New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Comal County skies will turn from cloudy to partly clear this afternoon, which will be windy and warm. However, there is a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms, and a 40 percent chance tonight, with severe storms possible. Lake wind advisories are in effect today for southeast winds, 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusty, diminishing to 15 mph tonight. Friday will bring a 20 percent chance of thundershowers and considerable early morning cloudiness, becoming partly cloudy by afternoon. Saturday and Sunday will be generally fair and mild, with moderate temperatures.
Sunset today will be at 7:01 p.m. Sunrise Friday will be at 5:57 a.m.
P & SAVE
See Page 3A
Just as promised
MALDEF carries out threat to sue NBISDBY JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund did what it said it would do.
That group, disgruntled with the New Braunfels Independent School District’s voting at-large system, filed suit against NBISD in U.S. District Court in San Antonio Wednesday.
As of Thursday morning, however, school district trustees and administrators had not been ‘‘officially” notified of the suit, school Supt. O.E. Hendricks said.
When asked what steps the district
planned to take, Hendricks said, ‘‘I really don’t see how we can take any action or respond...until we’ve been notified.”
The suit — one of five filed by MALDEF against other at-large election systems in Texas— charges that NBISD’s current election method ‘‘has worked to minimize minority representation on the school board,” a MALDEF press release states.
Currently all seven NBISD trustees are elected at-large by places for staggered three-year terms. Two Mexican American candidates — Jose Valdemar Espinoza and Christina Zamora — ran unsuccessfully on April 2 for the board. MALDEF contents that there has been a
‘‘pervasive atmosphere of discrimination felt historically by Mexican Americans in New Braunfels and Comal County.” This has affected that population educationally, economically and politically, a MALDEF press release states.
The Hispanic group also says that Mexican Americans in New Braunfels attain lower educational levels, have higher drop-out rates and lower voter registration and turn-out rates than the general population.
‘‘Because of the compounding of these factors and strong racially polarized
See MALDEF, Page 8A
New JJ—LL Braunfels
New Braunfels, Texas
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April 21,1983 25 cents
Vol. 92 - No. 79
16 Pages — 2 Sections
Strikers asked to stop; march planned
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Protestors marching on the Comal County Courthouse have asked four jail inmates fasting off and on since Friday to start eating again As of presstime Thursday, the inmates had not complied to the protestors' wishes.
Members of The Committee of Justice for All, headed by Virginia Pacheco, have been picketing the Courthouse for two days. A grand march has now been finalized for 2-4:30 p m Monday from Eikel Park to the Courthouse Asked if her group had a city permit to march, which would require a 72-hour notice, Pacheco said, ‘ No comment," then later added, "We are on our way to get it.”
The hunger strike has been a hot
and cold issue since it began Friday afternoon. Inmates Juan Ixjpez, Margarito Maldonado, Gilbert Gonzales and Richard Willis said they would not eat until “justice was done.” The justice they wanted was more than a 10-year probated sentence given to William Dale Savage, a Fort Sam Houston private found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Ruben Sauceda Oct. 30. Sauceda’s pregnant wife and their two small children were also killed after being struck by Savage's car.
The four inmates, all housed on the jail's second floor, stuck to a liquid diet of orange juice, tea, coffee, soft drinks and water until Tuesday. Willis and Gonzales ate solid food for dinner Tuesday and breakfast Wednesday.
Then. Willis went back on the hunger strike at noon Wednesday, and Gonzales had informed the jailer
Thursday morning that he wanted to join back in the protest. Only Lopez and Maldonado still have not eaten.
When the inmates began their fasting, they said they wanted Savage to stand trial for five killings, not just one. But a Committee of Justice spokesman, Esequiel (Cheque) Torres, said Thursday, “We just want to see at least one more trial, in the city or out of the city. Then, our community can see that the district attorney is doing his best, and if that one more trial doesn't work, that's all we want .”
At a meeting rn Eikel Park Wednesday night, the Committee of Justice for All passed the resolution to ask the inmates to go off the hunger strike “The message has been delivered to the community, and anyone in favor of justice is invited lo march with us," Pacheco said.
Grand Jury indicts two hunger strikers
The same two county jail inmates who have stayed on a hunger stnke since Friday were indicted by a Comal County Grand Jury Wednesday.
Margarito Maldonado and Juan Medina lx>pez (also known as Jesse M. Rico) began fasting Friday to protest a 10-year probated sentence given to a Fort Sam Houston private for involuntary manslaughter April
14 Also involved rn the protest were inmates Richard E. Willis and Gilbert Gonzales, who both removed themselves from the strike Tuesday night, but have since gone back to fasting Maldonado was indicted for burglary of a non-habitation, while the indictment against I^opez was for passing a forged instrument Both men have been to the penitentiary twice — Ixipez for murder without
malice and assault to murder, and Maldonado for felony theft and possession of marijuana Indictments against Lopez and Maldonado are enhanced by those prior convictions. District Attorney Bill Schroeder said Wednesday. “A finding of guilt will mean automatic life in these cases That’s Texas
Staff photo by John Senter
See inmates, Page sa Protesters continued their vigil in a light rain ThursdayBusting dogfights is his job
[.ast in a series
"The dogs, usually without a sound, rush together and immediately attempt to gain an advantage... They fight by making a hold’ on the other dog with their front teeth, and chewing with their rear teeth. As the dogs rip and tear at each other, blood, urine and saliva spatter the sides of the pit.”
According to Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) publications, this is a typical scene at a dogfight. And, this is what Field Investigators are trying to stop.
Brad (not his real name) was in town last week investigating allegations of dogfighting in Comal County. ‘ We know there is fighting going on in almost every county in the state,” he said. "Texas is very heavy with the dogfighters because of low fines. We want to put a dent in this."
The investigator has been involved with animal control since 1960. He became the state Humane Officer in California, where he was first able to penetrate the circles of dogfighting.
Brad became aware that dogfighting was going oil because dogs started disappearing in a particular area, and people in the housing area reported hearing growling and gutteral noises. At that raid, investigators found approximately IOO
See DOGFIGHTS, Page 8A
Murder on tape
Sounds of killing prompted life sentence, attorney says
BROWNSVILLE (AP) - An attorney for a man convicted of murdering a Rio Grande Valley schoolteacher says a tape recording made by the victim's fiancee was the only reason jurors sentenced his client to life rn prison.
Paul Wolf, 21, of l^i Feria, was found guilty Wednesday of the murder of l>eticia Castro, 26. a fourth-grade teacher in Pharr.
The seven woman, five man State District Court jury deliberated about 80 minutes before returning the verdict and another 20 minutes before sentencing Wolf to life in prison and fining him $10,000.
The sentence was the maximum possible in the case Wolf’s attorney, James Mantis of Harlingen, said the key evidence against his client was the so-called "murder tape" made unwittingly by Miss Castro’s fiance, Billy Staton, as he was being bludgeoned by Wolf the same night.
The testimony of a man who confessed to helping Wolf kill Miss Castro and Staton "didn’t have hardly anything to do with the outcome of the case," Mardis said.
Wolf "would have had a very good chance” of being acquitted had it not been for the tape recording,” Mardis said after the trial.
He said the Jury ordered life imprisonment because of the ’horrible sounds” on the tape. "It's not something the Jury
could ignore" despite testimony that Wolf had been a peaceful lawabiding citizen all his life, Mardis said.
Wolf pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to the slaying, saying he killed Miss Castro and Staton in a sudden uncontrollable act of violence over seeing the child he called his own cry.
Cameron County District Attorney Rey Cantu, however, convicted the jury that Wolf had planned to ambush Staton and Miss Castro using Staton’s daughter as “bait.”
Cantu said Wolf and his wife, Sherry, killed the pair because they were tired of fighting with Staton in and out of court over visitation rights he had been granted to see his daughter, Melanie, who was 24 when the slayings occurred.
Staton was formerly married to Sherry Wolf.
Three mental health professionals testified during the 64day trial that Wolf was unable to handle the stress caused by Melanie’s screams over having to visit her natural father.
Melanie’s psychologist, Bert Levine of McAllen, testified the child suffered "severe panic reactions” when she was with Staton or his parents. He said he advised the Wolfs to keep the child away from her father.
Court-appointed psychiatrist Joel Kutnick of Corpus Christi testified Wednesday that Wolf was sane when he killed SU ton and Miss Castro.Nuclear 'fallout'Supreme Court's decision means bleak outlook for future plants
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on building new nuclear plants in California will have no immediate effect on 57 construction sites nationwide, but could crush the comatose industry’s chances for revival.
The court unanimously ruled Wednesday that states can ban construction of new plants until the federal government devises a safe way to dispose of radioactive wastes.
The ruling upheld a 1976 California law that barred construction of nuclear plants on grounds that unresolved waste issues could lead to plant shutdowns and therefore extreme financial consequences.
"Congress has left sufficient authority in the states to allow the development of nuclear power to be slowed or even stopped for economic reasons,” Justice Byron R. White
wrote in the 9-0 opinion.
The Reagan administration had argued that allowing states to prohibit new plants could jeopardize nuclear power as a source of electricity.
Plants are being built in only three of the 13 states that have some type of restriction on nuclear construction. The California law, for example, exempted units that had already experienced "substantial construction and substantial expense" when the law was enacted.
Industry groups sought to downplay the ruling’s impact.
“We believe that the impact lies somewhere in the future," said Carl Goldstein, assistant vice president of the Atomic Industrial Forum. "The impact appears to be potential should someone now come along with a new order or seek a construction permit rn one of the states that have such laws.” Only last month, Carl Walske, the AlF’s president, had predicted a
"good, sustained econonuc growth" would signal another round of nuclear plant orders, perhaps withui three years.
But the industry has been burdened with prohibitive construction costs
Only last month, Carl Walske, the AIF's president, had predicted a "good', sustained economic growth" would signal another round of nuclear plant orders, perhaps within three years.
due to high interest rates as well as the nation’s worst commercial nuclear accident in 1979 at Three Mile Island. Plans for 51 units have been canceled since the accident, and there have been no new orders nationwide since 1978.
And the Harvard law professor who represented California in the high court case contended the decision does more than permit states to ban future construction. He said it does not prevent any state from banning ongoing projects if it wants to.
“The decision’s underlying rationale is a total victory foi the states,” said Professor Laurence Tribe. He said the court’s ruling “plainly is independent of the question whether the plant has begun construction or not.”
However, if any states do enact legislation ordering abandonment of plants already being built, they would have to reimburse the owners under a Fifth Amendment provision that says the government cannot seize private property without just compensation.
Also, the Supreme Court found, by a 7-2 vote, that questions of safety at nuclear plants remain the domain of the federal government.
New Post Office in works at Spring BranchBy DYANNE FRY Staff writar
For as long as Postmaster Shirley Eismann can remember, her neighborhood mail has been processed in a corner of the Spring Branch Store. That’s going to change.
The U.S. Postal Service is looking for a place to construct its own 1,400-square-foot building. Once a land deal is negotiated, the new office should be open within a year, said Paul Mar
tinez, building management assistant in the San Antonio district office.
The preferred area extends from half a mile north of Old Spring Branch Road where it intersects with U.S. 281, to half a mile south of FM 311, and east and west of 281 by one quarter mile. If the minimum site of 15,000 square feet can be obtained within these bounds, the new office will be very close to the present store station. It sits right at the U.S. 281-FM 311 intersection.
Property owners are being asked to
subnut their offers by May 25 to Jimmy D. Slayton, Realty Management and Acquisition Analyst, Field Real Estate and Buildings Office, U.S. Postal Service, P.O. Drawer 239, Dallas, Texas 75221-0239
Increased development in the once-rural Spring Branch area has made this move necessary, Martinez said.
“We need more space The lady (Eismann) can’t even turn around. She has to step out when the route carrier comes in to deliver the mail,”
Eismann, who formerly owned the Spring Branch Store with her husband, becamed postmaster last July when her predecessor, Gladys Rose, retired. So she hasn't been in the business too long, but she said the post office has always been there, even when Eismann worked behind a counter in the store.
“I assume it's as old as the store is,” she said. “Over the years, this little post office has taken a great increase in volume.”