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Bomb squad called to Natalia; neighborhood evacuated

Medina County officials are waiting on the SA bomb squad to investigate a suspicious device found in Natalia this evening.
“A suspicious electronic device was found along the side of the road,” said Medina County Emergency Manager Keith Lutz, said at 7:40 pm this Monday April 16. “We don’t think it is really a bomb, but we are just being cautious right now. I am hoping we will have an answer soon.”
Natalia PD Chief Gilbert Rodriguez adds, “We evacuated homes on both sides of the 500th block of Aubrey St. We are waiting on SAPD bomb squad.”
Check back for updates on the situation.

UPDATE- At 8:45 pm, we were notified that SAPD Bomb Squad made location.
“They checked it out, and we were given the all clear,” said Natalia PD Chief Rodriguez.

James David Querin

James David Querin

James David Querin went to be with the Lord on July 31, 2022 at the age of 78 in Lytle, Texas.
James was born on October 22, 1943 in Medford, Taylor County, Wisconsin to Andrew and Caroline Kowalski Querin. James graduated from Medford High School in 1961. He later graduated from Kenosha Technical Institute in 1966. He married the mother of his children on January 23, 1965. James worked for AA Products Company in Michigan. He also worked for Southwestern Controls which took him to several states including Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis, Indiana and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
James is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Leo, Floyd, Verdie and Ted Querin and sister, Angie Kapfhamer.
James is survived by his ex-wife, Victoria Ellen Querin; sons, Thomas Michael Querin (Rosa) and Steven Thomas Querin; brothers, Eugene Querin and Gerald Querin (Jeanine); grandchildren, Joshua Querin, Jessica Valencia, Alissa Ellis, Ethan Querin, Andrew Querin and Maria Querin; great-grandchildren Violet Querin, Fleur Querin and Levi Querin.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Hurley Funeral Home, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas 78052.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at Hurley Funeral Home – Lytle.
Arrangements entrusted to Hurley Funeral Home, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas 78052.
Anyone wishing to sign the online guestbook, share memories or issue condolences to the family, may do so at www.hurleyfuneralhome.com.

Patrick Joseph Rooks

Patrick Joseph Rooks of Universal City passed away on July 27, 2022 at the age of 51. He was born December 6, 1970 in San Antonio, Texas to Charles Lee Rooks and Anna Mae Coffee Rooks.
In 1989, Patrick graduated from Medina Valley High School. He earned his BS in Biology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and went to work in the insurance industry as a claims manager. He loved to hunt and fish, especially with his daughter, Kaiden.
On December 17, 2005, Patrick married Lisa Ann Benton in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were blessed with sixteen years of marriage.
Survivors include his wife, Lisa Rooks of Universal City; daughter, Kaiden Rooks; stepdaughter, Kimberly Folley (Bryan); grandchildren, Sebastian Folley and Bryleigh Folley; parents, Charles and Anna Mae Rooks of Natalia; brother, Clyde Rooks (TerriAnne) of La Coste; Deanna Huff (Chad) of Helotes; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.
Patrick was preceded in death by his brother, David Rooks.
Visitation will be Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home with the Holy Rosary recited at 5:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at the Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Cemetery in La Coste.
Memorials may be made in Patrick’s memory to the Universal City Animal Shelter, MD Anderson Cancer Center, or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements by Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home. Visit www.tondre-guinn.com

Jesus Perez

Mr. Jesus Perez, of Devine, Texas, passed away on July 31, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 72.
He was born on August 14, 1949 in Hidalgo, Mexico to parents Arturo Perez and San Juana Valdez Perez.
Jesus was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Celia Perez.
Jesus is survived by his wife: Guadalupe Alicia Perez who he married on March 18, 1972; his daughter: Cynthia Valdez (Roy) of Natalia, TX; sons: Jesus Perez J Jr. (Lualhati) of Devine, TX and Pedro A. Perez of Devine, TX; sister: Imelda Perez; brothers: Pedro Perez and Humberto Perez; six grandchildren: Alex, Roy James, Sylvia, JJ, Kale and Jett; numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives.
Visitation will be held on Monday, August 8, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Hurley Funeral Home-Devine Chapel.
A Rosary to be recited Monday, August 8th by Deacon Villanueva of St. Joseph’s CC at 7:00 p.m. at Hurley Devine Chapel.
Funeral services for Tuesday, August 8, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Interment to follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Devine, TX.
Pallbearers: Roy James Valdez, Paul Gomez, Juan Mata, Joe Mata, J.J. Santoya and Anthony Peredo.
Honorary Pallbearers: J.J. Perez, Kale Perez, and Jett Perez.
Anyone wishing to leave condolences, share memories, or sign the guest book may do so at www.HurleyFuneralHome.com
Arrangements are under the direction of Hurley Funeral Home – Devine, 303 College Ave., Devine, TX 78016.

Cheyenne Nicole Sullivan

Cheyenne Nicole Sullivan went to be with the Lord on July 30, 2022 at the age of 26 years old. Cheyenne is survived by her parents Brian and Cindy Sullivan; sisters Krystal (husband Josiah) Ramsay, and Brandy (husband Ross) Shoemake; nephew Logan Shoemake; Niece Braeley Shoemake; grandmothers Bessie Sullivan, and Sally O’Brien; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers Walter Sullivan, and Odie O’Brien; aunts Sally Dossey and Shannon Huffman.
Cheyenne loved music, dance, animation, being a nail and cartoon artist. She enjoyed working at Tex-Spice, participating in her San Antonio Adults with Autism group, going on trail rides, and camping trips with her family.
Family and friends are invited to attend the visitation on August 5th from 6-9 pm at the First Baptist Church of Natalia. The funeral service will be on August 6th at 11 am at the First Baptist Church of Devine, interment to follow at Evergreen Cemetery. Reception to follow graveside services will be at Natalia First Baptist Church.

Frank Alfred De Leon

Frank Alfred De Leon went to be with the Lord on July 23, 2022 at the age of 73.
Frank is preceded in death by his Parents Alfred and Frances De Leon.
Frank is survived by his Sisters Frances Valles and Elizabeth Wilson; Nephews and Nieces, David Valles (Blanca), Adolph Valles, Janie Andrade (Mario) and Michelle Jackel (Lloyd).
Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 7, 2022 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Hurley Funeral Home – Lytle, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas 78052. A Rosary will be recited at 6:00 pm.
A Funeral Procession will depart the funeral home on Monday, August 8, 2022 at 10:15 am for a Graveside service at 11:15 am at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with Military Honors being rendered.
Arrangements entrusted to Hurley Funeral Home – Lytle, 14822 Main Street, Lytle, Texas 78052.

Patrick Joseph Rooks

Patrick Joseph Rooks of Universal City passed away on July 27, 2022 at the age of 51. He was born December 6, 1970 in San Antonio, Texas to Charles Lee Rooks and Anna Mae Coffee Rooks.
In 1989, Patrick graduated from Medina Valley High School. He earned his BS in Biology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and went to work in the insurance industry as a claims manager. He loved to hunt and fish, especially with his daughter, Kaiden.
On December 17, 2005, Patrick married Lisa Ann Benton in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were blessed with sixteen years of marriage.
Survivors include his wife, Lisa Rooks of Universal City; daughter, Kaiden Rooks; stepdaughter, Kimberly Folley (Bryan); grandchildren, Sebastian Folley and Bryleigh Folley; parents, Charles and Anna Mae Rooks of Natalia; brother, Clyde Rooks (TerriAnne) of La Coste; Deanna Huff (Chad) of Helotes; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.
Patrick was preceded in death by his brother, David Rooks.
Visitation will be Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home with the Holy Rosary recited at 5:30 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at the Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Cemetery in La Coste.
Memorials may be made in Patrick’s memory to the Universal City Animal Shelter, MD Anderson Cancer Center, or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements by Tondre-Guinn Funeral Home. Visit www.tondre-guinn.com

Full Brain Power

Our call volume headed back up a little this week. Officers handled 57 calls for service and conducted 68 traffic stops. Those 68 stops resulted in 59 citations and 9 warnings.
There is a lot of stuff to steal around here, but we only had one property crime reported. A man walked out of H.E.B. Plus with about $30 worth of alcohol. He took off into the woods behind the store. Ofc. Luis Diaz tracked him a good bit until he lost him. As hot as it is I would have probably given up and jumped in the back of the air-conditioned patrol car.
Officers arrested two people last week, well we actually arrested one person once and another fellow we arrested twice. The first arrest occurred on Wisdom Road @ Norvell St. Officers stopped a bicyclist for not having lights on his bike. The peddler had an active felony warrant out of Bexar Co. for credit/debit card abuse. The second arrest occurred at a domestic disturbance on Bruce St. The suspect was booked on a charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member, this occurred on July 31. The same suspect participated in another incident that occurred on July 27 and officers were working to get warrants (4) on that situation. The warrants were obtained, and the suspect was served while he was still in jail. Those charges include a felony of endangering a child.
Overall, it wasn’t that busy of a week. It was nice because we could spend some time catching up on other cases.
We had about 3 pursuits from the south that either came into town or terminated just south of us. On one occasion, the vehicle came to a stop behind TXN Bank, and the occupants fled on foot. Another one ended just short of the city and 20 unauthorized immigrants fled on foot. Another pursuit from Frio Co. fizzled out before they got here. There is a genuine problem with human smuggling no doubt.
My primary focus is keeping Lytle safe, and my mind is always looking for ideas. Our Mayor, Ruben Gonzalez, beat me to it last week. He came up with the idea of using signs to deter the pursuits. We could have a “flipper” on them that would change the signs to make it appear you are headed south. When officers are notified of a pursuit, they open an app on their phone and remotely “flip” the signs. Those being pursued think they are headed in the wrong direction and turn around, thereby avoiding our city. I am sure that TXDOT would have issues with it, but I thought it was a clever idea. In conclusion, citizens should rest easy knowing that they have the full brain power of the Mayor and me working 24/7 365 days a year on their behalf.

Leftovers…. made over!

This past week was a busy one…aren’t they usually? Monday evening, I was invited to a bunco club my sister belongs to, as they needed a substitute. It was a lot of fun as I knew almost everyone there, however, even though I didn’t win, the lady had gifts for all of us and I got a really awesome wallet! I need a new one but haven’t been able to find the type I wanted, so this is great for me. Tuesday was my afternoon for duty in the hospital gift shop. It wasn’t very busy, but I did have a few sales, (at least half of them were things I bought), but sales are sales. Wednesday morning, I headed to Devine and had an awesome time with my little great-grandsons and their new baby sister who now live in that area. We visited, had lunch and read Pete the Cat books. They loved it and I enjoyed myself immensely. That afternoon, I went to the next town, where my daughter was with two of her granddaughters and had some more fun interacting with them, and that evening, we went to bunco. Yep, got lucky, all three of us family members won prizes. Thursday my daughter and I went back to visit a little more with the two great-granddaughters and then on to lunch with my son in Hondo. I came home on Friday, and sort of relaxed that afternoon and evening; and then on Saturday, helped make noodles at church that will be sold at our picnic that is coming up soon. There were about 18 to 20 of us working at various stations, as there are several steps, and we used a case of eggs as well as another ten or twelve dozen, and about 90 to 100 pounds of flour. Now, it’s Saturday evening and quiet time for me. The ‘busy’ week was wonderful, and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the time I got to spend with the great-grandchildren.
One night when my company was with me, we had hamburgers. I had a package of the pre-made patties in the freezer and we cooked them, then, the leftovers went into the fridge and the next meal we made something else, as we are prone to do. A couple of days later at lunch, I decided to do something a little different with the patties; they had been seasoned lightly as we have several members of the family who go very easy on the salt, and these patties don’t always taste great reheated, so, I cut them into pieces and following the directions for a pepper steak that is served with noodles instead of rice, used them to make the dish. Everyone said it was good and that I had a winner. If desired, you can use the pre-cooked frozen patties and prepare everything the same way. This is delicious also.
Another way to use the patties is make them into Salisbury Steak. Leave them whole, put a little oil into a skillet and slice a medium sized onion into the oil. Cook until the onion is transparent and then using a package of Pioneer® Brown Gravy mix, follow the directions on the package and make the gravy in the pan with the onions. When it has thickened, add the patties, turning them to coat with the gravy. Heat them over medium heat and when they are heated through, stir in a well-drained can of sliced mushrooms. This is served over either cooked rice or mashed potatoes and is delicious as well as being quick and easy to do.
Following is the recipe for the pepper steak that is served with noodles.
Pepper Steak with Cheesey Noodles
2 to 3 Tbs. cooking oil
6 pre-cooked hamburger patties cut into 6-pieces each
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 medium green bell peppers cut into julienne strips
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 can tomatoes (16-oz) whole tomatoes, broken or mashed up
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups cooked, wide egg noodles
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice, American, Cheddar or Colby Jack)
Cut each patty into 6 pieces; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet and add peppers, onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; add the tomatoes and bouillon cube; simmer, covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Mix together cornstarch, water, soy sauce and sugar; add to meat mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Cook an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain well and stir in the cheese until melted. Serve the meat mixture over the hot noodles.
The following cookies are fun to make with children or grandchildren, or, in my case, great-grandchildren, they really enjoy helping roll these. The first time we made them, we used chocolate fudge cake mix and stirred in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mini-chocolate chips.
Cookies
1 box cake mix (any flavor you like)
1/2 of an 8-ounce carton whipped topping (thawed)
1 egg
Powdered sugar to roll the cookies in.
(No amount was given, but you can start with a 1 cup or 1½ cups).
Break egg into a bowl and beat with a fork to mix it up. Using a knife or a rubber spatula, divide the carton of whipped topping in half and dump into the bowl with the egg. Add the box of dry cake mix and stir to combine, this will be a very stiff dough; roll into balls the size of (unshelled) walnuts. Then roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350ºF until done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Since I made these the first time, I’ve learned to line my cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil and when the cookies are done, I just pull the liner off the cookie sheets onto cooling racks. As I mentioned, about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of mini-chocolate chips works well with chocolate cake mix. If you use lemon cake mix, add about 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the eggs and follow the directions. Chopped nuts can be added if desired, as you’re mixing the dough.

Miss the snow yet?

Just another day closer to rain. Seems to have been that way for quite a while. Miss the snow yet?
Got a report this past week from our Veterans Service Officer indicating that their efforts to better serve our Veterans has been extremely successful. Even though we have lost in our Veteran population (down 24 from our previous number of 4,268) they have had an increase in benefits to the tune of $7.65 million.
Medina County’s participation in the Declaration of Local State of Disaster has been tabled until the Judge can address the language in the proposed Declaration as it had some untruths in it.
I had asked a month or so ago if we, as a County, could freeze taxes for the over 65 group like the School Districts currently do across the state. When I found out that we could, (the Legislation was passed in 2005 by 80% of the voters in Texas) I asked to put it on the Agenda.
I even drafted my Motion the day before the meeting so that there would be no mistake in the meaning. It read “..that Medina County freeze or limit the County taxes paid by homeowners age 65 and over to the tax rate and appraisal value in effect on October 1, 2022. Should the tax rate and/or appraisal cause the tax to be paid by homeowners 65 and over to decrease, then the County taxes owed will be the lesser of the two and frozen at that amount.” Never got to read the Motion…
There was standing room only in the Courtroom and it seemed that the only ones NOT in favor of the proposed Agenda item were sitting at the front of the room in the decision-making chairs. The law allows the County to freeze the taxes by a vote of Commissioners Court but, listening to the discussion it was clear that it would not pass by a vote of Commissioners Court.
Some addressed the issue that they would be voting on an item that would directly benefit them due to their age being 65 or over. I am over 65 and would have no problem voting on something like this that would benefit a large cross section of the residents of Medina County. To me, this argument don’t carry no water..
Anyhow, after some discussion it was decided that we would put this on the ballot in November and let the populace decide instead of taking care of it now. According to Judge Schuchart, we will meet and discuss this and the language to be on the ballot at a future meeting. Had I known this 10 years ago, I would have brought it up then.
I was flooded with calls in favor of this before and after the meeting. I can’t print some of the calls from after the meeting..
I believe that this will pass because if you aint 65 yet…you will be and nowadays, we need all the help we can get. So get ready for November…
The good news is that it is only 125 days until Christmas and 150 days until you have a new Commissioner. I am looking forward to both….

“A Kiss for Charity” book signing in Devine Saturday, Aug. 6 at 1pm

The experience of seeing her story come to life has been a “dream come true” for the local author Teresa “Reece” Villarreal.

Teresa “Reece” Villarreal is excited to announce her upcoming book signing on Saturday, August 6 at 1 pm at Bon Cafe in Devine.

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