New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 19, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
WEDNESDAY February 19, 2003
14 pages in 2 sections
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Vol, 152, No. 84
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
NBISD continues negotiations for contractor
By Bean BowlinStaff Writer
New Braunfels Independent School District trustees authorized the district’s attorney to continue to negotiate with its bonding company to hire a contractor to move along Memorial school renovations.
The decision came after a two-hour executive session during a regular meeting Tuesday night. District spokeswoman Stephanie Ferguson gave no indication on when a new contractor might be hired.
In October 2002, trustees approved a takeover agreement with Commercial Indemnity
Insurance Company to finish renovation work on the Memorial Schools begun by Associated Able Inc.
Board members terminated the district’s construction contract with Associated Able in September 2002 after the bonding company declared the company in default of its contract.
The takeover agreement allowed Commercial Indemnity Insurance to become the general contractor on the construction job, but because the work is stalled, the district wants a new contractor. In addition, trustees also:
■ Approved a January 2003 tax office report that said the total collections for the district’s taxes
■ Awarded a $4,192 million construction contract to Kencon Construction Co. for construction at Lone Star Elementary School. •
■ Heard a report on the possibilities of beginning a proposed dual-immersion Spanish-English teaching program at Memorial Primary.
Defense in Gomez trial rests without calling witnesses
By Ron Maloney
Defense attorney Joseph Garcia III rested his case for Arnaldo Gomez Tuesday morning without calling a single witness.
The move came after more than three days of testimony that ended with a tough cross examination of a Comal County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force investigator.
The detective, who still works undercover, watched four alleged undercover drug buys that led to the arrest of Gomez and other members of his family in a SWAT raid Dec. 13, 2001.
He backed away from earlier statements that he was positive about the identity of people at the Gomez house who allegedly sold heroin to an informant. The detective also acknowledged discrepancies between his reports of the incidents and the reports of other officers.
The trial before 274th Judicial District Judge Gary Steel is expected to go to a jury of six men and six women after closing arguments today. If convicted, Gomez could go to prison for the rest of his life.
Gomez, 48, stands charged with engaging in an organized criminal activity by:
■ Possession with intent to distribute heroin;
■ Possession with intent to deliver cocaine;
■ Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine; and
■ Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana.
Gomez has prior felony convictions, which means that if he is convicted as a repeat offender he faces a minimum of 25 yuars in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Ed Springer reopened questioning Tuesday morning by asking the officer if he wanted See TRIAL/3A
4B considers consultant to attract Toyota suppliers
By Dylan Jimenez
The New Braunfels Infrastructure Improvement Corporation Board of Directors will consider hiring a consultant to attract Tbyota suppliers to the city during its meeting tonight.
Tip Strategies Inc. will outline its services to the 4B board at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building Conference Room B.
Tip Strategies is an Austin firm that has worked in several states. The board hopes the company can help New Braunfels attract Toyota parts suppliers to locate here.
Monroe Miller, chairman of the 4B board, said the board will hire the consultant, "if their resume” holds up.
"Our charge," Miller said, "is to do everything we can within financial reason to promote economic development.”
Rusty Brockman, director of economic development of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., said there is a long list of things Tips Strategies would provide if hired.
He also said investing in job opportunities for citizens is worth the initial cost.See TOYOTAS
City discusses possible solutions to river problems
By Dylan JimenezStaff Writer
New Braunfels City Council members met Tuesday night for general discussion concerning river management issues and the need to improve the city’s technical systems.
Tile bulk of the discourse reviewed recommendations outlined in the summer 2002 river report.
Tbp concerns included trespassing and the use of contract security officers to supplement New Braunfels Police Department efforts on the river.
. District 6 Councilman and former River Activities Com
mittee member Ken Valentine criticized the city’s efforts to discourage trespassing on private property that runs along the river banks. He noted that no citations for trespassing were given in 2002.
"The way you change behavior is you gotta do an intervention,” Valentine said, showing the room a photograph of trespassers crowding along riverbanks.
Mayor Adam Cork said it would take cooperation from landowners along the river and that it was not reasonable for landowners to expect a small pool of law enforcement officers to keep tubers See RIVER/4A
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Hull, Pospisil officially file for council race
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Two residents — the two who announced before filing opened — became official candidates for City Council Tuesday, the first day of filing for the May-3 municipal election.
Business owners Gale Pospisil and Valerie Hull both filed as candidates in their respective districts Tuesday morning, said City Secretary Michael Resendez.
“We had Gale Pospisil at 8 and Valerie HuU at ll a.m.,” Resendez said.
Hull will seek to replace District 4 Councilman Robert Kendrick, who has not announced his plans.
Hull is a graduate of the University of Texas. She
owns Hull Doors, which she started in San Antonio eight years ago.
She has been married to John Hull for 32 years and
has two children, ages 23 and IO.
Pospisil will be a candidate for the District 3 seat held by Debbie Flume, who bested her in a three-way contest in the 2000 municipal election.
Pospisil owns Pospisil Appraisal Service with her husband, Vladimir Pospisil. She is a certified real estate appraiser and a licensed real estate broker who serves on
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the Infrastructure/ Improvement (4 B) board.
Flume, who said in 2002 she did not expect to be a candidate for re-election, has not announced her intentions.
The filing period closes at 5 p.m. March 19.
The New Braunfels City Code lists the qualifications for council members in Section 3.02.
A candidate must be a resident of the council district that he or she will be a candidateSee FILE/4ATraining Day
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Heraid-ZeitungNew Braunfels Police Sgt. Kevin Clayton (left) and Sgt. Fred Pfeil keep score and time as Joseph Tovar shoots the new .40 caliber Glock “from the hip” in a timed exercise to qualify in the new pdice-issue weapon. Bullet is circled.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herakj-ZertungSgt. Fred Pfeil shows officers their next target at Tuesday’s range practice for officers qualifying with their new weapons.
New Braunfels police officers test with new Glock handguns
By Sean BowlinStaff Writer
That’s what red-shirted New Braunfels Police Department firearms instructor Fred Pfeil yelled as police officers and a few firefighters clad in blue multipocketed utility trousers, dark glasses and blue T-shirts stepped up to the 10-yard fine and gripped their new.40-caliber Glock pistols.
They fired the weapon different ways — simulating injuries, shooting disabled, and with their left hand only.
But before the policemen made their way to the firing line Tuesday, they learned all about their new firearms.
They learned about the built-in safety that couldn’t be flipped off by a criminal;
they became familiar with the new, safer holster.
The logic was that the officers had to know how the Glock worked before they took it on the street. And they had to shoot a lot of
“rounds,” or bullets, through the weapon.
“Fire! Fire! Fire!” Pfeil yelled.
Triggers were pulled. As bullets flew, holes appeared in targets and brass shell casings littered the tarp covering the outdoor range at Dietz’s Gun Range off of Texas 46.
“Hurry, hurry, hurry! Change your magazines!” Pfeil yelled.
The policemen loaded magazines of rounds and stood ready to fire again.
It was all part of a day of getting to know their new Glocks.
“We’ve started with some school at the station — three hours — before we ever came out here,” said firearms instructor Bill Spence.
Then, the officers spentSee TRAININGS