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The Lead March 25, 2022: It's a day to talk about the birds, the weather will be grand in Kerrville

The sheriff has a coffee date with the public; Kerrville headed to court next month.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We should see our warmest day of the month with an expected high today of 84 degrees. We can expect that trend to continue across Kerr County through Tuesday. There's a chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, but we've seen those chances before. What's concerning is this looks like it will be the driest March since 2011 and the fourth consecutive month with less than 1 inch of rain.

On today's The Lead Live!

BCFS Health and Human Services' Kamaria Woods and Monica Allen join us to discuss the young adult mentoring program offered by the non-profit organization. BCFS has long played a role in the Hill Country by providing an array of mental health services and diversion programs for at-risk youth. For more information on BCFS: Wild Birds Unlimited owner Kevin Pillow will update us on birding and bird watching in the Hill Country. Join us at 9 a.m.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by:

Just when you thought COVID-19 was finished

The Texas Department of State Health Services said 28 people have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, including 16 on Wednesday. That's the highest number of new COVID-19 single-day cases since Feb. 1. However, it's getting harder to determine outbreaks' severity considering Peterson Health discontinued its reporting.

We can determine how Peterson Regional Medical Center is faring by digging into the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data about hospital utilization. COVID-19 is still present at Peterson, and so is the flu. On March 11, the flu hospitalized 24 people, including as many as three in the intensive care unit. The federally-mandated report said Peterson was still regularly treating those suspected of having COVID-19 in the emergency room.

Next month will be a legal one for Kerrville

Kerrville faces civic lawsuits on two fronts — both coming to a head next month.

City public information office Stuart Cunyus said the city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit filed by City Council candidate Robin Monroe, who seeks to move the May 7 municipal election to November. Monroe filed her suit on Tuesday in 216th District court.

The other suit involves Mayoral candidate Brent Bates, who is suing the city in federal court over a stalled office building. Bates will get his day in court on April 14 — about the time the city has to respond to Monroe's suit.

In Bates' case, the city has filed a motion to dismiss the case, while Bates has filed a motion to dismiss the city's motion. That's a lot. However, a federal district Judge Xavier Rodriguez will hear the motions at 10:30 a.m. on April 14.

In its 24-page motion to dismiss, the city's attorneys argued that Bates could still submit changes to his plan that meet its requirements, but he refused.

"The actions of the defendant concerning which plaintiffs contest clearly indicate that they are not final as the city is awaiting additional plans for review," wrote the city's San Antonio-based law firm of Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal and Zech.

If you see a lot of motorcycles

The 20th Thunder in the Hill Country Motorcycle Rally is in Bandera this weekend, and the spillover will impact Kerr County. So, you're going to see plenty of motorcycles at Kerrville hotels and at short-term rentals across the community. There were plenty of motorcycles cruising the streets of Kerrville on Thursday.

The Kerr County Republican Convention is Saturday

Kerr County Republicans will meet at 1 p.m. for their convention at the Kerr County Courthouse. One political action group, the far-right We The People: Liberty In Action, is warning Republicans that if they don't show up, Democrats will take their places. We're not exactly sure what Democrats would do this, but here's how the group couched it:

"Democrats who voted in the Republican Party Primary can attend GOP precinct conventions and work to pass liberal Democrat resolutions," the website said. "If conservatives don't show up, while Democrats and Rinocrats do, guess what happens?"

We The People are proposing some resolutions of interest:

  • They want legislators to oppose vehicle mileage tax or road usage fee. (Editor's note: Some states are kicking this around because of the rise of electric vehicles, which don't pay gas taxes to maintain roads).
  • They oppose the imposition of climate or social justice policies that restrict transportation. That means they don't want bike lanes and bus lanes on public highways. They oppose anti-car policies that penalize those who drive their cars by creating road congestion and road scarcity, or otherwise restricting or penalizing the use of highways based on status, mode of transportation, or vehicle type.
  • They want to prohibit mandates such as forced COVID testing, vaccines/vaccine passports, mask mandates, curfews, or any other infringement of our rights in the name of public health as a condition of education, travel, employment, or to receive government benefits. (Editor's note: We already have longheld vaccine requirements for education and employment).
  • They also don't want to work with Democrats, urging GOP leaders not to appoint them to committees.

Those are just some of the party planks that the hard-right of the GOP is proposing.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by:

Texas lost in the Supreme Court because it argued executions needed to be safer

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on Thursday that a condemned prisoner has a right to have a spiritual advisor lay hands upon and pray with them during execution. The case involves John Ramirez, sentenced to death in the 2004 killing of convenience clerk Pablo Castro. Ramirez argued his rights were being violated by not having his pastor with him at the time of his execution, and in September the Supreme Court delayed his death sentence to hear the case.

Texas argued that Ramirez's request compromised the security and safety of the lethal-injection procedure. However, in writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that the state violated Ramirez's federally-protected rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Dig deeper into the story:

How about breakfast for dinner?

The Kiwanis Club of Kerrville has got it right when it comes to good ideas, and nothing beats breakfast for dinner. The club holds a pancake supper from 5-7 p.m. on Friday at Tivy High School's cafeteria. Admission is $6 per person, and children under five eat free. It sounds fun and not particularly gluten-free. The funds raised go to support the club's projects.

Things to do today!

  • Fiber Show and Sale — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 10 a.m., through April 15. Information: The details: An exhibit of fiber art by artists from across Texas.
  • Kerrville Farmers Market — A.C. Schreiner Mansion, 4 p.m. Information: The details: Come down and enjoy a complimentary beer, or buy a handcrafted pizza and enjoy the market.
  • Live music by Bernie Nelson — Gravity Check Saloon and Arena, TBD. Information:
  • Art demonstration — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 11:30 a.m. Information: The details: Mike Martin will discuss Collograph Printmaking and the many ways an image can be altered or added to with a variety of textures. Mike Martin's work can be seen in galleries across the Hill Country.
  • Live music by Chris and Bill — Pint and Plow Brewing Co., 6 p.m. Information: The details: Chris and Bill Booker, formerly a dentist and a nurse turned singer-songwriter duo. Bill has been playing music since the 1960s, and Chris, a shower vocalist, picked up the violin and mandolin in her 40s. When the two retired in 2005, they had time to concentrate on music, and eventually, Chris picked up the guitar and started writing her music and recorded a CD called "Live."
  • Live music by Tim Porter and Gary Hatch — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Magic in Motown — St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 6 p.m. Information: The details: Annual fundraiser for Art2Heart. Live music and children's performances, dinner, and live and silent auctions. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in the 60s and 70s nostalgia or just come as you are.
  • Live music at the Doyle Community Center — Doyle Community Center, 6-8 p.m. Information: Free event. The details: Enjoy performances by Konrad Wert, Elijah Flores, Greg Bitkower, Ashley Valero, Andrew Frimpong, Clifton Fifer, Danny Flores, Terry Theis, Chan Ramos and Lee Haile. This will be a night of memorable music.
  • "They Played A Rigged Game" — Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 7:30 p.m. Information: The details: This is a new play written by Kerr County playwright David R. Remschel. Michael Dysart has spent his autumn years at Windy Acres Retirement Center relishing his reputation, superiority over others, and the unquestioning loyalty of his fellow resident, Thomas. Michael's perfect utopia sours with the sudden appearance of new resident Alice Dewitt.
  • Live music by Eley Buck Davis — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 6:30 p.m. Information:
  • Movie night — Zion Lutheran Church, Kerrville, 6:30 p.m. Information: The details: Come and enjoy the Disney flick "Swiss Family Robinson." This is a free event. Donations accepted, but nod required. Funds collected will go to future youth events.

Coffee with the Sheriff

One of Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha's biggest backers happens to own a coffee shop. So, on Thursday, Pax Coffee owner Heather McClung played host to Leitha with many of his deputies and staff for a "coffee with the sheriff" event. It was a packed house at the Earl Garrett Street coffee house on Thursday morning, and Leitha was conversing with visitors all morning.

You can't talk to the sheriff without chatting about baseball

When it comes to his children, Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha is a road warrior and racks up thousands of miles to attend the games of son Larry Jr. and daughter Bobbie. Larry Leitha Jr. is in his final baseball season at Lubbock Christian, an NCAA Division II program and the Lone Star Conference member. A Center Point High grad, Leitha Jr. is having a stellar season, hitting .367, with eight home runs and 29 RBI. Of his 33 hits, 20 are for extra bases. Bobbie Leitha is a softball standout but is sitting this season out.

A ride to remember

For the last decade, Kerrville's Jennyth Peterson has ridden with her dad, Alan Peterson, to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis — a debilitating disease of the central nervous system that affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide.

The father-daughter duo will ride from Houston to Austin this year, with a major pitstop at Texas A&M's Kyle Field in College Station.

"My dad and I ride for my grandmother Martha (Marty) who was diagnosed in the 1980s," Peterson wrote in an email. "At the time, there weren't really options, other than diet and exercise, to stave off the disease. Over the years, we watched her rapid decline, and my Grandfather's responsibilities to her as her caregiver wear on him emotionally and physically. The array of support, therapeutics, and pharmaceuticals available now is astounding, and most of that is due to the work of the M.S. Society."

The ride has more than 5,900 participants and has already raised $2.9 million. The Petersons will discuss their ride on Tuesday's episode of The Lead Live at 9 a.m.

Chalk Fest announces its beneficiary

The Kerr Arts and Cultural Center is the beneficiary of the 2022 Chalk Fest — scheduled for Oct. 15-16 at Peterson Plaza at Kerrville City Hall.

"Partnering with the Festival this year is going to make a significant impact for our organization," said Lanza Teague, KACC's executive director. "We are absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity."

More than 65 artists, including Kelly Faltemayer and Russ Gobel, of Houston, TX, as featured artists, will create large-scale chalk drawings directly on the pavement. Kerrville's downtown will become a festive canvas for local and regional artists and fourteen guest artists from around the United States. The two-day festival will have live music, free children's activities, wine, craft beer, and food trucks.

"I am honored to say we are now one of the best chalk festivals in the

country. Kerrville has a reputation for being hospitable, well organized and taking care of its artists." said Katharine Boyette, the festival's director?

If you want to get involved in Chalk Fest

Sponsor levels are Patron ($10,000) for a 9-foot-by-9-foot square, Benefactors ($5,000) for an 8-foot-by-8-foot square, Supporter ($2,500) for a 7-foot-by-7-foot square, Contributor ($1,000) for a 6-foot-by-6-foot square and Apprentice ($500) for a 4-foot-by-4-foot square. For more information about sponsorship, volunteering, or participating as an artist please visit the website at, email, or call (830)895-5222. Visit and "friend" the Kerrville Chalk Festival Facebook and Instagram pages for periodic updates.


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