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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

West Texas Wind Festival Enjoyed Saturday

Mo Pitney & band at the free concert.
Despite the ever-present Covid-19 threat, a respectable crowd was in town for the 14th Annual West Texas Wind Festival on Saturday. The weather was perfect, well, almost perfect, as there was a substantial southwest breeze, but, as Mayor Pete Porter said in his introduction to the band, “It is the West Texas Wind Festival.” Skies were clear, and the afternoon high of 86° was suitable for being outside, so no one was complaining about the weather.

Street vendors sold their wares on Cypress Street, and at the baseball field the roars of mud vehicles could be heard. As afternoon became evening, a crowd gathered downtown to hear Nashville country singing star Mo Pitney, who put on a good show. Giovannie & the Hired Guns, who opened for Pitney, were also a hit with many. As usual, the grand finale of the day was the fireworks show, although many of the audience who weren’t ready to go home went to the Lumberyard for a little dancing to the music of Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band. Once again, the festival was an enjoyable event for those who attended.

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RCHS CROSS-COUNTRY TEAMS FINISH SECOND AT ANSON

The Roscoe cross-country teams competed in the Anson Invitational last wed.  Varsity girls and junior high girls both placed 2nd.  Top five finishers were awarded medals.  For varsity girls, Kaidy Ornelas placed 5th.  For junior high girls, Zoey Welch placed 1st and Ava Burrell 4th.

The Junior High team will compete in their district meet on October 20th in Colorado City.  The Varsity will compete in district the following week, October 26, in Coleman.

--o--

HAMLIN DEFEATS PLOWBOYS 49-13

In a game rescheduled because three of the teams in the district were unable to play because of players with positive Covid-19 tests, the Plowboys traveled to Hamlin instead of playing Ralls at home. The Pied Pipers, currently ranked second in state, had little trouble with the Plowboys, defeating them 49-13.

The Plowboys, although outclassed, played hard the entire game and in the fourth quarter put together some good drives, scoring a couple of touchdowns before game’s end. Kolten Hope scored one on a run and Tyler Guelker the other on a 17-yard pass from Antonio Aguayo.

Hope had 132 yards rushing on 28 carries with 1 TD. Jax Watts completed 7  of 11 passing for 81 yards, and Antonio Aguayo had 3 receptions for 58 yards along with his 17-yard touchdown pass. Zeke Murphy led the defense in tackles while Aguayo had 1 interception.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1           2        3          4         T
Hamlin              21        14        8          0        43
Plowboys           0          0         0        13        13

--o--

Plowboys vs. Ralls at Plowboy Field Tomorrow

Because of the revised district schedule, the Plowboys will face Ralls tomorrow evening at Plowboy Field. They are playing on a Thursday because the only way the district could get all its games in before the playoffs was to have some on weeknights. Last week, three district teams were unable to compete because of positive Covid-19 tests, which was the trouble that caused the scheduling problem.

So, instead of playing Ralls last Friday, as originally scheduled, they face them here tomorrow evening. Ralls is a strong opponent. Texas Football magazine predicted them to finish second in district to Hamlin. The Jack Rabbits return 6 offensive and 5 defensive starters from last year’s 10-2 area finalists. They are led by QB/DB Xavier Garcia and RB/LB Bryson Jones.

This year, they are 4-3 so far with victories over Seagraves 44-0, Quanah 30-28, Plains 28-0, and New Home 46-15. Their losses were to Farwell 7-0, Clarendon 18-12, and their first district game to Hamlin 42-22.

Kickoff at Plowboy Field is at 7:00pm.

Junior High and Junior Varsity Plowboys play at Ralls today starting at 4:30 and 6:30pm.

--o--

PLOWBOY MUDBOG RESULTS


Mudbog organizers were hoping for enough entries for Tractor Tire class. They were pleasantly surprised when 14 entries of that class showed up to compete.

Here is a list of the top three finishers in each class. Each vehicle made two runs, and the times listed are the number of seconds it took to finish both runs.

              Driver                             Time
Street Class 
          1. Chris Sparks                  20.12
          2. Sydni Sparks                 28.11
          3. Demetria Pantoja         30.92

Super Street
           1. David Scott                   18.36
           2. Robert Sparks              21.88
           3. Chris Sparks                 22.67

Modified
           1. Brian Averehe              14.41
           2. Nick Pantoja                25.55
           3. Alex Pantoja                37.79

Super Modified
           1. David Smallwood        13.22
           2. A. Montgomery           16.32
           3. Adam Galvan               26.36

Open
            1. Wacey Daniel               11.4
            2. Brande Oden               14.87
            3. Jesse Bacherini           27.08

Tractor Tire
             1. Toby Walker               16.38
             2. Jeremy Sisk                16.84
             3. Adam Smith               17.79

--o--

LOCAL FARMER LONNIE ORMAN DISCUSSES SUNFLOWERS ON KRBC-TV

Lonnie Orman is growing lots of sunflowers on area farms this year, and yesterday he was the subject of the KRBC-TV news interview below. It lasts a little over a minute (1:17). The article is available on the Big Country Homepage by clicking here


--o--

NO ROSCOE HARD TIMES NEXT WEEK

Two of my daughters with their families are coming in from Chicago tomorrow to join with me and my other daughter and granddaughter already here for an early Thanksgiving. They wanted to get us all together before my eldest daughter and her daughter return to China.

 China is beginning to open back up for people employed there, so they will be leaving as soon as their visa and other paperwork are complete and airlines tickets purchased. She’s a teacher at the Xiamen International School there and will be returning to regular in-person classes as opposed to the online classes she’s been teaching by long distance from Roscoe this semester.

As a result, I will not be available to gather and write up the news for next week. I should be good to go the following week, though, and, if so, I’ll put two weeks’ news in that posting.  Edwin Duncan, Roscoe Hard Times.

--o--

COVID-19 CASES STILL INCREASING

Covid-19 numbers are growing in the United States. The past week has seen an increase of 60,000 cases a day, an increase of 34% from the average two weeks ago. The hardest hit states are in the north and northwestern states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, but case numbers are also rapidly increasing in New Mexico, where the governor has just issued new restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.

Cases are also increasing in Texas, just not at the rate it is in the above-mentioned states. Increases have been in the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, but not the number of deaths statewide, which has decreased slightly. By request, the Texas Health Department is sending extra health care workers to El Paso, Amarillo, and Lubbock, where cases have spiked in recent weeks.

In the Big Country, Taylor County continues to show a steady increase in its Covid-19 numbers. It now has 937 active cases compared to 719 a week ago, 519 two weeks ago and 433 a month ago. The county’s number of hospitalizations is also increasing with 37 yesterday compared to 27 last week and 20 a month ago. 17 of those are from out of county. Abilene hospitals have now had 65 total Covid-19 deaths, including 4 more in the last 5 days.

Locally, both Roscoe and Highland schools have been dealing with active cases, and I know of at least one local adult who is active. Nolan County now has 50 active cases, down from 61 last week but still up 28 from two weeks ago. Mitchell County has 39 active cases, 13 more than last week’s 26, and Fisher County has 15 active cases, up 5 from the 10 reported last week. These numbers are high compared to the past for each of these counties, so if you are local, remember to take proper precautions when out in public.

In Scurry County, the County Health Authority reports an average of 14 new cases per day for the past 21 days, and Dr. Bid Cooper reports area hospitals are reaching critical capacity levels. He says, “We desperately need your help to flatten the curve.” Scurry County’s number of active cases, however, has dropped to 103. That’s 8 less than last week but still 31 more than three weeks ago.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 1,040 (992); Scurry, 996 (911); Erath, 974 (933); Brown, 636 (609); Jones, 586 (573); Nolan, 378 (308); Comanche, 343 (334); Runnels, 287 (293); Eastland, 226 (213); Stephens, 151 (144); Mitchell, 154 (106); Knox, 110 (110); Callahan 110 (103); Coke, 90 (59); Fisher, 91 (75); Coleman, 84 (82); Haskell, 77 (74); Shackelford, 34 (30); Stonewall, 18 (17); Throckmorton, 16 (14); Kent, 10 (9).
 
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 15,908 (14,165); Midland, 4,550 (4,176); Ector (Odessa), 3,528 (3,345); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 3,023 (2,489); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,514 (2,405).

Texas now has had a total of 833,557 cases (800,415 a week ago), 83,973 of them active (77,126 a week ago), and 17,087 total deaths (16,622 a week ago).

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: TYPICAL FALL WEATHER

The weather for the past week has been typical for what this region gets this time of year—mostly sunny skies with daily highs ranging from the mid to upper 80s and the lows from the 60s to mid-40s.

After last Wednesday’s unusual high of 96°F, a cold front blew in that lowered temperatures considerably. Thursday’s high was only 77°, and the Friday morning low was down to 43°. Friday’s high was only 70°, but then on Saturday there was a warm southwest wind, and the weather for the West Texas Wind Festival was pleasant, despite the breeze, which was stiff at times. The high that afternoon was 86°, but the evening cooled down to just about perfect for the evening concert and fireworks show. Sunday was also ideal for outdoor activities with sunny skies and a high of 80° with only a mild breeze. On Monday, another cold front came through, lowering the high to 68° and bringing overcast skies, the first time we’ve seen a cloud cover practically the entire month. The accompanying north winds were nippy and dropped the morning low to 43°.

Today and tomorrow will be warm with predicted highs both days of 86° and strong southwest winds. Tomorrow evening’s game with Ralls at Plowboy Field should be warm but windy. Another cold front blows in on Friday morning, also with strong winds but from the north. Temperatures will fall to a high of about 64° Friday afternoon and going down to 43° Saturday morning. Saturday’s high will be about 74° with a light south wind, and Sunday will have southwest winds and a high all the way up to 85°.

Starting on Monday when another cold front arrives, we’ll have our first chance of rain for the month. Right now, the forecasters are giving us a 40% chance of thunderstorms on Monday, 50% on Tuesday, and 40% on Wednesday with strong north winds and lows in the mid-thirties. Some places could even see a freeze if the temperature drops below the current prediction.

--o--

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

West Texas Wind Festival This Saturday

Mo Pitney
Plans are being finalized for the fourteenth annual West Texas Wind Festival this Saturday, and organizers are anticipating a good crowd, especially for the free concert and the fireworks show.

The downtown streets will be lined with vendors in the afternoon and evening, and the downtown shops will be open for business. The Roscoe Historical Museum will also be open, and the Roscoe Express Shuttle will be on hand to take people to and from selected parking areas, the Plowboy Mudbog, and downtown all afternoon at no charge.

The Plowboy Mudbog competition begins at noon at the baseball field at Second and Sycamore in east Roscoe. It will go on until 4 or 5pm depending on the number of entries. Admission is free.

Music for the free concert and street dance on Cypress Street will begin at five with Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band. At six, east Texas country singer Dylan Wheeler will get a turn, and at seven Giovannie & the Hired Guns, an up-and-coming young Texas group from Stephenville, will take over. Then at around eight, Nashville star Mo Pitney will take the stage.

The 27-year-old Pitney was born into a musical bluegrass family in southern Illinois but has lived and worked in Nashville since becoming a professional musician.
He got a standing ovation after singing, “Country,” in his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Besides his own songs, such as “Ain’t Bad for a Good Ol’ Boy” or “Boy & a Girl Thing,” he is well known for his covers of traditional country classics, such as “Borrowed Angel,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” or with his wife Emily, “Storms Never Last.”

The fireworks show will follow Pitney’s performance at about 9:40pm and conclude this year’s Wind Festival, although those who aren’t ready to go home yet can move over to the Lumberyard, where Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band will play until midnight with no cover charge.

Plowboy Mudbog

As always, mudboggers will be coming in from near and far to try their vehicles in Roscoe’s blackland mud at the Plowboy Mudbog,

Registration for entrants begins at 9:30am Saturday morning at the northwest corner of George Parks Baseball Field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

Entries will be in five classes, possibly six:
          1. Street: 35” tires & under with limited engine modification
          2. Super Street: 35” with engine vac under 13”
          3. Modified: 36” to 39” with limited engine modification
          4. Super Modified: 36” to 39” with engine vac under 13”
          5. Open: 40” and over.
          6. Tractor Tires (possibly)

Since there’s an advantage in going last rather than first, each mud vehicle makes two runs, with the second run in reverse order from the first. Street and Super Street classes will do both their runs first, and then the rest of the classes will follow in order.

The public gate will open at 11:00am with mudbog competition beginning at noon.  Admission is free of charge.

Spectators are encouraged to bring sun block, canopy, and lawn chairs. For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.

Downtown Schedule:
          5:00pm – Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band
          6:00pm – Dylan Wheeler
          7:00pm – Giovannie & the Hired Guns
          8:00pm – Mo Pitney & Band
          9:40pm – Fireworks Show
        10:00pm – Event Ends

So, make plans now to attend, bring lawn chairs and coolers, and help us celebrate the day! Also, please be considerate of others by maintaining social distance and wearing masks. We don’t want the event to be a Covid-19 hotspot!

--o--

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FALL FESTIVAL THIS FRIDAY

There will be plenty of games to play at the Fall Festival.
The Roscoe Elementary School and Early Childhood Center are holding their annual Fall Festival this Friday, October 16, 5:00-7:00pm, at Circle Drive in front of the Elementary School building.

As always, there will be activities of all kinds, prizes, and games of luck and skill. These include a cake walk, bingo, bounce house, snacks, booths, and much more to make the festival a fun evening for everyone.

Proceeds benefit the Roscoe Elementary School and Early Childhood Center.

--o--

PLOWBOYS TO PLAY HAMLIN IN HAMLIN FRIDAY

After a long meeting this morning, District 5-2A-II officials have decided that Roscoe will not be playing Ralls here Friday night but Hamlin in Hamlin. This schedule change has come about because some of the Ralls Jack Rabbits have tested positive for Covid-19, meaning that the team would be unable to play the Roscoe game this week.

A tentative schedule for the remainder of the season for all the teams in the district was devised earlier this week, and Roscoe Edu-Cast posted that revised schedule, but that schedule was not confirmed.

I just received the updated schedule from Coach Jake Freeman. Here it is:

REMAINING VARSITY SCHEDULE

      1.,   FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16TH VS HAMLIN IN HAMLIN @ 7:00 PM
      2.    THURSDAY,  OCTOBER 22ND VS RALLS  IN ROSCOE @ 7:00 PM
      3.    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28TH VS LOCKNEY IN ROSCOE @ 7:00 PM
      4.    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND VS CROSBYTON  IN CROSBYTON @ 7:00 PM

REMAINING JH AND JV SCHEDULE

1. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15TH VS SEYMOUR IN SEYMOUR. 7TH GRADE @ 4PM, 8TH  GRADE @5 PM, JV APPROXIMATELY 6:30 PM.
2.  WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21ST VS RALLS IN RALLS – 7TH GRADE @ 4PM, 8TH  GRADE @5 PM, JV APPROXIMATELY 6:30 PM.
3.  THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29TH VS LOCKNEY IN LOCKNEY -  JH ONLY- STARTING AT 5 PM.
4.  TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD  VS CROSBYTON  IN ROSCOE. - JH ONLY - STARTING AT 5 PM.

DUE TO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19, THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY POINT.  I WILL GET ANY CHANGES THAT ARE MADE TO THE SCHEDULE SENT OUT AS SOON AS I RECEIVE THE INFORMATION.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.

I WILL ATTEMPT TO FIND JV GAMES FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF THE SEASON AS LOCKNEY AND CROSBYTON DO NOT HAVE A TEAM.

--o--

CROSS-COUNTRY RESULTS AT IRION COUNTY

The Varsity Plowgirls finished second at the Irion County Invitational Meet last Wednesday, and the Varsity Plowboys fifth. Individual medalists were the following:

Varsity Plowgirls: Kaidy Ornelas 3rd, Itzel Ortega 5th, Jissel Rodriguez 7th, and Candy Ortega 9th.

JV Plowgirls: Jaden Amador 1st, Cheyenne Moorhead 10th.

The RCHS cross-country teams are competing today at the meet in Anson.

--o--

CITY COUNCIL HEARS REPORTS, APPROVES ITEMS

Cody Thompson addresses the City Council at yesterday's meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council received reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police and approved several action items including approval of the quarterly investment report.

City Manager Cody Thompson stated that work is 95% complete at both the old and new sanitary sewer plants but that workers are still waiting on the new pump for the north side lift station. Regarding personnel changes, he said that Joe Vick will be leaving as his wife has taken a managerial job in Tyler. Employees Brandon Reed and Josh Jones have both completed 20-hour potable water and wastewater courses with the TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality), and Reed will take Vick’s job of managing the City reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.

City employees are preparing for the West Texas Wind Festival, which will be this Saturday.

Broadband service for Roscoe is being planned to be maintained and improved in the City, and a state grant application for $14,000 in Coronavirus Relief Funds has been completed. A transmission tower behind and above City Hall was erected this week with ten more smaller relay towers to be placed strategically around town to create a cloud of full service for the entire community. Since the FCC has dropped the requirement for AT&T to maintain copper wiring for landlines, they have begun pulling out of smaller towns, which will demand local action to maintain internet wi-fi capabilities.

Roscoe’s annual Christmas Open House shopping event is planned for Sunday, November 8. The general election is Tuesday, November 3, and early voting at the County Clerk’s office began yesterday.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja was called away before he was able to present his Police Report for September, but he left his handout before leaving. It states that the Department received 79 calls for service in September and that Roscoe Police issued 4 citations, issued 11 warnings, made one arrest, and handled one vehicle crash.

The Council then approved an ordinance reducing the posted speed limit from 75mph to 65mph during the future reconstruction of 1-20 and US Highway 84. It also approved a fireworks permit for the West Texas Wind Festival and approved the Quarterly Investment Report.

--o--

COVID-19 CASES INCH BACK UP

Nationally, the number of Covid-19 cases is showing a slight increase with the hotspots now being the upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Texas also reports a slight increase in numbers of new cases and hospitalizations while the number of new deaths is about the same as last week.

Governor Abbott is allowing bars to open in counties if the local judges agree, and County Judge Downing Bolls is opening the bars in Taylor County today, but only at 50% capacity and with other restrictions in place. A spike in Tarrant County has its health director calling for a switch to virtual learning in the schools, while the Tarrant County Judge is allowing the county’s bars to open today.

Taylor County is also showing a significant increase in its number of active Covid-19 cases. It now has 719 compared to 519 a week ago and 409 a month ago. Many of the new cases are coming from the universities in Abilene, particularly ACU, which more than doubled its number of active cases from 44 last week to 114 yesterday with 275 others in quarantine. Hardin-Simmons has 33 active cases and McMurry 22. The county’s number of hospitalizations is about the same with 27 yesterday compared to 24 last week and 20 a month ago. Abilene hospitals have now had 61 total Covid-19 deaths, 3 more than last week.

Nolan, Mitchell, and Fisher County cases are also on the rise. Nolan County now has 61 active cases, up 39 from the 22 a week ago. Mitchell County has 26 active cases, 12 more than last week’s 14, and Fisher County has 10 active cases, up 9 from the 1 reported last week. These numbers are new highs for each of these counties, so if you are local, remember to take proper precautions when out in public.

Scurry County’s numbers have leveled off. There are now 111 active cases. That’s 1 less than last week but still 39 more than two weeks ago. The county also reports another death since last week for a total now of 12.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 992 (933); Erath, 933 (887); Scurry, 911 (773); Brown, 609 (593); Jones, 573 (577); Comanche, 334 (317); Nolan, 308 (278); Runnels, 293 (283); Eastland, 213 (196); Stephens, 144 (138); Knox, 110 (104); Mitchell, 106 (101); Callahan 103 (98); Coleman, 82 (81); Fisher, 75 (70); Haskell, 74 (72); Coke, 59 (53); Shackelford, 30 (29); Stonewall, 17 (16); Throckmorton, 14 (9); Kent, 9 (9).
 
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 14,165 (12,766); Midland, 4,176 (3,987); Ector (Odessa), 3,345 (3,254); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,405 (2,339); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 2,489 (1,989).

Texas now has had a total of 800,415 cases (743,284 a week ago), 77,126 of them active (71,611 a week ago), and 16,622 total deaths (16,111 a week ago).

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: HOT AND SUNNY

Sunday's sunset.
The past week has been sunny and hotter than we usually get in October. In fact, the weekend was downright hot with a 97°F high on Saturday and a 98° on Sunday. Preceding the weekend heat were highs of 90° on Wednesday and 86° on both Thursday and Friday. Monday was a nice break with a maximum of 77° and a low of 58°, while yesterday was warmer with a high of 87°. The heat returns today, however, as the temperature will rise to around 97° this afternoon.

The break in the heat comes tomorrow with the arrival of a cold front that will drop temperatures by about 25 degrees and feel even colder than that with strong north winds of 25-35mph and gusts over 40mph. Tomorrow's high will be 71° and the night’s low will be about 45°. Friday’s high will be only about 70° with a low of 51°. Saturday will be warmer, though, for the Wind Festival with an afternoon high of 84° under mostly sunny skies and breezes from the southwest.

Sunday’s high will be about 80° and will set the trend for next week whose days all have highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties.

Once again, however, there is little chance of any rain as skies remain almost completely sunny.

--o--

† SEBASTIANA FLORES DIAZ

Services for Sebastiana Flores Diaz, 56, of Roscoe will be held at a later date. Viewing and visitation was on Sunday and Monday at McCoy Funeral Home with cremation following. She passed away on Thursday, October 8, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Sebastiana was born January 20, 1964, in Mexico.

She is survived by her husband, Alfonso Diaz of Roscoe; son, Rene Diaz of Roscoe; daughters, Brianda Diaz of Chattanooga, TN, Mayra Diaz of Chattanooga, TN, Alma Diaz of Charlotte, NC, and Maria Elena Diaz of Charlotte, NC.

--o--

† BILLIE JEAN MARTIN

A graveside service for Billie Jean (Holley) Martin, 78, of Roscoe was at 2:00pm on Monday, October 12, at Roscoe Cemetery with Reverend David Draper officiating. She passed away on Thursday, October 8, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Billie was born September 19, 1942, to parents Joe Holley and Wilma Hyde Critz in Artesia, New Mexico. A 1960 graduate of Roscoe High, Billie was a secretary at Roscoe High School for 40 years. She was a loyal Plowboy fan and supporter. She married Johnny Martin on July 21, 1988, in Sweetwater.  She enjoyed spending time with family, especially her grandkids and great-grandkids.

Survivors include her husband, Johnny Martin of Roscoe; daughter, Sonya Bowman of Sweetwater; sons, Randy Pieper of Blackwell and Britt Pieper of Sweetwater; grandchildren, Steve Allen Eldred of Alba, Texas, Brittany Elliott of Blackwell, Austin Pieper of Weimar, Texas, Alex Massey of Roscoe, Michael Massey of Roscoe, and Cyera Pieper of Sweetwater. Gran dearly loved and enjoyed her eight great-grandchildren.

Billie was preceded in death by her parents.

Pallbearers were Michael Massey, Steve Eldred, Austin Pieper, Josh Boston, Patrick Ivy, and Jason Elliott. Honorary Pallbearer was Jim Boston.

--o--

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

RCHS Royalty Crowned at Football Game

Football Beau Zeke Murphy and Football Sweetheart Lizzy Rubio.

Friday was Mum Night, and at halftime of the football game, the 2020-21 Roscoe Collegiate High School royalty was crowned. This year’s Football Sweetheart is Lizzy Rubio, and her Beau is Zeke Murphy. Nominees for Football Sweetheart were Alexis Arce, Gabriella Dyck, and Lizzy Rubio. Nominees for Football Beau were Kolten Hope, Juan Leaños, and Zeke Murphy.

Band Sweetheart Athena Newman and Band Beau Caleb Reed.

Band Sweetheart is Athena Newman, and Band Beau is Caleb Reed. Nominees for Band Sweetheart were Sydni Jackson, Mikayla Smith, and Athena Newman. Nominee for Beau was Caleb Reed.

FFA Beau Reese Kiser and FFA Sweetheart Marcella Saenz.
FFA Sweetheart is Marcella Saenz, and FFA Beau is Reese Kiser. Nominees for FFA Sweetheart were Marcella Saenz and Lisa Tollison. Nominees for FFA Beau were Antonio Aguayo and Reese Kiser.

--o--


PLOWBOYS FALL TO SEAGRAVES, 32-6

Tyler Guelker returns kickoff for 70 yards and an apparent TD.
To say the game Friday evening got off on the wrong foot for the Plowboys would be a major understatement. Here’s what happened. 

The Plowboys received the opening kickoff, and on the third play of the game, Plowboy Jax Watts threw a short pass to Seth Wilcox, who took it down the left sideline 51 yards to the end zone for an apparent Plowboy touchdown. However, a flag for holding was thrown, and the play was called back. 

The Plowboys then drove the ball down to the Eagle 18-yard line. On the next play, just before the ball was snapped, a Seagraves lineman jumped across the line for a neutral zone infraction. Watts, thinking he had a free play, threw the ball to the end zone, where it was intercepted and returned 100 yards. However, there was some confusion, and none of the referees ever threw a flag for the obvious offsides, so instead of the Plowboys having the ball on the Seagraves 13, Seagraves was given a touchdown on the play and went up 6-0. 

Tyler Guelker then caught the following kickoff at the Plowboy 30 and returned it 70 yards for another apparent Plowboy touchdown. But once again, the Plowboys were called for holding, and the ball came back to the Plowboy 46. So, with less than half of the first quarter gone, the Plowboys had been in the end zone twice with both called back, and the referees had failed to throw a flag on an obvious Seagraves offsides infraction, which they instead ruled a Seagraves touchdown, and Seagraves was ahead 6-0—not a good start!

After the holding call, the Plowboys started on their 46, but on the second play Seagraves intercepted a Plowboy pass and drove to the Plowboy 28, where Smith ran it in for a touchdown. The two-point extra point try succeeded, and Seagraves led 14-0, the score at the end of the first quarter.

Shortly after the beginning of the second quarter, Smith broke through for another touchdown, this one a 68-yarder, increasing Seagraves’ lead to 20-0. Neither side was able to score for the remainder of the quarter, and at halftime the score remained 20-0.

In the third quarter, Seagraves received the kickoff and went on a drive that ended with Flores going the final 29 yards for a touchdown to up the lead to 26-0. The Plowboys received the kickoff and spent almost the entire remainder of the quarter on a long drive that started on their own 30 and ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from Watts to Antonio Aguayo. The two-point conversion try failed, and the score was 26-6, also the score at the end of the quarter.

Shortly after the final period began, Smith broke free for the final TD of the game, a 63-yarder that made the score 32-6. The final Plowboy drive ended on the Seagraves 5-yard line as time expired.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1          2          3         4           T

Seagraves         14         6          6          6          32
Plowboys           0         0          6          0           6

Jax Watts completed 16 of 32 passes for 101 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions. Seth Wilcox and Kolten Hope led the receivers along with Antonio Aguayo and Zeke Murphy. The defense was led by Hope and Jordan Blain.

The Plowboys have an open date this weekend and will resume on October 16 when they face the Ralls Jack Rabbits at Plowboy Field to open district play.

--o--

ROSCOE CROSS-COUNTRY TEAMS WIN AT HIGHLAND

Roscoe’s Cross-Country Meet was held on Saturday at Highland High School, and Roscoe came away the winners. The varsity Plowgirls and Plowboys both finished first, and so did the Junior High Plowgirls.

Varsity Plowgirl individual medalists were Jissel Rodriguez 1st, Katie Ornelas 2nd, Candy Ortega 3rd, Itzel Ortega 4th, Yaniez Aguilar 10th.

Varsity Plowboy individual medalists: Caleb Reed 2nd, Graham Gleaton 3rd, Aiden Hermosillio 5th.

Junior High Plowgirl individual medalists: Zoey Welch 2nd, Ava Burrell 3rd.

The teams are scheduled to participate in today's cross-country meet at Irion County.

--o--

COVID-19 NUMBERS SHOW INCREASE IN BIG COUNTRY

The Covid-19 numbers remain fairly stable in the Big Country although there have been increases in some area counties. The big Covid-19 news this week, however, was the White House announcement that President Trump, along with several members of his staff, tested positive for the coronavirus. There was concern for his health for a couple of days, but he is out of the hospital now and is reported to be doing much better.

On a national scale, Texas has fallen to number 22 in numbers of new cases per capita, while states whose numbers weren’t that bad in July are now the Covid-19 hot spots. These include Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, and Utah. Texas is showing a slight increase in the number of cases, 395 more than a week ago, and hospitalizations, 117 more than a week ago. But the numbers have diminished from the July peak, and they are small for such a large state.

More locally, however, Taylor County is showing a steady increase in its number of active cases. It now has 519 compared to 463 a week ago and 385 a month ago. Many of the new cases are coming from the universities in Abilene, particularly ACU, which doubled its number of active cases over the weekend from 22 to 44. However, the county’s number of hospitalizations is about the same with 24 yesterday compared to 25 last week and 20 a month ago. Abilene hospitals have had 58 total Covid-19 deaths with 16 of those coming in the past month.

Nolan County reports 22 active cases, up 4 from 18 last week. Mitchell County has 14 active cases, 3 up from 11 last week, and Fisher County has 1 active case, the same as last week.

Scurry County’s numbers continue to rise. There are now 112 active cases (97 last week). That’s 15 more than last week and 40 more than two weeks ago. They are also reporting 3 additional deaths since last week for a total now of 11.

Other problem counties are Howard and Lubbock. Both have shown considerable increases recently. The escalating Lubbock numbers are not linked just to college students. On Friday Lubbock Health Authority leader Ron Cook said, “Our numbers in Lubbock, our positive cases are really exploding, our hospital ICUs are at or near capacity, and it’s clearly evident that we’re not doing a good job of wearing a mask and social distancing.” Lubbock’s community spread numbers have doubled to over 5,100.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 933 (823); Erath, 887 (880); Scurry, 773 (646); Brown, 593 (580); Jones, 577 (577); Comanche, 317 (309); Runnels, 283 (278); Nolan, 278 (260); Eastland, 196 (182); Stephens, 138 (136); Knox, 104 (92); Mitchell, 101 (91); Callahan 98 (94); Coleman, 81 (77); Haskell, 72 (69); Fisher, 70 (66); Coke, 53 (53); Shackelford, 29 (34); Stonewall, 16 (14); Kent, 9 (9); Throckmorton, 9 (8).
 
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 12,766 (11,764); Midland, 3,987 (3,759); Ector (Odessa), 3,254 (3,155); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,339 (2,261); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1.989 (1,797).

Texas now has had a total of 743,284 cases (773,435 a week ago), 71,611 of them active (67,570 a week ago), and 16,111 total deaths (15,604 a week ago).

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: CLEAR SKIES, SUNNY DAYS

Sunday's sunset.

The October weather so far has been a stretch of clear skies and sunny days with hardly a cloud in the sky since the new month began. Temperatures have been mild, and in general the weather has been pleasant, not too hot and not too cold.

The high temperature for the past week was yesterday’s 89°F, and the low was Friday morning’s 53°. Other daily highs ranged from 78° to 87°. The wind was up a bit Monday, but it has also been completely calm at other times with most days having light to moderate breezes. In short, we’ve had some nice mild fall weather for over a week now.

The forecast is for more of the same although a bit hotter in upcoming days. Today’s high should reach 90°, tomorrow’s 88°, and Friday’s 89°, with a summer-like weekend with highs of 93° on Saturday and 94° on Sunday. Lows during this five-day stretch will all be in the low to mid-sixties. On Monday, a cold front will move through and lower the high to 82° and the low to 55° with the following days even milder.

There is no rain in the forecast.

--o--

† MARTHA LEE (MARTY) JOHNS

A private service will be held at a later date for Martha Lee (Marty) Johns of Maryneal with McCoy Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. She passed away Saturday, October 3, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Marty was born September 3, 1950, at Ballinger to the late Milton J. and Martha Jo (Lewis) Wood. She attended Sweetwater schools and had worked for Rycroft Vending Company and as a cook at Reagan Junior High School. She lived in Nolan County all of her life. She married Walter Gene Johns on July 13, 1968, in Sweetwater.

Marty is survived by her husband of 52 years, Gene of Maryneal; sons, Jimmy Johns and wife Mitzie of Roscoe and Ricky Johns of Maryneal; grandchildren, Kelsi Johns of Temple and Jordan Johns of Roscoe; sisters; Sherry Secrest and husband J.W. of Sweetwater and Ida Faye Cheshire and husband Ronny of California; and brother, Johnny Wood and wife Linda of Clyde.

She is preceded in death by her sisters, Linda Gilgore and Micky Lowry. 

Marty loved her family very much and loved living on the ranch at Maryneal.

--o--

--o--

 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

RCHS Cross-Country Teams Win at Hamlin

RCHS Cross Country Team.
The Plowgirl and Plowboy cross-country teams both won their divisions at the Hamlin Invitational Cross Country Meet last Wednesday.

There were nine individual medalists overall including Plowboys Graham Gleaton, Caleb Reed, Tyler Guelker, Aiden Hermasillio, and Marcus Hernandez, and Plowgirls Jissell Rodriguez, Kaidy Ornelas, Itzel Ortega, and Candy Ortega.

Their next meet will be this Saturday at Highland High School starting at 9:00am.

--o--

BOOSTER CLUB CORNHOLE TOURNEY SATURDAY

The Roscoe Athletic Booster Club will host a Cornhole Tournament and Fajita Dinner at the Baseball Field this Saturday, October 3.

Festivities begin with the Cornhole Tournament starting at 5:00pm. The entry fee for each 2-person team is $100. Champions will receive a custom cornhole board with more to be announced.

The Fajita Dinner begins at 6:00pm. Plates are $15 each for adults and $7 each for kids.

Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band will perform live starting at 6:30pm.

All proceeds benefit the Roscoe Athletic Booster Club and the Clyde Jay Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Not a member of the Roscoe Athletic Booster Club? Join today! $30/Family.

For more information, contact Geory Martin at 325-242-0130 or Kirsten Smith at 806-441-0295.
 
--o-- 

NEW HOME DEFEATS PLOWBOYS 46-12

The Plowboys were unable to match their opponents in New Home Friday evening as the Leopards pulled away in the fourth quarter for a non-district victory. Roscoe trailed by only 12 points at the end of three, but the Leopards scored four touchdowns in the fourth to win by a final score of 46-12. They are now 4-1 on the season.

The Leopards struck early. Two plays after returning the opening kickoff to the Plowboy 35, their running back broke free for a 39-yard touchdown run. The extra-point attempt was no good, but New Home was ahead 6-0. The Plowboys responded with a drive of three first-downs that took them from their own 30 to the New Home 36 before being stopped on downs. The Leopard QB then completed a long pass that took his team to the Plowboy 20 to end the quarter with the score 6-0.

The second quarter began with a Leopard 22-yard pass play resulting in a touchdown. Once again, the extra-point try failed, but New Home was ahead 12-0. Neither team was able to score until shortly before halftime, when the Leopards hit on a 25-yard pass play, putting them ahead 18-0. The Plowboys then put together a long offensive drive to the New Home 18 before an interception killed the threat. The halftime score was 18-0.

After receiving the second-half kickoff, The Plowboys drove to the New Home 5 before turning the ball over on downs. Neither side then scored until with under a minute left in the quarter, when Jax Watts hit Seth Wilcox with a pass that went 62 yards for a Plowboy TD, narrowing the score to 18-6.

The fourth quarter, however, belonged to New Home. A 35-yard touchdown run on the first play put them ahead 25-6. On their next possession, they scored again, making the score 32-6. The Plowboys then put together a 65-yard drive that ended with 10-yard pass from Watts to Kolten Hope to make the score 32-12. But New Home then scored twice more before game’s end to make the final tally 46-12.

For the Plowboys, Jax Watts completed 13 of 21 passes for 126 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 interception. Seth Wilcox carried the ball 5 times for 61 yards and had 1 reception for 62 yards and a TD. Jake Gonzales had 14 carries for 52 yards.  

Scoring by quarters:
                              1          2         3          4          T

New Home         6         12        0        28        46
Plowboys            0          0         6          6         12

--o--

Plowboys vs. Seagraves at Plowboy Field Friday

This Friday the Plowboys face the Seagraves Eagles at Plowboy Field in their final pre-district game.

The Eagles are coming off their first victory of the year, defeating 3A-II Tornillo last Friday 41-20. They are currently 1-4 on the season with losses to 2A-I Hale Center 32-14, 2A-II Tahoka 26-14, 2A-II Ralls 44-0, and 2A-II Smyer 20-0.

Coach Armando Minjarez’s Eagles return 3 offensive and 7 defensive starters from last year’s 5-6 and 3-2 district team. Texas Football magazine picks them to finish third in District 1-2A-II with Wink, McCamey, Iraan, and Plains. The team is led by QB/LB Jasper Ochoa and WR/LB Osiris Flores.

They last met the Plowboys in 2017, when the Eagles won 42-19. In 2016, the teams met twice with the Plowboys winning the first game 39-23 and Seagraves the second, 29-21.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm.

Please Note: For those who cannot attend the game, Edu-Cast will be live streaming it on Facebook.

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RCHS SWEETHEART, BEAU NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

This Friday evening is Mum Night at RCHS, and the Sweetheart and Beau Nominees for Football, Band, and FFA have been announced. Here they are:

Football Sweetheart Nominees
            Alexis Arce
            Gabriella Dyck
            Lizzy Rubio

Football Beau Nominees
             Kolten Hope
             Juan Leaños
             Zeke Murphy

Band Sweetheart Nominees
            Sydni Jackson
            Mikayla Smith
            Athena Newman

Band Beau Nominee
            Caleb Reed

FFA Sweetheart Nominees
            Marcella Saenz
            Lisa Tollison

FFA Beau Nominees
            Antonio Aguayo
            Reese Kiser

The Sweetheart and Beau for each group will be named and crowned at halftime of the Plowboy-Seagraves football game at Plowboy Field Friday evening.

--o--

MIXED RESULTS FOR CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

The coronavirus continues to be active in Texas and the Big Country with new cases popping up every day. With that said, however, some counties are more active than others. Counties with universities and prisons are naturally hit harder, but some counties also have more community spread. In this area, Scurry County is having more problems than most with an increase of 50 active cases over the past two weeks and three additional deaths.

Taylor County now has 463 active cases (433 last week) and 25 Covid-19 hospitalizations (19 last week), with 16 of those living outside Taylor County. There have been 53 total Covid-19 deaths (52 last week).

Nolan County reports 18 active cases, down 6 from 24 last week. Mitchell County has 11 active cases, down from 12 last week, and Fisher County has 1 active case, down from 2 last week.

Scurry County’s numbers, however, continue to rise. There are now 97 active cases (72 last week). That’s 25 more than last week and 50 more than two weeks ago. They are also reporting 3 additional deaths since last week, 2 men in their 90s and a woman in her 70s.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Erath, 880 (831); Howard, 823 (677);  Scurry, 646 (610); Jones, 577 (580); Brown, 580 (555); Comanche, 309 (294); Runnels, 278 (259); Nolan, 260 (217); Eastland, 182 (167); Stephens, 136 (132); Callahan 94 (86); Mitchell, 91 (85); Knox, 92 (67); Coleman, 77 (70); Haskell, 69 (62); Fisher, 66 (65); Coke, 53 (52); Shackelford, 34 (24); Stonewall, 14 (12); Kent, 9 (9); Throckmorton, 8 (8).
 
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 11,764 (1o,515); Midland, 3,759 (3,588); Ector (Odessa), 3,155 (3,069); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,261 (2,212); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1.797 (1,645).

Texas now has had a total of 743,284 cases (716,207 a week ago), 87,317 of them active (87,317 a week ago), and 15,604 total deaths (15,219 a week ago).

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: TYPICAL SEPTEMBER WEATHER

This morning's sunrise.   
This past week’s weather has been mixed with some days cool and others hot, but nothing that wouldn’t be considered normal for west Texas in September.

The coolest day was Monday with a high of only 72° and a low of 56°, and the hottest came on Sunday when the high went all the way up to 97°, but didn’t hit triple digits as some forecasters had predicted. Skies were clear almost the entire week, and there was no rain nor even any serious threats. There were some hot southwest winds on Sunday and some high north winds on Monday when the cool front blew in.

The forecast for the coming week appears to be more of the same as we move into October—sunny skies, some strong southwest winds on Saturday, followed by a mild cold front with winds from the northeast on Sunday. Today’s high of 89°F should be the warmest day with highs in the 80s until Sunday’s cold front drops the maximum to 77° and the low to 53°.

And unless the weathermen are totally wrong, the coming week should be another one devoid of rain.

--o--

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Mo Pitney to be Wind Festival Headliner

Mo Pitney
Nashville country singer/songwriter Mo Pitney, often touted as a modern savior of traditional country music, will be the featured artist at this year’s free concert and street dance at the 14th annual West Texas Wind Festival, which will be in downtown Roscoe on Saturday, October 17.

Born into a musical bluegrass family in southern Illinois, the 27-year-old Pitney has lived and worked in Nashville since becoming a professional musician. He got a standing ovation after singing, “Country,” in his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Besides his own songs, such as “Ain’t Bad for a Good Ol’ Boy” or “Boy & a Girl Thing,” he is well known for his covers of traditional country classics, such as “Borrowed Angel,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” or with his wife Emily, “Storms Never Last.”

Giovannie & the Hired Guns
Opening for him will be Giovannie & the Hired Guns, an up-and-coming young Texas band from Stephenville, who mix country and rock and are making waves of their own with such songs as “Another Time” or “Lover Boy.”

Dylan Wheeler
Opening for them will be Dylan Wheeler & His Band. Wheeler, 23, is a Texas/Red Dirt singer and songwriter from Edgewood in east Texas. His latest recording is “Broke A$$ Kid.”

So, the music emphasis this year is on youth, and it could well be the best West Texas Wind Festival concert yet. You won’t ever get another chance to see these singers for free, so you don’t want to miss it.

Lyndall Underwood
Opening the show will be Roscoe's own Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band. He will also close the evening with the free dance at the Lumberyard, which starts after the fireworks show.

In addition to the free concert and street dance, the festival will also feature the ever-popular Plowboy Mudbog at the baseball field, the downtown vendors, the RVFD’s fireworks show, and more, so make plans now to spend the day celebrating the event.

--o--

CITY COUNCIL APPROVES 2020-21 CITY BUDGET

The Roscoe City Council at yesterday's budget meeting.

At a specially called budget meeting in City Hall Monday evening, the Roscoe City Council approved the 2020-21 budget. It also appointed Mayor Pete Porter to be the signatory for the sale of the old city sewer farm property to TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation).

In setting the budget for 2020-21, the Council slightly altered the tax rate from 2019-20—from 69.5951 cents to 74.9624 cents per $100 valuation, which will raise approximately the same amount of revenue as last year. The General Fund tax rate dropped from 55.3987 to 54.4973 cents, while the Interest & Sinking fund raised from 14.1964 to 20.4651 cents. Last year’s adjusted levy was $431,551, and this year’s anticipated levy is $439,551, an $8,000 increase, the $8000 being the added value of new city property. No raises for City employees were included in the new fiscal year’s budget.

The City is selling the 1.217 acres of the old sewer farm property to TxDOT as it prepares to make changes to I-20 between the merger with US Highway 84 east of Roscoe to I-20 west of town. Sale price is $5,111, which will go into the City’s General Fund. As a signature is needed for the sale, the Council appointed Mayor Pete Porter to act for the City in the transaction.

--o-- 

CROSS COUNTRY TEAM EXCELS AT IRION COUNTY MEET

The RCHS Cross Country Track Team.
The Plowgirl and Plowboy Cross-Country runners had another strong performance at the Spring Creek Invitational Meet at Irion County on Wednesday. The varsity Plowgirls won first overall, while the JV Plowgirls and varsity Plowboys both finished second.

Varsity girl medalists were Jissel Rodriguez 1st, Kaidy Ornelas 4th, and Candy Ortega 5th. JV medalists were Jaiden Amador 8th, Shauna McCambridge 9th, and Kenzie Danner 10th.

Varsity boy medalists were Graham Gleaton 3rd and Caleb Reed 4th.

The varsity teams are competing in Hamlin today.  

--o--

PLOWBOYS NO MATCH FOR CHRISTOVAL

The game in Christoval Friday evening was another tough loss for the Plowboys as the state-ranked Cougars jumped out to a 36-0 lead in the first quarter and then coasted to a 64-6 home victory. Christoval QB Brayden Wilcox completed 10 of 12 passes for 235 yards and 2 TDs and rushed for 105 yards on 7 carries for 4 TDs.

The Plowboys’ lone score came in the second quarter when Antonio Aguayo hit Kolten Hope with a pass for a 7-yard touchdown.

Scoring by quarters:
                                        1          2           3          4          T

            Christoval        36        0          14        14        64
            Plowboys           0         6           0          0         6

With the loss, the Plowboys, who are still looking for their first victory, are now 0-4 on the season.

Plowboys vs. New Home in New Home

This Friday the Plowboys tackle the New Home Leopards in an away game.

New Home is a small town (pop. 361) between Lubbock and Tahoka, 109 miles from Roscoe. Like Roscoe, it is a Class 2A-II school. Texas Football predicts its Leopards to finish fourth in District 2-2A-II with Sudan, Bovina, Smyer, and Ropesville. They return 6 starters on both offense and defense from last year’s 4-7 team.

The Leopards are currently 3-1 on the year with victories over 2A-I Floydada 32-13, 2A-II Plains 20-13, and 3A-II Odessa Compass Academy 51-0. Their lone loss was to 3A-II Lubbock Roosevelt 46-0. Players to watch are QB Bode Stewart and RB/LB Kash Starkey, both of whom made first-team all-district last year.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are planning to go to the game, you must obtain a stamped ticket in advance at the Roscoe Collegiate High School office. You will then show your stamped ticket(s) when you pay at the gate in New Home. Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for students.

--o--

COVID-19 NUMBERS MIXED IN STATE, BIG COUNTRY

The number of hospitalizations in the state continues to decrease. Last week, it fell to 3,132, which is 179 fewer than the 3,311 of a week ago. On the other hand, the number of active cases is once again increasing. This past week, the average number was 4,652 active cases per day, an increase of 26% over the average two weeks ago. The state had 706 deaths (790 a week ago), and Texas now reports 15,219 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Governor Greg Abbott has changed the metric for re-opening businesses in Texas, saying that regions with less than 15% hospitalizations are safe enough to allow additional openings. By this metric, the Big Country is safe enough, and restaurants can go up to 75% capacity. This new metric, however, does not include bars, and bar owners across the state are up in arms about it, saying that many of them will go under if some allowances aren’t made.

Taylor County now has 433 active cases (409 last week), but Abilene currently has only 19 Covid-19 hospitalizations (23 last week), with 13 of those living outside Taylor County. There have been 49 total Covid-19 deaths (48 last week).

Nolan County reports 24 active cases, an increase of 2 from 22 last week. Mitchell County has 12 active cases, up from 9 last week, and Fisher County has 2 active cases (3 last week). Scurry County’s numbers, however, continue to rise. There are now 72 active cases (47 last week), 25 more than last week.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Erath, 831 (785); Howard, 677 (438);  Scurry, 610 (579); Jones, 580 (566); Brown, 555 (524); Comanche, 294 (254); Runnels, 259 (242); Nolan, 217 (189); Eastland, 167 (155); Stephens, 132 (126); Callahan 86 (79); Mitchell, 85 (82); Knox, 67 (68); Coleman, 70 (62); Fisher, 65 (63); Haskell, 62 (59); Coke, 52 (50); Shackelford, 24 (25); Stonewall, 12 (10); Kent, 9 (7); Throckmorton, 8 (6).
 
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 10,515 (9,828); Midland, 3,588 (3,469); Ector (Odessa), 3,069 (2,962); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,212 (2,151); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1.645 (1,525).

Texas now has had a total of 716,207 cases (668,746 a week ago), 87,317 of them active (68,483 a week ago), and 15,219 total deaths (14,343 a week ago).

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: MORE FALL WEATHER

Pasture sunset yesterday. (Photo by Vanya Duncan)
Fall didn’t officially arrive until the autumnal equinox came at 8:31 yesterday morning, but unofficially we are now in our second week of nice fall weather. 

Highs for the past seven days have been in either the 70s or 80s with lows in the 60s or mid to upper 50s. Winds have been light, and skies have been clear or partly cloudy. In fact, it’s been downright pleasant most of the time, which is certainly not always the case in west Texas. The past week’s high temperature was last Wednesday’s 85°, and the weekly low was Sunday morning’s 55°.

Today should be partly cloudy with a high of 81° with a light northeast wind, but temperatures will be warmer starting tomorrow when skies clear and the high reaches 87°. Then Friday and the weekend will be even warmer as winds shift to the southwest. Friday’s high will be around 92°, while Saturday and Sunday should reach 93° as air conditioners again see extensive use. On Monday, a slight cooling trend will once again set in. During these days, morning lows should drop into the mid-sixties as skies remain clear.

There is no rain in the forecast.

--o--

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