New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 27, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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■ SPORTS, 7Bobcats pull away late in win over Islanders in SLC showdown
THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 2011
■ NBISD REGISTRATION, 122011-2012 school registration meetings set for February
Texas Ap Newspaper of the YearServing New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
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11 Details► SECURITY
First run of city hall metal detector gets good reviews
By Greg Bowen
The new metal detector at city council chambers at New Braunfels’ city hall premiered this week to good reviews.
Citizens attending Monday’s city council meeting filed through the door-way-style detector, which had just been put in place in response to the Jan. 8 shootings of U.S. Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords and others at a political meet-and-greet at a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz.
New Braunfels Police Department Sgt. Heath Purvis was one of the officers checking residents through the metal detector.
“It went good," Purvis said after the meeting. “We didn’t have any issues and no real complaints. Everybody cooperated. Everybody seemed more than willing to take the stuff out of their pockets and those that beeped because they were wearing metal in their shoes or in their belts didn’t mind a second inspection."
A hand-held wand detector is used for second inspections.
Purvis said there were a few who seemed a bit put off by the new security measures.
“There were one or two sighs, like you
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Hawaii Senate ends daily prayer over lawsuit fears
ACLU send notification claiming prayers invoke Jesus Christ; state AG says practice wouldn’t hold in court
From the Associated Press
HONOLULU — Fearing a possible court challenge, Hawaii's state Senate has voted to silence the daily prayer offered before each session — making it the first state legislative body in the nation to halt the practice.
A citizen's complaint prompted the American Civil Liberties Union last summer to send the Senate a letter noting that its invocations often referenced Jesus Christ, contravening the separation of church and state.
That prompted the state attorney general's office to advise the Senate that their handling of prayers — by inviting speakers from various religions to preach before every session — wouldn't survive a likely court challenge, said
Democratic Majority Leader Brick-wood Galuteria.
"Above all, our responsibility is to adhere to the Constitution," Galuteria said after Thursday's vote to halt the daily blessings.
A three-member Senate committee formed to evaluate the issue recommended allowing nonsectarian, nonpolitical invocations that avoided references to deities, but the legislative body decided to do away with prayers altogether rather than constrain them.
"They (the ACLU) continue to threaten governments with lawsuits to try to force them into capitulating to their view of society," said Brett Harvey, an attorney for
the Alliance Defense Fund, made up of Christian lawyers to defend free faith speech. "Governments should take a stand for this cherished historical practice."
While every state legislature prays to bless their public work, methods vary widely across the country. Some states pay a chaplain, others require remarks be submitted in advance and many like Hawaii invite members of the community to speak on any topic of their choosing.
The Indiana House temporarily halted opening prayers because of an ACLU lawsuit, but prayers returned in 2008 after a federal appeals court overturned a lower
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that legislative prayers are permissible in some circumstances, but the court hasn't considered the issue since 1983.
ACLU of Hawaii Legal Director Lois Perrin said the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment to mean that the government can't display a preference for one particular sect or creed.
"The Senate's action does not conflict, and clearly aims at creating an environment where all will feel welcome regardless of spiritual beliefs," Perrin said.
Sen. Sam Slom, the only Republican in the 25-member Senate, pleaded for making prayers voluntary rather than eliminating them
See HAWAII, Page 5
Cyber tools help catch tech-sawy crooks
From Hike for our Heroes Facebook page
J. Louise Larson
If A1 Capone were alive today, his weapon of choice might be the Blackberry, not the Tommy gun.
Malice and crime have new digital faces, but with sophisticated new tools, computer forensics are taking a digital bite out of crime in Comal County.
Through teamwork between the New Braunfels Police Department and the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, one national fraud ring that was using credit card fraud to steal in 13 states was broken using GPS technology digitally embedded into their transactions.
“I’d say it’s luck, but it’s great police work on the part of our officers," said Det. Zach Armstrong of the NBPD.
And when a New Braunfels woman’s ex-boyfriend hacked into her Facebook.com and e-mail accounts last month, technology allowed Armstrong to pinpoint a suspect in the case.
“There’s really no such thing as true anonymity... there’s always ways to track people,” Armstrong said.
And even though a cell phone is not a gun and texts are not bullets, they can surely be instruments of crime.
“Cell phones are used in every type of criminal activity," said Armstrong, who estimated that he does one phone search a day, either consensual or with a warrant.
“A cell phone is a criminal instrument. People who are doing right use it as a tool for their business. If you’re a criminal, that’s a tool for your business, too. A lot of your life is on
Troy Yocum arrived in Austin Wednesday to meet with Gov. Rick Perry. He is on a 7,000 mile hike across the country to raise money for struggling military families. He will arrive in New Braunfels on Feb. 1. Learn more at www.drumhike.com.
Vol. 158, No. 66 12 pages, 1 section
ABOVE: Det. Brian Morgan of the Comal County Sheriff's Office demonstratesThursday how a hardndriveeC0V6r^ Evidence Device (FR.E.D.) can be used to find information on a computer
BELOW: Technology available includes the ability to retrieve information stored on cell phones.
that phone. And we want to know about it,” Armstrong said.
The agency can subpoena information to learn which computer was used to change a password.
“There's a lot of federal help out there, but it takes time. Cybercrime is the largest kind of theft in the world,” describing the newest computer fraud that
bilked thousands of dollars from job-seekers around the country.
“They have people responding to job openings, and then they imbed malicious software in the response.”
Tech-sawy look-outs in even petty crimes are now using silent cell-phone texts to notify fellow criminals if the law is on the way. In a home burglary ring,
Comal County thieves recently used their cell phones to make visual notes about prospective houses, and then to videotape themselves at the scene, sort of “trophy pictures” of their proudest work.
That’s where FRED comes in.
The newest crime fighter in Comal County, FRED is sleek, black and silver, a tower of power. FRED is the Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device.
FRED became available through a $12,000 grant, with the help of Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder, Criminal District Attorney Jennifer Tharp and the Comal County Commissioners’ Court.
FRED's just a few weeks old — and a fresh, tangible reminder of the collaboration between local agencies.
“We all do the same job — we just wear different badges," Arm-
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