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The Lead Aug. 17, 2022: Save that water as Kerrville imposes Stage 1 restrictions

We also had a fascinating conversation about "unschooling."

Good morning, Kerr County!

The National Weather Service offered some good news, some not-so-good news and what feels like daunting stuff on Tuesday. The next eight to 14 days look like we could see below-average temperatures and a higher chance of rain, but after that … yuck. The forecast for the next three months suggests above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for most of Texas. Kerr County should see mostly sunny conditions today, but there's a 30% chance of rain on Thursday.

On today's The Lead Live

Kerrville City Councilmember Brenda Hughes and Kerrville Pets Alive! President Karen Guerriero join us to share their reaction to Kerr County Pct. 2 Commissioner-elect Rich Paces' arguing against building a new animal shelter. Both Hughes and Guerriero are heavily invested in providing care at the shelter.

Today's events!


  • Convocation — Schreiner University, 10:30 a.m. It's the 100th convocation ceremony for the university, which welcomes a large class of first-year students.
  • Our Museum of Us: Curating Your Family's Stuff into a Digital Future — Upper Guadalupe River Authority, 2-4 p.m. Information: 830-896-5445 The details: a hands-on workshop with Dr. Mark Standley. Sometimes our stuff possesses us, as much as we keep it. We accumulate stuff throughout our lives in our' hills of enough'. We have stories about our things but don't always take the time to share them with others. During this workshop, participants will learn how to ask questions, curate stories and digitally record memories and items of value with their smartphones or other devices.

Markets and sales

  • Kerr County Produce Market Day — The Big Red Barn, 10 a.m., Information: 830-896-7330 The details: Kerr County Produce Market Day (The Big Red Barn). Local Hill Country wholesale warehouse distributor for the finest fruits and vegetables. Open to the public.
  • 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.

Live music

  • Bernice Lewis — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: The details: Bernice is a published poet, a producer, and educator extraordinaire and storyteller. Bernice — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR's Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. She's a New Folk finalist and no stranger to Kerrville, where she'll bring over 40 years of live music performance experience.

Coming Thursday


  • Thirsty Thursday Trivia Night — Arcadia Live!, 5:45 p.m. Information: The details: Join the fun-filled crew at Arcadia Live for another trivia night and, perhaps, become the new reigning Trivia Champ Team! Beyond bragging rights, winning teams will be awarded gift cards to local restaurants.

Stories we're following

Beto O'Rourke visits the Texas Hill Country

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke makes one of his forays into the Republican stronghold that is the Texas Hill Country when he visits Fredericksburg at 6 p.m. at the Pioneer Pavillion, 432 Lady Bird Dr. It has not been announced when O'Rourke would make a campaign stop in Kerrville. However, O'Rourke faces long odds here in the Hill Country, overwhelmingly supporting Greg Abbott for governor and Donald Trump for president. The latest Dallas Morning News/University of Texas, Tyler poll found O'Rourke trailing Abbott by seven percentage points.

An investigation into JROTC programs nationwide

The New York Times reported on Monday that Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that her committee wanted questions answered about oversight of the Junior ROTC programs across the country. Maloney is the chairwoman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee. The information request comes after The New York Times published a story about multiple cases of sexual abuse involving JROTC instructors and cadets. The JROTC programs are at high schools across the country, including here in Kerrville at Tivy High School, which has an Air Force JROTC program. Kerrville Independent School District is facing a federal Civil Rights lawsuit that alleges a JROTC instructor and another teacher sexually abused her. The Times reported 33 instructors, many of them decorated veterans and retired officers, were criminally charged in abuse cases.

ERCOT has a new leader

The Texas Tribune provides a profile on the new CEO of the Energy Reliability Council of Texas — he's from Ohio. Read up:

The water restrictions are here — the easy ones

The city of Kerrville announced Tuesday that it was officially in Stage 1 water restrictions — a move that surprised no one.

Here's the city's announcement:

  • While the Kerrville community has invested for decades in a robust water supply that has helped forego Stage 1 measures up to this point, Stage 1 measures will hopefully help further reduce demand and conserve water resources for critical potable uses if the drought persists. Please help do your part and save wisely. Stage 1 Moderate Water Conservation measures will continue until further notice, but likely through at least the end of August.
  • The watering schedule for Stage 1 allows for landscape and lawn watering with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems from 6-10 a.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight on Tuesday and Saturday for street addresses whose last digit ends in an odd number, and 6-10 a.m. and 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Wednesday and Sunday for street addresses whose last digit ends in an even number.
  • Landscape watering with a hand-held hose is allowed every day and any time for all addresses in Stage 1.
  • Stage 1 measures do not affect the city's reuse water customers, which include three area golf courses, the Sports Complex, and the Tivy High School and Schreiner University athletic fields.

The Forging Connections Week is coming next week

Our first-ever "Forging Connections: Focus on Nonprofits" show starts Monday at 8 a.m. at Pint and Plow. It's a full week of conversations with 35 Kerr County nonprofit groups. The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country is sponsoring the event. However, this is an important opportunity for people to raise money for their favorite nonprofit groups by sending Facebook Stars (each star is worth 1 cent) during The Lead Live next week. The Lead will then give that money back to the nonprofits. If that sounds like a hassle, stop by, donate in person, and have a cup of coffee while you're at it.

Here's our schedule:


8:10 — Community Foundation of The Texas Hill Country

8:40 — Glory Community Garden

9:10 — Families and Literacy

9:40 — MHDD

10:10 — CASA

10:40 — Sisters in Service

11:10 — Texas Heritage Music Foundation


8:10 — Light on the Hill

8:40 — Special Opportunity Center

9:10 — Arcadia Live

9:40 — Raphael Clinic

10:10 — Kerr Konnect

10:40 — Yoga for Veterans

11:10 — Texas Veterans Commission


8:10 — Big Brothers, Big Sisters

8:40 — Together with Hill Country Veterans

9:10 — Kerrville Pets Alive

9:40 — Doyle School Community Center

10:10 — BCFS Health and Human Services

10:40 — Community Foundation of The Texas Hill Country

11:10 — American Red Cross

11:40 — The Hill Country Youth Orchestra


8:10 — Kerr County Sheriff's Foundation

8:40 — Rotary Club of Kerrville

9:10 — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center

9:40 — Parenting Resource Center

10:10 — Dietert Center

10:40 — Animal Welfare Society of Kerr County/Freeman Fritts Shelter

11:10 — The Kerrville Lion's Club


8:10 — YMCA

8:40 — Hill Country Arts Foundation

9:10 — Native Plant Society

9:40 — Riverside Nature Center

10:10 — Hill Country Youth Ranch

10:40 — The Big Fix

The Kerrville Police Department makes a bust

There's an old saying that good things don't really happen at 3:15 a.m. — unless you're a police officer making a traffic stop.

A Kerrville police officer pulled over a car heading eastbound on Interstate 10 near mile marker 508. When the officer approached the car, he noticed that one of the men in the car was acting suspiciously. Police said the man gave them a false name and later admitted he was under an active parole violation warrant issued by the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole.

Police said they found 11 grams of methamphetamine, scales used to weigh methamphetamine, about 100 small zip lock style bags commonly used for packaging drugs to sell, and other drug paraphernalia.

The 40-year-old San Antonio man was arrested, taken to the Kerr County Jail, and held pending a bond. Two other men were released at the scene.

When you dive into the numbers, Ingram ISD's performance is even more impressive

Ingram Independent School District Superintendent Robert Templeton doesn't want to single out what his district just accomplished, but it's hard not to notice.

The Texas Education Agency graded Ingram ISD with an A on Monday, scoring 96 out of 100 points. The district was the second-highest performing district in the San Antonio region.

"There are a number of great schools in the area, and it's an honor to be included with them," Templeton wrote in an email. "The teachers and staff at Ingram ISD are amazing; beyond measure. They are the ones that deserve all the credit for the many great things going on at our school."

What makes Ingram's accomplishment impressive if they were No. 1 in the region when it comes to serving economically disadvantaged students. More than 70% of Ingram's student population is considered economically disadvantaged. Only Somerset ISD had more financially disadvantaged students of districts receiving an A grade in the region. Somerset has 88% of its more than 4,000 students who fall into that area of need, but the district still compiled an A grade.

Kerrville resident authors book about her "unschooling experience"

Imagine guiding a three-year-old child through a museum — there are several scenarios at play here — but consider one of the defining questions of toddlerdom — why?

As you make your way through a hall of animals, a little voice coming from a shockingly strong tiny human is belting out, "why?" Every few seconds, the question repeats itself.

For Jean Nunnally, the solution was empowering her children to ask questions and providing them the resources to discover the answers. For the Nunnally family, that was the genesis of their "unschooling journey."

"I was intrigued by it because I was really intrigued by how well my seeing my babies, how well they could regulate their own physiological systems," said Nunnally, who moved to Kerrville about a year ago with her husband, Todd.

Now, this is homeschooling but with a twist. The principles here are rooted in allowing children to direct their education with limited boundaries. Her daughter graduated from Vanderbilt University, while her son earned an engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. Both are thriving in their post-graduate lives.

However, Jean Nunnally wanted to chronicle her "unschooling her children" and wrote a book published this year called "Success without School." The unschooling concept is a subset of homeschooling, Nunnally told The Lead during an interview on Tuesday's live webcast.

"I convinced my husband to go to this conference called "Rethinking Education" and I said, 'look, we're both public school products."' And we know how that works. Why don't we just take one weekend out of our lives to attend this conference and see?"

The trip to Grapevine helped the couple to test their boundaries when it comes to education. Many concerns about homeschooling came into play, but Nunnally said they navigated them successfully.

"It was a little bit life-changing for me because I was seeing all these kids in a way that I've never seen kids before, teenagers who were able to look us in the eye and talk to us and then just turn on a dime and talk with my two year old," Nunnally said.

Her take on socialization is that homeschooled children have a stronger person-to-person connection with adults because those adults aren't necessarily authority figures.

"Community was a really important thing for us, and I just intentionally met people, the homeschooling community tends to be small and because it's small, it's pretty well connected," Nunnally said. "You know, just word of mouth and we had a little community of, you know, 10 or 12 families that we did stuff with all the time."

To read Nunnally's book, you can buy it here:

And to watch our interview with her advance to the 30-minute mark for the conversation:

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