Back in Motion teamed up with Vitalant yesterday to b kick off their 2-day blood drive. According to Dianne Scott, Senior Donor Recruiter for Vitalant out Midland, 49 units were collected from donors yesterday.
She also noted that the blood drive scheduled with the City of Big Spring had been recently cancelled. Scott advised that 50 or units need to be collected today to make up recent cancellation.
Back in Motion, located at 1113 S Scurry in Big Spring, will continue their blood drive today from 11 am - 3 pm. Walkins are welcomed and appointments can be made online at vitalant.org.
This week, the City of Big Spring and local organizations have continued to give away free drinking water to anyone who needs it. In addition to the City of Big Spring, Delek Fund for Hope teamed up with The Salvation Army to distribute cases of water away earlier this week.
More cases of water are scheduled to be given away by College Baptist tomorrow from 11 am to 2 PM at the Porter’s grocery store parking lot. They will be giving away 2 cases of water per car and these will be loaded into vehicles by the Big Spring High School Football team.
BIG SPRING, TX — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration vaccinated its 1 millionth Veteran with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) has administered nearly 2500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to local Veterans and more than 1,000 second doses. The VA began COVID-19 immunizations in December 2020. As of February 17, VA has vaccinated 329,685 of Veterans with a second dose.
Second doses of the Moderna vaccine are given 28 days after the first dose; the second dose completes the course of vaccination.
VA’s COVID-19 National Summary publishes vaccination data daily on Veterans, including information on employee and federal partner vaccinations. For those reviewing the site, when an individual receives both doses from VA, they have completed their vaccine course; therefore, “second dose” and “completed” are synonymous.
VA follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the VA COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan. During the limited supply phase, VA facilities have made progress through CDC Phase 1a and are offering vaccines to Veterans in Phase 1b, which includes Veterans aged 75 and older. However, some sites are offering vaccine to additional Veterans at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as supply permits.
“VA guidance encourages local flexibility in order to maximize COVID-19 vaccine access and efficiency and limit potential vaccine waste,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D. “In this limited supply phase, our COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs, vaccine availability, and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of available vaccines.”
WTVAHCS Director Jason Cave said, “We are encouraged by the number of Veterans we have been able to vaccinate so far and look forward to meeting VA’s goal of offering vaccines to all eligible Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”
Recently, several blood drives have been canceled due to weather-related issues. According to Dianne Scott, Senior Donor Recruitment Supervisor for Vitalant in Midland, this has resulted in the loss of 200 units.
Beginning today, Feb. 23, 2021, Back in Motion will have a 2-day blood drive. There will be 2 buses, walk-ins and appointments are welcomed, and they'll be giving out t-shirts while supplies last. With various time slots available, you can surely find one that fits your schedule.
2/23 - Tuesday, 1 pm - 5 pm
2/24 - Wednesday, 11 am to 3 pm
Back in Motion is located at 1113 S. Scurry in Big Spring.
To schedule an appointment to donate, visit Vitalant.org
Howard County was designated as a Purple Heart County during today's meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court.
Jim Bracken, Chapter Commander for the Military Order of Purple Heart, Chapter 1919, advised that the purpose of the designation is to encourage people to reflect upon the men and women who have given their lives to serve their country. The designation will entitle the county to petition TXDOT to place the "Purple Heart County" signs along the sides of roads. This will encourage passersby to reflect on the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms.
"We are so proud of our men and women that have served in the military. This is one more way to honor them by designating Howard County as a purple heart county," said Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman.
"We are just so very proud of our military connection and our military heroes here in Howard County," she continued.
According to Bracken, there are approximately 60-65 counties already designated as Purple Heart Counties in Texas.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use. It was initially created as a badge of military merit by George Washington in 1782. It is the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier; specifically awarded to members of the US armed forces who have been wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat.
Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman declared a local state of disaster for Howard County on Monday morning. The declaration states that the county has suffered widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of property resulting from an unprecedented winter weather event.
Judge Wiseman determined that extraordinary measures must be taken to alleviate the suffering of people and to protect or rehabilitate property.
This declaration activates the Howard County Emergency Management Plan. During Monday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Commissioners extended the length of declaration, which had originally been for 7 days.
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that President Biden has partially approved Texas' request for a Major Disaster Declaration. The Governor requested the Major Disaster Declaration on Thursday for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance in all 254 counties. The Biden administration approved the request for Individual Assistance in 77 counties and for Public Assistance (Emergency Protective Measures Only) in all 254 counties.
The Governor and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will continue to work to ensure the federal government provides appropriate assistance to individual Texans as well as to the state and local governments.
"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," said Governor Abbott. "While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need. The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage.”
The Governor requested the Major Disaster Declaration in order to provide Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation for individuals and communities affected by this week’s severe winter weather.
The following counties were approved for Individual Assistance:
Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise Counties.
Individuals and business owners in counties included in the President’s declaration who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585
ATC Services, a construction company located on FM 700 in Big Spring and owned by Chris Bishop, recently went above and beyond normal duties today by offering a few helping hands to the City of Big Spring. Bishop pulled some of his employees together to create a crew and moved some of his equipment to help the City Utilities department repair water lines in the city.
Bishop and Safety Manager/DOT Chad Averette of ATC are previous employees of the City and have previously worked on water lines. With their combined experience, they knew they could help with the aftermath of the winter storm.
Averette told KBest News, “Big Spring is a caring and giving community. The community is in need and ATC services has the ability to pitch in and lend a hand to help."
This isn’t the first time that Bishop has offered a helping hand to the local community. Last week, Bishop took water to the local jail after finding out they didn't have any drinking water, and ATC continues to go above and beyond to help Big Spring.
EXECUTIVE ORDER ST-05
WHEREAS, On February 20, 2010, I did issue a Declaration of Local Disaster for the City of Big Spring;
WHEREAS, Ongoing repair and restoration efforts of the Big Spring water treatment and distribution system require conservation on the part of all Big Spring residents and businesses;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Shannon D. Thomason, Mayor of the City of Big Spring, do order that:
The following water conservation practices shall be taken by residents of and businesses in the City of Big Spring that rely on water delivered by the City:
Only use water for basic health and hygiene purposes for you and your pets. Do not wash vehicles, water plants or lawns, or use water for any recreational purposes.
All businesses must take steps to maximize water conservation. Again, limit water use to basic health and hygiene purposes
C. Water Reliant Businesses:
Businesses that provide water based services must take immediate steps to limit water consumption. Only those businesses that provide public heath and hygiene services may operate.
1. Laundromats: Limit customers to no more than three loads of laundry per visit.
2. Car Washes: Not permitted at this time.
It is our hope that temporarily taking these steps to minimize the use of treated water will assist in the efforts of the City of Big Spring in repairing and restoring water service to all the residents and businesses of Big Spring as quickly as possible.
SO, ORDERED and SIGNED this 20th day of February, 2021
SHANNON D. THOMASON, MAYOR
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today convened a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, and members of the Legislature to discuss the spike in energy bills affecting many Texans following the recent power outages throughout the state.
“We have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages," said Governor Abbott. "Today’s meeting was productive, and I applaud Republican and Democrat members of the Legislature for putting aside partisan politics to work together on this challenge. We are moving quickly to alleviate this problem and will continue to work collaboratively throughout this week on solutions to help Texas families and ensure they do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”
A readout of the meeting can be found below:
Governor Abbott opened the call by discussing financial challenges many Texans will face as a result of the winter storm. He also gave an update on his conversations with the White House and potential federal relief that may be available to Texans. The Governor discussed the need to ensure that Texans are not left with unreasonable utility bills they cannot afford because of the temporary massive spike in the energy market. Senator West stressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together on this issue. The Senator noted that this group of legislators and state leaders will not allow politics to get in the way of solving this problem for Texans. Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan discussed the need to swiftly develop a solution for Texans. The discussion with legislators focused on the need to quickly calculate the total cost of these energy bills and how the state can help reduce this burden. The call concluded with a discussion about addressing the immediate needs of Texans and how to ensure that Texans are protected long-term.
In addition to the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House, the following legislators attended the meeting:
Senate Jane Nelson – Chair of Senate Finance Committee
Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. – Vice Chair of Senate Finance Committee
Senator Kelly Hancock – Chair of Senate Business and Commerce Committee
Senator Robert Nichols – Vice Chair of Senate Business and Commerce Committee
Senator Royce West - Vice Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee
Representative Greg Bonnen – Chair of House Appropriations Committee
Representative Chris Paddie – Chair of House State Affairs Committee
Representative Ana Hernandez – Vice Chair of House State Affairs Committee
Representative Craig Goldman – Chair of House Energy Resources Committee
4:45pm Saturday 2-20-21:
The City of Big Spring is working around the clock to get the water problems resolved.
CONSERVATION is the #1 priority at the moment. Public Works Director Shane Bowles tells KBest News that anytime there is a freeze, there are going to be numerous pipes leaking, and that is currently the case. “Every drop counts right now. Citizens need to conserve their water.”
Bowles went on to say that in addition to city crews who are on several sites, Big Spring now has a utility contractor in town assisting in the repairs, and another expected to arrive Monday.
The City is currently pumping out as much water as possible, but due to the numerous leaks, there are many residents who aren’t receiving ANY water.
There is currently not an estimated time of repair as more leaks are springing up.
You are asked to please conserve “every drop” today. Please delay laundry, bathing, and anything else that involves using water until this matter can get resolved.
Mayor of Coahoma Warren Wallace has just advised that the water level in his area is critically low at this time and urges those with water to CONSERVE their water.
If the local communities don’t come together to preserve water during this time Howard County may find itself without water.
This is not the time to stockpile water for your household, but to keep your neighbors and community in mind by avoiding using water today. Please do your part to conserve water by putting off washing clothes, washing dishes, and bathing until tomorrow.
MITCHELL COUNTY, TX ---- Colorado City in nearby Mitchell County has seen a lot of attention lately thanks to the viral Facebook post from their former Mayor which stated that “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish.” [sic] in reference to the recent winter storm. The story was covered by many media outlets, but what hasn’t been told is that the residents and other local officials in Mitchell County don’t share the same sentiments.
Mitchell County Judge Mark Merrell told KBest News that the community has come together during this trying time to help their neighbors. This includes not only local officials and city and county employees, but also businesses and residents.
Some residents have even opened their homes to others in need; businesses have donated drinking water for residents, and local law enforcement has been very proactive in helping the community find the resources they need to get through the power outages and lack of water.
County Sheriff Patrick Toombs has coordinated activities to help the community such as having deputies take water to individual homes. In addition to that, law enforcement has been working to ensure that there’s no one in a home without electricity and if there is, getting them to a warming center. A distribution center was even set up at the local law enforcement center after businesses donated drinking water.
Shelter has been provided for a number of residents in Mitchell County - which includes the communities of Westbrook and Lorraine - through the Samaritan House in Colorado City. Although there is no water in the facility at this time, they can still provide a warm shelter with over 100 beds.
“Some of the senior citizens that were without water and electricity for a number of days were eventually brought there and were allowed to stay. We still have people there today. We’re keeping that open and available for those people in need," said Judge Merrell. "We don’t have any water out there, but the whole community has rallied to help out.”
Judge Merrell said that individuals and businesses have provided meals and snacks for the people staying out there. Plus, stores and restaurants have also helped to provide cooked meals and water throughout the county.
Sheriff Toombs told KBest News that the charitable branch of the Delek Refinery in Big Spring gave them six pallets of water, making them one of their biggest suppliers of water.
“We’ve got a couple of individuals that work at the refinery that live over here that reached out to them and made that possible,” said Toombs.
County Commissioners are providing non-drinkable water pumped out of a well in Precinct 1 of Mitchell County. Residents can fill up their containers with water to flush their toilet or to provide drinking water for their livestock.
Mitchell County has been working with state representatives and senators to try to help their residents, and have even had strangers from out of state offer monetary assistance. Merrell told KBest News that even though electricity has begun to return to the community, water is his large concern.
“We’re still in need of water and drinking water. I’ve got a real concern for that. We thought we were gonna have the water up and running, hopefully, today, but that did not occur. So, I’m anticipating, probably, sometime next week, hopefully. We got a lot of senior citizens out there by themselves [and families with kids]. We just need to make sure they’re taken care of.”
With no water coming in due to the power outages and water freezing inside of the water tanks and wells, Judge Merrell told KBest News that he’s concerned that there will be people throughout the city and county who will be without water until next week.
Anyone wanting to assist those in Mitchell County are encouraged to contact Sheriff Patrick Toombs at the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office at 325-728-5261. They can also contact Judge Mark Merrell's office at 325-242-0643.
Date: February 19, 2021
From: Shannon D. Thomason, Mayor
Re: Water Conservation
The City is diligently working to restore water service to all residents. In order to facilitate this, I am asking all residents and businesses to please conserve water. For the time being, please only use City water for personal health and hygiene purposes. We understand residents are eager to resume their normal routine, however, at this time your normal routine can delay your neighbors water service being restored.
Please observe the following guidelines:
1. Please do not use water for washing vehicles at this time.
2. For the time being, please minimize washing laundry as best you can.
3. Where possible, take showers instead of baths as they use less water. Please keep showers
4. Please report water main leaks to the non-emergency dispatch center at 432-264-2550.
5. If you have a pipe burst in your home, close the water valve at your water meter. If you need assistance or are unable to do so, please call the non-emergency dispatch center at 432-264-2550 to request an emergency water cut off.
Following these simple requests for the next few days will help the City supply water to all the citizens of Big Spring and will alleviate the need for water conservation orders.
We at the City understand that everyone in Big Spring has been affected by this historic winter weather. We simply ask that everyone continues to be good neighbors to those that are still being affected in the aftermath.
During last week’s regular meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, board members were presented with a possibility to purchase Freightliners to provide safe and reliable transportation to and from events like out-of-town competitions for sports, UIL, and other events. The cost of the Freighliners would come out of a grant the district received and would not affect the current budget.
Board members were given a tour of a Freightliner and had the opportunity to ask questions about wi-fi capabilities and the other options available for customization of the interior. Each seat reclines, power is available for charging phones or chrome books, and the freightliners have ionization in the HVAC units. Ionization has been proven to help prevent the spread of contagious viruses and diseases.
Also during last week's regular meeting, board members also discussed special recognition of the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program Director Bonnie Anderson. A public hearing was also held regarding the 2019 – 2020 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR), which includes the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) that encompasses all data requested and received by TEA about public education, including student demographic and academic performance, personnel, financial, and organizational information was also held last week.
Last night, BSISD School Board Members discussed the need for 5 freightliner buses during their special meeting. This would ensure that there were enough buses to be used for activities in the fall and spring seasons. Plus, this would add the newer yellow buses - that are generally in better shape and have less mileage - to the fleet of vehicles used for school bus routes. This would allow the older buses with more mileage to be sold or auctioned off.
Ultimately, Board members approved the purchase of five 2021 M2 Freightliner buses in the total amount of $1,479,500.
Also during the special meeting, Superintendent Jay McWilliams advised that the Texas Education Agency will allow Texas school districts to claim additional bad weather days during this school year in response to the week of school missed by many schools in this area due to the winter storm. The submission of a "Missed School Days Waiver" form would have to be approved by the school board. After TEA approves the form, BSISD students would not be required to make up the missed days. This would also be extended to BSISD teachers since they were unable to work during that time as well.
Requests Major Disaster Declaration For Individual And Public Assistance
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today provided an update on the state's response to winter weather and power outages. As part of his update, the Governor declared a new emergency item for this legislative session. The Governor is asking the Legislature to mandate the winterization of Texas' power system and for the Legislature to ensure the necessary funding for winterization.
In addition, the Governor announced he is requesting a Major Disaster Declaration — which includes Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program — from the White House. This declaration will allow eligible Texans to apply for assistance to help address broken pipes and related property damage. The Governor previously requested a Federal Emergency Declaration from the White House which was granted on Sunday.
Power has been restored to nearly 2 million homes across Texas since yesterday's briefing. This number continues to climb, and there are no more outages due to a lack of generation. Every available repair truck in Texas has been dispatched to address downed power lines that are causing continued outages. Earlier today, the Governor held calls with power and water providers to develop strategies that will increase access to additional power, as well as restore water and expedite additional clean water in communities across the state.
The state is also working to distribute food, water, generators, and additional supplies to Texas communities. Additionally, more warming centers continue to be established every day. For winter weather resources, including a map of warming centers and ways to help Texans in need, visit: https://open.texas.gov/winter
"The past several days have been beyond challenging, but with every passing hour we are restoring power and water for families across Texas," said Governor Abbott. "We are doing all we can to make it through this challenge, and the state continues to deploy resources and personnel throughout the state. I want to thank the men and women who are working around the clock in harsh conditions to get the power up and running again, and I ask all Texans to keep them in their prayers. Texans should continue to take proper precautions and follow local guidance to stay safe and warm. We will get through this together."
Today is the 13th anniversary of the Refinery Explosion in Big Spring.
On Feb. 18, 2008 at approximately 8:20 a.m. an explosion at the Alon Oil Refinery in Big Spring occurred and could be felt throughout Howard County and beyond. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, initially, the fire was reported to have started in the propylene plant, but it also threatened the alkalyzation plant where hydofluoric acid (HF) is used and stored. A large, black smoke plume rose up to 6500 feet in the atmosphere.
Tim Knox, an Operations Manager and Morning Show Host for KBest Media at the time, told KBest News that when the explosion happened, most people described a loud boom and the vibrations were so strong, it felt like a car had hit the building.
"I walked up front to go walk pass the FM studio. Mike [Henry] is looking at me through the glass with his eyes as big as saucers. No idea what's going on. We look out the front window and there’s this mushroom cloud in the sky.
Of course, like everyone else that day, your thoughts go through a million different things of worst case scenarios. Was it terroristic? Did something happen along those lines out there? It was a very scary situation," said Knox.
Soon after the explosion, then-News Director Mike Henry was enroute to the refinery and KBest staff were on the air offering as much information as they could to keep the public informed. Knox told KBest News that although it was a hectic morning, officials at the refinery were able to quickly get information out about what happened.
"There's no words to describe how good they did their job that day," said Knox of the refinery officials. "Within five minutes of the explosion happening, we're on the air with somebody. We're starting to process infomation [coming] in, and try bring that information to the people as quickly as we could.
Right from the get-go, very terrifying," said Knox of the situation. "Like I said, a million things going through your mind of what it could possibly be, and none of them are good."
During a press conference concerning the explosion, it was announced that there were some injuries, but no deaths on-site. This was in part due to the minimum amount of staff that was on site because it was a President’s Day, a federal holiday.
"At this point it was on major cable networks - CNN, Fox News. They were all live from Big Spring. It was a nationwide ordeal. It was a big news story. We’re there at the news conference - Mike Henry was, I was in the studio. [Mike's] holding the microphone up to the guy, and he mentioned that there was not one casualty, no loss of life - a few injuries but no loss of life.
I remember Mike Henry just stopped in mid-sentence, and [said] ‘Can you repeat that?’ - because we were under the expectation that there were gonna be several casualties. I mean, how could you look at that and not think that.
So, that was very good news. At that point, it was almost celebratory. It’s hard to think about being in the mood to celebrate, or being happy after something like that happens, but to get through it and know that nobody lost their life was pretty amazing.”
Ultimately, there were five people injured as a result of the explosion but none were considered life-threatening. Four occured on-site and one additional injury was sustained by passing motorist who was struck by debris.
Since the incident, it's been refered to as "the miracle on Refinery Road."
Arctic weather conditions that blanketed the state with snow, ice and frigid temperatures is damaging Texas agriculture crops in a historic way, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.
The extent of the damage to Texas agriculture won’t be fully realized for weeks, but farmers, their crops and animals are facing tough conditions.
Juan Anciso, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Weslaco, said the winter conditions rival a historic hit to Texas farmers in December 1989. There were notable freezes that damaged South Texas crops in 2004 and 2011, and a few in prior decades going back to the 1950s, but December 1989 caused severe damage to Texas winter crops, including citrus.
“We’ll know if it ranks with ’89 in a few weeks, but temperatures are well below the threshold for crops and for long periods,” he said. “That’s not a good combination for growers.”
Anciso said the temperature low in Weslaco was 21 degrees. Some crops can tolerate temperatures around 26 degrees for four to five hours, but temperatures were below that for 10-12 hours. A second night of temperatures below the threshold was in the forecast.
The temperatures will affect citrus and cold-season vegetables like leafy greens, onions, beets, parsley and watermelons, Anciso said.
Oranges were frozen solid, and some grapefruits were nearly frozen through, he said.
The good news is that around 80% of the orange crop and two-thirds of the grapefruit crop were harvested before the winter storm, he said. The crop losses will be significant for producers, but the lasting damage could be tree losses.
“A lot of citrus guys are running their sprinklers to insulate their trees,” Anciso said. “They can take the death of limbs up to 1 inch in diameter, but you get into losing 4-inch limbs, you’re effectively crowning the tree. That’s not good.”
Some warm-season crops like potatoes and watermelons and early planted corn and sorghum will also be affected, he said.
Watermelons were being started in high tunnels, which mimic greenhouse conditions, but Anciso said those structures do not provide protection from severe cold. Potatoes could resprout, but yields will be affected. Minimal acres of corn and sorghum have been planted in South Texas, but those acres will require replanting.
Arctic front hits Winter Garden
Texas’ fruit tree and vine crops could also face notable losses.
Larry Stein, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist, Uvalde, said temperatures hadn’t reached 1989 levels yet, but that it was 8-10 degrees Monday night in the Winter Garden region with 4-6 inches of snowfall on the ground. The temperatures likely mean losses for crops like peaches, strawberries, wine grapes, pecans and berries.
Fruit trees and grapevines that had emerged from dormancy would be susceptible to damage, and any active buds or fruit are likely lost, he said.
“Peach trees that had started budding, those buds are going to be toast at 15 degrees,” he said. “Any active growth could be problematic. We could see temperatures pop the wood. We may not see the damage this spring, but eventually those limbs will die back where the tissue is damaged.”
Strawberries are a winter-hardy plant that can take temperatures well below freezing, but the fruit and buds on the plant at freezing will be lost, he said. It will take those plants some time in warmer daytime temperatures to bud again, and about three weeks before fruit is ready to harvest.
“Producers were harvesting all the reds and slightly turned fruit they could,” he said. “The plants will survive, but you’ve lost all the flowers and fruit for one harvest.”
Stein said snow may help insulate strawberry plants, but ice will not insulate plants and trees unless water in continuously applied to prevent freezing. Active buds will be lost, and limbs and vines actively growing will be susceptible.
Snow could also help insulate spinach, but the damage to leaves will only be known in the coming weeks as snow melts and temperatures promote growth, he said. The crop could face freeze burn to leaves and blemishes from sleet pellets, which detracts from the marketability due to aesthetic standards at grocery stores.
“I don’t ever remember a weather winter advisory that covered the whole state,” Stein said. “The good news is that we haven’t gone beyond 1989, but the reality is there will be damages, and it will be a few weeks before we access where this winter storm ranks.”
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
Very cold conditions have livestock producers scrambling to meet increased nutritional requirements. Equipment failures were expected due to extreme temperatures. Corn producers were preparing fields for planting. Winter wheat conditions were sporadic, and conditions depended on soil moisture levels. Some fields were tillering and prime for herbicide sprays. Broadleaf and annual grass weed pressure was high, but windy and rainy conditions delayed herbicide applications. Many winter forages including wheat, rye, oats and triticale were covered in ice, and significant crop damage was expected. Producers were expecting hay demand to push bale prices upward.
Weather conditions were pleasant over the reporting period, but local forecasts reported some dramatic changes over the weekend. Producers were preparing for single-digit temperatures by securing and insulating water sources along with stocking up on feed and hay. Soil moisture levels remained in decline. Winter wheat was still holding on. Livestock were in fair condition as supplemental feeding continued.
Below average temperatures have producers preparing for hard freezes. The small amount of corn that was planted and emerged will likely need to be replanted. Livestock producers were providing supplemental feed, and a few were running low on hay. Extreme cold, wintery conditions made it difficult for producers to protect livestock, and many water supplies were frozen.
Temperatures dropped dramatically and even colder temperatures were predicted. Harrison County reported 8-12 inches of snow. Pasture and rangeland conditions were poor to fair. Subsoil and topsoil conditions were adequate. Producers were going through a lot of hay due to the weather. Winter forages were slow growing. Most livestock were in fair to good condition. Cattle markets were better. Wild pigs continued to be active.
Conditions were extremely cold with negative temperatures and lower wind chills. Conditions were expected to have an enormous impact on all livestock producers. Temperatures were below freezing for six days and will remain below freezing an additional four days. Stock tanks were frozen over, and watering livestock has been difficult.
Subsoil and topsoil moisture were very short in most areas and adequate to short in some areas. Pasture and rangeland conditions were poor to very poor. Winter wheat conditions were fair to poor. Oats were in fair condition. Extreme cold temperatures have cattle producers scrambling to provide more feed and protection for their herds. Body condition scores were expected to decline due to extreme conditions, and losses of cattle and newborn calves were expected.
Topsoil moisture was mostly adequate. Producers were getting ready for the extreme cold. The winter storm delivered below freezing temperatures for more than 100 hours as of Feb. 14. Supplemental feed and hay were in high demand.
Temperatures were in the 70s during the day and the high 30s at night, with highs in the 20s by the end of the reporting period. Oat and wheat conditions were fair to poor. Pasture and rangeland conditions were fair to poor with some reports of good to very poor conditions. Subsoil and topsoil were mostly short with some reports of adequate and very short. Pecan producers were pruning trees. Fields were being prepared for cotton planting, but acres were expected to be down 60%-70% this season. Pecan producers shifted irrigation to alfalfa fields. Hudspeth County reported 4 inches of snow. Livestock were in overall good condition, but the winter weather was expected to impact herds.
Warm weather gave way to freezing temperatures, ice and snow. Single-digit temperatures were reported in some areas. Soil moisture conditions were mostly adequate with some reports of short soil moisture. Pasture, rangeland, winter wheat and oats were in mostly fair condition. Small grain crops were progressing slowly, and frigid conditions could hurt stands. Winter weather was expected to negatively impact livestock producers. Producers prepared fields for spring planting. Producers were expected to pull cattle off of wheat as soon as possible to cash in on high grain prices. Cattle were receiving heavy supplemental feed, and producers in Coleman County were reporting low to dry stock tanks.
Texas Crop and Weather Report – Feb. 17, 2021
Chambers County reported snow and extreme cold weather like most of the state. Weather was expected to damage winter grasses that were already struggling. A mix of winter precipitation was expected to help soil moisture levels. Rangeland and pasture ratings were excellent to very poor with fair ratings being the most common. Soil moisture levels ranged from adequate to surplus with adequate being the most common.
Some rainfall was reported before temperatures dropped dramatically and delivered sleet and snow. Temperatures have not climbed above 30 degrees for four days. Oat and winter wheat conditions were very poor to excellent. Pasture and rangeland conditions were mostly poor with some areas reporting fair to very poor conditions. Soil moisture levels were very short to adequate. Water tanks for cattle were freezing, and supplemental feed was necessary. Travel was difficult to impossible in some areas.
Temperatures were warm and dry before the strong cold front brought extreme cold temperatures and drizzle to the area. Producers were preparing for the growing season. Corn was emerging in Jim Wells County, and the freezing temperatures were expected to damage the crop. Irrigated fields in Hidalgo County were being pre-watered. Citrus and sugarcane harvests were continuing. Pasture and rangeland conditions were improving where rain had fallen in the past few weeks, but still struggling in other areas. Producers were hauling hay and supplemental cubes in several counties in anticipation of the cold weather. Beef cattle conditions were being impacted as the cattle were not use to the inclement weather.
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.
“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Governor Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for acting quickly on this challenge, and I will work with them to enhance Texas’ electric grid and ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again.”
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Re: COVID-19 Communication Scams on the Rise
City of Big Spring officials have been made aware of a phone scam in Big Spring and Howard County. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the department of health and asking for personal information you should just hang up.
DO NOT give out any information over the phone. The type of information these scammers are asking for is your name, date of birth, address, social security number. When they call, they say they are with the State of Texas doing a follow up call for COVID-19. They then ask for your personal information to verify who you are; Texas DSHS representatives will not ask for this information.
Be advised that:
• Offers to purchase COVID-19 vaccination cards are scams. Valid proof of COVID-19 vaccination can only be provided to individuals by legitimate providers administering vaccines.
• Photos of COVID-19 vaccination cards should not be shared on social media. Posting content
that includes your date of birth, health care details or other personally identifiable information
can be used to steal your identity.
• Be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines. You will
not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State
officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine.
• Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their personal, medical, and
financial information. Medicare will not call beneficiaries to offer COVID-19 related products,
services, or benefit review.
• Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
• Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in, text messages about COVID-19 from unknown
• Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If
you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official
• Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grantsrelated to COVID-19.
• Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number, financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
BE AWARE OF SCAMMERS PRETENDING TO BE COVID-19 CONTACT TRACERS.
Today is the last day to file for a place on the ballot for local city and school elections that will take place onMay1, 2021. Offices available for the City of Big Spring are for Councilmembers in Districts 2, 4, and 6. Positions available on the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees are for Districts 2 and 4.
Offices available in the City of Coahoma are for Mayor and 2 City Council at large positions. 3 positions are open for trustees.
3 City of Forsan council positions are available, as well as 2 Board Trustee at large positions for Forsan ISD Board of Trustees.
If you would like to run for any of the positions you must apply with the entity by today @ 5:00 pm.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Robert F. Fitzgibbons, Jr., Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Place 2 in Howard County, had been arrested by local law enforcement on the felony charges of Misuse of Information and Stalking.
Howard County Judge Katherine Wiseman told KBest News that Fitzgibbons still officially holds office at this time and will continue to do so until he resigns or is removed from office. According to Judge Wiseman, county commissioners have yet to make a decision on what action to take next.
Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet & Business Expo will be held virtually today at 1:30 pm. During the event, Mark Barr and Joan Beil will be recognized as the recipients for Man and Woman of the Year, and Bulldog Steel will be recognized as the recipient of the Russ McEwen Community Award. The 5 under 55 individuals will also be highlighted during the event. This award recognizes 5 individuals under the age of 55 for their community involvement and leadership qualities. This year’s recipients for the 5 under 55 award are Reina Cisneros, Tabitha Clark, Jeff Ward, Leslie Elrod Hobbs, and Shonda Folsom.
In addition to the award recipients who will be recognized, the outgoing Chamber Board President Mark Richardson will ceremoniously pass the gavel to the Incoming Chamber Board President Kristy Tyra.
Again this year’s Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet & Business Expo will be held virtually on Zoom. You can find a link for this event here:
Meeting ID: 859 4545 0159
5 Under 55 Recipient - Jeff Ward
5 Under 55 Recipient - Leslie Elrod Hobbs
5 Under 55 Recipient - Reina Cisneros
5 Under 55 Recipient - Shonda Folsom
5 Under 55 Recipient - Tabitha Clark
2020 Russ McEwen Community Award went to Bulldog Steel.
2020 Man of the Year Mark Barr
2020 Woman of the Year, Joan Beil
Forsan Senior Angel McCafferty signed a letter of intent to join the student trainer program at Howard College on Wednesday. She is a trainer/manager for the Forsan Buffs and has been participating in the sports medicine program for four years.
McCafferty told KBest News that she plans to become a pediatric nurse after college.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding the public the waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) ends on April 14, 2021. Customers who need to renew are urged to make an appointment or renew online today.
The waiver, granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.
“Driver License employees have worked diligently to help Texans during challenging times and should be commended for their dedication,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The Driver License Division has innovated to better serve constituents by implementing a new appointment solution to improve services and by providing extended hours at several locations across the state.”
Online renewals still a convenient option
Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL/ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov. Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639). The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions.
Expanded office hours
To assist customers needing in-office DL services, designated high-volume offices are offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Scheduling an appointment
Services at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Please check often as availability does change.
If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please reschedule or cancel it ahead of time. While the department is working to serve as many customers as possible, people with appointments not showing up continues to be a major obstacle. In December 2020, for example, approximately 31% of people were no-shows for their appointments.
The appointment system, which debuted in May 2020, is designed to provide additional convenience, reducing the time Texans wait in line. Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.
All offices offer a limited number of same-day appointments. These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.
Additionally, most offices also offer customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.
To ensure a safe environment, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at DL offices.
Howard County Commissioners Court met for a regular session on Monday afternoon. During the meeting, Commissioners approved a resolution for HAVA Grant Assurances. HAVA stands for Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was passed by the United States Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation's voting process. Judge Kathryn Wiseman advised that they would be requesting $120,000 to offset the cost of election machines. Wiseman stated that over $200,000 was spent on the machines, but the money that will be collected from the HAVA Grant cannot be considered when adopting the county budget.
Commissioners also approved a motion to disregard all bids received to erect the 400’ guy tower on South Mountain, and to solicit Harris to do a change order to erect the tower. Harris is the company from which the county purchased the tower.
They also approved a motion by Commissioner Jimmie Long, Pct. 3, to add the proposition of creating a County Assistance District for Howard County to the May 1, 2021 election ballot. If approved by eligible voters, the Howard County Assistance District would implement a two percent increase in sales tax on all goods sold outside of the unincorporated areas of the county. Over time, this would create revenue that could be used to help offset property taxes.
The Big Spring Charter Review Committee will meet tonight at 5:30 PM at the Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring.
The scope of the committee is to review the Charter for the City of Big Spring and to recommend changes to the Charter to the City Council for possible submission to the qualified electors of the City of Big Spring.
Last month, the committee had began making their list of suggested changes to the city charter. This included removing items that conflict with state law and those that reference state law. They also wanted to change the wording in Article VIII from “property owner” to “tax payer”.
Committee members also discussed the possibility of requiring that councilmembers live in the district that they represent. Committee member A.J. Weaver suggested that pay increases were needed for the council members in order to encourage people to run for council positions. During discussion on the topic, it was noted that councilmembers had not received a raise since 1995 when there was an amendment to do so. If approved by voters, the pay increase would reflect the rate of inflation.
Committee members also reviewed Article IV, Section 3. Currently, it states that that the Mayor or 3 council men or women may call a special meeting. Committee members voted to recommend an amendment to the section to state that the Mayor or 2 councilmembers could call for a special meeting.
Tonight, Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck will speak to Committee members on elections, qualified voters, and registration. The committee will also be discussing Articles IV, V, VI, and related law.
Be advised that citizens may send in public comments by emailing the Charter Committee at email@example.com.
Watch a live stream of that meeting tonight on our KBest Media Facebook page.
Grayson Glidewelll and Aubrey Green used their wits to win the District 5-3A Cross Examination championship title on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.
Now the two will test their skills against the state’s elite debaters at the top UIL competition, which will be held virtually on March 15-16.
At the district contest held in Crane, Glidewell and Green competed in six rounds and went 3-0 in the finals to finish first.
The duo, who are both seniors, have steadily improved their performance over the past three years. As sophomores, the Glidewell-Green team placed fifth in their first year as debate partners. In 2020, Glidewell and Green were the 5-3A District runners up and qualified for state competition. Unfortunately, the UIL state meet was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CX is a UIL sanctioned event where students are given a set topic to research at the beginning of the competition season. Competitors must prepare to defend both an affirmative and negative position. This year’s topic is: Resolved, the United States federal government should enact substantial criminal justice reform in the United States in one or more of the following: forensic science, policing, sentencing.
Courtesy Photo/Aubrey Green, left, and Grayson Glidewell hold up their District 5-3A CX Champion trophy. The Coahoma High School seniors have qualified for state competition for the second year in a row.
On Monday morning, Big Spring High School’s Fashion Design students made a special trip to Marcy Elementary to surprise a few students with their very own stuffed creation.
The project, known as Create-a-Critter, was initiated by BSHS Fashion Design teacher Stephany Poffenberger. After coordinating with Marcy Elementary Art teacher Kim Crowley, Marcy students submitted drawings of any critters or characters they chose. These drawings were then submitted to Poffenberger’s Fashion Design students who then chose which characters they wanted to bring to life with their sewing skills. According to Poffenberger, the purpose of the project was to encourage her students to get creative and to push them outside of their comfort zone.
Almost 200 drawings were submitted and Fashion Design students chose which critters they wanted to recreate. They were then responsible for creating their own shopping list and their own patterns.
“They had to problem-solve the best that they could to try to resemble that monster the best that they could based on that drawing,” said Poffenberger.
“I would help them if they ran into a problem, or if they needed help doing something, but I really wanted them just to discover the process for themselves and do it on their own. They really exceeded my expectations,” continued Poffenberger.
Crowley told KBest News that the students were happy to submit their drawings and in the end, they were super excited to see that their stuffed critters matched their original drawings. A total of eleven critters were recreated for the Marcy students.
To view more photos of the Marcy and BSHS students with the critter creations, visit:
From Big Spring Police Department:
On January 18, 2021, Officers with the Big Spring Police Department were dispatched to a residence located in the 2600 block of Langley in reference to an assault which caused bodily Injury. The victim identified as Thomas Segundo Hispanic/Male 38 years of age, was initially transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center but later transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock Texas due to the severity of his injuries. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigation Division began conducting an investigation into the matter. On January 31, 2021, Investigators were notified that Mr. Segundo had succumbed to his injuries. Detectives with the Big Spring Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Jessie Cuellar Hispanic/Male 42 years of age, for the offense of Murder, a felony of the first degree.
On the 8th of February 2021, Big Spring Police Department Detectives arrested Cuellar for the warrant. Jessie Cuellar is currently being held at the Howard County Jail pending arraignment.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
CID Sergeant John Haynes
From Big Spring Police Department and Howard County Sheriff's Office:
On the 4th of February 2021, the Howard County Sheriff’s Office obtained a felony warrant for the arrest of Robert F. Fitzgibbons Jr., 61 y.o.a. for the offense of Misuse of Official Information. On the 5th of February 2021, the Big Spring Police Department obtained a felony warrant for the arrest of Robert F. Fitzgibbons Jr., 61 y.o.a. for the offense of Stalking. These warrants stem from a multi-month long investigation. On the 5th of February 2021 at approx. 9:45 a.m., Robert F. Fitzgibbons Jr., turned himself into the Howard County Detention Center at which time he was booked in, posted bail and was released. These cases have been filed with District Attorney’s office for their review.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further comment is available at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Sheriff, Stan Parker
According to the City of Big Spring, there have been 4,433 cases of COVID-19 in Howard County. There have been 4,111 cases that have been closed.
As of Feb. 5, 2021 there are 233 active cases of COVID-19 in Big Spring and Howard County, and 2 test results are pending. This is a slight increase from last week’s report. As of last Friday, there have been 89 patient fatalities in Howard County.
Although there has been a slight increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Howard County, the Region J Hospitalization rate has decreased to 9.11 percent.
Fashion Design students at Big Spring High School are using their talents to create items that would benefit others in the community by creating “busy blankets” / “fidget quilts”.
Also called a fidget blanket, the item is a lap-size quilt that provides sensory and tactile stimulation for the restless hands of someone with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, such as ADD, or an autism spectrum disability.
“Dementia patients and Alzheimer’s patients sometimes have a hard time controlling their hands and not picking themselves, or picking the skin on their fingers, or their clothing, or their face. So, these help keep their hands busy.”, said Fashion Design teacher Stephany Poffenberger.
She went on to say that the students were involved in a contest that would be judged. Students came up with their own design and had to include 8 fidget elements.
“All of them are different. Every kid’s is different. They’re really pretty unique to whatever the kid decided they wanted to do,” said Poffenberger.
Between her and the 13 students in her Fashion Design II class, there will be a total of 15 busy blankets that will be distributed by the class. Students will choose where their blankets will be donated - whether it’s to a Big Spring living facility, or to someone they know residing in a local facility.
A regular meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court will be held this afternoon, beginning at 3:30 PM in the 3rd floor Courtroom at the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring.
In addition to routine items on today’s agenda, Commissioners will have discussion and possible action on a Howard County resolution for HAVA Grant Assurances, and a presentation on the TAC 2020 Employer Rewards Program Check. They will also consider awarding bids to erect and install a 400’ Guy tower that will be located on South Mountain, an item that had been tabled at the previous meeting.
Commissioner Craig Bailey, Pct. 2, will lead the discussion on Texas Independence Day Fireworks and Commissioner Jimmie Long, Pct. 4, will speak on the topic of a County Assistant District.
Citizens are able to register to make public comments at the beginning of the meeting by attending in person or watching a live stream through the Howard County Info Tech Facebook page. You can find a link for that meeting this afternoon on our KBest Media Facebook page.
The agenda is shown below:
(To enlarge, right click on the image and select "Open in new tab".)
The 2021 Silver Wings Ball was held in Big Spring this past Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, at The Club at Silver Hills, formerly known as the Big Spring Country Club. Attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner with a complimentary glass of champagne, entertainment from Eddie Austin and the Texas Silhouettes and Gabe Martinez, and an opportunity to purchase this year's commemorative piece - custom charms and tie tacks created by the The Karat Patch.
This was the 22nd year for the Silver Wings Ball. The event is an annual fundraising event for the Hangar 25 Air Museum in Big Spring, which is a non-profit organization and obtains its yearly operating costs from the generous donations of auction items purchased during this event.
This year's auction included a wide variety of items such as: Kimber handguns, a leather boot bag, a stay at the majestic LJ Bar Ranch, Resort & Spa in Sonora, and a freezer stocked with meat from Hull's Meat Market. The highest bid items were the resort stay, a Kimber 380, and a Kimber 9MM, which all brought in approximately $3,000 each.
Overall, a net revenue of $21,216.94 was raised for the Hangar 25 Air Museum.
Bulldog Steel was named as the recipient of the 2020 Russ McEwen Community Award. The company is owned by Tyler and Stormy Bradley of Coahoma.
Bulldog Steel has consistently been a supporter of local organizations, such as the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce, Coahoma ISD, and the Hangar 25 Air Museum.
They have also organized, cooked, and served Thanksgiving meals for the community since 2019. According to Stormy, preparation for the community meal begins two months in advance.
"It is the hardest day of my life," said Stormy about the day before Bulldog Steel hosts the event.
"...but the next day - when you're serving everyone - I bet I cry 20 times in a day because it's just so overwhelming [from] the support you get from the community and the feedback."
Stormy went on to say, "I think cooking and cleaning are definitely acts that God gives us to humble us. It's the foundation on providing for your family. I think if you can nourish someone by feeding them, it's the kindest thing you do."
Stormy Bradley told KBest News she was astonished to learn that Bulldog Steel was this year’s recipient for the award.
"I was very honored to be held in the same regard as [Russ McEwen] was, because he definitely did a lot of great things in our community. I think his legacy still obviously impacts our community and I hope I can live up to his name and legacy one day," said Stormy.
The award is named after Russ McEwen, former Big Spring Mayor who served on the City Council for approximately 17 years. He was a business owner, a long-time gymnastics coach, had a passion for family, and he was described as a faithful servant of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Board of Directors of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation held a special meeting yesterday evening. After the Executive Session, Board members unanimously approved the Retail Project.
While speaking on the topic, BSEDC Executive Director Mark Willis said Teresa Darden, Associate Director of the BSEDC, had a big part in working with the project because discussions on the topic began before Willis began working for the BSEDC. Board members also stated that they saw the project as being something successful for Big Spring and high hopes for the outcome.
The details of the project are set to be revealed at a Big Spring City Council meeting later this month.
From BSPD 2-3-21:
On the 2nd of February 2021 at approximately 6:20 P.M., Big Spring Police Department officers responded to the West Texas Inn (600 W. IH 20) in reference to a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival contact was made with the owner of a Gold in color 2010 BMW passenger car who informed he had just seen his stolen vehicle and it was now traveling westbound on the frontage road of IH 20. Officers immediately departed and found the vehicle merging onto IH 20 at the 176 on-ramp. Officers confirmed the vehicle was reported stolen and immediately attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver refused.
Officers chased the vehicle on IH 20 westbound. The driver exited IH 20 at the 173 exit. Unfortunately the driver of the stolen vehicle was unable to maintain control of the BMW and crashed into a concrete barrier of the Hwy 87 reliever route and IH 20 intersection. The driver exited the stolen vehicle and evaded on foot but was quickly apprehended.
Big Spring Police Department officers were assisted by the Howard County Sheriff’s office and Department of Public Safety troopers. Officers found a female passenger in the stolen vehicle who had suffered injuries as a result of the crash. The female passenger was flown to Lubbock for treatment of her injuries sustained. The driver identified as Andrew Jonathan Yanez Hispanic/Male 28 years of age.
Yanez was charged with Evading Arrest/Detention causing Serious Bodily Injury a Felony 3, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon a Felony 3, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle a State jail Felony a Parole Violation for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon warrant and a Bondsman off Bond for Delivery of Controlled Substance warrant.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
The Big Spring City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday night in order to address items that were left unresolved due to last week's lack of a quorum at the regularly scheduled meeting.
The several items up for discussion included the purchase of a Mower for the Airpark and the 2021 Crack Seal Project for cracked pavement repair. The City Council also passed a motion to accept a gift to the Big Spring Senior Center from Broughton Foundation Trust.
There was a very emotional discussion over the lease agreement at the current Big Spring Convention and Visitors building and whether or not to move the CVB to a city-owned building. After several members of the community spoke on their thoughts about the CVB and a debate was held over the lease amounts and optional places to house the CVB, no action was taken.
The lease agreement for the Chamber of Commerce and United Way was also a topic on the agenda. The motion for possible action on whether to renew the lease was a very emotional point for some community members.
During discussion on the item, Councilman Cody Hughes, District 3, advised that he was not against the United Way or the Chamber of Commerce. He also stated that up until a recent email, he had no idea how many square feet the CVB had or how many they used.
"My concern was that we were using tax payer money - sales tax in this case - to subsidize a private organization. In my opinion, that is wrong. Now that I finally have all of the information that they are paying market rates, it's no longer an issue."
Hughes went on to say that the United Way does tremendous things for the community and he never doubted it. He did have doubts about the Chamber of Commerce, but after talking to Chamber Members and Board Members, he found that these people believed that they benefit from the Chamber of Commerce.
No action was taken on this item and the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way will continue business at the current location.
You can watch the recorded live stream on our KBest Media Facebook page.
VLB Board adopts updates to increase the maximum home loan amount, lower the interest rates for land loans, and reduce the minimum bid for certain type II land tracts
AUSTIN - The Veterans Land Board unanimously approved three critical changes for Texas Veterans benefits. With home prices on the rise, the VLB unanimously authorized an increase to the maximum home loan amount the VLB can approve for Veterans seeking homeownership. The VLB also unanimously approved a reduction in the price of several tracts of land available for sale to Texas Veterans, following new appraisal data. The votes took place on January 28, 2021 during the first Board meeting of the year.
“Veterans across Texas trust the VLB to make constant changes and updates that continue to make us an exceptional resource for their land, home, and home improvement loan needs," said VLB Chairman and Land Commissioner Bush. "I am excited to kick off 2021 off with this news that helps Veterans purchase their own piece of Texas and secure a better financial future. There is no better place for Veterans than right here in Texas."
Specifically, the Board approved increasing the maximum home loan limit of $510,400 to $548,250, matching current Federal Housing Administration limits. The rate locks will be effective on January 29, 2021.
The Board accepted land loan interest rate of 6.95 percent for Veterans, a reduction from 7.25 percent. The interest rate change applies to land loan applications made on January 29, 2021 and later.
Additionally, the Board approved a minimum bidding price reduction and offered no-down payment on four land tracts. The reduction in minimum bid amounts ranges from 4 to 59 percent off the current asking price.
More information on available land tracts for sale and home loan applications can be found here.
Thomas Valles, a member of the state champion McFarland High School cross country team featured in the 2015 Disney film McFarland USA, was the guest speaker at Big Spring High School yesterday. The event was organized by BSHS track coaches.
Valles spoke to six groups of students throughout the day to tell them his story, one that goes into detail about the challenges he’s faced in life. Those challenges included growing up in a broken home, dealing with divorce, domestic abuse, and alcoholism in his family.
"It wasn’t about winning trophies and medals, it was about being a champion at life," Valles told KBest News.
"What I’m proud of is not what we did in high school, but what we did after high school - our education, our careers, my family and what we do now because of the attention of the movie - and that is being able to travel throughout the United States, sharing our story about our little town and a certain group of individuals that were a part of that historic run when they won the state championship in 1987."
According to Valles, his teammates are all either in education or law enforcement.
Valles told KBest News that he hopes the message that students take away from his story is that anything is possible with the right attitude and by setting goals. He also stated that setbacks will happen, but those are just challenges that are stepping stones to get through.
He also said that he hoped the students would learn to speak up if they need help.
"Talk to people when you need help. Don’t be quiet. Reach out if you need help. I’ve had kids tell me they’re struggling with domestic violence at home, alcoholism, suicidal thoughts, and I tell them, 'Hey, I need you to, go talk to somebody. Because if you don’t talk to somebody, they’re gonna pull you out of class because I’m gonna say something," said Valles.
Valles has been sharing his story since 2017. After his first speaking engagement, he said that a young man approached him to thank him and told him that his story that he shared from back then is his story now.
"He’s the first one to say that and he’s not been the last. I’ve had kids come up everyday after I do my presentation and I’ve had that here in Big Spring," said Valles.
Valles will be sharing his story with 6 more schools in the area before the end of the week and will return to West Texas in March when he travels to speak in Wink.
(Photo - Thomas Valles at Big Spring High School, Feb. 1, 2021)
There will be a Food Truck Festival from 12 - 2 PM on Valentine’s Day, Sunday - Feb. 14th, at the First Baptist Church in Big Spring. According to Jonathan Wright, Minister of Discipleship and Administration at First Baptist Church, the event will be held in the east parking lot, closest to McDonald’s.
The first 500 people who attend will receive a $5 off coupon that can be redeemed at any of the food trucks. The variety of food trucks will range from BBQ, tacos, burgers, and county fair items. Wright advised that any other food truck wanting to participate in the festival can contact them at 432-267-8223 to sign-up. First Baptist Church is located at 705 W. FM 700 in Big Spring.
Also, be advised that First Baptist Church will host a blood drive with Vitalant on Tuesday, Feb. 16th from 11 am to 4 pm. Appointments can be made to donate blood by visiting vitalant.org.
There will be a special meeting of the Big Spring City Council tomorrow night at 5:30 PM at the Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring. The meeting was scheduled after there was a lack of a quorum at Tuesday’s meeting last week.
According to the agenda, the public hearings on possible amendments to the City’s Zoning Regulations regarding Carports and accessory uses, recreational vehicles and Mobile/Manufactured Homes, and Short-Term Rentals has been postponed to Feb. 23, 2021.
New Business items include consideration and possible action to seek permission to participate in a grant process with the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission. There will also be a first reading of an ordinance amending Big Spring City Code in order to establish guidelines for the use of City-Owned Property in all types of motion picture production, requiring a permit and establishing fees.
In addition to these items, there will also be a first reading of a resolution that amends the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation that would amend the number of directors, the manner of appointment of directors and officers; limiting the number of employees; adding a new article entitled “Conduct of Business, Generally” that provides for the conduct of Directors and Employees concerning contracts, lobbying, and the amendment of articles of incorporation without prior authorization of the Council.
The full agenda for tomorrow night's meeting can be found here:
A live stream of the meeting can be seen here:
It can also be viewed on our KBest Media Facebook page.
MaKynlee Overton, a Coahoma High School senior, has been named to the Academic All State Team by the Texas State Athletic Trainers' Association.
“This is a big achievement for her and well deserved,” said Chris Joslin, CISD athletic director. “She is a trainer in our football program, while still playing four sports herself and maintaining a high grade point average.”
Overton joins an elite statewide group recognized for their academic achievements, while providing a vital role to their school’s athletic program.
In order to be considered for the award, students must be graduating seniors, be in good standing as an athletic trainer, be of good moral character, and have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher.
Overton is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a standout athlete at CHS and participates in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track.
Last fall, Overton was one of nine CHS students named to the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) Football Academic All-State Team. She is the daughter of John and Amy Overton.
(Photo: MaKynlee Overton - Courtesy photo from Coahoma Media.)