New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 2, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2004
SPORTS DOUBLE TROUBLE
The Murray br'~"u''*’e Sean and Aaron, may bi their soccer e in NBHS s su<
FORUM JOKE'S ON US
Chamber Director Michael Meek writes the joke could be us without the city's efforts ;reate new retail. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Vol. 153, No. 96 10 pages, 1 section
I 20% chance of showers
Details .... 6A
8ADe Walt’s attorney welcomes FBI move to reopen case
By Ron Maloney
The attorney who represented Suzanne DeWalt called the verdict against his client “atrocious”and said Monday he was glad the FBI was reopening the case.
Michael Ducote also said he would tell his client to come forward and cooperate with the FBI — if he knew her whereabouts.
Ducote is a New Orleans attorney who specializes in child custody cases involving abuse allegations.
* In 2002, he represented Suzanne DeWalt in a two-week custody trial in New Braunfels.
At the end of the trial, DeWalt fled with her son, Jeremy, then 5, rather than turn him over to his father, U.S. Navy officer Michael DeWalt.
She alleged that Michael DeWalt molested and sexually abused their
son on an out-of-state trip.
“Michael DeWalt’s... guilty... and he knows it,” Ducote said in an interview Monday. “The FBI agent who investigated this case wanted to arrest him as soon as the investigation was completed.”
Ducote said he did not know what new information had prompted the FBI to reopen its DeWalt investigation, but he said he welcomed the move.
“I’m happy to hear that theres additional evidence," Ducote said. “What happened in this case is atrocious. If the trial had been conducted fairly and the jury would have been allowed to hear from the FBI, I believe we would have had a different outcome."
Ducote blasted 207th Judicial District Judge Jack Robison, saying vital evidence was kept from the New Braunfels jury. He called the jailing of
Suzanne DeWalt’s parents, Margaret and Edward Keams, "an outrageous criminal act.”
The Kearnses are being held on allegations of interfering with child custody and hindering apprehension of a felon. Bail for Margaret Kearns, 68, is $600,000. Bail for Edward Kearns, 71, is $400,000. Michael DeWalt, Ducote has said,
See DEWALT, Page 3A
Trustees warned: Don’t handicap our educators
By Dylan Jimdnez
More than 150 teachers, parents, students and taxpayers warned New Braunfels Independent School District trustees Monday night not to handicap education when they cut a possible $ 1.2 million from the budget to avoid a deficit.
"It takes a diverse community of programs to meet the needs of a diverse population of kids," said Deborah Armstrong, a NBISD special education teacher.
(Consultants recommended the district make $1.5 million in staff cuts and cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from operating and programming budgets.
Teachers and parents told trustees that the cuts hit students too hard and advised the district to seek alternative plans.
Winki Smith, a parent, substitute teacher and volunteer, asked trustees to think carefully about the consequences before they start cutting programs.
“ What is sometimes the most effective is not the most economical, and what is sometimes the most economical is not the most effective," Smith said.
The 24 people who addressed trustees had similar warnings. Some suggested raising taxes or cutting sports and other extracurricular activities to preserve NBISD academic standards.
Two New Braunfels I Ugh School students spoke against changing the school day from a block schedule to a seven-day period, which the district is considering.
“That’s a big deal to a lot of the stu-See NBISD BUDGET, Page 3A
Some of the cost-
saving options made
• Eliminate high school block scheduling — $350,232
■ Eliminate middle school team planning period — $89,175
■» Reduce nonteaching support positions — $461,933
• Reduce custodial staff-$150,000
■ Eliminate gifted and talented pullout program — $90,586
• Consolidate with county tax collection office — $84,887
• Eliminate cafeteria competition, such as vending machines — $16,000
■ Increase community education fees — $10,000
■ Increase student attendance by 1 percent — $300,000
By Dylan Jimenez
Educators are busy planning the curriculum and course schedules for the first two semesters of the Central Texas Technology Center now that construction is complete.
Seguin and New Braunfels officials handed over the building’s keys Monday to Alamo Community College District officials. ACCD representatives are charged with building the curriculum.
ACCD instructors and resources will be used to teach basic academic courses in the summer and several technical training classes in the fall.
CTR: Interim Director Mike Morphew and Federico Zaragoza, vice president of St. Philip’s College-Southwest Campus in San Antonio, have begun to plan these courses with trustees and administrators from New Braunfels, Comal, Seguin and Navarro school districts.
The educators are rushing to finalize
the schedules and course offerings so registration can begin this spring.
The center will offer students a smooth transition from high school to college and into the local work force, Zaragoza told area educators last week.
"We have a tremendous opportunity to help our young people grow and also to help the economy here," he said.
Ijocal students will have access to programs already in place at ACCD’s four
See CTTC, Page 3ALack of ceremony doesn’t diminish importance of Texas Independence Day
By Dylan Jiminu
I’he Battle of the Alamo wasn’t just a movie wheiTIiexas rebels declared their independence from Mexico 168 years ago.
It was th J stand that allowed Texans to create an interim government.
Today, Texas Independence Day is celebrated.
locally, no major celebrations are scheduled for the public or for the schools.
Although the holiday will be less visible in New Braunfels this year, its importance is not diminished.
“it was important because Texas became important," said Charlie Briggs III, past president general of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.
After independence and rule of law was established, the republic became more populated, Briggs said.
The independence also gave Texas claim to land that stretched up to Wyoming, making it more attractive
to the United States, he said.
On March 2,1836, delegates from more than 50 Texas settlements met at the village Washingt on on die Brazos.
They drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence while the Alamo was under attack by Santa Anna’s Mexican army.
Delitha Guenzel, District 8 representative of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, said the delegates received reports from the Alamo.
When a message was received urging all the delegates to hasten to the relief of the Alamo, Sam I louston took the floor in opposition to such a move and declared it would be treason to the people, Ciuenzel said.
Me said that I louston stated that it was the duty of the delegates to remain at their posts and provide against this lack of organized government in Texas.
If the doomed group at the Alamo hadn’t made its stand and if the
Texas delegates hadn’t stuck out the convention at Washington on the Brazos, “we might be speaking Spanish instead of English.'"Guenzel said.
The Alamo fell March 6.
“It delayed Santa Anna 13 days," Briggs said, "and he lost a lot of men. The battle was important because it was the beginning of our battle for freedom. We became the only state in the union that was a republic for almost IO years before it became a state.”
Judge Comal County Court
Interim Director Mike Morphew talks about the future of the Central Texas Technology Center in an area that will soon be occupied by students using computers at the campus, which is located next to the New Braunfels Municipal Airport.
CTTC awaits students*
educators begin work on curriculum
The $3.1 million facility is scheduled to open its doors to students this summer
What’s all the Rush about?
Rush Enterprise of New Braunfels has made its mark on the tractor-trailer industry.