New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 22, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
■ PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS, 3Tim Pawlenty announces exploratory committee
■ LANDA PARK, 2Moonlight Gala to celebrate Landa Park's 75th anniversary
■ CRIME, 9$200 Reward: Comal County's 10 Most Wanted
Texas Ap Newspaper of the Year
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Tharp to testify on behalf of ‘drug mom’ bill
By J. Louise Larson
With an estimated 30 percent of the Child Protective Services cases in Comal County involving children born already drug-addicted to addict mothers, the District Attorney would like to see the law step in sooner.
Jennifer Tharp will testify
at 9 a.m. in the John Reagan Building in Austin this morning,
Tuesday, on behalf of House Bill 1243, Doug Miller’s “drug mom” bill.
The proposed legislation would add a new offense to
the Texas Penal Code and also would amend the Family Code.
It would eliminate the onus on the system to make every effort to reunite parent and child, in cases where the mother has engaged in drug use while pregnant.
Tharp is keenly aware of the issues the bill would encounter on its rite of pas
sage. With abortion legal and the cry for a woman’s control over her own body a central pillar of the pro-choice position, a law that would criminalize illegal drug use in pregnancy is a sore spot for many.
“I understand women’s rights. I respect that completely. I understand abortions are legal,” Tharp said.
“What’s the difference
between a child who is a minute old being provided with constitutional rights to prevent abuse of that child versus the moments up to that birth?” she said. "My response to that is that (the pregnant mother) doesn’t have a constitutional right to use drugs.
See THARP, Page 10
► FATAL ACCIDENT
2 unborn babies die after 1-35 collision
By Will Wright
Early Monday morning, a pregnant woman and her unborn baby died as a result of injuries from a traffic accident on 1-35 Friday night.
The accident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Friday in the northbound lane of 1-35 north, near mile marker 194 between the Kohlenberg Road and Watson Lane exits. Department of Public Safety Trooper Brett Peters said a 1998 Cadillac STS driven by Joe Salazar, 23, of Buda was crossing from the inside lane to the far outside lane after his vehicle sustained a flat tire.
Inez Benavides, 28, Amy Benavides, 21, Apolina Cruz, 20, and a 2-year-old girl were passengers in Salazar’s car, which was struck by a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Melinda Herning, 28, of Belton.
The Tahoe flipped several times and rested on its roof. Salazar’s car came to rest on the right hand shoulder of the highway.
Peters said Herning and Inez Benavides were taken via AirLIFE helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio. Both women were pregnant, Peters said. Inez Benavides died at 1:40 a.m. Monday. Benavides’ unborn baby also
See WRECK, Page 10
City staff recommends council support of EARIP
River activities manager Nathan Pence, left, and Robert Gulley, program manager for the EARIP, respond to questions during Monday's presentation at City Hall.
City council vote on Edwards program expected March 28
By Greg Bowen
City representatives working with the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program are recommending that New Braunfels city council express its support of EARIP, which is developing a plan to balance the needs of endangered species in Comal Springs with the growing human demand for Edwards water.
A resolution in support of EARIP will be prepared for council’s consideration as early as its March 28 meeting, said City Manager Mike Morrison.
“We’re recommending support,”
Nathan Pence, the city’s watershed manager, told council.
Pence and Roger Biggers, director of water services for New Braunfels Utilities, outlined the EARIP program during council’s 4:30 p.m. Monday workshop.
EARIP is now preparing an application for a federal Incidental Take Permit, which would allow a small number of endangered creatures to be killed or harmed incidental to the conduct of lawful activities, including water recreation and aquifer pumping.
The group’s first draft of its plan outlines a laundry list of measures—with costs totaling $26.8 million annually
— that would be taken to keep the springs flowing, at least minimally even during the worst drought, and prevent federal intervention in the regional effort to protect the threatened species.
Pence and Biggers are recommending that council support EARIP's plans to:
• Set minimum springflows at Comal Springs at 30 cubic feet per second during drought. The number is about one-tenth of average flows. But with planned “pulses” of 80 cfs, it’s enough to guarantee survival of the endangered species, Biggers said. There’s cur-
See EARIP, Page 3
Dias seeks to bring new voice, tech to city politics
By Greg Bowen
Jason Dias is running for mayor to add the voice of a newer New Braunfels resident as well as technical innovations to city government.
Dias, 43, is a seven-year resident of New Braunfels who grew up in Northeast San Antonio
and now operates a small socialmedia consulting company from his home office just north of County Line Road.
His campaign slogan is “Tradition and Innovation Working Together.”
“I want to bring a new voice and generation into city politics to work with the established long-time residents to continue making New Braunfels a city where people want
See DIAS, Page 3
Nuckols objects to current government interference
By Greg Bowen
City council candidate Dr. Beverly Nuckols said she’s running because she’s concerned about the potential of city government to use its powers to interfere with the ability of citizens to earn an income and to plan for the future.
“Government’s primary purpose is not to raise revenue, showcase personalities or satisfy the personal tastes of any one person or even those of the majority,” said Nuckols, who is seeking the District 5 seat being vacated by Mayor Pro Tern Kathleen Krueger.
Nuckols said she objects in particular to ordinances that “seem to address real problems caused by a very few who are breaking other
See NUCKOLS, Page 3
► NBISD TRUSTEES
By Will Wright
There was good news and bad news presented to New Braunfels Independent School District’s board of trustees during its monthly meeting on Monday night.
Superintendent Randy Moczygemba recommended extending contracts to all 394 term professionals for the 2011-12 school year — which the board approved by a 6-1 vote. Board vice president James Bet-tersworth was the sole dissenting vote.
“I don’t want some of the teachers to feel like I’m slighting them, but I had a problem with one or more of the contracts on the list,” Bettersworth said.
See NBISD, Page 3
► CHILD PORN CASE
Judge asked to reduce sentence
By J. Louise Larson
James Barron’s attorneys don’t believe their client needs a 35-year lesson on child pornography.
Sentenced in February to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of possession of child pornography, Barron, 55, has filed a motion for reconsideration of sentence.
The case is set for a hearing Monday at 9 a.m. Defense attorney Sam Lock asked that Judge Gary Steel consider allowing all or some of the sentences to run concurrently instead of stacked or consecutively.
With the concurrent sentence, Barron could be eligible
See BARRON, Page 10
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