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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

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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