News

Thu
23
Apr
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Rotan ISD announces 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Rotan ISD announces 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Rotan ISD Valedictorian - Cole Van Poppel GPA 97.35714

Rotan ISD announces 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Rotan ISD Salutatorian - Felicia Carrillo GPA 95.95121

Valedictorian and Saluatorian results were released earlier than normal for the 2020 Seniors of Rotan ISD due to COVID-19 and school closures across the nation.

Cole Van Poppel, Rotan 2020 Valedictorian, is the son of Scott and Chris Van Poppel.

 

 

 

 

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Fri
17
Apr
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KEEP CALM & SHOP LOCAL -COVID-19 forces local businesses to rethink everyday strategies

KEEP CALM & SHOP LOCAL

While most restaurants are still serving customers through curb-side services, dining areas like the inside of Hickman’s in Aspermont are patiently awaiting Governor Abbott’s executive orders to be relaxed and business returning to normal, possibly as early as May 4.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, small businesses across the country from larger cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas to those tiny rural communities within Fisher and Stonewall counties have faced economic challenges and continue to make changes to keep business up and running.

Many small-town businesses have had to create new ways of functioning while others have had to close their doors until further notice. The Chronicle looked into how some of these hometown businesses are adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fri
17
Apr
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Sales Tax Holiday for Emergency Supplies, April 25-27

(AUSTIN) — As the nation continues to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is urging Texans to shop online or practice strict social distancing measures for in-store purchases during the sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies. The primary intent of the law that established this holiday, which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 27, is to help Texans prepare for events like hurricanes and turbulent spring storms.

Thu
09
Apr
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Faith through Facebook

Faith through Facebook

Due to Governor Greg Abbot’s mandate on social distancing, effective April 2 and lasting through April 30, churches have had to come up with different methods of worship. Ideas span from streaming on social media platforms, telephone conferencing, and radio broadcasts to sending out occasional motivational quotes, while others are simply conducting Sunday services as usual.

As Easter Sunday takes place this weeked, we reached out to local churches to see what they are doing during this pivotal time in our communities, asking leaders the different ways they are working to keep the community involved with services while tending to the physical and spiritual health of their congregations.

Thu
09
Apr
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Fisher County accepting applications for more than $50K in scholarships

Fisher County accepting applications for more than $50K in scholarships

The Fisher County TSTC/Amadeus Wind Energy Scholarship Committee recently met via Zoom, officially opening the opportunity for residents of Fisher County to apply for one of five tuition-free scholarships for the TSTC Wind Energy Program.

BayWa r.e.—a German-based renewable energy company—began discussions with Kent, Fisher, and Stonewall officials in the summer of 2018, and by early 2019, the company had concluded negotiations with the counties as the company planned to expand its existing windfarm across the three counties. Part of those negotiations was the creation of 15 tuition-free scholarships opportunities through the Texas State Technical College (TSTC), a total of five scholarships for the residents of each county.

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Thu
09
Apr
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Stonewall Hospital suffers significant loss

The Stonewall Memorial Hospital Board and administration received gloomy news at the end of March when BKD’s Deborah Whitley presented the district’s 2019 Financial Report, revealing more than $470,000 in losses over 2018. Additionally, the changes within government programs are expected to negatively impact the district in 2020, but getting the nursing home operational should provide some financial reprieve by additional revenues.

Deborah Whitley from BKD — a CPA and advisory group that has worked with the district for several years — reviewed the details of the most recent annual financial report, explaining that on paper it does not look as good as 2018 when the district saw a slight increase in its net position. The 2019 report revealed an operating loss 31% higher than that of 2018.

Thu
09
Apr
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Stonewall elections moved to November

In the wake of the COVID-19 and orders and proclamations issued from the governor’s office, the Stonewall Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors and Aspermont ISD School Board members net in a series of meetings, where each entity voted unanimously in favor of rescheduling the upcoming May Elections to fall in line with November’s Presidential Election.

In March, under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Governor suspended Sections 41.0052(a) and (b) of the Texas Election Code and Section 49.103 of the Texas Water Code to the extent necessary to allow political subdivisions to move their elections for 2020 only to the next uniform date, occurring on November 3, 2020.

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Fri
03
Apr
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Rotan ISD Parade of Teachers

Rotan ISD Parade of Teachers

Rotan ISD Librarian, Vera Gonzalez, waves to the studenst in Saturday's Parade of Teachers (photo by Mark Martinez)

Last Saturday evening, Rotan ISD parents and students filled sidewalks and front yards as teachers and staff members paraded by in their cars throwing candy and spreading joy.

It was a delightful idea, Rotan ISD Librarian Vera Gonzales was inspired to put together. “I got the idea from Facebook. I saw that other towns were doing it and thought ‘Oh that would be a perfect thing for us to do’” said Gonzales.

She knew the students missed their teachers, and the teachers missed them as well, so they all shared ideas and kicked the plan into motion Friday evening with a mass email to all staff members and students. The response from the teachers was quick and they signed up with excitement.

Gonzales got exactly the turnout that she and the Rotan staff were hoping for. “Oh my gosh, the turnout was huge, and it was absolutely amazing”, said Gonzales.

 

Fri
03
Apr
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Shots fired in Rotan leaves one injured; one dead

The Fisher County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call early Monday morning, where an unknown number of shots were fired, and the confusing scene left one man dead, sent another to the hospital, and another to jail. The Fisher County Sheriff’s Department released some information regarding the incident, although much continues to be under investigation.

On Monday, March 30, at approximately 4:04 am, the Fisher County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about one male subject with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the 800 block of Lee Street in Rotan. Deputies responded along with EMS crews from the Fisher County Hospital to find one unresponsive male who suffered from a single gunshot wound, along with two other male subjects.

 

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Fri
03
Apr
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Allegations of nepotism at Stonewall Memorial

In the midst of construction delays, record keeping issues, and working with city and county officials to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Stonewall Memorial Hospital administrators and board members answered questions regarding perceived nepotism and the recent publication of hospital staff salaries.

Although the 2019-20 budget was approved months ago, it wasn’t until early January that issues were raised about salaries, and allegations of nepotism within the district began spreading through the community. While hospital personnel has continued to be reluctant to discuss the matter, the issues seem to stem from increases in salaries with hospital CEO Billie Carter and those directly or indirectly related to her.

 

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