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KBST News Archives for 2017-11

The Big Spring Symphony Association presents the NUTCRACKER BALLET

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

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

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

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

For more information contact: Dr. Keith Graumann,



SM Energy Donates $1,000 to Local Toy Drive

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

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

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

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

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



BSISD Names Interim Superintendent

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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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

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

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


Cyber Monday Tips from the BBB of the Permian Basin

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

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

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

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

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

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



Community Christmas Tree to be Lighted on Dec. 1st

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

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

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


Salvation Army Serves over 600 people for Community Thanksgiving Meal

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


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




DPS Urges Drivers to Fill Up on Safety for Thanksgiving

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

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

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

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

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

- Do not drink and drive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Monitor weather and road conditions ( wherever you are traveling. In the event of inclement weather, use extra caution on roadways.



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

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

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

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

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

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


Community Helps to Pack 500 Christmas Boxes for Deployed Military Troops

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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




Coahoma NHS Students Help Prepare Boxes for Adopt a Military Hero Christmas 2017

In a sea of packing tape and cardboard, Coahoma High School's National Honor Society helped prepare boxes on Thursday evening, Nov 16 for the annual Adopt a Military Hero Christmas 2017.

The boxes will be packed with goodies and mailed to deployed members of the military. CHS juniors, Andrew Romero, Cassie Gutierrez, Emily Krabill, Aaron Rodriguez, Laura Romero and senior, Diana Gonzalez, along with other members of the community, folded and taped 500 boxes in less than an hour. 
On Sunday, Nov. 19, the boxes will be filled with goodies for our deployed military family as a result of generous donations from businesses, organizations and individuals in the community. The contents of the boxes will include a variety of toiletries, books, socks, snacks, heartfelt cards from hundreds of Howard County children and more.

Volunteers are welcome to help pack and tape the boxes at 2 p.m. Sunday, at First Presbyterian Church in Big Spring, 701 Runnels St.

When thanked for their time Laura Romero said, "Thank you for asking for help. We are happy to be here."

Photos by Karen McGinnes




After 42 Years of Service, Foresyth Retires from Howard College and a New Scholarship is Endowed with $17,000

Today was the 72nd anniversary of the creation of Howard College and it was the perfect day to celebrate Howard College Director of Institutional Advancemeant Jan Foresyth, a woman who has been dedicated to Howard College and the City of Big Spring for many years.

Foresyth began her career with the college in 1976 as a clerk in the Business Office and moved through many positions with the college. In 1995 she has been the Director of Institutional Advancement. Since then she has been serving in the community to for the advancement of Howard College. She has served in leadership positions for 22 years and has given 42 years of outstanding service to Howard College.

Throughout the years Foresyth has worked with the Howard College Foundations, most Big Spring, but also with SWCID and San Angelo campuses as well. Since taking the lead of the college advancement in 1995, her efforts have resulted in the Foundation Funds increasing by $2,805,927.

“God, family, friends, relationships, service, and Howard College – this is Jan,” said Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, of Foresyth. Foresyth has served throughout the years with many organizations for the betterment of the Howard College, Big Spring, and Howard County.

The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce awarded Forsyth with the “Shining Star of Big Spring & Howard County” Award, and she was also awarded with a key to the City of Big Spring from Mayor Larry McLellan. She was also given a Resolution from Howard College, as well as a the traditional retirement clock that is meant to represent the time dedicated to the college. She was given the personalized brick that will be placed in the P.W. Malone Plaza at the Howard College Big Spring campus.

According to Dr. Sparks, Foresyth has been “making dreams real” for the many students of Howard College, their families, and in their lives. as a result of her efforts, Dr. Sparks announced that Howard College has created a scholarship in Foresyth’s name and that it has already been endowed with $17,000.

“It’s been an incredible ride,” says Foresyth of her 42 years of service to Howard College.

“It’s rewarding when you go to graduation and when see those kids walk across the stage and you know that they couldn’t have gone to school if they hadn’t have had the money that we have here,” says Foresyth.

“That’s my selling point to my donors. Kids need help and they don’t realize how much education costs and it’s such a nice feeling to know that you helped a kid better himself.”

Foresyth said that in the 42 years of service to Howard College, her favorite thing to see is the education of students. She also went on to say that she’ll miss the faculty that she works with but she’s looking forward to spending time with her family.

Julie Bailey will now serve as the new Director of Institutional Advancement.



Follow-up Administrative Internal Investigation to Sept. 23rd, 2017 Alleged Misconduct

From Big Spring Police Department:

Follow-up Administrative Internal Investigation 11-17-17

On the 23rd of September 2017, the Big Spring Police Department was made aware of an incident involving Officer Benoit. The administration had viewed a social media video that showed Officer Benoit making an arrest of an adult female and then pulling her to the side of his police unit. Chief of Police, Chad Williams initiated an internal administrative investigation of the incident the next business day on the 25th of September 2017.

The investigation revealed that on Saturday the 23rd of September 2017 at approximately 4:06 p.m., Officer Benoit, while on patrol, recognized the adult female from several past dealings and radioed dispatch to check warrant status for her, knowing that he had filed a Forgery on her in which he had requested a warrant. Dispatch informed Officer Benoit that the female did in fact have a confirmed warrant for the offense of Possession of Marijuana less than 2 ounces.
Officer Benoit then made contact with the female in an attempt to detain her for the warrant.

Officer Benoit told the female of the warrant for her arrest and then asked her several times to put the items that were in her hands, down. The female told Officer Benoit, “No,” several times and disobeyed his orders, while backing away from his attempts to handcuff her. Officer Benoit then attempted to grab her arm in an attempt to handcuff the female at which time she began to actively resist, by pulling away from Officer Benoit, but Officer Benoit was able to subdue the female and place her in handcuffs behind her back. Once Officer Benoit placed her in handcuffs, he attempted to contact Dispatch and request assistance, but that radio traffic was not received by Dispatch. Through Officer Benoit’s past dealings with this female, he knew she had run from the police and that it was very common for her to be in possession of knives, hypodermic needles, prohibited weapons and glass pipes used for methamphetamine. The investigation also revealed that Officer Benoit gave the female several opportunities to stand up and walk, in which she refused to do and continued to pull herself toward the ground.

Although the social media video is not complete, it did show Officer Benoit drag the female from the front of the patrol unit to the rear left side of the patrol unit. The female had made statements that she was pregnant, and that Officer Benoit had broken her wrist. Officer Benoit was able to call for another officer to assist him and an ambulance was also dispatched to their location. The female was taken immediately to the Scenic Mountain Medical Center Hospital where she had to be sedated due to her hostility toward hospital staff.

The female was later booked into the Howard County Detention Center for the Possession of Marijuana warrant and an additional Possession of a Controlled Substance warrant. She was interviewed by the assigned investigator in regards to this internal administrative investigation at which time she confirmed that she was not pregnant and advised she did not remember the incident with Officer Benoit and that she had been extremely dehydrated.

The internal administrative investigation concluded that the particular tactic used by Officer Benoit to accomplish the arrest was reasonable, based on the totality of the circumstances. However, this particular tactic is not and has not been taught or part of the training curriculum of the Big Spring Police Department and we believe a better tactic or decision should have been applied or made.

Furthermore, it was concluded through this investigation that the female suffered no injuries as a result of the use of force used by the officer other than a small scratch to her knee area. Officer Benoit has less than one year of experience with the Big Spring Police Department and had had no disciplinary actions against him prior to this incident. Officer Benoit has since been counselled regarding the use of this specific tactic and will be required to attend remedial training on the use of force, and our agency policy.

Chief of Police, Chad Williams


Salvation Army Kicks Off Angel Tree Season with Help from BSISD

The The Salvation Army of Big Spring kicked off their Angel Tree Season yesterday at the Big Spring Country Club with Big Spring ISD.

The first Angel of the season was selected by George Bancroft, Community Relations Director at BSISD. Salvation Army Captain Rachel McKain then announced that the BSHS Steers Football team and the Lady Steers Basketball team had volunteered to each adopt a family this holiday season. Both teams will now provide Christmas for the families selected, as well as fill a meal box that will provide a Christmas meal for the family. The meal box will be filled with 2 boxes of Turkey Dressing Mix, 2 cans of green beans, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of cranberry sauce, 2 boxes of instant potatoes, and 1 dessert.

Head Lady Steer Basketball Coach Katie Voss, and BSHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Mitch McLemore both agreed that it was important to help and give back to the community whenever possible and that it was a lesson that they were excited to pass on to their students.

According to Captain McKain, the Angel Tree program is available to assist families who cannot provide Christmas on their own due to economic hardship. The families apply for the program through the Salvation Army and then Angel Trees are set up at Walmart, Heritage Museum, Big Spring Country Club, and Scenic Mountain Medical Center. Each Angel has a wish and a need written on there for a specific child. Individuals and families can select an Angel from the tree and shop for those items. They then can drop off the items at the Walmart customer service desk or at the Salvation Army of Big Spring, located at 811 W. 5th St.

Empty meal boxes can be picked up at the Salvation Army of Big Spring if any individual, family, or business would like to fill one to donate for to a family this holiday season.



Big Spring Native and Author Kelila Slate Speaks to BSHS Students with Message of Hope

Kelila Slate, author of “Keeping Silent: A Childhood Lost” was in Big Spring today to speak to the students of Big Spring High School about her story of overcoming starvation, poisoning, physical and verbal abuse all at the hands of her birth parents with the message of hope that she sustained.

Slate had a brush with death due to the health problems that were a result of the abuse that she experienced and it was then that she decided to share her story with others in hopes of encouraging anyone with a similar situation to speak up.

Before the first assembly, Slate was welcomed by many people who knew her as a child, and many of them expressed that they had no idea that she had been experiencing abuse and they felt bad that they didn’t see it and didn’t stop it. Slate explained that event though she feels bad that these people feel bad about what happened, she stated that there was no way that they could have known because she didn’t know to tell anyone.

“I truly was afraid for my life, and the life of my brother. I was not going to tell anyone what was going on and that is not their fault,” explained Slate.

Slate went on to say that the way to correct a problem like that is to raise awareness that abuse can take place in any family or social hierarchy, no matter what place they have in that community.

Slate went on to say that as a teacher in Colorado, she works with teens and finds that where she lives there is a high rate of attempted suicide among teens, so they are one of her target audiences. She also said she’s found that many people self-inflict harm or do some other type of self-harm because they want people to know that they are hurting. To this, Slate stated that she encourages people to share their pain because it can be an alternative to hurting their actual body.

“When you share your story, you’re telling people about your scars that are within your soul and that can be a substitute for cutting yourself or any self-harm.”

According to Slate, some of the responses that she gets from people who’ve read her book, say that the faith in God that is portrayed throughout the book is inspiring to them and gives them hope, and has even given some strength to stand up to their abusers and their family.

“I think it’s important to stress that I’m not sharing my story for retribution or even to gain support,” said Slate. “I’m sharing it so that other people who hear my story will be encouraged to seek help for whatever is in their past or seek help for whatever their circumstances are now.”

When asked what she hoped that the students would take away from the assemblies today, Slate said, “Actual hope. The message that I wanted to pass off to them is that no matter how devastating your circumstances may be, your situation will change. Especially, if you take the correct actions. Also, even if your situation and circumstances seem really dark, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Slate continued on to say, “At any point in your life, your circumstances can turn around for the better.”

Slate will be at the Heritage Museum on Saturday, November 18th. There has been a time change and Slate will now be there from 10-11:30 AM for a book signing and meet and greet.


Big Spring ISD School Board Takes No Action to Name an Interim Superintendent

Earlier today Chris Wigington, Superintendent of Big Spring ISD for the past 5 years, told KBest Media that he had accepted a Superintendent position with Bushland ISD in the Texas panhandle.

When asked why he made the decision to leave BSISD, Wigington stated that he felt it was a good opportunity for him and his family and that it's a new chapter for him. He also went on to say, "I love Big Spring and I appreciate what that the Board has done for me here and I appreciate the opportunities. I love the people that I work with here and the kids."

"It's nothing against Big Spring," continued Wigington. "I would never say anything bad about Big Spring."

This evening during a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Big Spring Independent School District it was decided that no action would be taken at this time to name an Interim Superintendent. It was also stressed that the Board wanted to slow down and think about what they want to do in order to make the right decision for the school district.

Tony Kennedy, President of Big Spring ISD School Board, explained that the Board wanted to wait to make a decision on an interim because they didn't want to rush into anything with a position that is as important as this.

"We want to look at everything because we want the district to keep moving forward," says Kennedy. He says that they have very good staff in place and they wanted to make sure that they consider every person that is involved in this district so that it can keep moving forward.

"If we don't do that then we're not doing our due diligence as a school board."



Empty Bowls 2017 is a Success

Empty Bowls took place earlier today at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum to raise money for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County’s 2018 campaign. Many people came out to support the United Way and enjoy bowls of soup, bread, and dessert.

“This was amazing! I feel we’ve gotten lots of people. We don’t have any soup left, and I think all of the bowls are gone. I am floored. I am so grateful, I think it was a huge success,” said Meghan Bias, Executive Director of the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County.

Bias went on to say that it was a combined effort and lots of community support from the people who helped to make bowls, H-E-B, Howard College, Cash Berry, the United Way Board Members, and everyone who made bowls and desserts. “I’m very blessed to be in this position and to have so much support from the community,” said Bias.

The 2018 campaign ends at the end of this month and the United Way will have a Blitz Week during the last week of November. Everyone is encouraged to donate and also reminded that they can donate by phone by texting “Big Spring United” to 40403.




Grand Opening of Historic Spring TODAY

The Grand Opening of the Historic Spring will be this afternoon at 4:30 PM and the program will continue until 7 PM, and according to Hayley Herrera, Tourism Coordinator for the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Quanah Parker arrow has been returned to the Spring area.

If you’re planning on attending the event, it is recommended that you arrive early because parking is limited but the parking spots will be within walking distance.

According to Debbie Wegman, Community Services Director for Big Spring CVB, some of the speakers for this afternoon include Mayor Larry McLellan and Kelly Cook of KDC Associates will be the main speaker. She also went on to say that our local State Representatives Drew Darby and Kel Seliger will be at there to say a few words as well.

“It’s really a big deal!” said Wegman. “We’ve been working on this for 3 years, and construction for a year, and I’m so excited to let the community see what we’ve done. I think they’ll be really awed!”

When asked why this project was so important, Herrera said,“This isn’t some rinky-dink project where we planted a few plants to make it pretty,” she continued. “It’s beautiful and you can go out there and learn about the history of the area from the beginning to the present day. I think that’s what’s really important about this because this is our namesake.”

8 large (5 ft. x 10 ft.) story boards made of engraved corten metal with a limestone block background are displayed in the plaza area with the purpose of depicting the significant historical periods of Big Spring History. There is an area devoted to the Native American history of our area and a replica of a ranch dugout has also been added to represent the importance of our ranching heritage.

The focus of the project are educational components that will inform visitors about the significant history of the Spring, not only to the development of Big Spring, but to areas west of Big Spring.



Otto Signs Golf Letter of Intent for UTPB

Yesterday, Big Spring High School students and staff members gathered around in the High School Foyer to show their support for their fellow Steer BSHS Senior Nolan Otto as he signed a Golf letter of intent for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and accepted a Golf scholarship from UTPB.

Before Otto signed for the scholarship, Principal Mike Ritchey gave a short speech about Otto setting his goals and being able to reach them because of the strong work ethic that Otto displays. Ritchey also reminded students that a goal and talent must be combined with academic excellence in order to be able to utilize athletic talents at the collegiate level.

Otto has been playing competitive golf since he was in 8th grade and has logged many hours of hard work both on the golf course and in the classroom.

When asked how he felt about committing to UTPB, Otto stated, “I feel UTPB is going to be really great spot for me to be able to pursue golf at the collegiate level and the professional level. It’s also going to help me obtain a degree in mechanical engineering."



BSISD Superintendent Chris Wigington Accepts Superintendent Position at Bushland ISD

BSISD Superintendent Chris Wigington has informed KBest Media that he has accepted the position of Superintendent for Bushland ISD in the Texas Panhandle. Wigington will remain with BSISD through the holidays. His new position in Bushland will begin January 9th. KBest will keep you informed as the process of naming an Interim Superintendent for BSISD begins. There will be a special meeting of the school board tonight at 5:15 PM.


Information Needed to Identify Aggravated Robbery Suspect(s) from Nov. 14th Robbery of 7-Eleven

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating an Aggravated Robbery Suspect(s). On the 14th of November 2017 at approximately 2:14 A.M., Big SpringPolice Department Officers were dispatched to the 7-11 located at 2310 Wasson Road due to a Robbery. Upon arrival officers were informed that a White male had entered the store armed with handgun, and demanded all of the money in the cash register. The clerk then gave the suspect the money and the suspects fled the store. The unknown suspect was wearing a gray t-shirt which covered his face with cut out holes for the eyes and mouth area. The unknown suspect was wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, faded blue jean pants, and black shoes. The White male suspect was further described as approximately 5’10 with possibly short blonde hair, blue eyes, bad acne and a deep voice. It is estimated the suspects got away with approximately $76.00 in currency. 



You can also call the TIPS line at 432-263-8477 (TIPS) you will remain anonymous and no caller ID is ever used. Or use the new software and you can submit your tip online we have and it is also completely anonymous. Remember you can earn up to a $1000.00 Dollar CASH reward if you're the first caller with information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) involved. That’s a CASH REWARD.. You don't have to tell your wife, husband, or anyone if you're the first caller with information that leads to an arrest and you receive the reward!!! Please keep the ID Tip number that you receive when you submit your tip on DO NOT LOSE YOUR TIP NUMBER.

Please reference case # 2-17-04564 in your tip.

Web Tip Link:



Big Spring State Hospital Names Superintendent

** Big Spring State Hospital Names Superintendent **

BIG SPRING – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has named Traci Phillips the superintendent of Big Spring State Hospital.

Phillips entered her new role Nov. 1 at Big Spring State Hospital, which has served people with psychiatric illnesses since 1938. The hospital serves 58 counties in a large area of West Texas that includes Midland, Odessa, Abilene, San Angelo and Lubbock.

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

Phillips has a bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University and a master’s degree from Texas Tech University. She is married and has two young children. 
A recognition ceremony and reception hosted by the Volunteer Services Council will take place Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. in Big Spring State Hospital’s Atrium of the Activity Therapies Department. Big Spring State Hospital works with seven mental health authorities, including West Texas Centers, to help provide treatment options for people with mental illness.



Thanksgiving Feast Feeds Over 600 People at Ryan Hall

Earlier today, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the North Side Movement, and the Big Spring Center for Skilled Care offered a community Thanksgiving Feast at Ryan Hall.

Christy Brownfield, Marketing Director for Big Spring Center for Skilled Care, said that they exceeded their goal of feeding 600 people in the community. “The doors opened before 11 and people were already here. It was a full house.”

Brownfield also stated that Big Spring Center for Skilled Care because they wanted to help out and feed people in the community. “We want to make sure everyone gets a Thanksgiving meal.”

Eddi Saldivar, Spokesperson for North Side Movement, said that they were approached for Big Spring Center for Skilled Care and that they were excited to help.

“We want to show that Ryan Hall is a welcoming place. We want everybody to see that you can come get help here,” continued Saldivar. “We just want everyone to come down and enjoy it and be comfortable here. This [was] a great opportunity, again, to show our community that we love and care for Big Spring.”



Fatal Crash on HWY 87 in Howard County

Texas Department of Public Safety has released information on the fatal accident that occurred on the Monday, November 13th, 2017.

According to DPS, troopers arrived on scene at approximately 8:17 AM where they found a 2-vehicle collision 8 miles north of Big Spring on HWY 87.

The drivers involved were 60 year-old Dickie Gross from Rifle, CO, who was driving a 1994, Mack, truck-tractor, towing a semi-trailer; and 32-year old Emmanuel Garza of Rio Hondo, TX, who was driving a 2011, Ford F150, pick-up.

The description of the incident reports that Gross was traveling east on FM 2230, and Garza was traveling south on U.S. HWY 87. Gross failed to yield the right of way at a stop intersection and pulled the Mack truck tractor and semi-trailer out into the roadway in front of Garza's F150 pick-up. Garza then struck Gross's trailer.

Garza was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. Gross had no injuries.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.



2018 Political Season has Begun

The 2018 Political Season began on Saturday, November 11th. As of Saturday, the only people who turned in their paperwork and fees to their respective party representatives where incumbents, those who currently hold the office.

According to Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck, if you’re interested in running for one of the local offices that are available, you should begin by checking out the Texas Ethics Commission webpage. There you’ll find information for all of your filing needs, with schedules, deadlines, and the Candidate Guide from the Secretary of State.

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

The last day to turn in your paperwork and fees to run for a local office is December 11th at 6 PM. For more information on this or to find where to turn in your paperwork you can check out the Howard County ElectionsFacebook page.



SMMC holds Information Session about Healthcare Marketplace

Scenic Mountain Medical Center (SMMC) held an Information Session about the Healthcare Marketplace at the North Side Community Center earlier today.

April Arms, Administrative Assistant at SMMC, gave a brief presentation about Open Enrollment, which will run from November 1st through December 15th, and then answered questions that anyone had about enrollment or about medical insurance.

During her presentation, it was advised that applications and services are free and that Sylvia Herrera, with Eligibility Screening Services (ESS) representative, will be able to ask the applicant questions and be able to put his/her information in the system and give the applicant plan options. Herrera is actually the person who will be helping with online applications and who can answer questions that anyone may have about finding an affordable healthcare plan and she is available through appointment at the hospital year-round.

Arms also went on to say that the application takes between 15 to 20 minutes with Herrera, and afterwards, the applicant will be able to find available insurance plans available in this area, as opposed to all insurance plans that may not be applicable locally. The representative will then be able to print out the information about the deductibles and co-pay, all at no cost to the applicant.

Arms also stated that the applicant is under no obligation to pick an option during the appointment and that they will be able to take home the printed information to review further so that a decision can be made, and if they have questions then they can call back with their questions.

Everyone at the session was reminded that the Affordable Care Act gives tax credits for having health insurance and that there is also a tax penalty for not having health insurance.

Ending the presentation, Arms stated that the most important thing that everyone should take away from the information session is that everyone has options for medical health insurance and just because they fill out the application it doesn’t mean that they are required to accept one of the available programs.

“We encourage everyone to come out and apply. Yes or no, they can decide but the options are available,” says Arms.

It was also noted that Herrera is also able to help out with the application of Medicaid, and with the Howard County indigent program.

“Some may cost nothing, some may cost too much, some may cost in the middle,” says Arms, “but she will at least let you know what your options are because that’s part of what ESS does is to help educate with health insurance.”

To make an appointment with the ESS representative at SMMC, or to ask health insurance questions you can contact Sylvia at 432-268-4855.



Howard County Law Enforcement Accept $5,000 Donation to Assist with Radio Project

During yesday's Howard County Commissioners' Court Sheriff Stan Parker received approval from the Commissioners to accept a donation that came from Midland company Occidental Petroleum (OXY). The company had donated a $5,000 check to the Sheriff's Department to help with their current radio project.

When asked to explain what the money would be used for, Sheriff Parker stated, "We have been working to upgrade our existing radios systems. Ours are older and we are having some issues with the current system and it is just time to upgrade. We are working with the Police Department and City to get everything across the board upgraded."

When Occidental Petroleum was contacted as to why they approached the Sheriff's office with the donation, Clint Williamson, Manager of Communications and Public Affairs for Occidental Petroleum, told KBest News that “As part of Occidental Petroleum's commitment to the communities where we operate, we are honored to support the local first responders."




49 Coahoma Students Advance to FFA Area Competition

The Coahoma FFA Chapter had one of its best performances at a leadership competition during the El Rancho District FFA contest held Thursday at Coahoma High School.

Of the 64 Coahoma FFA chapter students who participated in the contest, 49 qualified to move on to Area competition set to be held on Nov. 18 at Howard College.

“This is a great thing,” said Aaron Custer, CHS ag instructor and Coahoma FFA chapter advisor. “We not only participated, we worked hard to be competitive in every event. The Chapter won eight of the 13 contests and in three of the contests, Coahoma kids placed first and second. This is one of our greatest days.”

The following Coahoma students have advanced to the Area contest:

District Champions (1st place)

Public Relations, the team of Julia Cox, Aubrey Green, Emilee Custer, and Micah Worley.

GH Creed, Julia Cox.

GH Chapter Conducting, Aaron Turnbough, Richard Thurman, Jayden Whisennand, Tony Hagins, Dusty Wyatt, Luke Campbell, AJ Valencia, and DJ Hernandez.

Sr Chapter, Bailey Wells, Selina Baldwin, Madison Ramirez, Austyn Montgomery, Andrea King, Abbie Lopez, Jayden Barnes, Emily Bunning, and Chasity Burgans.

FFA Radio Broadcasting, Emilee Custer, Aubrey Green, and Micah Worley.

Ag Issues, Raegan Deel, Trey Brumley, Aubrey Parum, Ethan Lopez, Gaige Hill, Garrett Anderson, and Diana Gonzalez.

Ag Advocacy, Emily Bunning, Sydney Rinard, Ashley Crisp, and Cailey Glover.

GH Skills, Seth Brooks, Grayson Glidewell, Kolt Redden, and Nick Biddison.

Reserve District Champions (2nd Place)

GH Skills, MaKynlee Overton, Kaylee Kernick, Jake Williams, Sean Striegler, and Bryden Fontana.

Sr Skills, Cutter Atkins, Brant Gartman, Jovi Gonzalez, and Braxton Chandler.

Ag Advocacy, Brynn Workman, Brylea Gordon, Selina Baldwin, and Macee Grant.

FFA Radio Broadcasting, Cailey Glover, Ashley Crisp, and Sydney Rinard.

Also placing but not qualifying for area were:

GH Creed, Patrick Gutierrez , 8th.

Sr Skills, AJ Gutierrez, Damian Rains, Zack Schneider, and Cameron Kerby, 4th.

Sr Creed, Bailey Wells, 7th; and Brylea Gordon, 8th.

Job Interview, Cutter Atkins, 8th; and Brant Gartman, 9th.

Sr Quiz Teams - 5th and 8th - Keegan Dobbs, Jonathon Schneider, Diana Gonzalez, Gaige Hill, Andrea King, Madison Ramirez, Jayden Barnes, and AJ Gutierrez.

Jr Quiz Teams - 5th and 7th - Alex Grant, Nathan Chapman, Isiaih Martin, Aaron Turnbough, Ethan Biddison, Hunter White, and Patrick Gutierrez.

“I am proud of all the kids. They did a fantastic job and represented Coahoma well,” Custer said. “I also want to thank all the people that moved classrooms, prepared meals, helped shuffle kids, prepared for these kids to be out of class, chased official dress, or props, and helped with all the details that make this contest run.”

The El Rancho District includes schools from Midland, Odessa, Greenwood, Stanton, Grady, Garden City, Andrews, Ackerly, Forsan, and Big Lake. The contest had 175 students competing.




The Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau, together with the City of Big Spring, Kelly Cook of KDC Associates & Tommy Hawkins Construction announces the Grand Opening of the Historic Spring on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. After 3 years of planning and almost a year of construction, we are excited to open the area to the public.

The project uses construction materials featuring native stone and CCC style architecture that blend with the construction used in the park area. It is fully handicapped accessible and includes a new plaza area with seating capability for 1,000+ with full electrical hookups and performance stage. 8 large (5 ft. x 10 ft.) story boards made of engraved corten metal with a limestone block background are displayed in the plaza area. These story boards depict the significant historical periods of Big Spring History and are surrounded by native plants. A widened trail has been added along with additional lighting and security cameras as well as emergency vehicle access. New low maintenance planting areas were added as well as thinning in some areas for visibility, appeal and safety. There are 3 observation decks overlooking areas of waterfalls and surrounded by native plants. There is an area devoted to the Native American history of our area and a replica of a ranch dugout has also been added to represent the importance of our ranching heritage.

The focus of the project are educational components that will inform visitors about the significant history of the Spring, not only to the development of Big Spring, but to areas west of Big Spring.

From a historical standpoint, the “big spring” of Howard County is one of the most significant springs in Texas, and arguably, the United States. Studies have found that the spring was an important watering hole in West Texas prior to man setting foot in the region. Mastodon, wooly mammoth, saber-toothed
tiger, and the remnants of many other now extinct species have been found near the spring, suggesting that this was an important watering hole for many thousands of years. Cabeza De Vaca documented he visited the site in 1535. The site was a meeting place for the Comanche Tribes as they set out on the
Great Comanche War Trail. The site is designated by the State of Texas as a Historical Site where Captain Randolph Marcy stopped on his journey from Ft. Smith Arkansas to El Paso. The Spring became so important to the development of the railroad in West Texas, many cities in the area were formed along the rail line. The Bankhead Highway was eventually built adjacent to the rail line and ultimately became the route of Interstate 20.

We feel the importance of the Spring should be shared with visitors and local residents and our project will make this site a stopping point for many who pass through.

Thanks to the following partners; SM Energy, Permian Basin Area Foundation, TXU, Union Pacific Foundation, and HEB Phase 2 of the project is now in the planning stages and will consist of a large open air pavilion, additional parking and bridge connecting the pavilion to the Plaza area.

The Grand Opening of the Historic Spring will be held on Thursday, November 16 at 4:30PM at the Historical Spring in Comanche Trail Park.


WTVAHCS Annual Veterans Day Ceremony held at Howard College Dorothy Garrett Coliseum

The West Texas VA Health Care System held their annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Howard College in the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Sonic Floor.

Captain Rachel McKain of Salvation Army Big Spring, U.S. Army Veteran, was the Emcee during the event. The Posting of Colors was conducted by the Goodfellow Air Force Base Honor Guard. Then the Howard College Diplomats lead the crowd during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mark Watt, Howard College Choir Director, sang the National Anthem and performed patriotic music during the event. Invocation was conducted by Rev. Dean Thomas, U.S. Army Veteran.

Administrative Dean of Instruction and Student Services Erin MacKenzie gave the welcoming remarks and Carmen Habour, Council Member, District 2 presented the Proclamation of Veterans Day.

A Veterans Day poem was read by Forsan student Jacy MacKenzie, and Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman was the guest speaker. During her speech, she requested the veterans to stand and she thanked them for their service. She then encouraged veterans to tell their story because it was one worth telling.

The Placing of the Wreath was done by the Gold Star Family Members and Captain McKain then performed Taps.

The end of the program was closed out by a performance of "I'm Proud to be an American" by the Big Spring Boys & Girls Club students.



Veterans Parade held at West Texas VA

On Thursday the West Texas VA in Big Spring continued their celebration of the “Month of the Veteran” with a Veterans Parade that took place on the first floor of the facility.

The Cross Roads Young Marines lead the parade of proud veterans and anyone else who wanted to walk in honor of a veteran that they knew, and they were followed by the school-aged children who were in attendance. Several of the veterans had their wheelchairs decorated elaborately with patriotic themes and others had their decorated to resemble military vehicles.

Mike Tarpley, with the Disabled American Veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was present at the event.

"Veterans' Day makes me think back to the times in combat and the men left behind," says Tarpley. "I always remember their faces, sometimes not their names but they'll always be young and not an old man like me."

Tarpley also went on to say that he wants people to remember to say thank you to veterans when they see them. "It's not much, but a pat on the back and a 'Thanks' is always appreciated."



BSISD Superintendent Chris Wigington Currently Considering Position in Bushland, TX

BSISD Superintendent Chris Wigington has informed KBest Media that he is seeking a position in Bushland, TX. Wigington has not yet resigned from BSISD, and no firm decisions have been made at this time. Officials from Bushland are coming to Big Spring next week for an on-site visit with Wigington. Should the move be confirmed, his new position in the Panhandle will take effect in January.


BSPD Arrests 1 Suspect from October Robbery and 1 Suspect is Still WANTED

On the 19th of October 2017 at approximately 2:14 A.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to the 7-11 located at 1209 E. 11th Place due to a Robbery. Upon arrival officers were informed that two Hispanic males had entered the store, one armed with a small metal bar, and demanded all of the money in the cash register. The clerk then gave the suspects the money and the suspects fled the store. One of the Hispanic males was identified as wearing a two-toned gray in color zip up hooded sweat shirt with a bandana covering his face and the other Hispanic male was wearing a black jacket with a gray shirt and a bandana covering his face. It is estimated the suspects got away with approximately $60.00 in currency.

As a result of CrimeStoppers information received and an investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division an initial suspect was identified as Jose Cerda Jr. Hispanic/Male 17 years of age. Detectives were able to develop probable cause to arrest and charge Cerda with the Aggravated Robbery, a Felony 2 offense, of the 7-11. Cerda was arrested for the Aggravated Robbery on the 26 th of October 2017.

The investigation continued and Detectives were capable of identifying the 2 nd Aggravated Robbery suspect as Jacob Nathaniel Puga Hispanic/Male 17 years of age. During the course of this investigation, Detectives were also capable of identifying both Cerda and Puga as suspects in several other recent offenses to include 2 counts of Burglary of a Building a State Jail Felony, and 1 count of Burglary of a vehicle a Class A Misdemeanor.

On the 9 th of November 2017, Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division submitted Arrest Warrant affidavits and received the arrest warrants for Cerda and Puga. Cerda has since been charged with the additional offenses. Puga is currently wanted by the Big Spring Police Department for the offenses of Aggravated Robbery, 2 counts of Burglary of a Building and 1 count of Burglary of a Vehicle.

The Big Spring Police Department thanks the citizens of Big Spring that have helped with this investigation. If anyone has any information to the whereabouts of Puga you are urged to contact CrimeStoppers at (432)263-tips (8477). You can also leave an anonymous tip using the “P3 Tips” mobile application or from the Big Spring Police Department website



Coahoma $4 Million Bond is Approved by Voters

The Coahoma board of trustees will meet Saturday to canvass the votes for the $4 million bond election held Tuesday paving the way for funds to be used for infrastructure upgrades and capital outlay projects.

“On behalf of the board of Coahoma ISD, we are very honored the taxpayers have approved this commitment to the education of our students,” said Dr. Amy Jacobs, Coahoma ISD Superintendent. “The board and administration understands the public is entrusting us to use this money wisely and efficiently for the long-term investment into our facilities and education for our students.

“We are deeply committed to being transparent to the public with the progress of these campus improvement and capital outlay projects as well as the overall daily finances of the district,” Jacobs continued. “Coahoma ISD exists to serve its community, and we are very grateful to the community which has chosen to support the district’s vision to meet the challenges of 21st Century education.”

Coahoma ISD plans to act quickly on the projects set to be completed in one calendar year. Upgrades to both the baseball and softball sites along with installation of artificial turf at both fields are expected to begin sometime this month or early December.

Installation of keyless door entryways at each campus should begin by early 2018. In the spring, the district plans to install artificial turf and upgrade the track facilities at the football field, a project that could stretch into summer.

Major construction projects such as the creation of a foyer area at elementary school, construction of a new concession stand and bathrooms at the high school football stadium, roofing replacements and upgrades at the district’s buildings, and renovation to the parking lots, bus lanes, and the junior high courtyard area are set to begin in late spring/early summer following the bidding process.

“Coahoma ISD has a master plan to upkeep its facilities and a well thought out system to tackle repair requests in a timely manner,” Jacobs said. “The board understands that upkeeping the district’s infrastructure now will save the taxpayers’ money in the future.”

The Coahoma ISD board will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday to canvass the votes in the Coahoma Elementary School faculty dining room.



Wright Places First in UIL Regional Congress Contest

Congratulations goes out to Coahoma High School's Kaylee Wright who placed first in UIL Regional Congress contest held in Midland today!

Kaylee is heading to UIL state 3A competition set for Jan. 8-10, 2018, which will be held on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. Kaylee is a senior at Coahoma High School. Her debate coach is Tabitha Wright.


Big Spring HS Debate Team Rocks it at Region 18 UIL Congress Tournament for Another Consecutive Win!

Congratulations to the Big Spring High School Speech and Debate team for starting it's 100th year with a bang at the Region 18 UIL Congress tournament!

Gabriel Williams placed 1st and Brittney Tan placed 2nd, both places qualifying for the State Meet in January. Kim Chapel is the alternate to the State Meet by placing 4th closely followed by Rockey Ramirez who placed 6th.

The Steers have placed 1st place at the Regional contest every year of the event's existence.


Howard County Celebrates National Adoption Day with 4 Families

Earlier today the 3rd floor of the Howard County Courthouse was packed with residents of Howard County to celebrate National Adoption Day.

A group of 5th grade Webelos from Big Spring Intermediate and 1 Girl Scout began the event by presenting the flags. Big Spring City Councilman Jim DePauw read aloud the proclamation stating that November 8th, 2017 was Adoption Day in Howard County. Four Howard County families then finalized their adoptions with the Honorable Sylvia Chavez presiding. The courtroom was filled with excitement for these families as they celebrated this special moment.

“This is a really exciting day, especially for these families,” says Patty Pisklak, Executive Director of CASA of West Texas. “It’s exciting, too, for all of the social workers who work with these families and continue to work with them on a day-to-day basis because this is such a happy day. These children now have their Forever Families; they have home; they have parents now who can take care of them and take care of their needs. It’s just a happy day!”




FFA El Rancho District competition set for Thursday at CHS

Coahoma High School will host 175 students representing schools from around the Permian Basin and Crossroads area who will be competing in the FFA El Rancho District Contest Thursday.

Students will compete in 13 events including agriculture advocacy, public relations, farm skills, job interview, FFA creed speaking, and chapter conducting.

“All these leadership contests are designed for building confidence by our membership in themselves and their ability,” said Aaron Custer, CHS agricultural teacher and Coahoma FFA Chapter advisor. “Taking classroom learning and applying it in contests teaches these kids that what they are learning is valuable and helps them to buy into the program.”

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

“Realization of personal growth through their ag education is a very valuable piece of the FFA puzzle,” Custer said.

The Coahoma FFA chapter expects to have 64 of its members participating Thursday.

“Coahoma is the largest group in the district, quite possibly doubling the schools we compete with in contest numbers and number of kids competing,” he said.

The El Rancho District includes schools from Midland, Odessa, Greenwood, Stanton, Grady, Garden City, Andrews, Ackerly, Forsan, and Big Lake. The top two finishers in each event will advance to Area competition.



Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Welcomes New Member - The Mayo Sauce Diner

The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed The Mayo Sauce Family Diner, located at 206 S. Main St., as a new member of the Chamber with a ribbon cutting in front of the restaurant.

When asked how she felt about the presentation, Brandi Mayo, Owner of Mayo Sauce Family Diner stated that she was really excited about the ribbon cutting . She also went on to say, "It was amazing, I almost teared up. It's an honor!"


"Thank You for Your Investment" - SWCID

The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce had a "Thank You for Your Investment" Ceremony at SWCID, Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, to thank them for everything they do for the community and for their students.

According to SWCID Administrative Dean of Student Services Nancy Bonura, who is also the ADA Coordinator and a Professor, SWCID is currently looking for volunteer opportunities for their students.

SWCID feels that community service would be a great opportunity for their students to become more involved in their community. Plus, they'll also be able to gain a diversified experience in working with individuals and people outside of their social circles.

"This is an opportunity for them to grow as individuals," said Dean Bonura. "Personal growth is so important to us. [The students] learn in the classroom, but we want them to learn outside of the classroom so they learn the responsibility of being a community member; and those are wonderful things that they can put on their resumes for their future."

For more information or to contact SWCID about volunteer opportutnities for their students, contact the front desk at SWCID, (432) 264-3700.



Forsan Mighty Buffalo Marching Band Earns Top 5 State Recognition in San Antonio

The Forsan Mighty Buffalo Marching Band is one of the Top 5 bands in the State of Texas!!!???? Forsan placed 4th in the State Finals today in San Antonio, and we are so proud of their hard work and commitment! Here are the other Top 5 bands in class 2A:

5---New Deal 
3---Irion County
2---Valley Mills


Band director is Jim Rhodes, Assistant Band Director is Chans Moellendorf, and Misty Moellendorf is the Color Guard Director. This is the 10th consecutive time that Forsan's Mighty Buffalo Marching Band has gone to state.





West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) and Howard College Hosts Annual Community Wide Veterans Day Ceremony

The West Texas VA Health Care System and Howard College would like to invite all the community to our Annual Veterans Day Program at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Big Spring, TX.

The program will be held on Saturday, November 11th, 2017 at 11 AM at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Howard College campus located at 1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, TX 79720. A light lunch will be provided after the program.

For more information please contact Akisha Woods, Voluntary Services Chief at (432)263-7361 Extension 7136 with any questions.



Big Spring Junior High Earns Gold Star Distinction from TEA

Yesterday, it was announced that Big Spring Junior High had received a Gold Star Distinction from the Texas Education Association for being in the Top 25% of schools that have excelled in Student Progress, which measures year-to-year student progress by subject and student group. The staff had a surprise banner presentation by Superintendent Chris Wigington and Jay McWilliams during their staff development day.


“We’re extremely proud of kids and our staff, they’ve worked so hard!" says BSJHS Principal Becky Otto. "We’ve been digging out for a couple of years as far as staying above the level on our accountability, but to get a distinction on student growth is really exciting to us!”


Soon to be New Church, Hillside Big Spring, will Preview their Services at BSHS on November 5th

Hillside Christian Church has announced their plans to launch Hillside Big Spring in Spring 2018.

According to their website, Hillside is a non-denominational church communicating God’s Word in a creative and compelling way.Their mission is "to love God as we lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ." They also believe in developing their spiritual walk through 5 areas: Worship, Grow, Serve, Share, and Give.

Preview Night
On Sunday, November 5th the community is invited to the Preview Night that Hillside Christian Church will have at Big Spring High School Auditorium, located at 707 E. 11th Place. The event will take place from 7 - 8:30 PM and it's an opportunity for people to learn more about Hillside. There will be an adult service and a kids program available for ages birth - 5th grade. If you're interested in attending, they ask that you register ahead of time so that they have an idea of how many people to expect. You can register at

Tim Dunn will be serving as the Campus Pastor at Hillside Big Spring. Tim and his wife Debbie have been married for 30 years and are the proud parents of four children, Tyler, Mallory, Bryson, and Charley; as well as 4 grandchildren, Griffin, Ford, Heidi Jo, and baby #4 on the way! Tim has studied at Arlington Baptist College and Louisiana Baptist Seminary. The Dunns have served in full-time ministry for 27 years they are excited to once again call Big Spring home and the place where they will live out the mission of loving God as they lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

For more info contact Tim at



County Wide Donation Day for Howard County's Adopt a Military Hero Project

Tomorrow morning KBest will be outside of HEB from 8-10 AM to help bring attention to County Wide Donation Day! You can stop by HEB, Walmart, and Porter's to make cash donations or to donate any of the items that will be listed on the handout sheet that you can pick up at the stores.

Guy Burrows with Howard County’s Adopt a Military Hero says that the goal is to put 500 Christmas boxes together to send to deployed military service people as a thank you for what they do. The program began 8 years ago in conjunction with Midland, but this is actually the 6th year that Howard County has been able to conduct this project on their own. Burrows also went on to say that their goal of 500 boxes has been met every year thanks to the community who comes out to support the program. 
Some of the items on the list is basic over-the-counter medication, snack-sized items and single-serving drinks, chapstick, playing cards, puzzle books, jerky, and Christmas Cards handmade by children. It was noted that it costs $9,000 just to ship these items to the deployed service people.

On November 19th at 2 PM Adopt a Military Hero will be packing boxes at First Presbyterian Church at 701 Runnels. “If you have time to come, come,” says Burrows. “You can’t believe how your heart is joyed from it. I’ll meet people who were veterans and then I have to go into the corner to wipe my eyes because they tell me ‘Thank you’ and I’m trying to say thank you to them.”

Monetary donations for Howard County Adopt A Military Hero can be mailed to:

P.O. Box 173
Big Spring, 79721

Burrows also advised that if anyone in Howard, Glasscock, or Martin Counties have a loved one that is deployed overseas in the military and would like for them to receive one of the boxes, they can contact Adopt A Military Hero by emailing them at and they’ll try to get them on the list. They already have 450 names and only have room for 50 more before their list is full.



Annual State of the County and City Address at Community Luncheon

Today the Community Luncheon took place at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum. There Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman spoke on the State of the County and Mayor Larry McLellan presented the City Address.

During Judge Wiseman's presentation she spoke briefly on each of the county departments giving a brief description of what they all do for the county. While explaining what each department does, Judge Wiseman pointed out that the Howard County Tax Appraisal office gets their instructions from the Texas Comptroller who is Glenn Hegar. He is the elected person who influences the property taxes and the tax appraisal values and encouraged everyone to contact him about their property tax concerns. She also complimented the law enforcement agencies of Howard County and Big Spring for being able to work together, thus resulting in saving tax payers money.


Judge Wiseman also addressed the fact that the Texas Legislature have not been supporting their share of the funding for education and continue to reduce their funding. Instead, they have been pushing the cost of funding education onto the shoulders of the property tax owners. Originally, the agreement was that the local property tax payers would furnish 45% of the funding for education. Unfortunately, 61% of the property tax dollar is used to fund education. She also advised that the county is very frugal with the tax payers money because they recognize that the money that they use comes directly from local residents, and that they are reluctant in raising property taxes.


Judge Wiseman requested everyone to ask state government to pay their share of education funding. The agreement, originally, said that the state and local government would each cover 45% of the funding, but the state is only paying 36% of the education bill. Recently, the state passed legislation to push back another 7.5% of the expense back onto property taxes over the next 3 years.


When Mayor McLellan took the stage, he spoke about a few of the projects for the City of Big Spring such as the initiation of the construction of the N. HWY 87 reliever route that is still in progress, and about the upcoming completion of the Historic Spring Restoration Project. He also mentioned that the city is in the middle of the predevelopment phase of the Downtown Plaza, which will extend from the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium down to Settles Hotel. 


West Texas VA Health Care System Receives a 1-Star Rating from the Veterans Health Administration

Over the weekend, the Veterans Health Administration published the End of Year Hospital Star Rating for the 2017 Fiscal Year for VA medical centers. On this list, Big Spring, along with 13 other medical centers, was given a 1-star rating on Relative Performance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.
It should be noted that this is the same West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring that earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval ® during an unannounced onsite survey in June of this year for Accreditation in Ambulatory Health Care, Behavioral Health Care and Home Care by demonstrating continuous compliance with its nationally recognized standards.
So…How could this be possible?
Well, there’s an important detail that is often overlooked when people review the ratings. Using the performance improvement tool called SAIL - Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning, each VA medical center is assessed for overall Quality from two perspectives: One being RELATIVE Performance COMPARED to other VA medical centers using a Star rating system from 1 to 5 and the second being Improvement COMPARED to its OWN performance from the past year.
The VA medical centers get rated every quarter based on 13 different indicators, but the results are only published once a year.
“Every quarter we can go up or down. For two quarters in 2016 we actually went up; we were two stars,” says Kalautie JangDhari, Director at the West Texas VA Health Care System.
So why aren’t they staying at a 2-star rating?
“There’s a whole bunch of things that go with it. As we’re improving, other facilities are trying to improve too. It’s a totally competitive environment. Every quarter that they give us our scores, every other facility that’s in my category is improving as well.”
Director JangDhari explained that if there’s another facility in same category that does a little bit better in any of the 13 indicators then it’s possible that this facility will advance to the next star-rating while the West Texas VA Health Care System will not advance.
Due to the fact that S.A.I.L. is meant to drive improvement within the VA medical centers there’s only a certain amount of facilities that can earn a 5-star rating.
The West Texas VA Health Care System serves 33 counties throughout 53,000 square miles with facilities in San Angelo, Abilene, the Permian Basin, Hobbs, New Mexico, and outreach clinics in Fort Stockton and Stamford. All 5 of these facilities and the 2 outreach clinics impact the rating that the West Texas VA Health Care System receives as a whole, even though on the publication from the Veterans Health Administration lists the facility as the Big Spring location.



Scouts from Troop 5 Receive Challenge Coin for Outstanding Job

Yesterday, the West Texas VA kicked off "Month of the Veteran" with a Flag Raising Ceremony that was conducted by the Boy Scouts, Troop 5. After the ceremony, Director of West Texas VA Health Care System Kalautie JangDhari presented all of the 9 members from Troop 5 with a challenge coin to thank them for the outstanding job that they did during the ceremony.

Mark Richardson, District Chairman for the Lone Star District of the Buffalo Trail Council and Assistant Scout Master for Troop 5 in Big Spring said that is had been an honor to be able to raise the flag for veterans as a symbolic recognition of the sacrifices they made for our country.

Richardson went on say that the ceremony and the honor of being presented with the challenge coins was not lost on anyone in the troop. "It was great watching the boys as they got emotional about raising a flag for a group of people that were always willing to risk their lives for the rights we have today."

Photo 1: Boy Scouts Troop 5 with West Texas VA Health Care System Director Kalautie JangDhari - (from left to right) Jorge, Jeannie Hernandez, Chris, Darian, Gary Tidwell, Virginia Tidwell, Mark Richardson, Kalautie JangDhari, Forrest, David



Moss Elementary received 2 Gold Star Distinctions this year from TEA for Closing Performance Gaps for the Top 25% and another in Mathematics.

To receive this achievement in Mathematics the school must have at least 60% of their students to pass the STAAR test. The school is then placed in a comparison group with 40 other similar schools. Moss Elementary placed in the top 5% of these schools in Mathematics.

Although these are great achievements for any school, Moss Elementary will no longer qualify for TEA Distinctions because they do not have a testing grade level since they now only have Kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Kaitlin Jeffrey, Principal at Moss Elementary, says that it’s okay because the school is glad that they were able to close out their last testing year on a high note, and that for Big Spring ISD it shows that they are making strides in the right direction. Principal Jeffrey went on to say that their new goal at Moss is to going to do their part as a K-2 campus to ensure that the students they send to 3rd grade are ready to help their next school earn distinctions.




Today has been proclaimed to be “Goal Zero Day” by Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman. The Permian Road Safety Coalition has asked Howard County to take part in “Goal Zero Day”, which is meant to raise road safety awareness throughout the Permian Basin. It is also important to note that safer roads are a shared responsibility of everyone on the road.

On this day and every day motorists are encouraged to follow six safe driving habits; not speed, wear your seat belt, not engage in distracted driving, put away cell phones, not engage in drinking or impaired driving, and properly manage fatigue.


**C.H.I.P.S Volunteer Program**

In preparation for the Grand Opening of the Historic Spring Site to be held on November 16, 2017 at 4:30 PM the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching their C.H.I.P.S Volunteer Program. C.H.I.P.S stands for Citizens Helping In Protecting our Spring and that’s exactly what a C.H.I.P.S volunteer will be doing. The Historic Spring Restoration is a massive restoration that we hope to keep just as beautiful and pristine as it is whenwe first completed the project.

C.H.I.P.S will be expected to pick up trash, let the CVB know if there any maintenance issues that need to be taken care of, answer any questions about the project and talk to visitors (only if they feel comfortable).

For more information on the C.H.I.P.S Volunteer program or for more information about the Historic Spring Grand Opening please contact the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau at 432-263- 8235 or email Hayley Herrera




Terry Wegman, Executive Director of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation, was presented the coveted 2017 Top Gun Award at the 2017 High Ground of Texas Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting was held in Amarillo on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

The High Ground of Texas Top Gun program was initiated in order to recognize those High Ground members who continually represent the organization and the region in a positive light, going above and beyond the call of duty, going the extra mile when assistance is needed and providing the leadership needed to raise the High Ground to the highest level. The Top Gun Program began in 2002 and was renamed in 2009 the “David Evans Top Gun Award” in memory of our friend & colleague, David Evans.

This year’s Top Gun, Terry Wegman, has consistently displayed his support of regionalism and his consummate professionalism has added tremendous value to our organization. He is always the first to offer help, has hosted and helped with numerous meetings and is a regular participant in all High Ground events. Terry serves on the Board of Directors as Vice Chairman and has served on the WindPower, ICSC and SEMA Show High Ground marketing teams.

“Terry is a great example of a High Ground Top Gun by his enthusiasm, participation and support of the region. He has been an outstanding member of the High Ground organization” says Kevin Carter, Executive Director of the High Ground.

Terry has been with the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation for the past 10 years, a member of the Rotary Club and is a board member of the High Ground of Texas and the Texas Economic Development Council. He and his wife, Debbie have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.



Time to get your Man & Woman of the Year Nominations turned in!!

The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for 2017 Man and Woman of the Year.

It’s that time of year – the Chamber is asking for nominations for Man and Woman of the Year. The Man and Woman of the Year award are given to the lucky winners at our Annual Banquet, which date has been set for Tuesday, January 30, 2018, on the Sonic Floor of the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum. Recipients of the 2016 Award respectfully were Raul Marquez, Sr. and Vicki Stewart.

Criteria for Selection
The procedure for nominating and selecting the Man and Woman of the Year shall be as follows:

? There must be a nominator who will submit a nomination in writing on a form provided and approved by the selection committee to include the relevant information about the nominee. To prevent the process from being a “popularity contest,” the committee will be charged to base their decision on the information provided in the nomination submitted, not on the personal knowledge that they might or might not have of the nominee.

? The nominator shall submit their name, address, and phone number in case the selection committee should need additional information.

? The nominee does not have to be a member of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, but the nominator must be a member in good standing.

? The selection will be made on the basis of all around contributions to the community, not just for extraordinary performance in the individual’s business or employment. The nominee should have a consistent track record of accomplishments rather than being honored for a single act of merit; although a single contribution or achievement is not ruled out if it is of sufficient importance.

? The term “community” as used above should be taken to relate to the “area” served by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, which is Howard County.

? Those currently holding a political office should not be eligible for nomination.

To receive an application, contact Debbye ValVerde or Nancy Davenport, at 263-7641.

Deadline to turn in your nomination is December 13, 2017, at 5 PM.



Scenic Mountain Medical Center's 2017 Halloween Festivities for their staff feature their S.A.F.E. culture.

This year the Scenic Mountain Medical Center's Halloween Festivities for their staff featured their S.A.F.E. culture.

Staff members who participated had to display S.A.F.E. through their costume decorations and/or skits.

S.A.F.E. stands for: Support the team, Ask the questions, Focus on the task (by using STAR – stop, think, act, review), and Effective communication.

According to Emma Krabill, Chief Executive Officer of Scenic Mountain Medical Center, the hospital is trying to create a culture of safety and high reliability. “The S.A.F.E. behaviors are behaviors that we try and we’re working on for everyone to follow every time…We're trying to get everybody to learn and be part of what we do in a fun way.”

Superintendents Chris Wigington, Big Spring ISD; Dr. Amy Jacobs, Coahoma ISD; Randy Johnson, Forsan ISD; and the County Judge for Howard County Kathryn Wiseman were judges for the costume/skit and pumpkin decorating contests.





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