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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 6, 2010     Hays Free Press
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January 6, 2010

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JANUARY 6, 2010 REBEL CUP 00CKOFF Sixteen teams invade Hays High for early-season competition. - Page 1B YOU'RENO. 1! Seton Hays welcomes its first baby of the new year. - Page 1C @Barton Publications, Inc. i ....... ! ii!i!::, ..... Election 2010 i Vol. 107 No. 45 Party chairs boast strong candidates on both sides BY BRAD ROLLINS Both major Hays County po- litical party chairs say they are fielding solid candidate slates in 2010 and point to an abun- dance of high-profile primary races as a sign of their strength in the famously purple county. In 2008. Democratic Party turnout in Hays County surged to more than 20,000, compared to 8,041 Republicans who voted the same day. Both party chiefs acknowledge those numbers are a possibly 0nce-in-a-life- time experience driven by the all-consuming Obama-Clinton battle for the Democratic Par- ty's nomination. Turnout in the March 2 pri- mary race "is not going to be as much as it was in 2008. That much is obvious." said Demo- cratic Party chair Katie Bell Moore. "But we have a great field of community leaders who have been active for a While and have decided to step up and run for office." GOP chair Kent "Bud" Wymore sounded similarly op- timistic chords, saying, "I'm ex- cited about our candidates and I'm looking forward to good things in November." On the Democratic side, vot- ers will choose their party's nominees in three contested countywide races,- County luSge; " Sheriff' and county Court at Law No. 1- two of which are held by Democrats appointed after thei predeces- sors' deaths. Sheriff Tommy Rafliff, a Kyle Democrat who has held office since January following Repub- lican Allen Bridge's death, will compete against former long- time Hays County deputy and investigator Biil Huddleston of Dripping Springs. The winner will take on Gary Cutler, a Drift- wood Republican and former Travis and Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy. Another appointee, County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Anna Martinez Boling, who is fill- ing the late Howard S. Warner's unexpired term, is making a primary bid dgainst Assis- tant District Attorney David A. Mendoza. San Marcus attorney Robert Updegrove is running as a Republican for the bench. District 45 State Rep. Patrick M. Rose, who represents Hays, Caldwell and Blanco counties, is also being challenged from within the Democratic Party by Hays Trinity Groundwater Con- servation District board mem- ber Andrew Backus. The winner will take on trucking technol- ogy salesman Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs. Meanwhile, Republican vot- ers will decide between San Marcos physician Bert Cobb and San Marcos Peggy ]ones See COUNTY B3ECTWNS, pg. 2A County judge's ! i!!:::::::: , ., ....... Serving Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County 75 race heats up BY BRAD ROLLINS Hays County Judge Elizabeth Sumter's perceived vulernabil- ity and rocky term have put her at the center of a raucous field of competitors from both inside and outside the Democratic Party. Shortly after midnight New Year's Eve - just this side of when state law allowed him to announce - Pct. 2 Commis- sioner Jeff Barton started get- ting ribbed by partygoers at a Buda event about a possible run against his fellow Democrat for the county'S top administrative job. "You know, I think I just might," he deadpanned, as if the thought just occurred to him. On Monday, Barton made his official entry in to the race be- fore an overflow crowd of about 125 at Railroad Barbequein Kyle. His remarks largely focused on his record on transportation, parks, law enforcement pay and growth management but also included some sharp-elbowed criticism of Sumter. "Issues matter and we'll be talking in this campaign about issues, eritical issues. But char- acter matters too, efficiency matters, competency matters. For instance, ask the people of New Orleans if they think it mat- ters whether local leaders know See COUNTY JUDGE RACE, pg. 4A Kylites take the Polar Brrrrrr Plunge As the calendar rolled over to a new year and a new decade, 40 hardy locals dove, splashed and cannon-balled their way into 2010. With more than 100 onlookers cheering them on, the brave souls jumped into the Kyle swimming pool as part of the annual Polar Bear Club event. Miss Teen Kyle, Christina Nufiez, and Miss Kyle, Jen- nifer Hamzy, prepare to take the plunge. Centr0000Texans cope with the cold BY JEN BIUNDO The Central Texas region is set m see an, icy blast of arctic air this week, with temperatures plum- meting into the teens and a fierce wind chill factor in" the single digits. Weather forecasters are predict- hag three nights Of hard freezes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. "Temperatures will likely be colder during this cold outbreak than at any time during the past few years," the National Weather Service reported. After a relatively balmy after- noon, Wednesday night should see temperatures hovering just above freezing in Hays County, according to projections from the National Weather Service. But the high Thursday isn't ex- pected to get above the mid-30s. Thursday night, temperatures are forecast to drop into the low 20s, with wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour. Friday afternoon is also expected to be frigid, with the thermometer stuck in the mid 30s. Friday night, the low in San Marcus is projected at a bitterly cold 18 degrees. Saturday afternoon should see temperatures rise slightly into the 40s. But the region may see the third night of hard freeze, with tem- peratures in the low 20s. Sunday could bring some relief, with afternoon temperatures in the low 50s and the thermometer hov- ering just above the freezing mark that night. THE CITY OF SAN MARCOS OFFERED THE FOLLOWING TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY, HOME AND PETS: Make sure children are dressed appropriately for the cold weather Have safe heating equipment available inside Check smoke detectors Winterize your windows and doors with caulking and weather stripping Make sure pets have adequate shelter and* warmth, food and water Cover vulnerable outdoor plants or move them indoors Wrap outdoor pipes in newspapers or insulation and cover with plastic Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing 4 Wrongful firing? Former fire marshal attempts to file suit against superiors BY DALE ROBERSON Special tO the Hays Free Press A potential lawsuit against three top-ranking county of- ficials by the former assistant fire marshal hit a delay Tuesday when attorneys for the plaintiff were denied a hearing and told the matter was civil rather than criminal. William D. "Bo" Montague Jr., a former Hays County Assistant Fire Marshal and the son of for- mer sheriff Don Montague, is claiming he was fired illegally based, on ffalse charges trumped up by Fire Marshal Mark Cham- bers. On Tue;sda Montague peti- tioned the 428 t" District Court to allow his attorneys to depose Chambers, County Judge Liz Sumter, and County Human Resources Director Dee, Dee Baen. Montague'S attorneys were advised they would have to take the suit to, civil court and seek a visiting judge to hear it. Chambers terminated Mon- tague, who now works as a Kyle volunteer firefighter, on Nov. 6, 2008. He had been an Assistant Fire Marshal for seven years. According to the "F-5 Report of Separation of Licensee" filed by Chambers, Montague's firing was termed "Honorably Dis- charged - X Terminated at will (see attached explanation)." However, no explanation was attached to the form furnished to Montague, so he contested the report. The Combined Law Enforce- ment Associations of Texas (CLEAT) then requested the attachments and received a fax listing oral warnings,, incident reports, a letter of reprimand and a memo to Chambers with a hand written note. Montague disputed the :re- ports, which included a dis- agreement as to why Chambers' office was locked, why Mon- tague contacted LCRA in refer- ence to radio logs, responding to Kyle fires in a county vehicle and questioning Chambers' au- thority. Unknown to the Fire Marshal, Montague taped all his conver- sations about the reprimands and oral warnings. The Texas CommissiOn on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education has demanded, "all copies of the records be exptmged, and the report be amended with an attachment stating that Mon- tague's employment with the Hays County Fire Marshal's Of- fice was terminated for reason other than disciplinary or per- formance issues." CLEAT Field Representative Mike Shefffield said Tuesday he expects further action on the suit would be postponed until after the primary elections in March. KYLE 2010 The new year brings changes for the city and the local economy. I,  - Page 1D Opinions ................. .... 3A pors ..................... 1-2B Education ............... 3-4B Bulletin Boards ............ 2C Obituaries .................... 4C Church Page...i ........... 3C Business News ............ 1D Service Directory .. ....... 2D Classifieds .................. 3D