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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas PfWiiBn i«Tr*v I MCI llll k. \/VWIIVIO MppiWCr M^UI, 17IIU VMII WIIII IIU VMII7 brUK I b, O New Braunfels Herald ^Zeitung SERVING NEW BRAUNFELS SINCE 1852 Teen gets 50 years for sex assault By Daiondo Mouttrte The Herald-Zeitung A district judge Tliursday .iftornoon srntrnced a 19-year-old man found guilty last tnonth ot s(‘xua1ly assaulting a then-l2-year-old girl at a New Braunfels teen shelter. ludge C harles R. Ramsay, without much explanation, ordered Marc Russell Byron to spend 50 years in prison. "We asked for the maximum, which would've bwn 99 years or life, but we're very pleased with 50 Byron years," said )ennifer Smith, Comal County crimmal assistant distric t attorney. "His past l)ehavior is a very gtKxi indicator of what his future Ix'havior is going to be." Witnesses in court Thursday testified that Byron has exhibited sexual improprieties in the past, said Smith and Byron's defense attorney Bill Harris of Spring Branch. Byron's stepmothtT tt'sti-fi(*if that h(‘ s(‘xua!ly assaulted her daughter Byron's st('psisl('r around 2004 when the girl was i). Dr. Cj(H)rgeV. Parker, a licensed psychologist, testifiefi that Byron admitt(>d to more rc( (nitly touc hing a 10-year-old girl while in a psychiatric treatment fac ility in San Antonio. SiTiith had a nurse testify that Byron ex(^)S(‘d himself to her while she trit'd to administer iTic*dic ine to him re(c*ntly in Cj>mal C'ounty lail. "I consider him to be a high-risk offender," Smith said. "He's a f)rc'dator." Parker also testific'd that Byron n(H>ds helf). "I le certainly n(‘c>ils to Im* immers(‘d in sexual offend er treatment at some» time," he said. "He has a host of psychiatric probU*ms ... See SENTENCE. Page 5 ► TX LEGISLATURE “One spark was all it took. That’s how dry it is.” Wayne Ellinjfton I Counlv fire* marshal ■ ' i JUST ONE SPARK b t» emai piloto submitted A helicoptor picks up water to combat a Comal County wildfire^ Below the thick cedar area shows signs of Itie fire damage. Firefighters join forces to combat 20-acre blaze in Coma ByGregBowttn The Herald Zeitung A small army of firefighters from as far away as Boisc‘, Idaho, fought a wildfire that blackened 20 acres of drought-parched ( omal County ranchland Sunday and Monday before it could be containc'd. Seven area fire* def)artments were assisted by lore es from the Texas Forest Service. The I'orc^st Service supplied aircraft that dro[)p(*d fire retardant anci directed the battle trom the air, a helicopter that repc'atedly filk'd Its 2,2()()-gallon bucket with water trom a nearby golf course pond, bulldozers, and teams of s[K'cially-trained forest-fire firelighters from Boise. The fire at the Elbel Ranch in the S[)ring Branch area started around 5 p.m. Sunday when a s|)ark jumped from the battery of a f)ulldozer that the ranch owner was attempting to start. County I ire Marshal Wayne I llington re(K)rtc‘d to ('omal County Cxmimis-sioners on Thursday. "One* sf)ark was all it took. That's how dry ON THE WEB W'atth a video of firefighters collecting water with a helicopter at herald-zeitung.com/niul-tiniedia/videos/ ON YOUR PHONE Want to see it on your smart phone? Scan the QR CODH on Page 3. it is," Ellington said. Several houses in the River Oossing sub-divison area off U.S. Highway 281 were threatened, Ellington said. "It was a long two-day event, but wc' savcnl all the houses," he saicl. The firefighters had to contend with a hard-to-fight fire in dense ccnlar on rough ter rain. "It was so thick, the firemen could not walk through the woods to tigiit the firt‘," he saicl. Winds caught buds trom thc‘ burning cc'dar trees and blew them hundreds of yards, creating nc'w "hot spots" that had to be extinguished, he said. Eiiefighters from the Spring Branch Fire Department, the C anyon Lake Fire Depart-nu'nt, the Bulverde lire Department, the Blanco Fire Dc*partment, the' Kendalia Fire Dc'partinent, the Be*xar-Bulverde Volunteer fire De'[)artment and the Bc'rgheim VFD See WILDFIRE. Page 5 AREA RIVER FLOWS cIs ciihic tea per second • Guadalupe at Sattler 60 cfs • Guadalupe at NB 47 cfs • CoinalatNB 174 cfs RIVER FLOW RATE GUIDE • RECREATIOfWL -100 499 cfs • CHAUlN6ING-500 799cfs STRENUOUS-800 1,199 cfs • DANGEROUS -1,200+cfs Optimal tubing on the Guadalups is between 200 cfs and 600 cfs Tubing IS ^ safest below 1000 > cfs Rafting is the mode of choice foi levels above 1,000 cfs. IHS: Gulf drilling could add 230,000 jobs NEW YORK (AP) — An energy research group predicted that an increase in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico could create 230,000 jobs and add $44 billion to the economy next year. IF1S on Tliursday said that the U.S. would produce more jobs, more tax revenue and another 411,000 barrels of oil per day if the industry was allowed to operate at full spcvd in the Gulf. The government essentially shut down offshore drilling for several months last year after BP's massive oil spill while it put nc'vv safety regidations in place. In February, regulators started granting drilling permits again for cJeepwater wells, but at a slower pace than before the spill. They say stricter guidelines tiow in place for permits help ensure that drillers o()erate safe y. Daniel Yergin, an IF^S vice chairman and oil historian, saicl the |K)int of the stuciv was to show what's possible with a resurgence in Ciult drilling. "It we continue at this very low pace, we'll have a much wc'aker industry and activity will be con-centrati'd more in other countries," Yergin said. His statement echoes the oil industry's claim that nc'vv regulations are unnecc'ssarily slowing the [)ac e of drilling in the Ciulf and costing the U.S. jobs while contributing to high oil and gasoline prices. Commissioners hear about changes to laws By Greg Bowen rtie Herald-Zeitunq A bill a )provc'(l in the just-eMick'c session ot the* Texas Legislature allows counties to send out tax statements cde^ctronicallv, Paul Sugg, director of the* Ic'gislative dc‘f)artmc'nt of tlic Texas Assoc lation ot ( oun-ties, saidThursdav Under the nc'u I aw, a property owner must tirsf recjuest that his l.ix state mcMit bc‘ se*nt elc'< Ironical ly, said Sugg, who .iddrc'ssc'cl Comal ('ounty (ommission CTs’ ('c)urt (luring its month ly e‘vening workshop. (ountv judge Sherman Krause* Stficl he* ikcHl the idc*a of the county being able to email tax st<Uements. "If you think about that, it savt's printing costs, mailing costs, the employc’t' time that it takes to stutt envelopes. It savc's all ot those costs, so that's a great thing," Krause said. The bill was just one ot riiany Sugg disc ussed, saving the economic downturn has changcnl the dynamic of the partnership betwc'en count)' governmcMits and the' st.Uc' gc)vc‘rnment See TAX, Page 5 WEATHER, 12 DANE HEZEL LONE STAR ELEMENTARY Mostly sunny, hot High; 98 Low; 77 AbliiL- Classifietis ..... Comics Crosswords Forum ...... 10 Obituaries ____ Planner___________ . _ TV Vol. 1581 No 217 1 section, 12 pages 8 ■•56825 00001 50 cents Downstairs in the Prince Solms Inn Weddinrs/Recepttons/i’arties In tfie Uptown Courtyard For fun and conversatioUf Enjoy an Uptown Piano Bar Night! 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