Officials gather input for Wirtz Dam bridge

Alexandria Randolph/Highland Lakes Newspapers

Near the site of the proposed Wirtz Dam bridge are, from left, Burnet County Judge James Oakley; Burnet County Commissioner Pct. 4 Joe Don Dockery; Jim Luther unopposed candidate for Pct. 1 commissioner, and Ashby Johnson, executive director of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).

By Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


Residents and commuters now have opportunity to weigh in on the proposed Wirtz Dam, a transportation project that has been in the making since 1974.

The community outreach program for the dam project, which began in September, is the culmination of years of anticipation for Burnet County officials.

“This was on the 1974 Burnet County Transportation Plan,” said Joe Don Dockery, Burnet County Precinct 1 commissioner.

The next step wasn't completed until 2005, when a feasibility study was completed indicating that a bridge at Wirtz Dam would be beneficial to the community.

Following a meeting conducted by CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) on Sept. 9, the campaign for public opinion regarding the Wirtz Dam Bridge is officially underway.


Granite Shoals honors Alyssa Flores as Make-A-Wish recipient takes spotlight


Singer/actress Selena Gomez welcomes Alyssa Flores of Granite Shoals to her June concert in Austin. Meeting the star was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Friends for Wishes in honor of Alyssa's fight against leukemia.

Glynis Crawford Smith

The HIghlander

One of Granite Shoals youngest citizens was honored as “a champion in fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)” by the Granite Shoals City Council Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Seven-year-old Alyssa Flores accepted the fanfare with the poise of any celebrity. After all, she already had spent an evening with Selena Gomez.

Alyssa is the first local child to have been granted a dream come true by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That wish was to meet the actress and singer, whose hits include “Love You Like A Love Song” and “Come and Get It.”

“She was going to choose a swim with dolphins,” said Kathrin Brewer, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Austin. “But they were driving past the Long Center in Austin and saw that Selena Gomez was playing. She said she absolutely wanted that more than anything.”


Burnet High School graduate Sommer Floyd celebrates first album release in hometown

Sommer Floyd, a 2008 Burnet High School graduate, will host a free concert at Hill Country Fellowship Church on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the upcoming release of her first album.  

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers

While Sommer Floyd was an all-around American sweetheart in her days at Burnet High School, it was her struggles and mistakes that led to her testimony to God through music.

Emerging as a singer and songwriter, Floyd will celebrate the release of her first album in her hometown of Burnet this weekend, and the message will be one of redemption.

Set for Sunday, Oct. 16 at Hill Country Fellowship Church is an album release concert at 7 p.m. Floyd will be backed by a full band and orchestra and will perform songs from her debut album, “Ray of Light,” which is slated for release this fall.

Floyd lives in Burnet County with her daughter Heidi, and graduated from Burnet High School in 2008.

“As a little girl I was always singing,” Floyd said. “The beginning of my pregnancy was when all this started. I was at the lowest point in my life.”


Big bucks = $Big bucks

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Hunters looking for the big bucks can mean big bucks of the green variety to business.

Texas ranks first or second every time a national survey is conducted. The Lone Star State's 2.71 million hunters and anglers spend $4.1 billion annually and support 65,993 jobs, according to a study reported by the Congressional Sportsman Foundation.

“There’s no question that deer hunters boost the economy in small towns such as Burnet for the several weeks they are in the area,” said Kim Winkler, executive director of the Burnet Chamber of Commerce.


Car show surprise: Eddie's Model A

Alexandria Randolph/Highland Lakes Newspapers

Eddie Schlegelmilch of Kingsland revels in a dream came true on Saturday, Oct. 1. His family surprised him with his own 1931 Ford Model A, in near perfect condition, at the Kiwanis Club Main Street Car Show. See an albumn of photos from the show and Eddie's big surprise on The-Highlander page on Facebook.

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


When Eddie Schlegelmilch joined his daughter, future son-in-law and grandson for a morning at the Kiwanis Club Main Street Car Show in Marble Falls, he probably simply expected a day out. What his family surprised him with was a dream come true.

Schlegelmilch, a cancer patient, has been in hospice care in Kingsland for the last six months. His daughter Sara Schlegelmilch and her fiance Jay Reichert moved to Marble Falls to be nearer to him.

On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 1, Eddie's eyes lit up as he scanned a row of antique cars, and saw his own burgundy 1931 Ford Model A.

“We stole it and put it in the car show,” Reichert said. “He had been restoring it for over 15 years… He tried a lot on his own and came a long way until the engine went out.”


2,770 children go hungry here

An estimated one in six people live in Burnet County live in “food insecure” homes.

By Lew K. Cohn, Managing Editor
The Highlander

According to FeedingTexas.org, there are 2,770 children at risk of hunger in Burnet County as an estimated one in six people live in what are termed “food insecure” homes.

A food insecure home is one in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year,” according to FeedingTexas.org, formerly known as the Texas Food Bank Network, a non-profit, statewide 501(c)(3) organization which works to feed the hungry throughout the state.

Burnet County's numbers are on par with the state as 16.9 percent of Burnet County residents and 17 percent of Texas residents overall are living in “food insecure” homes. 28.2 percent of children live in these homes, which accounts for the 2,770 children noted earlier in this article.


Local archer ranks in national tourney

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


An 11-year-old girl from Oatmeal placed in a world champion youth archery tournament in August.

Aspen Nelson, a student at Faith Academy, placed sixth in Junior Buckmasters World Champion Tournament, a worldwide youth archery competition in Montgomery, Ala. after under two years of practicing the sport.

Stepdad Brian Klosterhoff said Nelson is a natural.

“She's ranked in the state of Texas for first place junior archer in 4-H,” he said.

Klosterhoff and friend Robert Lee began coaching a group of Burnet County 4-H students in archery in April 2015, when Nelson expressed interest in the sport.

“She wanted to do it and she has really taken off,” he said.

Nelson said she likes archery because “it's very challenging and you get to be outside. With archery, you have a hobby forever.”


Playwright critiques, acts with cast of 'Don't Hug Me'

Playwright Phil Olson, center, and the cast and crew of the Hill Country Community Theatre's production of "Don't Hug Me."

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

The laughter and chuckling coming from a seat in the middle of the auditorium was easy to notice on Labor Day evening. Coming from any other audience member would be encouraging enough for the cast of Hill Country Community Theatre's latest offering, the musical comedy “Don't Hug Me.”

That the laughter belonged the man who wrote the book and lyrics to the musical, playwright Phil Olson, seemed to make rehearsal even more electric for the cast and crew.


HSB seeks new city secretary, bids veteran Moore reluctant farewell this month

Horseshoe Bay City Secretary Teresa Moore

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

The City of Horseshoe Bay may not be too happy with its city secretary.

The reason: The secretary, Teresa Moore, is retiring at the end of this month after being the only city secretary in the city’s history.

Moore was named secretary in 2006, when the job of city administrator-city secretary was divided. She’s held that position ever since. In fact, even before then, she was assistant to the administrator at the municipal utility district that preceded formation of the city.

“I’ve worked with every official who’s ever been with the city,” Moore smiled.

She’s had her own impact, too.


Ministry combs Hill Country for clothing, household donations

Martha's Ministry of New Life Church assembles donations for the needy at at 404 East Marble Street in Burnet and accepts others from callers at 512- 627-0680.

By Christi Bertelson

Highland Lakes Newspapers

Brother Doug Fowler and wife Barbara were heavy hearted when they learned that some children in Burnet County were going to endure winter of 2009 with no jackets or warm clothing.

“When they found out, Doug asked the church (New Life Church), family and friends to donate what they could to help these children,” said Jenny Parker, a volunteer for the Ministry.

After donating, Doug knew there was a sense of importance that they needed to continue to help the community in any way they could.

‘Martha’s Clothing Ministry’ came to life with just a few things the church, family and friends could gather.

“The Ministry started with just a few tables made from saw horses, little stacks of clothes and one table of jackets,” said Parker.

Doug named the Clothing Ministry after ‘Martha of Bethany’ from the Bible, who was known for her concern for others.


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