News

Fri
02
Jan

CShores Police Dept. to host city’s first Town Hall meeting

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

For the first time in its existence, the Cottonwood Shores Police Department is hosting a Town Hall meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the library (4111 Cottonwood Drive).

“This is going to be a give-and-take thing: I’m going to ask for questions and we’re going to discuss any issues that come to the forefront,” said Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Tom Williams Friday, Jan. 2. “No subject is off limits.”

Williams said he has conducted similar Town Hall meetings at previous agencies, and it is part of his community policing paradigm. “Part of being a community cop is talking with people, giving people an opportunity to get things out of their system—whatever they don’t like, do like, issues they want addressed, what they’re afraid of," Williams said. "We can go forward better as a police department tied to the community.”

Wed
31
Dec

Flu season in full swing, classified as “widespread”

This image from the CDC shows the different features of an influenza virus.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Texas joined 35 other states with a classification of “widespread” influenza outbreak this year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, which was generated by epidemiologists for flu week 51, which ended Dec. 20.

Fifteen children (including two in Texas) have died from influenza or pneumonia since Oct. 1, reaching the “epidemic threshold” used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When 6.8 percent of pediatric deaths are from these causes, it is classified as an epidemic by the CDC.

“We’re an acute care walk in clinic, and I would say 35-40 percent of patients over the past 7-10 days have had the flu or flu-like symptoms,” said Dr. Chad Gray, MD, medical director of the Baylor Scott & White extended hours clinic in Marble Falls. He added “this is on par with my experiences over the past few flu seasons.”

Tue
30
Dec

No injuries in helicopter crash

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander

No one was injured at a helicopter crash on Monday afternoon, Dec. 28 at the Horseshoe Bay Airport.

by Alexandria Randolph

No one was hurt when a helicopter made a crash landing at the Horseshoe Bay Airport on Monday, Dec. 29.

At about 3:25 p.m., Horseshoe Bay Police, Fire Rescue and Marble Falls Area EMS were dispatched to the runway after dispatch received several calls regarding a helicopter crash.

Horseshoe Bay Police identified the pilot as Charles Deyhle Jr. of Horseshoe bay. There were no other occupants in the aircraft.

For the full story, see Wednesday's Llano Country Journal or Friday's Highlander.

Mon
29
Dec

Former city manager honored

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander
Former Marble Falls City Manager Ralph Hendricks embraces Janey Rives at a celebration of his recovery on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

by Alexandria Randolph

Friends and supporters of former Marble Falls city manager Ralph Hendricks gathered on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 23, to celebrate his recovery.

After a year-long recovery process, Hendricks is returning to his life in Marble Falls in the wake of an egregious head injury sustained in a accident on Oct. 12, 2013, while bicycling with a group on CR 340.

The group presented Hendricks with mementos of their support, including a signed racing jersey from the "Ride and Run for Ralph” at the start of the 60-mile Texas Cycling Challenge sponsored by Race Across America in March 2014. Rives said that Hendricks had participated in the challenge for the last two years.

“We were collecting things while you were recuperating,” said Bill Rives, executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Wed
24
Dec

Cottonwood Shores council denies payment to fire department

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department will not receive its monthly check from the city in January because of not filing a report required by its contract with the city, said the city’s mayor at the council meeting Thursday, Dec. 18.

“We asked for their financial report, as per their contract, and did not get it,” said Mayor Donald Orr. “We emailed them about it and they emailed back that someone would be here, and they’re not.”

No CSVFD representatives were present at the meeting.

CSVFD Chief Travis Hockensmith chose to let the public information officer respond to an information request. “Chief Hockensmith called city hall and requested to be placed on the agenda and was told he would be placed on the agenda,” said Janet Taylor-Carusi in an email Monday, Dec. 22. “The city then did not place the chief on the agenda and did not notify the fire department.”

Wed
24
Dec

Highland Lakes Birding & Wildflower Society ready to count Christmas birds

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Highland Lakes Birding & Wildflower Society is seeking volunteers, or “citizen scientists,” to participate in its annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) planned Friday, Jan. 2, in Burnet County’s circle, which is one of around 2,400 circles across the hemisphere.

More than 60,000 people across the country are expected participate in the 115th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, according to the Audubon Society.

The key to CBC citizen science is consistency: the same circle of area, at the same time of year, using the same methodology, said Sammye Childers, HLBWS member and compiler for the count this year. “I think people are starting to realize the importance of this documentation,” she said. It is the oldest citizen-scientist survey in the world, according to the Audubon Society.

Nine teams of around five people will cover the 177 square miles contained within the circle, which is 15 miles in diameter.

Mon
22
Dec

Aggravated assault suspect Rodriguez indicted

By Alexandria Randolph

Abel Rodriguez, 47, the suspect in an aggravated assault in Granite Shoals, was transported to a state facility on Friday, Dec. 12.

Rodriguez faces a parole violation, as well as local criminal charges for shooting at peace officers in Burnet County.

Rodriguez is accused of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted capital murder after he allegedly shot at officers in April.

He was indicted in June on three aggravated assault charges. District attorneys declined to prosecute on the charge of attempted capital murder.

Rodriguez was arrested at his residence in the 900 block of Kingswood Drive back on Sunday, April 13, following an altercation with Burnet County Sheriff's Deputies and a Texas DPS Trooper who were in the area in response to a hit-and-run accident.

Mon
22
Dec

Winners announced for 3rd annual ArtFrog Children’s Art Contest

Joey Ramirez, 9, shows his origami project he did for the contest, with which he won third place in his age group in 3D art Children submitted both 3D and 2D original pieces for the contest, which were then judged as separate categories.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The third floor of the Scott & White Specialty Clinic in Marble Falls is home to both a children’s artwork contest and the oncology unit, which might be a good fit.

“We’ve had some people comment about it because it’s something we haven’t done before,” said Kathy Daniels, Scott & White marketing director, on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Although the first-, second- and third-place winners have been decided in the 3rd annual ArtFrog Children’s Art Contest, people are invited to visit the temporary gallery and cast their vote by Jan. 4 for the grand prize winner, who will be chosen from among the 37 winning pieces, said ArtFrog director Heike Jost.

Seventy-two children, including many homeschoolers, participated in the contest, which was judged by ArtFrog teacher Herb Morehead. Children submitted a wide range of art, including drawings, paintings, batique, origami and embroidery.

Mon
22
Dec

Trial date set for former MFISD employee accused of six felonies

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

A trial date has been set for the former Marble Falls Independent School District employee indicted in August on six felony charges.

The result of a status hearing for 31-year-old Deavon DeLancey on Friday, Dec. 12, was to set a trial date for Feb. 9, 2015, in 424th District Judge Evan Stubbs’ courtroom.

In the meantime, both sides are working the case.

DeLancey’s defense lawyer is researching potential legal maneuvers for his client, possibly including a motion to suppress evidence, said Austin Shell of Shell & Shell law firm in Burnet and Marble Falls.

DeLancey, of Cottonwood Shores, was arrested June 5 after a lengthy investigation by Texas Rangers allegedly showed child pornography on his computer that revealed the abuse of a four-year-old girl.

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.

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