Llano has lost two of its most prominent leaders. Sam Warren Rabb, a fixture of Llano’s agricultural community and a former member of the Llano Independent School District board of trustees, died Dec. 8. He was 91. James Taylor Virdell Sr., founder and owner of Virdell Drilling, Inc., and former Llano school board member, Chamber of Commerce director and Llano City Council member, died Dec. 11. He was 90.
Snowflakes and Santa Claus. Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Animated figurines by the bucketloads. Village scenes. It’s all enough to make even the hardest-hearted, cynical adult feel like a wide-eyed five-year-old again. All of the items — a large storage barn full of items, actually, inventoried, cataloged and carefully labeled — belong to Llano resident Mark Traficant.
The LanTex Theater was packed at two sold-out Llano Country Opry shows Saturday, Dec. 13, featuring Asleep at the Wheel with Emily Gimble, David Sanger, David Miller, Ray Benson, Katie Holmes and Eddie Rivers.
An area of Llano one resident says is unsightly will be closed to the public, thanks to a unanimous vote by the Llano City Council. City officials approved the measure during its Monday, Dec. 15, meeting, in which Llano resident Mike Hazel spoke about an alleyway and a portion of Ross and Hale streets. “It seems to be Llano’s favorite dumping area,” Hazel said, adding that people have dumped everything from furniture trash to live animals. “There are so many people dumping things there, it’s ridiculous.”
A man accused of double homicide in Burnet County was released from jail on bond Monday, Dec. 8.
According to county records, Garrett James Ballard, 21, of Burnet County was released on $500,000 bond on Monday after being incarcerated since August 19 on charge of capital murder of multiple persons.
State District Judge Allan Garrett set bond at $2 million on Wednesday, Oct. 8, for Ballard, who is accused of killing two friends with a high-powered rifle. Bond was lowered to $500.000 after a hearing.
Ballard is accused of the killings of Travis Fox and Elijah Adam Benson. According to an arrest affidavit, Ballard reportedly told investigators on the scene the day Fox, 26, and Benson, 18, were killed that he shot the pair while all three were under the influence of a hallucinogen.
For more on the story, see Friday's Highlander or Wednesday's Llano County Journal.
As well-wishers packed the Llano County Courthouse during a reception Monday afternoon, Dec. 8, for retiring Llano County Judge Wayne Brascom, Sunset Beach Mayor Pat Frain summed up the feelings of many. “We’re really going to miss him,” Frain said at the reception. “He’s been a godsend to Llano County. He’s going to be a difficult one to replace. He is very dedicated to Llano County.”
The view was really rather amazing. They — Cheryl Quallenberg and Kathy Kennedy — agreed on that. They were standing in the game room of the home of Doug and Anita Connally on County Road 226 – one of eight homes on the Llano Women’s Culture Club’s Tour of Homes Saturday, Dec. 6.
A difference in wording led the Llano County Commissioners Court to hold off on approving the purchase of new vehicles for the Llano County Sheriff’s Office. In a 4-0 vote (Precinct 1 Commissioner Peter Jones absent,) commissioners agreedto wait until their Dec. 22 meeting, or even possibly the first meeting in the ew year on Jan. 12, 2015, to clarify and address the agenda item again.
A familiar face to many in Llano is saying farewell to the community he says feels like home to him. UPS, Inc., driver Sam Dimas, who has been delivering packages in and around the Llano area for more than eight years, retired from his job as of Friday, Nov. 28.