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Howard County Sheriff's Office Warns Residents of Current Scam


 

On Tuesday August 22, 2017 a local resident received a phone call from a person identifying themselves as Lt. Steve Harris with the Howard County Sheriffs Office. The caller advised they had warrants and needed to make arrangements over the phone to pay the warrant. The victim hung up and contacted the Howard County Sheriffs Office to verify the information, which they learned was false.

 

This is just a reminder of the many scams people are still running to take your money. Please remember, Law Enforcement NEVER calls to collect money.

 

Sheriff Stan Parker

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Overturned Semitruck on South HWY 87 - Traffic Diverted


As of 8:30am, traffic is being diverted on S. Hwy 87 at the new overpass south of Big Spring due to an overturned 18 wheeler. The semi is blocking the entrance to S. 87 as well as the exit to Hwy 33. No word on injuries. DPS is currently at the scene. Southbound travelers will be detoured onto Driver Road followed by Boatler Road in order to avoid the area.

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SMMC's New Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Leave a Positive Impact on Patients and their Families


It's only been a few months since The Wound Healing Center at Scenic Mountain Medical Center had its grand opening, but it's already leaving a positive impression on patients. With two new hyperbaric oxygen chambers, the Wound Healing Center is able to offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a medical treatment. 

 

HBOT is a medical treatment which enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of pure oxygen in a total body chamber, where the atmospheric pressure is then increased and controlled. The treatment is used to treat chronic wounds that have not had success with conservative therapy, such as common wound treatments.

 

He also went on to explain that the treatment had been perfected by the United States Navy to prevent divers from getting a deadly condition known as "the bends," a condition caused by nitrogen bubbles in the blood as a result of coming up from diving too quickly. It was later found to also treat chronic wounds. Dr. Cooksey stated that The Wound Care Center actually still uses the U.S. Navy manual on how to use hyperbaric treatments, but they use it for wound care.

 

Dr. Robbie Cooksey, Medical Director of the Wound Healing Center at Scenic Mountain Medical Center, explained that the treatments are administered inside of a tank. Inside of the tank is a bed inside of a heavy glass cylinder. Pure oxygen is then pumped inside of the tank then the oxygen is compressed with approximately 2.5 atmospheres of pressure. 

 

One round of treatment is actually 30 treatments in 30 days, and according to Big Spring resident, Linda, that can be a committment of time and travel. Linda's mother is a wound care patient who is treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Her mother had only completed 8 of the 30 treatments when we spoke to her, but Linda says she can already see a difference in the wound size on her foot and that it appears to be healing from the inside out.

 

Linda says that they are pleased with the treatment that her mother has received and the staff treat her mother very well. "I'm tickled to death that I don't have to drive to Midland or Lubbock everyday for 30 days just to get her treatments done!"

 

 

 

Photo: Dr. Robbie Cooksey stands between the two hyperbaric oxygen chambers inside of The Wound Care Center at Scenic Mountain Medical Center.

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Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Receives New Training Simulator


The pump operations training simulator was delivered on Friday to the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department. This was a purchase that had been previously approved by the Howard County Commissioners’ Court and was determined to be able to cut training costs for the HCVFD and actually pay for itself in less than 4 years. Tommy Sullivan, Chief of HCVFD, told our news partners at CBS 7 “that the simulator will keep firefighters safe and sharp, as they can go through this training once a month instead of once a year.”

 

A demonstration was conducted by Jeff Clifton, Founder of Fire Department International. Clifton says that the pump operations training simulator was created to safely train firefighters by recreating stressful scenarios in a safe environment while being monitored by a fire instructor. It also decreases the amount of water that is consumed during training because in a regular hands-on training day, the training simulator will flow over 225,000 gallons of water, but will only consume approximately 2,000 gallons.

 

Clifton is a graduate of Coahoma High School and was actually trained to be a firefighter by Chief Sullivan before moving to Fort Worth, Texas where he was with the Ft. Worth Fire Department for 15 years. He later went on to create Fire Department International in 2004.

 

(Photo: The pump operations training simulator with a graphic that was designed by HCVFD, Chief Tommy Sullivan and his family.)

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Phase I Construction for Community Living Center Project Continues for West Texas VA Health Care System


The West Texas VA Health Care System continues construction on the new Community Living Center (CLC) that will be built in 4 phases. Currently, construction for the CLC is still in Phase I but a significant amount of progress has already been made to the underground level of the Community Center.

 

The completion of Phase I will include a Community Center with a 1,400 sq. ft. multipurpose room with a stage, a 550 sq. ft. great room, an internet cafe, and barber shop. The Center will aslo include a conference room and administrative offices. There will also be a one 10-bed cottage that will offer a home-like environment to residents.

 

10 veterans will share 8,200 sq. ft. of living space, including 300 sq. ft. for individual rooms. Each resident room will have a private bathroom. The living and dining areas combined are 1.380 sq. ft., and a laundry and spa bath are included.

 

Sheila Austin, Public Affairs Officer and Veterans Experience Officer, says that this project differs from the current 40-bed Community Living Center that is on the 5th floor of the VA because it will be a modern, more current format. The new format provides a more comfortable environment with a community dining and it will be less clinical.  

 

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Forsan ISD is a "2017 America's Farmers: Grow Rural Education" Winning School District!


Forsan ISD is honored to have been awarded a $10,000 grant through the Monsanto Fund, thanks to the farmers in their district who nominated Forsan ISD and to the various people involved in brainstorming and planning this "project-based" process.

The grant application is called GERMM and stands for Growing Engaged Researchers in Math Modeling. GERMM will involve almost all secondary school students through their Math, Finance, AutoCAD, or Ag Metals classes.

Students will be able to design an agriculture related project. They will then spend time working on measurement and geometrical calculations. Those plans will be sent on to an AutoCAD class where the design will become digitized. Other students will also work on budgets before a few projects make it all the way to the fabrication stage in the Ag Metals classes.

The grant money will be used to purchase a 3D printer for use in making scale models of the projects, and for purchasing a lift for the metal fabrication process.

The Grow Rural Education program allows eligible farmers to nominate their local public-school district for grants to help enhance STEM education. Once nominated, school districts submit applications to compete for $10,000 or $25,000 grants to help fund projects that enhance their STEM curriculum. These grants are helping to improve test scores, but better yet, they're getting kids to think bigger about their tomorrow.

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August Thunderstorm Brings Hope for Local Farmers


Yesterday KBest Media received 1.2 inches of rain as a result of the thunderstorms on Tuesday. Mike Moates, County President for the Howard County Farm Bureau visited the station to tell us about the benefits of a rain like this in August.

 

"The benefit for the crops in August is that the cotton was ready for drinking. It needed that so it can go ahead and put it's fruit on and mature out and give us a chance to have a cotton crop."

 

This year harvesting will begin at the end of October and early November however that is still dependent on the weather. If the weather becomes dryer, Moates says that the cotton will burn up and it would open up quicker. This would cause farmers to the defolinate the cotton to get it out quicker.

 

Moates has been with the Howard County Farm Bureau from over 25 years. The areas that the organization serves are Glasscock County, Reagan County, and Howard County. Moates says that one of the ways of the organization serves the communities is by conducting youth programs, his favorite is "Ag in the Classroom", which is designed for Howard County 5th graders.

 

He also went on to say, "A lot of the kids out here have never seen farming and ranching aspects of what goes on. We have one trailor that comes in and shows them all of the byproducts we get off of our animals and grain and our cotton and our things like that."

 

Moates says that he hopes that they can educate the kids about how important farming and ranching is to Big Spring.

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Former Big Spring Detective Receives MAXIMUM Sentencing on Three of Four Charges


In 118th District Court today, Judge Timothy Yeats handed down the sentences to former Big Spring detective Joel Rojo, following last week's conviction. After hearing testimony from witnesses for the Defense, Mr. Rojo's attorney requested minimum sentencing on all charges. District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson made no request for sentencing, stating that the Judge is aware of the severity of the crimes as well as the betrayal committed by the defendant during his time as a public servant. Wilkerson also stated that the defendant displayed no signs of remorse.

After all testimony and statements concluded, Judge Yeats recessed for 15 minutes before returning with maximum sentences on 3 of the 4 felony charges:

Charge #14689 Sexual Performance by a Child: Sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, with credit of time already served of 1 day. Must serve half of the sentence before being considered for parole. Must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Charge #14690 Indecency with a Child by Exposure : Sentenced to 10 years, with credit of 1 day already served.

Charge #14813 Attempted Indecency with a Child by Exposure: 2 years imprisonment, with credit of 1 day already served.

Charge #14814 Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact: 20 years imprisonment with credit of 1 day already served. Must serve half of the sentence before being considered for parole, and must register as a sex offender for life.

Sentences will run concurrently, which means that the total number of years, 52, are grouped together. Therefore, the longest sentence, 20 years must be served by a minimum of half (10 years) before parole will be considered.

District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson tells KBest News that Mr. Rojo is now in custody in the law enforcement center where he is being processed for a transfer to the diagnostics unit of the Texas Criminal Justice Division, which will either be Abilene or Huntsville. He will be assessed for 45-90 days to determine where he will spend the rest of his time.

 

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Back in Motion Chiropractics Gives Away 800 Backpacks Filled with School Supplies!


On Thursday afternoon, Back In Motion Chiropractics gave away 800 backpacks filled with school supplies for students between pre-k and high school. Organizations in the community such as the Howard County Fire Department, Guardians of the Children, and school mascots came out to help pass out the backpacks.

 

The event began at 3 P.M. but families began lining up outside just after lunch. KBest Media and the Coahoma High School Cheerleaders were also on scene to help entertain the crowd.

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2017 Cliburn Silver Medalist to Perform in Big Spring


KENNY BROBERG

2017 CLIBURN SILVER MEDALIST

To Perform in Big Spring, Texas

September 30, 7:30 PM

Big Spring Municipal Auditorium

Concert presented by the Big Spring Symphony Association, Dr. Keith Graumann, Music Director and Conductor.

A native of Minneapolis, 23-year-old pianist Kenny Broberg won the silver medal at the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for performances that showed “an imaginative shaping of themes, revelation of inner voices, and an unfailing sense of momentum” (Texas Classical Review).

His 2017–2018 debut season as Cliburn medalist will include a recital tour in Hawaii, a return to his alma mater, the University of Houston, for its annual Texas Music Festival, and orchestra and recital engagements in Denver, New Orleans, West Palm Beach, and other cities across the United States. In Europe, Mr. Broberg appears with the Rye Arts Festival and Hastings Philharmonic in the United Kingdom, and in recital in Italy. His debut solo album will be released by Decca Gold in August, as part of his Competition prizes.

Also a prizewinner of the Hastings, Sydney, Seattle, and New Orleans International Piano Competitions, Mr. Broberg has previously performed as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic, Minnesota, Sydney Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Chamber, Fort Worth Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestras, among others, working with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Leonard Slatkin, Nichola Milton, and Nicholas McGegan. His solo, chamber, and concerto performances have been broadcast on NPR and ABC (Australia) radio, and several of his performances at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition were included on CDs released on the Universal Music Australia label.

The first musician in his family, Mr. Broberg started piano lessons at age 6, when he was first fascinated by his mother’s upright—a wedding gift from her parents. He studied for nine years with Dr. Joseph Zins before entering the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree with Nancy Weems in 2016. He currently resides in Parkville, Missouri, under the guidance of 2001 Cliburn Gold Medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch at Park University.

A hockey and baseball athlete in high school, he still enjoys watching and playing sports, in addition to listening to jazz and reading.

 

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One Vehicle and Semi-truck Collision at US 87 and NW 12th


A one vehicle and one semi-truck collision occured today at the intersection of US 87 and NW 12th St. (service road to I-20).

The accident involved a SUV traveling westbound and the semi-truck was eastbound on the service road and did not yield the right of way. Police and EMS were quick to respond as were able to get the situation under control. One person has been transported to the hospital.

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Big Spring City Council Reveals New Tax Rate Proposal


During the Big Spring City Council Meeting on Tuesday evening, it was revealed that the proposed tax rate is $0.84/$100. This includes a Debt Service Rate and the M&O Rate.

The first Public Hearings on the Proposed Tax Increase will be held on Aug 22nd at 5:30 PM. The second Public Hearing will on Sept 12th at 5:30 PM.

It was also noted that the vacant property at 203 Presidio was accepted as a gift from the previous owner. Currently, there are no plans for the property.

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Coahoma and Forsan Athletic Directors Speak on Upcoming Howard County Scholarship Bowl


Coach Fred Dietz, Coahoma HS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, and Coach Jason Phillips, Forsan HS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, were in attendance at the Big Spring Rotary Club Meeting earlier today to talk about the upcoming Fourth Annual Howard County Scholarship Bowl.

The Howard County Scholarship Bowl is an annual football game played between Coahoma and Forsan at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring. All proceeds from the sales of tickets, tee-shirts, and donations collected from sponsors are awarded back to the eligible HS seniors at Coahoma and Forsan HS. Any high school senior that has a role in the game (player, managers, trainers, cheerleaders, and band) are eligible to receive a scholarship.

Tickets and tee-shirts are on sale now and the game is scheduled for Sept. 1st at 7:30 PM.

 

(Photo: Coach Jason Phillips, Forsan HS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, shakes hands with Coach Fred Dietz, Coahoma HS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.)

 

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Howard College Board of Trustees Proposes New Tax Rate, Discusses Summer Enrollment, and Add Safes to Dorm Rooms


Howard College Board of Trustees had a budget workshop and regular meeting earlier this afternoon. The main points from the meeting are as follows: 

- Summer I enrollment for Howard College-Big Spring increased by 8 percent, and the Summer II enrollment increased by 2 percent; however, the total enrollment for all Howard College campuses increased by 5 percent for Summer I and dropped by 6 percent for Summer II.

- The proposed tax rate will be $0.31 per / $100. Public Tax Hearings will be August 17th at 5:30 P.M. and on August 21st at 12:30 P.M.

- The operational budget was balanced with the exception of some one-time expenditures that will be paid for from Fund Balance resulting in a planned deficit budget.

- Safes will be added to dorm rooms. This will be done in order to provide a secure area for the students who are licensed to carry and who live on campus to store their handguns. (This is in accordance with the state law - (concealed) Campus Carry (SB 11).

 

(Photo: Howard College Board of Trustees listen on as Dr. Cheryl Sparks speaks during the meeting.)

 

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D. A. Hardy Wilkerson Explains Delay in Sentencing for Rojo Conviction


In a follow-up to the State vs. Rojo in which former detective Joel Rojo was found guilty of all charges yesterday, many citizens have inquired as to the reason for the delay in sentencing.

District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson spoke with KBest News regarding the circumstances, explaining that in a criminal trial, the defendant has the choice (before the trial begins) as to whom will decide the punishment if the defendant is found guilty. The choices for sentencing are: the Court (the Judge) or the Jury. In this case, Mr. Rojo chose the Court. Had Mr. Rojo chosen the Jury, the sentencing would have been applied immediately. However, when a defendant selects the Court, the law requires a period of “pre-sentencing investigation,” which is “a day or two” to attempt a comprehensive evaluation of the defendant including criminal history, mental health, substance use, family, etc. The investigation is conducted by another agency of the state, with results being submitted to the Court.

In the case of Mr. Rojo, he was not deemed as a flight risk, therefore his bond was not revoked during the time of the pre-sentencing investigation (which was ordered by the Court to be submitted today).

The charges for which Mr. Rojo was convicted make him ineligible for probation, and are punishable by incarceration in a state penitentiary. The exact sentencing will occur next week in 118th District Court by Judge Timothy Yeats.

 

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Big Spring Police Department Releases Statement about the Conviction of Former Detective


August 4th 2017

On August 3, 2017, Joel Rojo, a former Detective with the Big Spring Police Department was convicted in the 118th District Court of all previously indicted charges including, Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact, Sexual Performance by a Child, Indecency with a Child by Exposure and Attempted Indecency with a Child by Exposure. The Big Spring Police Department, first and foremost, sends our deepest sympathies to the three juvenile victims. We further hope that these convictions will provide closure to each of the victims and allow the healing process to begin. We thank the citizens for their understanding of the Department’s inability to respond to questions pertaining to this case in order to protect the integrity of the evidence and the privacy of the victims.

The Big Spring Police Department has rules and procedures in place that protect you, the citizens, and peace officer alike. Joel Rojo’s conduct, resulting in these convictions, stem from his failure to follow these rules and procedures and from his failure to uphold the integrity, honesty, and fairness that is required of our officers in the Big Spring Police Department. We want you, the citizen, to know that we hold your role in the accountability and integrity of our department in the highest regard. Additionally, we want to remind the community that we depend on your cooperation to report any criminal activity in order to fulfill our mission in protecting our community, especially if this criminal activity concerns the actions of one of our officers.

The first time we received notice of any allegations concerning Joel Rojo was in the evening hours of August 20, 2015. Chief Williams took immediate action, that very next morning, in placing Joel Rojo on administrative leave, thereby suspending all of his police powers, pending an administrative and criminal investigation. On August 21, 2015, Chief Williams also promptly notified the Texas Rangers Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety of these allegations, and in response, the Texas Rangers immediately commenced its criminal investigation. The Big Spring Police Department will continue to utilize the assistance of the Texas Rangers for all criminal allegations made regarding any of our employees so that an independent and transparent investigation is conducted. With regard to the concerns of Joel Rojo’s termination, all city employees are afforded specific rights under the City’s Charter and State Law that do not make termination immediately possible. As a result of our administrative staff’s thorough and diligent investigation, the Big Spring Police Department terminated Joel Rojo’s employment, in accordance with all applicable law.

We want to thank the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers Division, Howard County Victim Services, the Child Advocacy Center, the citizens of Big Spring that served as jurors, the entire staff of the 118th District Court, and the employees of the Big Spring Police Department for their assistance in this matter. The Big Spring Police Department asks for continued prayers from the community for the victims involved in this case. It is our sincere hope and prayer that they are able to begin the process of recovery.

Chief of Police, Chad Williams

 

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Stovall Transitions into New Position at Coahoma ISD


Charlotte Stovall, former Principal of Coahoma High School, has transitioned into the new position of Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Coahoma ISD. 

 

She will be responsible for reviewing the curriculum for Pre-K through 12th grade to help teachers plan their instruction in a way that will merge well with other grade levels. This will ensure that there are no gaps of instuction between grade levels and that students are able to transition well to the next grade level.

 

Stovall says that she is excited about her new position because it's something that she's always wanted to do and now she'll get to work with everyone at all grade levels.

 

Christina Cox, Coahoma's Head Volleyball Coach from last year, will be taking over the role of Principal at Coahoma High School. Since it was so close to the beginning of the school year when the decision was made, Cox will continue to be the volleyball coach for this season until further notice.

 

(Photo: Charlotte Stovall, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, is shown painting the new logo for The Academy at Coahoma ISD on an office window.)

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Former Big Spring Detective Found GUILTY on All Four Charges


The jury deliberated for approximately 2 hours this Thursday evening before returning with a verdict of guilty on all 4 counts, in the trial of former Big Spring detective Joel Rojo. The jury of 7 men and 5 women returned with guilty verdicts on the following: Attempted Indecency with a Child by Exposure, Indecency with a Child by Exposure, Sexual Performance by a Child, and Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact. 

 

Rojo will remain out on bond until sentencing. This will most likely take place next week in accordance with the sentencing investigation. It is fully anticipated that Rojo will be taken into custody next week. The range of punishment could be anything up to a life sentence.

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Details of Fatal Motorcycle Crash Released


On the 2nd of August 2017 at approximately 12:54 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to 700 block East FM 700 in reference to a major accident involving a motorcycle and truck tractor with trailer. Upon arrival the victim, identified as Joseph Eugene Carrion W/M 31 years of age, was found deceased. It was determined that Carrion had exited the Wells Fargo ATM Bank on his yellow in color 1997 Honda motorcycle. Carrion entered the road turning westbound and failed to yield the right of way to a white in color 2015 Peterbilt truck tractor/trailer. Carrion struck the truck tractor and lost control of his motorcycle and was ejected, landing under the left tires of the Truck Tractor. Big Spring Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived but were unable to treat Carrion due to his fatal injuries. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division was notified to respond. The Howard County Justice of the Peace Judge Bennie Green pronounced Carrion deceased at 1:20 P.M. At this time the Criminal Investigations Division believes no charges will be filed on the driver of the truck tractor but are continuing to investigate the accident. Chief of Police, Chad Williams Lieutenant Brian Gordon Sergeant Tony Everett

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"Victim #3" takes the Stand to Testify against Former Big Spring Detective Joel Rojo


The trial of former Big Spring Police Detective Joel Rojo continued today in 118th District Court with Judge Timothy Yeats residing. It was an emotional testimony as a 17-year-old witness referred to as "Victim #3" took the stand and tearfully described the events that allegedly occurred in April of 2015 when she was 14 years of age.

The witness claimed that the defendant, seeking evidence in a case, asked her to remove her clothing so that he could take pictures of her, while touching her inappropriately. She testified that the events took place in a squad car in a secluded location. Because of the alleged actions of the now terminated officer, the witness stated that she is afraid to leave her home because she feels that everyone is out to get her, and she trusts no one.

Defendant Rojo has yet to take the stand. Court will reconvene at 9am tomorrow and is expected to wrap up in the afternoon, but could extend into Friday.

 
 

 

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Motorcycle Crash on FM 700 Results in Fatality


Shortly after 1:00pm a fatal accident occurred on FM 700. The accident, which involved a motorcycle and a semi-truck happened in front of Pizza Inn. The family of the deceased has been notified, but the name has not officially been released. At this point no other details are available as multiple law enforcement and EMS agencies conduct their investigation. More reports will be available as information is released.

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Trial for Former Big Spring Detective Began on Tuesday.


Testimony began Tuesday morning in the 118th District Court for the trial of former Big Spring Detective Joel Rojo.

 

Testimony began with the two juvenile victims and their parents. Rojo is charged with three counts of Indecency with a Child, and Sexual Performance of a Child.

 

The State, lead by District Attorney, Hardy Wilkerson, called officers of the Big Spring Police Department to testify in regards to their investigation, and Texas Ranger Jeff Strain. Testimony continues through today.

 

 

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Argument Leads to Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon


On the 1 st of August 2017 at approximately 6:18 A.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers
were dispatched to 1410 E. 11 th Place in reference to an individual who had been shot. Upon
arrival the victim, identified as Lonnie Gray B/M 37 years of age, was found within the
residence. It was determined that Gray had been shot in the thigh and hand. Gray was
immediately transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center by Big Spring Emergency Medical
Services personnel for treatment. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations
Division was notified to respond. The investigation has determined two other individuals had
departed the residence prior to officer’s arrival. Detectives secured a search warrant for the
residence which led to the discovery of evidence. The investigation has led to an arrest
warrant being obtained for Quincy Lamar Henry B/M 28 years of age for the offense of
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon a Felony 2 offense. It is believed Gray and Henry
were at the residence and an argument ensued leading to the shooting of Gray by Henry. At
this time Gray is in stable condition at Scenic Mountain Medical Center. The Big Spring Police
Department is continuing to follow up on leads as this is an ongoing investigation.
If you have any information regarding this incident or to the location of Quincy Lamar Henry,
please call CrimeStoppers at (432) 263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using
the “P3 Tips” mobile application.
 
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Sergeant Tony Everett

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Coahoma ISD Begins New Pre-K Expansion Program


Coahoma ISD is proud to announce their new Pre-K Expansion program that will begin in the 2017-'18 school year. This is a tuition-based program that will allow Pre-K aged students who do not qualify for the free public prekindergarten program to still be able to attend pre-k classes for a half-day. 

 

In order to qualify for the free half-day of Pre-K provided by the State, students must meet the following criteria: 

 

- unable to speak and comprehend the English language

- is economically disadvantaged

- is homeless

- is the child of a member of the armed forces of the United States

- is or ever has been in the consrevatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (foster care)

- is a child of a person eligible for the Star of Texas Award

 

Now with the new Pre-K Expansion Program parents will have an opportunity to pay a fee that will allow their pre-k student, state program and tuition-based, to stay for the whole school day.

 

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United Way of Big Spring and Howard County Raises Almost $1,000 at Dough Raiser.


The United Way of Big Spring and Howard County raised almost $1,000 from the Pizza Inn Dough Raiser. The funds will be used to kick off their 2017-2018 Campaign. 

 

The United Way of Big Spring & Howard County is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the health and human service agencies of Howard and the surrounding counties.

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Brent Zitterkopf is sworn in as new County Clerk for Howard County


This morning Brent Zitterkopf was sworn in as the new County Clerk for Howard County. He will now be responsible for everything that occurs in the County Clerk's office.

Prior to his promotion, he had been the Deputy County Clerk for the past 18 years.

 

(Photo: Brent Zitterkopf gets sworn in as the new County Clerk for Howard County by Judge Katherine Wiseman.)

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300 acres burned in Howard County fire


About 300 acres were burned in Howard County Saturday afternoon.

Multiple agencies responded to a fire near Ratliff Road and south Highway 87th in Howard County.

According to Volunteer Fire Chief, Tommy Sullivan, he said no structures were lost in the fire.

Bulldozers were used to clear the line of debris and brush to help prevent the fire from spreading.

The blaze was extinguished with the help of the Howard County Volunteer Firefighters, Big Spring FD, Howard County Road and Bridge, Tubbs Quarry, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Public Safety.

Chief Sullivan says the fire was started after a person was clearing off their land and hit a guy-wire on an electric pole causing a shortage and a fire to start.

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The Chalet Celebrates 30 Years with Ribbon Cutting and Mural Reveal


The Chalet celebrated 30 years of serving Big Spring with a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the art mural painted by the Honors Art Program at Big Spring Intermediate.

Former Big Spring Intermediate Honors Art Teacher Bianca Mireles designed the mural and coordinated the project with photographer Ramon Holguin.

The mural took about two months to complete with the help of the students and some of the parents.

Mireles has enjoyed working on the mural because she was able to merge the professions of a teacher and freelance artist. She's also appreciated that her students were able to get hands-on experience on working with a large piece of art for their community.

The Chalet is located at 115 E. 2nd Street in downtown Big Spring.

 

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Coahoma ISD Selected for 2017 Honor School Board


The Coahoma ISD Board of Trustees is one of five school boards from across Texas selected as Honor School Boars as part of the 2017 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board Awards. Each year, the program recognizes outstanding Texas school boards for commitment and service that have made a positive impact on Texas public school students.

 

The Board of Trustees was nominated by Dr. Amy Jacobs, Superintendent of Coahoma ISD, and they were selected by a board of Texas school superintendents. The decision for this selection was based on specific criteria, including support for educational performance, support for educational improvement projects, commitment to a code of ethics, and maintenance of harmonious and supportive relationships among board members.

 

The Coahoma ISD board and other four Honor Boards are now finalists for the program's highest honor: 2017 Outstanding School Board. They wil be interviewed at the TASA/TASAB Convention in Dallas, then one board will be named Outstanding School Board during the convention's first general session at 4 p.m., October 6, 2017. 

 

Coahoma ISD Board of Trustees are: President Brian Moore, Vice President Dr. Jody Reid, Secretary Craig Ferguson, Kandy Alaman, Michael Brooks, Lori Martinez, and Dicky Stone.

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37 ARRESTED IN MIDLAND COUNTY IN CONNECTION TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION


According to DPS, a total of 37 suspects have been arrested as a result of the "Operation Damascus" sting in Midland County that lasted a total of 10 days. The sting was a massive joint effort involving multiple agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Midland County District Attorney's Office.

 

Warrants are out for some suspects that have still not been arrested. 

 

CBS7 has more information on the story here: http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/BLOG-Midland-County-Human-Trafficking-Operation-press-conference-437184123.html 

 

(Photo - Jaime Ramos, District Commander of DPS, speaks at the press conference this morning with Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf and other agency officials stand behind.)

 

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New Academic Program at Coahoma High School also Emphasizes Leadership and Responsibility


Coahoma Independent School District's new academic program, The Academy, will begin next month. It is an optional program that emphasizes higher levels of academic engagement in a fast-paced environment while also developing student leadership skills and instilling a sense of responsibility and work ethic. The program is for students K-8th grade and it is open enrollment. At this time there are 190 students registered to attend and a uniform dress code will be enforced.

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Coahoma High School Welcomes New Principal


Christina Cox will be the new principal at Coahoma High School. Principal Cox is not new to the school district. She was the Special Education Director prior to this position. Principal Cox received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and some of her other qualifications include 4th -8th ELA, ESL, Special Education, and Physical Education. She was also the Head Volleyball Coach for Coahoma High School during the 2016-2017 school year.

 

The former principal, Charlotte Stovall will now be working with Curriculum & Instruction, and  Career & Technical Education (CTE).

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Howard County Renews Current Health Care Benefits for County Employees


In a reconvened meeting from yesterday, Howard County Commissioners agreed to renew the current health insurance benefits, however, it also came with a rate increase. The rate increase will be 3.2% for medical and 3.8% for dental. This will ultimately cost Howard County more money to cover their employees, but the county feels that their employees are worth it. Unfortunately, this will mean that there will be a rate increase if the employee chooses to have additional family members on their health care plan.

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Training Simulator Gets Approved for Howard County Volunteer Fire Dept.


Howard County Commissioners' Court approved the purchase a training simulator that was requested by Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan. The simulator is a computerized pump machine that monitors the pressures that the fire engine vehicles can pump at any given time. This allows the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department to test and ensure that their vehicles and equipment are in proper working order. By purchasing this piece of equipment the county will be able to offset the cost that comes with maintaining state certification for the fire trucks and equipment. The funding for this piece of machinery will come from the FEMA account that was set up as a result of the Fire Disaster in 2012. The cost of the refurbished simulator is $40,000 and is expected to pay for itself within three years. The simulator is also expected to bring in revenue for the county and for the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.

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WIRE FRAUD MONEY RETURNED TO CITY


On the 10th of April 2017, the City of Big Spring was a victim of wire fraud whereby $36,200.00 of city funds were wire transferred to a bank account as a result of an e-mail scam.  The Big Spring Police Department was contacted and information was immediately turned over to State and Federal Officials for investigative purposes. 

 

At this time, the Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers Division and the Homeland Security Federal Agency are still pursuing multiple suspects, and to date $28,090.28 has been returned to the City as a result of the investigation.  We expect multiple arrests in the near future. 

 

According to Federal Officials, this type of “Business Email Compromise” or “BEC” scam is increasingly common and as a result, the City has utilized this opportunity to enhance internal procedures in an attempt to prevent this from occurring in the future. 

 

The City of Big Spring and the Big Spring Police Department thanks the Midland office of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Police Department for their efforts assisting us with this investigation. 

 

As this is an ongoing investigation, the Big Spring Police Department is unable to comment any further.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams

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Gas Prices


With July winding down, gas prices across the state are holding steady near the two dollar mark. According to Gas Buddy, the average price is $2.07 in the state and the lowest is $1.70. The lowest in the area is $2.01 at a station on East Marcy Drive and at a station on US 80. The highest is $2.11 in Stanton. The current trend is that prices are stable.

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Big Spring ISD


Big Spring ISD kindergarten registration starts July 24th and goes until July 28th. You can call Dana at (432) 264-3622. Make sure you have all of your shots updated. 

 

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Wreck on I-20, one Killed


One person died and three people were injured in a one vehicle accident that took place near Colorado City earlier this week. According to DPS reports, Ana Gonzales from Graham was driving a 2005 Town and Country vehicle, west of Colorado City on I-20 when a tire blew out. Gonzales lost control of the car and it rolled several times. Killed was 14-year-old Belen Martinez of Brownwood and she was not wearing a seat belt. Injured was Margarita Martinez of Brownwood, a 10-year-old female from Graham and a 15 year old Graham female. 

 

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Jury cancellation


From the office of Judge Robert Fitzgibbons, Precinct 1, Place 2 Justice of the Peace:

If you received a jury summons for a trial with Judge Robert Fitzgibbons presiding for Wednesday, July 12th, you do not need to show up. The trial has been cancelled.

 

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Coahoma Alumni Retires


Army Lt. Col. Terry Russell has retired from the U.S. Army after serving honorably for 30 years. Russell was last serving as a product manager for individual weapons at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. He is the son of Charles Earl and step-son of Ann Russell of Big Spring, Texas, husband of Susan Russell of Oceanport, N.J., and father of Terrell Russell of Arlington, Va., Sherida Russell of San Antonio, Texas, and Shannon Russell of Palo Alto, Calif. He is a 1981 graduate of Coahoma High School, Coahoma, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1995 from Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas. Thanks for serving our country.

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