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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

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.


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