News

Wed
28
Aug

Burnet County adopts FY 2020 holiday schedule

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County commissioners were serious about adopting a fiscal year 2020 holiday calendar during a regular session Tuesday, Aug. 27, but that did not stop a little levity during the proceedings from the court's most junior member.

Human Resources Director Sara Ann Luther brought two options before the court — a calendar with 14 holidays, including Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Dec. 25) this year, and a 15-holiday calendar which also added the day after Christmas (Dec. 26).

“I included the 15-day calendar because I had a number of people asking me about whether we could be closed for the day after Christmas,” Luther said. “They were concerned about traveling to and from their families for the holidays.”

Wed
28
Aug

County, BCISD believe partnership can decrease truancy

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Officials hope a partnership between Burnet County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Lisa Whitehead and the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District can help cut down truancy in the northern end of the county.

Whitehead and County Attorney Eddie Arredondo appeared before the Burnet County commissioners court at an Aug. 20 special called meeting to ask for permission to hire a full-time juvenile case manager, who would manage truancy cases from Burnet CISD, who has agreed to pay the county $15,000 to help offset the case manager's salary.

The rest of the cost would come an unfilled floating justice court clerk position as well as from a juvenile case manager fund, which would be established by assessing a juvenile case manager fee of $5 to every fine-only misdemeanor offense which comes through justice court, county court or the county court at law beginning Aug. 21, 2019.

Wed
28
Aug

Former Briggs VFD property sparks dispute

The Briggs Community Center, Inc. Board of Directors were recently made aware of a lawsuit against them by the Burnet County Emergency Services District 8 concerning property ownership after the dissolution of the Briggs VFD. BCCI President Crystal Kinsey and her Board are disputing the claims, stating the property was legally transferred to BCCI, and share their side of the story.

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

After the dissolution of the Briggs Volunteer Fire Department by the Burnet County Emergency Services District 8 in March, the beginnings of a new Briggs fire station this summer seemed to be the end of the story.

According to Briggs Community Center Inc. (BCCI) President Crystal Kinsey, though, more issues have come to the surface and are affecting the Community Center, and Briggs as a whole.

Upon receiving the minutes for the July 22 ESD 8 Board meeting, Kinsey learned that the ESD 8 would be seeking legal action against the community center as disputes about ownership of the property once occupied by the Briggs VFD have arisen.

Thu
22
Aug

Boys home operators indicted for human trafficking

From staff reports

Just a little more than a year after Burnet County authorities raided a Bertram area boys home, a grand jury has indicted the owners of the facility for human trafficking.

According to a press release issued Monday, Aug. 19, a Burnet County grand jury on Aug. 6 handed up indictments against 49-year-old Gary Dwayne Wiggins and 34-year-old Meghann Shereen Wiggins, the married couple who ran the Joshua Home, which was reported to be a residential home for troubled boys and which is affiliated with a nonprofit organization known as The Joshua Home Ministries.

Gary Wiggins is charged with one count of trafficking of persons under the age of 18 for prostitution or forced labor, while Meghann Wiggins is charged with trafficking of persons: continuous. Both are first degree felonies punishable by five to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The couple was arrested a few days later without incident in Escambia County, Alabama.

Thu
22
Aug

Back where it once called home; BCHS returns chalice to Menard County

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Menard County Historical Commission President Terrell Kelley accepts a pewter chalice from members of the Burnet County Heritage Society at a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13. The chalice was used at Mission San Saba in Menard, which stood from 1757 to 1758, when it was attacked by multiple tribes of Native Americans.

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

It might not be the mythical 'Holy Grail,' but one special artifact has found its way home to its rightful owners with help from the Burnet County Heritage Society.

The Heritage Society returned a pewter chalice to their counterparts from Menard County during a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet.

The chalice was used at the Mission San Saba in Menard during the 1750s and was discovered among the ruins of the mission circa 1880 by surveyor Thomas Chamberlain of Burnet.

It was brought to Burnet and passed through generations of the founding Vandeveer family before being donated to the Fort Croghan Museum and Grounds, where it made its home until last week, when it was placed in the hands of the Menard County Historical Commission.

Wed
21
Aug

US Congressman Williams tackles topics of tariffs and gun violence

Burnet County Judge James Oakley/Special to The Bulletin
Burnet Chamber of Commerce hosted a Coffee with the Congressman event Wednesday, Aug. 21, featuring US Rep. Roger Williams (Dist. 25) at Unshakeable Grounds coffee shop in downtown Burnet.

 

 

 

From staff reports

US Congressman Roger Williams (Dist. 25) spoke about national issues to a local crowd of about 30 people in Burnet for the latest Coffee with the Congressman event.

His appearance the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 21 at Unshakeable Grounds in downtown Burnet followed his coffee break event in Marble Falls on Aug. 13.

Wed
14
Aug

Commissioners extend 'last call' for county's bars

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Bars and nightclubs in the unincorporated areas of Burnet County now can remain open until 2 a.m. each night after Burnet County commissioners voted 3-2 on Aug. 13 to approve an ordinance granting extended hours for the sale of mixed beverages, wine and beer.

The vote comes three weeks after commissioners first heard a request from a Bertram bar owner who wanted commissioners to allow his business to remain open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights as well as on special holidays, like New Year's Eve.

It also reverses a previous decision by the commissioners court two years ago not to extend hours for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the county.

Wed
14
Aug

Conditions spark area grass fires

Connie Swinney/Burnet Bulletin
Fire officials are zeroing in on the possible cause of a fire that destroyed a log cabin-styled home on Aug. 7 in the 200 block of Kingsland Ranch Cove on Lake LBJ. The structure was unoccupied. Suspicions included combustible industrial chemicals on cleaning rags as well as embers from a barbecue grill.

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Two weekend grass fires in Burnet County, including one near Bertram which required Texas Forest Service assistance, have local fire departments reminding residents there is a burn ban in place for a very good reason.

High temperatures hoving above or near the century mark plus dry conditions with little to no rain expected in the forecast are turning vegetation into tinder that threatens to burn without warning.

On Saturday, an out of control burn in the 9500 block of North Ranch-to-Market Road 1174 created a wall of fire which burned up 78 acres shortly after 1:30 p.m. and threatened several structures. Texas Forest Service units from Fredericksburg responded to the scene and StarFlight was put on standby to provide air support if needed. Fences had to be cut as the fire jumped the roadway at RM 963.

Wed
14
Aug

Briggs/Oakalla residents discuss new fire station

Savanna Gregg/Burnet Bulletin
Briggs Fire Station planning committee member Steve Schlumpberger discusses growth in the Northeast Burnet County area, and emphasizes the importance of access to water tanks when considering plans to build the new Briggs Fire Station, which will protect a large portion of the County.

 

 

 

 

 

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Residents of Briggs and Oakalla joined the Burnet County Emergency Services District 8, Oakalla Volunteer Fire Department, and the Briggs Fire Station planning committee at a Town Hall meeting held at the Oakalla VFD Saturday, Aug. 10 to discuss the construction of a new Briggs Fire Station.

The Oakalla VFD recently purchased four acres of land off of US 183 in Briggs, where they will soon build a fire station modeled after their facilities to continue serving the Northeast Burnet County area.

This purchase comes after the ESD 8 decided to allow for the expiration of their contract with the former Briggs VFD earlier this year, after various incidents caused the Board to reconsider its ties to the facility.

Wed
14
Aug

Burnet CISD Trustees call for bond election

BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett
Special to the Bulletin •

The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to call for a bond election on Nov. 5, 2019. The election is for one proposition totaling $33.1 million.

The Board of Trustees will meet again on Aug. 26 to approve a tax rate decrease of 7.5 cents for the 2019-2020 school year. This will represent the fourth year in a row the Board of Trustees has approved lowering the tax rate, and the proposed $1.185 tax rate is lower than the tax rate prior to the 2014 Bond Program.

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