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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

City Council Hears Reports, Approves Action Items

City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the City Council yesterday evening.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the City Council heard reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police, and approved a number of action items.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council that the sewer line upgrade currently underway is proceeding as planned and reminded them that the entire project will take about six months. Work on Seventh Street from Ash to Main Streets by West Texas Aggregates has also begun. In those three blocks, the street will be widened seven feet on each side, i.e., from the current 14 feet to 28 feet when complete.

The City has purchased a 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup for $11,500. The one it will replace has over 367,000 miles on it and is on its last legs.

The City had several water line breaks this week, and City workers have been busy trying to fix them all. In two cases the breaks were in 8” water mains, which caused neighborhood water outages. City workers have begun mowing the old sanitary sewer plant, and once mowing is complete, it will be sprayed with weed killer.

The Council approved an ordinance establishing a school zone in front of the new Early Childhood Center on Main Street. The work and its expenses will be handled by the State since FM 608 is a state highway. The zone will be on Main from Seventh Street to the I-20 access roads. Signs will not be placed nor slower speeds be required until school begins in August.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja said that the Police Department responded to 101 calls in May. There were two burglaries and two auto thefts. Two utility trailers have also recently been stolen.

Sherry Oliver of 611 Main Street requested permission to keep chickens. The request prompted a general discussion about the City ordinance against keeping chickens, and after some deliberation everyone agreed that it is time to get rid of the ordinance but to maintain certain limitations, particularly as to the number of chickens allowed. Details of what other cities are doing in this regard are needed, however, so the question of the wording of the new regulation and its passage have been tabled until next month’s meeting. In the meantime, the Council told Ms. Oliver that she can keep up to 12 adult chickens at her address.

The Council then approved some routine items including permitting the parade and fireworks show and blocking of downtown streets on July 1. It also authorized the payment of two cents per capita to the Atmos Cities Steering Committee to fund regulatory and related activities.



Lauren Decker of Stamford speaks at the Southwest Energy Summit.
The ninth annual Southwest Energy Summit began yesterday morning at the RCISD STEM Center and continues today with State Senator Charles Perry giving a keynote address this morning. U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington was scheduled to speak yesterday but had to stay in Washington as a committee on which he serves proposed a VA accountability bill that was voted on and passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Summit features speakers from several area energy sources including oil, natural gas, solar energy, nuclear energy and related sectors, as well as wind. It will conclude this afternoon.



Ex-Plowboy Matt Buckley and Coach Jake Freeman
Ex-Plowboy Matt Buckley finished his high school football career as a winner as his Blue team beat the Red team 14-0 in the Myrle Greathouse Football Classic at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene Saturday night. The game is a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Festival held annually in Abilene and pits star football players from the Big Country against one another.

Buckley will play football for the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys starting this fall. He is attending the University on a scholarship.



Stoney LaRue
One of the biggest weekends of the summer at the Lumberyard is upon us. On Friday night, Stoney LaRue and the Arsenals will fill the air with “red dirt” classics like “Oklahoma Breakdown” and “My Feet Don’t Touch the Ground.” Saturday night it’s the Mavericks’ turn with the inimitable Raul Malo singing songs ranging from Tex-Mex, Cuban bolero, and blues, to country and rock ‘n’ roll—from songs like “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” to “Here Comes My Baby” and from “Dance the Night Away” to “Back in Your Arms Again.” Both groups give enthusiastic live performances, and large crowds for both are expected.

The Mavericks
For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

Check out Lubbock radio station Lone Star 99.5fm’s article on this weekend at the Lumberyard.



Monday's sunset. (Photo by Eden Baker.)
This past week has been one of those times when the weather is constant from one day to the next. Temperatures moved into the nineties last Thursday, and since then every day has been pretty much the same. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the high temperature was 95°F, on Monday 94°, and then yesterday back to 95°. Early morning lows were either 69° or 70°, skies were mostly clear, and strong winds blew from the south on all those days. Wind speeds ranged from 16 to 20mph with gusts from 28 to 33.

Today will be slightly warmer with a predicted high of 97°, increasing to 99° tomorrow, and then to 104° on Friday and Saturday, and only slightly cooler on Sunday at 101°. Skies will be either sunny or mostly sunny just as they have been for the past week.  Lows will range from 72° to 75°. And the wind will continue to blow from the south. The only chances weathermen are giving for rain are 20% for today, Friday, and Saturday.

Summertime doesn’t officially begin for a week, but according to the weather it’s already here.



Former City Council member Ken Brawley, 73, passed away at his home in Roscoe last night.

Arrangements are underway for a memorial, and cremation will be handled by McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater.



George Allen Thomas, 83, of Roscoe, passed away Tuesday, June 6, at Nolan Nursing and Rehab Center in Sweetwater.

Graveside services were at 1:00pm on Friday, June 9, at Roscoe Cemetery with Randall Smith officiating. McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater was in charge of arrangements.

George was born April 14, 1934, in Roscoe. He was a graduate of Highland High School and Sul Ross University and was a member of the Roscoe Church of Christ. George lived in Nolan County all his life and was a retired rancher.

He is survived by his brother Parks Thomas and wife Rudy of Maryneal, sister Jackie “Dinky” Walters and husband Jim of Irving, nieces Dee Waller of Georgia, Susan (Thomas) Dent and husband Paul of Maryneal, Lisa Shaw of Midland, nephews Brad Burnett and wife Ida of Weatherford, Jimmy Walters of Irving, Todd Thomas of Maryneal and brother-in-law Cliff Burnett of Roscoe.

George was preceded in death by his parents, Iris Jackie (Jones) Thomas, December 23, 1991, and Oma Thomas, March 2, 2002; sister, Ellen Rae (Thomas) Burnett, July 3, 1996; and great niece Misty Hollingworth, December 31, 2006.

Honorary pallbearers will be Brad Burnett, Jimmy Walters, Paul Dent, Clyde Dent, Cutter Dent and Branson Thomas. Memorials may be made to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, Texas 79601 or to one’s favorite charity.



  1. Many fond memories when I think of Ken Brawley, both from RHS and with the fishing trips out to Roberts tank north of Hobbs or hunting doves with the Boys Club. Read his books if you haven't done it yet. RIP Ken.

  2. I am so very sad to hear about Brawley. Laura and I were just talking yesterday about what present to bring him from China.

    I am very glad to hear about the chicken ordinance being lifted.


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