Good morning, Kerr County!
The National Weather Service is preparing us for a scorching weekend, with heat indexes approaching 110 degrees in some parts of the Hill Country. Will it get that hot here? The National Weather Service suggests we could break some records this weekend. Kerrville's record high for May 7 was 99 degrees in 1984. The record high for May 8 is 97. Both temperatures are within the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. The overnight lows could also test records for the highest low temperature.
"Heat safety best practices will be important, particularly Saturday and Sunday," the National Weather Service said. "With the Mother's day holiday, folks will likely want to spend time outdoors. But we recommend trying your best to take breaks in the shade or A/C, wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, drink plenty of water, and be aware of the signs of heat related illnesses."
On today's The Lead Live
We welcome Kerrville Independent School District Trustee Mike Tackett, who is running for re-election to the seven-member board. Tackett will share with us why he's seeking re-election and what he sees for the future of KISD. Expect Arcadia Live's Stace Leporati to visit and share her preview of tonight's comedy show at the downtown theater.
Today's newsletter is sponsored by
It's Cinco de Mayo!
As a friendly reminder, it's Cinco de Mayo — the day when a small, under-armed Mexican army defeated a larger and better equipped French force at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. No, it did not result in Mexican Independence from France — that came in 1866, the United States parked thousands of veteran cavalry troopers along the Texas border in a successful effort to intimidate the French. Mexico formally celebrates its Independence Day on Sept. 16, when the nation won its independence from Spain in 1810. There will be a test later. The celebration has always had more meaning in the United States than in Mexico, but it's an important day to celebrate the many contributions of Mexican-Americans.
Kerrville's City Council candidates speak out
On Wednesday, The Lead Live hosted Mayoral candidate Judy Eychner and City Council candidates Brenda Hughes and Joe Herring Jr.
Tell us what you think?
The U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. Earlier this week, Politico reported that Justice Samuel Alito authored an opinion that would strike down the decision. The draft opinion was leaked to the news website, but tell us what you think about the ramifications of the potential decision. Here's the link to the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe–LdMJj52DHexdJaBufq1LNb3EyEbE9LHDy32f0s_XBOJgA/viewform
- Laugh Therapy — Arcadia Live, 6 p.m., Information: https://www.thearcadialive.org The details: The first comedy night at the historic downtown theater debuts and will feature monthly shows through October. Billy D. Washington and Slade Ham headline the evening of laughs.
- Cinco de Mayo celebration — Falling Rock Ranch, Mountain Home, 6-9 p.m. Information: https://www.mountainhomefd.com The details: Cinco de Mayo celebration benefiting Mountain Home VFD. Live music by Exti 505 band, a fajita meal, beverages, and dancing. Cinco de Mayo celebration benefiting Mountain Home VFD. Live music by Ext 505 band, a fajita meal, drinks and dancing.
- Open mic night — Gravity Check Saloon and Arena, 6 p.m. Information: The details: https://www.gravitychecksaloonandarena.com The details: Want to play? Bring your instrument and join in the fun!
Elections are off to a smooth start
It's a brief respite before Saturday's big push to count the 2022 Municipal and Constitutional election results. Kerr County Assessor/Tax Collector Bob Reeves said his staff is ready after seven days of early voting.
After the polls closed at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Kerr County election officials began their shift toward the finality of Saturday's vote. It's a big deal for residents in Kerrville and Ingram, who are deciding on bonds and leadership positions.
"I feel that my office team and the judges and clerks from the general public did an excellent job during early voting," Reeves said. "This year's election was extremely difficult for all of the early voting team. The number of contested races and propositions that will be decided on Saturday is virtually unheard of for a May election in Kerr County. The judges and clerks have worked together for numerous years and are a vital part of conducting a successful election."
On Saturday, voters will cast their ballots to decide the following:
- Kerrville voters will consider a $45 million bond to pay for a building that will house the police station, fire administration, municipal court, emergency operations center and information technology department.
- Kerrville voters will decide on two seats on the City Council and a race for mayor.
- Kerrville Independent School District voters will decide on two seats on the board of trustees.
- Ingram Independent School District voters will decide on a $25 million bond to pay for upgrades and two seats on the board of trustees.
- Voters living in the city of Ingram will decide if a race for mayor and two seats on the City Council.
All voters will decide on two Texas constitutional amendments attempting to rein in property tax hikes regarding school funding. Prop. 2, for instance, allows homeowners to increase their homestead deduction to $40,000 in 2023. Read more about the amendments here from The Texas Tribune: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/04/27/texas-proposition-1-2-constitutional-amendment-election/
In Kerr County, Reeves said his elections team handled some minor issues during early voting, which attracted more than 3,000 people, including people who left campaign materials in voting booths.
"The early voting clerks were made aware of campaign materials being left in one of the booths," Reeves said. "When this was brought to their attention the material was immediately disposed of. One clerk indicated that what she found was probably given to a voter as he or she made their way from the parking lot to the voting area. All of the voting clerks try to monitor the booths and act accordingly."
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- River Hills Mall — For Precincts 101, 107, 109, 113, 118, 119.
- Union Church — For Precincts 202, 211, 215, 220
- Cailloux Theater — For Precincts 303, 308, 312, 314
- City West Church — For Precincts 404, 405, 406, 410, 417
An observation about employees worth noting
During Wednesday night's "The Bald Truth Podcast," Kerrville attorney and host Gregory A. Richards interviewed brothers Anthony and Andrew McClung, who own Kerrville's Midway Towing.
Richards asked the McClungs about some of their challenges running their business — started by their uncle in the 1980s before passing to their parents in 1998. Their response was to find and retain workers, but they also offered insight into those challenges.
"I think we're competing against we're competing against a generation that no longer wants to work 24-seven," Andrew McClung said. "People want eight to five. They want their weekends off. They are not interested in working overtime at all."
Richards asked them if he thought this was a new cultural norm.
"I think the amount of time that people spent at home during COVID, I guess, made them, some of them realize, well, I'd like to spend more time at home with my family," Anthony McClung said.
Of course, recruiting and retaining employees continues to be an issue for many employers. We searched through the Texas Workforce Commission's jobs website and found more than 350 open positions in Kerrville. If you want to work remotely, chances are a company in Texas willing to hire you — those open positions are in the thousands.
If you peruse the job listings, most employers pay well above the Texas minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Even fast-food restaurants are paying double minimum wage in many cases. Some of the interesting benefits offered include:
- Big Lots, seeking a retail furniture manager, offers a program called DailyPay. This program allows associates (available to all hourly associates) to access their pay on day one of work.
- Pet Supplies Plus offers its grooming students a chance to earn a $600 tool kit once they've completed their training.
- Licensed vocational nurses can earn a $3,000 sign-on bonus if they work in the Kerr County Jail.
- MHDD is offering all new full-time employees a $2,000 sign-on bonus, and if those employees make less than $38,000 per year, they receive paid health insurance.
- Cracker Barrell offers its employees a 35% discount on food and retail items in its stores.
- Kerrville's Sonic doesn't have incentives, but they do say this about their business: Sure, classic cars and vintage threads may be things of the past, but the Sonic Drive-In experience will always be groovy, right on, awesome, wicked, fab, the bee's knees, cruisin'… you get the picture! It's downright sensational!
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