Live, pari-mutuel horse racing season begins July 4-5

A full slate of quarter horse and thoroughbred racing on Saturday and Sunday, July 4-5, will kick off the 2015 live pari-mutuel horse racing season at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

Sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, the two-day July Fourth Racing Festival will celebrate the Independence Day weekend with special races, trials and futurities at the five-eighths mile oval.

Gates to the Class III racing facility open at 11 a.m. and post time is 1 p.m., both days.

Admission to the grounds is $7 for adults, $3 for children six to 15 years of age and free for children five and under.

Reserved seats are $10 and box seats are $15.

Advance tickets are available for purchase online by visiting and clicking on “tickets” for a secure online transaction.

Several special races are planned as part of the two-day program.


Concert, fireworks show to mark Fourth of July

The City of Fredericksburg will host their annual fireworks show and patriotic concert Saturday evening, July 4, inside Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.

The event will begin with a 7:30 p.m. concert by the United States Air Force (USAF) Band of the West’s “Warhawk” ensemble at the park’s Pioneer Pavilion.

The group, featuring a wide-variety repertoire, is the USAF Band of the West’s response to America’s demand for classic rock ’n roll, traditional country and current pop music heard on the Top 40s stations.

Later in the evening, the City of Fredericksburg will begin the launch of its annual fireworks display from the park’s golf course area.

The public is invited to take up spectating spots inside the park, or at the surrounding Gillespie County Airport and other neighboring locations.


Commissioners asked to support new animal shelter

Gillespie County Commissioners met Monday and were asked to support a new animal shelter by a representative from Friends of Fredericksburg Animal Shelter (FFAS).

Kelly Musselman, spokesperson for the group, already approached the city council about a new facility.

Musselman’s group wants the county to assist with funding the facility since, she said, 30 percent of strays come from outside the city limits and are housed at the city’s current shelter at the city landfill.

The county does not contribute to the facility’s upkeep or staffing at present.

“This is an old, inadequate, substandard facility that has long outlived its usefulness,” Musselman said. “We need a new shelter in a new location where potential pet adopters will be happy to visit and employees and volunteers can do their job in safe surroundings.”


Standard-Radio Post is Texas’ top large weekly

The Fredericksburg Standard Radio-Post won top honors in a statewide newspaper contest on Saturday, June 20 at the Westin Austin at The Domain in Austin.

The paper was the sweepstakes winner in Division 6 large weekly category of the Texas Press Association’s 2015 Better Newspaper Contest, besting 16 other newspapers.

The Standard-Radio Post received 400 points to take top honors followed by the Port Aransas South Jetty with 375, the Silsbee Bee with 350 and the Hill Country Community Journal with 325.

“I am so proud of our staff for the consistent, quality work they do week-in and week-out,” said Ken Esten Cooke, publisher and editor. “What we do is a team effort and this is the equivalent of a state championship.”


New record set at peach auction

By Yvonne Hartmann —

A new record was set on Saturday when buyers paid $40,410 for prize-winning peaches, pies, cobblers, preserves and salsas at the 54th Annual Stonewall Peach JAMboree and Rodeo.

The annual Peach Show and Auction on Saturday afternoon was just one of the many highlights of the 54th annual event sponsored by the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce.

“It was another record by far for the peach auction,” said Brandon Weinheimer, president of the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce. “This year’s peach crop resulted in fantastic entries for the peach show.”

He added that this year, several new buyers participated in the peach auction.

Of the total $40,410 spent on Saturday, $25,000 was spent on prize-winning peaches while $15,410 was paid for the pies, cobblers, preserves and salsas,

This year’s record-setting sale topped the 2014 record of $30,550.


Rain-soaked JAMboree a success

Mandy Yocham (above photo) was named the 2015-2016 Stonewall Peach JAMboree Queen during a ceremony Saturday night at the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce. The newly crowned queen and her court include (from left) Third Duchess Arleen Ibanez, Queen Mandy Yocham, Second Duchess Katelyn Zuberbueler and First Duchess Miranda Langehennig.— Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Joshua McKinney —

Weekend rains did not stop organizers of the 54th Stonewall Peach JAMboree and rodeo from holding another weekend full of family fun on Friday and Saturday.

“We had a successful JAMboree despite the rain,” said Brandon Weinheimer, president of the Stonewall Chamber of Commerce. “The rains continued throughout the day but we still had a good turnout for daytime events. Most took place under the protection of the main pavilion.”

“As always, the JAMboree could not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors and auction buyers,” Weinheimer said. “The dedication of our community volunteers who execute the details of this festival every year, and were able to improvise the rainy conditions, helped make it a success.”

The other Stonewall Chamber of Commerce officers are David Laborde, vice president; DeAnn Hampton, treasurer, and Shelee Padgett, secretary.


Miller won't seek open Senate seat

By Ken Esten Cooke —

State Rep. Doug Miller said Monday he will not seek the open seat of State Sen. Troy Fraser, who announced two weeks ago he would not seek re-election.

Miller told members of Fredericksburg Rotary Club of his plans to run for re-election to House District 73, which encompasses Gillespie, Comal and Kendall counties.

“It’s just a choice,” he said. “It might sound corny, but I love this district and I love the Hill Country. If I ran, my wife and I would have to move. It’s not the right time and it’s just not something I’m going to pursue right now.”

Miller said a state senator ends up representing more constituents than a U.S. Congressman.

“I represent about 165,000 people in my district,” he said. “Troy [Fraser] represents more than 800,000 in Senate District 24.”


Local teen suffers shark bite in Port Aransas

Graham Hammond, age 14, and father Jeff, safe and sound back home in Fredericksburg. – Submitted photo

By Dan Parker

Port Aransas South Jetty —

A 14-year-old boy who got 78 stitches after being bitten by a shark at the beach on Mustang Island said the experience won’t keep him from swimming in the surf again.

“I definitely am getting back in the water,” said Graham Hammond of Fredericksburg. “I really love the ocean. It’s one of my favorite places. And it’s a one-in-a-million chance to get bitten by a shark. To be bitten twice is even less of a possibility.”

Hammond was bitten on Saturday, June 13. He and his family were visiting the Mustang Island Conference Center, an Episcopal Church facility. His father, Jeff Hammond, is minister at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg.

Graham and Jeff were among a handful of people swimming together at the beach near the retreat located just south of the Port Aransas city limits.


Water symposium eyes demand, conservation

Meeting Texas’ growing demand for water and practicing conservation were topics (from left) Texas Water Development Board’s Kathleen Jackson; retired Burnet County Judge Donna Klaeger and Hill Country Underground Water Conservation District general manager Paul Tybor discussed at the June 18 Texas Water Symposium. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

By Richard Zowie —

Texas is growing, and a concern in the water industry is whether the Lone Star State can keep up with residents’ water needs.

A three-person panel discussed this and fielded questions at the 8th Annual Texas Water Symposium series June 18 at the Hill Country University Center.

Christy Muse, executive director of Hill Country Alliance (HCA), said a new series on water issues would begin next fall with two fall programs and two programs next spring.

The meeting featured moderator Richard Parker, who wrote the book “Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America.”


Roots concert to feature blues music

Blues music will fill the night air at the Pioneer Museum Saturday, June 27, with the second summer Roots Music Series concert.

Austin-based band Blues Specialists will take the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The band has been in existence for 28 years, and includes original band member/bandleader Mel Davis (vocals, harmonica, sax), Lawrence Bell (organ/bass), Rob Richardson (guitar), Isaac Bratchett (drums). The style of music is traditional Texas jump blues with a tinge of jazz.

At 7:40 p.m., the Cedric Burnside Project will perform. Burnside is the grandson of blues legend R.L. Burnside.

He won his fourth overall, and third consecutive Blues Music Award in May 2014, in the category of ‘Instrumentalist - Drums’. He is a five-time Blues Music Association Award winner, including Best New Artist and four wins for Drummer of the Year.


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