The Lead May 19, 2022: We're going to talk about Kerr County nature; San Antonio Airport to get $2.5 billion in upgrades

And does Texas really want Tesla? Also, we look at what you can buy for $300,000 in Kerr County real estate — not a lot.

Good morning, Kerr County!

It looks like our chance of rain is improving — allegedly. The National Weather Service is pegging a 20% chance of rain on Friday night and then another chance on Sunday when things cool down to 84 degrees. We've got three more days of 90-plus degrees before the cool down. On Monday, the chance of thunderstorms increases to 60%. That means there's still a 40% chance that all of us will be disappointed when the rain fails to materialize — again.

On today's The Lead Live!

On Saturday, the Riverside Nature Center is hosting an intensive course on native landscaping, and Sharon Walling will discuss the class during today's episode of The Lead Live! The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Leslie Jones will join us to give us a preview of the weekend events around the Hill Country. Join us at 9 a.m.

About Saturday's native landscaping class

  • Native Landscape Certification Program — Riverside Nature Center, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: Linda Foss at or (830)218-7211. For class-specific and technical questions, contact Becky Leal (713)822-5213. The details: The Kerrville Chapter of the Native Plant Society landscape class and learn which plants are acclimated to the Texas Hill Country. The Native Landscape Certification Program, NLCP, is taught by knowledgeable members of the local chapter of the Native Plant Society with informative presentations, handouts, live plants and photographs. The class includes a walking tour to view plants in their natural habitat. The registration fee is $45.

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Some headlines to follow

APARTMENTS ON THE AGENDA: We expect next week's Kerrville City Council meeting to be hot as a proposed apartment complex — just south of Riverhill Boulevard — is on the agenda. Despite significant opposition from nearby residents in Riverhill, the planning and zoning commission approved the rezoning from a residential estate to a higher density R3 designation. If the City Council approves the rezoning, it could clear the way for 366 apartments sited on 36 acres. Brace yourselves.

Kerr County Attorney Heather Stebbins.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE COUNTY ATTORNEY: Kerr County Attorney Heather Stebbins earned recognition for completing Leadership 254, a 14-month long Texas Association of Counties leadership development program designed specifically for county governmental officials. Stebbins was selected to receive a Texas Association of County (TAC) scholarship. Leadership 254 advances the leadership skills of county officials to help them excel in their duties. The program's curriculum challenged officials to grow as leaders through skills assessments, discussion, theory building, self-examination and experiential learning. Module materials focused on exploring new dimensions of oneself and relating to others, decision making, integrity and civility, leading others, and transformational leadership. Stebbins, who has served as the Kerr County Attorney since 2014, is married to Michael Stebbins. Both are natives of Kerrville. The couple has four daughters. Having earned her law degree in 2004 from Baylor University, Stebbins has served our local community in government for 17 years. Stebbins previously served as assistant city attorney for Kerrville.

SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SET FOR UPGRADES: The San Antonio City Council approved $2.5 billion in terminal upgrades, including the construction of a third terminal. The city says it expects record traffic this summer and continued growth at the airport.

  • They are implementing "smart restrooms," upgrading electronic video information displays, modernizing the paging system, and expanding the security checkpoint in Terminal B.
  • New concessionaires are opening this summer, including Whataburger, Beercode and Adina's Market, providing passengers more eating and retail options.
  • There was no mention of more non-stop flights (Our editorial comment for the day).

"We are going to be the airport of the future," said Jesus H. Saenz, Jr., director of airports, San Antonio Airport System. "We are on track to give travelers everything they need – and then some. This is going to be the airport the entire San Antonio community will be proud of."

The city is working to have the improvements in place by 2028.

MUSK IS FOR THE GOP: Elon Musk announced that he would be voting for Republicans moving forward this week. In a Tweet, Musk said the Democrats used to be the party of kindness but was now the party of division. The founder of Tesla has been in an ideological war with liberals for months over COVID-19, his attempt to acquire Twitter, and many other issues. Musk has slowly been moving his operations out of California and to Texas. Then today, Sen. Ted Cruz attacked President Joe Biden by saying the president was perfectly happy to drive gasoline prices up so more Americans would buy electric vehicles. That argument doesn't make sense when the most prominent electric car builder moves to Texas, including launching a huge factory near Austin. The oil industry — much of it based here — is also reaping some significant profits thanks to the price of gas. Is it just us, or does either party make sense anymore?

See @thehill's post on Twitter.

ARE WE EVER GOING TO HAVE A POPULAR PRESIDENT AGAIN? Say what you will about President Joe Biden, but he's really unpopular. The president's polling is around 41% favorability, with 53% saying they disapprove — this is according to FiveThirtyEight. Those numbers really haven't moved. Biden is under 40% approval in Texas, according to the University of Texas-Tyler/Dallas Morning News Poll. The numbers say that Biden is at the same point in his presidency as former President Donald Trump. However, a potential rematch between Trump and Biden pits two candidates viewed unfavorably by most of the country. Trump's unfavorability is 51-55% depending on the poll. Sometimes it feels like a race to the bottom.

TRUMP OR DESANTIS FOR TEXAS: Speaking of presidential politics, if former President Donald Trump decides against running, a Texas-based poll found that Republicans prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Sen. Ted Cruz — by a wide margin. The poll, commissioned by Defend Texas Liberty, showed DeSantis beats Cruz 56%-14%, but Trump still holds an edge over DeSantis, 44%-28%.

Plan your day and get ready for FRIDAY!

Thursday, May 19, 2022


  • Thirsty Thursday Trivia — Arcadia Live! 5:45 p.m. Information: The details: Join us for another trivia night and, perhaps, become the new reigning Trivia Champ Team! Beyond bragging rights, winning teams will be awarded gift cards to local restaurants.

Live Music

Friday, May 20, 2022


  • 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

  • Dickie Kaiser Duo — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Randy C. Moore — Pint and Plow Brewing Co., 6 p.m. Information: The details: The Texas music artist, a feature of WSM's Grand Ole Opry, The Nashville Network, playing for audiences from the USA, China, Monaco, and the Middle East.. Among the artists that Randy has opened shows for are Hank Williams Jr., David Allen Coe, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, and Lee Ann Rimes. In October 2001, Randy was a featured artist on The Alliance of Neighbors (Red Bank, NJ) 9/11 Benefit Concert with Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Phoebe Snow, Joe Ely, and Smithereens. Ronnie Milsap and Vince Gill recently released a single, "Big Bertha," co-written by Randy and Carl Perkins.
  • Heller Highwater Trio — Pier 27 River Lounge and 8 Ball, 8 p.m. Information: https://www.
  • The Flashbacks — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Bar, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Sean Scott White — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 7 p.m. Information:


  • Kerr County Relay For Life — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 6 p.m. Information: The details: This event brings communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer. Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Team members take turns walking around a designated path. Each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

What does your money buy in terms of housing?

Even with rising interest rates, it doesn't look like the housing market is showing signs of cooling down here in the Texas Hill Country. We got an email from longtime real estate agent Janelle Peralt, which gave us an excellent market snapshot. Some of the takeaways, with an assist from the Kerr County Board of Realtors:

  • In April, Kerr County's median home price was $377,000 — a 12.7% increase from the previous year.
  • Some houses are still in the $200,000 to the $299,000 range, which accounted for 25% of the sales.
  • However, homes priced $300,000 to $400,000 made up the largest purchases segment — 30%.
  • The median price per square foot is $205, and on an interesting note, we think demonstrating the lack of building in Kerr County, the median year of construction was 1987.
  • Real estate agents closed 77 homes in April.

We decided to take a tour of homes in the price range of zero to $299,000, and we found 32 possible residences and shacks. Here's our favorite in that price range, and this was some work.

800 Bluebonnet Drive


Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,683-square.

This is the first one that caught our eye because of the lot size — a quarter-acre on a corner. A pretty turnkey home in this price range is hard to find, and this one fits the bill. The size of the home is also a plus in this price range.

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