Friday, July 25, 1997

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Page: 9

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 25, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas HtiraldZettuhg g Friday July o 9A The tracks were discovered June 21 after ffloodwaters swept through the area Some city and county agreed not to reveal the discovery until it was decided what to do about it BOERNE AP They were natures secret for 70 million years but now this town is abuzz with talk of dinosaur tracks uncovered on city property after flooding in June Fearing vandalism city staff members kept quiet about the discovery for three weeks and briefed the City Council only this week after word spread Were frightened that someone is going to go out there and chisel them said city planning director Chris Turk who would discuss the tracks with the San Antonio ExpressNews only if the location wasnt divulged Only a hint of the toes are visible in the prints but the pattern of the Neighborhood crime fears double in 20 years poll shows By MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press Writer HUNTSVILLE AP Almost half of the Texans surveyed in an annual poll taken by the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University say theyre afraid to walk in their own neighborhoods at night The number of frightened people determined by the 1997 Texas Crime Poll is double the amount who expressed similar fears when researchers conducted the first such poll in 1977 figures released Thursday showed Texans are considerably more concerned about crime in general today than they were 20 years the study said When asked whether or not there was an area within a mile of their homes where they were afraid to walk at night only 2S percent of the respondents to the first Texas Crime Poll conducted in 1977 said In 1997 this figure increased to the alarming level of 46 The findings are based on interviews during May and June with 546 Texans who were asked a number of questions about crime and criminal justice issues The survey has an error rate of plus or minus 5 percent Researchers found people worry about becoming the victim of a burglary within the next year more than any other crime Fear of auto theft is the secondhighest followed by assault theft robbery murder and rape People tend to be more afraid of those crimes they perceive to be most likely to affect them and Texans appear to feel more vulnerable to burglary and auto thefts than to any other Dennis Longmire who directed the study said People I think are concerned about crime We certainly inundate them with those concerns in the media But research consistently shows the people most concerned are generally the least likely to become victims so probably their concern is unfounded There isnt good research to show whether its causal or simply a Longmire suggested increased crime coverage on television and particularly the immediacy of television influenced the findings of the most recent study What happens today is when somebodys child is murdered in Boulder everybody in America becomes a secondary victim because the media Survey The number of frightened people determined by the 1997 Texas Crime Poll is double the amount who expressed similar fears when researchers conducted the first such poll in 1977 People worry about becoming the victim of a burglary within the next year more than any other crime Fear of auto theft is the secondhighest followed by assault theft robbery murder and rape Texans have more confidence in their local police than in any other component of the criminal justice system immediately goes to the he said Thursday The Cunanan situation in Miami Beach is another good example Americans were fearful they were going to be the victims of a spree murderer or serial murderer when in reality we werent at very serious risk But because of the instant television coverage and because theyve got cameras flying over with helicopters everybody sits in their homes afraid when reality tells them and if they could be rational about it that they dont have that much to be afraid of And thats a different kind of coverage today than what we saw 20 years ago The television media has picked up on crime as a marketing phenomenon to get interest into their The survey also found Texans have more confidence in their local police than in any other component of the criminal justice system While local police got high marks from 62 percent of those surveyed local courts attracted just 36 percent support from those expressing a great deal or a lot of confidence Local community probation systems the state prison system and the criminal justice system in general each drew high ratings from only 25 percent of those surveyed In each case however the sentiment was slightly higher than when the same question was asked a year ago Last year local police drew 59 percent support from those having a great deal or a lot of confidence while the local court system had 31 percent the prison system 24 percent and the probation and criminal justice system in general each were at 22 percent indentations in the limestone makes it clear something very large ambled across the landscape long before it was city property or rock Geologists say the threetoed creatures that left the 20inchwide 4inchdeep prints could have been carnivores called acrocartthosaurus or vegetarians known as tenotosaurus You cant tell exactly what creature made said Mike Hawthorne who published a 1990 study of dinosaur tracks in Texas while at Baylor University They were big dinosaurs weighing tons but they werent the said Hawthorne who was by dinosaurs a among several geologists who began studying the Boeme tracks July 11 Dinosaur tracks have been found west of San Antonio and around New Braunfels but they havent been found before around Boeme he said Boeme is about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio The tracks were discovered June 21 after floodwaters swept through the area Some city and county officials were informed about a week later but agreed not to reveal the discovery until it was decided what to do about it But in a memo to the City Council this week Mayor Patrick Heath said the information had leaked out of county offices County Judge Bill Oooden said he old his staff not to release information until it was determined whether they really were dinosaur tracks It looked like a pot hbfe to Oooden said The flooding in Boerne also unearthed a trail of smaller tracks each measuring about 10 inches in diameter in the same area as the larger tracks These are interesting because of the mixture of sizes of said Rena Bonem a Baylor University geology professor Also she said one set of tracks suggests a dinosaur saw something and suddenly changed directions The tracks likely were left in a tWal flat or marsh between 70 million and 80 million years ago she said Ms Bonem and her scientific team will return this weekend and Boeme city officials are eagerly awaiting their guidance Turk the city planning said plaster copies of the tracks may be made to create a replica of the site at the Cibolo Nature Center As for the actual tracks he said If the scientists say it may weather we may cover it up with a real fine soil and put it back the way it was x Morales says court phone records public AUSTIN AP Most telephone billing records of the Texas Supreme Court are public information Attorney General Dan Morales says In a legal opinion issued Thursday Morales said the phone billing records are administrative and thus not exempt from disclosure under the states open records law Records regarding the expenditure of public funds including records which directly implicate the fiduciary responsibilities of public employees or otherwise pertain to the daytoday administration of a court are subject to the Open Records Morales wrote An exception might be made if a phone record somehow involved court deliberations on a case said Ron Ousek a spokesman for Morales But he said such a situation would appear unlikely Phone records are part of the administrative process not part of the judicial process the deliberative he said Billing records are typically related to administration not part of the deliberative Thursdays ruling came in response to a request from MGT of America to the Texas General Services Commission MGT sought incoming and outgoing telephone records from all office cellular and mobile phones and fax machines used by justices of the court and their staffs from Sept 1 1993 to April 2 1997 Alan Pollock of MGT said one of the companys clients asked him to seek the records He would not say why the records were being sought or who requested them With some exceptions the General Services Commission obtains supplies and services for the states various agencies 10 HIT VI II MS AM FRIENDS OF HILL COUNTRY MEDICAL ASSOCIATES We have a new Medical Exchange Number For after hours and weekend calls for Drs Warren Albrecht Gary Bird Ronald Cohle Randal Jacks Dorothy Overman and William Reeves please note the new number 6082616 Invoking Bible and bagels GOP struggling to heal WASHINGTON AP There was never much chance it would turn out to be the night of the long knives Some long sighs though With Scripture awkward confessions brave faces and tears House Republicans moved from coup mutterings to catharsis in a basement room down a dank hall where the pipes and wires were as exposed as the partys wounds Truly a participant said of the goingson but the kind of hurt he hoped will heal things Republican leaders who entertained or encouraged notions of dumping Speaker Newt Gingrich kept their jobs in that startling caucus meeting Wednesday night and also the rank and file swore kept their dignity There was more contrition inside that sterile room with those chrome chairs than can normally be found in the full elegant sweep of Capitol Hill Leaders ate crow Gingrich set the tone Do not claim to be wiser than you he began leading an opening prayer inspired by the Book of Romans If your enemies are hungry feed The Bible goes on to say that in feeding your enemy thou shall heap coals of fire on his The first round of applause could be heard through the closed doors before Gingrich arrived He slipped first into the hallway mens room grinning as if he enjoyed how his mundane detour interrupted for the thicket of reporters the drama of his imminent entrance Other members swept into the meeting room smiling tightly You only thought I did this when I was a cracked Rep Nathan Deal of Georgia recalling his former partys reputation for infighting A second round of applause rang out a minute after Gingrich joined the meeting A third four minutes later Then a long period of quiet Then applause again in closely gathered waves mixed near the end with cheers For all the raw emotion the Republicans didnt forget they could be heard outside But you could not see the Rep Henry Bonilla of Texas said Party leaders among thejp the embarrassed trio of GOP Conference Chairman David Boehner of Onto and Texans Tom DeLay the GOP whip and Dick Armey the majority leader apologized to members Same Day Service On All Deliveries We know youll agree We have the LOWEST prices on JPropane and Tank Rentals and Sales Sons Hwy 46 Between Seguin New Braunfels Mention Ad for special discount Emissions company state settle lawsuit AUSTIN AP A deal gone sour between the state and an air quality testing firm will cost Texas taxpayers million Attorney General Dan Morales and attorneys for nowdefunct Tejas Testing Technologies settle a 1995 lawsuit Wednesday The company filed the lawsuit after the state dumped an auto emissionstesting program for which Tejas had won a sevenyear contract The money will be paid from general state funds beginning with a million payment on Aug 31 The agreement must be approved by the Bankruptcy Court in Austin which is overseeing Tejas payment of debts to investors The company spent millions of dollars establishing 55 inspection stations in DallasFort Worth HoustonGalveston and Beaumont Port Arthur where federal officials had ordered emissions testing Shortly after Tejas stations opened in January 1995 drivers protested the tests as cumbersome and costly Lawmakers reacted by killing the program They have since instituted another testing program But Tejas officials said killing the original program and the companys contract left them with million in worthless testing stations State District Judge Joseph Hart earlier this year ordered the state to pay Tejas about million for abandoning the emissions testing program He said the state had the right to change its mind but couldnt leave Tejas with a worthless contract Texas drivers in designated areas continue to get auto emissions tests along with their annual safety are tested at two motor speeds once at normal idle and once with the motor revved up to revolutions per minute 10 MINUTE UkGHU SAVE UP TO WHEN YOU TAKE AN EXTRA 15 OFF IN THE STORE EVERY SALE PRICE EVERY REGULAR PRICE EVERY DEPARTMENT EVERY TIME YOU SHOP CHARGE IT BEALLS