News

Fri
14
Jun
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Roby CISD considers possible bond for facility upgrades

In a meeting that lasted nearly four hours Monday night, the Roby Board of Trustees were given an assessment of the school’s current facilities, presented with multiple plans for potential district upgrades, and informed of how a successful May bond election could fund the project with a lower tax impact than previously anticipated.

Robb Sidebottom with Gallagher Construction Services and John Blackburn with Live Oak Public Finance LLC gave a series of presentations covering an overview of the what, the why, and the how the school district can capitalize on its unique position. Blackburn spoke to the board back in late 2018 regarding wind energy, the district’s Chapter 313 agreement, and how a possible bond could affect the future.

Fri
14
Jun
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Active Shooter drill in Aspermont

The City of Aspermont and Stonewall County facilities will be the epicenter for a countywide disaster drill on Friday, June 14, beginning around 4 p.m. Officials want to remind members of the public that while the situation is only a simulation, with multiple agencies and resources involved, the scenario will seem quite real, and coordinators hope to avoid public concern.

This is the second disaster drill the county has held that included multiple agencies and jurisdictions. Although, most governmental entities conduct similar drills on a smaller scale, in prior years, a number of reallife situations that occurred, which required the cooperation of a wider multitude of resources.

Fri
14
Jun
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Rotan board accepts resignations and takes no action on dress code

The Rotan ISD met in regular session Monday night, where trustees accepted the resignations of Principal Brad Hayhurst and administrative assistant Liz Hayhurst, as well as Technology Director Bruce Martin. While there was some dialogue that took place regarding aspects of the Student Handbook, no action was taken.

Principal Hayhurst’s resignation came as no surprise to the trustees, as Superintendent Greg Decker informed the board of Hayhurst’s forthcoming departure during a special called meeting last month. Decker proposed the idea of combining the superintendent’s position with that of the secondary principal with the idea of streamlining the administration and saving the district money.

Fri
07
Jun
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Fisher County Hospital has a turnaround year

Deborah Whitley from BKD — CPA an advisory group for the hospital — presented the board with the 2018 financial report Monday, reporting that tough decisions paid off with the hospital breaking even by year’s end.

With financial reports showing an anticipated a $956,000 loss coming into the audit, Whitley said after adjustments were made due to third-party settlements — one of which was for $875,000 alone — the auditors reported a breakeven financial year. Although the administration was expecting a significant hit, the hospital ended the year with about $15,000 in losses.

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Fri
07
Jun
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Employee’s dog shot at Stonewall Memorial

Law enforcement was called out to the Stonewall Memorial Hospital last Friday after receiving reports of an aggressive dog being shot and killed in the facility’s parking lot. Conflicting stories with eyewitness accounts led officers to conduct an investigation into the matter, which is still ongoing at this time.

Friday morning, Bella, a one-and-a-half-year-old, blue healer mix followed her owner to work at Stonewall Memorial Hospital. The dog’s owner, Tessa Gardner, an LVN at the facility, said she was planning to return the dog to her home during the lunch break.

Over the course of the morning, Bella came in contact with a brood of bandy chickens on a lot adjacent to the hospital’s maintenance buildings. At least one chicken was killed, and Bella was observed returning to the parking lot with the dead animal.

Fri
07
Jun
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Fisher County increases it's bottom line

Rick Rodgers from James E. Rodgers & Co. presented Fisher County’s annual financial report during last week’s commissioners meeting, where calculations through the end of September showed a near $600,000 increase to the general fund.

“The county had a very good, positive year last year,” was one of the first things Rodgers had to tell the commissioners last week. Despite the challenging financial environment counties are facing all across the state, Fisher County raised over a halfmillion in fund balance. “And that is a positive thing,” said Rodgers, reporting an increase from $2 million to $2.59 million.

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Fri
07
Jun
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Mud flies over the weekend at the Red Dirt Mud Bog

"Clifford", driven by Rotan's Smallwood brothers, tears through the mudbog. Photo By: Mark Martinez

A group of Mud Bog winners modeled their custom made trophies from last weekend's Red Dirt Mud bog. (Photos by Mark Martinez)

The ground shook once again in Rotan last Saturday, as the Red Dirt Mud Bog once again pitted man and machine against West Texas Mud to the tune of high-powered engines unleashing hundreds of horses.

It has become an annual event in recent years, pulling in competitors from hundreds of miles away. However this year, the mud bog was at the center of some controversy that was only worked out days before last weekend’s event.

Although the Fisher County Chamber of Commerce has co-sponsored the mud bog since it relocated to the Sheriff’s Posse...

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Fri
31
May
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2019 Texas Agriculture Aviation Association Operator of the Year

Pictured: Bart Roye TAAA President, Vance Lakey, Herbert Lakey, and Brad Lakey

Herbert Lakey started his "cropdusting" career in 1967 and he flew many years down in the Rio Grande Valley. When the farmers back home found out that Herb was a spray pilot they hounded him enough that in 1988 Herb along with Ben Holcomb started Tri-County Sprayers. For the first year or so he ran off a grass strip at his house in Sylvester. In 1991 Herb bought out and acquired a hanger from B&W Spraying Service at the Hamlin Municipal airport. Since then there have been many improvements from enlarging and raising the existing hanger to building a drive-thru loading facility.

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Fri
31
May
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Local residents stranded after heavy rains was out road along county line

Washed out on County Road 460 (Photo by Rodney Denton, Rotan Public Works Director)

As storms continued to move through the region, Stonewall Commissioner Gary Meador said it was all but a disaster when the sky dropped around five inches of rain over the course of a single evening and washed out County Road 460 north of Rotan last week.

“I wouldn’t say we’re throwing up our hands, but it’s gonna take a drought before we’re able to fix this road,” said Meador in a meeting with commissioners Tuesday. Meador said heavy machinery was used to push dirt into the washout, but he is doubtful it will hold with the continuous rainfall.

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Fri
31
May
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Rotan ISD Board hold special meeting before graduation but decline proposal

Just two hours before graduates were scheduled to cross the stage, the Rotan ISD trustees met to hear a proposal to restructure the administration, possibly save the district thousands, and increase Superintendent Decker’s salary by almost 30%. The board voted against the proposal in a 5 – 2 vote in time to hand out diplomas.

Before resending into closed session, trustees unanimously approved hiring two new teachers. The board welcomed, Destiny Gruben to the elementary campus. Superintendent Greg Decker informed the board that Gruben is finishing up at McMurry University and completed a majority of her student teaching at Rotan ISD.

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