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The Lead Nov. 21, 2022: Some insights into Kerr County's library history; the parade must go on!

Thousands turn out for the annual Kerrville Lighted Christmas Parade.

Good morning, Kerr County!

We're going to see a continuation of our cool and dreary conditions for the first part of the week. Highs should be in the mid-40s, and overnight lows in the mid-30s. It looks like we're headed to a rainy day today. The rain chances continue throughout the week, including a 20% chance on Thanksgiving. However, daytime temperatures should be warmer, with highs in the upper 60s.

On today's The Lead Live!

No breaks for us this week! Today's show welcomes Crystal Smith, she owns Billy Gene's Restaurant, but she's storming on to tell us about a big-time fundraiser for Grace Academy school here in Kerrville. The show's second part features the latest financial literacy from Texas Hill Country Advisors Gilbert Paiz and Andrew Gay. The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau's Leslie Jones previews the week's events! Coming this week on The Lead Live:

  • Tuesday — We'll chat with Russell Molina, leading the effort to commemorate the Texas Rangers' bicentennial. Ken Stoepel Ford General Manager Terry Massey stops by to chat about some of the dealership services!
  • Wednesday — It's Wonderful Wednesday with Rachel Fitch!
  • Thursday — We are live for our second annual show from The Kerrville Kroc Center as the Salvation Army prepares for its annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

Context on the Commissioner's Court library debacle

In a letter to the editor of The Kerrville Daily Times, former Kerrville City Councilmember and Mayor John Mosty said the Kerr County Commissioner's Court has never shown interest in the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library. Most said the county shirked its commitments from the start of the current library's founding in 1967. Mosty was on the Council at the time and then served as mayor from 1969-1971.

"During the process of setting up the gift, it was agreed that the city and the county would share equally the cost of operation, with the city assuming responsibility for operating the library," Mosty wrote. "From year one, the county refused to fully fund their portion, leaving the city to pick up the difference."

Even before the county decided to end the quid-pro-quo interlocal agreement with the city of Kerrville that swapped animal control services for library access, Precinct 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz, who oversees Kerr County Animal Services, tried easing concerns the shelter would be off limits to Kerrville residents. The reality is that the county can't just suspend services because Texas law prohibits it.

At some point, the Commissioner's Court moved to require animal registration. According to state law, city and county residents must vote to remove this requirement. All this triggered a greater responsibility on the county to provide animal services but to hear the current commissioners' explanation, it was all at the behest of the city of Kerrville.

So, while the county can exit the library contract, the county doesn't seem to have the same wiggle room to deny Kerrville services. In the end, as we mentioned before, the losers of this made-up battle are those in the county who depend on the library.

Speaking of the commissioners' court

The merry band of county officials meets at 9 a.m. today this morning to canvas the election results. That means they will accept the results, and we're certain there will be zero discussion about the merits of the county's rebuke on Props. A and B, but we're still hopeful.

The week ahead

It's a light week of legislative action with the Thanksgiving holiday, with the city of Kerrville closing its doors on Thursday and Friday. The Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library is included in this closure. The Parks and Recreation Department office at Kerrville-Schreiner Park will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and will resume regular business on Friday, Nov. 25, at 8 a.m.

Another boozy weekend in Kerr County

Kerr County enforcement spent the last four days arresting at least 10 people suspected of drunk driving, public intoxication or drug possession. That's from 22 arrests from Nov. 17 through Sunday. While we've heard a narrative that dangerous crime is running amok in Kerr County, it's almost without fail that most arrests are for those suspected of being drunk or high.

The cold deflated some, but the parade marched on

Saturday's cold and rainy day proved to be a non-starter for some planning to participate in or attend the Kerrville Lighted Christmas Parade. Still, the cold wasn't enough to stop several thousand from showing up along Water and Earl Garrett streets to see more than 70 entries in the parade.

The parade was just one of the many events held across the county as we head toward the Holidays. On Friday, George Eychner oversaw the dedication of the new lights on Tranquility Island — capping a years-long dream to electrify that part of Louise Hays Park. Eychner, the president of the Kerrville Christmas Lighting Corp., counted down as his wife, Kerrville Mayor Judy Eychner, flipped the switches that turned the lights on.

In previous years, the city used diesel generators to power the lights that lit up the cypress trees in the park. With the new power connections, the city could add other Christmas-themed lighting thanks to Kerrville Women's Chamber of Commerce donations.

Later Friday, one of the largest crowds to see a show at Arcadia Live enjoyed the combination of singer Brennen Leigh and Grammy Award-winning Asleep at the Wheel. More than 400 people attended the show. Longtime Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson marveled at the Arcadia. "I've been coming to Kerrville for 49 years and I didn't know this was here."

After the parade on Saturday, Arcadia played host to Tanner Usrey, another up-and-coming Americana star, who had a song on the "Yellowstone" soundtrack last year.

Photo galleries from the weekend:

Light the Island:

Brennen Leigh and Asleep At The Wheel:

The Kerrville Lighted Christmas Parade:

Tanner Usrey at Arcadia Live:

In case you missed the parade

We decided at the last minute to live stream the Kerrville Christmas Parade. Initially, the parade organizers were not going to stream it but we said we could do it. Thanks to the contributions of Kamaria Woods, George and Judy Eychner, Cheri Fama, Selena Sheets, Taelyr Zendejo, Julie Murray, Rachael Carruthers, Mike Ragsdale, Leela Goldberg and Layng and Karen Guerriero we were able to pull it off. We had more than 850 live viewers and another 1,700 watched the parade on-demand. While most of our viewers were from Texas, we had viewers from at least 10 other states. Here's the video:

Our 5 things to do this week!


  • Art Mart — Hill Country Arts Foundation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Dec. 17. Information: The details: The annual Hill Country Arts Foundation showcase of hand-made arts and crafts by area artists. Gift ideas that are perfect for holiday giving.


Women's college basketball

  • LeTourneau at Schreiner, 6 p.m. at Schreiner University Event Center.



  • Community Thanksgiving — The Kerrville Kroc Center, 11 a.m. Information: Jeannette Santiago-Garcia at (830) 315-5758 The details: Families and individuals can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by dining in, take-out, or delivery. Travelers passing through Interstate-10 can stop at the rest stops before and after the Kerrville exits to receive a free Thanksgiving meal. They're also always in need of volunteers.


Performing Arts

  • Cirque Italia: Aquatic Spectacular — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 7:30 p.m. through Nov. 27. Information: The details: Cirque Italia presents "Aquatic Spectacular." The name reflects a unique attribute under the tent, as the show features a custom-designed water stage that travels from city to city. The stage holds 35,000 gallons of water that performers dazzle over while thrilling the audience with every move. With this "unique feature" under the tent, guests will be surprised, for it's a show of its own. Started in 2012, Cirque Italia is an Italian entertainment company that brings a performance of European style. It is described as a "vivid, dramatic, and moving experience under a customized traveling tent."


Men's college basketball

  • LeTourneau at Schreiner, 2 p.m., Schreiner University Events Center

Speaking of basketball

Schreiner women get their first won of the year: In a wild game, Schreiner University outlasted Birmingham Southern 123-91 on Sunday — a scoring effort that's likely a university record for the Mountaineers.

More importantly, Schreiner snapped a three-game losing streak, losing games by a combined 12 points. Schreiner sophomore Elisa Peralta had a career night with 27 points, eight assists and seven steals. Andrea Salazar scored 17 points, while Demauria Miles scored 18.

In the third quarter, the Mountaineers erupted to outscore Birmingham Southern 38-14. Peralta scored 14 points in the quarter.

The Schreiner men move to 5-0: Schreiner University earned its fifth consecutive victory on Sunday with a 101-90 win over Concordia Texas in the Southwestern University Classic in Georgetown, Texas.

Schreiner's Kamden Ross turned in a monstrous game with 33 points, 15 rebounds, and 15-of-20 from the field. The Mountaineers did it without fifth-year senior Alex Dehoyos, who did not play Sunday.

Without Dehoyos in the lineup, the Mountaineers got big performances from Darian Gibson, who added 21 points, and guard Dylan Mackey with 17. Beau Cervantes scored 14 points off the bench.

In Saturday's 71-54 win over Hendrix, Schreiner went deep into the bench, with 15 players scoring at least one point. The Mountaineers had 21 players earn minutes in that game.


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