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2012-01-19

2011- Top cops popped & dropped, Part III

Year in Review

(Editor's note: 2011 - and the hits just kept on coming. At least this week's installment gets us through last summer. Just wait until the 2012 Wrap Up, which will include the shenanigans accompanying the current political season. Gird your loins 'cause it's coming! Meanwhile, enjoy another look back.)

July
County fathers had to cough up an extra $135,000 after the Risk Management Team with the Texas Association of Counties increased Bandera County's liability insurance premiums due to "excessive claims."

County Judge Richard Evans described the unexpected assessment as a "contribution due for a retrospective-rated premium," meaning that continuing litigation and pay-offs necessitated the one-time payment. He also noted, "The more you use it, the more it costs."

(And, there're still the Mario Hernandez and toddler-allegedly-left-on-the-side-of-the-highway cases in the pipeline!)

• The rest of Bandera County was dark on July 4, but bombs burst over Medina Lake, courtesy of professional pyro-whizzes Allen and Kim Smith and Todd Hoffmann.

(Thanks, guys, the show was spectacular!)

• Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Karen Harris of Lakehills to serve on the Health and Human Services Council.

The council assists in developing policies and rules for the Health and Human Services Commission, in addition to making recommendations about the management and operation of the commission.

Justice Dale Wainwright of the Supreme Court of Texas administered the oath of office to Harris.
(Congrats, Karen!)

• An explosion occurred during re-construction of Medina Lake Dam injured three workers. One crewmember was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio with what were described as "serious injuries." Two other workers received minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

The blast occurred approximately 4:30 pm, Tuesday, July 12, when, according to reports, a piece of equipment utilizing "thousands of pounds of pressure" failed, sending debris and metal flying.

• A disturbance that occurred at the Bandera County Jail late Wednesday, July 13, was quickly brought under control without injury to prisoners or guards or damage to the facility, according to BCSO Chief Deputy Richard Smith.

When questioned about the incident, he said, "I certainly wouldn't call it a riot. I wouldn't even call it a mini-riot." Apparently the kerfuffle began when a guard ordered the television set in the cellblock to be turned off.

(Perhaps the prisoners just waited to see another episode of "Dog the Bounty Hunter.")

• A call to Bandera County Sheriff's Department emergency dispatch led to the arrest of a Bandera County man apparently tied to a recent series of attempted abductions at gunpoint in Kendall County.

The evening of Tuesday, July 12, shortly after a BOLO (be on the lookout for) advisory went out over emergency dispatch, an officer with the BPD stopped Chad Michael Jacobs, 37, of Polly Peak, for a traffic violation.

After Jacob's arrest, a person who originally reported the vehicle driven by Jacobs as stolen told law enforcement officers that "he believed" Jacobs had committed the attempted kidnappings at the Boerne Wal-Mart.

When Jacobs' picture was presented a photo lineup to the assault victims, both victims identified Jacobs.

(No word as yet as to where this case is in the labyrinth that is our judicial system.)

August
• Rosalia Clarice Sclafani, a former resident of Polly Peak, was absolved of responsibility in an October 2008 attack that left an elderly neighbor seriously mauled by three Rottweilers. She was originally charged with felony assault with serious bodily injury and felony criminal negligence.

In her narrative-style testimony, the victim, Ninon Truax, said while taking a walk, she had crossed the road to avoid the three Rottweilers barking at her from behind a perimeter fence. "They were running back and forth at the fence then jumped through (a hole in) the fence and came at me, biting me everywhere.
I thought I was going to die," she recalled. "I was screaming, but nobody was coming and it was getting dark. I thought, 'Oh, my God, my God.
You're not going to let me die like this'?"

After her acquittal, Scalifani was returned to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice where she is serving time for a previous conviction. She will be eligible for parole in 2024.

• Bandera Police Chief Jim Eigner came under fire again as city council attempted to get a handle on what has increasingly been perceived as an out-of-control law enforcement department.

The latest brainless brouhaha began over what entity holds officers' TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) commissions - the city or the chief.

Municipal attorney Barbara Boulware-Wells explained that police officers work for the City of Bandera not the police chief. Since the chief's position is an elected one, he has no authority to hire and fire officers - that remains the purview of city council. "This is the way it was explained to me by a TCLEOSE representative," said Boulware-Wells.

By a 4-0 decision, council eventually approved a rewritten ordinance that had the police chief reporting directly to city council, which would, in turn, approve hires, terminations and promotions - including both reserve and regular police officers.

Next on city council's agenda will no doubt be scrutinizing the apparent $9,000 in overage costs from the police department budget.

(Stay tuned for more episodes of 'City Cops Behaving Badly!")

• Members of the Bandera County Historical Commission sponsored a monument marker to commemorate immigrants from Silesia, who arrived in Texas through the Indianola Port of Entry.

The dedication took place at the La Salle Monument at Indianola Point in Indianola.

• More than 700 Sabinal Canyon residents turned out to enjoy the premier of the movie, "Seven Days in Utopia," which was filmed in Utopia. The movie was an adaptation of Dr. David Cook's book, "Golf's Sacred Journey."

The inflatable screen among a sea of lawn chairs provided a "perfect and almost magical setting" for the exciting event.

However, about 47 hours of filming had been cut to less than two for the final product so many local scenes disappeared - along with the fine acting of many wannabe actors and actresses.

(Well, at least they still got paid!)

• At 5:45 pm, on Monday, August 29, the Bandera First State Bank marquee registered way up in the triple digits. The temperature didn't beat San Antonio's 110º, however. Of course, by tradition, the Hill Country is always a couple of degrees cooler than the Big City! Remember this day when the temps plummet to 15º this winter.


(Which is kinda where we are now...)