Thursday, August 17, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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Text Content of Page 1 of New Braunfels Herald Zeitung on Thursday, August 17, 2000

New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 17, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas HERALD Water Restrictions New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in or 9 can water today before 9 and after 7 Well users with addresses ending in 6 or 7 can water today before 10 and after 8 I UNG Vol 149 No 201 14 pages in 2 sections August 17 2000 THURSDAY Serving Coma County since 1852 50 cents DPS enhances sex offender notification FROM STAFF REPORTS AUSTIN If youre a convicted sex offender the state believes is likely to re offend your life just got a whole lot hard harder Tuesday and your neighbors are going to know more about you than you might ever have liked The Texas Department of Public Safety implemented Tuesday a new notification program intended to supplement current notifications such as newspaper ads and information available on the Internet linked to the DPS website to make sure neighbors know when a sexual predator has moved into their area New post card notifications that pro vide the name age address offense and a photo of convicted sex offenders hit mailboxes on Tuesday The first mailing involved 30 offenders and post cards Postcards will be mailed to neighbors within a threeblock radius of an offender who moves into a community or subdivi sion and a onemile radius in rural areas The new law affects only felons con victed on or after Jan 1 2000 who are deemed to be Risk Level 1 a high risk to reoffend by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice About convicted sex offenders currently walk the streets of Texas DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said Anybody who might already be in the neighbor hood will not be included in the new noti fications Vinger said The Legislature has given the people of Texas another tool to protect them selves from potentially dangerous peo DPS Director Col Thomas A Davis Jr said in a news release Officials caution the information being provided about sex offenders is intended to inform only and not to encourage vigilantes These postcards are not an invitation to violence or illegal Davis said Anyone with concerns or information about sex offenders should contact their local police Vinger amplified the concerns expressed Before you get overwrought about a situation please look into it Dont take the law into your own Vinger said Bear in mind that this is the best information we have available By the time people get these postcards the See Aquifer Stage II BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer The Edwards Aquifer Authority declared Stage II watering restrictions Wednesday for all of Bexar County and portions of Comal Guada lupe Hays and Caldwell because of continued decline of the aquifer level Stage II restrictions call for reduced pumping by municipal water users and reduced landscape watering hours by residents and businesses with in the Edwards Aquifer Authority boundaries Well users in Comal County will be restricted to ground water use landscape watering by sprin kler system one day each week depending on the last digit of their address Addresses ending in 0 or 1 can water Monday Addresses ending in 2 or 3 can water Tuesday Addresses ending in 4 or 5 can water Wednesday Addresses ending in 6 or 7 can water Thurs day Addresses ending in 8 or 9 can water Friday Hours for landscape watering will be reduced to 3 to 8 and from 8 to 10 Monday through Friday Greg Ellis general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority said watering would not be allowed on Saturdays or Sundays In Stage II soaker hoses and other hand water ing measures are permitted only during the limit ed hours and not during daytime The trigger level for entering Stage II of the Emergency Drought Management Rules for 2000 is 640 feet above mean sea level The Edwards Aquifer declined to feet msl on Tuesday at the J17 index well The level Wednesday was feet msl The J17 is the indicator of the water level in the Edwards Aquifer for the San Antonio area Ellis said the biggest change would affect municipal and industrial users who will be forced to reduce their ground water usage by 10 percent the next 30 days For instance if New Braunfels Utilities wanted to use 100 acrefeet of ground water the next 30 days they would have to reduce their usage to 90 acrefeet Ellis said Gretchen Reuwer NBU manager of customer relations and communciations said for the time being there would be no changes to watering restrictions for NBU customers We are monitoring the situation and we are still in Stage III restrictions we enacted May she said Stage III restrictions apply to both NBU residen See STAGE K JESSIE Wayne Triesch waters the smaller plants at The Plant Haus three times a day during the height of summer heat We try to water as little as said owner Weston Pacharzina Widow Vetter files lawsuit against Hale BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Cynthia Vetter the wife of slain state Trooper Randall Vet ter filed a million wrongful death lawsuit Friday against a Hays County man accused of fatally shoot ing the officer two weeks ago Donald Dickson an Austin attorney represent ing Vetters widow said the lawsuit filed against Melvin Edison Hale 72 in the 207th District Court in Hays County asked for million in punitive I damages and million in compensatory damages Twentyeight year old Vetter a sixyear veteran File Photo of the Texas Department Randall Vetter was shot by of Public Safety and a New Melvin Hale during a traffic Braunfels resident was for a seatbelt violation shot in the head Aug 3 during a traffic stop just south of Kyle and died four days later at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin Vetters family includes his wife and his eightmonth old son Robert A funeral service for Vetter was held Aug 11 the same day the lawsuit was filed Hale is charged with capital murder of a peace officer and is being held without bond at the Hays County Jail DPS officials reported Vetter stopped Hale of Kyle for not wearing a seatbelt on the west frontage road at Interstate 35 and Yarrington Road Hale is suspected of firing twice at Vetter with a highpow ered semiautomatic rifle previous reports said Vetter also was able to fire two shots but he was hit in the head The DPS believes Hale then used the troopers radio to notify authorities about the shooting Hale apparently was upset about a controversy over tax es on his ranch in Kyle and believed it was his Constitutional right not to wear a seatbelt He had been ticketed in Octo ber for the same violation in the same location the DPS reported Dickson said the punitive damages would act as a form of civil punishment for the defendants conduct The lawsuit states that because Hales conduct was will ful wanton illegal and calculated in design to injure and fatally injure Trooper Vetter he should be assessed puni tive damages as a result of Vetters death The lawsuit also states Hales conduct deprived Vetters See NBISD approves fees FROM STAFF REPORTS New Braunfels Independent School District trustees approved Tuesday night new facility usage procedures and rates that will raise rental fees for school dis trict facilities David Rastellini business man ager for NBISD said the new rates would help recoup some costs to the district for operating the facilities He said the biggest adjustment would be for the Academy Street Gym which is the most widely used facility The new usage fee for the Academy Street gym will be per hour at a twohour minimum Users also will be charged a per hour utility and cus todial fee which was previously 12 The security deposit also has been raised from 10 to The baseball and soccer fields will require a per day usage fee and a security deposit The basketball and volleyball courts will require a a day usage fee for University Interscholastic league events only and a security deposit The usage fee for the football field will be per day with a deposit INSIDE Key Code 76 County eyes tighter sewage rules BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY About 80 people turned out Tuesday to find out more about proposed onsite sewage facility regulations for Comal County If approved by the county and the TNRCC the new regulations which are more stringent than the state requires could go into effect in 60 to 90 days Comal County Engineer Tom Hornseth said The new rules will double to one acre the lot size for subdivisions served by a public water supply Sub divisions served by a private water supply a well will be required under the new rules to have a acre minimum lot size The new regulations if adopted would apply only to new develop ment in the county Lots already plat ted would not be affected Residents engineers and installers who asked questions were interested in the nuts and bolts of the rules for example whether a previously existing lot would be grandfathered if it needed a new system but the lot couldnt conform to the new rules Some also asked about lots that did not permit contractors to move exca vated dirt far enough away to meet inspection requirements Weve used some common sense in the past and wed have to allow a Hornseth said We try to run a completely open operation We treat everybody the same Were not out to cause any hardship or delay your work Were not going to relax the rules but were willing to work with Previously the onsite sewage facil ity ordinance required lots of about three acres determined under a for mula that set a lot shape to permit two 150foot diameter circles within See