Felony arrest made in Bay Pharmacy burglary

Horseshoe Bay Police Department investigators arrested a Burnet County man on charges of fraud in connection with the Bay Pharmacy burglary, which occurred in the early morning hours of March 18, officials said April 13 in a statement.

Investigators developed Russell Coty Powers, 30, of Burnet County as a person of interest after obtaining information from several pharmacies in the region regarding possible prescription drug abuse by Powers, according to the statement. 

Horseshoe Bay investigators arrested Powers April 8 at his Burnet County residence after getting an arrest warrant from Calvin Boyd, Burnet County Justice of the Peace, earlier this month.

He was released on $7,500 bond April 9, according to jail records.

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


Highland Lakes may see hail tonight

Burnet and Llano counties may expect severe thunderstorms and even hail on Monday and Tuesday, April 13-14.

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the south central Texas area.

“Isolated thunderstorms could approach severe levels late this afternoon and this evening across northern portions of south central Texas,” the outlook reported. “The primary weather threats will be for hail up to an inch in diameter and wind gusts to around 50 miles per hour, mainly north of a line from Rocksprings to Fredericksburg to Georgetown.”

Chance of thunderstorms on Monday night will be 20 percent, rising to 30 percent Tuesday. Temperatures will see highs of 82 degrees on Monday, lows of 60 on Monday night, and highs of 76 on Tuesday.


Anyone need a doggie kiss?

Matt Chlapek, Highland Lakes SPCA shelter manager, is the willing recipient of Jessie’s abundant “doggie kisses” Tuesday morning, April 7. Jessie has been at the SPCA shelter for almost five years.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Every now and then, even the best dog can go unnoticed, and therefore not adopted, even as other dogs come and go.

The years pass.

“She’s seen hundreds of other dogs come through here, so she probably feels this is her place,” said Matt Chlapek, Highland Lakes SPCA shelter manager on Tuesday, April 7.

While Chlapek spoke, Jessie drenched his face in doggie kisses.

Jessie, a yellow Lab mix, has been at the shelter since July, 2010, when she was a year and a half old. Christened “Clover” by her original owner, Jessie was eventually “re-branded” with her new name.

“Half the volunteers still call her Clover, and Matt [Chlapek] calls her ‘C.J.’, and she doesn’t seem to mind; she’s pretty flexible,” said Jeannette Murphy, volunteer and past Highland Lakes SPCA board president.

Like anyone, Jessie has her good qualities as well as things to work on.


C'Shores police chief resigns, under investigation

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Cottonwood Shores police chief has resigned, effective April 16, confirmed city officials Monday, April 13.

Cottonwood Shores Police Chief Tom Williams will continue to be on paid “administrative leave,” as he has been since Monday, April 6, until his resignation, confirmed Sheila Moore, city administrator/secretary, in an April 13 statement.

“In order to minimize any speculation that might affect the City of Cottonwood Shores in a negative manner, Williams...tendered his resignation,” she said.

The police chief is being investigated by the District Attorney’s office for a disturbance involving him and his fiancee.

In what has not yet been confirmed to be a connected matter, investigators in the District Attorney’s office, 33rd and 424th Judicial Districts (which include Llano County,) are probing an incident between Williams, 69, and his reported fiancee, Candace Meyer, 51, of Weatherford, Texas.


C'Shores police chief on 'administrative leave'

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Cottonwood Shores police chief was placed on “administrative leave,” starting Monday, April 6, officials confirmed Thursday, April 9.

Chief Tom Williams’ leave is for an indefinite period of time, said Sheila Moore, city administrator and city secretary.

Chris Bieze, Cottonwood Shores police officer, is the interim police chief, Moore said. 

Williams has been the police chief in the city since November, 2014.

The Highlander will post more information as it becomes available.  


Workday for new Habitat for Humanity home slated Saturday

Volunteers work on the last Habitat for Humanity home in January. Now, the organization is gearing up for the next home in Marble Falls.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Less than two months after completion of its last home in Marble Falls, the Highland Lakes chapter of Habitat for Humanity is gearing up for the next one.

Saturday, April 11 is the first workday for the third of a cluster of four homes on Avenue M in Marble Falls. It will be the 18th Habitat for Humanity home in the region.

Work is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., but folks are welcome to volunteer for as long as they like, said Trish Moncus, Habitat for Humanity board secretary, Tuesday, April 7.

“The first stage is framing the house and usually the day we get our biggest turnout of volunteers,” Moncus said. It is usually a mix of first-time volunteers and Habitat veterans.

Maintaining that volunteer momentum is “a challenge,” Moncus said. “We try to hit a sweet spot with the number of volunteers where everyone is busy.”

The initial rush of workers fits with the homebuilding strategy.


Woman charged in Deer Springs murder

by Alexandria Randolph

A woman was charged with murder after another was found deceased in a travel trailer on Friday, April 3.

On Friday at approximately 7 a.m., the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office received a request to check the welfare of Pamela Ross, 63, in the Deer Springs area west of Burnet. According to a Burnet County Sheriff’s Office release, Ross was found strangled on the floor of her fifth wheel trailer when deputies arrived.

Rhonda Carrell, 39, has been charged in Ross’ murder.

Deputies responded to the Inks Lake RV Park and attempted to make contact with Ross.

“When no contact was made, deputies were able to look through a window and observed a white female (laying) on the floor,” the release stated.  

Burnet Fire Department and EMS were called to the scene. Firefighters assisted with entry into the travel trailer, and assessed Ross and advised she was deceased.


Lampasas HS soccer team uninjured in wreck

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander
The Lampasas High School soccer team avoided injury in a three vehicle wreck on Thursday evening. Two occupants of a Dodge truck were transported with non-life threatening injuries.

by Alexandria Randolph

Two teens were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries and the Lampasas High School soccer team was uninjured following a three-vehicle accident involving a school bus on Thursday afternoon.

At 5:12 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to an accident at the railroad crossing on US 281 just north of Marble Falls city limits, where three-vehicle accident was reported with one vehicle in a rollover.

Burnet Volunteer Fire Department Spokesperson Daniel Dilworth said the accident occurred when a Lampasas ISD school bus carrying 28 high school soccer players was making a required stop in front of the railroad tracks while traveling southbound on the highway.

Dilworth said a blue Dodge Ram 1500 struck the back of the bus, and a black Ford Escape swerved to avoid the collision, rolling off the roadway to the right and flipping several times, coming to rest right side up.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.


Time running out to submit bluebonnet photos!

Time is running out to submit your family's bluebonnet photos for our upcoming issue of Lake Country Life! Send your submissions to

Please provide the following information to qualify for publication:

* Full names of folks in the photo
* Where the photo was taken 
* Who the photo credit should be attributed to
* Contact information, not for publication, but in case staff needs to contact.
Photos should also be unedited, high-resolution versions.

MFPD seek help in Walmart thefts

Marble Falls Police are seeking help identifying two women who are suspects in three separate theft incidents at Walmart on US 281 in Marble Falls.

The first two thefts occurred in the first week of March, in which a female suspect stole between $500 and $600 from the store by fraudulent means, police stated in a social media post.

The third theft occurred on the morning of March 18, in which the suspect stole drove a maroon passenger car, possibly a Ford Escort, from the scene.

Photos of the suspects are available on the Marble Falls Police Department Facebook page.

Those with information regarding the identity of these suspects may contact the Marble Falls Police Department at 830-693-3611, or may submit the information anonymously via the "Submit a Tip" button on the Facebook page.


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