News

Wed
03
Jul
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Local Military legacy is sworn into Navy

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2019 Rotan graduate, Levi Garland, was sworn into the Navy in Amarillo, Texas on June 25. Levi, is the son of Jamey & Amy Garland and brother to Bode.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Finances tight at Stonewall Memorial BY JEFF HURT

With solid assets, SMH remains financially stable, but with foul weather causing significant construction delays, hospital CFO Lou Robbins explained to the board last week that finances are currently tight.

Robbins reported an operating loss of $157,000 and explained that while the loss was little worse than forecasted, it remained in the general ballpark. He added that the balance sheet showed hospital had around $174,000 in cash.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Aspermont ISD prepares for improvements

While things have been fairly quiet around the AISD campuses, administrators have been sharing ideas on new programs, increasing the districts state ratings, and improving attendance ratings to grow state funding. They discussed some of those areas during last week’s board meeting.

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Wed
03
Jul
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Fisher County goes in the red to build a better budget

During the commissioners meeting last week, Fisher County Treasurer Jeanna Parks addressed several areas where departments were over budget, and after some discussion, the court agreed that allowing those individual deficits to grow might be a good way to create a more efficient budget as the county movies toward the next fiscal year.

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Thu
27
Jun
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Stonewall Memorial responds to dog shooting

Stonewall Memorial Hospital CEO Billie Carter informed the board of trustees earlier this week that she had completed her investigation into the incident occurring last month, where an employees dog was shot and killed on the hospital grounds.

Carter said she has spent the past couple of weeks reviewing the footage, witness accounts, and employee statements regarding the incident as well as making observations elsewhere in the facility. She said there is a great deal that has been learned.

Carter said there are several drills for emergency situations such as fire, tornado, and a few others the hospital is required to conduct each year. The hospital recently concluded a multi-agency disaster drill at the end of last week where the focus was responding to an active shooter situation.

Thu
27
Jun
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Noah

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Noah Constancio (Courtesy Photo)

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Noah Constancio (Courtesy Photo)

His short life has been a series of complications and miracles, and the Constancio family got one more miracle over the weekend when the team at Children’s Medical Center Dallas performed a life-saving heart transplant for young Noah. Reports are that Noah is resting and improving after his surgery on Saturday, and Constancio’s ask to please keep the donor family in your prayers.

Noah was born in January 2018. Shortly after birth, he was abandoned at the Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) — a congenital heart defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart — hospital staff cared closely for Noah as he lived the first five months of his life in the hospital.

The CDC explains that babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart cannot pump oxygen-rich blood to the body properly. The right side of the heart pumps blood to both the lungs and the rest of the body.

Thu
27
Jun
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Chase across three counties ends in 100-pound drug bust

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112 pounds of Marijuans confiscated after dug bust and hish speed chade last Friday. (photo provided by Fisher County Sheriff's Office)

The Fisher County Sheriff’s Department seized 112 pounds of marijuana after a vehicle chase at high speeds across three counties Friday evening. Suspects are being held at the Fisher County Law Enforcement Center with a combined bail set at $500K.

Around 5 p.m. on June 21, Fisher County Deputy Joseph Benavides began his pursuit on FM 57 near the Hamlin airport after clocking the silver Chevrolet Sonic with Missouri registration at a speed of 91 mph. The vehicle’s driver, Carla Mendoza (27) from Missouri, and Jesus Sebastian (25) from Mexico — with an expired work visa — failed to stop.

Mendoza powered toward the City of Hamlin, where the Hamlin Police Department assisted Benavides in the pursuit. Officers chased the Chevrolet as it tore through the city at speeds exceeding 70 MPH.

Thu
20
Jun
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City of Roby gets denied grant... Again

Having applied for the De¬partment of Agriculture’s Community Development Block Grant CDBG grant since 2015, city officials have read more denial letters they are beginning to lose count. Roby City Manager mocked the process, calling the recent rejection letter “disgusting,” as during years being turned down, the city’s need has not changed and the situation continues to worsen.

The city submits a grant application each year for the sole purpose of being awarded funding to address issues with the city’s water storage container. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been finding violations with the unit for years, while simultaneously the city has repeatedly been denied grants as well as cost-sharing and lowinterest loans to refurbish the old tank.

Thu
20
Jun
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Stonewall battles road damage with little relief

Stonewall County Road Superintendent Don Nail was at a loss last week, informing commissioners that although numerous resources have been working on County Road 460, the continued rainfall has slowed progress.

A storm brought around five inches of rain during a single evening late last month, which sent a cascade of water down the ravine to the north, and washed out County Road 460, just inside the Stonewall County line northeast of Rotan. As the water carved its way through the road, it also broke a city water line that ran beneath.

Rotan Public Works Director Rodney Denton said on his way to shut the line off he had to drive through water up to the bowtie on his grill due to the heavy downfall. He said grass and debris collected around his engine, which later caught fire and burned the wiring harness.

Thu
20
Jun
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Rotan native Jacob Cox hired as Rotan ISD principal

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Pictured: Jacob Cox with wife Miranda and daughters Hanna and McKenna Cox

In a special-called meeting Monday night, the Rotan ISD Board of Trustees hired Jacob Cox as secondary campus principal, extending a one-year administrative probationary contract. The district also filled its final coaches position, as Gordon Thomas was also offered a dual assignment contract for teacher/coach.

The trustees have been looking to fill the vacancy since Principal Brad Hayhurst tendered his resignation last month. Superintendent Greg Decker expressed concerns about challenges the district has faced in the past with finding qualified administrators.

Decker proposed combining the superintendent’s office with the secondary principal’s and assuming the duties of both positions in a special meeting at the end of May. He said given the size of the campuses and the low student population, he felt a single administrator could serve in both functions and save the district a considerable amount of money.

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