News

Fri
23
Jan

Murder suspect given bond restrictions

by Alexandria Randolph

The suspect of a double homicide that took place last fall was given new restrictions for his release on bond.

Following an indictment on Nov. 6 on charge of capital murder of multiple persons, Garrett James Ballard was released from Burnet County Jail on Dec. 8 on bond of $500,000.

The new restrictions imposed require him to report in person on a weekly basis to the 33rd, 424th Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department, submit to weekly drug and alcohol testing at his expense, maintain or actively seek gainful employment, submit to GPS electronic monitoring, maintain a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. curfew at his residence and remain in  Burnet County, in addition to many other prohibitions.

For the full story, see Tuesday’s Highlander.

Fri
23
Jan

MFISD Assistant Superintendent leaves district

Marble Falls ISD Assistant Superintendent Allen Roberts will be leaving to take a job in Alvin ISD come early February.

Marble Falls ISD officials said Friday that Alvin ISD had approved the hiring of Roberts in a Tuesday Board of Trustee meeting to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Roberts has served Marble Falls ISD for nine years in several positions, including Principal of Marble Falls Middle School and Marble Falls High School, and in the most recent six years as Assistant Superintendent of Support Services.

“We are always proud when one of our staff members advances their careers,” said Superintendent, Dr. Robert O’Connor, “but Allen’s positive attitude and leadership will be missed.”

Thu
22
Jan

Burnet County farmer uses contemporary business plan

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander

Hairston Creek Farm in Burnet County produces boxes of food each week for roughly 50 client families.

by Alexandria Randolph

A local farmer has succeeded with a business plan that is quickly gaining national popularity.

Gary Rowland of Hairston Creek Farm participates in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA,) a program that connects locally grown produce with consumers. Currently, there are CSA farms in Austin, Bertram and Dripping Springs.

Rowland and his wife began the program in 2000 after one of their farmers' market customers said she had heard of a similar farming situation in Colorado.

“We attended a conference in New York and visited with folks actively engaged in CSAs up there,” Rowland said.

Rowland now has about 50 regular client families who receive fresh, USDA certified organic vegetables raised on his farm.

“It’s similar to a subscription to a newspaper or magazine,” Rowland said.

Thu
22
Jan

Horseshoe Bay PD initiative leads to second felony arrest

by Alexandria Randolph

Horseshoe Bay Police arrest a second man on felony drug charges as a result of an enhanced patrol initiative.

During a traffic stop on Monday, Jan. 19, Kingsland resident Jonathan Johnson, 36, was arrested on charge of felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

A Horseshoe Bay Police officer stopped Johnson for a minor traffic violation and found him to be in possession of a “controlled substance along with several drug smoking devices,” said Assistant Chief Rocky Wardlow in a press release.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Thu
22
Jan

HSB council adds committees, discusses city financial issues

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Sporting new iPads, Horseshoe Bay City Council members added two new committees and discussed city finances at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Committees

City council members asked for residents to consider applying for participation in one of the two “advisory, single-purpose” committees added at the meeting. A Long Range Planning Committee, which was first suggested by former councilman Tom Schmersahl, was established to formulate a vision of the city’s future.

The council also added an Information and Communication Committee to help promote the city to realtors, builders and prospective residents. 

The deadline to submit an application to participate is Feb. 10. Applications are available at the city website (www.horseshoe-bay-tx.gov) or at City Hall.

Two council members will serve as liaisons between the committees and the council.

Thu
22
Jan

Homelessness mars the Highland Lakes

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Every Saturday – rain or shine – a van pulls into a wooded area behind Home Depot in Marble Falls and a horn honks. People from a city in the cedar make their way to Reverend George Perry’s van, where he or other volunteers offer them food.

Many people have no idea they’re there...or in the baseball dugouts across from the Helping Center on Broadway, between mattresses at the mattress store, in cars, or, most commonly, on the couches, floors and spare rooms of family and friends.

Although statistics from the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) show the prevalence of homelessness on the decline both nationally, as well as in Texas, Perry doesn’t see the problem getting better in the Highland Lakes.

Mon
19
Jan

Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity working on four new homes

Parents Rafael and Estella Vila get their kids Jean, 7, Emmanuel, 2, and Gianni, 4, to sit for a family portrait in front of their future residence on Saturday, Jan. 17. The Vila family hopes to move into their Habitat for Humanity home on Avenue M in Marble Falls by late next month.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Future homeowners are sweating right alongside Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity volunteers as they work to build a grouping of four homes on Avenue M in Marble Falls.

Rafael and Estella Vila are hoping to move into their new home at the end of February or in early March. The family of five includes three young boys ranging in age from 2 to 7 years. On an unseasonably warm Saturday, Jan. 17, the two oldest youngsters spent hours happily digging in the dirt in the front yard.

“We’re pirates, digging for dinosaur bones,” agreed both boys. Estella thought they might be preparing for careers as archaeologists.

The groundbreaking for the Vila home was held back in October, 2013, and the structure is looking more like a home every day. 

“All that’s holding us up is the finishing work, which is the most difficult part,” Estella said.

Mon
19
Jan

CShores votes to join Dark Sky, discusses CDBG grant expenditures

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

At the Cottonwood Shores City Council meeting on Thursday, Jan. 15, officials discussed just how the city will spend a $275,000 grant, decided to join the International Dark-Sky Association, dealt with fire department issues and accepted the resignation of the head of its parks and recreation commission.

Toward the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Donald Orr displayed the January check allotted for the Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department (CSVFD.) “The check is written, they’ll get the check as soon as we have the balance sheet” running through Sept. 30, 2014, he said. “It’s not that we don’t want to pay them, we just need some financial information.”

Travis Hockensmith, fire chief for the department, said Jan. 6 at the CSVFD board meeting that the city will receive a full financial audit for 2014 in mid-February, and continued to assert the city does not have a contractual right to withhold funds.

Fri
16
Jan

Horseshoe Bay PD initiative leads to felony arrest

Matthew Connors

by Alexandria Randolph

A Horseshoe Bay patrol initiative led to a felony drug arrest last week, Horseshoe Bay Police said.

On Tuesday, Jan. 6, Horseshoe Bay Police stopped a vehicle for a minor traffic infraction and in result arrested two individuals. The driver was arrested on charge of driving with license invalid with a previous conviction. Marble Falls resident Matthew Scott Connors, 27, a passenger in the vehicle was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance between one and four grams, felon in possession of a firearm, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and misdemeanor theft.

Connors remains in Burnet County Jail on bond of $28,000.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Fri
16
Jan

MFPD searches for Walmart theft suspects

Contributed

Marble Falls Police are searching for the suspects of several thefts from Walmart over the holidays. To see more photos of the suspects, visit Marble Falls Police Department Facebook page.

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Police are seeking public help in identifying eight suspects of three separate thefts from Walmart.

Police said one of the thefts occurred in the earl morning hours on Christmas Day and another on New Years Day. Seven suspects are sought in connection with the crimes, five individuals from the Christmas Day theft and two from the New Year’s Day theft.

“These people aren’t necessarily local,” said Marble Falls Sgt. Trisha Ratliff, “that’s why we’re posting these on Facebook. These acts were coordinated. They went in with a specific purpose and plan... We don’t know if they’re connected.”

The suspects of the Christmas Day theft were described as four black or Hispanic males and one possible black or Hispanic female. One of the men was of average build with an orange visor, and another wore a black hoodie with a gold chain.

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

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