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Kerrville Times (Newspaper) - January 31, 1988, Kerrville, Texas VOL 79 NO 253 KERRVILLE TEXAS JANUARY 31 1988 Hospice Law At Odds Over Handling Deaths Vagueness Of Law Results In Varied Procedures 50 CENTS By BONNIE ARNOLD Times Staff Writer Hospice workers caring for terminally ill patients in their homes are at odds with Kerr County justices of the peace and law enforcement over the hand line of deaths Allowing a terminally ill pa tient a peaceful death at home with dignity is the aim of Heart of the Hills Hospice officials and volunteers But different interpretations of the law in recent months have brought justices of thepeace and law enforcement officers into some Hospice patients homes when death occurs Hospice personnel said that the notification and presence of law enforcement isn t necessary in what the hospice sees as a civil not a criminal matter At the core of the dispute is whether the death of a terminally ill patient under hospice care is unattended or not Basically state law does not address hospicetype care But it does list the types of deaths that are unnatural or under question that reou je an inquest by a jus tice of the peace or coroner Laws require areas with or more population to have a coroner to deal with un natural or unattended deaths smaller cities rely on justices of the peace Hospice personnel contend they know what caused the deaths of the people they care for and it isn t necessary for an inquest to be held But the laws vagueness has led to justices of the peace re quiring hospice people to call them when a death occurs In most cases a justice will then notify police or the sheriffs office to come to a hospice patients home All four Kerr County justices of the peace consider telephone notification of Hospice deaths part of their jobs But the agree ment ends there Justices Betty Burney Pat Knpx John P Hill and W C Klein differ among themselves about what procedures they fol low after the phone call Hospice officials say they are hoping a joint meeting can be scheduled and a consistent proc edure worked out Differences in interpreting the laws have created similar ques tions statewide and hospice director Buddy Calvert said each hospice group is working on an individual solution with the au thorities they deal with So far there have been as many different procedures worked out as there are hospice organizations in the state a lit tle less than three dozen now Each one has had to deal with the different interpretations as best they Calvert said If all of us in Kerr County could get together the Hospice people the and repre sentatives from the police and sheriffs offices we could talk about our interpretations of the laws and work out a procedure so we all know what to The local hospice began work more than two years ago offer ing home care for terminally ill people and support for their families before and after the death The hospice staff includes a licensed social worker four reg istered nurses one licensed vocational nurse and extensive use of volunteers and referral services The organizations officials de veloped a workable procedure for handling the legalities as they understand them of a death meshed with counseling and advance preparations by the families All of the justices of the peace praise the hospices work Jus tices also see their role as one that helps the families Calvert said he sees no fault overall with the behavior of law enforcement people at each hos pice patients home so far But their presence there cre ates doubts with the family mem ben about keeping a patient at home was I right to do this he said When law enforcement cars with or without lights drive up it interrupts the hospices proce dure for the family said Calvert It also calls undue attention to the death scene in a neighborhood he said That death is a very poignant moment for that family one we have been working to try to pre pare them for for weeks or months Part of the role is as deci sionmaker and authority And that style doesnt fit in dealing with widows and family in these deaths We know what to do and say our training and experience teU us Thats why were Calvert said We think these questions come prior to the procedure spel led out in criminal law Theres no need with our patients to get to the procedures in House Bill That law is interpreted dif Continued On Page 16A Citys Police Take Bite Out Of Crime Rate Down Almost 20 Percent In 87 Times Photo By R Michael Jenkins HOMETOWN PRIDE IN TATES NEW CROWN STANDS IN FRONT Her Mothers Business For All OfKerrville To See Tate 88 Miss Rodeo USA Tivy High School graduate Bobbie Kay Tate won the crown of 1988 Miss Rodeo USA last weekend in Tulsa and will be taking a year off of her Schreiner College studies to appear at rodeos around the nation The weeklong pageant tied to the International Professional Rodeo Associations convention and finals included judging on poise personality and horsemanship The pageant is a nonprofit scholarship program that attracts fi o nil 50 states and picks an Official Ambassador for the IPRA rodeo The winner also does promotions for sponsors during her reign and speaks at civic clubs on radio and television and instore promotions She also attends the Western Apparel Markets in De nver Dallas Orlando and Las Vegas Tate daughter of Linda Tate expects to travel more than miles during her reign Her past activities include rodeo track and FFA at Tivy Kerr County 4H events 1984 Kerr County Fair Queen 1985 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Queen and 198788 Miss Rodeo Athens Pea ODeo Queen By MICHAEL BOWUN Times Staff Writer Kerrvilles crime rate dropped percent during 1987 and police credit the decrease to an intensified focus on drug users and beefed up residential pat rols A total of 886 major crimes were reported in Kerrville last year compared to investi gated in 1986 Kerrville Police Departments annual report shows Total arrests in 1987 were compared to in 1986 More than 80 percent of the major crimes committed last year were thefts or burglaries said Police Chief Scott Evans Most of those were done by drug he said I definitely think part of the decrease can be attributed to us working drugs real heavy this said Evans There were 195 burglaries and 533 thefts in Kerrville last year compared to 306 burglaries and 560 thefts reported in 1986 Evans credits KPDs Kerr Narcotics Enforcement Team and the recently formed 216th Judicial District Narcotics Task Force with corralmg many of Kerrvilles drug users With them doing such a good job its bound to affect the over all crime he said Robberies also dropped in 1087 Evans said Eight robberies were reported last year in the city limits and officers solved all of them he added Of 19 robberies reported in 1966 15 were solved Evans said Value of property stolen in 1986 was with or 25 percent of that recovered addeo Evans Stolen property values in 1987 dropped to with or 45 percent reco vered the chief said Arson cases dropped dramati cally last year said Evans Two suspected arson cases were reported in 1987 compared to 20 investigated in 1986 he added Rapes increased said Evans Police investigated six rapes in Kerrville in 1987 up from four reported in 1986 the chief said Beefed up patrol and in creased public awareness were the main reasons DW1 arrests jumped 41 percent in Kerrville during 1987 said Pobce made 342 DW1 in 1987 compared to 242 in 1986 Evans said Many of last years DW1 FOR RED SHIELD LODGE State Turns Down Request For Salvation Army Grant Times Photo By R Michael Jenkins BEEFED UP RESIDENTIAL PATROLS DRUG Contributed To Drop In Crime Police Chief Says arrests were made by nine offic ers who are part of the state funded Selective Traffic En forcement Program That program puts officers patrolling city streets and looking for DWIs Evans explained Because DWI arrests were up the number of accidents drop ped added Evans The department investigated 574 traffic accidents in 1987 that resulted in 211 injuries and one death Evans said In 1986 there were 713 acci dents reported with 277 injuries and three deaths he added Im real pleased with the fi gures in some places even sur Kvans said 1 still would like to improve in all areas but in some cases that s almost impossible because we have such small he added The state has turned down Kerrville Salvation Armys re quest for a grant to furnish and operate its Red Shield Lodge Our request was turned down at state level So thats well have to depend on local support for from churches and local said Salva tion Army Capt Tom Rainwater Thursday Construction of the lodge to house needy local residents and transients for short stays is ex pected to be complete about March 1 We are hopeful this dis appointment will not impede the opening and operation of the shelter Our community needs the shelter and Im sure will sup port said Kit Werlein chair man of the Salvation Army advis ory board Id like to extend our thanks to the City of Kerrville and its staff for their cooperation and support during the application No final decisions have been made on fundraising Rainwater said If enough funds are available by the end of construction we will open the Red Shield he said The Kerrville unit was turned down because of limited funds We are hopeful thla die appointment will not Im pede the opening and op eration of the ahetter Our community the shelter and Im aure will Kit Wertein Salvation Army Board available for grants Rainwater said I think it was a matter of priorities and they were leaning more toward new shelters that needed money to finish construc Rainwater said We have enough money left to finish ours but not enough to operate it The grant wouldve been used as operating The grant Would have come from the Texas Emergency Shel ter Grants Program and the was to be mulched to community contributions The Kerrville Salvation Army Community Center was eligible to receive the federal funds channeled through the slate but the grant program had more elufible than money Werlein said Sunday Times Inside Today Antlers Conquer Heart Association Targets Cholesterol Bridge idle my til noffuny cloudb bunddy partly cloudy Low n he mid i0b hiyfi Sunday n low Soutfi wind nedi 10 mph toniyrii 10 ib mpfi yii unddy f nddy s fnfi by ovwmiyhl lo Editorial kiitertammeiil 6b r Living 12A Health Huruacope 2 12C Obituaries MB Opinion Sporu 4 A Television 13A Weather 10 14A IB 1 5b 7b 8b ItiA 5A 8b oo dletnnKiny nul di JoU ItuiiKi Uul db l Jo MdfK B JJ NJb k ttidi Voui CMtvwy CUy beiityb PnAYER i id h tb vo UK ty lu M vely Uobl loi di iU biowly i odm iy li M nm liai i IK I he wtldl I idvtl pldMIKH Alioi UK Mill IK ii Atfiu uiluial i in i ti I vuUU seU I t 1 i olitti hut lung work p m t vs i i ui I A ni kslitp A us spoil lu s ctd I t hi p Im t vs i by Kerr Soil ami WuUi I u ci Vdlioii Servutand Service
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