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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 9, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Braunfels A San oK)anid and Rota I ■ Job: U.S. Navy Security f ■ Assigned to U S Coastal, Security Forces, Ash Shu Valentine suggests hotel tax increase By Dylan Jim6nez Staff Writer New Braunfels City Councilman Ken Valentine wants visitors to help fund the civic center expansion. He will suggest Monday increasing the hotel occupancy tax to 9 percent to keep more city eco-nomic development dollars. The civic center expansion could cost as much as $15 million. The city plans to use hotel tax, sales tax (4B economic development fund) and general fund dollars to pay for it. The hike could bring in an additional $400,000 per year and fund payments on a $5 million bond, according to City Manager Chuck Pinto. That would reduce the burden off the economic development and general funds. “To me, it s a teal obvious thing,” Valentine said. "Everybody should get behind it. “4B gets to keep more money for jobs, See TAX, Page 5A IT* Ken Valentine CITY COUNCIL N Council will also consider hiring a project manager for 1 percent the cost of the completed civic center and spending $20,340 on boundary, utility and topography surveys Ifsa Wurst wrap Catch coverage of the grand finale of Wurstfest. THE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 9, 2003 Hi - Zettung SPORTS PLAYOFFS Find out where the New Braunfels, Canyon and Smithson Valley football teams play their first playoff games. Page IB SPECIAL SECTION 50 YEARS McKenna Memorial Hospital celebrates 50 years. Find out where it's been, where it is and where it s going. Inside Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. h/ pf Mostly cloudy High Low I WEDDINGS 3C 58 52 !SP0RTS 10 Details 3B i ™GR,DS 7*®c DEAR ABBY 7C CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS    6C CROSSWORD SC FORUM    4A Half a world a war on terrorism* B Capt. Tony Harfcin, R.N. B 1978 graduate of Canyon High School. a Son of Phylis Preston; grandson AU Gladys Rutten B Job: U S. Army registered nurse B Assigned to the 21 st Combat Support Hosp. Batad, Iraq HM2 Brian 8. Knatach 1992 graduate of New Bn School Son of Michael and Glenna Job: U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman/Laboratory Technician, Assigned to CSSB-10 (Combat Service Support Battalion) as a combat medic supporting U S Manges B Spc. Nicholas Paterson B Son of Robert and Sue Peterson, I Rockwall; grandson of-Jerry and Mary Peterson, New Braunfels B Job Radio repairman a Assigned to 507th Maintenance Bn..' U.S. Army ■ a Mal. May WvaaP B Moved to New Braunfels with Colleen, and their children ti B Job U S Army Civil Affairs-Psychological Operations B Assigned to an undisclosed unit. Army Ctvil Affairs and Operations Command H Special Operations Group, in urnt* closed location, southeast By Ron Matonay Staff Writer This Veterans Day, our sons and daw husbands and friends and neighbors will I with us because they’re i the military, either on the lines or elsewhere keeping the; peace in the war on terror. Today, we share the stories of a. few of the local soldiers and sailors who have served or are serving their country. Four were assigned in the Iraq theater of operations, while one remains on duty in Afghanistan. Brian Knetsch knew he was going to Iraqthis past January when he was called into a conference room with 42 other corpsmen and told they would be leav- Kuw*\ remained in Kuwait because there weren't enough transports to move everyone north. But he wasn't out of harms’ way. “We had at least 20 SOUD attacks on the first day. IWO hit just a half-mile away from Ac camp,” Knetsch said. “ThwS when the reality hit that I was in a for setting un resuDDlvO&mfe. unknown” in two lout a week to get ■ country, we HI Baft always lee months we i&Jreezing,’’ far, tted [clinic during the is. day. At night, they studied combat and chemical warfare medicine. “We never knew when we were going to start the war. After we arrived there was no news or information for us, the mail was slow, and all we had were bad rumors.” The first day of the war, Knetsch Typical^ it would marine division it supported by about IO miles, but sometimes it would have to leapfrog the unit to be able to supply hie!, food, water and other supplies and tend to the wounded or injured. The first time they moved ahead of the division, they found themselves in a firefight. “As we pulled in, they were call ing for all corpsmen to | trucks and man the Knetsch said. “It was morning and it was pitch] soon as I got to my sj fight erupted. The fig 15 minutes.” ■ e leg had his red. I Was reach in with myftngers and hold it until my rilljfoiar got there to clamp it off,” Kitsch bskt tried everything I could to gey that thing tp stop bleeding, and all I could do was hold it. I’m not sure what happened with him after we got him out of there. I can’t even remember the guy’s name.” Knetsch saw a few more fights on the way to Baghdad. When See WAR. Page 5A Vol. 152, No. 309 32 pages, 4 sections $1.00 56825 00002 MILLER & MILLER Insurance Agency Check us out on the web at: www.miller-millerineurance.com625-3000186 S. Casten Ave. - Downtown New Braunfels Today is last call for Wurst kind of festivities WURSTFEST ■ TODAY: Gates open at 11 a.m.; close at 10 p in ■ Admission is $8 until 3 p m tickets tree atter that Children 12 and under get in tree CLICK ON TNI WNI JHA Official site www wurstfest com “It’s been exciting and it’s been fun,” Kunkel said Saturday while greeting guests die gate. “This is kind of Uke being Santa Claus. No one gets mad at the Grosse Opa,” he said. Kunkel never had any idea being Grosse Opa would be such a good time. His job, besides being the lederhosen-clad symbol of this city’s signature festival, is to try to make sure everyone has a good time. "The weather’s held up, we’ve had good crowds, and everyone’s had a good time,” Kunkel said. The best fun? “It’s got to be meeting everyone from the tour busses and greeting the people. They wonder why I’m dressed the way I am." The answer? “Because I’m the Grosse Opa,” Kunkel said. See WURST. Page 5A By Ron Maloney Staff Writer DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Wurstfest Grosse Opa Larry Kunkel, left, and President Ron Voges share a beer and a laugh as they take a break from Wurst activities Saturday. It’s been the best of times, and in New Braunfels, that means the Wurst of times. Those who wish to vie essen der sausage or dringk die bier have just one more day — today — to get out to Wurstfest. Wurstfest opens at 11 a.m. today and continues until IO p.m. Admission is $8. After 3 p.m. admission is free. After IO p.m., it all turns into a pumpkin for Larry Kunkel, this year's Grosse Opa — the guy responsible for making sure everyone else has a good time. Kunkei, who is the 43rd annual festival’s “Spass Meister" or fun master, says everyone he’s seen has had a good time — but probably no one has had the kind of time he has. i A ;