New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 94-No. 117
June 14,198F 25 Cents
22 Pages —2 Sections
By DANA OVERSTREET Staff writer
A misdirected landing Thursday flipped a plane at New Braunfels Municipal Airport, leaving the student pilot in guarded condition today at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital
A hospital spokeswoman said guarded is “one step up from critical.” She said the man underwent spine surgery and is listed as “improving and stable.”
The owner of the plane. Jack Thiel of 4915 Cherry Tree, Cibolo, was treated and released from McKenna Memorial Hospital Thursday afternoon.
About 1:40 p.m. Thursday, James Greg Eichler of 1347 Ixickhill in Selma, was attempting to land a twin engine Beechcraft on a runway at the airport, where the plane is housed.
“He was distracted by a tractor in the field or something,” said New Braunfels Police Lt. John Worn-
Checking the damage
Forest View North residents tell of escapes, seek disaster relief
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
Commissioner Bill George inspected flood damage in the Forest View North subdivision, and vowed to help subdivision residents in their request for disaster aid.
“We need to help these guys,” George said Thursday. “I’m going to see if I can get the (county) judge to write a letter to the governor, asking for this disaster aid. They definitely had a lot of water come through here, and it tried to take everything with it.” The high waters that swept through the area June 6 where Comal, Blanco and Hays counties meet managed to take a lot with it: cars, trucks, tractors,
livestock, houses, and their contents, including people, but the people scrambled to safety.
For every household, there is a story of fear and survival, and even humor.
“You can see where the water came to before the house began to float,” said Adrian Gammage, pointing to a watermark about two feet up the side of his house. “We were inside when it started floating, then it suddenly came down about five feet away from where it had stood.”
When the house “came down,” it sent the plumbing shooting up through the floorboards, so that
Tom Mullikin's barn wound up a half-mile downstream
the toilet was sitting about three feet off the floor.
“It’s a good thing I wasn’t sitting on it at the time,” Gammage joked. “I could have gotten a nose bleed.”
The house was stopped from
going on down river by the trees that it rested against. But the water continued to rise, so the Gariunage family decided to make a run for it.
“All of the utilities were severed when the house moved except the
DERYLCLARK HERALD ZftTUNG
telephone,” Gammage said. “And I’ll have to give the General Telephone a compliment, it stayed working through all of it.” Gammage called the sheriffs department at 2 a rn. and asked for either a boat or a helicopter to
take his family out, but by 2:45 a.m. he called the sheriff back and told him a boat could not get through.
“There’s no point in getting someone else stuck out here," he said. “It would be just one more person needing rescue. But I told him, ‘if you got a helicopter around there handy, I wouldn’t mind if you sent that ’ ”
There were none available, so the Gammages had to get out as best they could.
"We had to swim out in chest high water,” Gammage recalled. “And there were so many fire ants in the water, I got stung so man) times I got a little sick from it.” Joe Collard, another resident of the Forest View North subdivision, rode out the flood on the roof of his house, which sits on piers 14 feet above ground “When I woke up at I a.m. or so the water was still in its banks and had 5-7 feet to go before it came out,” Collard recalled. “But in 30 minutes it rose out of the banks and was 3-4 feet above ground here.”
Collard ran down and opened the dog pens, which allowed his four dogs to run to the house He tried to save his vehicles and horses, but there was no time.
“As the water kept rising, I put anything I could think of that
See ESC APES. Page 10A
A Canyon Lake man whfl authorities believe was the
ringleader of an international drug smuggling operation pleaded guilty to continuing criminal enterprise Thursday in federal court in San Antonio
Peter William VanFlagg. arrested near his residence Nov. 30, 1984 pleaded guilty to the charge in a plea bargain agreement under which he will be sentenced to no more than 15 years in prison.
VanFlagg, 38, faces a minimum sentence of IO years without parole or probation.
Many other drug charges, including conspiracy to manufacture, possess and import methamphetamine and cocaine, were dropped in the bargain.
Before the plea bargain, VanFlagg faced a maximum sentence of life in prison He had been charged with 29 other counts, including cocaine and methaphetamine smuggling charges
Included in the bargain, reached by defense attorneys and prosecutors, is the assurance that VanFlagg's wife, L^ea Beth Jones, also will be allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to file income tax returns. Jones, whose plea is expected today, will receive a one-year probated sentence.
Lawmen are saying that VanFlagg
See VANFLAGG, Page 10A
Guardian Angels plan San Antonio chapter
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Lack of police cooperation won’t stop the Guardian Angels from organizing in San Antonio, the head of the group says.
Curtis Sliwa, founder of the New-York based crime-watch patrol, said he will try to win police support at a meeting with Assistant Police Chief James Robinson today.
But in a news conference Thursday, Sliwa said police cooperation will not make or break the Guardian Angel effort in San Antonio.
“We’ve made the commitment to come here,” Sliwa said.
“The only thing that could stop us is no recruits,” said Sliwa, wearing the Angels’ trademark red beret and red and white Guardian Angels T-shirt.
Sliwa said the group is moving into San Antonio because some citizens have expressed an interest in the organization.
Also, some trained Guardian Angels have moved to San Antonio and can lead the three-month training classes required for Angel volunteers.
A recruitment effort on the West Side will begin the week of June 23,
Sliwa has announced organization drives for San Antonio twice before, but this time he says ifs for real.
He also said the group plans to organize border patrols beginning in July in the Brownsville area.
The Guardian Angels already have such patrols in the San Ysidro Canyon along the Mexican border in California.
Citing “inefficiency of the U.S. Border Patrol,” Sliwa said illegal aliens are falling prey to bandits.
Sliwa said his group has a working relationship with police departments in 15 of the 57 cities where they operate.
Guardian Angel chapters already have been started in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Bryan-College Station, he said.
Sliwa’s wife, Usa Sliwa, in a telephone interview from the Angels’ office in New York, said the organization does not get involved in victimless crimes
“Our purpose is to patrol high crime areas and provide role models for young people and to make citizens’ arrests when we see violent crimes taking place,” she said.
Conia! River .
Canyon inflow Canyon Dam outflow Edwards Aquifer Canyon Lake level
258 (up 121 427 (down 22) 542 isame: 624 59 (up 02) 909 44 (down 02)
It will be partly cloudy and warm today and cloudy tonight and tomorrow night. Expect partly sunny skies Saturday with a 20 percent chance of rain. Today’s high will be near 90 and tonight’s low will drop to about 72.
Bacteria linked to deaths, stillbirths in California
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Twenty-eight deaths or stillbirths and 87 cases of sickness were linked to contaminated cheeses sold mostly to Hispanics, state health officials announced as they ordered the products removed from stores throughout California.
The manufacturer of the cheeses closed down voluntarily.
Most victims of the flu-like illness that has struck since April were women and their children, and all were in Los Angeles and neighboring Orange counties. But state authorities Thursday ordered all cheese produced by Jalisco Mexican Products Inc. off market shelves.^' The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes were detected in samples of Jalisco cheese sent by Dr. Shirley Fannin, associate deputy director of health programs in Los Angeles County. She studied 50 to 60 different foods beginning in mid-May after health officials detected a link in a rash of influenza-like illnesses in the two counties.
Ms. Fannin said she learned Thursday that the cheese was contaminated.
Dr. Claire Broom, chief of the respiratory and special pathogens branch at the CI)C, said listeria monocytogenes, “attacks either people who have some underling disease like cancer, or pregnant women
“But not every pregnant woman who is exposed will become ill You can’t predict what's going to happen — you can just have a probability .”
Ms. Fannin said the infection was being blamed for the deaths of 21 people in Los Angeles County since April. In Orange County, 16 illnesses, 14 of them among Hispanics, led to seven deaths, said Dr. Thomas Prendergast, a county epidemiologist.
Health officials said they realized in retrospect that the cases began two or three months ago in people who had eaten the Cotija and Queso Fresco brand cheeses manufactured by Jalisco.
But the pattern of infection emerged slowly because it involved numerous hospitals in two jurisdictions and the disease, with influenza-like symptoms, is not normally reported to health officials, Prendergast said. Officials said it
can be treated with antibiotics Jalisco, named for a Mexican state, manufactures white, soft mild-colored cheeses often used in cooking. Its factory' in Artesia was closed.
"We don’t know if it’s anything in our cheese,” said Stephen Gigliotti, an attorney for the company. “Right now we are running tests and the government is running tests and we’ll find out what it is.”
Experts from the CIX’ are working with local health officers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inspect the planand its shipping records, Ms Broom said late Thursday “The CIX and FDA will notify the states where the cheese might have been distributed,” she said. “We’re also trying to pin down how the Listeria got into the cheese ”
Ms. Fannin said the bacteria occur naturally in soil and animal viscera and should have been killed during pasteurization.
“Out of the 71 cases (of illness) that we’ve studied, 45 have occurred in either the mother, her child or both,” she said, adding that “all but one were Hispanic.”in plane crash at NB Airport
Firemen inspect the damaged plane, as fire- retardant foam drips off the wing
mack “He got off the runway path
and by the time they noticed, it was too late.”
Wommack said Eichler, 23, tried to land the plane in an adjacent field, but after the back wheels touched ground, the front set of wheels dug in and flipped the plane over. There were no witnesses.More photos, 3A
Both men were trapped inside the cockpit for a while before Thiel, 50, managed to pry his way out of the plane. New Braunfels emergency crews pulled Eichler out of the pilot's seat.
“We had to get down on our stomachs and work him out of his seat and then work him out of the side door,” said Fire Chief Jack Wilson, who said the rescue team, an am-lesl* KRIEWALDT mf RAID UNG bulance and three firetrucks
See (RASH, Page IO A