Hutch students visit Santa

Students in Mrs. Leverton's class visit Festival of Trees

Hutchinson Elementary students in Mrs. Leverton's class took a private tour through the Festival of Trees and had breakfast with Santa for Christmas.

'Tis the giving season

Loraine ISD holds food drive

Students in Loraine collected 472 food items during their annual food drive. The Student Council and NHS collect, sort and distribute the food. 

Westbrook ISD rings in holidays

Annual parade kicks off Christmas season

Lighted floats form each class adorned the annual Westbrook Christmas Parade again this year, and Santa skateboarded his way through town behind a Mudshark.

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  • Donations have been pouring into the Colorado City Police Station for the Blue Santa program, according to Administrative Assistant Donna Overton. While the program has been blessed with an abundance of donations, Overton said there is still a need for gifts for older children.Blue Santa will be delivering toys and gifts to several families from 3 to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and this year Chief Ag...
  • M’Leah Alexander, a sophomore at Colorado High School, has registered to attend HOBY Leadership Seminar and will travel to Arlington in June to participate. The seminar is designed to empower high school sophomores to recognize their leadership talents and apply them to become effective, ethical leaders.All CHS sophomores were required to write essays for English class, and teachers chose Alexande...
  • The Colorado Middle School 7th grade A team took on the Reagan County Owls at The Pit Monday evening, and the Wolves proved that bigger does not equal better. Quickness and sharp skills drove the Wolves to a 39-4 victory over the Owls.Though the Owls were bigger in size, the Wolves jumped out to a quick lead from the beginning and never looked back. Colorado City scored 10 points to Reagan County’...
  • The residents of a home located in the 400 block of 21st Street were quite fortunate Tuesday afternoon when a deck and old hot tub behind their house caught on fire, as well as a shed. As luck would have it, a few firemen were on the north side of town when the fire started and made it to the fire just as the 9-1-1 call went out.Due to the quick response from firemen, the fire was contained before...
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Museum home to arrowheads

museumarrowheadsThe Heart of West Texas Museum in Colorado City is home to a collection of over 200 arrowheads donated by the late E.L. “Dick” Davis of Sweetwater. Museum Curator Patty Pharis said the museum is honored to have the collection, as Davis scouted several museums before choosing the local facility.
Davis spent years of his life searching for and finding the 206 arrowheads in locations throughout the state. Along with the arrowheads themselves, Davis donated a log book with an entry for almost every arrowhead he found and most include the location of the finds, landowners’ names and other information about the sites.
Pharis said she intends to acquire a special display box to display the small leather-bound notebook beside the arrowhead display.
Most of the flint tools were found around this area, from Blackwell to the Clear Fork of the Brazos River near Rotan to Big Silver Creek on Maddox Ranch. At least one of the arrowheads was found seven miles south of Loraine.
Pharis said she talked with Davis before his death. After many years of searching, he became somewhat of an expert at knowing where to look for the primitive tools. Many were found near water or close to an outcropping of rocks, popular places where Native Americans would camp.
The collection is worth quite a bit of money, but Pharis said she is unsure of an amount. She did say that Davis sold off part of his collection to help offset medical bills after his wife became gravely ill.
After donating his beloved arrowheads to the Heart of West Texas Museum, Davis visited the museum many times. He would bring in friends or relatives to see the display.
Pharis said he called to say he would be making a trip into Colorado City to show the display to a friend but never made it, as he passed away later on the day of the call.
“We’re just so thankful he gave them to us,” Pharis said, speaking on behalf of the museum board.
The donation and display helps the museum accomplish its mission: Preserving the history of Mitchell County and West Texas.

CISD goes to Washington

cisdgoestowashingtonThree faculty members of Colorado ISD, Shelia Redwine, Denise Farmer and Marina Wilcox, traveled to Washington, D.C. recently to accept, on behalf of the school district, a $3.5 million dollar Youth CareerConnect (YCC) grant. Students enrolled in Colorado High School can graduate with 48 college hours already completed, or a certificate in their specified field, at absolutely no charge, thanks to the grant funding.
Along with accepting on behalf of the district, the three ladies joined representatives from 23 other school districts around the country to participate in training at the U.S. Department of Labor. They were welcomed to the country’s capital by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
CISD was the smallest school district receiving YCC funding, with the nearest size school having a graduating class of about 600. This is notable because CISD received more funding than some of the larger districts partially because the administration and staff have already begun taking steps toward preparing students for life after high school.
The U.S. Department of Labor provided $107 million to 24 local partnerships of education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employers to re-design the teaching and learning experience and more fully prepare students for a pathway to a successful career.
Wilcox said that the funds are coming from a high profile grant made available through the Obama administration, and stipulations show that government officials are adamant about following the progress of students during and after graduation.
School officials will have to track students’ progress and successes, as they take part in programs made available through grant funding. The final result is expected to be a whole generation of students who are ready to go on to college or a career right out of high school.
Moreover, the grant will allow CISD to work with technical schools to provide students with certifications for a successful move into a career that is available in west Texas. “It’s nice they are finally seeing that higher education has to meet the needs of the workforce,” Wilcox said.
According to Farmer, the grant funding is going to work well in conjunction with House Bill 5, a new law in Texas that requires high schools to provide training for career pathways for all students. In the past, full training meant college-readiness, and it still does, but it also means technical degrees for many students who aren’t interested in a four-year university.
Compliance with HB5 is easier in bigger towns and cities, as there are more resources, businesses and agencies to partner with to provide various career pathways for students. Local school officials began looking into ways to be able to offer those pathways affordably, and the grant will do just that.
Students attending Colorado High School can graduate with 48 college hours already completed at no charge. The school is also partnering with Western Texas College in Snyder and Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater to provide technical training in several fields, including welding and auto tech. Students taking part in the vocational training may graduate from CHS being completely certified to join the workforce as a skilled employee. For example, students signing up for the programs will be bussed to TSTC to take welding and auto tech classes, and WTC has added online classes just for Colorado High students. All training will be paid for with grant funds.
The appropriate credentialing will be provided, so that students can apply for jobs or go on to further their education with a huge head start. “It’s our job to make a reality of whatever pathway they (the students) so choose,” Wilcox said.
For students choosing to go on to college, the training they are able to receive, thanks to the YCC grant, will provide them an extra step up. “They will have some tools already,” Farmer said.
Besides scholastic training, grant funds are paying to prepare students for the real world. There will be classes offered at CHS which teach students people skills, resume writing, interviewing skills, etc.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the students and all of Mitchell County,” Wilcox said, adding that local businesses will benefit from a skilled workforce.
“The grant is allowing CISD to offer House Bill 5 pathways and opportunities at their finest,” Farmer said.
It is the hopes of local educators and members of the U.S. Department of Labor that the grant will provide pathways to success for all students, regardless of their economic situation.
Grant money is also allowing CISD to upgrade their technology, providing state-of-the-art devices and software for students to use. Every student at CHS will also be receiving a laptop, as part of the technology upgrades.
Though the staff has seen many beginnings of school years, this year will be different. This year, all CISD students will be getting a leg up, which means everything to local educators. Wilcox said that this grant will, hopefully, provide students with something every good educator strives for: success.

Bass is new FUMC pastor

fumcpastorbassThe First United Methodist Church in Colorado City has a new face in the pulpit, and he’s already growing fond of the congregation and community. Larry Bass and his wife, Kathy, have moved here from the Lubbock area, and he’s looking forward to serving local citizens.
Bass originally hails from Canyon and comes to the Colorado City church with 10 years of experience as a pastor. After serving nine years in the United States Air Force, Bass got out to pursue his first love, leading and guiding congregations to a closer relationship with God.
During his time in the service, Bass traveled to various locales such as Korea, Japan, Germany and most of the southwestern United States. He said that he chose to find a more stable place once he married, as the traveling lifestyle is often not conducive to raising a family.
As a full-time pastor, Bass said that prayer and worship are subjects he routinely focuses on, and each of those subjects encompass many areas which will be shared with those attending the church at the corner of 4th and Chestnut Street.
Since he’s been here for close to a month, Bass is becoming familiar with members of the congregation. “There are some strong Christian people here,” he said Monday.
Bass said his hobbies are family and music. He sings and plays guitar and harmonica, as well as a bamboo flute. He also dabbles at playing a keyboard. He said that he’s been practicing since his daughter found an old keyboard for him to use.
He said he enjoys playing as part of worship services, but he doesn’t perform at any other venue. “Mostly, it’s just for fun,” he said, “but my greatest passion is being a father and husband.”
Larry and Kathy have two grown children, a 23-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son. Both are attending college in Lubbock. As for Bass’ own education, he graduated from Lubbock Christian University and went on to Duke Divinity for seminary.
The couple has been taking this time to enjoy their lives together. “We’re excited to have this new adventure. It’s been a really great experience. Everybody’s been really welcoming and kind,” Bass said.
As he noted, there are a lot of characters in Colorado City, and Bass said he looks forward to meeting them all.
The First United Methodist Church meets for worship every Sunday morning and evening, as well as Wednesday evenings. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Spade Reunion focuses on food

jimsherryatspadereunionThe 48th Annual Spade Reunion was held Saturday, with three families attending that had never been to Spade Reunion before. As always, there was plenty of Mitchell County history shared among those attending the reunion.
The day’s festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. with a meet and greet at the First Baptist Church Activities Building in Colorado City. Reunion organizer Diana McKenney said that the meet and greet is a great time for families to visit and learn the history of their ancestors.
The focus of this year’s reunion was old-fashioned, traditional foods, and a program by Liz Redwine talked about foods that were often prepared and eaten on the ranch. Minnie Lee Moore was in attendance, and she said that her mother raised chickens and sold eggs for most of her childhood. Proceeds from the egg sales eventually paid for Moore and her sister to attend college.
Following a catered meal, a business meeting was conducted. There was some discussion on the upkeep of the Spade Community Cemetery, and plans for next year’s reunion have begun.
Everyone was encouraged to bring in a copy of their favorite recipes from childhood, and index card booklets of the compiled recipes were available to everyone attending the reunion.

Bullriding raises money for RFL

forbesmuttonbusterProfessional bull riders came to the Mitchell County Arena to compete in the 3rd annual Kerry Bradbury Bullriding on Saturday, and the event was a hit with the crowd. Mutton bustin’ was added to the schedule this year, and participation was good with the youngsters.
Though the crowd was thinner than in past years, Lynn Bradbury said the bullriding event went off without a hitch, as 15 professional riders got to ride two bulls each to provide plenty of action for the audience.
All riders get a go-around on a bull, and this year there was time for each to get two rides. After the preliminary rides are done, a “short go” or “shoot out” is held where the top five riders compete for the 1st place finish.
This year’s winner of the short go was Casey Stone from Willis. His combined rides gave him a total of 84 points to win the whole event.
Gerald Vance of Shepherd took top honors in the 35 to 40 age division, J.W. Sharrah of Lubbock won the 41 to 46 division and Robert Mim of Bryan took the top spot in the 47 and older age division.
Mutton bustin’ was a new event added to the format this year, and it was a popular event with the sheep-riding youngsters and the audience. Hatle Hohertz of Goldthwaite won with a score of 72, and Canyon West Moore of Florence placed 2nd with 71 points. Hohertz was awarded a belt buckle for his efforts, and Moore received a pair of boots from Wood’s Boots.
Colorado City’s own Bodie Forbes received 3rd place honors, and took home a pair of new spurs, donated by Cooper’s Saddlery, for his outstanding performance. The eight-year-old is the son of Tiffany and John Forbes Jr.
While the action was fast and furious and the bulls were better than ever, Bradbury said that attendance was down a little this year. “We were a little disappointed with the turnout, but summer’s a busy time for everybody,” he said.
After all expenses to hold the event are paid, Bradbury said he expects to be able to donate over $1,000 to Mitchell County Relay for Life.

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