News

Fri
24
Jan
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Rotan ISD extends superintendent contract

Rotan ISD extends superintendent contract

Rotan superintendent Greg Decker

The Rotan ISD Board of Trustees met last week, and although it wasn’t the longest meeting the board had behind closed doors, it was one of the smoothest votes and the first unanimous decision regarding the superintendent’s contract the board has returned in years.

With only a six-member board after the resignation of former board president Guy Nelson in November, the trustees agreed on extending Rotan ISD Superintendent Greg Decker’s contract through 2022. This is the first time the board has returned a unanimous vote on the two-year extension since 2015.

Last January the board was divided 5 – 2 in favor of Decker’s contract. Nelson and board member Millie Warren voted against it, and the board was further divided when denying a salary increase. The 2% raise was shot down 4 – 3, with board members Monica Carrillo and Hunter Helms voting alongside Nelson and Warren.

Fri
24
Jan
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Roby City Council appoints new member

Roby City Council appoints new member

Roby Mayor Eli Sepeda, swears in new council member Jerry Stuart

After more than 10 years of service, Roby City Council member, Laura Carrion resigned her office earlier this month, citing a conflict of interest with her work at the County Appraisal District. The council appointed Jerry Stuart to serve out the remainder of the term until the 2020 November Election before moving on to other city business.

Roby City Manager Jack Brown said this winter is shaping up to be a tough one on the water distribution side of city operations. He reported two unusually bad water breaks in December, the worst of which has been a continuing issue for several years. Brown said the line has cost the city more in water losses than it would have to fix the issue.

Fri
24
Jan
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Aspermont City Council draws crowd of supporters

Aspermont City Council draws crowd of supporters

The Aspermont City Council listens as residents like Marcia Duggan expressed their support for the program to clean up property with aging structures. PHOTO BY JEFF HURT

It was standing room only during Tuesday night’s Aspermont City Council meeting, where members of the public filled every chair and stood in the corridors to show their support for the council’s consideration of last month’s program proposal that could assist the city in addressing dilapidated structures.

During the December meeting last month, the council heard from Danny Barrett with the Texas Communities Group (TCG) about how the city could address issues associated with decaying properties. TCG works with municipalities to identify those properties, and using various methods, and through the process and get properties back into the economy without incurring a lot of court fees.

Fri
17
Jan
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Roby Superintendent contract approved in a split vote

Roby Superintendent contract approved in a split vote

Roby CISD Superintendent, Keith Cook

Roby CISD Superintendent Keith Cook’s contract was extended through the 2021 school year Monday night, and while a majority of board members agreed with the extension, the motion passed in a 6 – 1 vote.

Cook took the reins as the district’s chief educator in October 2018 after former Superintendent Heath Dickson’s resignation in mid-July of that year. Just two months later, Cook found himself amidst controversy that only seemed to evolve from one challenging scenario to the next.

In December, trustees from both Roby and Rotan school districts tackled the difficult topic of potential school consolidation, which thrust Cook into the literal spotlight, as his second board meeting took place in the school auditorium in front of an audience of angry community members. While wading through the delicate issue and navigating the historic rivalry between the school districts, Cook was also presented with other considerations.

Fri
17
Jan
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Nomadic Newspaper takes in a show in the Mile High City

Nomadic Newspaper takes in a show in the Mile High City

Nicole & Jonathan Hjelmervik with their daughters Maci & Kynadi

The Double Mountain Chronicle recently traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the National Western Stock Show with the Hjelmervik family; owners and operators of Stand Alone Feed in Rotan, Texas.

If you are traveling somewhere that you think is interesting and exciting or going to meet someone famous, or interesting we would like to invite you to take along the Double Mountain Chronicle, snap a photograph and send it to us to publish in the newspaper with a brief description. You can email the photo to: publisher@dmchronicle.com. 325.933.8129.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://etypeservices.com/Double%20Mountain%20ChronicleID687/

Fri
17
Jan
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Stonewall County struggles to find road superintendent

Although Stonewall Commissioners have been actively seeking a replacement for the county’s road superintendent since former road foreman Don Nail’s resignation some months ago, the county has been unable to find a suitable candidate to fill the position permanently.

While the Stonewall County Road and Bridge Department still has a complement of employees and equipment for maintaining the county’s roadways, an individual to supervise those employees, maintain the equipment, and be accountable for the department has proven difficult. Nevertheless, the work must continue, and commissioners have considered assuming road supervisor duties until a replacement can be found.

Fri
10
Jan
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A year-round Winter Wonderland

A year-round Winter Wonderland

Fredda Buckner and daughter, Angela Messick visiting the North Pole room created by Lois Smith. (PHOTOS BY JEFF HURT)

It all started with a tiny little unfinished church in Illinois almost 40 years ago. Lois Ann Smith’s good friend was a ceramics worker, and although Lois had often accompanied her to the ceramic shop, nothing really ever caught her eye. That is until the day she spied a quaint little church.

Lois asked her friend if she would be willing to clean it and fire it for her, but to her surprise, her good friend said, “no.” However, she instead offered to teach Lois how to do the work herself. “She was extremely precise,” said Lois. “She was an excellent teacher.”

Lois said would explain how the church looked in her imagination, and her friend would teach her how to achieve that vision. And just like that, Lois was hooked on ceramics. That was in 1981. A year later, she found an entire little village that was cleaned and fired, which she was able to buy at a good price.

Fri
10
Jan
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Roby CISD Board to review bond committee recommendation

The 22-member Roby CISD Bond Committee closed in on some final decisions just before the Christmas break, and with over $10 million in renovations and new construction to consider, school trustees will have much to consider during next week’s board meeting.

A potential bond election has been a topic of conversation amongst the administration and board members for over a year. John Blackburn with Live Oak Public Finance LLC first proposed the possibility of a bond last December. Blackburn explained how a bond might benefit the district and how the influx of wind energy companies would be a majority contributor in the repayment of that bond.

Fri
10
Jan
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Back to school after a long winter’s nap

After more than two weeks off from studies, students and teachers are getting back to the educational grind with plenty of teaching and learning to do in the nine weeks before spring break. While extracurricular programs gear up for spring events, classroom teachers are also preparing for spring testing and meeting educational benchmarks and preparing for the upcoming STAAR test in April and May. Between the onslaught of spring events like stock shows, sporting competitions, UIL academics, one-act-play contests, musical competitions all balanced with continuing classroom studies and preparing for state tests for many and preparing for life after high school for some can create a great deal of anxiety, especially after returning from winter break.

“Just breathe,” said Rotan ISD Counselor Katrina Jarvis. “It’s busy. It’s fast. And there’s a lot going on, but everything... will be okay. Just breathe”

Fri
03
Jan
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2020 and the Status Quo

Essays from West of 98

In the 2016 election, and in the post-election national conversations, much was made of the importance of rural America and the rural vote in the outcome of the presidential election. For months afterwards, politicians, pundits, and prognosticators from all political stripes debated the importance of rural America. They opined that rural America had been “forgotten” and that we needed to repair frayed relationships between the distinctly rural, suburban, and urban segments of the country. For the most part, America’s talking class just talked. They used “rural America” to justify their pre-established opinions and determined that their pre-determined policy ideas were the perfect solution for whatever ills were troubling the rural folk.

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