News

Thu
31
Jan
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Local hospitals prepare for negotiations

Fisher and Stonewall hospital administrators met with those from around the state at a conference in Austin recently regarding managed-care contracting negotiations that could affect hospital revenues and alter the health services provided at local facilities.

The State Office of Rural Health (TORCH) provided the free-of-charge conference for the singular purpose of helping to prepare rural administrators for the foreseeable negotiations between corporate insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is spearheading the renegotiations, and there is an increasing number of insurance companies in line behind them.

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Thu
24
Jan
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January School Board Appreciation Month

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In recognition of School Board Appreciation Month, trustees from Aspermont, Roby and Rotan school districts were shown, well... appreciation during their respective meetings this month.

While serving board members do not receive monetary compensation for their service, district administrations often use School Board Appreciation month to honor board members by furnishing meals, desserts, and giving other small gifts.

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Thu
24
Jan
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Will School Consolidation still be in the works?

Rotan ISD School Board gathers more information

In continuing deliberations about school consolidation, the Rotan ISD trustees were given new information last week as Region 14 consultant Ronnie Kincaid explained the Texas Education Code’s guidelines, outlining the steps in the consolidation process. With discussions — at least publicly — remain amongst each of the two respective boards, there is growing curiosity as to whether trustees will agree to a future joint meeting or allow school consolidation to become a dead issue.

The Texas Education Code grants the authority for local school boards to consolidate multiple school districts into a single district by way of the steps outlined in Chapter 13.

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Thu
10
Jan
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Locals gear up for stock show season

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Gracie English is helping out, Preston Lipham, so he could show off his two buckles he won at last year’s Stonewall County Stock Show for Grand Champion Heifer and Pig.

Young stock show participants are gearing up for stock show events, beginning locally this weekend in Rotan and continues until next Saturday at the county level in Fisher and Stonewall.

Local shows kick off in Rotan this Saturday, January 12, as the local Rotan FFA Chapter will host its stock show at the Rotan ISD Ag Farm. Events start at 10 a.m. and lambs and pigs — white and black OPB, Hampshires, light cross and dark cross — will be shown over the course of the day.

Afterward, the little guys will work the animals during the peewee show, and this year, the chapter is launching something new this year: Parent Showmanship Competition.

For a $10 entry fee, an adult can be entered into the competition to test his or her animal showmanship skills of their peers. Some will be dusting off cobwebs as they step back into the show ring, while others will gather the courage to enter for the first time.

Thu
10
Jan
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Local bank consolidation won’t affect consumer operations

While the process is still underway, legal notifications regarding the consolidation with the First National Bank of Aspermont and the Interim Bank of Aspermont have many locals concerned about the future of local banking, but FNBA President Ralph Riddle assured customers earlier this week the changes are simply part of corporate restructuring and will no way affect business.

“At the customer level, no one will notice any difference,” said Riddle. He went on to put to rest concerns the bank was being sold — as it is not — and dispelled rumors FNAB was purchasing a Lubbock bank — although the formation of a holding company would make mergers and acquisitions simpler.

A majority of the banks in the state of Texas operate under a similar holding company structure, including the First National Bank of Rotan in neighboring Fisher County.

Fri
04
Jan
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Post-Christmas winds damage downtown Rotan

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Tarps were placed over the equipment in the fitness center to prevent further damage after the storm. - PHOTO SUBMITTED BY HEATHER BUCHANAN

Strong winds blew through the region the day after Christmas, knocking over trees, blowing trucks off the road, and tearing the roof off a downtown business and sent it flying into the Christmas tree in Rotan’s town square.

Garreth Pipes with the Rotan Community Service League—the organization that owns the tree—said the damage was minor. There were a couple of bent limbs and a few broken lights on the tree’s new star, but otherwise, there was no significant harm. Pipes said if the wind had blown the debris another 10 feet, it would have taken the tree out completely.

The Fisher County Hospital’s Physical Therapy building was not so lucky, as it was the PT building’s roof that went flying into the town square. The Fisher County Sheriff’s Department, along with local fire departments, EMS, and a number of local residents arrived later to assist with the cleanup.

Fri
04
Jan
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Aspermont accepts mayor’s resignation

Just before the end of 2018, Aspermont Mayor Lane Smith submitted his resignation after his wife’s new job created a conflict of interest, leaving Mayor Pro Tem Chris Lipham to sign the ordinance for the sale of alcohol within city limits.

Tena Smith recently filled the vacancy as director of the Aspermont Housing Authority, and as the Aspermont City Mayor directly oversees the position, the city’s attorney advised city officials against the potential conflict of interest. Mayor Smith graciously stepped down during the December meeting as his wife took the reins of the local housing authority.

Mayor Pro Tem Chris Lipham assumed mayoral duties as the city went on to approve the ordinance that established a local fee for business or individuals before selling alcohol within the city limits. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code allows a city to levy a local fee up to one-half the cost of the state fee for those permits.

Fri
04
Jan
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Nomadic Newspaper standing on the corner in

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The Double Mountain Chronicle being read while standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Dillan Cullifer (reading the paper) & Kyndra Vaught (photographer) stopped traffic to capture this shot while on their New Year’s camping trip around Arizona.

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Fri
28
Dec
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Santa on the Square

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The Roby Volunteer Fire Department hosted the annual Santa on the Square in Roby, Texas on Christmas Eve. Gates Lee, son of Grant and Lyndi Cherry of Sweetwater, Texas, was more than happy to pose for photos before Santa had to leave to make his toy deliveries.

(photo submitted by his proud Gigi, Gay Nell Cherry)

The Roby Volunteer Fire Department hosted the annual Santa on the Square in Roby, Texas on Christmas Eve. Gates Lee, son of Grant and Lyndi Cherry of Sweetwater, Texas, was more than happy to pose for photos before Santa had to leave to make his toy deliveries.

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Fri
28
Dec
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Roby ISD considers future possibilities

In the midst of polemical deliberations earlier this month, the Roby Board of Trustees listened to John Blackburn with Live Oak Public Finance LLC’s presentation on wind energy, the district’s Chapter 313 agreement, and how a possible bond could affect the future. When Superintendent Keith Cook took over as the district’s chief educator just two months ago, he was briefed on the anticipated wind farm.

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