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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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November 10, 2010     Hays Free Press
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November 10, 2010
 

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NOVEMBER 10, 2010 r~ TOUGH OFFENSE Rebels have tough task in first round of playoffs with Kerrville. - Page 1B DIA DE LOS MUERTOS Kyle honors the dead with its third annual Dia de los Muertos Festival. - Page 1C O~ r.. Barton Publications, Inc. HaysFreePress.com Vol. 108 No. 31 ....... Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County 75 BY JENNIFER BIUNDO jen@haysfreepress.com In the months of campaign- ing before the Nov. 2 elections, Republican candidates at the state and local level were tmi- fled in their campaign message they delivered in TV ads and stump speeches: a vote for the GOP was a vote for belt- tightening, back-to- the basics See precinct fiscal con- by precinct servafism, election results County on Page 1D politics, by its nature less partisan and more inclined to workaday is- sues like road building and jail maintenance, followed a simi- lar script of economic frugality. Voters responded with a flood of support for Republican candidates at a national, state and local level, installing a GOP majority in congress and one seat shy of a Republican su- permajority in the state house. In Hays County, every one of the 28 contested partisan races on the ballot went to the GOP. Despite that, ACC passed. By a comfortable margin of almost 57 percent, Hays CISD voted to annex into the Austin Community College District, gaining in-district tuition reductions and a local campus, but also adding another taker onto their annual property tax bills to the rune of about $120 per year. The Hays initiative was one of five ACC annexation mea- sures on the ballot throughout Central Texas. Elgin joined Hays CISD in approving the an- nexation, while voters in three other districts, including San Marcos ISD, shot it down. Voters were frustrated by the continuing recession and negatively disposed to vote for anything associated with ex- panded government spending, noted ACC President Stephen Kinslow. "You have a lot of people concerned about the economy in general, so anything associ- ated with taxes gets looked at more closely than other issues," Kinslow said. But Kinslow argued that ACC wasn't a partisan issue for See ELECTION 2010, pg. 4A PHOTOS BY SEAN KIMMONS Subcontractors working for Aqua Texas used a vaccuum truck to remove water from a creek and put back into the city's sewage system through a manhole. (Below) The city's wastewater treatment plant is off FM 150 E behind the Waterleaf subdivision. 000 Million gallons of sewage spills in creek BY KAY RICHTER AND BRAD ROLLINS brad@haysfreepress.com Officials saythey are raking steps to pre- vent a rel~mt of a sewage spill last week that dumped as much of one million gal- lons- ten times what was initially reported - of untreated and undertreated wastewa- ter into a tributary of Plum Creek. A pump at the city's wastewater treat- ment plant near FM 150 in eastern Kyle did not turn on causing sewage to ac- cumulate at an intake point to the plant and flow out of a nearby manhole. When the problem was discovered, a contrac- tor turned on booster pumps to send the accumulated sewage through a lift sta- tion and into the plant for treatment, a move that caused effluent to spill out of the other end of the plant into the creek. The spill, which began the evening of Sunday, Oct. 31 and continued into early Nov. 1, was reported to the Texas Com- measures include installing equipment to missioner on Environmental Quality prevent grease from reaching the lift sta- and the Texas Parks andW'fldlife Depart- tion where the malfunction occurred and ment, both of whom dispatched agents installation of a transmitter to send data to survey the spill, about levels in the system to the plant's The city of Kyle spokesperson initially control room. described the the spill as "in excess of "Weareveryconcemedaboutthesitua- 100,000 gallons" but later evaluation de- tion and we're going to address it so that it termined that number could be as high does not happen again," I.aughman said. as one million gallons, said Bob Laugh- The spillwas reported by a Hays County man, president of Aqua Texas, the con- road crew the moming of Nov. 1 when tractor that operates the plant on behalf they noticed a torrent of dark, smelly wa- of the city. ter rushing down the creek where it cross- Company and city officials are working es Heindenreich Lane. Stephen Tridwell, to "make whatever operational changes a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and equipment upgrades are necessary biologist, said the oxygen level at the spot to prevent such a spill in the future," city - less than a quarter mile from the plant- spokesperson Jerry Hen&ix said. The was 0.2 milligrams perliter that afternoon; 3 milligrams per liter is the minimum oxy- gen level needed to keep fish alive. The spill has caused the death of an estimated 2,000 fish, biologists who have assessed the damage say, and that num- ber is expected to grow as the contami- nation moves down Plum Creek toward the San Marcos River. Monitors from the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority water quality section found dead fish blamed on the spill as far downstream as Plum Creek at Texas 21 on Nov. 3. "The spill has killed everything in the water as it moves downstream. The bi- ologist's concern is that as the sewage moves down stream, more fish will die," said Mike Cox, a Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesperson. PHOTO BY SEMi KIMMONS Kyle police officer Karl Cranek listens to testimony in August in the appeal of his firing from the department. Cranek was termi= nated for allegedly allowing a suspected pedophile drive away with a 14-year-old boy in his car. ,le cop fails to regain job BY SEAN KIMMONS sean@haysfreepress.com A hearing examiner has up- held Kyle Police Chief Michael Blake's firing of a police officer who let an alleged pedophile drive away with a 14-year, old .... runaway during a traffic stop in February. Fol- lowing an internal investi- ON TAPE Hear audio of the dispatcher's conversation with Cranek at haysfreepress. corn gation, Blake terminated the employment of Officer Carl Kranek on grounds that in- cluded incompetency, neglect of duty, shirking duty and violation of department rules. Cranek fought for his job in an arbitration hearing in mid- August. About two months later, hearing officer Chuck Miller, a former Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge, sided with Blake and kept Cranek without a badge. "Officer Cranek's failure to act in the investigation the re- port of a possible sexual abuse of a child and his subsequent release of the child back inl~o the custody of the potential offender shocks the conscious of a reasonable and prudent officer and the community alike," Miller wrote in his deci- sion. "Officer Cranek's actions would place the city of Kyle See FIRING UPHELD, pg. 4A + Subscriber address 5 Veterans Day Government offices and libraries closed. See page 3B for HCISD events or contact individual campus for schedules. City of Kyle Bulky Trash Day 9 a.m.-noon. Residents can bring household items to Gregg-Clarke Park for pick-up by TDS. Bdng ID. PAWS will be hosting a benefit from 1-5 p.m. Pet. adoptions, supplies, household items, micro-chipping $20.500 FM 150 E. in Kyle PHOTO BY DAVID WHITE The Native American Student's Association will host its 6th Annual Pew Wow, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. LBJ Student Center Amphitheater, Texas State University Find more local events in the Bulletin, page 4C. Complete listings at haysfreepress.com/calendar ELECTION 2010 Precinct by precinct voting results for the November 2 election. - Page 1D Opinions ..................... 3A Bulletin Boards ............ 4C Sports ........................ I&2B Business News .............. 1D Education ................... 3&415 ~erv'lce l~=remory ........ .2-:~D Community .................... 1-2C Classifieds ..................... 2D Obituaries .................. 2C Public Notices ............ 2D + 4