New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 8, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung g Wednesday, October 8,1997 □ 5A
Texas A&M starts web page for vegetables
HOUSTON (AP) — Looking for the latest on maroon carrots? Searching for secrets on cloned sweet, potatoes?
If so, there’s no longer any need to call the scientists at Texas A&M University’s Vegetable Improvement Center.
The center, which gained attention for its development of the maroon carrot (It’s juiced with high levels of beta-carotene.), has launched a site on die World Wide Web to answer questions on Aggie contributions to the vegetable hall of fame.
Organizers told the Texas Journal of The Wall Street Journal they were swamped by calls from vegetable enthusiasts from around the world who wanted updates on the latest in broccolis, potatoes, brussel sprouts and, of course, carrots.
Among the site’s features: the “What’s Up Doc?’’ column penned for the center’s quarterly newsletter by Leonard Pike, inventor of the maroon carrot.
The column includes helpful hints such as how to produce onion rings that hold their batter.
There’s also information on the maroon carrot, known as the Betasweet and acclaimed by food critics.
HOUSTON (AP) — An insurance dispute oyer a Montgomery County house fyt is scheduled to come before the Texas Supreme Court today, nearly 12 years after die blaze occurred.
The delay prompted die Legislature to propose to voters a state constitutional amendment.
A court ordered James and Cynthia Simmons’ insurance Company, State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., to pay the couple $2.2 million in damages 11 years ago.
The company rejected the Simmonses* claim, alleging that they set die fire. No criminal charges ever were filed against die couple.
Four years have passed since State Farm- appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. Initially, the court refused to take up the case, but State Farm asked the court to reconsider the decision. This summer, enough justices agreed to beardie matter.
Simmons vs. State Farm is just one example of what critics long have argued was a dithering legal process in dip Supreme Court.
“They don’t seem to care how long it takes (cases) to get through the system,*’ says Russell McMafns, a Corpus Christi lawyer who represents the Simmonses.
In the year ended Aug. 31, justices needed more than a year to complete one-fifth of the cases they agreed to review, while the cases on which they heard arguments took an average of 13 months to conclude.
State voters will be asked to consider a proposed constitutional amendment Nov. 4 that would give the court six months to act on a request to reconsider an earlier decision.
rf no action is taken, the request would be automatically denied and die matter ended.
The proposal doesn’t address how
quickly judges must decide the case after taking it up. Nevertheless, it is the first time the Legislature has tried to set deadlines on court deliberations.
Some of the court’s nine justices endorse the proposal.
“Delay is not good for litigants'or the legal system,** Justice Greg Abbott, a Republican, told the Texas Journal of The Wall Street Journal. “The tower courts and lawyers dealing with other cases on similar subjects need to know what the court’s final opinion is so they can proceed accordingly.’’
However, some justices oppose the proposal, in part, as excessive meddling by lawmakers in court procedures. And even some who support it say they are uneasy about the legislative interference.
Chief Justice Thomas Phillips, a Republican and a supporter of the
proposal, says too many such rules want this to start a trend where the “would be unwise and Supreme Court’s schedule is counterproductive.” He adds: “I don’t constitutionalized.”
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Jury rejects breast implant claim
Murder suspect hopeful)
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TYLER — The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to block the reversal of Keny Max Cook’s murder conviction in the death of a 21-year-old woman has raised Cook’s hopes that he may soon be freed.
“I just want to go home and try to pick up the shattered remnants of a life that has been stolen from me,’’ Cook told the Tyler Morning Telegraph in a telephone interview Tuesday from the Smith County Jail.
The Monday decision, however, has left the family of Linda Jo Edwards shocked, confused and frustrated.
“There ain’t no words for it. It just doesn’t make sense,’’ said Jimmy Edwards, brother of the 21-year-old secretary whose 1977 mutilation and slaying Cook is accused of committing.
Code, 41, has been convicted and sentenced to death twice in the 1977 mutilation and slaying of Ms. Edwards. Both convictions, the most recent in 1994, have been overturned.
HOUSTON (AP) — A silicone breast-implant maker has been cleared of liability in the failure of implants in three Houston women.
Jurors Tuesday rejected the women’s claims that Baxter Healthcare Corp. had produced defective implants and that the implants had injured them.
The case varied from earlier breast-implant trials in that the women did not claim the devices
reject the resignation and have her stay on.
“It was not just a betrayal of public trust. It was how quickly it was done,’’ Coggins said. “She took office on Jan. I. (By) Jan. 20, she’s ripping off the school district. And not just ripping off the school district, but causing false invoices to be made.*’
caused any diseases, only that four of the six implants had ruptured after insertion.
The plaintiffs were Gay Hunger, SO, an artist who received implants in 1973; Teresa Sparks, 39, a healthcare businesswoman who received implants in 1985; and Donna Whitman, 47, a teacher who received implants in 1978.
Baxter’s lead trial attorney, Vaughn Crawford of Phoenix, said Baxter has now won 26 verdicts in
breast implant lawsuits.
“This was a major verdict,’’ he said. “They claimed the ruptures were caused by improper design and manufacturing and that the implants should have lasted a lifetime.
“The jury found no evidence supporting their claims.’’
Lead plaintiffs’ attorney Mike Gallagher said, “We got a fair trial. We disagreed with the jury’s findings, but I have faith in the system.’*
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DALLAS — In August, U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins called a news conference to praise Dallas school Superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez for initiating an investigation into widespread overtime and contract abuse.
Tuesday, Coggins presided over another news conference, this time to announce with “surprise, shock, amazement’’ that Ms. Gonzalez had admitted misapplying thousands of dollars of Dallas Independent School District funds.
Less than three hours later, members of the district’s school board voted unanimously to accept the resignation that Ms. Gonzalez tendered three weeks earlier. The resignation was triggered by a lawsuit brought against her by the school district’s chief financial officer, accusing her of sexual harassment.
But until the embezzlement charges surfaced earlier this week, the school board had been divided on whether to
HOUSTON — A school assignment asking fourth-graders to determine which one pf four listers was “beautiful, bland and intelligent*' didn’t make much sense to 9-year-old Dermis Campbell, Jr.
When Dennis, who is black, showed the worksheet to his mother, she asked him what he thought about it
“Well, no one in our family is blond,’’ Tammie Campbell recalls him saying. “Does that mean we’re not intelligent and beautiful?
“At that time I was so upset I didn’t know what I would do,” she said.
Mrs. Campbell discussed the matter with the teacher, who apologized.
HOUSTON — There are signs that the booming office market in Austin is overbuilt The same is true in Dallas. Yet few people involved in the market seem worried.
For the first time since the boom of the 1980s, speculative office buildings — those put up without a substantial number of tenants signed up — are going up.
About 1.4 million square feet of office space is under construction or has been recently romplcfcd ip. the state’s capital, the. texarJournal of The Wall Street Journal reported today.
Dallas, meanwhile, leads the state with at least 27 buildings in various stages of development, compared with fewer than IO a year earlier.
Brokers say office construction in Houston and San Antonio also is showing signs of life.
SAN ANTONIO — A rifle-toting gunman who opened fire in the workplace of his ex-girlfriend, killing her and another woman before killing himself, had a history of domestic abuse.
Charles Lee White, 42, was found dead Tuesday along with his former girlfriend, Pamela Henry, 38, and Juanita Morin, 41, when members of the San Antonio Police Department SWAT team stormed the front doors (J of ProtoCall, a paging and answering service in a business park in northeast San Antonio.
Ms. Henry and Ms. Morin both worked at ProtoCall.
Another female ProtoCall employee, Anna Carolina Spencer, 34, was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the head. She was in critical condition and underwent emergency
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EL PASO — The view from the McDonald Observatory is about to get a whole tot better.
Construction has been completed on the world’s third-largest telescope, the most powerful instrument yet at the West Texas observatory, and astronomers expect to begin exploring the universe with it next year.
“They are extremely anxious about getting their hands on it We now send a group of scientists out to it every month. Otherwise, I think I’d have a revolt on my hands,” said observatory director Frank Bash.
Equipped with an 11-meter astronomical mirror, the largest in the world, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope atop Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains is IO times more powerful than the next-largest telescope at the observatory.
But it is still considered smaller than the Keck I and Keck ll telescopes in Hawaii.
Totaeoo Industry requests 5th Circuit Court to stay Mal
DALLAS — The tobacco industry is asking the Sth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay in Texas’ $14 billion lawsuit against Big Tobacco.
Industry lawyers on Tuesday filed their request for a stay in the trial, scheduled to begin next Tuesday, saying the tower court has exceeded its authority in some of its initial actions.
“We come to this pass — a plainly unlawful trial plan, a week from trial, in one of the largest cases ever litigated — because of two fundamental errors by the district court,’’ the eight tobacco companies and three trade groups said in their filing.
The Appeals Court has many options. It could gram a stay, ignore the filing or ask for the state to respond.
“The tobacco industry talks about going to trial, but obviously they don’t want to. This is just another delaying tactic,” said Ron Dusek, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general.
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