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The Lead Oct. 15, 2022: Chalk Fest is here; Musical journey across Kerr County; Ingram volleyball rolls

In our special Saturday edition, we cover Ingram volleyball, which has shown it can overcome adversity.

Good morning, Kerr County!

This is a special edition of The Lead. We had so much going on Friday that we had to publish. Well, it's hard to tell if today's Kerrville Chalk Festival will have cloud cover all day or just the morning. However, temperatures will be in the high 80s this weekend, but Sunday's forecast suggests a cloudy day to help with the festival. Coming Monday, we could see the first dash of rain and the first cool temperatures in months — highs in the mid-60s and lows in the 40s.

The Kerrville Chalk Festival is here

At an VIP event Friday night, some of the Kerrville Chalk Festival artists were recognized.

It's the big show — chalk it up. That's right, Kerrville's 11th Chalk Festival opens at 10 a.m. today at Kerrville City Hall's Peterson Plaza. It's one of the community's most beloved events and transforms downtown into an outdoor gallery.

This year, a large 7-foot by 14-foot patriotic-themed street painting by Kelly Faltemayer and Russ Gobel of Houston. Other guest artists are Ever Galvez, Jennifer Ripassa, and Lysa Ashley, all from Los Angeles; Jessi Queen and Zach Herdon, both from Atlanta; Joel Yau, of San Francisco; Henry Darnell and Carrie Dziabczenko from Dallas; Kayla Kilmartin of Corpus Christi; Julie Mangum of Llano; Tish Miller of Kerrville as well as Hung Pham and Marcos Hernandez from Houston.

Local professional artists Marty Garcia, Vivian Gray, Aurora Joleen, Vicki Keese, Stephanie Keller, and Liz Painter are also participating this year. Groups from Peterson Middle School, Tivy High School, Ingram Tom Moore High School, Our Lady of the Hills College Prep, The Hunt School, Fredericksburg High School and the Hill Country Youth Ranch will all be chalking squares.

There is no admission charge, and the festival will have many free activities for children, free guided tours of the adjacent Schreiner Mansion, and six established food truck vendors. The Kerr Arts and Cultural Center is the 2022 recipient of the festival's donations.

Today's Chalk Festival musical lineup

  • 10 a.m. — The Unknowns
  • 11:30 a.m. — St. James Gate
  • 1 p.m. — Kevin McCormick
  • 2:30 p.m. — Kasberg Jazz Band
  • 4 p.m. — RBQ Band

Sunday's Chalk Festival lineup

  • Noon — Matt Dunn
  • 1:30 p.m. — Corey Weaver Band
  • 3 p.m. — The Dixieland All Stars
  • 4 p.m. — Bagpiper Lary Fowler

Today's events

Women's Collegiate volleyball

  • Dallas Christian at Schreiner, 10 a.m.
  • Nebraska Wesleyan at Schreiner, 2 p.m.

Men's collegiate soccer

  • Trinity at Schreiner, 2 p.m.


  • Baubles and Beads — Hill Country Youth Ranch, 5:30 p.m. Information: The details: Fundraising event to benefit breast cancer patients and local scholarships. The emporium with local vendors starts at 5 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., program and speaker at 7 p.m. Includes silent auction, raffle, door prizes, and most important recognition of cancer survivors.

Haunted houses

  • Ghoul Pool — Kerrville Olympic Pool, 5p.m. Information: The details: Join us for a night of goosebumps, spooks, and screams as the Olympic Pool is transformed into a ghoulish haunted house. Family-friendly tours will run from 5-7 p.m. After 7 p.m. parental guidance is suggested for ages 13 and under, as the haunted attractions will come to life. No Swimming Allowed.
  • Guadalupe River Haunted House — Jellystone Park, 8-10 p.m. Information: The details: The haunted house is open every Saturday from Sept. 24-Oct. 29. This haunted house will be lots of fun and VERY scary. This house is rated R and not intended for children.

Spell-binding entertainment

  • Mutts Gone Nuts — Cailloux Theater, 2 p.m. Information: The details: To help raise needed funds for animal welfare support group Kerrville Pets Alive!, nine of the world's most talented 4-legged performers will present an uproariously funny doggy spectacular that is leaving audiences across America howling for more. The all-star lineup – all "rescue dogs" – includes two Guinness World Record champions, a tiny, hilarious Pomeranian mix, and a host of previously discarded dogs that will dance, prance, flip and skip their way into your heart! Deemed a "Must see by The Washington Post, Mutts Gone Nuts is sure to win Best In Show!


  • Texas Hold 'em Tournament — Arcadia Live!, 6 p.m. Information: The details: Texas Hill Country Young Professionals group hosts 100 players who will battle it out to see "who's the best of the best in the west." Gain bragging rights, and earn some great prizes.

Live music

It's our most important controversy — beaver or rodent of unusual size

A video of a possible beaver cruising the Guadalupe River has started our most significant firestorm since last week's naughty book thing at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library.

We've had several people come to us to say it's not a beaver by a flat-tailed nutria — that invasive South American critter brought to the U.S. in 1899. However, that suggestion doesn't seem to fly with the video shot by Dani Mohr in Louise Hays Park, which looks like a beaver.

So, we turned to Upper Guadalupe River Authority General Manager Tara Bushnoe, who has previously documented the existence of beaver in the river. Bushnoe said she saw the video and said it was exciting to watch. Here's what she sent us from a previous article she authored:

"Many are surprised to learn that beavers can be found in the headwaters of the Guadalupe River because they don't see the typical beaver dams or lodges associated them. North American beavers found in the southern part of their range, like Texas, typically do not build dams or lodges and instead burrow into the banks of streams or lakes. Don't mistake any aquatic rodent for a beaver, however. The exotic and invasive nutria are also found in the Guadalupe River, but their smaller size and round tail can help you to distinguish them from beavers. Lifelong Hill Country residents will say they don't recall seeing beavers in the headwaters of the Guadalupe River fifty years ago. Several factors may play a role in the increasing encounters with beavers in our area including migration associated with extended droughts, higher reproduction rates, lack of predation, and increased sightings from growing numbers of people in what once were unpopulated areas."

Bushnoe told us that she'd seen beaver previously near Francisco Lemos, including the discovery of a dead one. Bushnoe said a Schreiner University intern preserved the dead beaver's skeleton, now housed at the Riverside Nature Center.

This guy was taken into custody

Kerr County Sheriff's deputies arrested a San Antonio man on Monday on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and a firearm. Working on a tip, deputies from the Special Operations Divisions stopped Raphael Michael Sifuentes, 27, of San Antonio, on Texas 27 near Center Point.

Deputies said a K9 unit helped alert them to narcotics. In the ensuing search, 128.8 grams of methamphetamine and two handguns were discovered and seized. One of the handguns was reported stolen from the San Antonio area.

"Our interdiction team continues to do strong work in intercepting drug deliveries," said Sheriff Larry Leitha. "Through long hours of work and talent, SOD investigators are taking the fight against these dangerous drugs to those who deal them before the drugs hit the streets and neighborhoods of Kerr County. Methamphetamine dealing does more than affect the health and lives of users. It contributes to a long list of additional criminal activity that affects all of us."

Sifuentes is in Kerr County Jail with $125,000 in bonds. He faces charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics and a felon in possession of a handgun.

Our wild musical ride on Friday

We tried our best to get out to as many shows as possible on a wild night for live music in Kerr County, where there were 15 live performances. Here's our journey:

Arcadia Live for Coleen Michelle Miller. She's a very good storyteller and funny.

Pint and Plow for Jessie Wren and Tre Guzardo

La Escondida for the Travis Pierce Band

Cailloux Theater for Jenny Tolman

Ingram volleyball overcomes adversity, rolls to sweep

Rylan Wilt goes on the attack for Ingram Tom Moore on Friday night.

Tara Dunn doesn't think that Friday night's three-set sweep of Comfort was the best her Ingram Warriors had played this season — but it was undeniably impressive.

Maybe it was the drama of the day, especially that surrounding senior outside hitter Emmah Schmidt, or the excitement of the homecoming ceremonies set to follow the match.

Whatever it was, the Warriors capped an impressive week that shook up the district standings with wins over previously unbeaten Blanco and then the win over district-leading Comfort — 25-17, 25-21 and 25-15.

There were plenty of lofty expectations for the Warriors in the preseason. However, what isn't always visible are the tales of adversity that are bigger than the results.

Senior outside hitter Emmah Scmidt goes on the attack against Comfort.

In the case of the Warriors, the trials of their two standout players — Schmidt and junior Rylan Wilt, have faced adversity that would try any coach. Schmidt missed most of the 2021 season when she became pregnant, eventually giving birth to a boy in February. Wilt battles lupus — a severe auto-immune disease that leads the body to attack healthy tissue and organs.

Slowly but surely, both players are progressing through their respective challenges. And it's showing on the court. Against Comfort, Schmidt had a team-high nine kills, and Wilt added seven kills.

"I think it shows the rest of their teammates that you can fight through anything," Dunn said. "Both of them have had major adversity in their lives. Emmah has come back, and I think volleyball has really helped her fight. She's comeback and every step of the way has worked to prove herself."

Madi Mcclintock attacks on Friday.

Schmidt's story is the focus of a documentary film crew following her through her son's adoption. On Friday, Schmidt's eight-month-old son was in the stands with the adoptive parents as part of an open adoption process. Schmidt's journey is something shared with her teammates.

"They're the reason why I wake up in the morning and know my decision is OK," Schmidt said of her teammates. "They were there for me the minute I found out that I was going to have a baby."

Schmidt and Wilt's volleyball trajectory were linked since 2019, when both played key roles on a district champions team, ranked No. 1 in the state for most of that season, and one that made a deep run into the state tournament. However, circumstances intervened.

"When we lost her, we freaked out and we went down pretty big," Wilt said of losing Schmidt last year. "That showed how important she was on our team."

Emmah Schmidt missed most of last season after becoming pregnant.

For a time, Wilt's battle with lupus was under control, if not remission, but it attacked her with renewed ferocity during the season, including the last meeting with Comfort.

"Rylan is a constant for us, leadership-wise," Dunn said. "It's really good for her teammates to see her fight through it."

Schmidt offers agreement with Dunn's assessment of Wilt.

"We just try to lift her up and tell her if she needs to take a break she needs to take it," Schmidt said.

Austyn Hennigan pushes a ball over the net against Comfort.

But both Schmidt and Wilt aren't the only parts of this team, and the promise of Ingram's future is in a core group of sophomores and juniors. Against Blanco, junior Madi Mcclintock had 12 kills — part of a big-hitting attack the Warriors used to beat Blanco in four games.

On Friday, sophomore Austyn Hennigan delivered four service aces — all at crucial moments in the match. Hennigan knocked down three blistering serves in the second set.

Dunn said Hennigan's improvement is from a move to a jump serve — it paid off.

With the win, Ingram threw a wrench in the district standings and is tied for second with Comfort. Blanco was the beneficiary of the Ingram win and is back in first place.


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