News

Fri
19
Dec

Burnet escapee recaptured

By James Walker

A former Burnet man who was serving a nine-year sentence in a federal prison in Bastrop was recaptured early Tuesday, Dec. 16, after escaping from the facility Sunday evening. Dec. 14.

Jimmy Morrisett, who was found guilty of defrauding investor clients of almost $7 million in an Oklahoma federal court last year, was found in an abandoned home in Burnet at about 2:30 a.m., a Federal Bureau of Prisons official said.

Morrisett was discovered missing from the minimum security Satellite Prison Camp Bastrop at about 10:15 p.m. Sunday, according to an official statement released Monday afternoon.

The prison did not say how long Morrisett might have been missing before his absence was discovered.

Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson said his department received a call from Bastrop prison officials at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, alerting them to the fact that Morrisett had escaped.

Mon
15
Dec

Residents, Scouts pay respects with wreaths

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

In a solemn ceremony on a foggy morning Saturday, Dec. 13, around 50 people gathered at Lakeland Hills Memorial Park in Burnet to lay Christmas wreaths at around 120 veterans’ graves as part of the Wreaths Across America tradition.

The tradition began at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., in 1992 and has since grown into a national holiday custom.

The Boy Scouts of America, Troop 284 in Marble Falls, hosted the event.

“The kids really get a lot out of this as a community service project,” said Cassandra Chambliss, adult adviser for the Boy Scouts Venturing Crew 284. Chambliss, from a “Navy family,” said she cannot imagine losing her child in war.

A few Girl Scouts and members of the Christian Motorcycle Association were also on hand to continue the tradition.

Mon
15
Dec

HSBPOA eyeing Declaration changes, playground fixes, lightouse, more

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Horseshoe Bay Property Owners’ Association board of directors on Wednesday, Dec. 10, discussed changes in store for the organization’s long-standing Declaration of Reservations, which can only be changed every 10 years.

The deadline for amendments to the document is Dec. 31, otherwise it automatically renews Jan. 1, 2015, said Nancy Ritter, HSBPOA general manager.

Ritter drafted an explanation that will be added to the Declaration document that explains the duplication of duties between the city and the HSBPOA.

Prior to the city’s incorporation in 2005, the HSBPOA was responsible for lot mowing, median maintenance, animal control, litter and street drainage, among others. Although the city now has these responsibilities, they remain in the Declaration, which is given to new residents. “We still get calls” from residents seeking to resolve the confusion, Ritter said.

Mon
15
Dec

G'Shoals housekeeper arrested on felony theft charges

Jennie Rae Hamilton

by Alexandria Randolph

A Granite Shoals woman was arrested on felony theft charges after police suspected her of stealing from an employer.

Jennie Rae Hamilton, 33, was arrested at her home on Thursday, Dec. 11 following multiple thefts that occurred from several Horseshoe Bay residents. According to Horseshoe Bay Police, investigators identified and recovered numerous items from a local pawn shop that were reported as stolen.

Hamilton was employed as a housekeeper by each of the theft victims, police said. The value of the items recovered have an estimated combined value in excess of $15,000, upgrading the charge to a state jail felony. If convicted, Hamilton faces a punishment of up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Investigators request that anyone in Horseshoe Bay who employed Hamilton to contact the police department so that additional information might be obtained and other potential victims can be identified.

Fri
12
Dec

Dollar General in CShores provokes mixed reactions

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

A big “SOLD” sign is now draped over the “for sale” sign along FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores, and several bulldozer operators have started clearing the property to make way for the new Dollar General in town.

“We have received the construction permit check, so all is a go now,” said Mayor Donald Orr in an email Wednesday, Dec. 10. He said he will wait to comment further until after his announcement at the next city council meeting Dec. 18, at 6 p.m.

The store will be located on the north side of FM 2147, east of On the Rocks.

Orr has stated previously in a story about growth in the city that new businesses like the Dollar General, a used car dealership and businesses moving into the strip mall at 4005 W FM 2147 in the future are good for the city because it will bring in more income on the city’s tax roll.

Not everyone is thrilled about the new store in town, however.

Tue
09
Dec

Capital murder suspect released on bond Monday

by Alexandria Randolph

A man accused of double homicide in Burnet County was released from jail on bond Monday, Dec. 8.

According to county records, Garrett James Ballard, 21, of Burnet County was released on $500,000 bond on Monday after being incarcerated since August 19 on charge of capital murder of multiple persons.

State District Judge Allan Garrett set bond at $2 million on Wednesday, Oct. 8, for Ballard, who is accused of killing two friends with a high-powered rifle. Bond was lowered to $500.000 after a hearing.

Ballard is accused of the killings of Travis Fox and Elijah Adam Benson. According to an arrest affidavit, Ballard reportedly told investigators on the scene the day Fox, 26, and Benson, 18, were killed that he shot the pair while all three were under the influence of a hallucinogen.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Mon
08
Dec

Six hospitalized following two-car collision

by Alexandria Randolph

A two-car collision on US 281 on Saturday evening sent six to the hospital with “incapacitating injuries,” said Marble Falls Police.

Marble Falls Capt. Glenn Hanson said the accident occurred just after 7 p.m. in the 900 block of south US 281, just south of the Max Starcke Dam Road intersection, when the driver of a Honda Accord traveling in the outside lane “saw a box in the road, swerved to miss it, lost control and crossed the center line.”

Hanson said the vehicle traveled perpendicular to traffic and was T-boned by an oncoming 2004 Saturn SUV traveling in the northbound inside lane.

Hanson said a 58 year-old man, 58 year-old woman, 67 year-old man and 69 year-old woman in the Honda were all transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge. The 67-year-old male, the driver, was transported by ground ambulance, another by Air Evac 49 and the two remaining were transported by Starflight 2.

Mon
08
Dec

Robot ready for use by MFHS CTE program

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

All that stands between Marble Falls High School engineering students and learning how to operate a high-tech FANUC robot is Christmas break and the teacher’s online certification exam.

Randy Guffey, aerospace engineering teacher, completed his on-site training at Tech-Labs. Now he just lacks a few online courses followed by an online exam, he said Thursday, Dec. 4. “Once I’m certified, I’ll be able to certify students,” Guffey explained, adding that he’ll take the exam within the next few weeks.

The training was “challenging but well-done,” he said. “They want you to go away from training with the skills to get started and go from there.”

Every student in Guffey’s aerospace engineering class was excited about getting their paws on the FANUC controls in January.

Mon
08
Dec

Lakeside mayors entangled with invasive weed issue

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The leadership of several lakeside communities are in the process of drafting proposals to take advantage of the Lower Colorado River Authority's $50,000 matching-grant offer to help battle invasive water weeds.

Multiple cities are working in advance of a Jan. 15 submission deadline, seeking help from the LCRA to control Milfoil and other lake weeds once the early summer months arrive.

A “problem”?

The extent of the “problem” posed by invasive water weeds is a matter of perspective, depending upon who's talking.

There’s no question that water weeds present access problems for boats, and can tear up a boat motor irreparably, said Marble Falls Mayor George Russell, who added he also gets complaints from residents about not being able to swim in the lake.

Mon
08
Dec

CVS eyeing Marble Falls move

by Alexandria Randolph

City officials and a development firm are looking forward tentatively to the construction of a CVS Pharmacy at the corner of US 281 and Gateway North Drive (across from Starbucks.) Meanwhile, the plan is pending approval by Gateway Park Property Owners Association (POA.)

Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge said a developer has already approached the city and POA with plans for the building.

“They’ve presented us with a preliminary site plan for discussion purposes only,” he said. “We’ve discussed the issues related to traffic.”

Hodge said the city has already approved the right of way for the development, but the developer has not begun the formal approval process for the building since it is awaiting approval from the Gateway Park POA, he said.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

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