All the news that's fit to print.

In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Construction Underway on New Railroad Siding

Union Pacific crane and bulldozer at work a mile west of Roscoe.

If you regularly cross the railroad tracks on Business US 84 in downtown Roscoe, you may be tired of the frequent delays caused by stopped trains blocking traffic.  If so, you may be happy to learn that the Union Pacific Railway is doing something to alleviate the problem by building a two-mile long siding just west of town.  Trains will use the new siding to allow trains coming from the other direction to pass, making stops on the siding downtown unnecessary.

The Union Pacific’s long range plans are to create a double track all the way to El Paso over the next decade so that trains coming from opposite directions can freely pass one another without the delays caused by waiting on sidings.  



Roscoe endured another week of dry weather and hundred-degree temperatures as Abilene reported its 47th day this year with a high of 100°F or more, a new all-time record since records began being kept in 1888.  San Angelo reported its 60th day, also a record—and we’ve still got several days left in July before even getting to August—so the old records will not be just broken, but shattered by the time summer is over.

This year will undoubtedly go down as the hottest on record not only in Abilene and San Angelo, but also in most, if not all, of Texas.  I have unsuccessfully attempted to find out how many 100°+ days Roscoe has had this year but am confident that it, too, like other cities in this part of the state, is experiencing its hottest summer ever.  Yesterday’s high of 104°F unfortunately seemed downright ordinary, and the forecast for the coming week is for more of the same. 

Many forecasters are now saying that the only break from the current weather pattern may be the arrival of a hurricane on the Texas coast. 


Channel One's Shelby Holliday interviews Cliff Etheredge.

The Roscoe Wind Farm is once again the subject of a national news documentary, this time for Channel One, which broadcasts news programming via satellite to middle schools and high schools throughout the United States.  The documentary will be about alternative sources of energy in America and is due to be shown this fall. 

The current issue (September 2011) of Cowboys & Indians magazine also has a nice article on the Roscoe wind farm along with several photos. 



A no-limit “Texas Hold ‘em” poker tournament will be held this Saturday, July 30, at 6:00pm in Fran Farmer’s barn at 11014 Farmer’s Lane in Ira, to benefit wounded officer Darrell Campbell of the Snyder Police Force and formerly a Roscoe policeman.  

Buy-ins are $50 with re-buys allowed, and late buy-ins will be allowed until 7:00pm.  All buy-ins go to the Darrell Campbell Fund.  Payouts will be $1000 for First Place and $500 for Second Place (donated funds).  Players of all levels are welcome.  The environment will be learner friendly, and soft drinks will be available. 

As previously reported in the Hard Times, Officer Campbell was shot in the head while answering a domestic disturbance call in Snyder on July 12.  He is currently recovering at University Medical Center in Lubbock and making progress daily but needs continuous non-stop support from his family.

The goal of the poker tournament is to raise as much money as possible to ease the burden on the Campbell family and to have fun while doing it.  For more information, contact the event coordinator, Corey Chester, at 325-574-0077, or send e-mail to

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Despite Shower, Roscoe Rainfall in Record Territory

On Saturday, it finally rained.  It wasn’t much of a rain, but it was rain—real rain, wet stuff from the sky.  Lyndall Underwood’s weather station on the west side of town recorded only .15 of an inch, hardly a gully washer, but you wouldn’t have known it from the excitement it caused around town.

I have a Facebook account, and a large percentage of my Facebook friends who live in Roscoe duly noted the unusual event in their status lines with announcements in all caps and/or multiple exclamation marks: “RAIN!” “It’s raining!!!!!!” and so on.

It’s hard to blame their enthusiasm.  There’s been so little precipitation this year that all the dryland cotton crops in the area have already been condemned and are in line to receive crop insurance, ranchers are keeping the auction barns open past closing time trying to sell their cattle, and people who are keeping their livestock are having trouble finding hay since grazing has been so sparse this year.  And the dry weather has been the cause of more destructive wildfires this spring than anyone can remember. 

The Abilene Reporter-News recently reported that this June was the hottest one on record, and a couple of weeks ago a New York Times article mentioned that since last October the state of Texas has experienced its driest nine-month stretch ever. 

All this talk of records made me wonder just how this year in Roscoe measures up to others  from the past, so I contacted Roscoe’s official record keeper for rainfall, Kenny Landfried, and asked him if he could supply me with statistics about rainfall in Roscoe over the years.  He was happy to do so, providing me with the monthly totals for the past 75 years. 

Official record keeping for Roscoe dates back to 1936 when E. M. Cooper began recording all the rains that fell and totaling them up at the end of each month and year.  He faithfully kept the books for the next forty years until his death in 1976.  Then, his son-in-law Harold Haynes took over the job and held it until 1992 when he passed it on to Kenny Landfried, who’s been keeping the records ever since.   

The statistics have their own story to tell, and since this past week has been pretty slow as regards newsworthy events, now is a good time to present some of the more interesting ones.

The complete monthly and annual rainfall totals for Roscoe from 1936 to the present are available for viewing, downloading, and printing by clicking here.


Average Annual Rainfall 1936-2010 (75 years) – 22.15 inches

Most Yearly Rainfall:
    1. 1991 – 37.05 inches
    2. 1986 – 37.00 inches
    3. 1941 – 36.62 inches

Least Yearly Rainfall:
    1. 1998 – 9.35 inches
    2. 2003 – 10.86 inches
    3. 1956 – 10.89 inches

Most Monthly Rainfall:
    1. September 1980 – 17.62 inches
    2. August 1971 – 12.60 inches
    3. April 1957 – 11.62 inches

Most Rainfall in a 3-Month Stretch: April, May, June 1957 – 24.57 inches

Least Rainfall in a 3-Month Stretch: October, November, December 1950 – 0.00 inches 
(The following month, January 1951, had .09 inch, making for a 4-month total of less than a tenth of an inch, also a record.)

Least Rainfall in a 6-Month Stretch: October 1950 through March 1951 – 1.29 inches

Least Rainfall in a 9-Month Stretch: October 2010 through June 2011 – 4.78 inches   

Least Rainfall in a Year’s First 6 Months:
    1. 2011 – 2.62 inches
    2. 1984 – 2.68 inches
    3. 1952 – 4.52 inches
(Even with the official .18 inch recorded on Saturday, 2011 is still the driest year on record to this point, only 2.80 inches for the entire year.) 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Former Roscoe Police Officer Shot in Snyder

 Former Roscoe police officer Darrell Campbell is in critical condition at University Medical Center in Lubbock after being shot in the head in Snyder about 12:30 early Tuesday morning.  

He and fellow officer Lee Ortiz responded to a call of a domestic dispute in the 700 block of 26th Street and were talking to witnesses when a man produced a weapon and shot Campbell.  Ortiz and the man then exchanged shots, and the man was killed.   His name has not yet been disclosed, but he is reported to have a long criminal history.

Darrell Campbell was a police officer for the City of Roscoe in the 1990’s.  After leaving Roscoe, he went on to work in Mitchell County before being hired by the Snyder Police Department.



The Roscoe Fire Department has joined firefighting crews from Maryneal, Nolan, Lake Sweetwater, and Sweetwater to battle several blazes that broke out on Monday afternoon between Lake Sweetwater and Sweetwater.  Texas Forestry Service helicopters and airplanes flying from Abilene also fought the fires. 

Around 4000 acres have burned, and at one point on Monday afternoon several homes and businesses south of I-20 in Sweetwater were evacuated as the fire came close enough to threaten the city before being contained.  Interstate 20 was also closed for a short time because of reduced visibility from smoke, and the area around the Walmart was closed from the east. 

At last report the fires are over 40% contained but still burning.  Other fires burned in Howard and Scurry Counties this week.  It goes without saying that the area needs rain in the worst kind of way.



At last night’s meeting, the Roscoe City Council tentatively approved Ollie Monroe's request for the operation of a game room located in the old Doc Daily office at the corner of Main and Broadway.  

City Attorney Zollie Steakley will draw up a contract in which the city receives a 5% cut of the gross revenue, and pending approval of the contract by both parties, the game room will begin operation.



The City Council also gave City Manager Cody Thompson the go-ahead to seal coat approximately a mile of city streets, namely the unpaved portions of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Streets.  The operation is scheduled to begin later this month or early next month and will cost the city approximately $12,000-$15,000.  



At last night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Pete Porter presented former City Council member Don Graham with a plaque of appreciation recognizing his decade of service on the Council and to the City of Roscoe. 

Blog Archive