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The Lead Nov. 19, 2021: Sheriff's makes a bust; hands out awards

Who is ready for the Christmas Parade? We are!


We made it! We're on the eve of the first Christmas Parade of the season. We feel giddy with excitement about the impending parade. We're also looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claus. Of course, the festivities will start around downtown at 10 a.m., with some music, including a brass ensemble with the great George Eychner playing the trumpet.

Despite this morning's chilly start, we should have great weather until Thanksgiving, where there will be a 20% chance of rain. Saturday's parade weather will be fantastic, with highs in the 70s throughout the day and lows in the high 50s.


At 9 a.m. today, we'll be joined by Kayte Graham of the Kerrville Farmer's Market to discuss the latest happenings. She's also threatened to bring her three sons onto the show — Lincoln, Redford and toddler Wallace, who speaks his own language. Salvation Army Major Missy Romack will tell us all about the Kerrville Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center's Thanksgiving plans. We had planned to chat with The Texas Center's Don Frazier, but he had to reschedule with him, and we'll have him on after Thanksgiving. Kerrville Pets Alive President Karen Guerriero will stop by today to tell us about the group's weekend plans, including its involvement in the Lighted Christmas Parade.




Kerrville Farmers Market

4-6 p.m.

A.C. Schreiner Mansion, Water Street, Kerrville

Stock up on produce, have a pizza, buy some salsa, enjoy the afternoon and early evening.

"A Christmas Carol"

The Point Theater (indoor theater), Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram

7:30 p.m., runs through Dec. 11

No Christmas season is complete without a visit from old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future who bring about the most famous transformation in literary history. Join a small group of actors who re-create the dozens of characters populating Dickens' timeless tale of the redemptive power of Christmas. Need info?

Live Music

  • 6-8 p.m., Stephen Perricone, Pint and Plow, Kerrville
  • 6 p.m., Voodoo Lengua, The Hunt Store, Hunt
  • 8 p.m., T. Kaye & Sweetfire, Pier 27 River Lounge & 8 Ball, Kerrville
  • 8 p.m., Sophia Johnson Band, La Escondida 1962, Kerrville


Kerr County Sheriff's Office arrests 2 in alleged smuggling

The Kerr County Sheriff's Office arrested two people alleged of smuggling illegal immigrants on Monday. With the assistance of the Kerrville Police Department, deputies took into custody six men suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, turning them over to the Border Patrol.

"Again this week, human smuggling is touching Kerr County, putting the lives of everyone involved at risk," Sheriff Larry Leitha said. "The criminal organizations at the center of these cases are well-orchestrated and becoming more brazen in their disregard for public safety. We appreciate the long hours of work by our KCSO deputies and investigators, and again thank the Kerrville Police Department for their assistance."

The incident started when sheriff's deputies were alerted that a Ford pickup truck was traveling at a high rate of speed along eastbound Interstate 10, with people in the back of the bed. When the pickup truck exited at Sidney Baker Street and into the Shell gas station parking lot, deputies stopped it and began questioning the driver. As this occurred, several men in the back of the pickup truck made a run for it, according to a sheriff's press release. Five of the men stopped when ordered by the deputy. Another man fled on foot and was picked up by a gold-colored Chevrolet pickup truck, but witnesses saw the man hiding and fleeing in the truck and alerted the police. A Kerrville police officer and a sheriff's deputy stopped the pickup, arresting Kristine Nicole Gragg, 43, of Pflugerville, on suspicion of human smuggling and possession of a controlled substance and then another charge of having a prohibited substance at a correctional facility. Gragg was held on a $50,000 bond.

Back at the Shell Station, Kerrville police and Kerr County sheriff's took into custody Adrian Noel Rangel, 37, of Austin, arrested on 12 counts of human smuggling, a third-degree felony. Rangel was taken and booked into the Kerr County Jail with a $360,000 bond.

And on Thursday, the sheriff celebrated jobs well done

Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha wanted to recognize the office's deputies, correctional deputies and civilian staff. So, on Thursday at Calvary Temple Church, Leitha honored those individuals during a Thanksgiving-themed luncheon. With the help of the Kerr County Sheriff's Foundation, law enforcement officials feasted on a turkey lunch, and there was plenty to cheer for throughout an awards program. We'll have more on the awards in Saturday's newsletter, but here are some photos from the event:

The good, the bad of COVID-19

Peterson Regional Medical Center was down to one person hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday — a huge improvement from where we've been since July. However, yes, here it comes: the statewide numbers appear to be trending upward. On Thursday, Texas saw the most significant number of new cases since Oct. 19 — more than 4,000. So, what does it mean? It's a mixed bag as we head into winter, but at least locally, the numbers seem on the wane.

On Wednesday, we downloaded data from the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration show the impact on Peterson Regional Medical Center, and one of the concerns is that the hospital's admissions are high — even without COVID-19 patients. So, another wave of COVID-19 would prove problematic. Last week, as the number of COVID-19 patients waved, Peterson reported that 13 of its 14 intensive care unit beds were full and 81 hospitalizations. Peterson's acute-care capacity is around 86, but it's capable of providing care for more than 120.


Schreiner women make it home tonight

After a tough two-game road trip to Oregon last week, the Schreiner University women's basketball team returns to action tonight by playing host to Huston-Tillotson at 6 p.m. tonight. The Mountaineers, 1-4, take on a Huston-Tillotson team that is 1-4 and has lost four consecutive games.


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