News

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.

Mon
25
Aug

Family loses possessions in MF home fire Friday

Contributed by Marble Falls Fire Rescue
First responders battled blaze at 1603 Johnson Street Friday night, Aug. 22.

by Alexandria Randolph

An electrical shortage is being blamed for a blaze that turned a Marble Falls residence at 1603 Johnson Street into a “total loss,” leaving a local family without most of their possessions Friday night, Aug. 22.

“It looks like it was some type of electrical short behind the house,” said Marble Falls Fire Chief Johnny Caraway. “It went up so quick we were unable to keep up with it.”

He and emergency personnel with Marble Falls Fire Rescue arrived on the scene at 10:30 p.m. and engaged in a three-hour struggle to get the fire under control.

Caraway said the five occupants in the house made it out safely, and said they saw the fire start near the electrical panels.

The blaze caught a propane tank resting in the lawn and quickly erupted, starting a half-acre grass fire.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
25
Aug

Semi flips during off-ramp move

Alexandria Randolph/Staff

Marble Falls Fire Rescue redirects fluid leaking from a fuel line of a toppled 18-wheeler into a bucket. The truck turned over on Friday afternoon after hitting an off-ramp at high speed.

by Alexandria Randolph

An 18-wheeler truck filled with petrol toppled to its side Friday afternoon, Aug. 22, while attempting to exit US 281 via the TX 71 westbound off-ramp.

Marble Falls Police Department officers said the driver, Kevin Pickens, 73, of Louisiana, was transported to Seton Highland Lakes with minor injuries after the 18-wheeler he was driving overturned onto its side in the accident around 2:30 p.m.

The truck is registered to Linden Bulk Transportation of Linden, New Jersey.

 “The driver was exiting US 281 and took the exit too fast and rolled it (the truck),” said Marble Falls Police Sgt. Barry Greer. “A witness said he never hit the brake.”

For more on the story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
25
Aug

Order of HSB candidates' names on November ballot determined

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Three of the four candidates for three open seats on the Horseshoe Bay city council attended the drawing for the order of names on the ballot in November.

From left to right are: Councilman Craig Haydon (third); Councilman David Pope (second); and challenger Donald Beeman (first). The other candidate, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jerry Gray, was absent. For good luck, Pope and Beeman had their wives draw for them, and it seems to have worked.

 

Mon
25
Aug

Robotics programming now ‘in the books’ for Marble Falls’ engineering students

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Randy Guffey’s aerospace engineering students at Marble Falls High School are accustomed to doing cool things like building and launching rockets, but his students this year will also get to learn how to use cutting edge robots.

This fall, upperclassmen will learn how to control and program a FANUC robot, a product of FANUC America, which is a robotics company that accounts for about 70 percent of the industrial robotics market share, Guffey said.

 “I’m looking forward to seeing it,” Guffey added, saying the robot will arrive in September or October.

The robot is on order from Technical Laboratory Systems, Inc. (Tech-Labs), a company founded to help accelerate technical and vocational programs at educational institutions in Texas and in Oklahoma.

Mon
25
Aug

Cottonwood Shores council faces tax increase, economic growth

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Public input was aired Thursday evening, Aug. 21, in the first of two public hearings on a Cottonwood Shores City Council proposal to raise property taxes in 2015 to generate $20,000 more for the community.

A tax rate of $.543800 per $100 valuation, which would amount to $26.60 for every $100,000 worth of property, was considered at the city council meeting Aug. 7.

The goal of the hearing was to give residents a chance to ask questions, offer solutions or voice concerns. A second public hearing is planned Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. in city hall.

Aside from Councilman Tony Satsky and Mayor Donald Orr, who are both over 65 and eligible for frozen property tax rates, several council members pointed out that raising property tax rates is an equitable way to raise needed funds for the city.

Thu
21
Aug

Two women injured in accident yesterday

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
A wreck on TX 29 about two miles from the RR 1431 intersection hospitalized two women with non-life threatening injuries Thursday afternoon, Aug. 21.

By Alexandria Randolph

Two women were sent to Austin-area hospitals on Thursday morning following an accident in Buchanan Dam yesterday, Thursday, Aug. 21.

Burnet resident Sheila Straw was flown to Seton Medical Center Williamson and Linda White of Magnolia was transported to the same hospital by ground unit. Neither woman sustained life-threatening injuries, according to reports.

The wreck took place at about 12:15 p.m. in front of Citizen’s Academy on TX 29 two miles east of the RR 1431 intersection. 

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper Jose Colombo said the accident occurred when Straw pulled her vehicle, a burgundy 2009 Ford Edge, into the roadway in front of a red Ford F250 pickup truck, of which White was a passenger.

For the full story, see Friday's issue of The Highlander.

Thu
21
Aug

Community responds to Burnet shooting

Alexandria Randolph/Staff
Burnet County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 5800 block of CR 340 when two young men were fatally shot Tuesday morning.

By Alexandria Randolph

The community of Burnet and the families of two young men are in mourning this week after a fatal shooting cost them their lives.

Elijah Adam Benson, a 17-year-old Burnet High School student, and Travis Leslie Fox, a 26-year-old Burnet High School graduate, were shot multiple times at a residence in the 5800 block of CR 340 – the home of a mutual friend – on Tuesday morning.

“There is sense of loss between all families,” said Kyle Byrd, Pastor at The Church at the Epicenter in Burnet, where Eli Benson and his family attended.

Byrd and Fox’s family members said the two men were at the house celebrating Benson’s birthday, which was last week. The two, along with Garret James Ballard, 21, who is accused in their deaths, were in a band together.

A celebration of Benson’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday morning in the Burnet High School Auditorium. Plans for the memorial of Fox have yet to be finalized.

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