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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

RCHS 2020 Graduation Set for May 22

Roscoe Collegiate High School is happy to announce that it will have a live graduation at 8:30pm on Friday, May 22. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation will be held at Plowboy Field, and we will implement social distancing standards. Therefore, the graduation ceremonies will not be open to the general public. Each graduating student will be allowed a limited number of guests.

In addition, we are planning to provide a live stream video on the evening of the 22nd, and we will post that video for viewing at a later date as well. Although this is not ideal, we are extremely excited to be able to offer a live graduation option for our students who have worked so hard to accomplish so much!

Andy Wilson, Provost.



City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the Council at yesterday's meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the Roscoe City Council got an update from the City Manager, the Police Report from the Chief of Police, conducted routine business, and approved extending the acceptance of bids for managing the City Swimming Pool this summer.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported the purchase and installation of a new lift-station pump at the main lift station by the baseball field. The old one, which was about twenty years old, malfunctioned and burned up. City workers also dug a trench from the east booster pump for a water line to the mudbog pit, so instead of using reverse-osmosis treated water for the mudbog pit and ballpark, the non-potable water produced by that well can be used as a cost-saving measure. It will also save on electricity and use of the primary pumps.

EHT, the City’s engineers, has advised the City that it should purchase a back-up primary west booster pump. City workers are still working on lowering the effluent water at the waste-water treatment plant by draining the lagoons for inspection by the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality).

The City will once again team up with the County this summer to sealcoat City streets. The two will use $25,000 of materials in the project. Just exactly which streets will be treated has not yet been determined.

The water line improvement plans are still being reviewed by the TWDB (Texas Water Development Board) and the TCEQ. Once they approve them, the City will advertise for bids to get the project underway.

The city is also planning to send employees to state training and licensing schools once the current coronavirus mandates are lifted.

City workers will demolish and burn two houses, possibly this Saturday if weather permits. One is located at 5th and Ash Streets and the other at 6th and Elm.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja then gave the monthly police report for the month of April. He reported that the department received 113 calls compared to 119 in March, issued 14 citations compared to 11 in March, and made one arrest.

Since the City is still tentatively planning to operate the City Swimming Pool this summer if pandemic constraints permit it, the Council approved extending the acceptance of bids to manage it.



Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital appeared in a spot on the national CBS Evening News last week as an example of the troubles created in rural hospitals by the regulations imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rural Texas hospital struggles to stay open amid coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has led to frightening times for rural hospitals like Rolling Plains Memorial in Sweetwater, Texas, about three hours west of Dallas. Recently, the hospital has lost almost $2 million in revenue. "A continuation of that could be devastating for this hospital," said CEO Donna Boatright.


This video clip illustrates the creation and assembly of N-95 quality medical masks by Edu-Make It workers in a project that supplied Abilene Regional Medical Center, Mitchell County Hospital, and Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital with a total of some 500 masks. The video is one minute and forty seconds long.  



The Plowboy Mudbog has scheduled its annual July 4 Plowboy Mudbog for Saturday, July 4. As in years past, the public gate will open at 11am and action begins at noon.


The final changes in the governor’s easing of coronavirus constraints will take place on Monday, May 18, opening gyms and manufacturing facilities. In fact, all businesses but bars, which the governor’s task force is still working on, will be allowed to reopen. It’s something of a gamble, and everyone is waiting to see its effects on the number of new positives for COVID-19 across the state. Whether it is the right move won’t be known until then, and the governor has said adjustments will be made if necessary.

Of course, even with the relaxing of the rules, life will not return to normal as social distancing, customer capacity limits, handwashing, mask wearing, and other guidelines remain in place, but it should be enough to get the economy moving in the right direction again. At least, that’s the plan. Texas has lost billions of dollars since the initial executive order back in March.

The City of Abilene is revising its method for reporting positive numbers for active cases of COVID-19 cases. As of yesterday, they are reporting 213 positive results for COVID-19 as opposed to the 382 on record from 3109 tests because 94 are prison positives, which, although they are in Abilene, count as belonging to Jones County, and 82 others are serologic positives, which the state has asked them not to count to keep in line with other county counts. The number of hospitalizations is easy to tabulate, however, and the good news there is that there are only 4 current hospitalizations in Taylor County for the virus, which is quite low, especially when compared to numbers in other areas of the country.

Here are yesterday’s numbers for the other Big Country counties: Jones, 96; Brown, 38; Callahan, 6; Howard, 6; Eastland, 4; Comanche, 3; Coleman, 2; Nolan, 2; Runnels, 2; Scurry, 2; Coke, 1; Fisher, 1; Knox, 1; Mitchell, 1; Shackelford, 1; Stephens, 1.

Selected west Texas counties: Lubbock, 598; Midland, 107; Ector (Odessa), 100; Wichita (Wichita Falls), 75; Tom Green (San Angelo), 59.

Texas now has 41,048 cases (33,369 last Tuesday) and 1,133 deaths (906 last Tuesday).



Thursday's sunset. (Photo by Eden Baker)
After the hundred-degree days of the previous week, this past one was marked by milder temperatures. It was windy, however, especially on a couple of days, and also dry, i.e., another week with no rain. That’s not what we like to see for the month of May.

Still, the temperatures of this past week were a welcome change. Wednesday and Thursday had highs of 83°F and 88° with lows of 52° and 61°. Thursday did have strong winds from the south, 20-30mph with gusts over 40. Then on Friday, the wind shifted to the north but was just as strong if not stronger. On Saturday, breezes were lighter and back from the south where they have remained since. The high was a cool 77°. Sunday’s high was only 79°, and Monday and yesterday were about the same with highs of 80° Monday and 81° yesterday.

There’s a 40% chance of rain today from scattered strong storms, and temperatures into the weekend will be progressively warmer, a high of 88° today, 91° tomorrow, and 90° on Friday. Both Friday evening and Saturday are also getting a 40% chance of rain from the forecasters. Lows for the next seven days are all in the sixties.

Tomorrow will have strong winds from the southwest before shifting on Friday to the south along with increased cloudiness, which will last through the weekend.

A good soaking would be a welcome change.



Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a private graveside service for Irmgard Arnold Althof, 92, was held yesterday at 10am at the Roscoe Cemetery with Daylon and Nancy Althof providing special music and Pastor David Draper officiating. She passed away on Saturday, May 9, in Boerne.

Irmgard was born on March 17, 1928, in Burton, Texas, one of six children born to Erich and Selma Deiss Arnold. Two days after graduating from Waco High School in 1947, she began working at William Cameron and Co. in Waco. She met the love of her life, Wilbert Herman Althof, in the summer of 1948 at a Baptist General Convention in Kyle, Texas. They married on March 17, 1950, at Central Baptist Church in Waco. Irmgard always said that Wilbert was the best birthday present she had ever received, even though she had always vowed that she would never marry a farmer. They lived on their farm west of Roscoe until 1971 when they built in Roscoe, and where she continued to reside until March 2017 prior to relocating to Heritage Place in Boerne to be closer to family.

Irmgard was a homemaker and a great cook. Although never employed outside the home after marriage, she kept busy running errands for her family and was a helping hand in many different ways. She also enjoyed gardening, landscaping, and tending to her flowers. She was a 60-year member of the First Baptist Church in Roscoe, where she served many years on the Building and Grounds Committee and the Floral Committee.

She was preceded in death by her husband Wilbert, on April 15, 1987; parents, Erich and Selma Arnold; sisters Ruth Grossman (Raymond), Pearl Sherrod (Ralph) and Adina Cox (Bill); and brothers Erich Arnold (Betty Mathews) and Glenwood Arnold (Joyce Ferguson); brothers-in-law Raymond Althof (Ina Gabler), Clarence Althof, George Hughes; and sister-in-law Elnora Althof Peters (Arnold).

She is survived by daughter, Debra Cravey (Al) of Boerne; son, Ron Althof of Owensboro, KY; grandsons, Dr. Russell Cravey (Rhonda) of Kerrville, Stuart Cravey (Savannah) of San Antonio; brother-in-law, Edwin Althof, Jr., (Johnnie) of Henrietta; sisters-in-law, Frances (Althof) Hughes and Joyce (Cooper) Althof, both of Roscoe; four great-granddaughters, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A very special thank you to the staff and caregivers at Heritage Place of Boerne, Nurse Practitioner Specialist Kristin Steinke and the caregivers with Alamo Hospice and Kindred Home Health.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 626, Roscoe, Texas 79545. McCoy Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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