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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 25, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas SUNDAY DECEMBER ZEITUNG SPORTS HONOR ROLL The HeraldZeitung unveils its picks of the top volleyball players in Comal Page 1B LIFE STAYING HOME Holiday fun for the entire family may be as close as the nearest video rental Page 1C 339 30 5 sections CLICK Comal County since D Sunny High Low DEARABBY 3E CLASSIFIEDS ID COMICS 4C CROSSWORD 4C FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS IB TV GRIDS Evacuees grateful to be home for Christmas By Leigh Jones Staff Writer Many of the families that found themselves sheltering in New Braunfels after Hurricane Katri na made a wreck of their lives have gone back home to begin They returned to suffering and in some cases a sense of With so much to do just to feel normal decking the halls and spreading good cheer is hard to squeeze Christmas this year is bitter They are happy to be but celebrating the usual joy of the season is a difficult Two families shared the tri umphs and disappointments of their first postKatrina Christmas with the HeraldZeitung earlier this TheBraceys Mike Bracey led 25 members of his immediate and extended fam ily out of New Orleans in a They ended up at New Braun fels Roadway where they waited for any news of Although the reports from all over the city were Bracey and his wife Charlotte could get no tidings of their We had no idea what we would find when we got he It was pretty Six weeks after they left their the couple returned to find only minimal The insur ance company valued it at but Bracey downplayed the It really wasnt bad at The biggest problem was finding con tractors to do the he After getting a new roof the house was almost as good as The remaining damage will be replaced when workers are easier to come Bracey returned to work almost His job as a planner for Jefferson Parish was the only reason the couple returned to New I have 22 years and I can retire at he Thats too close to walk away I would lose all my benefits if I See Page 8A Photo courtesy of Chris Richard Mud lines the home of Chris showing where floodwaters entered dur ing flooding in New LASTMINUTE RUSH Shoppers use every minute while looking for perfect gift Staff Writer Santa wasnt the only one in a hurry on Christmas All over New shoppers were rushing to find that perfect or any gift at A shopper who wanted to be known only as Pete was found gathering gifts for his girlfriend in the womens clothing section of I always wait until the last minute because Im always busy with other he Ive got two more stops and Im another undercover shopper identified as Fred was putting the finishing touches on shopping for his This is 1 percentshopping for those extra he Weve been doing Christmas shopping all but I wanted to find one more thing for my Mark Garrison said his family also has most of the shopping he said his wife is the reason that the Garrison clan was hanging around the Target toy aisle Christmas She ends up needing one more and I end up watching the he said with a Lesa Ackeroyd opted to stay away from big stores Saturday and picked up extra gifts inthe aisles of I had to get some prints made here she I just have to pick up a few things for some Photos by DAVID Tanya does some lastminute shopping for her nieces and nephews at Target on Christmas Ernestos Jewelry sales manager Estella Paredez helps Rhea White pick out a cross necklace for her husband as the final hours for Christmas shopping ticked friends and a distant relative and my dogs Liz Sawdon also preferred Wai greens as a nontraditional shop ping Weve been helping my whos moving to San and we havent had a chance to buy a lot of she I thought we could just pick up some things While many lastminute gifts were stocking stuffers and other small some shoppers ventured out on Christmas Eve with a At Ernestos Jewelry Andrew McHenry was searching See Page 8A 2005 THIYIAR THAT The APs top 10 stories of the year Faces of suffering The year in Washington Energy prices loomed large FRIDAY Information Age in high gear SATURDAY Texas deals with drought 1 The top 10 stories of the year in Comal County Hurricane Katrina dominated headlines in 2005 By David Crary AP National Writer NEW YORK The onslaught of Gulf Coast notably Kat rina and the deadly flooding which devastated New was over whelmingly picked by editors and news directors as the top story of 2005 in The Associated Press annual The hurricanes received 242 first place votes out of 288 ballots No other story received more than 18 firstplace The death of Pope John Paul and the election of Joseph Ratzinger to succeed him as Pope Benedict was the 2 followed by the situation in where news of violence and politics vied for atten tion throughout the Iraq was voted the top story in 2002 and and was runnerup in 2004 to the election in which President Bush won a second Here are 2005s top 10 as voted by AP members Hurricane Katrina Days in America knew if was com But even though Hurricane Kat rina weakened slightly from its frightening Category 5 its impact was It killed more than people in five rav aged the Mississippi Gulf Coast and set off flooding that submerged 80 percent of New forcing the largest urban dislocation in his Hurricanes Wilma and Rita also inflicted severe See Page 6A DAVID Firefighters battle a blaze that filled the sky over New Braunfels with Wildfire covers NB in smoke From staff reports A series of grass fires blanketed parts of New Braunfels in a haze of white smoke Saturday Extreme dry conditions and a stiff breeze canied the blaze from field to field as smoke and embers blew through the The fire erupted in die middle of the after noon and pushed by the heavy quickly began to At one three See Page 2A COMING TUESDAY Back to the stores The Christmas shopping rush continues as people return gifts and cash in those gift Local nonprofits revel in season of good will By Jessica Sanders Staff Writer Nonprofit organizations all over Comal County are looking back on 2005 and counting their blessings and their dona Doug president of the United Way of Comal said his group is expecting to reach its annual goal of after corporate donations are made He said the final count wont be available until after the new but businesses and individuals have done their Right now we have a total of he Over in charitable dona tions is from December is the last month to count char itable giving toward next years tax See Page 9A Susan Sonier or Jerry 1
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