New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 16, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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to assure quality roads found
1 Taylor Communications Inc.
25 cents September 16,1980Bonds
Commissioners Court can require bonds to assure quality of street construction in an amount not to exceed estimated costs of construction.
“I was made aware of this when I went to a seminar in Austin,” Comm. Monroe Wetz told the court yesterday.
Developers in counties with less than 190,000 residents can have their plats disapproved by commissioners unless they meet county orders and are ac
companied by a performance bond.
Several Comal County officials attended the seminar sponsored by the Texas Association of Counties, where Wetz attended the session on Subdivision and Plat Authority of Commissioners Courts, conducted by Jeff R. Boggess, general counsel of the Texas Association of Counsels.
Wetz told the court, “We should consider putting this in our
specifications. Six dollars is just not enough.”
The county currently requires developers to provide a bond or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $6 per lineal foot for all new road construction in the county.
“If you go too high you are just going to encourage more outlaw subdividing,” warned Comm. Orville Heitkamp. In a long discussion of the issue, before finally voting
unanimously to raise the rate from $6 to $8 per lineal foot, commissioners were told by Assistant County Attorney Bill Reimer they did not have to charge a flat figure for bonds. “Let’s face it,” he said, “In some areas of the county it costs more to build roads than in others.” But he said commissioners would have to apply the same standards to each case.
“We’re going to get into a hassle if we go case-by-case,” warned Comm.
Tart Mund. “I’m for going up, but I would like to look at around $10.” Heitkamp reminded the court that it is not compulsory to take roads into the county system if they are not completed.
To that, Reimer replied, “The problem in the past has been that through use, they become public roads which we have to maintain.” He told commissioners, “You just don’t have
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New Braunfels, Texaslegal
the authority to do the things some people think you should do, until some of the laws of the State of Texas are changed.”
Wetz reminded commissioners that in the seminar he attended, he learned that the commissioners are within the law to set any figure they see fit, even the full amount of construction. “But, if you set it too high,” he said, “only the big subdividers will be able to afford it.”
End of a hard day
Patrolman Douglas Dunlap and Sgt. Roger Allen confer with their boss, New Braunfels Police Chief Burney Boeck, outside the County Court-at-Law
courtroom Monday. Justice of the Peace Harold Krueger had minutes earlier ruled the death of Harold "Jeb” Buchanan a suicide.
Buchanan death ruled suicide after two hours of testimony
By PATRICIA YZNAGA Staff writer
After listening to almost two hours of testimony from seven witnesses yesterday afternoon, Justice of the Peace Harold Krueger ruled the death of Harold “Jeb” Stewart Buchanan a suicide.
"With the evidence presented by the seven witnesses, it is my opinion that Harold Stewart Buchanan died of asphyxiation at his own hands,” Krueger said.
Buchanan, 22, was found hanged with his T-shirt from a jail-cell coat hook at the New Braunfels Police Department at 4:20 a m. Sept. 4. He was alone in his cell at the time, police said.
District Attorney Bill Schroeder questioned the witnesses during the inquest.
The first witness called was Dr. Roberto Bayardo, chief medical examiner for Travis County.
Bayardo testified he performed a complete autopsy on Buchanan Sept. 4 and found the cause of death to be asphyxia by flanging.
Bayardo said the autopsy showed two general areas of injury — neck pressure marks and skin abrasions caused by a noose, and two blows to the head.
“The abrasions were just above the Adam’s apple, toward the back of the head,” Bayardo said. He said that during the autopsy he also found one area of bleeding measuring three and one-half inches in diameter on the right side of the head and another area measuring one and one-half inches in diameter on the left side.
“The scalp over the area of injury was intact,” Bayardo said. “Nothing that you could see from the outside.”
The injuries to the head were not severe, he added.
Bayardo said that toxicology examinations showed
Buchanan had .ll ounces of alcohol in his bloodstream when he died.
"I have the opinion that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of death,” Bayardo said.
Bayardo explained that it takes 4 to IO pounds of pressure to close oxygen circulation to the head.
“It takes 15 seconds for somebody to pass out,” he continued, adding that it takes no less than a minute and up to 15 minutes for a person to die of asphyxia. Kneeling down and leaning forward with a noose around the neck would cause enough pressure to stop oxygen circulation to the head, Bayardo said. There was no other injury to the neck, he added.
In addition to Bayardo, four members of the New Braunfels Police Department and two other persons testified.
Patrolman Douglas Dunlap and Sgt. Roger Allen, who placed Buchanan in his cell Sept. 4, said Buchanan was violent in his behavior.
Dunlap was called to the Holiday Inn, 1051 IH 35 East, on Sept. 4 shortly after 2 a m. to check reports of a fight in progress at the motel’s lounge. Dunlap testified he saw Buchanan upon arriving at the entrance of the lounge.
“He was upset, highly upset,” Dunlap said. “I asked Jeb what the problem was and he said something about his car keys.”
Dunlap testified that throughout the conversation Buchanan yelled and screamed and used profanity. At one point, Dunlap said, Buchanan “overpowered the conversation with his tone of voice and language.”
After struggling with Buchanan, Dunlap said he and another officer handcuffed him and placed hun in the front-seat passenger side of the patrol car. In the car,
See INQUEST, Page IGA
Holes in metal roof compound problems
By SANDRA JACKSON Staff writer
County commissioners are going to have more of a problem than just the roof if immediate action isn’t taken. County Engineer Dwight Horton told them in their regular meeting yesterday that small holes in the metal roof of the Courthouse are causing water to get to the wooden hip rafters, causing them to rot.
“The 2-by-10 rafters are rotted half in two,” Horton said. These rest on a heavy beam 28 feet long, made of eight 2-by-15s, which are also starting to rot. “We can save these if we stop the leak now,” Horton advised.
He told commissioners that rafter pieces would have to be cut to fit by a cabinetmaker or a good carpenter.
Mastic should be used to paint over the holes in the roof, Horton recommended.
County Auditor H. Bate Bond climbed into the attic area of the Courthouse above the drivers’ license office this week after reports of a loud crash from an employee. He discovered old plaster had fallen in on the newer, suspended ceiling in that area.
“We can’t let this go on — ifs just going to get worse,” said Comm. Monroe Wetz, who is acting county judge replacing vacationing Judge Max Wommack.
"Ftrstof all, we should see who we can get to do this and what it would cost. Do we have to go out for bids?” Wetz asked. Horton recommended having a roofing firm do the whole job. “In that case,” Wetz recommended,
“we should write specifications and go out for bids. It will probably go over $3,000.”
Comm. Orville Heitkamp suggested Horton contact Bruce Shepherd of AA Shepherd Co. in San Antonio, and Beldon Roofing. “But we’ve been stung by them a time or two,” he reminded the court. Bond said, “What about Scholl? He’s been doing our work.”
“He can get into the act, too,” Heitkamp answered, “we should get more than one opinion.”
Commissioners decided by general consent to have Horton proceed with an investigation of the problem. While they’re at it, they will look into the cost of replacing flashing, gutters, and trim on the back of the building, where holes caused by rotting are allowing entry by bats and other undesirable animals.
Remapping suit due discussion
Ifs been months since something happened in the Comal County redistricting suit, but that situation may change this evening.
Commissioners will meet with attorney J.C. Reagan in executive session at 6 p.m. today. The topic will be the suit, which was filed on behalf of a group of local citizens by Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Federal District Court in San Antonio last February.
As a result of the suit, U.S. District Judge William Sessions granted an injunction barring this year’s elections for commissioner Precincts I and 3 from being held according to current precinct boundaries, which were established in 1969.
Motives unknown in school burglaries
Although New Braunfels police recovered $5,000 worth of items which had been stolen from New Braunfels Middle School last week, they have no motives for the chain of school burglaries occurring in the area iii the past month.
Within the last month, Canyon High School, Canyon Middle School, Frazier Elementary School, Goodwin Primary School, New Braunfels High School and New Braunfels Middle School have been burglarized. Canyon High School and Goodwin Elementary School have been “hit” twice, Detective Marin Guerrero said.
Reports show that the burglaries range from $60 to $5,000 in materials and occur between 5 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., “during the time that the schools are closed,” Guerrero said. He added that police were dispatched to Goodwin Elementary School this morning on a burglary call.
Canyon High School was burglarized Saturday and Sunday by two different groups, Guerrero said. Five persons between the ages of ll and 17 were caught on the high school grounds Sunday night, he said.
“They just got the short end of the deal,” Guerrero said, explaining that the school had been burglarized by another group the night before.
The five persons caught Sunday night also admitted to burglarizing New Braunfels Middle School Sept. 9, he said.
Guerrero divides the burglars into two groups persons who steal high-value items and persons who vandalize property.
Tile second group “has been destroying more than they’re taking,” Guerrero said, explaining that the group has caused $2,000 worth of damage to school property by shattering school entrances with crowbars, destroying lockers, and breaking into soft-drink machines.
In one case, Guerrero said, the group “took about three or four jars of pickles and threw them all over the place.” This same group has stolen food from cafeterias and money from machines, he said.
Five thousand dollars worth of band and stereo equipment was recovered yesterday “with the cooperation of those people who were caught Sunday night,” Guerrero said. “They had it at their house.”
Clayton Bri/ab trial
Jurors queried privately
HOUSTON (AP)— One by one the prospective jurors were taken to private quarters for questioning, out of the hearing of the media and the public, but eight hours later there still was no jury for the Brilab trial of Texas House Speaker Billy Clayton and two others.
The tedious selection of the 12-member federal court jury was ex
pected to be completed sometime late Tuesday with testimony to begin the next day.
The decision to isolate the prospective jurors was made by U.S. District Court Judge Robert O’Conor.
A panel of 104 persons had been trimmed by 17 during the morning hours, most of them excused for job-related or personal reasons.
One woman, however, was dropped when she told the judge, “I have a bias against all politicians, local, state or federal.”
Two other panelists were sent home when they admitted that their acquaintance with labor leader L.G. Moore, a prominent figure in this FBI undercover operation, might taint their feelings, and their final verdict.