The Bastrop Advertiser and County News (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 139, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 21, 1985 Page: 1 of 24
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©je Mustvap ^AMreritser
Vol. 139, Number 6
Microfilm Center, inc
Dallas Tx 75235
Thursday. March 21, 1985
Members of the 1984-85 Roy- compete in Mexico this June,
al Ambassador Championship Back row from left to right:
team of the Mexican First Bap- statistician, Gilbert Lopez;
tist Church have a chance to Coach Victor Juarez Jr.; #44
Judge Placke blasts
court at law drive
BISD defies FFA show ban
Merits of the proposed Bastrop
County Court at Law were argued
before the Ex-Grand Jurors Associ-
ation Tuesday with 21st District
Judge John L. Placke blasting the
bill creating the court as a "piece
of trash" and former County Judge
Gyde Clardy and Commissioner Tom
"T.J." Adams defending the bill.
Placke made it clear that he is not
against the idea of creating a court
at law. In fact, he said he was "100
percent in favor” of such a court.
But he blasted the bill now pend-
ing before the legislature centering
-his attack on four major points.
Number one. he said the court
at law bill takes away the powers
of the constitutionally created
County Court and the County
Secondly. he said the public offi-
cials who are affected by the bill
were not consulted when it was
Those affected include Placke.
District Judge Harold Towslee.
District Clerk Peggy Wallicek and
District Attorney Charles Penick
Thirdly, he said the court will
have major problems sharing juris-
diction with the two district courts.
The judges involved have few
guidelines in the bill for distribut-
ing caseloads, he said.
Fourthly, he said the court at law
judge would be under the thumb of
the County Commissioners be-
cause they would have the power
to lower the judge's salary if they
were not pleased with one of his
rulings. The judicial branch is
meant to be free of control, he said.
Plaake said there is a need for a
new court and he agreed that a back-
log of cases is in need of attention.
But he said "This is not decent
legislation for the citizens of Bas-
trop County. And if there is any-
thing politically motivated in this
bill, if the commissioners don't like
Jack Greisenbeck. that's not my
"Why would you set up another
court to relieve the backlog in the
Continued on Page 2, Section I
By Tad Hershorn
Bastrop Independent School Dis-
trict board of trustees threw down
the gauntlet to the Texas Education
Agency Tuesday night when they
unanimously voted to define the
March 30 Bastrop High School
FFA Show and Auction as a "co-
curricular" activity, thus clearing
the way for 15 students who would
otherwise be unable to participate.
As defined by the agency in
February. FFA is classified as
"extra-curricular" activity, bar-
ring any student from participating
the six weeks following failure in
one or more subjects.
Board members, who faced a
small crowd of angry parents, were
presented with three options in the
matter by Superintendent Pat
Deviney, who had communicated
with Interim Commissioner of
Education Bill Kirby through Slate
Sen. John Sharp and State Rep.
Kirby suggested opening up the
show to non-Bastrop High School
students or allowing someone other
than the ineligible student to show
the animal. Both ideas were reject-
ed by show organizers as not
The interim commissioner also
urged parents of the affected stu-
dents to consider seeking out a
*'friendly judge", who might be
prevailed upon to issue a temporary
injunction against barring the stu-
dents effective through March 30.
Although he believes the new
rules, which are not yet even com-
prehensible to TEA. are wrong.
Deviney said he disagreed with an
effort to circumvent the regu-
"If the board overrules the regu-
lation. how can we expect students
to follow the rules we set for
them.’" he said. "What does this
say to them?"
Attorney Allen McMurrey Jr.
argued that the board, already fac-
ing a number of lawsuits, might not
fully anticipate the costs of testing
the State Board of Education's
“You you might find subpoenas
for your vocational director, su-
perintendent. the high school prin-
cipal. a couple of you (school
trustees) and all your vocational
agricultural teachers." McMurrey
said. “I can’t say how long it might
take to go before a state district
judge. They just don't float in and
Dixie French, a legal assistant to
McMurrey and mother of one of
the boys affected, was one of two
mothers making appearances
She argued that students in-
volved in the annual FFA show
were required to purchase their
animals on or before last Dec. 15
and questioned why the new state
law going into effect Jan. I should
even apply to them.
In a letter sent to board members
Monday, she said the FFA show
fell into the category of a co-
curricular activity, distinguisable
Continued on Page 2, Section 1
Fire guts Larry Bartsch home interior
Hospital still losing money
but Memorial not giving up
President Lyndon B Johnson,
reflecting on his own Central Texas
roots, explained to one listener that
one comfort of small town life.
"People Ytare when you're
sick," said the^1 former president
But what do rou say when a
town's hospital is sick?
High expenses, declining
government support, shorter hospi-
tal stays and increased emphasis on
maintaining health are ganging up
on hospitals large and small to
make for fundamental changes in
America's health delivery systems
in recent years.
These factors, combined with
low patient occupancy and fierce
competition for the health care dol-
lar from nearby Austin, continue
to plague Bastrop Memorial Hospi-
tal only months before the Memori-
al Care Systems of Houston
reviews its option on extending its
lease in late June. The Houston-
based health care organization
operates nine other hospitals and
one nursing home, mainly in the
Add to that the
S3GO,0QG-5(X)jOOO annual loss to
Memorial Health Care Systems,
which leases and manages Bastrop
Memorial and the million or so
dollars Memorial Systems has in-
vested in equipment to date and
you have problems Officials of the
non-profit system, however, say
their commitment to seeing BMH
through its problems to a healthi-
er tomorrow is strong.
Local critics of the hospital have
said privately they prefer to drive
30 miles to better equipped hospi-
tals even though Bastrop, unlike
most small hospitals, pays to have
Continued on Page 3, Section 1
Fire gutted kitchen of Larry and Nancy Bartsch.
Deadly intersection kills Luther Taylor, 82
An 82-year-old Bastrop nun was
killed Monday at the intersection
of Highway 71 and Loop 150 in a
two-car accident that injured his
83-year-old brother and another
The accident occurred at about
9.45 a m.
George Taylor, 83, and Luther
Taylor. 82. had just finished hav-
ing coffee at Our Place Restaurant
on Highway 71. George was driv-
ing his 1977 Mercury Gran Mar-
quis and Luther was riding in the
As the car w as crossing from the
restaurant parking lot across High-
way 71 traffic, it was struck on the
passenger side by a west-bound,
late model Chevrolet driven By
Charlie Lee Price. 42. of Missou-
ri City, near Houston.
The two brothers had to be pried
from the Mercury, which was
throw n about 60 feet from the point
Luther was dead on arrival at
10:45 a m. at Bastrop Memorial
Hospital! only about a block away
from the accident scene.
Late Monday . George was list-
ed in good condition at Bastrop
Memorial Hospital with rib*'
Price was taken to Brackenridge
Hospital in Austin where he was
held for observation Monday.
Luther turned 82 the day before
Ironically. George had a previ-
ous accident at the same intersec-
tion under much the same
circumstances a year ago w hen he
had a collision with a Bastrop
County Sheriff's patrolcar driven
by then-Deputy Alvin Duck.
In that accident, Duck was head-
ed east on 71 and struck George's
car on the driver's side as George
tried to pull across Highway 71
traffic. George was thrown from
his car in that accident according
The second car involved in Mon-
day’s accident was also driven by
a law enforcement officer.
Price is Police Chief for Univer-
sity of Texas Institutions —
Graveside funeral services were, . _ „ „ •
to be held for Luther Taylor at 4 Wue aiul wtllte exterior still looks
Continued on Page 2, Section I neat and trii$. The tin roof on the
By Richard Goldsmith
A fire Sunday claimed the
100-year-old home of Larry and
Nancy Bartsch and their three chil-
dren, but not their spirits. The fa-
mily intends to rebuild from the
Fire broke out in the kitchen of
the home at the corner of Walnut
and Jefferson at about 2p.m. Sun-
day possibly as the result of an
electrical short in a microwave
The kitchen was reduced to ashes
and cinders. The rest of the home
suffered major damage from
smoke, heat and water.
It could have been a .whole lot
worse." Mrs. Bartsch said Mon-
day. She was thankful that no one
in her family was injured or killed
in what could have been a deadly
She said she and her children left
the house to buy groceries and
were gone only about 20 minutes.
When they returned the kitchen
was in flames.
"My four-year-old said Why is
our house smoking?"’ she said.
She entered the house to try to
put out the fire, but realized it was
hopeless and got out. Then "things
started exploding” she said.
Two pumper units from the Bas-
trop Volunteer Fire Department
extinguished the flames. Firefight-
ers were hampered for a few
minutes by a balky fire plug that
was difficult to open.
Although the interior of the
home, was heavily damaged, the
home may have kept the whole
house from going up in flames.
Mrs Bartsch said the home was
completely remodeled two-and-a-
half years ago including new floor-
ing. wiring, plumbing and
sheetrock The remodeling process
took more than a year, but this time
the Bartschs nope to complete the
"It was hard to watch the kids
cry ing asking 'why my house, why
is everyone staring,'” Mrs.
Bartsch said. But she believes the
house can be put back better than
it was before. "We're going to get
it going again." she said.
In the meantime, the family has
been receiving help from friends.
Within three hours after firefight-
ers quenched the flames, friends
pitched in and had the antique oak
furniture moved to safe storage.
Jerry and Brenda Wagner donat-
ed two nights at the Pink Lady Inn
Bed and Breakfast to the Bartschs
and the kids stayed with friends.
"Larry said he didn't know we
had so many friends. They were
there crying with us." Mrs.
"There's a lot of blessings out
of it. huts it s a tragedy ... Some-
one said a fire is worse than hav-
ing a death in the family." she
Entering the home after the fire
was out. the Bartschs found the
refrigerator melted along w ith dish-
es. an antique clock and other
items. Mrs. Bartsch s wedding
bands that she left on the kitchen
window sill had melted, but dia-
monds from the rings can be
cleaned arid remounted she said.
The State Champion Royal Am-
bassador basketball team from the
First Mexican Baptist Church has
had an invitation to represent the
United States in Mexico City.
Mr. Jesus Gomez, the director
for the Federation of Sports from
Mexico, has sent a letter inviting
the State R. A. champions from
Texas to play in Mexico City and
compete with the Mexico City
High School champions. These
will be teams from throughout
Mexico City high schools.
The competition is to be for one
week, starting June I.
Coach Gil Cervantes says he is
excited about sending our boys
from Bastrop. “The Lord has
opened up the doors for us-and we
want to do our best to represent
Him and the tow n of Bastrop. The
Lord met our financial needs on
our trip to the State playoffs in
Abiliene. and I know if it is His
will that we go. He will supply us
This is also an opportunity for
the boys to share their testimonies
and experiences with boys of the
same age from another country.
Language is no barrier, they said
they will have translators so we
will be able to communicate for
those that don't know Spanish.
Mary Cervantes says she will
offer a crash course for the boys
in Spanish with frequently used
phrases such as "I am lost." and
"Where is the bathroom?”
Tim Juarez; #50 Randy Jones; Cerv antes. Bottom row: #00 Pat
#42 Mario Cruz; #55 Doug Wil- I owe; #23 Pat Barnett; #14 John
son;#12 Jerry Pon Taylor; #20 DeLeon; #32 Jim Williams; and
Roderick Craney; Coach Gilbert #3 Daniel Dominguez.
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Goldsmith, Richard. The Bastrop Advertiser and County News (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 139, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 21, 1985, newspaper, March 21, 1985; Bastrop, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth735804/m1/1/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Bastrop Public Library.