New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 17, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 153, No. 188 12 pages, 2 sections
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
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Lotto fever climbs as jackpot increases
■ 8-9-19-22-26 (8)
■ More results/2A
By Scott Mahon
With the Lotto Texas jackpot estimated at a record $120 million, Mary Martinez, manager at Sac-N-Pac on North Walnut Avenue, has been offered a house, a new car and a plane from hopeful winners.
“I’ve been promised all kinds of things. One lady said if she won, she was going to buy a new home in Colorado and a plane,” said Martinez. “And she said she’d take me to Colorado with her.”
Her hopes and dreams will have to wait a few more days. No numbers
matched those drawn Wednesday night (8-9-19-22-26, bonus ball: 8), so Saturday’s jackpot climbs to an estimated $ 145 million.
Martinez said although lotto players hadn’t rushed to buy tickets Wednesday afternoon, there was a steady stream.
“Its still early, but they asked me to come to work early to help because of the lottery,’’ she said. “A lot of people come in after work to buy tickets.” Andreas Lagamus, 60, bought five lottery tickets Wednesday at B and F Quick
See JACKPOT, Page 3A
NBISD’s actions hint of backroom deal on principals
Unanimous vote predicted in district’s press release
New Braunfels Police Lt. Mike Rust checks the update board, while Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Un Manford and New Braunfels Police Lt. John Wommack consult the information given on the computer.
Is county ready for terror strike?
Disaster drill prepares agencies for the worst
By Bon Maloney
Terrorism comes in almost as many forms as there are terrorists.
Anyone who remembers the Oklahoma City bombing knows terrorists don’t just come from other countries.
Tuesday and Wednesday, local officials learned about a fictional, home-grown terror group, the “Watchful Brotherhood,” and got a look at a frightening future — one where New Braunfels and Comal County are targets of a multi-faceted terrorist attack involving explosions, pneumonic plague — a cousin of the “black death” of the Middle Ages — and a flood from a breached Canyon Dam.
Of course, none of it has happened, but local emergency management, first
responders and community leaders have been practicing how they would deal with each in an exercise managed out of the county's Emergency Operations Center at the sheriff’s office.
The training, an intensive look at responding to terror through weapons of mass destruction, is the focus of a three-month long preparedness program operated by the state Division of Emergency Management and funded by Department of Homeland Security grants.
Today, local officials will debrief with a cadre of exercise “OCs” — observer-coor-dinators — and will receive a written report.
The exercise comes nearly two years See DISASTER. Page 3A
County Nurse Karon Preiss updates Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett and County Judge Danny Scheel on bioterrorism threats during a training workshop Wednesday.
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels Independent School District administrators and trustees deny they agreed in advance on four new principals, but press releases circulated during the meeting suggest they knew the outcome before the official vote June 7.
lhiblic Information Officer Stephanie Ferguson distributed the releases before the vote, while trustees were behind closed doors in an eight-minute executive session. The scheduled session allowed trustees to discuss the four candidates Superintendent Ron Reaves recommended.
If a vote was taken or a consensus reached before the public meeting, board members would have violated the Open Meetings Act, which requires all governmental body action be taken in front of the public. The intent of the law is to prevent "backroom” deals occurring away from public scrutiny
Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Attorney joe Larsen said anticipating
the vote before it happened was unacceptable.
Larsen said the district’s actions could be perceived as a violation of the Open Meetings Act because advance knowledge of the board’s deci-sion gave the impression a “straw vote” was taken before the meeting.
"All action has to be taken in an open meeting. Thats straight from the code of the Open Meetings Act," he said. “It looks like they decided without a meeting. You’re not going to hand out that kind of stuff if there’s some question. That’s a bunch of nonsense.”
Larsen’s opinion was seconded by Attorney Charles Daughtry, legal counsel on Freedom of Information issues for the I lerald-Zeitung.
Reaves said Wednesday trustees did not know the outcome of the board action in advance, but anticipated the unanimous vote and Ferguson prepared the announcement accordingly.
“We felt like it was going to
See NBISD. Page 3A
Tracking the news
LAST WE KNEW: A 40-year-old Canyon Lake man suffered major injuries Tuesday evening when he was ejected from his subcompact car in a head-on collision with a pickup truck.
LATEST: The Department of Public Safety identified the victim Wednesday as Preston Owen.
NEXT: Owen remains at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, where he is listed in critical condition. He sustained multiple injuries
in the wreck, which included head injuries.
LAST WE KNEW: Someone reportedly tried to kidnap a 4-year-old girl from her Country Club Circle home June 4.
LATEST: New Braunfels police have sent possible evidence to a state crime lab, which could take months to process.
NEXT: Police will review the lab's report to determine how to continue the investigation.
Testimony implicates father in mother’s child injury trial
Put ’em up
Young New Braunfels boxer oto prepares to duke i the junior Olympics.
By Brandi Grissom
Mandy Ann Gonzalez, tears streaming down her cheeks, told jurors Wednesday she did not believe she inflicted lite trauma that severed her 5-month-old sons colon and resulted in the surgical removal of IO inches of his intestines.
She said a Child Protect Services investigator coerced a statement from her in which she admitted hurting her child.
Gonzalez, who was a ninth-grader kist Oct. 3 when Comal County Sheriff’s office detectives arrested her, could spend up to 40 years in prison if convicted of injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury. The baby's father, Salvador Pineda I .eon, 17, was also arrested but has not yet been indicted.
i Ie was released from custody.
The defense rested after testimony from Gonzalez, Leon, Gonzalez’s mother and sister and Assistant District Attorney Joseph Soane. The prosecution rested earlier in the day, after testimony from the magistrate who advised Gonzalez of her rights as a juvenile when giving sheriff ’s detective Sgt. Tommy Ward a statement.
Comal County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders said Ward contacted lier Oct. 3, 2003, and asked her to magistrate a juvenile suspect at the county sheriff’s office. She said she advised Gon-y.alez of the charges against her and of her constitutional rights.
“She seemed calm and collected, and she
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