New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 26, 2009, New Braunfels, Texas
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26,2009Zeitung
Chargers dominate struggling Titans in Christmas Day game. Pm99 It
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
Vol. 157 No. 39 20 pages, 2 sections
Cleveland holds off Lakers, 102-87.
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DEAR ABBY SB CLASSIREDS Si COMICS 7B CROSSWORD 7B FORUM 4A OBITUARIES SA SPORTS IS TV GRIDS SiFamily pleads after Taliban video of captive soldier
By Amir Sliili aiNl Jim Nslirts
Associatoci Prsss Writers
KABUL—The lUiban released a video Friday of an American soldier captured in Afghanistan, showing him apparently healthy but spouting criticism about the U.S. military operation. In Idaho, Pfc. Bowe Befgdahl's family pleaded on Christmas Day for his release and uiged him to "stay strong."
Bergdahl disappeared June 30 whUe based in eastern Afghanistan and is the only known American serviceman in captivity. The làliban claimed his capture in a video released in mid-July that showed the
young Idaho soldier appearing downcast and fHghtened. He hadn't been heard from until Friday's video, in which he looks well and speaks dearly.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed hours later that the man in the video was Bergdahl, but denounced both its timing and content.
"This is a horrible act which exploits a young soldier, who was dourly compelled to read a prepared statement," said a statement from U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, ISAF's spokesman. "Tb release this video on Christmas Day is an affiont to the deeply concerned fom-
ily and friends of Bowe Bergdahl demonstrating contempt for religious traditions and the teachings of Islam."
Lt. Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard issued a statement Friday from the family of Bergdahl, who live outside HaUey, Idaho. In their statement, the £Eunily uiged the captors "to let our only son come home."
And to their son, the family said, "We love you and we believe in you. Stay strofig."
Marsano met with the family Friday morning at their home. He told the AP that the family had not seen the video but had tall^ to other rel
atives who had seen it.
In the video, Bergdahl is shown seated, facing the camera, wearing sunglasses and what appears to be a U.S. military helmet and uniform. On one side of the image, it says: "An American soldier imprisoned by the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." It also shows him eating while wearing garb characteristic of Af^anistan's Kandahar province, an area where the Taliban emerged in the 1990s.
He identifies himself as Bergdahl, bom in Sun Valley, Idaho, and gives his rank, birth date, blood type, his
See SOLDIER. Page 8A
Screen from video posted onYouTube.com
The soldier in a video released Dec. 25 by the Taliban has been identified as Bowe Bergdahl.HEALTHY HEARTS
Alex Garcia exercises on a stationary bike Wednesday at Christus Santa Rosa Rehabilitation Services in New Braunfels.
New Braunfels one of few Texas cities with full cardiac rehab
By Ja MIbINmmIim'
At Christmastime, heart health might be the last thing on anyone's mind, but it's exactly now—as holiday stress mounts—that hospitals see a rise in heart attadffi.
According to the journal Circulation, heart attacks peak on Dec. 25, followed by Dec. 26 and New Year's Day.
The key to regaining health after a heart attack is to follow through with rehabilitation, wiiich few heart attack survivors do.
The use of cardiac rehab is low, at less than 20 percent of those eligible for the treatment, according to the American Heart Assodation. Women and minorities use rehabilitation services even less than white men.
But for those who listen to their doc
tor and follow through with rehab, New Braunfels is a community that has a rehabilitation services clinic with spe-dalists committed to heart health and cardiac care.
"There are probably (fewer) than 200 (cardiac clinics) throu^out the state. There is only one program in San Antonio," said Lorri Lee, a registered clinical exercise physiologist and coordinator
See HEARTS, Page 8A
Free Christmas tree req^cling and mulch available
Christmas has past and it will soon be time to start thinking about what to do with the tree.
For those who have natural Christmas trees, the City of New Braunfels is ofifering tee tree recycling today through Jan. 15. Those who already receive curbside green waste service may simpfy leave their tree, free of ornament, lights
and tinsel, on the curb.
For everyone else, trees may also be dropped off, free of charge, at the Qty Recyde Center, at the corner of Butcher Street and Castell Avenue, or at the County Recycling Facility, 4755 S. Highway 46.
"Last year, at the curb we picked up 800 trees. And 400 were brought to the recycle center," said City Recycling Coordinator Carol Dark.
The purpose of the event is
to promote recycling, and to stop the trees from ending up in the trash, or dumped on the side of the road.
"It's a wonderful service where we keep the Christmas trees away from landfills," Gaik said.
The trees will be turned into mulch, which residents may pick up for free from Jan. 11 through Jan. 16, at the City Recycle Center during regular business hours. The center is
open from 8 a.m to noon and 12:30 to 4 p.m. and is closed Wednesday and Sunday.
The mulch is guaranteed to be 100 percent Christmas tree, with no other green waste mixed in.
Residents are asked to bring their own bags, buckets and shovels to collect the mulch. Distribution is on a first come, first served basis.
For more information, call (830)221-4040.Passenger tries to blow up airliner
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Northwest Airlines passenger landing in Detroit on Friday tried to blow up the flight but the explosive device failed, two U.S. national security officials said.
The passenger, who was traveling on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, was not identified. He was being questioned Friday evening, according to one of the officials, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
The motive of the Christmas Day attack was not immediately clear.
Authorities initially believed the passenger had set off firecrackers that caused some minor injuries. Delta Air Lines spokeswoman Susan Elliott said the passenger was subdued immediately. She had no details on the injuries.
The Homeland Security Department said passengers may see additional screening measures on domestic and intemational flights because of the incident.
Community needs: Next step is focus, follow-through
By Chris Cobb
A littie more than a year ago, the United Way and its partners released the Comal County Needs Assessment — aimed at taking an unprecedented snapshot of the community and shedding light on some of its problems.
After having a year to digest the large volume of information contained in the study, the United Way is working with other area nonprofits to find solutions.
"We're moving forward and we're coming together to say, 'What can we do to affect change?'" said United of Comal Cbunty Executive Director Terry Robinson.
The needs assessment utilized surveys, focus groups, and census data to provide a broad view of the conununity and the areas in which residents need help.
Working with other nonprofits, the United Way is now focusing in on specific issues and ways to address them.
"With a study like that, there's so much infor-
See NEEDS, Page 8AIJUJlliJUaillUlU
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