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The Lead Sept. 1, 2022: The Night of Remembrance offers a powerful reminder of addiction's deadly hold on many in Kerr County

Kerr County's recovery community comes together for a night of remembering those lost to addiction.

Good morning, Kerr County

We got another soaking on Wednesday, but it's unclear how much we received on Tuesday. The Lead received multiple reports of backyard rain gauges receiving 1 inch or more. At The Lead's worldwide headquarters, that assessment certainly felt accurate. The uncertain weather pattern is going to continue throughout the weekend. We can expect temperatures in the high 80s but a good chance of thunderstorms.

On today's The Lead Live!

We don't know when Arcadia Live's Stacie Leporati will likely storm on the show but expect it. Leporati will tell us about tonight's comedy show at the downtown theater. Kristin Lindner's sardonic take on marriage and raising children resonates with her audiences; she is considered one of the funniest, most pragmatic voices of modern, adorably flustered femininity. At first glance, some might make the mistake that Jerry Wayne is just another country boy with a flair for storytelling. However, less than two minutes into his stage performance, you will realize this is not the case with "Jay Dubya." Leslie Jones gives us an update on the weekend events. Andrew Gay will provide us with an update on financial news.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by KPUB!

Public Power Week is coming Oct. 8 at Louise Hays Park

The Kerrville Public Utility Board (KPUB) is hosting a family-friendly event to meet our heroes in hardhats while we celebrate Public Power Week!

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., to join us in Louise Hays Park for a free community event!

This will be a free community event with family-friendly activities that will include taking a ride in one of KPUB’s bucket trucks, arc & spark demos, line worker tool displays, photo ops with our linemen, face painting and more.

KPUB will be providing free hot dogs, chips and refreshments on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as a free t-shirt for the first 100 attendees. For more information:

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They're back, and they're not playing!

One of the most underrated Yacht Rock radio groups is "Player," and their great 1977 hit "Baby Come Back," which will be today's theme for the Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission 4 p.m. meeting at City Hall.

The baby in this comeback story is short-term rentals. Yes, they're back. Whether we want to hear about them or not is to be determined. However, today's agenda is chock full of them. Here's the rundown:

  • 1602 Quinlan Creek,
  • 2101 Arcadia Loop,
  • 1701 Deer Trail,
  • 1425 Lois St.
  • 2234 San Jacinto Dr.
  • 130 Loop 13.
  • 309 Guadalupe St.
  • 337 Guadalupe St.

As we reported Monday, the home 130 Loop 13 already has opposition from neighbors. Of course, short-term rentals have proven to be a controversial topic for both P&Z and the City Council, but controversy is part of the deal.

Speaking of controversy, a much-maligned zoning plan is back Thursday afternoon. What was once planned as residential estate, single-family home, high-density, back to residential estate is now back to the P&Z as medium density zone.

The 36 acres along Medina Highway, just south of Riverhill, have been fought over for months, culminating in the City Council's unanimously rejecting a plan for more than 300 apartments at the site. So, a new zoning plan is in front of the P&Z, which previously said yes to the apartment idea.

Schreiner University to honor students who were missing in action

Schreiner Institute, the university's military prep school, uncovered 22 students who served in the U.S. Armed Forces still missing in action. All of those MIAs served in World War II and Vietnam.

To honor those sacrifices, the university is hosting a 2:30 p.m. memorial service in front of the Calilloux Campus Activity Center, where there's a memorial to fallen Schreiner students and graduates. Two current Schreiner Institute students discovered the missing students.

UGRA to hold public input meeting on flood planning

The Upper Guadalupe River Authority will hold a public input meeting next week to help it plan for flooding in the years to come. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 in the authority's auditorium, 125 Lehmann Dr., Kerrville.

The draft Guadalupe Regional Flood Plan is available a Residents can also view a hard copy can at the UGRA office.

UGRA has participated in the regional flood planning process and advocated for Kerr County's flood planning needs.

Addiction's hold on many is the focus of Night of Remembrance at Arcadia Live

The depth and struggle of addiction is something that is always present in Kerr County, with a significant recovery community. On Wednesday, the final day of August, that community came together at Arcadia Live to share their remembrance of those who lost their lives to addiction.

It was heart-wrenching.

Battery-powered candles were lit to signify remembering a victim of addiction.

And that was probably the intention because, as the main speaker Doug Bopst noted, recovery isn't an easy journey. The stories shared were of those who have worked in the recovery community, mainly in the Hill Country, and the long road back for many.

It was part of the Night of Remembrance, an event organized by the city of Kerrville Recovery Community Commission, which keeps communication open between the city and sober-living and rehab centers in Kerrville. There were representatives from MHDD, Peterson Health and the rehab centers.

Lauren Waters, herself a recovering addict, delivered a powerful story about the death of her husband, John, a victim of addiction.

When it came to powerful and heartfelt, Lauren Waters shared the story of her husband, John, who died of an overdose. Her story was a powerful reminder that addiction is a disease — one not easily vanquished. John Waters ran a recovery center, and yet he still struggled to overcome his battle — one he shared with his wife. Lauren Waters still feels the collateral damage.

"I have two boys who still ask everyday about their dad," Waters said tearfully in front of nearly 100 people.

Water delivered an impassioned plea for people, even those in the recovery community, to not judge others and urged empathy for those who still battle the disease.

"Where is the help for those who work in this industry?" Waters said of the recovery community. "Where is it? I'm just challenging everyone here to think about the words that you say. Think about the pressure you put on people."

Becky Babb, who recently became executive director of the Last Resort in Smithville, spoke about the loss of one of her best friends to addiction.

Kendall Young, who helped organize the event, provided opening remarks to the audience.

"It's something we hear all too often, that ever-revolving news of another person lost to addiction," said Babb, who previously worked in Kerr County's recovery community. "What is more unfortunate is this type of news is becoming more and more frequent."

The United States is currently wrestling with an alarming rise in Fentanyl deaths. Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate, frequently used to help cancer patients manage pain, but it's a potent drug now hijacked by drug cartels. The drug is mixed with heroin, increasing the power and duration of the high, but it's also 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

More than 120,000 people have died from fentanyl-related overdoses in the U.S. in 2020-2021 — that's what is currently known to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It could be worse.

"Loss has something we've become accustomed to," Babb said. "A week of overdose awareness doesn't do justice to the overdoses that are ravishing our country."

Waters hit on the Fentanyl epidemic.

"It's not like back in the day when they cut baby laxatives," said Waters, who has been in recovery since 2013. "Your stuff is getting cut with Fentanyl. So, everyone time you go out, you are risking it. It's not just heroin or your Xanax pills or whatever it is. It doesn't matter."

Doug Bopst shared his story of spending time in prison before getting clean.

The two men who spoke, Will Ford and Bopst, spent time in prison at the lowest points in their addiction fights. Ford was addicted to opiates while Bopst consumed and sold drugs — finally getting caught with a half-pound of marijuana.

Bopst, who is from Maryland, offered his journey through addiction and into prison. He wrote a book called "From Felony to Fitness to Free," which detailed his prison term.

"When I went into prison, I cried because I didn't want to be there," Bopst said. "When I left prison, I cried because I didn't know what I was going to do."

However, Bopst found his way toward fitness — thanks to his cellmate — but he still struggled to find value in his life. Ultimately, he took a spiritual journey that helped him gain fulfillment.

Today's events

Live music

  • Jake and Keith — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information:


  • Vicki Keese Art Exhibit — Kerrville Hills Winery, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through Oct. 30. Information: The details: Artist Vicki Keese has an exhibition at Kerrville Hills Winery through the end of October. Stop by and enjoy some great wine and art. The show includes various original art to enhance the walls of your home, business and outdoor space.
  • Hill Country Music — Kerr Regional History Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday through Sept. 8. Information: 830-258-1274 The details: An exhibition about the rich history of Hill Country music. Learn how country music was created and helped inspire other music genres, and how a German music teacher, Julius Weiss, helped inspire Scott Joplin to create ragtime and become the "King of Ragtime." The exhibit will feature the Kerrville Folk Festival and how the event inspired the music scene in Texas.
  • Mexico: Splendor of Thirty Centuries — Kerr Regional History Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday through Sept. 8. Information: 830-258-1274 The details: An exhibition based on the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Antonio Museum of Art's international exhibition, and organized by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In Mexico, two civilizations have lived and fought across the land and within the soul of every individual. One civilization is native to the Americas. The other originated in Europe, but now is so firmly ensconced that it has become an elemental part of the Mexican character. "Mexico" presents 3,000 years of Mexican culture and history. Photography highlights stone sculptures from prehistoric times, liturgical artifacts from Colonial Days, 19th-century portraits and landscapes, and works on canvas and paper by 20th-century muralists. The exhibition enhances appreciation of Mexico's richness and complexity and its people.


  • Goodness of God — Inn of the Hills, 6:30 p.m. Information: The details: Forge Ministries 8th annual family conference. The theme this year is The Goodness of God. A search to see what the Scriptures say about God being good and how He is good in all His doings.


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