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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Sunday, April 23, 2000 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 23, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas                                NEW PELS Vol 149 No 111 48 pages in 4 sections April 23 2000 SUNDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 After raid Elian back with father BY CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press Writer Seized in darkness the little castaway adrift for five months in an international custody battle was placed in his fathers arms Saturday after federal agents used battering rams and pepper spray to hus tle him from Miami and the relatives fighting to block his return to communist Cuba Were taking you to see your an agent told a terrified Elian Gonzalez ending the protracted standoff in three frantic minutes with an armed raid that sparked protests through Miami and debate over the Clinton administrations use of force Crying with fright the 6yearold Cuban boy was taken before dawn by agents brandishing rifles and flown to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington where he was in seclusion with his father stepmoth er and baby halfbrother Though in his fathers custody Elians fate remains unsettled The courts will ultimately rule on whether the boy should remain in the United States Unrest spread through Miamis Little Havana neigh borhood as protesters spilled into the streets lighting street fires and struggling with police carrying batons and shields More than 230 were arrested Whats happening Elian yelled in Spanish as riotclad agents armed with automatic weapons burst into the Miami relatives home They found him in a closet in the arms of the same fisherman who had res cued him from the sea on Thanksgiving Day and now had to hand him over Hours later the boy whose mother drowned fleeing Cuba was getting reacquainted with his father Juan The Fight Over Elian L fter five months reunited with his father Shortly after 5 Saturday federal agents seized sixyearold Elian Gonzalez from his relatives home in Miami O Agents used pepper splfay to hold back the crowd while eight others entered the house to take the boy Within three minutes he was brought by a female Spanishspeaking agent to a van waiting in front of the house OHe was driven to Watson Island where a waiting helicopter took him to Homestead Air Force Base At Homestead Elian was examined by a doctor By 6 he was on a Marshals plane bound for Andrews Air Force Base near Washington where he was reunited with his father Juan Miguel Gonzalez See ELI Source Compiled from AP wire reports AP INSIDE EdSCGT uldCHuOIIS Many if not all of the Easter tra ditions we honor in this country originated Learn how theyve C Dangerous Spirit A local band has been ranked in the top 25 of 150 bands in the KISS Unsigned Band Horse racing New Braunfels resident Tooter Jordan has been working with hors es for 35 years and shows no sign of 1B INDEX Abby 2C Business 5B Classified M3D Crossword 2C Forum 6A 4A Movies 2C Sports Television TV Weak New startt The clergy and altar servers left bow at the altar during Saturday evenings mass AMANDA HeraldZeitung Easter has special meaning this year at Sts Peter Paul BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church was by all accounts beautiful Saturday afternoon when Monsign 6f Eugene Catholicism and Christendoms most important day But he wasnt only celebrating the Easter Mass Inside the lustrous highly pol ished hardwoods glowed Outside the soft white natural limestone reflected the afternoon sun of a per fect breezy spring day Hundreds smiled in joy and pride as they joined in hymns answered calls to prayer and as they left at the end of the service They didnt mind that around parts of Saints Peter and Paul Church were steel scaffolds from inside through new and asyet clear unstained of blocks and other accoutrements of a con struction site Because thats what the church has been for nearly two years a construction site For Easter Sunday parishioners got their church back after two years of attending Mass in a gym And it wasnt only beautiful it was bigger Msgr OCallaghan celebrated more than Easter services he cel ebrated his parishioners dedicated theh1 brandnew church and praised their accomplishment in seeing a million dream realized A blessed Easter to each one of you this Msgr OCallaghan told the parishioners who packed the enlarged and reno vated churchs premiere service This is a very special occasion for See AMANDA OCallaghan blesses the congregation with holy water during the Saturday evening Easter mass This was the first mass held in the newly renovated Sts Peter and Paul Church Voting mixup Couple says their voter card lists wrong district BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer New Braunfels residents should check their vot er registration cards to make sure they are listed in the correct singlemember districts before going to the polls this week Local residents could be listed in the wrong sin glemember district Which could affect their abili ty to vote in May 6 city council races At least one New Braunfels couple says that has happened to them Lee and Eva Hunnicutt 2247 Gruene Road tried to cast ballots in the District 4 city council race April 20 but were told by election officials they were not eligible to vote because they lived in Dis trict 5 We went down to the courthouse and the election clerk looked at the list and said we lived in Dis trict 5 They checked several times and I didnt want to argue so we went ahead and voted in the bond election but didnt vote in the candidate Lee Hun nicutt said Only residents in District 3 and 4 are eligible to vote in the council races The Hunnicutts current voter registration cards list them as living in District 5 But they live only two houses down from District 4 candidate Robert Kendrick And neighbors on the other side of their residence are listed in District 4 as well Lee Hunnicutt said This past year the Hunnicutts were listed in Dis trict 5 but their voter registration cards from 1996 and 1997 list them as District 4 residents City officials said district boundaries have not been changed in the past five years According to a city map of the voting districts District 4 encompasses the northeast New Braunfels area including Gruene the Loop 337 and Common Street area and the Loop 337 and River Road area District 4 is bordered by Interstate 35 to the east the See ELECTION 2000 Early voting for the May 6 election continues 8 to 5 Monday through Friday at the Comal County Courthouse through May 2 Sample City council to hear public comment on tax rate BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer New Braunfels residents will get to tell city council Monday now they feel about a proposed 2 percent tax rate increase New Braunfels City Council will hear public comment on the proposed tax rate hike when they meet Monday at New Braunfels Municipal Building 424 S Castell St On April 10 council unani Fiveyear plan to raise golf fees up for OA per valuation tax rate that could increase the citys total tax revenues by 10 percent The average household with a value of about already pays 199 a year in property tax es The increase would wing that total to per valuation Both the tax rate and a pro posed million budget will go before council for final approval May8 The maximum allowable tax rate possible without requiring a rollback election is per valuation a rate that would cost the average house hold about With the 32cent tax rate the city couW get about revenue than the effective tax rate of per valuation The effective tax rate generates die same amount of property tax as the previous year District 3 councilman Randy Vanstory proposed raising the tax rate to per valuation because he said the city relied too heavily on revenue from sales tax 1 firmly believe that you get what you pay he said As a city we need to balance out our portfolio A large part of our port folio is in sales tax which is a volatile source of revenue If the economy turns south it wont be there If we dont keep up with increased values were going to put ourselves in a hole And we are not going to able to provide basic services to our community Local resident David comb told council he supported raising the tax rate to pay for SeeCQUNOUSA   

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