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Home Care in Kingsland, TX

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Kingsland, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Kingsland, TX

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Kingsland, TX. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Kingsland, TX work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Kingsland, TX

Types of In-home Care in Kingsland, TX

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Kingsland, TX

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Kingsland, TX

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Kingsland, TX

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Kingsland, TX

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Kingsland, TX

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Kingsland, TX
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Kingsland, TX

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Kingsland, TX, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Kingsland, TX

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Kingsland, TX gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Kingsland, TX

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Kingsland,TX understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Kingsland, TX

Fired Employees Take Over Texas Eatery’s Social Media to Warn Customers

Imagine busting your hump constantly to make a few bucks. Well, if you're like most people, that's not too hard to imagine. Most of us work incredibly hard at our jobs.Servers are certainly no exception- they walk thousands of steps carrying heavy plates and trays, fill drinks, pre-bus tables, assemble salads and deserts, and more- all while smiling and being friendly. It's the only way they'll make any tips, and tips are the only way they make any money. Their hourly, usually a measly $2.13 per hour, almost always goes entirely to pa...

Imagine busting your hump constantly to make a few bucks. Well, if you're like most people, that's not too hard to imagine. Most of us work incredibly hard at our jobs.

Servers are certainly no exception- they walk thousands of steps carrying heavy plates and trays, fill drinks, pre-bus tables, assemble salads and deserts, and more- all while smiling and being friendly. It's the only way they'll make any tips, and tips are the only way they make any money. Their hourly, usually a measly $2.13 per hour, almost always goes entirely to paying taxes.

Now imagine doing all that, and then a new manager comes in and fires your entire staff. That's what happened at a Texas restaurant called San Angelo Craving Crab. Besides leaving an entire eatery devoid of any front-of-house employees, this new manager also made another huge mistake- they didn't get nor change the restaurant's Facebook password. And, almost predictably, the servers did have the password.

Here's the text just in case this restaurant finally figures out their password and takes the message down:

attention craving crab customers , due to us losing our last manager the owners brought in someone from oklahoma to run the store and her firing all the servers it will just be her she doesnt know what she is doing and barely speaks any english and has already got into arguments with the servers ending in firing all of us . so after today no one will be in to work shifts . aplogize for the inconvenience your fellow servers at craving crab we enjoyed all the regulars and nice peopl for coming in and enjoying the food and service but i hope everyone has a merry christmas and happy new year .

That's actually quite classy considering the circumstances. I'm not sure I'd be quite so kind if I lost my job right before Christmas and had a near-anonymous platform at my disposal. This, to me at least, just reads like a warning to regular customers that they will have a very different experience than what they would have had previously.

Of course, there are some folks in the comments that see things differently- that perhaps the manager had a reason to fire the entire staff. We can't really know that, but I think we can all see that it was an unwise move to do so before hiring any new people, and before obtaining and changing the social media password.

The Wealthiest People In Texas (2022)

These Are The Wealthiest People In Texas in 2022 according to Forbes.

Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) – $251 billion

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31: Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum's 21st Annual Halloween Party presented by Now Screaming x Prime Video and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side on October 31, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Heidi Klum)

Alice Walton (Walmart) – $55.7 billion

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - JUNE 1: Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, waits onstage during the annual Walmart shareholders meeting event on June 1, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The shareholders week brings thousands of shareholders and associates from around the world to meet at the company's global headquarters. (Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Economic Club of New York's fireside chat with Michael Dell at the Hyatt Hotel on November 21, 2019 in New York City. Dell was made a private company in 2013 by Michael Dell, Dell's founder and CEO, and Silver Lake Partners. Dell is staging a comeback to the public market after taking refuge as a privately-held business. Dells redeveloped strategy is on delivering private enterprise customers cloud, big data, mobile and security. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 11: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones looks on prior to a game against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Stan Kroenke (sports, real estate) – $12.9 billion & Ann Walton Kroenke (Walmart) – $8.3 billion

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Los Angeles Rams team owner Stan Kroenke attends the first game of the season against the Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Robert F. Smith (private equity) – $8 billion

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Robert Smith speaks onstage as Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights hosts The 2015 Ripple Of Hope Awards honoring Congressman John Lewis, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Evercore Co-founder Roger Altman, and UNESCO Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis at New York Hilton on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights)

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 01: Businessman/TV personality Tilman J. Fertitta attends the 2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village on April 1, 2016 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Joe Gebbia (AirBNB) - $7.6 billion

Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Joe Gebbia speaks on stage during #BoFVOICES on December 1, 2017 in Oxfordshire, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Best Places to See Bluebonnets in Texas

The best time to see bluebonnets is mid-April and here is where you should go.

What Produce Should You Be Buying in Texas This Winter?

Citrus

Apples

Pumpkins

Beets

Turnips

Winter Squash

Greens

Spinach

Bok Choy

Baby Arugula

Lettuce

Radish

Leeks

Brussel Sprouts

Broccoli

Cabbage

Cilantro

Parsley

Pecans

5 of This Week’s Coolest Horror Collectibles Including ‘Crimes of the Future’ on 4K Ultra HD

Killer Collectibles highlights five of the most exciting new horror products released each and every week, from toys and apparel to artwork, records, and much more.Here are the coolest horror collectibles unveiled this week!I don’t think anyone was expecting to see The Return of Swamp Thing on 4K Ultra HD, especially before Wes Craven’s 1982 original (which, incidentally, is in the works at MVD), but it’s coming February 7 from Lightyear Entertainment.Based on the DC Comics cha...

Killer Collectibles highlights five of the most exciting new horror products released each and every week, from toys and apparel to artwork, records, and much more.

Here are the coolest horror collectibles unveiled this week!

I don’t think anyone was expecting to see The Return of Swamp Thing on 4K Ultra HD, especially before Wes Craven’s 1982 original (which, incidentally, is in the works at MVD), but it’s coming February 7 from Lightyear Entertainment.

Based on the DC Comics character, the 1989 sequel is directed by Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Piranhaconda) and written by Neil Cuthbert (Hocus Pocus, Mystery Men) and Grant Morris. Louis Jourdan, Heather Locklear, Sarah Douglas, and Dick Durock star.

The film been newly restored in 4K from the original interpositive with Dolby Vision HDR and original 2.0 and 5.1 stereo audio. Special features include two audio commentaries (one with Wynorski solo, another in which he’s joined by composer Chuck Cirino and editor Leslie Rosenthal), interviews with Wynorski, Cirino, Rosenthal, and producer Michael Uslan, promotional videos, and more.

Speaking of aquatic monsters, Factory Entertainment has created a replica of the Gill-man’s fossilized hand from Creature from the Black Lagoon. Molded out of metal, it measures 7″ tall, 6″ wide, and 6″ long on the included display stand. Shipping in July 2023, it’s available to pre-order for $79.99.

Waxwork‘s original motion picture soundtrack has been pressed on vinyl for the first time by Terror Vision Records. The score, composed by Roger Bellon (The Knight Before Christmas, The Unholy), has been pulled from the original tapes.

Two color variants are available for $30 each: neon yellow with neon pink pinwheel (mail order exclusive) and neon orange with violet splatter. It’s housed in a die-cut gatefold jacket designed by Earl Kessler Jr. with liner notes by Bellon.

If vinyl isn’t your retro format of choice, you can also grab the Waxwork soundtrack on cassette for $12.

Terror Threads has released a black-and-white Alfred Hitchcock design by Sam Coyne that depicts the Master of Suspense alongside iconography from Psycho. The Birds and Psycho tees are also available as part of the Hitchcock collection. Priced at $30, they’re scheduled to ship by January 13.

No one likes distributors double dipping so soon after the initial release, but David Cronenberg’s work deserves to be seen in the highest possibility quality, so I feel obliged to report that Crimes of the Future will be released on 4K Ultra HD on January 31 via Decal Releasing.

Written and directed by Cronenberg, the 2022 body horror film stars Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, and Scott Speedman. It’s presented in 4K with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

The Blu-ray just came out in August, but at least Decal has the decency to pack the 4K edition with special features, including Cronenberg’s unrelated 1970 film also titled Crimes of the Future, interviews with Cronenberg and cast members, behind-the-scenes footage, The Death of David Cronenberg short film, and more.

For more merch madness, peruse the Killer Collectibles archives. You can also visit Broke Horror Fan.

NEW BIZ: Hooper’s restaurant owners pay homage to horror heritage

Grand Central Cafe in Kingsland is now Hooper’s. The restaurant’s new owners are embracing its horror film credits with the name change.Fans of the 1974 cult classic “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” will recognize it as the main setting and home of Leatherface, the movie’s terrifying antagonist. Years later, the house was moved to Kingsland from Round Rock and, in 2012, became Grand Central Cafe.It’s namesak...

Grand Central Cafe in Kingsland is now Hooper’s. The restaurant’s new owners are embracing its horror film credits with the name change.

Fans of the 1974 cult classic “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” will recognize it as the main setting and home of Leatherface, the movie’s terrifying antagonist. Years later, the house was moved to Kingsland from Round Rock and, in 2012, became Grand Central Cafe.

It’s namesake, the late, acclaimed horror director Tobe Hooper, a Texas native, kicked off the “Chain Saw Massacre” franchise and also directed the 1982 hit “Poltergeist.”

“We think it’s a brilliant name for what the house is,” said Simon Madera, one of the new owners. “Tobe Hooper made that house famous, and it would be ridiculous for us to not pay homage to him as a director.”

Madera purchased the restaurant and nearby Antlers Inn with wife Hobie Sasser and good friends Courtney and Mike Rhodes.

Renovations and utility upgrades are underway, but the business at 1010 King Court is open. The owners merged the restaurant with the once-separate Club Car Bar into one business. A temporary pop-up menu is available and drinks are still being served from the bar during construction. Indoor seating is available.

Madera will be the hands-on operator of Hooper’s and The Antlers Inn. He is an avid restauranteur responsible for the Taco Flats restaurant chain. Business partner Mike Rhodes has a background in high-end architecture and construction.

“We feel great about it,” Madera said. “We feel really good about the direction we’ve taken, the name we’ve chosen, and the layers of food we’re adding.”

Currently, the restaurant is serving food from the Taco Flats menu out of a trailer on site, but a Hooper’s-specific lineup is in the works and will be implemented once the interior kitchens are finished.

No specifics on the nature of the new menu have been released, but Madera alluded to approachable Southern cuisine in an interview with DailyTrib.com.

Former Club Car Bar owners Sandy and Brad Jones are still managing the bar portion of Hooper’s while renovations take place. Much of the staff from Grand Central Cafe and the bar are still on board.

“We’re looking to build a strong local team that can handle the workload and execute the quality that we are accustomed to,” Madera said.

Another aspect of Hooper’s is the coffee shop and bakery, formerly Kingsland Coffee, which is attached to The Antlers Inn, just a short walk from the main restaurant. The coffee shop is in operation, serving fresh-baked pastries daily.

The new owners project a full opening by March with various stages unveiled as work is completed and plans come to fruition.

Hooper’s is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and Sunday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday.

[email protected]

Kingsland man charged with cruelty to animals after 15 dogs, 2 cats rescued

Matthew Smallwood, 39, of Kingsland was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals and released on bond after 15 dogs and two cats were confiscated from his family’s home on Sunday, May 29.“We got the information on Saturday, and we were over there Sunday mid-morning,” said Chief Deputy Brad Evans of the Llano County Sheriff’s Office. “We had a seizure of the dogs (warrant) signed by a judge, and the dogs and cats were removed.”The animals were delivered to the ...

Matthew Smallwood, 39, of Kingsland was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals and released on bond after 15 dogs and two cats were confiscated from his family’s home on Sunday, May 29.

“We got the information on Saturday, and we were over there Sunday mid-morning,” said Chief Deputy Brad Evans of the Llano County Sheriff’s Office. “We had a seizure of the dogs (warrant) signed by a judge, and the dogs and cats were removed.”

The animals were delivered to the Hill Country Humane Society, 9150 RR 1431 West in Buchanan Dam. The shelter is taking donations to help with food and medical care for the animals until they can be placed in a forever home. Donations can include money or bags of Purina Puppy Chow and Purina Complete Food.

“You can drop it off any day between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” according to a post on the Humane Society’s Facebook page. (The Facebook page reports that 18 dogs were seized, but information from the Sheriff’s Office put the number at 15 dogs and two cats.)

On Tuesday, May 31, the Hill Country Humane Society also was trying to find transportation for 10 healthy dogs to a shelter in Montana to make space for the emaciated dogs. Anyone who can help with that or donations should contact the shelter at 512-793-5463 or [email protected].

The complaint against Smallwood was called in by “a concerned citizen,” Chief Deputy Evans told DailyTrib.com. The woman was delivering groceries to the residence when she spotted a large black dog in the yard chewing his way through a bag of rotten potatoes. The dog was so starved, his ribs were exposed, she said on a video posted on Facebook.

The family also had a bull, a pig, and chickens, all of which were in good condition, Evans said.

Since the arrest, the family has been harassed and threatened by people calling and driving by their house. The Sheriff’s Office will be releasing a statement sometime Wednesday or Thursday warning against any vigilante action against the family, Evans said. The statement had not been released as of the Wednesday publication deadline for DailyTrib.com.

Kingsland librarian fired amid controversy over advisory board

Suzette Baker might seek legal action after she was fired March 9 from her job as head librarian of Llano County’s Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk St. The reasons given for her dismissal were insubordination and failure to follow instructions.Her termination follows recent actions by county officials to close the Library Advisory Board meetings to the public, switch the count...

Suzette Baker might seek legal action after she was fired March 9 from her job as head librarian of Llano County’s Kingsland Branch Library, 125 W. Polk St. The reasons given for her dismissal were insubordination and failure to follow instructions.

Her termination follows recent actions by county officials to close the Library Advisory Board meetings to the public, switch the county library system’s online reading services from OverDrive to Bibliotheca, and remove books from library shelves. The library system has also frozen book acquisitions for the time being. These actions affect all three of Llano County’s libraries in Llano, Kingsland, and Buchanan Dam.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” Baker said in an interview with DailyTrib.com. “How do you prepare for this? Everything is just gone. I am considering pursuing legal action against them (for unfair termination). I have a couple of calls out to lawyers to see what they say and then I’ll just go from there.”

According to the Employee Disciplinary Action Form given to Baker, she violated two library system internal policies: 1B-2, which covers dress code and states that employees must “act in a professional manner at all times and extend the highest courtesy to co-workers and to the public served,” and 1B-4, which covers conflicts of interest and states that employees shall not engage in a “relationship or activity which could be viewed as a conflict of interest because of the potential or appearance of affecting the employee’s job efficiency, or would reduce his or her ability to make objective decisions in regard to his/her work and responsibility as a county employee.”

“The conflict of interest is because I kept asking for information about Bibliotheca and about what was going on in general,” Baker said.

The only county personnel policy listed as having been violated is 1B-11, which covers discipline. A copy of the Llano County Personnel Policies is available online.

DailyTrib.com reached out via email to both Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham and Library System Director Amber Milum for comments on the termination on March 9. No response was received by the publication of this story.

Baker is a Lake Buchanan resident and has worked in the Llano County Library System for the past three years. She was first hired to oversee the library’s young adult book section and later promoted to head librarian at the Kingsland branch.

She considered the position a dream job until last December, when the libraries were closed for three days and the Llano County Library Advisory Board was dissolved and re-instated with more and new members. The change was driven by a group of residents who claimed that pornographic materials were available on library shelves. Some of these residents, Baker pointed out, were newly appointed to the advisory board, such as Vice-Chair Bonnie Wallace, Secretary Rochelle Wells, and member Rhonda Schnieder.

After the board was reformed, working inside the library system became difficult, Baker said. Librarians were ordered to stop purchasing new books and not to add newly donated books to the shelves. They were also instructed to inform patrons, especially the elderly and those with mobility issues, that the county’s subscription to OverDrive, a program allowing access to e-books and other virtual materials, had been suspended indefinitely.

“This board doesn’t care about anything other than what they want,” Baker said. “That’s not how a library is. A library should care about what everybody wants.”

Additionally, Baker said head librarians were not given updates on board discussions nor were they asked to share their library expertise with the board.

Before being fired, Baker received a written warning on Feb. 9 for insubordination after attending the first two advisory board meetings, one of which was held at the Kingsland Library where she worked, as well as a Feb. 1 by-laws subcommittee meeting, also held at the Kingsland Library in one of its meeting rooms. According to library policy, any event held in a library meeting room is open to the public.

Baker said she attended these meetings to better understand what was going on. She also said she shared information about the discussions with Milum, the library system director, afterward.

On Feb. 16, Baker and other members of the Kingsland Library staff received an email from Milum informing them that “staff members are not to attend Advisory Board meetings” and that they “may not use your vacation time to attend.”

“Telling us we cannot take personal time or vacation to attend any meetings is a violation of civil rights,” Baker said. “When (myself and other staff members) approached (Human Resources) about it, we were told not to start any trouble.”

In an attempt to mitigate Baker’s financial loss, a GoFundMe page was created by Leila Little, a longtime library system patron and unofficial leader of a community anti-censorship group that has been speaking out at Llano County Commissioners Court meetings as well as during advisory board meetings before they were closed to the public.

The goal is to raise $50,000, an amount exceeding Baker’s previous $35,500 yearly salary, to help with living expenses and possible legal fees.

“Ms. Baker has been an exceptional librarian with a strong sense of ethics and a keen knowledge of all library services at the Kingsland branch of the Llano County Library System for three years,” Little wrote on the GoFundMe page.

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