New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 26, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Goal — 1335.000
Donations so far — $226,093
To contribute to the United
Way. call 620-7760Area karate champions aim for world titles. See Page 5.
12 pages in one section ■ Tuesday. November 26,1996
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 144 years ■ Home of Mason Whitaker Stevens
Vol 144, No. 271BurevKBay wisms irovn th# Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Mason Whitaker Stevens (2 years old), Jacqueline French, jtnn Christie, Bob Morris, Stella >Los Santos, Tantra Comelison, Jennifer Nurick, Robert John Car-rizales, Jackie R. Nolte and ranees Inez Rosales (21 years old).
Anniversary wishes are extended to: Ollie and Mildred Bartels and Barney and Irene Bartels (55 years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.Inside
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Mold — 4.986 Mountain Elm —10 Ragweed — trace Grass —trace
(Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter at air. Information provided by Or. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River —184 cubic feet per second, down 10 from Monday.
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 623.19 feet above sea level, down .02 from Monday.
Canyon Dam discharge —106 cfs Canyon Lake inflow —151 cfs Canyon Lake level — 908.72 feet above sea level. (Below conservation pool.)
NBU reports pumping 5.435 mlion gallons of surface water Friday, and noCtieef Fund donations by
The New Braunfels Herakj-Zeitung's Cheer Fund kicked off its 15th campaign to provide food for local needy families on Nov. 17.
The fund last year provided Christmas food and gifts to 200 families in New Braunfels and Comal County.
To donate to the Cheer Fund, call 625-9144 and ask for Carol Ann Avery.
Donations so far include:
■ David and Chariine Johnson — $100
■ Kenneth and Henrietta Frisbee — $25
■ Dr. Patric Hollis and Mrs. Helgard Suhr-Hoilis —$30
■ Lee and Martha Rahe — $20
■ Irene N. Miller —$50
■ Savation Arm/ Service Unit of New Braunfels — $200
■ Mark and Juana List — $50
■ Mary G. and Patricia Keyes —$25
■ Surplus from last year and interest from savings account at Texas Commerce Bank — $792.48
■ Today's total — $1,292.48Veterans for Christ collecting clothing
The Veterans for Christ Ministry is collecting donations of blankets, adult coats, jackets, sweaters and gloves (men's and women's) for its fourth annual Christmas Homeless Outreach.
Call 625-6375 for details.Cookbooks on sale to fund scholarships
Cookbooks to benefit the Joe Hales Memorial Scholarship Fund are now on sale for $6.50 apiece at Carl Schurz elementary School.
For more information, call Linda Bingham, the New Braunfels Independent School District HOSTS coordinator.
First Arctic blast leaves area cold but injury free
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By DAVID DEKUNDER
Local residents felt the first blast of winter early Sunday morning when a cold front brought rain, snow, sleet and freezing temperatures into the Hill Country.
On Monday night, the temperature dipped to the freezing point, 32 degrees, as people brought in their pets and plants in.
National Weather Service meteorologist Al Dreumont said there were two cold fronts that came through the area Sunday.
“One from the west came at midnight and that was called the Pacific front, and the one from the east was the Arctic front which came through New Braunfels Airport at 3:15 a.m. (Sunday),”
Th* temperature (Upped to the freezing point, 32 degrees, Monday night, as people brought in their peta and plants._
Dreumont said. ‘The front that had the thunderstorms was the Arctic front. It came racing through, and it blew all of the night.”
Before the Pacific front blew into the area, temperatures were in the upper 60s. After the front came through, temperatures dropped to the mid-50s.
Turn to Freeze, Page 2A
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Christina Diaz uses a towel as protection against the cold as she watches her grandchildren gat on the school bus this morning on San Antonio Street.
NBU to mull cutting rate for electricity
Easy street: Configuration seems to be solution to OakRun problems
By DENISE DZIUK
A new lane configuration aimed at easing traffic conditions in the OakRun School area is working as well as a light would have, officials say.
Parents tried for years to get the Texas Department of Transportation to help control the morning traffic backup at the school by installing a light.
Cars and buses turning left were having to wait a long time before there was a break in traffic headed into New Braunfels on Highway 46.
Even with a small break, the speed of cars traveling on Highway 46 made pulling out dangerous.
TxDOT looked at the intersection, but said it did not meet the criteria for a light. The agency also looked at installing a signal at the intersection of Highway 46 and FM 1863. But it said that was not a practical answer.
Instead, it changed the lane configuration at the school and subdivisions, completing the work several weeks ago.
Cars headed east on Highway 46 to New Braunfels now have to decide whether to be in the right- or left-hand lane. The right lane will continue into town, but the left lane is a turn lane onto Timber Hollow.
People who want to turn left onto Highway 46 will only have to wait for a break in the cars turning toward the school. Drivers are able to change lanes as they get closer to New Braunfels, and other lanes become turn lanes.
David Kopp, area engineer with TxDOT, said the
Hip parents and bus drivers tov* it. Ifs working groat.’
— OakRun Principal Mike Fitsko
configuration is working well.
He said he filmed the traffic at the school entrance prior to the lane changes and again after the work was completed. The latter film showed only three cars waiting to get on Highway 46, Kopp said.
“I haven't heard a thing (about problems still existing at the intersection), and as I drive through there every day it seems to be working fantastically,” Kopp said.
Principal Mike Fitsko said the new lanes are working as well as a light would. He said there isn’t even a need for an officer to direct traffic now.
“I can’t imagine where a light would even be that different,” Fitsko said. “The parents and bus drivers love it. It’s working great.”
At a meeting TxDOT officials conducted to explain the configuration to residents and parents in the area, concerns were voiced about confused drivers causing even more danger. That is not happening, both Kopp and Fitsko said.
“We have a lot of repeat drivers, and once you drive through it, you get the hang of it,” Fitsko said.
Fitsko added that he appreciated the parents who worked to find a solution for the traffic problem.
“We have several parents who worked hard to have something done," Fitsko said. “I need to thank all of them for their efforts.”
By ABE LEVY
Now that New Braunfels Utilities can purchase power at a lower price, NBU staff is recommending to its trustees that they approve a plan to decrease electric rates at their regular meeting tonight.
The proposed decrease is possible because the wholesale supplier of power to NBU, the Lower Colorado River Authority, offered NBU a list of optional lower pnces in September.
NBU officials said LUR A's offer is the result of upcoming deregulation in the electric service industry and could result in up to $1.8 million in savings to the utility in 1997.
While the Texas Legislature decided to deregulate wholesale distribution of power last year, many experts believe deregulation of retail power may occur in the next few years.
NBU staff said the proposed decrease per thousand kilowatt would be S1.80 to $2 per month. The average NBU customer who uses 1,200 to 1,300 kilowatts of power would save about $2.16 per month. The proposed decrease for larger commercial and industrial customers would be proportional, NBU officials said.
“We have selected a new price that we believe will result in a lower power bill for NBU,” said JefTThompson, assistant general manager of administration and finance for NBU. “We want to pass the savings on to our customers. (LURA) did this on their own. They really didn’t have to do this. We already have some of the lowest pow-
On the NBU agenda
The New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees is holding its regular meeting at 7 tonight at the NBU Board Room, 201 Main Plaza. Agenda items include:
■ Consideration of a resolution to amend the electric ser-
% it n re ll re i rn « llut areji^re
vie© ordinance to ©now tot proposed rate decreases;
■ An update by Mark Zion, executive director of Texas Public Power Association, on electric utility deregulation
■ An update on a request by the Edwards Aquifer Authority that NBU participate in a dry-year option program, a plan to pay farmers not to irrigate from the Edwards Aquifer as a way to maintain springflow and aquifer levels
■ Consideration to accept and execute the water rights deed that would document the exchange of water rights last month between NBU and the city of New Braunfels
er rates in the region.’’
The proposal would amend the current electric scr\ ice ordinance to allow for the new billing option.
The proposed decreases would require trustee approval tonight and then approval of three readings before City Council, lf that happens, the earliest the proposed rates would take effect, is Jan. 27 for the February billing cycle.
City reaches settlement in death of river tuber
By ABE LEVY
The New Braunfels City Council approved a settlement Monday with the parents of a drowning victim who sued Rockin R River Rides, the city and other government agencies for their daughter’s death in 1992 while tubing on the Guadalupe River The lawsuit — Dr. Keith Black and Susan Collinsworth vs. the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, et. al — was filed by the parents of Michelle Black in Travis County District Court in 1994.
City Attorney Jacqueline Cullom said the agreement was reached during negotiations all day Thursday and releases the city from the suit.
The agreement does not provide any ' money to the plaintiffs but does require the city to make policy changes to enhance the safety of tubers.
The city agreed to form a special commission to study laws relating to recreational activities on rivers.
The commission will he made up of experts on water safety and one member appointed by tile plaintiffs.
The city also agreed to:
■ Pass an ordinance that requires river outfitters to better educate their customers about the dangers of tubing. f or example, outfitters will be required to show customers a video presentation on river safety and prov ale life preservers tor customers when river How reaches certain peaks.
■ Post the daily river flows and a notice that includes a general recommendation to use life preservers
■ Pursue agreements with other government agencies in the county in an effort to ensure similar safety measures.
Mayor Jan Kennady met with the victim’s parents this past week and said the agreement will benefit all the parties.
“When visitors come to our lovely city to enjoy the river recreation, we Turn to Tubers, Page 2ATxDOT needs to make Highway 46 safer. See Opinion, Page 4A.
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