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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Storm Wreaks Havoc in Roscoe Area

A downed power line west of Roscoe on Saturday. (Photo by David Duncan)
Winter arrived with a vengeance last week, as west Texas first underwent a strong ice storm with black ice and treacherous roads that caused wrecks over most of the Big Country and as far west as Pecos.  That was then followed for the next three days by more sleet and freezing drizzle, which proved to be too much for the trees.  Limbs covered with ice came down, knocking down power lines and with it both residential electricity and City water.

Everyone in Roscoe endured at least a couple of days without water since the transmission lines running to the water treatment plant were damaged. The pumps at the plant need 640 volts to run properly and were receiving only about half that, so water pressure reduced to a trickle for several hours and then stopped completely.  Needless to say, jug water sold out quickly at all the stores in Roscoe and Sweetwater that carry it.

The electrical outage also meant that many homes without natural gas also had no heat.  People living in the country were especially affected as they were without water and heat for several days.  Oncor, the electric company, had trucks and workers from unaffected parts of Texas come in and help with the line repair.  Even so, it wasn’t until yesterday evening that many got their electricity back, and, for all I know, there may still be some who are without it.

The sleet and freezing drizzle lasted from Tuesday to early Saturday morning, and the total accumulation,  according to Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried, amounted to .82” with .25” of that on December 30 and 31 and .57” on January 1, 2, and 3. The sun came out on Saturday morning and most of the ice was thawed by Saturday afternoon as the temperature climbed to 50°.  But by then the damage had been done, and water wasn’t restored in town until Sunday afternoon.

Since then, there’s been a warming trend with sunshine and afternoon temperatures in the forties and fifties.  However, another cold front moved in last night and the high today is projected to be only about 30° with north winds of 15-25mph increasing to 30mph with gusts to 45, making it seem much colder than that.  A wind advisory is in effect until 6:00pm today.

Tomorrow should be warmer with lighter breezes and a high in the lower forties before getting colder again on Friday and Saturday with highs in the thirties, lows in the twenties, and a 20% chance of snow or light sleet.  Sunday and Monday should be mostly cloudy but with highs in the forties and lows in the thirties. 

There’s no getting around it—it’s winter in west Texas.



The Plowgirls opened district play on Saturday by losing to Winters, but evened their district record to 1-1 with a close victory over Albany last night.  The Winters game was postponed for a day because of the weather.

Here are the scores by quarters for both games along with the Plowgirls’ individual scoring:


Winters 43 – Plowgirls 32

Winters            11        25        35        43
Plowgirls            2          9        23        32

Olivia Saddler 11, Samantha Ortega 7, Murissa Horton 4, Mia Herrera 3, Alyssa Chavez 2, Bergan Trevino 2.

Plowgirls 36 – Albany 35

Plowgirls            9        17        30        36
Albany              12        18        27        35

Saddler 12, Herrera 10, Ortega 8, Chavez 4, Danielle Dean 2.

The Plowgirls’ and Plowboys’ next games are with Anson in Anson on Friday night.



The lack of height and experience has shown in recent basketball games played by the Plowboys as they lost them all.  In the Eula Tournament on December 27 and 28, they fell to Clyde and Nazareth respectively, while the game with Comanche was called off due to the inclement weather.  Then, in district games with Winters, played on Saturday instead of Friday, and Albany here last night, they lost again.

Here are the scores by quarters for all four games along with the Plowboys’ individual scoring:

Clyde 63 – Plowboys 23

Clyde                 13        32        49        61
Plowboys            8        15        21        23

Isaiah Gonzales 10, Brayden Beal 4, Vincent Pantoja 4, Cutter Davila 3, Jonathan Cuellar 2.

Nazareth 69 – Plowboys 20

Nazareth          20        47        57        69
Plowboys            8        13        20        20

Gonzales 7, Cuellar 6, Pantoja 4, Rafael Acuña 3.

Winters 53 – Plowboys 29

Winters            18        30        47        12
Plowboys           2          5         12        29

Rafael Aguayo 13, Cuellar 5, Davila 5, Gonzales 4, Beal 2.

Albany 56 – Plowboys 39

Albany             12        25        40        56
Plowboys           5        17        26        39

Javier Leanos 25, Aguayo 7, Kevin Lavalais 5, Gonzales 2.



The Roscoe Police Department starts out 2015 with new body cameras.  The officers previously tried other kinds, but they weren’t what was needed.  The new ones, which are for everyday use, work well and are reliable.  Throughout 2014, confiscated drug money was put into funds for the Police Department to put to good use.  These forfeiture funds allow the purchase of necessary items such as the new body cameras.

The new Police Department offices are nearing completion and will be opening soon.



The 2015 Nolan County Livestock Show will be held in the Nolan County Coliseum starting at 4pm next Tuesday, January 13, with the Steers and Heifers Weigh-In.  The Steer Show and Heifer Show are on Wednesday starting at 6pm.

Swine will weigh from 1pm to 7pm on Wednesday, and other animals will weigh in from 4pm to 7pm. 

On Thursday, the Goat Show and Lamb Show start at 4pm, and the Rabbit Show and Broiler Show start at 5pm.

On Friday, the Swine Show begins at 3pm.

On Saturday, the Honorary Show starts at 10am, the BBQ at 11am, Awards at 1pm, and the Premium Sale also at 1pm.



Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, January 10, at First United Methodist Church in Sweetwater for Ben Lanier High, 84, who passed away on Thursday, January 1.  Interment will follow in the Roscoe Cemetery.  Visitation at the McCoy funeral home in Sweetwater will be on Friday, January 9, from 5:00-7:00pm.

Ben was born on March 13, 1930, in the Caps community of Taylor County and attended school in Clyde and Roscoe. He was a graduate of Texas Tech and later received a Master’s Degree from McMurry.  He served in the U.S. Air Force and Reserves for 28 years, including active duty in Korea in 1952 and ‘53. He married Gaynell Cleckler of Roscoe on Thanksgiving Day 1954. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They lived in Ballinger for two years before moving to Sweetwater in 1956. Ben retired from Sweetwater ISD after 33 years as principal of Eastridge and Philip Nolan Elementary Schools. He was an active member of Sweetwater United Methodist Church and a long time member of the Sweetwater Lions Club, serving as President and District Governor. He also volunteered for many years with the Boy Scouts of America, serving both as a local Troop 140 leader and on the Chisholm Trail Council Board. He was an avid golfer and volunteered for 15 consecutive years as a marshal for the Colonial PGA golf tournament in Fort Worth. He also enjoyed building and repairing golf clubs, running a repair shop in Sweetwater for many years. He and Gaynell loved to travel and took many wonderful trips including Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, and Hong Kong.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents Bennie Maxine Peevey and Floyd High. Survivors include his wife, Gaynell Cleckler High of Sweetwater, son Gary and his wife Karen of Johns Creek, GA, grandchildren Catherine and Camille High, and sister Jane Pritchard of Brock.

Pallbearers will be Jack Pritchard, Mike Alexander, Hugh Aljoe, Zhan Aljoe, Kendell Cleckler, and Monte Richburg.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First United Methodist Church of Sweetwater, 309 Cedar Street, Sweetwater, TX 79556.


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