News

Mon
12
Jan

Hazards loom around the corner on Burnet County roads

Emily Hilley-Sierzchula/The Highlander
Vehicles zoom past places where at least three people have died along a dangerous, curvy section of FM 1431, east of the Marble Falls city limits sign. Family members of three people memorialized their loved ones with homemade crosses and flowers, which also serve as a reminder to passing motorists to use caution on that stretch of asphalt.

By Alexandria Randolph

In the name of safety, motorists traveling over some of Burnet County's more dangerous stretches of roadway may soon see some improvements, thanks to the passage of Proposition 1 in November.

Burnet County Commissioners will soon discuss the direct impacts that added funding will have on county road projects.

Kelli Reyna, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) said the highway department is currently involved with construction of a left-turn lane on RM 2147 through Cottonwood shores to improve safety and “help prevent rear-end and right-angle-turning collisions in this area.”

“Our mission at TxDOT is to ensure our roads are as safe as possible and we constantly work to make improvements to roadways when crashes do occur,” Reyna said.

Thu
08
Jan

Housing forecast dependent on state leadership, oil and water

By Alexandria Randolph

The growth of the local Highland Lakes housing industry for the coming year will be dependent on newly-elected Texas leadership, the fate of the oil boom and the availability of natural resources, but things are looking good, reported national and state home building officials to area builders gathered Wednesday, Jan. 8, for the Hill Country Builders Association's Annual Housing Forecast.

Giving members an overview of statistics and recent factors in the housing industry were National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Dr. David Crowe and Texas Association of Builders Executive Director Scott Norman.

“There are 184,073 people living in the HCBA (Hill Country Builders Association) area. You have a home ownership rate of 72 percent. That’s high relative to the state and the rest of the country,” Crowe said, and added that since the fallout in 2008, “it’s been an irregular recovery. We’ve gained back that regularity.”

Thu
08
Jan

Villa Dal Lago rebranded

By Alexandria Randolph

The Villa Dal Lago condominium development on RR 2147 will be rebranded for the third time, with a new name and design.

In a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 6, Marble Falls City Council leaders unanimously approved an amendment to the original zoning of the development, allowing new owner WorldMark the Club, a subsidiary of Wyndham Resorts, to redesign the as-of-yet-unfinished complex.

Marble Falls Development Services Director Caleb Kraenzel said the original developer designed the condominium community as Riverscapes, only to rebrand it as Villa Dal Lago before it was foreclosed. Seguine Affordable Housing took possession of the development, before WorldMark The Club became owner.

Thu
08
Jan

Residents pack Cottonwood Shores' first Town Hall

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

More than 50 people packed the Cottonwood Shores library Wednesday evening, Jan. 7, for the police department’s first Town Hall meeting. It was the first time many residents had met Tom Williams, center, the city’s new police chief since November.

Williams said when one takes a job with a new agency, the biggest unknown is the quality of officers who will be under his command. “These are two of the best cops I’ve ever run into,” he said of officers John-Michael Talamantez (left) and Chris Bieze.

They discussed several issues with residents, including the need to have dogs fenced, noise complaints, vandalism, speeding, and officers' response times to emergency calls. Williams also asked for tips to help clear out drug dealers, and added that several have already been “run out of town.” 

Thu
08
Jan

Cold weather heralds stock show season

Lambs await shearing Monday afternoon, Jan. 5, as FFA students get their livestock ready for the Burnet County Livestock Show this weekend.

By James Walker

The Burnet County FFA and 4H Livestock Show annually serves as the no-turning-back start of winter in the Hill Country.

The event, always on the second weekend of January, is actually much more than that and a large number of the county’s kids, from third grade up to high school, are much the better for it.

The 2015 version of the livestock show opened yesterday, Thurdsay, Jan. 8, with weigh-ins, while rounds of juding are scheduled primarily today, Friday, Jan 9, when some 649 animals and projects will be exhibited by some 290 youths of Burnet County.

Planned for tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 10, will be the premium sale during which individuals and businesses alike are encouraged to show up to show their support for the winning youths.

Wed
07
Jan

City dog park approved!

by Alexandria Randolph

In unanimous vote Tuesday night, Dec. 6, Marble Falls City Council approved the creation of a city dog park at Westside Park.

During the meeting, Parks and Recreation Department Director Robert Moss presented statistics on the benefits and liabilities of a dog park, as well as the history of the concept in Marble Falls.

“In 2011 we considered a dog park. There was very little recognized support for them at that time. In 2013 we had a request come from the community to consider a leash free zone in (Johnson) Park,” Moss said.

In August, Megan Klaeger, founder of Jo’s Dog Park, the organization created to support a Marble Falls dog park, approached the city about the issue.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

“She came with the willingness to not only recommend but assist in the development,” Moss said. “She has a plan, budget and funding to do this.”

Tue
06
Jan

Pilot uninjured in Llano Airport plane wreck

by Alexandria Randolph

The pilot of a four-seat aircraft was uninjured when the plane flipped on its head at the Llano Municipal Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 6, Llano County Sheriffs Department Officials said.

Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn confirmed the accident and said there was “pretty good damage to the plane but none to the pilot.”

The female pilot is currently unidentified.

Blackburn said the aircraft will have to remain in place until representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration arrive at the scene. Texas DPS Troopers are also working the scene.

For an updated story, see next Wednesday's Llano County Journal.

Tue
06
Jan

Granite Shoals man indicted for June child sex crime case

Jose Jorge Camacho Moran

by Alexandria Randolph

A Granite Shoals man was arrested on New Year’s Eve after he was indicted on a child sex crime charge stemming from an incident that reportedly happened back in June.

Jose Jorge Camacho Moran, 45, was indicted on Oct. 7, 2014, in the 424th District Court on charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second-degree felony.

He was arrested on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, to face the court for the charge.

District Court records show the initial incident took place on June 20, 2014.

The indictment stated the victim was younger than 17 years of age.

Tue
06
Jan

Burnet man arrested on felony drug charge during traffic stop

Edmond Desautels

by Alexandria Randolph

A Burnet man was arrested on felony drug charges when Marble Falls Police discovered methamphetamine in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Saturday, Dec. 27.

Edmond Simeon Desautels, 54, of Burnet, was arrested on charge of possession of a controlled substance between four and 200 grams, a second-degree felony.

Marble Falls Police Lt. Steve Eckstein said Desautels was stopped by an officer after he was observed running through a red light around 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of US 281 and RR 1431.

Eckstein said the patrolman noticed a passenger in the vehicle was “behaving with nervousness,” prompting the officer to search the vehicle.

The search turned up drug paraphernalia, which led to Desautels’ arrest.

“When they patted him down more thoroughly, they found methamphetamine in his front pocket,” Eckstein said.

Mon
05
Jan

Parks and Rec officials discuss grants and beautification

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department Officials are one step closer to a historical grant, and progressing with a community beautification project.

In a meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 5, Parks and Recreation Department Director Robert Moss relayed to the commission that an application for a Lone Star Legacy historical grant was nearing completion.

Moss showed directors a series of new photos that he had collected of Johnson Park, including softball teams from as early as 1924 and as recently as 2014, and one that showed the bridge into the park prior to the new construction.

Parks and recreation officials are also taking tentative steps toward establishing a Keep Texas Beautiful Marble Falls Chapter by attending a workshop about the organization in San Saba Tuesday, Jan. 13.

For more on this story, see Friday's Highlander.

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