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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

City Ready for Roscoe's Spring Super Sunday


Merle Haggard
Spring has arrived, and to celebrate it, the City of Roscoe is throwing its Spring Festival this Sunday, March 29.  Roscoe retailers will be open from noon to 6pm, the museum will be open, the Community Center will be selling hamburgers and hot dog meals, and  the Lumberyard will host what should be its greatest day of country music yet with Jamie Richards and band, the Playboys Special Edition Band, and country legend Merle Haggard and his band, The Strangers.  Live music begins at three and will go on to about 10pm.

The Lumberyard has now completed its remodeling, and red-dirt country music star Stoney LaRue was the first to play on the new stage, which he did Saturday night.  The new stage is located on the north wall about four feet above ground level, which allows people at tables a good view of the performers, as people standing near the band won’t block the view for others. The new arrangement also creates extra room on the dance floor for those who want to dance.  The lighting and sound are also better than before. 

Unlike the free concerts on the streets, however, this one won’t be free as the price of the performers won’t allow it.  For ticket information and reservations, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.

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

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COMMUNITY CENTER TO SELL HAMBURGER MEALS ON SPRING SUPER SUNDAY

The Roscoe Community Center
The Roscoe Community Center will be open and serving hamburger and hot dog meals this coming Sunday from 12:00-6:00pm. Meals will consist of a hamburger or hot dog, chips, a soft drink, and dessert.

So, if you want to eat some good food while helping out a good cause, please go on by.  All proceeds will go to help fund new flooring for the Community Center.

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

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SUNRISE WINDS FORETELL BETTER CROPS FOR 2015 SAYS “INJUN ROBERT”

The smoke at dawn on the second day of Spring.
“Injun Robert” McBride has built his sunrise fire on the second day of spring 2015, and the direction of the smoke—from the north and northwest to south and southeast—is an auspicious sign of better crops in this area than we had last year.

As you may recall, in 2012 “Injun Robert” revived the ancient practice of Plains Indians of using the direction of the wind on the first day after the first day of spring as a means of foretelling the success of crops for the coming year.

If the wind that carried the smoke upward was from the east or northeast, crops would be plentiful. A north or northwest wind foretold average yields, a west wind was bad, a southwest wind worse, and a south wind the worst of all.

This ritual was known in the Comanche language as Taba’na Yuan’e or the “Sunrise Wind” ceremony.  It was observed around 1880 by a Mr. Crim, who was in charge of the mule teams used in building the T&P railway across west Texas.  While in the Van Horn area on the morning of March 22, he noticed puffs of smoke coming from all the Indian huts in sight.  He asked what was going on and was told that the Indians were seeing what kinds of crops they would have that year by building a fire just before dawn and then, as the sun appeared, observing which direction the wind blew the smoke.  This was always done on the morning after the first day of spring.

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

Last year, “Injun Robert” tried to mitigate the wind’s forecast of an inferior crop by introducing another Native American practice by adding a “rain turtle” to the ceremony.  It involved drawing a turtle on the ground with a stick and then spitting on its back.  However, as is evident by the number of fields that were never even stripped of their cotton last year, we can rule out the “rain turtle,” or at least “Injun” Robert’s version of it as completely ineffective, and this year it was omitted.

In any case, this year’s crop should at least be an average one, and with the rains the area has received thus far, we certainly seem to be heading in the right direction.

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EX-PLOWGIRL KIM NORRIS DIES UNEXPECTEDLY IN HAWAII

Kim Norris
Kimberely Nicole Norris, 22, a 2011 graduate of Roscoe High School, suffered a brain aneurysm and died on March 19 in Hawaii.  She was a member of the 2008-2009 state runner-up Plowgirl basketball team and a varsity cheerleader her senior year.

A senior at the University of Hawaii, she was majoring in fashion and was employed at Hooters.  Although her life was cut short, she was able to help others through organ donation.

A Kimberely Nicole Norris Texas Celebration of Life will be held at the First Methodist Church in Spur this Saturday, April 4, at 5:00pm with Larry Burton officiating.  Visitation will be at the church from 1pm-5pm, and the funeral service begins at 5:00pm.

Shelbi Williams has set up a fund online, the Kimberely Nicole Norris Love Fund, to help out her family with medical expenses.  To locate it, just google Kimberely Nicole Norris or click here.

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WEATHER REPORT: SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Wildflowers in Duncan Meadow, formerly known as my back yard.
There’s no getting around it—spring is here. It officially arrived last Friday, March 20, at 5:45pm CDT with the vernal equinox, when day and night are exactly the same, twelve hours each, and the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west.

But more to the point, the signs of spring are also back—the temperatures are warming up, trees are budding out, wildflowers are beginning to bloom, and, since Monday, the buzzards are back in the west Texas skies.  Of course, the old mesquites are still in winter mode.  They seem to be telling us that just because we’re in a new season doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get any more cold weather.

The past week had a little of everything, including a nice slow rain that fell intermittently on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with area amounts varying from three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a quarter depending upon location.  Weatherman Kenny Landfried got an official total of .82" at his home on the east side of town, while gauges on the south side recorded about an inch.  In any case, the fields are wet, and the farmers are smiling.

The coolest days were on Friday and Saturday, when skies were cloudy and rainy with highs of 52° and 54° respectively.  The warmest days were Monday and yesterday when skies were sunny and the highs were 84° and 85° respectively.

The forecast for the next few days is for sunny skies and generally warm temperatures.  Today should be a repeat of yesterday with a high of 86°F, but tonight will be cooler with a low of 42° as a front moves through.  Tomorrow’s high will be only about 64°, but Friday’s high will be back to 73°, and Saturday’s should be 80°.

The outlook for Spring Super Sunday should be sunny with a high of 83° and a low of 55°.  There is no more rain in the forecast.

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† BILLIE K. COMPTON

Graveside services were held at the Roscoe Cemetery on Saturday, March 21, at 2:30pm for longtime Nolan and Taylor County farmer/rancher Billie K. Compton, who passed away on Thursday, March 19,  after a lengthy illness.

Born to Jeff Davis and Billie Porter in Roscoe, she was preceded in death by her parents, her two sisters and her husbands, M.L. Compton and John L. Massey. She is survived by her three children, Sharon London and husband Larry, Susan Massey, and Mike Massey; five grandchildren: Britt London, Blake London, Brooke Dignan, Alex Massey, and Michael Merritt Massey; eleven great-grandchildren, and brother-in-law, Dean Perkins of San Angelo.

The family would like to extend gratitude to her private caregivers, Home In Stead and Hospice, for their devotion to her care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and Envoy Hospice. Condolences may be expressed online at McCoy Funeral Home of Sweetwater. 

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† STEVEN LOMAS

Services were held at 2:00pm on Thursday, March 19, at McCoy Chapel of Memories in Sweetwater for Steven Lomas, 56, who passed away on Monday, March 16. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery.

Mr. Lomas was born on May 6, 1958, in Del Rio. On July 15, 1979, he married Norma Delgado in Sweetwater. Steven loved animals and never put himself before others.

Survivors include his wife, Norma Delgado of Roscoe; daughter, Norma Stewart and husband, Christopher, of Three Rivers, TX; sons, Steven Lomas, Jr., and wife, Amanda, of Roscoe; Donald Lomas and wife, Krystal, of Roscoe; Carlos A. Lomas and wife, Heather, of Roscoe; Anthony Lomas and wife, Heather, of Roscoe; 11 grandchildren; brothers, Richard Lomas and wife, Eva, of Roscoe; Joe Lomas of Abilene; Alex Lomas of Sweetwater; Harvey Lomas of Roscoe; Eloy Lomas and wife, Mary, of Roscoe; Carlos Lomas of Sweetwater; Art Lomas and wife, Sylvia, of Sweetwater; Baldimore Lomas of Roscoe; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.

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† PEGGY PATTY

Peggy Patty, 78, passed away on Sunday, March 15 at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. She was a resident of Roscoe. No public services were held.

Peggy was born on February 27, 1937, in Burnet. She moved to Sweetwater in 1972 and lived there until she moved to Roscoe in 1986.  She was a member of Avondale Baptist Church and a past member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 2479 and American Legion Post 227. She worked for the Dairy Queen, Corp. as a manager, Southwest Canvas, and Larry's Tire Center in Roscoe as a bookkeeper. Peggy loved her trips to the casinos, especially when she won!

Survivors include her daughters Joyce Kingston and husband, Johnnie, of Roscoe; Sherry Baugh and husband, Price, of Roscoe; and Pat Lorentz of Fort Pierce, Florida; her brother, Jimmy Williamson and wife, Jo, of Hermleigh; 7 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-great-grandchildren and her wife-in-law, Audrey Massingill of Amarillo.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy L. and Burthina (Henkell) Williamson, and a daughter, Melba Dee Milholland, on April 17, 2002.

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† JAMES WELLS YOUNG, III

James Wells Young, III, passed from this life on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the age of 60.

Graveside services will be held 10:00 A.M., Thursday, March 26, 2015 at Sweetwater Cemetery with Pastor Brian Brownlow officiating.  Burial will follow.  Arrangements are under the direction of Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home.

He was born on November 21, 1954, in Sweetwater, Texas, to J Wells and Louise Young, Jr.

Wells was a guitarist and keyboardist extraordinaire.  He traveled the country in several bands and made friends wherever he went.  He was also a rancher, leaving a lasting impact on the Y5 Ranch as the third generation steward of the land.

He is survived by his daughter, Ashleigh Young and her husband Brett Oliphant; by his sister, Gay Ann Young; grandsons, Ashton, Noah, and Jacob Stanford; and grandpuppies, Sookie, Lyla, and Oscar.  Other survivors include three nieces, Kearsie Wylie, Rebecca Day, and Katie Young; and one nephew, Jason Young.  Wells also leaves behind several cousins and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas Flack Young.

Family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 from 6:00-7:30pm.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kim Alexander to Receive ACU Teacher Education Award

Kim Alexander
Roscoe School Superintendent Kim Alexander is the recipient of the 2015 Grover C. Morlan Medal.  According to the announcement on the ACU website, the ACU Department of Teacher Education awards the medal each year to an alumnus who has made significant contributions to the field of education.

The announcement cites Dr. Dana Pemberton, Chair of the ACU Teacher Education Department, who said, “Under Alexander’s leadership, Roscoe administrators and teachers have transformed learning on all levels.  The Roscoe Collegiate System’s model is built on the belief that when structured correctly, all students, regardless of socio-economic, demographic, cultural, or technological background, can be college and career-ready on completion of their 12th grade year.”

The article goes on to note RCISD’s membership in the Texas High Performance Schools consortium and its role in serving as a model for rural schools in other districts.

Under Alexander's leadership, RCHS graduating seniors, in ever increasing numbers, have earned Associate's Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder along with their high school diplomas.  Last year, 17 of 21 did, and this year's numbers will be comparable.  Also, in November the Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M presented its first-ever Texas School District Excellence Award to Roscoe Collegiate ISD.

Roscoe is also a leader in establishing a viable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program for rural schools, and the new STEM research center now being built at RCISD will house this initiative.

Dr. Alexander will receive the award at the 2015 Morlan Award Dinner at 6:30pm tomorrow, March 19, in the Hunter Welcome Center.  Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by e-mailing Cathy Ford at caf04b@acu.edu or calling 325-674-2112.

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STONEY LARUE RETURNS TO THE LUMBERYARD SATURDAY

Stoney LaRue

This Saturday night, March 21, red-dirt icon Stoney LaRue and his band, the Arsenals, will be in town to play on the new large stage at the Lumberyard.  This will be the first show on the new stage, which is on the north wall and will allow people sitting at tables to view the band and at the same time clear the dance floor for dancing. They will follow Mark McKinney and Band, who will kick off the live music at around 8:00pm. LaRue and the Arsenals will follow at about 9:30.

Born in Texas but raised in Oklahoma, LaRue is famous for developing the Red Dirt sound along with friends Cody Canada, Jason Boland, and Brandon Jenkins. His 2005 CD, “The Red Dirt Album,” reached the Billboard sales charts its debut week, and in 2006 he released the best seller “Live at Billy Bob’s.” In 2011 he achieved acclaim for his 2011 CD, “Velvet,” and his latest album, “Aviator,” released this past October, has received accolades in Nashville as well as Texas. It climbed to number 17 on the US Country Music Chart and 15 on the Indie Chart. There is also a video of its title song, “Aviator,” which you can view by clicking here, or his ever popular “Oklahoma Breakdown” by clicking here.

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

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PLOWBOY CENTER LODGE ADDS TWO NEW UNITS, LAUNDROMAT

The new units at Plowboy Center Lodge.
The Plowboy Center Lodge at 1006 Broadway has done so well since opening that it is adding two new site-built rooms and a laundromat with three washers and dryers for use by tenants as well as the public.

For availability and prices, contact Max Watt at 575-799-0812.

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RCHS ROBOTICS TEAM BACK FROM ALAMO REGIONAL IN SAN ANTONIO

Roscoe's Robotics Team in San Antonio last week.
Roscoe Collegiate High’s Robotics Team is back from a busy weekend at the Alamo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in San Antonio.  The competition featured sixty teams from across the United States.

Roscoe was selected to compete in the playoffs for the sixth alliance, who defeated the number three alliance, but then lost to the eventual second-place alliance.

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R-O WATER ONCE AGAIN FLOWING THROUGH CITY LINES

City Water Works on West Broadway.
Since last Wednesday, reverse-osmosis water is once again flowing through the City water lines.  This is a welcome development because residents have been getting unfiltered water since a faulty membrane first caused the shutdown of the reverse-osmosis process before Christmas.  Then, the ice storms caused breakage that compounded the situation and caused further delay in getting the plant back to its normal operation.

The plant is now undergoing a 45-day test period monitored by the TECQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to see that it is functioning properly.  The manufacturers, Johnson Control,  have an employee on hand to train City workers and will do quarterly routine maintenance on the membrane, the part that caused the problem.

The bottom line is that the problems are fixed and, once again, we’re getting good, clear water.

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EX-PLOWBOY ELMER GRAY’S NAME TO BE ON NEW ACU TRACK STADIUM

Elmer Gray when he was a Plowboy.
They’re tearing down the old Elmer Gray Stadium at Abilene Christian University and replacing it with a new one.  However, the new track and field stadium will also bear the ex-Plowboy’s name.

Elmer Gray, a 1928 graduate of Roscoe High, won state in the mile run at a time when schools were not divided into classes. He went on to run track for Abilene Christian and was a two-time finalist in the half-mile at the NCAA championships in 1931 and 1932 and the first Wildcat ever to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1932.

After college, he went into real estate in Houston, where he made his fortune.  He made a large donation in 1969 for major improvements to the ACU track, and the Board of Trustees voted to name the stadium in his honor.

According to an article in the Abilene Reporter-News that appeared on Sunday, demolition of the old stadium begins today and is scheduled to be complete in time for a meet on Saturday, April 11, when New Mexico, TCU, and Texas Tech will compete with the Wildcats.

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PLOWBOYS, PLOWGIRLS AT COTTONWOOD CREEK RELAYS FRIDAY

After taking the week off for Spring Break last week, the Plowboys’ and Plowgirls’ track and field teams will resume their season on Friday when they compete in the Cottonwood Creek Relays at Roby.The meet begins at 3:00pm.

The Junior High team will compete in Roby on Thursday.  Their meet begins at 3:30pm.

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WEATHER REPORT: NICE WEATHER

Monday's sunset.
It’s been a nice week for the weather with no rain to speak of, but warm days, clear skies, and mild evenings for the most part.  The highs were consistently in the high sixties with only Monday afternoon breaking the pattern when it got up to 78°F.  The lows were around 50° except for Sunday morning’s low of 44°.  Yesterday was cloudy all day, and when the wind shifted to the north around noon and the winds got up, it actually felt cool, especially when compared to the day before.  There was a chance for rain, but it unfortunately never materialized.

Today should continue the pattern with a high of about 66° and a low of 48°.  Tomorrow will be warmer with a high of 76°.  Then tomorrow night brings a 50% chance of rain, which will diminish to 40% on Friday and during the morning on Saturday.  Skies should then clear with highs of around 70° on Sunday and Monday with lows in the forties.

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† MONROE F. RANNEFELD, SR.

Military graveside services were held at 10:00am on Monday at Roscoe Cemetery for Monroe F. Rannefeld, Sr., 93, who passed away on March 13 in Big Spring. He was a resident of Roscoe.

Mr. Rannefeld was born in Roscoe on May 24, 1921. On December 21, 1946, he married Laura Pauline Wilson. A member of the First Salem Lutheran Church in Roscoe, he was also a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the VFW.

Survivors include his wife, Pauline Rannefeld of Roscoe; son, Freddy Rannefeld and wife, Noma, of Sweetwater; daughters, Connie Holder and husband, Steve, of Springfield, MO; and Cindy Watts and husband, Speight, of Sweetwater; four grandchildren: Laura Presley, Crystal Rea and her husband, Randall; Dwane Watts and his wife, Angela; and Corey Holder; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arno and Bertha Rannefeld; his brother, Elgin Rannefeld; his sister, Nora McCracken; and his grandson, Michael David LeCroy.

Honorary Pallbearers were Brandon Presley, Brittany Presley, Austin Moreland, Kendall Rea, Leslee Shaw, Erica Jones, Zachary Schultz, Adrianna Schultz and Lauren Wise.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Charles Ratliff Honored in Press Box Dedication at Plowboy Field

Charles Ratliff poses with family following press box ceremony.
No one could have ever guessed on Wednesday evening—when the temperature dropped to 22° and blowing sleet iced up windshields and roads—just how nice the weather would be less than two days later for the press box dedication preceding the Blackland Divide Relays. But on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon seemingly made for the occasion, the Roscoe School’s longtime football and track announcer, Charles Ratliff, was honored with a plaque and the permanent placement of his name on the press box at Plowboy Field.

Before a large crowd of adults and students in the stands, the Plowboy cheerleaders led an original cheer in honor of Mr. Ratliff.  Then Roscoe School Superintendent Kim Alexander and former coach Wes Williams addressed the crowd, both praising his longtime service as an announcer and his unswerving loyalty as a Plowboy fan.  He began announcing football games and track meets in 1967 and with only a couple of short breaks since then has continued all the way up to the present.

After presenting him with a plaque, Coach Williams handed Mr. Ratliff the microphone.  Admitting that he’d never been at a loss for words, Mr. Ratliff then thanked everyone, telling them he was honored to have been able to do the work that he’s done for so long, saying however that he doesn’t consider it work when he enjoys it as much as he has.

After a well-deserved round of applause, Coach Williams told him it was time to make an announcement and so he did, saying into the mike, “Second call for varsity girls’ 800 meter run; second call for varsity girls’ 800 meter run.” The show was over, the track meet had begun, and it was back to business for Mr. Ratliff.

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CITY COUNCIL HEARS UPDATES, PASSES ACTION ITEMS

City Accountant Ricky Bowman presents annual audit report to City Council.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the City Council had a full agenda, hearing several updates and passing several action items.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council of recent and planned City activities.  Once things dry up enough to do some dirt work, the City, possibly along with the County, will work on finally closing up the old sanitary sewer plant just east of town.  This needs to be to done soon to conform with TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) requirements.

Starting this morning City workers will attend a start-up and training meeting at the Water Treatment Plant.  Recent tests indicate that City water is significantly harder than the contractors first thought, and some adjustments will have to be made in light of the fact.  Reverse-osmosis water should be back online within the next week or so.

The City will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt for the third year in a row.  It will be on Saturday, April 4, at 2pm in Old Town Park, across from City Hall.  The hunt is for toddlers up to 13-year-olds.

Thompson and Carl Childers have been to two Big Country Home Builders Association meetings in Abilene, and there is growing interest in building homes on the Young Farm Estates.  The recent wet weather has delayed construction on curbs and gutters at the Young Farm Estates, and it will now likely be late April before the sale of lots begins.

New fencing around the park by the City swimming pool is underway and should be done by the end of this month.  So should Emrick Wilson’s landscaping project behind City Hall.

The City received two complaints this past month, one concerning stray cats and the other about underage curfew.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja then gave the Council the Police Department’s Racial Profile Report for 2014.  During the year, Roscoe Police issued 40 citations, 21 to Caucasians, 13 to Hispanics, 5 to African-Americans, 1 to Asians, and 0 to Middle-Eastern and Native Americans.

The Council then passed several action items.  City Accountant Ricky Bowman presented the annual audit report for the City, and after some discussion the Council approved it.

The Council also decided to open bids for residential and commercial waste disposal.  Advertisements for the bid will run in the Sweetwater Reporter on Saturday, March 14, and Saturday, March 21.  The current contract with Knox Waste Services will be used as the bid document with a notation and an area for additional services that may be offered to the City.  Bids will be accepted until Tuesday, March 24, at which time the sealed bids will be opened and reviewed.  The bid will be awarded at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

The Council approved advertising for cemetery bids for 2015, as the current custodian, Harold Gruden, is giving up the position.  The City will also advertise for bids for running the City Pool this summer.  Both these advertisements will run in the Sweetwater Reporter at the same time as the waste disposal bids do, i.e., March 14 and 21.

The Council also set the dates and times for this year’s Spring Clean-up.  It will run from 7am to 7pm starting on Monday, April 13, and concluding on Saturday, April 18.

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BLACKLAND DIVIDE RELAYS SHOWCASE AREA TRACK TALENT

Kevin Lavalais (second from left) anchors the 4 x 200 relay for the Plowboys.
Athletes from seventeen area schools were at Plowboy Field on Friday to compete in the first big track event of the year, the Blackland Divide Relays.  Besides Roscoe, the other schools participating were Anson, Baird, Bronte, Coahoma, Colorado City, Hamlin, Haskell, Hawley, Highland, Miles, Loraine, Roby, Snyder, Stamford, Sterling City, and Tuscola Jim Ned.

The field events were not held because of soggy field conditions and anticipated bad weather, which never made it to Friday.  In fact, the weather was surprisingly beautiful with sunshine, clear skies, little wind, and a temperature of around fifty-five degrees.

The only event won by the Plowboys was Kevin Lavalais’s victory in the 400 meter dash, while Max Nemir came in second in the 300 meter hurdles.  The highlight for the Plowgirls was Lyndi Wilkinson’s second-place finish in the girls’ 400 meter dash.  In the JV competition, Jet Hobdy finished second in the 3200 meter run.

Here are the results for the events in which Plowboys or Plowgirls scored points:

Plowboys

Event                             Place      Athlete (Team)               Best Time
400 meter dash               1             Kevin Lavalais                  52.35
300 meter hurdles          2             Max Nemir                       43.39
4 x 100 m. relay               4             Roscoe “A”                        45.09
      (Eric Huidobro, Max Nemir, Javier Leanos, Kevin Lavalais)
4 x 200 m. relay               5            Roscoe “A”                     1:41.04
      (Eric Huidobro, Ryland Madrid, Pablo Huidobro, Javier Leanos)
4 x 400 m. relay               3            Roscoe “A”                     3:42.00
      (Pablo Huidobro, Max Nemir, Eric Huidobro, Kevin Lavalais)

Plowgirls

400 meter dash               2          Lyndi Wilkinson              1:02.71
4 x 400 relay                    5           Roscoe “A”                       4:17.40
     (Murissa Horton, Alejandra Solis, Karina Cisneros, Lyndi Wilkinson)

Plowboy JV Boys

800 meter run                3            Juan Solis                         2:22.53
                                           5           Isaiah Gonzales                 2:24.24
                                           6           Clemente Aguayo             2:26.02
1600 meter run              3            Jet Hobdy                           5:43.13
                                           4            Juan Solis                          5:46.03
3200 meter run              2            Jet Hobdy                         12:41.72
110 meter hurdles          5            Johnathon Cuellar               20.75
4 x 100 m. relay              3            Roscoe “A”                         3:59.91
    (Vincent Pantoja, Diego Garza, Brayden Beal, Isaiah Gonzales)

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RCISD SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION CANCELLED

There will be no School Board election for Roscoe Collegiate ISD this year.  Five people applied for the three open four-year terms, but two of those, Dan Pulattie and Tessa Kirkland, were disqualified for not filling out the applications entirely as required.

Both applicants filed on the final day before the deadline, Friday, February 27, and the Board Secretary then had five days after the deadline to review and certify the applications as complete.  When he reviewed them on the following Monday, he discovered that Pullatie’s and Kirkland’s were incomplete.  Since there is a state rule that no amendments may be made to applications after the filing deadline, the school’s attorney advised the Board that the incomplete applications would have to be disqualified.

This left only three applicants for the three four-year terms, namely the incumbents Wes Williams, Frankie Santiago, and Jason Freeman.  Therefore, no election is necessary, and they will join the other board members—Steve Anthony, Bryan Heaps, Cheyenne Smith, James Arnwine, and David Pantoja—to comprise the full Board.

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PLOWGIRLS NAMED TO ALL-DISTRICT TEAMS IN BASKETBALL

Several Plowgirls have been named to District 6-2A II’s All-District basketball teams:

First Team – Olivia Saddler
Second Team – Samantha Ortega
Honorable Mention – Mia Herrera, Danielle Dean, Selena Perez

Academic All-District – Danielle Dean, Samantha Ortega

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RCHS ROBOTICS TEAM IN SAN ANTIONIO FOR FIRST REGIONAL ROBOTICS COMPETITION

Starting today, several RCHS students are spending the second half of their Spring Break in San Antonio at the Alamo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.  The meet begins today and will conclude on Saturday.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that challenges high school students—working alongside professional mentors—to design and build a robot of their own and compete in a “Sport for the Mind” that measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and “Gracious Professionalism.”  Students build and program their own robots against a field of competitors and experience the excitement of science, engineering, technology and innovation.

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RCISD TO SPONSOR ELEMENTARY BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Roscoe Schools are sponsoring an Elementary Basketball Tournament to take place on Saturday, April 18th.  There will be three grade divisions: K-2 Boys and K-2 Girls; 3-4 Boys and 3-4 Girls; and 5-6 Boys and 5-6 Girls.  The fee for each team is $100 with three games guaranteed. The first six teams in each division will be accepted.  Entry fees and signed released forms may be turned in April 18 before the first game.  Registration deadline is Friday, April 3.

For registration and release forms and more information, contact Tamara Alexander at talexander@roscoe.esc14.net or 325-766-3327.

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NOLAN COUNTY SKYWARN STORM SPOTTER TRAINING SESSION ANNOUNCED

With the approach of spring and tornado season, the Nolan County Skywarn Storm Spotters will hold a training session on Monday, March 23, at 6:00pm in Room 120 of the Temple Dickson Engineering Building at Texas State Technical College.  The public, law enforcement, fire departments, and amateur radio operators are all invited to attend.

The session is being hosted by the NCARA Radio Association.  For more information, contact Roscoe Fire Chief Gary Armstrong at 325-235-4110.

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WEATHER REPORT: A TURN TOWARD SPRING

After some seriously bad winter weather last Wednesday, winter seemed to suddenly disappear, and it now appears we may have finally turned the corner with nothing but spring before us.

The winter weather advisory given for last Wednesday and Thursday turned out to be 100% accurate.  On Wednesday afternoon a cold front blew in with sustained high winds of 25mph and gusts up to 32mph that dropped  temperatures from a high of 56°F down to 22° in just a couple of hours.  With the cold came sleet that was almost horizontal and stung your face when it hit it.  Anybody outside was hurrying to do whatever they had to do so they could get back inside as quickly as possible.  Then on Friday, less than two days later, there couldn’t have been a nicer day for the Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field—sunny skies, light south breezes, and temperatures in the mid-fifties.

Since then, it’s been very springlike with lows in the forties and highs in the fifties or sixties.  There was a light rain yesterday morning of about a quarter of an inch.  Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded a total of .28”, and that amount combined with last Wednesday’s .08” and Thursday’s .27” brings the total for the week to .63”.

The nice weather we’ve been having should continue almost unchanged for the rest of this week and into the first part of next. Skies should be partly cloudy with afternoon highs in the mid-sixties to lower seventies and lows in the mid-forties.  There’s no forecast of a chance for precipitation until the middle of next week.  It’s rare that west Texas gets a forecast this consistent, especially in the spring.  We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

So enjoy the nice weather.  After what we’ve been through for the past few weeks, it’s about time.

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† ROBERT RAY SOSEBEE

Robert Ray Sosebee, 86, died on Monday, March 9, at his home in Roscoe. No services are planned at this time. McCoy Funeral Home of Sweetwater is in charge of cremation arrangements.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blackland Relays, Press Box Dedication This Friday

Plowboy and Plowgirls show off their medals at last year's State Meet.
Local track fans will get their first chance to see Plowgirl and Plowboy runners in action, as well as talent from all over the Big Country as sixteen high schools will send athletes to participate in this year’s Blackland Relays at Plowboy Field.

The naming of the press box in the east stands for longtime voice of the Plowboys, Charles Ratliff, will kick off the action at 2:30pm.  It will then be followed by the track meet.  Due to the anticipated bad weather, the field events have been called off, so only the running events are still part of the schedule.

The Junior High Blackland Relays scheduled for tomorrow have also been called off for the same reason.

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STONEY LARUE RETURNS TO THE LUMBERYARD SATURDAY, MARCH 21

Stoney LaRue
On Saturday night, March 21, red-dirt icon Stoney LaRue and his band, the Arsenals, will be in town to play on the new large stage at the Lumberyard, which will allow people sitting at tables to view the band and will clear the dance floor for dancers. They will follow Mark McKinney and Band, who will kick off the live music at around 8:00pm.  LaRue and the Arsenals will follow at about 9:30.

Born in Texas but raised in Oklahoma, LaRue is famous for developing the Red Dirt sound along with friends Cody Canada, Jason Boland, and Brandon Jenkins. His 2005 CD, “The Red Dirt Album,” reached the Billboard sales charts its debut week, and in 2006 he released the best seller “Live at Billy Bob’s.”  In 2011 he achieved acclaim for his 2011 CD, “Velvet,” and his latest album, “Aviator,” released this past October, has received accolades in Nashville as well as Texas.  It climbed to number 17 on the US Country Music Chart and 15 on the Indie Chart.  There is also a video of its title song, “Aviator,” which you can view by clicking here, or his ever popular “Oklahoma Breakdown” by clicking here

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

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ROSCOE’S “MOST WANTED” CAPTURED IN REST AREA

Raul Rodriguez Martinez
Raul Rodriguez Martinez, 30, the man Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja referred to as Roscoe’s “Most Wanted” was recently apprehended by DPS troopers at the rest area on I-20 east of Sweetwater.  Responding to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver on I-20 East, a trooper located his vehicle at the rest stop and arrested him after learning he had outstanding warrants for immigration violations and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Martinez, a Mexican national, is the same man who fired several shots at a local vehicle on 4th and Cypress Streets on a Saturday night in June 2013.  He then led Roscoe Police and other law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase that ended between Loraine and Colorado City when set-out traffic spikes deflated his tires and forced him to stop.  After his arrest, he was deported to Mexico but returned for retaliation and was reported to vow that he would “kill before going to prison or being deported.”  Last year he was again involved in an assault in which he fired at a victim with a handgun.  There are also possible warrants and wants out of Mexico for him for two possible homicides there.

He was known to be in this area but had avoided capture until his arrest at the rest area.  He is now in the Nolan County Jail.

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ICY WEATHER KEEPS POLICE BUSY WITH WRECKS

For the second week in a row, icy roads have been the cause of multiple wrecks in the Roscoe area.  Along with other local law enforcement officers, Roscoe Police responded to five more wrecks.

One occurred on the US 84 overpass just east of town when an SUV pulling a U-Haul trailer slid off the pavement and caught fire.  The blaze was put out by the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department.  Another involved an 18-wheeler on I-20 at the overpass near the Stripes station.   Roscoe Police set out battery-operated cones near the accident, some of which were destroyed when they were hit by a passing vehicle.  Another 18-wheeler jack-knifed and struck the center median at mile 233, approximately three miles west of Roscoe, and there was a two-car collision involving a small SUV and a silver four-door car near Cemetery Road on I-20 East.  In that same area, a Highland High School student also hit black ice and left the road.

There were no injuries in any of the incidents.

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CITY ELECTION CALLED FOR MAY 9 CANCELLED

The City election called for May 9 has been cancelled because there are no contested positions.  Roscoe Mayor Pete Porter filed for another four years as Mayor, and Robert McBride, whose two-year term expires this year, also filed for another term and was uncontested.  The other open City Council seat, currently held by Christi Beal, will be filled by Ken Brawley, who was the only person to file for the position.  He will begin a two-year term in June when Beal vacates the seat.

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ROSCOE AND HIGHLAND SCHOOLS OUT FOR SPRING BREAK NEXT WEEK

Although you wouldn’t know it from the wintry weather we’ve been having around here, Spring Break for both Roscoe and Highland schools will be next week from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 13.

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FOUR RCHS STUDENTS TO COMPETE FOR AWARDS IN SCHOOL BUS SAFETY SPEECH CONTEST

Four RCHS students, one from each high school grade, will be at the Region 14 Center in Abilene on Friday morning to compete in the 14th Annual TAPT (Texas Association for Pupil Transportation) Regional Speech Contest.  Students will speak on this year’s topic, “Bully Free Zone.”  Regional champs will receive a $50 check and participate in the State Finals in Waco on April 20 where winners will receive awards of $1000, $600, $400, and $200.

Representing Roscoe will be Cutter Davila, senior; Hannah Hobdy, junior; Caleb Ward, sophomore; and Murissa Horton, freshman.

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SHORTEST DAY OF THE YEAR THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 8

It’s that time of year again.  When clocks “spring forward” at 2:00am Sunday morning, daylight savings time will begin in Texas and most of the rest of the United States.  No one really enjoys the resulting 23-hour day, but there’s no getting around it.  Just remember that it’s happening so you don’t arrive at church just as everyone else is leaving.

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WEATHER REPORT: WINTER LINGERS ON

The scene from my window on Sunday morning.
They say that if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, and if it comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion.  They don’t say what happens if it comes in like a polar bear or a penguin, however, and that’s more like what it actually did.  For another week, we had snow and sleet, trees, power lines, and roads covered with ice, and temperatures that were absolutely frigid.

On February 2, that armadillo in Austin, Bee Caves Bob, went to the left when he came out of his burrow at dawn.  That caused his handlers to confidently declare that Texas was in for an early spring.  What a joke that turned out to be.  We had about a week of nice weather after that, and then winter returned with a vengeance—and we’re not out of the woods yet as more is predicted to come.  In fact, a winter weather advisory has been announced for this area starting today at 3pm and lasting until tomorrow at 6pm.  Bee Caves Bob, whether you’re a charlatan, a fraud, or just don’t have a clue, from henceforth I have no faith whatsoever in your predictions.

After some nice, sunny 60°F weather last Wednesday, a cold front moved in on Thursday and the temperature that night dropped to 25°.  Then we had a four-day stretch—Friday to Monday afternoon—in which the temperature never rose above freezing and was usually much colder, especially when you consider the wind chill factor.  On Thursday when the front first hit, there were sustained high winds of 26mph from the NNE and gusts up to 37mph.  Friday was also breezy with sustained high winds of 20mph and gusts to 24mph.  In those four days, we had snow, sleet, and freezing drizzle.  The coldest day of the four-day stretch was Friday morning’s 16° and the high was Sunday’s 31°.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of precipitation.  Kenny Landfried said that the total official amount came to only .1”, although he did note that he got .18” at his farm on Cottonwood Creek.

Finally on Monday afternoon, the temperature rose to a balmy 37°, and the ice on trees and power lines seemed to fall all in about a half-hour, creating quite a racket as it landed on roofs, carports, and in the streets.  Yesterday was a wonderful break from all the cold, with the temperature rising to 57° and snow and ice completely disappearing.  But that nice weather will be history by early this afternoon when the latest front moves in, bringing with it more winter weather with a 70% possibility this evening and tonight of freezing rain and light sleet.  Tomorrow afternoon should be above freezing with a high in the mid-thirties, but tomorrow night will drop to 23°.  Then on Friday we should see temperatures gradually rising, and by the weekend highs should be in the fifties and lows in the mid-thirties.

Next week is spring break for the local schools.  Let’s hope for the kids’ sakes, they’ll get some spring weather so they can enjoy it!

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† CHRISTINE SHANKS KLEPPER

Funeral services were held in the First Baptist Church of Clyde yesterday at 2pm for Christine Shanks Klepper, 93, followed by a private graveside service.  She died on Sunday, March 1, in Abilene.

She was born September 6, 1921, in Clyde to William Homer Shanks and Josie Ellen Kuykendall. She married Rae Winford Klepper on March 21, 1942, in Clyde. She graduated Clyde High School in 1939 and attended Abilene Christian College and Howard Payne College. She was the librarian at Roscoe High School from 1963-78.

She and Rae moved to Algeria for two years, where he worked for El Paso Natural Gas Company. They retired to their hometown of Clyde in July 1980. Christine went on to volunteer at the Clyde Public Library for more than 30 years. She also volunteered for many years at the library at First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the choir and the choir librarian. She also taught Sunday School.

She was the beloved mother of five children: Ann Etheredge and husband Cliff of San Antonio; Robert Klepper of Roscoe; Randall Klepper and wife Laurel of Portland, Oregon; Cynthia Roberts and husband Alan of Clyde; and Russell Klepper and wife Brenda of Roscoe. She is survived by 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren, with another due in April; numerous nieces and nephews; brother-in-law Rex Klepper of Abilene; and sister-in-law Connye Hayes and Jim of Abilene.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her two brothers, Homer Kuykendall Shanks and Hal Creath Shanks; her twin, Pauline Rogers; and younger sister Chera Clemmer.

Online condolences may be made at www.baileyhowardfuneralhome.com.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Charles Ratliff to be Honored at Blackland Relays

Charles Ratliff (Photo courtesy of Mike Ratliff.)

Ex-Plowboy Charles Ratliff,  longtime announcer for Plowboy home football games and faithful fan, will be honored next Friday, March 6, during the Blackland Relays when his name will go on the Press Box in the east stands of Plowboy Field.  He began announcing Plowboy football games in 1967 and has been as regular as clockwork since then, missing only a few games to see a granddaughter perform as cheerleader at another school.  He will also receive a plaque commemorating his long service and loyalty to the school.

The ceremony is set to begin at 2:30pm at Plowboy Field, and everyone is invited to be on hand to help give Mr. Ratliff a sendoff as he retires from his longtime tenure as the voice of the Plowboys.

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BAD WEATHER KEEPS POLICE BUSY WITH AREA WRECKS

This truck slid off the road on I-20 East about a mile west of town Sunday afternoon.  (Photo by Felix Pantoja.)
Icy road conditions were the cause of four or five wrecks in the Roscoe area on Sunday and Monday.  Some were minor, but one that occurred on FM 608 about a mile south of town Sunday night was more serious as the driver, a newcomer to the area, was ejected from his black Trail Blazer and was critically injured.  He was taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater.  He was not wearing a seatbelt.  Another man who was riding in the car was not seriously hurt.

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HOUSE FIRE MAKES RESIDENCE AT 1004 CYPRESS UNINHABITABLE

1004 Cypress Street
An attic fire that started at about 5:00 yesterday morning has made unlivable the residence of Seprino “Chico” Maestas and his wife Marsha and daughter Ashley.  Although not much of the damage can be seen from the outside, the ceiling and much of the inside roof are essentially destroyed.  The fire was most likely caused by faulty electrical wiring in the attic.  No one was injured in the blaze.

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WEATHER REPORT: AFTER WARM DAYS, A RETURN TO WINTER COLD

Sleet and icy conditions on Monday.
The weather was mixed this past week with some springlike weather last weekend followed by a cold spell that let everyone know that it’s still winter in west Texas.  Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were warm and windy with the high temperature of the week, 84°F, coming on Friday afternoon.  Saturday was cooler but still nice with a high of 64°, but Saturday night another cold front blew in bringing with it rapidly cooling temperatures and a light drizzle.  By Sunday afternoon, the drizzle had turned to sleet as temperatures dropped into the twenties.  Most west Texas counties, including Nolan, were under a winter weather advisory, and some roads iced up.  

Monday was the coldest day of all with a high of 22°, a low of 17°, grey skies, and light sleet.  Yesterday morning was more of the same with a low of 21°, but then the clouds broke up somewhat in the afternoon and the temperature climbed to 40°.  Last night around midnight, anywhere from nothing to .15" or so fell, depending upon location.

Today should be nicer with a forecast high of 59°, but a cold front will move in tonight with north winds of 10-25mph and a low of 30° tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow’s high will be around 38°, and there’s a 20% chance of snow tomorrow night.  Friday’s high will be only around 29° with a 40% chance of precipitation and a low Saturday morning of 22°.  Saturday’s high will be about 45° with a 40% chance of rain.  Sunday will be warmer again with a high of 64° and a low of 43°.

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ROSCOE IN YEARS GONE BY: THE 1937 MURDER OF MAYOR A. J. PARKER

[Editor's Note: With slight modifications, this article originally appeared in the May 4, 2011, posting of the Roscoe Hard Times.]

The downtown alley where Bill Dawson shot A. J. Parker.
At 4:30 in the afternoon on Friday, June 4, 1937, shots rang out in the alley between the R. S. & P. office and the back door of Haney’s drug store.  The mayor of Roscoe, Arthur J. Parker, was hit three times, once through the shoulder, once in the chest, and once in the back.  Not felled by the shots, he ran up the alley and out of the line of fire as eyewitness W. A. Sloan approached the shooter, Bill Dawson, and asked for the gun.  Dawson refused, but former city marshal X. B. Sanders then walked up and without resistance took the .32 pistol from Dawson’s pocket.

Seeing Dawson disarmed, Parker returned to the scene on his way to the Young Hospital a half block away, and, as he staggered past, told Sanders to call Sheriff Tom Wade.  Dawson, seeing Parker still on his feet, told Sanders to give him his gun back and let him finish the job.

Dawson then apparently went through the back door to Haney’s into the drug store, where he gave himself up to Deputy Sheriff Pat Mayes.  He was taken to the Nolan County jail in Sweetwater and charged with assault with intent to murder, and bond was set at $5000.

In the meantime, Mayor Parker walked to the hospital and immediately began to receive treatment from Dr. J. W. Young.  Initially, Dr. Young expressed optimism about the mayor’s recovery, giving him a 75% chance of survival.  That night he operated, removing a bullet from Parker’s chest while allowing another to remain just above the stomach.  Unfortunately, the mayor’s condition continued to worsen on Saturday, and on early Sunday morning at about 3 a.m., a day and a half after the shooting, he died.

His funeral was held on Monday, June 7, at the Community Tabernacle in Roscoe with Sam Young of Sweetwater delivering the funeral oration.  He praised Parker, a Methodist, as a good citizen, an advocate of law and order, and a churchman who often expressed his belief in religious principles.  Others speaking included Parker’s father-in-law, Rev. G. W. Parks, Roscoe’s former Baptist pastor, Methodist minister Rev. W. B. Swim, and Baptist pastor Rev. J. N. Easterwood.  Pallbearers were City Council members Barna Haney, R. E. Harwell, W. E. Kirkland, and Turner May; City Secretary W. P. Copeland; and Hark Haney.

       Mayor A. J. Parker                         Nightwatchman Bill Dawson
Born in Alabama, Arthur J. Parker, 51, had lived in Roscoe all his adult life and had been the city’s mayor for fifteen of the previous seventeen years.  First elected to the office in 1920, he had served continuously thereafter except for one term, 1933-1935, in which he had not run.  During his tenure, the city had passed bonds for street and waterwork improvement, paved the downtown streets with bricks, extended the water system to include the entire town, installed the city sewer system, purchased the first fire truck, and made natural gas available, along with other civic improvements.  He was an insurance agent and realtor.

In 1922, he married Ora Parks, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister, Rev. G. W. Parks.  They subsequently had two children, Arthur, Jr., 14 in 1937, and Shirley Ann, 11.  The Mayor’s father, J. J. Parker, had been one of the original city aldermen when Roscoe was incorporated in 1907.

Bill Dawson, 60, was a cowboy and rancher for twenty years in Tom Green and Coke Counties before moving south of Roscoe six years earlier to ranch with Bob Scott of Colorado City.  He won third place in the old man’s calf roping contest at the 1934 Texas Cowboy Reunion in Stamford and later won first place in several other rodeos.  In November 1934, two and a half years earlier, he became Roscoe’s nightwatchman, a position that made him the city’s principal law enforcement officer after the sun went down. He was married, and his wife ran a café in downtown Roscoe.

Front page of the Abilene Reporter-News the day after the shooting.
Bad feelings had existed between Parker and Dawson for some time.  Dawson was initially hired as nightwatchman at a salary of $60 a month but had recently been forced to take a cut in pay, which he apparently blamed on Parker.  According to Laura Fay Duncan, both he and Parker were hot tempered, and Dawson had publicly accused the Mayor of dishonesty.  (There is also a story handed down in the Parker family that the Mayor had caught Dawson ticketing drivers and then pocketing the money when they paid him on the spot.)

The day before the shooting, Dawson received a letter from the Mayor informing him that he had been fired by order of the City Council and replaced by City Marshal Leslie Butler, but Dawson refused to step down, saying the firing was unauthorized.  (City Councilman Barna Haney told the Abilene Reporter-News that the Council had met the previous week before the firing and had not been in session since, i.e., that the City Council had not ordered the firing.)

At the court hearing held on June 19, two weeks after the shooting, Mrs. Dawson testified that Parker had come to her café earlier in the day and asked her what her husband was going to do about the letter, saying that the city wasn’t big enough for both of them.  She also said that City Commissioner Ralph Henson told her that Parker had said, “The town is not big enough for both of us.  While I’m mayor, I’ll run the town to suit me, if it don’t suit anyone else.  Dawson will leave, or I’ll put his light out.”

Roscoe farmer O. J. Beinhauer testified that Dawson told him in the café he “wasn’t going to stand for the canning—that it would be different if the city commission had done it, but that he would sooner kill one man than let him get by with such a thing.”  Beinhauer also quoted Dawson as saying, “If I killed him, he wouldn’t have enough friends to carry him off the street.” Mrs. Dawson testified that right after the shooting her husband said to her, “I shot ‘Red’ Parker, Mother. I had to do it.  I wasn’t going to let him beat me up.”

The hearing resulted in District Judge A. S. Mauzey setting Dawson’s bail at $10,000 and charging him with the malicious murder of the mayor.

On August 3, Mrs. A. J. Parker was elected Mayor of Roscoe to succeed her deceased husband.  She ran unopposed.

On Tuesday, September 28, the trial began in the 32nd District Court in Sweetwater with Judge Mauzey presiding.  The prosecution was led by E. T. Brook of Abilene, while Dawson’s defense counsel was Temple Dickson, Jr., who later became a state representative.

The prosecution argued that Dawson had killed the mayor in cold blood and appealed to the jury to assess the death penalty, citing Dawson’s expressed hatred for the mayor.  Brook argued that testimony indicated the trouble that led to the shooting had been brewing in Dawson’s mind for some time.  He emphasized that Dawson’s request to X. B. Sanders to give him the gun so he could finish the job clearly indicated his murderous intent.

Dickson, on the other hand, based his case on self-defense, citing threats made by Parker, including one right before the shooting in which he said he would give Dawson a “licking.” Dickson also argued that Dawson was unbalanced and fearful since an earlier altercation with a group of drunks who beat him up when he attempted to apprehend them.  Referring to Dawson’s advanced age, he told the jury, “Any sentence you may impose on the defendant means death as he will not live long if sent to prison.”

The jury deliberated for seventeen hours before reaching their verdict of guilty, and on October 2 the judge sentenced Dawson to fourteen years in the state penitentiary.  He apparently stayed in the Nolan County jail until April 11, 1938, when he was received by Huntsville prison, according to prison records in Austin.  The same records indicate that he was discharged on June 12, 1948.  In prison terminology ‘discharged’ can mean either ‘released’ or ‘died’, so it is not clear which applied in his case.  By that time, he would have been 71 years old, so either is possible.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Senator Perry, Education Commissioner Visit School to Learn About Roscoe's Collegiate and STEM Programs

Students explain Roscoe's programs to Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams and State Senator Charles Perry.


State Senator Charles Perry, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, and education advisors from the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s offices were in town on Friday to learn first-hand about Roscoe’s Collegiate and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs.

“There are a lot of great things happening in education across the state, and the nationally recognized program here in Roscoe is providing a significant benchmark about how we can keep kids excited and engaged in STEM,” said Education Commissioner Williams, according to Saturday’s Abilene Reporter-News article on the visit.

Williams also said that Roscoe’s STEM Academy and Collegiate programs will be used to serve as a pilot program for rural schools across the state.

Both Williams and Senator Perry were impressed with the number of Roscoe students who graduated with Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder in their senior years at Roscoe Collegiate High School.  That number has steadily grown from one student in 2011 to 19 of 21 students, over 90%, in last year’s graduating class.  This year’s graduating class will report similar numbers.

Superintendent Kim Alexander expressed pride in the program, the teachers, students, school board, and administration.  The Reporter-News article quoted him as saying, “This kind of support from Austin lets us know we are doing the right things out here.  We continue to learn as we go, and I’m very proud of the organization for the successes we have had thus far.”

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POLICE DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSE THIS SATURDAY

Roscoe's new Police Station on 104 Cypress Street.
The new Police Department just north of Old Town Park on the south side of Cypress Street downtown is now complete and will hold its open house this Saturday, February 21, from 10am to 2pm.  Hot dogs, candy, ice cream, and cold drinks will be available to all who attend.

Everyone is invited, so please come by and see your new Police Station.

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CITY COUNCIL RECEIVES UPDATES, SETS CITY ELECTION DATE FOR MAY 9

City Manager Cody Thompson updates Council on recent activities.
At its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 12, the City Council got updates on City progress from City Manager Cody Thompson, accepted the January Police Report from Police Chief Felix Pantoja, heard a proposal from Republic Services of Abilene to open bidding for Roscoe’s waste disposal for the coming year, and set the City Election date for May 9.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that laying of the underground electrical lines on Young Farm Estates will be completed by February 27 and that street work will begin on March 1 and should be finished by the end of March with sale of lots beginning shortly thereafter.  Deed restrictions will be filed in March and will be reviewed for approval by the City Council at the March meeting.

Young Farm Estates owner Carl Childers will also open bidding soon for renovation of the old octagonal cotton house across from the Lumberyard.

Kade Johnson Construction has purchased two acres next to the Nemir property along the new road on the north side across from the Randall Smith property.  It will be used for a new office, a warehouse, and a manufacturing building.

The City will install a new fence at the City Park next to the City Swimming Pool and should be finished by the end of the month.

The City B Board approved a plan to hold Roscoe Super Sunday on March 29.  Roscoe retailers will be open from noon to 6pm, and the Roscoe Express will shuttle guests from business to business, including a new retail outlet, Vicki’s Antiques, just north of Vicki’s Gifts on 3rd and Main Streets.  At the Lumberyard, live music will begin at 3pm with the Jamie Richards band, followed by the Playboys Special Edition, and then the headline band Merle Haggard and the Strangers.  Live music will continue until 10pm.  The Council also approved blocking off the downtown streets during the event.  For more information, call City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.  For tickets to the live music contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

The new Water Treatment Plant, which has been out of operation recently due to manufacturer problems and damage caused by last month’s ice storm, will resume normal operation of reverse-osmosis water within the next two or three weeks.  Once it operates successfully for 45 days, the City can then formally accept its daily operation.

Work on renovation of the Fire Department is progressing as planned, and clearing of broken limbs and other debris is also underway and nearing completion.

Highland student Emrick Wilson will landscape the area behind City Hall to fulfill requirements toward attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.  The City will pay for the materials.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the January police report to the Council.  It appears in a separate article in this posting.

The Council then set May 9 as the official date for this year’s City Election.  Early voting will be from April 27 through Tuesday, May 5,  with Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5, as the days in which voting is possible from 7am to 7pm.  The office of Mayor as well as two City Council seats are scheduled for election or re-election.  Qualified citizens desiring to run for one of these offices should apply at City Hall by February 27.  The City Secretary’s office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

The Council then heard a proposal by Municipal Services Manager Robert Searle of Republic Services of Abilene to open bidding for waste disposal services in the City of Roscoe.  Searle gave a brief talk on his company and what it can offer.  The current contract is held by Knox Waste Services of Tye.  It will expire in June.  After some discussion, the Council voted to table a decision until next month’s meeting.  

With the end of RCHS basketball season, the City Council will resume holding its monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of the month.  It will meet next on Tuesday, March 10.

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PLOWGIRLS FALL TO LADY PIPERS IN HAMLIN, END SEASON

The Plowgirls played their last game of the season last Tuesday evening and lost to Hamlin 47-33.  Here is the scoring by quarters, followed by individual Plowgirl scoring:

Hamlin 47 – Plowgirls 33

Hamlin            10        23        32        47
Plowgirls         11        25        30        33

Plowgirl scoring: Olivia Saddler 17, Alyssa Chavez 6, Mia Herrera 3, Magali Casas 3, Mireya Sanchez 2, Bergan Trevino 2.

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PLOWBOYS LOSE LAST THREE, BASKETBALL SEASON OVER

The Plowboys finished their season on a down note by losing their last district games to Hamlin, Haskell, and Stamford.  Their final season record is 6-16 overall and 2-10 in district play.  Here are the scores by quarters of each game, followed by individual Plowboy scoring:

Hamlin 38 – Plowboys 36

Hamlin             10        16        22        38
Plowboys           7        20        25        36

Plowboy scoring: Javier Leanos 15, Kevin Lavalais 7, Luis Villa 6, Isaiah Gonzales 2, Vincent Pantoja 2, Cutter Davila 2, Rafael Aguayo 1.

Haskell 44 – Plowboys 32

Haskell            11        25        38        44
Plowboys          8        17        24        32

Plowboy scoring: Villa 9, Leanos 8, Lavalais 7, Aguayo 6, Davila 2.

Stamford 54 – Roscoe 36

Stamford         20        28        43        54
Plowboys          4        16        22        36

Plowboy scoring: Aguayo 10, Leanos 9, Lavalais 5, Davila 3, Gonzales 1.

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WEATHER REPORT: MILD AND DRY

Winter sunset.
Last weekend’s mild temperatures with sunny skies and highs in the seventies came to an abrupt end on Sunday evening when a cold front blew in with gusty north winds.  We were given a 40% chance of rain or snow on Sunday and Monday nights, but neither ever happened.  By Monday morning the temperature was down to 24°F and the high Monday afternoon was only 44°.  Yesterday was a little warmer, but not by much with a low of 33° and a high of 49°.

Today should be nicer, though, with a high approaching 70° this afternoon.  Thursday and Friday will be similar or slightly warmer with highs in the low to mid-seventies and lows of around fifty.  Saturday will be a bit cooler with a high of 64° and on Saturday night a cold front will bring a 20% chance of precipitation.  Sunday’s high should be only in the mid-forties with a low Monday morning in the upper twenties.

In its most recent issue, Scientific American magazine is reporting that several recent scientific studies all conclude that in the second half of this century the Southwest and Great Plains will experience the worst extended drought since 1200, one lasting from 20 to 30 years.

As you’ll recall, that ancient drought, which began about 1130, was the one that wiped out the Anasazi civilization, including the people who lived in cliff dwellings in Arizona and Mesa Verde, Colorado, and in large settlements like the one at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Such a drought, if it does occur, will pretty much be the death knell for west Texas towns like Roscoe, which depend on water for their farming and ranching.  Of course, I won’t be around by then, but the prospect of Big Country communities going the way of the Anasazi is not a particularly cheerful one.  Let’s hope that prediction is wrong!

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