City to host tree lighting event Friday

Holiday lights will be turned on in downtown Fredericksburg Friday evening with the City of Fredericksburg’s annual tree lighting ceremony at Marktplatz, featuring the 30-foot community Christmas tree and German Christmas Pyramid.

The festivities are sponsored by the 2014 Fredericksburg Christmas Committee.

Ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the Ambleside Children’s Choir. The official lighting will take place at 7 p.m.

Featured items on Marktplatz include a privately donated nativity, 50-foot ‘Merry Christmas’ skylines and a ‘Gingerbread Village’ designed by local artist Margaret Hannum.

The tree will be decorated with ornaments designed by Hill Country artisans.

Entertainment for the evening will include Al Holzscheiter’s Brass Ensemble, Bethany Lutheran Church Carolers and dance to the music of The Power Section.

Free hot chocolate and cookies will be served.


Wild Game Dinner raises funds for youth, ag education in county

Sam Brocato of Fredericksburg pulls back on a compound bow during the silent auction at the annual Gillespie County Wild Game Dinner, held Saturday at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds Exhibition Hall. The event featured a record turnout and fund-raising, all of which will be used for youth and adult agricultural education in the county. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

Sam Brocato of Fredericksburg pulls back on a compound bow during the silent auction at the annual Gillespie County Wild Game Dinner, held Saturday at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds Exhibition Hall.

The event featured a record turnout and fund-raising, all of which will be used for youth and adult agricultural education in the county.  — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie


Home Tour, Tannenbaum Ball to be held locally over two weekends in Decemter

Events spanning two weekends are planned for December by the Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneer Museum as part of its “Holiday Happenings.”

The 57th Annual Holiday Home Tour will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, followed by the Tannenbaum Ball on Saturday, Dec. 13.

Proceeds from both events will benefit the Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneer Museum.

Holiday Home Tour

Six historical homes and a ranch home will be featured on the Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneer Museum’s 57th Annual Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 6.

The homes on the tour will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets for the tour are $25 per person through Friday, Nov. 28. After that, tickets are $30 per person.

Home Tour tickets can be purchased on line, or by calling 830-990-8441.  


Stars of the stage

Fox, played by Jorja Hahn, devises a sinister plan in a scene from “The Tortoise and the Hare Hit the Road.”

It was one of several Freddyburg Youth Theater performances presented Friday and Saturday.

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

 — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie


Eisbahn ice skating tradition to begin

When Eisbahn opens for the season on Friday, Nov. 28, visitors can glide — or slip and slide — their way over the frozen surface as part of the holiday celebration.

Eisbahn, which means “ice rink” in German, will give residents of the Hill Country and their guests a chance to celebrate the holiday season with a bit of ice skating, regardless of the weather outside.

The rink is set to open at 10 a.m. on Friday and will remain open until 10 p.m.

Hours will be 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, 1-8 p.m. on Sundays and 4-8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 4-10 p.m. on Fridays (before school is dismissed for the Christmas holidays.)

Once classes are out for Christmas break, hours will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays–Fridays.

On Christmas Eve, the rink will have shortened hours from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The rink will be open as usual on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.


Panetti lawyers appeal district court's ruling

By Austin R. Eck

The 216th District Court denied two motions by Scott Panetti’s lawyers to alter the date of his execution, and now his legal team is appealing Judge N. Keith Williams’ decision.

Panetti’s lawyers argue that Panetti, who was convicted for the 1992 murders of Joe and Amanda Alvarado, had his right to due process violated when the court refused to modify his date of execution.

“In denying Scott Panetti’s request for a stay of execution, assistance of counsel and funding for a mental health expert and investigator, the trial court made precisely the same mistake that Judge Stephen B. Ables made in this case over a decade ago — a mistake that, the United States Supreme Court held, violated bedrock principles of due process,” Panetti’s legal counsel, Greg Wiercioch and Kathryn Kase wrote in a brief to the Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) of Texas.


FISD budget gets good marks from auditor in yearly report

By Richard Zowie

A local auditor gave Fredericksburg Independent School District’s 2013-2014 budget a “clean opinion” in its yearly audit.

During a special meeting Friday, the trustees voted 6-0 to approve the audit by Patrick Klein of the accounting firm Klein, Kraus & Company.

“We feel the financial statements of the school district fairly represent the financial position of the district,” Klein told trustees, along with Dr. Eric Wright, FISD superintendent and Deborah Ottmers, assistant superintendent for business and finance.

Klein reported the district’s cash on hand as of June 30 was $27,194,593. Of this, $9.03 million was in the construction fund and $2.4 million was in the debt service fund for bond payments.

The district, at the end of the year, had $13.825 million in bonds outstanding. The bonds currently carry “AAA” ratings with an underlying rating from Standard & Poor’s of “AA-.”


Peddler Show returning to fair grounds this weekend

“The Best Holiday Shopping in Texas” returns this weekend as the Peddler Show sets up shop at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

The show will run Friday through Sunday, Nov. 28-30.

Show hours will be from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov 30.

Regular admission is $6 for adults, $5 for both senior citizens aged 65 years and older and for children aged 5-11 years. Children under five will be admitted free.

One paid admission is good for the entire weekend.

For $10, “early birds” who want to avoid the crowds can shop Friday, Nov. 28, in a Sneak Peak/Stroller Free opportunity from 11 a.m. to noon. 



Council eye potential uses for Old Fair Park land

By Matt Ward—

Expected growth in the neighborhood surrounding Old Fair Park has caused the Fredericksburg City Council to examine the future of the recreational park.

During its regular meeting Monday, the council approved a contract with Freese and Nichols, Inc. to aid in the development of three alternative conceptual master plans for the long-term future of Old Fair Park development.

Options include:

1. Leaving the existing park alone while adding the new skate park developed by the Fredericksburg Morning Rotary Club, shared parking and relocation of the existing soccer field;

2. Reducing the existing park facilities by relocating the sports fields and creating a smaller, passive park surrounded by new commercial infill development; and

3. A complete redevelopment of the park site with a mix of new infill housing, retail and commercial uses.


Lawyers ask for clemency in Panetti case

By Austin R. Eck—

Lawyers for Scott Panetti, who was convicted for the 1992 murders of Joe and Amanda Alvarado, are seeking to have Panetti’s sentence commuted.

Panetti’s execution date is set for Dec. 3, but in a petition filed with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry asks for Panetti’s sentence be reduced to life in prison or a 180-day reprieve be granted so Panetti’s mental condition may be revaluated.

According the Texas Constitution, the governor may grant clemency on the majority recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The case has drawn national attention from death penalty opponents and advocates.

 In the petition to the board and the governor, Panetti’s legal counsel, Greg Wiercioch and Kathryn Kase, outline reasons why Panetti should not be executed including how his schizophrenia has affected his ability to understand why he is facing execution.


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