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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 29, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas New FELSHerald-Z ; .j j .jj..* < < < fC-L-ij i rQ}\ (' VDC '0- UIL-■; r Hi CRO Pl J Bi TLH I NG ’ "< ! YUN 0!: I i BR Water Restrictions ■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 0. 1, 2, 3 or 4 can water today after 7 p.m. Well users cannot water rn today.    % NG Vol. 149, No. 185 20 pages in 2 sections July 29, 2000 Saturday Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents BETTY T A YLOR/Herald-ZeitungHazel “Mouse” Henshaw is the inspiration behind Mouse’s Smoke House Bar-B-Q Restaurant in Bulverde. ‘Mouse’ working for God By Betty Taylor Features Editor Mouse’s Smoke House Bar-B-Q Restaurant, a two-story red building with a country atmosphere, sits along U.S. 281 North in the Bulverde area. The restaurant provides an all-you-can-eat buffet, a drive tlirough, brisket, smoked turkey, fajitas, breakfast tacos and homemade cobblers. Portions come in tiny mouse, mini mouse, mighty mouse and supermouse combo sizes. It is the woman they call Mouse, Hazel Henshaw, who has made the smokehouse much more than just a restaurant. You could say it is a place for weary souls or for those who just need to talk to someone. “A lot of people come through here and a lot of them are hurting,” Henshaw said. Many come to talk to Henshaw and hear her ow n personal story of how God has helped her. Many leave with a full stomach and an even fuller heart. A huge cross hangs on the high wall in the main dining room, revealing a life dedicated to God. “I don’t preach,” Henshaw said. “There is no way to lose me quicker than if someone starts preaching to me.” Rather, she does a lot of listening and provides support. Many who meet Hazel Henshaw believe if they have experienced a spiritual awakening, even if it is just to talk about the weather. Henshaw, a former office manager, said it was not a dream of hers to own a restaurant. Rather, it was God’s will. “I was beginning to get a lot of pressure at work, and I said, ‘You know, I think the Lord is trying to force me out of this,’” Henshaw said. She and her husband George, avid barbecuer, began barbecuing after work and selling the meat at the convenience store they owned on U.S. 281. Eventually, they began selling barbecue from a self-contained barbecue pit/trailer they bought in Pleasanton. “It started as a means of survival,” See MOUSE/11A Amistad gets housing tax credits By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer Amistad Affordable Housing’s third attempt to get federal tax credits succeeded Friday. Now, Amistad will use those tax credits to build an affordable housing project in New Braunfels within a year. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs governing board on Friday approved $340,642 in federal tax credits for Amistad Affordable Housing to build Evergreen Town-homes in New Braunfels. The development will be on South Water Lane off Interstate 35 behind the Texas Department of Public Safety. Amistad will use the tax credits to offset a portion of its federal taxes. The company will not have to finance as much of the project as it would otherwise, decreasing the cost to build the project and allowing the developers to charge lower rents. This is the third year Amistad applied for federal tax credits, but its application was denied twice before. “I’m really excited,” said John Seidel, a co-developer with Amistad. “The third time’s a charm I guess.” Evergreen Townhomes is about a $5 million project that will consist of 80 units — 66 two- and three-bedroom townhomes and 16 one- and two-bed-room apartments. Rents will range from $357 to $480 for a one-bedroom apartment and up to $700 for a three-bedroom unit. Some engineering site work and other preliminary work still must be completed, Seidel said. “The actual groundbreaking probably wall be around November or December, somewhere in there,” he said. “Within a year, they should be complete with the 80 units.” Evergreen Townhomes was among 55 applicants who got federal tax credits totaling $21.8 million Friday. Amistad also got tax credits for an affordable housing project in Rio Grande City. Seidel said he was beginning to wonder whether Evergreen Townhomes ever would get the tax credits.See TAX CREDITS/11 A Fit for a king Local man maps El Camino Real By Michael Cary News Editor Edward Moore of Tex Arch Associates in New Braunfels, responded to our call for story ideas about back roads in Comal County and surrounding areas. Moore stopped at the Herald-Zeitung office to leave copies of a map he has created showing the local portion of El Cando Real, or King’s Highway, that runs from Monterey, Mexico, to Louisiana. - The    El ■ El Camino Real map detailing New Braunfels area/10A Camino Real originally was a trail way used by Indians to travel back and forth through Texas, _ several portions of the roadway travel through San Antonio, Garden Ridge, Solms, New Braunfels, Gruene, Hunter and San Marcos. Moore’s map shows the routes of the road, which includes sections of Nacogdoches, Farm-to-Market 482, possibly Landa Street, Rock Street, Hunter Road, Old Post Road, a portion of III 35 and Old Bastrop Road. The exact routes of the roads changed, but the crossings on the rivers are certain, Moore said. One of the Comal River crossings, for instance, was where Landa Golf Course is today, and the other is where Broadway Street intersects the river. The crossing at Elizabeth Street in the golf course area was abandoned after 1691. Another definite crossing site on the Guadalupe River is at Gruene, and farther north, the road had to cross Alligator Creek, York Creek, Purgatory Creek, the San Marcos K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung This roadside granite marker near San Marcos is one of many erected along the El Camino Real, or King’s Highway, that originally connected Mexico to Louisiana. The network of trails were originated by Indians, and Blanco rivers. The reason the routes when the Anglos came El Camino Real crosses these waterways is that the early travelers had to stick to routes that led to much needed water supplies. “Some areas are fixed in concrete,” Moore said. However, the road took different routes in early times when the Spanish rode horses, and other along with their wagons. “The road went through New Braunfels when the Schmidt Hotel was built in 1851,” said Moore, a cartographer, historian and anthropologist. “This area has been a tourist destination for 10,000 years.” See CAMINO REAL/10AInside Your guide to J^| New Braunfels River conditions, weather, what to do, where to go, road work map. ^£MMill C* I i Rock and roll with Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88s. Find out where inside. McKenna dumps Blue Cross / Blue Shield Thousands in county likely to be affected By Ron Maloney Staff Writer McKenna Memorial Hospital trustees voted Friday to end the hospital’s service agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas effective Dec. 31, meaning McKenna no longer will be an “in network” provider of health care services. The change means some 14,000 workers in the area — and thousands more dependents — whose health insurance is provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield will have to pay higher deductibles and co-payments if they w ant to use McKenna for anything other than emergency services. Emergency room patients w ill not be affected by the change as long as they are treated for conditions that are true emergencies as defined by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Patients who have the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare supplemental insurance also will not be affected by the change. In the spring, McKenna CEO Tim Briefly warned Blue Cross/Blue Shield and area employers whose health insurance plans were provided through or administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield that the hospital would dump the agreement if the insurer did not raise reimbursement rates for services provided at McKenna. Those rates have not been increased in the IO years Brierty has worked at McKenna, he said. See McKENNA/11A BRIERTYInside Coming Sunday Abby................... .............5A Classifieds............ ...........4-8B Comics................. ..............3B Crossword............ ..............5A Forum................... ..............6A Local/Metro.......... .............4A Movies................... ...............5A Obituaries............. ..............3 A Sports.................. ..........1-2B Today................... ..............2A Television................. ................3B Key Code 76 Polish your shoes, press the tuxedos and try on your hall gowns. The clock is ticking if you plan to attend the Starlight Gala Aug. 4 benefiting the Comal County Unit of the American Cancer Society. /Lifestyle Simpson lays off 90 seasonal workers By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer About 90 Simpson Race Products employees lost their jobs Thursday in a seasonal layoff. Simpson Race Products, on EM 306 in New Braunfels, provides safety products to the auto racing industry. Plant Manager Roil Hamel said the racing season is from January to May. “Our business is seasonal,” he said. “This is our seasonal layoff.” However, the layoffs usually occur in May or June. “This year we tried to drag it out and carry it to July,” Hamel said. Simpson employs about 250 people during the peak season. Additional employees are hired for the peak season, and Hamel said he believed they expected the layoffs. “Because of the New Braunfels economy, we seldom see the same people (who are hired on each racing season),” Hamel said. The employees who were laid off Thursday worked in cutting and sewing or in advance composites on racing helmets, he said. Simpson Race Products typically does not provide assistance to the displaced employees, I laurel said. Hie New Braunfels economy has made that unnecessary, he said. New Braunfels’ unemployment rate is about 2.5 percent, said Jim Scheele Jr., economic development director for the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. “Now is a good time to be looking for work, obviously, with the low unemployment rate,” Scheele said. Signs are up all across tow n for companies seeking workers, he said. “We’re hoping many of these employees (from Simpson) will take advantage of these opportunities and find work with these companies,” he said. ;