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The Lead Nov. 17, 2021: We need radios; Chip Roy is running again; and we are in parade countdown

The Christmas Parade is Saturday in downtown Kerrville


We are halfway there through this and that means for all of you parents with school-age children you are one step closer to a week at home with the kids. Yes, the Thanksgiving holidays are fast-approaching and next week we will have some helpful guides to help you manage it. First, however, a look at the rest of the week:

  • On today's episode of The Lead Live, podcaster and attorney Tom Fox, interviewing people here in Kerr County and around the Hill Country about their careers and passions, joins us. First United Methodist Church Pastor David Payne will visit to discuss some of the projects at the church. The show starts at 9 a.m.
  • Coming Thursday, we will be at Delayne Sigerman's home for our first-ever Ina Garten cooking show (sans Ina Garten), but this will be a lot of fun and probably chaotic. The fun starts at 9 a.m.
  • On Friday, we are having a special two-hour show. In the first hour, Kayte Graham of the Kerrville Farmer's Market and Salvation Army Major Missy Romack will tell us all about the Kerrville Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center's Thanksgiving plans. At 10 a.m., The Texas Center's Don Frazier will stop in to discuss Texas History. Programming note, we will be doing the show live from the Kroc Center on Thanksgiving morning.
  • On Nov. 22 (that's Monday), Kerrville Fire Chief Eric Maloney will tell us how not to burn our house down if we're planning to deep fry a turkey. We probably should ask Kerrville Police Chief Chris McCall to join us to remind us of the consequences of celebrating too much over the holidays.
  • On Nov. 23, the sister act of Emily Simpson and Stephanie Seefeldt will join us to talk about Cartewheels — a cafe and catering company. Simpson is the owner after buying the business from their mother, while Seefelft manages the restaurant and events. By the way, somebody over there makes the best gluten-free dessert in the Hill Country.


Saturday night, starting at 6 p.m., we will get in our best Christmas spirit — well before we deep fry the turkey — for the Lighted Christmas Parade. Stuart Cunyus, public information officer over at the city of Kerrville, sent along this reminder: For the 11th year in a row, awards will be given out for the category winners. First place in each of the four categories, including Marching, Youth, Non-Profit and Commercial Business, will be awarded $150. A panel of judges will judge each participant during the parade. The winners will be announced at the Courthouse Lighting Ceremony following the Holiday Lighted Parade.


In our first iteration of The Lead, we utilized the talents of Nissa Kendall to bring some light to our day. So, we thought we'd bring her back. Today's offering:

"There may be a good reason that I don't know about, but why are new books still published in hardback first? They're $10 more than paperback and they're bigger and just . . . not cool. They're going to end up in the bargain bin. Just make everything paperback to begin with."


KPUB to consider opting out of ERCOT financing plan

The Kerrville Public Utility Board will meet at 8:30 a.m. today to discuss opting out of a plan that allows the Energy Reliability Council of Texas, AKA ERCOT, to provide financing to local electric companies stung by the high energy costs during the February winter storm. However, an engineering consultancy is recommending KPUB not participate in the program.

During the storm, KPUB and other utilities faced soaring prices for power controlled by ERCOT. KPUB's bill was $4.7 million, which the utility planned to borrow to pay down. Earlier this year, the legislature approved a securities plan that would allow utilities to pay into an ERCOT fund that would essentially provide refunds. In a report to the board, KPUB President and CEO Mike Wittler said there are many unknowns attached to the ERCOT plan and that borrowing to pay back the $4.7 million may be better — at least, based on a 5.2% interest rate.

At least 58 utility boards and groups have opted out of the plan.

Kerrville-Kerr County Airport Board meets today

In its first meeting since the fatal drag racing crash at the airport, the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport board of directors will meet at 8:30 a.m. today. However, there's nothing on the agenda about the incident.

New communications systems sought

One of the things we'll talk about on Monday with Kerrville Fire Chief Eric Maloney is the need for a new communications system for the fire and police departments. Maloney and Police Chief Eric McCall presented a plan to the City Council about improving an antiquated system that operated via VHF radio frequencies. The departments plan to move to a 700 megahertz system that allows greater flexibility to grow the system. However, the project is likely to exceed $3 million. For a deeper dive into the story, here's our link:

Rep. Chip Roy seeking another term in office

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, who represents the 21st Congressional District, including Kerr County, announced he's running for re-election. We took a deep dive into Roy's voting record after seeing an earlier story that he's feuding with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). After voting to uphold the results of the 2020 election, Roy has seemingly taken a harder turn to the right, often standing with a small minority of Republicans to say no — to many things. For instance, in recent weeks, Roy has said no to Native American Tribes expanding tribal boundaries — in some cases by just a few acres — and was one of only the members of the House to vote against a bill that would expand benefits to law enforcement officers injured or killed in the line of duty. Here's a link to our story:

Peterson Regional Medical Center catches a COVID-19 break

For the first time in weeks, Peterson Regional Medical Center reported there were no patients admitted to the intensive care unit with COVID-19. On Tuesday, the hospital said just four people were hospitalized and six new cases. The actual number of active cases appears to be hovering around 40. Still, that number is unclear because of the consistent lag in reporting from the Texas Department of State Health Services.


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