New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 26, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Suicide ruled in death of local man on FM 306
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Suicide has been ruled in the death of a 62-year-old New Braunfels man whose body was found off FM 306 Sunday.
Justice of the Peace Harold Krueger said Alfredo Mario Aguilar of No. I Sauder Lane shot himself twice in the head with a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle. Aguilar’s body was found about 7 p.m. Sunday on private property about six miles north of New Braunfels.
“I made my ruling, based on investigation by the sheriff’s office and the criminal investigation division, Dr. Bayardo’s findings and the note,” Krueger said.
In his preliminary autopsy report, Travis County Medical Examiner Dr. Roberto Bayardo noted gun powder burns indicated the gunshot wounds entered through Aguilar’s mouth.
Comal County Sheriff’s Lt. Rudy Rubio said the rifle found next to Aguilar’s body did not belong to the victim.
A note, written in Spanish on a calendar, was discovered Monday afternoon inside the victim’s car. The car was recovered late Sunday night at FM 306 and Purgatory Road.
“In the note, he said he had tried putting rat poison in capsules and took 20 of them about a week ago, but he just got real sick,” Rubio said. “He also wrote he had thought about cutting his arm off with a hatchet he had in his truck, and bleeding to death.”
Rubio said Aguilar also mentioned jumping off the Guadalupe River bridge, and drowning in Canyon Lake as other ways to end his life.
“The note indicated he was having problems from his vehicle on up, but it (the note} was one of the most unusual ones I’ve ever seen,” Krueger said. “It was like he was writing it as he was deciding what to do.”
Rubio said Aguilar had lived in New Braunfels about eight months.
Spring forwardDaylight Savings to begin Sunday
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans will have to spring forward with an hour’s less sleep on Sunday, as our clocks perform their annual rite of passage Into daylight-saving time.
In all or part of 46 states on Sunday, time will skip from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., an artificial device designed to delay the arrival of the morning sun, and add that light onto the evening to provide more time for barbecues, yard work and other outdoor activities.
First instituted in World War I, the shift regularly generates controversy and legislation is introduced in Congress, almost every year, to change the practice, generally with little success.
Under the current rules, daylight-saving time extends from the last Sunday in April to the last Sunday
See TIME, Page 12A
New Braunfels. Texas
April 26,1985 25 Cents
24 Pages —2 SectionsInside
at 15 to 25 mph, diminishing tonight. Highs today and tomorrow will be in the 80s and the overnight lows will be in the 60s. Yesterday’s high was 84 and this morning's low was 64.
Constables have requests granted by commissioners
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
The struggle between constables and county commissioners appears to be winding down as two constables had all their requests approved Thursday.
County commissioners approved George M. Wolf as Constable Fidel Tamez’s reserve deputy and gave Constable Danny Scheel ail he was asking for.
Scheel asked for $2,500 more for gasoline, $75 for office supplies, his contingency fund to be brought back up to $200 and an old patrol car for his reserve deputy.
Even before the constables were
sworn into office in January, Tamez had a long list of requests to commissioners including a pay hike. The battle became more than one for money, as commissioners tried to define the duties of a constable.
The car for Scheel’s deputy is a sheriff’s department car soon to be auctioned off. Scheel’s reserve deputy has not been patrol ing in his own vehicle on Scheel’s request.
“I have not been willing to allow him to patrol in his own vehicle, because of the liability insurance, and I didn’t think it looked right to have the (rotating) lights on a Cadillac,” Scheel said.
The coat on the reserve deputy’s car would be gasoline, oil and
maintenance. Scheel’s budget had $2,400 for a deputy constable's mileage, none of which has been spent. Commissioners agreed to transfer the mileage to gasoline, oil and maintenance.
The Precinct 2 constable has been giving commissioners monthly reports documenting the number of tickets given, gallons of gasoline used and number of papers served.
County Judge Fred Clark suggested requesting all constables for similar reports to help them know what the constables were doing
Though no negative votes were cast, Commissioners J.L. “Jumbo” Evans and Bill George were concerned that the car was only the
beginning of increasing the constables’ offices.
Clark and Commissioners Monroe Wetz and Lorenzo “Yankee” Camarillo supported the proposal.
“This is not giving money in hand,” Wetz said. “If he doesn’t use that much, the money stays in the budget.”
Clark pointed out that the commissioners could not rewrite the Texas Constitution, that constables were duly elected officials and the overlapping of law enforcement responsibility was written into the system.‘When another constable comes See COUNTY, Page UA
Comal River 262 cf* (down 81
Canyon inflow 664 cf* (down 23)
Canyon Dam outflow 470 cf* (up 11)
Edward* Aquifer 624.88 (down 07)
Canyon Lake level 302 74 (up 01)Today's Weather
It will stay cloudy to partly cloudy through tomorrow with a SO percent chance of rain today. Winds will be from the southeast
Chemical spills on I-35Soggy beginning
The rains came Thursday night, but the annual Fiesta Mexicana celebration began anyway, as pre Fiesta festivities went on as scheduled at Main Plaza. Top, members of the audience who didn t have a spot inside the gazebo had to bring their umbrellas to stay dry while watching the action. Left, Gabriel Lagunas, his shirt stretched out over his knees, listens to his mother, Rosie, sing His mother is one of the members of Mariachi Cardenas, which was one of the groups performing on the Plaza Thursday night The celebration moves to the Wursthalle in Landa Park tonight, as the Fiesta officially opens at 5 p.m. Tonight s highlights include a dance and the crowing of the Fiesta Mexicana queen. The event runs through Sunday night. Calendar of Events, Page 1B
showMinor outages reported in some areas
It was a storm with more bark than bite.
Thursday’s sudden thunderstorm dropped almost an inch of rain on the city and a little more than a half-inch at Canyon Lake.
But all the thunder and lightning was just for show.
John Huck, electrical superintendent with New Braunfels Utilities, said his department didn’t have the usual problem with tree limbs falling during the storm.
“The trees are giving us very minimal problems this year,” Huck said. “We’ve been upgrading our trimming schedule and personnel and the trees are growing good.”
Because of another problem, two areas of town— Preiss Heights and Sleepy HoUcw — experienced the most extensive electrical problems last night.
Huck said lightning struck an oil reclosure switch on a pole and opened the switches. “We had one fairly good-sized area out there,” Huck said. “Lightning dished us a dirty trick.”
It took about two hours to correct the problem and restore power to those areas, Huck said.
’’Other than that, we got by,” he said. “Luckily, our system is in good shape.”
There were few electrical problems reported in the Canyon I^ake area Thursday.
“It was really nothing. It was pretty quiet amidst all that thunder and lightning.” said David Dossey, district manager of Pedernales Electric Cooperative.
“In fact, it (weather-related problems) was probably less than normal,” he said.
By DANA STELL Staff writer
A half-full, damaged barrel of a toxic chemical presented a potential hazard to emergency workers Thursday night.
Responding to a call that a barrel was blocking traffic, police and firefighters Thursday night found a 55-gallon drum containing Methylethylkeione — a toxic, corrosive, flammable liquid — on the Interstate 35 frontage road near the Hungry Hobo restaurant.
* When we arrived, the firemen put on air packs.” said Fire Chief Jack Wilson, “because you don’t know w hat you’re dealing with.
“They righted the container, plugged the hole, and dammed the curb” leading to the storm dram.
Wilson said that, as a precaution, one firefighter went to McKenna Memorial Hospital for observation after helping to right the container and driving the truck to the landfill.
Patrol Lt. John Wonunack said two patrolmen also were taken to the hospital after breathing the vapors and one patrolman reported touching some of the chemical.
“We have no idea who the .shipper or transporter was, it just sort of appeared,' said Civil Defense officer Herb Syring. “Without a label other than what was rn it. ifs hard to determine where it came from.
“I think that what happened, is it was on the back of a flat-bed and with the rain. maybe a strap broke,” Synng said. “I know it fell some distance because of the damaged drum.”
Synng said that after police and firemen were called, the spill was quickly contained and tapped. “The problem was with run-off," he said “That presented a problem for some length of tune.”
The civil defense officer said that by the time the spill was contained, about half of the barrel had run into the storm drainage system. “We decided to dike it anyway," he said.
The Texas Department of Water Resources advised Synng to not let the chemical get into the city’s water or sewer system, which it didn’t, he
“We have no idea who the shipper or transporter was, it just sort of appeared,” said Civil Defense officer Herb Syring.
Because the chemical can be diluted with water, Thursday night’s rain helped the workers’ efforts. Syring said “Probably the best thing for it was the rain," he said, explaining that the Emergency Response Guidebook calls for spray ng the chemical with water to dilute the vapors.
Methylethylketone, Syring explained, can burn skin and eyes, while the vapors may cause dizziness, and a fire could produce poisonous gases. Run-off causes w ater pollution A representative from the Texas Department of Water Resources will come here today to determine exactly what is in the drum and tell the fire department how to dispose of the rest of the chemical.
Syring said he does not yet know whether the state department will test the river for that pollutant.
The mess was cleaned up by about midnight, Wilson said.
The next step for weary emergency workers is to review what happened Thursday night “We critique what we did,” Wilson said. “How it compares with the disaster plan and how we can improve.”
Synng said the accident was a good test of the city’s disaster preparedness. “We need to go back and revamp and review the standard operating procedures," he said. “I saw some shortfalls and we’re going to go back and correct them. "
One event at the disaster that no one could have helped was when a driver, later charged with driving while intoxicated, crashed into the left fender of a police car serving as a barricade.
"It’s a learning experience in every way,” Wilson said of the disaster work.