New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 16, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
ALEX MEIXNER READIES 2 NEW BRAUNFELS SHOWS WEEKEND. 6
SERVING NEW BRAUNFELS SINCE 1852Fireworks, open grilling bannedComal County officials ask Gov. Perry to extend prohibition until midnight July 5
By Will Wright
After declaring a state of local disaster resulting from the ongo-
ing drought, Comal County Judge Sherman Krause banned tne use, sale or transport of fireworks, and severely restricted any type of outdoor burning in two executive orders issued Wednesday.
"This morning at 9 a.m. we issued a dec laration of local disaster for Comal County because of the dry conditions and the threat of wildfire," Krause said. "We then issued an Executive Order 270,
banning the sale of fireworks."
Krause said the fireworks ban is good for 60 hours. He sent an emergency request to Gov. Rick Perry to extend that order until midnight on July 5.
"We fully expect he will do that because he's done it for a few of our surrounding counties," Krause said, referring to
Guadalupe and Bexar counties.
Executive Order 271 restricts the use of combustible materials and places tight limits on any type of outdoor burning activities, including welding and cooking.
"We've restricted those," Krause said. "If someone wants to conduct outdoor welding activities, they can call our fire mar
shal's office and file a safety plan. They will still be able to conduct those activities with certain guidelines."
Anyone cooking outdoors must use a device with a manufactured lid — no open grills, no open flames, Krause said.See BAN, Page 5
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► SEXUAL ASSAULT
By Daiondo Moultrie
After only about 30 minutes Wednesday afternoon, a Comal County jury convicted a 19-year-old man of sexually assaulting a then-12-year-old girl at a New Braunfels teen shelter.
"We are very pleased witn the verdict. We believe it was swift justice," _ District Attor-
Byron !leV Jennifer
Marc Russell Byron faces at least five years in prison and up to a life sentence, his attorney Bill Harris of Spring Branch said.
Byron stood shaking in disheveled clothes and with his hair mussed as Judge Charles R. Ramsay read the five guilty verdicts.
Harris said he thought he was fighting a losing battle. He said he put on no witnesses and only went to trial because it was Byron's decision to do so. And he so much as told the jury so during his closing argument.
"I wanted the jury to know, in effect, it wasn't my choice to try the case," Harris said. "I emphasized that it is the right of anyone to a trial by jury."
According to testimony, Byron and the girl were in a boys' room March 25, 2010, at a facility run by Connections Individual and Family Services on San Antonio Street, where he assaulted her. Staff members searched for the pair and one saw them come out the bathroom, at which time the girl said Byron had assaulted her, several witnesses testified.
Byron, who was convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency by contact, had practically confessed during a video-recorded interview with police that Assistant District Attorney Jennifer C. Smith played.
Harris said the video, added with the victim's testimony, made the DA's case insurmountable.
"They had the testimony from the girl," he said. "She made an immediate outcry. They found the victim and the defendant together where they said the offense occurred and third, when police interviewed him he confessed."
! ► P0NZI SCHEME
Stanford investors eligible for fund
Many investors who lost money in the alleged Ponzi scheme run by jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford should be compensated by a special reserve fund mandated by Congress that protects customers of failed brokerage firms, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.
The SEC's conclusion differs from a decision by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC, the group that runs the reserve fund. It had said two years ago that Stanford's investors were not eligible for such compensation.
SIPC, an industry-funded group that rescues investors when brokerage firms fail, said it would take the SEC's decision under advisement before dec iding how to proceed.
"SIPC's Board will review the referral, and analyze the SEC's underlying documentation as quickly as possible," SIPC President and CEO Stephen Harbeck said.
The SEC filed a civil suit in Dallas in February 2009 claiming Stanford was running a massive Ponzi scheme. A receiver appointed to run Stanford's companies after the SEC lawsuit was filed has been tracking down the assets of Stanford and his companies as part of efforts to recover investors' money.
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NBU looking for water use violations
By Daiondo Moultrie
Water abusers beware.
So far, since New Braunfels Utilities called for Stage II restrictions June 1, conservation officers have written two tickets, said NBU communications director Gretchen Reuwer. She said the majority of violations observed were corrected after the customer received a warning letter, and the two violations that warranted tickets have since been rectified.
Reuwer said NBU personnel in the field look for violations and educate customers to get them back to
compliance. The company also learns of violations through a telephone number citizens can call to report infractions, Reuwer said.
"The first time a report is made, we send a customer a notification letter and let them know a report has been made," she said. "If a second violation occurs in any 12-month period, our conservation compliance offers will go out and verify that the violation is taking place."
Reuwer said a second violation warrants a $25 penalty on the water bill. The next violation costs $100 and a fourth can run $300. She said
a compliance officer can also issue a citation that means a customer would be in violation of a city ordinance and have to hash it out in district court.
Stage III water restrictions are likely on the way and with them come more changes.
Reuwer said Stage III incurs a higher emphasis on enforcement. Other entities, including police, could be used to help with enforcement, she said.
"We haven't arranged for that to take place yet, but that's definitely something that would have to be considered," Reuwer said.
BIRDS OF PREY ON DISPLAY
A real scorcher!
High: 102 Low: 77
firasswki- _ .....
Photos by LAURA McKENZIE | Herald-Zeitung
Kelly Rayner of Last Chance Forever, The Bird of Prey Conservancy gives attendees of a program Wednesday at Canyon Lake’s Tye Preston Memorial Library a close-up view ot a barn owl.
LAST CHANCE FOREVER
Vol. 1581 No. 186 1 section, 16 pages
Last Chance Forever is a non-profit organization based in San Antonio that works to rehabilitate and release back into the wild injured, sick or orphaned birds of prey. The organization is funded by donations, foundations, corporate sponsorships and educational programs. For information, visit lastchanceforever.org or call (210) 499-4080.
A great horned owl starts to spreads its wings while being held by Kelly Rayner during a presentation by Last Chance Forever, The Bird of Prey Conservancy.
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