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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas •xkkwxkwkkk MIXED API ?C<1 MOI I ii MI* 571 M5'16/u5 SOU Ti iycsr Hit ROPU^LISHi-RS TF “W THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30,2004 rald-Zeitung SPORTS HOLIDAY BOWL Former SVHS star Cody Fuller proving his worth at Texas Tech, which plays in today's Holiday Bowl. Page 7 A COUPON MEAL TICKET Adobe Verde restaurant in Gruene offers a special price meal. See Dining and Entertainment Guide. Page 4A Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 154, No. 38 14 pages, 2 sections CLICK 500nm* rn www: I '56825 GRASPING FOR HELP 00001' pp pEMostly cloudy High Low 73 57 DEAR ABBY 3B CLASSIFIEDS 5B COMICS 2B CROSSWORD 2B FORUM 6A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 7A Details 1B I TV GRIDS 3B County kicks back sales taxes to retailer JIMIN LAI'AFP/Getty Images Sri Lankan villagers rush to get food supplies from a relief van in the tourist town of Hikaduwa on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. At least 18,000 people, including 100 foreign nationals, were killed in Sri Lanka when tsunamis devastated more than three-quarters of the island’s coast at the weekend, government officials said Wednesday. Desperation felt in Indonesia as relief effort bogs down; Red Cross predicts death toll could exceed 100,000 By Chris Brummitt Associated Press Writer BANDA ACLU, Indonesia — As the world scrambled to the rescue, survivors fought over packs of noodles in quake-stricken Indonesian streets Wednesday while relief supplies piled up at the airport for lack of cars, gas or passable roads to move them. The official death toll across 11 countries soared past 77,000 and the Red Cross predicted it could exceed 100,000. Bodies were piled into mass graves in the belief that burial would ward off disease. Paramedics in southern India began vaccinating thousands of survivors against cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and dysentery, and authorities sprayed bleaching powder on beaches where bodies have been recovered. In Sri Lanka, reports of waterborne disease such as diarrhea caused fears of an epidemic. President Bush announced the United States, India, Australia and Japan have formed an international coalition to coordinate relief and reconstruction of the 3,000 miles of Indian Ocean rim walloped by Sundays earthquake and the tsunami it unleashed. “We’re facing a disaster of unprecedented proportion in nature,” said Simon Missiri, a top Red Cross official. “We’re talking about a staggering death toll." RELATED STORIES ■ Bush announces international coalition to help countries hit by disasters. Page 3A • Dead bodies pose no threat of disease outbreaks, Pan American Health Organization says. Page 4A ii Stingy Americans? U.N. official's comment hits nerve of American charity. Page 4A On hundreds of Web sites, the messages were brief but poignant: "Missing: Christina Blomee in Khao Ixik,” or simply, “Where are you?” All conveyed the aching desperation of people the world over whose friends and family went off in search of holiday-season sun and sand and haven’t been heard from for four days. But even as hope for the missing dwindled, survivors continued to turn up Wednesday. In Sri Lanka, where more than 22,000 died, a lone fisherman named Sini Mohammed Sarfudeen was rescued by an air force helicopter crew after clinging to his wave-tossed boat for three days. Indian air force planes evacuated thousands of survivors from the remote island of Car Nico-bar. Some of them had walked for days from their destroyed villages to reach a devastated but See GRIEF STRICKEN, Page 3A GREAT WAVES COULD BE DEADLIEST IN 100-PLUS YEARS DIDY0U KNOW? More than 36,000 people were killed by tsunamis following the explosion of the volcano Krakatau in the Sunda Strait near Java on Aug. 27, 1883. Following the 1883 eruption, waves estimated as high as 90 feet slammed ashore on nearby islands, wiping out coastal communities in Indonesia. They had been the deadliest tsunamis of modern times until now. Over the centuries, Japan has been the land most plagued by tsunamis, with at least 66,000 deaths recorded there since A.D. 684. Other deadly tsunamis: ll Aug. 13, 1868 — A massive wave struck Chile, carrying ships as far as three miles inland at Arica. Deaths totaled 25,000 or more. «* 1896 — Among the deadliest tsunamis was one that struck Honshu, Japan, in 1896, killing an estimated 27,000. B May 22, 1960 — The largest earthquake (magnitude 8.6) of the 20th century occurred off the coast of south central Chile. It generated a Pacific-wide tsunami that killed an estimated 2,300 people in Chile. Commissioners join city in offering Home Depot 50% rebate By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Comal County joined New Braunfels Tuesday in offering a 50-percent sales tax rebate to the customer service center Home Depot is building on Common Street. The 63,000 square-foot facility now under construction at Gruene Road will employ 120 at the end of its first year of operation — and 343 at the completion of its second phase. The sales tax rebate, for one-half of the county’s l.5cents-on-the-dollar sales tax, will be computed monthly based on numbers provided by Texas (Comptroller of Public Accounts Carole Keeton Strayhorn. The arrangement, which will last for IO years, does not affect the property taxes I Ionic Depot Supply will pay on the eight-acre site or the improvements it is building there. The project, Home Depot's third call center in the United States, was considered the major economic development coup for New Braunfels in 2004. It will have an annual payroll of $7.2 million. Precinct I Commissioner Jack Dawson made the motion to approve the tax rebate, seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner lay Minikin. He wanted to make sure the public understands that for IO years of rebated sales taxes, local taxpayers would be rewarded handsomely. See HOME DEPOT, Page 3A “We're not giving away the store, we're investing in the future." — Jack Dawson Tops in’04 w A look back at the Top IO news events of the past year.Denver auxiliary bishop replaces Flores as archbishop of San Antonio BIOailAPNIC SKETCH ■ Gomez was born Dec. 26, 1951 in Monterrey, Mexico. H He moved to the U.S. in 1987, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1995. ■ He was ordained a riest of the Opus ei Prelature in 1978 in Navarre, Spain. ■ He earned a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain, in 1980. B Gomez worked at San Antonio's Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church from 1987 to 1999. By Jan Kilby Herald-Zeitung correspondent The Most Rev. Jose 11. Gomez, STD, has been appointed the archbishop-designate of San Antonio’s Roman Catholic community. The Most Rev. Patrick F. Flores, DD., San Antonio’s archbishop since 1982 and the nation’s longest-serving archbishop, announced the news about Gomez and introduced him Tuesday at a press conference in San Antonio. “There s no way I can replace him,” Gomez said of Archbishop Flores, but he promised to honor his example. Gomez, 53, said he had no ON TNI WU: Archdiocese of San Antonio: plans for San Antonio’s archdiocese, indicating, instead, he wanted “to listen and to learn.” I Ie said San Antonio would now become his home and family* ‘Nothing could be a greater blessing in my life,” he said. Gomez spoke of his Texas roots, with his mother’s having been reared and educated in San Antonio and his maternal grandparents having been married at San Antonio’s San Fernando (Cathedral. I Ie also did pastoral work at Our Dilly of Grace Parish in San Antonio from 1987 to 1999 and in the Diocese of Galveston ! Ralston in Katy. T he archbishop-designate thanked Archbishop I lores, who will retire soon, and his staff for their welcome, Pope john Paul II for his appointment and Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and the people and priests of Denver for preparing him for his new role. I Ie asked for help from San Antonians. “Please pray for me so that I become the kind of bishop God wants and the kind of bishop our church needs,” he said. Gomez also thanked his family for their love, expressing appreciation to his two sisters present at the press conference for being faithful (Christian witnesses. I ie will be installed as San Antonio’s fifth Archbishop at a Mass on the evening of Feb. 15 at the city’s San Fernando Cathedral. Gomez is auxiliary bishop, vicar general and moderator of the (Curia in the Archdiocese of Denver, where he has worked since 2001. Prior to his work in the Denver Archdiocese, he served as executive director of the National Association of Hispanic ITiests from 1999 to 2001. The Most Rev. Jose H. Gomez Oak (S,uU NOW OPEN SUNDAY • 8am - 3pm Serving a Lone Star Branch Sat. & Sun. Monday-Thursday • Ham - 9pm Friday It Saturday • Ham - 10pm liataai na (Eutaajlmaj rn ttww _ lEimaea RNpWF OWN Raataurant and Frlvatajpant FaoMity 626-8878 • 1440 N. Walnut Ave. www.liveoakgrMt.amt . ;