By Carmen Gutierrez
Looking at the helicopters parked in front of me at VVRMC’s Air Evac pad, I could not help but think how important this service would be to our community.
Just a little over 7 months ago, I was involved in a tragic accident on Eagle Pass hill This accident claimed the life of a close friend and colleague, DRHCC Finance Director Connie Mendoza of West Central Net.
The “distracted driver” also caused traumatic injuries to me, and serious injuries to my daughter Carmen Christina Gutierrez and DRHCC Director and friend Paulo Pacheco. After the Jaws of Life extracted me from the vehicle, all of us were transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center as quickly as the ambulances could take us. I was placed in the ER room to wait for the Air Lift helicopter to arrive and transport me to San Antonio. Although my pain was being managed, those minutes waiting seemed like hours and on this special ribbon cutting day for Air Evac, I felt relieved knowing that no longer would anyone have to wait on being airlifted to San Antonio. Eight surgeries later and wheelchair bound, I am at the ribbon cutting encouraged to hear that this service would be available and affordable to everyone.
The cost to transport me to San Antonio’s University Hospital was close to $59,000 and this was one-way. Wow! Also, I learned that not all insurances cover this life saving service.
Fortunately, my two group insurances were sufficient to cover this astronomical cost. Wanting to be on the cautious side, I signed up for this new Air Evac service at only $65.00 per year for an entire household, as a gift for our family. Quoting the famous words of Bill Keane,
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
As the weather starts to warm up, you may be using your air conditioning more. If you think your system is not cooling properly, consider these top four trouble spots.
1. Dirty Air Filter: Check the air filter in your home every 30 days and replace it every three months, regardless of how it looks. Dirty or clogged air filters can reduce the amount of air flow your HVAC system receives and can cause cooling challenges. During warmer months it’s like your system is running a marathon. You don’t want it trying to run that marathon with reduced air flow.
2. Thermostat problems: Make sure your thermostat is set properly to the cooling mode and not in the heating mode only. Some thermostats have a COOL AUTO HEAT feature so you can set cooling and heating temperatures, but check to make sure your thermostat is properly set. Your control also has a FAN AUTO ON selection switch, be sure this in the AUTO mode to avoid adding moisture to your air. Now is also a good time to replace the batteries in your thermostat or consider upgrading to a smart, Wi-Fi enabled thermostat.
3. Refrigerant: Some customers request that we add refrigerant to their system because they think it should get “filled up” every year. Your heating and air conditioning unit is a closed system and should not need refrigerant. If your HVAC system is leaking refrigerant, the leak needs to be found, repaired, and the system recharged with the proper amount of refrigerant. If the system is low, it will not cool properly. Call a trusted and qualified contractor to repair the problem.
4. Drainage problems: Your HVAC system, regardless of location, needs proper drainage to work. Air conditioning involves the removal of moisture and humidity from your home.
As this happens, water (condensation) is the by product, and needs a place to go. Unchecked water leaks can cause property damage and indoor air quality issues. During a routine maintenance check, the drainage system should be evaluated and checked, so the water is removed properly from your home.
For more on cooling tips and what homeowners need to do to prepare their homes, contact your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Call Fidel Morales “today” 830-703-8888
*Information from energy.gov was used in this report.
Well-organized records make it easier to prepare a tax return and help provide answers if your return is selected for examination or to prepare a response if you receive an IRS notice.
Records such as receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support an item of income or a deduction, or a credit appearing on a return must be kept so long as they may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law, which generally will be until the period of limitation expires for that return. For assessment of tax you owe, this generally is 3 years from the date you filed the return. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.
In tax years 2014 and later, you should keep records of your own and your family members’ health care insurance coverage, including records of employer provided coverage or premiums paid and type of coverage for private coverage, so you can show that you and your family members had and maintained required minimum essential coverage. If you are claiming the premium tax credit, you will need information about any advance credit payments you received through the Health Insurance Marketplace, the premiums you paid, and the type of coverage you obtained at the Marketplace. If you or any of your family members are exempt from minimum essential coverage, you should retain certificates of exemption you may receive from the Marketplace or any other documentation to support an exemption claimed on your tax return.
If you have employees, you must keep all your employment tax records for at least 4 years after the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later. For more information, see Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide.
Visit www.irs.gov for Publication 583: Starting a Business and Keeping Records and Publication 462, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses for additional information on required documentation for taxpayers with business expenses. Always remember your qualified tax preparer must sign on your tax return. For additional information, please contact me at 830-775-4800.
Whitehead Memorial Museum Gift Shop
Finding the right gift for special person can sometimes be a challenge. You want to find a gift that will be enjoyed and not “regifted”.
When visiting the Whitehead Memorial Museum, many visitors from out of town take advantage of the many items we have in our gift shop. However, not too many locals shop at our gift shop. We have a great collection of history books.
Do you know why Del Rio was once called the City of Roses, or the City of Presidents, or now, the Queen City? You can find out in Doug Braudaway’s “Del Rio Queen City of the Rio Grande”, which is very informative on the history of our great city. We also have books on Dr. Brinkley, Judge Roy Bean, and various cookbooks, such as “Recipes from Archives of a Texas Ranching Family”, “WMM Recipe Roundup”, and “Campus Guide to Outdoor Cooking” . We also have a variety of Mexican blankets, pottery, unique children’s toys.
The museum gift shop is the only place where you can get a Val Verde County Commemorative Blanket, which is embroidered with many of the historic sites of Val Verde County.
Now is the best time to shop and save at your Whitehead Memorial Museum and to bring your family and friends to visit the building size Cadena Nativity. Don’t forget to join us at every month’s First Friday event with free admission and also Christmas Under the Stars on December 12.
Psychiatry. A word some of us may not be too comfortable with. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of various emotional and mental health disorders. A psychiatrist is different from a psychologist who is not a medical doctor, but who also treats mental health issues primarily thru the provision of psychotherapy. A psychologist can also conduct various written tests that can clarify the diagnosis and help in the treatment process.
Val Verde Regional Medical Center thru the means of telemedicine has now made available the services of a psychiatrist, Dr. Holly Dubois, to the Del Rio and surrounding communities. Telemedicine involves using a secure network to link patients with their physician who is in a different location. Through this process, Dr. Dubois is able to do psychiatric evaluations, as well as prescribe and manage psychotropic medications to treat depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, as well as psychotic disorders and adjustment difficulties.
Dr. Dubois attended medical school at the University of Southern California and completed her residency in adult Psychiatry at Stanford University. Her interest and training is in the intersection of medical illnesses and psychiatric conditions.
Dr. Dubois treats patients 18 and over. She is the only psychiatrist available in the area, including Eagle Pass and Uvalde. She accepts many types of insurance plans. To schedule an appointment you can call (830) 778-3629.
Juan Gomez, Owner
The hot, dry weather is one reason so many homeowners tackle remodeling projects. Stucco application is becoming increasing popular. Stucco application can be undertaken by any individual, even if they do not have a great deal of experience in do it yourself projects.
It can be used as part of a range of different projects, but mainly for resurfacing and as a filler. Implementing some tips during the application process will ensure that your technique is correct.
Tips include: Mixing mortar with the right amount of water will produce the desired consistency.
Next, the temperature in the atmosphere must be considered. In the event that the weather is exceptionally hot, the process of stucco application will involve keeping it damp for up to three days. Allowing it to dry to quickly will cause it to crack. If you want to add some color to the stucco, this can be done during the mixing process. Cement dye can be mixed in with the stucco to change the color.
Stucco application should take place as soon as it has been mixed, which can be completed with a trowel. If you want to add texture, this can be done by scratching it with the end of the trowel to a depth of approximately one eighth of an inch. The second layer of stucco can then be applied at a thickness of 1/4 inch.
Texture can be added to this layer in the form of a design that suits the property. In the days that follow, the stucco should be lightly sprayed with water to create the best appearance. We carry all the necessary supplies that you need to complete your project. ROB-K is located at 120 So. Terry (off Stricklen) or call us at 830-488-6046.
Del Rio Police Department
Col. James Von Debrow III..M.S.,B.S.,A.A.,A.A.S
Certified Forensic Hypnosis Investigator/Educator
Texas Dept. of Public Safety-State Trooper 88th Session
F. B. I. National Academy 200th Session
Most drivers today are driving while talking on the cell phone or texting. This is categorized on the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Reports as: “Driver inattention.” In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation statewide crashes stats for August 14, 2010 reported that the driver inattention contributed to 337 fatality; 11,057 serious injury crashes; 20,774 other jury crashes; 53,293 non-jury crashes; and 912 unknown severity crashes which total crashes are 89,373 for that particular reporting period. Moreover, driving is the most danger thing a human being can ever do. The ultimate goal of driving is to drive defensively!!!
A City of Del Rio Media Advisory informed the community of speed limit changes on Hwy 90 effective April 1, 2014. The affected areas on US 90 still do not have the new speed limit signs posted. Motorists are reminded to always observe the posted speed limit, even though the ordinance was passed. Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) made the changes after conducting a traffic survey. TXDOT is responsible for the changes to the signage. TxDOT reports that they have received the signage to make the changes and will be changing the signs within the next 2 weeks. TxDOT will also do a press release to notify the public when they have made the changes.
Wrong Way Parking Explained. Parking on the wrong side of the roadway means the driver had to drive left of center and in oncoming traffic in order to park. It also causes visibility issues for the parked car. The red reflectors are located on the rear of the vehicle and are not visible when parked facing on coming. Also, if an accident occurs with an illegally parked vehicle, the insurance companies are denying the claim because the individual was improperly parked, leaving the burden of payment on the owner of the vehicle. Motorists should always park correctly for their safety as well as to protect their vehicles from unnecessary damage.
Recruitment addressed. The City of Del Rio is constantly recruiting in order to fill its vacancies within the Police Department. Applications may be obtained at City of Del Rio, 109 West Broadway, City Hall, Del Rio, Texas, 78840 in the Office of the Civil Service Director, Human Resources or by downloading an application at www.cityofdelrio.com. If you have any questions, please contact the Civil Service Director, Mary Canales, at (830)774-8792.
The employment process will include a written examination, physical agility test, background investigation, oral interview, drug screening, physical examination, and psychological examination and may be subject to a polygraph test. Entry-Level Police Officer shall serve an 18-month probationary period. Testing is based on civil service laws.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to cut back and reduce waste and keep Del Rio clean. It preserves valuable environmental resources such as land, water, and air for future generations. The City of Del Rio Recycle Center operates a voluntary drop off recycling facility located at 1409 E. Gibbs. It is open Monday thru Friday from 7:30-5:30 and on Saturdays from 8:00-12:00. Bins located at the Center are labeled to make it easy to deposit your items.
The Recycling Center strives to provide the public education and resources by distributing recycling information at community events, issuing media releases and recycling tips, broadcasting information on Channel 34, and developing an educational program for children.
The Recycle Center offers a variety of recycling services to the citizens and businesses of Del Rio. Services include household and office recycling, electronic recycling for residents and small businesses with less than 15 employees, and document destruction services for $1.00 per pound. A recycle trailer is also located at WalMart and the Del Rio High School on designated days. The recycle trailer schedule and a detailed list of what can be recycled at the City of Del Rio Recycle Center can be found at www.cityofdelrio.com.
Those of you who attended DRHCC’s Speed Networking event earlier this year were amazed at the decorative centerpieces created by utilizing beautiful empty wine bottle from the Recycling Center.