Llano County

Thu
31
Aug

Harvey refugees harbor in Highland Lakes

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

At a lunch provided by First Baptist Church – Burnet, Swanna Lofton, center, explains resources her congregation has been assembling for refugees such as the family of Glenna Roberts, with whom she is seated. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Rockport family seated with them are, from left, Skyla, Kimberlynn and Ray Jr. Jasso and Baille Phillips. Mid-day has been set as a meeting time with local churches and organizations delivering help to storm victims at Inks Lake State Park.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Estimates have more than 30,000 Texans seeking emergency shelter as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continues, but many are safe and dry in the Texas Hill Country.

Mission Marble Falls at St. Frederick Church geared up for a lunch Tuesday, Aug. 29, to welcome people fleeing the storm.

Ann Sherman and Ron Farmer had traveled from Port Aransas.

“When they said Harvey would come as a Category 1, we were going to stay,” said Sherman. “Then they said Category 3 or maybe 4.

“Ron said we are going. We grabbed our cat, our records, our pictures and we got out in 45 minutes.”

A few people stayed behind and the couple said the news was disheartening.

“The roof is gone and the ceiling is on the floor,” he said.

Two groups of people from Sweeney who had never met were lunching in the St. Frederick dining room.

Tue
25
Jul

Tubing takes tragic turn at Lake Buchanan as man dies

Juan Antonio Bolaños

 

By Richard Zowie

The Highlander

A weekend on the water turned into a tragedy as a man died in the early morning of July 23 after being pulled from the water at Buchanan Dam the day before.

According to Steve Lightfoot of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Juan Antonio Bolaños, a 28-year-old Mexican national, was on a float tube at the dam Saturday evening when he fell off at some point and was unable to swim.

Friends on shore say it was about 15 minutes before they realized he wasn’t there. They then went out and brought him to shore.

Lightfoot said medical personnel responding were able to detect a pulse from Bolaños, who was then transported by helicopter to a hospital.

The Mexican national was pronounced dead early Sunday morning.

Lightfoot said at this time, no further details of Bolaños’ death are known. He added that there is currently no indication of foul play.

Tue
25
Jul

Llano County burn ban remains in effect

 

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

With no discussion, Llano County commissioners voted Monday to extend a county-wide burn ban for another three weeks. The vote was unanimous, 4-0, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval absent.

The Texas Forest Service lists Llano County with a Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) ranging from 328 to 526 as of Monday, July 24. According to the KBDI definition, a range of 400 to 600 means that “Lower litter and duff layers contribute to fire intensity and will burn actively. Wildfire intensity begins to increase significantly. Larger fuels could burn or smolder for several days.”

County Emergency Management Coordinator Assistant Ron Anderson said he didn’t take his usual poll of county fire chiefs to get their opinions because “half the departments were out fighting fires” over the weekend.

Wed
28
Jun

TxDOT agrees to reconsider RM 1431 restriping project

 

Phil Reynolds/The Highlander

A Llano County crowd nearly fills the 500-capacity sanctuary at Kingsland’s First Baptist Church to hear Texas Department of Transportation engineers justify a reworking of Ranch to Market Road 1431 from a four-lane highway to a two-lane highway with turn and passing lanes. Opposition to the proposal was nearly unanimous.

 

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

Facing a hostile, but polite, audience that nearly filled the 500-capacity sanctuary at Kingsland’s First Baptist Church Tuesday evening, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) officials agreed to reconsider a proposal to restripe Ranch-to-Market Road 1431 in Llano County.

The project would have made the four-lane highway into a two-lane highway with intermittent passing and turning lanes, a change TxDOT engineers said would improve the safety of the road.

Tue
27
Jun

Llano County does not impose burn ban at meeting

 

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

Llano County commissioners voted not to impose a county-wide burn ban Monday with three commissioners voting to table the matter, one voting in favor of a ban, and County Judge Mary Cunningham abstaining.

The question of a burn ban is a regular agenda item during commissioners court meetings. Commissioners have been voting to table the question recently, saying conditions don’t warrant a ban.

Monday, however, Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke noted that the county had seen several “really big” fires recently, some burning “close to houses.”

County Emergency Management Assistant Ron Anderson said three fire chiefs in the county had told him the previous Wednesday that if the county got “significant” rainfall over the weekend of June 24-25, they might reconsider their recommendation for a ban.

Fri
23
Jun

Brouhaha brewing over proposed RM 1431 change

Phil Reynolds/The Highlander

Llano County Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke, left, explains a Texas Department of Transportation plan to change Ranch Road 1431 from a four-lane highway in Llano County to a two-lane road with turn and passing lanes. Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval, whose precinct also would be affected by the project, is at right; County Judge Mary Cunningham is seated in the background.

 

 

By Phil Reynolds

The Highlander

A revolution may be brewing in Llano County over what some residents perceive as an unneeded and unwanted change to Ranch to Market Road 1431 and an attitude bordering on contempt for local officials by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

At issue is a plan to change the ranch road from four lanes to what is known as a “super two” highway – one lane in each direction with intermittent turn lanes and passing lanes where engineers think they’re needed. The approximately 30 miles of Texas 71 between US 281 south of Marble Falls to Texas 16 in Llano is an example of that type of highway.

Fri
27
Jan

Burnet County sheriff's deputies arrest 17 in drug roundup

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Working in conjunction with other local agencies, Burnet County Sheriff's deputies in the Special Operations Unit have arrested 17 individuals in Burnet and Llano counties as part of a month-long undercover investigation targeting methamphetamine dealers in the two counties that culminated in a raid Thursday at multiple locations.

Burnet County Sheriff Calvin Boyd said a total of 31 warrants were obtained on the 17 individuals arresed, charging each with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in penalty group 1, more than one gram but less than four grams.

Each charge is a second-degree felony under Texas Penal Code, Chapter 481.112(c), punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a $10,000 fine.

“This represents a significant impact on the local methamphetamine supply network,” Boyd said.

Thu
29
Dec

Change the world, ukulele style

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

A few of the variety of ukuleles available are arrayed in front of four early arrivals at one of the twice-monthly meetings of the Highland Lakes Ukulele Club; seated, Virginia Sivells, and from left, Luis Sirvent, Pat O'Malley, Lisa Miller and Don Crowder. Their motto is: 'Changing The World, Four Strings At A Time.'

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

You may think of the ukulele with a smile and memory of Arthur Godfrey (1903-1983), with a groan over “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” by Tiny Tim (1938-1996) or a mellow sigh at the memory of that 1990 medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" by “Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (1959 – 1997).

But picture it, now, in your own hands and embrace the motto of the Highland Lakes Ukulele Club: “Changing the world, four strings at a time.”

This band of troubadours meets twice a month to practice together and draw new players into their musical fold.

When Don Crowder, an accomplished musician, began to coax Lisa Miller toward a simple instrument like the ukulele she was dubious.

“Before I could say no, he ordered one for me,” she said. “The premiere benefit of having two people is that you are having a good time.”

Tue
22
Nov

Llano County murder suspect claims self defense

Justin Lamb

BY ALEXANDRIA RANDOLPH

The suspect of a Llano County murder has claimed he shot a man in self defense, authorities said Tuesday.

Justin Lamb, 27, of Yuma, Ariz. was arrested on charge of murder after authorities were led to a Llano County ranch where a Mason man was slain.

Joshua Lee Jordan, 31, was found shot multiple times in the head and torso on Saturday morning, Nov. 19, while his three-year-old son slept in a nearby house.

“At about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, we had a call from the Stripes at Texas Highway 29 and Texas Highway 16,” said Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn.

The caller said there was a man at the location who told employees he had shot his friend on a nearby ranch.

“We went out to the ranch about nine miles west of Llano off County Road 403,” Blackburn said. “There we found a subject shot multiple times. He was deceased.”

Jordan's three-year-old son was asleep in the house nearby when the shooting occurred.

Fri
29
Jul

Kingsland wife sentenced 45 years in murder of 'husband'

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers

After a lengthy deliberation by jurors, a Kingsland woman was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment Monday in Llano District Court in the August 2014 murder of her partner.

Kathryn Louise Preston, 47, was convicted of the murder of her romantic partner Jose Mario Hernandez, 23, on Monday, July 25, in the court of District Judge Evan Stubbs. Preston was sentenced to 45 years imprisonment after eight hours of deliberation by jurors.

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