New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 20, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Drained River Walk searched for cannon
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The muddy bottom of the San Antonio River will be probed along the River Walk next week in hopes that it may yield a cannon that dates to the Battle of the Alamo.
The search is taking place while the river is drained for its annual maintenance and cleaning, a fortuitous event for the excavators.
Austin lawyer Wayne Gronquist, president of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, said the search would not be possible in most other cities.
“They can't drain the Thames River (in London) and they can't drain the Seine (in Paris)," he said. "So London, Paris and ail the great cities can't do what San Antonio can do. This part of the river is archaeologically very significant. It really tells the history of San Antonio."
The National Underwater and Marine Agency is Texas-based, non-profit corporation that more often sponsors shipwreck searches than river digs. The group was founded by Clive Cusslcr, an author and shipwreck specialist.
The group will field 10-membcr teams to search the river between the Crockett and Navarro bridges through Thursday. Using a magnetometer, a device that detects iron, the searchers will locate sites, put them on a map, and excavate likely locations, Cronquist said.
The latest search for artillery artifacts from the site of Santa Anna's 1836 rout of Texas soldiers defending the Alamo began in 1986, when Cusslcr reviewed the diary of a military surgeon, Dr. J.H. Barnard.
Barnard’s 1836 account stated Mexican troops, retreating after their occupation of the Alamo on word of Santa Anna's decisive defeat at San Jacinto, first dismantled its defenses.
"All the artillery and ammunition that could not be carried off were thrown in the river," Barnard wrote.
A similar project last year turned up no cannon, but did net a crosssection of San Antonio history, including ancient stone tools and 18th-century Mexican-made pottery, Gronquist said.
HerakJ-Zrfftjflg New Braunfels, Texas
Education commissioner choices
Witness says mom let boy drink liquor
DALLAS (AP) — The mother of a 5-ycar-old boy who died of alcohol poisoning repeatedly allowed the child to drink alcohol the day of his death, witnesses testified.
Conflicting testimony Friday opened the Fort Worth trial of Anthony Dalton Jimerson, who is being tried for the murder of Raymond “Tinky” GrifTin.
Prosecutors say Jimerson, 22, encouraged Tinky to drink several ounces of bourbon at a party. Jimerson is accused of giving the boy a lethal dose of alcohol last February.
But defense attorneys contend that Tinky’s mother, Patricia Griffin, permitted both Tinky and her other son Rashad, then 2 years old, to sip malt liquor throughout the day.
Ms. Griffin faces her own trial next month on a charge of injury to a child in Tinky’s death.
One witness testified Friday that it was Ms. Griffin who gave the boy the lethal dose of bourbon. But two others said Jimerson was the one who gave the boy the bourbon. According to them, Jimerson told others at the party to say Ms. Griffin did it, if the boy fell ill.
After drinking IO ounces of bourbon, Tinky went into convulsions. An ambulance was not called until 12 hours later.
Kevin Williams said Tinky almost fell down a flight of stairs after being told by Jimerson to "drink it like a man."
But during cross examination, Williams admitted that in earlier statements he said both Ms. Griffin and another member of Ow party, Tommy Simmons, gave the alcohol to the boy.
Simmons, a friend of Jimerson’s, contradicted his own earlier statements to police, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday. He testified that he could not recall telling authorities he overheard Jimerson order the boy to drink.
Williams and others who testified said Ms. Griffin allowed Tinky and Rashad to take sips of her malt liquor during the day.
According to another witness, Usa Gray, Ms. Griffin handed Rashad a full bottle of beer during a dominos game and instructed him to share it with his brother.
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas education officials Saturday started interviewing seven finalists for the position of state education commissioner to oversee the $14 billion per year public school system that is under a court challenge.
"Whoever it is, needs to be knowledgeable about the problems. It's going to be hard for us to educate someone," State Board of Education Chairman Monte Hasie said.
In 1989, the Texas Supreme Court declared the public school financing system unconstitutional because it allows disparities in funding between property-poor and wealthy school districts.
After four special sessions, the Legislature passed a school funding bill, but a state district judge said the system was still unconstitutional. That case is now pending before the state Supreme Court.
Hasie of Lubbock, said the new commissioner will have "to pull the people of Texas together and get behind the educational process."
There are about 3.5 million students in the state’s 1,052 public school districts.
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"We need someone who is somewhat of a visionary perhaps to come up with new ideas and help us," he said.
The remaining candidates were scheduled to be interviewed individually over two days, Hasie said. He said the interviews will last about VA hours each and be conducted by board members. Representatives of Gov. Ann Richards and Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock will attend the interviews, he said.
Hasie sud the Education Board may make a selection late Sunday. The board’s nomination will be submitted to Richards, who will appoint the commissioner. The state Senate then will consider whether to confirm
The post is being vacated by Education Commissioner W.N. Kirby who decided to retire after nearly six yean as commissioner. Hasie said Kirby makes gbout $112,000 per year.
One finalist for the job, Robert Spillane, division superintendent for Fairfax County public schools in Virginia, decided not to seek the post, Hasie said. Hasie said he did not know the reason why Spillane dropped out.
The remaining candidates are:
• Thomas Anderson Jr., deputy commissioner for operations and services at the Texas Education Agency in Austin.
• David Hornbeck, former Mary-
January 20, 1901 Pap BR
land education commissioner, of Baltimore.
• Lionel Meno, deputy commissioner for elementary and secondary education in the New York Depart* mem of Education, of Albany, N.Y.
• Blandlna Ramirez, director of die Office of Minorities in Higher Education at the American Council of Education in Washington.
• Victor Rodriguez, superintendent of the San Antonio Independent
School District x
• J. Theodore Sanders, deputy secretary of the U.S. Deportment of Education in Washington.
• Michael Say, Humble school district superintendent.
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