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THOUSANDS OF FREE TREES AVAILABLE TO ONCOR CUSTOMERS


MIDLAND–ODESSA, Texas, Sept. 9, 2019 – For the eighth consecutive year, Oncor is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees Program to give away more than 8,000 free trees to Oncor customers. Oncor customers can receive up to two free trees per household now through Nov. 1st by visiting arborday.org/oncor. The between one-and-three foot trees will be delivered directly to customers this fall.

 

Oncor customers in the Midland–Odessa area also have the opportunity to instead receive up to two five-gallon trees, which will be available for pick-up Nov. 2nd and Nov. 9th at the Oncor Electric Delivery Odessa Service Center.

 

“Oncor customers and team members look forward to this partnership every year, and we are thrilled to join the Arbor Day Foundation in announcing the start of 2019’s Energy-Saving Trees Program,” said Gus Ortega, Oncor Area Manager for Oncor. “By giving away and helping to plant more than 8,000 free trees, we are all working together to celebrate energy conservation, environmental stewardship and a reduction in household electricity bills across the state.”

 

The online tool at arborday.org/oncor will allow customers to reserve their free trees, identify the safest and most strategic location for planting, and estimate annual energy savings once the tree matures. Customers will be required to submit their ESI ID to complete the online reservation process, which can be located on their electric bill or by contacting their Retail Electric Provider.

 

This program also supports the ongoing Time for Trees initiative, a commitment to planting 100 million trees in forests and communities worldwide by 2022, the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. As part of this initiative, the Arbor Day Foundation has set a goal to inspire 5 million tree planters to join the movement by 2022. Oncor encourages customers to remember that trees and power lines don’t mix, and that home and business owners should always avoid planting trees under power lines.

 

“The Time for Trees initiative is an important step in protecting the necessities of life, but we can’t do it alone. We’re thrilled to partner with Oncor who has committed to drive change through the Energy Savings Tree program,” said Dan Lambe, President of the Arbor Day Foundation. “With our network and ability to plant trees on public and private lands, the Arbor Day Foundation is uniquely positioned to lead this movement and is rallying organizations and leaders around the world to join us.”

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CISD teachers rock on education


Coahoma ISD teachers were “Busting a Move” to help keep the “Eternal Flame” of learning alive during the second campus wide Rock Your School event held on Thursday. 

 

Last year, Coahoma ISD campuses were among the more than 1,000 schools both nationally and internationally that participated in the Get Your Teach On (GYTO) Rock Your School one-day event, according to the GYTO website. 

 

“They encourage you to do extending lessons that are fun but with a theme to it,” explained Charlotte Stovall, Coahoma Junior High Principal. “They come up with a fun theme, but the whole point is to extend your lesson to something hands-on, something interesting. It’s just a way to get students engaged.”

 

A number of Coahoma ISD teachers and many students dressed up in their best rock outfits to “Rock On” in their classroom for the day. Even “members” of the 70s rock band “KISS” could be seen walking the hallways and teaching in the classroom. 

 

At the junior high campus, the theme was Coahoma City Limits, a takeoff of Austin City Limits.  

“We do this mainly to get kids pumped about learning,” Stovall said. “It’s just a fun day to jazz up some learning.”

 

This year, the junior high was chosen by the Rock Your School committee to be featured on the day’s video highlights. Those videos are expected to be posted to GYTO website  — https://www.getyourteachon.com/event/rock-your-school-2019/ — in the next coming days. 

 

Get Your Teach On (GYTO) provides professional development for educators and administrators in the form of conferences, workshops, and events. 

 

Photo Caption: Photo by Megan Ditto

“KISS” came to Coahoma Junior High School on Thursday to Rock Your School. Pictured are from left, Eva Salinas, Joni Lacefield, Candy Parrish, and Gloria Martinez. 

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2 Fatalities in Andrews County, 09/17/19


A fatal crash in Andrews County resulted in 2 fatalities on Tuesday night.

 

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS troopers responded to the crash at approximately 11 PM at FM 181, 17 miles northeast of Andrews.

 

The preliminary investigation report reveals that a 2013 Chevrolet pick-up driven by Brandon Rogers, 20 years old of Gladewater, TX, was traveling north on FM 181 when he crossed into the southbound lane and struck another vehicle head-on. The second vehicle, a 2013 Chevrolet pick-up towing a trailer, was driven by Allen Lehmann, 30 years old of Odessa.

 

Both Rogers and Lehmann were, both, pronounced dead on scene.

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Howard County Commissioners Court Highlights, 9/18/19


The 2nd public hearing was held yesterday, 09/18/19, at the Howard County Commissioners Court to consider lowering the speed limit on County Road 34 in Precinct 4 of Howard County.

 

According to Howard County Road and Bridge Engineer Brian Klinksiek, this particular section of road that begins at FM 669 and moves east to County Road 41, has been heavily damaged due to flooding and extremely high oilfield traffic. Due to the continuing deteriorating state of the road, Klinksiek felt that the road was no longer safe to travel on at the speed limit of 65 mph. He requested that the commissioners decrease the speed limit on this road to 50 mph. 

 

No one from the public spoke during this public hearing and the commissioners approved the new speed limit for CR 34 in Pct. 4 of Howard County. 

 

Also during yesterday’s meeting, Howard County Commissioners announced that they had created a reduction  in their budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year by eliminating personnel. They noted that as of Jan. 1st, 2020 the Howard County Extension Agent Assistant and the County Trapper positions would be eliminated. They also advised that the DPS Secretary position would be decreased to 29 hours to make it a part-time position. 

 

County Commissioners also approved the proposed tax rate of $0.303165/$100 valuation. 

 

Property Tax Rate Comparison between FY 2019-2020 and the previous year.

  Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Fiscal Year 2018-2019
Property Tax Rate $0.303165/$100 $0.328024/$100
Effective Tax Rate $0.283438/$100 $0.308024/$100
Effective Maintenance & Operations Rate $0.260255/$100 $0.290258/$100
Rollback Tax Rate $0.303165/$100 $0.340316/$100
Debt Rate $0.022091/$100 $0.026839/$100

 

Although this rate is approximately 2 ½  cents less than last year’s property tax rate of approximately $0.328024/$100, it is 2 cents above the effective rate. The additional revenue from this tax rate will be used to cover the following changes in the budget:

 

Jail boarding increase,

 

Jail medical increase,

 

Jail maintenance increase,

 

Howard County Library new boiler,

 

new employee in the Howard County Sheriff’s Office,

 

new environmental officer,

 

new employee in maintenance,

 

6% increase in property, general liability, and vehicle insurance,

 

$108,500 increase in vehicles for Road and Bridge, and

 

3% raise for Howard County employees. 

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Howard County Commissioners Court Highlights, 9/18/19


The 2nd public hearing was held yesterday, 09/18/19, at the Howard County Commissioners Court to consider lowering the speed limit on County Road 34 in Precinct 4 of Howard County.

 

According to Howard County Road and Bridge Engineer Brian Klinkseik, this particular section of road that begins at FM 669 and moves east to County Road 41, has been heavily damaged due to flooding and extremely high oilfield traffic. Due to the continuing deteriorating state of the road, Klinkseik felt that the road was no longer safe to travel on at the speed limit of 65 mph. He requested that the commissioners decrease the speed limit on this road to 50 mph. 

 

No one from the public spoke during this public hearing and the commissioners approved the new speed limit for CR 34 in Pct. 4 of Howard County. 

 

Also during yesterday’s meeting, Howard County Commissioners announced that they had created a reduction  in their budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year by eliminating personnel. They noted that as of Jan. 1st, 2020 the Howard County Extension Agent Assistant and the County Trapper positions would be eliminated. They also advised that the DPS Secretary position would be decreased to 29 hours to make it a part-time position. 

 

County Commissioners also approved the proposed tax rate of $0.303165/$100 valuation. 

 

Property Tax Rate Comparison between FY 2019-2020 and the previous year.

  Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Fiscal Year 2018-2019
Property Tax Rate $0.303165/$100 $0.328024/$100
Effective Tax Rate $0.283438/$100 $0.308024/$100
Effective Maintenance & Operations Rate $0.260255/$100 $0.290258/$100
Rollback Tax Rate $0.303165/$100 $0.340316/$100
Debt Rate $0.022091/$100 $0.026839/$100

 

Although this rate is approximately 2 ½  cents less than last year’s property tax rate of approximately $0.328024/$100, it is 2 cents above the effective rate. The additional revenue from this tax rate will be used to cover the following changes in the budget:

 

Jail boarding increase,

 

Jail medical increase,

 

Jail maintenance increase,

 

Howard County Library new boiler,

 

new employee in the Howard County Sheriff’s Office,

 

new environmental officer,

 

new employee in maintenance,

 

6% increase in property, general liability, and vehicle insurance,

 

$108,500 increase in vehicles for Road and Bridge, and

 

3% raise for Howard County employees. 

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PSA: Valve Replacement scheduled to begin tomorrow, 9/19/19.


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, City crews will perform a valve replacement on North San Antonio Street. The following areas could possibly experience low pressure and/or total water interruption during the valve replacement:
 

• North 10th Street to the Big Spring State Hospital

• 1700 West I-20 to Highway 350
 

The valve replacement will begin at 10:00 PM and continue overnight. Repairs are expected to be completed by Friday morning, September 20, 2019. The City of Big Spring apologizes for any inconvenience and ask for your patience while this project is completed.

 

Please direct any questions or concerns to the office of Shane Bowles, Public Works Director, at 432-264-2501.

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2019 Big Spring ISD Homecoming News


BONFIRE:
Tomorrow, (9/19/19) there will be a bonfire around 8 PM at the Anderson campus, located at 229 Airbase Rd., with the Senior Whitewash afterwards, around 10 PM.

 

PEP RALLY:
Friday, 9/20/19, the Homecoming Pep Rally for the Big Spring Steers will be at 3 PM on Friday, September 20th, at Steer Gym.

 

PARADE:
Friday, 9/20/19, the Homecoming parade will begin at 4:30 PM.

 

HOMECOMING GAME / CROWNING:
Friday, 9/20/19, the Big Spring Steers will take on the Pecos Eagles with kick off at 7:30 PM. Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at half-time.

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Public Service Announcement, 09/17/19


On September 17, 2019, contractors for the City of Big Spring began the first phase of a 20” water line replacement project. Repairs are currently underway on Donley Street from East 11th Place to East 15th Street. 

 

 

The second phase of the 20" water line replacement will take place from on East 15th Street from Donley Street to Virginia Avenue.

 


 

The third phase of the 20" water line replacement will take place from Virginia Avenue from East 15th Street to East 16th Street. 

 

 

The listed areas could possible experience low pressure and/or total water interruption during repairs. 

 

During these times, drivers may also encounter a single lane closure where work is being performed. The City of Big Spring apologizes for any inconvenience and ask for the public's patience while this project is completed.
 

Please direct any questions or concerns to the office of Shane Bowles, Public Works Director, at 432-264-2501.

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Howard County Sheriff's Office update on recent threat at CHS.


From the Howard County Sheriff's Office, 09/17/19:

 

We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the recent threat made at Coahoma High School. We are currently working this threat and will continue to do so. We take any and all threats toward any school very serious and will do everything in our power to see that the person(s) responsible are arrested and charged with this crime.

 

We would also like for each of you to know that we are living in a society today that have forced schools to become more secure than they ever have been. All three school districts in Howard County have taken security to a higher level and each has involved all Law Enforcement in their training. Each school in Howard County now has trained teams from every school on how to respond to threats and how to best protect our school kids.

 

We, the members of the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, are dedicated to ensuring that our kids are provided a safe environment to learn and play and we will always be dedicated to their protection.

 

As the investigation into this threat progresses we will keep you informed.

 

 

Thank You,
Sheriff Stan Parker

 

 

Additional Information from HCSO:

 

During an act of violence (e.g. robbery, hostage situation, workplace violence, active shooter):


AVOID starts with your state of mind.
          • Pay attention to your surroundings.
          • Have an exit plan.
          • Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible. 
          • The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.             

 

DENY when getting away is difficult or maybe even impossible. 
          • Keep distance between you and the source. 
          • Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.                    
          • Turn the lights off. 
          • Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silence your phone.

 

DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself. 
          • If you cannot Avoid or Deny be prepared to defend yourself. 
          • Be aggressive and committed to your actions.   
          • Do not fight fairly.  THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL.

 

CALL 911 when you are in a safe area.

 

When Law Enforcement arrives, SHOW YOUR HANDS AND FOLLOW COMMANDS.

 

Remember that Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail.

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Howard County Elections Office helps Big Spring HS with 2019 Homecoming Election.


This week is Homecoming week for Big Spring ISD and the Howard County Elections Office is helping with this year’s Homecoming King and Queen elections. Today and tomorrow Big Spring High School students will vote for this year’s nominees by using the new voting machines from the Howard County Elections Office. 

 

Jodi Duck, Howard County Elections Administrator, advised that the machines had been used last week to narrow down to a top 5 for both the King and Queen nominees. 

 

"We are using [the machines] for voter outreach to the students to get them familiar with the process and the machines to encourage them when they're at voting age to get out and vote," said Duck.

 

According to Duck, so far Big Spring ISD is the only school district that has taken them up on the offer to use the machines for the student elections.  She noted that since the Howard County Commissioners have already purchased the equipment and the software there is no extra cost to do the election because the programming is done in-house by the Elections Office.

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BSPD reminds citizens to LOCK YOUR VEHICLES.


The Big Spring Police Department is again asking local citizens to please lock their vehicle doors when not in use and to remove KEYS, valuables and firearms from within the vehicles!!

 

Over the past several days they have taken at least 10 stolen vehicle reports where keys have been left inside the unlocked vehicles. Along with those vehicles, firearms have also been stolen. Big Spring PD made a juvenile arrest associated with these stolen vehicles but have reason to believe several individuals are outstanding. They also ask the public to contact CrimeStoppers if anyone has any information regarding these burglaries, stolen vehicles and stolen firearms.

 

Please remember to lock your vehicles, remove extra keys, firearms, and valuables.

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WEST TEXAS CENTERS RECOGNIZES SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH


BIG SPRING – Suicide is a serious public health issue among our youth presenting long-lasting, significant effects on families, peers, and communities. 

 

"The causes of suicide among our youth are complex and involve numerous factors," West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith, LMSW, said. 

 

"Suicide is the act of harming oneself which leads to death," Smith said. "Several risk factors include, but are not limited to mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar, substance abuse withdrawals, and schizophrenia." 

 

“We know treatment works,” Smith said. “But the youth we are helping today are very different from past generations. Social media is an outlet in which they use to express themselves and it’s a vital window we need to access.”

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 30 percent increase in suicides in the United States from 2000 to 2016, with rates increasing in all age groups.  However, the authors of the article published in June 2019 in the Journal of American Medical Association noted they were especially concerned with adolescents’ suicide rates because of increases in social media use, anxiety, depression, and self-inflicted injuries. 

 

"Youth post suicidal thoughts on social media more frequently,” Smith said. “Anyone reading social media accounts should be on high alert to contact the individual or immediately contact 911.”

 

In 2017, 6,241 suicides occurred in individuals aged 15 to 24 years, of which 5,016 were male and 1,225 were female. At ages 15 to 19 years, the rate of suicides was 11.8 per 100,000, according to the JAMA article.

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Often talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."
  • Increased alcohol and/or drug misuse
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community
  • Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others

 

“Our main goal at West Texas Centers is to prevent suicide by providing awareness to the public about signs and symptoms or a cry for help,’” Smith. “West Texas Centers also provides an outlet through our crisis hotline for anyone going through a difficult time or just needing to talk. I believe education and awareness is key in reducing suicides.”

 

West Texas Centers operates a 24-hour crisis hotline for anyone who needs immediate assistance. The toll-free number is 1-800-375-4357. “This can be used by anyone facing a crisis or may have questions about suicide,” Smith said. 

 

“Whenever anyone commits suicide, there is a great deal of stress,” Smith said. “Survivors can become emotionally debilitated. Most family members tell me over and over again, ‘If I had only known what they were thinking, I could have helped.’”

 

West Texas Centers also offers Mental Health First Aid Classes several times a year for those who want to learn the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. For more information about Mental Health First Aid, contact Amy Vidal at amy.vidal@wtcmhmr.org or 432-264-3256.

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Odessa gunman was violent in psychiatric facility; tore down ceiling & punched a hole in a wall


DALLAS (AP) — Police say the gunman who killed seven people in West Texas last month was destructive and violent while hospitalized at a psychiatric facility nearly two decades ago.

Waco Assistant Chief Robert Lanning said Wednesday that Seth Ator was being treated in July 2001 at an in-patient facility in the city, about 105 miles (169 kilometers) south of Dallas.

 

Lanning says Ator tore down the ceiling in his room, broke a chair, punched a hole in a wall and was so threatening some staff locked themselves in a nursing station.

 

Ator was later locked in a "seclusion room." Lanning says when security went into the room Ator approached them holding a piece of pipe he'd pried from the toilet, and they pepper sprayed him.

 

Lanning says his statements are based on a police report from the incident. The Associated Press has filed a public records request for the report.

 

(Photo provided by our news partners at CBS 7 - KOSA.)

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Community encouraged to attend FREE dinner on 09/14/19 at 6 PM.


The O’Neal-Kunkle Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 47 begin their 6th annual Dove Hunt this weekend.

 

"This will be the 6th annual DAV sponsored Dove Hunt, bringing in four veterans in for a weekend of dove hunting. Saturday night we ask the community to come in and help us honor these four men. The more people [at the dinner] the more special we make them feel," said DAV Senior Vice Commander Mike Tarpley.

 

The public is invited to join them tomorrow evening for Community Support and Fellowship at 6 PM at Spring Creek Fellowship, inside of the Spring Town Plaza, located at 1801 FM 700 in Big Spring. There will be 100 free meals provided for those in attendance, but donations to the DAV will be accepted to help our veterans. 

 

The four veterans who will be honored this weekend are Steven C. Lyle, Eddie F. Hatch, Brandyn Van Pelt, and W. Glen Pugh. Lyle was also featured in the non-fiction book Tiger Bravo’s War as a combat medic. Anyone with a copy of the book is welcomed to bring it to the dinner on Saturday, so that he can sign it for them.

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Big Spring High School Named Runner Up in Schneider Electric's K-12 Bold Ideas Contest, 09/12/19


During this evening's Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees meeting, Big Spring ISD was presented with a $5,000 award to support its goals from Schneider Electric as a runner up in Schneider Electric’s inaugural Bold Ideas contest.

 

Big Spring High School was named a finalist for its idea to help students find their voice through the modernization of spaces for audio, video and visual production. The modernization will help create unique opportunities that would not have normally existed for the students of Big Spring Independent School District, enabling students to find their voices and encourage others to do the same. Funds will be used to help students share their stories via radio, television, print and social media platforms. The submission was sent in by Allen Morris, BSHS Journalism teacher.

 

As districts across the nation face increasing student populations and funding challenges, facilities increasingly need modernization. Teachers, school and district leadership are under considerable pressure to consider ways to modernize classrooms, upgrade technologies and expand student engagement. The Bold Ideas contest was designed as a way to help districts think about their vision for the future. Big Spring submitted to help fund their vision for a modernized space to help students find their voice.

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Candelaria found guilty of 6 counts of Aggravated Assault on a public servant.


Tuesday morning, 09/10/19, the trial for 31-year-old Peter Candelaria began at the 118th District Court in Big Spring.

 

Candelaria had been arrested on December 28th, 2018 after he refused to stop for a traffic stop and initiated a vehicle pursuit where he attempted to evade Big Spring Police Officers. Candelaria later exited his vehicle and hid in a dumpster in the 400 block of Dallas, where he fired multiple rounds at officers once they had located him. A Howard County Sheriff’s Officer returned fire and struck Candelaria in the hand, but Candelaria still refused to exit the dumpster and comply with orders. After approximately 2 hours of negotiating, Candelaria exited the dumpster and was taken into custody. He was then immediately transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center for treatment and later transported by ambulance to a Midland hospital for further treatment.

 

Earlier today, 09/12/19, Candelaria was found guilty of Evading in a Vehicle, a 3rd Degree Felony and 6 counts of Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant, all Felony 1 Offenses.

 

He was sentenced to 25 years for Evading. On the Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant charges he was sentenced to (1) 60-year sentence, and (5) 40-year sentences. These sentences will run concurrently, so the maximum amount of time Candelaria will serve is 60 years. Parole is possible however he’ll have to serve at least 30 years before he is eligible.

 

When asked how he felt about the outcome of the case, District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson advised that he was pleased with the testimony and the evidence presented by the Officers of the Big Spring Police Department and the Deputies of the Howard County Sheriff's Department.

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Big Spring City Council Highlights, 09/10/19


Public Hearings

During Tuesday night’s meeting of the Big Spring City Council on 09/10/19, council members held the 2nd public hearing on the proposed property tax rate for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, and a public hearing on the annual budget for the Fiscal Year 2019-2020. No one from the public spoke at either.

 

Recognition and Announcements

Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason read a proclamation of the 90th anniversary of the Big Spring Harley Davidson Dealership, ran by Robert and Vickie Walker.

 

Big Spring Police Chief recognized Cornerstone Covenant Church for their donation of $2,860.06 to the Big Spring Police Department. The donation will be used to purchase a vehicle wrap for the vehicle that the Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) use while performing duties within the City of Big Spring.

 

Property Tax Rate

During the first reading of an ordinance adopting a property tax rate of $0.743800/$100 valuation, Mayor Thomason noted that although he had previously agreed with the proposed tax rate in order to anticipate any problems that may occur with the passage of HB 2, he now did not feel that it was necessary to keep the rate that high.

 

According to Thomason, he had conducted further research and contacted other cities to see how they were moving forward with the new legislature that will take effect next year. After speaking with them, he felt that a new proposed tax rate of $0.72/$100 would be sufficient. Thomason made a motion to adopt this new proposed rate, and it was seconded by Doug Hartman, District 2 Councilmember.

 

During discussion on this motion, Finance Director Donald Moore advised the council of the financial impact these differing rates would have on the General Fund Balance. With the proposed tax rate of approximately $0.74/$100, the excess in this fund would be approximately $626,000. With the tax rate that was motioned by the mayor, the excess would be only $389,534. This excess money can be used at the council’s discretion, like to fund further infrastructure replacements or if an item comes up later in the year that has not been budgeted.

 

Property Tax Rates and their Effect on the General Fund Balance.
Tax Rate Type Tax Rate per $100 valuation General Fund Balance Excess Amt.
Proposed $0.7438 approx. $626,000
Thomason's motion $0.72 $389,534
Effective  $0.702176 $0

 

City Manager Todd Darden advised the council that the annual budget for the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 was predicated on $0.72/$100. He noted that the $0.74/$100 was being sought in order to possibly eliminate the possibility of being above the rollback rate next year, because next year’s cap will move to 3.5% instead of the current 8%. If the city approved the $0.72/$100, it’s possible that the rollback rate would be below the effective rate. According to Moore, if the rollback rate is below the effective rate then that is the rate that the city has to adopt. They cannot adopt above that.

 

Raul Marquez, Jr., District 1 councilmember, pointed out that several new councilmembers had made campaign promises of fixing water lines and sewer lines. He noted that keeping the proposed rate would make a good opportunity for those councilmembers to capitalize on that campaign pitch.

 

Jim DePauw, District 6, noted that the $0.74 rate is roughly 1.5 cents above last year’s rate. He advised that the council should look at the totality of the tax bill. Two other taxing entities – Howard College and Big Spring ISD – are cutting their rates. Even if the city increases the rate to the proposed tax rate, the local taxpayers will have, roughly, a 10.5 cent cut this year in their total rate.

 

He reminded that the city has a huge infrastructure needs. The difference between the rates up for discussion is approximately $233,000 for the city. When working the sewer problem along earlier this year, it was found that replacing 1,300 ft. of the 30-inch sewer line was over $300,000. The difference amount could come in handy if a similar problem arose later. The sewer line that was replaced was added in 1980, a newer line, and there’s more line that was installed at that time.

 

Gloria McDonald, District 4, stated that the council had agreed on the $0.74 because next year’s rollback rate would prohibit the council from doing much with their hands tied.

 

Camilla Strande, District 5, advised that she didn’t feel very good during their workshop about raising taxes, because she didn’t like it as a concept. Staff recommended the raise because of the potential that could happen next year or future years. Since it would not be an undue burden on the taxpayers because it would be a net decrease in taxes, she thought it was something they needed to do. Strande then asked Thomason to provide evidence from his research to show how the city won’t end up in a “rollback mess”, so she could support it because she didn’t want to raise taxes. She advised that if he could provide no new information, she would have to vote for the $0.74/$100. Thomason did not provide the requested information.

 

Two, Big Spring residents, also spoke against the rate of $0.74/$100.

 

The council voted on the motion to set the tax rate at $0.72/$100 value. The council ended this decision in a split vote, with Thomason, McDonald, and Hartman, voting for the motion and Marquez, Strande, and DePauw voted against. (Terry McDaniel, District 3, was not present at the meeting.) With the split vote, the motion failed.

 

The next motion was to approve the first reading of the tax rate of $0.7438/$100 value was made by DePauw and seconded by Marquez. This motion passed with a 4-2 vote. DePauw, Marquez, Strande, and McDonald voted for the motion, and Hartman and Thomason voted against.

 

It should be noted that two approved readings for this tax rate must be approved prior to it becoming effective. There must be one more approval for this tax rate to become effective.

 

 

Pay increase for BSFD and BSPD

Councilmembers also unanimously approved a 2.5% pay increase to the Big Spring Fire Department. A 5% raise for BSPD classified positions, with the exception of Senior Lieutenant that received a pay increase of 2.5%. The raises will take effect October 1, 2019.

 

Discussions

Councilmembers held discussions on the deployment, or specific occasions for implementation, of security personnel or devices. This discussion was led by Marquez.

 

DePauw lead a discussion on the duties of Mayor and Councilmembers.

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Bonfire, 09/11/19


A bonfire was held on Wednesday night for Coahoma ISD students and their parents to celebrate homecoming. The event, which is not sponsored by Coahoma ISD, was held on private land located in the county and was made possible thanks to the effort of Brandon and Michael Atkins.

 

The annual homecoming pep rally will be held at 2 p.m. Friday on the Bill Easterling Memorial football field. Pregame ceremonies for the Bulldogs/Wildcats varsity football game will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday with the announcement of the Football Sweetheart and Hero. The 2019 Homecoming Queen will be crowned during halftime.

 

(Photo courtesy of Coahoma Media.)

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Thank You for your investment, Mighty Wash!


On Tuesday, 09/10/19, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank you for your Investment" presentation for Mighty Wash, located at 1002 Scurry St. in Big Spring.

 

When asked how he felt about the Chamber's presentation, Jay White, Chief Operating Officer for Mighty Wash, told KBest News that the Chamber has been great in helping them get a footprint into Big Spring, and have stayed invested in them. He noted that Debbye ValVerde, Executive Director for the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, has been a great source of information, and they consider the Chamber as a business partner.

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Public Hearing on proposed property tax rate for Howard County, 09/09/19


Howard County Commissioners held a public hearing on Monday evening, 09/09/19,  to listen to the public’s feedback on the proposed property tax rate for Howard County. The proposed property tax rate for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is approximately $0.30/$100 valuation. This is approximately 2 cents less than last year’s tax rate of just under $0.33/$100. The effective tax rate, which would generate the same amount of revenue as the previous year, is approximately $0.28/$100.

 

Commissioners advised that they opted for the rollback tax rate of approximately $0.30/$100 due to a change in the budget that required an increase in rate. Those changes are as follows:

 

Jail boarding increase,

 

Jail medical increase,

 

Jail maintenance increase,

 

Howard County Library new boiler,

 

new employee in the Howard County Sheriff’s Office,

 

new environmental officer,

 

new employee in maintenance,

 

6% increase in property, general liability, and vehicle insurance,

 

$108,500 increase in vehicles for Road and Bridge, and

 

3% raise for Howard County employees. 

 

It should be noted that no one from the public attended the public hearing. The next public hearing is set for Friday, September 13th at 10 AM.

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Coahoma All-School Reunion, 09/14/19


The Coahoma Alumni Association will have their Coahoma All-School Reunion on Saturday morning, 09/14/19, at 9 AM. It will be held at Coahoma Elementary Cafeteria.

 

This FREE meal will serve a full brunch and offer door prizes. The guest speaker will be Putt Choate, CHS graduate and recent inductee to the Texas High School Hall of Fame.

 

Donations will be accepted to help fund scholarships for Coahoma seniors. Since 2013, 42 scholarships have been awarded in the amount of over $28,000.

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Public Hearings to be held during tonight's Big Spring City Council Agenda, 09/10/19


Big Spring City Council members will meet this evening at 5:30 PM in the Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring.

 

Items on the agenda include the 2nd public hearing on the city’s proposed property tax rate of approximately $0.74/$100. This is an increase of less than 2 cents as compared to last year’s rate of just under $0.73/$100. In previous meetings, council members had noted that the revenue from the increase would be used for needed infrastructure replacement.

 

Tonight, there will also a public hearing on the annual budget for fiscal year 2019-2020.

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CHS celebrates homecoming


COAHOMA — Bulldog spirit is in full force at Coahoma ISD for homecoming this week and the festivities will culminate Friday with the coronation of the homecoming queen at the Bulldog/Wink varsity football game.

 

The 2019 CHS homecoming queen nominees are Peyton Woods, Caitlyn Corley, Austyn Montgomery, Kirah Kimball, and Emilee Custer.

 

To celebrate homecoming, a number of spirit days and activities have been scheduled throughout the week.

 

A bonfire will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at 7747 E. Midway Rd. This event is being held thanks to the efforts of volunteers Brandon and Michael Atkins and is not a Coahoma ISD sponsored activity.

 

On Friday, Coahoma ISD will host a community pep rally at the Bill Easterling Memorial Stadium. The rally begins at 2 p.m. That night, the coronation of the Football Sweetheart and Hero will be held at 7 p.m. before the varsity football game. Kickoff for the Bulldogs and the Wink Wildcats match is at 7:30 p.m., and the announcement of the Homecoming Queen will be held at halftime.

 

The following is a list of spirit days.

 

Monday: PJ Day — All campuses are encouraged to participate. The Bulldogs will be the Wildcats worst nightmare

 

Tuesday: Crazy Socks day — elementary and Academy; Twin Day — junior high and high school. Make the Wildcats see double.

 

Wednesday: Hat Day — elementary and Academy; Christmas Sweaters or Patriotic Day — junior high and high school. Send the Wildcats ho-ho-home

 

Thursday: Shades Day — elementary and Academy; Tourist Day — junior high and high school. Send the Wildcats packing.

 

Friday: Red and White Day — elementary and Academy; No. 1 Fan Day — junior high and high school.

 

 

Photo caption: Pictured are the 2019 CHS Homecoming Queen nominees. They are from left Peyton Woods, Caitlyn Corley, Austyn Montgomery, Kirah Kimball, and Emilee Custer. The Homecoming Queen will be crowned at the Bulldog/Wildcat football game on Friday.

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Armed Robbery at DK


On the 9 th of September 2019 at approximately 2:50 P.M., Big Spring Police Department officers were dispatched to the DK convenient store located at 401 S. Birdwell in reference to an armed robbery that had just occurred.

 

The clerk/victim stated a Hispanic male, approx. 5’5”, slender build wearing a white shirt and black pants approached the counter with a black and white colored material over his face at which time he point a small handgun at the clerk and demanded money. The clerk complied at which time the suspect ran out the door and entered an unknown vehicle in the College Park Shopping Center and left out the west entry/exit in an unknown direction. The clerk was not physically injured in the robbery. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene. The Detectives are currently following multiple leads regarding this incident.

 

This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time. If you have any information regarding this investigation you are urged to contact CrimeStoppers at (432)263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using the “P3 Tips” mobile application or from web address www. P3tips.com/1277. Remember no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous.

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Casey Donahew to headline at Howard County Fair on September 20, 2019.


Casey Donahew has been named national headliner for this year’s Howard County Fair in Big Spring September 20-22. Casey, a Burleson, Texas native, has 18 #1 singles and has just released his newest album ONE LIGHT TOWN. He will perform some of his original hit tunes Friday night September 20 on the Howard County Fairgrounds stage.

 

In his 17 year performance career he has packed houses at Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk in the Fort Worth Stockyards and the Grizzly Rose in Denver, Colorado. He is looking forward to an up close and personal performance in Big Spring September 20th. Blackhawk will open for Casey.

 

Entertainment for Saturday, Sept 21st is JB and the Moonshine Band.

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