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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 6, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas High School Football Scores • Sports/IB Al New Braunfels -rSaS****' .->**6,2001 16 pages in I sectionsHERALD-ZExiUNG c D Vol. 150, No. 282    Serving    New    Braunfels    and    Comal    County    since    1852    50    centsMajor Developments U.S. sends 1,000 troops to Uzbekistan ■ U.S. Army dispatches 1,000 soldiers to former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan. ■ Taliban soldiers reportedly take heavy weapons into Afghanistan’s mountains to await any American assault. ■ Laden’s al-Qaida group and 24 other foreign organizations considered terrorist. ■ President Bush urges Congress to pass $60 billion in tax cuts to help revive U.S. economy. Congress has already approved $55 billion in emergency spending for reconstruction and businesses. ■ Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta orders airlines to strengthen cockpit doors within 30 days. Several, including United and American, already have begun the work. By Pauline Jelinek Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON — Administration and European officials are signaling that a major military action might not come anytime soon, even as U.S. troops, warplanes and ships gather in the Gulf region. Meanwhile, Taliban soldiers were reported Friday to be taking heavy weapons into the mountains of Afghanistan to await an assault. There were growing signs that the coalition the United States is assembling for the anti-terrorism campaign is still struggling to decide exactly what to do. Some have even raised the possibility that the campaign can be waged with little or no fighting — without the kind of military fireworks that Americans may expect. “It will take time,” Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said at a press conference in Turkey. “And we need the cooperation of countries around the globe.” Rumsfeld met with Turkish officials in his last stop on a five-nation tour to build support for the campaign in the Middle East and Central Asia. Earlier Friday, officials said 1,000 solidiers from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division departed from Fort Drum, N.Y., en route to Uzbekistan to See TROOPS/3A Witness says she saw Davis before murder By Ron Maloney Staff Writer JOHNSON CITY — A woman testified Friday that Jack Warren Davis tried to pick her up in a New Braunfels bar while his wife was in the hospital — some two hours before he allegedly killed Kathie Balonis. Pamela Bennett, a New Braunfels secretary who was a friend of Jack Davis and his wife Pat, said she played darts with Davis at a local bar the night of Nov. 17, 1989. While they were playing darts at Kings and Queens, Bennett said Davis seemed “down in the dumps" or “lonesome.” “I asked him where Pat was, because it was unusual for them to not be together,” Bennett said “I could tell that something wasn’t right.” ’file pair discussed problems Davis said he was having with his wife. He told Bennett she had left him and gone home to Mississippi, and that he probably would go there himself in a couple of weeks. Under questioning by prosecuting attorney Lisa Tanner, Bennett said Davis talked with her for more than an hour while she waited for her boyfriend to arrive. “He wanted me to leave with him and go to another place, because he didn’t want everyone in the bar to hear what we were talking about,” Bennett said. She turned him down, but he persisted, she said. “At some point, did the conversation change?" Tanner asked. Bennett replied that it had. "Was he making moves on me? It felt that way,” Barrett answered. "He told me I was a nice person, very pretty, he’d always liked me, that sort of stuff.’’ Barrett was made very uncomfortable by the whole thing, she said. She finally agreed to meet him Sunday. “Did you intend to meet him?” “No," Barrett answered. “Why did you tell him that?” “TI) get rid of him.” Barrett walked Davis out to his car and he left, she said, finder cross-examination, she said Davis wasn’t ■ forceful or angry. “He was always ’ a good person. He was polite," she said. Police reported DAVIS    that when they reconstructed Davis’ movements that night, he hadn’t admitted going to Kings and Queens although he’d acknowledged visiting luanda Station, where he worked part time as a maintenance man and bar back. Earlier that week, Davis had told his part-time employer, April Brown, night manager at Lauda Station, that he would bt' unable to work that night because his wife was in the hospital, and he would be going to San Antonio to pick her up. Brown testified that she was surprised when he showed up at the bar — as a customer. She served him between four and six 12-ounce glasses of wine, she said, and a waitress served him as well. He left there at about 8 p.m. and returni'd briefly at 9 p.m. before leaving again, she said. The prosecutor asked Brown how Davis was dressed, and she supported what other witnesses had said — jeans, vest and light-colored shirt. See MURDER/4A ll ■ ■    ■    ■    ■    ■    f Art inspiring life Custodian’s mural shows students how books can stir imagination By Joni Simon Staff Writer He’s as handy with a brush as he is with a broom. A newly painted mural in the Frazier Elementary School library is the work of Head Custodian Sipriano Valdez, 39. Valdez, who has been commissioned to paint murals for businesses, nurseries and day cares, said this project was the closest to his heart. “I really enjoyed doing this one. When I was a kid, I had a hard time reading. This encourages kids to read,” the New Braunfels native said. Valdez said he would never forget the first day he began the project. It was Sept. ll.“Art is my passion, and I just wanted to share my talent with others. ”— Sipriano Valdez Frazier Elementary head custodian “I started it that day, then it took two hours every day for a week,” he said. A district employee for the past six years, Valdez designed and painted the mural of two children holding a book. “She (librarian Betty Jones) wanted a regular book showing the book cover, and I thought, ‘That’s just based on one book,’” he said. Valdez said he wanted the book to represent all books. “Let’s just have kids reading, and it could be on everything — whatever your mind desires,” he said. His vision encompassed the land before time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the settling of the New World and the taming of the Wild West as well as the study of oceanography and space exploration — all the possibilities reading holds for young minds, from the past to the present. “Art is my passion, and I just K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung Frazier Elementary head custodian Sipriano Valdez enjoys painting murals like the one he recently finished for Frazier’s library. Originally, the teacher who asked Valdez to paint the mural suggested a cover from one book; however, after Valdez showed her a sketch, everyone agreed on the multifaceted mural (only part of which is shown). wanted to share my talent with others,” Valdez said. The head custodian has been painting since he was 6 years old and is passing the torch to his two daughters, Vanessa, 6, and Valerie, I, who is cradling a paintbrush, rather than a rattle in her hand, as her father teaches her the first strokes of creating a masterpiece. Although he said he had difficulty as a child learning to read, reading is now one of his favorite pastimes. “I read how-to lxx)ks — how to do anything — woodworking, metal work and art,” Valdez said. As for ait as a career, the head custodian said he tried it, but preferred the security of the job with the school district he attended as a st udent. “There aren’t any benefits in (art). I wanted a dental plan and stuff like that,” he said. Council to appoint new members to vacant postsInside Abby...............................5A Classifieds.......................5-8B Comics..............................4B Crossword........................5    A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies.................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports...........................1-3B Today.................................2A Key Code 76 From Staff Reports New Braunfels city council is scheduled to interview applicants and appoint new members Monday to vacancies on three key advisory boards. Fifteen residents have applied for spots on the New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) Board of Trustees, the Infra structure/Improvement (4B) Corporation Board and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Council members begin interviewing applicants at 5:30 p.m. in the New Braunfels Municipal Building, Conference Room B, 424 S. Casten Avenue. Council is expected to vote See COUNCILL Toast to Gruene Barent Gibson (right) and partner Norma Oliver, from Brownwood, Texas, say "cheers" Friday in Gruene Hall during the first night of the Gruene Wine and Music Festival. The festival continues from noon to 6 p.m. today at Gruene Hall and The Grapevine with concerts and wine tasting. CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung ;