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KBST News Archives for 2021-07

Two cornhole tournaments on Saturday, July 31, 2021 in Big Spring


Tomorrow evening, there will be two cornhole tournaments in Big Spring with on-site registration at 6 PM and bags fly at 7 PM. 

 

The 1st annual Cornhole Tournament organized by the West Texas Community Collective will be held to benefit local teachers. This event will be held at the Train Car in downtown Big Spring. The cost is $20 per team. Participants & attendees will have several chances to win locally sponsored prizes. West Texas Community Collective will also be accepting donations of school supplies that will benefit local teachers. 

 

Also tomorrow, the Steers Football Booster Club will hold their cornhole tournament at the ATC, next to Big Spring High School. The cost for this event is $50 per team with a 50 percent payout. During the event, there will also be burger and hotdog meal deals; as well as raffles, Kona Ice, a concession stand, and Steer Gear available for purchase. 

 

 

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1-vehicle Crash in Ector County leaves 1 dead, 4 injured -- 07/29/21


Early morning on Thursday, Jul 29, 2021, a one-vehicle crash in Ector County results in one passenger’s death. 

 

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Troopers responded to a crash involving a 1990 Honda Accord along I-20, just 3 miles west of Odessa at approximately 12:02 AM yesterday morning. 

 

The preliminary report states that the driver, 28-year-old Carlos Cortez of BIg Spring, had been traveling east on I-20 when he lost control of the vehicle due to a flat tire. Cortez and 3 of his passengers sustained injuries and were transported to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. The fourth passenger, Sara Cortez, 24 of Odessa, died on scene. 

 

The report also stated that only 1 of the 5 people in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

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Thank You for Your Investment - Cowboys Steakhouse


On Tuesday morning, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for your Investment” presentation for Cowboys Steakhouse to thank them for all that they do.

 

According to Kimberly Hobbs Pierce, Owner and Manager for Cowboys Steakhouse, the business has served the community for 27 years and they continue to serve homemade meals in a family environment.

 

Cowboys Steakhouse is open 7 days per week.

 

Mon. - Thurs. open 11 AM to 8:30 PM

Friday and Saturday open 11 AM to 9 PM

Sunday open 11 AM to 3 PM.

 

Call-in orders can be made by calling 432-263-0181.

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City of Big Spring shares Information on Delta Variant of the Coronavirus


From: Mayor Shannon D. Thomason and Big Spring Emergency Management

Re: Delta Variant of the Coronavirus

 

Viruses frequently change by mutating, including the coronavirus. The delta variant of the coronavirus has triggered a devastating outbreak and has spread to at least 100 countries, attacking areas where vaccination rates are the lowest. The most effective way to curb new variants is to prevent spreading the virus and avoid giving it a chance to mutate.

 

** How contagious is the delta variant? **

Proteins on the outer spikes of the delta variant are “stickier,” making it more transmissible than other variants, said Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas. Studies have shown that the delta variant is up to 60% more transmissible than the previous leading variant, the alpha variant. The hospitalization rate of those who contract the delta variant is about 85% higher than those fighting the alpha variant.

 

The delta variant’s symptoms are more similar to those of a cold — headaches, sore throat, runny nose and fevers — than common COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing and loss of smell, according to the COVID Symptom Study, a project by doctors and scientists to track the symptoms and spread of the virus.

 

Fully vaccinated people can and have gotten COVID-19. However, these cases are overwhelmingly asymptomatic or mild. These types of cases are known as “breakthrough infections,” but experts say they are uncommon. Fully vaccinated people who become seriously ill, hospitalized or die are even more rare, but this also means that vaccinated people may spread COVID-19 to others.

 

** How should I protect myself? **

If you’re able to do so, health experts say the best thing to do is to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The CDC also recommends avoiding poorly ventilated venues and large crowds, washing your hands often, covering your coughs and sneezes, cleaning and sanitizing highly touched surfaces daily, and monitoring your health daily. Texas health experts have also recommended staying away from people who aren’t following COVID-19 safety protocols, or individuals who have not been vaccinated.

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Big Spring City Council meeting, 07/27/2021 - Highlights


All council members were present during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Big Spring City Council meeting.

 

During Public Comments, Aubrey Weaver, District 6 resident, called into the meeting to speak on the effectiveness of the city’s mosquito control, his concern on item #17 concerning the Convention and Visitors Board. He also suggested that an information session be held about the new gun law in Texas that goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2021. He suggested that it be held with law enforcement and qualified speakers to inform the public and have an opportunity for questions and answers. 

 

A public hearing on the current juvenile curfew was held. BSPD Chief Chad Williams advised that it needed to be reapproved every 3 years. He stated that over the last 3 years, 74 curfew citations had been issued, and it was a great tool for the department. No one from the public spoke during the hearing. 

 

City Attorney Andrew Hagen pointed out that if reapproved, some modification may be needed to the wording of the ordinance because it mentions that a minor may be referred to teen court, however that is no longer an available option for the City of Big Spring.

 

City Manager's Report, Todd Darden noted that 11 tons of trash were picked up during this past large item pick-up for District 1. He stated that Councilman Nick Ornelas was doing a great job of assisting his constituents to get items ready for pick-up.

 

Spraying to decrease the number of mosquitoes continues. It was noted that at this time there is only one so mm certified sprayer who works for the city, but the city hoped to have 3 more certified. In the meantime, citizens are encouraged to keep up with their yard maintenance to help decrease the mosquito population.

 

The City of Big Spring was awarded a grant in the amount of $320,000 for waterline replacement. That project is expected to begin today. The city also applied for a $5 million grant with a 20 percent match by the city that would show them to extend water and sewer lines to the reliever route. Darden also advised that the city had also applied for a $300,000 grant with a 15 percent match to replace waterlines on Runnels, but an answer wouldn’t be received until 2022. The city did not score high enough on the Downtown Revitalization Project that would have been for improvements to Main Street between 1st and 2nd street so the grant was not awarded at this time. Consultants are assisting the city in their application for the American Rescue Plan grant in the amount of $6.9 million. Half of this money would be awarded this year, and half would be awarded next year. They also applied for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Grant with ba 50-50 match. The city is in competition with other areas of the state to receive assistance for parks. 

 

The consent agenda passed with a vote of 6-0, and 1 abstention by Gloria McDonald, District 4. Vouchers were unanimously approved. Council approved the sale of a tax property by Texas Communities Group to Juan Carlos Murillo in the amount of $2,500 for the property at 203 NE 8th St. in Big Spring.

 

Council approved the first reading of a budget amendment to add rubber mulch to Kid Zone at Comanche Trail Park. According to Darden, the budget amendment would be in the amount of $35,000 to ensure a safe place for kids to play. When asked if this would be done at all parks, Darden advised that he had only received complaints about Kid Zone and no other parks but did think that the river mulch should be added to all parks. 

 

The Council discussed a possible ordinance that would update how the CVB Board operates. At one point the possibility of creating a 9-person board that would have equal district representation plus two ex-officio members from the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and a hotel representative was discussed. Ultimately, the ordinance failed due to the lack of a second.

 

A legal description of an oil lease with Four Sevens was corrected. Council also approved the assignment of an oil and gas lease but the City of Big Spring from SM Energy to Camterra Resources Inc. 

 

They also approved the extension of the City's health insurance until December 31st. Allowing them to get into the same schedule as most health insurance providers, which is a Jan 1 to Dec 31 fiscal year.

 

Brittany Hankins was confirmed to the Animal Rescue and Adoption Committee.

 

During Council Input, McDonald advised that she wanted to give Code Enforcement more teeth. She also suggested that the city might want to look into a public charging station for electric vehicles. 

 

Councilman Cody Hughes stated that he agreed with Councilwoman McDonald but believed that before the City begins to impose fines on citizens, it should work on getting its lots in order first. Hughes noted that he’s seen several City lots that haven’t been mowed in months.

 

Councilwoman Diane Yanez announced information on the upcoming Head to Toe event organized by the North Side Movement at 5 PM on Aug. 9th at 605 N. Main. The event offers free haircuts, free shoes, free snocones, and raffles for all school-aged children.

 

Councilman Ornelas thanked the Crossroads Young Marines for their help in assisting with large item pickup in District 1. He also stated that he would not hold a town hall meeting this quarter, but he will have a meet-and-greet Back to School Social on August 21st at ABC Park with free hotdogs and drinks.

 

Mayor Shannon Thomason confirmed that there was a case of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Howard County. He stated that the COVID-19 cases never stopped, and updates could be found on the Texas DSHS website. As of Today evening, there were 20 positive cases in the City of Big Spring and Howard County. Since April 4, 2020, there have been 103 COVID-19 related deaths in Howard County. He advised that anyone not feeling well should get tested, and reminded that vaccinations are free. He also stated that the Delta variant is considerably more contagious.

 

Also during the meeting, a moment of silence was held for former Councilman Howard Stewart - requested by Councilman Hughes - and Greg Henry, recent Executive Director for the Big Spring Area Community Foundation - requested by District 6 Councilman Maury Smith.

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Familiar Face Returns to Howard College as Head Baseball Coach


 

BIG SPRING – A familiar face will be seen on Jack Barber Field as Howard College has hired Jack Giese as the new head coach for the baseball program. Giese was previously with the Hawks as the associate head coach under Britt Smith when the Hawks won the NJCAA Division I National Championship in 2009. He will be on campus and officially begin his duties on August 1, 2021.

 

            The position was recently opened after the resignation of the Hawks head coach, Michael Lopez.

 

         “We are very excited that Jack is returning to our program,” said Mike Yeater, Athletic Director. “With his previous national championship coaching experience with our program as well as the other Division I and Minor League coaching experience that he brings to the table, our baseball program will be positioned for tremendous success.”

 

         Most recently, Giese has spent 6 years as a pitching consultant and recruiter with MVP Sports Group. Prior to that, he served 2 years as a Pitching Coach and Recruiter at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

 

Following his stint with the Hawks and the National Championship win in 2009, Giese moved on to be a Minor League Pitching Coach with the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

“I’m excited to be coming back to Big Spring and Howard College”, said Giese. “I look forward to meeting the team and growing the tradition of excellence that has been started at Howard.”

 

Although this will be Giese’s first head coaching stint, his pitching coach record speaks for itself as he has worked and continues to work with several current Major and Minor League players, including 2 Cy Young Award winners.

 

“Jack has a lot of experience in player development,” added Yeater. “That in conjunction with his coaching and recruiting experience will be a huge asset for our program.”

 

That experience isn’t just limited to the United States as Giese was also tagged to travel to the Dominican Republic to work with pitchers at the Tampa Bay Rays Dominican Academy in 2010 and coached the 18U USA National Team in 2007.

 

“Being a first-time head coach, I couldn’t ask for a better place than Howard College,” added Giese. “I know the traditions here will guide us as we do things the right way both on and off the field and immerse ourselves in the team environment as well as our local and college community.”

 

The Hawks will soon be returning to campus in August as classes begin on August 25th.

 

For more information about Howard College and Hawk Athletics visit howardcollege.edu or hchawk.com

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Drive-thru Vaccination Clinic in Big Spring on Thursday, July 29th, from 3-6 PM


If you still need and want to get your COVID-19 vaccine, there will be an opportunity to get one tomorrow afternoon in Big Spring.

 

Scenic Mountain Medical Center will be holding a drive-thru vaccine clinic tomorrow, from 3-6 p.m.

 

The clinic will be located outside of the Whatley Plaza at 1601 West 11th Place - in the north area of the SMMC hospital parking lot.

 

Vaccines will be offered, while supplies last, for anyone ages 12 and up. Both first and second doses will be available.

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Opening for Big Sandy Landfill postponed until August 4th. City Landfill at FM 700 to remain open until then.


From: Shane Bowles, Public Works Director for the City of Big Spring

Re: Delayed Opening of the Big Sandy Landfill

 

Due to unforeseen technical difficulties, the opening of the Big Sandy Landfill has been postponed.

 

During a final inspection, City officials found essential components had been damaged by a lightning strike that presumably occurred over the weekend. Barring any other unforeseen events, we anticipate the opening of the Big Sandy Landfill will take place on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.

 

All waste from the public and commercial companies can be taken to the FM 700 landfill until further notice. The FM 700 landfill will remain open Monday through Saturday, 8 AM to 5 PM; closed on Sunday.

 

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience as we transition operations to the Big Sandy Landfill. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the Public Works Office at 432-264-2501.

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G. Brint Ryan, Big Spring native, appointed to ERCOT Board Selection Committee by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick


AUSTIN - Big Spring native G. Brint Ryan was recently appointed to the ERCOT Board Selection Committee by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. In addition to restructuring the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), one of the provisions of Senate Bill 2, signed into law following the 87th Legislative Session, requires the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives to each appoint one member to the 3-member ERCOT Board Selection Committee.

 

Upon making the appointment, Lt. Gov. Patrick issued the following statement:

 

"Brint Ryan is one of the most successful business leaders in Texas and the nation. He has significant experience working with search firms and directly hiring high-level staff around the world. He is perfect for this crucial appointment to select members of the ERCOT Board."

 

Ryan is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Ryan, LLC, a global tax consulting firm based in Dallas. He is the chairman of the Texas Association of Business and served on the University of North Texas Board of Regents. Ryan is also a member of the Lt. Governor's Business Advisory Board and he chaired the Lt. Governor’s Back to Work Task Force in 2020. Ryan and his wife Amanda have 5 daughters and reside in Dallas.

 

Ryan is best known in Big Spring for purchasing and restoring the Hotel Settles located at 3rd and Runnels. Other projects taken on by Ryan in Big Spring include:

- restoration of the Petroleum Building near 1st and Main,

- renovation of the old Read Hotel at 2nd and Runnels,

- renovation of the old Hall-Bennet Hospital at 9th and Goliad,

- and the downtown plaza park project - Reunion Park.

 

Photo: Ryan.com

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Howard County Commissioners Court, 07/26/21 - Highlights


During Tuesday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Commissioners approved the Howard County Emergency 5 year plan presented by Itzel Gomez, new Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator. Gomez took over the position in mid-June and noticed that it had been 15 years since the plan had been updated.

 

"I was able to put myself out there and get to know all of the officials face to face and update all our records for each annex, which includes a plan for what to do in that situation or type of disaster," said Gomez on working to update the plan.

 

Other highlights from the meeting included approval of the 2022-2023 interlocal agreement for the Public Defender, and an action to order a General Election and a Special Election for the purpose of voting on the creation of a Howard County Assistance District. Election Day will be November 2, 2021. The voter registration deadline for this election will be October 4, 2021, and early voting will occur from October 18-29, 2021.

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Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator issues PSA on COVID-19


Yesterday, it was announced that the COVID-19 virus has almost quadrupled in the state of Texas over the past two weeks. 

 

Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator Itzel Gomez urges those who are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine to do so. According to Gomez, most chain pharmacies and many independent ones have a ready supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is administered free and mainly on a walk-in basis. Plus, many private doctors' offices also have doses.  

 

The following locations offer COVID-19 vaccines in Big Spring:

  1. H-E-B - 2000 S. Gregg

  2. CVS - 701 Scurry St.

  3. Walmart - 201 W. Marcy Dr.

  4. Steve Ahmed’s Office - 1700 FM 700

 

If you’re able to do so, health experts say the best thing to do is to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

The CDC recommends that unvaccinated people avoid poorly ventilated venues and large crowds, wash their hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces daily, and monitor their health daily.

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Big Spring City Landfill on E. FM 700 to Close Permanently at 5 PM TODAY, 07/27/2021.


Yesterday, the City of Big Spring announced that the new BIG SANDY LANDFILL will be opening tomorrow, July 28, 2021. The Big Spring City Landfill on East FM 700 will permanently close today at 5:00 PM. 

 

All waste from the public and commercial companies should be taken to the Big Sandy Landfill effective tomorrow. Cash and credit card transactions will be accepted. The Big Sandy Landfill is located at 3601 Old Colorado City Highway and will be open Monday through Saturday, 8 AM to 5 PM; and will be closed on Sundays.

 

The City of Big Spring apologized for the inconvenience and stated that they appreciated everyone’s patience as they transitioned operations to the Big Sandy Landfill. If you have questions or need additional information, please call the Public Works Office at 432-264-2501.

 

(Map of the location of Big Sandy Landfill located at 3601 Old Colorado City HWY, Big Spring, TX.)

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CITY OF BIG SPRING SEAL COAT PROJECT UPDATE, 7/26/2021


Be advised, City of Big Spring crews will finish seal coating on South Goliad today before beginning work in District 4 to seal coat the following areas:

 

  • Douglas Street from MLK Boulevard to West 14th Street
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from West 18th Street to MLK Boulevard
  • South Aylesford Street from West 16th Street to the dead-end
  • West 15th Street from Pennsylvania to South Aylesford
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from Ryon Street to West 18th Street
  • Hillside Drive from Edwards Boulevard to South Lancaster

 

To complete the project more efficiently, the public is asked to remove ALL vehicles from specified roadways.  Citizens are advised that vehicles will need to be removed from the roadway when the work crews are working on the designated street.  There will be an attempt to contact vehicle owners to move their vehicles by knocking on doors. The towing of vehicles will only be done as a last resort for vehicles parked on the street in areas being seal-coated.  Towing of vehicles will be done at the owner’s expense.

 

During the project, citizens will be permitted to park vehicles on the sidewalk and/or yard, but vehicles should be removed as soon as the roadwork is done for that area.

The City of Big Spring regrets any inconvenience related to the seal coating program and requests the public's patience during the project. 

 

If you have any questions, please call the Public Works Office at 432-264-2501.

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Texas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 6-8, 2021


(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on clothes and school supplies during the state’s sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Aug. 6-8.

 

State law exempts sales tax on qualified items — such as clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks — priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The date of the sales tax holiday and the list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature.

 

“For many families with children who are going back to their school campuses for the first time since the pandemic began, the sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save money on school supplies and other tax-free items,” Hegar said. “As a father with three school-aged children myself, I know how these expenses can add up.”

 

Apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax-free are listed on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

 

During the annual sales tax holiday, qualifying items can be purchased tax-free online or by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means (including in-store purchases) when either:

 

  • the item is both delivered to and paid for by, the customer during the exemption period; or

 

  • the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

 

Texas’ sales tax holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999, allowing consumers to save millions of dollars in state and local sales taxes each year. The Comptroller’s office estimates that shoppers will save an estimated $107.3 million in state and local sales tax during this sales tax holiday.

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Local Car Clubs Raise Money for High School Students Entering Trade Schools


The “Run To The Dog House” car show was a huge success on Saturday, July 24, 2021. It was held at the Coahoma Football Field and was a great event for a great cause. Money raised from the car show benefits students in Howard County that will be attending a trade school. The event was organized by the local car clubs - Big Spring Rod and Custom and Side of the Road Gang.

 

According to event organizers, there were 97 entries ranging from classic to new and ranged from 2 wheels to 18. Spectators saw bicycles, motorcycles, fully restored vehicles, and rat rods. The car show was a perfect family event. Although there was an award ceremony, the winners were the many students that will benefit from the scholarships funds raised today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(To view more photos from the Run to the Dog House Car Show, visit: 

https://www.facebook.com/KBestMedia/posts/4573519772671743 )

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Suspect Arrested in Murder of Maria Soto, 07/23/2021


A suspect has been arrested in the Big Spring murder of 46-year-old Maria Soto.

 

Soto was found to be unresponsive in the 1100 block of Lloyd early on the morning of July 21, 2021. The Big Spring Police Department stated that her death appeared suspicious and appeared to be a homicide.

 

The following is an update on the investigation provided by BSPD:

 

Big Spring Criminal Investigations Division Detectives and the Department of Public Safety Texas Ranger Division have been investigating the suspicious death of Maria Soto Hispanic/Female 46 years of age. On the 21 st of July 2021 Detectives developed probable cause to have a warrant issued for the arrest of Luis Hernandez Jr. Hispanic/Male 49 years of age. At approximately 6:28 p.m. on the 21 st of July 2021, Luis Hernandez Jr was arrested and charged with Murder. Detectives will continue to work this investigation as this is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available.

 

The Big Spring Police Department continues to urge anyone with information relating to this incident to call CrimeStoppers at (432) 263-TIPS (8477) or use the P3tips.com software to submit your tip online. Remember no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
CID Sergeant John Haynes

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Run to the Dog House Car Show to raise money for students pursuing trades


Tomorrow morning, the second annual Run to the Dog House Car Show will begin at 9 AM at the Coahoma High School football stadium parking lot. The event is organized by the local car clubs - Big Spring Rod and Custom and Side of the Road Gang.

 

All types of vehicles and clubs are welcome. The entry fee is $25 per vehicle and registration begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the event. Awards will be presented at the end of the show at 3 PM. All money made from the event will go towards funding scholarships for area high school seniors going to trade schools. According to Preston Harrison, event organizer, there will be a variety of awards, including a “Young Guns Award”.

 

"We want to encourage the kids that are building a car," said Harrison of the award. "That ‘Hey, we noticed!’ We’ve all been there. It may be a throw-down, it may be something that’s a work in progress, but we’ve been there. So we want to award the kid that’s building his own car with a Young Guns Award.”

 

In addition to the car show, there will also be a variety of vendors at the event. There is no admission cost for people who just want to check out the entries.

 

For more information about the event, contact Preston Harrison at 432-270-3070 or Don Adams at 432-270-3563.

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Crossroads Farmers Market Opens Saturday Morning, 07/24/21, in Big Spring


The Crossroads Farmers Market will open tomorrow morning, 07/24/2021, from 7 am to 2 pm at the G.C. Broughton Ag Complex on the Howard College Campus, just east of Memorial Stadium.

There will be a variety of vendors to shop, including baked goods, produce, woodwork items, and homemade crafts. There will also be food vendors, $1 hot dogs, and a bounce house for the kids. The event is family-friendly and friendly dogs on leashes are welcome.

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Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center is re-launching English classes in Big Spring for the Fall 2021 semester.


The Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center is re-launching English classes in Big Spring in partnership with First Church of the Nazarene, located at 1400 S. Lancaster St.. Fall enrollment will begin August 2, 2021, and interested students are encouraged to call now to make their enrollment appointment. Classes in Big Spring will meet in-person weekly on Tuesday nights from 6:30 - 8 PM beginning August 21. Additional classes are available online to Big Spring residents. The last day for students to enroll is September 9, 2021.

 

Classes are open to adults 18 years of age and older. Students are required to pay a once-yearly enrollment fee of $25. Please call (432) 682-9693, ext. 404 or email adejong@pbalc.org for questions regarding enrollment. Prospective students can apply online at https://bit.ly/PBALC-student.

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Thank You for Your Investment - Mitchell's Furniture and Mattress City of Big Spring


On Tuesday morning, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for Your Investment” presentation for Mitchell’s Furniture and Mattress City, located at 2309 Scurry in Big Spring.

 

Previously Elrod’s Furniture, Mitchell’s Furniture and Mattress City opened in 2019 after Owners Mark and Jennifer Mitchell purchased the store from Dee and Linda Elrod. Mark told KBest News that since their opening they’ve faced a number of challenges, but they continued to move forward.

 

"No matter what you do in life, you're always gonna have some knockdowns, and if it knocks you down it's how you get back up," said Mark Mitchell.

 

He continued on to say, "Big Spring is full of a bunch of very resilient people. So I feel like we've actually learned a lot from the watching of the people here and in how they've reacted to tragedies, and through stress in their life. I said, 'If they can get up every day and keep going, we can too,' so that's what we did."

 

While many manufacturers had stopped producing items during the time of COVID, it didn’t stop Mark from making orders. Eight months later, the loads that had been ordered are now coming into the store, resulting in a full-stocked inventory with great prices.

 

According to Mark, there’s currently a foam shortage in the United States, which is causing furniture prices to increase. He stated that they are constantly getting price increases from every company on their inventory, and encourages customers to shop now and get the best deal possible.

 

Mitchell’s Furniture and Mattress City has an additional location in Midland, which is expanding by 10,000 sq. ft. by moving into a new building beside the original location. To check out their selection of furniture, visit their Big Spring or Midland store or view their inventory online at www.mitchellsfurniture.com.

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New Mental Health Clinic in Big Spring


A new mental health clinic called San Gabriel Psychiatry is now open in Big Spring. Located at 710 S. Gregg St., Ste. #226 (just behind Affordacare Urgent Care), it is operated by Gabriel Eleda, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

 

Eleda and his family have lived in Big Spring since 2016. While working at a local indigent care clinic as a nurse practitioner, Eleda said he saw a lot of patients in need of mental health services and wanted to be able to provide a more thorough mental health service. He eventually went back to school to obtain the knowledge to do so.

 

San Gabriel Psychiatry offers treatment and services for a variety of mental health disorders, impulse control in children and adolescents, various addictions, anger management, insomnia, coping skills, loss and grief, and more.

 

According to Eleda, mental health should be seen as medical care.

 

"If you're having any issues, you're not alone. A lot of people have it," said Eleda.

 

"It's how we deal with them," he continued. "We have to find a proper way to deal with them, to deal with them - whether, [it's] behavioral modifications or medication - and it's okay. Like I said, it's just like going to the medical clinic - same thing, get treated, get stabilized, and you continue on."

 

Gabriel Eleda has been a nurse practitioner for 7 years and has been working in mental health care for 2 years.

 

San Gabriel Psychiatry is now accepting new patients. Currently, they are working towards being able to accept insurance, but at this time they accept private pay, and payment plans are available. For more information about San Gabriel Psychiatry call 432-652-2548 or visit the website SanGabrielpsychiatry.com or visit their Facebook page - San Gabriel Psychiatry.

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Unmarked Man-Made Access Hole Results in Auto Accident


Early Saturday morning, 07/17/2021, just after 1:30 AM a vehicle accidentally fell into a large hole that was located in the shoulder area near the intersection of Birdwell Ln. and E. 2nd Street in Big Spring.

 

In an interview with our news partners at CBS 7, the driver, Michele Meyers, stated that she had been on her way home when she saw high flood water on Birdwell Lane and tried to turn around to avoid driving through the water. As she was doing so, her front tire ended up hitting the edge of a large hole causing her vehicle to sink into it. With the help of a passerby, Meyers said she was able to exit the vehicle, but the vehicle is now a total loss.

 

According to Shannon Thomason, Mayor of the City of Big Spring, the large hole was a result of a water line that had been repaired last week.

 

“Now what I’ve been told - and obviously, you know, I wasn’t there - but what I’ve been told was after they did that there was already a hole there, so after the water line repair they moved the barriers out to include the area with the work they had just done. It was all supposed to have been inside barriers,” said Thomason.

 

Photos taken by Meyers from that night show the front end of her vehicle engulfed in what looks to be a large puddle located in front of the orange barriers blocking off 2nd Street. However, there doesn’t appear to be barriers blocking access to the hole from Birdwell Lane.

 

On Monday, July 19, 2021, KBest News visited the site to find a large access hole located in front of the orange barriers, with additional barricades and cones surrounding it. Barricades that Meyers says were not present during the time of the accident and she didn't receive a citation for the incident.

 

This isn’t the first time that a vehicle has fallen into a hole of this size. When asked what can be done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, Mayor Thomason stated that anytime citizens see water coming over the road, they should avoid it and report it to the city immediately. He also urged drivers to be cautious when crossing bodies of water that they cannot see the bottom.

 

Moving forward, Thomason stated that the city will repair the hole and will do their best to properly mark affected areas so that people can avoid them. He also urged citizens to let the city know if they see issues with barriers.

 

According to Thomason, all West Texas cities are coming across similar problems.

"You would think that rain would be good for our water situation, it’s really not because it causes the ground to settle and basically change. We actually get a lot more water main leaks and breaks whenever we’ve had a really wet season, like this year, than we do during a dry season," said Thomason.

 

"We’re addressing those just as quickly as we can, and trying to get the holes filled in and patched just as quickly as we can but we got a lot to do right now and, obviously, we never have enough hands. We’re just asking folks to be patient with us and we’re doing our best to get it taken care of,” he continued.

 

As for the damage that Meyers’ vehicle incurred, Thomason told KBest News that she will have to file a claim with the City of Big Spring. He advised that this is what happens anytime there are damages that are attributed to the City.

 

The following are photos taken by Michele Meyers on 07/17/2021 right after the auto accident. 

 

 

 

 

The following photos were taken by KBest News on Monday, 07/19/2021.

 

 

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Applications for prescribed fire grant now open


COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M Forest Service is now accepting grant applications for the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Plains Prescribed Fire Grant through August 15, 2021. The grant will provide $74,514 in total funding for prescribed burns.

 

Funding will be provided to landowners and communities that have been or may be, threatened by wildland fire to reduce hazardous fuels. Properties in the panhandle, west and northwest Texas at a high risk for loss during a Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak are eligible.

 

Grant recipients will be reimbursed actual per acre costs associated with conducting the prescribed burn up to $30 per acre with a limit of 500 acres per recipient.

Wildfires can be destructive when they occur at the wrong time or near a community that is unprepared. To plan ahead and mitigate these impacts, Texas A&M Forest Service works with landowners and local and county governments to complete Community Wildfire Protection Plans.

 

Landowners located within two miles of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan will receive priority funding. This program enhances awareness of wildfire risk and empowers individual landowners and the overall community to act to reduce the risk of wildfire in their area. For more information on Community Wildfire Protection Plans, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/ProtectYourCommunity/.

 

To check eligibility and complete the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Plains Prescribed Fire Grant online application, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/PrescribedFireGrantsApplication/.

 

Learn more about prescribed fire by visiting https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/PrescribedBurns/ or the TDA Prescribed Burning Board.

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Local DAV chapter recognizes local businesses for their support, 07/19/21


During Monday’s meeting of the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 47, in Big Spring, several businesses were recognized for their participation as a sponsor in last month’s comedy show fundraiser.

 

Businesses recognized were 350 Café and Convenience, Wolf Dirt Contractors, JNC Electric, H?E?B, Oncor, All Washed Up, and Expedition Royalty. With the help of the sponsors, the comedy show was able to raise $1,480.

 

Also during the meeting, it was announced that the office of Greg Lindsey, Department Service Officer, located in room number 147 A, near the front door behind the Benefits office in the West Texas VA, has now been reopened. Lindsey assists veterans to file claims, and a variety of forms, including burial benefits. The office is open 8 AM to 4:30 PM and walk-ins are welcome. These services are available for all veterans.

 

For more information contact Lindsey’s office at 432-263-7361, ext. 7604, or email: gregory.lindsey@va.gov.

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BSPD investigates suspicious unattended death


On the 21st of July 2021 at approximately 12:40 A.M., Big Spring Police Department officers and Big Spring Fire/EMS were dispatched to the 1100 blk Lloyd in reference to an unresponsive female victim. Upon arrival officers and EMS found the female subject to be Maria Soto Hispanic/Female 46 years of age, to be deceased.

 

Soto’s death is suspicious and appears to be a homicide. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and Department of Public Safety Ranger Division were notified and are currently conducting their investigation.

The Big Spring Police Department urges anyone with information relating to this incident to call

 

CrimeStoppers at (432) 263-TIPS (8477) or use the P3tips.com software to submit your tip online. Remember no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous. No further information will be released at this time.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams

Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon

CID Sergeant John Haynes

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Big Spring Seal Coat Project Continues, 07/21/21


Starting today, 7/21/21, crews will be seal coating in the following areas:

 

Vines Avenue – Birdwell to Circle

Arizona Street – Tucson to Sunset

Tucson Road – Birdwell to Tulsa

Kenney Street – Circle to East 11th Place

Circle Drive – East 4th to Tucson

South Goliad Street – East 4th Street to East 10th

 

To complete the project more efficiently, the public is asked to remove ALL vehicles from specified roadways. Citizens are advised that vehicles will need to be removed from the roadway when the work crews are working on the designated street. There will be an attempt to contact vehicle owners to move their vehicles by knocking on doors. The towing of vehicles will only be done as a last resort for vehicles parked on the street in areas being seal-coated. Towing of vehicles will be done at the owner’s expense.

 

During the project, citizens will be permitted to park vehicles on the sidewalk and/or yard, but vehicles should be removed as soon as the road work is done for that area.

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Area News: Despite a total loss, The Lumberyard moves forward with outpours of support


ROSCOE, TX -- The famous music venue The Lumberyard, in downtown Roscoe, was destroyed by a fire early Friday morning. According to owner Cody Thompson, everything but the stage was burned and none of it was covered by insurance.

 

He stated that although they had personal liability insurance, in case someone was injured on the property, they had no actual insurance on the building or property.

 

"We tried to insure it numerous times through State Farm, Farmers Insurance Group - you name it we've tried everybody. They wouldn't do it because of the age of the buildings. Everything there is about 100 years old," said Thompson.

 

He went on to say that the venue had originally been a lumberyard that had been built by the Higginbotham Brothers in the 1920s right before the depression.

 

Thompson advised that since the fire, The Lumberyard has had a massive wave of support.

 

"The outpouring and the importance of The Lumberyard to the community is huge. Everyone has been very kind and generous, and they want to see it reopen because it is like the heartbeat of the city. They want it to come back and be a viable part of the community again. To make a long story short, we're gonna try to redo everything," said Thompson. "So, hopefully, I wouldn't say that it will be bigger, but I hope it will be better and more efficient."

 

This Friday, July 23rd, at 9 PM The Lumberyard will be hosting Glen Templeton, who’s been described as sounding “more Conway Twitty than Conway Twitty.” Thompson told KBest News that he had initially thought to call and cancel but ultimately changed his mind.

 

There will be various vendors at the event, along with food, beer, and wine available for purchase. The show will be held across the street from The Lumberyard at 7 Cypress in Roscoe, so those attending will have a chance to see the remains of the original venue.

 

Tickets are available in advance for $15 and will be $20 on the day of the event. For more information on the event, the Facebook page for The Lumberyard.

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City of Big Spring begins 2021 Seal-coat Project


 

From: Shane Bowles, Public Works Director

Re: Seal Coat Project 2021

 

On July 19, 2021, crews will be seal coating streets on Pickens Avenue and move into the Baylor Boulevard area later this afternoon.

 

To complete the project more efficiently, the public is asked to remove ALL vehicles from specified roadways. Citizens are advised that vehicles will need to be removed from the roadway when the work crews are working on the designated street. There will be an attempt to contact vehicle owners to move their vehicles by knocking on doors. The towing of vehicles will only be done as a last resort for vehicles parked on the street in areas being seal-coated. Towing of vehicles will be done at the owner’s expense.

 

During the project, citizens will be permitted to park vehicles on the sidewalk and/or yard, but vehicles should be removed as soon as the roadwork is done for that area.

 

The City of Big Spring regrets any inconvenience related to the seal coating program and requests the public's patience during the project. If you have any questions, please call the Public Works Office at 432- 264-2501.

 

 

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Nathan Kramer named new Scouting Executive for Buffalo Trail Council Boy Scouts


On July 1, 2021, the Buffalo Trail Council Boy Scouts welcomed a new Scout Executive Nathan Kramer to their organization. He began his professional career in scouting in 2008 and has been working in the Midland area for the past 4 years.

 

Also known as the Executive Director for the Buffalo Trail Council Boy Scouts, Kramer is responsible for the business side of Scouting, including Human Resources, finances, budgeting, and summer camp operations.

 

As a volunteer-driven organization, the Buffalo Trail Council has a limited professional staff of 6 employees, and 4-500 volunteers in various geographical areas within their service area that encompasses 18 counties.

 

According to Kramer, the organization’s reach extends from Van Horn and Presidio to Colorado City and Snyder, but the bulk of their memberships comes from the Big Spring / Midland-Odessa area.

 

Like other organizations, the Buffalo Trail Council Boy Scouts were deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

"Scouting is a very social program," said Kramer. "Our kids are out camping, and having meetings, and doing a lot of very hands-on activities. When COVID hit here, about a year and a half or so ago, it pretty much ground everything down to a halt. The units couldn't meet. We had to close our offices down. We [were] not able to hold summer camp last year, folks were just real nervous about COVID and that hurt us. That's our biggest challenge right now is trying to get our units reactivated."

 

Kramer says that their plan is to return to the schools in the fall and recruit families to participate in scouting. With a variety of programs, for a wide range of ages kindergarten through the age of 21. For more information, visit their website at www.Buffalotrailbsa.org.

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"Story House featuring Fifty Years of the Heritage Museum of Big Spring" book available now at Heritage Museum


Story House featuring Fifty Years of the Heritage Museum of Big Spring, the third book written by Texas author James Johnston, a Big Spring native, is now available at the Heritage Museum.

Johnston stated that he came up with the idea for the book 18 months ago because he wanted to do something for the 50th anniversary of the museum.

 

The idea for the title came from the fact that the Heritage Museum was originally the home of Dora Roberts.

 

“So it was her home, and then it was deeded in the ‘50s as the County Library. So what was in the library - more books, more stories! So, I found that to be fascinating that it’s been a story house. When Dora had it, she entertained people, had Sunday school parties, and civic affairs at this house, and then the stories ended up in the newspapers,” said Johnston.

 

The 623-page book is about the operations of the museum, where they started from, how they arrived where they are.

 

The book contains photographs of the exhibits featured at the museum and stories from their newsletters. At this time, The book is only available at the Heritage Museum in Big Spring.

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Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees meeting, 07/15/21 - Highlights


Big Spring ISD Board of Trustee members discussed the possibility of a wage increase for staff throughout the district. No official action was taken, but multiple board members voiced their approval for a 4 percent increase. 

 

Board Members were advised on a Policy Update that authorizes the Superintendent to make emergency purchase agreements based on construction in the event of another winter storm. The policy of leaves absences was updated to allow supervisors to decline time off requests if they feel like it would interfere with teaching. 

 

Also during the meeting, it was noted that District 6 Board Member Manny Chavira had recently retired and chose to step down from the board. The position is now open and the board has the option of continuing the year with only 6 members or appoint someone to fill the position. If someone is appointed, they would have to run for office in May 2022.

 

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Author BJ Mayo visits Big Spring for book signing


Author BJ Mayo, a 1974 graduate of Big Spring High School, made a stop in Big Spring over the weekend to promote his first book “Alfie Carter” with a book signing at Hotel Settles and at the Heritage Museum. 

 

Mayo told KBest News that he wrote the book over the course of six years to write and was published in January 2021. The book covers from Angola, West Africa to West Texas. It’s two parallel stories that co-mingle together at the end. One is about a little African girl whose village is wiped out by a group of boy soldiers, which was typical in the Angolan War, and a workaholic, small-town detective who is also battling memories of his past.

 

The book was published out of SkyHorse Publishing of NYC and marketed by Simon and Schuester. 

 

Money from the “Alfie Carter” Book sales from Saturday would be matched by Mayo and donated to the Heritage Museum.

 

Mayo’s second book “Sparrows of Montenegro” is expected to hit shelves in mid-October 2021. According to Mayo, the book is heavily rooted in Hispanic culture and Dia de Los Muertos. It is a fictional western based in the 1870s that starts in Mexico and travels through areas of Texas including Big Spring.

 

For more information on BJ Mayo and his book "Alfie Carter" visit bjmayo.com.

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Big Spring City Council meeting - highlights, part 2


On Tuesday night, Big Spring City Council members approved the sale of tax properties by the Texas Communities Group. Out of the 5 properties sold, only 4 were approved last night. The property at 203 NE 8th St. to Juan Carlos Murillo in the amount of $3,000 was tabled until it could be determined if there was a lien or additional costs on the property that had to be collected.

 

In a 3-2 vote, Big Spring City Council members approved the first reading of an amended ordinance concerning the “Solid Waste” chapter in the Big Spring Code of Ordinances. Under this ordinance, the rate schedule was amended to lower the cost of additional rollout containers for residents and added a $500 deposit for commercial roll-off container and compactor service. It also added an elective tare weight fee of $10, but the fee is not applicable when tare weight is required. The ordinance also added delinquent fees, stating that a delinquent fee shall be added to all landfill bills not paid on or before the due date. The delinquent fee shall be an amount equal to ten percent of the said bill.

 

Councilmembers Cody Hughes, District 3, Troy Tompkins, District 5, and Mayor Shannon Thomason voted for the ordinance. Councilmembers Nick Ornelas, District 1, and Diane Yanez, District 2, voted against. Gloria McDonald, District 4, and Maury Smith, District 6, were not present for the meeting.

 

Ornelas told KBest News that he voted according to his constituents and didn’t agree with residents being charged for an additional roll-out container. He also believed that no one should have a credit account with the landfill and everyone should be made to pay each time they use it.

It should be noted that it is not common in Big Spring to set up a landfill account as it is an application process that must go through the City Finance Director, but some landfill accounts are currently overdue. If a second reading is passed on July 27th, these account holders will have until Aug 1, 2021, to pay their balance otherwise a 10 percent delinquent fee will be charged.

 

Council also approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the City Code Chapter concerning “Nuisances” by adding a new definition for “infestation”. This ordinance gives code enforcement officers another tool to address infestations.

 

An interlocal agreement with South Plains Association of Governments, known as SPAG, to be the grant administrator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Grant was also approved. This is a park grant that could be used for possible projects such as replacing playground equipment or adding a splash pad to the north side of the city. Hayley Herrera, Community Services Director for the City of Big Spring, did advise that this grant does require a 50 percent match from the City, but that would be dependent upon the grant amount that is requested by the City.

 

In a previous council meeting, it was discussed that there needed to be equal representation from all districts on boards and committees that reported to the city. Councilwoman Yanez made the following nominations for District 2:

 

* TJ Stewart for Planning & Zoning Commission

* Jonathan Ray for Traffic Commission

* Julia Hartman for Animal Rescue & Adoption Committee

 

All nominations were ratified by the council.

 

The Big Spring City Council also met in an Executive Session on Tuesday night. Afterward, they took action and approved Mayor Shannon Thomason to accept and execute a settlement agreement in the case of the City of Big Spring vs. the Geo Group. They also approved the mayor to negotiate the settlement agreement with Compute North, and to authorize a memorandum of understanding with Cross L Ranch.

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"Medicare and You: Understanding your Medicare choices"


Melissa Zenger, Benefits Counselor with the Area Agency on Aging of the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, will present "Medicare and You: Understanding your Medicare choices" on Friday, July 16, 2021.

 

The presentation is meant to educate Medicare beneficiaries on the options available to them. Those eligible for Medicare are citizens aged 65 or older, or those that have been on disability for 25 months. Zenger told KBest News that it’s important for people to understand that there are different parts to Medicare and to know that every beneficiary has the option to make changes to their plans. According to Zenger, those changes can be made between October 15 - Dec 7, 2021.

 

“People’s needs change, sometimes year to year, depending on their health or their finances. Sometimes people don’t understand that you do have the option to make some changes and you’re not stuck in a plan that you’ve had for several years just because you’ve had it and you chose and you don’t have any other options. That’s just not the case and that’s what we try to help - just kinda help educate people about.”

 

The Area Agency on Aging is 1 of 28 in the State of Texas dedicated to serving the needs of individuals 60 years of age and older and their caregivers that reside in Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, and Winkler counties.

 

For more information on the Area Agency on Aging, visit their website at aaapb.com

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Big Spring City Council meeting, 07/13/21 - highlights


Here are highlights from last night’s meeting of the Big Spring City Council:

 

The next large/bulk item pickup will be for District 1 on July 21, 2021. The last day to schedule a pickup is July 19th. District 1 Councilman Nick Orleans also stated he would be partnering with Crossroads Young Marines to help residents age 60 and older to move large items to the curb for pickup. After the meeting, he stated that District 1 residents requesting assistance must schedule their pick-up by Friday, July 16th. Pick-ups can be scheduled by calling the Public Works Office at 432-264-2501.

 

The City of Big Spring will begin its seal coat project on July 19th. According to Shane Bowles, Public Works Director, there will be a map available to show which streets that they will be on. Some seal coats from last year will also be done.

 

The new Landfill will open on Aug. 6, 2021, at 10 AM.

 

City Manager Todd Darden reported that the city has only one licensed operator to spray for mosquitoes. In the past two and a half weeks, this employee has accumulated over 40 hours of overtime. Darden advised that the City is working with a local vendor to assist in spraying.

The city fan drive has given out 42 fans so far to those in need and continues to ask for donations of new or slightly used fans.

 

More information from Tuesday night's meeting will be published tomorrow.

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City of Big Spring to convert from 3-yard dumpsters to front yard roll-out containers to prevent rate increases for citizens


On Monday, July 12, 2021, the following announcement was issued by City of Big Spring Public Works Director Shane Bowles concerning roll-out waste containers.

 

From: Shane Bowles, Public Works Director

Re: Roll Out Waste Containers

 

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the roll-out waste containers and why the City is moving from the 3-yard dumpsters in the alley to front yard roll-out containers. We would like to explain the City’s position and why this conversion is necessary. City Staff and City Council take the city budget very seriously and the main reason for the conversion to roll-out containers is so that we are not forced to increase rates.

 

Here are the reasons why:

 

1. The City can purchase ten roll-out containers for the cost of one 3-yard metal dumpster. As the price of metal increases, so does the price of the metal dumpster. Four roll-out containers are equivalent to one metal 3-yard dumpster. We can service four families with the same waste capacity without having to increase the cost of our sanitation service.

 

2. The roll-out containers help with the prevention of illegal dumping. You do not have to share a container with your neighbors or with the folks that are running up the alleys dumping illegally; you can manage your own waste. This in turn frees up our Code Enforcement Officers from having to spend time and resources on investigating illegal dumping.

 

3. Roll-out containers are much lighter than metal dumpsters and this results in less wear and tear on the equipment. This saves on maintenance and repairs on the vehicles and containers.

 

4. The sanitation vehicle used to lift metal dumpsters is becoming obsolete. If we continue to use metal dumpsters, the sanitation truck becomes a special order which ends up being much more expensive than the truck that lifts the roll-outs.

 

5. The sanitation trucks going down some of the alleys can be damaged because some of the alleys are narrow and have low hanging power/phone/cable lines, gas meters, etc. Use of roll-

outs alleviates unnecessary repairs to damage caused by going down alleys.

 

Roll-outs have been used in different areas of the City for several years. They have achieved the goal of reducing costs and keeping rates from having to be increased for residents. Please be assured that we do have the best interest of the citizens of Big Spring in mind and cost savings is most important.

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Howard County Commissioners Court - Highlights, 07/12/21


During yesterday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, the purchase of a dump truck replacement was approved.

 

Commissioners re-established the speed limit on Longshore from RM 33 to Wasson at 45 mph. They also approved setting the speed limit on 24th st. from Arroyo to Baylor at 30 mph. 

 

New Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator Itzel Gomez presented an updated 5-year Emergency Plan for the county. She also suggested that the commissioners may want to appoint a Public Information Officer that would be responsible for relaying information to the media. Commissioner Craig Bailey, Pct 2, motioned for the item to be tabled until the next meeting so that they could have time to review the financial obligations that this updated plan would bring for the county. 

 

During the meeting, commissioners also approved the acceptance of a 2020/2021 excess Contribution Refund Check from PW Cp-Workers Comp in the amount of $9,210.

 

Commissioners also approved the purchase of 3 properties east of the Howard County Jail for $10,000. Sheriff Stan Parker advised that this would be used for future expansion.

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Summer Shopping Extravaganza #2 scheduled for Thursday, July 15, 2021


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce invites the public to join them for Round 2 of this year’s Summer Shopping Extravaganza! On Thursday, July 15th, there will be several boutiques in Big Spring that will be open until 8 PM. By staying open past their normal business hours, shoppers will get to enjoy an evening of retail therapy during a convenient time.

 

Businesses participating in the Summer Shopping Extravaganza are as follows: 

 

  • Blue Eyed Buffalo
  • Famous Elle
  • Lula Blu Boutique  
  • Southern Blush Boutique 
  • The Krazy Kow Co.
  • Dazzling Decor
  • FashXCas
  • Queens of the Dude Ranch
  • Splurge Boutique
  • The Wardrobe

 

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The Amazing Shopping Race begins TODAY in Big Spring


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Business Development committee is challenging the public to engage in fun and competition this summer while shopping around town!

 

The Amazing Shopping Race begins today, July 12, 2021, and runs through August 4th with drawings for winners held on August 5th. 

 

There will be challenges and roadblocks on the way to the finish line.  There are two starting points – Lula Blu Boutique, 406 E. Marcy Drive, Ste. 1, or The Wardrobe Boutique, 115  S. Main. In these places, you’ll find your set of rules and the first challenge. Once completed, you’ll receive a clue to move on to the next stop and the race continues. 

 

Once participants have completed the race, they will take their final entry to the Heritage Museum, 510 Scurry St., on August 5th where all completed entry forms will be put in a drawing for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. Prizes will consist of gift cards, items, and more from participating businesses.

 

 

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"Run to the Dog House" on July 24th to raise money for area high school seniors attending trade schools


The second annual Run to the Dog House is expected to showcase even more unique vehicles and custom cars when it makes its return on July 24.  

 

"Last year, because of Covid, we only had two weeks to get this together, and we still raised $2,000 to give away in scholarships to high school seniors going to trade schools," said Preston Harrison, one of the event coordinators. 

 

The show is set for July 24 at the Coahoma High School football stadium parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is presented by the Side of the Road Gang and Big Spring Rod & Custom.  Harrison expects a bigger event this year.   

 

"A lot of car enthusiasts have given us a verbal commitment, but typically if you have 55 entries already committed then you can expect a minimum of 75 on the day of the show," Harrison said. 

 

All types of vehicles and clubs are welcome including cars, trucks, motorcycles, exotic RV's, and boats. The entry fee is $25 per vehicle and registration begins at 9 a.m. on the day of the event.  Awards will be presented at the end of the show. All money made from the event will go towards funding scholarships for area high school seniors going to trade schools. 

 

"Our goal is to raise enough money to eventually include other area schools," Harrison said.  We started with Coahoma because my kids go there, but we'd like to be able to give out scholarships to Forsan and Big Spring.  If we can't do it this year, we'd like to be able to do it next year." 

 

There is no admission cost for people who just want to check out the entries. 

Event organizers are also accepting items to be auctioned off during the show and cash donations. Businesses are welcomed to contribute by donating items to the auction or by purchasing a banner to be hung during the event. 

 

Although the name of the event -- Run to the Dog House  --  perfectly fits into the Coahoma community, the original show was begun by Harrison's late grandparents-in-law, Travis and Llawanna Collie in Plainview, Texas.   

 

The two held the event at their home and improving the lives of young people was very important to them. They understood the importance of learning a trade which they lived by every day as Travis was an electrician. Harrison wants to continue the tradition in their honor. 

 

For more information about the event, to donate or how to help out, please contact Preston Harrison at 432-270-3070 or Don Adams at 432-270-3563. 

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New Businesses Coming to Big Spring


Earlier this year, many people came across an announcement of new restaurants that would soon be coming to Big Spring.

 

The two eateries that were expected to open soon were Wingstop and Arby’s.

 

So what’s the progress on these projects and when can Big Spring expect to see these new businesses opened?

 

WINGSTOP

According to the TDLR--Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Wingstop will be located at 2503 S. Gregg, in the Big Spring Crossing shopping center next to Walmart. The shop location will be between Shannon Clinic and the Verizon store. Renovations are currently underway and according to Ben Bradbery, contact for the project, construction completion is expected by August 1, 2021. In fact, if you stop by the location right now you’d see a “hiring sign” in the window. Bradbery told KBest News that if all goes as planned, Wingstop will be opening by mid-August. Wingstop is an American chain of nostalgic, aviation-themed restaurants specializing in chicken wings.

 

 

ARBY'S

As for Arby’s, a fast-food sandwich restaurant chain, the TDLR website lists the address as 2201 S. Gregg, which is the block next to Domino’s Pizza. The website lists that the facility will be a Pizza Hut & Arby’s. Although the site lists a starting date for the new construction as May 15, 2021, with a completion date of November 1, 2021, no work appears to have begun at the designated address.

 

KBest News had reached out to Joe Lea, the contact person for the Arby’s project, back in May and was told that they had not chosen a contractor for the project and that he wasn’t sure that it would even happen due to the fact that construction costs had increased.

 

 

BURKE'S OUTLET

Another new business that has recently been listed on the TDLR site is Burkes Outlet, which will be located inside of the Spring Town Plaza, inside the former Bealls location, 1801 E. FM 700, Suite 150. Burkes Outlet is a chain department store known for selling apparel, housewares, shoes & accessories at discount prices. According to the TDLR site, renovations began June 21, 2021, and are expected to be completed by September 21, 2021. KBest News has confirmed that work is currently underway at the location, but no contact person for the project could be reached at this time for further information.

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Six Tips to Beat the Heat Before Hitting the Trails at a Texas State Park


AUSTIN— Last year, as temperatures soared into the triple digits in Texas, staff at 39 Texas State Parks handled 132 heat-related illnesses in humans and pets. Now that the summer has officially begun and temperatures are steadily climbing, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is sharing its top six heat hacks for staying safe in the outdoors.

Here are the top six heat hacks recommended for park visitors:

 

Hydrate- It’s important to drink at least 16 ounces of water every hour in the heat to replenish your body and prevent dehydration. Don’t forget to bring enough for your four-legged family members too.

 

Block the Rays- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen or sunblock before heading outdoors. Be sure to reapply every couple of hours, and after swimming or sweating.

 

Dress Smart- Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing; a hat, correct shoes, sunscreen and wet bandanas to keep you cool while in the sun. For pets, protect paws against blistering by hitting the trails during cooler times of the day when the ground isn’t hot or by putting booties on pets to help shield paws from the hot ground. Touch the pavement or ground with the back of your hand. If you cannot hold it there for five seconds, the surface is too hot for your dog’s paws.

 

Stay Salty- Food helps keep up energy and replace salt lost from sweating. Eating snacks such as jerky, granola, trail mix, tuna and dried fruit is a fantastic way to nourish your body while on the trails.

 

Buddy System- Two brains are better than one. It’s beneficial to have someone with you in hot conditions so you can look after each other on the trail. With high temperatures hitting Texas, heat-related illnesses are common and having a friend around to help recognize the early symptoms can save you from getting sick.

 

Plan Ahead- Study the map and have it with you. Average hikers move at 2 miles per hour, so allow yourself plenty of time to avoid hiking in the heat of the day. Make sure to rest in a cool or shaded area to recover from the heat if necessary. It is also a good idea to let someone know your plan before you hit the trails and what time you should be back. That way, if you become lost, people know where to look.

 

For more information about heat safety, visit the TPWD website.

 

All guests, including annual pass holders, are encouraged to pre-purchase or register for day passes and overnight reservations in advance through the Texas State Parks Reservation System before heading out to a state park. Park capacities are limited, and permits sell out fast. Reservations can be made online at www.texasstateparks.org or by calling 512-389-8900.

 

Find a park in your area at http://texasstateparks.org.

 

Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife

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Inmate Death at reported this week at FCI Big Spring


An inmate death was recently reported at a federal prison in Big Spring. The following is a press release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons:

 

Big Spring, TX: On Sunday, July 4, 2021, at approximately 6:15 p.m., an inmate was assaulted at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Big Spring in Big Spring, Texas. Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Inmate Lazaro Flores was transported to a local hospital for life-threatening injuries. Subsequently, on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Mr. Flores was pronounced deceased by hospital staff.

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified. No staff or other inmates were injured, and at no time was the public in danger.

 

Mr. Flores was a 41-year-old male who was sentenced in the Northern District of Texas to a 168-month sentence for Conspiracy to Distribute and Possession With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or more of Methamphetamine. He had been in custody at FCI Big Spring since January 7, 2021.

 

FCI Big Spring is a Low security level facility that currently houses 851 male offenders.

 

Additional information about the Federal Bureau of Prisons can be found at www.bop.gov.

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Big Spring High School graduate holds book signing in Big Spring. Proceeds from book to benefit local museum.


Local high school graduate BJ Mayo will return to Big Spring tomorrow for a book signing of his book, Alfie Carter: A Novel. His first stop will be the Hotel Settles at 11 am for a meet and greet and book signing. Then, he’ll be at the Heritage Museum, located at 510 Scurry in Big Spring, at 2 PM for another book signing. 

 

Mayo is a 1974 graduate of Big Spring High School and All proceeds from his book sales tomorrow will go to benefit the Heritage Museum in Big Spring.

 

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Area News: Odessa Businessman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding Family and Friends out of $18 Million


In Midland this week, a federal judge sentenced 45-year-old James Clinton Fletcher, owner of now-defunct San Jan, LLC, to 15 years of imprisonment for defrauding investors out of more than $18 million through various fraudulent schemes.

 

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David Counts ordered that Fletcher pay $18,279,111 in restitution to his victims and $1,177,231 in restitution to the IRS. Judge Counts also ordered that Fletcher be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after his prison term.

 

On December 22, 2020, Fletcher pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of willful failure to pay employee tax withholdings to the IRS following a multi-year extensive investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI into Fletcher’s fraudulent schemes.

 

Fletcher admitted that from March 2015 to January 2018, he schemed to defraud more than two dozen family members, friends, and business associates out of more than $18 million. Fletcher used those fraudulently obtained funds to purchase a home in Odessa valued at over $1 million; a vacation home in an upscale central Texas resort location; and expensive vehicles to include a Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and a GMC Yukon Denali. Fletcher also gambled extensively and took frequent trips to Las Vegas using a private plane. He went on extravagant hunting trips

using fraudulently obtained funds.

 

“Fletcher leveraged his relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances to steal their hard-earned money and feed his endless greed,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “The magnitude of the millions in losses was only rivaled by his increased willingness to betray those who placed their trust in him. Working with our law enforcement partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to seek justice for victims of financial fraud.”

 

Fletcher also admitted that for the third quarter in 2016, he failed to report and turn over to the IRS approximately $378,437.54 in employee withholdings.

 

“Today’s sentencing of James Clinton Fletcher, CEO of San Jan LLC, for both his conspiracy to commit wire fraud and his willful failure to pay over San Jan LLC’s employee withheld payroll taxes is a strong reminder that no matter your position or financial status, white-collar financial and tax crimes are always serious offenses,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Goss of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office.

 

“And not only does employment tax evasion result in the loss of tax revenue to the U.S. government, it cheats the employees who thought their withheld payroll taxes had been paid over to the IRS for their future Social Security and Medicare benefits. IRS Criminal Investigation will vigorously pursue anyone at any level who commits financial crimes, including employment tax fraud, for their own personal gain.”

 

“This outcome is a result of the FBI and its partners’ commitment to investigating financial crimes and other criminal acts thoroughly and completely,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Britton C. Boyd of the FBI’s El Paso Division.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shane A. Chriesman, Monica Daniels and Fidel Esparza III prosecuted this case.

 

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Area News: Stanton ISD employee indicted on Indecency with a Child, and Inappropriate Relationship Between Educator and Student


Earlier this week, a Stanton ISD employee was indicted by a Martin County Grand Jury.

According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Justin Mattew Turney was indicted on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, for one count of Indecency with a Child and one count of Inappropriate Relationship between Educator and Student. Both are second-degree felony offenses. Turney was arrested on July 7, 2021, and booked accordingly by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

 

A media release provided by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office stated that on May 3, 2021, their office received an intake report from the Texas Department of Family Protective Services of an offense that reportedly occurred in the City of Stanton. This report alleged that an employee with Stanton ISD had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student. The Martin County Sheriff's Office adopted the case at the request of the Stanton Police Department.

 

The Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation into the allegations and upon completion determined that criminal offenses did occur. The Martin County Sheriff's Office filed criminal cases with the 118th District Attorney's Office as well as the Martin County Attorney's Office.

 

(Photo: Official media release from the Martin County Sheriff's Office concerning the indictments and arrest of Justin Matthew Turney.)

 

 

According to the Stanton ISD website, Turney is listed as the Principal at Stanton High School. KBest News reached out to Stanton ISD for an official statement on Turney’s arrest and received the following statement from Stanton ISD Superintendent Dr. Merl Brandon:

 

"FROM: Dr. Merl Brandon, Stanton ISD Superintendent

 

As the designated spokesperson and Superintendent for the Stanton Independent School District, I am issuing the following statement:

 

On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, the Stanton ISD Administration received information that a Stanton ISD employee was indicted on two felony counts of Indecency with a Child by Contact and Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student. The District has been in close contact with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as well as local law enforcement during its investigation of the District employee and will continue to cooperate with these state and local authorities to the fullest extent permitted by law.

 

State and federal law prohibit the District from disclosing personally identifiable student information, as well as confidential personnel information. Therefore, the District cannot provide further information on this matter.

 

The District takes every allegation of educator misconduct seriously and will take all measures necessary to ensure that its students are educated in a safe and nurturing environment. The District’s policies concerning maintaining appropriate professional educator-student boundaries and refraining from any inappropriate conduct between staff and students are strictly enforced. Student safety is a paramount concern to Stanton ISD."

 

(Photo: Official statement from Stanton ISD's Superintendent Dr. Merl Brandon concerning the indictments of the Stanton ISD employee.)

 

(Top Article Photo: Justin Matthew Turney's mugshot, courtesy of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.)

 

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Snyder Murder Suspect Arrested by Big Spring PD


From Big Spring PD, 07/07/21: 

 

On July 6, 2021, at approximately 5:00 PM, Investigators with the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 300 block of West 6th

Street. The operator and sole occupant of the vehicle was identified as Misty Parham, a 27-year-old female. Investigators were aware that an arrest warrant had been issued for Misty Parham out of Scurry County for the offense of Murder. Misty was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Howard County Jail. There is no further information at this time.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams

Admin Lt. Brian Gordon

CID Sgt. John Haynes

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Area News:Gaines County Sheriff's Office searches for suspects who impersonated Deputy Sheriffs


Gaines County Sheriff's Office recently advised that their Criminal Investigation Division is currently investigating a report of suspects impersonating a deputy.

 

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, a citizen in Gaines County had a traffic stop initiated on him by suspects impersonating Deputies. The first suspect was driving a White Ford Passenger Car with a tall antenna, black rims, and red/blue lights on the dash, complete with a siren. He is described as a tall white male of German descent, starched bluish long sleeve shirt, cowboy hat, and large belt buckle. The second suspect arrived in a White Tahoe or Yukon complete with red/blue lights on Dash and siren. The second suspect is described as a heavier set White Male wearing a dark blue polo collared shirt, jeans, large belt buckle, ball cap, and a white goatee. Both suspects ordered all occupants from the citizen’s vehicle to exit and conducted a search of the vehicle. After the search, the suspects left the stop.

 

Neither suspects were wearing badges or guns that were visible to the victim or displayed any type of insignia indicating they were law enforcement.

 

The Gaines County Sheriff’s Office is requesting help in the identification of the suspects. Any information can be directed to Lieutenant Landon Walker at 432-758-9871. If these vehicles are seen please contact 911 immediately to give the location of the suspect vehicles.

 

Gaines County is located west of Dawson County and north of Andrews County.

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Hangar 25 Air Museum asks for the public's help for information on vandalized memorial


The Fallen Soldier Memorial Display, located at the Big Spring Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was vandalized on June 30, 2021. Hangar 25 is asking for the public’s help. If you have any information contact Big Spring PD (432) 264-2559.  A $2,000.00 reward is being offered.

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Reward Increased for Wanted Sex Offender from San Antonio


AUSTIN – The reward for Henry Anthony Taylor, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender and this month’s featured fugitive, has been increased to $4,000 for information leading to his arrest if the tip comes in during the month of July. All tips are guaranteed to be anonymous.

 

Taylor, 52, is considered high-risk and is wanted for failure to register as a sex offender. He has been wanted since April 2020, when he absconded from his last known address in San Antonio. Taylor was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1993, following an incident involving a 17-year-old female. In 2012, he was convicted in Bexar County, Texas, of two counts of sexual assault involving a 54-year-old female. He was given two concurrent eight-year prison sentences.

 

Taylor is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He has tattoos on his chest and upper right arm as well as scars on his right forearm, right knee, and left leg. For more information or updates in the event of his arrest, view his wanted bulletin.

 

One offender from the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program is featured each month in hopes that the higher reward money from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division will generate additional tips. The higher reward will only be paid if the tip comes in during the same month the fugitive is featured. So far this year, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and other agencies have arrested seven Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including three gang members and three sex offenders. In addition, $17,500 in rewards has been paid for tips that have yielded arrests.

 

To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the following methods:

 

·       Call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

·       Submit a web tip through the DPS website by selecting the fugitive you have information about, then clicking on the link under the photo.

·       Submit a Facebook tip by clicking the “SUBMIT A TIP” link (under the “About” section).

 

All tips are anonymous, regardless of how they are submitted, and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.

 

DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Sex Offender lists. You can find the current lists — with photos — on the DPS website.

 

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Splash Pad to built in Coahoma, pending funds


A splash pad has been approved to be built in the northeast corner of the Coahoma Park, next to the Coahoma Community Center. This will be a community-funded project led by a non-profit organization called Coahoma Pride Inc.

 

"It's already been approved through the City and the EDC," said Lori Martinez, coordinator for the Coahoma splash pad project with Coahoma Pride Inc. "[The City's] gonna help us out with running it - the electricity and the water."

 

According to Martinez, the splash pad will be ADA compliant and free to everyone. The only time the water will be used is when it is activated by a button so it will not be wasteful.

 

When asked why this project was important for the community, Martinez told KBest News that they needed something for the kids to do.

 

"Normally, the kids have to go into Big Spring. We have a ton of kids in our community, it's growing. We just need something for the kids in our community to be able to enjoy," said Martinez.

 

The entire cost of the project is $150,000 and includes seating and multiple awnings. It is expected to open next summer.

 

At this time, approximately $30,000 has been raised for the project through generous donations from Atmos, Western Bank, private donors, and fundraising activities such as Friday Night Movie Night in Coahoma. Other fundraisers that will be contributing to the splash pad fund include a raffle to win a set of cornhole boards, and a cornhole tournament with the Backyard Baggerz at Hotel Settles on July 24, 2021.

 

Donations can also be made to the project by making a deposit to "Coahoma Pride Inc." at Western Bank, 607 Scurry St. in Big Spring, TX. Contributions of $1,000 or more will have a brick placed in the area with their name on it. Donations can also be made in memory of someone. Martinez also advised that donors who contribute $10,000 or more will have their name in the splash pad.

 

This isn't the only thing that Coahoma Pride Inc. hopes to do in Coahoma. Martinez told KBest News that once the money is raised for the splash pad they hope to build a sidewalk around the park so that the elderly, parents and anyone else can walk around the park while their kids are playing.

 

This isn't the only thing that Coahoma Pride Inc. hopes to do in Coahoma. Martinez told KBest News that once the money is raised for the splash pad they hope to build a sidewalk around the park so that the elderly, parents and anyone else can walk around the park while their kids are playing.

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Area News: Snyder PD searches for two connected with recent Murder


The Snyder Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating two suspects in connection with a murder that occurred last week.

 

1st Degree Murder warrants have been issued for Donald Earl Emerson and Misty Ann Parham. Both warrants have been issued by Scurry County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 in relation to a murder that occurred in a residence located at 1912 Coleman, Apt. #1 in Snyder on July 1, 2021.

 

According to a press release issued by the Snyder PD, officers were dispatched to the scene in reference to a gunshot victim. Upon arrival, officers found 38-year-old Norris Lee Williams deceased at the scene.

 

Emerson is a 40-year-old black male. He’s 6’0” tall, 180 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. Parham is a 28-year-old white female. She’s 5’3” tall, 140 lbs., black hair and brown eyes.

If you have any tips or knowledge of the location of these fugitives please contact the Snyder Police Department at 325-573-0261.

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DPS Kicks Off Two Operations to Keep Roads Safe this Holiday


AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be increasing the number of Texas Highway Patrol Troopers on the road from Friday, July 2, through Monday, July 5, as part of Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction and Effort) and Operation Holiday. DPS Troopers will be on the roads looking for drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or not wearing seat belts.

 

“Celebrating the Fourth of July and our nation’s freedom is a joyous time, but we must take our responsibilities on the road seriously,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Please remember to drive carefully and obey all traffic laws to ensure everyone can enjoy the holiday.”

 

Operation Holiday will run on Saturday and Sunday and targets drivers who violate traffic laws. During the 2020 campaign, there were 39,913 citations and warnings. This includes 15,821 warnings and citations for speeding, as well as more than 1,100 warnings and citations for seat belt and child safety restraint violations. DPS enforcement efforts also included 308 DWI citations, 453 felony arrests, and 101 fugitive arrests.

 

Operation CARE runs from July 2 through July 5, and focuses on reducing crashes and violations of the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law. From Jan. 1 through June 18 of 2021, there were 7,036 Move Over, Slow Down violations. The law requires drivers to slow down when vehicles — including police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks — are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.

 

DPS offers the following safety tips for people driving during the Fourth of July holiday:

 

·       Don’t drink and drive. Make alternate plans if you’re consuming alcohol.

·       Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated. Show the same courtesy to fellow drivers who are stopped on the side of the road.

·       Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law.

·       Slow down, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or construction zones.

·       Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits the use of portable wireless devices to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. If you’re using a navigation device or app, have a passenger operate it so you can keep your eyes on the road.

·       Drive defensively, as holiday travel can present additional challenges.

·       On multi-lane roads, use the left lane for passing only. Not only is it courteous driving and avoids impeding traffic, Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to use the left lane for passing only (when posted).

·       If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize traffic impact. Leaving vehicles in a traffic lane increases traffic congestion and leaves those involved with an increased risk of harm or a secondary wreck. On some highways, if you don’t move your vehicle when it’s safe to do so, you’re violating the law.

·       Check your vehicle to make sure it’s properly maintained and always ensure your cargo is secure.

·       Report road hazards or anything suspicious to the nearest law enforcement agency.

·       Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you’re traveling. For road conditions and closures in Texas, visit Drive Texas.

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Local blood bank supply at critical level. Public encouraged to donate blood at 2-day blood drive at Back in Motion in Big Spring


Dianne Scott, Vitalant Donor Recruitment Supervisor, has just reported that the current blood supply at the local blood bank is critically low with only a 2-day supply on the shelf.

 

Blood donations in June were short by 200 units. Scott told KBest News she hopes to bring in many pints of blood with the 2-day blood drive at Back In Motion Chiropractic - 1113 S. Scurry - in Big Spring.

 

Today, July 1st, donors can give blood at the bloodmobile from 11 am to 3:30 PM. Tomorrow, there will be 2 bloodmobiles on site from 11 am to 4 PM during their Customer Appreciation Event.

 

T-shirts will be given to donors while supplies last. Walk-ins are welcomed and appointments can be made online here:

 

https://donors.vitalant.org/dwp/portal/dwa/appointment/guest/phl/findDrives

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Area News: $10 million of damage is estimated for the City of Lamesa as a result of Saturday's severe thunderstorm, 06/26/21


On Monday, the National Weather Service and the Texas Department of Emergency Management made a trip to Lamesa to assess the damage from the severe weather that struck the city on June 26.

 

According to Josh Stevens, Mayor for the City of Lamesa, NWS concluded that although “tornado funnels” had been observed near Lamesa a tornado did not actually occur. Instead, the city experienced multiple downbursts during Saturday’s severe thunderstorm. These strong downward currents of air from a cumulonimbus cloud, usually associated with intense rain or a thunderstorm, can be more destructive than a tornado.

 

The initial assessment of total damages in the City of Lamesa is approximately $10 million. This is a result of over 60 downed power poles, 100-200 large trees that had fallen on homes, and the local lake has risen approximately 25 feet over its banks, causing severe flooding in several blocks in the area. In addition to this, multiple residents had been without power for 3-4 days and Oncor had been in Lamesa since early Sunday morning working to restore power.

 

"Everyone's roof in Lamesa is gonna need to be replaced. We had golfball to tennis-ball-sized hail at different parts of the city," said Stevens.

 

"Currently, right now on the city side, we have several roads that are failing, starting to cave in. We have multiple sinkholes beginning to open up in different areas of the city just from so much water. We have about four lift stations that are completely underwater. They are operating at about a 20 percent level, but we are operating. That's the main part that we're very grateful for. Our water services and sewage services have still been maintained throughout this event, but every day is a struggle. We're just trying to put the pieces back together," he continued.

 

Mayor Stevens estimated that there are 100-115 families that were displaced due to the flooding. They are currently being taken care of by families, churches, and local hotels but Stevens stated that the families are not expected to be back in their homes for multiple weeks.

 

As of Wednesday morning, Lamesa had received 9 inches of rain and current weather forecasts show that more rain is expected throughout the week.

 

Organizations like the Texas Baptist Men, Southwest Christian Women’s Corp have been assisting residents, but Mayor Stevens said that the community has really come together to take care of each other.

 

"The City of Lamesa, the citizens, have absolutely rallied to a point I've never seen before in my entire life. How we've come together and are fighting like crazy to take care of people, feeding people, clothing people, and we are really pretty resilient," said Mayor Stevens of the community working together.

 

"We're taking care of our own and we're thankful that we have all these other companies comin' in to help us out and everything, but right now, from the word 'Go' people were out pulling people from the water, getting them in the home and drying them off, and removing all the debris within the city. It really has been a great sight to see the community come together and help each other out."

 

At this time, Mayor Stevens said that residents have been taken care of with clothes, food, and shelter. For anyone wanting to help, monetary donations to the Lamesa Relief Fund at Lamesa National Bank and volunteers to help clear debris are always appreciated.

 

"We'll take all the extra hands we can get," said Mayor Stevens.

 

"City staff and first responders have been working around the clock since Saturday night. I know they're tired and they're hungry. I know they're gettin' fed well, but just finding time to stop and take a break is just something we can't afford to do right now."

 

"We're working the best we can," continued Stevens. "We think in about a week or two, we'll see some good headway, and hopefully, the water rescinds and we can get to all of our other areas and really start to assess that kind of damage from what the water has done. I think our biggest problems are still ahead of us and we understand just the full extent of what's happened to some of those homes, roadways, and infrastructure in and around the city."

 

Monetary donations can be made to the Lamesa Relief Fund at:

Lamesa National Bank

602 S. 1st St.

Lamesa, TX

(806) 872-5457

 

Volunteers can coordinate with Larry Duyck, Lamesa Fire Chief, at (806)-872-4352.

 

Photo: KCBD News Channel 11

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