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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

City Council Approves Game Room Ordinance

The City Council at yesterday evening's meeting.
At a special meeting at City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council discussed and approved a game room ordinance for the City of Roscoe. The new ordinance, which passed unanimously, is more restrictive in accordance with the wishes of local law enforcement and several Roscoe residents who attended the meeting.

As explained to residents who attended the monthly meeting two weeks ago, game rooms are legal in the state of Texas so long as they abide by the restrictions set by the state legislature. However, since their operation requires increased police review and regulation, the city they are in may pass restrictions which apply to any new game rooms receiving a permit. Game rooms already operating, however, are not subject to the ordinance until they come up for renewal at the end of the year.  

Highlights of the new ordinance include an annual renewal fee of $2500 per game room, limited hours of operation, location restrictions, and fines of between $250 and $500 per violation. There are other stipulations as well regarding parking, signage, and other related matters.

At present, only one game room is still in operation in Roscoe.



Cameron Greenwood takes a shot in yesterday's game with Winters.
The Plowgirls lost a close one to Forsan in Forsan on Friday, 29-27, but then rallied to beat Winters at the Special Events Center last night, 45-18.

The Plowgirls couldn’t quite pull it out in the game with Forsan. Like the first game with the Buffs in Roscoe, the game was a battle all the way, the difference this time being that Forsan managed to come out on top.

Carson Greenwood led the Plowgirls in individual scoring with 12 points, followed by Shauna McCambridge with 8, Jacey Rodriquez with 5, and Mia Lavalais with 2. McCambridge had 14 rebounds, Carson 8, Cameron 2, Mia Lavalais 1, Jacey Rodriquez 1, and Kaidy Ornelas 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                           1           2          3           4           T
Forsan              8          10         5           6          29
Plowgirls          8           6          6           7          27
Then yesterday evening, the Plowgirls jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in easily handling the Blizzards, 45-18. The score at halftime was 23-9.

Carson Greenwood had 15 points, Shauna McCambridge and Jacey Rodriquez both had 8, Kaidy Ornelas 7, Mia Lavalais 6, and Cameron Greenwood 1. McCambridge had 16 rebounds, Carson 9, and Rodriquez, Ornelas, Lavalais, and Cameron had 2 each.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2          3           4          T
Plowgirls          11        12         9           13        45
Winters             2          7          5            4         18

The Plowgirls are now 11-7 on the season and 6-3 in district play. Their final district game with the Lady Wolves in Colorado City Friday is an important one as its outcome will have playoff implications.



These are the complete results of Roscoe FFA exhibitors in the 2021 Nolan County Livestock Show in the Nolan County Coliseum January 14-16.

8th Ally Benner
9th Peyton Morgan
11th Ryleigh Mahan
12th Kaidynce Tilley
Showmanship – Kaidynce Tilley  

Class 1 – Lightweight
1st Shauna McCambridge
6th Krslyn Jackson
9th Kadence Lane
11th Athena Newman
14th Ryan Roberson

Class 1 – Heavyweight
14th Nate Anderson-Jones

Class 1
5th JoAnna McAnally
6th Kaycee Gunter

Class 2
7th Kaleb Martinez

Class 3
5th JoAnna McAnally
8th Cheyenne Moorhead

Class 4
8th Marcella Saenz

Class 1
7th Kaycee Gunter
9th Kaycee Gunter

Class 1 – Black OPB
5th Lincoln Tiemann
6th Colson Moffet

Class 2 – Black OPB
1st Seth Wilcox
3rd Jacob Kiser
6th Lincoln Tiemann

Class 1 – Black OPB
3rd Dakota Freeman
Reserve Black OPB Champion
Seth Wilcox

Class 1 – Cross
6th Aiden Richburg
7th Zeke Murphy

Class 2 – Cross
1st Seth Wilcox
4th Madison Castillo
8th Xander Moffet

Class 3 – Cross
4th Reese Kiser
6th Jacob Kiser
7th Aiden Richburg

Class 4 – Cross
4th Dakota Freeman
6th Bentlee Cunningham
7th Maggie Morris
8th Ivy Morris
9th Sayge McCambridge

Class 1 – Duroc
4th Seth Wilcox

Class 2 – Duroc
4th Reese Kiser
Aiden Richburg

Class 3 – Duroc
4th Dakota Freeman
6th Savannah Little

Class 2 – Hampshire
5th Aiden Richburg
6th Gaven Martinez

Class 3 –Hampshire
8th Ally Benner
10th Alyssa Aguilar

Class 2 – White OPB
4th Zeke Murphy

Class 1 – American
2nd Shannon Sanders
3rd Shannon Sanders

Reserve American Breed Champion
Shannon Sanders

Class 3 – British
4th Kelbi Parks

Class 4 – Exotic
5th Kelbi Parks

Class 5 – Exotic
4th Shannon Sanders



The winter holiday Covid-19 surge may have reached its peak as case numbers have begun to drop on national, state, and local levels.

In the US, the number of new daily cases has fallen from a little over 200,000 last week to 156,000 yesterday with the numbers dropping in 45 states. Deaths, however, remain at peak level at around 3,000 per day. Hardest hit states are South Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and North Dakota. Vaccine problems of supply and distribution continue, however, and the new variant strains of Covid-19 continue to spread.

In Texas, the good news is that the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations are also beginning to drop, although the number of deaths, over 300 a day, remains high. If we have passed the peak now, then the number of deaths should also start falling soon, and the decrease in hospitalizations will provide some relief to overworked medical personnel.

Similar trends are being seen in the Big Country. The number of active cases in Taylor county has dropped from last week’s 2,585 to 2,502, and the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has dropped from 122 to 84. This is the lowest number since the 83 on November 18.  However, the number of Covid-19 deaths remains high with 24 more deaths this week compared to 20 last week. There have now been 270 total deaths in Abilene hospitals.

In the Big Country’s trauma service area, the percentage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients is also dropping. Last week, it was 22.08% compared to this week’s 16.4%. The number of hospital staff in quarantine has also dropped to 44 from 59 last week.

In our four-county area, the numbers are also improving. Nolan County has dropped to 262 active cases from last week’s 275, and Fisher County has dropped to 12 active cases from 25 last week. Mitchell County now has just 21, down from last week’s 32, and Scurry is down to 51 active cases from last week’s 101. Nolan County had 2 more deaths to bring its total to 26; Fisher had one death with a total now of 10, and Scurry had 3 more deaths to bring its total to 49. Mitchell County had no deaths, so its total remains at 7.

RCISD reports good news again this week with no active cases among students or staff.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals since the pandemic began as of yesterday (with last Tuesday in parentheses): Howard, 2,766 (2,662); Erath, 2,454 (2,379); Scurry, 2,350 (2,270); Jones, 2,053 (2,015); Brown, 1,750 (1,643); Nolan, 1,447 (1,399); Comanche, 932 (915); Eastland, 759 (705); Runnels, 717 (668); Mitchell, 552 (535); Callahan 538 (481); Coleman, 454 (419); Stephens, 415 (402); Fisher, 276 (266); Coke, 235 (234); Haskell, 179 (171); Knox, 152 (144); Shackelford, 116 (100); Stonewall, 48 (48); Throckmorton, 45 (35); Kent, 34 (33).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with last week in parentheses): Lubbock, 46,329 (45,600); Midland, 15,197 (13,334); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 13,687 (13,325); Ector (Odessa), 6,929 (6,547); Tom Green (San Angelo), 4,440 (4,337).

Texas now has had a total of 1,988,063 cases (1,872,614 last week), 376,862 active cases (376,764 last week) and 34,701 total deaths (30,219 last week).



The fog was thick on Friday morning.
The past weekend was marked by a little moisture and three days of mist and fog. There were about four days there when the sun never broke through the clouds. I had to drive to Houston on Sunday, and I was surprised that there was heavy fog, along with intermittent rain, all the way from Roscoe to Houston. I can’t remember fog covering an entire state, or at least most of it, like that. Despite the clouds and wetness, the amount of moisture it provided the Roscoe area was minimal. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded a total of .06".

Since I was returning from Houston on Monday, I’m not sure when the sun came out, but I see there was a strong west wind Monday morning, so I’m assuming it blew the clouds away and let the sun come through. I know the sun was shining on me all the way back. Then yesterday was partly cloudy and cool with a north wind and a high of 55°.

The forecast today is for sunny skies, a continued north breeze, and a high of only 51°F. Tomorrow the wind will be from the south and the high a little warmer at 55° with partly cloudy skies. Then Friday and Saturday will be warmer with highs of 63° and 64° respectively along with strong west winds on Saturday. Sunday and Monday will be a little cooler at 59° and 62°. Lows from tomorrow through Monday will all be above freezing.

There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Plowgirls Stop Coleman and Miles

Kaidy Ornelas (5) sets to throw the ball to Cameron Greenwood (11).
The Plowgirls had a good week with two home game victories, one over Coleman, the other over Miles. With a 5-2 district record and three games to go, they are still in running for the title.

The Plowgirls got a little payback Friday evening in the Special Events Center by downing Coleman 38-21. The Lady Bluekatts had beat Roscoe in their first district meeting in Coleman 40-28 and no doubt were confident going into Friday’s game that they could get another district win.

But the Plowgirls, who had been starting slow, came out strong and by the end of the quarter were ahead 8-0. The second quarter was just as devastating for the Bluekatts as they were down 23-3 at halftime with the game essentially over. The Plowgirls have obviously improved since that first game on December 15.

Carson Greenwood was the Plowgirls’ leading scorer with 13 points, followed by Shauna McCambridge with 10. Kaidy Ornelas had 7, Cameron Greenwood 5, and Jacey Rodriquez 3. McCambridge had 13 rebounds, Cr. Greenwood 5, Rodriquez 4, Ornelas 3, and Cm. Greenwood 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2         3         4         T
Plowgirls          8         15         7         8        38
Coleman           0          3         4        14        21

(To see a nice article about this game in Saturday’s Abilene Reporter-News, click here.)

Then, last night the Plowgirls defeated Miles for the second time, this one 51-26.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2          3          4         T
Plowgirls          15        10        13        13        51
Miles                  5          3          4        14        26

Carson Greenwood led the Plowgirls in scoring with 20 points, followed by Kaidy Ornelas with 12, Shauna McCambridge with 12, Jacey Rodriquez with 4, and Cameron Greenwood with 3. McCambridge had 7 rebounds, Rodriquez 6, Cr. Greenwood 2, Ornelas 2, and Cm. Greenwood 1.

The Plowgirls are now 10-6 on the season and 5-2 in district play. Their next game is with Forsan in Forsan Friday evening, followed by Winters in Roscoe next Tuesday.



The Plowboys lost two district contests this week, one to Coleman on Friday, the other to Miles last night.

Against Coleman, Seth Wilcox led the Plowboy scoring with 6, followed by E. Raney with 5, Antonio Aguayo with 4, J. Wells with 2, and Zackary Jordan with 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2          3          4         T
Coleman          18        14        18        18        68
Plowboys          0          0          3        15        18

Against Miles, Parker Gleaton led the Plowboy scoring with 16 points, followed by Antonio Aguayo with 12, Seth Wilcox with 10, Jax Watts with 5, Jake Gonzales with 3, and Lupe Leanos with 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1          2         3           4          T
Miles                 25        23        13        23        82
Plowboys          10        13        11         13        47

The Plowboys next face Forsan in Forsan on Friday and Winters in Roscoe next Tuesday. Their final district game will be with Colorado City on Friday, January 29.



In the US, the number of new Covid-19 cases has dropped from last week. Instead of a million new cases every four days, it’s now a million new cases every five days, i.e., a little over 200,000 a day. There are also over 3,300 deaths every day, and total deaths since the pandemic began has now passed 400,000.

The vaccine rollout has been and continues to be uneven and chaotic with many places either behind schedule or still with no doses. This general confusion is likely to continue in the near future and is true all over, including Texas.

In Texas, the Covid-19 numbers continue to hit all-time highs in new cases, now over 10,000 a day; hospitalizations, now about 14,000; and deaths, over 300 per day.  The Abilene, Bryan/College Station, and Laredo areas are all out of ICUs, and Covid-19 patients comprise over 21% of hospital beds statewide. The Texas Department of State Health Services reports that the pandemic has never been worse in Texas, and it has never been easier to catch Covid-19. It is also concerned about hospital capacity and says the “ICUs across Texas cannot take much more.”

In the Big Country’s trauma service area, 22.39% of the hospital beds are for Covid-19 patients. Active cases have also started going back up again after dropping for a couple of weeks. There are now 2,585 active cases in Taylor County compared to 2,386 a week ago. Also, 20 patients have died of Covid-19 in Abilene since last Tuesday. The total for Taylor County is now 246 deaths. Covid-19 hospitalizations are currently at 122, compared to 128 last week. Of those, 95 are from Taylor County and 27 are from out of county. 59 employees are in quarantine.

In our four-county area, the numbers are still high but improving. Nolan County has dropped to 275 active cases after last week’s record 328, and Fisher County has dropped to 25 active cases from 33 last week. Mitchell now has just 32, down from last week’s 48, and Scurry is down to 101 active cases from last week’s 137. However, it did have 7 more deaths this past week.

As of Monday, there were still some vaccine shots available in Nolan County. Whether that is still the case is anybody’s guess. Folks who qualify as either tier A1 or A2 may inquire at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Brookshire’s Pharmacy, or the Nolan County Health Department.

RCISD reports good news with no active cases among students or staff.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals since the pandemic began as of yesterday (with last Tuesday in parentheses): Howard, 2,662 (2,616); Erath, 2,379 (2,308); Scurry, 2,270 (2,202); Jones, 2,015 (1,939); Brown, 1,643 (1,532); Nolan, 1,399 (1,367); Comanche, 915 (909); Eastland, 705 (672); Runnels, 668 (653); Mitchell, 535 (522); Callahan 481 (467); Stephens, 402 (392); Coleman, 419 (392); Fisher, 266 (258); Coke, 234 (229); Haskell, 171 (169); Knox, 144 (141); Shackelford, 100 (91); Stonewall, 48 (46); Throckmorton, 35 (34); Kent, 33 (30).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with last week in parentheses): Lubbock, 45,600 (44,547); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 13,325 (12,595); Midland, 13,334 (12,421); Ector (Odessa), 6,547 (6,363); Tom Green (San Angelo), 4,337 (4,146).

Texas now has had a total of 1,872,614 cases (1,753,059 last week), 376,764 active cases, and 32,394 total deaths (30,219 last week).


(from Herschel Whittington’s Smiles and Tears of Boyhood Years)

Boys stand before the old City Hall, in a park where the bank is now.
Editor’s note: Anyone with relatives who lived through the depression may recall their reluctance to talk about it, probably because they didn’t enjoy re-visiting those hard times. Rather than go into detail, they’d often dismiss the memory with a statement or two, such as “There just wasn’t any money,” or “You were lucky to find work.” However, the following excerpt from Herschel Whittington’s memoirs details some of the hardships he and his family went through, living in a shack with no plumbing or electricity. With the comparative prosperity most of us have experienced in recent years, it’s truly a different world we live in today.

When the ginning season ended in January, and we no longer could afford to rent the Cedar Street house, Dad moved us to yet another shack in the country, about two miles east of Roscoe and a mile north. Indeed, this house ranked "worst" in my memory: two small, bare, ugly rooms, plus a covered porch, all setting up on posts about 18 inches off the low ground—a necessity since the water stood for months beneath the house while we lived there—water that could be seen through cracks between the floor boards.

We struggled through the rest of the winter there, placing cardboard over the holes in the floor in a pitifully vain attempt to keep out the icy wind and the bone chilling damp.

Dad, Mama, Hillman and Ray worked as field hands whenever work could be found, which wasn't often.

An elderly lady, living alone about a quarter-of-a-mile up the road, had a cow, and a heart of gold.

She often gave us home-made butter, which was all she had to share. Hungry as we were, though, we couldn't eat it. Very nearly blind, this kindly woman was not aware that a virtual mesh of her flaky gray hairs interlaced every block of that butter.

Across the road, the Hamilton family, themselves poor as lizard-eating cats, lived in a much larger house and seemed wealthy by comparison with us. They owned their farm, raised garden vegetables, milked their own cows, owned a pen full of chickens, which kept them supplied with fryers, broilers and eggs, and they butchered their own hogs. In the winter of 1931 Dad helped them butcher and they gave us some of the meat.

It rained so much around Roscoe that fall (1931), and on into the spring (1932), the farmers couldn't head their maize or pick their cotton. Water stood under our house (and over much of the land) for nearly a year.

Very little spring planting got done in 1932. There was almost no field work for Dad to do—almost no way for him to feed his family. He worked a few days helping with a construction job—something to do with the Gulf oil refinery in Sweetwater—then caught a freight train back to where we'd come from in Oklahoma, and on to Arkansas. But folks there were no better off, and he found nothing but an occasional hand-out and a few hours of work in exchange for food and shelter.

During the eight weeks Dad was gone, we had little to eat: the greening meat the Hamiltons had shared with us, some turnips from their cellar, a few rabbits sling-shot or caught by Ray and Hillman and our dog, Penny, and “greens” concocted by Mama: she used tender weeds—a leafy plant we called “Careless Weed” and tender shoots of the leafless “Tumbleweed.” [To this day I've absolutely no taste for greens.]

Throughout my boyhood I often supplemented my diet by foraging. Such “delicacies” as mesquite beans, tender, sweet new cotton bolls, cactus apples and cactus pears, and juicy ripe sorghum cane. These edibles, though perhaps lacking in nutrition, were filling, and quite sating to my “sweet tooth.”

Another measure of our poverty during that miserable winter was what we wore on our feet—when we wore anything at all on them.

Ray's old Keds were so worn out that, to avoid the embarrassment of wearing them to school, regardless of the weather, he'd take them off and hide them in the weeds and grass alongside the road every morning as he, Hillman, and Gwen walked to classes at the Blackland School. As luck would have it in those days when we enjoyed hardly any luck at all, the county road crew came along and burned the grass and weeds in the bar-ditches beside the road, and Ray's shoes.

Ray didn't mind losing those raggedy old shoes to the fire, except that he had to explain to Mama what had happened to them—an unenviable task. There was no money to buy him more, so he did without shoes for quite a while, somewhat as all of us made do without food from time to time throughout that dreadful winter.

The acres of water standing over the fields surely was heaven for toads and bull frogs. There must have been a billion within earshot of our house, all with loud voices: the toads ranged the scale, while the bulls croaked deep, melodious chords. It's impossible to describe their round-the-clock lulling yet insidious din. More entertaining to Gwen and me, however, than the frogs themselves, were their children: the zillions of tadpoles.

Both of us having observed Mama preserving various fruits and vegetables in clear-glass, quart-size Mason jars, decided to "preserve" some tadpoles. I don't recall how many quarts we'd "put up" before Mama vetoed the idea.

A huge mulberry tree shaded the west end of the Hamiltons’ house, nearest the road. That old tree produced a bumper crop of juicy sweet purple mulberries that spring. The Hamiltons never bothered with them, but their children assured me, smiling cheerily all the while, that I was welcome to eat as many as I wished as often as I wished. Consequently, I sated my sweet-tooth appetite many times before sister Gwen finally explained and demonstrated to me that the white core in each berry was, in fact, a worm. I've not been much of a mulberry arbiter elegantiae since that revelation.

(This excerpt from Whittington's memoirs ran in the March 28, 2018, posting of the Roscoe Hard Times.)

Strong north winds punish the flags at Edu-Weld yesterday.
The weather this past week has been variable but generally cool and, at times, windy. This was especially true on Thursday, when strong north winds of around 28mph blew with gusts up to 43mph and Monday with strong southwest winds of 20-25mph with gusts up to 36mph.

The latter half of last week was also cool with highs of 54° and 52° and lows of 30° and 28° on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday were warmer with a high of 68° Saturday and 54° Sunday. The wind shifted to the southwest on Monday, raising the high to 69°, which was warm enough that being outside with a t-shirt was not uncomfortable. Yesterday was much cooler with north winds, cloudy skies, and a high of only 47°. The front brought with it some wetness but not much, maybe as much as a tenth of an inch last night.

Today the wind will be from the southwest and the chances of any more rain should end around noon with only a slight chance this evening. Tomorrow will be cloudy and warmer with a 25% chance of rain and wind from the southwest. The high should reach 64° with a low of 47°.  The winds shift back to the north on Friday, and the high will be only about 56° under partly cloudy skies. The weekend will be warmer with a high of 65° on Saturday and 74° Sunday. There is also a 40% chance of rain on Sunday, which falls to 15% on Monday. Lows should be in the forties for all these days except Saturday when the low will be a relatively warm 55°.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

City Council Discusses Game Rooms

Law Enforcement Officers at yesterday's City Council meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the City Council discussed amending the Game Room City Ordinance, received updates on recent City activities from the City Manager and Chief of Police, and approved routine business items.

Several Roscoe residents led by Coilla Smith attended the meeting to voice complaints about the current situation regarding game rooms that have recently opened in Roscoe and requested that the Council take action in controlling them. Mayor Pete Porter and City Attorney Zollie Steakley explained that according to state law game rooms are legal in Texas so long as they abide by the restrictions set by the state legislature.

Two law enforcement officers invited by Police Chief Felix Pantoja to discuss the subject spoke of their cities’ experiences with the issue. One was Sweetwater Police Sergeant Armando Renteria and the other Officer Chris Friedl of Taylor County. Both made suggestions in dealing with game room issues and offered help in setting reasonable limits on their operations that are both effective and legal.

Since adapting their suggestions to Roscoe’s situation needs careful review by the City Attorney, the Council decided to table any action at yesterday’s meeting and instead discuss the matter at length at a special meeting on the topic Monday, January 25, and amend the existing Game Room Ordinance at that time.

City Manager Cody Thompson then gave the Council an update on public works. He said the new sanitary sewer plant has been certified compliant with the state’s issued permit, and the City has scheduled annual soil testing as required by the permit. However, the City is still waiting on the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to certify closure on the old sanitary sewer plant. The holdup is a result of the current pandemic. A similar delay is holding up the City’s water line plans and bid specifications still under review by the TCEQ and the TWDB (Texas Water Development Board).

In the meantime, the recent changes in weather have exacerbated the problem of leaks in City water lines and kept City employees busy in dealing with them. They also had to replace chlorinators at the RO water treatment plant last week.

The lift stations are currently operating correctly, and the City has postponed major repair at the main lift station until budgeted revenues improve.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja reported that the Roscoe Police Department handled 93 total calls in the month of December. They made three arrests, one for disorderly conduct and two for theft. There were also five game-room incidents, one involving a stolen truck, one for a fight in the parking lot, and three for loud music in the parking lots.

The Council also approved the Quarterly Investment Report for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 and other routine items.



Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital
Now that the Nolan County Health Department has completed vaccinating the first-level responders and hospital and rest home staff, they have begun vaccinating people in the next level, i.e., those over 65 with qualifying health issues.

If you are in that category, you can apply to be vaccinated by contacting the Nolan County Health Department at 325-235-5463. They will put you on the waiting list and then notify you when your turn comes. 

The vaccinations are being given at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, and Nolan County is using the Moderna vaccine, which requires two shots for full immunity—or I guess I should say 95% immunity because that’s as high as it goes.

Since I qualify, I got my first shot yesterday and can report it didn’t hurt at all. I was told my arm would probably be sore later where they shot it, but so far I haven’t even experienced that. Now, like everyone else who gets the shot, I will wait for almost a month before I get my second one. The Health Department will notify me when they have an exact time for me to receive it.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to wear my mask as recommended and follow the other precautions, but believe me, I am looking forward to getting that second shot and completing the process,
especially since I just learned that a lifelong friend, Betty (Zinke) Rogers, passed away on Sunday from Covid-19.



Austin Lara
RCHS grad Austin Lara became Edu-Nation’s second student to earn a bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University through the local P-TECH program. He was awarded a Bachelor of General Studies on December 12.

He follows Amanda Sanchez, who received her bachelor’s in September, in earning a degree entirely in Roscoe without accumulating any student debt. Congratulations, Austin, and here’s wishing you a successful future!



The Plowgirls won one district game and lost one this past week, defeating the Lady Blizzards in Winters Friday 47-23 and losing last night to Colorado City 45-40. They have now finished the first round of district play with a record of 3-2.

After once again getting off to a slow start and trailing 10-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Plowgirls took off in the second with a 17-2 surge to lead 23-12 at halftime and roll to another district win Friday evening against Winters 47-23.  

Carson Greenwood led the Plowgirl scoring with 19 points, followed by her sister Cameron with 14. Shauna McCambridge and Kaidy Ornelas both had 6, and Mia Lavalais had 2. McCambridge had 19 rebounds, Jacey Rodriquez 8, Ornelas 5, Lavalais 2, and Kirsten Welch 2.

Scoring by quarters:
                           1          2         3          4          T
Plowgirls          6         17        8         16        47
Winters            10        2         4          5         23

Then last night, they lost to the Lady Wolves in a hard-fought game at the Special Events Center 45-40. Carson Greenwood led the scoring for the Plowgirls with 15 points, followed by Shauna McCambridge with 11, Cameron Greenwood with 6, Jacey Rodriquez with 4, Kaidy Ornelas with 2, and Kirsten Welch with 2. McCambridge had 16 rebounds, Cr. Greenwood 6, Rodrquez 2, Mia Lavalais 2, Ornelas 1, Welch 1, and Cm. Greenwood 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                           1          2          3          4          T
Colorado          10        11        12        12        45
Plowgirls           9         8         15        8         40

Their next game is a matchup with Coleman here at the Special Events Center Friday evening with tipoff at 6:30 following the JV game.



Here are the results of the annual Roscoe FFA Stock Show that was held at the Ag Barn by the STEM Center on Saturday.


Class 1
1st - Kelbi Parks
2nd - Shannon Sanders

Class 2
1st - Kelbi Parks
2nd - Shannon Sanders
3rd - Shannon Sanders

Reserve Grand Champion - Shannon Sanders
Grand Champion - Kelbi Parks
Showmanship - Shannon Sanders


Class 1
1st - Shauna McCambridge
2nd - Nate Anderson-Jones
3rd - Athena Newman
4th - Krslyn Jackson
5th - Ryan Roberson

Reserve Breed Champion/Reserve Grand Champion - Nate Anderson-Jones
Breed Champion/Grand Champion - Shauna McCambridge
Showmanship - Ryan Roberson


Class 1

1st - Ally Benner
2nd - Peyton Morgan
3rd - Ryleigh Mahan
4th - Kaidynce Tilley

Reserve Breed Champion/Reserve Grand Champion - Peyton Morgan
Breed Champion/Grand Champion - Ally Benner
Showmanship - Ally Benner

Goats - Boer

Class 1

1st - Kaleb Martinez
2nd - Kaycee Gunter
3rd - Jo McAnally

Class 2
1st - Jo McAnally
2nd - Cheyenne Moorhead
3rd - Marcella Saenz

Reserve Breed Champion/Reserve Grand Champion - Kaycee Gunter
Breed Champion/Grand Champion - Kaleb Martinez
Showmanship - Kaycee Gunter


Class 1

1st - Kaycee Gunter
2nd - Kaycee Gunter

Reserve Breed Champion/Reserve Grand Champion - Kaycee Gunter
Breed Champion/Grand Champion - Kaycee Gunter
Showmanship - Marcella Saenz


Class 1 - White OPB
1st - Zeke Murphy
2nd - Aiden Richburg

White OPB Reserve Breed Champion - Zeke Murphy
White OPB Breed Champion - Aiden Richburg

Class 1 - Dark OPB

1st - Colson Moffet
2nd - Lincoln Tiemann
3rd - Alyssa Aguilar
4th - Zeke Murphy
Class 2 - Dark OPB
1st - Jacob Kiser
2nd - Seth Wilcox
3rd - Dakota Freeman
4th - Lincoln Tiemann
Dark OPB Reserve Breed Champion - Seth Wilcox
Dark OPB Breed Champion - Jacob Kiser
Class 1 - Duroc
1st - Jacob Kiser
2nd - Seth Wilcox
3rd - Dakota Freeman
4th - Aiden Richburg
5th - Savannah Little
Duroc Reserve Breed Champion - Seth Wilcox
Duroc OPB Breed Champion - Jacob Kiser
Class 1 - Hampshire
1st - Reese Kiser
2nd - Aiden Richburg
3rd - Alyssa Aguilar
4th - Ally Benner
5th - Bentlee Cunningham
Hampshire Reserve Breed Champion - Aiden Richburg
Breed Champion - Reese Kiser

Class 1 - Cross
1st - Seth Wilcox
2nd - Aiden Richburg
3rd - Xander Moffet
4th - Zeke Murphy
5th - Alyssa Aguilar
6th - Gaven Martinez
7th - Madison Castillo

Class 2 - Cross
1st - Reese Kiser
2nd - Dakota Freeman
3rd - Maggie Morris
4th - Bentlee Cunnigham
5th - Sayge McCambridge
6th - Ivy Morris

Cross Reserve Breed Champion - Seth Wilcox
Cross Breed Champion - Reese Kiser
Reserve Grand Champion Swine - Seth Wilcox
Grand Champion Swine - Reese Kiser
Jr. Swine Showmanship - Aiden Richburg
Sr. Swine Showmanship - Jacob Kiser



Winters and Colorado City both defeated Roscoe in district games this past week. The Blizzards beat the Plowboys in Winters Friday, 78-10, and Colorado City won yesterday evening in the Special Events Center, 70-16.

In the Winters game Antonio Aguayo had 4 points, Jax Watts 3, Parker Gleaton 2 and Lupe LeaƱos 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1          2          3          4          T
Winters            25        16        24        12        78
Plowboys           3          3           9         4        10

Against Colorado City, Aguayo and Wilcox both made 4 points. Gleaton had 3, Wells 2, Martin 2, and Gonzalez 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2           3          4          T
Colorado          22        13        19         16        70
Plowboys           4          2          7           3         16

The Plowboys’ next game is with Coleman at home in the Special Events Center. The game begins at 8:00pm.



Nationally, the Covid-19 numbers just keep going up. The US is now averaging over 3,000 deaths every day along with over 250,000 new cases per day, meaning over a million new cases in the US every four days. Hardest hit states are Arizona, California, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Texas is somewhere near the middle—23rd in new cases and 22nd in deaths.

However, Texas is rapidly approaching two million total cases since the pandemic began. The numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are also still increasing. On Monday, 15,976 new cases were reported, an increase of 4,736 over the daily average a week ago. Hospitalizations are also at a record level with 13,397 Covid-19 patients across the state, an increase of 436 over a week ago. And for the first time, one patient in five in Texas hospitals is there because of Covid-19. The average of new daily deaths this week is 74 more than it was a week ago, and over 30,000 Texans have now died from Covid-19.

In Abilene, over 25%, or one in four beds in the Big Country’s trauma service area is for Covid-19 patients, the highest percentage ever. Active cases have also started going back up again after dropping for the last couple of weeks. There are now 2,386 active cases compared to 2,094 a week ago. Also 21 more patients have died of Covid-19 in Abilene since last Tuesday. The total for Taylor County is now 226 deaths. Covid-19 hospitalizations are currently at 128, compared to 139 last week.

In our four-county area, the numbers are mixed but remain serious. Nolan County now has a record 328 active cases, 5 more than last week’s 323, and Fisher County has 33 active cases, 17 more than last week’s 16. On the other hand, Mitchell County has just 48 active cases, 19 fewer than last week’s 67, while Scurry County has 137 active cases, a drop from the 178 of last week. However, it did have 8 more deaths this past week.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with last Tuesday in parentheses): Howard, 2,616 (2,529); Erath, 2,308 (2,182); Scurry, 2,202 (2,117); Jones, 1,930 (1,882); Brown, 1,532 (1,381); Nolan, 1,367 (1,266); Comanche, 909 (892); Eastland, 671 (631); Runnels, 653 (592); Mitchell, 522 (503); Callahan 467 (424); Stephens, 392 (376); Coleman, 392 (311); Fisher, 258 (227); Coke, 229 (222); Haskell, 169 (153); Knox, 141 (135); Shackelford, 91 (78); Stonewall, 46 (43); Throckmorton, 34 (33); Kent, 30 (30).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with last week in parentheses): Lubbock, 44,547 (42,591); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 12,595 (11,544); Midland, 12,421 (11,726); Ector (Odessa), 6,363 (6,363); Tom Green (San Angelo), 4,146 (4,061).

Texas now has had a total of 1,753,059 cases (1,626,568 last week) and 30,219 total deaths (28,219 last week).



For the second time in less than two weeks, the Roscoe area got a big snow, the first on New Year’s Day and the second on Sunday. 

This second one was the larger of the two, although both put a nice, white blanket on everything. The first one was about 3½ inches and the second anywhere from 5 to a little over 7 inches, depending on who you asked. The students didn’t get a snow day, though. All they got was a ten o’clock start on Monday. Both snows were beautiful while they lasted. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried reports .61” precipitation from this second snow.

Temperatures this week were the lowest of any we’ve had so far this winter. The high temperature this week was Thursday’s 52°F, the low was Monday’s 23°. The other daily highs were all in the thirties or forties, and all the lows were around or below freezing. But, as they say, the second half of January is the coldest time of the year in the northern hemisphere, and we’re almost there.

Despite that average, the upcoming week should be warmer than the one we’ve just been through. Today’s high should climb to 59° with a southwest wind. Tomorrow the wind will shift to the north and have strong breezes with sustained high winds of over 20mph. The high will be about 56° with partly cloudy sky. Friday’s high will be 52°. Saturday’s 57°, Sunday’s 53°, and Monday’s all the way up to 60°. Lows will be in the thirties, with only Friday morning’s falling below freezing to 31°.

There is no rain in the forecast.



Private graveside services for Betty Ann (Zinke) Rogers, of Roscoe, will be at 2:00pm today, January 13, at Roscoe Cemetery with Rev. Juanelle Jordan officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home. She passed away Sunday, January 10, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater.

She was born May 13, 1942, in Roscoe to Charlie and Lucille (Sanders) Zinke. A 1960 graduate of Roscoe High, she married Robert Bryan Rogers. He preceded her in death in 1996. Betty was an L.V.N. working in the medical field several years.

She is survived by a grandson, Casey Rogers and wife Vanessa of Morrilton, AR; a great granddaughter, Laira Beth Rogers of Morrilton, AR.; a sister, Sandra Lecroy; twin brothers, Jimmy Zinke of Arizona, and Billy Zinke of Weatherford.

She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Bryan Rogers in 1996; a son, Robert Lawson Rogers in 2003; and her parents.



A family and friend’s visitation for Laverne Annie Brookes, 96, of Sweetwater and formerly of Roscoe, was held from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm. Friday, January 8, at McCoy Funeral Home. No other public services will be held. She passed away Tuesday, January 5, at Sweetwater Health Care.

Laverne was born October 28, 1924, at Crawford, Texas, to the late Frank William and Ida Louise (Teetz) Pietzsch. She was a graduate of Roscoe High School in 1943. She married William Paul “Juno” Brookes July 11, 1963, at Sweetwater, after the death of her first husband, Walter Thomas Watt, in 1961. She worked for many years at Cardwell Beauty Salon in Sweetwater as a hairdresser. Laverne has lived in the area since 1939, was a member of First Salem Lutheran Church in Roscoe, American Legion, and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

She is survived by her children, Thomas Watt and wife Maxine of Aiken, South Carolina, and Tracy Coffman and husband Wayne of Odessa; grandchildren, Derrick Kidd of Sweetwater, Jennifer Elliott of Fort Worth, and Leigh Brookes of Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Laverne is also preceded in death by her husband “Juno” Brookes and her brothers; Frank, Wilbert and Herbert Pietzsch.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Cody Canada, Jason Boland Here Saturday

Cody Canada and Jason Boland.
It’s 2021, and the Lumberyard will be rocking Saturday night! Two of the best Texas Country singers around will be kicking off the new year with a special treat as both Jason Boland and Cody Canada sing their hits!

This won’t be the first time the two have appeared together as they are old buddies going back to their early days in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they, Stoney LaRue, and Brandon Jenkins originated the Red Dirt sound. They all went on to form their own bands, and for a long time Canada was the lead singer for Cross Canadian Ragweed. But though their careers diverged, Canada and Boland still manage to get together now and then to perform together, and this appearance will be a part of the Yellow House Revisited Acoustic Series they kicked off in 2019--so named for the yellow house in Stillwater they used to live in.

Since it’s an acoustic performance, they’ll be singing from the Ray Price stage, which is now enclosed by a transparent shield that helps keep out the cold and has overhead heaters for warmth. The show will open at 7:00pm with Brendon Kyle from Sweetwater, who will go to 7:45. Then at 8:00, Cody Canada and Jason Boland will begin their show.

To see to their interview on the Texas Music Scene about their acoustic tour, click here.

Tickets are $15 each if purchased in advance and $20 on the day of the show. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.


Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital
Here’s a sobering figure for all Nolan County residents. Nolan County has a higher per capita rate of infection than any other county in the Big Country. Of all the west Texas counties listed in the weekly report below (including the selected ones outside the Big Country), only one, Wichita, currently has a higher per capita rate of infection than Nolan. 
The Wichita rate is 13.09 (per 1000 people), Nolan is 12.16, Lubbock 11.55, Scurry 9.57, Midland 9.04, Comanche 5.93, Mitchell 5.61, Erath 5.18, Brown 4.47, Runnels 4.07, and all the others are below 4. Statewide, Nolan County is 7th highest of the 255 counties and almost double the state average of 6.23.*

* These numbers are from the Texas Tribune Coronavirus in Texas website
Another consideration is the number of recent Covid-19 deaths. The Covid-19 chart in the right-hand column currently lists Nolan County’s mortality rate as the 4th highest of the 255 counties in Texas over the last two weeks. A month ago (Dec. 5) Nolan County had a total of 6 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. It now has 20. Mitchell County had 4 then and 7 now, Fisher 3 then and 8 now, and Scurry 21 then and 31 now.

So, when you’re out in public in Nolan County, keep in mind that we are now the Big Country’s hot spot, and remember to wear your mask and maintain other proper precautions.  


Waiting for a rebound in yesterday's win over Forsan.
In a game that was a lot tougher than the final score might indicate, the Plowboys held off a gritty Forsan team to win a district battle going away, 32-23, at the Special Events Center yesterday evening. A team that many picked to win District 8-2A, the Lady Buffs fought the Plowgirls all the way, but the Plowgirls jumped out to an early lead that they never relinquished.

Carson Greenwood led the Plowgirls in individual scoring with 12 points, followed by Shauna McCambridge with 8. Jacey Rodriquez had 6, Cameron Greenwood 3, and Kaidy Ornelas 3. McCambridge had 19 rebounds, Cr. Greenwood 7, Rodriquez 4, Kirsten Welch 2, Cm. Greenwood 1, and Ornelas 1.

Scoring by quarters:
                                1              2             3             4             T
Plowgirls               8             10           6             8             32
Forsan                   6              6            4              7             23

The Plowgirls' next game is Friday evening in a district contest with the Lady Blizzards in Winters. Tipoff is at around 6:00pm following the JV game. Then, next Tuesday they take on the Lady Wolves in Colorado City.

Seth Wilcox shoots a free throw.
The Plowboys, who were outmanned because they are playing with three freshmen lost to Forsan last night. 
As a result of their youth and relative inexperience, the rest of the season will be essentially a learning experience for the players, who will grow and get better as time goes on. Until that happens, however, the scores may tend to be a little lopsided, especially when they are playing the older and better teams.

Scoring by quarters:
                                 1             2             3            4             T
Forsan                  23           22           17           11            72
Plowboys                1              1            2            3              7
The Plowboys next play Winters in Winters in a district game. The game will begin about 8:00 following the varsity girls' game.


Although the rapid increase of new cases of Covid-19 in the US is leveling off at about 200,000 new cases a day, the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths since Christmas continue to grow. Hardest hit states continue to be Arizona, California, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. On Monday, US hospitalizations numbered 128,210 with deaths averaging 2,048 daily and now over 350,000 since the pandemic began, all new records.

In Texas, the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are also still increasing. On Monday, 15,976 new cases were reported, an increase of 4,736 over the daily average a week ago. Hospitalizations are also at a record level with 12,961 Covid-19 patients across the state, an increase of 1,610 over a week ago. And for the first time, one patient in five in Texas hospitals is there because of Covid-19. The average new daily deaths this week is 49 more than it was a week ago. Over 28,000 Texans have now died with Covid-19 listed as the cause on their official state death certificates.

In the Big Country, the situation continues to worsen as well. Abilene also set a record for hospitalizations Monday with 139 Covid-19 patients, 5 more than a week ago. The region’s ICU beds are still full, and Abilene hospitals have now had 205 total Covid-19 deaths with almost half of those (101) coming since Thanksgiving. 102 hospital staff are in quarantine, which is 14 more than last week’s 88. However, the number of active cases, has dropped to 2,094, 47 fewer than the 2,141 of last week.

Also, the Big Country trauma service area has had another week in which over 15% of hospital beds are filled by Covid-19 patients—20.99% yesterday—which means that bars will remain closed for at least another week and other businesses limited to 50% capacity.

More locally, in our four-county area, all the numbers are climbing. Nolan County now has a record 323 active cases, which is 18 more than last week’s 305 and 52 more than the 271 of two weeks ago. Mitchell County now has 67 active cases, 16 more than last week’s 51. Fisher County has 16 active cases compared to last week’s 12, and Scurry County has 178 active cases, quite a jump up from the 109 of last week.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with last Tuesday in parentheses): Howard, 2,529 (2,484); Erath, 2,182 (2,018); Scurry, 2,117 (1,891); Jones, 1,882 (1,811); Brown, 1,381 (1,226); Nolan, 1,266 (1,132); Comanche, 892 (783); Eastland, 631 (556); Runnels, 592 (543); Mitchell, 503 (455); Callahan 424 (360); Stephens, 376 (363); Coleman, 311 (245); Fisher, 227 (212); Coke, 222 (218); Haskell, 153 (141); Knox, 135 (132); Shackelford, 78 (75); Stonewall, 43 (38); Throckmorton, 33 (32); Kent, 30 (29).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with last week in parentheses): Lubbock, 42,951 (41,034); Midland, 11,726 (11,195); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 11,544 (9,852); Ector (Odessa), 6,363 (6,361); Tom Green (San Angelo), 4061 (3,921).

Texas now has had a total of 1,626,568 cases (1,490,479 last week), 314,465 of them active (284,555 last week), and 28,219 total deaths (26,521 last week).


We finally got some moisture after going the entire month of December with hardly more than a trace. 
It started on Wednesday as rain and then turned to snow on New Year’s Eve. When we got up on New Year’s Day, there was a blanket of about 3½ inches of snow everywhere. So, instead of a white Christmas, we had a white New Year’s Day. It was a beautiful sight, and the moisture was sorely needed. When the melting began, I went out and checked my rain gauge to find that it had an inch and a quarter in it.

Thursday was cold, and travel advisories warned of icy roads. The high that day was only 35°F, and the cold weather was accompanied by intermittent sleet, snow, and a strong north wind. Friday, New Year’s Day, began as a winter wonderland with all the snow, but by afternoon, the weather was already warming and the snow beginning to melt. That afternoon the temperature got up to 41° under cloudy skies, and Saturday was even warmer with a high of 50° with the snow melting and turning to puddles. On Sunday, the sun came out, and melted what was left of the snow except in a few shady spots, and by Monday even those remaining patches were gone. The high was 57°, and by yesterday the high was back up to 62°, and the lows were above freezing from Saturday on.  

The forecast for today is for a new cold front that brings a strong north wind and cooler temperatures. The high should be around 53° but it will feel cooler than that with the wind chill. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high of 55° and a lighter north breeze. Friday and Saturday will be partly cloudy with highs of 51° and 52° respectively. Then on Sunday, another cold front moves in with a 60% chance of snow, but no more than an inch or so. The high will be around 40° and the low 28°. Then, on Monday the skies will clear but the high will remain about the same at 53° or so with a low of 33°.

That’s all pretty typical for January weather.


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