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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Young Farm Estates Holds Subdivision Preview, Begins Sale of Lots

The entrance to Young Farm Estates.
The Young Farm Estates, Roscoe’s new housing development, has begun selling lots for new homes following a “Meet and Greet” session on Tuesday, August 18, at the Lumberyard. A crowd of eighty prospective homeowners, builders, vendors, and city and county officials attended and were taken on a tour of the property in north Roscoe, while at the Lumberyard, there were drinks, food, and door prizes donated by local merchants.

Lots for new homes in the subdivision are currently available for $24,900 to $34,900, and one of the five prospective home builders, Pat Donahue, has homes available for viewing in Abilene  similar to the ones he will build in Roscoe. He will be happy to discuss plans and pricing and to walk prospective homeowners through the process. Locations of the homes in Abilene are listed on the Young Farm Estate Facebook page.

Homes in the Young Farm Estates will be subject to deed restrictions created to protect the investments of homeowners and to maintain a high level of quality of homes built in the subdivision. Examples include a requirement that homes have an 80% masonry exterior and restrictions against parking 18-wheelers or farm equipment in the driveways or streets.

The Young Farm Estates office is located at 10 Cypress Street across from the Lumberyard in downtown Roscoe. For more information, visit the Young Farm Estates Facebook page or call 325-766-3319.



Plowboys pass against Hawley in a scrimmage two years ago.
The scrimmages are history and pre-season practices almost over, as the Plowboys open their 2015 season Friday evening at Plowboy Field against a tough 2A, division 1, opponent, the Hawley Bearcats.

A playoff team last year, the Bearcats could be even stronger this time around. Their sophomore quarterback, Quay Stokes, was named last year’s Big Country Newcomer of the Year, and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picks Hawley to finish second in a district that includes perennial powers Stamford and Windthorst.  They return six starters on offense and seven on defense.

The Plowboys will counter with new quarterback, Brayden Beal, and a veteran team that includes ten offensive and eleven defensive starters, among them two-way standouts Vincent Pantoja (RB, LB), Max Nemir (RB, S), Kevin Lavalais (WR, DB), Javier Leanos (WR, DB), Rafael Aguayo (OL/DL), Ryland Madrid (OL/DL), Clayton Chadwick (OL/DL), and others.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



RCHS Special Events Center
Parents, grandparents, and the general public are invited to attend Roscoe Collegiate High School’s Open House for the Junior High and High School grades next Tuesday, September 1.

The event will begin at 6:00pm in the Special Events Center and will include meetings with the teachers of these grades along with tours of the classrooms and other facilities.



On Friday evening at approximately 7pm, Roscoe Police Sgt. Steven Spencer initiated a traffic stop on I-20 at the 236 mile marker in Roscoe. Upon speaking with the driver, a man listing an address in Big Spring, Spencer noted signs of possible criminal activity. During routine questioning, he learned that the driver was currently on parole for manufacturing and delivery of methamphetamine.

Due to the driver's actions and mannerisms, Sgt. Spencer called for assistance from Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja. Upon Pantoja’s arrival, Spencer requested consent to search the vehicle but was denied.

The Sweetwater Police Department was then called to the scene. Sgt. Rob Holman arrived and performed a roadside K9 open-air sniff operation, which yielded a positive alert for narcotics. Upon opening the vehicle, Spencer quickly located a large amount of methamphetamine and paraphernalia used in its consumption.

The driver was taken into custody but began complaining of chest pains and difficulty breathing. EMS was called to the scene, and Pantoja assisted in transporting the man to the Rolling Plains Emergency Room. Upon release and medical clearance, Sgt. Spencer booked the man into the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office jail for felony possession of methamphetamine.



Aaron Watson
The Lumberyard’s second big tripleheader of the summer is a Texas Country extravaganza featuring Aaron Watson along with Cory Morrow and Hunter Hutchinson.

Watson, who was born in Amarillo, launched his music career while a student at ACU and still calls Abilene home. His first CD, Aaron Watson, was released in 1999, and since then he has produced ten more, among them The Honky Tonk Kid, San Angelo, Barbed Wire Halo, Angels & Outlaws, The Road & the Rodeo, and Real Good Time. Top singles include “That Look,” “July in Cheyenne,” “Real Good Time,” “Raise Your Bottle,” “Shut Up and Dance,” “Lips,” and “Barbed Wire Halo.”

Cory Morrow
Cory Morrow is a “red dirt” Texas Country singer/songwriter who developed his musical style as a student at Texas Tech before moving to Austin to pursue music as a career. Since 1997, he has produced 15 albums including Outside the Lines, Vagrants and Kings, and Songs We Wish We’d Written (with Pat Green). His most recent, released this year, is The Good Fight. Top singles include “Texas on My Mind” (with Pat Green), “Beat of Your Heart,” “He Carries Me,” and “Big City Stripper.”

Hunter Hutchinson
Hunter Hutchinson is an up-and-coming young singer/songwriter from Abilene currently a sophomore at Texas Tech. He has played at the Firehouse and Blue Light in Lubbock as well as clubs in Abilene and has produced one album, Texas Too.

Hutchinson will open the show at 7:00pm followed by Morrow and then Watson. For reservations or more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The storm clouds on Sunday afternoon.
We got a surprise shower on Sunday afternoon. Rain was not in the forecast, but a big cloud made up right over Roscoe and rained for a while before moving north and also hitting places in Fisher County. Kenny Landfried reported an official .62” at his home in east Roscoe, and Darrell Aljoe, who lives east of him, got three-quarters of an inch, but in south Roscoe where I live it was more like a half-inch. Pyron, northwest of town, had 1.2” and the Champion area got about an inch, but the measurements really varied in different areas with some getting nothing at all.

Yesterday, a big thunderhead made up southeast of town and came over Roscoe just about sundown with thunder and high winds. It didn’t rain here in town, although amounts between .2" and a half-inch fell west of town, and it may have rained more elsewhere. I haven't yet heard.

Other than that, the weather has been typical for August with highs generally in the nineties and lows mostly in the seventies. It even dropped into the sixties last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The high temperature for the past week was 98°F on Saturday and the low was Thursday morning at 61°.

The forecast is for continued August heat with highs in the mid to upper nineties and lows in the mid to lower seventies. There is little to no chance of rain forecast before next Wednesday, but the  outlook for next weekend is for a 40%-50% chance of precipitation.



Services were held at 2:00pm on Saturday, August 22, at McCoy Chapel of Memories for Lillie Jean Williams, 55, who died at her home in Sweetwater on Sunday, August 16. Burial followed at the Sweetwater Cemetery.

Lillie was born December 22, 1959, in Sweetwater and was a lifelong area resident. She worked at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital for many years.

She is survived by her mother, Minnie Ola Williams; her loving partner and friend, Arthur Starling; brothers Robert Williams and wife LaVerne of Roscoe, Sherman Williams of Sweetwater, and Thurman and Charles Williams of Abilene, Hilly Williams and wife Elsie of Amarillo, and Billy Williams, also of Amarillo; sisters, Dimple and husband Willie Williams of Sweetwater, Linda Williams of Sweetwater, Donna Kay Williams of Roby, and Pearl Williams of Sweetwater; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Hill Williams, and husband, Roy Williams.

Pallbearers were Jeremy Thompson, Travis “KeKe” Wallace, Nicholas Williams, Damian Williams and Otis Williams.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

No Roscoe Hard Times This Week

Dear Readers,

Due to family considerations there will be no Hard Times this week. Initially, I thought I'd be able to spend these last three days with my daughter and granddaughter and still be able to gather the news and write the Hard Times, but it hasn't worked out that way.  They are leaving for Mongolia at noon today to start the new school year. I am taking them to D-FW this morning and won't see them again until at least next summer, if then. 

I plan to resume regular posting of the Hard Times again next week. Here's wishing you a nice week!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015 Student Enrollment at RCISD Breaks 600

School began in the Roscoe Collegiate ISD on Monday morning, and once again the total enrollment is up over last year, just as it has been for the past four years. In fact, this year’s 618 students in all grades from pre-K through 12 is an increase of 45 students over last year’s 573  and the most that Roscoe has seen in many years.

The school’s steady growth can be seen in the opening enrollment figures for the previous four years along with the current enrollment:
                          Grades         2011      2012       2013      2014      2015
Elementary      pre-K - 6      234        284         338        359        403*
Junior High        7-8                31           53           78          98          80*
High School       9-12               98        110          110         116         135
Totals                pre-K - 12     363        447         526        573         618

This year’s figures in Elementary and Junior High are adjusted in the above table so that the grades correspond with previous years. However, this year the sixth grade is now part of Junior High, so the 38 sixth graders should be added to the 80 seventh and eighth graders to make a total of 118 students in Junior High and subtracted from the 403 in Elementary to make a total of 365 students in pre-K through fifth grade.

As in recent years, the increase in the number of students is due to the number of transfers from nearby towns who want to take advantage of the education that RCISD provides. This year’s total number of transfers is 260 students.



Cheerleaders and Cheer Pals lead a yell at last year's Plowboy Preview.
The annual Plowboy Preview will be held tomorrow, August 15, with a hamburger cookout behind the east stands starting at 6:00, with burger, chips, and drink costing $6.  Then at 7:00pm, this year’s football players, coaches, cheerleaders, and band will be introduced in front of the east stands.


Plat for Young Farm Estates Phase 1. (Click to enlarge.)
 The sale of lots in Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates housing development on Roscoe’s north side  begins at 10:00am on Monday, August 17, at its office at 10 Cypress Street across from the Lumberyard. Lots will sell for $25,000 to $30,000.

A preview of the subdivision for prospective homeowners, builders, vendors, and financial institutions will be held on Tuesday, August 18, in the Lumberyard from 6:00 to 9:00pm. For more information, call Roscoe City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.



The Plowboys' first scrimmage of the season is at Haskell on Friday.
Fans can get their first look at this year’s Plowboys in action at a scrimmage with Haskell in Haskell on Friday starting at 6:00pm.  Their first action in Roscoe will come next Friday, August 21, when they scrimmage Munday at Plowboy Field, also starting at 6:00pm.



City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the City Council at last night's meeting.
Business was conducted quickly and efficiently at the monthly meeting of the Roscoe City Council at City Hall yesterday evening. A complaint about a persistent water leak on North Cypress Street by resident Lucan Campa was essentially withdrawn because city workers have already begun dealing with it, and the remaining agenda was shorter than usual.

City Manager Cody Thompson gave the Council an update on recent and upcoming City and County activities:

Recycled asphalt was placed on the caliche road next to the Stone Tower RV Park to eliminate the dust caused by traffic.

The leak on North Cypress has been repaired, but it will take a week to ten days before the area is completely cleaned since everything must be allowed to dry and the excavation filled.

Drilling on the injection well next to Smartt Move LLC just off US 84 will begin within the next two weeks.

Most of the drainage areas have been mowed to increase drainage, and a water pump has been replaced at the west booster plant by the new R. O. water plant.

The County’s annual seal coat program will not reach Roscoe until around the first of September.

The Council then approved the parade and bonfire for this year’s Roscoe High School Homecoming. The parade will line up on Main Street from Front to Broadway and proceed down Broadway to Oak and from there all the way to the school. The bonfire will be located in the same place it was last year, just east of the Stone Tower RV Park.

The council also set the date for their first budget workshop at 7:00pm next Thursday, August 20, before adjourning.



Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters
Another blockbuster Friday night is in the works this weekend at the Lumberyard with three popular bands—The Boxmasters featuring Billy Bob Thornton, Cody Jinks, and Zane Williams.

Of the three groups, the one with the best known celebrity is the Boxmasters with Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton has achieved Hollywood stardom, earning an Academy Award as a screenwriter, nominations for an Oscar and several Emmy Awards as an actor, and his own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  He is best known as the writer, director, and star actor of Sling Blade but also starred in Bad Santa, the science fiction film Armageddon and the crime drama Simple Plan. He was also married to and divorced from Angelina Jolie. Films he has written besides Sling Blade include A Family Thing and The Gift, and he has also directed several films including Daddy and Them, All the Pretty Horses, and Jayne Mansfield’s Car.

He is also a singer and songwriter with four solo albums and is the vocalist of the Boxmasters, a blues rock band.

Cody Jinks
Cody Jinks is a popular country singer from Fort Worth. His album Adobe Sessions contains song such as “Cast No Stones” and “Loud and Heavy.” His appearance on Ray Benson’s Texas Music Scene is available here.

Zane Williams
Zane Williams is a country singer and songwriter who has toured in Missouri, Alabama, and Texas and has produced five CDs. His song “Hurry Home” was selected as the Maxell Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and his album The Right Place was co-produced with Radney Foster. His most recent album, Texas Like That, with ten songs he wrote was produced this year. Music videos include “Overnight Success” and “Jayton & Jill.”

Zane Williams will open the show at 7:00pm followed by Cody Jinks at about 8:30 and the Boxmasters at about 10:15. For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Dryland cotton is holding up well despite the high temperatures.
There’s no two ways about it. This past week has been hot with triple-digit or 99°F afternoons and morning lows in the mid to high seventies. The highs for the week were the 102° days on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. There wasn’t even a hint of rain.

The coming week should also be hot but not quite as hot as the past one. High temperatures should drop by four to eight degrees and lows should drop three or four. There is a 20% to 30% chance of rain on Friday and Saturday, followed by afternoons with only 93° or 94° highs. It will be nice to see some break in this typical August heat, especially if it involves rain and cooler weather.

NASA is reporting that the meteor showers that always occur in August should be especially good this year. They should be at their peak tonight starting around midnight and lasting until dawn, so if you’re somewhere where there are no electric lights, give your eyes about twenty minutes to get used to the darkness and keep them on the darkest part of the sky, and you should see a nice display of shooting stars.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 Plowboys Begin Football Workouts

Plowboys ran some pass plays at Tuesday morning's practice.
Are you ready for some football? Since Monday morning, this year’s edition of the Roscoe Plowboys is preparing for the 2015 football season with workouts at Plowboy Stadium. Practices are from 6:00-10:00am this week, but when school starts at RCHS next week, they will shift to after school.

Their first scrimmage is next Friday, August 14, with the Haskell Indians in Haskell. The following Friday, August 21, they will scrimmage Munday here in Roscoe as a final warmup for their season opener against Hawley on August 28.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, considered the authoritative publication for high school football in Texas, predicts the Plowboys will finish second in district to Winters, this year’s pre-season favorite. Here is how its writers see the District 6-2A-II teams winding up:

          1. Winters Blizzards
          2. Roscoe Plowboys
          3. Miles Bulldogs
          4. Menard Yellow Jackets
          5. Roby Lions
          6. Bronte Longhorns

However, Coach Jake Freeman and his Plowboys know that pre-season predictions are often wrong, and they are optimistic that Roscoe can take the title this year. This is the third year for the team to play in Coach Freeman’s system, so the players know how it works and are familiar with it. They are also an experienced team, returning ten starters on offense and eleven on defense.

With last year’s quarterback Cutter Davila lost to graduation, junior Brayden Beal will now take the reins and run the offense. Coach Freeman says the play calls will take advantage of Beal’s skills by including more run options and quick passes.

Players to watch include wide receivers Kevin Lavalais and Javier Leanos, running backs Vincent Pantoja and Max Nemir, linebacker Rafael Aguayo, and defensive end Ryland Madrid. Texas Football is projecting Pantoja to be the district’s offensive MVP.

The coaching staff this year includes the following:
          Jake Freeman – Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator
          Zane Graves – Offensive Coordinator
          Johnny Martin – Defensive Ends and Running Backs
          Chuck Cathey – Offensive Line and Defensive Tackles
          Jordan Morales – Wide Receivers and Secondary
          Ryan Dillon – Linebackers and Wide Receivers

And here is the Plowboys’ 2015 football schedule:

Date                   Opponent                               Site                   Time
August 14          Haskell (scrimmage)          Haskell             6:00pm
August 21          Munday (scrimmage)         Roscoe              6:00pm
August 28          Hawley                                  Roscoe              7:30pm
September 4      Hamlin                                 Hamlin             7:30pm
September 11     Junction                               San Angelo      7:30pm
September 18     Jim Ned (Homecoming)  Roscoe              7:30pm
September 24     Eldorado                             Eldorado          7:30pm
October 2            OPEN
October 9           *Miles                                   Miles                 7:30pm
October 16         *Winters                               Roscoe              7:30pm
October 23         *Roby                                    Roby                 7:30pm
October 30        *Menard                               Menard             7:30pm
November 6      *Bronte                                 Roscoe              7:30pm

Junior High / Junior Varsity
August 14          Haskell (scrimmage)         Haskell              5:00pm
August 21          Munday (scrimmage)        Roscoe               5:00pm
August 27          Hawley (JV)                        Hawley              6:00pm
September 3      Hamlin (JV)                       Roscoe               6:00pm
September 10    Junction                              San Angelo       4:00pm
September 17    Jim Ned                               Jim Ned            4:30pm
September 24    Eldorado                             Eldorado           4:30pm
October 1            OPEN
October 8          *Miles                                   Roscoe              4:30pm
October 15        *Winters                               Winters             4:30pm
October 22        *Roby                                    Roscoe              4:30pm
October 29        *Menard                               Roscoe              4:30pm
November 5      *Bronte                                 Bronte               4:30pm



The future James Wells Drive at Young Farm Estates.
The sale of lots in Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates housing development on Roscoe’s north side will begin at 10:00am on Monday, August 17, at its office at 10 Cypress Street across from the Lumberyard. Lots will sell for $25,000 to $30,000.

A preview of the subdivision will be held on Tuesday, August 18, in the Lumberyard from 6:00 to 9:00pm. For more information, call Roscoe City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.



The site of the injection well under construction in north Roscoe.
A waste-water injection well approved by the Texas Railroad Commission is being dug on Roscoe’s north side next to the Smartt Move LLC offices, just east of the Young Farm Estates property.

The well, owned by Cord Johnson of Granbury, will cost somewhere between $1,400,000 and $1,700,000 and be from 4400 to 7700 feet deep when completed. It will have a modular office next to it and will employ local workers where possible.



The Roscoe First United Methodist Church is sponsoring a free swim party with food at the Roscoe City Pool tomorrow, Thursday, August 6, from 7:00 to 9:00pm.

Everyone is invited. Bring your family and friends and meet new friends as we get ready to start a new school year!



School starts back for Roscoe Collegiate ISD this coming Monday, August 10. The early start is due to the need for the high school to coordinate its graduation dates with Western Texas College in Snyder.

Drivers should be aware that children will be walking to and from school next week and that school zone regulations will be in effect.



Meet this year’s football team, coaches, cheerleaders, and band at the Plowboy Preview behind the east stands at Plowboy Field next Thursday, August 13, at 7:00pm. Burgers, chips, and drinks will be available.



Beau Taylor & Spur 644 at the Lumberyard.
Beau Taylor & Spur 644 will play at the Lumberyard Friday evening, and on Saturday the featured band is Wildfire.

Next Friday, August 14, the Lumberyard will host another big show when Billy Bob Thornton (of Sling Blade fame) and his band, the Boxmasters, come to town. Opening bands are Zane Williams and Cody Jinks.

For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Yesterday's sunset.
The Roscoe area has seen a lot of unusual weather this year, but this past week was just about as typical as you can get for late July and early August—and the forecast is for more of the same.

There was a 30% chance of rain on Saturday when a mild front blew through, but nothing ever materialized. Then on Monday morning there was a brief teaser that lasted just long enough to get the ground wet, but that was it. Otherwise, highs were in the upper nineties, lows in the mid-seventies, skies mostly clear, and winds from the south or southeast—just what you would expect for this time of year.

Temperatures will actually be a little hotter in the coming days. Highs are projected to be around 102° through Sunday with lows in the mid to upper seventies. Prevailing winds will be from the south, and there is no rain in the forecast. It’s August in west Texas.



Funeral services were held on Friday, July 31, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Sweetwater for Juan (JJ) Solano, Jr., 23, who passed away on July 27 at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery.

JJ was born on October 24, 1991, in Abilene. He was a graduate of Roscoe High School, where he was a member of the Spanish Club, Drama Club, Roscoe Plowboy Band, and Color Guard.  He was awarded 1st place solo in music at UIL. He attended Texas Tech University for the past 3 years and was a Zumba instructor there. He was a member of Holy Spirit Parish Church and had worked at the Stripes store in Roscoe for the past five summers.

Survivors include his parents, Adelita Solano of Sweetwater and Juan Solano, Sr., of Roscoe; brother, Jeremy Ray Solano of Roscoe; sister, Alexis Marie Solano of Roscoe; paternal grandfather, Guadalupe Solano of Rogers, Texas; aunts, Delia Beltran of Sweetwater, Dalia Rodriguez and husband, Antonio, of Kenedy, Eulalia Anchando of Rogers, and Angela Jeske of Rogers; uncles, Ray Mendez of Odessa, Felix Solano, Jr., of Rogers; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents and his paternal grandmother.

Pallbearers were Antonio Rodriguez, David Reyes, Tavares Hines, Elliott Beltran, A.J. Renteria, and Ray Mendez.


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