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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Randi Sulls Perishes in House Fire

Randi Sulls.
A tragic house fire at 1009 Fourth Street early Saturday morning took the life of Randi Sulls, 36, who was caught inside her mobile home as it was destroyed by fire. Her husband, Randy Sulls, and 11-year-old daughter both escaped and survived the blaze.

The fire, most likely electrical, broke out at about 1:00am on a frigid night with a temperature in the mid-twenties. Randi, the first to notice it, woke her husband, who was burned as he ran barefoot through the house to rescue his 11-year-old daughter. After doing so, he then ran outside thinking his wife was right behind him, but she had either not come out or had gone back into the house, possibly to save their puppies. He then tried to re-enter the house, but by then the blaze was too strong.

DPS troopers responded and were soon joined by the Roscoe and Sweetwater Police and Fire Departments along with the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office. By the time the first emergency units arrived, the house was engulfed in flames. Both the father and daughter were taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital and treated for burns and smoke inhalation. They were released from the ER later that morning.

The investigation is ongoing and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is also involved as is customary when there is a death. Other emergency responders included the American Red Cross and the City of Roscoe.

Randi Sulls, who had been living here for fourteen months with her family, was an employee at the Roscoe Stripes station and had many friends, all of whom remembered her for generosity to those less fortunate.

To help the family defray expenses for the funeral, which will take place in Roscoe, several benefits have been planned, and everyone is encouraged to pitch in.

The first took place yesterday at the Legacy Tattoo Parlor on Cypress Street.

This Friday, December 16, a Memorial Service will be held in the Roscoe Community Center from 5:00-8:00pm.

On Saturday, December 17, a Brisket Benefit will be put on by the Roscoe Little League at ?

On Monday, December 20, a Bake Sale in front of the Stripes station will be held from 11:00-3:00pm. Donations will be accepted at all of these events. They may also be made by clicking here. at this website:

For more information, contact Andi Hall at 325-721-7130 or Angela at 325-232-4015.


City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the Council at last night's meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the Roscoe City Council approved Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc., (eHT) of Abilene for engineering services for the City’s sewer-line replacement project and A & J Howco Services of Lubbock to manage the grant work necessary to procure funding for the project. The contract for the latter will be contingent upon receiving grant funds from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The Council also approved the sale of Block 67, Lot 4, spaces 1-10 of the Roscoe Cemetery to Young, Fox, and Coleman, Ltd., and approved the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Roscoe. It also heard public works updates from City Manager Cody Thompson and the monthly Police report from Police Chief Felix Pantoja.

Thompson reported that the City’s Christmas decorations are up for the holiday season and that sanitary sewer improvements will begin sometime after the first of the year. The estimated completion time for the entire project is approximately one year. In the next couple of months, the City also plans on doing some necessary concrete work around town, including a slab at the City Barn and a number of street and driveway repairs.

Pantoja gave the Council a full report on the fire last week that took the life of Randi Sulls and thanked all the emergency services that participated. These included the DPS Highway Patrol, Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, Sweetwater Fire Department, Nolan County Sheriff’s Department, American Red Cross, the Texas State Fire Marshal, and the City of Roscoe, as well as the Roscoe Police Department. He also provided a review of Police activity in the month of November. And, because he is also in charge of the Christmas Parade, he gave the Council the particulars of that event, which will be on December 24 starting at 6:00pm.



Jose Ortega (Football photos by Tamara Alexander.)
Plowboy sophomore Jose Ortega has been named a back on the second-team defense of the 2016 Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 2A all-state high school football team. This year’s selections were released Sunday, and voting was based on players’ regular-season performances.

Francisco Garcia

Plowboys receiving Honorable Mention were junior Francisco Garcia as an offensive running back and junior Paul Pantoja as a defensive lineman.
Paul Pantoja
Congratulations are due all three, as it is an honor to receive statewide recognition as one of the better players in the class.



RCISD Press Release: Monday, December 12, 2016

Roscoe Collegiate ISD’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution at its meeting on Monday, December 12, 2016 concerning the A-F accountability rating system for Texas public schools.

The resolution calls on the Texas Legislature to repeal the A-F letter-grade school/district rating system that will be implemented in the 2017-18 school year as part of House Bill 2804, passed by the Legislature in 2015.

The resolution notes that, despite A-F rating systems being implemented in 16 other states, there is no evidence that these systems have helped to improve student or school performance. It points out that the majority of the grades assigned by the A-F rating system will be based on students’ scores on the STAAR, a standardized test viewed as unreliable for accurately measuring student learning, and that an overwhelming majority of Texans recently surveyed by the State Board of Education have said they do not want standardized test scores to serve as the primary basis for Texas’ school accountability system.

The resolution also notes the flaws of A-F systems: They require a complex set of rules and calculations to combine a multitude of disparate measures into a single, “simple” letter grade that cannot be supported with explanation, are useless for providing feedback that could be used for improvement, and usually align with the wealth or poverty of the students in the school.

The resolution offers an alternative to the A-F rating system: development of a community-based accountability system that empowers districts to design their own systems of assessment and accountability that, while meeting general state standards, allows innovation and customization to match the needs and interests of the local community.

“The Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District (RCISD), as a member of the TASA School Transformation Network, the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, and a designated District of Innovation has local accountability goals of 90%+ Associate Degreed Graduates, symbolic of true college readiness, 90%+ STEM Certified Graduates, symbolic of true workforce readiness, and 100% of graduates carrying STEM Research Projects, symbolic of true graduate school readiness. RCISD refuses to acknowledge this attempt by the State to reduce the accomplishments of the District to a single letter grade assigned by the State, based predominantly upon standardized test scores, that are believed to be seriously lacking in both validity and reliability, in terms of defining meaningful student outcomes that can only be accomplished as a result of deep and meaningful learning experiences. Therefore, as co-chair of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, it is my pleasure to join the other co-chair, Dr. Greg Smith, superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, in becoming two of the first school districts in Texas to publicly urge the Texas Legislature to repeal the A-F School Rating System in Texas.”

Dr. Kim Alexander, Superintendent
Roscoe Collegiate ISD



The Plowboys got a chance to hone their basketball skills this past weekend at the Blackland Divide Invitational Tournament held in the gymnasium of the RCISD Special Events Center Thursday through Saturday.

On Thursday, their first game was a victory over Ira, 38-30. Jose Ortega was the Plowboys’ leading scorer with 19 points. The second game on Friday, was a loss to Coleman 77-22. In that game Jayce Phillips led the Plowboys with 5 points, followed by Junior Martinez with 4, Clemente Aguayo 4, Johnathon Cuellar 4, Ortega 2, Brayden Beal 2, and Jayden Gonzales 1. The third game, a battle for third place, was also a loss as Bronte downed the Plowboys 33-27. Ortega led the Plowboy scoring with 11, Cuellar had 5, Gonzales 5, Beal 4, Cade Garrett 1, and Martinez 1.

The teams finished in this order:

1.      TLCA (San Angelo)
2.      Coleman
3.      Bronte
4.      Roscoe
5.      Anson
6.      Ira
7.      Guthrie
8.      Highland

The Plowboys are now off for the holidays. They won’t play again until December 28-30 when they participate in the Eula Varsity Tournament.



Two Tons of Steel.
The best band in San Antonio, Two Tons of Steel, will be on hand for the Ugly Sweater Contest at the Lumberyard Friday night. The band, which got its start in the mid-nineties, is still one of that city and area’s favorite bands. It has won “Band of the Year” twelve times and the San Antonio Current’s “Best Country Band” ten times. The group has also released eight albums and appeared on the cover of Billboard magazine. Top singles include “Sedated,” “Hold Over Me,” “Your Kiss,” and “Crazy Heart.”

The judges for the Ugly Sweater Contest will be the Two Tons of Steel band members. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The view from my front yard last Thursday afternoon.
The Roscoe area got its first snow of the season on Thursday morning. It wasn’t a lot, just a good dusting really, but it was enough to make roads slick for a while. And while they were was, the conditions caused several wrecks and vehicles in the ditches. I had an early appointment in Abilene, and it was slow going on I-20 for everyone, including the 18-wheelers, until Trent, where the blowing snow ceased and vehicles were able to resume normal, or almost normal, speeds.  By Friday afternoon the snow had all melted, although skies remained overcast and temperatures remained low until Saturday when it warmed up to 58°F. The lows for the week were on Thursday and Friday when the mercury dropped to 24° one day and 26° the next.

Then on Sunday afternoon the high of the week, 67°, came with clear skies and a brisk southwest wind. Since then, the weather’s been cooling a bit again. Monday’s high was 61°, and yesterday’s was 51°. The lows yesterday and this morning were 32° and 34° respectively.

The coming week is going to be something of a weather roller-coaster. This morning’s temperature is only 29°, and the high will be only in the mid-fifties, but the forecast for Friday is for a high of 77° and one of 66° on Saturday with both days accompanied by strong winds. Conversely, Sunday’s high will be only 29° and the low a frigid 16°, and that’s before you factor in the wind chill. Then, next Wednesday the 20th, the prediction is for a 60% chance of a wintry mix, which should make those last shopping trips to Abilene a harrowing adventure. It appears then, that we’ll have a little bit of everything in the week leading up to Christmas.


Funeral services are being held at Champion Baptist Church this morning, December 14, at 10:00am for Beatrice D. (Reed) Stack, 86, of Champion, who passed away Saturday evening, December 10, at her home following a lengthy battle with cancer. Burial will follow at Champion Cemetery.

She was born in Hobart, Oklahoma, and spent most of her adult life in Vinita, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of Omer Austin and Alta Mae Reed, of Vinita. She married Harris Jackson “Joe” Stack of Columbia, South Carolina, on February 15, 1959. She worked as a dental assistant for several years in Vinita before her marriage. She and her husband lived in Barber’s Point, Hawaii, until his retirement from the Navy, then moved with him to Jacksonville, Florida, until returning to Vinita, Oklahoma, where she worked in the County Assessor’s office for 20 years and was a member of Trinity Baptist Church of Vinita. In 2001, she moved to Champion to be near her grandchildren. She was a member of Champion Baptist Church for 15 years and served as church clerk and co-teacher of the Ladies’ Sunday School Class. She volunteered as a Monday Angel and weekend hostess at the Samaritan House in Colorado City for over 10 years. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, gardening, and collecting bells.

She is survived by her daughters, Carol Parsons and husband Bruce, of Champion, Texas; Margaret Glass and husband Frank, of Pelham, Alabama; a sister, Dorothy Pippin, of Skiatook, Oklahoma; two brothers, Conaly Reed and wife Alice, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and Dale Reed of Glendale, Arizona; grandchildren Douglas and Jennifer Parsons of Tyler; William Parsons and fiancĂ© Sarah Wells of Plano; Richard and Kayla Parsons of San Angelo; Joanna Parsons and her “future fiancĂ©,” Jascha Baugbog, of San Marcos; step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Alta and Omer Reed, one sister, Peggy (Reed) Ginnings, and her husband, Harris Jackson Stack, who died on December 28, 1992.

The family wishes to thank the gracious love and care given Bea in the last six months of her life by the nurses, care givers, chaplain, and others of Kindred Hospice of Lubbock.

Pallbearers will be the Deacons of the Champion Baptist Church.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, the family suggests the Samaritan House, 1325 Westpoint, Colorado City, TX 79512, or the building fund of Champion Baptist Church, 3217 FM 2319, Roscoe, TX 79545.


Randi Suzanne Sulls, 36, passed away on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at her residence in Roscoe, Texas.

Memorial Services will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 16, 2016 at the Roscoe Community Center in Roscoe, Texas. A graveside service will be at a later date.

Mrs. Sulls was born on January 30, 1980 in Kenton, OH. She married Randy Lynn Sulls on 10/31/2012 in Athens, Tennessee. Randi had worked at Stripes in Roscoe the past 5 months living in Roscoe the last fourteen months. She was a graduate of Cosmetology School and a homemaker.

Survivors include: Husband- Randy Lynn Sulls of Roscoe, TX; Daughter- Kaylynn Goeppinger of Roscoe, TX; Son- Michael Anthony Scott of Mt. Vernon, OH; Mother- Margaret Hamilton of Calhoun, TN; Brother- Anthony Lee Smith of Mt. Vernon, Oh; Sisters- Lateresa Sue Johnston of Calhoun, TN, Shannon Kay Williams of Calhoun, TN; 2 Step-sisters- Shelly Lynn Hamilton of Mt. Vernon, OH and Traci Green of Mt. Vernon, OH.

She was preceded in death by her father, Oliver Randall Scott, Jr. in 1998 and her step-father, Michael Hamilton in 1999.


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