A lack of a quorum resulted in no action being taken at last night’s Big Spring City Council meeting. Instead, Councilmembers Nick Ornelas, District 1, Gloria McDonald, District 4, and Mayor Shannon Thomason listened to public comments encouraging the city council to not seek raises in rent for the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce and the local United Way organizations. Councilmembers were also asked to not take action on item #32 which concerned making amendments to the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation without having council representation from Districts 5 and 6.
Councilmembers were also asked to not take action on item #32 which concerned making amendments to the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation without having council representation from Districts 5 and 6.
In addition to public comments, City Manager Todd Darden reported to councilmembers that 25,000 lbs of trash was collected during the large / bulk item pickup for District 1. He also stated that the e-waste collection from this past weekend was also successful.
Big Spring City Council will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 2021 for a special meeting in order to address the rest of the items on the agenda.
At approximately 8:45 PM on Sunday night, Jan. 24, 2021, the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a fire in the playground equipment of the City Park in Coahoma.
The fire was quickly extinguished by responders and no injuries were reported.
The stench of burning and melting plastic blanketed the North side of Coahoma. This was replaced by the anger and frustration of the residents. The most common question centered around who would destroy the playground equipment that so many kids in Coahoma play on.
It was announced that a reward will be offered to the person that provides information that leads to the identification of the culprit(s) of this crime.
According to HCVFD Chief Mitchell Hooper, there are no details about the cause at this point and the case is under investigation by the Howard County Sheriff’s Department.
A regular meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court will be held this afternoon, beginning at 3:30 PM in the 3rd floor Courtroom at the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring.
In addition to routine items on today’s agenda, Commissioners will have discussion and possible action on a redemption deed, and an early pay order. They will also consider awarding bids to erect and install a 400’ Guy tower that will be located on South Mountain, an item that had been tabled from last week’s special meeting.
Citizens are able to register to make public comments at the beginning of the meeting by attending in person or watching a live stream through the Howard County Info Tech Facebook page. You can find a link for that meeting this afternoon on our KBest Media Facebook page.
On Friday morning, Jan. 22, 2021, Big Spring High School senior Alex Leuschner signed his letter of intent to play golf for Weatherford College in the fall. Leuschner told KBest News that he’d been playing golf since 7th grade but had always picked up and swung golf clubs before then.
When asked how he felt about signing his letter of intent while surrounded by his family and teammates, Leuschner said he felt great and he looked forward to bigger things coming.
Leuschner plans to take pre-business courses while at Weatherford College until he can transfer to a 4-year school to study Business Administration.
Last week, Big Spring High School’s Head Football Coach Cannon McWilliams was named as the new Athletic Director for Big Spring ISD.
“Mr. [Mike] Ritchey came to me a few weeks ago with this idea. He said that he’s done a fantastic job with being both the Athletic Director and Principal job but he wanted me to continue as the Athletic Director and I’m excited. I’m excited that he has the faith in me to do that and I’m excited to keep rolling and to keep things going in Big Spring,” said the new Athletic Director.
New AD Cannon McWilliams has coached in Big Spring since 2019 and immediately began building a culture that revolved around character development and accountability. According to Superintendent Jay McWilliams, Big Spring High School Principal and previous Athletic Director Mike Ritchey had already laid a strong foundation for success on and off the field. This now paves the way for new Athletic Director Cannon McWilliams.
“Because we have someone in place in Cannon McWilliams, that is a great leader, a great advocate for all sports, all programs, great supporter of head coaches, that will even take [the athletic program] up to the next level,” said Ritchey of Cannon McWilliams' promotion to Athletic Director for the district.
(Courtesy photo: New BSISD Athletic Director Cannon McWilliams)
Life Church in Big Spring will be hosting a course called Free Indeed. This is an 8-week study based on the book BORN TO BE FREE by Pastor Tom Vermillion.
This study is led by Pastor Craig Felty at Life Church, located at 1004 Johnson St. in Big Spring, on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30pm. The Winter/Spring 2021 session will begin next week and will run January 27th through March 27th. Childcare is available.
At Free Indeed You will Discover:
. God's promises of freedom and healing
. The power and authority given to every believer
. How to experience God in an intimate conversation
. A Biblical understanding of the spiritual roots of pain, failure, and broken relationships.
. How to secure God's freedom by partnering with Him through agreement in prayer & declarations from scripture
If this is something you would like to participate in SIGN UP TODAY. There are 8-10 spots still available for this study. For more information or to sign up please contact Cherise Felty at 432-213-0411.
The Big Spring Economic Development Board of Directors held a regular session
on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Some of the items up for discussion included retail opportunities in the works for the city of Big Spring and the approval of the Minutes from the December 15th, 2020 Regular Meeting.
Other items discussed were future retail opportunities for the City of Big Spring and the possibility of a grocery store in the downtown area within the next several years. With the revitalization of downtown Big Spring to continue, the need for a grocery store in that area will need to be assessed.
Road Construction has slowed down due to the weather and once the temperatures reach 50 degrees and above the asphalt will dry correctly and the road construction will pick back up.
Overall, the board members all agree that Big Spring is doing well and even outperforming our neighboring cities by around 9% in sales tax. The Big Spring Economic Development Board of Directors will meet again next month for their regular
Howard County Commissioners held a Special Meeting yesterday afternoon. During the meeting, Commissioners were set to discuss and consider awarding bids to erect and install a 400’ Guy tower that will be located on South Mountain. This item was tabled until Monday’s meeting on Jan. 25, 2021, so that Commissioners would have a chance to review the bids.
Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker presented a Memorandum of Understanding between Howard County and Midland Police Department for the use of the Howard County Airport-driving track. The item will be listed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.
Also during the meeting, Commissioners approved the 2020 Racial Profiling Report from Sheriff Parker.
On the 21st of January 2021 at approximately 9:30 A.M., Big Spring Police Department officers and Big Spring Fire/EMS were dispatched to Barcelona Apartments (538 Westover) in reference to a gunshot victim. Upon arrival officers were able to secure the scene finding Terrance Ali Young, Black/Male 32 years of age, with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Big Spring Fire/EMS immediately entered the scene but unfortunately, Young had died as a result of his injuries. The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division responded on scene. The preliminary investigation has found Young had been issued a Criminal Trespass Warning for the apartment earlier in the morning on the 21st and had returned to the apartment where the Criminal Trespass Warning was issued. Young continued to bang on the door at which time a neighbor exited and asked him to leave. An altercation between Young and the neighbor ensued and Young was subsequently shot by the neighbor. The suspect in this incident has cooperated with detectives, was interviewed and released pending additional investigation. The Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division is assisting the Big Spring Police Department. This is an ongoing criminal investigation and no further information is available at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
CID Sergeant John Haynes
** UPDATE 1-21-2021 2:55 P.M. **
Abilene Mojica has been located. Detectives met with Mojica and she has assured she was not kidnapped. The missing/endangered status on Mojica is being removed. The Big Spring Police Department thanks our citizens for their assistance.
—————— ORIGINAL POST ——————
BSPD Media Release
On the 21st of January 2021 at approximately 7:00 a.m., Big Spring Police Department officers were dispatched to the 1400 block of Mesa in reference to a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, officers were advised that Abilene Mojica Hispanic/Female 38 YOA, had been forcefully kidnapped by Angel Hinojosa Hispanic/Male 23 YOA. Witnesses stated that Mojica was forced into a black in color, Cadillac sedan with the first three letters of the license plate possibly “KNP”. If anyone observes this vehicle, we are asking them to not approach the vehicle or anyone around it, but to immediately call the Big Spring Police Department at 432-264-2550 or their nearest law enforcement agency. A CLEAR alert is currently being sought through Department of Public Safety.
Abilene Mojica is described as a Hispanic/Female 38 years of age 5’4” 130 pounds, last seen wearing black sweat pants and a white sweat shirt with black sleeves.
The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is seeking an arrest warrant for Angel Hinojosa for kidnapping.
This incident is still being investigated by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and no further information is available at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
(Photo: Abilene Mojica)
(Photo: Angel Hinojosa)
On the 20th of January 2021 at approximately 5:00 P.M., a Big Spring Police Department Police Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Black Pontiac G6 passenger car in the 100 block of E. 4th. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop for the officer and accelerated in an attempt to evade the officer. The vehicle continued eastbound to Birdwell then northbound on N. Birdwell then turning westbound on the south service road of IH 20. Officers continued to pursue the driver on the north side of town which came to a stop in the 100 block of NW 9th. The driver, Roberto Dutchover Perez Jr. Hispanic/Male 34 years of age was immediately arrested for Evading in a vehicle. Perez was also found to be in possession of Marijuana less than 2 ounces and found to have a warrant for his arrest for Motion to Revoke Probation original charge was Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
January 18, 2021
BIG SPRING, TX: The Howard County Volunteer Fire Department was presented with a check in the amount of $250,000.00 this month from the G.C. Broughton Foundation, to be used for the purchase of firefighting equipment, including a new communication system that will be compatible with other emergency organizations in Howard County.
Board member of the foundation, Jim Weaver, stated that the board has been very impressed with the volunteer fire department’s grant requests in the past, as well as their follow-up with how the granted funds have been applied. This year, the request was for $125,000.00, however, the existence of the Volunteer Fire Department is dependent upon donations, therefore the board awarded the department an additional $125,000.00 for a total of $250,000.00.
The G.C Broughton Foundation was established in 2005 and is made up of a Board of Directors in Big Spring, with Jean Broughton-Powell as President. The foundation actively contributes to 501 C3 charities and has granted six to seven million dollars in Texas to date. The recent contributions for 2020-2021 totaled $1,380,000.00, almost all of which was directed to Big Spring charities including: CASA of Big Spring, Howard College Nursing Program, Mobile Meals, Sterling County Volunteer Fire Department, Victim Services of Big Spring, West Side Community Child Care Center, and West Texas Food Bank.
HCVFD Board President Eric Barber stated that the grant will allow for the purchase of a new communication system that will be compatible with the Howard County Sheriff’s Office, Big Spring Fire Department, Big Spring Police Department, Howard County Road & Bridge, as well as the Texas Forest Service. “We appreciate that the G.C Broughton Foundation recognizes the importance of communication between the first responders of Howard County, and we are grateful that they are committed to providing the tools to help keep our citizens safe.”
105 students involved with 4H and FFA participated in last week’s Howard County Junior Livestock Show that was held at G.C Broughton Ag Building at Howard College. The event is an opportunity for students to highlight the work they’ve put into raising their projects, which depending on the animal, can range from 45 days to a whole year. The variety of animals shown included rabbits, lambs, goats, pigs, steers, and heifers. With only 74 sale slots in this year’s junior livestock show, several students didn’t move on to the sale portion of the show.
Cooper Chapman, a 5th grader at Forsan Elementary, had three animals that made the sale, Reserve Grand Champion Lamb, Grand Champion Goat, and Grand Champion Wether Doe. When it came time to auction the lamb, Cooper told the auctioneer that whatever money was given towards his project, he wanted to donate back to split with the kids who did not make the sale.
The auctioneer gave $500.00 and encouraged any and all buyer's who wanted to match that amount. One by one, buyers stepped up to contribute to the project and overall Cooper ended up with $5,500.00 to be given back to the exhibitors who did not make the sale.
Cooper’s mother Hayley Chapman told KBest News that Cooper had felt that the past year had been rough on everyone and he didn’t want first-year students to be discouraged if they didn’t make it to sale.
(Contributed Photo: Cooper Chapman, center, stands with buyers who contributed to the $5,500 for the Reserve Grand Champion Lamb.)
The Big Spring Economic Development Corporation will meet for a regular meeting this evening at 5:15 PM in the EDC Board Room, located at 215 W. Third St. in Big Spring. Board members will be taking action to approve the December Investment Report and Financials, and have discussion and action to approve a contract between the BSEDC and South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc. and Howard County Community Health Center.
Also, the Planning and Zoning Commission will meet this evening at 5:30 PM at the Council Chambers located at 307 E. 4th Street in Big Spring. Tonight’s agenda includes: discussion and possible action on proposed amendments to the City’s Zoning Regulations, including the following: Manufactured Homes, Mobile Homes, and RV’s; Carports and Accessory Buildings; Short Term Rental; and Screening, Parking, and Parking in the City ROW.
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is announcing the closure of the Texas State Capitol and Capitol Grounds out of an abundance of caution Saturday, January 16 – Wednesday, January 20.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety is aware of armed protests planned at the Texas State Capitol this week and violent extremists who may seek to exploit constitutionally protected events to conduct criminal acts,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “As a result, DPS has deployed additional personnel and resources to the Capitol and are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Austin Police Department to monitor events and enforce the rule of law.”
People are encouraged to immediately report any suspicious activity they see on the internet or in public to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Austin Police Department or DPS at www.iWatchtx.org.
From the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Jan. 16, 2021:
(BOP) - For the majority of the past twelve months, the BOP has been operating under a modified operational model to promote social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that this pandemic has placed a heavy burden on inmates and their families in terms of limited movement and the public's restrictions in being able to freely visit with loved ones. However, in light of current events occurring around the country, and out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to secure all institutions. This measure is being taken to maintain the security and orderly running of our institutions, as well as to ensure the continued safety of staff, inmates, and the public.
In securing the facilities, the hope is that this prudent measure is for a short period and that operations will be restored to their prior status as soon as practical. We will continue to monitor events carefully and will adjust operations accordingly as the situation continues to evolve. Recognizing that communication with families is important, although it will be limited, inmates will be provided with access to telephones and email.
There is no specific information that triggered this decision. This action is precautionary, and is not in response to any significant events occurring inside our facilities. We appreciate everyone's cooperation and assistance during this period and encourage the public to monitor this website for updated information on visiting schedules and institution operations.
BIG SPRING, TX — VA health care turns 75 this year—and West Texas VA Health Care system, (WTVAHCS), is inviting Veterans to celebrate with them.
The Health Care System is comprised of George H O’Brien Jr. VA Medical Center in Big Spring, TX, and the Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in Abilene, TX, San Angelo, Tx, Odessa, TX, Fort Stockton, TX and Hobbs, NM.
In 1946, in order to deliver high-quality health care to 16 million World War Two Veterans, VA established the Department of Medicine and Surgery—which later became today’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
For 75 years, Veterans have trusted VHA to meet their unique health care needs. VA’s world-class health care professionals and researchers have worked together to make sure that VA health care keeps up with the changing nature of service-related injuries and illnesses.
George H O’Brien Jr. VA Medical Center opened its doors and admitted its first patient, James A. Waters, a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps July 15, 1950. Here, you can take advantage of a range of services including ophthalmology, audiology, occupational and physical therapy, and a host of other services.
For Veterans who live too far to regularly visit or who wish to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, WTVAHCS and the five CBOCs offer telehealth services including video and telephone appointments.
The staff of the WTVAHCS is honored to share in VA’s 75-year legacy of service to America’s Veterans. We look forward to serving Veterans for the next 75 years and beyond. We’re proud to represent the future of your care.
This week kids from across Howard County came together to present their livestock project in the 2021 Howard County Junior Livestock Show. The show was held at G.C Broughton Ag Building at Howard College and kids participated in showing rabbits, lambs, goats, pigs, steers, and heifers. Each of these students have dedicated valuable time into raising their project and working with them to present them to the judges this week and to also prepare them for the major stock shows starting next month.
Several winners were selected in each animal class from grand champion to 7 th place. The grand champion drive was held at the end of each livestock show where they announced the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion of the show. The Howard County Livestock will conclude their county show with the buyer’s lunch held Saturday at 11:00 am at Coahoma ISD Cafeteria and the auction will follow in the Coahoma gym.
The Howard County 4H members and parents encourage everyone to come and support the youth in their projects and appreciate the investment everyone has donated to this year’s Howard County Junior Livestock Show.
Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion
Grand Champion: Jackson Allen
Reserve Grand Champion: Brody Wright
Grand Champion: Brelyn Tubb
Reserve Grand Champion: Cooper Chapman
Grand Champion: Cooper Chapman
Reserve Grand Champion: Kolt Redden
Grand Champion: Cooper Chapman
Reserve Grand Champion: Kolt Redden
Grand Champion: Julia Cox
Reserve Grand Champion: Madlyn Nichols
Grand Champion: Aubree Blissard
Reserve Grand Champion: Seth Brooks
CONSENT ITEMS – all approved, 5-0
VOUCHERS – all approved, 5-0
Bid for Lease Financing Package awarded to Key Government Finance, Inc. for an interest rate of 1.320% and authorize Mayor to execute any necessary documents. – approved 5-0
Bid for a Risk and Resilience Study for America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) to Freese and Nichols and authorize the City Manager to execute any necessary documents. This is budgeted for $100,000. – approved 5-0.
Council acknowledged receipt of the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors’ minutes of the regular meeting on 11/17/2020. According to Mark Willis, Executive Director of the BSEDC, there is an investment group that is looking to purchase the mall on FM 700.
Minutes from Big Spring City Council meeting from June 29,2020 were amended to record a vote from that meeting.
Big Spring Fire Department accepted a gift of $1,000 for drinking water from Pioneer Natural Resources, and a $1,500 gift from Gunsight Mountain for EMS equipment use were both accepted by councilmembers. – approved 5-0
Councilmembers acknowledge the receipt of the City Attorney’s Written Quarterly Report on litigation and claims against the city.
Mayor signed letter on behalf of the City of Big Spring in support of the nomination for the Petroleum Building with the National Register of Historical places. – approved 5-0
City is interested selling approximately 40 acres of property in an area of the SW corner of Parkway and Willard. – approved 5-0
Mayor authorized to negotiate, conclude, and execute a Right- Of-Way agreement with Occidental Petroleum Corporation – approved 5-0
First reading of an ordinance calling for a General Election on May 1, 2021 for purpose of electing City Council members for Districts 2, 4, and 6-all of whom shall be elected by majority vote of qualified voters in respective districts.
First reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 2 of the Big Spring City Code entitled “Administration,” Article VIII “Boards and Commissions,” Division 2 “Airpark Development Board” Section 2-255 “Organization and Membership” in order to correct inconsistencies in the ordinance and to clarify the nature of the Airpark Safety Subcommittee – approved 5-0
Interlocal agreement with South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG) and authorizing Mayor to execute any necessary documents – approved 5-0
An amendment to the agreement with Parkhill, Smith and Cooper, Inc. for engineering services for Birdwell Lift Station Project was approved by councilmembers – approved 5-0
Settlement negotiated for City of Big Spring in regards to GEO Group. – approved 5-0
The U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas have announced their intent to prosecute any crimes committed at the State Capitol or elsewhere in violation of federal law ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration.
“During this time of polarized political discord, freedom of speech is an important right that must be safeguarded, but those who threaten to harm others, commit acts of violence, destroy property or attack law enforcement must be held accountable for their criminal behavior,” said U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer. “Now, more than ever, we must respect the rule of law. The Texas United States Attorneys’ Offices along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners will pursue federal charges against those who refuse to do so.”
U.S. Attorney Sofer joins his counterparts – U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah and U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox of the Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, respectively – to warn those planning to cross state lines to commit crimes in Texas or at the State Capitol that justice will be sought.
As the chief law enforcement officers in each of the federal districts, the U.S. Attorneys will be working with federal, state and local law enforcement throughout the state to aggressively identify individuals who violate federal law. The plan is to ensure that, where appropriate, anyone arrested for committing federal crimes related to protests or similar events on or about Inauguration Day will be processed and held in federal custody pending further criminal proceedings.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia (DC) is prosecuting those individuals identified as allegedly committing crimes during the riots last week at the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Attorneys in Texas have been and will continue to work with Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and necessary law enforcement in those prosecutions.
The City of Big Spring will have a Special Election on Mar. 6, 2021 to fill the unexpired terms for Councilmembers for District 5 and District 6.
Candidates for District 5 are Daniel Moreno and Troy Thompkins. Candidates for District 6 are Casey W. Pledger and Maury Smith.
Early voting will begin on Feb. 17 and end on Mar. 2 at the Howard county Courthouse on the first floor. Be advised that the same health protocols will be in place as there were with the November 2020 election.
It should be noted that on Election Day, March 6, 2021, there will only be one location for both districts 5 and 6 to cast their vote. This will be at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in the East Room.
Only those registered in districts 5 and 6 are eligible to vote for their council member.
KBST 95.7 - also known as KBest Country 95.7 - has made the finals for the award of "Radio Station of the Year - Medium Market" with the Texas Regional Radio Music Association. Over the years, the Big Spring radio station has earned a reputation of being a reliable source of news and entertainment - both on-air and online. This has held true in the past with contests such as their KBest Christmas Lights Contest; severe weather updates such as the recent winter storm that left motorists stranded for hours on icy roadways on New Year’s Eve; and with local news updates on major events.
Mark Richardson, Operations Manager for the KBest Media Radio group, told KBest News that this was a huge honor for KBest Media.
“It excites me that our staff and our program are being recognized for being the best that we can be, and for being absolutely one of the best Country stations as well as media groups in the entire state of Texas,” said Richardson.
Local On-Air Personality Kris Moore with KBest Media has moved on to the finals in the TRRMA nominations for "On Air Personality of the Year - Medium Market".
Voting is open to TRRMA members. It’s easy to sign up online and it’s free. Once registered, you can submit your vote. The deadline to cast your vote is Jan. 25, 2021.
The TRRMA Awards Show is developed to recognize Texas/Red Dirt artists, songwriters, radio stations, and other industry standouts for their achievements throughout the year, and we invite you to cast your vote.
This year’s 11th Annual Texas Regional Radio Music Awards Show will be held March 21-22, 2021 in Arlington.
Here's how to vote!
1.) Visit https://trrma.net and hover on the "Membership" tab, then click "Sign-Up".
2.) Fill out the information to sign up for a FREE membership with Texas Regional Radio Music Association. This will allow you to cast your vote at https://trrma.net/VOTE/BALLOTS/
3.) Complete the ballot and submit your votes!!
If you already have a membership, follow step one and click on the blue link at the top of the page, then complete your ballot. It's that easy!!
Monday, January 18, 2021, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A day that celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.This federal holiday is observed every third Monday of January. It is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Big Spring has hosted the MLK, Jr. Commemorative March for nearly two decades, but this year it was announced that the march would be postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
In a Facebook post from Mount Bethel Baptist Church, Rev. Michael D. Smith, Senior Pastor, stated that although they will not be able to march in-person, they still wanted the message and power of this significant holiday to continue online by everyone sharing personal MLK moments from the past on Social Platforms of your choice.
He also stated, “We look forward to a time when this historical event can again be observed safely lest we forget from whence we’ve come, and that we are better together."
(Photo: MLK, Jr. Commemorative March hosted by Mt. Bethel Baptist Church in 2018)
PRESENTATIONS, RECOGNITIONS, AND PROCLAMATIONS -
The family of the late Robert Diaz was presented with a plaque recognizing Robert’s 26 years of service to the City of Big Spring during Tuesday night’s Big Spring City Council meeting.
Other City of Big Spring employees recognized with 25 years of service are as follows from the Big Spring Fire Department:
Battalion Chief Steve Bedell
Lt. Ron Phillips
Fire Marshall Dan Hendrickson
Lt. Brian Gordon with the Big Spring Police Department and Mr. Michael Coffman.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT -
During the City Manager’s report, it was stated that the City had mailed out flyers to notify water customers about the Large/ Bulk Item Pickup program. In 2020, a total of 518,940 pounds of trash was collected throughout the City of Big Spring in all 6 districts. The project saved citizens $11,935.62 of tipping fees from the local landfill.
There will be a Free Residential Electronic Recycling offered to the citizens of Big Spring on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2021, from 8 AM to 1 PM or until the truck fills. Items that can be disposed of during this time will be computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, electronics and gaming equipment, and networking and computer data center equipment, among other things. For more information, contact 817-300-6958.
CARES grant Update – City has received $376,422.13 from the Texas Department of Emergency Management. This money was authorized to spend in 6 major categories of expenditures. The first 3 categories are Tier 1 expenditures that involve medical supplies, public health expenses, PPE, public health related to disinfectant, hand sanitizer, etc. Tier 2 includes any type economic assistance, includes enabling telework, any type of community block grants, and continuity of government services.
75 percent of funds must go to Tier 1 expenditures, and the remaining 25 percent could go to Tier 1 or Tier 2. The self-payment kiosk, software to make it work, and the code enforcement software that was discussed at the last meeting are all items that fall under the CARES grant.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Update – FFCRA requires employers to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave for employees who were quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19. This expired on December 31, 2020. The City of Big Spring has taken steps to allow employees to use leave from the Sick Pool in the event that an employee does not have sufficient leave to cover time off work due to being quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.
911 Address Update – Residents and business owners are encouraged to properly mark their addresses so that they are easily seen by first responders so they can respond quickly in emergency situations. This is done with 6- inch letters or numbers with a permanent type of marker, and it must be shown twice on property.
Big Spring CVB received 2020 Convention South Readers’ Choice Award
Big Spring City offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in observance of MLK Day.
1,600 vaccinations have been dispersed in Howard County as of Tuesday. These were dispersed to those in Tier 1A, which consisted of first responders and healthcare workers.
According to Dr. Steve Ahmed, Medical Advisor for the City of Big Spring, as of Monday, there are 23 million cases, 380,000 deaths. Texas ranks number 2 in the union with 2 million cases and 31,000 deaths. Vaccines are out, but distribution is a challenge. Dr. Ahmed advised that if you get the Pfizer vaccine, the 2nd dose must be a Pfizer vaccine within 21 days, with a 4-day grace period. If you receive the Moderna vaccine, the 2nd dose must be 4 weeks apart with a grace period of 4 days.
Vaccinations are in limited supply and distribution is based on population. The City of Big Spring is following protocol and will continue to follow protocol in that distribution.
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, this week their plan is to move on to Tier 1B, which are People 65 years of age and older and People 16 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Charter Review Special Committee of the City of Big Spring, will meet this evening at 5:30 pm at the City Council Chambers Located at 307 East 4th Street, Big Spring.
The scope of this committee is to review the Charter for the City of Big Spring and to recommend changes to the Charter to the City Council for possible submission to the qualified electors of the City of Big Spring.
Tonight, they’ll be discussing Charter Law, and they’ll also have discussion and possible action with Regards to Recommending Amendments to the City Charter.
The public to attend the meeting via telecommunication. Citizens will be able to view the Charter Review Special Committee Meeting on Our Local Channel 17 through Suddenlink, the city website, or through our KBest Media Facebook page.
The Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting ceremony at Howard College to celebrate the recently completed renovations of their Cactus Room.
According to Dr. Cheryl Sparks, President of Howard College, as a part of their 75th anniversary, they are doing everything they can to spotlight things that are happening at Howard College, and one of those is the opening of the Cactus Room.
"The Cactus Room has been around since the [1970s] and have not been updated since about the early [1980s] and so it was time to do that again," said Dr. Sparks.
She advised that the bathrooms in the Student Union Building had been renovated for the first time since the building was completed in 1960s. They also did some work in the cafeterias with the vent hoods for both the cafeteria and the Hawk's Nest.
Dr. Sparks advised that the Cactus Room was the last part of the project. The looks was updated to include Howard College's timeline of 75 years.
"It’s pretty impressive what the vision of the people in 1945 has created for the citizens of Howard County," said Dr. Sparks.
The Cactus Room also received technological upgrades so that the room could be used for special meetings, special lectures. It features state of the art technology and will be very effective for all types of speakers.
(Photo: Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
The 2021 Howard County Junior Livestock Show began this week. On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, a BBQ will take place at the Coahoma High School Cafeteria, followed by the auction in the Gym. It will not be held at the G.C Broughton Ag complex.
Be advised that there are a few more changes for the event this year. Those changes are as follows:
1. Everyone is asked to self-assess before going to the show. Anyone with fever or any symptoms are advised to not attend the show.
2. Everyone will be required to have their temperature taken before they are allowed into the facility.
3. Everyone will have to sign an indemnity form before allowed into the facility.
For more information, check out the Facebook page for Howard County Junior Livestock Association.
(To enlarge, right click and select "Open in new tab".)
During Monday's meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, Library Director Mavour Braswell informed Commissioners of a grant that she had been awarded for the county library. According to Braswell, she wrote a grant to the Texas State Library & Archives Commission for $16,489, and it was awarded.
This money is to be spent by the end of August 2021 and will be used for additional technology services for the community. Braswell advised that the county library would be purchasing hotspots that can be circulated and checked out, more Wifi hubs in the library for a stronger signal, and a self-checkout station. She also advised that the grant would allow them to purchase additional launch pads. These self-contained tablets are for kids, and they don't require an internet connection. The 15 devices that will be purchased are specifically designed to improve literacy skills-reading and writing. They'll also be purchasing self-contained STEM kits that can be checked out.
BIG SPRING, TX — U.S. Army Veteran Randy Ferguson was among the first in line at West Texas VA Health Care System’s first COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic. Braving 28-degree temperatures and heavy fog, Ferguson and about 100 WTVAHCS staff broached the early morning hours of Saturday Jan. 9, 2021 to begin the first offensive actions in putting the COVID-19 virus in the rearview mirror.
First in line
Veterans, scheduled to receive some of the first Moderna vaccinations available in the health care system, began lining up shortly after 6 a.m. eager to receive the vaccination.
“I talked to my doctor,” said U.S. Army retired Veteran Randy Ferguson. “He answered all my questions, and just like getting the flu shot every year, he recommended I get this vaccination.”
Ferguson was one of the first in line at the WTVAHCS first drive-thru vaccination clinic, having schedule his appointment days ahead of time. Driving to Big Spring, TX from San Angelo, TX to be among the first, Ferguson expressed his thanks to all the VA staff, not only for the ease and speed of the drive-thru clinic, but for the care he receives from the VA.
“Dr. Torres is the best doctor I’ve ever had,” said Ferguson. “I’m grateful for all that the VA does for me, and this clinic – I thank you for making it so easy.”
In total WTVAHCS scheduled more than 300 Veterans for this clinic and is scheduling future clinics through their COVID-19 vaccination hot line – 432-268-2465. Following CDC and VA guidelines, WTVAHCS has scheduled more than 1,000 appointments for Veterans – based on the projected allocations they expect to receive.
“Our goal is to vaccinate every Veteran who wants it,” said WTVAHCS Director Jason Cave. “As fast as we receive our allotments of the vaccination, we will be scheduling appointments.”
A team effort
WTVAHCS Pharmacy, nursing, health administration staff and others led the planning process for the drive-thru clinic, holding more than half a dozen drills to practice and refine the process over the preceding weeks. More than 100 staff members in all participated in the drive-thru clinic, directing traffic, pre-screening and checking Veterans in, giving the vaccination, documenting records, and even providing hot coffee – and the Veterans never exited their vehicles.
“We practiced every contingency we could think of,” said Chief of Pharmacy Dr. Larry Thompson. “We knew we had a big task ahead of us, and we owe it to our Veterans to make this as efficient and convenient as circumstances allow.”
Initial estimates for the drive-thru clinic showed that Veterans spent less than 20 minutes on the health care system campus to receive the vaccination, including the 15-minute observation period following receiving their shot.
WTVAHCS is one of 113 VA Medical Centers across the country to receive the first limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Sites were identified based on need for the vaccine according to CDC’s 1A prioritization and capacity to store the vaccine at -20?C.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective in clinical trials in preventing COVID-19 disease. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and are short-lived.
Veterans can get up-to-date information on VA’s VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, which launched on December 11, 2020, and sign up to receive regular updates on the vaccine on the VA’s Stay Informed page.
Photos by: Michael Cole, Public Affairs Officer, West Texas VA Health Care System, and U.S. Navy Veteran
(Photo – U.S. Army Veteran Randy Ferguson is among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at West Texas VA Health Care System’s first drive-thru vaccination clinic held Jan. 9, 2021 at the George H. O’Brien Jr, VA Medical Center in Big Spring, TX. Ferguson, a U.S. Army retiree, made the nearly 100-mile trek from San Angelo, TX to Big Spring, TX to receive the vaccination. Veterans can schedule their vaccination by calling the WTVAHCS COVID-19 Vaccination Hot Line at 432-268-2564.)
(Photo – Veterans with scheduled appointments began lining up for the West Texas VA Health Care System’s first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. Veterans can schedule their vaccination by calling the WTVAHCS COVID-19 Vaccination Hot Line at 432-268-2564.)
Big Spring City Council will meet in a regular session this evening, beginning at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers, located at 307 E. 4th St. in Big Spring.
During tonight’s City Manager’s Report, topics will include updates on large item pickup, e-waste, CARES, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. There will also be a report on the number of vaccinations given in Howard County and a report from Medical Advisor Dr. Steve Ahmed on COVID-19.
New Business items on tonight’s agenda include possible action to accept gifts to the Big Spring Fire Department from Pioneer Natural Resources and Gunsight Mountain, acknowledgement of receipt of the City Attorney’s written quarterly report on litigation and claims against the city with a possible discussion in executive session. There will also be consideration and possible action regarding a request for proposal for the sale of property for a residential development, located at the SW corner of Parkway and Willard Streets in Howard County, consisting of approximately 40 acres. Plus there will be consideration and possible action to delegate authority to the Mayor to negotiate, conclude, and execute a pipeline right of way agreement with Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
For more information, you can find the link for the full agenda here:
KBest will be streaming the workshop session that will be held this morning at 10 AM and tonight's meeting at 5:30 PM on our KBest Media Facebook page.
Big Spring and Howard County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in locating and identifying a suspect involved with tampering with barricades.
On December 30, 2020 the city of Big Spring reinstalled barricades around a large hole in the roadway located in the 200 block of Benton. On December 31, 2020 at approximately 9:00 AM, Officers with the Big Spring Police Department were dispatched to the 200 block of Benton in reference to someone tampering with said barricade. Upon arrival, officers learned that an unknown individual tampered with the barricade by pushing, throwing, and kicking the barricade into the hole on the roadway. Officers obtained video evidence of the incident and of the surrounding area. (Watch the video at: https://fb.watch/2YfsaZ91SS/ )
If found guilty, the suspect can face up to two years in county jail and a fine up to $1000.00 just for moving the barricade. Intentionally and knowing tampering with a barricade, could result in serious bodily injury or even death. Texas Penal Code 19.01 states: a person commits CRIMINAL HOMICIDE if he intentionally, knowingly, RECKLESSLY or with CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE causes the death of an individual.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) involved in this case. Remember no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TIP ON FACEBOOK MESSENGER. USE THE SUBMIT A TIP ICON ON OUR PAGE.
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR TIP ONLINE FIRST IF POSSIBLE!! YOU CAN HAVE A DIALOG WITH CRIMESTOPPERS AND BE UPDATED ON ANY REWARD INFORMATION!! DO NOT LOOSE YOUR TIP NUMBER, YOU WILL NEED IT TO CLAIM YOUR REWARD
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. That’s a CASH REWARD.. You don't have to tell your wife, husband, or anyone if you're the first caller with information that leads to an arrest and you receive the reward!!! Please keep the ID Tip number that you receive when you submit your tip on P3tips.com. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TIP NUMBER.
Please reference case # 2-20-04183 in your tip.
Web Tip Link: https://www.p3tips.com/1277
The City of Big Spring Large/Bulk Item Pickup program is part of their plan to help keep neighborhoods clean. The 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. All residents are encouraged to take advantage of this FREE program.
Residents must get on the pickup schedule to have large/bulk items picked up. If you do not get on the schedule, your items will not be picked up. The first pickup day is for District 1 on January 20, 2021. The deadline for District 1 residents to schedule a pickup for their designated collection day is 5 PM on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
According to Councilman Nick Ornelas, District 1, when constituents call in to the Public Works Office to schedule their pick-up, they’ll be asked if they are 60 years of age or older and if they need assistance placing items on the curb. If yes, Ornelas will make arrangements for ALSA Car Club to assist these individuals.
(To enlarge, right click on photo and select, "Open in new tab".)
(To enlarge, right click on photo and select, "Open in new tab".)
Howard County Commissioners Court will be held today at 3:30 PM on the 3rd floor of the Howard County Courthouse, located at 300 S. Main in Big Spring. In addition to routine items, there will be discussion and possible action on the HealthyYOU Vending Machine and discussion and possible action concerning the Texas State Library and Archives Commission CARES grant award.
(To enlarge, right click and select "Open image in new tab".)
According to the City of Big Spring, there have been 4,021 positive cases of COVID-19 in Howard County as of Jan. 8, 2021. 225 cases are currently active. There have been 3,628 cases that have been closed and there have been 68 patient fatalities related to COVID-19 in Howard County.
Howard County received between 1-2 feet of snow during last week’s winter storm. Due to the inclement weather, many motorists were stranded on roadways. During this time, KBest Media’s Facebook page became a hub where people were kept informed with updates on their situation, and where people could interact with each other to share supplies and resources on the roadway between vehicles. Later, motorists were even able to use the page to describe their location to first responders.
One Big Spring family of five with three young children between the ages of 2 and 6 had been stranded on I-20 in the Rattlesnake Gap area since 4 PM on New Year's Eve. Local business owner Jody Reid told KBest News that he knew the family and had attempted to assist them, but his vehicles were snowed in. Thanks to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson and local first responders, the mother and children were able to get out and spent the night with the Reids. The father stayed with the vehicle until traffic in his area cleared up around 11 am the next morning.
"I can't imagine being stranded in a car like that with very little resources with children. Kudos to our local people who were out there, and Craig Ferguson being out there. Found out that it was his birthday. He was out there pretty much all night trying to help get people out and get things cleared off," said Reid.
"I'm sure that's a birthday he'll remember," he chuckled.
Reid continued on to say, "We live in a great area. I always joke with people, you know, we may sometimes squabble like family here in our area, but when something comes down to it, we're family. People have a way of stepping up and trying to help each other, and that was just a good example of the whole community coming together to help some people out."
Be advised that there is a Winter Storm Watch for Howard County and surrounding areas from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon. That's according to the National Weather Service. Heavy snow is possible with an accumulation of 4 to 6 inches.
(Photo contributed by Ben Haas.)
On Tuesday night, the Planning and Zoning Commission met at the City Council Chambers in Big Spring to consider certain proposed amendments to the City’s Zoning Regulations, this included manufactured homes, carports, and short-term rentals (such as Airbnb).
During discussion on the proposed amendments, it was found that there were some things that commission members requested to be changed, or reworded. Ultimately, they decided to table the item until the next meeting.
Wintry precipitation, sub-freezing temps expected Saturday night
Jan 7, 2021
ABILENE – TxDOT crews started pre-treating roadways in the Abilene District Thursday morning in preparation for winter weather that will impact the area Saturday night.
Crews across the 13-county district are treating Tier 1 and Tier 2 roadways, which include high-traffic corridors such as I-20, US 84 from Roscoe to the Garza County line, US 83/84, and US 277, among others.
The brine mixture will discourage ice from bonding to the roadways and structures as wintry precipitation begins to fall.
The Abilene District is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor weather conditions.
Safety of the traveling public is TxDOT’s priority and crews will be working in shifts around the clock to prepare for and respond to any wintry weather that moves into the district, monitoring and treating roadways as needed.
Motorists can also do their part by driving carefully and following these guidelines:
• Use caution when driving over bridges and overpasses, as temperatures can be colder on elevated surfaces.
• Reduce speed and drive with caution. A vehicle needs more distance to stop on a slick roadway. Do not apply the brakes suddenly and do not use cruise control, so that you can better maintain control if you encounter slippery roads.
• Slow down when approaching emergency or maintenance vehicles, especially when their flashing lights are on. The law requires you to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet when approaching a snow plow, and never pass on the right. Visibility can also be reduced during winter weather conditions.
• Be patient. Your trip time – including short commutes to work – could increase when adverse weather conditions exist. Also, keep to the main roads and avoid taking roads that may not have been plowed.
• Winterize vehicles before traveling during adverse weather. Check fuel, tire conditions, oil and antifreeze levels. Make sure heater, brakes and windshield wipers are working properly.
• Check area weather conditions on radio or television before starting a trip.
For real-time roadway conditions, check DriveTexas.org or follow @TxDOTABILENE.
Scenic Mountain Medical Center is hosting a virtual hiring event for healthcare workers seeking new career opportunities on Tuesday, January 19th and Wednesday, January 20th.
Candidates may apply by online and schedule a time slot for an interview clicking the online link or by visiting www.scenicmountainmedical.org/careers and clicking the “Virtual Job Fair” tab.
Scenic Mountain’s virtual hiring event is searching for candidates for multiple positions including:
• RN Behavioral Health Unit
• RN ER
• RN ICU
• RN MS
• RN OR
• RN House Supervisor
• Respiratory Therapist
For more information on the virtual hiring event, call 432-582-8241.
According to the recent COVID-19 Update from the City of Big Spring, as of Dec. 31, 2020, there have been 63 fatalities in Howard County. This has brought loss into many lives in our community.
Trinity Baptist Church is offering to help with the grief. GriefShare begins tomorrow, Thursday, January 7th, at 6 PM and meets in The College Classroom C-11. All In the community are welcome to attend this 13 week program that features Christ-centered, Biblical teaching that focuses on grief topics associated with the death of a loved one. Each session can be stand-alone, so you do not have to attend all sessions to participate.
For more information on GriefShare, please call 432-466-3583 or go to http://tbcbigspring.com.
There will be a fundraising benefit this weekend to assist the family of Sheri Bailey with funeral, medical, and any other expenses that they may incur. The benefit will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at the Eagles Lodge, located at 703 W. 3rd St. in Big Spring. Bailey was a long time member of the Eagles Lodge in Big Spring.
Beginning at 11:30 AM, brisket plates will be sold for $10 each, and it includes brisket, sausage, beans, potato salad, and dessert. Pre-orders and delivery can be called in by contacting Sally Grant at 432-466-1306. Dine-in and pick-up are also available. In addition to the meal, there will also be a 50/50 drawing,and an auction.
Anyone wanting to volunteer to help serve and deliver food for the event, should meet at the Eagles Lodge at 10:30 AM.
During Monday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, it was announced that the following elected officials had been sworn in on that morning prior to the beginning of the meeting: Tiffany Sayles, Tax Assessor Collector; Angela Griffin, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1; Jimmie Long, County Commissioner, Pct. 3; Stan Parker, Sheriff; Kneel Stallings, County Constable, Pct. 1; and Eddilisa Ray, County Commissioner, Pct. 1.
Electronic Discovery and possible proposal from Toshiba
Also during the meeting, Hardy Wilkerson, District Attorney for the 118th District, gave a presentation concerning the concept of electronic discovery and to consider a possible proposal from Toshiba.
According to Wilkerson, prosecutors are required to submit their files to the defense so they can argue on points of disagreement. This is currently done by creating two paper copies-one for defense and one for prosecution-so they can have a matching set to easily identify points of interest by looking at the specific page number.
He stated that newer members of the bar have already begun using electronic discovery. It is used by scanning a hard copy of the files directly to the cloud. There the information is username and password protected, encrypted, and restricted to only the lawyers working on that specific case.
The benefits of transitioning to electronic discovery would include an ease of access for authorized lawyers, and provides a log to show that the lawyer has reviewed the material, and the information can be accessed anywhere by those authorized to do so. It also cuts down on paper use by two-thirds.
Cost is approximately $128,000 or $1,175 per month; as proposed by Toshiba, and includes a high speed scanner. This is exclusive to Howard County and cannot be shared by other counties, such as Glasscock.
Commissioner Craig Bailey, Pct. 2, inquired that if there was a breach of security in the system, where does the liability fall?
According to the Toshiba representative, the District Attorney would be responsible for administering passwords to those authorized to have access to that specific case, and each case would have a different password.
It should also be noted that the information entered will belong to Howard County and at no time can Toshiba prevent them from looking at.
No decisions were made concerning the proposal from Toshiba.
Healthy You Vending machine
Commissioners agreed to allow a presentation on the HealthyYou vending machine.
FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, but Commissioners approved to extend the FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act - with a vote of 4 - 0. Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman was not present for the meeting.
For more information on the FFCRA, visit:
Trinity Baptist Church in Big Spring, located at 1701 E. FM 700, will offer a 13-week seminar called DivorceCare. It begins today at 6 PM in The College Classroom.
The series offers spiritual direction to help one navigate the emotions and debilitating frustrations that come from the breakup of a marriage.These are stand alone sessions, so if you miss one you can still attend.
For more information, call the church at 432-267-6344, or visit www.tbcbigspring.com.
News Releae from the Big Spring Police Department on Dec. 31, 2020:
On the 30th of December at approximately 11:00 AM, Big Spring Police Department officers and Big Spring Fire/EMS responded to the Big Spring High School (707 E 11th) in reference to an accident involving a 1 year old female child. The child was immediately transported to Scenic Mountain Medical Center for treatment but unfortunately she succumbed to her injuries. This incident is currently under investigation by the Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and no further information is available at this time.
Chief of Police, Chad Williams
Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon
Scenic Mountain Medical Center is proud to share that the first baby of the New Year at SMMC was born at 10:25 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2021. The baby boy named Joel was 6 pounds and 19 inches long. Joel’s parents are Leah Yanez and Joel Espino Jr.
The winter storm forecasted for New Year’s Eve brought in lots of snow for Howard County. Many parts of the county ranged from 12 inches of snow to almost 2 feet in some areas.
According to Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker there had been over 25 reported accidents throughout the county before 4:30 PM. Soon after, it was also reported that eastbound traffic on I-20 between Stanton and Big Spring was at a standstill due to accidents involving 18-wheelers. Plus, Interstate 20, east of Big Spring between mile markers 191 and 195 (in the Rattlesnake Gap area), was completely shut down for both directions of travel due to several wrecks and several stranded vehicles.
TXDOT, Howard County Road & Bridge, as well as Mitchell County were all on the scene doing their best to clear the accidents, but access was extremely difficult. The heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures resulted in many travelers spending the night on the roadway for up to 18 hours in traffic, most of it standstill.
According to Big Spring Fire Chief Craig Ferguson, it was a VERY difficult situation for the emergency crews. Wreckers and other heavy equipment had been called in from all over West Texas, and they had been trying to get equipment from Abilene, Lubbock, Midland and anywhere else that the equipment could be found.
The stoppage finally cleared up around Big Spring and traffic began to move just before 9 AM on New Year's Day.