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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 4, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas _    TUESDAYNew Braunfels    september    4,2001 12 pages in 2 sections 12 pages in 2 secticHerald-ZeitungVol. 150, No, 254    Serving    New    Braunfels    and    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents U.S. withdraws from conferenceInside Abby...............................5A Classifieds.......................5-6B Comics..............................4B Crossword........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports...........................1-3B Key Code 76 By CHRIS TOMLINSON Associated Press Writer DURBAN, South Africa — The United States and Israel pulled out of the World Conference Against Racism on Monday, denouncing efforts to condemn Israel in the meeting’s proposed declaration. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had remained in Washington and was not part of the U.S. delegation, denounced the draft declaration’s “hateful language.” “Today I have instructed our representatives at the World Conference Against Racism to return home. I have taken this decision with regret because of the importance of the international fight against racism and the contribution that this conference could have made to it,” said the statement, which was released in Durban. “But following discussions today by our team in Durban and others who are working for a successful conference, and others, I am convinced that it will not be possible,” the statement added. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced in Israel that the Jewish state was also pulling out of the conference because of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments. “The Durban conference is See CONFERENCES Fire hydrants in need of repair Ten of the city’s fire hydrants are still in need of repair in order to be effective against a blaze. The New Braunfels Fire Department and New Braunfels Utilities targeted more than 20 city hydrants for repair this summer. LOCATION    STATUS Butcher at Willow 200 Woodland GrarxJview/Tredricksburg Moongiow/Vantage Point 300 N. Seguin 400 Wright 792 Broadway 300 W. Coll Jahn at Comal 1800 Hoffman Caps unremovable Hard to turn Valve won’t turn/ leaks Too low/ obstruction Hard to open or close Utility pole too close Cracked bonnet Wrong thread on steamer Needs replacing Out of service plug woes By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Dogs might be the only ones getting any use out of some local fire hydrants, but thanks to a program launched by the New Braunfels Fire Department, nearly every hydrant in the city will be checked by October. In a three-month period, New Braunfels Utilities and the fire crews found a total of 24 hydrants, out of about 2,000 in the city, in need of maintenance. According to NBU doc-uments from June to August of this year, fire crews discovered problems ranging from leaky hydrants to valves that refused to budge. Some hydrants wouldn’t shut off; others couldn’t be opened at all. Of those 24, IO hydrants need to be replaced or are still waiting for repairs from the three-month period. Eight are from June’s report. The problems range from replacing the hydrants or repairing old, cracked bonnets. Bonnets are the top, round part of a hydrant. Firefighters only have IO percent of the hydrants in the city remaining to check. “Some of the fire hydrants in the city don’t operate well — and some are completely out of service,” Deputy Fire Chief Sharing one last summer hurrah, Donna, Joshua and Zachary Fletcher (front, from left) and Dave Knieriem of Austin ride the rapids as they approach the Gruene River bridge Monday afternoon. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung Man riding bike on 1-35 dies after van strikes him From Staff Reports A man who was bicycling on Interstate 35 early Monday died when he was struck by a van. A New Braunfels Police Department official reported the accident occurred in the right hand lane of the 4100 block of 1-35 at 5:12 a.m. Monday. The bicyclist, whose identity was not known Monday afternoon, was struck from behind by a northbound one-ton utility van driven by a 61-year-old San Marcos resident. Pct. I Justice of the Peace Diana Campos pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Zoeller Funeral Home removed the body. It will be taken to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. Rain reins in river business By Ron Maloney and K. JESSIE SLATEN Staff Writers For a couple of hours it was every parent’s nightmare. Comal County sheriff’s deputies briefly initiated a neighborhood search for a 5-year-old boy Monday evening. Sheriff’s Sgt. Jimmy Dimmer said five deputies were dispatched to the Wald Road area shortly before 6 p.m. Monday to search for the boy, who returned home about 7:35 p.m. Relatives who live in the mobile home park in the 1600 block of Wald Road said the missing boy was Andrew Lane Brieden, 5. Deputies went door-to-door showing a photo of Brieden and combed area excavation sites and woods. New Braunfels police were also notified, and arrived with dogs to join in the search. Neighbors reported that the boy had been seen getting into a white van — and it was in that van that he reportedly returned home. His mother said the boy hadn’t told her he was going anywhere. Limmer said he called every deputy he could free up for the search — just in case the worst had happened. “It’s just a little boy who wasn’t where he’s supposed to be,” Limmer said. “If need be, we’d have taken this to the next level.” The “next level” would have included the Comal County React search team, detectives and additional officers. Sheriff’s Cpl. Greg Van De Loo was one of the deputies involved in the search. He went door to door, carrying the photo of Brieden, asking if anybody had seen the boy. While he was doing that, Brieden’s mother, Stacey Brieden, contacted a San Antonio television station and was in the process of e-mailing a photo and other information. Limmer said the ordeal stemmed from a miscommu-nieation. The father of one of Brieden’s friends was the driver of the van neighbors saw Brieden approach. “His understanding was that the little boy had persmission to go with them,” Limmer said. “But he didn’t. He was just as surprised as everyone else that this was a big ordeal. But all’s well that end’s well.” Fire Small mains, stuck valves among hydrant problems K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels firefighter Brett Patton opens the valve on a hydrant with a diffuser attached to check the flow of the water. Missing boy returns after search of area John Herber said. “And people think the ones in their yard work well, but they may not.” At any given time, about 20 to 25 fire hydrants are totally out of service. Still others need additional work, he said. “Homeowners know they don’t work; we know they don’t work,” he said. “So fire crews can use other hydrants in the area.” The most frequent problem — and the one most easily fixed — is that the hydrants are stuck shut from lack of use. Those hydrants are easily repaired. NBU crews open them with special equipment and fire crews grease the caps with an oil that won’t contaminate the water. Oiling the caps is the only maintenance program the fire department can per-form. NBU crews are responsible for replacing or repairing broken hydrants. NBU officials place a high priority on repairing hydrants, Communications Director Gretchen Reuwer said. “Sometimes, the fire Source: New Braunfels Utilities department lists something as out of service, when it just needs to be opened,” she said. “But we send someone, usually within a few days, to repair any problem they report to us. We also have people checking as well, so the hydrants are covered See HYDRANTS/3A Officials and patrons alike blame unstable weather for lackluster weekend activity By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Travis Fuchs and Aaron Bourland were “chilling out” in front of Camp Hueco Springs late Monday morning, waiting for a ride out for another rafting trip. Fuchs, 13, of Kyle, and his buddy, Bourland, also 13, said the Labor Day weekend was slow — and relatively wet. “The river was really good for rafting, but it seemed like half the time we were on the river, it was raining,” Bourland said. Fuchs didn’t care, he said, “When you’re rafting, you get wet, anyway.” Fuchs reported a slow weekend. “It wasn’t too busy. I don’t think it was as busy as everybody thought it would be,” he said. Still, Fuchs found it about perfect for his purposes because the campground wasn’t very raucous and the river wasn’t very crowded — and outfitters and public officials contacted Monday shared his assessment. Those who showed up for the three-day holiday weekend enjoyed a good time — and a relatively peaceful one — albeit one that was more than just a little bit damp. The National Weather Service reported continued afternoon and evening rainstorms are a possibility this week — but not on the same scale as this past week’s downpours. Don Ferguson, assistant to the city manager in New Braunfels, reported a slow weekend on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers in the city limits. “I think the rain really dampened the weekend in terms of the crowds,” Ferguson said. “I think the unstable weather kept some people away.” Ferguson said Sunday was traditionally the busy day on the Labor Day weekend. Sunday, an early afternoon storm pounded the area. ‘I think the heavy rain that rolled in early in the afternoon kept people off the river,” Ferguson said. ‘I think people didn’t want to brave the weather.” Still, Ferguson said, New Braunfels had a good summer in its first year of a stepped-up emphasis on See RIVER/3A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung After more than two hours of nervous waiting, Stacey Briedin grasps her son Lane after he walked around the comer of their street. Briedin could not let go of her 5-year-old son as his father, Andy, explained to the confused youngster why everyone was so upset. ;