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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, May 30, 2001

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 30, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas BEST AVAILABLE COPYNew Braunfels WEDNESDAY May 30, 2001 14 pages in 2 sections mmmmmmmm    MMM    14    pages    in    Z    SeCtKHerald-Zeitung - ■ . '.........It....... ll ......................... ... Vol. 150, No. 171 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Clerk’s new digs Streater’s office opens in different location today CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Comal County Clerk Joy Streater stands in the document filing area Tuesday of the new County Clerk’s Office on the first floor of the courthouse annex. Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County Clerk Joy Streater often has wandered around county office buildings with a bright yellow tape measure and a sharp pencil during the past several months. Sometimes, shes stared at ceilings, counting the tiles. Others times shes drawn floor plans and huddled with help, figuring out just how her employees would like to rearrange their workplaces. Tuesday afternoon, Streater was wearing blue jeans and a baggy, old shirt. All around her, people polished, cleaned, shined, moved tables or equipment and ran wires and replaced many of the ceiling tiles Streater counted. She would pitch in everywhere — scrubbing, pulling a furniture dolly out from under a counter or trying to find a place for someone to hook up a computer for a quick download. Today, all the work comes together. The offices of the Comal County Clerk open in the former tax office on the first, floor of the courthouse annex — the first time the clerk’s office has moved since the old Comal County Courthouse was constructed in the 1890s. “If my math is right, we’ve moved out of 3,800 square-feet into 5,400,” Streater said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m glad the county had the foresight to do this. We were elbow to elbow over in the courthouse,” Streater said. By comparison to her former offices, the new ones are not just roomy. They are open, airy and modern. The old clerk’s offices on the first floor of the courthouse were tucked into catacomb-like rooms between Toby Castellaw searches for property titles on a computer in the new County Clerk’s Office on Tuesday. The new office officially opens today. CHRIS PACE/ Herald-Zeitung the columns and arches that hold up the upper stories of the old cut stone courthouse. The new ones are a combination of the modern — a bright, airy, modular open space — combined with the old in racks and shelves of document books that go back to the 1880s. That’s the shelves — not just the books. One set of shelves that made the move has a date of 1884 engraved on it. Another dates to 1890. Wherever possible on the project, See OFFICE/3A Inside Meet the class of 2001 in a special graduation section./Today in the Herald-Zeitung Split council vote names new attorney By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer The New Braunfels City Council voted along familiar fines in choosing a city attorney at Tuesday’s regular meeting. In a split vote, the council chose Charles Zech from among 15 candidates and seven finalists for city attorney. Mayor Stoney Williams, Mayor Pro Tem Lee Rodriguez, Councilwoman Sonia Munoz and Councilman Larry Alexander voted in favor of hiring Zech. Council members Juliet Wat- WATSON son, Debbie Flume and Robert Kendrick opposed hiring him. “Mr. Zech seems extremely competent,” Watson said during discussion of a motion to hire Zech. “He seems successful at what he does. My concern is that he has no city experience. I would feel more comfortable looking at more applicants before we make this final decision.” Watson said she felt the city attorney should have the answers to municipal questions at his fingertips. “What if a committee had a question about going into executive session?’ she asked. “Our attorney needs to know the answer to that on the top of his head. We should look at more applicants, at other applicants. I want to note that our past city attorney See ATTORNEY/3A Council approves new seating plan By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer The New Braunfels City Council will look slightly different next time it meets. The members will be the same — but their seating order will have changed. Over the objections of two members of council, the group voted Tuesday night to sit according to district. From the mayor’s left (as viewed from the audience), the new seating arrangement will be: District One, Sonia Munoz; District Two, Larry Alexander; District Three, Debbie Flume; Mayor Stoney Williams; District Four, Robert Kendrick; District Five, Lee Rodriguez; and District Six, Juliet Watson Watson and Flume objected to switching seats, but for different reasons. “I feel this is personally directed at me,” Watson told Williams. “And I’m disappointed and disheartened that so much of the people’s See SEATINGS Head-on collision claims life of Wimberley man CHRIS PACE/Herald-ZeitungA Wimberley man died Tuesday afternoon in this two-vehicle wreck, which occurred on Texas 46 in the construction zone. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A 46-year-old Wimberley resident died Tuesday afternoon in a head-on collision between a semi-rig and a fight pickup on Texas 46. Rosendo Villanueva was dead at the scene of the 4 p.m. accident, just south of Krause Lane within the New Braunfels city limits in Guadalupe County. Police Lt. John Wommack said Villanueva was northbound on Texas 46 in the con struction zone when truck driver Claudio Guzman, 42, of Houston slammed into his compact pickup. The accident was under investigation, Wommack said. Guzman, traveling southbound, slammed on his brakes to avoid a rear-end collision with a vehicle he and other witnesses said stopped to make a left turn into a driveway in the two-lane construction zone. “The lady in front of us, she just stopped," said a shaken Guzman, who refused treat ment at the scene for a back injury. Witnesses said another southbound pickup between Guzman and the woman missed her by going left into the northbound lanes and around her. Guzman locked up the wheels of his vehicle, lost control and skidded into Villanueva’s path. “The truck couldn’t stop,” a witness said. Guzman estimated he was traveling 35 to 40 miles an hour. He did not know how fast the pickup was going, he said. TxDOT considers U.S. 281 speed From Staff Reports Commissioners for the Texas Department of Transportation on Thursday will consider reducing the speed limit on a portion of U.S. 281 in western Comal County. TxDOT engineers have conducted studies on the stretch of U.S. 281 between Farm to Market Road 311 to a quarter mile north of the Blaneo-Comal County fine and recommend reducing the speed limit from 65 mph to 60 mph, TxDOT officials said. The TxDOT commission will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Dewitt C. Greer Building, 125 East lith St. in Austin, to discuss the issue. Commissioners will hear public comment during the meeting. The engineering study came shortly after the February death of Smithson Valley High School student Amy Burch. See SPEED/5A Inside Abby.......................... 5A Classifieds.................... ...4-6B Comics........................ 2B Crossword................. 5A Forum........................... 6A Local/Metro.................. 4A Movies........................... 5A Obituaries..................... 3A Sports......................... ...7-8A Today........................... 2A Key Code 76 Superintendent finalist ready to work By Martin Malacara Staff Writer Comal Independent School District s finalist for the job of superintendent is ready to get his family settled in the area. But the family of James Grunert will have to wait at least until June 14 to find out whether he has the job. CISD trustees chose Grunert this past week as the finalist for the superin- t e n d e n t post vacated by Jerry Major. Major left in February to become superintendent in the Waco Inde-pendent School District. Grunert said, ‘The reputation of Comal School District is outstanding.” GRUNERT He said he looked forward to solving the district in its long-range planning and construction issues. “The challenge in any district is its financial outlook,” he said. In 1999, CISD patrons approved a $141 million bond issue to improve current facilities, construct three new elementary schools and a new high school near Canyon See FINALISTS in —- J > ;