New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 8, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAYLocal football teams ready for season openers. See Sports, Page 5.
14 Pages in one section ■ Friday, September 8, 1995
Serving Comal County for more than 143 years ■ Hor,
Vol. 143, No. 215II
Marketplace..............................9-13StammtischBirthday wishes from the Herald-Zeitung!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Tommy Hubertus, Brenda Klabunde, Fabrian Leal (nine years), Della Espinosa, Brandon Balmos, and Wilfred (Bill) Koepp (belated). Happy 61st anniversary to Val and Irene Self and Happy lith anniversary to Don and Ladonna Knippa.
River and aquifer information
Comal River -254 cubic-feet-per-sec., up 8 from yesterday Edwards Aquifer —624 37 feet above sea level, up .04.
Guadalupe River — 108 c.f.s.Farmers market today
The Comal County Farmers Market starts selling at 4 p.m. Friday at the Comal County Fairgrounds.How to run for office
Dr. Carlos Zamora will speak to the Diabetes Support Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. at Central Texas Medical Center about diabetes and arthritis. For information, call Carolyn Barnes at 353-1310.Canyon High to hold open house
Tickets may be purchased for the Canyon High School Open House Dinner at Friday's Canyon home football game. Tickets will be sold for $4 each.
Canyon High School open house is scheduled for Monday, Sept 25. A barbecue dinner will be served between 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. The open house program begins at 7:30 p m.
The dinner is sponsored by the Canyon Music Boosters.River cleanup needs volunteers
The fifth annual Lower Guadalupe River Cleanup, organized by Friends For Rivers, will take place Saturday, Sept. 16. Registration starts at 9 a m. at Whitewater Sports on Hwy 306 in Canyon Lake and at Rockin 'R' River Rides on Loop 337 in New Braunfels A party will be held following the cleanup for all volunteers, where they will get t-shirts, barbecue, and live music. Call 1-800-55FLOAT for information.Enter the Fair Parade
The Comal County Fair Parade Committee is now taking entries for the Fair Parade to be held Friday, Sept. 29 at 10 a m. The deadline for entries is 8 p.m. Sept. 11. You may contact the fair office at 625-1505. Entries are accepted from local organizations, school organizations, visiting festivals and fairs, Sesquicentennial related, bands and marching units There is a $25 entry fee for commercial entries only.Guitar raffle
Gruene Music Fest will raffle off a Fender electric/acoustic guitar, model #AG25. Tickets are $1 or six for $5. For information, call Russell at 629-2305.
Vandals ravage historic graves
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
It was probably just a bunch of rowdy kids acting up, according to New Braunfels police officials — and if they’re caught the charge will be “criminal mischief.”
But they did damage in the tens of thousands of dollars and incalculable emotional harm when they vandalized about 35 tombstones at the Comal Cemetery Tuesday night.
“These are the tombstones of our settlers,” Antonette Malmstead said. The grave markers of J. H. Tays and his wife — Malmstead’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother — were among those damaged.
“My great-grandmother was bom four years after New Braunfels was settled,” Malmstead said. “My greatgrandfather fought in the Civil War.” The broken gravestones all mark very old graves — resting places of the people New Braunfels celebrates this Sesquicentennial year and their children.
Each tombstone could cost from $500 to S10,000 to repair or replace, said Gene Bagwell, whose company maintains the cemetery.
"Whoever has done this has no
grasp of what kind of money — the destruction that they have caused,” Bagwell said.
Many of the tombstones could be repaired by bonding the broken pieces with epoxy resins, said James Edwards, who works for Bagwell. They could never be restored so that the cracks didn't show, he said.
If the descendants chose, the old gravestones could be replaced, Edwards said. Many of the old gravestones are marble, and simply buying the piece of marble could cost from $500 to $1,000, he said. "These old stones are hand carved, and you couldn't duplicate that today,” Edwards said.
“There's no way you can replace them in kind,” Bagwell said.
Malmstead has taken a personal interest in caring for her family graves for years. “I did a little at a time out of my retirement,” she said. The settlers’ graves have been vandalized at least once before, Malmstead said.
Malmstead recalls a recent visit to Germany.
"Their cemeteries were so clean and their towns were so clean,” she said. "This was waist-high in weeds last year,” Malmstead said, pointing to a nearby section of old grav es.
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALL
Antonette Malmstead and Gene Bagwell assess the damage vandals did to 35 historic gravestones at Comal
Each grave is actually private prop- the way the grave is maintained. Malmstead said. “I wish some of the
erty owned by the descendants. Bag- “All the newcomers are interested resources could be used to take care of
well said, so families must agree to in getting more growth for the city,” these precious old graves.”
Smithson Valley ag teacher fired
Kelly Slovens supporters vow effort to remove district superintendent
By MELANIE GERIK
Tl*e Comal Independent School District board of trustees Thursday night fired an agricultural science teacher accused of unprofessional and unethical conduct.
Kelly Slover, an agricultural science teacher at Smithson Valley High School for three years, has been suspended with pay since May 12. He is accused of allegedly injecting air underneath the skin of a student's show calf, injecting a chemical in the calfs jaw that would stunt the growih of permanent teeth, and branding the calf witll an unregistered brand.
The board voted 4-2 to terminate Slovens contract w ith the district, after deliberating in an open session for 30 minutes. The deliberation came after IO hours of testimony spread over Wednesday and Thursday nights at Canyon Middle School.
The hearing was delayed from July 31, w hen Slover w as granted a continuance because his attorneys did not receive the calfs final necropsy report. The attorneys received the report Wednesday afternoon before the hearing, said Sabrina Arellano, co-counsel for Slover.
Trustee Thomas Bruce called the e\ i-dence the school district presented “hearsay and allegations"
"We have not proved that he has done what he is accused of doing,” Bruce said.
In closing arguments, Therold Fanner, attorney for the school district, asked board members to consider the evidence the district presented, even though he could not present a motive for Slovens actions.
"We don’t know what motive Mr. Slover had in engaging in these actions,” Fanner said. "But the question is not why.”
Trustee John C lay, who refused to vote, said the hearing was a waste of taxpayers' money on a dispute that could have been solved much earlier. “This problem should have been solved back in March or Apnl,” C lay said. “This whole thing is a conduct problem."
Slover helped Terry Urbanczyk, a Comal C ounty commercial rancher, find a show calf for her daughter, SVHS student Jenny Urbanczyk. Slover was the go-between between the Urbanczyks and Curt Jergens, a rancher from the panhandle who was at the San Antonio Livestock Show in February.
The Urbanczyks bought a polled Hereford calf from Jergens for $1,500, from
which Slover said he did not receive any commission. In his testimony ai the hearing, Slover .said Terry Urbanczyk and Jergens met at the livestock show when she bought the calf, and spoke in passing about the need for it to be branded by Jergen's veterinarian But Terry Urbanczyk said she met Jergens for the first ti nu* in late March, when she bought another calf from him.
Move! said he originally thought the call would be branded iii the panhandle. but learned two days prior to his departure the call would be branded in Oklahoma. He had arranged with the Urbanczyks to pick up the calf on April 11. along with a check for more show cattle. Instead. Slover picked up the calf on April 9. when the Urbanczyks were not home.
Slov er took the calf to a veterinarian in Oklahoma and returned it to the Urbanczyks’ ranch on April 11.
Terry Urbanczyk said her daughter first noticed the swelling of the calfs hips about a day later.
"Jenny said the Hereford is really putty, sounds funny w hen you touch it, and it's all swollen up,” Terry Urbanczyk said.
Since school was not iii session because of spring break, Terry Urbanczyk said she told her daughter to ask Stover to look at the calf when she returned the following week. Terry Urbanczyk said since the calf did not appear to be sick, she did not worry about the calfs health, and did not inspect the calf herself until a w eek later.
Slover said he did not hear about the problems w ith the calf until April 26, after fellow SVHS agricultural science teacher Sam Womble had looked at the calf.
"He explained that the calf felt spongy,” Slover said. "I told him that if he visited w ith Mr. or Mrs. Urbanczyk please tell them that I would come to look at the calf on the 30th.”
Slover said that he did not feel the air underneath the skin w hen examined the calf on April 30, adding dial he felt air on the right leg for the first time on May 2, after Ferry Urbanczyk demonstrated.
Terry Urbanczyk said that since the calf had air underneath its skin, then she worried that the calf also might have drugs in its system. She also said that Slover admitted to the airing of the calf, and that he had its teeth fixed so that the baby teeth would stay in place. The loss of baby teeth w ould make the calf ineligible for some livestock shows.
“He said, 'Look, I know for a fact that it doesn’t have drugs. I had it brand-
4 Jenny said the Hereford is really puffy, sounds funny when you touch it, and ifs all swollen up.’
— Terry Urbanczyk
ed, fixed the teeth, did the airing, and that's all,’ " she said.
Slover denied that he admitted he tampered with the calf.
"I told her that there may be air under the skin." Slover said. "I said I don’t know if the calf has or not” been tampered w ith.
The Urbanczyks took the calf to the
I arge Animal Clinic at Texas A & M University to be examined on May 5. Dr. Allen Roussel and his associates found air underneath the skin of the calfs right leg and a chemical, which stops the grow th of permanent teeth, in its jaw .
The district accused Slover of answering “That’s what Doc does," in reference to a question from C1SD Superintendent Jerry Major about fixing teeth. Slover responded to the question at a meeting with administrators on May 5. Stover said the remark was taken out of context, and he was referring to the branding process, not fixing teeth.
Slover was suspended with pay on May 12, and notified of his possible termination on June 7.
The final necropsy report found no conclusive cause of the chemical in the calfs jaw. The report also could not determine how the air got under the skin, but Dr. Roussel said injection of air w as the "most plausible explanation.”
The calfs brand is not registered in Texas or Oklahoma, but is similar to a brand registered in Nebraska. The holder of the Nebraska brand, Morgan Ranch Inc., is a w ell-know n breeder of polled
II ere ford cattle.
After the board’s decision was announced, students and parents consoled Slover and his wife Gayle.
Dennis Quick, a witness for Slover, said he was going to start a grassroots effort to remove Major from the superintendent’s position for “letting this problem get this far, wasting taxpayers’ money, and ruining a young man’s career.”
Slover said he is considering appealing the board s decision to the Texas Education Agency, but would not comment on the possibility of a civil lawsuit against the school district.
LITERACY MONTHLearning English will open doors
BY ROSA MARIA MEDELLIN
Special to the Herald-Zeitung
Rom Marta Medellin
Being literate is the most important thing in my daily life.
My name is Rosa Maria Medellin. I was bom in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
I came to this country as an immigrant ten years ago when I got married. I spoke no English. I needed to learn it. I started talcing ESL (English as a Second Language) classes with Citizenship classes last year. Through these classes I have been able to read, write and speak English, to better communicate with others. I received my American Citizenship on March 24, 1994. A few months later I started GED classes at the same place and got my GED certificate on May 25, 1995.
My next goal now is to get a job. I used to work in a bank in Monterey, Mexico before I moved here. I would like to work as a bank teller again. I have been out of work ten years, my children are in school and I want to take this opportunity to go back to work. I am a perfectionist and mature enough to be successful in the banking service. Learning English changed my life.
(In celebration of National Literacy Month, during September the Herald-Zeitung will run first-person accounts from people who have learned to read and how their lives were changed.)
Herald-Zeitung photo by MICHAEL DARNALLHill Country scene
The tun begins to dip in the sky late in the afternoon in tha Hill Country. The forecast calls for a hot, dry weekend.Parents’ financial stability and responsibility can impact the children of divorce — Page 4.