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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 15, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels THURSDAY May 15, 2003 14 pages in 2 sections rnmmm/m mmmmmm    mmpmmmmmmmm    1*4    pages    111    £    SCCHerald-Zeitung V ” «'« ■ | g I :z:zz.....zz.zzzz:! Vol. 152, No. 155 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents NBFDcould close a station By Dylan Jim£nezStaff Writer Fire and rescue officials meet Monday to decide whether or not to clone one of the city's four Fire stations. Dealing with staffing limits, especially after last month’s HERBER force reduction, will be a priority topic at the fire department’s staff meeting, Fire Chief Man drowns in Guadalupe.John Herber said. Berber is considering closing down or reducing manpower at one fire station. “The decision will be made Monday,” he said. Closing down a station would reduce response time in some areas, but the number of Firefighters on the scene and quality of service would be greater, the Fire chief said. “I’d rather have three adequately staffed stations for the delivery of services and safety of personnel,” Herber said. Last month, the fire department, lost three firefighters as part of a citywide reduction in spiff. Among the hardest hit were the already short-handi*! police and Fin) departments. Herber said he was surprised the two departments were hit so hard. Though Police Chief Russell Johnson asked council for ll more officers and two detectives, he lost four officers and an assistant police chief in the budget cuts. Understaffed in dispatch, records and secretarial help, responsibilities are spilling over and “flogging people down,” Johnson said. “I’m short everywhere. There’s not one area in this department that isn’t short of personnel,” the police chief said.In Berbers original budget, See STATION/8A Houston man wasn’t wearing lifejacket when kayak flipped DAVID INORAM/Motakl Zmtung (Top) SMART diver Kathy Misiaszek points to a location upstream for her husband and fellow diver, Dan, to search for the body of a 32-year-old Houston man who drowned at Huaco Falls Wednesday afternoon. (Above) A coworker of the victim looks on as members of the New Braunfels Fire Department search for the victim’s body. Tubers floating by seemed to take little notice of the recovery operation. (Right) The victim’s coworkers comfort each other as divers recover the man’s body. The men had rented life jackets but weren’t weanng them. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A 315-year-old Houston man drowned Wednesday after the two-man kayak he wan in overturned at Huaco Falls just before I p.m. It was the second drown-irig of t he season on the (Guadalupe River. “We believe the incident occurred at about 12:45 p.m.,” Comal County Sheriff’s spokesman Corporal Tim Kell ie said. Dispatchers received the call at 12:53 p. rn Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders pronounced the man dead just before 5 p.m. Officials withheld his name pending not ificat ion of next of kin. “We’ve contacted the Houston Police Department, and t hey’re doing what the y can," Kolbe said. Officials said the man was t he single father of an H-year old girl. Hr* and three friends who rented kayaks Wednesday all worked in the same Houston-area restaurant. When the kayaks they rented went over Huaco Falls a three foot drop the victim’s kayak overturned, spilling him and his partner into the water. “The victim was having difficulty swimming. Several people tried to ki*ep him up and get him to the rope (hanging from a tree branch near where the body was found), but he was flailing, and they just couldn’t do it,” Kolbe said. Bystanders called for help from the nearby < 'ump Huaco store, Kolbe said. Canyon J .ake FMS drove down River Road to get to the location. "We realized when we got on scene that we didn't have a rescue, we had a body recovery,” Kolbe said. “The San Marcos Area Recovery Team was called.” Sheriff’s deputies moved tubers down river and diverted tubers and rafters around the area to keep the silt from being stirred in the river. SMART divers Dan and Kathy Misiaszek arrived at 2:15 p.m. and began interviewing witnesses. Each bad a different story about See DROWNS/8A Some CISD voters crying foul over election results By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer A former Comal Independent School District trustee and a candidate for the District 5 position are claiming registration card errors could have negatively impacted the outcome of the May 3 election, • “Since the election, as many as 75 jieople have contacted me, the school district, or John Zimmerman to complain that they did not vote because they did not know they could,” said I**? I redale. I red a Ie ran against Rose Cervin and Zimmerman for the CISD District 5 trustee I>ost. Cervin won. ■■■■■■■■■■■ ZIMMERMAN “After the county sent out voter registration cards to all registered voters,” I r e d a I e said, “the school dis-t r i c t moved some single-member districts within the district.” The changes were approved by federal elections officials. The sci viol district then sent the changes to the county but did not send notices or new See ELECTION/8A Inside Abby ..................................5A Classifieds.......................  4-6B Comics................................7A Crossword..........................7    A Forum................................6A Movies .......................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports.....  ..................1-2B Today..................................2A TV Grid   3B Key Cods 76 Neighborhood program expands to city How to help By Ron Maloney Staff Writer S, f.    < A few years ago, Garden Ridge Mayor Jay Feibelman and bis brother noticed they hadn’t heard from their father in a couple of days. “I got a call one time from my brother, and he said, ‘Have you talked to dad?’ I hadn’t since Friday, and that was pretty unusual ” Feibelman called his dad, who lived in Florida. No answer. The local authorities were called and asked to force their way into the man’s home. “Sure enough, he’d had a stroke and had been sitting there all weekend,” Feibelman said. The mayor went to his ■ Volunteers or participants interested in Operation COYN (Check on Your Neighbor) can call the Comal County Senior Citizens Center at 629-4547. chief of police, Walt Myers, and said Is* thought it might be ii good idea if Garden Ridge developed a system of checking on residents who ar** shut in or live alone. "I was just the idea guy,” Feibelman said. “Walt took the idea and ran with it.” That idea developed into the Chock on Your Neighbor program and was later implemented in Comal County. Now, under the (’omul County Triad, a law enforcement community partnership between Myers, New Braunfels Chief of Police Russell Johnson and Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder, the program is coming to New Braunfels. It will operate wit h volunteers under the sponsorship of t he Comal County Senior Citizens Center. Nancy Fisher and Judith Wuensch will coordinate the volunteer effort that will keep in touch with seniors or others who live alone just to make sure everything is OK Those who participate can have information stored on a confidential database hI the See COYN/8A mw—■■miiiiiiiiiiHi ii iii iii ii i mini ;