New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
410 M053 10/22/85
MITCH WOMBLE P.O. BOX 45436 DALLAS* TX 75245Parks board agrees to give Whatley more authority
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
Parks and recreation advisory board agreed with a letter from the city manager to allow the parks director to handle more business routinely.
City manager Joe Michie wrote the
parks department, asking for fewer items to go on the city council’s agenda.
“I’m not only in favor of this, but a lot of the things that we discuss in these meetings really ought to be under your authority. We’ve got a qualified man here to make these decisions. Let’s let him do his job,”
board member Robert Hamel said to Parks Director David Whatley.
Board President Carl Fox agreed, saying that with the present system, minor decisions have ended up taking a long time to be settled.
“At other places I worked, the way it was usually done is that on the routine decisions, like the waiving of
fees and the parking problem, these requests would be made to the park director, and he would come up with a recommendation that he would present to his advisory board,” Whatley explained. “Strictly administrative decisions would be made and reported to the board.”
The parks director suggested that
the advisory board diould be involved in setting policy but the implementation would be his job. Also, in decisions that would involve several departments had to be taken to the advisory board and then to city council.
“Policy making is not the problem, ifs the exceptions to policy that we
need to decide on,” Allene Wofford, board member, said.
Another board member, Irma Alvarado, said that when the citizens of New Braunfels did not like one of Whately’s decisions, the parks board would hear about it because the localSee PARKS, Page SA
Sports, Page 6
Mw Bow Rf als. Tnm
Vol. 94-No. 46
March 5,1985 25 Cents 12 Pages
Man survives hanging try
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
A 31-year-old Missouri man who tried to hang himself in the Comal County Jail Sunday night, was listed rn fair condition today at a San Antonio hospital.
Dwayne l>ee Dodson of Ellington, Mo., is in the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital, a spokeswoman there said at presstime today. He had been transferred there from McKenna Memorial Hospital.
Jail Administrator John Jenkins said Dodson, an unemployed truck driver, had only been inside the jail cell IO minutes before he tried to hang himself.
Jenkins said he was arrested at 9:52 p.m. for allegedly driving while intoxicated. “He was put in the cell at ll p.m. and found at 11:10 p.m.,”
Dodson reportedly took his shirt off, tied it to a cross bar approximately five feet from the ground, and dropped to his knees. “We found him that way with his lower legs folded underneath him,” Jenkins said.
“Two jailers who were on duty are EMTs (emergency medical technicians), and they immediately started CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). That’s what saved the guy’s life,” Jenkins stated. “They got his heartbeat back before EMS (Emergency Medical Service) got there.”
Jenkins said there were two prisoners in the cell next to Dodson’s during the hanging attempt. “But they couldn’t see what was going on,” he added.
Businessman Seidel enters city race
A late Monday afternoon filing makes the race for the District 4 spot on City Council a three-way bout.
laical businessman Rick Seidel filed for the District 4 seat Monday afternoon — only two days before the Wednesday filing deadline. The election is April 6 Seidel joins tonner mayor George Erben and independent businessman Rolf Moore in that race. District 3 competition is split between dentist Edward Sciantarelli, businessman
Yale J. Simpson, and investment broker F. Darrell Sollberger.
District 3 incumbent Joe Rogers chose not to run again, while District 4 incumbent O.A. Stratemann Jr. could not seek re-election because he doesn't live in his district. A new election plan, which comprises four districts and three at-large seats, has taken effect since Stratemann was re-elected in 1982.
Seidel was unavailable for comment by presstime today.
Although spring isn’t officially here yet, and won’t be for another two weeks, weather in Central Texas has been warm
and pleasant recently, lf anything buzzing about a daffodil.
OERYL CLARK HERALD ZE HUNG is a sign of spring, it’s a bee
By DANA STELL Staff writer
Ideas for a late-spring city bond issue election were tossed around among City Council and members of city and Chamber of Commerce advisory committees Monday night.
Monday’s workshop was the third on the bond election.
Although no specific cost estimates or projects have been finally approved, the dollar figure for the bond proposal nears $10 million.
Financial advisor Floyd Wester-man, in a letter to City Council, said the city could issue $10 million worth of bonds for a Lax rate increase of around 18 cents. Current city tax is 25 cents per $100 property valuation. Of that amount, 4 cents goes to retire a $1.3 million bond debt from a 1968 issuance.
In his letter, Westerman told Council, “In my opinion, it would be conceivable that the city would never need to have a tax rate for all bonded debt purposes in excess of IO cents on the $100 taxable assessed valuation.”
City, groups discuss election proposals
His letter also pointed out that the tax rate increase would be minimal because of the interest income from invested bond money.
In his calculations of the city’s property valuations, Westerman figured in about $23 million that will be returned this year when the homestead exemption drops from 40 prcent to 30 percent.
He also added 15 percent to the expected increase in total property values which will rise when the appraisal district completes its 1965 property revaluation.
Mayor Barbara Tieken said Westerman also is «. dculating the value of industrial and other types of property recently annexed into the city.
Council Monday reviewed the four sections of the proposed bond issue — improvements to drainage systems, streets, public buildings, and parks.
Some proposals in each category have been agreed upon and will be sent to the Options and Opportunities Committee to compile into a report.
Other proposals, such as recon
struction of the underpasses on South Seguin and on Landa Street, will be referred back to the original committee, then sent to Options and Opportunities, which will report to Council.
”It would be good to get back out to the various committees and standing boards,” Tieken said, adding that the boards could fine-tine the proposals.
Dralaage: At the previous
workshop, drainage committee chairman Gene Rutherford promised cost estimates for four drainage projects. Engineers propose that refurbishing the entire Green Valley drainage channel all the way to the river will cost about $632,000; while work on the drainage system at Landa Street and Fredericksburg Road will cost about $1.6 million.
Rutherford said the constant flooding problem at West San Antonio and Santa Clara could be fixed for about $252,000; and the main plaza drainage system could be worked on for about $3,700.
See BOND, Page SA
GBRA stops river flow to survey Canyon Dam
By SANDRA JACKSON 8taff writer
Waters flowing down the Guadalupe River from Canyon Dam ceased flowing this morning while the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority personnel surveyed the dam.
The flow will be stopped for most of the day.
“We plan to have a survey crew in the discharge conduit to verify that
the steel lining we plan to install for the hydro project will indeed fit,” GBRA assistant manager Greg Rothesaid.
Rothe explained that ha wants to verify the size and alignment of the existing conduit, and be sure it is compatible with plans for construction of the hydroelectric generation plant to be built at Canyon Dam if all permits can be secured.
Currently, GBRA Is waiting for a permit from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission, having already secured the needed license to construct from the Texas Water fiwnmlsiiim
Release rate of outflow from the dam was cut back from IOO cubic feet per second to 400 cfs Monday afternoon, and from 400 cfs to zero at 8 this morning.
It will remain at zero until sometime this afternoon when work Is completed, at which time, it will raised back to OOO cfs, Rothe said.
Come NWI ............. 264 eft Some!
Canyon inflow........624 eta (down 275)
Canyon (tam outflow.....0 eta (down SOO)
SSwoHta AquMw ........ 62441 two Oil
Canyon LOM level ....... S0342 tup Oil
Comal County forecast calls for fair and mild today, becoming partly cloudy and cool tonight, and mUd again on Wednesday. Winds will be from the northeast at 10-15 mph today, shifting to the tnrt at 8* in mph $nni|hf im) tho mutfwiast at IO mph on Wednesday. Highs today and Wednesday will ba In the low 70s with a low tonight in the upper 40s. This morning’s low was 44, and yesterday’s high was 74. Sunset will be at 6:23 p.m., and sunrise Wednesday wiU be at 0:51 a.m.
Texas Tech Coach Gerald Myers was named the Southwest Conference coach of the year mid Bubba Jennings, Tech’s leading scorer, was named to the AU-8WC team released today. Sports, Rage I.
SPORTS ^ -
Jury selection holds up trial
From staff and wire reports
It has taken a week of screening, but a jury of Comal County residents could be chosen today in the murder trial of David Port.
A panel of 55 prospective jurors survived the tedious screening on media exposure to the case, and were asked to report to the Comal County Courthouse at 9 this morning for the final phase of jury selection. The screening process began Feb. 25.
State District Judge I.D. McMaster said 12 jurors and two alternates could be seated today. They will then be instructed to return Wednesday morning packed and ready for two to three weeks’ worth of sequestration.
Port, 18, is accused of killing Houston mail carrier Debora Sue Scb tz, 23, on June 7. The case was it zed to New Braunfels last r member to counter extensive publicity on the murder and on the refusal of Port’s parents to testify against him before a Harris County grand jury last year.
Of the IOO prospective jurors questioned last week and Monday on media exposure, 51 were dismissed and 49 qualified. Six others were not interviewed because they said they knew nothing of the case, bringing the panel up to 55 for final jury selection.
Many of those questioned on publicity were dismissed because they said they had already concluded Port’s guilt. Others said they would not be able to separate the parent’s ordeal from their son’s murder charge.
The Port cast drew nationwide attention lait year when the defen
dant's parents refused to testify before a grand jury. While Port remained free on $20,000 bond, his father Bernard and stepmother Odette, were jailed (rn contempt of court charges. Both were later released.
In New Orleans Monday, a federal appeals court heard testimony in the latest effort to make Mr. and Mrs. Port testify against their son.
Randy Schaffer, the Port’s Houston lawyer, told the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals it was as if Texas was trying to make the couple “assist the state in killing their child.”
Schaffer said the law should recognize a parent-child relationship similar to the husband-wife relationship in which (me spouse cannot be forced to testify against the other.
But Assistant District Attorney Bill Delmore of Houston said the parent-child relationship does not exist in law and should not be created in this case. He also said the state was only trying to get the Ports to do what any citizen should be willing to do — testify.
The 5th Circuit panel took the issue under advisement, and gave no indication when it will make its ruling.
McMaster said ha wasn’t sure Monday whether he would lift a gag order on the Port case here once the jury Is sequestered. “I’m not against ye'll,” McMaster said speaking to reporters Monday. “I’m just trying to get a fair trial. A newspaper headline could blow thia whole thing,” he added.