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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 16, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Scherenschnitte More than 200 hand-made decorations of scherenschnitte are on display at the Civic Center as part of Weih-nachtsmarkt. K. JESSIE SLATEN Herald-Zeitung Inside Abby..,;.,.,,................ .......7 A Classifieds................... . ...4-6B Comics....................... .......3B Crossword................. .......7A Forum.......................... .......6A Local/Metro................. .......4A Movies......................... .......7A Obituaries.................... .......3A Sports........................ ...1-3B Today.......................... .......2A Stocks............................. ......5A I 1 ! com Key Code 76 Man pleads guilty in rape case By Ron Maloney Staff Writer On his 28th birthday Tuesday, Loren Rutter pleaded guilty to raping a 16-year-old girl. On Wednesday, a Comal County jury gave him the best birthday gift it could have — probation. Rutter drew a nine-year sentence in state prison and a $10,000 fine following about five hours of deliberations and recommended probation. District Court Judge Robert Pfeuffer then imposed a six-month sentence in county jail as a condition of Rutter’s probation — the handiest probation condition allowed the judge. Rutter will serve the entire 180 days without time off for good behavior. If he does not violate the terms of his probation, he will never pay the fine or face state prison. Rutter and another man, age 27, from the Dallas area were arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 16-year-old Laporte girl at a River Road campground on June 20, 1909. The other suspect, Ronald W. Carver, still is awaiting trial. Sheriffs’ Det. Tommy Ward said the pair was on a weekend camping and tubing trip at Mountain Breeze campground when the incident occurred. A number of high school girls from the Laporte area, ages 16-18, were camped out nearby. The rape Rutter confessed to allegedly occurred late on the second night of the outing or in the predawn hours of the following morning, a Sunday. According to testimony at the sentencing hearse© GUILTY/5A FELSHerald-Zeitung NBHS fire drill ‘alarms’ officials By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer Two classes that could not hear the fire alarm during an unscheduled drill Wednesday at New Braunfels High School will not have that problem again. An impromptu fire drill by Fire Marshal Elroy Friesenhahn drew attention to an old problem in the E-wing of the building: some classes have problems hearing the alarm. “Safety is a really important issue, and apparently this has been a problem in the past,” Principal Mike Fitsko said. “You need everybody to hear that alarm without question, no matter what activity is happening in the classroom. If not, you defeat the purpose of the fire alarm. “(The fire drill showed) what we need to do to improve our system. I’m going to get it fixed right away.” Less than three hours after the fire drill, the district’s director of facilities, David Owens, inspected tile system and told officials a new alarm would be installed today. “We have to double check the system,” Assistant Principal Bob Rodriguez said. “(Fire drills) serve a very useful and positive purpose. It’ll doublecheck the system, everything from the system to evacuation routes. It highlights some of the things we need to look at.” Friesenhahn and his staff are making the rounds at schools right now to gauge emergency response levels. Unscheduled fire alarms help schools test their emergency readiness. Besides serving as a practice run for students and faculty, fire drills also highlight weaknesses in their systems, such as faulty equipment or fire truck accessibility. Immediately after the drill at NBHS, Friesenhahn and his staff met with school officials and delivered an on-the-spot report about how well the school performed. “They did really well,” Friesenhahn said. Other than the two classes that could not hear the alarm, the entire school — an estimated 2,000 people — vacated the building in designated holding spots in less than three minutes. See DRILL/5A Unicorns shoot for state title By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer Behind every good woman, there’s a good fan. In less than 48 hours, the New Braunfels Unicom volleyball team takes on the second-to-last hurdle that stands between it and the state 4A championship. The Unicorns play Friendswood High School at 5:45 p.m. at the Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos on Friday. The winner of that semifinal match plays for the 4A championship game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Strahan. As the team spent the week honing skills that have carried them this far, their fans worked on new ways to show their support. “We’ve got a base of fans that have been very supportive and who are really into it. A couple of them even followed us to Calallen (in Corpus Christi),” Coach Phyllis Fowler said. Colorful posters line the halls, and students wear black play-off T-shirts lettered in blue. The girls’ basketball team has crafted hand held signs, each bearing the name of a different volleyball player. Tiny bells on string twisted around the stem of the placards tinkle every time its player does something well. “We’re all really involved in the other girls’ sports,” senior basketball player BriAnne Taylor said. The basketball team plans to See STATE/5 A Signs of support CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung Students and teachers at New Braunfels High School are swept up in the Unicom volleyball team’s race for the state 4A championship. Basketball players Cherita Mannie (front), and from left, Alicia Rollo, BriAnne Taylor and Jennifer Baerwald sport Unicom volleyball spirit shirts. BUSH Gore bid i rejected by Bush By Ron Fournier AP Political Writer Al Gore made a surprise proposal for a statewide hand recount of Florida’s 6 million ballots Wednesday night and George W. Bush swiftly rejected it, calling the effort under way in several Democratic-leaning counties an “arbitrary and chaotic” way to settle the presidential race. With their futures tied up in a knot of legal battles, the presidential rivals made dueling appearances on national television, calling for a quick end to the contested election but disagreeing on how to do it. “Our goal must be what is right for America,” the vice president said at his official mansion in Washington. “This process must be fair, this process must be accurate, and this process must be final,” Bush said from the governor’s mansion in Austin. Their evening addresses capped a whirlwind day of legal activity that gave both weary camps tasted of victory and defeat — but no clear road to completion. The Florida Supreme Court, all Democratic appointees, rejected a request from Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris to block any manual recounts while the courts decide whether the process is legal. The high court’s ruling, though far from the final word, gave Democrats new vigor in their bal-lot-by-ballot bid to trim Bush’s 300-vote lead in the state. Officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties hunkered down for an excruciating hand count of I million ballots. The secretary of state also announced she would not accept the hand-counted ballots, calling the counties’ reasoning “insufficient.” Harris vowed to certify the Florida election results Saturday without the hand recount totals. Gore’s lawyers said they will challenge her decision Thursday. In another front, Bush’s lawyers filed a 182-page appeal in a federal appeals court in Atlanta. The Texas governor lost a round Monday on his move to shut down the recounts in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward and Volusia counties. Legal matters aside, both presidents-in-waiting See ELECTION/3A GORE New Braunfels might see street, drainage funds By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer New Braunfels might have almost $3 million in additional funds for streets and drainage projects as a result of this past week’s election. On Nov. 7, New Braunfels voters narrowly approved two propositions in a special election. The city has for several years collected a 4A sales tax and a 4B sales tax, both named after their enabling legislation. The one-eighth of I percent 4A sales tax was dedicated to economic development. The total one-quarter of I percent 4B sales tax was divided into half for streets and drainage projects and other improvement projects. Voters on Nov. 7 first voted 2,893 to 2,357 to approve a resolution allowing the city to spend 4B money on sports venues. A second resolution passed by a vote of 2,621 to 2,501. It eliminated the cityk separate economic development sales tax and com bined it with the 4B tax. It also allowed the city to spend any amount of 4B money on any legal projects, including economic development, streets and drainage, affordable housing and other projects. The votes became official during Monday night’s council meeting, when council members canvassed the votes from the election. They approved an emergency ordinance, which requires one council approval instead of three, declaring the results of the election. Some of the 4A money collected in the past several years is unallocated. That money by law goes into the general fund and the council can decide how to spend it. But Councilwoman Debbie Flume asked council to instead earmark that money for streets and drainage work. The council approved her proposal Monday night to place the unallocated money into a special revenue account so expenditures of that money can be See STREETS/5AVol. ISONo. 4 16 pages in 2 sections November 16, 2000    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Thursday ;