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The Lead Jan. 18, 2022: A change in Arcadia's leadership; Safe Dog Law goes into effect

Good morning!

For many of you, it's back to work, and for others, it's Tuesday. We will take Tuesday, and we're looking forward to today's conversation on The Lead Live with Misty Kohte of Families and Literacy.

Uh, what's with the weather

The balmy and dry conditions we've had over the last few days will meet an abrupt and frigid end Thursday. On Wednesday, we will see a high of 76 degrees, but on Thursday, the high, brace yourself — 34. There's also a 40% chance of a "wintry mix." Charming. The forecast is courtesy of the National Weather Service, which adds we should see cool temperatures through the weekend.

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On The Lead Live

As we mentioned, Families and Literacy, Inc. Executive Director Misty Kohte will join us to talk about the nonprofit's 2022 programming efforts. Coming Wednesday, we can expect a big show with Kayte Graham of the Kerrville Farmer's Market, providing us an update about what to expect from Friday's market. We will also visit with Bismarck, N.D. Mayor Steve Bakken, who will be joined by Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn. Are there synergies to be found between Texas and North Dakota? We will find out.

A change at the Arcadia

After more than a year on the job, Arcadia Live executive director Mike Kelliher has left his position. All of this comes as the Arcadia Live board of directors awaits approval of a $200,000 matching grant from the city of Kerrville Economic Improvement Corporation — expected to be approved next week.

Arcadia board member Steve Schulte confirmed Kelliher has left the position and has been replaced on an interim basis by Stacie Leporati, currently the events and venue manager.

Kelliher said, via a text message, he was out of town and would discuss his plans later in the week.

Launched during the coronavirus pandemic, Arcadia has struggled to attract crowds for a largely music-based schedule. Other events have joined the program, including a monthly trivia contest and a bar night. The last performance at the theater was Austin-based band Shiny Ribs, which filled the lower portion of the theater.

Live music in Kerr County has suddenly become a crowded space with Southern Sky Music Cafe, La Escondida 1962, Trailhead Beer Garden, Pint and Plow, Cafe at The Ridge and others offering music regularly — much of it free or with a minimal cover charge.

Arcadia was Kerrville's original movie house, but it sat dormant for decades before being revived in 2020. The renovation plan called for a multi-purpose venue that could satisfy many different events — from concerts to movies to weddings.

Schulte said the board of directors would focus on someone who can help develop the venue's offerings and develop a broader business strategy. The fundraising efforts, including the ask for EIC matching funds, have generally been led by Larry Howard, the board president.

A significant day for Ingram Tom Moore High School

The Texas Workforce Commission and the Kerr Economic Development Corp. will lead a presentation of a $188,000 grant to Ingram Tom Moore High School's vocational program on Thursday morning.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Bryan Daniel will present a check to Ingram Independent School District officials, including Tom Moore Principal Justin Crittenden. The Jobs and Education for Texans grant will help broaden the school's vocational and technical programs.

It's part of a two-event day for Daniel, who will speak later at an event at Schreiner University.

The Texas Safe Dogs Law happens today

The long-sought-after Safe Dog Law goes into effect across Texas, and that means that you can't chain or tie a dog to something without appropriate shelter or care.

Now that's a simplification of the law, which had a circuitous path toward passage, including an initial veto by Gov. Greg Abbott. However, animal advocates celebrate its arrival, including Kerrville Pets Alive, which has posted social media updates about the implementation. KPA isn't the only one posting about the change in the law — the Kerr County Sheriff's Office and the Kerrville Police Department.

The law now makes it a misdemeanor to chain a dog to weights or is shorter than five times the dog's size or causes the animal pain. Outside dogs need to have access to proper shelter. An offense? Well, that's a Class C misdemeanor, and there's an upgrade for a two-time offender to Class B.

The Republican Women of Kerr County have things to do

Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha and Sheriff's Capt. Jason Waldrip, pictured, will be the featured speakers at the Republican Women of Kerr County's luncheon on Friday at Inn of the Hills.

Waldrip, who heads the sheriff's special operations division, will update the group about the situation at the border. The sheriff's office has made multiple arrests of suspected human smugglers in recent weeks.

This event is open to the public. Onterested individuals are encouraged to register in advance by emailing or by calling 830-315-3330. Registration is $20 per person.

The longtail of COVID-19

They call it simple — long COVID.

For those who have been through a COVID-19 infection, it can be one of the worst illnesses imaginable, and for some, it's persistent in its long-term nastiness.

The Brookings Insitute released a report that tried to get to the bottom of how long COVID could be impacting the job market. By examining data from various sources, Brookings suggests that 1.6 million people may be out of the job market because they are still suffering from long COVID.

The problem, however, is a lack of data.

"In the U.K., which is doing a much better job collecting data than the U.S., more than 70% of people with persistent COVID-19 symptoms have been sick for more than three months, and more than one-third have been sick for at least a year," said the Brookings report, which was authored by Katie Bach, a fellow at the think tank. "This chronicity is consistent with other post-viral illnesses, which behave similarly to long COVID and often last for years."

The mystery of long COVID continues to perplex scientists and physicians. Just some of the long-term effects of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, include:

  • A bad case of COVID-19 can produce scarring and other permanent problems in the lungs. Still, even mild infections can cause persistent shortness of breath — getting winded quickly after even light exertion.
  • One study showed that 60% of people who recovered from COVID-19 had signs of ongoing heart inflammation, leading to the common symptoms of shortness of breath, palpitations and rapid heartbeat.
  • If the coronavirus infection caused kidney damage, this can raise the risk of long-term kidney disease and the need for dialysis.
  • The loss of taste and smell can be devastating and can lead to lack of appetite, anxiety and depression.

Schreiner University grad hits his target

Kerrville's Colt McBee, far right, is headed to the World Cup as part of the U.S. Skeet and Trap shooting team.

Schreiner University grad Colt McBee, who just missed the U.S. Olympic Team in 2020, will join the national team for the World Cup after earning the bronze medal in U.S. Selection Finals in Tuscon, Ariz. last week.

McBee joins Olympians and fellow Texans Vincent Hancock and Philip Jungman for the World Cup, slated for San Antonio from Sept. 30 through Oct. 7.

Hancock is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in skeet shooting and a four-time Olympian. McBee tested Hancock and Jungman during the first round of the U.S. Olympic trials held in Kerrville in 2019.

In Tuscon, McBee was one target back from Jungman and six back from Hancock, who has won 24 international titles in the sport.


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