News

Fri
27
Sep
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Aspermont ISD amend faculty handbook and hear of future improvements

Although the Aspermont ISD trustees spent almost an hour behind closed doors last week discussing recent personnel issues, no official action was taken except for amending the district’s faculty handbook. Board members also heard about educational enhancements and continuing facility improvements.

Superintendent Zach Morris explained that while the district has policies in place regarding electronic communication between teachers and students, the wording of these policies were not contained within the faculty handbook. For instance, district policy DH(LOCAL)-A states in part:

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Fri
20
Sep
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2019 Rotan Homecoming Court

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King will be announced Friday at the pep rally in Downtown Rotan at 2:15pm and Queen will be announced at halftime of the football game against Moran which begins at 7:30pm. Everyone is invited to stay for the Hogg Maulies concert at the football field immediately following the game.

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Fri
20
Sep
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City of Aspermont sets tax rate and prepares for future

The Aspermont City Council met earlier this week, officially adopting this year’s budget and levying taxes at the tax rate of .585612. The council also accepted services for the annual financial audit and approved a resolution for a five-year hazard mitigation plan.

The council reviewed the engagement letter from Roberts & McGee, CPA out of Abilene, which outlined the outside auditing services and the overall cost. Each year, city municipalities must have a third party audit city finances for accountability and transparency. The cost to the city comes in at just over $13,000, well under the cities $14,000 budgeted amount.

Fri
20
Sep
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Roby CISD Trustees prepare bond committee during regular meeting

As the district continues to prepare to potentially call for a bond election in February, last week the Roby board reviewed a list of potential individuals to serve on a committee that will oversee the aspects of bond planning to meet the district’s needs. Additionally, the trustees conducted regular business including approving the contract for future tax collections.

The board has been entertaining the idea of a bond proposal since late 2018 when John Blackburn with Live Oak Public Finance LLC initially discussed how a bond could benefit the district, and how wind energy companies could play a positive role in repaying that bond.

Thu
12
Sep
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Aspermont man murdered in South Texas

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Jonathan Tate with his wife Alicia (Courtesy Photo)

Jessie James Trevino, 47, from Haskell was arrested last week in Rio Hondo, under suspicion of the stabbing death of Jonathan Andrew Tate from Aspermont.

Law enforcement was dispatched to Twin Palms RV Resort in Rio Hondo last Tuesday around 9:20 p.m. Upon arrival, officers discovered Tate with numerous lacerations about his body. Police stated he was bleeding profusely and “in grave condition.”

Tate was transported by ambulance to the Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police said the primary suspect, Trevino, was taken into custody at the scene without incident. He was charged with murder and is currently being held at the Carrizales Rucker Detention Center in Olmito with a $500,000 bond.

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Thu
12
Sep
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Rotan ISD prepares for homecoming festivities

As Rotan ISD’s homecoming game is little more than one week away, the district is preparing to welcome home alumni and hosting a number of festivities.

Although the junior high and high school students will begin decorating for homecoming this upcoming Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., the first officially scheduled homecoming event will be the traditional homecoming bon fire next Thursday night. Rotan ISD students will also be showing their spirit, dressing in different themed attire each day during homecoming week.

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Thu
12
Sep
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Stonewall plans for future hazards

The Stonewall County Commissioners approved the regional hazard mitigation plan Monday, an almost 500-page document designed to streamline disaster recovery and serve as a basis for potential grant funding in the future.

Jay Hardaway with H2O Partners, Inc. has been working with the West Central Texas Council of Governments (COG) on the plan for more than two years and was on hand to speak with Stonewall officials earlier this week. As required by FEMA and the Texas Department of Emergency Management, cities and counties across the state are required to update their hazard mitigation action plan every five years.

Fri
06
Sep
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15 tuition-free scholarships coming to Fisher, Kent, and Stonewall counties

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Judges from Fisher, Kent, and Stonewall counties met with representatives from Texas State Technical College last week to discuss how to structure 15 scholarships for the college’s Wind Technology Program. The goal is to offer an opportunity for five locals from each county to attend the program tuition-free, paid for through agreements with wind-energy company, BayWa.

The German-based BayWa R.E. first began preliminary discussions back in June of 2018 about expanding its existing wind farm through portions of each of the three counties. The company submitted applications for possible tax abetments. Stonewall County officials had more on their minds than simply generating revenue, they wanted to create and assure opportunity.

Fri
06
Sep
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Nomadic Newspaper Tours Southern Europe

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Back L-R: Laura West, Laramie West, Roger Blackwelder, Dominic LaValle, Amy LaValle. Front L-R: Holden West, Porter West, Josie Blackwelder, Luke LaValle.

Roger and Josie Blackwelder, decided to beat the Texas heat with a family vacation touring southern Europe along with their daughters' families, the LaValles and Wests.

They visited such locales as Salzburg, the Alsace region of France, the mighty Neuschwanstein castle, and the Amalfi coast in Italy.

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Fri
06
Sep
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Stonewall Memorial Hospital approved lower tax rate

Financial reports showing an unusually low hospital cash flow didn’t concern board members enough to consider raising taxes to cover the 2019-20 budget cycle. With minimal changes from last year, the SMH board voted last week on the effective tax rate again this year.

Although anticipated to bring roughly the same amount of tax revenue for the district as last year, the approved .586793 effective rate will be costing the Stonewall taxpayers slightly less than last year. As the construction on the new Stonewall Living Center continues to progress, the administration said any potential revenues are not factored into the budget but would certainly be welcome.

Stonewall Hospital CFO Lou Robbins informed the board last month’s bottom line was not what he had hoped, but it was almost exactly the same as the prior year’s report. As it has been in the last few monthly reports, Robbins said his most urgent concern is the low cash flow.

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