New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 24, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
SVHS boys lose to South San West Campus — Page 1B
‘U’ did it!
To contribute to the United Way, call 620-7760
I ■ 1
16 pages in two sections ■ Wednesday, December 24,1997
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Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of Bonnie Meeting
Vol. 146, No. 29
cf inncMiy wisnos TrOm the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Bonnie Riesling and Janet Pomeroy (Sweet 16).
Happy Anniversary wishes go to Alfred and Tina Arizmendez (4 years) and Kenneth and Christine Ryals (I I years).
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Pollen Count not available
(Pollen measured in parts per cubic meter of air. Information provided by Dr. Frank Hampel.)
Comal River — not available Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — not available
Canyon Dam discharge —169 cfs River flow may increase greatly downstream due to runoff.
Canyon Lake inflow — 292 cfs Canyon Lake level — 909.14 feet above sea level.
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new Braunfels utilities
NSU reports pumping 5 .251 million gallons of surface water Tuesday and no wen water
Colder, wetter weather In Blote
Today — Sunny. Highs in the mid 60s. Tonight, fair and cold. Lows in the mid 30s.
Christmas — Increasing clouds. Highs near 60. Thursday night, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of rain. Lows near 40.
Friday and Saturday — Cloudy with a chance of rain Highs in the 50s Lows near 40.
Sunday — Decreasing clouds with rain ending. Lows in the 30s to near 40. Highs in the 50s.
United Way shares the spirit
The Holiday River of Lights Sharing the Spirit organization chosen for today was United Way of Comal County This non-profit organization will supply two workers to staff the display from 6 to 9.30 p m. today and hand out information. In return, the organization will receive 50 cents per vehicle that passes through Cypress Bend Park tonight.
Offices close for Christmas
Window service for the New Braunfels post office will close at noon today and Dec 31. Express mail, parcels and priority mail may be picked up until 4 p.m.
Down at city hall, offices will be closed today and Thursday in observance of Christmas. There will be regular garbage and recycling collection today but not Thursday Residents who miss recycling collection on Christmas Day will have their recyclables collected on Saturday.
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pibvia. Closing offices for holiday
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung business offices will be closed starting at noon today and all day Thursday. News items can be dropped off in the newspaper s night drop box near the front door at 707 Landa St. For information, call 625-9144 The Herald-Zeitung's Christmas Day edition will be delivered early Thursday morning, lf you have delivery problems on Christmas Day, call us at 625-9144 from 7 to 10 a.m.Nichols’ fate rests with jury that convicted him
Jurors deliberate 41 hours, could sentence him to death
By SANDY SHORE
Associated Press Writer
DENVER — Jurors who decided Terry Nichols shares the blame for the Oklahoma City bombing but is no murderer now must determine if he will pay with his life for the nation’s deadliest act of homegrown terrorism.
To the wrath and anguish of bombing victims and relatives of the dead, jurors on Tuesday refused to convict Nichols of murder, instead finding him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and
Sasser to step down as Comal Demo chair
From staff reports
Comal County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gloria Sasser will step down after her present term, and Atanacio Campos has tossed his hat into the ring to take her place.
Campos filed for the post Tuesday.
“We decided »r was time to step back and let someone else do it for a while,” Sasser said. Local attorney Campos said trying to fill the void left by Campo* Sasser’s departure
was a duty.
“It’s a labor of obligation,” he said.
Comal County Democrats will vote for a new county party chairman during the March IO primary election.
Judge truly breaks a leg in re-election bid
Jack Robison will need crutches as he runs for his second term as 207th district judge.
Robison was collecting signatures tor his petition to be included in the March Republican primary Saturday when he tell and broke his leg.
“It broke in three places," Robison said.
His leg needed surgery, and Robison wen! home from McKenna Memorial hospital Tuesday afternoon
The fracture might have slowed Robison’s search for signatures, but it would not cripple his campaign, he said
He was about 200 signatures shy of the 500 he needed to reserve a place on the ballot without paying a filing tee.
“I may just have to go ahead and pay the filing fee.” he said.
I Af ll I ri Ann
Tom Kennedy, Olga Huber end Martin Huber aport food drive T-
of conspiring with Timothy McVeigh.
The conspiracy conviction carries die death penalty. The sentencing phase is scheduled to begin Monday.
Survivors and victims' relatives cried out for a harsher verdict as they learned that only McVeigh will be branded a murderer for killing 168 people in an act that ripped apart the nation’s sense of security. Nichols, portrayed as a willing participant in McVeigh's plat to avenge the government’s 1993 raid on the Branch Da vidian compound, was actually acquitted of two charges.
“How dare that jury think that 168 deaths is involuntary manslaughter?’’
Turn to Nichols, Page 2A
What’s next in Oklahoma City bombing case
A look ahead at expected developments in the Oklahoma City bombing case:
■ Both Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh face state trials in Oklahoma. Bob Macy, the Oklahoma County district attorney, said he will file state charges after the end of Nichols’ federal trial, which was moved to Denver because of pretrial publicity.
■ McVeigh’s appeal of his federal conviction and death sentence in the bombing will continue. His attorneys are expected to file a brief regarding the appeal today.
■ The sentencing phase of Nichols’ federal trial begins Monday. Timothy McVeigh
Holiday travelers get all wet
Rain-slicked highways lead to several Comal car wrecks
BY SUSAN JAKOBSEN
Holiday travelers anxious to reach their destinations and bad weather might have caused several accidents reported in Comal County Tuesday, according to local officials,
A tornado watch was issued for Guadalupe County, and wind gusts, lightning and hail were reported in areas surrounding Comal County Tuesday.
“The rain and people not driving safely and not paying attention to what’s going on” caused a number of accidents Tuesday, said Vaughn Pack, Department of Public Safety trooper.
Pack and DPS trooper Randy Wells worked two separate accidents on Interstate 35 south Tuesday afternoon that were first identified as a four car prte-up.
A two-car accident occurred on the inside lane near exit 195. Then two other cars hydroplaned out of control to miss thenirst accident, colliding with one another, said Vaughn.
“Once the accident occurred on the inside lane, it caused a second accident," said Pack, who worked the first accident.
Traffic flow was constricted to one lane, and cars were lined up for several miles waiting to pass.
According to meteorologist Joe Baskin of the National Weather Service, unseasonable weather conditions, such as tornadoes and heavy thunderstorms, can occur even in
Herakj-Zettuna photo by Sumo Jakobsen
A wrecker prepares to move an automobile involved in a two-car accident on Interstate 35 south Tuesday near exit 195. Another two-car accident occurred nearby, delaying holiday traffic.
“We get this occasionally,” said Baskin. “Every second or third Christmas we bay?*,..severe weather.” Two fronts off the west coast brushed across the southern states
early this week, bringing moisture to Central and South Texas during a period that is generally dry.
“We should be experiencing the driest time of the year,” said Baskin. However, three storm systems — the
third due this weekend — have brought much needed rain to area.
Highly publicized El Nino has been analyzed since the early summer
Turn to Wracks, Page 2A
Charges rise against concealed gun permittees
DALLAS (AP) — Criminal charges filed against Texans with conceakd-handgun licenses rose sharply in 1997, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Felony and misdemeanor cases involving permit holders rose from 431 in 1996 to 666 thus far in 1997, a 54.5 percent increase, according to The Dallas Morning News’ Tuesday editions.
By comparison, the number of permit holders increased from 114,500 last year to 161,702 through mid-December, a 41.2 percent jump.
Opponents of the "concealed-carry law” say the numbers prove the need fpr increased restnenons on handgun permits. Supporters of the 2-year-old law say the figures show that fewer than 0.5 percent of permit holders got in trouble with the law in 1997.
“The preponderance of the evidence suggests that the vast majority act responsibly,” said state Sen. Jerry Patterson, R-Pasadena, the main architect of the
Patterson said no Texas permit holder has been convicted in a homicide since the law took effect Jan. I, 1996.
Four permit holders have been charged with killing people. DPS statistics don’t identify the suspects, and they classify the cases as pending. The files do not reveal whether firearms were involved in the deaths.
“We haven’t had a case yet in which a citizen was proven to use his weapon in an unjustified or illegal manner,” Patterson said. “Sooner or later, we will have a handgun licensee do something stupid, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
Travis County Constable Bruce Elfant, who favors tighter restrictions on handguns, said the arrest figures tell him that lawmakers should require psychological screening of permit applicants.
“I am disturbed that several hundred people with
these permits have apparently committed crimes,” said Elfant, a spokesman for Texans Against Handgun Violence “Supporters told us these are upstanding, law-abiding citizens.”
DPS records rev eal a w ide range in the 188 felony and 478 misdemeanor offenses alleged against permit holders this year, including kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession and sale of illegal drugs, theft, forgery, drunken driving and impersonating a police officer • DPS records show no dispoMtion for most of the cases.
Statisticians cautioned against trvmg to interpret the numbers until all the case outcomes are reported and paint a complete picture of the permit holders’ guilt or innocence.
The records show that the state has revoked 377
Turn to Guns, Page 2A
Schlitterbahn helps SOS help others
Herald Zertung photo by Susan Ftynt England
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
Fewer Comal County tables will be bare this holiday season — thanks to SOS (Spirit of Sharing) Inc. Food Bank, Schlitterbahn and lack’s Furniture
Schlitterbahn employees and resort guests made a record-breaking delivery of 2,526 pounds of food to SOS Inc. Tuesday.
Lack’s delivered about 1,700 pounds
of food to SOS Inc. on Monday, said volunteer Olga Huber.
Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Sherrie Brammall said, “Employees from Schlitterbahn, New Braunfels General Store International and tourists participated in our holiday food drive.”
Schlitterbahn sent mail-outs to its summer workers and they also participated, Brammall said.
The waterpark enticed employees arui guests to participate with a deal
— everyone who donated at least IO nonperishable food items received a T-shirt.
Winier Texans Tom and Dorothy Kennedy of Lake City, Minn., donated food to the drive and helped with the delivery.
“We’ve been coming down here for IO years, staying at Schlitterbahn,” Tom Kennedy said.
SOS Inc. volunteers checked the crates of food. The non-profit organization is run locally, entire-Tum to SOS, Page 2AServe up something new for breakfast — Page 10A