Burnet County


Abbott asks for presidential disaster declaration

Contributed Photo
Several hundred residents were temporarily displaced after storm water runoff from the Llano River flooded homes and damaged property throughout the Junction, Llano and Highland Lakes areas, including the one pictured in Kingsland. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott has requested FEMA funding to help residents recover in the aftermath of the flood event.







By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked President Donald Trump to approve a presidential disaster declaration for Burnet and Llano counties in the wake of flooding and severe weather which devastated the Highland Lakes last month.


Early voting under way in Burnet, Llano counties

Cindi Fry/The Highlander
Early voting got off to a brisk start Oct. 22 at the Marble Falls south annex of the Burnet County Courthouse.



By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Early voting in Burnet and Llano counties has begun for the Thursday, Nov. 6, general election and will continue through Friday, Nov. 2.


Flood disaster assistance FAQs for donations, needs, volunteers and public health

Richard Zowie/The Highlander and Burnet Bulletin
From where to go for supplies to how to donate and volunteer, flood victims and those helping them have a wealth of resources to turn to in Burnet and Llano counties.




Special to The Highlander and Burnet Bulletin

In the aftermath of Highland Lakes flood event, emergency management officials have compiled a list of general help information for the public.

Those seeking assistance with the cleanup and other cleanup resources and wanting to donate or volunteer:

• Marble Falls First Baptist Church, 901 La Ventana, 78654 830-693-4381.

Go to https://fbcmf.org/flood/ for more information.

• First United Methodist Church, 1101 Bluebonnet Dr. in Marble Falls, 830-265-0761.

• Granite Shoals First Baptist Church, 505 S Phillips Ranch Road, 512-755-5217.

• The Church at Horseshoe Bay, 600 Hi Ridge Rd., 214-636-8373.

Collection points for water/sports drinks:

• Lakeshores Church parking lot, 700 US 281 in Marble Falls, 617-291-8310.

• Granite Shoals Fire Hall, 8410 W. FM 1431, 830-596-8110.


Body found on Lake LBJ identified as missing Junction flood victim





A body found near Circle Drive near Kingsland on Lake LBJ during Tuesday's flooding has been identified as a woman who went missing in Llano River flooding in Junction nearly three weeks ago.

The Travis County Medical Examiner has identifed the body as being that of Charlotte Moye, according to the Burnet County Sheriff's Department, which issued a press release Saturday, Oct. 20.

Sheriff's deputies responded to a call to the Lake LBJ waterfront in the 700 block of Circle Drive at 11:58 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. The complainant believed he had located a body that had washed ashore during flooding on Lake LBJ.

Patrol deputies arrived and called investigators to the scene. The victim was pronounced deceased by Burnet County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Roxanne Nelson and an autopsy was ordered. The body was sent to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office for identification and an autopsy.


Area shelters welcome displaced residents in wake of Highland Lakes flood

Flood waters from the Llano River overflowed in the Kingsland area, including roadways such as RR 1431 in Llano County. Emergency first responders helped residents find higher ground and temporary quarters in area emergency shelters.





Editor's Note: As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 the Marble Falls Middle School shelter has reached capacity. Marble Falls First Baptist Church, 901 La Ventana Dr., has been established as a new shelter location.

Compiled by Savanna Gregg •
Staff Writer •

As flood waters continue to plague areas of Burnet and Llano counties Oct. 16, residents – and their pets – were evacuated from their homes to area shelters.

Flood waters in the Llano River ushered in by thunderstorms in a 24-hour period have wreaked havoc in the Highland Lakes.

Area emergency first responders have assisted residents in communities including Meadowlakes and Marble Falls as well as Llano and Kingsland in getting to higher ground.

For those who do not have alternative accommodations, officials have established temporary shelters until the flood waters subside.


Utopiafest moves to Reveille Peak Ranch



By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Utopiafest organizers announced on their website Wednesday, Oct. 3, they are moving the festival to Reveille Peak Ranch on County Road 114.

Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd confirmed the move Wednesday and said he believes “this is a much better location for this type of event” than a private ranch on Shady Grove Road (County Road 200).

“I think this was something they had planned on doing after the public hearing and it was actually the first site they originally picked,” Boyd said. “I think they have a much better chance of getting a (mass gathering) permit with this new location. Reveille Peak is set up for events like this and getting out there is much safer, so I feel better about it.”


Bertram police chief faces felony perjury and oppression charges after Burnet County Grand Jury indictment

Facebook Photo
Chief James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson faces several indictment charges, alleging official oppression, aggravated perjury and misuse of official information.




Editor's Note: Bertram Police Chief JJ Wilson offered comments in response to the indictments against him in the Friday, Oct. 5 issue of The Highlander. In that same issue, 33rd/424th Judicial District Attorney Wiley ("Sonny") McAfee also offered a statement from the DA's office.

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

The 424th Judicial District Grand Jury indicted Bertram Police Chief James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson Oct. 2 on charges of felony aggravated perjury, felony misuse of official information and misdemeanor official oppression, court documents stated.

The charges stemmed from three incident allegations in Burnet County in connection with a dispute over hay ownership, the release of criminal background information and a sworn statement in a drug-related arrest, according to the grand jury indictments.


Utopiafest organizers seek peace from protestors, Permit hangs in the balance

About 100 people attended a public meeting Sept. 19 to express concerns about a proposed festival permit that would bring thousands of people onto 105 acres just outside Burnet. A public hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Burnet County Commissioners Court.





Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor •

Utopiafest founder Travis Sutherland told more than 100 concerned Burnet County residents his festival is about “family, connection and community” during a public meeting Wednesday evening at the Burnet County AgriLife Extension building.

A public hearing on the permit is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, during a regular commissioners court meeting at the Burnet County Courthouse in Burnet.

However, many of those in attendance at Wednesday night’s meeting voiced their displeasure with organizers’ failure to notify them about the venue change to property off Shady Grove Road (County Road 200), as one local attorney even accused them of violating state law by promoting the now 10-year-old festival without a mass gathering permit.


Anti-mining dust up sparks Spicewood protest rallies

Lew Cohn/The Highlander
A Spicewood-area group, who have joined forces with the Texas Environmental Protection Coalition, will stage day-long protest rallies on Saturday and Sunday Sept. 8 and 9 at the entryway of Double Horn Creek subdivision. Supporters of the non-profit group (Pictured here in September 2017) protested a similar operation planned just off the Texas 71/U.S. 281 intersection.






By Connie Swinney •
Staff Writer •

A group of Spicewood residents has joined forces with a regional anti-mining group to fight plans for a rock-crushing plant and quarry operation on several hundred acres between two residential subdivisions, just off Texas 71.

The Spicewood Environmental Protection Alliance Texas (SEPATX) is hosting two protest rallies – one from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9; both at the corner of Texas 71 and Vista View Trail at the entrance of Doublehorn Creek subdivision.


Burnet County burn ban lifted




From staff reports

The Burnet County burn ban has been lifted as of Thursday, Sept. 6, Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

Soaking rains fell throughout Burnet County this week, with some areas reporting up to three inches of precipitation within a 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. The rain caused the county's Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) average to drop 32 points from 523 to 491, with a high of 703 (just north of Burnet) and a low of 320 (near Marble Falls).

The KBDI is used to determine forest fire potential. The drought index is based on daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture (assumed to have a maximum storage capacity of eight inches) and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.


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