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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 6, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas ************** MLI- ^ !°{' Mill 1MW571 Oj'16/Uj SOUTHWEST HICROPUBtlSHLRS %?1 I YANDELL DK EL PASO TX 79903 SPORTS GOOD START The Smithson Valley baseball team opens the playoffs with a convincing win over SA Southwest. Page 6 CINCO PE MAYO HEALTH FAIR The Cinco De Mayo Health and Fitness Fair will take place Saturday in New Braunfels. Page 8 I1u.II.Ih!,UU.I.ll rn iujmG Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 145 16 pages, 1 sections 500 WWW7 ’56825 00001 fT Partly Cloudy High Low 83 62 Details .... 10 DEAR ABBY 12 CLASSIFIEDS 12 COMICS 11 CROSSWORD ll FORUM    4 OBITUARIES 3 SPORTS 6 TV GRIDS 12Hie Scooter Store fires back at government By Hon Maloney Staff Writer A prominent political power broker and attorney Wednesday fired the latest shot in what could be a fight for the very existence of Comal County’s largest private sector employer. Attorney Marc Racicot called on the federal government to end “burdensome and illegal” practices he says are designed to drive down utilization of government medical benefits to purchase mobility scooters and power wheelchairs — and could drive The Scooter Store out of business. The allegations come one week after the federal Department of Justice alleged in court documents that Scooter Store employees submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid. T hose assertions came in a federal countersuit to an action in which The Scooter Store seeks reimbursement for hundreds of scooters and power wheelchairs provided to clients The Scooter Store says meet federal guidelines for the devices. Such a countersuit is a routine action in a civil suit. While T he Scooter Store has been the subject of a two-year federal investigation in which the FBI has reportedly interviewed many employees, no criminal charges have ever been filed, and Scooter Store founder and CEO Doug I larrison has steadfastly maintained during that time that his company and its employees have broken no laws. Racicot’s three-page letter, obtained by the I lerald-Zeitung, was See SCOOTER Page 5 Mayor’s race bringing voters to the polls New Braunfels ISD could Gruene Hall celebrates three decades of country fun face budget shortfall By Leigh Jones Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees have a tough choice to make if they approve the administration’s preliminary budget — raise taxes or spend fund balance money. T rustees got their first look at the general operating fund budget Monday. And while the negotiating process is just beginning, $646,681 in required cost increases and $800,000 in recommended salary raises would put the balance sheet $685,558 in the red using last year’s maintenance and operation tax rate. The bottom line looks better thanks to a 2-cent drop in the interest and sinking tax rate, the amount required to make the district’s bond interest payments. This decrease would allow trustees to raise the tax rate the same 2 cents without changing the overall rate. See BUDGET Page 3 By Scott Mahon Staff Writer GRU ENE — For 30 years, Gruene Hall has attracted tourists and locals into its historic venue to hear the hest in music. The oldest dance hall in Texas will kick off its 30th anniversary celebration today. Built in the 1880s, Gruene I lad was revitalized 30 years ago by Pat Molak and Mary Jane Nalley and still stands at the end of Hunter Road and the intersection of Gruene Road in historic downtown Gruene. Under the ownership of Molak and Nalley, the dance hall has hosted a long list of country-western legends, including Willie Nelson, George Strait, Jerry JelTWalker and Lyle Lovett. When Molak opened Gruene I Jail, he said lie saw an opportunity to spotlight progressive country music and put Central Texas on the country music map. But he never dreamed that his interest in country and independent Texas music would make Gruene I lait one of the area’s foremost live music destinations. Even with success, Molak and Nalley continued to expand, developing the sur rounding “ghost town" until the hall became the centerpiece of one of the top local tourist destinations. Gruene Hall is popular because it has an authentic charm with corn meal on the floor, ceiling fans, screenless propped-open windows and a variety of dancers moving around the dance floor. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Gruene I fall will be full of music this weekend. Tonight, Junior Brown will take the stage at 8 p.m. Brown is well known for creating the See MUSIC Page 3 HOUSE OF LEGENDS Some of the musicians who visited Gruene Hall over the last three decades were: ■ Junior Brown ■ Bo Diddley ■ Dixie Chicks ■ Merle Haggard ■ Hal Ketchum ■ Kris Kristoffersen ■ Jerry Lee Lewis ■ Little Richard ■ Lyle Lovett ■ Marshall Tucker Band ■ Michael Martin Murphy ■ Willie Nelson ■ George Strait ■ Hank Williams III Family Praise Center taking hold in NB By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Leon Suggett and his wife, Rinnae, waited 21 years to move to New Braunfels. They discovered the beauty of the Texas Hill Country while living in Houston in the late 1970s and always knew they wanted to settle here one day. "It’s a good, family-oriented, wholesome place," Rinnae said. After traveling around the country for the last 14 years as lull-time evangelists, the Sug-getts finally got their wish. Shortly alter arriving in town this spring, they held services for New Braunfels’ newest church—Rainily Praise Center. “We are part of a conservative, holiness, worldwide movement of New Testament latter-day saints,” Suggett said. Sunday, the Pentecostal preacher will give his third sermon to his young congregation. Mother s Day provides a fitting backdrop for his family emphasis. “My greatest goal is to see families dedicate their lives to the Lord,” he said. “Our primary focus is family unity.” During their travels, the Sug- getts conducted yearly seminars on marriage, titled “Marriage on the Rock.” Now that they are settled, they plan to continue their outreach closer to home. “We preach preventative measures against the daily relationship erosion,” Suggett said. The couple ministers with authority — they will be married for 34 years in August. They also like to incorporate material from financial guru Dave Ramsey. “After all, good finances lead See CHURCH Page 2 DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung Pastor Leon Suggett stands in front of Family Praise Center. ujiuuijuiiiiimuTHE UPTOWN PIANO BAR IS MACE FOR LY PARTIES OR ANNIVERSARIES Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn 295 E. San Antonio 830-6207600 The winners are...? After months of campaigning, voters in New Braunfels, Comal County and Bulverde will have their say Saturday. By Scott Mahon Staff Writer If early votes are any indication, Saturday’s municipal election seems to be bringing more voters to the polls than the last time the city elected a mayor. In May 2002, 3,202 total votes were cast, including 1,641 votes from early voters. This year, City Secretary Michael Resendez reported that 2,247 early votes were cast during early voting. In the May 2003 city election, when only city council seats were up for grabs, about 1,700 votes were cast. But in the November 2004 presidential election, almost 10,000 voters showed up at the polls. Based on this year’s early voting results, the big draw in the election seems to he the mayoral race between incumbent Adam Cork and challenger Bruce Boyer. The largest turnout came from two districts without a council race. District 3 had OUR VIEW For a recap of the Herald-Zeitung's endorsements for the city election, see pages 4 and 9 See VOTERS Page 5 30 YEARS OF MUSIC MANDY REARY Herald-Zeitung The Rick Cavender Band performs for guests at Gruene Hall during a benefit Wednesday evening. For 30 years, Gruene Hall has hosted bands and musicians, many known worldwide. Family Praise Center — U.P.C. Canyon High School FAMILY PRAISE CENTER B Pastor: Leon Suggett B Denomination: United Pentecostal Church International B Meeting time: - U.RC. 2:30 p.m. B Church of the Nazarene fellowship hall, 1465 I-35 B Phone: (830) 237-7416 ;