Joppa, Russell Fork marker dedication Saturday

Contributed/Rachel Bryson
The old iron bridges over North Fork and Russell Fork will be the site of historical marker dedications this Saturday, May 12. The bridges were built more than 100 years ago with proceeds from bond sales approved by county residents.

By Savanna Gregg

Burnet Bulletin

A years-long dream will finally come to fruition for the community of Joppa and the whole of Burnet County on Saturday, May 12. The Russell Fork and North Fork bridges in Joppa will receive their well-deserved Texas Historical Registry recognition at two dedication ceremonies which will be held at the bridges' locations.

The North Fork Bridge, also known as the Joppa Bridge, was built in 1907 and is located at the intersection of County Roads 210, 272, and 200. The Russell Fork Bridge, built in 1911, is located two miles south of the Joppa church on County Road 272.

After the construction of the railroad in the area, the demand for certain goods grew, and the two bridges were built to provide inhabitants with a safe, efficient path to their destinations after inconveniences like flooded low-water crossings in inclement weather.


It's Oatmeal Festival Time



The streets of Bertram and Oatmeal will be buzzing this weekend, as the 39th Annual Oatmeal Festival gets under way.

Kicking off Friday, Sept. 2, arts and craft vendors, BBQ, Mr. Groaty Oats, Music and the Miss Oatmeal Pageant and Auction will take place in the Oatmeal Community Center located at 7324 County Road 336 in Bertram.

“Our final count for Miss Oatmeal Pageant entries is 33,” said April Baladez, member of the Oatmeal Festival association.

“We take entries for the Mr. Groaty Oats Pageant until it’s almost time for them to walk up on stage, so if anyone wants to still join, it is open,”

Saturday gets underway with the Trail Ride from Oatmeal to Bertram and the Run for your Oats 3.3 mile race.

“The Trail ride is a confirmation of the transition from Oatmeal to Bertram for the festival, where the rest of the events will take place,” said Baladez.


Burkhart takes reigns as BHS Principal



Casey Burkhart is no stranger to the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District (BCISD) after he has served as Assistant Principal at Burnet High School since 2012.

“I grew up coming to Lake Buchanan and always pictured myself as becoming part of the community here,” said Burkhart.

Burkhart who grew up in Taylor, Texas, graduated from Thrall High School, which is a rural community like Burnet, just outside of Taylor.

In his early years, Burkhart blossomed in the Taylor community with his two sisters Kristi and Emma, as well as his parents Mark and Devvie.

Burkhart then spent his middle school and high school years with his dad and stepmother Susan after his father remarried following his divorce from Devvie.

“I get a lot of my attributions from my mom as well as my dad and Susan,” said Burkhart.


Lady Bulldogs pair selected honorable mention state picks


Ashley Hallmark, a four-year starter for the Lady Bulldogs, closed her career with the recent selection to the Texas High School Coaches Assocation all-state softball team.

Hallmark and fellow outfielder Lexey Parker were both honorable mention choices. Senior pitcher Makenzie Carpenter was a second-team choice.

In all, the coaches selected first team, second team, third team and honorable mention.

Hallmark batted .423 with 30 hits in 71 at bats for the season. She drove in 12 runs and stole 10 bases. Hallmark will play college softball for Angelina College in Lufkin.

Angelina College won the softball junior college national championship in 2014.

Parker, an incoming senior, had a solid junior season with a .361 batting average on 30 hits in 83 at bats. Parker stole 15 bases and carried a .952 fieleding average for the Lady Dawgs.


Burnet FFA brings home blue and gold

Jason Edmondson-Texas FFA State President stands with Burnet High School FFA students Matilyn Bachmeyer, Audra Hoefelmeyer, Audrey Anderson, Toni Stewart, Cody Moore, Clay Chasteen- Area officer candidate , Andrew Hawkins, Ellett Vann after competition in the San Saba District. Ellett Vann was also elected 2016 District Vice-President.


'Bachelorette' rumored to have Burnet beau



Rumors are floating in the reality TV circuit that 2016 Bachelorette JoJo has a Burnet beau.

JoJo Fletcher, a real estate developer hailing from Dallas, hopes to find love on this season of the Bachelorette, premiering Monday, May 23, and one of the contestants in rumored to be Burnet native and U.S. Army veteran Luke Pell.

Reality television commentator “Reality Steve,” who has predicted the endings of nine seasons of the hit reality television show, The Bachelorette, said on his website that Pell had been seen with Fletcher on a date in Greensburg, Pa.

“As for last night, JoJo and her date Luke showed up for the Dan + Shay concert at around 11:45 p.m. local time, a good two hours and 45 minutes after they let people in the venue,” he said.


Burnet teacher on H-E-B's list of top educators in Texas

On Wednesday, Central Texas educator Kristi Carruthers, head of the of Burnet High School English Department, was named a finalist for a 2016 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award, spotlighting her as one of the best educators in Texas.

H-E-B’s Excellence in Education is the largest monetary awards program for educators in Texas, and among the largest in the nation. The honor was kept a surprise from the educator, who learned she was a finalist when H-E-B representatives visited her classroom and school with balloons, cake and flowers.

Carruthers was presented with a $1,000 check for herself and a $1,000 check for her school. Seven more Central Texas-area finalists are to be announced and all are invited to San Antonio on May 12-13 to compete on a statewide level for larger cash prizes totaling $430,000.


Full 5th Circuit to hear Texas voter ID case

The entire U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will review Texas’ controversial voter identification law.

A majority of the judges of the Fifth Circuit on March 9 voted in support of an “en banc” rehearing of oral arguments in Veasey v. Abbott, a case challenging the law. No date for the rehearing has been set.

The case stems from Senate Bill 14, a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011, which requires prospective voters to present an acceptable form of photo identification along with their voter registration card in order to cast a ballot.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the development, saying: “Today’s decision is a strong step forward in our efforts to defend the state’s voter ID laws. Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is a primary function of state government and is essential to preserving our democratic process. We look forward to presenting our case before the full Fifth Circuit.”

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