The Lead April 12, 2022: Saturday's house fire in Kerrville leaves woman dead

Firefighters discovered the body of a woman after fighting a Water Street fire.

Good morning, Kerr County!

Who enjoyed being awoken by a thunderstorm on Monday morning? We were dragging after the early morning storm but grateful for some moisture that didn't immediately evaporate. However, by the end of Monday, it was hot. We can expect more of the same today. There's another slight chance (20%) of thunderstorms Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

On today's The Lead Live!

Sante Clinical Research owner Danielle Monclova will discuss her Kerrville-based business and some of the important she's doing with drug trials with some of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Kerrville Convention and Visitor Bureau President and CEO Julie Davis will join us to discuss the weekend activities. Join us at 9 a.m.

Mark your calendars for today's events

Public meetings


  • Mystical Musings Class — Mystical Musings, 7 p.m. Information: The details: A free class for those that want to cleanse themselves of bad luck, guilt, negativity, and other things that weigh down your spirit. It is perfect for those trying to attain a higher frame of mind while working toward a specific goal.
  • KACC Exhibits — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: Three exhibits are running at KACC through April 16. The Hill Country Youth Art Exhibit; Kerrville 1940-1960, a photographic history of the community sponsored by the Kerr County Historical Commission; Passion Project: Our contributions to the world, a collection of work from Schreiner University, senior art students.
  • Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: The details: Featuring works by renowned artists who celebrate the heavens. The exhibition will feature works by Phil Bob Borman, G. Russell Case, Tim Newton, Laurel Daniel, Linda Glover Gooch, David Griffin, David Grossman, Michael Magrin, Denise LaRue Mahlke, Phil Starke and John Taft.
  • The Fiber Show and Sale — Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: The details: An exhibit of fiber art by artists from across Texas.

Wednesday, April 13

  • Live music by Rooster Martinez — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: The details: Rooster Martinez is a poet and writer from Austin, Texas. He has a Master's Degree in creative writing, literature, and social justice from our Lady of the Lake University. He has written for several magazines and conveys his personal experiences through spoken word poetry and writing.
  • Friends of the Library Book Sale — Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, 1-3 p.m. Information: The details: Looking for a great read? Or better yet, come down and support the work of Friends of the Library. Maybe find a banned book? That sounds like a fun day to us.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by:

Fatal House Fire

Kerrville Fire Department firefighters found a body inside a Water Street home after a fire gutted it Saturday morning. In an early Sunday morning press release, fire officials said they found a 72-year-old woman in the house. They are awaiting confirmation of her identity from the Travis County Medical Examiner. The Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department and the State Fire Marshall are investigating the fire. On Friday, four dogs at the property were surrendered to Kerr County Animal Services at the property.

Kerr County website update

Clint Morris has been tasked with a difficult job — modernizing Kerr County's desktop-driven website to compete in a mobile-intensive world. "About 70% of the views are from mobile devices," Morris told the Kerr County Commissioner's Court on Monday.

Digging through more than 1,000 web pages connected to the county's aging website, Morris and his design team are working with county department leaders to develop new navigation and design that fits a mobile-first delivery strategy. Morris said the site should be in a preview format within 30 days.

The state says to do it; the county says not so fast

Despite a state code that stop signs be installed at all intersections, one escaped notice in Ingram. The angled intersection at West Hi Line Road and Looker Drive is the location, and residents asked the Kerr County Commissioners Court to install one. However, one neighbor said it was a waste of money.

"This is a very simple evaluation, if we have an intersection the minor road needs to stop before the major road," said Charlie Hastings, the county's engineer. "It needs a sign. It's not anything that needs to be questioned. It needs to be done. You don't have to have a traffic study."

Hastings' blunt assessment didn't seem to sway the commissioners, especially Precinct 3 commissioner Jonathan Letz, who called the state rule "weird." Letz said plenty of rural intersections don't have stop signs and that people knew how to handle it.

"I'm not sure that it financially makes sense," Letz said.

"I think that's why it hasn't been done," Hastings replied.

However, Hastings said it's the court's discretion to install them but suggested the county follow the code and install them.

In the end, the vote passed 2-0. Letz, Precinct 1 Commissioner Harley Belew and Judge Rob Kelly abstained from the vote.

He's from a different generation

Even before the Kerr County Commissioner's Court could dig into a morning of work, Precinct 1 Commissioner Harley Belew delivered this (jokey) missive during the commissioner's comments.

"I'm sad to say there will be no fireworks for San Jacinto Day but think of another way to do it, chase someone with a gun," Belew said. "I'm just kidding. That's what happened on San Jacinto Day."

A war of words

In most instances, The Lead strives for civil discourse, but sometimes it's hard to police the shenanigans in the comments section of our Facebook page. Really hard.

After last week's Kerrville City Council candidate forum, former City Councilwoman Delayne Sigerman, who is also a co-host of The Lead on Thursdays, took exception to several comments made by mayoral candidate Brent Bates — we're still trying to fact-check all of his claims.

"I take offense about many of the things Brent said in his opening statement," Sigerman wrote. "He stated that he started the River Trail. He put a strip of concrete alongside of the condos on Guadalupe Street and that does NOT constitute taking credit for the hard work of implementing an entire 5 mile of River Trail that adjoins it."

Bates made many claims during the meeting, implying that the city should eliminate its development services department and zoning. Bates is suing the city in federal court — something not mentioned during the forum. The lawsuit has to deal with an office building Bates is developing along Water Street — one the city has placed a stop-work order upon.

"I think the city is still waiting 180 days for Brent Bates to make a worthy, qualified request to the city for a permit," Sigerman said. "The city has been waiting for him to comply for many days. He conveniently leaves this out!"

That drew this response from Bates: "Delayne, in response to your insistence on making false and inflammatory comments, I am releasing the public record of my federal lawsuit. I suggest you consult with a criminal attorney concerning your ex-parte communication (a crime) with the City during my appeal period, even the day of my Hearing before the council. A tiny fraction of the evidence I posses will be contained therein. The interesting question is whether the City's insurance carrier will continue to defend you and the other Council Members as the evidence of your criminal behavior mounts. Have a nice day. You will be able to see it at within a day or two."

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