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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 19, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas NEW BRAUNFELS THURSDAY June 19 2003 16 pages in 2 sections Vol 152 No 186 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Potter party planned for Saturday tttfJy Potter BY DYLAN JIMENEZ Staff writer While the world waits for the fifth book in the Harry Potter series to go on sale Saturday 260 copies of the book will be waiting patiently in a back room at Hastings Book Music and Video in the Market place shopping center The book Harry Potter and the Order of the will be avail able for purchase one minute after midnight Saturday To celebrate the release of the book Hastings will host Harry Pot ter trivia games at 10 and free pizza at 11 Friday to entertain anticipated crowds Employees also will be dressed in wizard costumesi More than half of the books have already been reserved and the remaining copies will be sold on a firstcome firstserved basis at a 45 percent discount Gerri Gallegos Hastings book manager said employees have had many inquiries about the new release She expects the store to sell out by the close of business Saturday Harry Potter is such a huge Gallegos said We have had so many people asking about An avid Potter fan Gallegos also has been anticipating the latest release of the bestselling series She claims she wont peak at the book once it arrives at Hastings until they officially go on sale But she admits it is tempting Part of the fun is the Gallegos said and that everyone is going to enjoy it at the same time I have to wait just like everyone Gallegos expects just as many adults as kids Friday night espe cially those who dont want to fight the crowds of children Saturday Hastings will host a release par ty with a magic show and a reading Going out with a bloom K JESSIE James Mosier stands next to the 22yearold century planf in his yard that is blooming for the first last and only time in its life Blooming saps all of the nutrients and water from the plant leaving the agave cactus a dying brown withered shadow of its former glory All about the agave The agave cactus or century dies after blooming The name century plant comes from a legend that the plant only flowered once every 100 years Master Gardener vlnce Cavanaugh said the plants probably dont take 1QO years to bloom but the term century plant stuck because it takes a very long time for the cactus to flower V The agave cactus is a native of Mexico and is often cultivated from Texas to Florida as an ornamental plant It is also cultivated extensively In the West Indies and in Europe along the Mediterranean The genus name agave is from the Greek word agave meaning Other names In use for the plant are American Flowering AJoe andSpiked Exotic cactus plant flowers once before its 22yearlong life ends BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer McQUEENEY James Mosier waited 22 years for his agave cactus plant to bloom Now hell have only weeks to enjoy it The agave plant blooms every 15 to 20 said Mosier Its sole purpose is to bloom Then it Mosier pointed out the lemoncolored blooms on palms of the 20foot tall plant The cactus is growing against the fence in the front yard of his residence at 408 E Zipp Road Theyre very very Mosier said of the plants This is the second time weve had one bloom out Mosier has two agave plants on his two acre property that is festooned with plants aridtrees He said the cactus grows 15 to 20 feet tall The plant that is now blooming was plant ed 22 years ago Mosier used to work for a company in Houston While driving to work he saw the plants along the highway near Fredericks burg and Kerrville The plants were about a foot tall I dug em up and I brought them Mosier said Ive got em scattered around here I didnt know anything about them at the Mosier said it amuses him to see how tall the plant is today But he knows his enjoy ment will be shortlived Some of the leaves on the plant are wilted which means that even though the cactus is blooming parts of the plant are beginning to die off Mosier said he will keep the plant around for a while after it dies dries up and turns brown If I had a boutique store I could put it in there for Mosier said Tve been in Dallas in the stores up there and some thing like that theyd just go bonkers over Mosier said the plants are hard to find because it can take years before the plant is large enough to clearly identify as an agave cactus The plant is pretty easy to care for Mosier said I do he said It does its own thing just sits out there It doesnt need any care nothing You could have a whole garden full and you wouldnt have to do anything No Mosier said the plants have thorns on See BLOOM73A Ag commissioner addresses child obesity problem BY SEAN BOWLIN Staff Writer Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs said Wednes day Texas is full of overweight kids she thinks the food being served in schools could have something to do with it Combs was in New Braun fels to address the Capitol Area School Health Leadership Institute a longterm project sponsored by the American Cancer Society The group held a meeting at the TBarM Ranch Combs who spoke pn the topic of Healthy Food for Healthy said Texas is seeing an alarming increase in obesity in children which can lead to heart disease blindness stroke and loss of limbs later in life The problem is so severe she said the state is going to COMBS conduct a study on childhood obesity As part of the Combs the state commissioner of health and the state commis sioner of education will exam ine all food served to children in Texas schools That study will include school breakfasts school lunches and foods served from vending machines Financial physio logical and sociologi cal costs of the foods served will be exam ined Combs said The study will try to determine if health insurance premiums for school districts are impacted by the obesity problem Its not just the students who are overweight Combs pointed out that in the South San Antonio Inde See Juneteenth holiday marks end of slavery in Texas BY DYLAN Staff Writer Juneteenth the anniver sary of the end of slavery in Texas will be celebrated today by blacks across the Lone Star State Although the Emancipa tion Proclamation was issued on Jan news of the freeing of slaves didnt reach Texas until June more than two years later The Rev Bobby F Lewis of Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church said the holiday is about over coming lifes obstacles Its a reminder that peo ple before us were in he said The Texas holiday is Apiece of history The Emancipation Proclamation a 140yearold original docu ment issued by President Abraham Lincoln to free American be ondisplay this weekend in San Antonio In celebration of Juneteenth the historic document will be available for viewing from 10 to 5 Thursday through Saturday and from noon to 5 Sunday at the Witte Museum Lerone Bennett writer and social historian and editor of Ebony magazine will speak at 3 Sunday A reception will follow The talk is free with museum admission which Is for adults for seniors and for children more than 3 years old INSIDE 12B A I K Mil Al I I Y Health Alert The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Alamo Area Council of Governments has declared today an Air Quality Health Alert Day i Reduce unnecessary vehi cle driving i Carpool if possible or com bine ail errands Into one trip Ayojd use of drive through lanes or services i Dont refuel during daylight Avoid use of gaspowered yard equipment exterior Jalnting Pollution levels are posted online at Commissioners thank NRCS for help with flood cleanup BY RON MALONEY Staff Writer Comal County officials are praising the efforts of the fed eral agency that has twice come to the aid of this region after a flood emergency Commissioners issued a proclamation Thursday laud ing the Natural Resource Conservation Service for its cleanup of the river The NRCS is division of the US of Agri agriculture soil and water resources Jt the Gjuftdahipe River and its banks after the October 1998 flood and county officials said did a tremendous job In 2002 the floodwater was rushing through New Braun fels when on Saturday July 6 County Engineer Tom Hornseth contacted the NRCS and asked if it was willing to come back to New I was over in the EOC when we started getting all these damage Hornseth remembered from 1098 that tiie NRCS has Iwnited rsfojywspps an4 that they treat applications on a firstcome firstserved basis We were first and it maxi mized the help we During that flood we had a lot of agencies help us and some others not help us The NRCS is the group that stood behind us 100 percent and those guys need a pat on the Hornseth said These federal agencies arent always appreciated and theyre constantly under attack and their budgets are being slashed Of all the agencies we dealt with the NRCS was the real team Hornseth singled out NRCS state engineer John Mueller area supervisor Tim Buscha and project manager Lee Wei derhold who worked both cleanups Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson shared his rec ollections of 1999 the last time he and Rehfel parted ways Butch back in 1998 I enjoyed working with you and all the other people at the Dawson said 1 shook your hand and said wed ably never meet each other again but I was wrong This time ni just say I hope J dont see you again in four
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