New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 28, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Incinerator project is on hold
Comal River.......... 282 cfs (down 8)
Canyon inflow .........317 cfs (up 43)
Canyon outflow........ 800 cfs (same)
Edwards Aquifer 625.27 (down .05)
Canyon Lake level .... 910.69 (down .11)
Task force approves of water legislation
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New Braunfels. Texas
July 28,1985 50 Cents
32 Pages —2 Sections
Tragedy mars weekend
By SARAH DUKE Staff Writer
Tragedy marked this weekend for a few of the thousands in Comal County trying to enjoy themselves.
A 17-year-old New Braunfels boy was reported drowned at Comal Park on Canyon I,ake Saturday afternoon as he was swimming with his brother and friends.
‘ The boys said they had just gone in the water and started to swim out to the point when he started
struggling and hollering for help.” said Neal Etheredge, state game warden who dragged the lake for the boy’s body.
The victim’s name is being held pending notification of parents.
Saturday’s search for the body continued until dark and resumed this morning before sunrise. Diver Randy Tomasini searched the area before Etheredge and l>ee Hunt, with the Army Corp of Engineers, began dragging the bottom of the lake.
Etheredge said the area where witnesses last saw the boy is clear and shallow. He expects to find the body today.
This drowning is the sixth in Comal County and the fourth at Canyon Lake this year.
A man being arrested for trespassing on the cliffs of Preiss Heights surprised Deputy Constable George Smith when the man took
See DROWNING, Page 1«A
Jury finds Smith guilty
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Sidney Franklin Snuth of New Braunfels was convicted Friday on two counts of sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl last December.
Smith, 28, will be sentenced on Aug 29 In the meantime, 207th District Court Judge Robert Pf cuff er remanded Smith to the custody of the Comal County Sheriff’s Office Friday, and ordered a pre-sentence investigation on him by the Adult Probation Office.
A Comal County jury deliberated
almost three hours before deciding Smith was guilty on both counts, which allegedly occurred on Dec. IO. 1984.
Smith took the witness stand Thursday and denied any sexual contact with the child.
Defense Attorney Mark Clark asked. Did you ever touch her down in her panties?”
Smith said no.
But in a taped confession to police on Dec. 12, 1984, Detective Ray Douglas asked Smith the same question, and he replied, "Well, I didn t mean to do it.”
* Okay, did you put your finger in her?,” Douglas continued.
"Yeah. But I didn t mean to do it,” Smith said.
The jury also heard testimony from the child's mother, who said she lied in her statement to police confirming the alleged assault incidents.
"I got scared, I guess. I didn’t know what I was saying,” she said Wednesday. "I was scared, because they were going to take i the child’s name i away from me.”
The girl is now four years old, and living in a licensed foster home in San Antonio.Police pony
Could these hooves be the Police Depart merit's new mode of transportation? No, they're two strays that were found wandering around East Faust and Seguin streets late Thursday night They were rounded up by _Officer Doug Dunlap and reserve Mark Walker,
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who tied them to the bumper of their car to get them to the police station. Officer Martin Meyer, pictured, let them graze there until they were picked up by the Humane Society Friday morningWastewater plant bonds are sold
Water: ‘Use it or lose it'
By SARAH DUKE Staff Writer
CI BOU) — A syndicate of companies headed b> lX*an Witter Rev Holds Inc. was tile low bidder for a I*) audion bond issue by the Cibolo Creek Municipal Authont) Thursday night.
The bond money will bt* used to expand the (’UM A's wastewater treatment plant
Tile plant serves Schertz, Cibolo, Selma, Randolph Air Force Base and portions of Universal City, live Oak
and northeast San Antonio.
The syndicate bid 9.11 percent interest on the bonds.
"That is really an excellent rate." >»aid Tom Weaver, CCMA’s general manager Weaver said he had been expecting a rate of more than IO percent interest.
"We were very pleased with the ratings,” Weaver said.
CCM A received three bids. all under IO percent.
The authority will accept bids on construction of tile plant in about a month and, Weaver said, hopes to
begin construction by November.
The treatment plant now has a capacity to serve more than 30,000 people although only 27,000 are served.
After expansion, the plant will be able to serve 75.000 people.
We have to plan way ahead," Weaver said "If we don’t have the capacity, a city can’t grow,” he added.
Weaver expects the plant expansion to be in operation by the end of 1987 or early 1988
Bv DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
If you want to keep it. you’d better start using it.
That’s the advice from Elbert Hooper, an Austin attorney, on New Braunfels Utilities’ 1914 water rights pernuts to 6,947 acre feet annually from the Comal River.
The majority of that goes to operate the Landa Park hydroelectric unit, but the rest is permitted for the municipal water wells excavated at the headwaters of the Comal River. No use of that water right has been reported since 1958.
"My main point is if you want to preserve it (waterI, you should start using it. But not for the sake of just using it.” Hooper told Utilities trustees Thursday . "It must be used benefically.”
Utilities Manager Bob Sohn said Hunter and Associates of Austin is looking into a possible reservoir site to capture the permitted surface water.
Hooper was hired by Utilities to study the city’s existing water rights, and will be paid out of the Water Resource Development Fund.
He also recommended the recycling of effluent from the Kuehler W'astewater Treatment Plant or through the proposed lake Dunlap Water Treatment Plant
Utilities could also acquire additional surface water rights by contracting with the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority for water from Canyon lake, or condemnation of water rights, or the exercising the municipal water use preference under the Texas Water Code.
The water rights used to operate
the luanda Park hydro unit could also be amended from industrial to municipal use. and change of point of diversion. However, Hooper said possible legal problems could crop up because of non-use of this right for industrial purposes since 1973.
"Non-use for IO years can subject any right to cancellation,” Hooper said.
A separate permit allows for golf course irrigation, but current overuse of water could also lead to an enforcement action by the state.
"The maximum amount of use under this permit in the past IO years was 230 acre feet in 1980, which is in excess of the permit limit,” Hooper said. "Excessive use has been reported for 1971-74 and 1977-1984
"This permit needs to be amended. It’s being violated, and you could get chastised by the state later.”Comal County takes look at number of jailers needed
By ULLIAN THOMAS Staff Writer Jail administrator John Jenkins reduced his request for additional jailers to two full-tune and two part-tune m a jail workshop Friday.
Earlier the jail staff had estimated their needs at six more jailers, but Jenkins said ll.c e numbers included present needs as well as anticipating the arrival of 40-50 federal prisoners once the contract with the U S mars! ta I was signed Conumssioners signed the contract with the U.S. marshal Thursday.
The workshop was tile second attempt to inform county commissioners why tile jailers were needed. The first workshop Monday had not been scheduled at a time when commissioners could observe visitation and exercise schedules which were the main areas needing more coverage.
"One jailer (for each of two shifts) is needed for the security and orderly operation of the inmate visiting roum,” a budget proposal for commissioners court said "This jailer will also be able to assist iii the exercise area.”
One part-time jailer would cover these two officers’ days off, and another part-time jailer "is needed to assist with the booking process during peak times,” the proposal went on.
Commissioner Bill George asked how many inmates the jail could handle with the additional jailers.
"Up to 50,” Jenkins said. which is 20 more than the average right now.
"But once the marshal starts sending us people, he’s going to dump 40-50 people at one time. Though there will be some turnover, he will keep a pretty steady flow through here,” he said.
"What concerned me is hiring these people before we had the prisoners rn place,” George said. "I know you have to train them
utters), but that can be done as you go.”
Jenkins agreed that with increasing the number of jailers by at least this request, he could wait to see how many federal prisoners actually came and how the staff was able to handle the load.
Commissioner J.L. "Jumbo” Evans wanted to know how many jailers still needed formal training of his present staff.
"Eight jailers, but Travis County Jailers Academy agreed to send two instructor* to conduct the academy here and all I have to pay for is their travel expenses,” the jail administrator said.
"If I had to send them all up to Austin I’d be lucky to get half of them certified in a year,” Jenkins commented. "And it’s going to save a lot of money to the taxpayers, which is out of my pocket too."
Jenkins explained that his present needs arose from a court order, which required the jail population to be segregated in all activities into
those who have been convicted and those who have not been convicted, as well as felons from uusdemeanor offenders.
"With the old jail we had a variance, but once the new jail was built, the court order went into full effect and we don’t get a variance
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff Writer
Medications, treatment and physicians’ fees are threatening to use up the $10,000 jail medical budget.
"We are reviewing the amount (rf the bills and seeing whether it is more econonucal to have a part-time health officer or continue with the present arrangement,” County Judge Fred Clark said after a recent jail workshop.
The cost of physicians’ visits had never been figured in the jail medical budget because the county health officer was paid through another department. He treated the pnsoners’s medical problems, until he quit six months ago, jail administrator John Jenkins explained in a telephone interview.
"I have used up $8,045 of my $10,000 budget,"Jenkins told commissioners in Monday’s workshop. "That’s
any more,” Jenkins explained.
The court order came out of an out-of-court settlement in a case filed by jail inmates against the county for conditions in the jail. The new jail was part of the agreement.
"In theory we could have 14 inmates in the exercise area at one
through the end of June. In June alone we spent $1,100 and that was all medications and x-rays.”
Jenkins also expressed concern that the doctor who currently sees prisoners might be conned by inmates into giving too much medication for pain and drug abuse withdrawal.
"Most of this $8,000 is for medication,. and a lot (rf it is pain medication,” Jenkins told commissioners.
But Clark later said, "We ought to rely upon the physician’s medical judgement in these matters, but that also means that you need to have a doctor you have confidence in.”
Dr. Jack Bergfeld, the jail physician, said in a telephone interview that he kept it down as much as possible, but that some inmates ’’do put on quite an act at times.”
See MEDICAL, Page UA
time,” Jenkins said, "but to meet the court order requirement, actually we rarely have more than seven in a group.”
The contact visiting area requires more jailers to supervise additional visiting hours needed for segregated populations and to handle the shakedowns that occur before and after visits.
The prisoners must strip and change into special coveralls under observation and then reverse the process before returning to their cells.
Jenkins said a part-time jailer was needed in the central control and booking area because the jail staff had miscalculated how busy thatToday's Weather
Today and Monday will be hot and sunny with highs reaching the upper 90s. Skies will be clear to partly cloudy with southeast winds seven to IO mph. Tonight’s low should be in the mid-70s. Saturday's high was 96 and the low Saturday morning was 70.Hanging in
Kent Hance and Tom Loeffler are still interested in the governor’s seat, despite the fact that former Republican governor KU Clements has indicated he will seek the same slot. Loeffler, Page 2A.
area would be.
"We had planned to have the central control person help with booking and supervise the bondsman and attorney visiting area,” Jenkins said. "As it turns out, during the day the hardest job is the speaker board and door control. In the evenings when we get all the drunks, that’s when things really get hairy.”
The jail administrator predicted an mcrease in local arrests which will eventually increase the jail population. "Before, law enforcement officers let some people go because they knew we didn’t have the room for them,” Jenkins explained.
See JAIL, Page UA
Jail medical budget almost depletedInside