New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 11, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas
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Jf ▼ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11,2004
Smithson Valley 35,Temple 7 Canyon 17, Austin-McCallum 3 New Braunfels 30, Seguin 36 Page 5A
J.T. Woodall writes that while some dates may fade from memory, people will remember 9/11. Page 4A
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 153, No. 260 14 pages, 2 sections
herald-zeitung.com I 8
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DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 44B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3B SPORTS 5-6A TV GRIDS 3BPD‘cashes in’ on suspected forgery ring
By Ron Maloney
New Braunfels police have rolled up a local forgery ring they say was using a computer to create fake payroll checks and cashing them at local businesses.
Police Detective Jesse Villarreal said Friday he was still working to determine how many checks were
involved, but the thousands of dollars so far recovered has raised the interest of the U.S. Secret Service, which will decide whether federal chaines are to be fil^d in connection with the case in addition to the state ..allegations five suspects now face.
Arrested so far in a months-long investigation are:
■ Angelica Tristan, 29, of New
Braunfels, arrested lune 23, charged with forgery, a state jail felony.
■Brandon Jahns, 19, New Braunfels, arrested Aug. 21, charged with forgery of a financial instrument, a state jail felony.
■ Antonio Valadez, 33, New Braunfels, arrested Sept I, charged with theft of service, a state jail felony. Valadez was also subse
quently charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, forgery, a third-degree felony.
■ Randi Leann Hummell, 22, arrested Tuesday, charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and forgery.
■ Michelle Moreno Morales, 29, New Braunfels, arrested Thursday, charged with engaging in organ
ized criminal activity and forgery.
Other arrests and further charges are believed likely in the ongoing investigation.
In addition this past week, Villarreal and other officers have seized along with other evidence a computer and printer believed
See RING, Page 3A
Ceremonies, protests planned for anniversary
Associated Press Writer
Texans wiJJ mark the third anniversary of the Sept. 11,2001, terror attacks with solemn ceremonies around the state remembering the nearly 3,000 Americans who died that day in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
At the Bush Library and Museum in College Station, an exhibit will open Saturday that includes a two-ton steel beam from the World IVade Center and response-related objects used by rescue workers.
But in Austin, the anniversary will be used for a march near the Capitol to protest the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Gov. Rick Perry has ordered that all Texas flags be flown at half-staff Saturday out of respect for victims of the Sept. ll attacks and U.S. soldiers and others killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Perry said Friday that horrific day three years ago also should be remembered for its many acts of inspiring heroism, particularly by police and firefighters in
See 9/11, Page 3A
The Texas Commission on En-vironmental Quality and the Alamo Area Council of Governments have declared today an Air Quality Health Alert Day.
A I P, 0 I, ALIT >
Smith visits Comal County Republicans
By Ron Maloney
A congressman and the man who hopes to join him in Washington, D.C., helped Comal County Republicans christen their new party headquarters Friday.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, whose 21st Congressional District represents most of Comal County, and Jim I iopson of Seguin, who is battling I ien-ry Cuellar to replace Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, in the 28th U.S. Congressional seat, visited the headquarters.
Smith exhorted local Republicans to support Hopson and hammered on traditional themes in support of incumbent President George W. Bush, assailing what he said was biased media coverage and the U.S. Senate record of his opponent, Democrat John Kerry.
See SMITH, Page 3A
Austin developer Larry Peel says the conversion of the old LORA building into high-end loft apartments is the most challenging project of his 30-year career.
History of the LCRA power plant
William Meriwether, a Virginia planter who immigrated to New Braunfels in the 1800s, built the Comal Canal to channel the flow of the Comal Springs to power his mill.
By 1860, seven grist, flour and sawmills were using the spring waters for power.
Meriwether sold his milling operation to Joseph and Helena Freidlan-der luanda, who immigrated from Prussia. The Landas expanded the milling operations and built a hydroelectric plant called the Landa Power Plant, which provided the first electric lights to New Braunfels.
After construction of the Comal
Power Plant, the Landa I lydroelectric Plant was operated periodically until about 1950.
It was initially estimated that the Comal Power Plant would use 50,000 gallons of water a minute, but the site near the Comal Canal allowed for natural gravity flow using a system of intake and discharge tunnels and consequently increased the efficiency of the plain.
Desigi »ed to supply power to the San Antonio Public Service Company, the plant first generated power for commercial service on Sept. 16,1926.
See HISTORY, Page 3A
Ground broken to begin construction of lofts at former LCRA plant
By Scott Mahon
Abandoned in the 1970s, the LCRA power plant came close to being demolished. But by 2006, Austin developer Larry Peel will have spent $20 million to renovate the historic building into high-end loft apartments.
“It ll be the only old power plant in the country converted to residential use,” Peel said Thursday at the official ground-breaking ceremony.
Originally called the Comal Power Plant, the building was constructed by the United Gas Improvement Company of Philadelphia on the Comal Canal in 1926.
In April 2004, LCRA sold tile property to Peel for $675,000.
“There were restrictions that the building be preserved,’’ said Jeff Singleton, Li TIA project manager.
Before working with Peel, Singleton said LCRA had found a developer in I lous-ton who wanted to build a hotel on the site.
“We did feasibility studies for two years and finally concluded a hotel wouldn’t work,” he said.
Singleton said LCRA began
working with the community as far back as 1994 to preserve the building.
“The first decision was to tear it down or keep the building," he said “The city wanted us to keep the building, hut there were some environmen tai issues.”
Alter spending $12 million to clean the property up, including leaded paint and asbestos problems, LCRA began looking for someone who would preserve the
“We talked to a lot of groups in New Braunfels,’ he said. “But eventually we found Mr. Peel, who came up with a great idea for the property.”
Parlier this year, Peel succeeded in getting tile building listed in the National Register for I iistoric Places, which qualified the project for federal tax credits worth $3 million.
"The tax credit made the project financially possible,” he said.
Peel said the project would be the most challenging of his 30-year career as a developer.
Over the next 16 months, the plant will be converted to
See LCRA, Page 3A
Photos by DAVID INGRAM Herald-Zeitung
Construction superintendent Dart Hyde and developer Larry Peel look over blueprints for the conversion of the old LCRA building into high-end loft apartments.
. ^ Homes under ^construction