News

Thu
29
Jan

Boat wreck puts one woman in critical condition

by Alexandria Randolph

One was injured and another under investigation after a boat wreck in Kingsland, Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 28.

According to reports by dispatch officers, a boat accident occurred at roughly 2:50 p.m. in the 500 block of Crestwood near the intersection of Wildflower.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Capt. Cody Hatfield said a speedboat carrying a couple in their early to mid 40s collided with a private dock on an arm of the Colorado River on the Llano County side along Crestwood Drive.

Hatfield said the crash is still under investigation and officials “haven’t come to a final conclusion” on why the boat wrecked.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Thu
29
Jan

Drum Café inspires togetherness in students through music

Drum Café performers Alseny Sylla, left, and A.J. Flores lead students with African drums Wednesday, Jan. 28. Flores played a dun-dun while Sylla played a djembe.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

When the fifth-graders from all four Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) elementary campuses were handed their goatskin-clad djembe drums, no one had to tell them to start pummeling away: the Marble Falls Middle School gym immediately filled with music and smiles.

Members of the Drum Café, an organization that uses interactive drumming to increase cooperation and togetherness, visited 10 campuses across MFISD and Burnet Consolidated School District in just three days.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, it was MFMS’ turn.

The Drum Café, which has South African roots, spends about two-thirds of its energy bringing its interactive drumming program to companies (including Fortune 500 companies), church and civic groups to encourage team-building among groups.

Around one-third of their time is spent in schools around the nation.

Thu
29
Jan

Paulist Fathers president visits Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay Mayor Steve Jordan chatted with Father Eric Andrews, Paulist Fathers president, and Councilman Craig Haydon, Tuesday evening, Jan. 27.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Members of St. Paul the Apostle Chapel in Horseshoe Bay welcomed the president of the Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic society of missionary priests, Tuesday evening, Jan. 27 at the Finn Family Life Center.

Father Eric Andrews, C.S.P. spoke to members of the congregation and visited with representatives of Horseshoe Bay leadership, including Mayor Steve Jordan, Councilman Craig Haydon, and City Manager Stan Farmer.

Andrews, who is newly-elected as president of the society, said he has been visiting Texas churches around the Austin area, including preaching to University of Texas students.

Andrews has an eclectic biography, including working with Jim Henson and the Muppets for three years prior to entering the priesthood and visiting with the Dalai Lama last October.

His work with the Muppets seemed to segue into the priesthood.

Thu
29
Jan

HSB POA discusses board candidates, finances, golf tourney

Prices on crypts and niches at the Horseshoe Bay Mausoleum were raised by the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners' Association when it met Jan 21.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Meeting on Wednesday morning, Jan. 21, the Horseshoe Bay Property Owners’ Association (HSB POA) discussed finances, named three candidates for two spots coming open on the seven-member board, elaborated on Horseshoe Bay Lighthouse restoration fund-raising efforts and raised prices on crypts and niches at its mausoleum.

Finances

Treasurer Reagan Lambert questioned a shortfall in the amount budgeted for maintenance and supplies at Quail Point Lodge. More than $6,000 is being spent, which is almost twice as much as budgeted ($3,458,) he said.

Thu
29
Jan

CShores boat ramp ready for Highland Lakes boaters

Residents have already been using the boat ramp area. A Cottonwood Shores resident visits the dock near the ramp Tuesday, Jan. 27, to check his trotline.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Perfect boating weather marked the opening of Cottonwood Shores’ public boat ramp, giving Highland Lakes boaters another place to launch their vessels along Lake Marble Falls.

City leadership held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a sunny Tuesday, Jan. 27, to celebrate the opening of the boat ramp.

The boat ramp project cost more than $189,000, $142,127 of federal funds, plus a 25 percent contribution from the city ($47,390).

The boat ramp was part of a Texas Parks & Wildlife grant the city obtained 2 years ago, said Mayor Donald Orr. The boat ramp project went on the backburner for more than a year while the city finished up other park projects, he said. “This is the last of our park grant; the other projects had to be finished by last summer, and this one has to be finished by the end of the month,” Orr said.

Mon
26
Jan

Ripple concussion suit arguments aired in federal court in Austin

Blake Ripple and his mom, Lori, were in U.S. District Court in Austin Friday, Jan. 23, as their lawyer and MFISD’s lawyer made oral arguments in front of a federal judge.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

In a case that could have implications beyond the state of Texas, lawyers for both sides in the Blake Ripple v. Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) concussion lawsuit made oral arguments in front of a federal judge Friday, Jan. 23, at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin.

Arguments will resume in late February or early March. The judge deciding the outcome of the case said it would take at least another month afterward for him to reach a decision.

“Somebody isn’t going to be happy with my decision, but that’s the way it is,” said Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel Ezra from the bench.

“I don’t have my mind made up in this case,” he said, adding that even though he has a full caseload, he will “take time to carefully review the arguments” of both sides.

Mon
26
Jan

MFAVFD holds fundraiser; shares benefits with first responder

by Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department is granting a portion of donations from an upcoming fundraiser to a local family.

Pizza Hut at 1000 US 281 in Marble Falls will be donating 20 percent of sales, including dine-in, carry-out and delivery orders on Thursday, Jan. 29 to Marble Falls Area VFD. Customers must have a fundraiser flyer to have their sale counted in the donation, and must spend a minimum of $10.

Marble Falls Capt. George Tennison said the department will be donating a portion of proceeds to the family of Robert Randle, a Granite Shoals Firefighter and Marble Falls Area EMS Paramedic whose brother Bryan Randle, 24, was killed in a motor vehicle accident in Austin on Jan. 19.

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.

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