Marble Falls Texas news


Virdell appointed to MFISD board

Kevin Virdell

The Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) Board of Trustees have appointed Kevin Virdell to fill the vacancy in Place 7 created when Kelly Fox, PhD, resigned in July.

The appointment was made after a lengthy executive session during the board meeting on Monday night, Aug. 29.


Flat Creek Estate holds annual Harvest Dinner


The vineyard of Flat Creek Estate stretches quietly behind Ted Hindes of Dallas, left, assisting chuck-wagon cook Larry Sawyer, right, of Llano with a barbecue dinner held Saturday, Aug. 27, in honor of the volunteers who help pick the grape harvest for the winery east of Marble Falls. See more photos of the day at The-Highlander Facebook page.

 From their first planting in the year 2000, Rick and Madelyn Naber have been able to depend on friends, neighbors on the north shore of Lake Travis and wine aficionados to dig into the soil and harvesting of grapes at Flat Creek Estates.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, as in years before, those scores of supporters were treated to the annual Harvest Dinner. Many of the scores of volunteers who helped harvest the crops in July and August enjoyed a chuck-wagon barbecue prepared by Larry Sawyer of Llano and the tunes of Guitar Tex and the Traveling Trio.

The Nabers had purchased the land off Singleton Bend Road in 1998. "The Grand Planting," as they have come to call it, in 2000 saw 6,000 vines installed by 60 hard-working volunteers in just six hours. Since 2006 the "Harvest Team" of volunteers have joined  the Flat Creek crew to bring in the harvest.


Mustang opener: the wait was worth it


A storm front clears the field at Mustang Stadium Friday night to the wee hours of Saturday morning, Aug. 26-27.

By Mark Goodson

Highlander Sports Editor

Marble Falls waited out a four-hour weather delay in its season opener Friday, but the wait was worth it.

The Mustangs showed some rock solid defense and some big-play ability with its offense in a 41-14 victory over Cedar Creek at Mustang Stadium.

The Mustangs outgained Cedar Creek from Bastrop, 490-228 in yards. Cedar Creek was held under 100 yards through the first three quarters.

Marble Falls sophomore Cooper Wilson rushed for 102 yards and scored one touchdown. He also caught two passes for 32 yards.

  Wilson scored the game's first touchdown on a 1-yard dive play to end a three-play, 57 drive by the Mustangs.

Sam Harkins turned a sideline pass from Zach Rangel into a 50-yard score to put the Mustangs ahead for good with 3:35 left in the first quarter at 14-7.

Harkins averaged 51 yards a catch on two receptions.


Marble Falls man arrested on sexual indecency charge

Larry Dean Watson

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


A Marble Falls man has been arrested a on charge of indecency with a child as police continue to investigate the outcry of a juvenile.

Marble Falls Police Sgt. Tom Dillard said that Larry Dean Watson, 35, was taken into custody Monday, Aug. 15, on charge of indecency with a child by sexual contact, a second-degree felony.

“I arrested him as soon as I had probable cause,” Dillard said. “We had to get some protective orders in place.”

Dillard said a juvenile female made an outcry to police regarding ongoing sexual abuse.

“The subsequent investigation provided collaboration of this claim,” Dillard said, adding that the abuse may have been taking place over a long period of time.

There are potentially other victims, but police haven't had time to investigate this further, Dillard said.


Park fast and hop on the Mustang Express

An aerial map shows the route from Ranch to Market Road 1431 to Marble Falls High School 'Home' parking via Mustang Drive and 'Visitors' and Colt Elementary School parking via the Manzano Mile.

Parking for Marble Falls High School (MFHS) Mustang football and Lady ‘Stangs volleyball has two overflow options and fans can depend on the Mustang Express Shuttle to get to the games, even on the most crowded nights.

For the best parking for Friday game nights this fall, the following parking tips from the Marble Falls Independent School District (MFISD) will be helpful to gain the most convenient access to events:

• Volleyball fans should arrive early to park in the “Home” parking off Mustang Drive for access to the Max Copeland Gym.

• Handicap parking for football is available off Mustang Drive behind the MFHS band hall. Handicap parking for Volleyball is available adjacent to the Max Copeland Gym.


Ridgemont Village gets Community Pride Award, council hears budget, tax rate


The first annual Community Pride Award is presented to Ridgemont Village for spring cleaning beautification within the city. Mayor John Packer is joined for the presentation at the Marble Falls City Council meeting Aug. 16 by, continuing left, Scott Matthews, Ridgemont Village owner; resident Dee Guinn, and Kelly Crane, Ridgemont Village manager.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Ridgemont Village, a retirement community at 92 Gateway North, has been named recipient of the first annual Marble Falls Community Pride Award.

The award was first on the agenda of the Marble Falls City Council in a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 16, that included also the first public hearing on a budget and tax rate and an encouraging report on the city's relationship with Baylor Scott & White.

“I want to thank Ridgmont Village for taking part in this effort to enhance the appearanceof our community,” said Mayor John Packer in welcome to Scott and Gail Matthews, owners of the gated, hilltop development, and their manager Kelly Crane.

Crane introduced Adrian and Dee Guinn, saying “Dee was the one who read about the award in the newspaper and nominated us. The Guinns are representative of our residents who care about the place where they live.”


MF traffic light, speed limit, road changes coming


Texas Department of Transportation contractors have been installing traffic cameras on Ranch to Market Road 1431 intersections this week and plan another for new signals coming to Avenue N by September. They are part of a detection system to que traffic lights to change.



The City of Marble Falls is working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on changes that could make highway traffic through the city safer and smoother.

They involve traffic lights and another new speed limit change.

A TxDOT contractor MIDASCO began Wednesday installing cameras and street and mast arm signs on signal poles at Ranch to Market Road 1431 and Avenues Q and U.

The installation has involved some lane closures with Marble Falls Police patrol officers directing traffic, but the benefits should outweigh the inconvenience.

“These cameras are not to record traffic violations,” said City Manager Mike Hodge. “These are VIVDS (video image vehicle detection system) cameras.

“They have a wide view of the roads they monitor so they can tell a traffic signal control to change the light.”


Fugitive drug trafficker sought




The U.S. Marshals are hunting a Marble Falls man previously convicted on drug trafficking charges.

Thomas Richard Sims, 35, is wanted for violating the terms of his release following several years in prison on distribution and possession charges. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Saturday, July 26.

Supervisory Deputy Hector Gomez of the U.S. Marshals Western District of Texas said Sims went missing just before he was scheduled to check in to a substance abuse treatment program. His probation officer purchased him a ticket to the program on July 8, but Sims never showed up.

Sims is expected to be hiding in Burnet County or the greater Austin area.

“His network isn’t there anymore, but we figure he’ll be in Marble Falls or the Burnet County area, or here in Austin,” Gomez said. “We figure if we get his name and photo out, it will shake the trees up a little bit.”


EDC releases $6.2 mil to hotel project

A downtown and waterfront area of Marble Falls is to become home to a $25.3 million hotel-conference center based on an agreement with Novak Cobalt Partners, LLC, developers. The Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation has alloted $6.2 million and land to the project.


The Marble Falls Economic Development Board of directors on Wednesday, Aug. 3, committed $6.2 million to the $25.3 million waterfront hotel conference center agreement with Novak Cobalt Partners, LLC.

The action came after approval of the formal term sheet between the EDC and the developer for a 90-year lease of property between Lakeside Park and the Hampton Inn. The lease, with a purchase option after three years. Specified is a $200,000 annual lease payment, as well as an additional rent payment of 25 percent of annual room revenue exceeding $2 million.

Through a long process of EDC and stakeholder meetings and public forums, the project has evolved to the statement that became part of Wednesday's agreement for: “a select service level resort hotel of approximately 150 keys and adjacent full-service conference center, restaurant and bar” (approximately 16,000 square feet on two levels).


Events ease back-to-school financial woes

School supplies, shoes, hair cuts and health screening are free Saturday~


Getting ready to go back to school is a flurry of activities for all families, but for some a financial is a dark cloud over the preparations.

A break in that cloud—the Back-to-School Blast (B2BS) sponsored by Highland Lakes Health Partnership—takes place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Drive.

The event began an continues as an effort by area churches to be sure children have the backpacks and school supplies they need, but a selection of free shoes and socks has been added. This year a health fair with free vision and hearing tests is new. And, back-to-school hair cuts are free.

Vendor booths offfer some give-aways and lots of information about community services.


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