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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 10, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas yjv FELS 2 0 3 31 ii 01 ) 9 i [) / 2 2 / 9 9 c. 0- W F.c, T ll J (: 13 0 P U B I... I S HI N G 2 6 2 7 I.;. YO NT) I-1.. I. DRHerald-Zeit u N cl Vol, 148, No. 59 22 pages in 2 sections February IO, 1999 Wednesday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Jim Higdon of Canyon Lake says he plans to appeal Tuesday’s ruling by Precinct No. 4 Justice of the Peace Howard “Curly" Smith on unlawful possession of a wild animal. Smith said Higdon's pet canine, Shadow, was a wolf. Higdon was fined for the Class C misdemeanor and charged court costs. ROBIN CORNETT/ Herald-Zertung Canyon Lake canine declared a wolf Owner barks at decision, says he will file an appeal By Chris Crews Staff Writer Ifs a wolf. Precinct No. 4 Justice of the Peace Howard “Curly” Smith ruled Tuesday that Jim Higdon of Canyon Lake was guilty of unlawful possession of a wild animal, specifically his pet canine Shadow. The case began in early December when the animal left its yard in the IOO block of Burr Oak and allegedly killed two chickens in the I OO block of Red Oak. Animal control officers found the animal running loose and impounded it. Animal control officer Tim Brinkoetter cited Higdon for unlawful possession of a wild animal because the county ordinance prohibiting animals running at-laige did not include wolves. Smith said Brinkoetter’s testimony that Shadow was a wolf and a shot record from a Nevada veterinarian identifying the animal as a wolf forced him to rule against Higdon. “I’ve got an expert witness apiece of paper that says that it is a wolf,” Smith said in handing down the verdict. “I don't have anything that says it is not a wolf.” Higdon said veterinarians typically signed off on animals as to whatever breed the owners instructed them. Higdon asked Brinkoetter if he came to his conclusion that the animal was a wolf because it was so stated on the shot record. “If it had said it was a Chihuahua, would that have made it a Chihuahua?” Higdon asked. Brinkoetter said he had worked in the field for See WOLF/5A 4 \ \ Back on the air ROBBI CORNETT/Herakj-Zeitung Julie McFarland gives the 5 p.m. news report Tuesday on KGNB (1420 AM). The radio station went off the air for three days after the AM transmitter malfunctioned and went out about 3 p.m. this past Saturday. KGNB returned to the airwaves at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Broken transmitter silences KGNB for three days By Heather Todd Staff Writer k New Braunfels radio listeners were alarmed about what they heard on KGNB (1420 AM) this past weekend — dead air. The local radio station went off the air for three days after the transmitter for the AM station malfunctioned and caused a disruption in radio programming and advertising. The station went oft' the air about 3 p.m. Saturday and didn’t return until 11 a.m. Tuesday. Mike Wahrmund, operations manager for KGNB and KNBT (92.1 FM), said the station’s temporary hiatus from the airwaves could be traced to the October 1998 flood. “The rains flooded the transmitter building, so we were using our back-up transmitter. Then we got a new transmitter and decided it was a good time to get the back-up one fixed,” he said. Three weeks ago, the station installed the new transmitter and sent parts of the backup to the manufacturer for refurbishing. “It was kind of an ironic situation because we had just sent the back-up one out to be worked on and the new transmitter blows,” Wahrmund said. KNBT, the FM station, was not affected. Fred Stockwell, general manager for KGNB and KNBT, said the station could not get back on the air until Tuesday because parts for the transmitter had to be flown in from Dallas. “The manufacturer had to keep sending down parts until we found the one that had caused the transmitter to blow,” Stockwell said. Many New Braunfels listeners depend on the radio station for local news and community information, such as obituaries and church services. “I think it is very unfortunate that we could not broadcast the church services on Sunday,” Stockwell said. “A lot of people, tor a variety of reasons, cannot make it to church and the radio is their Sunday mass.” Stockwell estimated KGNB had a weekday listenership of25,000 in an area spanning South Austin to parts of San Antonio. KNBT, which has a country-Americana format, extended its news segments to provide area listeners with local news and information normally aired on KGNB. Stockwell said the station was flooded with calls from concerned listeners during the weekend. Opportunities for area youth to be expanded Comprehensive plan committee calls for more programs, activities (Editors Note: Today’s story is the fourth in a series on the comprehensive plan for the city of New Braunfels.) By Heather Tooo Staff Writer Expanding recreational programs and job opportunities for New Braunfels’ youth are top priorities in a plan to enhance the city’s educational services for the next 20 years. Proposals for the New Braunfels comprehensive plan will be discussed Bt a public hearing at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the New Braunfels municipal building, 424 S. Casten Ave. About 30 volunteers examined city population trends and youth-oriented programs and services to determine needs to prepare area youth for college and employment opportunities in the 21 st century. The Population, Education, and Youth sub-committee studied housing trends and population projections and developed of list of recommendations to enhance the education of area students. According to statistical data prepared by the committee, New Braunfels is expected to have between 47,000 and 86,000 residents in 2020. Although residents age 55 and older account for 27 percent of the population, more than 25 percent of New Braunfels residents are younger than 18 years of age, according to the 1990 census. The subcommittee identified the need for more and better utilization of youth programs and facilities and an increasing demand for secondary and post-secondary vocational education and technical training. The recommendations submitted by the committee included: • providing more recreational and athletic facilities for youth; • developing a directory of youth-related services and programs; • developing a job hotline and webpage for information on work opportunities; and • providing youth training for job interviewing. “We really wanted the community to be aware that there are not a lot of opportunities for recreational as well as educational activities in New Braunfels for our youth,” said Rita Kauf-mann, sub-committee member and vice president/manager of First Commercial Bank. Susan Phillips, a sub-committee member, said, “The children of New Braunfels are neglected. We need to provide more youth facilities where children can have places to play and our See OPPORTUNITIES/5A Hearing WHAT: Proposals for New Braunfels comprehensive plan WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday WHERE: New Braunfels municipal building, 424 South Casted Ave. Copies of the comprehensive plan are available at the municipal building and Dittlinger Memorial Library, 373 Magazine Ave. Inside Abby.......................... ......7A Business...................... ......SA Classifieds................... .7-10B Comics........................ ......5B Crossword................... ......7A Forum.......................... ......6A Local............................ ......4A Obituaries.................... ......3A Sports......................... .9-12A Today.......................... ......2A Television..................... ......5B Jury convicts New Braunfels man of sexual assault By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer A Comal County jury convicted a 29-year-old New Braunfels man of attempted sexual assault and related charges on Tuesday. The one-day trial ended with guilty verdicts on three counts against Mario Hernandez Caballero, formerly of the 500 block of West Zipp Road. Caballero was convicted of attempted sexual assault, assault by family violence and violation of a protective order. The last two counts were “enhanced” because of prior criminal convictions on Caballero’s record, which could result in extra jail time upon sentencing. District Judge Jack Robison will sentence Caballero in two to four weeks. He could face a maximum punishment of IO years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Caballero could be released from prison after serving less than three years under state sentencing guidelines, court officials said. A six-man, six-woman jury listened intently as the victim and her young son, who was home at the time of the attack, testified. “He just got up ... zipped himself up and got out,” the woman told the jury as she recounted the events of the assault, which occurred in June 1998. Caballero and the victim had lived together before the attack, but the relationship apparently ended in 1997. The victim said she continued to see Caballero occasionally to allow him to spend time with their daughter, even though she had a protective order against him. “I never thought he’d do fruit,” she said of the June 1998 attack. The victim’s son, now ll, reportedly was awakened by his mother’s screams during the early morning attack. He took the stand Tuesday and pointed to Caballero when asked to identify the man who attacked his mother. Caballero’s attorney, W. David Fricsen-hahn, told jurors he questioned the victim^ credibility. Friesenhahn showed the jury a videotape reportedly shot by CaballeroSee ASSAULT/5A ;