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View Sample Pages : New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, December 24, 1999

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 24, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas grolje^eiimdjtcu (^(m^ QjktitnmSJIL New FELS i CSSTftxw EL 6? "Ti^ T    ..... P,‘,S0'    FX    mo    3 Herald-Zeitung __________ \— Vol. 149, No. 26    30    pages    in    3    sections    December    24,    1999 F RI DAY Serving Comal County since 1852 I 50 cents bear Santa, Find out what local students want for Christmas in our Christmas Wishes inside today’s edition! Shoppers running out of time for last-minute 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 they’re going to get presents for everyone on their list. Most of the stores in New Braunfels 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, including Pokemon, electronics and video games. “We’ve had an increase in sales this year over last year,” Target Stores team relations leader Dion Davis said. “It’s hard to promise we’re going to have everything in stock. We have been getting some things in.” Davis said the electronics and clothing departments were popular among customers this year. “Some of toys are selling very well,” she said. “Pokemon, Barbie and board games are all popular.” Kmart’s toy department also saw an increase in sales. “If it’s got Pokemon on it, then we’re selling out,” operations manager Edward Pacheco said. “Our pantry also is doing well. We can’t seem to keep milk in stock.” Hastings Books, Music and Video even has gotten into the Pokemon craze. Manager Randy Jonas said the Pokemon toys and games were really popular. “Sales have gone up this year, especially with the Pokemon items,” he said. “We do have some in stock.” If an avid golfer is on your Christmas list, Golf USA has plenty of supplies, although most of the popular knick-knack items won’t be Store Hours WAL-MART SUPERCENTER, 1209 Interstate 35 South: Christmas Eve — closes at 6 p.m. Christmas Day — closed Sunday — open at 6 a.m. KMART, 1050 Interstate 35 East Christmas Eve — 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Christmas Day — closed Sunday — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. WUESTS SUPERMARKET, 559 W. San Antonio St. Christmas Eve — closes at 7 p.m. Christmas Day — closed Sunday — regular hours WUESTS SUPERMARKET, 355 Landa St. Christmas Eve — closes at 7 p.m. Christmas Day — closed Sunday — regular hours ALBERTSON’S, 955 N. Walnut Christmas Eve — 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Christmas Day - closed Sunday - open at 7 a.m. H-E-B, 651 S. Walnut Ave. Christmas Eve — closes at 8 p.m. Christmas Day — closed Sunday — open at 6 a.m. HANDY ANDY SUPERMARKET, 147 Interstate 35 West Christmas Eve — closes at 8 p.m. Christmas Day — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday — 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. restocked for Christmas. “We have clubs and other items, but a gift certificate is always the best solution,” store manager Bill Martin said. Once the Christmas presents are See SHOPPERS/5A Finding peace African family escapes violence to build new life in New Braunfels WAI Ll/Herald-Zeitung Above: With the help of former U.S. ambassador to Burundi Bob Krueger and his family, 50-year-old 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-year-old Vanalet, right, and 19-year-old 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, Marcien, his wife and their six children 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 escaping the violence in their native Burundi three years earlier. Leaving behind a house, land and four older married daughters in Burundi, Marcien and his family, armed with only what they could carry in suitcases, arrived at San Antonio International Airport two weeks ago ready to start new lives. The family was greeted by a welcome wagon of New Braunfels 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 guns,” he said. “The children are going to school in peace.” 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 U.S. Ambassador to Burundi. In June 1993, local resident Bob Krueger, a former U.S. Senator and congressman, was appointed by President Clinton to be the U.S. ambassador to Burundi. During his three years in Burundi, Krueger said he received reports about hundreds of civilian massacred by the Bur undi army, including the killing of women and children. For several decades, a civil war has been ongoing between the country’s 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 population of Burundi. The Tutsi make about 14 percent of Burundi’s population, but Burundi’s army is primarily Tutsi and reinforces Tutsi control 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 PEACE/3A Here comes Santa Claus — 2,800 timesInside AMANDA BECK/Herald-Zeitung Barbara Farmer of New Braunfels shows off just a small part of her collection of 2,800-plus 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 storage shed and haul more than 2,800 Santa Clauses home. “We were decorating the tree one Christmas, and I noticed I had a lot of Santas for the tree,” Barbara Farmer said. “It kind of evolved from there.” 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 Santas, are marked and catalogued, so the Farmers know exactly where each Santa Claus belongs. “Banana boxes are the best boxes to stack items,” Harold Farmer 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 can’t even park the car in there.” 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 me,” she said. “We have to be organized; otherwise we couldn’t handle it.” Eight years ago, the catalogue system was a blessing when a fire destroyed the unit storing the boxes of Santas. The Farmers lost almost See SANTALA Abby...............................7A Classifieds.....................5-1    OB Comics...............................8A Crossword..........................7A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies................................7A Obituaries...........................3A Sports..............................1-3B Today...............................,.2A Television..........................8A Key code 76 ;