New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 4, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
By T.A. Badger
Associated Press Writer
SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Supreme Court Tuesday turned down the chance to hear U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez’s appeal alleging that fraud was responsible to his 58-vote defeat in the Democratic primary election in March.
Rodriguez, a seven-year incumbent from San Antonio, took his case to the state’s highest court after the 4th Court of Appeals ruled against him last month in his lawsuit against his District 28 challenger, Laredo lawyer Henry Cuellar.
In its brief order, the Supreme Court said it dismissed Rodriguez’s appeal because it did not have jurisdiction to rule on the case.
Rodriguez said the decision did
not come as a surprise, but he was disappointed.
“At the end of the day, I never was allowed to present the evidence we found of illegal voting, and that is a shame not only for this election, but also for the electoral process,” he said.
According to the Texas Election Code, the regional appeals courts are seen as having the final say in elections cases.
Arid while Rodriguez may yet try to take the case to federal court, Cuellar again urged him to end his efforts.
“I hope Ciro recognizes that ifs time to move on,” he said. “If he wants to run again in a couple of years, bless his heart. But this has
gone on long enough."
Jeff Mendelsohn, chief of staff for Rodriguez, said Tuesday that the congressman has not decided whether to pursue the lawsuit in federal court.
Rodriguez, who says he will return as a candidate in 2006 if all of his appeals fail, led by 145 votes immediately after the March 9 primary.
But Cuellar took the lead in a recount after more than 200 previously untamed ballots were discovered in Webb County, where he lives, and neighboring Zapata County.
Rodriguez sued in April. He later amended the suit, claiming some voters didn’t live in the district,
while others gave false information in order to cast ballots.
Cuellar successfully challenged the amended lawsuit, saying it raised new claims after the filing deadline. But a panel of the 4 th Court of Appeals in San Antonio later ruled 2-1 that Rodriguez had the right to question the legality of the votes.
However, a 5-2 vote by die full appeals court luly 12 said Rodriguez was trying to bring a completely different allegation to trial. That decision came along party lines, with the Republican majority ruling against Rodriguez.
As it stands, Cuellar will oppose Republican nominee Jim Hopson of Seguin in the November general election in the heavily Democratic district.
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Marion, Navarro football teams, CHS volleyball kick off season with first day of practice. Page SA
Readers say river's cultural impact should be weighed; waterpark should keep buses off Commerce Street. Page
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 227 12 pages, 2 sections
Heat index of 104
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GET A JOB
Kohl s has a 24-hour hotline,
(877) 639-5645, to accept applications for some of the 150 jobs at its New Braunfels store.
Positions available include customer service, management, security and housekeeping.
Kohl’s brings 150 new retail jobs
By Brandi Grissom
Kohl’s, a national department store chain, will open the doors of its 47th Texas store here in October, store officials announced Tuesday.
Along with a variety of brand-
name clothes, shoes, accessories and home products, the new store at the intersection of Interstate 35 North and Texas 46 will bring 150 jobs to New Braunfels.
Michael Meek, chamber of commerce president, said the national retailer will boost the local economy.
“It means our citizens don’t have to leave town to go to a Kohl's,” Meek said. “They don’t have to drive to Austin or San Antonio.”
A survey of local shoppers revealed a need for apparel retailers like Kohl’s, Meek said. “We do have a lot of citizens
that leave the local shopping area to buy clothes,” he said. “If we could plug that hole, it could leave our hard-earned dollars circulating in the local economy longer.”
Having a successful, nationally recognized retailer in town
could also lure other big-name retailers to the area, Meek said.
“Others will certainly recognize the Kohl’s brand and tell themselves if they’ve come to this market, there must be a comfort level that they could
See JOBS, Page 3A
County gets formal look at ’05 budget
By Ron Maloney
County commissioners Thursday will get their first formal look at Danny Scheel’s proposed $25.2 million 2005 budget.
Commissioners’ Court meets at 8:15 a.m. in the courtroom at 199 Main Plaza.
Assistant County Auditor Sharon Ferrell said Scheel would present the budget to commissioners, and they will discuss for the record the probable tax rate for 2005, which is not expected to increase.
“This is the point in the budget process where the judge’s recommended budget is presented to the court and filed with the county clerk’s office,” Ferrell said. “It's the budget of record until it is voted on and approved.”
Once the recommended budget is filed with the county clerk, it also is sent out to the county's libraries. Any citizen who wishes can review it, Pencil said.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin said Thursday's meeting was the next step in a budget process that begins in May and stretches to September.
So far, commissioners have conducted hearings with department heads and put their own pencils to the budget, forwarding individual preferences to Scheel.
“We’ve had the meetings, the round table, each one of us did all the plusses and minuses and made recommendations to the judge," Minikin said. “He tallied the recommendations, and we should see the result Thursday.”
Most requests for additional employees, Minikin believed, would not be approved, nor would pay raises.
“I don’t know if there's any consensus, but as far as I’m concerned, merit raises or cost-of-living increases are not in the cards this year,” Minikin said. “Ifs always subject to change until we approve the final budget, but unless someone can come up with several hundred thousands of dollars more in revenue, I don’t think ifs going to happen.”
R County Judge Danny Scheel . will present a $25,214 million proposed 2005 general fund budget to commissioners Thursday.
H Where general revenue will be spent —
■ Law enforcement — 52 percent
N Judicial — 19 percent
N General and administration — 13 percent
R Finance — 7 percent
H Social/Health —
H Executive — 3 percent
PARTY for PROTECTION
Photos by MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung
(Above) New Braunfels firefighters Scott Koehler, left, and Petey Bartels dance during a cakewalk at National Night Out at the Hayselton Avenue block party. (Left, from top) Roxie Moore, Haley Caldwell. Hayley Rutledge. Rachel Davis and Tody Sindeiar.
Neighborhoods come together for National Night Out
By Ron Maloney
They didn’t have a disco ball on Hayselton Avenue Tuesday night, but then, they didn't need one.
The neighborhood kids were “shakiri their booties” to the KC and the Sunshine Band disco classic — on a cakewalk against crime.
They were among more than IOO Landa Park Estates area residents who carried on a summer tradition, getting together on National Night Out.
“It's just an old-fashioned summer picnic,” said Sam Stewart who helped organize. “It’s become a neighborhood duty — an annual event that
just sort of perpetuates itself. We’ve been doing it for many, many years."
The meeting, one of 70 “ block parties” in New Braunfels and Comal County, is designed for neighbors to make connections with one another —and help look after each other. On Allen Avenue, not far from Landa Park, it doubles as the annual Neighborhood Watch meeting.
Comal County Sheriff ’s Office Crime Prevention Officer Tim Kolbe said National Night Out served an important purpose as a touchstone of community action neighborhoods can carry throughout the year.
“It can be a new beginning or a defining of what they already have
and enjoy,” Koibe said. “That’s peace and serenity in their neighborhood.”
Kolbe likes to say the best weapon against crime is a nosy neighbor.
“The fact of the matter, when it comes right down to it, is that you’ve got to rely on one another. Your nearest help in an emergency is right next door, lf you don’t know your neighbor, will you ask for help and vice versa?” Kolbe asked.
In the aftermath of 9/11 and with new reports of potential terror targets in the United States, Koibe said a new focus of National Night Out and the Neighborhood Watch program
See ME1RHRORHOOD Page 3A
State Supreme Court rejects Rodriguez’s appeal