New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 21, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Judge rejects plea bargain in'child sexual abuse case
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
A man convicted of aggravated child sexual abuse was sentenced Monday to IO years in the Texas Department of Corrections after District Judge Robert Pfeuffer turned down a proposed plea bargain.
William Harold Smith Jr., 29, is the first Comal County person in two years convicted of that crime to have to serve his sentence in the penitentiary.
Smith's case is also the first Comal County child sexual abuse case that used a videotaped interview of the child victim. Pfeuffer viewed the videotape which had been made in Bexar County by the Department of
Human Resources along with a pre-sentence report to arrive at his decision on sentencing.
Originally, Smith had faced three counts of aggravated child sexual abuse, but two of the indictments were dropped in the plea bargain. And Pfeuffer sentenced him on only one, a common practice.
TIm plea bargain had been for the maximum amount of shock probation, 180 days, as part of a 10-year probated sentence.
“This was an unusual plea bargain in that it was tentative,” District Attorney Bill Schroeder said. “I
See PLEA, Page UA
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99.Former principal files suit for reinstatement, back pay
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
A former principal who won her dismissal case with the Commissioner of Education last October has brought a federal lawsuit against Comal ISD for reinstatement and compensation.
Lilia Mae Cogdill, former principal of Smithson Valley High School, has filed the new lawsuit in federal district court in San Antonio. The suit asks for a jury trial, compensatory and punitive damages, and reinstatement as a high school principal or some other position of comparable status and pay.
It lists defendants as CISD, former superintendent Edgar Willhelm and his board of trustees, and present
board president Leroy Goodson and current trustees. However, Cogdill’s attorney Janes Heidelberg said Thursday, “It should be understood that the current board members who were not involved with the nonrenewal of her contract, are only being sued in the event reinstatement is determined.
“The only individuals we’re suing for damages are the ones on the board then,” he added. Those trustees are Judy DeVillez, Ray Soechting, David Boatner, Karen Rust, David Way, Kenneth Wunderlich and Jim Rector.
Last October, former Commissioner of Education Raymon Bynum signed a letter agreeing with Cogdill’s claim that she was a non-probationary employee when
See SUIT, Page 12A
Bullets 105, Spurs 104 Mavericks 104, Blazers 98 Rockets 126, Suns 122
Nbw Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 94-No. 38
February 21,1985 25 Cents
20 Pages—2 Sections
On the grow
Impressive GNP growth brings good economic news
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation’s economy rebounded in the final three months of last year at an even more vigorous pace than previously thought, the government reported today.
The Commerce Department said the gross national product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at a robust 4.9 percent rate from October through December.
The revised figure is more than 2 percentage points above the initial estimate of 2.8 percent made in December before the quarter had ended.
That initial projection was revised upward last month to 3.9 percent and boosted again today based on more complete data for economic activity in the period.
Economic growth for all of 1984 was also revised upward today to 6.9 percent from the earlier estimate of 6.8 percent The revision still left 1984 with the best economic growth in more than three decades — since an 8.3 percent rise in 1951
The latest report showed that
despite the rapid growth, inflation remained well under control during the year. Prices, as measured by a gauge tied to the GNP, rose 3.8 percent in 1984, the same increase as the previous year. The 3.8 percent gain was slightly higher than an original estimate last month of 3.7 percent, which would have been the best performance since 1967.
The new report painted a picture of an economy vigorously shaking off the effects of a pronounced drop in growth that occurred from July through September.
During that time, the inflation-adjusted GNP, had risen at a rate of only 1.8 percent as consumer spending, a leading force behind the recovery, slowed dramatically.
Personal consumer spending grew at a slight 0.7 percent rate in the third quarter. However, in the final three months of the year that pace had jumped to 3.6 percent.
The big rebound in activity during the final three months of 1984 has led to widespread optimism among economists that the momentum will carry over and help to assure steady
Gross National Product
In percent change from previous year; In constant (1972) dollars
Chicago Tatum Chart. Source U S Department of Commerce
several options on room tax
GNP growth for 1984 would up at 6.9 percent, a little higher than the 6.8 projected here
growth this year as well.
“There is no question teat the economy began to pick up in November and December and I think that momentum carried through into January,” Robert Wescott, an economist with the Philadelphia forecasting firm of Wharton Econometrics, said on the eve of today’s report.
Westcott predicted that growth in the first quarter this year would be in the range 4.6 percent, an expectation
shared by many forecasters.
The Reagan administration and private economists are predicting growth this year of around 4 percent. While this would be down from the 1984 pace, it would still represent a healthy increase for the third year of an economic recovery and should supply enough activity to drive unemployment lower.
The 6.9 percent GNP growth in 1984 compared to a 3.7 percent increase in 1983 and a 2.1 percent decline in 1982, the lowpoint of the last recession.
By DANA STELL Staff writer
Tourism and attracting visitors to New Braunfels is heavy on the minds of City Council this month.
Council soon will decide what the new hotel-motel room occupancy tax will be and just how much the three recipient groups will get.
And to prepare for that decision, Council met Wednesday night with members of the Chamber of Commerce, some resort and hotel owners, and the chairmen of the Arts and Cultural Commission and the city’s options and opportunities committee.
“We as a Council have quite a lot to look at and mull over,” said Mayor Barbara Tieken after the nearly three-hour workshop. “Do we want to continue as we are (with the room tax), do we want to create a separate convention and tourist bureau, do we want to increase or keep as is the appropriation for the arts and do we
want to keep as is the appropriation for the city (to pay for) restorations in the parks to take care of the pressures caused by winter visitors?”
Currently, the city levies a 4 percent room tax, in addition to the state’s 4 percent tax. Arts groups currently receive IO percent of room tax receipts, the city is given IO percent, and the convention and tourist fund of the Chamber of Commerce is given 80 percent.
The city is obligated to spend at least 25 percent of the 4 cents collected on motel and hotel rooms on direct promotion of conventions and tourism.
The city may dedicate another one-fourth of that tax to the arts.
An amendment to the state law governing the room tax. Tieken said, allows the city to increase the city’s 4-cent tax to 7 cents, with the extra 3 cents going toward tourism promotion.
See ARTS, Page 12A
On the river front
City officials get close look at Guadalupe
The Guadalupe is clean right now, but the issues facing it are muddy
Muskrats, ducks, and an occassional mad dash through rapids marked the peaceful Sunday canoe trip down the Guadalupe River.
But representatives of the city were there not only to enjoy the beauty and see what the tourists come for, but also to witness firsthand the management problems facing the river outfitters in preserving clean, sfffe conditions for water-sports enthusiasts and adjacent landowners.
City parks and recreation director David Whatley, Marcus Tonish, recreational program coordinator, and city councilman Max Winkler
were among those taking the trip down a 14-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River.
“We wanted to give those who will meet with the National Park Service March 20-zl a unique opportunity to become familiar with the problems we are facing and give them a little more information about the conditions on the river, as well as the fun and beauty that draw people here from all over Texas,” Betty Walls, owner of Texas Canoe Trails and president of the Lower Guadalupe Business Association, said.
Along the river, litter was minimal because the recent higher flow levels
of tee Guadalupe had carried most trash away.
Even so, Whatley said the human impact on the river was evident.
“We like to canoe, kayak and raft, but we had always heard that the Guadalupe was crowded The trip helped me make the comparisons I need to direct the attention of the Park Service people to our biggest problems,” Whatley said.
"I saw only two trash barrels along the river banks, and even though this is winter and almost no one is using the river, there were broken beer bottles and a little sand bar full of beer cans. Another thing is where do
the people go to the bathroom? I saw no facilities, ” the city parks director pointed out.
The dangers that beginner canoists can run into even when the river was flowing at 250 cubic feet per second became apparent also.
Before the trip began, 15 minutes of instruction on safety tips and canoing skills were presented The fact that the entire length of the Guadalupe from Canyon I .ake to the Comal County line is private property creates problems for canoists and land owners. Wall explained.
See RIVER, Page 12A
Mattox lawyer grills key prosecution witness
AUSTIN (AP) - The Houston lawyer allegedly threatened by Attorney General Jim Mattox says the 1983 threat was unlike anything he had heard in three decades of practicing law
“I had been practicing law for 33 years then. I have known every attorney general during that time, some of them very well ... I have never yet seen that kind of conduct out of any of them,” Wiley Caldwell of the firm Fulbrlght A Jaworski testified Wednesday.
“I suggest that you didn’t from this man here,” responded Mattox lawyer Roy Q. Minton.
“I told you that I did,” Caldwell replied.
Mattox is standing trial on a charge of commercial bribery, a felony punishable by up to IO years in prison and a 85,000 fine.
He is accused of threatening to delay or withhold his needed approval of public bonds handled by Fulbright A Jaworski unless a lawyer in the firm, Thomas McDade, stopped seeking a deposition from Mattox’s sister in an oil lease case involving Mobil Oil, South Texas rancher Clinton Manges and the state.
Cross-examined for 6 hours by
Minton, Caldwell said the threat came during a phone conversation on June 17,1983.
Caldwell said Mattox voiced unhappiness with court motions filed by McDade, who represented Mobil in the other case. He said Mattox told him the firm’s legal work would get “very careful review” from the attorney general’s office.
Until that dispute was settled, he quoted Mattox as saying “no bond approval would be had.”
Mattox has described the discussions as nothing more than “table-pounding” and “a spitting contest” between lawyers, and
Minton sought to downplay the alleged threat.
He reminded Caldwell that state law allows a bond lawyer to appeal quickly and directly to the Texas Supreme Court if an attorney general fails to approve otherwise proper bonds.
Minton also noted that Caldwell said he played golf at a Houston country club the day after the June 17 threat.
"Mr. Caldwell, you just don’t impress me as a man who would lie down on his (bond) clients and go to the golf course,” Minton said “Why not say, ‘Hold it, Jim, you're going
too far. I’ll have you in court before you get up in the morning’?”
“This was a very difficult time,” Caldwell replied. “The man sitting over there had threatened me, and I was trying to work matters out ”
Earlier, Caldwell said the word “bond” never came up in a June 15 conversation with Mattox, when the attorney general allegedly threatened to “go to war” with Fulbright A Jaworski
Minton described Mattox as being the victim of sarcastic and unethical personal attacks from McDade.
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Cold spell fatal to warm-water fish, biologist says
Local resident* recently spotted e large number of dead fish along the Guadalupe River near the Interstate M bridge# prompting state agencies to iiTeetlf ta Texae Parka and Wildlife officials viattad Comal Coqnty Monday and datarmtnad that a Bingle species injured by the recent cold snap was
the only one involved.
A resident who celled the agency said he had called numerous local end state agencies trying to find out who would come and look into the possibility of pollution.
“The biggest problem la knowing who to call,” Chuck Pfeiffer said.
Th* resident reported he had seen
a hundred or so fish scattered along the shores “We found only deed Tilepie, a warm-water fish originally from Africa. This fish is very sensitive to temperature drops and only survives in power plant reservoirs in Texas because of the warm effluent. In the winter they will stack into these
pieces like sardines to stay in the warm water,” Tim Broadbent, biologist with the San Marcos Fish Hatcheries field office of Texas Parks and Wildlife, said.
Another fish hatchery worker, Vernon Stoff, more familiar with the local streams, said the fish could not survive in the Guadalupe, but could
on the Cornel River because tee spring-fed river stays at a more constant temperature. “With teat cold spell, the Comal temperatures probably dropped considerably cooler than usual and stunned them (tilapias), then they got carried into the Guadalupe and the colder water
See FISH, Page 2AToday s Weather
Comal County forecast calls for occasional light rain or drizzle today, becoming mostly cloudy tonight and Friday with a 40 percent chance of showers.
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