Coahoma ISD students in grade 8th through 12th were sharpening their pencils Friday in an effort to stay out of the red ink as they participated in the CU4 Reality Fair.
After subtracting his monthly expenses from his income, Keegan Dobbs walked away from the fair with one major lesson: “being an adult is not fun.”
The Coahoma High School junior, who chose the military as his career path, did make thrifty spending decisions. He walked away with a net income of $230 for the month.
However, fellow student Jonathon Schneider learned that although a surgeon's income can be on the high end of the wage scale, student loans can take a large bite out of his monthly budget.
“I went over my budget,” he said. “Student loans really got me. I learned I need to be more cautious with my money.”
The fair is presented by Cosden Federal Credit Union as a method to increase financial literacy among youths.
“It really opens their eyes and helps to prepare them for what they face when they get out of high school,” said Laurie Barraza, CEO of Cosden Credit Union.
A few weeks ago, students were offered a list of careers to choose from and completed a pre-fair survey to evaluate their existing knowledge about credit and overall finance. On Friday, they were handed a budget worksheet that showed their monthly income before and after taxes and space to calculate fixed, variable, and luxury expenses. Their net income is based on U.S. industry standards for their chosen career.
“They have their fixed expenses of things they have to buy like a house, a car, student loans, and insurance,” Barraza said. “Then they have their variable expense like utilities, food. They can also spend money on discretionary items, luxury items. They don’t have to buy those, but they can if they want.”
Participating students must visit each station and although they do not have to purchase any luxury items with their money, the volunteers are told to be very good salesmen, Barraza said.
“When they go into Best Buy, those employees are not going to let them leave without a TV,” she said. “We tell our volunteers to be a really good salesman, and the kids have to decide if they can afford it or not.”
Once through all the stations, students calculate their expenses to see if they have a net gain or loss at the end of the month.
But they are not done, Barraza pointed out.
“After that, they go spin the Wheel of Reality and see if they have an unexpected windfall or unexpected expense,” she said. “They may have a profit at the end of the month but if the hot water heater goes out then they are in the negative. Then the financial advisors will visit with them and go through their expenses.”
This is the first year Cosden FCU has held the reality fair for area schools. The first one was held at the Big Spring High School earlier this year and another is scheduled for Forsan High School sometime in May. The program, designed by the Credit Union League, has been around for years, Barraza said.
She added the fair could not be held without the turnout of community volunteers.
“We would not be able to do this without these local businessmen and businesswomen, and retired teachers, and Rotary members,” Barraza said. “We don’t have the manpower.”
Overall, Barraza said the CHS reality fair was a success in demonstrating how essential strong financial skills are to a successful life.
“The students learned a very good lesson. It was very eye-opening for them,” she said. “They learned living expenses cost much more than they expected. They also realized they may need to think about what occupations they want to pursue after graduation and realized maybe they will want to change their career to something that can provide more financial security. It was a huge success. The volunteers had a blast in interacting with the kids.”
The first “Meet the Candidate Forum” hosted by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce will be on this evening in Coahoma at the High School Auditorium, located at 606 N. Main, from
6:30 – 8:00 pm. This will be an opportunity for the community to come out and meet the candidates who are running for Coahoma City Council and Coahoma ISD School Board positions.
Candidates for Coahoma City Council include: Cody Ditto, Sharon Dotson, TJ Rudea, and David Alaman. Ditto and Dotson are incumbents and there are 3 positions that are available.
There are 11 candidates who are running for Coahoma ISD School Board:
Jody Reid (Incumbent)
Dicky Stone (Incumbent)
Kenni Kay Wright
Early voting begins April 23 at the Howard County Court House. It should be noted that the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates, but they do encourage
everyone to get to know the candidates, educate themselves and get out and vote.
The second “Meet the Candidate Forum” will be on Monday, April 16, at the Hall Center for Arts, Howard College Campus, from 6:30 -8:00 pm, so the public will have an opportunity to
meet the candidates running for Big Spring City Council and the Big Spring ISD School Board.
The Shells for Cells shooting tournament will take place on Saturday, April 14th, at Jake’s in Midland. Cost is $150 per shooter, can you can form a team with up to 6 people. There are also various sponsorship levels that are available, ranging from $500 with advertisement to $5,000 with advertisement and includes 2 teams, and 3 golf carts.
Registration begins at 8 AM on Saturday, 1 in 10 shooters will win a gun, and the drawing swill be held during lunch. Golf carts are available to rent for those who pre-register by sending in the registration form or who call in advance.
Proceeds will go to benefit Coahoma teen, Garett Parrish, who suffered a spinal cord injury during a tragic sledding accident over 3 years ago. Stem cell treatments paired with physical therapy and a lot of hard work have been vital steps on his road to recovery but being that the stem cell treatments are not offered in the United States, the Parrish family must travel to Germany for all treatments. All money raised will go to help the Parrish family with medical and travel expenses.
As part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, TxDOT urges drivers to stay alert, move over or slow down
APRIL 9, 2018
ABILENE – In recognition of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 9-13, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers that every day requires caution when driving through work zones. In 2017, work zone fatalities in Texas increased 9 percent over the previous year, resulting in 199 deaths and 813 serious injuries. With 4 percent of those fatalities being road crew workers, the remaining 96 percent was comprised of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.
“We always urge drivers to exercise great caution and obey traffic laws, especially in work zones,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Doing so helps ensure everyone – motorists and work crews – gets home safely to their loved ones.”
As the state’s population continues to boom, the price of progress can mean more than 2,500 active TxDOT work zones at any given time. In 2017, there were 91 work zone crashes in Abilene, resulting in one fatality. The leading causes of statewide work zone crashes – speeding and driver inattention – are entirely preventable. Fines in work zones double when workers are present and can cost up to $2,000.
“Roadside crews often work only a few feet from fast-moving traffic,” Bass said. “Driver vigilance is paramount to ensuring the safety of everyone in the work zone. We urge anyone driving through a work zone to minimize distractions, give their full attention to the road and be prepared to slow down or stop on
As part of its ongoing Work Zone Awareness campaign, TxDOT also reminds drivers of the Move Over/Slow Down law, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when approaching TxDOT crews, law enforcement, emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped on the roadside or shoulder with flashing blue or
amber lights. Failure to do so can result in fines up to $2,000.
To further help raise awareness about the need for driver responsibility in work zones, TxDOT is partnering with Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Company to spread the campaign message around the state. An integral part of Texas Mutual’s mission – helping employers prevent workplace incidents and minimizing their consequences – aligns with TxDOT’s Work Zone Awareness efforts.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Ymca Of Big Spring, located at 801 Owens, for the Grand Re-Opening of their fitness center.
Tours around the facility highlighted many of the areas that are available for use to the public, such as the indoor pool, zumba area, spin room, gymnasium, and gymnastics area.
YMCA will continue their open house today through 8 PM to showcase the new equipment and the renovations that have been made throughout the facility over the past few years.
This morning 90 kindergartners participated in the 40th annual Quail Dobbs Legacy Coahoma Kindergarten Rodeo that took place at Coahoma Elementary School this morning.
Coahoma Junior High Assistant Principal Coley Dobbs, son of ProRodeo Hall of Famer Quail Dobbs, was in attendance to watch the festivities. When asked how he felt about the event going on for so long, he stated that It's fantastic because there are multi-generational families who have participated in the event.
"It really is [a legacy]," said Dobbs. "We've had people who've wanted to have their kids out here [at Coahoma ISD] just for the Kindergarten Rodeo, so it's a big thing."
Students were joined by Professional Rodeo Announcer Ben Clements and his sister Brandi who ran the sound board, Professional Rodeo Clown Jim Bob Fellers, and country western singer and Coahoma High School Alum Jody Nix. The 2017 Miss Rodeo Texas, Tianti Carter, and Miss Rodeo Texas Princess, Bailey Wright, were also in attendance at the event to cheer on the participants, as well as students from the Howard College Rodeo team.
Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman has been honored by the Texas Judicial Academy for going the extra mile to be prepared to handle her duties as county judge.
Judge Wiseman was inducted on March 22 as a Fellow in the Texas Judicial Academy during the 2018 Spring Judicial Education Session.
The Texas Judicial Academy, a partnership between the Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Association of Counties, recognizes judges who attain significant judicial education above that required by state law as Fellows each year.
The education program of the Texas Judicial Academy is overseen by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and includes instruction by higher court judges, law school faculty as well as representatives of the Texas Probate College and the National Judicial College.
In order to help local citizens learn how to protect themselves, their families, and organizations from cyber theft, a local group is sponsoring the Howard College Foundation Speaker Series featuring Brett Johnson on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Johnson, known as the “internet godfather, identity thief, hacker, and former USA most wanted cybercriminal,” will share insights of how cybercrime works and tips on how to better protect yourself against cybercrime.
Sponsored by State National Bank, Prosperity Bank, Western Bank, Towneplace Suites, Howard College Foundation and Cosden Federal Credit Union, the Howard College Foundation Speaker Series event is free to the public and will be held in the Hall Center for the Arts on the campus of Howard College.
“Online tools have made life much easier for many of our customers but it also puts every one of us more at risk for cybercrime,” said Jeff Ward, Assistant Vice President at State National Bank. “We felt like a partnership with other financial institutions and interested parties as well as the Howard College Foundation was a great opportunity for us all to provide timely information about cybercrime and identity theft to our community members, students, and local businesses.”
Brett Johnson has been a central figure in the cybercrime world for almost 20 years. After 7 ½ years in federal prison, Johnson has taken responsibility for his crimes and now strives to help others avoid the types of crime he used to commit.
As one of the leading experts in the world on cybercrime, online fraud, and identity theft, Johnson now consults with law enforcement, major financial organizations, tech and security firms, retailers, academic groups, news and media groups, and individuals worldwide.
The lecture is free of charge to the public and will begin at 6:30 pm on April 11, 2018 in the Hall Center for the Arts on the Howard College campus.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank You for Your Investment" Ceremony for the organization Keep Big Spring Beautiful.
President of Keep Big Spring Beautiful Eric Escamilla, told KBest News that this year the organization has made a shift into L.E.A. Leadership, Education, and Action. He stated the organization is involved in a lot of things, but primarily for picking up trash.
"What [the organization] will be known for now is for providing art and actually keeping this place beautiful, and all we're doing is promoting art by supporting local artists to do murals and things of the sort," said Escamilla.
The first project that they've done in conjunction with another artist is on the dumpster outside of his office, located at 205 W. 15th St. The next projects will be a couple of murals that Escamilla says will be going up soon.
"All in all it's just a way to make this town more beautiful by incorporating more art into what, I believe, is a beautiful place."
When asked what kind of support he needs from the community, Escamilla stated that the organization would like to speak to artists to hear their ideas, and monetary funding for the projects would be appreciated. "Most importantly," he said, "what I need is places to go and actually do murals." He also stated that this is the biggest need right now so they'll have locations for these murals.
Coahoma’s Big Red Band Booster Club will be hosting “The 3rd Annual Cow Patty Bingo” on Saturday, April 7th from 10 AM to 3 PM at Coahoma ISD behind the Elementary School and near the tennis courts in Coahoma.
According to Ronda Turnbo, member of the Band Booster Club, the field will be marked off into squares and a cow is lead onto the field. Whichever square the cow makes it's "deposit" on wins $500. While attendees are waiting for a winner to be determined, there will be carnival booths set up for the kids, as well as food booths, and drawings for other prizes.
The organization is selling squares for $10 each and it will also enter your name into a raffle for door prizes. Squares can be
purchased from Ronda Turnbo at 432-466-6419.
Kids can also play all the carnival games during the event for $10 hand stamp, or tickets will be 25 cents each and 1 ticket is good for one game.
Vendor booths will be available for $10 each and will be accepted up until Saturday, and they can range anywhere from food to garage sale items, but it should be noted that Coahoma ISD is a peanut-free campus, and peanut items will not be allowed. To purchase a vendor booth, you can contact Erinn Moore at 432-816-7439.
The money raised from the event will go towards scholarships for the Coahoma Band Seniors, and it will help with the purchase of any other band supplies needed.
Big Spring Community Easter Egg hunts will take place on Saturday, March 31st. The NazFamily Church will host four separate egg hunts at four locations this year from 10 AM to noon. The event will be the same as last year, but will be broken up into a smaller safer setting for families.
The four locations are ABC Park, Birdwell Park-located behind the YMCA, Old Settlers at Comanche Trail Park, and New Hope Christian School – located at 118 Cedar Road. Each location will have approximately 10,000 eggs. The hunts are FREE to the public and will be open for ages 1-12. This event will also include hotdogs, bounce houses, face tattoos or painting, plus pictures with the Easter Bunny, as well as drawings for prizes at each location for various prizes that could include bikes, toys, baskets, etc.).
If you were looking for an event that has a limited number of participants, you can check out the Easter Family Fun Event hosted Parkplace Retierment Living, located at 501 W. 17th Street that will take place from 9-10 AM and again from 10-11 AM. This event includes egg decorating, a numbered egg hunt, a photo opportunity with the bunny, and refreshments.
To participate in this event, you must reserve your spot in advance by calling 267-1353 and advise which time you’d like to participate with and how many children will be attending. It should be noted that there is a limit of 25 children for each time spot.
This afternoon the Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring honored their Vietnam Veterans and their families. The event featured a Welcome Home Pinning Ceremony for 30 Vietnam Veteran residents and honored more than 50 additional Service Members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
Featured speakers included Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home Administrator Natalie Rolling-Edelbeck, West Texas Veterans Affairs Director Kalautie JangDhari and West Texas Veterans Affairs Quality Manager Rosa Mancha.
Vietnam War Veterans are the only group of veterans who were not honored when they returned home from Vietnam. They were vilified and disrespected. March 29th is now the country's way of making amends to those veterans who defended the American flag with honor, supported democracy, and fought through brutal conditions. This day is currently known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day and the nation's support is demonstrated through ceremonies much like this one.
During the ceremony, Mancha advised that this date was chosen to honor Vietnam Veterans because on March 29th, 1973 the last of the U.S. troops left Vietnam after 11 years. During the Vietnam War, 3 million service members fought in Vietnam, 7,000 female nurses served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 U.S. service members were killed in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War is the longest conflict in U.S. History. It spanned across 5 presidencies and 2 decades. Mancha noted that it was because of the collective efforts of Vietnam War Veterans, U.S. veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being treated with respect and recognized for the sacrifices they make on our behalf.
Today, 10 teams gathered at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Sonic Floor to compete in the 14th Annual Hoops, Dreams, and Goals - now called the Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams, and Goals Basketball Tournament. Participants are consumers from the 23 counties that are served by West Texas Centers for MHMR.
After the Grand Entrance, Shelley Smith, Chief Executive Officer of West Texas Centers opened the mic and welcomed the guests. Guy White gave the Invocation, and Hannah Hilger performed the National Anthem. Mayor Larry McLellan conducted the Darrell E. Smith Dedication, and President of Howard College Cheryl Sparks gave the closing remarks before the tournament began.
Kalautie JangDhari, Director of the West TExas VA Health Care System, threw the ball out Court 1. Emma Krabill, CEO of Scenic Mountain Medical Center, threw the ball out for Court 2 to kick off the games; and the Arena Announcer was Ron Shafer.
Throughout the course of the tournament, the coliseum was filled with positive energy from the teams, cheerleaders, and fans. The participating teams are as follows:
Big Spring Heat
Monahans / Pecos Warriors
Seminole Pink Panthers
Abilene Chili Peppers
San Angelo Bobcats
The San Angelo Bobcats won both the basketball tournament and the Spirit Stick.
Sponsors for the event included West Texas Centers, Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, Delec, Atmos Energy, Arthur J Gallagher & Co., KBST Radio Stations, KBYG Radio Stations, Prescription Services Inc., Hexad Oil and Scenic Mountain Medical Center.
During this week's Big Spring City Council Meeting on 3/27/18, the following was discussed:
A bid for 144 - 3 cubic yard trash containers was awarded to Roll-Offs USA for $74,640.
Discussion was held on upgrading the early warning communication system, and a request from a volunteer group to solicit donations for a roof over the amphitheater stage.
Barney Dodd, Owner of BAD Events, LLC., spoke at the council meeting and advised that he had already set up a 501c3 in place in order to begin collecting funds from various sources in order to build a roof over the amphitheater stage. The roof would be designed by an architect, and it was noted that Kelly Cook, the architect of the Spring Site renovation had stated that he would be interested in pursuing the project.
Dodd advised that one way they would raise the money is to offer naming rights to the amphitheater for the amphitheater and stage in exchange for donations.
He went on to say that his vision is to make the amphitheater a regional music draw because it's a great facility.
AARP Tax-Aide – Last day on Monday
Monday, April 2nd is the last day to take advantage of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program that will be offering FREE income tax preparation from 8AM – 12 PM at the Dora Roberts Community Center, located at 100 Whipkey Drive in Big Spring. This service is available to all taxpayers with moderate to low income.
Taxpayers need to bring in the following items with them:
• Photo ID for the taxpayer and/or spouse
• Last year’s tax return
• W-2’s and all other proof of income received in 2017
• Social Security cards for every person on the tax return. (Be advised that they will not do a tax return without seeing the Social Security cards.)
It should be noted that these tax returns will be filed electronically with e-filing for availability of faster refunds. If you have any questions you can contact Ray Alexander at 432-212- 3533, or at email@example.com.
The 14th Annual Hoops, Dreams and Goals tips off tomorrow, March 29th at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Big Spring. Carolyn Easter, with West Texas Centers, advised that the basketball tournament event is meant to bring awareness of people who’ve been diagnosed with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She stated that March has always been the month when they've celebrated the awareness of the people that they serve and since the March Madness basketball tournaments are a big part of the month they decided to combine the two.
"The people that we serve enjoy playing basketball and what better way to bring the consumers together from all of our areas, our 23 counties, to play the game, to have fun, to enjoy the competition and just to make it their special day and bring awareness to them," said Easter.
The 10 basketball teams, surrounded by pep squads, cheerleaders and coaches will make their grand entrance down the ramp to the home floor of the Howard College Hawks and Lady Hawks beginning at 8:30 a.m. They will be led by the Big Spring High School Drumline and the Howard College Cheerleaders.
Before the tournament begins, a meaningful dedication and name-changing ceremony will take place that will change the tournament's name to the Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals Basketball Tournament.
Teams will then compete throughout the day along with those from the Betty Hardwick Center, Permian Basin Community Centers, and MHMR Services for the Concho Valley.
Not only is the event fun for the participants but since the first year, it has grown to include pep squads, cheerleaders and numerous fans who watch throughout the day. Every team competes for the coveted “Spirit Stick” award for showing the most spirit, which is awarded to the teams and fans who show the most enthusiasm throughout the day.
When asked why this event was so special to West Texas Centers, Easter stated that it was a time when they get to bring awareness to the people that they serve on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities side of the West Texas Centers.
She went on to say, "Just because a person has been diagnosed with a disability does not mean that they cannot participate in things that are in the community like a basketball tournament, cheerleading, or yelling for their team, and learning all kinds of things that they can do like working and their goals toward independence."
"It's just bringing that awareness to the individuals to let them know that they're people too," said Easter of the event. "They have dreams and goals just like we do," she continued, "and so we share that with them in a game of hoops."
At today's Big Spring Rotary Club meeting, Corporal Hope Hohertz, Texas Highway Patrol–Big Spring, was recognized for receiving a Medal of Valor, the highest honor and award bestowed by DPS for ending a violent standoff with an armed and dangerous suspect back on December 26th, 2016.
It was on that day that Corporal Hohertz overheard a Big Spring Police Department dispatch report of a subject with a gun at the AT&T store on Gregg St., and responded to assist a Big Spring Police Department Officer in a traffic stop of the suspect. The non-compliant suspect, later identified as then 60-year-old Raul Reyes, was armed with a handgun and rifle, and pointed a handgun with a silencer at Corporal Hohertz, who responded by firing at the suspect.
As more officers arrived, the subject fled the scene in his vehicle. Hohertz successfully located the suspect just as he exited his vehicle with the semi-automatic rifle. The suspect fired 28 rounds at responding officers, forcing Hohertz and Big Spring Police Officers to take cover. With officers at the scene in imminent danger, Corporal Hohertz took decisive action when the suspect tried to reload his weapon, and she opened fire with her shotgun, wounding the suspect and bringing the standoff to an end.
Multiple loaded handgun and semi-automatic rifle magazines were found in the vehicle. Reyes was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The Medal of Valor has only been awarded to 18 other people, and Cpl. Hohertz is the first female to receive the award. She later went on to win Southern Trooper of the Year for this heroic act.
When she spoke to the Rotary Club, she pointed out that everyone of the officers who were there that day were just there to do their job because that's what they're trained to do. Cpl. Hohertz also stated that everyone who puts on the uniform is aware of the risks they face and that they're biggest goal everyday is to make it home to their families.
During her speech, she noted that West Texas offers the greatest support that she's seen as a Trooper, both through local law enforcement and support for local law enforcement.
Delaney Moreno, a student at Big Spring Intermediate, was recognized as the Big Spring Rotary Club's Student of the Month at today's meeting.
She was nominated by several of her teachers for being a hard worker and an A-B student, and for always being willing to help others. Delaney is a true inspiration to others at Big Spring Intermediate. According to Patsy Sanchez, Principal at Big Spring Intermediate, Delaney is a true leader and they are so proud of her.
BSI Assistant Principal Nicole Woodard stated that she had Delaney as a student when she was in the 1st grade, and believes that she has a great legacy ahead of her because she truly is a positive role model.
Delaney is the daughter of Edgar and Danielle Moreno.
The contest had four rounds. Rounds one and two were held at Coahoma ISD where students met and greeted volunteers from area businesses. In those two rounds, the contestants were narrowed from 195 to 56 to the top 12. Then the remaining competitors traveled to the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce to meet and be interviewed by civic leaders.
After six interviews, the field was narrowed to the top six who then traveled to Midland to visit businesses and had interviews with representatives of First Capital Bank, SM Energy, and BTA Oil Producers. After four interviews, the group was treated to a dinner at Luigi;s where the winner was announced.
The top six contestants were Kylie Moran, Tucker Wegner, Grayson Jacobs, Makayla Chavez, Ava Alaman, and Brynn Rodgers.
Results are as follows:
Calculator Applications, and Number Sense:
5th Charlie Correa
6th Ransom Colette
2nd place Calculator Teams
5th Ransom Colette
Current Issues & Events:
4th Gabriel Williams
6th Kim Chapel
2nd place Team
District Champion Britney Tan
4th Christian Islas
District Champion Britney Tan
6th Christian Islas
District Champion Dora Hickam
4th Kendrick Kennemur
5th Mikal Banks
District Champion Britney Tan
First place Journalism Team
4th Myda Hernandez
5th Rocky ramirez
6th Analisa Blount
Regional Qualifier 3rd Chloe Sepeda
4th Ariana Tijerina
6th Hayley Jenikins
2nd place Team
District Champion: Myda Hernandez
3rd: Kim Chapel
4th Rocky Ramirez
6th Emily Hendricks
District Champion: Britney Tan
3rd: Samara Daniels
4th: Ariana Tijerina
District Champion: Ariana Tijerina
6th Chance Carroll
2nd place Social Studies Team
UPDATE: On the 26th of March 2018 at approximately 5:45 P.M., Marqavion “Quay” Williams turned himself into Law Enforcement and has since been arrested. Mr. Williams was charged with the five counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and two additional warrants, one for Burglary of a Habitation, and the other for Theft of a Firearm. Mr. Williams will be arraigned in the morning.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
———————————- Third Suspect Sought in KFC Shooting: Please Share----
From BSPD 3-26-18:
Through the course of this investigation the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division has found that Marqavion “Quay” Donshay Williams Black/Male 17 years of age, along with Villa and Hernandez, were actively engaged in shooting at the two vehicles at the KFC on the 16th of March 2018. On the 26th of March 2018, Detectives submitted five probable cause affidavits to a justice of the peace at which time five Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon warrants were issued for the arrest of Marqavion Donshay Williams Black/Male 17 years of age. As of this date both Hernandez and Villa have been arrested and charged with 5 counts each of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon a Felony 2 offense. The Big Spring Police Department asks the public to help bring Marqavion Williams to justice.
If you know the whereabouts of Mr. Williams or have any information regarding this investigation please contact CrimeStoppers (432) 263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using the “P3 Tips” mobile application or from the Big Spring Police Department website www.bigspringpd.net
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
On Saturday, March 24th, many people gathered at the annual Pints for Polio event that was hosted by the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club in downtown Big Spring. According to Barney Dodd, member of the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club, the event raised an approximate $31,000.
Half of the money raised will stay in Big Spring, and the other half will be donated to the End Polio Now Campaign, which will then be matched 2 to 1 by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This morning, all of Coahoma ISD's The Academy students participated in The Great Shake event, and all participants had to be a student at The Academy.
The event began with 195 students, and according to Coahoma ISD Superintendent Dr. Amy Jacobs each round was judged differently, but overall "they're scored on eye contact, communication skills, hand shake, and conversational skills, as well, later in the competition in the final rounds."
The second round it was cut down to 56 students, and the top 12 competitors continued to the third round, in which they would travel to different businesses around Big Spring to continue the round.
The top 6 students from that round will continue on to the final round where they will travel around to different businesses in Midland to compete for the top spot.
When asked what the purpose of The Great Shake event is, Dr. Jacobs stated, "The purpose is for them to be comfortable in this environment, and one of the components of our The Academy is responsibility and being able to communicate effectively. We want to put them in front of as many professionals as we can so they feel comfortable speaking and communicating their information across to people."
The Academy students who were interviewed after the second round stated that they appreciated taking part in the event.
Sophie, 6th grader, said "I enjoy that we learn our leadership skills and we have to use them when we get older."
When asked what she enjoyed about the event, 7th grader Serena stated, "I enjoyed learning how to speak properly to people and [that you should] stand up straight and look them in the eye; and it helps me prepare for the future."
5th grader Ryan was asked what he learned from The Great Shake, and he stated, "I've learned that maybe things are little more important in life. I also learned that if you stand up straight and have good manners, you can go far in life."
Easter Sunday is right around the corner, and Palm Sunday is this weekend, March 25th.
According to Father Christian Rabone from St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special devotion.
When asked why this week was so important, he went on to say that the Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, which is Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and Jesus’ Passion on the cross are recalled. Palm Sunday is when the people came down from Mount of Olives into Jerusalem. The people waved branches of palms as they walked to Jerusalem and sang Psalms, one which included "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
The next part will be celebrated on Thursday, March 29th, which is Maundy Thursday. Father Rabone stated that Maundy Thursday includes the last supper before Jesus was betrayed. This service is called the Eucharist, Mass, or The Great Thanksgiving, depending on what church you go to.
Another part of the service may be the ceremony of the washing of feet, which is reenacting what Jesus did for his disciples on the night before the Romans took him away.
Then Good Friday follows the next day, March 30th. This is a day in which the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and is a day of fasting and special acts of discipline and self- denial.
Holy Week will then end at sundown on the Saturday, March 31st, the day before Easter.
Father Rabone advised that St. Mary's Episcopal Church will be participating in the services for Holy Week, and everyone is welcomed to join them.
Schedule of Worship for Holy Week at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, located at 1001 S. Goliad:
Palm Sunday - Sunday, March 25th @ 10:30 AM
Stations of the Cross - Wednesday, March 28th @ 5:30 PM
Maunday Thursday - Thursday, March 29th @ 6 PM
Hay - Friday, March 30th @ 12 PM
BIG SPRING – The long-running Hoops, Dreams and Goals tips off March 29 at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Big Spring but not before undergoing a meaningful dedication and name-changing ceremony.
The popular basketball tournament for consumers served by West Texas Centers’ 23 rural counties will change its name to the Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals Basketball Tournament.
Smith, a long-time supporter of West Texas Centers and the basketball tournament, passed away in January 2016. His most influential mark, however was his lifelong influence on his daughter, Shelley Smith, West Texas Center’s founding CEO who is the driving force behind the tournament.
The dedication and name-changing ceremony will be conducted by Big Spring Mayor Larry McClellan. It will be a particularly emotional and meaningful one for Smith, whose father, a longtime oilman and gas entrepreneur shaped her and supported her in social work.
“This is my favorite day – each and every year,” Shelley Smith said. “And now that this wonderful basketball tournament will be named in memory of my father, who truly loved the game of basketball it has just become the grandest day of year. What a great honor for a man who meant the world to me.”
The basketball teams surrounded by pep squads, cheerleaders and coaches will make their grand entrance down the ramp to the home floor of the Howard College Hawks and Lady Hawks beginning at 8:30 a.m. They will be led by the Big Spring High School Drumline and the Howard College Cheerleaders.
Big Spring Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbye Valverde and West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith will welcome guests beginning at 9 a.m. prior to McLellan’s dedication ceremony.
Teams will compete throughout the day along with those from the Betty Hardwick Center, Permian Basin Community Centers, and MHMR Services for the Concho Valley.
“The country becomes energized during the NCAA Men’s and Women’s March Madness basketball tournaments,” Smith said. “We thought it would be a fun way to bring together all our consumers, incorporate exercise and celebrate Intellectual & Developmental Disability Awareness Month. It has just blossomed into the event that you see today.”
Not only is the event fun for the participants but since the first year, it has grown to include pep squads, cheerleaders and numerous fans who watch throughout the day.
Every team competes for the coveted “Spirit Stick” award for showing the most spirit, which is awarded to the teams and fans who show the most enthusiasm throughout the day.
“We award the sought-after ‘Spirit Stick’ at the end of the day-long competition,” Smith said. “Our judges watch them throughout the day not only when their teams are playing but when the other teams are playing as well.”
“It’s just such an enjoyable day for all of us,” Smith said. “From the consumers, to their families, to the employees to people who just stop by. Everyone looks forward to this day all year long.”
Teams participating in bracket play are: the Big Spring Heat, Sweetwater Red Rattlers, Ballinger Longhorns, Snyder Wildkatz, Seminole Pink Panthers, Monahans/Pecos Warriors, Midland Panthers, Odessa Tigers, Abilene Chili Peppers, and the San Angelo Bobcats.
Team members will be accompanied by coaches, cheerleaders, pep squads and friends and family, totaling over 1,000 people, Smith said.
All of the basketball teams have been preparing the past several months, Smith said. The cheerleaders and pep squads have been practicing as well.
The Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals Basketball Tournament is open to the general public.
“We encourage anyone to drop by and sit in the stands,” Smith said. “Our basketball players love to play in front of their fans. The encouragement helps and the skits that are performed by our pep squads and cheerleaders are so much fun.”
“I leave the gym exhausted but with a smile on my face that just stays there for days,” Smith said. “It’s just the best day of the year.”
The event is sponsored by West Texas Centers, Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, Delec, Atmos Energy, Arthur J Gallagher & Co., KBST Radio Stations, KBYG Radio Stations, Prescription Services Inc., Hexad Oil and Scenic Mountain Medical Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
Coahoma High School students KayLee Wright and Grayson Glidewell advanced to UIL Regional Academic Contest after their strong showings at district held Monday. Glidewell placed 1st in current events and Wright came in 2nd in poetry at the competition held in Merkel. The two will compete at regional on April 13-14 at Abilene Christian University.
Howard County Commissioners Court held a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, and here are the highlights.
• A truckload of MC-30 will be purchased from Asphalt & Fuel Supply from Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to Brian Klinksiek, Road and Bridge Engineer for Howard County, the cost of the purchase will be determined by the number of gallons that will be used. A truckload of Emulsion will also be purchased from Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc., a company which has a refinery in Lubbock.
• Gayla Fullerton, CPA, presented the 2016-2017 Annual Audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and it was noted that it was a good audit.
• A “Facebook” issue was brought up to Klinksiek regarding the complaints that have been received concerning the methodology that the department is using to complete pothole repairs. During the meeting, Klinksiek stated that he believed it was an operator problem and he has made moves to immediately switch the operator. He also stated that part of the problem was “mix-design” problem, and he’ll be replacing the mix that is used.
• Sandy Taylor, Family & Consumer Sciences County Extension Agent for Howard County, and the 4-H kids presented the Foods and Nutrition Project that they worked on in the Fall, and then quizzed the commissioners on nutrition facts.
Retired Lt. Colonel Rosa Mancha was honored yesterday evening by the Hangar 25 Air Museum as this month's Veteran of the Month. Mancha served 20 years in the United States Air Force as a Medical Officer in the Nurse Corps.
During her presentation, Mancha stated that she made the decision to join the military after speaking with her father and other military nurses that she had met during nursing school. She decided that she wanted to give back to the country that had given her so much.
The focus of Mancha's presentation was, "Service over self," because the Air Force is a large group of people working together for one mission. She also noted that there were multiple times where she was the only female, but she always put the mission over herself.
"I couldn't focus on gender issues, so I got right back in that gender-neutral lane and we got the mission accomplished, because that's what it's all about," said Mancha.
Even though there were times when Mancha would have to "tuck away emotions" to accomplish missions, she stated that she wished that she could still be on active duty.
Mancha is now a member of the West Texas VA Health Care System team as the Quality Manager where she says she has the privilege and responsibility to advocate for her fellow veterans everyday, and that has become her life mission.
In closing out her presentation, she encouraged veterans to reach out to West Texas VA Health Care System, stating, "We [at WTVAHC] strive to provide the best care that we can, and we can empathize with your life experiences like no one else can."
UPDATE: 1 Fatal, 1 Critical in Scenic Mountain Automobile Crash:
From BSPD: 3-21-18
On the 21st of March 2018 at approximately 12:48 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of W. 16th St. just behind the old National Guard Armory in reference to a vehicle that had traveled off the top of the Big Spring State Park causing a major crash. Upon officers’ arrival it was found there was an adult female victim identified as Rosi Yselda Herrera-Rodriguez Hispanic Female 40 years of age and a 12 year old female victim. Mrs. Herrera-Rodriguez was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center by Big Spring Fire and EMS for treatment and the 12 year old female was flown by Air-Evac helicopter to Midland Memorial Hospital for treatment.
The preliminary investigation has revealed that Mrs. Herrera-Rodriguez was the driver of the Blue 1998 Ford F-150 and the 12 year old female was the front right passenger. It is believed Mrs. Herrera-Rodriguez intentionally drove off the side of the mountain causing the crash.
As a result of the crash Rosi Yselda Herrera-Rodriguez has succumbed to her injuries sustained and was pronounced deceased at 2:45 P.M. An autopsy on Mrs. Herrera-Rodriguez is scheduled to be completed Friday morning. At the time of this media release the 12 year old female was still in critical condition at Midland Memorial Hospital.
The Big Spring Police Department is being assisted by the Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Texas Rangers Divisions.
This continues to be an ongoing investigation and the Big Spring Police Department has no further information at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
At approximately 12:47 PM today, a 9-1-1 call reported that a vehicle had driven off the side of Scenic Mountain. Big Spring Fire/EMS were able to transport 2 individuals to Scenic Mountain Medical Center, and no other information is known at this time.
The Big Spring Police Department is currently investigating the incident and the public is asked to keep the area clear. Please note a barrier on the mountain has already been set in place to detour traffic.
Earlier today, Howard County Volunteer Fire Department (HCVFD) Chief Tommy Sullivan was recognized for his service to the community by being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Big Spring Rotary Club.
The award was presented by Hardy Wilkerson, President-Elect of the Big Spring Rotary Club. According to Wilkerson, the Paul Harris Fellow is named after the founder of Rotary Paul Harris, and is the Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its community, humanitarian, and education program.
Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person’s life who demonstrates a sheer purpose with the objective of the Rotary Foundation, and Sullivan was designated to receive this recognition as a special expression of appreciation from the entire club.
Sullivan graduated in 1978 from Big Spring High School. Since then, he's been involved with the HCVFD for 35 years, and has been HCVFD Chief for 25 years. He's also been the Director of 911 Communications Department for 19 years.
Upon receiving the award, Sullivan stated that after he graduated from high school he started searching for his place in the world and he later found it with the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.
When he became Chief, he was able to convince 10 separate volunteer fire departments to come together to serve as one team. Since then, he and his team have fought many fires, saved many homes, and unfortunately have seen a lot of death. Since reinforcing their worth as professionals after the refinery explosion in 2008, the department's team bond has run deeply.
As Fire Chief, Sullivan stated that his firefighters are the ones who make the decisions in the field; he's just the coach.
When asked how he felt about receiving the award, Sullivan stated, "I'm pretty overwhelmed by getting this. This is one of the highest honors that the club puts out, and for me to get that, I think of all the people who helped me get to here. I'm proud of them, my firefighters, and I'm humbled and overwhelmed at the same time."
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. This is an investment that will be used to help fund their initiatives to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies.
(Photo - District Attorney and Big Spring Rotary Club's President Elect Hardy Wilkerson presents Howard County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tommy Sullivan with a certificate.)
UPDATE: Big Spring Police Chief Chad Williams has informed KBest News that the 2-year girl who was shot last Friday underwent surgery today and her condition has been upgraded from serious to stable. The child, along with a male adult, were both shot when 2 individuals opened fire in the parking lot of KFC on March 16th. The male who was injured was treated at SMMC and no further information on his condition has been released. Crimestoppers is asking for the public's help in locating the suspects for the crime of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. See details below, as well as information for leaving an anonymous tip to help put the suspects behind bars:
On the 16th of March 2018 at approximately 7:25 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the KFC (1711 S. Gregg) in reference to shots fired. While en-route numerous calls came into dispatch informing occupants in a tan in color SUV were shooting at the occupants of a white passenger car and a black passenger car and all three vehicles had left the area. Officers were also dispatched to the area of 20th and Donley where one of the adult male occupants in the white vehicle had been shot and also to Scenic Mountain Medical Center where a 2 year old female child had been shot as a result of the shooting at KFC. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division responded to assist with this investigation.
It is believed at approximately 7:25 P.M., the white and black cars were sitting in the north parking lot of KFC when the tan SUV approached from the alley just east of the parking lot. While the occupants in the white and black cars were visiting, two Hispanic/Males identified as Angel Villa 20 years of age and Rafael Jesus Hernandez Jr. 20 years of age opened fire on both vehicles. As the vehicles departed from the KFC parking lot in attempt to get away, Villa and Hernandez followed and continued firing at the vehicles while eastbound on East 18th Street. The driver of the black car drove the child to SMMC for treatment. The child was flown by helicopter to Covenant Medical in Lubbock Texas and was in serious condition. The driver of the white car continued to run from Villa and Hernandez until his vehicle was disabled in the 1000 block of E. 20th. Big Spring Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded and transported the adult male to Scenic Mountain Medical Center for treatment. The adult male was treated at Scenic Mountain Medical Center and is in stable condition.
At the time of this media release Arrest Warrants have been issued for Villa and Hernandez each for 2 counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon a Felony 2 offense. The Big Spring Police Department expects more charges to follow. This is an ongoing criminal investigation and there is no further information available at this time.
If you have any information regarding this investigation or know the whereabouts of Villa or Hernandez please contact CrimeStoppers (432) 263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using the “P3 Tips” mobile application or from the Big Spring Police Department website www.bigspringpd.net.
(Photo, from top to bottom: Rafael Jesus Hernandez Jr., and Angel Villa)
Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Health Fair - April 7, 2018, 8:00 - 12 Noon, Dorothy Garrett Coliseum ~ Sonic Floor
Healthy living is top of mind as the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Health Fair approaches. The health fair is scheduled for April 7th at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum from 8 a.m. to Noon.
"This year we are taking on a new approach and focusing on the importance of not only being healthy, making healthy choices, but making sure that the environment around you is healthy, as well," Debbye ValVerde, Executive Director of Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, said.
This year, Keep Big Spring Beautiful will be combining their efforts with the health fair. The annual Trash Off takes place the same day, but this year, the drop off location will be at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.
"Being healthy is more than just what we put in our body and the physical ailments that we deal with or try to avoid. If we can focus on making our community healthy - pick up trash, spruce up some landscaping - it provides a better environment for us to live in and that improves the attitudes, and overall makes the community look and feel better," ValVerde said.
In typical health fair fashion, booths will be set up on the Sonic Floor and there will be plenty of activities in the parking lot of the coliseum. The Blood Mobile will be coming back and set up from 9 a.m. until Noon. Safe Kids and Scenic Mountain Medical Center will be hosting the Car Seat Check, but it will be first come first serve basis.
"The car seat check is one of the biggest hits each year. There are so many things that can deem a car seat 'unsafe' for a child and this is a service that allows parents to not only have their car seats checked for proper installment, but also to make sure they are the right size and that they are in safe condition for the child," ValVerde said. "This is a free service and the car seats are free, but the child must be present to ensure that the correct car seat is provided."
Star Dodge has stepped up to the plate again and will be providing the bicycles for the Bike Rodeo. This course teaches the kids the safety measures for riding a bicycle on a public street.
"Most people don't realize that there are laws pertaining to the proper way of riding a bicycle, especially on a public street. The course is good education for the parents as well as for teaching the kids how to be safe when they come to a cross-walk, a stop sign or coming to a stop on their bike." ValVerde said. "Every child that goes through the bike rodeo will be able to sign up for the drawing and possibly win a new bicycle. In addition, every child that goes through the course will receive a free helmet."
There are going to be plenty of interactive activities for the whole family. Currently there are about 30 booths signed up, but more space is available. If your business would like to have a booth at the health fair, the cost is $100 until March 23 and $120 between March 23 and March 29. To find out more information or request a form, call the Chamber of Commerce at 432-263-7641.
The Howard College Dental Hygiene second year students are in need of patients for their clinical board exam. Individuals who have not had a dental cleaning in the last 5 years are eligible for consideration.
FREE screenings will be performed on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am – 10:45 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. No appointment is needed for the screening.
The clinical examination will be held on the Howard College campus on March 30, 2018.
For more information, contact: Belinda Lindermon 432-264-5172.
Stand Firm Women’s Conference will be this Saturday, March 24th, from 9 AM to 4 PM, at Spring Creek Fellowship, located at 1801 FM 700 – inside the Spring Town Plaza. This event is sponsored by women from various local churches, and everyone, women and men, are invited to attend. Registration will begin at 8 AM and continue until 9 AM. Pastor Michael Willard of Cornerstone Covenant Church will be the keynote speaker for the conference, and other speakers include Kathy McGee.
When asked what the purpose of the conference is, Wanda Gamble, a member of the coordinating group for the conference, stated, “We want women to be able to come and be refreshed and just have a time apart from their busy schedules to be able to hear from the Lord and be encouraged. You know, life gets hard and it’s a good time to get together with other women and be able to encourage one another and just hear a fresh word from the Lord.”
To find out more about the Stand Firm Conference, you can check out the Facebook event page for Stand Firm Women’s Conference.
The Prom Closet officially opened for Prom Season this evening at Ryan Hall, located at the rear of 605 N. Main.
Christian Fair, Founder of The Prom Closet, said that after her 3 daughters ended up with a several prom dresses that they no longer had use for and she figured that there were probably other people who also had leftover prom dresses that were only used for one night. She came up with the idea to call out to other people through Facebook in order to collect dresses and pass them on to other girls who could use them for their prom.
Here, Fair explained that the purpose of the Prom Closet is to help high school-aged girls and guys be able to easily access prom attire like prom dresses or tuxes.
There are many different styles and sizes of dresses, shoes, and jewelry that are available at The Prom Closet, as well as tuxes and a gift certificate to purchase a tux from Bealle's.
The Prom Closet is opened from 5:30 PM – 8 PM on Monday and Tuesdays through Prom Season. Anyone can stop in and check it out during those times, but an appointment can also be made by contacting Christian at 432-816-3573.
They’ll also be accepting donations of prom dresses, tuxes, as well as any other items that could make getting ready for prom a little pricey, such as gift certificates for hair, nails, etc.
Earlier this year U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled, “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.”
"Basically the Executive Order states that our military folks who are getting out of the military, as they discharge, they may receive up to one year of mental health service while they're at the Veteran's Administration," saysMatt Gaudiuso, Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the West Texas VA Health Care System.
According to Sheila Austin, Public Affairs Officer with the West Texas VA Health Care System, the 12-month period of time after discharge is that it’s been determined that that’s when service members tend to be more at risk of suicide.
"It's important for them to connect with VA for mental health services, and they can just contact VA and receive the services," stated Austin. "They don't have to be enrolled. Just get in touch with the local VA or with one of our clinics and they will immediately be connected with a provider who can assess them and provide the appropriate level of care."
After the end of that year of care, the service member will be reviewed to see if they meet any requirements that enable them to be allowed to continue that service at the VA, and if not they’ll be referred to a non-VA provider to continue care for that issue.
If you or someone you know is having trouble adjusting after service discharge and may be in need of help, you are encouraged to contact the Veteran Crisis hotline, 1-800-237-8255, and press 1; or text 838255 to access the text line.
During his book signing event at Heritage Museum of Big Spring, Bryan Mealer, author of The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family's Search for the American Dream, spoke about his book, which he describes as a cross between "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Boogie Nights". He also read aloud excerpts to the crowd and to the characters in the book who were in attendance.
It took Mealer six years to write the book, two of which were just solid research. He stated that his books usually center around stories of redemption and his current one was no different.
Today, Mealer and his 93 year-old cousin, Frances Varner, one of the characters from the book, begin their road trip across the country to Washington D.C., which Mealer calls, #AcrossTheGreatDivideTour.
A documentary film crew will follow Mealer and Varner, who have opposing political views, on their journey where they hope to many types of people who make up America on their way to the White House, where Frances will, hopefully, get to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.
You can check out two articles to learn more about their trip:
Big Spring Fire Department Saves Money and Time with New In-House App
Several years ago, the Big Spring Fire Department looked into a mobile app that would allow their personnel in the field to reference medical protocols or standard operating procedures that they may need while working. Unfortunately, the cost was so much that the Fire Department didn’t see it as a possibility at that time.
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, thanks to the new city website and mobile app that is available, the topic came up again. Even though there are other departments around the country that have access to the app, the cost for the department to make their own app was still prohibitive. He stated that fees included in the development of the app and the recurring costs that would be associated with it, really weren’t too terribly expensive, but it just didn’t seem like a good way to spend tax payers’ money.
Ferguson went on to say that after speaking with Miklos Szabo, the IT personnel who runs the website and mobile app for the city, it was determined that it was a project that could be done in-house with no cost associated with it. In about a week, a working prototype had been put together. Now that the bugs and kinks have been worked out and it’s currently accessible through the city app and being used by field personnel.
When asked how this benefits his department, Chief Ferguson stated that this was just one step closer in allowing the department to become paperless, and now personnel have quick access to the information when they need it most.
This morning, President of Keep Big Spring Beautiful Eric Escamilla spoke to those in attendance at today's Kindred Coffee Hour about how they can do their part to make Big Spring a beautiful place, even if it's picking up trash from the street in front of their house, or just getting to know your neighbors.
He stated that many people often pray for God to change our city for the better, however, he noted that everyone is capable of making changes. "There is a time to pray, and praying should be very important," said Escamilla, "but actions should be just as important."
If you'd like to join Keep Big Spring Beautiful in helping to keep our city clean, you can follow their Facebook page Keep Big Spring Beautiful for updates on where their next Twilight Tuesday will be held.
(Photo - Eric Escamilla speaking at Kindred Coffee Hour.)
During today’s Our Healthy Circle presentation, Joyce Alase, M.D., the new internal medicine doctor who has joined Scenic Mountain Medical Group, was introduced to those in attendance. She is a board-certified internal Medicine doctor and has a geriatric fellowship.
Dr. Alase said that she chose the geriatric fellowship so she could understand how to treat an aging population, and how to get them to a level that they need where they can keep their independence and be able to function well without family members.
“I think the most important thing is that they still want to be independent, and you don’t want to take that away from them,” says Alase. “So, our job as a geriatrician, is to make sure that our patients are functional and still independent.”
Dr. Alase advised that she believes in taking a holistic approach when it comes to treating patients. “It’s not just about the medical aspect, the comorbidities,” she said, “but it’s also important to explore the home environment, [and] the emotional aspect of the patient.”
“For me, I always make sure that my patients are okay emotionally, [and] that they’re home is okay emotionally.”
Alase stated that she likes to ask her patients more questions than just what kind of medication they are taking. “I want to know who you are. I want to know about your family life. I want to know how you hand situations on a day-to-day basis, so I can better understand you and how to treat you.”
She went on to say that she believes that it’s important to offer a lifestyle modification option before starting someone on medication, but, she did note that there are situations where medication is required. In situations like those, Dr. Alase stated that she always re-evaluate her patients to see what their response is to the medication is and if that medication can be decreased.
Dr. Alase’s office is located in the West Texas Plaza, Suite 204. She’s currently accepting new patients, 21 years old and above. She stated that people are also welcomed to come in and speak with her to see if she might be a good fit for what they’re looking for.
“We’re looking to help you in all aspects of your life,” said Alase. “Whether you have insurance or don’t have insurance, our job is to make sure that you get the care that you need and we’ll try to find solutions whether through using our case managers or social workers or reaching out to the community to see what the community has to offer. So just because you don’t have health insurance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t see a physician, [because] we’ll be in a position where we’re able to work with you and see what we can do for you.
(Photo - Joyce Alase, M.D., speaks at the Our Healthy Circle presentation earlier today.)
The Colorado River Municipal Water District has completed the water transmission line maintenance, and the City completed our repair. Therefore, the City of Big Spring is no longer under Stage III of the City of Big Spring “Drought Contingency Plan.” While it is no longer a requirement to conserve water, please remember that voluntarily conserving water is beneficial to our community.
City of Big Spring
Author of Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream, Bryan Mealer, will be at the Heritage Museum this Saturday, March 17th at 6:30 PM for a book signing.
His book has been described as, “A masterwork of memoir and narrative history, The Kings of Big Spring is an indelible portrait of fortune and ruin as big as Texas itself. And in telling the story of four generations of his family, Mealer also tells the story of America came to be.”
Bryan Mealer is the author of All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo. He wrote "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" and "Muck City."
He is a former Associated Press staff correspondent and his work has appeared in several magazines, including Texas Monthly, Harper's and Esquire.
Mealer will also be joining the KBest Country Chaos Morning Show on Friday, March 16th for Community Calendar. You can listen to that live interview on KBest FM 95.7 at 8:20 AM.
According to a story published yesterday by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, two Hispanic males are being sought after escaping from the Federal Correctional Institution Satellite Prison Camp in Big Spring on Sunday afternoon, according to a press release that was received on Tuesday from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Gustavo Adolfo Leon, 33, has brown hair, brown eyes, is 5 foot, 11 and weighs 192 pounds. He was given a 210-month sentence in Florida for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.
Hector Hernan Lerma, 43, has black hair, brown eyes, is 6 foot and weighs 250 pounds. He was given a 150-month sentence in Texas for conspiracy to import marijuana.
The U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies have been notified, according to the release.
Anyone with information on the two men should call the U.S. Marshals Service at 325-672-2147.
The satellite camp is a minimum security facility that houses 250 male inmates.
Photo: (Right to left) Gustavo Adolfo Leon, 33, and Hector Hernan Lerma, 43, both discovered to be missing from the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring's Satellite Prison Camp in Big Spring, Texas, Sunday March 11.
Photos from Federal Bureau Of Prisons
There’s a free mobile app, called City of Big Spring, which is offered by CivicPlus, that’s been made recently available and it is very user-friendly. By accessing the app, users can easily view meeting agendas, watch previous city council meetings on video, and find alerts from the City of Big Spring. The app also allows users to view current job openings, use online bill pay for Municipal Court and Utility Services, and there’s even a resource and staff directory.
The “Report a Concern” feature, allows users to attach a photo multiple options are available to help describe the location of the concern. There’s also a “Form Center” that gives access to several forms that may be needed, such as different kind of city application forms or request forms. Users can also opt to receive notifications on certain things such as public service announcements and bid postings.
You can check out the app for yourself on your smart phone by downloading it from the app store.
Yesterday, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank You for Your Investment" Ceremony at Howard College.
Their vision is to be a leader in education…for learning, for earning, for life! Their mission is that as one unified district, Howard College builds communities through quality, innovative education for lifelong learning.
When asked how she felt about the ceremony, Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, stated, "We appreciate the Chamber's recognizing our investment in our community, but the investment id's from the people of Howard County. They are investing in the community, and we appreciate the support of the tax payers and people of Howard County."
During this evening's meeting, Big Spring City Council members approved the installation and enforcement of the “No Truck Parking” signs were installed at North Goliad from NE 11th to NE 12th. The signs will prohibit trucks from on the public roadway or near the intersection. They also approved the removal of the “Pet Loading and Unloading Zone” signs that had been in front of a store front in the 200 block of Main that had been a pet groomer shop. They also approved the installation of “15 Minute Parking between 8 AM to 5:30 PM at 105 S. Main. During the meeting, Johnny Womack, Big Spring Public Works Director, advised that the request had come from the building owner.
An operation agreement with the Big Spring YMCA was approved for the purpose of providing life guards for the Russ McEwen Family Aquatic Center this summer.
A resolution was approved to submit an application to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program to secure funding for the purchase of ID card printer and software.
Debbie Wegman, Big Spring Community Service Director, announced that there had been recent donations of $2,245 from Big Spring High School Class of 55-57, an additional donation from SM Energy of $5,000, $50,000 donation from Occidental Petroleum, and $250,000 from FMH Foundation had been received for Phase II of the Historic Spring Project.
It was later noted during the meeting that FMH Foundation had requested that $50,000 of funds donated be put towards an annual concert series to be held at the Spring, and it was also noted that they would receive the naming rights to plaza and pedestrian bridge that is being built. The City Council approved these requests, and the plaza will be named “Marie Hall Plaza given by the FMH Foundation”, and the pedestrian bridge will be named “Hall’s Way”.
An approval of an agreement between Big Spring Economic Development Corporation and Big Spring ISD was approved in order to assist in purchasing robotics equipment at two elementary schools as part of the “GEAR UP” program, which stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.
According to Terry Wegman, Executive Director for the Big Spring EDC, this will service 800 students in the community. He went on to say that the EDC would be able to assist in offering this grant in the amount of $4,558 because it qualifies as helping with workforce training. The program will be started in Fall 2018 and continue through the school year.
(PHOTO - Terry Wegman, Executive Director of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation, speaks to Big Spring City Council Members about a possible agreement between Big Spring ISD and the Big Spring EDC.)
**UPDATED @ 7:10 PM, 03/13/18**
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson and Big Spring Police Chief Chad Williams, a big rig carrying an over-sized load was driving eastbound on FM 700 earlier today when it tore down a Suddenlink fiber optic line. The line is still down in the area, but the roadway is clear. It was also noted that some of the repairs to the fiber optic line will have to be coordinated with TXDOT.
When asked if the driver received a citation for the incident, Chief Williams advised that he had not seen the report yet, but he did confirm that the driver was on his permitted route. The investigation is still ongoing.
At approximately 1 PM today, a semi-trailer knocked down a power line in front of Westover Pharmacy near the intersection of FM 700 and Westover Rd. in Big Spring. Law enforcement and Big Spring Fire Department are still on scene to resolve the issue.
At this time, traffic on FM 700 is being diverted to keep the area clear. Westbound traffic is still being turned around at the First Baptist Church and east bound eastbound traffic is being detoured onto Westover Rd.
Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson told KBest news that the best thing people can do right now is to find an alternate route to avoid the area, and let the crews work.
Richard Kincannon of Shamrock, TX is traveling through Texas to let people know about his "Jesus Trailer" that has a fold out stage that he allows people to use in exchange for donations to pay for travel expenses. He said that he's making a winter run through Texas to let people see the trailer and see if anyone is interested in booking places where they can come back in the summer so it can be available for local bands to play Christian music, or "any type of music that God would approve of" for a show.
When asked why there were Jesus images on the trailer, Kincannon stated that he's retired and this is his way of paying back God. "I know we have to go through Jesus, and he's the image we have to look at to get through God."
He went on to say that he's been traveling since December 1st, 2017 to show off the trailer and to encourage people to get "Heaven ready." He said he originally wasn't planning to drive through Big Spring today, but a friend suggested that he do it.
You can check out the "Jesus Trailer" in the Big Spring Walmart parking lot until 2 PM, and you can hear more about this story tomorrow morning on KBest 95.7 FM during the 6:10 AM and 7:10 AM news.
DPS has identified Jose Ayala, a 63-year old man from Fort Worth, TX as the person who had passed away as a result of a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Howard County last week.
According to their report, on Thursday, March 8th at approximately 4:45 PM, DPS troopers responded to a 2-vehicle crash that involved a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder, driven by Ayala, and 2009 Freightliner, truck tractor towing a semi-trailer, driven by 29-year old Michael Kerby of Clifton, TX.
The investigation revealed that Ayala was traveling east on I-20 when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed the center median and entered the westbound traffic lanes. He then collided with the Freightliner head on. Ayala was pronounced dead on scene, and Kerby was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center with non-incapacitating injuries.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
Last week, the City of Big Spring made a public service announcement stating that the Colorado River Municipal Water District (CRMWD) had notified the City of Big Spring that they will be doing maintenance on District lines, and as a result, the City’s main supply of water will be shut down beginning 10 PM Tuesday, March 13, 2018, and will remain shut down until CRMWD restores water. The announcement also noted that during the CRMWD maintenance the City will be under Stage III of the City of Big Spring “Drought Contingency Plan,” until CRMWD has completed the maintenance. This plan is in the City of Big Spring Code of Ordinance Section 16B.
It is important to note that residents will still have water during this time, but they are urged to conserve water and discontinue use of irrigation systems, or other unnecessary uses.
Here are some frequently asked questions that have been asked:
Q: Will my water be shut off?
A: No. According to Big Spring Public Works Director Johnny Womack, residents will still have access to water but they are urged to CONSERVE water.
Q: What are they working on?
A: Womack says that the [CRMWD] will be changing out some of their big valves, and while they have the water off the City of Big Spring will be changing out some the piping in their plant. They'll also be filling up all of their tanks, ground storage, and overhead storage.
Q: Will there be a change in water pressure?
A: No. Womack advised that the city will be running their pumps like normal, however, there is a possibility of a change in pressure IF residents don't participate in the water conservation.
"We'll have enough water [to get through this] as long as everyone helps to conserve [water]," said Womack.
Q: Is this for a certain area of town?
A: Womack stated that this is city-wide for Big Spring. (It should also be noted that we have also been notified that Sand Springs, and Coahoma are also included in this advisory.)
Q: How long will this take?
A: Womack estimated that the City of Big Spring will have their project completed by 10 or 11 AM on Thursday, and CRMWD is estimating to be done with their project by noon on Thursday, March 15th and then they'll start sending water back to the city.
Q:Why is this being done now?
A: According to a source with the CRMWD, projects like this are done during this time of year because it's less of an inconvenience than to do it during warmer weather months when people are filling their pools, gardening, etc.
Coahoma ISD 6th grader Barrett Howe won the overall Supreme Champion Heifer, the top award in the Heifer class, and Supreme Champion Continental Division at the Houston Junior Livestock Show on Sunday, March 11th, 2018.
His heifer was chosen the top animal out of 2,024 entries in the heifer category this year in the Houston Junior Livestock Show. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the largest rodeo and livestock exhibitions in the world.
Barrett is a sixth grader at Coahoma ISD and a member of the Howard County 4H. He has been showing since the third grade.
(Information and photo courtesy of Coahoma Media.)
In Midland yesterday, a federal judge sentenced Andrews County electrician Randall Varian Hanks to 97 months in
federal prison for a false billing scheme that resulted in more than a $1.5 million loss to local businesses and for failing to file tax returns, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division, and Acting Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge David Counts ordered that Hanks pay $1,786,559.68 restitution and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term. Judge Counts also ordered that Hanks forfeit to the Government his Andrews County residential property, agreeing that it was proceeds generated from the defendant’s fraudulent scheme. At the end of today’s
sentencing hearing, Judge Counts remanded Hanks into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his prison term.
On November 9, 2017, a federal jury convicted the 46-year-old, who once owned and operated Sandhills Electric, Inc., of four counts of mail fraud and three counts of failure to file a tax return.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that from June 2013 to May 2016, Hanks, while working for two area oilfield services companies, generated fraudulent service tickets and invoices in excess of $1.5 million for parts and services that he fraudulently claimed to have provided to the two companies’ customers. Both oilfield service companies paid Hanks and then billed the respective customers for parts and services Hanks claimed to
Furthermore, testimony revealed that Hanks received more than the applicable threshold in personal income each year, yet failed to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service for the calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015, resulting in tax losses to the U.S. Government of nearly $500,000.
The FBI Oilfield Theft Task Force and IRS-CI agents investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Glenn Harwood prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Big Spring Ford this afternoon to celebrate their Grand Re-Opening!
David "Hondo" Howard, General Manager and Managing Partner of Big Spring Ford since February 2015, stated that he wanted the community to know that he and the company are here to stay, and they are making a commitment to the community and to their employees.
Even though the President and CEO, Rick Ford, who was in attendance for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, is from out of town, Hondo wanted to stress that Big Spring Ford is a local business. You can find Hondo in the store everyday, and most days at 8 AM.
"We're in the business of selling and servicing Fords," said Hondo. "I do have a huge used car operation, so there are several different kind of cars down there. Pretty much, anything you want I can get my hands on. We're in the business to be in business to be a part of the community."
During the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Hondo recognized the 4 Master Certified Diesel Technicians that they have at Big Spring Ford. According to Hondo, these men are just 4 of 516 Certified Master Techs in the State of Texas. He also went on to recognize his Service Director and Assistant Service Director, as well stating that Big Spring Ford is in the top 10 percent in the State of Texas in Service CSI.
Tomorrow the KBest Crew will be on location at Big Spring Ford, located at 500 W. 4th, to help them celebrate their Grand Re-Opening from 1-3 PM.
Then beginning at 6:30 PM there will be a catered dinner and Eddie Austin will be performing live music at Big Spring Ford.
"We're just really doing this for my employees, and their families, and our customers, and our vendors, and our friends, to just have an opportunity to get together," stated Hondo. "There's no real special occasion. We're using the remodel as an excuse, but I just wanted to do something for my employees and their families so we could spend a little time together."
“The Lords of the Southern Plains” exhibit is currently available for viewing at the Heritage Museum, located at 510 Scurry in Big Spring. This is a Native American themed exhibit features items from the Kenneth and Shirley LeBlanc Collection.
There are garments, artifacts, and photos that will be on display on the first floor of the museum. On the second floor, the a 45-minute History Channel presentation on Comanche Warriors runs on loop, and features the Last Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. The exhibit will be on display until March 20th.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for Senior citizens and students, and children under 5 years of age get in for FREE.
For more information on upcoming exhibits, check out the Facebook page for Heritage Museum of Big Spring.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new business and Chamber member to Big Spring this afternoon, BAD Events, LLC, ran by Barney Dodd, Owner and Operator, and his Office Manager, Azure Farmer.
BAD Events, named after Dodd's initials (B.A.D.), is an event planning company, specializing in concerts and events.
"We are concert promoters, as well as we will do private events," said Dodd. "If your company wants to have a company party and doesn't want to mess with the set up, we're happy to come out and do that." Dodd stated that they are promoters, but they'll also produce shows. "If there's a charity that doesn't know how to [produce an event], but has the money available I can come in and produce the show also."
When asked why he felt that a concert promoting company was needed in Big Spring, Dodd stated, "There's a great need and thirst for entertainment in Big Spring. People are always complaining that there's nothing to do here, so we are bringing them things to do. They cannot complain that there's nothing to do here in Big Spring."
The first event for the company will be a Christian concert with Phil Wickham, a Contemporary Christian musician, on Sunday, April 22nd at the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium.
Dodd stated that BAD Events also has plans to bring in two major Nashville acts for a huge event called "Country on the Rocks" that will take place on September 29th, 2018.
For more information, check out their Facebook page BAD Events TX, their website badeventstx.com, or contact Barney Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, March 2nd, a 4th grade student at Goliad Elementary was reported to have brought a BB Gun on to the campus. School Administrators were made aware of the item early in the day and the BB gun was confiscated. According to George Bancroft, Community Relations Coordinator for Big Spring ISD, the student received a 3-day suspension and will receive a 10-day DAEP placement of 10 days. He also noted that the parents of all students in that particular class were notified by phone of the incident.
When asked what security measures Big Spring ISD has on their campuses to ensure the safety of their students, Bancroft stated, “Well, all of our campuses have one entrance. Students carry backpacks and, on occasion, they’re going to bring inappropriate items. This student certainly did, and it’s been addressed and we hope it doesn’t happen again.”
He went on to say, “I know, particularly, in this climate, parents are always very concerned. I think if it is the kind of thing that had it happened 30 years ago, had a student had a BB gun, no one would have thought twice about it. But, that’s not 30 years ago, it’s 2018 and parents are concerned, and rightfully so, and [Big Spring ISD is] too. We are as diligent as we can be.
Bancroft stated that other students had made staff aware of the BB gun when they saw it, and noted that it’s fortunate that students have been trained to report when they see things like that.
From BSPD 3-7-18:
On the 29th of January 2015 at approximately 8:10 P.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of Stadium in regards to “shots fired”. Upon their arrival, Matthew Burnett White/Male 23 years of age was found sitting in the passenger side of a 1999 Buick Park Avenue with a single gunshot wound to the chest. Emergency Medical Services Personnel responded to the scene and found Mr. Burnett had no signs of life and was deceased. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division responded to the scene and began investigating the shooting. The only witness at the scene was identified as St. John Garcia Jr Hispanic/Male 24 years of age. Garcia informed Officers and Detectives that only he and Burnett were outside of the residence in the driveway when Burnett “accidently” shot himself in the chest.
Big Spring Police Department Detectives have worked this investigation for the past 3 years and had solicited the assistance from the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division.
On February 20th 2018, the Criminal Investigations Division presented a probable cause affidavit to a magistrate and a warrant for the arrest of Garcia was issued for the offense of Murder a First degree Felony.
On the 7th of March 2018 at approximately 9:36 A.M., St. John Garcia Jr. was arrested for Murder and booked into the Howard County Law Enforcement Center. St. John Garcia Jr is currently awaiting arraignment.
This continues to be an active investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and no further information can be provided at this time. The Big Spring Police Department thanks the citizens of Big Spring and the family of Mr. Burnett for their assistance and patience with this investigation.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
The Occidental Petroleum Corporation visited Big Spring today to present a check for $50,000 to the City of Big Spring to be used to support the Restoration Project at the Historic Spring Site.
Mayor Larry McLellan, ladies from the Big Spring CVB, Aubrey Weaver, City Councilman Jim DePauw, and Kelly Cook of KDC Associates were on-site to accept the check from Occidental Petroleum Corporation representatives.
Mayor McLellan thanked OXY for their contribution to Big Spring's Restoration Project, stating that it was contributions like this that enable the city to move forward.
Way to go voters—-a slightly higher turnout than in past primaries, at 15.13%!
Our county has 16,716 registered voters, with 2529 ballots cast. Of that total, 2156 were Republican ballots, and 373 Democratic ballots.
Results are listed in separate posts below.
**Republican Ballot Results—Howard County**
Candidates must receive 50% plus 1 vote in order to be declared the winner.
In the race for State Senator, District 31, Candidate MIKE CANON received 38.93% of the vote, and Incumbent KEL SELIGER received 49.41% in Howard County, however, Howard County provisional ballots and mail-in ballots have not yet been finalized and therefore could tip the scales to the acceptable percentage of 50% plus 1 vote to declare a victory in HowardCounty.
Statewide, Senate District 31 includes the Texas Panhandle and winds around Lubbock through the Permian Basin. Totaling all of the District 31 ballots including Howard County, KEL SELIGER has narrowly avoided a runoff with 50.5% of the vote. He is favored to win the election in November as there is no Democratic opponent in the running.
Results are not official until there is a state wide canvas.
Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan recently announced that he is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Sullivan advised that there is no cure, but he hoped to be able to set an example for other people.
"I want people to see that even through adversity, I still push forward and don't give up. Maybe I can be a inspiration to someone else going through life's trials," said Sullivan. "The only time you give up is when you take your last breath."
Sullivan went on to say that he wasn't advised of a specific amount of time that he had left to live, but he hopes he'll have about 12 more months. He stated that he plans to remain Fire Chief until he's physically unable to do the job, but he is in the process of training someone.
Even though Sullivan is battling this illness, he keeps a positive outlook on life and his afterlife.
In the traditional Sullivan humor, he joked, "Nobody gets out alive."
"I'm a child of God, saved by Grace. I know where I'm going after I pass here. God has always taken care of me and I still believe that. I still believe that He works miracles and maybe He'll use one on me. If He does, that's great. If He doesn't, then when it gets too bad He'll call me home."
Around mid-day on Monday, March 5th, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department responded to a grass fire that was resulted from a weather balloon falling out of the sky onto power lines. The fire burned approximately 60 acres of land near Vincent.
According to HCVFD Chief Tommy Sullivan, the fire covered a half-mile long, and a quarter-mile wide, and firefighters fought the blaze for approximately 3 hours. A county bulldozer and a maintainer was used to help put out the fire. No injuries were reported, and other than the acreage that was burned, there was no other damage as a result of the fire.
Roseland's West Texas Oil & Gas Convention is a 2-day event being held from March 7th to the 8th, 2018 at the Midland Horseshoe Pavilion in Midland, TX. This event showcases products like oil, petroleum, natural gas, oilfield, pumps, energy etc. in the Petroleum, Oil & Gas industry.
Please note that this event is not open to the public, and a ticket is required for entry. So, don't forget that Bulldog Steel, located at 9702 S. Service Rd, in Big Spring, is the ONLY place to pick up your FREE tickets to this year's WEST TEXAS OIL & GAS CONVENTION.
Dr. Oliphant Returns to SMMC
Last week, Scenic Mountain Medical Center opened the newest addition to the hospital, the Behavioral Health Unit that is located on the 4th floor. During the grand opening ceremony, both Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, welcomed Dr. Nekesha Oliphant, Clinical Director and Attending Psychiatrist for the unit, back to Scenic Mountain. According to Krabill, Dr. Oliphant is double boarded in primary care and psychiatry and is also passionate about what the unit will be doing for the community.
Dr. Oliphant was a Primary Care doctor at Scenic Mountain Medical Center from 2013 to 2014. She also had a private primary care clinic, as well as worked part-time for MHMR seeing their outpatient clinic patients.
"So now I will be the administrator, clinically, for the patients on the in-patient unit. I will actually round on the patients here, and I will also begin to work with MHMR, as far as discharge planning, and we'll see some patients on the out-patient side of psychiatry, as well," said Dr. Oliphant.
When asked how she felt about returning to Scenic Mountain, Dr. Oliphant stated that she was excited to see all the changes that have happened. "It seems like things have definitely grown. The attention to care and the quality of care seems to have improved a great deal since I was here before, so I am very excited to get this new unit started and see the changes."
Earlier today, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Buddy’s Home Furnishings, a new business inside of the Spring Town Plaza.
Sam Davis, General Manager at Buddy's Home Furnishings, told KBest News that the Big Spring store opened on January 29th, 2018, along with 2 other stores in East Texas. Davis stated that the community has shown the local store so much support that their sales at the Big Spring store have exceeded that of the other two stores combined.
When asked how he felt about the ribbon cutting ceremony and becoming a member of the chamber, Davis said, "It was really exciting. [The community] has made us feel great since we've gotten here."
Davis also went on to say that their Grand Opening will continue through March 3rd, 2018 and encouraged people to stop in take advantage of their Grand Opening Special.
Join the KBest Crew at Buddy’s Home Furnishings TOMORROW between 11am – 1pm for your chance to win fantastic prizes including $25, $50, and $100 Visa gift cards, Yeti tumblers, and a $1000 shopping spree from Ashley Furniture!!! What’s for lunch? Free food and drinks, of course! Buddy’s Home Furnishings is in the Spring Town Plaza at 1801 East FM 700. Keep listening to KBest Country 95.7 for more details.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, 2018, Scenic Mountain Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house of their new Behavioral Health Unit. The facility was a joint idea from Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, who worked together over the years to see this come to fruition with the help of others.
In June of 2014 Landon Sturdivant, Chief Operating Officer at WTC, wrote a Needs Assessment Capacity Grant to purchase local beds, which resulted in WTC begin granted just under $5 million dollars. According to Sturdivant, this was an opportunity that the Health and Human Services Commission and the State of Texas had put out to try to address the lack of psychiatric beds across the state.
Tom Miller, CEO and President of Quorum Health, was thanked by Krabill and Smith, as well as Mayor Larry McLellan for his significantly large contribution of capital to help bring the BHU to fruition. According to Mayor McLellan, Miller saw the benefit that the new unit would provide to the local community and approved the $5 million investment to continue the project. As a token of appreciation on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Big Spring, Miller was presented with a key to the city.
“The Key to the City is a symbolic gift from the city’s administration. The Key to the City is a gesture of thanks, honoring a person that has been significant in giving to the community. The Key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents,” stated Mayor McLellan.
When asked how he felt about receiving the Key to the City, Miller stated that he was surprised. Also stating that a little over a year ago, he was approached by Sheriff Stan Parker, Mayor McLellan, and representatives of the county who convinced him that a partnership was already in place between the county, community, and hospital; and it was that day that he committed to help fund the unit. Miller went on to say that he was excited to receive a key to the city for something that makes great sense for the community. He went on to say that he was glad that SMMC could be a part of meeting the needs of the community.
During this week's Big Spring City Council Meeting, the General Election for City Council Positions of City Council Member, District 4, and City Council Member, District 6, was cancelled due to the fact that the incumbents, Howard Stewart, Councilman for District 4, and Jim DePauw, Councilman for District 6 were unopposed. It should be noted that this will be the last term that each will be able to serve as a city council member.
An increase of $16,000 to the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund Budget for the purpose of a Hotel/Motel Audit. Financial Director and City Secretary Donald Moore, CPA, explained that the last time the hotel occupancy tax was audited the process took two-and-a-half years to complete. At the time the budget was assembled for this fiscal year, the plan was to budget $10,000 each fiscal year in order to have enough money to cover the cost of the audit. However, when the proposals were returned for the next audit, it was indicated that all would be able to complete the audit within this fiscal year, thus requiring an increase. Moore went on to say that the purpose of the audit is to make sure that the city and the state are receiving all the tax due to them from the hotels and motels. He stated that when this is done, a significant portion is received back to the department. It was also noted that an increase in Hotel/Motel Tax Revenue of $20,000 was budgeted in order to show that the amount that the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau would be receiving as a result of the audit would be more than enough to cover the $16,000 increase.
An increase in the General Fund Budget in the amount of $21,452.50 was approved for the purpose of accepting a JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) grant in order to purchase ticket writers.
An increase of $50,000 to the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund Budget was approved for the purpose of additional event funding. In light of the fact that the Hotel/Motel tax revenue has increased and it's forecasted to continue, and the number of grants that have been received has totaled to $522,245, which is more than the cost of Phase II of Spring Restoration and will be able to pay on Phase I, it was seen as a reasonable request to increase event funding. Council Member DePauw noted that when he first joined the Big Spring CVB Board, they were able to fund $200,000/year in projects, but now they're down to $125,000. He noted that there has been an increase in the number of events, and a decrease in the amount of funding and he feared that some of the events might disappear if the CVB was not able to fund it better.
The ATMOS Rate Review Mechanism (RRM) process was adopted as a substitution for the current Gas Reliability Infrastructure (GRIP) process that is being used to determine its rates for natural gas in the city. Moore explained that Big Spring is a part the Steering Committee of Cities Served by ATMOS, a coalition of cities, and the coalition's attorney urged the cities to adopt. The attorney had advised that the RRM process would be fairer way for the cities to negotiate what ATMOS says their expenses are.
According to Moore, two of the five components that will be used in the process to figure out rates are the corporate tax rate and the return on investment. He stated that the corporate tax rate was decreased due to the government mandate that is to take effect on March 1st. He also advised that the coalition was able to negotiate a reduction of Return on Investment, basically what ATMOS attempts to pay their stockholders, from 10.50 percent to 9.8 percent. As a result of this, he stated that the city will be paying less for the rate of natural gas until October 1, 2018. As of now, it is unknown what the rates will be, but he hoped that the rates would still be low.
The City's Personnel Policies and Procedures were updated by amending Chapter XVI regarding Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment to add a new chapter regarding Social Media.
The second amendment to the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between Howard County and the City for construction and operation and operation of a Law Enforcement Center, and for combined dispatching services. The amendment stated that it allowed the county to be able to add 2 additional dispatchers to their staff. According to Sheriff Stan Parker, this was necessary in order to cover the 18% increase in call volume in the last 3 years. He stated that there is an average 177,000 phone calls that go through the Law Enforcement Center every year.
DALLAS, Texas—Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas’ premier dance company, announces a weekend of fun for the whole family in Big Spring—the Gateway to West Texas. Bruce Wood Dance offers two days of dance classes and brings the weekend to a rousing finale on Saturday, March 24 at 7:30 PM with A Texas Tribute at the historic Municipal Auditorium, 310 East 3rd Street. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and seniors, and free for ages 12 and under. Purchase tickets by cash or check payable to Bruce Wood Dance at the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, The Dance Gallery, The Heritage Museum, Howard College Dance, and the HEB outlet. Tickets are on sale from March 7–24.
“Emotionally charged and highly kinetic,” says KERA’s ArtandSeek.org about Bruce Wood Dance. A Texas Tribute celebrates the remarkable artistry of nationally acclaimed Texan choreographer Bruce Wood® (1960–2014). Through his repertoire of 80 works—lionized for their originality, innovation, and humanity—Wood is remembered as a trailblazer of contemporary dance. He founded and directed the Bruce Wood Dance Company in Fort Worth from 1996 to 2007, and formed Bruce Wood Dance in Dallas in 2010. Amazing athleticism and memorable musicality are trademarks of Wood’s dances. Said Dallas critic Margaret Putnam, “Images so simple and telling last a long time, and further secure Wood’s place as a master choreographer.”
Artistic Director Kimi Nikaidoh and her team foster Bruce Wood’s legacy. Nikaidoh’s tribute to the Lone Star State is perfect for families and arts lovers alike. Delight in the whimsical Schmetterling (“butterfly”), a glorious dance set to Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 21+23. Enjoy the romantic duet, My Heart Remembers, set to the Latin-flavored music of Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe, created by Bryan Arias, an internationally celebrated choreographer. Closing the show is Lovett!, an audience favorite and the most requested piece from Bruce Wood®’s vast repertoire. Set to a suite of songs by Texan Lyle Lovett, this signature work reflects the spirit of Wood’s experiences as a cowboy and rodeo rider. Lovett! has been described as “hilarious, inventive, thigh-slapping fun, and quintessentially Texas.” By the end of the show you’ll be smiling from ear to ear and tapping your toes to Lovett’s That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas).
Nikaidoh also has developed a fun-filled education program on March 23 and 24. Lyrical and hip hop dance classes suitable for ages 7 to adult take place Friday, March 23 at 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM at The Dance Gallery, 2303 Goliad Street. Classes are $15 each or $25 for both. Call The Dance Gallery at 432–267–3977 to register. Class sizes are limited.
On Saturday, March 24, BWD offers a contemporary dance workshop ($25) featuring excerpts from Wood’s renowned repertory. The workshop, for ages 13 and up, runs from 10:00 AM to noon at Howard College Hall Center, Arts Blackbox Theater at 1001 Birdwell Lane. To register, contact Courtney Burgans, Howard College Community Education, at 432–264–5131; or contact Cynthia Weeks at 432–264–5161. A $40 Weekend Special is available for dancers from ages 13 and up: receive two days of classes, one ticket to BWD’s A Texas Tribute, and an invitation to meet the artists at a post-performance ice cream social at the luxurious Hotel Settles. Class size is limited.
Under the artistic direction of Nikaidoh, the company has flourished: Best Dance Company by D Magazine in 2017, 2014, 2013; Best of Dallas Voice 2014–2018; inclusion on every annual Dallas–Fort Worth Top Ten in Dance list since 2011. BWD was appointed to the 2016–2018 Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster and has toured to New York City; Washington D.C.; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas over the past year.
BWD is grateful to the following sponsors who have made this residency possible: Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau; Hotel Settles; Myra Robinson; Texas Commission on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Heritage Auctions; James + Gayle Halperin Foundation; Donna Wilhelm Family Foundation; Ellen Kendrick Creative, Inc.; Commissioners Circle; Roger Fullington; and Brian Guilliaux Photography.
Scenic Mountain Medical Center unveiled the 20-bed, Behavioral Health Unit on Feb. 28th. Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, spoke about the evolution of the partnership and the new unit's importance to the community.
"This is one of the first private / public partnerships in the state. As a mental health professional, to serve this population well we always need inpatient and outpatient services. This entire project has been made possible by the individuals who have never let discouragement get in our way," said Smith. "SMMC CEO Emma Krabill has been a perfect partner for this endeavor and we are both excited about the future. We are so excited to see this come to fruition."
The inpatient unit is staffed with Registered Nurses, Mental Health Technicians, Recreational Therapists, Social Workers, and Counselors. In addition to the staff, there is a board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Nekesha Oliphant, who will be overseeing the care provided.
"We [Scenic Mountain] are honored to be able to be part of this partnership that will allow the civil population to receive behavioral health inpatient services. When we look at new services an new providers, we weigh them against what is best for the community and how will this addition meet the needs of the community," Krabill said. "This partnership project was a no brainer. The payback on the investment is one that is going to come back through much needed services for our community. Projects like this allow them to give back to the community and see how much of an impact we can make."
The Behavioral Health Unit will be under the direction of Ed Moughon and Stacy Flores. Moughon will be serving as the unit director. Together, the team brings almost 30 years of experience to the table.
"Due to the lack of access to this service, in the West Texas Centers service area, I am honored to be working with the team and to be able to help make this idea a reality," said Moughon.
Smith added, "Big Spring State Hospital serves as a forensic hospital and they are not able to serve the civil population, except on rare occasions. West Texas Centers serves a 23 county area providing mental health services for approximately 2500 individuals per month. In 2017, WTC served approximately 200 individuals in mental crisis services with 40 percent of our hospital admissions being from Big Spring. We are expecting the unit to be full."
To find out more about the new behavioral health unit at Scenic Mountain Medial Center, visit www.SMMCCares.com and click on the Behavioral Health Services link.
Two Arrested in Murder Investigation:
2/28/18 From Big Spring Police Dept:
On Friday the 23rd of February 2018 at approximately 8:15 A.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to 705.5 Abrams in reference to an unattended death. Upon arrival Officers located the deceased identified as Barboza, Jaime Hispanic/Male 47 Years of Age in his bedroom with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Barboza was initially located by a person whom he had worked with and the person was picking Mr. Barboza up for work. Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division personnel responded to the scene and immediately began investigating the murder of Mr. Barboza. Investigators followed numerous leads and physical evidence narrowing the suspects to Mr. Barboza’s girlfriend identified as Brenda Valdivia Hispanic/Female 37 years of age and her son identified as Raul Romo Hispanic/Male 20 years of age.
On Tuesday the 27th of February 2018 Investigators submitted probable cause affidavits to a Magistrate for the arrest of Romo for Murder a 1st Degree Felony and Valdivia for Tampering with Physical Evidence a 3rd Degree Felony. Arrest warrants were issued by the Magistrate at which time Romo and Valdivia were arrested. Both Valdivia and Romo have been booked into the Howard County Detention Center and are pending arraignment.
It is believed that on Wednesday the 21st of February 2018 during the evening hours, both Valdivia and Romo were at Mr. Barboza’s residence (705.5 Abrams) when a verbal altercation occurred. The altercation escalated when Romo retrieved a small caliber handgun and shot Mr. Barboza in the head. Following the shooting it is believed Valdivia drove to an abandoned residence on North Lancaster and hid the handgun. The handgun has been recovered by Investigators and has been identified as a Hi-Standard .22 caliber semi-automatic.
This is an ongoing investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and there is no further information that can be provided at this time. The Big Spring Police Department thanks the Howard County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division for their assistance with this investigation.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Earlier today the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County held their 2018 Annual Meeting / Report. Newly elected officers Andrea Barr, Board President, Kenda Jones, 1st Vice President, and Jessica Paul, 2nd Vice President, were sworn in by the Executive Director, Meghan Bias. Other elected members who were not present were Linda Adams, Treasurer, and Donna Wright, Secretary. All members were elected by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County Board of Directors and will serve as officers during 2018.
During the meeting, it was reported that the organization’s 2018 Campaign goal of raising $300,000 was not reached, but approximately $133,000 was proudly allocated by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County to their 15 partner agencies:
(Agency Name - Allocation Amount)
• American Red Cross of West Texas - $4,954.00
• Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America - $5,555.00
• CWJC, Spring of Siloam - $4,536.00
• CASA of West Texas - $13,032.00
• Council on Aging / Meals on Wheels - $11,859.00
• Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center - $8,339.00
• Emergency Services Chaplain Corp - $12,024.00
• Girl Scouts of the Desert - $2,552.00
• Isaiah 58 - $9,505.00
• Northside Community Center - $11,001.00
• The Salvation Army Corp - $8,548.00
• The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club - $10,799.00
• Victim Services - $12,249.00
• West Side Community Day Care - $8,729.00
• YMCA of Big Spring - $9,220.00
According to Bias the Allocations Committee for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County decides how much money will be allocated to each partnering agency. The Allocations Committee is comprised of eight people, community members, as well as a few board members. For two days, the committee meets with all agencies to ask questions and review their requests. Each committee member then makes a recommendation on how much each agency should be allocated. The recommendations are then averaged to determine the final amount to be allocated to the agencies, which will be paid out every other month for a total of six months.
Bias went on to say that even though that the Untied Way of Big Spring and Howard County had 15 partnering agencies this year, there is a period of time during the spring when new non-profit organizations have an opportunity to apply with the United Way to become a partnering agency. She went on to say that she encourages anyone interested in applying to become one of their agencies to contact her; and also advised that more information would be available about the application process at a later date.
When asked how she felt about the outcome of the 2018 United Way Campaign, Bias stated, “It was good. I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community and local businesses, but it could have been better.”
Bias noted that this was her first campaign and she learned many lessons throughout the year. “I’ve learned that you can’t depend on money that’s not there, and I’ve also learned that we have to grow and change, and fundraise in different ways in order to reach a wider audience [because] we want our whole community to invest in the United Way, even if that’s just investing their time or being an advocate for our agencies.”
She went on to say that she is amazed how much the agencies are able to accomplish with a small amount of money that is allocated to them, and she looks forward to doubling that amount this coming year.
Photo 1 - Attending representatives from the partnering agencies. (Photo contributed by Debbye Valverde.)
Photo 3 - Chart of final amounts allocated to the 15 partnering agencies of the United Way. (Contributed by Meghan Bias.)
Cosden Federal Credit Union will be presenting the first CU 4 Reality Fair at Big Spring High School on Thursday, March 8 th from 8:30 AM – 10 AM. The event will be for Seniors and a few Juniors who have taken Financial Math this year with Ms. Michele Brown.
President / CEO of Cosden FCU, this is a hands-on event that will propel
students through a personal financial management process including career selection, budgeting for housing, transportation, luxuries, and more. Barraza went on to say that parents are also invited to attend with their student. “This opens the door for them to have that conversation with their kids about finances, but also, the parents can learn something as well.”
Barraza stated that the idea for this event came about when one of the Cosden employees was sent to a Leadership Conference where she went through a Life Reality Fair and came back with such great feedback about the event, she suggested that Cosden put one together for high school students. She also stated that their goal is to bring the event to other local area high schools.
Barraza told KBest News that they’ve seen a lot of community support for this event, and lots of volunteers who’ve signed up to help. The volunteers range from local business men and women and Rotarian members, to retired teachers. There are still a few spots that are open for volunteers to help, and if you’re interested, you can contact Laurie Barraza at Cosden Federal Credit Union, 432-264- 2600, ext. 222 by Friday, March 2nd .
The Big Spring Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that it has received a $50,000 donation from Occidental Petroleum. This donation will be used to support the Restoration Project at the Historic Spring Site. Phase 1 of the project, designed by Kelly Cook of KDC Associates, has recently been completed and has restored and improved the area around the Historic Spring. The Spring site has a signification historical value and this project will help to education visitors about the important history associated with the site and the importance to the development of west Texas.
Occidental officials will be in Big Spring at the Historic Spring Site on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. to present the donation.
Occidental Petroleum is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will have an Open House of the new Behavioral Health Unit, located on the 4th floor of the hospital.
The ceremony will be in the West Texas Medical Plaza and begins at 2:30 PM. After the speaking portion is done, there will be refreshments and tours available of the new unit. This will be a great opportunity to find out about the services, referral process and more about the new Behavioral Health Unit. The entire community and surrounding areas are invited to join Scenic Mountain Medical Center for this special occasion.
It should also be noted a Job Fair will be held inside the Main Lobby of the Scenic Mountain Medical Center on Friday, March 2nd, from 9 AM – 4 PM. The following available positions include: Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition, Nurses – LVN, and RN for day and night shifts, CNA’s, Respiratory Therapists, and Radiological Technologists. Those attending the Job Fair are encouraged to dress to impress and bring an updated resume.
ABILENE – TxDOT’s Abilene District had a busy few days this week as winter weather blew into the area on Tuesday. All of the District’s 13 counties were affected by this storm, with those along and north of I-20 seeing the brunt of the ice.
Crew members started pre-treating Tier 1 and 2 roadways Tuesday morning before temperatures fell that afternoon. Brine was applied to roadways and structures to help discourage ice from forming on and bonding to pavement as freezing precipitation began to fall. This was no small feat – more than 68,000 gallons of brine was applied over 8,000 miles during ice prevention operations throughout the District.
As conditions deteriorated, the District Emergency Operations Center was activated and crews moved from pre-treatment to response operations. Eighty three crew members, plus support staff, responded to this winter weather event over three days. Crew members were placed on 12 hour shifts around the clock in order to provide continuous response and keep roadways as safe and passable as possible until temperatures rose and conditions improved.
During response operations, TxDOT used a combination of ice-fighting materials and equipment to ensure roadways remained open and passable. Materials included 1,116 cubic yards of salt, 783 cubic yards of aggregate, 52 tons of magnesium chloride granules and another 95,000 gallons of brine. The Texas A&M
Forest Service, several Taylor County precincts and a local highway contractor provided a total of 16 motor graders and several operators to help with slush and ice removal, and The Forest Service plowed approximately 600 lane miles of roadway in Nolan, Taylor and Callahan Counties. When it was all said and
done, 33 motor graders, 38 dump trucks with snow plows and spreaders, 27 brine spray rigs and nine pickup-mounted spreaders were mobilized during this event.
Now that the storm has moved out of the area, TxDOT Abilene turns its focus to replenishing stockpiles, assessing pavement condition and conducting inventory to make sure the District is ready for the next round of winter weather – whenever that might be.
Howard College Board of Trustees Meeting - 02/26/18
Earlier today Howard College held a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. During the discussion of Special Initiatives, it was noted that there was no new information concerning the potential partnership with Big Spring Independent School District. It was also noted that there are 2 new members on the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) Advisory Board, Dr. Nancy Hlibok Amann, Superintendent of California School for the Deaf – Riverside, and Luanne Barron, Interim Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Deaf.
It was also noted during the meeting that official enrollment at all three campuses has decreased. According to Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, the head count, or number of students enrolled, had decreased by an average of 9 percent; and total contact hours, or number of hours a student is scheduled for class, had decreased by only 3 percent.
One of the factors that contributed heavily to the decline is the fact that dual credit is now offered through Angelo State University and San Angelo area high school students are able to apply for the Carr Scholarship that will pay for the dual credit class. Dr. Sparks also stated that dual credit in the Big Spring area has also declined and that it was likely due to intentional advising, where students are being guided and advised into pathways so they are not taking courses that are not a part of what they want to pursue a major or career in. It was also noted that because of this, there will be more of an impact on head count that will result as an effect of that.
It was noted that since Howard College is not currently in a base year, this decline is not as significant as if it were. A base year, according to Dr. Sparks, begins on March 1st and runs through the end of February of next year. During the base year, Howard College generates the contact hours that the school’s funding will be based on for the next two years.
Dr. Sparks went on to say that next they will be comparing head count and contact hours as compared to the last base year and discuss that at the next board meeting that is scheduled for March 26th.
It should also be noted that the cancellation of election was approved, due to the fact that only the incumbents of Precinct 3, Adrian Calvio, and Precinct 4, Maxwell Barr, were the only people who had filed for the positions on the Howard College Board of Trustees.
Photo - Members of the Howard College Board of Trustees
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