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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 4, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels SATURDAY January 4, 2003 12 pages in 2 sections mmmmmi    U    pages    in    C    sectKHerald-Zei'i i n( ; Vol. 152, No. 46Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Woman’s throat slashed K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-ZeitungNew Braunfels Fire/EMS personnel transport an unidentified woman whose throat was cut Friday night. She was airlifted to University Hospital, where her condition was unknown. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer An unidentified New Braunfels woman whose throat was slashed in a West End home Friday night was flown to University Hospital. Her condition was not known at press time, but public safety officials said she had sustained a major injury and lost “a lot of blood.” At midnight a University Hospital official said only that the woman, age 24, had been taken into an operating room. New Braunfels Police Sgt. Sean Gabbard said officers responded to a home near the intersection of West Mill Street and Walnut Avenue just after 9 p.m. “Right now, we’re carrying it as an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” Gabbard said. ‘We received a 9-1-1 call of a woman with her throat cut. Officers arrived, and we found a woman in the back room who had been stabbed across the throat,” Gabbard said. “She was taken by EMS to a landing zone where she was flown to University Hospital. It appears the (suspect) fled the scene,” Gabbard said. “We’re continuing our investigation to toy and apprehend him.” Police Chief Russell Johnson and other officers drove West End streets looking for a suspect. A canine search was mounted of the immediate area, and detectives took witnesses back to the NBPD for statements. Gabbard said the investigation showed that the victim knew her assailant, but he did not say how. “We can say that there’s a relationship there — that the victim knew her assailant. We don’t want people concerned that someone is going around breaking into homes. This was not a random act,” Gabbard said. Grant boosts effort to rebuild Hidden Valley sports park By Ron Maloney Staff Writer CANYON LAKE — Comal County has moved a step closer to getting a $100,000 grant to help restore Hidden Valley Sports Park. The Lower Colorado River Authority through its Partnership in Parks program will make the money, which is expected to come in July, available. On Dec. 18,2002, the LCRA Board of Directors approved a business plan for next fiscal year that includes $1 million on park projects in a number of counties, including Comal. Krista Umscheid-Mt. Joy of the LCRA said the next step will be for LCRA staff to create a proposal for how the money will be used in construction of baseball or football fields and restoration of existing flood-damaged fields. The money will not be available for parking, irrigation or for the four entities that lease the park. It will be earmarked toward construction or reconstruction work, Umscheid-Mt. Joy said. “What the board has done is basically gone through the first step,” Umscheid-Mt. Joy said. Hidden Valley Sports Park, which included a recreation center and ballfields, was in the process of being expanded by 13 acres when the July flood struck. The Canyon Dam spillway overflowed for the first time in the history of the reservoir, cutting a deep channel across Dam Access Road and strewing rocks and debris throughout the park. County Judge Danny Scheel said he and County Engineer Ibm Hornseth, who manages the county's park system, were staggered by the degree of damage when they first sur veyed the area in July. “We said, ‘Oh my God, scratch this, its gone,”’ Scheel recalled. The county contacted the Lower Colorado River Authority looking for help rebuilding the park and was told there was no money available, Scheel said. LCRA officials did direct the county to its Partnership in Parks program, and recommended that local officials apply for a grant when the application window reopened in September. Commissioners' Court Administrative Assistant Ruby Castilleja applied for the grant. In the meantime, the state corrections department was contacted, and an inmate work crew was placed in the park, moving the debris and boulders. A few days ago, the LCRA announced the grant would be awarded to Comal County. This isn’t the first grant money Castilleja has found for the county. Its not the first money she secured for a park, either. In 2000, she sought — and received — $102,(XX) in funds for Solms Park, which is in Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora’s district. Hidden Valley Sports Park is used by constituents the districts of Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson and Precinct 4 ComniLssioner Jan Kennady. The money would go to restore the park, develop playing fields in the new area just acquired and to improve drainage. To use the money, Comal County would have to match it, either through its own cash investment in the park, in-kind services toward the work or a combination of both, Castilleja said.Inside Abby....................................8A Classifieds..........................2-AB Comics................................7A Crossword..........................8A Forum.................................4A Movies................................8A Obituaries.................u........3A Sports..............................1-2B Today..................................2A Key Code 76 66826 00001 I Longtime Zeitung society editor Lottie Miller dies at 98 By Michael Cary Staff Writer Lottie Nebergall Miller, the Grand Dame of the Herald-Zeitung, died Wednesday, Jan. I in Marlin at the age of 98. Miller was born Nov. IO, 1904 in New Braunfels, to Ben F. and Meta (Wetzel) Nebergall. She grew up here and graduated from New Braunfels High School. She was a bookkeeper at the Neu Braunfelser Zeitung when her father was an investor in the business. The newspaper began publishing in English, and Miller began writing society and garden columns and was the society page editor. She was 75 years old when she retired in 1979. “She was the last of the oldtimers, the ones who had grown up in New Braunfels and knew everybody in town,” long-time Herald-Zeitung editor Roger Nuhn said Friday. “I think she was a unique person.” Nuhn said when he was hired to convert the German- MILLER language newspaper into English, he recruited Miller to write society columns and taught her how to take her own photos at the numerous social functions she attended over the years. “She knew everybody in town and knew how to approach them,” Nuhn said. “She developed a readership that was enormous, and everybody in town sent information about their social events to her.” Nuhn said Miller wrote in a style perfect for the New Braunfels residents she covered in her society stories. “She was a jewel in her job,” Nuhn said. “I don’t think you could compare anybody in this community or in the business as far as the soci ety reporting she was able to do. She was outstanding as a newspaper woman, and this town lost a lot when she left the paper.” In addition to her society columns, Miller wrote gardening stories and an occasional travel piece for the Her-ald-Zeitung. Nuhn said despite the fact that the newspaper was printed only in black and white, Miller was able to shoot excellent photographs of flowers to be published along with her garden column. New Braunfels Herald- Zeitung Editor and Publisher Doug Toney expressed sorrow when told of Miller’s death. “Mr. Nuhn so eloquently described Ms. Miller’s contribution it would be hard for me to better describe what she meant to New Braunfels,” Toney said. "As Mr. Nuhn said, she was absolutely the best at what she did with a wonderful style and form of journalism that, sadly, isn’t seen any more, Toney said. "It was a style of writing and repell ing that could only exist in a small town whereSee MILLER/3 A Gavel passing Judge says it’s time to add a second county court-at-law By Ron Maloney Staff Writer When Brenda Chapman took office four years ago for her first term as Comal County Court-at-Law judge, the county was exploring whether it was time to open a second court. “Let me see what I can do,” Chapman said. That first year, 1999, County Court-at-Law handled 1,500 criminal cases, plus civil and family law dockets. In 2000, there were 1,800 criminal cases. In 2001, there were 2,200 criminal cases. In 2002, the cases tailed off somewhat — with 1,900 cases — but the workload hasn’t. The county legal system has gotten busier under the indigent defense bill, which requires people arrested to have an attorney appointed and to appear before a magistrate or judge within 24 hours for a felony or 72 hours for a misdemeanor. Commissioners have been working to deal with increased caseloads by building a courtroom at the jail for the magistrations. A job that used to take a justice of the peace an hour can run on to four hours or more each day. Now, Chapman agrees it is time to create the second court. “I told the commissioners then that when I get to the point that I feel like I’m doing 150 percent of what I can do it was time to talk See COURT/3A K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Comal County Court-at-Law Judge Brenda Chapman, with help from visiting judges, handled almost 2,000 criminal cases this past year. She says it’s time for a second court-at-law to be set up to help share the growing workload. ;