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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 22, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22,2004 ll a i ,Zeitung SPORTS VOLLEYBALL New Braunfels loses to Lake Travis in five games in district opener, other sports action, scores. Page 7A COUPONS SAVE Coupons for savings at Sundance Print and Copy as well as New Braunfels Stone Supply. Inside Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 268 14 pages, 2 sections B50$ I 8 '56825 00001' K' 20% chance of rain High Low 88 67 Details .... 26 DEAR ABBY 4B CLASSIFIEDS 468 COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 38 FORUM 6A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 7A TV GRIDS 48 HMHJudge dismisses FO CL motion in water case By Ron Maloney Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO — The Friends of Canyon Lake ran into a roadblock in federal court Tuesday in its attempt to block the project that will bring lake water to Bulverde, Boerne and Fair Oaks Ranch. U.S. District Court Judge Royal Furgeson, presiding in the Western District of Texas, heard arguments in a series of pretrial motions in May in a suit FOCL filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In a 30-page ruling signed Monday and released at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Furgeson tossed out a FOCL motion for summary judgment — that the suit be declared won without trial — and supported similar motions by the Corps and the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority. He also refused to grant an injunction stopping construction of a GBRA water pickup facility at Canyon Lake and dismissed the FOCL lawsuit “with prejudice,” which means it can not be refiled in federal district court — but still could be appealed to the 5th Federal Circuit in New Orleans. Both sides will pay their own legal fees. GBRA General Manager Bill West said in a written state ment Tuesday work on the pipeline project was already under way and continuing. “This decision is a victory for the citizens and communities in Comal and Kendall counties See LAWSUIT, Page 5A Staudt speaks out about recent Bush memo debacle By Leigh Jones Staff Writer T hree weeks ago, New Braunfels resident Col. Walter Staudt became a national Figure, albeit a silent one. Ever since he was named in a controversial memo CBS aired purporting to prove that President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service record was “sugar-coated” due to political pressure, Staudt has been bombarded by reporters wanting him to verify or disavow those claims. When the phone rings, he does not answer, and when someone comes to the door, he only opens it a crack. “I counted up to 40 calls last Monday, but I probably got 50 or 60 phone calls that day,” he said. “Lots of them even come to the door.” Staudt, 81, has only given interviews to ABC and the Herald-Zeitung. He is not trying to be rude, but he has answered these questions before. “The subject started when (Bush's) daddy ran for vice president, and it's been going on ever since,” he said. “I don't have much to tell. It’s simple to me. There was no political influence. That’s the truth.” Since Dan Rather broadcast the memo on “60 Minutes,” questions about its authenticity have been nonstop. CBS executives initially stood by the story, but Rather admitted Monday he could not prove the document was legitimate. The backpeddling was aided by the discovery that Staudt, named in the document dated Aug. 18, 1973, was honorably discharged March 1,1972. As brigadier general of Bush’s unit, Staudt was responsible for enrolling anybody who wanted to enter pilot training. He maintains no one did Bush any favors — no one had to. “He was a good candidate, well educated,” he said. “We needed pilots, and he wanted to be one.” Sitting in his office, surrounded by pictures and paintings of fighter planes, Staudt’s military reserve softened as he remembered his first encounter with the young, prospective guardsman. “I asked him why he wanted to be a pilot, and he said it was because his daddy was one. That’s a good reason," he said. Staudt had no idea the young man he swore into the Guard would one day be commander in chief. “(Bush) was just another second lieutenant Fighter pilot," he said. "You never know where people will end up.” After Staudt retired in early 1972, he did not have any more contact with Bush, but he has watched him closely since 2001. “ I think he’s done a real good job (as president). I rn proud of him. I guess I ’m prejudiced, I don’t know,” he said. Staudt is looking forward to some peace now that CBS and Rather have admitted they cannot prove See STAUDT, Page 3A Attorneys interviewing witnesses in Neal case By Ron Maloney Staff Writer CRANES MILL — The attorneys who will try a four-year-old Canyon Lake murder case in November are in Washington this week interviewing witnesses. Daniel P Neal, 35, is being held in Comal County jail on allegations he killed his mother and then burned down her home. If convicted on the first-degree felony charges, he faces life in prison. Comal County Criminal District Attorney Dib Waldrip and defense attorney loseph Charcia 111 of New .Braunfels are in Bellingham, Wash., interviewing boarder patrol agents and sheriff ’s deputies for any information they could have about the Dec. 26,2000, shinning of Barbara Linsey. Neal spent three months incarcerated in _ the Whatcom County jail after he was stopped at the border while attempting to flee to Canada. He was returned to Texas March 30,2001. Three times since in hearings before 207th Judi-cial District Judge jack Robison, Comal County juries have found Neal incompetent to stand trial in the killing. Dr. Mary Anderson, a court-appointed clinical and forensic psychiatrist, testified she believed Neal was not able to aid in his defense. "Mr. Neal appears to he very intelligent,” she said in a 2002 hearing. “I ie has a high level of verbal ability. However, he was unable to focus on specific issues." Neal sutlers from paranoid delusions and has a long history of psychiatric problems, die psychiatrist testified. At the Vernon State I lospital, psychiatrists have stabilized Neal’s condition. He was returned to Comal County in lune, and in pretrial hearings, Garcia and Waldrip agreed to go to Washington and (California if necessary to depose witnesses on tape to avoid the expense of bringing them to New Braunfels to testify. Waldrip said Neal’s right to have Garcia cross-examine witnesses would be preserved, and jurors at a trial could hear their testimony. “We’re trying to be creative,” Waldrip said. "We want to protect his rights, but wed like to Daniel R Neal See NEAL, Page 5A Home Depot call center location found By Scott Mahon Staff Writer City otficials announced that a new 60,000 square-feet I tome Depot call center would be located at Common Street and Gruene Road and that the city would refund 50 percent of the center’s sales tax revenues for IO years. Although plans for the new call center were announced in July, officials would only say that financial incentives included “a sharing of sales taxes” and that the location could not be disclosed. But Qty Manager Chuck Pinto said Tuesday the benefit to the city would be "significant.” “When a customer calls the call center and places an order, no matter where they are in Texas, the city will collect a sales tax from the transaction,” he said. “But the city agreed to refund 50 percent of the city's sales tax for IO years. Still, it's going to be significant.” When completed next year, the call center would be only the second call center in the country for The Home Depot Supply division. Home Depot officials said the new facility would employ about 350 people and would have an annual payroll of $7.2 million. City planning officials said the center would be located in the 1500 block of East Common Street. According to city records, the proposed site is currently owned by Jerome Voges and is zoned general commercial with restrictions. Mayor Adam Cork said the new call center and financial incentive were a "win-win deal for everyone involved.” Because the financial incentives were offered by the 4B board, Pinto said a public hearing would be held Monday prior to the city council meeting. Coleman Company to be under new ownership (Coleman Company, which has a manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, will have a new owner soon. Jarden Corp., which makes Diamond matches and Bicycle playing cards, agreed to acquire Coleman’s parent company American Household Inc. for $745.6 million Monday. The acquisition is not expected to spark any layoffs or additional outsourcing. Along with Coleman, American Household owns the Sun beam, Oster and Mr. Coffee brands. “It Is expected that this transaction will bring immense benefits to the company, our customer and employees by expanding our operating platform, both internationally and domestically,” Jarden’s (chairman and CEO Martin E. Franklin said in a press release. The acquisition is expected to dose during the first quarter of2005, subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino approval and other customary dosing conditions. DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Walter Staudt, sitting in his office, was named in a controversial memo aired by CBS and has refused most interviews, saying that he has answered the questions before. Colonel sets record straight Taste of the Town Local restaurants offer samples of their cuisine as put of ikste of theTbwn, an annual fund-raiser for McKenna Children's Museum. I I ;