Two Arrested in Murder Investigation:
2/28/18 From Big Spring Police Dept:
On Friday the 23rd of February 2018 at approximately 8:15 A.M., Big Spring Police Department Officers were dispatched to 705.5 Abrams in reference to an unattended death. Upon arrival Officers located the deceased identified as Barboza, Jaime Hispanic/Male 47 Years of Age in his bedroom with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Barboza was initially located by a person whom he had worked with and the person was picking Mr. Barboza up for work. Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division personnel responded to the scene and immediately began investigating the murder of Mr. Barboza. Investigators followed numerous leads and physical evidence narrowing the suspects to Mr. Barboza’s girlfriend identified as Brenda Valdivia Hispanic/Female 37 years of age and her son identified as Raul Romo Hispanic/Male 20 years of age.
On Tuesday the 27th of February 2018 Investigators submitted probable cause affidavits to a Magistrate for the arrest of Romo for Murder a 1st Degree Felony and Valdivia for Tampering with Physical Evidence a 3rd Degree Felony. Arrest warrants were issued by the Magistrate at which time Romo and Valdivia were arrested. Both Valdivia and Romo have been booked into the Howard County Detention Center and are pending arraignment.
It is believed that on Wednesday the 21st of February 2018 during the evening hours, both Valdivia and Romo were at Mr. Barboza’s residence (705.5 Abrams) when a verbal altercation occurred. The altercation escalated when Romo retrieved a small caliber handgun and shot Mr. Barboza in the head. Following the shooting it is believed Valdivia drove to an abandoned residence on North Lancaster and hid the handgun. The handgun has been recovered by Investigators and has been identified as a Hi-Standard .22 caliber semi-automatic.
This is an ongoing investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and there is no further information that can be provided at this time. The Big Spring Police Department thanks the Howard County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division for their assistance with this investigation.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Earlier today the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County held their 2018 Annual Meeting / Report. Newly elected officers Andrea Barr, Board President, Kenda Jones, 1st Vice President, and Jessica Paul, 2nd Vice President, were sworn in by the Executive Director, Meghan Bias. Other elected members who were not present were Linda Adams, Treasurer, and Donna Wright, Secretary. All members were elected by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County Board of Directors and will serve as officers during 2018.
During the meeting, it was reported that the organization’s 2018 Campaign goal of raising $300,000 was not reached, but approximately $133,000 was proudly allocated by the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County to their 15 partner agencies:
(Agency Name - Allocation Amount)
• American Red Cross of West Texas - $4,954.00
• Buffalo Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America - $5,555.00
• CWJC, Spring of Siloam - $4,536.00
• CASA of West Texas - $13,032.00
• Council on Aging / Meals on Wheels - $11,859.00
• Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center - $8,339.00
• Emergency Services Chaplain Corp - $12,024.00
• Girl Scouts of the Desert - $2,552.00
• Isaiah 58 - $9,505.00
• Northside Community Center - $11,001.00
• The Salvation Army Corp - $8,548.00
• The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club - $10,799.00
• Victim Services - $12,249.00
• West Side Community Day Care - $8,729.00
• YMCA of Big Spring - $9,220.00
According to Bias the Allocations Committee for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County decides how much money will be allocated to each partnering agency. The Allocations Committee is comprised of eight people, community members, as well as a few board members. For two days, the committee meets with all agencies to ask questions and review their requests. Each committee member then makes a recommendation on how much each agency should be allocated. The recommendations are then averaged to determine the final amount to be allocated to the agencies, which will be paid out every other month for a total of six months.
Bias went on to say that even though that the Untied Way of Big Spring and Howard County had 15 partnering agencies this year, there is a period of time during the spring when new non-profit organizations have an opportunity to apply with the United Way to become a partnering agency. She went on to say that she encourages anyone interested in applying to become one of their agencies to contact her; and also advised that more information would be available about the application process at a later date.
When asked how she felt about the outcome of the 2018 United Way Campaign, Bias stated, “It was good. I’m overwhelmed by the support of our community and local businesses, but it could have been better.”
Bias noted that this was her first campaign and she learned many lessons throughout the year. “I’ve learned that you can’t depend on money that’s not there, and I’ve also learned that we have to grow and change, and fundraise in different ways in order to reach a wider audience [because] we want our whole community to invest in the United Way, even if that’s just investing their time or being an advocate for our agencies.”
She went on to say that she is amazed how much the agencies are able to accomplish with a small amount of money that is allocated to them, and she looks forward to doubling that amount this coming year.
Photo 1 - Attending representatives from the partnering agencies. (Photo contributed by Debbye Valverde.)
Photo 3 - Chart of final amounts allocated to the 15 partnering agencies of the United Way. (Contributed by Meghan Bias.)
Cosden Federal Credit Union will be presenting the first CU 4 Reality Fair at Big Spring High School on Thursday, March 8 th from 8:30 AM – 10 AM. The event will be for Seniors and a few Juniors who have taken Financial Math this year with Ms. Michele Brown.
President / CEO of Cosden FCU, this is a hands-on event that will propel
students through a personal financial management process including career selection, budgeting for housing, transportation, luxuries, and more. Barraza went on to say that parents are also invited to attend with their student. “This opens the door for them to have that conversation with their kids about finances, but also, the parents can learn something as well.”
Barraza stated that the idea for this event came about when one of the Cosden employees was sent to a Leadership Conference where she went through a Life Reality Fair and came back with such great feedback about the event, she suggested that Cosden put one together for high school students. She also stated that their goal is to bring the event to other local area high schools.
Barraza told KBest News that they’ve seen a lot of community support for this event, and lots of volunteers who’ve signed up to help. The volunteers range from local business men and women and Rotarian members, to retired teachers. There are still a few spots that are open for volunteers to help, and if you’re interested, you can contact Laurie Barraza at Cosden Federal Credit Union, 432-264- 2600, ext. 222 by Friday, March 2nd .
The Big Spring Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that it has received a $50,000 donation from Occidental Petroleum. This donation will be used to support the Restoration Project at the Historic Spring Site. Phase 1 of the project, designed by Kelly Cook of KDC Associates, has recently been completed and has restored and improved the area around the Historic Spring. The Spring site has a signification historical value and this project will help to education visitors about the important history associated with the site and the importance to the development of west Texas.
Occidental officials will be in Big Spring at the Historic Spring Site on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. to present the donation.
Occidental Petroleum is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will have an Open House of the new Behavioral Health Unit, located on the 4th floor of the hospital.
The ceremony will be in the West Texas Medical Plaza and begins at 2:30 PM. After the speaking portion is done, there will be refreshments and tours available of the new unit. This will be a great opportunity to find out about the services, referral process and more about the new Behavioral Health Unit. The entire community and surrounding areas are invited to join Scenic Mountain Medical Center for this special occasion.
It should also be noted a Job Fair will be held inside the Main Lobby of the Scenic Mountain Medical Center on Friday, March 2nd, from 9 AM – 4 PM. The following available positions include: Environmental Services, Food and Nutrition, Nurses – LVN, and RN for day and night shifts, CNA’s, Respiratory Therapists, and Radiological Technologists. Those attending the Job Fair are encouraged to dress to impress and bring an updated resume.
ABILENE – TxDOT’s Abilene District had a busy few days this week as winter weather blew into the area on Tuesday. All of the District’s 13 counties were affected by this storm, with those along and north of I-20 seeing the brunt of the ice.
Crew members started pre-treating Tier 1 and 2 roadways Tuesday morning before temperatures fell that afternoon. Brine was applied to roadways and structures to help discourage ice from forming on and bonding to pavement as freezing precipitation began to fall. This was no small feat – more than 68,000 gallons of brine was applied over 8,000 miles during ice prevention operations throughout the District.
As conditions deteriorated, the District Emergency Operations Center was activated and crews moved from pre-treatment to response operations. Eighty three crew members, plus support staff, responded to this winter weather event over three days. Crew members were placed on 12 hour shifts around the clock in order to provide continuous response and keep roadways as safe and passable as possible until temperatures rose and conditions improved.
During response operations, TxDOT used a combination of ice-fighting materials and equipment to ensure roadways remained open and passable. Materials included 1,116 cubic yards of salt, 783 cubic yards of aggregate, 52 tons of magnesium chloride granules and another 95,000 gallons of brine. The Texas A&M
Forest Service, several Taylor County precincts and a local highway contractor provided a total of 16 motor graders and several operators to help with slush and ice removal, and The Forest Service plowed approximately 600 lane miles of roadway in Nolan, Taylor and Callahan Counties. When it was all said and
done, 33 motor graders, 38 dump trucks with snow plows and spreaders, 27 brine spray rigs and nine pickup-mounted spreaders were mobilized during this event.
Now that the storm has moved out of the area, TxDOT Abilene turns its focus to replenishing stockpiles, assessing pavement condition and conducting inventory to make sure the District is ready for the next round of winter weather – whenever that might be.
Howard College Board of Trustees Meeting - 02/26/18
Earlier today Howard College held a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. During the discussion of Special Initiatives, it was noted that there was no new information concerning the potential partnership with Big Spring Independent School District. It was also noted that there are 2 new members on the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) Advisory Board, Dr. Nancy Hlibok Amann, Superintendent of California School for the Deaf – Riverside, and Luanne Barron, Interim Superintendent of the Kansas School for the Deaf.
It was also noted during the meeting that official enrollment at all three campuses has decreased. According to Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, the head count, or number of students enrolled, had decreased by an average of 9 percent; and total contact hours, or number of hours a student is scheduled for class, had decreased by only 3 percent.
One of the factors that contributed heavily to the decline is the fact that dual credit is now offered through Angelo State University and San Angelo area high school students are able to apply for the Carr Scholarship that will pay for the dual credit class. Dr. Sparks also stated that dual credit in the Big Spring area has also declined and that it was likely due to intentional advising, where students are being guided and advised into pathways so they are not taking courses that are not a part of what they want to pursue a major or career in. It was also noted that because of this, there will be more of an impact on head count that will result as an effect of that.
It was noted that since Howard College is not currently in a base year, this decline is not as significant as if it were. A base year, according to Dr. Sparks, begins on March 1st and runs through the end of February of next year. During the base year, Howard College generates the contact hours that the school’s funding will be based on for the next two years.
Dr. Sparks went on to say that next they will be comparing head count and contact hours as compared to the last base year and discuss that at the next board meeting that is scheduled for March 26th.
It should also be noted that the cancellation of election was approved, due to the fact that only the incumbents of Precinct 3, Adrian Calvio, and Precinct 4, Maxwell Barr, were the only people who had filed for the positions on the Howard College Board of Trustees.
Photo - Members of the Howard College Board of Trustees
Yesterday, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department worked to contain a 160-acre fire in the Silver Hills Addition of South Mountain. Chief Tommy Sullivan told KBest News that the fire started in a burn barrel on where residents of a Los Alamitos home were burning trash. Chief Sullivan stated that the fire had burned south towards Riva Ridge, and had continued towards the Country Club. With winds over 20 mph, burning trash is advised against. With winds over 20 mph, burning trash is advised against. The residents will receive 2 citations: Failing to adhere to the burn ban (because the fire got out of the barrel) and Reckless Endangerment (because the fire moved onto the property of others).
Chief Tommy Sullivan tells KBest News that the crews were able to head off the progression of the fire with pumper trucks, tanks and county maintainers. There were no reported injuries, and Chief Sullivan said that the fire department prevented 6 structures from getting caught in the blaze!
CITY OFFICES AND SITES TO CLOSE
The City of Big Spring will close all offices, including the landfill and sanitation, for Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 19, 2018.
Emergency services (Police, Fire, and EMS) will continue normal operations throughout the holidays.
Emergency Utilities will be on call and can be contacted at
COUNTY OFFICES TO CLOSE
Howard County will close all offices on Monday, February 19, 2018 in Observance of Presidents Day. County Offices will open again for business on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
Sheriff’s Administrative Offices will be closed but Law Enforcement Services will operate as normal.
DPS offices, including the drivers license office, will be closed Monday (2/19/18) in observance of Presidents Day.
Be advised the next special meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees will take place on Feb. 20th, 2018 and begin at 5:15 PM in the High School Board Room at 707 11th Place, Big Spring, Texas.
It has been noted that the agenda states that discussion and possible action on the Superintendent Search will occur during the meeting.
The 21st th Annual Pops in the Park, which will be held on Tuesday, July 3rd , is quickly approaching. The Pops in the Park mission is to give back to those who have served our country and pay tribute to them for their selfless sacrifice as well as the sacrifices of their families. Pops in the Park combines a family-friendly atmosphere in the historic and beautiful Comanche Trail Amphitheater with world-class music provided by our pre-show entertainment, Spur 327, and the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. We cap off the event with a spectacular display of choreographed fireworks from one of the nation’s leaders in pyrotechnics.
Pops in the Park is held in the Comanche Trail Amphitheater and the gates will open at 5 PM. For the Pre-Show this year we will be featuring Spur 327 they will go on at approximately 6 PM. The Presentation of Colors, salute to Armed Forces, and Retiring of the colors will follow the pre-show; followed by a video tribute honoring the local men and women who serve our country. The finale of the event is the amazing fireworks accompanied by the Big Spring Symphony and Chorus.
Pops in the Park is a community event and without support from the community it would not be possible; to donate please contact the Big Spring Chamber at 432-263- 7641 or send donations to Pops in the Park, 215 W. 3rd-79720 or P.O. Box 1391, Big Spring, 79721.
Vendors’ packets will be sent out soon and if you are wanting to be a vendor you can contact Frances Metcalf at 432-264- 2504.
If you would like to volunteer to help with donations, please contact Felicia Guerra at 432-264- 2540.
You can like the Pops in the Park Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/PopsInThePark .
Please note that according the City of Big Spring ordinance, only service dogs are allowed in the Comanche Trail Amphitheater.
For more information contact the Big Spring Chamber at
432-263-7641 or the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau at 432-263- 8235.
Last week Kevin Knudson and his wife Michelle, Co-Owners of Cornerhouse Coffee in Big Spring, announced that their business would be closing, and on Friday customers assumed that the beloved coffee house had closed their doors for good. Knudson told KBest News that one of the main reasons they wanted to close their business was because both co-owners are busy pastors at Life Church and they both wanted to spend more time with family.
“We just didn’t have enough revenue to bring somebody on to who could help us kind of give the shop what it needed. So we reached out and were trying to find someone who would be an actual owner/operator but that never came to fruition," said Knudson. "The night before we got ready to close, Mighty Wash who owns Mighty Joe’s, called me and wondered if we were interested in some sort of merger of some sort, an agreement. That’s what we have now. A strategic partnership.”
Knudson stated that both companies have the same values and mission, in that they were aligned a lot alike with what they’re trying to do for the community.
Beginning next week, Cornerhouse Coffee will shift their operations and a majority of their employees down the street, to 1001 Scurry St., next to Mighty Wash.
"You'll see Cornerhouse Coffee signage and you'll have the Cornerhouse quality and convenience, and the consistency that you got normally from Cornerhouse. You'll see [all of] that at Mighty Joe's old driver-thru; it'll become a Cornerhouse drive-thru," stated Knudson. "The house down on Scurry that formerly housed Cornerhouse, we're gonna keep empty for a season and then we're gonna come back with something that we think is gonna be really beneficial for the city as well. So, it's going to be kind of a cool combination. "
Knudson went on to say this partnership seemed like a good fit because over 80% of their sales at the original location were made through the drive-thru.
When asked what the benefits will result from this partnership, Knudson stated, "They're in the car washing business; we're in the coffee business, but they had this building available on their property. So, we get to do what we like to do and utilize a really first class facility that will create a real convenient environment."
The drive through will still be called, “Cornerhouse Coffee” and the Knudson’s will still be co-owners, and Michelle will still oversee quality control but someone else will be over the day-to-day operations. It was noted that customers will still be able to get the quality that they’re looking for and with more employees being able to work the stations and equipment, ideally, customers should see less waiting time. Plus, if you still have punch cards that have not been redeemed, Cornerhouse will still accept them.
“I just always want to thank the people of Big Spring for really supporting Cornerhouse," said Knudson. "We definitely felt it when everybody knew we were closing down, just all of the best wishes, and in a sense, people were heartbroken that we were closing down. Hopefully, they’ll come back and support us, even in this new way of doing things and they’ll see that local businesses can still thrive."
Knudson went on to say that with the recent closures of Cornerhouse Coffee and Mighty Joe, people in the community might question if it was possible to sustain a local business.
"We just gotta do business smarter not harder," stated Knudson. "I think Mighty Wash is finding their lane and we’re gonna stay in ours and it’s gonna work out awesome.”
1. BS Police Chief Chad Williams advised that the BS Police Department received $21,508 through the Rifle-Resistant Body Armor Grant Program to purchase enough rifle-resistant vests for their department, which covers 48 officer spots. It was noted that these vests would not be worn everyday, but will be used for specific calls where it is believed that a rifle may be involved.
2. BS Public Works Director Johnny Womack advised that the lowering device that is currently in use for the local cemeteries is in need of replacement. According to Womack, there are "one-and-a-half" devices that the city has - one is in use and the other is used for parts to repair the device in use. $5,000 was requested from the General Fund to be added to the Cemetery Fund Budget to purchase a new lowering device.
3. Approval was obtained for a Non-Emergency Ambulance Operator's Permit for Acute Medical Services, LLC, doing business as Ector-Midland County Emergency Medical Services (EMCEMS).
During a public hearing held earlier in the meeting, Brian Taylor, West Texas Manager for Acute Medical Services dba EMCEMS, advised that they already had stations in Midland, Odessa, and Andrews and were looking to bring a station to Big Spring. He noted that they would not be answering 911 calls, but they would be able to provide transport services to hospitals/medical facilities outside of the city limits.
BS Fire Chief Craig Ferguson advised the City Council members that this was a service that is needed. He noted during the month of January, Scenic Mountain Medical Center transported 73 patients to other facilities. Ferguson stated that, unfortunately, it was a need that the BSFD was not able to meet due to staffing and their 911 call volume. According to Chief Ferguson, the call volume has increased and in February to an average of 18.3 calls per day, and this company would not be to the detriment of the department.
Tomorrow, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will hold this month’s Our Healthy Circle
presentation: “Healthy Heart, Healing Wounds” at the Howard County Library, located at 500 S.
Main. The event will be held in the Meeting Room and begins as 11:30 AM and will include a
heart healthy lunch.
The presentation will be given by Shawn Harris, Registered Nurse, and Family Nurse
Practitioner, who will be speaking on maintaining a healthy blood flow and about the new
service lines that are available at SMMC.
Be advised you must RSVP to the Our Healthy Circle Advisor, Sherri Wigington, at 432-268-
The Academy, an optional program available to all Coahoma ISD students in the kindergarten through eighth grade, is now accepting applications for grades first through eighth for the 2018- 2019 academic year.
The program is designed to develop academic skills while emphasizing student responsibility,
leadership, and self-confidence. It is structured to create an environment that allows flexible
scheduling, hands-on learning, incorporation of music and movement into academic lessons
while holding students to high expectations of responsibility.
The Academy opened its doors for the first time in August. After several months of watching the program in action, Dr. Amy Jacobs, CISD superintendent, said the faculty and administration
have been extremely pleased with the results.
Among some of the key components of the program are emphasizing peer-to- peer mentoring, public speaking at all grade levels and individual responsibility. In the past few months, Dr.
Jacobs noted that students have exceeded expectations just from their growth in
communications skills and self-confidence alone.
Before gaining acceptance into The Academy, the student and their parents must agree to be
held to high expectations. Students are expected to accept responsibility for their own learning and their conduct.
Although The Academy was limited to 200 enrollment spaces this current academic year, Dr.
Jacobs advised that the district plans to make room for growth in the coming year.
Acceptance into The Academy is on a first come, first serve basis. Applications will be stamped with the time it is turned into the district. Students who have applied or in the process of
applying to transfer into the district can also turn in an application during the enrollment period.
Applicants and their parents must undergo an interview and complete an orientation prior to the start of the program.
Students who are already accepted into the program will not have to re-apply. The Academy will open registration for kindergarten later this spring.
It should be noted that there are no additional costs to attend The Academy except for the
purchase of school uniforms. A uniform scholarship is available to qualifying students. For more information about The Academy, contact Dr. Jacobs at 394-5000 or visit www.coahomaisd.com.
Anyone interested in applying for The Academy can find application forms at the Coahoma ISD website at www.coahomaisd.com.
Completed forms can then be submitted online or brought to the CISD Administration Office, 600 N. Main Street, Coahoma. Applications must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
* St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Welcomes New Priest **
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, located at 1001 S. Goliad, has announced that their new priest Father Christian Rabone will be joining them for his first official day at St. Mary’s tomorrow, Feb. 14th, to lead the Ash Wednesday services at 12:05 PM and at 6 PM.
Father Rabone has served for one-and-a-half years at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in San Angelo as a curate. According to Rabone, a curate is a 2-year position for someone who is in training, but is still clergy. “It’s almost like I’m an assistant priest compared to the Director who is the head priest,” stated Rabone.
Before becoming a curate, Rabone had worked in education as a Band Director and a semi-professional trumpet player in the Dallas area for the first 7 years of his career as an educator. He then became a middle school principal for 22 years. Rabone said he retired from education after 29 years, but during his career he had done a lot for the community and for the church.
“I think God put me on a journey all the way to this point with all the different experiences and the ministries that I’ve gone through,” said Rabone. “I feel like it’s a good fit for me at St. Mary’s the Virgin at Big Spring, and looking forward to working with the congregation, the people, and, also, with the community.”
Rabone told KBest News that he’s been Lion’s Club member for over 10 years and his goal is to become part of the Big Spring Lions Club and be able to do a lot of different things for Big Spring to help people realize that churches and the community can work together.
When asked what made Father Rabone the best person for a position that had been open for over four years, Charla Lewis, a Vestry Member at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, stated, “He is a bundle of energy who is very outgoing and who is all about relationships both within the church and well beyond the church walls into the community.” Lewis also advised that after the Search Committee had discussions with Father Rabone, they believed that he, as a person, defined what St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is all about.
According to Lewis, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is “a Christian denomination following the teachings of Jesus and it’s is done in a way that is based on relationships with others rather than dos and don’ts.” She also went on to say that one of the biggest attractions of the Episcopal Church in general is that they encourage stepping outside of one’s own individual desires and sometimes pettiness to fulfill the bigger goal of community-wide worship, fellowship, and service.
(Photo 1 - Father Christian Rabone with his wife, Tiffany. Photo is from St. Mary's Episcopal Church Facebook page.)
Update on shooting that occurred last Thursday, Feb. 8th, BSPD:
The suspect in this investigation is identified as Garza, Andrew Black/Male 43 years of age. The investigation has revealed Mr. Garza had committed a Burglary of a Habitation as well as Criminal Mischief to a separate residence just prior to being contacted by Officer Blake Grantham. Mr. Garza had evaded Officer Grantham by running southbound through the west alley of the 900 block of S. Goliad and intothe yard of 400 E. 10th where Mr. Garza had retrieved a .45 caliber semi-automatic firearm from his pocket. Officer Grantham immediately discharged his firearm in the direction of Mr. Garza striking Mr. Garza once in the abdomen area. Big Spring Emergency Medical Personnel was summoned to the scene at which time Mr. Garza was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center Hospital and later flown by helicopter to Odessa Medical for treatment. The firearm Mr. Garza brandished was found to have been stolen during a burglary of habitation that was reported on the 6th of February 2018.
Mr. Garza has been in the custody of Law Enforcement personnel since this incident and an Arrest Warrant has been issued for Mr. Garza’s arrest for the offense of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer a 1st Degree Felony. Further charges on Mr. Garza are pending as a result of this investigation.
Mr. Garza is currently in stable condition and Mr. Garza will be arrested upon his release from the hospital. Officer Grantham has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the Criminal and/or Administrative Investigation. ???
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
This evening, the Guardians of the Children will be holding a Dough Raiser at the Pizza Inn in Big Spring, located at 700 E. FM 700, from 5-9 PM. Guardians of the Children is a non-profit motorcycle organization that helps abused and neglected kids.
According to Greg McAlister, President of the GOC Wildcat Chapter, explained that the organization works alongside of Child Protective Services (CPS), Police Department, and Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and GOC get cases for abused or neglected kids.
“Every motorcycle organization or club has their thing called ‘cuts.’ It’s the leather vest that has their insignia on the back and everything. We give the kids, when we bring them into our family, a cut,” says McAlister. “Then we go to court with them, we throw birthday parties, we throw Easter [parties], Christmas parties, the whole nine yards.”
McAlister also noted that each child has 2 to 4 representatives that work with the child, “If the kid ever feels scared at any time,… they can call those reps up and we will protect them and see whatever they need.”
Everyone is encouraged to enjoy great food at Pizza Inn while supporting a great cause. The Guardians of the Children will be receiving 10% of the proceeds and all tips collected to help fund their activities that they organize for the kids.
On Friday afternoon, President of Howard College Dr. Cheryl Sparks met with Big Spring ISD's Interim Superintendent Johnny Tubb and Dr. Raemi Thompson, Director of Curriculum of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at BSISD, in order to explore the option of a possible partnership with Howard College and BSISD.
This was an option that was presented to the board at last week's meeting of the BSISD Board of Trustees in the event that Washington Elementary and Goliad Elementary were not able to get out of IR (improvement required) status.
Listen to the KBest Country Morning Show with Adrienne and Mark tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM to hear Tubb and Dr. Sparks discuss this possibility further on-air.
During last week’s regular meeting of the Big Spring ISD's Board of Trustees, Dr. Raemi Thompson, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at BSISD, advised the board that, according to their most current assessments, one-third of students from Kindergarten through 8th grade are reading at or above current grade levels. This is the same percentage as it was at the beginning of the school year. It was also noted that one thing that can assist in raising this percentage is students reading with parents outside of school, which research has shown, has positive effects on school success.
Dr. Thompson told KBest News, "We would love to appeal to our parents in our community to help us out with our kids reading skills. If they would ask their child to read at home with them or read to their child so that the child can, not only hear how the words flow together, but then let the child read to them as well." She also noted that parents are encouraged to take advantage of Parent Read Night, which is an open night library that allows parents to check out books and read with their child.
During the Action Items portion of the meeting, BSISD’s Interim Superintendent Johnny Tubb explained to the school board that even though there a lot of great people who are working very hard to move Goliad Elementary and Washington Elementary out of Improvement Required (IR) status, there is still a possibility that the schools may not move out of IR.
Per the Texas Education Agency (TEA), if the school district is not able to move out of IR status, TEA will be coming with one of two consequences that will take effect the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.
• Campus Closures - This doesn’t necessarily mean that these schools would be boarded up and locked up forever. This could mean a reconfiguration of schools, or opening it with a different format with a different educational setting.
• Instilling a Board of Managers - This could be replacing the BSISD school board as it is now, or they could even do a campus board of managers, where that board would have a separate board of managers that would only manager those campuses.
Tubb also advised that TEA sent a letter advising on the three things that BSISD is able to do now in order to get out of this status: improve, create partnership, or closing campuses.
• Improve – The campuses and district have been working hard every day to improve.
• Partnership – In the past, this had been understood as a partnership with a charter school, but, this can include, an institution of higher education, like Howard College. BSISD is currently exploring this option with Howard College and a meeting with Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, would be set up to explore the possibility further. The benefit of this partnership, if accepted, is that TEA would give the district 2 additional years to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish, which is getting the two schools out of IR status.
• Closing Campuses – BSISD could determine on their own to close the campuses on their own. Tubb noted that this was something that, most likely, was not an option that the district would pursue.
The school board approved the action of sending a non-binding letter of intent to advise TEA that BSISD is exploring the possibility of a partnership with Howard College.
Discussion was also held concerning new school bus purchases with seat belts. Tubb noted that Senate Bill 693, that was passed recently in the Texas Legislature, requires that all buses 2018 model and newer buses to be equipped with 3-point seat belts. He advised the board that if, as a district, BSISD would not order seatbelts, a resolution would have to be made stating that due to budgetary concerns the district did not want seat belts.
Tubb made it very clear to the board that he did not recommend that safety should be jeopardized based on budgetary concerns. No action was taken, and it was advised that from now on BSISD would only purchase buses with seat belts.
During the Superintendent’s Report, Tubb spoke on the recent district closure where schools were closed in order for maintenance workers could sanitize schools in order to prevent further exposure to the flu. He noted that due to the minute schedule on the calendar, this day will most likely not need to be made up.
Closing out the meeting, it was noted that during the next special meeting of the BSISD Board of Trustees, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20th at 5:15 PM, the board would discuss personnel for the superintendent search. Tubb advised that the board would be looking to lay out a timeline and path to move forward, as far of the superintendent position is concerned.
Tony Kennedy, President of the BSISD Board of Trustees, noted that there are great candidates for the position within the school district and they plan to search within before looking outward.
(Photo - BSISD Superintendent Interim Johnny Tubb at Thursday's School Board Meeting.)
Rule Changes Strengthen Public Safety
AUSTIN - Effective next Monday, Feb. 12, Railroad Commission pipeline damage prevention rules require excavators who strike a pipeline while digging to notify the pipeline operator by calling the 811- notification center as soon as possible, but no later than one hour after an incident. Excavators must also call 911 if any natural gas or other product is released when an underground pipeline is struck. These rule updates extend the deadline for pipeline operators and excavators to file a damage report with the Railroad Commission from the current 10 days to 30 days.
More information on these new rule requirements can be found under "Chapter 18. Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention." at the RRC website:
RRC rules already require anyone planning to dig deeper than 16 inches to call 811 before they dig to prevent damage to underground pipelines. The required 811 call prompts pipeline operators to mark their underground natural gas or hazardous liquid pipelines to avoid being struck during the digging process. Failure to obey the "Call Before You Dig" rules can result in penalties and fines.
If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, you won’t have to travel outside of Big Spring.
2018 XO Marriage Conference Simulcast -
Tonight, Life Church, located at 1004 Johnson, will be simulcasting the 2018 XO Marriage Conference. The cost is $20 per couple, and includes food and childcare, and there will also be giveaways for couples in attendance. Tickets will be available at the door, and doors open at 6 PM, dinner will be served at 6:30 PM, and the simulcast begins at 7. The second part of the conference will pick up again tomorrow morning. A continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM, and this simulcast session will run from 9 to 11:45 AM.
2018 RUN2LOVE2RUN -
Tomorrow morning, Feb. 10th, the 5K Run/Walk event RUN2LOVE2RUN will take place at Big Spring State Park and begins at 10 AM. Cost is $30 for Individuals and $50 for Couples. Be advised that you can still register online at permianbasinevents.com. If you choose to wait until tomorrow morning to register onsite, you must do so by 9 AM and be advised that your registration fee will increase and can only be paid by cash or check.
The money raised from the event will be donated to CASA of West Texas, an organization that is dedicated to recruiting, training, and supporting committed volunteers who are appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of children in the foster care system.
Brisket Plate Benefit -
After you work up an appetite at RUN2LOVE2RUN, or if just thinking about running makes you hungry, you can head over to the Brisket Plate Benefit at the North Birdwell Ln. Café, located at 1800 North Birdwell Ln. Plates will be sold for $10 each and will include slow cooked brisket, homemade potato salad and beans, bread, and drink. The event begins at 10 AM and will continue until all plates are sold out. It should also be noted that delivery will be offered for orders with more than 3 plates. Delivery orders can be called in at 432-270-2303 / 432-466-9772 / or 432-714-4377.
Funds raised from this event will be given to help cover medical expenses for Jimmy "Chic" De Leo, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the base of tongue and lingual tonsils in July 2017. It should also be noted that donations are also accepted.
Winter Wonderland Concert featuring Harmony Zhu -
Tomorrow evening, the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Wonderland concert will begin at 7:30 PM at the Big Spring Municipal Auditorium, and Harmony Zhu, the 12-year- old piano prodigy will be the featured artist. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for Seniors - 55 plus, and free to students and children College Age and younger! Tickets can be purchased in advance at HEB, Heritage Museum, The Karat Patch, Big Spring Chamber of Commerce and the CVB offices! For ticket reservations to Big Spring Concerts call 432-816-5196.
Today at approximately 11:55 AM in the 400 block of E. 10th Street, an officer involved shooting occurred. The suspect is currently in custody and receiving medical attention. No officers have been injured. KBest will report more information this afternoon. You are asked to avoid the area if possible.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program will be offering FREE income tax preparation every Monday until April 2nd, from 8 AM – 12 PM at the Big Spring Senior Citizen’s Center, located at 100 Whipkey Drive in Big Spring. This service is available to all taxpayers with moderate to low income.
Taxpayers need to bring in the following items with them:
• Photo ID for the taxpayer and/or spouse
• Social Security cards for every person on the tax return. It should be noted that they will not do a tax return without seeing the Social Security cards.)
• Last year’s tax return
• W-2’s and all other proof of income received in 2017
Be advised that these tax returns will be filed electronically with e-filing for availability of faster refunds. If you have any questions you can contact Ray Alexander at 432-212-3533, or at email@example.com.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Resource Center for Domestic Violence, “every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.”
Creswell, stated that the organization uses this time to focus on young people because violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18. The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established during adolescence.
When asked if the local Victim Services works with a lot of teens who have experienced dating violence, Creswell stated that most times teens won’t report it.
“They don’t even tell their mom or dad, they just endure it. There are kids who come out here and just want someone to talk to see if they’re doing something wrong or how they should approach things in their relationship.”
If you or someone you know is ready to seek help, Victim Services of Big Spring can be contacted through their website vsob.org.
During today’s Howard County Commissioners’ Court, County Road and Bridge Engineer Brian Klinksiek was granted authorization to purchase a new 2018 International Water Truck to replace the current water truck, which was described by Klinksiek as "working its way to a decrepit state."
The 2,000 gallon International water truck has 915 miles and is similar to what is currently being used. The vehicle has an automatic transmission, and comes with 5 sprayers, so it is an improvement to what is currently being used.
The truck was purchased for approximately $130,000 from the SUMMIT Truck Group in San Angelo, TX. According to Klinksiek, the cost of the water truck was approximately $9,000 under budget.
The 2018 Maintenance Assistance Prime & Sealcoat bid was awarded to Lipham Asphalt and Pavement out of Aspermont, TX for a max amount of approximately $112,000. Klinksiek had sent out 3 bid packages and it was noted that Lipham was the only one to respond. Since the last meeting, Klinksiek has been able to review the bid information and recommended that the bid be awarded, which was approved.
During the meeting Klinkseik explained that Lipham Asphalt and Pavement would be used as assistance when his department rebuild roads in case he comes across problems with equipment.
“We should be able to [rebuild roads] ourselves but we haven’t done [this type] in a number of years,” said Klinkseik. “[This] provides me with extra equipment and skill set until I can get my guys trained and ensure that my equipment is going to work.”
(Photos of 2018 International Water Truck that was approved for purchase by the Howard County Commissioners' Court.)
Today, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed their new member, THE WARDROBE, located at 115 S. Main St. in Big Spring, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
THE WARDROBE is a downtown boutique owned by Big Spring residents Britney Kalina and Natasha Lasater. It's been open since late December and is a combination of Kalina’s “Rae’s of Gray” children’s boutique, and Lasater’s “Wake, Pray, Slay” women’s boutique.
“We opened The Wardrobe with two online boutiques merging together,” said Kalina. “We had Wake, Pray, Slay Boutique and Rae’s of Gray Boutique and we wanted to merge it together to bring the women’s and children’s [together].”
The merged boutique carries clothing for infants, toddlers, children, and women, including plus sizes clothing, as well as shoes, jewelry, bags, and nick knacks.
Kalina says that the boutique has seen a lot of response from the community. “The building itself is really unique, just being a historical building downtown. We’ve had a lot of compliments on that. Just walking in, people are excited to see the kind of space [that] we’re in.”
Kalina went on to say that they were happy to join the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and are excited about being a part of the community.
The XO Marriage Conference is a conference that has been held in Dallas for several years, and according to Mark Seagraves, a member of the Pastoral Team for Life Church, “thousands of people attend [the conference] and there have been incredible testimonies of marriages that have been saved and relationships that have been improved.”
In 2011 the conference was simulcasted with 60 host sites and as of this year, the 2018 XO Marriage Conference is expected to have over 600 global host sites. The ministry behind the conference is Marriage Today and is ran by Jimmy and Karen Evans out of Amarillo, TX. The conference features multiple speakers from across the country.
Life Church will be simulcasting the conference on Feb. 9th and Feb. 10th. The doors open on Friday, Feb. 9th, at 6 PM, dinner will be served at 6:30 PM, and the simulcast begins at 7 PM. On Saturday, Feb. 10th, a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM, the simulcast begins at 9 AM, and Saturday’s session will run until about 11:45 AM. The cost is $20 per couple, and includes food and childcare, and there will also be giveaways for couples in attendance.
Seagraves stated that if cost is an issue that keeps couples away who want to attend, there are scholarship opportunities that are available for those who need it.
When asked what couples can expect to get out of the conference, Seagraves stated that he and his wife had attended the simulcasted conference for the last three years and also stated, “It is a powerful conference with incredible information.”
“Probably the highlight of it is that, in the very end, they lead all of the couples in a renewal of their marriage vows; and it is a powerful experience. I’ve seen marriages that when they came into the conference they were really questionable about their desire to even continue and by the time the conference was over their relationship had been completely restored. It’s a powerful experience and I would definitely recommend it to any couple.”
Tickets now available online for the 2018 XO Marriage Conference and you can find a link for that on the Facebook page for Life Church.
A happy girl with multiple talents, 12-year-old Harmony Zhu has been featured three times on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, as well as many other TV and radio shows for her exceptional gifts in piano, composition, and chess. In recognition of her “distinguished career in music” and “the high standard in artistic and professional achievements”, Harmony had the privilege of becoming the youngest “Young Steinway Artist” in history at age 10. Most recently, she was named a Fellow of the Artemisia Akademie at Yale University.
In January 2018, Harmony appeared in three concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Last October, Harmony had the great honor of opening The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 118th season under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Opening Night Gala Concert. She will also be performing in three concerts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in March.
In the spring of 2016, Harmony was invited by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra to be the Resident Artist of the Week, where she gave a televised recital for Sound Bites Concert “A Prodigy’s Journey” as well as guesting at “Consider This” – “What makes a Virtuoso” with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. Later in
October she was invited back to perform Beethoven Concerto No.1 with her own cadenza and Maestro George Stelluto. With a deep musical sensitivity far beyond her age, Harmony has distinguished herself by consistently winning first prizes in piano
competitions from an early age, competing within older age categories. Harmony started studying at Juilliard when she was 8, where she studies piano with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and composition with Dr. Ira Taxin. She won the Juilliard Pre-college
Concerto Competition at her first year in Juilliard.
As a chess prodigy, she has won numerous international chess tournaments and was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master at the age of 7 and the title of World Champion of her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championships.
Our community remembers vividly the former Coahoma High School football star who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a sledding accident 3 years ago which broke his neck and paralyzed his body from the shoulders down. This type of paralysis is referred to as "quadriplegia." Since that time, Garett has undergone extensive physical therapy to keep his muscles active; he has earned an Associates Degree from Howard College, and is currently taking online courses from Angelo State University in pursuit of his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.
Now age 21, Garett uses a laptop computer in which the cursor is controlled with a reflective dot attached to his glasses. Having full movement from the shoulders up, Garett turns his head to communicate commands to his computer. Due to stem cell replacement therapy in Switzerland and Germany last year, Garett has regained movement in his right arm, and can use a joystick controller to guide his power wheelchair.
Garett is a sports aficionado, and when KBest saw the need for an additional sportscaster, they looked no further than their own backyard.
Malinda Flenniken, Managing Partner of KBest Media says that she has been following Garett's progress over the last couple of years and noticed that he has become a very well-spoken young man. "He has a great energy and charismatic personality. He knows how to effectively use his voice, and, we're in the 'voice business!' Garett knows local sports first hand, and is a natural choice for us. We're really, really excited to have him on board. I think this could be the beginning of a long successful career for him. I would love to think that Garett will remember good 'ole KBST when he hits the big time."
Mark Richardson, Operations Manager and Sportscaster for KBest Media, will be working side-by-side with Garett on the court and on the field this year. Richardson has been broadcasting Howard College basketball along with Josh Caudill, who are both excited to welcome Garett to the KBest team. According to Richardson, "Garett's story has been one revolving around a tragic accident. Starting with Garett's recovery and rehab, the story has become one of determination and defying odds. Today, that story turns to a new chapter in his life, one that will showcase his talent, abilities and continued passion for sports. Today, Garett becomes a professional sports broadcaster."
The double basketball broadcast begins tonight at 5:45, live from the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum as the Lady Hawks and Hawks of Howard College take on Snyder's Western Texas College. The broadcast can be heard on the radio on "The Mighty 1490 KBST AM," as well as TV's Suddenlink channel 2, online at kbst.com, and the free KBST AM 1490 app for mobile devices.
Go Hawks! Go Garett!
The deadline to register to vote in the next election is TODAY. If you are not registered to vote by that time, you will not be eligible to vote in the March 6th Primaries.
Be advised that if you are new to town or if you’ve moved in the last few years you need to check your registration. You'll be able to vote on March 6th, but it may affect what you're able to vote for.
According to Howard County Elections Administrator Jodi Duck, there are approximately 3,500 people who need to update their information. She knows that because that's how many voter registration cards have been returned to the office.
If you haven't updated your information, it could prevent you from casting your vote where it's needed most. For example, if you lived in Precinct 1 and moved to Precinct 4 you might miss out on your chance to vote on Howard County Commissioner of Precinct 4 because your voter registration hasn't been updated.
If you need to register to vote or if you need to update your information, you can stop by the Howard County Elections office on the 1st floor of the County Court House and they can help.
For more information you can call their office at 432-264-2273.
According to a statement released by Big Spring ISD’s Administration Office, Big Spring schools will be closed today due to the flu epidemic that the district is experiencing.
Johnny Tubb, Interim Superintendent for Big Spring ISD, stated that it has gotten to the point where the entire school district is suffering across the board. He went on to say that students, teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, custodians, maintenance, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and substitutes have all been significantly impacted. He went on to say quote – We just can’t seem to keep from passing it from person to person and from campus to campus. – end quote.
The district will utilize the extra time today to thoroughly clean and sanitize all campuses and busses.
Big Spring ISD also stated that they would like to thank the parents for their diligence during the past couple of weeks; and they would also like to thank the many employees that have been doubling up and, in some cases, trying to cover the duties of the absent staff.
It should be noted that this closure will not impact extracurricular activities, and classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 5th, as scheduled.
The Lone Star District of the Buffalo Trail Council will hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony this Saturday, February 3rd, at 3 PM. The Boy Scouts have long been recognized as one a very few organizations that are called upon to conduct formal Flag Retirement Ceremonies, and February 10th marks the anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. For several years, local Scouts have gathered on the Saturday closest to Scouting’s anniversary to pay homage to the individuals that have given us the rights that we cherish in the Scouting program.
According to Zack Mullins, a teacher with Big Spring ISD and a Scouting volunteer, “Several years ago, a committee met to discuss how we could celebrate the anniversary of Scouting. It was decided that a tribute to the individuals that sacrificed for our rights to gather as Scouts would be perfect. That began a tradition of gathering to honor our flag and our troops”.
The Flag Retirement Ceremony is open to the public, and the ceremony will be at Camp Thomas on Driver Road, next to the VFW. The Boy Scouts would like to encourage the community to see the honor that is paid to a flag when it is retired. They especially encourage all veterans and active duty members of any branch of our armed forces to attend. Again, this ceremony is Saturday at 3:00 pm at Camp Thomas on Driver Road.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is beginning enforcement efforts across the state focusing specifically on violations of the state’s Move Over/Slow Down law. These periodic enforcement operations by DPS Troopers are planned throughout the year at various locations in Texas, with several operations planned in February.
The law, originally passed in 2003, requires motorists to move over or slow down when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
“Our Highway Patrol Troopers and other officers risk their lives every day for the people of Texas, and their safety is particularly vulnerable while working on the side of the road, where the slightest mistake by a passing motorist can end in tragedy,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “While our officers are serving and protecting Texans, we’re asking drivers to do their part by adhering to the law – simply move over or slow down.”
Specifically, Texas law states that a driver must either:
Vacate the lane closest to the applicable vehicles stopped on the side of the road (if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction), or
Slow down 20 mph below the speed limit. (If the speed limit is below 25 mph, the driver must slow down to 5 mph.)
Drivers should only move over if they can do so safely and legally; otherwise, they should slow down.
“In light of the numerous vehicle crashes that occur in Texas and across the nation on a daily basis, and the unfortunate fact the many still violate the state law that has been in effect for nearly 15 years, we are increasing our enforcement and education efforts related to this law,” said Director McCraw. “In addition to complying with the law to protect those who work on the side of the road, we encourage motorists to show the same courtesy to fellow drivers stopped along our roadways. Let’s all get home safely.”
Violations of the law can result in a fine of up to $200; the fine increases to $500 if there is property damage. If violators cause bodily injury, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in possible jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
Preliminary data from 2017 shows that DPS issued more than 10,650 warnings and citations to motorists violating the Move Over/Slow Down law.