New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 7, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
8ATUIIIMX NOVEMBER 7.2009
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 156, No. 311 20 pages, 2 sections
Details ... 11A
DEAR ABBY BB CLASSIFIEDS M COMICS 4t CROSSWORD 4t FORUM 4A OBITUARIES lA SPORTS IB TV GRIDS §•City ordered to repay nearly $1M in river feesBy Chris CobbThe Herald-Zeitung
A district judge ruled Friday that the City of New Braun-fels must pay back nearty $1 million to local river outfitters.
After first ruling the city's river management fée unconstitutional in 2007, visiting District Judge Ron Carr
ordered Friday that the city refund more than $800,000 in fm paid by outfitters from 2001 to 2007, as weU as nearly $1SO,0()0 in attorneys fees and more than $13,000 in coun costs.
"We are pleased with the outcome," ¿dd David Earl, an attorney who represented three outfitters hi the lawsuit —TtocaslUbes, Roddn' R' Riv-THI CII V OWES:
RocMn' R RNir Mm: 1419,591.75 T«MTubtf:l149,9M ComorTuhM: 647.910.50 Tht city alto mutt pay $148,836 in attomayftat and $13,410.05 in court cofti.
er Rides and Corner l\tbes. "The goal was not to hurt the city. The goal was to make things right, and we feel that's
The river management fee, or "tube tax," forces outfitters to charge $1.25 for each person who rents a tube or uses an outfitter shuttle. Outfitters then give that money to the city at the end of every month to pay for services such as trash collection and law enforcement on the rivers.
A group of outfitters filed a
lawsuit in May 2007 to have the tube tax thrown out. It won, with Carr ruling in September 2007 that it was an unconstitutional occupation tax and that the city had not properly complied with its charter when it was first enacted.
Until Friday, the money paid by the outfitters has been stuck in legal limbo.
Now, three of the original five outfitters who filtHi suit in 2007 — Harl said two others dropped out because of cost concerns — could be getting their money back.
City officials said I ritlay they are still weighing their legal options after the defeat in district court.
See CITY, Page 11A
DEER SEASON OPENS TODAY Fort Hood shooting
suspect said goodbyes
Processors ready to see thousands of deer from now untU FebruaryBy Chris CobbThe Herald-Zeitung
It's going to be long few months, both for deer and for the people who make their living turning them into venison.
Today marlcs the start of deer season, and that means b^ busi-ness at meat"pfw«iaaiiigccmeii>
After mondis of preparation, those working at load game cen-ters said they're ready for the annual onslaught of hunters bringing their prize Idllk "They come in by the boatload," said TTey Rust of Rust's Game Place.
The general season for white-tailed d^r in Comal County begins today and continues throu^ Jan. 3. The special late general season, where hunters are only allowed to kill antler-less and spike-buck deer, will stretch fi-om Jan. 4 to Jan. 17.
That means the peak season is about to start at processing centers, with untdd numbers (rf deer being deUvered to be skinned, de-boned and turned into sausage, cudets and backstrap.
"How many do we get?" asked Randy Rust, who owns Rust Game Place. "Let's just say it's in the thousands."
And while Schlitterbahn and river outfitters are the most visible seasonal businesses in New Braunfels, meat processors said they also make a healthy portion
Now through Jan. 3; special late general season is from Jan. 4-17.
By Brwtt J. Blackladge and Miko Bakar
Associated Press Writers
Maj. Malik Nidal Hasan
Trim Rust works Friday on boning out a deer at the Rust Game Place and Meat Market
of their living during the height of deer season.
"This is the prime time for us," said Mike Schwab, who owns Schwab Sausage House and Barbecue with his wife, Annette. "We probably do half our business with the deer."
Rust and Mike Schwab both said they've hired additional staff to brace for the busy season. They're also getting rea^ to work long hours, as six to 10 employees will be cleaning and processing around 1,500 deer between now and February
Rust said that doesn't include other game that's also brought in, everything from axis, elk and mule deer to the occasional buffalo.
"We know from the first day until the end of February, there are going to be a lot of long days," Itey Rust said.
It can be grueling, but processors said they look forw^ to it every year.
"You get excited for it," Randy Rust said. "It's a lot of work, but I've been doing it since 1975, so I kind of enjoy it"
FORT HOOD — As if going ofi^ to war, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan cleaned out his apartment and called another to thank him for his fiiendship — common courtesies and routines of the departing soldier. Instead, authorities say, he went on the killing spree that left 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, dead.
Investigators examined Hasan's computer, his home and his garbage Friday to leam what motivated the suspect, who lay in a coma, shot four times in the frantic bloodletting that also wounded 30. Hospital officials said some of the wounded had extremely serious injuries and might not survive.
The 39-year-old Army psychiatrist emerged as a study in contradictions: a polite man who stewed with discontent, a counselor who needed to be counseled himself, a professional healer now suspected of cutting down the fellow soldiers he was sworn to help.
Relatives said he felt harassed because of his Muslim faith but did not embrace extremism. Others were not so sure. A recent classmate said Hasan once gave a jarring presentation to students in which he argued the war on terrorism was a war against Islam, and "made himself a lightning rod for tl^gs" when he felt his religious beliefs were challenged.
Investigators were trying to piece together how and why Hasan allegedly gunned down his comrades in the worst case of violence on a military base in the United States. The rampage imfolded at a center where some 300 unarmed soldiers were lined up for vaccines and eye tests.
Soldiers reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — an Arabic phrase for "God is great!" — before opening fire Thursday, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander. He said officials had not confirmed Hasan made the comment.
The gunman was struck four times by a civilian
See FORT, Page 11A
FORT VICTIMS HAD DIFFERENT REASONS FOR ENUSTING
(AP) - The 13 people killed when an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood included a pregnant woman who was preparing to return homeand a newiywed who served in Iraq,
Velez, 21, of Chicago, was pregnant and preparing to return home. A friend of Velez's, Sasha Ramos, described her as a fun-loving person who wrote poetry and loved dancing. Family members said Velez had recently returned from deployment in Iraq and had sought a lifelong career in the Army.
Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nomelka
Nemelka, 19, of the Salt Ldke City suburb of West Jordan, Utah, chose to join the Army instead of going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his uncle Christopher Nemelka said. Aaron Nemelka, the youngest of four children, was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in January, his family said in a statement. Nemelka enlisted in the Army in October 2008, Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen said.
Pfc. Michael Pearson
Pearson, 21, of the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, III., quit what he figured was a deadend furniture company job to join the military about a year ago. Pearson's mother, Sheryll Pearson, said the 2006 Bolingbrook High School graduate joined the militaiy because he was eager to serve his country and broaden his horizons.
Sheryll Pearson said she hadn't See SLAIN, Page 11ATRIAL BACKGROUND
Janice Maria Vickars, 48, is on trial for murdar in the daath of 82-yaaf-oid SMilay Undanbaum. Following a two*yaar investigation, Vickeri was arrested on Dec. 12.2008 and charged with intan-tionaliy running over and killing Undanbaum wWi her veNcle on WMta Oak Driva near Stailzvilla on Nov. 3,2006. Vickars plaadwl not guilty. Jury selection was Monday, Nov 2. The trial started Tuaaday. Nov. 3, with tattknony from the prost* cution.
Assistant atlomty generals, Ralph Guerrero and Wesley Mau, have been daputii^ as assistant district Mtomeys in the case and lead the prosecution.
Attorney Mark Clarfc is datanding VickarB, who faces five years to Ma in prison and a ^ of up to $10,000 if convictMl.
207th Di^ct Court Judge Jack Robiaon ia presiding over the triii, wWch is «cpociad to laat into naiAwiak.
A iuiy of eight woRitA and four man wW dteida Vickars'fMa.
Longtime friend connects Vickers, Lindenbaum
ByThMon BrittiriiiThe Herald-Zeitung
On the fourth day of testimony Friday, prosecutors provided the first human link between Janice Vickers and Shirley Lindenbaum, calling a longtime friend of both wom^ to the stand.
Ot, who knew and lived across the street from Unden-baum in Canyon Lake since the 1970s, also knows Janice Vickers.
Ort testified Friday she is still good friends with\^ckers, but her testimony contradicted Vickers'
statement to police the night of Lindenbaum's death. Vickers told police she had never met Lindenbaum and did not know her.
Ort testified that a distraught Vickers called her two days after Lindenbaum's death and asked her to come to her home.
According to her testimony, ^en she airived ^^ckers said, "I have to tell you something."
"She said, 'I was at Shirley's house twice/" Ort testified. "She said, 1 put h^ in the car.'"
Ort testified ^e told Vickers at that point don't want to know
anything else," and ended the conversation.
Defense attorney Mark Clark asked Ort if she took Vickers' statement to mean Lindenbaum was alive when Vickers "put" her in the car. Ort indicated tiiat was what she believed Vickers meant.
Prosecutors also raised questions about Vickers' movements on Friday, Nov. 3,2006, the day of Lindenbaum's death.
Vickers traveled to Houston the day before for an education conference on Friday Ort rode along in order to pick up a used car from
her daughter. Ort and her daughter, Lisa Castro, both testified Friday that Vickers led them to believe she was staying in Houston until Saturday, and agreed to follow Ort back to Canyon Lake on Saturday
Phone call logs show that Vickers spoke with Ort at 4:13 p.m. Friday.
"(Vickers) said she and the (other people at the conference) were going out to eat and then they were going out on the town," Ort testified. "She said, I'll get in touch
See TRIAL, Page 11ANew Braunfels Propertic^s