We are one day closer to the Lighted Christmas Parade through downtown Kerrville. Just a reminder, there will be activities going on downtown before the parade's 6 p.m. start. The parade starts on G Street, makes its way along Water Street before hanging a right on Earl Garrett Street. We could have as many as 90 entries in the parade.
TODAY IS THE DAY OF DAYS FOR COOKING WITH DELAYNE
That's right, The Lead Live's first-ever cooking show, inspired by celebrity cooking personality Ina Garten, will be live at 9 a.m. from the home of Mike and Delayne Sigerman. It should be a heck of a lot of fun.
Once in a while, we mess up, and we forgot to send a calendar invite to First United Methodist Church Pastor David Payne to appear on Wednesday's episode of The Lead Live. We've rectified the situation and have Payne booked for Dec. 1.
ICYMI: TOM FOX ON THE LEAD
This week, we've already had a series of great shows with Verla Bruner, Kenneth O'Neal and Kerr County newcomer Tom Fox. We highly recommend all of them, including Wednesday's deep dive into podcasting and compliance law with Fox, an attorney who moved here from Houston. All of our shows are available on podcast platforms Anchor and Spotify, but also now on Facebook mobile.
Interview with Verla Bruner: https://anchor.fm/louis-amestoy/episodes/The-Lead-Live–Nov–15–2021-e1aapuq/a-a6tg10h
Interview with Kenneth O'Neal: https://anchor.fm/louis-amestoy/episodes/The-Lead–Nov–16–2021-episode-Kenneth-ONeal-e1aefn2/a-a6tvr29
Interview with Tom Fox: https://anchor.fm/louis-amestoy/episodes/The-Lead–Nov-17–2021-Tom-Fox–Kerr-County-podcaster-e1aejgo
WHAT'S DRIVING THE NEWS
KPUB tells ERCOT no
The Kerrville Public Utility Board voted Wednesday to opt-out of a plan to get refunds for their huge electric bills after February's winter storm. Now, don't jump to conclusions. Consultants for the utility questioned the economics and reliability of the deal and advised them to opt-out. Basically, the Energy Reliability Council of Texas created a securities fund that municipally-owned utilities and others could pay into and in turn be issued a refund through potential savings of paying through ERCOT. The plan was cooked up by the legislature and is being run by the Public Utilities Commission, but at least 58 utilities have said "thanks but no thanks" — including KPUB.
Coronavirus continues to take its toll
On Wednesday, Peterson Health reported a COVID-19 death on the hospital's first coronavirus-related death in more than a month. Peterson officials confirmed the death happened Tuesday.
On its website, Peterson said the Kerr County death toll had risen to 138, while the Texas Department of State Health Services report featured just 137. The discrepancy has been a consistent issue during the pandemic. The Lead has accounted for 198 deaths related to Kerr County since 2020. This is the second COVID-19 death in November. COVID-19 has killed more than 50 people in Kerr County since Aug. 1.
COVID-19 deaths since Oct. 1:
- Oct. 1, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Oct. 3, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Oct. 22)
- Oct. 5, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Oct. 6, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services. (Reported on Nov. 4)
- Oct. 7, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services. (Reported on Oct. 27)
- Oct. 10, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Oct. 10, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Oct. 21)
- Oct. 14, as reported by Peterson Regional Medical Center. (Reported on Oct. 15)
- Oct. 14, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Oct. 20).
- Oct. 14, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Oct. 21).
- Oct. 22, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Oct. 28).
- Oct. 25, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Nov. 12).
- Nov. 4, as reported by Texas Department of State Health Services (Reported on Nov. 11).
- Nov. 16, as reported by Peterson Regional Medical Center (Reported on Nov. 17).
So, is coronavirus done with us?
We can only hope so. However, the virus is persistent, and Wednesday's numbers are hard to read — thanks to lags in the state's reporting. How many cases do we have? Well, it could be more than 64. Of course, it could be far lower, and Peterson reported just three new cases and two people hospitalized — some of the lowest during the pandemic.
The impact on Peterson
Data released from the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration demonstrated the toll on Peterson. The numbers suggest as many 966 people were hospitalized at Peterson — a regional number rather than Kerr County specific. Another data point suggests at least 821 people — based on demographic data. However, the starkest number is the cumulative number of days of care Peterson administered — more than 5,400 days. If there were 900 admissions, the average number of days hospitalized is pretty easy to figure out. Yup, six days.
Vaccination boosters are here
Peterson Health will host a vaccine clinic starting at 7:30 a.m, on Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 321 Thompson Dr. for people in the community 12 years and older that need their first dose, second dose, or booster, as well as the newly approved Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.
Need a job? KPD wants you
The Kerrville Police Department is offering a lateral entry program that provides experienced candidates with the ability to qualify for a higher starting salary, as outlined below. Eligibility Requirements:
- Applicant must be a certified Texas Peace Officer by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement or have the ability to achieve certification before employment;
- Applicant must have at least two years continuous service with patrol experience as a paid, full-time certified peace officer with a comparable law enforcement agency, including out-of-state agencies;
- A lateral entry applicant may not have more than a three-year break in service from the time they left a comparable agency;
- Lateral officers are exempt from taking the written entry exam; all other phases of the hiring process must be completed.
For more information, please get in touch with Kerrville Police Department Sergeant Chuck Bocock at (830) 258-1370 or Chuck.Bocock@kerrvilletx.gov.
NFL, Nike wants to expand flag football to girls
The National Football League and Nike have set out to expand football to high school-age girls across America through a $5 million investment to make it a sanctioned sport. The initiative provides each state athletic association $100,000 to help fund some of the startup costs. It's a sport that's already taking off in Florida, which sanctioned it in 2012. Based on 2019 numbers, the National Federation of High Schools says 278 high schools field teams in Florida, with 7,600 girls playing the sport. There is no word yet on whether Texas will take part, but the more sports, the better in our book.
Kerrville's flat school enrollment
During Monday night's Kerrville Independent School District board of trustees meeting, a parent asked the board if the new Hal Peterson Middle School could handle an influx of sixth-grade students from B.T. Wilson. The trustees approved a resolution supporting the move for those who missed it, but the woman's question was on the mark. Superintendent Mark Foust and Trustee David Sprouse remarked that the district's enrollment was flat or declining. That was a bit of a surprise, but sure enough, it has been flat for a decade. The question was whether the school would reach its capacity of 1,200 — requiring 100 new students to show up. In the last decade, KISD's largest enrollment bump was 74 students in 2013-2014. In 2019-2020, the coronavirus pandemic sapped enrollment in pre-kindergarten and early childhood learning, but what's interesting is that the district finished last year with one of its lowest enrollment levels — 4,781 students. So, the district has lost 3.5% of its students since the 2018-2019 school year. There are plenty of probable explanations from the job market, to the pandemic, to Kerrville's overheated housing market. So, in the end the district is probably going to be OK moving the sixth-graders.