New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 20, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung wishes ‘‘happy birthday” today to Barbara Wenzel, Felix Aguirre, Amanda Kristi Saenz, Tabitha Pugh, Marcel Baker, Dorothy Matschek, Evelyn Wilson, Ben Lutz, Guadalupe Gonzales, Tiffany Weidner, Kim Millet, Bertha Kimble, Donald Gotthardt, Minerva Perez, Barbara Trammell, Charles Trammell and Edlinda Villarreal.
“Happy birthday” Saturday to Sharon Saenz, Hattie Anthony, Cirsten Foerester and Richard Borgfeld.
Belated birthday wishes to Valerie Nicole Mata.
Wishes for a happy anniversary today to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pena and Barbara and Charles Trammell.
Know of a birthday or anniversary? Give our receptionist a call the day before at 625-9144 — we’d like to share in the greetings.Band meeting
The New Braunfels High School Band Boosters Club will meet in the band hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. All interested parents and friends are urged to attend.Business counselor
The Small Business Counselor from the University of Texas at San Antonio School of Business will be at the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce office on Tuesday, Sept. 24 for his regular monthly counseling schedule. The service is offered through the Chamber’s Small Business Council each month and includes assistance to individuals in business, as well as those considering opening a business.
The sessions are confidential and appointments can be made by calling the Chamber at 625-2385. Community education
The fall session of community education classes offered by the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District begins the week of Sept. 23. The fall schedule includes classes in typing, accounting, language, gardening, quilting, floral design, dancing, crochet, acupressure, sign language and home improvement. For more information call (512) 658-1050.Items needed
Smithson Valley Silver Spurs Dance Team needs donated items for a rummage sale scheduled for Oct. 5 at Buy for Less in New Braunfels from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Funds raised will be used to purchase uniforms and to put in a scholarship fund. Pick up service is available by calling (512) 964-3119or (512) 885-2348. Interagency meeting
McKenna Memorial Hospital’s Interagency meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 11:30 a.m. at Finkel’s Salad Bar and Grill Restaurant in New Braunfels.Church bazaar
A bazaar, sponsored by the Church In the Valley located on Farm-to-Market 306 in Canyon City, is slated for Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Featured will be various and unusual crafts. A quilt will be auctioned and baked goods will be for sale. Church faatlval
The annual Sts. Peter and Paul tea STAMMTISCH, Pag* 2AGood Day
Cool and cloudy conditions continue with a slight chance for rain lingering over South Texas. A high near 66 today should be followed by an overnight low near 52. A slow warming trend should greet the weekend with a high in the 70s for Saturday and near 80 for Sunday. For weather details, see Page 2A.
RELIGIOUS FOCUS SA
Rocky Wilson dances as Chuck Reininger sings about New Braunfels Utilities’ "Safe Haven” program. The men entertained and informed students at Memorial Primary School on Thursday. (Photo by Robert Stewart)
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
When you’re a kid and you need help, it’s good to have a friend to go to.
New Braunfels Utilities wants children in New Braunfels to know that when they see a white NBU truck, they are in the presence of friends.
Chuck Reininger and Rocky Wilson of NBU were at Memorial Primary School Thursday handing out coloring books and balloons and presenting the message to students that NBU employees are there to help.
“It’s been a real successful program,” Reininger said. “We go to all day cares and schools through the third grade.”
The program is called “Safe Haven” and is presented by Reininger and Wilson to 3,500 to 4,000 children each year at the beginning of the school year.
“We try to hit them before the (Comal County) fair,” Reininger said. ‘That way they see our float in the parade and know who we are.”
Reininger began the presentation by showingyouth ‘Safe
the kids what NBU shirts look like and Wilson held up a picture of an NBU truck to show what it looks like.
“We wear these shirts with NBU on it. We write it funny with a lightening bolt and a water drop because we deliver electricity and water to your home,” Reininger said. “We have a program called Safe Haven that gives you people you can go to besides policemen, firemen and friends when you need help.
“You all know about not talking to strangers.
We want to let you know whenever you’re in trouble to look for the guys in the white trucks.
“If you’re in trouble for any reason, flag them down and get help,” he said.
The next part of the show was a song Reininger sang and played on a guitar. The song was about a little boy riding a bicycle very fast because he was being chased by a bear. The boy hit a rock, wiped out, and was stung by bees. Along came an NBU truck with NBU workers that helped the boy up, cleaned him off and called police to give him a ride home.
The Memorial Primary students applaudedHaven’
and whooped in appreciation as Wilson put on sunglasses and danced the twist to the ‘rock and roll’ part of the song.
After the song Reininger asked the group “Who helped the kid out?” and they all loudly yelled “NBU!"
A lot of the kids remembered the two NBU men from having seen the presentation last year and were shouting out questions like “are you gonna sing?” and “are you going to dance again?”
“The kids really like it,” Reininger said. “They go home and tell their little brothers and sisters about it.”
The kids also got a big laugh when Reininger introduced Wilson as “Bozo.”
Reininger and Wilson work as surveyors in NBU’s engineering department in their “real life.” Both say they really enjoy the chance to get out and visit the kids.
This is the eighth year that NBU has sponsored the Safe Haven program.
“So now you know you’ve got some more friends out there,” Reininger said.
Vol. 139, No. 218
Hot check effort may ‘overdraw’ account
County will seek ruling on bungee jurisdiction
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
The Comal County Commissioners Court on Thursday agreed to ask the county attorney to seek a state aitomey-general’s opinion on whether the Water-Oriented Recreation District has authority to regulate a controversial bungee-jumping enterprise on the Guadalupe River.
County Judge Carter Casteel said the opinion is expected to clarify whether the Ervendberg Boulevard bungee-jumping operation could be considered water-related and whether it could be regulated by WORD.
The WORD board of directors Wednesday night directed District Administrator Betty Walls to deliver a
letter to the court asking them to seek the attorney-general’s opinion.
Bungee jumpers pay a fee to leap from a metal platform extending from a cliff overlooking the river and free fall about 120 feet before giant elastic cords attached to harnesses snap them up in the first of several bounces. The sport is completely safe, operators say.
Nearby residents in the Preiss Heights subdivision have complained to county officials about parking, trash, noise and safety since jumping started July Fourth.
Commissioners previously asked County Attorney Nathan Rhcinlandcr to attempt to find a way to shut the operation down due to safety concerns.
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
Comal County’s revamped hot check-warrant program has brought in $99,086 to county coffers and $63,805 to the cash registers of local merchants during the first eight months of this year.
But the program is working so well that funds to pay deputy constables to serve hot-check arrest warrants have nearly run out, leaving County Attorney Nathan Rhe inlander fearing that the program, which he says brings in much more to the county than it costs, may be forced to be shut down during the closing months of this year.
County Judge Carter Casteel said she expects the Commissioners Court, despite some concerns about the program's personnel costs, to continue to support the program, especially because it more than pays for itself. Several merchants have written letters to the court in support the program, she said.
T think we have an obligation as a county to put enough money in the program to enforce the law,” Casteel said
Rheinlander said Commissioners Court is expected to consider provid
ing additional funding to carry the program through December during its regular weekly meeting next Thursday.
From January through August, merchants received $63,805 in restitution through the hot-check program, Rheinlander said. Hot-check fees, justice-of-the-peace fines and warrant fees during the same period added $99,086 to the county’s general fund. Together, these collections cost the county only about $14,000 in deputy constable salaries, he said.
The typical $10 hot check ends up costing the offender $101.50, Rheinlander said.
Total funds collected for the county and merchants in 1991 are expected to be about double the $124,000 collected in 1989, before the constable offices became involved, Rheinlander said. Prior to the last months of 1989, hot-check warrants were handled by the Sheriffs Warrant Division, but were moved to the constables’ offices to allow the Sheriffs Department to concentrate on felony criminal war
rants and other warrants.
The county needs to continue to support the program because it’s a cost-effective revenue generator and because writing bad checks is against state law, which the county is bound to enforce, Rheinlander said.
During a Sept. IO budget workshop with constables, Commissioner J.L. “Jumbo” Evans questioned the need to send deputy constables in person to serve the warrants, suggesting that more effective letters could be written.
Precinct I Constable Max Wom-mack Jr. responded that letters and phone calls are generally ineffective. The only way to get a bad-check writer to pay is to threaten them with arrest in person, he said.
Evans also questioned whether businesses were doing all they could to collect the money before the county became involved.
The court also has concerns that the • part-time deputy constables are working too many hours each year, which would make them eligible for retirement benefits, which would be an added personnel expense to the county, Casteel said. Adding another deputy at some point in the future is one option open to the court, she said.
During the workshop, Wommack said he also would not have enough money in his 1992 budget for a full year of the program, but Casteel said plenty of funds would be available in the court's contingency fund.
Currently, most hot-check warrants are served through the Precinct I Justice of the Peace office, and the court, unsure about the effect of the county's new redistricting plan, put extra money in the conungency fund to handle any shortfalls, she said.
Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY / Home of William T. Whittaker
September 20, 1991
Two Sections, 18 Pages
County road engineer resigns
McCoy, contacted by telephone Thursday evening, said his resignation was effective immediately. He said he has no definite plans, other than to relax for the next couple weeks.
“The guidance and interference from Commissioners Court over the past six to eight months had come to the point where I could no longer effectively administer the road depart
ment,” McCoy said, declining to elaborate on specific reasons.
“I know that Comal County has, at this point, one of the finest road departments in the state of Texas, and I’m sorry that things worked out the way they did, but that’s how it goes,” he said. “I’m real proud of the people in the department. They’ll do fine.”
Casteel said that when she met with McCoy and property owners to dis
cuss subdivision platting requirements earlier in the morning he gave no indication that he intended to resign.
“It’s difficult, I know, to work for five people, and I appreciate anybody who has to do that,” Casteel said. “On the other hand, that’s part of the job. We don’t always agree with each other on the court, nor do we always SM RESIGN, Page 2A
By MARK WARNKEN Staff Writer
Comal County Road Engineer C.B. “Mac” McCoy resigned Thursday morning after heading the county’s road department for 7‘/i years.
In a brief letter delivered to Commissioners Court shortly after 9 a.m. during the court’s weekly workshop meeting, McCoy said he had enjoyed serving the citizens of the county and
working with his staff, but that the present relationship with the court had degenerated to the point where it was no longer workable for him, County Judge Carter Casteel said.
In an emergency meeting later that day, the court appointed engineering technician Larry Kearney as interim road department administrator until a new county engineer is hired in the next few months.
By STEPHANIE FERGUSON City Editor
After four years of managing the Balcones Cement Plant in New Braunfels, Plant Manager Michel Edmont is returning home to France within the company as vice president of operations.
The promotion was announced Thursday at the plant, owned by Lafarge Corp. A replacement for Edmont has not been named.
“We have achieved a few successful stories,” said Edmont reflecting on his first job as a plant manager. “The plant is producing more than when I came. The market is turning around and we are very excited about the future of this plant. ... I feel I’m not through with what I was supposed to do here but at some point you will have to leave.”
Edmont now will be vice president of operations of LFI, Lafarge Fondu International, a calcium-aluminaic cement company owned by Lafarge that produces special cements.
For the past year, Edmont has been in the middle of a controversy involving the plant and the intent of its owners to store and bum hazardous waste. The citizens coalition Securing a Future Environment formed locally to fight the company and its plans.
Edmont said be is disappointed that local people have felt Lafarge is trying to hurt the community by burning hazardous waste as fuel.
“It’s very unfortunate that so many people in the community felt that we are threatening them,” he said. “This is not the case at all.
“For once I would like to tell the people nobody in this plant wants to threaten anybody in this community.”
Lafarge and its subsidiary Systech Environmental Corp. have put the process of securing permits to store and bum hazardous waste on hold, but have said they plan to proceed with the permits after an environmental assessment of the project is complete.
Edmont said it is too early to guess if the permits will eventually be granted by state agencies.
“There are so many things going on right now I have no idea of how it’s going to happen. It's up in the air. It could turn anyway,” he said.
Edmont is scheduled to return to Paris the first of next year with his wife and two children.