New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 31, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
. FRIDAY January 31, 2003
12 pages in 2 sections
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Vol, 152, No. 68
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Man gets 90 years for sex with stepdaughter
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
A 33-year-old Comal County man was sentenced to 90 years in prison Thursday for the sexual assault of his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
After hearing three days of testimony, a Comal County jury Wednesday convicted Daniel B. Davis of sexual assault of a child.
The charge is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in state prison.
The charge against Davis was enhanced, however, because of the defendant’s three previous felony burglary convictions, which make him a habitual offender. Davis faced a possible sentence of between 25 to 99 years.
The same jury that found Davis guilty deliberated 90 minutes Thursday in 22nd Judicial District Court before returning a sentence of 90 years and a $10,000 fine.
He will not be eligible for parole until 2033.
Assistant District Attorney Ed Jendrzey argued before District Judge Charles Ramsay that Davis had been married to the victim’s mother for about one year when he manipulated the girl into a sexual relationship in the
summer of 2000.
His wife discovered the situation in the fall of 2001 when she read an entry in her daughter’s diary. The woman threw Davis out ofSee SEX/4A
County negotiating new facilities for extension, livestock
By Ron Maloney
Comal county is on the verge of buying a 20-acre property on Texas 46 officials hope will become a “showpiece” facility for the Texas Cooperative Extension Service — and provide a home for the Junior Livestock Association.
County Judge Danny Scheel announced Thursday that Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson has been in negotiations for weeks to acquire the property, which is located behind the Comal County Rural Recycling Center.
The county has an earnest money contract with the seller, whom Scheel did not identify.
He also declined to disclose the purchase price before commissioners ratify the sale. A vote to consider the purchase would be placed on the Feb. 6 commissioners’ court
agenda, Scheel said.
The vision for the property, which now has gardens, a three-bedroom home, stables and fenced areas for livestock, includes:
■ An expanded Extension Service office;
■ Parking for 800 cars, trucks and livestock trailers;
■ A football field-sized barn facility for the Junior Livestock Association with arenas;
■ An air-conditioned meeting/office space; and
■ Room to allow 4-H and Future Farmers of America member students at the county’s high schools to board animals.
The county would purchase the property and operate it as a park, leasing a large portion of it for 50 years to the Junior Livestock Association, which would build facilities on the site — and sublease them when not needed for itsSee COUNTY/4A
Flume wants ethics hearing open to public
By Ron Maloney
District 3 City Councilwoman Debbie Flume has asked the city to open to the public tonight’s meeting of the New Braunfels Ethics Commission.
The commission will consider whether Flume acted improperly in a council vote this past October when she voted to postpone action on flood-recovery maps.
The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A of the New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Castell Ave.
The ethics commission met Jan. 22, but took no action on the Flume issue.
Mayo Galindo, the attor-
ney hired by New Braunfels to advise the ethics commission said after the meeting he could not comment on what, if any, action was taken.
Attorney Mike Smithers, who represents Flume, also declined to comment.
Ethics Commission hearings are closed to the public unless the person who is the subject of the hearing requests otherwise.
Flume said she discussedSee FLUME/4A
Traffic stop yields $25,000 in drugs Inside
Department of Public Safety Trooper Joel Machost, left, and Trooper Cpl. Rick Alvarez display more than 15 pounds of marijuana and two pounds of cocaine picked up in a traffic stop Thursday afternoon in New Braunfels. The driver of the car was booked into Comal County Jail on drug charges.
By Ron Maloney
Department of Public Safety Trooper Joel Machost said there are some things in life that he just can’t fathom.
One is how someone can be carrying a kilogram of cocaine and more than 15 pounds of marijuana while speeding in a car with windows that are illegally tinted too darkly.
‘I don’t understand if you’re going to haul dope why you’d invite a trooper to pull you over,” Machost said.
That’s exactly what Machost said happened at 3:26 p.m. Thursday when Joe Garcia, 25, of San Antonio, drove by him on Interstate 35, setting up a chain of events that resulted in Garcia’s airest.
He was booked into Comal County Jail Thursday night on charges of delivery of 4-200 grams of cocaine and delivery (rf between five and 50 pounds of marijuana. The wholesale value of the drugs Is estimated at $25,000.
The cocaine allegation is a first-degree felony punishable by between five and 99 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. The marijuana charge is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
No bail had been set for Garcia Thursday night. He will appear before a judge this morning.
‘I was sitting on Interstate 35 just south of Ruekle Road,
and I observed him traveling northbound over the speed limit,” Machost said.
“I checked him on radar and observed his window tint appeared to be illegal,” the trooper said.
Machost followed him onto the frontage road at Walnut Avenue, where he turned onto Mesquite Street and stopped.
He asked permission to search the vehicle, which he said Garcia granted.
DPS Troopers Vaughn Pack and Cpl. Rick Alvarez began a search of the vehicle, finding the marijuana in the trunk.
Later, New Braunfels police officer John Sullivan arrived with his police dog and found the cocaine hidden beneath the marijuana, Machost said.
Key Code 76
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Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Gathered around a make-shift sun, teachers at the RavenStar Outdoor Education Center two-day workshop get hands-on expenence with astronomy.
Educational nonprofit RavenStar teaches nature lessons hands-on
By Sean Bowlin
FISCHER — RavenStar Outdoor Education Center — where kids in a fast-paced world slow down and learn about nature hands-on — is a work-in-progress.
In more ways than one, said its executive director, Blair Moore.
See, RavenStar is not meant to be static, Moore explained.
“I want RavenStar to be a verb instead of a noun — a process they question. I want them to think Uke naturalists and scientists,” she said.
Moore moved to New Braunfels in mid-1998 from near Santa Fe, N.M., where she operated the Star Hill Inn. It catered to astronomers, birders, botanists and astronomers.
“Adults like to learn on vacation,” she said.
The University of Texas
alumna and former Dallas resident came to New Braunfels because she thought the educational system for her children would be better than New Mexico’s.
Moore found work after hearing of a new nature lodge in Lake Buchanan called Canyon of the Eagles. She was commissioned to design an observatory and to provide outdoor education.
Eventually, her work came to an end when it was discovered the arrangement with the lodge was not going to work out.
Then, RavenStar happened.
“Really, it just evolved,” Moore said.
But the evolution took work — work that’s still continuing.
RavenStar incorporated in the fall of 2000 as an educational nonprofit. Right up toSee RAVENSTAR/3A
With the inflatable, gray planetarium still awaiting them, teachers Carrie Hare (left) and Barbara White (right) of Rahe Primary and Steve McCune of Hays ISD practice their astronomy lesson after a full day of observing nature.