Good morning, Kerr County!
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day on Wednesday, and it looks like it will be warm throughout the day. However, as we head to work this morning, we will be dealing with the remnants of a Red-Flag Warning from the National Weather Services. That means the combination of gusty winds and low humidity creates dangerous fire conditions. The National Weather Service issued the warning for most of the Hill Country, including Kerr County.
On today's episode of The Lead Live
Hill Country Arts Foundation and Pointe Theater Artistic Director Daniel Kirkland will join us to discuss the final weekend of the play "Blithe Spirit." Kirkland will provide a rundown of some of the other shows coming at HCAF in the coming months. Join us at 9 a.m.
COVID-19 continues to be deadly
The numbers are all trending downward, except in one area — fatalities. On Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported Kerr County's fourth resident died in February from the virus. This latest fatality happened Feb. 7. DSHS never provides details about the person — just numbers. More than 200 Kerr County residents have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
The good news remains that the number of people hospitalized and testing positive continues to decline. Peterson Regional Medical Center reported 14 hospitalizations on Wednesday. The hospital reported just 11 new cases. Across Texas, hospital admissions dipped below 7,000 for the first time in weeks.
The best tool to study the impact of COVID-19 on Peterson Regional Medical Center is a report it submits to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks coronavirus cases in hospitals nationwide.
Peterson reported at least 18 people hospitalized in the week ending Feb. 4. From Dec. 31 until Feb. 4, Peterson admitted at least 232 people with COVID-19. Since March of 2020, Peterson admitted more than 1,000 people with COVID-19. The numbers could be higher because HHS and the Centers for Disease Control do not disclose if less than four patients are admitted over privacy concerns.
In that seven weeks of data, people aged 70-79 made up 22.4% of the COVID-19 patients, but the admissions were mainly those over 50. A minimum of 11 people aged 20-49 were admitted during that timeframe. Remarkably, Peterson reported no deaths during that period. However, the most critically ill patients receive treatment at San Antonio or Austin-area hospitals. Since Jan. 1, Kerr County's death toll is 22 people.
Is the city close to buying land for public safety building?
The Kerrville City Council may be one step closer to acquiring land for a proposed public safety building — if the voters approve financing for the facility in May.
During an executive session Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to authorize City Manager E.A. Hoppe to "enter into a purchase agree, and do due diligence." The agenda item was specifically for the public safety building. In January, the city's committee studying the public safety building recommended a 69,000-square foot facility located on 7 acres. The committee recommended the building be a one-story structure to house the police department, fire administration, municipal court and information technology department. The building would also serve as the emergency operations center and featured a hardened structure within the building as a "safe room" for staff in case of emergency.
Depending on voter approval, the project's budget is $45 million. With the bond election in May, it's unclear how the city would finance a transaction before the voters decide. The city, however, has shown an ability to finance deals in the past creatively, including money to acquire the property for Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing's plan on Texas 27.
WATCH TUESDAY'S MEETING
The Hill Country Quilting Guild has enlisted the help of Pint and Plow's Jeremy and Maia Walther to judge the quilts for the long-delayed winter show
Jeremy and Maia Walther wandered through the aromatic Hill Country Youth Event Center — fresh off a three-day swine show — to take in more than 200 quilts on Wednesday afternoon. This was no sight-seeing adventure for the couple, this was serious business — the business of judging Jeremy Walther's favorite quilt.
Yes, Walther, the owner of Kerrville's Pint and Plow and the Trailhead Beer Garden, was trying his best to sort through the quilts that are part of the Hill Country Quilting Guild's winter show: "Along the Silk Road."
Maia and Jeremy Walther marveled at some of the whimsy in the quilts.
They also took their judging very seriously for Friday's quilt show at the Hill Country Youth Event Center.
The show begins its two-day run on Friday and is bound to attract a big audience. The show features works from all over the Hill Country. There are big pieces, small pieces, some with narrative, many with whimsy and almost all will make you stop and wonder.
"We have some of the best art quilters in Texas, here in the Kerrville area," said Rebecca Peterson, the guild's president. "We have members in our guild who have been invited to participate and show in the International Quilt Festival."
So, Peterson is making it clear — this is a serious show.
WATCH REBECCA AND JENNYTH PETERSON DISCUSS THE 2022 SHOW
On Wednesday, the massive show was laid out in the Happy State Expo Hall — making the room feel small. Some quilts can reach 8-9 feet from their hanging mounts. One is 12-feet-by-12-feet. It's an impressive effort to see the volunteers hanging.
One of the things Rebecca Peterson and her team stress is this jot just a group of "little old ladies." In a press release, the guild said it's a diverse group of women, including nurses, educators, professionals, construction managers and military veterans.
However, this is a show that's also about connection. COVID-19 halted the 2020 show and then postponed the 2021 show. The 2022 show features vendors, demonstrations, beer and white-glove ladies who will show you the back of a quilt. If there's one rule of quilt appreciation, don't touch the quilt. Ask the white-gloved ladies to show you the back of the quilt; otherwise, keep your mitts off.
Jeremy and Maia Walther obeyed that rule as they wandered through the rows of quilts. Which one did they pick as their favorite — ala the celebrity winner? You'll have to attend the quilt show on Friday to find out. The doors open at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and the show closes each day at 5 p.m.
Take a sneak peek at the quilt show: https://thekerrcountyleadphotography.zenfoliosite.com/zg/sneak-peek-of-the-2022-hill-country-quilting-guild-show
More stuff to do starting today
Live Music by Homer Whisenant
Southern Sky Music Cafe
Homer Whisenant is a Hill Country Musician who started playing and singing at an early age, songs learned from jukeboxes, dance hall bands, and a 78 rpm record collection as well as country radio and blues records. His original songs include Folks and Friends, Above the Timberline, Aint' Got Time For The Blues, and many others.
The Hill Country Quilt Guild Winter Show, “Along The Silk Road”
Hill Country Youth Event Center
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Hill Country Quilt Guild, Kerrville, Texas presents "Along the Silk Road" our very special winter quilt show. More than 250 juried quilts, youth gallery, gift marketplace, bizarre bazaar, Donation quilt, vendors, concessions, Scissor Man, silent auction, quilts for sale, and so much more.
Kerrville Farmers Market
A.C. Schreiner House
Live music by Camerata San Antonio
First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville
4 p.m., $20.
Grammy-nominated Camerata San Antonio is a flexible classical chamber music ensemble serving San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country. This concert will feature guest clarinetist Ilya Shterenbert, principal clarinet of the San Antonio Symphony.
Live music by Dave Kemp
Cafe at the Ridge
A gifted singer and songwriter, his original material is some of the best music you’ve probably never heard. From public shows and house concerts, no one does it better. Except maybe James Taylor. But he’s probably too expensive so yea, go with Dave.
Live music by Tommy Alverson
Southern Sky Music Cafe, Ingram
“Now and Then”
Playhouse 2000 VK Garage Theater
Friday 7:30 p.m.
The Point Theater, Ingram
Hosted in the Elizabeth Huth Coates Indoor Theatre, this play was written by the great Noel Coward and is about Charles Condomine, a novelist. Charles is bright, sophisticated, articulate, and debonair but somewhat at the mercy of his wives, past and present. His interest in spiritualism as a subject for a novel leads Charles to ask Madame Arcati to dinner and a séance. He is skeptical but becomes a believer when the ghost of his first wife appears—and stays.