New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 3, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAYNEW Braunfels ' May 3,2003
owp* MHM 16 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung
ii muniVol, 152, No. 146 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 SO cents
Events shocking to neighbors, school
By Ron Maloney Staff Writer
Officials at Dayspring Christian School are preparing to help students deal with what happened to the Mikkelsen family Friday.
A school official and two of Berm Mikkelsen’s neighbors expressed shock Friday at the events that left the 69-year-old New Braunfels man in critical condition at Brooke Army Medical Center and destroyed the family's home at the end of a cul-de-sac off Old McQueeney Road.
Dayspring Principal Vickie Williams said she didn’t know what could have caused the dispute that led to an all-night standoff with police and Mikkelsen burning down his family’s home.
‘Theres nothing I can tell you about the family situation,” Williams said. ‘They’re a wonderful little family.”
Mikkelsen’s son, Bomi Jr., 8, is a second-grader at Dayspring.
“He’s a very good student. His dad is at school practically every day, is very devoted to that child
See SHOCKING/4Ain flames
(Above) New Braunfels Police, Fire/EMS and Comal County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team members carry 69-year-okj Bemi Mikkelsen to an awaiting ambulance.
(Left) Mikkelsen was found wedged between two cars after rescue workers pried open the garage door of the during house. (Above, left) Snipers were positioned around the house on Sable Circle during the 12-hour standoff that resulted after a domestic dispute.
Photos by K. JESSIE SLATEN/Heraid-Zertung
Man sets own home ablaze after keeping cops at bay overnight
By Sean Bowlin
A 69-year-old man held off police with a rifle for nearly 12 hours Friday before burning down his house.
Firefighters escorted by Comal County Sheriff’s office SWAT team members found Berni Mikkelsen of 46 Sable Circle, a six-home cul-de sac, wedges! between two vehicles in his garage.
Mikkelsen was taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital and then flown to Brooke Army Medical Center at about ll a.m. Friday.
BAMC officials refuse^ Friday to talk about Mikkelsen’s condition.
“I’ve been told we’re in ‘black-out,"’ a media spokesman said.
Local public safety officials said late Friday that Mikkelsen was in “critical” condition.
New Braunfels Chief of Police Russell Johnson said the standoff was precipitated when Mikkelsen struck his wife, Amparo, 50, during a domestic dispute Thursday night. Dispatch records show officers went to the home at 10:30 p.m.
“Last night, we had a 9-1-1 hangup at the residence,” Johnson said. "Officers responded. What we found out is that the wife had ran next door. She had been assaulted. She informed us that her child was inside the house with her husband. She was scared,” Johnson said. “We got out here quickly and set up communications.”
Johnson said when police arrived, they talked to Mikkelsen, who was holding his son, Berm Jr., 8, hostage while holding a rifle to his own chin. Amparo Mikkelsen persuaded her husband to release the boy to officers.
See STANDOFF/4AHOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDED
■ 10:30 p.m. Thursday — Police go to Bemi Mikkelsen’s home to answer 9-1 -1 hangup call.
■ 12.30 a.m. Friday —- Mikkelsen releases his son, 8, to police.
■ 4:40 a.m. — After hours of talks with NBPD negotiator Chris Snyder, Mikkelsen refuses to come out; cuts off negotiations. Police cut power to house.
■ 9 am. — Sheriff’s SWAT and crisis negotiation teams deployed.
■ 9:25 a.m. — Mikkelsen sets fire to home in back bedroom.
■ 10:45 am —Escorted by SWAT, two firemen cut garage door and pull Mikkelsen from burning home.
■ 10:50-Mikkelsen is taken to McKenna Memorial Hospital.
■ 11 arn. — Mikkelsen is flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in “critical” condition with smoke inhalation — but no bumsAt a glance
■ Voting is easier if you bring you voter registration card — but you can vote without it.
Don’t know what district you live in?
■ Call the Comal County Voter Registrar’s Office at 620-5520, or the New Braunfels City Secretary's Office at 608-2100, extensions 211 or 251, for assistance.
Both offices will be open today from 7 arn. to 7 p.m.
■ On the Web: To find out what city district you live in, log onto the New Braunfels Web site at www.ci.new-braunfels.tx.us, click on “2003 street index" and scroll down to your street name. The council district you live in is the single digit number on the right.
Voters head to polls in city, school elections
By Ron Maloney
Another election cycle comes to a close today with local races to be decided in Bulverde, New Braunfels and the Comal Independent School District.
Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Comal County Elections Coordinator Linnell Hinojosa said voters should remember to bring their voter registration cards. The right side of the card lists a voter’s school district and city districts.
“We can process you without your voter registration card, but the process is faster
if you bring it,” Hinojosa said. “It will facilitate the line.”
Anyone with last-minute questions about where to vote can call County Voter Registrar Karen Sachtleben, who works for Tax Assessor and Collector Sherman Krause.
Her office will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Her number is 620-5520.
New Braunfels City Secretary Michael Resendez said his office would also be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to assist voters. The telephone number is 608-2100, extensions 211,234 or 251,
On today’s ballot are two
city council seats and three propositions.
In Council District 3, Gale O’Hara Pospisil challenges incumbent Debbie Flume. The race is a rematch of the 20M contest Flume won.
In Council District 4, Valerie Hull is hoping to unseat incumbent Robert Kendrick.
Proposition I would broaden a city ordinance passed in a similar proposition in 2002.
It would allow Hotel Occupancy Tux money to be used to finance renovation or construction of a civic center in the downtown area of New Braunfels —not just the existing civic center, as the
ordinance now reads.
The proposition is not tied to any specific project, would not affect property taxes and does not threaten ideas to expand the existing civic center or construct a new one.
Proposition 2 would reduce the economic development (4B) sales tax by two-thirds (one-quarter cent). Proposition 3 would take that money and dedicate it to repair of residential streets.
Resendez said 1,806 voters cast early ballots in the municipal election.