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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 26, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERALDZEII 20332 11009 s o i s T n i c R o P u B L r s 111 N G 2627 E YRKDELL DR 70 Vol 148 No 54 22 pages in 2 sections February FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents By 41 margin NBU trustees say yes to spring water sale BY BILL OCONNELL i Staff Writer Mayor Jan Kennady was the lone voice of dissent Thursday as New Braunfels Util ities officials approved the sale of spring water to a commercial bottling company Some people have objected to Kennady said referring to residents who called her at home recently to express their doubts about the water sale Details of the agreement had not been finalized Thursday but NBU officials said selling water from the Edwards Aquifer could earn the utility up to a year NBUfc board of trustees voted 41 Thursday in favor of drafting a resolution and a letter of intent supporting the proposal Kennady voted against the plan saying she believed the public did not support selling aquifer water and then being forced to follow water conservation guidelines NBU general manager Paula DiFonzo said the proposed agreement represented only about 1 percent of the utilitys total water sales and compared the deal with contracts already held with other commer cial customers Its very much like a commercial cus coming onto the DiFonzo said Some trustees said they endorsed the plan because it allowed the utility to make its water department profitable Ive been in favor of this for a number of said trustee Guadalupe Castillo NBUs water and sewer departments have traditionally lost money although a highly profitable electric department has produced enough revenue to keqHhe utility out of die red The most recent financial report for the current fiscal year showed NBU had gen erated a net income of million above budgetary projections NBU currently pumps about feet of water annually from the Edwards Aquifer DiFonzo said The utility has the right to pump about acrefeet per year Tropical talent ROBIN 1999 Junior Miss participants practice their opening number on Thursday night at the New Braunfels Civic Center This years pro gram features a tropical theme Twentyfour young women from Canyon New Braunfels and Smithson Valley high schools will compete for college scholarships at 7 today and Saturday Tickets are each per night and will be available at the door Living history Ray Martinez wore many hats during his law enforcement career He worked as a state narcotics agent a Texas Ranger and a Comal County jus tice of the peace MARTINEZ Those experiences pale in comparison to Aug when Martinez then a patrolman with the Austin Police Department shot and killed Charles Joseph Whitman on the observation deck of the University of Texas Tower Read about Martinez experience that fateful day and get his take on the universitys recent decision to reopen the observation deck in Sundays Her aldZeitung King gets death penalty JASPER defiant racist who prose cutors insisted would kill again because of the hate in his heart cursed his victims family Thurs day as he headed to death row for chaining a black man to a pickup truck and dragging him to his death Eleven white jurors and their elected black foreman took less than three hours to sentence John William King to lethal injection rather than life in prison taking about the same amount of time they needed to convict him Tuesday of mur dering James Byrd Jr in one of the grisliest racial crimes since the civil rights era King becomes the first white person con demned in Texas for killing a black since capital punishment resumed in Texas in the mid1970s The only time a white person was executed for killing a black in Texas was in 1854 Family members of James Byrd Jr wiped their eyes after the death sentence was read but declined state District Judge Joe Bob Goldenfe offer to address King As she left the courtroom Renee Mullins Byrds daugh ter said she was very satis fied with the verdict Nephew Darrell Verrett held up his fin gers in the peace sign and said Everythings Spectators outside the cour thouse taunted a smirking King as the convicted murder was led away When asked if he had anything to say to Byrds family King said Yeah and mumbled an obscenity Byrds sister Mary Verrett said she wasnt sur prised by Kings behavior I wouldnt expect for him to say God bless the Byrd It just sums up the total per sonality of this young she said He has no remorse even in the face of KING DPS troopers stop marijuana transporter BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Texas Department of Public Safe ty troopers executed a drug arrest Wednesday that resembled a scene from a Cheecb and Chong movie A routine traffic stop just after 6 on Interstate 35 in New Braun fels resulted in the seizure of 310 pounds of marijuana and the arrest of an 18yearold Crystal City man The man was booked into the coun ty jail on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute Bond was set at and the man remained in the county jail Thursday evening DPS Trooper Timothy Upright said a 1992 Pontiac Grand Am was observed speeding north on Inter state 35 and later changed lanes without signaling Upright said the vehicle was pur sued by his vehicle and another dri ven by Trooper Vaughn Pact The vehicle came to a stop about mile north of 135 and Farmto Mar ket Road 306 The man got out of the vehicle and bolted eastward across the median toward the service road Upright said The man was cut off by the car driven by Pack and the two troopers When questioned the man told the troopers that he freaked out See INSIDE CISD keeps homestead exemption Tax break stays after 60 vote by district trustees BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY A significant tax break for Comal Independent School District pftfrons Sttgwyed a second round K in the rjngfwira boafdiSf trustees pISD board of trustees voted against elimination of the dis tricts optional 20 percent home stead exemption Thursday night The homestead exemption lived to see another day in a 60 vote with trustee Robert Loop abstain ing Trustees again pointed to bad timiog as the reason for not sup elimination of the tax break Jfte vote drew a round of applause from a crowded room of district taxpayers at the Smith son Valley High School cafeteria I will say the same thing I said last month I think the tim ing is wrong for this We have a state audit coming out and I am confident that there will be some costsav ing measures that will come out of trustee John Clay said Trustees voted 60 to table any decision on eliminating the exemption at a Jan 28 meeting following a lengthy question and answer session with disgruntled taxpayers Clay also said any decision on the homestead exemption should wait until after the current state legislative session The district is hoping to receive financial assistance from the state following any new bills passed How THEY VOTED Comal Independent School District trustees voted 60 Thursday night against elimi nation of the districts option al 20 percent homestead exemption Dora Goozales Dan Krueger Sebtt Watson Lester Jonas Abstentions Robert Loop CLAY in the legislative session that would provide additional fund ing for rapidly growing school dis tricts However board presi dent Dan K Krueger warned the KRUFfiFR t0 be KRUEGER prepared to make serious cuts in the dis tricts budget for the 19992000 school year in the face of mount ing financial constraints The district is currently sitting at the states imposed max imum rate maintenance and opera tions The mainte nance and operations rate pays for teacher salaries and school sup plies The total rate including the interest and shrinking fund rate is per valuation The district also faces decreas ing state funding each year in the face of growing student enroll ment NALL GISD school calendar approved BY HEATHER TOPD Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY Comal Independent School Dis trict boardof trustees approved a twobreak school calendar for its students in the 19992000 school year Trustees voted 70 Thursday to start the school year for CISD students and staff on Aug 16 and to end the first semester on Jan 3 Students will end the year on May 26 and have two oneweek spring breaks one from Feb 28 to March 3 and another April 1721 The administration recom mended me calendar to the board following a majority vote by fac ulty all district campuses The vote tabulated on Tuesday indi cated faculty preferred the pro posed calendar to New Braun Stt
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