Good morning, Kerr County!
Well, the rain came and soaked us for a bit and then it got muggy. However, the National Weather Service is taking no chances with these storms and has placed Kerr County under a flood watch until Wednesday. The unsettled weather continues into next week, and the National Weather Service isn't confident we'll get some of the rainfall totals they had expected. Today's forecast calls for just a quarter-inch. Of course, the folks up in Dallas got hammered on Monday with about 15 inches.
On today's The Lead Live!
We're onto our second day of Forging Connections: Focusing on Nonprofits. Today's lineup of guests:
- 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
- 11:40 — Kerrville Police Citizens Academy Alumni Association
Monday's first show featured 20 guests, with more than 600 viewers for the three-hour show. We also raised more than $140 for our nonprofits. Pint and Plow is closed today, but we will have coffee and donuts for a donation if you want to stop by! We encourage people to take the opportunity to donate to their favorite cause, including by sending us Facebook Stars. We had more than 3,000 stars sent on Monday (hey, it's $30, but it still counts).
Watch Monday's show:
Today's newsletter is free!
Typically, our Monday through Wednesday newsletter are for premium subscribers, but this week marks our first anniversary of publishing. So, we're offering today's newsletter for free. This is also our opportunity to remind you to subscribe to The Lead, starting at just $5.99 per month. To pay us, you must use Facebook Pay to get the $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year rate. To read the content, you do not have to belong to Facebook. If you want to pay but not through Facebook, we're offering an annual $60 subscription through Square.
- To subscribe for $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year, please follow this link: https://kerrcountylead.com/subscribe
- To subscribe through Square for $60 per year, please follow this link: https://checkout.square.site/merchant/MLEWCF2K4ASZZ/checkout/SSD7F5CF2Z6FWOF3NPQFGPCG Here's the catch: If you want to subscribe, you still have to register for a free account here: https://kerrcountylead.com/subscribe
- Kerr Arts Exhibits — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: https://www.kacckerrville.com The details: Three art exhibits. Paintings by James Crouse, “Images” KACC judged membership show, “Photoquest” a judged exhibit featuring images captured by members of the Kerrville Camera Club. Artists reception August 27th, 1-3 p.m.
- Luckenbach Legacy, Hondo's Daughter, Becky Crouch Patterson Exhibition — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: Becky Crouch Patterson, a fifth-generation Texan whose father was the legendary developer of historic tiny-town Luckenbach, made famous by Waylon Jennings's classic song, "Let's Go to Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love." This is Patterson's original art, described as a marriage of Texas Folk Art and Fine Art, plus textiles, memorabilia and works from her life. In addition to her work, Hondo and Luckenbach artifacts fill three cases.
- Hill Country Arts Foundation Member's Show — Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: Featuring art by HCAF member artists.
High school volleyball
- San Antonio MacArthur at Tivy, 6:15 p.m.
- Dhanis at Ingram Tom Moore, 6 p.m.
High school tennis
- Fredericksburg at Tivy, H-E-B Tennis Center, 4 p.m.
Stop the presses; no short-term rentals on the agenda
In a stunning development, the Kerrville City Council will not have short-term rentals on the agenda for its 6 p.m. meeting today at City Hall. Instead, the City Council will hold a first reading on the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget.
If that doesn't excite you, a first reading on setting the tax rate and issuing general obligation bonds is also on the docket. We'll have our live commentary from the meeting starting at 6 p.m.
The Kerrville Independent School District approved its budget
With a unanimous vote, the Kerrville Independent School District board of trustees approved their $44 million budget for the coming school year. The district lowered its tax rate to $1.03 per $100 of assessed value. Just some of the highlights from Monday's meeting:
- The balanced budget features a 3% salary increase for district employees and teacher step increases, including boosting first-year teachers' pay to $50,000 per year.
- Superintendent Mark Foust candidly admitted the district still had work to be done to raise its Texas Education Agency accountability score from a B grade to an A. The district produced an 86 score on the report, which relies heavily upon standardized testing results. KISD officials saw Hal Peterson Middle School's rate as a C as an area of continued focus.
- Trustees pulled a discussion and action item about reviewing library materials after a parent objected to the implementation process. The parent wanted stricter standards to meet his Christian beliefs, and board President Rolinda Schmidt said trustees would consider the matter later.
Kerr County COVID-19 death
The Texas Department of State Health Services said a Kerr County resident died from COVID-19 recently but did provide an exact date of death. By the DSHS count, that's at least the 190th death from the virus in Kerr County, but the virus appears to be settling across Texas.
Commissioner's Court faces criticism about illegal immigration invasion
For more than 40 minutes Monday, the Kerr County Commissioners Court faced accusations of letting crime run amok due to a surge of illegal immigrants coming through Kerr County. The angry voices, whipped up by the right-wing group "We The People, Liberty in Action," aimed most of their fury at Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly.
Without facts, the group accused Kelly of not granting Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha's alleged wish to declare an emergency declaration that illegal immigrants are invading Kerr County. It created an awkward moment for Leitha and Kelly.
"I think you want to be on the right side of this," Robin Monroe told Kelly. "Because if not, I think it would be great to create a Go Fund Me page and we can help disseminate these illegal aliens, and help the Sheriff's department, and I don't know where you live I will just let them know where you live because this is a sanctuary city, and they can go to you to figure out how to handle that."
At that point, Kelly shifted in his chair, huffed, and was visibly irritated.
One speaker after another hammered down on the believed rift between Leitha and Kelly.
Finally, Leitha clarified the matter by saying that he and Kelly had discussions about the declaration but that Kelly simply wanted Leitha to follow through on additional requirements.
"I'm getting the judge what he asked me to get," Leitha said. "I think he will agree with me when things look good. But one of the important things you hear, and I appreciate what you all said, but I want you to know as your sheriff, whether I get these funds or not, the county is safe."
To hear the speakers, you'd think that Kerr County is being routinely looted and burned. In August, more than half of Kerr County's arrests were related to drunk driving, being drunk in public and drugs. Two of those arrested were here illegally.
However, Leitha noted that the real areas of concern are Highway 41 and Interstate 10. Kerr County law enforcement has arrested at least seven on human smuggling charges this month.
Kelly said the jail has at least 20 inmates in the country illegally, and that expense is a legitimate concern. In the Del Rio sector, which shoots up Highway 41 to Interstate 10, the Border Patrol has apprehended more than 350,000 immigrants. More than 1.1 million have tried to enter the U.S., only to be met by the Border Patrol. Without question, there's tremendous pressure on the border, but how many of them are escaping is unclear.
Here are some facts about the border from the U.S. Border Patrol:
The unspoken uniform of the Commissioner's Court
We've noticed a trend of Columbia or similar fishing shirts as the shirt of choice of the Kerr County Commissioner's Court — with the exception of Judge Rob Kelly, who always wears a tie. Here's a look: