New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 11, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Friday, March 11, 2011 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5
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Perry aide says governor open to using reserves
From The Associated Press
GROUP: MLK PARADE BOMB SUSPECT WAS AVID NEO-NAZI
SPOKANE, Wash. —A man accused of trying to bomb a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was an avid poster on a white supremacist Internet forum, where he referenced bomb-making and alluded to attacking anti-racist demonstrators, a national organization that tracks hate groups said Thursday.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said Kevin Harpham, 36, made more than 1,000 postings on the Vanguard News Network site, many of them under the pseudonym "Joe Snuffy."
"I can’t wait till the day I snap," said a 2006 message attributed to Harpham.
He was arrested on Wednesday after being charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possessing an unregistered explosive in a case that raised worries racist activities may be on the rise again in the region, once a hotbed for hate groups.
AP: FEDERAL PRISONS RUN OUT OF KEY EXECUTION DRUG
COLUMBUS, Ohio —The federal government has told state attorneys general that it has run out of a key execution drug and is exploring alternatives, dashing states’ hopes of obtaining a federal supply of the drug. Concerns about the shortage were highlighted Thursday when Ohio executed a man with another drug never before used alone in an execution.
States wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in January asking for help obtaining sodium thiopental. The anesthetic is used by virtually all death penalty states, but supplies ran short when its U.S. manufacturer stopped production.
"At the present time, the federal government does not have any reserves of sodium thiopental for lethal injections and is therefore facing the same dilemma as many
of interest among those experts, some of whom had ties to drug companies, were not well managed.
FORMER TIJUANA TOP COPTAKES ON TROUBLED JUAREZ
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — One of the most dangerous places in the world pinned its hopes Thursday on a former I ijuana police chief praised for a hardline approach to restoring calm in that border city and criticized for allegedly abusing suspected crooked cops in the process.
Julian Leyzaola Perez was introduced as the new director of public security in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. His daunting task: to reduce crime in this city of 1.3 million, which registered more than 3,000 homicides last year amid the nation's soaring drug violence.
REBELS RETREAT FROM LIBYAN OIL PORT AMID BARRAGE
RASLANOUE Libya —
With fierce barrages of tank and artillery fire, Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists threw rebels into a frantic retreat from a strategic oil port Thursday in a counteroffensive that reversed the opposition's advance toward the capital of Tripoli and now threatens its positions in the east.
The rout came as the U.S. director of national intelligence stressed that Gadhafi's military was stronger than it has been described and said that "in the longer term ... the regime will prevail."
President Barack Obama has called on Gadhafi to step down, and the White House later distanced Obama from the director's assessment.
Hundreds of rebels in cars and trucks mounted with machine guns sped eastward on the Mediterranean coastal road in a seemingly disorganized flight from Ras Lanouf as an overwhelming force of rockets and shells pounded a hospital, mosque and other buildings.
states," Holder said in a March 4 letter sent to the National Association of Attorneys General and obtained by The Associated Press.
Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry's tough opposition to dipping into Texas' reserve funds showed signs of cracking Thursday when a top aide told lawmakers that he would "absolutely" be open to using some of the money.
Perry's legislative director, Ken Armbrister, made the comments as the chief budget writer in the Texas House asked the House Appropriations Committee to dip into the state's Rainy Day Fund to help fill a gap in the current state budget.
Rep. Jim Pitts, chairman of the committee, has been fighting a wave of conservative opposition from Republicans in the House and from Perry. But the opposition weakened when Armbrister told the panel that Perry is willing to use the money and
has "not drawn a line in the
Perry has repeatedly opposed using the Rainy Day Fund and recently met with House Republicans to urge them not to rush to use the money amid an outcry from teachers and others who may suffer from budget cuts.
In January, Perry told The Associated Press that the Ljeg-islature would pass a balanced budget "without getting into the Rainy Day Fund" and didn't suspect that would change. "I'm consistent if nothing else," he said at the time.
Armbrister said that reports of Perry's "hardball" opposition to using the fund were misguided.
Pitts, a Republican from Waxahachie, asked: "At some point, you would agree to use
some of the Rainy Day Fund, you haven't just drawn a line that you will never touch the Rainy Day Fund?"
"Absolutely," Armbrister responded.
Pitts brought the proposal to use $4.3 billion from the Rainy Day Fund before his committee Thursday and expects to seek a committee vote on the bill next week.
The state is facing a revenue shortfall that could reach as much as $27 billion when population growth and cost increases are counted. Early budget proposals for the next two-year state budget have overcome the shortfall with drastic cuts to all areas of state government, most coming from public schools and health care services for the poor and elderly.
25 DEAD AS QUAKE TOPPLES HOMES IN SW CHINA
BEIJING — An earthquake toppled more than 1,000 houses and apartment buildings in China's southwest near the border with Myanmar, killing at least 25 people and injuring 250, the government said Friday.
Photos from the scene after the quake struck Thursday showed buildings that buckled, crushing their lower floors. Police, firefighters and soldiers rushed to the area to pull out people trapped in the rubble, including a man and girl stuck in the stairwell of a four-story building, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.
Parts of a supermarket and a hotel caved in, while sidewalks were lined with injured on blankets, being shielded from the sun by large vendor umbrellas.
WHO'S RESPONSE TO SWINE FLU PANDEMIC FLAWED
LONDON — An expert panel commissioned by the World Health Organization to investigate its handling of the swine flu pandemic has slammed mistakes made by the U.N. body and warned tens of millions could die if there is a severe flu outbreak in the future.
The U.N. health agency established the review committee to evaluate its performance after the 2009 global outbreak of swine flu, or HINI. In a draft report released on Thursday, the committee said WHO performed well in many ways, but made crucial errors.
The group described WHO's definition of a pandemic and its phases as "needlessly complex," criticized the agency's decision to keep the members of its advisory committee secret, and said potential conflicts
U.K. soldier, dog, make final trip together
LONDON (AP) — Liam and Theo were a team, fast friends doing a dangerous job — searching out roadside bombs laid by insurgents in Afghanistan.
The jovial British soldier and his irrepressible dog worked and played together for months, and died on the same day. On Thursday they came home, flown back to Britain in a somber repatriation ceremony for the soldier remembered for his empathy with animals and the
companion he loved.
Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, a dog handler with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province on March 1 as he searched for explosives with Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel mix.
The dog suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress.
Military officials won't go so far as to sayTheo died of a
broken heart — but that may not be far from the truth.
"I think we often underestimate the grieving process in dogs," said Elaine Pendlebury, a senior veterinarian with ani-mal charity PDSA. "Some dogs react very severely to their partner's loss."
She said it was not uncommon for pets to respond to an owner's death by refusing food and becoming sick — and the bond between working dogs and their handlers is especially close.
dent with at least five vehicles, and New Braunfels Police Department is investigating.
The incident looked pretty straightforward, according to NBPD Det. Zac Armstrong.
“They had a gear malfunction, no loss of life or injury,” he said, adding the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be investigating the incident.PLANE
Sam Adams co-owns the plane with Gildart, and he was watching the landing, Adams said.
“I didn’t want to, but I did,” he said.
He praised the pilot’s expertise in landing the plane.
“(Gildart) has thousands and thousands of hours of (flying time),” Adams said. “This happens, but it’s a rarity. He's never had so much as a blowout.”
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During the landing, the propeller struck the asphalt, bending the prop and damaging the pavement. Bags of sand were applied to the plane’s resting spot, where fuel and other fluids were leaking out.
New Braunfels Fire Department responded to the inci-
“It gives you, as a guest, the ability to do as much as you want while staying in the water,” he said.
The concept was first put into place in the company’s South Padre Island park in 2001, and then at the Galveston Island Park and in Kansas City.
However, the New Braunfels version is the longest ever, with 3,600 feet—that’s two-thirds of a mile.
Boogie Bay Hot Tub will have a secluded hot spring theme where grown-ups can enjoy a beverage in the shade of an ancient oak.
With the addition of the Boogie Bay Kids’ Area, a dragon-themed play area under a giant oak, the New Braunfels Schlit-terbahn now boasts eight kids areas.
“More than any other water-park on Planet Earth,” Siebert said.
New guest amenities will include Treehaus lodging units, beaches, lounging locations, the “Grand Lawn” event area, family-size cabanas and the Wasserstrasse river walk along
the banks of the Comal River.
The flagship of the company’s park group, the New Braunfels Schlitterbahn includes 40 family attractions and 164 overnight accommodations, and the New Braunfels-based company prides itself on superlatives and industry rankings, like being named the world’s best water-park 13 years in a row by the readers of Amusement Today, or the No. 1 waterpark in the world by the Travel Channel.
“Schlitterbahn has been famous for removing walking as much as we can from our equation — the term we use is ‘play value’ — time spent playing versus time spent standing and waiting,” Siebert said.
With the new rides, Schlitterbahn becomes more of an overnight draw, he said.
“The entire park has turned into a multi-day visit,” he said. “With the addition of The Falls, we have almost four miles of tubing, and we have very long signature attractions. And nowait attractions—you just hop in whenever you want.”
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in time for the April 30 opening. The new rides are set to open later in the summer.
A 30-minute ride, The Falls will include four “beach areas" where guests can enter and exit the ride without ever waiting in line, Siebert said.
The “beaches” offer “zero depth entry” — the kind of slow, gradual entry you would get at the beach.
Floaters will then be able to make a continuous loop with the help of the “Aquaveyor.”
“It’s a technology that we call ‘transportainment,’” he said.
The Deluge Whirlpool River will send tubers twisting through a serpentine canyon.
“Not only is it an extremely cool and fun ride, but it offers transportation between Sur-fenburg and Blastenhof (two other popular rides). Previously, if you wanted to enjoy both, you had to get out of the water and go through the parking lot. Now you can just float between the two areas,” he said.Events InGruene
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County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett said $5,200 in funds is available for the environmental cleanup effort through the Alamo Resource Conservation and Development Area.
The $1,500 fine, which TCEQ would reimburse, would be rolled in with the $5,200 RC&D funds to finance the cleanup project, which would be overseen by the RC&D.
Illegal tire and inner tube dumps such as the one at 168 Angus Thail can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents which carry disease, officials said. The potential for fires which can contaminate water and soil is also reduced by removing the waste.
In other action, commissioners approved the purchase, for $55,000, of a portion of a communications tower in the Smithson Valley area and an associated easement from Oasis Pipe Line Co.
Chief Deputy Brent Paullus of Comal Count Sheriff’s Office said the county already owns the top 60 feet of the tower. Oasis owns the bottom 120 feet, which the county plans to convert to its own use. Paullus said the tower is a major component in the communications system for CCSO and Comal County.
Edgett called the purchase “a very good deal for Comal County.” It would cost $250,000 or more to build a new tower, she said.
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March 18th :
Luke Leverett 7-1 Opm
Environmental Quality levied the $1,500 fine on Comal County last year for what the agency said was unauthorized construction of a little League ballpark several years earlier at the county-owned Jumbo Evans Sports Park on U.S. 281 in Spring Branch.
The fine was levied — and paid—after TCEQ determined county officials violated a state law designed to protect the Edwards Aquifer when they failed to file the proper paperwork prior to building die Little League fields and doing odier improvements at Jumbo Evans.
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