Friday, December 1, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 1, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 150 No 17 20 pages in 2 sections December 1 2000 FRIDAY Serving Coma County since 1852 50 cents Fugitives behind bars Last of Comal jail escapees surrenders to Kendall deputies BY PON MALONEY Staff Writer A Comal County Jail escapee sur rendered Thursday three days after breaking out of jail in New Braun fels Wayne Edward Weirich 37 of Fredericksburg turned himself in to Kendall County authorities He was returned to New Braunfels by noon Thursday On Wednesday Comal lawmen apprehended fellow escapee Johnnie Lee Cooper 27 of New Braun fels Detective Tommy Ward said a friehd convinced Weirich to give himself up early Thursday Weirich was on his own until he visited this Ward said He turned Weirich Cooper was arrested at the Guadalupe County home of his 71 yearold uncle at Wednes day by a 10member SWAT detail supported by Department of Public Safety troopers New Braunfels police and Guadalupe County law enforcement officers We had about 40 people out Ward said We coordinated the search of the houses put a perimeter around the area and the SWAT team went in and brought him Sheriffs Chief Deputy Bill Collins supervisor of the Comal County jail said Cooper and Weirich were detained in locked individual cells under high security and con stant surveillance The pair will remain under higher security for the duration of their time at the county jail Collins said When they escaped a little after 2 Monday Weirich was awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve 15 years for his third drunk driving offense Cooper faced five years in state prison on an aggravated kidnapping Shortly after noon Thursday Sheriffs Capt Rudy Rodriguez and Deputy Weinch back into custody at Coma County Adult Detention Center conviction He was in Comal Coun ty while appealing his conviction and awaiting trial on a connected burglary charge Both face bigger problems and possibly longer stretches in state prison Escape is a thirddegree felony punishable by an additional two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to In Coopers case his apprehen sion so far has resulted in three addi tional arrests On Tuesday Coopers uncle Jay Goodfriend 52 of New Braunfels was arrested for hindering the appre hension and prosecution of a known felon also a thirddegree felony Ward said Goodfriend allegedly nephew to use ajeeUular telephone and had given him a tide Detectives arrested Darcy Patter son 24 in Guadalupe County Wednesday on the same charge Patterson allegedly provided Cooper with a place to stay another ride to an undisclosed location and items of clothing Coopers short saga on the lam became even more of a family affair on Wednesday Another of his uncles Billy Baldwin 71 of Guadalupe County was arrested SWAT officers found Cooper hiding in one of Baldwins kitchen cabi nets SWAT commander Capt David Ott said the lawmen focused their search on Baldwins house and a vacant house next door Baldwin lives on Easy Street off Texas 46 between New Braunfels and Seguin A DPS helicopter hovered over head and SWAT officers entered and cleared the adjacent home Ott said Baldwin left his home at the request of deputies and SWAT offi cers searched the residence finding Cooper Ward said Thursday that he would not rule out further arrests in con nection with Coopers escape and See Bush Let lawmakers pick electors Caverns Christmas carols BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer Choirs from around the state will perform on a natural stage throughout December amid pools of water that have seeped hundreds of feet below the surface at Nat ural Bridge Caverns Beginning today and every Friday and Saturday through Dec 16 cavern owners will open the cave and take visitors on special nightly tours for the second annual Caroling in the Caverns event People are on the run pressed for time well we submerge ourselves in a hectic Cavern CFO Joye Wuest said This provides such a peaceful serene See Ballots speed toward capitol on rental trucks BY RON FOURNIER AP Political Writer Al Gores lawyers battled for his political survival in the Florida and supreme courts Thursday pleading against delaying fresh vote recounts even one day as a halfmillion ballots sped by rental truck to Tallahassee GOP lawmakers jockeyed in the state capital to award the presidency to George W Bush in case the judges wouldnt When the counting stops we want to be prepared to lead this Bush said in Texas between transition meetings with retired Gen Colin Powell the star of his Cabinetin themaking Officials said the meeting cemented Powells posi tion as secretary of state in a presumptive Bush administra tion In Florida the GOPdomi nated drew a step closer to appointing its own slate of presidential electors as a committee urged leaders to call a special session Democrats called that a brazen power while they worked else where to keep Gore in the game Bush whose brother is gov ernor of the state raised no objection to the Legislatures actions and his lawyers defend ed the lawmakers right to name a GOP slate Its time to get some Bush said in an appearance with Powell at his Crawford Texas ranch BUSH GORE Hundreds of miles away i n Florida Ll Jim Kerseys squad ca headed up the ballot brigade as it passed a handmade sign reading No chad Also Disney World Oh my he said The whole world is And what sights to see Lawmakers cussed and fumed in a legislative committee room the two couldbe presidents plot ted their transitions to power legal brief ricocheted between the nations courts and the bananayellow rental truck swarmed by police and medb vehicles on Ronald Reagan Turnpike carried contested ballots to Circuit Judge N Sanders Sauls court The recount convoy was cap tured by TV cameras in heli copters giving Americans a birdseye view all the way from Palm Beach to Tallahassee Sauls could need the ballots if he sides with Gore after a hear ing Saturday on the merits of recounts in three counties Gore is trying to overturn the official results of Floridas election which give Bush a 537vote lead and the 25 electoral votes need ed to claim the White House K JESSIE The Garden Ridge Triumphant Carolers sing for guests at Natural Bridge Caverns Thursday evening Caroling will continue throughout the holiday season in the cavern CMS student suspended after gun brought to school BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Canyon Middle School suspended a 14yearold seventh grader after he allegedly brought a pistol to school Monday Comal County Sheriffs Capt David Ott said his office was investigating the incident involving the 14 yearold boy and an alleged weapon Comal Independent School District spokeswoman Kari Hutchison said district officials suspended the boy pending the outcome of the investigation The boy could face expulsion or transfer into an alternative education program depending on what the investigation reveals Hutchison said the boy allegedly showed the weapon at school and then reportedly dumped it into a trash container Officials believe the gun might have been discarded with the trash Two children reported seeing the weapon but not until early Tuesday We investigated immediately the sheriffs office is involved and the investigation is Hutchi son said Hutchison said the CMS administration acted quickly and appropriately as soon as it was aware of See INSIDE Fund Key Code 76 Mail or drop off donations for the Cheer Fund at 707 Lancia St in New Braunfels Cheer Fund provides food baskets for local needy families Weekend packed for holiday fun FROM STAFF REPORTS The Christmas season is in full swing this weekend Here is a list of area holi day events Second annual Christmas Caroling at Natural Bridge Caverns takes place today Saturday and Dec and 16 The event offers special Christmas carol ing tours during the holiday seasons Enjoy the resonance of your favorite Christmas carols sung in a spectacular underground cavern Reservations are required call 210 6516101 Fourteenth Annual Sights and Sounds of Christmas in San Marcos continues from 6 to 10 today and Saturday in San Marcos on the banks of the San Marcos River Allen Driye and Hopkins Street For informa tion call San Marcos Tourist Information Center 512 3935900 or 888 200 5620 Christinas Candlelight Tour takes place from 5 to 8 Saturday Visit the Sophienburg Museum 401 W Coll Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture and Conservation Plaza 1370 Church Hill Drive Enjoy decorations and sample tasty German treats For informa tion call Michelle Oatman at Sophienburg Museum 6291572 Old Gruene Christmas Market Days Festival runs Saturday and Sunday K JESSIE People from all over the United States are drawn to the Sophie Shop in the Sophienburg Museum to find unusu ilWI ITIMOWUIII III I See HOLIDAY 9fts from as ter awaV as Germany