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Serving Seguin and Guadalupe County Since 1888 Vol. 101 No. 203 Frldayjune 29. 1990 USPS48e-700 25e No indictments issued in teen's death By BOB THAXTON News Editor While returning no indictments, the Guadalupe County grand jury on Thursday ended its investigation into the death of 17-year-old Diane Harris of Washington, D.C. by issuing a three-page report criticizing the residential treatment facility where she was a patient.
"Although we, the members of the Guadalupe County grand jury, have returned no indictments in the investigation of the death of Diane Harris at the Seguin Community Living Center operated by Brown School, we have taken the unusual step of preparing a report and directing the district attorney to deliver this to the district clerk as part of the official records of our grand jury term. "We believe this appropriate because of the highly sensitive nature of the work done at the Seguin Community Living Center, the bizarre way in which Diane Harris died and our intention to ensure this tragedy not be repeated, here or elsewhere," the grand jury's report states. Seguin Emergency Medical Service personnel were called at 11:21 a.m. April 11 to the center, located off County Road 41 IB southwest of Seguin, where they began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Harris who subsequently was taken to Guadalupe Valley Hospital in Seguin. Efforts to revive Harris continued until almost 12:30 p.m., but they were unsuccessful.
Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Walter Bargfrcdc was summoned to conduct the inquest, and he ordered an autopsy by Travis County Medical Examiner Dr. Roberto Bayardo of Austin who later attributed the teen-ager's death to asphyxia probably caused by neck compression. Authorities were told that on the morning of her death Harris had become uncooperative and combative when ordered into a form of discipline called "time alone." She was restrained in a "five-man basket hold" by center personnel who told an investigator she had become limp and unresponsive before being released from the hold. "The primary cause of the death of Diane Harris appears to be inadequate training of the staff administering physical holds," the grand jury said. "Our investigation revealed that none of the five persons involved in the hold were adequately trained, if at all, in CPR or in recognizing signs of distress in a patient.
The only medical professional on the premises was not involved in any meaningful way in supervising the hold. "Additionally, the staff was inadequately trained in the proper use of the hold. Excessive force appears to have been inadvertently applied to the right arm of Diane Harris, causing her right arm and Books get stickers LIBRARY VOLUNTEERS Gladys Wendler, Itta Lenowitz, Frank Amis and Peggy Marion put barcode stickers on books at the Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library. The computer sys- tem will allow faster and more accurate check in and out of books. The library is closed all this week for the changeover to the new system.
Regular hours resume Monday. July 2. Grand jury returns 20 indictments By BOB THAXTON News Editor The Guadalupe County grand jury on Thursday returned 20 indictments, and among the defendants are three men arrested June 14 by Seguin police in the culmination of an undercover drug-trafficking investigation by lawmen from Uvalde County. Seguin police said they were contacted by officers from the Uvalde County Sheriff's Department and the Southwest Texas Narcotics Task Force of the 38th Judicial District who were working on a "reverse sting" operation in which they had arranged to sell $70,000 worth of marijuana to some suspects they had arranged to meet at a Seguin motel. When the suspects arrived for the transaction, officers moved in and made the arrests.
They also seized $72,474 in cash, a 1988 Chevrolet four-door sedan and a 1985 Chevrolet van. Arrested June 14 were Santiago "Jimmy" Riojas, 39, of Austin; Gilbert Rodriguez Vallejo, 50, of Austin; and Steven Lee Foster, 39, of North Carolina. Although Municipal Judge Robert Ryan set bail at $200,000 on each defendant, all three had posted bond and been released before the indictments were returned Thursday. Riojas, Vallejo and Foster were named in identical two-count indictments charging them with illegally investing funds to finance the aggravated possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana, illegally investing funds to finance the aggravated delivery of more than 50 pounds of marijuana and aggravated possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana. Other defendants named in Thursday's indictments include: Jimmy Lee Cunningham, who is charged with burglary of a habitation; Jason Lee Whitney, burglary of a habitation; Christopher Johnson, burglary of a habitation; Guadalupe Ruiz, felony driving while intoxicated; Ronald Partaka, forgery by passing; Rene M.
Leal, forgery by passing; Also, Juan S. Ramirez, possession of a controlled substance, less than 28 grams of cocaine; Melissa Carol York, forgery by making; Eluterio Rodriguez, felony DWI; John R. Hendley felony DWI; and Jacob A. Young, felony DWI. The names of six other defendants are withheld pending their arrest.
Charges they face include aggravated sexual assault, burglary of a habitation, felony theft and aggravated possession of a controlled substance. Directors continue talks on regulating aquifer Guadalupe-BlancQ River Authority directors held their monthly meeting June 21 in Victoria and spent most of the day discussing efforts by GBRA to seek regulation of the Edwards Aquifer to protect Hie flows of the Guadalupe River, During the day-long meeting, directors discussed the status of the lawsuit filed by GBRA in state trici court to seek regulation of the Edwards Aquifer to protect historic water uses, endangered species, and the natural springflew from the Comal and San Marcos springs to the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers. Of major discussion was the potential for litigation in federal court under the Endangered Species Act. GBRA has provided notice to groundwater users that continued overpumping of the Edwards Aquifer which results in declining flow could cause the federal action to be taken, According to GBRA General Manager John Specht, the potential suit would seek protection of springflow for the endangered etes that Uve only in the Comal and San Marcos springs. In addition to protecting these species, the natural springflow is a major contributor to the flows of the Guadalupe River, and the spring- flow is important to all interests of the Guadalupe River Basin.
The natural flows through the springs.are permitted by the Texas Water Commission as surface water to industries, cities and agricultural interests throughout the Guadalupe River Basin. Earlier in the week, GBRA cials met with ground and surface water users throughout the Guadalupe River Basin to discuss the status of the declining springflow and the potential for the filing of the Endangered Species suit. The Comal Springs in New Braunfels currently are at elevation 620.54, just 1.34 feet above the 619,2 elevation where the springs go dry, and the San Marcos Springs are at elevation 577.29. The cities of New Braunfels and San Marcos have imposed water conservation programs in an effort 10 set an example for others and to extend the supply. shoulder to be pulled so as to constrict her darolid artery and her airway.
This, when coupled with her excited stale, appears to have caused her death, although we were presented with conflicting evidence from two well-qualified pathologisls." Besides the initial autopsy performed April 13 by Dr. Bayardo, there was a second autopsy performed the week of April 16-20 by Dr. Linda Norton, a Dallas pathologist hired by the residential treatment center's parent company, Health Care International, whose report mentioned cardiac arrhythmia as a factor in the death of Harris. 'The cause of this excessive force may well be that the hold used was a five-person basket hold which was not an approved hold under the policies of the Seguin Community Living Center," the grand jury said. "This hold places an extra persorfat the head of the patient and that person, while holding the patient's head between their knees, is in a position to apply excessive force by adding their weight and strength to the pulling of the right arm.
"Even though this hold was not authorized under the center's own policies, apparently it was routinely used with the knowledge and consent of center management. We were presented with conflicting evidence of whether or not this hold See Grand, Pg. 2 Council prioritizes goals of city budget By BARRY HALVORSON Staff Writer The Seguin City Council placed economic development at the top of its priority list during a workshop session to establish budgetary goals for the coming year. The meeting was held Tuesday after being requested by Mayor Ed Gotthardt at the council's June 19 meeting. City Manager Terry Roberts introduced the topic by presenting the council with a list of 15 general policy items (two others were later added at council's request).
Roberts said that the items had been listed in no priority order and could be added to or deleted from as the council opted. said that the items were selected'after consulting with city staff and were based in part on past concerns expressed by the council and on items that had not been fully addressed since a workshop session previously held by Roberts shortly after accepting the position of city manager in the fall of 1987. The council was asked to rate the items from 1-17 in order of priority. In an interview after the ratings were tallied, Roberts said that the ratings give staff a better feel for what the council's priorities are. "It is obvious that the council is concerned with all of the items since the council could have deleted some and chose not to," Roberts said.
Receiving the highest priority was broadening the tax base and increasing utility loads through an enhanced economic development program. Roberts said that of the eight council members and Mayor Ed Gotthardt, four placed the item at the top of their lists. "Based on the input Roberts commented, "economic development is the item given the most emphasis. It shows us that the council wants staff to be in contact with the business community and See Councllmembers, Pg. 2 deputies make drug arrests Thursday By BARRY HALVORSON Staff Writer The Seguin Police Department and the Guadalupe County sheriff's office both made narcotics related arrests Thursday in separate incidents.
The police action occurred at 6:37 p.m. as detectives and uniformed officers provided assistance to members of the Alamo Area Narcotics Task Force in the execution of a search warrant at 212 E. Ireland. The warrant was obtained through the Guadalupe County District Attorney's office and signed by Justice of the Peace Waller Bargfrede. Three people were taken into custody at the scene.
Two of those persons, identified as Eddie Cardenas Florcs, 25, and Gary Cardenas Flores, 27, both of 212 E. Ireland, were charged with the possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) under 28 grams as officers found an undisclosed amount of what was believed to cocaine at the scene. Also arrested was Johnny Joe Herrcra, 20, of 1306 N. San Marcos. He is charged in the case with the possession of a prohibited weapon, reported to be knife, and on an outstanding warrant for revocation of probation.
Each person was magistrated by Municipal Court Judge Robert Ryan, who set bond at $50,000 each on both of the Floreses and at $2,500 for each of the two offenses involving Hcrrcra. The incident involving the sheriff's department took place earlier in the 4 day and started when deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle along County Road 404C approximately mile east of FM 775. Arriving on the scene, they found a small red car parked on the wrong side of the road with the engine running. As Deputy Carlos Esparza approached the vehicle, two men got out of the car and met with him, See Drug, pg. 2 Sports Pg.
3 Comics Pg. 4 Image 5 Church news Pg. 6 Classifieds Pgs. 7-9 Outlook: Tonight, partly cloudy with lows in the mid 70s. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday, increasing clouds with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 90s, Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph. High in Seguin Thursday was 103. Overnight low 73. Saturday time to get produce Farmers and gardeners from the Seguin area will hold a farmers' market Saturday beginning at 7 at the Guadalupe County Fairgrounds.
Consumers can expect to purchase a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as eggs. Some eight area farmers are bringing fresh produce including peaches, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, sweet and hot onions, beets, okra, red and white potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, greens, cucumbers and herbs. Come out early for best selection and to support local producers. Food stamps are being accepted again this year. There will be no mid-week market during the coming week because of the Fourth of July holiday.
Sponsored by the Guadalupe County Extension Service and the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Seguin market is part of a statewide network of farmers' markets. For more information, contact Gus Person, county extension agent, at 379-1972 or Hazel Mondjn, market manager, at 3794642..
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