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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Senator Perry, Education Commissioner Visit School to Learn About Roscoe's Collegiate and STEM Programs

Students explain Roscoe's programs to Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams and State Senator Charles Perry.

State Senator Charles Perry, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, and education advisors from the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s offices were in town on Friday to learn first-hand about Roscoe’s Collegiate and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs.

“There are a lot of great things happening in education across the state, and the nationally recognized program here in Roscoe is providing a significant benchmark about how we can keep kids excited and engaged in STEM,” said Education Commissioner Williams, according to Saturday’s Abilene Reporter-News article on the visit.

Williams also said that Roscoe’s STEM Academy and Collegiate programs will be used to serve as a pilot program for rural schools across the state.

Both Williams and Senator Perry were impressed with the number of Roscoe students who graduated with Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder in their senior years at Roscoe Collegiate High School.  That number has steadily grown from one student in 2011 to 19 of 21 students, over 90%, in last year’s graduating class.  This year’s graduating class will report similar numbers.

Superintendent Kim Alexander expressed pride in the program, the teachers, students, school board, and administration.  The Reporter-News article quoted him as saying, “This kind of support from Austin lets us know we are doing the right things out here.  We continue to learn as we go, and I’m very proud of the organization for the successes we have had thus far.”



Roscoe's new Police Station on 104 Cypress Street.
The new Police Department just north of Old Town Park on the south side of Cypress Street downtown is now complete and will hold its open house this Saturday, February 21, from 10am to 2pm.  Hot dogs, candy, ice cream, and cold drinks will be available to all who attend.

Everyone is invited, so please come by and see your new Police Station.



City Manager Cody Thompson updates Council on recent activities.
At its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 12, the City Council got updates on City progress from City Manager Cody Thompson, accepted the January Police Report from Police Chief Felix Pantoja, heard a proposal from Republic Services of Abilene to open bidding for Roscoe’s waste disposal for the coming year, and set the City Election date for May 9.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that laying of the underground electrical lines on Young Farm Estates will be completed by February 27 and that street work will begin on March 1 and should be finished by the end of March with sale of lots beginning shortly thereafter.  Deed restrictions will be filed in March and will be reviewed for approval by the City Council at the March meeting.

Young Farm Estates owner Carl Childers will also open bidding soon for renovation of the old octagonal cotton house across from the Lumberyard.

Kade Johnson Construction has purchased two acres next to the Nemir property along the new road on the north side across from the Randall Smith property.  It will be used for a new office, a warehouse, and a manufacturing building.

The City will install a new fence at the City Park next to the City Swimming Pool and should be finished by the end of the month.

The City B Board approved a plan to hold Roscoe Super Sunday on March 29.  Roscoe retailers will be open from noon to 6pm, and the Roscoe Express will shuttle guests from business to business, including a new retail outlet, Vicki’s Antiques, just north of Vicki’s Gifts on 3rd and Main Streets.  At the Lumberyard, live music will begin at 3pm with the Jamie Richards band, followed by the Playboys Special Edition, and then the headline band Merle Haggard and the Strangers.  Live music will continue until 10pm.  The Council also approved blocking off the downtown streets during the event.  For more information, call City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.  For tickets to the live music contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

The new Water Treatment Plant, which has been out of operation recently due to manufacturer problems and damage caused by last month’s ice storm, will resume normal operation of reverse-osmosis water within the next two or three weeks.  Once it operates successfully for 45 days, the City can then formally accept its daily operation.

Work on renovation of the Fire Department is progressing as planned, and clearing of broken limbs and other debris is also underway and nearing completion.

Highland student Emrick Wilson will landscape the area behind City Hall to fulfill requirements toward attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.  The City will pay for the materials.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the January police report to the Council.  It appears in a separate article in this posting.

The Council then set May 9 as the official date for this year’s City Election.  Early voting will be from April 27 through Tuesday, May 5,  with Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5, as the days in which voting is possible from 7am to 7pm.  The office of Mayor as well as two City Council seats are scheduled for election or re-election.  Qualified citizens desiring to run for one of these offices should apply at City Hall by February 27.  The City Secretary’s office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

The Council then heard a proposal by Municipal Services Manager Robert Searle of Republic Services of Abilene to open bidding for waste disposal services in the City of Roscoe.  Searle gave a brief talk on his company and what it can offer.  The current contract is held by Knox Waste Services of Tye.  It will expire in June.  After some discussion, the Council voted to table a decision until next month’s meeting.  

With the end of RCHS basketball season, the City Council will resume holding its monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of the month.  It will meet next on Tuesday, March 10.



The Plowgirls played their last game of the season last Tuesday evening and lost to Hamlin 47-33.  Here is the scoring by quarters, followed by individual Plowgirl scoring:

Hamlin 47 – Plowgirls 33

Hamlin            10        23        32        47
Plowgirls         11        25        30        33

Plowgirl scoring: Olivia Saddler 17, Alyssa Chavez 6, Mia Herrera 3, Magali Casas 3, Mireya Sanchez 2, Bergan Trevino 2.



The Plowboys finished their season on a down note by losing their last district games to Hamlin, Haskell, and Stamford.  Their final season record is 6-16 overall and 2-10 in district play.  Here are the scores by quarters of each game, followed by individual Plowboy scoring:

Hamlin 38 – Plowboys 36

Hamlin             10        16        22        38
Plowboys           7        20        25        36

Plowboy scoring: Javier Leanos 15, Kevin Lavalais 7, Luis Villa 6, Isaiah Gonzales 2, Vincent Pantoja 2, Cutter Davila 2, Rafael Aguayo 1.

Haskell 44 – Plowboys 32

Haskell            11        25        38        44
Plowboys          8        17        24        32

Plowboy scoring: Villa 9, Leanos 8, Lavalais 7, Aguayo 6, Davila 2.

Stamford 54 – Roscoe 36

Stamford         20        28        43        54
Plowboys          4        16        22        36

Plowboy scoring: Aguayo 10, Leanos 9, Lavalais 5, Davila 3, Gonzales 1.



Winter sunset.
Last weekend’s mild temperatures with sunny skies and highs in the seventies came to an abrupt end on Sunday evening when a cold front blew in with gusty north winds.  We were given a 40% chance of rain or snow on Sunday and Monday nights, but neither ever happened.  By Monday morning the temperature was down to 24°F and the high Monday afternoon was only 44°.  Yesterday was a little warmer, but not by much with a low of 33° and a high of 49°.

Today should be nicer, though, with a high approaching 70° this afternoon.  Thursday and Friday will be similar or slightly warmer with highs in the low to mid-seventies and lows of around fifty.  Saturday will be a bit cooler with a high of 64° and on Saturday night a cold front will bring a 20% chance of precipitation.  Sunday’s high should be only in the mid-forties with a low Monday morning in the upper twenties.

In its most recent issue, Scientific American magazine is reporting that several recent scientific studies all conclude that in the second half of this century the Southwest and Great Plains will experience the worst extended drought since 1200, one lasting from 20 to 30 years.

As you’ll recall, that ancient drought, which began about 1130, was the one that wiped out the Anasazi civilization, including the people who lived in cliff dwellings in Arizona and Mesa Verde, Colorado, and in large settlements like the one at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Such a drought, if it does occur, will pretty much be the death knell for west Texas towns like Roscoe, which depend on water for their farming and ranching.  Of course, I won’t be around by then, but the prospect of Big Country communities going the way of the Anasazi is not a particularly cheerful one.  Let’s hope that prediction is wrong!


1 comment:

  1. Senator Charles Perry does not support Constitutional Carry and believes you should lease your rights from the State of Texas. In other words he believes Texans to be less capable than folks from Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, and Vermont.


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