Llano County news


Judicial conduct board admonishes and orders ethics training for Horseshoe Bay JP

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered a justice of the peace in Horseshoe Bay to take ethics training, after upholding a public admonishment Aug. 7 for her dealings with a woman she accused of having a relationship with the judge's estranged husband.

The state commission concluded that Llano County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Beatrice “Bebe” Rocha “lent the prestige of her judicial office to advance her own private interests by invoking her judicial position during a telephone conversation . . .”


Landowners work to “heal” Sandy Creek after flood

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Hill Country Alliance, Save Sandy Creek members and several other volunteers planted grasses, sedges and trees March 2 along Sandy Creek, just off Texas 71 to mitigate future flood issues.





By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

An effort to restore Sandy Creek has taken root in Llano County.

About 25 landowners, conservationists and other volunteers attended the Sandy Creek Riparian Restoration Field Day March 2 on private property (County Road 316) adjacent to Sandy Creek to assess land and put so-called revegetation efforts into practice.

“People like myself and other professionals, we really didn't think about rivers. They were just part of the landscape,” said Steve Nelle, a Natural Resource Conservation Service retiree. “We didn't know anything about how to manage them or take care of them.”

Sponsored by Hill Country Alliance, the Bender family welcomed the volunteers to their property to tour the creek shoreline, plant black willow cuttings and sedges as well as broadcast native seed and transplant muhly grasses.


Llano 'Turns on the Night' Friday

Llano Railroad Bridge and starlit night, a Todd Grubbs photo.



This Friday, April 13, Llano will join Mason, Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock State Park in a regional partnership to “Turn On The Night.”

All four of the communities are in some of the last remaining dark night sky areas in Texas, yet closest to the major metropolitan areas of the state. They want to see if a concentrated effort to darken the landscape will be measurable.


LCRA taking Steps Forward April 6

The LCRA Steps Forward Day, Friday, April 6, serves as the kick off for the 2018 Keep Marble Falls Beautiful Spring Clean Up. Citizens are invited to join LCRA employees in the one-day project and to take part in the city's clean-up opportunities in the week to come.




Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) employees are rolling up their sleeves to work side by side with 30 communities to make life better for their citizens in the 4th Annual Steps Forward Day on Friday, April 6.

In Marble Falls, Steps Forward serves as the kick-off day for the city wide 2-18 Keep Marble Falls Beautiful Spring Clean Up event.

LCRA employees will help with clean up of the Marble Falls Historic Cemetery at 400 Avenue S, the back nine of the Westside Park Disc Golf Course and the nearby neighborhoods between Avenue N and Industrial Boulevard. Specifically, that means picking up litter from Avenue N, from Ranch to Market Road 1431 to Second Street, Second Street from Avenue N to Industrial, Industrial from Second Street to RM 1431, and RM 1431 from Industrial to Avenue N.


LPD indictments returned in February


By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

A Llano County grand jury has issued additional indictments against the Llano with a police chief and a former officer in connection with a May 2, 1027, arrest of a Llano man.

Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff and former officer Grant Harden both were charged Monday, Feb. 26 with a count of official oppression by trespass, a count of official oppression by false arrest and a count of tampering with a government document. Both men turned themselves in to the Llano County Jail for booking and since have been released on bond.

Official oppression is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term up up to one year and/or a fine, not to exceed $4,000. Tampering with a government document is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days-two years in a state jail facility and/or a fine up to $10,000.


Local counties recorded highest rainfall

A National Weather Service forecast shows small chances for showers as skies clear and temperatures climb for LakeFest weekend in MarbleFalls.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says more showers, less flooding for our area, but it did come down from late Sunday night to Monday morning, Aug. 6-7.

The storm cluster over north Texas moved south and produced widely varying rain totals, heaviest in portions of Llano and Burnet Counties, where as much as 5-8 inches fell. Some flash flooding was observed in this area but recent dry conditions have helped limit the overall flooding and flash flooding threat, according to the NWS. “LCRA opened one floodgate at Wirtz Dam and one floodgate at Starcke Dam to move floodwaters downstream early Monday morning. Both gates were closed by 11 a.m.”


Burnet County Area Fair is 'Hill Country Proud' is underway

The Burnet County Area Fair is underway, through Saturday, June 10, with free family fun at the Burnet Community Center, 401 East Jackson Street in Burnet.

Entries have been invited from Burnet, Bell, Blanco, Lampasas, Llano, San Saba, Travis and Williamson counties.

Opening Ceremonies were the official start at 10 a.m. Friday, June 9, with the Hill Country Blenders singing the Star Spangle Banner and other songs fitting this year's theme: "Hill Country Proud."

In the foundation building a quilting demonstration began at 10:30 a.m. Linda Wells, the AgriLife Extension Agent, will host a cooking demonstration, “Hill Country Foods that can make us proud.”


UPDATE: Llano burglary suspect apprehended

IN CUSTODY: Ashton Micheal Hutchison

The Llano Police Department (LPD) announced yesterday, Monday, May 29, that Ashton Michael Hutchinson was in custody.

The public had been asked for assistance in locating him in connection with a May 25 burglary that involved a shooting and that appeal apparently paid off. A woman posting on social media said, "We saw him walking on a county road outside Cherokee and called him in."

Hutchison, 25, was taken into custody about 5 p.m. Monday in nearby Cherokee by deputies with the San Saba County Sheriff's Office and an officer of the Llano Police Department.

Hutchison was sought on charges of burglary of a habitation at Stonewall's Pizza Wings & Things, 109 West Main Street in Llano.

The manager of the popular restaurant on the Llano County Courthouse Square, Richard Mandi Schmidt, also commented on social media, saying, "We will all sleep a little better knowing he is in custody."


Bond jumper back behind bars

Mary Sewell

A San Saba woman is in the Burnet County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond after she failed to appear in court for charges regarding injury and abandonment of her three children in Llano County and fled to Nevada. It was her second bond jump.

Mary Elizabeth Sewell, 23, originally was arrested in October 2015 and charged with abandoning and endangering a child through criminal negligence. She was released on bond, apparently fled the state.

“She took off and we had to send two deputies, a male and a female, to go pick her up from Reno, Nevada,” Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn said. “She bonded out when she was returned and when it appeared she was going to test hot for drugs, she went on the fly again. After we got warrants out on her, she came back and turned herself in at Lampasas.”


Star Republican Women hear child services program

Dorothy Crockett/The Highlander

Associate Judge Cheryll Mabray of the Child Protection Court of the Hill Country addresses Star Republican Women in Horseshoe Bay on Jan. 10.

By Dorothy Crockett


Subscribe to RSS - Llano County news