New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 8, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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SPORTS WINNING WAYS
Cougars' new head football coach Les Davis continuing the winning tradition Brad Wright began. Page 6A
TT ▼ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8,2004
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Relive old memories and create new ones with traditional favorite dishes at family reunions. Page IB
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 257 14 pages, 2 sections
Details .... 1B
DEAR ABBY 4B CLASSIFIEDS 48 COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 3B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6-8A TV GRIDS 4BCommission wants traffic study parameters set
By Scott Mahon
The New Braunfels Planning Commission balked at asking council for $22,500 for a consultant to study Walnut Avenue before knowing what the scope of that study would be.
Planning Director Frank Robbins recommended the commission ask council for the funding, but the commission agreed at least one of its members should be involved in defining the scope of the study before requesting funding.
“The planning staff is recommending that a consultant be hired to complete traffic counts and acquire a very detailed understanding of the characteristics of the traffic on Walnut, particularly at intersections,” Robbins said.
Randy Vanstory said he wanted to be involved in the process of selecting a consultant before asking council for funding.
Commission member Sandy Nolte also expressed reservations, and commission member Jan Kotylo said the
commission should be prepared to justify hiring a consultant before asking for funding.
Robbins said council discussed improving Walnut Avenue for several years.
“Council talked about widening South Walnut three
years ago, but in the end there are going to have to he improvements made,” he said.
Robbins saki because Walnut Avenue has become a connecting street between 1-35 and Loop 337, traffic
See WALNUT, Page 5A
A NIGHTMARE JOB
Firefighters’ training exercise teaches them to work with ‘another set of eyes’
By Ron Maloney
The scenario was every Firefighter’s worst nightmare.
IWo children, ages 7 and IO, were playing hide-and-seek. Somehow, an explosion or a collapse was followed by a fire. The oldest boy got out to tell the arriving fire department what happened.
TWo firefighters, Jason Wallace and Keith Hoegenauer, donned breathing equipment and protective gear and went inside to find a child whose life expectancy was measured in seconds. They struggled past flames through blinding smoke and debris that threatened to trap them, too — and a burning wall fell on them.
Luckily Tuesday, it was only a training exercise.
This week at the former police depart-ment building located on Castelle Avenue across from city hall, New Braunfels firefighters are practicing rescuing a child from inside a collapsed home.
The training is designed to teach them search techniques and how to use the fire department’s new thermal imaging cameras.
The training is rigorous for the firefighters and is made a little more difficult by the on-the-spot “adaptation’’ of the scenario by their boss, Battalion Chief Don Zercher, a 30-year veteran who has held every firefighting job there is while working his way up through the ranks at the N BFD.
Zercher hasn’t lost a man yet on a fire scene and hopes to keep the record intact until he retires, like his wife, NBFD training division chief Stacie Zercher, he takes training very seriously.
As Wallace and I ioegenauer worked their way through the building filled with smoke created by a disc jockey-style smoke machine, things begin to go wrong.
“Your flashlight failed,” Don Zercher See FIREFIGHTERS, Page 5A
Police citations down during slow holiday weekend
By Ion Maloney
law enforcement officials reported a mild Labor Day holiday weekend on the county’s waterways, marred by a drowning Sunday.
“We did, unfortunately, have a drowning, but otherwise, there were very, very few incidents,” said Sheriff's ti. Mark Reynolds. “It was like any other average summer weekend.”
Friday, Reynolds said, saw a light rainfall during the afternoon. Saturday, a heavy storm came through. Monday, it began raining
in the late morning and continued through most of the afternoon.
"Sunday, we had some bumps and bruises,” Reynolds said. “Monday, anybody who was going to do a day trip pretty much left after the rain started.”
What arrests there were, Reynolds said, were for misdemeanors typical of the river crowd — but fewer than on a typical holiday weekend.
“It wasn’t anywhere close to a Memorial Day or Fourth of July,” Reynolds said. “We had three teams on the river each day, all of
our reserve River Road units and the boat and jet Ski patrols on the lake. Except for the drowning, it was a nice weekend to end the summer.”
The remaining weekends this month and next, Reynolds said, would see no formalized scheduling for river teams.
“In the event we get crowded, we’U make the necessary adjustments,” Reynolds said.
In the New Braunfels city limits, patrol Lt. John Villarreal said his officers reported a relatively slow weekend as well. They issued 34
warnings, 62 citations and made 16 misdemeanor arrests.
“I was out Saturday. I was told it was not that busy,” Villarreal said. “They described it as less than a normal Saturday. It was even less than a normal weekday.”
Sunday, Villarreal worked and officers found themselves busy, he said.
“I was here until 7 p.m. I know at the end of the day, the officers were engaged more at Gruene, which is typical because that’s where the people get out,” Villarreal said. “Monday was all rained out.”
Enrollment at CTTC
By Leigh Jones
Two weeks into the first full semester of classes, Central Texas Technology Center students have settled into the routine of lectures, labs and homework.
Interim Director Mike Morphew said fall registration totals exceeded his expectations.
“We are about IOO over what I had hoped for," Morphew said. “Registration numbers blew everyone’s doors off.”
CTTC enrollment includes 253 students taking classes for college credit, 50 students in tile GED program and IOO signed up for customized manufacturing training.
The center can hold roughly 700 students at capacity.
One program, automotive technology, does not have as many students as expected, due to a misunderstanding over e-mail addresses.
“We had a little communication problem,” said Vickie Bursch, ( binal Independent School District executive director for curriculum and instruction. “When we went to the open house, there was no equipment. We never received communication that they got equipment and a teacher because they e-mailed it to an old address.”
Although no CISD students are involved, the automotive technology class is full of students from Seguin and Navarro and one from New Braunfels High School.
Undaunted by this semester s problems, GISI) administrators are looking at options for next semester.
“We do want to partner with the CITC,” Pursch said. “In the spring, we hope to identify additional students to participate in the program.”
In October, enrollment numbers will increase with the addition of more customized training classes. The classes are tailored to meet tile instructional needs of local businesses or government entities. TVvo of the first clients include Acme Brick and the City of New Braunfels.
City Manager Chuck Pinto said the CITC was the perfect place for government employees to get some much-needed homeland security training.
See CTTC Page 5A
icial flag ceremony at CHS football game Friday night will honor fallen police and firefighters.
(Above) New Braunfels firefighter Jason Fasel emerges from a dark and smoke-filled building holding; the doll that he helped “rescue" during training exercises at the old police department building Tuesday morning. (Top) NBFD training division chief Stacie Zercher, center, adds hand warmers under the doll's clothing so firefighters can use a thermal imaging camera to locate it. Engineer/EMT Keith Hoegenauer, left, and firefighter/ EMT Jason Wallace had just "rescued" the doll from inside the old police station.