349 on a dumpster, that’s $349 we can’t spend on repairing their home,” Phelps said.
Shands said balancing the needs of flood victims and the other taxpayers in the city was an ongoing problem.
“The backlash that I’m hearing is that they built on the river, so let them clean it up. Stop spending my tax dollars,” Shands said.
He said the city already had dedicated more than $1 million to flood relief.
Connie Hayes, a field worker for the South Texas Flood Recovery Project, said the city’s response to the flood didn’t properly serve residents in lower socio-economic brackets.
‘‘I don’t want to see two New Braunfels, and I think that is beginning to happen,” Hayes said.
Shands denied the allegation and said the first city response after the flood was to Katy and Michigan streets in the West End.
‘it is not a divided community in regard to resources being allocated to them,” Shands said.
Shands said one source of relief for residents would be a cleanup on private property, funded by the federal and city governments.
He said residents who had not signed release forms for contractors to come onto their property must do so soon.
Hepatitis case reported at local bowling alley
Employee diagnosed with contagious liver diseaseVol. 148, No. 89 20 pages in 2 sections March 24, 1999 it 7 _ _ 7 Serving Comal County since 1852 SO cents
Dick Carroll, right, asks New Braunfels City Manager Mike Shands a question during the Tuesday’s South Texas Flood Recovery forum at the municipal building.
By Heather Todd and Chris Crews Staff Writers
Comal County health officials issued a Hepatitis A alert Tuesday after a bartender at the Paramount Bowl in New Braunfels was diagnosed with the highly contagious liver disease.
Customers who bought drinks at Hoops bar or used the men’s restrooms at the bowling alley, 1202 Huisache Ave., between March 5 and 20 might have been exposed to the virus.
Officials urged those who might have been exposed to immediately contact the Comal County Health Department at 608-2015.
Individuals exposed to the disease can be given an injection of Immune Globulin within 14 days of exposure to protect them from the disease or lessen the severity of the illness.
Common symptoms of the disease include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stool and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
Officials said the disease was spread from person to person by improper hand washing following a bowel movement, sharing food and drink, using a contaminated bathroom or by consuming food or beverage prepared by an individual contagious with Hepatitis A.
New Braunfels Sanitarian Joe Lara was at the business Tuesday afternoon to provide health information to employees. He first became aware of the problem on Monday afternoon and only one
Council OKs housing project
By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer
City officials on Monday took a step toward helping local developers provide affordable housing to moderate-income wage earners.
City council voted 6-0 in favor of Evergreen Villas, an 80-unit housing complex proposed for a 15-acre site in southwest New Braunfels.
The apartment complex would be built on South Water Lane near Interstate 35, behind the Department of Public Safety office.
Council could give final approval of an ordinance granting a special use permit for the affordable housing project on April 26.
‘‘This complex would greatly assist those families,” New Braunfels Housing Authority director Nadine Murdoch told council members. Murdoch said about 600 families were on a waiting list for public housing.
Amistad Affordable Housing, Inc., which planned to partially fund construction of Evergreen Villas through a state tax credit program, overcame sig
nificant public opposition Monday in securing council’s approval.
Homeowners near the proposed housing site told council they were concerned about increased traffic and crime associated with a high-density apartment complex.
‘‘I don’t think traffic is really going to be much of an issue,” co-developer John Seidel said.
Amistad developers said they planned Evergreen Villas as a tightly-controlled, gated community with aSee PROJECTS
CISD patrons discuss bond issues with district officials
By Heather Tooo
SMITHSON VALLEY — Comal Independent School District officials got a small start Tuesday night in spreading the word about their $141 bond election on May I.
About 20 CISD patrons turned out for a public forum to visit with superintendent Jerry Major and trustee Lester W. Jonas.
CISD board of trustees approved a two-proposition bond November 1998 in a 5-2 vote.
Officials said approval of both propositions, which cost $89 million and $52 million each, would establish a 10-year plan to ensure adequate facilities for the district.
Proposition I includes construction of three pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade campuses for 800 students each; expansion of Smithson Valley High School to 2,000 students; expansion of Canyon High School to 1,750 students; expansion of Canyon Middle School to 1,000
Key code 76
Texan of the Year wants young people to get involved
By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer
A longtime proponent of public service, Max Sherman made a living encouraging young Texans to get involved in government affairs.
Sherman served as dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin from 1983 to 1997. He will be honored as the 1999 Texan of the Year at a state legislative conference begin
ning Thursday evening at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
“I never dreamed that I’d be called. There’s no way that a person could be more honored,” Sherman said.
Political movers and shakers from around the state will convene in New Braunfels for the two-day event. Sherman’s award reception at 7 p.m. Thursday will officially start the conference.
Sherman said had been a participant of the legislative conference in years past. Being an integral part of this week’s 33rd annual event put a new spin on the conference.
“I felt very humbled,” Sherman said when asked to describe his feelings upon learning he would be honored. •*
Sherman said he tried to instill a sense of civic responsibility An students. One of the more difficult
tasks he faced was getting young people excited about seeking elected offices.
Friday’s conference schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. Cost for the event is $40 per day, or $230 for associate sponsorships.
Tickets will be available on Thursday and Friday at the civic center and any time at the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, 390 S. Seguin Ave.What’s Up
Texan of th* Year award WHO: Max Sherman, former dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday WHERE: New Braunfels Civic Center, 390 S. Seguin Ave.
TICKETS: $40, available at the civic center