New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 28, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Brown blames Louisiana for Katrina response
WASHINGTON (AP)—An angry Michael Brown blamed the Louisiana governor, the New Orleans mayor and even die Bush White House that appointed him for the dismal response to Hurricane Katrina in a fiery appearance Tuesday before Qingress. In response, lawmakers alternately lambasted and mocked the former LEMA director.
House members’ scathing treatment of Brown, in a hearing stretching nearly six and a halfhours, underscored how he has become an emblem of the deaths, lingering floods and stranded survivors after the Aug. 29 storm.
Well aware of President Bush’s sunken poll ratings, legislators of both parties tried to distance themselves from the federal preparations for Katrina, as well as from the storm’s aftermath.
Brown admitted making mistakes during the storm and subsequent flooding that devastated large swaths of the Gulf Coast But he accused New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, both Democrats, of fostering chaos by failing to order a mandatory evacuation more than a day before Katrina hit.
“My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional,” Brown told a special panel set up by I louse Republican leaders to investigate the catastrophe, which killed more than 1,000 people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
“I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down, get over their differences and work together. I just couldn’t pull that off."
Brown also said he warned Bush, White House chief of staff Andrew Card and deputy chief of staff joe I lagin that “this is going to be a bad one” in e-mails and phone conversations leading up to the stomi. Under pointed questioning, he .said some needs outlined to the White House, Pentagon and Homeland Security Department were not answered.
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A cowboy declares himself safe after tangling with bull at the Comal County Fair.
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NBU SENDS CREW TO HELP ON TEXAS COAST - New
Braunfels and San Marcos utility crews were among those headed east Monday to help in hurricane recovery efforts.
New Braunfels Utilities Communications Manager Gretchen Reuwer said a crew of five went to Hemphill to help restore power. City of San Marcos electric utility director Bob Miggs reported seven San Marcos Utility workers also went.
“I lemphill is a small community with about 700 customers, right there in the heart of the piney woods," Reuwer said. “They ’re reporting numerous poles down, and our people are going to help them get their system back up. They TI be there anywhere from three to four days.”
“The request for help came Sunday morning through the Ix)wer Colorado River Authority,” I liggs said. "Hemphill City Manager Don Isles said most of their lines were down and power to about 600 customers was out."
I lemphill is in Sabine County near die Louisiana state line about I IO miles north of Beaumont. The community was in die direct path of Hurricane Rita when it struck the region early Saturday.
BULL RIDER INJURED AT COUNTY FAIR - A 21-year-old bull rider suffered a severe concussion Sunday during the bull riding competition at the Comal
New Braunfels EMS units responded to a call at the fairgrounds at 9 p.m. and transported the man to McKenna Hospital.
Air life dien flew him to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he was treated and released.
LIONS CLUB FISH FRY, BARBECUE SATURDAY -
Take advantage of cooler weather Saturday to eat some barbecue or fried fish for a good cause.
Hie Garden Ridge-Bracken Lions Club Saturday conducts its annual fish fry and barbecue at the Garden Ridge Community Center located off FM 3009.
The annual fall event is the club’s only fund-raiser, and supports scholarships at Canyon High School, the crippled childrens’ camp, eyeglasses and other services for children and adults.
Doors open at 3 p.m. and food will be served between 4 and 8 p.m.
Plates are $7 for adults and $5 for kids.
Garden Ridge Mayor Jay Feibel-man, who is a member of the club, said it tries to raise between $30,000 and $40,000.
This year’s auction will include marble inlaid furniture donated by Lack’s Furniture, gift certificates at many area merchants and businesses, construction materials, shotguns, tools, topsoil and wine.
ENGLAND SENTENECED TO 3 YEARS FOR ABU GHRAIB CASE — Anny Iffc. Lynndie England, who says she was only trying to please her soldier
boyfriend when she took part in detainee abuse at Iraq’s Abu Gliraib prison, was sentenced late Tuesday to three years behind bars for her crimes.
England’s sentencing wrapped up the last of nine courts-martial of low-level soldiers charged in the abuse scandal, which severely damaged America’s image in the Muslim world and tarnished the U.S. military at home and abroad.
The jury of five Army officers needed about 90 minutes to determine their sentence for England, a 22-year-old reservist from rural West Virginia.
The charges carried up to nine years, but prosecutor Capt. Chris Graveline asked the jury to imprison her for four to six years.
England sat with her eyes forward as the verdict was read, occasionally looking down.
England, the most recognizable of the reservists charged after the graphic abuse photos became public, was convicted Monday on six of the seven counts against her.
MAN EXECUTED IN OHIO AFTER SAYING HE DESERVED TO DIE - A man
who said he deserved to die was executed Tuesday for luring a man into an alley in 1996 and beating him to death for $40.
Hennan Dale Ashworth, 32, was the fourth death row inmate since 1999 to drop his appeals to speed his execution. He was pronounced dead at 10:19 arn. after a lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
Ashworth pleaded guilty in 1997 to the slaying of Daniel Baker, 40, of Newark, who was beaten so
badly a deputy coroner said his injuries were consistent with a high-speed traffic accident or plane crash.
Ashworth and Baker, who had never met before, had a few drinks and were walking to a bar when Ashworth called Baker over to an alley. He beat Baker with his fists and a 6-foot board and kicked him, according to court documents and Ashworth’s interview with police.
“A life for a life, let it be done and justice will be served,” Ashworth said in a final statement.
AFGHAN INTERIOR MINISTER RESIGNS — Afghanistan’s interior minister, one of the most prominent faces in President I lamid Karzai’s Cabinet, announced his resignation Tuesday after struggling to combat Afghanistan's booming (frug trade.
Karzai’s office played down the significance of Ahmad Aft Jalali’s decision to quit, ostensibly to pursue an academic career in the United States.
Jalali expressed frustration about the alleged involvement of senior officials in Afghanistan's drug trade, even as the government has stepped up a campaign to crack down on the narcotics industry.
Jalali’s concerns were echoed in June by Countemarcotics Minister I labibullah Qaderi, who told The Associated Press some provincial governors and police chiefs are suspected of involvement in the drug trade, but none are being investigated because of a “lack of evidence.” He declined to name names.
High court to consider campaign fund-raising, spending limits
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hie Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to review a campaign finance law in Vennont, where reformers are trying to limit donations and spending in state political races.
The Vermont case has been watched closely by campaign finance reform advocates around the country, and by those who argue that limiting political contributions or expenditures would violate the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee.
The high court does not begin its tenn until next week, but justices released a list Tuesday of about a dozen cases that they will review beginning next year.
In addition to the Vermont case, the court said it would hear an appeal from a Wisconsin anti-abortion group over political advertising restrictions in a 2002 campaign Finance law. The high court upheld the
law in 2003, but Wisconsin Right to Life brought a new challenge claiming that restrictions violated its free-speech rights.
The court’s vote in the last campaign finance case was 5-4. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s departure could leave the court split 4-4 on that issue.
In 1976, the Supreme Court came down squarely on the free-speech side of the argument when it decided Buckley vs. Valeo, which is the law of the land on efforts to limit campaign spending. T hat decision struck down campaign spending limits imposed by Congress.
The Vermont Republican State Committee, Vermont Right-to-Life and other groups asked the Supreme Court in May to overturn a ruling from a federal appeals court that largely upheld the 1998 Vermont campaign finance law.
It limits individual contribu-
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tions to a candidate to $200 or $400 in a two-year period, depending on the office being sought, says no one running for governor can spend more than $300,000 and sets smaller spending caps for lower-tier candidates.
Vermont’s law has been tied up in court and never has gone fully into effect. Gov. James Douglas spent nearly $682,000 to get re-elected last year, and other candidates spent well over die law s caps.
The Vermont law also limits political parties’ contributions to candidates to varying amounts depending on the position. With the law tied up in tile courts, national parties got involved last year, spending large sums to help Douglas and Democrat Peter Clavefle.
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