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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blackland Relays, Press Box Dedication This Friday

Plowboy and Plowgirls show off their medals at last year's State Meet.
Local track fans will get their first chance to see Plowgirl and Plowboy runners in action, as well as talent from all over the Big Country as sixteen high schools will send athletes to participate in this year’s Blackland Relays at Plowboy Field.

The naming of the press box in the east stands for longtime voice of the Plowboys, Charles Ratliff, will kick off the action at 2:30pm.  It will then be followed by the track meet.  Due to the anticipated bad weather, the field events have been called off, so only the running events are still part of the schedule.

The Junior High Blackland Relays scheduled for tomorrow have also been called off for the same reason.



Stoney LaRue
On Saturday night, March 21, red-dirt icon Stoney LaRue and his band, the Arsenals, will be in town to play on the new large stage at the Lumberyard, which will allow people sitting at tables to view the band and will clear the dance floor for dancers. They will follow Mark McKinney and Band, who will kick off the live music at around 8:00pm.  LaRue and the Arsenals will follow at about 9:30.

Born in Texas but raised in Oklahoma, LaRue is famous for developing the Red Dirt sound along with friends Cody Canada, Jason Boland, and Brandon Jenkins. His 2005 CD, “The Red Dirt Album,” reached the Billboard sales charts its debut week, and in 2006 he released the best seller “Live at Billy Bob’s.”  In 2011 he achieved acclaim for his 2011 CD, “Velvet,” and his latest album, “Aviator,” released this past October, has received accolades in Nashville as well as Texas.  It climbed to number 17 on the US Country Music Chart and 15 on the Indie Chart.  There is also a video of its title song, “Aviator,” which you can view by clicking here, or his ever popular “Oklahoma Breakdown” by clicking here

For more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Raul Rodriguez Martinez
Raul Rodriguez Martinez, 30, the man Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja referred to as Roscoe’s “Most Wanted” was recently apprehended by DPS troopers at the rest area on I-20 east of Sweetwater.  Responding to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver on I-20 East, a trooper located his vehicle at the rest stop and arrested him after learning he had outstanding warrants for immigration violations and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Martinez, a Mexican national, is the same man who fired several shots at a local vehicle on 4th and Cypress Streets on a Saturday night in June 2013.  He then led Roscoe Police and other law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase that ended between Loraine and Colorado City when set-out traffic spikes deflated his tires and forced him to stop.  After his arrest, he was deported to Mexico but returned for retaliation and was reported to vow that he would “kill before going to prison or being deported.”  Last year he was again involved in an assault in which he fired at a victim with a handgun.  There are also possible warrants and wants out of Mexico for him for two possible homicides there.

He was known to be in this area but had avoided capture until his arrest at the rest area.  He is now in the Nolan County Jail.



For the second week in a row, icy roads have been the cause of multiple wrecks in the Roscoe area.  Along with other local law enforcement officers, Roscoe Police responded to five more wrecks.

One occurred on the US 84 overpass just east of town when an SUV pulling a U-Haul trailer slid off the pavement and caught fire.  The blaze was put out by the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department.  Another involved an 18-wheeler on I-20 at the overpass near the Stripes station.   Roscoe Police set out battery-operated cones near the accident, some of which were destroyed when they were hit by a passing vehicle.  Another 18-wheeler jack-knifed and struck the center median at mile 233, approximately three miles west of Roscoe, and there was a two-car collision involving a small SUV and a silver four-door car near Cemetery Road on I-20 East.  In that same area, a Highland High School student also hit black ice and left the road.

There were no injuries in any of the incidents.



The City election called for May 9 has been cancelled because there are no contested positions.  Roscoe Mayor Pete Porter filed for another four years as Mayor, and Robert McBride, whose two-year term expires this year, also filed for another term and was uncontested.  The other open City Council seat, currently held by Christi Beal, will be filled by Ken Brawley, who was the only person to file for the position.  He will begin a two-year term in June when Beal vacates the seat.



Although you wouldn’t know it from the wintry weather we’ve been having around here, Spring Break for both Roscoe and Highland schools will be next week from Monday, March 9, through Friday, March 13.



Four RCHS students, one from each high school grade, will be at the Region 14 Center in Abilene on Friday morning to compete in the 14th Annual TAPT (Texas Association for Pupil Transportation) Regional Speech Contest.  Students will speak on this year’s topic, “Bully Free Zone.”  Regional champs will receive a $50 check and participate in the State Finals in Waco on April 20 where winners will receive awards of $1000, $600, $400, and $200.

Representing Roscoe will be Cutter Davila, senior; Hannah Hobdy, junior; Caleb Ward, sophomore; and Murissa Horton, freshman.



It’s that time of year again.  When clocks “spring forward” at 2:00am Sunday morning, daylight savings time will begin in Texas and most of the rest of the United States.  No one really enjoys the resulting 23-hour day, but there’s no getting around it.  Just remember that it’s happening so you don’t arrive at church just as everyone else is leaving.



The scene from my window on Sunday morning.
They say that if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, and if it comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion.  They don’t say what happens if it comes in like a polar bear or a penguin, however, and that’s more like what it actually did.  For another week, we had snow and sleet, trees, power lines, and roads covered with ice, and temperatures that were absolutely frigid.

On February 2, that armadillo in Austin, Bee Caves Bob, went to the left when he came out of his burrow at dawn.  That caused his handlers to confidently declare that Texas was in for an early spring.  What a joke that turned out to be.  We had about a week of nice weather after that, and then winter returned with a vengeance—and we’re not out of the woods yet as more is predicted to come.  In fact, a winter weather advisory has been announced for this area starting today at 3pm and lasting until tomorrow at 6pm.  Bee Caves Bob, whether you’re a charlatan, a fraud, or just don’t have a clue, from henceforth I have no faith whatsoever in your predictions.

After some nice, sunny 60°F weather last Wednesday, a cold front moved in on Thursday and the temperature that night dropped to 25°.  Then we had a four-day stretch—Friday to Monday afternoon—in which the temperature never rose above freezing and was usually much colder, especially when you consider the wind chill factor.  On Thursday when the front first hit, there were sustained high winds of 26mph from the NNE and gusts up to 37mph.  Friday was also breezy with sustained high winds of 20mph and gusts to 24mph.  In those four days, we had snow, sleet, and freezing drizzle.  The coldest day of the four-day stretch was Friday morning’s 16° and the high was Sunday’s 31°.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of precipitation.  Kenny Landfried said that the total official amount came to only .1”, although he did note that he got .18” at his farm on Cottonwood Creek.

Finally on Monday afternoon, the temperature rose to a balmy 37°, and the ice on trees and power lines seemed to fall all in about a half-hour, creating quite a racket as it landed on roofs, carports, and in the streets.  Yesterday was a wonderful break from all the cold, with the temperature rising to 57° and snow and ice completely disappearing.  But that nice weather will be history by early this afternoon when the latest front moves in, bringing with it more winter weather with a 70% possibility this evening and tonight of freezing rain and light sleet.  Tomorrow afternoon should be above freezing with a high in the mid-thirties, but tomorrow night will drop to 23°.  Then on Friday we should see temperatures gradually rising, and by the weekend highs should be in the fifties and lows in the mid-thirties.

Next week is spring break for the local schools.  Let’s hope for the kids’ sakes, they’ll get some spring weather so they can enjoy it!



Funeral services were held in the First Baptist Church of Clyde yesterday at 2pm for Christine Shanks Klepper, 93, followed by a private graveside service.  She died on Sunday, March 1, in Abilene.

She was born September 6, 1921, in Clyde to William Homer Shanks and Josie Ellen Kuykendall. She married Rae Winford Klepper on March 21, 1942, in Clyde. She graduated Clyde High School in 1939 and attended Abilene Christian College and Howard Payne College. She was the librarian at Roscoe High School from 1963-78.

She and Rae moved to Algeria for two years, where he worked for El Paso Natural Gas Company. They retired to their hometown of Clyde in July 1980. Christine went on to volunteer at the Clyde Public Library for more than 30 years. She also volunteered for many years at the library at First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the choir and the choir librarian. She also taught Sunday School.

She was the beloved mother of five children: Ann Etheredge and husband Cliff of San Antonio; Robert Klepper of Roscoe; Randall Klepper and wife Laurel of Portland, Oregon; Cynthia Roberts and husband Alan of Clyde; and Russell Klepper and wife Brenda of Roscoe. She is survived by 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren, with another due in April; numerous nieces and nephews; brother-in-law Rex Klepper of Abilene; and sister-in-law Connye Hayes and Jim of Abilene.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her two brothers, Homer Kuykendall Shanks and Hal Creath Shanks; her twin, Pauline Rogers; and younger sister Chera Clemmer.

Online condolences may be made at


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