News

Thu
09
Oct

Horseshoe Bay candidates debate issues

Horseshoe Bay city council candidates debated issues at a forum Wednesday. From left to right are incumbent David Pope, planning and zoning commissioner Jerry Gray and challenger Donald Beeman.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Three of four candidates for the three open seats on the Horseshoe Bay City Council debated city issues before an audience of local citizens and the existing council during a forum Wednesday, Oct. 8, hosted by the property owner’s association.

Tom D’Arcy, president of the Horseshoe Bay Proper Owner's Association (HSBPOA) board of directors, moderated the event. He explained that candidate Craig Haydon (current mayor pro-tem) was unable to attend because of a grandchild on the way.

The candidates featured in the debate – incumbent David Pope, planning and zoning commissioner Jerry Gray and challenger Donald Beeman – did not know in advance any of the questions they would be asked.

Most of the questions were written by audience members.

Each candidate had his chance to delineate his individual qualifications for a city council post, and each emphasized community involvement and experience running businesses.

Thu
09
Oct

Breast Cancer Awareness Month stirs emotions, advice

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

A diagnosis of breast cancer is shocking and difficult, but survival can lead to profoundly positive changes in a person’s life.

“I don’t want to gloss over it, because women die from breast cancer, but the majority of us survive if it’s found early,” said Susan Bacon, 59, director of the Hill Country Memorial (HCM) Breast Center. Survival rates, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) range from 93 percent (Stage 1) to 22 percent (Stage 4, meaning the cancer has spread to other organs.)

Bacon said being diagnosed was a shocking experience: “But, because of my position here I never had the ‘why me’ questions we see in many cancer patients. I already knew it could happen to anyone: 75-85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history, which I didn’t either.”

Bacon’s co-worker, Emily Ottmers, 36, is also now a breast cancer survivor. The pair have leaned on one another for support.

Thu
09
Oct

Daytripper premieres at Uptown Theater

From Staff Reports

The Uptown Theater will host a Daytripper Premiere Party on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. for “The Daytripper” Marble Falls episode. The event will feature free food and a cash bar, and guests will have the opportunity to mingle with Chet Garner and “The Daytripper” crew, along with a pop-up version of The Daytripper General Store.

This event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited. RSVP with R-Bar & Grill by calling 830-693-2622.

Also, donations will be accepted that night for the Burnet County Santa’s Helpers. Donate by bringing an unwrapped toy and help make someone’s Christmas extra special this year.

“The Daytripper” was created to inspire folks to get out and explore the Lone Star State. The program focuses on destinations in Texas for Texans.

Uptown Theater is located on the corner of Main Street and Third Street in Marble Falls.

Thu
09
Oct

US 281 bridge southbound span opens Thursday

Alexandria Randolph/Staff

Officials from Texas Department of Transportation, Burnet County, the City of Marble Falls and Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce met on Thursday morning for a ribbon cutting and ceremonial drive across the southbound span.

by Alexandria Randolph

With the opening of the southbound span of the US 281 Marble Falls Bridge on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 9, motorists can expect only a few more lane closures before the completion of the bridge in December.

Officials from Texas Department of Transportation, Burnet County, the City of Marble Falls and Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce met on Thursday morning for a ribbon cutting and ceremonial drive across the southbound span.

TxDOT Spokesperson Kelli Reyna said that there are only a few finishing touches remaining on the bridge, including light installations, median pavement, and an additional pedestrian walkway on the east side along the northbound span.

Wed
08
Oct

One dead in collision with oak

Alexandria Randolph/Staff

One man was pronounced dead on the scene of an accident on US 281 just south of Wagoner Tire in Marble Falls Tuesday evening.
Texas DPS Troopers said a unidentified man driving a blue, two-door BMW was headed southbound into Marble Falls when he collided with an oak tree on the side of the highway at about 5:45 p.m.
The man's identity is pending notification of kin, troopers said.
Marble Falls Fire Rescue and Burnet County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.
For more on the story, see Friday's Highlander.

Wed
08
Oct

Naturalists hope new bird blind attracts nature enthusiasts

The Maloney family, from Pearland, was camping in the park when they happened upon the celebration. Heather Maloney and her son Jase, 5 months, take in the wildflowers and butterflies.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Only a few generations ago almost everyone was, by necessity, a master naturalist: we labored outside and understood the weather without the help of a meteorologist. At night we looked at the stars, unpolluted by city light, breathing crisp air. We watched and listened to birds because they are often harbingers, of a person, weather, seasons.

Organizations like the Texas Master Naturalists and the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society keep traditions alive by engendering an understanding and love of nature.

Now there is a place, only a 20 minute drive from Marble Falls, where you can sit in the shade, protected from the elements, and watch birds in their natural habitat and butterflies swarming wildflowers.

The Highland Lakes chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists has been working for three years to bring the bird blind to Inks Lake State Park in Burnet.

Wed
08
Oct

Colt Elementary art teacher paints memorial mural for Cooper DeSpain

Cooper DeSpain's art teacher at Colt Elementary painted this mural in his memory.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Since Cooper DeSpain, 9, died in an ATV accident in August, his family, friends and the community have experienced more emotions than can be counted. People searched for a way to remember Cooper, a boy who loved spending time outdoors.

Art teacher Kathy Meador thought of a way to remember Cooper, her student since he was a kindergartner at Colt Elementary.

She did what artists do: She picked up her paintbrush and palette. Now there is a bright, vibrant mural, right above the water fountains where students frequently stop for a sip of water between classes.

Cooper’s mother, Trenton DeSpain, said it’s meaningful for kids to look up and see the artwork. “I didn’t know anything about it,” she said. “Principal Keith Powell is a friend, and he told me, ‘You’re going to love what we’re doing for Cooper,’ but he wouldn’t tell me what it was, he just smiled.”

Tue
07
Oct

MFPD gears up for a night of festivities

From Staff Reports

Marble Falls Police Department will be hosting National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 7 from 6-8 p.m. in Johnson Park.

Activities will include a kids paintball range, a Jaws-of-Life demonstration, bounce houses, a Home Depot workshop and visits by the Air Evac Helicopter and Cell Phone Sally. Squad cars and other emergency vehicles will also be on display.

Registration for events begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes a bracelet to participate in activities and a coupon for a free hot dog, chips and a drink. Attendees are asked to also bring a non-perishable food item to support The Helping Center.

Mon
06
Oct

Cottonwood Shores gives up rarely used city properties

The wooden structure at CastleRock Park in Cottonwood Shores was razed by city personnel at the end of September. Built to be a playground, one resident called the rarely-used structure “the Bridge to Nowhere.” The park was returned to its owners at the Oct. 2 council meeting.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Cottonwood Shores is known for its relatively large number of parks for a small city, and its motto proudly states “People, Parks and Prosperity.” The city council decided Tuesday, Oct. 2, to return two of its rarely-used parks back to the owners who had donated the land in 2009.

The move came after approval by the city lawyer, who said it was legal to return CastleRock and Patschke Springs parks despite the word “perpetuity” in the original resolutions, said Sheila Moore, city secretary and administrator.

Because one owner wants his donated land back and the other does not, Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Sherry’s motion stated explicitly that it is at the owner’s discretion whether to accept the land.

Councilman Marley Porter, who is part owner of the land on which CastleRock Park sat, abstained from the vote that was passed unanimously by remaining council members. (Councilwoman Cheri Trinidad was absent.)

Mon
06
Oct

Phoenix Center Gala benefits Central Texas youths

Alexandria Randolph/Staff

Guests at the Phoenix Center Gala at River City Grille Sunday evening enjoyed a night of good food, romantic lake views and live music, all to benefit the center’s efforts to provide high-quality mental health programs and services to Central Texas youths.

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