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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 27, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A — Hkrald-Zeitung — Thursday, September 27, 2001Local/State Contact Managing Editoi Margaret Edmonson at 625-9144 ext. 220. Dispatch ►Warrant arrest Police pulled stopped a 26-year-old New Braunfels man early Tuesday after he allegedly was speeding Loop 337. During the traffic stop, police found the man was wanted on 12 warrants. The man was stopped near New Braunfels High School at 2 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Officers found he allegedly did not have insurance or a current vehicle registration or insurance sticker. When officers ran a computer check on the man, they found 12 warrants in three counties issued — most for bad checks or theft by check. In a search of his vehicle, police found a small quantity of marijuana. The man was being held without bail in Comal County Jail Wednesday. ^Vehicle burglary A stereo system and compact discs worth $800 were reported stolen in a vehicle burglary on Tuesday. Police said someone broke into a sport utility vehicle and took the items along with a bag of clothing. No sign of forced entry was found. ►Radio tower damaged CANYON LAKE — Officials scrambled for two days to repair damage caused in a Sunday night lightning strike that has shut down an important public safety radio channel. Comal County Sheriff’s Capt. Ed Whitson said Tuesday the county’s “mutual aid” channel — the one fire departments are dispatched on — was knocked out of commission when lightning struck one of the county communication towers on Startz Hill during the thunderstorm that rolled through Comal County Sunday night. By Tuesday, repairmen had transferred the broadcasts to another antenna while they awaited parts to effect a repair. “It was good old lightning,” Whitson said. “It got hit a few years back, and it gets hit occasionally because it’s the second- or third-highest spot in Comal County.” Whitson said Tuesday that he expected the problems to be repaired shortly. ►Death ruled homicide CORPUS CHRISTI, Tfexas (AP) — A Coastal Bend doctor has ruled the death of a I-year-old girl was a homicide that followed a domestic dispute and police standoff at her parents’ apartment. The Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday ruled that Stefani Angel Heinaman’s Sept. 16 death was caused by choking and strangulation, Dr. Lloyd White said. Stefani’s father, Michael Ray Heinaman, 28, was jailed in connection with injury to a child. District Attorney Carlos Valdez said the case would be presented Meetings COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — regular meeting, 8:15 a.m. today, Commissioners’ Courtroom, third floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. COMAL INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — board of trustees, 6 p.m. today, Bill Brown Elementary School, 20410 Highway 46 West, Spring Branch. SCHERTZ-CIBOLO-UNI-VERSAL CITY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — board of trustees, 7 p.m. today, new addition, Dobie Junior High School, 395 W. Borgfeld Road, Cibolo. Taming the ‘Beast’ K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Tim Gruss (right) gives the first demonstration of the county’s new chipper — nicknamed The Beast’ — to Ron Imhoff (left) and other Comal County workers Tuesday morning. According to the manufacturer, the new chipper can turn 500 yards of brush into 100 yards of useable mulch in an hour or less. Jobless rate climbs for third straight month Austin too pricey for musicians AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas capital may also be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but a new report says musicians can no longer afford to five in the city. “The music industry in Austin is threatened by the effects of the overall economic success it has helped to create,” according to a report by Texas Perspectives, an economic consulting firm. The report underscores years of grumbling from musicians about how hard it has become to live and play in Austin. Music pumps more than $616 million per year into Austin’s economy and provides 11,200 jobs, the report said. The industry also has made the city more attractive to those that fueled Central Texas’ high-tech boom in the 1990s. But the boom also took a toll on the music scene, according to the report. Higher rents pushed musicians away from the city, and skyrocketing property appraisals squeezed venues. Several long-standing clubs, including Liberty Lunch and the Electric Lounge, have closed in the past two years. “An awful lot of the (venue owners) I talked to are hanging on by the skin of their teeth,” said Jon Hockenyos, managing director of Texas Perspectives, in Wednesday’s Austin American-Statesman. Paul Minor, a musician who moved to Austin in 1980 said the city has failed to control rising rents or help struggling venues. He said he hopes the stumbling economy will bring some relief. “If the high-tech industry goes south, maybe it just means there will be affordable housing for musicians again,” Minor said. The City Council in October will discuss the report, which suggests the city consider providing incentives for the building of downtown music venues. It also suggests helping musicians book shows elsewhere in Central Texas, coordinating social services that support musicians and mediating differences between the music industry and regulators. Peyton Wimmer, who founded the SIMS Foundation to provide mental health services to musicians, said he welcomes a report suggestion that the city pay the group’s administrative costs. Austin has “gone through a tremendous amount of change in a short period of time. That’s going to throw anyone off,” Wimmer said. “The change is so rapid that it’s hard to maintain as a working musician.” By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Comal County’s unemployment rate rose in August for the third month in a row. According to a press release from Alamo Workforce Development Inc., the jobless rate was 4.3 percent, a slight increase over July’s rate of 4.1 percent. Despite the three-month increase, the numbers are not as bad as could be, Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek said. “Considering that the layoff at Mission Valley Textiles took effect in August, it really isn’t a large jump,” he said. “I was expecting 6 percent at least.” The small jump indicates that at least some of the workers at the mill found other jobs before they were forced to apply for unemployment benefits, Meek said. “That’s the advantage of having so many different companies in the area,” he said. “People can find jobs much more easily.” Comal County’s jobless rate remains below 5 percent and is below the state’s average of 5.1 percent. However, information from the Alamo Workforce Development indicates Comal’s rate is higher than the overall jobless rate of 4.1 percent for the 12-county region. The rate increased almost 75 percent from the same time this past year. According to figures released by AWD, Comal County posted an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent in August 2000. Alan Miller, interim director of Alamo Workforce Development, blamed the increases during the past three months on two facts: a softening economy and the lay-offs at Mission Valley Textiles. “I don’t think there’s anything to be alarmed about at this point,” he said. “Basically, Comal County is experiencing what the rest of the country has experienced. But with the size of the workforce, the lay-offs at the textiles plant there makes a significant difference over the past three months.” The increase during the past year indicates an economy nearing recession, Meek said. But he was not willing to say the New Braunfels area was experiencing a recession. “Two key areas, that of consumer confidence and new home permits, are still strong,” he said. “In fact, the building permits for new single family homes are still breaking records. And last year it broke any record we held before. So the New Braunfels economy isn’t headed for a recession. I wouldn’t say that at all. We just have to stay vigilant in providing economic development opportunities.” Comal County cannot afford to take a break from its economic development plans, Meek said. Efforts to create new jobs and increase job skills are necessary, he said. ‘This shows that nothing is forever,” he said. “We’re vulnerable, just like the rest of the country. That’s why efforts, like the Higher Education Task Force, are so important. Having that job skills training here is going to make a real difference.” ‘Bark-B-Q,’ catfish fry on tap for this weekend On Saturday, Canyon Lake Animal Shelter will have a “Bark-B-Q” benefiting the no-kill animal shelter in Startzville. Award-winning barbecue cook Jim McKee will be at the grill on the shelter grounds from ll a.m. until 4 p.m. Frank’s Supermarket is supplying the meat. Members of CLASS will provide the trimmings of potato salad, cole slaw, beans and drinks. Along with a raffle, the volunteers are promising a musical surprise. “This could very well be kazoo playing by all the volunteers,” Leah Kantoff, shelter volunteer said. President-elect Jan McLean announced a local band, The Renegades, is scheduled to provide entertainment. The suggested donation is $6. Soft drinks and take-out plates will be available. Last month the shelter adopted out 34 animals. They currently have 42 dogs and puppies plus 52 cats and kittens looking for new homes. The Canyon Lake Republican Women will have their annual catfish fry candidate PAC fundraiser Saturday at the Summit Resort on River Road in Sattler. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7. Dana Jones Now you can visit us on Saturdays. Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for children younger than 5. For tickets and reservations, call Patsy Newton, 964-3585. The Smithson Valley Europe Travel Experience has selected Britain and Ireland for the summer 2002 tour. The trip is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors and their parents. The itinerary includes Paris, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England, includes round-trip airfare, 16 overnight stays, breakfast and dinner. A full-time tour director and five sightseeing tours, 16 special attractions and Eurostar train ride are also part of the tour. Student’s price is approximately $2,800. The price for parents varies. Those interested in the tour should contact P. C. “Cricket” Ingraham at Smithson Valley High School, 904-7273, or at home 964-2623. (Dana Jones is a Herald-Zeitung correspondent covering the Canyon Lake area.) Click on us — That a ri J.t, While many utilities are closing offices and reducing customer services, we’re doing exactly the opposite. ♦ Starting September 8 all our customer service offices will he open on Saturdays from 8 a. rn. to 5 p.m. ♦ Visit any of our I 5 offices throughout Central T exas to apply for service, pay hills or ash service- or hilling-related questions. ♦ Saturday office hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Just another way we’re working to better serve you. Mi Federmles I" mm Electric Cooperative, Inc. Your Pourer Professionals ;