News

Sat
01
Dec

Lady in Lake: New clues forge trail in Llano County homicide cold case

Contributed/Llano County Sheriff's Office
LCSO investigators are searching for tips, including the last owner of a distinctive dog house bought at a Buchanan Dam yard sale, which could lead to the capture of a suspect in the death of a woman found cemented into a boat submerged in the water up from Inks Dam. A photo on the Justice for Holly Simmons social media page captured an image during the 2009 investigation of a body, later identified as Simmons, found cemented into the hull of a boat in the water near Inks Dam.

 

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

A new perspective and new leads prompted the Llano County Sheriff Office Nov. 27 to take another look at a homicide cold case involving the discovery of a woman's body submerged and cemented into the hull of a boat just up from Inks Dam nearly a decade ago.

Thu
29
Nov

'Tis the season to be wary! BCSO offers ways to keep package deliveries safe from burglars

Connie Swinney/Burnet Bulletin
Don't be a victim of Scrooge during the holiday season. Burnet County Sheriff's Department officials offered some advice to rural resident to avoid becoming mail package burglary victims, as was the case recently in Williamson County.

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

As the holidays descend on the Hill Country area, Burnet County authorities are alerting residents about the potential for mail package burglaries seen in recent cases in a nearby county.

“Online shopping has pretty much taken over,” Burnet County Sheriff's Capt. Tom Dillard said. “You may be having dog food delivered, but the thief doesn't know that.

“He's just picking up packages.”

As more Christmas packages are delivered, the chance of becoming a mail theft victim increases.

“Crooks are bolder and bolder,” Dillard said.

A string of recent incidents in Williamson County involving burglary of mail packages on door steps has captured the attention of sheriff's offices.

“Williamson County just arrested a prolific package thief,” Dillard said. “He was going through neighborhoods looking for packages left on door steps and snatching them.

Wed
28
Nov

Smokin' the competition! Burnet CISD brings home culinary gold

Contributed/Chef Mike Erickson, BCISD
Left: The Burnet UnderDAWGs brought home the gold medal at the State of Texas High School BBQ Championship regional qualifier at Bell County Expo Center in Belton and will advance to the state championship, to be held at Burnet High School next year. Team members, from left, include Martin Palacios, reserve champion chicken; Eric Ramirez, first place dessert; Sativa Yarbrough, fourth place ribs; Brandon Schwausch, first place beans; Caden Hart, fourth place brisket.
Right: Caden Hart of the Burnet BBQ UnderDAWGs prepares a raw brisket for competition at the State of Texas High School BBQ Championship regional qualifier at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton. Hart won fourth place in brisket to help the UnderDAWGs take first place overall team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From staff reports

The Burnet High School BBQ UnderDAWGS culinary team came home grand champions after they smoked the competition in the State of Texas High School BBQ Championship Regional Qualifier in Belton on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The UnderDAWGS came out on top of six other high school teams, including students from Pflugerville ISD, Austin ISD, Leander ISD, and Goldthwaite ISD.

Each crew member took home an $8,000 scholarship to the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and together, the team will advance to the State of Texas BBQ Championship, which is scheduled for May 3-4, 2019, at Burnet High School.

In addition to the competition, students had the chance to expand their cookout skills with a BBQ educational symposium, learning the basics from experts and mentors.

Wed
28
Nov

It's snow fun! Christmas on Square returns

Frank Shubert/Burnet Bulletin
Parker Simons heads for cover from the snowball about to be launched his way at the Snow Day event in Burnet last year. This year's Christmas on the Square in downtown Burnet, to be held Dec. 8, will again include a "100 percent chance of snow."

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Christmas on the Square is returning to downtown Burnet for another day of fun on Saturday, Dec. 8!

While arts and crafts vendors, musicians, and other entertainers are preparing to set up on the Burnet Courthouse Square and bring the Christmas cheer to visitors, Burnet County and City of Burnet representatives are getting ready to bring back a special aspect of the festival: snow!

That's right … there is, yet again, a 100-percent chance of snow in Burnet in just a few short weeks! The “Snow on the Square” addition to the Christmas on the Square includes a towering snow slide and two play-areas at the corner of Jackson and Pierce Streets, where kids are able to participate in snowball fights, build snowmen, and make snow angels as if they were not in warm and sunny Central Texas!

Wed
28
Nov

BCISD receives final 2018 TEA report card

Contributed/BCISD
The Burnet High School Agricultural Mechanics classes have been commissioned by J Bar Sanitary Restrooms to construct a mobile rehab trailer to be used by the Burnet Fire and Rescue Department during critical situations. The trailer will include two sanitary restrooms, a generator to provide lighting and conditioned air, fold up canopies for shade, hot and cold filtered water, a radio and phone charging station. It is expected to be completed in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Final school district and campus accountability ratings for 2018 were released by the Texas Education Agency earlier this month and Burnet Consolidated Independent School District received an overall score of 78, or “C,” on its TEA report card.

All six campuses in the district were rated as meeting the standard in three main criteria used by TEA to evaluate performance; however, some campuses had low individual scores which barely met the minimum standard.

Burnet CISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett said Monday the district will continue to work to improve its TEA accountability report card, but pointed out Burnet CISD is far more than a single letter grade on a rating system.

Tue
27
Nov

BCSO: Pursuit locks down school, nabs 2

Contributed
Authorities captured two pursuit suspects Nov. 17 who fled the scene after a crash in a pasture adjacent to Burnet High School.

 

 

By Connie Swinney

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Two Fort Worth area suspects remained in custody Nov. 19 in connection with a Burnet County Sheriff's Office pursuit, which locked down an elementary school, stalled a community event and ended with the suspects vehicle crash, a fugitive search and attempted escape.

The incident unfolded just after 8 a.m. Nov. 17 on U.S. 281, north of Burnet in the area of County Road 112.

Burnet County Sheriff's deputies engaged a dark-colored BMW Mini Cooper in a high-speed pursuit with speeds up to 100 miles per hour. The pursuit eventually entered The Green Mile, the main roadway, with limited outlet, onto the grounds of Burnet High School.

Tue
27
Nov

Bertram City Council seeks new police chief

Left: James Jay "JJ" Wilson

Right: Richard Zowie/Burnet Bulletin
Interim police chief Talbert Booth presents a wish list to the City Council for projects that he would like funded at the Nov. 13 meeting.

 

 

 

 

By Richard Zowie

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

JJ Wilson's days as a police chief at the Bertram Police Department are over, and while he and the city negotiate an agreement ending his contract, the Bertram City Council at its Nov. 13 meeting extended his unpaid suspension.

Both the police and utility departments also submitted “wish lists” of items they'd like to acquire, should the city be able to secure a $300,000 loan.

 

Chief's suspension continued

Bertram City Council members at their meeting authorized the beginning of the process to hire a new police chief.

City Secretary Georgina Hernandez said she did not know how long it would take to hire a new chief, as it requires background checks and interviews.

The new chief will replace James Jay (“JJ”) Wilson. The council also authorized to extend Wilson's suspension without pay up through Dec. 27.

Tue
27
Nov

Burnet County approves LCRA flood grant plan

Connie Swinney/Burnet Bulletin

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 27, on a plan to share with affected municipalities portions of a $100,000 donation from the Lower Colorado River Authority for cleanup from the October flood.

The plan approved by commissioners honors LCRA's request that at least 70 percent of the money be used for waterway cleanup. The remaining 30 percent will be used to pay for household hazardous waste removal ($20,000), refrigerant removal ($3,000) and monitoring ($7,000) at the county's Phillips Ranch road debris site, the latter a requirement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Tue
20
Nov

Friends remember Ward's love of aviation

Frank Shubert/Burnet Bulletin
Burnet Pilot Cowden Ward Jr. brings his P-51 Mustang “Pecos Bill” to the 2018 Bluebonnet Airsho on Saturday, Sept. 8. Ward and World War II Veteran Vincent Losada of San Antonio were killed Saturday, Nov. 17 after "Pecos Bill" crashed into a Fredericksburg apartment complex parking lot during a re-enactment. Ward's community, colleagues, and family mourn his death, and remember him for the impact he made on the lives of many Veterans through Freedom Flyers, a foundation he created which provided free aircraft rides for our nation's World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Iraqi, and Afghani war veterans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

The Highlander

Pilots, aviation fans, and Veterans are mourning the loss of well-known and beloved Burnet pilot Cowden Ward Jr. after his P-51D Mustang, “Pecos Bill,” crashed into a Fredericksburg apartment complex parking lot on Saturday, Nov. 17, killing him and his passenger, a World War II Veteran.

Ward, known for his love for aviation and his non-profit organization “Freedom Flyers,” dedicated his time to the nation's World War II Veterans by offering them free flights in Pecos Bill, his way of giving thanks to those who protected our freedoms so long ago.

Ward had recently begun offering flights to Korean and Vietnam War Veterans, as well as Veterans suffering from PTSD after the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars, expanding his motivational reach to many people and making a difference in close to 140 Veterans' lives.

Tue
20
Nov

Burnet pilot Ward Jr. killed in accident; P-51 'Pecos Bill' crashes during Nov. 17 Fredericksburg re-enactment

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Burnet pilot Cowden Ward Jr. gives the high sign from his P-51 Mustang "Pecos Bill" at the 2018 Bluebonnet Airsho on Saturday, Sept. 8. Ward was a fan favorite at the Airsho and founder of Freedom Flyers, which honors veterans by giving them rides in vintage aircraft. He and passenger Vincent Losada were killed Saturday, Nov. 17, when Pecos Bill crashed at a Fredericksburg apartment complex.

 

 

 

 

 

By Richard Zowie

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

A Burnet resident and founder of Pecos Bill P-51 Freedom Flyers died Nov. 17 in Fredericksburg when his P-51 airplane crashed near an apartment complex on the tourist town's east side.

According to AV Web, Cowden Ward Jr. was flying the vintage World War II plane in a reenactment flight and was believed to have had a passenger who was a World War II pilot. Both he and passenger Vincent Losada, 93, of San Antonio, were killed.

The crash occurred around 3:16 p.m. on Saturday at Friendship Place Apartments, at 707 South Creek Street in Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg Fire EMS, Fredericksburg Police Department, Gillespie County Sheriff’s Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety were dispatched.

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