Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas on January 11, 2003 · 17
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas · 17

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Austin, Texas
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Saturday, January 11, 2003
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17
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METRO & STATE BRIEFING Saturday, January 11, 2003 . Justin mcrican-tatejman statesman.com B2 OUR COMMUNITY Missing woman honored at her school Tree dedicated at Georgetown High one year after disappearance GEORGETOWN Rachel Cooke, missing for a year, was honored Friday in a quiet, reflective ceremony outside Georgetown High School, where she graduated in 2000. Cooke's family planted and dedicated a live oak tree in her honor in a courtyard where students often have lunch. They hung yellow ribbons with messages for Cooke, who was last seen jogging near her parents' home in Georgetown on Jan. 10, 2002. "Rachel, we miss you and we haven't forgotten you," Robert Cooke wrote to his daughter. Cooke compiled about 70 messages from well-wishers around the United States and in four other countries, including Australia and South Africa, and added them to the tree. He also hung blue ribbons for 12 other Americans who are missing or have been murdered. The ceremony allowed the family to honor Rachel Cooke and connect her memory to Georgetown High School, where she ran cross country and sang in the choir. Rachel Cooke's mother, Janet Cooke, teaches at the school. The tree will be known as Rachel's Tree. "Maybe one day she'll be able to see the tree herself," Robert Cooke said. - Monica Polanco w-"" f '" ' i i i J ' J 4 f Z - I I r I It i S f f ) ' ' f 1 v ;Vr t J I ' if 1 i . ' I ' " I . ; V. V, f X ' -v ' Beverly McKinney, a private investigator working on the disappearance of Rachel Cooke, joins with Kelly West FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN Cooke's family and friends at the tree dedication at Georgetown High School on Friday. CENTRAL TEXAS DIGEST AUSTIN Man charged with injuring child Austin police have arrested a man on suspicion of critically injuring a year-old girl. Rogelio Estrada, 27, was charged with serious injury to a child. Police responded to a 911 call about a child having difficulty breathing at 12:18 a.m. Wednesday in the 9000 block of Great Hills Trail. The address is at The Hills apartment complex. . Emergency workers took the child to Children's Hospital of Austin. Detectives determined that she had suffered internal head injuries. The girl, who was not identified, remained in critical condition Friday night at the hospital. - Estrada was taken into custody Friday and held at the Travis County Central Booking Facility with bail set at $75,000. . UT professor in national town hall University of Texas Professor James Fishkin and the company that produces "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer" will conduct an experiment in democracy this weekend with the second National Issues Convention in Philadelphia. The previous convention was held in Austin in 1996. "'.'' About 325 delegates, randomly selected to be representative of the country, will discuss America's role in the world after receiving small-group briefings from competing experts on subjects such as military intervention and foreign aid. The delegates will then have their opinions polled and compared to those before the convention, said Fishkin, who heads the government department at UT. A town hall discussion will be held at the convention on Sunday and broadcast on KLRU at 6 p.m. Hawaii fund-raiser runners sought Local runners and walkers are being recruited for a June 22 marathon in Kona, Hawaii, to help raise money for diabetes research. The Central Texas office of the American Diabetes Association is holding three information sessions, the first at 10 a.m. today at RunTex, 2201 Lake Austin Blvd., to explain the Team Diabetes fund-raiser. Each runner or walker will be asked to raise a minimum of $4,500 in pledges from family, friends and businesses. About a third of that money will cover the expenses for the four-day trip, including air fare; the rest will go to diabetes research, said Monica Morales, area manager of the diabetes association. The other information sessions at RunTex are scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Jan. 20. For more information, call (800) 254-9255, ext. 6116, or visit the Web site at www.diabetes. orgteamdiabetes. . : . ROUND ROCK 12 arrested in school drug bust . Five Stony Point High School students and seven other people were arrested Wednesday after an undercover drug investigation at the school. Four people were charged with crimes committed on campus; eight were charged with dealing drugs off-campus. Charges were filed against three juveniles and nine adults, authorities said Friday. ' 1 ' Police began the investigation in September. A police officer posed as a student and attended classes until December. The officer found little drug activity at the campus, said Round Rock Police Chief Paul Conner. Most of the drug activity involved prescription drugs. ' '..- "- Deadline set on smoking petition The clock is ticking for nine petitioners who have until 5 p.m. Feb. 10 to obtain the 1,848 signa-. tures required to suspend the city's smoking ordinance and return the issue to the City Council. The ordinance, approved on Nov. 26, bans almost all public smoking, including in restaurants. It is 'to go into effect Feb.' ) 4 The opposition group, which picked up petition forms at noon Friday, has 30 days to obtain the signatures and file the petitions with City Secretary Christine Martinez. She would have 10 days to verify that the signatures are from qualified voters. If the petitions pass muster, the ban would be suspended immediately and remain so until the council repealed it or called for a public election. NEW BRAUNFELS Police search for bank robber New Braunfels police were looking for a man in blue jeans and a black ski cap who robbed the Surety Bank on Interstate 35 on Friday. The man brandished an undisclosed weapon as he demanded money and then fled on the highway frontage road. According to witnesses, the man did not cover his face with the ski mask. Police believe the man had an accomplice who picked him up near the bank. Police asked anyone with information to call (830) 608-2179. , KILLEEN Troops deployed from Fort Hood More than 200 soldiers will be deployed from Fort Hood to Southwest Asia this morning, part of a U.S. buildup affecting all branches of military service. A heavy equipment transport unit of the 180th Transportation Battalion received orders to reposition to support the war on terrorism. TEXAS DIGEST STATE LOTTERY Jackpot millions go unclaimed For only the third time in Lotto Texas history, the winning ticketholder has failed to claim the jackpot. The Texas Lottery Commission's deadline to claim the $9 million jackpot for the July 13 Lotto Texas game expired at midnight Thursday. The winning ticket was bought in Dallas and would have been worth $5,184,917. .The six numbers to match were: 29-42-22-8-11-5. The retail owner received a bonus of 1 percent, or $90,000, for selling the ticket. Only two other jackpot tickets have gone unclaimed in Lotto Texas' 10-year history. The first was from an Oct. 26, 1994 drawing, worth $12.4 million. The other was from a June 23, 2001 drawing, worth $13 million. Since the jackpot wasn't claimed, the money will be transferred to the Tertiary Care Facility Account, which funds indigent healthcare at medical facilities throughout the state. AMARILLO Innocent plea in judge plot A prison inmate accused of plotting to kill the judge who presided over the Oklahoma City bombing trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols pleaded innocent Friday. Christopher Lee Bennett, 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he solicited two men in January 2001 to kill U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch. Bennett, who was in a Texas prison serving a 99-year sentence for capital murder at the time the alleged plot was hatched, appeared in court with his head shaved and racist tattoos across his arms, knuckles and neck. He pleaded innocent to two counts of soliciting to commit a crime of violence. Authorities said they did not know why Bennett wanted the judge killed. HOUSTON Mayor joins in giving life sentence A Houston jury including Mayor Lee Brown ordered a life sentence Friday for a Harris County man convicted of slashing his 6-year-old son to death. Pakistan native Mohammad Nasir was convicted of murder Thursday in the Jan. 19, 2002, death of son Osama Nasir. The father testified an intruder broke into the home, knocked him out and killed the boy. Brown, who has led police departments in Atlanta, Houston and New York City, is halfway through his third two-year term as Houston's chief executive. Compiled from staff and wire reports i'i 'A- jfi Sherry Boyles 'i it ' STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT Consulting firm hires Boyles Sherry Boyles, an unsuccessful 2002 Democratic candidate for the Texas Railroad Com mission, has signed on with Austin-based Good Company Associates, which does advocacy and business consulting. Boyles, a former executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, was defeated in November by incumbent Republican Michael Williams. ' Good Company's lineup also includes former state Reps. Glen Maxey, D-Austin, and Bill Carter, R-Fort Worth. Since its founding in 1991, the firm's bread and butter clients have been "clean energy" firms, including those that provide wind power and fuel cells. . Krusee staffer joins Perry's team Mark Boresky, 36, chief of staffibr state Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock, will serve as legislative liaison for Gov. Rick Perry in the Texas House. Wendy Reilly , who has worked for Krusee for the past five yearst moves up to chief of staff. Barrientos is second in seniority When the Texas Senate convenes Tuesday, Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D- Austin, will be second on the . seniority list, up from No. 4 the last time the Senate met. Barrientos moved up two spots because Sens. Carlos Truan, D-Corpus Christi, and Buster Brown, R-Lake Jackson, did not seek re-election last year. Truan came to the Senate in 1977. Brown had been a member since 1981. Barrientos, who had served in the Texas House from 1975 to 1984, has been in the Senate since 1985. . The new dean of the Senate is John Whitmire, D-Houston, who has been in the chamber since 1983. Chairwoman refuses to resign Despite renewed efforts to force her out, Texas Democratic Party Chairwoman Molly Beth Malcolm continues to insist she'll serve out her term. The topic could come up at Wednesday's Austin meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee. Some committee members are among those who believe Malcolm should leave in the wake of the GOP sweep of the November statewide elections. "Absolutely not," Malcolm said this week when asked if she has any plans to leave before her term is up in June 2004. The Galveston County Democrats Club, which bills itself as the state's oldest such entity, approved a resolution this week calling for Malcolm to resign. , - From staff and wire reports ROTATING FEATURES' Each day of the week, different rotating features will run in Metro & State Briefing. Here is the schedule: Sunday. Local news in review Monday: Traffic report, Public agenda Tuesday: Achievements Wednesday: Schools Thursday: Urban and suburban affairs Friday. Higher education Saturday: State government and politics LOTTERY RESULTS Gonzalo Barrientos Pick 3 : Jan. 10, day: Jan. 10, night: 7 7 1 2 Lotto Texas Jan. 8: 1 10 18 23 44 49 Jan. 11 ackpot $25 million Cash 5 Jan. 10: 2 3 4 27 35 Texas Two Step Jan. 10: 4 10 17 32 Bonus number 24 I Jan. 10 jackpot: $250,000 For more detailed results of recent drawings, go to www.txlottery.org. 9 r ; i i t It i ii I j j :J tf'iti$ttf ij j j ti. rails cm Voted Austin's Best Gallery ... Again Call for Artists!! Reviewing paintings and photography Call Robert for an appointment . Be prepared to bring: Slides, high quality photographs, resume, biography, exhibition history. Music related art a plus! Best Gallery 2785 Best Framing 4660 1501 W. 5th St. Btwn. Mopac & Lamar www.arton5th.com 481-1111 Mon-SotlO-6 RoadRunner jfer S31-FAST(3278) What is the Internet? What Is a Modem? What are Browsers? 7170 7171 7172 Mercedes-Benz of Austin (512) 454821 Stock Quote Hotline ' 7865 Austin Tech stock update 8324 mm A HILL WRVICH GARUXH GiWBf www.austlnftanlctu.com 2710 Hancock Dr. Austin. TX 78731 4SBVJ09 . To order the Weekend Gardener fax enter category 7909. ARRIVING DAILY Pansies, Snapdragons, Stock & Cyclamen AMAZIKGSiD.r.'G Austin's Most Trusted Siding and Window Companyl 326-8000 Amazing Siding 4200 Windows " 4201 Warranties 4202 Free Bpoks & Video ' .4203 CANTU & HICKSON, P.C. 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