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The Lead Sept. 17: Texas Fest at Schreiner; Kerr County Sheriff's Office arrests 5 suspected of being online predators

3 men from Kerrville, 2 from San Antonio are arrested after sting using undercover deputies and officers.

GOOD MORNING! We made it. The weekend is here. And plenty is going on this weekend that you're going to want to check out. We've got TexFest at Schreiner University starting at 9 a.m.


We expected to have singer/songwriter Konrad Wert on today's episode of The Lead Live, but he's still battling some lingering effects from COVID-19. So, in his place, we expect Hill Country Youth Ranch's Ashley Phillips, who will storm onto the show. She will discuss Tuesday's 45th Annual Healing Hearts Fiesta Luncheon at the Hill Country Youth Event Center. This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers for the youth ranch. To purchase tickets visit:


Here’s a rundown of the key events today for TexFest at Schreiner University:


  • 9 a.m. — Registration Open
  • 9 a.m. — Texas Heritage Days
  • 10 a.m — Featured Artist – Exit 505
  • 11:30 a.m. — Tribute to the “Father of Country Music” – Jimmie Rodgers. Featuring: George Ensle, Michael Martin and George Batista, Thom Spirit (Poet), Him & Her and special guests.
  • 5 p.m. — Featured Artist – Eric O’Shea (Comedy)
  • 7 p.m. — Friday After Dark: Join us for our guided Dead Texans Tour and learn the stories of some of Glen Rest Cemetery’s most famous residents.
  • 7 p.m. — Trailhead Stage Featured Artist – Clint Alford
  • 7 p.m — Cornhole Tournament


  • 8 a.m. — Uniquely Texas 5K/Fun Run
  • 9 a.m. — Sand Volleyball Tournament – Register Here
  • 10 a.m. — Live Music ALL DAY
  • 12 p.m. — BBQ Lunch (Schreiner BBQ Team)
  • 1 – 3 p.m. — Rise Against Hunger Community Service Project
  • 6 p.m. — Trailhead Stage Featured Artist – Bernie Nelson
  • 7 p.m. — Fall Ball (Semi-Formal) @ SU Event Center


Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha announced Thursday the arrest of three Kerrville men and two men from San Antonio suspected of seeking to meet children online to arrange for sexual encounters.

“This operation represents a new era in confronting those who victimize children in our area,” Leitha said in a Facebook post. “This multi-agency effort produced multiple arrests of people trying to meet underage victims. Using digital, in-person, and online methods, we have prevented immediate and ongoing threats. Operations of this kind combat human trafficking, child sex crime, among other criminal activity.”

The arrests were made on Wednesday after a lengthy investigation where deputies posed as underaged children.

Arrested were:

  • Joseph James Valles, 52, of Kerrville, for Prostitution (Person Under 18). Valles is being held on a $50,000 bond and has a prior conviction for capital murder.
  • Adrian Steven Rodriguez, 31, of Kerrville, for online solicitation of a minor / Sexual Contact. Rodriguez is being held on a $50,000 bond.
  • Cody Garrett Bowen, 22, of Kerrville, for online solicitation of a minor/sexual Contact. Bowen is being held on a $50,000 bond;
  • Cesar Alvarez, 48, of San Antonio, for online solicitation of prostitution. Alvarez is being held without bond;
  • Jorge Pichardo, 42, of San Antonio, for online solicitation of a minor/sexual contact and resisting arrest. Pichardo is being held without bond.

Leitha said the sheriff's office worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, Texas Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers, Kerrville Police Department, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

“The KCSO team, working closely with other jurisdictions, will spare no effort to protect the children of Kerr County," Leitha said. "We appreciate the strong support of our local and state colleagues. They did a great job in making this operation a success.”

Leitha said they are still investigating and searching for additional victims.

“The arrest of a single subject can prevent the victimization of dozens of underage people," Leitha said. "We are actively seeking additional information about other victims for further law enforcement action."


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott marks it as a badge of honor that he repeatedly sued President Obama when he was the state's attorney general, and his battles with Democrats are far from over.

On Friday, things ramped up when 10,000 immigrants gathered under the bridge connecting Mexico to Del Rio, Texas. Many of these immigrants are from Haiti, where the political situation has deteriorated and is complicated by natural disasters.

Abbott threatened to close the border. The feds said he had no power to do that, and Abbott backtracked a bit from that move.

See @TexasTribune's post on Twitter.

Of course, Sen. Ted Cruz was on scene in Del Rio to blame President Biden and show first-hand the situation. As Cruz explored the border, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went on Fox News to suggest Democrats and Biden are ushering in a revolution against the American people by allowing immigrants to come here.

See @tedcruz's post on Twitter.

See @tedcruz's post on Twitter.

While all of this drama unfolded, another battle was shaping up in the courts and it was a win for Texas — at least for the state's Republicans.

A federal judge said he would not grant a temporary restraining order to block the state's abortion law implementation. The law went into effect on Sept. 1. To read the reaction from Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton you'd thought they won a major victory, but the judge merely said the matter was complicated and he needed a broader understanding of the arguments.

See @KenPaxtonTX's post on Twitter.

See @FoxNews's post on Twitter.

Not to be outdone, Biden issued his own statement criticizing Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis.

See @JoeBiden's post on Twitter.

Somehow the world continues to turn.


Tivy is off to an 0-3 start on the football field and faces another stiff test at home against visiting Austin McCallum, 1-2 on the season.

The Antlers have given up 46 points per game in their first three losses. McCallum has been in tight games with a 14-13 season-opening win against Anderson and a 24-17 loss to Pflugerville Connally. The kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

In a battle of all-Kerr County teams, Ingram Tom Moore (0-3) plays host to Center Point (2-1), coming off a 14-8 win on the road against Sabinal. However, Center Point has lost five consecutive games against Ingram dating to 2012.


Tivy is 5-0 in 5A Region IV District 26 volleyball, but the Antlers face a huge test tonight. Tivy plays host to New Braunfels Canyon, also 5-0 in the district. Canyon is the defending district champion and has won 26 consecutive district matches.

The match starts at 6:30 p.m. at Tivy.


Former Kerrville City Councilwoman and The Lead's intrepid Thursday host is cooking her way through Ina Garten's cookbook, and she brought these delicious things onto the show on Thursday.


View more on Instagram.
Fresh raspberry mini corn muffins will be a hit at my show this morning on Kerr County Lead! Yes they are good as I ha…


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