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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thirty RCHS Seniors Receive Diplomas

RCHS Class of 2016
One of life’s milestones for thirty RCHS Seniors was reached Friday evening as they received their diplomas and concluded their high school careers in the Special Events Center. Twenty-four had already received their Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College two weeks earlier. Six others were early graduates, having fulfilled all their requirements in December.

Valedictorian of this year’s class is Isaiah Gonzales with an overall grade average of 94.2. Salutatorian is Ray Bohall with an overall average of 92.9.

Here is a list of the Class of 2016:

          Rafael Aguayo*                        Ashley Lara*
          Crystal Alvarez E                      Kevin Lavalais*
          Ray Bohall*                              Javier Leaños*
          Magali Casas*                           Lena Martinez*
          Clayton Chadwick E                 Tristan Navarette
          Cassie Chavira*                        Max Nemir*
          Caty Chavira*                           Adrian Ortega*
          Derek Creed E                          Anthony Ortegon*
          Emily Gonzales* E                   Vincent Pantoja*
          Isaiah Gonzales*                       A. J. Renteria*
          Teresa Herrerra*                       Brena Robison*
          Hannah Hobdy*                        Alejandra Solis*
          Erick Huidobro E                      Bernardo Villa*
          Pablo Huidobro E                      Luis Villa*
          Victoria Jimenez*                      Lin Xiao*

* = Associate’s Degree from Western Texas College
E = Early Graduate (completed requirements in December)



The Roscoe City Pool is scheduled to open next week.
In a special City Council meeting called on Monday, the Council unanimously approved the bid of Isabel Moore to run the City Swimming Pool this summer.

Tentative opening date for the pool is June 1 with prices and procedures to be essentially the same as last summer.

Last year the pool was open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm. Price of admission was $2 with season passes available for $75. The pool was rented for private parties that began and ended between 6:00 and 10:00pm. The fee was $60 for two hours, $70 for three hours, and $80 for four hours with a $15 deposit. That price included an approved licensed lifeguard.



Voting was light in yesterday’s primary runoff election. Here are the results for Precinct 6, Roscoe’s Precinct, and Nolan County:

Republican Runoffs:                      Precinct 6         Nolan County

U. S. Representative, District 19
Jodey Arrington                                            41                        436
Glen Robertson                                             31                         442

Railroad Commissioner
Wayne Christian                                            47                        479
Gary Gates                                                       16                        265

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2
Mary Lou Keel                                                22                        370
Wayne Wheless                                              35                        345

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5
Brent Webster                                                17                       243
Scott Walker                                                  40                       476

Democratic Runoff:

Railroad Commissioner
Cody Garrett                                                      5                      19
Grady Yarbrough                                              6                      22



The Lumberyard (Photo by René Agredano)
The magazine RV Life has published a nice review of Roscoe, the museum, the school, the Stone Tower RV Park, the wind turbines, and the Lumberyard in an article published last Thursday. The author, René Agredano, and husband Jim were in town for the Mavericks’ live concert at the Lumberyard and appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves during their brief stay here.

The article, entitled “Breeze into One of the Best Live Music Venues in Texas,” is available online and may be accessed by clicking here.



Jason Boland & the Stragglers.
It’s another big weekend at the Lumberyard with Jason Boland & the Stragglers in town Friday evening and the annual “Flip Flops & Tank Tops” charity event on Saturday afternoon and evening.

As all “Red Dirt/Texas Country” fans know, Jason Boland and the Stragglers are one of most popular groups now dominating the Texas music scene. The group got its start in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1998 and released its first album, Pearl Snaps, in 1999.  Since then, they have gone on to produce six more studio albums: Truckstop Diaries (2001), Somewhere in the Middle (2004), The Bourbon Legend (2006), Comal County Blue (2008), Rancho Alto (2011), Dark & Dirty Mile (2013), and Squelch (2015), along with two live albums: Live and Lit at Billy Bob’s Texas (2002) and High in the Rockies (2010).

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

Then on Saturday, country singers Deryl Dodd and Sam Riggs will be just two of the bands appearing at the fifth annual “Flip-Flops and Tank Tops.” The event, whose proceeds go to the Hope Center for Autism and Snyder We Care, will feature live music starting at 3:00pm and continuing all evening.

The event includes a steak cookoff at the Lumberyard. As a sanctioned SCA (Steak Cookoff Association) cookoff, the entry fee is $100 with the sponsor, Backroads Music, supplying the steak.  The winner will advance to the regional finals at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.

This poster lists all the musical groups that are playing. Tickets are $20.



Sunday's sunset over Old Town Park. (Photo by Sheree Herd)
Since last Friday, the two most noticeable features of the weather have been the warmer days and nights and the wind, which has blown nonstop for the past four days and nights. The windiest day was Sunday with sustained breezes of up to 28mph and gusts up to 39, but Monday was almost as bad with its strong winds and dusty skies in the late afternoon.

With the warm weather we’ve had for the past few days, it’s already hard to believe that last Wednesday was as cool as it was with a high of only 56°F and about .3” of rain. The high for the past three days running has been 86°, and today the forecast is for our hottest day of the year thus far when the temperature tops out at about 94°.

Tomorrow should be a little cooler with a high of 87°, but there’s also a good chance we’ll get more rain, especially tomorrow night when the possibility is as high as 80%. The highs will continue to be in the mid to upper eighties and lows in the sixties until Sunday, when a cool front will drop temperatures and bring another good chance of rain. If you’re planning an outdoor barbecue for Memorial Day, you may want to also have a backup plan, since forecasters are predicting an 80% chance of rain that day.



S/Sgt. Troy Weldon Norris, known in Roscoe as Weldon, was a 1940 graduate of Roscoe High School and a halfback on the Plowboy football team. Students chose him the school’s Best All-Around Boy in 1939. Before going overseas he married Dorothy Blair.

He entered the Army in 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor, and trained in California, Georgia, and North Carolina. He was assigned to Company I of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, a unit of the “Screaming Eagles," the 101st Airborne Division. With his unit, he saw extensive action on D-Day. The division jumped in the dark morning before H-Hour to seize positions west of Utah Beach and was involved in heavy combat in the weeks following. That fall, they jumped into Holland during Operation “Market Garden,” where they fought against heavy odds for ten days and then continued on to liberate Holland, spending a total of 72 days in combat.

In December 1944 they were sent to hold Bastogne, Belgium, in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. There they were surrounded by German forces who demanded immediate surrender. The division commander, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, made history with his classic reply, “Nuts!” They then fought against overwhelming odds from December 18 to 27. Here is some of the official wording of the Presidential Unit Citation the 101st Airborne Division received:

“Essential to a large scale exploitation of his break-through into Belgium and northern Luxembourg, the enemy attempted to seize Bastogne by attacking constantly and savagely with the best of his armor and infantry. Without benefit of prepared defenses, facing almost overwhelming odds and with very limited and fast dwindling supplies, these units maintained a high combat morale and an impenetrable defense, despite extremely heavy bombing, intense artillery fire, and constant attacks from infantry and armor on all sides of their completely cut off and encircled position. This masterful and grimly determined defense denied the enemy even momentary success in an operation for which he paid dearly in men, material, and eventually morale.”

The siege was broken on December 26, but the fighting continued until January 18, 1945. S/Sgt. Norris was killed in action on January 13. He was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart, and his regiment was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. He was re-buried in Roscoe Cemetery in 1946 with full military honors.



Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, May 27, at First Baptist Church in Roscoe for Frank Young, Jr., 64, of Roscoe, who passed away on Sunday, May 22. Burial will follow at Roscoe Cemetery.

Frank was born in San Marcos on May 6, 1952, to Frank and Gerry Young. He attended Sweetwater High School, Angelo State University, and Abilene Christian University. He married Jana Ivy on June 11, 1971. They were married 44 years. Frank, Coach Young to most, was a coach and a teacher for 33 years at Roscoe schools. He loved his Plowboys and Plowgirls. He inspired students not only by his teachings from a book but by his actions. His smile was contagious and he never met a stranger. Frank’s children and grandchildren were the pride and joy of his life. He looked forward to spending time with them whenever he could. He was preceded in death by his mother, Gerry Young.

Frank is survived by his father, Frank Young, Sr., of Nolan; wife, Jana of Roscoe; sons, Toby Young and wife Amy of Roby, and Bo Young and wife Lauren of Katy; grandchildren, Anslee Few, Houston Few, Staleigh Young, Hailyn Young, Walker Young and June Young; sister, Cindy and husband Al Lara of San Angelo; brothers, Ron Young and wife Sherry of Wichita Falls, and Ricky Young and wife Vickie of Merkel; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a visitation on Thursday, May 26, from 6:00 to 8:00pm at McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater.

Pallbearers will be Chuck Cathey, Jody Underwood, Jady Underwood, Russell Graham, Jose Hernandez and K.C. Hope.

Honorary pallbearers will be Rudy Raughton, Johnny Martin, Doyle Sanders, Doyle Edmiston and Joe Ejem.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Isaiah Gonzales, Ray Bohall are 2016 RCHS Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Isaiah Gonzales                                             Ray Bohall 
The grades have been averaged and the top RCHS 2016 graduates have been named. This year’s valedictorian is Isaiah Gonzales, who completed his high school work with an overall grade average of 94.2. The salutatorian is Ray Bohall, whose final average was 92.9.

The following is a list of the top ten 2016 graduates, all of whom are part of the group of twenty-four seniors who also just graduated with Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder:

1. Isaiah Gonzales
2. Ray Bohall
3. Cassie Chavira
4. Teresa Herrera
5. Rafael Aguayo
6. Caty Chavira
7. Adrian Ortega
8. Lin Xiao
9. Hannah Hobdy
10. Vincent Pantoja

Commencement ceremonies are at 7:00 this Friday evening, May 20, at the RCHS Special Events Center. We extend our heartiest congratulations to all this year’s graduates for all the hard work they’ve put in to prepare themselves for life after high school!



Kim Alexander reads statement at Monday's School Board meeting.

In the wake of the failed bond election on May 7, Monday evening’s regular monthly School Board meeting at the RCHS Administration Building was anything but “business as usual.” Superintendent Kim Alexander read a three-page statement entitled “Media response to e-mail regarding bond propaganda,” and several RCHS taxpayers were on hand to voice complaints concerning the failed bond and the controversial e-mail sent out just prior to the election.

Supt. Alexander’s statement begins by pointing out all the progress the school has made in recent years and the state and national recognition it has received for its Early College program and its progress with STEM certifications. It also mentions that these achievements have resulted in considerable growth in the numbers of students enrolled, especially through transfers, causing the resulting overcrowding and need for additional instructional space, including the Early Childhood Center that was just voted down.

It then explains Supt. Alexander’s reasons for sending out the controversial e-mail, primarily to counteract misinformation being spread on social media by one unnamed individual, but the explanations may prove to be controversial as well. In fact, one of the taxpayers at the meeting strongly objected to the statement, saying that part of it makes wrong implications about those who found the e-mail offensive.

Supt. Alexander’s statement is available in its entirety by clicking here.

The meeting continued with public comments from about half a dozen people, most of them objections to  the e-mail, although one urged that the school cease its unchecked acceptance of large numbers of transfers.

Afterwards, the board tended to normal business. One item of interest was their acceptance of the retirement of Billy Arpe, who has been a great asset to the school during his tenure as welding instructor.

After the public business was completed, the board went into closed session.



Although neither won a medal, both Kevin Lavalais and Bonnie Wilkerson finished strong enough to score points at the state track meet in Austin last weekend. Kevin finished fifth in the 2A 100 meter dash with a time of 11.13 seconds to score 2 points for the Plowboys, and Bonnie finished sixth in the 400 meter dash in 61.37 seconds to score 1 point for the Plowgirls.

In the 1A Division, Highland’s Hannah Allen finished fourth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 16.0 seconds, and Hornet Jon Basye finished sixth in the high jump with a leap of 6’ 2”.



Jacob Tiemann, RCISD’s Director of Early College High School and STEM, will be in Baltimore tomorrow to present Roscoe’s Early College and STEM programs in a session at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference.

His presentation will be in a session entitled “Early College High School: A Tried and True Track.” Two other panelists, Tony Habit, the President of North Carolina’s New Schools, and Radcliffe Sadler, Associate Analyst at IBM and graduate of Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, NY, will also make presentations.



John Jay (in leather chair) speaks with Rep. Randy Neugebauer.
Roscoe State Bank President and CEO John Jay recently went to Washington to meet with legislators and regulators about the need for community bank regulatory relief as part of IBAT’s (Independent Bankers Association of Texas) 24th Annual Congressional Visit. In total, 120 representatives of the Texas community banking industry took IBAT’s message to Capitol Hill during this trip.

Jay and other IBAT members urged co-sponsorship of key pieces of legislation to allow regulators the ability to right-size new regulations based on a bank’s risk profile, place greater Congressional oversight on the activities of the CFPB and raise the data security standards for merchants handling sensitive payment information.



Precinct 6 voting on Tuesday is in the Community Center.

Early voting for the primary party runoffs began on Monday and will continue through this Friday, May 20, at the County Clerk’s Office in the Nolan County Courthouse. Election Day is next Tuesday, May 24. Registered voters in Precinct 6, which includes Roscoe, will cast their ballots at the Roscoe Community Center between 7:00am-7:00pm.

Voting is by party. Republicans will vote for one of the following in the contests in which a runoff is necessary from the outcome of the Primary Election on March 1:

U. S. Representative, District 19:
            Jody Arrington
            Glen Robertson

Railroad Commissioner:
            Wayne Christian
            Gary Gates

Judge Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2:
            Mary Lou Keel
            Wayne Wheless

Judge Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5:
            Brent Webster
            Scott Walker

Democrats have only one runoff to consider, that of Railroad Commissioner:
            Cody Garrett
            Grady Yarbrough

Don’t forget to bring a photo ID.



At the district FFA contest in Ira last week, the Roscoe team did quite well. In CDE contests for Veterinary Science (Joshua Benner, Caleb Boren, Jovanah Guzman, and Alfonso Islas Jr) received first in the Lone Wolf district. They were 2nd in the district for Horse Judging (Logan Wicker, Morgan Bowers, Jaleigh Morales, and Riley Sheridan). Cassie Chavira placed 2nd in Senior Prepared - Agribusiness speaking, and Nolan Reeves placed 1st in Soil Stewardship speaking. Cassie and Nolan will advance to the Area contest on May 20.

Here are the RCHS Officers for 2016-2017:

President: Nolan Reeves
Vice President: Logan Wicker
Secretary: Currently unfilled
Treasurer: Tait Fullwood
Reporter: Morgan Bowers
Sentinel: Haley Bridges

Advisor: Shelley Gunter



The Bellamy Brothers.

The ever-popular Bellamy Brothers, David and Howard, will be back in town Friday evening for a return engagement at the Lumberyard.

The two have been performing together since 1968 and over the years have established themselves as one of the noted musical groups in the country. Even if you’re not a big country and western fan, you’ll be familiar with many of their songs. “Let Your Love Flow,” released in 1976, hit number one on the pop charts in both the U.S. and Europe, and their country classic, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” was also a crossover number one hit.  It was also named the 1979 “Song of the Year” in the UK.

The pair also had a string of hits in the eighties and nineties, including such songs as “Redneck Girl,” “Santa Fe,” “Old Hippie,” and others.  In 2005 they recorded Angels & Outlaws, Volume 1, a compilation album with Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, and Montgomery Gentry, while more recent albums include The Anthology, Volume 1, with the single, “Guilty of the Crime,” and a CD of gospel music entitled Jesus Is Coming.

Opening for the Bellamy Brothers is the Black Dirt Revival, who will take the stage about 8:00pm and play to 9:30. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Last Wednesday's sunset. (Photo by Eden Baker)

We had a little bit of everything this past week, but the general trend was for cooler weather and more rain. Last Wednesday had a high of 90°F, but that was as warm as it got all week as a cold front moved in early Thursday, bringing with it a good rain. It began about 5:00am and lasted for an hour or so. I got 1.92”, while Kenny Landfried recorded an official 1.88”. Some places west and northwest of town got over two inches. Friday was warm with an 83° high, and about ten-thirty that evening the rain started falling again. This time I had .92” and Kenny had an official .85”.

Saturday and Sunday felt downright cold with a high on Saturday of only 65° with a strong north wind and 70° on Sunday. On Monday the sun came out, and it was a beautiful day, although windy, with a high of 83°. Yesterday was cool and cloudy with intermittent drizzle, enough to make things muddy and make you run your windshield wipers when driving, but not enough to measure in the rain gauge.

Last night at about two, the southern end of a long band of clouds passed overhead, and it rained for about ten minutes before moving on. My rain gauge measured .28”, and since then I've got .02" more to make an even .3" so far today. I haven't heard yet what others got but suspect for most it was about the same. I also heard it rained north of town earlier  yesterday evening, but I don't know how much.

The forecast is for a high today of only 55° or so along with a 60% chance of rain today and 50% tonight. Tomorrow will warm up to 65° with a 50% chance of rain during the day diminishing to 30% that night, while Friday will be sunny with a high of 81°. The weekend weather should be nice with highs on Saturday and Sunday in the low eighties. There is also a 40% chance of rain on Sunday and Monday.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spring Super Sunday II to Feature Mavericks, Merchants' Open Houses This Weekend

The Mavericks
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, and that’s what the City of Roscoe and the Lumberyard are doing this weekend. This year’s first Spring Super Sunday on April 17 was cool, cloudy, and wet with a high temperature in the fifties, and the turnout was lower than anticipated. So, they’re trying it again—call it Spring Super Sunday Redux, if you will.

Roscoe retailers will once again be open from noon to 6pm, and the Lumberyard will host what should be another great day of country music with the Zac Wilkerson Band opening around 3:00pm, Two Tons of Steel following at five or so, and the Mavericks, who are making their first appearance ever in Roscoe, beginning around 8:30pm and playing until 10:00.

Lumberyard owner Cody Thompson is promising one of the best live shows you’ll ever see when the Mavericks take the stage. If you want to have a good time with plenty of upbeat music, this is the time to do it. The band, led by vocalist Raul Malo, has had several hits and was nominated for a Grammy Award this year. They play an eclectic mix of neotraditional country music, Hispanic, and rockabilly to produce a lively sound that’s sure to get your blood moving.

The Mavericks got their start in Miami, Florida, in 1989. Between 1991 and 2003, they recorded six albums and had 14 hits on the Billboard country charts, including “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.” They had a crossover hit in the UK with “Dance the Night Away” in 1998 and won a Grammy for “Here Comes the Rain.” They broke up in 2004 and went their separate ways but re-united in 2012 and released a reunion album, In Time, in 2013. Their latest album, Mono, came out last year.

If you don’t remember them, check out the YouTube recording of one of their best, “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” (Click on the title). Others that demonstrate their range include “Dance the Night Away,” “Here Comes My Baby,” and “Born to Be Blue.” Even their upbeat version of Hank Williams’ “Hey, Good Lookin’” is worth a listen just to see how they handle this classic.

Unlike the free concerts on the streets, however, this one won’t be free as the price of the performers will be covered by the Lumberyard. Advance tickets are $30 or $35 at the door, and tables are $240. For reservations, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.

Roscoe businesses will have open houses that day from noon until 6:00pm, and the Roscoe Express will be carrying patrons from location to location free of charge. Participating businesses are the Blackland Smokehouse, Burritos Zacatecas, Main Street Antiques, McVey’s Native Nursery, Mexico Lindo, Pepe’s Imports, the Rockin’ S Cantina, Roscoe Thrift Store, Southern Belle Salon, the Lumberyard, the Wildflower Boutique, and Vickie’s Gifts.



The $5 million dollar bond proposal for an Early Childhood Center has failed by a final tally of 158-134. The vote was relatively close as a swing of just 13 “against” votes to “for” would have resulted in a different outcome. However, even with the expected taxpayer reluctance to take on an even greater tax burden as well as some resentment about the continued open acceptance of transfers, the proposal might still have passed had it not been for a couple of extenuating circumstances.

One was the mailout of the Nolan County Appraisal District’s valuations for the coming year, which came to property owners just days before the election. The appraisals seemed unusually high with almost everyone I talked to seeing a substantial increase for the coming year, whether or not they had made improvements to their property. Since the oil business is down in the area and housing is more available now, most taxpayers were expecting little increase in valuations. But such was not the case, and many were unhappy at the amount of taxes they will be assessed and were in no mood to think about paying even more.

The other was a controversial e-mail the Superintendent sent to school board members, principals, and a couple of others. It declared that a special-interest group of “Neo-Nazi skinheads” was spreading misinformation about the amount of taxes that would have to be paid if the proposal passed. It also said the group was anti-education and anti-minority. News of the e-mail’s contents spread quickly, and the incident was reported in area media, including newspapers, websites, and television news shows. Some taxpayers considered the allegations unwarranted, unsubstantiated and out-of-line and said they voted against the bond proposal in protest.

But no matter what the reasons, the proposal was not approved by voters, and the plans for an Early Childhood Center at Roscoe’s school must now be scrapped.



RCHS seniors at WTC graduation ceremonies on Thursday. (Photo by Linda Hatcher)
Twenty-four RCHS seniors will already have their Associate’s Degrees when they receive their high school diplomas next Friday evening.

Left side of above photo. Back row, left to right: Ray Bohall, Javier Armenta, Kevin Lavalais, Isaiah Gonzales, Max Nemir, Vincent Pantoja, Luis Villa. Front row: Brena Robison, Ashley Lara, Alejandra Solis, Magali Casas, Cassie Chavira.

Right side of above photo. Back row, left to right: Bernardo Villa, Anthony Ortegon, Rafael Aguayo, Lin Xiao. Front row: Adrian Ortega, Caty Chavira, Lena Martinez, Teresa Herrera, Hannah Hobdy, Victoria Jimenez, Emily Gonzales.


City Secretary Donna Parker swears in Susie Alford, left, and Edwin Duncan, right.
At its annual monthly meeting at City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council swore in two Council members, approved Atmos Energy Corporation to continue handling City gas, and heard reports from the City Manager and Police Chief.

City Secretary Donna Parker swore in Council members Susie Alford and Edwin Duncan to new two-year terms. Alford, whose previous term had expired, and Duncan, who had been appointed to complete the term of former Council member Ken Brawley, ran for new terms to fill the expired seats, but since no others ran, the anticipated election was called off, and they automatically were granted new terms.

The Council approved ordinances #131 and #132, which grants Atmos the franchise to construct, maintain and operate pipelines and equipment in the City of Roscoe, for the transportation, delivery, sale and distribution of gas in, out of, and through the City for all purposes, and providing for the payment of a fee or charge for the use of the public right-of-ways. They also approved a negotiated settlement between the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corporation regarding the company’s 2016 rate review mechanism filings. Atmos Representative Shaun Martin was on hand to explain the ordinances and answer questions the Council had.

The Council also approved the request of American Legion Women’s Auxiliary to use Memorial Park on Memorial Day weekend. It also tabled the awarding of a bid for running the City Swimming Pool since no bids have been received yet.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported on several current and upcoming City activities. Work on the new roof to be installed on the Community Center should begin this week and will take about a week to complete. Thompson expressed a hope that the Roscoe Historical Museum’s roof can be repaired by the same company while they’re here as it will save the City money if they can. He also mentioned the public meeting the Community Center held Monday evening in which Connie Baize was accepted as the Center’s new president.

Work on the old sanitary sewer farm is now about 80% complete. Thompson expressed gratitude that County Commissioner Terry Willman has helped with the project since without his help, they would not be nearly as far along. He also mentioned that the City wants to participate in the County seal coat program once again this summer.

Thompson also reported on some recent problems with the City water. About two weeks ago, when Johnson Controls did some routine maintenance on the water treatment plant, they left a valve closed which blends the RO water with regular water, and pure RO water went through the lines, causing some of the calcium in the lines to be broken loose, which resulted in the water discoloration many homes in the City experienced. The discoloration also prompted the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to issue a boil advisory for a couple of days even though the water was still drinkable. The problem is now solved, but there is still an outstanding issue with the TCEQ, who because of the Flint, Michigan, debacle, is currently especially sensitive to any kinds of water problems. Thompson, however, expressed confidence that the problems will be worked out.

He also mentioned that the Roscoe Cemetery has a new worker and assured Councilmember Helen Perry that the grounds would be in good shape by Memorial Day on May 30.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the Council the monthly Police Department report. It was a relatively quiet month for police activity with the exception of six burglaries that occurred in the City. He also said he has yet to find a suitable replacement for full-time duty and is currently shorthanded with only a part-time officer.



The RCHS robot at the recent meet in Lubbock.
The RCHS robotics team has qualified for the state tournament in Austin on July 28-30th. Qualifying indicates that the team finished the year ranked in the top 32 of all Texas teams from all classifications.



Zane Williams
On Saturday night, the Lumberyard will feature country singer Zane Williams and his band. Zane Williams is a Texas country singer/songwriter originally from Abilene. He is described as a “modern-day throwback who is equal parts bar-room entertainer and introspective poet.” His best-known song is probably “Hurry Home,” which won the $20,000 Maxell Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2006. Since that time he has released six albums, Hurry Home (2006), The Right Place (2009, co-produced with Radney Foster), Ride with Me (2011), Overnight Success (2013), Texas Like That (2015), and Snapshots (2016).

Notable videos of Williams’ singles include “Overnight Success,” “Hurry Home,” “Texas Like That,” and “Jayton and Jill.”

For reservations, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.



Sunrise over wet fields Monday morning. (Photo by Allen Richburg)

This was the warmest week so far this year with afternoon temperatures reaching into the nineties for the first time. Sunday’s high was 91°F as was yesterday’s. All the other days since last Wednesday had highs in the eighties with lows in the fifties or sixties. And since Friday, we’ve also had strong winds, not that unusual for this time of year. The windiest was Saturday with sustained southeast winds reaching 30mph with gusts up to 37. We also got another rain just before dawn on Monday. Kenny Landfried recorded an official total of .67” for Roscoe, but some places west of town got over an inch.

And more may be on the way when a cold front blows through tonight. Today’s high is projected to be 91° but tomorrow’s only 70°, and some forecasters are giving us as much as a 90% chance of precipitation tonight and into tomorrow morning, along with high winds from the northeast. The weekend will be warmer but could also be rainy. Depending on whose weather forecast you believe, the chances for precipitation vary from 30%-40% to 80%-90% on Saturday and Sunday.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

RCISD School Bond Election Saturday

Election Day on the proposed bond for an Early Childhood Center is this Saturday, May 7. Voting will take place from 7:00am to 7:00pm in the Roscoe School Cafetorium for registered voters who live in the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District (RCISD). Early voting terminated at 5:00pm yesterday. Voters must present a photo ID in order to receive a ballot.

If the Early Childhood Center is approved by voters, it will be located on school property across from the Elementary School and will come at a cost of $5 million on a 25-year payout at a fixed rate, which works out to an annual tax increase of $52.50 per year per $100,000 home valuation.

Superintendent Kim Alexander has presented the case for the new facility because of the ever-growing student enrollment at RCISD and the corresponding space constraints, as well as a proposed change to the Montessori system of instruction, which includes a move from a half to a full day for Pre-K students. The school is already recognized as a state and national leader in both college and career readiness, and improving the critical early levels will result in even greater success for our students as they gear up to compete in a global economy.



One Plowboy, Kevin Lavalais, and one Plowgirl, Bonnie Wilkinson, qualified for the State Track Meet with their performances at the Regional I-2A meet at Ratliff Stadium in Odessa this past weekend. Two others, Max Nemir and Lyndi Wilkinson, came close but didn’t quite manage to get there.

Lavalais finished second in the 100 meter dash to Mark Adams of New Deal with a time of 11.21, and Bonnie Wilkinson was runner-up to Haevyn Risley of Canadian in the 400 meters with a time of 60.43. Nemir had his best run of the year in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.57, which would have qualified him for state in a different region, but in Region I it was only good enough for fourth place. Lyndi Wilkinson also finished fourth in the 400 with a time of 62.07.

The State Meet will be next weekend, May 13 and 14, in Austin.



Plowboys and Plowgirls receiving awards at the annual RCHS Athletic Banquet last Thursday evening are as follows:

Plowboy of the Year in Football – Kevin Lavalais

Football Fighting Heart – Max Nemir

Plowboy of the Year in Basketball – Javier Leaños

Basketball Defensive Player of the Year – Brayden Beal

Plowboy of the Year in Track – Max Nemir

Plowboy of the Year in Powerlifting – Matt Buckley

Britt Paty Memorial Scholarship – Vincent Pantoja

Clyde Jay Memorial Scholarship – Ray Bohall

Charles and Verla Ratliff Memorial Scholarship – Rafael Aguayo

Plowgirl of the Year in Basketball – Veronica Cuellar

Basketball Defensive Player of the Year – Bergan Trevino

Fighting Heart Award – Karina Cisneros

Clyde Jay Memorial Scholarship – Brena Robison



President Steve Moore addresses members at last night's meeting.
The Central Rolling Plains Co-op held its annual membership meeting with a barbecue supper and door prizes at the Roscoe School Cafetorium last night. Items of business included the manager’s report, regional reports, audit report, and election of three directors and two advisory board members. Dividend and equity retirement checks were handed out at the end of the meeting.

There were two elections.  Steve Moore, Ralph Stirl, and Scott Etheredge were re-elected to three-year terms on the Senior Board, and James Parrott and Roddy Alexander were elected to one-year terms on the Advisory Board.

The $100 prize of the annual bale guess in which members at the Co-op Gin’s Open House in October guess how many bales the gin will produce was won by Garrison Williams, whose guess of 75,492 was the closest without exceeding the actual amount of 75,636.

Shareholders who did not pick up their checks last night may get them at the Co-op office on 102 Pecan Street until 5:00pm on Friday, after which time they will be mailed out.

Co-op members filled the Cafetorium at last night's meeting.


Barbara and Kenneth Reed
Kenneth and Barbara (Karonika) Reed were honored with a party at the Roscoe Community Center on Saturday night on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band provided musical entertainment and a full house of well-wishers was treated to a barbecue supper.



The RHS 2016 Homecoming Committee will have its initial meeting tomorrow, May 5, at 6:00pm at 1509 Vards Lane in Sweetwater. Anyone interested in helping is welcome.

For more information, contact Teresa McFaul Watson or Connie Baize.



Another big weekend is on tap for the Lumberyard with two great bands. On Friday night, Lonestar will play in Roscoe for the first time, and on Saturday, the Turnpike Troubadours return for an encore performance.

Lonestar is a band of Texans who met in Nashville in the early nineties. Over the years they have come up with a string of hits that has left an indelible mark on country music. They have also produced twelve albums, the most recent being Life as We Know It (2013) and their latest, Never Enders (2016), which was recorded this spring and due for release this past weekend.

Starting with “No News” in 1995, they have had nine #1 songs on the Country Music charts. “Come Crying to Me,” “Amazed” (a crossover hit that also was #1 on the Billboard’s Top 100), “Smile,” “What About Now,” “Tell Her,” “I’m Already There,” “My Front Porch Looking In,” and “Mr. Mom,” along with several others that made the Top Ten, such as “Not a Day Goes By,” “Let’s Be Us Again,” “You’re Like Coming Home,” “Walking In Memphis,” and “Mountains.”

Turnpike Troubadours
On Saturday, the “Red Dirt” Turnpike Troubadours will be the Lumberyard’s featured act. Originally from Oklahoma, they were influenced by Cross Canadian Ragweed and Jason Boland but have since developed their own distinctive sound. From their Oklahoma beginnings, they have worked their way up from small clubs to sellout crowds in such major music venues as Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, the Firehouse Saloon in Houston, and Antone’s in Austin. They have three studio albums: Bossier City, Diamonds & Gasoline, and Goodbye Normal Street. Popular singles include “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead,” “Down Here,” “Long Hot Summer Day,” and “Gin, Smoke, and Lies.”

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



Yesterday's sunset.
Although the past week began as fairly normal on Thursday and Friday, a cool front blew in early Saturday with sharp breezes, making the weekend a cool one. Temperatures dropped from a high of 85°F on Friday to 75° on Saturday, 62° on Sunday, and 67° on Monday. Lows dropped on those days into the mid to upper forties with the coolest being 46° on Monday, and an extra quilt was in order for sleeping. Yesterday warmed up to 75° for the high but then we got some weather from the northwest that immediately dropped it back down into the lower sixties. We got a sprinkle out of the change but nothing more.

The next few days, however will be more normal for early May. In fact, today’s projected high of 81° should be the coolest maximum we’ll have for the coming week. Tomorrow, Friday, and the weekend through Monday are forecast to have highs in the mid-eighties and lows in the low sixties.

There is currently a prediction of an 80% chance of rain on Sunday night.  This time last week, however, we were being given an 80% chance of rain on Monday, but by Saturday, the weathermen had changed their minds and dropped it to only 20%. As it turned out, we got nothing more than a sprinkle. So, who knows whether we’ll get rain Sunday night? We’ll just have to wait and see.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Roscoe in Years Gone By: Remembering Tonto Coleman

A. M. "Tonto" Coleman, SEC Commissioner, 1965-1972. 
If you ask someone today about Tonto Coleman, you’re likely to get a blank stare, but there was a time when just about everyone in Roscoe could tell you who he was. He’s still the only former Plowboy in the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame, and in his day he was well known not only in Texas, but also throughout the South. Even President Lyndon Johnson greeted him by name when he went to the White House with a delegation of coaches.

Although he was good at everything he did, Tonto was never a big star at football or, later on, as a football coach. But he impressed everyone with his intelligence, ability, character, and sense of humor, and he was successful at everything he tried, whether as a player for Roscoe or Abilene Christian, a high school coach at Baird or San Angelo, or head track and football coach at ACU (then ACC). In later years, he moved on to become assistant coach at the University of Florida and Georgia Tech, and eventually Commissioner of the SEC, the Southeastern Athletic Conference.

Arthur M. “Tonto” Coleman was born in Alabama on July 7, 1907, and when he was twelve, moved with his family to Wastella where, as he tells it, life was pretty hard. In a 1966 Sports Illustrated article entitled “Next Speaker Will Be Tonto Coleman,” he told its writer that the first thing he did in the morning was go out to the road to “see if anything had been run over during the night that would put some meat on the table.”

He went to Roscoe High School, where he played all varsity sports, and then to Abilene Christian, lettering in three sports there. He graduated from Roscoe High in 1924 and from ACC with a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 1928. He got his first head coaching job at Baird in 1929, moved on to San Angelo where he was head coach from 1931-39, and then returned to Abilene Christian in 1940, where he was the head track coach and assistant football coach until 1942. He then became head football coach from 1942-49 (with the exception of the WWII years, when he served in the Army Air Force). His overall head coaching record at ACC was 28-15-2.

In 1950, Baylor coach Bob Woodruff became the head coach at the University of Florida and persuaded Tonto to join him there. Then in 1952, Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd hired him away from Florida to be his defensive coordinator and coach of the freshman team. He was also a tenured full professor there. He remained at Georgia Tech until 1965, where he was also the assistant athletic director before becoming the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. He held that position until he retired in 1972 and moved back to Abilene, where he died of a heart attack in 1973.

But those statistics don’t really tell of the impact he had on football and on people during his lifetime. He was credited with being the first coach to use the 5-4-2 defense when he coached ACC, a defense that Bud Wilkinson took to Oklahoma when he was head coach there. Darrell Royal claimed that Coleman’s recommendation was a big reason he got the head coaching job at the University of Texas, and in later years Coleman was also a popular after-dinner speaker because of his country sense of humor.

While he was at Georgia Tech, Governor Carl Sanders formally proclaimed a Tonto Coleman Day, and the Georgia legislature adopted a resolution honoring him. He is also a member of the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. The final part of his description there says this: “He was known as the goodwill ambassador of college sports. Although he was a big man with a rugged appearance and a sandpaper voice, he was known for his warm, gentle, and polite personality. When he left Georgia Tech, then President Edwin Harrison said to him: ‘Many people pass through Georgia Tech, but only a few leave lasting memories. You are among those few.’”

I will close with a funny story he told about a football game Roscoe played against Snyder back when he was in high school. It is repeated in the Sports Illustrated article mentioned above. Someone spoke of his innovative defense, and part of his response was this: “But, speaking of defense, it puts me in mind of the time I was playing at Roscoe and we had a game with Snyder. They stopped us cold on every play. No matter what we tried, those Snyder boys seemed to know just where the play was heading. We took a bad beating and after the game I asked one of the Snyder players how they did it. This boy said, ‘Oh, we just happened to notice that whoever came out of the huddle wearing the helmet usually carried the ball.’”

There are more of his stories in the article, which is available online in the Sports Illustrated archives. You can access it by clicking here.



Firemen fight the blaze inside the house at 206 Cypress Street last Thursday.
A house fire at the David Griffith residence at 206 Cypress Street on Thursday afternoon, April 21, killed two dogs and caused major damage to the interior of the house. According to Roscoe Fire Chief Gary Armstrong, the fire engulfed two rooms and caused heavy smoke damage to the rest of the house. Once notified, the Roscoe Fire Department responded with two engines at 4:30pm, and the Sweetwater Fire Department, which also sent two engines, also came over and helped out with mutual aid.

No one was at home at the time of the fire, and its cause has not yet been determined.



A large number of Roscoe Collegiate High School and Junior High students received honors at the Roscoe Academic Awards Banquet in the RCHS School Cafetorium yesterday evening.

Alejandra Solis was the first recipient of the Pursuit of Passion: Kimberely Nicole Norris Memorial Scholarship for her accomplishments and achievements while a student at Roscoe. The $1000 scholarship is given in memory of Kim Norris, a 2011 Roscoe High School graduate and former varsity cheerleader and basketball player, who passed away unexpectedly in 2015 while attending the University of Hawaii.

Here are the other awards and honors recognized at the banquet:

Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder:

            Rafael Aguayo                          Javier Leaños
            Ray Bohall                                 Lena Martinez
            Magali Casas                             Max Nemir
            Cassie Chavira                          Adrian Ortega
            Caty Chavira                              Anthony Ortegon
            Emily Gonzales                         Vincent Pantoja
            Isaiah Gonzales                         A. J. Renteria
            Teresa Herrera                          Brena Robinson
            Hannah Hobdy                          Alejandra Solis
            Victoria Jimenez                       Bernardo Villa
            Ashley Lara                                Luis Villa
            Kevin Lavalais                           Xiao, Lin

Special Award: Emily Gonzales (graduating with Associate’s Degree while completing High School in three years)

Early Graduate: Crystal Alvarez

MSA Welding Certificates from Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater:

            Christian Acuña                       Jetly Hobdy
            Isaias Aguilar                            Juan Huidobro
            Crystal Alvarez                          Roadey Mann
            Brayden Beal                             Jayce Phillips
            Johnathon Cuellar                   Saxton Stewart
            Justin Gardner

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society:

            Johnathon Cuellar
            Braiden Moore
            Caleb Ward

NASA Texas High School Aerospace Scholars:

            Cassie Chavira
            Caty Chavira

SAT Honor Roll:

            Ray Bohall
            Isaiah Gonzales

ACT Honor Roll:

            Braiden Moore
            Caleb Ward

Engineering Project-Based Learning:

            Caleb Ward                               Braiden Moore
            Camden Boren                          Jose Chavira
            Austin Willman                        Braxton Parrott

High School Class Awards:

            Senior Best All-Around Boy: Max Nemir
            Senior Best All-Around Girl: Cassie Chavira
            Senior Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Lin Xiao
            Senior Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Teresa Herrera

            Junior Best All-Around Boy: Brayden Beal
            Junior Best All-Around Girl: Karina Cisneros
            Junior Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Johnny Cuellar
            Junior Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Shirley Sanchez

            Sophomore Best All-Around Boy: Camden Boren
            Sophomore Best All-Around Girl: Iris Gonzales
            Sophomore Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Tait Fullwood, Parker Payne
            Sophomore Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Thea Abeita

            Freshman Best All-Around Boy: Alfonso Islas
            Freshman Best All-Around Girl: Lynzie Atkison
            Freshman Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Jose Ortega
            Freshman Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Veronica Cuellar

Junior High School Class Awards:

            8th Grade Best All-Around Boy: Tristan Baker
            8th Grade Best All-Around Girl: Jaci Alexander, Jaleigh Morales
            8th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Roman Garza
            8th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Jaci Stewart
            8th Grade Project-Based Learning: Hunter Anglin, Junior Martinez, Jaleigh Morales, Kyleigh Spencer

            7th Grade Best All-Around Boy: Zeke Murphy
            7th Grade Best All-Around Girl; Hannah Ward
            7th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Kaleb Bohall
            7th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Riley Sheridan
            7th Grade Project-Based Learning: Elida Aguilar, Barrett Beal, Caleb Reed

            6th Grade Best All-Around Boy: Hayden Baker
            6th Grade Best All-Around Girl: Isabel Ortega
            6th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Boy: Tyler Guelker
            6th Grade Outstanding Work Ethic Girl: Marcella Saenz

Not listed here are all the award winners honored for individual class subjects for grades 6-12.



This weekend the Lumberyard is hosting two up-and-coming young country singers, Josh Ward on Friday night and Kyle Park on Saturday.

Josh Ward and Kyle Park
Kyle Park writes and produces his own songs, which might loosely be termed a part of the current Texas Country genre. Born in Austin in 1985, he formed a band while a student at Texas State University in San Marcos. His first album, Big Time, was released in 2005, and since then he has produced five others, the most recent being Beggin’ for More, released in 2013. His single “The Night is Young” reached #1 on the Texas Country Charts in 2013. Three other singles, “Fit for the King,” “Long Distance Relationship,” and “Turn That Crown Upside Down,” were all Top Ten hits on the Texas Music Chart.

Josh Ward sings traditional country music, citing Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones, and George Strait as major influences. A native of Houston, his music career began in parking lots of his rodeo events and progressed to honky tonks in 2003. His single “Get Away” (2012) reached #18 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart, followed by “Rainout Hangout,” which made the Top 5, and then “Sent Me You,” which made #1. Since then, two others, “Promises” and “Hard Whiskey,” have reached #1 on Texas Regional Radio. His newest album, Holding Me Together, is now available.

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

There was a nice article on Roscoe and the Lumberyard in last Thursday’s Abilene Reporter-News. You can read it by clicking here.



Yesterday's clouds in the northwest before the storm hit.
The second half of last week was cool with highs in the sixties and seventies, and we got some rain early Thursday morning with hail. Here in town it was only marble-sized and relatively soft, but it was larger—up to golf-ball sized—in some areas, large enough to put dents in vehicles. I had .76” precipitation in my rain gauge, while the official total for Roscoe was .71”. The weekend was warmer and sunny with highs in the lower eighties. Then on Monday and yesterday we were reminded that warmer days are coming as the highs rose to 89°F Monday and 88° yesterday.

Yesterday evening we got a bit of a surprise when storm clouds unexpectedly showed up from the southwest, and for a little while we had thunder, lightning, rain, and, once again, some more hail. The hail was small and soft, and the rainfall totaled an official .3" here in town, but the storm did cool off things considerably, dropping the temperature from 88° to 69° after the storm passed through. West of town, the amount was .5" to .6". I haven’t heard how much rain fell in other areas, but the storm looked heavier in the northwest, so I’m guessing people got more in the Wastella and Inadale areas. I also heard of quarter-sized hail southwest of Roscoe, but can’t confirm that.

Today’s high should be around 83° and tomorrow 87° with sunny skies and lows about 65° tomorrow. The weekend should be a little cooler with a projected high of 80° on Saturday and only 77° on Sunday. Lows will be in the fifties.

The next big chance of rain is next Monday night and Tuesday when the probability of precipitation will be 70% and temperatures will be decidedly cooler with highs of only around 70° for Monday and Tuesday.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kim Alexander Makes Case for RCISD Early Childhood Center

Kim Alexander discusses the Early Childhood Center at Monday's meeting.
Roscoe School Superintendent Kim Alexander addressed the public at an open hearing Monday evening at the school’s E.On Center on the subject of the proposed Early Childhood Center for the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District (RCISD). Back in February, the School Board approved a bond election for Saturday, May 7, for the Early Childhood Center, which, if approved, will be located on school property across from the Elementary School.

In making his case for approving the bond, Dr. Alexander brought up several points. One was the growth in student enrollment in the RCISD over the past few years and the probability that the growth is likely to continue over the coming decade. The school is recognized as a state and national leader in both college and career readiness, and much of the recent growth has come from transfers who want to benefit from its advantages. Current facilities are already becoming overcrowded, and if the bond is not approved, the school will probably have to resort to temporary buildings to cope with the increase.

After much research by school officials, including Elementary School Principal Andy Wilson, the school feels it critical to move to the Montessori method of instruction for pre-K and kindergarten children. A study of current data indicates that as a group our primary students are not where they need to be, especially in reading, by grade 3. Since such a deficiency typically lasts through the following grades and beyond, it is important that it be rectified as early as possible. The Montessori Early Childhood Program is the established leader in doing just that, especially for economically disadvantaged children, of which Roscoe has many and is projected to have even more in the future. The Montessori Program involves a move from a half day to a full one for pre-K students. It also requires more space for storage of manipulatives and hands-on types of activities. However, a move to the program will benefit the children involved in ways that last them for the rest of their lives. And, as RCISD is one of the state and national leaders in educational innovation, the move will also strengthen its program for subsequent grades.

The downside of the bond proposal is that the facility will cost $5 million on a 30-year payout, which works out to an annual tax increase of about $52 a year per $100,000 home evaluation, although for homeowners 65 or older, there will be no tax increase, as taxes are frozen.. However, if the Roscoe schools retain their excellence, the transfers will continue to come, and under the new state regulations, model early college schools are required to accept them, and growth is likely to continue, especially with the new housing addition in Roscoe, the Young Farm Estates, well underway.

To the question about the cost of transfers to Roscoe taxpayers, Dr. Alexander replied that the money the school receives for each such student more than pays for the expense. The overhead for the school will still be pretty much the same whether it has a student enrollment of 500 or 900, so the cost per student decreases as enrollment increases.

He added that the school is the lifeblood of the community and since it will either get better or worse, the only direction to strive for is to make it as good as possible. Ten years ago, following a fifteen-year trend of declining enrollment, Roscoe ISD was, in school finance terminology, "circling the drain." However, innovations such as Early College and STEM Academy--and now Montessori Early Childhood--have reversed that trend and prevented Roscoe from losing its school, a rural trend over the past sixty years that has caused Texas to reduce from 4800 school districts in 1950 to fewer than 1200 today.

Dr. Alexander feels that improving the critical early levels will result in even greater success for our students as they gear up to compete in a global economy.



Francisco Garcia, center, with Youth Ambassadors from Arkansas, New York, Ohio, California, Maryland, and Iowa at the National 4-H headquarters in Maryland.
RCHS sophomore Francisco Garcia recently returned from Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he represented the state of Texas as its Youth Ambassador at the national 4-H STEM Futures Training conference. Six other students representing Arkansas, California, Iowa, Maryland, New York, and Ohio also attended.

On Friday, Francisco and his fellow Youth Ambassadors attended a series of workshops such as Reaching Underserved Audiences, Delivering the 4-H Message, and Understanding the Process Evaluation. At the end of the day, they toured Washington, DC, and visited the National Monuments.

On Saturday, both adults and youths attended the USA Science and Engineering Festival, where 4-H had a booth to promote the 4-H STEM programs and projects. Both youths and adults helped in the booth and toured the festival. On Sunday, all attended the Festival Debrief and State Planning Session before returning home.

Francisco’s 4-H mentor, Roxanna Reyna, local Program Specialist of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, accompanied him on the trip.



Two Plowgirls and four Plowboys will advance to the Regional Track Meet in Odessa next weekend after their performances at the Area Track Meet at McMurry University in Abilene on Friday. For the Plowgirls, Lyndi Wilkinson moves on in two events, the 400 meter dash and triple jump, and Bonnie Wilkinson in one, the 100 meter dash.

For the Plowboys, Kevin Lavalais was first in the 100 meter dash, and Max Nemir was second in the 300 meter hurdles. Both were also on the Plowboys’ 4 x 400 meter relay team, which also finished second. The other two on the relay team are Braiden Moore and Juan Solis.

Contestants had to finish in the top four in their event to advance. Here are the complete results for Plowgirls and Plowboys who competed in the Area Meet:


Event                         Place          Athlete                  Time/Distance
3200 meter run             8          Allison Acebedo           13:41.82
1600 meter run             7          Karina Cisneros            6:08.34
800 meter run               5          Karina Cisneros            2:45.63
400 meter dash             4*        Lyndi Wilkinson           1:02.45
200 meter dash             8          Bonnie Wilkinson         27.36
100 meter dash              3*        Bonnie Wilkinson         13.07
                                                      Lyndi Wilkinson            13.43
Triple jump                    4*        Lyndi Wilkinson            33’ 6¾”
Pole vault                        6          Bonnie Wilkinson           7’ 6”


3200 meter run             6          Alfonzo Islas                 11:30.27
1600 meter run             7           Alfonzo Islas                  5:10.10
100 meter dash              1*          Kevin Lavalais              10.94
300 meter hurdles        2*         Max Nemir                    41.41
4 x 400 meter relay       2*        Plowboys ‘A’                  3:34.05
  (Braiden Moore, Max Nemir, Juan Solis, and Kevin Lavalais)
Pole vault                        7           Jayden Gonzales           12’

* = Advances to Regional Meet


by Sonia Flores

Roscoe robotics teams at Texas Tech.
This past weekend eight teams from the Roscoe GT and 4-H Clubs participated in the 2016 GEAR contest at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. This is the third year Roscoe has participated in the GEAR contest. GEAR stands for Getting Excited About Robotics, which was started with a goal to generate interest among students to pursue a career in engineering, science, or technology and to show them that math and science can be fun. Challenges are designed to make students think at a higher level and give them an opportunity to see how everyday math and science apply to the real world.

For the past nine weeks, the students have been working hard to get their robots built and have working programs to retrieve and deliver items from the game mat.



This Saturday RCHS student Caty Chavira will be competing in the Prose Reading competition at the UIL Regional Academics meet in Odessa.



The Meek Blood Donation Bus
The Meek Community Blood Bank of Abilene is looking for volunteers to donate blood next Tuesday, April 26, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The Bloodmobile will be located on 7th Street in front of the Roscoe Collegiate High School Special Events Center. Donations will take approximately 30-45 minutes, and donors are advised to eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluid beforehand.

Volunteers should bring a photo ID. To reserve a sign-up time or for questions, phone Nick Anthony, CD, of College Chiropractors at 325-766-3423. Walk-up donors are also welcome.



Friends and well-wishers are encouraged to attend a benefit for Kristi Graham Stacy Saturday night to help her pay medical expenses for her hospitalization. There will be live music from three different bands.

Marty Stuart

Then, on Sunday country great Marty Stuart and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, will make a rare West Texas appearance at the Lumberyard this Sunday, April 24.

Born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1958, Stuart’s talent with the guitar and mandolin made him famous at an early age. When he was twelve, he started performing with the bluegrass group The Sullivan Family before moving on to Lester Flatt’s band, the Nashville Grass. He stayed with Flatt until the band broke up in 1978 due to Flatt’s ailing health. In 1980, he joined Johnny Cash’s band a year after releasing his first solo album, With a Little Help from My Friends. He released a second album, Busy Bee Café, in 1982, and in 1983 married Johnny Cash’s daughter, Cindy. They divorced five years later, and in 1985 he left Cash’s band to pursue a solo career.

In 1990, his album Hillbilly Rock was a commercial success, and in 1991 he co-wrote and sang, “This Whiskey Ain’t Working” with Travis Tritt. Since then, he’s produced many more albums, including This One’s Gonna Hurt You, Soul’s Chapel, Badlands, and Live at the Ryman. For the past few years he’s hosted The Marty Stuart Show, which features traditional country music on RFD-TV. Top singles include “Burn Me Down,” “Tempted,” “Little Things,” “Honky Tonkin’s What I Do Best,” and many others.

For reservations or more information, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457, or visit the Lumberyard’s Facebook page.



The approaching storm west of town on Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Allen Richburg)
We got a nice rain on Saturday. Here in town, Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried reported an official 1.71” for Roscoe, but I heard reports of anywhere from 1.25” to 2”. It was one of those rains where the amount people got really depended on their location as reports varied considerably. Around Inadale some were reporting three inches, west of town was more like 2.5”, and between Loraine and Colorado City got as much as four to five inches. In almost all cases in the Roscoe area, there was a good rain. I heard more people saying 2” to 2½” than anything else.

Then last night a storm blew through from the northwest shortly after midnight that probably woke up everybody in town. It came in with lighting flashing, thunder crashing, and rain falling. It lasted about forty minutes and in that time dropped between a half-inch and an inch. The official amount for Roscoe was .71" In any case, the dry weather we’ve been having practically the entire year has come to a halt, at least temporarily. The ground has soaked up the moisture, and crop outlooks are more optimistic than they were this time last week.

Along with the rain, the week has seen lots of cool and cloudy weather with temperatures cooler than what we’ve come to expect from mid-April. The high for the week was 77°F on both Thursday and Friday before the front moved through, although lows were relatively mild, all in the fifties with the exception of Monday morning when the temperature dropped to 49°.

The forecast between now and Sunday is for highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties, similar to what we’ve been getting for the past week. There’s an 80% chance of rain tomorrow morning, but then the chances diminish to nothing for the days after that. Saturday will be sunny and so will Sunday, when the mercury will climb into the low eighties for the first time in a while.



Funeral services for Donald Rudell Marth, 80, will be at 11:00am on Saturday, April 30, at the Salem Lutheran Church in Roscoe, followed by a private family graveside ceremony. He passed away on Friday, April 15, in San Antonio after a valiant, courageous few years dealing with a blood disease. A memorial service of celebration for his life will be held tomorrow, April 21, at 3pm at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in San Antonio.

Don was born in Roscoe on December 3, 1935, to Rudolph and Jessie Marth. He grew up with his sister, Frances Marth Richburg, in a happy, hardworking home. After high school, he farmed and worked in the Texas National Guard reserves and at the gypsum mill in Sweetwater. He later graduated from North Texas State University with a BA in psychology and sociology, an MA, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. While a student at North Texas, Don became an active member of the national fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and made many lasting friendships. He also studied for a year at the Carl Jung Institute in Switzerland.

His first job after earning his doctorate was at the State Hospital in Galveston, where he specialized in Adolescent and Child Psychology. Later, he opened a private practice in San Antonio, where he continued to focus on caring for children and youth for many years. In his later career he served as an expert vocational witness in disability appeal hearings working with administrative law judges at Social Security Administrative hearings. He didn’t retire until June 2015.

Famous for his Texas pecan sheet cake, dutch oven cobblers and corn bread at church gatherings and Knights of Columbus, Don generously shared his passion for tasty food and frolicking jocularity, making a party out of any occasion. He frequented the San Antonio area “pulgas" (flea markets), always hunting for a great deal and collecting dutch oven cookware, knives, boots, etc. He was known as the “Corn Bread Man” at Monte Vista neighborhood gatherings and enjoyed his colorful role as boot peddler extraordinaire at Wimberly Trade Days. He enjoyed singing with the San Antonio Liederkrantz. He was rarely without his cowboy hat and boots. He always wore his larger-than-life personality sharing his jocular humor and zest for life.

He is survived by his wife, Ernestine Pavelka Marth, and her children David, Steven, and Emily and their spouses; his mother, Jessie Marth of Roscoe; sister, Frances Richburg; daughter, Debbie Marth Stanaland and son-in-law, Rockey; daughter, Jennifer Marth Todd and son-in-law Steven; and son, Reuben Marth. He was also proud of and loved all his many grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as his Richburg nephews and nieces and the Pavelka grandchildren.


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