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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, August 05, 1999

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 5, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas JtiSk.    20332 '■alasass.,-:*p    c.n WES' 11    t BR N EW iJ&SykBWFELS 7 6 i vc* c*T \ I a -x ' 2622 E Vt*tt*LL El POSO ,TX TOODHerald-Zeitung _ :shh^hhc: zzzzzzz::    :..............1    ~    :       - Vol. 148, No. 185    16    pages    in    I    section    August    5,    1999    ^pjH^CnAy    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    centsTreefrog Ed WHAT: Science, Math and technology adventure center and educational toy/book store at 125 N. Casten Ave. HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Sat-urday Hands-on learning WAI U/Herald-Zeitung Above, a participant at Treefrog Ed, 125 N. Casten Ave., pets a lizard perched on the back of Kelli Kerbing. Treefrog Ed, a science, math and technology adventure center and educational toy/book store, opened on July 16. Below, Kensing uses live animals and insects to help children learn the about their features and characteristics. Treefrog Ed provides living laboratory for area students vate students, owner Karen McDonell said. “I wanted something to teach kids how exciting it is to learn,” she said. She made it easy with colorful, interactive displays and animals in every comer. By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer Sometimes all kids need is a prehensile-tailed skink. The snake-1 izard recently managed to charm a shy, blonde-haired girl into learning and having fun at Treeffog Ed, a new education center in downtown New Braunfels. “I don’t know if I want to do this,” she initially whispered to a hovering adult. Moments later she was poised at the activity center, one hand gripping the beige countertop close to where the yet-unnamed skink rested. The other hand frantically shot upward. Kelli Kensing, the certified teacher leading the activity, had asked the group of students to compare and contrast the skink with Ka, the ball python. “One of them has scales that are closer together,” the girl said, eyes wide open, face hopeful. “That’s right,” Kensing said. It was a textbook moment for Treefrog Ed, a science, math and technology adventure center and educational toy/book store that opened July 16 at 125 N. Casted, a few buildings north of San Antonio Street. The whole point of the store was to moti- McDonell’s brainchild houses an Amazon perch, tree frogs, a bearded dragon and a chameleon, which rids the store of pesky flies. Oh, and don’t forget the Madagascar hissing cockroaches. ‘This is the thing that gets to people,” McDonell said. She then reached into a glass container and pulled out a 3-inch long cockroach. The beetle-like insect crawled across McDonell’s hand and let out a hiss when she touched its back. Laughing, she said, “I wouldn’t have done this a few weeks ago.” But she might have thought about it — Treefrog Ed has been in the making for several years. “Ever since my son got into school, I’ve wanted to do this,” she said. Her son, Shan, 9, actually came up w ith the idea for the name of the store and, in second grade, drew the picture of the treefrog now used as the store’s logo. McDonell and her family moved to New Braunfels two years ago from Lubbock, where she owned an environmental laboratory with her husband, Bruce, and other busi-See LABORATORY/5Football season arrives New Braunfels football coach Tim Kingsbury gives instructions to the Unicorns during Wednesday’s practice, the team’s first this season. For more on area football teams, see page 8. AMANDA BECK/ Herald-Zettung Inside Abby............................ 7 Classifieds.................. .12-16 Comics......................... .......10 Crossword................... ........^ Forum.......................... ........6 Local/Metro.................. ........4 Movies......................... ........7 Obituaries.................... ........3 Sports........................... 8-9 Today........................... ........2 Television..................... ......10 Key code 76 HEATHER TODD/HeraW-Zeitung Marlena Schlather shops for back-to-school clothing Wednesday with her granddaughter, Bethany, 7, at Wal-Mart, 1209 Interstate 35 South. Schlather said she hoped to save money during this weekend’s tax-free holiday. Back-to-school shoppers get ready for sales tax holiday By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels resident Marlena Schlather is getting a head start on some of her back-to-school shopping this week. With four school-age grandchildren — ranging in age from 5 to 12 — Schlather said she planned to take advantage of some savings during tax-free shopping this weekend. - “I think it’ll be well worth my time, What’s tax free ^ut J change my mind if the what ian’t * crowds ** bad,” she said. p _    Schlather isn’t the only one worried rage o about packed crowds at local stores. - Retailers are extending store hours and beefing up their staffs in preparation for a back-to-school, tax-free shopping frenzy that will start at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Thanks to a $560 million tax relief bill approv ed by state legislators this year, Texans will enjoy their first-ever sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Texas shoppers w ill enjoy 72 hours of tax-free purchases on exempt items each costing less than $ I OO. Shoppers also will have no limit on how much they can spend. The holiday w ill exempt most items of adult and children’s clothing and footwear from the usual 8.25 percent state and local sales taxes. That means residents can save a little more than $4 on a pair of shoes costing $50, or $16.50 on several items costing a total of $200. The state receives 6.25 percent of the 8.25 percent sales tax. The city of New Braunfels receives 1.5 percent and Comal County receives 0.5 percent. Next year, local taxing entities can decide whether they will participate in the sales tax holiday. State officials said the sales tax holiday was expected to save Texas families more than $ 11 million this year and more than $85 million over a three-year period. But Michael Meek, president of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc., said the loss in local sales tax revenue could affect city infrastructure projects “That sales tax is used locally to build streets, roads and drainage projects,” he said. “I hope there isn’t a major impact.” Adam Wellman, assistant manager at Target, 642 South Walnut Ave., said store employees would be armed with lists of tax-exempt items to help customers. “Employees w ill have lists handy that show what’s exempt and what’s not, so they can answer any questions,” he said. Wertman said he expected a “better than average” crowd. “We’re beefing up the number of our employees. I think aSee HOLIDAY/5 EAA: Cloud seeding gives aquifer a boost By Chris Crews Staff Writer The Edwards Aquifer Authority’s precipitation enhancement program provided a 15 percent jump in rainfall this year, officials said Wednesday. “Cloud seeding is being recognized as a process producing a lot of results and with a lot of credibility,” said Robert W. Bader, EAA project manager Bader told the Natural Resources Committee of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, Inc. that die program was one of seven in the state and that cloud seeding directly affected more than one-fourth of Texas’ total acreage. Bader said a meteorologist selects clouds with the potential for rainfall and directs pilots to them. The pilot then drops flares containing silver iodide into the clouds. One sign of the program’s success was to watch a group of similar clouds on radar and see the seeded cloud produce rain, Bader said. This is the first year of the $500,000 program that began on April 15 and runs through Sept. 15. Doug Miller, Comal County’s representative on the EAA board, said the program’s first year was a success and the board would consider funding the project again. Funding is divided evenly between the EAA and the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission. “We’re going to look at what we get for half a million dollars of EAA money and see if the state will continue to match it,” Miller said. ;