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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 17, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas BEST AVAILABLE COPY    WEDNESDAYNew Braunfels    january    n,    zm ■"■■P1"    _i_    14    pages    in    2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung :    ’    "    '    '    “■    '    —    '    ~    T---"—-1.... .............. .... —......... ...-_i__________  i Vol. 150, No. 57    Serving    New    Braunfels    and    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Texas pioneers Lawmakers honor NB’s Duke, other Hall of Famers New Braunfels residents: Not in my Dry Comal Spring Branch man pleads guilty to sexual assault From staff reports SPRING BRANCH — A 24-year-old Spring Branch man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Comal County district courtroom. Michael L. Maurer, who was arrested July 7 by Comal County Sheriffs Office detectives, had four charges filed against him for sexual assault of a child. Under terms of the plea agreement reached Tuesday in the 274th Judicial District Court, prosecutor Ed Springer agreed to seek a sentence of no more than 20 years in prison on the single charge. District Judge Gary Steel dismissed the three remaining counts of sexual assault on a child. The four aUegations of sexual assault all involved the same 13-year-old Spring Branch girl. “In exchange for the plea to one count, the state has agreed to cap the sentence at 20 years," Springer said. “In return, we’ll not have to go to trial and put the victim on the stand.” Had he been convicted at trial, Maurer could have faced possible sentences of five to 99 years or life in prison on each count with a fine of up to $10,000. After his July arrest, he posted $20,000 bail and was released from custody. On Tuesday, Maurer, who is a college student, was released again on $20,000 bail. Steel ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set a punishment hearing on Feb. 26. Maurer’s attorney, Kimbel Brown, said he would present witnesses at that hearing and would ask that any sentence imposed on his client be delayed until June I so he can graduate from college. By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer AUSTIN — Former astronaut Charles Moss Duke Jr. of New Braunfels spent Tuesday taking a bow alongside ll colleagues and fellow Texans whose resumes read like a who’s who in science. Twelve of the 16 charter members of the Texas Science Hall of Fame met in Austin so that the Legislature, Lt. Gov. appointee Bill Ratliff and Gov. Rick Perry could recognize them for their contributions to science and education. In clusters of offices throughout the Capitol, the pockets and briefcases and the stories of space travel, signs of some of the Hall of Fame members’ contributions were evident. Without charter member Jack St. Clair Kilby, former assistant vice president of Texas Instruments Inc., computers would have no heart. He co-invented the integrated circuit pivotal in computer technology. He also invented the handheld calculator. Staff members and other Hall of Famers could not help but ask Duke the million-dollar question: what was it like on the moon? Duke, a NASA astronaut from 1966 to 1976, was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 13 flight. He was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 16, the fifth manned lunar landing mission. It was the first expedition to inspect, survey and sample materials in the Descartes region of the lunar highlands. He moved to New Braunfels after he left the space program. Both of his children graduated from New Braunfels High School. “I’m just pleased and honored and humbled to have been selected,” Duke said. “We want to do what we can to be an example for kids in school, and we might be a good example and encouragement for them to study hard and set your goals and reach for the stars. ‘They wanted to honor men and women in science and technology in Texas that would encourage kids to study math and science and technology because that’s the future.” In his inaugural speech, Perry lauded former Texas’ First Lady Laura Bush for her attempts to improve literacy in Texas. However, he said that it was time “to focus the same attention on the critical fields of math and science...” Duke said the climate for pushing K. JESSIE SLATEN/Heraid-Zeitung Above: Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Charles Duke visit with State Representative Frank Corte of San Antonio (from left) at a reception at the Texas Capitol Tuesday. Below: Former astronaut Charles Duke and other members of the Texas Science Hall of Fame were honored Tuesday in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. science to the forefront of the American mind was ripe. “(We took) a lot of encouragement from that,” Duke said of Perry’s first address as governor. ‘Texas is becoming a high-tech home for high-tech companies, and we need to attract that. It creates a lot of jobs, a lot of opportunity, a lot of industry and a lot of university participation that can only be good for Texas. Anyway we can be used, we’re just delighted to be a part of.” Allen Seelhammer, another New Braunfels resident who helped engineer the Texas Science Hall of Fame, said science must be a priority. “(The climate) is not only ripe, it’s a necessity,” Seelhammer said. “If we do not open those doors, we’re going to have major problems down the road.” He said the Hall of Fame would set up shop in the Texan Institute of Cultural Arts. “Its going to be very much state-of-the-art. It’s going to be interactive,” Seelhammer said. “Kids at school are going to be able to go into a Web site and take a look at what Charlie Duke saw when he was landing on the moon. See DUKE/5AGBRA making deal to sell Guadalupe water to San Antonio By Ron Maloney Staff Writer About IO people attended an informational meeting Tuesday night about a proposal to renew a permit that could allow the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority to pipe treated wastewater into Dry Comal Creek. Representatives of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority met Tuesday evening in the New Braunfels City Council Chamber to talk about the renewal application that could allow another sewage treatment plant to be built near the Northcliffe subdivision. Ihey heard comments from five area residents, including Bob Watson, representing both himself and his daughter, New Braunfels City Councilwoman Juliet Watson, who called for the meeting but was unable to attend. The message to GBRA and the TNRCC was a succinct one: not in our Dry Comal Creek. If ever needed, the plant’s permit as it now exists would allow it to dump treated wastewater — up to 350,000 gallons per day — into Dry Comal Creek. That would only happen during very wet periods when the water — at a flow level of about half a cubic foot per second — couldn’t be pumped onto the Northcliffe WATSON golf course. The water would eventually reach the Comal River near Landa Park. Wastewater that has been treated is cleaner than the storm runoff water that now feeds into the Dry Comal, said Jim Arnst of the GBRA. “I think our effluent will be a benefit and not a detriment,” Arnst said. But others who spoke See RESIDENTS/5A From Staff and Wire Reports SANANTONIO — In a deal that has been half a century in the making, San Antonio may soon be able to tap into 22.8 billion gallons of Guadalupe River water annually — enabling it for the first time to have a source of water other than the Edwards Aquifer. “This is a major project, and it’s the lynchpin of the Senate Bill I plan for this region,” said Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority General Manager Bill West from his home Tuesday night. “It will allow us to help San Antonio reduce dependence on the Edwards Aquifer and will help them by diverting to water that will the saltwater barrier. The San Antonio Water System board took no action on the deal following a long executive session Tuesday, West said. The GBRA is entering into the agreement with SAWS and the San Antonio River Authority, and its board of directors is expected to sign the document at its meeting at IO a.m. today in Seguin. “The SAWS board considered a number of items in executive session," West said. “When they came out, they took no action on agenda items, but the chairman made a public statement they were in total support of the contract agreement.” West said SAWS would reconsider the agreement at its next board See WATER/5 A WEST save the Comal and San Marcos springs,” West said The water sold to SAWS and SARA would come from the mouth of the Guadalupe River just beforeInside Abby................................5A Classifieds......................4-6B Comics..............................2B Crossword.......................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................7-8    A Today.................................2 Key Code 76 FBI agent Aldrich offers glimpse of Clinton White House From Staff Reports The retired FBI agent who wrote a controversial book about alleged goings-on in the Clinton White House will address the New Braunfels Republican Women Monday. Gary Aldrich, whose book, “Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House” rocked the administration of President Bill Clinton in 1996, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, at the New Braunfels Civic Center. The affair begins with a social at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner and talk are $15. Tickets for Aldrich’s speech ALDRICH only are $9. In Aldrich’s first book, he exposed what he called questionable behavior and the breaches of security he said he wit nessed while conducting background checks of White House personnel. Aldrich is a 26-year FBI veteran who worked in the White House during the first Bush administration and the first term of the Clinton Administration. He conducted more than 10,000 interviews and 2,000 background checks on behalf of the White House. He retired from the FBI before publishing “Unlimited Access.” In the wake of its publication as scandals dogged the Clinton Administration, Aldrich made appearances on many nationwide news and talk shows on television and radio, including ‘This Week,” “Meet the Press” and others. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended for Monday night’s event, but some tickets still might be available at the door. Tickets can be bought at The Collection and China-N-Things in New Braunfels; The River Breeze Collection in Gruene; and First State Bank at Canyon Lake. ;