BIG SPRING, TX -- KBest Media will be hosting their annual Community Blood Drive on Friday, September 10, 2021, from 10 AM to 2 PM at 608 Johnson in Big Spring. Donors will receive a free t-shirt while supplies last.
Be advised that at this time, both staff and donors are required to wear a face-covering when donating blood. For more information and to make appointments in advance, visit vitalant.org.
As of Friday, Sept. 03, 2021, the COVID-19 Update for Big Spring and Howard County is as follows:
There are 277 active cases of COVID-19, which is over 50 more than what was reported the week before.
Overall, there have been 5,250 total cases of COVID-19 in Howard County. Of those, 4,866 cases have been closed. There have been 107 patient fatalities. The Region J Hospitalization rate decreased to 16.84 percent.
BIG SPRING - Heading straight into a second round of COVID-19 with the more precarious and hostile variants has levied a cumbersome strain on an already overloaded health care system.
As dedicated health care teams confront the physical effects of COVID-19 and its aftermath, and other professionals work on preventive care (think vaccines, healthy living, etc.), still others are charged with an unmeasured tangent of COVID-19 - caring for our mental wellness.
“We have managed numerous effects from past health care concerns, but none like that in which we are facing with COVID-19,” West Texas Centers CEO Shelley Smith said.
“Never before have we been confronted with the mental effects of a physical illness as we have with COVID-19.”
The Licensed Master Social Worker said the effects run the gamut of families confronting the illnesses and deaths of loved ones to those who are scared, concerned, and frightened about contracting the disease.
“Everywhere you turn someone has an idea, an opinion, and most of the time it’s very strong and they aren’t to be persuaded,” Smith said. “The mental health effects are like nothing we have ever seen before.”
Smith and her dedicated staff who manage and operate the 15 mental health clinics in the rural West Texas Centers system have seen an influx in people looking for care or at least inquiring about care for themselves and their loved ones.
West Texas Centers operates a 24-hour hotline for people with any questions concerning mental health and/or services provided by West Texas Centers.
“There’s been a sharp uptick in the number of calls,” she said. “And we are very, very concerned. We are trying to get out the word that we have resources that can help all who have questions, and we are trying very hard to get that word out particularly during National Suicide Prevention Month.”
Many of the problems can fester and lead to severe depression and suicidal tendencies, Smith said.
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone and often are the result of untreated mental health conditions. Thoughts of suicide should not be considered normal and often indicates serious issues, she said.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month - a time to raise awareness on suicide and educating the public on awareness and shifting public perception.
“We want people and their friends and families to know that they have access to resources, including our mental health clinics, a team of mental health professionals and our 24-hour hotline.”
Close to half of the people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Warning signs of suicide include:
Increased alcohol and drug use
Withdrawal from friends, family, and community
Dramatic mood swings
Impulsive or reckless behavior
Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency, according to NAMI. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911.
Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
Giving away possessions
Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
Saying goodbye to friends and family
“We are here to help,” Smith said of West Texas Centers. “Our Crisis Hotline is 1-800-375-4357.”
West Texas Centers serves the people of Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Fisher, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Howard, Kent, Loving, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reeves, Runnels, Scurry, Terrell, Terry, Upton, Ward, Winkler and Yoakum counties.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourages everyone to drive safely as they celebrate the unofficial end of summer during the long Labor Day weekend. The Texas Highway Patrol will be increasing enforcement from Sept. 3 through Sept. 6, looking for people not wearing their seat belts, speeders, people driving while intoxicated and drivers who fail to follow the state’s Move Over, Slow Down law, among other traffic violations.
During the 2020 Labor Day holiday, Troopers issued over 71,000 citations and warnings, which included over 800 felony arrests and 200 fugitive arrests.
Drivers are encouraged to follow these tips during the Labor Day 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.
Know your route before beginning your trip.
Don’t drive fatigued. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
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 of 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.
Don’t cut in front of large trucks, and try not to brake quickly in front of them, if possible. They can’t maneuver as easily as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.
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.
Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort) will run simultaneously. Operation CARE is an initiative among police agencies across the country, including the Texas Highway Patrol. It increases enforcement efforts during designated periods throughout the year, including holidays like Labor Day.
A free comedy show will be held on Sunday night in downtown Big Spring. Attendees will get to enjoy 90 minutes of laughter and have an opportunity to raise money for the Big Spring Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.
The “Veterans of Comedy and Friends” comedy show will be held on Sept. 5, 2021, at 10 PM at the Desert Flower Art Bar, located on the corner of E. 2nd and Main St. The show will feature Veterans of Comedy Chris Crawford and Mike Shields and will be hosted by Jenni Moore. During the event, for every person who meets Chris Crawford and mentions the DAV the Veterans of Comedy will donate $2 to DAV, Ch. 47 in Big Spring.
When asked what moved him to organize the fundraiser, Crawford stated that it's the kind of thing that the VOC does.
"Our charge is to try to support troops, both past, and present, through our chosen method - which happens to be laughter and sharing humor and bringing cheer to people’s faces. However, I think that in general, we like to perform for the VFWs, VA clinics, the DAV - anyway we can give back to the people who actually make a difference in a veteran’s life or give back to those who support the troops," said Crawford.
"That’s what we really, really like to do. That is our charge and our mission with the Veterans of Comedy. We’re not just comedians, but we’re also people who are trying to be involved in the communities and organizations that support our brothers and sisters in arms."
Chris Crawford served in the U.S. Airforce for 20 years. Since retirement, Crawford now is a teacher in San Angelo at Goodfellow Airforce Base helping to prepare the next generation of airmen as they move forward into their careers. He’s been with the Veterans of Comedy for over a year.
BIG SPRING, TX -- Last week, 13 members of the U.S. military were killed in the attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, as they worked to evacuate people to safety. Since then, it’s been reported that eleven were Marines, one was a Navy medic and another was a member of the Army.
Several Big Spring residents in the Highland neighborhood have joined together to honor these 13 soldiers by decorating their front yards with 13 American flags. According to Laurie Choat Churchwell, local resident, it all began with a social media post on a neighborhood Facebook page, but soon inspired others to join in on the idea.
Churchwell told KBest News that Tara Bradshaw had originally made the post showing her thirteen flags in her yard with the caption "In honor of the fallen."
Other residents immediately jumped on board and the hashtag #13flagsfor13days was suggested in hopes that it would spread beyond the neighborhood. #13flagsfor13days began on Monday, Aug. 30th, and it will continue through Saturday, September 11th as a way to remember soldiers lost in last week's attack in Afghanistan.
Churchwell told KBest News that the neighborhood already has patriotic decorations from their annual Fourth of July parade, so this was just another way to pull the neighborhood together and show their support.
“We’re hoping that with the hashtag #13flagsfor13days that others will join in and hashtag their photos and anyone can go to that hashtag and see photos from all over town,” said Churchwell.
The community is encouraged to join in on the supportive display by placing 13 flags on display to represent the 13 fallen soldiers, then take a photo and post to social media with the hashtag #13flagsfor13days.
(Photo - Laurie Choat Churchwell, Facebook)
Date: September 1, 2021
To: Media Outlets
From: Mayor Shannon D. Thomason
Re: Constitutional Carry Day
As of today, Constitutional, or more accurately, “PERMITLESS” carry is legal in Texas. I am a great supporter of the right to keep and bear arms and I think that this has been long overdue in our great state. That being said, we all must remember the “great responsibility”. When we as law abiding gun owners choose to carry in defense of ourselves and our loved ones, we have the power of life and death at our fingertips. We therefore have a responsibility to exercise that right safely so as not to needlessly endanger ourselves or those around us.
I celebrate our right to “keep and bear arms”. I also ask that we all do so responsibly. Here are a few tips:
Be safe! Treat every gun as if it is fully loaded and ready to fire. Never assume that a gun isn’t loaded. If you have children in the home, please keep your guns stored safely. Teach them that guns
are tools, not toys. I encourage everyone to teach kids firearm safety and responsibility.
Get trained: If you haven’t been to a firearms safety class, I encourage you to do so. They are informative and actually a lot of fun!
Get a “LTC”: While permitless carry does allow you to carry in a lot of instances, actually holding a “License To Carry” grants even more options, including the legal ability to carry in certain other states.
Educate yourself: The new law allowing permitless carry is NOT free rein to carry anywhere. There are still laws prohibiting the carrying of a firearm in certain places. If you carry in a prohibited place, you can (and most likely will) be arrested, so know the law. Here is a good guide to get you started:
Congratulations folks! As of today, if you can legally own a gun, you have a RIGHT to carry. You also have a RESPONSIBILITY to do so safely and in accordance with the law.
Two announcements from the City of Big Spring this morning:
Big Spring Road Closure, 09/02/21
Beginning at 8:00 AM today, September 2, 2021, Goliad Street between East 15th and East 17th Street will be closed to thru traffic while work is completed. Travelers will be detoured around the work zone.
The City apologizes for any inconvenience and asks for the public's patience while work is completed. Please direct any questions or concerns to the office of Shane Bowles, Public Works Director, at 432-264-2501.
Water Line Repairs, 09/02/21
Due to service on water lines, customers on the east side of Big Spring will experience low to no water pressure today, September 2, 2021, from approximately 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Water customers east of Birdwell Lane from Baylor Drive to the refinery, including residents in Coahoma and Sand Springs.
The City of Big Spring appreciates your patience and cooperation in this matter. If you have questions, please contact the office of Shane Bowles, Public Works Director, at 432-264-2501.
Texas DPS has released more information concerning a 2-vehicle collision in Howard County that involved a motorhome and a semi-truck.
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, an auto accident occurred near the intersection of U.S. Highway 87 and FM 700, just 2 miles north of Big Spring, at 2:35 PM. According to the preliminary investigation, Elizabeth K. Bergen, a 74-year-old of Seminole, TX, was traveling east on FM 700 in a 2015 Thor Motorhome when she failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign and collided with a 2017 Peterbilt truck tractor towing a semi-trailer that was traveling north on U.S. Highway 87.
Bergen was later pronounced dead by Dr. Charles Addington at University Medical Center in Lubbock, TX. The driver of the Peterbilt, Ishmael Herrera, 48, of Lamesa, TX, sustained incapacitating injuries and was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center in Big Spring. According to the DPS report, both drivers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Big Spring Steers opened their season with a victory on the road last week in Vernon and will play at home this Friday against Lubbock High. Not only will this Friday be the first home game of the season, but it will also be the first game in a long time that there will be a medical provider on the sidelines for the Steers.
According to Mitzi Knight, Business Developer for Scenic Mountain Medical Center, this year, Scenic Mountain Medical Center and Scenic Mountain Medical Group, along with John Overton, Athletic Trainer for Howard College, and new BSHS athletic trainer Hannah Gartman will be working with two medical providers on the field during home games for the Steers.
“It’s going to be Dr. Scott Barclay, and Jonathan Morales, Nurse Practitioner, and we’re so excited for the home games, and they’re super excited,” said Knight.
She also announced that SMMC will also be teaming up with the Odessa Sports Clinic at Odessa Regional Medical Center (ORMC) with Dr. Luv Singh, MD - Sports Orthopedic Surgeon. In Odessa, there will be a free sports clinic from 9 am - 10 am on Saturday mornings, where sports injuries can be seen on a first-come-first-serve basis.
"So if we have an injury, hopefully, they don’t have to go to the emergency room, but if they do, they know exactly what to do and they make that call to Dr. Singh, otherwise Dr. Barclay or Jonathan - whichever is on the field that night - will hook up with John Overton and they’ll make a straight phone call to Dr. Singh and he’ll know exactly what’s gone on, and he’ll know exactly what to do when he sees that young gentleman," said Knight.
Tickets for this week’s home game go on sale today at the ATC, next to Big Spring High School, from 8:30 am - 12:30 PM and 2-3 pm. Pre-sale prices are $4 for adults and $2 for students. All general admission at the gate will be $6 per person.
Be advised that only student tickets for home games can be purchased on Fridays at each campus. If you have questions concerning football tickets, contact Rosi Slate at 432-264-3662.
On Tuesday morning, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a "Thank You for your Investment" presentation for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County, outside of their joint office on the corner of E. 3rd and Gregg St. in Big Spring.
Christian Fair, Executive Director for the organization, told KBest News that she was thankful to the Chamber for the recognition that they give their agencies and partners. She went on to say that Chamber and its Ambassadors do their best to show up at events and network throughout the community.
Over the weekend, the United Way held its campaign kickoff event for 2022 by hosting a 2-day golf tournament and a concert at the Comanche Trail Amphitheater that featured country music artists SPUR 327 BAND and Micky and the Motorcars.
"We have some things coming up on the horizon. So, just stay tuned, listen to KBST, watch the paper, [and] watch Facebook because we have some really cool things on the horizon," said Fair.
The United Way of Big Spring and Howard County is a non-profit organization that partners with 14 health and human service agencies to serve the people of Howard County. Each year their campaign raises thousands of dollars to distribute to the agencies that provide a variety of services for local residents. All money raised in Howard County stays in Howard County.
The United Way's local partner agencies are as follows:
- YMCA of Big Spring
- The Salvation Army
- The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club
- Spring of Siloam, Christian Women’s Job Corp
- Rape Crisis/Victim Services of Big Spring
- Howard County Resource Center
- Emergency Services Chaplain Corp
- Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels
- CASA of West Texas
- Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America
- SMMC Volunteers
- West Texas Community Mediation Center
To make a donation to the local United Way in Big Spring, or to schedule up a presentation at your workplace for an Employee Contribution Campaign that benefits the United Way, contact Christian Fair at 432-267-5201.