New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 18, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
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New JUL Braunfels
New Braunfels, Texas
6 Pages—2 Sections
FRIDAY March 18,1983 25 cents
Vol. 92 - No. 55
The list shrinks
Panel touts jail sites; none downtown
Chairman Elliot Knox makes a point as the* jail committee listens
Staff photo by John Senior
By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
Of the three sites recommended to Commissioners Court for the new criminal justice facility, none are in the downtown area.
But that doesn’t mean that a downtown site for the new jail won’t be considered — or put on the ballot in a bond election, County Judge Fred Clark said after Thursday's jail-site selection committee meeting.
The top site recommended by court-appointed committee was a 12-acre tract located in the Gruene area off Hanz Drive — between Loop 337 and Gruene Road.
The group's second and third choices were an approximate nine
acre tract off Water Lane, adjacent to Loop 337 between West San Antonio Street and IH 35, and a 6.5 acre tract on North Walnut Avenue along the Missouri-Pacific Railroad tracks.
These three sites were chosen out of six following three paper ballot votes taken among the 11-member committee.
One vote was taken to narrow the six recommended locations down to three, and another vote listed the sites in order of preference.
Another vote had to be taken to break a tie between three sites, which included the one chosen on Walnut Avenue (referred to as the property located next the Southwestern Bell Telephone’s maintenance yard >.
This site was in competition with
two downtown sites — one where the county tax office and appraisal district is now located (known as the Doeppenschmidt property) and another located between South Seguin and South Casten Avenues near the Sonic Drive-Inn restaurant.
The sixth site — which only received one vote from the ll members — was a 28-acre tract owned by Mission Valley Mills Inc., between IH 35 and Oasis Street — in front of the mill.
Although the commitee voted down both downtown sites suggested by the subcommittee led by S.D. David Jr., it was suggested to Commissioners Court that it consider obtaining the
See JAIL, Page SA
Constable no-billed over use of gasoline
Private car used because county car no good—Jonas
By DEBBIE DeLOACH Staff writer
Precinct 3 Constable laster Jonas was no-billed for possible official misconduct by a Comal County Grand Jury Wednesday.
The misconduct investigation, requested by the Commissioners Court and earned out by texas Rai»;« Ray Martinez., involved accusations Iii*'. Jonas was putting gasoline from the county yard into his private vehicle. County Judge Fred Clark said Friday there were no other areas of questioned conduct.
But the story surrounding the accusation isn’t so cut and dried. “I guess I became a target of suspicion back rn August of 1981 Jonas said. "From Aug 25 to the end of November, I was driving my personal car. because the county-issued 1976 green Ford badly needed tires. Metal was coming out of the tires’sides.”
Jonas requested a new set of tires, and County Auditor H. Bate Bond told him "to get the lowest bid." Then the constable got a memo horn Commissioners Court, refusing to purchase the tires.
"On Dec. I, I bought the Goodyear tires for $242 out of my own pocket, and put my county patrol unit back in service,” Jonas said, adding he was reimbursed for the tires in February, but warned against making any more purchases without authorization.
Then, on Jan. 15, the green Ford blew its engine. "It had 156,000 miles on it, and I’d driven it since I came into office in 1981,” Jonas said. From Jan. 15 to the present, Jonas has been driving his personal
vehicle — a 1982 Bronco — for his county-related duties. But Jan 28 was the last time he filled up with gasoline from the county yard, and the last time he received county reimbursement for mileage.
The time frame involved in the Grand Jury’s investigation, Jonas said, was from Jan. 17 to Jan 28. “I filled up three times, I guess. I had someone with me each time, and I think it involved around 70.3 gallons. ’
Using his personal vehicle is hazardous. “In February, I caught some people with about |500 worth of street signs. They were armed, and legally they didn't have to stop.” — Lester Jonas.
Eyewitnesses reported Jonas was “stealing” gas from the county yard. Ranger Martinez handled the investigation, but is now out of town and unavailable for comment.
The only way Jonas knew about the accusation against him was “through the grapevine,” he said. “No one has ever come to me and said, hey, what you’re doing is wrong.’ Martinez never even contacted me.”
Jonas went to County Judge Fred Clark in late January. Bond was in the judge’s office, and “he (Bond) asked me. If you’re supposed to be out there enforcing the law, why are you out there breaking it?”’ Jonas
said. "I live on the Smithson Valley High School campus. I have 2,000 gallons of gasoline in my backyard. So if I wanted to steal gas, why would I have to go all the way to New Braunfels?
“Judge Cark told me it was out of his hands, that the whole thing had been turned over to the district attorney," Jonas added.
Another of the Grand Jury’s canaan1^ was “double-dipping From September to November, I was getting mileage from the county, but also filling up the 1976 Ford with gasoline from the yard.” Jonas explained. “Even though the tires were bad, my deputy used the Ford to transport prisoners, and serve papers. But for answering calls, accidents, back-up, family disturbances, high speed chases, and l,abor Day patrolling, it was dangerous. We never knew if the tires were going to blow."
Using his personal vehicle is hazardous, too. “In February, I caught some people with about $500 worth of street signs. They were armed, and legally they didn't have to stop,” Jonas said. “But I was fortunate they stopped, because I don’t have any overhead lights.”
The Jury no-billed Jonas, but the root of the problem remains. Judge Clark said Friday that he did not know which vehicle Jonas was presently using, but “private vehicle use will be on the court’s agenda soon. I’ve been in office less than three months, and assumed a lot of policies were in place.
“There are lapses here and there, though,” Clark said. “And if there is ambiguity in a policy, it should be settled. ’'
Utility poles vanish from downtown areaInside
From the corner of Texas Commerce Bank to the railroad tracks near the Brauntex Theatre, there are no more utility poles. In fact, the only poles still standing are telephone lines, and their days are numbered, too.
The Downtown Beautification Project is far from finished, but a few steps closer after Utilities crews put more lines underground last week. Within the next two years, utility wires won’t string across Main Plaza anymore, and all utility lines will be underground from Garden Street to City Hall.
Seguin Street is getting its share of attention, too. Most of the poles were installed in the early 1930s, so a changing-out process has already begun, concentrating work at nonpeak traffic times. Wiring on Garden and Seguin Streets will also be underground within the next two years, and changes made will hopefully meet demands for the next 20 years — depending, of course, on the load growth of the area.
The man in charge of all this beautification is Frank Panebianco, Utilities electrical line superintendent. He’s got enough work to keep
him busy for “another six years straight, at least," but “I love it," he said in a recent interview.
The downtown work has been done “energized.” That means “the power wasn’t cut off, and no one did without,” Panebianco said. “There are hazards to it, but we have a lot of training in hot line work. And we like to get the chance to use the skills.”
In years past, Panebianco and his crew have had to concentrate their efforts on growth. “We didn’t have the time or the money to work on systems improvements. We had our hands full just with the growth,” he explained. “Last year the growth slowed down, and that, along with the money coming in from the past growth, gave us the time to improve and expand.” When utility crews dig up a street for underground wire placement, “we bury one pipe for now, and one for later," Panebianco said. “That way, we don’t have to dig again, because there’s an extra pipe already there for growth, or in case of a blowout.”
In addition to aesthetics, there is another plus for underground utility systems. “Lightning can’t get to those wires so easy,” Panebianco said, with a chuckle.
T oday's Weather
Comal County forecast calls for sunny and mild today, fair and not so cold tonight, and increasing clouds and warmer Saturday. Winds will be light and variable. Sunset will be at 6:41 p.m., and sunrise Saturday will be at 6:36 a.m.
Comal Tennis Starts
Smithson Valley and Canyon High Schools co-host the annual Comal Tennis Tournament which began today at Canyon, New Braunfels, T Bar M Tennis Ranch and San Marcos High School. See Page CA.
Lamar Upsets 'Bams
The Lamar Cardinals stunned the Tide in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday with a 73-50 whipping. Lamar will face 13th-ranked Villano va today while Houston meets Maryland. See Page CA.
TV LISTINGS.......... 7B
Staff photo by Cindy RichardsonBrush your bunny
Judges like a well-groomed animal, and that fact isn t lost on 11 year-old Jody Tyler as she brushes her rabbit. This is her first Comal County Youth Show, and that show is in high gear today at the County Fairgrounds.Winners named in swine show
First results from the Comal County Youth Show are already in and more will be in soon following today’s and the weekend's events.
Results from swine judging, one of the first events of the annual show, have been released. Garren Warren's Hamshire was named grand champion breeding gilt and reserve champion went to Scott Syamken's Duroc.
Grand champion market hog was also given to Syamken's Hamshire and reserve champion market hog went to Robyn Wunderlich’s cross-breec.
Prior to the naming of these winners, various awards were named for such things as junior and senior showmanship, which went to Colby Goodson and Kevin Acker, respectively.
Breed champions included: grand and reserve < herr Men Berkshire, Trey Proiss and Paul Bedegar; grand a'id reserve champion Chester, Brian Wetz and Kyle Goodson; grand and reserve champion Duroc, Melissa Batchellor and Colby Goodson; and grand and reserve champion Hamshire, Scott Syamken and Kim Hall.
Also, grand and reserve champion Spots, Diron Wunderlich and Troy Preiss; grand and reserve champion Yorkshire, Trudy Timmermann and Korvan Kreusler; grand and reserve champion Cross, Robyn Wunderlich and Arlon Mosley.
There was also an unusual note. For the first time a red Hereford hog — with colorings like Hereford cattle — was shown, and J.C. Evans won a blue ribbon for him.
“It’s a new breed down in this area,” said Doris Nell Voges, who helped compile results from the swine division. “It’s something that hasn’t been shown here before.”
Youth Show events will continue today with a foods auction scheduled for tonight at 7. All grand and reserve champion foods will be sold and those unauctioned items will be available for sale at 8 p.m.
The livestock auction will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday where steers, broilers, rabbits, turkeys, lambs and swine will be sold.
On Sunday, the horse show will begin at 9:30 a m. with 13 classes of horses entered in competition. The winning high point boy and girl in this event will be awarded a leather breast strap from the Comal County Sheriff’s Posse.
Low inflation rate fuels hopes for economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices rose a slight 0.1 percent in February as the steepest food price jump in IO months cancelled out fresh declines in gasoline and fuel oil costs, the government said today.
The small rise in the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index for finished goods, coming after a record I percent drop in January, bolsters economists' predictions that wholesale inflation might be down substantially from last year’s moderate 3.5 percent.
Indeed, one economist predicts the year's inflation rate could be as tiny as 0.1 percent, which would be the economy’s best showing since the 0.2 percent decline of 1963.
In the February report, the department said energy costs overall fell 2.9 percent, the third straight monthly decline. Energy prices fell a record 4.2 percent in the previous month.
Fuel oil prices were off 7 2 percent, the new report said, after plummeting 9.7 percent.
Gasoline prices fell 5 percent, outpacing the previous 3.3 percent drop.
But natural gas, down a record 2.7 percent in the previous month, rose 3.2 percent in the new report. Those prices had soared 20.7 percent in all of last year, largely as a result of congressional decontrol of new-gas coats.
The energy price calculations reported today were actually for January and do not reflect any drops brought about by OPEC’s recent 65 a barrel cut in its base price for crude oil. Energy price calculations
always lag a month behind the rest of the index.
In its new report, the department provided these other details on February price changes:
—Food prices overall rose 0.6 percent after falling 0.2 percent in January. Prices were up for fish, poultry, dairy products, beef and veal. Lower costs were recorded for vegetables and pork.
—Passenger car prices shot up 1.5 percent after falling 0.3 percent in January. Light truck prices rose a small 0.1 percent after being unchanged the previous month.
—Capital equipment costs moved up 0.5 percent after dec ling 0.1 percent in January. Those costs are for machinery and transportation equipment used by business.
All the price changes are adjusted for seasonal variations.
February’s overall price increase of 0.1 percent, after seasonal adjustment, compared with a I percent drop on January and a 0.2 percent increase in December.
lf prices rose for 12 months straight at the February rate, the yearly rise would be 1.7 percent. In reporting its inflation figures, the department bases its compounded, seasonally adjusted annual rate on a more precise calculation of monthly changes than the figure the department makes public.
Today’s report said that for the 12 months ending in February, wholesale prices rose 2.1 percent.