News

Thu
11
Sep

Granite Shoals reviews tennis center future

By Glynis Crawford Smith

In a meeting Tuesday night that included final acceptance of the 2014-2015 budget and tax rate, the Granite Shoals City Council turned attention to the future of the Andy Roddick International Tennis Center.

Development of the center has been a project of the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF) on land leased from the city adjacent to Quarry Park on Phillips Ranch Road. Marble Falls Independent School District elementary students already receive tennis instruction on the two QuickStart youth courts constructed on the site in 2011 and an after-school program also extends tennis instruction and life lesson guidance there.

The center was further bound to park development when the ARC pledged $64,000 toward a pair of covered adult courts for the park project that includes the Leo Manzano Hike, Bike and Run Trail—all with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grants. 

For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.

 

Thu
11
Sep

Trio of teens saves unresponsive 5-year-old

By James Walker

Thanks to the quick and cool-headed actions of three undaunted Burnet teenage girls, five-year-old Jordan Johnson is alive and happily able to laugh and play with her two younger siblings.

Hannah Smith, Vanessa Escamilla and Brailey Hall were able to revive Jordan after she stopped breathing while in the family vehicle Saturday, Sept. 6, with her mother, brother and sister.

The three girls were planning to attend the much-anticipated Aaron Watson concert Saturday night in Burnet when Escamilla, who is 16, and Hall, 14, persuaded Smith, 16, to stop and gas up her vehicle beforehand at the Corner Store convenience store at the corner of US 281 and TX 29.

Smith and Escamilla are juniors at Burnet High School and Hall is a freshman.

Smith wanted to wait until after the concert to get gas but the other two girls prevailed, which turned out to be fortuitous for Jordan Johnson.

Thu
11
Sep

9/11: The Highland Lakes remembers

Marble Falls Rotarians raised the American flag in a heartfelt ceremony.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

On a bright, sunny Thursday, with only fair weather clouds high in the same sky that once contained terrorists on their mission to strike at the heart of our country, Hill Country first responders, veterans, Marble Falls Rotarians and citizens together remembered the loss of almost 3,000 people thirteen years ago on Sept. 11.

At Lakeside Park in Marble Falls, near one of mainstays of American life, the swimming pool, people gathered to pay their respects to both fallen heroes and heroes who save lives every day.

Thu
11
Sep

Llano eagles will be building a new home

Contributed by Cottonwood Photography
The eagle pair get comfortable in their Llano nest in January, 2014. The photographer, Jess Thompson, has been observing the eagle pair for more than 10 years.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

The well-known eagle pair who had a nest along Texas 29 near the Llano River will be building a new home this fall after their nest collapsed about a month ago because of a combination of a rotted tree trunk, a heavy nest and a windy day, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department official said Friday, Sept. 5. People have traveled from all over the country to see the eagle’s nest.

“It’s not their first rodeo: this was the third tree I know of they’ve had a nest in,” said Dale Schmidt, TPWD wildlife technician assigned to Llano and San Saba counties. The first nest fell with a limb about ten years ago; the second nest, which was also near the road and river, was abandoned around October 2010.

“It’s just part of being a bald eagle,” Schmidt said.

Mon
08
Sep

Parks get unforeseen ‘blessing’ In EDC’s $42,000 contribution

by Alexandria Randolph

Community projects got a boost Monday, Sept. 8, when the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation contributed $42,000 in funding to the Parks and Recreation Department.

“I was approached by Christian Fletcher, executive director of the EDC. They had money left over in their budget for community leverage fund,” said Robert Moss, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, who added he was not initially aware of how much the EDC intended to give.

The projects Moss proposed the EDC Board of Directors assist in funding included lighting at Westside Park, a sidewalk at the Johnson Park parking lot and assisting in the construction of a second soccer field at the Greens.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
08
Sep

Marble Falls woman barks for parks

by Alexandria Randolph

A Marble Falls woman is campaigning for the creation of a city dog park.

Megan Klaeger, a former New Yorker, began her mission to establish a city dog park three weeks ago after moving back to Texas from the Big Apple in May.

“I lived in New York for six years and had a dog, and we would go to the dog park all the time,” Klaeger said. “When I moved back here, I adopted a dog from a local shelter. She has a ton of energy.”

Klaeger said that she would like to be able to take her new pup, Jo, to a local dog hangout to make new four-legged and two-legged friends, but there are none in Marble Falls. She decided to try to establish one.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support,” Klaeger said.

Klaeger said dog park supporters may sign the petition for Jo’s Dog Park at Pet Supply Plus or by emailing marblefallsdogpark@gmail.com to join the mailing list.

Mon
08
Sep

Highland Lakes Elementary’s top summer readers splash teachers, principal

Five of the six top readers at Highland Lakes Elementary got first pick of prizes. From left to right are Brenda Mata, Lisandro Mata, Liliana Mata, Isaaih Solano and Carlos Barajas. Not pictured is Joel Ortiz, 2nd grade.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Kids don’t have to be asked twice to throw water in their teachers’ faces. They were given such an opportunity at Highland Lakes Elementary School last week and their teachers were ready and even willing to take the brief punishment because it was for a good cause.

Six students who got to splash their teachers and HLE Principal Michael Pittard on Friday, Sept. 5, had earned such a privilege by reading the most books in their grade levels and by turning in summaries of what they read over the summer.

Friday’s slippery scene was the result of the school’s reading program and a “fun incentive” added for students to encourage them to keep reading over the long summer months.

 “It’s the kick-off year for this program,” said Sara Dutch, reading specialist at HLE.

Mon
08
Sep

From stopsign to volunteer time: MF man donates time and money to Helping Center

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Volunteer and business owner Leonard Strickler, third from left, donated $668 to the Marble Falls Helping Center on Wednesday. He is pictured here with fellow volunteers, director Sam Pearce, left, and board president Martin McLean, second from left.

by Alexandria Randolph

An accidental traffic violation led to a long-time philanthropic involvement for Marble Falls resident Leonard Strickler.

Strickler, who donated $668 to the Marble Falls Helping Center Wednesday, Sept. 3, has been donating his time to the program for two years.

It began with a ticket.

“I accidentally ran a stop sign I knew pretty well. When you get a ticket in Meadowlakes, they require 10 hours of community service,” he said.

Strickler began volunteering at the Marble Falls Helping Center, a place where he and his wife had often considered doing volunteer work, but never had the time.

“We honestly wanted to come in. That event created the time to do it,” he said.

Upon beginning his work at the center, Strickler was taken aback by the efforts of Helping Center volunteers.

“It’s incredible. People come and volunteer their time, and it’s real work. I was touched,” he said.

Mon
08
Sep

Cottonwood Shores looks to grow through more taxes, development

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

To make ends meet, Cottonwood Shores needs to attract new growth into the city and increase property taxes, an official said at a regular city council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Council members unanimously approved the property tax increase to $.5438 per $100 property valuation, which essentially amounts to a $26.60 increase for every $100,000 worth of property. (The previous rate was $.5172 per $100 valuation.)

Property owners can expect to see the tax increase reflected in their October statements.

Although Mayor Donald Orr conceded that not everyone in the city is eager to grow, city officials are encouraging economic growth, and, along with it, new residents, developers and businesses.

Sat
06
Sep

Brother, sister die in another deadly accident on US 183 near Oakalla

A brother and sister believed to be on their way from college to their home in Round Rock died in another horrific accident on US 183 late Friday njear Oakalla.

Burnet County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead said the two died at the scene.

The deaths are the third traffic fatality in the area in less than a week and there have been several others on US 183 in recent months.

A 24-year-old Kempner man died early Monday (Sept. 1) when the car is was riding in failed to negotiate a curve on CR 223 and struck a tree.

See Tuesday's Highlander for the complete story.

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