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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Newspaper Archives

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 9, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels TUESDAY March ll, 2003 IO pages in 2 sections *    jmmfmmmmmmrn    IO    pages    in    2    SeCtKHerald-Zeitung Vol. 152, No. IO! Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 centsBrothers arrested in connection with Surety Bank robberies By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Brothers believed connected to a pair of recent bank robberies in New Braunfels have been arrested in separate counties and await transfer to this city to face aggravated robbery charges. New Braunfels police Lt. Mike Rust said Adam E. Martin, 36, formerly of Austin, was arrested without incident Friday night at the Henderson County home of his girlfriend. His brother, Noel Martin, 28, of Mico, was arrested March 3 in Bandera County. The pair is believed connected to robberies that took place at the Surety Bank branch at Interstate 35 and Walnut Avenue this past Jan. IO and on Nov. 14, 2002. Both suspects were considered “armed and dangerous.” They are being held in county jails on the aggravated robbery warrants from Nev/ Braunfels. Bail on each man is $200,000. In addition, Adam Martin is wanted on a parole violation warrant out of Arizona. Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony punishable by between five and 99 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Rust said two other individuals now incarcerated on other charges are suspected to have some involvement in the robberies, although they have not been formally charged. The investigation is continuing, Rust said, and more charges could follow. Rust said detectives Tarina Skrzycki, Bob Parchman and he launched an investigation into the Nov. 14, 2002, robbery in which two men — one carrying a rifle — went into Surety Bank during the lunch hour and demanded money.‘Clued into literacy’ Frazier Elementary librarian Betty Jones helps third-grader Xavier Cardenas get “clued into reading.” Event helps students track down good books By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Community literacy was the message Monday during the first day of Frazier Elementary School’s Book Fair. Librarian Betty Jones, dressed in a trench coat and hat and carrying a magnifying glass, was recast as detective Reed B. Tween-thelines. She was helping the students get “clued into reading” and “track down” good literature. “It's just a gimmick to get them excited about the book fair,” Jones said. The book fair, which happens from 8 a.rn.-4 p.m. dai- -----       DAVID    INGR    AM/HemW-Zetfunq Above, second-grader Jose Robledo found just the Pokemon book he had been looking for Monday at the Scholastic Book Fair at Frazier Elementary. Below right, Jean-Luc Parker totals up how much money he needs to get from his parents to pay for the books he wants. Bottom left, Courtney Pan/in looks over one of the many educational items for sale. The book fair continues through Friday. ly through Friday, was a great opportunity for people to come and buy books for friends or family. Or they can buy them and donate them to the library or other worthy places. Money raised goes back to the school, Jones said. Last year, the money was used to buy books for the See BOOKS/3A They fled in a small, brown car they abandoned — still running — in the nearby H-E-B parking lot. From there, they were believed at the time to have escaped in a white Chevrolet pickup. On Jan. IO, Surety Bank was robbed again. In that incident, only a single suspect was seen — this time toting what appeared to be a large-caliber handgun. Again, the gunman escap ed by switching vehicles at H-E-B — and again the initial getaway car was left running. The similarities in the two robberies were striking, Rust said. “We suspected they were connected,” he said. The similar modus operandi gave detectives a place to begin to narrow their search for suspects. “Detectives Skrzycki,See SUSPECTS/3A Council splits over need for consultant By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer New Braunfels has joined the regional race for Tbyota offshoot business. Monday night, city council voted to hire TIP Strategies Inc. to implement a five-step strategy to pinpoint Toyota suppliers and help the city determine how to attract those suppliers based on their commercial needs. The decision came after long debate about whether the consultant was necessary to counsel city economic development officials. One councilman said the information TIP would provide is readily available via the Internet. The motion passed 4-3 with District 4 Councilman Robert Kendrick, District 3 Councilwoman Debbie Flume and District 5 Councilman Kenneth Valentine voting against the hire. After approving one issue of economic development, council heard an item that would have altered the city’s tax-abatement policy. When inviting commerce and industry to the city, the council often extends tax abatements to companies thinking of relocating in New Braunfels. One of the stipulations commonly attached to those abatements requires companies bring in a certain number of “qualified jobs,” which are jobs that exceed a certain salary. The council voted againstSee CITY COUNCILy3A No identification yet on skeletal remains By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The sheriff’s detective who is investigating human remains found off Bretzke Lane Saturday had nothing to report Monday. Comal County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tommy Ward said his office and the Bexar County Medical Examiner are trying to positively identify the remains found by a horseback rider Saturday afternoon. “We’re working on it,” the investigator said. Monday morning, Doep-penschmidt Funeral Home took the remains to San Antonio for examination. Ward and County Judge Danny Scheel have tentatively identified scattered skeletal remains as those of a 52-year-old woman believed missing since this past July. Cheryl Jennings Saur, whose family reported her missing this past fall, took frequent walks in her neighborhood north of New Braunfels. The remains were found near the southwest corner of Saur’s property about 200 yards from her home and just a few yards from the intersection of Bretzke Lane and Mountain Laurel Drive. Family members reported they had not seen Saur since July — which investigators were told was not at all unusual. “She lived a quiet, almost reclusive lifestyle,” Ward said. In the fall, Heidi Search Center volunteers worked without success for two days to find some sign of Saur. Ward said he did not believe any foul play was involved in Saur’s disappearance. Inside Abby..................... ...............4A Classifieds............. .............2-4B Comics................. ...............6A Crossword.......... ...............4A Forum................. ...............5A Movies................ ...............4A Obituaries........... ...............3A Sports.................. ............1-2B Today.................. ............»..2A Key Code 76 56825 00001Parties near compromise on Gruene Road project By Dylan Jimenez Staff Writer A two-year old debate on the proper width for the Gruene Road project could be nearing an end thanks to a compromise design worked up by New Braunfels City Engineer Mike Short. After the Gruene Homeowners Association concluded that Gruene Road was a “disaster,” the issue has been discussed in meetings of the New Braunfels City Council and the 4B board. The issue has been studied by both city officials and outside firms. Homeowners and merchants of Gruene generally agree the road needs to be fixed. But the Gruene Homeowners Association and the Gruene Merchants Association are at odds about how wide the road should be. The New Braunfels city comprehensive plan defines Gruene Road as a collector street, and city ordinance requires collectors to be 40-feet wide. But homeowners, citing safety concerns, want a 28-foot road. And merchants want a 24-foot road to preserve the historical ambiance of Gruene. Mike Short, New Braunfels city engineer, is working on a design for Gruene Road from Waterway Lane to Sunny Brook Drive. The road would be 24-feet wide with 4-foot shoulders that can be used for a possible hike and bike trail or pedestrian traffic. The design, which was approved last week by the New Braunfels Planning Commission, is based on input from the community and officials. City Councilman Robert Kendrick said he is extremely pleased that the project is finally getting off the ground. “I hope that it is coordinated totally with the hike and bike trad,” he said. Kendrick believes Gruene Road is the economic heart of Gruene. And he feels it is important to preserve and maintain the area, which is an investment in the perception of visitors who come to the area year-round. For the Gruene Merchants Association, perception is much of the issue. Members say the country ambiance of Gruene can be maintained while improving the road. They agree with, and encouraged, the 24-foot plan proposed by Short. Cecil Eager, member of Gruene Merchants Association, is happy with the progress on the project. “I have been elated and encouraged by the process,” Eager said. He said officials have gone See ROADWORKS Which will it be? The New Braunfels comprehensive plan defines Gruene Road as a collector street, and city ordinance requires collectors to be 40-feet wide. Homeowners along the road, citing safety concerns, want a 28-foot road. Merchants in the area want a 24-foot road to preserve the historical ambiance of Gruene. Mike Short, New Braunfels city engineer, is working on a design from Waterway Lane to Sunny Brook Drive which calls for the road to be 24-feet wide with 4-foot shoulders that can be used tor a possible hike and bike trail or pedestrian traffic. ;