New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 3, 1989, New Braunfels, Texas
BEST AVAILABLE COPY
State officials surprised at only I fatality so far
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Officials were surprised and pleased thai Texas travelers got off to a very safe start during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
However, a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is among the first six deaths reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety during the first 26 hours of the holiday period, according to DPS spokesman Mike Cox.
“The law has been effect for two days now and we’ve already had someone killed not wearing one," Cox said.
“It’s a ptetty low percentage in roughly a third of the time, so v/e’rc still optimistic as far as I’m concerned.’’
The DPS is conducting a holiday fatality count during a 78-hour period that began at 6 p.m. Friday and will end at midnight on Monday. Statisticians for the DPS have predicted, based on past holiday periods and current trends, that 34 people will die on Texas streets and highways during the period.
The first two fatalities of the Labor Day fatality counting period Se* FATALS, Page 2A
Specht couldn’t handle years of abuse anymore
By MARGARET EDMONSON Staff Writer
Not very many people recognize the name of Mary Virginia Lister Specht, but those who do know her as the woman who shot and killed her husband in early March.
What these people may not know is why she shot her husband while he stood in the driveway of their Spring Branch ranch.
“You live in this constant fear," she said months after the shooting. “Something just snapped. You don’t want to admit it. You just wish he would be involved in a wreck and wouldn’t come home, just some way of stopping what was going on.**
On March 2, the 44-year-old civil service worker was shot at the entrance of his driveway off U.S. 281 and F.M. 306. He died later that evening in surgery at Medical Center Hospital in San Antonio.Offices closed for Labor Day
Some public offices and buildings as well as area banks will be closed Monday as a result of the Labor Day holiday.
The following businesses and offices will be closed:
• Comal County Courthouse and Annex.
• New Braunfels City Hall
• New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce.
• Comal Independent School District Administrative and Tax Offices.
• The Education Center (New Braunfels Independent School District and Comal Appraisal District administra-
See CLOSINGS, Page 2AOfficers, rangers keep parks safe
Six days later, Virginia was charged with first-degree murder for shooting her husband in the back with a high-powered rifle.
She pleaded guilty to the charge (rn July IO in Comal County District Court in exchange for a sentence of 30 years in Texas Department of Corrections. On Aug. 29, District Court Judge Charles R. Ramsay accepted her guilty plea.
According to Specht’s attorney, Bill Sc hr ceder, Specht could be eligible for parole in three years because the average is IO years’ good lime for one year served. Specht will serve out her sentence at the TDC facility at Gatesville, a minimum-security pris'-on for women.
For most of the 20 years Virginia was married to Larry Specht, he beat her. The abuse was not constant at
See PEAR, Page 2A
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
Police officers boated, waded, walked and drove in New Braunfels parks this summer — finishing another successful year of providing park users with a safe and enjoyable environment.
Labor Day weekend marks the end of at least two police officers’ patrol of the city parks, mainly Landa Park, Prince Solms Tube Chute and Cypress Bend Park.
“This is a very good money-maker for the city," said Sgt. John McEach-em about the New Braunfels park system. “And I think if you invite people to use a facility, you’ve got the obligation to provide some sort of secure environment for them."
McEachem, who spearheaded the park patrol, said park patrons should be able to enjoy the park system without problems or criminal activity.
“We have been fortunate in that we haven’t had a real bona fide bad, bad, bad situation,” he said. “I’ve seen all kinds of offenses take place in the park system; fortunately, most of them are when the park is vacant."
Incidents included everything from murders to drug transactions in the park before patrol was beefed up.
Because of budgetary restraints, the park patrol wasn’t always possible, he said. “The park was becoming a dangerous place. People didn’t feel comfortable using it.
See PATROL, Page 2A
City Park Rangers Chris Roque, left, and Kris Haecker discuss the afternoon’s activity in the parks with Police Officer Mario Guerrero (Photo by Deryl Clark)
Trust Texaco to join water suit
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
Texaco Inc. and Star Enterprise have joined the City of New Braunfels in its effort to support regulation of the Edwards Aquifer to protect the Comal Springs.
The corporate giant filed an answer to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority Aug. 26 supporting control of the water in the Aquifer.
“I believe it’s important that Texaco has made a statement that recognizes the need for regulation of the Aquifer to protect the San Marcos and Comal springs," said New Braunfels Mayor Doug Miller.
Texaco’s answer, filed in U.S.
‘I believe it s significant that a major corporation such as Texaco would take a position that’s supportive of our position in this lawsuit.'
Mayor Doug Miller
District Court Western District of Texas in Austin, states its affiliates and subsidiaries own interests in property and assets in Central Texas and rely upon, or use. water obtained from the Edwards Aquifer and/or the Comal River.
The river authority filed suit June 15 in state district court in Hays County seeking state control of the Edwards Aquifer to halt severe and irreparable harm to the Aquifer, Comal and San Marcos springs, and the San Antonio Bay
The suit, now in federal court, seeks to require users of the aquifer to obtain a Texas Water Commission permit. Persons who own a well or pump water from the Edwards Aquifer can be named as parties in the suit as plaintiffs or defendants.
Texaco and Star state they have a historical right to use water from
See TEXACO, Page 2A
Teacher shows students piano lessons can be fun
Tanya Treybig Dunsmore has opened a new piano studio in New Braunfels for students from age 6 through their teens. Dunsmore said the secret to her success is “make piano lessons fun and teach students music they like to play. ”
See Page 7A
School teams challenge pre-game prayer ruling
MARFA (AP) — The state’s 1989 high school football season began with a prayer, as school officials in this West Texas town became the first in the state to challenge a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans invocations before high school games.
See Page 8A
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Unicorns rally againy top Canyon in finals
Three times New Braunfels lost the first game of a match in the Fraulein Volleyfcst, and all three times the Unicorns rallied to victory. The last was against Canyon to claim the 1989 tournament championship.
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Vol. 137, No. 211707 Landa St., New Braunfels, Texas 78130 (USPS 377-880) 512-625-9144
September 3, 1989
50 Cents Four Sections, 42 Pages
Drowning mars holiday weekend
By STEPHANIE DAVIS Staff Writer
CANYON LAKE — The search for a San Antonio man presumed drowned in Canyon Lake stopped late Saturday afternoon and was to resume again this morning.
Byron Michael Hope, 28, of San Antonio, was on the lake in a sailboat with two other men. Hope was swimming toward the dam when he went under in water about 45 feet deep, authorities said.
The men on the boat tried to throw a rope to him, said sheriffs detective Richard Alvarez.
“He just got too far from the boat,” he said. “A passing boater jumped in and tried to help, but it was too late."
Water conditions Friday were clear and the water temperature was about 76 degrees. Divers, who began searching at 3:10 p.m. Friday, said underwater visibility was about IO feet.
‘He just got too far from the boat. A passing boater jumped in and tried to help, but it was too late.’
Detective Richard Alvarez
Reservoir Manager Jerry Brite said he was first notified of the accident when a witness sitting on a distant shore noticed the man go under.
“She said, ‘There’s a man in the water. He may be drowned,’” Brite said.
Brite said he then ran with rescue gear to the men’s location at the dam.
He said the two men estimated Hope was 15 to 20 yards from the dam
See DROWNING, Page 2A
The New Braunfels Downtown Project invites all real estate agents involved in the sale or leasing of historic properties to attend “How to Sell Historic Properties," Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. Claire Mashbum of Mash-bum and Associates will conduct the seminar. During Georgetown’s Main Street Program, downtown Georgetown saw a private investment of $7 in part due to the efforts of Mashbum. Mashbum also owns a restored, Victorian historic home in Georgetown. For more information, please contact April Goldsmith, New Braunfels Downtown Project Director, at 625-3425...
Because of necessary connections to the new Mesquite Water Line by New Braunfels Utilities, the following locations will be out of water for aproximately three hours beginning at 9 a.m.
• Sept. 5 — Gardenia between Mesquite and Iris including Iris.
• Sept. 6 — Gardenia between Mesquite and Sumac Circle including Sumac Circle.
Residents at these locations should take necessary steps to allow for their needs. New Braunfels Utilities apologizes for this inconvenience. For more information, contact Wesley Hamff at 629-8419....
The United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, New Braunfels, will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. The program will be “Women in Poverty" by Ginny Hathaway. Members and visitors are welcome to attend....
A Comal County Fair volunteer workers party scheduled for Sept.
9 has been changed to Sept. 16 at 6:30 in the Arts and Crafts building at the fairgrounds. ..
An official Texas Hunter Ceruse* STAMMTISCH, Peg* 2A
New Braunfels Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary quarterly meeting will be Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Fire Station No. 2 on Loop 337. All firefighters’ mothers, wives and daughters, members or nonmembers, are invited. For more information, call 629-1758....
The Downtown Association will meet Tuesday at 7 a.m. in the Faust Hotel. The program will include Don Ferguson of the Safe City Commission. For more information, call Carol Johnson at 625-5321....
Tune into Musical Journey on KGNB’s 1420 AM from 5:05 to 6 p.m. on Sundays — Sept. 3, IO and 17 — to participate in Host Edda Buchner’s Trivia Quiz. Correct responses mailed in to the radio station will receive such prizes as a specially-designed sterling silver New Braunfels bandstand pin and other German trinkets. The questions will be read in English and German....
Comal County law enforcement officials called off the search for a San Antonio man in Canyon Lake
Saturday afternoon. It will resume this morning. (Photo by Deryl Clark)
Trash ignites field
Firefighters from two departments rushed to Greene Valley Road and Docppenshmidt Road Friday afternoon to extinguish a major grass fire.
The fire, which was reported at 2:52 p.m. Friday, was started from household garbage burning in a trash barrel. Roger Schemer, chief of the Marion Volunteer Fire Department,
said the fire went ova the top of the barrel and ignited the grass.
Approximately 30 acres of land owned by Grainger Weston of the Santa Clare Ranch were burned New Braunfels Fire Department and Marion VFD responded with a
See GRASS FIRE, Page 2A
McKenna gets grant
By MARGARET EDMONSON Staff Writer
McKenna Memorial Hospital has been awarded a grant by the United States Department of Energy for its participation in conserving natural
The Energy Conservation Measure
Grant was awarded to the local hospital last week by the U.S. Department of Energy as an equal matching funds grant. U.S. Senator Phil Gramm notified hospital officials of the grant.
The $82,000 grant will allow
Se* HOSPITAL, Page 2A
The hot holiday weekend continues with a predicted high near IOO today along with partly cloudy skies and excessive heat. Tonight should be fair with lows in the upper 70s. For the extended forecast through Thursday, don’t expect any rain. Highs will be in the 90s to 100s, and lows will
remain in the 70s.