New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 3, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY April 3, 2003
14 pages in 2 sections
mWKFm pages in 2 sectsHERALD-ZeITI ING
Vol. 152, No. 120
Serviag New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
50 centsAmerican troops converge on Iraqi capital
By David Espo
AP Special Correspondent
American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline on Wednesday, and officials claimed the destruction of a pair of once-menacing Republican Guard divisions. Iraqis discarded their military uniforms by the roadside to hide their identity.
Bombs shook the capital as Army and Marine armored columns took
separate, converging paths toward the city horn the south.
“The dagger is clearly point-ed” at the heart of Saddam Husseins regime, said Brig. Gen.'Vincent Brooks.
Tile rapid advances brought thousands of troops within the red zone
— an imaginary line on the map near the capital where Iraqi use of weapons of mass destruction is most feared. Troops in some lead Army units donned chemical protection suits, and Marine helicopter pilots were ordered to be prepared to do so.
The military campaign unfolded as Pfc. Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old prisoner of war freed in a daring nighttime rescue, was flown to Germany for medical treatment.
But the joy over her freedom was tempered by word that the special forces who rescued her also found ll bodies. “We have reason to believe some of them were Americans,” said Navy Capt. Frank Thorp.
Increasingly, then? were signs that Iraqi civilians were eager for the arrival of invading forces. Some smiled and waved as Marines nilled thmugh Nasiriyah in tanks and other military vehicles.
There were moments of humanity, as well, in the two-week-old war. In Nasiriyah, American snipers summoned help for an Iraqi woman in labor in a pickup truck. Navy Hos-pitalman First Class Kyle Morris delivered a healthy baby and named her “America.”
“It was a pretty cool way to start the day,” he said.
Despite gains on the battlefield, See CONVERGE/3A
Appeals court sides against convicted rapist
By Ron Maloney
AUSTIN - An appeals court has upheld the 2001 aggravated sexual assault conviction of a Comal County man.
Michael K. Villegas, 38, of Spring Branch, is serving 40 years in state prison for restraining an Indian Hills woman with duct tape and raping her repeatedly over several hours.
A Comal County jury convicted Villegas on Dec. 17, 2001. The following month, 207th Judicial District Judge flack Robison sentenced him and fined hun $10,000.
Investigators said Villegas chose his victim because he thought she would not report him to police as she spoke no English and was allegedly an illegal immigrant.
He befriended her family after selling her aunt and uncle a bed and made repeated visits to their home, investigators said.
The night the woman was assaulted, she was confronted in her home by someone who wore a black ski mask and struck her from behind.
He then taped her up so she could not see and could not escape.
She never positively identified Villegas, but his DNA was found on her body, in her clothing and in her bedding.
Villegas testified in his trial that he had consensual sex with the victim, who he said became enraged because he refused to impregnate her and then kicked him out before calling sheriff’s deputies.
NBISD budget shortfall could surpass $1 million
Moll Industries signs lease, should fully open by May
By Sean Bowlin
Heading into a new budget year, the New Braunfels Independent School District is grappling with a projected $1.3 million shortfall, and uncertainty in the state’s fiscal shape threatens to make it worse.
NBISD Board of Trustees saw a preliminary draft for a 2003-2004 budget Monday night after a workshop meeting with district officials.
'IVustocs heard that if the district were to maintain its budget and tax rate for the next school year at the current level, there would be a deficit of $445,839, Assistant Superintendent for Curricu
lum and Instructional services Rosalyn Bratcher said.
Reasons for the projected deficit include reduction in state revenues — even if the funding formulas stay the same.
The deficit could lie offset by “tightening the belt” without having to cut employees, Bratcher said. Rolling over any savings from this year’s expenditures also would help, she said.
“One of the most prolific statements we could make is ‘Anything we could save now is ext remedy wise,”’ trustee President I). Ia*c Edwards said.
Sandra Hill, NBISD executive director for business See BUDGET/3A
Inside Goal of cards to ease election day hassles
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
New Braunfels has landed the new plastics employer that is expected to ultimately bring up to 300 new jobs to Comal County.
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Rusty Brockman said Moll Industries signed a lease and began moving into the former Flextronics plant this week.
Comal County commissioners will decide today whether to extend a package of tax incentives to the injection molding firm that will
fill an empty 103,(HK) aquarelles^ building in the Coleman industrial park on Farm-to-Market Road 306.
Commissioners Court meets at 8:15 a.m. today at 199 Main Plaza.
Moll Industries received approval in February from the City of New Braunfels for a $600,000 no-interest loan to help it move equipment here— along with a 10-year tax abatement for $6 million worth of the equipment.
Under terms of the city’s offer, Moll would only pay back $450,OOO of the loan if it creates at least 75 new local See INDUSTRIES^
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Key Code 7©
By Ron Maloney
City, county and school district officials urge residents to vote early because it cuts down the chances for misunderstandings at the jxills — and allows time to resolve them.
Just as important, according to Comal County Tax Assessor/Collector Sherman Krause, is reading your voter registration card, because it will tell you which district you live in.
“First of all, the voter registration card very clearly specifies on the right half of the card five small boxes — halfinch by half-inch. One’s for the city, one’s for the* school, the next three are your state senate and house districts andAt a glance
Don't know what district you live in?
Call the Comal County Voter Registrar's Office, 620-6620 or the New Braunfels City Secretary’s Office, 606-2100, ext 211 or 251, for assistance
Or tog omo the city's Web site at www.ct.new-braunleis.tx.us, dick on “2003 street index" and scroll down to your street name. The council district you live kl is the single digit number on the right.
your U.S. Congressional District,” Krause said.
The first two boxes, for the city and school, will specify a number for tin district a voter lives and votes in. In the school box, Krause said, tilt* card will also identify which school district a voter lives in
— the Comal or New Braunfels Independent School District.
“It would have CIS in the box if you’re in the Comal (Ilh-trict, then it would have your district number,” Krause said.
“Its pretty self-explanatory if you look at it,” Krause said.
‘The second way I would answer the question as to what district someone is in is they can call our office, and we can look it up for them,” Krause said.
New Braunfels City Secretary Michael Resendez said voters who are unsure of their district could call his office.
“If they need help finding out what district they’re in, we can help them with that,” Resendez said.Singing their praises
By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer
Comal County Judge Danny Scheel was named 2003 Citizen of the Year at an event meant to honor community service and the volunteer spirit.
Scheel was recognized before a crowd of about 250 in the New Braunfels Civic Center during the Herald-Zeitung’s annual “Unsung Heroes” reception.
Editor and Publisher Doug Toney honored Monique H a be r k or n, Henry and Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Leona Clark, Cassandra (Top) Unsung Heroes for 2003 included (from left)
Marbach, Rose Marie Zipp, Cassondra Marbach, Monique Haberkom, Bette
Bette Offerman Spain and Offerman Spain, Citizen of the Year Danny Scheel, Rose Carl and Ethel Saur as Marie Zipp and Ethel and Carl Saur. Not shown are
Unsung Heroes for their var* Henry and Leona Clark. (Above) Family and friends of
lous contribution!* to the* county Judge Danny Scheel enjoy a few witty words
community. while listening to a story about the newspaper’s part in
See PRAISES/3A introducing Scheel to his would-be bride.
■ A special section details the accomplishments and sacrifices of the Herald-Zeitung’s 2003 Unsung Heroes and Citizen of the Year. Read all about who was honored and why/lnside.
■ See related editorials
Reception honors community members who make a difference