New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 24, 2007, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY, APRIL 24,2007
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No.140 12 pages, 1 section
C K 500
herald-zeitunq.com I s
DEAR ABBY 9
CLASSIFIEDS 10 COMICS 8
TV GRIDS 9
NB girls lead Region IV golf tourney; Cougarettes in 8th. Page 6
STATE VOTER ID
Texans will require two forms of ID to vote under House plan. Page 3
SfoE-HSex assault trial ends with hung jury
■ Jurors unable to reach unanimous verdict; Martin faces retrial on May 29From staff reports
After two days of deliberation, a jury of IO men and 2 women could not agree on whether Anthony Wayne Martin raped his teenaged stepdaughter four years ago.
The jury came hack at about 4:30 p.m. Monday to tell 274th District judge Gary Steel they could not reach a verdict. The jurors had met all day Friday and again Monday to
consider the charge of sexual assault of a child against Martin before reaching an impasse.
Defense attorney Kimbel L. Brown said he considered the hung jury a victory.
"We’re very positive that out client is still innocent," he said.
Brown said the defense team was
trying to gather information on what the jury was hung on but, he said, “We won’t know unless they call us.”
The alleged victim and her mother declined comment to the i lerald-Zeitung on the outcome of the trial but appeared to be visibly upset.
Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip said under Texas law a
hung jury means the original indictment is reinstated and a new trial date must be set.
Steel dismissed the 12-member jury Monday, ending the trial. He scheduled the retrial for May 29.
New Braunfels police arrested Martin, 38, on June 13, 2003, after police investigated his then- 16-year-
old stepdaughters claim that Martin raped her. He posted a $50,000 bond the following day.
Testimony in the trial began last Tuesday during which the alleged victim, now 20, took the stand to describe the sexual assault. She told the jury her mother was out of town on a business trip and she was talking to Martin late at night about her
See TRIAL, Page 3
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Perry’s HPV vaccine mandate overturned
Mill St. ready in three weeks
■ City Engineer Short leaving May 7
By Suzanne Ashe
Mill Street residents soon will be rid of construction vehicles on their newly rehabilitated street.
“Mill Street will be completed in three weeks,” New Braunfels City Engineer Mike Short told the city council at Monday night’s meeting.
Short gave the Mill Street report ahead of the news from City Manager Mike Morrison that the city engineer’s last day working for the municipality will be May 7. Short is taking a job in the private sector.
In June 2006, the city hired contractor Valemas, Inc., San Antonio to undertake a multistreet construction project. Short said in January that the contractor had until July 2007
to complete the project.
Short gave his Final report to the council Monday on the second quarter capital improvement projects.
Valemas, is contracted to build $3.18 million projects including a portion ofVera-mendi Street. The contractor currently is working on Canyon and Stonewall streets, Short said.
Other ongoing projects include:
• Stonewall Street from Peach Avenue to Mesquite Avenue;
• Stonewall Street from Mesquite Avenue to Santa Clara Avenue;
• Mill Street from Hickory Avenue from Santa Clara Avenue;
See MILL, Page 3
Above: Comal County Recycling Manager Dennis Koepp shows the different byproducts of recycled materials including glass, aluminum cans and cardboard on display Sunday during the Earth Day Festival at Comal County Fairgrounds.
Stage set for showdown on Iraq
■ Bush promises to veto troop withdrawal plan
By David Espo
AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON — A historic veto showdown assured, Democratic leaders agreed Monday on legislation that requires the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. I with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.
"No more will Congress turn a blind
eye to the Bush administration’s incompetence and dishonesty,’’ Senate Majority Leader I larry Reid said in a speech in which he accused the president of living in a state of denial about events in Iraq more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion.
Bush, confident of enough votes to sustain his veto, was unambiguous in his response. “I will strongly reject an artificial timetable (for) withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job,” he told reporters in the Oval Office as he met with his top Iraq
commander, Gen. David Petraeus.
Taken together, the day’s events marked the quickening of a confronta-tion that has been building since Democrats took control of Congress in January and promised to change policy in a war has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops.
Congressional negotiators for the I louse and Senate met in late afternoon and ratified the details of the legislation. Republicans voiced opposition, but made no attempt to delay or even seek
See IRAQ, Page 2
The Associated Press
AUSTIN — The Texas Senate approved a bill Monday that would bar state health officials from following Gov. Rick Perry’s order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted disease.
The bill was over-w h e I rn i n g I y approved by the Texas House last month. If the House accepts the changes made by the Senate, the bill could be on the governor’s desk later this week.
Perry has not said whether he will sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature. If the governor vetoes the bill, lawmakers could override it with a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate. Both chambers approved the bill by well over that margin.
Perry made national headlines in February when he issued an executive order directing state health officials to require the HPV vaccine for
girls starting sixth grade as of September 2008.
Merck & Co.’s Gardasil, the only HPV vaccine on the market, protects girls and women against strains of die virus that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.
Perry’s order outraged lawmakers from both parties and much of his social conservative base, who questioned the vaccine’s safety and efficacy and said the mandate intrudes too far into families’ lives.
Passing the legislation sets a precedent that “we as a Legislature have a voice and we get to decide what vaccines are mandated in the state of Texas and which vaccines are not,” Sen. Glenn Hegar said.
The bill approved by the House would permanently prohibit the state from adding the HPV vaccine to the list of shots required for school attendance. The Senate’s version of the ban would expire in 2011.
At the Capitol
on P. 5
■ Health care costs
■ Wrongful convictions
RAIN DOESNT DAMPEN EARTH DAY FUN
Photos by Miranda Laine The Herald-Zeitung
The first New Braunfels Earth Day festival drew hundreds of visitors to the Comal County fairgrounds Sunday despite rain that fell on the area throughout the day. The event was organized by local chapter of Roots & Shoots, an intergenera-tional environmental organization with affiliates all over the world. It started by the Jane Goodall Foundation in 1991.
Above: Students from I cento, led by music teacher and parent, Robin Garcia, perform an animated song about nature for a crowd at the Earth Day Festival Sunday at Comal County Fairgrounds. I cento is a private school on River Road in New Braunfels for children two y eats through-second-grade. — -----------
Left: Allison Holcombe, 2 and Kathryn Redland, 3, turn rain puddles into an adventure Sunday during the Earth Day Festival at Comal County Fairgrounds.