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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 19, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday Feb A State and National News Texans split on concealed gun bill AUSTIN AP As the Legis lature prepares to begin debate on a bill that would allow Texans to car ry concealed weapons a new poll shows the state is nearly split on the issue According to results of the latest Texas Poll released Friday 51 per cent of Texans said they support allowing private citizens to carry concealed guns with a permit Fortysix percent said they are opposed Three percent said they had no opinion The poll based on a telephone survey of adults from Feb 2 11 was conducted for HarteHan ks Communications Inc by the Office of Survey Research of the University of Texas It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent making the survey a near statistical dead heat said Texas Poll director Candace Windel You generally dont have pub lic opinion so close people are really she said The results show little change from a similar Texas Poll conduct ed in 1993 in which 48 percent sur veyed said they would support the right to carry while 47 percent opposed it Five percent said they had no opinion The Legislature ultimately passed a bill in 1993 that called for Texans to vote on whether they should have the right to carry con cealed guns But the bill was vetoed by thenGov Ann Richards The latest Texas Poll also asked Texans whether they believe that restrictions on gun sales should be tightened Fortysix percent of the respondents said restrictions on gun sales should be increased while 23 percent said they should be decreased 28 percent said they should remain the same and 3 per cent said they didnt know Currently the federal Brady law requires criminal background checks for handgun buyers Within two weeks hearings will begin in the Legislature on a bill that would allow Texans to obtain licenses to carry weapons Licensees would have to be over age 21 have no criminal record or mental disability and would be required to undergo a minimum of 15 hours of firearms training and pass a written test and proficiency exam Gov George W Bush has said he would sign such a bill into law IJERR shooter convicted of murder MINEOLA AP In a court room packed with survivors of his attack and families of his victims the man accused of gunning down six people on a commuter train listened impassively as the jury returned the verdict even he expected Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty A smattering of applause greeted the first guilty verdict Friday night and the court room erupted in cheers when a handcuffed Colin Ferguson was led out by court offi cers Jury foreman Delton Dove sat in the jury box crying and clasping his arms Ferguson who faces life in prison will be sentenced March 20 Im sure hes suffering now arid that makes me feel said Robert Giugliano a passenger who was shot point blank in the chest but recovered to testify against Ferguson I never want to hear his name said Carolyn McCarthy whose husband was killed and son Kevin crippled in the massacre Hes not worth my Hes not worth my Ferguson armed with a 9mm semiauto matic pistol walked down the aisle of a crowded Long island Rail Road train on Dec firing randomly at commuters He killed six and wounded 19 Backers see kenaf as a potential savior of rural Texas towns LADONIA Texas AP In a lit tleknown crop called kenaf Robert E Bledsoe sees a miracle plant that could provide sustenance for withering rural towns With stalks and white blooms that look something like overgrown okra kenaf has been touted for everything from making paper to feeding cattle to sopping up oil spills And for home insulation packaging rope plastic blend fiberglass substitute animal lit ter and bedding the list goes on and on This is what it can change It can bring dead towns back to says Bledsoe a founder of the Internation al Kenaf Association and devoted kenaf promoter Kenaf will be the of the future It will But like with any new crop the real ity still falls far short of Bledsoes The plant Hibiscus cannabinus is a native of Egypt and one of the worlds oldest fiber crops A member of the mallow family and cousin of cotton and okra kenaf can grow where cotton does in the United States Lightweight fiber from the stalks bark and core long has been used to make paper rope other fiber goods in Asia while the leaves laves are high in protein and can be used as livestock feed Unlike trees which take decades to i mature kenaf can grow to its full 4 height of 14 feet or more in about five months meaning its a quick renewable resource that needs less energy to process than paper It is also drought resistant and rarely needs pesticides Its just really nothing more than a said Gib Lewis former Texas House Speaker and president of Lewis Label Products in Fort Worth which recently printed color seed packet labels on kenaf stock for Bledsoe who owns a label company in Ladonia some 70 miles northeast of Dallas Kenaf has been the subject of exper imentation by researchers for the past halfcentury It gained visibility in the 1980s as newsprint prices soared and some newspaper publishers inves tigated it as a possible replacement But then prices dropped and the plans were scuttled Its just been one thing after anoth er like said Charles Cook a plant geneticist with the Department of Agri culture in Weslaco Pulp prices are back up sharply making kenaf prices more competitive with paper But high startup costs and other factors mean newsprint is not considered among the most promising shortterm markets Researchers estimate there are between and acres of kenaf in production Cook reckons about onethird of that is in Texas with most of the rest in Mississippi California and Louisiana There isnt any reason for farmers to grow the plant until marketable prod ucts and willing investors are found You have to develop a system thats marketdriven Just because you can grow kenaf doesnt mean that any bodys going to buy said Charles Taylor president of Kenaf Interna tional Ltd in McAllen Growing it is not the difficult part Its putting in the entire system and that means investing in the technology and the equipment and the market The fledgling industry has some fractious divisions among its mem bers partly spurred by competition for government grants and private invest ment It also endures the minor irritant of those who mistake a short forkleafed variety for marijuana Bledsoe found thousands of cuts in his field which he assumes were used recreationally although kenaf doesnt produce mari juanas effects I can picture four or five kids sitting and saying Man this is some good Bledsoe laughs But little by little the markets are being developed In perhaps the most advanced Tom Rymsza of Albuquerque is mak ing premium paper used by some major companies and to print the Earth Island Journal Rymsza said the first book printed on kenaf paper is even due out next month Let the Moun tains Talk Let the Rivers Run by David Brower considered the father of the modem environmental movement A Fort Worth company Alpha Omega Printing Graphics became the first commercial printers in the nation to use kenaf Kestrel Printing Inc in Austin also uses kenaf for some of its largest customers And in South Texas Kinney Bond ed Warehouse based in Donna with a plant in Lasara makes a kenaf blend potting mix sold mainly to pro fessional growers Sales have risen to some cubic yards a year for the customblend mix Other kenaf applications are being developed in Mississippi Louisiana and California Taylor is the major kenaf raiser in Texas and one of the growing handful nationwide His company harvested some 700 acres of kenaf last year for fiber plus another few hundred for seed to sell Taylor provides and processes the kenaf for Kinneys potting mix at his Lasara fiber processing operation which is in its second full year of pro duction Weve made enough profit to stay in Taylor says of the 15 yearold company which has 15 FLORAL 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EntireStock pearls li Cookie Cake r CVII19 V i la Candy Making Items I OUR EVERYDAY LOW PRICE 001 Fabric Appliques OUR EVERYDAY LOW PRICE 4 66 Kl OUR EVERYDAY LOW PRICES AND PRE55 PLAIDS AND FROM DAN Rl ER I ioca conoM Sir l Portfolio Plaids Checks tto FROM DAISY UNSDOM TEA DfE NOvELTY ALL OVERS AND I CountryCuKXits DECORATOR FABRIC FROM PEEK PAN ANp MARCU 1 vxn conON i BLENDS 5 60 WIDE Decorator Prints Pillow Forms POPIN HANP WASHABLE FORMS YOUR CHOICE OF 16 OK IS SIZES 14 or 16 18 CALICO PRINTS FROM HOUSE 100 COTTON 45 WIDE Quittscapes Tiger LJy Group BENGAL BURLAP FROM JAMES THOMPSON 100 COTTON ASSORTED COLORS 56 WIPE Bengal Burlap 8UMECT TO 6UPTLYIH STOCK tELCCTlOH MAT VARY m PRICES GOOD THROUGH FEBRUARY NEW I3RAUNFELS 157 I35 SOUTH COURTYARD SHOPPING CENTER 6201047 STORE HOURS 96 MONPAYFRIDAY 96 SATURDAY 126 SUNDAY employees As he prepares for the March plant ing season Taylor says he believes kenaf will become an everyday crop in the next 1015 years He and others compare kenaf with the saga of soybeans which are now widespread but werent a major crop until the World War II era For kenaf to take a couple of decades to develop really thats on a fast track from an agricultural per Taylor said The biggest difficulty is financing Theres not a lot of financing out for people who are growing cotton and com so you can imagine what its like to go in with something with market he said In New Mexico Rymszas four yearold KP Products through its Vision Paper division may market tons of its premium paper this year still tiny by conventional stan dards but 10 times as much it did in the previous two years combined Companies and groups promote their environmental awareness by using his paper for highvisibility material such as brochures or letterheads Rymsza said Kenaf is the future of paper making With the issues over depleting supplies rising paper prices and envfc ronmental concern clearly making paper from a plant instead of a tree makes a lot of sense and has a tremenj dous he said Rymszas idea is to build kenaf mills in rural areas where the crop could be grown like cotton gins Similarly Bledsoe envisions a plant at Ladonia that would process kenaf animal feed and barbecue briquets Its going to take some time and marketing to do it and its going to take some public Gib Lewis said So Bledsoe keeps preaching the gospel as he prepares for the IKAs eighth annual kenaf conference soe expects more than 300 people some from as far away as Bangladesh China India and Japan to attend the meeting which will be held March 911 in Irving and will include a style show of clothing made of kenaf combed with yam It is fun I cant tell you the gratifi cation a person can get from doing something totally Bledsoe said Its like a fever that you cant get rid MONDAY ONLY PRESIDENTS DAY SALE TAKE AN EXTRA 20 OFF rcg price merchandise already low factory outlet prices Visa Mastercard Discover Accepted FACTORY OUTLET Quality Ladies Apparel Factory Direct New Braunfels Factory Store IH35 Exit 189 New Braunfels 6205015 San Marcos Factory Stores Suite 450B 7548534 Comal County Business HERALDZEITUNG 707 Landa 6259144 This special Honor Roll list shows how many years your Comal County business has been in operation The Honor Roll will publish in our Horizons 95 edition coming out March 26th The cost is only for Horizons advertisers and for all others Call Laura or Karen today and be part of the Comal County Business HONOR ROLL
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