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TO 4,000 HOMES




60 facing budget axe Trustees seek ways of offset effects of possible $11M cut from the state By DENISE BLAZ THE ZAPATA TIMES

Zapata County Independent School District took action at a special called meeting Thursday, announcing the termination of 54 probationary contract teachers and the nonrenewal of six pre-K-3 program teachers.

The layoffs will be made effective at the end of the 2010-2011 school year and come after a declaration of a reduction-in-force announcement and days before an April 13 contract renewal deadline. “The probationary staff, according to (the) legal (department), is the less problematic to terminate,” said Superintendent Norma Garcia. “But our intent is to

bring the vast majority, if not all, back depending on the severity of the cuts. If they end up being minor, the (school) board says we want them all back.”

Savings Between $2.6 million and $11 million in

state education funds may be on the chopping block for the district, which is already finding ways to pinch pennies. While the district is waiting on final numbers, however, legal consultants have determined it’s safe to say they have to eliminate $5 million to $6 million from



Settlement may halt lawsuit County eyed suit for $315,000 By NICK GEORGIOU THE ZAPATA TIMES

Zapata County commissioners on Monday will consider postponing legal action against the county’s Economic Development Center in light of a recent settlement offer. Commissioners claimed that the center had been unlawfully withholding $315,000 in reimbursed grant money owed to the county for the construction of the Advanced Education Center. Juan Cruz, of Escamilla, Poneck and Cruz, a

law firm contracted by Zapata County, had sent a letter to George Altgelt, the center’s attorney, saying that if the center did not send the money to the county, commissioners would authorize his law firm to pursue civil and criminal charges. Altgelt, meanwhile, had said that the county must comply with the grant to get the money back, citing missing paperwork and an allegedly mismanaged project. He said Friday that the center has since confirmed that the county complied with the terms of the grant and is entitled to receive the $315,000.



Market keeps things fresh By ERICA MATOS THE ZAPATA TIMES

The third Saturday of every month, Jarvis Plaza in downtown Laredo is filled with the fragrant aroma of fruit and herbs and the vibrant colors of fresh, in-season vegetables — all native to the South Texas region — because of the El Centro de Laredo Farmer’s Market. This month, the Farmer’s Market will take

place on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon, and El Centro de Laredo already has a number of local producers and artisans lined up for the date. The open-air market will have its familiar faces standing behind booths, but “this month, we will have some new produce vendors,” said Alli Hrncir, market manager for the farmer’s


Photo by Ulysses S. Romero | The Zapata Times

ABOVE: A Zapata County sheriff’s deputy moniters the school zone Friday afternoon at North Zapata Early Childhood Center. BOTTOM LEFT: A pick-up truck passes by one of the new signs prohibiting cell phone use in school zones along Highway 16. BOTTOM RIGHT: Several drivers were seen in school zones using cell phones Friday afternoon.



Zin brief CALENDAR




SATURDAY, APRIL 9 The 61st annual Flower and Art Show, sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday in the FUMC Fellowship Hall, 1220 McClelland Ave. The public is welcome. Admission is $3. Lake Casa Blanca International State Park is hosting a two-day program today and Sunday for families. During the overnight Texas Outdoor Family program, families will learn how to pitch a tent, cook outdoors and more. The workshop costs $65 per family (up to six people) and includes all of the necessary equipment. The limit is 16 families. Food and bedding are not provided. To register, call (512) 389-8903 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or email After registration, a confirmation packet with directions and details will be sent. For more information, visit learning/bof. The St. Mary’s University Alumni Association Laredo Chapter is looking for volunteers to help staff its soda booth at this year’s Fiesta Oysterbake from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 9. Alumni, family and friends of St. Mary’s are encouraged to participate in this fundraiser, which helps provide thousands of dollars in scholarships for Laredo students heading to St. Mary’s. Anyone who would like more information on volunteering can call Xochitl Mora Garcia at 337-3639. Veterans Helping Veterans will meet in the Laredo Public Library, 1120 E. Calton Road, from noon to 2:30 p.m. today and April 30, May 7 and 21, and June 4 and 18. Meetings are confidential and for military veterans only. For more information, contact George Mendez at 794-3057 or or Jessica Morales at 794-3091 or

SUNDAY, APRIL 10 The 61st annual Flower and Art Show, sponsored by the United Methodist Women of the First United Methodist Church, continues today from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the FUMC Fellowship Hall, 1220 McClelland Ave. The public is welcome. Admission is $3. Voz de Niños invites you to their 3rd Annual Family Field Day at the IBC Lago del Rio from 1-5 p.m. Please join us for this all-inclusive event and an afternoon of arts & crafts, field games, face painting, great food, and entertainment. Proceeds will support ongoing efforts to advocate the best interests of abused and neglected children in Webb County. $20 general admission. SCAN Inc. will host its annual Children’s Play Day for the community from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Laredo Civic Center grounds and ballroom. It’s a day to come out with your family and enjoy a day of games, prizes, music, food, drinks and fun. There will be moonwalks and a rock wall. Admission is free. This is a drugfree event.

TUESDAY, APRIL 12 The Epoca de Oro Social Club will have its Spring Dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. today at the Laredo Civic Center Ballroom, 800 Garden St. Live music will be by Noe Esparza and the Dells. Tickets are $15 presale or $20 at the door.


Photo by Juan Carlos Llorca | AP

In this April 7 photo, Luis Posada Carriles gets into a car in front of the Camino Real hotel in downtown EL Paso. A Texas jury has found the elderly ex-CIA agent from Cuba not guilty of 11 counts of perjury, obstruction and immigration fraud.


EL PASO — An elderly Cuban former CIA operative accused of lying during a U.S. immigration hearing was acquitted on all charges Friday after 13 weeks of often-delayed testimony. Luis Posada Carriles, 83, broke out in a huge grin when the verdict was read and hugged all three of his attorneys simultaneously. One of the attorneys broke down in tears. Across the aisle, the federal prosecutors who painstakingly built their case during the first 11 weeks by calling 23 witnesses, sat still. “Anytime a jury has a case, there’s no telling what they might do. But we respect the jury’s decision,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Reardon said after the hearing.

Posada, who spent decades working to destabilize communist Latin American governments, often with Washington’s backing, is Public Enemy No. 1 in his homeland and is considered ex-President Fidel Castro’s nemesis. Prosecutors said Posada lied to immigration officials about how he sneaked into the U.S. in 2005 and by denying he masterminded a series of hotel bombings in Cuba in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and wounded 12 other people. Posada said in a 1998 interview with The New York Times that he planned the attacks, but later recanted that. The defense, which called just eight witnesses over eight days, maintained Posada should have been allowed to retire a hero in Miami for his service to the country during the darkest days of the cold war.

West Texas wildfire burns Dallas electric car drivers 50,000 acres can get juiced faster ASPERMONT — More resources have been dispatched to battle a fast-moving West Texas wildfire that has scorched more than 50,000 acres. The Texas Forest Service says that the sprawling fire north of Aspermont, located between Lubbock and Abilene, was not contained Friday. It was being fought by land and air.

Airline executives say they still support Boeing DALLAS — The CEOs of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines say they still have confidence in Boeing. The airline executives said Friday the hole that ripped open on a 737 operated by Southwest last week won’t stop them from buying more Boeing planes. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said that Boeing pitched in to help plan inspections and repairs of its older planes.

ARLINGTON — Electric car drivers who live in the Dallas area can get juiced much faster now. NRG Energy on Friday unveiled its new fast-charging station that can add 30 miles of range to an electric car in as few as 10 minutes.

Texas author pens tales of Panhandle heritage DUMAS — Louise Carroll George is in the story business. Specifically, George retells the tales of the region’s past; the people and places of a different era, one that shaped so much of the Texas Panhandle. “Our heritage is so interesting,” the longtime Dumas resident said. “I want the stories to live on.” George’s latest book, “Some Real Good Old Boys,” spotlights the lives of 11 men ages 84 to 95 from the Texas Panhandle.

State health officials say horse had rabies AUSTIN — State health officials say people who attended horse shows in Belton and Lufkin last month may have been exposed to a horse that tested positive for rabies. The horse died April 4 and tested positive for rabies April 6.

Committee approves controls on pet breeders AUSTIN — A Texas House committee has approved a bill that would require commercial cat and dog breeders to register with the state and apply for licenses. The proposed law is designed to crack down on so-called puppy mills that breed animals in poor or unsafe conditions. Texas currently does not regulate dog and cat breeders. Rep. Thompson’s bill will now go before the full House for a vote. — Compiled from AP reports

THURSDAY, APRIL 21 Former Texas A&M University students will assemble in Laredo at 6 p.m. today for the annual Texas Aggie Muster to honor Texas Aggies who have passed away in the last year. Muster activities will begin at 6 p.m. at the Dolores Ranch in Laredo. Current and former students, their families and friends of Texas A&M University are invited.

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 The March of Dimes’ 2011 March for Babies is today from 8 a.m. to noon at Texas A&M International University. To register your family team, visit For more information, contact Luis Garcia, division director, at 1-800-5803256 or

SATURDAY, MAY 7 A book sale will be held in the Widener Room of the First United Methodist Church, 1220 McClelland Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited, and admission is free. Donated books and magazines are accepted. Call 722-1674 for more information.

AROUND THE NATION NYSE gets a facelift; its future unknown NEW YORK — What do you do when a cathedral of capitalism becomes antiquated? You turn it into New York’s best party space. The New York Stock Exchange has lost most of its famous bustle in the age of computerized trading. So it’s hoping its status as an icon of American finance will be a popular draw for cocktail receptions, analyst presentations and other festivities. The exchange already available for some events. It wants to expand to 1,000 a year, double the number from three years ago.

Ex-NFL player gets $1M bond in theft case COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bond has been set at over $1 million in a theft case against a former Ohio State and NFL player whose career was derailed by a

Today is Saturday, April 9, the 99th day of 2011. There are 266 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On April 9, 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. On this date: In 1511, St. John’s College at the University of Cambridge was established by charter. In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France. In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March which claimed thousands of lives. In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 181 lives. In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Ariz. In 1965, the newly built Astrodome in Houston featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-1, in 12 innings.) In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Bill Clinton signed a lineitem veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto in 1998.) Ten years ago: President George W. Bush sent Congress details of his $1.96 trillion budget for fiscal 2002, in which he targeted scores of federal programs to make room for his ten year, $1.6 trillion tax cut. American Airlines’ parent company acquired bankrupt Trans World Airlines. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Stargell died in Wilmington, N.C., at age 61. Today’s Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 85. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 79. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 78. Actress Michael Learned is 72. Actor Dennis Quaid is 57. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 45. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 31. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 31. Actor Ryan Northcott is 31. Actor Jay Baruchel is 29. Actress Leighton Meester is 25. Actorsinger Jesse McCartney is 24. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 24. Actress Kristen Stewart is 21. Actress Elle Fanning is 13. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho (ee-VAYN’-koh) (TV: “America’s Got Talent”) is 11. Thought for Today: “I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.” — Katherine Mansfield, New Zealande author (1888-1923).

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Business Manager, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 324-1226 Chief Accountant, Thelma Aguero .............. 728-2553 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Retail Adv. Manager, Raul Cruz................... 728-2511 Classified Manager, Jesse Vicharreli ........... 728-2525 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Editor, Diana Fuentes ................................728-2581 City Editor, Mary Nell Sanchez .................. 728-2543 Sports Editor, Dennis Silva II......................728-2579 Business Journal Editor, Sean Bowlin.......... 728-2529 Entertainment Editor, Emilio Rábago III ....... 728-2564 Online Editor, Julie Daffern ....................... 728-2565 Photo by Richard Drew | AP

This artist’s rendering provided by the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday shows the proposed renovation of the posts on the NYSE trading floor. gambling addiction. Attorney Sam Shamansky says Art Schlichter had hoped to be released from jail to get treatment for the addiction. Schlichter was charged in February with stealing more than $1 million from a Columbus-area wom-

an by deceiving her about why he took the money. If Schlichter posts bond, he must remain on house arrest at his mother’s home in Washington Court House in southwest Ohio. — Compiled from AP reports

SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY (956) 728-2555 The Zapata Times is distributed on Saturdays to 4,000 households in Zapata County. For subscribers of the Laredo Morning Times and for those who buy the Laredo Morning Times at newsstands, the Zapata Times is inserted. The Zapata Times is free. The Zapata Times is published by the Laredo Morning Times, a division of The Hearst Corporation, P.O. Box 2129, Laredo, Texas 78044. Phone (956) 728-2500. The Zapata office is at 1309 N. U.S. Hwy. 83 at 14th Avenue, Suite 2, Zapata, TX 78076. Call (956) 765-5113 or e-mail





Courtesy photo

Fidel & Andrea R. Villarreal Elementary announces William Lane as Teacher of the Year and Mary Jacobson as Instructional Assistant of the year in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the students of Villarreal Elemenatry.

Kids fish tourney seeking help SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Zapata County Chamber of Commerce is in the first phase of organizing and planning the Kids Fishing Tournament for this summer, and is hosting a contest for students to choose this year’s event name and picture. A name and picture contest has started at all Zapata County elementary schools: AL Benavides, Fidel & Andrea Villarreal, Zapata North and Zapata

South. Students in first through fifth grades are encouraged to participate in the contest. All elementary schools will have first-, secondand third-place awards. The date for judging the contest will be announced at a later time. The judges for the contest will be Zapata County Judge Joe Rathmell and Laredo artist Pancho Farias. The chamber is seeking two more judges. The first-place awards and the overall winner will

be sponsored by Farias. The overall winner of the name and picture contest will become the official name and picture of the event. T-Shirts and buttons will be printed with the event name and picture. The fishing tournament will be held Saturday, July 23. The location will be announced later. The chamber has already contacted a number of local businesses to sponsor and support the signature event of the Zapata County Chamber of

‘Celebration of Life’ set for Wed. SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Texas A&M International University will remember departed alums, comrades and students at the first “Celebration of Life” observation Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall. TAMIU director of alumni relations Yelitza Howard said the occasion affords the university a chance to pause and reflect on those who have shared their lives with the university over the past 40-plus years. “We’ve developed this event to become an observation where we can come together as a university community and community at large to remember

those who are no longer with us, to celebrate their lives and to move forward together,” Howard noted. As this is the first year of the event, the university is encouraging all those who have lost a member of their family affiliated with the university since 1970 as a student or graduate or faculty or staff member at the time of their death to be a part of the event. The Celebration of Life observance will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall with a visual presentation of those who have passed on. Provost Pablo Arenaz will welcome visitors and guest artist organist Madolyn Fallis of San Antonio will join the TAMIU Choir for special selections. After an invocation, a

series of special readings will be offered by TAMIU alumni and students and President Ray Keck will offer reflections. The Memorial Bells of First United Methodist Church will perform. A roll call of those being remembered will follow with bells tolling for each name called. Closing remarks will follow by vice president for Student Success Minita Ramírez and the TAMIU choir will perform the Alma Mater. A candle-lit procession led by the Border Patrol Honor Guard Bagpipers will follow to the Lamar Bruni Vergara Memorial Garden where a wreath will be placed. A concluding reception will be held for family and friends in the Student Center patio.

THE BLOTTER ASSAULT Jose Luis Gonzalez was arrested and charged with assault at about 10:45 a.m. April 1 in the 5300 block of Pharr Lane in the Siesta Shores subdivision. He was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail. Gilberto Sanchez was arrested and charged with assault causing family violence at about 9:45 a.m. April 3 in the 1500 block of Bravo Avenue. He was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail.

tion call at 11:42 p.m. April 5 in the 1500 block of Bravo Avenue. The complainant told officers that someone stole an Xbox 360 from inside the residence.

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF Deputies responded to a criminal mischief call at 5:42 p.m. April 2 in the 2500 block of Hidalgo Boulevard. A man told deputies that someone in a truck backed up and damaged his fence.

BURGLARY A burglary of a vehicle was reported at 8:32 a.m. April 2 in the 1600 block of Zapata Avenue. An incident report states someone stole a black and gray Jensen DVD-CD player from inside a green Silverado 1500. A burglary of a vehicle was reported at 12:42 p.m. April 3 in the 1400 block of Falcon Avenue. The case remains open. Deputies went out to a burglary in progress call at 11:02 p.m. April 3 in the intersection of 16th and Zapata Boulevard. Investigators are looking into the case. A burglary of a vehicle was reported at 6:48 p.m. April 4 in the 1000 block of Diaz Avenue, where the complainant told deputies that someone stole a car stereo. Deputies responded to a burglary call at 11:15 a.m. April 5 in the 1800 block of Del Mar Street. The complainant told officials that someone broke into her gold Honda CR-V and stole her purse and legal documents. A burglary of a habitation was reported at 6:59 p.m. April 5 in the 2800 block of Las Cruzes Drive. Deputies responded to a burglary of a habita-

DEADLY CONDUCT Deputies responded to a shots fired call at 3:09 a.m. April 3 in the 100 block of Guerrero Street. Deputies arrested Jaime Alonzo Zepeda and charged him with deadly conduct/discharge of a firearm. Zepeda told deputies he had shot in the air. A Marlin Model 336 30-30 Winchester was recovered from the scene. He was taken to Zapata Regional Jail.

POSSESSION Deputies responded to a reported drunk driver at about 2 a.m. April 2 in the vicinity of Oso Blanco Lane and U.S. 83. Joel Flores was arrested after a motor vehicle stop and charged with public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to Zapata Regional Jail.

PUBLIC INTOXICATION Timoteo Delgado was arrested and charged with public intoxication at about 3:15 p.m. April 5 at a convenience store parking lot in the 100 block of U.S. 83. The man was taken to the Zapata Regional Jail.

Commerce. Farmers Insurance Group and Dr. Ike’s Home Center have come forward to participate in this event. Organizers encourage all other local businesses, organizations, and individuals to participate, sponsoring and supporting the tournament so children can have an enjoyable and memorable fishing day. For more information, contact the Zapata County Chamber of Commerce at 956-765-4871.

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Obama faces dilemma with Saudis By MARTIN INDYK THE WASHINGTON POST


here’s a crisis in U.S. policy in the Middle East — and it’s not about Libya. For weeks the Obama administration has been preoccupied with averting a humanitarian catastrophe in North Africa. But on the other side of the region, in the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula, a matter of vital, strategic importance awaits the urgent attention of policymakers. Over there, the ailing 87-year-old king of Saudi Arabia probably isn’t getting much sleep. Abdullah, this Sunni monarch of monarchs, custodian of the holy mosques of Mecca and Medina, can see the flames of instability and turmoil licking at all his borders. In the south, Yemen is imploding, to the advantage of his alQaida enemies. In the east, Bahrain’s Shiite majority has been in such a state of revolt that Abdullah has already sent armed forces to prevent Iran from establishing a “cat’s paw” on the Sunni Arab side of the Persian Gulf. In the north, Abdullah sees Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government as nothing more than a front for the hated Persians. In the west, a Palestinian majority is demanding that the Hashemite king of Jordan become a constitutional monarch. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, that other Sunni pillar of regional stability, has already been overthrown. Historically, in times of trouble, Saudi kings have depended on American presidents to guarantee their external security. But at this moment of crisis, Abdullah views President Obama as a threat to his internal security. He fears that in the event of a widespread revolt, Obama will demand that he leave office, just as he did to Mubarak, that other longtime friend of the United States. Consequently, Abdullah is reportedly making arrangements for Pakistani troops to enter his kingdom should the need to suppress popular demonstrations arise. This presents the Obama administration with a particularly thorny dilemma. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and the only one with sufficient excess production capacity to moderate rises in the price of oil. Instability in Saudi Arabia could produce panic in the oil markets and an oil shock that could put an end to America’s economic recovery (and the president’s hopes for reelection). This would argue for granting an “exception” to Saudi Arabia from the Obama administration’s trumpeting of universal rights. Indeed, the soft criticism of Bahrain’s Saudi-dictated suppression of its people suggests that this has already become U.S. policy. Yet helping the Saudi king effectively erect a wall against the political tsunami sweeping across the Arab world is not a long-term solution. If there’s one thing that we can now predict with some confidence, it’s that no Arab authoritarian regime can remain immune from the demands of its people for political freedom and accountable government. To be sure, $100 billion in subventions from the palace and the

promise of 60,000 jobs can help postpone, for a time, the demands of unemployed Saudi youths. But political freedom, transmitted across borders via cable TV and the Internet, has proved to be a seductive idea. In the end, it will not be assuaged by economic bribes or police-state suppression. And the Saudi system is fragile. Power is concentrated in the hands of the king and his brothers, who are old and ailing. The Saud family’s legitimacy depends in significant part on its pact with a fundamentalist Wahhabi clergy that is deeply opposed to basic political reforms, such as equal rights for women. The deep structural tensions generated by a 21st-century Westernized elite existing within a 15th-century Saudi social structure have been papered over for decades by oil wealth. If this strange social contract begins to fray, it might tear completely. And over in the eastern quarter, adjacent to Bahrain, where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves are located, sits a restive Shiite minority who have been treated as secondclass citizens for decades. Even if the Obama administration were understandably inclined to leave well enough alone, it cannot afford to do so for other reasons. The Saudis are attempting to erect the wall beyond their borders not only by suppressing the revolt in Bahrain but also by insisting that Jordan’s king not pursue the reform agenda he has promised his people. In effect, Abdullah intends to carve out an exception for all the kings and sheiks Sunni to a man - in Saudi Arabia’s neighborhood. It might work for a time. But should this dam break, it could generate a sectarian Sunni-Shiite, Arab-Iranian conflict on one side and an Arab-Israeli conflict on the other. It could spell the end of Pax Americana in the Middle East. For all of these reasons, President Obama urgently needs to negotiate a new compact with King Abdullah. He has to find a way to convince him that defining a road map that leads to constitutional monarchies in his neighborhood, and eventually in Saudi Arabia, is the only effective way to secure his kingdom and the interests of his subjects. Abdullah has been willing to undertake important reforms in the past. But if the king is to be persuaded to embark on this road again, he will need to know that the president will provide a secure safety net of support, rather than undermine him. And he will need to know that the United States will not make a deal with his Iranian enemies at Saudi expense. Such a compact would be difficult to negotiate in the best of times. It cannot even be broached in current circumstances unless the basic trust between the president and the king can be reestablished. With a budget crisis at home and turmoil in the Middle East, it’s understandable that Obama has had little time for the personal engagement with potentates that does not come naturally to him. But it’s not just Abdullah’s survival that is at stake. A revolt in Saudi Arabia could sink his presidency.


Country should nix death penalty NEW YORK TIMES


leve Foster, a former Army recruiter convicted of murder, was scheduled to be executed earlier this week in Huntsville, Texas, when the

U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay pending a review of his case. There are so many reasons why the death penalty should be repealed everywhere. It is barbaric, and a high number of innocent

defendants have been placed on death row or executed. Foster’s petition makes a strong case that, but for his ineffective stateappointed trial lawyer, he would not have been sentenced to death and that

the evidence against him leaves room for doubt about his guilt. The execution of an innocent person is a great horror. The Supreme Court should give Foster the chance to prove his innocence.




mong the late Gilda Radner’s many comic characters on “Saturday Night Live,” none was more endearing than the befuddled Emily Litella. Miss Litella would deliver an editorial commentary about some issue of the day, working herself into an increasing state of agitation — only to be informed by Chevy Chase that her distress was the result of a simple yet fundamental misunderstanding of the subject at hand. “What’s all this fuss I keep hearing about violins on television?” she might furiously ask. Other topics that sent Miss Litella’s blood pressure soaring were youth in Asia, endangered feces and President Gerald Ford’s attempt to make Puerto Rico a steak. When Chase would interrupt Litella’s bristling monologue to inform her of her error, she would settle down and meekly declare, “Never mind.” It is unclear whether Richard Goldstone, a re-

tired justice of South Africa’s high court and former chief prosecutor of the U.N. criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, is a fan of Emily Litella. But his ability to channel her character is uncanny. Goldstone headed an inquiry into the war between Israel and Hamas that erupted in Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, a conflict precipitated by the launch of hundreds of rockets and mortars into Israeli cities and made unnecessarily destructive by Hamas’ deliberate strategy to bog Israel down in messy, confusing and bloody urban warfare. The U.N. Human Rights Council authorized the Goldstone “fact-finding mission.” For anyone who understands the difference between flea elections and free elections, that should have been the first clue that the Goldstone inquiry and subsequent report were meant to be a cruel joke. Among the current members of the Human Rights Council are such fine human rights arbiters as China, Cuba, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In January, the

council issued a lengthy report praising the “commitment to upholding human rights” by Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya, which held a council seat until it was finally suspended last month. By any objective standard, it should be known as the Human Wrongs Council. Nevertheless, Goldstone issued his report in 2009. While it noted wrongdoings on the part of Hamas, the Goldstone Report was overwhelmingly devoted to violations of international law and war crimes allegedly committed by Israel. The report quickly became a lodestone for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish extremists around the world. Then on April 1 of this year — April Fool’s Day — Goldstone said, “Never mind.” In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, the international jurist wrote, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” He acknowledged that the Human Rights Council’s mandate for his inquiry was “skewed against Israel.” “That the crimes allegedly committed by Ha-

mas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets,” Goldstone now writes. As for Israel, he now accepts “that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.” Those admissions, however, understate the monstrous injustice Goldstone has wrought. In testimony before the Human Rights Council in 2009, Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said of the conflict in Gaza, “The Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.” The Emily Litella skits were comedy. The Goldstone Report is a lethal error, a sham document that — like the phony Protocols of the Elders of Zion — gives succor to anti-Semitic fanatics who will use it to justify violence against Jews — in Israel and elsewhere. For this, “Never mind” can never suffice. (Email Jonathan Gurwitz at

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ing or gratuitous abuse is allowed. Via e-mail, send letters to or mail them to Letters to the Editor, 111 Esperanza Drive, Laredo, TX 78041.







Officials hope device finds cells Nude photos get By MICHAEL GRACZYK ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — State corrections officials said Friday that a test of cell phone detection technology at a Southeast Texas prison where an inmate used a contraband phone when he escaped last month has encouraged them to move forward with plans to install the devices around the sprawling system to thwart the illegal activity. A Coral Springs, Fla.based business, cellAntenna, recently spent more than two days at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Stiles Unit, outside Beaumont, and showed how its technology could find phones inside the prison, said Rick Thaler, director of the Texas prisons. “The next step is putting out a request to vendors in the field that offer similar technology so they can put forth their proposal as to their services and what they can provide us,” Thaler said. There was no immediate

Illegal cell phone use has been a problem for years now in Texas, which has the nation’s second-largest prison system, and other corrections agencies nationwide. cost estimate. “Part of that is contingent on how many devices you put at a facility,” Thaler said. “The more you put in, the more you can hone in on the location or at least a particular building that the phone is used in.” He said it was realistic to believe the technology could be in place by the end of the year. “We’re trying to move forward as rapidly as possible with the request,” Thaler said. “Hopefully it’s another tool we’ll have in the near future.” Illegal cell phone use has been a problem for years now in Texas, which has the nation’s second-largest prison system, and other corrections agencies nationwide. Technology to disrupt phone calls, known

as jamming, also is available, but its use is illegal. The managed access cellAntenna uses, which is legal, “allows them to divert cell phone signals and send them on a detour essentially to a dead end so the calls are not completed,” said Brad Livingston, executive director of the Texas criminal justice department. Livingston last month ordered a demonstration of the technology after 27year-old convict David Puckett escaped from the Stiles Unit. He was captured five days later in Omaha, Neb. John Moriarty, the agency’s inspector general, said Puckett’s possession of a cell phone behind bars was “a major component of the escape.” “We did a forensic examination on the phone he


Photo by Lara Solt/The Dallas Morning News | AP

A Nissan Leaf is charged during a demo at the first-ever quick charge electric vehicle charging station in Texas, at the Walgreens at Beltline and Monfort, unveiled Friday in Dallas. It is one of dozens of new stations NRG Energy Inc. and others are planing for Dallas and Houston.

was caught with and there were 300-plus calls to a woman who assisted him,” Moriarty said. “It just shows you how the procedures set up in the prisons are totally circumvented.” Moriarty and Livingston blamed friends and families and even some employees for smuggling the phones or arranging for drops outside the prison where inmates on work details can retrieve them. “There’s a host of reasons,” Livingston said. “You really can’t pinpoint one in particular.” He said video surveillance has eased the contraband problem at the Polunsky Unit outside Livingston, where two years ago an inmate used a smuggled phone to threaten a state legislator.

firefighters fired ASSOCIATED PRESS

VICTORIA — Authorities fired two firefighters for violating the city’s conduct policy following an investigation into a complaint about photos of naked men on display at their fire station. The Victoria Advocate obtained copies of the montage of about 10 photos through an open records request after the city announced the firings Wednesday. The racy photos, including men in sexually provocative poses, were displayed at Victoria Fire Station No. 2, the newspaper reported Friday. A complaint about the pictures was filed with the city in March. The city declined to release the names of the fired firefighters. “To protect all parties involved in internal investigations, the city will not comment on individual

cases,” a city spokesman. The incident violated the city’s conduct policy, Garza said. Conduct that interferes with operations, discredits the city or is offensive to customers or fellow employees will not be tolerated, according to the city. Greg Mitchell, president of the Victoria firefighters’ union, also declined comment. “I would like to make a comment on this situation but, since the parties involved are not association members, city policy prohibits me from doing so,” said Mitchell. City employees are trained on city policies, Garza said. "If an incident occurs that signals a need for additional emphasis on specific policy expectations, we will prepare and deliver training to remind our workforce of the expectations of being a city employee,” he said.



Agenda en Breve

Se repite historia

SÁBADO 9 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Hoy es el sexto Festival del Día de la Tierra en terrenos del Laredo Civic Center de 10 a.m. a 6 p.m. Evento gratuito. LAREDO — Béisbol: Dustdevils de TAMIU recibe a University of Arkansas – Fort Smith a la 12 p.m. en el diamante universitario. Costo general: 5 dólares. LAREDO — Pase la tarde en el Planetario Lamar Bruni Vergara de TAMIU y explore: “The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather” a las 5 p.m., “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System” a las 6 p.m. y Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” a las 7 p.m. Costo general: 5 dólares. LAREDO — El 61er Espectáculo Anual de Flores y Arte, patrocinado por el United Methodist Women de la First United Methodist Church, de 1 p.m. a 6 p.m. el día de hoy y el domingo en el FUMC Fellowship Hall, 1220 Avenida McClelland. Entrada general es de 3 dólares. NUEVO LAREDO — Festival Infantil presenta “El Principito”, con cuenta cuentos y dinámicas, en celebración de los 68 años de la primera publicación hoy a las 2 p.m. en el Acervo Infantil de Estación Palabra, César López de Lara 1020. Entrada libre.



MATAMOROS, México — Autoridades localizaron 13 cadáveres más en dos fosas clandestinas en Tamaulipas, con lo que se eleva 72 el número de cuerpos encontrados en los últimos días en la región. El secretario de Gobierno de Tamaulipas, Morelos Canseco, informó el viernes que las dos fosas se localizaron el jueves en una zona diferente al lugar donde esta semana hallaron los primeros 59 cadáveres. Nueve de los cuerpos estaban dentro de una fosa y cuatro en otra, dijo el funcionario a la AP vía telefónica. El gobierno federal informó el jueves que 14 presuntos sospechosos ya fueron detenidos, aunque no se ha informado si pertenecen a algún grupo del narcotráfico. Los primeros 59 cuerpos estaban dentro de ocho fosas en la municipalidad de San Fernando, la misma

El gobierno federal informó que 14 presuntos sospechosos ya fueron detenidos. donde en agosto fueron asesinados 72 migrantes y cuyo homicidio ha sido atribuido en principio al cartel de las drogas de Los Zetas. Canseco dijo también a la cadena Televisa que los 13 nuevos cuerpos son de varones y se presume que son mexicanos. Fueron encontrados también en San Fernando. Los primeros cuerpos localizados fueron trasladados a Matamoros donde familiares de personas que desaparecieron en México en la guerra del narcotráfico intentaban determinar si alguno de ellos estaba entre las víctimas. Gobiernos de otros estados mexicanos, como Guanajuato y Querétaro, han entrado en contacto con autoridades de Tamaulipas para determinar si algunos de sus habitantes reportados como desaparecidos esta-

rían entre los asesinados, dijo Canseco. La vocera de la Procuraduría de Guanajuato dijo el viernes a la AP que 17 personas desaparecieron en marzo cuando viajaban en un autobús de pasajeros de la empresa Omnibus. Se desconoce aún el destino que tenían y la fecha exacta en que desaparecieron, aunque se presume que iban hacia el norte de México, dijo la portavoz. Funcionarios de la empresa Omnibus no habían respondido a peticiones de información de la AP. En Michoacán, la Procuraduría local señaló que también entró en contacto con el gobierno de Tamaulipas para averiguar si entre las víctimas está alguna de las 59 personas que han sido reportadas como desaparecidas en el último año. Canseco dijo en Milenio

Televisión que ningún gobierno centroamericano ha entrado en contacto con ellos. Las víctimas de la masacre de agosto eran migrantes procedentes de países como El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador y Brasil. En Matamoros, familiares buscan a sus seres queridos que no ven desde hace un par de semanas, otros desde hace unos cuantos meses y algunos incluso desde hace tres años. Un hombre que aguardaba el jueves frente al depósito de cadáveres en esta ciudad fronteriza —y que se negó a ser identificado por temor a las represalias— dijo que su tío y un primo abandonaron su casa en Ciudad Valles, en San Luis Potosí el 25 de marzo. Viajaban en autobús a Río Bravo pero no dieron señales de vida



Es oficial despido de personal

DOMINGO 10 DE ABRIL LAREDO — SCAN Inc. invita a su Children’s Play Day de 1 p.m. a 5 p.m. en el Laredo Civic Center. Habrá juegos, premios, música, brincolines, pared de rocas, comida, bebidas y diversión. Entrada gratuita. Es un evento libre de drogas. NUEVO LAREDO — Obra de teatro “El Carpintero” en Teatro Lucio Blanco de la Casa de la Cultura, Lincoln y Chimalpopoca, a las 7 p.m.


LUNES 11 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Hoy se inaugura la exhibición “Observational Drawing” a las 10:30 a.m. en la Biblioteca Senadora Judith Zaffirini del Laredo Community College, campus del Sur. Se exhibirán trabajos de 9 estudiantes de las clases de Dibujo 1 y 2.

MARTES 12 DE ABRIL LAREDO — Disfrute el Recital de Percusiones de Primavera 2011 hoy a las 7:30 p.m. en el teatro del Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center de LCC. Costo: 5 dólares; estudiantes, 3 dólares. Ganancias se destinarán a becas. LAREDO — El Club Social Época de Oro invita a su Baile de Primavera de 9 p.m. a 1 a.m. en el Salón de Baile del Laredo Civic Center, 800 calle Garden. Música a cargod e Noe Esparza and the Dells. Boletos en preventa a 15 dólares y 20 dólares en la puerta.

JUEVES 14 DE ABRIL NUEVO LAREDO — Obra de teatro infantil con tema ecológico “El Secreto de Guiti” a las 7 p.m. en la Casa de la Cultura. Entrada gratuita.

Foto de archivo\Paul Sakuma | Associated Press

Trabajadores ordenan agua embotellada en una bodega. Oficiales de Salud están recomendando consumir suficiente agua para evitar la deshidratación ante las temperaturas altas en la región.

ALERTA DE CALOR Piden protegerse ante temperatura ESPECIAL PARA TIEMPO DE ZAPATA


D. VICTORIA, México — Ante las altas temperaturas que se han registrado en Tamaulipas y que han superado los 40 grados centígrados, la Secretaría de Salud en el Estado se mantiene en alerta. Personal de salud en la entidad tiene instruciones de atender de forma inmediata a la población que lo requiera. El Gobierno de Tamaulipas emitió recomendaciones para evitar las deshidrataciones, quemaduras en la piel e incluso el denominado Golpe de Calor. El Secretario de Salud,

Norberto Treviño GarcíaManzo, mencionó que desde el mes de marzo se trabaja en el programa “Temporada de Calor”, cuyo objetivo principal es reducir los riesgos y daños a la salud de la población por exposición a las altas temperaturas ambientales y contar con los insumos necesarios para atender a la ciudadanía. “Es de suma importancia poner especial cuidado en menores de 5 años, adultos mayores, así como en las personas que presentan alguna enfermedad como diabetes u obesidad, ya que esto incrementa el riesgo de presentar este tipo de padecimientos”, dijo Treviño Gar-

cía-Manzo. Explicó que en las unidades médicas se distribuye el sobre de Vida Suero Oral de manera gratuita, el cual puede ser de uso diario y lo pueden consumir todos los grupos de edad. Las recomendaciones principales son: consumir suficientes líquidos, evitar la exposición directa al sol para no caer en una deshidratación, insolación y lo más grave, en un Golpe de Calor; mitigar los rayos solares utilizando la sombrilla, sombrero o cachucha, aumentar el consumo de líquidos y evitar en lo posible las bebidas que contienen cafeína, azúcar o bebidas alcohólicas.

VIERNES 15 DE ABRIL NUEVO LAREDO — Yoshio en concierto en el Teatro Principal del Centro Cultural a las 8 p.m. en beneficio de las víctimas del tsunami y sismo en Japón. Costo: 400 VIP; 300 planta baja preferencial; 250 pesos, planta baja atrás; 200 pesos primer nivel; y, 100 pesos en segundo nivel. Boletos a la venta en Cas a de Música Talamás.

SÁBADO 16 DE ABRIL NUEVO LAREDO — Hoy es el primero de dos días de la Expo Infantil de 10 a.m. a 8 p.m. en el Centro Cívico de Nuevo Laredo.

desde entonces. Dijo que deberían haber llegado a Río Bravo el 26 de marzo para un trabajo de dos semanas regando sembrados de sorgo. “Nunca llegaron”, indicó, y agregó que temía decir más. “Aquí uno teme hablar, aquí no hablamos de lo sucedido, pero estamos desesperados por saber qué les pasó”. La mayoría de los congregados frente a la morgue buscaban desesperadamente cualquier indicio, aun si fuere una confirmación de sus peores temores. “Sólo quiero saber si está muerto para que pueda tener paz”, dijo Flor Medellín, con los ojos llenos de lágrimas mientras aguardaba con su esposo. Medellín dijo que su hermano, de 43 años, se puso en contacto por última vez con su familia en septiembre mientras transportaba ganado en Nuevo León, que al igual que Tamaulipas, es un estado azotado por la violencia del narcotráfico.



DENVER — Tiffany Hartley, de Colorado exigió la semana pasada que el gobierno estadounidense emprenda más acciones para encontrar el cadáver de su marido, David Hartley, seis meses después de que supuestamente fue abatido a tiros en el lago Falcon. Ella dijo que no se ha he-

cho nada desde el 14 de octubre, cuando las autoridades mexicanas cancelaron la búsqueda de su esposo. La mujer realizó en la jornada una protesta con familiares y simpatizantes en la sede del Legislativo de Colorado, a fin de pedir a las autoridades estatales que presionen al gobierno federal, con el objetivo de que dé pasos para encontrar al desaparecido y para reforzar la se-

guridad en la frontera. “Si recuperamos su cuerpo, podemos al menos rendirle tributo como le hubiera gustado, al menos por su familia”, dijo a The Associated Press. Hasta el momento no se ha emitido un certificado de defunción, y las autoridades mexicanas han dicho a Hartley que el caso sigue abierto. “No nos alejaremos”, dijo Tiffany Hartley.

En reunión especial el jueves, el Distrito Escolar Independiente del Condado de Zapata anunció el despido de 54 maestros a prueba y la no renovación de maestros de seis programas de pre-K-3. Los despidos serán efectivos al final del ciclo escolar 2010-2011 y vienen tras el anuncio de una reducción necesaria y días antes de la fecha límite del 13 de abril para la renovación de contratos. “El personal a prueba, de acuerdo al departamento legal, es el menos problemático para despedir”, dijo la Superintendente Norma Garcia. “Pero nuestra intención es traer a la mayoría, si no todos, de regreso dependiendo de la severidad de los recortes. Si termina siendo menor, el consejo escolar dirá los queremos a todos de regreso”.

Ahorros Entre 2.6 millones de dólares y 11 millones de dólares de fondos educativos en el estado pudieran ser recortados para el distrito, el cual ya está buscando formas de evitar gastos. Mientras el distrito espera las cifras finales, sin embargo, consultores legales han determinado que es seguro decir que tienen que eliminar de 5 millones a 6 millones de dólares del presupuesto de 44 millones de dólares del distrito. Garcia dijo que el anuncio de los recortes eliminará 50.000 dólares por persona cuando se agregan los costos de beneficios y seguro. De acuerdo a Garcia, el programa preK-3 fue uno de los primeros en irse al determinar cómo trabajar con el déficit presu-

puestal debido a la falta de disponibilidad de fondos en subsidios. “Personalmente me voy a reunir con (los empleados afectados) y les explicaré esto y les entregaré la carta”, dijo ella. “Creo que debo ser quien se las entregue. Conozco a muchos de ellos, y aún si no los conociera, simplemente es lo correcto por hacerse. No quiero que se vayan pensando que no nos interesan, que somos insensibles a sus necesidades”. Fideicomisarios también aprobaron el programa incentivo de separación adelantada en la junta del jueves, el cual brindará recortes adicionales al ya apretado presupuesto. En una entrevista la semana pasada, Garcia dijo que entre cinco y seis maestros mostraron interés en una encuesta informal para recibir 15 por ciento de su salario base si ellos renuncian al distrito. Garcia estará enviando cartas el día de hoy a todos los empleados de tiempo completo elegibles. Sin embargo, hay un límite de participación en el programa de, el cual ahorraría al distrito 1.6 millones de dólares. No más de 20 puestos de maestros, asistentes de instrucción u secretarias, y no más de tres cargos administrativos pueden ser recortados si los empleados elegibles participan en los incentivos adelantados. Los requisitos necesitan que empleados profesionales posean el certificado apropiado, estar en regla y haber tenido tres años con el distrito escolar. Empleados paraprofesionales deben estar en regla y haber concluido tres años con ZCISD. (Localice a Denise Blaz en el 728-2547 ó en



Concerto Competition Sunday at TAMIU

Buffalo Wing Festival today



Almost everybody loves buffalo wings — those spicy mini chicken legs and wings. Add some ranch dressing on the side and you’re set for a good, tasty meal. Realizing wings are popular in Laredo —well, anywhere for that matter — Women of Destiny Ministries, a non-profit organization that provides social services to women, is hosting a Tejano-Country Buffalo Wing Festival. “We’re pretty excited about the response we’ve gotten so far,” said Tonie Gamboa, the event’s coordinator. The non-profit will host the Buffalo Wing Festival on Saturday, at the Casa Blanca Ballroom Grounds, off U.S. 59. It starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. and it will feature live music, exhibits, a kids’ zone, a DJ competition, a wing cook-off contest and a wing-eating contest. There also will be a car and motorcycle show. According to Gamboa, this is the first time a buffalo wing fest is planned for Laredo. She said there are about 20 participants already signed up for the wing-eating contest. Admission to the event is $3 and free for kids 12 and under. Southern Distributing is sponsoring the cook-off. For more information on the contest, call Gamboa 333-5096. (Emilio Rábago III may be reached at 728-2564 or


Express-News file photo

Latin singer Luis Miguel performs at the AT&T Center in San Antonio in October 2008. Luis Miguel will be back in Laredo on Wednesday, June 8, for a concert at the Laredo Energy Arena. Tickets start at $39.50 and go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

Luis Miguel returns to Laredo THE ZAPATA TIMES

Luis Miguel, one of the most acclaimed voices of our generation, is returning to the Laredo Energy Arena on Wednesday, June 8. He’s set to perform at 8 p.m., the arena announced Tuesday. Throughout his career,

Luis Miguel has released a total of 21 albums and sold more than 60 million records worldwide. His albums have been certified multiple diamond, platinum and gold, his concerts have broken attendance records in each of his world tours, and he has received numerous awards. Luis Miguel has also cap-

tivated the hearts of millions of people around the world for almost three decades. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations, including the LEA box office and Ticket are $39.50, $49.50, $69.50 and $125, plus facility fees.

The second annual Concerto Competition will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Texas A&M International University’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts. The winner of the Concerto Competition will perform with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday, April 17. “The chance to perform a concerto accompanied by a professional orchestra as a young musician is a rare treat,” said Brendan Townsend, LPO music director. “It marks the highest of artistic accomplishment for a Laredo student.” The competition is open to all young musicians enrolled in courses at TAMIU, Laredo Community College, Laredo or United independent school districts, or any other Laredo school. The opening of the April 17 concert will include students from area high schools joining with the LPO to perform “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland – a sight and sound not to

be missed, Townsend said. Sunday’s concerto competition is open to the public. It will be held in room 134 of the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, beginning at noon. For more information, call Townsend at 326-3039.



Miguel Angel Muñoz Miguel Angel Muñoz, 56, passed away Thursday, April 7, 2011. Visitation hours will be held Sunday, April 10, 2011, from 6 to 9 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Rose Garden Funeral Home. The funeral procession will depart Monday, April 11, 2011, at 9:45 for a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal services will follow at Zapata County Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral

Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 Highway 83, Zapata.

Tomas Salinas

Photo by Alexandre Meneghini | AP

Reyna Guzman, 42, waits in front of the morgue in Matamoros, Mexico, to find out if her missing 16-year-old son is one of the 72 bodies found near the city of San Fernando, on Friday. Investigators uncovered 13 more bodies in mass graves in Tamaulipas, where 59 dead were exhumed earlier this week, officials said.

Mexico finds 72 more bodies By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATED PRESS

MATAMOROS, Mexico — Investigators have uncovered 13 more bodies in mass graves in the violent northern state of Tamaulipas, where 59 dead were exhumed earlier this week, officials said Friday. Families and authorities from across Mexico contacted the morgue in search of those who have vanished in the country’s drug wars. Seventy-two bodies have now been discovered since authorities began chasing reports in late March that gunmen had kidnapped people off of passenger buses headed toward the U.S. border. Nine were discovered in one newly found grave and four in another on Thursday near the city of San Fernando, state Interior Secretary Morelos Canseco said Friday. The total now matches the number of migrants who died in a massacre near that town last August. Canseco said investigators are searching for yet more graves in the area. Families came to the morgue in Matamoros across from Brownsville looking for loved ones not seen for a couple of weeks, others a few months — some as long as three years. Canseco said he has heard from officials in the central states of Guanajuato and Queretaro searching for residents who dis-

appeared on buses traveling through Tamaulipas or to the U.S. border. Guanajuato attorney general spokeswoman Susana Montero said 17 missing people rode an Omnibus de Mexico company bus to northern Mexico in March. The bus route and exact date were unknown, but Montero said they were apparently traveling to the United States. In Michoacan, the attorney general’s office said it also was working with Tamaulipas to determine if any of the 59 people missing from that state in the last 12 months were killed and buried in northern Mexico. Canseco told the Milenio television channel that he had yet to hear from other countries, particularly those in Central America, the origin of thousands of migrants who cross Mexico each year on their ways to the U.S. The victims of the August massacre were from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Brazil. Survivors said they were killed for refusing to work for the Zetas. Federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire announced Thursday that 14 suspects linked to the killings had been arrested by Wednesday. Those arrests apparently led authorities to the pits. The suspects belonged to a “criminal cell,” Poire said, but he did not specify which gang they may have

belonged to. State authorities are still not sure about the origin of the victims found in the pits, but suspect at least some had been abducted from buses. One man waiting Thursday outside the morgue in this border city — who refused to give his name — said his uncle and a cousin left their hometown of Ciudad Valles in the central state of San Luis Potosi on March 25. They were traveling by bus to Rio Bravo in Tamaulipas state but haven’t been heard from. He said they were supposed to arrive in Rio Bravo on March 26 for a twoweek job watering sorghum fields. “They never made it,” he said, adding that he was afraid to say anything else. “Here one is afraid to talk, here we don’t talk about what happens, but we are desperate to know what happened to them.” Most of those outside the morgue were desperate for a shred of evidence — even for confirmation of their worst fears. “I just want to know if he is dead or alive so I can have peace,” said Flor Medellin, her eyes watery as she waited with her husband. Medellin said her 43year-old brother last checked in with family last September while hauling cattle in Nuevo Leon state, like Tamaulipas a border state plagued with drug

gang violence. “They never found the cattle or the trailer truck. They found no traces of him,” Medellin, a 41-yearold laundry manager, said. “It’s really sad what we’re going through,” she added. Medellin said her brother often drove on a dangerous highway in Tamaulipas connecting Matamoros to the state capital, Ciudad Victoria. It goes through San Fernando, where the graves were found at a spot about 80 miles south of Brownsville. “We think he was intercepted and that they stole everything from him and we don’t know what happened after that. One always has hope that he is alive, but all we want is to know what happened to him,” said Medellin’s husband, Felipe Valadez. By Thursday, investigators had identified a few victims of the latest killings as Mexicans, not transnational migrants. They did not say if they were connected to 12 official missing-person reports from the buses. Although federal authorities launched an offensive in the region in November seeking to regain control of territory from the warring Gulf and Zetas cartels, criminals have become so brazen they apparently kidnapped the bus passengers in a stretch of open desert that locals say lays between two military checkpoints.

Tomas Salinas, 84, passed away Sunday, April 3, 2011, at Laredo Medical Center. Mr. Salinas is preceded in death by his parents: Antonio Salinas and Alejandra Rangel Salinas; and a sister Adelina S. Coronado. Mr. Salinas is survived by his wife, Juanita A. Salinas; brother, Israel Salinas; sister, Marta (Abel) Lozano; and by numerous

nephews, nieces and friends. A chapel service was held at Rose Garden Funeral Home on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 10 a.m. Committal services followed at Zapata County Cemetery. Cremation arrangements were under the direction of Rose Garden Funeral Home, Daniel A. Gonzalez, funeral director, 2102 Highway 83, Zapata.

COUNTY Continued from Page 1A “We will be forwarding them (that money) promptly,” he said.

Discussion County commissioners are slated to discuss the settlement in closed session at Monday’s regular monthly meeting. The meeting is slated to start at 9 a.m. When commissioners reconvene in open session, they will vote to approve, or authorize legal counsel to respond to, the settlement, which would release both parties of any obligations with each other, Cruz said. On March 23, county commissioners voted to stop funding the Economic Development Center and ordered the nonprofit to vacate county offices within 30 days.

No agreement Commissioners took the action after a proposed memorandum of understanding fell through between the center and the county. The document would have allowed the county to appoint at least five members, or a majority, of the center’s board of directors. It would also have given the county oversight of the center. Peggy Umphres Moffett, president and executive director of the center, had

On March 23, county commissioners voted to stop funding the Economic Development Center and ordered the nonprofit to vacate county offices within 30 days. said she supported the memorandum of understanding. But she said it threatened the organization’s status as a nonprofit. On the other hand, commissioners contended that the document was justified because the county gives the center $80,000 a year. In late March, Umphres said she was applying for grant money that would fund the center’s operations. County officials, meanwhile, said they might consider establishing an economic development department for the county. (Nick Georgiou may be reached at 728-2582 or



Inaction could close government Editor’s note: For the latest on the federal budget situation, go to


Photo by Sue Ogrocki | AP

Justin Castro, a National Park Service employee, is pictured during an interview at his jobsite, the Oklahoma City National Memorial, in Oklahoma City. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders groped for a last-minute compromise Friday to cut tens of billions in federal spending and end the impasse. incendiary, campaign style rhetoric as well as intense negotiation. Into the night, the two sides were still swapping proposals of the Capitol and President Barack Obama was on the phone from the White House with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. In a Capitol short on news but long on rumors, House Republican leaders circulated an early evening update to the rank and file: “We’d like to clear up some

confusion and relay there has not yet been a deal reached, the negotiations are ongoing." “I was born with a glass half full,” Boehner told reporters. Reid, Obama and Boehner all agreed a shutdown posed risks to an economy still recovering from the worst recession in decades. But there were disagreements aplenty among the principal players in an early test of divided government — Obama in the

White House, fellow Democrats in control in the Senate and a new, tea party-flavored Republican majority in the House. Hours later, officials said the talks centered on spending cuts in the range of $38 billion to $40 billion. But they stressed there was no accord on either an overall total or the composition of the reductions. For much of the day, Reid and Boehner disagreed about what the disagreement was about.

SCHOOLS Continued from Page 1A the district’s $44 million budget. Garcia said the announcement of the cuts Thursday will eliminate $50,000 per person when benefits and insurance costs are factored in. According to Garcia, the pre-K-3 program was one of the first to go in determining how to cope with the budget shortfalls due to the unavailability of grant funding. “I’m personally going to go meet with (the affected employees) and explain this to them and hand them the letter,” she said. “I think I should be the one giving it to them. I know so many of them,




WASHINGTON — The federal government lurched toward a shutdown for the first time in 15 years Friday night as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders groped for a last-minute compromise to cut tens of billions in federal spending and end the impasse. Republicans placed the House on standby for a late-night vote in case a decision was made to pass a stopgap bill to keep the government running for a few days to allow more time for negotiations. The administration readied hundreds of thousands of furlough notices for federal workers and warned that services from national parks to tax-season help centers would be shuttered without a deal by midnight. “We know the whole world is watching us today,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., during a day that featured

MARKET Continued from Page 1A

and even if I didn’t, it’s just the right thing to do. I don’t want them to walk away thinking we don’t care about them, that we’re insensitive to their needs.” Trustees also approved the early separation incentive program at Thursday’s meeting, which would provide additional cuts to the district’s already strapped budget. In an interview with Garcia last week, five to six teachers showed interest in an informal survey in receiving 15 percent of their base salary if they resigned from the district. Garcia will be sending out a letter today to all eli-

gible full-time employees. However, there is a participation cap on the buyout program, which could save the district $1.6 million. No more than 20 teacher positions, instructional assistants and secretaries and no more than three administrative positions may be cut if the eligible employees take part in the early incentives. Eligibility requires professional employees to hold proper certification, be in good standing and have completed three years with the school district. Paraprofessional employees must be in good standing and have completed

three years with ZCISD. Yvette Venegas, a pre-K-3 teacher employed at Fidel and Andrea R. Villarreal Elementary School, says the way the district is dealing with the projected budget shortfall is “confusing.” “I don’t understand,” Venegas said. “I guess if they would explain the reasoning behind their decisions, that would be a lot better than just not knowing. We just don’t know why. What was it that they looked at?” (Denise Blaz may be reached at 728-2547 or

Products include everything from citrus, herbs, nopal-based goods, baked goods, lavender-based products from the Hill Country, a variety of olive oils from the Texas Olive Ranch in Carrizo Springs, birdhouses and even locally-handmade natural soap in Laredo. “We’re really looking for local growers,” especially those who are willing to participate consistently, Hrncir stated. The freeze in February was detrimental to growing conditions, so though it had a successful turnout, the market didn’t have as many produce vendors the last time around as in previous months. “We’ve still maintained an okay reputation, but we would like to keep it.”

Monthly fee For dedicated growers, there is a one-time $25 fee and a $20 monthly participation fee after that. Vendors and shoppers alike have access to free parking at the El Metro bus depot. The deadline to notify Hrncir is at least three to four days before the market so as to include vendors in the plaza layout. In addition, growers must pass the advisory committee’s inspection of growing conditions. “We do inspect their land and check their sources of the water … (The produce) has to be natural, no pesticides. It doesn’t have to be organic, but we would prefer that it’s organic,” explained Hrncir. Hrncir and the rest of El Centro de Laredo are dedicated to helping promote community access to local produce and the growers who dedicate

We do inspect their land and check their sources of the water … (The produce) has to be natural, no pesticides. It doesn’t have to be organic, but we would prefer that it’s organic,” LAREDO FARMER’S MARKET MANAGER ALLI HRNCIR

their livelihood to cultivating it. Currently, they are taking an initiative to get people ages 18-46 involved with the Young Farmers Grant Program, part of the Texas Department of Agriculture. “We’re trying to help people write grants to get seeds, fertilizer, soil, for acquisition of land,” explained Hrncir. The grants would match funds raised by those who qualify.

Due in May The grant application deadline is in May and those who wish to claim a booth selling fruits, vegetables or herbs at April’s farmer’s market must notify Hrncir by April 13. Interested parties are encouraged to contact her as soon as possible regarding either of these at 956-286-0642 or (Erica Matos may be reached at 728-2567 or

Kathleen Soliz Hernandez, 24, of Austin, passed away peacefully early Tuesday morning with her family at her side. She was born in Corpus Christi on September 3, 1986, to Ricardo and Yvette Soliz. She spent her childhood in Hebbronville and Zapata before moving to Austin in the eighth grade. On December 7, 2001, Kathy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, while a freshman at Bowie High School. She graduated with honors in 2005 and was preparing to attend Texas A&M University when she relapsed in July 2005. In August 2007, while in remission, she married Heriberto Hernandez. She loved Herbie very much and enjoyed a brief sense of normalcy before a relapse in October 2007 and June 2009. From the time she was very young, Kathy was a self-described “tree hugger” and was often referred to as “mother nature” by her family. She was an avid reader, loved intellectual debates and conversation and was passionate about animals. Kathy loved art, museums and independent films. She intended to pursue a career in mental health and had a desire to provide assistance to those experiencing health related trauma. The courage and grace she demonstrated during her illness endeared her to her family, friends, caregivers and even those she’d never met. An inspiration to all, Kathy never lost her fighting spirit or her sense of humor. Her perseverance served as affirmation of a greater good and the incredible strength of the human heart. Kathy's life will be defined by her indomitable spirit, rather than her illness. Kathy's compassion and love for life grew inside of her since the day she was born and provided strength to all who loved her. Kathy made those around her better people. While Kathy today is in the presence of love and compassion on a level we cannot comprehend, from the day she entered our lives she allowed us to discover the better angels in each of our souls. The family would like to express gratitude to all of the family, friends, and caregivers who supported Kathy throughout her battle. Kathy always said that the doctors and nurses made her experience bearable. Staff from the Dell Children’s Hospital Green Unit/Four North were particularly special to Kathy, as was Dr. Donald Wells, who was like a father figure to her. She is survived by her husband, Herbie and his family; her parents, Ricardo and Yvette; sister Michelle Huerta Martinez, and her husband Eddie of Zapata; brother Ricky Soliz of Austin; grandparents Guadalupe and Yolanda Canales of Hebbronville; grandmother Beatrice Soliz of Hebbronville; aunts: Sylvia Martinez and her husband Jay of Zapata, Laura Canales and husband Hector Dominguez of Hebbronville, Judy Diaz and her husband Jose of Houston, Jessica Guerrero of Houston; uncles: Victor Canales of Austin, Loreto Canales of Hebbronville, Gilberto Soliz of Austin, Michael Soliz and his wife Nora of Austin, Jose Soliz of Premont, Arnoldo Soliz, Jr. and his wife Leticia of LaPorte, Rene Soliz of Humble; her dogs Kody and Pistol; and many beloved cousins. The family will welcome visitors at the Angel Funeral Home, 1600 South 1st, Austin, on Saturday, April 9, 1:00 -2:00 p.m. with a procession following to San Jose Catholic Church, 2345 Oak Crest Ave, Austin, where a funeral Mass will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. Please don't wear colors of mourning - Kathy loved springtime and would want you to share happy memories of her. Please consider a donation in Kathy’s honor to The Marrow Match, P.O. Box 15705, San Antonio, TX 78212.



Sports&Outdoors GOLF



Photo by David J. Phillip | AP

Tiger Woods reacts after he misses a birdie putt on the 16th hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday in Augusta, Ga.

A fallen No. 1 Courtesy Photo

Woods just another talent these days

Jazmine Garcia, left, and Marlena Garcia both dominated the 3200 meter run at the district 32-3A meet earlier this week.

Zapata track team thrives at district meet





AUGUSTA, Ga. — Golf used to be Tiger Woods and everybody else. About the only thing they had in common was how they described fair-to-middling rounds afterward, how a handful of near-misses could have changed everything. The difference, of course, was that Woods would go out the next day, and the next, and make almost everything in sight. Now he not only sounds like everybody else, he plays like everybody else, too. “I hit a lot of beautiful putts today and they were just skirting the edge. So hopefully,” Woods said after an opening round 71 at the Masters, “those will start going in.”

The Zapata High track and field team competed at the 32-3A district meet earlier this week. As has been the case more often than not, coach Mike Villarreal’s team blazed the competiton. Marlena Garcia and Jazmine Garcia went 1-2, respectively, in the 3200 run, as Marlena broke a 25-

year-old mark with an 11:50 performance. The win marked a three-peat for Marlena in the 3200. Jazmine, a freshman, finished second, but presented a season-best mark of 11:54. The girls are currently ranked first and second, respectively, in Region IV-AAA. The Hawks had five other athletes who fared well and will be joining Marlena and Jazmine in Ca-

lallen for regionals: Rafael Benavidez: Third place, 3200 meter run. Kristina De Leon: Second place, triple jump; third place, high jump. Jorge Guerra: Second place, discus. Brandi King: First place, high jump (undefeated all season long in the event). Andrew Magee: First place, triple jump; first place, long jump.

Something wrong No one knows exactly what went wrong with his game since a stunning fall from grace some 16 months



Bonds’ jurors hear recording By RONALD BLUM ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO — The jurors who will decide Barry Bonds’ fate filed back into the courtroom with their first question Friday, and it was one that had to make prosecutors happy. “We request the following,” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said, reading their note aloud. “The full written transcript of the Steve Hoskins-Greg Anderson digital tape recording from 2003.” In that secretly recorded conversation at the San Francisco Giants ballpark, the slugger’s just-fired business partner and his then-personal trainer discuss steroids,

BARRY BONDS: Slugger’s trial continues on. Photo by Billy Calzada | San Antonio Express-News

injections and drug testing. Prosecutors used the tape in an attempt to convince jurors that the greatest home-run hitter in major league history had to know he was taking performance-enhancing drugs. That request and another one later, to hear the testimony of Steve Hoskins’ sister, Kathy, were the two moments the jury reached out from its first day of deliberations. Each question involved some of the prosecution’s best evidence


High school baseball has come to the forefront in Dallas due to a recent lopsided game that has brought sportsmanship back into the light.

On an uneven field Lake Highlands at center of one-sided blowouts By JAIME ARON ASSOCIATED PRESS

DALLAS — Late on a school night, in a game already delayed because of lightning, Richardson Lake Highlands High School came to bat in the top of the fifth inning leading Dallas Samuell by around 30 runs. Then they scored another 20 or so.

The final score was either 53-0, like the scoreboard read, or 57-0, like the winning coach tallied it up. Worse even than the 56-7 Highlands win over Samuell in football this past season. It was the most lopsided prep baseball game in state history. The game has gone beyond just another blowout between a suburban program stocked with kids whose parents can afford out-of-season training and a school struggling to field a team in a low-income neigh-

borhood. It’s already led to a change in the mercy rules in the local school district. Administrators hope it will bring attention to an often-ignored national rule that offers an easy way to end obvious mismatches. Most of all, it reignited the discussion about sportsmanship in high school athletics, raising questions about how to handle being on either end of such a game.






NEW YORK — Tampa Bay slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance for the second time and informed Major League Baseball on Friday that he is retiring rather than face a 100game suspension. A person familiar with the events that led to the announcement confirmed to The Associated Press that Ramirez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the nature of Ramirez’ issue with MLB’s drug policy was not publicly disclosed. The commissioner’s office announced Ramirez’s decision in a statement, but provided few details. Ramirez previously served a 50-game suspension for violating the drug policy while he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers and second-time offenders get double that penalty. “Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the statement said. “Rather than continue with the process under the Program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed.”

Photo by Chris O’Meara | AP

The Tampa Bay Rays’ Manny Ramirez (24) grounds out to shortstop during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles, Friday, April 1, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, left, looks on. MLB said it would have no further comment. “The Tampa Bay Rays were informed today by the Commissioner’s Office that Manny Ramirez has decided to retire after being informed of an issue under the Drug Program,” the Rays said in a statement. “We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news.” The 38-year-old outfielder-designated hitter left the team earlier this week to attend to what the Rays called a family matter. Ramirez played in only five games for the Rays, with one hit in 17 at-bats. The 12-time All-Star agreed to a $2 million, one-

year contract with the defending AL East champions in the offseason, hoping to re-establish himself as one of the game’s feared hitters. Ramirez struggled with injuries but still hit .298 with nine homers and 42 RBIs in 90 games for the Dodgers and White Sox last season. He’s a career .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 18-plus seasons, including some of his best with the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. The Rays, winless through their first six games, hoped the Manny they signed this season would be the same Manny who was MVP of the 2004

World Series when he was with the Red Sox. At his best, Ramirez was one of the game’s great hitters, finishing in the top five in MVP voting four times. He led the American League with a .349 batting average in 2002, finished second the following year, and had an AL-best 43 home runs in 2004. At his worst, Ramirez was criticized for his lackadaisical nature, particularly in the outfield. More than once, managers and teammates complained that Ramirez didn’t seem to care about playing defense or wouldn’t hustle down the line after a hit.

BONDS Continued from Page 1B against the home run king. The panel worked about seven hours, including lunch and breaks, before adjourning until Monday. Illston refused to give jurors the full transcript of the Hoskins-Anderson tape, because one wasn’t placed in evidence during the trial that began March 21. But she allowed them to rehear the portions of the recording that were first played for them on March 23 and replayed Thursday during the prosecution’s closing. “Everything that I’ve been doing at this point, it’s all undetectable,” Anderson said on the tape.

“See, the stuff that I have ... we created it. And you can’t, you can’t buy it anywhere. You can’t get it anywhere else.” Anderson, who was sent to prison March 22 because he refused to testify in the Bonds case, was released Friday because the trial was over. Even without taking the witness stand he was a big presence in the courtroom. On the recording, made by Hoskins, Anderson talks of injecting Bonds. Anderson says he doesn’t use one spot, “I move it all over the place” in order to avoid cysts.

Both the prosecution and defense played portions of the recording during the trial, but only the prosecution showed jurors a transcript that allowed them to follow the often-muffled sounds. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nedrow handed out transcripts again Friday while the government portion was played back. When the defense portion was replayed, most of the jurors still were looking down at the prosecution transcript. They were not allowed to take the transcript to the jury room. While the prosecution al-

so read along, Bonds and his lawyers focused on the jurors, trying to pick up any signals. The 46-year-old former MVP, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and striped tie, seemed more fidgety than he had been during the trial. Illston told the jury late Friday that Kathy Hoskins’ testimony will be read back to them when deliberations resume Monday. Hoskins was Bonds’ personal shopper and claims to have seen Anderson inject him with an unknown substance in the navel in 2002.

WOODS Continued from Page 1B ago, perhaps least of all, Woods. Think back to a year ago here, when he was first slinking back into the game after months in hiding and a series of botched apologies. Woods finished tied for fourth, watched rival Phil Mickelson slip into a green jacket, then moved onto the next major and came even closer to winning another U.S. Open himself. Everything went downhill after that. On Thursday, just as Woods was finishing up a three-putt bogey at No. 10, Mickelson was getting ready for the short walk from the practice putting green to the first tee. Leading the way, his caddie, Bones Mackay, was wearing white coveralls with the coveted No. 1 on the left side of his chest, and the roar built slowly as fans on both sides of the roped-off walkway howled and leaned in for a look at the defending champion. Lefty strode into the maelstrom, waving awkwardly with his gloved right hand and wearing that goofy smile, soaking in the unqualified adulation that Woods once enjoyed and would probably kill to have again.

Tough by any means By any measurement, Mickelson probably had the tougher year of the two, even with the Masters win. Just as his wife and mother were recovering from bouts of breast cancer, Mickelson was afflicted with psoriatic arthritis, a setback that required him to balance his medication, diet and conditioning routine and cost him the entire second half of the season. Despite a dozen chances to supplant Woods as No. 1 in the world, he came away empty-handed. Somewhere in the middle of that slide, Mickelson talked candidly about how hard it was to concentrate fully on golf, an admission of vulnerability that only won him more fans and the kind of thing you would never hear from Woods. Long a fan favorite, after a victory in Houston last week, Mickelson came here as the betting favorite as well, a spot Woods owned the previous

12 years. Both Mickelson, currently ranked third, and Woods, seventh, could get the top spot in world rankings with a win here. “It would really mean a lot if he was No. 1 when I passed him,” Mickelson said Tuesday in a pre-tournament interview. “That would really be cool. “But he and I both,” Mickelson added, “have some work to do on our games.” The biggest change in Woods, outwardly at least, was hiring new swing coach Sean Foley. Signs of progress have been few and far between, which might explain why, when Woods rifled his tee shot into the rough right of the third fairway and arrived a few minutes behind it, half the spectators encircling his golf ball were emboldened enough to suggest how he should hit the next shot. “Punch out sideways,” one called out. “Hit the stinger,” another said.

What remains? Woods’ caddie, Steve Williams, fixed the crowd with a stare, asked for quiet and then patiently told a camera crew and spectators near the end of the clearing to move to one side or the other. Afterward, when someone asked Woods, “Do you walk away thinking what could have been?” he blinked. “No,” Woods replied. “I’m very pleased. I’m right there in the ballgame. I’m only six back and as I said, we’ve got a lot of golf left.” Pushing the same theme, another reporter asked, “What do you do when putts don’t go in? Do you go to the practice green and work on it?” “Today is one of those days where I hit beautiful putts,” Woods said. “I was hitting my lines and they just weren’t going in. That’s fine.” Dozens of other guys came off Augusta National on Thursday and said almost the same thing. None was as good, or likely will be as good, as Tiger Woods was once. It seems fair to start asking whether Woods will ever be that good again, too.

BASEBALL Continued from Page 1B Tradition Lake Highlands coach Jay Higgins is among the dean of baseball coaches in Texas. His school opened in 1963, and he arrived in 1967, making this his 44th season. Last season, he made his 25th trip to the state playoffs, having gotten as far as regional finals twice. Also last year, he was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. He showed up to the Samuell game with 783 wins. Although his Wildcats arrived at Pleasant Grove Field sitting at 0-5, having dropped three games by a single run and going down 11-1 in another, there wasn’t much doubt his team would win. Once upon a time, Samuell High was pretty good at baseball — state champs in 1965, the only such crown for a Dallas school. But these days, the school doesn’t have enough players to field a junior varsity or freshman team. Samuell won only about three games a year when it played in Class 4A and this season was forced to join 5A, the biggest classification. Still, first-year coach Mike Pena was 1-0 when he arrived for the home game against Lake Highlands. His Spartans had won 18-7 over a smaller-division school that hasn’t beaten anyone this season. Neither coach returned calls to talk about the

He said it was irresponsible that coaches wouldn’t be more versed in game-ending procedures, but the umpires should’ve known the rule — or done something. game. However, by all accounts, Higgins tried to do the right thing. Once his team was comfortably ahead, Higgins pulled some starters and emptied his bench. He let his hitters swing away, but told them not to take more than one base. They didn’t steal. According to a community newspaper in Lake Highlands, the Wildcats had 44 hits — 38 singles, five doubles and a triple. They didn’t have a single home run. Samuell, meanwhile, didn’t have a hit. Two guys reached on errors, so it wasn’t a perfect game. “We did everything possible,” Higgins told The Dallas Morning News. “The national federation, which is the rule book we go by, says you have to play five innings before the game is considered official. That’s what I was worried about if you stop after three innings and somebody comes back and says, ‘Well, you guys didn’t play an official game.”’ While Texas coaches follow the rule of ending any game when a team is up by 10 runs after five innings, or 4 1/2 if the home team is ahead, there is another provision that can apply. Rule 4, Section 2, Article 4 of the National Federation of

Baseball Rule Book — used in Texas and most states — says a game can be ended early with the agreement of both coaches and the umpire. “It’s not ever been used to my knowledge,” said Mark Cousins, interim athletic director for the University Interscholastic League, the organization that oversees public high schools in Texas, and a former associate director in charge of baseball. “We don’t necessarily publicize the rule, but it’s been in there for a number of years.” Elliot Hopkins is the baseball rules editor and national interpreter for the National Federation of State High School Associations. He said it was irresponsible that coaches wouldn’t be more versed in game-ending procedures, but the umpires should’ve known the rule — or done something. “We don’t put common sense in the rule book, but we hope they use it. Nor do we legislate integrity, but hopefully they use that as well,” Hopkins said. “With a game like this, you worry that a kid wouldn’t want to continue. He might say, ’We just got smoked. I’m done.’ Nobody wants any of that to happen.”

It didn’t. All 17 Samuell players returned for practice the next day.

An opportunity for the better The Lake Highlands campus is four miles from Covenant School, which drew headlines two years ago when its girls basketball team beat the girls from Dallas Academy 100-0. The winning coach was fired. Darlene Wolf Moore doesn’t recall that game being mentioned in the stands as Lake Highlands was routing Samuell. Her son, Ben Wolf, is a senior and the starting left fielder, and she is a staunch supporter of the Wildcats. “It was nice to win, but that’s not the way anyone wants to win,” she said of the March 8 baseball game. “It was somewhat uncomfortable. We would’ve liked for it to end sooner.” As far as she knows, no parents or fans asked Higgins to end it. Instead, the Lake Highlands fans began cheering for the Samuell kids, she said. “When a popped ball was going to the outfield, we were saying, ‘Get it, get it,”’ Moore said. “When they would miss a fly ball, we’d

groan, ’Ohhhhhhhhh.’ We were disappointed. ... They kept on coming out every inning. It couldn’t have been easy. It sure did make you admire their gumption, their stamina, their dedication to their team.” Higgins did try to stop the bleeding by ordering his players to go one base at a time. What else could he have done? Some coaches let kids experiment at a new position, but that risks injury. Some coaches let kids bat from the other side of the plate or simply bunting back to the mound and not running out hits, but that’s akin to giving up Hopkins has some other ideas. Different. More constructive. “Tell the other coach, ’We’ll take the win, you take the loss. Now, you want my help? We’ve got 30 or 45 minutes left. Let’s do some drills, let’s practice some scenarios,”’ he said. “The young coach would come away with respect for the older coach and have a basis for mentoring. The kids would learn how to do a hook slide, or get rid of the hitch in his giddy-up and have more control. The umpires would get to teach, which would make them feel a whole lot better than

being part of a lopsided game. Fans get to listen and watch and learn, and be part of something that is really good.” But, for a wayward program like Samuell, this might not be a one-time thing. “So? If it’s 24 games and 24 clinics, you’d like to think they’re getting better, as coaches and players,” Hopkins said. “Maybe they’ll go tell their friends, ’This guy taught me how to throw a slider,’ and a few more kids come out. Eventually, they can build a program.” Hopkins recalled how special-needs players sometimes get into a basketball game and make a layup or score a touchdown in football. There was that college softball game three years ago where two players carried an opponent around the bases after she blew out a knee during a home-run trot. He doesn’t recall any such heartwarming story in baseball. “Playing high school sports is supposed to be a good experience. Kids have fun, play for their team, wear their school colors, learn time-management skills, respect for authority, all of that,” he said. “We didn’t see any of that in this contest. Everyone involved failed those kids. All the adults let those kids down. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. We just need to do better and be better. And we have an opportunity do it.”



HINTS BY | HELOISE Dear Heloise: I enjoyed the picture of Murphy on the fax machine (a previous Pet Pal — Heloise). I would like to share my experience with my cat, Lizzy, lying on my COPYING MACHINE. I went to my copier to make copies, and they were coming out light and missing sections of the print. Naturally, I suspected my ink cartridge and replaced it. But the copies looked the same. I took the copier to an office-supply store to see what was wrong and if it could be fixed. I questioned the repairman about what the problem was. He laughed and said all he could find was a big gob of cat hair. I sure wasn’t laughing when I was handed a bill for $80. When I got home, I got a big towel and draped it over the machine. Lizzie can still lie and sleep on the copier, and I don’t have to worry about another big bill for repair. — Carole F. in Warriors Mark, Pa. DON’T BE ‘SHELLFISH’ Dear Readers: When stocking your home aquarium, even though it is tempting to do so, don’t use shells that you find on the beach. They can harbor bacteria that can harm your fish. Cleaning the shells will not help, either. Whatever landscape material you want for your aquarium is readily available from a large chain store


or specialty fish shop. — Heloise PHOTO PERFECT Dear Heloise: I love dogs, and I had a picture of my favorite old pet, but although it was otherwise perfect, the “red-eye” spoiled it. Who hasn’t experienced that? I had an inspiration while looking at it and made a tough decision. I took a black permanent pen and very carefully put a small black dot in each eye. It worked! The picture is now perfect, and not even I would know the difference. Hope this helps someone else! — Wilson H. in Laredo, Texas PILL DOSAGE Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to check with their veterinarian before chopping up their pet’s pills. This may be perfectly OK for some drugs, but dangerous for others. Sustained-release dosage types, for example, are designed to release their contents slowly over time. Chopping up the pill will likely cause too much of the drug to be released all at once. — A Reader, via e-mail How right you are! That is why we always recommend checking with a veterinarian. — Heloise

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A whole new swing Metal bats play into NCAA ball By ERIC OLSON ASSOCIATED PRESS

OMAHA, Neb. — College baseball teams are hitting half as many home runs and averaging a run less per game halfway through the season. Blame — or credit — the new metal bats put into play this year. The average Division I team is hitting 0.47 home runs a game and scoring 5.63 runs, compared with 0.85 home runs and 6.98 runs at a comparable point last season. The NCAA researched data through Sunday’s games and released the findings Thursday. Coaches Mike Fox of North Carolina and Mark Marquess of Stanford said the numbers support their anecdotal evidence — and they’re not happy about it. “I didn’t see what was wrong with the bats last year,” Fox said. “I thought last year there were great pitching performances, and if you could pitch, you could beat the hitter. There were just enough home runs to keep it interesting.” If the trend continues, Marquess fears losing fans. “I’m a little concerned it’s too much,” the 35thyear Cardinal coach said. “I was concerned about

Photo by Carlos Osorio | AP

Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez (36) watches during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, March 28, in Jupiter, Fla.

Marlins’ manager embraces website By STEVEN WINE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Rogelio V. Solis | AP

Mississippi’s State’s Jaron Shepherd bunts in the first inning against Southern Mississippi during a college baseball game Tuesday night in Pearl, Miss. making any change when we’re doing so well as far as the popularity of college baseball. I’ve been at this a long time, and it’s never been as popular as it is now.” College baseball officials gradually have been taking pop out of bats for more than a decade. The turning point was the 1998 College World Series, when there were a record 62 home runs in 14 games. Southern California’s 21-14 championship-game win over Arizona State featured seven home runs

and 39 hits. The new metal bats are designed to perform more like wood. They have shrunken sweet spots designed to decrease the exit speeds of the ball off the bat, meaning lower power numbers and ERAs. Among the NCAA’s other findings, comparing midseason 2010 to this year: The overall batting average has dropped from .301 to .279; ERA from 5.83 to 4.62; and the number of shutouts has jumped from 277 to 444.

Advocates argue that the reduced speed with which the ball exits the bat makes the game safer for pitchers and infielders. They also say keeping the offense in check speeds up games and restores integrity to the game. Jeff Hurd, chairman of the NCAA baseball rules committee, said he’s received generally positive feedback about the new bats from coaches. Marquess said the fact college baseball doesn’t use wooden bats is part of the game’s appeal.

MIAMI — The Florida Marlins begin their first trip of the season Friday, and manager Edwin Rodriguez is taking a laptop to monitor his website. Rodriguez enjoys computers as a hobby and built the site himself. It’s in Spanish and directed primarily at friends and fans in his native Puerto Rico. The site — — has been up for a couple of months. “El dirigente” is Spanish for “the manager.” “I had a lot of fans and friends in Puerto Rico asking me how things work in the big leagues from the manager’s standpoint — how spring training is run, all those questions,” Rodriguez said.

With a chuckle he added, “I have some experience building and keeping a website. “So I said, let’s build one so I don’t have to answer a hundred questions.” Rodriguez does answer questions on the site, which he said deal more with the administrative part of the job than with game strategy. He said he spends 30 minutes to an hour on his site every morning, and he hopes to write a weekly column on how things are going with the Marlins. Because of time constraints, he has not yet branched out into an English version. Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history when he took over the Marlins last June.

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The Zapata Times 4/9/2011  

The Zapata Times 4/9/2011

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