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Kyle, Texas
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February 17, 2010     Hays Free Press
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HAYS V. LEHMAN Lobos dash basketball playoff dreams for Rebels. - Page 1B EMPTY BOWLS Fundraiser focuses on helping fill Hays County Food Bank. - Page 2A ................ HaysFreePress com @Barton Publications, Inc. :i Vol. 107. No. 50 Serving Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County 75 Lobos mourn former student BY JEN BIUNDO jen@haysfreepress.com Audrey Gaytan, the Leh- man High School 2009 grad- uate who wrapped up her senior year as home- coming queen and GAYTAN captain of the girls soccer team, passed away this weekend in the Rio Grande Valley. Gaytan, 19, died Saturday at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, near the Texas- Mexico border. Harlingen Police say they responded to a "loud noise" call last weekend and EMS was paged in response to a female who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or narcotics. The following mornl officers following up on the case were told Gaytan had passed away, said Harlingen Police Lieuten- ant Miryam Anderson. Gaytan's former teammates and coaches described her as a popular, talented girl and say her death has sent waves of grief through the community. "She was just a beautiful hu- man being," said Lehman girls soccer coach Nauri Garcia. "I thought, this girl is going to be someone. She had so much cha- risma. It's affecting everyone." Gaytan also excelled in power lifting and served as a student athletic trainer. She graduated last May, and many of her former teammates and friends are still attending Lehman, making her death es- pecially difficult on the school, said Lehman Principal Elsa Hinojosa. 'udrey Gaytan was involved in so many different facets of Lehman High School," Hino- josa said. "She was a wonder- ful human being. This is just a great loss to the Lehman class family." Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday moming at Valley International Christian Center, with intemment following at Memorial Park, also in San Benito. See related story, page lB.  KJMMONS Kyle's next mayor, I_ucy Johnson (far right), waves to oncoming traffic at the waning moments of the city's special election Saturday night. Johnson elected Kyle mayor Sanchez and Hueb:ne:r tal00 BY SEAN KIMMONS sean@haysfreepress.com After the hoard of election supporters clutching candidate posters cleared away and the final votes weretallied, Lucy John- son was elected as Kyle's next mayor, while laime Sanchez and Russell Huebner were voted onto the city council in Saturday's special election. The election saw close margins for each of the races on the ballot. Johnson gar- nered 52.64 percent of the vote, pulling in 529 ballots to L6pez's 476. The Place 5 race narrowly avoided a runoff election. Sanchez, who garnered 473 votes, squeaked by with five ballots to spare, eaming a majority with 50.27 percent of the vote. Mike Fulton made a strong showing with 403 ballots, while the other Place 5 contenders, Ion Claeton and Johnny Simmang, took 43 and 22 ballots, respectively. The Place 6race also saw a close contest. Huebner took 170 ballots for 52.15 percent of the votes, edging out contender Rhonda Cox, who took 156 ballots. The special election appeared set a re- cord turnout with 1,013 voters, said Hays County Elections Administrator loyce Cowan. There are more than 12,600 regis- tered voters in the city of Kyle. The city council shuffle started when Mayor Mike Gonzalez and Councilmem- ber Ray Bryant resigned to vie for the seat SANCHEZ HUEBNER of Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner. Councilmembers Johnson and L6pez then resigned their seats in hopes of becoming the city's next mayor. At just 26 years old, Johnson is believed to be the youngest mayor ever elected in Kyle history. In the 1980s, Sandra Tenorio, now a Buda cotmcilmember, was elected Kyle mayor at 27, leading her political op- ponents to dub her "the brat" because of her young age. "I'm just so thankful and amazed at the outpouring of support that I've received in the last few weeks," Johnson said at her victory party. Johnson, a graphic designer, added that she'll stand by the tenets of her campaign by focusing on a proactive city cotmcil and tackling the city's debt that stands at $73 million. "I think we need a more involived city KYLE SPECIAL ELECTION VOTE TOTALS Mayor: Lucy Johnson 529 Michelle Lopez 476 Council Place 5: Jaime Sanchez 473 Mike Fulton 403 Jon Claeton 43 John Simmang 22 Council Place 6: Russell Huebner 170 Rhonda Cox 156 council," she said. "We need councilmem- bers who are real active participants in the city's government because we're govem- ing for the people. 'And also, obviously, controlling city spending by comingup with a sensible and professional Kyle budget and tackling the debt problem now," she said. Local banker Huebner joins Johnson on the council and echoed concerns about the mounting city debt issue as well. "The first thing to do is to get the city's spending stabilized, instead of increasing our debt," he said. He also wants to start a plan to get the See KYLE ELECTION RESULTS, pg. 3A Early voting begins BY BRAD ROLLINS brad@haysfreepress.com With a city of Kyle special council election just three days in the past, voting is now underway in the party primaries. Early voting started on lhesday for the Democratic and Republican primaries, in which voters choose their par- ties' nominees for a range of state and countywide offices. Local Democrats will decide contested races for state representative, county judge, county court at law judge and sheriff. Republicans will pick their nominees for county judge and Pct. 2 commis- sioner. Further up the ballot, both parties have contested guber- natorial primaries as well as a slew of other statewide offices. Early voting runs through Feb. 26 for the March 2 Elec- tion Day. DEMOCRATIC PARTY M]' HM1B ESTED "00AtO' RACES: State Rep., District 45: Andrew H. Backus, Patrick M. Rose (incumbent) County Judge: Elizabeth "Uz" Sumter (incumbent), Jeff Barton County Court at Law, Place 1: David A. Mendoza, Anna M. Boling (incumbent) Sheriff: Bill Huddleston, Tommy Ratliff (incumbent) Up-ballot: Rebecca Bell- Metereau, a Texas State University administrator, is among four candidates for the Democrats' nominee for State Board of Education, District 5. The Democratic Party also has contested races for governor, in which former Houston mayor Bill White is running against businessman Farouk Shami and five lesser-known candidates. Former Travis County District Attorney Ron- nie Earle is seeking the Lieu- tenant Governor's seat against former union leader Linda Chavez-Thompson, and cattle rancher Hank Gilbert will face off against writer Kinky Fried- man for the seat of Agriculture Commissioner. Hector Uribe is the frontrunner in the race for Land Commissioner. See EARLY VOTING, pg. 3A Sub"iber address Kyle's water permit request hosed down BY SEAN KIMMONS sean@haysfreepress.com After months of debate, local water authorities decided to pinch the meta- phoric straw that the city of Kyle uses to pump water out of the Edwards Aquifer. On Feb. 11, the Barton Springs/ Edwards Aquifer Conservation Dis- trict's board of directors unanimously approved the allotment of an additional 100.7 million gallons to the city, increas- ing its fuatre pumpage to 265.7 million gallons annually. The city had originally requested a Class B Conditional Production Permit to jump its pumpage from 165 million gallons to 350 million gallons annually for public water use. The conditional permit allows the city to export aquifer water fiom its well, located near the intersection of FM 2770 and CR 171 in the 700 block of Kohler's Crossing, to serve water customers out- side the Barton Springs district. "I never heard you argue why you had to have our water," Precinct 4 board member lack Goodman told Kyle of- ficials at the meeting. 'And that reallty gnaws at me." Kyle officials previously told the board that they could try to obtain more water, if needed, from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA). In late August, a drawn-out hearing began when the Save Our Springs Alli- ance contested the city's requested per- mit, fearing it would impact endangered salamanders and local well owners. "They mainlywant [the permit] to have cheaper water than their current water sources," Bill Bunch, the organiza- tion's staff attome had said. John Dupnik, an environmental permit specialist for the Barton Springs district, says it charges 69 cents per 1,000 gallons for its water. "It's relatively cheap," Dupnik said. "We're capped at what we can charge." Precinct 5 board member Craig Smith, who came up with the compro- mise motion, said that Kyte should be given extra water. "The water belongs to all of us and Kyle is our neighbor," he said. "They have a lot more thirsty people, too." Mary Stone, the board's vice presi- See KYLE WATER PERMIT, pg. 3A LOCAL WATER PERMITrEES IN THE BARTON SPRINGS/EDWARDS AQUIFER CONSERVATION DISTRICT: City of Buda: 275 million gallons City of Kyle: 265.7 million Centex Materials, Inc.: 214 million Onion Creek Country Club: 95 million Texas-Lehigh Cement Co.: 55 million Mountain City Oaks Water System: 43 million Ruby Ranch Water Supply Co.: 32 million Hays CISD (Hays High School): 30 million (Information compiled from the district's proposed Fisca/ Year 2010 budget. Per- mittees may or may not receive water from additiona/ water sources.) , , .=s o, ,,,.,, I -=- Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby named top Fire Chief in Texas. 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