Round Rock Living Magazine - February 2021

Page 1

February 2021

Come on in

the water's fine at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions

It's the month for sweethearts Venues and places to be romantic

High school students are preparing for the world of journalism


Table of Contents Tim Arnold


Valentine’s Day brings visions of future weddings


Agape BBQ is a destination for a perfect Saturday getaway  Egg recipes



Valentine’s Day suggestions for a romantic night, at home or out on the town  Family-friendly hiking spots in Williamson County



Stony Point High School journalism teacher helps direct students into the media field  2021 Round Rock Chamber of Commerce participants announced  Realtors and appraisers are keeping busy in Williamson County  Williamson County Pets of the Month

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Letter From The Editor Pamela A. Cosel Welcome to the pages of the February 2021 issue of “Round Rock Living Magazine.” I am honored to be in the role of Editor for this publication, which is part of the Made Media Group. February – ah, love is in the air. (Better than COVID-19, right?) May couples get engaged or married on Valentine’s Day, so this issue has a focus on places to go for a special night out. IN addition, we are featuring a few local wedding venues for those who want to start planning that special day. Our feature story is about the general manager of the new Kalahari Resorts & Conventions facility in Round Rock, the biggest waterpark this side of Africa. Of course, many know that is the theme of Kalahari: an African Safari. Mr. Tim Arnold is the man charged with keeping the staff and especially, the visitors, happy. Another feature story is about journalism students and their teacher, Holly Nichols, at Stony Point High School. This year, the National High School Journalism Conference had to be held virtually, but the students nonetheless enjoyed it. Some hope to pursue journalism as a career. The monthly column by The Well-Seasoned Chef, Catherine Carpenter, is a History of Navy Beans, and its accompanying recipe is sure to warm your tummy when the temperatures are cold. Next, as the freezing weather passes and temperatures start to climb a bit, we offer a feature about the best local places to take the family hiking. Written by April S. Kelley, she showcases the hike-and-bike trails in Williamson County. In case you have a taste for Texas barbecue after those family hikes, contributor Lance Catchings tells us about a gem of a place in the Texas Hill Country: Agape BBQ serves up some of the best in the area. Stay safe. Love one another this February and always. Smile – even behind a mask. Sincerely, Pamela Cosel, Editor

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Catherine Carpenter

Catherine Carpenter, “The Well-Seasoned Private Chef,” has been working with food in Austin since 1995, proudly in service to Texas Governors, members of the Texas House, small business, families and individuals throughout Central Texas. She locally sources and handcrafts meals and baking, one happy client at a time. A small-business owner specializing in food as a healing art, she is skilled in cuisine for state dinners, special events, and meals for family. Catherine is active in sourcing from Texas farms and vendors, keeping it local and Texan whenever possible. She can be reached at

Lance Catchings

Lance Catchings is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. His writing career includes stops at The Port Lavaca Wave and The Liberty Hill Independent along with various freelance opportunities. Originally from Victoria, TX he relocated to the Austin area summer of 2015. An avid hiker, biker, and lover of all things fitness related. A long-time motorcycle track day enthusiast, football fan and beer connoisseur.

April Kelley

April S. Kelley has been documenting the stories of local communities as a working journalist for over a decade. A little over a year ago, she followed her love for music from Louisiana to the Austin area. You can probably find her roaming parks or trails in the area or listening to music way too loudly at her home in Round Rock.


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Tim Arnold He loves running the Round Rock “African Safari” known as Kalahari Resorts and Conventions By Pamela Cosel

ROUND ROCK, Texas – It has 1.5 million square feet of fun – and it’s Tim Arnold’s job to keep everyone happy at the new Kalahari Resorts and Conventions facility, the fourth indoor waterpark of its kind in the country. Arnold is the general manager of the Round Rock location, which opened in November 2020. He joined the company’s team in 2019, leading the day-to-day operations, which includes providing guidance to the management teams and serving as liaison to the Round Rock community. “But there’s the pandemic,” one might say. So many businesses are not operating at full capacity, or have been closed down, due to the spread of COVID-19 since last spring. That did not deter Kalahari Resorts and Conventions from moving ahead with its plan to provide fun, frolic and family events for the Central Texas region. “As America’s Largest Indoor Waterpark Resort with 1.5 million square feet, we have plenty of room for guests to spread out,” Arnold explained. “Still, health and safety is a resort priority. We are adhering to all local and state public health and safety regulations, including guidelines for masks and social distancing. Overnight occupancy and occupancy for amenities and attractions, including restaurants, is limited in accordance with local rules and regulations.” The family-owned business is based in Wisconsin and started by high school sweethearts 6


Todd and Shari Nelson. They were inspired to create its African Safari-themed waterparks after taking a trip to Africa. The brand was created in 2000 and is a family adventure, with their children also involved as owning members. They created the Nelson Family Foundation in 2014. The company gives back to African craftsman and artists, supports the Mandela Poster Project, and partners with Ithateng Mokgoro of Gamatong Foundation via a design competition and exhibition that features winning designs of the competitions in the company’s various resort locations. The Nelsons donate to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, Clean the World, and also have an exchange program wherein African college graduates participate in a year-long cultural and work program at each of the resort locations. Arnold explained how the Nelsons came to choose Round Rock for its Texas location, and added that in hiring employees, they look for people who can “help maintain our beyond-expectations, family-friendly atmosphere for guests.” He said Round Rock was very open to the company building in the city since it first broke ground for the resort more than two years ago. “The Nelson family felt a pull to Texas for their first location in the Southwest,” he said, “and Round Rock proved to be very business friendly with a community/family feel that was important to the Nelsons, while also offering

the proximity, ease of travel and tourism of Austin and Dell Diamond. “Everything’s bigger in Texas and that’s an important synergy with the Kalahari brand. The Round Rock, Texas, resort was the fourth time the Nelson family built the largest indoor waterpark resort in America. First in Wisconsin, then Ohio, Pennsylvania and now in Texas.” The resort is currently taking reservations for events and conventions because such events require many months, sometimes years, of advance notice to attendees. They tend to book one to two years in advance, Arnold said. “In our first year in Round Rock, we’re excited to show the community all that Kalahari has to offer,” he explained. “Even if you’re not an overnight guest at Kalahari, you can still enjoy the property and amenities. Beyond our giant waterpark, we have a world-class spa and cutting-edge arcade and indoor amusement park -- both are open to the local community. We also have four fantastic signature restaurants that are open daily to the public, including Italian and Mexican cuisine, a contemporary steakhouse and amazing burger bar. Don’t worry that Kalhari may not have enough space to hold event the largest wedding or an international conference. Arnold assures everyone that the facility has plenty of space. “We have a 200,000 square foot state-of-theart Convention Center, which will undoubtedly


be a significant draw for the Round Rock community in the coming years,” he said. “The flexible meeting space includes two ballrooms, 16 meeting rooms, multiple hospitality suites and 50,000 square feet of outdoor event space in our Event Barn, Covered Terraces and Outdoor Lawn. This gives groups plenty of space to spread out and employ physical distancing best practices.” Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Arnold is happy to be at the helm of Kalahari in Round Rock. He spent 20 years working in the hospitality industry managing luxury resorts and regional, multi-unit restaurants and residential properties in Florida and Puerto Rico before joining the Kalahari team. He seems to be built for this industry which provides adventure and fun for so many, especially children and families. “One of my favorite parts of the job is meeting and interacting with our guests -- seeing the look on kid’s faces when they walk into Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park for the first time or stepping into the 223,000 square foot indoor waterpark,” Arnold said. “It’s also great to talk with parents who remember visiting one of our other resorts when they were growing up and hearing how they’re now bringing their family to our newest, grandest resort here in Texas.” For information about tickets, prices and the Kalahari attractions, visit kalahariresorts. com/texas 7



Valentine’s Day brings visions of future weddings

Many couples choose to either get engaged or married each February on Valentine’s Day. It’s a day for sweethearts across the country, and whether a couple decides to hold a backyard wedding or go all out in staging “The Best Wedding of the Century” – which in times of COVID-19 has changed those type of gatherings – it’s still fun to see what venues exist in Williamson County. Whether it’s “something old or something new,” couples have a variety of options to reserve for that special day. Below are a few venues to consider. 8


Kindred Oaks, 22100 County Road 176, Georgetown – 512-260-9690 Angel Springs Event Center, 1500 County Road 267, Georgetown – 866-771-1500 With complete privacy in the Texas Hill Country, this venue has a boardwalk aisle positioned under a canopy of large, mature trees. As many as 200 guests can be seated in the white chairs provided on the lawn. An indoor ballroom features Hill Country limestone throughout the building. There is a bridal suite, along with off-site and on-site lodging.

This Texas-style estate sits on 11 acres in the Hill Country, with more than 4,500 square feet of outdoor spaces including a covered pavilion with outdoor fireplace. The venue features a honeymoon suite, so after dancing the night away, the bride and groom can spend the night on site. The venue has an all-inclusive wedding package, a “Designer Sunday” package for 80 guests, the “Fun 50” package, and a “Sweet & Petite Elopement” package. In addition, Kindred Oaks is an official sponsor of the “Twogether in Texas” initiative, an 8-hour premarital class.

Casa Blanca on Brushy Creek, 2211 Hairy Man Road, Round Rock – 512-663-4441

The Texas Hall, 4412 Sam Bass Road, Round Rock – 512-947-3812

The venue offers both indoor and outdoor settings, including a beautiful ballroom which is adorned by two covered porches, and can fit as many as 230 guests. Both the ceremony and reception can be held at Casa Blanca. Hardwood floors, beautiful artwork, and a fireplace make the setting stunning and provides a charming ambiance.

This venue offers a natural setting with a rustic twist. Surrounded by green trees, it is situated on more than five acres. An indoor dance hall, guesthouse with kitchen, bridal suite and groom’s dressing rooms, a swimming pool, bar area and free onsite parking are some of the amenities. The indoor hall can accommodate as many as 120 guests.



Agape BBQ is a destination for a perfect Saturday getaway By Lance Catchings

For those in Central Texas searching for a spring getaway, they need only point their eyes towards the Western portion of Williamson County. Agape BBQ, located at 3610 RM 1869 in Liberty Hill, is the type of gem that makes living in Central Texas so special. Although the BBQ establishment is relatively new, the rich tradition of quality smoked meats and locally crafted beer and coffee make Agape BBQ one of the best restaurants Central Texas has to offer. 10


“We hope people can come and feel a sense of relaxation while enjoying awesome Texas barbecue made the right way,” said co-owner and general manager Brandon Reinoehl. “We see this place as a great opportunity for people to come out and enjoy themselves. We have a large screened outdoors, we have cornhole (games) and a stage for music. There is a lot to offer in our large backyard. We want to be a destination barbecue spot where people can come and enjoy the day.” Agape BBQ was started with a friendship between Reinoehl and co-owner/pit master, Jeremy Archer. The location is a bright, welcoming building with an enormous backyard and hundreds of oak trees. “We knew early on we wanted to go out into Liberty Hill because of the future growth potential, and there is a lot coming out this way,” Archer said. “We wanted to establish ourselves as the barbecue location in this area. This spot was exactly what we were looking for with the 300-year-old oak trees, the big yard and a place people can come hang out and build relationships. Anything we can do to help build relationships we want to do that. Some of our largest supporters have been other local restaurants. When we all succeed it is good for the community and good for everyone.”

“Our brand is all about craft barbecue, craft beer and being local” The two friends and owners pride their restaurant on being locally owned and operated. That includes everything from the food to the beer and coffee. “Our brand is all about craft barbecue, craft beer and being local,” Reinoehl added. “The size of the Liberty Hill community felt like a good fit for our brand. This is a dream for us and we are able to live it out. We work hard and we work long hours, but the satisfaction on our customer’s faces makes it all worth it. I have never taken a job before where I could say that’s my dream, so we feel blessed. We are looking forward to meeting everyone so come out and see us.” The restaurant is open for dinein or takeout, and as stated on the website: Barbecue. Beer. Coffee. It don’t get much tastier than that. 11



Egg recipes Break away from the average breakfast and make one of our egg recipes! Transform the simple, affordable egg into a flavorful, can't-get-enough brunch, lunch or dinner.


BLT Egg Bake  Total Time

\ Makes

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

4 servings

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1/4 cup mayonnaise 5 slices bread, toasted 4 slices process American cheese 12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup 2% milk 4 large eggs 1 medium tomato, halved and sliced 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2 green onions, thinly sliced Shredded lettuce


Preheat oven to 325°. Spread mayonnaise on 1 side of each slice of toast and cut into small pieces. Arrange toast, mayonnaise side up, in a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Top with cheese slices and bacon.

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 2 minutes. Pour over bacon.

In a large skillet, fry eggs over medium heat until they reach desired doneness; place over bacon. Top with tomato slices; sprinkle with cheddar cheese and onions. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes. Cut in squares; serve with lettuce.




Breakfast Spuds  Total Time

\ Makes

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

6 servings

Ingredients: • 1 package (20 ounces) frozen sweet potato puffs • 8 large eggs • 1/3 cup 2% milk • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/8 teaspoon pepper • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham • 1 tablespoon butter • Shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions

Yankee Rancheros  Total Time

\ Makes

Prep/Total Time: 24 min.

4 servings


 Cook potatoes according to package directions for stovetop.

 Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, mix beans and salsa. Microwave, covered, on high until heated through, 1-2 minutes, stirring once. In a large nonstick skillet, heat naan over medium-high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes per side; remove from pan. Keep warm.



Bake potato puffs according to package directions. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in ham.

• 5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (about 15 ounces) • 1 cup refried beans • 1/4 cup salsa • 2 naan flatbreads, halved • 4 large eggs • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend • Additional salsa, optional

 In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add egg mixture; cook and stir until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains. Serve with potato puffs; sprinkle with cheese and green onions.

 Coat same skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat. Break eggs, 1 at a time, into pan; reduce heat to low. Cook until whites are set and yolks begin to thicken, turning once if desired.

 To serve, spread bean mixture over naan. Top with potatoes, eggs and cheese. If desired, serve with additional salsa. 13


Valentine’s Day

suggestions for a romantic night, at home or out on the town February is typically recognized for being the month of sweethearts. Even the retail stores get ready for that special day to show love, February 14, as soon as the Christmas season ends. Red hearts, red cakes, Valentine’s Day cards all hit the display shelves as soon as the new calendar is turned over. Thus, to give readers a list of ideas on how to celebrate it in times of COVID-19, here is what’s happening in the Williamson County region.



Aphrodisiac VDay Cooking Class (online) February 12, 13, 14 -- Cedar Park Presented by Appetite4Seduction, this two-hour class is a romantic event couples can participate in from their homes. The cost is $49.99 with an add-on of food delivery. The instructor will guide participants through the night in an interactive, entertaining and intoxicating evening. The Valentine’s Day Dinner Special menu consists of: Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Penne Pasta with Baby Peas, Chicken, Prosciutto and a Parmesan Cream Sauce, Chocolate Lava Cakes with Ice Cream. Couples will learn knife skills, what is an aphrodisiac, how foods can affect one’s body and libido, how to have fun and experiment with food, what foods are sexy, and how to choose cooking ingredients. Visit or appetite4seduction. com for more information and to sign up for the class. Purchase of the ticket does not include wine.

Valentine Sweetheart Dinner by Wine Sensation February 14 – Round Rock Two different dinner seating times are available, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Wine Sensation is located at 409 North Mays St. Dinner is a three-course meal, a wine pairing for the main courses and a sparkling toast for each couple. Cost is $70 per person. The menu consists of the 1st Course: Roasted Tomato Soup or Caprese Salad, 2nd Course: Carbonara Pasta with choice of shrimp or chicken or Braised beef with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots, 3rd Course: Cheesecake or Chocolate Cream Pie. Reserve a dinner time on

2021 Cupid’s 12 Roses of Valentine’s Day Run Challenge – Round Rock Ticket prices start at $50. Participants receive: 2-Cupid’s 12 Roses Finisher medals, 2-1 mile rose pins, a bonus pin, 2-Tyvek race bibs, and an optional add-on of a finisher shirt. It is a limited run, with the participant number capped at 2,500 people. Register online and run the 12-mile route of your choice with your significant other. Race packets will be shipped to registrants starting February 1. Walk or run, indoors or outdoors. Submit your results when finished. Visit thevirtualchallenge. com for details.



Family-friendly hiking spots in Williamson County By April S. Kelley

With more than 2,600 acres of parks and trails stretching across Williamson County, it’s easy to find a familyfriendly hike beneath the warming spring sun on any given day. Not sure where to go? Check out the handy-dandy list below of the best hiking trails to explore with your family, all within the county. Brushy Creek Regional Trail This 7.75 mile, mostly concrete, trail is about as family-friendly as one can get - all without being boring. From scenic views to parks and ponds, families can find something for everyone, as the trail winds its way from Cedar Park through Round Rock. Several access points along Brushy Creek make it easy to hike a different part each time, and it is one of the easiest hikes, suitable for strollers, a rambunctious toddler or even favorite furry friendship.

Chisholm Trail Crossing Round Rock’s most well-known park, featuring the town’s namesake, is likely the most family-friendly trail in the area, with playscapes for all ages, sculptures and a trail winding through nature, history and community. Though the park is only 1.51 acres, it is bursting with potential for the perfect spring day.

San Gabriel River Trail The San Gabriel River Trail in Georgetown offers 6.6 miles of trails, featuring natural springs 16

Chisholm Trail Crossing

and culminating at the historic “Blue Hole” swimming hole. While important to note one of the area’s best swimming holes, especially come summer, this trail provides so much more than a preview of summer fun. Blue Hole never dries up, regardless of drought conditions, and even if it’s too cold to swim, it is one of the most beautiful sights in Williamson county. Part of this mixed-surface trail does not work well with a stroller, but it is easy and safe for children to walk along.

Southwest Williamson County Regional Park Southwest Williamson County Regional Park literally has it all, sports fields and courts, playscapes, trails, a train and even a splash pad in summer months. Several natural, mixed-surface trails run across the more than 500 acres that make up this park. And the kids can take a ride on the Cedar Rock Railroad miniature train, which travels alongside and through the trails, adding an extra level of excitement to an already awesome park. Therefore, be sure to keep safe and be on the lookout for the train when hiking or biking the trails.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Photo Credit: April S. Kelley




Stony Point High School journalism teacher helps direct students into the media field By Pamela Cosel

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Yearbooks and school newspapers are usually considered extra-curricular activities – not as “important,” perhaps to some, as reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Ah, but many current-day journalists and television news anchors started out showing their reporting skills on a high school newspaper, or as graphic designers working on layouts for their school’s yearbook. Such is the case at Stony Point High School. Former TV journalist and reporter at WJHG Newschannel 7 in Panama City, Florida, Holly Nichols has been a full-time teacher at SPHS since 2017. Just as a former teacher led her into journalism, she is now doing that for current students, who recently participated virtually in the annual National High School Journalism Convention in November. In 2019, Nichols was able to take students in person, but due to COVID-19, that was not possible in 2020. The conference features keynote speakers, and has representatives attend from major media schools, such as the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University. “I was drawn into the field of journalism during my high school years,” Nichols explained. “We had a program called ComTech (communications technology academy) that combined all of the core classes with the technology electives, so the work we did for yearbook, newspaper, and TV productions counted for our English, history, science, and math credits. It also had a program where we interned at local businesses during our senior year. I interned at WJHG Newschannel 7 back in Panama City, FL and they hired me before the first semester ended.” One could say journalism is in her blood, as her paternal grandparents worked at a newspaper in their younger years, she said. “I always felt journalism kept my connection to them. I finished my Master’s degree in communications, with the intention of becoming a news director at a television station one day.” In moving to the Central Texas area ten years ago, Nichols felt a pull to become a teacher.

“I tried substitute teaching to see what grades I would like to teach,” she explained. “It was very obvious that high school was my best fit. There weren’t any journalism positions open in Round Rock, so I taught down in Austin for two years. When the position opened at Stony Point High School, I applied as soon as I saw it. I remembered how much I loved substitute teaching there and what a wonderful community of teachers and staff they have.” SPHS senior Moryah Kline attended the 2019 conference. While she does not expect to pursue a journalism career, she said she will participate in such organizations in college. She said attending the national National High School Journalism Convention was very beneficial to her. “The most important thing that I was exposed to at the national journalism conference was leadership tips,” Kline said. “This was, and still is, so important to me because I am a CoEditor-in-Chief of the yearbook staff at Stony Point as well as the Student Council President. Leadership has always been, and will continue to be, important to me, so it is always beneficial for me to find new ways to improve in that area.” SPHS senior Lucy Kulzick has realized she is drawn to broadcast journalism by being involved in Nichols’ classes. “I became interested in journalism my freshman year of high school,” Kulzick said. “I had a free space in my schedule and had always been interested in writing and storytelling, so I signed up for journalism 1. When

I took the class, I became more interested in journalistic news and was especially drawn to broadcast journalism. The ability to have access to cameras and video editing software made the overall experience so much more enjoyable.” The other students who participated in the national conference included Zohee Zaragoz, Tess Howicz and Trevor Cross. “I know it seems cliche to say, but the highlights, to me, are my students,” Nichols explained. “They really are amazing. Many of my yearbook, newspaper, and broadcasting students are academic high-achievers and participate in many other extracurricular activities too. I have students in cheerleading, orchestra, band, student council, choir, NHS, dance, soccer, football, cross country, and HOSA. They’re all very informed about their world and they give me a lot of hope for the future. Some of my students aren’t planning to stay in journalism in college, but the teamwork and leadership they’ve learned from my journalism teams will stay with them.” The field of journalism has changed over the past few decades since Walter Cronkite was on the air, his significant emotional delivery of the news in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. But the passion for conveying the news is the same for those who like telling stories and sharing what is going on in the world. Perhaps one of the SPHS students will one day create a legacy such as Cronkite did. 17



2021 Round Rock Chamber of Commerce participants announced ROUND ROCK, Texas – Seventeen local residents have been selected to participate in the annual Round Rock Chamber of Commerce Leadership Round Rock (LRR) program. In addition, three people will take part in the young professional program, called Ascend. “Our leadership programs are the flagship of the chamber’s talent development efforts,” said Cynthia Flores, 2021 LRR chair in a statement. “Each year participants see the full scope of the institutions that have been so successful in growing our community and how they work together.” LRR meets through December, hosting ten full-day sessions for the participants. The program challenges them to identify their own passions and work to make a difference, according to the chamber.

The 2021 Ascend class includes: • Leah Clark, District Director for State Senator Charles Schwertner • Bolden Harris, Teravista Family Wellness • Dalton Douglas, Austin Regional Clinic Jason Ball, Chamber of Commerce president and CEO thanked them for their time commitment to the year-long program. “The business community recognizes the true value that leadership development programs like Leadership Round Rock and Ascent provide to employers,” noting that LRR participants are more satisfied in their community and participate in other professional and philanthropic organizations.


The 2021 LRR class participants are: • Jessica Bowers, Texas State University • Ziomara Briseno, Round Rock Area Serving Center • Christopher Cantu, Edward Jones • Alicia Hawley, Dell Technologies • Jennifer Hayhurst, Ascension Seton Williamson • Tyler Jarl, City of Round Rock • Rhonda Kuiper, Round Rock Public Library • Robert Lewis, Lewis Investments • Daniel Martey, Wells Fargo Bank • Todd Miller, Maxwell Locke & Ricker LLP • Priya Patel, Baylor Scott & White Health • Armando Perez, Oncor • Nathan Pisik, Dell Technologies • James W. Richards, Round Rock Police Department • Lauren Rowe, Baylor Scott & White Health • Michele Sherwood, Sherwood Keller Williams Realty – Round Rock • Zahir Walji, High Country Market Bistro & Cafe


Realtors and appraisers are keeping busy in Williamson County With the influx of people who continue to move to Texas from many other states, Central Texas and Williamson County, in particular, are a draw for many new residents. And why not? The area has good school systems, ample spaces for outdoor activities, and close proximity to the action in Austin, or the peace of Lake Travis and other water spots.


n checking the Austin Board of Realtors’ listings, in the month of January, the supply of homes for sale was showing as slightly more than 300 houses in Williamson County. It’s a relatively low number compared to months in 2020, when there were as many as 3,500 homes, according to Current prices range from the mid-$250,000 and go as high as priced at more than $4 million for a 3-bedroom home on 100 acres in Georgetown – proving that there realistically is something for everyone, despite the tighter market with an increased number of buyers. Real estate appraisers working in the area are always busy, not only with home sale evaluations, but with current interest rates low, many people have chosen to refinance their homes. Some of that is likely attributed to needing to pay off bills in these times of financial uncertainty due to job losses or reduced income due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The list of the Top 10 Real Estate Agents and Brokers in Williamson County was determined by Prime Buyer’s Report’s staff research, and based on survey phone calls to previous clients to verify high satisfaction, low complaints, verified state license, verified liability and workers’ comp insurance, and using only employees who have legal status to work in the U.S.

The Top 10 include: Keller Williams Realty, 1335 E. Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park Stanberry & Associates, 930 S. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park Paula Thomas Real Estate Group, 110 E. 8th St., Georgetown Cimarron Hills Realty & Development, 103 Cimarron Hills Trail W, Georgetown Sun City Georgetown, 1501 Sun City Blvd., Georgetown Cornerstone Real Estate, 101 Easy St., Hutto Realty Executives Volente, 14249 FM 2769, Leander Johnson ME Realtors Inc., 1901 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock Joseph Real Estate Group, 110 S. Lampasas St., Round Rock 19



Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas – In 2020, Williamson County Animal Shelter celebrated five years as a No-Kill shelter. The facility staff determines its Save Rate by subtracting the non-live numbers of pets from the live intakes. Then that number is divided by the number of live intakes and that is the Save Rate. WCAS serves the communities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander and Williamson County. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, those wishing to view the adoptable animals must make an appointment to come into the facility. Animals that are ages five and older are available free of adoption charges to seniors ages 55 and older.


Photos Courtesy of WCAS

Pets of the Month


Meet Chrissy Animal ID 15961030

Meet Rowling Animal ID 46373362

Chrissy is so adorable! This lovely lady is easygoing, sharp and housetrained. She is calm, well-behaved, and she loves her treats and food. Chrissy would do well as the only 4-legged family member in an active adult household. She will be an awesome companion for you! And Chrissy is the lucky recipient of an Adoption Angel, so her adoption fee has been paid. If you’d like to meet the delightful Chrissy, email to schedule an appointment. She has been at the shelter since December 19, 2020. She is eight years and 10 months old.

Rowling is a male domestic shorthair mix cat. His coloring is grey and white, and he is considered small. He is four years and six months old, and neutered. It is unknown if he is housetrained. He is not declawed. Rowling has been at the WCAS since January 5, 2021.


To make an appointment to visit the shelter, send an email to

Pet of the month

Contest Enter your pet’s photo today!

Email 1-2 of your cutest pet’s photos to editor@

For Contest details visit www.

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