New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 2, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4HerakJZsrtunp. New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday, April 2, 1991
State must pay to move prisoners
HOUSTON (AP) — Gov. Ann Richards says she authorized a $750,000 payment to Harris County under protest, but Sheriff Johnny Klevenhagen says the money is needed to move state prisoners out of local jails.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in denying a stay sought by the state, ruled that Texas must pay for Harris County to move state prisoners out of its jail to other less-crowded facilities.
In a one-paragraph decision Monday, the high court denied a stay sought by the state to overturn a Feb. 7 ruling by U.S. District Judge James DeAnda.
De Anda, saying the crowded conditions at the jail were endangering inmate health, ordered the state to set up a $750,000 fund that Harris County could use to rent jai I beds in other counties for state prisoners.
Officials say they may begin moving prisoners as early as this week, to such areas as Laredo, where overcrowding is not as severe a problem. The areas receiving state prisoners would be paid $40 a day out of the $750,000 fund.
With 1,170 prisoners over the population limit on Monday, however, the fund could run out in about two weeks.
Banker subpoenaed by grand jury
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Fort Worth banker whose bank has ties to Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis has been subpoenaed to testify before a Travis County grand jury investigating possible influence buying in the Texas Legislature.
The subpoena ordered Barry Smith, an officer of Landmark Bank of Fort Worth, to appear before the grand jury today. m
Smith was also ordered to surrender written records and tapes of conversa- Dr|70C Ofl uQCk lions or meetings involving any bank representative and loans to Lewis or Fort Worth businessmen Harold Plemons or John McMillan during the past five ytan.
The subpoena is the first indication in almost a month that the grand jury still is examining Lewis, who is from Fort Worth.
The panel has been focusing for week on former Speaker Pro Tem Hugo Berime a longtime political ally of Lewis. During that time, Lewis repeatedly has contended that the grand jury was finished with him and that he expected the two misdemeanor indictments against him to be dropped.
State seeks gubernatorial papers
AUSTIN (AP) — Two former governors have been asked by the state archivist to turn over thousands of state documents.
Former governors Bill Clements and Dolph Briscoe have neglected to give up hundreds of boxes of records accumulated during their administrations, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.
“In my mind the law is quite clear,” said archives director Christopher Laplante.
A 1947 state law specifies that a governor’s records related to official duties are the property of the government. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor offense, he said, but it has never been enforced.
Clements already has donated more than 500,000 documents from his second administration, 1987-1991, to Texas A&M University, and plans to hand over materials from his first term, 1979-1983, soon.
Clements could not be reached at his Dallas office for comment Monday.
Briscoe said he was unaware of the problem.
New Braunfels Historic Railroad and Modelers Society member Kermit Baese, left, and Society President Bryan Weidner hold several of the prizes to be raffled at the Society's 4th Annual New Braunfels Model Railroad Jamboree slated for April 20 at the Civic Center. For more information call Baese at 625-2656 or Weidner at 512-229-2305.
El Paso begins water controls
Fewer make checkoff contribution
WASHINGTON (AP) — Midwesterners are the most reluctant Americans to contribute $1 of their taxes to the presidential election campaign fund by checking off a box on their income tax returns.
Especially stingy are taxpayers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia, according to figures provided The Associated Press by the Federal Election Commission.
Eastern states have been by far the most generous to the cash-strapped fund.
Forty percent of New Jersey and New Yak City taxpayers owing money to the Internal Revenue Service during the 1989 tax year opted for the checkoff, according to the FEC. The figure was 28.5 percent of tax filers in the rest of New York state, Marne, Massachusetts. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont.
But only 18.2 percent of the same group kicked rn a dollar in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia, the FEC said. And only 18.8 percent helped replenish the fund in Alabama, Arkansas. Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Nest egg awaiting House retirees
WASHINGTON (AP) — House members who spurn another term — a simply get defeated next year — can leave Congress with a substantial pension increase, thanks to the 29.5 percent pay raise lawmakers gave themselves for 1991.
And House members who began serving before 1980 can walk away with a second benefit: they can convert any leftover campaign cash to personal use.
The pension increase is triggered by the raise that boosted House members’ salaries from $96,600 to $125,1 OO this year.
Pension calculations for House members are based partly on the average of the lawmaker’s three highest-salaned years. Thus, the salary increase for 1991 and 1992 provides a big jump rn the pension to which they are entitled.
Members of Congress can start collecting a pension at any age with 25 years of service and at age 50 with 20 years of service. At age 62, members can collet with five yeart of service
SDA has more bad news on sheep
WASHINGTON (AP) — If sheep producers needed any further convincing that their industry is in a slump, the Agriculture Department has a few more discouraging figures fa them.
Market prices for slaughter Lambs have been below $50 per hundredweight, down from around $80 a few years ago. And USDA analysts say the outlook is pretty grim through 1991. at least.
The U5 mid-March average reported last week fa lambs was $48.60 per hundredweight, compared with $66 a year ago.
Roo Gustafson of the department's Economic Research Service said Monday dial iamb imports also have edged down somewhat. Pan of that has been because U.S. domestic supplies have been “just a little bu larger” recently, and also because U.S prices have been less attractive.
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Water wasters were targeted by special water police as the city kicked off a water conservation program.
Having a home with little grass and lots of native cactus became chic overnight because of the rules that limit lawn watering to three nights a week, from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. The new rules also restrict car washing and a number of other activities.
Violators of the conservation measures face fines ranging from $50 to $500.
Six of the 12-man team that looks for water-rule breakers were out Monday morning, but Manny Rodriguez, an environmental enforcement inspector, said they might go a little easy on violators right now.
“Seeing that it’s the first day, if it’s somebody we haven’t come across before and they had just started to wash something” they might not get a citation. Rodriguez said.
The new rules were a test of will power for residents as temperatures
lingered near 80 degrees.
Beginning next summer, water-saving plumbing fixtures must also be installed in all new and renovated buildings. Violators of the construction measures will face fines as high as $2,000.
No citations had been reported by early Monday afternoon, Rodriguez said.
Ruth Braun gave her gardener a bit of a tongue lashing Monday morning when he watered some newly planted bulbs, allowing the water to flow out into the street.
"He wanted to water them and I came out and gave him the dickens ... I came out and turned it out myself but you know it’s got us all a little crazy,” said Ms. Braun who has grass in the front and rear of her home and numerous plants and trees.
A water shortage last summer and news of rationing in California prompted the water conservation.
“Anyone who moves out here and grows up here has to understand that
this is a desert. We are living in a desert,” said Ed Archuleta, general manager of the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board.
With emergency conservation last summer, El Paso utilities produced 38.1 billion gallons of water, or about 200 gallons per person per day.
Water officials hope to cut that to a per capita average of 160 gallons per day by the year 2000, a 20 percent drop.
People who continue to use large amounts of water also face sharply higher water bills than those who
But Lisabeth Davis said she already faces increased costs because of the conservation measures. A city ordinance once required her to plant grass in a parkway in front of Mexican restaurants she owns.
“Now we can’t water the grass in the parkway,” she said. “Sure its a burden it raises your operating costs and it doesn’t raise your profits any.. I think they are late.”
School issue on two-week ‘reprieve’
AUSTIN (AP) — Lawmakers may consider “any number of plans" to reform the school finance system after a state judge effectively gave them an extra two weeks to work. Gov. Ann Richards said.
“If we remember that we are not just talking about levels of funding and court orders, but about the future of our children and the economic future of this state, then the solution will be much easier to find,” she said Monday.
Lawmakers were scheduled to return from a long Easter weekend today, after missing Monday’s Texas Supreme Court deadline for devising a reform plan.
The deadline passed after the House on Wednesday rejected a bill developed by a House-Senate conference committee. The measure, which was passed by the Senate a week ago, would have shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in local property tax revenue from wealthier to power school districts.
Lawmakers then recessed for Easter.
The Supreme Court has twice unanimously ruled unconstitutional the current $14 biliion-a-year school finance system, which relies on state aid, local property taxes and some federal money.
Differences in local property values now result in large disparities in education funding available to school districts.
The court ordered state spending on public education to stop Monday if lawmakers had not come up with a plan. However, the next state checks are not due to be sent out to school districts until April 25.
District Judge F. Scott McCown look under advisement a motion by a group of poor school districts to cut off local as well as state education funds until a constitutional system is devised.
Income Tax Preparation
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Soviet food prices increase sharply
MOSCOW (AP) — Shopper* con fronted with stiff increases in govemmem-controlled prices dug deep uiic their pockets today and many despaired that they would no longer be able lo feed Iheir families Price tags were marked up overnight for roughly half the goods rn Soviet stores in an attempt to narrow the Long-neglected gap between the prices the government charges con aunters and riling production costs ll was the government's most decisive step In the arca in 30 years.
Pro-democracy activists criticize the increases as skirting what they consider the only effective strategy for lifting the country from economic malaise a swift move to a free market system.
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