News

Wed
26
Mar

Hill Country bluebonnets late, shorter, but still a 'sight to see'


HORIZON OF BLUE — Hues of early Texas bluebonnet blooms sway vividly against a spring blue sky, as early morning sunshine rays stretch across the fringes of Fredericksburg on March 25. Experts predict this year’s crop of Texas’ state flower will be a “sight to see,” although shorter and late to show. —Standard-Radio Post/Lisa Treiber-Walter

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

They may be a little shorter than usual and late to the party, but this year’s bluebonnets are nevertheless promising to be an eye-popping sight with their famous fields of blue.

Cooler than usual weather this past winter has delayed the wildflower season here, but already some patches of blooms are beginning to crop up on side lots, in cemeteries, in pastures and here and there, showing wildflower lovers glimpses of the start of spring.

“The reason the bluebonnets are going to be shorter/smaller this year is the lack of moisture we’ve had,” said Kathy Lyles, president of the Fredericksburg chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

“Bluebonnet seeds sprout in the fall and spend the winter as small rosettes,” Lyles said. “With spring rains, each plant can get as large as a dinner plate, but this year they did not have the rain, so they are considerably smaller.”

Wed
26
Mar

Bowlin pleas guilty to manslaughter

Former Harper resident Aimee Elizabeth Bowlin pled guilty to manslaughter charges in last year’s death of her husband, Michael Gene Bowlin.

Bowlin entered her plea in Gillespie County Court on March 11. She will next face the punishment hearing and sentencing phase of her case before Judge N. Keith Williams on May 15, said Lucy Wilke, assistant district attorney in Kerrville.

Bowlin, 43, currently remains in custody in the Gillespie County jail, local law enforcement officials confirmed.

She was accused of killing her husband, Michael Gene Bowlin, 45, at their residence at 460 Kristen Lane near Harper last year on May 26.

Wed
26
Mar

Valero shootout suspect indicted on 14 counts

The shooter who exchanged multiple gunshots with law enforcement officers during a convenience store stand-off on Dec. 18, 2013, has been indicted by the Gillespie County grand jury.

Victor Antonio Valdez, 24, of Fredericksburg, was arrested to end that three-hour incident in which dozens of shots were fired, but no one was injured. The incident took place at the Valero Corner Store, No. 980 in Fredericksburg.

When the grand jury convened on March 10, he was indicted on 12 counts of aggravated assault with deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated robbery, according to Gillespie County District Clerk Jan Davis.

Valdez remains in Gillespie County Jail.

Wed
26
Mar

Error in congress district leads to voter card reprint

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

A single digit printed wrong has led to a costly fix for the Gillespie County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office.

The office plans to mail out a new set of more than 17,000 voter registration cards in the coming days.

The first cards mailed out, and used already for one election, were based on a template provided by the Secretary of State’s office and contained the wrong number for the U.S. Rep. District.

The cards were printed, as provided by the state, with an “11” in the district box, while they should have read District “21,” Gillespie County Commissioners were told Monday by Marissa Weinheimer, local tax assessor-collector.

No other changes to the cards will be made.

Wed
26
Mar

Symposium explores land, water connection


PANELISTS Mark Steinbach, left, executive director of the Texas Land Trust, and Pam Mabry Bergman, landowner, listen to Clinton Bailey, director of public works and utilities for the City of Fredericksburg. Panelists discussed conservation and land restoration, which can affect river health.

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Healthy land means healthy rivers, a crowd of about 200 heard at a Pedernales River forum.

The Texas Water Symposium, held last Thursday at the Hill Country University Center, was entitled “The Pedernales: Challenges and Opportunities Facing an Iconic Hill Country River Basin.” A panel discussed the 120-mile river and its 800,000-acre catchment area, which is being affected by a variety of factors that have negatively affected other Texas waterways.

“Texas loses rural and agricultural land faster than any other state,” said Andrew Sansom, the moderator who is director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University in San Marcos. “The biggest danger to it is the fragmentation of family land, so we must find a way to keep large ranch tracts intact,” he said.

Wed
26
Mar

One month after burn ban enacted, it's lifted

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

A little less than a month after it was enacted, Gillespie County’s “burn ban” was lifted Thursday, March 20, making it legal once again for residents to light outdoor, open-flame fires.

County Judge Mark Stroeher released the ban after County Fire Marshal Steve Olfers said he and the rural fire department chiefs agreed that the small amount of moisture that has fallen recently, along with forecasts for higher humidity and rains, provided more stable outdoor conditions.

“It presents a good opportunity for people to take care of some of the burning that needs to be done,” Stroeher said.

When Gillespie County Commissioners first adopted the measure on Monday, Feb. 24, they did so amid controversy.

Wed
26
Mar

LBJ 100 tour, time trial this weekend in Stonewall

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

Whether it’s the wildflowers, the undulating hills or the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park’s landmarks that draws them, hundreds of cyclists are expected here this weekend for the LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour and Time Trial on March 29-30.

Featuring routes of different lengths for cyclists of all skill levels, the ride will “roll out” on Saturday, March 29, at 9 a.m.

Gates will open at the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall at 7 a.m., when arriving cyclists will begin lining the former presidential airstrip and making their way to the starting gate.

Offered Saturday will be routes of 10-mile, 30-mile, 42-mile, 62-mile and 85-mile distances through park property and the surrounding Hill Country.

Cost to register now is $50. Youths 12 years and younger may sign up for $30 each, while tandem cyclists may participate for a fee of $85.

Wed
26
Mar

'Lost in Yonkers' ticket sales to begin

Tickets will go on sale Monday, March 31 for “Lost in Yonkers,” the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s final production of Season 17.

The Neil Simon play will be performed April 11-27. Friday and Saturday performances will be 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinee performances being held at 2 p.m.

“This play has been underwritten by a generous anonymous donor,” said Julie Voorhees, FTC executive director.

“Lost in Yonkers” won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1991 Tony Award for Best Play.

Set in Yonkers, New York in 1942, the play revolves around several characters, including Bella, who is 35 years old, mentally challenged and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz.

As the play opens, ne’er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady’s doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman.

Wed
19
Mar

Council seeks input for new water rules

By Matt Ward —

City of Fredericksburg water customers may soon see revised restrictions on outdoor watering as an overhaul of existing regulations was brought before the Fredericksburg City Council during their regular meeting Monday.

Major changes are proposed for the amount of watering time allowed in each stage as well as the number of days allowed for watering.

No vote was made on the proposed changes, with the ordinance to be placed on the council’s April 7 agenda.

City officials encouraged residents to familiarize themselves with the proposed ordinance, which is available online at www.fbgtx.org and contact the council with comments and/or suggestions before their next meeting.

Wed
19
Mar

Valero shootout suspect indicted on 14 counts

The man arrested for exchanging multiple gunshots with law enforcement officers during a convenience store stand-off on Dec. 18, 2013, has been indicted by the Gillespie County grand jury.

Victor Antonio Valdez, 24, of Fredericksburg, was arrested to end that three-hour incident in which dozens of shots were fired, but no one was injured. The incident took place at the Valero Corner Store, No. 980 in Fredericksburg.

When the grand jury convened on March 10, he was indicted on 12 counts of aggravated assault with deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated robbery, according to Gillespie County District Clerk Jan Davis.

Valdez remains in Gillespie County Jail.

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