Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 30, 2010     Hays Free Press
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June 30, 2010

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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press June 30, 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., P.O. 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- Mail: P.O. Box 2530, Kyle, 1)( 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 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. Vandals desecrate historic ceme tery BY JEN BIUNDO Kyle was founded, a group of cowboys Vandals trespassed into the historic Kyle Cemetery on Old Stagecoach Road late Friday night or early Saturday morn- ing, knocking over more than 30 tomb- stones from Kyle's most prominent founding families, investigators say. Many of the desecrated graves date back to the mid-1800s, and shattered when they hit the ground. "When I went out there and saw that, it just broke my heart," said Kyle Cemetery Association President lane Kirkham. "These can never be re- placed." Kirk_ham said that among the graves targeted were" the grandparents of Pu- litzer Prize-winning author Kather- ine Anne Porter, confederate soldiers Charles Word and Major Edward Bur- leson, members of the Kyle, Groos and Whisenant families, and Ed Green, a prominent San Marcos politician and great-grandfather of actor Robert Red- ford. Investigators say they took finger- prints from the crime scene, but have no immediate suspects in the case. The cemetery, which is maintained by a vol- unteer committee, has been targeted PHOTO BY SEAN KIMMONS More than 30 tombstones were knocked over sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning at the historic Kyle Cemetery. by young vandals two other times in the last 15 years. Criminal Mischief of a Hu- man Burial Place is a state jail felony. The Kyle Cemetery is the oldest com- munity cemetery still in use in Hays County. Its first grave was a ht/mble and unmarked one. As town lore goes, in the late 1840s, long before the city of discovered an unknown man hanging from the limb of a large live oak about a quarter mile from the home of Colonel Claiborne Kyle. Though they didn't know his iden- tity or why he was killed, they cut him down and buried his body in an un- marked grave under the oak tree. In 1849, the Kyle family used the land to bury Willie Parks, an orphan boy they had adopted. Nearly four decades later, the Kyle family donated land to the railway for tracks through Hays County, and the city of Kyle was born. They also do- nated the 15,acres that became the Kyle Cemetery. Cemetery organizers say that the clean-up will run several thousand dol- lars. Currently, because of disputes over historic land boundaries, the cemetery is not able to sell plots and has almost no disposable income, I(irkham said. "The markers will be fixed, but they're never going to be the same," Kirkham said. "We don't even know how to get in contact with some of the descendents because the graves are so old. The cemetery will have to pay for the rebuilding." Donations to the cemetery can be mailed to PO Box 712, Kyle, TX 78640. Firefighter's home falls victim to flames in Buda BY JEN BIUNDO Investigators with the Buda Fire Department say they haven't yet determined the cause of a blaze that destroyed a boat and damaged a house on the 200 block of North Cedar Street in downtown Buda early last Thursday morning. Buda Fire Marshal Mike Duffy said that the electric system or battery on the boat might have triggered the fire, though arson remains a possibility. "There wasn't anything there that really points to whether it was intentionally set or acciden- tal," Duffy said. "It may end up that at some point in time we'll get additional information." Matt Owens, a professional firefighter with the Pflugerville Fire Department and a volun- teer with the Buda Fire Depart- PHOTO BY DEBBIE OWENS Neighbors try to extinguish a fire that started in a boat parked at fire- fighter Matt Owens' home on Cedar Street in Buda. ment, had been on shift for 16 The fire was discovered at hours at his Pflugerville job about 1:45 a.m. ]tme 24, when a when the blaze started. His sis- neighbor across the street went ter was asleep inside the house into the front yard to let her at the time. dog out. Firefighters were on the scene in three minutes and quickly extinguished the flames. There were no injuries. The fire started in the boat, which was parked under the carport, Duffy said. The flames jumped into the attic space above the carport, which was connected to the house. Though the blaze didn't travel to the main portion of.the house, the roof and sheetrock had smoke and water damage. The boat, which was fully paid off and valued at about $8,000, was a complete loss, Duffy said. Both the boat and the home, ap- praised at about $80,000, were insured. Owens said that his sister called him while he was on shift to tell him that the boat was on fire and spreading to the house. Owens was scheduled to sign the closing papers to purchase the house from his grandmoth- er on Thursday morning, just hours after the fire. He's not yet sure how extensively his new house was damaged. "I don't have a number, but it was pretty much contained to the carport, other than smoke damage and a little bit of water damage," Owens said. The Kyle area has seen a string of random arson blazes in some lower-income neighbor- hoods east of IH-35, primarily set by thrill-seeking teenagers in abandoned trailers or vehicles, though Buda hasn't experienced similar crimes. Owens says that he can't speculate on whether the fire was deliberately set or accidental. As a professional firefighter, owens said that he never expect- ed his own home to catch fire. "It's not really supposed to happen that way," Owens said. The investigation remains open. Standoff: Busted in Branson Continued from pg. 1A fully eight and a haif hours into the standoff and was arrested by Branson Police Chief Carroll McCullough and turned over to U.S. Marshals. "Our police department did a wonderful job in using pa- tience and negotiating his sur- render," Adams said. Hays County spokesperson Mike Thielan said lhesday that Hays County detectives were en route to Missouri to collect evidence and work with Bran- son police on the investigation. Simmons will likely be ex- tradited back to Texas, Thielan said. Prosecutors could choose to seek the death penalty against him in the capital mur- der case. He also is facing an active warrant for unlawful posses- sion of a firearm by a convicted felon. In 2008, Simmons com- pleted 10 years probation for prohibited weapons charges in College Station, Texas, accord- ing to Brazos County court re- cords. He told investigators he was a racist and was collecting weapons for the upcoming ra- cial war. Simmons' mother described her son as an unmedicated paranoid schizophrenic. I.OWB00UR '! R pAYt, fENT As part of PEC's commitment to conservation and environmental responsibility, we encourage our members to use energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). PEC now offers free CFL recycling, so bring your unbroken CFLs to 'any PEC office and we will do the rest. GREEN WORKS Pedernales Electric 1-888-554-4732 -t-