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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Rains Continue to Fall

Rain completely covered the surface of my garden during Monday's downpour.
Two more rains this past week, one on Saturday evening and the other on Monday morning, added to the already ample amounts that have fallen the past couple of weeks and kept lawn mowers busy all over town.  On Saturday evening just about sundown a storm blew in from the southwest with strong winds and rain falling off and on until around nine-thirty or ten o’clock.  Here in Roscoe, totals amounted to about a half-inch, with Kenny Landfried recording an official .62", but more fell in places west, northwest and south of town.

Then, on Monday morning another storm hit and my rain gauge got 1.1” more, but again more fell in some areas around Roscoe. Kenny Landfried recorded an official 1.15". This storm was accompanied by strong south winds with gusts up to 46mph, enough to knock down tree limbs around town and prompt the Fire Department to sound the siren as a tornado was sighted near Loraine.  There was also some hail west of town.

Luckily, we haven’t had the flooding or tornados that have hit other parts of Texas in the past week, particularly in central and southeast Texas.  Almost all of our rains have been under an inch and a half at a time, but they have come consistently enough that it feels like we’re in a tropical monsoon season, where rain falls almost every day. The official total for the month of May so far is 4.62" with more quite possible before June rolls around. The fields haven’t dried up yet, which is okay for the cotton crop because farmers haven’t planted yet, but those with winter wheat are suffering from the inability to get into the fields to harvest it.

Temperatures have remained lower than average for this time of year.  Last Wednesday the high was only 66°F, and Thursday felt downright chilly with a high of 61° and strong northeast winds gusting up to 25mph.  Friday was also cool with a high of 76°.  Lows ranged from 50° on Thursday morning to 62° on Sunday morning.  The warmest temperature of the week was yesterday at 88° as skies cleared and the sun shone almost all day.

Today should be a repeat of yesterday with a high of about 88° again this afternoon and little chance of rain until this evening when the chances go back up to 40% tonight, 60% tomorrow, and then back to 40% until midday on Saturday. Temperatures will continue to be mild from Thursday through next Monday with highs in the upper seventies to lower eighties and lows in the mid to low sixties.  Humidity should remain high all week.



Although the water may be a little colder than usual, Saturday should be a great day for Roscoe kids.  Not only will the Roscoe City Pool be open, but the pool staff wants to kick the summer season off right with free hot dogs for all.

This year the pool is being operated once again by Kalyn Presley-Tate and will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00pm.  Price of admission is $2 with season passes available for $75.  “Women’s Only” will be from 11:30am-12:30pm daily.

The pool can also be rented for private parties that begin and end between 6:00 and 10:00pm.  The fee is $60 for two hours, $70 for three hours, and $80 for four hours with a $15 deposit.  That price includes an approved licensed lifeguard.

Swimming lessons are also planned, but exact dates and instructors have yet to be determined.

For reservations and additional details, phone 325-766-2352 during open pool hours or visit the pool’s Facebook Page at Roscoe City Pool.



City Manager Cody Thompson would like everyone to know that he and City workers are well aware of the potholes in several streets around town.  Unfortunately, they can’t eliminate them until the streets dry up since the asphalt patches won’t hold otherwise.  They will be working on them as soon as conditions permit.

He also wants to remind everyone that mosquitoes are a health hazard as they can carry the West Nile virus.  To keep them from multiplying, residents should drain any standing water in yards or containers, clean rain gutters, fill in low areas in their lawns, keep grass mowed, and stay indoors as much as possible at dusk and dawn.

He is also asking drivers to be aware that school is out for the summer and to watch out for kids in the streets, especially around the baseball field, the park, and swimming pool.



Country singer Mark McKinney will just be one of the bands appearing at the fourth annual “Flip-Flops and Tank Tops” on Saturday afternoon and evening.  The event, whose proceeds go to the Hope Center for Autism and Snyder We Care, will feature live music starting at 4:00pm and continuing all evening.

This poster lists all the musical groups that are playing.  Tickets are $20.

On Friday evening, Granger Smith and band will make their debut at the Lumberyard.  Smith, also known as Earl Dibbles, Jr., has had hits with songs such as Country Boy Love, 4x4, and the Country Boy Song.  He has played in the White House and for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait.  Opening for him will be Hudson Moore starting at 8pm with Granger Smith taking the stage at about 9:30.

For more information, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.



The downtown water tower, a Roscoe landmark for over 75 years.
Editor’s note: A good historical narrative should be based on solid evidence, contemporary with the event or events written about and corroborated from other sources of the time, whether oral or written.  However, sometimes the desired solid basis is not possible because evidence is lacking and pieces are missing.  In such a case, the historian must do the best he or she can with what’s available—and the following account of the 1911 downtown fire and its repercussions for the city of Roscoe is such a case.

For lack of better evidence, this account is based on minutes from two City Council meetings of January 6, 1911, and another dated February 3, all re-typed from the original records in 1983; two high school essays on the fire, one from 1936 by Earl Dawson, the other from 1937 by Bill Marth; and a
Sweetwater Telegram newspaper article entitled “Roscoe, the Magic City of West Texas,” published on July 16, 1908.  The school essays, lent to me by Stanley Cleckler for scanning along with several others written on the history of Roscoe, are valuable despite their obvious imperfections because both use as sources copies of the Roscoe Times which are no longer available to us.

The Downtown Fire of 1911

On January 11, 1911, downtown Roscoe had the most disastrous fire in its history.  It started in the general store of L. E. Jarmon & Bro. and completely destroyed it, along with the store next to it owned and run by W. T. Pool.  It also did considerable damage to the Roscoe State Bank, McCauley’s Dry Goods, the Roscoe Times office, and the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway office, all barely saved by the volunteer bucket brigade.  At that time, all of these businesses were located on the north side of Broadway (then known as First Street) east of today’s Blackland Smokehouse and west of the Worship Center. There was no damage to the businesses across the street.

According to the Roscoe Times of January 13, the blaze started in the back room of Jarmon’s store and had a fair start when it was discovered by Asa Chappell. However, it could have been quenched at that point with a few buckets of water if they had been available.  As it was, the total damage done to Jarmon’s store was $16,000—quite a sum in those days—$10,000 of which was stock and the remainder the building and fixtures. Pool’s store and stock, valued at $11,000, were also destroyed, but because he had insurance, he was able to recover a large amount of his loss.

The minutes of the City Council meetings immediately before and after the fire present a bit of a mystery.  First, there were apparently two meetings on January 6, five days before the fire.  In the first, Mayor E. I. Hill was absent and the meeting was called to order by the Mayor pro tem, L. E. Jarmon himself.  In that meeting A. B. Lipscomb moved that the City Council condemn the wall of the L. E. Jarmon building and have it torn down and removed, but there is no mention that the motion carried.  Whether the apparently faulty wall had anything to do with the fire five days later is anybody’s guess.

Then, in the second meeting Mayor Hill, present this time, called the meeting to order with all members present.  In an ironic twist, Councilman L. E. Jarmon moved that the City “order an election for the purpose of voting 20-year bonds at 5% to the amount of $5000.00 for the purpose of installing water works.”  This motion was then apparently tabled rather than acted upon.

Was it just coincidence or could Mr. Jarmon have had a premonition about the fire that broke out in his store five days later?  In either case, it did break out and destroyed the store that he and his brother had run and built up since 1906, according to an article in the July 16, 1908, Sweetwater Telegram.

Then, according to the January 20 Roscoe Times, the City Council called a meeting for January 19.  At that meeting “the members discussed a bond issue for the building of a city water works.” In the words of Bill Marth’s essay, “This had been brought up before, but since the large fire, the council decided something had to be done.” So, a motion was made and passed that the Council authorize “the issuance of $7500.00 bonds for the purpose of erecting water works in the City of Roscoe.” Then, another motion was made that the Mayor “draw up a suitable resolution on the death of Mr. L. E. Jarmon deceased.”*

So, in the week since the fire, two things had apparently happened: 1) the City Council had a change of heart about the City’s need for water works, and 2) L. E. Jarmon had died. The first is completely understandable after a fire of such magnitude, and, I suppose, so is the second, especially if Mr. Jarmon had no insurance on his store and had lost everything.  However, at this late date, there is probably no way of ever ascertaining whether he committed suicide or died of natural causes.

In either case, an election on the bond issue was called for February 2, and city voters approved it by a vote of 67 to 14.  However, the Attorney General declared the election invalid because of insufficient lapse of time between the calling and the holding of the election.  Instead of two weeks’ notice, a minimum of thirty days was required.  So, on March 17, a second election was held and the bond issue still passed, this time by a vote of 56 to 13.  On June 30, Mayor Hill received notice that the bonds were approved, and water wells were drilled.

On November 24, the City paid $5530 for a 50,000-gallon water tank bought in Chicago along with 1512 feet of six-inch water mains and 1000 feet of fire hose.

The 50,000-gallon tank and tower, erected before the year was out, was the old downtown water tower that immediately became a Roscoe landmark and remained one for over 75 years. It was finally brought down in 1990.  

An article on old Roscoe written by Marion Duncan and published in the Roscoe Times on November 5, 1983, states that as soon as the new water tower was up and in use, the old City-owned windmill and water trough were taken down.  These were located just behind the present-day Smackers Building on the south side of Main Street.

* The re-typed City Council records put the date of this meeting at February 3.  I have no explanation as to why the discrepancy exists.  However, since the Roscoe Times account used by both high school students in their essays put the date at January 19 and then follow it with plausible dates for the bond issue elections, I have chosen to use the Roscoe Times dates.


Many of us who grew up in Roscoe when the downtown water tower was still standing have personal memories about it.  Of course, as boys we were strictly forbidden to climb it as it was something like 85 feet tall, but at night when no one was around many of us did.  I remember throwing balsa wood gliders from the walkway that went around the tank.  I also remember the time in 1959 when a painter who was chipping paint under the water tank fell to his death when his one of his scaffold ropes broke.  And Arlon Wayne Orman tells me that back in the twenties or thirties it used to have a big red heart painted on the tank along with the words “In the Heart of the Blackland Divide,”  but I’ve never seen a photo that captured that.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

20 RCHS Seniors Graduate at Saturday Commencement

The Class of 2015: Bottom: Elisa Herrera, Samantha Ortega, Danielle Dean, Jesenia Pena, Makayla Porter, Olivia Saddler, Roxanne Covarrubias; Middle: Gabriel Alvarez, Korie Rogers, Matthew Davila, Mireya Sanchez, Juan Sanchez, Jake Wilson, Burke Zimmerman; Top: Chase Cathey, Nicholaus Hermosillo, Domonic Pantoja, Antonio Gallegos, Mia Herrera, Phillip Ballenger. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
Twenty RCHS students officially completed their high school careers by receiving their diplomas in a commencement ceremony at the Special Events Center Saturday evening.  But what’s even more impressive is the fact that eighteen of those twenty, or 90%, of the Class of 2015 had received their Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder the night before, a remarkable accomplishment both for the students and the school.

RCHS WTC Graduates. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
Here is a list of the graduating seniors with an asterisk beside the names of those who also completed the requirements for their Associate’s Degree:

Gabriel Alvarez
Phillip Ballenger *
Chase Cathey *
Roxanne Covarrubias *
Matthew Davila *
Danielle Dean *
Antonio Gallegos *
Nicholaus Hermosillo *
Elisa Herrera *
Mia Herrera *
Samantha Ortega *
Jesenia Pena *
Makayla Porter *
Korie Rogers *
Olivia Saddler *
Juan Sanchez *
Mireya Sanchez *
Jake Wilson *
Burke Zimmerman

Top Ten Graduates: Front: Korie Rogers, Samantha Ortega, Danielle Dean, Matthew Davila, Nicholaus Hermosillo; Back: Chase Cathey, Jesenia Pena, Jake Wilson, Makayla Porter, Antonio Gallegos. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)


Chase Cathey, Valedictorian, and Korie Rogers, Salutatorian. (Photo by Debbie Nevins)
The RCHS Valedictorian this year is Chase Cathey, who finished high school with an overall grade average of 95.16. He plans to attend Angelo State University and major in Business Administration of Information Systems.

The Salutatorian is Korie Rogers, who had an overall grade average of 93.74.  She plans to attend Texas Tech and major in Finance.



Plowgirl Lyndi Wilkinson wasn’t able to manage the 60.93 seconds she got in the 400 meter run at the Regional Meet, but her time of 61.78 at the UIL State Track & Field Meet in Austin on Friday was still good enough for her to finish fifth in state in the 2A division.  The winner was Ryley Haynes of Seymour with a time of 59.55 seconds.

Congratulations, Lyndi, and better luck next year!



Confiscated marijuana on the hood of a Roscoe Police vehicle.
Just six days after a $200,000 bust, the Roscoe PD has once again "hit them where it hurts" with another drug bust. On Friday afternoon, Sgt. Steven Spencer made a routine traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Roscoe, during which he noticed several indicators that raised his suspicion of criminal activity.

 After the driver, a man from El Paso, consented to a vehicle search, Spencer located paraphernalia, which by State law, gave him authority to perform a more detailed search. In an undisclosed location, Spencer found $25,000 worth of marijuana. The El Paso man was transported to the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office for possession of marijuana of over 5 but less than 50 lbs. The 20 bundles of narcotics and vehicle were seized by the Roscoe PD, and the El Paso man's bond was set at $7500.

This second seizure in less than a week will continue to fund the Department with staffing and the latest state of the art equipment, all cost free to the city and citizens. In the past year, the department has added two additional highly qualified and experienced part-time officers, patrol vehicles, and equipment--all to better serve the citizens of Roscoe and made available due to seizures Sgt. Spencer has filed for the Roscoe PD.



Grass is green and puddles fill the streets all over Roscoe.
This week has been very much like the week before: relatively mild temperatures for this time of year with high humidity (97% with fog this morning) and intermittent rain showers.  On late Thursday night and early Friday morning, weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded .49”, and on Saturday afternoon another .25”.  Then on late Monday night and early yesterday morning .85”.  In areas west of town and around Inadale and Wastella, most people I talked to got more, somewhere between 1.2” and 1.5”. All over west Texas a lot of rain is falling and lakes are seeing their highest levels in years. Highs have generally been in the eighties and lows in the low to mid-sixties.  The high for the past week came on Monday with 87°F and the low on Sunday morning at 59°.

The coming week should be more of the same.  Daily humidity will range from 75%-88%, and there is at least a 40% chance of rain from now until noon on Sunday.  That will increase to 60% tomorrow as a cold front moves through.  The high tomorrow is projected to be only 65° with a low of 56°.  The rest of the week will see highs in the upper seventies to about eighty with lows in the sixties, unusually mild for late May in west Texas.

Back in January, the NOAA forecast more rain than usual for the southwestern states based on El NiƱo, and that forecast has certainly been accurate.  Although we haven’t had any gully washers like they have in the panhandle and places east of here, there has been an abundance of moisture, and it appears we haven’t seen the end of it yet.



SSgt. Gary W. Jeffries
Army Staff Sgt. Gary Jeffries, 37, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.  He died on January 28, 2008, in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his unit encountered an improvised explosive device during convoy operations. Also killed were Sgt. James E. Craig, Spc. Evan A. Marshall, Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer and Pvt. Joshua A.R. Young.

More than 800 troops gathered inside a movie theater on the Army’s Forward Operating Base Marez to eulogize the five soldiers killed. The memorial was attended by top American commanders in Iraq, including Gen. David Petraeus.

Jeffries was a 1990 graduate of Roscoe High School.  In the 1990 Gleaner, he jokingly willed to underclassmen his camouflage jacket, his intelligence, his ability to fix a carburetor and change oil, and his cowboy boots. He joined the Army in 1997 and was on his fourth deployment overseas—and his third in Iraq—when he was killed.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

City Council Learns of Major Leak and Repair in City Water Line

City Manager Cody Thompson updates City Council on recent City activity.
A twelve-day water leak in the City water line and its repair were the main topic at last night’s City Council meeting at City Hall.  According to City Manager Cody Thompson, the leak was causing the loss of approximately 200,000 gallons of water per day.  However, it was not detectable because the water was not coming to the surface but going directly into the sewer system, causing a severe burden on the lift station and sewer plant.

After engineers were unable to locate the problem, a leak detection company was called and found a major leak at the manhole on Second Street across from the baseball park restroom.  An eight-inch transite AC pipe had broken, causing the rupture of the eight-inch sewer line next to the manhole.  Once located, the leak was repaired, and now all is back to normal. During the ordeal, the R-O water plant was shut down but is now back in normal operation.

Thompson also informed the Council that all three of the new state-financed houses in town are now 100% complete and in possession of the owners, Lupe Kidd, Herminia Garcia, and Eugene Griffith.

Work at the City Swimming Pool continues and should be completed by next Friday, May 22.  The pool is scheduled to open for the summer on Saturday, May 30.

City Hall will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

Two loads of asphalt have been delivered to the City yard, but patching cannot begin until the streets are dry.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja presented the monthly police report to the Council.



Authorities confirm that the Roscoe Police Department has made yet another large narcotics bust on Interstate Highway 20 in Roscoe.

On Saturday afternoon at approximately 6 p.m. Roscoe PD Sergeant Steven Spencer made a traffic stop of a vehicle for a traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, a woman listing her address in Indiana, Officer Spencer noted discrepancies in her travel itinerary and other indicators of possible criminal activity. The woman consented to a search of her vehicle, during which Spencer located approximately 150 bundles of contraband which later tested positive to be marijuana.

The Indiana woman was transported to the Nolan County Jail where she was charged with possession of marijuana, being over 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, a felony 2 in the State of Texas. The marijuana is estimated to have a street value of approximately $200,000 once in Indiana.



On Monday evening, May 4, Roscoe students from grades 7-12 received awards, and FFA officers for the 2015-2016 school year were inducted at the STEM Banquet at Roscoe School. Students attending the banquet are members of at least one of three RCISD organizations: the FFA, the 4-H Club, and the BEST robotics program.

After the opening ceremony conducted by this year’s FFA officers, FFA awards were presented. The robotics team then did their marketing presentation.  This year’s team included Caleb Ward, Braiden Moore, Jose Chavira, Camden Boren, Austin Willman, Caty Chavira, and Madison Mims. Robotics awards and recognition were then given to the robotics teams.

The 4-H Club recognitions and awards followed with first, second, and third place prizes awarded teams from grades 7-12 for their posters and presentations.

The FFA then inducted their new officers for 2015-2016:

Cassie Chavira, President               Nolan Reeves, Reporter
Murissa Horton, Vice President    Samantha Stewart, Historian
Hayley Bridges, Secretary              Morgan Bowers, Sentinel
Alejandra Solis, Treasurer              Tait Fullwood, Voting Delegate
Logan Wicker, Advisor                    Michaela Horton, Chaplain
Derek Creed, Parlamentarian

The FFA closing ceremony and Gallery Walk concluded the evening activities.  



The Bellamy Brothers
This weekend, two more legendary country bands will be at the Lumberyard. The Bellamy Brothers return for an encore performance on Friday evening, and Restless Heart will play here for the first time on Saturday.

The Bellamy Brothers, David and Howard, have been performing together since 1968 and over the years have established themselves as one of the noted musical groups in the country.  Even if you’re not a big country and western fan, you’ll be familiar with many of their songs. “Let Your Love Flow,” released in 1976, hit number one on the pop charts in both the U.S. and Europe, and their country classic, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” also was a crossover number one hit.  It was also named the 1979 “Song of the Year” in the UK.

The pair also had a string of hits in the eighties and nineties, including such songs as “Redneck Girl,” “Santa Fe,” “Old Hippie,” and others.  In 2005 they recorded Angels & Outlaws, Volume 1, a compilation album with Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, and Montgomery Gentry, while more recent albums include The Anthology, Volume 1, with the single, “Guilty of the Crime,” and a CD of gospel music entitled Jesus Is Coming.

The opening band, Nine Mile Mountain, will begin the show at 8:00, and the Bellamy Brothers will take the stage around 9:30pm.

Restless Heart
On Saturday night, Restless Heart will make their first appearance ever at the Lumberyard, arriving fresh from a date at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth the night before.  This group from Nashville, which recently embarked on its “30 Years and Still Restless” tour of the country, have an impressive history, placing over 25 singles on the charts over the years – with six consecutive #1 hits, four albums certified Gold by the RIAA, and a wide range of awards from many organizations – including the Academy of Country Music’s Top Vocal Group trophy.

Audiences often sing along with the band’s record-shattering string of hits, songs such as “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “Fast Movin’ Train,” “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” and “When She Cries.”  On its website, band member Larry Stewart says the group still has a lot of history to make. “We are still at the top of our game when it comes to singing and playing together.  We’ve got some projects we’re working on, and we want to put the Restless Heart brand out to music fans again—to let them know we’re still here and making good music.”

Live music begins at 8:00pm with the Colton O’Neil Band, and Restless Heart will take the stage around 9:30pm.

For reservations or more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Rain falls in my driveway this morning.
The weather for the past week has been relatively mild for this time of year and, since a norther moved through Sunday night, downright cool with more humidity in the air than usual.  This past week, some rain fell on three days.  Last Wednesday my rain gauge measured .04”, just enough to make everything wet; on early Saturday morning I had .16” more and heard of some who got a half-inch; and then early yesterday morning, I had .4”, which was almost the same as the .39” weatherman Kenny Landfried got in east Roscoe.  However, west of town as much as two inches was reported.  Inadale got three-quarters of an inch, and just northwest of Roscoe a little less: .65”.

And the rain doesn’t seem to be finished yet.  My rain gauge has .46" since midnight, and there could very well be more before the day is done.  Continued cool temperatures are forecast for today with a high this afternoon of 73°.  Chances for rain diminish to 30% tomorrow and 20% Friday but go back up to 40% on Saturday, increasing to 50% Saturday night.  Then the chances drop to 20% on Sunday and the days following before another front comes in the latter part of next week when the chances go back up again.

Temperatures will go back up to around 83° tomorrow afternoon and the highs through the weekend will be similar.  Lows will be in the low to mid-sixties.



Services for Jesse Wayne Fullwood, 75, will be at 2:00pm on Friday, May 15, at Roscoe Church of Christ.  Interment will follow at the Roscoe Cemetery.  A resident of Roscoe, he passed away on Sunday, May 10, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater.

Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00pm tomorrow evening, May 14, at McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater.

Mr. Fullwood was born in Blackwell on October 5, 1939. On January 19, 1963, he married Patricia J. Floyd. He was a member of the Roscoe Church of Christ and farmed most of his life. He graduated from Highland High School in 1959 and attended Texas Tech, Abilene Christian University, and Sul Ross University. Jesse was a lifelong resident of Nolan County.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Fullwood of Roscoe; two sons, Curt Duane Fullwood and wife, Carol, of Munday, and Gary Lynn Fullwood and friend, Deni Rea, of Sweetwater; two daughters, Janice Fullwood of Roscoe and Cheryl Reyes and husband, Leroy, of San Diego, CA; one brother, Eugene Fullwood and wife, Letha, of Roscoe; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Irene Fullwood, a granddaughter, Chelsea Ann Fullwood, on July 6, 2012; a sister, Maxine Martin, in 2014; and a brother, Donald Fullwood, in 2013.

Pallbearers are Joseph Shirley, Jarrett Fullwood, Grant Fullwood, Curt Fullwood, Gary Fullwood and Jimmy Joy.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

RCHS Becomes National Leader with 90% Associate Degrees for Graduating Seniors

Editor's note: Back in 2011, when RCISD Superintendent Kim Alexander told me that the school’s goal was to achieve 90% Associate’s Degrees for its graduating seniors, I thought the goal was not only a lofty one but quite possibly out of reach.  Nevertheless, in subsequent years the school’s numbers in that regard have always increased from the year before, and this year the goal has actually been achieved.  Here is the official press release just released yesterday:


On Friday, May 15, 2015, 18 of the 20 Roscoe Collegiate High School seniors will receive the Associate Degree from Western Texas College one day prior to receiving their high school diplomas on Saturday, May 16. When Roscoe Collegiate became the first rural school-wide Early College in Texas back in 2009, the goal then was to become the national leader in college readiness by graduating 90% or more of its senior classes with the Associate Degree by 2015 and beyond. Completion rates for the Associate Degree have also grown steadily from one student in 2010, to 52% of the 2011 Class, 58% of the 2012 Class, 73% of the 2013 Class, 89% of the 2014 Class, to 90% of the Class of 2015.

When asked about the 90% plateau, Roscoe Superintendent, Dr. Kim Alexander, had this to say, “We’ll celebrate this accomplishment for a day or two, and then realize just how many challenges lie ahead, and get right back to work. Obviously, the bigger the ship the harder it is to turn, and we have over 50 8th graders moving into high school next year, with most of the classes below them much closer to 50 students than 20. Also, as a STEM Academy since 2012, we have a similar goal of becoming the national leader in workforce readiness with 90% or more of our graduates leaving Roscoe with an industry-recognized Biomedical or Engineering STEM Certification through a paid student apprenticeship experience by 2017. It’s a little bit like running in front of a freight train. We’ll probably be okay if we keep on sprinting, but if we slow down, we’re going to get run over.”



Roscoe Collegiate junior high and high school students were honored for their academic achievements at the Academic Awards Banquet on Thursday evening, April 30.

Best All-Around Students

Grade         Girl                                         Boy
  12      Samantha Ortega                    Chase Cathey
  11      Cassie Chavira                         Max Nemir
  10      Karina Cisneros                      Caleb Ward
   9       Murissa Horton                      Camden Boren
   8       Madison Mims                       Will Thomas
   7       Jaci Alexander                        Tristan Baker

Outstanding Work Ethic

Grade         Girl                                         Boy
  12      Danielle Dean                         Juan Sanchez
  11      Caty Chavira                            Lin Xiao
  10      Bergan Trevino                       Johnathon Cuellar
   9       Iris Gonzalez                           Jose Chavira
   8       Michaela Horton                    Alfonso Islas
   7       Jaleigh Morales                      Roman Garza

Student Advisory Committee

Morgan Bowers                                  Max Nemir
Isaiah Olvera                                      Adrian Ortega
Brayden Beal                                      Chase Cathey
Jovanah Guzman                               Danielle Dean
Austin Willman                                  Mia Herrera
Magali Casas                                      Juan Sanchez
Cassie Chavira

Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College

Phillip Ballenger                                Samantha Ortega
Chase Cathey                                      Jesenia Pena
Roxanne Covarrubias                        Selena Perez
Cutter Davila                                      Makayla Porter
Danielle Dean                                     Korie Rogers
Antonio Gallegos                               Olivia Saddler
Nich Hermosillo                                 Juan Sanchez
Elisa Herrera                                      Mireya Sanchez
Mike Herrera                                      Jake Wilson

Early Graduates

Phillip Ballenger
Jake Wilson (First RCHS student ever to complete requirements for Associate’s Degree in 3 years)

Welding Certificates from Texas State Technical College

Rafael Aguayo                                    Max Nemir
Clayton Chadwick                             Anthony Ortegon
Derek Creed                                       Vincent Pantoja
Erick Huidobro                                  A. J. Renteria
Pablo Huidobro                                 Bernardo Villa
Kevin Lavalais                                   Luis Villa
Javier Leanos                                     Lin Xiao
Spencer Little



Officer Steven Spencer has been promoted to Sergeant.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja has hired Kelsey Alexander, 31, an investigator for the Colorado City Police Department, as a second part-time officer for the Roscoe Police Department.  The other one is Charles Summers.  She is the first woman ever on the Roscoe Police Force.  Part-time work is funded by drug forfeiture money.

In an incident that occurred one morning last week, the Odessa Police Department requested Roscoe Police to aid them in detaining an Odessa kidnapping suspect and his victim, a 9-year-old boy, who were reportedly at the Stripes station in Roscoe.  Roscoe Police then detained two adult males and a boy.  One of the men, the boy’s biological father, had picked his son up on his way to school and was eastbound on I-20.  Upon notifying the Odessa Police, they learned that the boy’s mother had been arrested on a charge unrelated to the kidnapping, and that the Ector County District Attorney was asking that no charges be filed in the interest of the child, who remained in the custody of his father.

A welder and trailer were stolen from Roscoe Rentals on 1001 Oak Street early on the morning of Friday, May 1.  However, they were recovered yesterday.  No charges have yet been filed as the investigation is ongoing.



LUBBOCK, Apr. 29 — A 55 year-old Roscoe, Texas, man appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig and pleaded guilty to a felony offense stemming from a fraudulent invoicing scheme he ran while working at Chevron Pipe Line Company, announced, John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Gerald Allen Williams pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging one count of wire fraud. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Koenig ordered that he remain on bond pending sentencing, a date for which was not set.

According to documents filed in the case, Williams worked as a Project Coordinator at Chevron Pipe Line Company’s Roscoe, Texas, facility. He was responsible for ensuring the completion of several construction and maintenance projects.

E.D. Walton Construction Company (EDW) out of Snyder, Texas, was a Chevron contractor that performed various construction and maintenance projects for Chevron.

Sometime around 2006-2007, according to plea documents filed, Williams approached EDW about a fraudulent invoicing scheme. EDW would create fictitious invoices and submit them to Chevron through the Arriba System, Chevron’s system for receiving and paying invoices. Williams would approve the fictitious invoices for payment, and the fictitious invoices would be processed for payment to EDW. Once EDW received payment for the fictitious invoices, it would pay Williams, in cash, the exact amount of the fictitious invoice. EDW did not receive any of the proceeds from the fictitious invoicing; Williams received all the proceeds. The scheme continued until approximately December 2011.

Williams admitted that he knowingly devised or intended to devise the scheme to defraud Chevron of money by means of false and fraudulent invoices. He further admitted he acted with the specific intent to deceive or cheat Chevron into thinking that EDW had completed various construction and maintenance projects for Chevron, when in fact, Williams knew EDW had not completed those projects.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution.

(reproduced verbatim from the U. S. Dept. of Justice website)



Plowgirl Lyndi Wilkinson finished a close second in the girls’ 400 meter dash at the Regional 2A Track Meet in Odessa last week.  In doing so, she has qualified for the State Track and Field Meet at Mike Myers Track Complex in Austin next Friday, May 14.

She ran her best time of the year, 60.93 seconds, at the Regional Meet, just behind Haevyn Risley from Canadian, who won the event with a time of 60.15 seconds.

Congratulations, Lyndi, and good luck in Austin!



Co-op President Steve Moore at last night's meeting.
The Central Rolling Plains Co-op held its annual membership meeting with a meal and door prizes at the Roscoe School Cafetorium last night.  Items of business included the manager’s report, regional reports, audit report, and election of two directors and two advisory board members.

Members learned that although last year was a down year compared to the year before, it was still a profitable one, and dividend and equity retirement checks were handed out at the end of the meeting.

There were two elections.  Kenny Landfried and Leslie Rannefeld were both re-elected to three-year terms on the Senior Board, and James Parrott and Scott Etheredge were re-elected to one-year terms on the Advisory Board.

The $100 prize of the annual bale guess in which members at the Co-op Gin’s Open House in October guess how many bales the gin will produce was won by Jim Boston, whose guess of 30,147 was the closest without exceeding the actual amount of 32,274.

There was a full house at the Co-op's annual meeting.



Kyle Park
Country singer Kyle Park from Austin makes his debut at the Lumberyard Friday evening. Both a singer and songwriter, he writes and produces his own songs, which might loosely be termed a part of the current Texas Country genre.

Born in Austin in 1985, he formed a band while a student at Texas State University in San Marcos.  His first album, Big Time, was released in 2005, and since then he has produced five others, the most recent being Beggin’ for More, released in 2013.  His single “The Night is Young” reached number one on the Texas Country Charts in 2013.  Three other singles, “Fit for the King,” “Long Distance Relationship,” and “Turn That Crown Upside Down,” were all Top Ten hits on the Texas Music Chart.

He will take the stage around 9:30pm.  Opening for him at 8:00pm is Ashliegh Lisset.

The Uncle Lucius Band
On Saturday night, the featured band is Uncle Lucius, whose fourth album is scheduled for release on June 9.  Their eclectic musical style has been described as “Southern rock for the thinking man,” and their singles, “And You Are Me,” “Keep the Wolves Away,” and “Pick Your Head Up” can be heard on this webpage.  They will be preceded by the opening band, The Dix Hat Band from Lubbock.

For more information, contact the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.



The rain has been falling all around us for the last couple of days.  Lubbock is flooded, Tahoka got seven inches of rain, and the Brazos is overflowing its banks in Justiceburg.  But here we’ve had more promise than actual results.  We’ve been treated to thunder and lightning, but so far not much else. Early yesterday morning, we got a light rain off and on that didn’t last long and was pretty well finished by the time the sun rose.  My battery-powered rain gauge, which I’ve got working again, registered a total of .18”, and most people I’ve talked to got somewhere between a tenth and a quarter of an inch.  But the forecasters are giving us a 40% chance of more precipitation all the way up to Sunday afternoon, so I may be able to give a better report this time next week.

Temperatures have once again been mild for this time of year.  The high for the week was only 82°F on Saturday and Sunday, and lows were once again in the fifties and low sixties.  That pattern shouldn’t change in the immediate future. Highs through the coming week should be in the low to mid eighties with lows in the sixties through the weekend.

The long range forecast is for more good chances of rainfall next week, so with any kind of luck we’ll be getting more precipitation soon.



A graveside service will be at 2:00pm tomorrow, Thursday, May 7, at Roscoe Cemetery for Bill Faught, 78, who passed away on Saturday, May 2, at Coronado Nursing Home in Abilene.  He was a former resident of Roscoe and Sweetwater.

Billy was born in Roscoe on June 24, 1936, and went to Roscoe schools growing up.  He lived in Roscoe most of his life and only later in Sweetwater and Abilene.  He ran the movie projector at the Texas Theater and Midway and Rocket drive-in theaters for many years.

He is survived by his nephews, Charles Harding and Curtis Harding; his niece, Patricia Arch; and his sister-in-law, Jewell Foreth, all of Albany, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Orville and Marie Faught; and four brothers, Buryl Faught, Kenneth Faught, Royston Faught, and Dean Harding.


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