New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
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SPORTS MOVING ON
The Smithson Valley baseball, softball teams continue to march toward state titles. Page 7 A
Guest columnist Ashleen Kelly says hard-working Hispanics can overcome prejudice. Page 6A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 162 14 pages, 2 sections
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DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 4B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 6A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 7A TV GRIDS 3B
■NMMParents ask for mercy for admitted killer
By Ron Maloney
The parents of the man who pleaded guilty to murder in a 2002 stabbing sought mercy for their son, testifying they couldn’t believe he had committed the crime.
Santiago Suarez and his wife,
Zenaida, painted a much different picture of their son, Santiago Jr., than the one portrayed by the prosecution of a cold-blooded killer who was trying to impress the Mexican Mafia.
Suarez, who attorneys said was known as “Crazy Jimmy’’ among gangland friends, pleaded guilty in April before 274th Judicial District
Judge Gary Steel to stabbing Pablo Esquivel to death the night of April 28,2002.
Two co-defendants in the case, John Hernandez, 34, and Daniel Campos Correa, 36, have previously been convicted. Correa pleaded guilty at what was to be the start of his trial with Hernandez in May 2004
in exchange for an 11 -year prison sentence. Prosecutors believed he was the back seat passenger in the car, which was driven by Hernandez.
A Comal County jury heard a two-week trial, found Hernandez guilty and sentenced him to 55 years in prison.
In exchange for Suarez’s plea, District Attorney Dib Waldrip agreed to a 50-year sentence cap.
Prosecutor Joe Soane III made a brief opening statement at a daylong hearing dominated by testimony by defense expert psychiatrist,
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Parents join in debate over school dress code
By Melissa Johnson
While clothing fashions and trends may have changed over the years, the New Braunfels Independent School district secondary school dress code has not.
Parents, teachers and administrators met Wednesday night at Holy Family Church to haggle over clothing definitions and revisions to the fourth draft of the Secondary School Dress Code. The recent series of meetings is the first time the code has been discussed in 15 years.
The purpose of the meeting and subsequent revisions is to establish a consistent sixth through 12th grade dress code.
“Rules are different from one school to another, and for a parent. that can be very frustrating,’’ said Assistant Superintendent Janet Patton. “We want to establish the
same rules all the way across.”
The code will be enforced during the instructional day and 30 minutes before and alter.
People at the meeting Wednesday spoke against additional restrictions on graphics, pictures and writing on garments. The adjustment will allow students to wear clothing sponsored by organizations and clubs not affiliated with the school as well as popular sports shirts.
Audience members spoke in favor of the wording “No clothing that advertises drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, profane or obscene language or gestures, sex or violence.” The phrase “hate, racial or symbols of death” was also added.
“This is to keep kids from reading offensive material all day long as they sit behind
See DRESS Page 5A
NBHS students move on
Seniors at New Braunfels High School take a big step forward in their lives at graduation.
4B Board offers to support airport, civic center plans
By Leigh Jones
Both the airport control tower and the civic center got nods of approval from the City of New Braunfels Industrial Development Corporation (4B) board of directors Wednesday.
Through two nonbinding resolutions, the board indicated its willingness to spend $1.5 million on each project in the future.
Both votes were unanimous.
Now that City Manager Chuck Pinto knows how much 4B is willing to contribute to the civic center expansion, he likely will ask city council members to set a final budget for the project in late June or early July and determine how much they are willing to contribute from general funds.
Council voted previously to cap the total project expense at $11.3 million.
Before construction can begin, the old police station
must be demolished to make way for a new parking lot and the city must finalize an agreement with the Texas Chuck Pinto Depart-
ment of Transportation to move their maintenance yard to TxDOT’s yard on I-35. In exchange, the city will provide in-kind work on TxDOT’s new facility.
The 4B board also unanimously approved extending $100,000 to A-Lert Roofing to relocate its operations from Seguin to New Braunfels.
Director of Operations John Bagley told board members the company had looked for a new facility in Seguin for two years with no luck.
Rather than move out of See 4B Page 4A
PLEASE SLOW DOWN
Residents stunned when council votes against stop signs
Comal ISD forced to wait before rewarding teachers
By Leigh Jones
Comal Independent School District teachers are waiting on pins and needles to find out what kind of raise they can expect next year.
While they will get their first look at the proposed salary schedule tonight when administrators present the numbers to trustees, nothing can be finalized until legislators decide what they want to require as part of the school finance legislation.
The proposed raise bandied about most often in Austin would give teachers $3,000 over two years, but district administrators would lik# to do more than that for most of their classroom employees.
Under the proposed schedule, most teachers would get more than $2,000 next year.
First-year teachers would make $34,800, $2,800 more than last year.
Teachers who have IO years of experience stand to gain the
most — $4,226.
But until legislators have had their say, the teachers must wait.
Administrators are concerned that if they set the schedules before the end of the legislative session, any money legislators will require the district to spend will be added to what the district has already committed to do for the teachers, creating an additional expense it might not be able to afford.
See RAISES Page 3A
AT A GLANCE
■ What: Comal Independent School District board meeting where trustees will get their first opportunity to look at the 2005-06 budget
■ When: 6 p.m. today
■ Where: Smithson Valley High School, 14001 Hwy. 46 West
By Leigh Jones
Bernice Martini feels like a spectator at the Indianapolis 500 standing on her North Ranch Estates Boulevard front porch.
While some drivers obey the 30 mph speed limit, Martini and her neighbors have observed many using the straight shot to County line Road as their personal drag racing venue.
Fed up with the excessive speed, 78 of the street’s residents signed a petition requesting stop signs to help slow down traffic.
They got a green light from the Traffic and Transportation Committee last month, but Monday, city council put the brakes on the plan when they voted 4-3 to decline the request.
Councilwomen Gail Pospisil, Valerie Hull, Lynn Limmer and Sonia Munoz-Gill voted against the signs and Kathleen Krueger, Beth Sokolyk and Mayor Bruce Boyer voted for them.
Martini was shocked.
“We thought they would be concerned about our safety and welfare,” she said Wednesday, standing next to the stop sign at North Ranch Estates Boulevard and Frances Street. “We just want some help.”
Residents thought their request was a sure thing.
The cross streets coming into North Ranch Estates all have stop signs, including a nub of a street that is only about 30 yards long.
Plus, after two one-car accidents which demolished mailboxes and sent bricks flying across several neatly manicured front lawns, they felt sure council would see the need to slow down traffic.
“Our big issue is safety,” said Holly Thte, whose 9-year-old daughter, Tori, was almost hit by a speeding car while she was riding her bike in front of her house. “You would think a child could ride across a neighborhood street safely.”
Although she said she was concerned
Bernice Martini holds up a petition signed by 78 residents who live on North Ranch Estates Boulevard asking city council to consider the installation of stop signs along the long, straight roadway to help slow down traffic. Council voted 4-3 to decline the request Monday night. Below, children walk along the roadway.
about the street’s children, Munoz-Gill led the vote against the signs, in part because City Engineer Mike Short recommended not to have them installed.
Short used the Manual on Universal Traffic Control Devices to judge whether the intersections met the stop sign requirements.
“The MUTCH requires equivalent numbers of vehicles on each street,” he said. “Those intersections do not.” Following the established guidelines is important, said City Manager Chuck Pinto, to protect the city from potential lawsuits.
See STOP Page 4A