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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 8, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas TUESDAY NEW Braunfels    May    s,    2001 12 pages in 2 sectionsHer ALD-Z EITUNG I., Ill" I IM " ll ,1,' ................. •, ll "I-" I. I MMM, IMM,■ .Pl-.....I M11M M ,1,1,, 11, I., I,, I, I...........I ^ M , M IM, I I I I I , I ................ ..........„.....——■■■..■ ...... ... HH. ! 1.1 MI. II .1 , I, , „ M MU,-..I, ,..,.-...".11,1 . I, I. 111 ■ ■ I ■ ""WI I ' «‘J • 'M" ■'!!*£. "I Vol. 150, No. 152 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Inside Abby...............................5A Classifieds.......................4-6B Comics..............................3B Crossword........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports...............................1-2B Key Code 76 TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIESThe Herald-Zeitung experienced technical difficulties with its Konica imagesetter Friday and Saturday nights. Because of this, many of our readers received their newspapers late. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to solve the problems so that your copy of the Herald-Zeitung will arrive in a timely fashion. Lone stars Comal County athletes take prowess to Austin K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels High School senior Lauren Walker hits a backhand at the State Finals Monday morning in Austin. Walker will play for the state title at 9 a.m. today. For more information, see page 1B. From Staff Reports The state’s swiftest and highest will know about Comal County after this week. A number of area athletes are competing in various University Interscholastic League state matches, tournaments and meets this week. New Braunfels High School’s Lauren Walker took to the tennis court Monday to compete while the Canyon Cougarette golf team and Smithson Valley’s Julia Best hit the links in the state golf tournament. Later this week, at the state track meet, several NBHS athletes will compete. Among them will be Michelle Carson, Crystal Rnodel, Kendra Sargent and Belinda Vargas in the 800-meter relay; Martha Rockwood in the 3,200 meter run; and Lauren Reimer in the long jump, high jump, shot put, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Also, Smithson Valley’s Becca Thomas will compete in the 3,200 meter run. See Sports this week for a look at these athletes and how they fare in competition. County seeking funds for flood control dams Jury deliberates verdict in child injury case By Ron MaloneyStaff Writer For prosecutor Jane Starnes, its really about the pictures. Monday, she laid a portfolio of photos of an emaciated, dehydrated, 7-year-old girl on the rail in front of a Comal County jury. She then spent two hours telling the jury members why they should send the girls’ parents to prison. Defense attorney Roy Minton called for acquittals. “Go back and ask yourselves what Joe and Yevette Heiser knew, and when did they know it,” Minton said. “We need a verdict of not guilty — two times.” Joseph and Yevette Heis-ers’ child injury trial went to the jury Monday afternoon — in its 16th day. The Heisers, of Liberty Hill, are accused of injuring and endangering their then-7-year-old child by nearly starving her to death and failing to find her proper medical care. The charge of injuring a child is a first-degree felony punishable by 5 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. “I think we have plenty of evidence of what these people’s intent was toward this child,” Starnes said, pointing across the courtroom at defendants Joseph and Yevette Heiser. “Who on earth wouldn’t know that this beautiful little girl — your beautiful little girl — is declining and has changed into this strange-looking child?” Starnes asked.See JURY/5AGruene Road wins OK,again Kendrick abstains from vote this time By Amy ClarksonStaff Writer The New Braunfels City Council voted again Monday night to extend improvements on Gruene Road, but this time Councilman Robert Kendrick abstained from voting. Kendrick owns property on Gruene Road and previously made a motion to extend improvements on the street past his property. Kendrick said he was unaware that the motion or his vote in favor of the project might be considered a conflict of interest. He asked council to address the problem of a potential conflict of interest at Monday night’s special council meeting. City ordinances say that the council members can vote on an issue if “the member’s interest is the same as that of any other citizen.” Kendrick said his property on Gruene Road was only a small portion of the land that faces the road. Mayor Stoney Williams said he felt no action was needed to clear up the problem. He advised Kendrick to refrain from voting on the project if it came up at future council meetings. However, Councilwoman Juliet Watson felt the council needed to clear up any misconceptions on Kendrick’s behalf. “It’s a waste of time,” Williams argued. “It’s my opinion that the motion carried with a majority vote,See ROAD/3A GERA dispute goes to Austin Wednesday Council votes to oppose contested case hearing By Amy ClarksonStaff Writer The New Braunfels City Council voted to oppose a contested case hearing for a permit that would take more water out of Canyon Lake in a special meeting Monday. The motion cleared up any legal problems stemming from an apparent Open Meetings Act violation at the council’s March 26 meeting. Council discussed the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s permit request to allow the organization to take up to 40,000 additional acre-feet from Canyon Lake and previous action taken by the council. On March 26, council approved a motion to send questions and comments to the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission public meeting conducted in New Braunfels onSee COUNCIL/3A Meeting — What: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission meeting When: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Where: 2105 N. I-35, Building E, Room 201-S. Directions to TNRCC: Take I- 35 North to Austin. CL group seeking legal advice By Martin MalacaraStaff Writer Only 24 hours stand between opponents and supporters of the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority’s request before the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to draw more water out of Canyon Lake. TNRCC commissioners will meet early Wednesday morning to render a decision on granting the river authority the right to draw an additional 40,000 acre-feet a year from the lake. GBRA currently is permitted to draw 50,000 acre-feet. The new permit would allow 90.000 acre-feet to come from the lake. An acre-foot roughly equals 326.000 gallons. TNRCC officials have said the agency received 17 requests for a contested hear-ing on the ~    GBRA    per- GBRA water rn i t declined to give the names of those seeking a contested hearing. GBRA officials have said the additional water from the lake is a key component of state and regional water planning to meet water needs in the next 50 years. Canyon Lake residents, however, have spoken out against drawing more water from the lake, citing economic and environmental reasons. About 58 residents have chartered a bus for the trip to Austin Wednesday. Others will drive themselves to the meeting, said Bene Campbell, owner of The Ix)dge at Turkey Cove near the lake. Campbell said she purchased the lodge nine months ago and first heard aboutSee GBRA/3A Exit on Yager Lane. The exit will pass over 1-35. Take a u-turn to proceed on the southbound access road of I-35. The TNRCC offices will be on the right. annual inspection of the county’s current dam network Monday. Hornseth said the current network reduced water flow during the 1998 flood by 50 percent. Hornseth also said to keep the network functioning, county work crews have to clear vegetation from the dams to prevent roots from weakening the structures. Earlier this year, the county submitted an $11 million proposal to state officials for one new dam. The Federal Emergency Management Administration will have final approval on the proposal. Smith previously told county officials legislation is expected to come out of the U.S. House transportation committee this term called Water 21, a nationwide omnibus water bill, which could help flood control, conservation and other water-related projects. The county ultimately wants to add four more dams to its existing network of five to reduce flooding in events such as the October 1998 flood and the spring 1972 flood. If built, the dams could cost up to $45 million. Dam sites under consideration include one near Sattler; locations along Bear, Jacobs and Elm creeks; and another on a Dry Comal Creek tributary west of the Dit-tlinger quarry. The dams being considered would not hold water except in extreme flooding events.See DAMS/5A By Martin MalacaraStaff Writer MARTIN MALACARA/Herald-ZeitungCounty Engineer Tom Hornseth inspects the spillway at the Krause Dam near the west prong of Dry Comal Creek. Comal County’s judge is still hopeful the state and federal governments will assist in financing new flood control dams. Danny Scheel said the state’s Division of Emergency Management has promised the county about $5 million for dam construction. Scheel also said the county is seeking assistance from U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith for $40 million. “We are actively pursuing (funds) and hopefully we’ll move forward,” Scheel said. Scheel spoke about the project after he, Commissioner Moe Schwab and County Engineer Tom Hornseth conducted their ;