Thursday, March 6, 2003

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 6, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS THURSDAY March 6 2003 12 pages in 2 sections HERALDZEITUNG Vol 152 No 97 Serving New Braunfels and Gomal County since 1852 50 cents Officials rule Austin mans death a suicide BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Officials have ruled the death of a 56yearold Austin man found shot Friday night outside New Braunfels a sui cide and said he staged a crime scene in an attempt to cover it up James M Webber died at Monday at Brooke Army Medical Center from NBISD drafts new contractor agreement BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer New Braunfels Indepen dent School District officials have drafted a contract between themselves their bonding company and a new construction company and theyre ready to submit it so work on the Memorial Schools can resume What this means to the district is were now in a position to move NBISD Board of Trustees President D Lee Edwards said We have a draft agree ment to enter into We have just minor tweaking that needs to he done and of course we still have to get our contract negotiated and agreed Best Construction Ser vices is the contractor Edwards said Its operated by Sam Best and is wellrec ommended and recognized in takeover agreements NBISD Superintendent Ron Reaves said after Wednesdays twohour meet ing I think the board has taken a step forward to rec tify the matter and get the Memorial projects moving and now that well be look ing at working with Best Construction services we look forward to this getting on line as quickly as possi In October 2002 trustees approved a takeover agree ment with Commercial Indemnity Insurance Com pany to finish renovation work on the Memorial Schools begun by Associated Able Inc Board members terminat ed the districts construction contract with Associated Able in September 2002 after the bonding company declared the company in default of its contract complications stemming from a gunshot wound to the chest Comal County Sheriffs detective Sgt Tammy Ward said the Bexar County Med ical Examiners Office has ruled the gunshot wound self inflicted Based on the evaluation of all the evidence gathered in this case and the findings at autopsy this death will be ruled a suicide The evidence gathered up to this point indicates the gun shot wound was Ward said Webber was found at Friday night beside his truck on Conrads Lane north of New Braunfels Deputies found a 22 cal iber rifle near Webber as they initiated first aid Webber told the deputies he had picked up a hitchhik er and that the hitchhiker had shot him As New Braunfels Fire Department paramedics treated Webber and took him to BAMC the Comal County Sheriffs Office dispatched detectives to investigate the scene and the reported aggra vated robbery Sheriffs detective Sgt Tommy Ward and detective Ronnie Womack worked the scene while detective Wayne Lehman followed Webber to BAMC to interview him about what took place Right away detectives believed there were prob lems The statements Mr Web ber made tothe deputies who responded and to the inves tigating detectives did not correspond with the evidence at the scene or the injury that was Ward said Ultimately he added detectives determined the scene had been staged to make the shooting appear as though it had been a robbery Our job is to find out what See Ash Wednesday services K JESSIE As the final Ash Wednesday service at Sts Peter and Paul comes to a close Msgr Eugene OCallahan places ashes on the forehead of 6yearold Rilie Eubeh Deacon Ben Wehman said that although the church comfortably seats about parisioners were asked to squeeze a little closer together for the overflow of worshippers that came to all four of the days services Residents express confusion over point of hearings Pinto They could change boards mind BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer The New Braunfels Infra Cor poration Board of Directors invited public input Wednes day on two economic devel opment initiatives already endorsed by the board The special meeting was protocol since the board con ducted no official public hear ing before approving worth of taxpayer money for economic development One of the initiatives was a request already granted by city council for a loan to Moll Industries a plastics injections molder coming out of bankruptcy to assist with expenses incurred from relocating to the old Flextronics plant in New Braunfels The other initiative was hir ing consultant firm TIP Strategies Inc to work with the city to attract supporting industries for the proposed Toyota plant in San Antonio City council asked for pub lic input before it approved the Moll Industries loan in February and the 4B board repeatedly asked for public input during a special meet ing to consider the hiring of TIP Strategies However since the 4B board had not called official public hearings on these two issues Wednes days special meeting was nec essary before the city could spend 4B funds See Standards could mean longer life for streets BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff Writer New Braunfels streets being repaired and constructed after May should have a longer life than streets built before them Though city engineer Mike Short said its hard to say how long the average city road has lasted or will last the city has adopted tougher standards for its streets Tuesday the New Braunfels Planning Commission adopt ed the standards that came recommended by both the city engineer and the subdivision committee The standards in part come as a result of developers requests for standards to make subdivision roads con sistent Well finally have some thing when somebody comes in and says How do you guys do streets we can give em this Mike Norris of the subdivision committee said City ordinance also calls for standards to be set by the city engineer In the past those standards have not been set The need was to formalize these requirements and take it through the process of an Norris said Officials have been using the citys master plan to deter mine street standards but those standards are general and do not take into account engineering principles Short said See Law enforcement agencies seize Ortiz Rec Center in drug investigation K JESSIE New Braunfels police officer Jeff Childs center and an undercover narcotics officers left leave the bar of Paul M right after seizing the Ortiz Rec Center bar and its contents Wednesday afternoon as part of an investigates of drug possession charges against Ortiz BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Legal troubles mounted Wednesday for the New Braunfels bar owner arrested in January on drug posses sion and resisting arrest alle gations Comal County Sheriffs detective Capt Dennis Koepp said officers from several law enforcement agencies seized the Ortiz Rec Center former ly the Black Cat Bar in the 200 block of West San Anto nio Street Paul M Ortiz 45 owns the bar and the historic building it is located in which is appraised at by the Comal Appraisal Disuict New Braunfels police arrested Ortiz Jan 18 for the alleged possession of between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana The marijuana and a relat ed evading arrest allegation are state jail felonies punish able by a fine of up to and up to two years in a state jail Just before the arrest Ortiz allegedly led the officers on a chase through the city and then threw the marijuana into the business A third charge of not having insurance on the truck he allegedly fled in is a misde meanor Ortiz turned himself in Feb 1 to face an additional charge of possession of gambling paraphernalia in connection with property allegedly seized at the bar The charge is a class A misdemeanor punish able by up to one year in county jail and a fine The truck and an unstated but reportedly large amount of cash found in a plastic bag in the truck were confiscat ed when Ortiz was arrested The business was not seized when the arrest was made Koepp said As we didnt physically take the building then we sought a seizure Koepp said Officers of the Comal Coun ty Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force obtained a seizure warrant from County Court atlaw Judge Brenda Chap man See A INSIDE Key Code 76