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Deputy Hollis funeral on Wednesday

9-19-2014 Jessica Hollis                            Jessica Hollis (1979 – 2014)

Jessica grew up in San Antonio, Texas, graduated from Churchill High School in 1997 where she was a varsity cheerleader. She attended Texas A&M in Corpus Christi and Southwest Texas State studying Marine Biology.

Jessica met her future husband, Ricky Hollis while they were serving as EMTs in San Antonio. They then served together as Paramedics for Calhoun County for 5 years. The couple moved to Austin after being accepted into the Austin Police Academy, and had the distinction of being the 2nd married couple to ever graduate from the Austin Police Academy. Jessica served with the Austin Police Department and the Travis County Parks Department, before being recruited by the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. Ricky has served with the Austin Police Department for 9 years.

Jessica has served with Honor and Distinction for the Travis County Sheriff Office for the last seven years, becoming a Senior Deputy Sheriff. Jessica served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Vice Officer. Jessica loved diving and worked hard to become a member of the prestigious Travis County Dive Team. She had just become a Certified Master Scuba Diver and received the Unit Citation Award for her work with the Dive Team. Jessica and son, Mason shared their love of diving and they were very proud of his recent diving certification. The American Legion nominated Jessica for 2010 “Officer of the Year”. Her Lieutenant eloquently stated, “Jessica was a shining star and would advance far with Travis County”. Although slight in size, she had a vivacious personality. She was loved, respected and admired by family, friends and peers. Anyone who knew Jessica would say she never met a stranger.

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VHS beats LISD, state and national averages on ACT, PSAT boot camp helps students achieve results

By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News

Leander ISD students beat the state and national averages on the ACT college-entrance exam and students at Vandegrift High School beat even the Leander ISD average, according to data recently released from LISD.

For 2014, the average ACT composite score (scale of 1 – 36) for an LISD graduate was 23.6, while the state and national average composite scores were 20.9 and 21.0 respectively. Last year, students at VHS had an average ACT score of 25.3, according to VHS Principal Charlie Little.

Little said the ACT and SAT tests are very good measuring tools of a student’s education because the tests are consistent from state to state.

“It’s a good indicator of a student’s overall educational experience,” Little said. “So having a good score means you offer quality instruction. If you have a high average, it means students are getting a great education in your school.”ACT

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Body of missing Travis County Sheriff’s deputy Jessica Hollis found Friday afternoon in Lake Austin

9-19-2014 Jessica HollisThe search for a missing Travis County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy ended Friday, Sept. 19 around 2 p.m. when her body was found in Lake Austin.

Senior Deputy Jessica Hollis was patrolling in Northwest Travis County when her car was swept away in a low water crossing in the 3400 Block of Fritz Hughes Park Road just before 2am on September 18, 2014.

Searchers from the Sheriff’s Office, as well as all the federal, state, and local public safety agencies from across Travis County and Texas Search and Rescue have been searching the area from the low water crossing to Lake Austin. Boats with divers, helicopters, and search and rescue dogs are being used to leave no stone unturned in the search. The terrain has been very difficult to negotiate and made the search slow going.

This afternoon, just before 2pm, Deputy Jessica Hollis was found in Lake Austin, not too far from the mouth of the creek her patrol car was found in. Final arrangements will be announced later.

Hollis was 35 years old and has been a member of TCSO for seven years. She worked patrol, vice and was also a member of the Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Team or dive.

“Our hearts go out to her family and friends,” said Roger Wade, Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

 

LCRA board takes historic action to expand, protect region’s water supply

Board approves region’s first new water supply reservoir in decades,

Adopts changes to Water Management Plan application

LCRA_LogoSmallThe LCRA Board of Directors on Wednesday took historic action to expand and protect the water supply of the lower Colorado River basin.

The Board unanimously:

  • Gave final approval to the first new water supply reservoir in the lower Colorado River basin in decades. The 40,000 acre-foot off-channel reservoir near Lane City in Wharton County could be filled several times a year, adding up to 90,000 acre-feet of firm water to the region’s supply.
  • Agreed to revise LCRA’s 2012 proposed amendments to the Water Management Plan, which sets out how water from lakes Travis and Buchanan is managed. LCRA staff now will finalize the application, which will go to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for action.

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Taylor Morrison advances duplex plan at MU-14, SRNA opposes units, wants community to buy site

By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News

A proposal by the Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association to purchase an 84-acre property at RM 620 and Quinlan Park Road in Steiner Ranch from Taylor Morrison and other private landowners has fallen through, according to SRNA Chairman Brian Thompto.

Taylor Morrison is currently planning to build 150 two- to three-bedroom duplexes on the tract, known as Mixed Use #14 or MU14, as early as this winter.Map-Front-of-Steiner-Annotated-Small

SRNA opposes MU-14 duplexes

Thompto discussed the project at the May 28 Steiner Ranch community meeting and said SRNA does not support the duplex development for several reasons. First, due to the topography of the tract, developers will only be able to build one entry road for the site, which will be on Quinlan Park Road, across from the entrance to Quinlan Crossing.

In addition, vehicles leaving the property would only be allowed to turn right toward RM 620. He said that families wanting to access schools or neighborhood amenities would either have to make an illegal U-turn at an already dangerous intersection or go far out of their way on RM 620 just to access the neighborhood.

“Our neighborhood association for the last two and a half years has been actively encouraging (Taylor Morrison) that we think this is a very bad fit for this property due to traffic flow,” Thompto said. “We are not the only ones. Everyone who sees this says this does not make any sense. This is not a good fit for that property.”

Thompto said the duplex project was rejected by the county twice for not having at least two access points, which is required for developments with more than 30 units. After hiring an attorney, however, he said Taylor Morrison was granted an administrative waiver that allowed them to move forward with the project.

Additionally, Thompto called the MU-14 tract the “front door” of Steiner Ranch and said the project does not make sense aesthetically. The addition of that many families would also put additional pressure on the already-crowded schools. Continue reading