New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 15, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
■ CANYON LAKE, 2Dam repairs could reduce flows into tubing season
■ SPORTS, 6SHVS girls baskeball team faces KerrvilleTivy tonight
■ CRIME, 8$200 Reward: Comal County's 10 Most Wanted
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011
Texas Newspaper of the YearZeitung
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
BOONB man gets 35 years for child porn possession
Editor's note: This article contains graphic and disturbing court testimony. Reader discretion is advised.
By J. Louise Larson
One of the most viewed "known victims" of child
pornography testified Monday in the sentencing phase of James Paul Barron, 55.
The New Braunfels man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for six counts of possession of child pornography.
Judge Gary Steel didn’t take any time at all to sentence Barron after dramatic testimony in
Monday afternoon’s hearing.
Barron already pleaded guilty to six third-degree felony counts of possession of child pornography.
The case was inititiated early in 2008 by the FBI, after a repair company found images of child pom on Barron’s desktop computer.
In April 2009, the FBI, swamped with cases, contacted the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and asked Det. Sgt. Tommy Ward not to let the case slip through the cracks of justice.
A laptop Barron had given authorities didn’t initially
See BARRON, Page 10
£ £ This isn’t the only case of child porn we’ve had corning out of this community. It’s important we send a message...”
— JENNIFER THARP, Comal County DA
► JOSHUA DAVIS JR.
Joshua search expands to 2-mile radius
By J. Louise Larson
Eleven days after his disappearance from his New Braunfels home, a wider circle has been drawn for missing toddler Joshua Davis.
According to data culled by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children — data based on other successful rescue efforts for missing children — a radius of almost two miles is required for young children that wander off. The initial one-mile radius wasn’t broad enough, said Lt.
See SEARCH, Page 3
Joshua Davis Jr., 18
months, disappeared from his New Braunfels home. Call (830) 620-TIPS if you have a tip. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered.
► CITY ELECTION FILING
3 file Monday for mayor, city council seats
By Greg Bowen
Mayoral candidate Gale Pospisil, incumbent District 6 City Councilor Steven Digges, and District 5 city council hopeful Bryan Miranda all filed on Monday— the first day of the filing period — to mn in the May 14 city election.
Pospisil, a retired real estate appraiser, served on city council from 2003 to 2009 and was named mayor pro tern by her fellow councilrnembers.
Digges, a plumbing company owner,
See FILING, Page 3
Vol. 158, No. 82 10 pages, 1 section
Drainage bonds will go to ballot
Estimate: $45M for 10 of 19 drainage projects
Obama budget: Some cuts, not the slashes GOP asks
By Andrew Taylor
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON—Putting on the brakes after two years of big spending increases, President Barack Obama unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget plan Monday that would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs for the nation's poor but turn aside Republican demands
for more drastic cuts to shrink the government to where it was before he took office.
The 10-year blueprint makes "tough choices and sacrifices," Obama said in his official budget message. Yet the plan, which sets the stage for this week's nasty congressional fight over cuts in the budget year that's already more than one-third over, steers dear of
deeply controversial long-term problem areas such as Social Security and Medicare.
The budget relies heavily on the recovering economy, tax increases and rosy economic assumptions to estimate that the federal deficit would drop from this year's record $1.6 trillion—an astronomical figure that requires the government to borrow 43 cents out of every dol
lar it spends — to about $600 billion after five years.
Obama foresees a deficit of $1.1 trillion for the new budget year, which begins Oct. 1, still very high by historical benchmarks but moving in the right direction.
The president claims $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the com-
See BUDGET, Page 3
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By Greg Bowen
Mayor Bruce Boyer on Monday proposed a bond election in which the community could approve or reject a multi-million dollar list of needed drainage projects.
“We want to hear from the community as to its priority in getting the drainage taken care of,” Boyer said.
“The community has said, ‘This is our big issue.' So let’s let our community have a vote. That’s my personal position.”
The mayor suggested that the question be put to voters during a bond election in May or November.
During a drainage workshop on Monday, city council was told that just 10 of the 19 drainage projects it had earlier asked for cost/benefit studies on would cost an estimated $45 million and raise the tax rate by almost a dime per $100 of valuation. The current city tax rate is $.409862 per $100 of valuation.
“The price as you can see is very large,” said City Public Works Director Steve Ramsey.
Cost estimates on the remainder of the 19 projects are expected in the next couple of weeks, said City Engineer Jim Klein.
City Manager Mike Morrison said once the cost/benefit studies of the other projects are completed, city staff will develop a project priority list to be considered by council.
He told council he doesn't believe a tax hike alone will be sufficient to pay for the drainage improvements, which were demanded by citizens in public meetings after the June 9
See DRAINAGE, Page 3
The city said it will post project descriptions online at
Public Works Director Steve Ramsey, left, responds to questions posed by members of city council during Monday's drainage workshop inside council chambers.
City council approves initial reading of GLO 1,984-acre land annexation
By Greg Bowen
City Council on Monday approved the first reading of an ordinance annexing a 1,984-acre tract of state-owned land along 1-35 northeast of New Braunfels.
The unimproved acreage is to be sold by the state’s General Land Office for future development. The GLO has requested annexation, under which the city would provide fire, police, garbage-collec-tion, street maintenance and other services.
It will take two readings of the ordinance to annex the property.
No development plans for the land have been filed with the city, but City Manager Mike Morrison
said a San Antonio developer, Rick Sheldon, is consulting with the GLO on developing the property.
“Sheldon’s acting as a development consultant for the state. I really couldn't say whether they plan to develop it themselves or they have this relationship with Rick Sheldon to assist them through the process of... selling the land to end users.”
Morrison told council he’ll be sitting down with GLO representatives in the days ahead for more discussions.
“Before we finalize annexation, we want to have a better handle on what they're proposing and the impact it’s going to have on the city,” Morrison said. “There should be more definition of what they’re proposing to do before we come
back to the council.”
He said discussions could range from “the nature of the development, seeing how far we can get in terms of having a master plan for the development, any agreements with regard to the infrastructure that may be required for the development. There's a whole range of infrastructure issues that we’re going to have with a 2,000-acre development.”
One of those issues is water.
The GLO land is now in the Crystal Clear Water Supply Corporation’s service area, but Crystal Clear might not have a large enough water supply to serve the development. That would leave the city-
See COUNCIL, Page 3