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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Clean-Up Begins Saturday

Dumpsters will be just east of the City Shop on 3rd and Laurel.
Roscoe’s annual Spring Clean-Up begins this Saturday, March 25, and will run through next Friday, March 31. This year it is being held next to the City Shop at 3rd and Laurel Streets, near the baseball field. Hours of operation are 8:00am to 7:00pm.

There will be three large dumpsters just east of the City Shop, two for all debris and one for tires. Items which may not be placed in containers are as follows: paint, oil, oil filters, chemical containers, and tree limbs.  Air conditioners and refrigerators must be tagged land-fill acceptable.  There is no curb service, and since the Spring Clean-Up is for Roscoe residents only, anyone dropping off anything must be prepared to show a City of Roscoe water bill or other proof of Roscoe residency.

For more information, contact City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.

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INJUN ROBERT SAYS 2017 CROP OUTLOOK NOT SO GOOD

The dawn wind was from the southwest.
As he has in years past, “Injun Robert” McBride performed the “Sunrise Wind” ceremony at dawn yesterday morning, March 21, the first day after the beginning of Spring, and saw a brisk southwest breeze blow the smoke of his fire to the northeast. According to the ancient lore of the Plains Indians, that outcome foretells a below-average crop for this year.

Those unfamiliar with the ritual may appreciate some background information to understand its import. Known in the Comanche language as Taba’na Yuan’e, or “Sunrise Wind” ceremony, it was a traditional practice of the Plains Indians long before the white man came. It was observed around 1881 by a Mr. Crim, who oversaw the mule teams used in building the T&P railway across west Texas. While in the Van Horn area on the morning of March 22, he noticed puffs of smoke coming from all the Indian huts in sight. He asked what was going on and was told that the Indians were seeing what kinds of crops they would have that year by building a fire just before dawn and then, as the sun appeared, observing which direction the wind blew the smoke.  This was always done on the morning after the first day of spring.

According to legend, an east or northeast wind meant a "very good” year, north or northwest "average," west or southwest "poor," and south or southeast "very bad.”

In the early 1970s George Parks, editor of the Roscoe Times, learned of the ceremony, which was still being performed annually in Muleshoe by old Mr. Crim’s son, referred to by the locals there as “Injun John.” “Injun George” learned the particulars from “Injun John” and replicated them here for many years until shortly before his journey to the happy hunting grounds in 1983. In addition to observing the smoke, “Injun George” added a rain dance around the fire in hopes that it would lessen the effects of a bad forecast and increase those of a good one.

In 2012, “Injun Robert” revived the tradition, even adding a “rain turtle” in 2014, although he abandoned it for 2015 since it didn’t seem to help. As with “Injun George” before him, his predictions have been mostly but not always accurate. Here’s his record so far with the annual number of bales ginned at the Central Rolling Plains Co-op used as his measure of success. (Since the gin’s opening in 2007, the Co-op has ginned an annual average of 62,172 bales.)

            Year         Wind            Prediction      Bales Ginned
            2012     Northwest        Average           66,985
            2013     Southwest        Poor                 71,849
            2014     Southwest        Poor                 32,274
            2015     Northwest        Average           75,636
            2016     Southwest        Poor                 87,827
            2017     Southwest        Poor                    ?

A look at the predictions reveals a couple of anomalies, one in 2013 and the other this past year, 2016. In both, a southwest wind portended a poor crop. But the 71,849 bales in 2013 at worst would have to be classed “average,” and almost everyone would agree that last year’s 87,827 bales was in no way a “poor” year.

It's enough to make one wonder how accurate the Indians were with their predictions. We’ll just have to wait and see how this year turns out. Let’s hope it’s wrong again!

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ROSCOE DEBATERS BREAK EVEN IN UIL STATE FINALS

RCHS debaters Alfonso Islas and Josh Stegge
Roscoe Collegiate High School’s debate team of sophomores Josh Stegge and Alfonso Islas, who won the District Championship back in January, didn’t win state last week in Austin, but they did do well enough to break even in their matches with other state finalists, winning two matches and losing two.

They beat Thorndale and Crawford and lost to Centerville and Malakoff Cross Roads—not bad for a couple of sophomores in Roscoe’s first year of debate competition. I think we can call that a win.

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RCHS ONE-ACT PLAY TEAM, A TOP DISTRICT FINISHER, MOVES ON TO BI-DISTRICT

Roscoe's One-Act Play team.
At the UIL District meet in Anson on Wednesday, March 8, the RCHS One-Act Play team was one of the top three finishers, which qualifies them to move on to the Bi-District competition at Irion County High School tomorrow. The schools in district competition were Albany, Anson, Hamlin, Haskell, Hawley, Roscoe, and Stamford, and the other two teams to advance are Haskell and Stamford.

Roscoe students received these individual honors:

Best Actor Award – Caleb Ward
All-Star Cast Award – Jovana Pena
Technical Crew Award – Johnny Cuellar

The name of the play is “Wait Until Dark” by Frederick Knott.

Cast members include Braiden Moore, Nolan Reeves, Caleb Ward, Jovana Pena, Parker Payne, Jaci Alexander, Christian Acuna, Arthur Pope, and Bonnie Wilkinson. Crew members are Jose Chavira, Johnny Cuellar, and Lyndi Wilkinson. Director is Gay-Lynn Moses, and Co-Director is Vanessa Galvan.

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JODEY ARRINGTON & SID MILLER TO MEET & GREET AT THE LUMBERYARD APRIL 10

Jodey Arrington                                          Sid Miller
U. S. Congressman Jodey Arrington and Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller will be in Roscoe at the Lumberyard on Monday, April 10, from 9am to 3pm to meet with area farmers, ranchers, and other interested citizens. They will discuss the upcoming farm bill and provide other information.

The event is being sponsored by Richard Kemp’s Farm & Ranch Report of KGLD.FM 106.9, "the Country Giant," in Abilene.

Everyone is invited, so come meet your Congressman and Commissioner of Agriculture.

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PLOWGIRL/PLOWBOY RESULTS FROM PIPER RELAYS

The Piper Relays in Hamlin on Saturday saw the participation of 29 schools: Abilene Christian, Albany, Aspermont, Borden County, Breckenridge, Bronte, Childress, Chillicothe, Clyde, Colorado City, Cross Plains, Hamlin, Hawley, Home School, Jayton, Knox City, Merkel, Munday, Rankin, Roby, Roscoe, Rotan, Santa Anna, Seymour, Shallowater, Snyder, Spur, Stamford, Water Valley.

Here are the results for Plowgirls and Plowboys who finished in the top six of their events:

Plowgirls

Event                           Place       Athlete                      Time/Distance
400 meter dash            2          Bonnie Wilkinson                  1:02.29
800 meter run              2          Lyndi Wilkinson                    2:34.21
4 x 100 m. relay            3          Plowgirls                                    52.63
4 x 400 m. relay           2          Plowgirls                                 4:23.02
Triple Jump                  2          Bonnie Wilkinson                  35’8½”

Plowboys

Triple Jump                   6          Micheal Wright                          39’

The Plowgirls and Plowboys will participate in the Badger Relays at Merkel tomorrow afternoon.

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HUGE CROWD EXPECTED FOR RANDY ROGERS AT LUMBERYARD SATURDAY, BRI BAGWELL FRIDAY

The Randy Rogers Band.
The Randy Rogers Band will be in town Saturday night for the Lumberyard’s first big show of the spring. The popular appeal of the band is evident not only in the size of the crowds at their live performances, but also in the success of their albums.

Since 2008, they have released four studio albums, and all four have made it to the top five on the US country charts: The Randy Rogers Band (2008), Burning the Day (2010), Trouble (2013), and Nothing Shines Like Neon (2016).  Their live album Homemade Tamales – Live at Floore’s (2014) reached number eleven and the band has also also produced two other CDs with Wade Bowen, Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (2015) and Watch This (2016), the first peaking at number 4.

Top singles include “Too Late for Goodbye,” “In My Arms Instead,” “One More Sad Song,” “Kiss Me in the Dark,” “One More Goodbye,” “Satellite,” and “Neon Blues.” (Click title to watch video.)

For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

Bri Bagwell.
Texas Country singer and songwriter Bri Bagwell will be at the Lumberyard Friday night as she makes up for missing a show earlier this year.

Born and raised in Las Cruces, NM, she has been singing since childhood, originally performing with her twin brothers.  She now travels the Texas honky-tonk circuit. She has been to Nashville and hopes to become country music’s next superstar. Her musical influences include Miranda Lambert, Patty Griffin, and Johnny Cash. This video features her singing her single “Whiskey.”

For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

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WEATHER REPORT: WINDY AND UNSEASONABLY WARM

Yesterday's front moves through.
It was a typical week for March in west Texas as regards the wind. That is to say, it was windy every day with southerly winds of anywhere from 10 to 25mph with gusts up into the thirties on most days. Temperatures, on the other hand, were much warmer than average for the last official week of winter. Since Thursday, the highs have been in the eighties, and on Monday and yesterday they were 90°F and 91° respectively, some twenty degrees above the norm. Lows were within a degree or two of sixty during the same six-day stretch.

Yesterday afternoon we got a break from the heat when a cool front moved through around six o’clock. First it clouded over and in just a short while there was lightning and thunder, the first we’ve heard in about a month. Then we actually got some precipitation. It wasn’t a lot—my rain gauge measured .06”, which means it did little more than get the sidewalk wet—but it was nice while it lasted since it’s the first we’ve had all month. It also caused the temperature to drop about 15 degrees, and the cooler breeze felt nice.

Today will be a little cooler than the past few days, but it will still top out at about 85°. Tomorrow’s high will be only about 80°, Friday’s 73°, and Saturday’s 79° before returning to the eighties for Sunday and the beginning of next week. There is a 60% chance of rain currently forecast for next Wednesday, but nothing more than 10% between now and then.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

City Council Hears City Plans, Police Report, Awards Cemetery Bid

Cody Thompson addresses the Council at yesterday's meeting.
At its monthly meeting at City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council got updates on City projects and plans, as well as the monthly Police report. It also accepted a cemetery maintenance bid and approved plans to open bidding for the management of the City Swimming Pool this summer.

City Manager Cody Thompson updated the Council on plans for Spring Super Saturday on April 8. The event will run from 11am to 7pm for all retailers and until 11:30pm for the Lumberyard. The Roscoe Express will shuttle visitors to local businesses, and the Roscoe Historical Museum will be open.

This year’s celebration will introduce two new exciting events in a new venue. In the open area just northwest of the railroad tracks on Cypress and across Business US 84 from McVey’s Nursery, a Tuff Truck Competition will open the festivities as drivers tackle obstacles and race for time, followed by a Crash Up Derby, which is simply a demolition derby by another name. All proceeds will benefit the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department. Then live music will begin at 5pm at the Lumberyard with popular country singer Jamie Richards & Band, followed by country legend Charley Pride, this year’s star of the show. It should be quite a memorable evening.

Thompson also announced that the City’s annual Easter Egg Hunt in Old Town Park, across the street from City Hall, will be on Saturday, April 15, from 2:00 to 3:30pm.

Work has progressed at the City Shop, where a concrete slab for a new equipment building has been poured. City workers have also built forms for new sidewalks and will be busy pouring cement for driveways and sidewalks the next couple of weeks. Preparations are also underway for Spring Clean-up which this year will be from March 24-31. Dumpsters for trash, tree limbs, debris, and tires will be just east of the City Shop on 3rd and Laurel Streets near George Parks baseball field.

Applications for funding of water lines by the Texas Water Development Board have been completed, and sanitary sewer line improvements will soon begin. Tire stops have been installed in the city parking lot across Broadway from the Blackland Smokehouse and the Wildflower Boutique.

Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the Council the Police report as well as a mandatory racial profiling form, which documents the ethnicities of drivers stopped by the Roscoe police.

The Council approved the bid of Skeet Kimbrell of Roscoe to take charge of maintenance of the Roscoe Cemetery. It also approved the placement of advertisements for the management of the City Swimming Pool for the summer. For more information, contact City Hall at 325-766-3871.

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LARRY BLACK NAMED TEXAS AGRICULTURE CO-OP GINNER OF THE YEAR

Roscoe Gin Manager Larry Black
At its state meeting in Frisco on Monday, the TACC (Texas Agriculture Cooperative Council) named Larry Black its 2016 Ginner of the Year. Black is the Manager of the Central Rolling Plains Co-op’s Roscoe Gin and has been since 2002. The Roscoe Gin has undergone considerable remodeling and upgrading during his tenure, and it broke its record this year for number of bales ginned in a single season.

Congratulations, Larry, on a well-deserved honor!

Central Rolling Plains Co-op Board of Directors: Roddy Alexander, Leslie Rannefeld, Kenny Landfried, Larry Black, Ralph Stirl, Steve Moore, James Parrott, Larry Williams. Not pictured: Rolan Petty, Scott Etheredge, Ricky Bowman.
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CENTRAL ROLLING PLAINS CO-OP COMPLETES GINNING SEASON

The Central Rolling Plains Co-op Cotton Gin.
The 2016 cotton crop is in. The Central Rolling Plains Co-op Cotton Gin completed its ginning season last Wednesday, March 8, as it produced its final bale. That’s a little late as far as finishing the season usually goes, but this year’s late freeze extended it and increased the yield. Back in October at the gin’s open house dinner, most of those who wrote down their predictions for this year’s number of bales underestimated what this year’s result would be. The final total is 87,827 bales, even more than Gin Manager Larry Black expected, and a new record for the Roscoe Gin. The 109,991 bales in 2007 includes some 40,000 bales that were ginned in Inadale, the last year that gin was open,

 Here’s how this year’s total compares to the gin’s output for the previous nine years:

                                             2007           109,991
                                             2008             57,184
                                             2009             39,626
                                             2010             70,379
                                             2011               9,966
                                             2012             66,985
                                             2013             71,849
                                             2014             32,274
                                             2015             75,636
                                             2016             87,827

Since the ten-year average for the gin including 2016 is 62,172 bales, this year’s total is 25,655 bales, or 34%, above the average.

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PLOWBOYS, PLOWGIRLS HOST BLACKLAND DIVIDE RELAYS

Karina Cisneros, far right, finished second in the 1600 meter run.
The Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field Friday afternoon was a chilly affair with a sharp northeast wind and temperatures in the upper fifties. Even so, there was a large crowd on hand to view the events.

The varsity boys’ teams finished in this order: Munday, Post, Stamford, Merkel, Colorado City, Roby, Hawley, and Roscoe. The varsity girls’ teams finished in this order: Post, Merkel, Munday, Stamford, Roscoe, Colorado City, Jayton, Roby, and Eula.

Bonnie Wilkinson once again stood out for the Plowgirls. She won two events, the 400-meter dash and the triple jump, and was on the Plowgirls’ 4 x 400-meter relay team, which placed second, and the 4 x 100-meter relay team, which finished fourth. Her sister Lyndi was first in the 800-meter run and was also a member of the two Plowgirl relay teams. Karina Cisneros finished second in the 1600-meter run.

Here is a listing of the Plowboys and Plowgirls who finished in the top six of their events, along with their best time or distance, whether seed or final.

Plowboys

Event                  Place          Athlete                     Time/Distance     
800 meter run     4             Braiden Moore               2:10
4 x 100 relay          6             Plowboys “A”                  47.52
  (Jose Ortega, Micheal Wright, Jayden Gonzales, Junior Martinez)
4 x 400 relay        4             Plowboys “A”                 3:47.47
  (Jose Ortega, Braiden Moore, Micheal Wright, Junior Martinez)
Triple Jump         4            Micheal Wright              38’ 2½”

Plowgirls
400 meter dash    1          Bonnie Wilkinson          1:01.42
800 meter run      1           Lyndi Wilkinson            2:32.91
                                 6          Karina Cisneros              2:51.41
1600 meter run    2           Karina Cisneros             6:17.73
4 x 100 relay          4          Plowgirls “A”                   52.84
  (Jaci Alexander, Lyndi Wilkinson, Anahi Ortega Solis, Bonnie Wilkinson)
4 x 400 relay         2           Plowgirls “A”                  4:17.40
  (Jaci Alexander, Lyndi Wilkinson, Lynzie Atkinson, Bonnie Wilkinson)
Triple Jump          1            Bonnie Wilkinson           34’ 3¾”
Shot Put                 6            Kinzie Buchanan             29’ 1”
Discus Throw       4            Veronica Cuellar             90’ 1”

The Plowgirls and Plowboys’ next meet is the Piper Relays in Hamlin this Saturday, March 18. The Plowboys JV is off for Spring Break. They will resume in Merkel on Tuesday, March 21.

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THIRD SUNDAY OF THE MONTH LUNCH THIS SUNDAY
March 19, 11:30-1:30
Menu: Hamburger meal, dessert, and drink - $6 per plate
Roscoe Community Center

COMMUNITY CENTER RENTALS
Call Misty Reynolds – 325-338-1005

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TEXAS AG COMMISSIONER POSTPONES ROSCOE VISIT

Sid Miller
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who planned to lunch with local farmers and ranchers at the Lumberyard next Monday, has had to postpone the visit to an unspecified future date. His previously planned trip to Israel was unexpectedly moved forward a few days, causing him to cancel all his other plans for the first part of next week.

For more information, call 325-701-7823.

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Matthew Buckley placed fourth in his weight class at the Regional Powerlifting Meet in Lubbock last week.

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WEATHER REPORT: SPRING TEMPERATURES, BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS

The old cotton house at sunset.
The weather was a mixed bag this past week with some miserable weather as well as some that was gorgeous. It was also a week of bright nights as the full moon came on Sunday and the days immediately preceding and following all had moonlit night skies. And, since it was also the week in which Daylight Savings Time began, we’ve all been learning to adjust to the extra hour of darkness in the early morning and the corresponding extra hour of sunlight in the evening.

Wednesday and Thursday’s warm afternoons changed to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s chilly ones with strong breezes from the northeast. Sunday morning there was a fog thick enough to get everything wet, but the weekend forecast for rain turned out to be wrong. Yesterday afternoon turned out to be gorgeous with a high of 77°, the wind becoming calm in the evening, and the western skies having a beautiful sunset. The high for the week was Thursday’s 81°F, and the low was Sunday morning’s 38°.

The outlook is for a warming trend with a 71° high today, followed by 77° tomorrow, and then six days in a row with highs reaching into the eighties and lows within two or three degrees of 60°. Rain is unlikely as the forecast chances are either 0% or 10%. The first official day of Spring this year falls on March 20, i.e., next Monday.

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† PEDRO MEDINA

Holy Mass of Christian Burial for Pedro Medina, 39, of Roscoe was on Monday, March 13, at Saint Albert’s Catholic Church in Roscoe. He passed away at his residence on Friday, March 10. Burial followed at Roscoe Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home.

Pedro had lived in Roscoe the past fourteen years and worked for Eagle Rail Car. He was a member of Saint Albert’s Catholic Church.

He is survived by his wife, Maria Solis; two sons, Brayn Medina and Pedro Medina, Jr.; a daughter, Venessa Medina; and his parents, Silvestre and Isidra Medina, all of Roscoe; a brother, Martin Medina & wife Gloria of Chicago, IL; two sisters, Adriana Medina & husband Filimon Carros of Mexico and Maria-De-Lourdes Medina & husband Reimundo Raigosa of Mexico.

Pallbearers were Brayn Medina, Alex Ortega, Miguel Ortega, Silvestre Medina, Manuel Palos, Pasquel Solis.

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† ALICE P. DENMAN

Graveside services for Alice P. Denman, 77, of Paris, will be held today, March 15, at Union Grove Cemetery by Bright-Holland Funeral Home with Patrick Cannon officiating. She passed away on Monday, March 13, at her home.

Mrs. Denman, the daughter of Henry Alexander & Pearl Vaughn Turner, was born Jan. 7, 1940, in Wood County, Texas. Her career with the Roscoe Independent School District spanned a number of years before her retirement. She was a member of the Roscoe Baptist Church.Her parents, three sisters, and two brothers preceded her in death.

Survivors include her husband, Ray Denman, whom she married on December 22, 1961, building fifty-five years of family and memories; three sons, Mark Denman of Reno, Texas, Matt Denman & wife Lisa of Reno, and Greg Denman & wife Sheila of Crawford; grandchildren, Molly Denman, Ross Denman, Raegan Denman, and Rylee Denman; along with several nieces & nephews and a host of friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org or mailing address: 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Ph. 800-822-6344

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Charley Pride to Highlight "Spring Super Saturday" with Lumberyard Performance

Charley Pride
It’s official. Country legend Charley Pride is coming to Roscoe on April 8 as the featured performer for this year’s "Spring Super Saturday." He will bring his famous voice and sing some of the songs that made him famous: “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Crystal Chandeliers,” “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” “Just Between You and Me,” “Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger,” along with 24 others that made it to number one on the Billboard Country Music chart and 23 additional ones that made the top 10.

He’s a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, has won several Grammys, and was featured in last year’s CMA Awards. His lifetime achievements are too numerous to mention, but it is interesting to note that he was a baseball player before he was a professional singer and was a star in the Negro League. He’s still an avid baseball fan and a part-owner of the Texas Rangers.

In short, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see one of most famous country singers of the past half-century. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

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SHELANSKY BUILDING TO HOUSE EDU-DRONE CLASSROOM, OFFICES

The Shelansky Building
Starting soon, the downtown Shelansky Building will be the new home of part of RCISD’s Collegiate Edu-Drone, LLC. A creativity center that will serve as the pilot training and simulation classroom will be located in the main room of the building, while the smaller offices will serve as office space for drone-related businesses. Greg Wortham, who also serves as adjunct faculty for business/ marketing for RCISD, will have an office in the complex. So will local area commercial drone pilots who will work with the program by providing on the job experience to students working toward drone pilot certification. The old Nitzsche Welding Building on Broadway will continue to be used as the pilot-training lab for drone instruction in a windless environment. The Edu-Drone program will be in the building starting with the fall semester.

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ROSCOE COLLEGIATE ISD TO OPEN NEW MONTESSORI EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
by Andy Wilson
RCISD Elementary School Principal

In August of this year, Roscoe Collegiate ISD will open its new early childhood center for three, four, and five-year-old children. Roscoe Collegiate Montessori Early Childhood Center will offer a comprehensive early learning environment using the Montessori method. The Montessori method of instruction is an approach to learning which emphasizes active learning, independence, and cooperation. Instruction is designed to remain in harmony with each child's unique pace of development. Montessori emphasizes individuality and independence in learning.

Roscoe Collegiate Montessori Early Childhood Center will offer full-day instruction for three, four, and five-year-old students. An extended school day may be an option for some students as well. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year will begin on April 12th and 13th and continue throughout the spring and summer for students who are not already enrolled in Roscoe Collegiate ISD. Transfers from other school districts are welcome and students will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Roscoe Elementary School at 325-766-3323.

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TEXAS AG COMMISSIONER TO BE IN ROSCOE MONDAY, MARCH 20

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner, will be at the Lumberyard from 11am-1pm on Monday, March 20. The event is being hosted by Farm and Ranch Report of Abilene radio station KLGD, “The Country Giant,” 106.9. Farmers, ranchers, and other interested parties are invited to attend. KLGD reporter Richard Kemp broadcasts the daily Farm & Ranch Report Monday through Saturday at 12:15am and 6:15am.

For more information, call 325-701-7823. To reserve a seat, call 325-766-2457.

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PLOWBOTS HAVE MEET TO REMEMBER AT HUB CITY REGIONAL IN LUBBOCK

Editor’s note: The Roscoe Plowbots had a great meet in Lubbock, finishing first of 46 teams in the qualifying matches, and even though their alliance didn’t go on to win the meet championship, they impressed everyone with their performance. Dan Boren, one of their two coaches, wrote this detailed account, presented here as he wrote it.

Where is Roscoe?
By Dan Boren

On March 1st, the First Robotics Competition (FRC) team 3366—the Roscoe Plowbots traveled to Lubbock to compete in the Hub City Regional event. The event was host to 46 teams from the states of California, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas. The contest was also international with teams from Mexico and Turkey also participating.

The Plowbots arrived in Lubbock as last year’s Hub City Finalists, losing in the championship match on a last minute call by the referees. The game’s theme this year is Steamworks, which focused on early steam engines and modes of early flight. The game required teams to deliver gears to the airship in the center of the game field that would allow rotors to be turned, which would turn propellers allowing for “flight.” Additionally, teams were given the opportunity to “lift-off” with the airships by climbing a 4-foot rope during the last 30-seconds of the 3-minute match. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this year’s game is the method of fueling the airship. The fuel is represented by 5-inch plastic balls that have to shoot in one of two openings of the “steam boiler.” The game pits a red alliance against a blue alliance each of which is made of three teams. During the 83 qualification rounds, the teams play with different combinations of teams in order to reach an overall individual ranking.

The matches for each regional begin on Friday and are completed on Saturday. Last Friday, the Plowbots played 9 matches. In those matches, the Plowboys finished with a record of 9-0. That record put the Plowbots in first place in the 46-team field. Having never finished higher than 17th in the qualification round, the Plowbots found themselves in that favorable, but unfamiliar position. So unfamiliar, that the primary question being asked was, “Where is Roscoe?” and “Where did team 3366 come from?” Saturday morning, team 3366 had just two matches to go to finish as the number one qualifier. However, during their 10th match, one of their alliance members lost connection to the communication system, so the Plowbots’ alliance had to compete 2 on 3 against the other alliance. The result was the first loss of the tournament. The loss dropped the Plowbots to 3rd overall with less than 10 total matches to go. That is when the excitement really escalated.

In match 79, the new number one team, 118—the Robonauts, from Crystal Creek, Texas, a perennial powerhouse, was upset in their last match moving the Plowbots up to number 2, behind team 1477-Texas Torque out of Conroe, Texas. The only chance the Plowbots had to reclaim the number one slot was to not only win their last match, but to score at least 301 points, which would give them the tie breaker of total points scored over Texas Torque. During the Plowbots’ breathtaking final match, they scored a grand total of 305 points, with those last 50 points coming in the last tenth of a second, giving the Plowboys their number one ranking in the qualifying matches. The Plowbots playoff alliance was upset by the eventual champions of the Hub City Regional, but that doesn’t take away from the great accomplishment of the David and Goliath story of the 2017 Hub City Regional. As a result of this competition, many more around the robotics world now know “Where Roscoe is!”

The win Saturday will undoubtedly qualify the Plowbots for the UIL State Championships May 17-20 in Austin. The team will travel to Dallas this week to compete in their only other scheduled regional at the Irving Convention Center.

The Plowboys are coached by instructors Dan Boren and John Cox. Team members include Driver—Camden Boren, Navigator—Braxton Parrott, Pilot—Becca Shaw, “Gearman”—Tristan Brooks, Lead Mechanic—Martin Luna, Game Analysts—Brayan Medina-Solis and Ryan Highsmith; and Scouts—Caleb Ward, Christian Acuna, Arizona Guerra, and Riley Sheridan.

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PLOWBOYS, PLOWGIRLS RESULTS FOR TIGER RELAYS IN ANSON

At the Tiger Relays in Anson on Friday, the Plowboys finished fifth, the Plowgirls fourth, and the JV Plowboys second in a field of seven schools: Anson, Hamlin, Haskell, Hawley, Roby, and Roscoe Collegiate for the men’s teams, and Trent instead of Roby for the women’s.

First-place winners for the Plowboys included Junior Martinez in the Triple Jump, and for the Plowgirls, Bonnie Wilkinson in three events—the Triple Jump, the 400 meter run, and as a member of the Plowgirls’ 4 x 400 meter relay team that also finished first.

Here are the Plowboys and Plowgirls who placed in the top 6 for any event:

Plowboys

Event                           Place    Athlete(s)                     Time/Distance
400 meter run               2          Michael Wright             57.77
800 meter run               2          Braiden Moore              2:13.32
4 x 400 m. relay            2          Plowboys                         3:48.50
Pole Vault                       2          Jayden Gonzales           10’6”
Triple Jump                   1          Junior Martinez             40’6”

Plowgirls

400 meter run               1          Bonnie Wilkinson         1:04.59
                                          3          Anahi Ortega Solis        1:11.15
800 meter run               2          Lyndi Wilkinson           2:37.52
1600 meter run             4          Karina Cisneros            6:24.59
                                         6          Magdalena Garcia         6:42.90
300 m. hurdles             3          Lynzie Atkinson             57.68
4 x 100 m. relay            4          Plowgirls                         53.34
4 x 400 m. relay            1          Plowgirls                         4:26.46
Shot Put                         4          Veronica Cuellar            28’4”
                                         5          Kinzie Buchanan            28’
Discus                            4          Veronica Cuellar             82’4”
Triple Jump                  1          Bonnie Wilkinson           36’7¾”
                                         4          Lyndi Wilkinson             33’0¼”

On Friday Roscoe Collegiate will host the Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field.

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DAVISSON BROTHERS BAND AT THE LUMBERYARD FRIDAY NIGHT

The Davisson Brothers Band.
A little bit of West Virginia will be in town Friday night when the Davisson Brothers Band kicks off the Spring season at the Lumberyard. It should also be a great way to start off Rattlesnake Roundup weekend. The weather outlook is fine, and the Davisson Brothers Band rocks with a unique sound, one that fuses country, southern rock, and bluegrass.  Check out their single “Jesse James,” by clicking here, or hear what they’re saying in Nashville about the band by clicking here.

For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.
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WEATHER REPORT: IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE SPRING

The Texas Red Oak in my front yard is budding out.
It may be a little early on the calendar to be proclaiming that spring has arrived, but with each passing day that’s what it’s beginning to look and feel like. The peach and apricot trees have been blooming for a couple of weeks, but since they are notorious for starting too early, that in itself doesn’t mean a lot. But now, other trees have also begun to bud out, and we haven’t had any freezing weather in about a month. Spring fires are ravaging parts of the panhandle, and yesterday morning the skies in Roscoe were filled with smoke that a norther brought down all the way from the fires around Amarillo. Seventy and eighty degree afternoons are becoming more frequent, southwest winds are blowing, and the lowest low temperature in the Weather Channel’s 10-day outlook for this area is the 43°F forecast for Saturday.

The weather we had this past week is typical for this time of year. The highs last Wednesday through Saturday were all in the sixties with lows going as far down as Thursday’s 37°. On Sunday, it warmed up to 75° and on Monday the high for the week came when the temperature reached 82°. Today’s forecast high of 71° is on the cool side as tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday are predicted to have highs of 80°, 78°, and 80° respectively with lows in the upper fifties. On Saturday, the low will drop to 43° as a cold front moves through, and Sunday’s high will be only about 67°. There is a 60% chance of rain on Saturday, which sounds about right since the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater is this weekend. The rest of next week will have highs in the seventies and eighties with lows in the fifties.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we definitely won’t get an April freeze. After all, we did get thunder in January and February, and you know what people say about that.. But the odds of something like that happening diminish with each passing day as the ground gets warmer and the days get longer.

Don’t forget to move your clocks forward an hour before you go to bed Saturday night.

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† BILLIE RAY SASIN

A memorial service followed by an interment with full honors was held on Monday afternoon, March 6, at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery for Billie Ray Sasin, 73, who fought a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. He peacefully entered his heavenly home early Wednesday morning, February 22nd, 2017.

Bill was born on May 12, 1943, in Roscoe to Adolf John Sasin and Francis Krista. He was a 1961 graduate of Roscoe High School. He was awarded the "Bronze Star" along with many more medals and honors. Bill was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded "The Distinguished Flying Cross" for his heroism while flying a Cobra helicopter during an aerial battle in the Vietnam War. On one of his missions, he was shot down, which forced him to retire as a Lieutenant Colonel after 25 years of service.

Later in life, he met the love of his life and married Diane Marie Sasin. Together they enjoyed going to the movies and watching the Cowboys play at the AT&T Stadium. Bill was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be missed by everyone, more than words will ever be able to express. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Adolf and Francis Sasin; brother and sister-in-law, George and Carol Sasin.

Survivors: His loving memory will always be cherished by his beloved wife, Diane Marie Sasin; son, James Frasor Sasin; daughter, Jennifer Ray Smith; grandchildren, Abigail Sasin and Talon Thibodeaux; twin brother, Ben Sasin and wife, Suzie Sasin; sister, Georgia Chandler; many nieces and nephews.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Candidates Throw Hats in Ring for School Board, City Council


In the upcoming local election on May 6, voters will be electing two City Council and four School Board members to new terms.

Two City Council seats, those filled by Billy Joe Jay and Helen Perry, whose two-year terms are expiring in May, are being contested. Both Council members are running to retain their seats, but KC Hope is also running. The top two vote-getters will be the winners.

Four RCISD School Board seats are up for grabs. The four-year terms of James Arnwine, Steve Anthony, Bryan Heaps, and Cheyenne Smith are expiring. Heaps and Smith are not running for re-election, but Arnwine and Anthony are. Also running are Christie Galvan, Edward (Spider) Herrera, Kenny Hope, Jr., and David Pantoja. The top four vote-getters of these six will be declared the winners and will join the other School Board members, Jason Freeman, Frankie Santiago, and Wes Williams, whose ongoing terms are not affected by this election.

Early voting at City Hall will run from April 24 to May 2, and on May 1 and 2 will be open from 7am-7pm. Early voting at the Administration Building at Roscoe School is from 8am to 5pm, also from April 24 to May 2. Early voting judges are Belinda Ince and Donna Parker, and election judges on May 6 are Jeannie McBurnett and Ann Teaff. Voting on May 6 will be in the Roscoe Community Center.

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WORK MOVES FORWARD ON EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

The future RCISD Early Childhood Center.

After some approval and architect delays, construction is underway at the RCISD Early Childhood Center. The target completion date is August 1 for the facility in the old Town & Country Grocery building in the 1000 block of Main Street.

Finishing by then may seem a tight squeeze, but Superintendent Kim Alexander thinks it will be done. The school plans to move its early childhood Montessori program into the building early enough to use for the fall semester, “ready or not,” as Dr. Alexander puts it.

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PLOWBOYS, PLOWGIRLS SHOW POTENTIAL AT LONG SLEEVE RELAYS

Both Plowboys and Plowgirls had promising results at the Long Sleeve Relays in Hamlin on Friday. When looking at the places they finished, keep in mind that they were competing with over twenty other schools of varying classes. Also, since it was the first meet of the year, they are likely to improve as time goes on.

Here are the results:

Plowboys

Event                    Place             Athlete(s)                  Time/Distance
Pole Vault                3             Jayden Gonzales                  12’
Triple Jump            6             Michael Wright                    39’6”
4 x 100 Relay          6             Plowboys                               46.04
   (Jose Ortega, Michael Wright, Francisco Garcia, Junior Martinez)

Plowgirls

Triple Jump            2             Bonnie Wilkinson               33’10½”
800 m. run              2             Lyndi Wilkinson                  2:35
                                   6             Karina Cisneros                   2:51
4 x 400 Relay          3             Plowgirls                               4:21
   (Jaci Alexander, Lyndi Wilkinson, Jaleigh Morales, Bonnie Wilkinson)

The next meet for both Plowboys and Plowgirls is the Tiger Relays in Anson tomorrow afternoon.

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SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICIALS TOUR ROSCOE SCHOOL FACILITIES

The RCISD STEM Center

Officials from several Texas school districts have visited Roscoe’s school facilities in recent weeks to learn more about Roscoe’s Early College and STEM programs with intentions of possibly setting up similar programs in their own school districts.

In February delegations came from Wilson, Sealy, and El Paso Parkwood, and others coming soon are from Coleman, Christoval, and Elgin.

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UPCOMING EVENTS:

SPRING CLEANUP

March 24 – March 31
7:00am-7:00pm
Dumpsters at 3rd and Laurel Streets (near City Barn)

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SPRING FLING

Saturday, April 8

Featuring Country Legend
CHARLEY PRIDE
at the Lumberyard

also
Plowboy Tuff Truck and Crash-Up Derby
(Proceeds benefit Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department)
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ROSCOE COMMUNITY CENTER NEWS

THIRD SUNDAY OF THE MONTH LUNCH
March 19, 11:30-1:30
Menu: Hamburger meal, dessert, and drink

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COMMUNITY CENTER RENTALS
Rental Special for the month of March
Hurry and Book your events!!
Call Misty Reynolds for more information: 325-338-1005

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We at the Community Center would like to thank everyone for supporting our fundraisers! Thanks to all for your generous donations! Plans are in the works to start Part One of the Kitchen Project, so stay tuned for pictures and progress!

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WEATHER REPORT: MOSTLY WARM WITH WIND

Yesterday's strong winds were from the southwest.

Temperatures were warmer than average on five of seven days this past week. Three afternoons, last Wednesday, Thursday, and yesterday, had highs in the eighties, the highest being Thursday’s 88°F. The weekend, however, was considerably cooler as Friday’s high was 62° and Saturday’s only 55°. The low of the week came on Sunday morning when the temperature dropped to 30°.

Strong spring winds blew on Thursday, Sunday, and yesterday with wind speeds of 20 and 25mph with gusts in the mid to upper thirties. There was no precipitation.

The weather will definitely be cooler starting today and extending through Saturday. Today’s high will be only about 60°, and the rest of the week will be similar with highs in the sixties until Sunday, when the high is predicted to be 82°, followed by a week of warm weather. Once again, there is no precipitation in the forecast.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lifestyle Changes in the Fifties: ACs and TVs

A happy 1950s housewife with air conditioning. (Photo from Internet)
Two technological advances that changed life in the 1950s were air conditioners and television. When I was a kid growing up in Roscoe, very few people had air conditioners. Houses were hot places during the hot summers, and after our family had eaten supper, we went outside to catch the evening breezes, and our neighbors did the same. We lived across the street from the Bowens, old people who sat in chairs on their porch and always waved when we came out. We kids ran around and played while our parents sat in lawn chairs and talked. Many people went for walks in the evening. When they came by our yard, they would always greet my parents and sometimes stop to talk for a few minutes before continuing on their way. When it got dark, we’d go back inside and often listen to the radio programs while our parents did things with their eyes and hands, such as my mother knitting or crocheting, or my daddy fixing something or other. At other times, they read newspapers or magazines and talked to us kids.

On hot summer nights—and there were plenty of those in the drought years of the early fifties—we kids slept under the stars out in the back yard. We had a roll-away bed and cot that we kept in the garage and brought out at bedtime. My younger brother and I slept on the roll-away bed, and my older brother on the cot. It was much cooler outside at night and actually got chilly in the early mornings. At some point during the night, we would get under the cover, which we’d ignored when we went to bed. Our dogs, sometimes we had one and sometimes two, had learned not to bother us while we were sleeping, but our cats—we usually had about three—came around at times during the night for naps on the bed with us.

Me and my brother David in the back yard, about 1953.
My brothers and I wore as few clothes as possible during the summer. We didn’t wear shirts and ran around barefooted except on Sunday mornings, when we went to Sunday school and church. We slept in our briefs, and in the mornings when we woke up, we slipped on a pair of shorts and were ready for the day, often not going into the house until our mother called us in for breakfast. I generally brushed my teeth only once or twice a week, and only then when prompted, and the same was true for combing my hair. Since kids ran around loose in those days, we were often awakened by one of our friends who was already up and had come around to play or ride bicycles.

When I was about nine years old, my dad bought an evaporative cooler and put it in one of the north windows in the living room so it would be in the shade on hot summer days. These early air conditioners, also known as “swamp coolers” with “squirrel cages” worked by evaporating the water that dripped down through the shredded wood pads lining the walls of the air conditioner box and blowing the resulting cool air into the house. In order to save on electricity, my mother turned it on only when the temperature reached 100° outside. She would close all the living room windows and doors so that it cooled off just that room. We kids could go in there only if we sat in front of the air conditioner to cool off. No toys or running around were allowed, so we usually didn’t stay in there long before going back outside.

Over time, though, air conditioners came to be used more and more, especially when the compressor types got cheap enough to buy and run. The result was that people didn’t sit out as much in the evenings and so did less visiting with neighbors and passersby—or enjoying the sky with its sunset and coming of the stars.

Happiness is a TV set in the living room. (Photo from Internet)
Television had much the same effect. Although TV was becoming common in the cities as early as 1949 or 1950, it was unknown in west Texas because there were no broadcast stations in the area until KRBC-TV began in late 1953.  The first television set in Roscoe was at Medlock’s Furniture store, which also had them for sale. It was placed in one of the show windows and turned on, and in the evenings a crowd would gather on the sidewalk outside to watch this wondrous new invention. People often stood there for an hour or more watching programs like “I Love Lucy” or “The Honeymooners” with Jackie Gleason.

At first TV sets were too expensive for most people to afford, costing about $500, which was more like $5000 in today’s money. They had small black and white screens and came in a large console with many tubes in the back that had to be replaced when they burned out. They also required a large TV antenna on the roof of the house, so it was easy to see who had TVs and who didn’t.  Although the knob on the set had settings for twelve normal channels and one UV, the only channel available in this area was channel 9, KRBC-TV. It didn’t really matter to anyone, though. TV was such a novelty that most people would watch whatever was on. Broadcasting started in the morning at six or six-thirty and closed at ten-thirty at night. If you got up in the morning before broadcasting began, you would sometimes sit and watch the test pattern until it did. In the evenings, you didn’t turn the TV off until you listened to the national anthem while watching a waving flag and fighter jets fly in formation.

One of the first TVs in town was in the Boys Club hall. It had comparatively excellent reception because its antenna was placed atop a telephone pole behind the hall and was larger and a lot higher than the ones on houses. On Saturday afternoons in the summer, the baseball “Game of the Week” was broadcast, and old men would come around and sit in the metal lawn chairs placed in a semi-circle before the TV. Along with the kids, a dozen people or more might be there watching and commenting on the game, no matter which teams were playing. And during the World Series, the crowds were even larger, and we all basked in the wonder that such a thing was even possible and we could watch it for free.

Watching television when there was only one channel—or even later when KPAR-TV, channel 12, began broadcasting in 1956—was a shared community experience even for those who were watching in their homes. Not only was the entire family gathered around the television, but the next day at school or work, one of the main topics of conversation would be the programs that had been on TV the night before since everyone was watching the same ones.  Favorites were "Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Life of Riley,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Dragnet,” “Wrestling from Chicago,” and others. On Saturday mornings, kids could watch “Howdy Doody,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Superman,” “Lassie,” “The Little Rascals,” and “Mr. Wizard.”

There was also a lot of local programming with many shows emanating from the studios in Abilene. One of these was “The Slim Willet Show,” brought to you by Western Chevrolet. Slim Willet was an Abilene disc jockey who was also a country singer. He became famous with two hits, “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” and “Tool Pusher from Snyder.” Every week he would tell jokes, sing a couple of songs with his band, and showcase local talent. Another local show was “On the Farm” with Harry Holt, who always talked about area farming and ranching conditions.  Another was “Cooking with Virginia,” which came on in the mornings. Virginia also occasionally showcased local talent and once invited the Roscoe Boys Club trampoline team to be on her show. As one of its performers, I felt very privileged to see first-hand what the TV studio looked like and how the shows were made. Later on, when KPAR-TV had their studios outside Sweetwater, we also performed on a March of Dimes Telethon and got to see what their studio was like.

As in other small towns all over Texas, television killed the local movie theaters. I don’t remember when the Joy Theater finally closed its doors, but it was only two or three years after the TV broadcasts began. The drive-in theaters, such as the Midway, between Roscoe and Sweetwater, hung on longer than that, but eventually, they too closed down for lack of customers. Television also had the effect of keeping people inside their own homes in the evenings, and, as more channels became available in the 1960s, this effect became even more pronounced. Even community social gatherings like church or the baseball games saw attendances steadily fall as time went on.  In the early and mid fifties, pro football games were available only on the radio because they were played on Sundays and were therefore considered somewhat scandalous for being on the Sabbath. I think it was 1958 before they regularly played on television in west Texas and also in many other places. However, after Texas got the Dallas Cowboys in 1960, that all changed, and preachers soon learned to have the morning service over by twelve o’clock in the fall so people could get home in time to watch the Cowboys game.

In short, air conditioning and television were both rightfully hailed in the fifties as great technological innovations that improved people’s lives, but in doing so they also diminished the social life of the community and, over time, increased the isolation of families from their neighbors and from nature itself.

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LOCAL WIND FARMS FEATURED IN MAJOR BRITISH DAILY THE GUARDIAN
 
Wind Turbines on the Roscoe Wind Farm.
Another article on the wind energy of our area appeared in the international media on Monday. This time the publisher is The Guardian, a major London-based newspaper with a large online presence. The inspiration for the article seems to be the recent one by Alex Daugherty of the McClatchy news service (“Rick Perry turned Texas into a wind powerhouse by getting out of the way,” December 16, 2016) reported on in the Hard Times on December 28.

Like that earlier article, this one is more political than environmental, with the focus being on the apparent anomaly of major wind-energy development in a Republican state rather than a green-leaning Democratic one. Another common feature of both articles is the interviewing of Sweetwater energy lawyer Rod Wetsel. Perhaps it is this latter similarity along with the extensive interviewing of Greg Wortham, Sweetwater’s former mayor, that leads the article in another new direction, namely that of referring to Sweetwater as the Wind Capital of the World, unlike previous international articles and features whose focus is clearly on Roscoe and the Roscoe Wind Farm.

We will forgive The Guardian this minor error. After all, they were getting their information from a couple of guys from Sweetwater, and they did mention a couple of nice things about that “little speck on the map called Roscoe.” You can access the article by clicking here.

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PLOWBOYS NAMED TO TEXAS SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION 2A ALL-STATE FOOTBALL TEAM

Matthew Buckley has been named as a third-team tackle on the Texas Sports Writers Association’s 2A All-State Team. Brayden Beal received honorable mention as quarterback, and Francisco Garcia received honorable mention as running back.

--o--

PLOWBOYS AND PLOWGIRLS BEGIN TRACK SEASON AT HAMLIN FRIDAY

Spring is in the air, and the Plowboys and Plowgirls will compete in their first track meet of the year on Friday at the Long Sleeve Relays in Hamlin.

RCHS 2017 Track & Field Schedule:

Feb. 24             Long Sleeve Relays                   Hamlin
Mar.  2             Tiger Relays                                Anson
Mar. 10            Blackland Divide Relays           Roscoe
Mar. 18            Piper Relays                                Hamlin
Mar. 23            Badger Relays                            Merkel
Mar. 31            Cottonwood Relays                   Roby
Apr.  6              District Meet                              Albany
Apr. 12             Area Meet @ McMurry            Abilene
May 11-13        State Meet                                  Austin

Roscoe Junior High 2017 Track & Field Schedule

Feb. 27             Tiger Relays                              Anson
Mar.  7             Blackland Divide Relays         Roscoe
Mar. 21            Badger Relays                           Merkel
Mar. 30            Cottonwood Relays                 Roby
Apr.  8              District Meet                             Roscoe

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SEVERAL PLOWBOYS PLACE IN SWEETWATER POWER LIFTING MEET

The Plowboys placed second in the power lifting meet held in Sweetwater last Thursday, losing out to Snyder, who finished first. Here are the Plowboy power lifters who placed:

Name                                 Place              Weight Class
Francisco Garcia                 1                         165
Matt Buckley                       3                         275
Joel Guia                              4                         242
Parker Payne                       4                         198
Andrew Deleon                   4                         123
Adrian Lomas                      5                         181
Tait Fullwood                      5                         165
Jetli Hobdy                          6                         123

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WEATHER REPORT: SPRINGLIKE WEATHER IN FEBRUARY

Yesterday's sunset under clear skies.
For a change, this past week’s weather has been pretty consistent—and nice. It has felt like we should be in March instead of February with clear skies, gentle breezes, and a string of afternoons in the seventies. The last five days have all been that way with the high coming yesterday afternoon at 76°F. Lows for the past five days have been in the forties and fifties with the highest on Sunday at 54° and the lowest yesterday morning’s 42°. The fruit trees think it’s spring with apricot and peach trees already blooming. They may be sorry they did, though, if the old adage is true about thunder in January bringing a freeze in April.

Today and tomorrow should be even warmer than the last five days. Today’s forecast is for a high of 86° and for tomorrow a high of 84°, so don’t be surprised if you have to turn on the AC. However, a cold front will move through on Friday cooling the high down to 68° and the low to 36°. Saturday’s high is projected to be only 59°, but then on Sunday it will warm up to 74° and be back in the eighties on Monday and Tuesday. There is no rain in the forecast.

Randall Smith reports an unusual weather oddity occurring yesterday morning. He had frost on the ground but couldn’t find a thermometer with the mercury under 40°. I’m not sure how this could happen, but apparently it did. West Texas weather never ceases to amaze.

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† SHARON SUE SCHNEIDER NAULT

Funeral services for Sharon Sue Schneider Nault, 70, were held on Monday, February 20, at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home in Abilene. Burial followed at Shep Cemetery in Shep. She passed away last Wednesday, February 15, in Abilene.

Sharon was born on September 1, 1946, in Abilene to the late Edward C. and Lemma Tharpe Nichols Schneider. She lived in Roscoe and attended schools there until graduating from Roscoe High School in 1964. She then graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1968 with a BS in Education. She met her future husband, David Lloyd Nault in Anchorage, Alaska, while at her sister Edwina's wedding. He was the Best Man and she was the Maid of Honor. They married on October 3, 1970, in Roscoe and returned to Alaska where they lived first in Kodiak, then Hanes, and then Ketchikan. They also lived in Sierra Vista, Arizona. They returned to Texas in 1982, first living in Spring and then moving to Shep in 1993.

Sharon taught physical education and English in Texas and Alaska but she found her calling later with a career working in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Program. She assisted people with disabilities to return to work and found it very rewarding. She retired in 2010. She was a member of the Church of Christ and taught Children's Bible Class all of her adult life.

Preceding her in death were her husband, David L. Nault; her sister, Edwina Schneider Roswell and husband, Tim; her parents; and her nephew, Ross Roswell. Survivors include two sons, Scott D. Nault and wife, Cynthia, of Abilene, and J. Lee Nault and wife, Alecia, of Herndon, Virginia; one sister, Denise Schneider Sprott and husband, David, of Belton; three granddaughters, Cayelyn, Casey, and Lynne Nault; three grandsons, Cole, Caden, and Jericho Nault; six nieces and nephews; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

You may view and sign the guestbook at www.elliott-hamil.com.

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† BETTY GERALDINE COOPER ELLIS

Graveside services for Betty Geraldine Cooper Ellis, 85, of Dallas will be conducted by McCoy Funeral Home at the Roscoe Cemetery this Saturday, February 25, at 11:00am with Dr. Bob Monk officiating. She passed away on February 18.

Betty was born on February 19, 1931, to J.B. and Ellie Mae Cooper, Sr., of Roscoe. She was raised in the First United Methodist Church of Roscoe and was very active in the Methodist Youth Fellowship. After graduating from Roscoe High School in 1948, she continued her education as a Home Economics major at Southern Methodist University. During her time at SMU, Betty was an active member of Gamma Phi Beta. She met the love of her life James Richard Ellis while at SMU. They married May 31, 1952, at Perkins Chapel, being the first to marry in the "new" chapel. James worked as a lawyer and Betty as a secretary for Sun Oil Company as they started their married life together. Betty was the proud mother of Robert and Richard. She enjoyed being part of the United Methodist Women's Circle at Highland Park Methodist Church as well as volunteering for the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund. She was a faithful child of God, loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was a friend to many.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Cooper, Sr.; husband, James Richard Ellis; brother, J.B. Cooper, Jr.; sister, Martha Eloise Cooper Reed; and cousins, Bill and Kathryn Birdwell.

Survivors include sister-in-law, Mava Cooper; sons, Robert Brian Ellis of Dallas and Richard Mark Ellis of Temple; daughter-in-law, Catherine McClane Ellis; granddaughters, Kaitlyn Michelle Ellis of Temple,  Ashley Marie Ellis of College Station, and Lauren Nicole Ellis of Temple; nieces, Cheryl Johnnie, Alicyn Mayes, Stacia Jameson, Sue Cannon, and Eileen Hilliard; and cousin, Jim Birdwell.

Flowers may be delivered to McCoy Funeral Home or in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Roscoe.

A memorial service will be in Dallas at 10am on March 25, 2017 at Cox Chapel, Highland Park United Methodist Church. For the memorial service flowers may be sent to the church or in lieu of flowers donations can be made to the church.

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