Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 14, 2003     Hays Free Press
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August 14, 2003

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Page 6 The Free Press Current Events August 14, 2003 State ar, rests six sex crime suspects in county BY DANIEL MICHAEL Staff Writer OUNTY-The Attorney General&apos;s crackdown on Internet child predators visited Hays County last week with the indictments of six men who thought they would be meeting with chil- dren along IH-35. Hays County District Attorney Mike Wenk and prosecutors with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Internet Bureau announced the indictments last week. The men were indicted on Aug. 6, after they attempted to meet With 13-year-old children, allegedly for sex, according to Tom Kelly of the Texas Attorney General's office. The Hays County Sheriff's Department, San Marcos Police and U.S. Secret Service assisted in the arrests of the six men, which took place over the months of June and July of this year. The indicted men allegedly traveled from Austin, Hutto, San Marcos, and Houston to locations in Hays County, along IH-35, to meet who they thought would be children they met in Internet chat rooms. The children turned out to be Interact Bureau investigators p0s- ing as 13-year-old girls online. Each of the suspects allegedly offered to drive to a predetermined location along the IH-35 corridor to meet the investigators "posing as children. The five men indictdd on charges of attempted sexual perfor- mance of a child, a third-degree felony, and criminal solicitation of a minor are: Marcus Stephen Sterling, 32, of Austin; Sammat Kumar Panigrahi, 38, of Austin; Ravi Vennkataramiah, 39, of Houston; Daniel Robert McCarthy, 42, of Austin; and Victor Lawrence Gage, 20, of Hutto. Christopher Michael Pacheco, 32, of San Marcos, was arrested on a second-degree felony charge, for attempted sexual performance of a child. Attempted sexual performance of a child carries a punishment range of up to 10 years in jail, while the criminal solicitation charge carries punishment ranging up to 20 years behind bars, Kelly said. "We are putting on notice child predators who would attempt to have sex with children," Abbott said. "We will lock you up, get you indicted and send you to prison." The six arrests took place from June 24 to July 30 and are part of a larger crackdown on adults who- prey on children through the Interact. Abbott's Intemet Bureau has taken into custody 11 suspected child predators in the central Texas area since May. Livin' High on Pie, from page 1 not only could expand their business by relocating in Kyle, but they also could afford a home in town. Three years later, Thomas isn't quite ubiquitous in Kyle, but you'll see him around. Thomas' catering service, based on the Texas Pie Company's menu, has put him in the middle of several public events. The Katherine Anne Porter House is a pretty regular customer, he said. Thomas also was active in a group of Kyle citizens that watered down an historic dis- trict ordinance last summer. The group called itself "The Bakers Dozen," in reference to Thomas' business. Thomas said he objected to the ordinance because it allowed for the city to tell property own- ers how to care for their proper- ty. The version that passed said a district can be designated for historic preservation only if all the property owners in that dis- trict approve. Thomas also sings for his band, King Soul, which has played on the gazebo on the City Hall grounds. In a past life, Thomas was much more active as a blues singer, fronting a band called the Solid Senders, who held a Friday and Saturday residency at Headliners East on Sixth Street in Austin. And Thomas remains active in music, casting his musical ideas in computer software so they can more easi- ly be communicated to other musicians for future collabora- tions. But the business is where it starts for Thomas and Albertson, who, said Thomas, is the brains of the operation. New School Year, from page 1 have its dedication on Sept. 14,at 2 p.m. Hays High School will unveil its new instructional wing this semester. The high school's new wing, which doesn't yet have an offi- cial name, will be used for core curriculum classes like English, science, speech and foreign lan- guage. The elementary and middle school students also can look forward to new bell times. The elementary students will begin at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:20 p.m., while middle school stu- dents will start at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. "The school district will save $65,000 in personnel costs and the (.bell time change) will delay the purchase of six new school buses," Crirnmins said. The middle school students also will live with a new align- ment by which Barton, Wallace and Dahlstrom Middle Schools all will teach grades six through eight. Last year, Wallace and Dahlstrom took sixth and seventh graders, while Barton taught eighth graders Crimmins said traffic near Tom Green Elementary School will be redirected during the first week of school, with Old West Trails being designated a one-way sti'eet. "Traffic will go east to allevi- ate the flow," Crimmins said. The school district wilt have several new principals, including Dr. Judy Logan, who will replace Cy Buchanan at B'arton Middle School. At Hemphill Elementary, Mike Hanson will replace Jayne Buda City Budget, from. page1 etiues iif budget undefdigrus ; sion. < Based on the Hays County Appraisal District's assessment of $218 million for the next fiscal year, the city would expect to generate $343,629 in property tax, along with $1,025,000 in sales tax revenue. The city's hotel tax is expected to bring in $23,000, the same amount as this year.  ...... . '" ;:: ....... The budget  includes $1,842,049 in revenues for the general fund, with the water fund bringing in $832,013 and the wastewater fund generating $885,989. The budget doesn't include plans to increase water and wastewater rates beyond their present levels (see Buda Water Bills, beginning on page 1.).' ..... The Buda Public Library will be budgeted for $191,029, with the city providing $146,269, Hays County adding $20,000 and the rest coming from community support. The Economic Develop- ment Corporation (EDC) is allocated $340,000 in the pro- posed budget. When they moved to Kyle, Thomas and Albertson figured they could hold on to all of their wholesale business, but they didn't know what to expect from their new retail venture; "Our second month here, our retail equalled our whole- sale," Thomas said. Early this year, Thomas and Albertson decided they wanted more dining space. So they pur- chased the space to their west, knocked down the wall and now have a dining area that seats 25-30 people. Thomas and Albertson made the change on Easter weekend and immediately opened their expanded dining area. They've also begun making pot pies that can serve four to eight people in their Kyle kitchen. "The casseroles have really taken off," Thomas said. "They're fully prepared and ready to cook. We have people who call us ahead of time and ask us to heat theirs before they pick them up." "I figure, if he isn't going to use his last name, I won't, either," she said. Prewitt as principal. Carolyn Hitt will take over the principal's duties at Buda Elementary School, where the elementary and primary school campuses have been consolidated. 424 N. Loop 4 Buda, TX 78610 512-312-5252 OOO Barbara B. Pecuch, GRI, CRS Residence 312-0004 Ann-Marie Pecuch Sheely, Esq. Residence 312-1944 Mike Colonnetta 496-8457 i i i I r I I I II ill [ to attend a seminar on Retiring Soon? Know Your Options Tuesday August 19, 2003 Quail Creek Country Club 2701 Highway 21 Reservations are required by August 15th. RSVP to 512-396-5640 or 1-800-320-5712 JERRY NIEMIEC, CFP, CLU, ChFC Investment Representative 205 Cheatham St. Ste. 2 396-5640 1-800-320-5712 San Marcos Member SIP(? EdwardJoIn009 , se ,rvlng individual j,b!4W '187!: ' ' SCHOOL OF baUS A C MUSIC LESSONS FOR ALL .AGES Piano Guitar Violin Viola Trumpet Keyboard Clarinet Saxophone Voice Theory Regular Recitals Children and Adult Choir Pre.School Music Programs - age 3 & up Fully Qualified Teachers with University Degrees Professional Music Education I, Facilities -- We use Baldwin and Kawai acoustic pianos and have Roland electronic pianos with music tutors to enhance the learning experience ' For Adults -- Sixteen week chord study course to learn jazz and popular music phrasings Customer Service -- Desk staff are available during class to provide assistance Two Locations to Serve You... Buda 312-5995 905 N. Loop 4 , (200 yards west of HEB along Loop 4) S. Austin 445-4111 1806 W. Stassney #102 (across from Crockett H.S. along Stassney)