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  • Location: New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 25, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas • Page 4A — Herald-Zeiti jng — Saturday, November 25, 2000County State IS I .. . i .-J ...................... From the Dispatch pFuel spill SPRING BRANCH—A lane of U.S. 281 from the Blanco county line to Kestrel Air Park was closed Wednesday night for a fuel spill. Spring Branch Fire Lt. Jason Rush said firefighters were called to the airport at 10:14 p.m. for a reported spill of diesel fuel. They arrived to find a semi-truck that had lost perhaps 60 gallons of diesel fuel from a broken fuel line — over 27 miles of southbound travel on U.S. 281 from Blanco County. Comal County Sheriffs’ deputies blocked off the right hand lane of southbound U.S. 281 from the county line to the airport, Rush said. “In the rain, the diesel on the roadway made the right lane really dangerous,” Rush said. The spill was believed to be the cause of a minor traffic collision in Blanco County, the firefighter said. A Texas Department of Transportation crew spread sand on the spill from the county line southward to where the truck stopped. There was no environmental danger, Rush said. The semi-truck was hauling a bulk tank of milk. pGas explodes CANYON LAKE — A gas explosion brought Canyon Lake firefighters to a Purgatory Road home late Wednesday morning. Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Capt. Hank Shear said firefighters were called to the residence at around 11 a.m. They arrived to find that a gas explosion in a stove blew its door open and left a flash burn on adjacent gypsum wallboard, but caused no other damage. Upcoming Meetings SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL WATER PLANNING GROUP — meeting to discuss comments on the Initially Prepared Region L Plan, 9 a.m. Monday in the San Antonio River Authority Board Room, IOO E. Guenther, San Antonio. NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL — 5:30 p.m. workshop with 4B board, 6:30 p.m. meeting, Monday, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — special meeting, 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, 3rd floor, Comal County Courthouse Annex, 150 N. Seguin Ave. NEW BRAUNFELS HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX COMMITTEE — 7 p.m., Tuesday, conference room A, New Braunfels Municipal Building, 424 S. Casten Ave. COMAL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS’ COURT — special workshop meeting, Pre-Legislative Conference, 8 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, Omni Southpaw Hotel, 4140 Governors Row, Austin. Advent Vespers Advent Vespers singers rehearse on Nov. 16 for their chorale celebration taking place at 7 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church on Cross Street. The invitation to participate is given to all, young and not-so-young, who enjoy the sacred music of Christmas.The New Braunfels Music Study Club traditionally has sponsored this concert on the first Sunday of Advent of the first Sunday of December. The free-will offering is used to award a scholarship to a graduating senior who plans a music career. CHRIS PACE/Herald-Zeitung vrr LBJ aides will address SWT Tuesday night SAN MARCOS — Two proteges of the nation’s 36th president will give the Lyndon B. Johnson Distinguished Lecture at Southwest Texas State University on Tuesday, Nov. 28. George Christian, who served Johnson as press secretary 1966-69, and Harry J. Middleton, staff assistant to Johnson 1967-69 and now director of the LBJ Library, will give ajoint lecture on “The Return of LBJ” in the Alkek Teaching Theater at 7:30 p.m. The theater is adjacent to the Albert B. Alkek Library. The public is invited. Before joining the White House staff in 1966, Christian was chief of staff for Gov. Price Daniel and press secretary for Gov. John B. Connally. He began his career as a sports editor and wire service reporter after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a native of Austin and a Marine combat veteran of World War II. Christian is vice chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, former chairman of the Texas Historical Commission and a member of the boards of the Headliners Foundation, McDonald Observatory, Scott and White Memorial Hospital and the Texas State Museum. LBJ Series ■ WHO: LBJ press secretary George Christian and staff assistant Harry J. Middleton ■ WHAT: Lyndon B. Johnson Distinguished Lecture ■ WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday ■ WHERE: Southwest Texas State University Alkek Teaching Theater (next to Albert B. Alkek Library) After Johnson left the White House in 1969, Middleton remained his special assistant through the preparation of his memoirs, “The Vantage Point.” Before joining the White House staff, he worked as an Associated Press reporter in New York, a magazine news editor and freelance writer for publications such as Life, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan. He is a native of Iowa, a graduate of Louisiana State University and a veteran of World War ll and Korea. Gruene a mild scene for shoppers PQSSE/From 1A By Jennifer Rodriguez Staff Writer lf shoppers pulled any elbows in Gruene yesterday, it happened accidentally — a result of old friends bumping into each other and hugging just a little too quickly- Shoppers strolled brick sidewalks in near 60-degree temperatures under a sunny sky dotted with clouds stretched out like tom cotton balls. There were no fights over scooters; no bad feelings over stolen parking spaces; and no driving from store to store in search of a better deal on a 25-inch television. “It’s so nice here,” shopper Janie Rosas, who drove up from San Antonio, said. “I learned my lesson two years ago. I drove all over town at the crack of dawn for a Furbie my daughter stopped playing with three days after Christmas. I* FRENZY/From 1A bought my scooter a few weeks ago, and now I’m just enjoying this beautiful day with my family.” Texas Homegrown retail associate Sharran Schaefer taught second grade for more than 20 years, but enjoys her new job in what she described as the “laid back” shopping district. “It’s completely different,” Schaefer said. “You get to meet people. There are chairs and benches if you get tired. “If you have a lot of energy, you can stay oyer and go to Gruene Hall. If you get really tired, you can stay in a bed and breakfast.” . In Gruene Outfitter’s, shoppers mulling over gift options had plenty of space to work with. “I know I’m going to pay a little more, but I also know I’m not going to find this kind of stuff in (a chain store),” shopper Mark Rogers said. Certainly, shoppers will not find much made of plastic in the Gruene shopping district. But they will find handmade and import items. Next weekend more than IOO vendors will participate in Gruene’s Christmas Market Days on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. Christmas Market Days organizers bring together merchandise, food and entertainment to create a different environment from the mall or outlet experience. The event takes place from IO a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and. The streets and shops will be decked out in holiday gear, and at 6 p.m. on Saturday the merchants and guests can watch a lighting ceremony. Cowboy Kringle, a Santa wearing a cowboy hat, will ride into town on a horse during the ceremony. “People find things they have never seen ” Schaefer said. from Joseph Landa in New Braunfels for use on Postal Route 6285, Self said. His stage stop in Selma was part of the passenger and mail route from Indianola to San Antonio. “Because of the intertwined history of Comal County with the City of Selma, Posse members have decided to participate in ‘Selma Heritage Days’ by carrying the proclamation on horseback through Comal County,” Self explained. Sheriff’s Posse riders began the 30-mile trip as a Pony Express-style relay at the Hays-Comal County line on Farm-to-Market Road 2439. In New Braunfels, nine posse members rode in parade from the Faust Street Bridge up Seguin Avenue to the Main Plaza. From there, they rode down San Antonio Street to the Comal County Sheriff’s office, where the single rider relays began again. “We don’t have a Pony Express or anything, but I thought this would be a good thing to do,” Self said. “We’re doing this to bring Comal County into Selma Heritage Days.” The Comal County Sheriff’s Posse, with more than IOO members, probably is not as well known today as it was a few years ago. The Posse was founded in 1959 by Sheriff Walter Fellers, Self said, in days when he did not have many reserve deputies. In its early days, the Posse members were sworn peace officers who worked on rough terrain search and rescue operations. Only this time, beginning at 6 a.m., the scooters would sell for under $25 for as long as the supplies lasted. There were two pallets of them, stacked six feet high. They lasted less than IO minutes. “We came to work at 4 a.m. and there were people here, waiting,” Wal-Mart employee Esther Herrera said. “There were kids here for scooters at 3:30,” employee Pat Soliz said. Following a rousing rendition of the Wal-Mart cheer, employees cut the dark plastic that shrouded the sale items and backed out of the way. The crowds were wild: a school of maddened shopping sharks who smelled good deals as readily as blood in the water. In a couple of places, there could have been blood in the aisles. ", Joyce Eichmann is a fifth generation New Braunfelser who may have forgotten what a real holiday shopping feeding frenzy is all about. It had been many years since she shopped at the beginning of the holiday rush, a day some retail clerks refer to darkly as “Black Friday.” She got to Wal-Mart early to get a pair of scooters for her grandads — early enough to be first at one of the scooter pallets, placed at opposite ends of the store in a failed attempt to dilute traffic. “I was the first one in line,” Eichmann said. “I will never come back and shop like this again!” She said she was struck and kicked by at least one other woman who tried to force her way past to get to the scooters. Eichmann got her scooters, and had no obvious bruises, leaving the impression she had probably given as good as she got in the shopping confrontation. “I had never dreamt that at my age people could be so overbearing,” she said. “What Wal-Mart needs to do is give everybody numbers.” She was glad she had accomplished what she set out to do and saved at least $70 in the process, but she wondered if the effort had been worth it. -“Maybe I should have paid the $59 rather than fight with that lady,” she said. Less than an hour after the scooters sold out at Wal-Mart, the scene was repeated at Target, just across Interstate 35 — by many of the same players. The scooters at Target sold for the same price, but were a little different. They had plastic decks instead of the aluminum ones, and came in florescent reds, greens and blues. When Target opened at 7 a.m., the parking lot was about half full. Fifteen minutes later, it was three-fourths full, but the stragglers were too late. The $44, five-CD, 100-watt home stereos were gone. So were the $25 Game Boys, the $44 cameras, and the $44 wireless phones. Target did not yet have any of this year’s Playstation Twos. Mark Stewart was working back in the bicycle section, taking scooters off the top of a riser after the display had already been cleaned out. “They were running back here,” Stewart exclaimed. “You should have seen them. These scooters are the hottest thing, I swear!” * qiJJ U.S.A. 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