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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 28, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas ► Hoops action Smithson Valley took on Austin LBJ in a hard-fought second round playoff game Friday night at Ranger Gym. See Sports for the final outcome./ 10A ROBIN CORNETT/Herald-Zeitung ...    ROBN    CORNETT/HerakFZeilung Ramiro Martinez talks about a patrolman he Life magazine incorrectly explained in its caption that Ramiro helped train, Billy Paul Speed, who was shot to Martinez rubbed his eyes because he was “racked with emo-death at a spot near the tower.    tion.N In truth, Martinez said he was blinded by flashbulbs.On Aug. 1,1966, Charles Whitman fired a reign of terror from the University of Texas tower. Meet the man who stopped him.Hero in the tower By Chris Crews Staff Writer The first time Ramiro Martinez stood on the observation deck of the University of Texas tower was August 1956. He was a green 19-year-old fresh off his parent's West Texas farm. “I thought it was awesome — I was a country bumpkin in the big city,” Martinez said, reflecting on the panoramic view as seen through a teen-ager’s eyes. It would be IO years before Martinez again stood on the observation deck, and this time his perspective would be very, very different. On Aug. 1,1966, Patrolman Martinez of the Austin Police Department shot and killed Charles Joseph Whitman as Whitman crouched in the northwest comer of the observation deck, poised to rain more death from his high powered rifle on the unwitting public below. ‘ Whitman had murdered his wife and mother before perching atop the tower and killing 14 unsuspecting and defenseless persons on the streets, sidewalks and mall below. Thirty-one were wounded by his bullets. More than 30 years of speculation from self-styled experts and true crime detectives have yielded no consensus on the reason for Whitman Is actions. The secret of his motivation died with him. Martinez’ actions that day ended one the nation’s bloodiest mass murder sprees and placed his name at the top of the list of heroes of that tragic and dramatic piece of history. The University of Texas will open the observation deck, closed since 1974, later this spring and the spotlight that often follows a public MARTINEZ IN 1966. ROOM CORNETT/Herald-Zeilung Ramiro Martinez describes how he stopped Charles Whitman’s killing spree from the University of Texas observation tower in 1966. tragedy is shining on Martinez once again. Martinez was interviewed for an article in Esquire magazine this past month and will appear on television in an upcoming segment on NBC See HERO*A A NEWjfeWiNFELS Mill*; nuuu i u / / SO-U'FST ti IC RO PU BL I SH' N& 262 7 I: YANDEL!- DR I I POSO, TX 7SD03Herald-Zeitung Vol. 148, No, 71    50    pages    in    3    sections    February    28,    1999    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    $1.00 Housing proposal goes to city planners Amistad chooses new location for apartments By Bll O'Connell Staff Writer A plan to build an 80-unit apartment complex in southwest New Braunfels for low-income wage earners will be considered Tuesday by city officials. The proposed site is a 15-acre piece of land off South Water Lane and Interstate 35 near the Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol office. A public hearing on the proposal was set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building, 424 S. Casten Ave. Pending approval by city planning and zoning commissioners, developers for the project said they intended to partially fund construction of “Evergreen Villas” through a tax credit program nm by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. “We feel like we’ve got a good shot at it this year,” said John Seidel, a co-developer with Amistad Affordable Housing, Inc. Seidel said the proposed apartment complex would target low to medium income tenants. City planning commissioners will decide Tuesday whether to recommend die zoning request to New Braunfels City Council. The proposal will go before council at a date yet to be determined regardless of how city planners vote on the plan. Amistad Affordable Housing received council’s endorsement on a similar tax credit housing proposal this past year, but the plan was passed over by the state housing agency in part because of local opposition to the project The proposed site was a 10-acre tract of land behind the H-E-B supermarket on South Walnut Avenue, where developers had hoped to build a 159-unit apartment complex. City residents who Uved nearby objected to the plan at a public hearing in San Antonio. “Probably the most critical thing is community support,” Seidel said. He said he had not detected any public opposition to the proposal so far. The TDHCA begins accepting early applications on March 12 for the 1999 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.County considers health inspector Comal County Commissioner’s Court will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to discuss hiring a county health inspector for the unincorporated areas of the county. The meeting will be at the commissioners’ courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse annex on the Main Plaza in New Braunfels. The state maintains a limited number health inspectors, but some county officials said their workload did not allow them to cover rural areas adequately. Inside► Smokin’ Local cigar aficionados are joining part of a growing trend, and they are finding ways to getlogether and enjoy mutual interests./ 9AWeather Spring-like weather continues to be the norm for the Texas Hill Country. See the weather forecast on Page 2A. ► Watercolors Angie Banta Brown is one of many local artists with works on display throughout downtown during March. The March is Watercolor Month fun starts today. See Lifestyle to find out where to see watercolor works, what events are planned throughout the month and all about today's opening reception. /1B Index Abby................................. ........2B Business..................... .......9A Classified......................... ...5-16B Crossword........................ ........2B Forum.............................. ........6A Local................................ ........4A Obituaries........................ ........3A Sports.............................. .10-13A Today............................... ........2A Television........................Montage Probe stillInvestigators reflect on nine-year effort By Bill O’Connell Staff Writer Law enforcement authorities say the investigation into the murder of Sandra Ray Griffith is still open. Griffith was bludgeoned, shot and burned to death on April 7, 1982. Her body was recovered in the smoldering rubble of her family's Bulverde home. Today, open in 1982 slaying The Sandra Griffith Murder — a four-part series The Crime— Feb. 21 The Investigation — Today The Trial — March 7 The Aftermath — March 14 the case resides inside a metal shed at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, where paperwork from a failed nine-year investigation sits among stacks of assorted files. County and state investigators worked die Griffith murder case from 1982 to 1991, focusing primarily on the victim’s husband, Larry. Authorities gathered enough evidence against Griffith for a grand jury indictment, but the defendant’s attorney shattered their case in a 1992 murder trial. A 12-person jury acquitted Griffith of the murder charge in January 1992. “That was a travesty to ever try that poor guy,” said Larry Griffith’s defense attorney, Charles D. Butts. See INVESTIGATIONS ROBIN CORNETT/Herak)-Za*ung Howard Lipsey looks at a concrete slab that once was hit daughter Sandra's home in Bulverde. ;