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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Storm Hits Hard

Thawing began when the sun came out yesterday.
For the second time in just a little over three weeks, the Roscoe area was once again slammed with a major winter storm that sent temperatures plummeting and forced people to make major changes in their normal activities.  Roads were icy and treacherous, schools were closed, games were called off, and people generally stayed inside as much as possible for most of the past week. I’d be willing to guess that more chili, stew, and cornbread were made during this past week than at any time in the past six months, or maybe even longer. 

The weather was actually the result of two cold fronts that came one right after the other.  The first blew in in the wee hours of last Thursday morning with high winds and rapidly falling temperatures along with freezing drizzle and sleet.  The high that day—34°F—actually came at midnight as temperatures continued to drop throughout the day as the front moved through. Daytime temperatures were in the low twenties with wind chills in the mid to low teens, and the entire Big Country was under a Winter Storm Watch through Saturday. 

Wrecks on I-20 slowed and sometimes completely stopped traffic, particularly in and around Eastland County, and all over west Texas country roads were treacherous with patchy ice.  TxDOT issued one warning after another for people to stay off the roads as much as possible, and the advice was generally heeded.  I-20 had as little traffic on it as I have seen since my return to Roscoe over three years ago. 

On Friday, the high temperature was 23° and the low was 17° with wind chills between 0° and 5°, and Saturday was pretty much the same with a high of 19° and a low of 13°.  On Sunday the sun came out and temperatures rose in the afternoon to 46°.  The relief from the cold was brief, however, as the second cold front hit Sunday night.  This one came with freezing fog, which was unusual in that it came with a brisk breeze along with the low visibility.  The fog froze to wires and tree branches, creating a winter wonderland effect with a thin coat of ice on everything. 

Monday was cold and gloomy dropping down to 17° that night, but yesterday morning the sun finally came out and by yesterday afternoon the temperature once again rose into the mid-forties, and there was a general thawing.  Last night’s low was 32°, and today should get up to the upper thirties, but tomorrow should be back into the mid forties with a 20% chance of rain, and Friday should get up into the sixties and end—for a while at least—the bitter cold we’ve been experiencing lately.

Precipitation for the week varied from less than a tenth up to about .3" depending on the area.



City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the Council.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the Roscoe City Council tended to some routine matters and received updates on the progress of the water treatment plant, the funds for the upgrade to water and sewer lines, and the proposed dates for the 2014 City Festivals.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported on the latest monthly meeting he held with the contractors of the water treatment plant.  Everything is proceeding as planned but the project is currently about two weeks behind schedule due to the recent inclement weather. 

The Young Farm Estates, currently at work on the sewer line, is in a similar situation regarding the weather delays.  Another four to six weeks is projected for its completion.

The $1,021,110 loan for the water and sewer upgrade will be deposited in the Bank of Texas and when expended checks will be written to the Roscoe State Bank for deposit before checks are written to payees.

The proposed dates for the 2014 City Festivals are these:

                    Spring Fling                             Saturday, April 20
                    Fourth of July                         Friday, July 4
                    West Texas Wind Festival    Saturday, October 18

Police Chief Felix Pantoja requested and received permission from the Council to hold a Christmas Parade down Broadway on Saturday, December 21.  The parade will begin at 2:00pm.

Pantoja also introduced new City Police Officer Steven Spencer to the Council.



Kids check out the multimedia learning aids in the Agrium Mobile.
Roscoe Elementary students are learning about the elements that plants need to grow in a multimedia approach presented by the Agrium Seed Survivor display in front of the Elementary School.  It was there yesterday and will be back again today before moving on to Colorado City on Friday. 

Learning about water, lights, nutrients, and growth works through six interactive stations in the mobile. Students from grades 1-6 learn what plants need to survive and can then plant a seed to take home and grow. 

The display was developed in 2005 in Calgary, Alberta, and is led by Canadian Alex Choiniere, who is aided by retired schoolteachers Deitra and Sherryl McCrory.



Roscoe’s eighth graders have written a book, which has been published and is now available for sale.  Each eighth grader interviewed one or two third graders and wrote a short story about them.  The editors, English teacher Kelly Sexton and teacher’s aide Carol Parsons, then compiled all the short stories into a book entitled RCHS Tales of Derring-Do

It is now available for sale for $7 per copy.  It will soon be available on but can be purchased now by filling out a form available at Roscoe Elementary School.  A form is also available on the Roscoe Homecoming Facebook page.  Proceeds from the sale of the books will be used to create a similar project next year.



Shelby Brown (5) shoots in last night's game against the Hawks.
The Plowgirls, playing in their first game in a week after the Highland Tournament had to be called off because of the weather, easily defeated the Abilene Hawks, a team made up of home-schooled kids, in the RCHS Special Events Center last night. 

The Plowgirls jumped out to 12-4 first quarter lead, which by halftime had increased to 31-7.  At the end of three it was 43-13 and by game’s end 61-20.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Sunshine Saddler with 20, followed by Eva Aguayo with 10.  Shelby Brown had 9, Sam Ortega and Mia Herrera both had 5, and Ashton Payne and Dani Dean both had 3.

Next up for the Plowgirls in the Roscoe Tournament this weekend.  Their first game is at 10:30am on Friday with Hamlin in the Eula Middle School Gym.  If they win, they’ll play the winner of the Stamford-Cisco game at 4:30pm on Friday in the Eula High School Gym.  If they lose, they’ll play the loser of the Stamford-Cisco game at 3:00pm on Friday in the Eula High School Gym.  If they win either of those games, they’ll play again on Saturday.



Jesus Leanos makes 2 of his 16 points against TLCA last night.
After a one-week break because of the cancellation of the Highland Tournament due to inclement weather, the Plowboys were back in action again last night at the RCHS Special Events Center.  Unfortunately, they fell to TLCA (Texas Leadership Charter Academy) of San Angelo 55-41.

The first quarter ended with the score tied 13-13, but by halftime the Eagles had pulled ahead 25-19, and they never trailed again after that.  The score at the end of three was 41-31.

High scorer for the Plowboys was Jesus Leanos with 16 points, followed by Javier Leanos with 12.  Anthony Ortega had 5 points, Kevin Lavalais 4, Dillon Freeman 2, and Chase Cathey and Cutter Davila both had 1.

The Plowboys next game will be in the Roscoe Tournament, which will be this weekend.  Their first opponent will be Graford at Clyde High School at 10:30am on Friday.  If they win, they will play the winner of the Stamford-Comanche game at 4:30pmon Friday, at the Clyde Auxiliary Gym.  If they lose, they will play the loser of the Stamford-Comanche game at 3:00pm in the Clyde Auxiliary Gym.  If they win their second game, they will play in the Eula Middle School Gym on Saturday.



James Troy Rayburn, 65, of Milton, Florida, passed away December 2. He was born November 23, 1948, in Roscoe, to Gene and Camille Rayburn. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Rayburn and his maternal grandparents Troy and Callie Norris.

Jim was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Roscoe. He graduated from Roscoe High School in 1967 and attended Howard County Junior College before being drafted into the Army in 1969 where he was a Hawk missile specialist stationed in Key West, Florida. He worked as a custom cabinet builder in Florida for over thirty years and loved to hunt and fish.

Jim has been under the care of his former wife, Sandra Rayburn, for the past year and is survived by his sons Troy Rayburn and Chris Rayburn, step-son Josh Smith, and grandchildren Madison Grace Smith and Braelyn Rayburn, all of Milton, Florida.

Jim is also survived by his sister, Beth Weathersby and husband Russell of Tuscola; brother, Gary Rayburn and wife Becky of Midland; niece, Jamie Reich and husband Nathan of Tomball; and nephew, Jacob Rayburn and wife Michelle of Katy.

A private family service is planned at a later date. McCoy Funeral Home of Sweetwater is in charge of arrangements. 



Funeral services were held yesterday for Mary Frances “Pan” McKay, 85, of Henrietta, Texas, who passed away on Wednesday, December 4.

Mrs. McKay was born on January 7, 1928, in Fort Worth to Hanks and Beulah (Walker) Wood. She was the wife of the late John R. McKay of Henrietta, former Superintendent of Roscoe ISD.

Pan graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth and attended North Texas State University where she majored in physical education and teaching. Pan also received a Masters in Library Sciences from North Texas State.

Pan was a member of First Baptist Church Henrietta where she was active in many ministries including Missions, Operation Christmas Child, Lottie Moon, Girls in Action (GA) and Women’s Missionary Union (WMU). She was also active in League of Women Voters, Retired Teachers Association, Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, various Librarian Associations and many other activities. She sang in the Midwestern Oratory Chorus and also worked at the Clay County Museum for many years.

Mrs. McKay was preceded in death by her parents and her husband John.

She is survived by two sons; Rick McKay and wife Paula McKay of Falls City, Texas and Joe McKay and wife Cheryl McKay of Cedar Park, Texas; one daughter, Melinda McKay of Groesbeck, Texas; six grandchildren, Alison McKay-Longworth and husband Blake Longworth, Travis McKay, Emily McKay, Mary Abel and husband Andy Phifer, Holly Hungerford-Kresser, Jennifer Hungerford; and three great-grandchildren, Benjamin Phifer and Liam and Landon Kresser. 


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