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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 29, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas ■ PREP SOCCER, 6Lady Rangers win 4-0, advance in playoffs ■THE WORLD, 3Toxic plutonium leaking from Japanese nuclear plant ■ CRIME, 9$200 Reward: Comal County's 10 Most Wanted TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2011 Texas y|p Newspaper of the YearServing New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 500 Judge upholds child porn sentence Steel stands by 35-year sentence given to James Barron in February Barron By J. Louise Larson The Herald-Zeitung Despite second thoughts on a verdict that troubled Judge Gary Steel, a 35-year sentence on six counts of possession of child pornography stands for James Barron. The New Braunfels man, 55, was sentenced in February after waiving his right to a jury trial and entering a guilty plea in exchange for the state waiving 34 other counts—including one of felony intent to promote child pornography—and for the state overlooking thousands of other apparent child porn images found on his computer. Steel heard defense attorney Sam Lock’s motion for reconsideration of sentence Monday. He asked the Comal County judge to consider allowing all or some of the sentences to run concurrently instead of stacked or con- secutively. With the concurrent sentence, Barron could be eligible for parole in seven years and four months — a quarter of the sentence — minus the 17 months he’s already served. See BARRON, Page 10 ► NB CITY COUNCIL Wurstfest scolded for breaking the rules New building in violation of city’s building code By Greg Bowen The Herald-Zeitung City council scolded the Wurstfest Association for ignoring building code requirements calling for masonry walls at its new Events Building at Landa Park and deciding on its own to use cedar siding instead. Last month, city staffers noticed that the association hadn't installed the stucco siding called for in its building permit and advised the group that it should seek a variance from city council for its cedar siding. Wurstfest director Suzanne Herbelin and project manager Gordon Bartley of Busy Bee Remodeling appeared before council to ask for the variance, citing various reasons for the unapproved change, including hurrying to get the building ready, the many city building code requirements that have to be met, and that idea that cedar would survive better if the building floods. "Stucco's a hassle," said Bartley. "It's just a mess." But council members were irate. "They did what they wanted to and because it's Wurstfest, that's supposed to be OK?" asked Councilor Sandy Nolte. Mayor Pro Tern Kathleen Krueger said the request "goes completely against our ordinance," which calls for 80 percent masonry, in this case stucco, on exterior walls. "It seems almost like a betrayal." "I do have a huge problem with this being presented like this," agreed Councilor Richard Zapata. Councilor Mark Goodner said that while Wurstfest is a non-profit that does a lot of good in the community, if anybody else were to ask for such a variance, "we'd make them follow the rules." "I'm just shocked you're putting us in this predicament," said Councilor Mike See COUNCIL, Page 3 Never Quit, Never Forget LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Nathan Hunt rides his hand cycle on the street outside his Marion home. Hunt is among 200 riders to participate in the Ride2Recovery Don't Mess with Texas Challenge this week. Wounded veterans riding 350 miles through Texas By Will Wright The Herald-Zeitung MARION—Almost three years ago, Army Sgt. Nathan Hunt was escorting a convoy searching for roadside bombs in Baghdad, Iraq when an explosion sent him hurdling across his vehicle. The bomb blew his legs off. Though his body is damaged, his spirit is not. Hunt, 30, is one of hundreds of former servicemen staging the bike race Ride2Recovery, which began on Monday. The six-day, 350-mile journey from San Antonio includes overnight stops in San Marcos, Austin, Fort Hood, Waco and Cleburne before wrapping near The Ballpark at Arlington on Saturday. The riders were honored in San Marcos Monday night with a performance by 2006 “American Idol’’ winner Taylor Hicks. Riders departed from the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston's Brooke Army Medical Center, where Hunt spent a year and a half rehabilitating from his injuries. “We want people to know that although we got hurt, we’re still out there doing things and staying active,’’ he said. “We might have our limitations, but See RACE, Page 10 SUPPORT THE VETERANS The public is encouraged to support the veterans on their daily routes. For more information, visit the organization's website at Riders depart today from the San Marcos Embassy Suites at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. According to the San Marcos Local News, the route will take them down Hunter Road to San Antonio Street in San Marcos, through the downtown San Marcos area, by the Texas State campus and out Post Road toward Austin. H-Z wins Texas APME Community Service award at convention Sunday From staff reports TYLER—The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung staff received the Community Service Award on Sunday when the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors presented its 2011 winners in the Headliners Excellence in Journalism Awards at its annual convention. The Community Service Award in Class A was given to a package of columns, stories and editorials looking at drainage issues in New Braunfels. (All the articles are collected on one page online at The staff was also recognized on Sunday with first place in Team Effort for its coverage of the flood on June 9,2010. In all, the Herald-Zeitung newsroom staff took home 23 awards over thè weekend, including nine first place awards. The Herald-Zeitung received the most first place awards and the most awards overall of all newspapers entered in its circulation class. “Winning the prestigious Community Service Award means that the Herald-Zeitung’s post-flood coverage of the drainage issues in New Braunfels was judged the most See AWARD, Page 10 ► MIDDLE EAST Obama defends decision in Libya By Ben Feller Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Vigorously defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night that the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the worid’s conscience and "been a betrayal of who we are" as Americans. Yet he ruled out tar-geting Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a mistake as cosdy as the war in Iraq. Obama announced that Obama NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead fast — but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end and no details about its costs despite demands for those answers from lawmakers. He declined to label the U.S.-led military campaign as a "war," but made an expansive case for why he believed it was in the national interest of the United States and allies to use force. In blunt terms, Obama said the U.S.-led response had stopped Gadhafis advances and halted a slaughter that could have shaken the stability of an entire region. Obama cast the intervention in Libya as imperative to keep Gadhafi from killing those rebelling against him and to prevent a refugee crisis that would drive Libyans into Egypt and Tunisia, two countries emerging from their own uprisings. Obama spoke as, in Libya, rebel forces bore down Monday on Gadhafi with the help of airstrikes by the U.S.-led forces. His speech was his most aggressive attempt to answer the questions mounting from Republican critics, his own party and war-weary Americans. Vol. 158, No. 118 10 pages, 1 section Inside CLASSIFIEDS COMICS CROSSWORD FORUM OBITUARIES PLANNER SPORTS TV GRID 8 ""56825 00001 WWW. 50 cents help support literacy and community aware Donate to NIE For more Information Contact Jeff Fowler @ (830) 625-9144 lltAI.II fElTIIMi ■tinnii mi n uns ;