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Kyle, Texas
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July 17, 2013     Hays Free Press
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JULY 17 2013 + IN 'THE SHOW' Former Hays pitcher gets his chance to play for the Royals. - Page 1B HAYS HAS TALENT Former Hays student a singing success after Americas Got Talent. - Page 1C Barton Publications, Inc. .............. HaysFreePress.com ...... ................... Vol. 111 * No. 16 .... Serving Buda, Kyle and Northeast, Hays County 75 PHOTO BY MIKE VASIL 18-wheeler shuts down IH-35 in Kyle A jackknifed tractor-trailer shut down the northbound lanes of IH-35 at mile marker 215 in Kyle Monday for several hours. Two other vehicles were involved in the crash, according to Kyle city spokesperson Jerry Hendricks. Kyle Fire Department responded to the call at approximately 8 p.m. A hazmat crew cleaned up spilled diesel on the highway. No injuries were reported. The lanes reopened at about 10 p.m. Monday night. What are rights? BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com Walking along Goforth Road in Buda last week, two young adults carrying rifles on their backs created quite a stir. But the aftermath may be even more controversial. Part of a group call Open Carry Texas, which, on the inter- net, seems to be associated with Opencarty.org, the two young adults were trying to make a statement, videotaping their in- teraction with police and post- ing it on YouTfibe. What statement? That, by law, they are allowed to openly carry long guns in Texas. The video interaction be- tween Buda police and the weapons-carriers included les- sons for all involved. Last week, Buda Police Officer Alex Fernandez, who arrived on scene at 5:27 p.m. to investigate a call for suspicious circum- stances, found himself the tar- get of a nationwide movement GUN RIGHTS, 2A BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com In this two-part series, two relatively new employees of the Kyle Police Department, Samantha Dean and Officer' Genevieve Natal, say they fulfiU a need in the Kyle community that was not being met. Natal, the department's mental health officer, and Dean, the crime victim ser- vices coordinator, explained how they help Kyle residents. This week, we feature Natal in her role. Next week, we delve into crime victim services with Dean. Natal is a"regular" police of- ricer who started in Aug. 2011, but on Dec. 1, she expanded her role to become the depart- ment's only Mental Health Of- ricer. Why her? "I have the patience and un- derstanding to work with these individuals, these emotionally disturbed persons," Natal said. (Law enforcement officers call them EDPs.) She said having an aunt with mental illness gave her some experience in the matter. Natal has a degree in crimi- nal justice with a minor in psy- chology. She went into police work and was happy; but when the mental health position opened late last year in Kyle, she jumped at the opportunity. Natal's job includes re- sponding to calls, taking EDPs COURTESY PHOTO Officer Genevieve Natal is a "regular" police officer who expanded her role to become the department's only Mental Health Officer. to Seton Medical Center Hays during those after-business for evaluation, transporting hours. EDPs to mental health facili- Natal responded to 89 EDP ties, making residential visits, calls between Dec. 1 2012 and and conducting follow-up June 13, 2013- an average of 15 calls and visits, per month. And in a six-month She also visits local schools, period, she logged more than attends community meetings, 3,500 miles. and holds quarterly meet- Those EDP calls, Natal said, ings with local mental health are mental health related in- agencies. Ongoing training cidents. The person may be includes crisis prevention and suicidal. They have overdosed a jail diversion workshop. She on drugs or alcohol. They may conducts suicide prevention be diagnosed with a mentalill- training for other officers, ness and not taking their med- Her official hours are 7 a.m.- ication. 7p.m.MondaythroughThurs- Whatever the reason, Na- day, but she is on call 24 hours tel said the Kyle community a day, seven days a week. She said plenty of calls come in MENTAL HEALTH, 4A Financial Wellness Workshop Learn the basics of improving your financial wellness at the Buda Public Library, July 20 from 2-4 p.m. For more information, call 295-5899. Presented by representatives of Primerica. Christmas in July Get an update on Orchard Burgers and BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com A man ordered to register annually as a sex offender has failed to do so for the past three years, and Kyle police officials are now asking for the public's help in finding the ab- sconder. Rodney Earl Pace, 54, was sen- tenced to rive years probation in 1997 after being found guilty of indecen- PACE cy with a child by sexual contact, according to online Texas Department of Public Safety records. Pace's victim was a 12-year-old boy, records show. Kyle Police Detective Pe- dro Carrasco said Pace's last known address was in Kyle and the offender last regis- tered with the Hays County Sheriff's Office in 2009. Since then, Kyle police has solicited the help of state and federal agencies in locating the sex offender, Carrasco said. In March 2012, Kyle po- lice forwarded all available information on Pace to the U.S. Marshals Office for as- sistance in locating him na- tionwide. Two months later authori- ties associated Pace with a potential address in Chicago, and later with an unknown address in Maryland, but nei- ther led to an arrest. Carrasco said Kyle police presently does not have any leads from U.S. Marshals, nor from the Texas Attorney General's Office. He said Pace has one listed fam- ily member in Kyle and that individual has told police that they are unaware of his location. Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said his department is "asking for the public's help iden- tifying (Pace's) whereabouts. Any information about where he may be, or where he may have lived in the past, can be useful." As of Tuesday, an arrest warrant issued on February 18, 2010, for Pace for failure to register as a sex offender was still active, Carrasco said. DPS records describe Pace as a 54-year-old black man, who is 5-foot 9-inches tall, weighs 170 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Pace is also said to wear a size 10 shoe. There are 241 registered sex offenders in the Hays County area, according to DPS re- cords. Of those registered in Hays County, 98 live within the 78640 (Kyle) zip code, 41 live within the 78610 (Buda) zip code and 107 live within the 78666 (San Marcos) zip code. PHOTO BY DAVID WHITE It wasn't until after the electronic reader board (ERB) was built at the corner of Old San Antonio Road and North Loop 4 that the city realized it was breaking its own sign ordinance. BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com They are flashy, bright and generate an ample advertis- ing base for any business. Yet, the Buda City Coun- cil also realizes how much an Electronic Reader Board informed the city they would no longer hang event banners on power lines. PEC said placing the ban- ners on power lines was a hazard to their workers, along with the possibility of dis- rupting service. New Texas Department of Transporta- tion (TxDOT) requirements (ERB) can become more of a regarding event banners distraction than an asset, would have forced PEC to use That is why at the June 2 six workers to put up a ban- City Council Meeting, the ner. city unanimously approved TxDOT called for an in- I~" 1~' Park - Kyle's newest retirement Burgers and Bluegrass (and amendments to Chapter 10.4 crease in safety warning ve- community - at a silent auction BBQ) are being served up at the of the city sign ordinance to hicles. The move would have at the Plum Creek Club House, Duchman Family Winery Thursday, include and restrict ERBs. taken Buda police cars off the July 23, 4-6:30 p.m. There will be July 25 from 6-8 p.m. $10-$20 00 o'~ The catalyst for amending beat to block traffic for PEC ~ ,D hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and live tickets can be purchased in entertainment. All proceeds will advance by emailing candace@ ~" ~ ~t the sign ordinance occured crews. ~, (~ ,~. be donated to the Alzheimer's duchmanwines.com or call (512) in March, when Pedernales , .,,. Association. 858-1470 ext 107. Electric Cooperative (PEC) DISTRACTING SIGNS, 2A r-,o- i l l Nm.OS I O *6 ~ ~ Opinions ......................... 3A Business .................. I&4D * -J ~ c Warm Springs . [i,1Sports ........................ 1-2B Service Directory .......... 2-3D ~ ~' ~ Rehabilitation Hospital '/ a Education ..................... 3-4B Classifieds .................... 2D [:;:::~ ~ ~ ~ ~ opens near Seton. ] Neighbors ..................... 1-4C Public Notices ............... 3-4D ~ cq ~ - Page 1D / Best Bets .................. 4C +