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The Lead Nov. 1, 2022: Halloween draws thousands eager for treats; Schreiner set for football; basketball gets a surprise

Thousands show up at Louise Hays Park for another big Halloween party.

Good morning, Kerr County!

It looks like a pattern of unsettled weather is headed our way — at least until Friday. Will that lead to some rain — that is unclear. The National Weather Service forecast suggests thunderstorms on Friday and a 60% chance of rain Friday night.

On today's The Lead Live!

Schreiner University men's basketball coach Marwan Elrakabawy gives us an advance on the Mountaineer's upcoming 2022-2023 season, which begins Wednesday with an exhibition game at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Mountaineers come into the season with high expectations after a 12-4 third-place finish in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Mountaineers finished the season 15-12, but the 12 SCAC wins were the best for the program in the conference. Elrakabawy is a fascinating person to chat with because he comes from a non-traditional basketball background. When he's not coaching hoops, Elrakabawy is a lawyer. We'll also be joined by the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Julie Davis and Texas Hill Country Advisors Andrew Gay.

Halloween is another big draw

KPUB's Mike Wittler is the old man from "Up"


There was another great turnout for the various Halloween celebrations around Kerr County on Monday night. We made it to three events — Schreiner University's drive-thru, Ken Stoepel Ford and the big Fright Night celebration sponsored by the city of Kerrville. We chatted with Kerrville Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle, and we suspected that about 3,000 children and parents were on hand to partake in the festivities. Schreiner University was jam-packed with carloads of trick or treaters.

Schreiner University's clubs, fraternities, sororities and athletic teams passed out candy to hundreds of children.

Here's a look at our photos

From Louise Hays Park:

From Schreiner University:

Things to do today

Live music

  • Vinyl Night — Inn of the Hills, 7 p.m. Information: 830-895-5000 The details: Vinyl night is a night of listening to music our favorite way and playing records!

Arts and Culture

  • Seeing Blue — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: The HCAF juried art show.

Wednesday, Nov. 2

Markets and sales

  • Kerr County Produce Market Day — The Big Red Barn, 10 a.m., Information: 830-896-7330 The details: Kerr County Produce Market Day (The Big Red Barn). Local Hill Country wholesale warehouse distributor for the finest fruits and vegetables. Open to the public.

Wine and food

  • Wild West Wine Wednesday — Museum of Western Art, 5:30 p.m. Information: The details: Join the representatives from Becker Vineyards for an enjoyable presentation – Plus samples. See and learn about our new exhibit, "Works We Love," featuring Fred Harmon.

Live music

  • Steve Seskin — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 7 p.m. Information: The details: Steve Seskin is a successful songwriter who has written seven No. 1 songs, including Grammy-nominated "Grown Men Don't Cry," as recorded by Tim McGraw, and "Don't Laugh at Me," winner of NSAI Song of the Year and Music Row Magazine Song of the Year as recorded by Mark Wills. His other No. 1 hits are "No Doubt About It" and "For a Change," both recorded by Neal McCoy, "No Man's Land" and "If You've Got Love," both recorded by John Michael Montgomery and "Daddy's Money," recorded by Ricochet.

A look at the electoral numbers game

Through the first week of early voting, the participation numbers seem to be on par with what we saw in 2020 — a presidential election. The issue in this race are big locally and statewide, especially with a contentious governor's race. Reader John Harrison crunched some of the numbers for us in terms of turnout — now about 25% of Kerr County voters. Exactly how that will shape the local elections is to be determined.

It's still a threat, but they may be right!

Longtime reader, analyst, cat lover and in-the-weeds kind of guy Jim Sandy offered us this analysis about Rich Paces' assertions about the 20% tax increases in the wake of Kerrville's public safety building bond election. Here's Sandy's assessment:

"You received an email saying "Be Careful" because this is a conservative community. The author of the email subsequently stated that no threat was intended – it was merely advice, presumably to be careful to avoid errors. If the author was merely wanting you to try harder to avoid errors, why did the author add "because this is a conservative community"? Does the author mean that there is no need to avoid errors in a non-conservative community? By stating that you should be careful "BECAUSE this is a conservative community", the most reasonable interpretation is that the statement is a threat — and not merely advice to avoid errors.

On raising taxes: "I am not a fan of Rich Paces, but I think he has a valid point in claiming that Kerrville raised property taxes by 24%. With taxes, the bottom line is how much money ($) citizens are paying. Talk of whether tax rates went up or down is missing the point. While it is true that the council has no control over skyrocketing or plummeting property values, the council does have 100% control over the property tax revenue ($). Given the current assessed values of properties, Bob Reeves computes the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate — which is the tax rate that provides the same property tax revenue as last year — and provides this rate to the council. The council then decides on the new tax rate based on how much more revenue is needed than last year.

For the FY2023 budget, the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate was $0.4611 per $100 of assessed value, and the new property tax rate was $0.5750 / $100. This means that the property tax revenue increased by 25% (0.5750 / 0.4611). The property tax rate in FY2022 was $0.5093 / $100. Thus, the tax rate went up by 13% (0.5750 / 0.5093). Concerning property taxes alone, if I'm paying 25% more dollars, it doesn't matter to me whether the tax rate went up or down."

Thanks for the careful analysis, Jim.

There are some buts here, namely, the valuation angle. There's also the part where Kerrville residents pay taxes to the city, the county and the Kerrville Independent School District — about $2 for every $100 of assessed value. Half of that money goes to the school district. What makes it tricky is there are many ways to look at the issue, but the truth is that the voters said yes to the public safety bond — decisively.

Schreiner's big bet on football

Schreiner University will formally announce its intention to become a football member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the NCAA Division III during a press event at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Junkin Ministry Center. The university's board of trustees approved the program's creation two weeks ago, but the university still has a long way to go before fielding a team. The earliest Schreiner can compete as a varsity intercollegiate program would be for the 2025 season.

What a night for the Sheriff's Foundation

The goal was lofty for the Kerr County Sheriff's Foundation — $200,000 in a single night of fundraising. The result? An impressive haul of $180,000 to help match a $150,000 grant from the Cailloux Foundation to pay for an armored vehicle. The one-night fundraiser at Arcadia Live on Oct. 18 proved itself with a considerable auction of art, guns and jewelry gobbled up by the crowd. However, even with the money it's going to take more than a year for Sheriff Larry Leitha's office to get their hands on the vehicle because supply chain issues have slowed their production.

A guard returns for another go

Schreiner University's Alex Dehoyos drew plenty of triple teams in 2022, and he can expect more of the same in 2023.

The plan was simple — move to Dallas and play more basketball.

At 22, Alex Dehoyos was ready to take the next steps in his career, but something was tugging at him. It turns out it was Schreiner University — a place he's called home for the last four years.

"With the whole team back, a fifth year (of eligibility) and the ability to get my master's degree online, I could devote a whole year to basketball," Dehoyos said.

But Dehoyos was careful about his decision. Everyone expected him to leave Schreiner, and the opinion of his teammates mattered.

"I asked everyone on the team," Dehoyos said. "I gave them an individual call and asked what do ya'll think about me coming back."

The response was an emphatic yes.

Headed for a bachelor's degree, Schreiner's Alex Dehoyos looked like he would leave Kerrville and head elsewhere, but the tug of another season kept him home.

It was even a bit of a surprise to Schreiner University coach Marwan Elrakabawy, who fully expected his all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference guard to depart.

"He was going to explore his options, and I was 100% supportive of him doing that," Elrakabawy said. "He was looking to see if there was another level of basketball that would be good for him. I know he had conversations with other programs. Ultimately, he got excited about coming back and being apart of this team."

At point guard, Alex Dehoyos averaged 14.9 points per game en route to all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference first-team honors.

This is Elrakabawy's fourth season as Schreiner's head coach, closely connected with Dehoyos guiding the offense at point guard. Dehoyos led the SCAC in assists and steals. He led Schreiner in scoring last season with 14.9 points per game.

Coupled with sophomore Kamden Ross, a 6-foot-7 forward, who led the conference in shooting percentage en route to a newcomer of the year award, Dehoyos' return could make a difference in how this program excels. A Top 25 ranking in the NCAA Division III poll? That's what Elrakawaby thinks.

More importantly, Elrakabawy and Dehoyos are on the same page when it comes to Dehoyos's role on the court.

"I think the biggest role I have is teaching everyone," Dehoyos said. "Using my knowledge and experience to give them the keys to be successful."

For Elrakabawy, Dehoyos will serve as an extra coach on the court.

"He's focused on being the guy laser-focused on helping other guys get better," Elrakabawy said.

With Dehoyos leading the offense, the Mountaineers will return its starting five nucleus of Ross, Darian Gibson, Jalen Ned and Jackson Reid, with fifth-year senior Bronson Evans coming off the bench. Every member of that lineup can score more than 20 points per night. It's one of the reasons why Dehoyos is back.

The other reason is that he believes a strong year, possibly with a berth in the NCAA tournament, could bolster his chances of playing in Europe or Asia next year.

To do that, Dehoyos will need to lead the Mountaineers to some heights not reached in the program's history, but he seems ready for the task.


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