Earlier today, Howard County Volunteer Fire Department (HCVFD) Chief Tommy Sullivan was recognized for his service to the community by being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Big Spring Rotary Club.
The award was presented by Hardy Wilkerson, President-Elect of the Big Spring Rotary Club. According to Wilkerson, the Paul Harris Fellow is named after the founder of Rotary Paul Harris, and is the Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its community, humanitarian, and education program.
Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person’s life who demonstrates a sheer purpose with the objective of the Rotary Foundation, and Sullivan was designated to receive this recognition as a special expression of appreciation from the entire club.
Sullivan graduated in 1978 from Big Spring High School. Since then, he's been involved with the HCVFD for 35 years, and has been HCVFD Chief for 25 years. He's also been the Director of 911 Communications Department for 19 years.
Upon receiving the award, Sullivan stated that after he graduated from high school he started searching for his place in the world and he later found it with the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.
When he became Chief, he was able to convince 10 separate volunteer fire departments to come together to serve as one team. Since then, he and his team have fought many fires, saved many homes, and unfortunately have seen a lot of death. Since reinforcing their worth as professionals after the refinery explosion in 2008, the department's team bond has run deeply.
As Fire Chief, Sullivan stated that his firefighters are the ones who make the decisions in the field; he's just the coach.
When asked how he felt about receiving the award, Sullivan stated, "I'm pretty overwhelmed by getting this. This is one of the highest honors that the club puts out, and for me to get that, I think of all the people who helped me get to here. I'm proud of them, my firefighters, and I'm humbled and overwhelmed at the same time."
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. This is an investment that will be used to help fund their initiatives to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies.
(Photo - District Attorney and Big Spring Rotary Club's President Elect Hardy Wilkerson presents Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Sullivan with a certificate.)
UPDATE: Big Spring Police Chief Chad Williams has informed KBest News that the 2-year girl who was shot last Friday underwent surgery today and her condition has been upgraded from serious to stable. The child, along with a male adult, were both shot when 2 individuals opened fire in the parking lot of KFC on March 16th. The male who was injured was treated at SMMC and no further information on his condition has been released. Crimestoppers is asking for the public's help in locating the suspects for the crime of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. See details below, as well as information for leaving an anonymous tip to help put the suspects behind bars:
On the 16th of March 2018 at approximately 7:25 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the KFC (1711 S. Gregg) in reference to shots fired. While en-route numerous calls came into dispatch informing occupants in a tan in color SUV were shooting at the occupants of a white passenger car and a black passenger car and all three vehicles had left the area. Officers were also dispatched to the area of 20th and Donley where one of the adult male occupants in the white vehicle had been shot and also to Scenic Mountain Medical Center where a 2 year old female child had been shot as a result of the shooting at KFC. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division responded to assist with this investigation.
It is believed at approximately 7:25 P.M., the white and black cars were sitting in the north parking lot of KFC when the tan SUV approached from the alley just east of the parking lot. While the occupants in the white and black cars were visiting, two Hispanic/Males identified as Angel Villa 20 years of age and Rafael Jesus Hernandez Jr. 20 years of age opened fire on both vehicles. As the vehicles departed from the KFC parking lot in attempt to get away, Villa and Hernandez followed and continued firing at the vehicles while eastbound on East 18th Street. The driver of the black car drove the child to SMMC for treatment. The child was flown by helicopter to Covenant Medical in Lubbock Texas and was in serious condition. The driver of the white car continued to run from Villa and Hernandez until his vehicle was disabled in the 1000 block of E. 20th. Big Spring Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded and transported the adult male to Scenic Mountain Medical Center for treatment. The adult male was treated at Scenic Mountain Medical Center and is in stable condition.
At the time of this media release Arrest Warrants have been issued for Villa and Hernandez each for 2 counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon a Felony 2 offense. The Big Spring Police Department expects more charges to follow. This is an ongoing criminal investigation and there is no further information available at this time.
If you have any information regarding this investigation or know the whereabouts of Villa or Hernandez please contact CrimeStoppers (432) 263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using the “P3 Tips” mobile application or from the Big Spring Police Department website www.bigspringpd.net.
(Photo, from top to bottom: Rafael Jesus Hernandez Jr., and Angel Villa)
Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Health Fair - April 7, 2018, 8:00 - 12 Noon, Dorothy Garrett Coliseum ~ Sonic Floor
Healthy living is top of mind as the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Health Fair approaches. The health fair is scheduled for April 7th at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum from 8 a.m. to Noon.
"This year we are taking on a new approach and focusing on the importance of not only being healthy, making healthy choices, but making sure that the environment around you is healthy, as well," Debbye ValVerde, Executive Director of Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, said.
This year, Keep Big Spring Beautiful will be combining their efforts with the health fair. The annual Trash Off takes place the same day, but this year, the drop off location will be at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.
"Being healthy is more than just what we put in our body and the physical ailments that we deal with or try to avoid. If we can focus on making our community healthy - pick up trash, spruce up some landscaping - it provides a better environment for us to live in and that improves the attitudes, and overall makes the community look and feel better," ValVerde said.
In typical health fair fashion, booths will be set up on the Sonic Floor and there will be plenty of activities in the parking lot of the coliseum. The Blood Mobile will be coming back and set up from 9 a.m. until Noon. Safe Kids and Scenic Mountain Medical Center will be hosting the Car Seat Check, but it will be first come first serve basis.
"The car seat check is one of the biggest hits each year. There are so many things that can deem a car seat 'unsafe' for a child and this is a service that allows parents to not only have their car seats checked for proper installment, but also to make sure they are the right size and that they are in safe condition for the child," ValVerde said. "This is a free service and the car seats are free, but the child must be present to ensure that the correct car seat is provided."
Star Dodge has stepped up to the plate again and will be providing the bicycles for the Bike Rodeo. This course teaches the kids the safety measures for riding a bicycle on a public street.
"Most people don't realize that there are laws pertaining to the proper way of riding a bicycle, especially on a public street. The course is good education for the parents as well as for teaching the kids how to be safe when they come to a cross-walk, a stop sign or coming to a stop on their bike." ValVerde said. "Every child that goes through the bike rodeo will be able to sign up for the drawing and possibly win a new bicycle. In addition, every child that goes through the course will receive a free helmet."
There are going to be plenty of interactive activities for the whole family. Currently there are about 30 booths signed up, but more space is available. If your business would like to have a booth at the health fair, the cost is $100 until March 23 and $120 between March 23 and March 29. To find out more information or request a form, call the Chamber of Commerce at 432-263-7641.
The Howard College Dental Hygiene second year students are in need of patients for their clinical board exam. Individuals who have not had a dental cleaning in the last 5 years are eligible for consideration.
FREE screenings will be performed on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am – 10:45 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. No appointment is needed for the screening.
The clinical examination will be held on the Howard College campus on March 30, 2018.
For more information, contact: Belinda Lindermon 432-264-5172.
Stand Firm Women’s Conference will be this Saturday, March 24th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, at Spring Creek Fellowship, located at 1801 FM 700 – inside the Spring Town Plaza. This event is sponsored by women from various local churches, and everyone, women and men, are invited to attend. Registration will begin at 8 AM and continue until 9 AM. Pastor Michael Willard of Cornerstone Covenant Church will be the keynote speaker for the conference, and other speakers include Kathy McGee.
When asked what the purpose of the conference is, Wanda Gamble, a member of the coordinating group for the conference, stated, “We want women to be able to come and be refreshed and just have a time apart from their busy schedules to be able to hear from the Lord and be encouraged. You know, life gets hard and it’s a good time to get together with other women and be able to encourage one another and just hear a fresh word from the Lord.”
To find out more about the Stand Firm Conference, you can check out the Facebook event page for Stand Firm Women’s Conference.
The Prom Closet officially opened for Prom Season this evening at Ryan Hall, located at the rear of 605 N. Main.
Christian Fair, Founder of The Prom Closet, said that after her 3 daughters ended up with a several prom dresses that they no longer had use for and she figured that there were probably other people who also had leftover prom dresses that were only used for one night. She came up with the idea to call out to other people through Facebook in order to collect dresses and pass them on to other girls who could use them for their prom.
Here, Fair explained that the purpose of the Prom Closet is to help high school-aged girls and guys be able to easily access prom attire like prom dresses or tuxes.
There are many different styles and sizes of dresses, shoes, and jewelry that are available at The Prom Closet, as well as tuxes and a gift certificate to purchase a tux from Bealle's.
The Prom Closet is opened from 5:30 PM – 8 PM on Monday and Tuesdays through Prom Season. Anyone can stop in and check it out during those times, but an appointment can also be made by contacting Christian at 432-816-3573.
They’ll also be accepting donations of prom dresses, tuxes, as well as any other items that could make getting ready for prom a little pricey, such as gift certificates for hair, nails, etc.
Earlier this year U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled, “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.”
"Basically the Executive Order states that our military folks who are getting out of the military, as they discharge, they may receive up to one year of mental health service while they're at the Veteran's Administration," saysMatt Gaudiuso, Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the West Texas VA Health Care System.
According to Sheila Austin, Public Affairs Officer with the West Texas VA Health Care System, the 12-month period of time after discharge is that it’s been determined that that’s when service members tend to be more at risk of suicide.
"It's important for them to connect with VA for mental health services, and they can just contact VA and receive the services," stated Austin. "They don't have to be enrolled. Just get in touch with the local VA or with one of our clinics and they will immediately be connected with a provider who can assess them and provide the appropriate level of care."
After the end of that year of care, the service member will be reviewed to see if they meet any requirements that enable them to be allowed to continue that service at the VA, and if not they’ll be referred to a non-VA provider to continue care for that issue.
If you or someone you know is having trouble adjusting after service discharge and may be in need of help, you are encouraged to contact the Veteran Crisis hotline, 1-800-237-8255, and press 1; or text 838255 to access the text line.
During his book signing event at Heritage Museum of Big Spring, Bryan Mealer, author of The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream, spoke about his book, which he describes as a cross between "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Boogie Nights". He also read aloud excerpts to the crowd and to the characters in the book who were in attendance.
It took Mealer six years to write the book, two of which were just solid research. He stated that his books usually center around stories of redemption and his current one was no different.
Today, Mealer and his 93 year-old cousin, Frances Varner, one of the characters from the book, begin their road trip across the country to Washington D.C., which Mealer calls, #AcrossTheGreatDivideTour.
A documentary film crew will follow Mealer and Varner, who have opposing political views, on their journey where they hope to many types of people who make up America on their way to the White House, where Frances will, hopefully, get to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.
You can check out two articles to learn more about their trip:
Big Spring Fire Department Saves Money and Time with New In-House App
Several years ago, the Big Spring Fire Department looked into a mobile app that would allow their personnel in the field to reference medical protocols or standard operating procedures that they may need while working. Unfortunately, the cost was so much that the Fire Department didn’t see it as a possibility at that time.
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, thanks to the new city website and mobile app that is available, the topic came up again. Even though there are other departments around the country that have access to the app, the cost for the department to make their own app was still prohibitive. He stated that fees included in the development of the app and the recurring costs that would be associated with it, really weren’t too terribly expensive, but it just didn’t seem like a good way to spend tax payers’ money.
Ferguson went on to say that after speaking with Miklos Szabo, the IT personnel who runs the website and mobile app for the city, it was determined that it was a project that could be done in-house with no cost associated with it. In about a week, a working prototype had been put together. Now that the bugs and kinks have been worked out and it’s currently accessible through the city app and being used by field personnel.
When asked how this benefits his department, Chief Ferguson stated that this was just one step closer in allowing the department to become paperless, and now personnel have quick access to the information when they need it most.
This morning, President of Keep Big Spring Beautiful Eric Escamilla spoke to those in attendance at today's Kindred Coffee Hour about how they can do their part to make Big Spring a beautiful place, even if it's picking up trash from the street in front of their house, or just getting to know your neighbors.
He stated that many people often pray for God to change our city for the better, however, he noted that everyone is capable of making changes. "There is a time to pray, and praying should be very important," said Escamilla, "but actions should be just as important."
If you'd like to join Keep Big Spring Beautiful in helping to keep our city clean, you can follow their Facebook page Keep Big Spring Beautiful for updates on where their next Twilight Tuesday will be held.
(Photo - Eric Escamilla speaking at Kindred Coffee Hour.)
During today’s Our Healthy Circle presentation, Joyce Alase, M.D., the new internal medicine doctor who has joined Scenic Mountain Medical Group, was introduced to those in attendance. She is a board-certified internal Medicine doctor and has a geriatric fellowship.
Dr. Alase said that she chose the geriatric fellowship so she could understand how to treat an aging population, and how to get them to a level that they need where they can keep their independence and be able to function well without family members.
“I think the most important thing is that they still want to be independent, and you don’t want to take that away from them,” says Alase. “So, our job as a geriatrician, is to make sure that our patients are functional and still independent.”
Dr. Alase advised that she believes in taking a holistic approach when it comes to treating patients. “It’s not just about the medical aspect, the comorbidities,” she said, “but it’s also important to explore the home environment, [and] the emotional aspect of the patient.”
“For me, I always make sure that my patients are okay emotionally, [and] that they’re home is okay emotionally.”
Alase stated that she likes to ask her patients more questions than just what kind of medication they are taking. “I want to know who you are. I want to know about your family life. I want to know how you hand situations on a day-to-day basis, so I can better understand you and how to treat you.”
She went on to say that she believes that it’s important to offer a lifestyle modification option before starting someone on medication, but, she did note that there are situations where medication is required. In situations like those, Dr. Alase stated that she always re-evaluate her patients to see what their response is to the medication is and if that medication can be decreased.
Dr. Alase’s office is located in the West Texas Plaza, Suite 204. She’s currently accepting new patients, 21 years old and above. She stated that people are also welcomed to come in and speak with her to see if she might be a good fit for what they’re looking for.
“We’re looking to help you in all aspects of your life,” said Alase. “Whether you have insurance or don’t have insurance, our job is to make sure that you get the care that you need and we’ll try to find solutions whether through using our case managers or social workers or reaching out to the community to see what the community has to offer. So just because you don’t have health insurance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see a physician, [because] we’ll be in a position where we’re able to work with you and see what we can do for you.
(Photo - Joyce Alase, M.D., speaks at the Our Healthy Circle presentation earlier today.)
The Colorado River Municipal Water District has completed the water transmission line maintenance, and the City completed our repair. Therefore, the City of Big Spring is no longer under Stage III of the City of Big Spring “Drought Contingency Plan.” While it is no longer a requirement to conserve water, please remember that voluntarily conserving water is beneficial to our community.
City of Big Spring
Author of Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream, Bryan Mealer, will be at the Heritage Museum this Saturday, March 17th at 6:30 PM for a book signing.
His book has been described as, “A masterwork of memoir and narrative history, The Kings of Big Spring is an indelible portrait of fortune and ruin as big as Texas itself. And in telling the story of four generations of his family, Mealer also tells the story of America came to be.”
Bryan Mealer is the author of All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo. He wrote "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" and "Muck City."
He is a former Associated Press staff correspondent and his work has appeared in several magazines, including Texas Monthly, Harper's and Esquire.
Mealer will also be joining the KBest Country Chaos Morning Show on Friday, March 16th for Community Calendar. You can listen to that live interview on KBest FM 95.7 at 8:20 AM.
According to a story published yesterday by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, two Hispanic males are being sought after escaping from the Federal Correctional Institution Satellite Prison Camp in Big Spring on Sunday afternoon, according to a press release that was received on Tuesday from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Gustavo Adolfo Leon, 33, has brown hair, brown eyes, is 5 foot, 11 and weighs 192 pounds. He was given a 210-month sentence in Florida for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.
Hector Hernan Lerma, 43, has black hair, brown eyes, is 6 foot and weighs 250 pounds. He was given a 150-month sentence in Texas for conspiracy to import marijuana.
The U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies have been notified, according to the release.
Anyone with information on the two men should call the U.S. Marshals Service at 325-672-2147.
The satellite camp is a minimum security facility that houses 250 male inmates.
Photo: (Right to left) Gustavo Adolfo Leon, 33, and Hector Hernan Lerma, 43, both discovered to be missing from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring's Satellite Prison Camp in Big Spring, Texas, Sunday March 11.
Photos from Federal Bureau Of Prisons
There’s a free mobile app, called City of Big Spring, which is offered by CivicPlus, that’s been made recently available and it is very user-friendly. By accessing the app, users can easily view meeting agendas, watch previous city council meetings on video, and find alerts from the City of Big Spring. The app also allows users to view current job openings, use online bill pay for Municipal Court and Utility Services, and there’s even a resource and staff directory.
The “Report a Concern” feature, allows users to attach a photo multiple options are available to help describe the location of the concern. There’s also a “Form Center” that gives access to several forms that may be needed, such as different kind of city application forms or request forms. Users can also opt to receive notifications on certain things such as public service announcements and bid postings.
You can check out the app for yourself on your smart phone by downloading it from the app store.
During this evening's meeting, Big Spring City Council members approved the installation and enforcement of the “No Truck Parking” signs were installed at North Goliad from NE 11th to NE 12th. The signs will prohibit trucks from on the public roadway or near the intersection. They also approved the removal of the “Pet Loading and Unloading Zone” signs that had been in front of a store front in the 200 block of Main that had been a pet groomer shop. They also approved the installation of “15 Minute Parking between 8 AM to 5:30 PM at 105 S. Main. During the meeting, Johnny Womack, Big Spring Public Works Director, advised that the request had come from the building owner.
An operation agreement with the Big Spring YMCA was approved for the purpose of providing life guards for the Russ McEwen Family Aquatic Center this summer.
A resolution was approved to submit an application to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to secure funding for the purchase of ID card printer and software.
Debbie Wegman, Big Spring Community Service Director, announced that there had been recent donations of $2,245 from Big Spring High School Class of 55-57, an additional donation from SM Energy of $5,000, $50,000 donation from Occidental Petroleum, and $250,000 from FMH Foundation had been received for Phase II of the Historic Spring Project.
It was later noted during the meeting that FMH Foundation had requested that $50,000 of funds donated be put towards an annual concert series to be held at the Spring, and it was also noted that they would receive the naming rights to plaza and pedestrian bridge that is being built. The City Council approved these requests, and the plaza will be named “Marie Hall Plaza given by the FMH Foundation”, and the pedestrian bridge will be named “Hall’s Way”.
An approval of an agreement between Big Spring Economic Development Corporation and Big Spring ISD was approved in order to assist in purchasing robotics equipment at two elementary schools as part of the “GEAR UP” program, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.
According to Terry Wegman, Executive Director for the Big Spring EDC, this will service 800 students in the community. He went on to say that the EDC would be able to assist in offering this grant in the amount of $4,558 because it qualifies as helping with workforce training. The program will be started in Fall 2018 and continue through the school year.
(PHOTO - Terry Wegman, Executive Director of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation, speaks to Big Spring City Council Members about a possible agreement between Big Spring ISD and the Big Spring EDC.)
**UPDATED @ 7:10 PM, 03/13/18**
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson and Big Spring Police Chief Chad Williams, a big rig carrying an over-sized load was driving eastbound on FM 700 earlier today when it tore down a Suddenlink fiber optic line. The line is still down in the area, but the roadway is clear. It was also noted that some of the repairs to the fiber optic line will have to be coordinated with TXDOT.
When asked if the driver received a citation for the incident, Chief Williams advised that he had not seen the report yet, but he did confirm that the driver was on his permitted route. The investigation is still ongoing.
At approximately 1 PM today, a semi-trailer knocked down a power line in front of Westover Pharmacy near the intersection of FM 700 and Westover Rd. in Big Spring. Law enforcement and Big Spring Fire Department are still on scene to resolve the issue.
At this time, traffic on FM 700 is being diverted to keep the area clear. Westbound traffic is still being turned around at the First Baptist Church and east bound eastbound traffic is being detoured onto Westover Rd.
Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson told KBest news that the best thing people can do right now is to find an alternate route to avoid the area, and let the crews work.
Richard Kincannon of Shamrock, TX is traveling through Texas to let people know about his "Jesus Trailer" that has a fold out stage that he allows people to use in exchange for donations to pay for travel expenses. He said that he's making a winter run through Texas to let people see the trailer and see if anyone is interested in booking places where they can come back in the summer so it can be available for local bands to play Christian music, or "any type of music that God would approve of" for a show.
When asked why there were Jesus images on the trailer, Kincannon stated that he's retired and this is his way of paying back God. "I know we have to go through Jesus, and he's the image we have to look at to get through God."
He went on to say that he's been traveling since December 1st, 2017 to show off the trailer and to encourage people to get "Heaven ready." He said he originally wasn't planning to drive through Big Spring today, but a friend suggested that he do it.
You can check out the "Jesus Trailer" in the Big Spring Walmart parking lot until 2 PM, and you can hear more about this story tomorrow morning on KBest 95.7 FM during the 6:10 AM and 7:10 AM news.
DPS has identified Jose Ayala, a 63-year old man from Fort Worth, TX as the person who had passed away as a result of a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Howard County last week.
According to their report, on Thursday, March 8th at approximately 4:45 PM, DPS troopers responded to a 2-vehicle crash that involved a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder, driven by Ayala, and 2009 Freightliner, truck tractor towing a semi-trailer, driven by 29-year old Michael Kerby of Clifton, TX.
The investigation revealed that Ayala was traveling east on I-20 when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed the center median and entered the westbound traffic lanes. He then collided with the Freightliner head on. Ayala was pronounced dead on scene, and Kerby was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center with non-incapacitating injuries.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Last week, the City of Big Spring made a public service announcement stating that the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) had notified the City of Big Spring that they will be doing maintenance on District lines, and as a result, the City’s main supply of water will be shut down beginning 10 PM Tuesday, March 13, 2018, and will remain shut down until CRMWD restores water. The announcement also noted that during the CRMWD maintenance the City will be under Stage III of the City of Big Spring “Drought Contingency Plan,” until CRMWD has completed the maintenance. This plan is in the City of Big Spring Code of Ordinance Section 16B.
It is important to note that residents will still have water during this time, but they are urged to conserve water and discontinue use of irrigation systems, or other unnecessary uses.
Here are some frequently asked questions that have been asked:
Q: Will my water be shut off?
A: No. According to Big Spring Public Works Director Johnny Womack, residents will still have access to water but they are urged to CONSERVE water.
Q: What are they working on?
A: Womack says that the [CRMWD] will be changing out some of their big valves, and while they have the water off the City of Big Spring will be changing out some the piping in their plant. They'll also be filling up all of their tanks, ground storage, and overhead storage.
Q: Will there be a change in water pressure?
A: No. Womack advised that the city will be running their pumps like normal, however, there is a possibility of a change in pressure IF residents don't participate in the water conservation.
"We'll have enough water [to get through this] as long as everyone helps to conserve [water]," said Womack.
Q: Is this for a certain area of town?
A: Womack stated that this is city-wide for Big Spring. (It should also be noted that we have also been notified that Sand Springs, and Coahoma are also included in this advisory.)
Q: How long will this take?
A: Womack estimated that the City of Big Spring will have their project completed by 10 or 11 AM on Thursday, and CRMWD is estimating to be done with their project by noon on Thursday, March 15th and then they'll start sending water back to the city.
Q:Why is this being done now?
A: According to a source with the CRMWD, projects like this are done during this time of year because it's less of an inconvenience than to do it during warmer weather months when people are filling their pools, gardening, etc.
Coahoma ISD 6th grader Barrett Howe won the overall Supreme Champion Heifer, the top award in the Heifer class, and Supreme Champion Continental Division at the Houston Junior Livestock Show on Sunday, March 11th, 2018.
His heifer was chosen the top animal out of 2,024 entries in the heifer category this year in the Houston Junior Livestock Show. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the largest rodeo and livestock exhibitions in the world.
Barrett is a sixth grader at Coahoma ISD and a member of the Howard County 4H. He has been showing since the third grade.
(Information and photo courtesy of Coahoma Media.)
In Midland yesterday, a federal judge sentenced Andrews County electrician Randall Varian Hanks to 97 months in
federal prison for a false billing scheme that resulted in more than a $1.5 million loss to local businesses and for failing to file tax returns, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division, and Acting Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge David Counts ordered that Hanks pay $1,786,559.68 restitution and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term. Judge Counts also ordered that Hanks forfeit to the Government his Andrews County residential property, agreeing that it was proceeds generated from the defendant’s fraudulent scheme. At the end of today’s
sentencing hearing, Judge Counts remanded Hanks into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his prison term.
On November 9, 2017, a federal jury convicted the 46-year-old, who once owned and operated Sandhills Electric, Inc., of four counts of mail fraud and three counts of failure to file a tax return.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that from June 2013 to May 2016, Hanks, while working for two area oilfield services companies, generated fraudulent service tickets and invoices in excess of $1.5 million for parts and services that he fraudulently claimed to have provided to the two companies’ customers. Both oilfield service companies paid Hanks and then billed the respective customers for parts and services Hanks claimed to
Furthermore, testimony revealed that Hanks received more than the applicable threshold in personal income each year, yet failed to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service for the calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015, resulting in tax losses to the U.S. Government of nearly $500,000.
The FBI Oilfield Theft Task Force and IRS-CI agents investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Glenn Harwood prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Big Spring Ford this afternoon to celebrate their Grand Re-Opening!
David "Hondo" Howard, General Manager and Managing Partner of Big Spring Ford since February 2015, stated that he wanted the community to know that he and the company are here to stay, and they are making a commitment to the community and to their employees.
Even though the President and CEO, Rick Ford, who was in attendance for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, is from out of town, Hondo wanted to stress that Big Spring Ford is a local business. You can find Hondo in the store everyday, and most days at 8 AM.
"We're in the business of selling and servicing Fords," said Hondo. "I do have a huge used car operation, so there are several different kind of cars down there. Pretty much, anything you want I can get my hands on. We're in the business to be in business to be a part of the community."
During the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Hondo recognized the 4 Master Certified Diesel Technicians that they have at Big Spring Ford. According to Hondo, these men are just 4 of 516 Certified Master Techs in the State of Texas. He also went on to recognize his Service Director and Assistant Service Director, as well stating that Big Spring Ford is in the top 10 percent in the State of Texas in Service CSI.
Tomorrow the KBest Crew will be on location at Big Spring Ford, located at 500 W. 4th, to help them celebrate their Grand Re-Opening from 1-3 PM.
Then beginning at 6:30 PM there will be a catered dinner and Eddie Austin will be performing live music at Big Spring Ford.
"We're just really doing this for my employees, and their families, and our customers, and our vendors, and our friends, to just have an opportunity to get together," stated Hondo. "There's no real special occasion. We're using the remodel as an excuse, but I just wanted to do something for my employees and their families so we could spend a little time together."
“The Lords of the Southern Plains” exhibit is currently available for viewing at the Heritage Museum, located at 510 Scurry in Big Spring. This is a Native American themed exhibit features items from the Kenneth and Shirley LeBlanc Collection.
There are garments, artifacts, and photos that will be on display on the first floor of the museum. On the second floor, the a 45-minute History Channel presentation on Comanche Warriors runs on loop, and features the Last Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. The exhibit will be on display until March 20th.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for Senior citizens and students, and children under 5 years of age get in for FREE.
For more information on upcoming exhibits, check out the Facebook page for Heritage Museum of Big Spring.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new business and Chamber member to Big Spring this afternoon, BAD Events, LLC, ran by Barney Dodd, Owner and Operator, and his Office Manager, Azure Farmer.
BAD Events, named after Dodd's initials (B.A.D.), is an event planning company, specializing in concerts and events.
"We are concert promoters, as well as we will do private events," said Dodd. "If your company wants to have a company party and doesn't want to mess with the set up, we're happy to come out and do that." Dodd stated that they are promoters, but they'll also produce shows. "If there's a charity that doesn't know how to [produce an event], but has the money available I can come in and produce the show also."
When asked why he felt that a concert promoting company was needed in Big Spring, Dodd stated, "There's a great need and thirst for entertainment in Big Spring. People are always complaining that there's nothing to do here, so we are bringing them things to do. They cannot complain that there's nothing to do here in Big Spring."
The first event for the company will be a Christian concert with Phil Wickham, a Contemporary Christian musician, on Sunday, April 22nd at the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium.
Dodd stated that BAD Events also has plans to bring in two major Nashville acts for a huge event called "Country on the Rocks" that will take place on September 29th, 2018.
For more information, check out their Facebook page BAD Events TX, their website badeventstx.com, or contact Barney Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, March 2nd, a 4th grade student at Goliad Elementary was reported to have brought a BB Gun on to the campus. School Administrators were made aware of the item early in the day and the BB gun was confiscated. According to George Bancroft, Community Relations Coordinator for Big Spring ISD, the student received a 3-day suspension and will receive a 10-day DAEP placement of 10 days. He also noted that the parents of all students in that particular class were notified by phone of the incident.
When asked what security measures Big Spring ISD has on their campuses to ensure the safety of their students, Bancroft stated, “Well, all of our campuses have one entrance. Students carry backpacks and, on occasion, they’re going to bring inappropriate items. This student certainly did, and it’s been addressed and we hope it doesn’t happen again.”
He went on to say, “I know, particularly, in this climate, parents are always very concerned. I think if it is the kind of thing that had it happened 30 years ago, had a student had a BB gun, no one would have thought twice about it. But, that’s not 30 years ago, it’s 2018 and parents are concerned, and rightfully so, and [Big Spring ISD is] too. We are as diligent as we can be.
Bancroft stated that other students had made staff aware of the BB gun when they saw it, and noted that it’s fortunate that students have been trained to report when they see things like that.
From BSPD 3-7-18:
On the 29th of January 2015 at approximately 8:10 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of Stadium in regards to “shots fired”. Upon their arrival, Matthew Burnett White/Male 23 years of age was found sitting in the passenger side of a 1999 Buick Park Avenue with a single gunshot wound to the chest. Emergency Medical Services Personnel responded to the scene and found Mr. Burnett had no signs of life and was deceased. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and began investigating the shooting. The only witness at the scene was identified as St. John Garcia Jr Hispanic/Male 24 years of age. Garcia informed Officers and Detectives that only he and Burnett were outside of the residence in the driveway when Burnett “accidently” shot himself in the chest.
Big Spring Police Department Detectives have worked this investigation for the past 3 years and had solicited the assistance from the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division.
On February 20th 2018, the Criminal Investigations Division presented a probable cause affidavit to a magistrate and a warrant for the arrest of Garcia was issued for the offense of Murder a First degree Felony.
On the 7th of March 2018 at approximately 9:36 A.M., St. John Garcia Jr. was arrested for Murder and booked into the Howard County Law Enforcement Center. St. John Garcia Jr is currently awaiting arraignment.
This continues to be an active investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and no further information can be provided at this time. The Big Spring Police Department thanks the citizens of Big Spring and the family of Mr. Burnett for their assistance and patience with this investigation.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
The Occidental Petroleum Corporation visited Big Spring today to present a check for $50,000 to the City of Big Spring to be used to support the Restoration Project at the Historic Spring Site.
Mayor Larry McLellan, ladies from the Big Spring CVB, Aubrey Weaver, City Councilman Jim DePauw, and Kelly Cook of KDC Associates were on-site to accept the check from Occidental Petroleum Corporation representatives.
Mayor McLellan thanked OXY for their contribution to Big Spring's Restoration Project, stating that it was contributions like this that enable the city to move forward.
Way to go voters—-a slightly higher turnout than in past primaries, at 15.13%!
Our county has 16,716 registered voters, with 2529 ballots cast. Of that total, 2156 were Republican ballots, and 373 Democratic ballots.
Results are listed in separate posts below.
**Republican Ballot Results—Howard County**
Candidates must receive 50% plus 1 vote in order to be declared the winner.
In the race for State Senator, District 31, Candidate MIKE CANON received 38.93% of the vote, and Incumbent KEL SELIGER received 49.41% in Howard County, however, Howard County provisional ballots and mail-in ballots have not yet been finalized and therefore could tip the scales to the acceptable percentage of 50% plus 1 vote to declare a victory in HowardCounty.
Statewide, Senate District 31 includes the Texas Panhandle and winds around Lubbock through the Permian Basin. Totaling all of the District 31 ballots including Howard County, KEL SELIGER has narrowly avoided a runoff with 50.5% of the vote. He is favored to win the election in November as there is no Democratic opponent in the running.
Results are not official until there is a state wide canvas.
Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan recently announced that he is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Sullivan advised that there is no cure, but he hoped to be able to set an example for other people.
"I want people to see that even through adversity, I still push forward and don't give up. Maybe I can be a inspiration to someone else going through life's trials," said Sullivan. "The only time you give up is when you take your last breath."
Sullivan went on to say that he wasn't advised of a specific amount of time that he had left to live, but he hopes he'll have about 12 more months. He stated that he plans to remain Fire Chief until he's physically unable to do the job, but he is in the process of training someone.
Even though Sullivan is battling this illness, he keeps a positive outlook on life and his afterlife.
In the traditional Sullivan humor, he joked, "Nobody gets out alive."
"I'm a child of God, saved by Grace. I know where I'm going after I pass here. God has always taken care of me and I still believe that. I still believe that He works miracles and maybe He'll use one on me. If He does, that's great. If He doesn't, then when it gets too bad He'll call me home."
Around mid-day on Monday, March 5th, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department responded to a grass fire that was resulted from a weather balloon falling out of the sky onto power lines. The fire burned approximately 60 acres of land near Vincent.
According to HCVFD Chief Tommy Sullivan, the fire covered a half-mile long, and a quarter-mile wide, and firefighters fought the blaze for approximately 3 hours. A county bulldozer and a maintainer was used to help put out the fire. No injuries were reported, and other than the acreage that was burned, there was no other damage as a result of the fire.
Roseland's West Texas Oil & Gas Convention is a 2-day event being held from March 7th to the 8th, 2018 at the Midland Horseshoe Pavilion in Midland, TX. This event showcases products like oil, petroleum, natural gas, oilfield, pumps, energy etc. in the Petroleum, Oil & Gas industry.
Please note that this event is not open to the public, and a ticket is required for entry. So, don't forget that Bulldog Steel, located at 9702 S. Service Rd, in Big Spring, is the ONLY place to pick up your FREE tickets to this year's WEST TEXAS OIL & GAS CONVENTION.
Dr. Oliphant Returns to SMMC
Last week, Scenic Mountain Medical Center opened the newest addition to the hospital, the Behavioral Health Unit that is located on the 4th floor. During the grand opening ceremony, both Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, welcomed Dr. Nekesha Oliphant, Clinical Director and Attending Psychiatrist for the unit, back to Scenic Mountain. According to Krabill, Dr. Oliphant is double boarded in primary care and psychiatry and is also passionate about what the unit will be doing for the community.
Dr. Oliphant was a Primary Care doctor at Scenic Mountain Medical Center from 2013 to 2014. She also had a private primary care clinic, as well as worked part-time for MHMR seeing their outpatient clinic patients.
"So now I will be the administrator, clinically, for the patients on the in-patient unit. I will actually round on the patients here, and I will also begin to work with MHMR, as far as discharge planning, and we'll see some patients on the out-patient side of psychiatry, as well," said Dr. Oliphant.
When asked how she felt about returning to Scenic Mountain, Dr. Oliphant stated that she was excited to see all the changes that have happened. "It seems like things have definitely grown. The attention to care and the quality of care seems to have improved a great deal since I was here before, so I am very excited to get this new unit started and see the changes."
Earlier today, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Buddy’s Home Furnishings, a new business inside of the Spring Town Plaza.
Sam Davis, General Manager at Buddy's Home Furnishings, told KBest News that the Big Spring store opened on January 29th, 2018, along with 2 other stores in East Texas. Davis stated that the community has shown the local store so much support that their sales at the Big Spring store have exceeded that of the other two stores combined.
When asked how he felt about the ribbon cutting ceremony and becoming a member of the chamber, Davis said, "It was really exciting. [The community] has made us feel great since we've gotten here."
Davis also went on to say that their Grand Opening will continue through March 3rd, 2018 and encouraged people to stop in take advantage of their Grand Opening Special.
Join the KBest Crew at Buddy’s Home Furnishings TOMORROW between 11am – 1pm for your chance to win fantastic prizes including $25, $50, and $100 Visa gift cards, Yeti tumblers, and a $1000 shopping spree from Ashley Furniture!!! What’s for lunch? Free food and drinks, of course! Buddy’s Home Furnishings is in the Spring Town Plaza at 1801 East FM 700. Keep listening to KBest Country 95.7 for more details.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, 2018, Scenic Mountain Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house of their new Behavioral Health Unit. The facility was a joint idea from Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, who worked together over the years to see this come to fruition with the help of others.
In June of 2014 Landon Sturdivant, Chief Operating Officer at WTC, wrote a Needs Assessment Capacity Grant to purchase local beds, which resulted in WTC begin granted just under $5 million dollars. According to Sturdivant, this was an opportunity that the Health and Human Services Commission and the State of Texas had put out to try to address the lack of psychiatric beds across the state.
Tom Miller, CEO and President of Quorum Health, was thanked by Krabill and Smith, as well as Mayor Larry McLellan for his significantly large contribution of capital to help bring the BHU to fruition. According to Mayor McLellan, Miller saw the benefit that the new unit would provide to the local community and approved the $5 million investment to continue the project. As a token of appreciation on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Big Spring, Miller was presented with a key to the city.
“The Key to the City is a symbolic gift from the city’s administration. The Key to the City is a gesture of thanks, honoring a person that has been significant in giving to the community. The Key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents,” stated Mayor McLellan.
When asked how he felt about receiving the Key to the City, Miller stated that he was surprised. Also stating that a little over a year ago, he was approached by Sheriff Stan Parker, Mayor McLellan, and representatives of the county who convinced him that a partnership was already in place between the county, community, and hospital; and it was that day that he committed to help fund the unit. Miller went on to say that he was excited to receive a key to the city for something that makes great sense for the community. He went on to say that he was glad that SMMC could be a part of meeting the needs of the community.
During this week's Big Spring City Council Meeting, the General Election for City Council Positions of City Council Member, District 4, and City Council Member, District 6, was cancelled due to the fact that the incumbents, Howard Stewart, Councilman for District 4, and Jim DePauw, Councilman for District 6 were unopposed. It should be noted that this will be the last term that each will be able to serve as a city council member.
An increase of $16,000 to the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund Budget for the purpose of a Hotel/Motel Audit. Financial Director and City Secretary Donald Moore, CPA, explained that the last time the hotel occupancy tax was audited the process took two-and-a-half years to complete. At the time the budget was assembled for this fiscal year, the plan was to budget $10,000 each fiscal year in order to have enough money to cover the cost of the audit. However, when the proposals were returned for the next audit, it was indicated that all would be able to complete the audit within this fiscal year, thus requiring an increase. Moore went on to say that the purpose of the audit is to make sure that the city and the state are receiving all the tax due to them from the hotels and motels. He stated that when this is done, a significant portion is received back to the department. It was also noted that an increase in Hotel/Motel Tax Revenue of $20,000 was budgeted in order to show that the amount that the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau would be receiving as a result of the audit would be more than enough to cover the $16,000 increase.
An increase in the General Fund Budget in the amount of $21,452.50 was approved for the purpose of accepting a JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) grant in order to purchase ticket writers.
An increase of $50,000 to the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund Budget was approved for the purpose of additional event funding. In light of the fact that the Hotel/Motel tax revenue has increased and it's forecasted to continue, and the number of grants that have been received has totaled to $522,245, which is more than the cost of Phase II of Spring Restoration and will be able to pay on Phase I, it was seen as a reasonable request to increase event funding. Council Member DePauw noted that when he first joined the Big Spring CVB Board, they were able to fund $200,000/year in projects, but now they're down to $125,000. He noted that there has been an increase in the number of events, and a decrease in the amount of funding and he feared that some of the events might disappear if the CVB was not able to fund it better.
The ATMOS Rate Review Mechanism (RRM) process was adopted as a substitution for the current Gas Reliability Infrastructure (GRIP) process that is being used to determine its rates for natural gas in the city. Moore explained that Big Spring is a part the Steering Committee of Cities Served by ATMOS, a coalition of cities, and the coalition's attorney urged the cities to adopt. The attorney had advised that the RRM process would be fairer way for the cities to negotiate what ATMOS says their expenses are.
According to Moore, two of the five components that will be used in the process to figure out rates are the corporate tax rate and the return on investment. He stated that the corporate tax rate was decreased due to the government mandate that is to take effect on March 1st. He also advised that the coalition was able to negotiate a reduction of Return on Investment, basically what ATMOS attempts to pay their stockholders, from 10.50 percent to 9.8 percent. As a result of this, he stated that the city will be paying less for the rate of natural gas until October 1, 2018. As of now, it is unknown what the rates will be, but he hoped that the rates would still be low.
The City's Personnel Policies and Procedures were updated by amending Chapter XVI regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment to add a new chapter regarding Social Media.
The second amendment to the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between Howard County and the City for construction and operation and operation of a Law Enforcement Center, and for combined dispatching services. The amendment stated that it allowed the county to be able to add 2 additional dispatchers to their staff. According to Sheriff Stan Parker, this was necessary in order to cover the 18% increase in call volume in the last 3 years. He stated that there is an average 177,000 phone calls that go through the Law Enforcement Center every year.
DALLAS, Texas—Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas’ premier dance company, announces a weekend of fun for the whole family in Big Spring—the Gateway to West Texas. Bruce Wood Dance offers two days of dance classes and brings the weekend to a rousing finale on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM with A Texas Tribute at the historic Municipal Auditorium, 310 East 3rd Street. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and seniors, and free for ages 12 and under. Purchase tickets by cash or check payable to Bruce Wood Dance at the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, The Dance Gallery, The Heritage Museum, Howard College Dance, and the HEB outlet. Tickets are on sale from March 7–24.
“Emotionally charged and highly kinetic,” says KERA’s ArtandSeek.org about Bruce Wood Dance. A Texas Tribute celebrates the remarkable artistry of nationally acclaimed Texan choreographer Bruce Wood® (1960–2014). Through his repertoire of 80 works—lionized for their originality, innovation, and humanity—Wood is remembered as a trailblazer of contemporary dance. He founded and directed the Bruce Wood Dance Company in Fort Worth from 1996 to 2007, and formed Bruce Wood Dance in Dallas in 2010. Amazing athleticism and memorable musicality are trademarks of Wood’s dances. Said Dallas critic Margaret Putnam, “Images so simple and telling last a long time, and further secure Wood’s place as a master choreographer.”
Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh and her team foster Bruce Wood’s legacy. Nikaidoh’s tribute to the Lone Star State is perfect for families and arts lovers alike. Delight in the whimsical Schmetterling (“butterfly”), a glorious dance set to Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 21+23. Enjoy the romantic duet, My Heart Remembers, set to the Latin-flavored music of Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe, created by Bryan Arias, an internationally celebrated choreographer. Closing the show is Lovett!, an audience favorite and the most requested piece from Bruce Wood®’s vast repertoire. Set to a suite of songs by Texan Lyle Lovett, this signature work reflects the spirit of Wood’s experiences as a cowboy and rodeo rider. Lovett! has been described as “hilarious, inventive, thigh-slapping fun, and quintessentially Texas.” By the end of the show you’ll be smiling from ear to ear and tapping your toes to Lovett’s That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas).
Nikaidoh also has developed a fun-filled education program on March 23 and 24. Lyrical and hip hop dance classes suitable for ages 7 to adult take place Friday, March 23 at 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM at The Dance Gallery, 2303 Goliad Street. Classes are $15 each or $25 for both. Call The Dance Gallery at 432–267–3977 to register. Class sizes are limited.
On Saturday, March 24, BWD offers a contemporary dance workshop ($25) featuring excerpts from Wood’s renowned repertory. The workshop, for ages 13 and up, runs from 10:00 AM to noon at Howard College Hall Center, Arts Blackbox Theater at 1001 Birdwell Lane. To register, contact Courtney Burgans, Howard College Community Education, at 432–264–5131; or contact Cynthia Weeks at 432–264–5161. A $40 Weekend Special is available for dancers from ages 13 and up: receive two days of classes, one ticket to BWD’s A Texas Tribute, and an invitation to meet the artists at a post-performance ice cream social at the luxurious Hotel Settles. Class size is limited.
Under the artistic direction of Nikaidoh, the company has flourished: Best Dance Company by D Magazine in 2017, 2014, 2013; Best of Dallas Voice 2014–2018; inclusion on every annual Dallas–Fort Worth Top Ten in Dance list since 2011. BWD was appointed to the 2016–2018 Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster and has toured to New York City; Washington D.C.; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas over the past year.
BWD is grateful to the following sponsors who have made this residency possible: Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau; Hotel Settles; Myra Robinson; Texas Commission on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Heritage Auctions; James + Gayle Halperin Foundation; Donna Wilhelm Family Foundation; Ellen Kendrick Creative, Inc.; Commissioners Circle; Roger Fullington; and Brian Guilliaux Photography.
Scenic Mountain Medical Center unveiled the 20-bed, Behavioral Health Unit on Feb. 28th. Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, spoke about the evolution of the partnership and the new unit's importance to the community.
"This is one of the first private / public partnerships in the state. As a mental health professional, to serve this population well we always need inpatient and outpatient services. This entire project has been made possible by the individuals who have never let discouragement get in our way," said Smith. "SMMC CEO Emma Krabill has been a perfect partner for this endeavor and we are both excited about the future. We are so excited to see this come to fruition."
The inpatient unit is staffed with Registered Nurses, Mental Health Technicians, Recreational Therapists, Social Workers, and Counselors. In addition to the staff, there is a board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Nekesha Oliphant, who will be overseeing the care provided.
"We [Scenic Mountain] are honored to be able to be part of this partnership that will allow the civil population to receive behavioral health inpatient services. When we look at new services an new providers, we weigh them against what is best for the community and how will this addition meet the needs of the community," Krabill said. "This partnership project was a no brainer. The payback on the investment is one that is going to come back through much needed services for our community. Projects like this allow them to give back to the community and see how much of an impact we can make."
The Behavioral Health Unit will be under the direction of Ed Moughon and Stacy Flores. Moughon will be serving as the unit director. Together, the team brings almost 30 years of experience to the table.
"Due to the lack of access to this service, in the West Texas Centers service area, I am honored to be working with the team and to be able to help make this idea a reality," said Moughon.
Smith added, "Big Spring State Hospital serves as a forensic hospital and they are not able to serve the civil population, except on rare occasions. West Texas Centers serves a 23 county area providing mental health services for approximately 2500 individuals per month. In 2017, WTC served approximately 200 individuals in mental crisis services with 40 percent of our hospital admissions being from Big Spring. We are expecting the unit to be full."
To find out more about the new behavioral health unit at Scenic Mountain Medial Center, visit www.SMMCCares.com and click on the Behavioral Health Services link.
Two Arrested in Murder Investigation:
2/28/18 From Big Spring Police Dept:
On Friday the 23rd of February 2018 at approximately 8:15 A.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to 705.5 Abrams in reference to an unattended death. Upon arrival Officers located the deceased identified as Barboza, Jaime Hispanic/Male 47 Years of Age in his bedroom with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Barboza was initially located by a person whom he had worked with and the person was picking Mr. Barboza up for work. Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division personnel responded to the scene and immediately began investigating the murder of Mr. Barboza. Investigators followed numerous leads and physical evidence narrowing the suspects to Mr. Barboza’s girlfriend identified as Brenda Valdivia Hispanic/Female 37 years of age and her son identified as Raul Romo Hispanic/Male 20 years of age.
On Tuesday the 27th of February 2018 Investigators submitted probable cause affidavits to a Magistrate for the arrest of Romo for Murder a 1st Degree Felony and Valdivia for Tampering with Physical Evidence a 3rd Degree Felony. Arrest warrants were issued by the Magistrate at which time Romo and Valdivia were arrested. Both Valdivia and Romo have been booked into the Howard County Detention Center and are pending arraignment.
It is believed that on Wednesday the 21st of February 2018 during the evening hours, both Valdivia and Romo were at Mr. Barboza’s residence (705.5 Abrams) when a verbal altercation occurred. The altercation escalated when Romo retrieved a small caliber handgun and shot Mr. Barboza in the head. Following the shooting it is believed Valdivia drove to an abandoned residence on North Lancaster and hid the handgun. The handgun has been recovered by Investigators and has been identified as a Hi-Standard .22 caliber semi-automatic.
This is an ongoing investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and there is no further information that can be provided at this time. The Big Spring Police Department thanks the Howard County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division for their assistance with this investigation.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Earlier today the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County held their 2018 Annual Meeting / Report. Newly elected officers Andrea Barr, Board President, Kenda Jones, 1st Vice President, and Jessica Paul, 2nd Vice President, were sworn in by the Executive Director, Meghan Bias. Other elected members who were not present were Linda Adams, Treasurer, and Donna Wright, Secretary. All members were elected by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County Board of Directors and will serve as officers during 2018.
During the meeting, it was reported that the organization’s 2018 Campaign goal of raising $300,000 was not reached, but approximately $133,000 was proudly allocated by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County to their 15 partner agencies:
(Agency Name - Allocation Amount)
• American Red Cross of West Texas - $4,954.00
• Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America - $5,555.00
• CWJC, Spring of Siloam - $4,536.00
• CASA of West Texas - $13,032.00
• Council on Aging / Meals on Wheels - $11,859.00
• Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center - $8,339.00
• Emergency Services Chaplain Corp - $12,024.00
• Girl Scouts of the Desert - $2,552.00
• Isaiah 58 - $9,505.00
• Northside Community Center - $11,001.00
• The Salvation Army Corp - $8,548.00
• The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club - $10,799.00
• Victim Services - $12,249.00
• West Side Community Day Care - $8,729.00
• YMCA of Big Spring - $9,220.00
According to Bias the Allocations Committee for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County decides how much money will be allocated to each partnering agency. The Allocations Committee is comprised of eight people, community members, as well as a few board members. For two days, the committee meets with all agencies to ask questions and review their requests. Each committee member then makes a recommendation on how much each agency should be allocated. The recommendations are then averaged to determine the final amount to be allocated to the agencies, which will be paid out every other month for a total of six months.
Bias went on to say that even though that the Untied Way of Big Spring and Howard County had 15 partnering agencies this year, there is a period of time during the spring when new non-profit organizations have an opportunity to apply with the United Way to become a partnering agency. She went on to say that she encourages anyone interested in applying to become one of their agencies to contact her; and also advised that more information would be available about the application process at a later date.
When asked how she felt about the outcome of the 2018 United Way Campaign, Bias stated, “It was good. I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community and local businesses, but it could have been better.”
Bias noted that this was her first campaign and she learned many lessons throughout the year. “I’ve learned that you can’t depend on money that’s not there, and I’ve also learned that we have to grow and change, and fundraise in different ways in order to reach a wider audience [because] we want our whole community to invest in the United Way, even if that’s just investing their time or being an advocate for our agencies.”
She went on to say that she is amazed how much the agencies are able to accomplish with a small amount of money that is allocated to them, and she looks forward to doubling that amount this coming year.
Photo 1 - Attending representatives from the partnering agencies. (Photo contributed by Debbye Valverde.)
Photo 3 - Chart of final amounts allocated to the 15 partnering agencies of the United Way. (Contributed by Meghan Bias.)
Cosden Federal Credit Union will be presenting the first CU 4 Reality Fair at Big Spring High School on Thursday, March 8 th from 8:30 AM – 10 AM. The event will be for Seniors and a few Juniors who have taken Financial Math this year with Ms. Michele Brown.
President / CEO of Cosden FCU, this is a hands-on event that will propel
students through a personal financial management process including career selection, budgeting for housing, transportation, luxuries, and more. Barraza went on to say that parents are also invited to attend with their student. “This opens the door for them to have that conversation with their kids about finances, but also, the parents can learn something as well.”
Barraza stated that the idea for this event came about when one of the Cosden employees was sent to a Leadership Conference where she went through a Life Reality Fair and came back with such great feedback about the event, she suggested that Cosden put one together for high school students. She also stated that their goal is to bring the event to other local area high schools.
Barraza told KBest News that they’ve seen a lot of community support for this event, and lots of volunteers who’ve signed up to help. The volunteers range from local business men and women and Rotarian members, to retired teachers. There are still a few spots that are open for volunteers to help, and if you’re interested, you can contact Laurie Barraza at Cosden Federal Credit Union, 432-264- 2600, ext. 222 by Friday, March 2nd .
The Big Spring Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that it has received a $50,000 donation from Occidental Petroleum. This donation will be used to support the Restoration Project at the Historic Spring Site. Phase 1 of the project, designed by Kelly Cook of KDC Associates, has recently been completed and has restored and improved the area around the Historic Spring. The Spring site has a signification historical value and this project will help to education visitors about the important history associated with the site and the importance to the development of west Texas.
Occidental officials will be in Big Spring at the Historic Spring Site on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. to present the donation.
Occidental Petroleum is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will have an Open House of the new Behavioral Health Unit, located on the 4th floor of the hospital.
The ceremony will be in the West Texas Medical Plaza and begins at 2:30 PM. After the speaking portion is done, there will be refreshments and tours available of the new unit. This will be a great opportunity to find out about the services, referral process and more about the new Behavioral Health Unit. The entire community and surrounding areas are invited to join Scenic Mountain Medical Center for this special occasion.
It should also be noted a Job Fair will be held inside the Main Lobby of the Scenic Mountain Medical Center on Friday, March 2nd, from 9 AM – 4 PM. The following available positions include: Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition, Nurses – LVN, and RN for day and night shifts, CNA’s, Respiratory Therapists, and Radiological Technologists. Those attending the Job Fair are encouraged to dress to impress and bring an updated resume.
ABILENE – TxDOT’s Abilene District had a busy few days this week as winter weather blew into the area on Tuesday. All of the District’s 13 counties were affected by this storm, with those along and north of I-20 seeing the brunt of the ice.
Crew members started pre-treating Tier 1 and 2 roadways Tuesday morning before temperatures fell that afternoon. Brine was applied to roadways and structures to help discourage ice from forming on and bonding to pavement as freezing precipitation began to fall. This was no small feat – more than 68,000 gallons of brine was applied over 8,000 miles during ice prevention operations throughout the District.
As conditions deteriorated, the District Emergency Operations Center was activated and crews moved from pre-treatment to response operations. Eighty three crew members, plus support staff, responded to this winter weather event over three days. Crew members were placed on 12 hour shifts around the clock in order to provide continuous response and keep roadways as safe and passable as possible until temperatures rose and conditions improved.
During response operations, TxDOT used a combination of ice-fighting materials and equipment to ensure roadways remained open and passable. Materials included 1,116 cubic yards of salt, 783 cubic yards of aggregate, 52 tons of magnesium chloride granules and another 95,000 gallons of brine. The Texas A&M
Forest Service, several Taylor County precincts and a local highway contractor provided a total of 16 motor graders and several operators to help with slush and ice removal, and The Forest Service plowed approximately 600 lane miles of roadway in Nolan, Taylor and Callahan Counties. When it was all said and
done, 33 motor graders, 38 dump trucks with snow plows and spreaders, 27 brine spray rigs and nine pickup-mounted spreaders were mobilized during this event.
Now that the storm has moved out of the area, TxDOT Abilene turns its focus to replenishing stockpiles, assessing pavement condition and conducting inventory to make sure the District is ready for the next round of winter weather – whenever that might be.
Howard College Board of Trustees Meeting - 02/26/18
Earlier today Howard College held a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. During the discussion of Special Initiatives, it was noted that there was no new information concerning the potential partnership with Big Spring Independent School District. It was also noted that there are 2 new members on the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) Advisory Board, Dr. Nancy Hlibok Amann, Superintendent of California School for the Deaf – Riverside, and Luanne Barron, Interim Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Deaf.
It was also noted during the meeting that official enrollment at all three campuses has decreased. According to Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, the head count, or number of students enrolled, had decreased by an average of 9 percent; and total contact hours, or number of hours a student is scheduled for class, had decreased by only 3 percent.
One of the factors that contributed heavily to the decline is the fact that dual credit is now offered through Angelo State University and San Angelo area high school students are able to apply for the Carr Scholarship that will pay for the dual credit class. Dr. Sparks also stated that dual credit in the Big Spring area has also declined and that it was likely due to intentional advising, where students are being guided and advised into pathways so they are not taking courses that are not a part of what they want to pursue a major or career in. It was also noted that because of this, there will be more of an impact on head count that will result as an effect of that.
It was noted that since Howard College is not currently in a base year, this decline is not as significant as if it were. A base year, according to Dr. Sparks, begins on March 1st and runs through the end of February of next year. During the base year, Howard College generates the contact hours that the school’s funding will be based on for the next two years.
Dr. Sparks went on to say that next they will be comparing head count and contact hours as compared to the last base year and discuss that at the next board meeting that is scheduled for March 26th.
It should also be noted that the cancellation of election was approved, due to the fact that only the incumbents of Precinct 3, Adrian Calvio, and Precinct 4, Maxwell Barr, were the only people who had filed for the positions on the Howard College Board of Trustees.
Photo - Members of the Howard College Board of Trustees
Yesterday, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department worked to contain a 160-acre fire in the Silver Hills Addition of South Mountain. Chief Tommy Sullivan told KBest News that the fire started in a burn barrel on where residents of a Los Alamitos home were burning trash. Chief Sullivan stated that the fire had burned south towards Riva Ridge, and had continued towards the Country Club. With winds over 20 mph, burning trash is advised against. With winds over 20 mph, burning trash is advised against. The residents will receive 2 citations: Failing to adhere to the burn ban (because the fire got out of the barrel) and Reckless Endangerment (because the fire moved onto the property of others).
Chief Tommy Sullivan tells KBest News that the crews were able to head off the progression of the fire with pumper trucks, tanks and county maintainers. There were no reported injuries, and Chief Sullivan said that the fire department prevented 6 structures from getting caught in the blaze!
CITY OFFICES AND SITES TO CLOSE
The City of Big Spring will close all offices, including the landfill and sanitation, for Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19, 2018.
Emergency services (Police, Fire, and EMS) will continue normal operations throughout the holidays.
Emergency Utilities will be on call and can be contacted at
COUNTY OFFICES TO CLOSE
Howard County will close all offices on Monday, February 19, 2018 in Observance of Presidents Day. County Offices will open again for business on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
Sheriff’s Administrative Offices will be closed but Law Enforcement Services will operate as normal.
DPS offices, including the drivers license office, will be closed Monday (2/19/18) in observance of Presidents Day.
Be advised the next special meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees will take place on Feb. 20th, 2018 and begin at 5:15 PM in the High School Board Room at 707 11th Place, Big Spring, Texas.
It has been noted that the agenda states that discussion and possible action on the Superintendent Search will occur during the meeting.
The 21st th Annual Pops in the Park, which will be held on Tuesday, July 3rd , is quickly approaching. The Pops in the Park mission is to give back to those who have served our country and pay tribute to them for their selfless sacrifice as well as the sacrifices of their families. Pops in the Park combines a family-friendly atmosphere in the historic and beautiful Comanche Trail Amphitheater with world-class music provided by our pre-show entertainment, Spur 327, and the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. We cap off the event with a spectacular display of choreographed fireworks from one of the nation’s leaders in pyrotechnics.
Pops in the Park is held in the Comanche Trail Amphitheater and the gates will open at 5 PM. For the Pre-Show this year we will be featuring Spur 327 they will go on at approximately 6 PM. The Presentation of Colors, salute to Armed Forces, and Retiring of the colors will follow the pre-show; followed by a video tribute honoring the local men and women who serve our country. The finale of the event is the amazing fireworks accompanied by the Big Spring Symphony and Chorus.
Pops in the Park is a community event and without support from the community it would not be possible; to donate please contact the Big Spring Chamber at 432-263- 7641 or send donations to Pops in the Park, 215 W. 3rd-79720 or P.O. Box 1391, Big Spring, 79721.
Vendors’ packets will be sent out soon and if you are wanting to be a vendor you can contact Frances Metcalf at 432-264- 2504.
If you would like to volunteer to help with donations, please contact Felicia Guerra at 432-264- 2540.
You can like the Pops in the Park Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/PopsInThePark .
Please note that according the City of Big Spring ordinance, only service dogs are allowed in the Comanche Trail Amphitheater.
For more information contact the Big Spring Chamber at
432-263-7641 or the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau at 432-263- 8235.
Last week Kevin Knudson and his wife Michelle, Co-Owners of Cornerhouse Coffee in Big Spring, announced that their business would be closing, and on Friday customers assumed that the beloved coffee house had closed their doors for good. Knudson told KBest News that one of the main reasons they wanted to close their business was because both co-owners are busy pastors at Life Church and they both wanted to spend more time with family.
“We just didn’t have enough revenue to bring somebody on to who could help us kind of give the shop what it needed. So we reached out and were trying to find someone who would be an actual owner/operator but that never came to fruition," said Knudson. "The night before we got ready to close, Mighty Wash who owns Mighty Joe’s, called me and wondered if we were interested in some sort of merger of some sort, an agreement. That’s what we have now. A strategic partnership.”
Knudson stated that both companies have the same values and mission, in that they were aligned a lot alike with what they’re trying to do for the community.
Beginning next week, Cornerhouse Coffee will shift their operations and a majority of their employees down the street, to 1001 Scurry St., next to Mighty Wash.
"You'll see Cornerhouse Coffee signage and you'll have the Cornerhouse quality and convenience, and the consistency that you got normally from Cornerhouse. You'll see [all of] that at Mighty Joe's old driver-thru; it'll become a Cornerhouse drive-thru," stated Knudson. "The house down on Scurry that formerly housed Cornerhouse, we're gonna keep empty for a season and then we're gonna come back with something that we think is gonna be really beneficial for the city as well. So, it's going to be kind of a cool combination. "
Knudson went on to say this partnership seemed like a good fit because over 80% of their sales at the original location were made through the drive-thru.
When asked what the benefits will result from this partnership, Knudson stated, "They're in the car washing business; we're in the coffee business, but they had this building available on their property. So, we get to do what we like to do and utilize a really first class facility that will create a real convenient environment."
The drive through will still be called, “Cornerhouse Coffee” and the Knudson’s will still be co-owners, and Michelle will still oversee quality control but someone else will be over the day-to-day operations. It was noted that customers will still be able to get the quality that they’re looking for and with more employees being able to work the stations and equipment, ideally, customers should see less waiting time. Plus, if you still have punch cards that have not been redeemed, Cornerhouse will still accept them.
“I just always want to thank the people of Big Spring for really supporting Cornerhouse," said Knudson. "We definitely felt it when everybody knew we were closing down, just all of the best wishes, and in a sense, people were heartbroken that we were closing down. Hopefully, they’ll come back and support us, even in this new way of doing things and they’ll see that local businesses can still thrive."
Knudson went on to say that with the recent closures of Cornerhouse Coffee and Mighty Joe, people in the community might question if it was possible to sustain a local business.
"We just gotta do business smarter not harder," stated Knudson. "I think Mighty Wash is finding their lane and we’re gonna stay in ours and it’s gonna work out awesome.”
1. BS Police Chief Chad Williams advised that the BS Police Department received $21,508 through the Rifle-Resistant Body Armor Grant Program to purchase enough rifle-resistant vests for their department, which covers 48 officer spots. It was noted that these vests would not be worn everyday, but will be used for specific calls where it is believed that a rifle may be involved.
2. BS Public Works Director Johnny Womack advised that the lowering device that is currently in use for the local cemeteries is in need of replacement. According to Womack, there are "one-and-a-half" devices that the city has - one is in use and the other is used for parts to repair the device in use. $5,000 was requested from the General Fund to be added to the Cemetery Fund Budget to purchase a new lowering device.
3. Approval was obtained for a Non-Emergency Ambulance Operator's Permit for Acute Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Ector-Midland County Emergency Medical Services (EMCEMS).
During a public hearing held earlier in the meeting, Brian Taylor, West Texas Manager for Acute Medical Services dba EMCEMS, advised that they already had stations in Midland, Odessa, and Andrews and were looking to bring a station to Big Spring. He noted that they would not be answering 911 calls, but they would be able to provide transport services to hospitals/medical facilities outside of the city limits.
BS Fire Chief Craig Ferguson advised the City Council members that this was a service that is needed. He noted during the month of January, Scenic Mountain Medical Center transported 73 patients to other facilities. Ferguson stated that, unfortunately, it was a need that the BSFD was not able to meet due to staffing and their 911 call volume. According to Chief Ferguson, the call volume has increased and in February to an average of 18.3 calls per day, and this company would not be to the detriment of the department.
Tomorrow, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will hold this month’s Our Healthy Circle
presentation: “Healthy Heart, Healing Wounds” at the Howard County Library, located at 500 S.
Main. The event will be held in the Meeting Room and begins as 11:30 AM and will include a
heart healthy lunch.
The presentation will be given by Shawn Harris, Registered Nurse, and Family Nurse
Practitioner, who will be speaking on maintaining a healthy blood flow and about the new
service lines that are available at SMMC.
Be advised you must RSVP to the Our Healthy Circle Advisor, Sherri Wigington, at 432-268-
The Academy, an optional program available to all Coahoma ISD students in the kindergarten through eighth grade, is now accepting applications for grades first through eighth for the 2018- 2019 academic year.
The program is designed to develop academic skills while emphasizing student responsibility,
leadership, and self-confidence. It is structured to create an environment that allows flexible
scheduling, hands-on learning, incorporation of music and movement into academic lessons
while holding students to high expectations of responsibility.
The Academy opened its doors for the first time in August. After several months of watching the program in action, Dr. Amy Jacobs, CISD superintendent, said the faculty and administration
have been extremely pleased with the results.
Among some of the key components of the program are emphasizing peer-to- peer mentoring, public speaking at all grade levels and individual responsibility. In the past few months, Dr.
Jacobs noted that students have exceeded expectations just from their growth in
communications skills and self-confidence alone.
Before gaining acceptance into The Academy, the student and their parents must agree to be
held to high expectations. Students are expected to accept responsibility for their own learning and their conduct.
Although The Academy was limited to 200 enrollment spaces this current academic year, Dr.
Jacobs advised that the district plans to make room for growth in the coming year.
Acceptance into The Academy is on a first come, first serve basis. Applications will be stamped with the time it is turned into the district. Students who have applied or in the process of
applying to transfer into the district can also turn in an application during the enrollment period.
Applicants and their parents must undergo an interview and complete an orientation prior to the start of the program.
Students who are already accepted into the program will not have to re-apply. The Academy will open registration for kindergarten later this spring.
It should be noted that there are no additional costs to attend The Academy except for the
purchase of school uniforms. A uniform scholarship is available to qualifying students. For more information about The Academy, contact Dr. Jacobs at 394-5000 or visit www.coahomaisd.com.
Anyone interested in applying for The Academy can find application forms at the Coahoma ISD website at www.coahomaisd.com.
Completed forms can then be submitted online or brought to the CISD Administration Office, 600 N. Main Street, Coahoma. Applications must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
* St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Welcomes New Priest **
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, located at 1001 S. Goliad, has announced that their new priest Father Christian Rabone will be joining them for his first official day at St. Mary’s tomorrow, Feb. 14th, to lead the Ash Wednesday services at 12:05 PM and at 6 PM.
Father Rabone has served for one-and-a-half years at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo as a curate. According to Rabone, a curate is a 2-year position for someone who is in training, but is still clergy. “It’s almost like I’m an assistant priest compared to the Director who is the head priest,” stated Rabone.
Before becoming a curate, Rabone had worked in education as a Band Director and a semi-professional trumpet player in the Dallas area for the first 7 years of his career as an educator. He then became a middle school principal for 22 years. Rabone said he retired from education after 29 years, but during his career he had done a lot for the community and for the church.
“I think God put me on a journey all the way to this point with all the different experiences and the ministries that I’ve gone through,” said Rabone. “I feel like it’s a good fit for me at St. Mary’s the Virgin at Big Spring, and looking forward to working with the congregation, the people, and, also, with the community.”
Rabone told KBest News that he’s been Lion’s Club member for over 10 years and his goal is to become part of the Big Spring Lions Club and be able to do a lot of different things for Big Spring to help people realize that churches and the community can work together.
When asked what made Father Rabone the best person for a position that had been open for over four years, Charla Lewis, a Vestry Member at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, stated, “He is a bundle of energy who is very outgoing and who is all about relationships both within the church and well beyond the church walls into the community.” Lewis also advised that after the Search Committee had discussions with Father Rabone, they believed that he, as a person, defined what St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is all about.
According to Lewis, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is “a Christian denomination following the teachings of Jesus and it’s is done in a way that is based on relationships with others rather than dos and don’ts.” She also went on to say that one of the biggest attractions of the Episcopal Church in general is that they encourage stepping outside of one’s own individual desires and sometimes pettiness to fulfill the bigger goal of community-wide worship, fellowship, and service.
(Photo 1 - Father Christian Rabone with his wife, Tiffany. Photo is from St. Mary's Episcopal Church Facebook page.)
Update on shooting that occurred last Thursday, Feb. 8th, BSPD:
The suspect in this investigation is identified as Garza, Andrew Black/Male 43 years of age. The investigation has revealed Mr. Garza had committed a Burglary of a Habitation as well as Criminal Mischief to a separate residence just prior to being contacted by Officer Blake Grantham. Mr. Garza had evaded Officer Grantham by running southbound through the west alley of the 900 block of S. Goliad and intothe yard of 400 E. 10th where Mr. Garza had retrieved a .45 caliber semi-automatic firearm from his pocket. Officer Grantham immediately discharged his firearm in the direction of Mr. Garza striking Mr. Garza once in the abdomen area. Big Spring Emergency Medical Personnel was summoned to the scene at which time Mr. Garza was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center Hospital and later flown by helicopter to Odessa Medical for treatment. The firearm Mr. Garza brandished was found to have been stolen during a burglary of habitation that was reported on the 6th of February 2018.
Mr. Garza has been in the custody of Law Enforcement personnel since this incident and an Arrest Warrant has been issued for Mr. Garza’s arrest for the offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer a 1st Degree Felony. Further charges on Mr. Garza are pending as a result of this investigation.
Mr. Garza is currently in stable condition and Mr. Garza will be arrested upon his release from the hospital. Officer Grantham has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the Criminal and/or Administrative Investigation. ???
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
This evening, the Guardians of the Children will be holding a Dough Raiser at the Pizza Inn in Big Spring, located at 700 E. FM 700, from 5-9 PM. Guardians of the Children is a non-profit motorcycle organization that helps abused and neglected kids.
According to Greg McAlister, President of the GOC Wildcat Chapter, explained that the organization works alongside of Child Protective Services (CPS), Police Department, and Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and GOC get cases for abused or neglected kids.
“Every motorcycle organization or club has their thing called ‘cuts.’ It’s the leather vest that has their insignia on the back and everything. We give the kids, when we bring them into our family, a cut,” says McAlister. “Then we go to court with them, we throw birthday parties, we throw Easter [parties], Christmas parties, the whole nine yards.”
McAlister also noted that each child has 2 to 4 representatives that work with the child, “If the kid ever feels scared at any time,… they can call those reps up and we will protect them and see whatever they need.”
Everyone is encouraged to enjoy great food at Pizza Inn while supporting a great cause. The Guardians of the Children will be receiving 10% of the proceeds and all tips collected to help fund their activities that they organize for the kids.
On Friday afternoon, President of Howard College Dr. Cheryl Sparks met with Big Spring ISD's Interim Superintendent Johnny Tubb and Dr. Raemi Thompson, Director of Curriculum of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at BSISD, in order to explore the option of a possible partnership with Howard College and BSISD.
This was an option that was presented to the board at last week's meeting of the BSISD Board of Trustees in the event that Washington Elementary and Goliad Elementary were not able to get out of IR (improvement required) status.
Listen to the KBest Country Morning Show with Adrienne and Mark tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM to hear Tubb and Dr. Sparks discuss this possibility further on-air.
During last week’s regular meeting of the Big Spring ISD's Board of Trustees, Dr. Raemi Thompson, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at BSISD, advised the board that, according to their most current assessments, one-third of students from Kindergarten through 8th grade are reading at or above current grade levels. This is the same percentage as it was at the beginning of the school year. It was also noted that one thing that can assist in raising this percentage is students reading with parents outside of school, which research has shown, has positive effects on school success.
Dr. Thompson told KBest News, "We would love to appeal to our parents in our community to help us out with our kids reading skills. If they would ask their child to read at home with them or read to their child so that the child can, not only hear how the words flow together, but then let the child read to them as well." She also noted that parents are encouraged to take advantage of Parent Read Night, which is an open night library that allows parents to check out books and read with their child.
During the Action Items portion of the meeting, BSISD’s Interim Superintendent Johnny Tubb explained to the school board that even though there a lot of great people who are working very hard to move Goliad Elementary and Washington Elementary out of Improvement Required (IR) status, there is still a possibility that the schools may not move out of IR.
Per the Texas Education Agency (TEA), if the school district is not able to move out of IR status, TEA will be coming with one of two consequences that will take effect the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
• Campus Closures - This doesn’t necessarily mean that these schools would be boarded up and locked up forever. This could mean a reconfiguration of schools, or opening it with a different format with a different educational setting.
• Instilling a Board of Managers - This could be replacing the BSISD school board as it is now, or they could even do a campus board of managers, where that board would have a separate board of managers that would only manager those campuses.
Tubb also advised that TEA sent a letter advising on the three things that BSISD is able to do now in order to get out of this status: improve, create partnership, or closing campuses.
• Improve – The campuses and district have been working hard every day to improve.
• Partnership – In the past, this had been understood as a partnership with a charter school, but, this can include, an institution of higher education, like Howard College. BSISD is currently exploring this option with Howard College and a meeting with Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, would be set up to explore the possibility further. The benefit of this partnership, if accepted, is that TEA would give the district 2 additional years to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish, which is getting the two schools out of IR status.
• Closing Campuses – BSISD could determine on their own to close the campuses on their own. Tubb noted that this was something that, most likely, was not an option that the district would pursue.
The school board approved the action of sending a non-binding letter of intent to advise TEA that BSISD is exploring the possibility of a partnership with Howard College.
Discussion was also held concerning new school bus purchases with seat belts. Tubb noted that Senate Bill 693, that was passed recently in the Texas Legislature, requires that all buses 2018 model and newer buses to be equipped with 3-point seat belts. He advised the board that if, as a district, BSISD would not order seatbelts, a resolution would have to be made stating that due to budgetary concerns the district did not want seat belts.
Tubb made it very clear to the board that he did not recommend that safety should be jeopardized based on budgetary concerns. No action was taken, and it was advised that from now on BSISD would only purchase buses with seat belts.
During the Superintendent’s Report, Tubb spoke on the recent district closure where schools were closed in order for maintenance workers could sanitize schools in order to prevent further exposure to the flu. He noted that due to the minute schedule on the calendar, this day will most likely not need to be made up.
Closing out the meeting, it was noted that during the next special meeting of the BSISD Board of Trustees, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20th at 5:15 PM, the board would discuss personnel for the superintendent search. Tubb advised that the board would be looking to lay out a timeline and path to move forward, as far of the superintendent position is concerned.
Tony Kennedy, President of the BSISD Board of Trustees, noted that there are great candidates for the position within the school district and they plan to search within before looking outward.
(Photo - BSISD Superintendent Interim Johnny Tubb at Thursday's School Board Meeting.)
Rule Changes Strengthen Public Safety
AUSTIN - Effective next Monday, Feb. 12, Railroad Commission pipeline damage prevention rules require excavators who strike a pipeline while digging to notify the pipeline operator by calling the 811- notification center as soon as possible, but no later than one hour after an incident. Excavators must also call 911 if any natural gas or other product is released when an underground pipeline is struck. These rule updates extend the deadline for pipeline operators and excavators to file a damage report with the Railroad Commission from the current 10 days to 30 days.
More information on these new rule requirements can be found under "Chapter 18. Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention." at the RRC website:
RRC rules already require anyone planning to dig deeper than 16 inches to call 811 before they dig to prevent damage to underground pipelines. The required 811 call prompts pipeline operators to mark their underground natural gas or hazardous liquid pipelines to avoid being struck during the digging process. Failure to obey the "Call Before You Dig" rules can result in penalties and fines.
If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, you won’t have to travel outside of Big Spring.
2018 XO Marriage Conference Simulcast -
Tonight, Life Church, located at 1004 Johnson, will be simulcasting the 2018 XO Marriage Conference. The cost is $20 per couple, and includes food and childcare, and there will also be giveaways for couples in attendance. Tickets will be available at the door, and doors open at 6 PM, dinner will be served at 6:30 PM, and the simulcast begins at 7. The second part of the conference will pick up again tomorrow morning. A continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM, and this simulcast session will run from 9 to 11:45 AM.
2018 RUN2LOVE2RUN -
Tomorrow morning, Feb. 10th, the 5K Run/Walk event RUN2LOVE2RUN will take place at Big Spring State Park and begins at 10 AM. Cost is $30 for Individuals and $50 for Couples. Be advised that you can still register online at permianbasinevents.com. If you choose to wait until tomorrow morning to register onsite, you must do so by 9 AM and be advised that your registration fee will increase and can only be paid by cash or check.
The money raised from the event will be donated to CASA of West Texas, an organization that is dedicated to recruiting, training, and supporting committed volunteers who are appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of children in the foster care system.
Brisket Plate Benefit -
After you work up an appetite at RUN2LOVE2RUN, or if just thinking about running makes you hungry, you can head over to the Brisket Plate Benefit at the North Birdwell Ln. Café, located at 1800 North Birdwell Ln. Plates will be sold for $10 each and will include slow cooked brisket, homemade potato salad and beans, bread, and drink. The event begins at 10 AM and will continue until all plates are sold out. It should also be noted that delivery will be offered for orders with more than 3 plates. Delivery orders can be called in at 432-270-2303 / 432-466-9772 / or 432-714-4377.
Funds raised from this event will be given to help cover medical expenses for Jimmy "Chic" De Leo, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the base of tongue and lingual tonsils in July 2017. It should also be noted that donations are also accepted.
Winter Wonderland Concert featuring Harmony Zhu -
Tomorrow evening, the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Wonderland concert will begin at 7:30 PM at the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium, and Harmony Zhu, the 12-year- old piano prodigy will be the featured artist. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Seniors - 55 plus, and free to students and children College Age and younger! Tickets can be purchased in advance at HEB, Heritage Museum, The Karat Patch, Big Spring Chamber of Commerce and the CVB offices! For ticket reservations to Big Spring Concerts call 432-816-5196.
Today at approximately 11:55 AM in the 400 block of E. 10th Street, an officer involved shooting occurred. The suspect is currently in custody and receiving medical attention. No officers have been injured. KBest will report more information this afternoon. You are asked to avoid the area if possible.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program will be offering FREE income tax preparation every Monday until April 2nd, from 8 AM – 12 PM at the Big Spring Senior Citizen’s Center, located at 100 Whipkey Drive in Big Spring. This service is available to all taxpayers with moderate to low income.
Taxpayers need to bring in the following items with them:
• Photo ID for the taxpayer and/or spouse
• Social Security cards for every person on the tax return. It should be noted that they will not do a tax return without seeing the Social Security cards.)
• Last year’s tax return
• W-2’s and all other proof of income received in 2017
Be advised that these tax returns will be filed electronically with e-filing for availability of faster refunds. If you have any questions you can contact Ray Alexander at 432-212-3533, or at email@example.com.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence, “every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.”
Creswell, stated that the organization uses this time to focus on young people because violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18. The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established during adolescence.
When asked if the local Victim Services works with a lot of teens who have experienced dating violence, Creswell stated that most times teens won’t report it.
“They don’t even tell their mom or dad, they just endure it. There are kids who come out here and just want someone to talk to see if they’re doing something wrong or how they should approach things in their relationship.”
If you or someone you know is ready to seek help, Victim Services of Big Spring can be contacted through their website vsob.org.
During today’s Howard County Commissioners’ Court, County Road and Bridge Engineer Brian Klinksiek was granted authorization to purchase a new 2018 International Water Truck to replace the current water truck, which was described by Klinksiek as "working its way to a decrepit state."
The 2,000 gallon International water truck has 915 miles and is similar to what is currently being used. The vehicle has an automatic transmission, and comes with 5 sprayers, so it is an improvement to what is currently being used.
The truck was purchased for approximately $130,000 from the SUMMIT Truck Group in San Angelo, TX. According to Klinksiek, the cost of the water truck was approximately $9,000 under budget.
The 2018 Maintenance Assistance Prime & Sealcoat bid was awarded to Lipham Asphalt and Pavement out of Aspermont, TX for a max amount of approximately $112,000. Klinksiek had sent out 3 bid packages and it was noted that Lipham was the only one to respond. Since the last meeting, Klinksiek has been able to review the bid information and recommended that the bid be awarded, which was approved.
During the meeting Klinkseik explained that Lipham Asphalt and Pavement would be used as assistance when his department rebuild roads in case he comes across problems with equipment.
“We should be able to [rebuild roads] ourselves but we haven’t done [this type] in a number of years,” said Klinkseik. “[This] provides me with extra equipment and skill set until I can get my guys trained and ensure that my equipment is going to work.”
(Photos of 2018 International Water Truck that was approved for purchase by the Howard County Commissioners' Court.)
Today, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed their new member, THE WARDROBE, located at 115 S. Main St. in Big Spring, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
THE WARDROBE is a downtown boutique owned by Big Spring residents Britney Kalina and Natasha Lasater. It's been open since late December and is a combination of Kalina’s “Rae’s of Gray” children’s boutique, and Lasater’s “Wake, Pray, Slay” women’s boutique.
“We opened The Wardrobe with two online boutiques merging together,” said Kalina. “We had Wake, Pray, Slay Boutique and Rae’s of Gray Boutique and we wanted to merge it together to bring the women’s and children’s [together].”
The merged boutique carries clothing for infants, toddlers, children, and women, including plus sizes clothing, as well as shoes, jewelry, bags, and nick knacks.
Kalina says that the boutique has seen a lot of response from the community. “The building itself is really unique, just being a historical building downtown. We’ve had a lot of compliments on that. Just walking in, people are excited to see the kind of space [that] we’re in.”
Kalina went on to say that they were happy to join the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and are excited about being a part of the community.
The XO Marriage Conference is a conference that has been held in Dallas for several years, and according to Mark Seagraves, a member of the Pastoral Team for Life Church, “thousands of people attend [the conference] and there have been incredible testimonies of marriages that have been saved and relationships that have been improved.”
In 2011 the conference was simulcasted with 60 host sites and as of this year, the 2018 XO Marriage Conference is expected to have over 600 global host sites. The ministry behind the conference is Marriage Today and is ran by Jimmy and Karen Evans out of Amarillo, TX. The conference features multiple speakers from across the country.
Life Church will be simulcasting the conference on Feb. 9th and Feb. 10th. The doors open on Friday, Feb. 9th, at 6 PM, dinner will be served at 6:30 PM, and the simulcast begins at 7 PM. On Saturday, Feb. 10th, a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM, the simulcast begins at 9 AM, and Saturday’s session will run until about 11:45 AM. The cost is $20 per couple, and includes food and childcare, and there will also be giveaways for couples in attendance.
Seagraves stated that if cost is an issue that keeps couples away who want to attend, there are scholarship opportunities that are available for those who need it.
When asked what couples can expect to get out of the conference, Seagraves stated that he and his wife had attended the simulcasted conference for the last three years and also stated, “It is a powerful conference with incredible information.”
“Probably the highlight of it is that, in the very end, they lead all of the couples in a renewal of their marriage vows; and it is a powerful experience. I’ve seen marriages that when they came into the conference they were really questionable about their desire to even continue and by the time the conference was over their relationship had been completely restored. It’s a powerful experience and I would definitely recommend it to any couple.”
Tickets now available online for the 2018 XO Marriage Conference and you can find a link for that on the Facebook page for Life Church.
A happy girl with multiple talents, 12-year-old Harmony Zhu has been featured three times on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, as well as many other TV and radio shows for her exceptional gifts in piano, composition, and chess. In recognition of her “distinguished career in music” and “the high standard in artistic and professional achievements”, Harmony had the privilege of becoming the youngest “Young Steinway Artist” in history at age 10. Most recently, she was named a Fellow of the Artemisia Akademie at Yale University.
In January 2018, Harmony appeared in three concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Last October, Harmony had the great honor of opening The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 118th season under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Opening Night Gala Concert. She will also be performing in three concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in March.
In the spring of 2016, Harmony was invited by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra to be the Resident Artist of the Week, where she gave a televised recital for Sound Bites Concert “A Prodigy’s Journey” as well as guesting at “Consider This” – “What makes a Virtuoso” with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. Later in
October she was invited back to perform Beethoven Concerto No.1 with her own cadenza and Maestro George Stelluto. With a deep musical sensitivity far beyond her age, Harmony has distinguished herself by consistently winning first prizes in piano
competitions from an early age, competing within older age categories. Harmony started studying at Juilliard when she was 8, where she studies piano with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and composition with Dr. Ira Taxin. She won the Juilliard Pre-college
Concerto Competition at her first year in Juilliard.
As a chess prodigy, she has won numerous international chess tournaments and was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master at the age of 7 and the title of World Champion of her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championships.
Our community remembers vividly the former Coahoma High School football star who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a sledding accident 3 years ago which broke his neck and paralyzed his body from the shoulders down. This type of paralysis is referred to as "quadriplegia." Since that time, Garett has undergone extensive physical therapy to keep his muscles active; he has earned an Associates Degree from Howard College, and is currently taking online courses from Angelo State University in pursuit of his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.
Now age 21, Garett uses a laptop computer in which the cursor is controlled with a reflective dot attached to his glasses. Having full movement from the shoulders up, Garett turns his head to communicate commands to his computer. Due to stem cell replacement therapy in Switzerland and Germany last year, Garett has regained movement in his right arm, and can use a joystick controller to guide his power wheelchair.
Garett is a sports aficionado, and when KBest saw the need for an additional sportscaster, they looked no further than their own backyard.
Malinda Flenniken, Managing Partner of KBest Media says that she has been following Garett's progress over the last couple of years and noticed that he has become a very well-spoken young man. "He has a great energy and charismatic personality. He knows how to effectively use his voice, and, we're in the 'voice business!' Garett knows local sports first hand, and is a natural choice for us. We're really, really excited to have him on board. I think this could be the beginning of a long successful career for him. I would love to think that Garett will remember good 'ole KBST when he hits the big time."
Mark Richardson, Operations Manager and Sportscaster for KBest Media, will be working side-by-side with Garett on the court and on the field this year. Richardson has been broadcasting Howard College basketball along with Josh Caudill, who are both excited to welcome Garett to the KBest team. According to Richardson, "Garett's story has been one revolving around a tragic accident. Starting with Garett's recovery and rehab, the story has become one of determination and defying odds. Today, that story turns to a new chapter in his life, one that will showcase his talent, abilities and continued passion for sports. Today, Garett becomes a professional sports broadcaster."
The double basketball broadcast begins tonight at 5:45, live from the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum as the Lady Hawks and Hawks of Howard College take on Snyder's Western Texas College. The broadcast can be heard on the radio on "The Mighty 1490 KBST AM," as well as TV's Suddenlink channel 2, online at kbst.com, and the free KBST AM 1490 app for mobile devices.
Go Hawks! Go Garett!
The deadline to register to vote in the next election is TODAY. If you are not registered to vote by that time, you will not be eligible to vote in the March 6th Primaries.
Be advised that if you are new to town or if you’ve moved in the last few years you need to check your registration. You'll be able to vote on March 6th, but it may affect what you're able to vote for.
According to Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck, there are approximately 3,500 people who need to update their information. She knows that because that's how many voter registration cards have been returned to the office.
If you haven't updated your information, it could prevent you from casting your vote where it's needed most. For example, if you lived in Precinct 1 and moved to Precinct 4 you might miss out on your chance to vote on Howard County Commissioner of Precinct 4 because your voter registration hasn't been updated.
If you need to register to vote or if you need to update your information, you can stop by the Howard County Elections office on the 1st floor of the County Court House and they can help.
For more information you can call their office at 432-264-2273.
According to a statement released by Big Spring ISD’s Administration Office, Big Spring schools will be closed today due to the flu epidemic that the district is experiencing.
Johnny Tubb, Interim Superintendent for Big Spring ISD, stated that it has gotten to the point where the entire school district is suffering across the board. He went on to say that students, teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, custodians, maintenance, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and substitutes have all been significantly impacted. He went on to say quote – We just can’t seem to keep from passing it from person to person and from campus to campus. – end quote.
The district will utilize the extra time today to thoroughly clean and sanitize all campuses and busses.
Big Spring ISD also stated that they would like to thank the parents for their diligence during the past couple of weeks; and they would also like to thank the many employees that have been doubling up and, in some cases, trying to cover the duties of the absent staff.
It should be noted that this closure will not impact extracurricular activities, and classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 5th, as scheduled.
The Lone Star District of the Buffalo Trail Council will hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony this Saturday, February 3rd, at 3 PM. The Boy Scouts have long been recognized as one a very few organizations that are called upon to conduct formal Flag Retirement Ceremonies, and February 10th marks the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. For several years, local Scouts have gathered on the Saturday closest to Scouting’s anniversary to pay homage to the individuals that have given us the rights that we cherish in the Scouting program.
According to Zack Mullins, a teacher with Big Spring ISD and a Scouting volunteer, “Several years ago, a committee met to discuss how we could celebrate the anniversary of Scouting. It was decided that a tribute to the individuals that sacrificed for our rights to gather as Scouts would be perfect. That began a tradition of gathering to honor our flag and our troops”.
The Flag Retirement Ceremony is open to the public, and the ceremony will be at Camp Thomas on Driver Road, next to the VFW. The Boy Scouts would like to encourage the community to see the honor that is paid to a flag when it is retired. They especially encourage all veterans and active duty members of any branch of our armed forces to attend. Again, this ceremony is Saturday at 3:00 pm at Camp Thomas on Driver Road.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is beginning enforcement efforts across the state focusing specifically on violations of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law. These periodic enforcement operations by DPS Troopers are planned throughout the year at various locations in Texas, with several operations planned in February.
The law, originally passed in 2003, requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
“Our Highway Patrol Troopers and other officers risk their lives every day for the people of Texas, and their safety is particularly vulnerable while working on the side of the road, where the slightest mistake by a passing motorist can end in tragedy,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “While our officers are serving and protecting Texans, we’re asking drivers to do their part by adhering to the law – simply move over or slow down.”
Specifically, Texas law states that a driver must either:
Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction), or
Slow down 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)
Drivers should only move over if they can do so safely and legally; otherwise, they should slow down.
“In light of the numerous vehicle crashes that occur in Texas and across the nation on a daily basis, and the unfortunate fact the many still violate the state law that has been in effect for nearly 15 years, we are increasing our enforcement and education efforts related to this law,” said Director McCraw. “In addition to complying with the law to protect those who work on the side of the road, we encourage motorists to show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along our roadways. Let’s all get home safely.”
Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; the fine increases to $500 if there is property damage. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
Preliminary data from 2017 shows that DPS issued more than 10,650 warnings and citations to motorists violating the Move Over/Slow Down law.
The Annual Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce’s event, now known as the “Chamber Extravaganza” was held last night, and even though the night took on a different format the awards portion did not stray away from tradition.
The Outgoing President of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce ceremoniously passed on the gavel to current President, Manny Negron. Woman of the Year was Dene Sheppard, and Man of the year was Mike Abusaab.
Sheppard assisted in compiling Howard County's History Book, she's served on the Museum Board and instrumental in opening The Potton House for viewing, as well as helping to develop a walking path and viewing area at The Historic Spring. She's served as President of PTA and Hyperion Club, was on the Chamber of Commerce and Heart Association Boards, and served as the President of the West Texas Republican Women.
When asked how she felt about receiving the award, Sheppard stated that she was very honored. "I just feel like I've been blessed to live here in a town that I love, and that I was able to do things throughout the years. I can't imagine of a greater honor than in your own hometown, than the people to give this to me. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart."
Man of the year was Mike Abusaab, Owner of Sonic, and President of KBest Media, works with the Chamber on numerous events. He's been on the board for the YMCA, is involved with Keep Big Spring Beautiful, Food2Kids, and many more. He's a member of the SWCID Foundation, the Big Spring Rotary Club, and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
He loves the local Howard County teams and demonstrated his admiration by contributing to things such as the Memorial Stadium Football Stadium locker room; The Sonic Floor at Howard College, and handing out academic scholarships for Howard College, Odessa College, and UTPB.
When asked how he felt about receiving the award, Abusaab that he felt great and that it was the greatest thing to have ever happened to him.
The Russ McEwen Community Honor Award was received SM Energy with Newt Newton, Senior Vice President / Permian Region Manager, accepting the award with his team. The company made a big splash in Big Spring and Howard County last year with their list of accomplishments, such as creating a partnership with both Big Spring ISD and Coahoma ISD to kick start robotics programs in their schools. Their employees built a nursery for the YMCA and donated backpacks for their backpack drive. SM Energy has also worked with the Salvation Army of Big Spring to support their Boys and Girls Club over the summer, sponsoring Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and their Kettle Campaign and Angel Tree for the 2017 holiday season.
They've also supported local annual events and partnered with RockPile Energy Services to provide the Big Spring Fire Department a new set of Jaws for Life.
** Washington Elementary Participates in "Choose Kindness, Not Meanness" Campaign **
In 2014, Eric Johnson, elementary educator and blogger, created an organization called, “Erase Meanness, Choose Kindness”. This organization now reaches over 10 million people worldwide. Actor Kevin Bacon joined the movement in 2016. Now, every September, students across the nation take a pledge to make the world a kinder place.
Last week, in an effort to continue our mission and vision of creating a better school, Washington Elementary accepted this challenge of replacing meanness with kindness. We want everyone associated with Washington Elementary to have kind hearts and use kind words. Meanness will not ever be totally eliminated in society, but we at Washington Elementary will focus on using kindness in place of meanness.
[Kari Eggleston, Washington Elementary Principal, encourages] all students to participate in a pledge to be kind and perform purposeful acts of kindness. All students that can honor this pledge till the end of April, will receive a t-shirt with the mission statement of “Erase Meanness, Choose Kindness.”
This challenge directly correlates with our commitment to the Conscious Discipline philosophy. All staff will be encouraging students throughout each day the importance of making good choices and using kind words.
Over the weekend an inmate went missing from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring’s Satellite Prison Camp, which currently houses approximately 210 male offenders in Big Spring.
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, at approximately 5:40 p.m., inmate Jesus Gamez was discovered missing.
Upon this discovery the U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies were notified and an internal investigation was initiated.
Gamez was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to 206 months for Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute 100 kilograms of Marijuana and for a Supervised Release Violation.
On Sunday, January 28th, at approximately 6:20 PM Garza returned to the institution of his own volition and is in Bureau of Prisons custody.
t To You By