News

Thu
11
Sep

Llano eagles will be building a new home

Contributed by Cottonwood Photography
The eagle pair get comfortable in their Llano nest in January, 2014. The photographer, Jess Thompson, has been observing the eagle pair for more than 10 years.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The well-known eagle pair who had a nest along Texas 29 near the Llano River will be building a new home this fall after their nest collapsed about a month ago because of a combination of a rotted tree trunk, a heavy nest and a windy day, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department official said Friday, Sept. 5. People have traveled from all over the country to see the eagle’s nest.

“It’s not their first rodeo: this was the third tree I know of they’ve had a nest in,” said Dale Schmidt, TPWD wildlife technician assigned to Llano and San Saba counties. The first nest fell with a limb about ten years ago; the second nest, which was also near the road and river, was abandoned around October 2010.

“It’s just part of being a bald eagle,” Schmidt said.

Mon
08
Sep

Parks get unforeseen ‘blessing’ In EDC’s $42,000 contribution

by Alexandria Randolph

Community projects got a boost Monday, Sept. 8, when the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation contributed $42,000 in funding to the Parks and Recreation Department.

“I was approached by Christian Fletcher, executive director of the EDC. They had money left over in their budget for community leverage fund,” said Robert Moss, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, who added he was not initially aware of how much the EDC intended to give.

The projects Moss proposed the EDC Board of Directors assist in funding included lighting at Westside Park, a sidewalk at the Johnson Park parking lot and assisting in the construction of a second soccer field at the Greens.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
08
Sep

Marble Falls woman barks for parks

by Alexandria Randolph

A Marble Falls woman is campaigning for the creation of a city dog park.

Megan Klaeger, a former New Yorker, began her mission to establish a city dog park three weeks ago after moving back to Texas from the Big Apple in May.

“I lived in New York for six years and had a dog, and we would go to the dog park all the time,” Klaeger said. “When I moved back here, I adopted a dog from a local shelter. She has a ton of energy.”

Klaeger said that she would like to be able to take her new pup, Jo, to a local dog hangout to make new four-legged and two-legged friends, but there are none in Marble Falls. She decided to try to establish one.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support,” Klaeger said.

Klaeger said dog park supporters may sign the petition for Jo’s Dog Park at Pet Supply Plus or by emailing marblefallsdogpark@gmail.com to join the mailing list.

Mon
08
Sep

Highland Lakes Elementary’s top summer readers splash teachers, principal

Five of the six top readers at Highland Lakes Elementary got first pick of prizes. From left to right are Brenda Mata, Lisandro Mata, Liliana Mata, Isaaih Solano and Carlos Barajas. Not pictured is Joel Ortiz, 2nd grade.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Kids don’t have to be asked twice to throw water in their teachers’ faces. They were given such an opportunity at Highland Lakes Elementary School last week and their teachers were ready and even willing to take the brief punishment because it was for a good cause.

Six students who got to splash their teachers and HLE Principal Michael Pittard on Friday, Sept. 5, had earned such a privilege by reading the most books in their grade levels and by turning in summaries of what they read over the summer.

Friday’s slippery scene was the result of the school’s reading program and a “fun incentive” added for students to encourage them to keep reading over the long summer months.

 “It’s the kick-off year for this program,” said Sara Dutch, reading specialist at HLE.

Mon
08
Sep

From stopsign to volunteer time: MF man donates time and money to Helping Center

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Volunteer and business owner Leonard Strickler, third from left, donated $668 to the Marble Falls Helping Center on Wednesday. He is pictured here with fellow volunteers, director Sam Pearce, left, and board president Martin McLean, second from left.

by Alexandria Randolph

An accidental traffic violation led to a long-time philanthropic involvement for Marble Falls resident Leonard Strickler.

Strickler, who donated $668 to the Marble Falls Helping Center Wednesday, Sept. 3, has been donating his time to the program for two years.

It began with a ticket.

“I accidentally ran a stop sign I knew pretty well. When you get a ticket in Meadowlakes, they require 10 hours of community service,” he said.

Strickler began volunteering at the Marble Falls Helping Center, a place where he and his wife had often considered doing volunteer work, but never had the time.

“We honestly wanted to come in. That event created the time to do it,” he said.

Upon beginning his work at the center, Strickler was taken aback by the efforts of Helping Center volunteers.

“It’s incredible. People come and volunteer their time, and it’s real work. I was touched,” he said.

Mon
08
Sep

Cottonwood Shores looks to grow through more taxes, development

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

To make ends meet, Cottonwood Shores needs to attract new growth into the city and increase property taxes, an official said at a regular city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Council members unanimously approved the property tax increase to $.5438 per $100 property valuation, which essentially amounts to a $26.60 increase for every $100,000 worth of property. (The previous rate was $.5172 per $100 valuation.)

Property owners can expect to see the tax increase reflected in their October statements.

Although Mayor Donald Orr conceded that not everyone in the city is eager to grow, city officials are encouraging economic growth, and, along with it, new residents, developers and businesses.

Sat
06
Sep

Brother, sister die in another deadly accident on US 183 near Oakalla

A brother and sister believed to be on their way from college to their home in Round Rock died in another horrific accident on US 183 late Friday njear Oakalla.

Burnet County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead said the two died at the scene.

The deaths are the third traffic fatality in the area in less than a week and there have been several others on US 183 in recent months.

A 24-year-old Kempner man died early Monday (Sept. 1) when the car is was riding in failed to negotiate a curve on CR 223 and struck a tree.

See Tuesday's Highlander for the complete story.

Fri
05
Sep

Christ-Yoder makes funding plea

by Alexandria Randolph

The Christ-Yoder Animal Shelter may soon have to close its doors if donations continue to decline.

Founded in 1985, the shelter has taken in 38,954 animals from the Burnet and Llano county area, said charter member Lin Christ.

“We are an open admission facility. We take in all animals brought to us,” she said. “We also are a quarantine facility for both counties.”

Christ said the facility’s donations and volunteer rates have dropped significantly over the last few years.

“Right now we have exhausted our funds,” she said. “Our donations have dwindled, membership in the Humane Society has dwindled. If we don’t get people and our membership more involved, we may have to close our doors.”

Christ said the facility is committed to staying open one more year at minimum, and if necessary, dip into endowment funds that were set up at the establishment of the organization.

Thu
04
Sep

Way Finding Manual deserves continued discussion, city says

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Marble Falls Director of Development Services Caleb Kraenzel presents a graphic to illustrate a possible city welcoming sign.

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Council plans to continue its discussion about a Way Finding Manual – a plan to direct visitors toward city assets like historic Main Street and the parks.

The decision was made following an inconclusive discussion during the council’s meeting Tuesday evening, Sept. 2. The Way Finding Manual was developed by city staff members at the direction of the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission.

Marble Falls Director of Development Services Caleb Kraenzel said the staff was tasked to create a way-finding system that would not exceed an expense of $50,000. The plan includes information kiosks, several different signs – the largest of which, a vehicular directional sign standing 12 feet tall to be viewed by highway motorists – banners for the light posts on Main Street, and event banners for annual festivities such as Lakefest, the Walkway of Lights and Sculpture on Main.

Thu
04
Sep

Victim of plane crash identified: Investigation ongoing

by Alexandria Randolph

The young man who died in a single-engine airplane that went down just east of the Burnet County line on Saturday morning, Aug. 23, has been identified as 24-year-old pilot John Sasser, of Cedar Park, Texas.

The incident was also responsible for igniting a brush fire that burned some 30 acres.

Initial reports are that the pilot may have been flying too low and struck a power line or trees, according to Travis County ESD 1 Chief Donnie Norman, who added the investigation is being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)

All three entities will continue independent investigations, per protocol, Norman said.

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