All the news that's fit to print.

In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

John Conlee to Play Lumberyard Friday Night

John Conlee
The Lumberyard will have a special inside show Friday evening when Mr. "Rose Colored Glasses" himself, John Conlee, comes to town. Due to space limitations, only 100 tickets will be sold.

Over the years, Conlee, a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1981, has had seven number-one hits on the country charts and fourteen in the top ten, including "Rose Colored Glasses," "Friday Night Blues," “Lady Lay Down,” “Backside of Thirty,” “Common Man,” “I’m Only in it for the Love,” “In My Eyes,” “Miss Emily's Picture,” and “Got My Heart Set on You.” 

The show begins about 9:15pm. Tickets are $60 each. For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Ms. Bohall and one of her third-grade classes at the museum yesterday.
Jeanie Bohall’s three third-grade classes took separate field trips to the Roscoe Historical Museum yesterday to learn more about Roscoe’s history and view objects and photos from its past.

Students seemed to particularly enjoy the jail and such ancient objects as the manual typewriter.  They were also fascinated by many of the photographs, including the team photo of the 1922 football team and early pictures of downtown Roscoe.  But the most fun of all was at the end of each visit when refreshments of punch and cookies were served.



Roscoe Police Officer Steven Spencer stopped a vehicle on December 5 at about 8am and detected indicators of possible criminal activity. A consensual search of the vehicle turned up an undisclosed amount of the drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly.  The man, who was from the Dallas area, was taken into custody for possession of a felony amount of a controlled substance.



Here are the complete results of the 2014 Roscoe Livestock Show held in the Nolan County Coliseum last Saturday, December 13:


Class 1 – Steers (Cross)
            1st – Kamren Fisher (Breed Champ)
Class 2 – Heifers (Red Angus)
            1st – Jaci Alexander (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Jaden Alexander (Reserve Breed Champ)

Grand Champion Cattle - Jaci Alexander
Reserve Champion Cattle - Kamren Fisher
Showmanship - Jaci Alexander


Class 1 – Boer Goat
            1st - Kamren Fisher (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Skylar Pulatti (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Emma Pulatti

Grand Champion Goat - Kamren Fisher
Reserve Champion Goat - Skylar Pulatti
Goat Showmanship - Skylar Pulatti


Class 1 – Hair Sheep
            1st – Skylar Pulatti (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Kamren Fisher (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Emma Pulatti

Class 2 – Southdown
            1st – Emma Pulatti (Breed Champ)

Class 3 – Fine Wool
            1st – Tait Fullwood (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Lynzie Atkinson (Reserve Breed Champ)

Class 4 – Fine Wool Cross
            1st – Tait Fullwood (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Lynzie Atkinson (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – J. Lee McAnally

Class 5 – Medium Wool
            1st – Lynzie Atkinson (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Tait Fullwood (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kamren Fisher
            4th – J Lee McAnally

Grand Champion Lamb - Lynzie Atkinson with Medium Wool
Reserve Champion Lamb - Tait Fullwood with Fine Wool
Jr. Lamb Showmanship - Emma Pulatti
Sr. Lamb Showmanship - Lynzie Atkinson


Class 1 – Lightweight Black OPB (Other Pure Bred)
            1st – Derek Creed (Breed Champ)  
            2nd – John Herrera
            3rd – Zeke Murphy
            4th – Ethan Morris
            5th – Derek Creed

Class 2 – Heavyweight Black OPB
            1st – Zeke Murphy (Reserve Breed Champ)
            2nd – Gatlyn Hoskins
            3rd – Brena Robison
            4th – Kaylee Palacios

Class 3 – White OPB
            1st – Kaylee Palacios (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Brena Robison (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Justin Herrera

Class 4 – Lightweight Hampshires
            1st – Kamren Fisher
            2nd – Cade Garrett
            3rd – Lynzie Atkison
            4th – Zeke Murphy

Class 5 – Heavyweight Hampshires
            1st – Gatlyn Hoskins (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Kaylee Palacios (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Max Nemir
            4th – Alyssa Chavez

Class 6 – Durocs
            1st – Max Nemir (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kaylee Palacios
            4th – Alyssa Chavez
            5th – Derek Creed

Class 7 – Lightweight Dark Cross
            1st – Kaylee Palacios
            2nd – Max Nemir
            3rd – Cade Garrett
            4th – Lynzie Atkison

Class 8 – Heavyweight Dark Cross
            1st – Brena Robison (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Max Nemir

Class 9 – Lightweight Light Cross
            1st – Kaylee Palacios
            2nd – Cade Garrett
            3rd – Max Nemir

Class 10 – Heavyweight Light Cross
            1st – Justin Herrera (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kamren Fisher

Grand Champion Swine - Justin Herrera with Heavyweight Light Cross
Reserve Champion Swine - Max Nemir with Duroc
Jr. Swine Showmanship - Justin Herrera
Sr. Swine Showmanship - Max Nemir
Pee Wee Showmanship - Brodie Willman, Ashton and JoAnna McAnally


Olivia Saddler shoots a jumper in last night's game with Haskell.
It was a rough night at the Special Events Center yesterday for the Plowgirls as they were overpowered by the Haskell Maidens.  Haskell jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in defeating them 57-34.  The scoring by quarters was as follows:

Roscoe         6    16    24    34
Haskell      19    32    50    57

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Olivia Saddler with 13, followed by Samantha Ortega with 12.  Selena Perez had 7 and Mia Herrera 2.

The Plowgirl JV also lost to Haskell JV 27-25.

The Plowgirls’ next game is with Stamford at Stamford Friday night.  Tipoff is at 6:15pm with the JV game starting at 5:00.  They are then off for the Christmas break and won’t resume again until December 29 at the Eula Tournament.



The Plowboys lost to Guthrie and Highland but beat Rotan at the Blackland Divide Invitational here in Roscoe last weekend.

Their first game was with tournament finalist, Guthrie, who won by a score of 55-34.  Here is the scoring by quarters:

Plowboys       11        21        28       34
Guthrie           17       25        43        55    

High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 9 points; Roman Acuña had 8, Rafael Aguayo 6, Cutter Davila 3, Isaiah Gonzales 2, Kevin Lavalais 2, Anthony Ortegon 2, and Luis Villa 2.

The Plowboys also lost their second game, this one to Highland, 49-29.

Plowboys         14        19        25        29
Highland          17        26        38        49

Leanos had 12 points, Aguayo 10, Gonzales 5, and Acuña 2.

Then Roscoe won their final game in the tournament by downing Rotan 64-28.

Plowboys        13        33        50        64
Rotan                 4        13         20        28

Leanos had 22 points, Villa 16, Aguayo 7, Lavalais 7, Gonzales 4, Acuña 3, and Ortegon 3.

The Blackland Invitational Tournament was won by TLCA (San Angelo) with Guthrie the runner-up.

The Plowboys’ next action will be in the Eula Tournament on December 29.



The weather was on the warm side until yesterday.  Highs last weekend Thursday through Sunday were 62°F, 69°, 70°, and 70° respectively, while lows were 55°, 53°, 58°, and 51°.  Monday and yesterday were slightly cooler with highs of 60° and 53° and lows of 53° and 34°.  Saturday and Sunday were both windy with gusts to 34mph on Saturday and 39mph on Sunday.  There was no precipitation.

There is, however, a possibility of some rain within the next few days.  Today has a 20% chance, Tomorrow night and Friday it goes to 40%, and then Sunday has a 20% chance.  High temperatures should be in the fifties and sixties and lows in the forties or mid to upper thirties with no freezes in the forecast. 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 a Down Year for Cotton Crop

Cotton modules await ginning at the Co-op Gin west of town.
Of course, this will come as no news to area cotton farmers, but this year’s dryland crop has been a major disappointment in terms of both yield and price.  It hasn’t been a devastatingly dry year, as it was in 2011 when wildfires and dust storms were the order of the day—there were occasional rains scattered here and there.  
The problem, though, was that when we did get them, they came at the wrong time, and when we needed them most, such as in late July and August, they never came at all.  The result has been small plants with few bolls, and even those are not very big ones.  

Moreover, the price of cotton this year has been lower than usual.  Yesterday, for example, it was selling at only 54¢ per pound, down from previous years.  In fact, it’s safe to say that more cotton fields in this area have collected crop insurance than have been stripped and ginned.

The total number of bales ginned so far by Roscoe’s Central Rolling Plains Co-op Gin is just a little over 16,000, and most of that is from irrigated fields.  Since gin manager Larry Black says that the ginning is just about half done, he estimates this year’s crop will be around 32,000 bales.  The average annual total for the previous seven years (i.e., since the consolidation of the Roscoe and Inadale gins in 2007) is 61,000 bales.  So, this year’s crop is only about half the average for this area and well below last year’s 72,000 bales.

For what it’s worth, this outcome is in line with the forecast made by the direction of the wind on the day after the beginning of spring last year.  As you may recall, that was the traditional day for the Plains Indians’ “Sunrise Wind” ceremony that used to be performed every year by “Injun George” Parks.  The ritual was revived in 2012 by “Injun Robert” McBride and has been an accurate forecaster since then.  Just before dawn on March 22 last year, “Injun Robert” built a fire and checked the direction of the smoke as the sun came up.

According to Indian tradition, if the wind was from the northeast, it foretold plentiful crops.  An east or north wind was pretty good, a west wind bad, southwest worse, and a south wind worst of all.  Unfortunately, the wind this year was from the southwest, foretelling a bad crop, and, as we now know, that turned out to be a pretty accurate forecast.

But, as always, hope springs eternal in the human breast, and next year’s crop may be much better.  And, if you’re not superstitious, you may be happy to learn that there are some scientific indicators suggesting that the next four months could be wetter than usual.  The National Weather Service at NOAA says that El Niño conditions are such that the entire southwest can expect above normal precipitation through early Spring. 

Map on left forecasts above normal precipitation for entire southwest; map on right forecasts below normal temperatures for the south, including Texas.
Although the maps show expected conditions only through March, the weather service indicates they should be accurate for April as well.  And just as precipitation should be above normal, temperatures should be below normal.  In other words, the National Weather Service is telling us to expect a cold, wet winter and early spring.  Let’s hope they’re right!



The Roscoe City Council meeting at City Hall last night was a short one with only two action items, both of which were approved, one to allow a Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 20, and the other to accept the final plat of Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates.  Both passed unanimously and without debate.

City Manager Cody Thompson also gave his monthly report on city progress.  He reported that engineers, the contractor, and suppliers for the new reverse-osmosis water plant met on December 2 and are fine tuning daily operations of the plant and water wells.

Other water line improvements will begin within the next two to three weeks, and sewer line improvements will be bid in late January or early February.  A sewer plant pump for the irrigation system will be replaced as soon as the new pump arrives.

The required fence around the Stone Tower RV Park will be completed soon, and the RV Park will be ready for occupancy in late December or early January.

At the Young Farm Estates water and sewer lines have been installed, and problem areas are being repaired.  The natural gas lines and underground electric lines have also been installed, and street construction will begin after the first of the year with a target completion time of six to eight weeks.  Lots will go on sale in late February or early March.

Plowboy Center Lodge is adding two more site-built rooms, and the three state-financed homes are progressing as planned.

The New Wave Cable Company will end service in Roscoe on December 31.  TV service will now have to be HDTV antennas or satellite.

City Offices will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas, and trash pickup that week will be on Friday, December 26.  City Offices will also close at noon on Wednesday, December 31, and Thursday, January 1for New Year’s.



The Plowgirls had a busy time in basketball this past week, winning one game and losing two last weekend in the Highland Tournament and winning one last night at Leuders.

They won their first game in the Highland Tournament against Sands.  After jumping out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter, the Plowgirls were outscored in the second but still led at halftime, 21-14.  The Lady Mustangs narrowed the gap in the third quarter to 30-29, but the Plowboys had a strong fourth quarter to win by 13 points, 49-36.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 16 points, followed by Olivia Saddler with 14.  Mia Herrera had 6, Selena Perez 5, Magali Casas 5, and Danielle Dean 3.

They then lost their next game to Cross Plains, 42-32.  The first half was close with Roscoe ahead by one, 10-9, after the first quarter and behind by one, 19-18, at the half.  The second half was all Cross Plains, though, as they led the Plowgirls 31-23 after three and 42-32 at game’s end.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Saddler with 15, while Ortega had 8, Herrera 6, Casas 2, and Dean 1.

They then lost a close one to Highland, the tournament champs, 36-35.  Highland jumped out to a 13-6 lead and at halftime led 22-12.  At the end of three the Lady Hornets still had a comfortable lead, 28-19, but in the fourth the Plowgirls finished strong, outscoring Highland 16-8 but still losing by one, 36-35.

High scorer for Roscoe was Saddler with 17.  Ortega had 12, Herrera 3, and Perez 3.

Then last night the Plowgirls resumed their winning ways by defeating Leuders-Avoca in Leuders, 45-40.  The game was close until the fourth quarter as the lead between the teams went back and forth.  Roscoe led 17-15 at the end of one and 23-22 at the half.  At the end of three the Lady Raiders had pulled ahead 30-29, but the Plowgirls outscored them 16-10 in the fourth to win by five, 45-40.

Saddler led Roscoe’s scoring with 19 points, followed by Herrera with 11, Ortega 7, Perez 4, Dean 3, and Casas 2.

The Plowgirls’ next game will be next Tuesday, December 16, at home against Haskell.  The JV game begins at 5:00pm  and the varsity game at 6:15.



Sunday morning fog.  (Photo by Ken Brawley)
The past week has been uneventful regarding the weather with no precipitation or extremes in temperature or wind.  High temperatures ranged from 68°F on Friday to 54° on Sunday, and lows ranged from 48° on Friday to 43° on Saturday.  There was some sunshine, but also some overcast skies and partly cloudy weather.  There was even some fog on Sunday morning.

The high today will be only about 58°, and there is a 20% chance of rain.  But tomorrow should warm up to 65° and Friday to 72°.  Weekend highs will be in the sixties and lows in the forties.

There is a 30% chance of rain on Saturday night and a 40% chance on Sunday.



At his request, funeral services will not be held for John Wesley Strother, 73, who passed away at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene on Thursday, December 4, 2014.  He will be cremated.

He was born on December 14, 1940 in Roscoe, where he lived most of his life. While growing up, he was a member of the Roscoe Boys Club and was a pitcher on the baseball team.  In 1959, he graduated from Roscoe High School, where he played football and participated in other school activities.  He then served in the US Army and was stationed in La Rochelle, France.  Afterwards, he lived and worked in the Dallas area for a while before returning to Roscoe.  He married Susan Hale in 1971.  For several years he owned and operated a steel building construction company, custom building metal storage buildings, garages, carports, storm cellars, and furniture. 

He is survived by a son, Jason Strother, and a daughter, Shahala, both of Sweetwater; as well as two grandchildren, Aaron Phillips and Haleigh Strother, also of Sweetwater.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roscoe Chosen as a "Tiny Texas Town Totally Worth the Trip"

Couples dance to Jason Boland at the 4th of July free concert and street dance.
If you spend time on Facebook or do much Internet surfing, then you’re probably familiar with Buzzfeed.  It’s the website that’s always doing those Top Ten lists, e.g., Ten Things You Can Do with Aluminum Foil, Ten Things You Don’t Know about Short People, Top Ten Vacation Destinations, and so on.

Recently, they contacted some Roscoe folks, including me, saying they had Roscoe in their sights as one of the “Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip” and were asking for photos.  The new lists came out this week, and it turns out that apparently they forgot how big Texas is and how many great small towns it has, so instead of one list, they have two.  One is 14 Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip, and the other is 14 More Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip.  Roscoe is number 9 in the latter.

Four photos are featured: 1) the water tower and Texas flag at George Parks Field, 2) wind turbines and farm land, 3) the Plowboy Mudbog, and 4) dancing at the Lumberyard.  The text below the photos says this:

Roscoe is one authentic small Texas town. Located roughly halfway between Fort Worth and Midland, the city hosts a big 4th of July to-do with a mudding competition, parade, street dances, music, food, and more. You can visit the LumberYard year-round for good food, cold drinks, and plenty of country western to get your boots scootin’.

So, scoot over Luckenbach, Marfa, Terlingua, Waxahachie, and Possum Kingdom—and make room for Roscoe, also an exclusive member of the Totally Worth the Trip club!



The Plowgirls and Plowboys both won their basketball games last night in Trent.  The Plowboys won big, but the Plowgirls had their hands full in squeaking past the Lady Gorillas in a hotly contested game, 43-41.

The game didn’t begin well for the Plowgirls as Trent started hot and jumped out to an early lead.  At the end of one, the Lady Gorillas were ahead 14-6.

However, the Plowgirls fought back in the second quarter and cut away at Trent’s lead.  They were down by seven when a Plowgirl hit a three at the buzzer, and at halftime, they were down by only four, 26-22.

They continued to play well after the half and finally took the lead in the third quarter.  They were ahead by three when a Trent girl hit a three at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter, tying the score, 33-33.

In the fourth quarter, the Plowgirls took the lead again and held off Trent to win the game, 43-41.

Top scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 13 points, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Mia Herrera with 10, Danielle Dean with 7, and Selena Perez with 2.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the stats for the Plowboys game in time to post their results.  All I know is that the Plowboys won big, fifty-something to twenty-something.

The Plowboys’ and Plowgirls’ next games are in the Highland Hilltop Classic Tournament at Highland on Thursday.  The Plowboys play Ira at 3:30, and the Plowgirls play Sands at 6:30.



Kevin Lavalais catches a touchdown pass from Cutter Davila in the Roby game.  Both players made first-team all-district.
Roscoe Plowboys named to this year’s District 6-2A II All-District Football Team are as follows:

1st Team Offense:
QB – Cutter Davila, Sr.
RB – Vincent Pantoja, Jr.
Receiver – Kevin Lavalais, Jr.
OL – Dominic Pantoja, Sr.

1st Team Defense:
Outside Linebacker – Vincent Pantoja, Jr.
Cornerback – Kevin Lavalais, Jr.
Utility Player – Max Nemir, Jr.

Defensive Newcomer of the Year – Ryland Madrid, So.

2nd Team Offense:
Receiver – Javier Leanos, Jr.
                    Isaiah Gonzales, Jr.
OL – Isaias Aguilar, So.
            Ray Bohall, Jr.

2nd Team Defense:
DL – Adrian Ortega, Jr.
DE – Juan Sanchez, Sr.
Outside Linebacker – Rafael Aguayo, Jr.
CB – Javier Leanos, Jr.
Safety – Max Nemir, Jr.
Punter – Javier Leanos, Jr.

Honorable Mention:
OL – Chase Cathey, Sr., Clayton Chadwick, Jr.
WR – Rafael Aguayo, Jr.
DL – Anthony Ortegon, Jr.
Safety – Isaiah Gonzales, Jr.



The weather for the week was typical for this time of year with some warm days, some cold ones, and some in between, along with breezes, clear skies, and a lot of sunshine.  Thanksgiving was a bit nippy with a morning low of 32°F and a high of 59°, but the weekend was beautiful.  Afternoon temperatures were in the seventies, and short-sleeve shirts were all that was needed.  On Saturday and Sunday, I opened the doors and windows at my house for most of the afternoon.  On Sunday night, though, a norther blew in about 1:00am, and temperatures dropped quickly.  By Monday morning, it was only 24°, and with the wind chill it felt colder.  The high that afternoon was only 39°.  Yesterday was cold in the morning at 29°, but it warmed up to 54° in the afternoon.

Today, tomorrow, and Friday should be nice with sunshine, light breezes, and highs in the sixties.  Lows will also be warmer, ranging from the mid forties to the lower fifties.  There is a 20% chance of rain tomorrow.  The weekend should be a bit cooler with highs in the fifties, and on Saturday there is a 40% chance of rain, decreasing to 20% on Sunday.



Rockey Allen Brewer, 64, of Roscoe, died Saturday, Nov. 29, at his home.

Mr. Brewer was cremated and no services are planned at this time.  Online condolences may be expressed at


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Texas Tech Signs Agreement with Roscoe Collegiate High School

Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec signs the MOU as Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander, left, and Texas Tech Dean of Education Scott Ridley, right, look on. Texas Tech President Duane Nellis signed the document later.
Officials from Texas Tech University were in town on Friday to sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District.  The agreement covers a number of issues and, most importantly, will strengthen ties between Roscoe’s STEM program and Tech in a number of ways, including an early start for RCHS students on an engineering degree at Tech.    

In the MOU, Texas Tech agrees to do the following:

        1. Assist with the formation of a partnership with Western Texas College in designing a dual-credit engineering program for RCISD students, which may offer transferable credits to TTU.

        2. Identify potential dual-credit courses in science, agri- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at RCISD and provide consultation in the development of such courses. 

(Note: dual-credit courses are those which count for both high school and college credit.)

        3. Partner with RCISD in developing service-learning projects at or near Roscoe.

        4. Arrange for selected senior engineering students at Tech to visit RCISD and offer support to its pre-engineering students.

        5. Host selected RCISD juniors and seniors for a three-day experience on the Tech campus in Lubbock.

        6. Provide admissions and recruiting presentations to RCISD sophomores, juniors, and seniors and furnish recruiting materials for RCISD classrooms and hall displays.

        7. Partner with RCISD to review and assess partnership outcomes each year.

This initial MOU is good until August 31, 2016, at which time it will be reviewed and renewed, possibly with changes, or not renewed, as the case may be.  The agreement has been in the works for some time.  Last May, Dr. Alexander worked with Texas Tech’s Dean of Engineering on a proposal to create a pathway for RCHS graduates to advance to Tech (via Western Texas College) with the goal of obtaining an engineering degree in two years—and this general MOU will open the door to more direct MOU’s with more colleges and specific programs at Tech.

RCHS has also reached agreements with WTC and with Texas A&M and its AgriLife Extension to facilitate the transfer of coursework to the Biomedical Sciences Program in the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

The signing of the MOU on Friday was the culmination of a day-long program in which Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander did a presentation on Roscoe’s STEM program to Tech officials as well as several area educators and administrators.  In the question-and-answer session that followed, he was assisted by Roscoe’s Early College High School Director Jacob Tiemann, Dean of Academic Affairs Marsha Alexander, and High School Principal Edward Morales.



Left to right: Dr. Mario Torres, Associate Professor at Texas A&M in the Department of Educational Administration and Co-Director of the Administrative Leadership Institute; Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, Roscoe Collegiate ISD; Dr. Frederick Nafukho, Head of the Department of Educational Administration at Texas A&M.
Editor’s note: The Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M has presented its first ever Texas School District Excellence Award, and the winner is Roscoe Collegiate ISD.  Here is the complete press release.

Texas School District Excellence Award

At the Dr. John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute on November 12 & 13, 2014, Roscoe Collegiate ISD received the Texas School District Excellence Award.  A selection committee consisting of three Texas A&M University Education Department faculty members and a representative from the Texas Association of School Administrators make the final decision from a group of nominated school districts.  The Institute is very proud to present this award for the first time this year.

This award is given to honor an outstanding Texas School District in memory of Dr. John R. Hoyle.  Dr. Hoyle made many contributions to Texas A&M University and to K-12 education, with an emphasis on working with public schools throughout the state.  He was a true veteran in the field of educational administration and as a teacher, researcher, and author, his spirit and commitment to the profession was inspirational.  Throughout his career, he challenged and encouraged educators to serve with enthusiasm and reach for excellence.  Dr. Hoyle retired from Texas A&M University in 2009, but continued to work closely with the university and the organization of the Administrative Leadership Institute prior to his death in 2012.

The district that receives this award must be one that shares the vision of Dr. Hoyle and must personify the theme of the institute:  Leading Change:  New Times, New Requirements. Other requirements include: 1) demonstrating quality of instruction based on consistent achievement of all student groups, 2) have effective outreach demonstrated through media, 3) be committed to equity and diversity of students, 4) have efficient and effective fiscal management, and 5) incorporate a culture that stresses the best interests of its students.

In the presentation of the award, Dr. Mario Torres said, “Dr. Kim Alexander has done phenomenal work transforming this small district into comprehensive STEM and Early College Academies, equipping an astounding percentage of their high school students with Associate Degrees upon graduation, which is a remarkable example of Dr. Hoyle’s vision for education.”  In Dr. Alexander’s absence Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, accepted the award.



Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas in front of the White House.
Two Roscoe eighth graders, Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas, were in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, to attend the National 4-H Youth Conference from Friday, November 16, to Sunday, November 18.  They were accompanied by Roscoe teacher Debbie Nevins.

Besides attending the conference, the two were able to get in some sightseeing while in Washington.  At the Newseum they saw parts of the Berlin Wall.  They also visited the White House, the National Mall, and the Washington Monument, as well as several of the nearby Memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial.

They were selected to go for their winning essays on helping older people to learn more about social media and how to use it.  The 4-H Tech Wizards program is an after-school, small-group, mentoring program that uses youth interest in science and technology to engage them in learning.  They can then use their skills to participate in community service to educate older adults in the use of social media, which they recently did on parents’ night at the school.



Plowgirl Danielle Dean shoots a free throw at last night's game with Westbrook.
Both the Plowgirls and Plowboys won their games against Westbrook here last night, the Plowgirls by a score of 40-29, and the Plowboys 54-40.

The Plowgirls led all the way after the first quarter, which was close, but which ended with Roscoe up 8-6.  By halftime they had extended the lead over the Lady Cats to 24-14, and by the end of three they were ahead by twelve, 33-21.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 13, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Mia Herrera with 10, Danielle Dean with 4, and Selena Perez with 2.

Plowboys Isaiah Gonzales (13) and Luis Villa (11) go for a rebound in last night's game with Westbrook.
The Plowboys opened their basketball season with a relatively easy victory.  The lead went back and forth at the start of the game, and by the end of one, Westbrook was ahead 10-9.  However, the Plowboys went ahead to stay in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 18-9 to lead at the half 27-19.  They extended their lead in the third quarter to 45-28, and won going away, 54-40.

High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 19.  Kevin Lavalais had 10, Asman Acuna 8, Isaiah Gonzales 7, Cutter Davila 5, and Luis Villa 2.

The Plowboys' and Plowgirls' next games will be next Tuesday, December 2, against the Trent Gorillas in Trent.



Pat Waters & the Chain Link Band
After stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday and spending the day shopping on Black Friday, what better way to relax and let your hair down Saturday night than dancing the night away to traditional country music by Pat Waters and his Chain Link Band at the Lumberyard? 

Pat Waters came to a music career relatively late in life, not buying his first guitar until he was twenty. Born and raised in Bridgeport, where they probably would just as soon not hear the word Sweetwater, he went to college at North Texas and graduated with a degree in marketing and a minor in international business.  He and his uncle then partnered up, and now they own an oil field construction company and a trucking company.  He got his first gig by answering an ad in the Dallas Morning News and playing two songs in an opry house for $25 and, in doing so, found that music was something he wanted to pursue.

He considers himself a family man and homebody who takes his sons hunting and fishing.  He’s never been big into alcohol, and since 2001 has been the “National Spokesman for Drug Free Promotions.” His music is traditional country, and his latest album is Sorry ‘Bout the Mess with a single by the same name now currently getting play on the radio.  He has received rave reviews both in Texas and in Nashville.

He is scheduled to take the stage Saturday night at around 9:00pm.  Cover charge is $10.  For more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.  Note, however, that the Lumberyard will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. 



The weather has been generally unremarkable for the past week.  The big chance we had for rain on Friday and Saturday amounted to less than a tenth of an inch, little more than a heavy sprinkle.  Some weather forecasters actually predicted a 100% chance of rain on Saturday morning.  In my humble opinion, any meteorologist who predicts 100% chance of rain for Roscoe should receive a stern warning the first time he or she does it, and should be permanently relieved of any further forecasting duties the second time.  I’ve lived in places, such as on the coast in northern California, where 100% chances of precipitation were not only possible but regularly occurred.  But in Roscoe there is always a chance it won’t rain, no matter how promising the outlook.

Highs ranged from 73°F on Sunday to 57° on Monday and yesterday, while lows ranged from 51° Saturday morning to 34° Monday morning.

The weather should be clear and sunny through Sunday if not longer.  Highs will be in the sixties today and tomorrow and warming up to the seventies Friday through Sunday.  Lows will be in the forties, and breezes should be relatively light.

There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Plowboys' Season Ended on Wink's Fourth Quarter Comeback, 36-28

It was a tough way to end the season. Playing in Big Spring in the bitter cold and outplaying Wink for most of the game, the Plowboys faltered in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats played just well enough to win 36-28 with two late touchdowns.

The game started off right for the Plowboys.  On the second play from scrimmage, Kevin Lavalais took a  Cutter Davila pass and raced into the end zone to complete a 70-yard pass play.  After a successful Eric Huidobro kick for the extra point, the Plowboys were ahead 7-0.  Wink came right back, though, with a 41-yard touchdown pass.  However, their extra point attempt failed, and the score was 7-6.  Before the quarter was over, Vincent Pantoja broke loose on a 46-yard run, which with another successful extra-point kick put the Plowboys out front, 14-6.

In the second quarter the Plowboys drove all the way to the Wink 16-yard line only to see the ball knocked from Davila’s hands all the way to midfield where a Wildcat recovered it.  Wink then drove down the field for their second touchdown and, with a successful two-point conversion, tie the game at 14-14.

Max Nemir returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards, and shortly thereafter Davila hit Lavalais with another scoring pass, this one for 31 yards.  Huidobro’s extra-point kick was again good, and at halftime the Plowboys led 21-14.

Wink received the second half kickoff and drove the ball down the field for another Wildcat TD, and with a successful 2-point conversion moved ahead of the Plowboys for the first time by the score of 22-21.  However, the Plowboys once again answered.  On a fourth and 3, Davila hit Nemir with a 31-yard pass play for another score.  The extra-point kick was good, and the Plowboys were back in front 28-22.

Then came the fateful fourth quarter.  Wink regained the lead on a 52-yard run and a two-point conversion to go ahead 30-28.  Roscoe couldn’t get any drives going, and Wink did, scoring another TD to go up 36-28.  Wink’s defense then took over and held the Plowboys off for the rest of the game.

It wasn’t the best way to end the season, but the Plowboys went farther this year than most people ever thought they would.  Despite being picked to finish last in district by Texas Football magazine and others, they wound up tied for second and won the tie-breaker to be the official runner-up to Winters, the district champs.  They also made the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and in doing so put the program back on a positive track.  Let’s hope their success carries over to next year’s team and even greater accomplishments in the future.



Sam Ortega shoots a free throw in last night's game with Colorado City.
In a game played at home last night, the Plowgirls played with spirit but showed early season form as they fell to the Lady Wolves from Colorado City, 51-36.

The Lady Wolves jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but the Plowgirls fought back and by the end of the quarter had narrowed the margin to one, as Colorado led 10-9.  Then in the second quarter the Plowgirls outscored the Lady Wolves 12 to 9 to lead at the half by two, 21-19.

In a low scoring third quarter the Lady Wolves regained the lead and at the end of three were up 27-24.  The fourth quarter was all Colorado, however, as they outscored the Plowgirls by ten to win the game, 51-36.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Mia Herrera with 12, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Selena Perez 6, Danielle Dean 4, and Sam Ortega 3.

In the early game, Colorado’s JV team beat the JV Plowgirls 30-14.  Roscoe scorers were Acebedo and Trevino, both with 5, and Wilkinson and Whitley, both with 2.

The Plowgirls’ next games will be at the Lueders-Avoca tournament Thursday through Saturday while the JV Plowgirls play at a tournament in Cross Plains.  They will both return to play Westbrook here at home next Tuesday.

The Plowboys will also play their first basketball game of the season against Westbrook here next Tuesday.  The JV Plowgirls start at 4:00, the JV Plowboys at 5:15, the varsity Plowgirls at 6:30, and the varsity Plowboys at 8:00.



Thanksgiving Dinner at the Community Center last year.
If you want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner but not the hassle of fixing it, or if you just want to visit with friends after church, the solution to your problem is at the Roscoe Community Center, which is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings this Sunday, November 23, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

There is no charge for the dinner, but donations will be accepted, and all are invited.  Along with the Thanksgiving Dinner, there will also be a bake sale.



Snowfall on Sunday afternoon. 
This past week has been generally cold and windy, and on Sunday we got our first snow of the year.  It didn’t last long, but it created havoc while it did.  It was preceded by enough precipitation to freeze over the highways with black ice and cause numerous wrecks on I-20 all the way from here to Abilene and points east.  In one case, a woman who totaled her car just south of Roscoe wound up spending the night at the Plowboy Center Lodge.  Her husband, who drove out from Dallas, reported that I-20 looked like a “war zone” with cars turned over or in ditches, wrecks with multiple vehicles, and so on.  By the next afternoon, however, the snow and ice were all gone except in a few shady spots.

The days this past week warmed up somewhat in the afternoon sun—it got up to 64° Saturday afternoon for the week's high.  But the nights and early evenings were either chilly or downright cold, especially when it was windy.  The low was 21° on Sunday and none of the daily lows for the week were above freezing.  Wind chills were often way below that.

A warming trend is forecast for the rest of this week with a 58° high this afternoon and highs in the sixties through Sunday.  Lows should be in the forties and fifties through Saturday.  

 On Friday night and Saturday, there is a 50% chance of rain. 



Services were held at the First Baptist Church for Willard McFaul, 85, on Saturday, November 15, followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  His last train departed this earthly station on Wednesday, November 12, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

His journey on the rails of life began on July 20, 1929, in Kaufman County, Texas. In 1945 he reached his destination, Roscoe, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was a 1947 graduate of Roscoe High School. He and his high school sweetheart had a long, happy marriage of 65 years. They were married on November 25, 1948. Willard worked over 40 years on the railroad. He began his career with the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railroad where he worked 33 years. He then worked eight years for the Texas Northwestern Railway Co. in Sunray, Texas, and several years for National Railcar and Eagle in Roscoe. He enjoyed pheasant hunting on the Texas Plains and deer hunting in Colorado. His greatest joy in life was bringing a smile, a chuckle or hardy laugh to friends, family, even strangers, with a joke or humorous story. Someone once said that Willard was the Will Rogers of his era. “He never met a man he did not want to like.”  He was a member of the First Baptist Church, where he welcomed folks each Sunday morning with a warm handshake, a bulletin, and a funny saying. He was also a member the Sweetwater Men's Bible Class and was a Mason who had received his 50 year pin.

He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, and two sisters. He cherished the journey with those he leaves awaiting their ticket into heaven: wife, Emily McFaul of Roscoe; son Wayne McFaul and wife Annette of Gilmer, Texas; daughter Susie Alford and husband Jerry of Roscoe; daughter Cathi McFaul of Mansfield, Texas. Also, four grandchildren: Justin McFaul and wife Lindsey, Misti DeLoera and husband Armando, Jonathan McFaul and wife Jamie, and Jerad Alford and wife Candace, as well as nine great grandchildren and a trainload of friends and family. Surely now he is “satisfied with the status quo.”

Pallbearers were Justin McFaul, Jonathan McFaul, Jerad Alford, Armando DeLoera, Bryan Heaps, and Tommy Frierson.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shoppers Flock to Christmas Open House

Vickie's Gifts was full of shoppers during Christmas Open House.
Cars lined the streets of downtown Roscoe on Sunday afternoon as a largely female crowd partook of some early Christmas cheer and good bargains at several Roscoe businesses.  Sales were brisk as a large number of shoppers showed up to enjoy the event, and the Roscoe Express, the City’s “People’s Tram” transported many of them from one store to another.

Kelsey Drake of Roscoe was the winner of the Grand Prize, a gift basket with something in it from each of the participating businesses: Vickie’s Gifts, the Wildflower Boutique, the Lumberyard, Southern Belle Salon, Rockin’ S Cantina, McVey’s Nursery, and the Turquoise Toad.  

The City also extended its monthly Trades Day event in the Community Center to include Sunday afternoon as well as Saturday.



The Plowboys are District 6-2A-II runners-up as everything fell in place for them Friday night.  They beat Bronte, Winters beat Menard, and Miles beat Roby, which was the only possible way for the Plowboys to wind up second in district.  But they did, and now they’re headed to the playoffs.

They drew first blood at their game in Bronte when Vincent Pantoja ran the ball into the end zone from four yards out.  The kick was good, and the Plowboys were ahead 7-0.  The Longhorns came right back and tied it up 7-7 on a forty-yard run, but that was Bronte’s high point of the evening, as the Plowboys took the lead for good when Cutter Davila hit Kevin Lavalais on an 84-yard scoring pass play.   The kick was again good, and at the end of one Roscoe led 14-7.

The second quarter was all Plowboys.  Davila hit Lavalais for another touchdown, this one on a play covering 85 yards.  The kick was no good, but the Plowboys now led 20-7.  Later, Pedro Huidobro kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 23-7.  Then Davila hit Isaiah Gonzales for a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Plowboys a 30-7 halftime lead.

Bronte scored first in the third quarter to make the score 30-14, but Pantoja answered with his second TD of the evening on a 65-yard run to make the score 37-14 at the end of three.  In the fourth quarter Bronte scored on a 3-yard run to narrow the gap to 37-20, but later Davila completed a 25-yard pass to Lavalais for his third TD of the evening.  After the kick, the Plowboys led 44-20, and that was the game’s final score.

Pantoja was the Plowboys’ leading rusher with 168 yards and two TDs in 25 carries.  Davila completed 13 of 20 passes  for 350 yards and 4 TDs with one interception, and Lavalais was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 191 yards.  On defense, he also had two interceptions.

The Plowboys’ first playoff game is tomorrow night at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring against Wink.  Like Roscoe, Wink is 5-5 on the year, but the Wildcats finished 2-2 in their district while the Plowboys were 3-2.  

The only common opponent for the two teams this year was Eldorado.  The Plowboys beat them 20-12 in a close game while Wink lost to them 49-48, also in a close game.  Both games were played in Eldorado.  On paper, then, it appears that the Plowboys and Wildcats are pretty evenly matched, so it should be a good game.  The team that wins will probably be the one that can handle the cold weather the best.  The forecast temperature for the game is near freezing, so if you’re planning to attend, be sure to bundle up.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm.  Even though the teams are playing at a neutral site, the Plowboys have been designated as the visitors, so people attending the game should sit on the visitors’ side.  Go, Plowboys!



After their presentation, students posed for a photo with City officials.
The City Council got a treat at its monthly meeting Monday evening when a group of RCHS FFA students did a presentation on the use of drones in agriculture, explaining how they can increase efficiency and cut farming expenses while helping the environment.  The benefit of drones is already being experienced in places like Idaho and Australia, but Texas currently has very strict laws concerning the private use of drones, so it may be a while before they can be used here for agriculture.  Students participating in the presentation were Rainee Ruddick, Cutter Davila, Gabriel Alvarez, Chase Cathey, and Olivia Saddler.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported some operational problems at the R-O Water Treatment Plant caused by a faulty check valve, which resulted in some filter membranes getting soaked with chlorine.  The fault was with the manufacturers, so they will replace the membranes at their expense.  There are also some electrical problems that remain to be fixed.

Thompson also said the City had planned to use a special camera to scope the inside of all the sewer lines, using $60,000 left over in the fund for the sewer-line replacement program, but the old lines, many of them eighty to a hundred years old, were so clogged with debris that extra money would be needed, extra money that the City doesn’t have.  Instead, the City will scope as much as it can with the available funds.  That will allow the scoping of about half  of the City lines.

Thompson also reported that the natural gas lines have now been installed at Young Farm Estates, and Oncor will start on the electrical lines this week.  The Stone Tower RV Park and its washateria will also be open shortly, and the construction of the three houses being financed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is coming along on schedule.



The Plowboys may still be playing football, but the weather has turned cold and basketball season has just begun for the Plowgirls.  Unfortunately, they lost their opening game last night to Robert Lee, 37-28.

The first half was close.  The Plowgirls were ahead by two at the end of the first quarter, 7-5, but fell behind in the second and at the half Robert Lee led 15-12.  The third quarter belonged to the Lady Steers (?) as they outscored the Plowgirls 13-4 and jumped out to a 28-16 lead.  The Plowgirls outscored them in the fourth quarter 12 to 8, but by then it was too late, and Robert Lee won by 9, 37-28.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Mia Herrera with 9, followed by Olivia Saddler with 8, Sam Ortega with 5, Danielle Dean with 3, and Selena Perez with 3.

The Plowgirls’ next game is next Tuesday, November 18, at home against Colorado City.  The varsity game is scheduled to start at 6:30pm (JV girls at 4:00), but that could change. 



Ice in the birdbath.
The area got its first taste of winter with a cold front that blew in Monday night about midnight with rapidly falling temperatures and winds gusting up to 39mph.  In one hour the temperature went from 67° to 43°, a drop of twenty-four degrees, and by yesterday morning it was down to 30° to 32°, depending on location.  Then, the first hard freeze since last winter came early this morning as the temperature fell to 25°.  The high today is forecast to be only about 33° with a low tomorrow morning of around 22°.  Already, Monday afternoon’s 81° seems like a distant dream.

Tomorrow should also be very cold with a projected high of 35° and a low of about 25°.  Friday will be about ten degrees warmer with a high of 45° and a low of 35°.  Then, Saturday should be sunny and nice with a high of 60° before another front moves through, causing Sunday’s high to be only in the mid forties with a low of around thirty.

No rain has fallen in the past week, and none is in the forecast.