News

Thu
04
Sep

Cottonwood Shores official lauded by Municipal League

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Texas Municipal League (TML) named a Cottonwood Shores city official among its first class of Leadership Fellows at an awards ceremony on Aug. 22.

Sheila Moore, city administrator and city secretary, was among 60 Leadership Fellows all over the state who were given the distinction after completing an intensive leadership training program on enhancing relationship and leadership skills. It was the first leadership conference held by TML, a nonprofit organization that includes many cities, including Cottonwood Shores, among its members.

“To me, personally, being a Leadership Fellow is an accomplishment,” Moore said on Wednesday, Sept. 3. “It benefits the city and me to be a better qualified leader.”

Thu
04
Sep

MFISD balances budget with increased spending planned on security, instruction and plant maintenance

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees passed a $37 million balanced budget for the 2014-2015 school year at a special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 28. The plan allows for the district to spend more than $686,000 than last school year.

As promised in May during the bond election, property taxes will stay the same as last year: $1.28 per $100 property valuation.

The $37 million of revenues from state, local and federal sources will match the district’s expected expenditures, confirmed Lisa LeMon, MFISD director of business operations on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

 “It’s always ultimately our goal to pass a balanced budget, which we’ve done for at least the past two or three years,” LeMon said. “It should be noted that we seldom reach the full amount budgeted.”

Tue
02
Sep

MFHS Tennis Center rededicated to honor Herrington's

MFISD Superintendent Dr. Robert O'Connor gives Nancy Herrington a framed certificate memorializing the dedication ceremony.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Around 40 people attended the unveiling of the Charlie and Nancy Herrington Tennis Center sign Tuesday afternoon at Marble Falls High School, after the Marble Falls Independent School District board of trustees approved in April the renaming of the center in their honor. The occasion was marked by several of Charlie’s friends and his wife Nancy reminiscing about the lifelong tennis coach and teacher. Charlie died in March at age 69.

Nancy, who was emotional as she spoke and thanked everyone, said her husband would not have been comfortable with “all this attention,” but that he would be honored. “He was a special man and I miss him every day,” she said. Nancy, who was an MFISD teacher along with Charlie, ended with an enthusiastic “Go Get ‘Em, Mustangs!”

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Mon
01
Sep

Dove season prospects looking good

From Staff Reports

The prospects for dove season, which opened yesterday on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 1, are good, according to wildlife biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD.) Both mourning and white-winged dove populations are higher than last year.

In any given year, Texans shoot between 4-5 million mourning doves and Shaun Oldenburger, TPWD dove program leader, said he doesn’t expect that to change during the 2014-15 season.

“Based on rural and urban dove surveys by TPWD, the 2014 estimated breeding mourning dove population is about 26.55 million birds, which is a 5 percent increase over 2013 and nearly 8 percent above the long-term average (2004-2014),” said Oldenburger. “More than 90 percent of all mourning doves occupy rural habitats.”

Mon
01
Sep

Priority Dispatch System okayed

From Staff Reports

The Marble Falls Police Communications Center announced the implementation of the new Medical Priority Dispatch System on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The new system will be in place for units serving Marble Falls, Granite Shoals, Horseshoe Bay and Cottonwood Shores.

The new system enables dispatchers to accurately assess each situation and send the best response possible while safeguarding valuable and limited emergency services resources and increasing safety for both citizens and responders.

One key benefit of the system is that dispatch will now provide a constant stream of crucial and updated information to field responders en route to a call. This information will better prepare responders to give precise assistance when they arrive at the scene.

Mon
01
Sep

MFPD seeks info on hit and run

By Alexandria Randolph

Marble Falls Police are seeking information on a hit-and-run accident that occurred at the intersection of US 281 and Mormon Mill Road last week.

Officer Dorian Turner said the incident happened Thursday, Aug. 21, at about 2:41 p.m. when the driver of a white midsized SUV turned in front of motorcyclist Kenneth Sisco, 56, of Kingsland.

“It was a witness call-in. He (Sisco) was injured on his shoulder and hand,” Turner said.

Turner said the motorcyclist was northbound in the right-hand lane approaching the Mormon Mill Road intersection when he had to make a quick decision to avert an accident.

“He saw the white vehicle headed southbound turning left to go east. The vehicle had a green light but not a protected turn,” Turner said. “He had to turn the bike over to avoid direct impact. The motorcycle struck the back of the SUV.”

Mon
01
Sep

Highland Lakes real estate not affected by Austin-area slump

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Unlike its looming neighbor Austin, the Highland Lakes region real estate market is going strong, according to several local realtors.

After years of home price and inventory increases, the Austin real estate market saw a three percent decrease in home sales in July, along with a rise in inventory, according to the Austin Board of Realtors on Aug. 21.

Not true here, said Chad Calhoun, broker and owner of Jim Berry Hill Country Ranch Sales, this past Friday, Aug. 29.

“We’ve had no such dip in real estate values here, but we didn’t have the meteoric rise in prices like Austin did,” he said. “What goes up must come down,” he said.

Calhoun said he does not consider a three percent drop a major trend; rather, he called it a “correction” in the market.

Mon
01
Sep

LBCC boasts record-breaking attendance at fish fry fundraiser

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Lake Buchanan Conservation Corporation saw record-breaking attendance at the 9th annual fish fry fundraiser in Buchanan Dam Saturday. “We usually see 250-300 folks, this year it’s closer to 400,” said Ron Abshier, LBCC board of directors vice president. “People are figuring out that we do so much more than put fish in the lake,” he said. In addition to working with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists to stock fish fry and fingerlings into the lake, which costs around $16,000, the organization works to extend boat ramps, improve fish habitat and support other nonprofit organizations.

See Tuesday's Highlander for more photos.

Mon
01
Sep

Teacher spotlight: Turner launches “rejuvenated” graphic design CTE program

New teacher Matt Turner (far left) stands proudly with seven of his eight “musketeers,” the seniors in his CTE graphic design and production class: (back, from left) Jack Oberle, Cobey Lusinger, Aiden Park, Noah Guillen and (front, from left) (Turner,) Savannah Vincent, London Gibson and Erin Downey.. “It kills me to know I won’t have them again next year,” Turner said about this group of seniors. Also a part of the group, but not pictured is Becky Phung.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Parents might be curious about the new faces on district campuses and among them is new high school instructor, Matt Turner. He described the last two weeks as a “whirlwind,” between getting situated in a new residence and readying his classroom for students.

Turner has been busy teaching three classes to grades 9-12: principles of audio-video technology, audio-video production and graphic design. The broadcast journalism graduate has hit the ground running in his first year at the district.

“This is the best time of year, it’s great to get things off the ground,” Turner said. “I’m blown away by how welcoming everyone has been, and administration and other teachers have been supportive.”

Mon
01
Sep

MFISD confronts turnover with new hires, internal shuffle

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Change can be both stressful and exciting for school districts. Either way, Marble Falls Independent School District students are seeing many new faces in classrooms and around campuses.

For the 2014-2015 school term, district administration hired 87 staff members, including 64 certified personnel (teachers, nurses and counselors,) said Wade Stanford, assistant superintendent of administrative operations, on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

“Teachers are super-excited,” he said. “Three days into school you can feel the excitement in the classrooms.”

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