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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 28, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas N EW <flteUUNFELSHerald-Zeitujng Vol. 149, No. 7 44 pages in 5 sections November 28, 1999    Serving    Coma*    CountY    since    1852    $1.00 Fire engine damaged in railroad track accident By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer One of New Braunfels Fire and Rescue’s $270,000 fire engines is out of service for now after a rough and still mysterious trip across railroad tracks Friday. About 11 a.m., the truck rolled up a hill outside the Central Fire Station, 169 S. Hill Ave., and partially rolled over the railroad tracks near Huisache Grill, 303D W. San Antonio St. The fire engine ended up with its front end resting on the other side of the hill and its back tires resting on the railroad tracks. The fire engine blocked railroad traffic See ENGINE/9A Always on Call Dispatchers link those needing help with emergency services WAI U/Herald-Zeitung Above: Ten full-time telecommunication operators, including Jeannette Hugghins, above, work at the New Braunfels Law Enforcement Center. Below: Probationary telecommunication operator Stephen Weniger studies the code manual with the help from his colleague, Nora Nevarez, at the New Braunfels Law Enforcement Center. By Christina Minor Staff Writer Inside ► Festtage With Thanksgiving out of the way and the shopping season in full swing, don’t forget to make time for yourself and your family to celebrate Festtage. Make your holiday plans by checking the calendar inside today. /4C-5C Weather Temperatures are heading back near 80 this weekend, but look for things to cool off by Wednesday. For the complete forecast, see Page 2A. Index The IO New Braunfels police dispatchers must keep their heads when everyone else is losing theirs. The dispatchers’ job is to send officers or emergency personnel to calls ranging from multi-vehicle accidents to brush fires. For these dispatchers, this is no time to get emotional. “Dispatchers need to be tough,” support services assistant and dispatcher trainer Cathy Rodriguez said. “When the phones start ringing, it’s time to get down to business. Emotions are secondary.” Stress is a constant companion for these dispatchers. New Braunfels Police officer Fred Pfeil said it took a special kind of person to be a dispatcher. “Their job is hard,” he said. “They are having to keep track of five or six police vehicles at one time, plus they have computer information they have to know.” Dispatchers are unique. Although they are employed by the New Braunfels Police Department, they must be equally knowledgeable in dispatching emergency medical tech nicians and firefighters. Rodriguez puts the dispatchers through a rigorous 12-week training program, where they learn everything See DISPATCHERS/9A ► Perfect season comes to an end Smithson Valley’s football team ended its perfect season Friday with a 30-23 loss against Schertz Clemens in North East Stadium. The Buffaloes avenged the loss they suffered to the Rangers about a year ago./1B, 6A ► Vespers concert Melitta Frueh and the Advent Vespers will perform at 4 p.m. today at First Baptist Church, 733 Cross St. Find out how Frueh launched this beloved and long-standing tradition in New Braunfels./! C New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel and police officers check out damage to the fire engine that was stuck on railroad tracks Friday afternoon. CHRISTINA MINOR/Herald- Zeitung Shoppers flock to grab up hot items Pokemon, millennium goods selling quickly By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Despite turkey hangovers, thousands of New Braunfels residents battled crowds at local shopping centers and stores Friday to participate in one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Local retailers were offering so many bargains and incentives, j usf finding a parking space might have taken some residents until Christmas. Eager shoppers lined up in the wee hours of the morning at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 1209 Interstate 35, to catch the Blitz Sale, which offered special prices from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. “It was very, very busy,” said Wal-Mart assistant manager Katie Sibbemsen. “We are just trying to make sure we have everything in stock for our customers.” Items that all retailers will want to keep in stock this holiday season include popular children’s toys such as Millennium Barbie, Furby, Rock ‘N’ Roll Ernie, Walk N Wag Pluto and ultra terrain bicycles. And of course, no one can forget Pokemon. Any products featuring the little pocket monsters are in great demand this season, said Chris Justice, manager of Hastings in the New Braunfels Marketplace, 651 Business 35. One of the problems with keeping everything Pokemon in stock is that some of the products, such as tile Pokemon trading cards, are in limited supply, Justice said. On the literary end, a series of three Harry Potter adventure books have been bought up by adults and kids alike, he said. Retailers also are stocking up on Year 2000 memorabilia, such as official Y2K shirts, blankets and Class of 2000 stadium seat cushions. The Guinness Book of World Records also has released a special millennium edition. Among the hot items on everyone’s list for Christmas are electronics, such as digital cameras, electronic dartboards, DVD players and see-through, colored 35mm cameras. “My kids are asking mainly for electron- See SHOPPERS/9A Family takes body of 1-35 victim to Nebraska for burial By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Abby.............................................2C Business..................................5B Classified................................1-1    OD Crossword....................................2C Forum...........................................6A Local/Metro...................................4A Movies..........................................2C Obituaries.................................3A Sports....................................1-4B Today............................................2A Key code 77 A grief-stricken family prepares to say goodbye to a beloved son and brother as lawmen continue their search for two men suspected of killing the New Braunfels man Wednesday on Interstate 35,. John Adkins, 28, a health and physical education teacher at Center School in San Antonio, was shot to death about noon as he traveled southbound on 1-35 in what might have been a case of road rage. Adkins’ grandparents and his mother, Cheryl, 51, a school teacher in Korea, traveled to New Braunfels Thursday night after receiving word of the tragedy, said Mary Trip, a close friend and neighbor of Adkins. “Cheryl is doing pretty well, and then she doesn’t do too well,” Trip said. “It has been really tough for the family.” The slaying of Adkins is not the first tragedy the family has endured. Trip said. Adkins’ father was killed in an automobile accident in 1980. “John and his two brothers were just young kids when it happened,” she said. Adkins will be buried next to his father in his hometown of Blair, Neb., where his family returned Friday evening. Funeral services will take place sometime early this next week, Trip said. “John has relatives from all over that will be attending the funeral,” she said. “His family has received a lot of support. People have been so nice.” Trip said she was shocked when she heard Adkins was targeted for such a violent crime. “I can’t imagine anyone who would get angry and shoot John,” she said. “He was See VICTIM/9A ;