New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
THURSDAY, JULY 7,2005
SPORTS LITTLE LEAGUE
Teams from New Braunfels, Canyon Lake continue march toward district title games. Page 6A
Suspect in New Braunfels throat slashing is located in Alaskan fishing town.
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 198 14 pages, 2 sections
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DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6A TV GRIDS 3B
nuToddler steals spotlight in ‘hit-man’ trial
By Leigh Jones
Testimony in the inurder-for-hire trial ended with a dramatic twist Wednesday as the toddler at the center of the plot entered the courtroom in the arms of his grandfather.
Jurors looked surprised and defense attorneys Glen Peterson and Tony Cantrell jumped up in protest when Jonathon Benavides' 3-year-old son made his appearance during his mother’s testimony.
Stacy Satterfield, Benavides’ former girlfriend, had just told jurors
about the last time the child’s father had seen him, in September 2002.
While Peterson and Cantrell argued with District Attorney Dib Waldrip in front of Judge Jack Robison’s bench, jurors glanced from the lawyers to the child, with several of the women seeming to have difficulty keeping their eyes off the boy’s smiling face.
Benavides also stole glances at his son and offered a hesitant smile several times.
Unaware of the stir he was causing, the child laughed happily at his grandfather as Robison asked the jury to leave the room.
Peterson immediately moved for a mistrial.
“This is a blatant attempt to prejudice the jury against my client, that’s pretty clear,” he said.
Waldrip told Robison he had no intention of having the child stay in the courtroom but wanted the jury to see him.
“The jury is entitled to see who is the basis for Jonathon Benavides allegedly wanting to have Stacy Satterfield killed,” he said.
Robison denied Peterson’s request for a mistrial, asked Satterfield’s father and the child to leave and brought the jury back
into the room.
Prompted by questions from Waldrip, Satterfield told jurors while Benavides had not made an attempt to see the child, he did ask for a picture of him in January 2003.
“I didn’t think anything of that, but then he asked for a picture of me as well. I thought that was a bit strange. I thought he might try to do something,’’ she said.
In November 2003, Satterfield received another call from Benavides, who asked her if they still lived in the same place.
See TRIAL, Page 3A
Superintendent candidates remain a secret
By Leigh Jones
Comal Independent School District patrons hoping to gather background information on candidates for the school system’s top spot are out of luck — at least for a few more weeks.
The CISD school board has refused to release the names of the four superintendent applicants in town today and tomorrow for second interviews.
Although the candidates were selected from an initial pool of 69 applicants, the board has not designated them “finalists,” the litmus test for disclosing their identities.
The Herald-Zeitung requested the names July 5 under the Texas Open Records Act. The school district has IO business days to respond to the request, but officials indicated verbally they did not intend to comply.
According to government code 552.126, an exception to the Texas Open Records Act,
See SECRET, Page 3A
Qty manager Chuck Pinto is leaving, so what is the city doing to find a leader?
Divers continue search for missing woman
By Ron Maloney
CANYON LAKE — Divers spent Tuesday night searching without success for the body of a 35-year-old woman missing since early Sunday and believed drowned.
San Marcos Area Recovery Team divers and technicians spent the night on the lake in the area between Canyon Dam and Overlook Park using digital side scan sonar equipment to look for the woman, reported missing after a midnight swim off a boat.
SMART worked until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Comal County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Mark Reynolds said late Wednesday there was no new information available on the incident.
“The SMART team is searching for her. Other than that, we’re really at a standstill
See DIVERS, Page 3A
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A WEATHER CALAMITY
Heat, lack of rain take a toll on many
By Ron Maloney
Like most summers in Comal County, it’s pretty hot and dry at the Dietert place out on Watson Lane East, where temperatures Wednesday were forecast to hit IOO degrees
The Dieterts have corn and sorghum in the ground, and the corn, such as it is, will be harvested soon. This summer, die Dieterts will be buying feed for their livestock.
"It’s hot and dusty,” Clinton Dietert said Wednesday afternoon.
“It needed water a long time ago, and most eveiything’s shut down.”
Early spring was dry; there was a little rain iii May and just over an inch in June. Still, with temperatures in the high 90s each day and an operation that uses no irrigation, the Dieterts don’t see much growing these
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Photos by DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Leon, left, and Clinton Dietert look over ears of corn withering on the stalk at their family farm on FM 1101.The two say that no amount of rain can save the crop now. Below, the Dieterts walk through what is left of their crop.
Fire danger high
Things drying out and burning up are becoming statewide concerns this summer. Public officials who steward the region’s
groundwater say the Edwards
Aquifer is still at ...............................
least a month away from Stage I water restrictions — last imposed in 2000 — even if there is no rainfall before August. But they urge water conservation.
Comal County Fire Marshal Lin
■ Landscape watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is prohibited year-round in New Braunfels, unless you are using a handheld hose, bucket or drip-irri-gation system.
lf additional water restrictions become necessary, notices will be issued in the Herald-Zeitung, on the NBU Web site at www.nbutex-as.com and are available on the NBU information line at 608-8925.
Manford says nearly half of this state’s 254 counties — 118 as of Wednesday — have imposed burn bans. In Comal County, a bum ban has been in place since last month, and certain fireworks were banned for the Fourth of July.
“Yesterday morning, I checked and there were 105 counties with a burn ban. In the afternoon, the number had increased to I IO and now it is 118,” Manford said. “Numbers are increasing daily. It’s
See DRY, Page 5A
Garden Ridge celebrates 33rd birthday by remembering past
By Melissa Johnson
Garden Ridge is celebrating 33 years as a city by remembering its past.
What was once known as the Little Town of Schoenthall became the City of Garden Ridge when the town incorporated on July 6,1972.
“Citizens of Garden Ridge and the founding fathers decided they would rather guide their own des
tiny titan be annexed by San Antonio or Schertz,” Mayor Jay Feibel-man said.
During those days, Feibelman said road maintenance was the responsibility of 15 volunteers who patched potholes out of the back of former Mayor Paul Davis’ pickup truck.
The population at the time was about 300, according to lifelong resident Melford George. The 74-
year-old Garden Ridge native recalls a much different city than the one in which he currently resides.
“In the early days, when I grew up and went to school in Davenport, you could count die cars diat drove the roads at night," George said.
When Garden Ridge was still predominately a farming and ranching town, George said the
town’s main source of entertainment was old-time folk/waltz dancing, bowling and evening visits with neighbors.
In 1972, former resident Clyde Cox said they only restaurant in town was the Country Corner, a hamburger joint located at the intersection of I ’M 3009 and Interstate 35.
See BIRTHDAY, Page 2A
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DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Jonathon Benavides, left, talks to his attorney, Glen Peterson, after leaving the courthouse Wednesday.