News

Mon
28
Aug

Granite Shoals, ESD3 stalemate continues

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger, left, proclaims September as ‘Know Your Neighbor’ Month in honor of the program of the same name begun by Alan Williams of Chick-fil-A, next and continuing left, and the Marble Falls Faith Alliance represented by the Revs.Randy Taylor of First Baptist Church – Granite Shoals, Jackie English of Christ Redeemer Fellowship and Suzy Mitchell and the Rev. Mike Mitchell of Granite Fellowship. The Tuesday night, Aug. 22, proclamation added recognition of Lowe's home improvement store for providing picnic tables for the a Turquoise Table program to go along with free sandwiches and a bounce castle provided by Chick-fil-A for neighborhood block parties bringing citizens together in friendship.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

In another lengthy Granite Shoals City Council Meeting Tuesday, Aug. 22, the council and Burnet County Emergency Service District 3 (ESD #3) remained at loggerheads over a contract for fire coverage.

The two had moved closer but, to finance in one year, three additional firefighters for 24/7, two-man coverage, a proposal for a five-year contract from the ESD #3 falls short of the budget the city has planned. So, the debate continues and the council has sent City Manager Ken Nickel and Finance Director Wendy Gholson back to the drawing board for an even more detailed set of options to be presented at the first formal public hearing on the budget tonight, Thursday, Aug. 24.

Mon
28
Aug

Harvey hightailing it from Highland Lakes

The 5 a.m. radar image shows the worst of the storm moving away. More information can be found at www.weather.gov and more images from the Monday report, on The-Highlander Facebook page.

The Monday morning storm report from the National Weather Service (NWS) shows Burnet and Llano counties high and dry and a reprieve from more heavy rainfall for neighbors just to the south.

The local forecast includes a 50 percent chance of showers and gusty winds remains, improving throughout the week . Dangers for travel to the hardest hit areas remains, however.

The NWS 5 a.m. Monday, Aug.28 storm report says: Tropical Storm Harvey continues a slow drift back to the southeast and will continue southeast and emerge just offshore of the middle Texas coast Monday afternoon.

Fri
25
Aug

Dead skunk tests positive for rabies in Meadowlakes

A dead skunk found in Meadowlakes earlier this week by the city's animal control officer tested positive for rabies, the city has reported.

Animal control impounded and submitted two dead skunks, found in separate areas of Meadowlakes, for rabies testing. One tested positive while the other did not. There was no known contact with the rabid skunk.

Should a resident find a wild animal acting out of the ordinary, do not approach it. Instead, please call the Meadowlakes Animal Control at 877-816-8136. Residents are encouraged to be cautious when outdoors, and remember to always vaccinate pets!

For more information about rabies, contact the Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Program at 254-778-6744.

This is not the first time this year a rabid skunk was found in Meadowlakes. A similar alert was made in January after a rabid skunk was found on Jan. 20.

Thu
24
Aug

Texas battens down as Harvey gathers speed

A National Weather Service map illustrates possible rainfall totals during the Hurricane Harvey event. So far, the chance for Friday night rain has continued to be listed at 30 percent for Burnet County, which can be seen in orange and yellow bands of 1-3 inches, far from the devastation faced by southern neighbors. Nonetheless, the warning is to stay vigilant in case the storm stalls or changes course.

Rather than planning one more pre-school trip to the Gulf Coast, Highland Lakes residents were tracking path of Hurricane Harvey.

The storm was elevated from Tropical Depression status Thursday, Aug. 24, expected to make landfall late Friday in between Corpus Cristi and Matagorda Bay as a Category 3 storm, with winds exceeding 110 mph, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)--the firs of that kind since Hurricane Ike in October of 2005.

It prompted the first Storm Surge Warning ever issued officially by the National Weather Service—one in effect along the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to High Island. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from south of Port Mansfield Texas to the Mouth of the Rio Grande.

Mon
21
Aug

Concert in the Park features Mustang Band

The Marble Falls Mustang Band is one of only two Texas high school marching bands performing here at the 2017 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. Their Concert in the Park on Friday, Aug. 25, in Johnson Park will introduce a new season of musical performance.

The Marble Falls Mustang Band is one of only two Texas high school marching bands performing here at the 2017 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. Their Concert in the Park Aug. 25 will introduce a new season of musical performance.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

When the Marble Falls High School Mustang Band marched in the National Memorial Day Parade on in Washington, D.C., they one of just two bands invited to represent the State of Texas.

Now, fans back home have a chance to hear what makes them a top band and to help send them on their next great musical adventure.

The MFHS Band Concert in the Park on Friday, Aug. 25, will preview their new fall show.

“The concert will be the first outlet of their new show, 'Music from the Heart,'” said Barb Shafer, president of the MFHS Band Boosters. “I have been watching them every day and I expect this show to go to state.

Fri
18
Aug

Marble Falls Council puts forward $32 million budget, lower tax rate, fee breaks for most

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Public hearings Tuesday, Aug. 15, unveiled a final proposed budget based on a tax rate slightly lower than the effective rate and including proposed utility fee increases lower than anticipated for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 in the City of Marble Falls.

Finance Director Margie Cardenas presented a budget for programs and services of $32 million with general fund expenditures of $10.404 million.

According to the council decision Aug. 1, Cardenas and her staff based the budget on an ad valorem tax rate of .6340, or 63.4 cents per $100,000, lower than the current rate of .6483. Nonetheless, the rate will apply to a certified tax valuation that has risen about eight percent to $726 million for an increase.

Wed
16
Aug

Llano County cancels burn ban

The Llano County Commissioners Court rescinded a county-wide burn ban Monday, Aug. 14, just two weeks after imposing it.

When Llano got more than seven inches of rain Aug. 6-7, County Judge Mary Cunningham said she began receiving calls asking if the ban would be lifted.

Commissioners agreed, but will likely take a look at the ban again Monday, Aug. 21, at the special hearing on the proposed county budget. That meeting is set at 9 a.m. at the Llano County Law Enforcement Center, 2001 Texas 16 North in Llano. An agreement to review the ban was a compromise with Precinct3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval, who had suggested a one-week interruption of the ban only.

Wed
16
Aug

MFISD gets an 'A' from TEA

By Richard Zowie

The Highlander

The Texas Education Agency released its preliminary 2016-2017 financial accountability ratings, and Marble Falls Independent School District scored an A.

Created in 2001, the school Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) encourages public schools to improve how they manage their finances to allow for the best allocation for direct instructional purposes.

MFISD was among the 853 state-wide public school districts that received a superior rating.

One hundred and twenty-one schools received a B “above standard achievement,” while 43 received a C and “met standard.”

Five schools received F grades for “substandard achievement.”

“We also received clean audits form our external auditor as well,” said Dr. Chris Allen, MFISD superintendent.

In the 2017-2018 budget, the district adopted a balanced budget with no projected surplus.

Wed
16
Aug

Granite Shoals continues budget work as Know Your Neighbor kicks off block parties

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Members of the Granite Shoals City Council left one of their meetings Thursday, Aug. 10, to attend the very first Know Your Neighbor block party.

Know Your Neighbor is a program being conducted by the Granite Shoals Faith Alliance, with the support of Chick-fil-A and Lowe's. The small gatherings, with lots of fun for the kids, are designed to create cohesion in the city's neighborhoods.

With just one neighborhood involved each time, children have the bouncy castle all to themselves, and adults have time to keep an eye on them, while enjoying hot sandwiches, courtesy of Chick-fil-A.

As promised, a picnic table, painted bright turquoise appeared, compliments of Lowe's. One will stay as a neighborhood gathering place after each party as part of the national front yard revival campaign, The Turquoise Table.

Tue
15
Aug

LakeFest a roaring success

Frank Shubert/The Highlander

Drag boats fairly leap from the water and down the quarter liquid race track of Lake Marble Falls during LakeFest. Check the winners in this story and see photos and videos of the event on the The-Highlander Facebook page. Like us and keep up with all the news.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The 26th annual LakeFest was a success on all fronts.

The roar of engines that echoes from Lake Marble Falls up and down the Highland Lakes on the second weekend of August each year has become familiar, but the attraction seems to grow.

“We saw more of everything,” said Patti Zinsmeyer, executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, host of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Races on Lake Marble Falls, Aug. 11-13.

“We saw more entries—112 this year. “We saw far more people. The Spectator crowds were bigger each day compared to past years. Lakeside Park was packed.

“We estimate, over the three days, there were more than 25,000 spectators. That is not counting all the families and crew members for the racers or people who watch from the bridge or homes or places like Riverview RV park on the south side of the lake.”

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