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Director of West Texas VA Health Care System speaks on PTSD Awareness


June is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month. It is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from the invisible wounds of war receive proper treatment.

 

According to Jason Cave, Director of the West Texas VA Health Care System, PTSD was something that had been experienced as far back as the American Civil War. During World War I and World War II people called it “Shell Shock”. Later, it would later evolve into being called “Combat Stress” or “Combat Fatigue” in the Korean War and Vietnam War. 

 

Cave advised that approximately 10 to 15 percent of returning veterans suffer from PTSD. Many believe that it’s something they’ll have to struggle with for the rest of their life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

 

“There are some amazing testimonials out there that the VA has put out there about people who struggled with it for decades and then found a treatment program that helped. Then they got over either the sleeplessness, the anxiety, the issues, getting through the nights, or feeling nervous or edgy in crowds and things like that. So, it’s come an awful long way," said Cave.

 

"There are so many different types of [PTSD]," he continued. "They’re really recognizing that it’s not a ‘Either you have it or you don’t’ [kind of thing]. There are so many different angles of it that can affect people."

 

Cave emphasized that the treatments are different than they used to be and success rates are better than they used to be. The important thing is to get connected with resources. For more information, call the VA at 432-263-7361. 

 

To contact the Veterans Crisis Line, call 1-800-273-8255. 

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Big Spring ready for rodeo's return


BIG SPRING, Texas – Deep down, Dane Driver was heartbroken that the 2020 edition of the
Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo was forced to cancel because of COVID-19.

 

“That was a hard one, just because we’re so proud of our history and what we’ve been able to
pull off,” said Driver, a longtime member of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual event.


“We’ve been able to make it through war times and bad financial times, and then we had to cancel it last year at the last minute. It was gut-wrenching.


“These were decisions that were made by my dad, my grandad, and my great-grandad, and we were the ones that had to cancel it. We were dealing with what every other rodeo committee was dealing with, and most of that was not knowing. We were worrying about everyone’s well-being. Ultimately with those concerns, we were left with no choice.”


It’s a much different situation for this year’s event, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17-Saturday, June 19, at the Rodeo Bowl.


“The decision to go forward was a unanimous one by our committee, and we made it very early on,” he said. “We had no indecisions. Because of everything we dealt with last year that caused the cancelation, we were very comfortable with how local officials and state officials have dealt with it this year.


“Besides, this community is ready to have an event and ready to enjoy something.”

 

The pandemic forced isolation and social distancing. People were asked to avoid crowds and stay at home. Many children were taught at kitchen tables instead of classrooms.
But normalcy is returning. It may be a relatively slow process, but having a taste of what life was like before the pandemic is actually helping a lot of souls.


“We don’t want to sound irresponsible, but we’re just as concerned about our local businesses
and their well-being and everybody that’s struggled with the effects of the coronavirus,” Driver said.

 

“We’re looking for everybody to come out and have a great time, and we have the facility to allow for that.”


Adding to the fun is clown/entertainer Keith Isley, who has been to Big Spring many times
before. He brings not only outstanding comedy but also an incredible pedigree: he has been named Specialty Act of the Year five times, Comedy Act of the Year six times, Clown of the Year six times and Coors Man in the Can five times, including 2020.


He will be working with Mike Mathis, who has announced the Big Spring rodeo for many years.

 

“We love having Keith here,” Driver said. “He’s just one of those guys. He doesn’t need an act; he’s an act all by himself.


“Mike’s been here so long, and he’s so prepared. When he’s talking about sponsors and the
people that are so integral for our rodeo, he knows them. He’s spent the week with them. He just makes a good fit for us. He does a good job of making everyone feel like they are part of our rodeo.”

 

No wonder everyone in Big Spring is ready for rodeo week.

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Area News: Balmorhea State Park Pool Reopens June 26


TOYAHVALE— The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is excited to announce that the spring-fed swimming pool and day-use area at Balmorhea State Park will reopen to the public on June 26. The pool and day-use areas only will be open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or sunset, whichever comes first. Light construction is still ongoing in the pool area, so the public is asked to remain vigilant.

 

Day passes are now available for purchase on the Texas State Parks Online Reservations Center but are limited. Day passes can be purchased up to 30 days in advance. Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase passes in advance online before driving to the park. Upon entering the park, visitors will present their reservation receipts at the park headquarters and receive wristbands to wear when entering the pool and day-use areas.

 

Light construction is still ongoing in the pool area and the San Solomon Courts, campground, and cienegas remain closed to the visiting public. Once a completion date for these projects has been determined, an announcement will be made on the TPWD website.

 

For more information about Balmorhea State Park, visit the park page on the TPWD website - https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/balmorhea

 

 

(Photo: TPWD website)

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Shawn Adkins, Person of Interest in 2010 Disappearance of Hailey Dunn, Arrested on Warrant for Murder


Last night, KBest News confirmed the arrest of Shawn Casey Adkins, 35, a person of interest In the 2010 disappearance of 13-year-old Hailey Dunn of Colorado City, TX. Dunn's remains were found in 2013 near Lake J.B. Thomas in Scurry County, approximately 30 miles from her home.

 

According to the Howard County Sheriff's Office, Adkins was arrested by the Texas Rangers on Monday and booked into the Howard County Jail in Big Spring on a warrant for murder. The warrant was issued out of the 32nd Judicial District Attorney's office located in Nolan County, TX.

 

The bail for Adkins is set at $2 million dollars.

 

Howard County Sheriff’s Office has advised that they will not be doing a release of information on the arrest of Adkins. Any release of information relating to the details of the charge will come from the 32nd Judicial Attorney's office located in Nolan County.

 

Our news partners at CBS7 confirmed with Lubbock DPS that Adkins’ arrest is in connection to Hailey Dunn.

 

KBest News will continue to keep you updated as more official information is released.

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Scenic Mountain Medical Center Released Lockdown:


Yesterday morning at approximately 10:30 AM, the Big Spring Police Department was dispatched to Scenic Mountain Medical Center at the request of SMMC staff due to a rumor that a subject was possibly on their property and the subject had recently been involved in a Robbery/Stolen Vehicle in Midland County. 

 

SMMC informed the BSPD that they had initiated their lock-down protocols and requested the BSPD to conduct a walk-thru of their facility. 

 

Officers conducted a walk-thru of the premises and assured the suspect was not there.  SMMC released their lock down procedures and resumed normal operations. BSPD stated that they found no reason to believe at any time did any armed person enter Scenic Mountain Medical Center.

 

The Big Spring Police Department did advise that they had been informed of a Robbery/Stolen vehicle (2004 Gold in color Dodge Pickup 4/D TX LP KJM8464) that had recently occurred in Midland County Texas and the vehicles GPS coordinates had possibly been in the area of Scenic Mountain Medical Center.  BSPD officers searched the immediate area of SMMC and surrounding areas and did not locate the vehicle.

 

This is an ongoing investigation by the Midland County Sheriff’s office and if you have any information of the whereabouts of this vehicle please contact Howard County Dispatch.

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Howard County Emergency Management Coordinator warns community of tight grid conditions:


A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions. Many units statewide are out of service, which is unusual for this early in the summer season.

 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible today through Friday, June 18.

 

Please take these simple actions to help reduce electric use:

• Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.

• Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.

• If you do not need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.

 

Visit the Power to Save website - http://powertosavetexas.org/ - or your electric provider for more ways to conserve.

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Veteran Comedians presented with Quilts of Valor at DAV Fundraiser, 06/11/2021


A comedy show was held on Friday night at VFW Post #2013 in Big Spring to raise money for the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

 

Among the performers were veterans Chris Crawford and Michael Shields, also known as “Mikey Mike on the Mic”. At the end of the comedic performances, both Crawford and Shields were presented with a Quilt of Valor - a handmade quilt that is awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war. The Quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.” The quilts were presented by Mike Tarpley, the local presenter for the Quilts of Valor, and Senior Vice Commander of DAV, Ch. 47. After the presentations, both Crawford and Shields were left speechless but both were deeply honored. They later described the presentation as being emotional and memorable.

 

Crawford, 44 of San Angelo, TX, served 20 years with the US Air Force from 1996 to 2016. Shields, 59 of Monahans, TX, served 3 years in the US Navy from 1979 to 1982 when he was medically discharged under honorable conditions. Both performers were recently inducted into the Veterans of Comedy - a network of veterans with the mission of helping to bridge the gap between service and civilian life by using laughter as the foundation.

 

?

 

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City of Big Spring holds Summer Fan Drive


The City of Big Spring Emergency Management is hosting a fan drive for the community through June 30th. Fans will be given to people in need to help them get through the hot summer months. The City of Big Spring is asking the community to donate new or gently used box fans, tabletop fans, oscillating fans and more. Drop off locations will be:

 

Big Spring Fire Stations

• 1401 Apron Drive

• 101 East 18th Street

• 1607 11th Place

• 100 NE 8th Street

• 1701 Wasson Road

Big Spring Police Department

• 3613 West Highway 80

 

This year especially, there are those in our county who are having added difficulty due to a partial or total loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who are able and looking for a way to help others, please consider donating at least one fan.

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BSISD recognizes Teachers of the Year, and budgets $800,000 for the replacement of turf at Memorial Stadium.


During last night’s meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, the district recognized their teachers of the year.  Tabitha Barbee received Secondary Teacher of the Year. Barbee teaches Texas History and coaches volleyball and track at Big Spring Jr. High. Georgia Molina was recognized as the elementary teacher of the year. She is a 4th-grade math teacher at Goliad Elementary. 

 

BSISD Board members also approved an expenditure of over $150,000 for the purpose of replacing turf at Memorial Stadium. According to BSISD Superintendent Jay McWilliams, the turf must be replaced either this year or next year because it had not passed the Gmax test - which is the turf’s ability to absorb force. This is important because it shows what happens to a head when it hits the turf.  If not replaced, it had the potential to open the district up to legal liability if students continued to play on it.  $800,000 has been budgeted for the turf replacement and it is estimated to cost $791,000. McWilliams advised that it would be completed by Hellas by the end of the summer.

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Howard County Library Summer Reading Program: "Tails and Tales"


Howard County Library Summer Reading Program (SRP) 2021, “Tails and Tales," which runs June 1- July 30 & Celebration August 4.  SRP is free of charge, and this summer we will have an in-person program. Planned activities include great stories, crafts, and performers. 

 

Registration is open and is ongoing throughout the summer. Parents and Caregivers can register their children by printing out a registration from their website, online or in person. 

 

The Howard County Library will be having weekly storytimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 AM and Code Club on Thursdays at 4:30 PM. They will also have some events planned, times and dates will vary, those are posted on the Howard County Library website - https://howard-county.ploud.net/ 

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Big Spring Comedy Show on Friday to raise money for local chapter of Disabled American Veterans


Tomorrow night, Veteran Comedians Chris Crawford and Mikey Mike on the Mic, Performers with the Veterans of Comedy - a network of veterans with the mission of helping to bridge the gap between service and civilian life by using laughter as the foundation - will make a stop in Big Spring tomorrow to help raise money for the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans. 

 

DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. According to Mike Tarpley, Senior Vice Commander for the local DAV Chapter 47, the local organization assists veterans with basic needs, such as rent, utilities, home repairs, and groceries. In years past, they've also provided coats for veterans in the domiciliary and CLC at the VA, and have even taken them out for holiday meals, among other things. 

 

"Last year we teamed with the Quilts of Valor to start an annual First Responder Veterans Quilts of Valor service. This year, thanks to the community, we were able to start scholarships at Howard College. We put together three $1,000 scholarships and for someone to use that, they have to be a veteran, child of a veteran, or grandchild of a veteran," said Tarpley.

 

The DAV also holds monthly birthday parties at the Texas State Veterans Home,  coordinates the annual 9/11 Memorial Service, and organizes a dove hunt to honor four veterans every year.

 

Friday night, a variety of West Texas comedians will perform in the Veterans of Comedy and Friends Comedy Show at VFW Post 2013 - located at 500 Driver Rd. in Big Spring at 7 PM. They’ll be joined by Jeanette Fahey of San Angelo and the show will be hosted by local comic Adrienne Green. 

 

This is a BYOB event. Doors open at 6 PM and donations for the DAV will be collected at the door. There will also be drinks for sale at the event. Sponsors for the event include 350 Cafe & Convenience, Wolf Dirt Contractors, JNC Electric, Oncor, HEB, and All Washed Up.

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Thank You for Your Investment - Mekason Pharmacy


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for Your Investment” presentation for Mekason Pharmacy to thank them for serving the community. Mekason Pharmacy opened its fifth location at 2602 S. Gregg in Big Spring, near the entrance of Comanche Trail Park, in September of last year.

 

Dr. Edward Ugbor, Pharmacist with Mekason Pharmacy in Big Spring, told KBest News that although things have not gone as planned, things are going well and they are happy to serve the community. 

 

"We are here to serve the community, but everybody - whether you have insurance or no insurance - we are here to help you out. We are here to serve," said Dr. Ugbor.

 

Mekason Pharmacy accepts all types of insurance and you can pick up your prescriptions from their convenient drive-thru window. Call them at 432-517-4480 for more information or visit: Mekasonpharmacies.com

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TWDB's Water Weekly for the week of 06/07/21:


For the seventh consecutive week, the area of the state impacted by drought has declined, according to the Texas Water Development Board. In that time, the drought area has declined by 56 percentage points. The latest drought map for conditions as of June 1 shows the lowest area of the state in drought since June 2020. 

 

Since early May, the area of the state impacted by drought has declined 26 percentage points. Improvements have been widespread, with many areas experiencing two or more classes of improvement. The TWDB states that additional improvements are expected during the month of June.

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Big Spring City Council to meet tonight for a regular meeting and budget work session, 06/08/21


Big Spring City Council members will have a regular meeting tonight at the City Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring, at 5:30 PM. 

 

During tonight’s meeting, City Manager Todd Darden will update the council on the seal coat project and rollout containers. He will also give a report on the radio system.

 

New Business items will include discussion and possible action allowing the Mayor to renegotiate and execute an Economic Development Agreement between the City of Big Spring and NH Management LLC, and the first reading of an amending ordinance that would amend the Landfill Fund Budget for the purpose of additional postage for mailouts. In addition to this, the council will also consider and possibly take action regarding an agreement with ADT Commercial for a surveillance camera system.

 

A budget work session for the Big Spring City Council is also scheduled for tonight. That session is scheduled for 6:30 PM. During this session, council members will discuss the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. 

 

Both meetings will be broadcasted on local Suddenlink Channel 17. They can also be watched online at mybigspring.com in the Media Center, or catch a live stream on our KBest Media Facebook page.

 

You can find an agenda for tonight's meetings online here:

 

https://www.mybigspring.com/AgendaCenter/City-Council-2 

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Big Spring ISD and community discuss possible use of $9.6 million received from ESSER III federal grant


Big Spring ISD held a public meeting last night at the Big Spring High School library to educate the community about the ESSER funds and to allow them to have input in the district’s plans for the American Rescue Plan ESSER III funds.

 

ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, a federal grant that had been authorized through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) that had been signed into law in 2020. Big Spring ISD received $907,547 from ESSER I about a year ago; these funds are available through Sept. 2022. ESSER II funds, also made possible by the CARES Act, were received by the district on June 3rd in the amount of $4,283,433.

 

Funding for these federal grants was based on the Title I formula. According to the Texas Education Agency, Title I provides supplemental funding to state and local educational agencies to acquire additional education resources at schools serving high concentrations of students from low-income homes. These resources are used to improve the quality of education programs and ensure students from low-income families have opportunities to meet challenging state assessments.

 

ESSER III funds were a result of the American Rescue Plan, a plan similar to the CARES Act. The total amount of these funds is approximately $9.6 million ($9,619,918). Two-thirds of this money, $6,413.321 or approximately $6.5 million, was made immediately available to BSISD on April 28, 2021. The last third, $3,206,660 will be made available at a later date which is dependent on the State of Texas submitting a plan for the funding to the U.S. Department of Education.

 

Air Quality - HVAC filtering, control systems, fan coils, new evaporative units for CTE, which may require roof replacement/repairs - cost $5 million

 

Academics: Interventions and Trainings, and Personnel - cost $2 million

 

Technology: Additional Personnel to support devices - cost $500,000

 

Retention Bonuses: for all employees from COVID shutdown date to start of new school year in Aug. 2021 - cost $479,000

 

Safety: Keyless access controls for all interior doors, cameras to monitor spaces for social distancing - cost $1.5 million

 

Total costs of the suggested uses for ESSER III: $9,479,000

 

 

** Priorities for ESSER III, according to BSISD **

Entire Amount of ESSER III: $9,619,981

 

  • Air Quality - Upgrades across all campuses: $5 million
  • Academics - Interventions and Trainings: $2 million
  • Technology - Additional Personnel: $500k
  • Retention Bonuses - from COVID shutdown to Aug. 2021: $479,000
  • Safety - keyless access / cameras: $1.5 million

 

Total costs of the suggested uses for ESSER III: $9,479,000

Balance: $140,981

 

 

It should be noted that a final decision on the use of these funds is yet to be made. A public hearing on ESSER III will be held at the beginning of the next BSISD Board of Trustees meeting, scheduled for Thursday, June 10th, at 5:15 PM at the Big Spring High School Board Room, located at 707 11th Place.

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COVID-19 Vaccines available for ages 12 and up at SMMC drive-thru vaccination clinic on June 10th in Big Spring


Scenic Mountain Medical Center will have the 1st doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available Thursday, June 10th from 3 pm to 6 pm at Scenic Mountain Medical Center - Whatley Plaza (North Driveway Entrance on Martin Luther King Blvd), located at 1601 W 11th Place in Big Spring.

 

Vaccines will be offered while supplies last for individuals ages 12 and up. You will receive a separate appointment for the second dose.

 

“Pfizer has now also opened up to 12 years old, so has Moderna, and Moderna has been FDA approved so it’s not an emergency approval,” said Mitzi Knight, SMMC Business Developer. 

 

She also went on to say, “We’re at 21 percent vaccinated in Howard County. We need to get up to at least 75 percent in Howard County. Let’s make it where we all can breathe a little.” 

 

The drive-thru vaccination clinic will be set up at Scenic Mountain Medical Center from 3-6 PM on Thursday, June 10th outside of the Whatley Plaza building located at 1601 W. 11th Place in Big Spring.

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Quail Dobbs Memorial Parade still accepting entries for June 19th


The Quail Dobbs memorial parade marches through Big Spring Saturday morning, June 19th at 10 AM. Featured attractions in the parade will be the SIX WHITE HORSES from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, cheerleaders, drum-lines, and bands. Viewers will enjoy seeing The Texas Tech Masked Rider, “40 something” Cowgirls on horseback, car clubs, and rodeo participants. Susan Zack Lewis has been named as the parade marshal for the event.

 

Entries for the parade are still being accepted. For a parade entry, contact Mark Richardson by emailing him at mark@kbst.com to enter.

 

The 87th Big Spring Cowboy Reunion & Rodeo will be held Thursday, June 17th - Saturday, June 19th at The Surge Energy Rodeo Bowl, located at 2900 Old State Hwy 80, in Big Spring.

 

This year’s entertainment for the event includes a live performance on Friday night after the rodeo by Josh Ward, and a live performance by the Randy Rogers Band after the rodeo on Saturday night. The dances are made possible by Franklin & Sons and Big Spring Ford. Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit the Facebook page for Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo.

 

(Photo: Cross Roads Young Marines getting ready for the 2019 Quail Dobbs Memorial Parade)

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Jim Baum Memorial Highway Becomes Law:


Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Austin, has signed into law a measure honoring beloved Texas broadcaster and former Colorado City Mayor James G. “Jim” Baum.

 

Baum, the longtime owner-operator of KVMC-AM and KAUM-FM, both in Colorado City, passed away Dec. 16, 2018, after a battle with leukemia.

 

SB 1124 by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, renames a stretch of Business Interstate Highway 20-J in his honor.

 

Baum owned and operated KVMC-AM Colorado City. He was known as “the Voice of Mitchell County” for nearly 40 years.

 

He signed KAUM-FM on the air later in the 1980s.

 

Baum served as Colorado City mayor three times, holding the position for a total of more than 20 years.

 

Jim Baum was a well-known broadcaster here in Big Spring before relocating to Colorado City more than four decades ago.

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SCAM ALERT: New email scam uses threats of copyright infringement


A new email scam is making waves by using threats of copyright infringement. In the message, a link to view the alleged copyrighted images is attached, but it is actually a backdoor trojan that can be used to install ransomware and other malicious programs. Ransomware encrypts files on the infected computers, making these files inaccessible, and only releases the code to unencrypt the files when the user pays a bitcoin ransom.

 

According to techlicious.com - A site that offers authoritative yet approachable information on buying and using consumer technology - ransomware attacks are 100 percent preventable. In order to protect yourself from ransomware, they recommend:

 

  1. Keeping your system up to date.
  2. Using a reliable anti-malware program.
  3. Back up your data.
  4. Keep your browser and plug-ins up to date.
  5. Avoid ransomware in the first place.

 

For more on these tips to prevent ransomware attacks, visit:

 

https://www.techlicious.com/tip/how-to-protect-yourself-against-ransomware/

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Americal Legion hosts Fajita Cook-Off - TOMORROW, June 5th


The American Legion, located at 3203 Old State Hwy 80 in Big Spring, will have their annual Fajita Cook-Off tomorrow morning - Saturday, June 5th - to raise money for the Women’s Auxiliary. The funds raised will be used to coordinate celebratory holiday events for veterans at the West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring.

 

Check-in is from 8-9 AM. The cost is $10 per meat and there is a 3 lb minimum to enter. Meat entries will be due by 11 AM. Fajita plates will be on sale for $10 per plate, plus there will be a 50/50 drawing, a raffle for a patio set, a plant and cakewalk, and a kids' summer basket raffle.b

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Property Valuation higher than anticipated? HCAD says to submit a notice of protest by June 21, 2021


The Howard County Appraisal District mailed property valuations last week to people who have an increase in their property value. If taxpayers disagree with the value listed on the notice, they have the right to appeal that notice but must file the protest within 30 days of the sending of the appraisal notice.

 

“There is a document in the information that comes out called a notice of protest. If a person feels like - ‘I couldn’t sell my house for this. I have all these issues with my home.’ Then they should file that notice of protest," said HCAD Interim Chief Appraiser Richard Petree.

 

Petree went on to say that by filing the Notice of Protest - either in person or online - the taxpayer’s right to continue the appeal is protected.

 

"So, they come in. They talk to an appraiser at our office. They visit back and forth. We tell them what sold in their area, tell them why we think the value is what it is. They share with us any information [concerning the property]. [If] we feel they have good evidence, we’ll make an adjustment appropriately," said Petree.

 

Evidence to support the taxpayer's claim can include a recent closing statement, estimates for repairs, or pictures of interior problems with the property. If a settlement number is offered and accepted then the appeal is over and both parties sign paperwork.

 

If an agreement cannot be reached, then the taxpayer has a right to appear before the Appraisal Review Board, a group of local citizens who listen to the evidence and make a decision regarding the value. This decision can be appealed to the district court or to an arbitration hearing.

 

The deadline to file a protest is June 21st.

 

According to an open letter from Petree posted to the HCAD website, the appraisal district wants to work with the taxpayers of Howard County to ensure that taxes are fairly and equally assessed. If you have any concerns or comments, you can contact Richard Petree by email at rpetree@howardcad.org. You can also find more information about HCAD at: www.howardcad.org

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West Texas VA plans to 'Beat the Heat' this summer


BIG SPRING — The West Texas summer heat impacts every rural West Texan. Veterans who depend on medications that don’t do well in the heat are at risk of hospitalization if that medicine goes bad. West Texas VA Health Care System (WTVAHCS) has embarked on a pilot program called – ‘Beat the Heat’ – to ensure their Veterans have all the temperature-sensitive medications they need to see them through the hottest months of summer.

 

Veterans who rely on temperature-sensitive medications, such as insulin, normally receive a 30-day supply of medications at a time in small shipping coolers packed with ice. This method of shipping works well in most circumstances. However, when the summer temperatures reach highs in excess of 100 degrees for days on end, this method of shipping does not always protect the medications inside.

 

This leads to costly losses of expensive medications, delays in Veterans receiving them, and additional costs in having to re-ship medications.

 

“We’re always looking for ways to improve how we deliver health care to our Veterans,” said WTVAHCS Director Jason Cave. “This team has developed a solid, workable plan that will improve the lives of our Veterans. I look forward to the feedback of the pilot program.”

 

WTVAHCS has been developing a plan over the past several months to alleviate these issues and has begun operation ‘Beat the Heat’. Pharmacists, doctors, and others devised a pilot program to ship a 90- day supply of these critical medications to Veterans before the summer temperatures begin to bake the West Texas landscape, and they put this pilot program into action this June.

 

This may sound like a relatively simple feat but does have its challenges. Considerations such as the stability of the Veterans medication treatment plan, the ability of the Veteran or their caregiver to properly store and care for the medications, which medications are appropriate for this effort, and much more went into developing operation ‘Beat the Heat’.

 

“A great deal of planning went into this effort,” said Associate Chief of Pharmacy, Wendy Brown.

 

“Our team screened every Veteran in our catchment area who receives these medications; discussed the plan with them and asked if they wanted to participate in the pilot program.” In all, more than 100 West Texas Veterans opted to participate.

 

WTVAHCS doesn’t typically maintain enough of these medications to send a 90-day supply to Veterans.

 

Part of the planning began months before with the Pharmacy team working with WTVACHS Fiscal and Logistics Services to purchase large quantities of the medications and to get them to Big Spring and stored appropriately in advance of this effort.

 

“Handling medications is always delicate,” said Chief of Logistics Carla McCullough. “But these medications require a greater degree of care and cannot simply be placed in a box or envelop and sent out.” Large quantities of special cooler-shipping boxes and ice packs had to be ordered well in advance to support “Beat the Heat”.

 

“Shipping the 90-day supply now will put medications in the hands of our Veterans in time to last throughout the summer months,” said Brown.

 

After looking at years of average summer temperatures, Brown and her team of Pharmacists and technicians determined that the first week of June was the best week to execute “Beat the Heat”.

 

If the pilot program is successful, WTVAHCS plans to expand the program to include more medications in the coming years, and potentially make this the standard operating practice for the health care system. WTVACHS estimates savings in the tens of thousands of dollars from this year’s campaign. Once the feedback from the Veterans, cost analysis, and efficacy of the program is evaluated, WTVAHCS will begin planning for next year.

 

WTVAHCS provides fills more than 20,000 prescriptions monthly, to its more than 13,000 Veterans, across its 55,000 square mile catchment area.

 

Veterans who rely on temperature-sensitive medications, such as insulin, normally receive a 30-day supply of medications at a time in small shipping coolers packed with ice. This method of shipping works well in most circumstances. However, when the summer temperatures reach highs in excess of 100 degrees for days on end, this method of shipping does not always protect the medications inside.

 

WTVAHCS provides fills more than 20,000 prescriptions monthly, to its more than 13,000 Veterans, across its 55,000 square mile catchment area

 

If the pilot program is successful, WTVAHCS plans to expand the program to include more medications in the coming years, and potentially make this the standard operating practice for the health care system. WTVACHS estimates savings in the tens of thousands of dollars from this year’s campaign. Once the feedback from the Veterans, cost analysis, and efficacy of the program is evaluated, WTVAHCS will begin planning for next year.

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BSISD invites Community to offer input on the district's plans for ESSER III funds on Monday, June 7th


Big Spring ISD will hold a public meeting on Monday, June 7, 2021, in the Big Spring High School library at 6:00 p.m. to allow the community of Big Spring to have input in the district’s plans for the American Rescue Plan ESSER III funds.

 

ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, a federal grant that had been authorized through the CARES Act that had been signed into law in 2020.

 

In last month’s meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, Superintendent Jay McWilliams advised board members that BSISD would be receiving approximately $9.6 million and that two-thirds, just over $6 million, of that funding had been immediately released. The other one-third is being held until the State of Texas submits a state plan to the U.S. Dept. of Education. The use of these funds will be prioritized for health and safety, technology, and at least 20 percent, or about $1.3 million, must be used, strictly, on student learning/student outcomes.

 

BSISD invites the community to offer input on the district's plans for ESSER III funds on Monday, June 7th.

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Thank you for Your Investment - Howard County Sheriff's Office


Tuesday morning, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for Your Investment” presentation for the Howard County Sheriff’s Office to thank them for all that they do for our community.

 

When asked how he felt about the recognition from the Chamber, Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker told KBest News that he thought it was nice of the Chamber to recognize them. 

 

"It was kind of a surprise when they sent this. It's a big honor," said Sheriff Parker.

 

Expedition Royalty also presented the Sheriff’s Office with snacks and drinks as their way of saying “Thanks!”

 

Sheriff Parker told KBest News that the department is very grateful for the support that they receive from the community. 

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Dora Robert Rehabilitation Center celebrates 60 years of service to the community


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce joined the Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center for a ribbon-cutting yesterday afternoon to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

 

“Sixty years is an amazing accomplishment for any business! So, we’re super excited but, of course, we wouldn’t be here without the support of the community for all these years," said Michelle Grove, Executive Director of DRRC. 

 

"We’ve had the honor of treating thousands of clients over the years, and we’ve had numerous volunteer board members and trustees that have gotten us to where we are, as well as financial support from the community and various agencies and foundations over the years.”

 

The Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit organization, which means that they don’t turn anyone away for their inability to pay. So if anybody is needing physical therapy services, DRRC is able and happy to provide treatment for them.

 

Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center is located at 306 W. 3rd St. in Big Spring. They can be contacted by calling (432) 267-3806.

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