New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 4, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4,2005
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SPORTS BIG TIME
The Smithson Valley volleyball teams makes a run for the playoffs with key district games this week. Page 5
Columnist Charley Reese says FEMA has proven it can't be trusted when emergencies strike. Page 4
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Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 154, No. 271 10 pages, 1 section
herald-zeitung.com i s
DEAR ABBY CLASSIFIEDS
FORUM OBITUARIES SPORTS TV GRIDS
rnrn?Businessman to challenge county tax rate
Needs 4,533 signatures to force election
By Ron Maloney
The publisher of three weekly newspapers in Comal County announced Monday he would begin the petition process for calling a rollback election on the county’s adopted 2006 tax rate.
Douglas Kirk, who publishes the “Bulverde Standard,’’ “Canyon Lake Week” and “Comal County Beacon,” announced in a news release he would publish the petition beginning Wednesday and again each week until the Dec. 14 deadline for getting
4,533 signatures, the 7 percent of the county’s nearly 68,000 registered voters required to force a rollback election.
Kirk is a former trustee of the Comal Independent School District and former candidate for Comal County judge and
Precinct I commissioner.
If the petition effort is successful, commissioners court would be forced to order a rollback election. The first election date available for the election would be May 13. If the rollback was passed by voters, the county would be forced to reset its tax rate at the rollback point.
Comal County commissioners adopted a $26.1 million general
Hind budget in August. To fund it, they adopted an ad valorem tax rate of 35.3747 cents per $ I OO — a 2-cent increase over the previous year and a penny over the rollback rate, which allows for an increase of up to 8 percent.
The law allows a 90-day period in which voters can seek a rollback election.
See RATE, Page 2
County Judge Danny Scheel
By Ron Maloney
Hie man facing organized crime and drug charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life fired his attorney Monday in 22nd Judicial District Court.
The trial of Rodolfo C. Gomez, 42, was set to begin Monday with jury selection before District Judge Charles Ramsay.
Gomez stands accused of five first-degree felony counts of engaging in organized criminal activity by drug possession, one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of aggravated robbery.
Before jury selection began Monday, Gomez told Ramsay he wanted to fire his attorney, Glen Peterson.
Had Gomez not taken the action, Peterson said, he would have asked Ramsay himself to release him because of irreconcilable differences with his client on how to conduct the trial.
See TRIAL, Page 2
First Protestant Church will dedicate a new bell tower by ringing histori cal bells.
Bush chooses little-known lawyer for Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush named White House counsel I larriet Miers to a Supreme Court in transition Monday, turning to a longtime loyalist without experience as a judge or publicly known views on abortion to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Miers “will strictly interpret our (Constitution and laws. She will not legislate from the bench,” the president said as the 60-year-old former private attorney and keeper of campaign secrets stood nearby in the Oval Office.
Miers was Bush’s second selection in three months for vacancies on a high court long divided on key issues. The announcement came shortly before the president attended a ceremony marking John Roberts’ new tenure as the nation’s 17th chief justice.
“The wisdom of those who drafted our Constitution and conceived our nation as functioning with three strong and independent branches has proven truly remarkable,”
See COURT, Page 2
By Leigh Jones
Ron Evola missed a lot during the last 6 months — his youngest daughter’s birth, his son beginning to talk and his oldest daughter’s high school graduation.
While life went on without him in New Braunfels, Evola was busy serving his country by pouring concrete all over the Middle East.
“You miss the simple things," he said with a short laugh. “Here, things like that are insignificant because we all have the privilege of doing them.”
Thousand^of miles away, every-day life at home is far from insignificant.
Evola, a technical sergeant reservist in the Air Force’s 307th Civil Engineering Red Horse squadron, returned Monday to his civilian job in the city of New Braunfels Street Department.
It was nice to be back, he said, but it would take some adjusting to get out of his military mindset.
For starters, his city projects are slightly smaller than the ones he sweated through in camouflage.
During two 6-month tours, which began in January 2003 and January 2005, Evola and his combat engineering team worked on runways at Kandahar and Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.
“We poured 14,000 meters of concrete at Bagram,” he said. “That was a big job.”
The base at the foot of the Afghan mountains was Evola’s favorite stop during the tour. He said it reminded him of Colorado’s
Driver escapes serious injury after rolling gravel truck
Photos by DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung
City street crew foreman Ron Evola, right, catches up on some of the latest news while talking with heavy equipment operator Rene Perez Monday morning. Evola returned to work Monday after two tours of duty in Iraq. Below, Evola calls one of his workers.
“The only thing that made you realize you were somewhere you needed to be careful were the fields of land mines,” he said.
His worst assignment was Oman, where the wind whipped the dust into sandstorms every day and the men were not allowed off base.
“It makes you realize how nice it is in America,” he said.
Despite the dust, the inconvenience of living in a tent and the difficulty being separated from his family, Evola said he was glad to have served.
“Big picture, things are a lot better there than they were three years ago,” he said. “People are happy we’re there because most of their lives are better.”
Evola arrived home July 16, but remained on active duty in case
See TOUR, Page 2
shifted and he was caught oft guard — a split second is all it takes.” Alvarez said Smith’s injuries appeared to be minor. I Ie was transported to McKenna Memorial I hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Accidents are not uncommon on the York Creek overpass, Alvarez said.
“Ninety-five percent of the truck drivers in this area know the terrain well,” Alvarez said. “It’s not a road problem, the fined factor is the driver.”
Traffic was delayed for several hours, but no one was seriously injured when this truck rolled Monday afternoon.
By Jessica Sanders
Driver inattention caused a gravel truck to overturn Monday on the York Creek overpass, a Department of Public Safety corporal said.
Cpl. Richard Alvarez said Seguin resident Jack Leroy Smith, 52, exited Interstate 35 and lost control of his ti ack as he headed for die overpass.
“He came around the sharp curve fully loaded with gravel,” he said. “I Ie tried to stop, but the load had already
A WARM HOMECOMING
Airman back on the job with city after tour in Iraq
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