News

Wed
20
Jun

Commissioners award two low-water crossing contracts

Alexandria Randolph

The Highlander

In a meeting of Burnet County Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday, the court awarded a contract for the construction of two low water crossings.

The crossings on County Roads 322 and 330 will be reconstructed by Walenta’s Construction, as recommended by Willis Engineering as a part of the scope of their services to the county.

“After the five inch rain we received recently, it has shown us the need to make these improvements,” said Tony Plumley, president of Willis Engineering.

Plumley said out of 14 potential contractors, Walenta’s Construction, a family owned business out of Leander, was selected.

“They are multi-family developers,” he said. “Everyone gave them great reviews. I feel very confident they do good work.”

Plumley said that of the contractors which submitted bids, Walenta’s Construction was only 50 cents off the county’s estimated cost of the project. 

Wed
20
Jun

Burnet County resident killed in plane crash

A Burnet County resident was killed Friday afternoon in a plane crash outside Rotan in Fisher County during an aerial photography mission, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reported a single-engine Cessna 172N plane struck power lines before crashing into the bottom of a canyon northwest of Abilene on a private ranch.

Jay Robert Leibson, 38, was among two men killed in the crash. DPS listed Leibson as being from Burnet, though Leibson also has ties to Spicewood. He had been employed with Aerophoto for about five years, flying for aerial photography missions, and before that had worked as a flight instructor, according to published reports.

Also killed was Austin-based photographer Dallas Lee McMahon, 33, who was well-known in the photography community.

Wed
20
Jun

Cozby named interim Faith Academy head

The Faith Academy Board of Directors has voted to confirm Amy Cozby as interim head of school and principal for the 2018-19 school year, the board announced this week.

Cozby succeeds administrator Joe Rispoli, who submitted his resignation earlier this month. She was part of a five-person interim executive leadership team put into place by the board and was overseeing academics, teachers and counselors as the school's director of academics.

“For years, the Lord has been preparing Amy for such a time as this,” said Faith Academy director of operations and development Donna Holland Wilcox. “We are honored that she accepted this important responsibility, and we look forward to supporting her in every way.”

The Faith Academy executive leadership team now is comprised of:

  • Amy Cozby - Head of School, Principal & Director of Academics;

  • Rusty Freeman - Director of Student Affairs & Chaplain;

Wed
20
Jun

BCISD proposes new tax rate

A tax rate for maintenance and operations and debt service for the 2018-2019 school year was proposed by Burnet CISD Board of Trustees at their regular school board meeting on Monday, June 18.

Earlier in the school year, the idea of a Tax Rate Swap and Drop was designed to save BCISD more funds to be used towards students' success. This year, through the “Robin Hood” School Finance Plan, BCISD will have to pay the Texas Education Agency $350,000 that will be distributed among other schools in the system — funds that the district could be using to implement additional innovative courses and materials.

Wed
20
Jun

Burnet police station contractor chosen

By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

The City of Burnet Police Department committee recently conducted interviews for contractors for the coming construction of the new Burnet Police Station.

At the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 12, Burnet City Manager David Vaughn stated that the Austin-based American Constructors was the most qualified candidate, as their references and qualifications were most satisfactory.

American Constructors has worked with BCISD projects in the past and recently completed construction on the new PEC Headquarters in Marble Falls. The Council approved the committee's choice of contractor and negotiations with the company will begin immediately.

A significant amount of discussion between Council members and concerned citizens occurred at the meeting, as topics were brought forth concerning the lifestyles of members of the community.

Wed
20
Jun

Kuso finds meth in Burnet home

Lee Don Houston

By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

On Monday, June 11, BPD responded to a call about a stolen checkbook that was said to be inside a residence on the 1000 block of East Marble Street in Burnet. Upon consent to enter the house and search for the checkbook, the theft call quickly shifted to a narcotics call, with the help of K-9 Officer Kuso.

“We called in K-9 Officer Kuso, and he hit on several different places,” Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson said. “Then we were able to get a search warrant and found the narcotics.”

With Kuso's help from his initial find, officers found over 61 grams of methamphetamines in the house and arrested 64-year-old Lee Don Houston of Burnet on two charges of manufacture delivery of a controlled substance.

The house has been known to the community as a frequented drug house, and BPD has received calls about it in the past, though Nelson says his team had a difficult time pinning them down.

Wed
20
Jun

Dulin convicted of 12 crimes against children

Dulin

A Granite Shoals man has been found guilty on 12 of 13 charges against him by a Burnet County jury, which now is expected to deliberate on his punishment.
Bryant Edward Dulin, 45, was convicted on a first-degree felony charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 6 as well as nine counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of continuous sexual abuse of a young child and one count of indecency with a child.
The jury found Dulin not guilty on one count of sexual performance by a child, the only count on which he was not convicted of late Monday.
Dulin's trial began June 11 and both the prosecution and defense finished presenting evidence in the trial of Bryant Edward Dulin by the afternoon of Friday, June 15. Closing arguments began Monday, June 18, and the jury returned the verdict that evening.

Wed
20
Jun

Police respond to bomb threat

On Wednesday, June 13, Burnet police officers responded to a call concerning a bomb threat at the Boys and Girls Club, located at 709 Northington Street in Burnet.

Taking threats of this nature seriously, BPD responded quickly and upon investigation, received a confession from two girls under the age of 15.

“The two girls thought it would be funny to call in a bomb threat,” said Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson. “I don't think they realized what the response was going to be like and how quick we would respond. Once they realized they had made a big mistake, they came clean.”

Bomb threats are unfortunately not an unfamiliar occurrence in the community, and though they have been thoroughly investigated and cleared in the past, their impact is stressful on citizens. BPD's top priority is keeping its citizens safe during these situations regardless of whether they turn out to be a true threat.

Wed
20
Jun

BPD officer shoots dog to protect citizen

Contributed
BPD Patrol Cpl. Fidler received these bites during a dog attack.

By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

A Burnet Police Department officer is recovering from wounds sustained in a dog attack which forced her to shoot and kill one dog and injure another to save herself and a bicyclist.

On Thursday, June 14, BPD Patrol Cpl. Alex Fidler responded to a 911 call about a bicyclist being attacked by three dogs on the 700 block of South Vanderveer Street. Upon arrival to the scene, Fidler sustained injuries from the dogs before she shot two of the three dogs, killing one and injuring another.

“Upon arrival, there were no dogs, just a citizen,” Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson said. “As she was standing there talking to the citizen, the dogs reappeared and started attacking her.”

Thu
14
Jun

PEC early voting for Dist. 1 ends June 15

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Pedernales Electric Cooperative members have until June 15 to vote early for a candidate to serve in the District 1 seat on the board of directors.

Members may vote online, by mail or online via SmartHub. Members can also vote online through an iPad device at PEC’s Canyon Lake, Junction, Kyle, Liberty Hill and Marble Falls offices, plus PEC’s headquarters in Johnson City. Those who vote early are registered for the opportunity to win a $150 bill credit.

Members may also choose to vote in person at PEC’s annual meeting, to be held June 23 at Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch. Election results will be announced before the conclusion of that meeting.

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