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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

RCISD Awarded Grant from Greater Texas Foundation

7th-graders work on a research project, part of Roscoe's P-20 program.
The Greater Texas Foundation has awarded a $432,000 grant to support Roscoe Collegiate ISD in driving and sustaining educational innovation in Roscoe and in creating a P-20 demonstration site as a trial and adoption center in the district.

Roscoe Collegiate’s P-20 Model for Rural School Transformation, Edu-Nation, developed and used at RCISD, has been highly successful in giving its students the opportunity to achieve postsecondary success and obtain professional certifications. Every year, over 90% of the school’s graduating seniors are awarded Associate Degrees from Western Texas College along with their high school diplomas. Many also earn professional certifications through one or more of the school’s vocational programs: Edu-Drone, Edu-Vet, Edu-Weld, and Edu-Make It.

Its Edu-Nation model begins in pre-K and is designed to advance as far as the student wants to take it, all the way to the PhD (or 20) level. Besides Western Texas College, Roscoe Collegiate also collaborates with Angelo State, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M to provide students a seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary education.

The program’s success is receiving recognition on the state, national, and international levels, and the state of West Virginia is working through its land grant system to use West Virginia University & Extension in collaboration with WV Community Colleges and the WV K-12 System for adoption of the Edu-Nation Model in West Virginia. Over thirty Texas schools have also sent officials to Roscoe to learn more about the program, and more are interested.

The Greater Texas Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to ensuring that all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete postsecondary education. It puts particular focus on helping underserved and disadvantaged populations and highlights innovative solutions to college success across Texas. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $55 million for Texas students.  



Bonnie Wilkinson (23) looks to throw the ball to Victoria Martinez (20) or Shauna McCambridge (31).
The Plowgirls’ three-game winning streak came to an end in the Special Events Center yesterday evening as Jayton defeated them 46-32.

Scores by quarters:
                                       1          2          3          4
          Jayton               14        26        35        42
          Plowgirls            8        12        21         32

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Bonnie Wilkinson 12, Jovana Peña 7, Shauna McCambridge 6, Victoria Martinez 5, Sadie McCambridge 2.

The Plowgirls’ next game will be on Thursday in the Highland Tournament.



Brandon Lavalais (10) takes a shot as Jose Ortega (15) looks on.
The Plowboys lost their home opener to Spur in the Special Events Center yesterday evening, 40-32. They were originally scheduled to play Jayton, but since Jayton is still involved in the football playoffs, they played Spur instead.

The Bulldogs led all the way, but the Plowboys kept it close for a while, trailing by only two at halftime. Jose Ortega led the scoring for the Plowboys with 10, followed by Caleb Gray with 7.

Scores by quarters:
                                       1          2          3          4
          Spur                   12        19       32        40
          Plowboys            4        17        22        32

Individual Plowboy scoring: Jose Ortega 10, Caleb Gray 7, Hunter Anglin 6, Junior Martinez 4, Jayden Gonzales 3, Brandon Lavalais 2.

The Plowboys play next in the Highland Tournament this weekend. Their first game is with Veribest on Thursday at 5:00pm. If they lose, their next game will be on Friday at 2:00. If they win, it will be on Friday at 8:00.



After a record-breaking rainy October, the Central Rolling Plains Coop Gin last week began its ginning of this year’s cotton crop, which will be the smallest since 2011. By yesterday afternoon, they had ginned 1262 bales.



Clouds on Sunday afternoon.
The weather was pleasant and typical for this time of year this past week with no rain and temperatures either just above or just below average for November. The highs for Wednesday and Thursday were 57°F and 58° respectively with lows of 36° and 39°. The weekend temperatures were warmer with sunny skies and highs of 70° and 73° and lows of 48° and 44°. Then a cold front blew in that dropped the highs back into the fifties with 57° and 52° on Sunday and Monday. Monday’s low of 30° was the low for the week.

Starting today, however, temperatures will be above average for the rest of the week under sunny skies with breezy southwest winds. Today’s high will reach 72°, tomorrow’s 78°, and Friday’s 76° with lows of around 50°. On Saturday, a cool front will drop the afternoon’s high to 66°, which is also the high for Sunday. Lows will be about 43° both mornings.

The mild dry weather should continue with no rain or freezes in the forecast.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re reading this, then you’ve made it to Thanksgiving for another year, and, if nothing else, you can be grateful for that.  But of course there is always more than that to be thankful for, and tomorrow most of us will once again be getting together with family somewhere to give those thanks, celebrate, and enjoy the day.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, a question I’ve heard come up in conversations twice this week concerns the dishes we eat on Thanksgiving Day, namely, why must there be turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc., etc., when we could instead be eating barbecue, chile rellenos, or rib-eye steaks? Most, if not all, of these traditional dishes are ones we generally pass over the rest of the year without a second thought, so why are they the ones we insist on for Thanksgiving?

So, I asked Google, who sent me to the Thanksgiving page on Wikipedia, where I didn’t exactly get a complete answer, but I did find out some interesting information. 

The answer for turkey is fairly straightforward. We eat it because that’s what the Pilgrims and Wampanoags ate on the first Thanksgiving back in 1621 at Plymouth. William Bradford, who was there and wrote about the meal, noted that “besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys.” 

He also mentions that they had venison, ham, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash, which I guess also explains the ham, cranberries (sort of), and pumpkin, but not why the waterfowl, venison, lobsters, and clams failed to make the cut. There is also no word on whether the Wampanoags included dressing or giblet gravy with their turkeys, so how those became part of the tradition also remains a mystery.    

Thanksgiving was already an American tradition when the colonies became the United States, and Alexander Hamilton once declared that no “citizens of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” So, eating turkey is not only traditional, but also patriotic. 

Wikipedia also mentions that Americans eat more on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year.

But besides the food, Thanksgiving is also a reminder to give thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us. We live in a peaceful, prosperous country in prosperous times, and sometimes we forget just how hard life could be for the ones who came before us.

I was reminded of this the other day while looking through some old newspaper articles and ran across a statement from the Roscoe Times that was reprinted in the Abilene Semi-Weekly Farm Reporter on October 25, 1908:

We will be glad to see the time come when farm products will command a price sufficient to justify a farmer to send all his children to school at least six months in the year, and when no woman or girl in the country is forced to go into the fields to help earn a living for the family.

We’ve come a long way from those times. So, if nothing else, at least be appreciative of that as you polish off that second dessert before heading off to watch the Cowboy-Redskins game. Happy Thanksgiving!



2018-19 Varsity Plowgirls:
Sitting: Cassandra Jorgensen, Victoria Martinez, Sadie McCambridge, Jovana Peña. Kneeling: Kadie Martinez, Liberty Saenz. Standing: Bonnie Wilkinson, Veronica Cuellar, Riley Sheridan, Shauna McCambridge, Jaci Alexander.
The Plowgirls extended their winning streak to three with victories over Winters on Friday and Post on Monday. They are now 3-1 on the season after losing a close game to Robert Lee in their opener 50-46 and then defeating Ira 40-35, Winters 56-35, and Post 49-38.

The game with the Lady Blizzards in Winters Friday evening was never in doubt as the Plowgirls jumped out to a 21-6 first-quarter lead and then cruised to a 56-35 victory.

Scores by quarters:
                                        1          2           3         4
            Plowgirls          21        37        45        56
            Winters              6        16         23       35

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Bonnie Wilkinson 28, Sadie McCambridge 10, Shauna McCambridge 8, Victoria Martinez 8, Kadee Martinez 2.

Then, after a close first quarter in Post on Monday, they pulled away in the second to down the Antelopes 49-38.

Scores by quarters:
                                        1         2           3          4
            Plowgirls          11        29        34        49
            Post                   10        14        23        38

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Bonnie Wilkinson 27, Sadie McCambridge 8, Victoria Martinez 8, Shauna McCambridge 3, Jovana Peña 3.

The Plowgirls’ next game will be at home against Jayton next Tuesday. The Plowboys will also play as they open their season against Jayton following the Plowgirls’ game.



City Hall wants to remind Roscoe residents that trash trucks will not be operating on Thanksgiving Day but will instead pick up trash on Friday.  Please inform those who might not be aware of this change in the normal schedule.

City Hall will also be closed for Thanksgiving both Thursday and Friday. For questions, contact City Hall at 325-766-3871.



(Photo by Braxton Vick.)
The Stripes station and convenience store on South Main got a surprise guest at lunch time on Friday when a westbound runaway truck came barreling off Interstate 20, crashing through the guard rail, down the embankment, across the access road, and through the parking lot to finally come to rest up against a FedEx truck parked outside the store. 

Luckily, no one was hurt. The cause of the wreck is under investigation by the Texas DPS.



Clear skies at dawn this morning.
It’s been a dry week with nice weather. Skies were generally clear with some clouds, but breezes were lighter than usual, and temperatures were what you’d expect for mid-November. Highs were in the mid to high sixties last weekend, but on Sunday a cold front moved through and 41°F was as warm as it got. Lows were in the thirties except for Friday’s 40°. Monday and yesterday were cool with highs of 57° and 55°, but felt warmer with sunshine and only light breezes with periods of calm.

The forecast is for continued highs in the upper fifties, light winds, and partly cloudy skies today and tomorrow. Thanksgiving should be a good day for travel with a high of 60°, mostly cloudy skies, and light winds. Friday and Saturday will be warmer with highs of 70° and 73° but breezier with strong southwest winds. Sunday’s high will reach only 55° as a norther moves through.

Neither rain nor freezes are in the forecast for the upcoming week.



Funeral services for Doris Katherine Clements, 87, were held at 11am, Saturday, November 17, at McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater. Rev. Daniel Norton officiated, and interment followed at Sweetwater Cemetery. She passed away Sunday, November 11, at her son’s home in Roscoe.

Doris was born July 14, 1931, in Coke County to the late O.L. and Daisy (Best) Henderson. She married Walter Lee “Buddy” Clements, Jr., February 25, 1950, in Sweetwater. She had lived in Roscoe since October 1956. She was a graduate of Blackwell High School, worked for Bell Telephone Company before her marriage, was a homemaker and a member of Lamar Street Baptist Church. 

She is survived by her sons Larry Clements of Roscoe, Jacky Clements and wife Betty of Batesville, Arkansas, Barbara Clements of Gainesville, six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. 

She is preceded in death by her husband January 7, 2016; her son, Walter Clements III; five brothers, and one sister. 

Pallbearers were Allan Stewart, Greg Gnade, Damian McDonald, John Clements, Daniel Casey and Jimmy Davis.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

City Council Deals with Requests, Approves Contracts, Learns of $275k Grant Approval

Several Bandera residents attended yesterday's City Council meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the City Council made an alternate suggestion for one information item, heard a resident’s complaint in another, tabled a request to extend a contract, awarded a proposal for bond counsel and approved a contract for financial adviser for the Texas Water Development Project. It also approved an engineering services agreement for the proposed travel center and hotel project and learned that a $275,000 grant the City applied for over a year ago has been approved.

The meeting began in some confusion as a group of Bandera residents showed up to present their case and ask for help in dealing with their ongoing problems with neighborhood flooding. After learning that only previously designated speakers could address the council, their spokesperson, Joe Smith, said they were looking for a solution and wanted to discuss the matter with the Council. Mayor Pete Porter suggested that since any solution would also involve the county and state, they might do better to schedule an informal meeting in a different venue with a member or members from the County, TxDOT, and the City all in attendance to provide input.

Roscoe Cemetery maintenance man Skeet Kimbrell then asked for a one-month extension on his contract to deal with problems caused by recent heavy rains. He said the earth had sunk above about twenty graves, creating holes that needed to be filled. City employee Joe Vick said that City workers could handle that task, and the request for an extension was tabled.

City Manager Cody Thompson was unable to attend because of a health issue but sent word that the Texas Department of Agriculture has approved the Texas Community Block Grant of $275,000 for continued sewer line improvements that the City applied for over a year ago. He also sent word that the building of a pavilion in Windmill Park will soon be underway.

The Council then approved the awarding of a contract with Hilltop Securities for financial adviser and the engineering firm e/HT, Inc., for the Texas Water Development Board water project. It also approved the engineering services agreement with e/HT, Inc., for the travel center and hotel conference project through the Texas Department of Agriculture.



Shoppers check out new wares at Vickie's Gifts on Sunday.
The Christmas Open House has always been a successful event for Roscoe’s merchants, but this year’s version may have been the best one yet. On Sunday afternoon the downtown area was full of cars, and shoppers crowded all the participating businesses.

At Vickie’s Gifts, Koti Lindsey reported giving away over 400 door gifts and a long line of people waiting to get in to check out the latest ideas for Christmas. Cotton Belles and the Wildflower Boutique also reported busy afternoons with brisk sales, and the Roscoe Community Center also had a successful weekend with its Trades Days. In short, it was a profitable afternoon for local businesses and a great way to kick off shopping for the 2018 Christmas season.



Xavier Frith (40) goes up for a pass. (Football photos by Tamara Alexander)
Hopes for an upset never came to pass on a chilly Friday evening in Cross Plains as the Buffaloes ended the Plowboys’ football season with a solid 33-12 victory. The Buffaloes now advance to a bi-district match-up with Christoval here in Roscoe Friday night, while the Plowboys stow their football gear and move on to round ball.

The game started well for the Plowboys. On their first possession, Gary Shaw broke free on a 46-yard touchdown run. Jose Ortega’s kick was no good, but the Plowboys had a 6-0 lead before the game was two minutes old. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the high point of the evening for Roscoe. Midway through the quarter, Cross Plains capped off a drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass and with a successful extra-point kick moved ahead of the Plowboys 7-6. It was a lead they never relinquished. In the second quarter, they scored two more touchdowns while shutting down the Plowboys, and by halftime they led 20-6.

In the third quarter, the Buffaloes scored twice more to put the game out of reach at 33-6. Roscoe managed another score in the fourth on a 10-yard Jayden Gonzales pass to Junior Martinez, but it was too little too late, and the final score was 33-12.

Statistically, the Plowboys actually racked up more total yards than the Buffaloes with 259 to Cross Plains’ 238, but the Buffaloes had the ball almost twice as long with a 31:28 time of possession to Roscoe’s 16:32. Turnovers also hurt the Plowboys with four, three fumbles and an interception, while Cross Plains had only two, both interceptions.

For the Plowboys, Gonzales completed 18 of 37 passes for 179 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. Junior Martinez had 6 catches for 66 yards and 1 TD, and Brandon Lavalais had 5 for 69. Barrett Beal caught 3 for 33 and Ortega 3 for 7. Gary Shaw led Plowboy rushers with 83 yards on 9 carries and 1 TD, while Ortega had 2 carries for 16 yards.

Ortega and Garrett Bowers led the defense with 9½ tackles each. Lavalais had 8, Shaw and Nick Limones had 6 each, Martinez and Ryan Highsmith had 5, and Jacob Rainey had 4, while four others had fewer.

Scoring by quarters:
                                                1          2          3          4           T
                   Plowboys           6          0          0          6          12
                   Cross Plains      7         13         13         0          33



The Plowgirls won their home opener in the Special Events Center yesterday evening, defeating the Ira Lady Bulldogs in a close game 40-35. The Plowgirls jumped out to an early lead and led most of the way.

Here are the scores by quarters:

Plowgirls          10        28        30        40
Ira                        8        17        29         35

Individual scoring for the Plowgirls: Victoria Martinez 13, Sadie McCambridge 13, Shauna McCambridge 6, Jovana Peña 3, Bonnie Wilkinson 3, Liberty Saenz 2.

The Plowgirls will next play the Lady Blizzards in Winters Friday, followed by Post in Post next Monday. Their next home game won’t be until November 27, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, against Jayton.  The varsity boys will begin their season with Jayton the same evening.



If you live somewhere around Plowboy Field, don’t be surprised Friday evening if you see the lights on and hear bands playing and announcers speaking into the PA system. You aren’t missing a Plowboy game.

Cross Plains and Christoval, both 7-3 on the year, will be facing off in a bi-district playoff. It should be a good game as the teams played one another earlier this year with Christoval edging the Buffaloes 27-26 in a match that went down to the wire.

The weather should be good for November football with game-time temperatures in the fifties and a light southwest wind of 5-10mph. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Strong north winds had the flags at school flapping on Monday.
Roscoe got its first fall freeze on Monday night and experienced a week of cool weather that gave the area its first intimation of the approach of winter. The only day to reach the sixties was on Sunday afternoon during Christmas Open House. 

Otherwise, highs were only in the low fifties or forties and lows dropped below freezing and as low as yesterday’s 22°F—which felt even colder with a strong north wind that reached 25mph with gusts into the low thirties. There was even some rain on Monday morning, but it amounted to only about .2”. Highs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were 51°, 50°, and 49° respectively. Monday’s high was 50° and yesterday’s only 42°. Lows dropped below freezing on Monday, yesterday, and this morning.

The forecast, however, is for sunny skies and warming weather through Saturday. Today’s high will be about 53°, tomorrow’s 65°, Friday’s 66° and Saturday’s 63° as cloudy skies return. Sunday’s high will be only 47° as another cold front moves through. There is little prospect of rain before next Wednesday when the chances for precipitation reach 40%.


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