New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 28, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
Jury to decide if Hernandez killed for gang
By Ron Maloney
The homicide case against John Hernandez will go to the jury this morning in 207th Judicial District Court.
Attorney Glen Peterson ended his defense of Hernandez Thursday with testimony from Rodolfo Gomez, a former jail inmate who told jurors a co-defendant, Santiago “Crazy Jimmy” Suarez, had said he committed the crime himself.
Hernandez, 32, stands charged with organized criminal murder in the April 28, 2002, stabbing death of Pablo Esquivel. If convicted, Hernandez faces between five
and 99 years in state prison.
Suarez has not yet been tried in connection with the crime. He remains in protective custody in the Comal County Jail.
Gomez, 40, testified he was in H Block of Comal County Jail in February 2003 because his bond was revoked in a drug case.
Suarez, he said, was in protective custody in G Block, directly across the hallway.
In testimony under Peterson’s questioning, Gomez said Suarez, who told detectives he and his co-defendants were Mexican Mafia members, admitted to knifing Esquivel
See TRIAL, Page 8A
Whafs all the fuss?
On one of the townfe busiest weekends, see what causes all the perking woes.
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NBISD wants new advice on insurance
By Leigh Jones
New Braunfels Independent School District Board of Trustees have directed administrators to seek additional advice on insurance policies from local consultant Frank Witting.
The district’s current consultant Neal Welch, of Houston, is in the process of making recommendations to get the district’s self-funded health insurance plan out of its projected $1.4 million deficit for 2004-05.
Witting told trustees the dis
trict’s 40 percent increase in claims and spiraling deficit should have been managed better.
“With 800 employees, your losses should be predictable,” he said.
With a self-funded insurance plan, premiums are collected in a fund that pays claims. During a year with higher-than-average claims, the fund can dip into the red.
Trustee Lee Edwards said two bad years did not necessarily indicate that losses would continue.
See INSURANCE Page 8A
HAY, MAY 28, 2004
MV WST AVAILABLE COBY
SPORTS DOWN, NOT OUT
Smithson Valley drops game 3-1 against first-ranked Corpus Christi Moody; teams square off again today in Corpus. Page GA
Readers urge people to honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day, thank officers for helping broke-down motorist. Page 4A
Vol. 153, No. 171 16 pages, 2 sections
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 3-BB COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A
OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6-7A TV GRIDS 3B
Details .... 1B
By Scott Mahon
Jubilant gradutes close the book on high school
Senior Shawn Magargee lifts NBISD School Board Trustee Penelope Biggadike off the ground in a bear hug after receiving his diploma Thursday night at Strahan Coliseum.
Salutatorian Amber Laird told the New Braunfels High School class of2004 to smile, “Life is easier when you smile.”
And so they did, all 457 of them, as they tossed their mortarboards into the air Thursday night at Strahan coliseum in San Marcos.
But the night wasn’t without the usual graduation jitters.
Parents with cameras hoped to capture that one special moment.
Graduates smiled nervously and waved at friends and family.
Administrative officials checked gowns for hidden beach balls prior to the ceremony.
Amberly Medina, Bethany Perez and Amanda Medrano fidgeted prior to the ceremony, checking their graduation gowns, fixing each others’ hair.
The three girls said they’ve been friends all through school.
“And we’ll remain friends for a long, long time," Medina said. “High school was a great experience. It was dramatic, but we learned a lot of good lessons, like trust and friendship.”
Dorothy Urban sat quietly in the bleachers prior to the ceremony.
She had come ail the way from Alabama to watch her granddaughter, Mispy Greenhalgh, graduate.
“She wants to go to Abilene Christian University after graduation,” said Debbie Greenhalgh, Missy’s mother.
David McDonald of Ohio was there to watch his son, Matthew, graduate.
“He wants to go to community college in Austin after graduation,” McDonald said.
In her graduation speech, Valedictorian Leslie Schwind urged graduating seniors to “do what you love; look for your talents and passions."
Christine Huddleston, who gave the farewell address, said New Braunfels would always be your home.
“This is the last time we’ll be together, so always remember the
See GRADUATION, Page 8A
Photos by DAVID INORAM/Herald-Zeitung
(Above) Cap and diploma in hand, senior John Bishop celebrates as graduation for the New Braunfels High School Class of 2004 comes to an end Thursday night at Strahan Coliseum. (Below left) Ashley Aguirre, left, Casey Aguirre and Usa Alanis sing the New Braunfels High School Alma Mater for the last time. (Below right) Senior Brooks Wilson lets his cap express his feelings on graduation.
Fridays, the Herald-Zeitung mill feature a different house of worship.
Pastor Dave McCall
Denomination: Evangelical Free Church of America
Meeting time 10:45 a m Sunday
Location Bill Brown Elementary
1 Phone number (830) 980-3994
1 Web site: hillside-
• Worship style: Blended
5 Mission statement: We exist to glorify God by encouraging all to enter into a personal, maturing relationship with Jesus Christ and to equip each to serve and reach others for Him.
Hillside’s small groups part of something much larger
By Leigh Jones
Hillside Fellowship is about activity, not passivity.
“I constandy challenge the congregation to be the body of Christ and not just ‘do’ church," said Pastor Dave McCall.
McCall said the distinction between actively meeting others’ needs versus simply attending a church service is important as the church prepares to break ground on its first building.
Hillside Fellowship began IO years ago as Smithson Valley Evangelical Free Church. It was founded by Wayside Chapel in San Antonio.
The congregation met in local schools until it was able to acquire 15 acres 3 miles north of Texas 46 on U.S. 281.
"We’re in the middle of a giving campaign,” McCall said. “We’ve hired an architect and engineers. We looking forward to being in our own building."
McCall said the plan was to break
ground at the first of next year, but the building’s timeline was not as important as its contents.
“The word ‘church’ is associated with a building, but the church is the people,” McCall said. “Our congregation is beginning to see and live that."
The primary vehicle for ministry at I lillside Fellowship is small groups of 20 to 24 people who meet in homes where the setting is conducive to more personal sharing.
McC^all said the groups’ motivation was to encourage the congregation to meet each other’s needs.
“As church growth mushrooms, who gives out care?” McCall asked. “Without small groups, it falls to the staff, but staff can’t meet all the needs. (Small group ministry) is the lifeblood of the church.”
Nita McCarty has learned that concept while working on the church’s vacation Bible school.
See CNURCN. Page 8A
Pastor Dave McCall stands next to the sign designed by one of the church members announcing the future home of the Hillside Fellowship.
EH. ’•-owned dais!