Early voting underway for city and school elections

Special to The Highlander

The early voting period ahead of the May 4 municipal and city elections began Monday, April 22 and ends Tuesday, April 30.


Marble Falls must 'bridge' gap with crossing

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
A collision on the U.S. 281 Lake Marble Falls Bridge the evening of April 3 compounded traffic delays, following another multiple vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 281 and RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Crews re-routed traffic off the main roadways in the heart of the city which backed up motorists in adjacent neighborhoods and businesses for nearly an hour.






By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Marble Falls may be a city divided by water, but it needs to come together for a common purpose — to call for construction of a new bridge crossing over the Colorado River.


Weaving Truth into the inspiring legacy of our Founding Fathers

Connie Swinney reflects on Presidents Day by offering a broader perspective on the contribution of the founding fathers of the United States.



By Connie Swinney
I noticed U.S. flags lining the main roadway as I drove to work Monday morning.

When I realized the reason was Presidents Day, the images conjured memories of my childhood.


Marble Falls makes a great first impression

First impressions mean everything. The new sports editor and school news reporter for The Highlander hopes to make a good one with the community. Learn more about his background in his introductory column.




By Nathan Hendrix
Sports Editor

They say first impressions are the most lasting, and judging by the rst glimpse I have received of the character of Marble Falls, this community believes that to be true.

It’s been a little more than a week since I started my work as the sports editor for The Highlander, and I’ve already learned some things about the Marble Falls community. Everyone I’ve interacted with, from school administration and coaches to sports fans, has been welcoming, and I truly appreciate the warmth.

I’ve been watching and following sports since I was a child, and all of the things that I love about sports are represented in Marble Falls. I am thrilled by competition and a competitive spirit, and that was on full display at the boys’ basketball game against Pflugerville last week.


Press Play: Reflecting on the lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr.

In an era of contentious debate, Connie Swinney recalls how MLK, Jr.'s legacy should inspire everyone to carry out civic responsibilities through non-violent means.




By Connie Swinney

Growing up in west Texas, I was privileged to view the world from a perspective which emphasized exceptionalism, self-sufficiency, hard work and faith.


From A to Zowie: Richard says, 'Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen'

Richard Zowie, a Fredericksburg resident, bids farewell to the Marble Falls area community in his final column for Highland Lakes Newspapers.




By Richard Zowie

If Don Meredith were still alive and working on television, he'd probably have this to say about my career in journalism: “Turn out the lights, the party's over.”

All good things must end, and that includes what I like to jokingly call “my so-called career in journalism.” My final day with the Highlander is today, Friday, Dec. 28. I am “retiring” from news rooms to work in broadcasting and to pursue freelance writing, blogging, and my dream job: fiction writing.

I began working as a journalist, a mix of full-time, part-time and freelancing, in 2000, after I left the U.S. Army. It was a huge risk as it meant taking a major paycut from my military job.


Press Play: In line or online, It's Christmas time!

Paying homage to Clement Clarke Moore's "Christmas Poem," Connie's column describes the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, while offering a modern rendition of the classic literary piece.



By Connie Swinney

'Twas 12 days before Christmas and all through the town,

Not a creature was ready for what was to go down.

All I could see was a glazed look in their eyes.

Like a deer caught in headlights. No smile disguise;


“Are you ready for Christmas?” I say to be merry;

She turned with a jerk and a glare that was scary.

There's always a pause and a quizzical stare.

“Why no, Miss Connie!” How could I dare?


She gave me a nod as we shared nervous sighs;

Then on down the store aisle amidst toddler cries;

Wondering what drove us to wade through the crowds;

All the toys, electronics and clothing that we vowed.


The thoughts of the children all snug in their beds;

Stuffed animals and skateboards and new phones in their heads;

So with a cart full of items, to check out I go;

Whisking by carts that were moving too slow.



Rifles and gators and fur-wheelers, Oh my!

". . . And sitting on the western shore of Lake Buchanan is the community of Tow, another name I had to learn how to pronounce. It's not pronounced “Toe” like “Someone better call in a tow truck!” It's pronounced like the first three letters in the word “towel.” That's because it's named after two brothers, William and Wilson Tow, who settled in the area in the 1850s.." - Lew K. Cohn





“Hey, I've got a rifle I want you to advertise!” the caller said.

“A rifle?” I asked.

“No, not a rifle. A rifle. For a Gator” he said.

“You have a rifle made for an alligator?” I asked, not sure I heard correctly.

“No, there is no rifle. It's a rifle. You know, where you sell tickets and the person with the winning ticket gets a prize?”

“Oh, a raffle!” I said. “I misunderstood you.”

“That's what I've been saying. A rifle. For a Gator.”

“You're giving away an alligator?”

“No, a Gator. You know, a Mule?”

“Well which is it, an alligator or a mule? Those are two very different animals, plus I'm not sure you can sell tickets to give away an alligator in the state of Texas.”

“It's not an animal. It's a fur-wheeler.”

“A fur-wheeler? But, alligators and mules don't have fur! Wheels don't either!”

“No, dummy, not fur like animal fur. I mean the number “fur!”


Press Play: Discovering the salve that soothes the soul

One of the lessons of life reveals that, "Those who become mired in perceived impending crisis may spend much of their lives 'living in the wreckage of the future.'” ~Connie Swinney




By Connie Swinney

Sometimes life can bear down on one's soul.

Perhaps most strife can be boiled down to the fear of the unknown.

What will happen next? What if . . . ?

Those who become mired in perceived impending crisis may spend much of their lives “living in the wreckage of the future.”

To help navigate through these sometimes self-imposed life struggles, I follow a philosophy encapsulated in four words that I believe can PULL anyone through situations which may weigh heavily on the heart.





Understanding personality traits, individual perspectives

Eleven years ago, I decided to leave the comfy confines of community journalism for corporate America, taking a job with healthcare insurer Cigna in Denison, Texas, as a customer service representative.


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