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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 23, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels FRIDAY May 23, 2003 IR pages in 3 sections mmmmmm mmp    In    pages    ill    4    sectHERALD-ZeITIJNG Vol. 152, No. 165Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 I 50 centsCISD trustees OK turf projects, touting savings By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer The potential money waved by placing artificial turf at Canyon and Smithson Valley High School stadiums won over Comal Independent School District trustees, who approved Pay the county in paper or plastic By Dylan JimEnez Staff Writer Comal County Commissioners cleared the way Thursday for citizens to use their credit cards to pay for county services. Commissioners voted to buy credit card processing machines for departments that collect money. County Treasurer Susan Patterson hopes to have the service available by June I. While the contract is still pending, County Attorney Dih Waldrip said he was confident there would be no hang-ups. All county offices have expressed interest in the program. After th rn* months, the service will Im* reviewed for cost effectiveness and use. The idea has been in the works since February. It reportedly would save the* county money in costs associated with processing chicks, especially bounced checks. The fee for each transaction will Im* 2 percent to aiver fees associated with running cri*dit cards. 'Phi* fen* amid Im; adjusted in the future to match costs. “We don’t want to make a profit out of this, but at the same time, we don’t want to cost the county any money,” Patterson said. Patterson recommended the county not take American Express cards because of the increase*! fees t he county would have to charge the public. Patterson is also {(Hiking into the possibility of making credit-card transactions available over the Internet, before doing so, she wants to check out security and cost issues. “I iicihI to find tile very lH*st cost,” she said. Adam Castilleja, a New Braunfels High School student, hits the ramps Thursday afternoon at the grand opening of Ernst Eikel Skate Park. the projects Thursday despite recent funding controversies. At the school board’s regular meeting Thursday night, Canyon and Smithson Valley high booster clubs told trustees they had secured bank loans to pay for their half of the $1 million construction projects. Each club presented initial payment checks. (HSI) trustees initially agreed to install the turf during talks of major budget shortfalls and employee layoffs. ’ Bluster clubs were to pay half the costs with the district fluting the other half of the hill. The clubs had bti*n unable to get loans from hanks, so CISD Business Manager Abel Campos and Superintendent Jim Grunert OK’d low-interest loans from the district. Despite some lingering questions, board members supinated installing the turf. “It’s easy for those who are the naysayers to say we shouldn’t do this,” trustee Charles Burt said, See TURF/7A Kids give skate park mixed reviews K. JESSIE SLATEN/MwakJ /mtung By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Usually when a kid is skateboarding in the park, jumping oil tile concrete sinhs of the picnic pavilions and grinding their luards along the edges of picnic tables, they get stopped by police, One preteen boy said Thursday that running from peace officers is part of the thrill of skating. Kids ut the opening of the Ernst Eikel Skate Bark said they were used to skat ing the st reets of New Braunfels on steps, curbs and anything they amid jump on or off of. City and county officials constructed the park to corral the kids into one facility and to keep them off the streets and out of trouble and danger. But grown up rules don’t really work in the world of skating. The 82- by 82-fect concrete slab has a live piece set of equipment. There are t wo 8* or 7-feet ramps, a low platform ramjMil on three widen with a low rail across it, a picnic table with a ramp and a road barrier with a kicker ramp designed to shoot skaters onto the .’Meet harrier. On one far corner, there is a sign explaining the rules of the park. “Helmets, knee pads and elbow pails ara required," it states. It went unheeded in the t raffic of skaters and groups of kids who came just to watch. But the skaters were respectful of each other’s rights of way as they sped past or even hopjM*d over one another. There were about .‘Ml youths from ti to 27 speeding down the steep ramps and hopping over the clint acies. The park has been busy since it o|M*ned a week ago. The ceremony Thursday only interrupted the kids’play. While the adults were speaking on the importance of safety aud t hanking each other for making (lie park possible, the kids were itching to skate, A group huddled around a nearby pavilion, taking turns jumping a small hill. They were upset the crowd had gathered for the opening. ‘They won’t let UH skate,” See SKAT E/7 A Inside Abby ..................................SA Qa&bifxxls.........................4-8B Comics............................. 9A Crossword........................ 9A Forum  ..........................6A Local/State ...................... 4A Movies...............................5A Sports  ...................1-2.4B Today..................................2A TV Grid  ................3B Koy tuck) /S Storrs ooooi Let the tourist season begin Merchants gear up for influx of visitors By Sean Bowlin Staff Write! Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Mooild /oiluog Michael Long holds up the funnel as Adam Johnson gets a mouthful of beer from their “beer bong" Thursday morning. Waiting for his turn is Keith Wilson. Their group arrived from Dallas Thursday morning and has been coming to the Guadalupe River on Memorial Day for the past 20 years. Law enforcement steps up river patrol this weekend Bavarian Inn owner Hannelore Bruize wan frowning Th artal ay uh nhe wan talking on t he telephone. “I jiiMt called my tax office for a rebuttal,” she said. “We had a hard time last year." (Hood thing, she added with a laugh, that she was a “good German" and had saved money for a rainy day. It helped keep her business afloat (luring a tough year. But w h e n ask e d what s ll e ex|M*cted for this Memorial Day weekend, Brot ze grew animated and was all smiles, It s clear shes not expecting another rainy day. “We hope its going to In* a good weekend. hIic said. “Kveryludy wants a Saturday night, and we’ve got a two-night minimum. I hope not Ii lugs going to hap|M*n as far as weather," Brot/.e’s sentiments mirror the thoughts of every merchant iii town as t hey gear up for one of the busiest weekends of the year. All are ho|M'fiil that the ring of cash registers will continue Look tor tim Hemld-Zettungs annual visitor guilt* at local businabiMtH See ME RCHANTS/8A By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer Between 35 and 50 sheriff’s deputies will be on patrol this weekend, and they’ll enforce the rules on the river with zero tolerance, “We’re not concentrating on any one thing,” Comal County sheriff’s Et. Mark Reynolds said. “We’re just. hoping everyone IS safe and has a giHil time. We’re just here to keep the peace.’’ New Braunfels police might have a tougher time manning the rivers that flow through the city, but Et, John Villarreal said there would be a “substantial amount of people” on duty through Monday. But officers and deputies aren’t there to hassle people. “Ninety-nine |una*nt of the people who come down here are here to have a good time," Villarreal said. “And See PATROL/8 A In anticipation of Memonal Day tourists, Julie Gideon sets up a temporary shop across River Road from Janie’s Riverbank Outfitters on Thursday morning. The shop was destroyed by fire last week. ;