Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas on October 1, 1992 · 30
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Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas · 30

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Location:
Corpus Christi, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 1, 1992
Page:
30
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CorpniQirirtCaU- Federal judge sets trial for Edwards Aquifer lawsuit Water commission head prefers issue be contained at state level "Federal judges in Texas like a$ I lot of others don't have a lot of ' confidence in the Texas Legisla-" ture" Siena Club attorney Stuarts Henry said in Austin The water commission has an gued the aquifer is an undent ground river making it subject to ' state regulation but a state district judge in Austin recently ruled again the state The Texas WatedS Commission said it would appeal? that ruling DwAMMiaMFMM SAN ANTONIO - A federal judge has iet a November trial date in Midland for a lawsuit over Edwards Aquifer pumping limits The move is seen as a setback for the Texas Water Commission which has been seeking to avoid federal intervention by working with regional water users on an aquifer plan The commission also wanted state legislators to have time to act on the issue before the courts did M Kamea water concemaB2 Chief US District Judge Lucius Bunton of Midland on Tuesday denied a fourth delay in the con troversial lawsuit filed by the Sk ena Club and ruled against a mo tion to dismiss the case Bunton ordered a Nov 16 setting for the lawsuit in his court “We preferred that the federal government not have to get involved that the trial not have to occur because the local governments involved and the Texas Water Commission could have come together and developed a plan" said Water Commission Chairman John HalL The Siena Club filed the suit last year to limit water pumping from the Edwards Aquifer a natural un derground reservoir used by cities and ranchers The aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for SanAntonux The lawsuit is expected to result in a ruling on how much water the aquifer users are entitled to pump The Sierra Club and the Guadalupe-Bianco River Authority contend the US Fish and Wildlife Service is violating the federal En dangered Species Act which protects some plants and animals living in aquifer-fed springs in New Braunfels and San Marcos ' Heavy aquifer pumping during dry periods when the aquifer is not replenished with rain threatens to dry the springs Some state officials had wanted the Legislature to enact rules to protect the spring flows BflThursday October 1 1992 One of state’s most notorious killers released after m $ James Cross served enough ‘good time Convicted killer James Cross leaves a Huntsville prison a free man Wednesday His attorney said Tixulritfs Southwestern Univfiitv Tower library dedicated GEORGETOWN - A collection of political memorabilia from former Sen John Tower's 25-year career has been dedicated at his alma mater Southwestern University About 150 family members friends and forma' associates gathered at the school Tuesday for ceremonies at the John Good-library which is housed in a section of Southwestern main library Tower who represented Texas from 1961 until he left the Senate in 1985 was killed in a plane crash in Georgia last year Alleged wrongdoing PtIC forwards report AUSTIN - The Public Utility Commission has voted to refer to foe attorney general and Travis County district attorney a report on alleged wrongdoing by former PUC Chairman Paul Meek and former general counsel Bob Rima in a rate case a spokesman says But the PUC first voted Wednesday to delete several conclusions in the report by independent counsel Jennifer Riggs concerning the Texas-New Mexico Power Co case said spokesman Guillermo Garcia Among allegations was that Meek through Rima had threatened Texas-New Mexico Power with bankruptcy Riggs did not list that allegation as a finding of fact in her report Among conclusions deleted from the report on a 2-1 vote with Commissioner Karl Rabago dissenting were that Texas-New Mexico Power had good cause to believe Rima had exceeded his authority was biased against the company and would likely continue to be biased Garcia said Train derail! Irving homes evacuated IRVING - More than a dozen cars of a freight train derailed Wednesday said authorities who evacuated some homes and businesses for more than two hours while a hazardous materials team checked for spills Several of the 15 derailed cars were leaking but the materials were not determined to be toxic or hazardous an Irving Fire Department spokesman said Cross would be a productive member of society but victims' rights advocates protested the release Cars from the Burlington Northern freight train derailed about 1 1:30 am near downtown Irving a suburb west of Dallas Two file lawsuit UT admissions challenged AUSTIN - Admission policies at the University of Texas law school are under challenge by two women who contend they were denied admission because they are white In a lawsuit fifed in US District Court Cheryl J Hopwood of Universal Gty and Stephanie G Haynes of Austin said they are victims of reverse discrimination The women said they met requirements and would have been admitted to foe UT law school this fell were it not for preferential ' admission policies that give special treatment to blacks and Hit-panics Religious bookatore Man charged in rape EL PASO - A man charged in the rape of a woman in a religious bookstore was tracked down with the help of bystanders who pointed him out to police Raul Mendoza 40 remained jailed Wednesday in lieu of $15000 bail on a charge of sexual assault Witnesses told police the attacker walked into the New Life Christian Bookstore at 12:30 pm Tuesday and began thumbing through religious literature and asking foe dak questions about her stock of books When the otha customers left the man attacked the woman behind the checkout counter The woman broke away and ran screaming out of the store Police said ha cries drew foe attention of bystanders outside who saw the suspect fleeing Injured in tank blatt Man’s condition improves SHERMAN - A 19-year-okl man injured in a tank explosion last week was reported in improved condition Wednesday ' hospital officials said Jared Lee Whismann who also goes by his step-fatha's last name of Miller was reported in stable but guarded condition Judy Gharis spokeswoman for Wilson N Jones Memorial Hospital said Wednesday The Sept 22 blast at the Chevron USA Inc tank battery near Sherman occurred when one teen opened a tank hatch and lit a cigarette lighter during a beer party authorities said Fmw Tlw AseeeWea Pieee Woman freed from Mexican prison dies hours later No cause of death available in case of Austinite held a year over Valium purchase I EDINBURG - A young Austin woman who spent almost a year in a Mexican prison accused of purchasing illegal amounts of Valium died Wednesday morning just hours after being released by authorities Jennifer Whitt 24 who was released Tuesday night from the prison in Reynosa along with three companions was taken to the emergency room at Edinburg Hospital about 2:20 am said spokeswoman Cynthia Garza She died about 30 minutes later Garza said she could not give out any details until an autopsy was performed Justice of the Peace Rene Torres who ordered A hospital worker in June stands near the bed of a woman who was found unconscious beside a freeway and has recently been identified New whooping crane flock The Anitims Fine KENANSVILLE Fla - The endangered whooping crane is making a Florida comeback wildlife officials said Tuesday After a half-century absence the tall snowy white birds are slated for a new home in central Florida’s Kissimmee Prairie region as part of a joint state and federal program to safeguard and repopu-late the species according to a US Fish and Wildlife Service news release By Michael Qraczyfc ASSOCIATED PRESS HUNTSVILLE Texas - James G Gross convicted in the 1965 rape-strangulation of a University of Texas student walked out of prison a free man Wednesday after serving more than 26 years behind bars Gross who confessed to two slayings but was only tried in one had served enough "good time" on his 80-year sentence to be discharged from prison with no parole restrictions He had been denied parole 20 times "He’s completed his sentence" prison spokesman Charles Brown said "Once he's completed his sentence he's free" The gray-haired Gross now SO walked down the steps of the Walls Unit at about 8 am Wednesday Without responding to reporters questions he jumped into the back seat of his attorney’s blue Cadillac putting his arm around the woman he married several years ago while out of prison for a second trial The car then sped away - ‘They’re fuat realty realty devastated with thia right now1 -Willie Garda foe autopsy said a report wouldn’t be ready for at least four weeks In a story broadcast by KGBT-TV Whitt appeared be in good physical condition at ha release Ha fatha playfully threw ha ova his shoulda as they crossed the international bridge into Hidalgo “Before this happened I took a The birds raised in captivity in Maryland and Wisconsin are expected to arrive as early as No-vemba at the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area Plans are to release nine to 12 juvenile birds The last documented whooping crane in Florida was in 1927 or 1928 near St Augustine "Florida is a part of the whoop-ers' historic range so its return after some 50 to 60 years’ absence is most appropriate" said US Fish Although the slayings of the two students stunned the state Gross has led a seemingly quiet life in prison earning several college de- gPCCSs His attorney David Botsford read a brief statement Wednesday in which he promised that Cross would be a productive member of society and pose no threat to the public "Prison guards wardens psychiatrists psychologists and friends that have known Jim Cross lived with Jim Gross seen him on a day-to-day basis over the past 27 years unanimously say he will not be a danger he will not be a threat" Botsford said But during a news conference Wednesday in Austin Gross' release was criticized by crime victims advocates They called for-tougher sentencing standards and prompt enforcement of the death penalty "Where is justice? Where is 1 common sense?" asked Matt Har-nest of the Coalition for a Safer Society "The punishment needs to fit foe crime" Goss was sentenced for the July lot of freedom for granted I took a lot of my family for granted" Whitt told the television station "Now I appreciate them more Freedom is beautiful" ' A family friend Willie Garda said the family left the bridge to havedinna - He said the Whitts called him about 1:30 am Wednesday to say their daughter was 1 having an asthma attack and that she had to be rushed to the hospital Whitt’s parents who were in Edinburg making funeral preparations Wednesday were not immediately available for comment Whitt had been ill during ha imprisonment complaining of back problems and at one point Houston mystery woman has now been identified Story featured on TV’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ J: mi HOUSTON - A woman who has been in a coma since foe was found unconscious alongside a freeway five months ago was identified after ha picture aired on a television show Dubbed “Estelle Doe" the woman has been identified as Nancy Sue McDonald 32 of Easton Md authorities said The woman's jaw and right leg were fractured and she had a severe head injury from an apparent hit-and-run accident She was carrying only a tube of lipstick and a comb “I’m on cloud nine" said Hermann Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Fuglaar “I’ve felt all along that Estelle or ratha Nancy knew what was going on around ha I think she’s very relieved that we will no longer call ha Estelle" The case was featured Sept 16 on NBCs "Unsolved Mysteries" program A jailer at the Easton Md city jail recognized the planned for central Florida s and Wildlife Service Director JohnTunwr The reintroduction of the species is a "critical step in protecting foe species from extinction and moving forward along the road to recovery" he said About 145 birds make up foe remaining population in the wild In 1965 the whooping crane was placed on the federal list of endangered species UJ1I U 26 years I for 1965 slaying 18 J965 slaying of Susan RigsbyS 21 of Dallas Rigsby and her Chi£ Omega sorority sister 21-year- 1 old Shirley Start who had dated ! Cross stopped at Cross' apart- : ment on their way to register for -school Both women were strangled Their bodies were found 12 days later in an Austin field Goss initially helped console the victims families and offered police phony dues in the search j for the two women but he confessed two weeks after the slayings k tf i - I A Travis County jurors found Gross guilty of Rigsby's capital murder in 1966 sentencing him to - life in prison In the 1970s the murder case against him involving Start wa dismissed by prosecutors lt Later he won a second trial inu Rigsby’s killing after a US Su- : preme Court ruling about deter- mining whether a defendant is competent to stand trial became- state law and retroactive spent several days in the prison clinic after an apparent asthma at- tack said US Consul Janice L Jacobs Whitt and three companions ? from Austin were arrested on Dec£ 14 outside a Reynosa pharmacy after purchasing 280 Valium pills Whitt had a prescription for the -I drugs which foe needed to treat - ha back problem but authorities said the amount of drugs exceeded 1 the legal limit Jacobs said she didn’t know exactly why they were released The others released Tuesday J Edward Ball 22 Daniel Stewart T 19 and David Walding 21 were shaken by Whitt’s death but otha-wise doing well Garcia said woman as a forma inmate who lived in the city Fuglaar said Authorities discovered that Me- 21 ' Donald had been arrested fbr-iS hitchhiking in Fort Lauderdale Fla four days before she was found in Houston April 28 Fuglaar said the woman went- back to the same Fort Lauderdale truck stop ami hitched a ride west 's as soon as she got out of jail a McDonald has been staying in l an area nursing home since she s was transferred from the hospital in July : She remains incommunicative But Janine Medley McDonald's ’ court-appointed guardian said the woman nodded when asked if Nancy Sue McDonald was ha immune and nodded again when 1 asked if she was from Maryland Medley sdid she spoke to the woman’s stepmother Tuesday but the family hasn't made plans on when they will pick up McDonald released into UMir 2ouMA-acre habitat after being fitted with radio transmitters so biologists can track their progress If foe project is a success more birds will be released in Florida Hie Kissimmee Prairie was chosen because of its healthy population of sandhill cranes a whooping crane relative and the area’s lack of development The cranes currently winter in Aransas Nap tional Wildlife Refuge and nest in northwest Canada i & v v

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