News

Thu
21
Feb

Bertram City Council hires Kyle as PD chief

By Nathan Hendrix

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

The City of Bertram is looking to heal the wounds of the past and prepare for the future with the hiring of a new police chief.

The Bertram City Council approved the appointment of Leslie Dewayne Kyle to the position of Chief of Police on Tuesday at the monthly council meeting at city hall. The council voted to begin the hiring process back in November after the previous chief was fired.

Kyle is a lieutenant with the Austin Police Department, where he has worked for the past 20 years. Prior to his assignment in Austin, he worked in the small-town atmospheres of Spearman and Canyon. In total, Kyle has 32 years of law enforcement experience.

Kyle is a lieutenant in East Austin, one of the busiest areas of the city for law enforcement officials. He said he wanted a change-of-pace as he's aged.

“I'm old,” he said with a laugh. “I'm ready for a slower lifestyle than I deal with now.”

Thu
21
Feb

'Shutter of stall' experienced before Bluebonnet Belle crash

Lew K. Cohn/Burnet Bulletin
Firefighters put out a fire that erupted after the Bluebonnet Belle crashed in July 2018. A preliminary NTSB report states the captain told investigators he felt the "shutter of a stall" shortly before the plane crashed.

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

The captain of the Bluebonnet Belle told investigators he felt “the shutter of a stall” before the airplane turned left and impacted the ground, according to a preliminary report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board about the July 21, 2018, crash of the historic plane.

The Douglas DC-3 twin-engine plane, which was operated by the Commemorative Air Force, was destroyed beyond salvage after it crashed shortly after takeoff at about 9:15 a.m. from the Burnet Municipal Airport en route to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to attend an air show with 13 people on board. The flight was going to make an intermediate fuel stop at the Sedalia Regional Airport in Sedalia, Missouri.

Thu
21
Feb

Highland Lakes Squadron founder Harold Smith dies

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force founder Col. Harold Smith passed away early in the morning Sunday, Feb. 17.

Smith dedicated the expertise he gained through experience with the Warbirds of World War II to sharing that knowledge with everyone he encountered.

Smith founded the Squadron in 1991 and served as its first leader among his colleagues until 1993. For almost 30 years after his term ended, Smith continued to make an impact on the Squadron and the Museum located at the Burnet Airport by helping out with daily hangar routines and offering his help at the many airshows hosted by the Squadron.

One meaningful memory of Smith held by his colleagues and community was his procuring the Warbirds on display outside the Burnet Airport Museum, which will forever pay tribute to the airmen who served their countries in World War II.

Thu
21
Feb

ESD may suggest operations change for BVFD

File photo
Burnet Volunteer Fire Department personnel work to douse any hot spots remaining on the scene of a structure fire that completely consumed a 70-year-old home on County Road 201 in 2016. By the time firefighters arrived, the structure had already collapsed. The future of the BVFD is uncertain as ESD 7 explores how best to provide coverage in outlying areas of Burnet County.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Questions about the future of the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department have arisen as volunteers wonder what will happen should the city of Burnet go through with plans not to renew a non-compete contract with the BVFD.

Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 7 President John Smallwood stated Monday, Feb. 18, his organization is not trying to get rid of the BVFD, but there may be a change in the way things are operated.

“The city of Burnet decided not to continue their non-compete contract with the VFD, so we, as an exploratory committee, are looking at possible actions to make sure there is adequate coverage, in a timely fashion, in the parts of the county the ESD serves,” Smallwood said.

Wed
13
Feb

Master Gardeners to provide scholarships for graduates

The Highland Lakes Master Gardeners Association (HLMGA) provides volunteer services to the local community which focus on educating the public in advanced horticultural ideas and practices. In addition to the various educational projects in which the Membership participates, the Association offers scholarships to undergraduate students currently enrolled in a horticultural or agricultural degree program who have graduated from area high schools, or the graduating seniors from area high schools who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree/technical certification in the horticultural or agricultural sciences.

Each scholarship is awarded at $2,500. The number of scholarships awarded is dependent upon the availability of qualified applicants.

Wed
13
Feb

HLDW plan fundraiser, membership drive at Bear King Brewery

The Highland Lakes Democratic Women will be among the first to hold an event at the new Bear King Brewery in Marble Falls. The group will host a Membership Drive and Fundraiser Happy Hour on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 5 – 7 p.m. 

The event is open to anyone interested in joining HLDW. Dana Rushing, the organization’s Membership Chair, encourages all current members to attend and to bring a friend.  

Wed
13
Feb

ESD 8 clarifies Briggs VFD contract choice; Elmore: lack of training, call response among reasons

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle, second from right, addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting at the Briggs Community Center on Monday, Feb. 11, as he is joined at the front by Sheriff Calvin Boyd, Precinct 2 JP Lisa Whitehead, and ESD 8 President Roberta Elmore. The meeting was called to let residents know why the ESD chose to let a contract with Briggs Volunteer Fire Department expire without renewal.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Members of the Briggs and Oakalla communities were given reasons for Emergency Service District No. 8’s recent decision to allow the expiration of their Briggs Volunteer Fire Department contract at a town hall meeting held Monday, Feb. 11, at the Briggs Community Center.

Burnet County Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle, Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead, Sheriff Calvin Boyd, and ESD 8 President Roberta Elmore were present at the meeting, listening to questions and offering solutions to the issues residents faced.

Elmore spent the majority of the meeting fielding questions of all calibers, ranging from the operations of the county’s ESDs to specific questions about the ESD’s decision.

Wed
13
Feb

Commissioners oppose Texas 29 downgrade

Lew K. Cohn/Burnet Bulletin
Crews with Austin Traffic Signal put up a new traffic light at the intersection of Texas 29 and Hoover Valley Road on Wednesday, Feb. 6, on a section of highway the Texas Department of Transportation has said should be reclassified from "principal arterial" to "minor arteria," much to the chagrin of the Burnet County Commissioners Court, which has voiced their opposition to the move.

 

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Burnet County commissioners expressed their concern Wednesday that reclassification of Texas 29 from US 281 in Burnet west to Ranch Road 2341 would make it harder to fund any future improvements to the highway.

Commissioners approved sending a resolution to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to voice their opposition to the highway being reclassified from a principal arterial to a minor arterial.

“I have already called TxDOT and let them know we would not be in agreement with anything that could result in any less advantageous funding for improvements,” said Burnet County Judge James Oakley, who is a member of the CAMPO Transportation Policy Board.

Tue
12
Feb

Burnet County hires crews to remove flood debris, discusses environmental crimes unit

As illegal dumping cases have surged in the Highland Lakes, Burnet County Commissioners on Feb. 12 approved applying for additional grants to potentially expand funding, which may include an additional position, for the Burnet County Environmental Crimes Unit, which operates under the Burnet County precinct 4 constable's office.

 

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Burnet County Commissioners Feb. 12 approved bids for companies to remove, dispose and monitor the process of disposing of large piles of debris, trash and flood-damaged structures collected in the wake of the October 2018 Highland Lakes flood event.

The court chose Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) to remove the piles, stored in a section of Quarry Park, adjacent to Granite Shoals.

“We would like to thank the city of Granite Shoals for being the host of this debris that was collected all along the Highland Lakes,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

On Oct. 16, historic flooding from the Llano River swept down the Colorado River into the Highland Lakes causing massive shoreline flooding in communities including Kingsland, Horseshoe Bay, Granite Shoals and Marble Falls.

Wed
06
Feb

LCRA extends drawdown by three weeks

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Visitors to Lake Marble Falls will see the exposed “falls” on the waterway through at least March 18, when the LCRA is scheduled to end extended drawdown.

 

 

 

By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer
The Highlander

Requests from local city leaders, citing continued flood-damage repair, prompted the Lower Colorado River Authority to extend a drawdown of Lakes Marble Falls and LBJ for three more weeks, officials said.

The initial eight-week drawdown will go through March 18 with both waterways expected to be back to normal operating range by March 22.

Starting Dec. 30, crews began lowering Lake Marble Falls to reach its 7-ft. level today and Lake LBJ to about 4 ft.

“We jointly reached the conclusion that the drawdown should be extended three weeks to allow property owners more time to complete repairs and cleanup,” Marble Falls Mayor John Packer said in an LCRA statement.
Horseshoe Bay Mayor Steve Jordan added: “The close working relationship we have with LCRA allowed us to be a participant in reaching the decision to continue the lake drawdown period.”

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