News

Wed
21
May

Rocket students launch projects


‘WE HAVE LIFT OFF!’ — Fabens High School’s rocket embarks on a one-mile journey skyward carrying the most unlikely of space travelers — worms! The invertebrates were recovered as were 72 of the 75 rockets launched by student developers from 35 Texas schools over the weekend at the Hillview Ranch near Willow City. Overall, “Rockets 2014” saw a 99 percent success rate when 90 of 91 total rockets successfully tested at the two separate launch sites set up in Fredericksburg and Houston, according to Brett Williams, who will retire at the end of May as Fredericksburg High School’s STEM teacher to assume full-time duties as the SystemsGo director. — Standard-Radio Post Photos/Lisa Treiber-Walter

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

Rockets carrying payloads of everything from Skittles to earthworms were successfully launched over Gillespie County skies this past weekend in “Rockets 2014.”

This year’s event yielded a 99 percent success rate as  90 of 91 test vehicles actually took flight, according to Brett Williams, Fredericksburg High School’s STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) teacher. Williams is responsible for starting the high school rocket science program, and will retire at the end of this month to become the full-time SystemsGo director.

SystemsGo sponsors the annual rocket launch event in an attempt to encourage more advanced scientific interests among high school-aged students and to foster a new generation of technologically-advanced engineers in America.

Wed
21
May

Stranded at sea


Harold Tatsch

Note: A formatting error resulted in the ommission of a paragraph of this story in the print edition. The story is published here in its entirety.

By Richard Zowie —

When Harold Tatsch exited the ammunition room onto the deck of the Navy destroyer USS Drexler, what he saw on that May 28, 1945 day immediately told him something was wrong.

His fellow sailors were jumping over the side of the ship.

He knew that could mean only one thing: the Drexler, freshly commissioned less than seven months earlier, was sinking.

The destroyer had been assigned to the Battle of Okinawa in the East China Sea to shoot down Japanese aircraft and prevent them from reaching Okinawa. The two-month battle was considered the last chance for Japan to win World War II, since the island was one of the final pieces of real estate to conquer before heading to Japan.

Wed
21
May

Peach season gets into full swing this weekend


Ricky Priess of Gold Orchards checks his crops before summer harvest begins. The area’s peach sales are expected to kick into high gear this Memorial Day weekend. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie —

Despite the unusually-cold winter that saw freezing temperatures and even some snow and ice, and despite the recent hail storm, the peach season is now upon Gillespie County.

“The very first peaches have already been harvested by growers who have some trees under high tunnels,” said James Kamas, Extension specialist. “A few more growers had a limited supply of peaches this last weekend, and most everybody will have fruit in the stands by Memorial Day. We should be strong throughout the summer after that.”

Area peach growers have already started selling peaches, including Marburger Orchard in Fredericksburg. Owner Gary Marburger estimated they would begin harvesting and selling their first variety, Regal, around May 24 and continue with 10 varieties of peaches through late July.

Winter, hail, peaches

Wed
21
May

Car show patrons look for park shade


Competition for a spot in the shade is fierce at the mid-May car show. Between 40 and 50 mature live oaks have been lost to oak wilt and drought. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Organizers for the Lone Star Street Rod Association’s State Run may put the brakes on holding the show at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.

The reason is not hospitality, not rising room rates and not even some petty vandalism that occurred during last year’s show.

It’s Mother Nature.

The drought and oak wilt has left less tree canopy for car show patrons to find a comfortable spot. And while the mercury climbs into the summer months, the patrons grow less comfortable, said Jim Rowlett of Hurst, chairman of the board and chaplain for the Lone Star Street Rod Association.

We love the city,” Rowlett said. “The show has been here 11 years now, and we’ve noticed declining attendance, and it’s just mostly the trees.”

Club director Carol Smith said attendance was up slightly over last year.

Wed
21
May

Businesses, government set Memorial Day closings

As a tribute to those who lost their lives for this country, a number of offices and businesses will be closing their doors on Monday, May 26.

In observance of Memorial Day, city, county, state and federal offices will be closed.

For specific information on holiday closings, refer to the advertisements found elsewhere in this issue of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.

Government

•Federal offices: Closed.

•State offices: Closed.

•County offices: Closed.

•City offices: Closed.

Postal Service

•Closed. There will be no delivery on city, rural or highway contract routes on Monday. The post office windows will be closed and no lockbox service will be provided.

Garbage, Recycling

•Trash collection: Regular trash collection schedules will be observed on Monday.

Wed
21
May

Motorists urged by DPS ‘move over or slow down’

A growing trend among local motorists is putting officers in danger and that has prompted Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers to issue a community plea: “Move over or slow down.”

If approaching a vehicle with flashing lights that is parked to the right of the road — whether it is a DPS unit, law enforcement patrol unit, ambulance, fire truck, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) vehicle or tow trucks — please follow the law, said DPS Trooper Coy Morales.

Texas statute requires motorists in those situations to either move over a lane to the left, if possible, or slow to at least 20 miles per hour slower than the posted speed limit for that area, he said.

“Nobody seems to be doing it,” Morales added, saying that puts officers on traffic stops at increased danger for being hit by passing vehicles, particularly on stretches of road out Texas Highway 16, as well as U.S. Highways 87 and 290.

Wed
21
May

Peach Queen applications available for June pageant

Applications are being accepted from high school coeds interested in vying for the title of Stonewall Peach Queen.

The new Peach Queen and her court will be chosen during the 53rd Annual Stonewall Peach JAMboree and Rodeo, June 20-21.

Applications are available in the office at Fredericksburg High School or at the sponsoring Stonewall Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.stonewalltexas.com.

Completed applications must be returned by Monday, June 2. Applications postmarked after June 2 will not be accepted.

The completed applications should be returned to the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce, Attn. Kelly Schneider, P.O. Box 1, Stonewall, TX 78671.

A photograph for use in the newspaper should accompany each application.

Wed
14
May

City Charter amendment passes 581-556

By Matt Ward —

Three new council members were elected and the first amendment to the city charter was passed by 25 votes Saturday in the City of Fredericksburg election held at Fredericksburg Middle School.

Of the city’s 7,512 registered voters, only 16 percent (or 1,212 voters) actually cast their ballot in this year’s election.

“I think that this election was more about the incumbents than it was about the amendment,” charter amendment organizer Isabel Wertz said. “I hope that the city will be more thoughtful in the future of how the revenue of the city is being spent.”

Former mayor Linda Langerhans defeated current mayor Jeryl Hoover 687-494, while Jerry Luckenbach and Bobby Watson were elected to replace current council members Tim Dooley and Kathy Sanford.

Wed
14
May

Annex debated as appraisal district seeks new home

By Matt Ward —

County Annex No. 2 may be considered to house the Gillespie Central Appraisal District after lengthy discussion of the proposal by Gillespie County Commissioners during their regular meeting Monday morning.

“From what I’m hearing, it sounds like there may be an interest, but we all understand that there are still issues to work out,” County Judge Mark Stroeher said. “We all have some concerns, but the overall consensus is that we would have an interest in discussing it.”

The appraisal district, which will need additional office space to accommodate tax collection services beginning in July 2015, is seeking alternative locations for a new site before making a recommendation to its five largest taxing entities next month.

Wed
14
May

Rains douse drought-parched area

By Terry Collier —

With the arrival of Monday night’s encouraging rain, Fredericksburg area residents are hoping (and praying in many cases) that more moisture will be forthcoming for what has been a drought-plagued countryside.

That’s because the long-term dry spell the city and the county have been experiencing is such that only once during the past 50 years has Fredericksburg received less rainfall during the first four months than it has in 2014.

Before a brief shower that dropped 0.05 inches Friday, and Monday night’s thunderstorm activity which delivered a much-needed 1.45 inches of moisture to bring the May total to 1.50 inches, the city had recorded only 1.65 inches for January through April -- second only since the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post in 1962 began collecting rainfall records to 1971 when just 1.01 inches fell during the same four-month period.

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