Rabies vaccination clinics to continue around county

GRUMPY CAT — Dr. Travis Halfmann of the Gillespie Animal Center administers an inoculation to Mouse, a domestic long-haired cat. Many of the cats seemed content to stay in their pet carriers while receiving shots like rabies, leukemia and other health disorders. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

The second in the City of Fredericksburg’s 2014 back-to-back pet rabies vaccination clinics is planned this Saturday, Feb. 1, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Pet owners are welcome to bring their furry friends to the clinic set up in the City of Fredericksburg Consolidated Warehouse, 233 Friendship Lane (behind Fredericksburg High School’s campus.)

Administering the vaccines will either local veterinarian Dr. Daniel Fritz of the Gillespie Animal Center or Dr. Curtis Eckhardt of the Fredericksburg Veterinary Hospital. Both have sacrificed a portion of their normal proceeds so that local citizens can protect their pets.

Rabies shots will cost $7 per dog or cat.

Other inoculations to protect four-legged family members against such things as rattlesnake venom, kennel cough, lyme disease, leukemia and other conditions/diseases will be available at the same time as a matter of convenience for pet owners.

Pet microchips will also be available for $10.


Austin Street bridge reopens to public

WAVING to a small crowd, Fredericksburg City Manager Kent Myers, Mayor Jeryl Hoover and Director of Public Works and Utilities Clinton Bailey take the inaugural first ride across a newly reopened Austin Street Bridge Monday afternoon in a ceremonial Fredericksburg Volunteer Fire Department truck. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

Closed since last May, the Austin Street Bridge at the Washington Street intersection was reopened Monday afternoon during a special ceremony hosted by City of Fredericksburg officials.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the event was moved to Monday after cold weather forced a delay.

The $412,000 project was designed by Freese and Nichols, Inc. of San Antonio and constructed by BPI - Bauerle Partners, Inc. of Lakeway. Following the construction of the bridge, city crews worked to complete the sidewalks and the street entrances to the bridge.

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Turkey dinner slated for Super Bowl Sunday

Offering hot plates of turkey and dressing, a side of live music and a dessert of fellowship this Sunday, Feb. 2, just prior to the Super Bowl will be the annual Fredericksburg Independent School District (FISD) Band Boosters Turkey Dinner.

Dining in at the annual affair inside the Gillespie County Fair Grounds Exhibition Hall from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. (or until sold out) will come with the bonus of live music and prize drawings, while a drive-through lane just outside will offer the convenience of “to-go” service for those who want to show their support to this community’s music program, but cannot stay.

Either way, organizers of this year’s event are expecting to draw just as large a crowd or larger than in years past. That’s saying something since the local band turkey dinner is considered by many to be one of the largest fundraisers of its kind in the state.


County to begin taking HOT fund applications today

Gillespie County is getting ready to slice up a $120,000 Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund “pie” among local organizations and who proves they can “put heads in beds” will get the largest bites.

Deadline for applications by those seeking a portion of the funds are being accepted starting today, Jan. 29, through the close of business on Monday, March 3.

A final decision on who gets what is expected to be made by the Gillespie County Commissioners Court at its regular session planned Monday, March 24, in the county courtroom of the courthouse.

Purpose of HOT funding is to assist and support qualifying events, projects and programs in promoting tourism to the county, which increases business at overnight accommodations.

The $120,000 to be divided up among the local groups is a disbursement of actual funds collected from visitors/tourists who used overnight venues in the county over the last year.


Commissioners hear update on jail construction project

Although cold weather has thrown a few wrinkles into the mix, construction on the new Gillespie County Jail is progressing according to plan, county officials learned Monday.

“The project looks really good,” Gloria Barrera, of Vanir Construction Management, Inc., told commissioners meeting in regular session Monday, Jan. 27.

She said the new jail’s to-date construction could be judged on a three-fold basis, according to cost, schedule and quality.

As far as expense, the jail (which was bond-approved by voters up to a cost of $15 million) is still proceeding within its budget, Barrera said.

So far, the county has paid $1,266,308 to date, although some of the project’s more expensive items will come into play later in the schedule, she said.


Breaking News: Woman dies, three survive head-on accident Tuesday

FREDERICKSBURG emergency workers attempt to extricate the occupants of a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup following a head-on collision Tuesday, Jan. 28, shortly before 9 a.m. on Texas Highway 16 South when the 2000 Toyota 4Runner (at right) lost control on ice and spun into its lane. The driver of the 4Runner, Tamara Pfiester Pate, 42, of Kerrville, was pronounced dead, while her three-year-old passenger is in “stable” condition. The driver of the truck and her passenger, both Fredericksburg residents, survived the crash, although the driver is in “critical” condition in San Antonio’s University Hospital. —Photo courtesy Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office

A 42-year-old Kerrville woman died and a three-year-old girl survived a head-on collision, in which icy conditions contributed, and two others were injured around 8:55 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28, about six miles south of Fredericksburg on Texas Highway 16.

Tamara Pfiester Pate of Kerrville was pronounced dead at 9:45 a.m. at Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg by Dr. Todd Bell, according to Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper J.C. Spillman, who investigated.

Three-year-old Chloe Sage Pate was listed in stable condition at Hill Country Memorial Hospital later in the day, the DPS report said.

They were traveling southbound in a 2000 Toyota 4Runner on the Kerrville highway, when the vehicle reached an ice-covered part of the roadway, causing Pate to lose control of her vehicle, Spillman said.


Residents warned about leaf scam

Residents are being warned by Fredericksburg Police Chief Steve Wetz to not believe the information printed on pieces of paper being taped to houses in an attempt to secure landscaping jobs.

The fliers appearing in numerous residential areas around the city, starting last week and continuing this week, are reportedly from D&R Landscaping of Bandera.

The small notes make an attempt to gain customers for the company’s landscaping services by stating: “After January 31, 2014, you will be fined by the City of Fredericksburg if you have leaves on your property.”

 “The notes are wrong,” Wetz said, adding that there is no new ordinance and the advertisements are spreading misinformation.

“We’re now investigating the case for possible criminal charges, but we want to get a notice out to people now that this is simply not true,” Wetz added.


Council to play 'wait-and-see' on tax collection

By Matt Ward —

Strained relations between the City of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County may come to a head next month as the Fredericksburg City Council is expected to decide whether or not to continue to use the Gillespie County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office for property tax collection.

Despite the fact that no proposal was brought before the city Monday during its regular council meeting, city officials indicated that a decision on whether to stay with the county tax office or switch to the Gillespie Central Appraisal District will likely be on a February council agenda.

(A separate story on Monday’s regular council meeting can be found elsewhere in this issue.)

Local taxing entities have expressed concerns about late and inaccurate reports from the county tax office along with a lack of timeliness in tax collections.


EDC leader praises local successes

By Matt Ward —

Despite the challenges of finding an adequate labor force in the city, Tim Lehmberg, executive director of the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission, reported Fredericksburg’s economy remains strong, thanks in part to healthy revenues in 2013.

Lehmberg presented his findings to the Fredericksburg City Council Monday evening during their regular session.

Local economy strong

After presenting the council with a longer, detailed written report Thursday, Lehmberg offered an overview of his findings for the local economy in 2013.

City sales tax revenue is up around seven percent through November, Lehmberg said, adding that he expects final lodging receipt numbers to break a record.

Through the first nine months of 2013, city gross lodging receipts are up about 14 percent over the same period in 2012.


St. Mary's to host Catholic Schools Week

DEBBIE KLEIN shows her first grade students (from left) Diego Guevara and Baker Seegers a “penny picking” exercise where they use coins to determine the change in mass of an object. From Jan. 26 to Feb. 1, St. Mary’s School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week. — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

St. Mary’s Catholic School will join more than 7,000 Catholic schools across the country in observing the 40th anniversary of Catholic Schools Week from Sunday, Jan. 26 to Saturday, Feb. 1.

“The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,’ puts focus on the three main goals of a Catholic school education,” said Billy Pahl, St. Mary’s School principal.

St. Mary’s School has served the parish and the Fredericksburg community for 158 years.

“The school today continues to meet the needs of the families, just as it did in 1856,” said Pahl. “The school was established then to provide an education and Catholic formation of students.”

The school community has planned a variety of activities for the week.


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