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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 24, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas chwcfjtcn NEW I PELS f HERALDZEITUN Vol 149 No 26 30 pages in 3 sections December 24 1999 FRIDAY Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents Finding peace African family escapes violence to build new life in New Braunfels WAI Above With the help of former ambassador to Burundi Bob Krueger and his family 50yearold Marcien Rusuriye moved to New Braunfels earlier this month as a refugee with his wife and six of his children The family gathered Wednesday with Krueger his wife Kathleen and their three children Below Of the Christmas presents given to the family the favorite with 14 yearold Vanalet right and 19yearold Mark left is an NCAA basketball BY HEATHER TODD Staff Writer Marcien Rusuriye and his family were given the greatest Christmas gift this year the chance for a new life For the past two weeks Mar cien his wife and their six chil dren have lived without fear of gunfire The children are not afraid to play outside at night Marcien and his family came to the United States two weeks ago from Botswana after escap ing the violence in their native Burundi three years earlier Leaving behind a house land and four older married daugh ters in Burundi Marcien and his family armed with only what they could carry in suit cases arrived at San Antonio International Airport two weeks ago ready to start new lives The family was greeted by a welcome wagon of New Braun fels residents at the airport From there the family was tak en to their new home a modest house on Cross River Street in New Braunfels Although he has been here only two weeks Marcien 50 was quick to point out the biggest difference between his new life and his old one We can sleep in peace and there are not the sounds of he said The children are going to school in Living with violence Marcien his wife Pascasie and his children Mark 19 John 17 Vanalet 14 Mary 12 Odila 11 and Felicity 6 lived in Burundi in east central Africa where Marcien worked as a cook for the Ambas sador to Burundi In June 1993 local resident Bob Krueger a former Senator and congressman was appointed by President Clinton to be the ambassador to Burundi During his three years in Burundi Krueger said he received reports about hundreds of civilian massacred by the Burundi army including the killing of women and children For several decades a civil war has been ongoing between the countrys two main ethnic groups the Hutu and the Tutsi The Hutu of which Marcien and his family belong make up about 85 percent of the popula tion of Burundi The Tutsi make about 14 percent of Burundis population but Burundis army is primarily Tutsi and reinforces Tutsi con trol of the government Often Marcien said Tutsi soldiers would retaliate against attacks by Hutu rebels by killing Hutu civilians even small children Krueger said he visited See Dear Santa Find out what local students want for Christmas in our Christmas Wishes inside todays edition Shoppers running out of time for lastminute gifts BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer For most folks Christmas Eve is a day to wrap presents visit friends and family or start defrosting the Christmas turkey But for a select few Christmas Eve is a day of shopping and those last minute shoppers will have to get up early if theyre going to get presents for everyone on their list Most of the stores in New Braun fels will close early on Christmas Eve and not reopen until Sunday but some will remain open for last minute shopping Most stores are showing an increase in sales and some items have been selling quickly includ ing Pokemon electronics and video games Weve had an increase in sales this year over last Target Stores team relations leader Dion Davis said Its hard to promise were going to have everything in stock We have been getting some things Davis said the electronics and clothing departments were popular among customers this year Some of toys are selling very she said Pokemon Barbie and board games are all Kmarts toy department also saw an increase in sales If its got Pokemon on it then were selling operations man ager Edward Pacheco said Our pantry also is doing well We cant seem to keep milk in Hastings Books Music and Video even has gotten into the Pokemon craze Manager Randy Jonas said the Pokemon toys and games were real ly popular Sales have gone up this year especially with the Pokemon he said We do have some in If an avid golfer is on your Christmas list Golf USA has plen ty of supplies although most of the popular knickknack items wont be STORE HOURS WALMART SUPERCENTER 1209 Interstate 35 South Christmas Eve closes at 6 Christmas Day closed Sunday open at 6 KMART 1050 Interstate 35 East Christmas Eve 6 Christmas Day closed to 10 WUESTS SUPERMARKET 559 W San Antonio St Christmas Eve closes at 7 Christmas Day closed Sunday regular hours WUESTS SUPERMARKET 355 Landa St Christmas Eve closes at 7 Christmas Day closed Sunday regular hours ALBERTSONS 955 N Walnut Christmas Eve 6 Christmas Day closed Sunday open at 7 S Walnut Ave Christmas Eve closes at 8 Christmas Day closed Sunday open at 6 HANDY ANDY SUPERMARKET 147 Interstate 35 West Christmas Eve closes at 8 Christmas Day 8 to 4 Sunday 7 to 11 restocked for Christmas We have clubs and other items but a gift certificate is always the best store manager Bill Martin said Once the Christmas presents are See Here comes Santa Glaus times AMANDA Barbara Farmer of New Braunfels shows off just a small part of her collection of Santa Clauses BY CHRISTINA MINOR Staff Writer Most people think of Santa Claus visiting good little boys and girls on Christmas Eve but a local couple has put a new spin on visits from the jolly old man Every Thanksgiving Harold and Barbara Farmer of New Braunfels take their annual trip to a local stor age shed and haul more than Santa Clauses home We were decorating the tree one Christmas and I noticed I had a lot of Santas for the Barbara Fanner said It kind of evolved from The Farmers take two to three weeks to set out all the Santas both inside and outside the house All 98 banana boxes which store the San tas are marked and catalogued so the Fanners know exactly where each Santa Claus belongs Banana boxes are the best boxes to stack Harold Fanner said It usually takes us several trips to get them all home Right now all the boxes are stored in the garage There are so many we cant even park the car in Barbara has collected every kind of Santa Claus from ornaments to figurines to toothbrushes Once she gets a new Santa it is numbered and catalogued I write down all the information about that Santa where I got it the cost what kind it is and who gave it to she said We have to be organized otherwise we couldnt handle Eight years ago the catalogue sys tem was a blessing when a fire destroyed the unit storing the boxes of Santas The Farmers lost almost See INSIDE Key code 76
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