News

Thu
25
Sep

Lighthouse future dimming

The Horseshoe Bay Lighthouse, which sits on the Lake LBJ shoreline, is a ten minute walk down a two-track gravel road. The HSB POA says it needs $50,000 from the community to restore the structure.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Factions of city leadership have varied viewpoints regarding funding to keep a functioning Horseshoe Bay Lighthouse, which one organization calls an “iconic symbol of the community.”

The Friends of the Horseshoe Bay Lighthouse committee and the Horseshoe Bay Property Owner’s Association board of directors first requested help from city leadership this spring. A fundraising gala is also planned for next month.

At the most recent meeting Tuesday, Sept. 16, Dianne Jones addressed a full council in public commentary, addressing the need for help funding repairs to the lighthouse.

“The lighthouse is a symbol of Horseshoe Bay that you have featured on the city’s website,” Jones said. “It’s there for citizens to enjoy.”

Thu
25
Sep

'Traveling Trunks' offers museums connections, outreach to students

Falls on the Colorado Museum board members and San Saba County Historical Museum representatives gathered outside the historic Marble Falls building Tuesday. Lynn Blankenship, Mikie Bishop and Celia Bell from the SSCHM joined Sharon Spencer, Ely Banuet Rodriguez and Darlene Oostermeyer from the Falls the Colorado Museum.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The leaders of small-town historical museums sometimes have to learn from each other to survive and flourish. In this spirit, Falls on the Colorado Museum board members hosted representatives from the San Saba County Historical Museum (SSCHM) on Tuesday, Sept. 23, to discuss the “Traveling Trunks” program and the possibility of launching one at the Marble Falls museum.

The Traveling Trunks program originated with the SSCHM, and proceeded through a partnership with its local library and funding from a Tocker Foundation grant.

And, although the two museums are different in size and their locations, both survive on donations of artifacts, time and money.

Wed
24
Sep

Bluebonnet Button Club attracts collectors from all over Texas

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

It’s a niche hobby, but collecting unique buttons from historic times into the modern day is fascinating to some folks with an eye for beauty and appreciation of history. The eleven members of the Bluebonnet Button Club are hosting a regional meeting of aficionados and button dealers Saturday, Sept. 27.

“It’s a time for button friends to get together and buy buttons, trade and talk,” said Janet Graves, club member and event organizer from Marble Falls. Button collectors have both a state and nationwide organization, along with an official blue book of values.

Tue
23
Sep

Llano County authorities identify wanted man

Rocky Drew McIntosh

by Alexandria Randolph

The Llano County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect wanted in a vehicular assault incident that occurred on Sunday, Sept. 21.

Rocky Drew McIntosh, 36, is wanted on charge of aggravated assault of a peace officer after allegedly backing a stolen truck into Sunrise Beach Police Chief Laurie Brock during a traffic stop.

McIntosh has been described by authorities as a white male, approximately six feet tall, and 200 pounds. He has brown hair and was last seen wearing black shorts, a baseball cap and carrying a dark colored backpack.

He has a history of resisting arrest and assault of a police officer, but does not appear to have any local connections, said a Llano County Sheriff’s Office news release.

For more on the story, see Wednesday's Llano County Journal or Friday's Highlander.

Mon
22
Sep

Growing pains evident in MFISD transportation department

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Even as the Marble Falls Independent School District added two new buses to its fleet last week, the department is still confronting equipment that is becoming outdated and in need of repair or replacement, according to discussions at the MFISD board of trustees meeting Monday, Sept. 15.

“I’m tickled to death about the new buses,” said George Hamilton, director of transportation. He said that a few routes are nearing their maximum capacity of students.

“Our bus fleet is aging: the fleet drives between 550,000-600,000 miles each year,” he added. The bus fleet has 53 buses that carry between 1,700 and 1,800 students each day, in addition to events and field trips. “We cover 265 square miles a day,” he said.

A new bus costs around $90,000, and buying refurbished buses is not a viable option, Hamilton said.

Mon
22
Sep

Horseshoe Bay council passes budget, discusses FEMA, development

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

At the Horseshoe Bay City Council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 16, a city budget was passed with the same property tax rate as last year, members discussed the FEMA floodplain study, extended the deadline for a proposed strip mall and focused on the possibility of a long-range planning committee.

“It took six months to put the budget together, now it’s up to staff to stay on budget,” said Mayor Steve Jordan. Residents will continue paying $0.25 per $100,000 property valuation. City officials expect more than $18.9 million in expenditures and more than $12.9 million in revenue, according to the budget, which is posted on the city's website.

The 2015 Fiscal Year plan includes more money for a technology initiative, for health insurance for city employees and $70,000 more for the ongoing water reuse effluent project, according to council discussions.

Mon
22
Sep

Authorities still searching for suspect at-large

by Alexandria Randolph

Multiple law enforcement agencies are still searching for a man suspected of stealing a pickup truck and committing vehicular assault against the Sunrise Beach Police Chief on Sunday, Sept. 21.

Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn said Sheriff’s Deputies as well as Texas DPS Troopers, Sunrise Beach Police and Texas Rangers have been searching for the man for the last 24 hours, and continue to search.

It all started on Sunday morning just after 9 a.m., the Sheriff said, when a black, two-door pickup truck was reported stolen from the Speedy Stop convenience store in Kingsland.

Sunrise Beach Police Chief Laurie Brock, spotted a vehicle of the same description on RR 2233 at 9:45 a.m.

“She stopped him and was getting out of her car and he backed into her car door,” Blackburn said. “She sustained cuts and bruises.”

The suspect took off, and authorities began the search.

Sat
20
Sep

Two women sent to hospital after charter bus flips their car

The McLaughlin's from Meadowlakes comfort the charter bus driver at the accident scene Saturday.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Two women, ages 69 and 85, were involved in a car accident Saturday evening, Sept. 20, and one was still hospitalized two days later receiving treatment for injuries received when their SUV was struck by a charter bus traveling on TX 71 near the U.S. 281 intersection.

Both the bus and car were heading eastbound when a witness said the car suddenly veered across the median in front of the bus.

"The bus driver laid on her horn," said witness Jerry McLaughlin, of Meadowlakes. "They were oblivious to the bus. The bus driver did nothing wrong," he said, adding it seemed as if the car’s driver had missed her turn and was attempting a U-turn.

Thu
18
Sep

Murder victim’s family speaks out

Nicole Lynn McKee

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

“For me as a mom, there is a hole in my heart and soul. Nikki wasn’t just my beloved daughter, but also my best friend and soul mate.” These are the tender words of a mom in mourning.

Nicole Lynn McKee, 40, was murdered in January 2013, allegedly after suffering a beating at the hands of her boyfriend. Her daughter, now just four years old, witnessed her mother’s murder.

It was a brutal assault that lasted three days, said her step-grandmother, Caryl Calsyn, of Marble Falls.

She, Nikki’s mother (Linda Calsyn) and Nikki’s brother (Andrew Calsyn,) who also both live in Marble Falls, will travel to a Travis County courtroom next week to face James Palacio, the accused murderer. He was Nikki’s boyfriend at the time and father of their daughter.

Although she spent most of the last three months of her life in Marble Falls, Nikki died in Mustang Ridge, south of Austin.

Thu
18
Sep

VFW goes smoke free: Grand Reopening Oct. 17

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Post Canteen Manager Tom Fox and Former Post Commander Lloyd Crippen said the environment of the canteen has improved immensely after it became a non-smoking establishment.

by Alexandria Randolph

In honor of its 40th Anniversary, the Marble Falls Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10376 got a major facelift.

“We’ve totally redecorated and repainted,” said Former Post Commander Lloyd Crippen, and added that the biggest change for the post is “we’ve gone non-smoking.”

Crippen said the post is also starting a live music program, and will celebrate all these changes by hosting a grand reopening on Oct. 17.

“We’re trying to get a new demographic to come check us out,” Crippen said. “It’s a great place with great people.”

Canteen Manager Tom Fox describes the post canteen as “a tavern of loyal Americans exchanging ideas,” and added, “We want our smoking friends to still come. We have tables outside.”

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

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