The Lead Dec. 11, 2021: Saturday marks one of the busiest days of the year; Peterson will get a trauma unit

We're just two weeks away from Christmas.


It's Saturday, and we're two weeks out from the Big Day! Who is ready? Things will be considerably cooler tonight after temperatures in the 80s on Friday — decidedly seasonal. That's good news for the myriad of events today and tonight.


With more than a dozen events going on today, we're falling back to our list of things to do and keep checking back to see if we find updates. However, we're looking forward to the Ingram Christmas Parade tonight.


We visited more than a dozen homes — mainly near Guadalupe Steet — in our ongoing effort to catalog some of Kerr County's best Christmas Light displays. We're now at 98 homes and we will go over 100 later tonight. So, check back on our Facebook page later today. And if you want to go out and visit, here's our map: The Kerrville Christmas Lights Map



Texas' abortion law stands — sort of, well, maybe

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to keep Texas' controversial abortion law intact but allow abortion providers to sue the state over the law. The decision sent shockwaves throughout the legal community — many scholars questioning what laws could be enacted next based on Texas' unique implementation of Senate Bill 8, which allows enforcement of its abortion ban in the civil courts.

The decision allows abortion providers to sue some state officials, not local clerks, who would process the court filings on S.B. 8. If that were the case, it might stop S.B. 8 from being implemented, but the court ruled 5-4 not to allow this to happen. Technically, the overall 8-1 decision to allow limited lawsuits against the state law is a win for abortion providers, but legal experts said it's very narrow.

See @steve_vladeck's post on Twitter.

Based on the dissent from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the decision should have followed the precedent of Roe v. Wade, and overturned the state's ban.

"The Court should have put an end to this madness months ago, before S. B. 8 first went into effect," Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. "It failed to do so then, and it fails again today. I concur in the Court's judgment that the petitioners' suit may proceed against certain executive licensing officials who retain enforcement authority under Texas law, and I trust the District Court will act expeditiously to enter much-needed relief. I dissent, however, from the Court's dangerous departure from its precedents, which establish that federal courts can and should issue relief when a State enacts a law that chills the exercise of a constitutional right and aims to evade judicial review. By foreclosing suit against state-court officials and the state attorney general, the Court effectively invites other States to refine S. B. 8's model for nullifying federal rights. The Court thus betrays not only the citizens of Texas, but also our constitutional system of government."

Peterson Regional Medical Center is readying for Trauma certification

On Friday, staff from Peterson Regional Medical Center were guests on The Lead Live, and they broke a little bit of news. Darrin Smith, the trauma coordinator for the hospital, said on the show that Peterson is nearing being certified as a Level 4 Trauma Center — that's a big deal. With that certification, Peterson will treat the most critically injured patients rather than fly them to San Antonio or Austin trauma centers. Smith said there will still be transfers, but the capabilities are good news considering Peterson's role as a regional medical center.

2 Interesting items on Monday's agenda for the Kerr County Commissioner's Court

The Kerr County Commissioners Court meets on Monday, and their agenda is lengthy, but two items piqued our curiosity.

The Heart of the Hills Farmer's Market, not to be confused with the Kerrville Farmer's Market, asks the court to allow it to hold its market at the Court House on Saturday mornings. The group had tried to do the market at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, where the Kerrville Farmer's Market is held on Fridays, but the city of Kerrville turned down that request. So, the next step was to go to the county and the applicant, Joe Martin, said he was urged by Pct. 1 Commissioner Harley Belew and Pct. 4 Commissioner Don Harris to get the matter on the court's agenda.

The second item is led by Pct. 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz and it's a discussion about economic incentives made to Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing — the North Dakota-based aerospace firm — to open a plant in Kerrville. There's no clear point of discussion on the agenda, but, interestingly, the commissioners want to discuss it. Most of the project's financing was by the city of Kerrville.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Monday.

Say it ain't so — Slate Gray Gallery to close

In an Instagram post, downtown Kerrville art gallery Slate Gray will close its doors on Jan. 8 — primarily due to struggles finding employees and childcare.

"Between the lack of childcare for our existing employees and new employee availability, we have decided it's best to close the Kerrville location and focus our energies on the Telluride gallery," wrote owner Beth McClaughlin. "We will continue to carry the works of most of our artists and we have the opportunity to ship works to Texas from Colorado as we have in the past. You can still find us at"

That's a big loss for Earl Garret Street and downtown.


View more on Instagram.
It saddens me to send this announcement, but the KERRVILLE location of Slate Gray Gallery will be closing after the new…

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