New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 29, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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SPORTS GETTING READY
Soccer teams at New Braunfels, Canyon and Smithson Valley prepare for openers. Page 5
FORUM LEARN MORE
Guest columnist Mary Williams says theTye Preston Library is a gem in Comal County. Page 4
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 318 12 pages, 1 section
DEAR ABBY 9 CLASSIFIEDS IO COMICS 8 CROSSWORD 8 FORUM 4
OBITUARIES 3 SPORTS 5 TV GRIDS 9Floodplain repairs could impact hundreds
By Leigh Jones
Thomas Call hopes that his residence in the Guadalupe River floodplain will be short-lived.
Call’s home on Walnut Heights Boulevard was one of hundreds of New Braunfels residences added to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Maps in October.
He is expecting his property
value to take a nose dive thanks to the new floodplain designation, but not for long.
On Wednesday, the New Braunfels City Council will consider modifications to the South Tributary watershed that could put Call’s home on higher ground once again and help alleviate some of die city’s most infamous drainage problems.
City Engineer Mike Short will
give council members a study of the watershed, created by consultant Halff Associates, and seven options for improvements that will decrease flooding in the area.
Short said Monday he would like to focus council’s attention on the two proposed alternatives that would remove the most properties from the 100-year floodplain.
The first alternative, listed as Option 4 in Halff’s study, calls for $3.5 million in channel mod-ifications to the tributary between EM 725 and Pahmeyer Road. The changes would widen the bottom of the channel from 30 feet to 200 feet and would remove 183 properties from the floodplain.
The second alternative, listed as Option 7, combines the chan
nel modifications with a 35-acre storm water detention basin upstream of County Line Road. The additional structure would double the project cost to $7 million but would remove 311 properties from the floodplain.
Call said he would support either option because both would remove his home from
See FLOODS, Page 6
AT A GLANCE
■ What: South Tributary improvements workshop
6:30 p.m. Wednesday
■ Where: City council chambers, 424 S.
City’s top finance officer introduced to council
By Leigh Jones
The New Braunfels City Council welcomed a new member to die city’s staff during Monday’s city council meeting.
Interim City Manager Marcus Jahns introduced Deborah Korinchock as the new chief financial officer.
Korinchock, who will begin her duties after Christmas, replaces former CEO Jeff Hinson, who left die position at the end of September.
“I’m excited to be here,’’ Korinchock told council. “I’m really looking forward to working with all of you.”
Korinchock currently works for Bexar County and has previously worked for the city of San Antonio.
Jahns, who has worked with Korinchock before, said he selected her for the position
See CITY, Page 2
Annual Wassailfest rings in the Christmas season with fun, music and drinks to keep warm.
Grass fire scorches close to 50 acres
From staff reports
LAKE MCQUEENEY—About 50 acres of grass and brush were blackened Monday afternoon near Altwein Lane by a fire diought to have been caused by an electric fence. No injuries were reported.
New Braunfels Fire Marshal Darren Brinkkoeter said Lake McQueeney volunteer firefighters were dispatched to the 1200 block of Altwein at about I p.m. for a reported grass fire.
Firefighters from Lake Dunlap, Marion, New Berlin, Seguin and New Braunfels were called in under mutual aid to help control the blaze.
“They had a very fast-moving grass fire started by a cattie fence,” Brinkkoeter said. “With today’s relative humidity so low and winds gusting to 20 miles per hour, it led to a very progressive fire.”
Brinkkoeter was flown over tile scene by an AirLife helicopter. The fire endangered several buildings, mostly bams or other outbuildings that were protected by firefighters, he said. In addition, the house on the property and two nearby homes were threatened.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control in about an hour and a half after they used earthmoving equipment to cut a fire-line around it, Brinkkoeter said.
THE MIRACLE OF SIGHT
Student has clearer future after cornea transplant
By Jessica Sanders
Heriberto Flores is a celebrity. Complete with shades and a classroom full of bodyguards, it’s easy to believe that he’s a fourth-grader born to privilege.
But the soft-spoken Heriberto probably would trade it all for a chance to jump on a trampoline.
“I feel happy to be back at school,” he said tlirough a translator.
Heriberto, a native of Mexico, is recovering from cornea transplant surgery. He was diagnosed with karatoconus, a condition that causes the cornea to become cone-shaped. He returned to Memorial Elementary on Nov. 14 but must wear dark glasses and cannot play outside.
Exa Curtis, vision teacher for the New Braunfels Independent School District, said Heriberto must be very careful not to bump his head, which could lead to complications. He also takes antirejection drops every few hours.
Curtis said Heriberto was referred to her when he was in second grade, shortly after his family moved to New Braunfels.
“He works very hard and has gotten a lot of support,” she said. “He uses large print, a monocular and closed circuit television. But he is still very low-vision that’s gotten progressively worse.”
Heriberto’s mother, Rocio Flores, said through a translator that her son had eye problems when he was a very young child.
“When he was a 4-year-old, his eyes became very red,” she said. “He would rub them and complain that they were itchy.”
3 boats damaged in Canyon Lake fire
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
With his eyes protected with special glasses, Heriberto Flores reads a book while attending class at Memorial Elementary.The fourth-grader recently had a cornea transplant. Below, school nurse Melissa Leos puts drops in Flores' eyes.
Communities in Schools representative Marcie Martinez helped the Flores family find an optometrist through the Lions Club. Henry Hull, a therapeutic optometrist, started treating Heriberto in second grade, shortly after the Flores family moved to New Braunfels.
Curtis and I lull worked together to find a therapy that would work for Heriberto. They tried hard contact lenses and a combination of hard and soft lenses, in addition to glasses.
“About a year ago, I got him a consultation with a corneal surgeon,” I lull said. “We decided that
See SIGHT, Page 6
is the hull of a houseboat,” Wherry said. “From there, it looks like it impinged on that sailboat and was just spreading to the office when we arrived.”
As IO Canyon Lake firefighters prepared to fight the blaze, the Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched under the county’s mutual aid agreement.
“We had Spring Branch en route with a tanker and manpower, but we canceled them because we were able to contain and control it prior to their arrival,” Wherry said.
An office trailer was damaged by fire and the firefighting effort, as was a car adjacent to one of the boats.
Water and foam spray out the window of a boat as firefighters attack a fire Monday.
By Ron Maloney
CANYON LAKE — Fire heavily damaged three boats Monday afternoon at a storage facility on Cranes Mill Road. No one was injured in the blaze.
Firefighters dispatched to the facility adjacent to the Canyon Bait House in the 15900 block of Cranes Mill arrived to find a barge engulfed in a fire that had spread to an adjacent sailboat and motor boat.
Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Chief Shawn Wherry said he was unsure what started the blaze.
"It appears it started in that barge, which