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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 6, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NEW PELS DEC 0 6 2000 HERALDZEITUNG Vol 150 No 21 16 pages in 2 sections December 6 2000 WEDNESDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Canyon Lake fire destroys homes attic CHRIS Darren Brinkkoeter assistant Comal County Fire Marshal left and a Canyon Lake fireman search for the source of a fire north of Canyon Lake Tuesday BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer CANYON LAKE A fire exten sively damaged a home here Tuesday afternoon days after its new owner moved in Canyon Lake Chief Shawn Wherry said firefighters were called to the home of Elisabeth S Thum in the 1600 block of Rhine stone off Cranes Mill Road north of Canyon Lake at Pedernales Electric Cooperative employees who were working in the area reported the fire Wherry said Firefighters arrived to find smoke streaming from the roof vents of the home Wherry said Engine 52 firefight ers used a piercing hose nozzle to break their way into the roof of the home and then cut a larger hole in the roof to ventilate the house and help them get inside the attic to fight the fire The hole allowed the fire to go up and Wherry said That saved the downstairs and the Inside firefighters bundled Thums property as best they could in the cen ter of rooms and covered it with heavy salvage tarps to protect it from smoke and water Wherry said Then they broke their way into the attic through the wood plank ceilings It took a lot of manpower to pull the ceiling Wherry said Fire damage was confined to the attic and the living room area Smoke and water damage was more widespread but confined to the main areas of the home Wherry said Comal County Assistant Fire Mar shal Darren Brinkkoeter said early Tuesday evening the fire started in the attic The investigation was not completed but he believed its cause was electrical in origin The entire attic is burned off the Brinkkoeter said He estimat See AG to retry Balonis murder suspect BY JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer The man accused of killing 24yearold elementary school Kathie Balonis is preparing to defend himself a second time On Thursday 41 yearold Jack Warren Davis will appear in UMVia a pretrial hearing in the Balonis murder trial in Comal Coun ty Courthouse This is Davis second trial He was first convicted in 1990 tnit that convic tion was overturned by the Third Court of Appeals after a witness claimed pros ecutors intimidated her Balonis a 24yearold elementary school teacher was found strangled and sexually assaulted in her apartment at 483 Laurel Lane in New Braunfels on Nov The next day investigators arrested the apartment complexs maintenance man the then 30yearold Davis Six months later Davis was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison But the Third Court of Appeals set aside that conviction in November 1992 and sent the case back to the 22nd Dis trict Court The appeals court based its decision on accusations against thendistrict attor ney Bill Reimer who they said had improperly intimidated a witness in the case Carolyn Toth a states witness told the appeals court she was intimidated and frightened by Reimer into changing her testimony about how Kathie Balonis blood got on Davis clothing After the case was returned to the 22nd District Court a new trial never materialized and in August 1995 Davis was released He moved to Gulfport and reports twice a month by telephone to the Comal County Adult Probation See St Nicholas Day i K JESSIE Isla Frazier gives mom a big smile while visiting St Nicholas Tuesday afternoon at the Sophienburg Museums annual visit with Saint Nicholas Children learned about the German tradition of St Nicholas visiting children on Dec 5 Florida high court will hear appeal BY JACKIE HALLIFAX Associated Press Writer TALLAHASSEE Fla AP The Florida Supreme Court agreed Tues day to hear Al Gores appeal of a rul ing that upheld George W Bushs statewide victory in the contested presidential race Court spokesman Craig Waters said the justices wanted written papers submitted by noon Wednesday and would hear arguments Thursday morning in the case that could ulti mately settle the race for the White House The unusually condensed schedule reflected the national urgency of the case Gore is appealing a ruling by Cir cuit JudgeN Sanders Sauls that rejected Gores request for a manual recount in two counties and to over turn Bushs certified victory in the state that stands to pick the next pres ident Waters said the justices had allotted an hour for oral arguments 30 min utes for each side Joseph Lieberman Gores vice presidential candidate stood Tuesday in Washington with supportive Demo cratic lawmakers as he said the Flori da Supreme Court would be the final arbiter of the election dispute Gores appeal was one of two elec ELECTION UPDATE Florida Supreme Court justices want written papers submitted by noon Condensed schedule reflects urgency of case Gore appealing Circuit Judge N Sanders Sauls rejection of request for manual recount in two counties Sauls also refuses to overturn Bushs certified victory tionrelated cases at Floridas high est court The other returned on Mon day from the Supreme Court requested clarification of the reason ing behind a state Supreme Court rul ing last month that approved partial manual recounts beyond a deadline fixed in state law for the end of vote counting in the presidential election The Bush and Gore legal teams already were operating under a 3 Tuesday deadline for submitting writ ten arguments in that case Lawmakers to tackle redistricting this session BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer SEGUIN Bills that do not get through the Texas Legislature by March could get lost in the mire of redistricting State Sen Jeff Wentworth R San Antonio and Rep Edmund Kuempel RSeguin told those who gathered Tuesday for an eggs and issues breakfast at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin that the upcoming session would focus on redistricting This is the one in five sessions every 10 years where the Legisla ture takes up Went worth said Its too The United States conducts a census every 10 years as it did this year Information from the census is used by states to draw district lines for the Congress and state offices The state legislators people Wentworth said were the most directly and personally and self interestedly affected by those lines are responsible for draw ing the new lines And Wentworth said the major ity party determined where the lines would be drawn In my judgment were the least qualified to be drawing Wentworth said Were the least Redistricting will begin after the state gets the census figures about April 1 he said me just recommend that if any of you have legislation that youre really in favor of passing that you try to get it in February or See INSIDE Cheer Fund Key Code 76 Contributors to the Herald Zeitung Cheer Fund were Helgard Suhr Anonymous Glenn R Johnson Abraham Ybarra Alan Barlett The HeraldZeitung seeks donations for its annual Cheer Fund to provide holiday meals for needy residents Mail or drop off donations at 707 Landa St in New Braunfels Dress warmly for Wassailfest Thursday No rain but cool temperatures predicted for downtown bash BY Jo LEE FERGUSON Staff Writer Comfortable shoes and warm clothes are a must for Wassailfest participants Thursday with organizers predicting lots of walking and cold temperatures Wassailfest takes place from 6 to 9 Thursday in downtown New Braunfels During Wassailfest more than 50 down town merchants cook up their own special wassail recipes to share with the public Wassail is a juice and spice drink whose name means to your The public walks from business to business tasting wassail and then votes in the peoples choice award for best wassail The winner will be announced several days later Also on Thursday a celebrity panel of three judges will sample all the wassails and select three winners that night Downtown is decorated with more than lights and many different groups and organizations will provide entertainment during the festival Wassailfest closes with a door prize draw ing at the Main Plaza bandstand Main Street Director Lynn Fountain said she had been watching the weather forecast for the past week It looks like were going to luck out she said It also looks like its going to be very cold so people need to dress warmly They do need to wear comfortable The National Weather Service said temper atures probably would be in the 50s Thursday The sky will be cloudy but no rain is expect ed the weather service reported Be sure about where youre going to park and park outside the barricades and then come down and have dinner and then stroll up and down the Fountain said Street barricades will be placed around downtown New Braunfels between and See
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