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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 21, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS EL RfiSO TX 79903 ZEITUNG Vol 148 No 174 ao pages in 2 sections July WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Constable Officials violated civil rights Gomez questions actions in hitandrun investigation BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer Constable Joe Gomez has accused the New Braunfels Police Department the Comal County Sheriffs Office and the Criminal District Attorneys office of vio lating his civil rights Gomez said Tuesday he asked for a Department of Justice investigation into those agencies action during the investi gation of a June hitandrun accident in New Braunfels Investigators said Gomez claims had no merit and denied any wrongdoing Gomez 38yearold brother Jesus Jesse Gomez was arrested on July 1 and charged with failure to stop and render aid after he allegedly struck and killed Ray Biggadike 78 Biggadike was crossing Business 35 on his electric scooter about 10 on June 28 The car officers believed was used in the hitandrun was found in the garage of Gomez relatives in the 1600 block of Bridge Street Jesus Gomez was released from the county jail on July 2 after posting bond Joe Gomez was questioned by officers from the police and the sheriffs office before the search warrant was issued for the garage According to the arrest warrant information provided by Joe Gomez con firmed the whereabouts of the car and that his brother had possibly been involved Gomez said he sent a threepage report to the office of Rep Giro Rodriguez D San Antonio asking for a federal investi gation I allege mat they conspired to violate my civil rights When the officers came into my office and interrogated me I did not know that they were going to try to impli cate me in hiding evidence of my brothers alleged Gomez said Gomez said if he was a suspect in a crime he should have been informed of his rights at that time New Braunfels Police Chief Ray Douglas said the call for an investigation was with See Remembering the forgotten Indigent burials give everyone a final resting place BY ERIN MAQRUDER HeraldZeitung Correspondent For an indigent who has lived a life without family friends or money things do not get much better with death Comal County as required by state law pays to bury any resident who dies with out the means to pay for a funeral But county policy demands austerity Friends and relatives of the deceased are barred from attending the burial County Judge Danny Scheel said the policy was not meant to be callous but existedto keep people who might not be indigent from obtaining free funerals Scheel must first approve every indi gent burial allowed by the county The indigent burial policy is set up for people who do not have Scheel said The countys rule barring family and friends from the burial means that pau per funerals usually are attended by only one or two funeral directors a gravedig ger and sometimes County Engineer Tom Hornseth who keeps records of the buri als and surveys the cemetery Hornseth who has attended six indi gent funerals said they always were strange and sobering experiences A couple of years ago I attended the burial of this lonertype guy who lived in a van down by the railroad Hornseth said He was either hit by the train or died on the railroad tracks and nobody knew who he was It was just me and a few other guys at the funeral One of us read something from the Bible It was all very While the policy keeps friends and family away from the actual burial Scheel said they can pay their respects afterward Sometimes we run into a family that really does not have the resources to pay for a Scheel said In that case we are more than happy for the family to hold a memorial service after the burial is Barring friends and relatives from the burial also is a matter of time and money said Greg Butrico assistant manager of Zoeller Funeral Home 615 Landa St See LESLIE Indigent graves tucked into a comer of the Bracken Cemetery are identified with a temporary alu minum marker Comal County had paid for 21 Indigent burials in the past 10 years LESLIE A truck passes the New Braunfels Police Departments portable radar sign this past week The sign is used to make drivers aware of their speed Radar sign keeps watch over drivers Portable device reminds motorists to follow speed limit BY CHRIS CREWS Staff Writer New Braunfels Police have a new visual reminder to help drivers keep their speed under posted limits A portable radar sign has been placed around the city the past few weeks digitally displaying drivers speed Just above the reading is the a sign displaying the posted speed limit for that area Police Chief Ray Douglas said the sign was part of the departments effort to make the public more aware of dri ving habits and speed We had rather not give speeding tickets but we do New Braunfels Police Chief Ray Douglas We had rather not give speeding tickets but we do want compliance Douglas want compliance said Lt Doug Dunlap said the sign would be placed on streets with a high volume and traffic as well as in neighborhoods Dunlap said the sign was meant as a subtle reminder to drivers and patrol officers usually did not monitor the sign But if you see the sign on your street youre probably going to see someone there with radar sometime Dunlap said Beginning this week police will provide a list of loca tions where radar will be enforced during the next seven days The list will be run next to the road construction map on page 2 of the HeraldZeitung Dunlap said radar would not be limited to the loca tions released to the media NBISD trustees approve 1 cent tax rate reduction BY HEATHER TOOD Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School Dis trict patrons will get a 1cent tax rate cut this year but administrators will have to come up with million in savings to bal ance the budget Trustees unanimously approved a tax rate for the school year Tues day 1 cent lower than districts current tax rate of per 100 valuation The 1998 tax rate for the 19992000 bud get year is a 7cent drop from the rate proposed on July 12 by administrators On that day trustees adopted a mil lion budget for the 19992000 school year and the administration proposed a 6cent Since NBISD operates under a different tax schedule school officials said they thought recent legislative changes would not affect the district until next year NBISD trustees set the 1998 tax rate rather than the 1999 rate for the upcoming the 1999 tax rate Thanks to a clarification by the Texas Education Agency the district was required to apply a tax relief provision this year by directing million previously budgeted into the districts general fund into the debt service fund The Icent tax rate cut means the average patron with a home valued at would pay in school taxes next year more than last bill Homeowners get a exemption on their primary residence This year the aver age home was valued at with a tax bill of with the rate But the rate also means the average homeowner would pay less than the bill with the previously proposed rate NBISD business manager David Rastelli ni said the tax rate cut would be good news for local taxpayers but would pose another challenge for the district in its attempt to balance a tight budget What happens when you do that is theres a decrease in the tax rate on the debt service side but on the operations side of our bud get we overestimated million and we have to go back and balance that issue he said The proposed tax rate includes a 9 cent decrease on the debt service rate but an INSIDE OB Key Code 76
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