New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 5, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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■ WHAT: Blood drive for lead custodian Jimmie Santellan, who needs a kidney transplant
■ WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. today
■ WHERE: Lone Star Primary, 2343 W. San Antonio St.
Gore dealt double blow by courts
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Rep. Ed Kuempel reads “Not Enough Beds” to a large turn-out of pre-kindergarten through third graders at the Tye Preston Memorial Library in Sattler Monday night. Kuempel shared holiday stories and his late-found appreciation for reading with the parents and children that came for the Christmas story hour/ pajama party.
Vol. 150 No. 20 12 pages in 2 sections December 5, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1852
Jail chief retires four days after two inmates escape
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
The superintendent of the Comal County Jail retired Friday in the wake of the facility’s first jailbreak in several years.
Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder said Monday that'Chief Deputy Bill Collins’
retirement became effective on Dec. 31. Until then, Collins is on paid leave.
A graveyard shift jail sergeant, Troy Edwards, a 12-year employee who was in charge of the facility at the time of the escape, also was relieved of his duties Friday.
The jail’s top brass will be replaced in coming weeks. Prior to the escape, Capt.
Rudy Rodriguez announced his retirement.
On Nov. 27, Johnnie Lee Cooper Jr., 27, and Wayne Edward Weirich, 37, a pair of jail “trusties” who were working on an overnight cleaning detail, climbed to the roof of the jail from a recreation area and escaped.
Detectives tracked down Cooper* two
days later, and the Sheriffs Special Weapons and Tactics team arrested him. Two relatives and a friend were arrested for allegedly helping Cooper.
Weirich turned himself in on Thursday.
Holder promised there would be no “sacrificial lambs" and personnel issues were among those being looked at.
On Friday, Collins put in for retirement, Holder said.
“There was nobody who worked here who had more character, integrity and loyalty' than Bill Collins,” Holder said Monday morning. “He is a very good friend and a fine man.”See JAIL/5A
■ Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls on Monday rejected Al Gore’s request for a manual recount of thousands of contested ballots in Florida’s presidential election, and refused the vice president’s request to overturn George W. Bush’s certified statewide victory.
■ The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday set aside a state high court ruling that allowed selective manual recounts in Florida’s contested presidential election between Gore and Bush and sent the case back “for further proceedings.”
Acting with unusual haste, the high court invited Florida’s top court to clarify its reasons for its ruling that extended the deadline for hand-counted ballots in some Democratic-leaning counties in the state.
senior Democrat who participated ifi the talks said there was no sense of quitting from the Gore team.
However, the vice president’s advisers said privately that Gore was running out of time and options.
They said he would await word from the Florida Supreme Court and from a lawsuit in Seminole County over irregular handling of GOP absentee ballots before deciding whether to concede. If he loses both cases, Gore is almost certain to give up, advisers said.
That timetable means the race could be over in a matter of days if Gore doesn’t catch a quick legal break.
“They won. We lost. This is See COURTS/5A
Lone Star rallies behind co-worker
Key Code 76
The Herald-Zeitung seeks donations for its annual Cheer Fund to provide holiday meals for needy residents. Mail or drop off donations at 707 Landa St. in New Braunfels.
Council asked to study parks master plan
By Jo Lee Ferguson for a number of months. or to new land on south Loop 337; and relocating
A consultant working on New Braunfels’ parks, recreation and open space master plan gave the city council “homework” Monday night.
Lloyd Lentz, with Carter and Burgess, the company hired to develop the plan, asked council members to study the parks master plan, decide what they like and dislike and how much the city can commit to the five to seven year plan.
He said the plan does not currently have a dollar value assigned to it.
“It’s not time to put dollars up here, but it’s going to be time to put dollars up here soon,” he said, pointing to a preliminary chart of proposed plan Monday.
The city council met w ith the parks and recreation and advisory board to discuss the proposed master plan. The plan has been under development
“Ifs really designed to be a business plan,” Lentz said. “That’s my approach to it.”
The proposed plan has changed since it was first presented to the city about a month ago.
At that time, the plan included a proposal to relocate the county fair and convert the fairgrounds into a community park with an indoor recreation center, indoor pool, adult softball fields and other facilities.
However, parks board members have since met with fair association representatives and decided that was not feasible at this time, Parks Director Iris Neffendorf said. That portion of the plan was taken out.
The new proposed plan includes a number of options, such as: converting the H-E-B soccer fields into a community park with practice fields, basketball courts, and a skate park; relocating the H-E-B soccer fields to the former Coco Landfill
the recreation center and maintenance shop in Landa Park.
Then, the plan proposes that the city use the buildings the recreation center and maintenance shop were located in at Landa Park as a way to earn revenue.
The former Comal Power Plant, a Lower Colorado River Authority building near Landa Park, is being converted into a hotel and conference center.
“That creates an opportunity to do some public/private type ventures,” Lentz said.
He said the buildings that house the recreation center and maintenance shop could be converted into entertainment or dining areas the city could lease out. That would generate revenue for the city.
Options running out on Democrat’s presidential hopes
By Ron Fournier
AP Political Writer
Al Gore’s prospects for assuming the presidency dimmed Monday when a circuit court judge re-
fjiORF fuSed h‘S
overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a ruling that had favored manual recounts.
Running out of options, the •vice president’s team pleaded with Democrats to stick with him a few more days.
“They won. We lost. We’re appealing to the Florida Supreme Court,” said Gore attorney David Boies after Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls refused to order recounts in two Democratic counties. “We’ve moved one step closer to having this resolved.”
It was, Gore’s advisers conceded, a major step in the wrong direction.
Neither decision settled the contested race or untangled any of the legal knots tying up the election of a 43rd American president, but the developments were a severe blow for Gore. He is urgently searching for a quick court victory to sustain his presidential quest.
On Day 27 of the longest, closest presidential race in a cen-tury, running mate Joseph Lieberman and top Gore advisers called Democrats on Capitol Hill to explain the whirlwind of legal developments and urge them to remain steadfast. One
From staff reports
Lone Star Primary School employees are asking the public today to give the most important gift of all to one of their co-workers.
The school’s lead custodian, Jimmie Santellan, needs a kidney transplant. At 4 p.m., the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center’s mobile blood bank will be at the school taking blood donations on Santellan’s behalf.
School employees are conducting the blood drive in hope that Santellan will have enough blood credited to his blood “account”
when time comes for the transplant.
The drive is being conducted in conjunction with Lone Star’s second grade Christmas pageant, “A Place in the Christmas Choir,” which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Mindy Nutt, Lone Star Communities in Schools representative, is setting appointments for the drive. She said she still had plenty of openings and could be reached today at 625-6222.
“The appointments are essential,” she said. “We want as many people as we can get, and we have a limited staff.”
See LONE STAR/5A
Jimmie Santellan, lead custodian at Lone Star Primary School, needs a kidney transplant. A blood drive is being hosted on his behalf today at the school.