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The Burnet Bulletin
Burnet, Texas
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January 21, 2015     The Burnet Bulletin
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January 21, 2015
 

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..................... MIXED ADC 750 1399 01-01-15 32P 9S SMALL TOWN NEWSPAPERS **C005 ,t~'~,,,r,,~ 217 W COTA ST ## JU SHELTON WA 98584-2263 vlh,,,hhl,ln,,,qh111v,hhhi,,ilh'h,i,'ivli,nl'il 1873 - 2014 , ........... ; ..... : III Iii II IIIIlilll I Ilia' I I Wednesday January 21, 2015 Vol. 142 No. 5 1 section, 20 pages 50 cents 100 Club pays tribute to area first responders BY ALEXANDRIA RANDOLPH HIGHLAND LAKES NEWSPAPERS At a ceremony Thursday night, Jan. 15, Hill Country 100 Club directors gathered with community and family members tO honor 48 first re- sponders and law enforcement officers. The annual meeting and awards banquet featured guest speaker Sonny McAfee, 33rd and 424th District Attorney, a former officer for the Houston Police Department. "What I like best about being a police officer versus being a prosecutor is that it's kind of like hunting," McAfee joked with a crowd of sever- al hundred, "and it's a target rich environment in Houston. Being a prosecutor is more I00 ... see Page 3 Y BY JAMES WALKER BURNEr BULLETIN Burnet police officers soon will be wearing body cameras designed to capture video of events that take place during the course of their work shifts. Burnet City council mem- bers approved a request by Police Chief Paul Nelson at its Tuesday, Jan. 13, meeting to lease 15 VIEVU body cameras at a cost of $4,500 for the next three years. A citizen who wishes to remain anonymous recently donated $4,000 to the depart- ment toward acquisition of the cameras, Nelson said. All patrol officers, plus two detectives, will wear the body cameras and there will be two extra ones, the chief added. "When officers make con- tact with a citizen or citizens, they will have that (the cam- era) on, plus their car video," Nelson said. "They will be a help in the settlement of legal complaints." School resource officer Larry Lamb is the only mem- ber of the Burnet Police De- partment (BPD) who currently wears a body camera when on duty and has done so since the position was created in 2013, Nelson said. The cameras also will pro- vide video and audio when officers get further from their vehicles. "The cameras and the vid- eo in the car can only go so far," he said. The issue of police body Camoras ... see Page 3 i~ ii,-, CONTRIBUTED Angelina Bernal, a second grader at Bertram Elementary, gets a check-up from Jen Banton, Registered Dental Hygienist who works at Susan Henson DMD, PA, during the "Smart Smiles" event held Friday, Jan. 16, at all of the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District locations. Smart Smiles is made possible by dentists, hygienists and volunteers who donate their time and skills to make sure that each student is provided free dental care. I l For comments he. ade regar ng top priorities coming into office BY JAMES WALKER BURNET BULLETIN Burnet County Commis- sioner Bill Neve had a cou- ple of gentle reminders for newly-seated Burnet County Judge James Oakley as he pre- sided over his first meeting of the commissioners' court on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Neve spoke up after read- ing comments by Oakley in stories published in the Bur- net Bulletin in the days before he took office regarding his plan to assume personal re- Week ended Jan. 18: 0.03 inches Month to Date: 1.17 inches Y7:D: 1.17 inches Any weather conditions occurring after 8 a.m. Sunday will be reported the following week. Source: Hugh McCoy Hamilton Creek Drive sponsibility for the county's tourism and marketing efforts and the high priority he places on the need for a bridge over Lake LBJ near Wirtz Dam that would link FM 1431 and FM 2347. Neve, who has historically been outspoken when he feels other elected officials have overstepped their bounds, took issue with both matters. "I read where you said you want to change the tourism policy and I've had people contact me expressing con- cern. I just want to make sure you know it is made by the court," Neve said, addressing Oakley. The incoming county judge was quoted in the Jan. 7 Burnet Bulletin stating that he wants to "handle the tourism department in a different way" and that he has "a different vi- sion for the way the program was to be administered." Oakley made the com- ments in confirming that vet- eran tourism director Teri Fre- itag would not be retained. The tourism director re- ports to the county judge, who has the authority over personnel decisions in the "I want to up the ante on that and pri- oritize that as a need because it is the next level of where we need toga." -- JAMES OAKLEY, B URNET COUNTY JUDGE "As members of the court, we vote as a team and we have a priority list and that bridge ranks 24th on that project list." --- BILL NEVE, COUNTY COMMISSIONER department. Oakley had little reaction as Precinct 4 commissioner to Neve's reminder, respond- (1999-2007). ing, "What I said may have "I want to up the ante on been misconstrued." that and prioritize that as a Emotions elevated when need because it is the next lev- Neve brought up Oakley's el of where we need to go," published remarks about the said Oakley, who added that bridge, the bridge "would alleviate Oakley championed the traffic clogs in the southern need for a new bridge last part of the county." year during the campaign for The problem with that, county judge and said his de- Neve contended before his sire to see it built goes back to his previous term on the court CalMlY ... see Page 3 man IlII!UtI!!II!!!!!IIH Multiple-months-long investigation may lead to other arrests across state BY JAMES WALKER AND CHRISTI BERTELSON Bve~er BULLETIN Bertram police have ar- rested an 18-year-old man af- ter discovering a large number of images and videos of child pornography on his computer, cell phone and other devices, said Doug Wall, police chief. Richard Upton is being held in the Burnet County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond after being arrested Friday, Jan. 16, at a drug rehabilitation facility in Georgetown. Bertram's Chief Wall de- UPTON scribed the images involving children ranging in age from 17 years to as young as six months old as "some of the worst you'll ever see." Upton is charged with Pos- session of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony punish- able by up to 10 years in pris- on and a fine of up to $10,000. The Bertram Police De- partment's investigation of Upton began Nov. 3 after get- ting a cyber tip from the Office of the Texas Attorney General that a Dropbox, Inc. account belonging to Upton uploaded 347 suspected images of child pornography to the folder of "Richard J" on the Dropbox file hosting service. The attomey general's of- fice was tipped to the Drop- box, Inc. activity by the Na- Porn ... see Page 5 WAYNE CRAIG/BURNET BULLETIN Scenes like this one at the conclusion of the 2014 Burnet High School graduation ceremony might have to be played out somewhere else this year other than the traditional football stadium. Approved stadium work may affect BHS graduation BY JAMES WALKER Bueuer BULLETIN The need to start work on installing artificial turf and a new track at the Burnet High School football stadium might mean the senior grad- uation ceremony will have to be held elsewhere, Superin- tendent Keith McBurnett has acknowledged. In order to be ready for the start of the 2015 football sea- son, the stadium project needs to be underway by the end of April, McBurnett said. "Based on the timing of the district track meet (April 15-16) we are projecting that construction at the stadium will begin on April 20 and be complete by Aug. 24," the su- perintendent said. Graduation ceremonies have traditionally been held at the football field and this year's is scheduled for May 25. Some students and parents have expressed disappoint- ment about possibly having to stage the graduation ceremony elsewhere. "Can't you discuss with potential contractor that they start ion the visitor side and some of the other items be- fore graduation?" Phyllis Jo- hanson, a parent and member of the Project Graduation or- ganization wrote in a note to Burnet High School principal Mark Kincaid. "Everyone is really up- set," Johanson wrote: "No one knew that approving the bond would mess up graduation. It was never mentioned at all of those meetings that were held." The stadium improve- ments were part of a $26.7 million bond package that vot- ers approved Nov. 4, 2014. "No decisions have been made regarding graduation and the use of the stadium," McBurnett said. "The first op- tion will always be to use the stadium if possible." School officials are in the process of working with an engineer and architect to build the specifications for bidding purposes on the stadium proj- ect, he said. The district is exploring all options for grad- uation, he said. Included is asking for a bid that includes graduation preparation. "That would be as an alter- nate, as part of the stadium bid Grads... see Page 3 I' I ,.! ? " In ...... r