New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 6, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, July 6, 2005 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 3A
Lorine Jennings of New Braunfels passed away Thursday June 30,2005 at the age of 66.
She is survived by her sons David Jennings, Michael Jennings and James Jennings; mother, Josephine Becka; brother Charlie Becka and 4
Memorial services will be Friday July 8,2005 at 2:00 PM at Zoeller Funeral Home.
ZOELLER FUNERAL HOME
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Funeral services are pending at Zoellers Funeral Home
for James Bennett, age 74 of New Braunfels, who passed away on Tuesday, july 5, 2005.
School reform tax bill benefits wealthiest Texans
AUSTIN (AP) — Only those Texans who make more than $ 140,000 would get a net tax cut under a sweeping school property tax swap bill scheduled for debate Wednesday by the Texas I louse, according to a legislative study.
The bill swaps property taxes for a higher state sales tax, which would be expanded to include bottled water, auto repair and certain computer goods and services. The bill also would increase The cigarette tax by $1. Lawmakers in the House are •scheduled to begin debating the proposed legislation Wednesday.
* "We are helping those that are already most benefited by this tax system. We are hurting Those who are already most Taxed by this tax system,” said ;Rep. Scott I lochberg, D-Hous-ton. “lf someone can find a ^definition in any dictionary that puts that under tax relief, ►I ve got to see it, because I .haven’t so far.”
' Republican leaders have ’touted the legislation being debated by the House on Wednesday as a property tax ;relief measure for Texas ’homeowners and many have •campaigned on the issue. •i )pponents say the state cannot afford to be cutting the property taxes that go to public schools at a time when many schools in Texas are facing budget woes.
file measure also would close loopholes in the state’s main business tax that allow most Texas businesses to avoid paying.
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Most violations were misdemeanors
already confined in terms of space and you add the ingredients of alcohol and illegal drugs and this is what you get," Villarreal said. “ Its a volatile situation. With the heat people can get mad and nasty real quick. After 3 p.m. is the worst time. By then they’ve had ample time to consume alcohol and suffer effects of the heat.”
NBPD had between 42 and 46 officers on duty July 4 to handle die swells of visitors that make their way to New Braunfels every Fourth.
"We used every available man and woman we could muster up,” Villarreal said. "It was a long, hot, exhaust-
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Under the proposed bill to swap property taxes for a higher state sales tax, Texans who earn less than $10,000 a year would be hit with the largest increase in new taxes at 4.4 percent, according to the study by the Legislative Budget Board.
Middle-income Texans who make between $40,000-$50,000 would be footing a $139 million increase, the biggest chunk of new taxes.
JJusinesses would get a net tax reduction but, overall, individuals would see a net increase, the study found. Specifically, the largest tax decreases would go to the finance, insurance and real estate industries.
“For whatever reason, the insurance industry seems to have a lot of friends in the Texas Legislature this year," said Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine.
The service industry would see the largest tax increase.
While lawmakers are working on efforts to restructure the way the state pays for public education, the Texas Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments Wednesday on a lawsuit challenging the school funding system. _.§tate district Judge John Dietz ruled last year that the system is "financially inefficient, inadequate and unsuitable.” He said the gap between "the haves and the have nots” is too wide and could result in dire consequences for Texas if the state doesn’t provide adequate funding for all students.
ing weekend for our troops.”
Villarreal said two officers were injured and one was transported to McKenna Hospital emergency room. Officer Erie Cuellar momentarily lost consciousness from the effects of heat, and officer David Olson sustained injuries to his knee and hip while pursuing two people on foot at Prince Solms Park.
Villarreal said though the weekend was a challenge, he was pleased with the way his force responded to the overwhelming number of people and disturbances on the river.
“I am really proud of our men and women," Villarreal said. "I here were so few of us compared to the number of tourists and somehow we managed to do it all and keep them safe from each other and themselves.”
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Lawson: I thought it was a joke at first
talk to me on the phone and needed to come and speak to me,” Lawson said.
“What did you learn was the ‘problem?’” Waldrip asked.
“She had a friend who had an issue with child support,” Lawson said. “It was basically an argument about money.”
Childs had a friend, Benavides, who believed he was paying too much child support, and wanted the mother of his child, Stacy Satterfield, killed to end the situation, Lawson said.
Lawson said she didn’t initially believe Childs because she was a “drama queen" — someone who sought to be the center of attention and was prone to exaggeration.
“I didn’t see it as being real,” she said. “I spent most of my time laughing.”
Waldrip asked Lawson why Childs would approach her seeking a “hit man,” and the witness answered it was because, when she was younger, her father and another relative had distributed cocaine in another state. Her father had been killed in a “hit,” she said, and her surviving relative spoke of — but never acted on—a desire to hire someone to retaliate.
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FEMA considering change to flood map
Investment Company does not plan to build in die floodplain along Alligator creek, roughly IOO houses will back up to the flood-prone area.
Sabine representative Steve Walkup told commissioners the company planned to make slight changes and improvements to the creek’s path, adding to its capacity.
“We feel like there’s a diamond in the rough with the creek,” he said. “We want to maintain the existing nature of the creek, but no one s disagreeing with the fact that a lot of water goes through there.
"We’ve done extensive drainage studies — the creek can handle it.”
In addition creek changes, Sabine also has received a cer-tified letter of map revision from tile Federal Emergency Management Agency to
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Policy aimed at deterring use
students be suspended from competition for their first three offenses, it allows the students to participate in extracurricular practices.
Edwards said the specification is designed to keep students involved while they undergo counseling and fulfill the requirements of their suspension.
“Student involvement is
A few days later, Benavides, whom she had never met, asked to talk to her at a New Year’s Eve party at the Childs residence. He followed her outside.
“I said, ‘You needed to talk to me?”’ Lawson recalled. “He said, ‘Samantha said you could help me. I have some business to discuss with you.’”
Benavides told Lawson a woman he had a “one-nightstand” with had a baby with him and was trying to force him to pay too much child support.
Lawson said she told him to hire an attorney to dispute the issue, and also recommended he pursue adoption of the child, a boy.
“He said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, I want her gone. I want her to disappear,” Lawson said.
Still, Lawson said, she didn’t believe the plot was real — that Benavides was just angry, but wouldn’t act.
Then, about Feb. 14 or 15, 2004, Lawson said Childs contacted her and told her Benavides would be in New Braunfels the following weekend and had information he wanted to bring her.
When Childs contacted her again that following Saturday and said Benavides would be in town to see Lawson that night, she became concerned the plot was real.
"When you heard from Samantha that day that Jonathon was coming, what
were you thinking?” Waldrip asked Lawson.
“Panic," she answered.
“Why were you panicked?” Waldrip asked.
“Because I realized they were serious about this,” Lawson said.
Lawson called her friend, Mandy Reary, who lives with her boyfriend, New Braunfels police officer James Bell.
Waldrip asked why she called Reary.
“Because she made me feel comfortable — she didn’t make me feel crazy,” Lawson said. She said she’d told Reary earlier about being approached by Childs, but that both women decided upon reflection that the plot was “drama,” not something real.
When Lawson gave Reary the newest information, Reary told her friend she should talk to Bell.
Within an hour recounting the story to Bell, Lawson said he had her on the phone talking to Rust. Within a couple hours of that, she met Rust
redraw the floodplain map, reclaiming several acres for development.
Once they make the proposed adjustments to the area, FEMA will give them final approval on the map change, paving the way for final plat approval from the city.
Sabine plans to donate 43 acres of floodplain to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for a trail system along the creek.
Company representative Keith Walkup told commissioners negotiations would ramp up during the next few weeks.
“We are looking at possibilities for grants to help develop the trail system, with our land donation milking up die parks department’s 50 percent matching contribution," he said.
Despite Sabine’s offer to hire a grant writer to assist the city
“The concensus of the board was that this policy wasn’t designed to be punishment.”
— Lee Edwards
directly related to less discipline problems, better attendance and higher grades,” Edwards said. "This keeps them involved while they’re in treatment and gives children an incentive to fully participate."
The previous drug policy
SEE IT YOURSELF
■ To download a PDF of the Oak Creek Estates master plan, go to www.ci.new-braun-fels.tx.us/planning/platting.ht ml. Go the the bottom of the page and click on Oak Creek Estates.
in obtaining funds for the park’s devel-o p rn e n t , Anderson said he was skeptical of the developer’s intentions
................................ in donating
“I just wonder if they’re trying to shuck off a big responsibility on the city with the maintenance of that new park,” he said. “Right now, area neighbors maintain it, repairing fences and burning trash that comes down after a rain. Who will have to do that now and pay for it? The city would.”
If the city decides to pass on the land offer, the Oak Creek Estates Homeowners Association would take over maintenance of the park, a situation that has caused problems for other neighborhoods with major drainage easements in their boundaries.
Residents along the Cypress Rapids Variable Width
required a 30-day suspension after the first positive test, a one-year suspension after the second and a permanent suspension after the third offense.
The list of testable substances includes amphetamines, anabolic steroids, barbiturates, cocaine, LSD, marijuana, methadone, opiates and phencyclidine.
Since alcohol was a substance already covered in the Student Code of Conduct, Edwards said the board decided it would he redundant to include it in the drug testing policy.
and told him the story again.
Rust asked her to go through with the meeting — and created a fictitious “hit man” for Lawson to introduce Benavides to.
“At that time, did you agree to assist Detective Rust?” Waldrip asked.
Lawson said that she had.
“Had you ever been a police informant before?”
“No,” Lawson answered.
“Why did you decided to assist Detective Rust?” Waldrip asked.
“I’d already lost my father over a hit man,” Lawson said. “I thought it was wrong.”
At the meeting, conducted outside a local restaurant where Lawson worked, she secured a cell phone number where the “hit man,” an undercover officer given the name “Damon,” could contact Benavides.
“I told him he was going to have to get a hold of‘Damon, I was out,’” Lawson said.
"What did you mean?" Waldrip asked.
“I was done. He was going to have to talk to Damon,” Lawson said.
Afterward, in the restaurant, Childs and Benavides were joking at their table, she said.
“They were making comments about ‘whacking’ each other,” Lawson said.
She never spoke to Benavides again.
Lawson’s testimony continues at 9 a.m. today.
Drainage Easement recently received a promise of at least $100,000 in city funds to make improvements to their deteriorating ditch.
In other business, the Planning Commission approved rezoning two properties on opposite ends of E. Common Street from residential and special-use permit to commercial.
The property near the corner of E. Common Street and Union Avenue will soon hold two overnight rental triplex buildings, and the property near the corner of E. Common Street and Loop 337 will become part of an adjacent medical building group.
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