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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

RCHS Homecoming Set for October 11 Weekend

RHS exes filled the stands at last year's pre-game pep rally.
Homecoming Committee member Katie Heaps has announced that this year’s RCHS Homecoming will be the weekend of October 11, i.e., October 9-12.

Exes who were unaware that there would be a Homecoming this year should know that back in January, a group of high school students formally proposed to the RISD School Board that Homecoming be held every year instead of every three years as has been the practice.  The School Board approved the proposal, so this year will be the first of the annual Homecomings.

In hopes of cutting down on the time and expense of mailing out paper invitations, the Homecoming Committee is asking RHS exes to send their e-mail addresses to let it know they have received the news as well as to update the Homecoming Committee’s database of exes.

For more information, consult the Roscoe Homecoming Facebook page.



Wade Bowen
When Texas Country music star Wade Bowen and Band make their appearance at the Lumberyard Friday night, they will join several other “Red Dirt” groups that have already played in Roscoe.  These include Cody Canada, Josh Abbott, Stoney LaRue, Brandon Rhyder, Brandon Jenkins, and Bart Crow--with Jason Boland coming on July 5.

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).  Top singles include “Saturday Night,” “To Live is to Fly,” “Trouble,” “God Bless This Town,” and “Songs About Trucks.”

Wade Bowen and Band will take the stage at 9:30pm.  Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Then on Saturday evening, the Lumberyard will host the KXOX Texas Country Showdown, an event which showcases local talent and provides the winner an opportunity to compete at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth against other regional winners, and, should they win there, a trip to Nashville and a chance to win $100,000, along with other benefits.

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

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



by Robert McBride

Editor's note: The following photo and story were posted yesterday on Facebook by Robert McBride.  With his permission, both are presented here.

This is "Marvin" and here is the part of his tale that I know. He was found wandering on Highway 70 in Blackwell by Tommy White who led him to the Blackwell riding club's arena where he secured him. Some time later the owner of the animal demanded he return him. Tommy refused to but told them they could take him if they wanted to. This led to the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office being called and when they saw the condition of "Marvin" they confiscated him. He was taken to a local veterinarian and examined, after which he was prescribed a diet and boarded by the veterinarian for a time. Terry Willman reached out to the Roscoe ISD to keep "Marvin" at the Ag Farm so Terry could feed him until he was healthy enough to go to auction. My wife and I took over feeding "Marvin" for a day when Terry had to go out of town. The picture of "Marvin" posted here is after almost a month of feeding him. I can only imagine what he looked like when Tommy White first put a rope on him. "Marvin" brought $20 at auction and has a new home.

I wish I could take over the feeding of his former owners for a while.



The action was intense at last year's mudbog.
This year’s Plowboy Mudbog is shaping up to be another great event as part of Roscoe’s Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 5.  The organizers report that there will once again be a large number of entries with some from local communities and others from as far away as Hobbs, New Mexico.

The event will take place as usual at George Parks Field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  Registration for participants is at 9:30am, the public gate will open at 11:00am, and competition begins at noon.

Admission is free for kids 7 and under, $2 for ages 9-14, and $5 for 15 and up.  The driver entry fee is $30.  All proceeds go to benefit the Roscoe Little League.  The Little League will also run the concession stand this year.

For more information, contact Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384, or visit the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook Page. 



Street vendors on Cypress Street.
There are still a few spaces available for vendors on Broadway and Cypress Streets downtown for the Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 5.  Prices for non-profits are $25 per space and $40 for others.

To reserve a spot, phone City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.  Deadline is Thursday, July 3.



Skies were cloudy over Roscoe for much of the week.
This was an unusually moderate week for June in Roscoe as there have been no days since last Wednesday in which the temperature got as high as 90°F, and the high for three of the seven days never got as high as 80°.  Highs for the week were the 89° days recorded on Thursday and Sunday.  The three days with highs of 79° were Friday, Saturday, and yesterday.

The week was marked by cloudy skies and also a little more rain.  On Monday morning an unexpected storm blew in about 5:30am, and an intermittent light rain fell for the next couple of hours.  Roscoe’s official total was .53” recorded by Kenny Landfried in east Roscoe.  Lyndall Underwood on the west side got .41”, and most others in the area got anywhere from a quarter to a half inch.  Then yesterday we were on the southwest end of a cloud that didn’t produce as much rain here as it did in Fisher County and Sweetwater.  Here in Roscoe, about a tenth of an inch fell while Avenger Field got 1.18”.  Areas west of town, however, didn’t get any rain at all.

The outlook for the rest of the week is for weather more typical for this time of year.  Today’s high should be only 87° with a low of 68° and a 20% chance of rain.  But Thursday should be sunny and warm with a high in the low nineties, and on Friday and the days following, temperatures will rise into the mid nineties with lows in the low seventies and little chance of rain.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bellamy Brothers to Play at Lumberyard Friday Night

The Bellamy Brothers
The Bellamy Brothers, who drew such a large crowd to the West Texas Wind Festival a couple of years back, are returning to Roscoe Friday night for an encore performance at the Lumberyard.

The brothers, David and Howard, have been performing together since 1968 and over the years have established themselves as one of the noted musical groups in the country.  Even if you’re not a big country and western fan, you’ll be familiar with many of their songs. “Let Your Love Flow,” released in 1976, hit number one on the pop charts in both the U.S. and Europe, and their country classic, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” also was a crossover number one hit.  It was also named the 1979 “Song of the Year” in the UK. 

The pair also had a string of hits in the eighties and nineties, including such songs as “Redneck Girl,” “Santa Fe,” “Old Hippie,” and others.  In 2005 they recorded Angels & Outlaws, Volume 1, a compilation album with Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, and Montgomery Gentry, while more recent albums include The Anthology, Volume 1, with the single, “Guilty of the Crime,” and a CD of gospel music entitled Jesus is Coming.

The show starts at 9:30pm, and there will be a $20 cover charge.

On Saturday night, the featured band is the Midnight River Choir from Austin.  Cover charge is $10.

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



Jessie Marth poses for a photo with some of her great-grandchildren.
A large crowd of friends and relatives was on hand at the Community Center Sunday afternoon to honor Roscoe’s oldest citizen, Jessie Marth, as she celebrated her one-hundredth birthday.  Still spry, she obviously enjoyed having so many of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren around to help her celebrate her big day.

Mayor Pete Porter read a proclamation officially designating June 15 as “Jessie Marth Day” and presented her with a framed copy of the proclamation.

She was born on August 9, 1914, near Waxahachie in Ellis County and came to Roscoe with her family during the depression.  She married Rudolph Marth on December 19, 1934, and they were together until he passed away in 1982.  They had two children, Donald and Frances.

In addition to her duties as a farm wife and mother, she is a member of the First Salem Lutheran Church.  She was the first woman to serve on its Church Council and taught Sunday School for many years.  She is a member of the Friendship Club, the Home Demonstration Club, and the Bridge Club, and has served as a 4-H leader.  She also volunteered at the Roscoe Care Home.  She made quilts and afghans for each of her children and grandchildren.  She also had the privilege of drawing plans for and having two homes built, one in 1950 and the other in 1970.

Here’s wishing her many more happy, healthy, and fruitful years!



Dave Campbell’s 2014 Texas Football will hit the magazine racks this weekend, and the Plowboys’ head coach, Jake Freeman, has received word that the venerable publication is picking Roscoe to finish last in District 6-2A-II. 

For those of you who don’t already know, Roscoe is in a new district this year with a 2A classification.  The new classification is not because of an increase in student population, but because the Texas UIL now calls schools of Roscoe’s size 2A, Division II, not 1A, Division II, as in the past. 

Here is Dave Campbell’s predicted order of finish for the new district:

1.    Winters
2.    Menard
3.    Roby
4.    Bronte
5.    Miles
6.    Roscoe

Coach Freeman says he loves this prediction and vows that the Plowboys will have a good time proving it wrong.  He mentions that in his senior year, Roscoe was also picked to finish last and wound up winning district. 

We look forward to seeing this year’s team doing the same.



The Funky Flamingo Snow Cone stand.
There’s a new snow cone stand in Roscoe.  Yesterday, Funky Flamingo Snow Cones opened for business next to the Rockin’ S Cantina on the service road to I-20 West in south Roscoe.  An extension of the Cantina, it offers 45 different snow cone flavors in three different sizes: Small for $1.50, Medium for $2.25, and Large for $3.00.

In addition to snow cones, the Funky Flamingo sells sodas, bottled water, pickles, and more.  For more information, phone 325-766-3655, or check out the Funky Flamingo Facebook page.



Plowboys Jesus Leanos and Shelton Toliver participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Festival last week.  Leanos, who was selected to play in the FCA All-Star Basketball Game in Brownwood, scored three points for the North in a losing cause as the South won 79-66. 

Toliver caught one eight-yard pass for the North as his team beat the South 14-11 in the Big Country All-Star Classic Football game Saturday night in Abilene.



Eden Baker took this photo of last week's approaching dust storm at her home north of Roscoe.
Last Wednesday evening about seven o’clock an old-time dust storm blew into Roscoe full of sound and fury but signifying nothing more than a big time false alarm.  It sprinkled just enough to cover my car with little dots of mud where the dust stuck to the wet spots.  The wind got really high, though, with gusts up to 60 mph, enough to break a big limb off one of my trees—and a really big limb off one of Jeannie McBurnett’s old hundred-year-old trees at the big white house at Third and Cypress Streets.

Then on Saturday night just after midnight, another unexpected storm front blew in, bringing with it about an inch of rain throughout most of the area around Roscoe.  The official total recorded by Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried was 1.1”.  With the ground already pretty saturated, it was enough to refill all the major puddles around town.

Other than those two events, the weather has been pretty typical for early summer with sunny skies and highs of around 90°F and lows from the mid sixties to mid seventies.  The high for the week was last Wednesday’s 96°. 

The forecast is for more of the same with sunny or partly cloudy skies, high temperatures of around 90° and lows around 70°.  There is a 20% chance of rain extending from today through the weekend.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Billy Joe Jay, Helen Perry Begin New Terms on City Council

City Attorney Zollie Steakley swears in Billy Joe Jay and Helen Perry.
The top two vote getters in last month’s City Election, Helen Perry and Billy Joe Jay, were sworn in and began new three-year terms on the Roscoe City Council at last night’s monthly meeting at City Hall.  Perry has served for the past fourteen years and is beginning her fifth consecutive term and Jay, who has previously served a term, begins his second.

In his report to the Council, City Manager Cody Thompson noted that yesterday was the first full day in which the new reverse-osmosis water treatment plant has been in full operation.  The plant has been on and off over the past week as testing, activation of old wells, and the working out of problem areas have caused some interruptions. 

Thompson said that citations and warnings are being issued for junk vehicles and other unsightly items.  The big pile of gravel next to the Community Center will be used to sealcoat City and County roads as in past summers.  He also gave water and sewer updates on the Young Farm Estates and Stone Tower RV Park, saying that both are on schedule and progressing well.  The sewer system at Young Farm Estates is in place, and water, gas, and electric lines should be complete in six to eight weeks.

The Council considered a request from 2LM, the owners of Stone Tower RV Park for a fence variance to a height of six feet rather than the eight feet required around RV Parks by City regulations.  After some discussion, the Council denied the request. 

The Council set new water meter installation charges at $175 for ¾” lines, $235 for 1”, $750 for 2”, $1735 for 3”, and $3000 for 4” lines.  City building inspection fees were also set for new residential and commercial buildings at $100 each for plumbing, electrical, and mechanical (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).  Re-inspections were set at $35 per re-inspection.

The Council also approved a Jessie Marth Day on June 15 as she celebrates her 100th birthday, appointed Billy Joe Jay Mayor Pro-Tem, and approved a fireworks permit for the Independence Day Celebration on July 5. 



Jason Boland and the Stragglers are headliners for the free concert and street dance.
Preparations are underway for this year’s July 4 celebration, which will take place on Saturday, July 5.  As in years past, the day will begin with a parade down Broadway beginning at 10:00am.  The Plowboy Mudbog will be at the baseball field starting at noon, and street vendors will be on Cypress, Broadway, and in Old Town Park. 

The headline band for the free concert and street dance will be “red dirt” singer Jason Boland and the Stragglers, who will take the stage around 8:00pm.  He will be preceded by a local band an hour or so earlier. 

The fireworks show will begin around 9:40pm.

This year’s celebration will also feature a people’s tram which will shuttle people back and forth between the baseball field and downtown.  It will follow a marked route with designated pickup and drop off points.



Cody Canada (center) and the Departed
Popular southern rock and alternative country artist Cody Canada and his band, the Departed, will be playing at the Lumberyard Friday evening.   Canada was the lead singer of Cross Canadian Ragweed, a “red dirt” band from Oklahoma, from 1994-2010, but in 2011, he and bass guitarist Jeremy Plato along with three others formed The Departed and have been playing under that name since. 

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

The Departed will take the stage at 9:30.  Cover charge is $12 in advance, $15 at the door. 

Saturday night’s music at the Lumberyard will be provided by Johnny Cooper & Band.  Cover charge is $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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



Andrew Kipling Nemir, 51, son of former Roscoan, Billy Don Nemir, was pronounced dead at 12:52pm on Monday in Haskell County when the car he was driving hit a patch of water in the road, causing him to lose control, veer off the road, and strike a tree. He was not wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation.  Trooper Kim Koeing of Aspermont was the investigating officer. 



The puddle at 4th and Cypress Streets.
The Roscoe area got more rain this past weekend, one shower early Sunday morning and another lighter one early Monday morning.  The official total for the two recorded by Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried was 1.49”.  Totals around Roscoe were reported as 3” by Cristal Aljoe northeast of town, 1.9” by Jeremy Baker north of town, 1.6” at Pyron by Donna Parker, 2” at Claytonville by Belinda Ince, 1.5" near Cottonwood Creek northwest of town by Kenny Landfried, 2” west of town by David Duncan, and 2” near Champion by Keith Johnson. 

The days before the rain were typical for this time of year as regards temperatures.  The high for the week was 96°F on Thursday followed by 91° on Friday and 92° on Saturday.  Lows on those days were in the low to mid seventies.  Sunday, Monday, and yesterday were markedly cooler with highs of 81°, 79°, and 83° respectively.  Lows were 64°, 59°, and 60°.

The forecast is for a return to summer heat today with a high in the upper nineties and a low of 73°.  There is a 20% chance of rain this afternoon and tonight.  Tomorrow should also top out in the mid nineties, but a cool front will come in tomorrow afternoon and drop temperatures to a low of 65° tomorrow night and a high of 86° on Friday.  The weekend will be sunny and hot with highs in the mid nineties and lows in the low to mid seventies.



Graveside services for Carl “Bud” Thorp, 77, of Hobbs, NM, were held yesterday at 10:00am at Prairie Haven Memorial Park in Hobbs.  He passed away last Thursday, June 5.

He was born on July 9, 1936, and attended Roscoe schools.  A former Plowboy who played football at Roscoe High School, he was a member of the Class of 1955. 

He is survived by sons, Smokie Thorp of Midland, Lane Thorp and Sandy Delgado, of Hobbs, and Lance Corporal Colby Thorp, USMC, and wife, Kelly, of Cherry Pointe, NC; stepsons, David Frederick, Jr., and wife, Kyong Ah, of Ellicott City, MD; James Frederick of Los Angeles, CA; and Scott Tillery of Douglas, GA; as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Elizabeth Thorp Jones, and his wife, Wanda Jean (Brown) Thorp. 

Online condolences may be made to


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Water Treatment Plant Begins Sending R-O Water Through City Lines

$50,000 filters at the R-O Water Treatment Plant.
The day everyone in Roscoe has been waiting for has finally arrived!  As of today, the new water treatment plant has been activated and is sending reverse-osmosis water to homes all over town.  The hard, mineral-laden water that Roscoe has put up with for decades is being replaced by a 70%-30% blend of R-O water and regular water. 

The blend is necessary because pure R-O water would erode the calcium deposits inside the City water lines and create dozens of leaks where none now exist.  Additionally, drinking water needs some minerals in it for taste as well as for the needs of the body.

The rest of this month will be a period of testing the operation of the new plant and the computerized SCADA system, obtaining the ideal blend of well water with R-O water, and adjusting and refining its daily monitoring.  A required report will be sent to the TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality) on July 1.

Then in the third or fourth week of July, another phase will begin as the City begins work on improving the existing water lines.  When the Texas Water Development Board provided the $1,765,000 to the City back in 2010, it stipulated that the funds be used to install a reverse-osmosis water treatment plant and SCADA system (which monitors the system and eliminates fluctuations in water pressure), and to improve existing lines.  The water treatment plant and SCADA system have now been installed, and approximately $250,000 in TWDB funding is left to repair and upgrade City water lines. 

Associated Construction Partners, the contractors for the water treatment plant, also have some remaining work to do.  They will paint and put in sidewalks and fences at the plant site and build protective coverings for the well houses. 

The new blend of water will enhance our lives in many ways.  It will be healthier to drink and will extend the lives and improve the operation of household appliances that use water—water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers, shower heads, icemakers, and so on.  Tasks such as shampooing the hair and washing vehicles should also be easier and better. 

This day has been a long time coming, and we’re glad it’s finally arrived.  Our thanks go to the Texas Water Development Board for providing the funding and to City Manager Cody Thompson and the Roscoe City Council for all the hard work they’ve put in to make it possible!



The RCHS Special Events Center
As work on the new RCHS STEM Research Center gets underway, Superintendent Kim Alexander is also preparing for the changes that go with becoming a STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Math) Academy.  Last week in Lubbock, he met with the Dean of the College of Engineering to work on a proposal for creating a pathway for Roscoe High School graduates to advance via Western Texas College in Snyder to Texas Tech to obtain an engineering degree in two years.  This will be done in collaboration with Tech’s T-STEM Center.

RCHS has also reached agreements with WTC and with Texas A&M and its AgriLife Extension to facilitate the transfer of coursework to the Biomedical Sciences Program in the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.  Students who complete the program at RCHS will graduate with the title of Veterinary Assistant and be qualified to take the Texas Veterinary Medical Association’s exam to become a Certified Veterinary Assistant. 

In order to fulfill core requirements for either the engineering or biomedical science program, course work not currently taught at RCHS will be introduced and the method of instruction redesigned.  Since five years of advanced math is required for the engineering program, for example, Algebra I will be taught in the eighth grade and Calculus and Advanced Calculus in High School.  Instructors for courses not taught by local teachers will be supplied by A&M and Tech graduate students who will use distance learning as a major method of delivery. 

RCHS has also been exploring the possibility of working with TSTC and Ventus Wind, a wind energy company, to do research on the use of drones in blade inspection and repair on wind turbines.  The curriculum for such a program is still under review.

For such programs to be implemented, RCHS is moving away from traditional course work and teaching methods.  The focus on STEM instruction starts with research projects and presentations as early as the third grade (through 4-H) and continues all the way to a capstone research project in grade 12.   And, since Roscoe is a small school, the concentration on STEM development necessarily means that the addition of new courses in grades 8-12 means fewer courses can be offered in other traditional areas such as history or geography, while others such as English will focus more on aspects favorable to STEM education, such as technical writing as opposed to literature or poetry.  Dr. Alexander feels, however, that the increased rigor of the STEM curriculum will adequately prepare students for success in non-STEM career paths they may choose as university students. 

Assuming the approach adopted by RCHS is successful, it will be used as a model for other rural schools in Texas by Educate Texas and in other states by Jobs for the Future.



There were lots of happy faces at the swimming pool Saturday.
It was a great day for kids on Saturday.  Not only did the Roscoe City Pool open, but the pool staff kicked the summer season off right with free hot dogs for all.

This year the pool is being run by Kalyn Presley-Tate of Roscoe.  It will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  Price of admission is $2 for kids K-12 and $3 for adults with season passes available for $75.  “Women’s Only” will be from 11:30-12:30 daily.  

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

Swimming lessons are also planned, but the exact date and instructor have not yet been determined.

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



There was little empty space at the Lumberyard Saturday night.
The city of Roscoe more than doubled its population Saturday night when some 2100 fans from the city and surrounding area were on hand to see the Josh Abbott Band perform outside at the Lumberyard.  The weather cooperated with a warm, relatively breezeless evening, and the crowd was enthusiastic for the band, originally from Texas Tech in Lubbock, that has steadily risen in popularity over the last few years.

The Lumberyard is looking for another big weekend with Brandon Rhyder in town on Friday night and Bart Crow on Saturday.

For more information, phone the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457, or consult the Lumberyard’s Facebook page.



Yesterday's sunset.
Since the big rain of the previous weekend, the weather has returned to normal with typical spring temperatures and plenty of sunshine.  Temperatures last weekend were mild with highs in the mid and upper eighties and lows in the sixties.  Since then it’s been only slightly warmer with highs of 91°F on Sunday and Monday, and 90° yesterday.

Today and the next couple of days should be considerably warmer, though.  The forecast is for a high today of 99°, with highs in the upper to mid nineties and lows in the low seventies until Sunday, when it cools off to highs in the upper eighties with and lows in the upper sixties.

There is a 20% chance of rain on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.



A memorial service will be held at a later date for Emery H. Pursley, Jr., 65, of Sweetwater, who passed away on Saturday, May 31, in Abilene. 

He was born in Sweetwater on February 23, 1949, and married Margarita Rocha on February 11, 1971, in Scurry County.  He lived in Roscoe in his early years but in Sweetwater most of his life.  He was a member of Avondale Baptist Church. He was a United States Navy Veteran and worked as a bookkeeper and collection agent.

Survivors include his wife, Margie Pursley of Sweetwater; daughters, Valerie Rowden of Mineral Wells and Sherrie Torres of San Angelo; son, James Pursley of San Angelo; sisters, Donna Smith and husband, Lewis, of Sweetwater and Anna Cowan of Sweetwater; nine grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Emery H. Sr. and Veta (Sheppard) Pursley; his brother and sister-in-law, Wayne H. Pursley and Tracey, both on November 10, 1993; and his sister, Mary Anderson.


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