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The Lead Jan. 28, 2022: The Kerrville Ren Faire is here; Chuck delivers for Kerrville Pets Alive

COViD-19 claims a 12th life in Kerr County, hospitalizations continue to rise.

Good morning, Kerr County

It’s going to be cool today but if you’re ready to get out and do stuff today will be a good day for it with the opening of the Kerrville Renaissance Festival. The weather should be pleasant this weekend, with a chance of rain coming late Sunday.

On today’s episode of The Lead Live

We will be joined by Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Julie Davis, Kerrville Farmers Market director Kayte Graham and members of the New Buddy Holly Band, who perform Saturday night at the Cailloux Theater.

About the Renaissance Festival

The Kerrville Renaissance Festival begins its two-weekend run starting today at River Star Park — adjacent to the Hill Country Youth Event Center. The gates open at 10 a.m. and there’s a wide variety of entertainment, events and crafts to enjoy. Oh, by the way, there’s food. Of course, no Renaissance Festival would be complete without a turkey leg place — and there’s one here. Another popular festival element is the Vinland Vikings — not essentially Renaissance — but people love the fighting. Tickets at the gate are $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 5-12.


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Since Jan. 23, we've seen a substantial uptick in new subscribers to The Lead's weekday newsletter. We're glad you've decided to join us. If you're new, we may not be for everyone, but we believe in deeply reporting our stories and providing essential analysis about the community's most critical issues. At the same time, we ask you to consider upgrading your subscription to allow us to grow our fundamental mission to provide quality journalism to Kerr County and the Texas Hill Country.

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COVID-19 take another Kerr County life

  • The Texas Department of State Health Services said another Kerr County resident has died from COVID-19 – the 12th fatality from the virus in January. This latest death happened on Jan. 24 — it was not at Peterson Regional Medical Center.
  • On Thursday morning, Peterson said it had 41 people admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 — the highest number since August.
  • The trend across the state shows declining cases — although still higher than at any time during the past pandemic waves — but rising hospitalizations and fatalities.
  • Kerr County nursing homes demonstrated another sign of the omicron variant’s infectiousness. We noted a death earlier this month, but data from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission shows River Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation had at least seven patients tested positive two weeks ago.

One of the good guys

For anyone who has shopped at H-E-B’s Main Street Store, you’ve probably run into Chuck Cook, the amiable and kind man, who has worked there for years, but his generosity is also notable. Cook was one of 10 H-E-B employees who had $1,000 donated in their name to a local nonprofit or charitable organization. Cook’s donation went to Kerrville Pets Alive, and the organization was grateful for the donation. If you’ve ever met Cook, the donation is not a surprise. Thanks for your commitment to our community Chuck.

Kerrville Pets Alive President Karen Guerriero with Chuck Cook, who had H-E-B donate $1,000 on his behalf to KPA.

More stuff to do starting today

The Kerrville Farmer's Market

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library campus, Water Street

4-6 p.m.

Stop by for some fresh produce, some salsa, maybe a bag of pecans or a sip of a beer. All of this and more.

Live music by Tim Porter & Gary Hatch

Cafe at the Ridge

6 p.m.

Live music by Davey Schrank

Southern Sky Music Cafe

6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 29

Market Days at La Escondida 1962

516 W Jefferson St N, Kerrville

Pick up a unique gift at La Escondida.

Live music by Harry Tetens

Cafe at the Ridge

6 p.m.

The New Buddy Holly Band

Cailloux Theater

7:30 p.m.

In their 11th year, The New Buddy Holly Band has become the Hill Country's favorite 1950s, and early/mid-60s hit machine. Celebrating the sound of their namesake and all the great bands that created Rock-n-Roll, they put on a show everyone can love.

Elon Musk was on fire

There are many ways to view billionaire Elon Musk, but he endeared himself to those who don’t like President Joe Biden and vaccine mandates on Twitter. Backing protests by Canadian truckers, who don’t want to get vaccinated, Musk fired off a series of Tweets aimed at showing his disgust for mandates and government oversight. Here’s a sample:

See @elonmusk's post on Twitter.

Schreiner hoops back in action today

After having its six-game winning streak snapped last week, Schreiner University’s men’s basketball team is back on the road today with a game against Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Like Schreiner, Austin College has seen a lot of close games this season and is now 5-10 on the season. At 2-4 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Kangaroos are still a threat to beat anyone in the conference, and they’ve pushed Trinity College and others. Today’s game is at 2 p.m., and then the Mountaineers turn around for a noon tipoff against Centenary in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The women’s matchup is critically important for a better position in the conference tournament. Austin College has a slight lead in the SCAC standings. Austin College has a three-game winning streak, while Schreiner has won two straight.

3 Things we learned from Stephanie Stewart of Humbling Bloom

On Tuesday, we chatted with Humbling Bloom owner Stephanie Stewart about how she started her Kerrville business specializing in massage, yoga and other holistic therapies. Four years ago, she struck out on her own, marking that as a significant milestone in her business development. Here are three things we learned from the conversation:

How she got started:

“So, I actually came from a construction background,” Stewart said. “ I worked for J3 Company for a very, very long time. And it was actually (J3 owners) PJ Jons and Hugh Jons that kind of helped me through the door of the holistic path. I've always been a massage therapist. Right. And when I went to go get my yoga certification, I thought, I'll just kind of add that into massage and help people do stretches because everybody always asks me, how do I stretch this? How do I do this?.

A big part of her work is with the drug and alcohol abuse recovery community.

“We have a contract with a certain corporation that deals with a lot of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and stuff like that and because of that, that is what has definitely helped keep our doors open,” she said. “Along with other companies we work with too, and that has what has really helped us stay there as well.”

And how is Kerrville responding to the holistic health offerings?

“I think they're coming around to it for sure,” she said. “There is always that hesitation. You know, and definitely, whenever they see the contraption of, you know, the aerial yoga silk on our page or the pictures, they're like, oh heck no, I'm not doing that.”

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