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The Lead March 14, 2022: Kerr County to consider supporting Ukraine with courthouse lights

How the commissioners will respond is unclear, one commissioner has called Ukraine "not our problem."

Good morning, Kerr County!

Back to work, everyone, though the weather will be lovely! However, the National Weather Service says fire dangers lurk with continued dry conditions to the west of us — bolstered by gusty winds. The weather service said there's a hazardous weather outlook for Kerr County through Friday.

On today The Lead Live!

The Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers crew will join the show starting at 9 a.m. The conversation will focus on several issues ranging from the mental health needs in the Hill Country, especially as we're coming out of COVID-19.

Coming Tuesday on The Lead Live!

We'll chat with Sally McHalffey, who owns Mustang Sally's furniture on Water Street. McHalffey and her husband, Chad, opened the business late last year, and it specializes in Southwestern-style furniture, pottery and other items. The story is near G Street and features plenty of color on the inside. We'll have a profile story in Tuesday's newsletter and then talk with McHalffey during the show about her journey to Kerrville.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by:


For all of your insurance needs visit Amber Thomason's State Farm agency in Kerrville, Texas.

Theater today at the Commissioner's Court

Smoke rises from burning homes that were bombarded by Russian forces in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES for Getty Images)

If one thing is certain about the Kerr County Commissioner's Court, the meetings are never boring. Today's topic during the 9 a.m. meeting? A proposal to light the courthouse with Ukraine's blue and yellow colors. Irene Van Winkle, whose parents immigrated from Ukraine to the U.S. after World War II, leads the effort, but it will be interesting to see the response from the court. Precinct 1 Commissioner Harley Belew posted content on his Facebook page that called the Russian invasion a distraction and that "Ukraine was not our problem."

Right-wing elements in the U.S. have messaged that President Joe Biden no longer has COVID-19 to blame for restrictions and that a war with Russia was part of a plan.

"'Here it is," Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson said. "At exactly the moment when the emergency powers they awarded to themselves to fight Covid started to wane, our leaders began pushing for conflict with Russia.'''

Radio update from Kerr County Sheriff

Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha will provide the Commissioner's Court an update on how much the office's new radio system will cost — expect seven figures. The important element here is that Leitha is working to mirror what the city of Kerrville is planning with its radio upgrades. Despite some community opposition, the plan to pay for the system could come from federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Speaking of COVID-19

The virus continues to subside — although there's another variant out there — it's still showing its lethality. The virus claimed the life of another Kerr County resident, this one happening on Feb. 19 — the second death reported on that day. The virus has killed at least 35 people in Kerr County since Jan. 1.

About the variant

Just as Peterson Regional Medical Center announced that it was removing its mask mandate, a new variant of the stubborn COVID-19 emerged — this one called deltacron. It's not necessarily new, but now it's starting to gain some momentum as the nation relaxes mitigation efforts. The World Health Organization said the variant is similar to omicron in its infectiousness — but that's about all they know at this time.

Doc Jackie keeps the dogs feeling fine

Dr. Jacqueline A Doval-Everson, right, treats "Rocky," a two-year-old Havanese dog, at the San Antonio Kennel Club Dog Show at the Hill Country Youth Event Center in Kerrville. Rocky belongs to Linda Harrington of Midland.

Tessa, a miniature wire-haired dachshund, didn't seem to mind being gently pushed and pulled by Dr. Jacqueline A. Doval-Everson on Saturday at the Hill Country Youth Event Center.

However, when Doval-Everson gently pulled on the dachshund's left front leg, she let out a yelp. "That was it," said Doval-Everson, who goes by Doc Jackie.

Doval-Everson is a Houston-based chiropractor, and she was busy for the four-day run of dog shows that visited Kerrville last weekend. When Tessa let out a little shake at the end of the adjustment, Doc Jackie knew she had done her job.

"That's a good sign right there," she said.

Tessa's owner Melissa Keshlear of Belton, was the next to be adjusted. See, Doc Jackie is there to help the dogs, but the humans need just as much work. Since 1992, Doc Jackie has been practicing, and she discovered animal chiropractic care almost by accident.

"I learned to take care of my dogs," Doc Jackie explained.

As Tessa looks on, Doc Jackie works on Tessa's owner — Melissa Keshlear of Belton.

Doc Jackie checks the gait of Tessa after a chiropractic adjustment on Saturday.

After she graduated and worked at a clinic, the word spread that she had worked on dogs when a desperate woman showed up seeking help for a dachshund with severe back problems. With agreement from a veterinarian, Doc Jackie was able to adjust the dog, which changed the course of her career. She earned certifications in animal chiropractic, eventually working with the Houston Police Department's equestrian unit — something she's still doing.

However, you can find Doc Jackie working with dogs and people at dog shows across the state most weekends. And she's not complaining.

"I love my job," she said.

Dog show weekend

If there's one thing that can be said about the Greater Kerrville Kennel Club and the San Antonio Kennel Club shows at the Hill Country Youth Event Center, they brought a lot of people to Kerr County. While the agricultural shows earn plenty of well-deserved attention, the four-day dog show was one of the biggest we've seen at the center — and judging by the recreational vehicles on site, the highest income.

For more photos from the show:

Photos from the weekend

We covered two other events on Saturday — the Kerrville Junior Service Guild's 5-kilometer run to benefit its scholarship program for women and the Kerrville Police Department's Bicycle Rodeo at First United Methodist Church.

Photos from the 5K run:

Photos from the bike rodeo:

Schreiner softball gets a look at superb pitching

Texas Lutheran pitcher Ashlyn Strother struck out 21 Schreiner University batters in two games in Kerrville on Saturday and Sunday.

Schreiner University's softball team got to see first-hand how good Texas Lutheran is, especially when it comes to pitching.

The Bulldogs, a runner-up at the 20221 NCAA tournament, struck out Schreiner batters 30 times in a three-game sweep of the Mountaineers in Kerrville. Texas Lutheran pitcher Ashlyn Strother, the reigning Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the year, struck out 21 batters in two games.

Schreiner didn't help itself much either. The Mountaineers committed seven errors in a 9-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. Strother was dominant in the first game with 11 strikeouts, and the Mountaineers left three runners on base.

Schreiner (5-16 overall, 2-4 SCAC) plays host to Our Lady of the Lake at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Schreiner baseball update

Dakota Price's single scored Seth Joseph to lift Schreiner University's baseball team to a bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off victory Sunday against visiting LeTourneau, 9-8.

The victory also earned the Mountaineers a 2-1 series sweep of LeTourneau and boosted Schreiner's non-conference record to 8-6. Now, Schreiner gets some rest before Friday's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference opener against visiting St. Thomas.


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