New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 24, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Little League Championship to be played tonight — Pat
The Lands Park gazebo
16 Pages in one section ■ Wednesday, May 24,1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of MYRTLE BARTELS
Vol 143,TIO. 138
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitiing!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Myrtle Bartels, Bob Rider, and James Gooden.
Sophienburg to host rummage sale
A rummage sale will be held Saturday, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sophienburg Archives, 200. North Seguin Street. This sale will benefit the Sophienburg Museum and Archives.
Canyon Lake Chamber hosts
The Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon will be held at noon, Wednesday, May 24 at Rio Blanco Cafe Segundo in Hancock. Guest speaker will be Don Avery of Let's Organize a City at the Lake, speaking on the Canyon Lake incorporation effort. Everyone is invited. Call for reservations at 964-2223.
The monthly mixer will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at Country Village Center for chamber members.
Save your cans for the Humane Society
The Humane Society of New Braunfels asks all residents to save their aluminum cans for the Paws to Recycle national aluminum can recycling program for animal shelters. The local chapter wants you to start saving your cans now, so it has a better chance of winning* The grand prize is $3,000 for the shelter that raises the most cans. The collection drive runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.
Sign up now for summer fun at NBCA
Enroll now for summer fun at New Braunfels Christian Academy. Recreational care for three to 10 year olds. Call 629-6222 and ask for a Summer Fun calendar.
Now AIDS services offered here
The Alamo Area Resource Center, Inc., a San Antonio based HIV/AIDS service agency, will provide an unprecedented outreach of services to the HIV/AIDS positive citizens of Public Health Region 8, which includes Comal County, as well as Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Atascosa, Frio, Medina, Bandera, Kerr, Kendall, Gillespie and Wilson counties. « Among the services being offered are case management on-site, transportation assistance, housing assistance, food vouchers, medical and dental referrals, food stamp and SSI application assistance as well as mental health and substance abuse counseling. Contact Ms. Lupe Montalvo, case manager, or Randy Hinkle, case management administrator at 1-800-308-2437.
Cancer Society needs drivers
The American Cancer Society needs volunteer drivers to transport those within our community who have cancer and need transportation to treatment facilities Insurance coverage provided. Mileage is reimbursable. Call 629-5717.
Lightning causes Seguin oil tanks to explode
Twenty-five families were evacuated from rural homes downwind from a tank battery in Seguin where oil ignited after the tanks were apparently struck by lightning during a thunderstorm early this morning.
Seguin Fire Chief Terry Mayfield said units were dispatched at about 5:30 a.m. to the tank battery where five tanks were engulfed in flames.
Twenty-five homes evacuated during fire
The tank battery is located 9.4 miles east of the Highway 123 Bypass on the north side of U.S. Highway 90A in Seguin.
By 9 a.m., four fiberglass tanks had melted down, and the other one, a metal tank, was still standing with flames
flickering from the top of the structure. t
"We're just letting it finish bum off," Mayfield said, shortly after notifying Guadalupe County sheriffs deputies to reopen Highway 90-A. The highway was closed for several hours
between Fami Road 1150 and Farm Road 2438. Mayfield said Highway 90-A had been closed because when they first amved thick smoke from the burning tanks was being blown across the highway by winds from out of the north. The winds soon shifted and were
coming from out of the southeast after sunrise.
"The air was real wet and heavy," and the thick, black smoke from the burning oil was staying close to the ground, he said. Concerned about the possibility that the fire was producing hydrogen sulfide gas, he requested the evacuation of homes downwind from the fire.
Wages rise as employers struggle to fill summer job openings
By ROGER CROTEAU
It wasn’t too long ago that high school students looking for summer work, or new graduates looking for their first full-time jobs, faced tough competition just to land a minimum wage job.
How times change.
Today in New Braunfels it is the businesses competing to attract employees, and wages have gone up because they can’t find workers at minimum wage.
At Schlitterbahn, more than 200 summer jobs remain unfilled even though the popular water park has raised salaries for starting workers above minimum wage for the first time. The company also offers a bonus plan of $1 for every hour worked during the peak season of July 25 to Sept. 18. General Manager Terri Adams encouraged anyone interested in working at the “most fun place in town to work” to go to the personnel office at 305 W. Austin.
Target is holding a job fair that continues today until 6 p.m. at the Civic Center to fill about 170 positions for the new store being completed on Walnut Avenue. As of I p.m. Tuesday, the second day of the fair, more than 600 people had filled out applications. But managers said it is a challenge to attract and keep good employees.
“It’s tough in this town. Unemployment is low. A lot of people are competing for employees,” said Dion Davis Target Team Relations Leader.
Adolfo Perez, 20, said he was applying for a job stocking shelves at the new Target. He said he was told the starting salary is $4.75 an hour, and it goes to $5 an hour after 30 days. He said he hopes to work at Target from 6 a m. to IO a m. so he can get to his other job at Schlitterbahn.
“I’ll be working 12 hours a day, but I’m kind of getting older and I want to save money for college,” he said.
Steven Elizario, IS, said he is making $7 an hour working at a telemar-
'It is really tough to find service workers in New Braunfels and San Antonio.
Unemployment for service workers is almost nonexistent.’
— Jeff Stevens, Retama Park
keting firm, but also wants to work a second job so he can get his own apartment and save money for college.
He said he has not worked for minimum wage since he had a job at IHOP for a short time two years ago. He said it is easy to get service jobs in New Braunfels. “I’ve already had four or five jobs. Besides IHOP, I worked at the Gristmill, Burger King and Luby’s.
I got hired on the spot at all those places,” he said.
With teen-agers confident that they can easily find another job, turnover is a big problem for local service employers, managers said.
Rolando Perez, 17, said he went to the job fair because he saw the sign outside. He has a roofing job now, but it’s getting too hot outside, he said. He has also worked at Schilitterbahn, Adobe Cafe and Cancun Cafe.
The turnover problem seems especially severe at fast food restaurants, which routinely pay about $5 an hour to attract enough employees to fill their shifts. Even then many are constantly hiring people.
“We are constantly shorthanded so we are having to work twice as hard,” said Assistant Manager JoAnne Franke at Burger King. As a result the employees quickly bum out and quit, making the situation even worse. “I have been here for four years. In the past we usually could stay pretty well staffed. This year it is harder. Four
years ago we paid minimum wage too. Now you can’t do that.”
Craig Morris, 23, recently quit his job at McDonalds to go to work as a sales team leader at Target. “People used to stay at McDonalds longer. I think it was harder then to find another job. Now they are quitting left and right. When I left a couple of weeks ago, they were leaving as fast as they were getting hired,” he said.
The New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department fills about 50 seasonal jobs every summer. This year about 15 remain open. “It’s a lot more difficult to fill those spots. It is definitely a competitive market for employers,” said Park Ranger Superintendent Iris Haecker-Neffendorf. “In order to compete in the market we have to pay a little better than we did.” Most parks summer jobs pay between $4.53 and $6 an hour now. She said people who want to apply for positions as lifeguards, park rangers or with summer recreation programs, should fill out an application at City Hall, and bring two forms of identification with them.
Another big employer is the Retama Park Race Track in Selma, which recently filled close to 3,500 jobs, many of them with high school students or new graduates, said Jeff Stevens, Retama’s director of human resources.
“It is really tough to find service workers in New Braunfels and San Antonio. Unemployment for service workers is almost non-existent," said Stevens, who used to work for the Texas Employment Commission. He said Retama pays $6 an hour and up, while the caterer and janitorial service pay $4.50 and up. “The caterer and cleaning company have had a little trouble keeping fully staffed,” he said.
He said the trend toward higher salaries for service workers started about two years ago, and he expects salaries to keep rising until the end of the decade, when they will reach a plateau.
A day in the park
\1erald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Mr. and Mrs. Abbot s fifth-grade class jumps for water balloons. which the teachers were launching at them with a large bungy cord during Seale Elementary School's annual Day in the Park yesterday at Landa Park.
Three strikes, he’s out
Purse snatcher gets 60 years
By DENISE DZIUK
A San Antonio man was sentenced to 60 years rn a state prison Tuesday for a purse snatching in New Braunfels.
Norman Watson, of San Antonio, along with three other people were accused of stealing a purse from a woman in the Handy Andy Store on February 24, 1994.
Dib Waldnp, Assistance District Attorney, said the cnme would have been a misdemeanor. However, he said the fact that three or more people were involved made it organized crime, which is a felony.
Waldrip said Watson had already
served time for two previous felonies and under the law is considered a “habitual criminal.” He said that automatically makes the minimum sentence 25 years.
“It’s kind of like California’s three strikes and you're out. Only in Texas, you automatically get a minimum of 25 years,” he said.
Waldrip said the man was the “straight man,” which means he distracted the victim while someone else took the purse. The men were caught because San Antonio officers from the Repeat Offenders Project had followed the group to New Braunfels. The case was heard in Judge Ramsey’s court and the judge sentenced him to 60 years.
Conference on Aging sends vote tallies to Congress
HaraldZaitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Torch run comes through town
Member a of th* Laredo and Corpus Christi police departments are participating in the Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run, benefitting Texas Special Olympics. The run made Its way through New Braunfels yesterday, and they passed the torch at the Pit Stop on Interstate 35 at Ruekle Road. The torch passing kicked off the final leg of the run. The officers are on their way to Austin for the Texas Special Olympics Summer Games.
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
The nation’s elders have spoken their piece to Congress with a massive voice. Hortense Hernandez of New Braunfels and some 1,097 voting delegates from across the nation went to Washington, D.C. from May 2 to May 5 to be a part of the White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA).
The totals are back on the 50 resolutions Hernandez and the other delegates chose. Those resolutions will be submitted to Congress, which will use them to help shape policy on aging in America for the next IO years.
“I only hope that Congress moves on these resolunons,” Hernandez said.
The delegates overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing arbitrary cuts in Medicare in the name of budget balancing. They also affirmed a resolution opposing block granting the Medicaid program as well as resolutions preserving the Social Securi
ty and Older Americans Act.
Universal health care coverage and more development of home and community based long-term care services got the nod from the delegates. They also increased funding for medical research priority.
The top ten vote-getting WHCoA resolutions were:
■ keeping Social Security sound
■ preserving the integrity of the Older Americans Act
■ preserving the nature of Medicaid
■ reauthorization of the Older Americans Act
■ more funding for Alzheimer research
■ ensuring availability of a broad spectrum of services
■ financing and providing longterm care and services
■ acknowledging the contnbution of older Americans
■ assuming personal responsibility for one’s healthFormer members of the Texas Playboys regroup. See Arts & Entertainment, Page 6