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Follow-Up: Fire on HWY 350


On Wednesday, January 10th, at approximately 4 PM a large fire broke out at 1514 E. HWY 350, primarily affecting 2 families and causing an estimated $150,000 in damages to 5 structures including 1 wooden structure, 3 travel trailers, and 1 equipment trailer.

 

Tommy Sullivan, Chief of the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department, told KBest News that through investigation, it was determined that a visiting trailer located there had had an outdoor barbecue and that the fire was left unattended after the individual had completed cooking with it. Due to the strong winds, the fire had gotten outside of the barbecue pit and started a fire on the ground, which with the wind, had spread through and had set the structure and other travel trailers on fire.

 

Chief Sullivan stated the wind was the main contributor to the spread of the fire and that it was fortunate that the fire didn’t spread any further than it did.

 

The individual responsible for the fire received a citation for failure to adhere to the burn ban and a citation for reckless damage. By citing reckless damage, Sullivan stated that it would give the families that lost property an avenue to recoup their damages from the fire loss from the person who started the fire.

 

According to Sullivan, after the fire the families were able to have their immediate needs met by Howard County Chaplain Services who were able to connect those affected with the Red Cross.

 

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CASA of West Texas Holding Lunch and Learn in Big Spring


CASA of West Texas provides advocacy for children in the foster care system for seven counties, Midland, Howard, Glasscock, Dawson, Gaines, Martin, and Andrews Counties. It should be noted that volunteers are needed in each of these counties. Their mission is to promote and support quality volunteers who speak for the best interest of abused and neglected children in court in an effort to find each child a safe, nurturing and permanent home.

If you would like more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and speak with a representative from CASA of West Texas at their Lunch and Learn Luncheon at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 215 W. Third St., from Noon to 1 PM on Thursday, January 18th.

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20th Silver Wings Ball on the Horizon


This year the 20th Silver Wings Ball will take place on January 27th at 5:30 PM at Hotel Settles. This event is the annual donation ball for the Hangar 25 Air Museum, which according to Amber Stokes, Hangar 25 Museum Administrator, is to continue their mission which is to promote education through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the history of the Big Spring Army Air Force Bombardier School and Webb Air Force Base while honoring all veterans, past and present.

The Silver Wings Ball is a formal event, that includes Texas formal. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 PM with a complementary glass of champagne, followed by a dinner provided by Hotel Settles, and a silent and live auction that continues throughout the event.

A live band will be performing at the event and this year, and there will be a bonus event involved this year. Guests will be able to purchase a $20 glass of champagne for an opportunity to win a precious or semi-precious stone.

When asked why the Silver Wings Ball was an important event for the museum, Stokes stated that It allows the museum to continue to teach the very rich history of the city of Big Spring. “Not very many people know that we had an army air court base that which lead to an air force base. That’s a rich history that not every single town in the United States has. What’s so important about us is that we’re one of the very few [that’s] left across the nation.”

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by calling the Hangar 25 Air Museum at 432-264-1999, and they’ll be on sale until Friday, January 26th.

 

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First Filing Day for City Council Hopefuls is Tomorrow


Anyone interested in running for a Big Spring City Council position should be advised that the first filing date will be on Wednesday, January 17th at 8 AM. The following positions will be available for election: District 2 – currently held by Carmen Harbour; District 4 – currently held by Howard Stewart; and District 6 – currently held by Jim DePauw.

You can pick up an information packet and file your application with the City Secretary at City Hall, located at 310 Nolan by the deadline, which is February 16th at 5 PM.

According to Jodi Duck, Howard County Elections Administrator, in order to qualify for a position, you must be at least 18 years old, live in the city limits at least 1 year, and be in good standings.

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2018 MLK Commemorative Walk Brings Most Diversity Seen Yet


Yesterday evening, several people braved the cold and gathered at the corner of Gregg Street and Martin Luther King Blvd.  to participate in the Annual MLK Commemorative Walk, which has been going on for roughly a decade. The walk began at Gregg Street and traveled down Martin Luther King Blvd and ended at FM 700, in front of the Knollwood Apartments. According to Michael Smith, Pastor of Mt. Bethel Church in Big Spring, Mt. Bethel has been hosting the event for several of the years.

 

When asked if there was a message that he wanted people to take away today, Pastor Smith stated that love is what bring people together. “’We can live together as brothers, or we can die apart as fools,’ that’s what Dr. King says. I believe that it’s love at the heart of this. There’s no greater love that a brother has for it. We want to make sure that we lover all people regardless of their race, or their political affiliation, or their nationality, or their culture. We just want to continue to express love because that’s what Christ would do.”

 

He also stated that Mayor Larry McLellan had offered a soft challenge last year to make this year’s event the most diverse than they’ve had, and Pastor Smith was pleased to say that this turnout was the most diverse turnout that they’ve had.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism during the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

It was noted that this year will mark the 50th anniversary since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968. 

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2018 Incoming Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Looking Forward to Future


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce will have their Chamber Extravaganza on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30 PM in the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Sonic Floor.

This year participating businesses will decorate their tables, and have representatives at their tables available to mingle with guests. The guests will then be able to vote for their favorite table with dollar bills. The business that wins the traveling plaque for the best decorated table. Debbye Valverde, Executive Director for the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, the funds raised from the table competition will go towards the Chamber’s Program and Event fund.

There will also be a silent auction, and this year's Man and Woman of the Year will be announced by last year's Man and Woman of the Year – Raul Marquez and Vicki Stewart. The passing of the gavel will take place from the outgoing Board President Andrea Barr to incoming President of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Manny Negron.

Negron has been a part of the Board for 10 years, volunteering in different capacities. His responsibilities will include conducting Board meetings, working throughout the community and being a positive role to promote the Chamber.

When asked what his goals are for the Chamber this year, Negron stated, "My main goal is that, not only as a Chamber but as a community, we just learn to connect with one another."

Negron went on to explain that many people in the community don't know what's going on with the Chamber and they miss out on opportunities. "We want people to know what's happening at the chamber, and how they can benefit from the chamber, and how the Chamber can help the businesses in this community."

Be advised that this is the LAST week that you can purchase tickets for the Chamber Extravaganza. Tickets are $30 per person and you can purchase a ticket at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 215 W. 3rd St.

 

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Back to State for Tyler McFall


Congratulations CHS senior Tyler McFall for making the ATSSB All-State Band a second year in a row! Tyler placed first chair in the trumpet section at Area tryouts today held in Levelland, Texas. He will play in the All-State Band concert set for Feb. 17, 2018. Way to go!

Also a shout out to senior Nathan Ramirez, who placed 5th chair in the euphonium section and flautist Andrea King, a junior, who earned 10th chair. Good job you three!

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Big Spring to Honor MLK, Jr, with Monday Activities


This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that took place on April 4, 1968. According to The King Center, that was established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King in Atlanta, Georgia, this year’s theme for commemorating both the assassination and the founding of The King Center is “Together We Win with Love for Humanity.”

A local church, Bakers Chapel, AME, located at 911 N. Lancaster, will be holding a commemorative service at noon on January 15th, 2018 that is open to the public. Sonia Scott, Pastor at Bakers Chapel, stated that the church is celebrating the campaign, the ideas that Dr. King stood for, and the non-violent Civil Rights Movement.

“It’s an opportunity that, once again, reminds us that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, in the words of Dr. King,” said Pastor Scott.

She went on to state, “To me, this particular service is focused on love, because that’s the theme, ‘Together We Win with Love for Humanity.’ Dr. King was quoted as saying that ‘Hatred paralyzes life, love releases it. Hatred confuses life, love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life, love illuminates it.’ I encourage everyone to come out and show some love, and just be a part of the worship experience and be blessed.”

The service was described as a time of worship and historical reflections, and everyone is invited.

This year's Commemorative Walk in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will also take place later that evening from 6-7 PM. The Walk will commence at the corner of Gregg Street and Martin Luther King Blvd in Big Spring. All members of the community, surrounding cities, all church denominations, veterans, youth organizations, and civic leaders are welcomed.

 

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Runnels Academy - Tuition, Class Size, and More


Runnels Academy, a new Classical Christian Academy, is in the works to open soon. It’ll be located on the 2nd floor of the old Runnels Jr. High building, located at 102 E. 10th St., that has been acquired by Life Church. The school will only be a tenant in the Life Church building, and will not be affiliated with that specific church.

Tuition will cost will be $6,000 per school year for each student with discounts available for families with more than one child enrolled. Jenny Bryans, future Head of Runnels Academy and former Big Spring Classical Academy teacher, also mentioned that there were possible scholarships that might be available in the future. Bryans noted that the academy intends to have small class sizes and the grade levels will begin with junior kindergarten, for children who turn 4 years old prior to the fall semester, and run through 8th grade. Their hope is to be able to add upper levels in the future. Since the second floor of the building has just began renovation, enrollment information is not available at this time but more information will be made available at a later date.

It should be noted that there will not be a special education program available at Runnels Academy, because every student enrolled will attend regular education classes. 
“When I was part of Big Spring Classical Academy that was the policy there as well,” said Bryans. “I had seen several students who were pulled from public school and sent to us and they excelled.”

“I think a lot of times we put a ceiling on where we think a kid can go academically because of a paper or a test that says, ‘Oh he can’t do that.” I just feel that if we higher our expectations and we offer the tools that these kids need that God’s developed us to be able to learn.”

The school mascot for Runnels Academy will be a lion with a crown and they will be called “The Royals.” Bryans stated that the school plans to be able to offer the opportunity for students to compete in UIL activities and such as sports like 6-man football, volleyball, golf, baseball, softball, basketball, and sporting clay.

To learn more about Runnels Academy you can check out our Facebook post or visit www.runnelsacademy.org.

 

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New Classical Christian School Opening Soon in Big Spring


A new Classical Christian Academy, called Runnels Academy, will be opening soon, but this isn’t the first Classical school that Big Spring has seen, Big Spring Classical Academy, which was housed inside of the Spring Creek Mall, had dissolved after the 2017 school year ended due to unforeseen circumstances. The parents of the former students got together, formed a school board, and decided to open their own school.

Jenny Bryans, future Head of Runnels Academy, told KBest News that the Classical Christian Academy is structured differently than public school, because it will focus on the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

“First of all, we are decidedly Christian. We teach everything from a biblical world view. So, we try to really emphasize the beauty that God put in to everything, from the flowers outside to the math that we are working on with our kids,” stated Bryans.

Bryans went on to say that the “Classical” aspect of it deals with how the instruction is presented to the kids. Runnels academy will use a trivium that will split the “classical” form into three sections: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

The Grammar stage (junior kindergarten through 5/6th grade) will emphasize different instructional modes to learn the grammar of different subjects. The Logic stage (junior high) will teach students how to think and how to use what they know to argue effectively. The Rhetoric stage (high school) will teach students how to take what they’ve learned in the previous stages and put it all together to communicate effectively.

Runnels Academy will be located in the 2nd floor of the old Runnel’s Jr. High that has been acquired by Life Church. Even though Life Church’s Pastor Kevin Knudson is a member of the school board, Bryans stated that the church is not affiliated with Life Church and noted that the school will merely be a tenant in the building.

“[Knudson] doesn’t have children there, but he has a vested interest because it is his heart’s desire to establish a school, and he wanted his church to be used for that,” said Bryans. “So, whether we went in, or if he started his own, there was going to be a school. It just seemed like a no-brainer to take advantage of the fact that he wants a school there.”

She did note that Life Church was able to raise over $100,000 to help fund the building renovation that is taking place now. Other members of the school board include: Robert Kennedy, Ben Blaine, John Bryans, Kathryn Lane, and Chance Nichols.

 

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First City Council Meeting of 2018


During this evening's Big Spring City Council Meeting, it was noted that the Big Spring Fire/EMS department received a $10,000 donation Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy). BSFD Fire Chief Craig Ferguson advised the City Council members that the money would be used to purchase EMS equipment and to obtain additional training for staff members.

Oxy also donated $25,000 to the Spring Project Phase II; and it was announced that a $10,000 donation was received from the Wayne and JoAnn Moore Charitable Foundation, as well as a $2,500 Oncor Electric Delivery Company. According to Debbie Wegman, Big Spring Community Services Director, there has been a total of $280,000 that has been received through grants and donations for Phase II of the Spring Project, and she noted that she will continue to seek funds.

It should also be noted that a bid for the roof repairs of the Dora Roberts Community Center was awarded to Prime Source Construction for $16,900.

During the City Manager's Report, Todd Darden advised that the city offices will be closed on January 15th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and that the MLK Commemorative Walk will begin at 6 PM at the corners of Gregg Street & Martin Luther King Blvd at Subway and will move west down Gregg until 7 PM.
Darden also noted that since December 28th there had been 90 water main breaks and recognized the utility workers that have been working around the clock. He also stated that he appreciated the public for being patient while the city worked to replace pipes. Fire, Police, and EMS were also recognized for their work during the past couple of weeks.

When asked what attributed to the many water main breaks, Darden advised that it was due to the perfect combination of weather, moisture, and ground movement. He also assured that City Council member Carmen Harbour that the water lines were being replaced and not patched.

PHOTO - Webelos with Cub Scout Pack 305, sponsored by First Nazarene Church, led the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge at tonight's Big Spring City Council Meeting.

 

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** NEW - BOIL WATER NOTICE from City of Big Spring**


City crews repaired multiple breaks on a water line on S. Wasson Rd., south of the City limits. Even though all State requirements were followed, as a precautionary measure the City of Big Spring/PWS ID #11440001, in compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), is notifying affected customers of the need to boil their water prior to

consumption e.g., washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all
customers should follow these directions.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase
bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the Public Works Director at 432-264- 2501.

City of Big Spring

 

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**Update** BOIL WATER NOTICE for Sand Springs Area - LIFTED 1/09/18


BOIL WATER NOTICE IS LIFTED AS OF 1 PM ON 01/09/2018, AS PER CITY OF COAHOMA PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR RAY SEALES.

 

 

Be advised the City of Coahoma has issued a BOIL WATER NOTICE for the Sand Springs area. Sand Springs area ONLY until further notice.

**UPDATE** As of 7 AM on Jan. 8th, 2018, KBest News was advised that the BOIL WATER NOTICE is still in effect. According to Ray Seales, Public Utilities Director for the City of Coahoma, the notice will continue until water samples can be returned from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which may be tomorrow.

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Thank You for Your Investment, Big Spring Country Club!


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank You for Your Investment" Ceremony for the Big Spring Country Club, located at 2401 Driver Rd, this morning to thank them for all that they do for the community.

"We appreciate [the ceremony] very much; everyone likes to be recognized," said Co-Owner Russ Rutledge. "We did this to, hopefully, provide a little more for Big Spring and keep the club open and have a place for people to go."

When asked what he hopes 2018 will bring for the Big Spring Country Club, Rutledge stated, "We would hope that we'd see more activity here. We've opened to the public and we would love for the public to come out and see what we have and take advantage of our facility.

For more information on what kind of amenities that the Big Spring Country Club has to offer you can check out their Facebook page or visit bigspringcountry.club.

 
 

 

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SMMC Honors Local Law Enforcement Officers for National L.E.A.D.


Many people met in front of Scenic Mountain Medical Center to take part in the small ceremony that was held this morning in recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). There was a short prayer, led by Pastor Sam Segundo of Family Faith Center church and breakfast was prepared by the Yellow Rose Café.

Both Big Spring's Chief of Police Chad Williams and Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker told KBest News that they appreciated SMMC for holding the event and were happy for the fellowship and free meal.

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TxDOT ABILENE SELECTS BIG SPRING AREA ENGINEER


TxDOT ABILENE SELECTS BIG SPRING AREA ENGINEER - 
Position oversees construction, maintenance operations for four counties.

ABILENE – Neil Welch, P.E., has been named TxDOT Abilene’s Big Spring Area Engineer. He will oversee construction and maintenance operations for Borden, Howard, Mitchell and Nolan Counties in the agency’s Abilene District. Welch’s first day with the District is Monday, January 8, 2018.

Welch joins TxDOT from the City of Lubbock, where he served as the assistant city engineer since 2013, acting as the streets engineering department head and supervising the ROW department, inspection groups and utility permitting personnel. Prior to this position, Neil was the City’s capital projects engineer, responsible for managing the City’s design and construction projects.

Welch began his first TxDOT career in 1999 in the Lubbock District Design Office. In 2002 he was named central design engineer and was responsible for overseeing major design projects until he began his work with the City of Lubbock. He received his professional engineer’s license in 2003.

Welch fills the opening left by previous Big Spring Area Engineer Matt Evans, P.E., who was named Director of Construction for the San Angelo District. Wayne Ekdahl, P.E., TxDOT Abilene’s Director of Construction has been serving as interim Area Engineer.

 

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Big Spring Residents are Urged to Conserve Water due to Water Leaks


Due to the number of water leaks, the City of Big Spring is asking citizens to please conserve on water usage. Employees are working on all repairs; however we are still having problems with restoring water to our water storage facilities. Please conserve water and discontinue use of irrigation systems. If you have any questions please feel free to call 432-264- 2501.

City of Big Spring

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CHS Senior, KayLee Wright, to Compete in State 3A UIL Congressional Debate


KayLee Wright, a Coahoma High School senior, isn’t just making plans for her future, she is proactively crafting her own.

The just turned 17-year-old is heading to Austin to participate in state 3A UIL Congressional Debate contest to be held Jan 8-10 on the campus of the University of Austin. The contest is an individual competition but set in a simulated legislative body. Just like the real thing, participants draft legislation, deliver speeches, and respond to each other’s arguments.

“You go before a senate or a group of people and it will be like Congress,” Wright explained. “You are in front of a chamber of people with like 28 people. While CX (cross exam debate) is more one-on-one with an individual person.

“They judge us personally based on our one to two minute speeches and then we are questioned for another minute. They judge us on our answers and what statistics we have laid out.”

Wright returns to the Congressional Debate state tournament for a second year in a row. The experience - along with a penchant for watching criminal TV shows such as Law & Order - helped the Coahoma senior to decide to pursue a career in the law

“It was the greatest experience,” she said. “It’s what made me want to become a lawyer.”

Yet, Wright is taking her plans for the future a step further than most youths her age.

“I am learning a second language, sign language. I am learning ASL,” she said. “I want to merge those two so I can do it for students and kids who don’t really have that connection with an attorney on a communication basis. They need someone to speak for them. I want to merge that and create my own thing.”

Public speaking seems to come naturally to Wright, who has been acting since the age of 8. Her mother, Tabatha, is a teacher at Coahoma High School, who oversees the theater/arts and speech and debate programs and is also KayLee’s coach.

“KayLee has always had a passion for debate,” Tabatha Wright said. “I think that comes from being raised to always voice her opinion regardless of what her peers believed. But, you must do your research and make sure you make assertions that are true and just. She is very passionate about women's and children's rights and feels confident that she can one day be the voice for those in need of representation. Her style comes from debating on a regular basis with her friends over various issues in school, the community, or the news.”

KayLee Wright was quick to credit her success in debate to her mother’s mentorship.

“My mom has taught me to be a quick thinker, to think as soon as possible and connect statistics to make everything flow as it should,” she said.

Using her quick wit in challenging situations is just one of the aspects of Congressional Debate she enjoys.

“Whenever you are within a chamber, you can also write a bill from what other congressmen and women have stated and so that’s what I love to do is writing something on a spot,” Wright said.

Wright will participate in the preliminary congress on Jan. 9. If she qualifies for the finals, she will move on to take part in the super congress which will be held the following day on the 10 at the Texas state Capitol.

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Job Fair Focused on Filling Positions for New Behavioral Health Unit at Scenic Mountain Medical Center


BIG SPRING, TEXAS -- In preparation for the opening of the Behavioral Health Unit at Scenic Mountain Medical Center, there will be a job fair Friday, January 12, in the main lobby at SMMC. The job fair will take place from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We will have the director of nursing on hand to answer any questions that applicants might have. Those coming to the job fair are encouraged to bring an updated resume,” Nadine Reyes, SMMC HR Manager, said.

There are multiple positions available, including day and night shifts and clinical and non-clinical positions. A background in behavioral health is not mandatory, but is recommended.

“The main thing we are looking for is someone who is going to have a servants heart and be focused on providing quality, compassionate care to the patients,” Stacy Flores, SMMC Behavioral Health Unit Nursing Director, said. “We are looking for staff who are willing to learn and grow in their positions.”

For more information, call Nadine Reyes at 432-268- 4961.

 

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Pancake Breakfast Scam


Be advised that the January 20th event - Pancake Breakfast with Clay Douglas, is a SCAM.

Hotel Settles General Manager Andrea Barr told KBest News that she found out about the fake event through social media and, eventually, some people had called the hotel to ask about the event.

"It is absolutely 100 percent a scam and we have nothing to do with it," said Barr. "Unfortunately, there are other local businesses and radio personalities that got caught up in the craziness. I just want everyone to know that it is absolutely not happening. It is a scam and we have nothing to do with it."

Barr also went on to say that Hotel Settles has reached out to the Big Spring Police Department and has filed a report on the incident.

 

Clay Douglas is the Host for his own online radio show, “The Free American,” that is based in Big Spring. When asked how he felt about an unknown person using his name to set up this fake event, Douglas stated that this person or persons should be arrested and thrown in jail. He went on to say that these people are crooks and they have nothing to do with him.

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20-BED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH UNIT WILL SOON OPEN AT SMMC


20-BED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH UNIT WILL SOON OPEN AT SMMC

In partnership with West Texas Centers, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will be opening a Behavioral Health Unit on the 4th floor of the hospital. The 20-bed unit will serve Big Spring and 23 other surrounding counties. According to SMMC Marketing Manager Amanda Duforat, “The 20 beds will most likely be full from opening day, and from what I hear, will be a continuous rotation of keeping them full.”

Duforat told KBest News that the majority of the beds at Big Spring State Hospital are forensic beds, which is actually a common occurrence across the state of Texas. Since this doesn’t free up a lot of space for the general population who are needing behavioral health services, the new 20-bed unit Behavioral Health Unit will be available to the general public to use for those services.

It should be noted that Shelley Smith, CEO of West Texas Centers, had approached SMMC CEO Emma Krabill when she when was still an interim in 2014 with this idea.

When asked why SMMC felt that this was something that they should have a hand in helping with, Duforat stated that this is just one more project that goes to show that in this community, as there is in every rural community, there is a gap in health care. “In each community it’s gonna be different, there’s gonna be different things that the community’s are lacking but one of them here is behavioral [health]."

"So the way we all think at Scenic Mountain is - we are the community hospital. It’s not the employees’ hospital, not the administration’s hospital, this is Big Spring’s hospital," continued Duforat. "All the service lines that we bring on and service providers that we bring in are to serve the needs of the community. This is just one of those needs that was brought to her attention and there was something we could do to fill that gap, as I had mentioned, so we figured that this was a really good partnership to fill that need and that gap in the community.”

A job fair that is focused, specifically, on finding the staff for the Behavioral Health Unit will take place on January 12th and the grand opening will take place on February 28th.

 

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Crime Stoppers Seeking Help in Credit / Debit Card Abuse Case


Big Spring and Howard County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating a Credit Card/Debit Card Abuse Suspect. On December 27th, 2017 at approximately 3:15 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to 7-11 Convenience Store located at 1701 East FM 700 due to Credit/Debit Card Abuse. Upon arrival officers were informed that at approximately the Complainant had loaned his credit/debit card to a family member to purchase items at Murphy USA, located at 201 West FM 700. The complainant said that the friend lost the credit/debit card at Murphy USA and a transaction notice was received by e-mail that showed an attempt to use the credit/debit card at 7-11. It was found that the unknown suspect entered the 7-11 store wearing a blue jacket with a white shirt, and short blonde hair. The suspect attempted to use the credit/debit card, but was unable to make the purchase. The suspect departed the 7-11 and left in a silver in color pick-up truck.

 

If you have any information on the identity of the suspect, you are encouraged to call the TIPS line at 432-263-8477 (TIPS) you will remain anonymous and no caller ID is ever used. Or use the new P3tips.com software and you can submit your tip online, and that, too, is completely anonymous.

 

For more information you can find this post on the Big Spring Howard County Crime Stoppers Facebook page.

 

You can earn up to a $1000.00 Dollar CASH reward if you're the first caller with information that leads to the arrest of the person involved. Remember to keep the ID Tip number that you receive when you submit your tip on P3tips.com. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TIP NUMBER.

 

Please reference case # 2-17-05198 in your tip.

 

Web Tip Link: https://www.p3tips.com/1277

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New Year Baby Celebrated by SMMC


The first baby born of a fresh new year has, historically, brought a lot of public interest. Supposedly, the first baby born of a new year is supposed to have best luck during their long life. With an optimistic belief like that, it’s clear to see why this might bring some public attention.

Even though it may seem as fun tradition to announce the first baby of the new year, Scenic Mountain Medical Center is following suit and putting patient safety above tradition.

“This is something that in the past, we’ve been able to publicize, but with all the changes in healthcare and society as a whole, being able to announce the new year baby isn’t something that we do anymore just for safety reasons,” says SMMC Marketing Director Amanda Duforat. “We don’t want to put the baby or family at risk in anyway, so we no longer announce it, but however, we still want to celebrate with the family because it is such a joyous occasion and such a big deal being the first baby born. So, putting together a baby basket is the next best thing.”

Duforat told KBest News that this year SMMC decided to call on the partnerships that they’ve created throughout the year to help them put the gender-neutral baby basket together to celebrate this new member of Big Spring. “We’ve extended the invitation to several businesses in town, just to see if they would like to donate anything from like diapers, wipes, blankets, bibs, everything and anything baby; but we’ve extended a little more than that to include something for mom or something for mom and dad. Just something to show that we’re celebrating with you.”

Contributors to the New Year Baby Basket include KBST, Prudential, Marcy Place, Big Spring Herald, Choice Media, Red Barn Studio, SMMC Auxillary, Howard College, Parkview, Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau, KBYG, and Encompass Home Health.

 

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Hotel Settles Celebrates 5th Year Anniversary


BIG SPRING -- Walking through the hotel settles makes you feel like you’re in New York City, but it’s the pride of Big Spring that makes this landmark so special.

"Born and raised in Big Spring,” Owner Brint Ryan said proudly. 
He went on to say how much he appreciates the support from the community. Ryan invested thirty million dollars to renovate Hotel Settles.

The 1930's hotel was the set for ‘The Iron Orchard’ and is still used for weddings and business conferences.

"Beckons back to the day when this was the social center of Big Spring, explained Hotel Settles General Manager, Andrea Barr. “What is now the Pharmacy Bar and Parlor, was once a Pharmacy - the local watering hole.

The Settles Grill is also something to be proud of.

"Once upon a time it was the tallest building between Dallas and El Paso. It's a landmark here, not just for Big Spring, but also West Texas," she said proudly.

The historic hotel is filled with memories.

"It's rich in history. A lot of famous people have stayed here including Elvis Presley, President Herbert Hoover just to name a few," Barr commented.

The hotel was closed from 1982 to 2012, when Ryan purchased the property for 76,000 dollars.

Stay with CBS 7 for details of a community celebration for the settles fifth anniversary, coming up after the New Year.

 

For the full story, go to http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/Hotel-Settles-celebrates-5th-anniversary-467046733.html

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Rental Rates Established for Performance Stage and Area at Historic Spring Site


The Historic Spring, located inside of the Comanche Trail Park, is a new source of pride as the namesake for Big Spring residents. The $1.8 million renovation process was funded through the hotel-motel tax, and residents say it’s worth every penny.

The site is fully handicap accessible, linked to the park and community center, plaza seating for more than 1,000 people with full electrical hookups and performance stage, and has observation decks overlooking the spring and artificial outflows. All of which make the Historic Spring site a lovely setting for an outdoor event.

During a Big Spring City Council meeting that was held earlier this month, council members approved the rental fees and reservation costs for using the site. According to the agenda from the December 12th, 2017 meeting, applications to use the site must be filed with the Community Services Department. Rental fee is $200 per day and a one-time per use, refundable deposit of $500 which must be paid 14 days prior to the first scheduled use of the Performance Stage and Plaza.

 

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Winter Weather Pet Care


Winter weather is here and this week’s temperature lows will continue to be below freezing. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also known as the SPCA, of Texas has a few winter care tips that pet owners should keep in mind.

  • During times of extreme low temperatures, all pets should be brought inside. A good rule of thumb is that if you're cold outside, your pet will be, too. Wet and cold weather can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia in animals. Be especially cautious with very young or very old animals, because they are more susceptible to suffering medical issues due to the cold.
  • The SPCA of Texas never recommends leaving pets outside full time; however, if pets must stay outside for extended periods of time, always weatherproof their living quarters. A dog's house should be dry, well insulated and retain heat. It should also be made up of three sides, a roof and a floor. The house should be elevated and the entrance pointed away from wind.
  • Pet owners often innocently assume their pets can withstand the cold weather with the aid of their thick coats; however, this is not always the case. Indoor dogs shed their undercoats and should never be made to stay outside for extended periods of time. Never shave your pets down to the skin in the winter; leave their coats long for more warmth. And when you bathe your pets, completely dry their coats before letting them go outdoors.
  • Monitor the time your pets spend outdoors and be sure they always have fresh water to drink. Outdoor dogs need more calories in the winter to produce body heat, so increase the amount you feed your pets if they stay outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Salt, antifreeze and other chemicals could hurt your pets if they ingest them while licking their paws, so be sure to wipe your pets' paws and legs clean with a wet cloth after an outing. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate paws and could potentially lead to frostbite, cuts or cracks.
  • Before starting your car, check to make sure there are no animals hiding in the exhaust pipe or under your tires. Cats and small animals may seek shelter near or under your car so be sure to look carefully and honk the horn before turning on the engine.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold, and the animal could freeze to death.

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CES Fill the Bus provides over 1500 Pounds of Canned Goods for Isaiah 58


Fill the Bus, an annual canned food drive held by the Coahoma Elementary School (CES) student council, netted 1,581 pounds of canned goods for the Isaiah 58 food pantry program in Big Spring.

“It is a wonderful learning experience for the kids that deliver the food because Isaiah 58 director Shawn Cooley gives the students a tour of the facility and explains to them how the system works and the importance of volunteers to keep the food pantry open,” said Brynn McJimsey, elementary student council sponsor. “Mr. Cooley said that the CES Fill the Bus food drive ??is one of the larger donations they receive during the holiday season, and they are grateful we have continued to donate each year.”

During the holiday season, food assistance pantries such as Isaiah 58, the Salvation Army and St. Paul de Vincent find their shelves falling bare to keep up with the demand.

For one day only, parents and donors drive up to the elementary parking lot in the early morning hours where students are there to receive the donations.For the first time, junior high school student council members participated this year and gathered donations on their own campus.

“Each elementary student that brings a donation gets their nose painted red like Rudolph for the day at school,” McJimsey said.

Then the students sort the canned goods, pack them up, load them on the bus and head to Isaiah 58.

“Once we arrive, Mr. Cooley gives the students a tour and explains how the system works for families in need,” McJimsey said. “He also talks about other donations the food assistance program receives along with the importance of volunteers. I appreciate Mr. Cooley for taking the time to explain the system to the students, so they have a better idea about what happens with their donation and how people are helped through Isaiah 58. After the tour, the students unload the items from the bus.”

The CES Student Council and junior high officers delivered the non-perishable items to the long-time food assistance program last week. The Fill the Bus food drive is overseen by CES teacher Brynn McJimsey.

 

 

 

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Howard College Offering TCHSE Classes at 2 Off-Campus Sites


Next month, Howard College will be offering Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency classes, formerly known as GED classes, at a couple of off-campus sites. The classes will be held at the Salvation Army of Big Spring, located at 811 W. 5th Street in Big Spring, and at Ryan Hall, located at 605 N. Main.

Adult Education Literacy classes are FREE. Morning classes are Monday and Wednesday from 8 AM to Noon at the Salvation Army; and evening classes will be held at Ryan Hall on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 4 PM to 8:30 PM at Ryan Hall. Classes begin Jan. 22nd.

According to Eddi Saldivar, Spokesperson for the North Side Movement, the NSM had asked Howard College to partner with their organization so they could offer a variety of educational services in the North Sector.

Saldivar told KBest News that the NSM is very pro-education and that the organization is answering a need in the Northern Sector that results from a lack of public schools in the area.
She also went on to say that their plan is to provide accessible classes in order to help others receive a better education, create resumes, and further help each individual person acquire tools needed to obtain a better quality of life through education and better job opportunities.

It should be noted that these are the same classes that are available at Howard College but beginning in January they will be offered at other accessible areas in the community.

For more information you can email Tammy at talexander@howardcollege.edu.

 

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Last Night to Visit the 2017 Comanche Trail Festival of Lights


FINAL NIGHT of Comanche Trail Festival of Lights!!! ????6:00-10:00pm this evening is your last chance to see Big Spring’s biggest & brightest display of 2017. Just enter from South Hwy 87 into Comanche Trail Park, and ENJOY! ????Merry Christmas!????

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8-Year Old Boy Faced with Open-Heart Surgery in January 2018


AAOCA, which stands for anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery, is a rare heart defect that is associated with an increased risk of decreased blood flow to the heart tissue (called ischemia) and sudden death in otherwise healthy children and young adults.

According to the Children’s Heart Foundation, the increased risk of sudden death appears to be greatest during or just after exercise, among otherwise healthy children and young adults, and is the second leading cause of sudden death in children and young adults participating in sports.

Seth is an 8-year old with a dream of becoming a paleontologist so he can dig for dinosaur fossils. He also has AAOCA and Ehlers Danlos, which is connective tissue disorder that, according to his mother Jamie Forrester, gives Seth “really stretchy skin and if he hurts himself it takes him a really long time to heal.” This disorder is also the cause of his loose joints, which results causes his muscles in his body to work twice as hard to do things like sit and stand or run and play.

“Our whole life changed a year ago when we finally got our diagnosis, and it was like opening up Pandora’s box, because then all of a sudden it was therapies and things to help manage it. Chronic pain is one of the things that go along with it," said Forrester. "Physical therapy trying to help get those muscles super strong to help stabilize those joints. We have to be careful with activities and things…even the positioning that they sit in can affect him.”

On January 11th, Seth will undergo open-heart surgery that will, hopefully, enable the blood flow to reach the heart without restrictions. Unfortunately, Forrester told KBest News that because of the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, “it adds another aspect of worrying to it because of the way he scars. There’s a chance that the scar tissue could really kind of take over where they work on his heart and then turn around and block that flow. So, he’ll be monitored really carefully with several different kinds of tests and then he’ll be followed by cardiology for the rest of his life.”

On Sunday, New Year’s Eve, beginning at 3 PM a Brave Heart Benefit will take place at the Train Car, located at 100 S. Main. The event is 21 years old and over.

There will be a drawing with various prizes and items from local businesses, fun challenges and the Seth Special. The Brave Heart event will help spread awareness for AAOCA and raise funds for medical expenses for the open-heart surgery Seth will be having Thursday January 11th.

 

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Escamilla Settles Unpaid Lunch Debt for All of BSISD


Eric Escamilla, Big Spring resident and Farmers’ Insurance Agent, is best known for beginning the trend of Blessing Boxes in Big Spring, as well as the Phone Booth Library that sits outside of his office. Last week Escamilla took it upon himself to be a blessing to others when, after a recent breakup, Escamilla found himself with an extra $300 in his holiday budget and decided to bless others instead of keeping it.

Escamilla stated that he had made contact with an official from Big Spring ISD and requested to pay off any school lunch balances that were past due. The total was $446.36, a little more than Escamilla had anticipated; but he reached out to those around him to see if anyone wanted to pitch in to help out. Fortunately, John Spence and Liz Hafley helped out and all past due balances were paid for all of BSISD.

Escamilla went on to say what he hopes people will take away from this story is that there are many ways to help others. “The truth is that you can help in many forms and areas, but my hope and wish is that people get from this is just to do,” says Escamilla. “Stop making excuses or stop saying that you can’t help because you don’t know who or what or when, or how. Just go out there and help somebody.”

“If we do that together as a community, I fully believe that this city will change for the better, and no longer will we talk about how dirty Big Spring is and what it’s like. We’ll only talk about how great Big Spring is. That’s my Christmas wish.”

 
 

 

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Christmas Tree Forrest at Heritage Museum is a Holiday Tradition


Today is the last day to see the Christmas Tree Forrest at the Heritage Museum, located at 510 Scurry in Big Spring. According to Cheryl Joy, Administrative Assistant at the Heritage Museum, the Christmas Tree Forrest was an idea that was originated by Gayle Pittman, a native of Big Spring. The original display was set up at the old Schwartz building that is now the Legacy restaurant across from Hotel Settles.

Joy told KBest News that the museum provides a lit Christmas tree to all Christmas Tree participants and they only have to provide the other decorations.

"Anyone in the community can come decorate; it's absolutely free. We tell people that they can advertise their business. We actually have some memorial trees of people who have passed. We also have some other trees, like the Big Spring Art Association tree with hand-made ornaments that they've painted." says Joy. She also said that the Big Spring Art Association's tree has a little can over there where you can purchase an ornament for a donation.

Joy went on to say that the museum gets many visitors for the Christmas Tree Forrest and every year people ask who won the contest, so even though the Museum has had the Forrest display for over 10 years this is only the second year that there has been a contest between the trees.

This year there are approximately 60 trees that were entered this year for the contest, 1st place winner receives $100, 2nd place wins $50, and 3rd place wins $25. There’s still time to vote for your favorite Christmas tree by placing money in their designated container, as long as you get there before 1 PM today. The Christmas tree that receives the most money will win.

Since today is the last day to get your votes in on your favorite Christmas tree, Joy said that entry to the museum would be free to encourage the public to stop in and vote.

This year's Christmas Tree Forrest Winners are:

 
1st Place-Jode Trucking & Towing Services
2nd Place-Shannon Clinic
3rd Place-Runnels Academy
 

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KBest Christmas Lights Contest Winners Presented with Prizes!


Earlier today at the Historic Spring, Managing Partner of KBest Media, Malinda Flenniken presented over $5,000 in cash and prizes to the winners of the KBest Christmas Lights Contest sponsored by Premiere Companies and SM Energy. There were 3 winners in each of the 6 city council districts in Big Spring, a total of 18 winners, including a Grand Prize Winner and Runner-up Grand Prize Winner.

6 Third place winners received a gift card or check for the purchase of a Butterball Turkey or other groceries, and certificate for Pillsbury Mini Pie.

6 Second Place winners received $250 cash.

6 First Place winners received $500 cash.

1 Grand Runner-Up received the “Six Flags Holiday in the Park” prize package including:

~ Two tickets to Six Flags Over Texas
~ Two tickets to Ripley’s Believe it or Not! / Madam Tussaud’s Palace of Wax / Laser Race
~$20 gift card to Mellow Mushroom restaurant
~One hotel room at the Sheraton Arlington

1 Grand Prize Winner received the “Christmas with the Cowboys” prize package including:

~Four tickets to the Dallas Cowboys vs Seattle Seahawks game on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 2017.
~Two hotel rooms at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Ft. Worth 
~Private transportation from the hotel to the game, and back to the hotel following the game.
~VIP access at the Bill Bates Ultimate Tailgate Party located at the Fishbone Grill across from AT&T Stadium.
~Meet & Greet with Hall of Fame Cowboy Bill Bates!

According to Flenniken, the purpose of the Christmas Lights Contest was to help spread Christmas cheer throughout the community. The cash incentive was offered to encourage people to participate.

Sponsors of the KBest Christmas Lights Contest were recruited to help offset the cost of award money and prizes, and Reggie Franklin of Franklin and Son, Inc. donated the Dallas Cowboys tickets for the Grand Prize. It should also be noted that a portion of each sponsorship was donated to the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau to assist in purchasing the 22 foot tall Community Christmas Tree that stands on the stage next to the Historic Spring.

Sponsors of the contest included:

Premiere Companies, SM EnergyHome RealtorsWard's Western WearBig Spring Area Chamber of CommerceBig Spring Collision CenterBig Spring FordBig Spring SymphonyDazzling DecorDavid L Ward DDS, Kenneth & Patricia Eubanks, Tubb QuarryFranklin and SonKiki's Corner PhotographyInspirations Flowers & Gifts, Inc.Taco VillaLeonard's Pharmacy
The McEwen AgencyMoore Office SuppliesPirkle Weir Insurance AgencyThe Karat Patch - Big Spring, TexasCasa Blanca RestaurantWegner Sherry Insurance AgencyWoodShack - Burritos and moreJNC Electric LLCSonic Drive-In.

 

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82-Year Old Woman Braves Winter Weather for Salvation Army of Big Spring


Every year during this holiday season, bell ringers with the Salvation Army are seen in front of stores, warmly greeting people as they pass and make donations to the iconic red kettle. From sunshine to snow, volunteers and soldiers with the Salvation Army of Big Spring brave the West Texas weather to do their part to help the cause.

The organization is not a physical army in the military sense, but rather a global army of people moved to humanitarian action through faith. One Soldier for the Salvation Army who proudly serves day after day, except on Sundays, is 82-year old Deloris Albert.

Albert has been serving with the Salvation Army since 1976, and for the past 19 years she’s taken her post at the U.S. Post Office in Big Spring and greeted everyone who passes. Up until a few years ago, Albert was inside the post office, but now she sits outside because someone complained about having the Salvation Army inside of a federal building. In the past couple of weeks, the weather has been averaging about mid-50 degree weather, and sometimes even dipping down below 40 degrees. Albert told KBest News that someone had donated a portable hut, and she uses that and a propane heater to help keep her warm during this time of year.

Albert says she started with the Salvation Army when she was 11 years old in Shawnee, Oklahoma when they were putting together a Beginners’ Band, and it was through the organization that she learned to play the coronet. Years later, she became a Corp Sergeant, a position she kept for 28 years before passing it on to someone else. As of now, there isn’t a Corp Sergeant, but Albert hopes that a younger person will step up and take the position.

 

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Borden County Coyotes v. Jonesboro Eagles for 1A D1 State Championship


Today the #1 ranked 6-man football team in the nation Borden County Coyotes will defend their state championship title in a rematch against the Jonesboro Eagles, who are ranked #6 in the nation.

 

Borden County Head Football Coach Trey Richey told KBest News that every playoff game this season has been a rematch so it’s only fitting that the Coyotes should be meeting up with Jonesboro today.

 

“It’s always kind of nerve-wracking when you play somebody for a second time when you eliminated them the year before because it gives them a little added fuel to wanna get back at ya a little bit,” says Richey. “It’s something that gives them a little boost because it’s something that they’ve had circled on their calendar for the last 365 days.”

 

Keys for the Coyotes success today will lie in their defense, which has been their strength all season, by creating turnovers and controlling the clock. Offensively, Coach Richey says that the Coyotes will have take care of the ball and block well.

 

Coach Richey stated that the team has been doing their best to look at this game at AT&T Stadium as a business trip, but it’s difficult to not treat this event differently.

 

“Anytime you play at AT&T Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, it’s hard not to treat it a little differently mindset-wise because it’s a dream. You dream as a kid that you can play in something like this,” said Richey. “I know when I was a kid, all I wanted to do was to be a Dallas Cowboy, and to just have the opportunity to coach a game here is a dream come true and an exciting time. Hopefully we can let this get passed us and focus on the game at hand.”

 

The battle for the 2017 State Championship title will begin at 11 AM today and you can listen to the KBest Crew of Mark Richardson, Josh Caudill, and Julia Castilaw broadcast LIVE from AT&T Stadium on KBest 95.7 FM.

 

** UPDATE **

 

Borden County Coyotes remain the the Texas State Champions in 1A D1 6-man Football!! Final Score was Coyotes 60, Eagles 22. 

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HCVFD Awards 2017 Officer and Firefighter of the Year


Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year for the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department were announced this past weekend, both of which had been nominated by their peers. 
2017 Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Tracey Carey.

Originally from Vanwert, Ohio, Carey is a 6-year firefighter who had started as support in 2001. She comes from a family of firefighters with her husband serving as a Battalion Chief with 16 years of experience, and also noted that her children are involved with the Volunteer Fire Department.

“I’m blessed by it. It’s not something that I expect or deserve,” says Carey of receiving the award. She told KBest News that she’s able to participate in many more fires than most others because she doesn’t have a daytime job and most of everyone else with the department is working through the day or during the night.

“I’m one of the blessed few that get to go out whenever the tone drops as long as I’m feeling good to be able to do it. Matter of fact, Mitchell and I run quite a bit together. He’s the Battalion Chief that always there because his work lets him off if it’s what needs to be done. So, I’m very blessed.”

The 2017 Officer of the Year was awarded to Mitchell Hooper, who has 12 years of experience and currently serves as a Battalion Chief for HCVFD. Hooper is a 2004 Forsan graduate and also comes from a family of firefighters, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

In addition to being named 2017 Officer of the Year by our local Volunteer Fire Department, Hooper was also nominated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2013 for the State Firefighter of the Year Award, which will announce a winner in January.

Hooper told KBest News that the nomination from the VFW meant a lot to him because it came from veterans who have done more for our country than he’s done. “The one from the VFW, actually, surprised me. I got kind of choked up with that one. I’m not a real crier, but I had to hold the tears back,” he chuckled.

This is the second consecutive year that both Carey and Hooper have earned these peer-nominated awards from the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.

 

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TASA Executive Director Presents CISD Board of Trustees with 2017 Outstanding School Board Award


Last night the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Executive Director Johnny L. Veselka presented the Coahoma ISD board of trustees with the Texas’ 2017 Outstanding School Board award at a ceremony held at the Coahoma High School auditorium.

The Coahoma ISD board was named the Outstanding School Board in October at the TASA/TASB Convention in Dallas. The board was chosen from among five finalists that were interviewed by a committee of Texas school superintendents. The committee’s decision was based on several criteria, including the board’s support for educational performance, educational improvement projects and school transformation initiatives, commitment to a code of ethics, and placement of the welfare of children served by the school system above other motives.

"Its amazing," said CISD Board President Michael Brooks of earning the award. "We appreciate it. It doesn't surprise any of us. We have a really great board. We have a really great group of 7 and we have an amazing superintendent, faculty, and staff."

Brooks also went on to say on behalf of the Coahoma ISD Board of Trustees, "Thank you to the community of Coahoma for letting us do what we do, and supporting us and getting behind us. We couldn't do it without the parents and the students and everyone involved. We appreciate all of the support."

During the evening, Charlotte Stovall, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Coahoma ISD, was recognized as ESC Region 18’s Outstanding Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). Guest speakers included Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman; President of Howard College Cheryl Sparks; Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbye Valverde; Dewitt Smith, Executive Director of the Region 18 Service Center; as well as current and former students.

Pictured from left to right are Coahoma board members Dicky Stone, Lori Martinez, Dr. Kandy Alaman, Johnny L. Veselka,TASA executive director; MIichael Brooks; Dr. Jody Reid, CISD vice president; and Brian Moore, CISD president. Not pictured is Craig Ferguson, CISD secretary.

 

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NOTICE OF DEADLINE TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR PLACE ON THE BALLOT


Notice is hereby given that applications for a place on the District 2, District 4 & District 6 Regular Election ballot may be filed during the following time:

Filing Dates and Time:

Start Date - January 17, 2018 
End Date - February 16, 2018

Office Hours: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Physical address for filing applications in person (or by mail) for place on the ballot:

City Hall
City Secretary Office
310 Nolan
Big Spring, TX 79720

 

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KBest Christmas Lights Contest sponsored by Premiere Companies and SM Energy - RESULTS and WINNERS NAMED!


The results are in for the KBest Christmas Lights Contest sponsored by Premiere Companies & SM Energy! Here are photos of the 1st Place Winners in each district, and the Grand Prize and Runner-Up Winners. Make an evening of driving through our neighborhoods, and check out ALL the winners!

1st Place: $500 cash
2nd Place: $250 cash
3rd Place: A Butterball Turkey!

GRAND PRIZE: CHRISTMAS with THE DALLAS COWBOYS! Hotel and 4 tickets to the Dallas Cowboys, plus VIP tailgate party, and a meet-n-greet with celebrity Dallas Cowboy Bill Bates!

RUNNER UP Grand Prize: Hotel and tickets to Six Flags "Holiday in the Park" in Arlington! Also includes dinner at the Mellow Mushroom and tickets to Ripley's Believe it or Not!
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Displays were judged on 4 criteria: LIGHTS, CREATIVITY, DESIGN, & OVERALL PRESENTATION. 
*****EXTRA POINTS WERE AWARDED TO DISPLAYS THAT INCLUDED LIGHTED POINSETTIAS, SINCE BIG SPRING IS THE "LIGHTED POINSETTIA CAPITAL OF TEXAS"*****

Here are the winners:

District 1:
1st: Zeke Flores: 1619 Harding St.
2nd: Gwen Collins: 806 San Antonio St.
3rd: Jacob & Stephanie Rios: 712 Lorilla St.

District 2:
1st Place: Angel & Antonia Castelan: 1005 Howell St,
2nd Place: Luz Viera: 623 State Street
3rd Place: Angelita Sosa: 912 E. 12th Street

District 3:
1st Place: Cheryl Payne: 2520 Hunter Driv
2nd Place: Jewel Johnson: 2504 Ent Drive
3rd Place: Buster Gartman: 2608 Alamesa Drive

District 4:
1st Place: Kevin Nichols: 704 Highland Drive 
2nd Place: Josh Mireles: 705 Oak Glen Drive
3rd Place: Ace Nieto: 415 Westover Road

District 5:
1st Place: Barbara Averette: 707 Colgate Ave 
2nd Place: Domingo Rios: 3206 Auburn
3rd Place: Lori Huitt: 2505 Rebecca Drive

District 6:
1st Place: Allison Redding: 1314 Mt. Vernon
2nd Place: Felicia Guerra: 1406 Princeton Ave
3rd Place: Sammy Rodriguez: 800 Birdwell Lane

 

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Howard County Adopts County-Wide Burn Ban until March 11, 2018


Last week the Howard County Commissioners approved the request of Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan to adopt a burn ban for Howard County. The burn ban eliminates any outdoor burning for 90 days. It began on December 11th, 2017 and will continue on through March 11th, 2018.

 

According to Sullivan Howard County is on a high danger level and that due to the amount of rain that the county received last year there is now an abundance of potential fuel that if sparked and carried with the West Texas wind could result in raging fires much like that in California.

 

Residents in Howard County should be advised that people who have to burn their trash for health and safety reasons must use a metal barrel with no holes in it and tighten a metal screen on top of it, as well as an extinguishing agent, such as a fire hose or fire extinguisher, that is ready to use.

 

“The real kicker,” says Chief Sullivan, “the person must be with that burn barrel from the time that it is lit off until the time that it is completely extinguished. Failure to follow any of those rules could be issued a citation that can go from $500 up to $1,000.”

 

According to our news partners at CBS 7, the burn ban does not apply to agricultural activity, or fire fighter training. The county is also restricting the sale of certain fireworks.

 

Chief Sullivan says that fireworks stands will not be allowed to sell anything with sticks or fins on it because it travels away from the shooter and is not able to be readily extinguished.

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Cross Roads Young Marines - Positively Impacting Young People of Howard County


The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America’s future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy drug-free lifestyle.

Roger Rodman, Unit Commander of Crossroads Young Marines, which serves Howard County, stated that the national organization has been around since 1959. The organization is open to all youth ages 8 through high school. The only membership requirement is that the youth must be in good standing at school. The program is self-funded and cost is $200 for the first year, and $80 for every year after that.

Rodman went on to stress that this is not a punitive program and participants and parents are required to be active in the organization.

“We give them the determination. We give them all the tools they will need to become a successful American citizen, and most of that is based on discipline,” states Rodman of the Young Marines program.

The organization teaches the importance of self-confidence, academic achievement, honoring our veterans, good citizenship, community service, and living healthy, drug-free lifestyles.

For more information about the Crossroads Young Marines, you can check out their Facebook page.

 

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3 Coahoma HS Band Students Named to All-Region Band


According to Coahoma Media, three Coahoma High School students were named to All-Region Band after tryouts held at Greenwood ISD recently.

Senior Tyler McFall placed first chair in the trumpet section. Senior Nathan Ramirez placed third chair in the euphonium section and flautist Andrea King, a junior, placed 12th. All three qualified for area competition set for January.

“I am really proud of Tyler, Nathan, and Andrea and really everyone who tried out,” said CHS Band Director John Landin. “They put in hours of hard work, much of it outside the school day, to prepare for the competition. It shows how much dedication they have to improving as musicians.”

The three students competed against musicians from similar size band programs across the region for a spot on the All-Region band. Event judges evaluate each musician on their performance of a pre-selected piece which the students had to time to practice before competition day.

Waiting for the auditions was a little nerve-wracking, King said.

“Mr. Landin likes us to go in with the mentality that we are not trying to beat people that we are trying to have the best audition that we possibly can have,” McFall said.

The all region band concert will be held on Jan. 20 at the Wagner Noel PAC in Midland.

 

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Mathis Runs for Howard County Commissioner of Precinct 4 - Only Candidate to Run Against Any Incumbent in Howard County


The deadline for Candidates to file for a place on the 2018 Primary Election ballot was this past Monday, December 11th. According to the Texas Secretary of State’s official website there is only one new candidate filing for the 2018 Primary Election. It’s David Mathis, listed as a Democrat, running for County Commissioner of Precinct 4, against incumbent and Republican John Cline.

 

Mathis is currently a student at Howard College pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Science and he’s also employed at a local credit union. Before moving to Big Spring from Dallas , he served as a representative and treasurer for the non-profit organization Caven Employees Benevolence Association, which is a 501C-3. He is also an active member of the Parent Action Committee at Washington Elementary, where they are trying to get volunteers together for the Parent Teacher Organization.

 

When asked what lead him to run for Commissioner of Precinct 4, Mathis stated, “When I saw the success with which President Donald J. Trump moved from the private sector to the highest government post in the country, I became emboldened to begin my own political career. It gave me hope in that you do not have to be a career politician to understand the will of the people and can do things to help people and affect change.”

 

If elected, he will be attending courses pertaining to the job duties as commissioner with yearly continuing education to ensure that he is up to date on administrative policies set by the State, training that is required of all County Commissioners in Texas.

 

The Primary Election will be on March 6th. One of the things that voters should be aware of is that the Primary Election is held by the parties, and according to Duck, this is more of a nomination process of who will be on the election ballot in November. She advised that when you vote in the primary, you have to choose what ballot you want to vote on and if there is a run-off, the voter will have to choose the same ballot to pick someone in May.

 

Even though all local parties will end up on the ballot because it’s only incumbents and Mathis running, Reina Cisneros, Howard County Democratic Party Chair, says that people are still encouraged to vote because there are still contested races for state offices, such as Governor and Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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Howard County Residents have FREE Access to Entrepreneur Development Group Leading EDG


The goals of Big Spring Economic Development Corporation are to attract businesses who offer highly skilled positions at high wages, to retain and expand existing businesses in Big Spring and the surrounding area, and to create a business environment conducive for entrepreneurship. These goals are accomplished by implementing an aggressive business prospect program, and developing strong relationships with the existing Big Spring business community.

One of the ways that the Big Spring EDC is by providing support to local business owners through a partnership with the entrepreneur development group Leading EDG, which began in 2013.

Leading EDG offers coaching and consultation with business people who starting and growing small businesses. They can assist with building a marketing plan, managing, operating, and financing small businesses.

Leading EDG is a network of resources with the goal of developing entrepreneurs and strengthening small businesses. They utilize a network of strategic alliances with an A-list team that includes experts in financial management, sales training, business coaching, intellectual property, social media, and more.

According to Terry Wegman, Executive Director of the Big Spring EDC, the Leading EDG service is free to Howard County residents and in the 4 years the company has been able to assist approximately 130 businesses.

"Some of those are start-ups, some of those are existing start-ups. It's not just limited to start-ups. Some of them are existing businesses," said Wegman.

"Its a pretty broad approach that can be beneficial, and we have numerous examples around town that are very successful and doing well," he continued.

Leading EDG representatives come to Big Spring every other week and are available for appointments. To schedule an appointment or to find more information, you can contact Big Spring Economic Development Corporation inside the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 215 W. 3rd St., or call them at (432) 264-6032.

 

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BBB alleges that Secret Sister Gift Exchange is a Scam


The Better Business Bureau is warning the public of the 'Secret Sister Gift Exchange' scam that is circulating on Facebook during the holidays.

 

According to the BBB, the scam is alleged to be an illegal pyramid scheme, claiming that participants will receive up to 36 gifts in exchange for sending one gift valued at $10. The scam then encourages social media users to invite others to participate.

 

According to the BBB, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's gambling and pyramid scheme laws state that gift chains like these are illegal and participants could be penalized for mail fraud.

 

The Heather Massey, Regional Director for the Permian Basin's BBB recommends the following to anyone who receives the chain letter by mail, email, or social media:

 

If you receive a chain letter by mail, email or social media, especially one that involves money or gifts, Better Business Bureau recommends:

 

-Start With Trust®. Check with BBB before becoming involved in suspicious and possibly illegal activity.


-To avoid this scam, the best thing to do is completely ignore it altogether. Do not give out personal information to anyone.


-Chain letters via social media and U.S. mail that involve money or valuable items and promise big returns are illegal. If you start a chain letter or send one, you are breaking the law.


-Chances are you will receive little or no money back on your “investment.” Despite the claims, a chain letter will never make you rich.


-Some chain letters try to win your confidence by claiming they’re legal and endorsed by the government.

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Thank You for Your Investment, Goodwill - West Texas!


Earlier today the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank You for Your Investment" Ceremony at the GOODWILL - WEST TEXAS, located at 701 S. Gregg St.

Danielle Robertson, Director of Communications and Development for Goodwill - West Texas, stated that she felt that the ceremony shows the community of Big Spring how invested they are to make a positive impact in the community. "Our mission is provide opportunities for people with barriers for employment, and we strive to complete that mission on a local level every single day."

According to Robertson, over 60 percent of those employed by Goodwill - West Texas have a documented barrier, which means that they struggle with a disability or a disadvantage in life.

In this last year Goodwill - West Texas brought on a new President and CEO Kevin Bradford, who has helped to make great improvements in their stores.

"[Bradford] has a fantastic vision for Goodwill - West Texas so things have very much changed. The experience that you get a Goodwill is different than the experience you may have received a year ago," stated Robertson.

She went on to say that Goodwill - West Texas is very customer oriented and driven, as well as mission driven; and they love the people they employ and their customers.

 

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Seminole Man Killed in Sunday's Crash in Howard County


HOWARD COUNTY -- DPS has identified a Seminole man who was killed in a crash on Sunday night.

According to DPS, their troopers responded to a call of a crash on Interstate 20 seven miles east of Stanton at 9:15 p.m.

When troopers arrived on scene they found a crash involving a Chevrolet Sonic and a Ford truck.

The driver of the Sonic, identified as Dustin Albert Lira, 20, passed away from his injuries at the scene.

The driver of the truck, Jose Orellana of Sherman was transported to the hospital with non-incapacitating injuries.

A preliminary investigation of the crash revealed that Lira was driving east on I-20 as Orellana was driving west. According to DPS, Lira crossed into the westbound lanes and crashed into the truck head on.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

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Flag Retirement Ceremony held at West Texas VA in Honor of Pearl Harbor Day


Last night, a Flag Retirement Ceremony was performed by the Boy Scouts #305 Troop 5 at the West Texas VA in honor of Pearl Harbor Day. Due to the weather, the ceremony was held in doors but it held just as much of an impact on those in attendance. 

 

One stripe at a time the 5ft x 8ft flag was stripped away until all that was left was a field of blue. Each stripe was given to a veteran to ceremoniously place in the fire pit and was followed by a salute.

 

Akisha Woods, Volunteer Services Coordinator at the West Texas VA and a 16 year veteran of the United States Air Force, was one of the veterans in attendance at the ceremony.

 

I think the flag just brings up so many emotions to those of us who have served,” says Woods. “We think back to our battle buddies, colleagues, and people that we’ve met along the journey. It just hits you right in the heart. It brings it full circle and you realize exactly why you signed up to serve for your country.”

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Reyes Sentenced to Serve 20 Years in Prison for 5 Counts of Assault of a Public Servant


Earlier this week, 61-year old Raul O. Reyes pled guilty to the charges that resulted from a police shootout and chase that took place last December.

According to District Attorney for the 118th District Court Hardy Wilkerson, Reyes received a 20-year sentence for the five 1st Degree Felony charges of aggravated assault on a public servant. Each charge received 20 years and the sentence will be served concurrently within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

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H-E-B TO KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON IN BIG SPRING WITH THIRD ANNUAL H-E-B FEAST OF SHARING DINNER


The community is invited to attend free holiday celebration this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum, located at 1001 Birdwell Lane in Big Spring!

On Sunday, December 10th, thousands of Big Spring residents will sit together and share a festive holiday meal during the Third Annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinner. For H-E-B, the event is a way to bring together family, friends, and neighbors while showing appreciation to its loyal customers.

Hundreds of H-E-B and community volunteers will serve the free meal to more than 5,000 people at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum. The event, which is open to the public, also includes live music, entertainment, family-friendly activities and a visit from Santa. On the menu will be glazed ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and apple pie.

The H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinners were founded in 1989 and are an important part of H-E-B’s Food Bank Assistance Program, which works year-round to prevent hunger in Texas and Mexico. The annual holiday feast includes more than 250,000 meals served during 33 dinners held throughout Texas and Mexico.

 

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MICHELLE HAWKINS IS THE STATE NATIONAL BANK EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR


There’s a reason Michelle Hawkins is one of the first people you see when you enter the main entrance of the State National Bank. She is always smiling and is anxious to help customers. “I think every day is a good day and I try to present that attitude,” she says.

Michelle is this year’s Employee of the Year at State National. It is the second time she has earned the distinction. She is an administrative assistant and has been with the bank thirteen years. “I moved here from San Angelo fourteen years ago, applied for a job at the bank and was hired. My first job was a teller and it gave me the chance to meet a lot of good people.”

Her husband Curtis works at Power Resources, a power plant in Big Spring. They have 4 children, 2 grandchildren and one on the way. “My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family.”

Banking trends change constantly and Michelle states that the bank makes sure all employees keep up with what’s new. “Anytime something new comes up or technology moves forward, the bank makes sure we’re all knowledgeable in whatever is being introduced, the bank stays on top of it.”

Michelle enjoys working at the bank. “I like the customers and enjoy my co-workers. We’re all here for the same purpose and that’s to serve the community. I think everyone who works here deserves to be employee of the year.”

 
 

 

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CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE IS MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017


DEADLINE APPROACHING
CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE IS MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017

Deadline for Candidates to file for a place on the 2018 Primary Election ballot is Monday, December 11, 2017, at 6 p.m. Candidates are need to fill out an Application with the County Party Chairs and pay filing fees. Appointment of Campaign Treasurer is filed with Elections Office.

Howard County Democratic Party Chair - Reina Cisneros
Reina Cisneros
20 West 3rd
Big Spring, TX 79720
432-263-7676
Reina@moutonlaw.com
Howard County Republican Party Contact - Bo Fryar 
Gladys (Bo) Fryar
7805 Center Point Rd.
Big Spring, TX 79720
432 270-8513
bofryar80@gmail.com

OFFICES UP FOR ELECTION IN 2018 INCLUDE:
U. S. Senator
U.S. States Representatives (All)
Governor
Lieutenant Governor
Attorney General
Comptroller of Public Accounts
Commissioner of General Land Office
Commissioner of Agriculture
Railroad Commissioner
Members of the Supreme Court
Members of the Court of Criminal Appeals
State Senator – District 31
State Representative - District 72 
Chief Justices of Courts of Appeals
Various Court of Appeals Justices
County Offices
**District Judge
**District Clerk
**County Judge
** County Clerk
**County Treasurer
**County Commissioners (PCTs 2 and 4)
**Justices of the Peace (PCT 1 Place 2 and Pct 2
**Constable

 

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Texas DPS Tips for Preparing for Winter Weather


AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourages Texans in all regions of the state to make preparations for winter weather as we enter the cold weather season.

“While we’ve all heard the joke about Texas only having two seasons – hot and hotter – all Texans need to prepare now for the serious threats that the upcoming winter could bring,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Every year, Texas faces the dangers of winter weather conditions, including freezing temperatures, ice, sleet, and even snow. Texans are urged to stay informed about changing weather in their area and to take steps now to help stay safe during the coming months.”

Texans should winterize their vehicles by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent freezing. In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat.
Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
First-aid kit and pocket knife.
High calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water.
Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires. 
Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel.

DPS offers the following additional tips for staying safe during possible winter weather:
Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions, at http://www.weather.gov/.
Purchase an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
Sign up for your local emergency notification system.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip, and keep your gas tank full.

On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
Allow extra time when traveling in inclement weather.
Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by visiting www.drivetexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292.

Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
Make sure that furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, NEVER operate generators and other fuel-powered devices inside a home or an enclosed space, such as a garage. The deadly odorless, colorless gas is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned, with sources including motor vehicle engines, generators and fuel-burning appliances or heating systems. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.

Make arrangements for proper shelter and an emergency supply of food and water for your pets and livestock.

Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods and bottled water.

If you will be away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat to 55 degrees or higher and open cabinets under sinks.

Make sure you have inclement weather contact numbers for schools and work.

Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk from cold weather.

During the winter season, residents can contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline, to check on possible community-established warming centers or related services in their area. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or 877-541-7905 for community resources.

Visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/…/ThreatAwaren…/winterstorm.htm for additional information and tips regarding winter weather preparedness.

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Tennessee Man Travels California by Skateboard and Snow Dogs


Yesterday our KBest crew crossed paths with a man who traveling cross country from Tennessee to California on a lawn chair strapped to a skateboard, being pulled by 2 snow dogs. Georgie Cutwright  has already been on the road for 9 months with the mission of spreading the word of God and bringing awareness for rescue dogs and the homeless.

“I don’t really consider my situation homeless because I rest my head wherever I rest my head and I feel like it’s home for the night,” said Cutright.

“Jesus said ‘the birds have a nest to roost in, foxes have holes to den in, but the son of man has nowhere to rest his head.’ I think by that he meant that its okay. It’s okay not have a place to rest your head. God provided everywhere for you to rest your head, and as long as you have a hedge of protection above your head how could anything harm you?”

Cutwright told our KBest crew that they’ve been attacked by bobcats and ran over, but he tries to focus on the positive part of this experience, which is spreading the word of God. He went on to say that there are times that he feels like quitting but he’s inspired to continue.

“I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. True faith is seeing a mountain but not seeing the top; and knowing that if you keep climbing that mountain sooner or later you’ll reach the top. And once you reach the top…you can just coast down the other side,” said Cutwright.

One thing that he wants to people to remember is to not sweat the small stuff in life and to look at the bigger picture.

If you’d like to keep up with Cutright’s progress, you can find him on Facebook.

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Recognition Ceremony held for New BSSH Superintendent Traci Phillips


Today, the Volunteer Services Council hosted a recognition ceremony and reception in honor of the newly appointed Superintendent for the Big Spring State Hospital, Traci Phillips.

Phillips had most recently served as interim superintendent and before that was the hospital’s assistant superintendent overseeing administration of the 200-bed facility. She has eight years of senior-level experience from working at Covenant Health System in Lubbock prior to joining the Big Spring State Hospital management team.

Big Spring State Hospital works with seven mental health authorities, including West Texas Centers, to help provide treatment options for people with mental illness.

During her speech at the ceremony, Phillips stated that she was honored, and challenged by the opportunity and that she was humbled by the support that she’s received from the BSSH team and the Austin office.

When asked what she looked forward to the most about accepting this position, Phillips stated, “Achieving the goals that our system office has set out for us, which is expanding our bed capacity and being able to get more patients served, not just at our hospital but throughout the state of Texas and the other hospitals.”

 

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Big Spring Rotary Club Prepares Children's Dictionaries to be Distributed to Howard County 3rd Graders


Today the Big Spring Rotary Club prepared illustrated dictionaries to be distributed later this week to 3rd grade students throughout Howard County.

This year’s President of the Big Spring Rotary Club Ed Moughon (MoHON) told KBest News that the purpose of the project is to promote literacy, and the organization has been doing this for the past 10 years.

“We’ve been trying to provide this basic resource for a child. They get to take the dictionary home. It’s theirs, their name’s in it,” says Moughon. “It promotes looking up words they don’t understand and looking up concepts they don’t understand.”

According to Moughon, for many of these children who receive these books this is the first book that they’ll own that is meant for them and isn’t a hand-me-down from older siblings.

“You just can’t believe the expressions on their face when they ask, ‘Can I keep this?’ and we tell them yes!”

 

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31st Year for Local Drive Through Nativity Presentation


The First Church of the Nazarene will have their Drive Through Nativity ready to open this weekend from December 8th – December 10th from 6:30 – 9:30 PM, located at 1400 S. Lancaster St. in Big Spring. This live presentation displays real people and most of the animals are real, as well.

According to Calvary Callender, Lead Pastor at the NazFamily Church, this is the 31st year that the nativity has been presented to the community and it has become a Christmas tradition for many people and that this is their gift to the community.

“We have carloads of people come through with 3 generations in them now, with grandparents, parents, and children, who coming through and telling us, ‘Thank you for this time. It’s a time that we come together during Christmas as a family.”

Callender also went on to say that the event is also important to the church, stating, “It’s also a gift in that we’re telling the story of Jesus, for our church, the purpose to reach people for Jesus to let them know who he is. It’s a gift in that regard that we can tell the story of Jesus, his birth, his death, resurrection, and ascension.

 

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Forsan's Tennis coach named Coach of the Year!


Forsan’s Coach Seth Johnson was named the 2017 Region 1 Class AA Coach of the Year at the Texas Tennis Coaches’ Association annual coaching clinic and conference. The award was presented by Patrick McEnroe, brother of retired tennis pro John McEnroe, during the awards banquet Friday night in Marble Falls. Johnson has served as Forsan’s head tennis coach for five years during which the UIL tennis players and Team Tennis players have made consistent trips to the Regional Tennis tournaments and several have made it to State. In April, the mixed doubles team of Freeman and Schafer won the bronze medal at the state tournament.

Johnson said, “I’ve been blessed to have an amazing wife to support me in everything I do, awesome kids to coach who make it look like I know what I’m talking about, and the best school in the state to represent!”

Forsan ISD is proud of Coach Johnson and talented students who choose to play tennis. The tennis parents and several local parents have been wonderful to support this program with countless hours of service. Coach Lloyd Vedder serves as the tennis program’s assistant coach.

Picture One: Coach Seth Johnson after being awarded the Coach of the Year plaque at the TTCA conference.

Picture Two: Coach Johnson along with his wife and son after the awards banquet.

 

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Coahoma FFA Places at State Leadership Development Events and Julia Cox Continues on to State!


Over the weekend eight Coahoma FFA students competed in the state Leadership Development Events (LDE) competition that was held in Huntsville at Sam Houston University.

 

According to Aaron Custer, this was the largest number of successful state qualifiers for the Coahoma FFA chapter to date under his advising of the program.

 

FFA is a national youth organization focused on developing personal growth, leadership, and career success to its members through agricultural education.

 

The Coahoma FFA Radio Broadcasting team of Aubrey Green, Micah Worley, and Emilee Custer placed 7th in state Leadership Development Events, and the Ag Advocacy team of Selina Baldwin, Macee Grant, Brylea Gordon, and Seth Brooks placed 8th. Julia Cox placed 1st in the Greenhand FFA Creed contest and will go on to nationals.

The team had such a strong showing at the state finals today that adviser Aaron Custer was awarded the Sweepstakes Award for Single Teacher Division.

 

FFA is a national youth organization focused on developing personal growth, leadership, and career success to its members through agricultural education. 

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H-E-B Offers Community a FREE Holiday Meal on December 3rd, 2017


Big Spring’s HEB will be hosting their 3rd Annual Feast of Sharing on Sunday, December 10th at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Sonic Floor from 11 AM – 3 PM. The event is free and a holiday meal will be served to the public. During this time there will be musical and dance performances and kids can even visit with Santa!

According to Ricardo Serrato, Unit Director at the HEB in Big Spring, HEB hosts 30 Feast of Sharing through the months of November and December, 24 are in Texas and 6 are in Mexico, and they’ve been doing this as a company for the last 29 years. Every year HEB serves 250,000 meals and uses thousands of volunteers and many community organization to put the events together.

As a community member, Serrato had this to say about the event, “I just think it’s great to give back. It really brings the community together. It’s an event that’s open to everybody and it’s a free event. It’s a great time to really kick off the holiday cheer and a good time to fellowship with good people.”

HEB's official website states that just one Feast of Sharing event equals:

• 3,000 pounds of sliced turkey 
• 2,500 pounds of cornbread dressing
• 750 pumpkin pies 
• 380 gallons of mashed potatoes
• 140 gallons of turkey gravy
• 95 gallons of cranberry sauce

The Feast of Sharing is the culmination of a year round commitment H E B makes to fighting hunger.

If you're interested in volunteering your time to help with this event, you can contact Debra Moreno. Volunteer Coordinator for this event, at 432-816-6018.

 
 

 

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Reyes v. State of Texas Begins this Week


On Monday, December 4th, a jury selection for the trial of 61 year old Raul O. Reyes vs. The State of Texas will begin next week in 118th District Court.

Reyes is charged with five counts of aggravated assault of a public servant, a 1st Degree Felony, that resulted from a police shootout and chase that took place last December.

Police were first called to the AT&T store on Gregg St. for a person acting suspicious with a gun. When officers arrived on scene Reyes allegedly stepped out of his truck and fired multiple shots before leading police on a chase that ended near Big Spring High School.

It was there that Reyes exited the vehicle again and began firing again before being shot himself. According to DPS two guns were found at the scene, including an assault rifle which was used to fire at officers.

A Big Spring police officer and DPS trooper were involved in the final shootout. Reyes had been injured in the shootout, but no injuries to the law enforcement officers were reported.

 

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Lawson Indicted on Murder, 1st Degree Felony, by Grand Jury


Yesterday, November 30, 2017, Calvin Jacob Lawson, 34 years-old, was indicted by members of a Grand Jury on a 1st Degree Felony Murder charge for the death of 34 year-old Sterling Donald McIntosh whose deceased body was discovered inside a house on E. 16th Street October 12th, 2017.

The Big Spring Police Department had detained Lawson as a suspect when he was found nearby at the time the body was discovered. Through investigation of the Big Spring PD, it was determined that two had been involved in an altercation which resulted in the death of McIntosh. Information was collected and Lawson then became the primary suspect for the murder of McIntosh, and was arrested.

According to the District Attorney for 118th Judicial District, Hardy Wilkerson, if convicted Lawson could be facing a punishment of 5 to 99 years, including the possibility of a life sentence and a $10,000 fine.

 

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Coahoma FFA Chapter Members Head to State


After a successful performance at area contest, eight Coahoma FFA students are turning their attention to state Leadership Development Events (LDE) competition set for today and Saturday.

According to Aaron Custer, this is largest number of successful state qualifiers for the Coahoma FFA chapter to date under his advisorship of the program.

 

“It’s awesome. We are excited,”said Custer, who is also the agricultural teacher at Coahoma ISD.“Coahoma has always been known for our FFA kids and how responsible they are and how well they exceed. Leadership has been one of the things we’ve focused on the most. It helps every kid not just today but in the future.”

 

Thursday morning, Coahoma High School students along with the cheerleaders and the drum corps cheered on the competitors as they headed out to Sam Houston State University in Hurstville. Those students are Julia Cox who qualified in Junior Creed; the Ag Advocacy team of Selina Baldwin, Macee Grant, Brylea Gordon, and Seth Brooks; and the FFA Radio Broadcasting team of Aubrey Green, Micah Worley, and Emilee Custer.

 

The young group consisting of three freshman, four sophomores and a junior will be going up against the best competitors in the state today during prelims. Finals will be held Saturday.

 

“There are two heats of 10 teams in each heat,” Custer said. “The top five from each heat will make the finals. The final 10 teams will be the top in the state of Texas. Our immediate goal is to get out of the heats and into the finals.”

 

Custer said the students will continue to focus on the fundamentals as well as pushing and supporting each other to give their best presentation.

 

“Our program fosters a positive atmosphere where we leave the negativity and drama out. We build each other up. When one group makes it to state the other group is happy for them,” Custer said. “We have two advocacy teams and Wednesday the other advocacy team was helping this other team going to state, helping them fine tune their presentation and get better so they could have the best performance they can. This team was knocked out by the other team at competition, but they are out there helping them. It shows a lot about the character of the kids and who we are and what we are trying to make out here in our ag chapters.”

 

Area competition, where the eight students qualified for state, was held Nov. 18 on the campus of Howard Campus. Forty-nine Coahoma FFA chapter students competed in 12 team/individual contests at area where nine teams/individuals place in the top five. Two of those teams placed in the same event.The students’ performance at area contest earned the Coahoma FFA Chapter its first Sweepstakes trophy for the top Leadership Development - Single Teacher Department in Area 2.

“It was the greatest day Coahoma FFA has had in LDE at an area contest,” Custer said. “I am very proud of every single student that competed and represented our school. These kids are talented and there is no limit on what they will achieve.”

 

FFA is a national youth organization focused on developing personal growth, leadership, and career success to its members through agricultural education.

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The Big Spring Symphony Association presents the NUTCRACKER BALLET


Tchaikovsky’s spectacular NUTCRACKER BALLET comes to the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium December 16, 2017 at 7:30 PM.

The conductor for the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra is Music Director Dr. Keith Graumann. The ballet will feature students from Stevi McKinnon’s Dance Gallery in Big Spring. Principal dancers for the performance are from the Midland Festival
Ballet Company.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. While free admission is offered to all students, those under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Advance tickets are available from:
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce
The Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Heritage Museum
The Karat Patch.

For more information contact: Dr. Keith Graumann, keithgraumann@yahoo.com

 

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SM Energy Donates $1,000 to Local Toy Drive


Earlier this week SM Energy Representative, Kate Noble (middle) presented Chamber Staff, Debbye ValVerde, Executive Director and Nancy Davenport, Executive Assistant a check for $1,000 to go towards the purchase of toys for the Chamber's Annual Toy Drive. This is SM Energy's second year helping the Chamber purchase toys.

Toys received by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce are given to CASA, Cossacks Motorcycle Club and the Salvation Army, because the Chamber does not want a child or young adult to go without receiving a gift this year.

The 5th Annual Chamber Toy Drive is going on now through December 15. Bring a new unwrapped gift for a child from the ages of 2 to 18 years. It is important to remember that some of the little ones have older siblings and we ask that you bring a gift for them as well; for example grooming kit for a boy or girl; nail polish, house shoes; etc.

The Big Spring Area Chamber members encourage the public to "Help Us Help Others" and try to fill the Chamber Building with toys!

The Chamber is working with HEB to purchase the toys. If you wish to make a monetary donation the staff will be glad to do the shopping for you. Call the Chamber at 263-7641 for more information.

 

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BSISD Names Interim Superintendent


Earlier this month, Big Spring ISD Superintendent Chris Wigington announced that he will be leaving the district after this semester to take another Superintendent position at Bushland ISD.

 

During tonight's special meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, one of the items on the agenda included the discussion of possibilities for who would be named as Interim Superintendent. After about an hour of discussion in a closed session, it was agreed upon that Johnny Tubb would be appointed as the Interim Superintendent for Big Spring ISD. His duties will begin on December 11th, 2017 and will continue until a new Superintendent has been hired.

 

According to Tony Kennedy, President of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, Tubb is a great choice for an interim at this time because they didn't want to take anyone out of a current position because they are shooting for a goal to get all schools out of an "Improvement Required" status, which Kennedy says they are close to achieving.

 

"We just want to keep everybody in place, bring an Interim in, let the ball keep rolling and keep going the same exact way," says Kennedy of why the Board chose Tubb. "We are very comfortable with him not making changes, going the way that we think the district would, which is still up. I think he can build relationships and keep that going." Kennedy went on to say that Big Spring ISD would be opening Superintendent position at a later date.

 

Tubb, retired as a Superintendent from Grady ISD in 2011 after 17 years. Since then, he's been an Interim Superintendent for Glasscock ISD, Dawson ISD, and Assistant Superintendent under Superintendent Dr. Amy Jacobs for Coahoma ISD.

 

When asked how he felt to be named as Interim, Tubb stated, “I'm extremely excited to lead Big Spring ISD for the near future. I would like to the Board of Education for trusting me to continue the good work that has been during Chris Wigington's tenure as Superintendent. Hopefully, as we continue we'll strive to improve each campus's performance and overall district improvement. I hope that I can bring strength, stability, and support necessary to obtain these goals; and on a personal note, I'm really looking forward to renewing many friendships with staff, friends, and colleagues as I return to an area where I've spent most of my career.”

 

 

Kelli Wigington, Principal at Kentwood Early Childhood Center, and wife of Chris Wigington, will finish out the school year in Big Spring before relocating to Bushland. The principal for Kentwood ECC after Mrs. Wigington’s departure has not yet been named.

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West Texas VA Health Care System Town Hall Meeting in Big Spring


West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) will hold a quarterly town hall meeting in Big Spring on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the West Texas VA Health Care System Outpatient Clinic Waiting Area located at 300 Veterans Blvd., Big Spring, TX 79720.

The Town Hall Meeting is an opportunity for Veterans to hear from the leadership team about new programs or initiatives within VA. Staff will be on hand to assist Veterans with enrollment, scheduling and other health care needs.

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Cyber Monday Tips from the BBB of the Permian Basin


Cyber Monday is today, and if you’re one of the many people taking advantage of the online sales today you’re going to want to make sure you pay attention to some of these tips from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of the Permian Basin.

“When you’re shopping on Cyber Monday, you always want to make sure you pay with your credit card,” says Heather Massey, Regional Director for the Permian Basin’s BBB. “Using a credit card is recommended because a shopper can dispute the charges if an item is not received. Shoppers also have dispute rights if there are any unauthorized charges on their credit card, and some card issuers have a zero-liability policy under which the cardholder pays nothing if someone steals their credit card number and tries to use it.”

Massey also went on to say that you want to keep documentation of your order. It’s always a good idea to save the order confirmation emails or printouts for proof of purchase. 
“According to the FTC, orders made online should be shipped by the date promised. If no delivery day was stated, it must be within 30 days of purchase. If the goods cannot be shipped on time, the shopper must be notified of the right to cancel and receive a refund.”

Massey went on to say that consumers also have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or misrepresented, otherwise it’s the company’s policy to determine whether the shopper can cancel a purchase and receive a refund or credit.

When shopping online you also want to ensure that you are shopping on a secure site by looking at url to see if it has the “httpf” in front of the site. You will also see the locked box icon beside the url address.

If you feel that you have been scammed, you can file a report on BBB.org.There you'll find the link for "ScamTracker." You can also file a report against a business on BBB.org and by also reporting it to the Federal Trade Commission site at FTC.gov.

 

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Community Christmas Tree to be Lighted on Dec. 1st


Earlier this week the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that there would be a 22 FT tall Community Christmas Tree that will be set up at the Historic Spring and it is set to be lit beginning on December 1st.

According to Hayley Herrera, Tourism Coordinator at the Big Spring CVB, the Christmas tree is commercial grade and will stand in the middle of the stage and is actually taller than the obelisk that stands 20 FT at the Historic Spring.

Herrera also went on to say, “I think it’s going to be a huge impact out there, and get everyone in the Christmas spirit!”

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Salvation Army Serves over 600 people for Community Thanksgiving Meal


Today the Salvation Army of Big Spring teamed up with SM Energy to offer a Community Thanksgiving Meal to Big Spring residents to ensure that no one would go without a Thanksgiving meal. 

 

"It was a really successful turnout," says Capt. McKain. According to Captain Josh McKain with the Salvation Army of Big Spring, there were 500 meals that were delivered to Big Spring residents and another 150 people who stopped in for a carry out meal, or to dine in. 

 

 

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DPS Urges Drivers to Fill Up on Safety for Thanksgiving


AUSTIN – As Texans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding motorists to make safety a priority and to enjoy the holiday weekend responsibly.

“Thanksgiving should be a time of celebration with family and friends, and we are encouraging everyone to take some simple but potentially life-saving steps to celebrate responsibly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS Troopers will also be on the lookout for drivers who needlessly endanger others by disregarding the law. Everyone, especially motorists, has a part to play in keeping our roadways safe, and it is imperative that you take this responsibility seriously.”

DPS Troopers, and other Texas law enforcement agencies, will be patrolling around-the-clock during the holiday weekend looking for drunk drivers, speeders, seat belt violators, and other motorists who are endangering themselves or the public.

During the Thanksgiving weekend in 2016, DPS troopers issued 51,592 traffic citations and warnings for a variety of violations, including speeding, no insurance and seat belt/child safety seat usage. DPS patrols also resulted in 275 driving while intoxicated arrests, 198 fugitive arrests and 141 felony arrests during the same time period.

DPS offers the following tips for safe travel during the Thanksgiving holiday:

- Do not drink and drive.

- Slow down – especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and 
unfamiliar areas.

- Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices.

- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.

- Don’t drive fatigued – allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

- Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges.

- Before your trip begins, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and always double check to make sure all cargo is secure.

- Slow down or move over for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks that are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated – it’s the law. Also, show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along the road.

- Monitor weather and road conditions (https://drivetexas.org) wherever you are traveling. In the event of inclement weather, use extra caution on roadways.

 

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Uranium Oxide and New Mineral Finchite could be Potentially Contribute to Nation's Energy Mix


The US Geographical Survey has reportedly found Uranium Oxide in Howard County and Martin County. The two known deposits in the Buzzard Draw, located Northwest of Big Spring, and the Sulfur Springs Draw, located near Ackerly, contain a combined total of 2.7 million pounds of uranium oxide.

It was also noted that a new uranium mineral species was also discovered near Sulphur Springs Draw, and the new mineral was named finchite. Which, according to Susan Hall, scientist for US Geographical Survey, has the potential to contribute to the Nation’s energy mix.

According to the USGS description of Finchite, it is a unique combination of strontium, uranium, vanadium, and water, and is a potential source of mineable uranium ore.

It has also been noted by USGS geologist Brad Van Gosen that it had been discovered by uranium mining company in the 1970s but they didn’t feel that it was worth mining. Approximately 40 years later, Hall had been reviewing the companies records when she discovered the references and the USGS followed up on it.

According to Van Gosen, the uranium is within 30 feet of the surface, it’s soft, easy to mine and is easy to process.

 

https://www.usgs.gov/news/usgs-estimates-40-million-pounds-potential-uranium-resources-parts-texas-new-mexico-and

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Community Helps to Pack 500 Christmas Boxes for Deployed Military Troops


Many people gathered at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday to help Howard County’s Adopt-a-Military Hero organization to pack the 500 Christmas boxes that would be sent to active military troops overseas in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, and a naval group. The boxes are filled with hygiene items, over-the-counter medicinal items, drink mixes and snacks, puzzle books, Christmas cards and music.

“There are some people who have been deployed who don’t get a Christmas present, and to make at least one person’s life a little better makes it that important,” says Guy Burrow, President for Howard County’s Adopt-a-Military Hero.

Jacob Braxton, a 6-year veteran who had been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, said it makes him feel good to help. Braxton said that he’s never received a box from this organization but he recalled that it felt really good to get a care package from home because there are some things that are available here that aren’t available overseas.

“Basically, we need get more people involved into this to get more care packages out to the soldiers. It [doesn’t] have to be during Thanksgiving or Christmas, it can be all year,” says Braxton.

Burrow also agreed that there needs to be more people willing to send boxes. "It's not hard. Go gather up a few things, and get a box. It's $17.35 to mail it, but it's a lot more valuable to that young person who gets it overseas."

The Howard County’s Adopt-a-Military Hero organization is ran by volunteers and the money and items for the boxes comes from the citizens and businesses of Howard County. This organization began by being a part of Midland’s organization 8 years ago, but then they moved the operation into Howard County so they could send more boxes overseas. The organization has been working from Howard County for 6 years.

 

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West Texas VA Health Care System has Plan to Raise S.A.I.L. Rating


Last month, the West Texas VA Health Care System received a 1-star rating out of a possible 5 stars on the Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, also known as S.A.I.L. Quality of Care Assessment for the 2017 Fiscal Year for VA Medical Centers.

The S.A.I.L. rating is meant to be used as an internal tool to keep the medical clinics striving for success by rating them in a competitive manner against their peer groups and against their performance from the previous year.

“There’s so much behind it, and so much that we’re trying to do,” said Director of the West Texas VA Health Care System Kalautie JangDhari of the rating. “I anticipate with the growth that we’re trying to build on seeing new patients with the staff that we’re getting in, I’m hiring a number of new staff, that you’ll see some reward in about 6 months. It’s not going to happen in 3 months but it’ll probably happen in 6 months, and definitely next year.”

Some of the things that the community can do to help is to get the veterans in the community and catchment area to enroll with the West Texas VA Health Care System because the facility can only get graded on the number veterans that go in to get treated and there is a great potential to see a lot more. This includes encouraging younger veterans to enroll with VA healthcare even if they are relatively healthy.

According to Director JangDhari, “every veteran earned the honor and the right to be enrolled in VA health care and I hope that every veteran would be enrolled because you never know when you’ll need it.”

By increasing the number of veterans that the VA has enrolled the West Texas VA Health Care System will be able provide more of a variety of services.

Another way that the West Texas VA can improve their S.A.I.L. rating is by having more quality providers to join the quality providers and staff that the VA currently has. Director JangDhari says she like to have good mix of nurse practitioners and medical doctors because together they can see more patients and that will give the West Texas VA Health Care System more of an opportunity for growth.

It should also be noted that patient ratings also hold a lot of weight on the quarterly rating that the local VA medical center receives. Director JangDhari says she doesn’t want to push patients to rate the facility a 9 or 10, but she hopes that patients will rate them fairly showing that their needs have been met.

 

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Slate Shares her Story with Big Spring Residents at Heritage Museum of Big Spring at Book Signing


Many people gathered at the Heritage Museum of Big Spring earlier today to hear Kelila Slate, author of "Keeping Silent: A Childhood Lost," speak about her experiences and to ask the author questions. The author held a book signing and meet and greet afterwards.

Slate is a Big Spring native and she shares her story of experiencing starvation, physical, and verbal abuse at the hands of her birth parents and the hope that she sustained through this time.

Slate has said that her purpose in writing this book has been to encourage people in similar situations to speak up and get the help that they need now or for the painful events that have happened in their past.

 

 

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