Marble Falls news


Public can sound off on Burnet County flood debris grant

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
The pile of flood debris, just off Phillips Ranch Road in Granite Shoals could be closer to being hauled off. Burnet County will likely apply for a block grant to help pay for debris removal. The debris pile is the result of the October flood event.





By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Burnet County commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5:05 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, about applying for a $350,000 Community Development Block Grant for removal of October 2018 flood debris.

Commissioners voted Tuesday, Jan. 15, to contract with Langford Community Management Services, a Leander-based firm, to administer and provide project-related management services for the county's grant application. Langford has provided grant administration services to a number of local entities, including several block grants for the City of Marble Falls.

The Jan. 22 public hearing will allow citizens the opportunity to discuss all aspects of the Texas Community Development Block Grant program, which is part of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Discussion topics include citizen participation, past CDBG fund use, eligible CDBG activities and amount of funding available.


Recommendation on Marble Falls boat ramp fees launch council debate

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
The city of Marble Falls boat ramp area on Lakeshore Drive in the so-called Hays Addition on Lake Marble Falls is undergoing several thousands of dollars in upgrades and improvements, including expanded parking and ramp improvements. At the request of some council members, city officials are researching the expense and possible gain of invoking boat ramp fees.






By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

City officials debated the possible merits Jan. 15 of passing proposed fees for the public using two city-maintained boat launch locations to access Lake Marble Falls.

Within the city limits, boaters can access Lake Marble Falls using a ramp on Lakeshore Drive in the Hays Addition and a boat ramp in Johnson Park on Backbone Creek.

The city, opting to expand the two existing ramps, has closed a third ramp in Lakeside Park, to help clear the way for a planned hotel/conference center on Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation property adjacent to the park at Buena Vista Drive and Yett Street.

Councilman Dave Rhodes said the city's parks improvements efforts which are underway and the potential for “user wear and tear” of the amenities prompted him to request consideration of fees.


MFHS choir director Bryce Gage appearance on Deal Or No Deal airs Wednesday Jan. 16

CNBC/Jon Daly
Marble Falls High School choir director Bryce Gage, left, looks unphased as “Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel discusses his options from the banker during an episode of the CNBC hit show, which will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16.





By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

One thing is for certain: no one watching Wednesday's upcoming 8 p.m. episode of the hit CNBC game show “Deal or No Deal” will forget Marble Falls High School choir teacher Bryce Gage anytime soon.


Flooding, fire, newly-created city topped headlines in The Highlander for 2018.

File Photo
A wildfire and an historic flood event which washed a way the FM 2900 bridge in Kingsland were among the top 2018 stories in the Marble Falls area. Flooding throughout Burnet and Llano counties in October 2018 submerged several homes including the one pictured here in Channel Oaks, off FM 2147.





By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

Flooding, fire and the loss of the beloved Bluebonnet Belle topped headlines in The Highlander for 2018.

Historic flood event


Marble Falls schools adds STEAM to the learning process

STEAM Academy students from Marble Falls ISD fuse science, technology, engineering, math and the arts to make learning fun and applicable to the real world.




Special to The Highlander
Marble Falls ISD has introduced STEAM Academy for the 2018/19 school year. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

The first program consists of approximately 75 6th-grade students, with the program coordinated out of Spicewood Elementary School. 

Each year school officials plan to add another grade of students until the program includes 8th grade students.  The goal of the STEAM Academy is "to offer integrated learning of the core academics through the lens of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math." 

Coordinators believe that learning should be engaging and cross-curricular while focusing on real-world learning opportunities. 

The daily schedule will offer combined academic classes, art, music theater, pe, technology, Project Lead the Way, as well as a specific PBL (problem based learning) class. 


City to replace Via Viejo storage tank

Via Viejo ground storage tank in Marble Falls


The city of Marble Falls voted to fund a new way to deal with an “old way” of doing things.

At their Tuesday, Sept. 19, City Council meeting, the Marble Falls City Council awarded a bid to Tank Builders to replace the Via Viejo ground storage tank. “Via viejo” translates from Spanish to “old way” in English.

The existing 500,000-gallon tank at Via Viejo was built in the early 1960s and now has exceeded its designed lifespan. The new tank will have a 600,000-gallon capacity and is projected to keep up with the city's future growth. The project, which includes new piping and electrical work, is estimated at $800,000 and will be funded by previously issued bond proceeds.


First responders to train at building on site of future Panda Express

Local first responders will be taking advantage of plans by Panda Express to come to Marble Falls.

Training will be going on during the next several weeks in an abandoned building in the 2000 block of US 281 North, next to Chick-fil-A, so citizens don't need to be alarmed by an increase in first responder traffic there.

“The building is slated for demolition to make way for the new Panda Express,” said Marble Falls Fire Chief Russell Sander. “This provides area fire departments an excellent opportunity to train firefighters in a commercial building and practice some skills that normally require special facilities to complete.

“No actual fire will be used during this training.”

Sander made his comments in a press release to alert residents they would see increased Marble Falls Fire Rescue and other first responser activity around the building at various times.


Wilson visits hometown Air Evac base

Alexandria Randolph/Highland Lakes Newspapers

Terry Wilson, unopposed candidate for Texas Representative District 20, visited his hometown Air Evac 49 base in Marble Falls on Thursday morning, Nov. 3, and discussed funding for the program.

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


Air Evac officials discussed funding and support with unopposed Texas Representative candidate Terry Wilson on Thursday morning.

Wilson, a Marble Falls resident and unopposed candidate for Texas Representative District 20, visited with the officials at Air Evac 49 base in Marble Falls Thursday morning to learn more about the company, its strengths, and its challenges.
Wilson told Air Evac Flight Paramedics and pilots that he had the upmost respect for their roles, having two parents that were nurses, as well as combat experience, in which hasty trauma care was an absolute necessity.

Wilson commended the team for their work with “the value of life.”

“There is tremendous risk associated with that, so I thank you,” he said.

Terry Thompson, Air Evac Program Director, asked Wilson for his support in the ongoing issue of funding.


Marble Falls man convicted of assaulting police captain with boat

Marble Falls Police Capt. Ted Young

A Marble Falls man who ran over a Marble Falls police captain with his boat was sentenced by District Judge Allan Garrett on Oct. 19 to 10 years in prison, but then had his sentence probated for 10 years after an agreement was reached between the man's attorney and the Burnet County District Attorney's office.

James “Hank” Fry must spend 120 days in the Burnet County Jail as a condition of his probation for his conviction for intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury to a peace officer, a second-degree felony.

On July 4, 2015, Fry's boat collided with a MFPD patrol boat piloted by Capt. Ted Young, running over Young, striking him and sending him into the water. The force of the collision broke Young's shoulder and several ribs, fractured a vertebrae in his spine, lacerated his spleen and caused bleeding on the brain.


Officer's act of kindness leads to burglary suspect's arrest

Xavier Haynes

By Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers

A Granite Shoals man suspected in an aggravated burglary in Louisiana was taken into custody by a Marble Falls Police officer during an act of kindness this week.

Xavier Tyler Haynes, 18, was arrested on Monday, Oct. 10, after a police officer spotted him walking down the road.

“He was walking in a traffic lane down (Ranch to Market Road) 1431,” said Marble Falls Police Capt. Glen Hanson, when the young man was spotted by Marble Falls Police.

“The officer offered to give him a ride, and asked him where he was going. He said he was on his way to Granite Shoals,” Hanson said.

During the trip, the officer checked Haynes' identification and dispatch reported the young man was wanted by the State of Louisiana on felony charge of aggravated burglary.

According to the Burnet County Jail database the charge was issued following an incident in that state on May 22.


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