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KBST News Archives for 2020-08

Howard College Board of Trustees hold Public Hearing on Proposed Tax Rate Increase, 08/27/2020


Howard College Board of Trustees held a Public Hearing on a tax increase on Thursday, 08/27/2020, evening. Several people spoke out against the increase in the proposed tax rate, noting that many residents are experiencing financial hardships at this time as a result of the pandemic and urged board members to “hold the line” and not raise the tax rate. It was also noted by speakers that the budget submitted to the board had used a no-new-revenue tax rate, but board members voted to seek a three percent increase in the tax rate.

 

During the hearing, Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, explained that the estimated 2020 Tax Rate Calculations showed that the I&S Tax Rate had increased from last year. Combined with the proposed M&O Rate for 2020, this surpassed the No-New-Revenue Tax Rate for 2020 and automatically created a need for a public hearing on the rise of the tax rate.

 

She advised that the proposed increase in the tax rate was sought to assist with brick and mortar repairs. Dr. Sparks also stated that SWCD, Southwest College for the Deaf, had seen a five percent decrease in legislative funding this year, and Howard College was expected to see one next year. She also stated that there had been an decrease in enrollment, and it was also anticipated to impact the college’s funding from the state.

 

Ben Zeicheck, new member of the Board of Trustees, advised that he felt the increase was needed to take care of repairs now before they become worse by putting them off for another time, noting that the increase for these repairs would cost most taxpayers no more than the amount of one burger. Members of the public disputed this and stated that many people have had to make cutbacks, layoffs, and hold off repairs and that Howard College should be no different in having to adjust the current economic situation. 

 

The Howard College Board of Trustees will meet again today, August 31st, at 12:30 PM in the Fireplace Room at the Student Union building of the Big Spring Campus. A public hearing will be held 20 the 2020-2021 Howard College and SWCD budgets. Afterwards, board members will vote on the adoption of those budgets and on the adoption of the tax rate. 

 

 

 

View the agenda for the August 31, 2020 meeting here: https://howardcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/PDF/About%20HC/Board/Agenda/2020/agenda_20_08_31.pdf

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TABC Approves Emergency Amendment to Help Businesses


Earlier this week, the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission created an emergency rule to give bars a chance to reopen.

 

The TABC approved emergency amendments to their Rules that immediately:

  • Enable retailers who sell alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption to more easily qualify for a Food and Beverage (FB) Certificate.

  • Remove some of the more difficult and costly requirements to qualify for the Food and Beverage Certificate so that these businesses do not need to make major changes to their business models or invest in expensive equipment.

 

According to the TABC, many establishments that would have otherwise remained shuttered will be able to reopen and operate in a safe manner due to these amendments. To find more information, visit the website for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at: https://www.tabc.state.tx.us/index.asp 

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Eligibility for Mail-In Ballots


Early voting for the November 3rd election will begin October 13th and run through October 30, 2020. Now is the time to register to vote, update voter information, or apply to to receive a mail-in ballot.

 

According to Texas Secretary of State, to be eligible to vote early by mail in Texas, you must:

  • be 65 years or older;

  • be disabled;

  • be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; or

  • be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.

 

There are several ways to get an application for a mail-in ballot. Applications can be picked up at the Howard County Elections Office located inside of the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring. Applications can also be requested by emailing them at HCVotes@gmail.com, by calling their office at 432-264-2273, or by visiting votetexas.gov and printing and signing the document and returning it to the Howard County Elections Office. 

 

For more information, visit the Howard County Elections Facebook page, or visit: https://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/voter/reqabbm.shtml

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Increased wildfire activity expected this weekend along and west of the Interstate 35 corridor


COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The return of widespread triple digit temperatures Friday through Sunday will increase the rate of drying in vegetation, resulting in increased risk of wildland fire occurrence.


Minimal rainfall from Hurricane Laura was observed west of Interstate 35 where critically dry fuels are present.


Despite the impact of Hurricane Laura to the eastern portion of the state, most of Texas will continue to see hot and dry conditions. Texas A&M Forest Service encourages Texans to remain vigilant and cautious with activities that may cause a spark and ignite a wildfire.


Fire environment—weather, fuels and current conditions
“The potential for increased fire activity Friday through Sunday is high generally west of Interstate 35, from Fort Worth to San Antonio,” said Luke Kanclerz, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Analyst. “Even after periods of short duration rainfall, underlying drought and temperatures forecast over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will allow vegetation to lose moisture at a high rate and rebound back to being critically dry.”


With critically dry fuels, it does not take much change in fire weather conditions, such as increased wind speeds, low humidity levels and extreme temperatures, to cause more fires to occur. These wildfires may also be more resistant to firefighters’ suppression efforts.


“Critically dry fuel beds are more receptive to wildland fire ignitions,” said Kanclerz. “The potential for large or significant fires may increase Sunday as winds are forecast to increase near 15 mph west of the Interstate 35 corridor.”


For current conditions and wildfire outlook, check out the Texas Fire Potential Outlook:
https://bit.ly/3kemhbG.

 

Fire activity
Due to significant fire activity occurring in multiple geographic areas across the country and heavy commitment of shared resources to large fires nationally, the National Multi Agency Coordinating Group has raised the National Preparedness Level to Level 5.


Preparedness Levels are dictated by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity and fire suppression resource availability throughout the country. Level 5 is the highest level of wildland fire activity and indicates heavy resource commitment to fires nationally. The state of Texas is currently at a Level 4 with increased resource commitment and wildfire activity statewide.


In addition to continued wildfire response across the state, Texas A&M Forest Service personnel are currently assisting with Hurricane Laura response efforts. Forty-five personnel are providing planning and logistical support to Texas Division of Emergency Management. More resources are staged and ready to respond for debris removal and additional support.


Over the past week, state and local resources have responded to 90 fires that have burned 7,619 acres. This includes many large, multi-day fires including the still-smoldering Comanche Creek Fire in Blanco County that has burned 406 acres and is 95% contained.


Many of the recent wildfire starts have been attributed to human activities—such as equipment use and debris burning—and are preventable.


Aviation resources continue to assist ground crews with suppression efforts by coordinating water and retardant drops to slow fire progression. Fire suppression aircraft have logged approximately 117 hours of flight time over the past week.


Efforts involved dropping 31,620 gallons of water and 31,800 gallons of retardant on multiple fires including the Comanche Creek Fire in Blanco County, the Owens Fire in Reagan County (897 acres, 100% contained), the 8889 Fire in Ward County (1,309 acres, 100% contained) and the North Coats Fire in Crockett County (315 acres, 100% contained).


Aviation resources staged in state include two Type 1 helicopters, two Type 3 helicopters, 14 single engine air tankers and two air attack platforms.


Since January 1, 2020, state and local resources have responded to 3,913 fires that have burned a total of 194,969 acres. Aviation resources have flown 1,950 hours, dropping 1,926,747 gallons of water and retardant on Texas wildfires so far this year.


If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.


For frequent wildfire and incident updates, follow the Texas A&M Forest Service incident information Twitter account, https://twitter.com/AllHazardsTFS.

 

Prevention and Mitigation
Hunting season is here and with continued hot, dry, windy weather conditions, an extra level of awareness and safety is required. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts should use caution in the field and be mindful of activities that may cause a wildfire. Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts should use caution in the field and be mindful of activities that may cause a wildfire.


? Avoid shooting near tall, dry grass or rocks and avoid using full metal jacket or tracer ammunition.
? Maintain off-road vehicles and avoid parking or idling over dry vegetation.
? If towing a trailer, secure safety chains and ensure they will not come in contact with the road as that can creates sparks.
? Always check with local officials for burn bans or other outdoor burning restrictions.


Residents should also pay attention to county burn bans and avoid all outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn ban information can be found by contacting local fire departments or by visiting https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/TexasBurnBans/.

 

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Silver Throne Program will provide free ADA compliant, water-efficient toilets to selected applicants in Howard County.


Big Spring, TX— On August 26, 2020, Crossroads Housing Development Corporation announced Silver Throne Program. This program aims to supply and install ADA complaint, water-efficient toilets to 7 selected homeowners aged 65 and up in Howard County at no charge to the homeowners.


The goal of the Silver Throne Program is to make the bathroom safer for older homeowners. Crossroads Housing Development Corporation has partnered with two local plumbing companies to install the toilets.


The application is online at www.chdctx.org/programs/silverthrone and the recipients of the Silver Throne Program are first come, first serve. Requirements are listed on the site. If you think you qualify, please apply.

 

Founded in 1999, Crossroads Housing Development Corporation is a 501-C3 nonprofit leader of affordable housing in Texas. We offer programs that are designed to help homeowners in Howard County.

 

 

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State News: Governor Abbott Provides Update On Hurricane Laura, Urges Texans To Prepare For Impact Of Storm


 

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Austin where he provided an update on the state's ongoing response to Hurricane Laura, which is expected to make landfall this evening as a Category 4 hurricane with catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, heavy rain, river flooding, and flash flooding throughout Southeast Texas. The Governor urged Texans in the path of the storm to evacuate if they have not already done so, and stressed the projected devastation of this storm. The press conference followed a briefing with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), state agency directors, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

 

The Governor noted that in addition to the pre-positioned resources announced yesterday, the State of Texas has deployed 400 buses, 38 aircraft, 82 boats, 202 high-profile vehicles, and 60 ambulances ahead of Hurricane Laura's landfall. Governor Abbott stressed that power outages are likely, and urged Texans to avoid bringing generators into their homes due to the high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The Governor also announced that the counties of Camp, Ellis, and Tarrant have been added to his State Disaster Declaration and has requested that the federal government add these counties to the Presidential Disaster Declaration. Governor Abbott also discussed planned recovery efforts, and noted that TDEM Recovery personnel, damage assessment platforms, and volunteer organizations are already in place for deployment post-landfall.  

 

"The power of Hurricane Laura is unprecedented, and Texans must take action now to get out of harm's way and protect themselves," said Governor Abbott. "The conditions of this storm are unsurvivable, and I urge Southeast Texans to take advantage of these final few hours to evacuate, secure their property, and take all precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The State of Texas is prepared to respond to the storm, and we are working alongside federal and local officials to keep Texans safe." 

 

Hurricane Laura is projected to make landfall as a major hurricane in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana just after midnight tonight. Unsurvivable storm surge is projected to cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park in Texas into Louisiana. Tropical storm force winds will move into Jefferson and Orange counties around 7:00 PM this evening, and hurricane force winds will be possible just after midnight. Rain bands will begin moving towards the Texas coast this afternoon and will move through East Texas after midnight into Thursday. East Texas is also projected to experience hurricane force winds as the storm travels north. 

 

Visit the Texas Hurricane Center webpage to learn more about the state's response to Hurricane Laura. 

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Big Spring City Council Highlights, 08/25/2020


Big Spring Councilmembers met for a regular session yesterday evening on 08/25/2020, and here are the highlights:

 

Public Comment - none

 

Announcements, Presentations and Public Hearings 

#6. No comments were made by the public nor councilmembers during the public hearing on the annual budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.

 

City Manager's Report

#7. Large Item Pick-Up completed for District 2. Collected 16 tons of trash in District 2 since program began. District 3 large item pick-up is scheduled for Sept. 16, 2020.

 

#8. Ports-to-Plains Virtual Meeting held earlier that day (08/25/2020). Another virtual meeting will be held today (08/26/2020) at 4 PM. This is an opportunity for the public to comment on the project. Written response can be submitted about the project.

 

#9. Census Update - City is in the final stages of the Census, will continue through October 31, 2020. Very important to the community for everyone to complete. 

 

#10. Kisosk Payment Update - The kiosk is installed and being used. It's an item that was made possible through use of COVID-19 funding.

 

Animal Control - AC installed at Big Spring Animal Control Center / Animal Shelter. Facility is now cooled to an appropriate temperature.

 

Consent Items – All items approved unanimously, including item #11 – minutes of City Council minutes of the Regular Meeting of July 28, 2020 – which had been previously tabled. District 5 Councilwoman Camilla Strande advised that these minutes were now accurate. All items passed unanimously.

 

Vouchers – tabled due to District 1 Councilman Raul Marquez stating that he did not get around to reviewing them. Approved unanimously, 7-0, to table vouchers ‘til next meeting.

 

Bids – all were approved unanimously

#15. The Installation of Fiber Optics Innerduct for Landfill bid was awarded to ITD Services, LLC for the amount of $100,584.00. Public Works Director Shane Bowles advised that this would work for skill software and allow them to take credit card payments at the new landfill and connect it to the city network.

 

Budget for the project was $100,000. Local contractors were asked to look at the project. There was interest, but no one submitted bids. Due to a lack of local bids, the city looked at outside contractors. ITD Services, LLC was the only bid that was received.

 

#16. Bids for Building 19’s alarm system and sprinkler system were awarded to the CO-OP “Sourcewell” (in which COBS has membership), and the Lubbock unit of the Western States Company to purchase the fire alarm equipment and services. Cost of installed fire alarm system is $87,234.00. Cost of installed fire suppression system is $173,330.00. It was noted that City Airpark Staff will remove the old sprinkler system to help defray the cost.

 

According to Colonel James Little, Airpark Director, Building 19 is one of the key buildings in the Airpark. There is much interest in the building for use by businesses. One business is interested in using the entire building, but the alarm system and sprinkler system are required inside of the building.

 

New Business

#17. Big Spring Police Department requested permission to apply for Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. This is a 0% match grant. Department is eligible for approx. $11,300.00 in funding from this grant, which would be used for technology equipment improvements. -  Approved unanimously.

 

#18. Emergency reading of a resolution of the City Council authorizing the transfer of Song, one arson K-9 service dog, retired due to health problems, from the City’s inventory into the ownership, care, control and custody of Song’s handler, Fire Marshal Dan Hendrickson. – Approved unanimously. Since this was approved as an emergency item, it will not require a second reading and is effective immediately.

 

#19. First reading of an ordinance setting the No-new-revenue tax rate of $0.717300 per $100 valuation for year 2020. – Approved unanimously.

 

#20. First reading of ordinance adopting the annual budget for the City of Big Spring for fiscal year 2020-2021. – Approved unanimously

 

#21. First reading of ordinance providing for an additional 20% penalty to defray costs of collecting delinquent taxes that remain delinquent on July 1 of the year in which they become delinquent; providing for severability; and providing an effective date.

 

COBS has contracted with an attorney in pursuant to Section 6.30 of the Texas Property Tax Code to represent the City to enforce the collection of delinquent taxes.

 

According to Don Moore, City Secretary, just about every taxing entity adopting this since about 2004/2005, where it’s a flat 20 percent. When he and the City Attorney looked into it, it was noted that it was not made to pass every year, just done once. The law firm that is used by COBS was surprised that the city does pass it every year.

 

Moore stated that the City Attorney decided it would be better to make modifications to ordinance so it could go in the codifications of the ordinance and stay that way.

 

During discussion on the topic, Mayor Shannon Thomason questioned the amount of the rate that is charged by the attorneys collecting the delinquent taxes. Moore advised that the flat rate of 20 percent, which is the max rate, had been used by all local taxing entities for many years. City Attorney Andrew Hagen advised that the contract is on a year-to-year automatic renewal, but the city is capable of negotiating a new rate and that there is nothing that requires them to keep the rate at 20 percent.

 

Councilwoman Strande asked if it was possible to adopt the ordinance now and go back to amend with a different rate once was it was renegotiated. Hagen advised that it was possible, but it would most likely benefit future tax years.

 

District 5 Councilwoman Strande motioned to approve the ordinance, and it was seconded by District 4 Councilwoman Gloria McDonald.

 

Mayor Thomason stated that he thought 20 percent was too high of a rate and it would negatively impact people, especially this year.

 

Strande asked if it was too late to renegotiate. Hagen advised that the current contract ends September 30, 2020 and it was possible to renegotiate, but didn’t think the collection agency would accept rates of 5-10 percent when other entities are still set at 20 percent. He did advise that the council would have an option to find another firm who would agree to a lower percentage, but noted that they may be the only entity seeking to do that on their own and encouraged councilmembers to continue to ask questions.

 

District 6 Councilman Jim DePauw advised that the 20 percent penalty not only affected this year’s taxes, but also previous tax years and could lead problems.

 

Strande stated that taxes people who are currently delinquent on taxes, became delinquent long before the COVID-19 pandemic. She pointed out that the water bill grant was not allowed to be given to people who were past due prior to a certain date, and stated that she didn’t see this situation being any different.

 

Ultimately, council approved the first reading of this ordinance with a 6-1 vote; Thomason voted against.

 

#22. First reading of an ordinance granting a partial residence homestead exemption for tax year 2020; and granting a partial residence homestead exemption to any individual who is disabled or age 65 or older. This will give a $5,000 homestead exemption for anyone aged 65 or older or anyone who is disabled. It should be noted that this does not allow anyone aged 65 or older AND disabled to receive a $10,000 homestead exemption. In this instance, they’ll only be able to choose one exemption or the other.

 

According to Moore, the homestead exemption is open to anyone at any age, even if they have no disability, if the property is their primary home. In this instance, the exemption is for 20 percent reduction of the market value of the residence, not to be less than $5,000. – This was unanimously approved.

 

#23. First reading of an amendment that prohibits the issuance of payment cards to Councilmembers, prohibits Councilmembers from having a key to any city building, and restricts councilmembers from establishing an office in any city building. – This was unanimously approved.

 

#24. Agreement with Cap Rock Holdings, LLC was not removed from being tabled by the council.

 

#25. Discussion lead by District 1 Councilman Marquez on the possibility of a resolution or ordinance regarding restrictions to manufactured housing within permitted zones. - No action taken.

 

#26. Consideration and possible action on a First Amendment to the lease agreement with Isometric, Inc. – Approved unanimously.

 

#27. Approval of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation Board of Director’s Minutes for the Special Meeting of August 6, 2020. – Approved unanimously.

 

Council Input – Councilmembers urged citizens to be cautious of COVID-19, wear masks, wash hands, and social distance. They also noted their appreciation for city staff, reminded drivers to look out for school zone areas, and noted that the new landfill was impressive.

 

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Howard County Commissioners Court Highlights, 08/24/2020


The Howard County burn ban was extended for another 90 days during Monday's Howard County Commissioners Court. During the meeting, Commissioners also approved the Howard County budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, as well as a No New Revenue tax rate of approximately $0.299562 per $100 valuation. 

 

The court also discussed the recent payroll tax memoramdum. Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster that would be effective September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 that would give employees a federal tax break.

 

County Treasurer Sharon Adams explained to the court that these amounts would have to be repaid, probably sometime next year. During discussion on this item, it was noted by Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman that if an employee opted to take advantage of the tax break, then ended up quitting before the amount can be repaid it would be the responsibility of the County to repay that amount. Ultimately, the court voted to not approve this item.

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State News: Governor Abbott Provides Update On Texas' Response To Hurricane Laura, Adds 36 Counties To State Disaster Declaration


 

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin where he provided an update on the state's response to Hurricane Laura. This hurricane is expected to impact the Texas coast and Southeast Texas as early as Wednesday and bring heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds, and storm surge. The Governor also received a briefing from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), which included an update on response and preparedness efforts from state agency directors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Additionally, the Governor announced that he has added 36 counties to his State Disaster Declaration due to the threat of severe rain, wind, and flooding. 

 

During the press conference, Governor Abbott discussed the threat of high winds as well as life-threatening storm surge where Hurricane Laura makes landfall. The Governor also discussed evacuation efforts throughout the state, and announced that reception centers in San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Austin will open later today. The state is providing buses to transport Texans that are evacuating. There are also over 225,000 hotel rooms available across the state to provide shelter to evacuees. A full list of mandatory and voluntary evacuations can be found on the Texas Hurricane Center web page. Governor Abbott urged Texans to take action now to protect themselves and their property. 

 

"Hurricane Laura is rapidly intensifying and poses a major threat to communities in Southeast Texas and along the coast," said Governor Abbott. "Texans in the path of this storm should waste no time preparing for the impact of Hurricane Laura and take immediate action to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. I urge our Southeast and coastal communities to heed the guidance of local officials, follow evacuation orders, and remain vigilant as we brace for the impact of Hurricane Laura. The State of Texas will continue to monitor this storm and provide the resources needed to keep Texans safe."  

 

Hurricane Laura was upgraded from a Tropical Storm earlier today. It is currently a Category 1 hurricane but is expected to gain strength to a Category 3 or 4 hurricane as it makes landfall over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or early Thursday. Beginning Wednesday, these areas will experience tropical storm force winds, heavy rain, significant storm surge, possible flash flooding, and rising water levels. The chances of hurricane force winds will increase Wednesday evening. Heavy rainfall that begins over Southeast Texas on Wednesday will shift into Northeast Texas on Thursday. The primary water threat will be from storm surge. Texans are urged to remain vigilant and aware as Hurricane Laura continues to head towards Texas.

 

Additional state resources have been rostered to help respond to Hurricane Laura. TDEM has activated the following resources and personnel:

  • Texas A&M Forest Service: Incident management teams, chain saw crews, firefighting strike teams, and water evacuation and rescue teams
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service: Urban search and rescue teams and swift water rescue teams, including Texas A&M Task Force 1 and 2
  • Texas A&M Agrilife: Agents positioned to support emergency operations centers and disaster finance teams
  • Texas Military Department: High profile water rescue vehicles, airplanes and helicopters for evacuation and rescue, shelter management teams, evacuee tracking network teams, 6th Civilian Response Team available for Hazmat response
  • Texas Department of Public Safety: Rescue helicopters, command and control airplanes, swift water rescue boat teams, flood response boat teams, dive boat teams, as well as Troopers, agents, and Rangers to assist local Law Enforcement with evacuation and securing evacuated areas
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife: Game Wardens, State Park Police, swift water rescue boats, Shallow water evacuation boats, air boats, incident management teams, and a helicopter rescue team
  • Texas Department of State Health Services: Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Ambuses, EMTF ambulances, EMTF Medical incident management and support teams
  • Texas Department of Transportation: High profile water rescue vehicles, traffic control devices, and flood protection barriers
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Water and waste water monitoring teams and hazmat response teams

 

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Public Utility Commission are also assisting in response efforts. For more information on the state's response to Hurricane Laura, as well as resources for those impacted by the storm, visit the Texas Hurricane Center

 

Reception centers for evacuees:

 

San Antonio (Opening at 3:00 PM CT  today)

254 Gembler Road

San Antonio, TX 78219

 

Austin (Opening at 4:00 PM today)

Circuit of the Americas

9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard

Austin, TX 78617

 

Dallas Fort-Worth (Opening at 7:00 PM today)

Mesquite Reception Center 

15515 E. IH-20

Mesquite, TX 75181

 

Ellis County (Opening at 7:00 PM today)

Knights of Columbus Hall

850 S IH-45

Ennis, TX 75119

 

View the Governor's proclamation adding more counties to his State Disaster Declaration. 

 

(PHOTO: Office Of The Governor, 8/25/20)

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Big Spring City Council Meeting - Tuesday, 08/25/2020


Tomorrow night, August 25, 2020,  there will be a public hearing on the annual budget for the City of Big Spring for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 during the Big Spring City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 5:30 PM at the City Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring.

 

There will be an emergency reading of a resolution to transfer a retired law enforcement dog to the animal’s handler in consideration for the sum of $1 on the animal’s retirement on tonight’s agenda. Other items listed on the agenda for Tuesday night include first readings of an ordinance fixing and levying municipal ad valorem taxes for said city for the year 2020; directing the assessment and collection thereof; an ordinance approving the annual budget for the City of Big Spring for the upcoming Fiscal Year, and an ordinance providing for an additional twenty percent penalty to defray costs of collecting delinquent taxes that remain delinquent on July 1st of the year in which they become delinquent. There will also be a first reading of an ordinance granting a partial residence homestead exemption for tax year 2020; and granting a partial residence homestead exemption to any individual who is disabled or age 65 or older.

 

Also on tomorrow night’s agenda is the first reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 2 of the Big Spring City Code entitled “Administration,” by amending section 2-19 “Reimbursement of Expenses of City Council” by adding a new subsection (C) to prohibit issuance of payment cards to Councilmembers; by adding a new subsection 2-27 entitled “No Key Access to City Buildings” to prohibit Councilmembers from having a key to any city building; and adding a new section 2-28 entitled “No Office for Councilmembers” to restrict Councilmembers from establishing an office in any city building.

 

Consideration and possible action on an agreement with Cap-Rock Holdings, LLC, an item that was previously tabled by the council, will be revisited.

 

There will also be a discussion of a possible resolution or ordinance regarding restrictions to manufactured housing within permitted zones that will be lead by Councilman Raul Marquez, District 1.

 

Citizens will be able to view the City Council Meeting on local Suddenlink Channel 17 or on the city website: http://mybigspring.com/224/Channel-17-Live. It can also be viewed on the KBest Media Facebook page. 

 

To view the full agenda for the meeting on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, visit:

 

https://www.mybigspring.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08252020-412

 

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Howard County Commissioners Court, TODAY, 08/24/2020, 3:30 PM


Howard County Commissioners Court will meet for a regular session today at 3:30 PM at the Commissioners Courtroom in the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring.

 

Items on today’s agenda include a public hearing on the 2020-21 county budget. They will also have discussion and possible action to adopt the budget, as well as set salaries, expenses, and any other allowances of elected county officers. There will also be a discussion and possible action to approve the order to levying a tax rate.

 

Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Mitchell Hooper will also lead discussion on extending the current burn-ban order for the county.

 

Full agenda can be viewed here:
http://www.co.howard.tx.us/…/…/CCM%20AGENDA%2008-24-2020.pdf

addendum: http://www.co.howard.tx.us/…/CCM%20Addendum%20to%20Agenda%2…

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Howard College Makes Upgrade at Fitness Center


BIG SPRING – A facelift for the entry of the Harold Davis Fitness Center on the Big Spring campus of Howard College was recently completed, thanks to a grant for upgrades and improvements from the Delek Fund for Hope of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

 

“The grant from the Delek Fund for Hope of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has made it possible for us to make the much-needed improvement at the fitness center,” said Julie Bailey, Director of Institutional Advancement and Assistant to the President. “Not only had the front entrance window coverings faded significantly, but it also made it more difficult to keep the interior cool as the windows face the hot afternoon west Texas sun. With this grant, we were able to upgrade with some fresh new graphics and we already notice a difference in the internal temperature.”

 

The college has enjoyed a strong partnership with the Big Spring Refinery over the years as the organization has made various donations to benefit the students and community.

 

“We value the Big Spring Refinery and the role it plays in our Big Spring community,” said Bailey. “And we are extremely grateful to Delek US and the Delek Fund for Hope of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for their support and generosity.”

 

The fitness center, named after a pillar in the Howard College community – Mr. Harold Davis, serves the students of Howard College as well as the community members.

 

If you are not a student at Howard College and are interested in joining the Harold Davis Fitness Center, please contact Janna Howard at jhoward@howardcollege.edu or 432-264-5108.

 

For more information about Howard College visit www.howardcollege.edu or contact Cindy Smith at csmith@howardcollege.edu or 432-264-5034.

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Area News: Artists Called to Paint Mural on Ritz Theater in Midland


Basin PBS in conjunction with the Odessa Arts & The Arts Council of Midland invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications to design and complete a mural to be installed on the back of the historic Ritz Theater in Midland, TX.

 

Last year, Basin PBS completed its renovation of the historic theater and moved in to begin a new chapter in their history and that of the building. To commemorate this event, Basin PBA is commissioning a mural of approximatley 144 sq. ft. that speaks to the investment Basin PBS has in West Texas, and the investment West Texas has in Basin PBS.

 

Funding for this project was acquired through financial contributions from the Rea Charitable Trust and the Arts Council of Midland. The $5,000 budget covers all project related costs.

 

This public art commission is open to all professional artists or artist teams with experience in similar projects. 

 

Deadline to submit applications is August 31, 2020. 

 

For full details, visit: 

https://www.publicartist.org/call.cfm?id=2977

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Area News: Fatal Two-Vehicle Wreck in Midland County


Texas DPS Troopers have identified the man killed in a two-vehicle crash in Ector County on Wednesday morning. 

 

On August 19, 2020, Troopers responded to a crash located at FM 1787, 16 miles south of Odessa, TX. The preliminary investigation reveals that a 2019 Mack truck-tractor towing a semi-trailer, driven by 41 year old Jorge Pinedo Jr., of Crane, TX, was traveling west on FM 1787 when his vehicle entered the eastbound lane and struck a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado, which was traveling eastbound. The driver of the Silverado, Andrew Ramirez, 57 of Odessa, TX, was pronounced dead on scene by Medical Examiner Daniel Arrieta.

 

According to DPS, the crash is still under investigation.

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TMA COVID-19 Task Force Backs CDC Guidance: No Test Needed to Return to Work, School


People who have recovered from the coronavirus should not need a test to get back to work. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Task Force announced support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that individuals should not be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or a note from a physician to return to the office or classroom after being sick, unless in specific circumstances.

 

“We know that time and reduction of symptoms are the most accurate indications that a person is no longer infectious,” said Valerie B. Smith, a Tyler pediatrician and TMA COVID-19 Task Force member. “People diagnosed with COVID-19 can shed [inactive and noncontagious] viral particles for several weeks after they are no longer infectious and may continue to have a positive test,” because it could reveal those viral particles. “Requiring a test to return to work or school would potentially require a person to stay in isolation while no longer infectious.”

 

Except in specific circumstances, CDC no longer recommends using COVID-19 testing results to end self-quarantine. That’s because some tests can yield false negatives if taken too soon. Alternately, false positives can occur on tests when individuals with confirmed COVID-19 continue to test positive even after the infectious period has passed, due to the inactive viral particles showing up on a test. Also, during periods of high disease transmission, testing facilities may be experiencing higher than usual volumes, resulting in strained capacity, limited availability, and higher wait times both to get tested and to receive results.

 

Instead, CDC had adopted a symptom-based strategy to determine when patients diagnosed with COVID-19 can end their self-quarantine. People with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after their symptoms began, according to CDC researchers. People with more severe illness or who are severely immunocompromised remain infectious no longer than 20 days after their symptoms began.

 

?“The symptom-based strategy allows COVID-19-positive patients to return to work or school after 10 days of isolation as long as they have been without fever for 24 hours and have improvement of their other symptoms,” said Dr. Smith.  “The TMA approach to return to school and work is consistent with the CDC guidance that will allow us to protect our community and allow those infected with COVID-19 to return to their daily lives as soon as possible.”

 

The few patients who might still need testing to return to work or school include those who are severely immunocompromised and whose infectious disease physician recommends a test, or people seeking to end their isolation or other precautions earlier than would occur under the symptom-based strategy. They would need two consecutive negative test results taken at least 24 hours apart.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 53,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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Area News: St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Garden City Unveils Renovations during Dedication Ceremony


Last week, St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Garden City unveiled their recent renovations with a dedication ceremony with 150 attendees. Those in attendance included 27 priests from within the diocese and outside the diocese as well as 3 former St. Lawrence pastors and 4 seminarians studying for the priesthood. Most Reverend Michael J. Sis, Bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo was the main celebrant for the Mass, concelebrating with  St. Lawrence Church, Pastor, Rev. Chinna Pagidela, Vicar General Rev. Santiago Udayar, and Rev. Bhaskar Morugudi. The parish Deacons serving the Mass were Floyd Schwartz and Joel Gutierrez. 

 

According to Chasity Oakes, Project Manager and VP of JLL in Dallas, the project has been in the works for several years. Although she’s been on the project for just a couple of years, Oakes actually grew up in the St. Lawrence Catholic Church. She had moved away, now lives in Dallas, and was invited to be involved with the project. 

 

Oakes told KBest News that the renovations began with the restrooms. 

 

"The need for two new restrooms caused a series of additional code compliance requirements, that then begged the question 'Why don't we just build a new church if we need all of these additional requirements?'"

 

The church explored building a renewed church and expansion and remodel of the existing church. In the end, Oakes said the church decided to expand and remodel the existing church to honor the previous generation who had established the church community as well as reduce the overall cost. 

 

After several rounds regarding design and budget, it was presented and proposed for approval by the Diocese of San Angelo. In the end, the renovations included new restrooms, a parlor, some overflow seating areas, a working sacracy in addition to their main sacracy, and indoor gathering areas. In addition to these main needs, it also allowed an upgrade to the HV/AC system, audio system, and really created a more spiritual and intimate environment to have mass. 

 

The cost of the completed project is still yet to be determined because there are still a few items that need to be completed, such as the paving of the parking lot. Funding for the church renovations was obtained from parish donations and with funds raised by their annual St. Lawrence Fall Festival. 

 

The renovations were completed with the help of the following businesses: 

 

  • Design-Build approach with MBA Construction and Egnyte Architecture out of Houston
  • Design input from Benson Hlavaty Architects in Dallas
  • Bethany Group (design and fabrication of the pews and altar furniture)
  • Texas Stone Quarry (design and fabrication of altar furniture and baptismal font)
  • Cavallini's Stained Glass Windows (restored all the existing Stained-glass windows and created a new design in one of the windows that was previously left undersigned)
  • Lubbock Audio Visual Design Professional (design and install of the new audio system)?

 

When asked what the feedback has been received from the parishioners, Oakes advised that they had gotten a lot of great feedback. 

 

"The biggest compliment that speaks for the community comes from a parishioner who served on our previous building committee back in 1969 and 1970," said Oakes. "He told me that he had his hesitations about how we would bring the old church and the new church together but he was in awe of how beautiful it came together, and even commended us on the blending of the old and new to make the space even more spiritual."

 

The first dedication ceremony was conducted on Monday, August 10th. The next one, which will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020, at 6 PM at the St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Garden City, TX. 

 

St. Lawrence Catholic Church before renovations, June 2019

 

Outside of church after steeple is placed on the building, April 2020.

 

Before, June 2019

 

After, August 2020

 

Before, June 2019

 

After, August 2020

 

After, August 2020

 

Before, June 2019

 

After, August 2020

 

 

 

To view more before and after photos, and photos from the renovations, visit:

https://photos.shutterfly.com/story_invite/8eae7e66-c716-4d58-b6a8-3c4098224a6a

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DPS Announces Three Texas Ranger Promotions 


 

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today announced the promotion of three Texas Rangers to the rank of captain, including the first two female Ranger captains in DPS history and the first-known Ranger in modern history to hold a doctorate degree.

 

The promotions of James Thomas and Wende Wakeman are effective Sept. 1, and both will be stationed at Austin headquarters. Melba Saenz was promoted May 15; her duty station is Edinburg. All three held the rank of lieutenant prior to their promotions.

 

“These three talented, dedicated professionals have excelled in positions throughout their DPS careers and have exhibited tremendous commitment to the people of Texas and our law enforcement partners,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “I have the utmost confidence they will continue to make the department proud in their new roles within the Rangers.”

 

The Texas Rangers specialize in investigating major crime incidents (such as murders, sexual assaults and kidnappings), unsolved and serial crimes, public corruption, crimes against children, officer-involved shootings and border security operations. The Rangers also oversee specialized law enforcement teams within DPS, including the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, Special Response Teams, Ranger Reconnaissance Team, Crisis Negotiations Unit and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit.

 

Ranger Capt. Wende Wakeman

Wakeman first joined DPS 22 years ago in 1998. She was a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper in Sulpher Springs and New Caney before being promoted to narcotics sergeant in 2003. In 2008, Wakeman joined the Texas Rangers in Conroe. In 2014, she was promoted to lieutenant and was stationed in Laredo, marking the first time in agency history that a woman was promoted to the rank of Ranger lieutenant. She transferred to Huntsville in 2015, where she has served until this most recent promotion.

 

Wakeman is a graduate of the National Forensics Academy, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Women’s Leadership Institute and the DPS Command College. She has also completed the FBI Leadership Trilogy and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University.

 

Wakeman’s duties in Austin will include helping oversee specialized law enforcement teams within the Rangers.

 

Ranger Capt. James Thomas

Thomas graduated from the DPS Academy in 2002 and worked as a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper in Anahuac, Bryan, Madisonville, Mont Belvieu and Baytown. In 2011, he was promoted to Special Agent within the Criminal Investigations Division in Houston, where he served in the gang unit. In 2013, Thomas was appointed as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force in Houston. In 2015, he joined the Texas Rangers in El Paso. Three years later, he was promoted to lieutenant and was stationed in Waco.

 

In addition to his service with DPS, Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lamar University, a master’s degree in behavioral science from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.

 

Thomas’ duties in Austin will include supervising the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and the Forensic Artists program.

 

Ranger Capt. Melba Saenz

Saenz joined DPS in 2003 after serving as a police officer in Mission and with the McAllen Independent School District. She was stationed as a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper in McAllen for several years before joining the Texas Rangers in 2008 in Laredo. In 2015, Saenz was promoted to lieutenant in Edinburg, where she managed three Joint Operations Intelligence Centers (JOICs) and field operations for the Drawbridge Program in South Texas.

 

In May 2020, Saenz was promoted to captain and remains stationed in Edinburg, where she is now managing six JOICs from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley, while continuing to manage the field operations for the Drawbridge Program.

 

Saenz was recognized by the FBI for a joint aggravated kidnapping investigation and the recovery of a 5-year-old child, and by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for a high-profile joint corruption investigation in South Texas. She is also a graduate of the DPS Leadership Development School and DPS Leadership College.

 

(pictured left to right: Rangers Wende Wakeman, James Thomas and Melba Saenz)

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Man Charged in Vehicle/Pedestrian Accident:


From BSPD:

 

On the 18th of August 2020 at approximately 7:38 P.M., Big Spring Police Department officers were dispatched to the 3100 blk of W. Hwy 80 in reference to a vehicle/pedestrian accident. Upon officer’s arrival, it was discovered that a white male 61 years of age, who had been on a motorized scooter, had been struck by a motor vehicle. It was also found that the driver of the vehicle had fled the scene and had failed to stop and render aid. Big Spring Fire Department/ EMS responded and transported the victim to SMMC and then was later transferred to UMC in Lubbock due to his injuries.

 

A couple of hours later, officers were dispatched to the Law Enforcement Center where contact was made with Willie Gray b/m 22 years of age, who stated that he was the driver who had struck the pedestrian. Upon further investigation it was determined that probable cause existed and Willie Gray was arrested and charged with Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death which is a Felony of the Third Degree. This is an ongoing investigation and there is no further information available at this time.

 

 

 

** UPDATE shown below as of 08/20/2020 @ 9:40 AM **

 

UPDATE: Man Charged in Vehicle/Pedestrian Accident - Charges Upgraded to Manslaughter

 

From BSPD:

 

On the 19th of August 2020 at the Big Spring Police Department was notified by Lubbock UMC that the victim of the vehicle/pedestrian accident that had occurred in the 3100 blk of W. Hwy 80 had succumbed to his injuries. The victim’s next of kin was notified and the victim is identified as John Randall Lewis white/male 61 years of age.

 

The original charge of Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death has been upgraded to Manslaughter which is a Felony of the Second Degree against the driver of the hit and run vehicle, Willie Gray b/m 22 years. This is an ongoing investigation and there is no further information available at this time.

 

Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon

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Back to School Driving Tips - Be Safe. Drive Smart.


Big Spring ISD kicks off their new school year on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, and TxDOT is reminding drivers to be extra cautious in school zones, as well as to be aware of school bus safety.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2017, 811 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in 2 deaths and 30 serious injuries. The most common causes of these crashes were entirely preventable: 1) failure to control speed, 2) driver inattention and 3) failure to yield right of way – private drive.

 

Drivers are urged to slow down, pay attention and follow traffic laws.  School bus drivers do everything they can to keep children safe, but we must all make an effort to drive safely around school buses. Parents and children walking to school should be alert at all times, and only cross the street at intersections and designated crosswalks. Following these simple tips can help Texas children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets. 

 

 

 

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Remain alert at all times.

  • Put away your cellphone. Cellphone use is banned in active school zones and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.

  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.

  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.

  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.

  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.

  • Obey all traffic rules, signs and signals.

  • As always, stay away from alcohol and/or drugs, including prescribed and over-the-counter medication which may impair driving. They impact your ability to remain alert and affect your decision-making, reflexes and reaction time.

 

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

  • Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and left again before proceeding. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane highway.

  • Always walk on sidewalks, whenever they’re available.

  • Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.

  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you.

  • Always obey crossing guards.

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

  • When walking, don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.

  • Look for cars turning in all directions, including those turning left or right. Be visible at all times to drivers.

  • Follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. 

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CHS band steps up to atypical competitive season


COAHOMA — New guidelines for the Texas public school marching season meant to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus have presented some unique challenges to the Coahoma High School band program. 

 

“In the past, we’ve always been able to learn the music and some of the auxiliary parts at any time, but we couldn’t put the show drill to music,” explains CHS Band Director Michael Cason. “UIL pushed back that date which was Aug. 1. Now we have to wait until Sept. 7.”

 

In July, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) — the governing body for extracurricular activities for public primary and secondary schools in Texas — announced guidelines that delayed the start date of competitive practices and contests for marching bands across the state. The delay is a way of leveling the competitive playing field for the metroplex-area schools hit hardest from the Covid-19 pandemic. Large schools such as Dallas and Houston ISDs will not begin classes until September. 

 

What the new guidelines mean for the 61-member CHS band is an extra month to work on the marching fundamentals and time to refine the show music, Cason said.

 

“We are really focusing on the music and trying to get that as clean and memorized as possible before the Sept. 7 start date comes up,” he said.

 

CHS students began getting used to the new normal the last week of July with the start of summer band. Individual areas are sanitized at the end of every practice which means wiping off individual chairs, stands, and equipment. Shared equipment such as percussion are also sanitized after use. 

 

“We’ve had pretty good responses,” Cason said. “The kids have been pretty good about doing that so far.”

 

To stay within the state guidelines, students spend more time rehearsing in smaller groups than pouring over the music as a full band. Cason and his assistant Kira Landin are also making use of the school’s auditorium which provides ample space to spread out for full band rehearsal. The same strategy applies for practice time on the marching field. Students are also asked to keep their face mask on when not marching or playing. 

 

“It’s not an ideal situation, but it works,” Cason added. 

 

One noticeable change for football fans this season will be the absence of the band at  out-of-town football games. It was one of the harder choices Cason has had to make.

 

“It has to do with Covid-19 guidelines for busing,” Cason said. “It’s hard enough to move everybody on a Friday night as is. Can things change, can things be revisited as the year goes on? Absolutely. Based on the information we know, we felt like that was the best decision we can make.”

 

With many stadiums enforcing a 50 percent capacity rule, it was also a practical decision to sacrifice out-of-town games. 

 

“Anytime the band travels, it takes away tickets from parents who want to go watch the football game,” he said. “While the band provides a very big part of the football game as far as the atmosphere goes, in the end, I know the parents want to go and watch their kid play.” 

However, this decision can be revisited as the pandemic situation changes, Cason added.

 

“It’s a very fluid situation,” he said. “To say I have everything set or I know what is going to happen would be a lie. We are trying to make it as normal as possible.”

 

Once the Big Red Band can officially present their 2020 UIL marching routine, the hometown crowd will be treated to the patriotic theme “Blessed is the Nation” show.

 

The music for the program includes a melody of “Yankee Doodle,” “American the Beautiful,” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Mixed into the musical number are the spiritual hymn “Amazing Grace” and “Simple Gifts,” a Shaker song composed in the 1800s and made famous by composer Aaron Copland, who included it in his work “Appalachian Spring.”

 

The 2020 Big Red Band is led by Drum Majors Ashley Mull and Cailey Glover.

 

(Photo courtesy of Coahoma Media.)

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Human Trafficking Prevention webinar set Sept. 3 - AgriLife Extension event for teens, parents


The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present Unbound’s Human Trafficking Prevention webinar at 6 p.m. Sept. 3. The online event is free, but preregistration is required.

 

Unbound is an international anti-human trafficking organization and their webinar is geared toward teens and their parents or caregivers. It will cover recognizing signs and preventing human trafficking in their communities.

 

“Many of us have recently been confronted with the issue of human trafficking through the news and social media,” said AgriLife Extension’s Kailey Scott, family and community health agent for Crockett County. “It’s a scary topic that people need to have the facts about to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”

 

Scott said participants will learn about recruiting methods, how to recognize red flags and how to be equipped to promote safety within their own communities.

 

“Unbound’s presentation is genuinely eye-opening, and I am confident families will gain much by participating,” she said. “Participants will learn that human trafficking is not just a big city problem, it’s a human issue and we all have a role to play in prevention.”

 

For more information, contact Scott via email or at 325-392-2721.

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Texas Youth Artists: Enter TMA's Mask Hero Art Contest


Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they wear all kinds of masks. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, heroes among us are wearing masks to protect others from the potential spread of the disease. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) invites Texas youth to get creative and send their best drawing or painting of a mask-wearing hero by Aug. 24 for a chance to win a $150 gift card.

 

The TMA #MaskHero Art Contest is open to Texans 4 years to 17 years of age. Artists can use any medium (such as pencil, crayon, paint, or chalk) to create an original artwork.

 

“Children have the potential to positively impact both their peers and the adults around them by encouraging them to make healthy choices,” said Valerie Borum Smith, MD, a Tyler pediatrician and member of TMA’s COVID-19 Task Force. “As Texans work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19, TMA looks forward to recognizing the efforts of children and youth in sharing this important message.”

 

TMA COVID-19 Task Force physicians recommend people wear masks when around others outside of those in their household. They support Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that wearing a mask in public can reduce the spread of droplets from people’s mouth and nose, thereby cutting the chance of spreading the virus.

 

The winner will receive a $150 gift card from Amazon or H-E-B (winner’s choice). The winning entry also will be featured in Texas Medicine magazine and on the TMA website.

 

Artwork should include the child’s first name and last initial, and the child’s age. The #MaskHero hashtag also should appear on the artwork.

 

TMA will accept entries by email until 5 pm (CST) on Monday, Aug. 24, at photos@texmed.org. Entries (a scan of the artwork) must be submitted by a child’s parent or legal guardian.

 

TMA will post entries on its Facebook page within a week of the submission deadline, and the public will vote for the winner, based on the number of “likes” the artwork receives. In the event of a tie, TMA will use a random name selector to pick a winner. TMA will announce the winner Sept. 2. For full contest information, visit www.texmed.org/MaskHero.

 

The TMA COVID-19 Task Force recommends Texans stay home whenever possible, away from anyone they don’t live with; wear a mask and physically distance themselves at least 6 feet from others when out; and wash hands thoroughly and frequently. To help stop COVID-19, “be a #MaskHero,” said Dr. Smith.

 

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 53,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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Ribbon Cutting and Alive After 5 event for Inspirations Floral Boutique on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020


Alive After 5, an event organized by the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce to encourage networking opportunities, will make a return this week. This month’s Alive After 5 event will be held at Floral Inspirations and Gifts from 5 to 6:30 PM at 1410 Scurry in Big Spring.

 

It will be preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:45 PM with new owners Tana and Arick Higginbotham. Attendees are encouraged to bring their business cards, network, and connect. Be advised that social distancing is established by the venue and masks are encouraged.

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7th COVID-19 related death for Howard County and COVID-19 Update for Week of August 10, 2020.


Last week, information was released on another Howard County death as a result of COVID-19. 

 

According to the press release issued on Friday morning, Howard County officials were notified on Thursday, August 13, 2020, that a 76-year-old female patient had succumbed to her illness and passed away due to COVID-19. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was being treated by her physician at a hospital outside of Howard County.

 

This is the seventh COVID-19 related death for Howard County.

 

For the week of August 10, 2020, the City of Big Spring and Howard County officials were notified of thirteen (13) new positive test results for COVID-19. As of Friday morning, Howard County and Big Spring have had a total of 179 positive COVID-19 cases. There has been a decrease in the number of active cases from 50 to 34, which is a decrease of sixteen (16) ACTIVE cases from last week. The number of people recovered from COVID-19 has increased from 110 to 138.

 

County and City officials continue to urge community members to take every precaution to protect yourself and your family members. Please continue to practice social distancing, stay home when possible, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask while in public areas. These are all things you can do to help prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming ill from any respiratory illness including COVID-19.

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Howard County Community Health Center / South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc. show their appreciation for local community with Patient Appreciation Day.


Yesterday, 08/13/2020, Howard County Community Health Center, located at 1300 S. Gregg in Big Spring, celebrated Patient Appreciation Day as part of National Health Center Week by distributing goodie bags near the clinic entrance. 

 

According to Jeff Malpiede, Development Director/Outreach Coordinator for South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc.- which includes the HCCHC - health centers are all over the country and were started in 1965 as an expansion of some social services. He advised that there are approximately 14,000 health centers across the country. 

 

"Every year we like to recognize where we come from, and we'd also like to say thank you to the community because our patients are central to who we are," said Malpiede. "We serve folks from every kind of background and we'd just like to, during this week, say a small thanks to our patients for coming to our community health center and coming for medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and all the services that we offer."

 

Malpiede went on to say that although the goodie bags were modest this year due to the pandemic, Howard County Community Health Center and South Plains Rural Health Services still wanted to show their appreciation for the support from the community.

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Highlights from BSISD Board of Trustees meeting, 08/13/2020


A quorum of Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees approved a donation of school supplies from the recent “Fill the Truck” Campaign that was organized by Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Big Spring and the HOPE Foundation. In less than 1 month, the campaign was able to collect over $3,500 in school supplies that will be redistributed to BSISD teachers. 

 

The proposed tax rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year for BSISD was announced to be $1.1164 per $100 valuation. This is reported to be a slight decrease from last year’s property tax rate which was $1.12 per $100 valuation. A public meeting to discuss the proposed budget and tax rate will be set for August 27, 2020 at 5:15 PM.

 

While presenting on this matter, it was noted that there is currently a $1.7 million deficit in the district’s budget, partly as a result of awarding a pay increase to district staff. This means that there will be more expenses than revenue planned for the upcoming fiscal year, and would require the BSISD to dip into their Fund Balance to make up the difference. Superintendent Jay McWilliams advised the district had over $20 million in Fund Balance and this was something that it should be used for. 

 

Board members also approved an amendment No. 1 to the agreement for limitation on appraised value of property for school district maintenance and operations taxes between the district and Gunsight Mountain Wind Energy, LLC, Texas Comptroller application Number 1017, pursuant to Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code. According to George Bancroft, Assistant Superintendent of Operations for BSISD, the amendment removes problematic language from the agreement that was erroneously written by the State, but it does not change anything in favor or against either party in the agreement. 

 

Board members not present for the meeting were Julie Harris, District 3; Melissa Miller, District 4; and Chad Wash, District 5.

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Special Meeting of Big Spring City Council Recap, 08/13/2020


Last night, Big Spring City Council members held a Special Meeting for an emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting for or against the recall of Mayor Shannon Thomason, representing the City of Big Spring. The entire session was approximately 10 minutes long and only one person spoke during public comments in regards to the only item listed on Thursday night's agenda. The ordinance was approved by councilmembers with a 6-0 vote; Doug Hartman, District 2, was not present for the meeting.

 

Now there will be three members of the Big Spring City Council up for a special election to vote for or against the recall of their positions. Councilmembers Camilla Strande, District 5, and Jim DePauw, District 6, will also be listed on the ballot in November.

 

Councilmen Raul Marquez, District 1, and Terry McDaniel, District 3, will both conclude their extended term in November after new councilmembers for those districts are voted in. Candidates for District 1 representative are Nadine Reyes and Nick Hilario Ornelas. Candidates for District 3 representative are Roger M. Rodman and Cody Hughes.

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Howard County Resource Center to Distribute Backpacks for Local Students on Saturday, 08/15/2020


Howard County Resource Center, 110 N.E. 8th in Big Spring, will be giving away backpacks for Howard County students in Kindergarten - 6th grade THIS SATURDAY, 08/15/2020, beginning at 9 AM while the supply lasts.

 

Those attending will stay in their vehicles and have the trunk/cargo area prepared for volunteers to place backpacks into the designated area. 

 

The event is made possible by Delek fund for hope and ice cream will be provided by H-E-B.

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Special Meeting of the Big Spring City Council - TONIGHT at 5:30 PM, 08/13/2020


Tonight, Big Spring City Council members will meet at 307 E. 4th St. in the Council Chambers for an emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting for or against the recall of Mayor Shannon Thomason, representing the City of Big Spring.

 

If this item is approved, there will be three members of the Big Spring City Council up for a special election to vote for or against the recall of their positions. Councilmembers Camilla Strande, District 5, and Jim DePauw, District 6, are set to be on the ballot in November.

 

Councilmen Raul Marquez, District 1, and Terry McDaniel, District 3, will both conclude their extended term in November after new councilmembers for those districts are voted in. Candidates for District 1 representative are Nadine Reyes and Nick Hilario Ornelas. Candidates for District 3 representative are Roger M. Rodman and Cody Hughes.

 

You can watch that meeting live on our KBest Media Facebook page, on Suddenlink Channel 17, or through the City of Big Spring’s Media Center online.

 

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Highlights from Big Spring City Council meeting, 08/11/2020


Announcements, Presentations and Public Hearings

Lt. Brian Gordon of the Big Spring Police Department was thanked and recognized as the August Star Employee. He was recognized for his willingness to serve the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and was also thanked for filling in the Emergency Management role since May 2020 when the previous Emergency Management Coordinator for the area announced his retirement. Lt. Gordon has served in this position for the past few months while continuing his duties as Administrative Lieutenant for BSPD.

 

First Christian Church donated $1,000 to BSPD for the purchase of new medical equipment for Self Aid/Buddy Aid (SABA) Kits.

 

City Manager’s Report

Animal Shelter A/C Update – Majority of bids are in for this project and job is expected to begin this week. City Manager Todd Darden advised that insulation will be added and there is money in the budget to do so.

 

Aquatic Center Update – Russ McEwen Family Aquatic Center closed on August 2, 2020. In the short time it was open it had over 6,000 visitors.

 

Census 2020 Update – Reminder to complete census for 2020 will be added to water bills beginning next billing cycle. Encouraged citizens to complete it so because it ensures that the City of Big Spring receives its fair share of allocation dollars from the federal and state level programs that are offered through the census.  

 

School Zone Reminder – Be cognizant of driving in school zones.

 

Kentwood School Traffic Control Devices – Issues in this area. Devices have been placed; study has been completed to see if 20 mph speed limit is what they want to implement for all residential neighborhoods of City of Big Spring. Pointed out that city ordinance says if speed limit is 30 mph, no speed limit signs need to be posted. Speed limit is 30 mph in residential neighborhoods. More studies will be conducted in the area. Spoke on several ideas to control traffic, such as speed bumps/humps, narrowing vehicle lanes, and rumble strips in the road. City Attorney Andrew Hagen offered advice on legalities of placing certain traffic control devices.

 

Consent Items

All items approved together, except for the following items:

 

#15 - City Council Minutes for Special Meeting on August 2, 2020 were approved, however, the minutes for the Regular Meeting of July 20, 2020 were not. Camilla Strande, District 5, motioned for this item to be tabled because there were some things that were missing and the video for the meeting was not listed on the website to find what was missing. This item was tabled with a 7-0 vote.

 

#18 – Final reading of a resolution amending Chapter IX of the Big Spring Personnel Policy entitled “Conduct,” to add a new Section 7 entitled “Relations with Mayor and City Council,” in order to establish standards for relations between city council and staff; and providing an effective date.

 

Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason stated that he had done some research and found that there was an Attorney General opinion on the matter. He read, “Since the governmental body of this instance the board of trustees of the district, at least instructively, maintains records in the district’s possessions, we believe that logically follows that a member of that board has an inherent right of access of such records at least when he requests them in his official capacity.”

 

Thomason stated that since there was an opinion on this, he submitted a request for an opinion from the Attorney General on the resolution in question. He then motioned that council postpone indefinitely until they receive a response from the Attorney General’s Office. The motion was seconded by Doug Hartman, District 2.

 

After receiving input from the City Attorney at the request of Jim DePauw, District 6, the Mayor was advised that the Attorney General does not accept requests from cities, and he’d have to go through a county official to submit it on the city’s behalf. Mayor Thomason then stated that after speaking with the Attorney General’s Office, he found that when there is a disaster declaration, cities can submit requests.

 

Camilla Strande, District 5, advised that “postponing indefinitely” in Roberts Rules is a way to say, “’I never want to talk about this again, because I’m trying to get rid of it.” She stated that she thought it would be a bad move and it was something that she could not support.

After reviewing the document that Thomason had read with the Attorney General’s opinion, Strande advised that the council has never challenged record requests, noting that the council had all agreed that they are entitled to these records. She pointed out that the information that the mayor had obtained had never been through a request.

 

“The issue, and reason why we had this ordinance to begin with, was because there was no official request and that was the issue. The mayor was getting access to information there was no request for,” stated Strande.

 

Thomason then found Strande out of order. “Councilwoman will not impugn the motives,” began Thomason.

 

“Not impugn if it’s a fact,” interrupted Strande. “It’s a fact that you took people’s phones without requests. It’s a fact.”

 

When taken to a vote, the motion to postpone item 18 indefinitely until a response was obtained from the Attorney General’s Office failed with a vote of 5-2 with only Thomason and Hartman voting for it.

 

A motion was made by DePauw and seconded by Strande to accept the final reading of the resolution (item 18). The item was approved with a 5-2 vote with Thomason and Hartman voting against.

 

Bids

Bid awarded to stop loss carrier, ISU/Companion Life, for an 8.52% increase in stop loss rates for FY20-21.

 

New Business

The tax rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year was presented by City Secretary Don Moore. During the meeting, it was noted that the City Manager had used the No-New-Revenue tax rate to create the city budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It should be noted that since councilmembers did not call for a public hearing for the proposed tax rate, there will not be an increase in the property tax rate for the City of Big Spring. 

 

A public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year will be held on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers, 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring.

 

An emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting for or against the recall of Councilmember Camilla Strande, District 5, was approved during last night’s meeting of the Big Spring City Council. The ordinance was approved as an emergency item and will not require a second reading. The ordinance also designating a polling place; authorized the Mayor to execute notice and have the notice posted for the purpose of notifying the public of said election; and provided for severability.

 

 

Other new business items approved by council were:

  • first reading of an ordinance amendment that would restrict skill or pleasure coin-operated machines within 300 feet of a church, school, or hospital. 

 

  • an agreement with Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission; 

 

  • a warranty gift deed of the property located at 501 Runnels St. to West Texas Community Mediation Center.

 

The agreement with Cap Rock Holdings, LLC was tabled by the council.

 

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Area News: Fatal Crash leaves 1 dead in Ector County


A one-vehicle rollover crash in Ector County, results in the death of a 19-year-old.

 

According to Texas DPS, Troopers responded to the crash located at Mockingbird Lane, 1 mile west of Odessa, TX, on Saturday night at 11:05 PM. The preliminary investigation of the incident states that 19-year-old Matthew Palomares of Odessa, TX was traveling east on Mockingbird Lane when his vehicle left the roadway, overcorrected and rolled. Neither Palomares nor his passenger 19-year-old Judith Sigala, also of Odessa, were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Both were transported to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa. 

 

Sigala sustained non-incapacitating injuries and Palomares was pronounced dead at the hospital by Dr. Aaron Chen.

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Thank You for Your Investment - Brenda's Corners


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a “Thank You for your Investment” presentation for Brenda's Corners in Big Spring. 

 

Brenda Barrington, Owner and Operator of Brenda’s Corners, Home goods, and Decor in the Spring Creek Plaza, told KBest News that she’s a member of the Chamber because she’s supportive of Big Spring anyway she can be. Barrington stated that she was appreciative of the recognition.

 

“Anything that anybody can do in Big Spring to make people stay in Big Spring and shop in Big Spring is definitely what we’re here for," said Barrington.

 

Brenda’s Corners can be found in the Spring Creek Plaza located at 1801 E. FM 700 in Big Spring. Stop in and see them for home decor, gifts, furniture, or anything else you might need!

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Big Spring and Howard County Crime Stoppers are asking for the public's help in identifying and locating suspects. 


Big Spring and Howard County Crime Stoppers are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating suspects. 

 

The most recent case concerns a Theft of Property from July  26, 2020. On this day, at approximately 2:15 PM, Big Spring Police Officers were dispatched to Beall’s Dept Store (1801 East FM 700) in reference to theft. Upon arrival, Officers made contact with the manager, who stated an unknown actor unlawfully appropriated property with intent to deprive the owner of such property.

 

During this time, the manager stated she observed a Hispanic male subject approximately 5’5 to 5’7 in height and approximately 250 lbs, with bald head, wearing a mask, white Tshirt, black shorts and white tennis shoes leave the store without paying or offering to pay for his selected merchandise. Officers then made contact with Mall personnel who further captured the suspect on mall security cameras as the suspect exited through the interior exit of Beall’s and walked through the mall and through a closed gate before exiting the mall. Mall security cameras then captured the suspect enter into a newer model white Ford Explorer parked in front of Beall’s Department Store in the parking lot, and leave the area.

 

To view the security video, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=386473608990617

 

Please reference case # 2-20-02446 in your tip.

Web Tip Link: https://www.p3tips.com/1277

 

 

Other Cases

 

Case: Theft of Property

Date of Crime: 01/25/2020

 

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating and identifying Theft of Property Suspect(s). On 01/25/20 at approximately 8:59 PM, Officers were dispatched to 311 S. Gregg St., Kent Kwik #411 (Parks Convenience Store), in reference to theft. Upon arrival, contact was made with the clerk, who stated that on 01/25/20 at approximately 8:59 PM, an unknown actor(s) unlawfully appropriated property with intent to deprive the owner of property, without the owner's effective consent.

 

The clerk advised at approximately 8:58 PM, an unknown Hispanic male actor with a neck tattoo wearing a black cap and black jacket stole 30 long butane lighters valued at approximately $210.00. That the actor left the scene in a silver in color, Chevrolet SUV . The clerk advised she observed there to be an unknown female driver who drove away from the business heading northbound on S. Gregg St. This same actor stole approximately $300.00 worth of alcohol from TSB Liquor minutes prior to the above listed offense. Investigators have exhausted all other leads and need your help catching this thief.

 

 

To view the security video, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2740386809541934 

 

Please reference case # 2-20-00317 in your tip.

Web Tip Link: https://www.p3tips.com/…/www.mail2web.com/cgi-bin/redir.asp…

 

 

Case: Burglary and Credit Card Abuse

Date of Crime: 11/22/2019

 

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating and identifying a BURGLARY AND CREDIT CARD ABUSE Suspect(s). On November 22, 2019, Big Spring Police Officers were dispatched to a call in reference to Burglary of a Vehicle and Credit Debit Card Abuse that occurred in the 400 block of South Goliad. Upon arrival, Officers made contact with the victim, who stated an unknown actor entered into her vehicle without effective consent and committed a theft. Shortly after committing the burglary, unknown actor(s) used the victim’s stolen credit card at the DK located in the 1800 block of South Gregg Street. Officers obtained security video and observed that a male and female were involved in at least the Credit Card Abuse. Investigators have exhausted all other leads and need your help solving this crime.

 

To view the security video, visit: 

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=291365911963200 

 

Please reference case # 2-19-04687 in your tip.

Web Tip Link: https://www.p3tips.com/1277

 

 

 

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TIP ON FACEBOOK MESSENGER. USE THE SUBMIT A TIP ICON ON THEIR PAGE - BigSpring HowardCounty CrimeStoppers.

 

PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR TIP ONLINE FIRST IF POSSIBLE!! YOU CAN HAVE A DIALOG WITH CRIMESTOPPERS AND BE UPDATED ON ANY REWARD INFORMATION!!

 

You can also call the TIPS line at 432-263-8477 (TIPS) you will remain anonymous and no caller ID is ever used. Or use the new P3tips.com software and you can submit your tip online we have and it is also completely anonymous. Remember you can earn up to a $1000.00 Dollar CASH reward if you're the first caller with information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) involved.

 

Please keep the ID Tip number that you receive when you submit your tip on P3tips.com. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TIP NUMBER.

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Emergency readings are listed on agendas for Big Spring City Council's regular meeting for August 11, 2020 and special meeting on August 13, 2020.


During tonight’s meeting of the Big Spring City Council, there will be an emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting for or against the recall of Councilmember Camilla Strande, District 5; designating a polling place/ authorizing the Mayor to execute notice and have the notice posted for the purpose of notifying the public of said election; and providing for severability. 

 

There will also be a presentation of the tax rate for 2019-2020 fiscal year, as well as a call for a public hearing on, both, the proposed 2020-21 annual budget and the proposed tax rate to be held on Tuesday, August 25th, at 5:30 PM. 

 

Other new business items on the agenda include a first reading of an ordinance amendment that would restrict skill or pleasure coin-operated machines within 300 feet of a church, school, or hospital. Consideration and possible action will take place for an agreement with Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission; an agreement with Cap Rock Holdings, LLC; and a warranty gift deed of the property located at 501 Runnels St. to West Texas Community Mediation Center.

 

To view the full agenda for the Tuesday, August 11, 2020, meeting, visit: 

https://www.mybigspring.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08112020-410

 

It should also be noted that a Special Meeting has been scheduled for Big Spring City Council on Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 5:30 PM at 307 E. 4th in the City Council Chambers.

 

During this meeting, there will be an emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting for or against the recall of Mayor Shannon Thomason, representing the City of Big Spring; designating a polling place; authorizing the Mayor to execute notice and have the notice posted for the purpose of notifying the public of said election; and providing for severability; and declaring an emergency.

 

View that agenda, here: 

https://www.mybigspring.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08132020-411 

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Howard County Commissioners make no change to tax rate for 2020-21 fiscal year.


Commissioners approved a no-new-revenue tax rate of $0.299562 per $100 valuation during this afternoon's meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court with a vote of 4-0. It was noted that this rate has not increased from last year, and is the same property tax rate from the 2019-2020 budget year. Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman advised that even though the tax rate has not changed, the county will see a slight increase in property tax revenue as a result of a few new properties that have been added to the books.

 

It should be noted that since there is no proposed change to the tax rate, there will be no public hearing on the matter. There will, however, be a public hearing for the 2020-21 budget that will be scheduled for Monday, August 24th at 5:30 PM at the Howard County Courthouse. 

 

Annual contracts with West Texas Centers were also approved by Commissioners. They also accepted a donation of $2,000 from SM Energy for the Howard County Sheriff’s Office for the purchase of vests.

 

It should be noted that Oscar Garcia, Commissioner for Precinct 1, was not present for the meeting. 

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NSM Hosts Shoe Giveaway for Returning Students on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.


North Side Movement will have a FREE SHOE GIVEAWAY tomorrow, August 11, 2020 6 PM, at Ryan Hall, located at 605 N. Main rear in Big Spring.

 

Please note this will be for students who are returning to school, and the student must be present to receive shoes. Be advised that MASKS and SOCIAL DISTANCING are MANDATORY. 

 

For more information, contact 432-466-5363.

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Howard County Commissioners Court to be held at 3:30 PM this afternoon, 8/10/2020.


Howard County Commissioners Court will be held this afternoon at 3:30 PM, in the Commissioners Courtroom in the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring.

 

During the meeting, Commissioners will discuss and take possible action to vote on the proposed tax rate. A public hearing will also be scheduled on tax rate and on the 2020-21 budget. There will also be discussion and possible action on West Texas Centers Contracts, and possible action to accept a donation of $2,000 from SM Energy to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office for the purchase of vests. 

 

To view the full agenda, visit:

 http://www.co.howard.tx.us/upload/template/1880/2020%20Agendas/CCM%208-10-2020.pdf

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Submit entries for BBB 2020 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics by August 14, 2020.


The Better Business Bureau is currently accepting entries for their 2020 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.

 

The mission of the BBB is to create an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. One of the ways they do this is by recognizing marketplace role models. In this spirit, the BBB publicly recognizes businesses committed to ethical marketplace practices with the annual BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. 

 

In addition to a Torch Award trophy and recognition from the BBB, winners also receive lifetime use of the Torch Award Seal, as long as the winner maintains a ‘B’ rating with the BBB.

 

Entries can be submitted at BBB.org. The deadline to submit an entry is August 14, 2020.

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HHSC to Allow Limited Visitation at Nursing Facilities and Long-Term Care Facilities


 

  State Enhances Certain Emergency Safety Rules

AUSTIN –The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced limited visitation rules for nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. HHSC is also issuing enhanced emergency rules requiring additional actions by nursing facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are constantly assessing what actions are necessary to keep residents and staff safe in these facilities,” said Phil Wilson, Executive Commissioner, Texas HHSC. “By following these procedures and rules, facilities can more effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help us achieve our shared goal of reuniting residents with their families and friends.”

 

“Access to family and loved ones is an important part of every resident’s health and well-being, which is why this policy shift is a move in the right direction for some of our most fragile Texans,” said Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (SD-18), Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. 

 

“Today’s announcement is a critical first step for every person in a long-term care facility and their loved ones,” said Rep. James Frank (HD-69), Chair, Texas House Committee on Human Services. “This decision underscores that state leaders recognize the need to balance the emotional and physical health impacts of isolation against the serious dangers that COVID poses to these vulnerable Texans.”

 

Nursing Facilities

For the health and safety of facility residents and staff, public visitation is limited to outdoor visits only. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited outdoor visitation include: 

 

  • No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days.
  • No active positive cases in residents.
  • Any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures.
  • Facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.

 

Further guidance on limited nursing facility visitation rules, which include window visits and vehicle parades, will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.

 

Long-Term Care Facilities (except Nursing Facilities)

Limited indoor and outdoor visitation procedures are allowed. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited visitation include:

  • No confirmed COVID-19 positive staff in last 14 days.
  • No active positive cases in residents.
  • Adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control requirements.
  • Use of plexiglass as a safety barrier for indoor visitation to prevent spread of COVID-19.

 

Further guidance on limited indoor and outdoor visitation rules will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.

 

Emergency Rule Enhancements

Enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities include:

  • Each facility must have a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for a cohort.
  • All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-week supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.

 

The full emergency rules will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.

 

The latest guidance for nursing facilities is posted here. Texas HHSC continues to investigate all long-term care facilities in the state that report one or more positive case of COVID-19, as well as coordinate closely with local, state, and federal health authorities.

 

For more information about how HHSC is helping Texans affected by COVID-19, visit the HHSC website.

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Big Spring YMCA - Time To Get Back To Business


Starting on Monday, 8/10/2020, the Big Spring YMCA will be reopening all locker rooms and restarting their After-Hour Memberships.

 

They stated that they are committed to serving their community with the highest standards of excellence, but ask that all members and guests do their part to keep the facility safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

The local YMCA reminds patrons to:

1. Wear their mask 

2. Wear their gloves ????

3. Maintain 6ft of Social Distance

4. Clean up after themselves

 

After hours Membership Hours:

Sunday - Open 5:15 PM Closed 4:45am

Monday - Open 9:15 PM Closed 4:45am

Tuesday - Open 9:15 PM Closed 4:45am

Wednesday - Open 9:15 PM Closed 4:45am

Thursday - Open 9:15 PM Closed 4:45am

Friday - Open 7:45 PM Closed 8:45am

Saturday - Open 3:15 PM Closed 1:45pm

 

For more information, please call the Big Spring YMCA or Dathan Jones, CEO of the YMCA of Big Spring, at (432) 267-8234 or (432) 254-9949.

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Big Spring Symphony Association delays start of 39th Season.


NEWS RELEASE

FROM: Big Spring Symphony Association

DATE: August 7,2020 

 

With the major surge of COVID-19 cases in surrounding areas and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the very tough decision to delay the start of our 39th Season, “The Versatile Big Spring Symphony”. The health and safety of our patrons, musicians and our board members is our number one priority. We have high hopes of starting our season on October 17th with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the music of Queen, performed by Jeans ‘n Classics. This is the rescheduled April Pops Concert that was postponed due to the quarantine. We will honor tickets purchased prior to the original date in April 2020.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed. You can follow us on our Big Spring Symphony Facebook Page or go to our website at: www.bigspringsymphony.org to keep up with the latest information on our concerts, guest artists and ticket info. You can reach us by phone or text at 432-816-5196. You can also email us at bigspringsymphonyassociation@gmail.com.

 

We thank this wonderful community for your ongoing support despite these difficult times and hope you and your family stay safe and healthy! 

 

THANK YOU!

Big Spring Symphony Association

Mark Watt, President

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August 2020 brings Large Item Pick-up Procedure Changes for the City of Big Spring.


Starting in this month, August 2020, the City of Big Spring will change the Large/Bulk Item Pickup procedure. Residents will now have to CALL AND SCHEDULE A PICKUP for their district's scheduled pick up day. This program is part of the city’s plan to help keep their neighborhoods clean, and they encourage all residents to take advantage of the free program.

 

The next LARGE/BULK ITEM PICKUP will be for DISTRICT 2 on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Be advised, YOU MUST GET ON THE PICKUP SCHEDULE TO HAVE YOUR LARGE/BULK ITEMS PICKED UP.

 

If you do not get on the schedule, your items will not be picked up. To schedule item pick up, Big Spring District 2 residents must call Public Works at 432-264-2501, or email nhernandez@mybigspring.com by 5 PM on Monday, August 17, 2020, to schedule a large/bulk item pickup for the following Wednesday, August 19, 2020, which is the designated collection day.

 

The Large/Bulk Item Pickup Program is designed to help residents dispose of large items from their homes like couches, mattresses, appliances, and any other large, bulky items without the expense and hassle of hauling it off. IT'S EASY AND IT'S FREE!!!

 

PROGRAM RULES:

1. City staff will only pick up items that are placed on the curb upon arrival to your location.

2. City staff will not be permitted to bring items to the curb from inside your home or from any other area of the residence (backyard, garage, etc.).

3. The Large/Bulk item pickup program is for residential customers only.

4. Customers are responsible for cleaning up any debris or trash left after your items are picked up.

 

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:MOS

CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR PICKUP. Place your items on the curb at 7:00 AM on the day of your scheduled collection. Items will not be collected if they are in an alley, in front of a vacant lot, or in front of a business. 

 

Do not put items in bags, boxes or other containers. If you have questions, please call the Public Works Office at 432-264-2501, prior to placing items out.

 

ELIGIBLE for pickup:

• Doors

• Carpet

• Furniture

• Appliances

• Cardboard Boxes

• Scrap Metal

• Mattresses

 

NOT ELIGIBLE for pickup:

• Tree brush or limbs

• Household trash, garbage, or any material in plastic bags

• Hazardous materials (chemicals and petroleum products)

• Automotive parts, batteries, or tires.

• Construction, remodeling, or demolition debris such as shingles, wallboard & lumber

• Tires

• Dirt, rocks, concrete or ceramic tile

 

 

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Potential for increased wildfire activity statewide as Texas moves into late summer fire season


August 6, 2020

 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Wildfire activity has increased statewide with hot and dry conditions. This pattern of activity is expected to continue as the state moves into late summer.

 

Fire environment—weather, fuels and current conditions

The weather pattern for the upcoming week will be hot and dry due to an upper level ridge of high pressure positioned over the state. This pattern is similar to what was observed July 9-17, when fire activity increased across much of the state. During this period of time, state and local resources responded to 205 wildfires that burned a total of 45,376 acres.

 

 Forecast triple digit temperatures will produce a high rate of drying in wildland vegetation, which will increase the risk of wildfire activity. The combination of elevated fire weather (higher wind speed and lower humidity) and dry wildland vegetation may produce wildfires that are highly resistant to control.

 

“We are entering our late summer fire season when we normally expect an increase in wildfire activity,” said Brad Smith, Texas A&M Forest Service Predictive Services Department Head.

 

“The hot and dry conditions forecast for next week as well as the presence of underlying drought west of Interstate 35 raises concerns of significant wildfire activity. These wildfires will be very resistant to control and require more time and more firefighters to extinguish.”

 

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, check out the Texas Fire Potential Outlook: https://bit.ly/3kemhbG.

 

Fire activity

Over the past seven days, state and local resources have responded to 53 wildfires that have burned 12,090 acres. This includes many large, multi-day fires including the still-burning Mays Fire in San Saba and McCulloch Counties at 9,500 acres and 75% contained, and the Pocket Complex in Val Verde and Crockett Counties at 625 acres and 70% contained.

 

Many of the recent wildfire starts have been attributed to human activities such as equipment use. So far in 2020, 355 equipment-caused wildfires have burned 40,251 acres. This includes eight wildfires that have burned 19,014 acres over the past week.

 

Aviation resources have been heavily utilized this wildfire season to assist ground crews in working hotspots and slowing the forward progression of fires. Fire suppression aircraft have logged approximately 160 hours of flight time over the past week. Efforts involved dropping 56,000 gallons of water and 85,000 gallons of retardant on the Pocket Complex, Mays Fire, Beaver Creek Fire in Wilbarger County, and Flag Pond Fire in Lee County.

 

Aviation resources staged in state include two Type 1 helicopters, two Type 3 helicopters, nine single engine air tankers, one heavy air tanker, one leadplane, and two air attack platforms.

Since January 1, 2020, state and local resources have responded to 3,077 fires that have burned a total of 171,204 acres. Aviation resources have flown 1,423 hours, dropping 1,335,172 gallons of water and retardant on Texas wildfires so far this year. 

 

If a wildfire is spotted, immediately contact local authorities. A quick response can help save lives and property.

 

For frequent wildfire and incident updates, follow the Texas A&M Forest Service incident information Twitter account, https://twitter.com/AllHazardsTFS.

 

Prevention and Mitigation

Nine out of 10 wildfires in Texas are human-caused. Exercise extreme caution when working outdoors with heavy equipment.

 

  • Ensure your equipment is regularly maintained. Malfunctioning equipment can spark or overheat and cause a wildfire.
  • Remove rocks and metal from the work area.
  • Check equipment frequently for trapped debris and check bearings for signs of overheating.
  • Avoid parking or idling in dry grass. The catalytic converter underneath your vehicle can get hot enough to ignite vegetation underneath.
  • Have a spotter nearby with a water source or fire extinguisher on hand in case a spark or hot equipment does cause an ignition.
  • If possible, avoid operating heavy equipment until fire danger conditions improve.

 

“State and local firefighters are extremely busy with current wildfire suppression activities across the state,” said Bruce Woods, Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department Head. “Citizens can help our first responders work in a safer environment by taking personal responsibility and preparing their property before a fire starts.”

 

Successfully preparing for a wildfire requires everyone to take personal responsibility for protecting themselves, their families and their properties.

 

Texas A&M Forest Service encourages Texans to take the following steps around their homes today to reduce the risk of wildfire:

 

  • Creating defensible space around your home allows for low intensity, slow-burning conditions in the event of a wildfire.
  • Within the first 30 feet of your home, use non-flammable landscaping materials. Within the first five feet, water plants, trees and mulch regularly, and consider xeriscaping if you are affected by water restrictions.
  • A healthy, well-maintained landscape is important to the survival of homes during a wildfire. Make sure your plants are carefully spaced, low growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily.
  • Remove dead vegetation from under the deck of your home and within 10 feet of the house.
  • Prune your trees six to 10 feet up from the ground.

 

Taking simple steps to help maintain your property could save it during a wildfire. For more information on how to create defensible space around your home, visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/ProtectYourHome/.

 

Residents should pay attention to county burn bans and avoid all outdoor burning until conditions improve. Burn ban information can be found by contacting local fire departments or by visiting https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/TexasBurnBans/.

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Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the NORTH US HWY 87 in Howard County.


Yesterday, Texas State Senator Kel Seliger, representative for District 31, and other dignitaries gathered with the members of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and Big Spring Economic Development Corporation to celebrate the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the completion of the NORTH US HWY 87 in Howard County.

 

The new US 87 Truck Relief Route will allow vehicles on the Ports to Plains Route to travel at speed with less congestion while still allowing access to downtown Big Spring through Business US 87.

 

When asked why the completion of the route is important for Big Spring and Howard County, Blair Schroeder, Regional Director for Congressman Jody Arrington, stated,  “It’s somewhat of a promise of things to come as part of the larger Ports-to-Plains project. With the passage of the trade agreement that Congressman Arrington was able to be a champion of in the House, that’s gonna help drive business and economic development all across the U.S., but specifically through this part of the country. So, an infrastructure project like this helps build in capacity as those projects continue to grow and as the dollars tend to follow.”

 

According to Tanya Brown, with the Public Information Office for the TxDOT Abilene District, the new US 87 Truck Relief Route is 32 lane miles. It runs from IH-20 to North US 87. She stated that the north portion starts North of the FM 700 and US87 intersection and meets the South portion at IH-20.

 

Brown advised that the Southern portion is also complete. You can now go from North of Big Spring to South of Big Spring. TxDOT is currently working on a bridge that will connect US 87 with FM 700. She advised that There is some minor work to be done on the North section that will be accomplished with day time lane closures.

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Big Spring Symphony Association announces plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 Concert Season.


The Big Spring Symphony Association has announced their plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 Concert Season. According the Dr. Keith Graumann, Music Director and Conductor of the Big Spring Symphony, “We have obviously had to adjust our plans due to the Pandemic and social distancing requirements. While I had originally planned a season using a large number of players and adding extra players to several concerts, I have adjusted our plans and we will use a normal size orchestra in order to accomplish proper social distancing. Due to the many adjustments that have been made, I have entitled the season ‘The Versatile Big Spring Symphony’.”


Graumann continued, “We will provide social distancing for the audience at our concerts in the Municipal Auditorium by skipping seats between individuals, couples or family groups. Social
distancing will be a little more challenging for our players. For one thing, the winds and brass will not be able to wear masks. However, we can separate the players more than usual and
move the entire orchestra downstage toward the audience providing more space between players. This will require adjustments in tuning and balance, another reason to call the season: ‘The Versatile Big Spring Symphony’.


We have twice rescheduled our April Pops concert from last season and we will now perform ‘The Music of Queen’ on October 17, 2020. We will honor all tickets from last season and will
include it as an extra concert for our upcoming season subscribers.”

 

Maestro Graumann gave a brief synopsis of the upcoming season: “Our opening concert is on September 19, 2020 and is entitled ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’. We will feature Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, No. 6, a work that will be refreshing and entertaining for our audience. We will also feature one of my favorite artists, cellist Jeffrey Lastrappes, who will play the Elgar cello concerto. ‘The Music of Queen’ will follow on October 17, 2020 as previously mentioned.


We will perform a ‘Holiday Spectacular’ on December 19, 2020. This is one of my favorite concerts to present and will include holiday favorites, sing-a-longs, vocal ensembles and
soloists. We will feature students of Gershom Garcia as well as soloists Lawrence Thibeault and Tara Trowbridge.


Our winter concert will be on February 6, 2021 and is entitled ‘Out of this World’. Maestro John Giordano will guest conduct. We will announce a guest artist for this concert as plans are
finalized.


Our final concert of the season, ‘Pops Extravaganza’ will be on April 24, 2021 and feature ‘The Texas Tenors’. The three ‘Texas Tenors’ are each well known artists in their own genres and include pop, country and operatic repertory. Their popularity has grown exponentially recently.

 

Their performance with our orchestra will be a very fitting finale for our season, ‘The Versatile Big Spring Symphony’.”

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Main Street and Friends Food Drive continues through August 15, 2020.


Due to the increase in the number of people who need food pantry services, the Salvation Army of Big Spring has announced that they are accepting food donations, mainly shelf-stable items. Several businesses in Big Spring have stepped up to help in collecting these items with the Main Street and Friends Food Drive.

 

The food drive in downtown Big Spring was organized by Michelle Hamlin, Office Manager for Expedition Royalty in Big Spring, and member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Big Spring and Howard County. 

 

“It’s pretty slow on Main Street, so Chelsy and I decided that it might be a good idea to try to do a food drive to try to fill up the pantry and maybe get more people in the businesses in Main Street. Then, there were some surrounding businesses that wanted to be involved, also,” said Hamlin.

 

The items they are requesting are:

 

  • Beans/Lentils
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Shelf stable milk
  • Cereal/ Oatmeal
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Canned Meats

 

The Main Street and Friends Food Drive will continue now through Saturday, August 15, 2020. It should be noted that several participating businesses have potential incentives for dropping off donations to their red Salvation Army collection barrels.

 

Participating businesses in Big Spring include:

  • Splurge Boutique - 308 Scurry
  • Expedition Royalty - 220 S. Main
  • Long-Weaver & Manning, LLP Attorneys at Law - 222 S. Main
  • Famous Elle - 215 S. Main
  • Hair by Jose - 109 E. 3rd
  • Blue-Eyed Buffalo - 223 S. Main
  • Queens of the Dude Ranch - 221 S. Main
  • The Mayo Sauce - 2414 Scurry St.
  • The Wardrobe - 115 S. Main
  • Christy’s Hair Studio - 100 E. 3rd
  • Yo Mama’s - 206 S. Main

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Summer Shopping Extravaganza on Thursday, August 6th


The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce invites the public to join them for Thursday’s Summer Shopping Extravaganza! There will be several boutiques in Big Spring that will be opened until 8 PM. By staying open past their normal business hours, shoppers will get to enjoy an evening of retail therapy during a convenient time. Be advised that face masks are required and social distancing is a must.

 

"We're hoping that people will start getting back out and shopping. Many of our businesses do have online shopping. So, if you're not comfortable with getting out and doing some shopping, hit those online [shops], and maybe look at their Facebook pages. They offer a lot on their Facebook pages, so get to know your businesses that way, and comment!" exclaimed Debbye Valverde, Executive Director of the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

ValVerde told KBest News that some businesses will have their specials going on all day, so shoppers are also encouraged to stop by on their lunch break if they time during the day. She also reminded that this weekend is Tax-Free Weekend and noted that it's a great way to kick off the Tax-Free Weekend, which runs from Friday, August 7th, - Sunday, August 9, 2020. 

 

Boutiques participating in the Summer Shopping Extravaganza on Thursday, August 6, 2020 are Blue Eyed Buffalo, Famous Elle, Krazy Kow Boutique, Queens of the Dude Ranch, The Crowned Bird, Dazzling Decor, Inspirations Floral Boutique, Lula Blu Boutique, Splurge Boutique, and The Wardrobe Boutique. 

 

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Coahoma ISD Information for Free and Reduced-Price Meals


Coahoma ISD announced its policy today for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the attached current income eligibility guidelines. Each school/site or the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.

 

Since August 3, 2020, Coahoma ISD, Elementary, Junior High, and High School Campuses have began distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about eligibility benefits and any actions households need to take to apply for these benefits. Applications also are available at: Coahoma ISD Administration Office, 600 N. Main St. Coahoma, TX 79511 and you can find a printable copy on the school website site: www.coahomaisd.com


Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits
The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits:

 

Income
1. Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels


Categorical or Automatic Eligibility
2. Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)


Program Participant
3. Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
4. Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start

 

Income Eligibility
For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must fill out free and reduced-price meal application and return it to {insert name, title, and contact information}. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

 

1. Names of all household members
2. Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
3. Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security number”
4. Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

 

Categorical or Program Eligibility
Coahoma ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Coahoma ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application. Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have should contact:
Stefani Ramirez, Cafeteria Manager, (432)394-5000, ramirezs@coahoma@esc18.net

 

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact:
Stefani Ramirez, Cafeteria Manager, (432)394-5000, ramirezs@coahoma@esc18.net

 

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used for the purpose of determining eligibility. Applications may also be verified by the school officials at any time during the school year.


Determining Eligibility
Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Cafeteria Manager, Stefani Ramirez, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to:
Brad Cox, Superintendent, (432)394-5000.

 

Unexpected Circumstances
If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the attached current income eligibility guidelines.

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Governor Abbott Provides Update On PPE Distribution To Texas Schools


 

AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today visited the Texas Division of Emergency Management’s (TDEM) Warehouse in San Antonio where he provided an update on the state’s distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Texas school districts for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Governor noted that the state will continue to purchase and distribute PPE to schools at no cost to the school districts.

 

The Governor also discussed the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) guidance for school openings—noting that local school boards have the ability to determine how and when to open for in-person instruction.

 

“Health and safety remain our top priority as we approach the upcoming school year,” said Governor Abbott. “To meet that priority, the State of Texas is purchasing and distributing vast amounts of PPE to Texas school districts. As local school boards make determinations on how and when they choose to open schools, the state is working to help ensure that there will be a strong supply of PPE waiting for them to keep students, teachers, and staff safe."

 

The state has already distributed the following to Texas schools:

  • 59,410,640 masks
  • 567,948 gallons of hand sanitizer
  • 24,017 thermometers
  • 511,294 face shields

 

As previously announced by the TEA, local school boards have up to a 4-week back to school transition period during which they can offer a solely remote instructional setting if that is deemed needed for the health and safety of students, teachers, staff and parents. After 4 weeks, the school district can extend the transition period up to another 4 weeks with a vote of the school board and receiving a waiver. If any school district believes they need an extension beyond 8 weeks due to COVID-19 related issues, the TEA will review that request on a case-by-case basis.

 

The Governor also discussed the Supply Chain Strike Force and TDEM's broader efforts to purchase and distribute PPE supplies to meet the needs of Texas communities. The TDEM Warehouse has distributed the following PPE since the pandemic began:

  • 794,370 coveralls
  • 4,095,892 face shields
  • 32,972,340 gloves
  • 7,409,424 gowns
  • 132,850,406 masks

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Pedestrian Fatality in Howard County, 07/30/2020


The Texas Department of Public Safety recently released information on a pedestrian fatality that occurred in Howard County last week.

 

On July 30, 2020, at 10 PM, DPS Troopers responded to a vehicle/pedestrian accident that occurred on I-20 S. Service Rd, near mile marker 188, 9 miles east of Big Spring, TX.

 

According to the preliminary report, Tony Jetton, 44, of Big Spring, was walking in the center of the roadway on the I-20 S. Service Road during heavy rainfall, when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 46-year-old James Beard of Big Spring.

 

Jetton was transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Beard sustained no injuries.

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"COVID-SAFE" Drive-Thru Recall Petition Signing on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020


KBest News has been informed that there will be a "COVID SAFE" Drive-Thru Recall Petition Signing held tomorrow, August 4, 2020, from 10 AM to 6 PM. It will be held at the vacant lot located at 11th and Gregg St. in Big Spring. During this time, Big Spring registered voters will be able to sign a petition calling for an election for the purpose of voting "for" or "against" a recall of Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason.

 

It should be noted that volunteers will be taking proper precautions to avoid COVID-19, such as wearing face masks and wearing gloves.

 

For more information, contact Linda Burchett at 432-816-9381.

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Thank you for your Investment - Life Church


Last week, the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce held a Thank You for Your Investment presentation for Life Church, located at 1004 Johnson in Big Spring, to thank them for everything that they’ve done for the community.

 

Here, Senior Pastors at Life Church Kevin and Michelle Knudson told KBest News that they thought it was great that the Chamber recognizes others in the community that are contributing.

 

"It's just great to be part of a team. That's what makes a community work, everybody working together," said Pastor Kevin.

 

According to Pastor Kevin, Free Indeed, a class for people battling different things in their lives, begins on September 16th. Plus, Life Church will begin their study on the book of Revelation beginning August 9th.

 

"I know a lot of folks are curious about the scripture, and a lot of folks are curious about the book of Revelation," explained Pastor Kevin. "We're gonna go verse by verse through it. It should be a really exciting study."

 

For more information on Life Church, visit their Facebook page.

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Special Election approved to Vote For or Against the Recall of Big Spring District 6 Councilman Jim DePauw.


During last night’s special meeting of the Big Spring City Council, an emergency reading of an ordinance calling for a special election was approved by a quorum of council members with a vote of 4-0. The purpose of the special election will give voters an opportunity to vote for or against the recall of Jim DePauw, District 6 Councilman. Those not present for the meeting were Raul Marquez, District 1; Terry McDaniel, District 3; and DePauw. 

 

A petition to recall Councilman DePauw had been filed in early July 2020, citing dereliction of duties. On July 28, 2020 Big Spring City Secretary Donald Moore certified at the City Council Meeting that the adequate number of signatures had been collected on a recall petition for DePauw. It was noted that since DePauw had ran uncontested only 100 signatures were needed, as per the Big Spring City Charter.

 

After being notified about the recall petition on 07/28/2020, DePauw had 5 days to resign from his position, that's according to the City Charter. Since DePauw did not resign by Sunday, August 2, 2020. The City Council then had to order a recall election. 

 

Although the City Charter states that the recall election is to be held 10-20 days from the day of the expiration of the 5-day period, the special election will be held on November 3, 2020.

 

Mayor Shannon Thomason explained during last night's meeting that Texas state law supersedes the City Charter, thus resulting in the special election to be held in November.  

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