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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 29, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas .The Sonier Group ERA - D. Lee Edwards Realty“Unmatched Attention For Your Real Estate Needs” www newbraunfelsproperties corn Susan Sonier or Jerry Sonier 830.832.8815    210.885.6188 Email: [email protected] SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29,2005 P p [X 79903 I ULUElectric rates to climb even higher KJ    Tracking    the    newsProgram links students to pals By Jessica Sanders Staff Writer Tiffany Spaulding never thought she would become the “lucky one.” Tiffany, a junior at Smithson Valley High School, was tutored by a high school mentor in eighth grade, and the experience was so wonderful she decided to be a mentor herself. “The little girl I mentor, her teacher tells the class she gets to see me because she’s lucky,” she said. “When they see me coming, the whole class tells her, ‘Your lucky one is here.’” The Peer Assistant Leadership program, available at schools nationwide, pairs high school mentors with younger students. Smithson Valley High School PAL teacher See PAL Page 2A NEXT: Bishop's father, Ray, will return to Maryland in about a week. Donations to help the Bishops and other Marine families can be made on the Web site,■ a aWater group working on plan LAST WE KNEW: The South CentralTexas Regional Water Planning Group met Oct. 13 at the Canyon Regional Water Authority. LATEST: The SCTRWPG will meet at 9 a.rn.Thursday in the board room of the San Antonio River Authority, 100 E. Guenther, San Antonio, to continue work on the 2005 rendition of its Region L Plan, which must be submitted to the state in January. PONT FORGET LEAP BACK Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, so turn your clocks back one hour tonight. Updates is a weekly feature to give readers the latest information on stories they have seen in the Herald-Zeitung. If you would like to see a story we've run updated, call us at (830) 625-9144, or drop an e-mail to [email protected] tung. com.Basketball league moving forward LAST WE KNEW: New Braunfels Junior Basketball League filled the position of president and was looking for more board members and volunteers. LATEST: All board positions have been filled. NEXT: Team sign-ups will continue until Dec. 3 at Vivroux Sporting Goods, 651 Business Interstate 35 S.The season will begin after Christmas. ■ ■■Family moving into Habitat home LAST WE KNEW: Comal County Habitat for Humanity conducted a “house blessing" for the home of Esther Munoz and Emma Alejos on Oct. 9. LATEST: Munoz and Alejos closed on the property Tuesday and are moving in. NEXT: Habitat has two more homes now under construction on Rosedale Avenue, continuing the reconstruction of a formerly notoriously substandard New Braunfels neighborhood. Volunteers will have a wall-raising at one site today. ■ BBSuspect remains in county jail LAST WE KNEW: Irving Wayne West, 48, shot by two sheriff's deputies at a Canyon Lake campground early Oct. 8, was booked into Comal County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault of a public servant with a deadly weapon. LATEST: West remains in jail. His bail is $100,000. NEXT: West awaits arraignment. SBBMarine recovering in Maryland LAST WE KNEW New Braunfels native Lance Cpl. John Bishop was shot in an ambush in Afghanistan earlier this month. LATEST: Bishop remains at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he continues to recover. His mother, Anita, is by his side. Veteran firefighter honored as city’s best paramedic SPORTS CLEAN SWEEP Smithson Valley, New Braunfels, Canyon roll to victory, clinch playoff berths. Page 8A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 292 18 pages, 2 sections K    500 i a 56825 oooor High 76 Details 58 ... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 2A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 8A TV GRIDS 3B By Leigh Jones Staff Writer New Braunfels Utilities and Peder-nales Electric Cooperative announced Friday they will be raising electric rates beginning in November. NBU communications manager Gretchen Reuwer said customers on average would see a $30 increase in their monthly bills. PEC officials said customers’ monthly bills would jump about $25. Both utilities attributed the rising electricity costs to the increase in nat ural gas prices in the wake of recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, which damaged production facilities, processing plants and transportation capabilities. NBU and PEC get their wholesale electricity from the Lower Colorado River Authority, which uses natural gas for fuel in four of its seven fossil fuel power plants. Other plants are powered by water, wind and coal. According to an LORA press release, See HIGHER Page 3A SURVIVING A BUMPY RIDE Deposed rodeo queen looks to the future By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The members of the New Braunfels Fire Department chose a veteran firefighter and paramedic as this city’s Paramedic of the Year. Paramedic Specialist lames Pierce, who works at Fire Station 3 on Hanz Drive near Gruene, was recognized by his fellow firefighters for his initiative and job performance. “I’m very honored for this recognition,” Pierce said, “and very honored tnat By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Jessica Bigbee has almost stopped dreaming about riding on floats and waving to crowds of parade-goers as the Comal County Rodeo Queen. One year ago, she was looking forward to a summer full of county fair parades in small Central Texas communities, but her reign did not begin or end like she hoped it would. This summer, Jessica was abruptly stripped off her crown amid controversy over wearing a long-sleeved black shirt in a parade. “It was very stressful and not at all what I thought it would be,” she said •' Wednesday as she exercised her horse, Angel, after getting home from school. Jessica entered the rodeo queen competition as something fun she and Angel could do together. “There’s not much you can do socially with your horse,” she said with a quick laugh. “It’s not like it was something I wanted to do my whole life or anything, but I think I’m cured from ever wanting to do anything like it again.” While the Comal County Fair Association and Jessica’s parents battled over rodeo queen court requirements, the 16-year-old at the center of the dispute learned to practice patience instead of her “royal" wave. “I heard lots of comments about it around school," she said. None of her classmates made overtly rude statements, but she knew they were talking about the situation. The fight, which eventually ended up in the hands of lawyers, prevented Jessica from riding in all but the first parade of the summer, but it was not until two weeks before the new court was crowned that she learned she was officially deposed. The letter from the fair association was a disappointing blow, especially there’s that many people who feel I ve done that well." Fire Chief John I ler-ber pre-James Pierce s e n t e d the award and a plaque to Pierce on behalf of the fire department in a recent ceremony at New Braunfels City Council See BEST Page 5A Photos by MANDY REARY'Herald-Zeitung She no longer dreams of being a rodeo queen, but Jessica Bigbee still loves spending time with her horse, Angel. Bigbee spends her time now practicing for barrel racing. as it prevented her from helping this year’s contestants or crowning her successor. “I was really looking forward to that,” she said. “I wish I could have changed things.” It was also hard for her parents, Ron and Elaine Bigbee, who said they have yet to get a satisfactory response from the association’s executive board as to how a fight over a long-sleeved shirt could get so out of hand. They even hired an attorney to handle their correspondence, in hopes the association might be more willing to respond. Roil Bigbee insists the family never intended to sue. After Jessica and her three court See QUEEN Page 5A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Smithson Valley PALS member Donald Birkener reads a book to Bill Brown Elementary third-grader Davon Collins. ;