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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 9, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas VIV New FELS 20332 HO09 10/22/99 SO • UIE- ST h I CRO PU BL I SH J NG 2627 E YANDELL DR 6 9 PASO TX 7 9 903 -Herald-Zeitung I   I ■ , i ii I ■■■■Ml 11 ...rn,, Vol. 148, No. 122 SO pages in 4 sections May 9, 1999    A    VServing    Comal    County    since    1852 $1.00 Inside ► Six is enough This local mother is enjoying motherhood to the utmost — she has six children, three of which are 16 months old. Find out how she does it in Lifestyle. / 1C ► To a tee rn o. X ilk. The Canyon High School girls golf team is gearing up for state competition — for the first time — on Monday. Meet these young ladies and how they-are^etting ready. See Sports./5B ► Spurs win San Antonio and Minnesota hit the court at 2 p.m. today for the first game in the NBA Western Conference first round playoffs. Catch the action on KMOL (cable channel A) J See Sports. Weather A beautiful, sunny day today will give way to mostly cloudy skies and a slight chance of rain Monday on Tuesday. On Wednesday, expect mostly cloudy skies with patchy morning drizzle possible. Lows will be in the lower 70s with highs in the low to mid 80s. Index Abby................................... Business............................ ........10A Classified........................... .....5-14C Crossword....................... .........2C Forum............................. .........6A Local/Metro........................ ..........4A Movies................................ ..........2C Obituaries........................ .........3A Sports.............................. ......1-5B Today.................................. ..........2A Television............................ Montage toy cod* 77 Rangers on to region final From staff reports SAN ANTONIO — The Smithson Valley High School softball team is back to where it left off in 1998. With strong hitting and the potent right arm of senior pitcher Rachel Atzenhoffer, the Rangers beat Gregory Portland 4-0 on Saturday to advance to the Region IV-4A finals. Smithson Valley advanced to the regional finals in 1998, but lost to For complete details — See Page 1B Waco Midway. The Rangers will either Medina Valley or Corpus Christi Calallen. Details of the game had not been set at press time, though the likely will be played on Friday. “I don’t know if we’re back where we belong, but we’re back to where we were,” Rangers coach Wayne Daigle said. “We’re back to where we’ve wanted to be since since Aug. 13, with a pitcher who Is been on a mission since Aug. 13. We’re one game away from Austin.” Atzenhoffer had seven strikeouts in the game, but it was die offense of senior Cami Cunningham and junior Michelle “Country” Harwell that sparked the Rangers. * * * I * 8 17 v ROBIN CORNETT/Herald-Zettung Smithson Valley Rangers softball pitcher Rachael Atzenhoffer, far right, high fives teammates Saturday during the Region IV-4A semifinal game in San Antonio. Two die in fire More than dozen displaced after apartment blaze Kl o . *    ^    ROBMCORNETT/Hwatt-ZMung New Braunfels firemen hose down the upper part of the Laurel Heights apartments early Friday afternoon. Below, residents whose apartments were consumed by the flames watch. By Chris Crews Staff Writer An electrical short is being blamed for a New Braunfels apartment Fire that killed two people and displaced more than 12 Friday afternoon. The bodies of Renee Kathleen Crocker, 25, and her 2-year-old son, Timothy James Staples, were pulled from the ashes of No. 3 IO at Laurel Heights Apartments at Laurel Lane and Landa Street. The bodies were found after more than 40 firefighters fought for more than three hours to extinguish the lethal blaze that began about 12:30 p.m. New Braunfels Police Chief Jack Collier said a preliminary investigation indicated the cause of the fire was an electrical short in Crocker s apartment. Though Collier said the fire did not appear suspicious, the bodies were taken to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office for autopsies. “Anytime you have a death, it is handled as a homicide until it’s proven otherwise,” Collier said. Crocker’s other son, 6-year-old Brent, who lived in the apartment, was at school at the time of the fire. He is staying with relatives. Renee Crocker’s mother, Beth Crocker of New Braunfels, said she had no comment on the tragedy. Apartment manager Bonnie Divine said the family moved in about a month ago. Divine and other residents said the family was quiet and kept to themselves. Funeral arrangements were made at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home in New Braunfels.!See obituary on Page 3A.) The New Braunfels Red Cross and Laurel Heights Apartments management worked together to find accommodations for the families who lost their homes. Divine said IO of the 12 apartments in the building were occupied at the time of the fire and more than a dozen people had been displaced. See FIRE/9A Council debates room tax Senate bill changes have some city officials rethinking their support By Peri Stone Staff Writer Some of the New Braunfels City Council members who previously supported proposed legislation that would bring a share of die state room tax revenue back to New Braunfels for river cleanup aren’t too sure now" The proposed legislation, which is on its way to the House for consideration after Senate approval Wednesday, has been changed from using 2 percent of state hotel/motel tax funds to clean rivers to using an undesignated percentage of local room tax revenues. “It’s completely different,” council member Larry Alexander said. He originally thought it was a great idea but now says he would like to see it defeated in the House. “We need more time to debate it,” he said. “Itll not an emergency thing.” Alexander and the rest of council will get a chance to voice their thoughts on the bill at Monday’s 7:30 p.m. city council meeting, 424 S. Casten Ave. Council will discuss what kind of support — - if    any    — it wants to give. That decision will be forwarded to various senators and representatives. In February, council approved a resolution in support of the bill that called for using 2 percent of the state hotel/motel tax revenue to fund river cleanup in New Braunfels. Council member Juliet Watson started the initiative, explaining that the state already gave Galveston 2 percent of its room tax revenue for beach cleanup. See COUNCIU5A Editorial: Why Monday’s vote is so critical to New Braunfels — Page 6A Last call to order: Mayor Jan Kennady will present gavel to mayor-elect Stoney Williams — Below Fora: Council responds to golf course advisory board’s vote to remove Doug Williams as president — Page 6B Councilman’s approach: Randy Vanstory explains his views on golf fees issue — Page 6A A taxing debate: Council wiM conduct a hearing on a proposed 5 percent tax rate increase Monday — Page 66 From the dais to in front of the television ROBIN CORNETT/HerakJ-Zeitung Mayor Jan Kennady takes care of some last-minute detailson Friday. Kennady will get new perspective on council meetings By Peri Stone Staff Writer Soon after the new New Braunfels City Council is sworn in Monday night, Mayor Jan Kennady will leave the building, taking with her six years of experi- A woman of honor Girl Scouts name Kennady one of state’s distinguished women — Page 4A ences as tragic as the flood in October and as fun as reading stories to second graders. “It was mostly a high point job,” Kennady said of her three years as council member and three years as mayor. Others remember it similarly. “I feel honored to have served under her,” said council member Cathy Talcott, who also will retire Monday. “She’s just so genuine and real.” Talcott noted Kennady’s composure in extraordinary circumstances and her impressive know ledge of parliamentary procedures. Councilmember Jan Kotylo called Kennady a “close friend and a mentor” See KENNADYAA ;