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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 28, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels * FRIDAY March 28, 2003 ■■■■■■ ■VP1    14    pages    in    2    sectionsHerald-Zeitung _ Vol. 152, No. 116 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents High-speed chase ends in death DAVID iNGRAM/Herald-Zeitung A San Antonio EMS technician examines the wreckage of a car involved in a chase that began in Comal County and ended in San Antonio with the death of the driver. By Dylan Jim£nez Staff Writer A high-speed chase that started in south Comal County ended in San Antonio with the suspect’s car ripped open and the driver dead. Edward Donald Duke, 28, of San Antonio, was pronounced dead on site late Thursday. The chase began at 10:57 a.m. as Comal County sheriffs deputies responded to a home burglary in progress, Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Tommy Ward said. Neighbors reported a suspicious red vehicle on Silver-wings, a road off U.S. 281 north of Spring Branch, Ward said. Officers in the area responded quickly, and before they could turn on their sirens, the suspect took off south on 281. Two units gave chase, Ward said. San Antonio Police Sgt. Brian Custard said DPS officers tried to use spike strips to stop the vehicle, but the spikes landed upside down. Officers pursued Duke south on 281 about 15 miles passed the Bexar County fine and into San Antonio mid-day traffic. Colette Gray, San Antonio resident, also was driving south on 281. Though officers would not speculate as to how fast Duke See CHASE/3A By David Espo AP Special Correspondent American-led forces bombed Iraqi targets and battled Iraqi troops the length and breadth of Saddam Hus-sein’s slowly shrinking domain on Thursday, and British forces claimed the destruction of 14 tanks in their biggest battle since World War II. But American officials reported 25 Marines wounded or missing after fighting, apparently around An Nasiriyah, and the Iraqi regime breathed defiance. “The enemy must come inside Baghdad, and that will be its grave," said Defense Minister Sultan Mashem Ahmed. Eight days after the launching of Operation Iraqi Freedom, President Bush met with British Prime Minister Tbny Blair and declined to set a timetable for the war. It will last “however long it takes" to win, he said, thumping the lectern for emphasis. Both men said the United Nations could help rebuild postwar Iraq, but sidestepped tricky questions of who would create and run a new government once Saddam was toppled. In the war zone, sandstorms abated and the Americans and British reported flying 1,500 missions during the day as they exploited their unchecked air superiority. Warplanes bombed positions in northern Iraq near Kurdish-held areas and hit Republican Guard forces menacing American ground forces 50 miles south of Baghdad. Thunderous explosions rocked the capital after night fall in one of the strongest blasts in days, filling the sky with flames and thick smoke after one of Saddam’s presidential palaces was hit. Combat aircraft dropped bombs “just about as fast as we can load them,” said Capt. Thomas A. Parker, aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in the Persian Gulf. Cargo planes flew military supplies into northern Iraq after 1,000 American airborne troops parachuted in to secure an airfield. One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said additional personnel were being flown in, and that an early objective would be securing the northern oil fields near Kirkuk. Invading forces took control of southern Iraqi oil fields in the early hours of the ground war. Several miles away, Kurdish militiamen and villagers celebrated the fall during the day of a hilltop position where Iraqi forces had menaced civilians for years. U.S. forces had pounded the'northern hills around Chamchamal over the past several days, and it appeared that the Iraqis abandoned their checkpoint and bunkers and retreated to the west. In central Iraq, the first resupply plane landed on a restored runway at Tallil .Airfield — hastily renamed “Bush International Airport” by American forces who had secured it. Still, Iraqi resistance continued to slow the drive on the capital and kept American and British forces out of key cities such as Basra and An Nasiriyah. Its mines kept ships with humanitarian See WAR/3A CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters A British Army Challenger ll tank crushes a portrait of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein at a former military training ground outside the southern city of Basra Thursday. British troops battling to take Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, have taken over the local radio and television stations, Sky television news said Thursday. Politics hard to ignore at meetings By Ron Maloney Staff Writer The two incumbent New Braunfels City Council candidates conducted what were billed as constituent meetings Thursday night. Coming five weeks before the May 3 municipal election, politics proved difficult to ignore. District 3 Councilwoman Debbie Flume conducted her first meeting at her Wood Road home, while District 4 Council member Robert Kendrick held his at the Gruene Cliff Bed and Breakfast. Flume’s began at 6 p.m. with a prayer for soldiers and the country. Then she opened it to ques TOV FLUME tions from the 20 or so people who attended. One of the first questions was why was Flume was seeking a second term. “Because I don’t feel like anyone should walk into an office unopposed, and that’s what I was afraid was going to happen," Flume said. Then questions moved to the two propositions Hume helped get on the ballot with the petition drive she spearheaded a few weeks ago. The propositions would KENDRICK reduce the economic development sales tax by one-third — one-eighth of a cent per dollar — and instead use that money to pay for residential street repair. “This is a start. We have to start somewhere,” Flume said. Former council member Paul Fraser made the meeting even more political — even though Hume moved itSee MEETINGS/4AInside Abby....................................6A Classifieds...........................33B Comics................................8A Crossword..........................6A Forum.................................7A Movies................................6A Obituaries...........................3A Sports..............................1-2B Today................. Key Code 76 a 56825 00001 CISD artificial turf vote has some seeing green By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer Before breaking into executive session to examine declaring a financial exigency and possibly cutting staff, the Comal Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to approve a bid for artificial turf in the stadiums at Smithson Valley and Canyon High Schools. The turf for both high schools will cost $1,005,410. Booster clubs at each campus are committed to pay half, or about $250,000 per school. Smithson Valley boosters are further along on the project than Canyon boosters; it EDITOR'S NOTE: By press time, the Comal Independent School District Board of Trustees had yet to emerge from an executive session to discuss whether to declare the district in a state of financial exigency, possibly laying off some district employees. appears that the Smithson Valley boosters have the financing to place the turf before the 2003 -2004 football season. The rest of the cost will come from the interest on the build-ing bond floated in 1999,See CISD/4A Warplanes Resistance slows advance on capital continue pounding H Congress pressed to quickly approve war funds, Page 5A ■ Church offers ecumenical prayer services. Page 5A ■ Serving with honor: H-Z sends troops thoughts from home. Page 5A ■ Flying their colors with pride: Businesses, residences display patriotism, Page 5A ■ Woman and fnends show support for military families by buying 40 play tickets. Page SA ■ Bnets from the warfront Page 5A ■ Local gas prices below state, national averages, Page 5A ■ Follow late developments on the Herald-Zeitung Web Site, rn'watt jMungcom ;