Saturday, December 30, 2000

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas NFELS HERALDZEITUNG Vol 150 No 42 16 pages in 2 sections December 30 2000 O A fpj TQ A Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents A year of Comal County heads toward millennium after eventful year FROM STAFF REPORTS Many anticipated the Year 2000 would come in like a lion with the crash of computer systems around the world causing mass hysteria Some even said the world would end when the clock struck midnight on Dec But in fact the year started more like a lamb with a show of fireworks and celebrations around the world People everywhere held their breath but few problems followed Then the world proceeded with business as usual Now almost 366 days later it was a leap the year improperly hailed as the start of the new millennium is ending and the actual new millennium will begin Monday When the calen dar most widely used around the world was adopted it began with Year One instead of Year Zero That means the calendar did not reach another thou sand years until 2000 might not have delivered the worldwide doom and devastation pre dicted but it still was an eventful year around the world and at home Comal County struggled with the problems that come with explosive growth New Braunfels residents searched for ways to balance the citys tourist industry with the desire for good behavior on local rivers Construction on Interstate 35 tied New Braunfels drivers and their patience up in knots And in August a shocked and griev ing community buried a peace officer who sacrificed his life in the line of duty Here is the year in review TROOPER KILLED The shooting death of Trooper Randall W Vetter in August united a community and drew thousands of people including peace officers from around the country to mourn him The elderly man accused of shooting and killing Vetter is awaiting his capital VETTER murder trialin Hays County Melvin Edison Hale now 73 under went bypass surgery while in jail dur File photo A funeral service for Trooper Randy Vetter drew thousands from across the country to New Braunfels in August Photos above and right in descending order Opponents to a proposed alcohol ban speak up at a council meeting McKenna Hope was placed with a new family one of the Comal jail escapees returns a tuber exits the Guadalupe River this summer f ing the months after the August shoot ing A pretrial hearing for Hale is scheduled for late January The shooting occurred Aug 3 on an Interstate 35 access road near Kyle when Vetter apparently stopped Hale for a traffic violation Vetter 28 was shot in the head and died on Aug 7 in an Austin hospital He left behind a wife and young son as well as other family members Hays County District Attorney Michael Wenk is seeking the death penalty for Hale The court has appointed Austin attorney Carlos Garcia to represent Hale Garcia is now in the process of obtaining and reviewing all the infor mation in the case He said a couple of weeks ago that he did not yet know if he would seek to move the trial out of Hays County Garcia said his objective was to save Hale I dont think its a question of who shot Garcia said I think its a question of why What happens to make one person shoot another Is a person off their rocker Is it selfdefense God knows what happened I dont know what the facts are going to show quite See and fun Detectives seek son of victim Investigators man could provide information BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer CRANES MILL Detectives want to talk to the son of a woman found shot to death in her home this week Barbara Casey 61 was found dead after an arson fire destroyed her Canyon Lake Drive home Tuesday afternoon Detective Tommy Ward with the Comal County Sheriffs Office said hes looking for Daniel P Neal 32 He is wanted for questioning He is the son of the Ward said Detectives have said they have a suspect in Caseys death but have not named that person Ward said he wants to talk to Neal He has some information that could assist in this investigation Finding him would be really Ward said The Travis County Medical Examiner ruled Caseys death a homicide and determined that she had apparently been shot multiple times with a the Comal County Sher iffs Office previously reported Also Deputy State Fire Marshal Tommy Hubertus has said the fire at Caseys home was set in connection with her death Neal who is also reported to be known by the names Daniel Thomas Casey and John Blackmon is wanted on a warrant out of Bexar County that alleges he violated proba tion by committing aggra vated assault with a deadly weapon Ward wouldnt say what that alleged assault was although he did say it wasnt committed against Casey and had nothing to do with her death We consider him armed 32 for ques tioning Photo submitted The Comal County Sheriffs Office is seeking and dangerous based on that Qaniel p Meal past Ward said Ward would not specu late on a possible motive in Caseys death The detective also refused to rule out that Neal himself might have fallen prey to foul play Its possible that he could be also a Ward said We need to find Neal who reportedly lived in the Canyon Lake area worked in San Antonio Ward said at a news conference late Friday afternoon Hes known to frequent San Antonio Hes worked as a landscaper at a golf Ward said He seems to be a pretty successful one Were looking for him in the San Antonio area and in Comal Ward said Neal has lived in several other states and it was possible hed left this area entirely Police statewide and nationwide have been notified to watch for Neal Ward said Neal was last seen driving a red 1987 Ford Bronco II with Texas License Plate TCC 88R Anyone with information about Neal or his whereabouts should call Ward at 6203417 or 6203400 INSIDE Key Code 76 Coming Sunday m new yeai means new resolutions to stop smoking lose weight exercise Find out how you make resolu tions stick in 300JJ lifestyle 1C Clennan bids farewell to tax office BY RON MALONEV Staff Writer Gloria Clennan cleaned out her desk Friday The woman who spent a quarter of a century assessing and collecting taxes for Comal County is going back to pri vate life Clennan said she was pleased with the job she had done grateful for the friends she had and the people she worked with and prepared to face a new challenge Todays Clennan said Friday amid a usually very tidy office strewn with cardboard boxes Today its reality today it sets in Naturally its sad and certainly Im leaving with a heavy heart But itll go away Ive had 25 years maybe thatfc long Clennan was appointed on Dec 1 1975 to fill the final year of the term of the previous assessor Robert Schlabach She ran unopposed for all but the first of her six fouryear terms as tax assessor The tax is responsi ble for voter and vehicle registrations and collecting taxes including property SeeCLENNANftA CHRIS HerakJZeitung Gloria Clennan packs a dock made out of a license plate before leaving her office Friday