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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 12, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas /IV New hog9 ui/zz / uu ' c "i" H P P o p IJ Vs I X • Pi >■ N X i. YJTiU'i I UKHerald-Zeitung iOv'S 4 Vol. 149 No. 103    16    pages    in    2    sections    April    12,    2000 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 SO cents Alert letter carrier comes to woman’s rescue K.JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Post office letter carried Don McBroom was the first one to notice something wrong at an elderly woman’s residence on Monday.Resident saved days after falling • By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Local letter carrier Don McBroom has taken his job to heart by looking out for the well-being of an elderly New Braunfels resident on his daily mail route. And a little after 2 p.m. on Monday, he noticed something was terribly wrong. The mailbox of the 77-year-old woman, who lives alone, was still filled with Saturday’s letters. Even more alarming, the radio was playing and the lights were on in the residence — but no one was answering the door. The woman had fallen and broken her hip sometime during this past weekend — and was unable to call for help. McBroom immediately contacted a post office supervisor, who called the New Braunfels Police Department to check on the resident’s welfare. “For the past two or three days, the woman had been lying on the floor,” said Doug Newell, former president of the letter carrier’s union. New Braunfels Fire and Rescue personnel transported the woman about 2:30 p.m. Monday to McKenna Memorial Hospital — where she was scheduled to have hip surgery Tuesday, McBroom said. From her hospital room early Tuesday afternoon, the woman said she was grateful beyond words that McBroom had come to her rescue. “Oh bless his heart — he was wonderful to find me,” she said. “He is a very fine fellow ... I want to throw him a party. Just not now — I’ll have to wait a little while until I feel better.” McBroom’s service was part of a little-known program called the carrier alert system. Postal employees voluntarily make arrangements to check on elderly residents who live alone by watching for troubling signs like an overflow of mail in the mailbox, he said. “The customer has to initiate the service,” said McBroom, who checks on two elderly residents along his route. “The (77-year-old) woman doesn’t have See RESCUE/3 A Courthouse evacuatedPolice investigate phony bomb threat By Ron Maloney Staff Writer About 250 people were evacuated from the Comal County Courthouse early Tuesday in response to a telephoned bomb threat. The threat was called about 8 a.m. by an unnamed man, although a county official expressed confidence he would be found. The call was placed to the city’s 911 emergency system from a pay phone in the 200 block of South Union Avenue, Comal County Judge Danny Scheel said. “It’s a serious matter,” Scheel said from his office afterward. “I think it’s totally unfortunate that we have deranged people who would do something like this out on the street. Hopefully we won’t have this happen again.” Scheel didn’t identify a suspect but said he believed whoever called in the bomb threat would be found and prosecuted. “We have some pretty good ideas. A criminal investigation is in progress,” Scheel said. And it was in progress — virtually before the building could be evacuated and the employees and people with business in the buildings could be moved a safe distance away across the street or down the block. The 911 system records the number and address of all incoming calls — as well as the calls themselves. While officers moved to secure and evacuate the courthouse, others immediately fanned out to begin the investigation. “Attention, all units,” a police dispatcher radioed over the emergency net shortly after the call went out to evacuate the courthouse. “We’ve listened to the tape again. We believe (the suspect) might be a Hispanic male.” . The telephone number cross-references to a pay phone in front of the Pit Stop fuel and convenience store at 245 South Union Ave., which has a security and surveillance camera system. As the courthouse buildings were New Braunfels Police Department responds to a telephoned bomb threat Tuesday. being evacuated and a search mounted for any possible bomb, detectives were working at the store, talking to employees and dusting the telephone for fingerprints. At the courthouse, Scheel, who said he believed from the beginning he was likely dealing with a prank call, took charge and began a search of the courthouse grounds. While Scheel started at the back of the building with a sheriff’s deputy, checking the dumpster and then moving on into the annex parking garage, New Braunfels police officers walked up and down the streets, looking over vehicles parked near the courthouse. Then, the common areas of the courthouse — those the public has the greatest access to — were checked by supervisory employees, looking for anything out of the ordinary. “We allowed supervisors and their See EVACUATIONS RON MALONEY/Herald-Zeitung About 250 people were evacuated Tuesday morning from the Comal County Courthouse on the Main Plaza because of a bomb threat. The incident is still under investigation. RON MALONEY/ Herald-Zeitung Zwicke secures sheriff nominationBaenziger and Mayes also receive nomination By Erin Magruder Staff Writer Drawing a close to a heated race — Arnold S. Zwicke secured the Republican nomination for Guadalupe County Sheriff by defeating Tom Tannehill in Tuesday’s runoff election. Zwicke now will have to prepare to square off with Johnny “Juan” Garcia in the November general election. Zwicke garnered 3.284 votes, or 56.1 percent, while Tannehill captured 2,575 votes, or 43.9 percent. Zwicke said he was very pleased with results of the election and was ready to vie for the chance to fill the big shoes left behind by current Guadalupe County Sheriff Melvin L. Harboth — who is stepping down after 16 years on the job. “I really want to thank the voters and my supporters in the county,” Zwicke said. “It shows that the peo ple of Guadalupe County are happy with the department and want to see it continue as it has in the past, and also see some changes down the road as the county grows in the future.” Tannehill said Tuesday night he had no regrets about the effort he and those who backed him had put forth in his campaign. “I want to thank my friends and supporters, and I especially want to thank my wife for all of her help and support,” Tannehill said. “I also want to congratulate the sheriff and the See GUADALUPE/3AInside Abby.................. Classifieds........... ..............7 A ............5-8B Comics................ ...............2B Crossword........... ...............7A Forum.................. ...............6A Local/Metro......... ..............4A Movies.................. ................7A Obituaries............ ...............3A Sports.................. .........8-10A Today.................. ..............2A Television............. ..............2B Key Code 76Scroggin will face Sutton in constable race By Heather Todd Staff Writer Comal County Pct. 4 constable candidate Ben Scroggin secured the Republican nomination Tuesday night and now will face Democratic opponent Jim Sutton in the Nov. 7 general election. Scroggin, a retired senior Army officer, won Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for the constable position with 58 percent of the votes, or 667 votes. Opponent J. Ronald “Star” Carey, a former military police officer, got 483 votes, or about 42 percent of the votes. Only registered voters in county precincts 3,4,5,18,19 and 24 voted in the constable race and 1, 150 registered voters in those precincts cast ballots. In both local and statewide Republican runoff races, 1,419 Comal County voters cast ballots while 106 voters went to the polls in the Democratic runoff race for United States Senator. Scroggin and Carey were the top vote-getters in a fiveway primary race March 14. Pct. 4 constable Ed Mullins did not file for re-election. The Pct. 4 constable position represents the Canyon Lake area. In a five-way primary election March 14, Scroggin garnered 964 votes, or 32 percent, and Carey got 897 votes, or 30 percent. Candidate Jim Higdon came in third with 599 votes, or 20 percent. Lee Hernandez and Wylie I. Queen picked up the remaining votes. “I am extremely honored and grateful to the marvelous support of the community and the people in precinct 4,” Scroggin said at the Comal County Courthouse. “And, for their confidence in allowing me to represent the Republican party as the Republican nomination for constable precinct 4 as we go into the general election.” Carey said low' voter turnout in the primary runoff race contributed to the election results. “The turnout made a difference,” he said. “In areas of support and in districts where I was strongest, people did not turn out.” See COMAL/3ARunoff Results p.    Comal    County    Constable Pct. 4 Republican Party Ben Scroggin.................58%    J. Ronald ‘Star* Carey.......42% y    Guadalupe    County Sheriff Republican Party Tom Tannehill.............43.9%    Arnold S. Zwicke 56.1% p.    Guadalupe County Commissioner Pct.    I .. 53.5% John T. Brannan 46.5% Republican Party Roger Baenziger. p    Guadalupe    County Constable Pct. 4 Republican Party Lavem E. “Vem” Taft... 33.6% Eugene (Gene) Mayes...66.4% h    U.S. Senator* Democratic Party    Charles Gandy................42% * with 74% of Texas precincts    Gene Kelly...............  58% ► Court of Criminal Appeals, Presiding Judge* Republican Party    Tom Price......................45% * with 96% of Texas precincts    Sharon Ketier...................55% y    Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place I* Republican Party    Charles Holcomb.............55% * with 96% of Texas precincts    Guy Williams....................45% k    Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2* Republican Party    Barbara Parker Harvey 56% * with 96% of Texas precincts    Jim Wallace.....................44% ........... ;