The reading of names of Texas law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2010 and the sound of taps were part of the Schertz Police Department’s annual Police Officers Memorial service held May 18 in front of the police department building.
The event was held in conjunction with similar ones across the nation as part of National Police Week May 15-21.
Police Chief Don Taylor and Mayor Hal Baldwin were among Schertz officials who thanked local, state and federal officers for their service.
Schertz City Councilman Jim Fowler received a bachelor of arts in Biblical and Theological studies from Baptist University of the Americas on May 14, graduating magna cum laude (with a grade point average between 3.80 and 3.89).
The 72-year-old councilman already has two master’s degrees hanging on his wall.
When asked why he earned a theology degree at his age, Fowler answered “Why Not?”
In 1969, during his U.S. Air Force career, Fowler earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming and ten years later earned double master’s degrees in project management and production systems from West Coast University in California.
More than 500 people and 500 pooches took part in the 2011 Homes for Pets Wilenchik Memorial Doggie Dash at Schertz held Saturday, May 14, from 7:00 to 11:00 AM in Pickrell Park. The event, which benefits the Schertz Humane Society, included a 5K Fun Run and a 3K walk. For more information visit www.homesforpets.org.
John Kessel will become Schertz City Manager on June 1, the City Council decided Tuesday night, May 10. He will replace Don Taylor who has served as city manager for six years.
“I am looking forward to working with the team of Assistant City Managers John Bierschwale and David J. Harris and City Council on the budget and other matters. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get started,” Kessel said moments said after council voted to make him city manager.
Mayor Hal Baldwin praised Kessel as the strongest candidate in a field of very talented applicants.
Kessel was hired as Schertz Economic Development Director about two months ago. He previously served as Executive Director of Development Services for the City of McKinney, which has a current population of 132,500.
Kessel started with McKinney (near Fort Worth) in 1997 and was credited by officials there with being instrumental in the city’s growth.
By David Covington
Schertz Fire Chief
The wildfire season is in a transition phase from winter wind-driven to a summer season in which fires are fuel-driven. Rates of spread will not be as dramatic, but fire behavior can be more explosive with a higher difficulty of control. Since fire season started on Nov. 15, 2010, Texas Forest Service and area fire departments have responded to 9,575 fires that have charred 2,294,946 acres.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor map released May 5, “The seven-month precipitation total from Oct. 1, 2010, to April 30, 2011, will be about 6.00 inches. This will be the driest such seven-month period on record. Data extends back to 1895. The previous record was 6.36 inches back in 1950-1951.”
The weather pattern continues to favor the rapid spread of fires in rural areas. For this week, higher winds are forecast for Monday through Wednesday in the areas west of us. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts to 40 mph and higher will be common. Very dry air will accompany the winds.
These weather conditions along with cured grasses increase the potential for fire starts. Fire rates of spread in grass fuels could reach 4 miles per hour with flame lengths 10 to 12 feet. This equates to flames the height of a one-story building burning the length of a football field in a minute. Evacuations have been common under these conditions.
While we are not in the Critical Fire Weather Area today, that could always change. Please follow these simple rules to help us keep our area safe.
* Firewise (firewise.org) is a resource for residents to protect their home and property from wildfire.
* Develop an evacuation plan for your family. Resources are available on the Ready, Set, Go website and at texasfirestorm.org.
*Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Texas.
* Keep lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoid rocks and other materials that might cause a spark.
* To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at (888) 501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle (including the license number) before calling the hotline.
* Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires. Do not weld or cut without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.
A new traffic light at the intersection of FM 1518 (John E. Peterson Blvd.) and River Road – near the Dairy Queen being renovated – will be activated on Wednesday May 11, according to the Schertz Public Works Department.
In the 2006 city bond election, provisions were included to provide an “Emergency Exit” for the residents of the Lone Oak Subdivision. Engineering studies showed that a viable means of satisfying that need was installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of River Road and FM 78.
Since FM 78 is a state road, TxDOT was contacted to secure permission for this project. The City of Schertz paid TxDOT $91,727 last November allowing the traffic signal to go up months earlier than normal.
The Schertz Sweetheart Court participated in the 2011 Fiesta Flambeau Parade April 16 on their City of Schertz float that captured third place out of more than 20 entries in the Community Organization category.
A float from San Antonio College took first and a San Antonio Youth Association entry captured second in the same category.
This is the third year the Sweetheart Court has participated in the Flambeau Parade.
Sweetheart Court members are (from left) Larissa Gruwell, Miss Tri-County; Nicole Elliott, Miss Schertz; Mia Lopez, Miss Friendly City; Danica Mathis, Miss Sunshine; Lillian Miess, Miss Liberty.
National EMS Week will be held May 15-21 and Schertz EMS will celebrate with everything from a golf tournament to an extravaganza. The special week is a time for Americans to remember their local Emergency Medical Services providers.
On May 15, the 2011 Schertz EMS Golf Tournament will be held at Olympia Hills Golf and Conference Center, 12900 Mount Olympus, Universal City with a shotgun start at 1:00 PM. Player fees are $60 per person or $240 for team of 4. Money raised helps fund community outreach programs as well as the Bobbie Dilworth Scholarship fund.
The EMS Week local celebration ends May 21 with a free EMS Extravaganza at the Forum at Olympia Parkway parking lot. The event includes a large health and safety fair with participation from area health care providers.
Other activities during the EMS Week include:
May 16-May 20:
*Schertz EMS will visit area elementary schools to tell students about safety and show them EMS ambulances.
*Schertz H-E-B Night Out from 4:00-8:00 PM at the supermarket. Schertz EMS partners with H-E-B to show kids and adults the inside of an ambulance and EMS personnel will conduct free blood pressure and glucose tests.
*Senior Citizen Day – EMS crews visit the Schertz Area Senior Center and talk with seniors about fall prevention and medication safety.
*A free lunch is provided to EMS crews on each shift to say thanks for a great job. Sponsors for the free lunch are welcome.
For more information call Schertz EMS at 210-619- 1400
Schertz firefighters returned Friday (May 6) from the Deaton Cole fire after a weeklong deployment to the West Texas fire. They battled the 175,000 acre fire that spanned from Comstock to nearly Ozona, said Schertz Fire Chief David Covington.
Schertz is part of the Alamo Strike team that sent units from Schertz, New Braunfels, Spring Branch and San Antonio.
For more information call Chief Covington at 488-4230.