As a family of retired school teachers contemplated ways to maintain and support their century-old family ranch in western Bandera County, one of the young folks suggested a music festival.
This initial suggestion was met with great skepticism from the elders but – after attending some festivals around the Hill Country such as the folk festival at Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville – the idea began to take shape. Seven years ago, the first Utopiafest was held in a unique amphitheater surrounded by hills on the Four Sisters Ranch. This year’s event, set for Labor Day weekend, promises to be the best one yet.
The festival has grown from a few hundred participants to a capped audience of 2,000. Twenty-five bands, playing various styles of music from bluegrass to soul, are on the schedule this year performing from two stages with no overlap.
In their role as first responders, local law enforcement officers are often exposed to communicable diseases through contact with infected individuals.
Law enforcement officials cannot refuse to handle a victim, complainant or suspect infected with a communicable disease; however, the departments do have policies in place to reduce the risk of transmission.
Examples of communicable diseases include Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Tuberculosis (TB), and Hepatitis B.
Adequate supplies are readily available for communicable disease control within each of the departments, including disposable latex gloves, liquid household bleach, disposable towels or towelettes, and cleaning supplies.
Déjà vu? For the second time recently, a large project received only one bid and Uvalde City Council moved to think on the matter instead of making an immediate decision.
In February, council voted to accept a $73,675 recreational grant and, as a result, move forward with a $168,500 project to repair the municipal swimming pool.
Bids for the project were scheduled to be opened on July 20. Council received only one bid. It was from Shannon-Monk Inc in the amount of $196,066, nearly $30,000 over the city’s anticipated cost to repair.
City manager Vince DiPiazza said city staff has identified some possible reductions in their repair plan and requested more time to negotiate with the company.
Ultimately, council voted to table awarding a contract pending further negotiations between city staff and the company.
Uvalde defensive back Ernest Ortiz goes airborne to pick off a Del Rio pass during the Uvalde Coyote’s scrimmage against Del Rio. Ortiz’s interception last Saturday in the Honey Bowl denied the Rams a touchdown.
There is a rural hospital crisis in Texas as many remain in financial distress, and 13 have closed in the last two years. While Uvalde Memorial Hospital has avoided having to cut services or dramatically reduce workforce size, its operating budget has been running in the red for several years, according to Tom Nordwick, UMH chief executive officer. Historically, rural hospitals have struggled because of different operating dynamics such as caring for a higher percentage of elderly and poor patients, as well as operating with a near negative financial margin due to lower patient volumes, dramatic swings in patient numbers from day to day, medical staff recruitment challenges which in turn drive up payroll costs, anda general lack of economies of scale that can be derived through high-volume purchasing.
The city of Uvalde is cracking down on past-due utility bills in an effort to encourage residents to make timely payments. Currently, the city is owed more than $700,00 in past-due utility payments.
“Our utility aging receivables show a large number of utility accounts that are over 60 days delinquent,” said Marty Coursey, finance director for the city of Uvalde. “This is mainly due to customers that have not had their services disconnected for nonpayment in a timely manner.”
Coursey noted that disconnection should take place 35 days from the resident’s due date. Instead, services have been allowed to remain active for up to four months.
Coursey said many customers have also been given extended credit and allowed to make $5 to $20 payments on bills due to hardships or – when contesting the bill accuracy – choose not to pay the current bill until an adjustment is determined.