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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Saturday, January 3, 2004 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 3, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas                                SATURN SPORTS HOOPS Playing at home Canyon Cougarettes best Lockhart Lions 4941 in district play Pago SA FORUM ON POLITICS Syndicated columnist Charley Reese says actors and politicians have more in common than one might think Pago 4A Serving New Braunfets and Comal County since 1852 Vol 153 No 44 12 pages 2 sections CLICK 500 DEAR ABBY 3B COMICS 2B WWW a lastly cloudy High Low I 74 62 i Details 1B FORUM 4A OBrrUARlES 3A SPORTS MA Vote puts of Landa St at stake AT A GLANCE MB Planning Commission Tuesday Municipal Building 424 S Castell Ave I By Scott Mahon Staff Writer I The New Braunfels Planning I Commission could change the character of Landa Street when it decides whether to ded icate 35 feet of rightofway adjacent to the LCRA power plant property Last month the commission postponed approving a plat that would give the Texas Depart ment of Transportation 35feet of rightofway to widen the street to four lanes The plat provides for the sub division and development of 32 acres on the LCRA power plant property along Landa Street However TxDOTs plans to widen the street to four lanes would require the developer Larry Peel to dedicate 35 feet of his property Last month Chairman John Dierksen suggested the com mission postpone approving the plat to give time to come up with a solution that would save 100yearold pecan trees that line the street between Landa Drive and Fredericksburg Road I think its the consensus of the commission that 120 feet is Dierksen said at last months meeting Seventy or 80 feet is probably adequate for See STREET Page 3A FRONT and CENTER Mobile crime lab adds to PDs capabilities scene Photos by REBECCA S ROGERS and DAVID New Braunfels police detective Mike Penshorn demonstrates how the departments new mobile crime lab func tions The refurbished ambulance houses computer equipment and other tools necessary to conduct investiga tions at the scene o a crime from lights and spare batteries to camera gear and fingerprinting kits Police did wprk to reconfigure ambulance renovate room themselves By Ron Malonay Staff Writer If the New Braunfels Police Departments new mobile crime scene truck looks a lot like an old ambulance its because thats what the vehicle is a decommissioned fire department ambulance The truck loaded with communication comput er and criminal investiga tion equipment gives NBPD a capability not enjoyed by many small police ability to immediately process inventory and cat alog evidence at the scene of an incident The vehicle and a new evidence processing room now being built at the police department repre sent an effort to upgrade their ly Chief of Police Russell Johnson has secured grants and money forfeited by criminals to pay for the new equipment Using sweat police offi cers have painted and ren ovated the evidence room and built the mobile unit out of a retired ambulance No question vehicle restoration and mainte nance arent in any detec tives job description neither is painting or ren ovating an old storeroom But police officers had an See LAB Page 3A Stephens takes helm at countys new court By Ron Maloney Staff Writer More than 300 people attended Fri days swearing ceremony for the judge who will start Comal Countys second CourtatLaw Retired District Judge Robert Pfeuffer administered the oath of office to attor ney Charles Stephens II whom com missioners appointed to the bench this past September Stephens will organize the court to mirror the current Courtat Law presided over by Judge Brenda Chap man The courts hear criminal family civil and probate cases Stephens appoint ment is for 2004 To stay on the bench he faces a threeway pri mary election March 9 with attorney Randy Gray and Assistant District Attorney Joe Soane Comal County sought legislation in 2003 to create a second county court at Chapmans recommendation Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora said Comal County considered adding a second courtatlaw when Chapman was first elected but Chap man asked the county to wait Using accelerated dockets and visit ing state judges Chapman managed to run two courts in one courtroom throughout her first term and the first part of her second one In doing so she retired a case backlog that went back months or a year Late in 2002 county ofBcials were told the state would cut funds for visiting judges With the countys steadily increas ing caseloads Chapman told commis sioners it was time to create the second court See COURT Page 3A Charles Stephens UPDATES Tracking the news ELECTION 20Q4 UST WE KNEW The filing period for the 2004 elec tions closed Jan 2 LATEST Recent Republi can filings are Doug Dunlap and Shane Rapp Precinct 4 Consta ble Randy Gray and Joe Soane County Courtat Uaw 2 Kenneth Smith Precinct 2 Diane Dasher and Bob Wickman Precinct 1 Commissioner Qreg Parker Precine Commissioner Democrat filings are Ramon Chapa Precinct 3 Commission er and Randy Galhdo Joe Gomez and Sandy Morales Precinct 3 Con stable tion wilJ be conduced March T Filing deadline passes with 20 local candidates running From Staff Reports Comal County Republicans conduct ed their meet the can didates gathering at the conclusion of the 2004 County Republican Party Chairman Don Hensz said the affair was conducted at the home of Larry and Beverly Nuckols on Wood Meadows About 15 of the countys office attended and were afforded the opportu nity to give two minute talks on their candidacy For the Democrats five for Precinct 3 commissioner and three for constable in the same announced can didacies The Democrats had not announced a meet the candi dates gathering Friday AV Always listening always working for you Now Offering   

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