News

Wed
29
Oct

Drivers uninjured after highway dump truck collision

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander
Marble Falls Fire Rescue, Marble Falls Police and Burnet County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene of a dump truck versus sedan collision at the intersection of US 281 and TX 71 on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 29.

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Firefighters and police said a young man was ‘lucky’ to have been uninjured in a two-vehicle collision at the US 281, TX 71 intersection Wednesday afternoon.

Marble Falls Firefighters and Police responded to the highway intersection Wednesday, Oct. 29, at about 2 p.m., and found the driver of a red 2004 Pontiac sedan, 20-year-old Jason Pollock of Marble Falls, uninjured after his vehicle struck a dump truck hauling asphalt. Dump truck driver Ruben Silverio, 48, of Austin, was also uninjured.

Marble Falls Fire Rescue Capt. Chris Harrison said Pollock had just driven up the westbound TX 71 exit ramp when he attempted to make a left turn across the highway and struck the truck.

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

Wed
29
Oct

Demand for Helping Center grows; Burnet County 4H Club helps

The Helping Center director joins members of the Burnet County 4H Horse Club, which donated $300 to the charitable organization. In front, from left to right are: Addie Moomaw, 5, Reese Moomaw, 10, Emily Moomaw, Brooke Miller and Macie Mayes. In back, left to right are: Courtney Burrows, Sam Pearce, and Jarrett Haydon.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The $300 the Burnet County 4H Horse Club donated to the Helping Center in Marble Falls Tuesday was spent before the check was even in the director’s hands.

“I don’t have definite plans for the money yet, but I will probably spend it on rice and cereal tomorrow,” said Sam Pearce, Helping Center director. “Those are our most pressing needs right now, and we’ll get good bang for the buck.”

Needs are mounting as the Hill Country community grows.

The Helping Center helped feed 375 families in June; in September, 597 families used the charity’s services. Pearce said he’s on track to help 625 families by the end of the month.

The organization has far surpassed what it was giving during the 2008 recession, Pearce said.

Because of the continual growth, the charity needs donations of food or funds and volunteer help in the store room or garden.

Tue
28
Oct

G’Shoals employee charged in sex assault

by Alexandria Randolph

A Granite Shoals City employee was arrested after police investigated a report of a sexual relationship with a child.

Juan Carlos Morales, 35, of Marble Falls, was arrested on charge of sexual assault of a child. Morales is employed with the Granite Shoals Streets & Parks Department.

“We received a report from the parents of a 16-year-old that she had been talking with and having a sexual relationship with the suspect,” said Capt. Gary Boshears.

Boshears said police investigated the report and “obtained information that supported the allegations.” He added the offense is believed to have occurred in Granite Shoals, where the victim resides, in early September.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Mon
27
Oct

Officials: Early voting totals 'low'

by Alexandria Randolph

With the second week of early voting just begun, county elections officials are reporting low percentages of voters turning out at the polls to cast their ballots.

Burnet County Elections Administrator Barbara Agnew cited voting totals lower than those that were reported the first week of the last general election during the early voting period.

“Through the first week of early voting, 2,929 people voted early, in person. Compare this with 3,276 that voted through the first week of early voting in November 2010. We have received 956 mail ballots with 351 ballots still out,” she said.

The county received 402 total mail ballots in 2010, Agnew added.

In Llano County, there have been 2,053 early votes cast in local polls there, as of noon on Monday, Oct. 27 – which amounts to 14.2 percent of the county's 14,325 registered voters, said Cindy Ware, Llano County elections administrator Cindy Ware. 

Mon
27
Oct

PEC board rescinds voter history amendment

by Alexandria Randolph

Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board of Directors recently rescinded an amendment that made voter history available to board candidates, but some directors would like to see the issue revisited.

In a meeting Oct. 20, the board voted in favor of rescinding an amendment that would notate on a master list of members whether the member voted in last year’s election – but not which candidate they voted for or what method they used to vote. The rescinding vote passed with five approvals and two abstentions. The amendment to election policies and procedures was first passed on Sept. 15, 4-3.

James Oakley, one of the directors that initially approved of the amendment, said the notation of active voters would be more cost-effective for candidates. Oakley said since a change to policy in 2011, viable candidates can obtain mailing addresses for co-op members.

Mon
27
Oct

'Blessings in a Backpack' helps feed local hungry kids

Students worked fast but kept the mood fun. Left to right are Susanna Case, NHS vice president, Ariel Blaylock, NHS president, Christina Lykken, Sierra Brinkley, NHS secretary, and Matti Schuessler.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Students seemed a blur of action as they unpacked and sorted donated food before stuffing the goods in bags, getting the weekly “Blessings in a Backpack” donation ready to fill the tummies of hungry youngsters right here in the Highland Lakes region.

Last week, National Honor Society students from Faith Academy in Marble Falls participated in the Blessings in a Backpack program, which has been helping Marble Falls Independent School District elementary students since 2012.

“It’s a unique experience,” said sophomore Sydney Ward. “It feels good to help others and make a difference.”

Almost 30 students filled an assembly room at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Marble Falls ready and willing to make a difference. The non-perishable foods they pack up is meant to feed hungry students through the weekend. There are some 134 students helped each week who qualify for free and reduced meals.

Mon
27
Oct

Cottonwood Shores and HSB express dark sky pride

Contributed

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Modern-day humankind is no stranger to pollution: of the air, water, land; but what about light pollution?

The leadership of two Hill Country cities expressed desire in maintaining the beauty of their night skies through participation in International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) programs, which aim to reduce the “light pollution” from wayward city lighting.

The city councils of both Cottonwood Shores and Horseshoe Bay discussed IDA programs at their meetings less than a week apart.

Cottonwood Shores Councilman Roger Wayson broached the topic at the Oct. 16 meeting; On Oct. 21, Horseshoe Bay city manager Stan Farmer proposed that Horseshoe Bay compete for the International Dark Sky Community Award.

Dripping Springs is the first, and currently only, city in Texas to have won that award.

Thu
23
Oct

How I got help

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander

In one of her counseling sessions, "Charlie" drew a scarecrow as a representation of her internal being during her recovery.

by Alexandria Randolph

Few coworkers or friends who see her today would believe that “Charlie,” a successful, independent, single woman, had ever been the victim of a repetitive pattern of domestic abuse.

Nowadays, she is all about healing, but the road to recovery has been long, she admits. Thankfully, she said, it was lined with local organizations willing to help.

Charlie has spent several months in Open Door Recovery, a county drug and alcohol court program, extensive outpatient addiction treatment and counseling with Highland Lakes Crisis Center staff.

When asked if she's recovered, she said, “A little more every day. It’s all about the healing.”

For Charlie, that means breaking the cycle.

She actually suffered through three abusie relationships, each different from the previous.

Her first husband grew abusive only after they were married.

Thu
23
Oct

Marble Falls Council delays Gregg Ranch agreement

by Alexandria Randolph

Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 21, Marble Falls City Council tabled consideration of two agreements related to the development of a 300-acre subdivision just south of the US 281 intersection with TX 71.

In a unanimous vote during Tuesday’s meeting, Oct. 21, councilmen granted a two-week extension to Harvard Investments Inc. as they finalize their end of developmental agreements for a parcel of land within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“There are a lot of moving parts to get these two development agreements to line up,” said Ty Embrey, attorney with Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys at Law.

Broker Doug Moss of Moss Real Estate Partners said his client, Harvard Investments, feels the tract, currently known as the Gregg Ranch, is an ideal tract as far as the development they have in mind – a subdivision with 830 home sites. “They’ve worked in and around Austin for many years,” Moss said.

Thu
23
Oct

City prepares to meet increased water/wastewater needs

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander
A new 500,000-gallon water tank for the Marble Falls City Water Plant will be completed in December.

by Alexandria Randolph

The City of Marble Falls is moving forward with its Master Plan to expand water and wastewater services in the coming years -- starting with construction of a new water tank and the design for a new wastewater treatment pant.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Marble Falls City Council approved a design services contract with HDR, Inc. in the amount of $330,000 for future wastewater treatment plant improvements. City Engineer Eric Belaj said the plant is nearing its capacity.

“Our treatment plant is approved to treat .9 million gallons a day. Right now we are treating 90 percent of that,” he said.

Belaj said at the current wastewater treatment plant site, the city is limited to an expansion that would treat 1.5 million gallons per day.

“Going beyond 1.5 million would be cost prohibitive,” he said. “Our designers will be going to a look to see if we can go beyond 1.5, but, at this point, it doesn’t seem likely.”

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