New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 21, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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Ex-con says hired gunman killed judge
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — An ex-convict says hired gunmen from San Antonio shot and killed U.S. District Judge John H. Wood.
Sonny De La Fuente, who appeared Wednesday before a special federal grand jury investigating Wood’s assassination, told reporters the grand jury is attempting to verify information given them by Robert F. “Comanche” Riojas, a convicted murderer and heroin dealer.
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The special grand jury also continued its inquiry into the harboring of Las Vegas gambler Jimmy Chagra after he had jumped bond following his conviction on drug smuggling charges last year.
Two of Chagra’s relatives, his brother, Joe Chagra, and Jimmy Chagra’s father-in-law. Leon Nichols, appeared before the grand jury Wednesday.
Both men said they could not see how
the harboring of Jimmy Chagra had anything to do with Wood’s death May 29.1979.
Calling the grand jury investigation of his brother “a witch hunt.’’ Chagra said “This grand jury has one job -to indict Jimmy Chagra for Judge Wood’s murder.’’
De La Fuente said he was questioned about information supplied V Bl agents by Riojas. De I.a Fuente said he believes Riojas knows who killed the judge.
Riojas has told federal authorities that the men who shot Wood are from San Antonio, De La Fuente said. He said Riojas also said he talked with them shortly before the attempted assassination of Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kerr Nov 21,1978.
He said the subject came up at a party attended by Riojas and the men Riojas claims killed the judge and attempted to kid Kerr.
De La Fuente said, however, that he
does not believe Riojas’ story and said Riojas “concocted” the story in hopes of getting a special deal from federal authorities.
Riojas is serving 20 years for his state murder and heroin convictions and 25 years on a federal conviction for hiring five Bexar County Jail inmates to kill jail prisoner Hugo Ellis Saenz in 1977. Riojas is under the federal witness protection program and his whereabouts are unknown except to
De I .a Fuente is on parole after being convicted on a charge of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Judge Wood sentenced him to eight years in prison, he said.
U.S. District Judge William Sessions granted Nichols, 51, immunity from prosecution for his grand jur\ testimony. Nichols told reporters U S. Attorney Jamie Boyd threatened him with perjury charges three times.
Vol. 89 No. 45 24 Pages 2 Sections (USPS 377 880)
New Braunfels. Texas
St$tf photos by John Sentrr
Road-widening construction continues on FM 306
By SANDRA JACKSON Staff writer
Old culverts line the highway along FM 2673, but ifs not because a contractor is having a culvert garage sale.
The old structures are being replaced along a portion of FM 2673, which is also being resurfaced and widened a total of 16 feet to provide wider shoulders and a passing lane. New culverts are being poured daily
under the supervision of Art Gonzales.
The project involves a 4.8-mile stretch of FM 2673, from its intersection with FM 306 to FM 2722.
EM 306 is also being resurfaced and widened a total of eight feet along a 2.4-mile stretch from the Guadalupe River bridge to Purgatory Road.
Subcontractor R.H. House Inc. is handling the road work, while Dean Word Co. is widening the Guadalupe
Dinar Kriilunc riu/nur H;*iul:tll Huns;** pstimates the
cost of his portion of the project at around $1,468,000.
“The most difficult part of the job is making the rock cuts through the hills along FM 306 to provide more visibility,” House said. To keep traffic moving, House has hired three local women to act as “flagpersons
Caution should be taken by motorists using these roads, and a 45 mile per hour speed limit has been instituted for these areas. Construction will continue for another six or seven months, with completion estimated in early spring.
Finance panel rushes cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate - Decrease the so-called marriage
Finance Committee is rushing toward penalty” by allowing married couples to final approval of a tax reduction deduct 5 percent of the first $30,000 of
package containing $22 billion worth of earnings of the spouse with the lesser
cuts in personal income taxes and faster income. The deduction would rise to IO
tax writeoffs for business. percent in 1982.
The panel, which began writing the — Reduce tax rates in most brackets,
legislation Monday, reached unanimous The rates now range from 14 percent to
agreement on its major elements a maximum tax rate of 70 percent.
Wednesday and appeared ready to Under the committee’s proposal, the
complete work on the legislation by rates would range from 12 percent to 67
Frida >. percent.
Clos. 1-door bargaining sesssions Earlier Wednesday, th** committee,
among committee members have chaired by Sen. Russell B. Long. I >-1 -a.,
produced an uncharacteristic public voted unanimously for a simplified and
display of bipartisan cooperation. accelerated depreciation plan proposed
In less than 15 minutes Wednesday, by Sen. Lloyd Bentlet!, D-Texas.
the committee approved without dissent The committee staff estimated the
a package, effective Jan. I, that would: individual cuts would amount to about
— Raise the personal income tax $22 billion in 1981, rising to about $40
exemption from the present $1,000 to billion by 1985
|U(Xf But specific figures on the personal
— Raise the so-called “zero bracket and business tax cuts were still being
amount,” of income exempt from in- worked out by the committee staff
come tax, from $2,300 to $2,400 for in- Wednesday night.
dividuals and from $3,400 to $3,600 for Other provisions the panel seems married couples. likely to consider include a reduction in
— liaise the “earned income tax capital gains taxes, deductions lur
credit” for families with children from charitable contributions made by
its current level of IO percent of the first taxpayers who don t itemize their
5 percent of earned income to ll per- returns and tax breaks for Americans
cent living abroad.
The committee has agreed to vote by
—---“ noon Friday on sending a tax cut bill to
the Senate floor.
Despite the unity demonstrated by the committee, the administration is standing by its position that a tax cut should not be enacted now.
BUS SCHEDULES........... 8B In addition, the tax-writing House
phi JRTHES . , 4 5B Ways and Means Committee Ila
CHURCHED............ completed ll doff of hearings on tax cut
CROSSWORD ............legislation, but still not indicated
COMICS..................11A whether it will act on a bill this year.
HOROSCOPE * • 11A House leaders have shown no en-
s ... 4A thusiasm for taking quick action on a
OPINIONS............. tax cut this year, but Senate proponents
SPORTS..................1 M of a cut say they hope the swift Finance
TAKING STOCK............IGA Committee action will force the House to
InsideMund wants input from constituents
Comm. Charles “Tart” Mund wants to hear what’s on his constituents’
The Precinct 3 commissioner plans to hold monthly meetings at the justice of the peace office in Bulverde to “chew the fat with whoever wants
to come down and talk to me, he said.
“I want to be of better service to those people who hesitate to call me long distance. Whenever I’m up there, there’s just no way I can see
everybody,” Mund said.
Mund will hold the feedback sessions from 9 a.m. to noon on the first
Tuesday of each month. ,
Eve been wanting to do it for a long time. Of course, if I go three or tour months and nobody comes to talk, I’ll probably just forget the whole thing. But I really want to hear from the folks,” he said.
Soviet interference jems redio broedcests from West
MOSCOW (AP) - Heavy in-terferenee, sounding like buzz-saws and garbled voices, drowned out American radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union for a second day today, raising speculation the Kremlin was trying to silence Russian-language reports of the widespread strikes in neighboring Poland.
The Voice of America accused Soviet authorities of jamming its Russian-language short-wave broadcasts for the first time in seven years.
A Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman denied the VOA claim, declaring that
“like previous ones, it is an invention. But an official at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said monitoring by the embassy showed the broadcasts were being “heavily jammed.”
“We do not know why the Soviets have taken this unfortunate step backward or whether this action will be temporary, said a State Department spokesman in Washington.
In London, Hie British Broadcasting Corp. said its Russian-language programs to the Soviet Union were also being jammed for the first time suite 1973. West German officials said their
country’s Russian-language broadcasts were being jammed for the first time since 1968.
Soviet officials said tile denial that VOA was being jammed abo applied to BBC and West German claims.
A BBC spokesman said two other times the Soviets jammed its Russiunlanguage broadcasts were in 1968, before the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and in 1956, before the invasion of Hungary.
While many observers speculated thai the latest jamming was linked to
current labor strike in Poland, some analysts said it could be for other reasons, including the general deterioration of East-West relations.
The broadcasts from America, Britain and West Germany are believed to have a Soviet audience numbering in the millions. Many Soviet citizens openly admit they listen to the foreign broadcasts, which provide a counterpoint to heavily censoied and propagandized Soviet government broadcasts. The foreign transmissions are regularly denounced in the Soviet press.
Polish official dropped; strikers increase
^i^^ ■ ■ o.uami’c committees tha
GDANSK, Poland (AP) - The mmunist government dumped its top bor negotiator today in a new sign that s efforts to contain the widespread orker unrest gripping the Baltic •acoast had stalled.
Informed sources reported, mean-hile, that 16 leading dissidents were Minded up in Warsaw. The sources said
the number of workers on strike in the Baltic area had grown despite the government’s mediation efforts and that about 130,000 workers were taking part in the mass walkout, now in its eighth day.
State radio announced today that Deputy Premier Tadeusz Pyka had been replaced as chairman of a special
commission dispatched here last weekend to negotiate with workers after they began walking off their jobs at the V.I. Lenin Shipyards and other enterprises. No explanation was given tor the change.
Despite Pyka’s efforts, sources in this Baltic port said more than 300 factories and plants in the area had now been shut
down by the strike.
Pyka, a longtime ally of Communist Party leader Edward Gierek was replaced by senior Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Jagielski, a longtime Politburo member who is considered the most liberal and influential of Poland s five deputy premiers. Pyka was a relative newcomer to the party’s inner
circle and a junior man among Poland s deputy premiers.
The commission had been seeking to negotiate with individual stiike com mittees rather than a central organization established by militants at the lienin Shipyards in Gdansk.
Gdansk radio had reported negotiations were under way with
committees that had apparently split with the Lenin Shipyard group. But pyka’s removal appeared to indicate the couumssion’s strategy of undermining worker unity was failing. ^ Meanwhile, “extremely serious’’ conditions and widespread disruption were reported in the Polish city of Szczecin today