At the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas State Parks will be closed to the public effective at the close of business Tuesday, April 7 in order to maintain the safest environment for visitors, volunteers and staff. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will continue to stay current with the latest public health recommendations and will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined.
“Given the myriad of challenges and heightened risks of operating the parks at this time, we believe this is the best course of action right now in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set out for the citizens of Texas,” said Carter Smith, Executive Director of TPWD. “All state parks will remain temporarily closed until public health and safety conditions improve. During the closure, staff will continue to steward and care for the parks to ensure they can be immediately reopened to visitors at the appropriate time.”
"Outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, biking, jogging, walking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and the like are essential activities for Texas citizens. TPWD will continue to do its part to actively encourage and promote these opportunities in ways that are safe and close to home," said Smith.
Through this trying time, TPWD has worked diligently to facilitate access to the outdoors across the state, including in the state park system, which hosted nearly 740,000 day and overnight visitors throughout the month of March.
Despite the implementation of increasingly restrictive visitor use measures to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 at parks, TPWD has reached a point where public safety considerations of those in the parks, and in the surrounding communities, must take precedence over continued operations. Difficulty in ensuring compliance with social distancing, problems in maintaining adequate supplies and keeping park facilities sufficiently sanitized are only a few of the challenges encountered by state park staff.
While parks are closed to the public, staff will be working to help maintain the standard upkeep, maintenance, stewardship, and continued regular cleaning of site facilities.
The Texas State Parks Customer Service Center is currently working toward contacting customers with upcoming overnight reservations to reimburse stays booked through the reservation system. Group and facility reservations have been canceled until April 30. Canceled reservations will not be charged normal administrative fees.
Day passes purchased through the reservation system, not associated to the Texas State Parks Pass, will also be refunded without penalties. The Texas State Parks Customer Service Center will automatically process cancellations of both overnight and day-use reservations. If your reservation is impacted by a facility or park closure, a Customer Service Center agent will contact you – you do not need to contact them. They are contacting customers in order of arrival date and appreciate your patience.
Questions regarding state park reservations can be emailed to email@example.com and general park information can be found at TexasStateParks.org.
During today's Special Meeting of the Howard County Junior College Board of Trustees, the Board unanimously voted to postpone the May 2, 2020 election to elect 3 At-Large Board Trustees. The election will be held on November 3, 2020.
According to approved order, all candidate filings will remain valid for the election to be held Nov. 3, 2020, and the filing period will not be re-opened for the November 3, 2020 election date. It should also be noted that all absentee ballots by mail for those over the age of 65, or due to disability will still be valid. Absentee ballots by mail for voters who submitted those based on expected absence from the county will not be valid for the postponed election.
New important dates for the postponed election are as follows:
Oct. 5, 2020 - Voter registration deadline
Oct. 23, 2020 - Deadline to submit an Absentee Ballot by Mail
Oct. 19-30, 2020 - Early voting
Nov. 3, 2020 - Election Day
On Friday evening, Big Spring City Council members met in a Special Session. Topics on the agenda included the final reading of an ordinance to postpone the May 2, 2020 General Election to November 3, 2020, and to reconsider the Mayor’s veto in regards to a final reading of a resolution authorizing and approving a project and loan in the amount of up to $6 million to finance infrastructure and road improvements to the Big Spring Airpark.
Councilmembers had shown concern during the previous meeting in March about holding the General Election to elect city councilmembers for Districts 1 and 3 during a pandemic. During the debate on whether or not to postpone the General Election, Mayor Shannon Thomason stated that doing so would violate the City Charter. Councilmembers received input on the legality and validity of postponing the election from City Attorney Andrew Hagan, and also questioned Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck on the concerns of continuing with the election. Overall, the final reading of the ordinance passed with a 5-1 vote with Mayor Thomason voting against; District 2 Councilman Doug Hartman was not present for the meeting.
During reconsideration of the Mayor’s Veto on approving the loan and project for improvements to the Big Spring Airpark, the five points of concern from the Mayor were addressed. Thomason still advised that he had concerns on the fiscal stability of the city and sales tax base that, if affected, would affect the EDC. Ultimately, the council passed the resolution approving the project and the loan amount by a 5-1 vote with Mayor Thomason voting against.
During the open session of the meeting, a personnel issue with City Manager Todd Darden was also addressed. Terry McDaniel, District 3, questioned Darden on a purchase made at a local hardware store and about a reimbursement request he recently submitted. McDaniel questioned if the hardware store purchase was made on the City’s credit card and if it was for the city or for personal use, and why he submitted the reimbursement request on a hotel stay that he never checked into.
Darden addressed the questions, stating that he paid for weedkiller from the hardware store with his own money and didn’t ask for reimbursement from the city. He also advised that all travel plans for educational purposes had been cancelled for city employees and cancellation of his room was forgotten. He noted that it was error that the request was submitted and he would pay the $152 on his own.
It was also pointed out that the Mayor approves the City Manager’s vouchers and documents that he signs. Mayor Thomason admitted to signing off on the voucher and stated that it happened the day after the City Council issued the declaration of disaster and noted that there were a lot of changes going on with regards to personnel policy and training events and travel. When asked if he was just as guilty of the infraction on the reimbursement request, Mayor Thomason stated that he probably was.
Councilman Jim DePauw, District 6, advised that he didn’t feel that Darden is a strong City Manager at this time because he’s allowing the Mayor to change Big Spring from a City Manager-City Council form of government to a Mayor-Council form of government. DePauw stated that it seemed, to him, that the Mayor was running the city at this time.
Darden addressed some miscommunication issues on PSAs and advised that corrections were made to ensure that councilmembers are on the notifications list for anything that he does on COVID-19 issues.
McDonald advised Darden that she appreciated that he was able to handle any issues that she brings to his attention.
DePauw asked Darden if the Mayor’s constant presence at City Hall impedes how he’s able to do his job and conduct his staff to do things. Darden advised that the Mayor is welcomed to City Hall anytime he wants, and noted that Councilmembers are welcomed as well. He also stated that the Mayor was not a hindrance.
Mayor Thomason asked Darden if he felt like he was being micromanaged by him, to which Darden advised that he did not feel that way and assured the Mayor that he was not a hindrance.
At the end, Darden advised Councilmembers that the city works as a team and that’s why he wanted to have his personnel issue in open session with others present for the discussion.
The Salvation Army of Big Spring continues to serve the community by providing resources to those in need.
Their Social Service Office is still open providing basic assistance to those in need in this community.
The local organization is able to provide food, toiletries, hygiene kits, and clothing vouchers.
The Salvation Army of Big Spring tries to provide a variety of items in their food boxes. Some items that they are running low on are:
1. Canned meats/frozen professionally packed meats
3. Canned meals such as ravioli, spaghetti o's, beef stew, and soups.
Some items that are needed for their toiletries and hygiene kits are:
2. Feminine hygiene products
Any of the items previously mentioned or a monetary donation for those items would directly help those in need in our community.
Their social service hours are 9-3 PM, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and they are located at 811 W 5th Street in Big Spring.
If you need assistance, they can be contacted at 432-267-8239.
BIG SPRING, TX– Patients and healthcare providers are experiencing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. At the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center action steps and protocols have been instituted to help continue treatments and services during this crisis.
Wound care has been determined to be essential for the community. Care and services provided include treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, PAD associated with sores, wounds and ulcers and advanced wound care.
Their data has shown that patients suffering from untreated wounds are 20 times more likely to end up in an emergency room or admitted to the hospital. To help patients with wounds avoid emergency care The Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center has implemented measures to continue to provide the support needed to care for patients who need advanced wound care treatments and services during this
A few of these measures include:
• Proactive Patient Communications – clinical teams are reaching out to patients regarding treatment adherence and working with them to help with flexible appointment scheduling options and to balance patient volumes throughout the day, eliminating crowded waiting rooms. Their dedicated staff has also placed temporary entrances into the Wound Healing Center for patient only access. These processes allow limited entry and strict screening to continue providing a safe environment for our patient population.
• Community Education for Physicians – they are continuing to communicate with their referring providers in light of limited access due to COVID-19 related office visit restrictions.
The center team understands the importance of remaining vigilant and safe, and to that end, has taken steps to provide a safe place for their patients to receive care.
“The health of all our patients within our community as well as surrounding communities is priority here at the Wound Healing Center. We encourage all of our patients to continue on a strong path of healing. I am honored to have such a strong community to come together in a time of need and support each other through difficult times in a safe and effective manner. Together we will get through this stronger,” said Dr. Nguyen, Medical Director of the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center.
The upcoming ag education opportunity called the 2020 Advocating for Agriculture Symposium will be held online on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 from 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
Social media is full of misinformation about agriculture and agricultural products. This symposium will arm participants with useful scientific-based information about beef compared to synthetic products, new hemp production laws, herbicides used to maintain productive lands, selecting livestock that fit the environment, Path to the Plate programming, pesticide safety and environmental health, proper use of fertilizer, and understanding the sustainability movement.
This webinar provides 2.0 Ag. Pesticide CEUs in the General Category for those participants with a Pesticide Applicator License. You must attend the entire symposium to be eligible. The CEUs will be awarded in conjunction with 50 minutes on range and pasture updates and understanding glyphosate claims. Another CEU will be awarded in conjunction with presentations over pesticide safety and environmental health and information on how fever ticks are treated.
This month’s online symposium is brought to you by the Corpus Christi based Extension Specialists.
The cost of the symposium is $10 and must be paid upon registration.
For more information, contact Megan Clayton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register, visit: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/productListingDetails/3087
In Midland yesterday, a federal judge sentenced former Andrews Middle School Choir Director Gary Lynn Ragland to 97 months in federal prison on a child pornography charge, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David Counts ordered that Ragland, age 59, pay a $20,000 fine; a $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA); and, $35,000 in restitution.
Judge Counts also ordered that Ragland be placed on supervised release for a period of ten years after completing his prison term. Ragland has remained in custody since his arrest on October 1, 2019.
On November 21, 2019, Ragland pleaded guilty to one count of attempted receipt of child pornography.
According to court records, on September 27, 2019, the school web filter flagged that pornography was being searched for off campus by a school-issued MacBook assigned to Ragland. Ragland admitted to accessing child pornography on a daily basis and using that MacBook to view and/or possess more than 5,000 images depicting child pornography.
Court records further reveal that Ragland has also admitted to inappropriate touching of at least four identified adolescent victims’ breasts and buttocks as well as a previous incident he was accused of inappropriate touching a 12-year-old student. It was deemed unfounded and he previously denied committing the act, but he now admits that what the child alleged actually happened.
“Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are still achieving justice for our most vulnerable victims. This middle school choir director admitted to inappropriately touching multiple children and to using his school- issued computer to download massive amounts of child pornography. He will now spend 97 months in federal prison,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
The Andrews Police Department investigated this case along with the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin Berry prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood,
please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Yesterday, Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason gave a “Coronavirus Update” for April 1, 2020.
In his update, the Mayor advised that as of 5 PM yesterday in Howard County there have been 53 tests administered, 11 are still pending, and there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.
Thomason also addressed the closure of city parks and golf courses, noting that it wasn’t something they wanted to do but it was needed because people were not adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
Non-essential businesses are now closed through the end of the month as per Governor Greg Abbott’s recent Executive Order. Other than that, Thomason says that nothing has changed in the City of Big Spring.
According to the Executive Order, churches and religious organizations are exempt from the order. Churches can still meet for services, but are still encouraged to practice social distancing and only have single households sitting together. Mayor Thomason requested that local churches continue to carry out services as they have been, through social media and other options, but made it clear that this was only a request and not an order.
To view the full video update, visit: https://youtu.be/pnu9BiBqh94
On Tuesday morning, Jen Hollingsworth, local Independent Sales Director with Mary Kay, recently celebrated a milestone achievement in her line of work - picking up her first Mary Kay vehicle from a local dealership.
Hollingsworth began her career with Mary Kay less than two years ago. She told KBest News that she debuted as a Sales Director in July 2019 and three months later she earned a Mary Kay Malibu. Hollingsworth explained that there are different levels of cars and the Malibu is the first level. Her goal is to move through the different tiers and earn the iconic pink Cadillac.
Hollingsworth told KBest News that the car is leased by Mary Kay, and she is the driver and she’ll keep it for two years. Mary Kay also covers part of her auto insurance for her and her husband. Hollingsworth explained that as long as she continues working, they’ll send her a new car.
Last week, Mary Kay Inc. announced the company will dedicate part of its global supply chain and manufacturing capabilities to producing much-needed hand sanitizer. The first products off the line will be for donation to those on the front lines addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Production was targeted to begin yesterday and distribution is expected to begin April 3, 2020.
The first batch of hand sanitizer products will be donated to the Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation. Baylor Scott & White is the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas and one of the largest in the United States. It includes 52 hospitals, more than 800 patient care sites, 7,500 active physicians and over 47,000 staff.
For more on Mary Kay manufacturing and donating hand sanitizer, visit:
The following is a PSA from the Big Spring Police Department concerning shelter in place orders:
In an attempt to dispel rumors, please be advised that any shelter in place orders (State/City/County) provides no legal requirement that individuals carry letters from their employers regarding whether they are employed with an essential business or performing minimum basic operations for a non-essential business. Police officers have no legal requirement to request such documentation from any individual.
The Governor’s order and most local orders all have many approved exceptions that allow for travel besides employment. This includes going to the grocery store, exercising, food pick up and other essential activities identified in the orders. There may be other evidence establishing a violation of an order, but the lack of a letter from an employer is not reasonable suspicion for a detention, nor can a traffic stop be conducted for the purpose of checking someone’s reason for travel.
The Big Spring Police Department assures its citizens that no letter of essential employee will be required for documentation when traveling.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
The following is an update from Coahoma ISD to parents and students:
The CISD administration and faculty are thankful to our parents and students for their collaboration through this exceptional time.
As we enter into April, we will continue to provide course material and lessons through on-line resources such as Google Classroom, and we encourage parents to take advantage of these new learning opportunities. If you have questions about how to access our on-line lessons, please call us at 432-394-5000, and someone will walk you through the process.
Lessons will continue to be provided through take-home packets, but we have made a few adjustments to the pick-up schedule. Also please note, the packets will now contain lessons for the entire month.
Monday, April 6, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday, April 20, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Monday, April 27, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you can not drop-off your packet at the above times, please call and set up a time to return your packet at your convenience. If you have any questions, please call us 432-394-5000.
A grab-and-go breakfast/lunch bag for our students will be available between the hours of 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please note, the cafeteria will be closed on April 10 and 13 for the Easter holiday, and no meals will be distributed on those days.
Please understand that when it comes to the education of your children, we’ve got this. The state of Texas has waived all standardized testing for this year, so you and your children only need to focus on their lessons. Thank you for your patience and cooperation, and if you have any questions please call us 432-394-5000.
COVID Action Manager is a new position that H-E-B has designated at each of their stores to help ensure social distancing to help keep customers and partners safe.
According to Alyssa Owens, Public Affairs for H-E-B, there is now signage on the floors encouraging customers to stand at a good distance away from another customer, as well as checkstand partitions between cashiers and customers. She also advised that partners will be careful while handling money. Instead of handling it directly back to the customer, they’ll be placing it on the counter. Owens also advised that their COVID Action Team are wiping down areas such as basket handles and areas that are not often thought about, such as freezer door handles.
When it comes to product availability, initially, H-E-B struggled to keep up with the amount of people shopping. Owens told KBest News that the store is better equipped with large pallet drops of staple items, but she advised that it’s important for customers to not overbuy during this time.
For customers who do not want to go inside the store, H-E-B in Big Spring has Curbside available where online orders can be made in advance and picked up later. They’ve also come up with another shopping option for seniors.
Owens explained that with their partnership with Favor Delivery, H-E-B has launched a low-cost option for seniors aged 60 and up that allows them access to their own personal shopper by phone, app, or the Favor website.
She also advised that Favor is looking for runners, or personal shoppers, to complete the deliveries, and it’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to make extra money.
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The Governor’s Executive Order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19, including closing schools and instructing Texans to avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants. The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services.
Today’s Executive Order follows the decision by President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance social distancing guidelines and extend the deadline for these guidelines to April 30th.
Governor Abbott was joined for the announcement by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, and Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath.
“Social distancing is our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the actions we have taken thus far have proven to be effective in limiting the spread of this virus,” said Governor Abbott. “Now it is time to redouble our efforts to reduce further exposure as much as possible and flatten the curve. As with all the actions the state is taking, the Essential Services and Activities Protocols is informed by the expertise and guidance of the CDC as well as state and local health officials. I urge my fellow Texans to heed these heightened social distancing directives to protect their health and the health of those around them. By following these guidelines, we will limit the spread of COVID-19 and overcome this challenge together.”
The Executive Order renews and expands the Governor's previous directive to minimize social gatherings and minimize contact with people who are not in the same household. It also renews the Governor's directive to avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, and visiting gyms or massage establishments, and it expands the order to include tattoo studios, piercing studios, and cosmetology salons.
In accordance with federal guidelines, people are still prohibited from visiting nursing home, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Additionally, schools will remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, 2020.
This Executive Order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The order also includes exemption for religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.
TDEM will maintain an online list of essential services specified in the Governor's Executive Order at www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/. Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of TDEM.
These orders will be effective on a statewide basis starting at 12:01 AM on April 2, 2020 and will end on April 30, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people continue to self-quarantine and stay home as much as possible to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus. Those running out of ideas for entertainment may be interested to know that KBest Country 95.7 is hosting the KBest CoronaFREE Concert Series. This nightly Texas Country concert will begin at 7 PM on the KBST 95.7 Best Country Facebook page.
"With all of the artists currently not being able to work, I mean, they're all sitting at home. They've closed all the bars. They've closed all the restraurants, all the venues, and they have no income coming in at all. It's tough for 'em, because, most of them, this is what they do for a living. This is a way for them to get their name out in the public, maybe sell some merchandise and some music," said Kris Moore, Music Director for KBest Media.
Moore went on to say that she hopes that the concert series brings a little happiness to everyone by bringing in some family-friendly quality entertainment by great Texas Country artists.
The KBest CornoFree Concert Series continues tonight at 7 PM with Stetson Walker on the Facebook page for KBST 95.7 Best Country.
The line-up for the concert series began on March 25, 2020 and has included the following artists and sponsors:
3/25 Will Carter
3/26 Jordan Robert Kirk sponsored by Big Mike’s Farm Store
3/27 Matt Hawk sponsored by Bulldog Steel/Metal Solutions
3/28 Marcy Grace sponsored by Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
3/29 Donice Morace sponsored by Back in Motion
3/30 Jenni Dale Lord ponsored by Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
3/31 Stetson Walker sponsored by Big Mike’s Farm Store
April's line-up continues to grow and currently includes:
4/11 Rachel Stacy
4/12 Mae & Tanner Churchwell
4/17 The Powell Brothers
4/18 Casey Baker sponsored by BluRae Photography
4/24 – Spur 327
A local group called the Big Spring Mask Makers have been working to create face masks for medical care providers in the area. Shiloh Salazar, organizer for the group, says that although she’s not able to sew she was able to partner with crafter Angelica Griffin to get the ball rolling on the project. Since then, their group has grown to 12 people - some sew masks and others make “Thank You” cards for medical staff.
Salazar told KBest News that she saw a need, especially with her sister on the front lines working in healthcare.
“She has an immunocompromised son, he has half a heart. Knowing that she could catch it because she does not have the proper gear, really drives my ‘why’, because I know that there are nurses here, [and] there are EMTs here that take this back to their family if they get it. Not having the proper gear is what really got me in my heart,” said Salazar.
“Help them protect their family, because I would want someone to do that for me and my family.”
So far, the group has been able to distribute over 130 masks since they began on March 21st. Salazar dvised that they are pretty well set on supplies for the moment, but are always on the look out for elastic to help make masks.
She also went on to say that the group hopes to do one more pick up and be done, but the group will continue to make masks as long as there are still requests for them. Companies needing face masks can contact Big Spring Mask Makers through the group Facebook page or by contacting Shiloh Salazar through Facebook.
[Courtesy Photo: Affordacare workers pictured with donated masks from the Big Spring Mask Makers.]
AUSTIN – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent further spread into the state of Texas from hotspot areas, Governor Greg Abbott has tasked the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) with enforcing two Executive Orders surrounding travel into the state of Texas. GA-11 was issued on March 26 and specifically addresses air travel, while GA-12 was issued on March 29 and addresses travel by roadways from Louisiana into Texas.
The requirements under both Executive Orders are the same — a covered person under the mandated quarantines shall remain in the designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. A violation of the orders is subject to criminal penalties, and the department encourages all individuals to abide by all measures that have been enacted by the Governor to mitigate the consequences of the current public health disaster.
The quarantine restrictions related to air travelers do not apply to travel related to military service, emergency response, health response or critical infrastructure functions. The quarantine restrictions related to ground travel include all the previously mentioned exclusions, plus travel related to commercial activity.
Additional Locations Added for Air Travel Under GA-11
Last week, Governor Abbott issued GA-11 requiring individuals traveling to Texas — with Texas being their final destination — through an airport from the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as from the city of New Orleans, to comply with a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. GA-11 was expanded by proclamation on Sunday, March 29, to include air travelers coming into Texas from the following locations: California; Louisiana; Washington; Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; and Miami, Fl.
DPS Troopers are stationed at Texas airports to screen passengers traveling from the designated quarantine areas. Travelers who are subject to the self-quarantine are required to complete this travel form to provide DPS with identifying information, including their full name, date of birth, home address, driver license/passport information and quarantine location.
Requirements for Road Travel Into Texas From Louisiana
Effective Monday, March 30, at noon, GA-12 states that every person who enters the state of Texas through roadways from Louisiana will be subject to the mandated 14-day self-quarantine. DPS has been tasked with enforcing GA-12, and the public can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence along the Texas/Louisiana border. The form for arrivals for road travelers is also available online.
Mandatory Terms and Enforcement
Pursuant to Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders, individuals must comply with the Mandatory Terms of Self-Quarantine. While we anticipate wide compliance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders, the department will vigorously enforce the executive order, as these orders are designed to protect the public and stop the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that under Texas Government Code § 418.173, failure to comply with these mandatory terms is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days, or both. DPS will take the appropriate enforcement action against anyone who fails to comply with the Executive Orders.
Travel information, including the required form and the mandates for self-quarantine, can be found online at www.dps.texas.gov/COVIDtravel.
The City of Big Spring will be closing Comanche Trail Golf Course, Comanche Trail Park, Comanche Trail Lake, Moss Lake, and all other outside parks, including Birdwell Park, ABC Park, Bert Andries Park, and Dr. Morgan Park effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
All City parks and City rentable facilities, including Dora Roberts Community Center, Municipal Auditorium, Comanche Trail Amphitheater, and all Comanche Trail Park Pavilions will remain closed until April 30, 2020, with the possibility of an extension.
All City Offices are still open by appointment only.
For any questions or concerns please contact the City Managers Office at 432-264-2401.
Over the weekend, the YMCA in Big Spring distributed over 150 basketballs and footballs for free to local kids outside of the local facility and by driving through some of the neighborhoods. According to Dathan Jones, Big Spring YMCA CEO,, this was done in an effort to help keep kids in the community active and safe during these uncertain times.
Beginning today, the facility will be posting online basketball training classes will begin today and can be found on the Facebook page for Big Spring YMCA Youth Basketball 2020.
Jones told KBest News that the YMCA in Big Spring will continue to do their part in helping the community by pushing creative ideas and ways that they can connect to the community within the Federal guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.
West Texas VA Health Care System is committed to providing high-quality care while keeping Veterans safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and out of concern for our Veterans, we are honoring current social isolation and distancing guidelines,” said Jason Cave, Interim Director, WTVAHCS. “We have many telehealth options available for our Veterans, and of course, we are here if you need us.”
Through VA’s virtual care tools, they are able to leverage available technology to make sure that their patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time.
To help them address their Veterans’ most-urgent needs first, WTVAHCS asks that Veterans use their online tools for routine or non-urgent questions.
Here are some examples:
Telephone or Video Appointments – Veterans can receive care at home — either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets. To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov, or call their provider.
To learn more about VA Video Connect, visit mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.
Prescription Refills – Veterans can request prescription refills and order and ship medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app. Download the app at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill.
Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps Veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care. Enroll at mobile.va.gov/annie.
Secure Messaging – With My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, Veterans can send online secure messages to their VA health care team to ask them nonurgent health questions. Register at www.myhealth.va.gov.
WTVAHCS has a well-established infrastructure to offer a multitude of tele-health options for our Veterans. Veterans can call 24/7 to our Nurse Triage Line 1-866-862-7863 24/7 with any questions or concerns they may have.
For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit connectedcare.va.gov.
Two Big Spring LVNs with Kindred at Home are making an effort to show residents in the local nursing homes, retirement and long-term care facilities, assisted and non-assisted living areas that they are not forgotten.
Nicole Doose, LVN and Clinical Home Health Specialist, told KBest News that the COVID-19 restricitons have resulted in assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities to shut their doors from public entrance to prevent the spread germs. This is to protect the elder population because they’re the most susceptible.
"So, in an effort to support nursing homes, assisted living, and independent living for seniors, we have made signs, and cards, and goody bags, and come to the windows, spoken to people through the glass, to tell’em ‘We love you. We’re thinking about you. You’re not forgotten,’ because people inside the buildings that can’t come out are still human, they still need the interaction,” said Doose.
Sheila Crockett, LVN and Hospice Specialist, told KBest News that this also includes staff at the facilities because they’re taking care of their people and they need support as well. She also stated that the restrictions have also affected them personally.
“Not being able to interact with the residents has affected us also,” said Crockett. “They’re like extended family with us. We’re used to being in and out of there. We see them, they like to see us. We laugh, we talk, we joke, we kid. Doing this is also therapeutic for us because we cannot be in there and we cannot interact with them.”
When asked what it’s been like to see the show of support outside their windows, Julie Harris, Community Manager of Canterbury, told KBest News that the ladies have been a breath of fresh air.
“It’s been a breath of fresh air to have Sheila and Nicole [with Kindred at Home] here for our residents and our staff, the whole community, at Canterbury. We’re very thankful and appreciative for their services. They’ve come with smiling faces, words of encouragement out the window. Anything that our residents have needed, Sheila and Nicole have really stepped up and brought it to us. They have been supportive of our food pantry that we have going on right now. We’re just really lucky to have them,” said Harris.
Anyone interested in reaching out to local elderly residents is encouraged to send cards to the facilities. Crockett advised that sending cards is a great way to be effective while also continuing to practice social distancing.
“Send cards. You don’t want your people to feel alone," said Crockett. "We all need each other right now. This is a very scary time and we all need each other. And we want people to know that we’re still here and we can still provide. "
On March 29th, 2020, City of Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason notified City Secretary Don Moore of his veto of Resolution 006-2020, which approves a loan of up to $6 million to the Big Spring EDC to Finance road construction at the Big Spring McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark.
Mayor Thomason’s veto of the resolution cites financial uncertainty during the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as issues with the project itself.
Mayor Thomason states,
“At this time, no one can reliably predict the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City of Big Spring and it’s component units, which includes the Big Spring EDC. In times like these, I believe that it makes more sense to have money in the bank instead of borrowing money to build roads. I take my duty to be a good steward of the public trust very seriously and believe that the veto of the project financing is the right decision at this time. I have been and continue to be in favor of this project, but only when the timing and the project itself is right.“
Article IV, Section 7 of the Big Spring City Charter authorizes the Mayor to veto any resolution or ordinance passed by the Big Spring City Council.
The following is the email sent to Big Spring City Secretary Don Moore from Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason.
March 29, 2020
Mr. Don Moore
City Secretary, City of Big Spring
310 Nolan St.
Big Spring, Texas 79720
In accordance with Article IV, Sec. 7 of the Big Spring City Charter, please record my veto of the following resolution:
Big Spring City Council Resolution 006-2020
My reasons for veto are as follows:
1. Financial instability/insecurity - Given the drastic changes to both US and world financial markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a drastic drop in oil prices, I do not believe it is prudent to borrow funds to finance a project at this time. In addition, it is irresponsible for the City of Big Spring to institute a purely elective project when it’s citizens are facing hardship and restrictions as a result of the pandemic. In short, I believe it is more important for the City of Big Spring to have money in the bank to maintain our existing infrastructure than it is to borrow money we don’t have to build infrastructure we don’t critically need. While the airpark roads project will provide added convenience for businesses located at our air park, they are already adequately served by existing roads.
2. Big Spring EDC is in breech of the Performance Agreement with the City of Big Spring. Specifically, Big Spring EDC has been required to obtain numerous approvals of the City Manager with regards to the project. Big Spring EDC has failed to do so.
3. TGB Group is in breech of the Agreement For Engineering Services. Specifically TGB has instituted changes to the project without the express permission and authorization of the City Manager. When confronted with said change, TGB reversed the change and charged the City over $18,000 for a change order when no authorization for the original change had been given.
4. City of Big Spring Staff has identified more than eighteen (18) inconsistencies, issues, or problems with the project as a whole. Neither the Big Spring EDC or TGB Group (engineer) has yet to fully address those concerns.
5. Big Spring EDC does not appear to have complied with the statutory requirements regarding the project. Specifically, EDC does not appear to have complied with Texas Local Government Code Sec. 501.159(a) which is a requirement for a project such as this.
I would also like to reiterate the following: I have been in favor of the airpark roads project since it’s inception and will continue to be once the City of Big Spring returns to some semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately, given the current health crisis and financial crisis, both of which are deepening, pursuing this project at the time being is, in my opinion, a decision of questionable business sense.
We, as public officials and stewards of the public trust, can not afford to make questionable decisions during times like these.
Given by my hand, this 29th Day of March in the Year of Our Lord, 2020
SHANNON D. THOMASON
Mayor, City of Big Spring, Texas
The following is a statement from Scenic Mountain Medical Center concerning medical donations:
At Scenic Mountain Medical Center, we are humbled by the generosity of all who have inquired about donating medical supplies to support our staff and patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are gratefully accepting donations of medical supplies for our “Rainy Day Bank.”
Donations must be in unopened, original packaging and in accordance with approved hospital standards.
Requested donation categories include:
Disinfection Wipes & Liquids
General Purpose Hand Cleansers
Disposable Head Covers/Caps
N95 Respirator Face Masks
Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)
Disposable Face Masks
Donations can be delivered:
1. By Mail to: SMMC (Attention to Materials)
1601 W. 11th Place
Big Spring, Texas 79720
2. In person (with scheduled delivery)
Please do not drop off. To schedule a drop off time/location, contact Daniel Moreno at 432-553-1271 or April Arms at 432-213-0740 or by emailing Martin.Morenoii@steward.org or April.Arms@Steward.Org
On the 27th of March 2020 at approximately 1:40 A.M., Big Spring Police Department officers were dispatched to 300 S. Owens “Quick Track” in reference to a robbery.
While en-route dispatch informed officers that the Hispanic/Male actor had stolen items from within the store and when confronted by the clerk outside the store the actor exhibited what had believed to be a pistol.
Officers searched the area and located the suspect on foot in the 400 block of E. 3rd wearing a pink bandana over his face and carrying what was believed to be a pistol. The suspect (Robert Lyles Hispanic/Male 18 years of age) was ordered to the ground and taken into custody. The suspected pistol was found to be a BB gun. Officers recovered merchandise that had been stolen from the Quick Track. All items were returned to Quick Track.
Lyles was booked into the Howard County Jail for the offense of Aggravated Robbery a Felony 1 offense and is awaiting arraignment by a magistrate.
The Aggravated Robbery charge is due to Lyles exhibiting what appeared to be a deadly weapon during the commission of the Theft.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Yesterday, the makers of Carnage Radio announced that the film would be available to watch for free in a limited release window extending from today, March 27, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020!
They advised the link to watch the film will be on their Facebook page at 5 PM today.
Carnage Radio was made by local filmmakers in Big Spring. The film is about a late-night radio show DJ in a small West Texas town receives a call on the air one night from an unfamiliar voice who leads him through a mysterious mind game.
Yesterday, Scurry County issued a "Stay Home Stay Safe" order that goes into effect tonight, March 27, 2020, at 11:59 PM and continues until 11:59 PM on Friday, April 3, 2020, unless extended.
The intent of the order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their homes to the maximum extent possible, while enabling essential services to continue, to reduce the risk to the health and safety of the people to the maximum extent possible. It should be noted that failure to comply with the order shall be a criminal offense and punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or a jail term not to exceed 180 days.
During a live stream on the Scurry County Texas Facebook page, Scurry County Judge Dan Hicks, stated that everyone is ordered to stay home "except for essential activities or for performing or accessing essential governmental functions, healthcare operations, essential businesses, and essential critical infrastructure."
He went on to assure the public that they would still get to go to the grocery store, get fuel, and care for family members in different households.
Under this order, all non-essential businesses are required to stop all activities with the exception of minimum basic operations. Among these that are closed include, but are not limited to:
tanning salons (including spray tanning)
hair removal waxing businesses
commercial amusement and entertaining businesses including:
adult arcades or gaming facilities
indoor movie theaters
bars and lounges
gyms and fitness facilities
Judge Hicks encouraged the public to stay home, stay safe, and only go out if it’s absolutely necessary. It was also made clear that there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Scurry County as of the time of the live stream.
To read the Scurry County's "Stay Home Stay Safe" order, visit:
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