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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

City Prepares for Big July 4th Celebration on Saturday

A city worker hangs a flag banner in anticipation of the July 4th celebration.
Final preparations are underway for Saturday’s big July 4th Celebration, and the event’s organizers are planning a day to remember.

The day will begin with a parade down Broadway at ten o’clock, followed by the Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field, with the gates opening at eleven and the event beginning at twelve.

After the parade, street vendors will be open and selling food and other wares along Broadway, Cypress, and Old Town Park, and the Roscoe Historical Museum will be open for visitors. The Roscoe Community Center will also be open with vendors and food.

The Roscoe Express will be available to shuttle people free of charge between downtown and the Plowboy Mudbog during the afternoon.  There will also be free swimming from 1-5pm at the City Swimming Pool.

Music will begin “on the bricks” of Cypress next to the bank at six o’clock with the new and improved Nine Mile Mountain band, followed at eight by the well-known “red dirt” band Cody Canada and the Departed, followed by the ever popular fireworks show.

Here are more details about the various events of the day:


Parade organizers invite your participation.  They are looking for creativity and variety.  Float awards will be presented to best overall, best western, and most patriotic. Prizes will also be awarded to the best semi, best antique vehicle, best motorcycle, and best bicycle.

The parade will start at 10:00am.  Line-up will be on West Broadway at 9:30am, and judging will be at 9:45am.

For more information, call Valerie Pruitt at 325-338-4666.


This year’s Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field will feature mudboggers from Hobbs, NM, El Paso, Amarillo, Colorado City, Snyder, Ballinger, Roscoe, and elsewhere, so the competition should be fierce.

Registration for entrants begins at 9:30am Saturday morning at the northwest corner of the baseball field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

Entries will be in five classes:

1.    Street: 35” tires and under with limited engine modification
2.    Super Street: 35” with engine vac under 13”
3.    Modified: 36” to 39” with limited engine modification
4.    Super Modified: 36” to 39” with engine vac under 13”
5.    Open: 40” and over.

Since there’s an advantage in going last rather than first, each mud vehicle makes two runs, with the second run in reverse order from the first.

The public gate will open at 11:00am with the mudbog beginning at noon.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids from 8 to 14.  Children 7 and under are free.  Proceeds will benefit the Roscoe baseball little league. The Little League will also run the concession booth.

Time permittting, there will also be a Plowboy Mudbog “Dash for Cash,” an entertaining event featuring kids running through knee-deep mud.

For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.


The Roscoe Community Center will be open with vendors and food. A good place to do some shopping and get out of the heat, it also has clean restrooms.


Swimming at the Roscoe City Pool will be free of charge from 1:00-5:00pm.  The City Pool is located at 4th and Cedar Streets next to the City Park.


The Departed: Steve Littleton, Jeremy Plato, Chris Doege, Cody Canada
The music stage will be set up on Cypress Street between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park.  Nine Mile Mountain will open the show at around six o’clock.  They will be followed at eight o’clock by this year’s feature act, Cody Canada and the Departed, who will play until 9:30 or so.

Cody Canada was the lead singer of the “red dirt” band, Cross Canadian Ragweed, from 1994 to 2010, but in 2011, he and bass guitarist Jeremy Plato along with two others formed The Departed and have been playing under that name since.

The Departed released their first album, This is Indian Land, in 2011, Adventus in 2012, and their latest, HippieLovePunk, in October, 2014.  Canada also released a solo-acoustic album, Some Old, Some New, Maybe a Cover or Two, in 2013. Popular singles by Canada include “17,” “Sister,” “Cold Hard Fact,” “Set It Free,” and others.


The fireworks show, organized, as always, by City Councilman Robert McBride, will be a memorable event that fittingly tops off the day. The show begins at about 9:40pm and will be done at about ten o’clock.

Those who are still not done celebrating can then go to the Lumberyard, where there will be live music and dancing until 1:00am.

So, if you're in the area, make plans to attend, bring lawn chairs and coolers, and help us celebrate the country’s independence on Saturday!



Next Tuesday, July 7, two free movies will be shown at the Roscoe Community Center and everyone is invited. Guests are welcome to bring their own bean bags or chairs or sit in the ones provided at the Community Center. The movies are free, but don’t forget to bring some money for snacks as the concession stand will be open.

The first movie, starting at 7:00pm, will be the animated Paddington. The second, starting at 9:00pm, is When the Game Stands Tall, starring Jim Caviezel and Laura Dern.

For more information, contact Community Center Director Gail Presley at 325-518-4135.



Water was standing everywhere yesterday morning.
We got a surprise early yesterday morning. Although the weather forecasters gave the area no chance of rain and there was nothing to speak of on the radar earlier in the evening, clouds north of Snyder started making up after sundown and a front continued to build. Then, shortly after 2am a cool, strong wind blew in and was almost immediately followed by thunder, lightning, and a heavy downpour. By then, the front extended all the way past Odessa in the west and as far as Cisco and Eastland in the east with thunderstorms almost everywhere as it passed through.

 At my house well over an inch of rain fell in about a half-hour before letting up somewhat. By the time it was over around 5am, there was 2.14” in my rain gauge, and, as I found out later, that was not an unusual amount for the Roscoe area. As always, some got more and others less, depending on location, but almost everyone got a substantial amount, i.e., somewhere between a little less than an inch up to three inches.

Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded an official 1.64” at his home in east Roscoe, but most of the people I talked to in south Roscoe had from two to two and a half inches.  The Pyron area also got that amount as did farms west and southwest of town, although I was told the rainfall was somewhat lighter south of Champion as well as just northwest of town. In any case, water was standing everywhere today, and the streets are once again covered with big puddles and, in some places, pools of water.

Roscoe’s official total for the month of June was 4.11” and for the year so far is 16.99”.

Other than yesterday morning’s thunderstorm, though, the week was typical for this time of year with partly cloudy skies, south or southeast winds, and temperatures of around 90°F in the afternoons, cooling off to around 70° at sunrise.  The forecast for the coming week is for more of the same with sunny to partly cloudy skies, highs in the low nineties, and lows in the low seventies.

There is a 20% chance of rain on Friday, but none otherwise, so the July 4th celebration on Saturday should be hot and dry, although with the way the weather’s been going so far this year, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Roscoe Baseball Teams Advance to State Tournament

The Freshman League Astros. (Photo by Rick Salazar)

Two Roscoe little league teams, the Astros (ages 10-12) and the Tigers (ages 9 and under) will advance to the State Tournament. The Astros will play in Presidio and the Tigers in Bangs with competition for both starting on July 20. Both teams will play two games a day, and teams that lose twice are eliminated. The tournament will last all that week.

The Astros, whose record in the Colorado City league is 9-3, are coached by Kenny Hope, Billy Murphy, and KC Hope.

The Midget League Tigers. (Photo by Rick Salazar)
The Tigers have an 8-4 record in their league. They are coached by Chris Hall, Brian Bankhead, and Steven Rains. 

The teams are raising money for the trip by doing some kind of fundraiser every weekend until then. They will also have a booth downtown and one at the Plowboy Mudbog during the July 4th celebration.



Next Tuesday, June 30, two free movies will be shown at the Roscoe Community Center and everyone is invited. Guests are welcome to bring their own bean bags or chairs or sit in the ones provided at the Community Center.

The movies are free, but don’t forget to bring some money for snacks as the concession stand will be open.

The first movie, starting at 7:00pm, will be Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, and Owen Wilson. The second movie, starting at 9:00pm, is Black or White, starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.

For more information, contact Community Center Director Gail Presley at 325-518-4135.



Prophets & Outlaws
Prophets & Outlaws, a Southern Rock band with soul, will be at the Lumberyard Friday evening. The band, which has built up a following throughout Texas and Oklahoma, has a passion for the Blues while embracing their country roots.

Nine Mile Mountain will play on Saturday night. For more information and reservations, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



This aerial photo by David Duncan shows just how green the Roscoe area is.
The weather this past week was more in line with what you’d generally expect of west Texas this time of year, i.e., sunny skies with scattered summer clouds, gentle to breezy south winds, and warm to hot temperatures. The recent rains have caused the humidity to still be higher than usual, but even it is dropping day by day into a range more normal for this region.

The effects of the recent rains are also still with us in other ways. Mosquitos are everywhere, and many of them are Texas-sized. There are also a lot of baby frogs hopping around here and there. The dry weather of the past week, however, allowed farmers to get most of their cotton planted, and the little plants just coming up look strong and healthy. Lawns around town are also looking nicer as residents have been able to mow their grass.

Temperatures have been consistent for the past six days, with highs ranging from Thursday’s 90°F to Saturday’s 87°, and lows from Friday’s 71° to yesterday morning’s 67°. The forecast is for more of the same with afternoon temperatures rising two or three degrees over what we had this past week. Conditions on Saturday will drop temperatures a few degrees and bring a 20%-30% chance of precipitation for that day and evening. Otherwise, it should once again be sunny, partly cloudy, and dry with little to no chance for rain.



Funeral services were held at 2:00pm yesterday at the First Baptist Church for Arlon Wayne “Arlo” Orman, 86, who passed away in his home on Friday, June 19. Military graveside services followed at the Roscoe Cemetery.

Arlo was born on November 21, 1928, in Beeville, Texas, and lived in Roscoe most of his life. He was a graduate of Roscoe High School and a lifelong member of First Baptist Church. He was a farmer in Nolan County for at least 62 years. He was a United States Army Veteran serving in the Korean War. He was a past member of the Roscoe Lions Club, an avid domino player, loved to tell jokes and was one who never met a stranger. Arlo loved his family and his church, never missing Sunday School in over 40 years.

Survivors include his wife, Janelle Orman of Roscoe; three children, Janice Stuart of Sweetwater, Lonnie Orman and his wife, Leola, of Roscoe; and Arlene Hartman of Sweetwater; seven grandchildren, Tammy Stracener of Sweetwater, Dustin Orman of Roscoe, Christianson Hartman of Roscoe, Angela Stuart of Sweetwater, Eden Baker of Roscoe, Landon Orman of Roscoe, and Jacoby Johnson of Gun Barrel City, Texas; and seven great-grandchildren, Austin Freeman, Justin Gardner, Kolby Evans, Jacie Baker, Elyn Baker, Charlie Arlon Hartman and Scarlett Hartman.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arlon, Sr., and Grace Kate (Duncan) Orman, a brother, Floyd Orman, and several uncles and cousins.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Rains Just Keep Coming

If this weather keeps up, this year could well go down in local history as The Year It Rained. This past week, we’ve had three or four light rains and one heavy one, which came on Saturday night and dropped between 1.5 and 3 inches over the Roscoe area.  Here in town, people I talked to reported getting between 1.7” and 2.25”.  Kenny Landfried's official total was 1.71'.

Roscoe didn’t get anything on Friday, but one person told me he got three-quarters of an inch south of town, forcing him to postpone planting cotton.

On Sunday, it rained again in amounts ranging from .6” west of town to just a tenth or so east of town with the official total .31". Then yesterday in two showers, I had a total of .22", while Kenny Landfried had an official total of .24".  I don’t know what others got yesterday, but enough has fallen this past week that no one is complaining about a lack of moisture, and we may not be done yet.

Many, but not all, farmers say they’ve got their cotton planted. Some are still waiting for their fields to dry up, and others who have planted have enough water standing in places to drown the cotton that was just coming up.  Even so, the general mood is upbeat, and people are smiling. Many of those with cattle talk of building up their herds since there is an abundance of grass.

The warmest temperatures came last week before the rains came. On Wednesday, it got up to 92°, on Thursday 93°, and on Saturday 90°.  The highs for all the other days were in the eighties with yesterday’s 81° the lowest maximum for the week. Lows ranged from the mid-sixties to the low seventies.

The best chance of rain for the coming week is this afternoon with forecasters giving us a 40% chance of more precipitation.  That drops to 20% tomorrow and 10% on Saturday, when standing water should be evaporating and people able to mow their lawns once again. High temperatures should range from today’s projected 79° to Sunday and Monday’s 89°. Lows will be around 70° all week.

Tropical storm Bill has made landfall and will most likely dump a lot more rain on places east of us, but we are unlikely to get much, if anything, from it.  Maybe it’s just as well.



The Chevy Tahoe with the copper roll on top.

Just about the time the big storm was blowing in on Saturday night, Roscoe Police received a call about a suspicious vehicle in the ditch on FM 608 at CR 105 about four miles south of Roscoe. Police Chief Felix Pantoja went out to investigate and found a white Chevy Tahoe with a huge roll of copper on top of the vehicle. The driver, wearing a company uniform and hard hat, told him that he’d had a blowout while on his way to deliver the copper to the company yard in Sweetwater.

Pantoja tried to contact someone from the company who could verify the driver’s story, but was unable to reach anyone at that late hour. Pantoja took the man’s name, Vicente Vargas, which matched the name on his company shirt and hard hat, and took photos of him and the vehicle. In the meantime, Vargas, 48, called for a tow truck and had the Tahoe towed to the Stripes station in Roscoe. Then, since Pantoja had no grounds to hold him, he released him.

The next morning, Lynn Turner, who lives not far south of the location where the Tahoe's blowout occurred, phoned the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office to report a large pile of scrap metal and several tools by his barn. Sheriff’s deputies along with Pantoja went out to investigate, and as they were doing so, Pantoja noticed the white Chevy Tahoe with the copper spool still on top of it going south on FM 608 toward Maryneal. The Sheriff’s deputies then stopped the driver, and upon contacting the company, learned that he had been fired in May but the company had not taken back his company shirt and hard hat.

Nolan County Sheriff’s officers then arrested him for felony theft of precious metal and booked him into the Nolan County Jail.



Roscoe 4-H students show off their ribbons won at the State Roundup in College Station.
Roscoe Collegiate students participating in the Nolan County 4-H recently attended the State 4-H Roundup in College Station and returned home with many honors in the Science, Engineering & Technology Competition sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Senior division

1st - Juan Sanchez, Olivia Saddler, Samantha Ortega

Animal Science

1st - Ray Bohall
2nd - Spencer Little
3rd - Aaron Thomas

Intermediate Division

Animal Science
2nd - Joshua Stegge and Alfonso Islas

Plant Science
2nd - Jaci Alexander and Jaleigh Morales

State Best

1st - Juan Sanchez, Olivia Saddler, Samantha Ortega
3rd - Ray Bohall



Starting next Tuesday, June 23, free movies will be shown at the Roscoe Community Center and everyone is invited. Guests are welcome to bring their own bean bags or chairs or sit in the ones provided at the Community Center. The first movie will be shown at 7:00pm and be followed by a second one at 9:00pm.

And although the movies are free, don’t forget to bring some money for snacks as the concession stand will be open.

The two movies to be shown next Tuesday are the animated film Penguins of Madagascar, followed by McFarland USA starring Kevin Costner.

For more information, contact Community Center Director Gail Presley at 325-518-4139.



Another big weekend is planned for the Lumberyard with two great bands. On Friday night, Tommy Hooker will play in Roscoe for the first time, and on Saturday, the Turnpike Troubadours will also make their Lumberyard debut.

Tommy Hooker
Tommy Hooker labels himself a “Lifelong Singer and Musician of Real Texas Dancehall Music.” Born in 1953 in Arkansas and raised in Pecos, he began performing in 1967 in his brother’s band in Alpine.  He played in bands in Monahans, Fort Stockton, and Alpine before moving to Dallas and playing in clubs there. In 1981, he formed the Tommy Hooker Band and played throughout west Texas. Now, he is a regular act at Pearl’s Dancehall and Saloon in the Fort Worth Stockyards, where he packs the house. He plays traditional Texas Honky Tonk and Western Swing music made for dancing.

The Turnpike Troubadours
On Saturday night, 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 developed their own 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” and “Gin, Smoke, and Lies,” which you can listen to by clicking here.

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


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mayor, Two Council Members Sworn in for New Terms

City Attorney Zollie Steakley swears in Ken Brawley, Pete Porter, and Robert McBride.

At last night’s monthly City Council meeting at City Hall, Mayor Pete Porter and two Council Members, Ken Brawley and Robert McBride, were sworn in and began new terms.  The Mayor’s term is for four years, and Council Members’ are for two.

The Council also appointed Ken Brawley as Mayor Pro-Tem and heard a request from Feliciana Campa about a persistent water leak at 301 N. Cypress.  It also received reports from City Manager Cody Thompson and Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja.

Thompson reported that with the recent dry weather the City has begun patching the potholes in City streets while also dealing with water and sewer problems. City workers have also been mowing grassy areas around town.  One of the emergency sirens has been repaired, and a new sewer tap is being made for the new restroom in the Fire Department building.

Plans are underway for re-opening the old truck stop just west of town on the south side of I-20, and the new owners have made inquiries about the availability of City sewer lines.  The City can put in a small lift station and by boring under I-20 connect with the lift station by the new STEM building.  An estimate on the price for the new owners is being made.

Water and sewer improvements are being put together for bidding within the next thirty to sixty days. The remaining water funds will be used for boring and leak repair.

The City will receive a supply of mosquito spray on Friday and will begin spraying around town next week.

The City Hall will be closed on Friday, July 3, in observance of the Fourth of July.



A broken pump has caused the City Pool to be closed.
It’s been a rough start for the City Swimming Pool this summer. The pool was ready for opening on May 30, but after one day of operation prior to opening, one of the pumps burned up, and, as it was original with the pool, it couldn’t be replaced with a new one because no new ones could be found that would fit.

So, the old pump had to be sent to Lubbock to be rebuilt. However, it is back now and has been re-installed, so the pool is once again operational and will be open for business starting tomorrow.



Cody Canada & the Departed are the featured band for the free concert and street dance.
With only a little more than three weeks left until July 4, organizers are busy making sure everything is ready in downtown Roscoe for another blockbuster celebration of our nation’s independence.

The format will be similar to those of years past. Here’s the schedule for the day:

10am                                  Parade (line-up at 9:30)

10am-6pm                       Roscoe Historical Museum

10am-10pm                     Vendors open

10am-7pm                        Kids area open

12pm-finish                     Plowboy Mudbog (baseball field)

1pm-5pm                          Free Swimming at City Pool

12pm-9:30pm                 Music / Free Concerts

6pm-8pm                         Nine Mile Mountain (street dance)

8:pm-9:30pm                 Cody Canada and the Departed

9:30-10pm                       Fireworks Show

It’s not too early to begin making plans now to enjoy the day in historic downtown Roscoe.  Bring yourself, family, friends, folding chairs, coolers, and whatever else you need to celebrate another great July 4!



RCHS students Cassandra Chavira and Jasmine Chavira will travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center this summer to participate in the High School Aerospace Scholars project.  Nominated by their state legislator, the Chaviras are two of 2700 high school juniors across Texas to be a part of the project.

Selected students completed eight web-based assignments during the school year and will apply their newfound knowledge to work as a team to design a mission to Mars. The onsite experience at NASA includes a tour of Johnson Space Center (JSC) facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts. These scholars will conclude their experience by presenting their proposals at a brunch to their parents, members of the Texas Legislature, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Rotary NASA, and JSC Senior Management.

The State of Texas in partnership with JSC and the Texas educational community, developed HAS in 1999 to encourage more students to pursue studies and careers in STEM subjects. More than 8000 students across Texas have participated in the program since its inception.

With this program, NASA continues its tradition of investing in the nation’s educational programs.  It is directly tied to the Agency’s major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions, which include missions to Mars and beyond.



The Randy Rogers Band
One of the largest crowds of the summer is expected Friday night when the high-flying Randy Rogers Band returns for their second engagement at the Lumberyard.  Four of their previous five albums have made it into the top ten on the US country charts, and their most recent, Homemade Tamales (2014), reached number 11.

The band got its start in San Marcos and recorded its first album in 2002.  Since then, they have produced Rollercoaster (2004), Just a Matter of Time (2006), Randy Rogers Band (2008), Burning the Day (2010), and Trouble (2013), along with two other live albums in addition to Homemade Tamales (2014) . Rogers’ most recent venture, Hold My Beer, Volume 1, just released, is a joint project with Wade Bowen.

The band’s top singles include “Too Late for Goodbye,” “In My Arms Instead,” “One More Sad Song,” “Kiss Me in the Dark,” “One More Goodbye,” and “Satellite.”

Opening band is Aaron Einhouse beginning around 8:00pm with the Randy Rogers Band taking the stage at about 9:30. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Summer clouds over Roscoe.
Dry, sunny weather doesn’t sound like it would be news for west Texas, but with the all the rains and cloudy skies we’ve had this spring, it was a needed change from a very wet May.  Farmers welcomed the opportunity to plant cotton and combine wheat.

Temperatures remained a bit below normal for this time of the year with the high for the week yesterday’s 90°F. All the other days had highs ranging from 86° to 89°. Lows ran from 63° to 71°.

If today’s predicted high of 95° is reached, it will be the hottest day of the year so far. The outlook for the rest of the week is for highs in the low to mid-nineties and lows in the low seventies. There is a good chance of rain this weekend beginning on Friday with 20%, then increasing to 30% on Saturday, 40% on Sunday, and dropping back to 30% on Monday. Humidity will remain high throughout the week.



Beverly S. Farquhar, 68, of Roscoe, passed away on Friday, June 5, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. As per her wishes, her body will be cremated.  No services are planned at this time. Arrangements are under the direction of Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home.

Beverly was born on December 8, 1946, in Little Rock, Arkansas, to E.C. and Veda (Riffle) Wright.  She worked for many years before retiring.  She was a Catholic and a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her family, who lovingly called her "Mema."

She is survived by three daughters, Annett Bromley of Roscoe, Veda Hayes and husband Doug of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Billi Tompkins of New Iberia, Louisiana; two sons, Jerry Bromley and wife Patricia of Santa Anna, and Tim Bromley and wife Susan of Roscoe; thirteen grandchildren, Steven Rains, Tommy Scott, Michael Hayes, Veda Hayes, Amber Craig, Wesley Parish, Alexis Ditto, Donald Bromley, Daniel Bromley, Brandon Bromley, Brittnie Steele, Kyle Bromley, and Tyler Bromley; seventeen great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Sharon Farquhar of Sweetwater.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Devon Freeman Killed in Louisiana Car Wreck

Devon Freeman as RCHS Homecoming King in September 2011.
Devon Freeman, 21, a 2012 RCHS graduate, was fatally injured shortly after 2am on Friday, May 29, when his 2011 Toyota Camry rear-ended a 2012 Peterbilt 18-wheeler on US 190 westbound at the intersection of LA 1 in Pointe Coupee Parish, about 15 miles west of Baton Rouge.

He was unrestrained at the time of the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Pointe Coupee Coroner’s Office.  The driver of the truck, Derrick L. Hall, 47, of Baker, Louisiana, was wearing his seatbelt and not injured.



The Nolan County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that on Saturday, May 30, at approximately 11:30pm, deputies responded to reports of a burglary of vehicles in the 100 block of Cypress Street in Roscoe. It was reported that an unknown person or persons used force and entered four vehicles. Once inside the thieves took purses, cash, and other financial documents. The combined value of the items taken and damage to the vehicles is estimated at approximately $5,500.

On the same night, Burritos Zacatecas on Main Street across from the Post Office was also broken into with many items taken.

The Nolan County Sheriff’s Office and Crime Stoppers is asking for your assistance to help locate the person(s) responsible. If you have information regarding these crimes or any other crime, call the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office at 325-235-5471 or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 325-235-TIPS (8477). You can also submit an anonymous tip online. Nolan County Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to the arrest and filing of charges against the person(s) responsible for these or any other unsolved felony crimes.



Roscoe Police assisted in a one-vehicle accident that occurred yesterday afternoon at the overpass just west of Roscoe at Mile 235.  A small, white, four-door Chevrolet carrying a man, woman, and three children apparently struck the concrete on both sides of the bridge before coming to a stop.

Two of the injured, one with life-threatening injuries, were airlifted away from the scene by helicopter, while the other three were taken away by ambulance.



The 34th Annual Country Showdown will showcase local and area talent at the Lumberyard this Saturday, June 6. Sponsored in this area by Sweetwater radio station KXOX, the Country Showdown is a national event that gives aspiring country music artists a chance to launch their professional careers.

The Country Showdown is open to both vocal and instrumental performers and welcomes individual acts or groups with up to seven members. Acts must not have performed on a record charted in Billboard’s Top 100 Country format within eighteen months preceding the local competition. To ensure fairness, a uniform judging system is used on all levels of competition. Judges for this year’s competition include 2014’s National Winner, Crystal Yates! A $20 entry fee is required of all acts.

Saturday’s winner will have the opportunity to compete at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth against other regional winners, and the winner there gets a trip to Nashville and a chance to win $100,000, along with other benefits.

The show begins at 7:00pm and is free of charge.

All entries must be received NO LATER THAN 5:00pm TODAY, JUNE 3. Entry forms are available at the Lumberyard or by calling KXOX at 325-236-6655. For more information visit, or call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Storm clouds over Roscoe last Thursday. 
On Thursday and Saturday we got two more rains.  Here in Roscoe, weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded .45” on Thursday night and early Friday morning and .73” on Saturday (although he notes that he got 1.5” for the same rain at his farm northwest of town).  The town total of 1.18” for the two brings a total of 5.81” for the month of May while others in areas around Roscoe report well over six inches total.

Many cities in Texas are reporting that this was their wettest May on record, and the Weather Channel says it was the wettest May on record for both Texas and Oklahoma. Roscoe, however, has had three years since 1936 in which May was wetter than this year: 1982 with 10.92”, 1957 with 7.81”, and 1994 with 6.94”.

Since Saturday, we’ve been drying out although we got a little more precipitation yesterday morning, with an official .05”. Others reported getting as much as a tenth of an inch. Temperatures have still been relatively mild, with the high temperature coming last Wednesday at 88°F.  The lowest maximum was 68° on Saturday.  Lows ranged from 59° on Saturday and Sunday to 65° last Wednesday.

Starting today, however, and continuing on for the next week, we will experience our first typical summer weather with plenty of sunshine, highs of around 90°, and lows in the mid-sixties. In fact, today could be our first 90° day in almost two months.  The last one was on April 7, when the temperature rose to 91°. There is also no rain in the immediate forecast, which is not a bad thing. Farmers can use a few days like this to get their cotton planted and wheat harvested. Ranchers are just happy that there’s water in the stock tanks and the grass is green and growing.

Since the NOAA weather forecast was so accurate for the spring, which they predicted would be wetter than normal, I thought I would take a look at what they are projecting for the next three months, which you can see in the two charts below.  The map on the left shows the precipitation possibilities for June, July, and August; the one on the right shows projected temperatures.  As you can see, they expect west Texas to continue to receive above average precipitation and below average temperatures through August.  We’ll have to see if they’re as good at predicting the next three months as they were for the last three.

(Click image to enlarge.)


Funeral services are at 10:00am this morning, June 3, at Roscoe Church of Christ for Devon Reece Freeman, 22, who passed away on May 29 in Point Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Interment will follow at Roscoe Cemetery.

Devon was born January 1, 1994, in Abilene. He lived in Nolan County and Roscoe most of his life. He graduated in 2012 from Roscoe Collegiate High School, where he played Roscoe Plowboy football for four years and was regional qualifier in Texas in the pole vault two years and was state qualifier in Florida. After graduation he went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad as a Signalman. Devon was a member of the Roscoe Church of Christ and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signaling. He loved hunting, fishing, tractor pulling, and mud bogging, and most of all he loved children.

Survivors include his parents, Christy and Jason Freeman of Roscoe; brother, Dillon Freeman of Roscoe; sister, Dakota Freeman of Roscoe; maternal grandmother, Sue Smith of Sweetwater; maternal great-grandmother, Willo Dean Ellis of Liberty; paternal grandmother, Linda Freeman of Roscoe; paternal great-grandmother, Elnor Freeman of Roscoe; uncles and aunts, Brian and Jami Smith of Balch Springs, Texas; Jake and Lindsay Freeman of Roscoe, Jerri Freeman of Dallas; Joni Freeman of Sweetwater; nephews and niece, Brody and Jaline Freeman of Roscoe; Brian Smith, Jr., of Balch Springs; and numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends.

Devon was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Freddy Freeman, on June 6, 2007, and his maternal grandfather, Jimmy Don Smith, on August 2, 2012.

Pallbearers are Riley Teltschik, Juan Solis, Eric Padilla, Ty McGlothlin, Zach Gutierrez, Brett Rodriguez, Gabriel Medellin, and Joe Luis Aguayo.



Funeral services will be at 11:00am tomorrow, June 4, at Hillside Christian Church, 6202 Milwaukee Avenue, Lubbock, for Toby Branon Nash, 32, who passed away Friday, May 29.

Toby was born on May 29, 1983, in Sweetwater. On July 28, 2012, he married the love of his life, Erin Pirkle, at the First Baptist Church in Lubbock. He graduated from Roscoe High School in 2001, where he was a standout football player, making first-team all-state as a defensive lineman and all-district as a fullback.  He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University, where he played football for four years. As a high school and later college football player he learned the disciplines of commitment and sacrifice that would carry into serving two tours of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps. Professionally he served as West Texas Regional Sales Manager for NOVA Medical Centers.

Survivors include his wife, Erin Nash; daughter, Ryan Kate, due in July; mother, Debbie McIntire and husband, Allan; sister, Katie McIntire; brother, Tommy and Betsy Nash; paternal grandmother, Mary Nash; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Phil and Missy Pirkle; niece, Regan Nash; nephew, Jet McIntire; and brother-in-law, Jeff Pirkle; several uncles, aunts, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Robert Nash.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation for daughter Ryan Kate may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Toby Nash Memorial Fund. Condolences may be expressed at Lake Ridge Chapel & Memorial Designers.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Rains Continue to Fall

Rain completely covered the surface of my garden during Monday's downpour.
Two more rains this past week, one on Saturday evening and the other on Monday morning, added to the already ample amounts that have fallen the past couple of weeks and kept lawn mowers busy all over town.  On Saturday evening just about sundown a storm blew in from the southwest with strong winds and rain falling off and on until around nine-thirty or ten o’clock.  Here in Roscoe, totals amounted to about a half-inch, with Kenny Landfried recording an official .62", but more fell in places west, northwest and south of town.

Then, on Monday morning another storm hit and my rain gauge got 1.1” more, but again more fell in some areas around Roscoe. Kenny Landfried recorded an official 1.15". This storm was accompanied by strong south winds with gusts up to 46mph, enough to knock down tree limbs around town and prompt the Fire Department to sound the siren as a tornado was sighted near Loraine.  There was also some hail west of town.

Luckily, we haven’t had the flooding or tornados that have hit other parts of Texas in the past week, particularly in central and southeast Texas.  Almost all of our rains have been under an inch and a half at a time, but they have come consistently enough that it feels like we’re in a tropical monsoon season, where rain falls almost every day. The official total for the month of May so far is 4.62" with more quite possible before June rolls around. The fields haven’t dried up yet, which is okay for the cotton crop because farmers haven’t planted yet, but those with winter wheat are suffering from the inability to get into the fields to harvest it.

Temperatures have remained lower than average for this time of year.  Last Wednesday the high was only 66°F, and Thursday felt downright chilly with a high of 61° and strong northeast winds gusting up to 25mph.  Friday was also cool with a high of 76°.  Lows ranged from 50° on Thursday morning to 62° on Sunday morning.  The warmest temperature of the week was yesterday at 88° as skies cleared and the sun shone almost all day.

Today should be a repeat of yesterday with a high of about 88° again this afternoon and little chance of rain until this evening when the chances go back up to 40% tonight, 60% tomorrow, and then back to 40% until midday on Saturday. Temperatures will continue to be mild from Thursday through next Monday with highs in the upper seventies to lower eighties and lows in the mid to low sixties.  Humidity should remain high all week.



Although the water may be a little colder than usual, Saturday should be a great day for Roscoe kids.  Not only will the Roscoe City Pool be open, but the pool staff wants to kick the summer season off right with free hot dogs for all.

This year the pool is being operated once again by Kalyn Presley-Tate and will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  Price of admission is $2 with season passes available for $75.  “Women’s Only” will be from 11:30am-12:30pm daily.

The pool can also be rented for private parties that begin and end between 6:00 and 10:00pm.  The fee is $60 for two hours, $70 for three hours, and $80 for four hours with a $15 deposit.  That price includes an approved licensed lifeguard.

Swimming lessons are also planned, but exact dates and instructors have yet to be determined.

For reservations and additional details, phone 325-766-2352 during open pool hours or visit the pool’s Facebook Page at Roscoe City Pool.



City Manager Cody Thompson would like everyone to know that he and City workers are well aware of the potholes in several streets around town.  Unfortunately, they can’t eliminate them until the streets dry up since the asphalt patches won’t hold otherwise.  They will be working on them as soon as conditions permit.

He also wants to remind everyone that mosquitoes are a health hazard as they can carry the West Nile virus.  To keep them from multiplying, residents should drain any standing water in yards or containers, clean rain gutters, fill in low areas in their lawns, keep grass mowed, and stay indoors as much as possible at dusk and dawn.

He is also asking drivers to be aware that school is out for the summer and to watch out for kids in the streets, especially around the baseball field, the park, and swimming pool.



Country singer Mark McKinney will just be one of the bands appearing at the fourth annual “Flip-Flops and Tank Tops” on Saturday afternoon and evening.  The event, whose proceeds go to the Hope Center for Autism and Snyder We Care, will feature live music starting at 4:00pm and continuing all evening.

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

On Friday evening, Granger Smith and band will make their debut at the Lumberyard.  Smith, also known as Earl Dibbles, Jr., has had hits with songs such as Country Boy Love, 4x4, and the Country Boy Song.  He has played in the White House and for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait.  Opening for him will be Hudson Moore starting at 8pm with Granger Smith taking the stage at about 9:30.

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



The downtown water tower, a Roscoe landmark for over 75 years.
Editor’s note: A good historical narrative should be based on solid evidence, contemporary with the event or events written about and corroborated from other sources of the time, whether oral or written.  However, sometimes the desired solid basis is not possible because evidence is lacking and pieces are missing.  In such a case, the historian must do the best he or she can with what’s available—and the following account of the 1911 downtown fire and its repercussions for the city of Roscoe is such a case.

For lack of better evidence, this account is based on minutes from two City Council meetings of January 6, 1911, and another dated February 3, all re-typed from the original records in 1983; two high school essays on the fire, one from 1936 by Earl Dawson, the other from 1937 by Bill Marth; and a
Sweetwater Telegram newspaper article entitled “Roscoe, the Magic City of West Texas,” published on July 16, 1908.  The school essays, lent to me by Stanley Cleckler for scanning along with several others written on the history of Roscoe, are valuable despite their obvious imperfections because both use as sources copies of the Roscoe Times which are no longer available to us.

The Downtown Fire of 1911

On January 11, 1911, downtown Roscoe had the most disastrous fire in its history.  It started in the general store of L. E. Jarmon & Bro. and completely destroyed it, along with the store next to it owned and run by W. T. Pool.  It also did considerable damage to the Roscoe State Bank, McCauley’s Dry Goods, the Roscoe Times office, and the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway office, all barely saved by the volunteer bucket brigade.  At that time, all of these businesses were located on the north side of Broadway (then known as First Street) east of today’s Blackland Smokehouse and west of the Worship Center. There was no damage to the businesses across the street.

According to the Roscoe Times of January 13, the blaze started in the back room of Jarmon’s store and had a fair start when it was discovered by Asa Chappell. However, it could have been quenched at that point with a few buckets of water if they had been available.  As it was, the total damage done to Jarmon’s store was $16,000—quite a sum in those days—$10,000 of which was stock and the remainder the building and fixtures. Pool’s store and stock, valued at $11,000, were also destroyed, but because he had insurance, he was able to recover a large amount of his loss.

The minutes of the City Council meetings immediately before and after the fire present a bit of a mystery.  First, there were apparently two meetings on January 6, five days before the fire.  In the first, Mayor E. I. Hill was absent and the meeting was called to order by the Mayor pro tem, L. E. Jarmon himself.  In that meeting A. B. Lipscomb moved that the City Council condemn the wall of the L. E. Jarmon building and have it torn down and removed, but there is no mention that the motion carried.  Whether the apparently faulty wall had anything to do with the fire five days later is anybody’s guess.

Then, in the second meeting Mayor Hill, present this time, called the meeting to order with all members present.  In an ironic twist, Councilman L. E. Jarmon moved that the City “order an election for the purpose of voting 20-year bonds at 5% to the amount of $5000.00 for the purpose of installing water works.”  This motion was then apparently tabled rather than acted upon.

Was it just coincidence or could Mr. Jarmon have had a premonition about the fire that broke out in his store five days later?  In either case, it did break out and destroyed the store that he and his brother had run and built up since 1906, according to an article in the July 16, 1908, Sweetwater Telegram.

Then, according to the January 20 Roscoe Times, the City Council called a meeting for January 19.  At that meeting “the members discussed a bond issue for the building of a city water works.” In the words of Bill Marth’s essay, “This had been brought up before, but since the large fire, the council decided something had to be done.” So, a motion was made and passed that the Council authorize “the issuance of $7500.00 bonds for the purpose of erecting water works in the City of Roscoe.” Then, another motion was made that the Mayor “draw up a suitable resolution on the death of Mr. L. E. Jarmon deceased.”*

So, in the week since the fire, two things had apparently happened: 1) the City Council had a change of heart about the City’s need for water works, and 2) L. E. Jarmon had died. The first is completely understandable after a fire of such magnitude, and, I suppose, so is the second, especially if Mr. Jarmon had no insurance on his store and had lost everything.  However, at this late date, there is probably no way of ever ascertaining whether he committed suicide or died of natural causes.

In either case, an election on the bond issue was called for February 2, and city voters approved it by a vote of 67 to 14.  However, the Attorney General declared the election invalid because of insufficient lapse of time between the calling and the holding of the election.  Instead of two weeks’ notice, a minimum of thirty days was required.  So, on March 17, a second election was held and the bond issue still passed, this time by a vote of 56 to 13.  On June 30, Mayor Hill received notice that the bonds were approved, and water wells were drilled.

On November 24, the City paid $5530 for a 50,000-gallon water tank bought in Chicago along with 1512 feet of six-inch water mains and 1000 feet of fire hose.

The 50,000-gallon tank and tower, erected before the year was out, was the old downtown water tower that immediately became a Roscoe landmark and remained one for over 75 years. It was finally brought down in 1990.  

An article on old Roscoe written by Marion Duncan and published in the Roscoe Times on November 5, 1983, states that as soon as the new water tower was up and in use, the old City-owned windmill and water trough were taken down.  These were located just behind the present-day Smackers Building on the south side of Main Street.

* The re-typed City Council records put the date of this meeting at February 3.  I have no explanation as to why the discrepancy exists.  However, since the Roscoe Times account used by both high school students in their essays put the date at January 19 and then follow it with plausible dates for the bond issue elections, I have chosen to use the Roscoe Times dates.


Many of us who grew up in Roscoe when the downtown water tower was still standing have personal memories about it.  Of course, as boys we were strictly forbidden to climb it as it was something like 85 feet tall, but at night when no one was around many of us did.  I remember throwing balsa wood gliders from the walkway that went around the tank.  I also remember the time in 1959 when a painter who was chipping paint under the water tank fell to his death when his one of his scaffold ropes broke.  And Arlon Wayne Orman tells me that back in the twenties or thirties it used to have a big red heart painted on the tank along with the words “In the Heart of the Blackland Divide,”  but I’ve never seen a photo that captured that.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

20 RCHS Seniors Graduate at Saturday Commencement

The Class of 2015: Bottom: Elisa Herrera, Samantha Ortega, Danielle Dean, Jesenia Pena, Makayla Porter, Olivia Saddler, Roxanne Covarrubias; Middle: Gabriel Alvarez, Korie Rogers, Matthew Davila, Mireya Sanchez, Juan Sanchez, Jake Wilson, Burke Zimmerman; Top: Chase Cathey, Nicholaus Hermosillo, Domonic Pantoja, Antonio Gallegos, Mia Herrera, Phillip Ballenger. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
Twenty RCHS students officially completed their high school careers by receiving their diplomas in a commencement ceremony at the Special Events Center Saturday evening.  But what’s even more impressive is the fact that eighteen of those twenty, or 90%, of the Class of 2015 had received their Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder the night before, a remarkable accomplishment both for the students and the school.

RCHS WTC Graduates. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
Here is a list of the graduating seniors with an asterisk beside the names of those who also completed the requirements for their Associate’s Degree:

Gabriel Alvarez
Phillip Ballenger *
Chase Cathey *
Roxanne Covarrubias *
Matthew Davila *
Danielle Dean *
Antonio Gallegos *
Nicholaus Hermosillo *
Elisa Herrera *
Mia Herrera *
Samantha Ortega *
Jesenia Pena *
Makayla Porter *
Korie Rogers *
Olivia Saddler *
Juan Sanchez *
Mireya Sanchez *
Jake Wilson *
Burke Zimmerman

Top Ten Graduates: Front: Korie Rogers, Samantha Ortega, Danielle Dean, Matthew Davila, Nicholaus Hermosillo; Back: Chase Cathey, Jesenia Pena, Jake Wilson, Makayla Porter, Antonio Gallegos. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)


Chase Cathey, Valedictorian, and Korie Rogers, Salutatorian. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
The RCHS Valedictorian this year is Chase Cathey, who finished high school with an overall grade average of 95.16. He plans to attend Angelo State University and major in Business Administration of Information Systems.

The Salutatorian is Korie Rogers, who had an overall grade average of 93.74.  She plans to attend Texas Tech and major in Finance.



Plowgirl Lyndi Wilkinson wasn’t able to manage the 60.93 seconds she got in the 400 meter run at the Regional Meet, but her time of 61.78 at the UIL State Track & Field Meet in Austin on Friday was still good enough for her to finish fifth in state in the 2A division.  The winner was Ryley Haynes of Seymour with a time of 59.55 seconds.

Congratulations, Lyndi, and better luck next year!



Confiscated marijuana on the hood of a Roscoe Police vehicle.
Just six days after a $200,000 bust, the Roscoe PD has once again "hit them where it hurts" with another drug bust. On Friday afternoon, Sgt. Steven Spencer made a routine traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Roscoe, during which he noticed several indicators that raised his suspicion of criminal activity.

 After the driver, a man from El Paso, consented to a vehicle search, Spencer located paraphernalia, which by State law, gave him authority to perform a more detailed search. In an undisclosed location, Spencer found $25,000 worth of marijuana. The El Paso man was transported to the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office for possession of marijuana of over 5 but less than 50 lbs. The 20 bundles of narcotics and vehicle were seized by the Roscoe PD, and the El Paso man's bond was set at $7500.

This second seizure in less than a week will continue to fund the Department with staffing and the latest state of the art equipment, all cost free to the city and citizens. In the past year, the department has added two additional highly qualified and experienced part-time officers, patrol vehicles, and equipment--all to better serve the citizens of Roscoe and made available due to seizures Sgt. Spencer has filed for the Roscoe PD.



Grass is green and puddles fill the streets all over Roscoe.
This week has been very much like the week before: relatively mild temperatures for this time of year with high humidity (97% with fog this morning) and intermittent rain showers.  On late Thursday night and early Friday morning, weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded .49”, and on Saturday afternoon another .25”.  Then on late Monday night and early yesterday morning .85”.  In areas west of town and around Inadale and Wastella, most people I talked to got more, somewhere between 1.2” and 1.5”. All over west Texas a lot of rain is falling and lakes are seeing their highest levels in years. Highs have generally been in the eighties and lows in the low to mid-sixties.  The high for the past week came on Monday with 87°F and the low on Sunday morning at 59°.

The coming week should be more of the same.  Daily humidity will range from 75%-88%, and there is at least a 40% chance of rain from now until noon on Sunday.  That will increase to 60% tomorrow as a cold front moves through.  The high tomorrow is projected to be only 65° with a low of 56°.  The rest of the week will see highs in the upper seventies to about eighty with lows in the sixties, unusually mild for late May in west Texas.

Back in January, the NOAA forecast more rain than usual for the southwestern states based on El NiƱo, and that forecast has certainly been accurate.  Although we haven’t had any gully washers like they have in the panhandle and places east of here, there has been an abundance of moisture, and it appears we haven’t seen the end of it yet.



SSgt. Gary W. Jeffries
Army Staff Sgt. Gary Jeffries, 37, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.  He died on January 28, 2008, in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his unit encountered an improvised explosive device during convoy operations. Also killed were Sgt. James E. Craig, Spc. Evan A. Marshall, Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer and Pvt. Joshua A.R. Young.

More than 800 troops gathered inside a movie theater on the Army’s Forward Operating Base Marez to eulogize the five soldiers killed. The memorial was attended by top American commanders in Iraq, including Gen. David Petraeus.

Jeffries was a 1990 graduate of Roscoe High School.  In the 1990 Gleaner, he jokingly willed to underclassmen his camouflage jacket, his intelligence, his ability to fix a carburetor and change oil, and his cowboy boots. He joined the Army in 1997 and was on his fourth deployment overseas—and his third in Iraq—when he was killed.