Bensons are fundraiser's honorary chairs

John and Peggy Benson have been involved in many efforts in Fredericksburg since the couple moved here in 1985. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke —

It was a long way from the bank president’s office to a Mexican village on John and Peggy Benson’s first-ever mission trip.

The two crossed the river at Boquillas, loaded old pickup trucks to capacity, then sat atop the cargo, which included construction equipment and supplies. They slept on the ground and outside to take advantage of the slight breeze in the desert climate.

“One morning at daybreak, we heard truck motors running and realized we had bedded down in the middle of the dirt road,” John said, chuckling at the memory.

The Bensons have returned to Mexico several times and been in the middle of much civic work in Fredericksburg. The couple will be the honorary chairmen at the Aug. 1 Misión de Candelilla Annual Fiesta, the main fundraiser for the locally based medical mission.

Misión de Candelilla founders Curtis and Sara Allerkamp have found the Bensons’ help invaluable.


Annual Scholarship Fest tickets on sale

Guns, jewelry, gift certificates, hunting and fishing equipment and more totaling an estimated $33,000 will be given away at Scholarship Fest on Saturday night, Aug. 1, at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds. Showing off some of the prizes available at this year’s event are co-chairman Greg Mohr, prize committee member Maxine Jung, event chairman Larry Burrow and co-chairman Chad Ellebracht. — Standard-Radio Post photo

Ticket sales are continuing for the 19th Annual Scholarship Fest on Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

Sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, the event will include appetizers, a barbecue dinner, silent and live auctions, games, prize drawings and more.

“College Tailgating” is the theme for the event, which includes appetizers, a barbecue dinner, silent and live auctions, games, prize drawings and more.

Admission tickets for Scholarship Fest are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.

Scholarship Fest tickets are available in advance online at

In addition, tickets are also be available in advance at the office at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds and at Stroeher and Son/Stroeher and Olfers and Lochte Feed and General Store.

Gates open at 3 p.m. on Aug. 1 and appetizers will be available.


Town Hall meeting, Fun Day set in Harper

A “Family Fun Day and Town Hall Meeting” will be held Saturday, July 25, in the Harper Community Park.

The event is sponsored by the Harper Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Harper Community Park Association for the benefit of the Harper Community Park.

Afternoon activities begin at 4 p.m. and include games, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, baseball, a bake sale, car wash, hula hoop contest and more.

Also starting at 4 p.m. is the domino tournament.

A barbecue supper will be served at 6 p.m. before the town hall meeting at 7 p.m.

The Harper Community Park Board will present its proposed plan at the Town Hall meeting, and the public is encouraged to ask any and all questions about the new building and how it will be done.

Nothing about the size and construction of the building has been set yet, according to spokesman Jeanette Bode.


PCAA concert series to host Nash Hernandez Orchestra

Austin’s longest-running big band will perform this weekend at the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance’s (PCAA) Marktplatz Concert Series.

The horns, woodwinds and other instruments of the Nash Hernandez Orchestra will begin playing at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, July 26, at the Adelsverein Halle, in the 100 block of West Main Street.

Admission is free, and attendees can bring their lawn chairs, a picnic meal and friends. Once the music starts, listeners are encouraged to dance.

The concert will last around an hour and a half.

The orchestra began performing in 1949 and today continues under the direction of Nash Hernandez’ youngest son, Ruben, who was 11 years old when he began playing drums. 


Original Recipe, Reunion bands to take Roots stage

The Roots Music Series will rock the grounds of Pioneer Museum once again this Saturday, July 25.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the music begins at 7 p.m. with the Austin-based group the Original Recipe Band.

After 26 years of serving and playing in the U.S. Navy, the Original Recipe Band has played around Central Texas since 1998. The core band is nine pieces with complete horn and rhythm sections, with two male and one female vocalist.

The band plays Sinatra, funk, big band, mambos, rock and Motown, all in the same set.

The Reunion Band, also based out of Austin, starts at 9 p.m.

The Reunion Band has played together since the mid-1980s and mixes classic rock, Motown, hard-core funk, ’70s disco and ballads.

Tickets can be purchased online at $13 each — $10 for Gillespie County Historical Society members — and will be available until 6 p.m., Friday, July 24.

 After that, tickets can be purchased at the concert for $15.


Trustees re-examine punishments after positive drug tests

By Matt Ward —

Increased positive drug tests among high school students have led Fredericksburg Independent School District officials to begin re-evaluating the district’s drug policies.

In a report given Monday to the FISD board of trustees, FISD Supt. Dr. Eric Wright said that the district saw a rise in tests reported positive for marijuana, up from four individuals in 2013-2014.

“This year, to be quite frank, we’ve had a lot more marijuana use than we’ve had in the history of the drug-testing program,” Wright said. “Nine kids out of 359 is really not that bad, but it’s still nine kids. Comparatively, we’ve doubled from last year.”

In total, 14 positive marijuana results were reported from nine different students, with three students testing positive multiple times, including one student who tested positive three times.


Commissioners formally OK collection pact with GCAD

By Ken Esten Cooke —

County commissioners on Monday made it official to let the Gillespie Central Appraisal District collect their taxes.

The agreement came just in time, too, as the GCAD opened the collection side of its basement-level office in the courthouse that morning.

Where the city and FISD had OK’d the agreement with no changes, the county suggested taxing entities get together to work out minor details.

County Judge Mark Stroeher noted that the contract, as written, gives GCAD the right to hire attorneys. Stroeher said the county had long used the Bryla & Schoessow law firm and wanted to continue using the trusted attorneys.

The county also has added a 15-percent penalty for delinquent accounts to cover attorney’s fees, whereas state law allows attorneys to collect up to 20 percent.


Adaptability factor

This dog, along with many others, is available for adoption at the City of Fredericksburg Animal Shelter located at 219 Landfill Lane. The shelter is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Standard-Radio Post/Autumn Bernhard

By Matt Ward

Many of Fredericksburg’s most lovable — and furriest — residents are tucked away inside the most unlikely of places: the city landfill.

The cats and dogs who temporarily reside in the City of Fredericksburg Animal Shelter — located inside the landfill off Ranch Road 1631 — could be seeing an upgrade in their living arrangements, built in 1973 without a central heat and air conditioning system.

The facility has caught the eye of more than 1,150 city and county residents, who have petitioned the Fredericksburg City Council for a larger, modern facility.

Yvonne Gerhardt, shelter manager, has modernized the animal adoption process in spite of the aging facility, utilizing social networking through Facebook to reunite animals with their owners.

“That (Facebook) has been my lifesaver, my tool for success,” she said.


Road projects under way

A construction crew from Hill Country Bridge, Inc. works on a low-water crossing of Barons Creek on Goehmann Lane. Construction on the Texas Department of Transportation project began on Monday, July 6. The site must be re-opened to traffic on or before Saturday, Aug. 15. — Standard-Radio Post

The Texas Department of Transportation currently has four major projects underway that could affect Gillespie County drivers.

TxDOT is replacing a low-water crossing at Barons Creek on Goehmann Lane; widening, and adding both turn and pass lanes on State Highway 16 South from Boos Lane to Wolf Creek in Kerr County; replacing structures on a bridge on U.S. 290 west of Harper; and finished a pavement repair project on U.S. 87, north of Fredericksburg.

Goehmann Lane bridge

The Goehmann Lane at Barons Creek bridge project is one of five separate off-system bridge projects in Gillespie County that were combined into one large contract.

The aim of the project is to replace the bridge at Goehmann Lane.

TxDOT awarded the contract to Hill Country Bridge, Inc., which was worth a $2,659,843 bid.


Gillespie 4-Hers, adult leaders honored at banquet

Honored on July 7 at the 2015 Gillespie County 4-H Awards Banquet held at the Gillespie County Farm Bureau Events Center were, from left, Daylon Nebgen, Suzanne Coal and Michelle Millhouse, winners of the Danforth “I Dare You” award, and Dylan Sione and Blake Tatsch, winners of the Farm Bureau Leadership award. Not pictured are “I Dare You” award winners Harrison Spisak, Julie Krebs and Anna O’Leary. — Standard-Radio Post photo

Awards, certificates and medals were presented to local youth and adult leaders on Tuesday, July 7, at the 2015 Gillespie County 4-H Awards Banquet.

The program and dinner to recognize the achievements and successes of 4-Hers and adult volunteers was held at the Gillespie County Farm Bureau Events Center.

Receiving the county’s top award — the Gold Star Award — was Sean O’Leary.

As part of the evening, the new 2015-2016 Gillespie County 4-H Council officers were installed, including Mason DeLong, president; Blake Tatsch, vice president; Daylon Nebgen, secretary, and Preston Crenwelge and Dylan Sione, council delegates.

A slide presentation compiled by Baylie Vogel was shown.

Serving as mistress of ceremonies was Kasie Vestal, current council president.


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