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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

RCHS Students Introduced to Drone Program Starting in Fall

Strat Aero's James McDanolds explains drone flight to RCHS students.
On Friday, Billy Arpe’s RCHS students on the engineering track got their first taste of a new hands-on class in drones that will be taught in Roscoe for the first time this fall.

RCHS recently established a working partnership with Strat Aero International, Inc., based in Houston, which specializes in both military and commercial UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), more commonly known as “drones.” Strat Aero’s focus in this area is the inspection of wind turbine blades with camera mounted drones, but the company is also involved in other drone applications such as agriculture and real estate.

In exchange for providing instruction to RCHS students, the company has established its local office on the south side of the school grounds in the old ag science building.

All the details haven’t been worked out yet, partially because of changing FAA regulations regarding drones, but students will now have the opportunity to be certified in this rapidly growing new technology that significantly cuts costs and improves the way work is done in many businesses. Current plans are also to use the school-owned building on west Broadway, formerly the Nitzsche Welding Shop, as a place for students to learn and get drone pilot certification. Students may also learn drone repair and other drone applications.

The introductory classes on Friday were taught by Strat Aero specialists James McDanolds and Patrick Fox. After a classroom lecture, the instructors and students went out to the football field for a demonstration of the flight and use of camera-mounted drones, a two-man operation with one person controlling the drone’s flight and the other the operation of the camera.

RCHS has been interested in learning about and getting in on drones for some time, and now it appears that all the hard work in getting an educational program established is coming to fruition. It’s exciting to think about the program’s potential and the advantages the certification will provide for our students, whether or not they go on to college.



Dignitaries from Roscoe and Sweetwater were on hand Friday morning for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sanders, Inc., Roscoe’s newest local business. Many also attended its rib-eye steak lunch shortly thereafter.

Sanders is an agricultural company specializing in seeds, feed, crop protection, chemicals, and fertilizer. It is located on 4620 County Road 111 in newly erected buildings just north of the Co-op gin northwest of town.

Justin Alexander is the Location Manager, Timpy Tiemann the Office Administrator, and Victoria Orman the Office Assistant. Clayton Parker and Brody Wright are Salesmen, Fidel Martinez is in the Warehouse, and Eddie Castro and Johnny Santiago are Drivers.

The office phone number is 325-766-3500.



City Accountant Ricky Bowman presents the audit report to the City Council.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the City Council discussed and approved the annual audit report from City Accountant Ricky Bowman. It also canceled the City Election on May 7 because there were only two candidates, Edwin Duncan and Susie Alford, who filed for the two open Council seats. It designated March 21-26 as this year’s annual Spring Clean-up Week and approved advertising for bids to run the City Swimming Pool this summer. The Council also heard reports and updates from City Manager Cody Thompson and Police Chief Felix Pantoja.

Thompson said that the City's Type B Board has agreed to spend approximately $14,000 in sales tax proceeds to repair the Roscoe Community Center's roof with spray roofing. Plans are also underway to repair the roof on the Roscoe Historical Museum. He also reported that the owners of the old Truck and Travel Truck Stop west of town are considering installing a lift station at their expense and running the sewer line along the south side of I-20, which would go gravity flow to the Bandera addition. Cleaning and camera inspection of sanitary sewer lines is complete, and final planning and review will be finished shortly, so bid documents can be prepared in the next six weeks or so.

He also said that construction is proceeding on the two new homes at Young Farm Estates and that maintenance work is being done at the City Water Treatment Plant.

Police Chief Pantoja provided the Council with the required Racial Profile Report for the year to date. Of the 177 traffic citations, including one arrest, 76 were Caucasian, 69 Hispanic, 29 African-American, 3 Middle Eastern, 2 Asian-American, and 0 Native American. The race or ethnicity was known prior to the stop in only 5 of those; a search was conducted in 14, of which 5 gave consent.



The City of Roscoe’s annual Spring Clean-up begins on Monday, March 21, and ends on Saturday, March 26. This year it will be held at Bois d’Arc and Front Streets, just south of the railroad tracks. Hours of operation will be 9:00am to 7:00pm.

There will be three large dumpsters at the location, two for all debris and one for tires. Items which may not be placed in containers are as follows: paint, oil, oil filters, chemical containers, and tree limbs.  Air conditioners and refrigerators must be tagged land-fill acceptable.  There is no curb service, and since the Spring Clean-Up is for Roscoe residents only, anyone dropping off anything must be prepared to show a City of Roscoe water bill.

For more information, contact City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.



The Texas Six-Man Coaches Association has announced its All-Regional Basketball Teams for the state of Texas, and two Highland players, Hannah Allen and Sydny Helbert, are on the ten-player Region II first team.

Highland made it to the area finals this season before losing to Grady 53-49.



After early season meets at Hamlin and Stamford, the Plowboys and Plowgirls will be at home this week as they host the annual Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field on Friday, starting at 2:00pm with the field events, The 3200 meter finals are scheduled for 3:00pm, and the other running finals begin at 5:30pm. Junior High running finals begin at 6:00pm.

It’s still early in the track season, but it is already clear that both the Plowboys and Plowgirls have potential. At the Bulldog Relays in Stamford last week, Plowboy Max Nemir was first in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 43.2 seconds, and Kevin Lavalais won the 400 meter race with a time of 53.1. The 1600 meter relay team (Juan Huidobro, Braiden Moore, Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais) finished second at 3:40.4, and the 400 meter relay team (Juan Huidobro, Francisco Garcia, Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais) was third at 45.3.

Plowgirl Lyndi Wilkinson won the 400 meters with a time of 1:06, Lynzie Atkinson was second in the 300 meter hurdles at 55.14, and Karina Cisneros was second in the 800 meter run at 2:43.11. In the pole vault, Bergan Trevino and Bonnie Wilkinson were third and fourth with both vaulting 6'0".



17th District Commander Kenneth Simonton and Post Commander Tom Griffith at Saturday's POW-MIA remembrance.
In a formal ceremony at Roscoe’s American Legion Post 227 on Saturday evening, local legionnaires took time to recognize our country's POWs (Prisoners of War) and MIAs (Missing in Action). 17th District Commander Kenneth Simonton of Post 61 in Abilene was on hand to participate in the event.



This afternoon, Roscoe’s Robotics team leaves for San Antonio and the Alamo Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. The meet begins today and concludes on Saturday.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that challenges high school students—working alongside professional mentors—to design and build a robot of their own and compete in a “Sport for the Mind” that measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and “Gracious Professionalism.”  Students build and program their own robots against a field of competitors and experience the excitement of science, engineering, technology and innovation.



Roscoe schools will have a full day on Friday, and then Spring Break will be all next week, March 14-18. School will resume the following Monday, March 21, at the normal time.



Terri Clark
She’s back! Terri Clark, who many thought put on the show of the year at the Lumberyard last April, returns for an encore performance Friday night. If you haven’t seen her in person, you won’t want to miss this high-energy performer who puts on a quality show from start to finish.

Originally from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, she moved to Nashville to launch her music career and issued her first single, “Better Things to Do,” in 1995. Since then, she has recorded ten studio albums, four compilation albums, one live album, and 37 singles.

Six of her singles have made it to number one on country music charts: “Girls Lie Too,” “You’re Easy on the Eyes,” “If I Were You,” “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,”  “Emotional Girl,” and “In My Next Life.”  Other hit singles include “Now That I Found You,” “I Just Wanna Be Mad,” and, more recently, “Some Songs,” the title song of her latest CD. She lives in Nashville and currently co-hosts America’s Morning Show on Nash FM with Blair Garner and Chuck Wicks.

Terri Clark and her band will take the stage about 9:30pm. For more information and reservations, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Clouds yesterday afternoon.
Conditions for rain began with the arrival of a strong wind Monday night and will continue through Friday. This is our best chance for a good rain so far this year, but so far there’s been more promise than results. My rain gauge showed 0.04” for Monday night and 0.02” for yesterday evening, not enough for anything but wishing for more. The weathermen say we have a 50% chance for more until Friday evening, when the wind shifts from north-northeast to southwest and the skies clear.

This past week was windy and warm with highs in the seventies and lows ranging from 48° on Saturday to 61° on Monday. However, temperatures will be cooler for the rest of the week with highs in the low sixties today and tomorrow and only 56°F on Friday. Lows will be in the mid to upper forties until Saturday. The only constant will be the continued strong winds, at least until Sunday.

Some rain would be nice. Let’s hope we get some.


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