New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 12, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
WB>NE8DAY, AUGUST 12,2009Zeitung
Opening ••nr« I HSfltod 9XOllMI09
Serying^N^^ County since 1852.
Vol. 156, No. 236
Area volleyball teams hit the court. Pm^m 6A
Democrats face rowdy crowds at health care town halls.
18 pages, 2 sections 80^
DEAR ABBY 48 CLASSIREDSMi COMICS 38 CROSSWORD 38 FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6-7A TV GRIDS 48Trial continues in parental abuse case
Defendant Murray Erickson, left, sits with his attorneys during Tuesday's Comal County trial.Prosecution says father used 'excessive force'ByThsion Bifttirfii
A jury wiU decide this week whether a Canyon Lake man is guilty of beating his son because of his sexual orientation.
Murray A. Erickson, 49, is chaiged with causing injury to a child on March 4,2007. a third degree felony, which carries a
penalty of probation to 10 years in prison.
Lead prosecutor Steven De Lemos said the case centered on where to draw the line between parental discipline and abuse.
"This case is about to what degree and what is reasonable about the use of force to discipline a child to promote their well being. This was about Erickson trying to get his son to defend himself at school," he said. "From the evidence we have it appears to us that (in this case) the force was excessive."
Rrikson's son made a statement to
police and C-hild Protective Servîtes in March 2007, alleging that his father had beat him.
ITie boy, now 15, was 12 at the titne ot the incident.
Calls made to defense counsel Mario Del Prado were not retiimetl In press time.
The jury will hear from two witnesses Wednesday, one of them a medii al expert. ITie prosecution and defense are expected to make their closing arguments before jury goes into delilieratioti. The trial will resume at 9 a.m. in Iront of District fudge lack Kobisofi.CISD board votes Courthouse in need of a facelift
against tax increase
By Eric Jl« MMMmmImn'
The Comal Independent School District Board of Trustees voted against the proposed increase to 30 cents on the debt services tax T\ies-day nig^t, and instead voted for keeping the proposed 27 cents rate. On September 23 they will vote to formally adopt the rate.
That leaves the education pwipMi» 11 wMi tim tngn area at $131 per 100 dollars of accessed property value, according to Ashley Holt, communications cooidinator for CISD.
Debra Smith, director of business services for the school district, said the vote on the lower debt services rate was pardy in hopes that they can rely on a savings account for a period of time should they need the extra revenue, and in the meantime hope that the current slump in property value goes away.
"The board chose to use a savings account over the next year and coming year in liopesJiiat pfnfwtwd pw^wgty values will be more than what we're seeing now," she said. "They're trying to save the taxpayers right now in this eco-nomk downturn that wete in."
Robbery suspect had long criminal record
From staff reports
The 21-year-old man who police allege attempted to rob both a loc^ pizza chain and clothing store Monday had a steady string of arrests from 2006, court records show.
Police arrested Anthony Wayne Meek Monday after he was reported to have brandished what looked like a gun to try to rob both the Domim's Pizza at 316 South Business Interstate 35 and the Kids Kloset Pamily Exchange at 644
South Seguin Avenue.
Meek was put on probation June 8, 2006 after pleading guilty to six counts of burglary of a habitation in the 22nd District Court of Don B. Morgan, according to court
1 f 1
See SUSPECT, Page 3A
County Connnnissioners will again pursue state funding to restore the Comal County Courthouse, after narrowly missing out on state dollars in 2008.County to seek out restoration funding
By Scott Sticker
Comal (>)unty (Commissioners Thursday will decide whether to reorganb^ a committee to again ask the state for up to $9 million to restore the old courthouse to its original 1898 condition.
The county was denied the restoration fimding from the Texas Historical Commission in 200» after almost five years of planiiitig and anticipation.
Commissioners are working to reorganize the ( x)urthouse Presets a tion Committee to go out once more for those funds.
Comal was one of 47 counties iti 2007 that applied to have their courthouse revamped by tlie Texas Courthouse Preservation Program.
The program awarded 11 conn ties state dollars based on a point system that evaluated aspects (>11 he courthouses. Comal receiveil I HO points, one shy of the 181 required (o get funding.
"The point system is based on 12 or 13 categories," Pet. 4 Commissioner Ian Kennady said. They look at the significance of the courthouse, the historical significance, age, need and other things. We missed it by just that one point last time.'
The estimated cost to restore e-vei-y aspect of the original building was about $9.6 million, she said.
"If any courthouse in the stale of Texas needs to be preserved, it's the courthouse in Comal (>ounty..." Kennady said. "It's an 1898 courthouse. It's one of only 12 J. Reilly (iarden
See COURTHOUSE, Page 3A
Trash is treasure for Canyon Lake man
mm MirnUM/HMvid-ZMtuno John Brsdloy of Canyon L^ poiM in WimlMrloy next to one of his CTMrtkms, a not rod macto from assoitid wekM matsrials including a ^nbirfi machine, ^Ky^, dl dnmi, wtigfit «^e and trailer wheels.ByTheiOfi Brittain
The average person looks at a scrap heap and sees a pile of junk, one item indistinguishable from tiienext.
Jdin Bradley does not.
"I liken it to laying on your back and seeing images in the clouds," Bradley said. ''That's what I see laying in trash heaps. I say 'That looks like something* or "This looks like something" and sometimes if you just add a few more pieces it becomes a reality."
A retired city planner who now lives in Canyon Lake, Bradley took a crash'course on welding five years ago and turned a curiosity into a full-time passion. His keen eyes pide out discarded household
appliances, engine parts, and various metal leftovers as he prowls junkyards and scrap piles. After he makes his selections, the metal pieces end up becoming somediing entirely different from what they were originally intended for.
A Father's Day Craftsman "Man-a-cure" contest recently recognized Bradley's unique style of metal working by naming him one of 10 winners out of 1,500 contestants.
"It's a real honor and I was very surprised to win," Bradley said. "You always like a good 'attaboy'."
The contestants submitted a photograph and a lOO-word essay describing how they use their Craftsman tools. According to Heather Ribeiro, a spokeswoman for Craftsman, 30 percent of the juc^ing was based on creativity and
originality, 40 percent on why the entrant deserved a Father's Day "Man-a-Cure" and 30 percent on how Craftsman tools have or could benefit the entrant's life.
"The entries described not only incredible fathers, but ways that Craftsman tools can help improve their lives," said Guenther Irieb, senior vice president of Craftsman, in an email. "We are honored to play a part in their stories and provide tools that can be passed down from generation to generation.'
Bradley sells his art at local antique shops and donates two to three pieces to charities a year, including Marywood children's charity and the Wounded Warriors Project for severely injured soldiers.
See CRAFTSMAN, Page 3AFCB