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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

City Council Hears Reports on City Works

Whitney Underground workers set a manhole at 9th Street yesterday.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last Tuesday, the City Council was updated on City works currently in progress as well as plans for the immediate future.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that work on Seventh Street will resume next week and will be done by the first week of August. The street will then be sealcoated along with other City and County streets and roads.

Work on the sanitary sewer project is on schedule. New lines and manholes are currently being laid in the alley between Cypress and Bois d’Arc Streets and has progressed as far as Tenth Street.

The City’s B Board has allocated funds to have a mural painted on the west wall of the former McFaul’s Garage on Broadway. The artist, Calina Mishay Johnson, is the same person who recently painted the mural on the building behind Smacker’s on Main Street.

The City Council will update the City ordinance on the keeping of chickens in Roscoe at next month’s meeting. The ordinance will conform to the recently passed Texas Senate Bill 1620, which mandates that Texas towns and cities allow residents to raise chickens. Individual municipalities may limit the number of chickens over six that a household may raise. They also may prohibit breeding and the raising and keeping of roosters, and may also set a minimum distance between a coop and residential structure.

The City Council will hold its next budget workshop right after the next regular City Council meeting, probably Thursday, August 10.



by Shelley Gunter

Texas FFA Vice President John Smithwick, Hannah Ward, Agriscience Fair Supt. Dr. Rudy Ritz, and the ExxonMobil Gold Sponsor.
Corpus Christi.– Hannah Ward of the Roscoe FFA Chapter placed first in the Texas FFA Agriscience Fair at the 89th annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 10-14 in Corpus Christi.

Ward participated in the Animal Systems category, division one. The Agriscience Fair fuses the traditional science fair with agriculture. FFA members conduct cutting edge agricultural research to compete in categories such as biochemistry and microbiology, environmental science, zoology, botany and engineering.

The Agriscience Fair was made possible by the ExxonMobil Corporation. State award winners in each category will receive a scholarship from the Richard Wallrath Education Foundation.

The 89th annual Texas FFA Convention recorded approximately 12,000 members and guests. Members of the state’s largest agricultural youth leadership organization spent the week attending leadership workshops, participating in events and activities, being recognized for their achievements, and serving as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association.

The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 119,000. FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions. For more information about the Texas FFA, visit

If Ward’s project passes preliminary judging at the end of July by the National FFA Organization, Ward will be headed to the National FFA Convention in October to compete against other Agriscience projects across the United States.

Roscoe FFA members at State Convention. Back: Logan Wicker, Hannah Ward, Nolan Reeves, Caleb Boren, Kayla Justiss, Abigail Meadows. Middle: Tait Fullwood, Kaylee Palacios, Morgan Bowers. Front: Zeke Murphy, Becca Shaw.


This year’s school football camp for grades 2-9 will be held on Monday, July 24, and Tuesday, July 25 from 6:00-8:30pm at Plowboy Field. Registration begins at 4pm on the 24th. Camp is free of charge, and campers will be provided with a camp t-shirt that allows them free admission to all home Plowboy games.

For questions and concerns, contact Plowboy head football coach Jake Freeman at 325-721-0892.



Jason Williams, the son of Jerry Lee Lewis, and Lucky Tubb, the great nephew of Ernest Tubb, will perform at a special concert at the Lumberyard on Saturday, July 29, to raise money for the Don Richburg Scholarship at the West Texas Rehab Center.

Details are provided in an article and video on the Big Country Homepage. Both can be accessed by clicking here



A photographer for the Abilene Reporter-News was on hand at the Plowboy Mudbog on July 1 and got some excellent photos of the event. They have been posted in the Reporter-News’ Big Country Journal, which you can access by clicking here



Jo Dee Messina
Country music great Jo Dee Messina will make her first appearance ever at the Lumberyard Saturday night. Over the past two decades, she has had nine number one singles on the Billboard country charts, been nominated for two Grammy awards, had two Platinum and three Gold-certified albums, and been honored by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. She is also the first female country singer to have three number one songs from the same album.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, she always loved country music, and after playing local clubs in the northeast, she moved to Nashville when she was 19. In 1996 she released her first album, Jo Dee Messina, which had two top ten hits and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Her second album, I’m Alright (1998), sold over two million copies and was certified Platinum. It had three number one singles. Her third album, Burn (2000), contained the hit singles “That’s the Way” and “Bring on the Rain.” Since then, she’s released three more studio albums and five EPs and other albums. Her latest CD is entitled Me.

Top singles include “Bring on the Rain” (with Tim McGraw), “Bye Bye,” “My Give a Damn’s Busted,” “I’m Alright,” “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” and “Stand Beside Me.” Her latest is “Noel.”

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



Summer clouds over Roscoe yesterday.
This past week was typical July weather for west Texas, sunny and partly cloudy, winds from the south, hot days, and warm nights. It wasn’t scorching with triple-digit numbers as July sometimes is, but it was definitely summer. The high temperature for the week was Saturday’s 95°F and the low Sunday’s 69°. Other than Sunday when showers threatened and actually produced some rainfall west of town, about a half-inch, it was dry as July typically is. The lowest high was also on Sunday when the temperature rose to only 90°.

The forecast is for more of the same with the highs for the next nine days within a degree either way of 95° and lows of 73° or 74°. And according to the Weather Channel website, the next chance of rain is not until July 31 when the chances rise to 10%.

The recent thunderstorm on July 4 was devastating for about 5000 acres a few miles west of town, where the hail was more intense than elsewhere. A lot of baby cotton was wiped out either partially or completely, and we extend our condolences to the farmers of the affected area.



Funeral services were held 11am Saturday, July 15, at First Baptist Church in Roscoe for Forest Hess, 90, of Roscoe, who passed away Wednesday, July 12, at Lynn County Hospital in Tahoka. Interment followed at Hillside Memorial Gardens in Snyder under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home.

Forest was born July 22, 1926, in Inadale to the late David and Bernice (Simmons) Hess. He married Norma Lacy on December 26, 1946, in Lubbock.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Hess of Roscoe; sons, Jimmy Hess and wife Vickie of Lubbock, and Bruce Hess and wife Maureen of Slater, Missouri; daughters, Cathy Mitchell and husband Byron of Ropesville, and Lois Chambliss and husband Terry of San Angelo; ten grandchildren and eleven great- grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a favorite charity or to the Benevolent Fund at First Baptist Church of Roscoe, 401 Main St., Roscoe, TX 79545.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Large Crowd Enjoys July 4th Celebration

The fireworks show.

The July 4th celebration was once again a huge success for the city of Roscoe. From the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in the morning to the fireworks show that evening, people gathered to enjoy the day and celebrate the nation’s independence. Downtown, street vendors sold food, drinks, and merchandise on Cypress and Broadway, kids played in the park or swam free at the swimming pool, and the Roscoe Historical Museum was open and received many visitors.

At the baseball field, the Plowboy Mudbog was in full swing as drivers from all over the Big Country and as far away as Dallas and New Mexico tried their hands at driving their mud vehicles through the blackland slush. In the evening, a huge crowd estimated at around 3500 was on hand for the free concert and the fireworks show.

And afterwards, many continued the celebration at the free music and dance at the Lumberyard. As far as I could tell, everyone who attended had a good time.



The Astros are going to the playoffs.

All three of the Roscoe Little League teams that play in the Colorado City League are going to the State Playoffs, two of them to Colorado City and one to Groesbeck, which is east of Waco. The playoffs will be later this month. The freshman Astros (ages 12-14) qualified by winning their division, the Brewers (ages 10-12) finished second in theirs, and the Rangers (age 9 and under) won theirs.



Tables were full at the Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning.
The Roscoe Lions Club would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Pancake Breakfast during Roscoe’s Independence Day Celebration! All the money raised will go towards the Club’s civic and charitable projects. We hope everyone enjoyed the breakfast as much as we enjoyed preparing it, and we hope to see you all again!



Max Tomlin was one of the Parade winners.

Here are the winners of the various categories of parade entries:

Best Antique Vehicle: Dean Sells
Best Bicycle: Lydia Draper
Best 4-Wheeler: Dakota Freeman
Best Motorcycle: Keith Willman
Best Western: Max Tomlin
Best Semi: Stealth Trans. & Crop Production
Best Overall Float: Roscoe Little League
Most Patriotic: The Medicine Place
Biggest Truck: Toby Walker “Back Door Muddin’”

The July 4th Parade would like to thank the Lumberyard for sponsoring the event and the following for goodie bags: Sonic Drive-In, First National Bank, Vickie’s Gifts, Wildflower Boutique, TSTC, Compass Hospice, Kindred Hospice, Medicine Place, Rockin’ S Cantina, Roscoe Fire Department, Hagerman’s Auto Parts, State Farm Insurance.

Thanks also to the Department of Public Safety, Roscoe Fire Department, Roscoe Police Department, and Nolan County Sheriff’s Office, who let the kids look at and climb in the vehicles and engines.



Here are the top three finishers in each of the vehicle classes of this year’s Plowboy Mudbog. Distances are listed unless the vehicle cleared the pit, in which case the times in seconds are given.

1. Jeff Walker               Corinth             “Mudstang”        302’ 9”
2. Kevin Weinrick       Granbury          Chevy Blazer      297’ 4”
3. Braden Walker        Corinth              “Mudstang”        293’ 1”

1. Jared Waters            Hobbs, NM        “Mistress”           372’
2. James Nelson           Hobbs, NM        “Mistress”           371’
3. David Smallwood     Rotan                 “Mudslut”           369’

Super Modified
1. Wacey Daniel             Big Spring         “Green-Go”      7.3 sec.
2. Anthony Montgomery Big Spring      “Green-Go”     9.5 sec.
3. Raymond Martinez Colorado City  Dodge Dakota  10.75 sec.

1. Jeremy Sisk          Sweetwater    “Harley Worth It”  14.06 sec.
2. Toby Walker        Midland           “Karma”                18.56 sec.
3. James Pantoja      Roscoe            “Nothing Sacred”    448’



It’s summertime, and these hot July nights are perfect for outside shows, country music, cold beverages, dancing, and seeing the singers whose music you love. Two of those singers will be at the Lumberyard this weekend—Wade Bowen on Friday night and Sam Riggs on Saturday.

Wade Bowen

Bowen, originally from Waco and a Texas Tech grad, has grown in popularity over the years and now has a large following. His albums include Try Not to Listen (2002), The Blue Light Live (2004), Lost Hotel (2006), If We Ever Make It Home (2008), Live at Billy Bob’s Texas (2010), and The Given (2012), Wade Bowen (2014), and Then Sings My Soul: Songs for My Mother (2016).  He’s also produced two CDs with fellow Texas Country artist Randy Rogers—Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (2015) and Watch This (2016).

Top singles include “Trouble,” “Songs About Trucks,” “Who I Am,” “Mood Ring,” and “Why Can’t You Love Me.”

Sam Riggs
Sam Riggs will be making his first appearance ever at the Lumberyard. He’s an Austin-based singer/songwriter who’s receiving more recognition than ever. He learned his finger-picking style from Ray Wylie Hubbard, and after playing in cafes and bars in and around Austin, he released two extended plays before his first studio album, Outrun the Sun, in 2013. Its first two singles made the top ten on the Texas Music Chart, and the video for “When the Lights Go Out” hit number one on CMT’s Pure 12-Pack Countdown. He was named Artist of the Year at the first Texas Magazine Texas Music Awards, and his second album, Breathless, debuted last year at number 12 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. His popularity is increasing, and his shows are drawing ever larger crowds.

Singles include “The Lucky Ones,” “When the Lights Go Out,” and “Hold On and Let Go.”

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



Friday showers. (Photo by Chris Brawley)

It’s been a week for typically hot summer weather with mostly sunny skies, two days that hit triple digits, and the rest all reaching 90°F or above. The most potentially significant event of the week, however, came yesterday afternoon at about 4:00pm, when a cloud unexpectedly made up practically overhead and then rained for about a half-hour, more or less depending on the location. The moisture of course was welcome, but this shower also came with high winds and hail. Here in town, my rain gauge recorded .60” with some wind, but not enough to cause much, if any, damage. There was also some hail, but it never got larger than pea or marble size.

Hailstones that fell on Allen Richburg's farm west of town.
West of town, however, the storm was more intense. The rain fell harder, the wind was higher, and the hail was thicker and in some cases larger. Some was even golf-ball sized. I was told that on I-20 cars pulled over and those who could took shelter under overpasses. In many fields, the cotton is still small enough that the hail and high winds could cause considerable damage. I haven’t talked to enough people yet to know just how much the crop was affected or in what areas damage was done other than west of town. After the rain stopped, I went out and checked my garden, but as far as I could tell, here in town the damage was minimal.

Yesterday’s rain wasn’t the only one we got this past week. At about 4:30 early Saturday morning we also got a shower. On that one, my rain gauge recorded .40”. So, combined with yesterday’s .60”, I got an even inch for the two showers. Kenny Landfried got only .28” in his gauge in east Roscoe.

And that’s really about it for weather events. The hottest days came on Thursday and Friday, which both reached 101°. The coolest maximum came on Saturday, when the high was only 90°. Lows were all within two degrees of 70° except for Saturday with a low of 64°. Sunday, Monday, and yesterday all had highs of 95° or 96°.

Today’s high should be slightly cooler at 92°, tomorrow’s 93°, and then the next seven days are forecast to have highs of 94° to 96° and lows of 72° or 73° with partly cloudy skies. Today and tomorrow have a 20% chance of precipitation, but the weekend and the next week or so are given a 0% chance with the exception of Sunday with 20%. Skies will be mostly sunny.



Ina Gloria (Gabler) Althof, 89, of Roscoe passed away Sunday, July 2, at Hendrick Hospice Center in Abilene.
The family celebrated her life on Saturday, July 1, by having her 90th birthday party with friends and family. A video of 90 years of memories was shared by all.

A graveside service was held on Monday, July 3, at Roscoe Cemetery with Reverend Steve Carter, a family friend, and special music by Daylon and Nancy Althof. McCoy Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Ina was born July 6, 1927, in Roscoe. She married Raymond Althof October 14, 1944, in Roscoe. She was a homemaker, farmer, lifelong resident of Roscoe, and lifetime member of First Salem Lutheran Church. She served as leader of youth, Luther League and Sunday School, and served on the ALCW women’s board and the board committee to help build the new Lutheran Church in Roscoe. She also served on the first board committee to help build the Roscoe Community Center. She received an award for “Outstanding Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources” in 1993, “Conservation Homemaker Award” in 1994, and County 4-H Chairman. She loved to have lots of company and cooking, quilting, needlework and embroidering, and loved social gatherings and making cakes for her cottage friends.

Ina is survived by her daughters, Maxine Watt and husband Tom of Roscoe, and LeAnna Pitts and husband Danny of Streetman, Texas; four grandchildren, Bryan Watt and wife Shannon of Amarillo, Vikki Woody and husband Brandon of Aiken, South Carolina, and Kellie and Britney Pitts of Dallas; five great-grandchildren, Layton, Levi, Lane, and Lauryn Woody and Aiden and Abbigail Watt.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Arthur Gabler August 1, 1987; Anna Lydia (Sauer) Gabler October 19, 1988; her husband, Raymond, October 26, 2009; sister, Gladys Ona Morris Johnson, January 4, 2000; and her brother, O.C. Gabler, September 11, 2003.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Roscoe Celebrates July 4th This Saturday

Shooter Jennings is only one of many musicians in town this weekend.
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 at 8am with the Roscoe Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in the open building just west of the Smackers building on Broadway. Then at ten o’clock the parade will come down Broadway, followed by the Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field, with the gates opening at eleven and the event beginning at twelve.

During the afternoon, 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 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 four-thirty with Aaron Einhouse followed by Saints Eleven at six o’clock. From eight to nine-thirty, Scooter Jennings will take the stage and will play until the ever popular fireworks show at about 9:45.

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


The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast will start at 8am and end at 10am before the start of the parade. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, coffee, and juice will be served for $5/plate in the empty building next to the former Smacker’s CafĂ© on Broadway. All proceeds from the ticket sales and breakfast will be used to support the Roscoe Lions Club charitable activities for the year.


Once again, 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 antique vehicle, best motorcycle, and best semi. Anything is welcome!

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 as far away as Dallas, Amarillo, and New Mexico. 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 mudbog action beginning at noon. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students 11 to 16. Kids 10 and under are free.  Proceeds will benefit the Roscoe Baseball Little League. The Little League will also run the concession booth.

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

Spectators are encouraged to bring sun block, mosquito repellent, canopy, and lawn chairs. For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.


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.

For more information, contact Isabel Moore at 325-514-9416.


The music stage will be set up on Cypress Street between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park. Aaron Einhouse will open the show at around four-thirty, followed by Saints Eleven at around six. They will be followed at eight o’clock by this year’s feature act, Shooter Jennings and band, who will play until 9:30 or so.

Aaron Einhouse is a regular on the Texas music circuit. Here is his single “Oh, Susannah” as he and his band performed it on the TV series Texas Music Scene.

Saints Eleven is a Dallas/Denton band who sang at this year’s Outlaws & Legends Music Fest in Abilene. Their music, which lead singer Jeff Grossman calls Americana, is not unlike Texas Country/Red Dirt. They have three albums: I'll Be Fine, I Told You, and Coming Back Around.

Singer/songwriter Shooter Jennings is the son of country-music legend Waylon Jennings and a star in his own right. Over a long career, he has produced several albums and performed or had his songs performed in TV shows and movies. He has also recorded songs with Billy Ray Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Wanda Jackson, 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 free of charge by the Black Lillies and dancing until 1:00am.

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



Mari Cornett was viciously attacked at 3rd and Cedar by a pit bull while on her early morning jog last Thursday morning, June 22. She was badly bitten and received multiple wounds. She was taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released.

The dog’s owner, Julie Villa, is receiving a citation for not properly penning the dog. She is also responsible for all medical bills for the victim plus veterinarian fees for putting the dog down and having the head sent to Austin for rabies testing. Fortunately, the results were negative.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja would once again like to remind Roscoe residents to follow the law regarding leash laws and at-large dogs. Recently, several dogs have been seen running loose, and their owners are legally responsible for any damage they may cause. Vicious dogs may in certain cases be classed as deadly weapons and their attacks as third-degree felonies.



Mike Massey’s house six miles southwest of Roscoe was burglarized in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 22, and several valuable items, mostly collectibles, were taken. Massey is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.

If you have any information that will lead to the solution of this crime, please contact the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office at 325-235-5471 or Mike Massey directly at 325-514-0829.



The Black Lillies.
When the City’s fireworks show is over at about ten o’clock Saturday night, it may be time for the kiddies and old folks to go home, but the grown-ups who want to continue the celebration are in for a real treat. The Lumberyard has booked a name band, The Black Lillies, and is going all out by inviting everyone to a late-night dance with no cover charge. That’s right—the Lumberyard is footing the bill on this one. It’s a first for them and should be a great way for everyone to wrap up a great Independence Day party in Roscoe.

The Black Lillies are an Americana band from Knoxville, Tennessee, who have been around since 2009. They are led by Cruz Contreras and originally made an impact on the Tennessee music scene with their album Whiskey Angel, which was nominated for the tenth annual Independent Music Awards in 2010. The following year they produced 100 Miles of Wreckage, which peaked at no. 11 on the Americana radio charts. Their third CD, Runaway Freeway Blues (2013) was on in the Americana Music Association’s top five for over five months, and their most recent album, Hard to Please, reached #30 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Popular singles include “Same Mistakes” and “Smokestack Lady.”
Kyle Park
On Friday night, Kyle Park will begin the weekend music fest with a return engagement at the Lumberyard. He writes and produces his own songs, which might loosely be termed a part of the current Texas Country genre. Born in Austin in 1985, he formed a band while a student at Texas State University in San Marcos. His first album, Big Time, was released in 2005, and since then he has produced five others, the most recent being Beggin’ for More, released in 2013. His single “The Night is Young” reached #1 on the Texas Country Charts in 2013. Three other singles, “Fit for the King,” “Long Distance Relationship,” and “Turn That Crown Upside Down,” were all Top Ten hits on the Texas Music Chart.

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



Puddles at 4th and Cypress yesterday.
Although the weather was varied this past week, it was marked by some unusually cool weather for the beginning of summer, strong chances for rain that didn’t pan out, and then, finally, on Monday, by a shower that didn’t last long but really poured down while it did.

The days leading up to the weekend continued last week’s trend of hot weather. Thursday’s high was 99°F, followed by Friday’s 103°. But then the anticipated cold front arrived, bringing rain to some areas in the vicinity but not to Roscoe. The temperature dropped quickly and refreshingly, though, and fell from over a hundred down into the seventies in less than an hour. The cool temperatures then hung around all weekend until yesterday when the numbers began rising again. Lows that had been at 75° on Friday morning were down to 63° on Saturday, and the difference was noticeably pleasant. Morning temperatures remained in the sixties until this morning, and I took advantage of them by opening my home’s windows and outside doors.

The weekend chances for rain were high, anywhere from 40% to 70%, but the rains never materialized until Monday afternoon, when a storm cloud approached from the southwest and hit Roscoe with a quick, hard shower. I got .6” in my rain gauge, but I talked to some people from Maryneal who said they got 3½ inches and others from Wastella who said they didn’t get a drop. Kenny Landfried recorded an official .35" in east Roscoe and got 1.45" on his farm on Cottonwood Creek northwest of Roscoe. So, the amount people got in this case really did depend on the location because the rainfall and amounts weren’t general.

Yesterday the temperature warmed back up to 90°, today will continue the trend with an anticipated 94°, and tomorrow should top out at around 101°, so our brief break from the heat is apparently over. The weekend will be only slightly cooler with a Friday high of 97°, and 95° on Saturday and Sunday. Lows will be in the low to mid-seventies.  Chances of rain are at 20% through Monday and 0% after that.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shooter Jennings to Highlight July 4th Celebration

Shooter Jennings.
This year’s featured artist at Roscoe’s 4th of July celebration on Saturday, July 1, is singer-songwriter Shooter Jennings, the son of country music legend Waylon Jennings. His music is primarily Outlaw Country and Southern Rock.

He was born on May 19, 1979, and spent much of his early years traveling in his dad’s tour bus. He grew up around music and in 2001 left Nashville for Los Angeles, where he formed Stargunn, a rock band, The group released the album The Only Way Up is Down and went on tour. They performed the soundtrack of the film Made, and their song "White Lines N Black Ties" was licensed for the Burt Reynolds film The Crew.

In 2003 the band broke up, and Jennings left rock to begin his country music career. His first album, Put the “O” Back in Country was released in 2005. The same year his song “Busted in Baylor County” was featured in the film The Dukes of Hazzard. His album Electric Rodeo was produced in 2006, followed by The Wolf in 2007, which featured collaborations with Doug Kershaw and the Oak Ridge Boys. Bad Magick: The Best of Shooter Jennings came out in 2009, followed by Family Man in 2012 and The Other Life (2013). In 2014, he began playing with Waylon’s Outlaws, his father’s band.

Over the years he has recorded songs with Billy Ray Cyrus, Asleep at the Wheel, Wanda Jackson, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Lukas Nelson, and others. Notable singles include the appropriate (for his Roscoe appearance) “4th of July,” “Outlaw You,” and “Gone to Carolina.”

Other musicians performing on July 1 at the free concert and street dance "on the bricks" in downtown Roscoe will be Aaron Einhouse and Saints Eleven.



Roscoe students receiving their FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Drone Certification last week were Braxton Parrott, Paul Pantoja, Arthur Pope, and Nicholas Limones.

Receiving their BioMed CVA (Certified Veterinarian Assistant) Level Certification from the Texas Veterinarian Medical Association were Jovanah Guzman and Caleb Boren.



Casey Donahew.
Popular Texas Country recording artist Casey Donahew will return to the Lumberyard for a command performance Friday evening. Opening for him is up-and-coming singer Dalton Domino.

Donahew, a singer and songwriter originally from Burleson, began his singing career in 2002 and since then has built up a large fan following on the Texas music circuit. His Texas Country style is similar to that of Pat Green, Randy Rogers, and Robert Earl Keen. His six CDs include one live and five studio albums, including Moving On, Double-Wide Dream, and Standoff. Popular singles
include “White Trash Story,”  “Double-Wide Dream,”  “Fallen,”  “One Star Flag,” and “12 Gauge.”
Dalton Domino.
Dalton Domino, who plays at venues in Lubbock and has released the album Corners with the single, “Corners,” will open for Donahew.

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



Dryland cotton in the area is up and looking good.
Last Wednesday, on a day when the chance for rain was 20% or less depending on which weather forecast you saw, the afternoon heat produced a storm cloud that rolled over Roscoe slightly before sundown with high winds and driving rain. It didn’t last long, but while it did, the rain fell hard enough to total .61”. (Reports south of town were up to 1.5”.) It also brought some cool air on a day that up to then had been seriously hot.

Then on Saturday, Roscoe experienced its hottest day in years when the temperature topped out at an official 105°F (or 107° according to the Weather Channel). There hadn’t been a hotter day in Roscoe since August 12, 2012, when the official temperature was 107°. And Saturday wasn’t the only hot day we had. Wednesday’s high was 97°, Thursday’s 99°, and Friday’s 100°. Sunday’s cooled down to 93°, and Monday’s was only 87°, but yesterday it was back up to 94°, and today should be the same.

Today is the official first day of summer, and the forecast is for continued heat through Friday, which should hit 100°. Saturday, however, will be much nicer with a high of only 88° and a low of 67°, and Sunday and Monday will continue the trend with highs of 78° and 81° respectively. The chance of rain for Sunday is currently set at 40% and for Monday 50%.



A memorial service was held at 11am on Saturday, June 17, at First United Methodist Church in Roscoe for Kenith Walter Brawley, 73, of Roscoe, who passed away at his residence on Tuesday, June 13. Billy Joe Jay officiated.

Kenith was born September 14, 1943, in Roscoe. He graduated from Roscoe High School in 1961. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army, serving two tours in Vietnam. During his service, he received the Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, two Overseas Bars, an Air Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He was a Disabled Veteran and worked as a Civil Draftsman in Fort Worth over thirteen years. After growing up in Roscoe, he lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Fort Worth and moved back to Roscoe in 2008. He also worked as a DJ at KXOX Radio, where he was known as “Skinny Kenny.”

He is survived by two sons: Chris Brawley and wife Sabrina of Haslet, TX, and Matt Brawley of Fort Worth; his mother, Lois Brawley of Sweetwater; a brother, Dennis Brawley of Sweetwater; two sisters, Sandra Mulanax of Roscoe, and Patsy Huntley and husband Dan of Fort Walton Beach, Florida; and three grandchildren, Brittany Brawley, Amanda Brawley, and Aaron Brawley, all of Haslet.

He was preceded in death by his father, Walter Brawley; six uncles; and seven aunts. Honorary Pallbearers were Cody Thompson, Edwin Duncan, Mike Dobbs, Billy Joe Jay, Felix Pantoja and Joe Duncan.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

City Council Hears Reports, Approves Action Items

City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the City Council yesterday evening.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the City Council heard reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police, and approved a number of action items.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council that the sewer line upgrade currently underway is proceeding as planned and reminded them that the entire project will take about six months. Work on Seventh Street from Ash to Main Streets by West Texas Aggregates has also begun. In those three blocks, the street will be widened seven feet on each side, i.e., from the current 14 feet to 28 feet when complete.

The City has purchased a 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup for $11,500. The one it will replace has over 367,000 miles on it and is on its last legs.

The City had several water line breaks this week, and City workers have been busy trying to fix them all. In two cases the breaks were in 8” water mains, which caused neighborhood water outages. City workers have begun mowing the old sanitary sewer plant, and once mowing is complete, it will be sprayed with weed killer.

The Council approved an ordinance establishing a school zone in front of the new Early Childhood Center on Main Street. The work and its expenses will be handled by the State since FM 608 is a state highway. The zone will be on Main from Seventh Street to the I-20 access roads. Signs will not be placed nor slower speeds be required until school begins in August.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja said that the Police Department responded to 101 calls in May. There were two burglaries and two auto thefts. Two utility trailers have also recently been stolen.

Sherry Oliver of 611 Main Street requested permission to keep chickens. The request prompted a general discussion about the City ordinance against keeping chickens, and after some deliberation everyone agreed that it is time to get rid of the ordinance but to maintain certain limitations, particularly as to the number of chickens allowed. Details of what other cities are doing in this regard are needed, however, so the question of the wording of the new regulation and its passage have been tabled until next month’s meeting. In the meantime, the Council told Ms. Oliver that she can keep up to 12 adult chickens at her address.

The Council then approved some routine items including permitting the parade and fireworks show and blocking of downtown streets on July 1. It also authorized the payment of two cents per capita to the Atmos Cities Steering Committee to fund regulatory and related activities.



Lauren Decker of Stamford speaks at the Southwest Energy Summit.
The ninth annual Southwest Energy Summit began yesterday morning at the RCISD STEM Center and continues today with State Senator Charles Perry giving a keynote address this morning. U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington was scheduled to speak yesterday but had to stay in Washington as a committee on which he serves proposed a VA accountability bill that was voted on and passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Summit features speakers from several area energy sources including oil, natural gas, solar energy, nuclear energy and related sectors, as well as wind. It will conclude this afternoon.



Ex-Plowboy Matt Buckley and Coach Jake Freeman
Ex-Plowboy Matt Buckley finished his high school football career as a winner as his Blue team beat the Red team 14-0 in the Myrle Greathouse Football Classic at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene Saturday night. The game is a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Festival held annually in Abilene and pits star football players from the Big Country against one another.

Buckley will play football for the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys starting this fall. He is attending the University on a scholarship.



Stoney LaRue
One of the biggest weekends of the summer at the Lumberyard is upon us. On Friday night, Stoney LaRue and the Arsenals will fill the air with “red dirt” classics like “Oklahoma Breakdown” and “My Feet Don’t Touch the Ground.” Saturday night it’s the Mavericks’ turn with the inimitable Raul Malo singing songs ranging from Tex-Mex, Cuban bolero, and blues, to country and rock ‘n’ roll—from songs like “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” to “Here Comes My Baby” and from “Dance the Night Away” to “Back in Your Arms Again.” Both groups give enthusiastic live performances, and large crowds for both are expected.

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

Check out Lubbock radio station Lone Star 99.5fm’s article on this weekend at the Lumberyard.



Monday's sunset. (Photo by Eden Baker.)
This past week has been one of those times when the weather is constant from one day to the next. Temperatures moved into the nineties last Thursday, and since then every day has been pretty much the same. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the high temperature was 95°F, on Monday 94°, and then yesterday back to 95°. Early morning lows were either 69° or 70°, skies were mostly clear, and strong winds blew from the south on all those days. Wind speeds ranged from 16 to 20mph with gusts from 28 to 33.

Today will be slightly warmer with a predicted high of 97°, increasing to 99° tomorrow, and then to 104° on Friday and Saturday, and only slightly cooler on Sunday at 101°. Skies will be either sunny or mostly sunny just as they have been for the past week.  Lows will range from 72° to 75°. And the wind will continue to blow from the south. The only chances weathermen are giving for rain are 20% for today, Friday, and Saturday.

Summertime doesn’t officially begin for a week, but according to the weather it’s already here.



Former City Council member Ken Brawley, 73, passed away at his home in Roscoe last night.

Arrangements are underway for a memorial, and cremation will be handled by McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater.



George Allen Thomas, 83, of Roscoe, passed away Tuesday, June 6, at Nolan Nursing and Rehab Center in Sweetwater.

Graveside services were at 1:00pm on Friday, June 9, at Roscoe Cemetery with Randall Smith officiating. McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater was in charge of arrangements.

George was born April 14, 1934, in Roscoe. He was a graduate of Highland High School and Sul Ross University and was a member of the Roscoe Church of Christ. George lived in Nolan County all his life and was a retired rancher.

He is survived by his brother Parks Thomas and wife Rudy of Maryneal, sister Jackie “Dinky” Walters and husband Jim of Irving, nieces Dee Waller of Georgia, Susan (Thomas) Dent and husband Paul of Maryneal, Lisa Shaw of Midland, nephews Brad Burnett and wife Ida of Weatherford, Jimmy Walters of Irving, Todd Thomas of Maryneal and brother-in-law Cliff Burnett of Roscoe.

George was preceded in death by his parents, Iris Jackie (Jones) Thomas, December 23, 1991, and Oma Thomas, March 2, 2002; sister, Ellen Rae (Thomas) Burnett, July 3, 1996; and great niece Misty Hollingworth, December 31, 2006.

Honorary pallbearers will be Brad Burnett, Jimmy Walters, Paul Dent, Clyde Dent, Cutter Dent and Branson Thomas. Memorials may be made to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, Texas 79601 or to one’s favorite charity.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

City Sewer Line Upgrade Begins

The scene on Third Street yesterday morning.
After some delay, the upgrade of Roscoe’s sewer line began in earnest yesterday morning on 3rd Street between Bois d’Arc and Ash Streets with workers from Whitney Underground digging a hole in the street twelve feet deep and installing a manhole and new piping there. The entire project will take about six months to complete.



The future Early Childhood Center on South Main.
The new Early Childhood Center will open in the fall, and when it does, a school zone will be placed on Main Street next to it. Yesterday TxDOT (the Texas Department of Transportation) and City Manager Cody Thompson met to settle on the necessary signage and regulations.

One of the rules concerns the speed limit for vehicles passing through the school zone. Main Street is also FM 608 and, as such, is a state highway. There is a state law that a school zone on a state road can be no more than 15mph below the normal speed limit for that location. The speed limit on South Main next to the Early Childhood Center is currently 45mph, so when school opens in August, the school zone’s speed limit will most likely be 30mph.

The Center will also have a designated entrance and exit onto the lot for people picking up or dropping off children. The setup will be similar to the current system used at the Elementary School.



Kids at the pool yesterday.
Even though the fresh water was cold, there were a lot of happy faces at the City Swimming Pool yesterday as kids enjoyed their first swims of the summer. The pool is open from 1-5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Daily admission price is $2, and season tickets are available for $75.

For private party reservations or additional details, contact Pool Manager Isabel Moore at 325-514-9416.




8-10am             Roscoe Lions Club Pancake Breakfast
10am                 Parade down Broadway
10am-6pm        Roscoe Historical Museum
10am-10pm      Vendors Open
12pm-4pm        Plowboy Mudbog (Baseball Field)
1pm-5pm          Free Swim (Roscoe Swimming Pool)

Live Music
(Music Stage on Cypress St.)
4:30-6pm          Aaron Einhouse
6-8pm                Saints Eleven
8-9:30pm          Shooter Jennings

9:30pm             Fireworks Show
10:00pm           The Black Lillies (Free at the Lumberyard)

Texas Tech’s Masked Rider will once again be in attendance.



The RCHS STEM Agricultural Research Center
As the locus of wind energy in west Texas, Roscoe will host the ninth annual Southwest Energy Summit at the STEM Center next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Summit will feature seminars with discussions on several energy sources including oil, natural gas, solar energy, nuclear energy and related sectors, as well as wind.

US Representative Jodey Arrington will deliver the congressional keynote speech on Tuesday at 11:30am. He will discuss federal energy policies, his experiences working with the Trump administration, and the outlook for the Southwest.

On Wednesday at 9:00am, Texas Senator Charles Perry will deliver the legislative keynote speech and provide updates on energy, infrastructure, and other issues from the recent session of the legislature.

Other sessions will include talks from experts in several energy areas, and the conference will conclude with Regional Energy Solutions tours of various energy sources as well as battery storage, transmission, pipelines, and rail and road.

Participating organizations include the Southwest Energy Coalition, Cline Shale Alliance, Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse, New Amsterdam Global Solutions, Solar Ranch Development, and Roscoe Collegiate High School.

For more information, phone 325-280-5800, or consult the website at



Several couples in buggies pose in front of wooden buildings at Main and Broadway (then 1st Street), circa 1906. This is one of the photos donated to the Roscoe Museum this week. For a much magnified image of the photo above, click here.
This was a good week for the Roscoe Historical Museum as it got good news on two fronts. The first concerned some early-day photographs found in the bottom of a cardboard box, and the second was news of two 1972 Roscoe interviews from the Southwest Special Collections Library at Texas Tech.

The old photographs found in the cardboard box come from Barney & Betty Johnson of Abilene. The Johnsons frequently make purchases at estate sales and don’t always immediately inspect what they’ve bought. For that reason, they don’t know where the photographs came from, but there are fifteen of them. Five are photos of an old building-moving company that worked in this area, but the others are of early-day Roscoe. Some are from old postcards that the museum already has, but four are unique and previously unseen. Each captures some of the life of early Roscoe that would otherwise be gone forever.

The news from Lubbock is that after a long delay, two interviews conducted in Roscoe in 1972 are now available as transcripts on the Special Collections Library website. One is a discussion of the Roscoe Boys Club and George Parks by Phil Haynes and the other a more general discussion about Roscoe’s history by Walter Potter. Other interviews were conducted at the same time with George Parks, R. E. Gracey, Caffee Welch, Billie Whorton, and Gordon Wood, but the permissions for their public availability have not yet been completed. If and when they are, they will also be made available.

The interview with Phil Haynes is available here.

The one with Walter Potter is available here.



The planned widening of Seventh Street between Ash and Main should begin today. The work will be done by West Texas Aggregates.


3rd SUNDAY LUNCH - There will be NO 3rd Sunday Lunch for June 18th in observance of Father's Day . The next lunch will be July 16.

Have several dates open, so call and book your next event.
Call Misty @ 325-338-1005

Work is scheduled to start on the kitchen renovation June 12. Stay tuned for updates and pictures.



The Black Dirt Revival will be the featured band at the Lumberyard Saturday night. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Morning sky.
Temperatures continued to be milder than the average for this time of year, and the area got some more rain, most of it the slow, easy kind. The most rainfall came on Friday evening right when Sammy Kershaw was scheduled to appear outdoors at the Lumberyard. The show had to be called off, but Kershaw told those who showed up that they’d get a rain check, which he will honor when he does return at some still unspecified date. For the week I had a total of 1.7” with .02 on Wednesday, .54” in two separate rains on Thursday, 1.04” on Friday, and .1” on Sunday. Several people in surrounding areas, however, reported more than what we got here in town. Kenny Landfried reported an official total of 1.75” for Roscoe over the same time period.

Since Wednesday through Saturday was mostly cloudy, temperatures were moderate with highs in the low eighties, except for Saturday, which got up to only 79°F. Lows were in the low sixties. The sun broke through on Sunday, and since then it's been sunny with steadily rising temperatures. Yesterday’s high was 86°, while today and tomorrow should peak at around 88°. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be sunny and hot with highs of 95° and 96°. After that, highs will consistently climb into the nineties.

Rain is not likely in the coming week. There’s a 20% chance on Friday and then nothing after that until next Wednesday, when chances increase to 50%.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

City Swimming Pool Opens Monday or Tuesday

Summer is for swimming.

If you’re a kid in Roscoe with a little spare time on your hands, life has to be looking up—school is out, and on Monday or Tuesday the swimming pool will open for the summer. The exact date and time will depend on when a new pump arrives and is installed.

This year the pool will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  Price of admission is $2.00 per day with season passes available for $75.

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

For reservations or additional details, contact Pool Manager Isabel Moore at 325-514-9416.



(Editor's note: This is a slightly edited version of an article from the May 2, 2012, Roscoe Hard Times.)

Miss Roscoe, Christine Clayton, with Maids of Honor Pauline Nance, left, and Norma Eckert, right.
Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1950s will recall what a big deal beauty contests were in those years.

When TV came to west Texas, it brought with it the annual Miss America pageant, which according to Wikipedia was the highest rated program on television well into the early sixties.

On that night, everyone watched the show and made their predictions about who the judges would pick.  When the winner was announced, host Bert Parks would sing, “There she is, Miss America,” and the newly crowned queen, with tears of joy in her eyes, would walk down the runway as the runners up and everyone else applauded—and for the next couple of days she would be the most popular female in the country.

Local beauty contests were also popular, and in 1954 Roscoe held its own pageant with Christine Clayton being crowned Miss Roscoe, while runners up Pauline Nance and Norma Lynn Eckert were designated her Maids of Honor.

Christine was sponsored by the Roscoe State Bank; Pauline was sponsored by Haney’s Drug Store, where she worked at the soda fountain; and Norma was sponsored by Shelansky Dry Goods, where she worked on Saturdays when everybody came to town.

Miss Roscoe went on to compete in the Oak Creek Pageant when the lake officially opened, but the winner was someone from Sweetwater.

Norma, who has supplied me with all these details, also mentions that on the Sunday after the Roscoe pageant, “the pastor of the First Baptist Church preached a sermon on ‘parading around with hardly any clothes on,’ and there we were, the three that placed, on the front row of the choir with everyone looking at us . . . and two of our dads were deacons.”

Despite all that, she says, “Daddy was still proud of me.”



City Manager Cody Thompson is 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.

He reminds 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 also wishes to remind residents that there are local leash laws and that they are financially responsible for the actions of their pets. Recently, several dogs have been noticed running free in the streets.



Sammy Kershaw
It’s another big weekend at the Lumberyard as Cajun great Sammy Kershaw brings his act to town for the first time Friday evening. Kershaw, whose hits go back a quarter-century, will be singing the songs that have made him famous, tunes like “You are the Love of My Life,” (Click title for video) “Queen of My Double Wide Trailer,” “Third Rate Romance,” “Don’t Go Near the Water,” and “Yard Sale.”

Both an accomplished singer and songwriter, Kershaw—a third cousin to Doug Kershaw and native of Kaplan, Louisiana—has been performing in honky tonks since childhood. He began after his father’s death when he was 12, and within a couple of years was opening for Ray Price, Merle Haggard, and George Jones. He really hit his stride in the early 1990s with his release of platinum albums Don’t Go Near the Water, and Haunted Heart, with its number one hit, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful.” Then followed two certified gold albums, Feelin’ Good Train and Politics, Religion, and Her. Since then, He’s produced eight more studio albums. His most recent, The Blues Got to Me, was released last year.

Kershaw is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Songwriters Association Hall of Fame.

Cameran Nelson
Opening for Kershaw will be up-and-coming singer Cameran Nelson, who was born in Haskell and now calls Blanco home. He’s lived all over Texas and studied music at South Plains College in Levelland. His first full-length album, Happy to Beer, was released in 2013 and nominated for three Texas music awards: Male Vocalist, Rising Star, and Record of the Year. His single “35 Runs Both Ways” was a multi-week #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Report and the Texas Music Chart. His current project, Good Thing Going, has produced two more #1 hits with “Shotgun,” and “You Can Still Wear White.”

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



What's left of "Lake Roscoe" as seen from the baseball field.
This past week was mainly a drying out of the big rain from the week before. The so-called dry lakes in area fields still have water in them, but the puddles are essentially gone, and the sun has been shining all week. We got our first taste of summer last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday when the winds shifted to the southwest and the first seriously hot days of the year were felt. The high on Thursday was 99°F and on Friday 98°--and then on Saturday we got our first triple-digit day of the year when the high rose to 100°. A front then moved through early Sunday morning and cooled things down considerably. Highs on Sunday and Monday were 80° and 83° respectively and lows were in the low sixties, except for Monday morning when the temperature dropped to 59°. There was audible thunder on Sunday and a big cloud with lightning was visible in the southeast, but for the week there was no more precipitation than a light sprinkle early Monday morning.

There’s an excellent chance that the current weather will change as early as tonight as a front moves through. The chances of rain for tonight and tomorrow are over 60%, although the amounts are not expected to be great. The percentage diminishes to 20% for Friday, but then picks up again on Saturday evening when it increases to 50% before falling to 20% again on Sunday. Temperatures will continue to be relatively mild. The forecast high for today is 83°, tomorrow 82°, Friday 86°, and Saturday 88°. Morning lows will be in the mid-sixties.


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