Southern Living magazine recently featured an article listing the 10 essential experiences of Texas Hill Country, one of which includes dining at The Laurel Tree in Utopia. In a section of the article titled, “Discover a Food Lover’s Paradise,” The Laurel Tree, which opened in 2004, is mentioned for having four-course lunches and five-course dinners made by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef aurel Waters.
Samuel Luis Gonzalez, 43, of Uvalde was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2011 murder of his brother Reynaldo Gonzalez, who was 41 at the time of his death.
The sentence was handed down Thursday by 38th Judicial District Court Judge Camile DuBose at the Uvalde County Justice Center. Gonzalez previously entered a guilty plea.
The 2011 incident occurred at around 2 p.m. on May 28, when Uvalde County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Uvalde Estates where they discovered Reynaldo Gonzalez with a stab wound on the left side of his upper torso.
He was transported to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where he was interviewed by a sheriff’s deputy. During the interview he identified Samuel as the offender. He was later airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he succumbed to his injury.
The Uvalde Leader-News won two second-place and three third-place awards last Friday when the South Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest results were announced in Port Aransas.
Leader-News photographer Pete Luna’s photograph of Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department members and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers amid magazines and other debris littering U.S. Highway 90, won second-place honors in the news photo category.
The photo, which was published Nov. 27 following a major wreck involving three commercial trucks, spanned the width of the front page. It received the following comment from a member of the Louisiana Press Association judging team: “Nice composition, good shot of the moment, nice framing.”
Luna also won third place in the Photographer of the Year category.
Sixty-one dogs and 96 cats have been euthanized at the city of Uvalde animal control facility since the start of the year. Limited by a maximum capacity of 14 dogs, the facility relies heavily on the Humane Society of Uvalde foster system to keep the euthanization list from expanding.
The Humane Society of Uvalde maintains a shelter at 127 S. Camp St., adjacent to the city’s holding facility. As of Tuesday, the organization had 14 dogs and two cats on Rescue Row.
Every week, HSU meets with animal control officials to save as many animals as possible – putting them on Rescue Row or in a foster home – but for every animal chosen there are even more left behind.
“Unfortunately, because we are limited on the number of animals we can take, and because we don’t have a lot of foster families, we are always faced with a difficult choice,” said Heather Stunkel, who serves on HSU’s adoption committee.
Donations are needed for the third-annual Uvalde Fourth of July fireworks show.
The show, which is being organized by the Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department and the Uvalde Leader-News, drew more than 5,000 spectators last year and is being held again this July 4 at the Uvalde County Fairplex.
This year’s goal is $15,000. This amount, if achieved, will allow for a 30-minute show.
To find out more about the show or to make a donation, contact the Leader-News office at 830-278-3335 or drop in at 110 N. East Street. A GoFundMe account has also been set up so that online donations can be made by visiting www.gofundme.com/UvaldeFireworks. To date, $160 has been raised on the site.
In addition to fireworks funds, vendors are also being sought and booth spaces are available.
There might be two police departments in Uvalde this fall as Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District trustees look into forming a law enforcement team to handle school discipline, truancy and other safety issues.
For the past several years, the Uvalde Police Department has provided a city-employed officer to serve as school resource officer. The school district has helped pay the position’s salary. At a regular school board meeting held Monday at Dalton Early Childhood Center, UCISD Superintendent Jeanette Ball said that she was informed that the city’s police department will not provide an officer after June of this year.
As staff looked into police department options, they discussed increasing the number of officers.
Trustees will be kept up to date with all decisions regarding the formation of the new department at future board meetings. No decisions were made as the topic was an item of information only.