New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 25, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
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12 pages in on6 section ■ Thursday. May 25,1995'
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Home of I
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Vol. 143, No. 139
Birthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to; Hunter Matthew Moeller, April Gutierrez, David Herrera Sr., Rosa Diaz, and Malaria Castilleja.
Happy belated birthday wishes to Jacinto Villarreal, dr.
Judge Casteel to host monthly forums
Due to an increased interest in the New Braunfels area, Judge Casteel will again start hosting monthly forums. The first meeting will be at the Lone Star School, 144 N. Hidalgo Street, in the library from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6. Any interested citizen is invited to come and visit with the judge and discuss their interests and concerns.
Black Heritage Society gearing up for Juneteenth
The Black Heritage Society will be meeting Tuesday, June 6 at 5:45 p.m. to make final plans for its Juneteenth Celebration. For more information, call Nathan Millett at 625-4150.
The New Braunfels Sesquicentennial Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. (dinner) and 8 p.m. to midnight (dance) on Saturday, June 10 at the Civic Center.
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.
Smithson Valley Cemetery meeting
There will be a meeting at the Smithson Valley Cemetery on Saturday, May 27 at 9 a m. All interested people are urged to attend For more information, call 904-4526.
Applications being accepted for living space
The Housing Authority of the City of New Braunfels announced that the Laurel Plaza Apartments are taking applications. Those interested in the housing opportunities can apply from 8 a m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 300 Laurel Lane.
For more information, call the Housing Authority of New Braunfels at 625-6908.
Conversational Spanish offered at Texas Lutheran College
The Office of Continuing Education at Texas Lutheran College will offer a course entitled Intermediate Conversational Spanish beginning June 5 The course will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday through July 5 Registration deadline is today, so call 372-8043 to register.
Eighth-grader honored for saving life
By DENISE DZIUK
Courageous acts of heroism catch people’s attention. However, when that act is performed by a 13-year-old, it seems even more outstanding.
Jennifer Pummill, now 14, received a Live Savers Award from the New Braunfels Fire Department Tuesday for her “selfless act of heroism.”
In November, Pummill’s step-father, Donald Plahy, was working on a Bobcat, which is a type of construction equipment. Plahy said the hydraulic system was not working, so he propped the bucket on a wood block so he could work on it.
The block fell over, but Plahy believed he could get the block back under the bucket before it fell further.
“I don’t call it an accident. It was stupid, just plain stupid,” Plahy said.
Plahy said he got caught between the lift arm and the tire, and the arm kept pushing down on him further. His wife
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was not home at the time so he began calling for his daughter, he said, because she knew how to operate the Bobcat.
“She was the only one around that could even do anything. No one else knew how to work it,” he said.
Plahy said his son was outside and ran in to get his daughter. Plahy said he struggled until he became too tired and then he lost consciousness.
“All of the sudden, a calm came over me. I was going down a path. There was no pain or anything,” he said.
Pummill was in the house when her brother came in and got her. She said she saw what had happened and climbed into the Bobcat to lift the arm.
Plahy said lifting and lowering the arm is accomplished by the using same foot. He said pushing the pedal with the toes moves it one way and pushing with the heel moves it another, so it would have been easy for her to get upset and move it the wrong way.
“If she went the wrong way, it would have crushed me and split me in half,
but she did it by keeping her cool and keeping calm,” Plahy said.
Pummill said she stayed calm because she just kept thinking it was up to her to do something.
“I just kept thinking *Oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do’ and I was too worried about him,” she said.
Xavier Larralde, the firefighter who answered the call, said had it not been for her, things may have ended differently. He said neither he, nor his partner, Walter Smitn, knew how to operate that type of machine and would have had to call the station to get assistance.
“She did a great thing and showed heroism in a desperate situation,” said Larralde.
Plahy said he was taken to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with broken ribs.
“If it weren’t for her, I would be dead. There’s no doubt about it,” said Plahy.
Pummill was presented the award in front of her eighth-grade class at New Braunfels Middle School.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Jennifer PummiH’s quick actions saved the life of her step-father Donald Plahy.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Black smoke belches from an oil fire Wednesday morning in Seguin after lightning struck a tank battery 9.4 miles east of the Highway 123 bypass. Twenty-five families were evacuated from rural homes downwind from the blaze after officials raised concerns about the possibility the fire would produce dangerous hydrogen sulfide gas. The fire eventually burned itself out.
Water bill to face final approval today
By DENISE DZIUK
Legislation passed by the Texas House of Representatives, creating the Edwards Aquifer Authority as an elected board, was passed by the Senate earlier this week with provisions and should go to back to the House today for final approval.
The onginal bill passed by the House would have created the Edwards Aquifer Authority as ah elected board to replace the current Edwards Underground Water District. Doug Miller, water negotiator for Comal County, New Braunfels Utilities, and the City of New Braunfels, said the new board would have more of a managing and regulating responsibility.
Miller said several provisions were made to the bill in the Senate. He said the first provision established two nonvoting members appointed by the South Texas Water Advisory Committee, which would represent downstream
interests and western counties.
Miller said another provision established a temporary appointed board to serve until an election is held. He said the proposed date for the election is November 1996.
A final provision would allow the Edwards Underground Water Distnct to remain in existence for two more years.
“We’re not very pleased with this one because now they can be in conflict,” Miller said.
Miller said that should the bill be passed, its effects will be felt through regulation of withdrawals from San Antonio.
“It could mean additional water for the springs during periods of low recharge,” said Miller.
The bill was scheduled to be brought before the House of Representatives Wednesday. However, Miller said a delay in the Senate backlogged the House. He said the bill is cxpected-to go before the House today for final approval.
Program’s goal to keep teen parents in school
By DENISE DZIUK
Being a student is practically a fulltime job. But, how do you balance being in school with the full-time job of being a parent? Many students at New Braunfels High School are doing just that.
Each year, there is an increasing number of teen pregnancies. Currently, Texas and California share the highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States.
Each year, NBHS averages about one reported pregnancy a week. In response to this, the school has received grants and begun a teen parenting program called Very Important Parents (VIP).
Sue Hayworth, counselor and coordinator, said the school received a Parenting, Education, and Pregnancy grant as well as a Carl Perkins Grant. She said they allow the school to offer assistance in transportation, medical services, career training, and affording child care.
“Our whole goal is to provide the support and encouragement they need to finish school, get a GED, or be a better parent,” said Hayworth.
Hayworth also added that the longterm goal of the program is to break the cycle so the children of these parents will not be in the program when they get older.
Currently, there are 45 students enrolled in the class. These students are either already parents, or soon will be. Since the program began in 1993-1994, 126 students have received service from the program.
Herald-Zeitung photo by michael uahnai
Working on a scrapbook in a parenting class Wednesday are (from left) Shannon Galvan, Carlos De La Cerda, Erica Salerno, Raymond Reyes
and Michelle Reyes.
Heyworth said another important aspect of the program is the aim to improve overall attendance.
“Poor attendance due to their own illness, illness of the child, and lack of child care is the biggest obstacle they have in finishing school. We try to prevent some of these absences,” she said.
“The best thing about this class is that they support you. No one’s better than you ami you’re not compared to anyone else, and you’re not judged,” .said 16-year-old mother, Enca Salerno.
However, being a mother and a student can be a difficult task to perform. Donna Hendrix, a career and computer instructor, said many of the students in the program also hold part-time jobs to help support themselves and their chil
dren. This is an additional role these parents and mothers must juggle. Jennifer Henry, 15, said she has become “supermom.” Henry has a I-year-old child, a job, and is a cheerleader.
“It’s going to be hard no matter how old you are. Being in school makes it harder. I’ve just become supermom and learned to manage my time,” she said.
All the mothers agreed that dropping out of school was never an option, and all planned on continuing their education beyond high school.
Michelle Reyes, 15, said having a baby meant a change in her social life. Reyes said she no longer goes to all the parties and often has to stay home because she cannot find a sitter.
“We have to be home earlier because the baby’s cranky, or tired, or sick. You
just learn to sacrifice,” she said.
These teen mothers attnbuted these sacrifices to the mothering instinct that took over after they gave birth. They said you can never really be ready and learn the most when you are actually in the situation.
“When she was first bom, I would wake up every hour and check her to see if she’s okay. I wasn’t taught that. I was just a concerned mother,” Reyes said.
The young mothers said the news of the pregnancy came as a shock to them and several of them said they refused to accept it.
“I was in denial until I was showing. Then I had to face it,” said Shannon Galvan, 15.
The news was also a shock to their parents and the teens said they were less than thrilled when they found out about the pregnancy.
“My father wouldn’t talk to me for a couple of days. I think he didn’t know what to say,” Henry said.
Others said their mothers cned. However, they all said that after a short pen-od of time, the parents became excited and were now "regular, proud grandparents.”
The teen mothers said the fathers were present but were not too heavily involved. Salerno said this is because “they think it’s the girl’s responsibility.” There are currently six fathers in the program, said Hayworth.
None of the young mothers regretted having their children, however, all of them said they would have waited if they had the choice.
“Now I know why my mom said ‘Don’t do it,’” said Reyes.
“I don’t regret my child, but I would tell people if they have the chance, wait,” said Salerno.
New Braunfels’ program is not unusual. According to VIP, there are approximately 210 programs across the Texas and several have been in existence for nine years.
This year, 18 parents in the program will receive a diploma or a GED. Hayworth said “this is what our program is all about.”
High school graduation
■ Smithson Valley High School will hold its graduation tonight, May 25 in Ranger Stadium. Graduates need to line up in front of the school by 7:30 pm Parking will all be at the high school — no shuttles this year.
■ Canyon High School will hold its graduation Friday, May 26 at 8 p.m. at Cougar Stadium. Graduates need to line up at the Cougar Den no later than 7 p.m. Friday evening.
■ New Braunfels High School will hold its graduation Friday, May 26 at 8 p.m. in Unicom Stadium. Graduates need to line up by 7 p.m. at the visitors' bleachers.Call 625-9144 for information about subscriptions to the Herald-Zeitung