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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 18, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS TUESDAY February 18 2003 12 pages in 2 sections RALDZEITUNG Vol 153 No 83 Serving New Braunfels and Gomal County since 1852 50 cents Detectives 5 of 6 arrested in drug raid had needle tracks BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Three detectives with the Comal County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force de scribed in detail Monday the investigation that led to the arrest of Arnaldo Gomez They spoke of running their confidential informant on a series of four supervised drug buys at the Gomez res idence on West Bridge Street and described the estimated worth of drugs confis cated in the Dec 13 2001 SWAT raid on the home They described used and unused hypodermic needles they said were strewn about the home They showed pictures tak en at booking of the occu pants of the home at the time of the raid Sheriffs Deputy Rick Sanchez testified that all except one had needle tracks on their arms Needle tracks are the puncture marks and scars left in lines over veins by repeated drug injections They are a typical sign of drug addiction Over objections raised by defense attorney Joseph Gar cia III Sanchez a former investigator with the Metro politan Narcotics Task Force who returned to uniformed service in 2002 described the needle marks he said he saw on the defendant Gomez 48 faces from 25 to 99 years in prison if con victed on any of five counts in the trial being conducted before 274th Judicial District Judge Gary Steel The defen dant stands charged with his brother Rodolfo 39 and sis ter Sandra 41 with engag ing in an organized criminal activity by Possession with intent to distribute heroin Possession with intent to deliver cocaine Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of mar ijuana and See DRUG Historic site trendy future Developer has some lofty plans in store for old LCRA power plant building BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Larry Peel can picture this Trendy highrise loft apartments like those you can find in the Rust Belt cities of the Northeast and the Midwest The view from the four upper floors through the large wallsized windows is as spectacular as any from Lakeview Drive On two sides its a Landa Park panorama From a third its a view over the rooftops of the his toric downtown From the last one can look out over the West End and see nearly to Schertz Inside nestled among Industri al Age masonry and hotriveted iron girders are four glassroofed Ibeamlined atriums that rise 120 feet above the ground floor In public space at ground level are a fitness center a clubhouse that includes a stage and enough elevated seating for small concerts a convenience store retail kiosks a beauty parlor and a barber shop The lofts including another 170 units in buildings nestled between lakes and pools around the prop erty are priced near the higher end of the local rental market and are designed for mature couples and emptynesters Peel pictures DAVID Historian John Volz and developer Larry Peel from left discuss the renovations planned for the LCRA building on Landa Street The building will retain much of the ironwork that hearkens back to its heritage See From the outside the building will remain the landmark it has been since it was built in the 1920s Caretaker recalls buildings heyday BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Chuck Welty knows his way around the LCRA power plant like nearly no one else does Welty of New Braunfels went to work for the Lower Colorado River Authority in I960 retiring in 1994 In his first job he was a gate guard at what used to be called the Comal power plant on Landa Street Then he moved inside to work in maintenance From there he moved into opera tions becoming an assistant fireman then a fireman a pump man a water tender and a turbine tender He sees the plant differ ently than most people prob ably do This was a beautiful beautiful building when it was in Welty told an interviewer in 1999 It was a lot of The plant completed in 1926 was originally designed to be built on the property along the Guadalupe River now called Camp Comal adjacent to New Braunfels Utilities wastewater treat ment plants The plan was adjusted to fit the Comal River site when that parcel of land became available The plant was designed to supply electricity See DAVID Chuck Welty had been employed at the LCRA build ing since 1960 He is currently the caretaker of the building which at one time was the largest power plant west of the Mississippi River INSIDE Key Code 76 Public meeting to detail floodcontrol efforts BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer SMITHSON VALLEY Flood con trol will be on the agenda Thursday night at a public meeting sponsored by the Comal County League of Women Voters Comal County Engineer Tom Horn seth and Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson will update the league and its guests on county efforts to build a floodcontrol dam system and on the buyouts now under way of flooddamaged properties Dawson has been heading up nego tiations with nearly 30 property own ers in unincorporated county areas who qualified for flood buyouts through the Federal Emergency Man agement Agencys Hazard Mitigation Grant Program He will update the league and guests on the progress of those efforts Whats up The League of Women Voters meeting on flood place beginning at 7 Thuregty In the conference room of the Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative on FarmtoMarket Road 3159 in Smithson valley and report any recent news on the issue Hornseth has been working on the flood control project since the October 1998 flood Comal County is seeking to build a series of five floodcontrol structures similar to ones now in place on Blie ders Creek and the Dry Comal Creek The Blieders Creek structure built after the 1972 flood is credited with reducing water levels in New Braun fels by several feet in the October 1998 flood The way a flood control impound ment works is by backing up a large quantity of water behind a stone and earthen structure that allows only a small amount of water to pass through It reduces the flood impact by hold ing back massive amounts of water that otherwise would have flooded downtown and releasing it over a longer period of time In the wake of the 1998 flood coun ty officials commissioned a study and found locations where several of the structures could be built on the Dry Comal and Guadalupe watersheds to reduce flood waters in New Braun fels in the next disaster Each of the structures would cost several million or more dollars involv ing a total price tag of between million and million by various estimates The county has met all of FEMAs See FLOOD Prominent pathologist drowns in hot tub BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer A prominent local pathologist apparently drowned Monday after noon in a hot tub at a New Braun fels fitness center Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Diana Campos pronounced Dr Franklin D Foley 69 dead at McKenna Memorial Hospital at Monday Foleys body was taken to the Bexar County Medical Examiners Office Police and paramedics were called to McKenna Health and Fit ness 700 block of Landa Street at Monday for a reported possible drowning They arrived to find staff mem bers of McKenna Health and Fit ness performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Foley New Braunfels Fire Department paramedics took Foley to the McKenna Memorial Hospital emer gency room where he was treated by Dr John Flanagan and the emergency room staff New Braunfels police reported that Flanagan ruled the death an accidental drowning due to hypo glycemia and respiratory failure Foley was a McKenna Memorial Hospital pathologist McKenna hospital and health and fitness center officials refused to comment on the death CISD trustee seeks D7 post BY SEAN BOWUN Staff Writer Comal Independent School Dis trict 7 Trustee Randall Pawelek has filed to seek election in the May 3 This is Paweleks first school board election Rather than hold ing a special election in February 2003 he was appointed to the school board in November 2002 to replace District 7 representative John Clay Clay resigned after he and his family moved to Schertz outside the districts boundaries He had represented the Garden Ridge area since 1995 Because he is an appointee Pawelek will have to officially run for the seat twice in relatively short succession First Pawelek would run in May to fulfill the rest of Clays unexpired term He must then run a second time in May 2004 for a full threeyear term The uiuvial board of trustees elec tion in the Comal Independent School District is May 3 Monday was the first day that candidates interested in filing for one of the four seats up for election could do so The filing period ex tends through March 19 Residents in Districts 1 2 5 and 7 will vote in the CISD school board election Trustees currently representing those districts are Dora Gonzales District 1 secretary Dan K Krueger District 2 president Der ald LaRue District 5 and Randy Pawelek District 7
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