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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 1, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas ANew Braunfels o /q9 SO ^bv;’ Y9Ht)EU- d' 2fc2? fc” Tv 79903 POSO, £\Herald-Zeitung ' WBm    MMHMi—  —T— ^,w,,:,&.^ ;.Wr^4-£i- 'Y; V- £—i  —aa Vol. 148, No. 204 16 pages in 2 sections September I, 1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Popular accordionist and Wurstfest favorite Myron Floren performs in Branson, Mo., in June. Floren is planning to return to Wurstfest after missing last year’s event because of minor health problems. Photo submitted Floren coming back for Wurstfest From staff reports Fans of famed polka accordionist Myron Floren will be delighted to know he has returned to the stage and is headed for another appearance at Wurstfest. Floren, who gained notoriety as the accordion player on the “Lawrence Welk Show,” performed with the Welk Band and the Jimmy Sturr Orchestra June 4-6 at the Welk Theatre in Branson, Mo., to celebrate The Welk Resort’s fourth annual Polka Fest. Floren might be more well-known to area residents for performing popular melodies such as the “Beer Barrel Polka” at the annual event in Landa Park. Wurstfest Wurstfest ’99 will take place from Oct. 29 to Nov. 7. Accordionist Myron Floren will perform Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. Wurstfest is a 10-day festival in New Braunfels featuring sausage, polka, fun and fellowship in the German manner. Floren began performing at Wurstfest in 1968 and soon developed a huge fan base. He appeared annually until 1998, when he was forced to cancel his performance because of minor health problems. Wursfest Association president Maurice Fischer, his wife Charlene, organization vice president Hal Herbelin and executive director Suzanne Herbelin all traveled to Branson to see Floren’s Polka Fest performance. According to Fischer, Floren looked like he was feeling great. “His music was fantastic, and you could tell he genuinely enjoyed being back on stage,” Fischer said. Although Floren has only scheduled a limited number of engagements this year, he will perform at this year’s Wurstfest. He is scheduled to perform from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. Ozone violation could cost Comal residents plenty By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer The Greater San Antonio area exceeded federal air standards one too many times in August — a violation that could result in various penalties such as increased gas prices for residents in Comal and surrounding counties. “The public was not educated in advance,” said Joe Medina, chair of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Natural Resource Committee. “People here thought it didn't affect them.” But Comal County — as well as Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson counties — is included in the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the Environmental Protection Agency currently considers an “attainment area” measuring below federal ozone level requirements. EPA rates air standards in statistical areas on the basis of ozone measurements during a three-year period. The maximum allowable level of ozone is 85 parts per billion each year averaged during a three-year period, These readings are taken over an eight-hour period. Ozone is a reactive gas that forms when pollutants react in the presence of sunlight and heat. High, unhealthy levels of ozone often are tnggered by hot and dry weather and heavy traffic. The ozone rating in 1997 was 84 parts per billion but jumped to 90 parts per billion in 1998. Tile figure for 1999 would have to be 80 or below for the three-year average to stay below 85. But an air monitor recorded an average ozone level of more than 81 parts per billion over an eight-hour period four times this past month. Most recently, an air monitor in Ozone Action Day WHEN: Today WHAT CAN YOU DO: 1. Share a ride to work or school. 2. Try to avoid morning rush hour traffic. 3. Walk or ride a bicycle. 4. Take your lunch to work or school. 5. Combine errands into one trip. 6. Avoid drive-through lanes. 7. Postpone refueling until after 6 p.m. 8. Don't top off your gas tank when refueling. 9. Postpone using small gasoline engines like lawn mowers until after 6 p.m. 10. Keep your vehicle properly tuned to keep exhaust levels low. Northwest San Antonio recorded an ozone level of 85 parts per billion on Monday. Ozone levels also were recorded above 81 on Aug. 5, 16 and 21. The city of San Antonio might contest the Aug. 21 reading, which local officials argued could be attributed to Hurricane Bret. EPA w ill make a final ruling on the status of the San Antonio area in July 2000. See OZONE/3 A Inside Abby........................... .....5A Classifieds................... 4-8B Comics........................ .....2B Crossword.................... .....5A Forum........................... .....6A Local/Metro.................. .....4A Movies.......................... .....5A Obituaries..................... .....3A Sports............................ ..7-8A Today............................ .....2A Television...................... ...2B Key Code 76 Schools opt for pregame moment of silence prayer report card By Heather Todd Staff Writer Local football fans w ill notice something missing when they attend high school home football games this year — a student-led prayer. Administrators have decided to temporarily suspend the long-standing tradition of student-led prayers before home games until they receive word from the US. Supreme Court. In June, the US. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which lias jurisdiction over Texas, ruled that student-led public prayers at football games was unconstitutional. The ruling stems from a 1993 law suit against the Santa Fe Independent School District for allowing students to read overtly C hristian prayers at graduation. The US. Supreme Court could overturn the decision, but in the meantime, school districts could face the threat of lawsuits if they allow prayers to continue. Comal Independent School District superintendent Jerry Major said this past week he would ask for a moment of silence and a “thought for the game” instead of student-led prayers at Canyon and Smithson Valley games. “What we recommend is that a student body representative call the crowd to order, then ask them to observe a moment of silence and then give a thought for the day or w ish the players good luck,” Major said. New Braunfels High School principal Keith Garinger said student-led prayers would be suspended this year. The decision was made after discussions between Garinger, New Braunfels ISI) superintendent Ron Reaves and John Turman, assistant superintendent of pupil and administrative services.See MOMENT OF SILENCED Here are the local district policies regarding pregame prayer for 1999-2000: Comal ISD — Moment of silence, “thought for the game” encouraging sportsmanship and student safety New Braunfels ISD — Moment of silence, “thought for the day" encouraging sportsmanship and student safety Schertz-Cibolo-Universal ISD — No pregame prayer, possibly moment of silence Seguin ISD — Moment of silence, motivational message over public address system San Marcos ISD — No pregame prayer, will have a welcome by the home school .    ^.....  .    —L... . . Labor Avenue resident wants city to make neighbor clean up his act By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer A New Braunfels man who can’t sell his house says the city has not done its part to make a neighbor tidy his garbage-strewn yard. The neighbor’s trash has deterred four potential buyers, said Ken Eamheart, 335 Labor Ave. New Braunfels code compliance officer Cory Chilcutt said he was investigating the case but the process took time. And the neighbor say he has been too ill to clean up the yard. Earnheart said the problem with the trash at 818 Basel St. has been ongoing for a year, although he only contacted city off icials a month and a half ago. Overgrown weeds surround the home, owned by Paul Vogel. A large clearing in the weeds reveals a neglected open area that serves as a driveway and walking space between the home and a rusted shack. This is visible from Labor Avenue, one block southwest of Peace Avenue. Blue netted bags filled with aluminum cans spill out from the shack and lie scattered over the ground. Tiny black bugs craw I along rotting potatoes and decaying cantaloupe, left in a cardboard box near the street. Two pairs of tennis shoes are strung from tree branches. Empty boxes, containers of bottled water and other trash are See TRASH/5A Code Violation • After a complaint, code enforcement officer Cory Chilcutt investigates. • lf a code has been broken, Chilcutt sends a notice allowing the owner 15 days to take care of the situation. • lf the violation has not been addressed after 15 days, the city will send a certified letter allowing an additional 15 days for compliance. • lf the violator still has not addressed the situation, the city can take the person to municipal court. • A first-time offender faces a fine ranging from $100 to $2,000. A second-time offender faces a fine ranging from $200 to $2,000. Third and subsequent offenders face a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000. Trash complaints WAI Ll/Herald-Ze'tung Paul Vogel’s neighbor, Ken Earnheart, said he wanted Vogel to clean up this yard, and he even has complained to the city. Code enforcement officer Cory Chilcutt said the city’s investigation was ongoing. ;