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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Rains Soak Roscoe Area

The remnants of Hurricane Odile made it all the way to west Texas this past week and dropped more rain in the area.  We didn’t get rain in the amounts that fell in Mitchell and Scurry Counties, where there were flood and flash flood warnings on Sunday, but there was enough to make just about everyone happy.

Here in town we totaled about 3.25” in rains that fell on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  If you add that to the 1.25” we got the previous week, the total comes to a substantial 4.5” of rain that fell slowly enough to completely soak the ground, and even more fell in areas northwest, west and south of town.  Kenny Landfried recorded an official 4.29" at his home in east Roscoe. 

Snyder and Colorado City got more rain than Roscoe did. On Monday evening, the Colorado River at Colorado City crested at five feet above flood stage, and in Scurry County the water level of Lake J. B. Thomas has risen about 33 feet, making it 45% full and at a level not seen since 1987.  Water will continue to flow into it for the remainder of the week.

On top of that, meteorologists are now predicting that the El NiƱo weather pattern will bring a wet winter to west Texas with abundant chances for rain starting next month and extending into next February.

Because of the almost continuous cloudy skies, temperatures were mild the entire week with the high since last Thursday yesterday’s 83°F.  The forecast for the rest of the week is for continued mild temperatures with highs around 80° or in the upper seventies, lows in the low sixties, and partly cloudy skies.  There is a 20% chance of rain through Friday.



After leading for practically the entire ball game, the Plowboys surrendered two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and the Jim Ned Indians came away with a homecoming victory 18-17.  It was a tough loss for the Plowboys, now 1-3 on the year.

The Plowboys scored first midway through the first quarter when Vincent Pantoja struck paydirt from two yards out.  Pablo Huidobro kicked the extra point, and Roscoe was up 7-0.  But Jim Ned came right back and answered with a 30-yard TD run by Peyton Polston.  However, the extra-point kick failed and at the end of the first quarter the Plowboys were ahead 7-6.

The Plowboys went out in front 14-6 in the second quarter on a 2-yard Dominic Pantoja run and another Huidobro extra point, and that was the score at halftime.  They then extended their lead in the third quarter on a 33-yard Huidobro field goal, and had what appeared at the time to be a comfortable lead.

However, the fourth quarter belonged to the Indians.  Peyton Polston went over from the one and narrowed the gap to 17-12 after the extra-point kick failed.  The Indians then held the Plowboys, and with 4:10 left in the game, Polston scored his third touchdown of the evening on a 30-yard run, putting Jim Ned up 18-17.  The extra-point attempt was again unsuccessful, but it didn’t matter as the Plowboys were unable to mount a comeback and wound up losing by a point.

Vincent Pantoja led the Plowboys in rushing with 97 yards on 26 carries, and Brayden Beal was 9 for 14 in passing for 73 yards with no interceptions.  The leading receiver was Rafael Aguayo with 5 catches for 48 yards.

Next up for the Plowboys is Eldorado in Eldorado Friday evening.  Like the Plowboys, the Eagles are now 1-3 on the year after losing to TLCA (Texas Leadership Charter Academy) 27-0 in San Angelo last week.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Felipe Ramirez III, 26, of Roscoe was recently indicted for possession with intent to deliver between 4 and 200 grams of methamphetamine, a first degree felony.  The indictment was part of a much larger investigation and drug bust conducted by Roscoe Police and other law enforcement agencies earlier this year.  The investigation began back in January when Roscoe Police were informed that large amounts of methamphetamine were being brought into Roscoe and distributed into other areas.

In February, during surveillance of a local residence, Roscoe Police obtained a search warrant and seized a large amount of methamphetamine, cash, guns, and packaging materials, resulting in the arrest of several individuals who were already under federal investigation for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Two weeks later, a Roscoe police officer stopped a vehicle on I-20 and during a subsequent search located documents implicating the individuals in the car as being part of the same ongoing federal investigation.

In May, a federal grand jury handed down twenty-one federal indictments for individuals from Lubbock, Colorado City, Brownwood, Roscoe, and Sweetwater.  The individuals pleaded guilty and were recently sentenced in Lubbock. 



The annual Ducks Unlimited dinner and auction will be held at the Lumberyard on Saturday, October 4.  

Doors open at 5:30pm, and the barbecue dinner is at 6:00pm, followed by both silent and live auctions along with door prizes.  

Live music will be provided by Prophets & Outlaws.

Tickets are $35 per person, $45 for couples, and $25 for green wings (17 and under). 

For more information, call Jason Glenn at 325-513-2654. 



Roscoe Community Center
The Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department will be administering this year’s flu vaccine at the Roscoe Community Center from 1:30-4:00pm on Tuesday, October 14.  The cost for adults is $20 (Medicare Part B accepted) and $10 for children (6 mos.-18 yrs.) with no insurance (Medicaid and CHIPS accepted).

Children with private insurance are referred to their physician unless their insurance does not pay for vaccines.  Children may be vaccinated for $20 using the Health Departments private stock vaccine.

Pneumonia vaccine will also be available for $100 (Medicare accepted).

For more information, call 325-235-5463.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Plowboys Down Junction in San Angelo 14-6

Plowboys start from deep within their own territory.  (Photo by Benivamondez)
The third time’s the charm.  After falling in their first two games this year, the Roscoe Plowboys got their first win of the season Friday night over the Junction Eagles 14-6.  The game was played at a neutral site, San Angelo Stadium, with both teams traveling some distance to get there.

The victory was a solid one for the Plowboys.  After a scoreless first quarter, the Plowboys scored first on an 18-yard run by Vincent Pantoja right before halftime.  Pablo Huidobro kicked the extra point, and the Plowboys led at the half 7-0.

Pantoja scored again in the third quarter on a 4-yard run, and after another Huidobro extra-point kick, the Plowboys were up 14-0.  Junction finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run, but their extra-point attempt failed, and the score, 14-6, turned out to be the final one.

Vincent Pantoja led the Plowboys with 143 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 27 carries.  Brayden Beal completed 6 of 16 passes for 104 yards with 3 interceptions, and Kevin Lavalais led all receivers with 4 receptions for 58 yards.

The Plowboys travel to Tuscola this Friday to play Jim Ned.  The Indians, a 3A-Division 1 school, are coming off a 32-18 loss to Anson in Anson last Friday and will be looking for a victory at home.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



In a meet that included several area schools such as Anson, Hamlin, Hawley, Lueders-Avoca, Munday, Hermleigh, Merkel, Seymour, and others, the Plowboys and Plowgirls did quite well with the Plowgirls finishing second to Merkel and the Plowboys finishing third at the Hamlin Cross Country Meet on Saturday.  Additionally, the Eighth Grade girls finished in first place while the Seventh Grade girls finished in second place.

Leaders for the varsity Plowgirls were Lyndi Wilkinson, Alejandra Solis, and Karina Cisneros.  For the varsity Plowboys it was Juan Garcia followed by Jetly Hobdy, and Braiden Moore.

Leaders for the first-place eighth grade girls were Bonnie Wilkinson, Jazmine Alvarez, and Michaela Horton, and for the seventh grade girls Madison Hickson, Jaci Alexander, and Jaleigh Morales.

This weekend the Cross Country teams will participate here in Roscoe in the Race for the Cure.



Bobby Flores
Texas swing artist and Grammy Award winner Bobby Flores and his Yellow Rose Band will make their debut at the Lumberyard this Saturday, September 20.

Perhaps best known as the former fiddle player for Ray Price, Bobby Flores has also had quite a career on his own both as a featured performer and as a session musician.  He has been playing professionally since the age of seven and has studied music theory and classical violin at Trinity University.

He has composed and performed in TV commercials and won numerous awards, among them induction into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.  His recording of “I Wonder Who’ll Turn Out the Lights” is featured in the Tommy Jones movie Three Burials.  He and his band Angel Fire opened for George Strait, Garth Brooks, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, and others.  His Yellow Rose Band features three fiddles and some of the world’s best musicians.

His most recent album is Fast Company.  Others include Eleven Roses, Christmas in Ol’ San Antone, Neon Nights, Direct from Blanco County, Too Many Rivers, Festival Favorites and Just for the Record.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.  Nine Mile Mountain will open at 8:00pm and Bobby Flores will take the stage around 9:45.  For more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Skies were cloudy for most of the week.
Last Wednesday the temperature topped out at 99°F, but the next day a cold front blew in and since then it’s been generally overcast and cooler than normal.  On Friday, we got another nice rain.  Lyndall Underwood got 1.25” on the west side of town, while others got more or less depending on the location.  In general, more fell west of town than east of town, and south more than north.  On Sunday, it rained just enough to get the ground wet, about 0.05” or so, and that was it for the precipitation.

Highs from Thursday through Sunday were in the seventies with lows in the fifties, except for Saturday when it got up only to 64°.  Monday and yesterday were warmer with highs of 86° and 82° respectively and lows of 68° and 71°.

The possibility of more rain is in the forecast with clouds from the Pacific hurricane Odile heading this way.  There’s a 40%-50% chance of rain today and tomorrow, diminishing to 30%-40% on Friday, and 20%-40% on Saturday.  High temperatures will be in the low to mid eighties and lows in the mid to upper sixties. 



In some ways it’s hard to believe, but the Roscoe Hard Times has been providing the Roscoe news for over four years now and with this post begins its fifth.  In that first post on September 9, 2010, I announced my intention to regularly provide Roscoe news to current and former Roscoans by way of a blog on the Internet.  I followed it a couple of days later with my first news report, an account of the Roscoe-Stamford football game, and the Hard Times has been in business ever since.  

At first, I didn’t have any regular day to post and just put up the news as I received it.  But after a month or so, I found it easier to do it all on a weekly basis and settled in to posting on Wednesday mornings and have stuck to that schedule since then.  

Over time the readership has steadily grown, and with the help of Google Analytics, a free service provided by Google, I’m able to see how many readers the blog has and where they are located.  So, for example, the Hard Times had 355 hits, or visits, this past week, which is pretty normal.  As you might expect, about half of these come on Wednesdays with the rest scattered out pretty evenly over the rest of the week.

The vast majority of these visits come from computers located in the US, 96% to be precise, but there are always a few from far-flung parts of the globe.  I’m not surprised when the Hard Times gets hits from Norway or Mongolia since my brother and his wife, kids, and in-laws live in Norway and my daughter lives in Mongolia.  But in the past month, the blog also has been visited by people in India, Peru, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Nigeria, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others.  Of course, there is no way to know which of these are former Roscoe folks and which are computer users who just happen in some way to stumble across the Hard Times as they surf the Internet.

Almost from the outset, I had requests from people who don’t use computers, mostly older folks, to provide a print version, but that would have turned the venture into a full-time job with all sorts of expenses and complications, and I never seriously considered it.  However, about a year and a half ago, the editor of the Sweetwater Reporter asked if I’d be willing to provide stories for a “What’s Happening in Roscoe” page every Thursday, and I’ve been happy to do that since it solves the problem for the people who don’t use computers.

When I started the blog, I had no idea or thoughts about how long I’d keep it up—and I still don’t.  I guess I’ll just continue for as long as I consider the reward greater than the effort.  It’s my way of giving back to the community in a way that keeps me busy and mentally active, so I’m happy to do it.

Anyway, thanks to all you readers who regularly check the Hard Times to find out what’s going on in Roscoe.  You make me feel relevant and keep me on my toes.



For more information and details visit the Roscoe Homecoming 2014 Facebook page.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

City Council Approves Purchase of Downtown Building for Police Department

Cody Thompson addresses the City Council at last night's meeting.
At its monthly meeting last night, the Roscoe City Council approved the purchase of the Guelker Building just across the street from City Hall.  The building used to house Meares’ Flower Shop and, more recently, Brooklin’s Heavenly Treasures.  The purchase price was $20,000.  It will be the location for the Roscoe Police Department, which will pay for most of the interior improvements with drug-forfeiture funds.  

The Police Department, currently located on the second floor above City Hall, is lacking in a number of ways but, most significantly, does not conform to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines because it is accessible only by climbing a long flight of stairs.  The Guelker Building does not have that problem.  It has wheelchair access and is also easy reached from the alley.

The Council also approved new water rates for the coming year, which will be slightly higher because of the added expense of running the new reverse-osmosis water plant.  There will be a minimum increase of $4 per household on the monthly bill along with an increase of 50¢ per 1000 gallons.  Council members agreed that these modest increases are a small price to pay for the purer R-O water and the more stable water pressure that the new plant provides.

The Council set the tax rate for 2014-15 to be the same as it is this year, and property owners will see no tax hike unless their property valuation increases.  The Council also approved the proposed budgets for the Type A and B boards.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council of water and sewer updates for the building projects on the north side as well as for the STEM Research Center just west of town.  Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave his city police report for the month of August, citing 97 calls, 3 arrests, 3 vehicle collisions, and an unspecified number of citations as the computer file is currently offline and inaccessible.

The Council also heard the complaints of Roscoe resident Lix Bex, who is unhappy with the uneven ways vehicles receive red tags (as abandoned vehicles) in the city.



Newly annexed property now within Roscoe City Limits.
Acceding to the request of a landowner to annex his farm property to the City of Roscoe, the City has done so, and said property is now within the Roscoe City Limits.  The farm land comprises some 195 acres on two tracts of land on either side of Interstate 20 just west of County Road 152 between Roscoe and Sweetwater. 

The City has also annexed the right of way on Interstate 20 from the previous city limits just east of the old sewer ponds at County Road 104 (Cemetery Road) all the way east to County Road 152, west of Sweetwater Steel.



Election volunteers await voters in the Community Center yesterday.
Voters in Roscoe and Nolan County voted pretty much the same way the entire district did in electing Charles Perry (R) to fill the vacated seat of District 28 in the Texas State Senate.  Roscoe, Nolan County, and District 28 all gave Perry more votes than they did the rest of the field.  Local candidate Greg Wortham (D), former Sweetwater mayor, got a fourth of the Roscoe vote, and a third of the Nolan County vote, but only 13%, or about an eighth of the district vote.

Here are the totals (both early voting and election day) for Precinct 6 (Roscoe), Nolan County, and the entire District:

Candidate               Precinct 6          Nolan County         District 28

Jodey Arrington  11 (13.1%)           76 (8.1%)            12,956 (30.27%)

E. M. Garza               2 (0.2%)              6 (0.6%)                  347 (0.81%)

Delwin Jones            0 (0.0%)              2 (0.2%)                 675 (1.57%)

Kerry McKennon     3 (0.4%)             9 (1%)                    357 (0.83%)

Charles Perry          49 (58.3%)      523 (56%)           22,849 (53.39%)

Greg Wortham        21 (25%)          318 (34%)             5,605  (13.09%)

Totals                         84                         934                           42,789



After dropping their first game to Hawley 46-14 in Hawley, the Plowboys played their second game Friday night in the friendly confines of Plowboy Field.  However, they were up against a strong Hamlin squad, and ultimately the results were roughly similar to the previous week as the Pied Pipers prevailed 49-21.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hamlin broke the game open in the second with four touchdowns, three of them by running back Tyrone Johnson, who gave the Plowboys fits all evening long.  The bright spot for Roscoe came after Hamlin’s third TD when Max Nemir ran back the ensuing kickoff for 81 yards and a touchdown.   At halftime the score was 28-7.

Following another long Johnson touchdown run for the Pied Pipers early in the third quarter, the Plowboys scored again on a 19-yard run by Vincent Pantoja.  But Hamlin’s Johnson followed with another TD, and at the end of three it was Hamlin 42-Plowboys 14.

The Plowboys got another TD in the fourth quarter when Luis Villa recovered a Pied Piper fumble in the end zone.  However, Hamlin put up 7 more points on another Johnson run to make the final score 49-21.

Plowboy quarterback Brayden Beal was 9 for 19 in passing for 80 yards with one interception.  Vincent Pantoja was the Plowboys’ leading rusher with 123 yards and one TD.  Javier Leanos had 2 rushes for 20 yards; Kevin Lavalais 3 for 15; and Max Nemir 1for 11.

Hamlin quarterback  Caymon Georges had 15 completions in 24 attempts with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions.  Tyrone Johnson led the Pied Piper rushers with 14 carries for 248 yards and 5 touchdowns.  He also had one pass reception for a TD.

The game with Junction will be played at San Angelo Stadium in San Angelo, so it is not a home game for either team.  Like the Plowboys, the Eagles are 0-2 after falling to Ingram Moore 49-25 and Grape Creek 53-46.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Prosecution and defense teams at yesterday's mock trial at the Nolan County Courthouse.
You may remember the classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” for decades a perennial favorite for high school English classes.  In the story, a General Zaroff loves to hunt “the most dangerous game,” i.e., people, and when Sanger Rainsford falls off a yacht and swims to Zaroff’s island, he becomes Zaroff’s prey, but in a turn of events manages to elude the General and in the end apparently kills him in his own bedroom.

Kelly Jo Sexton’s ninth-grade English class read this story and used it as the basis for a mock trial, which took place yesterday in the Nolan County Courthouse with local attorneys assisting and teaching the students about courtroom protocol and procedures.

The prosecution consisted of students acting on behalf of Roscoe Collegiate High School in charging Sanger Rainsford with murder while the defense argued that he acted in self defense and was therefore innocent.  In presenting their cases, both teams had an opening statement, questions and cross examinations of witnesses, and a closing statement.

Local lawyers who volunteered to help were Assistant D.A. Barrett Thomas, who aided the prosecution, Chris Hartman and Ricky Thompson, who acted as judge and jury, and Meghan Strickland, who aided the defense.  The Court Reporter was also there recording the proceedings.  The entire ninth-grade class got involved, either as members of the prosecution or defense teams or as actors representing witnesses, detectives, or the defendant Rainsford.

The verdict of the two judges was a split decision, in effect a hung jury, but the final outcome is a group of high school kids who now know a lot more about how criminal trials are actually conducted, thanks to the lawyers who donated their time and expertise.



Merced Flores, 32, of Sweetwater, the man who led Nolan County law enforcement officers on a high-speed car chase Monday through the streets of Sweetwater before crashing into a tree and being killed, was wanted for crimes committed earlier in the Roscoe School parking lot.

At about 1:30pm on Monday the Roscoe Police Department received a call from the Roscoe ISD reporting suspicious activity by a male driving a silver sports car in the student parking lot.  When school personnel attempted to accost him, he jumped in the vehicle and fled.  It turns out that the car, a silver Camaro, had earlier been reported as stolen in Colorado City.

Three student vehicles had been burglarized.  Roscoe Police then notified other local law enforcement officers to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.  Within a few minutes, it was located on West Broadway in Sweetwater.  An officer conducted a traffic stop and ordered the driver to step out of the vehicle.  Instead, the driver attempted to flee, leading officers on a chase involving speeds of over 100mph and the eventual fatal crash.  He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at about 2:15pm.



Evening skies. (Photo by Eden Baker)
Although the weather last week began as a continuation of the relentless dry August heat, a cold front that blew in on Saturday lowered temperatures and finally brought some welcome rain to the parched west Texas earth.  High temperatures on Saturday and Sunday were 76°F and 79° respectively, and both days had some early morning precipitation.

The shower on Saturday morning was really just a teaser, dropping about .15” here in town with similar amounts recorded in the countryside around.  But the rain that fell shortly before dawn on Sunday was more substantial, significantly so in some areas.  The amount that fell varied widely, depending upon the location.  The Aljoes, just northeast of town, had a two-day total of .4”, while Avenger Field, five miles east, got only .17”.  The Pyron area, northwest of town, also got only .4”, and a farm north of Loraine totaled .6”.  On the other hand, a farm just east of Loraine recorded 3.4”, and areas around and south of Champion got from 2.8” to 3”.  The Bakers north of Roscoe got over an inch, as did Kenny Landfried on his Cottonwood Creek farm northwest of town with 1.02”.  Amounts also varied here in town.   Kenny Landfried recorded Roscoe’s official .78” total on the east side of town while Helen Perry had 1.6” on the north side and Ken Brawley on the south side got an even 1”.

Sunny skies and heat returned on Monday, which had a high of 90°, and yesterday with a high of 96°.  Today’s high should be about like yesterday’s, but another cold front is due tonight bringing with it cooler temperatures and a 40% chance of rain.  Tomorrow’s high will be only about 82°, and there will be a 40% chance of rain.  The highs on Friday and Saturday will  be only in the mid seventies with a 50% chance of precipitation on Friday.  Lows will be in the mid to low sixties. Temperatures will remain mild through Sunday.  Both Saturday and Sunday should be dry.



A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, September 6, at Trinity Baptist Church in Sweetwater for Sonny James Hermosillio, Sr., 38, who died on Monday, September 1, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

He was born in Colorado City on March 27, 1976, and attended schools in Roscoe and Grand Prairie.  He moved back to Sweetwater from Lubbock two years ago.  He was a truck driver for Underwood Farms.

Survivors include his daughter, Inez Hermosillio of Sweetwater; sons Sonny Jr., Lewis Ray, Damian, and Jacob Ray Hermosillio, all of Sweetwater, and Adrian James Hermosillio of San Antonio; father, John Hermosillio, Sr., of Roscoe; mother, Hope Villegas of Grand Prairie; brother, John Hermosillio, Jr., of Roscoe; sisters Melissa Sarabia of Roscoe, Debbie Cuellar of Loraine, Hope Hermosillio of Grand Prairie; granddaughter, Samantha Hermosillio of Sweetwater; paternal grandparents, Felipe and Solia Hermosilliio of Roscoe and maternal grandfather Adolph Villegas of Wastella.



Funeral services were held on Wednesday, September 3, at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sweetwater for Evelyn Schattel Clifton, 88, who died on Sunday, August 31, in Fredericksburg.  Burial followed at Lone Wolf Cemetery.

Mrs. Clifton was born December 11, 1925, in Scurry County to Emil and Louise Schattel and graduated from Pyron High School in 1944, where she was a member of the basketball team.  She married Billy Joe Clifton in the Scurry County home of her parents on May 10, 1947.  She was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother and a member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sweetwater and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg.  The Evelyn Clifton Farm recently received recognition by the Texas Department of Agriculture for 100 years of continuous years of family farming.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Joe Clifton on April 17, 1998; her daughter, Lisa Ann Clifton Bowman on April 27, 2014; her brothers, John Schattel, Leo Schattel, Walter Schattel, and Eugene Schattel; and her sister, Della Light.

She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Clifton Grinslade of Fredericksburg; son-in law Ricky Bowman of Hermleigh; granddaughters Stacy Jenschke and husband Craig of Fredericksburg,, Talia Jaryszak and husband Rick of Abilene, Shelly Davis and husband Edward of Odessa, and Chaile Allen and husband Dusty of Shreveport, LA; along with six great grandchildren;  brother, Ernest Schattel and wife Janet of Roscoe, and sister-in-law Fern Schattel of Sweetwater.

Pallbearers were Craig Jenschke, Rick Jaryszak, Ed Davis, Dusty Allen, Morris Light and Emil Schattel.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

No Roscoe Hard Times This Week

Dear Readers:

As many of you already know, I have been having some health problems since Saturday night, spending most of my time since then at Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene.  They released me last night, and I got home about 9:30 or 10:00pm.  As a result, I was unable to make my rounds this week and find out what's been going on around town. 

Here's hoping everything will be back to normal next week.

Edwin Duncan
Roscoe Hard Times


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