Austin man charged in home burglary

Michael Berry

by Alexandria Randolph

An Austin man was charged with burglary of a habitation after a woman woke to find a stranger in her Burnet County home Saturday morning.

Burnet County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Michael Brandon Berry, a 35-year-old from Austin, on charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit other felony.


MFISD announces information sessions for parents

Marble Falls Independent School District is holding annual round-up for parents interested in learning more about the district’s half-day pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs offered for the 2015-2016 school year.

To be eligible for pre-kindergarten, a child needs to be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2015.

The event is scheduled for Monday, May 4-Friday, May 8, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. each day.

During the Round-up, parents of potential pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are invited to visit the office of their local campus to pick up general information about the program.

Parents of pre-kindergarten children may indicate preferences of morning or afternoon sessions. Parents of both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students will receive information about required immunizations.


Harmony's Annie Jr. starts tonight

Folks can catch these young actors in action in Annie Jr. starting tonight through Saturday, May 2.

Harmony School of Creative Arts’ Musical Theater will be presenting Annie Jr., starring many Highland Lakes youngsters who have been rehearsing for months. Shows start Thursday, April 30 through Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. all three nights. 

Folks can catch Annie Jr. at First Baptist Church, 501 12th Street, Marble Falls. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12.

Additionally, there’s an interactive show for children Saturday morning, May 2, 10:30 a.m. Children through age 12 are admitted free to the interactive show, as long as they’re accompanied by an adult ticket-holder as well as a donation of at least 3 canned goods or other nonperishable items per child. The food will go into the food bank at First Baptist Church.  


Misdemeanor charge leads to felony evasion

By Alexandria Randolph
A man wanted in Gray County led police on a vehicle and foot pursuit on Thursday morning.
Burnet County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Burnet County resident Shane Edward Pate, 31, after he led them on a vehicle pursuit and footchase Thursday morning, April 30.
The chase began at about 7:40 a.m. when deputies received a report of black Chevrolet Tahoe that passed a stopped school bus on FM 1980. 
According to a Burnet County Sheriff's Office release, ten minutes later, deputies observed a vehicle matching the description traveling northbound on FM 1980 at a high speed. When deputies tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped up, allegedly in attempt to outrun deputies.
For the full story, see Friday's Highlander. 

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect

By Alexandria Randolph

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Burnet, Llano and surrounding counties until 2 a.m. Monday morning. 

According to the National Weather Service, large hail and damaging winds may be possible. 

Residents should take measures to secure outdoor property and shelter animals. 


HSB experiencing changes in first response leadership

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Horseshoe Bay will be seeing changes in emergency management this year with the retirement of the police chief and resignation of the fire chief, according to discussions at the city council meeting Tuesday, April 21.

The council officially appointed Assistant Fire Chief Stephanie Black interim fire chief after the resignation of Jim Fiero April 7. He was hired as the city’s fire chief in 2006.

Black has been with the department 8 of her 20 years as a firefighter. “Thank you for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Horseshoe Bay,” she said at the meeting, adding she appreciates the city’s support. “We’ll continue to serve to the best of our abilities.”

Police Chief Bill Lane said he plans on staying involved in the community after his retirement in September. “My heart is with this community,” he told citizens and council members. “Besides, I bought a few niches at the Mausoleum and I want to get my money’s worth.”


Federal judge decides Ripple concussion case

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

A federal judge ruled in favor of Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) in a concussion lawsuit case involving a former student who played football for the high school from 2007-2011.

Blake Ripple, 22, sued the district in 2012 claiming he suffered more than 30 concussions or sub-concussions while a MFISD football player. Ripple alleged Cord Woerner, former athletic director and head football coach, ignored multiple concussions he suffered as a lineman, according to court documents on file with the U.S. District Court Western District of Texas in Austin.

In a 58-page decision, Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel Ezra granted the district’s motion for summary judgment, ending the lawsuit.

“We appreciate the Court’s interest, involvement and learned memorandum, on the case,” said Ripple’s lawyer, Martin Cirkiel of the law firm Cirkiel & Associates in Round Rock, April 22.


Williams hands over peace officer license in plea agreement

Former Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Tom Williams permanently surrendered his peace officer license in a plea agreement Thursday following his investigation in two domestic cases.

Williams formed a plea agreement with Burnet County Attorney Eddie Arredondo, Llano County Attorney Rebecca Lange, and District Attorney Sonny McAfee who were all involved in the investigation of two cases involving Williams; one in Granite Shoals and a second in Horseshoe Bay.

Eddie Arredondo stated in a release that Williams “agreed to permanently surrender his peace officer’s license and agree to a deferred prosecution for the conduct that occurred in Burnet County in lieu of formal charges being filed against Williams.”


HSB philanthropist speaks about the beginnings of the city

Eileen Hurd speaks Thursday, April 16, about the obstacles her family overcame in Horseshoe Bay’s early days.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

As Eileen Hurd spoke Thursday, April 16, people watched through a massive window as a storm rolled over the city Hurd was instrumental in founding with her husband and his cousin.

Since then, Hurd has been a philanthropist, instrumental in the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners’ Association’s Mausoleum and nature preserve and donating the property where the Catholic and Protestant churches in the city reside.

“We’re privileged that Eileen has chosen to tell us her story,” said Ann Higdon, Women of the Word (WOW) committee president.

Hurd’s journey took her from Great Britain to Texas, eventually landing in what would become Horseshoe Bay.


Thunderstorm watch issued

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for several area counties until 7 p.m. Friday night.

The National Weather Service Austin/San Antonio issued a thunderstorm watch for Blanco, Burnet and Llano counties as well as surrounding counties.

“Severe thunderstorms are forecast to continue this afternoon and evening from the eastern plains of Colorado to western and central Oklahoma and southward to south Texas,” said the National Weather Service website. “Threats will include large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes.”

The watch stated that a subtropical jet has moved north from Mexico into the Rio Grande Valley, meeting a moist air mass moving southeast from the Four Corners.


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