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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 16, 2010     Hays Free Press
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June 16, 2010
 

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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press June 16, 2010 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 109 W. Center Street, Kyle, TX 78640. Periodicals post- age paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publica- tions, Inc., RO. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do too[ Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 E-mail: news@haysfree- press.com Mail: RO. Box 2530, Kyle, TX 78640 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may ap- pear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the at- tention of the publisher. DEADLINES The deadline for display ad- vertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETTERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community inter- est. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not in- dulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verifi- cation. Letter writers are lim- ited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@haysfreepress.com HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903 by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller Streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. Dur- ing its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. Kids hide as burglars ransack home Two burglars broke into a San Marcos home where two juveniles, a teenager and a younger child, were home alone Monday afternoon, investigators say. At about 3:30 p.m., the Hays County Sheriff's Office received a"burglary in progress" call at an address on Falcon- wood Drive, located west of San Marcos offofRanch Road 12. The teen heard a knock on the door, and not knowing who was knocking did not answer. He went to another part of the house and then heard the back door kicked open. The children hid in a closet, phoned their parents and then called 911, investigators say. The parents notified a neighbor who drove to the house and witnesged a gray van, possibly a Chevrolet Astro, with no license plates parked in the victim's driveway. The neighbor began to blow his hom and a female and male, either both white or Hispanic, appeared from the rear of the residence, got into the van and sped away, the sheriff's office says. NEWSBRIEFS Some computer and camera equip- ment were stolen from the home. A search of the neighborhood was con- ducted but the van could not be located. It is believed that the van drove back into San Marcos, the sheriff's office says. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Hays County Criminal Investigations Division at (512) 393-7814 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-324-8477. Police invesggato two OWl crashes A 40-year-old man was arrested for driving while intoxicated after his Nis- san Sentra was rear-ended by another vehicle at the 5300 block of Kyte Center Drive on May 31, police say. Around 5:30p.m., Kyle police re- sponded to the crash and detected alcohol on the breath of Eric Smith, of Elemendof, Texas. His passenger, An- thony Conniff, was arrested for public intoxication, according to police reports. A Pontiac Grand Am rear-ended Smith's car as he waited at a stop light near the Intersection of Kyie Parkway and Kyle Center Drive. No charges were filed against the other driver, police say. In an unrelated wreck, on June 3, an intoxicated San Antonio driver crashed his Chevy Impala into the rear of a Dodge Caravan along IH-35 south- bound at the 213 mile marker, according to police reports. Christopher Riddle, 34, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. No injuries were reported in both incidents, police say. San Marcos robber sentenced to 55 years An Austin man was sentenced to 55 years in prison for an aggravated robbery against an 83-year-old con- venience store clerk, the Hays County District Attomey's Office said Tuesday. Ronald Glenn Boston Jr., 29, was sentenced by a Hays County jury for the offense in which Boston and Jacob Hemphill, 23, robbed the 83 year old in the 1500 block of Aquarena Springs Drive in San Marcos on October 11, 2008, officials say. Boston and Hemphill entered the store, held the clerk at bay with a handgun, and removed approxi- mately $200 from the cash register, officials say. A store sur- veillance video captured images of the vehicle the two BOSTON used when they fled the scene. A subsequent investigation tied that vehicle to two other aggra- vated robberies committed in Austin. Boston and Hemphill were arrested by the Austin Police Department, at which time Boston was observed placing a rifle used in the robberies in the trunk of the car, officials say. District Judge Bill Henry ordered that the 55-year sentence run consecutively with a 10-year sentence Boston is serv- ing out of Travis County. Boston, who had six prior felony convictions, must serve one-half of the sentence before being eligible for parole, the district at- torney's office says. i ! PEC Firing Continued from pg. 1A incidents that led to the termination, but said that overall he wanted to see more rapid change away from the co- op's old ways, in keeping with recom- mendations from reports such as the Navigant audit that condemned the policies of the Fuelberg regime. "I'd be the first in line to tell you we need to quicken the pace of addressing those recommendations," Landaker said. But speaking off the record, some co-op officials condemned the board's action, saying it was better suited to the secrecy and surprise firings that marked the Fuelberg era, rather than the new and transparent reform board. One official called the termi- nation "a classic coup" and said the move would shock and devastate PEC employees. Another official called the firing "preemptive, rash, emotional, not well thought out and unprofes- sional." "There has been some chatter out there that suggests that the board wants to keep things the way they used to be," Landaker said. "I don't have that sense at all. We've crossed that river now where the board agrees, old and new members, that we are an open, transparent organization." PEC Director Cristi Clement, elected in 2009, agreed. "I know there's a lot of rumors fly- ing, but this was really a considered step and it was primarily based out of several studies that consistently keep showing there are things that need at- tention," Clement said. "This is more about the way forward for PEC, and we need to always have that solid future in view." Garza, who will take about $1 mil- lion in severance pay, said Tuesday that he was surprised by the move, but respected the board's decision. "They have every right to make that . decision," Garza said. "They have the right to have someone in there that they support." Garza pointed to his record of mak- ing the co-op more transparent by opening up meetings and records, in- creasing reliability of electric service, restoring the bond rating to an A+ from an AA-, improving customer service ratings and lowering rates. He said he believed he was making changes at an appropriate pace. "I've always believed that when it comes to finances, you gO' steady and sure," Garza said. District 3 Director Kathryn Scanlon and District 7 Director.Patrick Cox, both of whom were elected in 2008 on a reform platform, cast the dissenting votes. While acknowledging that there was still more work to be done to clean up the co-op, Cox said that overall he was satisfied with the job Garza had done and didn't see cause to terminate him. "I think in replacing Bennie Fu- elberg, luan Garza and the reform members of this board have faced tremendous challenges," Cox said. "I think we've made very significant improvements for the members of PEC." Cox questioned the timing of the vote. The annual meeting this Saturday will replace the last of the two appoint- ed old guard board members, resulting in the co-op's first fully democratically elected board. Prior to 2008, the PEC board hand-picked a nominating com- mittee who selected a single candidate to run for each seat, leaving challeng- ers virtually no chance of winning the rigged election. Felps, appointed in 1994, and Har- mon, appointed in 1975,.are not seek- ing reelection this year. "Obviously it would have been pref- erable for the board to await the out- come of the annual meeting and the election before consideration," Cox said. Members who voted for the termi- nation denied that they were racing against the clock to fire Garza before the new members were elected, pos- sibly reversing the vote. "There was no particular timetable that dictated this," Landaker said. "There was no ulterior motive or any- thing sinister about the timing. I came to the conclusion that the change was necessary over a long period of time, and it gelled for me in the last few weeks." Clement also said the timing wasn't deliberate. "It was just a point in time and it sort of fell into place," Clement said. "It didn't have anything to do with any point in time other than accumulation of more information. The board was of a mind that there was sufficient infor- mation to maybe quicken the pace." She added, "Right after my election, I don't know that I could have been confident to make such a decision very quickly." Garza made $466,000 in salary, bo- nus pay and benefits in 2009, compared to about $670,000 pulled by Fuelberg in 2008, according to IRS records. Fu- elberg received $445,000 in deferred compensation after he was fired. Garza's last day at the co-op is June 30. Kyle Water Permit Fight Continued from pg. 1A Kyle officials previously told the board that they could try to obtain more water, if needed, from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA). Buying water from GBRA, however, is four times more ex- pensive, city officials say. Mary Stone, the board's vice president, agreed with lessen- ing Kyle's water intake, saying that local residents became concerned about the city's wa- tering policies during last year's drought. "I think it's very hard for the people of the district to under- stand how they aren't able to water their lawns when they can drive over to Kyle to see them watering," she said. "This is the best action we can take at this point." Under the new permit rules, Kyle is ordered to cut its pump- age to 50 percent at the first alarm stage drought, 75 percent at the critical stage and 100 per- cent at the exceptional stage. Kyte is now the second larg- est local water permittee in the Barton Springs dislict, behind the City of Buda,, which can pump up to 275 million gallons each year. Also, Kyie can use up to roughly 1.6 billion gallons of water annually from five water suppliers, according to city fig_ HIES. Subject to credit approval. Your specific rate will be dependent upm your credit ratthg, relationship with us and other factors. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. If you use your MasterCan:P to make purchases denominated in a foreign currency, you will be charged a foreign exchange fee by MasterCard to convert currency. Federally insured by the NCUA.