News

Sat
11
Oct

Burnet jail inmate recaptured after escaping while getting medical treatment

A Burnet County Jail inmate was recaptured Saturday after he scuffled with a jail corrections officer and took the officer's gun while being treated at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.

The inmate, Murl Lamb, was being treated for a medical condition related to a fall at the jail.

The man escaped shortly before 7 a.m. and was recaptured a few hours later when he was found hiding in a dumpster behind a Cinemark movie theater across the street from the hospital, Cedar Park police said.

The Burnet County Jail corrections officer, whose name was not released, had accompanied the inmate to the Cedar Park hospital in a Burnet Fire Department EMS vehicle, which was called to the jail at about 12:30 a.m., the statement from the sheriff's office said.

Thu
09
Oct

Bond set at $2 million for man accused in recent double homicide

By James Walker

State District Judge Allan Garrett set bond at $2 million on Wednesday, Oct. 8, for Garrett Ballard, who is accused of killing two friends with a high-powered rifle on  Aug. 19.

Ballard, 21, has been held in the Burnet County Jail since the killings of Travis Fox and Elijah Adam Benson. His attorney asked the judge to set bond at $250,000.

"A $250,000 bond would provide reasonable assurance that (Ballard) will appear in court," said Tony Odiorne, an assistant public defender with the state's Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases agency based in Burnet.

The office represents only indigent defendants charged with a capital case where the death penalty is sought at the trial level.

Earlier, Ballard's father, Burnet County Constable (Precinct 3) Jimmy Ballard, testified he could raise enough money to post a $250,000 bond, saying he own an electrical supply store and works as an electrician in addition to his constable duties.

Thu
09
Oct

Former MFISD super, author Hundley to present public program Saturday

Staff Reports

 

Former Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Charles Hundley will speak about Texas history before the Jane Wells Woods Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, on Saturday, Oct.11, in the meeting room of the Marble Falls Library.

The public is invited to gather with DRT members and Hundley for coffee and a social time beginning at 9:30 a.m. before the 10 a.m. program.

Hundley and his family moved here when he became the superintendent of the Marble Falls school district in 1976. He remained in the position until 1983, when he accepted a similar post in Abilene.

Hundley’s wife, Patty, taught high school English and their son, Hal, grew from a second grader to a high school student during their time here.

“Patty and I have very happy memories of those seven years,” he said. “We especially enjoyed being part of First Baptist Church.”

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.”

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