Friday, September 15, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 15, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW HERALD PELS Water Restrictions New Braunfels Utilities customers can only water with handheld hoses and buckets between 7 and 10 and 3 and 8 any day of the week Soaker hoses can only be used around foundations UNG Vol 149 No 226 16 pages in 2 sections September 15 2000 FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Cops arrest CHS teacher on campus CHRIS A teacher was charged with possession of marijuana in a random drug search Thursday at the school BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Comal Independent School District suspended a 49yearold Canyon High School teacher accused of bringing drugs and weapons to the school Joel L Brown a special education teacher was arrested after an unannounced security search of the school and property CISD trustees will consider his employment status when they meet Sept 28 Comal County Sheriffs sergeant Brent Paullus BROWN said Brown was charged with pos session of less than two ounces of marijuana on school property and having weapons in a prohib ited place The weapons a loaded 22caliber rifle and an unloaded 12gauge shotgun were in his vehicle Paullus said Under state law no one can have weapons on a school property Brown posted bail and was released from custody Wednesday The drug charge is a class A misdemeanor pun ishable by a fine of up to and up to one year in county jail The weapons charge is a third degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in state prison and an optional fine up to Comal County Deputy District Attorney Ed Jen drzey said Thursday night the case would be reviewed Taste of New Braunfels K JESSIE Zachary Rieger four found it difficult to eat his cuisine at Thursday nights Taste of the Town at Wursthalle Eventually the food won out and Zachary finished off his plate Hundreds stood in line in the light rain waiting to enter the benefit for the Childrens Museum of New Braunfels Eateries serve it up for fundraiser BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Good taste was in abundance at Wursthalle Thursday but the tickets to get inside were not Taste of the Town a fund raiser for the Childrens Muse um in New Braunfels sold out for the first time in its 12year existence Thursday It was a pleasant said Julie Swift executive direc tor of the museum We have never sold out About tickets were pre sold to the event and none were available at the door Tickets to Taste of the Town guaranteed an evening of sam pling the best that 34 local restaurants have to offer We were sad that we were going to disappoint anybody who couldnt get tickets Thurs Swift said WHO WON BEST OVERALL TASTE Giovanis Ristorante Italiano BEST FIRST COURSE Gruene Mansion Inn BEST ENTREE Giovanis Ristorante Italiano BEST DESSERT New Braunfels Smokehouse BEST BOOTH Giovanis Ristorante Italiano A long line of people waited outside Wursthalle when the event began Thursday umbrel las shielding them from a slow drizzle Parking was scarce and the crowd was almost elbow to elbow inside Few complaints were heard though beyond the occasional grumbling about the heat However San Antonio resi dent Rudy Rodriguez found the temperature perfect for his pur poses Rodriguez is a seafood buyer and a former chef He learned to make ice carvings from a chef at a Marriott hotel where he previously was an intern Giovanis hired him to make ice sculptures for its booth at Taste of the Town He worked outside Wursthalle making a swan and a basket out of ice sweating in spite of the cold surface he worked with It does get a bit warm doing this thing even though the ice is very Rodriguez said Recent rains helped lower the temperatures It was perfect for the ice he explained as he worked with a minichainsaw If the air is too cold the ice may get too hard and shatter If the air is too humid the ice quickly melts he said Giovanis a new Italian restaurant on the Main Plaza then displayed Rodriguezs work at its booth Giovanis earned rave reviews Sharon Harrison is a Califor nia resident who was in town visiting relatives The food is she said We loved the shrimp from Giovanis Were planning on trying Giovanis Harrison spoke as she browsed through the items available in the silent auction Hays grand jury indicts accused trooper shooter Hays DA says he will pursue death penalty BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer SAN MARCOS County District Attorney Michael Wenk will seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing Trooper Randall Vet ter On Thursday a Hays County Grand Jury indicted Melvin Edison Hale of Kyle on a charge of capital murder He is accused of shooting Vetter in the head during an Aug 3 traffic stop near Kyle Hale has been in the Hays County Jail since the shoot ing and is spending his 73rd birthday there today Wenk hesitated to speak to the media about the case Thursday He said he did not want to prosecute the case in the media Ive witnessed bad experiences when the serious business of justice gets taken outside the confines of the Wenk said Thats where this case needs to be prosecuted inside the He addressed his decision to seek the death penalty in a printed state ment Our Legislature has determined that capital murder is the most serious criminal offense a person can commit in the state of Texas and the Legislature has provided that a person who com mits the crime of capital murder is sub ject to the death his state ment said After having had an opportunity to review the investigative reports that have been submitted the district attor neys office has determined that the imposition of the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment for this crime Consequently when this case goes to trial the state will be asking the VETTER HALE jury to impose the death Wenk said Hays County has had only one other death penalty prosecution Trooper Vetter 28 stopped Hale about Aug 3 at the Yarrington Road access to Interstate 35 near Kyle Hale apparently was not wearing a seat belt Reports from that day said the two exchanged fire Hale allegedly was armed with a semiautomatic Ruger Mini14 which was described at the time as a highpowered Vetter was shot in the head Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety said Hale then used the troopers radio to call authorities Vetter had a wife and an 8month old son He had been with the DPS for six years and had recently transferred from the New Braunfels DPS office to the San Marcos DPS office Vetter did not die immediately after the shooting He was taken to Austins Brackenridge Hospital where he died several days later Hale apparently believed a warrant had been issued for his arrest over the same violation at the same location about a year ago He also told investi gators that he believed it was his Con stitutional right not to wear a seat a report about the incident said Also Hale was reported to be upset over a tax dispute concerning his 125 acre ranch Hale previously deeded the property to a friend Ed Bullock in an arrangement that allowed Hale to con tinue living on the property Vetters wife Cynthia Vetter filed a civil lawsuit against Hale the day of Vetters funeral She is seeking mil lion in punitive and compensatory dam ages Hales alleged actions caused Vetter excruciating the lawsuit states Further Randall Wade Vetter lin gered from August 3 2000 until August being conscious and See NBISD election pending BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer Candidates for three New Braunfels Independent School District trustee spots must file for the election in less than 12 days and so far nothing has been submitted On Thursday district 1 trustee Sylvia Sanchez said she would not run for a third term and atlarge trustees Dr Don Bedford and vice president Bette Spain have not decid ed yet Candidates have until Monday Sept 25 at 5 to submit their papers Because board candidates are shar ing space with presidential nominees this year voter turnout should be high Its going to be NBISD information officer Stephanie Ferguson said Although the filing deadline is less than two weeks away and no applica tions have been filed for the posi tions Ferguson said the situation is not unusual Theyre taking it down to the Ferguson said It seems like candidates will file on the first day they can or wait until the bitter Spain called her two terms a learn ing INSIDE Key Code 76 Commissioners set tax rate BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Comal County commissioners set the tax rate for 2001 at cents Thursday the same as this year The tax rate did not have to be raised said County Judge Danny Scheel because a percent increase in the assessed value of the county more than offset the 8 percent increase in the county budget this year The million budget for 2001 up from this years million will see increases most ly in the Sheriffs office court systems and public safety areas to offset costs of county growth The new budget will put five new deputies on duty pay for computer upgrades and other administrative costs but will be largely unchanged in other areas Also included will be 3 percent pay raises for all county employ ees with the possibility of an additional 4 percent merit raise and 10 percent raises for coun ty commissioners The new budget passed in August on a 41 vote with Pet 2 Commissioner Jay Millikin cast ing the lone It was likewise for the tax rate set Thursday 1 didnt support the budget because I thought the commis sioners could have worked harder to reduce the budget and the tax rate with a tougher stance on the Millikin said Also problematic for Millikin was the 10 percent pay raise for commissioners which was opposed by both him and Pet 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson when it was adopted on a split vote I couldnt support the 10 per See TAX BATEAU