New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 7, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
UonMs Margaret Painter md Dr. Henry Hall check the vision of a local school student recently. Each year, the Lions and Lioness clubs go to schools in New Braunfels and Comal County to chack the vision of the children. Hall assists and makes the final screening. Coordinating this year’s screening was John Fahsl.
Clinton axes 38 military projects
WASHINGTON — With the stroke of a pen. President Clinton eliminated 38 military construction projects approved by Congress, including three at Texas bases.
While his vetoes Morvday drew little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill, they provoked downright anger among several Texas lawmakers irked at losing $22.5 million for what they consider worthy programs
The biggest Texas hit is a SIO million B-l squadron, maintenance unit at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene.
An angered Rep. Charks Stenholm, D-Stamford, said the White House made a “very bad error in judgment” in targeting Dyess.
Officials seek to increase seat belt use
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Clinton administration began a push Monday to increase national seat belt use from 68 percent to 85 percent by
Reaching that goal would save 4,000 lives, prevent 100,000 injuries and save billions of dollars in medical costs each year, said Dr. Ricardo Martinez, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than 40,000 people die annually in automobile crashes, and 60 percent of them are not wearing seat belts or child restraints, safety officials said.
“Far too many of these tragedies ..CjraW trc^Trventect^iPrpsidenf Clinton said in a videotaped message broadcast to more than 80 business, medical, academic, government and law enforcement sites around the nation
More than 40,000 people die annually in automobile crashes, and 60 percent of them are not wearing seat belts or child restraints._
Seat belts now save about 9,500 lives annually, the government estimates.
The strategy for increasing usage -.Illogic on ch iBgfag personal behav ior and societal attitudes Officials say riding unbuckled in autos must become unacceptable in America, much like diunken driving is today.
Transportation officials also say
Schools could bo ofdoisd to moo affbmativs action
HOUSTON — The US. Department of Education could order Texas’ public universities to use affirmative action in admissions if it is determined that segregation still exists at the schools, a department official said.
But any federal orders would be so specific and short-term they would not clash with the current affirmative action ban at Texas colleges, said Norma Cantu, assistant secretary for civil rights.
Cantu told about 300 university officials gathered in Washington, D.C. that the department would recommend race-blind solutions first. using affirmative action only as a last resort.
The government is reviewing Texas and other Southern states to determine whether formerly school systems have been
Schools could lose federal research money and student financial aid in extreme circumstances.
Gonzalez will plead guilty
DALLAS — Suspended siqtcrintendcnt Yvonne Gonzalez has tentatively agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of embezzling more than $16,000 in school funds and could serve 12 to 18 months in federal prison, sources familiar with the investigation said.
Gonzalez is accused of using the school funds for personal home and office furniture
In exchange for a guilty plea, which could come as early as Tuesday, Gonzalez won t be prosecuted on accusations of witness tampering or obstruction of justice, said the sources who spoke on the condition of remaining unidentified.
Under the agreement, Gonzalez probably would serve 12 to 18 months in federal prison, a source familiar with federal sentencing guidelines told The Dallas Morning News.
Gonzalez could not be reached for comment late Monday. Her attorney, Knox Fitzpatrick, declined to
comment on the charges or whether a plea bargain was being negotiated.
San Antonio ranks sixth in number off horoin iiiti
SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio ranks sixth in the nation in the number of heroin users, the National Office of Drug Control Policy reported.
Heroin also has resumed its status as the drug of choice among Alamo City drug users, according to citizen crime fighters and drug treatment providers.
The disclosures came during a public hearing by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in San Antonio on Monday.
“It’s popping up as the drug of choice, especially among young men 18 to 25 years old,” said Beverly Watts Davis, director of the antt-crime activist group San Antonio Fighting Back.
No other Texas city was in the top IO. San Antonio also ranked fifth among 23 major cities nationwide in the percentage of adults arrested while high on heroin or another opiate. According to the national study, 23 percent of adults arrested in San -Antonio were under the influence.
Neighbors ihock sri by
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Hamilton moved to the country for the peace and quiet, never dreaming she would wake up next door to a five-man slaying with the lone, bloody survivor banging on her door.
“We thought somebody was trying to break in,” said Mrs. Hamilton, 34. Her gray clapboard house sits about IOO yards across a dirt road from the red brick house where five Hispanic men were executed.
The shootings occurred late Sunday. Rockingham County Sheriff Dale Furr said Monday he didn’t know w here the two brothers charged with murder and robbery had gone. Furr said he suspected they were seeking the cover of another migrant camp.
The brothers — Jose Luis Cruz
Osono, 28, and Alonso Cruz Osorio, 18 — each were charged with five counts of murder and five counts of robbery, Furr said.
A nationwide alert for the pair, considered armed and dangerous, was sent to other police agencies, Furr said. The sheriff said the brothers had moved to the rural farming area last spring from Austin, Texas.
Scripps annotine** clonal of g| rug ilaralri roil
EL PASO — The ongoing decline of the evening newspaper has taken its toll again.
The E.W. Scnpps Co. announced Monday that the El Paso Herald-Post will cease publication Saturday, bringing an end to the era when Texas* largest cities boasted competing dailies.
The Herald-Post, the state’s largest afternoon paper, was the victim of
Sale $1095 •av*
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Herald-Zeitung O Tuesday, October 7,1997 O 5
State limit on local pay phone costs expires
they want states to enact tougher seat belt laws and enforce them. They want increased tines and ev en penalty points on a driver's record for those failing to buckle up.
That’s because educational efforts or fear of injury do not influence some tough-to-reach groups that often do not buckle up. including young men ages l6to25.
But the federal government can only prod states to act by encouraging efforts at seat belt education or enforcement among police, medical groups, businesses or other groups.
Only 13 states and the District of Columbia allow law enforcement officers to pull over and ticket motorists solely because an adult passenger or driver is not wearing a seat belt. NHTSA officials say seat belt usage in those states is about 15 percentage points above other states,
declining circulation, which had fallen to 18.000 daily, compared with more than 31 ,<XJ0 about 10 years ago, Scripps spokesman Rich Boehne said.
Lam Uwllkioactivt W—t# compact kits tivbultnct
WASHINGTON — Last-minute opposition from an unlikely source has complicated House consideration of a deal that w ould allow Maine and Vermont to ship their low-level radioactive waste to West Texas.
The vote was thrown into turmoil Monday, on the eve of its scheduled consideration, as lawmakers pondered a new twist: Opposition to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact by Maine nuclear utility executives.
Initially, compact supporters were open to postponing a vote for two weeks, giving Maine Yankee officials tune to make their case.
By JUAN B. ELIZONDO Jr.
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN — The state’s 25-cent limit oft the cost of local pay phone calls expires Tuesday, but pay phone owners say they won’t hang up on quarters immediately.
Under orders from the Federal Communications Commission, the Texas Public Utility Commission last week was forced to lift the state’s lid on pay phone rates for local calls.
Starting Wednesday, owners of the nearly 150,000 Texas pay phones can set their own rates for local calls. FCC officials say they want competition to determine price.
Southwestern Bell, which owns about 120,000 Texas pay phones, plans an announcement regarding its pay phone rates later this week.
But federal officials who forced the impending price changes have yet to determine a key factor in where pay phone operators will set their rates. Because of that, state regulators and owners say prices won’t immediately change.
The FCC, developing rules under the * - 1996 Federal
Telecommunications Act, is reevaluating the amount of money credit card and long distance companies pay pay phone owners when customers avoid the quarter-charge by dialing toll-free access numbers.
Pat Wood, chairman of the PUC, said if the so-called "dial around” compensation is set at a good rate for pay phone owners, the cost of coinpaid local calls may not need to be raised.
“That may be wishful thinking, but
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I hope not,” Wood said Monday. “An extra dime means die coin tray fills up more quickly and someone has to be sent out more often. Labor costs more.”
Scott Pospisil, executive director of the Texas Payphone Association, which represents pay phone owners, said prices eventually will increase.
But he added that few pay phone operators will go to the expense of reprogramming phones and reprinting information cards for higher coin charges until a final decision is made regarding dial around compensation.
“The issue of dial around compensation probably won’t be decided until six, eight, ten months from now,” Pospisil said. “Within the next year, you shouldn’t look for local coin rates to be much different from what they are today.”
One phone company’s rates won’t be going up, regardless of the dial-around compensation decision, its owner says.
Freefone, of Houston, owns just more than a dozen pay phone-like machines around Houston. The company, which sells advertising in its booths, offers free, three-minute local calls. It doesn’t offer access to long distance calls.
“We’ve formalized the courtesy phone,” said Patrick Palmer, Freefone president. “You hear all your life, there is no free lunch. With this, there is no hidden agenda.” Palmer said Freefone is in the process of franchising across Texas and the United States.
Freefone’s advertising isn’t new for the pay phone industry. But Palmer said ads for most pay phone operators is extra income. For Freefone, income comes from the ad space, not calls.
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