New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 1, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY May I, 2001
____ 12 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung
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Vol. 150, No. 146 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
Mayor: Watson goes too far
Councilwoman uses city stationery for TNRCC letter opposing council action
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HENRY COELLO AND CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung illustration
Councilwoman Juliet Watson and Mayor Stoney Williams are at odds about a proposed plan by the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority to take more water out of Canyon Lake.
By Amy Clarkson
New Braunfels Councilwoman Juliet Watson’s latest step in her tenacious fight against a proposal to take more water out of Canyon Lake has Mayor Stoney Williams fuming.
Williams is outraged because Watson wrote a letter to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission on official city stationery, in “direct opposition to the action taken at council meetings,” he said.
The two are clashing over the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request to pump an additional 40,000 acre-feet of water annually from Canyon Lake. The TNRCC plans to vote to adopt the permit amendment or to send it to a contested case hearing on May 9.
Watson fought against action to rescind the council’s request for the contested case hearing. She argued both against the parliamentary procedure — adopted in city ordinance — and the legalities involved with posting the action on the agenda under the Texas Open Meetings Act.
This past week, Watson asked District Attorney Dib Waldrip to investigate council’s April 23 action
See Watson’s letter to TNRCC/3A
to rescind its request for a contested case hearing. Waldrip said Monday he expected to have a conclusion by the end of the week.
In her letter to TNRCC, Watson wrote, “The City of New Braunfels continues to request that the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission grant a contested case hearing regarding the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority’s Application No. 18-2074, based on a letter dated March 29, 2001.” The letter said that Watson believed the letter from the city dated April 25, rescinding its request, is “illegal and improper based on my understanding of the Law (sic).”
Williams said Watson had gone too far with the letter to TNRCC.
‘What she did was wrong but probably not illegal, but so incredibly wrong, crossing the line like that,” Williams said. “She spoke directly in opposition to our vote. It doesn’t matter what she thinks, but when she uses that letterhead, she is speaking for our city as a whole. It is just completely wrong.”
The city has an informal pokey of using official
• JUNE 26, 2000 —
Councilwoman Juliet Watson first discusses her concern about the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority permit application. She asks council to send a letter of opposition to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission concerning the permit. Council votes against her request.
• MARCH 26, 2001 — Watson presents concerns about the OBRA permit. She asks council to present her concerns — which she claims included a request for a contested case hearing from the TNRCC — at a public meeting. Council members voted in favor of her motion.
• MARCH 29, 2001 —At the GBRA permit amendment public meeting, Councilman Lee Rodriguez and Mayor Stoney Williams publicly state council did not intend to ask for the contested case hearing. Watson said council did.
• APRIL 9, 2001 — Council votes to clarify its intent to present only comments to the GBRA at the public meeting in March.
• APRIL 23, 2001 — On the
agenda for its regular meeting, the council included an item under discussion and action to consider asking for a contested case hearing. After consulting with a registered parliamentarian, former Mayor Jan Kennady, the council voted to rescind its action on March 26.
• APRIL 25, 2001 — Watson asks District Attorney Dib Waldrip to investigate a possible Open Meetings Act violation at the council meeting.
• APRIL 26, 2001 — City staff sends letter to TNRCC from council declaring it rescinded any request for a contested case hearing.
Watson sends her own letter on official city letterhead to the TNRCC, saying the city continued its request for a contested case hearing because council’s action on April 23 was “illegal and improper based on my understanding of the Law (sic).” She also sends a letter to the rest of council opposing the action to rescind the request for a contested case hearing.
Paper wins top AP honor
From staff reports
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung received the sweepstakes award in its circulation category at the Tfexas Associated Press Managing Editors Convention in El Paso Sunday.
The honor is the highest award given in the Texas APME news contest.
The Herald-Zeitung also won first place for team effort among newspapers 10,000 to 29,999 circulation, the APME announced. The team effort award was presented Saturday.
The newspaper’s circulation category includes newspapers from Odessa, Brownsville, Bryan-College Station, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Temple, Killeen, Port Arthur, Midland, Harlingen and Denton.
Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson accepted both awards on behalf of the staff , which was recognized for its report on the shooting death of Trooper Randall Vetter.
“To win the highest award given by The Associated Press in Texas is an outstanding achievement for our newsroom,” publisher Doug Taney said. “Because our circulation has increased, we were placed in a much tougher level of competition. We competed and were judged against larger newspapers.
“Th not only win at this level, but to have the newsroom’s work recognized as the best in the state just two years after we lost nearly everything in the 1998 flood, makes me very proud of these reporters and editors.”
The judges commented on the newsroom’s effort and hustle to cover the story.
“Well written and well thought-out effort done in a short period of time; lot of background; number of viewpoints; impact on entire community; well-researched; emotional and moving with
See HONOR/5AMother says she loves girl at center of child injury case
By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer
Yevette Heiser testified in her own defense Monday in the trial that could send her and her husband to prison for life for allegedly injuring their daughter by nearly starving her to death.
Heiser said she always has — and still — loves the child she adopted in 1999 in spite of the charges leveled against her and her
husband, Joseph, in March 2000.
Child Protective Services officials took the girl, then 7-years-old, from Liberty Hill Elementary School on Jan. 5, 2000. She was hospitalized, treated for malnutrition and placed in a foster home with her then 15-month-old half-sister.
Her parents have been charged with injuring and endangering her by nearly starving her to death and failing to provide her with proper
medical care. Their trial was moved from Williamson County to New Braunfels because of pre-trial publicity.
If convicted of injury to a child, the Heisers could face five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Endangering a child is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Monday, prosecutor Jane Starnes
rested her case in the 26th Judicial District courtroom of Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield after hours of testimony by the alleged victim’s psychotherapist, Judy Cardinale. Cardinale has seen the girl 48 times since her hospitalization.
In testimony that began Friday, the therapist said that she accepted as truth allegations the girl made against her parents about unusual punishment and taking
away her food.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Roy Minton on Monday, Cardinale acknowledged she hadn’t checked out the girl’s story with anybody else.
“You never talked to anybody to determine if these statements were accurate?” Minton asked.
“No sir,” Cardinale answered. “The only thing I saw that corrobo-See MOTHER/5A
NB officer, suspect released from hospital
Pair injured Sunday in wreck during high-speed chase on Interstate 35
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
A high-speed chase Sunday on Interstate 35 ended in a crash that injured a New Braunfels police officer and sent an Austin boy suspected of car theft to the hospital.
The boy, 16, now faces a charge of assault on a public servant with a deadly weapon.
A mid-sized sedan and a New Braunfels police car were destroyed in the high speed■■■
crash just north of New Braunfels.
The officer, Lorenzo Mireles, was taken by ambulance to McKenna Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released later Sunday. He is on injury leave.
The 16-year-old boy was flown to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he was treated for his injuries and released to Comal County juvenile authorities, who are detaining him.
New Braunfels Police Sgt. John McEch-
em said local officers joined in the chase after Selma police notified them about 8:55 a.m.
“This was happening pretty fast,” McEchem said.
Officers said the boy was being chased out of San Antonio in an allegedly stolen car. The chase reached speeds of 95 to 115 miles an hour, police said.
New Braunfels police set up a “rollingSee WRECK/5A
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