Sons of local homebuilder killed in Abilene plane crash

Matthew Taylor Schafer and his brother, Richard Schafer III, died Sunday, Aug. 31, after the small airplane they were flying, crashed in Abilene. Also, injured in the crash were Matthew’s wife, Victoria, and son, Wyatt. — Submitted photo

A former instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base and his brother with local connections died in a Sunday evening, Aug. 31, plane crash in Abilene.

Air Force Maj. Richard (Tracer) Schafer III, 35, of Columbus, Mississippi, and Matthew Taylor Schafer, 28, of Abilene, died when the Foxtrot 4, a small home-built airplane they were flying, crashed.

The brothers were the sons of local homebuilder Rick Schafer and his wife, Beth Schafer.

Matthew’s wife, Victoria Schafer, 31, and their son Wyatt, 2, were also injured in the incident.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident and has released its preliminary report.

According to the report, the airplane, piloted by Richard Schafer, was taking off around 6:34 p.m. to the south and was about 200 feet above the ground when the pilot radioed the tower controller and said he needed to return.


Pro bull riding slated Saturday at fair grounds

Professional bull riders will be featured at the Fredericksburg PBR on Saturday night, Sept. 13, at the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

The bull riding gets under way at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Adult general admission is $20, admission for children six to 12 years is $10 and children five and under are free.

Also, admission for active military, law enforcement, emergency medical services personnel and firefighters (ID required) is $10.

Reserved seats are $25 and box seats are $40.

Tickets are available for purchase online at

In addition, general admission tickets can be purchased in advance at the fair grounds, Stroeher and Olfers and Lochte Feed and General Store.

Tickets will also be sold at the gate on Saturday night.

Throughout the evening, food and beverages will be available for purchase.


Boxtoberfest Buds

Mitch Leland of Fredericksburg, left, visits with Alan Bambina of Farmers Branch on Saturday at last weekend’s Boxtoberfest.” Both men have owned Porsche automobiles for more than 40 years. The Porsche car enthusiast event brought more than 200 attendees and 110 automobiles to town for the 17th annual event. Organizer Michael Shassere said Fredericksburg is the perfect place to host the event. See page D1 in this week's newspaper for the rest of story and more photos. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

German engineering and German culture are what keep bringing Porsche car enthusiasts back to Fredericksburg.

The 17th Annual Boxtoberfest was held last weekend at the Hangar Hotel, featuring 110 of the sportiest rides on the road.

“The first year, we had six cars,” said Michael Shassere of Cypress, Texas, organizer of the event. “This year, we have 210 people registered and 110 cars. There are Boxters, but we also have Turbos and some GT3s.”

Shassere said the car enthusiasts love the precision quality of the German Porsche automobiles, founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart, Germany.

And along with Fredericksburg’s German flavor, the curvy Hill Country roads, are hospitable to the driving fans.

“We love the Hangar Hotel,” Shassere said. “A lot of people get here early and go on wine tours and visit the town.”


‘Leave No Trace’ clean up, hikes set Sept. 13-14 at Enchanted Rock

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in Boulder, Colorado, is partnering with Enchanted Rock State Natural Area to host community cleanup events and educational activities Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13-14, at the park.

The center’s Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Team invite the public to attend and learn “Leave No Trace” principles and help protect the park.

Leave No Trace recently designated Enchanted Rock State Natural Area as one of the nation’s eight “hot spots” in the U.S. this year as part of the nonprofit organization’s campaign to address and help public lands facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage.


'Pushing' for the Billies

Alter Stolz, the Fredericks-burg High School mascot (Jayleigh Brown), hollered “nicht mehr” (“no more”) after trying to perform post-touchdown pushups Friday evening with the school’s Navy Junior ROTC crew during the FHS-Austin Travis football game. The team, under the direction of Capt. George Fadok, does one pushup per point after the Billies score, so by the end of the third quarter, with a 48-14 lead, the team had quite a workout. – Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

Trustees keep school tax rate at $1.14 for eighth year

By Richard Zowie


It’s now eight years and counting for Fredericksburg Independent School District’s $1.14620 tax rate.

FISD trustees voted 6-0 on Monday at their regular meeting to keep tax rates unchanged.

Trustee Dave Campbell was not in attendance. The meeting was held at FISD’s central office on Friendship Lane.

The trustees also voted 5-1 on a land purchase approval for a new building for the Gillespie Central Appraisal District (GCAD).

Trustee Jerry Durst, who’s on the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association board (the granter of the land), abstained from the vote.


No new taxes

Since FISD trustees voted to leave the total tax rate at its current amount of $1.04 (per $100 valuation) for maintenance and operations and $0.10620 for debt service and not adopt a new tax rate, a second hearing won’t be needed.


Canto Chamber Choir to perform patriotic concert

A patriotic program, “Lest We Forget: In God We Trust,” will be presented by the Canto Chamber Choir on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Hill Country Evangelical Free Church.

Tickets are available in advance at Grasshopper and Wild Honey, 113 East Main Street, and Hill Country Evangelical Free Church.

Tickets will also be available at the door.

Adult tickets are $20 and student tickets are $5. They ask that checks or cash only be used.

Jerry Neuenschwander of Bandera will direct the group and Charlene James will accompany on piano.

Susan Rees, president of Canto, said, “The program has been scheduled and created specifically to commemorate the attack on our country on Sept. 11, 2001. Many may remember Canto’s concert on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.”

While the theme will be similar, Rees said, the music will be completely different from the prior concert.


Polkamatics to perform at final PCAA concert

The Polkamatics will fill Marktplatz with their brand of polka music during the last concert of the “Concert in the Park” series.

The concert, which is sponsored by the Pedernales Creative Arts Alliance (PCAA), will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Adelsverein Halle, the largest pavilion on Marktplatz.

Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, a picnic meal and their friends to the hour-and-half long event, which is free to the public.

The Polkamatics are an untraditional polka group that evolved from the “Luckenbach Junior High Progressive Oompah Band” by way of the “We’d Rather Not Be Marching Band.”


Fredericksburg bomb threat suspect arrested

Reuben Byon, 17, was arrested last night in connection with bomb threats made to schools in Fredericksburg and Alexandria, Louisiana.

Byon is being held in Gillespie County Jail on a $500,000. He was arrested on a warrant from Alexandria.

The threats to the schools in Alexandria coincide with the threats made to FHS yesterday.

On Tuesday morning around 10:30 a.m., a call was made to the FHS, which was answered by office personnel.

According to a statement issued by Fredericksburg Police Department, an unknown male voice said, “There is a bomb in the school, everybody needs to evacuate.”

At this point, Christopher Ayala, FPD school resource officer, was notified of threat, and in-turn notified Gillespie County Dispatch.


Plane crash claims the lives of two brothers

Richard and Matthew Schafer died on Sunday evening when the small airplane they were flying in crashed in Abilene. — Submitted photo

A former instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base and his brother with local connections died in a Sunday evening plane crash in Abilene.

Air Force Maj. Richard “Tracer” Schafer III, 35, of Columbus Mississippi, and Matthew Taylor Schafer, 28, of Abilene, died when the Foxtrot 4, a small home-built airplane they were flying crashed.

The brothers were the sons of local homebuilder Rick Schafer and wife Beth.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident.

A preliminary report is expected to be released sometime next week, but it could take between six months to a year for a more in depth factual report to be done, said Tom Latson, NTSB aircraft accident investigator. 

Another adult was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Also, a child passanger was transported to the hospital with minor injuries, Latson said.


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