News

Mon
01
Sep

Girl Scouts hosting open house Friday, Sept. 5

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Girl Scouts will be giving people a sneak peak of the intensive renovations on its Johnson Park troop house today, Friday, Sept. 5, at 5:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, renovations are continuing at a frenetic pace, the troop’s leader said last week.

“It’s been challenging, but it’ll come together,” said Golden Downing.

The Marble Falls Scout House is the first to see the improvements and repairs as part of a three-year-long Girl Scouts of Central Texas “Master Property Plan” to get all houses up to code and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

“It’s not a young house to begin with, and it deteriorated over the years so we had to vacate last year,” Downing said.

It will cost around $25,000 to renovate the Marble Falls Girl Scout House, according to a fundraising letter by Lynelle McKay, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

Mon
01
Sep

Parishioners take the plunge in ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Amanda and Tino Salazar react after their dousing with icy water Sunday.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The ubiquitous “Ice Bucket Challenge” to benefit people with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has gone viral, even in Horseshoe Bay.

Parishioners gathered after mass at St. Paul the Apostle Chapel Sunday, Aug. 31,  to fundraise with their own ice bucket challenge -- all to help one of their fellow parishioners with the disease.

The bulk of the funds raised over the weekend will go directly to Eric Waltenbaugh, who was in the hospital Sunday and unable to attend the event, said event coordinator Claudia Haydon. Other funds will go to the ALS Association, she added.

Waltenbaugh is confined to a mechanical wheelchair because of the disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

“We expect donations to be substantial, especially for a small parish like ours,” she said. “The generosity of people who don’t know Eric but know about the disease has been amazing.”

Fri
29
Aug

Tire-iron wielding man arrested after ‘spree’

Murl Lamb

by Alexandria Randolph

A Burnet man was arrested Thursday, Aug. 21, by Marble Falls Police after an alleged 24-hour crime spree across two counties.

Murl Shane Lamb, 40, faces Llano County charges of aggravated robbery, Marble Falls charges of robbery and Burnet County charges of parole violation.

Marble Falls Capt. Glenn Hanson said officers first came into contact with Lamb last week when he was found unconscious with a crow bar in his hand outside of Sana Vida on RR 1431 at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Aug. 20.

“He had knocked a window in and done some damage,” Hanson said. “He went to the hospital complaining of chest pain.”

Later, police connected him with damages found on two other buildings in town that had taken place over night.

Fri
29
Aug

“Bolts from the Blue": Lightning strikes dangerous in summer

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Sports teams at Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) are prepared for lightning strikes, especially “bolts from the blue” that strike miles ahead of a thunderstorm. Three children were injured Aug. 26 by lightning that struck their soccer field in the Bee Cave area, three miles ahead of the thunderstorm.

The Marble Falls High School soccer team coach, like all coaches at the school, makes sure his players are safe.

Rick Hoover, MFHS head soccer coach, said the district has an electronic system that sends him a text message if lightning strikes within 20 miles, and alerts him again to clear the field if it strikes within 10 miles. “We then have to be lightning-free for 30 minutes before we go out again.” Hoover said. All MFISD coaches have the same system.

Fri
29
Aug

‘Cultivating minds’: Texas Tech offering online courses in viticulture, enology

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Now that it’s harvest time at the multitude of Hill Country wineries and vineyards, some folks might wonder what it takes to be involved in the growing Texas wine industry. As it turns out, training is available here through Texas Tech University’s Worldwide eLearning programs at the Highland Lakes campus in Marble Falls.

“The wine industry is not just another agricultural product: There’s a big multiplier effect because of its connection with the hospitality industry,” said Dr. Edward Hellman, TTU professor of viticulture. “Wineries and vineyards are a good fit for the Hill Country because it’s already a tourist destination, and then you add the wine industry, which adds to the income of restaurants and hotels.”

Almost 1.5 million tourists visited Texas wineries in 2011, a 66 percent increase from 2005, according to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA.)

Thu
28
Aug

Crushing the opposition

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Texas Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick addresses members of five area conservative groups at the Kingsland Community Center on Tuesday evening, Aug. 26.

by Alexandria Randolph

Texas Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick visited a united audience of conservatives on Tuesday evening, Aug. 26, to share his desire to “crush” the opposition in the coming election.

Speaking at the Kingsland Community Center, Sen. Patrick addressed the unprecedented gathering of five area conservative groups, including members from Star Republican Women, Llano Tea Party, Llano County Republican Party, Llano County Republican Club and Highland Lakes Republican Women.

In addition, Senator Troy Fraser (who introduced Patrick,) Burnet County Judge Elect James Oakley, Llano County Justice of the Peace-Elect (Precinct 1) Bebe Piatt and representatives of Gillespie County were also in attendance.

“This is the first time in our county history we’ve jointly hosted something together,” said Bill Hussey, founder and president-elect of the Llano Tea Party. “The intent is to unite for victory.”

Thu
28
Aug

Tire-iron wielding man arrested after ‘spree’

Murl Lamb

by Alexandria Randolph

A Burnet man was arrested Thursday, Aug. 21, by Marble Falls Police after an alleged 24-hour crime spree across two counties.

Murl Shane Lamb, 40, faces Llano County charges of aggravated robbery, Marble Falls charges of robbery and Burnet County charges of parole violation.

Marble Falls Capt. Glenn Hanson said officers first came into contact with Lamb last week when he was found unconscious with a crow bar in his hand outside of Sana Vida on RR 1431 at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, Aug. 20.

“He had knocked a window in and done some damage,” Hanson said. “He went to the hospital complaining of chest pain.”

Later, police connected him with damages found on two other buildings in town that had taken place over night.

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

Thu
28
Aug

Horseshoe Bay city council holds tax rate hearing, confronts water issues

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The Horseshoe Bay City Council faced a long meeting agenda Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 26, tackling items that included new street signs, water weeds, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodplain study and property taxes.

No citizens spoke out during the first of two mandated public hearings about the city’s proposed property tax rate of $.25 per $100 valuation – the same rate as was in effect this last year.

Another public hearing is set for 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2, to give citizens a second chance to air any concerns or opinions.

The city is expected to adopt the proposed budget at its regular meeting at 3 p.m. on Sept. 16.

The proposed budget is available for public review on the city’s website.

The city will start out the next fiscal year with around $3.7 million as its projected general fund balance at the end of September, said Stan Farmer, city manager.

Tue
26
Aug

Police: Man hurls knife at officers during pursuit

Stanley Bernard Abney

by Alexandria Randolph

A 44-year-old Marble Falls man led police on a wild foot chase across US 281 that ended in the use of a Taser.

Police said Stanley Bernard Abney was caught in the act of stealing a truck and then ran across the highway during morning traffic, tossed a knife at officers and was finally subdued by a Taser at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Abney was arrested on charges of public intoxication, aggravated assault against a public servant, evading arrest with previous convictions, criminal mischief and failure to identify/fugitive from justice and booked into the Burnet County Jail at 8:23 a.m. Monday. He remains in jail as of Tuesday morning, and bond has not yet been set.

Marble Falls Capt. Glenn Hanson said officers were called to the 2000 block of US 281, where a suspect was reportedly attempting to break into a truck that had been left for sale in the Lakeside Pawn & Jewelry parking lot.

Mon
25
Aug

One dead in airplane wreck

Contributed by Travis County ESD 1
Starflight dumps a bucket of water onto a 30-acre blaze that began when a plane crashed near Singleton Bend Road on Saturday morning.

by Alexandria Randolph

One man died and 30 acres of brush burned after a plane went down just east of the Burnet County line on Saturday morning.

Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department came to the aid of North Lake Travis Rescue (Travis County ESD 1) to fight a 12-hour brush fire in Travis County along Singleton Bend Road that was caused when a single-engine, two-seater aircraft crashed in the vicinity. 

Travis County ESD 1 Chief Donnie Norman said first responders got the call on Saturday morning and did not initially realize that it was a plane crash.

“We were called on a smoke investigation at 9:30 a.m. We found one to three acres of brush burning,” Norman said, and added there was little means to access the fire and it grew to roughly five acres.

“We called for Starflight and they did water drops – we couldn’t figure out what the fuel source was,” he said.

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