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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, January 03, 2004

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 3, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas SATURDi *************. •MV C vmELL pi 262] t PASO '■ 79903 nii'O FORUM ON POLITICS Syndicated columnist Charley Reese says actors and politicians have more in common than one might think. Page 4A ZiEITUNG Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 44 12 pages, 2 sections CLICK WWW 56825 00001 SJF W Mostly cloudy High Low 74 62 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 5-6B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM    4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3B SPORTS HOOPS Playing at home, Canyon Cougarettes best Lockhart Lions, 49-41 in district play. Page 5AVote puts ‘character’ of Landa St at stake AT A GLANCE a NB Planning Commission RH 6:30 p.m. Tuesday 0 Municipal Building. 424 S. Casten Ave. By Scott Mahon Staff Writer The New Braunfels Planning Commission could change the “character” of Landa Street when it decides whether to dedicate 35 feet of right-of-way adjacent to the LCRA power plant property. Last month, the commission postponed approving a plat that would give the Texas Department of Transportation 35-feet of right-of-way to widen the street to four lanes. The plat provides for the subdivision and development of 32 acres on the LCRA power plant property along Landa Street. However, TxDOT’s plans to widen the street to four lanes would require the developer, Larry Peel, to dedicate 35 feet of his property. Last month, Chairman John Dierksen suggested the commission postpone approving the plat to give time to come up with a solution that would save 100-year-old pecan trees that line the street between Landa Drive and Fredericksburg Road. "I think it’s the consensus of the commission that 120 feet is excessive," Dierksen said at last month’s meeting. ’’Seventy or 80 feet is probably adequate for See STREET, Page 3A FRONTand Center Mobile crime lab adds to PD’s capabilities On the scene Stephens takes helm at county’s new court Photos by REBECCA S. ROGERS and DAVID INGRAM/Harald-Zeitung New Braunfels police detective Mike Penshorn demonstrates how the department's new mobile crime lab functions The refurbished ambulance houses computer equipment and other tools necessary to conduct investigations at the scene of a crime — from lights and spare batteries to camera gear and fingerprinting kits. Police did work to reconfigure ambulance, renovate room themselves By Ron Maloney Staff Writer lf the New Braunfels Police Department’s new mobile crime scene truck looks a lot like an old ambulance, it’s because that s what the vehicle is — a decommissioned fire department ambulance. The truck, loaded with communication, computer and criminal investigation equipment gives NBPD a capability not enjoyed by many small police departments — the ability to immediately process, inventory and catalog evidence at the scene of an incident. The vehicle and a flew evidence processing room now being built at the police department represent an effort to upgrade their capabilities—cheap- ly- Chief of Police Russell johnson has secured grants and money forfeited by criminals to pay for the new equipment. Using “sweat equity,” police officers have painted and ren ovated the evidence room and built the mobile unit out of a retired ambulance. No question, vehicle restoration and maintenance aren’t in any detective’s job description — neither is painting or renovating an old storeroom. But police officers had an See LAB. Page 3A UPDATES V I'racking the news ELECTION 2004 UST WE KNEW: The filing period for the 2004 elections closed Jan, 2. UTEST: Recent Republican filings are: Doug Dunlap and Shane Rapp, Precinct 4 Constable; Randy Gray and Joe Soane, County Court-at-Law 2; Kenneth Smith, Precinct 2 Constable; Diane Dasher and Bob Wickman, Precinct 1 Commissioner; and Greg Parker, Precinct 3 Commissioner. Democrat filings are Ramon Chapa Jr., Precinct 3 Commissioner; and Randy Galindo, Joe Gomez and Sandy Morales, Precinct 3 Constable. NEXT: The primary election will be conducted March 9. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer More than 300 people attended Friday’s swearing ceremony for the judge who will start Comal County’s second Court-at-Law. Retired District Judge Robert Pfeuffer administered the oath of office to attorney Charles Stephens II, whom commissioners appointed to the bench this past September. Stephens will organize the court to mirror the current Court-at-Law presided over by judge Brenda Chapman. The courts hear criminal, family, civil and probate cases. Stephens’ appointment is for 2004. To Charles    staY on the bench, he Stephens    faces a three-way pri mary election March 9 with attorney Randy Gray and Assistant District Attorney Joe Soane. Comal County sought legislation in 2003 to create a second county court at Chapman’s recommendation. Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora said Comal County considered adding a second court-at-law when Chapman was first elected, bul Chapman asked the county to wait. Using accelerated dockets and visiting state judges, Chapman managed to run two courts in one courtroom throughout her first term and the first part of her second one. In doing so, she retired a case backlog that went back months or a year. I .ate in 2002, county officials were told the state would cut funds for visiting judges. With the county's steadily increasing caseloads, Chapman told commissioners it was time to create the second court. See COURT. Page 3A Filing deadline passes with 20 local candidates running From Staff Reports Comal County Republicans conducted their “meet the candidates” gathering at the conclusion of the filing period Friday. County Republican Party Chairman Don Hens/ said the affair was conducted at the home of Larry and Beverly Nuckols on Wood Meadows. About 15 of the county’s Republican candidates for ollice attended and were afforded the opportunity to give two-minute talks on their candidacy. For the Democrats, five people — two for Precinct 3 commissioner and three for constable in the same district — have announced candidacies. The Democrats had not announced a "meet the candidates” gathering Friday. 2004 COMING SUNDAY b NBman racks up With wood and felt, Sonny Boessling has made a successful business making custom pool tables and other furniture for 25 years. ;