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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 7, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels FRIDAY September 7, 2001 20 pages in 2 sections pages in 2 secthHerald-Zeitung ...... ..............ii............:......^............iii......................• - ........ • . Ty Vol. 150, No. 257 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Thursday, the speed limit on Smithson Valley Road was reduced to 30 miles an hour by the county comission-ers. K. JESSIE SLATEN/ Herald-Zeitung Lower speed limit aims to curb traffic issues By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to reduce from the speed limit on Smithson Valley Road at the high school from 40 miles an hour to 30 miles an hour. The action to lower the speed limit is part of a package of improvements that include an upgrade of the Smithson Valley Road/Texas 46 intersection. And it comes at the same time that the Texas Department of Transportation is conducting a study on whether a traffic signal should be placed on Texas 46 and Smithson Valley Road/Farm-to-Market Road 3159. Pct. 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin, whose district includes the school area, said County Engineer Ibm Homseth wanted to make the area a school zone. But many people who use the school property and its accesses do so at other hours than peak drive times, and commissioners decided it would make more sense to make the lower speed limit a full-time, permanent requirement. “With all that bus traffic going into that southern access, I think 40 miles per hour is too fast,” Minikin said. “GeneraUy, people will take the opportunity to go perhaps another five mdes per hour faster.” County officials have been concerned with traffic issues related to county growth and to schools. On school mornings, Minikin said, traffic could back up hteraUy for mdes on Texas 46 at U.S. 281. “I’m aware of the frustrations,” Minikin said. Mdlikin, Comal Independent School District and TxDOT officials made a field trip recently to investigate the traffic — as See SPEED/5A Making it old again Commission OKs subdivision on Morningside K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Anastaclo Rivera uses his trowel to recreate some of the more intricate carving details in this column at the Comal County Courthouse. Rivera and his co-worker, Rigo Sosa, work for NBGS, creating waterpark equipment that they say “goes all over the world.” County taps waterpark ‘artists’ to repair decades-old damage By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Decades ago, someone took a sledgehammer to a pair of the piUars that hold up the Comal County Courthouse, smashing the ornate cornices and carved scrollwork. The result was an eyesore that bothered county officials for decades. This week, Rigo Sosa and Anastacio Rivera are putting the so-called “renovation” right. The two men are sculptors borrowed from NBGS, the New Braunfels-based firm that builds waterpark equipment. Comal County commissioners voted recently to spend up to $3,500 for the repair work. Carpenter Mike Havel suggested repairing the damaged pillars after the county clerk’s office moved its documents, file cases and counters. The pillars, part of the structure of the courthouse, originally were built with polished posts of granite holding up limestone cornices and arches. The stonework was hand-carved and included intricate patterns of leaves and flourishes. Where the ornate work proved inconvenient during the 1966 restoration, it was simply hammered away with no thought given to its historic value. According to some of the stories, the pillars were disfigured to make space for a pair of washrooms. County purchaser Ed Krai searched for a way to get the work done. ‘I contacted Jimmy Owens of D&M Construction and asked him if he knew anybody who could do this kind of work,” Krai said. “He said Schlitterbahn could.” More specifically, it was NBGS. Owens is the contractor who did the concrete restoration work on the Garden Street and San Antonio Street bridges. But the work in the courthouse was a little different for its ornate, hand-carved intricacy, Owens said. “It was something I saw I couldn’t do. I called Gary Henry, and they contracted through us,” he said. Sosa and Rivera, Owens said, “are artists. Its difficult work at the very least, and it’s really an art. It was a problem we had on the Garden Street bridge. How do you make new work look like old?” Tuesday, Sosa and Rivera began K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung NBGS sculptors Anastacio Rivera, left, and Rigo Sosa work Thursday to restore a pair of Comal County Courthouse pillars damaged during a 1966 renovation. their work by chipping paint from the pillars and roughing up the limestone underneath. See OLD/5A By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer To Mike Norris, the development at Morningside Drive represents a chance for firsttime buyers to buy their own homes. For neighbors in the area, the 522-home development represents a problem with density, traffic and drainage. And for New Braunfels Planning Commission, Meadows of Morningside showed problems with controlling growth in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. However, the commission approved the master plan and unit one for the development this week. “Basically, this offers no-fhlls homes for first time buyers,” Norris said. “I think a lot of the objections come misunderstandings about what’s going to happen there.” While area homeowners expressed their concern about the number of homes going on the 100-acre plot, Norris said he believed the concerns were unfounded. “The subdivision won’t be built out for years,” he said. “The master plan has 522 homes, but they won’t be built tomorrow, or next year — it will be about IO years before the subdivision is complete. The first unit will have 72 lots in it.”Meadows The Meadows of Morningside: • Developer: Mike Norris • Property: 112 acres of land on Morningside Drive, within the ETJ of New Braunfels, Comal County. (Will be annexed Sept. 10) • Location: East of Interstate 35, between Ruekle Road and South Solms Road • Utilities: Water/sewer/electricity by NSU • Streets: paved with curb and gutter built to New Braunfels standards with 30 feet of pavement. • Sidewalks: Four feet sidewalks on both sides of the street • Lot sizes: Zero lot line lots at 45-by-110, larger than city standards. • Number of lots: 522, built in three phases • Open space: 17 acres of green belt, open space, drainage and easements. • Off-street parking: at least three off-street parking spaces • Engineer: S. Craig Hollmig Inc. • Builder: KB Homes • Sizes of homes: From 900 square feet to 2,278 square feet. The two camps met before the September planning commission meeting on Tuesday to reach an agreement but were unsuccessful. Commissioners and homeowners in the area said they worried about the density of the subdivision, the width ofSee SUBDIVISION/5A Youth page shines light on young readers From staff reports The Herald-Zeitung’s weekly Youth page debuts inside today’s edition. Features about youth for youth, a current events quiz, profiles of students and school officials and a story chain written by Comal County classes are packed on this interactive page. A book review column written by local teen-ager Jordan Jacks also appears on the new Youth page. “We are excited to offer this new feature in the Herald-Zeitung,” managing editor Margaret Edmonson said. “We are particularly excited about the story chain, which not only is an exercise in writing but also a lesson in local history. We encourage teachers to participate with their classes.” Any ideas and suggestions are welcome. Contact Edmonson at 625-9144 ext. 220 or by e-mail at [email protected]: Walgreens move won’t affect prescriptions, pictures By Martin Malacara Staff Writer Walgreens closes its doors at 3 p.m. Saturday after nine years at Walnut Avenue and San Antonio Street. The drug store then will reopen its doors at 8 a.m. Sunday at its new location, 1160 S. Business 35 at Walnut Avenue. The new store will be larger, will have a double lane drive-through pharmacy window and will be open 24 hours a day, Wal greens spokeswoman Carol Hive-ly said. Hively said the new store was part of the corporation’s expansion throughout the state. “Ttexas is a big growth state, and we’re trying to ramp up on that growth,” Hively said. Walgreens has 356 stores throughout the state. The company plans to have 480 stores in 2004. None of the store’s current employees will be lost in the move, she said. AU will continue working at the new 15,120 square-foot facility. AU prescriptions, customer data and photographs wiU transfer to the new facility and wiU not be affected by the move, Hively said. If customers drop off prescriptions or film for processing before the store closes on Saturday, they should be available at the new ^location Sunday morning, she said. - However, Hively said customers should double-check with the See WALGREENS/5A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungWalgreens pharmacy manager Armando Garza stocks his shelves in the new store at Business 35 and Walnut Thursday. Inside Abby.................. Classifieds............ .............7A ..........4-10B Comics............... ..............9A Crossword.......... ..............7A Forum.................. ...............6A Local/Metro......... ..............4A Movies................. ...............7A Obituaries............ ...............3A Sports................. ...........1-3B Today.................. ..............2A www.herald-zeltung.cofn Key Code 76 ;