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KBST News Archives for 2021-05

Pipeline Safety in the Permian Basin

When anyone digs in Texas, whether planting a tree or digging the foundation of a skyscraper, there is a high probability of an underground utility line being within the site.  There's a whole world that lives beneath our feet, with infrastructure moving the supplies we need to run our homes, hospitals and businesses. From electrical and fiber optic lines to pipes carrying natural gas and water, it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep these underground assets safe.?

When you call two business days before you lay a new foundation, install a fence or plant a tree, you are doing the right thing to protect yourself, your neighbors and our underground resources.


Damage to underground utilities can result in costly disruptions to essential services, require expensive repairs and cause serious injury or death. If you don’t call Texas811 and you hit an underground line, you are responsible for paying to fix the damage.


Texas811 is the link between your plans to dig and their member utility companies.  Texas811 does not actually mark underground utilities. They notify utility companies of the planned excavation and they send locators to mark their lines.


Founded in 1984, the non-profit Texas811 is the largest one-call contact notification center in the country with more than 2,000 members.


Howard County Elections Office releases statistics from May 1, 2021 Local Elections

The Howard County Elections Office released some statistics and facts about the last city election that was held on Saturday, May 1, 2021.


In the City of Big Spring, District 2 had the lowest turnout for the election with only 6.87 percent. Out of 1,645 registered voters, only 113 people voted to choose their council representative.  District 4 had a 9.24 percent voter turnout. Out of 2,022 registered voters in District 4, there were 152 people who voted in the local election. The total cost per vote for the City of Big Spring was $81.41.


The City of Coahoma had the highest voter turnout with 19.74 percent of their registered voters casting ballots in the local city election. There are 608 registered voters in Coahoma and 120 people participated in the election. The total cost per vote for the City of Coahoma was $51.54. 


According to the Howard County Elections Office, the highest age group turnout was 65 to 74.


Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce Extension Of Emergency SNAP Benefits For May


AUSTIN – This week, Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is providing approximately $246 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of May as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


"Thank you to the USDA for extending these crucial emergency SNAP benefits for the month of May," said Governor Abbott. "Through the continued extension of the benefits, Texas families have been able to provide for their families and put food on the table throughout the pandemic."  


"We will continue to provide additional support to Texans and their families during this pandemic so they can purchase nutritious foods with their SNAP benefits," said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.


HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size, and all SNAP households will receive a minimum of $95 in emergency allotments.


The emergency May allotments are in addition to the more than $3.1 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans since April 2020.


Recipients will also continue to receive a 15 percent increase in their total benefits, which will continue monthly until September 2021. This 15 percent increase and the additional emergency allotment amount should appear in recipients’ accounts by May 31.


Administered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.6 million eligible low-income families and individuals in Texas. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.


The Big Spring Art Association's Area Wide Art Show is now open through May 27, 2021.

The Big Spring Art Association’s Area Wide Art Show at the Heritage Museum in Big Spring is now open to the public! They celebrated their grand opening yesterday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. 


According to Ruby Bruns, President of the BSAA, there are 85 entries that were submitted - an increase of 25 pieces from last year's show. 


Most of the works on display are for sale and can be purchased at the museum. The show will be open at the Heritage Museum until May 27, 2021.


This year’s show winners are as follow: 

Best of Show - Linda Rupard - "Breaking Silence"



1rst - Roseanna Enns - "Butterfly in September"

2nd -Robert Eshleman - "Stormy Evening"

3rd - Ikie Rupard - "South Pass Teton Mt"



1rst - Vicki Diggs - "Blue Pitchers"

2nd - Carolyn Walker - "Longhorns"

3rd - Doug Mays - "Flo"

Honorable Mention - Michelle Worthan - "Cosmic Bubbles"


Pastel/Pencil/Colored Pencil

1rst - Beth Henry - "Fairy of the Fall"

2nd - Melinda Segura - "Peach Delight"

3rd - Vicki Diggs - "Blue Pitcher"

Honorable Mention - Meghan Bias - "Broken Serotonin"



1rst - Linda Choate -"Autumn Rain"

2nd - Linda Choate - "First Lady, Second Act"

3rd - Linda Choate - "Life Reflected"

Honorable Mention - Linda Choate - "Dreams Awakened"



1rst - Kay Smith - "Pansy Party"

2nd - Estelle Howard - "Lodge in the Snow"

3rd - Annalisa Ramirez - "Hidden Feelings"


Mixed Media

1rst - Michelle Worthan - "Simply Golden"

2nd - Sami Cave - "Spring Elephant"

3rd - Ruby Bruns - "Windmill at Sunset"

Honorable Mention - Annalisa Ramirez - "Give Me Your Burdens"

Honorable Mention - Annalisa Ramirez - "Restless Female"



1rst - Saffron Pierson - "Untitled"

2nd - Carolyn Walker - "White Pot"



1rst - Linda Rupard - "Sail Away"

2nd - Kay Smith - "Barnyard Hen"

3rd - Sandee Lockhart - "Pink Pansy"

Honorable Mention - Sonja Booker - "Old Pump"


The Big Spring Art Association was formed in 1956. Their charter member Estelle Howard is 102 years old and she still paints. The organization meets every month, September - May, on the third Saturday of the month in the basement of the Howard County Library, located at 500 S. Main in Big Spring. For more information, visit their Facebook page for Big Spring Art Association.


National Day of Prayer observed in Howard County tomorrow, May 6, 2021

A National Day of Prayer event that will be held outside of the Howard County Courthouse tomorrow, May 6th, at 12:15 PM to pray for our city, state, and nation. According to Sam Segundo, Lead Pastor of the Family Faith Center of Big Spring, the public is invited to join local dignitaries and community representatives in this non-denominational event to pray for our community.


“This isn’t for the deep spiritual people around us. It’s just for all of us who want to see God’s goodness in our lives," said Pastor Segundo.


Again, the event begins at 12:15 PM on the east side of the Howard County Courthouse, 300 S. Main in Big Spring. The event is expected to last 30 minutes.



(Photo: National Day of Prayer in Howard County, 2019)


Suspect Arrested and Charged with Murder in Big Spring

From the Big Spring Police Department:


May 5th 2021


On the 4th of May 2021, at approximately 7:30 P.M., Big Spring Police Department officers and Big Spring Fire/EMS were dispatched to the Shell station located at 2501 S. Gregg for a male subject lying in the parking lot, unresponsive. Upon arrival, officers found the male subject to be Antonio Iglesias, Hispanic/Male 25 years of age, to have a laceration to his chest. Officers attempted life saving measures, but unfortunately, Iglesias succumbed to his injuries.


The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division arrived on scene. The preliminary investigation has found Iglesias was inside a small red vehicle at the Shell station when an altercation occurred and, shortly after, the door of the small red vehicle opened and Iglesias fell from the vehicle. The vehicle then departed the area. Detectives have found Iglesias suffered a stab wound to his chest.


On the 5th of May 2021, at approximately 3:00 A.M., Marcus Anthony Melendez, Hispanic/Male 19 years of age, was arrested for the murder of Antonio Iglesias and is currently being housed at the Howard County Jail awaiting arraignment.


The Big Spring Police Department Criminal Investigations Division suspects additional individuals are involved in this incident and this is an ongoing investigation. The Big Spring Police Department urges anyone with information relating to this incident to call CrimeStoppers at (432) 263-TIPS (8477) or use the software to submit your tip online. Remember, no caller ID is ever used and all tips are anonymous. No further information will be released at this time.


Chief of Police, Chad Williams

Administrative Lieutenant Brian Gordon

CID Sergeant John Haynes


Sylvia Polanco CNA Scholarship established at Howard CollegeĀ 

The Sylvia Polanco CNA scholarship has been established at Howard College to help single moms and dads who are wanting to start their nursing career through the Howard College Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) program. Polanco, a 1971 Howard College graduate, was a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) for 34 years before retiring from the Big Spring State Hospital. After Polanco recently passed away, her daughter, Josette, wanted to honor her mother by establishing the scholarship to help others who want to enter the nursing field. 


Interested in making a donation to the scholarship fund? Contact Julie Bailey at or 432-264-5051.


Big Spring Councilman Nick Hilario Ornelas holds town hall meeting with constituents

A town hall meeting was held last week by Nick Hilario Ornelas, Big Spring City Councilman for District 1, to update his constituents on things that he’s been working on and to listen to their concerns.


During the meeting, Ornelas reported that he has worked with city staff and Oncor to get appropriate lighting on the bridge at North Gregg / U.S. Hwy 87 in Big Spring. Ornelas told KBest News that this had been important because the lights had been out for almost a year and it was a safety issue for pedestrians. He has also been coordinating with ALSA Car Club to assist those in his district aged 60 and older with large item pick up. He also advised constituents that a majority of the man-made speed bumps throughout District 1 had been filled.  


Now that the Code Enforcement department is now fully staffed, Councilman Ornelas stated that he would be conducting a ride along with the department staff so he could point out things that need to be addressed. 


Recently, Ornelas approached city staff about building pavillions at ABC Park. As a result of that, two pavilions will be constructed at ABC Park, located on the corner of W. 4th and Price St. The first will be completed by June 2021, and the second will be constructed next year. The funding for these pavilions was made possible through the Big Spring Convention and Visitors Bureau. 


He also advised that a draft of the layout for Reunion Plaza will be presented by Brint Ryan at the next City Council meeting on May 11th and encouraged citizens to attend the meeting to learn more about the project and to ask questions. 


Other topics that were discussed were TIRZ, progress of the Big Spring City Charter Review Special Committee, and his contact with TXDOT about the rough condition of the road at Gregg St. between 3rd and 4th Streets. According to Ornelas, TXDOT will begin working on this area approximately May 10th. 


Concerns that were brought to the Councilman during the meeting included illegal dumping, recognition for Purple Heart Veterans and their families, and a possible block party downtown that encompassed the venues in the area to enjoy a night of music. 


Big Spring ISD to provide free school supplies to student in grades Pre-K through 8th for 2021-2022

The following announcement is from Big Spring ISD Superintendent Jay McWilliams:


Steer Nation: 


I have very exciting news for everyone with school age kids, as well as a few other special announcements about upcoming events at BSISD.


Once again thanks to the efforts of our dedicated federal program people utilizing a 2 year federal grant, we are happy to once again announce that ALL school supplies for ALL kids PK8th grade will be completely paid for in 2021-2022. The only thing our parents will be responsible for is a school backpack on the first day of school. All supplies will come individually packed and ready to hand out to your child on the first day of school in August. We are excited to use this grant money to help save our parents the expense of buying school supplies for their kids in 2021-2022.


Also, be aware that in the next week or so you will see the Pre-K and Kindergarten PreRegistration announcement posted on the BSISD website. We feel strongly that we have created a plan to help make registration flow much more smoothly this year, and we look forward to visiting with parents during this exciting time. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten pre-registration packet pick up will take place from May 24-May 27. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten registration will take place from July 26-July 30. Again, stay tuned for detailed information on the BSISD website.


Third, special thanks to Jamie Scott and our technology department for the launching of the new Big Spring ISD app. If you have not downloaded the app, I would like to invite you to do so in the near future. The app is just another way we at BSISD are striving to communicate more efficiently with the community of Big Spring. If you have any questions concerning the app, please feel free to reach out to Jamie Scott (264-4155), and he will be glad to help navigate you through our outstanding app.


Finally, the Class of 2021 will graduate on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. The graduation will take place at Memorial Stadium, and Mr. Ritchey will be delivering updates to the seniors and their parents as the day approaches. I look forward to an outstanding graduation ceremony recognizing the amazing accomplishments of the Class of 2021. Go Steers!






Jay McWilliams


Big Spring ISD


Big Spring Emergency Management offers opportunity to vaccinate homebound citizens

From the City of Big Spring Emergency Management: 


Re: Homebound Citizens and the COVID-19 Vaccine?


City of Big Spring Emergency Management and Mayor Shannon Thomason have partnered with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) to ensure that homebound citizens have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.


If you want to get vaccinated for COVID-19, but are unable to go to a vaccine clinic, please call (833) 832-7067 or visit to register for the vaccine. After you register, a local DSHS representative will contact you and set up an appointment to come to your location and give you the COVID-19 vaccine.


This is a free service to our citizens.


Kids Fishing Tournament in Big Spring - Results

It was a picture perfect day at Comanche Trail Lake on Sunday afternoon with 127 kids registered in the kids fishing tournament. 


According to Game Warden Matt Woodall, this was one of the best turnouts he had seen. 


"It's about getting kids outdoors, getting them out of the house, away from the video games. Teaching them things they might not normally get to do if they're just sitting around the house," said Woodall when asked about the importance of the event. 


"It's always good to see the kids come out, enjoy the outdoors, and catch a few fish," he continued.


Some of the highlights of the day included an 8.5 pound carp caught by Mathew Pickett, the first fish caught by Xander Garza (who went on to catch 10 more), and 24 fish caught by Owen Richardson. Some of the bounty included catfish, carp, trout, and blue gill.


The kids fishing tournament is an annual event organized by the Greater Big Spring Rotary Club, and sponsored by Oncor, Credit World, and KBest Media.


The end of the day stats are:

FIRST FISH: A catfish caught by Xander Garza



1st: Mathew Picket—8.5 lbs

2nd: Ivan Cruz—6.1 lbs

3rd: Jake Lopes—4.7 lbs



1st: Owen Richardson—24

2nd: Diego Villa—22

3rd: Alex Vela—15

4th: Xander Garza—11

5th: Bella Salazar—10

6th: Zack Folsom—9

6th: Gavin Vickers—9





Election Day Results, May 1, 2021

Election Day was Saturday, May 1st, and here are the results of the local elections for the contested races in Big Spring and Coahoma: 


City of Big Spring Council Member, District 2:

Diane Yanez received a majority of the votes with 73.45 percent. Willie Rangel, Jr. received 25.66 percent of the votes. 


Yanez will take her place as the new District 2 Councilwoman after the votes are canvassed by the Big Spring City Council at their next meeting. 


This is the first time that Yanez has ran for office. When asked what she looks forward to the most about being on City Council, she told KBest News that she looks forward to working on infrastructure, working with the other councilmembers, and making the voices of her constituents heard because they are important.


City of Big Spring Council Member, District 4:

Incumbent Gloria Byrd McDonald received a majority of the votes with 60.53 percent.  David A. Scott received 39.47 percent of the votes. 


City of Coahoma, Mayor: 

Incumbent Warren Wallace received a majority of the votes with 58.33 percent. Lori Gonzales received 41.67 percent of the votes.


Gloria McDonald, Big Spring City Councilwoman for District 4, and Warren Wallace, Mayor of Coahoma, will keep their elected seats. They will also be sworn in again after the results from their elections are canvassed by their respective city councils. 


Out of 4,272 registered voters that were eligible to vote in these elections, only 385 voted. The total turnout for this election was 9.01 percent.




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