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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Teen-Age Plowboys Win Mitchell County Baseball League, Advance to State Tournament

Padres pitcher Brandon Lavalais looks in for a signal in Freshman game.
Roscoe’s Plowboys, ages 13-15, finished the season with a 9-1 record and will now advance to the TTAB (Texas Teenage Baseball Association) State Tournament to be held in Ennis July 22-26.  Between now and then, they will be having fundraisers to help defray travel expenses. The first will be at the Plowboy Mudbog on July 6, where they will be selling snow cones, ice cream, and water.  A car wash is also in the works.
The Roscoe Rangers, T-Ball Champions of the Mitchell County League.
The T-Ball Roscoe Rangers also were the winners of their age group.  They concluded their season by winning the championship game against the Colorado City Rangers by a score of 11-9.  

The Midget Brewers just missed the playoffs by finishing third in their league.

The Freshman Padres also finished third.  Several of them have been chosen as pick-up players for the teams advancing to the district playoffs.

Thanks to Lus Pantoja for providing this information and the baseball photos.



Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja and Fire Chief Gary Armstrong.
A meeting to educate the public in dealing with inclement and dangerous weather was held at the Community Center on Thursday evening with Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja, Roscoe Volunteer Fire Chief Gary Armstrong, and the National Weather Service’s Hector Guerrero leading the discussion.

Guerrero explained what to do when threatened by tornadoes, hail, lightning, wildfires, ice storms, and flooding.  He also spoke of the importance of planning so one can be ready when such events occur, and of listening for updates and warnings on television, radio, and special weather radios, which often continue to perform when other broadcast media are down. 

Armstrong announced a new Nolan County service called Code Red, which lets 911 personnel know where to direct their responses in cases of emergency calls or texts from cell phones.  Those interested in having the service should go to the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department home page and click on the Code Red heading to set it up.



This photo, taken on a trip to Italy last year, won Kevin Pantoja a blue ribbon in the Nature/Landscape category.
Kevin Pantoja, who will be a Junior at Highland High this fall, was one of two Nolan County students to win in the state 4-H photography contest.  He came away with three blue ribbons, one in the Nature/Landscape category, one in Dominant Color, and one in People.



Last Monday night a westbound 18-wheeler on I-20 crashed into a guard rail and concrete retaining wall where the Interstate merges with US 84 about a mile east of Roscoe.  Sadly, the driver, Mensur Osmic, 54, of Phoenix, Arizona, was killed and, ironically, the truck’s trajectory was pretty much a carbon copy of the one that slammed into the bridge columns last September, the collision that rendered the overpass unsafe and resulted in its current reconstruction.  In both cases, the westbound trucks failed to make the curve just before the overpass under rainy conditions and a wet roadway.   

The US 84/I-20 merger is known locally as “Destruction Junction” because of the numerous wrecks and fatalities that have occurred there over the years—for both east- and westbound traffic.  For this reason, many hoped that architects would come up with a new, safer design for the merger, but this most recent wreck suggests that apparently this will not be the case.  From all appearances, the new design is essentially the same as the old, although TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) will have a longer clear zone on the northwest side of the underpass. 

Tomorrow the construction crew will be setting the beams for the new bridge, so detours will be in place all day, and westbound I-20 traffic will be re-routed to US 84 north. 

The $1,564,229 project is currently about 70% complete and is scheduled to be finished in about three more weeks.



The weather for the past week has been normal for this time of year—highs in the low to mid nineties and lows in the mid to upper seventies with plenty of sunshine and no rain. 

But this is not to say I didn’t see any rain last week.  I did, except it was nowhere near Roscoe.  On our way back from Albuquerque, we ran into a sandstorm at Santa Rosa and were in and out of it all the way to Fort Sumner.  We were following a storm with dark blue skies and lightning ahead of us, and for a while I thought we might run into a mudstorm, but we didn’t. 

We got to Muleshoe just after a big shower, and the streets were full of big puddles at all the low points.   Then in Lubbock we finally caught the storm, and the rain was coming down hard.  On the road to Slaton it got so bad that we even had to pull over to the side of the road for a bit.  We drove out of the storm between Southland and Post, but we could tell it was moving southeast. 

So the first thing I did when I got home was to check the radar to see if it was going to make it to Roscoe.  Unfortunately, it made it only to Scurry County before completely dissipating. 

Last Thursday the National Weather Service issued its three-month forecast, and the outlook for west Texas in July, August, and September is not good—temperatures hotter than normal and precipitation well below normal.

The National Weather Service 3-Month Precipitation Forecast. B means Below Normal.
The National Weather Service 3-Month Temperature Forecast. A means Above Normal.
We’ll be experiencing some of those above-normal temperatures for the rest of the week with highs of over 100°F and lows in the seventies.  There is no rain in the forecast.



Funeral services were held Monday morning, June 24, at the First Baptist Church for Lydia Marie Kafer Althof, 98, who passed away on June 21.  Interment in the Roscoe Cemetery followed the funeral services.

She was born on July 25, 1914, in Hurnville, Texas, to Karl and Anna Kafer, and married Richard Emil Althof on November 4, 1934.  After living for many years in the country, she moved into Roscoe in 1982.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Roscoe.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Emil Althof, her parents, her daughter Dorothy Ann, her son Harold, and her daughter-in-law Rita Althof.

She is survived by her two daughters, Leona Julian and husband Terry of San Marcos, Carolyn and husband Richard Young of Abilene, daughter-in-law Pat Althof and her daughter Rene of San Antonio. Grandchildren include Dee Julian of San Marcos, Dickie Julian and wife Krista of Dripping Springs, Greg Althof and wife Crystal of Roscoe, Jeff Althof and wife Jessica of Abilene, Scott Young and wife Suzette, and David Young, all of Houston. 

Great grandchildren are Dr. Jason Barnes and wife Jenna of Corpus Christi, Carson Barnes of Commerce, Kasi and Tyler Althof of Lubbock, Jake and Layla Althof of Abilene, Amy Marie, Benjamin and Charlie Julian of Dripping Springs, Gabriella, Jacob, Jamin, Katelyn, Zachariah, Ashley Young of Houston. Great-great grandson is Bentley Barnes of Corpus Christi and she was awaiting the birth of another great-great-grandchild in December. 

Surviving siblings are her brother, Edward Kafer and wife Willa Dene of San Angelo, sisters Rosemary Schaffner of Clyde, Ruth Gardner and Anna Lee Lewis of Abilene.

Pallbearers were Dickie Julian, Greg Althof, Jeff Althof, Scott Young, David Young and Tyler Althof.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Suzie Alford Joins City Council

City Attorney Zollie Steakley swears in Suzie Alford.
At its monthly meeting last night, Roscoe’s City Council got a new member, Suzie Alford, when she was sworn in by City Attorney Zollie Steakley.

Alford taught third grade at  Roscoe Elementary School for 27 years and is a lifelong Roscoe resident.  A graduate of Roscoe High School, she earned her bachelor's degree at Howard Payne.  

She was also the main fundraiser for the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway historical marker now standing in Memorial Park.

She ran unopposed for the Council seat to replace Ken Brawley, whose term expired this year.  Others serving on the City Council include Mayor Pete Porter, Robert McBride, Helen Perry, Christi Beal, and Virgil Pruitt.



The Laundry Express.
Roscoe’s newest business, the Laundry Express, owned and operated by Gwen Boyd, opened last week.  Located just behind Retta Mae’s Restaurant at the intersection of S. Main Street and I-20, it is open from 7:30am-8:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am-2:00pm on Saturday. 

The business does full laundry service including ironing and starching.  The washing equipment uses true-steam technology to leave clothing and other laundered items virtually wrinkle-free.  Allergen removal cycles are available as are special procedures for washing extremely dirty or greasy items.

Charge for laundry is by weight, $1.75 per pound.  Pickup and delivery in Roscoe and Sweetwater are available for $5. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place tomorrow morning, June 13, at 10:00am.

For more information, call 325-236-2772.


Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates Addition (Click image to enlarge).
At last night's meeting, the City Council reviewed and approved the plat for Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates, the proposed residential addition located east of FM 608 in north Roscoe and just south of the new lift station.

The property will comprise seventy lots, most of them 110’ x 60’ or 120’ x 60’ with a few slightly larger.  There will be two streets, Tom Dobbins Drive and James Wells Drive, as well as two connecting lanes, Iona Way and Lady Lane.

In other Council business, CPA Ricky Bowman presented the 2012 City Audit, which was approved by the Council; Robert McBride was appointed the City’s Mayor Pro-Tem; and City Manager Cody Thompson gave the Council updates on current public works, including water and sewer.
Police Chief Felix Pantoja announced that the Roscoe Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor a presentation in the Community Center on Thursday, June 20, at 7:00pm, which will inform the public about weather alerts and public weather awareness.



If you thought you heard gunshots in Roscoe between 10:30 and 11:00 Saturday night, you weren’t mistaken.  An incident, which began at a large gathering in the Community Center for a birthday party, resulted in shots fired on Fourth and Cypress, followed by an extended car chase involving several local law enforcement units and culminating less than a half hour later on I-20 west of Loraine with the arrest of the alleged perpetrator, Raul Martinez Rodriguez, 28.
The trouble began in the Community Center, when Rodriguez and another man who had previously had trouble with one another got into an argument and were asked to leave.  They did so, but apparently met up again at Fourth and Cypress, where the trouble resumed and several shots were fired. 

As Roscoe Deputy Police Officer Les Soles arrived to investigate, Rodriguez fled the scene in his white 2005 GMC pickup, driving first to Main, where he headed north to Front Street, then across the tracks at Cypress to FM 608, then to US 84 east, where he proceeded onto I-20 west at high speed. 

Officer Soles, who was in hot pursuit, notified other law enforcement officers from the Nolan County Sheriff’s Department, the DPS, and the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department.  The chase on I-20, which involved speeds exceeding 100mph, ended near Mile 221 between Loraine and Colorado City when the white pickup struck traffic spikes set out by the DPS and Mitchell County officers, deflating the tires and forcing Rodriguez to stop.  He was then arrested and taken into custody. 

During the chase, Rodriguez threw his 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol out the window.  It was found beside the highway the next day.  He has been charged with aggravated assault and evading arrest.  At the minimum, he will most likely face deportation to Mexico, where he is from.



Johnny Rodriguez at the Lumberyard last summer.
Country music star Johnny Rodriguez, who played to a large audience at the Lumberyard last July, is returning for an encore performance this Saturday night, June 15, starting at 9:30. 

His former number one hits on the country chart include “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me,” “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico,” “I Just Can’t Get Her Out of My Mind,” “Just Get Up and Close the Door,” and “Love Put a Song in My Heart.”

He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and last year released a new album, “Johnny Rodriguez: Live from Texas.”

The cover charge is $10.  For more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Landon Dodd & the Dancehall Drifters will headline the free concert.
Organizers of the Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 6, once again have a big event-filled day planned.  

As it has in the past, the day will begin with a parade down Broadway at 10:00am and will then go non-stop until the fireworks show at around 9:30pm. Street vendors and food stands will line Cypress, Broadway and Old Town Park, and there will be a kid’s play area with bounce houses and other inflatables.  The Plowboy Mudbog will once again be at the baseball field, and live music on Cypress Street will begin at 5:00pm and continue until the fireworks show.

The Independence Day Parade

The parade down Broadway will begin at 10:00am with the line-up at 9:30.  If you wish to participate or need more information, contact parade organizer Valerie Pruitt at 325-338-4666.

The Plowboy Mudbog

The Plowboy Mudbog will take place as usual at the George Parks Field at Second and Sycamore.  Registration for participants is at 9:30am, the public gate will open at 11:00am, and competition begins at noon.

Admission is free for kids 7 and under, $2 for ages 9-14, and $5 for 15 and up.  The driver entry fee is $30.  All proceeds go to benefit the Roscoe Little League.

This year’s competition is shaping up to be the biggest and baddest yet.  For more information, visit the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook Page.  

The Free Concert and Street Dance

Live music will begin at 5:00pm and at about 8:00pm, this year's headliners, Landon Dodd and the Dancehall Drifters, will take the stage and play until the fireworks show at around 9:30pm.  If you like traditional country music, you’ll enjoy Dodd and his band, who have gained a large following of fans who love dance music with an emphasis on the fiddle and steel guitar.



Maybe it was the dry planting that did it but, for whatever reason, it rained this past week—twice.  The first was last Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, and the second was in the predawn hours of Sunday morning.

The first rain came in two stages separated by a couple of hours.  In the first stage, at my home in the middle of town, I got a total of .54” and in the second .6” for a total of 1.14”.  Lyndall Underwood on the western end of Roscoe had a total of 1.6”, and Kenny Landfried on Roscoe’s east end got 1.16”. Avenger Field, four miles east of town, got only .56”.  The first stage did have a few hailstones, but they were not big enough to hurt anything and didn’t last long.  There were, however, high winds with gusts of over 50mph that blew down tree limbs all over town. 

The second rain came early Sunday morning with enough lightning and loud thunder to rattle the windows and wake up everybody in town.  The rain, however, fell relatively slowly, and, unlike the rain three days earlier, was not accompanied by any hail.  I got .98”, Lyndall Underwood had 1.11”, and Kenny Landfried 1.17”, while Avenger Field got only .22”. 

The outlook for the rest of the week and weekend is for typical west Texas summer weather—sunny skies, highs in the nineties, and lows in the seventies. 

There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Southern Belle Salon Opens on Main Street

The Southern Belle Salon on 200 Main St.
The Southern Belle Salon, owned and operated by Eden Baker, opened for business on Monday.  Located in the rock building on 200 Main Street, it will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00am-5:00pm.

Besides doing colors, cuts, permanents, waxing, and men’s haircuts, the salon also has a new fifteen-minute tanning bed, as well as several gift items.

For appointments or more information, call 325-338-5993.  Walk-ins are also welcome.



Plowboy pitcher Domonic Pantoja
Roscoe’s Junior Leaguers, 13-15 years old, known as the Plowboys, have a record of 5-0 and are currently on top of their division in the Mitchell County baseball league.  Their coaches are David Pantoja, Moses Herrera, Shawn Scott, and Edward Garcia. 

If they win on Thursday, the Plowboys will finish their season undefeated, be league champions, and earn a bye straight to the state tournament, which will be held in Ennis sometime during the week of July 22.  This is the best season Roscoe has ever had in the Junior League.

The Freshman League Padres have a shot at making it to district as the number two team in their league with two games to go.  They are coached by David Pantoja, Jackie Alvarez, James Arnwine, and Brian Sheridan. 

The Midget Brewers also have a shot at finishing second in their league.  They also have two more games to play.  Their coaches are Billy Murphy, Zach Welch, and Brian Sheridan.

The T-Ball Rangers finished their season on top and will play the second place finishers in the Colorado City championship game on June 15 at 10:00am.  Ranger coaches are James Arnwine, Jason Freeman, and Brayden Beal. 

Thanks to Lus Pantoja for providing this information and the baseball photos.



When a truck’s engine died leaving it stranded in the middle of the road on the eastbound Cemetery Road overpass just east of town Monday afternoon, the result was a three-vehicle wreck.  It was hit from behind by a red pickup unable to stop in time, which was then also hit a glancing blow by another tractor trailer. 

The pickup was totaled, but, luckily, there were no injuries to anyone.



Gary P. Nunn
Gary P. Nunn, who played here on the street stage at the 2010 West Texas Wind Festival returns to Roscoe when he and his Bunkhouse Band play for the first time at the Lumberyard Saturday evening.  A pioneer of the outlaw music scene in Austin with his Lost Gonzo Band, Nunn played with Willie Nelson, Michael Murphy, and Jerry Jeff Walker in the seventies—and has been a fixture of the Texas music scene ever since. 

His fame as a performer is matched by his songwriting skills.  What self-respecting Texan can’t sing along to “I want to go home with the armadillo, good country music from Amarillo and Abilene” from his “London Homesick Blues”?  He’ll be singing that and “That’s What I Like about Texas,” “Terlingua Moon,” and many others, including songs from his latest album, “Taking Texas to the Country.” 

Show starts at 9:30.  Cover charge is $12, and tables may be reserved.  For more information call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Once again, it was too hot, too windy, and too dry.  Farmers waited as long as they could for some precipitation, but in the past week many have begun dry planting their cotton. 

The rain we had a chance for last week never materialized, and on Friday we had another triple-digit day when the afternoon temperature reached 100°F.  Thankfully, a cool front moved through and caused highs to drop into the upper 80°s on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday it warmed up to 95° and yesterday we had our hottest day of the year so far with a high of 104° and a low of 76°.  Today should be another hot one similar to yesterday, but tomorrow another cool front will move through, bringing with it lower temperatures and a 30% chance of rain.  Highs will be in the mid 80°s and lows in the mid 60°s both tomorrow and Friday. 

Saturday will be warmer with highs in the lower 90°s.  There will also be a 20% chance for precipitation.


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