Commissioners adopt new tax rate, jail price

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

“Biting the bullet” and moving ahead on what are being described as some of the biggest decisions in the county’s history, Gillespie County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday, Sept. 9, to:

• Approve a $30 million budget for 2014,

• Hike the property tax rate by 6.69 cents, and,

• Approve a $12,073,877 guaranteed maximum price proposal for contruction of the new jail.

“We don’t like it any more than you do, but we’ve got to bite the bullet and move on,” Commissioner Billy Roeder told a county courtroom packed with citizens who shouted out such things as “We need an additional hearing!” and “We demand a revote!”

In the end, however, those folks were told that their time to speak had come and gone at the county’s previous public hearings on the jail issue last summer and during the county’s budget and tax rate hearings held Aug. 30 and Sept. 3.


FISD, Crounse sexual abuse lawsuit settled

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Officials for the Fredericksburg Independent School District (FISD) announced Thursday, Sept. 5, that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit stemming from a sexual relationship between a teacher and student.

The lawsuit developed after an improper relationship was documented between then-student Stephanie Crounse and Fredericksburg High School (FHS) physics teacher and coach, Michael G. Stevens.

In the settlement, the school district, FISD superintendent Marc Williamson and former FHS principal Lynn Blackwell were released from further claims.

In addition, attorney Charles Frigerio, representing the City of Fredericksburg, reported Tuesday that additional claims against FHS campus policeman and teacher Christopher Ayala were abandoned and dismissed without ever having been any financial settlement negotiated. Frigerio called the claim against Ayala “baseless.”


Pro bull riders mount up

A night of professional bull riding featuring cowboys from around the world returns to the Gillespie County Fair Grounds on Saturday, Sept. 14, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Gillespie County Fair and Festivals Association, Inc., the evening will also include live music and a dance following the bull riding.

Performing for the concert and dance on the outdoor pavilion will be singer-songwriter Zach Edwards.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and the opening ceremonies are at 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the start of the championship round on Saturday night, there will be a special presentation honoring heroes of the community.

Events take place rain or shine.

Professional rodeo clown and barrel man Leon Coffee is returning to the arena on Saturday night for bull riding.


Main Street antiquers call it a career

RON AND JANE WOELLHOF have been operating Showcase Antiques since 1976 when they bought the business. Soon, when their retirement sale wraps up, the two will finally close the doors for the last time. — Standard-Radio Post/Danny Hirt

By Danny Hirt

Since 1970, Showcase Antiques has been handling some of the finest pieces of sterling silver, crystal, wall plaques, a variety of porcelain, furniture and other items from long ago.

And from 1976, Ron and Jane Woellhof have been at the helm of the business, all of that time at the same 119 East Main Street location.

But the time has come when the couple has decided it’s best to sell out their remaining inventory and close the doors forever in what they’re calling a retirement sale.

The Woellhofs say that they’ve realized it’s time for them to leave the business. While the decision wasn’t an easy one, they know that now they’ll have time to travel more — including upcoming shows in France and elsewhere — and become even more involved in giving of their time to the community

“I want to have a reason to get up in the morning,” Ron said. “We’ve always been giving to the community.”


Texas Rangers Heritage Center to break ground

AN OPEN-AIR PAVILION, as well as a new amphitheater, will be two features at the new Texas Rangers Heritage Center. The foundation will officially break ground on Phase I of the center at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The center will be located adjacent to Fort Martin Scott on U.S. Highway 290 East.

The Former Texas Rangers Foundation will officially break ground on Phase I of the Texas Rangers Heritage Center at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The Texas Rangers Heritage Center will be a state-of-the-art, interactive experience for all ages, where the history and legacy of the Texas Rangers will entertain and educate visitors.

Opening in fall of 2014, visitors will journey through the welcoming portal of the 40-foot Ranger Campanili. At the Ranger Ring of Honor, guests will reflect on the Texas Rangers who lost their lives in the line-of-duty, and learn the five character traits — Courage, Determination, Dedication, Respect and Integrity — represented by the five-point star of the historic Ranger badge and the Rangers themselves.

An open-air pavilion and its adjacent courtyard overlooking Baron’s Creek will dominate the site. An adjoining amphitheater will be used for campfire stories told by Former Texas Rangers.


Music club to open new season Sunday

Fredericksburg Music Club is presenting pianist Fei-Fei Dong in concert on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. to open the 2013-2014 concert series.

The concert will be held at the Fredericksburg Methodist Church, 1800 North Llano Street.

A goodwill offering will be accepted for this concert.

Seating will begin at 2:30 p.m. and is on a first come, first seated basis.

For more information on the Fredericksburg Music Club or ways to become a member of the club, visit for more information. 

Dong is a finalist from the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth. 

Dong said she was excited about “exploring lots in Texas” on her first-ever visit which was for the Van Cliburn Competition. 

She enjoys playing a variety of music, but her all-time favorite has always been Chopin.


Equipment thefts have officers turning to public for info

Several thousands of dollars’ worth in landscaping equipment and chainsaws were reported stolen over the past week and local law enforcement officers are turning to the community to help solve those crimes.

Theft – Sept. 5

On Thursday, Sept. 5, a theft was reported at 603 Town Creek Court, where an unknown suspect or suspects made entry into a parked landscaping trailer sometime between 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, and 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, and stole the following pieces of equipment valued at approximately $3,375.66 in all:

• An Echo gas attachment trimmer (Model No. PAS230 and Serial No. S75212024354) valued at $303;

• An Echo gas trimmer (Model No. SRM225  and Serial No. S03912442971) valued at $238;

• An Echo gas trimmer (Model No. SRM225 and Serial No. S03912816247) valued at $220, with an Edge It disc on it valued at $90;


Saturday wreck claims life of local man, 58

Gillespie County resident David Russell Lane, 58, died Saturday, Sept. 7, as the result of a two-vehicle crash around 9:43 p.m. on U.S. Highway 290 West about a mile from Fredericksburg.

Lane was pronounced dead at 11:31 p.m. by Dr. Mark Muir at University Hospital in San Antonio, where he had been transported by Airlife helicopter flight medics directly from the scene.

According to Department of Public Safety Trooper Coy Morales, who investigated, Lane was driving a 1969 Chevrolet pickup westbound on U.S. Highway 290 and was about a mile from Fredericksburg when he attempted to make a left-turn onto Squirrel Run.

As he attempted his turn in the 70 mile per hour speed limit zone, Lane turned in front of an oncoming, eastbound-traveling 2000 Ford pickup driven by Jed Daniel Eilers, 35, of Fredericksburg.


TxDOT to begin more U.S. 290 widening work

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Allen Keller Company are starting a project to make U.S. Highway 290 in Gillespie County safer for all travelers.

Work should begin in the next 10 days on a new 14-foot-wide continuous turn lane and four-foot shoulders that will make it safer for drivers on the busy stretch of highway between Jung Lane and Dusty Farm Lane, according to TxDOT.

Crews will initially reduce the current four-lane configuration (two lanes each direction) to one lane in each direction and a continuous left turn lane in the middle. 

This will provide enough room for the contractor to safely widen the culverts and pavement, explained officials with TxDOT.

When complete, this portion of U.S. Highway 290 will have five lanes with two lanes each direction and a continuous left turn lane in the center. 

The work is expected to take six months to complete.


School board OKs FHS band trip to Mexico

By Richard Zowie —

Under a proposal presented to the Fredericksburg Independent School District board of trustees on Sept. 9, qualifying members of the Fredericksburg High School band could be taking their spring break trip to an exotic location.

Band director John Rauschuber presented the plan for a cruise from Galveston to Cozumel, Mexico to the board at its regular meeting on Monday night.

The board approved Rauschuber’s proposal 6-1, pending both qualifying band students getting the proper passports and the band officials discussing the idea with parents.

The last time the band went to Mexico on a cruise was 2001. Since then, for safety and medical concerns, the band restricted its trips (taken once every four years) to inside the U.S.

The band’s most recent trip was to Disney World. Every four years, the Band Boosters sponsor a trip.


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