New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 19, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
Residents of the New Braunfels Independent School District will be getting their new property appraisal notices in the next few days.
In the case of some elderly homeowners, the situation isn’t nearly as bad as it may look.
Notices for NBISD, which also includes large sections of Comal County and the City of New Braunfels, were mailed Wednesday from the Comal County Appraisal District. “When those went out, we had some problems with the computer. Several over-65 exemptions are not reflected on the statements,” said Pat Fox, one of the district appraisers.
Specifically, the county’s $11,100 exemption for homeowners over 65 didn’t show up. Neither did the city’s $3,750 exemption and the $15,000 allowed by the Edwards Underground Water District. And the “freeze” on school taxes for over-65 homesteads wasn’t taken into account by the computer either.
“Anybody who’s over 65 and applied for a homestead exemption, their school taxes were frozen the year they applied for it,” said Fox.
Those exemptions won’t change the
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property value listed on each statement. However, they will have some effect on the “tax amount” printed above the red arrow. For properties eligible for the above exemptions, that figure should be lower.
In any case, that “tax amount” is just an estimate, Fox hastened to add. As required by law, the appraisal office has made an educated guess what the tax rate will be for each individual government (county, school district, city, and so on) and come up with an estimated tax amount using that figure.
Actual tax rates will be set by the governments themselves after all the figures are in.
If a taxpayer feels his property has been appraised unfairly (that is, if he doesn’t agree with what the appraisal district says the property itself is worth) he can file a protest with the Appraisal Review Board.
There’s an error about that in Wednesday’s notices, too. It says protests must be filed by Aug. 27. Actually, taxpayers have until Sept. 7 to file. The review board will hold its first meeting at 9 a.m. that day in central headquarters,
130 W. Mill.
Notices for all other properties covered by the appraisal district are being printed now, and should be in the office by next Tuesday, chief appraiser Glenn Brucks said.
“We hope to have them out by the 30th of August. With a little luck, we might have them out by the 27th,” he said.
Comal County and the Comal Independent School District have been putting pressure on the appraisal office, since they can’t set their 1982-83 tax rates until the Appraisal Review Board finishes its work and certifies the roll. CISD trustees expressed some displeasure Tuesday night when they heard Brucks was sending notices first to New Braunfels ISO, which operates on a different fiscal year and won’t need those figures until next spring.
“It was a smaller area,” said Brucks when asked about this. “We threw all our effort into finishing up that one part so we could have that out of the way and get the notices printed. It had to be done, anyway.”
— DYANNE FRY
Man pleads guilty during trial; jury returns 'not guilty' verdict
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — While the jury deliberated the case of a man accused of murder, he pleaded guilty to avoid a possible death penalty. Three minutes later, the jurors returned with their verdict: innocent.
Harry Douglas Seigler’s plea overruled the jury’s decision Wednesday night, and he faces 40 years behind bars.
He had been accused of killing Douglas L. Mitchell, an insurance agent, on Dec. 2. Mitchell’s throat had been slashed.
The jury began deliberating about 3 p.m. Wednesday and plea bargaining started about 6:30 p.m.
Seigler had been charged with capital murder, which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.
The prosecutor, defense lawyers and Seigler agreed he would plead guilty to a lesser charge, first-degree murder and robbery, and receive a term of 60 years with 20 suspended.
At 7:25 p.m., Seigler was brought into the courtroom and Circuit Judge William E. Spain asked if the defendant was satisfied with the agreement. Seigler answered, “Yes, sir.”
At 7:28 p.m. Spain was told the jury was
After Seigler was taken from the courtroom, the jury returned.
When the jurors were told about the guilty plea, one of the women slumped in her chair. Later examination of the jury’s verdict forms showed it had found Seigler innocent.
John E. Dodson, one of Seigler’s lawyers, said afterward, “Well, that’s the risk you take.”
Seigler “had some fears” about what the jury might do, but the plea bargain was completely his decision, the attorney said.
Seigler will be eligible for parole in about 12 years.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Warren Von Schuch said the plea bargain had been offered because of the character of the prosecution witnesses. The prosecution had relied on the testimony of two felons.
No physical evidence linked Seigler to the death. Seigler testified he was not at the office when the killing occurred.
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 91 -No. 163
August 19,1982 25 cents
Vote close on tax bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -Republican leaders cautiously forecast another victory for President Reagan’s economic program as the House began floor debate before voting today on a compromise bill to raise taxes by $98.3 billion over the next three years.
But it appeared any such victory would have to be handed the president by mainstream Democrats — not by the Republicans and Southern conservatives who were Reagan’s source of strength a year ago. Vote counters in both parties said more than half the Republicans might oppose the bill.
“We’re going to win. I know we’re going to win. I got that visceral feeling,” House Republican Leader Robert Michel proclaimed Wednesday as Reagan lobbied nearly IOO House members in meetings throughout the day and evening.
House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill told reporters today: “I don’t know what we’ll do. We could win by a half dozen votes or lose it by a hundred.... I think we have a good chance of putting it over.”
Reagan was meeting with about a half dozen Republican congressmen today, according to deputy White House press secretary Larry
“It’s very tight. It’s still an uphill battle for us and we will not know until we see the votes tallied,” Speakes said.
He said a poll of 1,000 people conducted for the White House on Tuesday by Richard Wirthlin showed that Americans supported Reagan’s economic program by a margin of 50 percent to 36 percent.
Speakes said this question was asked in the poll was, “If Congress passed Ronald Reagan’s tax and spending proposals, we would have a much better chance of getting out of the recession sooner.”
The press spokesman acknowledged it was never mentioned that the “tax proposal” was actually a tax increase.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Tuesday found that 54 percent of the 913 people interviewed nationwide opposed the tax bill, 35 percent approved and the rest had no opinion.
Speakes summed it up this way: “Still behind, making progress, won’t know until the last moment.”
It was possible that the measure would win passage in both the House and Senate today, paving the way for the lawmakers to leave Washington for a 27-week Labor Day recess.
Comal County forecast calls for sunny and hot today and Friday, with a chance of afternoon and evening thundershowers. Winds will be light from an east to southeast direction at 5-10 mph today, becoming light and variable tonight. Sunset will be at 8:08 p.m., and sunrise Friday will be at 7:01 a.m. Probability of rain is 20 percent today, tonight and Friday.
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Ready to help
Mental Health clinic counsels people and their problems
By CINDY RICHARDSON Staff writer
Many people who go to the Comal Mental Health Center have problems, but you’d never know by the cheerful atmosphere of staff members.
The people who work at the center are professionals; kind and caring, concerned and friendly. You can feel this warmth when you walk through the door.
Staff members offer a variety of services for those who need help. These include individual, marital and family counseling, psychiatric counseling, alcoholism counseling and follow-up counseling for patients discharged from the San Antonio State Hospital.
Center schedules fundraiser
The Comal Mental Health-Mental ticipants will be competing for cash
Retardation board will be sponsoring a fund-raising activity Friday night at the Civic Center.
The fund-raiser will run from 7:30 p.m. to IO p.m., and par-
The center also acts as an information and referral agency for McKenna Memorial Hospital, and the sheriff and police departments.
Two psychiatrists come in once a week to counsel clients and a child psychiatrist comes in at least once a month. A full-time nurse and an alcoholism counselor are on duty
prizes. Proceeds will be used for the operating expenxes of the Comal Mental Health Center and the Comal Developmental Training Center. For more information, call Allan Cross at 625-7724.
daily, as are an assistant caseworker and clerk. These four people, as well as center director Allan Cross, make up the staff.
“Anyone who lives in Comal County can receive services,” said Cross. People who are just passing through town can also come in for what he calls “crisis intervention.”
Generally these people want information or simply need someone to talk to, he noted.
Clients can receive treatment until they move away from the area, until nothing more can be accomplished, or their problem is solved, Cross said. Employees currently handle approxiamtely 200 clients.
Occasionally clients will just stop by the center to have a cup of coffee. “And that’s good,” Cross said.
“After all the center promotes mental health. It’s good for them to do that sometimes, instead of just coming in when there’s a problem.” Everyone who comes to the center does so voluntarily. Often the client himself is seeking help. Other times
See CENTER, Page 16
Charges to be filed in wake of fatal crash
By DEBBIE TURNER Staff writer
Department of Public Safety Trooper Ron McCoy said Wednesday he is “definitely going to file” one count of involuntary manslaughter against the driver of a car involved in a fatal accident Tuesday.
However, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office Thursday morning said the involuntary manslaughter charge against the McQueeney man had not been filed yet by McCoy.
George Woodruff was the driver of the vehicle in which William E. Caldwell, 21, of New Braunfels was
killed Tuesday night in a two-car collision on FM 2673.
The accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Woodruff and his wife Hannelore were taken to McKenna, but were later transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center. Mrs. Woodruff, 26, was listed in serious condition Thursday, with neck, back, leg, pelvis and internal injuries. Woodruff, 21, was discharged Wednesday afternoon.
James Foss, 63, driver of the second vehicle, and his wife Patricia, 55, both of Canyon Lake, were treated for various lacerations, and released from McKenna Memorial Hospital.
NB student to spend school year in Japan
Stuff photo by Cmdy Richardson
Melani Gallaway and pooch get in some last minute recreation
By DYANNE FRY Staff writer
lf things hadn’t happened the way they did, Melani Gallaway would be getting ready to start her sophomore year at New Braunfels High.
As it is, she’s taken leave of her mom, dad and two brothers, and is now en route to Japan — a place where neither of her names will translate into the local alphabet.
“There is ne I ,” said her mother, Georgia Gallaway.
She’s still getting used to the idea that her daughter will spend the next year with four different families on the other side of the Pacific. When Melani applied last year to the Rotary Club’s “Outward Bound” program, her parents figured it was just for practice.
“The first I heard about it was they announced it in school,” Melani said. “You could be any age, but they told us a freshman or sophomore couldn’t make it.” Applicants have to fill out some 20 pages of “heavy political questions,” said Mrs. Gallaway, and be interviewed by a local Rotary panel. Melani and two other students passed that step and went on to San Antonio, where they competed with approximately 50 students from all over south Texas.
Robin Wegner, a 1982 graduate of NBHS, was picked for a visit to Brazil. Most Outward Bound students selected over the years have been seniors, or at least juniors, at the time of application.
“We felt that it would be just a great experience to try out We never thought about her going," said Mrs. Gallaway. “I keep telling her I never intended her to turn sweet 16’ in another country.”
Melani will do just that — and on Pearl Harbor Day, too.
“I just wonder how they’re going to celebrate her birthday,” Mrs. Gallaway mused.
They may not celebrate at all. Melani, who’s been studying Japanese language and customs for
the past couple of months, says they don’t recognize individual birthdays in Japan. “They have a girls’ day and a boys’ day,” she said.
She’s taking language lessons from a local Japanese-born woman,
Yoshiko Chaisson. She’s leaned to eat with chopsticks. She has even cooked Japanese meals for her family, and served them according to protocol.
“They (the Rotary people) told her it would be best if she knew a little bit about the country,” Mrs.
Melani has received mail from the family she’ll spend her first three months with. “The father is a lawyer. I’ll have a sister ll years old, and a brother nine,” she said.
The family’s home is in Nara, a short hop away from Osaka, Japan’s second largest city. Melani will spend mornings at the Kansai International language School, and afternoons at the Tezukayama private girls’ school, one of the best in Osaka. Unlike many students who participate in exchange programs, she’ll get full credit for her studies, and come back to NBHS as a junior next fall.
No matter how well she learns the customs, Melani will never be mistaken for a native of the island country. She’s blonde, blue-eyed, five feet seven inches tall, and wears a size IO shoe.
Mrs. Chaisson told her a six is the biggest you can buy in Japan. The Gallaways have crammed all the clothes and footwear possible into Melani’s two suitcases, one dress bag and one carry-on case.
“We’ve worked and woi ted to get exactly 50 pounds in each bag,” Mrs. Gallaway laughed. A pound more and Melani will have to pay excess baggage charges.
"Her carry-on is the right size,” the girl’s mother added, “but they don’t know it outweighs her."
A few people have teased Melani about finding someone tall enough to
See GALLAWAY, Page IC