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The Blanco County Courthouse is aglow during a past Lights Spectacular. The annual Christmas lights display might not continue if volunteers and funding are not secured. File photo

Johnson City Lights Spectacular’s future is dim without new volunteers, funding

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO JOHNSON CITY — It’s hard to believe, but there’s a chance Johnson City will be turning off Lights Spectacular, the event that celebrates the holiday season from late November through New Year’s Day. (more…)

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The Burnet County Child Welfare Board members hung 150 shoes on the trees at the Burnet County Courthouse to show how many local youths are in foster care due to abuse and/or neglect. As April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, many child advocate groups are reminding people that child abuse is real and does happen in the Highland Lakes. Courtesy photo

Youth welfare organizations spread awareness of child abuse

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON BURNET — The 150 shoes hanging from trees on the Burnet County Courthouse lawn are reminders that, as most of us go on about our lives, there are approximately 150 children in Burnet County who are in foster homes because of abuse and/or neglect. (more…)

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Llano County Library holding Pre-K Fair for parents; several schools participating

Llano County Library holding Pre-K Fair for parents; several schools participating

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO LLANO — Ann Rossberg heard the chatter from many parents of pre-kindergarten students. “They aren’t familiar with what (education) options they have,” said the Llano County Library children’s librarian. (more…)

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Marble Falls theater, choir programs earn top honors at UIL contests

Marble Falls theater, choir programs earn top honors at UIL contests

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School art department continues to shine as two of its programs recently earned several accolades. (more…)

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The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office will host a free Ladies Self-Defense Seminar on April 7 to help women avoid becoming victims of attacks. Ray Weeks (pictured leading the class) of ASB Karate of Johnson City and Marble Falls will instruct the attendees with help from his former and current female students. Courtesy photo

Self-defense course in Johnson City to arm women against attackers

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY JOHNSON CITY — Going through the discomfort of a simulated violent altercation might be the difference between life and death for women who come face to face with a real attacker. (more…)

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‘Screenagers’ looks at kids growing up in digital age; free showing April 4 at Burnet High School

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO BURNET — Parents who believe their kids are spending too much time on their digital devices are invited to a free screening of the documentary “Screenagers — Growing up in the Digital Age.” Presented by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District, “Screenagers” looks at the impact of smart devices on families. […]

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Hill Country Humane Society receives $18,000 Petco grant

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO BUCHANAN DAM — The Hill Country Humane Society has saved thousands of animal lives through reconnecting lost pets with their families, adoptions, and partnering with no-kill rescue groups. Because of its efforts, the Petco Foundation awarded the shelter that serves Llano and Burnet counties with an $18,000 grant in March. (more…)

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Marble Falls Middle School coach Joe Powell was named the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coach of the Year in the Austin area. Courtesy photo

Marble Falls Middle School’s Joe Powell named FCA Coach of the Year

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO MARBLE FALLS — While Barney Sarver could have included several recommendations for Marble Falls Middle School coach Joe Powell’s nomination for Fellowship of Christian Athletes Austin-area Coach of the Year, it only took one. (more…)

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paula smith marble falls isd bus driver of the year

MFISD bus driver recognized with two awards

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls Independent School District board members celebrated one of the district’s bus drivers with two honors during the regular trustees’ meeting March 20. Paula Smith earned the district’s Living the Vision Award as well as the Property Casualty Alliance of Texas Bus Driver of the Year. (more…)

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Nicole Hockley (left) talks with Burnet Middle School Interact Club members in February 2017 after a ‘Start With Hello’ presentation. Hockley is one of the founders of Sandy Hook Promise, which works to give schools, organizations, communities, and individuals the skills and tools needed to identify people who are socially isolated and make them feel included. Hockley’s son, Dylan, was killed in a shooting Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, along with 25 other students and staff. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

‘Start With Hello,’ ‘Say Something’ programs making impact on Burnet Middle School, community

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON BURNET — The day after a gunman killed 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, several Burnet Middle School Interact Club members met with club sponsor Sara Te. (more…)

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Former Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commissioner Leta Stephenson-Smith reacts to a crown she found in a gift bag presented to her by Mayor John Packer as Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss looks on during a ceremony honoring the former commissioner March 15. The event was held before the start of the newly named Leta Stephenson-Smith 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, which was part of the city’s Spring Break activities. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Longtime Marble Falls Parks and Recreation commissioner honored for service

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO MARBLE FALLS — Leta Stephenson-Smith had decided to decline an invitation to attend the 3-on-3 basketball tournament March 15, which was part of the city of Marble Falls’ weeklong Spring Break activities. (more…)

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Llano library playtime series answers parents’ questions about child development

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO LLANO — Helping families become stronger units is at the core of why the Llano County Library is part of the Family Place Library national network. To help families achieve that goal, the library is hosting its annual Play and Learn Series (PALS), a free five-week workshop with programs 10-11:30 a.m. […]

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Medicare

Learn how to navigate Medicare with workshop at Burnet library

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO BURNET — When people turn 65, they are thrust into a complex world for which many aren’t prepared: Medicare. To help individuals maneuver through the system, Mackenzie Winterowd, a licensed agent with Premier Medicare Solutions, is leading a seminar at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the Herman Brown Free Library, […]

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Free tax filing seminar March 20 at Johnson City Library

Free tax filing seminar March 20 at Johnson City Library

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO JOHNSON CITY — Software promising that anyone with a working computer and the internet can file their own taxes has encouraged many Americans to do just that. (more…)

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Marble Falls High School sophomore Kenadee Steward signs a banner that is being sent to the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, while senior Anna Herrington looks for her message. Marjory Stoneman Douglas was the site of the latest school shooting on Feb. 14. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Marble Falls students send heartfelt response to Florida school following shooting

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School students knew there was little they could do to comfort the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (more…)

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boys-and-girls-club_hl

New Boys & Girls Club-Kingsland branch already having an impact

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON KINGSLAND — Spring Break is a few days away, but Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes-Kingsland branch director Colby Collins is already looking toward summer — for good reason. “We have a lot of kids we serve, and we want to make sure we’re open during the summer for them,” he […]

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Rodger Woods (left), owner of R and M Training Solutions, has taught a coordinated license to carry (LTC) firearms course over the past four years, but for the first time, he is offering a free course for educators and school staff March 24 in Kingsland. Also pictured is LTC instructor Bill Edwards. Courtesy photo

Free Kingsland firearms course to arm teachers with skills, gun laws

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY KINGSLAND — When Rodger Woods announced he was holding a free license to carry course for teachers, by the second day, he had 60 educators from across the Hill Country signed up. “It helps awareness, builds familiarity and the confidence related to guns,” said Woods, who is the operator of R […]

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Marble Falls High School teacher Kimberlee McLeod (right) smiles as H-E-B public affairs manager Jill Reynolds tells her and her students that H-E-B has selected McLeod as a finalist for the Rising Star Secondary honor. As a finalist from the Central Texas region, McLeod and the high school each receive a $1,000 check. She’ll now compete May 5-6 in Houston for statewide honors. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Marble Falls High School teacher an H-E-B Rising Star finalist

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School teacher Kimberlee McLeod knew she was going to have classroom visitors March 6, but the school’s principal told her the H-E-B film crew was there regarding the school district’s possible Excellence in Education award. (more…)

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Stephen Catoe, an Alzheimer’s Texas education specialist, will present a program on Alzheimer’s care from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at the Llano County Library, 102 East Haynie St. In Llano. Admission is free, and a light lunch will be served. Go to txalz.org for more information. Courtesy photo

‘Partners in Care’ program has the answers to your Alzheimer’s questions

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON LLANO — When someone has Alzheimer’s disease, loved ones and caregivers have a lot of questions. One question is where do they go to find the answers. One source is Alzheimer’s Texas, an organization dedicated to care, research, and education. It created the Lunch n’ Learn program to help caregivers of those […]

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Seminar: What you can do to keep your church safe

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON BURNET — In what seems like a less secure world, safety has become a topic at many churches and other places where people gather. Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brandon Schaefer hopes to alleviate those concerns by addressing what churches and other organizations can do in case of an active shooter situation. […]

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First Baptist Church-Burnet teams with WCSO for active shooter seminar

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — In 2015, First Baptist Church of Burnet organized a Safety Team in an effort to address any concerns about the church’s safety, particularly in regard to active shooters or similar situations. (more…)

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Burnet leaders to highlight policy strides at State of the Community

FROM STAFF REPORTS BURNET — City and school officials will host an upcoming State of the Community address, featuring public leaders reflecting on the past year’s accomplishments and providing insight into future policies and projects. (more…)

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Local law enforcement agencies have received thousands of dollars over the years through Burnet County Friends of NRA fundraising efforts. The Friends are selling tickets for their upcoming fundraising event on April 12 in Marble Falls. Pictured are Granite Shoals Police Sgt. Chris Decker (left) and Officer John Ortis with ballistic helmets the Granite Shoals department purchased with local NRA Foundation grant money in 2016. Courtesy photo

Burnet County NRA event to raise grant money for police firearms, equipment

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY MARBLE FALLS — Wearing a ballistics helmet could mean the difference between life and death during a violent incident in which officers are in the crossfire. The two active shooter events that occurred in Florida since 2016 magnified how violent and dangerous such a scenario could be for those who are […]

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Marble Falls ISD creating STEAM Academy to prepare students for changing future

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON MARBLE FALLS — Once upon a time, education was fairly uncomplicated. Students walked into class, took a seat, and the teacher stood at the front of the room and taught them “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.” (more…)

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Blood drive

Marble Falls health science students to host blood drive, learn career lesson

FROM STAFF REPORTS MARBLE FALLS — When people give blood, they help countless others survive accidents, surgeries, premature births, and other unforeseen events. (more…)

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Colt Elementary students see how STEAM concepts are used in a wide variety of careers

Colt Elementary students see how STEAM concepts are used in a wide variety of careers

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON MARBLE FALLS — Colt Elementary School’s first STEAM day all started with a dairy cow named Dorothy. (more…)

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