News

Wed
25
Sep

Neighbors to join up for National Night Out

By Lisa Treiber-Walter— In a show of strength against criminals, Gillespie County residents are being invited to join firefighters and law officers at their rural fire departments for “National Night Out — America’s Night Out Against Crime” open houses this coming Tuesday, Oct. 1.

“Let’s send a message to criminals that our community is united in the fight against crime,” urged Gillespie County Sheriff Buddy Mills.

On Tuesday evening, residents are encouraged to turn on their front porch lights in a show of solidarity against crime, throw block parties to get to know their neighbors better and learn how to watch out for each other better and to participate in special activities planned around the county.

Wed
25
Sep

'Roundup' will feature latest in green living

By Matt Ward— Electric vehicles, wind power and other energy efficient projects will be on display in Fredericksburg as part of the 13th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair (The Roundup), which is one of four destinations in Texas celebrating National Plug In Day, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29.

Members of the Austin/San Antonio Tesla Google Group will provide NEMA 14-50 charging systems and an eVgo charging station for recharging in Fredericksburg with free parking for electric vehicle owners.

Members of the Tesla Google Group will have their vehicles on display, including the Tesla Motor Series S Sedan.

For 13 years, the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair has been a weekend destination for Texans who want to embark on a fall road trip to the Texas Hill Country. The Roundup is the largest all sustainability fair in the South.

Thu
19
Sep

Daily Update for Tuesday, Sept. 24

News

Wed
18
Sep

Divided council approves upcoming budget, tax rate

By Matt Ward —

Split over whether or not to balance utility funds, a divided Fredericksburg City Council approved their 2013-2014 budget Monday night by a 3-2 vote.

Councilmen Tim Dooley and Gary Neffendorf opposed the budget as the city’s electric, solid waste and drainage funds are projected to operate at a deficit in the coming year.

While there was division on budget issues, the council unanimously approved the effective tax rate of $0.2600 per $100 valuation, a rate which is $0.0047 lower than the current rate of $0.2647.

Balancing budgets

Worried about low reserve balances in the city’s utility funds, Neffendorf moved to balance the budgets (deficits in parenthesis) on the electric ($70,200), water and sewer ($123,200), solid waste ($56,100) and drainage ($73,100) funds.

Mayor Jeryl Hoover asked why other funds, such as the golf fund, did not also need to have a balanced budget.

Wed
18
Sep

Customers to see different rate hikes as new utility prices OK'd

By Matt Ward —

City utility customers will see an increase within the next few months as the Fredericksburg City Council approved rate hikes for water, sewer and electric customers during their regular council meeting Monday.

Final approval for the utility rates was needed as the council finished and okayed their 2013-2014 budget.

(A separate story in this issue details discussion of the upcoming city budget and tax rate.)

Increases vary by customer

With the approved increases in rates in addition to changes in the way rates are structured, all utility customers will be affected in some way with no two customers impacted the same way, according to city staff.

Wed
18
Sep

Superintendent to retire after fall semester

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Dr. Marc Williamson, who has led the Fredericksburg Independent School District as superintendent since 1998, announced he will retire at mid-term.

Williamson let FISD board members and his staff know last week in a short email. The 39-year education employee, with 22 of those in Fredericksburg, said the district will be attractive to a lot of candidates.

“The district is in a good position to be attractive to a lot of good candidates,” Williamson said. “We’ve got good test scores, economically, we have good finances, and there is good leadership on the campuses and from the teaching staff.”

Williamson said his retirement has been in the works for some time.

“It’s a good time to make a change,” he said. “I know they will get somebody great. If I wasn’t looking at retiring, I’d want to stay here. There are great people, I work with a great board and this is a great community.”

Wed
18
Sep

Rangers to break ground on museum


ARCHITECT'S rendering of completed Texas Ranger Heritage Museum. Officials will break ground at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the location, 1618 E. Main Street, adjacent to Fort Martin Scott and the Hill Country University Center.

By Ken Esten Cooke —

After years of planning, the Texas Rangers Heritage Center will finally break ground with a 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24 ceremony.

The board of directors of the Former Texas Rangers Foundation (FTRF) and the Former Texas Rangers Association will be on hand to turn the dirt, and many dignitaries and guests have been invited to the plot at 1618 East Main Street, adjacent to both Fort Martin Scott and the Hill Country University Center.

“This will be a great thing for Fredericksburg,” said Joe B. Davis, president of the FTRF. “Fredericksburg is one of the top tourist destinations in the state. The Heritage Center will compliment the other museums and it fits entirely with the city’s commitment to the commemoration of its collective past.”

Wed
18
Sep

Local man dies in two-vehicle accident on Texas Hwy 16


FREDERICKSBURG Volunteer Fire Department personnel work alongside Fred-ericksburg EMS paramedics in tending to a crash victim and removing him from the wreckage of this Central Texas Electric Cooperative truck involved in a head-on collision with a 1991 Ford Ranger truck (in the fore-ground) that had crossed in-to its lane on Texas Highway 16 South. The driver of the Ranger, Lee Welch, was pro-nounced dead at the scene, becoming Gillespie County’s sixth roadway fatality of the year, while both the driver and passenger of the CTEC truck were airlifted to San Antonio for trauma care and have since been released in stable condition. —Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

Less than a week after Gillespie County had its fifth roadway fatality of the year, another two-vehicle accident on Thursday, Sept. 12, claimed the life of a 44-year-old Fredericksburg man.

Lorenzo Clarence (Lee) Welch was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Louis Rech at 8:50 a.m. at the scene of the crash, 6.3 miles south of Fredericksburg on Texas Highway 16 South.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigating officer, Trooper Coy Morales, Welch had been driving a 1991 Ford Ranger northbound when he traveled into the opposing lane of traffic and struck head-on into a southbound moving 2012 Ford F250 truck belonging to Central Texas Electric Cooperative (CTEC).

The driver of that vehicle, Terry Wolle, 48, of Harper, and his passenger, Matthew Wood, 29, of Fredericksburg — both employees of CTEC — were seriously injured and airlifted by helicopter medics to University Hospital in San Antonio for trauma care.

Wed
18
Sep

Media 'witnesses to war' to be weekend presenters during Admiral Nimitz Foundations' Symposium

Journalists embedded with troops during major military conflicts will be featured presenters during the 2013 Annual Admiral Nimitz Foundation Symposium, slated for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22 at the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s Steve W. Shepherd Theater, located at 1668 U.S. Highway 87 South.

Room for the 275-seat theater is limited, so it is advised that people reserve their tickets.

The symposium, entitled “The Military and the Media Witnesses to War,” will be sponsored by the Sons and Daughters of Robert P. (Bob) Scripps.

The sessions for the symposium are as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 21

9-10:20 a.m., First Session: Print Journalism; discussing journalists on the front lines in World War II to embedded journalists today.

10:40 a.m. to noon, Second Session: Photo Journalism; photos and the way images have affected the public’s view of the military and its involvement in wars.

Wed
18
Sep

Third Annual Opera Festival here to showcase local talent

For Texas Hill Country Opera and Arts Foundation, the first opera company in the Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a place where producing opera has become a reality because of the public’s growing interest in opera entertainment and the abundance of local opera singers.

“Fredericksburg is an eclectic haven for heritage, tradition, culture and the arts,” said Arden Dorn, president of the Hill Country Opera and Arts Foundation. “When folks around the nation hear the word ‘Fredericksburg,’ they are as apt to think of Fredericksburg, Texas as Fredericksburg, Va.”

This year, the weeklong opera festival, set for Sept. 22-19, will showcase local talent September Bigelow-van der Stoel.  A mezzo soprano, she has brought a commanding presence to both opera and musical theater, Dorn said. Bigelow-van der Stoel is a regularly featured artist with Fredericksburg’s Canto and most recently sang in the Comfort Musicale in Comfort.

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