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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 24, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas New .Braunfels -iV.) - L. r I- Y r Nill iO , I AHerald-Zeitung Vol. 149 No. 4    18    pgs.    in    2    sections    November    24,    1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents City committee closer to figuring drainage fees By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer The New Braunfels’ Drainage Advisory Committee agreed Tuesday it was closer than ever to figuring an amount for a monthly public drainage fee. But the committee decided not to meet again until after the holiday season and tentatively scheduled its next meeting for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18. The seven-member committee has been meeting at least once a month since June with a charge from New Braunfels City Council to come up with a drainage ordinance that provides the city with a mechanism to fund drainage projects. At Tuesday’s meeting, city engineer C.A. Bolner explained what kind of projects the fees could fund and how much money the projects would cost. The committee has asked for these figures for the past two months, saying they needed to know how much money the city wanted to raise through the fees in order to “back into” an actual fee amount. “Then you can say the fee is say $5, and here’s why it’s $5,” committee member Rick Myrick said. “To me, that’s the backup we need for a fee justification.” The cost estimates Bolner provided don’t list specific projects but rather give totals for four broad categories: drainage maintenance, drainage upgrade, storm water quality management and flood control. Bolner said he came up with cost estimates by looking back five years at similar projects and then figuring in inflation and growth. Because the numbers for these categories are so preliminary, he asked that the specific numbers not be published yet. “We’re refining these numbers,” he said. According to the estimations, the fees would need to raise more than $300,OOO a year total to fund projects in the four categories. This could be divided between New Braunfels Utility customers in the city or all property owners in the city, depending on which See FEES/3A Blaze leaves family homeless for holidays By Erin Magruder Staff Writer SPRING BRANCH — A 34-year-old woman and her 19-month old daughter lost everything they owned in a fire early Monday morning that destroyed their small residence in Spring Branch. Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set. Lora Kriewald and her daughter, Ashley, will begin the holiday season without a home or even basic necessities. The blaze started about 3:19 a.m. at the 20-by-27 residence at 86A Jana Lane, Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford said. Kriewald said she heard the front door to the residence slam, and when she opened the bedroom door to the living room, she saw the couch was on fire, Manford said. Kriewald grabbed her daughter and fled the residence but was unable to salvage any of her belongings. The family's dog perished in the blaze. "We lost everything, including sentimental items," Kriewald said. Kriewald's neighbors called 911, and 11 firefighters from the Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department and firefighters from the Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department responded to the blaze. When firefighters arrived, the entire residence was engulfed in flames, and the lawn was on fire, said Terry Trammell, Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief. Firefighters were able to control and extinguish the blaze fairly quickly, but the damage already had been done, he said. Investigators are looking for two individuals that have been identified as possible suspects in the blaze, Manford said. Kriewald and her daughter have no insurance to replace the possessions they lost in the fire. Although die Red Cross is providing immediate aid to the family, community members can help by donating cash or any basic necessities such as blankets, pillows, bath towels, kitchenware, clothes, shoes and detergent. Donations can be dropped oft' at the Herald-Zeitung during regular business hours. Drive safely, buckle up on trip to Grandma’s house By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Fifty-four people died on Texas roadways during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday in 1998, Texas Department of Public Safety reports. With that in mind, DPS troopers plan to be ready to protect the public. DPS trooper Randy Wells of New Braunfels said, “DPS will be out in force throughout the holidays, and tolerance levels will decrease to ensure the safety of the public.” "You might arrive there early, hut you might also save your life" Lt. John Wommack New Braunfels Police Residents who plan on hitting the open road this holiday weekend can follow a few simple tips to make their journeys as safe and sane as possible, local law enforcement officials said. Although holiday traffic cannot always be avoided, residents can save themselves some frustration by leaving at least 30 minutes early for their destination, New Braunfels Police Lt. John Wommack said. “You might arrive there early, but you might also save your life,” Wommack said. Serious accidents during the holiday season often ale caused by drivers who are in a hurry and ill-pre pared for congestion on the highways, he said. I ravelers also should be aware of construction on some of the major roadways and always abide by the posted speed limit, said Lt. Ed Whitson of the Comal County Sheriff’s Office. Drivers planning on taking Interstate 35 should watch for highway crews working between Solms Road and Loop 337 exits where the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour. Also, access road lane closures in the New Braunfels area might cause traffic to slow unexpectedly. Drinking and driving is also another big “no-no” for holiday travel. During the 1998 Thanksgiving holiday, at least 21 percent of the fatalities on Texas roadways were alcohol-related, DPS reports said. Travelers also should make sure the entire family is buckled into safety belts — another 48 percent of Texans who lost their lives last year during the Thanksgiving holiday were not buckled up, DPS reports said. Inside Abby.......................... .....5A Classifieds...................... .6-1 OB Comics......................... ......2B Crossword.................... ......5A Forum........................... ......6A Local/Metro.................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries..................... ......3A Sports......................... ..7-8A Today........................... ......2A Television...................... ....2B Key Code 76 Thanksgiving Services • First Protestant Church, 172 W. Coll, 7:30 p.m. today • Holy Family Church, 245 S. Hidalgo, 8 p.m. Thursday • Saints Peter and Paul Church, 386 N. Casten, 6 p.m. today and 8 a.m. Thursday • St. John’s Episcopal Church/St. Paul Lutheran Church at St. John’s, 312 Guenther St., 7 p.m. today • Peace Lutheran Church, 1147 S. Walnut Ave., 7 p.m. today • Friedens United Church of Christ, Geronimo, 7:30 p.m. today NBHS student leaders deliver food, smiles for Thanksgiving By JAKOB Wesolick Herald-Zeitung Correspondent On the fourth Thursday of November, families across America celebrate Thanksgiving, a time of feasts, blessings and unity. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims and Indians. Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony declared it a day of feasting and expression of gratitude for the harvest. However, Thanksgiving was not established as a hol iday until 1863, when it was set by Abraham Lincoln as the fourth Thursday in November. Today Americans observe Thanksgiving as a time for turkey, pumpkin pie and the football game on TY but others believe it has a deeper significance. “Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for God’s love that He expressed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and for the gifts of family and friends" Oakwood Baptist Pastor Ray Still said. St. Paul Lutheran minister Brian Peterson said, “It’s simply about being thankful not for the blessings of life, but for all of life as a way of living.” “Thanksgiving is thanksgiving,” the Rev. Darrel C. Higgins of First Protestant said. “We live out many blessings when we practice an attitude of gratitude for the blessings of this land.” Msgr. Eugene (^'Callaghan said, “If we eliminate the food prospect, See CLERGY/3A Sharing the harvest WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Above: New Braunfels High School senior and student council president Michael Kendel leads his fellow council members to deliver 13 food baskets to local families on Tuesday. Below: New Braunfels High School junior Joseph Andrade and senior Audrey Gonzales deliver a holiday food basket to a local family on Tuesday. By Heather Todd Staff Writer Several New Braunfels families Thursday will give thanks to the charitable spirit shown by some local youth this holiday season. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, local resident Terri May, a mother of two, was greeted on her front porch by two New Braunfels High School students bearing gifts. May, who lives at 455 East Torrey Street, received a basket of food, including a turkey, bread, canned Where you can eat on Thanksgiving — Page 4A goods and packages of mashed potatoes and stuffing. May said she received a Thanksgiving basket this past year as well, but the food baskets were always a welcome gift. Equipped with everything she needed to give her family a holiday feast, May said she probably would not have been able to buy all of the items. See DELIVER/3A Local clergy give thanks for Lord’s bounty ;