News

Tue
20
Nov

Colleagues remember beloved pilot

Savanna Gregg/The Highlander
Burnet pilot Cowden Ward Jr. gives the high sign from his P-51 Mustang “Pecos Bill” to the 2018 Bluebonnet Airsho on Saturday, Sept. 8. Ward was a fan favorite at the Airsho and founder of Freedom Flyers, which honors veterans by giving them rides in vintage aircraft. He and passenger Vincent Losada were killed Saturday, Nov. 17, when Pecos Bill crashed at a Fredericksburg apartment complex

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

The Highlander

Tue
20
Nov

Vintage aircraft crashes, killing 2; Pilot remembered for performing at Airsho, helping veterans

Jennifer Robison/The Highlander
Pilot Cowden Ward Jr. takes flight in his P-51 Mustang "Pecos Bill" at the 2017 Bluebonnet Airsho in Burnet. Ward and a passenger, World War II veteran Vincent Losada, 93, of San Antonio, were killed when the vintage airplane crashed in Fredericksburg while taking part in a re-enactment flight on Saturday, Nov. 17.

 

 

 

 

By Richard Zowie

Staff Writer

The Highlander

A Burnet resident and founder of Pecos Bill P-51 Freedom Flyers died Nov. 17 in Fredericksburg when his P-51 airplane crashed near an apartment complex on the tourist town's east side.

According to AV Web, Cowden Ward Jr. was flying the vintage World War II plane in a reenactment flight and was believed to have had a passenger who was a World War II pilot. Both he and passenger Vincent Losada, 93, of San Antonio, were killed.

The crash occurred around 3:16 p.m. on Saturday at Friendship Place Apartments, at 707 South Creek Street in Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg Fire EMS, Fredericksburg Police Department, Gillespie County Sheriff’s Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety were dispatched.

According to a City of Fredericksburg press release, no bystanders were injured, and residents of the apartments were later allowed back into the complex.

Mon
19
Nov

City of Marble Falls asks for bids in $3 million parks upgrades launch

City of Marble Falls Map Illustration
Marble Falls city officials have asked for bids on a portion of the first phase of a parks improvement plan. Areas targeted for upgrades and improvement include the Lake Marble Falls Lakeshore Drive boat ramp (Hays Addition boat ramp), Lakeside Park infrastructure and amenities re-locations and upgrades as well as restroom facilities in Johnson Park.

 

 

 

 

 

Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the October flood event, Marble Falls city officials are “moving forward as originally planned” with accepting bids on the $3 million phase 1A component of a multi-faceted parks improvement plan, ranging from a shoreline retaining wall to mitigate flood damage to new amenities such as a planned man-made beach in Lakeside Park.

City officials hosted a mandatory pre-bid conference Nov. 14 at Lakeside Pavilion to share information with engineers, members of the construction industry and infrastructure representatives who could become involved in projects.

“The city is following our original plan for moving forward with several of our Capital Improvement projects this year,” City Manager Mike Hodge said in a statement.

City staff believes the existing plan coincides with needed fixes and future flooding considerations.

Mon
19
Nov

Parks and Recs board member resigns amid parks planning criticism

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Developer and Attorney Steve Hurst resigned his position with the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission recently, citing his concerns about the city's direction on a planned parks improvement package which he believes does not adequately address flood mitigation or bridge and roads in the aftermath of the Oct. 16 flood event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Marble Falls-based developer and lawyer Steve Hurst says he has witnessed a few missteps by city governments in planning and preparing for development in flood prone areas.

“I've watched this for years, representing clients in and around Austin and this area. I've lived on Lake Travis, Inks Lake, and I've had property on Lake Marble Falls,” Hurst said. “Shoal Creek and Waller Creek in Austin – the millions of dollars the city of Austin is having to spend right now in those flood plains.

“Development continued, but the cost of remediation and the damage to properties when those flood events occurred was stunning, and they're still spending money trying to address it,” he added. “We're not learning those lessons.”

Thu
15
Nov

Llano County Commissioners undecided about accepting $100,000 LCRA grant

 

 

By Phil Reynolds
The Highlander

Llano County commissioners will try again today, Friday, Nov. 16, to agree on whether or not to accept a Lower Colorado River Authority grant for flood debris cleanup. They’ll also look at proposals from potential contractors for debris removal and they’ll make the results from the Nov. 6 election official.

Thu
15
Nov

City of Marble Falls seeks applicants for council, committee vacancies

Special to The Highlander

The city of Marble Falls has announced deadline for applicants for a vacated city council seat and committee and board positions.

Residents have until Dec. 31 to submit their application to fill the seat recently vacated by Marble Falls City Council member Megan Klaeger Ruff.

The Council will consider candidates and appoint a new member to fill the unexpired term of Place 6 at their January 15, 2019 regular council meeting.

Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 at city hall, 800 Third St.

The new council member will serve until the May 2019 election and is eligible to run for the position.

The council is comprised of seven members who are elected for two-year terms.

To be eligible to apply, candidates must be a registered voter of the city, 21 years of age or over, a U.S. citizen and have been a resident of the city for one year.

Thu
15
Nov

Despite swifter current TXDOT re-opens Slab Road (RR 3404) in Kingsland

Frank Shubert/The Highlander
Commuter and bus routes resumed as usual Nov. 13, as Texas Department of Transportation crews re-opened Ranch Road 3404 to traffic following nearly a month-long closure due to Oct. 16 Llano River flooding.

 

 

 

 

Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

The Texas Department of Transportation opted to re-open Slab Road (Ranch Road 3404) in Kingsland Nov. 13, despite concerns about whether the river-swollen roadway was safe for vehicle traffic.

Following the Oct. 16 Llano River flooding originating from Junction-area stormwater runoff, officials closed the roadway due to swift water and dangerous conditions. The closure changed Llano Independent School District bus routes and prompted commuters to search for detours.

Slab Road is one of two main thoroughfares in the Kingsland community which takes commuters south to Texas 71. The other roadway, Ranch-to-Market 2900, was closed due to flood waters washing away the bridge, at confluence of the Llano River and Lake LBJ. TXDOT has placed reconstruction of a new RM 2900 bridge on a six-month timeline for completion.

Mon
12
Nov

Groundbreaking celebrates Kingsland 2900 bridge construction

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Capital Excavation Company crews continued Sunday afternoon working on the south side of Ranch to Market Road 2900 to undertake what will be a monumental task — building a new 2900 bridge within 150 days.

Fri
09
Nov

Lakes Marble Falls, LBJ to remain closed through mid November; To be lowered Dec. 30

Connie Swinney/The Highlander

Lake Marble Falls (Pictured here) will remain closed at least until Nov. 12, and Lake LBJ until Nov. 16 due to post-flood debris and conditions. LCRA is also scheduled to lower the waterways Dec. 30 for an eight-week period for dredging and maintenance.

 

 

 

 

From staff reports

Debris and unsafe conditions prompted the Lower Colorado River Authority today to extend the closure of Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls for week to 10 days following an assessement of post-flood waterway conditions.

Lake Marble Falls will remain closed until at least Monday, Nov. 12, and Lake LBJ will remain closed until at least Friday, Nov. 16, an LCRA press release stated.

Tue
06
Nov

MFISD voters overwhelmingly approve $55 million bond issue

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Marble Falls ISD voters overwhelmingly approved a $55 million bond issue Tuesday night in final but unofficial returns.

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