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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 7, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas 'THI TR SHAYNew Braunfels    june    7,2001 14 pages in 2 sections _i_    14    pages    in    2    secticHerald-Zeitung *■ Hmm——mm ...........v; —--- * , * ' 'j -__--------j Vol. 150, No. 178 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Commission targets homes in By Amy Clarkson Staff Writer One building is being repaired, another tom down. Two others sit vacant — as the city waits for responses from homeowners. Each month, New Braunfels’ Building Standards Commission addresses problems found in every city — vacant, substandard buildings; homes in need of repair; houses that neighbors complain are falling apart and infested with rodents. The commission works each month with homeowners from properties around New Braunfels. Planning department officials who are responsible for enforcing the city’s building codes investigate the homes. After the investigation — which requires a warrant or homeowner’s permission — the building is referred to the commission. Homeowners also can take action to fix the problems before the commission hears them. But this month, two homeowners failed to appear before the commission to discuss ways to repair them, Michael Resendez said. Resendez is the city’s legal assistant and staff liaison to the commission. Three of the houses represent ongoing negotiations with homeowners, he said, including one at 146 Baden that almost certainly will beneed of repairCommissioners— • Shawn Kevin Rutledge, chairman, legal representative • Mary Ann Carter, real estate representative • Travis Thrift, development representative • Travis Crim, home building representative • R. Matt Kyle, vice chairman, at large representative torn down. Inherited by a group of siblings, the house See COMMISSIONG Contractor accused of not paying subs By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SPRING BRANCH — A contractor accused of not paying his subcontractors found himself in Comal County Jail early this week. Comal County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Rose said Jack E. Burkett, 43, was jailed Tuesday on a preliminary charge of misapplying trust funds with the intent to defraud. Bond was set at $10,000. Burkett was released from jail Wednesday night after he posted bond. The charge is a third-degree felony under the Tfexas Penal Code and punishable by two to IO years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Burkett’s business, Jack Burkett Homes of Spring Branch, builds homes in western Comal County. Detective Rose said that Burkett, as a contractor, was responsible for paying subcontractors that work for him building a home after drawing construction money from See CONTRACTOR/3A CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels’ Building Standards Commission is giving the owners of this house, at 376 Comanche, a chance to correct problems at the house before the city takes further action. Judge denies execution stay for McVeigh The American dream Housing fair helps those looking for a place to call homeAttorneys say they will appeal By Steven K. Paulson Associated Press Writer DENVER (AP) — A judge denied Timothy McVeigh a further stay of execution Wednesday, saying nothing in newly disclosed FBI documents could change the fact that he was the “instrument of death and destruction” in the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh’s lawyers said they would file an appeal Thursday. The 33-year-old Gulfwar veteran is set to die by injection Monday at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. After a hearing that lasted a little more than an hour, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said he was shocked that the government waited until six days before McVeigh’s original execution date to begin turning over more than 4,400 pages of documents in the case. But he brushed aside McVeigh’s bid to force a hearing over the mistake and said the findings of the jury that convicted McVeigh in 1997 still stand. The jurors “executed their moral judgment as a conscience of the community,” said Matsch, who presided at the trial. “Whatever role others may have played, it’s clear that Timothy McVeigh committed murder and mayhem as charged,” he said. “Whatever may in time be disclosed about possible involvement of others in this bombing, it will not change the fact that Timothy McVeigh was the instrument of death and destruction.” McVeigh’s attorneys had argued that the execution should be delayed because the FBI documents released last month could have helped McVeigh’s defense, perhaps by pointing to the involvement of others in the crime. Matsch said if the FBI had the duty to disclose what it knew to prosecutors, McVeigh had the same duty to tell his lawyers if others were involved in the bombing. Attorney General John Ashcroft said he was pleased with Matsch’s decision. “We’ve never had a doubt about the guilt of Timothy McVeigh,” he said. CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Jackie Cooper, right, of New Braunfels, talks with Joan Chiles from First Texas Mortgage Group Inc. Wednesday at the housing fair in the New Braunfels Civic Center. By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Jackie Cooper went house hunting Wednesday night. Cooper, who works in the admissions office at Southwest Texas State University, has been in Texas for about a year now, and rents in New Braunfels. She wants a home here or in Schertz — even though she works in San Marcos, she said. “I like San Antonio, but I don’t want to live there,” Cooper said. So where was she looking? Cooper started at the beginning by visiting a housing fair sponsored by the city of New Braunfels through its Community Development Block Grant program. On hand to help prospective low-income and first-time home buyers were credit counselors, a representative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Housing Authority of New Braunfels. Also helping were the First Texan Mortgage Group, Mickey Ferrell Realtors, the Greater New Braunfels Homebuilders Association and First State Bank. The New Braunfels Fire Department also was on hand to offer tips about home safety. For the little ones, there was a clown — and balloons. Kathy Puchek, director of the Community Development Block Grant program, organized the event. The program was conducted, Puchek said, to help first-time or low-income prospective homebuyers negotiate the path to their first homes. About 50 families attended the three-hour affair. “I think we were very successful,” Puchek said. Attendance increases each time New Braunfels conducts one of the housing fairs, she said. Under federal guidelines, a family of four is considered low income if its income is less than $36,250 a year. Cooper saw the housing fair advertised on cable television and marked the event on her calendar. “Its all me taking on this adventure,” Cooper said of trying to buy her first home. “I’m interested, and I’m giving myself some time to look. I thought this was a place to start.” She went to the housing fair because she wanted to learn about the process of buying a home. CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Lou Caiazzo, “Lou Lou” the clown, from San Antonio, makes balloons and passes out fans to Jessyka Howard, left, and Trey and Tanner Derickson Wednesday at the housing fair in the New Braunfels Civic Center. “I figured anything I could walk away with would be helpful.” She walked away with quite a bit, too. In Cooper’s situation, she didn’t need to talk to HUD or the See DREAM/3A Research seeks to shed light on Alzheimer’s disease By Martin MALACARA Staff Writer The molecular biology of Alzheimer’s disease is like “thrashing around in the bush,” an Alzheimer’s researcher said Wednesday. Caleb Finch, of the University of Southern California, spoke about Alzheimer’s to fellow researchers at the Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research on Wednesday at T Bar M Ranch. Researchers have gathered in New Braunfels since Saturday to share the latest discoveries in the field of aging science. The conference, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Gerontological Society of America-Biological Sciences Section, ends today. Finch said diagnosing the disease was difficult, mainly because the disease overlapped with other impairments associated with getting older, such as strokes, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. “Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is done very cautiously,” Finch said. Finch said most physicians knew their own diagnoses would be wrong 5 to IO percent of the time. The only way to accurately diagnose the disease is after death, he said. Doctors also are cautious with patients because even the mere mention to someone that he could be prone to have the disease totally affects the person’s well-being, Finch said. “It puts them in a different regard. It means automatic neglect,” he said. Doctors have known about Alzheimer’s since 1905 when it was discovered. Nearly IOO years later, scientists still struggle to understand the dynamics involved with the disease. Finch said the disease only affected select parts of the brain, See RESEARCH/3AInside Abby................................5    A Classifieds.......................4-6B Comics..............................4B Crossword........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................1-3B Today.................................2A Key Code 76 ;