Colorado River gets new bridge

New bridge construction underway...

A new bridge is being built by Reece Albert crews on CR 337. The road connects Hwy. 163 and Hwy. 208 in the county and is commonly known as 16-mile road.

Fire burns mobile home

Structure was being used as storage...

A fire burned a mobile home on county road near lake last Friday. A trash pile was set on fire too close to the structure that was being used as storage.

Franco Pavilion dedicated to family

Paredes Park gets new monument during reunion

Nearly 600 members of the Franco family attended the annual reunion in Paredes Park last weekend. A dedication ceremony officially named the pavilion after the family that has done so much for the park.

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  • Mitchell County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is in full swing, as 80 to 100 kids have been attending the program each week. Librarians provide interesting stories and fun activities for all those attending, and members of the community have been helping out too.Super heroes have been the subject of this year’s reading program. As you may know, there are many kinds of heroes, including t...
  • Coach Virgil Judy coached the Westbrook Junior High girls’ basketball team in 1970, and he returned to the school during the 2015 homecoming festivities to honor team members. Despite his hearing handicap, Judy followed his dream, attended college and became a coach.Judy was born on May 28, 1944, in Long Beach, California, during World War II. His father was in the United States Marine Corps, and ...
  • A good group of citizens came out Saturday to support the Colorado City Rotary Club and compete in the 11th Annual C-City Rotary Club Pat Taylor Memorial Nigh Golf Tourament and Steak Cookout. The 1st place team in the 1st flight, consisting of Joe Stinson, Blake Hammond, Wilson Marshall, and Brett Womack, finished the tournament with a score of 54. The 1st place team in the 2nd flight, consisting...
  • Changes may be coming your way if you live within 5000 feet of the city limits of Colorado City. During the last city council meeting, it was approved by the council to begin enforcement of city codes on property located along the entrances to the city.City Manager David Hoover said that it is already a state law that municipalities can enforce codes on all Extra Territorial Jurisdiction propertie...
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College students tutor through AVID

mirandaavidtutoringA few former Colorado High School students return to the school every week to help out in a big way. Mari Hernandez, Miranda Reyna and Brittany Vasquez are all tutors, helping students succeed through the AVID program.
AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, and the program’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness. CHS teacher Melissa Lara is overseeing the AVID course, which is offered as an elective to all students at the local high school.
The class targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and are capable of completing challenging classes to accomplish that goal. While taking the elective class, students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and get academic help from peers and college tutors.
Currently, every CHS freshman is enrolled in the course. Lara said that the program is perfectly suited for the middle-of-the-road student, lending them extra support and encouragement, as well as tutoring on the subjects that are often most difficult for them, usually math and science.
As part of the criteria of enrolling in AVID, students must first be enrolled in honors classes. Most “honors” classes at CHS are college classes where the students receive dual-credit, meaning credit towards high school graduation and college hours.
Lara said that AVID focuses on essential skills called WICOR, which stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading. “We teach students how to manage their time, take effective notes and how to get organized,” Lara said.
Hernandez and Reyna agreed that the time-management skills are a must to be successful in college. Hernandez is enrolled in Howard College in Big Spring and is going through the Registered Nursing program.
Reyna is enrolled in Lubbock Christian University and completes much of her work for her graphic arts degree online. Vasquez, who tutors every Tuesday, is enrolled in Western Texas College in Snyder working on her education degree.
Tutorials are also an essential part of the program. “Collaboration is probably the most fun part,” Lara said.
Thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Colorado High School is able to pay these tutors. Providing tutorials is a way to offer help to high school students and a job for the college students.
High school students in the class often bring in homework that they are struggling with and get help from Lara, the tutors or other students. Lara said she tries to make sure the groups are broken up a bit, ensuring that the tutorial sessions don’t turn into a big chat between friends.
CHS Counselor and Grant Director Marina Wilcox described AVID this way, “It’s an old-school value system that works in the 21st century. It creates an accountability system and provides these young adults with guidance and tools to navigate high school and beyond.” She added that today’s students are held to a much higher standard than college students of the past.
“Any tool that helps is a must,” Wilcox said.
While the tutorials have been quite helpful to CHS students, Lara and Wilcox were quick to stress that they don’t take away the need for parental involvement. Both agree that for students to achieve success, parents must be active in their child’s education.
The educators encourage parents to ask about classes students are taking, check binders and visit the Colorado ISD website to stay up-to-date and involved.
Mary Catherine Swanson began AVID in 1980, relying on her 14 years of teaching experience and research to develop the program. She recruited 32 low-income, diverse C-average students and enrolled them in a college prep and AVID class in California. Clairemont High School saw such a big success with the program, Swanson formed the first school-wide site team to visit with students to learn what teaching practices are most helpful for learning.
What began with one high school and 32 students, AVID now impacts more than 800,000 students in nearly 5,000 schools across the nation and in other countries, according to the AVID website.

Projects ongoing in city

lionsclubhooverWith several projects ongoing in Colorado City, city officials are busy, but City Manager David Hoover made time to come to the local Lions Club meeting last Friday to talk a little about some of the things going on in the fair city.
As most citizens are aware, Golden Chick, located just off the south service road of I-20, is open and serving customers. Hoover said that the chicken restaurant could not serve fountain drinks the first few days due to a tripped check valve.
With the construction of the Super 8 motel in full swing, crews punctured a water main with rebar recently. Public Works crews from the city came out and repaired the main, but they did not realize that a check valve had been tripped which drastically reduces water pressure. The low pressure resulted in Golden Chick not being able to serve fountain drinks for a few days.
Changes are happening quickly at the site of the Super 8, as foundation concrete pouring began in earnest at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. According to Hoover, developers plan to pour what he called a “concrete shoulder” on the back side of the motel to help prevent erosion of the soil on the steep slope.
Hoover said he has received the blueprints for the Stripes Travel Center. He said he’s anxious to see it open and hopes it will help the city’s revenue.
Revised plans, allowing for more rooms at the planned Best Western, have been turned in at city hall. Hoover said he expects dirt work to begin soon at the location across N. Hwy. 208 from Dairy Queen.
The grant paperwork has been completed, and once the city receives funding, sewer line extension will begin on the city’s western edge of the I-20 corridor. Developers have expressed an intention to build a Studio 6 Extended Stay motel.
Hoover said that the city has not been pleased with the sanitation collection services by Republic, and the council is looking at taking the service back in-house. The city manager said that Republic hasn’t worked well with the city to resolve issues that have come up while using their services.
While falling oil prices are always a concern in this part of Texas, Hoover said that the lower prices have slowed production but have not stopped it. “It’s important in our part of the world,” Hoover said Friday. He said that falling sales tax, which is connected to the oil and gas industries, hurts the city, but some economists expect prices to begin to increase in the next 12 to 18 months.
Lion Bob Reily asked if falling oil prices have affected development. Hoover said that development plans continue despite lower oil prices, because housing is still needed for workers who will be coming to this area to build the FGE power plant and those working on pipelines.
“Mitchell County has always seen more of the production side of the industry, not as much drilling,” Hoover said, adding that it’s a good thing, as drilling as slowed much more than production.
Reily also said he’s seen that towns in this area are concerned about water supply. “Do we have plenty of water?” he asked. Hoover answered affirmatively and went on to say that because the city was proactive in their water plans, Colorado City also has some of the cheapest water around.
Finally, the city manager said that though it’s unfortunate to see the close of Alco, there may be another retailer interested in purchasing the building and opening up shop. He could not disclose any other details about the possible deal.

Stock show exhibitors brave cold

grandchampionheiferStock show exhibitors are used to showing their animal projects in the cold, so the cold snap last week didn’t even slow down the 109 members of the Lone Wolf 4-H, Colorado City, Westbrook and Loraine FFA entered in the 78th Annual Mitchell County Livestock Show and Premium Sale. The show took place last Friday, and the annual premium sale was held on Saturday in the Mitchell County Ag Barn.
“I think the show went really well,” Livestock association president Brodie Harris said Tuesday. “The economy and oil prices may have affected the sale some, but overall it was a success again this year.”
Harris went on to tell the story of one exhibitor that had some bad luck at the beginning of the show. Chris Green was set to show a goat, and the animal was already weighed-in and being kept in what is virtually a storage room at the ag barn. This year, there were so many hogs entered in the show, there was no room to pen the goats and lambs in the climate-controlled part of the ag barn.
Green’s goat suffered a seizure Friday morning during the swine show and died, leaving the exhibitor with no animal project to show; an unfortunate fate by anyone’s standards. However, the best was yet to come for Green.
Another exhibitor, Carrie Chaney, had undergone an emergency appendectomy Monday and was looking for someone to help with her goat in the ring. Green stepped up, and in the process, was named Junior Reserve Goat Showman, garnering him a buckle and bragging rights.
According to Harris, the livestock show committee met Friday night after the show and decided to put Green in the sale, despite the fact that he had no animal to sell. The committee wanted Green’s hard work leading up to the sale to be rewarded in some way.
Local businesses and individuals pulled together and his goat sold to Fuller Foods and Hurst Farm Supply for over $1,000. Individuals and other businesses added on to the “purchase”, bringing Green’s total to close to $2,000, according to Harris.
“It’s always amazing to me how local businesses and people pull together to help each other out,” Harris said. “These companies, that are mostly not oilfield-related, come together every year to make this show a success, regardless of oil prices or the economy.”
While sales totals may have suffered some because of the slow economy, each exhibitor, no matter the results of the show, had the opportunity to be part of the premium sale. Money brought in by the sale makes it possible for the kids to go on to show their animals in the bigger shows, such as Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and others.
William Maddox exhibited the Grand Champion Steer which sold to Fuller Foods for $1,600. Reserve Champion Steer was exhibited by Tanner Strain.
The Merket family donated the buckles for junior and senior showmanship. Joan Merket Long attended the show to make the presentation to William Maddox in the junior division and Tanner Strain in the senior division.
The steer showmanship awards are presented each year in memory of Casey and Jeff Merket. Bobby Lemons accompanied Long in the presentations, as he was the county extension agent that mentored the Merket boys when they were participating in the livestock show.
RJRS Livestock donated buckles for all the reserve showmanship awards, and John, Robin and Ryland Senter presented the buckles in each division. Brandon Barkley was named Reserve Junior Steer Showman, and Mark Munoz was the recipient in the senior division of the steer show.
First-time exhibitor Brandon Barkley showed the Grand Champion Heifer this year, which brought $1,550 in the premium sale on Saturday. Fuller Foods and City National Bank split the cost of the heifer at the sale. Mason Maddox showed the Reserve Champion Heifer.
Showmanship awards are not given in the heifer division.
In the swine category, Calvin Spencer exhibited Yorkshire pig that was named the Grand Champion Swine. The pig brought in $2,100 at the sale and was purchased by City National Bank and Fuller Foods. Brooklea Stone showed the Reserve Champion Swine.
The Grand Swine Showmanship buckle went to Brooklea Stone in the junior division and Delani Graham in the senior division. The buckles are donated by Charles and Madison Rice and Gary Don and Belinda Rich each year in memory of Dakota Dawson.
Reserve showmanship buckles went to Zackory Stone in the junior division and Calvin Spencer in the senior division.
Kynzie Hardegree, of Lone Wolf 4-H, showed the Grand Champion Lamb which sold for $1,500 to Fuller Foods. Her brother, Kyler Hardegree, had the Reserve Champion Lamb.
Kynzie Hardegree was the recipient of the Senior Lamb Showmanship buckle which was donated by Nub and Maureen Morris and Donald and Peggy Smith. Kyler received the Reserve Senior Swine Showmanship buckle, donated by RJRS Livestock.
The Grand Champion Goat and the Reserve Champion Goat were exhibited by Lone Wolf 4-H’s Nadia Davila at this year’s show. TLR Welding & Fabrication bought the animal at the premium sale for $1,550.
Kash Wood was named junior goat showman, and Kyler Wood garnered the honor in the senior division. Goat showmanship buckles are donated and presented in memory of Brylenn Jo Stone and are sponsored by Jeremiah and Lisa Wood and Vic and Carolyn Jeter.
Chris Green received the reserve junior goat showman buckle, while Nadia Davila received the buckle in the senior division.
Following the goat show, a Pee Wee Goat show is held, and there were two full classes of the young goat showmen. A ribbon was awarded in each class. Dakota Follis exhibited the winning goat in the 3-5 year old age division, assisted by Brittany Edmiston. Matt Farmer took the honors in the 6 and up division, with the help of Daniel Meguire.
A special award was presented by the Mitchell County Livestock Association Board on Saturday. Rick Alvarez, manager of Fuller Foods, was honored with a buckle for his years of generous support of the local stock show.
The buyer’s meal of delicious brisket and sausage with trimmings was sponsored by Lone Star Ag Credit and prepared Matt Syler and Brandon Hale. Several scholarships and awards were presented before the premium sale.
The Overall Showmanship Award, presented by John, Robin and Ryland Senter on behalf of RJRS Livestock-Senter Brothers, went to Kyler Wood. Those eligible to receive this award exhibit outstanding showmanship qualities and must exhibit in two or more divisions.
John, Teresa and Rachel Beckmeyer presented the Sportsmanship Award, sponsored by Browne Bros., to Juan Reyes. He was chosen as a first-year exhibitor who lended an extra helping hand and displayed sportsmanlike qualities.
Kalynn Hardegree was the recipient of the $2,500 Raymond Fuller Scholarship, and Taegen Harris received the $2,500 Virginia Fuller Scholarship.
The Top Hand Award, presented by Brodie, Malarie, Kaper and Kantyn Harris, went to Kutter Russell, who went above and beyond the make the show a success.

Conaway visits Colorado City

conawayinterviewU.S. District 11 Representative Mike Conaway visited Colorado City Monday afternoon, stopping at the Record office for an interview. The congressman said he will continue to visit the counties he represents in an effort to stay in touch with his constituents.
“I’ve been going around for 10 years, and I will continue because I want to hear what folks have to say,” Conaway said. While in Colorado City for lunch, he ran across John and Teresa Beckmeyer, a visit he said he enjoyed.
With the new session in full swing, Conaway said congress has already passed a couple of bills which will be sent to the senate, including the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
Insuring an event where large groups gather can be costly. According to Conaway, insurance costs in that area skyrocketed after 9-11, and taxpayers have been bearing the biggest part of those costs. The bill would shift the financial responsibilities to the private sector.
Elections in the fall caused a shift of power in the senate, and Conaway is looking forward to working with more of his fellow republicans as the session goes forward. He said he hopes the Senate and House of Representatives can work together to show people the legislative branch of government can work as it should.
“I think people are tired of the gridlock,” he said Monday. “It’s gonna’ be a breath of fresh air.”
He went on to say that members of the senate and the house will be working hard to put bills in front of President Obama. “Some will be signed and some will be vetoed,” Conaway said. “Vetoes can be expected and are kinda’ like a badge of honor.”
Conaway has been named president of the House Committee on Agriculture. He said the committee will be undertaking a full review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as the food stamp program.
“It’s going to be a soup to nuts review, and we’re going to be looking into what works and what doesn’t,” Conaway said.
The representative said that he thinks a program may best be judged by how quickly recipients can get back on their feet, instead of relying on the assistance program for many years. He also stated his position on other assistance programs such as welfare.
“Welfare benefits should never be as good as work,” Conaway said. The congressman said that assistance programs should be considered carefully, as there are always moral hazards that accompany them.
Groundwork is where the true changes take place, according to the legislator. “If we can get the policies right, the numbers take care of themselves.”
Another large part of the ag committee’s work during this legislature will be monitoring the functions of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Icy weather wreaks havoc

icywreckonhickoryLaw enforcement officials, members of volunteer fire departments and first responders had their hands full last week as winter weather invaded Mitchell County and the surrounding area. While the number of accidents soared over the four days of winter precipitation, no major injuries were reported.
Officials from the Colorado City, Loraine and Westbrook fire departments estimated that personnel worked about 10 to 15 wrecks each caused by ice on I-20. Besides actual reported accidents, each department also saw well over 100 vehicles sliding off the highway over the four-day winter event.
Colorado City Chief Rick Goodney said that about eight volunteers of the local department spent nights at the station, because the calls for traffic control were coming in so rapidly, there was no time to go home.
“The volunteers stayed for two reasons,” Goodney said. “Number one, we knew we were going to get some wrecks, and number two, it was safer for the volunteers to stay instead of hurrying to the station after a call.”
Two of the more memorable accidents involved 18-wheelers carrying raw chicken. One of the trucks wrecked out at the west highway exchange and the other near the Country Club Road exit. “There was chicken galore,” Goodney said Monday.
The volunteers mostly work traffic control to help law enforcement officers stay safe while dealing with accidents. Occasionally, other expertise is needed. Goodney said volunteers from the local department cut one vehicle out of the cables in the median.
Loraine’s Doyle Mitchell said the calls for assistance came in almost constantly on the eastern side of the county. “They were coming in one right after the other,” he said.
Mitchell estimated that there were about 200 to 300 vehicles that slid off the road, of which 10 to 15 were actual wrecks. While most of the accidents were quite minor, Mitchell said that a few roll-overs occurred as well.
“The number of accidents we saw are just a minute figure compared to all the close calls,” Mitchell said. “The roads were so slick, they reminded me of a game of air hockey.”
Mitchell said he found it particularly noteworthy that some of the drivers needing assistance were from places where icy, snowy weather is the norm in the winter.
“They don’t know about our black ice. It only takes a five-foot spot of black ice to send a car out of control,” he said.
Mitchell said he felt particularly sorry for a trucker that was part of a driving team. While the man was sleeping, the other driver flipped the 18-wheeler on the icy interstate. The man sat in Mitchell’s car for quite some time clothed only in his shorts.
Westbrook Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brandon Hale said that volunteers saw about 20 actual accidents, but the number of slide-offs were in the hundreds in the western part of the county as well.
“There were so many, sometimes it’s hard to remember what day it is,” Hale said Tuesday.
Luckily, Hale said that there were no major injuries sustained from the accidents. Only one person had to be transported to the hospital due to seatbelt injuries, a small number considering road conditions and the number of travelers on the road.
After the roadways began to clear, many residents and businesses in the county experienced power outages. Most only lasted for a few hours. It was reported by Sharyland Utilities that those to the west of Mitchell County suffered even longer periods without electrical service. The energy distribution company said that thousands were without power in the Midland/Odessa area.

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