The Lead Feb. 16, 2022: Precinct 2 GOP candidates square off at forum

There aren't major differences between the three candidates who attended; development remains top of mind for all three.

Good morning, Kerr County!

There's an allegation we may have some moisture on the roads this morning, but that should clear the way for sunny weather the rest of the day. We're headed from some cool days before things heat up next week. How about 82 on Tuesday?

On today's The Lead Live

Rachel Fitch of Fitch Estate Sales takes control of the show, and we fully expect to head down some interesting paths with her years of stories about the pawn industry and working in Kerrville. Join us at 9 a.m.

Things to do today!

Kerr County Produce Market Day

10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Information: 830-896-7330

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 used book sale

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library

1-3 p.m.


Movie Chat

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library

3:30 p.m.


Our Movie Chat program is similar in format to our book clubs but with a movie instead. Participants may check out a copy of our featured movie, "Doubt", and watch it independently. On Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., join the staff in the library meeting room to discuss key points and concepts highlighted in the film.

Live music by Charlie Hueber

7-9 p.m.

Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University


Dr. Charlie Hueber currently serves as Schreiner University's Dean of Students. As he drives back and forth to the campus, he has dreamt of being on stage and sharing his music with others. During COVID, Hueber dusted off his old guitar and spent his spare time building up the courage to do just that. This past fall, he took the stage for the first time and performed at TexFest. His "Baby got Back" cover was a hit (to those who have a sense of humor). He plays a mix of originals and cover songs dedicated to those in love and those with broken hearts.

Kerr County Precinct 2 candidates get down to business at forum

In a tidy 45-minute forum Tuesday night, three-of-the-four candidates for the Precinct 2 Commissioner Court seat discussed the essential issues facing eastern Kerr County in the years to come.

Moderated by former Kerr County Judge Fred Henneke, candidates Sonya Hooten, Rich Paces and Stan Kubenka argued why they would be the best person to serve Precinct 2, currently held by Beck Gibson, who was appointed to fill the seat when Tom Moser stepped down from the court last year. Former Kerrville Mayor Jack Pratt was invited to attend the forum but never responded to the Republican Women of Kerr County.

All four candidates stress their conservative values and credentials, but the discussion never devolved into personal attacks and name-calling, unlike a previous GOP forum involving state-level candidates.

Early voting began Monday and runs through next Friday, and the primary election is March 1. A runoff is likely for the Republican bid with four candidates in the field. There are no declared Democrats or Libertarians, but write-in candidates can still qualify.

With emergent growth a fundamental issue for Precinct 2, which covers parts of Kerrville, Center Point and Camp Verde, the candidates didn't disagree much on managing development. There were no slam dunks in this engagement between the candidates.

Perhaps, the one audible moment came from audience whispers opposing potentially three general obligation bonds in November to finance improvements to county-owned buildings, including the courthouse.

Paces offered a slightly contrarian view, saying he hadn't seen enough of the plans presented last week by the county's five-member capital improvement project committee, which Henneke sits on.

"On the surface, yeah, there's a need, something needs to be done," Paces said. "Would I support it? I haven't seen enough information on it to be honest. I'm a details person. I'm an engineer, I can't help myself."

For Hooten, she made it clear the bonds are needed.

"I believe each of these are needed," Hooten said. "The courthouse was built, I believe in 1926, it has not had updates or renovations. It needs better security, more technology and I do know that they have been asked to provide a larger jury room."

Kubenka applauded how the commissioner's court has handled the process of putting the bonds together.

"First of all, they got citizens together to go around and look at these," Kubenka said. "We have a lot of deficiency in our buildings."

For much of the last year, the focus was on a controversial housing development planned for Center Point. Its density, which included an RV park, and water usage, were flashpoints for Center Point residents, who vocally opposed the project.

One of the questions was should Center Point incorporate as a city? That presented differences of opinion.

Paces, who lives in Center Point, said he'd not heard anything from residents about wanting to incorporate.

"The last thing they want is a substantial increase in their taxes, and if you incorporate that's what happens," Paces said. "Zoning would be helpful, no doubt, but at what cost?"

Kubenka said the option should be on the table.

The only thing I can say about being incorporated is in the state of Texas, by law, is that cities can do zoning," Kubenka said. "That would be extremely helpful. They can enforce it too."

Hooten said Center Point cityhood should be carefully investigated but didn't elaborate further.

COVID-19 deaths continue to climb in Kerr County

The Texas Department of State Health Services said a third Kerr County resident died from COVID-19 this month — the latest fatality coming Feb. 3. The death comes as Texas fatalities continue to climb even as the omicron variant of COVID-19 winds down.

On Tuesday, DSHS reported more than 200 deaths over the last several days. More than 5,500 people have died from COVID-19 since Jan. 1, including 21 from Kerr County.

DSHS said 12 Kerr County residents tested positive. Across Texas, more than 10,000 people tested positive, but other indicators were encouraging. The positivity rate fell to 12%, and hospitalizations continued to fall, with 7,000 people admitted.

Since Dec. 20, more than two million Texans tested positive for COVID-19.

This latest wave — the pandemic's fourth — led to more than 200 people being hospitalized at Peterson Regional Medical Center, which has treated an estimated 1,100 people for COVID-19 since March of 2020. Omicron

Clean up your mess

We've discussed all of the abandoned fishing lines and hooks along the Guadalupe River Trail through Louise Hays Park, but now the city of Kerrville is noticing too.

In a statement, city officials reminded fishers that they need to clean up their mess. "Fishing gear left behind such as hooks and lines can be harmful to people, fish, wildlife, and the environment," the city said. "It presents a nuisance and safety hazard. Please be mindful and take all of your gear with you when you are done fishing and/or dispose of it properly."

Nuisance is right.

Long night for Schreiner hoops against Trinity

Schreiner University's men's basketball team needed a perfect night of shooting if they were to have any chance against rival Trinity University on Tuesday night, and that didn't materialize for the Mountaineers.

Trinity buried the visiting Mountaineers under a blizzard of 3-pointers — hitting 13 on the night — and rolled to a 98-74 victory in a crucial Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference game. The loss ended any chance of the Mountaineers winning a share of the conference title. If they want to head to the NCAA Division III Tournament next month, they must win the SCAC tournament next weekend.

Kamden Ross led the Mountaineers with 17 points, but not only did Trinity knock Schreiner out with long-range shooting, but they also buried them off the bench. Trinity outscored Schreiner's bench, 32-13.

Schreiner is now 13-11 on the season, 11-4 in the SCAC and faces Dallas in the regular-season finale on Friday in Kerrville.

What a difference a week makes. After getting blasted by Trinity a week ago, the Schreiner women's basketball team mounted a furious effort against the nationally-ranked Tigers but still fell short, 88-75.

The Mountaineers gave up 122 points last week against Trinity, but Tuesday night was a different story. Senior guard Mirando Vallejo continued her strong play off the bench with 14 points, while Demauria Miles led all scored with 18.

Senior guard Miranda Vallejo scored 14 points and energized the Mountaineers on Tuesday night against the visiting Trinity Tigers.

Schreiner's Demauria Miles led all scorers with 18 points on Tuesday night.

This game was made in the second quarter when Trinity mounted a run to break a 20-20 tie at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers outscored Schreiner 27-16 in the quarter. The second half was incredibly tight, with Schreiner whittling Trinity's lead to nine points, but the Tigers answered every time the Mountaineers would get close.

Schreiner is now 12-12 on the season, 9-6 in the SCAC. Trinity is 20-4, and 15-0 in the SCAC — they are also ranked No. 20 in the nation. Schreiner's regular-season concludes Friday against Dallas.

To see more photos from the game click here:

New voice of the Mountaineers

On Tuesday night, Ted Davis took over as Schreiner University's play-by-play announcer for the athletic department's live streaming video. Davis is a significant get for the university because Davis' last job was as the radio play-by-play announcer of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. Of course, Schreiner didn't pay NBA dollars to attract him, Davis had announced he was retiring at the end 2021 season, and where do people who once lived in Texas, and still love it, retire? Kerrville. Davis grew up in Denton, called games for Texas Christian and Texas A&M before becoming the radio voice of the Dallas Mavericks. He left Dallas nine years ago to join the Bucks and called the team's first NBA title in 50 years. So, Schreiner's got him now.

Schreiner softball splits a pair at Sul Ross St.

Schreiner University's softball team certainly enjoys close softball games, which was apparent on Tuesday in Alpine at Sul Ross State. The Mountaineers beat Sul Ross 4-2 in the opener of the doubleheader and then fell 3-2 in the finale.

In the first game, Kaylee Culpepper pitched a complete game, allowing two earned runs to get her first win of the season. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Marley Carrizales opened the game with a single; she later advanced on an error and then scored on another error. Kennedy Moody, who had been hit by a pitch, scored behind Carrizales on the error by the Sul Ross centerfielder. The Mountaineers added a run in the second inning and again in the fourth inning.

Both teams were sloppy, combining for nine errors. Carrizales finished 3-for-4 at the plate.

In the second game, Sul Ross took the lead in the first inning by scoring two runs. Schreiner answered in the fourth with two unearned runs. In the bottom of the fourth, Sul Ross scored to take a 3-2 lead — one it would not relinquish.

Schreiner is now 2-7 on the season.

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