News and Current Events: Summer 1999

News articles: 7/31/99:

Feature News: Continuing Austin's trend towards random acts of terrorism, a large warehouse south of central Austin near Riverside was destroyed by fire. Reporters reconstructing the events are convinced that the fire was set by terrorists themselves; witnesses saw one of these alleged terrorists leave the building, then retreat back into the inferno with a cry of "You'll never take us alive!" One officer was knocked unconscious when he tried to stop someone fleeing the buildings.

Later investigation of the building (once the fire was under control) found the remnants of a vast arsenal of guns and ammunition, which undoubtedly contributed to the warehouses's rapid destruction. Two bodies were also found in the warehouse, burned beyond recognition. Other witnesses claim to have seen gawkers at the minor disaster attacked by a black wolf. Local zoologist Mark McCammon claims this is "unlikely," as these creatures rarely intrude on cities when food is available elsewhere.

Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have thusfar been unable to find any definite links between Austin's rash of terrorism over the last two years, save that the attacks occur most frequently on Saturdays.

The terrorist group some are calling the "Weekend Warehouse Bombers" struck again yesterday at approximately 10:00 at night. A large explosion demolished two small warehouses supplying the shopping center west of the intersection of Walsh Tarlton and Bee Caves. The structures were destroyed when a police evidence van parked nearby exploded. West Lake and Austin police officials describe the explosion as "disturbing, yet predictable."

Missing Person reported: the daughter of city councilman David Mittleberg disappeared from her home Saturday. No suspect has been found in the possible abduction of Natalia Mittleberg; if you have seen this person <picture of teenage girl with dark hair and eyes> or have any information on the whereabouts of her, please contact Austin police.

Rancher Jim Chandler called a small press conference to discuss a new citizens' organization called "Austinites for a Safer Wilderness," ASW or "the Wolvesbane Group." The group's primary interest is the culling of the non-indigenous wolf population surrounding Austin. According to Chandler, these wolves have turned against Austin and its inhabitants. What had become the wolves' primary food source, the cattle and livestock near Austin, became increasingly dangerous to the predators as ranchers like Chandler took precautions against them. Chandler listed a number of recent wolf attacks, including a recent attack in McKinney Falls State Park in late July which left two hikers with light injuries; the recent wolf sightings in south Austin; two hunters killed just north of the city by a large predator, a rash of wild dog sightings in downtown Austin in early May, and another attack in McKinney Falls in early June, where a wolf interrupted a police proceeding and attacked an armed officer.

"We do not advocate the destruction of Canis Lupus Baylies, El Lobo or the Mexican wolf, whose reintroduction to Texas is a mark of the increasing biodiversity in our state," said Chandler. "However, the predation by these non-native wolves--timber wolves and red wolves, not normally part of our desert ecosystem, must be stopped by any means we have at our disposal."

A timber wolf was shot and killed by George Wyeth, an attendant at the Onion Creek Country Club, Thursday at 6 a.m. Wyeth, who regularly maintains portions of the south Austin golf course, said that he had seen traces of wolves in Onion Creek before. "I've been working here for eight years now. Back when it froze over that winter, 1996 maybe, they started coming over--we're kind of near the edge of town," he said. "Now they'll go anywhere. They're not afraid of people anymore."

Three wolves were seen in the Onion Creek subdivision by various witnesses, but according to Wyeth they were most often seen on the country club's land near dawn. Club members were afraid that people using the course in the early morning would be attacked.

Jacob Williamson 9802-157