The Lead Sept. 27: The weekend was amazing

With major events galore, Kerr County shines as a destination for sport and art.

Good morning.

What a weekend!

If you didn't notice there were a lot of people in town this weekend, well, we don't know what to say. Three terrific art shows and, of course, the Kerrville Triathlon Festival were running around. Just some of the highlights:

  • The Texas Arts and Crafts Fair at the Hill Country Arts Foundation was packed with visitors. It's hard to say how many people were there, but we're guessing more than 500 or more when we visited Saturday afternoon. We visited with master watercolorist Edith Maskey of Comfort, who was showing with her husband, John, and they were also exhibiting at the Museum of Western Art. Thanks to our aversion to gluten, we didn't get a chance to try the Transylvania Chimney Cake baked goods, which looked fabulous.

Museum of Western Art Darrell Beauchamp is still recovering from a major motorcycle crash in August.

  • The Museum of Western Art held its 38th Annual Roundup art sale and exhibition. Not surprisingly, we ran into Edith Maskey. We also ran into Houston-based artist Vickie McMillan-Hayes, who was also showing her work at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center. However, the real star of the night wasn't an artist; it was MOWA Executive Director Darrell Beauchamp, who survived a harrowing motorcycle crash last month. We'll have more on Beauchamp's story later this week.

Artist Vickie MacMillan-Hayes paints in downtown Kerrville on Saturday morning.

  • On Saturday morning, we stopped by KACC, said hello to Executive Director Lanza Teague before checking out the nearly 60 artists painting downtown Kerrville. McMillan-Hayes was painting the Guthrie Building as part of the quickdraw competition held Saturday morning. The artists had three hours to paint a Plein Air work around the downtown area. McMillan-Hayes was a best of show winner for an earlier Plein Air work.

The incomparable Russell Nemky flexes before competing in Sunday's triathlon.

  • We did a lot of walking on Saturday morning, including on the course of the Triathlon, where more than 450 were competing. All told, more than 1,300 people competed in the two-day event that filled up Kerrville all weekend. While event organizers said there were 1,800 registered, the results published Sunday indicated a field slightly below 2019 attendance. However, the enthusiasm for the event doesn't seem to be waning. On Saturday, 37 people from Kerrville competed and on Sunday, another 18.


The Texas Department of State Health Services reported two additional Kerr County deaths on Saturday related to COVID-19. More on the story here:

The Kerrville Police Department made an arrest Saturday in the IHOP robbery from last week:


The Kerr County Commissioners Court, which meets at 9 a.m. today, will hear one of its first reports from its Capital Improvements Committee — a group of five Kerr County residents appointed by each commissioner. And the first thing they will hear, probably in a rather blunt manner from committee member Bobby Templeton, is that the West Kerr County Annex building is embarrassing.

The discussion is part of the county's plan to float possibly two bonds in 2022 to pay for new buildings, including replacing the West Kerr Annex.

Yeah, but how much is it going to cost?

Templeton probably won't get into that detail, but it's expected the county will have to replace the Ingram building. The county has a preliminary concept plan of what a new building would look like, but paying for it is still to be determined.


Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly will be a guest on Thursday's episode of The Lead Live, along with commercial real estate broker Bruce Stracke, to discuss the county's long-term needs when it comes to buildings and facilities. That show starts at 9 a.m.


The rush of development continues to dominate the court's discussion points after 10 a.m., and today is no different. The county will consider platting options on at least three parcels to bring more than 150 new ranch-sized properties to the county in the coming years. A ranch-sized property is 5-6 acres. One of the most significant developments could be a more than 580-acre property that straddles Kerr and Gillespie counties. Crenwelge, LLC, currently owns the Hideout Ranch, as the property is known, but is exchanging it through a tax procedure know as a 1031 exchange. In turn, the new owner, a company based in North Carolina, will re-plat the property into about 60 home sites of about 6 acres. The property is about 1 mile north of Interstate 10.


The Kerrville City Council will get a refresher course in ethics and its rules during its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday night at Cailloux Theater, 910 Main St.

The discussion about ethics and rules came up in earnest during the last City Council meeting when Place 1 Councilman Roman Garcia objected to an attempt by Mayor Bill Blackburn to recuse himself from a vote because the mayor was concerned about a longtime friendship with conditional use permit applicant. While Blackburn didn't have a financial conflict, he emphasized that he thought it was right to recuse himself. Garcia seized on that moment and suggested the mayor should leave the meeting and turn the presiding officer duties to Kim Clarkson, who serves as mayor pro-tem.

The row was the latest in a somewhat testy period on the Council — fueled in part over Garcia's support of an effort to stop the Council from issuing debt to fund a new public safety building.

Also on the Council agenda:

  • A second reading of the city's subdivision code, the framework that guides the city's land-use and building standards.
  • And speaking of testy, there will be a second reading on zoning changes for The Landing — a development on the southside of Lake Nimitz. During the last meeting, neighbors of the project have complained about potential changes and access to their property.
  • Finally, for the pure entertainment value, the public comments are unique, interesting, slightly threatening and always worthy of dissection on The Lead Live after the fact.


Kerrville-based singer-songwriter-musician Konrad Wert is prepping to undertake a massive road trip starting Thursday in Tyler, Texas.

Wert, who performs under Possessed by Paul James, will cover 16 cities, 13 states and more than 5,000 miles — in 22 days.

"I've got my RV decked out and ready," Wert said Sunday afternoon.

The trip takes him to Arkansas on Friday, Memphis on Saturday, and Nashville on Oct. 4. After that, h heads to Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana before making a 649-mile drive to Syracuse, New York. Before returning home, the rest of the journey takes him to Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, Maryland, West Virginia, Atlanta, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Wert's one-man show is a mix of Bluegrass, folk and Americana. His work has ranked in the Billboard Country/Bluegrass charts, but he hasn't undertaken a tour like this since 2015. Wert has worked as a special education teacher for years, including the last few at Tivy High School. However, the coronavirus pandemic changed all of that.

Wert said the demand for live music has exploded as the nation opened back up. Increasingly, live performances have become more lucrative for the artists due to the shrinking return on royalties from music contracts.

In years past, Wert would tour during the summer to bring his wife and children. However, the road is now calling, and he's ready.

Kerrville's Konrad Wert.


For the diehard Tivy football fans, the 0-5 predicament the Antlers have themselves in is probably strange — and definitely uncomfortable.

However, there are some ways to look at this situation:

  • Sports are cyclical in their talent swings, and the Antlers were fortunate to have some talented and deep teams in years past.
  • The first five opponents Tivy played have a 16-5 combined record. Dripping Springs is 5-0, while Calallen, which beat the Antlers last week, is 4-0 and ranked No. 2 in the state 4A Division I.
  • And, finally and most importantly, the Antlers aren't out of the playoff hunt. The tough part is the district is 17-8 overall. Both Alamo Heights and Floresville are undefeated, while Boerne Champion is 4-1. Wins against Lockhart and Medina Valley and an upset, the Antlers could be back in the playoffs.

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