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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 13, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas New FELS 20332    11003 10/22/33    7    4 SO-'JES T niCROPUBL I SHING 2627 E YANDELL DR EL POSO, TX 73303-Herald-Zeitung Vol. 148, No. 173    12    pages    in    I    section July 13, 1999 ^ J iS    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852 50 cents Council gives tentative blessing to trails By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer New Braunfels City Council tentatively gave its stamp of approval Monday to four proposed hike-and-bike trails that could cost the city $228,000 in startup costs and $69,000 a year for maintenance. "It’s not that much money in the big picture," District 6 Councilwoman Juliet Watson said. Suspect’s attorney seeks help in defense Judge approves court-appointed lawyer for Adele Hartwig By Chris Crews Staff Writer Capital murder suspect Adele Hartwig is getting help in her defense against charges that she deliberately killed her husband by setting fire to their home earlier this year. Judge Jack Robison of the 207th District granted a request by attorney John Herrick of San Antonio to appoint an attorney to assist him in preparing a defense for Hartwig. Hartwig, 61, was HARTWIG arrested on June 3 after she was indicted for the May 4 death of her husband, 72-year-old Harold Hartwig. She is accused of killing her husband by setting fire to their log cabin on Hueco Springs Loop Road. State law requires counties to provide for the defense of persons financially unable to provide an adequate defense. Counties determine a person’s eligibility for indigent aid by examining their income and assets. Herrick told Robison he had limited jury trial experience and had never tried a capital murder case. Herrick said he became Hartwig’s defense attorney after he was appointed to help settle the will of her late husband. Herrick said, “I need to have someone to help me prepare a defense.” Assistant Criminal District Attorney Jim Noble said it was “a little unusual” for the court to appoint an attorney to assist a client-paid attorney, but he had no objections to Robison’s actions. Robison also approved funding for a private investigator to follow up on new information on the case and a psychological evaluation of Hartwig. Herrick said he could not divulge the nature of the new information he had obtained. ‘i’ve got to protect that big time,” he said. Noble said the prosecution’s case was nearly complete, but Adele Hartwig’s mental health was not an issue. “She would have to be ruled incompetent to stand trial or insane, and we do not believe she is either of those things,” Noble said. Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip said he would not pursue the death penalty for Hartwig. If convicted, she would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison. At her June 15 arraignment, State District Judge Gary Steel lowered her bond from $150,000 to $80,000. However, Herrick said he had not been able to raise the IO percent cash, $8,000, to get Hartwig released. WATSON But other members of council questioned spending that kind of money on trails when drainage and street issues were more pressing needs. "I have neighbors whose yards fill up with water every time it rains; what am I sup posed to tell them?" District 2 Councilman Larry Alexander asked. Eventually, Alexander and the rest of council voted to support the plan, which means a local nonprofit group will submit four plans to the Texas Department of Transportation in a request for 80 percent funding. Twenty percent of the funding must come locally through the city, private donations or in-kind contributions. Council won’t have to decide for sure whether the city will participate until state funding is granted in November. And even then, the city would have three years to decide. Without council's support, the grant money would be taken away. "We’re lucky to get this much of a matching grant," Watson said, suggesting council look into using sales tax revenue to hind construction and maintenance of the trails. The $2.4 million total cost for the four separate proposals could receive up to $1.9 million in state funds. Officials from Comal County I rails, Inc., the local nonprofit doing the legwork for the proposal, said they figure on receiving about $208,000 in in-kind contributions (mostly land donations), which means another $288,000 must be raised — possi- See COUNCIL/3 Training for life Trustees OK $3.5 million budget hike BETTY T A YLOR/Herald-Zertung Judy Baseler trains for a marathon near her house as her husband, Neal (in truck), cheers her on. Below, Baseler wears her Leukemia Society of America T-shirt proudly. NB woman prepares to walk against leukemia By Betty Taylor Herald-Zeitung Correspondent Often, our lives are filled with signs and messages that we overlook. We go on with our busy days and ignore the signs that would lead us to a higher sense of purpose and fulfillment. Judy Baseler, a 56-year-old registered nurse, decided to pay attention to the sign she received. It came in the form of a small, colored brochure advertising a fund-raising walk in Cozumel, Mexico, for the Leukemia Society of America. Baseler, who never walked a marathon before in her life, is planning to participate in the 26.2 mile marathon in November. The fact that she is recover ing from elbow surgery and still undergoing physical therapy did not dissuade her. “It looked like fun,” she said. “It’s a personal challenge for me .... I will be 57 when I walk the marathon. It takes seven hours to finish the marathon.” The nurse is part of a group of about 90 walkers and runners in and around San Antonio who are planning to make the Mexico trip. About 45 bikers from the area are planning to participate in the Leukemia Society’s Bike for the Century event in Las Vegas during November. Baseler said she had several reasons for walking in the marathon — among them, Christianna Claire Mueller, a 5-year-old San Antonio girl who has acute lymphatic leukemia and is in remission; Ray Baseler, a family cousin who was diagnosed with leukemia; and in memory of Ed Wetzel, a family cousin See TRAINING/3 By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District taxpayers will be asked to help pay for a $3.5 million increase in education costs next year after trustees adopted the 1999-2000 budget on Monday. NBISD administrators also recommended a 6-cent increase on next year’s tax rate, bringing it to REAVES    $l 71 Per HEAVES    $100 valua- tion, in order to balance the $38.5 million budget. Trustees are scheduled to vote on the tax increase on July 20. During a tax rate hearing prior to the budget adoption Monday, two patrons spoke against a maximum $ 1.73 tax rate, an eight-cent increase from the current $1.65 per $100 valuation. With the $1.73 maximum tax rate, taxes on the average home in NBISD could increase by $108, or 9.97 percent. With the $ 1.65 tax rate this year, the average homeowner paid $ 1,081 on a home valued at $80,573. The average home rn NBISD next year is estimated to be worth' $83,774. With the $ 1.73 maximum rate, the average homeowner could pay $ 1, 189. New Braunfels resident Bob Janzen said he was concerned about the quality of education taxpayers were getting. “You don’t see the quality of education raising at 8 percent, which is what you want to tax us,” he said. Trustees hire new high school baseball coach — Page 8 Superintendent Ron Reaves said the increase in the budget was “slashed dramatically” from a $6 million wish list of budget requests. Resident Joseph Hartigan said he did not believe the school district should rely so much on the taxpayers because most of the properties were residential. NBISD business manager David Rastel I ini said the maximum tax rate was the highest rate the district could impose but not necessarily the tax rate the board would approve. The biggest increases in next year’s budget came from $2.5 million for salary increases, $1 million to close a budget deficit from the 1998-99 school year, and $ I million for program growth. Recent legislation requires school districts to give teachers and counselors a step pay increase from the 1998-99 salary schedule and a raise of $300 per contract month. All other district personnel w ill receive pay raises this year as well. Also Monday, trustees decided to keep a $50,000 budget item to fund a $ 1,000 pay differential between teachers w ith master’s and bachelor’s degrees. The budget also included a request by trustees to fund $44,000 for a district grant writer. Reaves recommended the board cut costs to make room in the budget. “I do not want us to go any further on the tax rate,” Reaves said. Inside Abby............................. .........5 Classifieds................. ...8-12 Comics........................ ........8 Crossword................... ........5 Forum.......................... ........6 Local/Metro.................. ........4 Movies......................... ........5 Obituaries.................... ........3 Sports..................... 8 Today........................... ........2 Television..................... ........8 Key code 76 Infectious disease clinic moving down the block By Heather Togo Staff Writer A local infectious disease clinic that provides medical treatment for area HIV and AIDS patients soon will move to new headquarters - about a half a block down the street. Dr. Alison Berry, an infectious disease private practitioner, has been operating her clinic at the office of Dr. James Hicks at 598 North Union Ave. since March 1998. However, Hicks is expected to relocate his private practice to Austin, and Berry’s lease for the office space will expire Aug. I. “/ ’rn probably seeing about 15 to 20patients infected with HIV or AIDS, but whats alarming is that I 'rn seeing new ones each month that have just been diag-nosed." Dr. Alison Berry infectious disease practitioner Berry and her staff'have spent the past few weeks searching for a new location to continue treating local residents suffering from infectious diseases. The clinic w ill move later this month to off ice space at 535 North Union Ave. next to Comal Drug, which was previously Dr. Donald Kennady’s office. Patncia Cole, office manager, nurse, and administrative assistant for Berry, said although the lease was up Aug. I, Berry and her staff needed to be out of the office earlier to allow the new tenant time to move in. Cole said a new local doctor, Charles Lano, would be leasing the office space at 598 North Union .^e. Cole said Berry’s office probably would See CLINIC/3 ;