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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cinco de Mayo To Be Celebrated Saturday

Horsemen ride in last year's Cinco de Mayo parade.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration this Saturday, May 4, will start early and finish late.  Zumba “on the bricks” with Zin member Alejandra Garza will kick off the festivities from 9:30-10:30am downtown on Cypress Street between City Hall and Old Town Park.

Parade line-up begins at 10:30 on East Broadway, and the parade down Broadway is at 11:00.  After the parade, street vendors will set up on Cypress and Broadway. 

DJs will be playing music from 3:00-6:00pm, and a live band, Lunaco, will play a free concert and street dance next to Old Town Park downtown from 6:00-10:00pm.


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FIRE MARSHAL INSPECTS FIRE BEHIND FORMER NURSING HOME

Remains of the fire behind the former nursing home.
The Fire Marshal was in town to inspect the remains of yet another fire, this one in a small wooded area just south of the former nursing home on Cypress and between it and Peppy’s on Main Street. 

City employee Eric Acosta was driving on Main Street Sunday night about eleven o’clock and happened to notice the blaze.  He and another city employee were able to put it out. 

The fire appears to have been set.  It is the third case of suspected arson to occur in a one block area.  The other two are at the McBurnett house at 210 Cypress and the TreviƱo home at 211 Cypress.


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EARLY VOTING UNDERWAY FOR SCHOOL BOND PROPOSAL


Artist's depiction of the proposed Capstone STEM Research Center.
Early voting in the School Bond Election has begun at Roscoe School’s Administration Building on 7th Street.  Voting hours are 8:00-5:00 M-F and will continue through Tuesday, May 7.  Voters will decide whether to approve the passage of a $3.5 million bond to build a Capstone STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Research Center at the school’s ag farm.

At the recent public hearing at Roscoe, school superintendent Kim Alexander presented the case for approving the bond.  He said the project can be completed without increasing the I&S tax rate, as property values have increased significantly since the current rate was approved by voters in 2008.

Approval will result in the construction of a new high-tech facility that includes environmental, engineering, biotechnology, and animal science laboratories as well as multi-dimensional classrooms.

Students will benefit from observing and working with on-site professionals and in earning endorsements in STEM-related fields, a new state requirement for graduation. Along with the opportunity to earn the Associates Degrees already in place, these endorsements will give them a step up in going on to college and/or moving into STEM-related careers.

Alexander emphasized that STEM education is needed in Texas because the state is unable to satisfy its skilled workforce needs, and Roscoe, as one of only 23 Texas High Performance School Districts statewide, is authorized to be a leader in developing educational methods to fulfill these needs and to serve as a model for other Texas schools.

Detailed information about the proposed center may be found at the RCHS STEM Bond Election Information Page on Facebook. 

Election day is Saturday, May 11, from 7am to 7pm at the Roscoe Collegiate ISD Cafetorium.


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PLOWBOY JESUS LEANOS, SEVERAL HORNETS ADVANCE TO STATE MEET

Jesus Leanos qualified in the 3200-meter run. (Photo courtesy of Julie Raughton Toliver.)
Roscoe junior Jesus Leanos and several Highland Hornets are moving on to the State Track & Field Meet after their performances at the Regional Meet in San Angelo last weekend. 

With a time of 10:29.34 in the 3200-meter run, Leanos came in a close third to Jonathan Santiago of Paint Rock and Michael Perez of Rule.  Although it generally takes a first or second place finish in a regional meet to qualify for state, meet officials have a few “floating thirds” they may apply for athletes who finish a close third in an event, and Leanos was one of these.  Plowboy Dillon Freeman, who finished third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.12, barely missed qualifying for state.

Highland has two boys advancing to state.  Sheldon Hall won both the 400 (51.99) and the 800 meter (2:01.71) races, and Michael Hyde (12’9”) was second in the pole vault.

Highland’s Beth Richburg qualified in three events.  She won the 100-meter hurdles (15.88), was second in the 300-meter hurdles (47.95), and is a member of Highland’s 1600-meter relay team that also includes Hannah Allen, Sierra Allen, and Lora Stewart.  They finished second with a time of 4:21.37.

The State Meet will be in Austin next weekend, May 10-11.


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A&M EXTENSION WORKER KEEPS STUDENTS BUSY

Roxanna Reyna
A recent addition to the Roscoe School, Roxanna Reyna is an Extension Program Specialist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, an educational component of the A&M system that includes the 4-H Club and County Agents.  She’s been here all this school year and has been involved with both children and parents, working to keep students interested and to increase parents’ involvement in school activities, particularly the Hispanic community for which she acts as a liaison.

She just returned from accompanying some thirty eighth graders to College Station to attend the College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual open house.  Next week she’ll be taking a group of elementary kids to Odessa to a robotics meet, and this summer she plans to take a group of girls to a robotics camp, where they will work on underwater robotics, the idea being to get girls interested in a technical field.  

In June, she and Elementary School Principal Andy Wilson will take about 35 sixth graders to the 4-H Roundup at Texas A&M to compete in a poster presentation contest.  The students will stay there two days and spend the night in a motel, paid for by Texas Tech and Texas A&M. 

Part of her job is to work with Hispanic parents in the district to ensure their involvement with their children’s activities and to understand what’s going on with them.  She has also taken an active leadership role outside school, speaking, for example, to the City Council recently, requesting that they allow the Cinco de Mayo celebration taking place this weekend.


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WEATHER REPORT

We need rain.  Yesterday evening there was a big cloud in the northwest that kept building up, and by around ten o’clock there was lightning and thunder to beat the band.  I’m guessing all the farmers in the area were thinking that maybe, just maybe, this could be the one we’ve been waiting for.  As it rolled in, it acted as though it was going to start pouring any minute.  It even teased with enough raindrops to get the ground wet and set off the alarm on my high-tech rain gauge, and the wind would alternately blow hard or stop or change direction.  But in the end it moved on without doing anything—just another fraud like the others we’ve seen this spring.

After a mild weekend, it’s been pretty hot the past couple of days with temperatures reaching the low nineties and the lows falling into only the sixties.  It should also reach the nineties this afternoon, but then another cold front will blow in and with it a 40% chance of rain tonight and 30% tomorrow.  Tomorrow’s high will be only in the forties and the low in the thirties with strong north winds.  Then Friday should be sunny and warmer, with a high around 60° and a low around 40°.  Saturday will continue the warming trend with a high of around 70° and a low in the upper forties.  Even so, this is pretty cool weather for the time of year, especially when you consider that by this time the past two years, we’d already had some 100° days.


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