New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 26, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY April 26, 2001
16 pages in 2 sections
16 pages in 2 sectiiHerald-Zeitung
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Vol. 150, No. 142 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Medical witnesses: 7-year-old girl nearly starved to death
By Ron Maloney
A psychiatric resident and a physician specializing in child abuse cases testified Wednesday that a 7-year-old Williamson County girl was abused and at risk of dying when she was taken away from her parents.
The child is at the center of a Williamson County child injury trial moved to New Braunfels because of pre-trial publicity.
Her parents, Joseph and Yevette Heiser, have been charged with injuring and endangering her by nearly starving her to death.
If convicted of injury to a child, the Heisers could face 5 to 99 years
in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Endangering a child is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Five men and seven women are sitting as jurors in the case, which enters its ninth day today.
Child Protective Services officials took the girl from Liberty Hill Ele
mentary School on Jan. 5, 2000. She was hospitalized, treated for malnutrition and placed in a foster home with her then-15-month-old half-sister.
The defense has suggested that underlying emotional problems stemming from Joseph Heiser’s first marriage and the child’s relationship with her biological mother con
tributed to the girls condition in 1999.
The prosecution and investigators have suggested that there was a wide disparity in the Heiser household in the treatment of the 7-year old daughter — Joseph Heiser’s daughter adopted by YevetteSee WUN ESSES/5 A
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Above, director of photography Jeff Freeman shoots footage of workers in the New Braunfels Smokehouse Processing Plant packaging turkey legs for delivery. Below, the crew also filmed at Naegelin’s Bakery for a segment called “Food Businesses in the Texas Hill Country Region” for Food TV.
(Bottom photo by Amy Clarkson/Herald-Zeitung)
tions, Granzin beamed as he talked about the store and its products.
Nearly every item in the store is baked fresh daily, he said.
‘We bake everything fresh, every day,” he said.
“Usually we’re here about 4 a.m. The doughnuts are the first things to hit the fire.”
Food TV discovered the New Braunfels Smokehouse first — then Naegelin’s Bakery. The
Smokehouse has been fisted in a book called “Food Finds” for years, said Mike Dietert, vice president and general manager of the company.
‘They wanted to come to the Hill Country and looked in this book,” he said.
“Once they talked to us and learned about what we do and our history, they came to see us. And I told them about Naegefin’s.”
The same family has owned the Smokehouse for 50 years, Dietert said, and their specialty is smoking all kinds of meats.
Well permit denied
By Martin MALACARA Staff Writer
BULVERDE—The county’s groundwater conservation district took a stand Wednesday by denying a future golf course’s application to complete drilling of two Trinity Aquifer wells.
In a 4-1 vote, the Southeast Trinity Groundwater Conservation District denied the Cibolo Cliffs Golf Course’s application for two wells to
draw 400 acre-feet from the Trinity Aquifer.
The water would have helped establish the golf course.
Board Secretary-Treasur-er Ernest Lee made the motion to deny the permit.
“Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should do a thing,” he said.
He said the public needed more time to receive more See PERMIT/5A
Key Code 76
Lions Club honors top teachers
By Martin MALACARA
Lions Club members, students and other educators honored six area high school teachers as Teachers of the Year on Wednesday.
New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club presented the awards as part of its Annual Senior Send-Off when the club also honors area graduating seniors.
Recipients of Teacher of the Year honors were Joe Hocker, Canyon High School; Melissa Parma, Smithson Valley High School; Virginia Smith, New Braunfels
Christian Academy; Beverly Trolfinger,
New Braunfels High School; Karen Watkins, Bracken Christian School; and Kalisha Wenzel, The Learning Center.
Lions Club President Dick Martin said the club’s intent was to show appreciation for the hard work of teachers and students.
“We welcome the high school seniors as they go about their fives,” Martin said. “We’re here to help them and help their teachers as well.”
The club takes nominations from each of the senior classes for Teacher of the Year. “It’s the only ceremony in the highSee TEACHERS/5A
WILLIAMS WALDRIP WATSON
DA investigating council action on GERA permit
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip is investigating whether action taken at Monday night’s city council meeting was illegal under the Texas Open Meetings Act.
New Braunfels City Council voted 4-2 to rescind an action requesting a contested case hearing on a Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority plan to take more water from Canyon Lake. Mayor Stoney Williams and Councilmen Lee Rodriguez, Juan Luis Martinez and Larry Alexander voted in favor of rescinding the action. Councilwomen Juliet Watson and Debbie Flume voted against it. Councilman Robert Kendrick abstained from voting.
Waldrip sent a letter to the city of New Braunfels Wednesday, asking for all videotapes and meeting minutes from any council meeting in which the GBRA permit amendment was discussed. Waldrip said he began looking into this matter at Watson’s request. Under state law, the district attorney is responsible for investigating possible violations of the Open Meetings Act.
‘I’m in the process of begin-ning the inquiry now,” Waldrip said. “I do not believe there is any criminal liability with the facts as I understand them now.”
Although there might be no criminal liability, Waldrip said action not properly fisted on the agenda could be invalidated according to certain sections of the Texas open meetings law.
Monday’s agenda listed under “discussion and action,” “Discuss and consider asking the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to grant a contested case hear-
‘Tm in the process of beginning the inquiry now. I do not believe there is any criminal liability with the facts as I understand them now. ”
— Dib Waldrip district attorney
ing regarding the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority permit # 18-207E.”
Watson claims action taken to rescind the earlier vote was illegal because it was not listed specifically on the agenda.
The investigation is just part of an ongoing argument between council members over the GBRA’s permit amendment request.
GBRA wants to take an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water from Canyon Lake, raising the amount GBRA is authorized to take to 90,000 acre-feet. Of that new amount, the GBRA plans to sell 11,000 acre-feet out of its 10-county district, including 4,000 to Bexar County. One acre foot equals about 325,000 gallons of water.
In exchange, San Antonio will help pay for a pipeline to deliver water to Bulverde and parts of western Comal County.
Watson is vehemently opposed to the amendment. In March, she asked council to send a fist of comments she drafted to a TNRCC public meeting at the New Braunfels Civic Center.
Watson said the rest of the council knew she also requested a contested case hearing in her motion, which was seconded by Lee Rodriguez.
And there lies the crux of the division inside the council.
Food Finds in NB
Food TV network crews tour Naegelin’s, smokehouse plant
By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer
Looking nervously into the television camera, Shelley Gonzales explains the different types of pastries made by Naegefin’s Bakery.
She details the store’s policies on shipping homemade cakes and cookies across the country.
“We limit the strudel to two-day delivery,” she says, growing bolder as she gets used to the camera lens tracking her moves. “That way, we’re sure it stays fresh.”
The same Food TV crew that taped footage at Naegelin’s Bakery on Tuesday visited the New Braunfels Smokehouse on Wednesday to film segments for “Food Finds.” Finding local companies that create unique products and market them throughout the country is all part of the job for Food TV and its camera crew.
“We have researchers who comb the countryside for leads on who’s making those one-of-a-kind products,” producer Bruce Halford said. ‘The store has to be unusual; it has to be homemade, and they have to ship anywhere in the country. We’re only interested in small, local stores who have the ability to ship nationwide.”
The show featuring segments on Naegefin’s and New Braunfels Smokehouse will air sometime in the fall.
In Naegefin’s, the camera crew moved about the store, focusing on the displays of pastries, cakes and cookies.
“We’re in Texas now, focusing on the Hill Country,” Halford said. “And how can you not go to the oldest bakery in Texas?”
Naegefin’s Bakery has that distinction, owner Todd Granzin said. The store was started in 1868 by the baker to Prince Solms. The Granzin family has owned the bakery since 1980 and recently started Web-based advertising. Framed by elaborately decorated wedding cakes and chocolate confec-