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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, August 16, 2001

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 16, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas New.Braunfels THURSDAY August 16, 2001 14 pages in 2 sections t t    r~MHerald-Z eitung K' -------—--T~---------——-T----—-J?------—-----,--- o lf: v ^ '-\^p.^SVs 3? .......... ................■........................................ STJ Vol. 150, No. 238 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 - -.....A........ . . -..... 50 cents Grand jury indicts man on murder, arson charges By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A Comal County grand jury indicted Daniel P. Neal Wednesday for charges of allegedly murdering his mother late last year. Comal County District Attorney Dib Waldrip said Neal was indicted on charges of murder and arson in connection with the shooting death of his mother, Barbara Casey, 61, of Canyon Lake. Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Arson is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Neal, 33, was arrested at the Canadian border near Bellingham, Wash., on Dec. 31, 2000, after a nationwide manhunt. He was sought for allegedly shooting Casey to death on Dec. 26 and then setting the fire that destroyed her home. Casey’s body was found in a bath tub in the lakefront residence after Canyon Lake firefighters extinguished the blaze. Comal County detectives and arson investigators sifted through the charred wreckage of the home for days while detective Tbmmy Ward worked to find Neal. Investigators did not publicly identify Neal as the suspect in the case until he had was taken into custody. Neal was stopped at the Canadian Customs station on Interstate 5 when inspectors found a bullet in his red and white, 1987 Ford Bronco. Canada does not allow ammunition to be carried across the border. Neal was refused entrance, and U.S. Customs investigators and Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies arrested him on an outstanding Bexar County warrant for aggravated assault. That same day, a Comal County judge issued warrants for murder and arson. Ward went to Washington state and collected evidence from Neals vehicle — including a number of its parts, such as the steering wheel, arm rests and other items. The bullet that kept Neal out of Canada was recovered, but what, if any, connection it could have to the Casey murder case is not known. The murder weapon was never found. Late in March, Ward and detective James Miller went to Washington to bring Neal back to Texas. He has spent almost 230 days in custody. Dam problems Council narrows list of firms to aid hunt for new city manager K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung As a mother and screaming daughter fight to get free of the undertow near the south side of the dam, a young New Braunfels resident jumps in to help the two tubers downstream. River Activities Committee looks for ways to make dam area safer By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer Tubers on the Comal River face two unpleasant options when they come to the weir dam near the East San Antonio Street bridge. They could get out of the river and try to pass through the narrow opening between the river and the fence that separates the river from Schlitter-bahn’s property, towing children, coolers and tubes through the space over concrete slick with algae. Or they could try to navigate the dam — and face getting dumped into the water or getting stuck on the dam itself. Both prospects are daunting to tubers. And both lead to accidents and injuries. “One problem is that there’s no notice that the dam is there. If you’re floating the river, you can’t really see that it’s coming up,” Assistant to the City Manager Don Ferguson said. “We may need to put signs up to warn people that the dam is there.” The dam is located down-stream from the Tube Chute, Ferguson said. It is used as a measuring device for river flows. The River Activities Committee is trying to fix problems at the dam. The city staff announced to the See DAM/7A Tin__ Two families navigate the dam under the San Antonio Street bridge as they float down the Comal River Wednesday afternoon. While most of the family opts to get out and walk along the Schlitterbahn fence, one youngster plays along the slippery dam, until he takes a spill (bottom photo). About three minutes later, the families were back on their way down the river. K JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer The New Braunfels City Council decided to interview three search firms to help find a new city manager at Monday night’s meeting. The council plans to interview and select a search firm during a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The firms are all based in Tfexas, Mayor Stoney Williams said. The council voted to select DMG Maximus of San Antonio, Ralph Andersen and Associates of Dallas and the Waters Consulting Group of Dallas. “We chose these mainly because they are all in Tfexas,” Williams said. “That way, we’ll save money with travel expenses. Everybody was in the same range as far as cost, but all added money for travel.” Williams said the three firms had extensive experience with placing city manager candidates and had been in business for a while. “Also, I received unsolicited recommendations on two of the companies,” he said. “I heard good comments about them, even before I saw their information.” The council chose the three What’s Up ■ WHAT: Special City Council meeting ■ WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday ■ WHERE: Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten companies from a field of 13 candidates. • Ralph Andersen and Associates — Th tai cost is $19,750 or more. The firm’s bid included IO to 12 candidates for interview and a selection date of three to five months. Its bid alsfo included travel expenses. • DMG-Maximus —The San Antonio-based organization had a total of bid of $24,000 or $26,000 including expenses for a state or nationwide search. The bid also includes expenses for three meetings, advertising, travel, interviewing and background checks. The corporation will choose up to 12 candidates and estimates it will take three months to complete tile search. • The Waters Consulting Group — The Dallas corporation estimates a total price of at least $20,160. Fees include See SEARCH/7A Meet and greet CHRIS PACE/HerakJ-Zeitung New CISD superintendent Jim Grimed (right) talks with Ernie Mendez Wednesday while his family, daughter Jaimie, son Jon, wife Karen and son Justin (from right), wait to greet people during a reception at T Bar M. Officials identify man killed in Tuesday rollover accident CANYON LAKE - Officials released the name of the 41-year-old Canyon Lake man killed in a single-vehicle rollover Tuesday. Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Howard Smith pronounced Kenneth Lee Cole dead at the scene of the accident. Department of Public Safety trooper Randy Wells said Cole died after he was thrown from his 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe. Cole’s vehicle flipped after he overcorrected and skidded through a curve on Crane Mills Road. WeUs said not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and alcohol could have contributed to the crash. The posted speed limit was 20 miles an hour. Inside Abby.......................... ......5A Classifieds................... ...4-6B Comics....................... ......8A Crossword.................. ......5A Forum.......................... ......6A Local/Metro................. ......4A Movies.......................... ......5A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports......................... ..1-3B Today........................... 2A www.herald-zeitung. corn Key Code 76 River brawl case ends with deal From staff reports A 24-year-old Houston man reached a plea agreement with prosecutors for his part in a 2000 Memorial Day weekend rock-throwing melee on the Guadalupe River. District Judge Gary Steel sentenced John F. Bradford Jr. of Houston to IO years of deferred adjudication Monday and ordered him to pay $20,000 in restitution to an 18-year-old Pollok man. The May 28, 2000, river brawl spawned public outcry about behavior on the rivers. The rock fight took place at the dogleg rapids just outside Loop 337 about 5:45 p.m. that day. Two groups of young men were involved in the confrontation that began with one group spraying the other with water guns. It quickly escalated into a rock-throw ing brawl that had to be broken up by New Braunfels police. Police arrested several people. The victim, then 17, suffered a skull fracture and still is recovering from his injuries. Rescuers had to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to save the man’s life. He was flown to University Hospital in San Antonio, See BRAWL77A ;