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Statement of Big Spring Professional Firefighters Association Regarding Political Activity


BIG SPRING, Texas, May 19, 2019 – The following statement was issued by Chanley Delk,
president of the Big Spring Professional Firefighters Association:


“Big Spring firefighters appreciate the opportunity to participate in protected political activity in
our city. This activity helps educate local voters about public safety issues and it helps keeps
our fire department strong.


“Our political activity occurs through our Association, not the fire department, and never while
we are on duty. Big Spring firefighters respect the rules regarding political activity.


“Regarding the recent news release issued by the City of Big Spring, our association wishes
to clarify that the referenced election signs are produced by and belong to firefighters, not the
Big Spring Fire Department. The signs also include state-required disclosure language. The
signs do not reference the City of Big Spring Fire Department. We also have received no
questions or complaints about the placement of our signs in the community.


“Some ask why firefighters are involved in political activity. The answer is simple: As long as
politicians are involved in the fire service, firefighters will be involved in politics. Besides
advocating for protection of our wages, benefits, and working conditions, our association
urges adoption of of national fire service safety standards that protect us and the public. We
are committed to helping keep our fire department strong.


“Big Spring firefighters are grateful for the support of our community. No matter what, we
strive to deliver excellent service, be good stewards of city resources, and give back to the
community.”

 

Big Spring Firefighters Association is affiliated with the International Association of Fire Fighters

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Coahoma FFA shines at Area SDE meet


Coahoma FFA member Emilee Custer is stepping into an area leadership role after she was elected by her peers this week to serve as the First Vice President for the Area II FFA Association.

 

Area officer elections were held during the FFA Area SDE (Speaking Development Event) meet in San Angelo. For the past few months, Custer underwent a long election process that included testing, interviews, and campaign speeches to her peers.

 

In all, the Coahoma FFA program had an outstanding day at area SDE contest.

 

Emajin Braxton placed third and Karissa Beeman was fourth in Jr Prepared Public Speaking contest. Brylea Gordon earned fifth place in Technology and Communication.

 

As a program, the Coahoma FFA won the Single Teacher Division Leadership Development Event and the Single Teacher Division Speaking Development Event. Coahoma FFA is under the guidance of adviser Aaron Custer.

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Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram donates funds for Space Bubble Demonstration


During Wednesday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Sandra Verdin, Children’s Librarian at the Howard County Library, advised that a donation had been received from Clint Fox, General Manager of Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Big Spring, to bring the Science Spectrum Planetarium to Big Spring.

 

Verdin went on to say that this year’s theme for the Summer Reading Program is “A Universe of Stories” so bringing the planetarium from the Science Spectrum fits right in with their theme.

 

She noted that the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club agreed to let the Howard County Library use their gym for the presentations. The planetarium will be used during the Space Bubble Demonstration on July 17th and will have 3 shows at 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, and 1 PM.

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Gunshot victim


KBest News confirmed that there had been a gunshot victim entered the Scenic Mountain Medical Emergency Room early this morning.

 

According to the Big Spring Police Department, the injury was non-life threatening and the victim would not elaborate on what happened, only that it was an accident. The investigation is still ongoing.

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Howard County Teen Court Falls Apart


During this week's meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Brenda Tubb, Howard County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, advised that commissioners that after working for two years to get Howard County Teen Court reinstated, the program has been abandoned.

 

According to Tubb she and the board members discovered that there were too many IRS issues to address from the last time the program had been in service.  She advised that Howard County Teen Court had ran several years ago with an entirely different board before she became a part of juvenile probation. Turns out that the necessary paperwork had not been filed as it should have been with the IRS, and those unresolved issues came back to bite the current board when they submitted their paperwork to re-establish the entity.

 

Tubb noted that although the current board had taken steps to hire a Director / Juvenile Coordinator for the program, they were never able to develop the entity and were unable to proceed with the hiring process. 

 

At this point, Tubb says that she and board have exhausted too much time to get the program up and running and were no longer able to proceed. She did state, however, that the program is still available for someone to try to start it or start a new entity with a different name.

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Annual Kids Fishing Tournament


The Greater Big Spring Rotary Club will be presenting their Annual Kids Fishing Tournament on Sunday afternoon, May 19 at Comanche Trail Lake. The event is sponsored by Credit World, Oncor, KBST, and Taklbox Supply Co. Registration will be from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the pavilion near the Dora Roberts Community Center.


The Tournament is free to all kids 16 years old and younger. No fishing license required for those 16 and under.


Awards will be given for the First Fish, The Biggest Fish, and Most Fish Caught. There will also be many door prizes given throughout the afternoon including rod and reels, baits, and tackle.

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2nd Annual Summer Day Camp Bowl raises funds for Salvation Army program


Salvation Army will host their 2nd Annual Summer Day Camp Bowl presented by SM Energy at Bowl-A-Rama in Big Spring. The event will take place from 6:30-9 PM tonight.

 

Accordign to Captain Josh McKain with the Salvation Army in Big Spring, the money will help fund the Summer Day Camp program that cares for 175 kids for 10 weeks over the summer.

 

Tonight’s event includes shoes, bowling, unlimited pizza, and drink – excluding alcohol – all for $15 per person, or $60 for a family of 5 or more.

 

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CASA Volunteer Sworn In to Advocate for Abused Children


Yesterday, the Hon. Ellen Griffith of the Child Protective Court of the Permian Basin swore in Pam Walker and Cara Hamblin as Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children.

 

Family and friends gathered in the Howard County Courthouse to watch the new advocates take an oath promising to advocate for the best interest of the child. CASA of West Texas serves children from seven West Texas counties including Midland, Glasscock, Martin, Howard, Dawson, Gaines, and Andrews.

 

After the swearing in Walker and Hamblin will join the other volunteers in advocating for foster children in the Child Protective Court System. As an officer of the court, they will ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and that their best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.

 

Walker will be assigned a case and will immediately begin advocating for children as a volunteer. Hamblin, recently employed by CASA of West Texas as a Volunteer Case Supervisor, will now advise and support local volunteers in her new role.

 

CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys, caretakers and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings and recommendations to the judge.


“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home," said Patty Pisklak, Executive Director of CASA of West Texas. "The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”

 

“With about 500 children in foster care from the seven counties we serve, there are many more advocates needed,” said Pisklak.

 

There are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing 30 hours of training.


If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA Volunteer and the rewards that come along with serving as the voice of a child, please visit www.CASAwtx.org.


CASA of West Texas is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington DC.

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City Council talks about sewer line replacement


During the Big Spring City Council’s regular session on Tuesday evening, there were three bids and several motions to be decided. Among many topics up for consideration, a bid for a 30-inch sewer line replacement passed 6 – 0 and Whitewater Construction, Inc out of Waco, TX was awarded the base bid totaling $314,000.

 

Jim DePauw, Councilman for District 6, confirmed that there would be a backup pump in case issues arise to avoid any inconvenience to the community. This reassured by the new Public Works Director, Shane Bolts.

 

Two other bids up for consideration were for Audit Services and Cost Allocation services, both of which also passed unanimously as well.

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Backing the Blue in Martin County!


Martin County Hospital District had their 3rd Annual Back the Badge event yesterday in their front parking lot where they served free hamburgers and hot dogs for all first responders and their families.

 

"We do this every year about this time, just to honor law enforcement, first responders, EMS providers, firefighters, and everybody in that neighborhood," said Rance Ramsey, CEO of Martin County Hospital. 

 

This year, MCHD decided to take donations from the community and held a raffle to help raise money for the Martin County Sheriff and City Law Enforcement departments.

 

"We just really appreciate everyone out there, what they do to serve our communities. Not only here in Martin Counties, but Howard, Midland, Glasscock - all the local areas," said Ramsey. "We just really appreciate their service and we're just trying to show our appreciation for what they do everyday."

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Peace Officer Memorial Day


Many businesses and organizations have made it a point to recognize our local law enforcement this week for Police Week. Yesterday, the West Texas VA Health Care System Police Service hosted a small ceremony in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.

 

During the ceremony, Senior Chaplain Joel Miller of the Howard County Emergency Services Chaplains Corps, along with Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker, and Big Spring Police Chief Chad Williams were recognized for their collaborative efforts with the West Texas VA Health Care System and the work that they do for the community.

 

"It's a very sombering day. You know, it's, obviously to memorialize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We try to make it as inviting and cheerful as possible, but we can't lose sight of the purpose of Peace Officers Memorial Day," said Major Zachary New, acting for Chief Adolph Ramos, of the VA Police Department.

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Howard County 9-1-1 Communication District saves $85,000 for 2019-2020 budget; money will go toward standalone 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.


While reviewing the 2019-2020 budget during today’s meeting of the Howard County 9-1-1 Communication District, it was stated that they had been able to save approximately $85,000 as compared from last year.

 

Zach Johnson, President of the Howard County 9-1-1 Communication District, attributed to the fact that Howard County and the City of Big Spring are allowing them to use an office space inside of the Law Enforcement Center to hold their meetings. Plus, they were able to combine Cherrie Burcham’s roles as Howard County 9-1-1 Communication District Director and Dispatch Supervisor in order to save a substantial amount of money. According to Johnson, this was how the 9-1-1 District was originally set up to do.

 

Johnson told KBest News that they’ll be able to use that money toward other things, like having a standalone 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. His goal is to have the standalone building within 2 years. He noted that currently the dispatchers work in a cramped area with lots of equipment. With a standalone building, the Director and Assistant Supervisors will be able to office out the building and have the room and materials that they need.

 

During the meeting, it was brought to their attention that there are several addresses within the county that have been given out incorrectly. Johnson advised that anyone with new construction, or needing an address needs to contact 9-1-1 District Director Cherrie Burcham at 432-267-1900 to have one assigned.

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Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day


Proclamation on Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2019


 

On Peace Officers Memorial Day and throughout Police Week, we express our unending gratitude to our Nation's law enforcement officers. Those brave men and women selflessly confront danger to protect our families and defend our communities. We also honor those in blue who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. We are especially mindful of the tremendous sacrifices of the 106 heroes who laid down their lives last year while protecting their communities.


 

My Administration is working on several fronts to enhance the health and safety of our Nation's law enforcement officers. The Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to promote initiatives that provide funding for bulletproof vests, active shooter training, the National Blue Alert System, and other programs that bolster the physical and mental health of those who protect us. We are making surplus military equipment available to law enforcement agencies. We are implementing the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, which I signed into law last year, to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services. And when tragedy does strike, DOJ's Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program stands ready and able to assist the families of the fallen and catastrophically injured.


 

The best way we can support law enforcement is to reduce violence crime. My Administration has secured $50 million in funding for one of the most effective crime prevention strategies in America, the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. This results-based and data-proven initiative is reducing violent crime nationwide by leveraging local law enforcement and community partnerships, along with strategic enforcement efforts, to arrest the most violent criminals in the most violent locations. Through the combined efforts of all levels of law enforcement, violent crime in our country is falling.


 

Our Nation's law enforcement officers serve with courage, dedication, and strength. They fearlessly enforce our laws, even at the risk of personal peril, safeguarding our property, our liberty, and our lives. We owe them, and their families, our full and enduring support.


 

By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."


 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2019, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 12 through May 18, 2019, as Police Week. In humble appreciation of our hardworking law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15. I call upon all Americans to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on the Governors of the States and Territories and officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.


 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.


 

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Coahoma FFA fares well at district banquet


The Coahoma FFA chapter had a big night at the El Rancho District Banquet on Thursday.

 

Three members were elected to serve as district officers and a fourth made it through another round in the area officer election process.

 

Emilee Custer will continue her campaign for an area officer position after successfully completing another step in the process on Thursday night. Area officer elections will be held next week during the FFA Area SDE (Speaking Development Event) meet in San Angelo.

Next year, Julia Cox, Aubrey Green and Seth Brooks will take on district leadership roles after successfully standing for election to serve as officers in the El Rancho District. Cox will step into the president position, Green was elected to serve as the secretary, and Brooks will oversee district finances as treasurer.

 

During the banquet, Custer and Ashley Crisp were recognized for their leadership roles to the district over the past year. Custer served as first vice-president and Crisp as president.

Adding to Coahoma FFA’s growing accolades, freshman Hartlie Smithie, a 2019 5-3A District One-Act Play All Star Cast member, earned second place in the talent show held during the evening.

 

To cap off the night, the Coahoma FFA chapter picked up 29 district banners and seven area banners earned so far in this year’s SDE and LDE (Leadership Development Events) competitions.

 

And the year isn’t over for Coahoma FFA.

 

Next week, 15 members will compete in Area SDE contest in San Angelo for a chance to qualify for state. They are:

 

  • Prepared Speakers

Animal Science - Hartlie Smithie, Agribusiness - Aubrey Green, Gaige Hill; Tech/Com - Brylea Gordon, Kolt Redden; Natural Resources - Cutter Atkins, Joe Mashburn; Plant - Julia Cox, Bryden Fontana; and Ag Policy - Naughtia Rockwell

  • Jr Prepared - Emajin Braxton, Karissa Beeman;

 

Also, several Coahoma members will serve in leadership roles for the area meet. Cox, Green, and Grayson Glidewell will serve on the Area Officer Nomination Committee. Cox and Green will also serve as courtesy corps and senior Micah Worley will end her term as the Area II Reporter.

 

Bailey Wells, Custer, Crisp, Brylea Gordon, and Sydney Rinard will be applying for their Lone Star Degree which is the highest level of degree awarded by the State FFA Association.

 

(Courtesy Photo:

Pictured are members of the Coahoma FFA chapter. They are from left, Aubrey Green, Emilee Custer, Ashley Crisp, Seth Brooks, Julia Cox, and Hartlie Smithie.)

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Distance walker Hinkle and Blue Energy Services treat veterans and West Texas VA staff lunch.


Larry Hinkle, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, made a stop by the George H. O’Brien, Jr. VA Medical Center in Big Spring on Friday, 05/10/19, to visit with local veterans and hospital staff. Hinkle partnered up with Blue Energy Services to purchase lunch for veterans and staff.

 

"We're here to let them know what they mean to us. We can't thank them enough, and the least we can do is just buy a little simple lunch, pat them on the back and thank'em," said Hinkle.

  

According to Hinkle told KBest News that Blue Energy Services is always excited to help out and give back. Blue Energy Services has been operating out of Big Spring since 2016.

 

 

Justin Paredez, Owner of Blue Energy Services, told KBest News that they are happy to give back to a community that they are originally from and especially appreciate veterans because they had family members who had served in the past. 

 

"We definitely like to give back anyway we can, and with Mr. Hinkle here it definitely helps us do that in an easier way. We're appreciative of everybody and that they served," said Paradez.

 

Hinkle, a distance walker, started training in 2015 and has since teamed up with various nonprofits to walk more than 5,200 miles throughout the U.S. in order to bring awareness to the plights of veterans.

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Brenda's Corner Home Goods & Decor celebrates ribbon cutting!


There’s a new business in town! Brenda's Corners Home Goods & Decor celebrated a ribbon cutting this morning with the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. Owner Brenda Barrington says that decorating is her passion, and that most everything in her store is a a one-of-a-kind.  Check it out — 1800 E. FM 700 inside the Spring Town Plaza!

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Forsan ISD responds to possible threat on social media.


Forsan ISD administrators were made aware of a social media post that could be understood as a threat. FISD responded with an abundance of caution by notifying law enforcement. The student was taken into custody by the Howard County Sheriff's department. No weapons were recovered at school and there was no specific "hit list."

 

FISD will handle the school discipline part of the response. The Howard County Sheriff's office will handle the legal response. The details of the school's response will be determined over time but the student will not be back on campus for classes.

 

Thanks go out to the students who reported this, to the teacher who passed the information along, to the administrators who took it seriously, to FISD staff security teams who were on alert and present, and to FISD school resource officer Deputy Frank Vidal and the Howard County Sheriff's Office for their support and action.

 

- Forsan ISD

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Nurses recognized at West Texas VA Health Care System


Yesterday, the West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring held a ceremony to honor their nurses.

 

During the ceremony, Les White, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, Chief of Nursing for the West Texas VA Health Care System, was announced as the 2019 Torch-Bearer Award Winner. The Torch-Bearer is local award created in 1996.  It recognizes nurses who through their dedication, compassion, and professionalism have contributed over a lifetime to profession and to the community in which they serve. White has been with the West Texas VA since 1983.

 

Also during yesterday’s program, Cody Miller, LVN was recognized as the Secretary Award Winner. Each year the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs is given to individuals who have been nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service to our veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They have demonstrated excellence and the highest level of dedication to their profession.

 

Longevity awards were also given during the program to recognize Audrey Alfano, LVN, Mary Laredo, C.N.A., and White for their many years of service.

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Pre-STAAR Pep Rally


The 1st Pre-STAAR Pep Rally will be held tomorrow at 2:30 PM in the Steer Gym at Big Spring High School to help get Big Spring ISD elementary students pumped up to take the STAAR test. The idea originated with Rosi Lain, Principal of Goliad Elementary, and Kaitlyn Jeffrey, Principal of Washington Elementary.

 

The pep rally will be hosted by Superintendent Jay McWilliams and will feature cheerleaders from Big Spring High School and Junior High, the High School drumline, as well as other musical performances.

 

There will be a parent appreciation dinner and burger bash tonight at Washington Elementary to create posters that will be used in the pep rally and during STAAR testing.

 

Parents and community members are all invited to attend the Pre-STAAR pep rally at 2:30 PM in the Steer Gym tomorrow.

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McDonald and Folsom face off in Runoff Election for Big Spring City Council District 4 on June 8th.


Gloria McDonald and Shonda Folsom will face off in the June 8th runoff election for Big Spring City Council District 4. During the recent election held Saturday, McDonald received 41.79 percent of the votes and Folsom received 22.14 percent.

 

When asked how she felt about the runoff election, Folsom said that she is very excited about it. 

 

"I'm excited that we had multiple candidates. I'm excited that we had a lot of voter turnout, and I think that both Gloria McDonald and I care a lot about what happens to this city and this district," said Folsom. 

 

When asked the same question, McDonald stated that she was not surprised by the runoff election. 

 

"I figured coming in, because with five people running in one district it's very difficult for one to get 51 percent. You know when you come in you're gonna have a runoff, so I was prepared for it," said McDonald.

 

It should be noted that votes do not carry over to the Runoff Election, and voters must cast a ballot again in the runoff. The deadline to register to vote in the runoff is tomorrow, May 9th.  Early voting begins Tuesday May 28th and runs through June 4th.

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Big Spring Boil Water Notice RESCINDED, 05/07/19


On May 2, 2019, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required the public water system City of Big Spring, PWS ID TX 1140001, to issue a Boil Water Notice (BWN) to inform our customers that due to the presence of contaminants or an interruption in service, water from our system must be boiled prior to consumption.

 

The system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided TCEQ with testing results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling as of May 7, 2019.

 

If you have questions, contact Shane Bowles, City of Big Spring Public Works Director, at (432) 264- 2501. If a customer wishes to reach TCEQ, they may call (512)239-4691.

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2019 Big Spring Mayoral Runoff Election


After the polls had closed on Saturday evening, it was determined that the elections for Big Spring Mayor and Big Spring City Council District 4 did not have a definite winner. According to Jodi Duck, Elections Administrator for Howard County, a winner for Big Spring Mayor and City Council positions must have a majority vote of 50.1%.

 

Results from Saturday showed that Debbie Wegman had received 47.98% of the vote, and Shannon Thomason had 35.51% of the vote in the race for Big Spring Mayor.

 

When asked how he felt about the upcoming runoff election, Thomason stated that with several candidates listed on the ballot for Mayor, he wasn't surprised to see that it ended in a runoff election.

 

"I'm excited to continue to try to work to try to help fix Big Spring," said Thomason.

 

When asked the same question, Wegman told KBest News that she appreciated all the voters who turned out for the election.

 

"We'll just be working the next five weeks to see if we can't get this thing done. I'm ready to go to work for the citizens of Big Spring," said Wegman.

 

Although there were several entities listed on ballot for this past election, it was noted that out of 15,000 registered voters in Howard County just only 11 percent turned out to vote. Be advised that if you didn’t vote during the May 4th election, you can still vote in the runoff election on June 8th. If you still need to register, you have until May 9th to do so.

 

Early voting begins May 28, 2019.

 

(Photos taken from candidates Facebook pages.)

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Mashburn recognized as 2019 Big Country FCA All-Star Cheerleader, 05/05/19


Coahoma High School Senior Julia Mashburn was recognized Sunday night at the FCA (Fellow Christian Athletes) Banquet in Abilene as a member of the 2019 Big Country FCA All-Star Cheerleading squad.

 

She will be representing CHS as she cheers during the Big Country FCA All Star Football game set for June 8 at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. Fellow high school classmate Joe Manning will play on the Red Team during the game.

 

“We are so proud of Julia and all she has done for Coahoma ISD,” said CHS Cheerleading Sponsor Joni Lacefield. “She will be missed.”

 

Mashburn is on the varsity cheerleading squad at Coahoma and she is an All-American Cheerleader. She is an A and A&B honor roll student and is active in her church group at College Baptist.

 

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Snyder Woman killed in 1-vehicle accident near Hermleigh.


A Snyder woman was killed in a 1-vehicle accident early on Friday morning.

 

On Friday, May 3rd, at approximately 4:12 AM Joe Cheyne, 38 of Snyder, driver of a 2001 Mercury Mountaineer, was traveling west on US 84 when the vehicle veered left and into the median. Cheyne overcorrected to the right, crossed the westbound lanes, and overturned less than 1 mile south of Hermleigh.

 

The passenger, Christina Nicole Grace, 37 of Snyder, was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at Cogdell Memorial Hospital in Snyder.

 

The DPS report states that although Cheyne was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, Grace was not.

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TXDOT urges drivers to "Look twice for motorcycles" to help save lives, prevent crashes


 

 

AUSTIN – As spring weather draws more motorcyclists onto roadways the risk of fatalities increases. Last year 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roadways, an average of more than one fatality a day. It’s a number the Texas Department of Transportation is working to reduce by asking motorists to be extra vigilant.

 

TxDOT is launching “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” – a campaign supporting National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month for May. “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” urges drivers to be extra cautious, since motorcyclists are more difficult to see and less protected than other motorists.

 

“Last year motorcycle fatalities were reduced by 17 %, which is a big step forward; still one death is too many for the Lone Star State,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.

One of the most common crashes between motorcyclists and drivers occurs when drivers make left turns at intersections, due to motorists’ difficulty judging the distance and speed of motorcycles. TxDOT cautions drivers to be extra vigilant when approaching, turning, or driving through an intersection, as 30% of Texas motorcycle deaths in 2018 were intersection-related.

 

A motorcyclist’s “braking” is not always obvious to motorists. Motorcycles decelerate faster than vehicles and motorcyclists can often downshift instead of applying the brake, especially when driving around a curve. This means at times brake lights will not be engaged to signal the motorcycle is slowing down.  It is important for motorists to allow for extra distance when they are behind motorcycles.

 

TxDOT is urging motorists to:

  • Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections.
  • Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be, and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
  • Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Always maintain a safe following distance.
  • Give motorcyclists a full lane, especially when passing.
  • Obey posted speed limits.

 

This year’s “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign will conduct the following events around the state featuring virtual reality games designed to educate drivers and motorcyclists about the importance of watching out for each other. Campaign tour stops include:

  • May 3 – El Paso
  • May 10 – Corpus Christi
  • May 11 – Houston (Sugar Land)
  • May 12 – Austin
  • May 17 – Dallas-Fort Worth (Frisco)
  • May 18 – Midland
  • May 19 – San Antonio

 

“Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a larger grassroots effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while on the road. Since November 8, 2000, at least one person has died on Texas roadways every single day, and that’s why #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to helping end the streak of daily deaths on our roadways.

 

To learn more about the campaign, visit TxDOT’s website.

 

 

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