About 300 acres were burned in Howard County Saturday afternoon.
Multiple agencies responded to a fire near Ratliff Road and south Highway 87th in Howard County.
According to Volunteer Fire Chief, Tommy Sullivan, he said no structures were lost in the fire.
Bulldozers were used to clear the line of debris and brush to help prevent the fire from spreading.
The blaze was extinguished with the help of the Howard County Volunteer Firefighters, Big Spring FD, Howard County Road and Bridge, Tubbs Quarry, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Public Safety.
Chief Sullivan says the fire was started after a person was clearing off their land and hit a guy-wire on an electric pole causing a shortage and a fire to start.
The Chalet celebrated 30 years of serving Big Spring with a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the art mural painted by the Honors Art Program at Big Spring Intermediate.
Former Big Spring Intermediate Honors Art Teacher Bianca Mireles designed the mural and coordinated the project with photographer Ramon Holguin.
The mural took about two months to complete with the help of the students and some of the parents.
Mireles has enjoyed working on the mural because she was able to merge the professions of a teacher and freelance artist. She's also appreciated that her students were able to get hands-on experience on working with a large piece of art for their community.
The Chalet is located at 115 E. 2nd Street in downtown Big Spring.
The Coahoma ISD Board of Trustees is one of five school boards from across Texas selected as Honor School Boars as part of the 2017 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) School Board Awards. Each year, the program recognizes outstanding Texas school boards for commitment and service that have made a positive impact on Texas public school students.
The Board of Trustees was nominated by Dr. Amy Jacobs, Superintendent of Coahoma ISD, and they were selected by a board of Texas school superintendents. The decision for this selection was based on specific criteria, including support for educational performance, support for educational improvement projects, commitment to a code of ethics, and maintenance of harmonious and supportive relationships among board members.
The Coahoma ISD board and other four Honor Boards are now finalists for the program's highest honor: 2017 Outstanding School Board. They wil be interviewed at the TASA/TASAB Convention in Dallas, then one board will be named Outstanding School Board during the convention's first general session at 4 p.m., October 6, 2017.
Coahoma ISD Board of Trustees are: President Brian Moore, Vice President Dr. Jody Reid, Secretary Craig Ferguson, Kandy Alaman, Michael Brooks, Lori Martinez, and Dicky Stone.
According to DPS, a total of 37 suspects have been arrested as a result of the "Operation Damascus" sting in Midland County that lasted a total of 10 days. The sting was a massive joint effort involving multiple agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Midland County District Attorney's Office.
Warrants are out for some suspects that have still not been arrested.
CBS7 has more information on the story here: http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/BLOG-Midland-County-Human-Trafficking-Operation-press-conference-437184123.html
(Photo - Jaime Ramos, District Commander of DPS, speaks at the press conference this morning with Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf and other agency officials stand behind.)
Coahoma Independent School District's new academic program, The Academy, will begin next month. It is an optional program that emphasizes higher levels of academic engagement in a fast-paced environment while also developing student leadership skills and instilling a sense of responsibility and work ethic. The program is for students K-8th grade and it is open enrollment. At this time there are 190 students registered to attend and a uniform dress code will be enforced.
Christina Cox will be the new principal at Coahoma High School. Principal Cox is not new to the school district. She was the Special Education Director prior to this position. Principal Cox received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and some of her other qualifications include 4th -8th ELA, ESL, Special Education, and Physical Education. She was also the Head Volleyball Coach for Coahoma High School during the 2016-2017 school year.
The former principal, Charlotte Stovall will now be working with Curriculum & Instruction, and Career & Technical Education (CTE).
In a reconvened meeting from yesterday, Howard County Commissioners agreed to renew the current health insurance benefits, however, it also came with a rate increase. The rate increase will be 3.2% for medical and 3.8% for dental. This will ultimately cost Howard County more money to cover their employees, but the county feels that their employees are worth it. Unfortunately, this will mean that there will be a rate increase if the employee chooses to have additional family members on their health care plan.
Howard County Commissioners' Court approved the purchase a training simulator that was requested by Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan. The simulator is a computerized pump machine that monitors the pressures that the fire engine vehicles can pump at any given time. This allows the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department to test and ensure that their vehicles and equipment are in proper working order. By purchasing this piece of equipment the county will be able to offset the cost that comes with maintaining state certification for the fire trucks and equipment. The funding for this piece of machinery will come from the FEMA account that was set up as a result of the Fire Disaster in 2012. The cost of the refurbished simulator is $40,000 and is expected to pay for itself within three years. The simulator is also expected to bring in revenue for the county and for the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department.
On the 10th of April 2017, the City of Big Spring was a victim of wire fraud whereby $36,200.00 of city funds were wire transferred to a bank account as a result of an e-mail scam. The Big Spring Police Department was contacted and information was immediately turned over to State and Federal Officials for investigative purposes.
At this time, the Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers Division and the Homeland Security Federal Agency are still pursuing multiple suspects, and to date $28,090.28 has been returned to the City as a result of the investigation. We expect multiple arrests in the near future.
According to Federal Officials, this type of “Business Email Compromise” or “BEC” scam is increasingly common and as a result, the City has utilized this opportunity to enhance internal procedures in an attempt to prevent this from occurring in the future.
The City of Big Spring and the Big Spring Police Department thanks the Midland office of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Police Department for their efforts assisting us with this investigation.
As this is an ongoing investigation, the Big Spring Police Department is unable to comment any further.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
With July winding down, gas prices across the state are holding steady near the two dollar mark. According to Gas Buddy, the average price is $2.07 in the state and the lowest is $1.70. The lowest in the area is $2.01 at a station on East Marcy Drive and at a station on US 80. The highest is $2.11 in Stanton. The current trend is that prices are stable.
Big Spring ISD kindergarten registration starts July 24th and goes until July 28th. You can call Dana at (432) 264-3622. Make sure you have all of your shots updated.
One person died and three people were injured in a one vehicle accident that took place near Colorado City earlier this week. According to DPS reports, Ana Gonzales from Graham was driving a 2005 Town and Country vehicle, west of Colorado City on I-20 when a tire blew out. Gonzales lost control of the car and it rolled several times. Killed was 14-year-old Belen Martinez of Brownwood and she was not wearing a seat belt. Injured was Margarita Martinez of Brownwood, a 10-year-old female from Graham and a 15 year old Graham female.
From the office of Judge Robert Fitzgibbons, Precinct 1, Place 2 Justice of the Peace:
If you received a jury summons for a trial with Judge Robert Fitzgibbons presiding for Wednesday, July 12th, you do not need to show up. The trial has been cancelled.
Army Lt. Col. Terry Russell has retired from the U.S. Army after serving honorably for 30 years. Russell was last serving as a product manager for individual weapons at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. He is the son of Charles Earl and step-son of Ann Russell of Big Spring, Texas, husband of Susan Russell of Oceanport, N.J., and father of Terrell Russell of Arlington, Va., Sherida Russell of San Antonio, Texas, and Shannon Russell of Palo Alto, Calif. He is a 1981 graduate of Coahoma High School, Coahoma, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1995 from Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas. Thanks for serving our country.