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The Lead May 20, 2022: Kerr County reports another COVID-19 death; Chip Roy votes against fast-tracking baby formula

There's rain in the forecast this weekend.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We've made it's Friday, and we're about to break the spell of 90s, with an increasing chance of even cooler temperatures next week. The National Weather Service suggests a 20% chance of thunderstorms tonight, with an increasing chance the rest of the weekend. Heading into next week, we could see temperatures into the low 80s. Whew!

On today's The Lead Live!

We are joined this morning by Andrew Gay and Pete Calderon to discuss something — they are going to surprise us. Greg Bitkower and Clifton Fifer will discuss the Doyle School Community Center's first-ever Blues Festival on June 19 — Juneteenth. Coming next week, we've got the Kerrville Folk Festival's Mary Muse to give a preview of next week's 50th-anniversary festival. Muse joins us at 9 a.m. on Monday. On Tuesday, we've got now-former Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn, who will share with us his impressions of four years on the City Council.

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Plan your weekend here

Today's events

Cast your vote

  • Early voting — Hill Country Youth Event Center and Ingram Independent School District, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is the last day to cast your early vote in the 2022 Republican or Democratic runoff. The election is set for Tuesday.


  • 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.

Saturday, May 21, 2022


  • Heart of the Hills Farmers Market — River Hills Mall parking lot, 8 a.m. Information: 830-370-7476


  • The Kitten Shower — Freeman-Fritts Animal Shelter and Clinic, 1-3 p.m. Information: AWS Freeman-Fritts Animal Shelter & Clinic The details: Newborn kittens from birth to two weeks are fragile. They need to stay warm and eat every 2-3 hours at this tender age. So, come by and help Freeman-Fritts support these kittens.


  • 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.


  • Lone Star Collective — Cailloux Theater, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m. Information: The annual recital is in three shows on the same day. Outdoor activities such as food trucks, bake sales and more will be onsite.

Live Music

  • Dave Kemp — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information:
  • John Bauman, with Aaron LaCombe — The Hunt Store, 7 p.m. Information:
  • Maxwell Pearl — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: The details: Maxwell Pearl is a Wimberley native songwriter based in Austin who plays music from the Texas Hill Country and beyond. With a blend of country groove and poetic exploration, his music wanders amongst generations of folk traditions and cosmic country heroes.
  • Derringer Band — Pier 27 River Lounge, 8 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437
  • The Travis Pierce Band — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Bar, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information:

Some news headlines we're watching

COVID-19 DEATH: The Texas Department of State Health Services said Kerr County had a death from COVID-19 on March 11. The county's death toll is 183 by the DSHS count released Thursday. However, that number does not include deaths at Peterson Regional Medical Center, nursing or assisted living homes, the Kerrville State Hospital or any death at the Kerrville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The actual number is as high as 250 people.

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY: The Hill Country Charity Ball is set for Saturday night at the Hill Country Youth Event Center. With a Roaring 20s theme, the Charity Ball is one of Kerr County's biggest one-night fundraisers — last year's raised $152,000 for the Hill Country Youth Ranch. The benefactor for this year's sold-out ball is Arcadia Live! More than 600 people may attend the gala.

CENSUS MISTAKE: The U.S. Census announced that it undercounted Texas' population by about 500,000 people — or 1.9%. The Census released the findings on Thursday. The mistake was beyond what Census officials thought would be a standard error. Mississippi and Tennessee had large undercounts — more than 4%.

The marble cat is now on display at the Museum of Western Art.

MARBLE CAT GETS A LIFT: The Museum of Western Art moved its latest piece donated by the Brinkman Collection — the artworks of the late L.D. Brinkman — into the museum. A half-ton marble statue of a cougar stalking something. MOWA Executive Director Darrell Beauchamp said it took a crane to move it into the museum. The Brinkman estate is giving away some of its biggest pieces to MOWA and the city of Kerrville, which was gifted two large bronzes. One of the bronzes may end up at the museum, Beauchamp said. A statue of a Native American warrior capturing the shirt of a vanquished foe may be a better fit at MOWA, where the museum can better explain the context, Beauchamp said.

MONKEY POX AND SEX: The disease now that's descending upon is something called Monkey Pox — that sounds great. We turned to our resident medical correspondent, Dr. Jeremy Faust, to provide insight into the virus. Faust, who writes the Inside Medicine newsletter for Meta's Bulletin, is an emergency medicine physician at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard. His key takeaway: "What we do know suggests strongly, to me at least, that monkeypox may still be primarily spreading through sexual contact, a known major mode of transmission. It could be that this virus has not gained any newfound stability in the air or in droplets—and that would certainly be welcome news—but that it is spreading with greater ease than usual (and therefore via more casual contact) in sexual networks, due to some genetic changes in the virus." Here's more from Faust:

KPA, Kerr County ease overcrowding of animals after seizure

The dogs kept at the Hill Country Youth Event Center are back at the Kerr County Animal Services after other shelters stepped up and took in some of the 49 dogs seized by the county last week. With the assistance of Kerrville Pets Alive, the county moved larger dogs from its shelter to the Ag Barn as an overflow when it seized 49 small dogs.

Rescues and shelters from around the Hill Country accepted the small dogs, with Kerrville Pets Alive assisting with vaccinations and transport. It has been a herculean task for the volunteers at KPA and the KCAS staff, which were overwhelmed by the seizure.

"The 49 dogs were cute and small and very adoptable," said Karen Guerriero, president of Kerrville Pets Alive!

The Hill Country Youth Event Center has been cleared out of dogs. The Ag Barn served as an overflow location for Kerr County Animal Services.

An educated luncheon

The Republican Women of Kerr County are hosting a conversation about the state of education today. For those late to the party, check to see if spots are available by contacting or calling 830-315-3330. Registration is $20 per person.

The event is at 11:30 a.m. at Inn of the Hills.

The speakers are Ingram Independent School District Robert Templeton and Round Rock Independent School District Trustee Mary Bone, who will share their insights about the state of education. Templeton is overseeing a thriving school district that is seeing its first group of students to earn associate degrees through Ingram ISD's first year operating ITM as an early college and career high school. Bone is one of the leading conservative voices in education.

A change for the Farmers Market!

The Kerrville Farmers Market is seeking a new manager after longtime manager Kayte Graham stepped down. Graham helped found the market and kept it alive during the coronavirus pandemic. Graham remains on the board of directors with Jeremy Walther and Josh Raymer. However, this marks a significant turning point for the downtown market because Graham is one of the few actual Kerr County producers to participate. Graham and her husband, Justin, own Center Point's Zanzenberg Farms, a pork producer, and the challenge is Kerrville doesn't generate the traffic that markets in San Antonio do. Those interested in applying for the paid part-time position should email

Graduation ceremony for those in the Doyle Community

The Doyle School Community Center will host a ceremony at 6 p.m. today, honoring high school graduates from the Doyle neighborhoods. Doyle's Natarsha Sanders said at least 15 graduates — most from Tivy High School — will be in attendance.

Leadership Kerr County

Wrapping up its intensive course in all things Kerr County, the 36th class of Leadership Kerr County will graduate at 6 p.m. today at Comanche Trace. The Kerrville Area Chamber of Commerce said Leadership Kerr County is a nine-month course that informs, builds networks of professional contacts and helps lay a foundation for future involvement.

Chip Roy makes news — again

From left to right, Rep. Van Taylor (R-TX), Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) join a group of bipartisan members of Congress from Texas to push for the House of Representatives to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol December 05, 2019 in Washington, DC. Citing the economic benefits to their state, Republicans and Democrats from Texas called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to bring the USMCA to a vote before the end of the year. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Chip Roy, who represents Kerr County in the 21st Congressional District, has made a name for himself for voting no — on everything. On Wednesday, Roy joined eight other Republicans to vote no on legislation to try to break the baby formula shortage. The bill allocated $28 million, and a second bill grants waiver to expedite production. Roy places the blame on the Food and Drug Administration for the shortage.

Roy issued this statement: "The only way to get more formula to American families is to fix the crony policies that prevent more U.S. companies from producing it, remove barriers to innovation, and allow imports from trusted nations; the legislation Democrats put forward does none of that. Instead, the bills would empower a demonstrably incompetent executive branch while funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to the FDA, without making any reforms necessary to get formula back on store shelves. This shortage is the direct result of unnecessary federal regulations and of a bloated bureaucracy that failed to recognize the problem before it spiraled out of control. This body should be solving problems, not making them worse."

Roy's argument brings up an interesting point about the FDA. The FDA shut down the largest infant formula factor after two babies died from contaminated products.

In February, Abbott Labs began a voluntary recall after at least four babies tested positive for having Cronobacter infections. However, the FDA was alerted to possible sanitary conditions at the Sturgis, Mich. plant — the largest manufacturer in the U.S. The biggest culprit? The FDA said people were not washing their hands before touching the food products. In September, the FDA discovered the handwashing issues, but a whistleblower filed a complaint in October saying the Sturgis plant was still not enforcing sanitation standards. Here's what Abbott told parents to be on the lookout for:

"If your infant is experiencing symptoms related to Cronobacter or Salmonella infection, such as poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice, grunting breaths, abnormal movements, lethargy, rash, or blood in the urine or stool; contact your health care provider to report their symptoms and receive immediate care."

Of course, the blame game is significant, with Roy and others blaming the government and liberals blaming Trump. There is truth in both claims, but the inconvenience of COVID-19, employee shortages, and the fact that a significant amount of formula comes from the shuttered Michigan plant. Pile on tariffs from a re-done U.S. Mexico Canada trade act under Trump, and you've got a real problem.


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