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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung: Thursday, May 20, 2004 - Page 1

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   New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 20, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas                                THURSDAY MAY fl ZEITUNG STILL IN IT Smithson Valley readies for regional quarterfinal matchup against the Holmes Huskies Page SA FORUM GUEST COLUMN Thomas Barrett III says the logic behind an ordinance ban ning beer bongs is full of holes Page 4A Braunfels and Cpmal County since 1852 Vol 153 No 12 pages 2 sections CLICK 500 WWW Mostly cloudy High Low DEAR ABBY 4B FORUM Details COMICS 3B IB 4A 3A 1 SPORTS 66A TV GRIDS 4B Defense questions police search tactics By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Defense Attorney Glen Peterson raised questions Wednesday about whether police acted appropriately when they stopped and car driven by John Hernandez a suspect in a 2002 killing A state expert testified the likelihood that blood found on Hernandezs clothing belonged to anyone other than victim Pablo Esquivel was one in quadrillion one followed by 15 zeroes Prosecutor Joe Soanes case against Hernandez entered its second day with testimony by forensic experts and the New Braunfels police officers who found Esquivels alleged killers shortly after the April attack If convicted in Judge Jack Robisons 207th Judicial Dis trict Court of engaging in organized criminal murder Hernandez faces between five and 99 years in state prison Codefendant Daniel Cam pos Correa pleaded guilty to murder Monday in exchange for an 11year sentence Codefendant Santiago Crazy Jimmy Suarez will be tried later Officer Joe Tovar testified finding Hernandezs car at the intersection of Business 35 and Seguin Avenue about half an hour after Esquivel was Company Velds education growth By Scott Mahon Staff Writer Senior Flexonics Pathway hopes New Braunfels will help pay the company to forge a partnership with the Central Texas Technology Center The New Braunfels Infra structure Improvement Corp 4B board voted Wednesday to give Senior Flexonics Pathway up to to use the CTTC to train skilled welders The board voted unani mously to assist the company Well write a check for for each employee who completes training up to 60 new said Matt Harrison board president City council still must approve the recommendation Senior Flexonic Controller Carl Armbrister who made a public presentation to this board Wednesday said the company would toe up to 60 new employees Arrnbrister said the total cost of training new welders would be and Flexonics would pay half the cost Senior Flexonics Pathway manufactures metal and fabric expansion joints used in the petrochemical and nuclear industries The company recently closed its Oakridge plant and relocated to New Braunfels where it cur rently employs about 140 Arrnbrister said one reason the company closed its DAVID Senior Flexonics controller Carl Arrnbrister hopes that the city will offer the company financial incentives to train welders to expand the companys current workforce in New Braunfels Oakridge plant was the high cost of wages and benefits The company pays welders here to per hour Wages in Oakridge are tremendously high because theyre union he said Benefits like health insurance are also extremely high For instance SBC in San Antonio pays about per employ ee per year for benefits It cost us per employee per year in Arrnbrister said the company would donate welding equip ment to the CTTC We have welding equip ment in Oakridge we plan to give to the CTTC center and we would like some of our welders to be teachers aides he said Plus we want to open our plant here and let people who are interested in welding to see some handson Official Sex assault program takes collaboration By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A coalition of advocacy groups law enforcement local officials and McKen na Memorial Hospital could be closer to implementing a program to train nurses to gather evidence in sexual assaults The program sponsored by the state attorney generals office trains registered nurses to be Sexual Assault Nurse Exam iners Wednesday Grace Davis who develops SANE programs for Attorney General Greg Abbott came to New Braunfels to tell local officials how it could be done One of the issues that comes up over time is why do we even want to do this Davis said Another is how to pay for Danny Perez of the Comal County Womens Center said he believed the pro gram should come to New Braunfels because under the current system where victims are driven to San Antonio the experience can take up to 12 big deterrent to victims and prosecutions The situation with going to San Anto nio is wonderful but as time goes on we need to implement this program here Everyone in this community trusts McKenna and sees this hospital as the health care provider for this region We hope they will consider this Davis pointed out sexual assault was not McKennas problem but a com munity problem While a program would need to have hospital involvement to succeed she said it should not be the hospitals burden You have do decide as a community if you want it and how youre going to fund See SANE Page XA NBISD might change insurance plan By Leigh Jones Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School Dis trict is considering options for a new health insurance plan for next school year Currently district employees are cov ered under a selffunded health plan where premiums are paid to the district rather than to an insurance company Claims are then paid out of the collected premium reserves NeaJ Welch the districts insurance consultant said the district experienced a large increase in the number and amount of claims this year Weve had a tough year with quite a bit in the he said Weve made some changes in the plan but unfortunately we dont think we would break even next year According to information provided to the board of trustees Tuesday the NBISD Health Insurance Plan experienced a 40 percent increase in claims paid during See IMMHMICI Page 3A stabbed to death in Solms Because it matched the description of the suspect vehicle Tovar followed the car to Ryans Steakhouse where it turned left on McKenna Avenue When it turned right on Porter Street Tovar said he stopped Hernandez because he didnt signal the turn Tovar called for backup from officer David Olson and approached Hernandezs car from its passengers side he said because of concerns its occupants could have just been involved in a killing Hernandez greeted the offi cer with an expletivefilled See TRIAL Page 3A Reality TV City councilman asks for cable show By Scott Mahon Staff Writer District 6 City Councilman Ken Valentine said he would propose Monday that coun cil members be allowed to televise 30minute videos on the citys cable television access channel Valentine who was elected May 2002 said his campaign platform included educating the public and allowing council members to discuss subjects of local interest on television would accomplish that goal When I ran for city coun cil I wanted to use Channel 21 as a forum to bring local residents into the political he said So I want to suggest Monday that we council members have access to Channel 21 so that council members can com municate issues to the pub Valentine said a number of items he put on councils agenda havent been dis cussed in the last three months The council has either pulled the items from the agenda or there wasnt a sec ond to my he said So either the items were dis cussed by other council members prior to the meet ings or they didnt want to debate the items in public But the issue is that these are Ken Valentine items I believe are im portant issues and need to be dis cussed in public because they affect the quali ty of life in our Valentine said his motion to ban beer bongs on the Cpmal and Guadalupe rivers died without being seconded even though the subject attracted the attention of the news media During the last three months I made motions to place a temporary morato rium on the expansion of tubing companies to use hotel occupancy tax money to build a new visitor center and a motion to implement a wristband system on the he said None of those motions were second Valentine said Austin and San Antonio televise indi vidual council member pre sentations Both cities have cable tel evision channels where council members host he said This is not about me this is about allowing council members See VALINTINI Page 3A School dedicates tree in infants memory MMD Memorial Intermediate fiftrvgrader Aaron Madero reads a poem as his parents Sonja and Julio look on during a treeplanting ceremony hey Wednesday in memory of his 6weekold sister Alyssa who died from heart failure April 4 Maderos classmates donated to pay for the tree Fri   

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