New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 3, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
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8 Estate item
9 Imp’s deeds
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23 Tracks 25 Back: pref.
27 Ruth or Didrikson
29 Wearing boots
30 Holy person *
34 Conducted toward the center
37 Pea tackets? 39 Animal
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42 Central points
47 Yacht spar
50 Art transfer 53 Rotunda roof
55 French pronoun
56 Peal of thunder
57 Asian fetes 60 Regulation
Two suspects sought in Plano mall abductions
PLANO, Texas (AP) — Collin County authorities were searching today for two men who sexually assaulted a mother and her daughter in a remote field after one of the two men abducted the women from a mall parking lot.
Officers said the women were abducted from the parking lot at Collin Creek Mall on Wednesday. The man drove the women to a remote field where he was joined by a second man.
The women, both of Parker, were discovered bound inside their car after a man working nearby saw the men speed away from the scene, according to Plano police investigator J.W. Giddings.
The mother, 45, and her daughter, 22. were in stable condition Wednesday night at HCA Medical Center of Plano. The mother suffered facial lacerations suffered in a pistol-whipping by one of the men.
Austin blacked out after downtown fire Wednesday
Herald-Zt/fung, New Braunfels. Texas Thursday, January 3, 1991 Papa 3Lawyer boasted trip killed bills
AUSTIN (AP) — A five-alarm fire in an Austin bank sent more than 200 workers home early and blacked out much of downtown.
Firefighters were called to NCNB Texas National Bank's Austin Banking Center at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday after bank employees reported hearing a loud explosion in the basement area.
Between 200 and 300 people were evacuated from the bank and the adjacent 26-story NCNB tower, officials said. The fire in an underground transformer vault burned for more than two hours, sending thick smoke throughout the four-story bank building.
No one was seriously injured in the fire, but four people were sent to St.
AUSTIN (AP) — A lawyer who accompanied Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis on a Mexican resort vacation boasted that the trip helped kill legislation harmful to the law firm’s business, The Dallas Morning News reported today.
Heard Goggan Blair & Williams of San Antonio took Lewis on the April 1987 trip. An investigation of the trip has resulted in an indictment being returned that accuses Lewis of two misdemeanor violations.
Lewis and his spokesmen have denied any wrongdoing.
Bill Willms of Austin, an attorney for Lewis, said, “There has never been any allegation that the law firm did anything for Gib Lewis in order to affect any legislation.’*
In a copyright story, the newspaper reported today that a source told the newspaper and Travis County investigators that some law firm members were “real worried’’ about bills in the 1987 legislative session that would have cut the firm’s tax-collection business.
Giddings said the crime appeared to have been planned.
“They knew where they were driving to,’’ he said. “This field is a long drive from the mall."
The incident began when the women were confronted by an armed man who forced them to drive away from the mall, Giddings said.
After they arrived at the field, the officer said, the fust man struck the mother in the face with the pistol and sexually assaulted her. The second man sexually assaulted the daughter and the men bound the women separately before driving away.
Giddings says he hopes officers will be able to get some additional information from people who may have witnessed the abduction in the parking lot in the Dallas suburb.
The men being sought were identified as being in their 20s. One had blond hair and possibly brown eyes. The other had light brown hair.
The morning NYSE stock list has I been delayed by technical problems. I Market heads low«r I. NEW YORK (AP) — The stock I- market headed lower today, conium-
* ing the retreat that set in Wednesday
* as a new business year began.
The Dow Jones average of 30 ' industrials slipped 9.40 to 2,601.24 by
* noontime on Wall Street.
Losers outnumbered gainers by ; about 7 to 5 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed > issues, with 553 up, 766 down and I 488 unchanged.
Analysts said many traders were
* sitting tight awaiting developments in
The source told the newspaper the proposals wert “like a matter of life and death” for the firrn.
But after the trip to the Las Hadas resort in Mexico with Lewis, the source said a Heard Goggan lawyer said: “We don’t need to worry about the legislation any more. It’s been taken care of.”
Oliver Heard, a partner and spokesman for Heard Goggan, said Wednesday that the Mexico trip was not an attempt to influence Lewis.
“There certainly was no determinate effort by this law firm to set up that trip for the purpose of influencing the speaker,” he said. “As to what somebody boasted, I don’t know. Nobody said that to me that I can recall.”
Heard Goggan has built up a lucrative business collecting delinquent taxes for public entities such as school boards and county commissioners courts.
A bill that died in the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee would have allowed cities and coun
ties to add a 15 percent surcharge on delinquent taxes, giving them a financial incentive to go into the collection business.
In another development Wednesday, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle said he fears the Legislature may"retaliate by cutting his budget.
“For every action, there is usually an opposite and equal reaction — and that would probably involve the state funding for the Public Integrity Unit,” said Earle.
“But that's not going to affect the investigation. It will continue,” Earle said.
Lewis, D-Fort Worth, Monday surrendered to authorities after being indicted on two misdemeanor charges by a grand jury that is investigating lawmakers and lobbyists.
Lewis, who says he expects to be re-elected to an unprecedented fifth term as speaker what the Legislature convenes next week, has said he will plead innocent.
The indictments allege that Lewis
accepted a gift from the law firm, failed to report it and failed to disclose his financial interest in a business on which the law firm may have paid some property taxes.
Since beginning the probe, Earle has said it is widening to include other legislators and lobby isis.
The Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday that some House members apparently plan to question Earle’s use of state money for the investigation after the Legislature convenes Tuesday for its 1991 session.
The Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit handles investigations of state officials. It was appropriated a total of $2.7 million by the Legislature two years ago.
The funding was increased over previous years specifically to pursue motor fuel tax and insurance fraud cases, said several lawmakers who spoke to the Austin newspaper only on the condition they not be named.
Misuse of burglar bars blamed for fire deaths
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) — Two people died and two were critically injured in a house fire that Fire Capt. Jesse Sanchez terms a “terrible example” of widespread disregard for a widely ignored and minimally enforced San Antonio building code regarding the use of burglar bars.
A mother and three children were trapped in their blazing home Wednesday behind boltcd-in burglar bars that violated the city’s building code, Sanchez said. The mother and a daughter died and two other children were critically injured, the fire officials said. The names of the victims were not immediately available.
The code, which dictates that one window in each bedroom be equipped with an easy-opening inside latch if burglar bars are used, was not in evidence in Wednesday’s fire, Sanchez said.
Although the code, overseen by city building inspectors, stipulates that a “rescue” window be able to be opened without a key, lock or “spe
cial knowledge,” bolted-in or padlocked bars are common in homes.
Sanchez, who blames at least three other deaths in the last three years on burglar bars that trapped victims, cited a close call just last week in which burglar bars blocked avenues of escape for a 14-ycar-old boy after a Christmas tree caught fire.
While the Fire Department enforces fire codes in public places such as hospitals or schools, the city’s Building Inspections Department oversees the use of burglar bars in private homes.
“There is no real enforcement,” said Sanchez.
Michael Clack, chief of building inspectors for the city, concedes that misuse of burglar bars probably is widespread.
Clack said his ll inspectors only visit homes where building permits have been sought cither because they are new or undergoing extensive remodeling.
Chemicalfirm will pay fine of $3.5 million for Texas blast
WASHINGTON (AP) — ARCO Chemical Co. has agreed to pay a record $3.5 million fine for worker safety violations relating to last year’s explosion at a Texas plant that killed 17 workers, the government said today.
ARCO’s agreement to pay the fine and overhaul workplace safety programs at its plants nationwide came as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the fine and cited the company for violations stemming from the explosion.
ARCO agreed to pay the full amount rather than trying to settle for less. It sets a new record for the largest amount ever collected by OSHA, lopping last month’s agreement by USX Corp. to pay $3.25 million for violations at two steel plants in Pennsylvania.
Seventeen chemical workers were killed and five others were injured last July 5 at an ARCO plant in Channelview, Texas, a Houston suburb, when a wastewater tank exploded in a fireball.
T ests on baby likely won’t be conclusive
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Genetic blood tests to determine who allegedly raped and impregnated a profoundly retarded resident of the Lubbock State School will likely be inconclusive, an attorney representing the retarded woman said.
Debra Lynn Thomas, who was allegedly raped while under the care of the Lubbock Slate School, gave birth to David Lynn Thomas, a 7-pound, 314 -ounce baby boy Tuesday.
Ms. Thomas, 33, has the IQ of a 2-year-old and does not even know she gave birth.
“ll seems the Lubbock State School had an open-door policy. So the perpetrator could have been anyone who came in contact with Debra Lynn Thomas at the lime she became pregnant,” David Ferleger, an attorney representing Ms. Thomas, said Wednesday.
“It could have been any number of staff employees. It could have been another client at the school. To get a conclusive answer we would have to give everyone who came in contact with Debra Lynn Thomas a blood test.”
Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Commissioner Denny Jones said the DNA genetic fingerprinting blood tests taken immediately after the baby was bom will be compared to blood samples given by 11 suspects in the case.
The blood taken after the baby’s birth will be analyzed in a genetics screening lab at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth.
The tests are to be completed within two to three weeks, Jones said.
Ten of the suspects are employees of the Lubbock State School. Jimmy Woolen, the husband of Ms. Thomas' sister and legal guardian, Dori Wooten, is also a suspect in the case.
Jones said during a news conference Wednesday that the MHMR is continuing to work with Lubbock police in their investigation of Ms. Thomas' case and two other alleged rapes at the Lubbock State School since 1988.
Jones said of the 13 state schools in Texas there have been six reported pregnancies in the last IO years and five have been at the Lubbock State School.
“That would seem to tell you there has been a history of oversight,” Ferleger said. “Who knows what else has gone on through the years.”
When Jones was asked if the MHMR would accept responsibility for the alleged rape and pregnancy of Ms. Thomas, he replied: “It’s a question that can not be answered in any absolute sense. Do we care? Absolutely. Are we outraged? Absolutely. Could this have been prevented? I guess that is a judgment call that each of us will have to answer individually.”
State officials have denied Ferleger's frequent charges that the state school tried to cover up continuing abuse and neglect of clients on the campus.
The suite contends that Ms. Thomas may have been abused during weekend visits to the Wootens.
The MHMR announced last week that it has changed its policies on reporting and investigating sexual assaults in state institutions
Hutchison, justices sworn in
David's Hospital for smoke inhalation, said Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Sally Muir.
One firefighter slightly injured his hand while operating a fire hose, said EMS Chief of Operations Michael Morris.
The downtown blackout followed when the city cut three 35,000-volt cables that fed into the bank building’s three transformers, said John Moore, director of the city electric utility.
The circuits were cut to prevent further fires and protea firefighters from injury, Moore said. Power was restored to all affected areas by 9 p.m., officials said.
AUSTIN (AP) — Kay Bailey Hutchison was sworn in as state treasurer on Wednesday, becoming the first Republican woman elected to statewide office in Texas history.
The oath of office was administered to Ms. Hutchison before about 300 supporters in the Texas Senate chamber by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of McAllen.
Gov. Bill Cements and his wife, Rita, George W. Bush and state GOP chairman Fred Meyer attended the ceremony. Ms. Hutchison was introduced by former National Republican Committee co-chair Anne Armstrong.
In private ceremonies Wednesday, Democrat Dan Morales was sworn in as Attorney General and Republican Rick Perry took the oath of office as Agriculture Commissioner. Both planned public ceremonies later.
Ms. Hutchison had two black eyes and a bruise on her nose, which she said her husband, Ray, attributed to rough Texas politics. “Ray told me to
say that I had my first meeting with the legislative delegation.”
Actually, she said, the injuries were the result of a recent skiing accident.
As treasurer, Ms. Hutchison said her top priorities will be better enforcement of cigarette tax collection, which she said could increase state revenue by $100 million a year, and the enactment of debt management measures.
“I want to lead for the long term,” she said. “I want to work with the Legislature to put systems in place to keep the state from going into debt over our heads.”
Ms. Hutchison, of Dallas, said she also intended to avoid partisanship and work with other top state officials, most of whom are Democrats.
In another history-making ceremony, Judge Morris Overstreet of Amarillo was sworn in to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In November, he became the first black elected to statewide office in modem
“I was not running for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals because I wanted to be the first African-American elected to statewide office,” Overstreet said.
“I was running on some very basic principals,” he said. "Those principles are that no man or woman is above the law, and no man or woman is below the law in Texas, that there should be justice for every citizen and not just the precious few.”
Also sworn in to the Criminal Appeals Court for their first term were Charles Baird of Gilmer and Frank Malone of Austin. Sam Houston Clinton was sworn to his third term, and Bill White to his second.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia administered the oath of office to new Texas Supreme Court Justices John Comyn of San Antonio and Robert Gammage of Houston, and Tom Phillips, who was re-elected to Chief Justice.
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the Middle East.
The market also has had to contend of late with an abundance of evidence that economic activity has been weakening rapidly since last fall.
More of the same is expected Friday when the Labor Department reports on the employment situation for December.
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