STANTON — Moving on up. Five students from Coahoma High School have qualified for the regional UIL Academic contest.
Grayson Glidewell, Julia Mashburn, Julia Cox, Brianna Coskey, and Amy Guo made the cut after their performance at district UIL held recently in Stanton.
This is Glidewell’s second time to qualify for UIL academic regionals. This go-round, the CHS sophomore placed second in current issues and third in informative speaking at the district meet. Senior Julia Mashburn showed off her creative skills in the feature writing event. She placed second.
Sophomores Julia Cox, Brianna Coskey, and freshman Amy Guo also performed well as each placed third in their respective contest. Cox will head to regionals to compete in news writing, Coskey in literary criticism, and Guo in spelling and vocabulary.
Overall, Coahoma High School ended in fifth place in the district UIL academic contest. Regional competition will be held on April 13 on the Abilene Christian University campus in Abilene.
UIL Academic Meet
Conference 3A, District 4
Stanton High School
Results (Coahoma only)
Current Issues: 2 - Grayson Glidewell, regional qualifier
Copy Editing: 4 - Ashleigh Mull; 6 - Alex Grant.
Computer Science: 5th - Ashley Crisp; 6 - Brianna Coskey
Feature Writing: 2 - Julia Mashburn, regional qualifier
Informative speaking: 3 - Grayson Glidewell, regional qualifier
Literary Criticism: 3 - Brianna Coskey, regional qualifier
Mathematics: 6 - Joe Mashburn
News Writing: 3 - Julia Cox, regional qualifier
Persuasive Speaking: 4 - Delia Rawls
Poetry Interpretation: 4 - Aubrey Green
Physics: 1 - Danielle Deatheridge
Social Studies: 6 - Maddix Martinez
Spelling and Vocabulary: 3 - Amy Guo, regional qualifier
Current Issues: 2 - Coahoma High School
Cross Examination: 5 - Coahoma High School Team 1.
Literary Criticism: 2 - Coahoma High School
One Act Play: 5 - Coahoma High School
Results of the second annual Coahoma ISD Academy’s Great Shake were so razor-thin it ended with a co-championship on Monday evening. This year’s champions are Brynn Rodgers and Christian Everett.
The Great Shake is an all-day event to showcase The Academy students' abilities to greet and communicate with members of the community while exuding confidence, poise and a genuine interest in the individuals they are meeting.
“This was a great day,” The Academy Director Kakia Wulfjen said. “It was exciting to see all 340 students dressed in their formal uniform. This was a perfect opportunity for them to shake hands with guests from the community and to learn that it’s important to look people in the eye, and how important it is to have a firm handshake.”
The contest is broken up into four rounds, three in the morning and the last in the afternoon when the top five contestants visit various Midland businesses for individual, in-depth interviews.
“I liked meeting a lot of new people,” Rodgers said of her favorite part of the contest.
The Great Shake began with round one when each student greeted five judges, volunteers from the community, separately and were scored on their effort. The top 50 were chosen to proceed to the second, more difficult round.
“We needed to keep good eye contact, do a good firm shake, put your hands to the side of the shirt and make a good smile,” Rodgers explained.
After the second round, the top 12 students or in this case the top 14 because of ties advanced to round three which has held at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. The students sat down for two-minute interviews with area businesspersons Cash Berry, Terry Wegman, Troy Tompkins, and Kandi Alaman.
“There was one hard questions (during the third round)...how to design a treehouse,” Rodgers said. “It was a little different, so I had to think about that one for a second.”
From that round, the top five were chosen and headed to Midland for the rest of the day for the fourth and final round. The students were taken to three Midland businesses — First Capital Bank of Texas, the Rockhounds, and SM Energy — where they sat down individually for an in-depth interview with business representatives.
Rodgers said her favorite visit with Jeremy Bishop, Midland market president of First Capital Bank of Texas.
“He had really good conversations with you,” she said. “It’s not one question, he asked you multiple.”
Everett said she really enjoyed visiting with Kate Noble and Sean McGuire of SM Energy.
“They had a lot of nice people there, and I loved having conversations with them,” she said.
At the Rockhounds, the students were treated to a personal interview with Jamie Richardson, assistant General Manager, at the Security Ball Park’s club house.
After all the interviews were over, the five students stopped off for ice cream before heading to Lugi’s for dinner with their parents and to hear the final results.
“We appreciate all of our parents and our business partners coming together,” Wulfjen said. “I want to thank all the volunteers that helped judge. It made just a seamless day.”
As part of its curriculum, The Academy emphasizes confidence building and a general focus on public speaking. The Great Shake is an opportunity to put those skills in a real world situation.
“At The Academy, it’s part of our routine to do a lot of confidence builders with the students,” Wulfjen explained. “It’s part of our daily routine to have them greet people with handshakes, speak in complete sentences, and answer questions in detail. We believe it’s important to prepare them for life and not just for more school.”
The Howard Soil and Water Conservation District #243 held their Annual Conservation Awards Banquet yesterday evening. During the evening, awards were presented to Poster/Essay Winners from 3rd and 5th grade Forsan Elementary students. 3rd grade 1st place winners were Elyssa Amaro, Josiah Lugo, and Kenzie Saucedo. 5th grade 1st grade winners were Kenzli Caudill and Harleigh Greer.
Amaro, Caudill, and Greer were noted as Area II nominees but they were not selected to move on.
The Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau and BAD Events, LLC announced that the THIRD artist to perform for the 2nd Annual FMH Foundation’s Song Swap at the Spring that will be held on June 6, 2019 at the Historic Spring Marie Hall Plaza and Performance Stage and SM Energy Pavilion is Texas Country Artist, Mike Ryan.
San Antonio Native, Mike Ryan won New Male Vocalist of the Year in 2015 by industry association Texas Regional Radio and released his newest album Bad Reputation in 2014.
Ryan will perform along with William Clark Green, Casey Donahew and emcee Justin Frazell, and opener and winner of the Find a Star at the Pharmacy Bar, Clint Freeman for the FMH Foundation’s Song Swap. The concert will take place on Thursday, June 6th with gates
opening at 5 PM.
According to City Ordinance no alcohol is allowed in the Historic Spring Plaza but we will be setting up speakers along with a video wall with live feed of the performers at the SM Energy Pavilion which will provide live access to the concert.
Tickets for the event will go on sale on April 15th at Big Spring CVB and online. VIP pre-sale tickets will be $20, and $30 at the gate. General Admission pre-sale tickets will be $12, and $15 at the gate.
During today’s meeting of the Howard College Board of Trustees, Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, advised on updates for House Bill 1101 and Senate Bill 828. These bills propose a name change from SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf to SouthWest College for the Deaf. This Bill was introduced by longtime SWCID supporter Representative Drew Darby. The passage of this bill will more accurately reflect the mission and purpose of the college.
Dr. Sparks noted during the meeting that the bill had appeared to receive a great amount of support and would be placed on the General State Calendar and heard by the House of Representatives for tomorrow.
Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, it involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system. The CNS is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Manny Negron, Tourism Coordinator for the City of Big Spring, is doing his part to raise awareness for MS, Multiple Sclerosis, by participating in Walk MS: San Angelo 2019 that will be on April 27th. Negron has done his part to help fundraise for other causes in the past, but this time he's chosen to champion for MS to honor his friend and supervisor Hayley Herrera, Community Services Director for the City of Big Spring, who is diagnosed with MS.
Negron told KBest News that he’s adopted a goal of raising $500 for the MS Walk, but, so far, he’s only at $200. He's currently looking for individuals or businesses to sponsor him for his upcoming MS Walk in San Angelo.
For anyone who’s interested in taking part in the walk on April 27th in San Angelo, just search for MS Walk San Angelo and from there you’ll find the link to register for the race or to donate. To donate directly to Negron's MS fundraiser, contact him at the Big Spring CVB at 432-263-8235.
On Saturday morning, Coahoma Independent School District held a small ceremony to honor Coahoma High School Graduate Putt Choate for his induction into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.
Friends, family, former teammates, and even Choate’s high school football coach Norman Roberts were all in attendance to share this special moment with him.
During the ceremony, Choate was presented with a plaque and it was also announced that an identical plaque would be placed in the trophy case with a list of his accomplishments. They also noted that his jersey #44 would also be honored and hung up at the school. In doing so, they hope to inspire future Coahoma Bulldogs to know that anything is possible.
Choate told KBest News that he was honored to have the plaque and his jersey number displayed at Coahoma. He noted that the #44 jersey had been special to him because it was one that it had been his older brother's number when he had played, and Putt also had it through junior high and high school.
Choate went on to say that he’s honored to be able to represent Coahoma in the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame and he hoped that it would set an example that you can be from a small place and make a big impact.
Choate was an all-state fullback for the Bulldogs in the 1970s, rushing for 3310 career yards. He went on to star for SMU (1975-1978) as a linebacker, and still holds several school and Southwest Conference records.
Choate played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. He also played in the USFL, and is one of only three players to have appeared in all 54 of the league's regular season games, before it folded in 1985.
Choate now lives in the Dallas area and runs his own landscaping and irrigation company. He'll be inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame on May 4, 2019 in Waco at the Baylor University's Ferrell Center at 6 PM.
Earlier today Guardian Energy Services of Big Spring loaded a U-haul and a trailer with supplies for Nebraska flood victims. According to Owners Janna Thompson and Mark Zouzalik, many businesses, individuals, and "Good Samaritan" donors, Guardian Energy was able to collect approximately 18,000 lbs. and 40 palates of items to deliver to small communities near Omaha, NE.
The following businesses and individuals made donations to this project:
WaterBridge - Pecos, TX
RWP Offroaad Park
Guardian Energy - entire staff and employees
Tabitha and Jeremy Clark
If you'd like to help those affected by the Nebraska flooding, you can make a monetary donation to the American Red Cross of Nebraska and Southwest Iowa at https://www.redcross.org/local/nebraska.html.
Earlier this week 3 Coahoma Boys Basketball Players were recognized with the following awards:
Gage Clark, Big Country Preps 3rd Team 6th Man of the Year
Joe Manning, Big Country Preps Honorable Mention, THSCA All-State Academic Honorable Mention.
Bryson Cline, Big Country Preps Gym Rat Team
Today is the last day to sign up with the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce for the Social Media 101. The class will be on held on Wednesday, April 3rd, from 8 AM to 10 AM at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Board Room. It will be taught by Hayley Herrera, Community Services Director for the City of Big Spring and Certified Tourism Executive.
During the course, attendees will learn about the different types of social media, how to optimize social media to fit your business or brand, and how to make social media fit your growing schedule.
Cost is $10 for Chamber Members and $15 for non-Chamber members. Call 432-263-7641 or stop by 215 W. 3rd St. to register today.
The 4th Annual Pints for Polio will be tomorrow night from 7-11 PM at the Courtyard, located at 119 S. Main in Big Spring. This year, the beer and wine tasting event is presented by SM Energy.
Entertainment will be provided by the Marfa Lake Social Club, and there will be a silent auction with many items to bid on – including autographed Cowboys jerseys, a Soothe. gift basket, private dinner for 6 by a professional chef, and other items.
Barney Dodd and Brent Strande, both with the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club, advised that half of the money raised stays in Howard County and the other half is sent to the Rotary International End Polio Now campaign. Money donated to End Polio Now is matched 2:1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Tickets are $25 pre-sale and are available to purchase at the Big Spring Visitor’s Center, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, or the Train Car. Tickets at the door will be $30.
Guardian Energy Services located in Big Spring is currently collecting items to help the residents of Nebraska affected by the "historically catastrophic flooding" that occurred last week. Their convoy will be heading out Friday, March 22nd, from Big Spring to drop off supplies.
Janna Thompson, Vice-President / Office Administrator for Guardian Energy Services told KBest News that they will be traveling up towards Blair, outside of Omaha, and will be dropping off supplies to smaller towns in the area.
They are collecting the following items, but Thompson noted that anything would be appreciated.
Non-perishable Can Food: For animals and humans
Contractor Trash Bags
Items can be dropped off until noon on Friday, Mar. 22nd, at 1009 W. 5th Street in Big Spring or at 405 Galveston, and for more information contact the office at 432-606-5005.
(Photo used from USATODAY.)
There will be a small ceremony at Coahoma Elementary School honoring Putt Choate’s induction into the Texas High School Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 23rd at 10 am. The ceremony will be held in the CISD Board room across from the Cafeteria.
The Coahoma graduate and former SMU standout Putt Choate was honored in December 2018 as part of the 2019 class of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, during the UIL State Football Championships at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
According to the Midland Reporter, Choate was a two-way star for the Bulldogs in the mid-1970s, rushing for 3,310 career yards, while earning all-district and all-state honors at fullback as a senior. Choate played in the 1975 Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game.
Choate earned All-Southwest Conference first team honors at SMU in 1977 and 1978. He set the Mustangs’ school record with 649 career tackles. Choate later played professionally with the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers, and the Denver Gold and San Antonio Gunslingers, both of the USFL. He’s one of only three players in USFL history to start all 54 regular season games before the league folded in 1986.
Putt Choate is the second Choate family member to be inducted into a hall of fame. His father, 87-year old Carroll Choate, was inducted into the Heritage Museum’s Cowboy/Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2017.
During yesterday’s Howard County Commissions Court, Kimberly York and Big Spring Mayor candidate Shannon Thomason addressed the court about the open letter penned by Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman earlier this week.
During their 3 minutes of citizen input, both stated that they are in favor of SB 2 / HB 2 because it makes local government more accountable to the taxpayers. Noting that taxpayers should have a voice in whether or not the taxes are raised.
Below is Thomason's response to Judge Wiseman's open letter that he read to the court.
"Response to the Open Letter from Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman:
Judge Wiseman and Commissioners,
As a citizen of Big Spring and Howard County, I speak in opposition to your stance regarding the Bills currently under consideration by the Texas Legislature in the current session. I feel that your statements regarding House Bill 2 & Senate Bill 2 do not represent the will of the citizens of Howard County.
HB2/SB2 quite simply, puts the question of increased taxation back in local control. However, that local control isn’t a type favored by some politicians. It puts control of tax increases directly in the hands of the citizens, where I think it belongs.
Under the current system, increases in revenue above 8% from the previous year start a process whereby the citizens can, by means of a rollback petition, place that revenue increase on the ballot for all the citizens of the taxing entity to vote on. I can tell you firsthand that circulating that petition and getting the required number of signatures to trigger the election is VERY difficult.
With HB2/SB2, the legislature is considering making the election triggered automatically, no longer requiring the petition. In taxing entities that collect less than $15 million annually, the percentage remains an 8% increase. In taxing entities that collect more than $15 million, the percentage is a 2.5% increase. While I also disagree with unfunded state and federal mandates, the citizens are already paying for those through the currently set tax rates and appraisals. Neither bill would change the current rates or revenues. So, if the county needs to increase revenues above the 2.5% due to inflation, all either bill requires is for you, our elected representatives, to ask the citizens to approve said increase in an election. Or, you can do what we citizens do when faced with a financial crunch: Cinch up your budgetary belts and practice some fiscal discipline. Less steak, more rice and beans.
So, what exactly is so bad about either choice? What, to your thinking, is so wrong about the citizens having a direct say over tax increases? After all, isn’t it OUR money? I can assure you that everyone expects you to be good stewards of OUR money and for the most part, we do.
I am glad that in your letter an elected official finally recognizes that appraised property values in Howard County are high. You state that the Texas Comptroller’s Office mandates a 6% increase in values annually. So, explain to the citizens why some of their properties have been increased in taxable value as much as 100%, 300%, or in one case that I know of firsthand, over 1000%. In that case, an unimproved lot jumped from a tax value of $1,500 to $19,000. The valuation on that particular piece of property was subsequently lowered to $1,200 by a state appointed mediator last year and was increased back to the ridiculous amount of $19,000 this year by the Howard County Central Appraisal District, again with no improvements to the lot. Stories like this abound in Howard County. Luckily, HB2/SB2 also provides new oversight and revisions to the appraisal process as well.
I am puzzled as to why you bring up school funding in your letter, as school finance is not in the purview of county officials. While I do not deny that the State’s handling of public-school funding has been and continues to be flawed, I fail to see how that affects the county and its ability to generate operating revenue. While unfunded mandates are a problem for the county, I would also point out that HB2/SB2 both have provisions to help correct both issues.
Finally, I would just ask this: Why don’t you try to get creative in pursuing other streams of revenue for the county? As all of you are quite aware, I am a candidate for the office of Mayor of Big Spring. During my research on ways of reducing property taxes, I came across the example of Stafford. Stafford is a city in Fort Bend County. What makes Stafford remarkable is that they have a 0% property tax rate. In fact, with a population of over 21,000 they are the largest city in Texas with a 0% property tax rate. Equally remarkable is the fact that they adopted that tax rate in 1995 with no reduction in essential city services. As a result, Stafford has not only survived, but grown, prospered, and increased municipal revenues. That bears repeating: They increased their revenues by eliminating property taxes! They accomplished this feat by doing two things: Closely managing spending and by attracting and expanding businesses. It is my intent, if elected, to bring the same methodology to the City of Big Spring and to accomplish the same goal: Setting a 0% property tax rate for the citizens of Big Spring. Accomplishing this goal won’t be particularly easy or quick, but it is the right thing to do by the citizens. I would challenge you to find similar solutions for the people of Howard County.
Obviously, I support HB2/SB2, as I support any and all legislation that puts control back in the hands of the governed. A recent UT poll shows that 72% of Texans agree with me and I daresay that number is significantly higher in Howard County. I agree that we should all call on our state legislators and demand school finance reform and an end to unfunded mandates. However, I also plan on telling them this when I call: “A vote against HB2/SB2 is a vote against the will of the citizens. Don’t.”
Candidate for Mayor
Big Spring, Texas"
Judge Wiseman discussed a resolution supporting the designation of an extension of Interstate 27 through Big Spring, San Angelo, and inland ports Laredo, Eagle Pass, and Del Rio. She noted that it would help Howard County divert some of this major oilfield traffic off our small roads.
During the Road Damage Report, Brian Klinkseik reported to the Howard County Commissioners that the Howard County Road and Bridge department currently looks after 520 miles of roads. Currently, approximately 60 percent of those are paved and 40% are unpaved. The estimated cost to repair damaged roads at this time is $52,339,505.40 but that price could increase over time.
It’s not too late to get your tickets for the Big Spring Symphony Guild’s Annual Fundraiser Luncheon and Fashion Show, set for this Saturday, March 23rd, beginning at 11:30 AM at Trinity Baptist Church. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from the Big Spring CVB, located at 113 E. 3rd. Money raised from the event will go to the Phyllis Graumann Memorial Scholarship fund.
Businesses are welcome to donate full scholarships that range from $150 - $300 for high school and junior high students. The scholarships are awarded to Howard County music students, ages 12 – 18, and used for private music instruction, music camp/school tuition, music festival attendance or any other music training related expense.
For more information on how to donate to the Phyllis Graumann Memorial Scholarship fund, contact Natalie Permenter, Big Spring Symphony Guild Secretary, at 432-270-2125.
Relay For Life of Howard and Glasscock Counties is just around the corner and teams continue to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
The team Marcy’s Care Bears are currently selling tickets to win a Consuela bag valued up to $300 from Dazzling Decor in Big Spring. Other prizes include a $200 and $100 gift cards, also, from Dazzling Décor.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from Dazzling Décor, located at 1304 Scurry St. The drawing will be on May 11th at Relay for Life at the Comanche Trail Park, and you do not have to be present to win. Funds raised from the ticket sales will benefit Relay for Life.
Don’t forget the goal of this year’s Relay for Life is to have 25 teams participate in the event to represent 25 years of Relay for Life in Howard and Glasscock Counties. Again, this year’s event will be on May 11th from 4-10 PM at Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring.
Howard County Commissioners Court will be held tomorrow, 03/20/19, at 3:30 PM in the 3rd Floor Courtroom of the Howard County Courthouse.
Items on the agenda include discussion and possible action of a resolution supporting the designation of an extension of Interstate 27 as a future interstate in Texas. Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck is also scheduled to lead the discussion on a resolution adopting new voting equipment and procedures.
Plus, Craig Bailey, County Commissioner for Pct. 2, will speak on the Howard County Tax Abatement Guidelines and Criteria; and Brian Klinksiek, County Road & Bridge Engineer, will be presenting on the Road Damage Report.
BIG SPRING – The highly anticipated basketball tournament involving ten basketball teams from Howard County and the surrounding area also known as Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals is set for March 29 at Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Big Spring.
“Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams & Goals is a high energy event we use to kick off our spring and to coincide with March Madness,” said West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith, LMSW.
“The event marks intellectual and developmental disabilities awareness month and enables us to showcase how individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can overcome challenges and obstacles”, Smith said.
“It’s just so much fun to see everyone come together in a fun environment and compete in a beautiful venue,” Smith said.
Ten teams will make their grand entrance down the ramp to the floor of the Howard College Hawks at 8:30 a.m. accompanied by the booming beat of the Big Spring High School Drumline where they will be met by the Howard College and Big Spring High School Cheerleaders as well as many fans.
Big Spring Mayor Larry McLellan, West Texas Centers Board Chairman Van York, and Terry County Judge J.D. “Butch” Wagner will greet team members’ cheerleaders and guests and welcome them to a day of basketball with an inspirational pep rally punctuated by bursts of exciting music.
The teams will tip off at 9 a.m. and will follow bracket play. Teams participating in bracket play are: 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.
Throughout the day, cheer squads from each team will perform during halftime for their own trophy.
"Each team also competes for the coveted Spirit Stick," Smith said. “This is a very intense competition. The judges watch the teams, their fans and their cheerleaders throughout the day and judge them on their level of spirit.”
"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."
“This event is by far my favorite event of the year,” Smith said. “Everyone who leaves does so with a huge smile on their face. The energy is infectious and along with all the music and cheering, it’ just a fun day even for those people who don’t know anyone competing.”
The event is sponsored by West Texas Centers, Hexad Oil, Howard College, The ARC of Howard County, Delek, Atmos Energy, Arthur J Gallagher & Co., KBest Media, KBYG Radio Stations, Prescription Services Inc., Scenic Mountain Medical Center & the Settles Hotel.
The event is free and open to the public.
Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2, which propose to lower the current revenue cap of 8 percent to 2.5 percent for taxing entities that collect more than $15 million in property and sales tax levy, is making waves in Howard County among the County Judge and Commissioners.
Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman has stated that she is adamantly opposes SB 2 and HB 2. Howard County Commissioners who have also voiced their opposition are Craig Bailey, Pct. 2, and Jimmy Long, Pct. 3.
In an open letter to Howard County residents, Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman stated that she is “deeply troubled with the finger pointing at local governments as a cause of increase in property taxes.” She went on to note that school finance is the problem and that she’s seen little effort to address that in the legislative session.
According to Judge Wiseman, Howard County gets approximately 18 cents of your property tax dollar, the City of Big Spring gets about 10 cents, the College 12, and the schools get 61 cents.
“During the 2008 fiscal year, the state covered roughly 48.5 percent of the cost of public education, according to the Legislative Budget Board. By the 2019 fiscal year, it was projected to support closer to 38 percent.” (Texas Tribune, 2018)
What the state doesn’t contribute, gets picked up by the local tax payer.
“In September 2018, it was reported that in the Texas Education Agency projected a drop in the state's general revenue for public education by more than $3.5 billion over the next couple of years, in part because the revenue from local property taxes is expected to skyrocket. General revenue only makes up part of the state's education funding.” (Texas Tribune, 2018)
In the same article, it stated that local property values are expected to grow by about 6.8 percent each year. (Texas Tribune, 2018)
She went on to state that unfunded mandates cost local taxpayers over half of the revenue Howard County gets. She noted that state mandated Indigent Defense – which includes court appointed attorneys, mental commitments, and Child Protective Services defense – cost Howard County $406,000. The State refunded less than $30,000.
Judge Wiseman advised that if SB 2 and HB 2 is passed it will affect Howard County’s ability to provide services to our citizens, and stated that she adamantly opposes SB 2 and HB 2.
At this time, Howard County Texas residents are asked to contact our Legislators and ask them to focus on a fair school finance system and to oppose any mandate that is not fully funded. **Contact information is listed below.**
Judge Wiseman noted that this would be true property tax reform and relief.
The bill, SB2/HB2, also includes an automatic November election for exceeding the lower 2.5 threshold. Those taxing entities not included under the lower cap also must hold an automatic rollback election for exceeding their current threshold of 8 percent.
Open Letter to Howard County Residents
"The Texas Legislature is meeting right now for their every-other-year session. The second Bill presented in both the Senate and the House is being touted as Property Tax Reform and
I am deeply troubled with the finger pointing at local government as the cause of increase in
School finance is the problem, and I see little effort to address that in the legislative session.
Howard County gets about 18 cents of your property tax dollar, the City of Big Spring gets
about 10 cents, the College 12. The schools get 61 cents.
The State decreased school funding by 7% a year in 2018 and 2019. The State is now paying
about 36% of the cost of school funding. In 2008, they were paying close to 42%. Local
taxpayers pay the rest.
Our people here in Howard County are seeing high tax appraisals on their properties. The
Comptroller’s office directs local Appraisal districts to raise property values by 6% every year.
Unfunded mandates cost our taxpayers over half of the revenue Howard County gets.
State mandated Indigent Defense cost Howard County property owners $221,600 for court
appointed attorneys last year. Add mental commitments and Child Protective Services
defense, and Howard County spent $406,000 last year on indigent defense. The State
refunded us $29,389.
The State’s Budget for the next two years includes a 5.4% increase each year for the next two years, yet they are proposing to limit the Counties to 2.5%.
Howard County runs on about 18 cents of your property tax dollar and we continue to be very
conservative with your money.
SB 2 and HB 2 if passed will affect Howard County’s ability to provide services to our citizens.
I adamantly oppose SB 2 and HB 2. I’m asking you, as Howard County Texas residents to
contact our Legislators and ask them to focus on a fair school finance system and to oppose
any mandate that is not fully funded.
This would be true property tax reform and relief.
Howard County Judge"
Congressman Jodey Arrington
U.S. Congressional District 19
Ph #: (202) 225-4005
Representative Drew Darby
Texas House District 72
Capitol Ph #: (512) 463-0331
Fax #: (512) 463-0517
District Ph#: (325) 658-7313
Fax #: (325) 659-3762
Senator Kel Seliger
Texas Senate District 31
Capitol Ph #: (512) 463-0131
Fax #: (512) 475-3733
Big Spring District Ph #: (432) 268-9909
Fax #: (432) 268-9899
(More contact information can be found at https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home )
Samuels, A. (2018, Feb. 16). Local taxes in Texas have been rising to help pay for education. Who is to blame? Retrieved from https://www.texastribune.org
Swaby, A. (2018, Sept. 12). Texas projects state funding for schools to drop as local revenue grows. Retrieved from https://www.texastribune.org
The Howard County Young Democrats, Howard County Young Republicans, Howard County Democrats, and the Howard County Republicans will be hosting a Mayoral debate April 2nd at Big Spring High School. Anna Scott, David Mathis, Debbie Wegman, and Shannon Thomason have thrown their hat into the ring for the position of Mayor.
Candidates participating in the event – Mathis, Scott, and Thomason - will go head to head to face hard questions concerning Howard County. The debate will be moderated by the Big Spring High School Debate team.
Wegman declined the invitation for the event, but offered this statement:
“I plan to participate in the Chamber of Commerce forum as well as the BSHS forum that is being organized by the Student Council & Interact groups. I feel these are the best opportunities for me to let the public know about my platform.”
Again, the debate at Big Spring High School will be at 6 pm on Tuesday, April 2nd.
The Big Spring Symphony Guild will be presenting their Fundraiser Luncheon and Fashion Show on Saturday, March 23rd from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Trinity Baptist Church in Big Spring.
The lunch will serve brisket and sides and the event will also feature a fashion show featuring selections from Blissful Boutique, maurices, The Wardrobe.
Maurice’s and The Wardrobe. There will also be silent auction and door prizes to give away.
Entertainment will feature past scholarship recipients, as well as a special comedic performance by The Green Bean Comic.
Tickets are on sale now for $20 per person at the Heritage Museum and the Big Spring CVB.
Beginning Monday, March 18, 2019, contractors with the City of Big Spring will be replacing water valves to better serve the citizens of Big Spring. We wish to apologize to the citizens in the following areas:
N. Scurry - from S. Service Rd. I-20 to NE 2nd Street,
N. Hwy 87/N. Gregg to N. Main Street
Persons in this area will experience little to no water pressure, during the day.
Contractors will continue working until all repairs are complete. The City of Both Spring notes that they regret any inconvenience related to the work and request your patience during the project.
Be advised of a downed power line pole at 12th and Goliad also in Big Spring had fallen over due to yesterday’s high wind speeds. The area was closed off and Oncor has been contacted. As of this morning, the line is still down and the area is still closed off.
According to the Oncor website, Due to significant storms across Texas, Oncor has experienced significant damage to power lines and equipment. Keep away from downed power lines, keep traffic away from impacted areas, and report a downed line by calling 911.
It was noted that for the West Texas area, including Midland and Big Spring, power is expected to be restored today, mid to late day. The site advised that Oncor crews will continue to work around the clock until power is fully restored.
As of this morning, there were approximately 132 Oncor customers affected by the power outage in Big Spring and over 600 affected in the Midland area.
Last summer Impact Youth Big Spring was able to clear out roughly 700 cigarette butts in and around Kids’ Zone at Comanche Trail Park.
They put flags in the ground to represent each one picked up.
Earlier this week, they braved the wind, and picked up 450 more! The organization reminds the public that spring is almost here and it’s important that we have a safe environment for kids to enjoy.
According to Rebecca Baker, Youth Prevention Coordinator for the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, cigarette butts are THE #1 littered item on the planet!
Approximately 4.5 BILLION cigarette butts are littered annually.
Captain Rachel McKain of the Salvation Army in Big Spring was recognized as the Veteran of the Month for March 2019 as part of Hangar 25 Museum’s Veteran Recognition program. When asked how she felt to be the Veteran of the Month, Captain McKain stated that she was honored and overwhelmed.
Captain McKain served in U.S. Army for 4 years as part of the Military Police Corp. She was medically discharged due to a hip injury. After her time in service Captain McKain said she tried to work at a nuclear plant, but due to her injury she had to find another option. She said she had gone through beauty school and was working towards opening her own business when she felt the call the serve in ministry.
Captain McKain told KBest News that she grew up in the Salvation Army, but she’s been serving as an officer for 9 years.
When asked what kind of advice she would offer to anyone thinking about enlisting, Captain McKain said that it was important to her to find something that she wanted to do in the military. She also went on to say that serving our country is hard and it changes everyone who enters, but she wouldn't give up her experience for anything.
There will be a Crawfish Boil Benefit next month to help raise funds for a baby currently in ICU.
The Xiled Motorcycle Club will have a Crawfish Boil Benefit for Baby Jax on Saturday, April 20th at the Xiled Clubhouse, located at 600 NE 2nd street in Big Spring and begins at noon. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit Baby Jax who is suffering from Shaken Baby Syndrome and is currently in ICU at Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
The event will also have bike games, a horseshoe tournament, live DJ, and an egg hunt for the kids. For more information, contact 432-816-1561.
The Howard County Commissioner’s Court held a Special Meeting on Monday, March 11 th. The only agenda item was discussion of the bid submitted by Cox Paving for County Road Projects.
After submission of bids, Cox Paving realized they had made an error in their bid that would not cover the costs of the projects. Although there were several options to resolve the matter, one of the options was to release Cox Paving from their bid. However, the paving company chose to honor their bid. This will allow the County to proceed as planned with Cox Paving as the Contractor for the road repairs.
Discussion took place about concerns about the quality of work from a contractor that would be losing money on a project. Brian Klinkseik, Howard County Engineer, responded by stating,
that he would have an inspector on site during the project and he would probably spend a lot of time on-site ensuring that the work is acceptable.
The Commissioners accepted the bid unanimously and the meeting was adjourned.
New voting concept will increase convenience and reduce confusion for voters
(Big Spring)- Effective March 11, 2019, Howard County has officially gain status as a
vote center county. Howard County will be one of 40 plus Texas counties to switch to the
vote center program.
“I am so very excited that Howard County has decided to make the switch to vote
centers,” Election Administrator, Jodi Duck said. “It’s taken a lot of planning and
examining from all those involved, but the benefits to the voters of our county will be
well worth the effort we have spent implementing the new process.”
Simply put, vote centers are just the same polling locations we currently use for
countywide elections but will allow any eligible voter in the county to vote their
designated ballot anywhere in the county. They eliminate the need to know which polling
places are specified for certain precincts. This allows the voters in the county more
flexibility regarding where they cast their ballots. Vote centers throughout the county are
linked by secure internet connections with an electronic poll book that is instantaneously
updated as voters are checked in and verified. The election voting equipment, as always,
will not be connected in any fashion to the internet and will be completely secure. In
addition, three more locations will be added during the city and school board elections in
May. Keeping the locations the same for every election during the year will help to
eliminate the voter confusion on knowing where they need to go. The choice is left to the
“It’s your voice, now it’s your choice.” Election Administrator Jodi Duck said. “With the
new equipment and new Election Day procedures, voting has never been easier.”
The Election Office will hold a come and go open house for the public to come see and
demo the new equipment, May 25 th at 4:30 till 7:00.
The City and School Joint Elections will be held on May 4, 2019 with early voting
beginning April 22, 2019 at the courthouse. The Election Day vote center locations:
Ryan Hall/St. Thomas Church
605 North Main, Big Spring
First Baptist Church
705 W FM 700, Big Spring
Dorothy Garrett Coliseum
1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring
Coahoma Community Center
306 North Ave., Coahoma
Be advised the Lady Steers Varsity softball team will have their home game against Snyder today at 4 PM. There will be no JV game.
Larry ValVerde, 55, was pronounced deceased at the scene Sunday morning near the intersection of west Interstate 20 and Highway 84, east of Roscoe.
Preliminary reports state that ValVerde’s Harley Davidson motorcycle left the roadway and rolled over in a ditch. The cause of the motorcycle leaving the roadway remains unknown at this time. ValVerde’s body was transported to the Lubbock County Medical Examiner for autopsy. Wet road conditions were reported at the time of the accident.
ValVerde is survived by his wife, Debbye ValVerde, the Executive Director of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.
On March 13th, 2019, the Texas Veterans Land Board will celebrate K-9 Veterans Day.
The community is invited to join Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home to partake in festivities.
This event is a great opportunity for the community to come together with their K-9 and celebrate with our Veterans. Treats and refreshments will be provided for both guests and their fluffy companion.
Up-to-date annual vaccination records are required and all dogs must be on a leash when entering the community.
Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home is located at 1809 N. HWY 87 in Big Spring.
The Academy, an optional program available to all Coahoma ISD students in the first through fifth grade, is now accepting applications for current students grades first through fifth for the 2019- 2020 academic year.
The program is designed to develop academic skills while emphasizing student responsibility, leadership, and self-confidence. It is structured to create an environment that allows flexible scheduling, hands-on learning, incorporation of music and movement into academic lessons while holding students to high expectations of responsibility.
Applicants and their parents must undergo an interview and complete an orientation prior to the start of the program.
Forms can be filled out in the Coahoma Elementary School office, 400 Ramsey, Street, Coahoma. Applications must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. Friday, Mar. 29, 2019.
Students who are already in the program will not have to re-apply.
One person was killed in a crash west of Stanton on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
The victim of the crash was identified as 36-year-old Jose Flores of Uvalde.
According to DPS, their troopers responded to a crash at County Road 3201, just one mile west of Stanton at 1:40 p.m. When the troopers arrived at the scene they found a crash involving a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban.
The driver, identified as Flores, passed away at the scene.
An investigation of the crash revealed that Flores was driving north on the roadway while it was foggy and the road was wet. DPS says that Flores' vehicle left the roadway and rolled.
According to DPS, Flores was not wearing a seat belt at the time.
Earlier this week the 350 Café and Convenience, located at 17601 W. Hwy 350 in Coahoma, was recognized by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce with a “Thank You for Your Investment” presentation.
The establishment is ran by Co-Owners Steve and Jean Ann Wolf.
They open at 6 AM every morning and serve a full breakfast. The café side stays open until 2 PM, and the convenience store side closes at 4.
Tonight, will be first evening that they’ll begin their 1 and only Friday night dinner special – ribeye steaks cooked on a grill with sides. They’ll be open until 8 PM tonight.
350 Café and Convenience also caters for all kinds of events. You can contact them at 432-965-3500 for call-in orders and more information.
(Photo by Bruce Schooler.)
During yesterday's meeting of Howard County Commissioners Court, it was determined that the Howard County burn ban would continue through June 12, 2019. At that time the information will be reviewed again to determine whether another extension of the burn ban is needed.
Sheriff Stan Parker advised the Commissioners that the local jail is running near capacity and that they are running near capacity every day. He noted that usually, the jail runs through peaks and valleys in the amount of people housed, but Sheriff Parker noted that the jail has been consistently near capacity for over a year.
Due to the number of people that are currently housed in the jail, Sheriff Parker advised that they were still taking violent offenders into custody, but he felt the only option at this time would be to house some of the offenders out of the county.
An agreement with Garza County has been approved to allow them to house some of the Howard County inmates. Garza County would be responsible for transporting them for court dates.
The 4th annual event Pints for Polio, hosted by the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club, is scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2019 at The Courtyard, located at 119 S. Main St. in downtown Big Spring, from 7-11 PM. This year’s presenting sponsor is SM Energy.
The event is a beer and wine tasting event to raise money for the Rotary International End Polio Now Fund. Tickets are $25 pre-sale and are available to purchase at the Big Spring Visitor's Center located at 113 East 3rd Street, The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce located at 215 West 3rd Street, or the Train Car located at 100 South Main. You can also purchase a ticket from any Greater Big Spring Rotarian.
According to Mike Richardson, with The Greater Big Spring Rotary Club, this year’s event will be a little different from years past. He advised that this year, Main St. would be blocked off and the event would be more of a street dance with items for auction set up inside of the Courtyard.
The band performing will be the Marfa Lake Social Club, from Midland. Last year, approximately $33,000 was raised. This year the organization’s goal is to sell over 500 tickets and to raise twice as much as last year.
UPDATE: Structure Fire on Colby - 3 PM, 03/06/19
According to Big Spring Fire Marshal Dan Hendrickson, the fire was extinguished at approximately 12:30 PM today. He noted that the fire had spread from the shed behind the home, and ended up spreading into the main house. It caused significant damage to the attic and the home is no longer tenable.
The family's home and shed were a total loss but, thankfully, personal items in the house were salvageable. The Howard County Chaplain Corp is working with the family's insurance to ensure that they have shelter for the coming days. It was noted at this time, they are currently working on obtaining medication, clothes, and other household items.
Fire damage from the incident also included singeing a neighbor's shed, trailer, and burned part of a pickup truck that was parked behind the neighbor's shed in the alley.
No injuries were sustained by firefighters. Only 1 person who lived in the home was sent to SMMC for smoke inhalation as a precautionary measure.
UPDATE: Structure Fire on Colby, 11:10 AM, 03/06/19
This morning's fire was reported just after 9 AM in the 1300 block of Colby. According to Big Spring Fire Marshal Dan Hendrickson, the cause of the fire has been ruled to be accidental and it originated in the shed behind the home.
It's been reported that the fire had spread to the back end of the home, caused heat damage to the back end of a neighboring property, as well as to a vehicle that was parked nearby in the alley.
One person has been transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Hospital via private vehicle to be treated for smoke inhalation.
At this time there are 3 fire trucks and an ambulance on scene, along with the Battalion Chief, Fire Marshal, and Operations Chief. Atmos and Oncor were also on scene to shut off the utilities to help battle the fire.
A Midland Police Officer was shot and killed on early Tuesday morning, that’s according to our news partners at CBS 7.
Midland Mayor Jerry Morales has identified the officer as 5-year veteran Nathan Hayden Heidelberg.
An internal email obtained by multiple media sources reported that Heidelberg, his probationary officer, plus two additional officers responded to a burglar alarm at a Midland home on Tuesday morning.
The email stated that the officer made a loud announcement of their being at the front door, but the homeowner believed that his house was being broken into.
The homeowner then shot toward the flashlight being held by the office, hitting him above his bullet-proof vest.
Despite MPD personnel trying to treat and transport the officer to the emergency room, he died from his injuries.
Mayor Morales stated that the shooting occurred around 2:30 AM and Officer Heidelberg passed away at 8:30 AM.
The Texas Rangers will be investigating the shooting.
Officer Heidelberg's body was transported to Tarrant County for an autopsy. At approximately 11:30 AM today, the transport along I-20 arrived in Big Spring and was met with many local law enforcement and community members standing by to show their condolescenes for the fallen officer, his family, and Midland PD.
The Prom Closet officially opened yesterday afternoon at Ryan Hall, located in the rear at 605 N. Main in Big Spring, for the 2019 Prom Season.
The purpose of the Prom Closet is to help high school-aged students be able to easily access prom attire like prom dresses or tuxes. All items are free, and no one is ever charged.
The Prom Closet is opened from 4 PM – 6 PM on Mondays through Prom Season. Anyone can stop in and check it out during those times, but an appointment can also be made by contacting Gabby Fair, head of the Prom Closet in Big Spring, at 432-816-0675.
The Prom Closet is also accepting donations of prom dresses, tuxes, as well as any other items that could make getting ready for prom a little less pricey, such as gift certificates for hair, nails, etc. Donations can be dropped off on during Prom Closet hours on Mondays at Ryan Hall or at the Crowned Bird, located at 406 E. Marcy Drive.
Our news partners at CBS 7 report that 2 people are dead following an explosion Monday afternoon in Martin County. According to Martin County Sheriff Brad Ingram it happened around 4:00 p.m. about 15 miles north of Stanton.
Ingram says a crew was working on a Heater Treater when it pressured up causing gas and oil to ignite.
He says no names have been released and an investigation will continue.
UPDATED - 3:30 PM, 03/05/19
According to Martin County Sheriff Brad Ingram, the victims have been identified as Anthony Lara, 20, of San Antonio and Noel Olivas Jr., 22, of Midland.
Sheriff Ingram tells CBS7 that the explosion happened at the Sayles Ranch.
Contractors for the City of Big Spring will be working on the Lancaster Booster Station and are requiring NO parking on the streets Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Traffic will be diverted during this time.
The following streets will be closed to parking:
- Ryon from Lancaster to La Loma;
- Lancaster from Ryon to Westover; and
- La Loma from Ryon to Westover
The City of Big Spring regrets any inconvenience related to the work and request the public's patience during the project.
Soon, rehab construction will begin on the bridge in the 100 block of North Gregg Street which goes over the Union Pacific railroad tracks.
Construction will begin on the southbound side first; southbound traffic will be diverted to the northbound side of the bridge. Drivers are advised while work is in progress, there will only be two-lanes of traffic in the northbound side of the bridge, one for northbound traffic and one for southbound traffic. When work on the southbound side of the bridge is complete, work will begin on the opposite side in the same manner. Drivers are urged to drive with caution in the area during the bridge rehab.
The Desert Flower Art Bar and Lounge will be hosting their 1st annual Chili Cook Off and block party on Saturday, March 9th in downtown Big Spring.
Participants in the chili cook off will have the opportunity to win a grand prize of $500 cash. Chili will be judged in different categories such as Texas Chili, Anything Goes Chili, Gourmet Chili, Vegetarian Chili, and Fire Dept. Chili.
Registration for the event will begin at 10 AM on-site on Saturday, Mar. 9th, in front of the Desert Flower Art Bar, located at 123 S. Main. Entry for the competition is $20, be advised that a fire extinguisher and table will be needed for each participant. Head cook meeting will be at 11:45 AM, cooking begins at noon, and cooks will have 3 hours to prepare their chili.
The Block Party will begin at 2 pm with live music throughout the day, as well as a hot dog eating contest, cornhole, and giant Jenga for kids. Vendors will be welcomed to set up at the event for free.
For more information about you can win $500 from the chili cook off competition, or for more information on being a vendor for the event, contact the Desert Flower Art Bar and Lounge through their Facebook page, or text them at 432-270-0290.
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, was Howard County day at the State Capitol. Community Leaders and citizens from Big Spring, Forsan and Coahoma attended the event, as well as the members of the Greater Big Spring Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Big Spring”. The Big Spring High School Meister Singers also attended, along with students from Coahoma and Forsan.
Resolutions were presented in the Texas House of Representatives by Drew Darby and by State Senator Kel Seliger declaring Wednesday, February 27, 2019 as “Howard County Day”.
The trip was certainly a great way for the students in attendance to see our state government in action.
Tana Bradley of Bulldog Steel and Metal Solutions claimed, “[Wednesday] was a great experience visiting our historic capitol building and witnessing the day to day operations of what makes Texas so great. Seeing Texas politicians first hand at work is a true eye opener as to how much takes place on a day to day basis for our state’s elected officials.”
Both Darby and Seliger joined the contingent in the Capitol’s Rotunda to listen to the Meister Singers as they sang The National Anthem and other patriotic favorites. Both then took time to visit with the group. They addressed current issues and answered questions.
(Photo - courtesy of Amanda Duforat.)