New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 19, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
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Dogfights in Comal
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They're going on, reports say, but finding them is another matter
Pint In a series
You can find a dogfight in Comal County every other weekend, if you know where to look, a local citizen says.
But you don’t hear much about dogfighting in Comal County, mainly because they’re hard to find. The police and sheriff’s deputies apparently don’t hear about it either, a fact that is not surprising, considering the tight security surrounding a dogfight.
And law enforcement agencies usually have higher priority items to worry about — like violent crimes and burglary.
“I’m not aware of any specific problem,’’ said police lieutenant John McEachern. “To my knowledge, we don’t have that big of a problem. The closest we ever get to that is chicken fights.”
Of course, the police departments jurisdiction is within the city limits, and most dogfights are reportedly held in outlaying areas. However, he did say that the police department
would be willing to investigate dogfighting if it was warranted.
Cruelty cases are not high priority items when compared to violent crimes, but McEachern believes the dogfighting should be prosecuted under the present law. “We should enforce the current law vigorously. People of normal sensibilities wouldn’t condone unnecessary injuries to any animal, I would think.”
Sheriff Walter Fellers said he has never had a single dogfight reported in Comal County during the 31 years he has been here. “That’s cruelty to
animals,” he said. “I wouldn’t like to see any animal punished like that. A dog is man’s best friend.
“I have no patience for anyone mistreating animals,” the sheriff continued. “If I had knowledge of one in the county I would certainly file against anyone responsible.”
A local citizen who reportedly went to a dogfight in this area recently guesses that dogs are pitted at least every other weekend around here. “It’s a bunch of —. They shouldn’t do
See DOGFIGHTS, Page 14
Humane Society backs dogfighting statute
A bill will be introduced on the House of Representatives floor soon which, if it passes, will make dogfighting. a felony, and punishable by a two-to-ten year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Illegal in every state in the country, dogfighting has increased in popularity in Texas according to the Networker a publication distributed by the Texas Humane Information Newtwork. This is partly due to surrounding states passing a law
making the practice a felony.
Currently, dogfighting is a Gass A Misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $2,000 fine, and up to a year in a county jail.
Humane organizations statewide, as well as here, are working to raise public awareness about the issue. “I would like for people to know there is a dogfighting bill,” said Nora Gunn, manager of the local Humane
See BILL, Page 14
New stisU Braunfels
New Braunfels. Texas
Vol. 92 — No. 77 14 Pages
TUESDAY April 19,1983 25 cents
Death toll now 19 in embassy blast
BEIRUT, lebanon (AP) — Marine guards raised a single American flag at sunrise today in front of the devastated US. Embassy, where officials said an apparent suicide bombing left 19 people dead and 28 others missing and presumed dead.
Embassy spokesman John Reid said the latest casualty count was eight Americans confirmed dead and eight others missing. Ten lebanese embassy employees were killed, with 20 others believed buried in the huge mounds of rubble, he said, adding that one other person of unknown nationality also was listed as dead.
Police said Monday’s blast wounded 120 people, including 22 Americans. ripping open the seven-story embassy's concrete front.
U.S. Ambassador Robert Dillon, who escaped serious injury, said it was “very unlikely" any more survivors would be found Soldiers and other search squads used a steamshovel and two backhoes
to tear apart the debris, piling large chunks of masonry in a heap that already contained several tons of concrete.
Near the building, a U.S. flag fluttered on a flagpole undamaged.
"The embassy Marines put it ap at sunrise." said Col. James M Mead, commander of the US. Marine contingent in lebanon.
lebanese soldiers raided the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and the nearby Tank Jedida neighborhood today and made an undisclosed number of arrests in connection with the bombing, the privately owned "Voice of lebanon" radio said without elaborating
Details of the attack were still unclear, although it appeared a terrorist drove a explosives-laden vehicle into the embassy compound and may have died in the blast
Police said two witnesses reported separately that they saw a man
wearing a black leather jacket drive a black pickup truck into the embassy driveway. The witnesses said the truck then blew up.
Asked about the reports. Dillon said. “We don’t know for sure. Two competent witnesses saw a very heavily loaded van force its way in. How it w as detonated. I don't know. “
It could not be determined if Dillon and the police were referring to the same two witnesses.
A lebanese army explosives expert said he believed the bomb was made of 330 pounds of hexogene, a highly explosive gas four times more powerful than dynamite. He said there was no evidence of a remote control detonating device Mead told reporters today that the unwalled embassy complex facing the busy seaside highway was an easy target for terrorists "It was not adequately protected, that's for sure," he said. "The location is not good."
Chamber backs county bonds
The New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted Monday to support the county's May 7 bond election for a new jail, despite its relocation from the downtown area.
"The bottom line is Comal County will have a new jail — whether by our direction or that of a federal judge," County Judge Fred Clark said. "And we realize the Chamber wanted the jail to stay downtown But even though we’re opting to do different, Commissioner's Court would like the Chamber's support."
As outlined by a federal lawsuit settlement, the county is required to have a new jail ready for occupancy
no later than August, 1985. The Chamber's opposition centered around the possible relocation of other courthouse offices to the new facility ; however, the May 7 bond election for $3.9 million "will only accomplish a jail for IOO inmates, the Sheriff’s Office, and a small magistrate court.” Hark said Before Monday, Chamber directors had shown opposition for other possible jail sites, including a 12-acre tract off Hanz Drive between lx>op 337 and tlruene Road, and a 9-acre tract off Water lame. "We never intended to oppose the commissioners, but rather a mass exodus of main
downtown,” Director Donnie Seay said.
"The courthouse will always be a hub of activity , but the jail is the most logical thing to move out. The people in the jail don’t shop downtown," Clark said, jokingly.
"That was not our concern really," Chamber Executive Director Tom Purdum said, "but what would follow."
"Of course,” Clark said. "We have no other plans to relocate more, but my personal view is I’d like to leave that option open to future Com-
See CHAMBER, Page 14
Tax assessors' input wanted for new budget
ByDYANNE FRY Staff writer
Over the past three years, school and county tax assessors have had some not-so-nice things to say about the way the Comal County Appraisal District is being run.
When the board of directors saw that Chief Appraiser Glenn Brucks was proposing a $45,000 budget increase for 1984, chairman l^eroy Goodson came up with a new idea. Why not put those tax assessors on an ad hoc committee, so that they can work with the board instead of offering suggestions from the gallery?
He asked director Charles Lewis to head that committee and serve as board representative. Lewis thought it was "a wonderful idea,” and hopes to have the group organized by the end of this week.
“I’ve always said that the best way to keep somebody from griping about their taxes is to get them on the equalization board,” said Lewis with a sly smile.
The committee’s purpose, Goodson said, will be “to assist this board in running this district.”
For example, it will probably take a close look at Brucks’ request for an additional employee in 1984.
Board members conceded it wouldn’t hurt to have an appraiser trainee on hand who could fill a temporary or permanent absence of any of the experienced ones. They agreed there should be a second-in-command who can take over the operation if Brucks couldn’t be there.
Pat Fox, the person Brucks is more or less training into the latter job, is also one of the district’s seven appraisers. Any time given to administrative duties takes away from her appraisal work, he pointed out.
But some board members thought he might still cover all bases with better organization and cross-training of the existing force. The committee may be able to make a recommendation on this point, as well as others.
“I personally cannot find anything wrong with this budget,” said Goodson. But an ad hoc committee, looking under the surface of the operation, might come up with some ideas.
The bottom line on Brucks’ document, which he described as “very tentative,” is $476,900. This year’s budget came to $472,435, most of which is being collected on a pro
See APPRAISAL, Page 14InsideToday's Weather
Comal County forecast calls for partly cloudy this afternoon, mild tonight, and partly cloudy and warm Wednesday. Winds will be east to southeast at 10-15 mph today, becoming northeast at 5-10 mph. Sunset will be at 7 p.m., and sunrise Wednesday will be at 6 a m.No New Taxes
A Texas House committee has completed work on a preliminary budget that would keep the state of Texas going for the next two years without raising taxes. The plan is not likely to win the approval of Gov. Mark White, however, for it makes no provision for a pay raise for teachers, one of White’s key campaign promises. Son Page 6Hoop Playoffs ^
The NBA playoffs begin tonight with mini-series action in Boston and Phoenix. The Celtics must contend with the UU front line of the Atlanta Hawks, while the Suns are worried about the high-scoring Denver Nuggets. Sa* Page 7.
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Four Comal County Jail were still on a hunger strike Tuesday, and they say they won’t eat until a Fort Sam Houston private goes to trial again for involuntary manslaughter.
There won’t be another trial, District Attorney Bill Schroeder said Tuesday.
"I’m not going to pursue the other three cases against (William) Savage,” District Attorney Bill Schroeder said. "If I did, what would be the real reason — vindictiveness. And the system we have is set up for justice, not revenge."
Inmates Juan M. laipez, Richard E. Willis, Margarito Maldonaldo and Gilbert Gonzales went on a hunger strike Friday evening to protest a 10-year probated sentence Savage received for killing Ruben Sauceda Sr. on Get. 30 Also killed in the auto-pedistrian collision were Sauceda’s pregnant wife and their two small children.
Savage was indicted on four counts of involuntary manslaughter. He was tried last week for the death of Sauceda Sr., because the district attorney believed that to be his strongest case. Despite Schroeder’s plea for penitentiary time, Savage received a 10-year probated sentence anda $5,000fine.
The inmates stopped eating to say that’s not enough. They want Savage tried for five killings — not just one. But Schroeder isn’t going to budge.
Even though the protesters haven't said anything about quitting, Jailer Walt Sumner said Tuesday he doesn’t think the strike will last much longer. "They get orange juice and coffee in the morning, then coffee and tea for the other two meals.. .and they use lots of sugar . "
The jail cook is still preparing meals for the four inmates, all housed on the second floor "We take the food up there, they refuse to eat it, and we dump it out," Sunnier said.Verdict
PASADENA, Texas (AP) - A hospital will pay a potential $119 imllion rather than go to court in a malpractice suit charging a doctor "under the influence of drugs" caused brain damage to a newborn.
Pasadena Bayshore Hospital, owned by Hospital Corp. of America, agreed Monday to pay the settlement to the parents of Andrea Ferris. The 2-year-old suffered oxygen deprivation during her birth July 7,1980, the parents said in their suit.
The suit said the parents have been told Andrea's intelligence will not progress beyond that of a 1-year-old and that she will require constant care.
Hospital officials failed to suspend Dr Michael Brody when they “knew or should have known he was on duty under the influence of drugs to such an extent that his ability to properly perform his duties was impaired," the suit said.
The suit charged Brody was grossly negligent because he failed to appear at the delivery whenBaby's brain damage may cost $119 million
needed and failed to deliver the baby quickly enough to avoid the injuries.
A member of Brody's staff said he would have no
Brody, now in private practice in Houston, was dropped from the lawsuit earlier this year, said Richard Mithoff, an attorney for the girl’s parents.
Robert and I anda Ferris agreed to the out-of-court settlement shortly before the case was to go to trial Monday, Mithoff said.
Under the agreement, the parents will receive $4.25 million within 30 days and $7,000 monthly for the first year, he said. The payments will escalate 6 percent each year that Andrea lives, Mithoff said.
The payment are guaranteed for 20 years or for the remainder of Andrea’s life, which ever is longer, Mithoff said.
if she lives to be 77, as doctors say she should, the award will amount to slightly more than $119 million,” he said.
Suspect had prior DWI record
The Texas Highway Patrol has filed involuntar> manslaughter charges against John Henry Goforth rn connection with the April 13 traffic death of Marie Bryant Scheel.
State trooper Charles Mueller is charging Goforth with “involuntary manslaughter by reason of Driving While Intoxicated.’’ Goforth, 37, was released Friday from San Antonio’s Medical Center, after two days of treatment for head and internal
injuries in the hospital’s surgical intensive care unit.
Mueller’s report says that Goforth’s 1977 Ford was on the wrong side of the road when the wreck occurred at 8 30 p.m., just south of the Comal-Guadalupe County line on FM 725. Scheel, a 59-year-cld River Bend resident, was traveling south, headed home from a New Braunfels church service.
See CHARGES, Page ll
Bond issue backing
Supporters of the New Braunfels Independent School District bond issue have been getting their message across with the help of buttons and bumper stickers This sticker on the back of a school bus provides a moving' plea to vote yes' May 3.