New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
U Smithson Valley athletic facilities face space crunch. See Page 15
The Plaza bandstand
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16 pages in one section ■ Friday, March 31,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of MASON SCHMIDT
Vol. 143, No. IOOInside
State and National News................5
Sports Day...............................15-16StammtischBirthday wishes from tho Herald-Zoituiig!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Flo Homandos, Crystal Mario Madera (seven years), Robert Messman, Diana Marie Perez, Mason Schmidt (17 years), Oracle De la Cerda, and Brittany Dayton. Happy belated birthdays to Adolfo (AJ) Ortega Jr., Joan E. Neuman (88 years), Andrew Rosales (11 years), and Leticia Cruz (nine years).
Cloudy and a chance of showers today, high 58, low 52 Partly cloudy and warmer tomorrow.
Don’t forget to spring ahead
We return to Daylight Savings Time at 2 a rn. Sunday, so don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night, or you'll be late for church Sunday
Hearing set on Canyon Lake safety rules
A public hearing will be held at the Canyon Lake Action Center. 1941 Hwy. 2673, Canyon Lake, at 9 a m. April 11, regarding Water Safety Rules and Regulations affecting Canyon Lake Copies of Rules and Regulations will be available for review at the Bulverde Library, the Tye Preston Memorial Library, the Canyon Lake Action Center and the WORD Office
Comal County Aggio Muster coming
The 1995 Aggie Muster will be held Friday, April 21, at the New Braunfels Knights of Columbus Hall Fellowship will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 7:15 p.m. Guest speaker for Muster will be Mr. Donald Powell ‘56, director of business services for Texas A&M University and co-author of The Fightin'
Texas Aggie Band, a comprehensive history of the Aggie Band from 1894 to the present Reservations can be made by calling 620-0704 Reservation deadline is Tuesday, April 18 Cost including dinner is $10 for adults and $6 for children age 11 and under.
The New Braunfels Fire Department Auxiliary is one of the organizations closen to sell barbecue tickets for the Sesquicentennial Barbecue on April 22
No tickets will be sold the day of the barbecue, sales will close April 17. lf you would like to purchase your tickets from the Auxiliary they will be at Fire Station #2 (4120 Loop 337) on Saturday, April 1 from 11 a m arid 4pm
Please come to the back parking area.
The riewspapw & pf ml •0 on f .eye ted r«e*sp/inl
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Interstate 35Parry and thrust
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHEALS DARNALL
Richard Muenich and John Felger practice their fencing in the parking lot of Felger's Tube Rental on Liberty Street. The two are members of the Southwest Texas State University Fencing Club.
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Three New Braunfels residents are dead and one is in critical condition following an accident involving two cars and a tractor trailer truck last night, said New Braunfels Police Lieutenant John E. Wommack.
According to police reports, the accident occurred like this:
At about 6:30 p.m. Kory Hudgins of New Braunfels was driving a Mazda MX6 southbound on IH-35 near Ruek-le Road. He lost control of the car and crossed the center lane, hitting the 1990 Honda Accord driven by Grade Villarreal, wife of New Braunfels Police
Detective Sergeant John Villarreal.
Villarreal’s car spun around. It was struck on the driver’s side by an 18 wheeler driven by Danny Fish of Grove, Oklahoma.
Villarreal and her passenger, Margarita Espinoza, both of New Braunfels, were killed.
Hudgins was thrown from his car and killed. Robert Ryan McNeill of New Braunfels, a passenger in Hudgins’ car, was taken by Air Life to Brooke Army Medical Center. At press time he was listed in critical condition.
All were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Fish was not injured.
Scholarship fund set up to honor teacher killed in crash
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Smithson Valley High School has established a scholarship fund in memory of Annette Hanley, the science teacher who was killed in a March 9 traffic accident
Money donated to the fund will be used for a yearly scholarship. The scholarship will be given to a SVHS senior who plans to go to college and study science or ecology, said school principal Joe Rogers.
Those wishing to contribute can send donations to: Annette Hanley Scholarship Fund, Smithson Valley High School, 4001 Hwy. 46 West, Spring Branch, Texas 78070.
The fund began as a way to honor Hanley, who was well loved by students and teachers, Rogers said. “We’ve had a lot of folks calling in wanting to contribute,” he said.
Students in the SVHS Ecology Club will make another lasting tribute to Hanley by re-planting the star in front of the school and planting trees on the school campus, Rogers said.
New Braunfels police are still investigating the crash that killed Hanley. A pickup truck driven by former City Councilman Dan Bremer went over the ceniei line of Hwy. 46 and struck Hanley ’s car head-on.
Witnevses are being questioned and a sample of Bremer’s blood has been sent to Austin for analysis, a step taken in all fatal accidents, said New Braunfels Police Lieutenant John Wommack.
The wounds of grief are healing slowly but surely at the high school, Rogers said. “The students are resilient,” he said, “and they understand that’s how the world is.”
Work on historic Faust St bridge OK'd by county commissioners
State to fund most of the cost of the project, start date undecided
By CRAIG HAMMETT
Construction work on the Faust Street Bridge will happen. The question becomes when.
Commissioners approved the agreement between the county and the state Thursday, paving the way for work to begin. The county must first wait for state authorities to finalize the paperwork, then make sure environmental impact studies are complete, and eventually hire contractors to begin.
“They (the state) will probably give us a direction on when to proceed.” said County Engineer Tom Homseth.
The state will fund most of the cost. The county received a grant through the Texas Department of Transportation to repair the histonc bridge, once used to usher wagons and later automobiles across the Guadalupe River.
The county, however, will have to fund about one-fifth, or roughly $90,000 of the cost, to make the bridge a pedestrian walkway. It is currently barricaded.
Construction of an apartment com
plex has begun on one side of the nver near the bndge with another planned for the other side County Judge Carter Casteel said the Chamber of Commerce estimated a $10 million tax base there, with $31,000 in county taxes alone.
Helen Schuparra of Schuparra Properties, Inc. in San Antonio said she was pleased the bodge would be constructed.
"Absolutely," she said. "We in fact sec it as an additional amenity there.” She said their complex would hopefully be completed by the end of the summer which would be sooner than the bodge. With another complex scheduled, the area would become much more developed than it is now.
Commissioner J.L. "Jumbo” Evans said the project was "truly worthwhile’’ but requested the county obtain an inter local agreement with the city, that they eventually agree to take over the property
and maintain through the parks system perhaps.
The court voted to let the county judge talk with the city officials to see what could be done. The county owns the bndge although the land surrounding is obviously within city limits.
The court also approved an agreement between the county and state for a similar type of grant to fund a pedestnan walkway over the First Crossing of the Guadalupe River on River Road. TxDOT is scheduled to handle that construction and the Water Onented Recreation Distnct (WORD) is supposed to fund a portion of the project.
Commissioner Evans reminded the court that any cost overrun on either project would fall to the county and that the county must be vigilant in keeping schedules accurate and in balance.
Accident at San Antonio St. raises questions about railroad safety
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Those blasted trains. Just about everyone in New Braunfels has wasted time waiting while they pass. People who live near the tracks are bothered at all hours by the whistles, shaking and roaring of passing trains.
Then there is the more serious side of having train and motor traffic intertwine throughout New Braunfels. Wednesday night a car was struck by a train at the W. San Antonio Street crossing. Fatal train/car accidents have happened in New Braunfels.
Train tracks running through town also add to the risk that a leak of toxic substances from a train derailment would have serious consequences.
The San Antonio Street crossing has no barricades that lower to warn motorists. Residents have wondered in letters to the Herald-Zeitung editor what would happen if an ambulance on the way to a heart attack victim was stopped by a passing train Train traffic through New Braunfels will only increase in the future — about five percent a year due to increases in trade allowed by NAFTA, said Dann Kosmak, Railroad Liaison Manager in Traffic Operation Divisions of the Texas Department of Transportation How can New Braunfels make railroad intersections safer? "One of the big steps isgetting tire state to make it a priority,” said Melissa Millecam, San Marcos government and community affairs coordinator San Marcos is trying to get its railroads re-routed to bypass the city, Millican said.
Even changing the signals at one crossing can be complicated, Kosmak said "Tile upgrading of existing warning devices is
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALl
A passenger train struck a car at this crossing on San Antonio Street this week. The crossing does not have arms that lower to stop traffic when a train approaches. San Marcos is considering a plan to reroute train tracks around the city.
dependent on age of signals and the accident his-tory of the intersection,” he said.
There is no state warehouse full of barricades ready to install — they have to be custom designed for each intersection.
Telephone and electnc lines have prevented New Braunfels from getting barricades at the San Antonio Street intersection in the past, said New Braunfels City Engineer William Dobrowol-ski.
Recent upgrades in the lines have brought the intersection closer to tieing ready for barricades, he said.Then there is the cost. It vanes greatly at each intersection, Kosmak said. The city, state and railroad usually end up shanng the costs, and the city has to convince the state and railroad that a change is needed before the state will commit money to a project. All parties would have to agree on a lot of different points, LXibrowolski said.
A more ambitious alternative, like overpasses and underpasses —- grade separations is the technical term — is another option. New Braunfels has a couple of them, but they just aren’t feasible in many downtown locations, Kosmak said, because of the lead space needed to make the railroad tracks slope gently to the crossing.
The only recent grade separation New Braunfels senously considered was at the Walnut railroad intersection, Dobrowolski said.
San Marcos has been working on the idea of a railroad bypass for about two years. “We’re still very much in the preliminary process,” Millecam said. The whole community of San Marcos has gotten involved in the process of convincing the state they need a railroad bypass.
San Marcos does have a crying need for change. They have no underpasses or overpasses Most of Hays County’s population is located on the opposite side of the tracks from the area hospital. "There have been long trains that have blocked every intersection in town at once,” Mil-lecam said.
Could a railroad bypass work for New Braunfels? Many factors would have to work together, Kosmak said. San Marcos wants to build a highway loop around the city in conjunction with the railroad bypass New Braunfels already has one. Loop 337. The cost would be enormous — about $1 million for each mile of track, Kosmak said Hie cost would have to be shared by the railroad, the city and the state.
Even for a project like barricades over one intersection, "One of the key things is that if the state believes that a community is united and supports the project they are likely to give it a higher priority,” Millecam saidCall 625-9144 for information about subscriptions to the Herald-Zeitung