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Mon
17
Nov

Condos burn to ground in Spicewood

by Alexandria Randolph

Six Spicewood families were displaced after fire consumed two sets of condos on Hill Loop early Monday morning, Nov. 17.

Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department firefighters battled the blaze from 3 a.m. to noon with the help of Marble Falls Area volunteers and Pedernales Volunteer firefighters, but were unable to save the structures.

“They were totally involved when we got here, and it only took us 13 minutes to get here...They all burned to the ground,” said Patsy Lester, director of Spicewood Volunteer EMS. “They were made out of cedar so they went up (in flames) really quick.”

Lester reported that no one was hurt as firefighters battled below freezing temperatures and high winds while trying to quelch the fire.

For the full story see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
17
Nov

Double Horn giving 10 percent to local school

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Double Horn Brewing Company in Marble Falls will donate to St. Peter’s Lutheran School 10 percent of all sales Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Lunch, dinner, drinks and take-out orders are all included in the fundraiser.

Charity Proceeds Day, which has taken place for the past three years, is close to the heart for the co-owner of the brewery: she’s also the school’s director.

“Each year our congregation and families at St. Peter's, along with the regular patrons of Double Horn, have stepped up to provide a profitable day allowing us to earn some extra funds for our school,” said Tracy Knight.

Funds are spent mainly on books, construction paper and paint. “Last year the money we raised went toward the purchase of three new SmartBoards for our classrooms,” she said. 

Mon
17
Nov

New police chief for Cottonwood Shores

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Monday, Nov. 17 was the first day of work for the new Cottonwood Shores police chief, who was hired Tuesday, Nov. 11, by city administration after the city council unanimously approved the city administrator’s recommendation at a special meeting Nov. 10.

The city had been seeking a police chief since Harold Piatt resigned last month.

Police Chief Tom Williams, a peace officer with 39 years of experience across a plethora of agencies, said his first day was “hectic” because of meetings with Mayor Donald Orr and Sheila Moore (city administrator and city secretary), Burnet County Sheriff W.T. Smith and police chiefs of surrounding municipalities like Horseshoe Bay and Marble Falls.

Williams said he has zero tolerance for drug dealers and domestic abusers.

Thu
13
Nov

Adoption Day to celebrate families and educate potential fosters

by Alexandria Randolph

The Marble Falls Daybreak Rotary Club Adoption Day is approaching once again, and will feature opportunities for area residents to learn about foster parenting.

The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 15, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Burnet County Courthouse Annex, 1701 East Polk Street.

Rotarian Eddie Arredondo said this year’s Adoption Day will feature 15 area children legally adopted by new families.

“Last year, we did eight. We feel the more, the merrier. We’re inviting other counties to work with us on this,” he said. “Lampasas County is working with us this year. They don’t have any adoptions from their area, but they understand the importance of it.”

Adoptive families will be able to commemorate the moment with a photo and will be presented with gifts from the organizations involved with the special day.

For more on this story, see Friday's Highlander.

Thu
13
Nov

Community service worker burned

by Alexandria Randolph

Two Burnet County Precinct 4 employees were terminated following an accident that injured an Intermediate Sanction Facility (ISF) volunteer.

Henry Murr, a 20-year-old from Junction, suffered serious burns when a brush fire exploded in his face at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5. Murr said he was ordered by Precinct 4 supervisors to ignite the brush pile with a lighter after others had been soaked it in a mixture of at least 10 gallons of a diesel and gasoline.

Since the 33rd and 424th Judicial District ISF is located in Burnet County, Murr said he and other volunteers were given the opportunity to work with Burnet County precinct maintenance employees in order to fulfill community service penalties tied to misdemeanor charges. In Murr's case, he was working off time connected to a marijuana-related charge out of Kimble County.

Wed
12
Nov

Falls on the Colorado Museum Veterans' Commemoration attracts many

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula

Old military rivalries were put aside as veterans cheerfully greeted fellow service members with shouts of “Hoo-Rah!” and “Semper Fi!” Tuesday night at the Falls on the Colorado Museum Veterans' Day commemoration.

Board members were not sure how their first attempt at a Veterans' Day commerative event would go.

Parking overflowed across Broadway Street, and organizers like Jane Knapik did not hesitate to call the event a success. The main room was packed wall-to-wall with veterans and family members. Veterans from every branch of service and every war were represented. 

After the VFW color guard presented the nation's flag, Bob Hansen, post commander of VFW post 10376 in Marble Falls, read the names of every veteran in the room. Others spoke about veterans, not present, who are family members or neighbors. Each veteran was thanked individually for their service.

Tue
11
Nov

Freeze on its way

This graphic provided by the National Weather Service displays projected weather conditions for Thursday morning.

National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for the Hill Country area between 3-9 a.m. Wednesday morning, Nov. 12. 

"In the wake of a strong cold front, freezing temperatures can be expected across much of the Hill Country late tonight into Wednesday morning. In addition, winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour will make it feel even colder," the warning stated.

Burnet, Llano and Blanco counties are included in the effected area.

"This will be the first freeze of the season for many locations. These temperatures may damage cold sensitive plants. Exposed pipes may freeze. Outdoor pets may need extra protection," the warning stated.

The National Weather Service has offered the following tips for winter weather preparedness:

Keep these emergency supplies in your vehicle

Tue
11
Nov

Hill Country celebrates Veteran's Day in many ways

Tom Butler and Johnny White were running around town early this morning setting up American flags as part of the Kiwanis Flag Program.

Check out Friday's Highlander for more photos of Veteran's Day celebrations around town. 

Mon
10
Nov

A bridge of colors?

by Alexandria Randolph

Motorists crossing the US 281 bridge to and from Marble Falls may soon see some festive, colorful lighting there if the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation moves ahead on a new idea.

In a meeting Wednesday, Nov. 5, board directors discussed the current white lights underneath the bridge that Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) added to the bridge for aesthetic purposes.

“My thought was we utilize the fixtures that are there,” said Director John Packer. “It would be cool if we were able to change the colors.”

Director Mark Mayfield mentioned that he had seen a colorful bridge display during a drive between Corpus Christi and Portland.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

Mon
10
Nov

From soldier to stylist

Contributed
After serving two tours in Iraq and one in Bosnia, Melissa Mensen has gone from doing a standard military “high-and-tight” haircut on her troops to a variety of styles for the men and women of Marble Falls at Twist Hair Studio and Boutique.

by Alexandria Randolph

At first glance, hair stylist Melissa Mensen might not appear like a typical United States military veteran, but she spent over 15 years in service to this country, including two tours in Iraq.  

Mensen became a member of the active duty U.S. Army in 1995 when she was 19 years old. She served on active duty for two years and then returned to service with the Army National Guard from 1999-2013, during which time she served one tour in Bosnia and two in Iraq. 

Mensen was a combat military police officer and trained for convoy security. She spent just under two years total in the war-torn Middle East.

For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

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