New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 5, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
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Bank loses Utilities suit appeal
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By DEBBIE TURNER Staff writer
New Braunfels Utilities Manager Bob Sohn had a $33,000 smile on his face Wednesday.
During the morning hours, he had learned the Third Court of Civil Appeals in Austin had upheld a 207th District Court judgment against Canyon I^ke Bank, in connection with $23,000 in stolen funds by former Utilities Manager Richard Sledge — now serving a five year sentence in the Texas Department of Corrections.
“We were quite pleased,” Sohn said. “I’ve maintained all along we were going to get that
money back, because it belonged to everybody.
“They (the bank) has the right to appeal, but it’s still good news for us,” he added.
Bank president Ken Rice could not be reached for comment Thursday as to whether the bank will appeal the Court of Civil Appeals decision to the Texas Supreme Court.
In 1981, Utilities won a civil lawsuit against its former general manager and the bank in which he deposited the stolen funds. Sledge didn’t contest the lawsuit, but the bank promptly appealed to the Third Court of Civil Appeals.
Presiding 207th District Court Judge Robert
Pfeuffer ordered Sledge to pay back the $23,000, but the order didn’t become effective until the bank also lost its pending appeal.
Sohn said that the appellate court’s ruling Wednesday allowed for 5^ percent interest since 1976 (the year the Utilities monies were stolen), “making the total amount due more like $33,556.
“Then, the court said, as of Jan. 7, 1981, it would allow 9 percent interest,” Sohn added, “which will add another $4,000 or $5,000 to the total.”
Utilities Attorney Tom Burrus echoed Sohn’s pleasure over the ruling, adding that the bank’s option to appeal to the Supreme Court was a strong possibility.
McKenna groundbreaking scheduled Friday morning
Everyone is invited to groundbreaking ceremonies for the expansion of McKenna Memorial Hospital Friday morning.
Ceremonies will get underway at 9:30 a.m. on the south lawn of the hospital grounds.
Once renovation and expansion of McKenna is completed, an
additional 30 beds will be added to the current 86-bed hospital.
In addition, the new facility will contain four new operating rooms, a comprehensive obstetrical department, a pharmacy, central sterilizing department and coronary care unit, said Tom McNeal, hospital administrator.
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 91-No. 153
THURSDAY August 5,1982 25 cents
Israel stops push into West Beirut
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lebanese police reported at least 250 civilians killed and 670 wounded in the devastating 20-hour bombardment of west Beirut by Israeli jets, gunboats and artillery backing tank charges that carved out new positions on three fronts arouhe PLO’s battered enclave.
Israel suspended the push after a strongly worded message from President Reagan. But Israeli officials vowed to continue their drive to crush the Palestine Liberation Organization, and guerrilla chief Yasser Arafat exhorted his followers to fight to the death.
Israeli warplanes bombed south and west Beirut for 90 minutes after sundown Wednesday, capping a daylong rain of shellfire that collapsed city blocks and gutted apartment buildings in west Beirut’s residential and commercial districts.
A police spokesman said many of the wounded were expected to die soon because the Moslem sector’s hospitals are suffering drastic shortages of plasma, water and fuel because of an 11-day Israeli blockade that has made fruit, bread and vegetables scarce.
The Tel Aviv military command issued a communique early today saying the Beirut war front was “relatively quiet” during the night apart from
sporadic Katyusha rocket fire from Palestinian units. It said Israeli soldiers exercised “restraint," but did not say whether they fired back.
The command said 19 Israeli soldiers had been killed in the Beirut area during the previous 24 hours, including one who died in a Palestinian bazooka ambush east of the city. Seven other soldiers were wounded in the ambush, it said.
The PLO has not announced any casualties among its estimated 8,000 fighters, trapped in Beirut since the early stages of the Israeli invasion that began June 6.
Alarmed by Israel’s new offensive, which apparently was aimed at isolating the Palestinians in southern Beirut camps, President Reagan said he wrote Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to tell him a strict cease-fire is an “absolute necessity."
Sources in Washington said the administration was considering military, diplomatic and economic penalties if Israel does not stop the offensive. The White House avoided mentioning sanctions in its public statements.
The U.N. Security Council voted 14-0, with the United States alone abstaining, to approve a Jordanian-Spanish resolution demanding the
See ISRAELI, Page 16InsideHaag returns to reserve force
Medford Haag, once captain of the Sheriff’s A fire in a house on Camp Willow Road Reserve deputies, has rejoined that group.
, , . , ... i , “I reinstated Medford as a reserve (deputy)
has claimed one life, and two people Sunday July 25>” Sheriff Walter Fellers said. “I
were injured in separate accidents on IH feit the dismissals of the charges against him left
35 Thursday morning. See Page 16. all questions resolved.”
Three tampering with government charges were dismissed against Haag on April 16 and April 23 by CLASSIFIED 13-15 District Attorney Bill Schroeder, after his Sept. 17
rnMir^ ....................... trial on one of the charges ended in a hung jury.
rpnQQVv/nRn........................12 Wilburn Fischbeck, who replaced Haag as
ne ad a DOV ........................ 7 caPtain °f ihe reserves after the charges were
DEAR ABBY.......................... filed, will remain in that position.
HOROSCOPE.........................2 rj^e reason for the dismissals was listed as
KALEIDOSCOPE.......................7 “investigating officer and primary witness is
OPINIONS............................4 deceased,” in reference to the tragic death of
SCRAPBOOK.........................6 sheriff’s Investigator p]d Murphy in a helicopter
SPORTS............................8 9 crash Sept. 21. Murphy, along with Texas Ranger
STOCKS............................16 Hay Martinez (who filed the charges against Haag
WEATHER...........................2 See HAAG, Page 16
Lf. Gilbert Villarreal (left) and deputy Dennis Koepp unload the confiscated weed
Officers uproot marijuana garden
A dozen law enforcement officers uprooted an estimated 1,100 marijuana plants, with a street value of over $30,000, from the backyard of an Oak Village North home Wednesday night.
The 50x20-foot garden, bearing an estimated 450 pounds of marijuana, reportedly belonged to Larry David and Nancy Louise Schneider, who were both charged with felony possession of marijuana over four ounces.
The finding was made through combined air and ground surveillance.
County officers said the marijuana plants averaged eight feet high, with the tallest
being around 12 feet. “Some of the plants were so well set in, they had to be dug up,” stated an officer, who was sporting blisters on his hands from his efforts last night.
“The search warrant was issued by Judge Fred Stewart < Justice of the Peace, Precinct 31,” Sheriff’s Investigator Rudy Rubio said. “We hit the house around 7 p.m., and it took over two hours to clear out the garden with a dozen of us working.”
Drug Enforcement Administration agent Frank Perez organized the raid, Rubio said. Sheriff Walter Fellers, LL Gilbert Villarreal, DPS troopers, Texas
Narcotics Division officers, and other county officers were also present.
Rubio said scales and other drug-related paraphernalia were also found at the residence. The Oak Village North subdivision is located about two miles east of U.S. Highway 281, on FM 1863.
Mrs. Schneider was released from the Comal County Jail at 12:15 a.in. Thursday under a $10,000 bond, set by Peace Justice Harold Krueger. Bond was set at $25,000 for Mr. Schneider, who was still in custody Thursday morning.
DEBBIE TURNERGarden Ridge eyes annexation, taxes
Majority wants city to annex property
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
Three signatures on a notarized affidavit are all that’s needed to set the wheels in motion. The Garden Ridge City Council is ready to annex some land.
Members voted unanimously Wednesday night to start proceedings as soon as the proper papers are filed. Mayor Betty McGranahan hopes to hold the required public hearings between Aug. 23 and Sept. I.
The territory in question lies off the city’s southeast border between Nacogdoches Road and the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The proposed annexation would also take in two strips of land south of Nacogdoches, but outside the present irregular city-limit line.
Thirty-nine residents of the area have signed a petition favoring annexation. Nine have submitted a “no” vote.
“Two families (with a total of five eligible voters) haven’t had a chance to sign one way or the other,” said Bob Kolstad, chairman of the city planning and zoning commission. “The way we hear it, they’re going to vote against it. So it’ll be 39 to 14.”
A simple majority is required to make the petition valid. The next step is for three of the proannexation signers to put their names on an affidavit certifying that the petitioners are qualified voters and true residents of the area. After duly advertising the proposed move, City Council must hold two hearings, one in the area to be annexed and one in Garden Ridge itself.
Kolstad wants to be sure everyone involved gets a chance to speak. Hearing times and places will be announced in the nearest newspaper, but he also recommended sending a letter to each resident in the annexation area.
“There aren’t more than 30 homes involved,” he said. McGranahan agreed it was a good idea.
After the hearings are over, council will be free to draw up an ordinance and vote on it. This action must be taken not less than 20 days, nor more than 40, after the last hearing is held.
At the other end of Garden Ridge, some residents in the Sehoenthal Ranch area have written McGranahan asking to be taken into the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. This would protect their neighborhood from annexation by other cities, but would make it fair game for future moves by Garden Ridge.
“This is a turnaround, isn’t it?” the mayor said. "People are asking to become part of Garden Ridge.”
“Before San Antonio gets them,” muttered a citizen in the audience.Council says no to homestead exemptions
The City of Garden Ridge won’t be granting a homestead exemption on this year’s property taxes.
As Mayor Betty McGranahan explained it, there’s little point in a homestead exemption when homesteads account for 99 percent of the property in the city.
City planning and zoning chairman Bob Kolstad said he didn’t really understand the point of the new Texas law setting up the optional 40 percent exemption. He’s talked to city and county officials, and no one has explained it to his satisfaction.
Comal County Commissioners approved the exemption, however, and so did trustees of the Comal Independent School District.
Garden Ridge citizens pay taxes to both, so they’ll get some benefit from the law.
In those larger jurisdictions, taxes not paid by homeowners will be picked up by industry.
Garden Ridge has no industry.
The only properties there that wouldn’t qualify for a homestead exemption, said McGranahan, are vacant lots. And with most of the city’s homes in the $90,000 range, a vacant lot isn’t worth enough to make much difference.
City Council has published its proposed 1983 budget, and will hold a public hearing at City Hall on Aug. 16. Revenue sharing funds will be discussed at 6:30 p.m., and the regular budget at 7 p.m.
The 1982 street repair job was finished in record time by Fischer Construction of New Braunfels.
City engineer Craig Hollmig said work began “about two days” after the contract was awarded on July 12. The streets were ready by July 30.
“They had a big crew out there. You know, work is rather scarce right now,” Hollmig said, adding that Fischer did a good job. Best of all, the final bill was $22,162.80 -more than $400 less than the
original bid price.
After a three-inonth study of proposals from two cable television firms, Garden Ridge has received a last-minute offer from a third firm, Skylink Cable of Mobile, Ala.
“We didn’t know that you existed, to be perfectly honest,” said Skylink representative Joe Champion. His company heard of Garden Ridge while working on a project in Northcliffe, just a few miles away on the other side of IH 35.
In addition to a wider choice of TV programs, Skylink is providing Northcliffe residents with fire and burglar alarm systems, all on the cable. Champion said he can offer Garden Ridge the same services (and more) at a cheap rate by hooking the city onto Northcliffe’s system.
He said Skylink had a flexible program, in which each household
See TAXES, Page IS
Staff photo by John Senter