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KBST News Archives for 2020-03

Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order, Implements Statewide Essential Services And Activities Protocols


 

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.

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KBest CoronaFREE Concert Series


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:

4/1  Grant Gilbert

4/2 Chad Cooke Band

4/3  Drew Fish Band

4/4 Jeff Jacobs

4/5  Junior Gordon

4/6  Jaime Weston

4/7 Hayden Haddock

4/8  Holly Tucker

4/9 Joe & Martina

4/10 Jaime Talbert

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

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Big Spring Mask Makers assist in the fight against COVID-19.


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.]

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Additional Locations Added to Quarantine Mandates for Air Travelers Coming into Texas, Road Travel from Louisiana Now Impacted


 

 

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.

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PSA: City Park and Golf Course Closure, 03/30/2020


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.

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Big Spring YMCA continues to serve the community through pandemic.


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.

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Protect Yourself From COVID-19: Access VA Care from Home


 

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.

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Kindred helping at Home - LVNs in Big Spring provide encouragement to elderly residents


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. "

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Big Spring Mayor Vetoes Loan for Road Construction at Airpark


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

 

VIA EMAIL

 

Mr. Moore:

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

 

 

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center is accepting Medical Supply Donations.


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

 

Disposable Gowns

 

Disposable Gloves

 

N95 Respirator Face Masks

 

Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)

 

Disposable Face Masks

 

Face-shields/Goggles/Safety Glasses

 

Coveralls/Scrubs

 

Shoe-covers

 

 

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

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Suspect Arrested and Charged with Aggravated Robbery: From BSPD:


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

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Carnage Radio will be available for viewing for a limited time this weekend.


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.

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Area News: Scurry County issues "Stay Home Stay Safe" order that goes into effect tonight, 03/27/2020, at 11:59 PM.


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:

 

  • hair salons
     

  • nail salons
     

  • tanning salons (including spray tanning)
     

  • barber shops
     

  • tattoo parlors
     

  • piercing businesses
     

  • hair removal waxing businesses
     

  • massage businesses
     

  • commercial amusement and entertaining businesses including:
    arcades
    adult arcades or gaming facilities
    game rooms
    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: 

http://www.co.scurry.tx.us/upload/page/7080/Stay%20Home%20Order%20Signed.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3tBCXs4OURvVBKxahf4jW7CmPKF78z4gfDANQ2uh9XZtgk2AmEsOV2gIE

 

Frequently Asked Questions:  

http://www.co.scurry.tx.us/upload/page/7080/FREQUENTLY%20ASKED%20QUESTIONS.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0lTBpIfbCLURgEhCrDGKEF2yE3WkUXOnPOdojtmCp-PXZXsMuP9eUNA2I

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Big Spring City Council Special Session, 03/27/2020


During last night’s special session of the Big Spring City Council, final readings of a Resolution of a Declaration of Public Health Disaster for the City of Big Spring and a Resolution amending Chapter VIII of the City of Big Spring Personnel Policies and Procedures were approved with a 5-1 vote. Councilman Jim DePauw, District 6, voted against the final reading because he said that there should be more time between the first reading, which was held on Tuesday, March 24, 2020,  and second reading. Councilman Doug Hartman, District 2, was not present for the vote. He later joined the meeting via teleconference.

 

Councilmembers also approved the final reading of a resolution authorizing and approving a project and loan of up to $6 million to finance infrastructure and road improvements to the Big Spring Airpark with a 5-2 vote. Those voting against were Mayor Shannon Thomason and Councilman Hartman.

 

The Big Spring City Council also approved the first reading to postpone the General Election that was scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 for the purpose of electing  city council members for District 1 and District 3 to Nov. 3, 2020. This ordinance was not unanimously approved as an emergency and will be sent for a second reading.

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center restricts hospital visitors until further notice, 03/26/2020


Today, Scenic Mountain Medical Center announced that, in line with the latest guidance provided by the CDC and the Texas State Dept. of Health related to COVID-19, all hospital visitors will be restricted until further notice. The only exceptions are for women in labor and end of life circumstances, who will be allowed one (1) visitor each.

 

SMMC advised that in order to protect their patients and employees from the spread of COVID-19, they are making every effort to keep their facilities safe through the enhanced screening of patients and strict visitor restrictions to their facilities.

All patients who enter through available access points will be screened immediately upon arrival. Points of entrance will be limited to:

 

1) ER Entrance 24/7

2) West Texas Medical Plaza (Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM)

 

If you are not a provider working at the facility, hospital employee, or seeking immediate medical attention, you are asked to avoid the hospital.

 

If you are experiencing a cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath or have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please call your primary physician's office. Your physician will help determine whether you may go in for an appointment, or if you should stay at home and await further instruction.

 

You can also call the local COVID-19 hotline for a phone screening and additional resources at 432-268-4785. The public is urged to not go to the hospital unless it is an emergency.

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PSA: Big Spring Police Department states there's no need to "Panic Buy"


In a public service announcement released by the Big Spring Police Department, it was noted that on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason and Emergency Management staff met with management of local grocery stores. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss their current and foreseeable challenges and to see if there was anything the City of Big Spring could do to help.

 

According to the grocery stores' management, there is absolutely no shortage of the supplies that citizens are purchasing and there is no problem with the supply chain. The current shortage on the shelves is directly related to the citizens “panic” buying.

The grocery stores believe if they could get 5-6 days of “normal” shopping this would help them get caught up with stocking the shelves. Each of the grocery stores have taken proactive steps in an attempt to deter hoarding.

 

The Big Spring Police Department asks that our citizens are respectful of their decisions as the attention is on the citizens as a whole and not any one individual. Please help Big Spring and stop PANIC buying.

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Sterling County Nursing Home keeps residents engaged while slowing the spread of COVID-19.


It’s been almost a week since Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order which stated that people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. This was in accordance with guidelines from the President of the United States and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Although visitors have not been permitted inside these facilities, Sterling County Nursing Home has continued to find a way to keep their residents engaged and safe.  

 

Derek Rankin, Administrator for the facility, told KBest News that it took some adjustments because they’re used to trying to engage their residents with the community, and with visits from family, friends, and volunteers. 

 

“We really had to make a lot of adjustments since we don’t get those luxuries anymore. [We thought,] how do we continue life within the walls confined in there and still make it fun for [residents] and make it feel normal and safe and secure?” said Rankin.

 

As far as how staff has been impacted by the Executive Order, Rankin pointed out that they’re fortunate to still be able to work and stated, “We just kinda focus on taking care of people who need it the most.”

 

Sterling County Nursing Home recently posted a video of an indoor parade on their Faceboo page. The video showed their staff dancing with residents to Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” while residents displayed fun signs on why they're on "lockdown". In under 24 hours, it has received over 24,000 views and over 400 shares.

 

Rankin told KBest News that the Facebook page has been a great way to update the community on how residents are doing, and they’ve gotten great feedback from family members who appreciate getting to see pictures of their loved ones during this time when they can’t visit. 

 

In spite of the restrictions that residents are currently under, Rankin advised that keeping residents engaged has been beneficial to give them something to look forward to and get COVID-19 news off their mind. He also emphasized that it’s the staff at Sterling County Nursing Home that really makes the difference with their hard work and that advised that they’re blessed to have them.

 

According to Rankin, people can continue to communicate with residents through phone calls, facetime, or other effective ways.

 

“It’s mostly just utilizing the technology around us," said Rankin. "If you can’t come in the door, you can communicate via that technology, or find creative ways to keep a barrier between you and them and still have fun with it.” 

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PSA: Updated Water Office Contact Number and Payment Methods


Effective immediately, to contact the City of Big Spring Water Office, please call 432-466-3264, 432- 466-3568, or 432-466-7248. The Water Office is temporarily located at 305 South Johnson. Be advised, all City of Big Spring offices, including the Water Office, remain closed to the public and open by appointment and electronic means ONLY.

 

WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PAYMENT:
1. Pay online at www.mybigspring.com. Click ONLINE BILL PAY.

2. Pay via the automated phone system by calling 833-227-1752.

3. Payment can be placed in the Drop Box at the Polly Mays Annex (501 Runnels). Staff checks the box daily.

4. Pay over the phone by calling 432-466-3264, 432-466-3568, or 432-466-7248.

 

Water Office staff are still available to assist customers by appointment and over the phone during normal business hours.

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Howard County Library receives Family Place Grant for $6,000. 


During Monday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Children’s Librarian Sandra Verdin announced that the Howard County Library had been awarded a Family Place Library Grant in the amount of $6,000 from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission, also called the TSLAC.

 

Verdin advised that this will help Howard County Library be more family friendly and give a set of resources for the community, parents, and caregivers.

 

Verdin told KBest News that the goal is to help Howard County Library become a community center for literacy, promote early childhood development, provide parent education and engagement, support family and community information.

 

The money from the grant will be utilized for training to learn to implement parent child workshops, develop a special collections for parents and caregivers, set up a specially designated space for families, provide additional programs for babies and toddlers, connect parents and caregivers to community resources, and do outreach within our community to promote these services.


The TSLAC initiated the Family Place Libraries Project in 2015 to help public libraries address early learning with a goal of ensuring that all children enter school ready and able to learn.

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Big Spring City Council Meeting, 03/24/2020


In order to maintain a group gathering of fewer than 10 people as requested by Governor Greg Abbott, Big Spring City Council members were allowed to attend the meeting by telecommunication. Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason and Jim DePauw were in physical attendance and council members Camilla Strande, Gloria McDonald, Raul Marquez, and Doug Hartman, and Terry McDaniel joined by teleconference. 

 

During the discussion of Consent Items, Councilman DePauw, District 6, asked why the second reading of the Airpark project was not on the agenda. Mayor Thomason advised that he had removed the second reading regarding the Airpark on Friday before the agenda was published. Later, during Council Input, DePauw referenced the second reading not being on the agenda. He also spoke on the importance and impact that the Airpark Road project could have on the community. DePauw mentioned that there would be a special meeting on Thursday at 5:30 PM regarding the issue.

 

During New Business, a Resolution of a Declaration of Public Health Disaster for the City of Big Spring, Texas and a Resolution amending Chapter VIII of the City of Big Spring Personnel Policies and Procedures by adding a new section 11 entitled “Emergency/Disaster Employee and Working Conditions Designation; Telecommuting and Leave; and Exceptional Conditions Paid Leave were not unanimously voted on as emergencies. Both resolutions, however, were passed in a first reading and will be sent for second reading.

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Howard County Commissioners extend Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health, 03/23/2020 Emergency for Howard County.


During yesterday's meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency for Howard County was extended from 7 days to continue until the Governor of the State of Texas withdraws the state's Declaration of Public Health Disaster.

 

The declaration is a generic document that allows them to promote health, suppress the virus, and have a way to ensure compliance with their rules and directives IF needed. It will continue until Governor Abbott withdraws the State Declaration of Disaster that was issued on March 13, 2020.?

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center hosts Blood Drive, March 23 - 24, 2020


Scenic Mountain Medical Center is hosting a 2-day blood drive TODAY and TOMORROW. There will be 3 buses parked outside of the hospital from 9 AM - 3 PM today and tomorrow (March 23-24, 2020). 

 

According to Dianne Scott, Donor Recruitment Supervisor for Vitalant, there have been multiple blood drives that have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has resulted in the local supply of blood being approximately 200 pints behind schedule.

 

For anyone who has concerns about being exposed to the virus, Scott ensured that Vitalant is adhering to their Standard Operating Procedures by only allowing 3 people in the bus at one time, wiping everything down after each person, and taking every donor’s temperature before they enter the bus.

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PSA: Water Office Payment Methods, 03/23/2020


The City of Big Spring Water Office has relocated to the City Hall Annex located at 204 Johnson Street. All City of Big Spring offices, including the Water Office, are currently closed to the public and open by appointment and electronic means ONLY.

 

WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PAYMENT:

1. Pay online at www.mybigspring.com. Click ONLINE BILL PAY.

 

2. Pay via the automated phone system by calling 833-227-1752.

 

3. Payments with a check or money can be placed in the Drop Box at the Polly Mays Annex (501 Runnels). Staff checks the box daily. Please do not place cash in the drop box.

 

4. Pay over the phone by calling 432-264-2319 or 432-264-2320.

 

Water Office staff are still available to assist customers by appointment and over the phone during normal business hours. To contact the Water Office, please call 264-2319 or 264-2320. Please note these are not the normal Water Office contact numbers.

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SMMG opens COVID-19 Triage Clinic in Big Spring


Statement from Scenic Mountain Medical Center / Scenic Mountain Medical Group about their newly opened COVID-19 Triage Clinic.

 

As of Monday, March 23, 2020, SMMG will be opening a COVID-19 Triage Clinic. This clinic will be available for patients who feel like they have the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath.

 

You will be able to call this triage clinic at 432-268-2800 and schedule an appointment. The clinic will be located at 1608 W. FM 700, Suite E.

 

Our hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM- 11:30 AM— 1:00 PM -4:00 PM

 

You will call upon arrival, stay in your car, and the staff will get you taken care of. We are following CDC guidelines for the COVID-19 testing, which includes getting a flu and strip test and then if necessary, will be followed up with a COVID-19 test. Please note at this time we do not have any state provided testing. We have a limited number of testing provided by Clinical Pathology Laboratories. That company will then bill your insurance for this test. If the physician feels like COVID-19 testing is not required, you will be responsible for your normal co-pay.

You can also call our 24 hour hotline at 432-268-4285 for phone screening.

 

We appreciate your patience through this process and look forward to helping our community.

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Howard County Commissioners and Big Spring City Council to hold meetings this week.


UPDATE: Please be advised that the 3:00 pm Commissioners’ Workshop meeting in the 2nd floor Conference Room has been cancelled.

 

The regularly scheduled Commissioners’ Court meeting at 3:30 pm will still take place. The public is encouraged to use the live stream link provided below:

 

http://www.co.howard.tx.us/

 

------ORIGINAL POST-----------

 

The Howard County Commissioners will have a regular meeting today, March 23, 2020, at 3:30 PM on the 3rd floor of the Howard County Courthouse, with a budget workshop before the meeting at 3 PM in the 2nd floor Conference Room.

 

It is unclear if the meeting will be restricted to only 10 people, but Judge Wiseman encouraged the public to watch the live stream from home on the Howard County Info Tech page. KBest News will also be sharing that live stream to our KBest Media Facebook page. Those wishing to make public comments will be able to do so by submitting comments on the live stream through Facebook.

 

To view the agenda for the Howard County Commissioners Court, visit: http://www.co.howard.tx.us/upload/template/1880/2020%20Agendas/ccm_agenda_3232020.pdf

 

Big Spring City Council will meet in regular session tomorrow evening, March 24, 2020, at 5:30 PM by telecommunication. The public is invited to watch the meeting on local channel 17 on Suddenlink, or through their live stream on the City website. Those wishing to make public comments can continue to do so by calling 432-271-6537. 

 

To view the agenda for the Big Spring City Council meeting, visit: http://mybigspring.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03242020-391

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Big Spring Police Department makes modifications to operations to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19.


Effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, at midnight and in response to the COVID-19, the Big Spring Police Department offices will remain open by appointment and electronic means ONLY.  The Big Spring Police Department will also be making the additional below modifications to our operations to ensure that our officers and the public are protected to the greatest extent possible while assisting on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 and while effectively providing the necessary services our citizens require.

 

All ride along programs and building tours are suspended while under this plan.

 

Citizen fingerprinting services has been suspended during this plan.

 

The Police Department lobby will be closed and only accessible by appointment only.

 

Patrol Response:

Effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, at midnight, officers will only respond to calls in progress, assaultive, violent, or calls that require collection of evidence.

 

Calls requiring reports not fitting the above parameters will be taken over the phone by officers.  If an officer while taking the report by phone determines that collection of evidence is needed, the officer shall respond and use appropriate COVID-19 precautions.

 

It is imperative that when calling Communications that the caller leave a good call back number for Officers to return calls.

 

Animal Control:

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. the Shelter will only be accessible to the public by appointment only.  The shelter will continue to be manned and the care of our animals will not change.  Animals that need to be picked up will be done so by appointment only arranged by calling 432-264-2372.  Again, social distancing will be implemented with anyone coming to the shelter.  Anyone that exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed inside the shelter.  Only one person from the public will be allowed in the shelter at a time during this plan.

 

Animal Service Officers will continue to respond to calls using social distancing whenever possible.  

 

Records Division:

During this time, the Records Division will remain open by appointment and electronic means ONLY.  Services and appointments may be obtained by calling 432-264-2568.

 

Identification Division:

During this plan, the Identification Division will remain open by appointment and electronic means ONLY.  Citizens needing to have property released or returned will be by appointment only and citizens are to call 432-264-2576.

 

When citizens who need to call and make an appointment for any of the above Divisions, COVID-19 screening questions will be asked prior to any appointment being made.

 

__________________________________________

 

Rest assured the Big Spring Police Department will continue to protect and serve our community during this trying time.  We will continue to respond to crimes in progress, keep our roadways safe, and work with other community partners to ensure the safety of the citizens we serve.

 

The Big Spring Police Department will notify our citizens upon return to normal services.  We do appreciate the support and understanding from our community.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams

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Special Session of Howard County Commissioners Court; Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency issued for Howard County


?Howard County Commissioners held a Special Session on Friday afternoon at the Howard County Courthouse and it was streamed live on the Facebook page for Howard County Info and Tech. During the meeting, commissioners met to discuss planning for employee safety and maintenance expenses during pandemic conditions. 

 

Terry Chamness, Emergency Management Coordinator for Howard County, advised that with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lubbock and Midland Counties, it was only a matter of time before a case was confirmed in Howard County. He suggested that a declaration of local disaster be issued for the county. Chamness stated that the sooner that the declaration was issued, the sooner the county could begin keeping a record of related expenses and that can later be refunded through the state or FEMA.

 

The Howard County Commissioners unanimously agreed to pass the declaration. Judge Wiseman then issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency for Howard County, Texas. This will stay in effect for 7 days unless extended by the Commissioners Court.

 

Judge Wiseman told KBest News that the declaration does not mean that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county, instead, it is a generic document that allows them to promote health, suppress the virus, and have a way to ensure compliance with their rules and directives IF needed. 

 

The Howard County Commissioners will have a regular meeting on Monday, at 3:30 PM on the 3rd floor of the Howard County Courthouse, with a budget workshop before the meeting at 3 PM in the 2nd floor Conference Room. At this time, it is unclear if the meeting will be restricted to only 10 people, but Judge Wiseman encouraged the public to watch the live stream from home on the Howard County Info Tech page. KBest News will also be sharing that live stream to our KBest Media Facebook page. 

 

To view the whole agenda for Monday’s meeting, visit: http://www.co.howard.tx.us/upload/template/1880/2020%20Agendas/ccm_agenda_3232020.pdf

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Big Spring City Offices to be open by appointment only and electronic means ONLY


City of Big Spring offices will remain open by appointment and electronic means ONLY effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, at midnight. These offices include:

 

• City Hall (432-264-2401)

o Finance Department (432-264-2513)

o Public Works Department (432-264-2501)

o Human Resources Department (432-264-2346)

• Water Office (432-264-2319)

• Code Enforcement/Permits (432-264-2505)

• Community Services Office

o Convention and Visitors Bureau (432-263-8235)

o Facilities (432-264-2322)

o Cemetery (432-264-2323)

• Police Department (432-264-2550)

• Fire Department (432-264-2304)

 

The Big Spring Senior Center will be closed to congregate meals, but those who wish to pick up a to-go order can call 432-267-1268, for more information.

 

All city pavilions, playground structures, and Moss Lake will remain closed until further notice.

 

For any questions or concerns please contact the City Manager’s Office at 432-264-2401.

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City Park Playground Structures and Pavilions Closed


The City of Big Spring will be following CDC guidelines and the executive order by Governor Abbott concerning COVID-19 and will be closing all city park playground structures and park pavilions including Kidz Zone, Cotton Mize softball field, playground structures at ABC Park, Bert Andries Park, Dr. Morgan Park, and any other city-owned playground structure or pavilion until at least April 20th.

 

The date of closure has the possibility to extend. We also ask that you refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more during this time so we can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

For any questions or concerns please contact the City Manager's Office at 432-264-2401

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BSPD: Raul Mendez arrested in Big Spring Murder


On March 5, 2020, at approximately 1:37 AM, an Officer with the Big Spring Police Department observed a silver in color, 2004, Chrysler PT Cruiser, parked on the south side of Kent Kwik located in the 300 block of South Gregg Street. The officer checked out with the vehicle and observed a male subject, later identified as Ramiro De La Rosa, Hispanic/Male, 64 years of age, of Odessa, TX, sitting in the front passenger seat, slumped over, and suffering from an apparent assault. Big Spring Fire Department Medics responded to the scene for medical treatment.

 

Ramiro De La Rosa was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center and then flown to University Medical Center located in Lubbock, Texas due to facial fractures. Ramiro De La Rosa ultimately succumbed to his injuries and passed away at University Medical Center.

 

Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Detectives along with the Texas Rangers conducted a murder investigation. During the course of the investigation, Investigators developed a suspect identified as Raul Mendez Hispanic/Male 40 years of age. Investigators had obtained the security video from Kent Kwik which clearly showed Ramiro De La Rosa’s vehicle on the south side of the building.

 

Investigators also observed a black passenger vehicle later identified as a black in color, 2015, Toyota Camry, pull into the Kent Kwik parking lot. Investigators then observed Mr. Mendez exit the Toyota Camry and approach Ramiro De La Rosa while Ramiro was sitting in the driver’s seat of the PT Cruiser. Shortly later, Raul Mendez was observed removing an item from his left rear pocket which was later identified as brass knuckles. The video shows that Raul Mendez punched Ramiro De La Rosa in the head and face area several times with the brass knuckles.

 

On March 18, 2020, at approximately 12:15 PM Investigators placed Raul Mendez under arrest for unrelated charges. Investigators had developed probable cause to believe Mr. Mendez murdered Ramiro De La Rosa at which time an arrest warrant affidavit was presented to a magistrate and an arrest warrant was issued for Raul Mendez for the offense of Murder. Mr. Mendez was then also charged with the murder of Mr. De La Rosa. Raul Mendez has been booked into the Howard County Jail and bond has been set at $750,000.

 

This continues to be an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time.

Chief of Police Chad Williams

Lieutenant Brian Gordon

Sergeant John Haynes

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Gov. Greg Abbott issues Executive Order to contain spread of COVID-19.


Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to contain the spread of COVID-19 across Texas. In it, the executive order states:

 

  • Every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • People shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; however, the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged during the limited duration of the executive order
  • People shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Schools are temporarily close.

 

Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason said that the City of Big Spring knew something like this could happen, but it was still a bit of a surprise.

 

"I was on a phone call with the Governor [Wednesday], and [he] made no mention of this; and it really kinda seems a little bit rushed to me, but that, of course, could just be the nature of the pandemic. We've seen that on the city-side, as well, how fluid things become in a situation like this with new information coming out everyday and trying to provide information to the citizens of Big Spring," said Thomason.

 

He told KBest News that the City of Big Spring will do their best to get the information in the executive order out to the public as quickly as possible and as syncly as possible. 

 

The executive order will go into effect as of 11:59 PM tonight and continue through 11:59 PM on April 3, 2020 unless extended by the Governor.

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BSISD Food Distribution


This week, Big Spring ISD has been serving meals for their students while schools are closed. These meals could be picked up at Marcy, Moss, and Big Spring Junior High from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Now, BSISD is reaching out to students that may not be able to make it to these locations.

 

George Bancroft, Assistant Superintendent for Big Spring ISD, told KBest News that they figured that would be kids who wouldn't be able to make it to these locations to pick up meals and they decided to utilize their bus drivers during this time to help. 

 

"Our bus drivers have nothing to do because we're not running bus routes, so now they have something to do now," said Bancroft. "They're gonna take ten buses to ten locations around town and they'll stop there at about 9 [AM]. Anyone under the age of 18 who needs meals can come to those buses and get meals."

 

According to Bancroft, the buses will stay at those locations for approximately an hour, and then move to a second location and stay there for approximately an hour. A map showing the all locations for BSISD food distribution can be found on the Big Spring ISD Facebook page.

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Big Spring YMCA NOTICE:


Yesterday, the Big Spring YMCA announced that no new memberships would be sold, but the decision would be re-evaluated on April 1, 2020. Beginning Monday, March 23rd, 2020 the following changes will be implemented:

 

•There will be No Child Watch (or babysitting) for mornings or evenings.

•No school-aged children allowed in the building during school hours. *exceptions for athletic programs.

•A workout class daily fee will be accepted during regular hours.

•Daily fee usage to the Fitness/Cardio Center and basketball gym will be restricted to the following hours only:

Monday thru Friday: 5:00am-8:00am
Monday thru Friday: 9:00am-3:00pm
Monday thru Thursday: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm-5:00pm

PLEASE BEAR WITH US AS WE ALL TRY TO GET THROUGH THIS.

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center to implement new procedures


Earlier this week, Scenic Mountain Medical Center released the following statement on the list of new procedures that will be followed as a result of COVID-19:

 

Scenic Mountain Medical Center is committed in serving the patients, community and our employees. Safety of our patients and staff is a priority, particularly in times like these.
To protect our patients, community and staff from the spread of COVID-19, we are making every effort through enhanced screening of patients, visitors and employees before they enter our facilities. In accordance with federal mandates regarding the national State of Emergency issued on Friday, March 13, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will implement the following until further notice:

 

• ALL patients, visitors and/or vendors will only enter through the ED Entrance 24/7 and West Texas Plaza Main Entrance 7 AM until 5 PM


• ALL patients, visitors and/or vendors will be required to complete a questionnaire and be screened prior to entering


• Visitors, if you are sick or have a fever please stay Home


• Children under the age of 12 will not be permitted to visit UNLESS the child is a patient


• Inpatient visitors will be limited to 1 at any given time and this is at the discretion of the provider


• All elective tests, procedures and surgeries will continue and NOT be cancelled


• Avoid all unnecessary travel

 

Please feel free to visit our website and/or Facebook page for all informational updates. We will continue to monitor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for the latest updates and precautionary measures.


If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have questions, please call your primary physician or (432) 268-4785 for a phone screening. Please do not come to the hospital unless it is an emergency.


If you would like more information regarding COVID-19, visit the CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/…/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/if-yo…/steps-when-sick.html…

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Texans Urged to Use 2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline For COVID-19 Information and Referrals


 

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

 

“As we encourage people to use social distancing and to stay at home when possible, this state resource can help the public stay informed, stay calm and stay safe,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “Our trained staff are working tirelessly around the clock to respond to all the public’s questions, through 2-1-1 as well as our HHS social media platforms.”

 

Texans, no matter where they live, can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 and select option 6 to get information and referrals to COVID-19 social services, including testing, community clinics, unemployment benefits and more.

 

Texans can also dial 2-1-1 to find information about local community resources such as financial assistance for utilities or rent and food pantries, housing assistance, crisis counseling, utility payment assistance, and senior services.

 

Call center operators answered more than 785,000 calls by Texans for information and services during Hurricane Harvey and are available to help during this public health crisis.

For general health-related information and precautions on COVID-19, visit the DSHS website and the CDC page.

 

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates impacting HHS services and regulated providers by visiting the HHS COVID-19 page.

 

For more information on the state hotline, visit 211texas.org.

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Local courts working on plan to keep employees and public safe during COVID-19 outbreak.


After Governor Abbott’s disaster proclamation entered last week, the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals entered an emergency order modifying and suspending certain provisions related to court proceedings. The order that applies in all courts and to all case types is meant to provide courts with flexibility to delay or modify proceedings as necessary to address the disaster.

 

When asked what this means for Big Spring and Howard County residents, Big Spring Municipal Judge Timothy Green, advised that the emergency order is a set of guidelines that local courts will use to create a plan to keep court personnel and the public safe amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.

 

"What they're saying is, 'Be mindful of your court personnel. Keep them safe, not only them, but also people who are coming in to do business with the court," said Judge Green.

 

"I think what the Texas Supreme Court understands is that if the courts are going to be in compliance with some of the things that are coming out of Washington and some of the things you got coming out of the Governor's office, we need guidance. This is the effort from the Texas Supreme Court giving courts guidance on how to proceed from now."

 

The guidelines listed in the emergency order will remain in effect until May 8, 2020, but can be extended if needed. 

 

Judge Green advised that the Big Spring Municipal Court is in the process of putting a plan together for how will continue to proceed through this time period. Their goal is to keep people safe and still give justice to people who are innocent until proven guilty.

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Safety Protocol at Highland Animal Hospital


The following is the Safety Protocol that Highland Animal Hospital, located at 3600 US-87 in Big Spring, sent to their clients:

 

Dear Valued Clients,

As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 issue, the health of our clients and staff are now a top priority. Under the recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association, we are implementing the following procedures:

 

1) REFILLS ON MEDICATIONS AND OTHER SUPPLIES:
Please call ahead so that we can have them ready for you. Call us when you arrive
at the clinic and we will gladly deliver them to your vehicle and take your payment in for
for you.

 

2) APPOINTMENTS: Please call us once you arrive at the clinic at your scheduled time and
we will check you in, then when an exam room is available a member of our staff will
come to your car and either:

A) take you and your pet directly to the exam room or

B)you are welcome to wait in the car while your pet is examined by the doctor, and he
will call you to discuss recommended treatments and procedures, and when we are
finished, the staff member will return your animal to you and take payment for the
services rendered in for you.

 

3) SURGERIES AND DROP OFFS-- Please call us once you arrive at the clinic, a member
of our staff will bring out the necessary consent forms for you to sign and then take your
pet into the clinic for you. You will be called by the doctor or staff with updates and times
to pick up your pet. When you arrive back for pickup, please call us and a member of the
staff will come to your car with your pet and take payment for services rendered.

 

4) IF YOU ARE SICK: Please stay at home, call us and we can advise or treat you pet
thru telemedicine if possible.

 

We know that these are difficult times and we feel like this is a way that we can practice
social distancing and still take excellent care of your pets health!!!

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Notice of Closure for Howard County Library, effective today, 03/19/2020


The following is a statement from the Howard County Library on their recent closure:

 

As we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Howard County Library will take this opportunity to close down the library for updates and upgrades to our Computer Lab.

 

Also, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and in accordance with recommendations from the CDC, Howard County Library has made the following changes to programs and services. Please check back for updates at our web page https://howard-county.ploud.net/ and at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HowardCoLibrary/.

 

? Effective March 19, 2020: The library is closed to the public until further notice. All programs and meeting room reservations are suspended until further notice.

 

? Please do not return your library materials. All due dates and fines are suspended until May 1.

 

? Library staff will be working. Reference service is available by phone and email. Staff will be available by phone to answer any questions you may have regarding our online content.

 

COVID-19 INFORMATION

For the latest updates and recommendations on COVID-19, please refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/, and the Texas Health and Human Services website at

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.

 

For local information and updates:

? City of Big Spring https://www.mybigspring.com/AlertCenter.aspx

 

? Big Spring Independent School District https://www.bsisd.esc18.net/

 

? Forsan Independent District https://www.forsan.esc18.net/

 

? Coahoma Independent School District https://www.coahomaisd.com/

 

? Howard College https://howardcollege.edu/

 

For information about assistance with food or bills, call the 2-1-1 non-emergency hotline.

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PSA: Water Office Temporarily Closed Due to Water Leak


The following is a Public Service Announcement from the City of Big Spring:

 

For the safety of the public and our employees, the Water Office (501 Runnels) will be temporarily closed due to a roof leak in the building. Utility payments can be made online or via the automated phone system by calling 833-227-1752. Other issues, or payment with an actual person, can be handled over the phone by calling 432-264-2320. *Please note this is not the normal water office phone number.*

 

If you are handicapped and cannot leave your car, or can only pay with cash, please call 264-2320 or 264-2319.

 

To pay online, please visit www.mybigspring.com and type "Pay My Bill" in the search bar at the top right of the page.

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Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees hold Emergency Meeting on 03/17/2020.


In addition to last night’s regular meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, an emergency meeting was also held. The meeting was required in order for the board to pass a resolution giving Superintendent Jay McWilliams authorization to make emergency modifications to local district policies as needed. This included closure of schools, provisions of alternate methods of instruction, expenditures of public funds arising from the Governor declared state of disaster, and to mitigate public health risks during the COVID-19 world wide pandemic.

 

McWilliams advised that, at some point, teachers may be required to work from home, but they would still need to be accessible to their principal as needed. The resolution will ensure that contract and auxiliary employees will continue to be paid.

 

"We don't want people to lose income because of a disaster or emergency that we're dealing with now. We want to treat our employees professionally and, also, have a sense of caring for what they're going through as well," said McWilliams.

 

According to McWilliams, the school closure will not affect funding that is received by the state.

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Area school districts extend closures through March 27th, 2020


Yesterday, Forsan ISD, Coahoma ISD, and Big Spring ISD all announced that they would be extending their suspension of normal district operations through March 27th in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 

Forsan ISD has advised that teaching and learning will continue today with a new look. Their secondary campus is moving to an on-line environment, and the elementary is primarily using a packet distribution process to provide learning opportunities but will support that with on-line options in varying degrees. 

 

Coahoma ISD will continue to provide instruction either through on-line or prepared work packets. Packets can be picked up on Monday, March 23, 2020.

 

Big Spring ISD is expected to announce their plan for continuing instruction later this week.

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Area News: Man dies in Martin County Crash, 03/11/2020


DPS has identified the man killed in a 2-vehicle crash in Martin County.

 

DPS Troopers responded to the crash on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at FM 3303 and SH 176, just 15 miles north of Stanton, at approximately 8:30 AM.

 

According to the preliminary investigation, a semi-truck had stopped at the intersection of FM 3033 and SH 176 then began to cross SH 176 when a 2005 Ford F-150 struck the semi’s trailer. It was noted that it was extremely foggy that morning and visibility was limited. 

 

The driver of the 2005 Ford F-150 was identified as Stephone, Taylor, II, 25 years old, of Shreveport, Louisiana. He was pronounced dead on scene. The investigation showed that he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

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Howard College COVID-19 Update, 03/17/2020


Tuesday night, in response to the guidance of the White House, Howard College announced that it has transitioned to a “work from home” status and all campuses will be closed until March 30, 2020. They noted that their goal remains to help students successfully finish the spring semester following the same academic calendar.  

 

According to Howard College, 

 

  • The majority of face-to-face courses are being converted to an online format and will resume March 23rd.

  • Faculty will communicate changes with their students.

  • Currently, we have some Health Professions programs that are underway. Health Professions program directors will be communicating with their students concerning changes in format.

  • Beginning the week of March 30th, we will have face-to-face delivery begin in some instances. Faculty will communicate any changes in format with their students.

  • The Harold Davis Fitness Center on the Big Spring campus is closed and will re-open on March 30th.

  • Howard Cottage will be closed beginning today. 

  • All campus events and student activities will be postponed and/or canceled up to their graduation and pinning ceremonies. 

  • Spring sports (competitions, practices, etc.) have been cancelled by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).  The National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association has cancelled all rodeos for eight weeks, including the Hawk Rodeo scheduled for April 16th – 18th. 

  • For students who have returned to the residence halls on the Big Spring and SWCD campuses, we are working with them and their families individually. We will make sure students on campus have supervision and access to meals.

  • Students who have not returned to the residence halls on the Big Spring and SWCD campus are encouraged not to return to the residence halls until March 29th. Should students need access to their personal belongings prior to the 29th, they should contact student services to make arrangements.  

  • Security will continue to be in operation throughout this time period.

 

For more on these updates, visit howardcollege.edu.

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PSA: City of Big Spring Closes all city owned rentable facilities until at least April 20, 2020.


The City of Big Spring will be following CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19 and will be closing all city owned rentable facilities until at least April 20th. The included facilities are: Dora Roberts Community Center, Municipal Auditorium, Comanche Trail Amphitheater, Roy Anderson Sports Complex, and various Park Pavilions.

 

Furthermore, the CPR class that the City of Big Spring was hosting for the public has been postponed. The date of closure has the possibility to extend. If you have rented a facility you will be contacted by City Staff. The City of Big Spring appreciates your patience and understanding during this time.

 

For any questions or concerns please contact the City Manager's Office at 432-264-2401.

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Dollar General announces first hour of operations to be dedicated to senior customers


Dollar General Corporation recently announced plans to dedicate the first hour of each shopping day to senior shoppers, as well as amend store operating hours beginning yesterday, March 17, 2020.


Senior Hour Encouragement

Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19. In keeping with the Company's mission of Serving Others, Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.

 

Other customers are encouraged to plan their shopping trips around this window of time to allow the most susceptible customers in our communities the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open.


Store Hour Adjustments

Additionally, all stores plan to close one hour earlier than current close times to allow employees to clean and re-stock store shelves, as well as for their health and wellbeing. 

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Judge Wiseman gives a public address; Special Session of Howard County Commissioners Court scheduled for 03/20/2020


Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman addressed the public on the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday through a Facebook post on the Howard County Info Tech Facebook page. 

 

In her address, she urged the public to do their part to stop the spread of the virus by staying home if they’re feeling sick or if their children are sick. Judge Wiseman urged the public to stay home and suggested that the public should avoid public places as much as possible by conducting their business over the phone, through the internet, or by mail. She also reminded the public to be considerate of each other and to not hoard.

 

A Special Session of the Howard County Commissioners Court will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020, at 1 PM on the 3rd floor of the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main St. in Big Spring, in the Commissioners Courtroom. 

 

The agenda for Friday’s meeting notes that they are working to live stream the meeting in the interest of transparency and to satisfy the Open Meetings Act requirements. They ask that if you are sick, please stay home. 

 

During the meeting, there will be a discussion and possible action on planning for employee safety and maintenance expenses during pandemic conditions. View the full agenda here:  http://www.co.howard.tx.us/upload/template/1880/2020%20Agendas/CCM%203-20-20%20Special%20Meeting.pdf

 

Also, be advised that there will be a link that will be used temporarily to live stream the Howard County Commissioners Court Meetings:

https://www.facebook.com/Howard-County-Info-Tech-110733893888746/

 

Anyone wishing to ask questions during Commissioners Court will have a chance to do so by sending their question through the “Write a comment” box at the bottom of the live stream.

 

Feel free to contact 432-264-2202 with any questions.

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TXDOT TAKING COVID-19 ACTION TO KEEP EMPLOYEES AND PUBLIC SAFE - Efforts include travel center lobby closures, canceling in-person public meetings, safety messages, and a telework directive for office employees


AUSTIN — TxDOT is acting to help reduce the risk of COVID-19. On Friday and over the weekend the department took several steps to protect the public and TxDOT employees. At the same time, TxDOT remains committed to delivering services to its customers all over the Lone Star State.


Given the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel gatherings of 50 or more people and the request from President Donald Trump to avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, TxDOT is postponing or canceling its in-person public hearings and gatherings through April 3. That date is subject to change. This excludes the Texas Transportation Commission meeting on March 26, 2020, which will be addressed separately. When possible TxDOT will look to offer virtual participation strategies for public input.


Work on projects to improve our transportation system continues, as does TxDOT’s ongoing work to maintain and operate our state’s transportation system, to include ferry operations.

 

TxDOT has closed the lobbies of its 12 Travel Information Centers until further notice to help
combat the threat of COVID-19. Outside restrooms will remain available at all times and will be regularly cleaned between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The safety rest areas on highways throughout the state remain open. These provide important rest stops for drivers.

 

Travelers can also still speak with our center counselors about road conditions or travel information between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Anyone can call 1-800-452-9292 or visit drivetexas.org to obtain road condition information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

As awareness is key, on Saturday, March 14, TxDOT began sharing safety messages on its digital highway signs throughout the state. These messages include, “Give Xtra Space, With Each Other, And On The Road” and “Hands Clean, 2 Beat Covid-19, Be on TX Team.” These are short, easy to read messages to help reinforce the importance of preventing the spread of the virus.


In conjunction with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration related to COVID-19,
TxDOT is also requiring its office-based employees to telework beginning March 16.

 

Teleworking has been an option for TxDOT office-based employees for several years now, and
with this temporary new directive, TxDOT will continue serving the state’s transportation needs. TxDOT’s number one priority is always safety, and the agency is in constant contact with state health and emergency management officials to do its part during this global health situation.


Visit the COVID-19 website of the Texas Department of State Health Services at
https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ for the most up to date information and guidance from state health officials.

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HHS Encourages Texans to Apply Online for Benefits - Agency Takes Protective Measures for Staff and the Public


 

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services is encouraging Texans to submit benefit applications and other paperwork online at YourTexasBenefits.com or via the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to reduce foot traffic in the state’s more than 250 eligibility offices.

 

“As Texans, we must all do what we can to get through this pandemic together,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner for Access & Eligibility Services. “We hope to reduce the number of Texans using office services and ask that if you can conduct your business online to please do so at this time.”

 

HHS administers assistance programs such as Medicaid, SNAP food benefits, TANF cash assistance and WIC. Applying online will minimize the potential for staff and public exposure to COVID-19, while allowing staff to maximize the number of applications they can screen and approve during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Although office locations will remain open at this time, Texans are encouraged to apply for or renew their benefits through YourTexasBenefits.com. Through the website or the mobile app, Texans can:

 

  • Create a new account;
  • Find their username on existing account;
  • Upload files;
  • Update phone number;
  • Report changes.

 

All visitors are highly encouraged to use the hand sanitizer stations placed in state offices. Individuals with symptoms indicating COVID-19 should not visit an HHS eligibility office. These symptoms have been identified as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

 

HHS offices are not COVID-19 testing sites. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your local medical provider.

 

The Your Texas Benefits mobile app can be downloaded at your mobile carrier’s app store. People with questions about using the website or mobile app, including those who have special needs, should dial 2-1-1 and select option 2.

 

For questions about SNAP, TANF, Medicaid or CHIP, dial 2-1-1 and select option 2. To check benefit amounts, recipients can visit YourTexasBenefits.com or call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).

 

For health-related information and general precautions on COVID-19, visit the DSHS website and the CDC page.

 

Stay up-to-date on the latest office closures by visiting the HHS COVID-19 page.

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H-E-B adapts store hours and operations to meet customer needs


H-E-B stores have adjusted their hours from 6 AM to midnight to 8 AM to 8 PM until further notice. According to H-E-B, this is to better serve their customers and increase product availability.

 

H-E-B restocks their shelves around the clock, much of the restocking and replenishment happens overnight when stores are closed. This temporary change in store hours will give their Partners extra time to work overnight to better stock their shelves. According to H-E-B, limiting store hours and product purchases is a proven way to ensure the best service and product availability for all customers.

 

The store also advised that customers will also see reduced services in H-E-B delis, bakeries and floral departments, but noted that these changes were temporary. 

 

Many customers have inquired about designating time for seniors to shop prior to the stores opening to the general public. While H-E-B appreciated the suggestion from customers, they had the following statement on the topic: 

 

"Our leadership team studied this option thoroughly and due to recommendations from health officials we have determined this is not the best and safest option for our customers. H-E-B takes care of Texas and we feel asking a group to congregate at our stores in a certain timeframe is not a safe idea. H-E-B will continue to find innovative ways to support our seniors and all Texans in need. We are focused on promoting social distancing and developing more ways to deliver products to those who need it by improving Curbside and Home Delivery availability and access for all."

 

H-E-B announced it will make an initial $3 million commitment to support Texas nonprofits helping vulnerable communities and organizations conducting groundbreaking coronavirus research. 

 

For more on this story, visit: https://newsroom.heb.com/h-e-b-gives-3-million-for-coronavirus-community-support/

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PSA: Howard County Jail required to suspend inmate visitation until further notice.


On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared that COVID-19 is a statewide public health disaster. He also directed state agencies to restrict visitation at prisons, jails and juvenile facilities. 

 

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards then issued a Technical Assistance Memorandum in regards to the Suspension of Visitation Plan. The suspension would remain in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires. It was also noted that jails would not be issued a notice of non-compliance for the visitation suspension.

 

The memo also states that all efforts should be made to allow attorney visitation so as not to impact the court system, and that attorneys should be screened prior to entry into the facility. 

 

Yesterday, Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker clarified that even though the Howard County Jail has a video visitation system, they were not exempt from the visitation suspension because it still requires people to enter the building to visit. 

 

At this time, there is no end date on the suspension.

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Big Spring Fire Department/EMS takes necessary precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19 to first responders.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.

 

COVID-19 is spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible to get the virus by touching an infected surface and then touching your mouth, nose, and possibly eyes.

 

Those susceptible to the virus are people over the age of 60 and those with a compromised immune system. 

 

In order to best serve the community, Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson told KBest News that the Big Spring Fire Department / EMS will be using the appropriate personal protection equipment when assisting those with fever and flu-like symptoms. 

 

"If you call us and you have fever and cold or flu-like symptoms, and we show up at your house, we are going to show up with a mask, eye protection, and the appropriate [personal protection equipment], probably a gown and gloves," said Chief Ferguson. 

 

"When we show up at your house like that, please, do not be offended. We are going to ask you to wear a surgical mask and an oxygen mask. The oxygen is so you can breathe and breathe better. The surgical mask is to protect you and everyone else from spreading and potential contamination of first responders."

 

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC.gov or dshs.texas.gov.

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Governor Abbott Waives STAAR Testing Requirements for 2019-2020 school year


Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, also known as STAAR, testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.  

 

The move to waive testing requirements reflects the Governor’s emphasis on public health over all other priorities at this time. In normal times, Texas’ assessment system provides educators and parents with reliable information on whether or not their students have mastered grade-level content. 

 

Big Spring ISD Superintendent Jay McWilliams told KBest News that Administration was disappointed that they would not be able to meet the challenge of the STAAR test this year. He stated that the school district felt that they were very prepared to see an improvement in test results, but understood why the decision was made.

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Multiple School Districts Close Schools March 16 - 20 due to COVID-19


On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. 

 

A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.

 

The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person."

 

After receiving information from the CDC and the Texas Education Agency, local school districts including Big Spring ISD, Coahoma ISD, Forsan ISD, and Stanton ISD have extended Spring Break for an additional week. Schools will be closed from March 16 - March 20th, 2020. 

 

The following statements concerning closures are listed below:

 

BSISD:

Superintendent [Jay] McWilliams participated in a conference call this afternoon with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. Based on information learned during the conference call and information released by the Center for Disease Control earlier today, Big Spring ISD will be extending its spring break at least another week. Students and staff should not report to campuses Monday morning. Superintendent McWilliams will be releasing a statement providing more information in the next 24 hours, and the district will be communicating with our community in days ahead. Please consult your email account, Facebook, the Big Spring ISD website, and listen to local media frequently to keep informed. We look forward to seeing our students and staff when it's practical to resume school.

 

Go Steers!

 

 

CISD:

Coahoma ISD leaders have been closely monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and based on new information, the district will close for the week of March 16-20.

While schools will be closed, Coahoma ISD leaders are now working on plans to continue teaching and learning for all students, meal service, counseling, graduation requirements, course selection for next year’s students, and business operations including payroll and hiring.

Coahoma ISD officials are closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis and tracking information provided by local, state, and national healthcare providers for any changes. To that end, district officials are advising parents to prepare as if the closure could last longer.

Faculty and staff are requested to report at 9 a.m. Monday for a meeting. The custodial staff will continue with their regular schedule.


The District does not take the decision to close lightly, however, in light of recent information, we believe this is the best course of action for now.

 

 

Forsan ISD:

Forsan ISD students should not report to school Monday the 16th and for the rest of the week. More details will be passed along as we receive additional information. Plans will be made weekly based on information from the CDC, TEA, and other sources. Parents and students should follow Forsan ISD social media accounts for developing information.

 

 

Stanton ISD:

Stanton ISD Temporary Closure from March 16th – 20th Based on today’s conference call with the Commissioner of Education, current Center of Disease Control (CDC) information and out of an abundance of caution for our students, staff, and community, Stanton ISD will be closed for the week of March 16th – 20th. Although we are initially planning for a one week closure, we would ask that you please be prepared for the possibility of a longer time span as we continue to receive new details daily about the virus. We will continue to monitor the situation surrounding the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as we remain in contact with health care providers, local officials, the Texas Education Agency, and the CDC, who are all providing us with guidance.

 

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) has suspended all sanctioned events, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 through March 29, 2020. During our school closure, all athletic practices and other student extracurricular activities will be suspended as well.

 

It was clear in the Commissioner of Education’s webinar today that each district has a responsibility to continue the teaching and learning process for all students during a school closure. Stanton ISD staff will be required to report next week to begin the process of preparing online and paper packet lessons and assignments for students. We are working on plans for classwork to be sent home to all elementary and junior high students. High school students will access assignments in an online format. More information regarding our delivery of instruction and assignments will be communicated next week.

 

I know that a school closure makes it difficult on many families to find daycare and it is an interruption of many of your work schedules, for that I sincerely apologize. My hope and prayer, like most of us, is that an extended time period of minimal contact with others will help lessen the spread of this terrible virus. We encourage all our students and families to please practice social distancing during this time and help stop the spread of this disease.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. This is an unprecedented situation and we will do our best to keep you informed of any changes. As always, the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community remain a priority.

 

Sincerely,

 

Merl Brandon

Superintendent

 

 

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Supreme Court / Court of Criminal Appeals Emergency Order


After Governor Abbott’s disaster proclamation entered last week, the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals have entered an emergency order modifying and suspending certain provisions related to court proceedings. The order that applies in all courts and to all case types is meant to provide courts with flexibility to delay or modify proceedings as necessary to address the disaster and states:

 

“2. Subject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case, civil or criminal—and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public—without a participant’s consent:

 

a. Modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted;

 

b. Allow or require anyone involved in any hearing, deposition, or other proceeding of any kind—including but not limited to a party, attorney, witness, or court reporter, but not including a juror—to participate remotely, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;

 

c. Consider as evidence sworn statements made out of court or sworn testimony given remotely, out of court, such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or other means;

 

d. Conduct proceedings away from the court’s usual location, but in the county of venue, and only with reasonable notice and access to the participants and the public;

 

e. Require every participant in a proceeding to alert the court if the participant has, or knows of another participant who has, COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or a fever, cough or sneezing;

 

f. Take any other reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19.

 

3. All courts in Texas may extend the statute of limitations in any civil case for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted.

 

4. This Order is effective as of March 13, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

 

Source: https://www.txcourts.gov/media/court-procedures-for-the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

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UIL Suspends UIL Sanctioned Contests due to outbreak of COVID-19, effective March 16-29, 2020


AUSTIN — To support the health and safety of our students and communities, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) is suspending all UIL sanctioned contests due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Texas. Effective March 16, all UIL interscholastic competition is suspended through March 29.

 

Rehearsals and practices may be held at the discretion of the local school district.

 

“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”

 

As this is a fluid situation, the UIL will continue to follow the direction of state and local officials to monitor this situation and will make additional announcements as needed. Please continue to check the UIL website and social media accounts for further updates.

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Big Spring Symphony Guild postpones Fundraiser Luncheon and Fashion Show.


The following is a statement from the Big Spring Symphony Guild on postponing this month's fundraising event:

 

"The Big Spring Symphony Guild has made the decision to postpone our “Happy Birthday Beethoven” Fundraiser Luncheon and Fashion Show that was scheduled for March 21st at Trinity Baptist Church, due to Corona Virus public health concerns! We are very sad because we were looking forward to this fun event and we can’t wait to celebrate with our very generous patrons and vendors once this crises has passed! Anyone who has purchased tickets can get their money refunded or hold on to their tickets until the event is rescheduled. All vendors and ticket holders can contact our Guild President, Suzanne Markwell at (214) 256-1674 or our Publicist/Secretary Natalie Permenter at (432) 270-2125 with any questions or concerns."

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SCENIC MOUNTAIN MEDICAL CENTER STATEMENT ON PREPAREDNESS FOR CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19)


03-13-2020 – Scenic Mountain Medical Center continues to monitor the national and global
situation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is prepared to support our community
and safely care for any ill patient – including the likelihood that patients with coronavirus
infections will require treatment at our facilities. 


 Preparedness action steps include the following:


? Daily strategy meetings to review the latest information and recommendations being
issued by the CDC and the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; 


? Implementation of coordination protocols in place to effectively communicate with
public health officials;


? Implementation of an Emergency Management staffing plan in case of an escalating
outbreak; 

 
? Maintaining sufficient levels of Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, gowns,
eye protection, etc.) and hand hygiene supplies;


? Rapid Triage Procedures in place to promptly identify and isolate suspected patients;


? Creation of a surge capacity isolation area within the hospital; and,  


? Restricted visitor policies, which currently prohibit visitors under the age of 12.  

 

+++


For more information, please visit the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) Prevention website
on Coronavirus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html

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Howard College Extends Spring Break for Students due to COVID-19 concerns.


Last night, Howard College released a statement advising that Spring Break has been extended for students due to concerns about COVID-19. This includes students enrolled in online classes. They advised that staff will return to the Howard College campus on March 16, 2020 to prepare for classes to resume on March 23rd. Their entire statement listed on their website is listed below:

 

"Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 10:30 pm

Since February 3, our Communicable Diseases Co-Chairs have been monitoring the COVID-19 matter.  This week we have been participating in a daily call hosted by the Texas Department of State Health Services to provide the latest information to counties, school districts and higher education.  We have also been monitoring what is happening across the state, country and world. 

 

Although there are no known cases of COVID-19 in the West Texas region or on any of our campuses at this time, we know that travel has created many of the cases in other parts of the state and country.  Spring break is a time that people do travel which heightens concerns about exposure and community spread.

 

In the best interest of our college community, to mitigate the spread as best we can in our communities and with an abundance of caution, the following decisions have been made:

 

  • Spring Break will be extended through March 22 for all students, including online.  Classes will resume on Monday, March 23.  Students in Health Professions programs are instructed to contact their programs for more information. 
  • Student workers should contact their supervisors for further information. 
  • Faculty and staff will report on March 16 to begin preparing for classes to resume on March 23.   
  • Campuses will continue to be open to the public. 
  • Student events planned for the week of March 16th will be postponed until further notice. 
  • Athletic events will continue until further notice. 
  • Residence Halls and Food Service on the Big Spring and SWCD campuses will be available to students.  Returning students should determine whether the campus or their permanent residence is best suited for their situation.  Residence Hall students should contact Student Services for more information. 
  • The Fitness Center on the Big Spring campus is open until further notice. 
  • Howard Cottage is open until further notice.  Parents should confer with the Cottage Director for further instructions. 

 

We will continue monitoring the situation and will share information as appropriate.  In the meantime please follow guidelines being shared by authorities on ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

 

Updated information from the CDC on coronavirus in the United States can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

 

The most recent information about coronavirus in Texas may be found at: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/."

 

(source: https://howardcollege.edu/special-notice/)

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WEST TEXAS CENTERS POSTPONES HOOPS, DREAMS AND GOALS


 

 

BIG SPRING - West Texas Centers has been monitoring both national and state health information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) including the most current recommendations.

 

Exercising an abundance of caution and adhering to "First do no harm", West Texas Centers has decided to postpone Hoops Dreams and Goals for a later date, West Texas Centers Deputy CEO Rodney Jones said.

 

“We will be working diligently with Howard College early next week to reschedule Hoops, Dreams & Goals,” Jones said. “We will be in communication regarding a future date for Hoops, Dreams & Goals.”. 

 

The decision was reached after communicating with the 23 counties served by West Texas Centers and other community centers.

 

“There is consensus that caution is needed due to the vulnerable population served,” Jones said. “We apologize for any inconvenience in which this may have caused.”

 

“Thank you all for your understanding and continued support of this wonderful event,” Jones said.

 

For more information, contact Amy Vidal at 432 264-3256. 

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16th annual Cars, Stars, and Handlebars tickets on sale now!


The 16th annual Cars, Stars & Handlebars is scheduled for Saturday, April 4th, at the Howard County Fair Barn in Big Spring. 

 

Tickets are limited with only 1,000 available for the event. Each ticket is $100 each, but includes entry for you and a plus one, dinner, casino games, live music, and a reverse raffle for a chance to win one of the following vehicles: Ford Ranger Supercrew, Chevy Blazer, Dodge Challenger, Harley Trike, or Prowler Camper. 

This event is presented by the Volunteer Services Council and the Big Spring Rotary Club. Proceeds from the event benefit both organizations.

 

According to Hardy Wilkerson with the Big Spring Rotary Club, the Volunteer Services Council gets a majority of the funds from the event. He advised that proceeds go to benefit the patients at the State Hospital, who, often time, come in with nothing but the clothes on their back.

 

Wilkerson noted, "They need everything from toiletries to clothing as they spend their time there and are, ultimately, discharged back into the real world."

 

The Big Spring Rotary Club uses their share of the funds for local projects, such as purchasing children's dictionaries for 3rd graders in Big Spring, Coahoma, and Forsan, as well as world projects such as the "End Polio Now" campaign.

 

Tickets can be purchased by calling 432-268-7535 or at the following places in Big Spring:

 

The Chalet Resale Shop, 1307 S. Gregg

All Washed Up, 708 W. Marcy

Big Mike's Farm Store, 1808 E. TX-350 (Snyder Highway)

 

 

Cars, Stars, and Handlebars will be at the Howard County Fair Barn on April 4th. The reverse raffle begins at 5 PM. 

 

 

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center releases statement on new Visitor Policy


Scenic Mountain Medical Center has released a statement concerning their new Visitor Policy that became effective this week. In it, they stated, “As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 across the United States, Scenic Mountain Medical Center remains focused on doing all we can to protect our employees, patients and the community we serve.

 

Per Steward Health Care’s system-wide policy, effective March 10, children age 12 and under who are not seeking medical treatment will not be allowed to visit any Steward hospitals until further notice. Any person older than age 12 who feels sick and is not seeking care is asked to avoid visiting hospitals or other health care facilities for the protection of patients, hospital staff and the broader community.

 

Thank you for your cooperation and helping us to keep our communities safe.”

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DPS Takes Preventative Measures Against COVID-19, Encourages Texans to do the Same


 

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is taking preventative measures against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by implementing additional sanitation practices at driver license (DL) offices and issuing guidance to members of the department on best practices, as we know that common sense hygiene and cleaning practices can aid in preventing the spread of many diseases, including COVID-19.

 

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19, which are similar to those you take to avoid the flu. That’s why the department has posted signage throughout DPS offices related to best practices for hygiene and prevention efforts.

 

DPS is following recommended guidelines set forth by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). DSHS has a number of resources on their website related to COVID-19 and the ways we can all do our part to stop the spread.

 

Specifically, at DL offices across the state, DPS has issued guidance to custodial and DL staff to increase sanitation practices throughout the day, including cleaning office equipment with alcohol-based products after customer transactions. Additionally, the department has increased janitorial services provided in offices, and public spaces within DL offices, i.e. kiosks, public restrooms, door handles, etc., are being cleaned more frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is also available for customers throughout DL offices.

 

Additionally, DPS wants to remind Texans of the many ways to conduct their DL transactions online without the need to come into an office. Some individuals may be eligible to skip the trip and quickly renew their Texas DL or identification (ID) card online (or by phone). Address changes can also be taken care of online (or by mail) in many instances. Find out if you are eligible to renew online by visiting Texas.gov. The fee is the same for online, in-person and telephone renewals. For additional information about renewing your driver license or ID card, visit the DPS website.

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HOOPS, DREAMS AND GOALS WELCOMES AREA ATHLETES MARCH 27 TO DOROTHY GARRETT


BIG SPRING – Area athletes from the 23 counties served by West Texas Centers will compete March 27 in the “16th Annual Darrell E. Smith Hoops, Dreams and Goals” basketball tournament at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum on the Howard College campus in Big Spring.

Tip-off for the long-running basketball tournament is set for 9:30 a.m. following a raucous entrance from the Big Spring High School Drumline as well as cheerleaders from Howard College and Big Spring High School.

 

Activities get underway with the grand entrance and introduction of teams at 8:30 a.m. West Texas Centers Board Chair Van York and West Texas Centers Board member Alan Harris will welcome all participants kicking off a great day.

 

“The athletes, coaches, managers and cheerleaders are super excited as they follow behind the cheerleaders and the drumline as they walk down the ramp of the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum onto a   big-time basketball court,” West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith said. “They just have the biggest smiles and it puts a smile on my face as well.”

 

“I say this every year, but hands down, it’s my favorite day of the year.”

 

More than 400 people will participate in a March Madness Basketball Tournament determining the best team competing, best halftime show & most spirit in the 23-county region served by West Texas Centers and four counties including Midland, Odessa, Abilene, and San Angelo.

Veteran teams include: Big Spring Heat; Monahans/Pecos Warriors; Snyder Wildkatz; Seminole Pink Panthers; Ballinger Longhorns; Abilene Chili Peppers; Odessa Tigers; San Angelo Bobcats; Midland Panthers; and Sweetwater Red Rattlers.

 

Teams compete not only for the tournament trophy but also for the coveted Spirit Stick and the best halftime show.

 

“We make sure that every facet of our population is included in this daylong basketball tournament,” Smith said. “We offer activities of interest to everyone attending.”

 

“The spirit level is intense throughout the daylong competition because everyone is competing for the Spirit Stick. It’s a huge award.”

 

Many of the competitors also participate in halftime shows that includes skits, songs and dancing, Smith said. “It’s as competitive as the games themselves.”

 

The event is free and open to the public. 

 

Sponsors for the event include Corporate Sponsorships from Big Spring Ford, Hexad Oil, and Hotel Settles.  The following are also contributors to Hoops, Dreams & Goals - Howard College, The Arc of Howard County, Scenic Mountain Medical Center, Atmos Energy, Delek, KBYG, KBEST, Gallagher Benefit Services, & Prescription Services.

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Area News: Wayne Brady to perform at Midland College next month. General Admission for event is free and open to the public.


Wayne Brady, six-time Emmy award-winning and Grammy nominated actor, singer, dancer, improviser, songwriter and television personality, will be performing at Midland College next month.

 

This fun evening is presented by the Midland College Foundation and the Phyllis and Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series. The performance is free and the public is encouraged to submit questions for Brady. It is also requested that people send in song titles that don’t exist and Brady will provide the lyrics. 

 

The performance is scheduled for April 2, 2020 at 7:30 PM at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center, 3600 N. Garfield, in Midland. The event is free and tickets are not required for General Admission seating. For more information regarding preferred seating opportunities, contact the Midland College Foundation Office at (432) 685-4562, or email Rebecca Bell, rbell@midland.edu.

 

For more information, visit: https://midland.edu/calendar/index.php?eID=867

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St. Patty's Day Festival to be held in downtown Big Spring, 03/14/2020


St. Patty’s Day comes early with a family-friendly celebration in downtown Big Spring this Saturday from 3-7 PM. The Desert Flower Art Bar invites the public to join them for a free St. Patty’s Day Festival at 2nd and Main that will include a street theatre performance, musical performances by a gospel band and various rappers, a treasure hunt, and an Irish boiled dinner.

 

Also, on Saturday there will be painting classes for both kids for $10 each. The kids painting class will begin at 3 PM and the adult class will begin at 6 PM. Both classes will be held at the Hot Potato, located at 109 E. 2nd in downtown Big Spring.

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Big Spring residents fill Council Chambers for Public Information Session on Oil Drilling inside of City Limits


The Big Spring Fire Marshal was on site at the City Council Chambers last night to enforce the room capacity of 86 people during the Public Information Session regarding oil drilling inside city limits.

 

Several residents voiced their concern about Sinclair Oil Corporation drilling in the area of Parkway and Hearn. Some of the concerns included health issues, noise, lighting, safety, traffic, privacy, and road conditions.  

 

Mayor Shannon Thomason advised concerned citizens that they were heard, but, unfortunately, the city’s hands were tied when it comes to allowing or disallowing drilling inside of the city.

City Attorney Andrew Hagens explained that anything the city does in regard to oil and gas is regulated by HB-40, a Texas House bill that passed in 2015. He advised that the City can only regulate above ground, but not below ground like fracking.

 

Bob Taylor, Vice President of Operations for Sinclair Oil Corporation, spoke during the meeting and addressed the concerns that were presented. He stated that the company aimed to be a good neighbor and a good friend.

 

Taylor advised that drilling is expected to begin next week. He also advised that Sinclair Oil had budgeted for six wells in Big Spring. Four wells have been completed and the two that will be in the Parkway and Hearn area are the last to be drilled.

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Sand Castle Small House Grand Opening at WTVAHCS


West Texas VA Health Care System celebrated a Grand Opening of their Sand Castle Small House, the first of four planned “small house’ Community Living Center buildings. The facility is designed to offer the best in comfort and privacy for WTVAHCS Veterans who require long-term care.

 

According to Jason Cave, Interim Director for the WTVAHCS, the structure offers a very home-like environment with private rooms, and private bathrooms. There's also a lot of home-like space with a nice fire place room and a full kitchen for family members. 

 

"I think we've all been there where you're caring for a loved one who's at those last moments of life, and some of the little things really matter. So, being able to step out for a prayer with a family pastor or chaplain, or to get some fresh air without having to be in a busy hallway or hospital unit. Those things really matter to make a difference," said Cave. 

 

"Our goal is to treat every veteran with the honor and dignity they deserve, and this is the first of the four cottages that is a manifestation of that promise," continued Cave.

 

The current project began April 21, 2017 with a groundbreaking ceremony and construction was completed on September 11, 2019. Move-ins for the Sand Castle Small House will take place over the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Howard County Commissioners Court Highlights, 03/09/2020


During discussion on pre-approved county travel in Monday’s Howard County Commissioners Court, Commissioner Craig Bailey, Precinct 2, noted that there was a fine line between mandated state training and classes that are beneficial but not mandated. He suggested that the county needs to stay within the realm of State mandated classes while it is under a restricted budget. Commissioners present at the meeting agreed and voted to discontinue pre-approved county travel.

 

Commissioners also approved an interlocal cooperation contract for the Failure to Appear (FTA) Program. Under this program, the Texas Department of Public Safety may deny the renewal of a driver license one has failed to appear for a citation or failed to satisfy a judgment ordering the payment of a fine. The driver license may be denied renewal until the reported citations or violations are cleared and reported by the court(s) to the Department.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding was also approved between Howard County and Texas DPS for use of the County Airport Driving Track for training purposes. According to Howard Sheriff Stan Parker, approximately 285 DPS officers from various areas throughout West Texas are expected to receive training in Big Spring.

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Shattered Dreams – Distracted Driving


A Shattered Dreams presentation that illustrated the dangers of distracted driving was held at Stanton High School yesterday morning. An eerie scene of a major two-vehicle crash was portrayed by Stanton High School students and included local first responders. This demonstration was organized by Stanton High School Student Council.

 

Allison Garrett, Student Council Advisor for Stanton High School, told KBest News that they had heard that there are more teen fatalities due to distracted driving and wanted to bring a message. She said that they thought about using the popular Shattered Dreams message that typically is talking about drunk driving, but decided to portray it with distracted driving instead.

 

"We're just really trying to reinforce to our students the importance of just put your phone down. It's not worth it. Your life is worth so much more and that your life really can end in just a blink of an eye. All it takes is one simple text or even a phone call," said Garrett.

 

Ingrid Razo Ramos, Student Council member at Stanton High School, told KBest News that the scene seemed to make an impact on students. 

 

In addition to the crash scene, various students were removed from class every 15-minutes to simulate the statistic that a death occurs every 15-minutes as a result of distracted driving.

The 2-day presentation will continue today with guest speakers who share their stories of how distracted driving has impacted them. There will also be a mock funeral tomorrow morning to celebrate the lives of the students who participated in the death simulations.

 

Students participating in the simulated crash are: 

 

Zoey Ruiz - deceased

Victoria Albizo – driver #1

Louis Albizo – backseat passenger #1

Caleb Yarbrough – driver #2

Aidan Galaviz – passenger #2

Janiece Marquez - Death

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Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes Big Spring Urgent Care as new Chamber Member!


Congratulations to Big Spring Urgent Care on today’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! They were joined by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and are located at 1700 W. FM 700, Suite B, near Scenic Mountain Medical Center.

 

They’re open Monday - Friday, 9 am - 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday they’ll be open from 10 am - 4 pm.

 

According to Dr. Steve Ahmed, Medical Director for the facility, Big Spring Urgent Care aims to care best care at reasonable prices. They can do x-rays, labs, and can work with cash or insurance patients. They accept adults and kids. 

 

Nurse Practitioner Shawn Harris will be overseeing the day-to-day operations. Other healthcare providers include Lindsey Jacques and Jason Arguello.

 

For more information, contact them at 432-264-1911 or visit their website bigspringurgentcare.com.

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Heavy traffic flow expected at Coahoma ISD Campus for Thursday through Saturday; Parking restrictions to be enforced during school hours


Weather conditions have forced a change of venue for the Big Spring Cross Roads Classic Softball tournament which begins Thursday.

 

To assist Big Spring ISD, both Coahoma and Forsan ISDs have offered their softball fields for the tournament. Each game has an 80-minute time limit.

 

However, coupled with CHS’s track meet set for tomorrow, Coahoma ISD expects heavy traffic flow around the campus beginning Thursday through Saturday.

 

To alleviate congestion, the following parking restrictions will be in effect starting Thursday:

 

Teams, fans and family attending softball games or the track meet must park their vehicles at the Bill Easterling Stadium parking lot during school hours - Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Access to the Coahoma elementary and high school parking lots will be restricted to faculty and for parent drop-off and pick-up only during school hours — Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both these lots will be open for parking to those attending athletic events after school hours and all day on Saturday.

 

Team buses will be allowed to drop off their teams near the softball field but must park at the football stadium.

 

Coahoma ISD asks drivers to please be vigilant while driving and be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially students, heading to and from school or to athletic events. Thank you for your assistance to help keep our kids safe.

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Big Spring Fire Dept./EMS and City of Big Spring Emergency Management provide information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


City of Big Spring Emergency Management personnel along with the Big Spring Fire Department/Emergency Medical Services have been monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Both agencies have been briefed by medical professionals with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Center for Disease Control through teleconference.

 

At this time, we believe it is beneficial to provide some information on COVID-19 as we want to assure our citizens have the most up to date information available.

 

• The first respiratory illness caused by Coronavirus was identified in Wuhan Hubei Province, China. and has since caused respiratory illnesses in the United States.


• The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another, via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


• It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.


• Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. At this time, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as fourteen days after exposure.

 

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:


• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.


• Stay home when you are sick.


• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.


• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.


• Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).


• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

 

Anyone who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

 

The CDC is continuously updating with information as it comes available to include, How it Spreads, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment, Testing, FAQ’s, Situation Summary, Cases in the US, Global locations with COVID-19, Communities, Schools and Businesses, Healthcare Professionals, Health Departments, Travel and Laboratories. You can obtain this information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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United Way of Big Spring and Howard County distributes funds and recognizes community partners during 2020 Annual Meeting, 03/04/2020


This year the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County raised over $195,000 for their 2020 Campaign season. Today, they distributed allocation funds to their 2020 partner agencies.

 

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest - $1,462

CASA of West Texas - $15,644

Howard County Council on Aging / Mobile Meals - $5,908

West Side Community Day Care - $8,853

Howard County Children's Advocacy Center - $13,902

Howard County Resource Center - $11,998

Emergency Services Chaplains Corp - $10,596

YMCA of Big Spring - $15,687

Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts - $4,828

Victim Services - $10,255

Spring of Siloam - $10,115

Salvation Army - $9,824

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club - $9,985

Head Start Readiness Academy - $11,718

 

During the meeting, the local United Way organization also recognized H-E-B, Expedition Royalty, and NuStar Energy as Top Community Partners to thank for them for the time and money that they have donated this past year.

 

Leah Archuleta was also recognized as the Volunteer of the Year for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County. According to Executive Director Christian Fair, Executive Director for the local organization, she was nominated by the Board of Directors and has gone above and beyond in all that she has done for United Way, including spearheading last year's event "Tour of Homes".

 

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Stan Parker re-elected as Howard County Sheriff; Saldivar chosen as Republican Candidate for Commissioner, Pct. 1


The final results of yesterday’s election night have been revealed! 

 

Congratulations to Sheriff Stan Parker, and Eddilisa Saldivar who won in their contested races. The The only contested local races were in the Republican primary, which were for Howard County Sheriff, and Commissioner Precinct 1.

 

Incumbent Sheriff Parker won with 83.49% of the vote against Tad Ellis. There is no Democratic candidate on the ballot for the November race, therefore Sheriff Parker has been re-elected as Howard County Sheriff.

 

Sheriff Parker told KBest News that he's enjoyed the process but he's also glad it's over. He stated that campaigning has been very time consuming and has made it difficult to work both the campaign and the role of Sheriff. 

 

"The election process is enjoyable. I have enjoyed doing this. You get out and meet people. You hear the good things you're doing and you hear some of the bad things you're doing. It gives you an opportunity to get better," said Sheriff Parker. 

 

Eddilisa Saldivar won the vote for Howard County Commissioner Precinct 1 with 51.09% over incumbent Oscar Garcia, a difference of 9 votes. Ms. Saldivar will face a Democratic candidate in November. When asked her what made her want to run for Commissioner, Saldivar told KBest News that's she's been following the County Commissioner meetings for the past 2 years.

 

"I noticed Precinct 1 wasn't being represented as well as it should be, so I started talking with some neighbors and I went out in the county. I really saw a need for better representation and better change," said Saldivar. 

 

"I love being the voice for people who don't have a voice, and that's where I want to start is County Commissioner," continued Saldivar.

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Veterans invited to "Faces of Service" Photo Shoot in Big Spring.


West Texas VA Health Care System will soon be publishing a magazine entitled “Vital Signs” that will release an issue twice per year - one issue will for Memorial Day and one for Veterans Day.

 

According to Michael Cole, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement for the West Texas VA Health Care System, “Vital Signs” will include a feature story that focuses on a particular aspect of healthcare from a veteran’s perspective, as well as major clinic updates, and an update from the Director. It will also have a section called “Faces of Service” that will broaden the view of veterans with portraits and interviews.

 

The purpose of the magazine is to help get information into the hands of veterans about the West Texas VA Health Care System.

 

Be advised that veterans are invited to join the West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring in the Clara Lewis Waiting Area for a photo shoot. The photos may be used in the “Faces of Service” portion of the magazine and veterans will have eventual access to the portraits through a Flicker account. The photoshoot will be on Thursday, March 5th, from 9-noon. Veterans are encouraged to come as they are or with their favorite service memento.

 

The West Texas VA Health Care System is expecting to release the first issue of “Vital Signs” later this year.

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT 3-3-2020: BOIL WATER NOTICE


On Monday, March 2, 2020, City crews replaced several water valves in Comanche Trail Park. This required water service to be shut down in the area that feeds the southwest side of Big Spring from FM 700 to Wasson Road, including the area around the park from Parkway Road to Theo and from Wasson Road to Longshore.

 

Due to the valve replacement, water had to be drained from a portion of the City’s water system for an extended period of time, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the City of Big Spring public water system to notify all customers west of Highway 87 and south of FM 700 to boil their water prior to consumption. Children, seniors, and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all impacted customers should follow these directions.

 

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

 

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes. When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

 

Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a rescind notice to customers that cancels the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.

 

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Shane Bowles, Public Works Director at 432-264-2501.

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Thank You for Your Investment - Krazy Kow Company!


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for Your Investment” presentation for the Krazy Kow Company this morning to thank them for all that they do for the community!

 

Brooke Hofacket, Owner of Krazy Kow Company, told KBest News that she appreciated the presentation. When asked how she liked being a Chamber Member, she told KBest News that it was a great way to be involved in the community and it was a great opportunity.

 

Krazy Kow Company has recently been working on renovations to the boutique. According to Hofacket, they’ve added 2 additional rooms, including a salon. Stop in there and check out the new renovations at 415 E. 3rd St. in Big Spring the next time you need a tan to get ready for summer!

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Texas Increases Security Features, Unveils New Design for Driver License/ID and License to Carry Cards


AUSTIN – Last week, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) began issuing the newly designed Texas driver licenses (DL), identification (ID) cards and license to carry (LTC) cards to all Texans. Most notably, all of the cards will feature a new look with an updated design and enhanced security features. The DL/ID cards will also feature visible and discrete identifiers on the front. It’s important to note that previously issued DLs are still valid until the expiration date listed on the card.

 

The new DL and ID cards will be made of polycarbonate material, which is more tamper-resistant and harder to reproduce, and feature laser engraving to provide an added layer of protection against alterations and forgeries. As part of the new design, there will be an identifier on the front of the card for those who have a health condition that may hamper their ability to communicate with others. The new design will also identify veterans and disabled veterans, along with their branch of service, on the front of the cards. Additionally, the new card features meet the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators national standards.

 

As with all the DL and ID cards DPS has issued since early October 2016, the new cards will be REAL ID compliant, as noted by the gold star in the upper right corner. Texans without a gold star on their current valid DL/ID card can visit Texas.gov/goldstar to check their eligibility to renew early or request a duplicate card that’s REAL ID compliant. As a reminder, beginning Oct. 1, 2020, you’ll need a valid passport, U.S. military ID or a REAL ID compliant driver license (one with the gold star) to travel on commercial airlines or enter federal facilities.

 

As part of the redesign, the Texas License to Carry (LTC) Handgun cards will also debut a new look and new features, including laser engraving and a durable, tamper-resistant polycarbonate material.

 

 

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Election Day for 2020 Texas Primary - March 3, 2020


Check out the list of polling places below. Be advised that no voting will take place at the Howard County Elections Office, but voters can choose any polling location listed below from 7 AM to 7 PM.

 

 

 

The following is a list of acceptable photo IDs at the polling place:

 

* Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

* Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS

* Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS

* Texas Handgun License issued by DPS

* United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph

* United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph

* United States Passport (book or card)

 

With the exception of the U.S. Citizenship Certificate, which does not expire, for voters aged 18-69, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired no more than four years before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. For voters aged 70 or older, the acceptable form of photo identification may be expired for any length of time if the identification is otherwise valid.

 

For more information on voting in Texas, visit www.votetexas.gov.

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BSHS Pride Drive members head to State for Solo and Ensemble


On Saturday, Feb. 21, 2020, top members of the Pride Drive performed for the Region Solo and Ensemble Contest in Abilene.

 

16 members Big Spring High School’s Pride Drive Band will be moving on to the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest in May with their various solos and ensembles. They will also have another opportunity to perform their selections for a State medal.

 

State Qualifiers are as follows along with their pieces to be performed:

 

Ransom Collette, oboe | “Sonata Op. 166” by Saint Saens

 

Elijah Flores, trumpet | “Ode for Trumpet” by Alfred Reed

 

Gage Davison, alto saxophone | “Fantasie sur in Theme Original” by Jules Demersseman

 

Flute Choir; Paris Casteneda, Kylie Corley, Sadie Garcia, Itzel Marquez, Amelia Martin, Jaysena Roberts | “All Through the Night” arr. Allen

 

Quintet; Ransom Collette, Gage Davidson, Elijah Flores, Valerie Valencia, Amelia Martin | “Second Little Serious Piece” by Revueltas

 

Naomi Reyes, marimba | “Yellow After the Rain” by Peters

 

Horn Quartet: Marc Prieto, Emily Kosak, Jimmy Flores, David Summers | “Cornucopia” by Earl Hoffman

 

 

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Recent ACLU suits against East Texas cities cause concern for Big Spring residents.


In January 2020, Big Spring City Council members passed an ordinance to declare the City of Big Spring as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn, with a 4-2 vote. The ordinance prohibits abortion providers and advocates from operating within the city limits. 

 

One of the concerns voiced by the opposition was that the City of Big Spring would find themselves in a legal suit over the ordinance due to the original proposed wording. The specific wording that caused concern was a portion that labeled multiple organizations as “criminal organizations” for providing abortions or assisting to provide abortions. That portion of the ordinance was eventually amended prior to the final approval.

 

Last week, the ACLU of Texas and ACLU National filed a suit against the first 7 cities in east Texas that passed the ordinance. Now, several local residents are concerned that Big Spring may see similar action taken against them, thus causing an increase in local taxes. Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason told KBest News that Big Spring’s ordinance is different. According to Thomason, the ordinance has gone through an evolutionary process.  

 

“It is first reviewed by council and then possibly amended by council, which we did with ours, and then, ultimately, adopted by council,” said Mayor Thomason. “So, every ordinance that has been adopted by the eleven cities that have adopted it, so far, has been somewhat different; and those differences are why the City of Big Spring isn’t involved in a lawsuit right now.”

 

The ACLU has not yet made it known whether or when other Texas cities can expect to be sued.

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