New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 25, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
‘U’ did it!
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
16 pages in two sections ■ Thursday, December 25,1997
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of
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Dear Abby ............................3A
Birthday wishas from tho Horald-Zaitung!
The New Braunfels Herald' Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Glenn Timmermann
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
Ifs going to bo a beautiful Christmas Today — Partly cloudy with increasing clouds late. Highs in the mid 60s.
Tonight, mostly cloudy and cool. Lows in the lower 40s.
Friday and Saturday — Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Lows in the 30s. Highs in the 50s.
Sunday — Decreasing clouds with rain ending.
Lows in the 30s. Highs in the 50s.
School’s out until 1998
Schools and offices of New Braunfels Independent School District will be closed through Jan. 2. Employees return Jan. 5, while students begin the second semester Jan. 6.
The Tax Office, which collects taxes for. the school
district and the city of New Braunfels, will be closed Monday through Friday, but it will be open the last three days of December. Closed on Jan. 1, it will be open Jan. 2. Office hours for the Tax Office are 8 a m. to 5 p.m.
Comal Independent School District offices and schools will be closed through Jan. 2. The Cl SD central office will reopen at 8 a m. Jan. 5. School will begin Jan. 6.
Post office closed for Christmas
Window service for the New Braunfels post office is closed today. The office also will close at noon on Dec.
31. Express mail, parcels and priority mail may be picked up until 4 p.m. by stopping at the caller service window.
Christmas truss have sscond Ufo
The city of New Braunfels and New Braunfels Utilities will sponsor the 11th annual Christmas tree recycling program starting Monday Residents can drop off live trees at a specially marked area in the Olympic Swimming Pool parking lot at the intersection of Landa Park Drive and Golf Course Road in Landa Park through Jan. 19 For information, call 608-2160.
H-Z officss clossd
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung offices are closed today but will open at 8 a m. Friday
City officss not ofMMi today
Down at city hall, offices will be closed Wednesday and Thursday in observance of Christmas. There will be regular garbage and recycling collection on Wednesday but not Thursday Residents who miss recycling col lection on Christmas Day will have their recyclables collected on Saturday.
Christmas Eve fire damages motel rooms
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
A Wednesday afternoon fire damaged as many as 11 second-floor rooms at the Oakwood Inn motel on Texas 46 across from Kmart.
However, no injuries were reported by officials.
The fire did not start in a guest room, said New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief John Herber.
“It appears it started in the attic area
near the heating unit for room 215,” Herber said.
Flames from the fire spread to room 215; and smoke filled at least nine and perhaps up to 11, second-floor rooms.
“We had a high smoke battle at first,” he said.
Seven or eight people were staying in the smoke-damaged rooms, Herber said, but no one was in room 215 or the adjacent rooms when the fire started.
The motel’s desk clerk, who asked to remain anonymous, calili 911 at 4:20,
according to New Braunfels Police Department dispatch.
NBFD sent three engine companies, one ladder truck and one EMS unit to the Oakwood Inn, Herber said.
Occupants of the damaged rooms removed their belongings and moved to other rooms.
One guest said he would not stay the remaining four days for which he had paid.
“I’m not staying here anymore,” he
Tiding# of joy
Local retailers sing praises of successful shopping season
By SUSAN FLYNT ENGLAND
story — Page 5A
Texas retailers — and New Braunfels merchants in particular — might have a merrier Christmas than those nationwide.
Five local special-ty shops all reported holiday sales up considerably from last year — Tobacco Haus, Angels and Inspirations, Back to ■ »■
Nature, Gruene Outfitters and Buck Pottery.
“It’s definitely better than last year,” said Gruene Outfitters employee Ted Brinegar. “Probably 10-plus percent.”
Mary Jane Nalley of Gruene Merchants Association said the Gruene retailers with whom she had spoken saw sales exceeding last year’s.
Back to Nature manager Cheryl Kottwitz was too busy to take much time away from her customers, but she said the shop’s second Christmas shopping season was “wonderful, fantastic.”
On Seguin Avenue near Main Plaza, Back to Nature specializes in bird feeders and nature-related educational toys.
Winter Texans who visited Tobacco Haus on San Antonio Street last year found their way back this season, said owner Lisa Rep-ka.
“We are up from last year; we are definitely up from last year,” Repka said.
Buck Pottery’s steady local clientele has come through for the Gruene pottery studio, said owner Dee Buck.
“It’s been really busy here ... in general this whole year has been really strong for us,” Buck said.
A 16-year low in unemployment helped make the holidays merry and blight for retailers statewide, said Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts John Sharp.
“Sales tax prepayments made by major (Texas) retailers for November and the fourth quarter of 1997 are one element of the holiday sales forecast,” Sharp said. “Prepayments this year indicate that retailers
Stetere-in-tew Elton Gregory and Wadaaactay afternoon at Gruano
expect sales to be up 8.9 percent.”
The national retail picture is not so bri^it. Sharp said.
Hwakl-Zwtung photo by Susan Rynt England last-minute shopping
“Consumer confidence is running higher in Texas than elsewhere in the nation,” he said.
Turn to Shopping, Page 2A
battle a fire
Herald-Zeitung photo by Susan Rynt England
’Twas crowded, congested on 1-35 Wednesday
BY SUSAN JAKOBSEN
Travelers pushing to reach Christmas Day destinations kept traffic flow heavy on Interstate 35 Wednesday.
However, thanks to the fair weather, officials reported few Comal County accidents by afternoon Christmas Eve.
Texas Department of Safety reported congestion on 1-35 southbound Wednesday afternoon, the busiest of three major thoroughfares near New Braunfels.
“It’s very heavy,” said DPS officer Timothy Upright. “(Interstate) 35 almost looks like a parking lot going south.”
Ongoing construction on 1-35 south of New Braunfels and high traffic flows led to congestion, said Upright. Other thoroughfares, including Texas 46 and U.S. 281, were well-traveled, too.
DPS officer Rick Alvarez said U.S. 281 was busy but not as congested as 1-35.
“They’re traveling at a pretty good speed. I’ve stopped people for 85 and
above today,” he said.
Wednesday’s sunny weather contrasted with the rain, wind and slick road conditions in South Texas on Tuesday. Several accidents were reported in New Braunfels and the surrounding areas Tuesday afternoon and evening as thunderstorms and wind pelted the area.
“We’re fortunate that it was clear and dry today,” said Upright. “We haven’t had as many accidents (Wednesday)."
Although traffic flows tended to be heavy during days immediately preceding Dec. 25, there was much less traffic on Christmas Day, he said.
“Most people are where they need to be on Christmas Day,” said Upright. “Most people are staying in place.”
DPS predicted that up to 42 people could die in traffic accidents during the Christmas holiday — from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Sunday. Last year, there were 18 deaths during the holiday, but that included just 30 hours, according to wire reports.
HeraJd-Z«rtung photo by Margaret Edmonson
This stretch of Interstate 35 near Farm-to Market 725 saw busy but not congested traffic flow Wednesday.
On-the-move centenarian marks milestone today
BY SUSAN JAKOBSEN
Her zest for life and vitality would fool anyone into thinking Elenor Lehmann is younger than her actual age.
But on Christmas Day, the young-at-heart Eden Home resident will celebrate her 100th birthday.
“You can move a mountain with a teaspoon if you work long enough,” said Lehmann, whose life has been
‘You can move a mountain with a teaspoon if you work tong enough.’
— Elenor Lehmann
anything but dull. Her fiery ambition and jovial disposition keep her on the move, even after a century.
Bom Dec. 25, 1897, in Pine Bluff, Ark., to Otto and Emma Meyer, Lehmann was the second of six children. Her father emigrated from
Berlin, and her mother from Vienna. Austria. Lehmann fondly remembers when the family moved to Tennessee and she met her first love — the outdoors.
“My sisters would be inside, learning how to embroider, and I was out
side climbing trees,” said Lehmann, who turned over rocks and chased after insects that interested her.
Once a critter was satisfactorily examined, Lehmann would find a special resting place for it in a cemetery she created for them A night owl at heart, Lehmann said she and her siblings would wait until they were certain their father was asleep, then slip out of the house to go Turn to Centurion, Page 2A
Yuletide message: Christmas is celebration of the Incarnation
It was highly significant, Pope John Paul ll reminds us in a beautiful Christmas meditation, that Jesus came into our world while a census was being taken The Roman Emperor desired to number his subjects. To him, a human being was an object to be counted, an individual among many thousands, one notation in a vast array of statistics. Yet Christ bom at Bethlehem was infinitely precious, unique and unrepeatable. In Christ bom at Bethlehem, moreover, we possess the deepest glimpse of humanity visited by God.
Christmas is not merely a scale or a memory of lights and tinsel on a tree, or simply an occasion for a recollection of caroling or gift giving or holiday feasting, bis always — if we
believe — a personal revelation of how our humanity has been assumed by God himself, assumed through the consent of the Virgin Mary.
So many profound lessons are taught us through Christmas.
For one thing, we learn MMT. ihat God is not only the
Eternal Other, but God Bestowed.
St. John, in his Gospel Prologue, says in die Spirit that the Word of God “pitched his tent in our
midst.” This is the literal meaning of the words, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Hence God is close to us. Indeed in the sacred humanity of Jesus, he has physically touched our world. The only place where the Eternal Word of God — The Word which never began to be, eternally begotten of the Father — has physically touched this world, is the sacred humanity of Jesus, bom at Bethlehem. “Nearness and communication accompany Transcendence,” wrote Cardinal Yves Congar, “and are inseparable from it” (Jesus Christ: Herder and Herder, 19%). God who is Love, literally embraces us in Jesus.
Secondly, Christmas means that God became
incarnate to conter real life, everlasting life, on mankind. This is to say that Christ is Savior.
By redeeming us, he ensures us life with God forever As St. John’s Gospel Prologue also reveals, anyone who accepts Christ “empowered to become children of God” (1:2). Surely this is the principal, fundamental and enduring gift of Christmas: Jesus Christ, our Savior. Christmas, as the beloved carol expresses it, is “the night of the dear Savior’s birth.”
Our response of course is one of prayerful joy; die words ofanother carol, “Joy to the World,” are not empty symbols. Recall that the Archangel Gabriel’s salination to Mary, at the time of the Annunciation, began with.
Turn to VutHdi, Page 2A
Local students send their Christmas wishes to Santa — Page 7-8A