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The Lead Feb. 7, 2022: We're still processing the latest winter storm impact

Mayor Bill Blackburn issues disaster declaration in the wake of winter storm.

Good morning Kerr County!

For many Kerr County residents, it has been a long weekend thanks to last week's ice storm. However, back to work today. The weather should be pleasant and mild all week. Unfortunately, it's also expected to be very dry.

State of disaster

Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn issued an emergency declaration over the weekend from last week's winter storm. The move will most likely position the city for being reimbursed for assisting with the huge traffic mess on Interstate 10, which included one fatal crash and multiple jackknifed big rigs.

On today’s The Lead Live

Mindy Wendele will join us today to discuss the committee working to support a general obligation bond that will pay for the city of Kerrville’s new public safety complex. Wendele is heading the political action committee that is financing the campaign. We’ve got some terrific shows this week, with Chris Hughes joining us Tuesday to discuss the county’s capital facilities needs. Hughes is on a five-member committee reviewing the county’s needs when it comes to paying for the projects. On Wednesday, Rachel Fitch joins us in the first of regular Wednesday appearances. Fitch owns Fitch Estate Sales and Gold Cup Pawn, but she’s going to be with us as a co-host and expert storyteller.

The Texas Hill Country Advisors are live tonight

The Texas Hill Country Advisors Gilbert Paiz and Andrew Gay discuss the best options on business insurance and managing risk. The show starts at 6 p.m. If you missed last week’s show on the importance of a good accountant, you will want to watch it here:

We're still stunned by the Schreiner University men on Saturday night

With 1.4 seconds left in the game, Schreiner University's Jalen Ned scored on an inbound pass to lead the Mountaineers to a 72-71 victory over Austin College on Saturday night. Here's the video:

This is a big week for discussing big stuff — like spending money

The Kerr County Commissioner’s Court will hear a presentation from its capital improvement project committee about what to expect what the county needs ahead of an expected general obligation bond election in November. The committee of former county Judge Fred Henneke, Chris Hughes, Brenda Hughes, Pete Calderon and Bobby Templeton will present its findings on county facilities. Most of these won’t be a surprise, and the price tag could be $25 million to $30 million. The commissioners meet at 9 a.m. today.

On Tuesday, the Kerrville City Council will formally call for a general obligation bond of at least $45 million to pay for the city’s new police station, fire administration and municipal court. The city election will coincide with the municipal election in May. The City Council meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

What happened with coronavirus over the weekend?

There were still plenty of cases being reported — just remember we’re well ahead of what previous cycles of COVID-19 have done — but the good news is that there were declines in cases, positivity and hospitalizations. In Kerr County, Peterson Health said 27 people remained hospitalized with COVID-19, including seven in the intensive care unit.

Politics, politics and more politics

The Republican Women of Kerr County hosts a candidate forum for two statewide races this evening, starting at 6 p.m. at the Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center. The forum is centered around the GOP primaries for Texas House of Representatives District 53 and Texas Senate District 24.

For the first time since he ran for the Texas House, Andrew Murr faces a primary challenge for the first time. It comes from Wesley Virdell, who says Murr didn’t do enough to oppose coronarivus-related shutdowns. Virdell says Murr isn’t doing enough on election integrity, even though Murr wrote the House version of Texas’ election laws.

The race for the open Senate seat, formerly held by Dawn Buckingham, could be an interesting matchup with former state Senator Pete Flores, Lamar Lewis and Paul Reyes Jr. competing for the GOP spot in the election. Reyes Jr. narrowly lost the GOP primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Will Hurd. In that race, Reyes had the backing U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and eventual winner Tony Gonzales was backed by President Donald Trump.

The weekend's best story

We profiled the Reeves family over the weekend and this is a family that takes service very seriously. Jessica and Jason Reeves, along with their 16-year-old daughter Hadley, headed out onto Interstate 10 to provide food and drinks to those stranded on the freeway thanks to last week's ice storm. The family's post was a smash on Facebook — reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Here's a link to our story on their efforts:

Jessica Bogart-Reeves
Feb 04, 2022 ·

I really hesitated making this post because what was done today was not for the public eye!!! Today was all about loving and serving others…not drawing the attention to the act or people performing it!! But I want to share because so many lessons were learned today!

We have been super frustrated about not getting to take Hadley and Ruger to San Angelo to compete in FFA Prepared Public Speaking today because of the ice, but man did God show me why!

He had a much bigger plan for today that came with a much bigger reward than a potential scholarship or buckle.

We live about a mile from I-10 and saw all the truckers when sledding yesterday. We heard the highway got shut down last night, so that meant truckers were stranded all night.

First thing this morning, after the animals were fed and taken care of, Hadley completely cleaned out our pantry…note that our pantry is massive and I’m teased beyond measure about the amount of snacks I keep on hand for our 4 children. The muffins Ruger made were grabbed. All the bottled water we had on hand was also loaded into the back of our four wheel drive ranger. Hadley walked/slid/fell up I-10 for several MILES and handed out every single thing we had. People were so desperate that they tried throwing money at her, but she threw it back and said God Bless You. She met the nicest people from all over the world and heard so many stories. We talked a lot about the 2 loaves and 5 fishes. As we emptied our baskets, traffic was slowly moving as the highway crews were hard at work.

When we were completely empty, we followed the GameWardens back down the side of I-10 and slide all the way home…that’s when the tears started and the prize was won today! She hugged me and just cried…
“Mom, today was so awesome!!! I’m super bummed about San Angelo, but God needed me here! There will be other contests.”

Thank you Lord for providing us with means to serve others. Thank you for giving my children a heart of service.

PS…In Ruger’s defense, he got babysitting duty for his two younger sisters and the 75 baby chickens! He was serving in his own way.

Some other stories you may have missed

Our most popular Instagram post from last week


View more on Instagram.
Another beautiful day in Kerrville

A big weekend for Schreiner University sports

We mentioned at the top of the newsletter that Schreiner men won a thriller on Saturday night, but it was a big weekend for the athletic department as a whole.

The women's team swept past Centenary and Austin College over the weekend. The women had lost to Austin the previous week, but on Saturday night the Mountaineers routed the visiting roos 92-68. The aftafter-partyer party led Schreiner Athletic Director Bill Raleigh to post this jubilant reaction from Coach Stacy Stephens and her team.

See @schreinerad's post on Twitter.

The Schreiner women are now 8-4 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and 11-10 overall. Here are the stories from the weekend:

Schreiner beats Centenary:

Schreiner beats Austin College:

On the men's side, Schreiner completed a season sweep of Centenary and Austin college:

Schreiner beats Centenary:

Schreiner beat Austin College:

Finally, the women's softball team made its debut for the 2022 season and lost its opener to Hardin Simmons:


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