News

Wed
18
Feb

Livestock judging underway in San Angelo, San Antonio

Two major livestock shows are underway in different parts of the state to keep local exhibitors busy.

Judging got underway last week at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and over the weekend at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.

Both the San Antonio and San Angelo shows continue through March 1.

From there, local exhibitors will head to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, March 3-22, and the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin, March 14-28.

San Antonio

The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo opened on Thursday, Feb. 12, and since then, the junior breeding swine, goats and junior breeding sheep have all been judged.

In all, 140 local youth will be participating in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, including 72 Gillespie County 4-Hers, 56 Fredericksburg FFA members and 12 Harper FFA members.

Wed
11
Feb

Local school vaccine rates high, but some still opt out

By Richard Zowie

Concerns over an increase in measles outbreaks and parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated has risen to the forefront of national debate.

Most feel vaccinations are imperative to the preservation of public health, while others choose not to vaccinate over concerns about the vaccine itself and its effectiveness.

Here in Gillespie County, the numbers of parents who opt out of vaccinations is low, compared to some parts of the country. And one area school’s policy is simple: all students must be vaccinated, without exception.

Local school rates

Texas law requires full vaccinations, but allows exceptions.

Locally, the number of students with vaccination exemptions is small. In 2013-2014, Calvert Independent School District reported 124 exempted students (73.4 percent of its student body). In Gillespie, the numbers are nowhere near that figure.

Wed
11
Feb

Trustees call for $16 million school bond election

By Richard Zowie

Fredericksburg Independent School District trustees voted 7-0 to approve a $16 million bond proposal for a joint election on May 9.

FISD’s proposed total bond cost would be $16,052,900 and would include a “new look” for Fredericksburg High School.

“I’d like to make it perfectly clear that we are not looking to raise the tax rate at all,” said FISD superintendent Dr. Eric Wright.

Of the total bond, construction, maintenance and materials would cost $13,863,200 while the bond issuance costs (various fees and attorney costs) would be $2,189,700.

At FHS, the proposed bond would include:

• A new high school administration building, to relocate the office for safety and security, and to give FHS a new look. “This would give the high school a face lift,” Wright said.

Wed
11
Feb

Old San Antonio Road bridge reopens


Though motorists can drive on the bridge over the Pedernales River on Old San Antonio Road, construction is not completed. Until then, drivers can expect to see lane closures and delays as work nears completion. — Standard-Radio Post

Motorists in Gillespie County are able to travel over the bridge on Old San Antonio Road after it was closed for repairs in April.

While vehicles are able drive over the bridge, work is not yet complete. Final pavements on the new lanes and striping needs to be finished before the project is done, said Kelli Reyna, Public Information Officer for Texas Department of Transportation.

As work is completed, motorists can expect to see lane closures.

Low temperatures throughout January prevented crews from continuing work.

“Originally, crews were waiting to place the final pavement and perform the striping work, but the decision was made to open the bridge to traffic and re-pave once temperatures allowed,” Reyna said.

While the public can use the bridge, they should expect delays as work is completed, Gillespie County Pct. 3 Commissioner Calvin Ransleben said.

“People still need to be safe because there are people working,” he said.

Wed
11
Feb

SystemsGo students link up with NASA


Fredericksburg High School seniors Bodie Houy (left) and Ethan West take their turn in front of engineers viewing through a “cyber portal” from Johnson Space Center during the Critical Design Review of the rocket that will launch a NASA payload this summer at White Sands Missile Range. The students are part of the SystemsGo program developed by Brett Williams and taught by Andrew Matthes. — Photo by Phil Houseal

Taking a step into the 21st century, students at Fredericksburg High School experimented with “the classroom of the tomorrow” Thursday when they linked up with engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in real time for a review of their payloads to be deployed by student-built vehicles at White Sands Missile Range this summer.

“This ‘cyber classroom’ is something we’ve been working on for years and it was our first time to test it,” said Brett Williams, director and founder of SystemsGo, an innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum based on designing and launching rockets.

Fredericksburg Independent School District IT personnel set up a real time, live video and audio cyber hookup between three sites, originating in the Senior Engineering Design & Problem Solving classroom taught by Andrew Matthes, STEM Academy director.

Wed
11
Feb

'No Room' puts focus on Alzheimer's


Peter Bunther (Bob Straus) protests as Dr. William Fitzgivings (J.D. Cole) continues evaluating his pa-tient’s memory in “No Room for a Picture on the Blank Wall,” an award-winning drama written by Fredericksburg Middle School theater director David Remschel. Three more performances will be offered this weekend in the Fredericksburg High School Auditorium. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

“No Room for a Picture on the Blank Wall,” an award-winning drama written by Fredericksburg Middle School theater director David Remschel, will be performed here this weekend.

The play, which won the Texas Educational Theater Association’s 2014 playwriting contest, will be presented at the Fredericksburg High School auditorium, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 13-15.

Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets for the show, available at the door, are $10 for adults and $8 for students with proceeds donated to the HCMH Alzheimer’s Hospice support unit.

Materials from the support unit will be available in the lobby.

“No Room for a Picture on the Blank Wall” focuses on a man early in the stages of Alzheimer’s and how he, as well as his loved ones, deals with the disease.

Wed
11
Feb

New director named for Hill Country SPCA

An administrator with more than 20 years’ experience is the new executive director of the Hill Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Kristin Szafraniec, who has worked in the for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors, replaced former director Tina Pruitt in late September.

“I have a broad range of experience in nonprofit management and development with an emphasis on capacity building,” said Szafraniec. “I’m committed to increasing organizational infrastructure and help make the Hill Country SPCA financially strong and sustainable to continue its mission of saving animals for years to come.”

Most recently, Szafraniec, whose surname is pronounced “Sa-fran-eck,” served as a business professional for Sarasota County (Florida) Health and Human Services and worked closely with community foundations, volunteers and community partners.

Wed
11
Feb

Mardi Gras on the red carpet

Billy and Clarie Pahl stop to have their picture taken with the Mardi Gras King and Queen (Randy Bouley and Wendy Beaver from Lafayette, Louisiana) on Saturday night before heading into the third annual Mardi Gras Gala benefiting St. Mary’s School where Pahl serves as principal. Held at the St. Mary’s Holy Family Center, the event included a jazz cocktail hour, silent auction, live auction, prize drawings, music and more. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

Wed
11
Feb

New software will help manage prisoners

By Austin R. Eck

Managing the inmate population at the new Gillespie County Jail will be easier after commissioners approved the purchase of a new inmate classification software system by the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office.

The $5,153 purchase was approved in Monday’s session.

When an inmate is brought into a jail, a risk assessment is conducted to determine any possible threat. Inmates are kept with those of similar risk or, if the danger is high enough, kept separate from other prisoners.

Jails use software as part of their classification system to help determine the threat level of an inmate.

Currently, the county uses a program by Point Additive. However, Sheriff Buddy Mills believes the classification system, Decision Tree, is superior.  

The system allows for intermingling of inmates by being more lenient in criteria. 

Wed
11
Feb

Cave Creek school open this weekend

Officials at Cave Creek Historic School will host an open house tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The school is at 470 Cave Creek Road off Ranch Road 1631, and the event will feature a Valentine’s Day theme and a chocolate dessert bar.

Visitors can see the days of late 19th and early 20th century education, where blackboards, pencils and one-room school houses were replaced by computers, iPhones and iPods.

Recent renovations to the school include a new paint job, and the school also now has a wildlife watering station.

Docents will greet visitors with stories of the past and present use of the historic school, including how Cave Creek school received its name.

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