MFISD technologist now Google certified

Adam Goodman trains Marble Falls High School teachers in the cloud-based Google tools for classroom.

Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) teachers working to leverage their students’ learning by using the latest resources now can get expert assistance from newly certified Google for Education Trainer, Adam Goodman.

Goodman is a district instructional technologist who helps teachers combine their successful traditional teaching approaches with available technology resources so students in Marble Falls are best prepared to compete in today’s information-based world.


Where there's smoke, wild or controlled fire?

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Most of Burnet County got a view of the plumes of gray smoke from controlled burns in Spicewood Thursday morning, Jan. 26. It was no cause for concern, however, according to Fire Chief Scott Hannusch of the Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department. The billows of smoke, even from this vantage point on Ranch to Market Road 1431 east of Marble Falls were spectacular, but the landowners of the Wall Ranch east of Burnet County Road 408 and Texas 71 and at the Lowe Ranch on Burnet County Road 402 had the burn off swell in hand. Prescribed burn managers generate safety precautions for such burns landowners are urged to follow, and in some counties commissioners courts issue permits, but in Burnet County a call to the sheriff's office to keep the dispatch service informed is the main requirement, Hannusch said.

When the smoke rose up from two agricultural burns in Spicewood last week, it climbed high into view over the Burnet County landscape and calls rolled in to the Burnet County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) dispatch center.

That was not a bad thing, because the heavy fuel load of grasses, weeds and undergrowth from a wet year do present a fire danger that challenge rural firefighting teams that need to respond quickly. In cases such as the two in Spicewood surrounds, prescribed burns may not only be clearing fields and pastures for new growth, but can prevent future wildfire spread.

What is important, said Fire Chief Scott Hannusch of the Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department, is reporting plans for burns to BCSO, 512-756-8080, to keep track of controlled burns and tell those reports from wildfire.


Averys attend Trump-Pence inauguration

The Trump and Pence families greet the 25,000 attendees at The Freedom Ball following the Inauguration. Graham and Mary Jane Avery, among the crowd, captured the scene.

At least two local folks swelled the crowd at the at the Inauguration of Donald John Trump and Michael Richard "Mike" Pence. Graham and Mary Jane Avery traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18 to represent the Burnet County Republican Party.

They began the celebration by attending a mixer for The Mighty American/Texas Strike Force where they heard experiences of Strike Force members from across the United States.

Festivities continued the next evening when the Averys attended The Texas Society of Washington, D.C. Black Tie and Boots Presidential Inaugural Ball, chaired by District 25 Congressman Roger Williams. Entertainment was provided by Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, as well as the Beach Boys.


Burnet VFW calls on vets to pull post from brink

Burnet resident Bill Piotrowski is looking for a few good men and women who have previously served their country in the armed forces.

Piotrowski is the sole remaining officer for the Burnet Veterans of Foreign Wars Highland Lakes Post 6974 on US 281 in Burnet. He said he has been given until Feb. 7 to find seven people not only willing to join Burnet VFW as new members, but to take on officer positions within the organization, or the post will be forced to close for good.

“We owe it to our community, local veterans, friends, and fellow citizens to help keep this post open,” Piotrowski said. “On Feb. 7, 2017, a vote will decide the fate of VFW Post 6974. This vote could be the final chapter of a story that is over 50 years old, but we still have a chance to right this wrong. If we can find veterans who have served their country honorably in an overseas conflict, we can change this outcome.


Star Republican Women hear child services program

Dorothy Crockett/The Highlander

Associate Judge Cheryll Mabray of the Child Protection Court of the Hill Country addresses Star Republican Women in Horseshoe Bay on Jan. 10.

By Dorothy Crockett


'3 Ponies,' first new Sculpture on Main sale


With the three-piece sculpture installation, '3 Ponies,' are members of the board of directors of Highland Lakes Creative Arts (HLCA), Sherri White and Carolyn Bates, and the sculptor, Johnny Shipman. The colorful metal sculpture from Sculpture on Main in Marble Falls is the first of the year-long exhibition to be sold.

Highland Lakes Creative Arts (HLCA) has announced the first purchase in the permanent sculpture installation initiative of Sculpture on Main.

Eleven sculptures were introduced at the opening of the 11th annual event Dec. 2. Although entries in the show remain on exhibit along Marble Falls' Main Street, all are for sale.

The colorful set of metal sculptures, “3 Ponies” by Johnny Shipman has been purchased by an anonymous donor who already has named the three to represent family residences. The stallion will be named Kosse for a Limestone County family ranch, the mare will be called Dallas and the colt will be Rocky, for a Rockport residence.

Shipman has exhibited all over the Central Texas Area and several years in the Sculpture on Main event, selling several premier pieces to local patrons.


Salvation Army bells ring in $26,000

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Salvation Army volunteers are all smiles Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the presentation of $26,000 raised in the Burnet County Salvation Army 2016 Kettle Campaign. Anthony Torres, service extension representative the Salvation Army, above left, congratulated Brooks Blake, Rotary Club coordinator of the campaign, above right, for checks presented to Sue Kennedy, Marble Falls Unit advisory board chairman, below left, and Vickie Seiley, below right, of the Burnet Unit of the Salvation Army.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The Salvation Army is alive and well in Burnet County, evidenced Wednesday, Jan. 11, by the delivery of $26,000 collected by bell ringers in Marble Falls and Burnet.

The idea of ringing bells before kettles to collect money for the disadvantaged at Christmastime began in 1891 in England. Today, you may pass by volunteers at Walmart in Marble Falls and Beall's in Burnet without realizing what represent, but Brooks Blake knows.

“Everyone is so good, so generous, teaching their kids to give,” said Blake. “So many people stop and say how they have been helped. It is heartwarming.”

For some time now, volunteers come from the county's three Rotary Clubs—those that meet at noon in Marble Falls and Burnet and Daybreak Rotary in Marble Falls.


Buckingham looks to future in Texas Senate

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Dr. Dawn Buckingham took her oath of office today, Jan. 10, as the new senator for Texas District 24 and she shared time yesterday for telephone interviews with the press.

She succeeds Sen. Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay after coming out on top of five Republican candidates, besting Rep. Susan King in the run off and swamping Democrat Virginia Leeder of Llano 214,568 to 81,836, statewide in November.

“We really appreciate Sen. Fraser's years of service,” said Buckingham. “Those are big shoes to fill and he has worked with me to make a smooth transition and make sure the district is represented well throughout the transitional period.”

In District 24 that are includes the counties of Burnet, Lampasas, Llano, Blanco, San Saba, Comanche, Gillespie, Brown, Bandera, Bell, Callahan, Coryell, Hamilton, Kerr, Mills, and parts of Taylor and Travis.


HSB will honor Ranger Guffey on Jan. 21

Texas Ranger Stanley Keith Guffey

            1946 ~ 1987

On Jan. 21 at 2 p.m., the Texas Ranger Association Foundation (TRAF), in conjunction with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the City of Horseshoe Bay are holding a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary since the death of Texas Ranger Stan Guffey who was killed in the line of duty while rescuing a two-year-old kidnapping victim in Horseshoe Bay.


Change the world, ukulele style

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

A few of the variety of ukuleles available are arrayed in front of four early arrivals at one of the twice-monthly meetings of the Highland Lakes Ukulele Club; seated, Virginia Sivells, and from left, Luis Sirvent, Pat O'Malley, Lisa Miller and Don Crowder. Their motto is: 'Changing The World, Four Strings At A Time.'

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

You may think of the ukulele with a smile and memory of Arthur Godfrey (1903-1983), with a groan over “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” by Tiny Tim (1938-1996) or a mellow sigh at the memory of that 1990 medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" by “Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1959 – 1997).

But picture it, now, in your own hands and embrace the motto of the Highland Lakes Ukulele Club: “Changing the world, four strings at a time.”

This band of troubadours meets twice a month to practice together and draw new players into their musical fold.

When Don Crowder, an accomplished musician, began to coax Lisa Miller toward a simple instrument like the ukulele she was dubious.

“Before I could say no, he ordered one for me,” she said. “The premiere benefit of having two people is that you are having a good time.”


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