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The Lead Sept. 22, 2022: Ray Buck completes his mission at UGRA; Preventing strokes is Peterson's plan

The UGRA general manager calls it a career; Sheriff's Office is chasing a wanted suspect

Good morning, Kerr County!

Believe it or not, today is the first day of Fall! Shockingly, the National Weather Service said to expect clear and cool evenings. They actually wrote COOL. However, the daytime highs should still reach into the mid-90s through the weekend. The big weather story is a possible hurricane aiming at the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The storm, which is not quite a hurricane, is sitting off the coast of Venezuela. The National Hurricane Center said there's a 90% chance of the storm becoming a cyclone in the next five days. Will it impact Texas? Well, we will get better clarity on it later this week.

On today's The Lead Live!

We are into our fourth day of Small Business Development and Leadership conversations — sponsored by the Kerr Economic Development Corp — and today's segment focuses on female entrepreneurs. We've got a dynamite panel led by Mindy Wendele. The group includes Anabel Medrano, Amber Thomason, Keri Wilt, Holly Secrest, and Kristen Hedger, and we may even have some surprises. Join us at 9 a.m.

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All that we ask is you consider making a donation to reach our goal of matching our $6,000 grant. We appreciate your backing of The Kerr County Lead.

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Featured events

Mark your calendar for Public Power Week Oct. 2-8, and the Bucket Truck Rides.

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:

The Kerrville Chalk Festival, Oct. 15-16, Kerrville City Hall.

Kerrville Chalk Festival is a family-friendly art event for the Texas Hill Country. More than 65 artists create large-scale chalk drawings directly on the pavement. Kerrville’s downtown becomes a festive canvas for local and regional artists, as wells as invited guest artists from around the United States.

The Festival has live music, many free activities, food trucks, as well as wine and craft beer. It attracts an estimated 10,000 attendees annually. Read about the history of chalk art.

Held at Peterson Plaza in the heart of downtown, the event encourages tourists and locals to dine, shop, and experience the beauty and charm of Kerrville, Texas.

The 2022 beneficiary is Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center (KACC). KACC was founded in 1995 by a group of artists with a mission of providing a show place for local artists and to further the arts and culture in the community. The Center is comprised of sixteen affiliated groups representing over 500 artists and has three distinct gallery spaces. It attracts over 20,000 visitors annually.

Today's events

The Arts

  • Vicki Kreese Exhibition — Kerrville Hills Winery, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Oct. 30. Information: The details: Hill Country 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.
  • Carolyn Herring Exhibition — Pint and Plow Brewing Co., 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Information: The details: Enjoy the works of Carolyn Herring, showing her work for the first time.

Live music

  • Tim Branch — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Braden Toomey — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information:
  • The Circle of Service — Arcadia Live!, 7 p.m. Information: 830-315-5483 The details: The 35th annual Circle of Service Live Concert, a night of community brought to you by The Salvation Army. Featuring singer Mike Weaver of the contemporary Christian rock band Big Daddy Weave, followed by a set by Seattle born-SoCal based comedian Dustin Nickerson, and a special guest appearance by Brad Fogarty, producer of critically acclaimed faith-based drama television series The Chosen.

The Kerr County Sheriff's on the lookout for fugitive

The Kerr County Sheriff's Office is searching for Kyle Renaud, 36, who is wanted on a felony assault charge. The Sheriff's Office described Renaud as 6-feet tall, shaved head, 200 pounds, and armed and dangerous. The Sheriff's office urges people to call at 830-896-8477, or visit the website

Speaking of the Sheriff

The Kerr County Sheriff's Foundation will host a meet and greet with Sheriff Larry Leitha at 6 p.m. tonight at Down on the Loop, 345 Hwy 39, Ingram. The foundation is raising money to help fund a new tactical vehicle for the Sheriff's Office.

Ray Buck formally calls it a career

After 16 years, Ray Buck retired as UGRA's general manager on Wednesday.

After 16 years, Ray Buck finally said goodbye to the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, a job he loved. Buck wasn't overt about the work, he let the organization speak for itself, but his impact is clear.

"He has been a wonderful leader," Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly said of Buck during a Wednesday retirement party at the UGRA headquarters. "He and (Buck's wife, Ann) are close friends."

That's right; it's a double loss for the community because Ray's wife, Ann, retired earlier this year as the executive director of the Christian Women's Job Corps. However, expect the Bucks to be around for a while — this is home.

Ray Buck said his greatest contribution to the UGRA was building relationships with other organizations, from the Riverside Nature Center to the city of Kerrville to Kerr County. He also said a good team behind him helped.

"It's bittersweet," Buck said of his retirement. "I'm confident in the staff we're leaving behind and the leadership through (new general manager Tara Bushnoe), and we've got a great board. This has not been just a job for me it has been a mission."

The mission, at least to hear Buck say it, was focused on bringing conservation awareness about the Guadalupe River's place in the community — something previously taken for granted.

"We initiated that conversation through our partnership with other agencies," said Buck, adding there is a collective concern about the quality of the river.

That dedication to the river and the conservation approach helped attract newcomers to Kerrville like Frank Garcia, a Texas Master Naturalist, who stopped by to congratulate Buck on his retirement.

"I think that (UGRA) has these demonstration gardens it's a great asset," Garcia said.

That service makes UGRA indispensable for Kelly, who is now wrestling with a surge of subdivision development across Kerr County — almost entirely dependent on wells and septic. Kelly said UGRA's guidance on conservation is pivotal.

For Bushnoe, who has been sharing duties with Buck for the last few months, she's assuming control of an organization with a good foundation, in her estimation.

"(Buck) has taught me that expectations can never be too high," Bushnoe said. "You should always strive to achieve the absolute best, and to demonstrate that too others."

As people came into the building, everyone wanted to say thank you or congratulations on a job well done by Buck, but it's hard to imagine that he would not be keeping an eye on the Guadalupe River. As he said, this job was a mission — and that commitment rarely falters, even in retirement.

Three more UGRA updates

On Ray Buck's last day as UGRA General Manager, the agency's board of directors met Wednesday night and made two key decisions about the coming year. They were:

  • The board approved a tax rate of $0.0159 for every $100 valuation. This rate is lower than the no new revenue rate and a 16% decrease from the previous year tax rate of $0.019. UGRA Board Vice President Aaron Bulkley said: "I am proud of this board for putting forth the largest tax rate decrease in UGRA's history." UGRA Board Treasurer Maggie Snow said: "During Ray Buck's tenure at UGRA, the tax rate has either remained the same or decreased."
  • UGRA Board held an election to appoint officers to lead the board. The nominating committee's recommendation to continue the current slate of officers for a 2nd year was approved: President Diane McMahon, Vice President Aaron Bulkley, Treasurer Maggie Snow, Secretary Bill Rector
  • And finally, Buck received a framed picture of the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Guadalupe River and a golden ball lead tree was planted in the UGRA EduScape in his honor.

Keeping focused on preventing, treating strokes

Peterson Health Physical Therapists work with visitors at the medical system's annual stroke awareness and prevention day at the Pevehouse Ambulatory Care Center.

Without fail, someone in the audience will tell Dr. Mirelle Foster that they didn't understand the cause of strokes. On Wednesday afternoon, Foster presented key information about strokes during an open house at Peterson Health's Pevehouse Ambulatory Care Center.

Foster wasn't the only presenter; Peterson's wide range of departments and community groups, including the Dietert Center, were on hand. The Dietert Center plays a crucial role in many of these events by raising awareness of the variety of services available to Kerr County residents. One of the stars of the day was Mesa, the therapy dog — a gentle nine-year-old black labrador who belongs to physical therapist Hannah Shoemaker. Still, it was Foster's presentation that drew attention.

"I don't know much about strokes," one woman admitted toward the end of Foster's presentation.

And that's the reason why Foster and Peterson host stroke awareness events.

"I don't change my presentation much," Foster admitted. Based on the latest medical research and science, Foster stresses to all who attend the importance of understanding the causes of the strokes, and the symptoms and always to call 9-1-1 if someone thinks it's happening to them.

Peterson Health Physical Therapist Nathan Storb checks the balance of a visitor to Peterson Health on Wednesday.

From 1999 to 2020, strokes, or cerebrovascular diseases, were Kerr County residents' fourth leading cause of death. In that same period, according to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention data, strokes were the third leading cause of death in Texas, but the prevalence of those deaths was higher per capita in Kerr County.

Foster said Peterson offers state-of-the-art care through all lines of treatment. On Wednesday, Peterson showcases its various skills in helping those afflicted with their recovery journey — from occupational to speech therapy.

During the presentation, Foster candidly told those in attendance that Peterson's position in caring for stroke patients means that only in extreme circumstances do patients need transfer to San Antonio hospitals. In terms of recovery, Foster makes it clear Peterson's offerings are top-notch.

This care isn't just for stroke patients but for those with decreased mobility or fall concerns. That's what brought Susie Teimeyer to Peterson for the open house — she wanted to learn more about preventing a fall.

"My mother, in her last years, she had a lot of trouble with balance," Teimeyer said. "I've noticed a little bit of difficulty myself in the last six months."

A battery of Peterson physical therapists was available to help assess, including Nathan Storb. Storb and his colleagues could determine the vision, inner ear, and overall strength and coordination at two stations.

Mesa the therapy dog was a big hit at Peterson Health on Wednesday.

"We're trying to gain back what they lost after a stroke," Storb explained. It's also a measure of prevention, which Tiemeyer wanted to assess.

Barboza pleads guilty to manslaughter

Former Kerrville firefighter Isaac Barboza pleaded guilty to three felonies related to the drunk driving crash that killed an eight-year-old girl as she slept in 2020.

Barboza admitted guilt in the intoxicated manslaughter of Arianna Khaile Guido-Lopez, who was sleeping at her home on Leland Street when Barboza plowed into the house with his Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Barboza, a Uvalde resident, pleaded guilty to intoxicated manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance. He appeared Wednesday morning in the 216th District Court with Judge Pat Patillo setting Barboza's sentencing for March 2023.

"I'm very pleased that he has accepted responsibility and that the family will not be put through a jury trial on guilt," said 216th District Attorney Lucy Wilke. The case was headed for a jury trial next week.

Guido's death was difficult for many in the community, including first responders who faced a challenging rescue. After a 10-day fight, Guido died from her injuries at University Hospital in San Antonio.

Barboza tried to make amends for the crash by apologizing via San Antonio television stations, but in the end, he pleaded guilty to the charges. Kerrville police officers, many of whom were on the scene that night, were present at the court hearing.


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