San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


The Hays County Commissioners Court this afternoon appropriated $5,000 to help pay for road signs honoring a state trooper killed 13 years ago during a traffic stop on Interstate 35.



A bill passed by the Legislature  and signed by Gov. Rick Perry this spring designates a stretch of the interstate between River Ridge Parkway in San Marcos and Center Street (FM 150) in Kyle as the Trooper Randy Vetter Memorial Highway.

Erecting and maintaining two large signs at both ends of the six-mile segment will cost $20,000, the Texas Department of Transportation estimates. The Texas State Troopers Association has contributed $5,000 for the project and an additional $10,000 has been raised from private donors, Trooper Nicholas LaRocque told the court this morning.

Commissioners agreed to put up the remaining $5,000 as part of a flurry of last-minute amendments considered this afternoon ahead of final adoption of a $174.5 million budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

“I think it this will be a very fitting memorial for Officer Vetter,” County Judge Bert Cobb said. One of the county-owned park at Five Mile Dam on the Blanco River is already named in memory of Vetter.

Vetter was shot in the head August 3, 2000 near Yarrington Road after a 72-year-old Kyle area rancher detained for not wearing a seatbelt opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon. Vetter died four days later in an Austin hospital. The shooter, Melvin Hale, died in prison in 2008 while serving a life sentence.

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