Major fire at Days Inn on Thursday

All three county fire departments battle blaze

A fire was reported at Days Inn shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday. Colorado City, Loraine and Westbrook Fire Departments called to contain the fire

Days Inn a total loss

5 departments fought blaze

A fire that burned for 13 hours destroyed the Days Inn in Colorado City. Fire fighters from Colorado City, Westbrook, Loraine, Snyder, and Howard County fought the fire, saving the office of the business.

Zombie run held Saturday

Chamber event well-attended

Over 70 people participated in the first-ever Zombie 5K Walk/Run Saturday. Runners tried to make it through the route without having their flags stolen by zombies lurking along the path. 

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  • WIDE LOAD WINS – Albert Thompson was parked at Higginbotham-Bartlett last Wednesday. As he was leaving the business, he backed out into oncoming traffic and attempted to turn north onto Oak Street. Unfortunately, he did not see the Will Hanson Trucking tractor-trailer carrying a wide load of heavy oilfield equipment coming east on 2nd Street. The truck could not stop and collided with Thompson, sp...
  • WESTBROOK ROYALTY – Chelsea Lamb and Jay Williams were crowned Homecoming Queen and King during halftime of the Wildcat football game Friday night.
  • Loraine outscored Westbrook 66-54 last Friday in a high scoring cross-county rivalry game. It was Westbrook’s homecoming and the large crowd witnessed a high scoring dual by two good teams. Loraine scored the first two touchdowns of the game, when Oscar Gonzalez scored on a two-yard run followed by Patrick Tillis scoring on a 15-yard run for a quick 14-0 lead. But Westbrook came right back, scorin...
  • Members of the Loraine City Council met last Thursday, addressing several ordinance violations ongoing within city limits. Overgrown lots and lawns plague the city, and the council has authorized city personnel to begin the process of notifying landowners to get property cleaned up in town.Councilman Eddie Galvan said that he has been getting calls from citizens complaining of the high weeds that ...


Colorado City, TX

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Thursday 45°F / 79°F Sunny
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County schools hold commencement ceremonies

graduationcapclipartColorado City

The Colorado High School Class of 2014 will take the final walk as seniors on Friday, May 30th at 8 p.m. at Wolf Stadium. As every year, graduation is planned for Wolf Stadium to allow plenty of space for visiting friends and family members. If inclement weather arises, the ceremony will be held in The Pit at Colorado Middle School.
Taylor Griffith earned the top spot of valedictorian this year, and she will be giving the valedictorian address during the ceremony. She is the daughter of Mike and Kaci Griffith and has attended Colorado ISD for 14 years, beginning pre-k at Kelley Elementary. Taylor plans to attend Hardin-Simmons University in the fall to play volleyball. She will major in sports medicine and plans to get her doctorate in physical therapy.
Salutatorian honored went to Cason Smith who has attended Colorado City schools for eight years. He will be attending Texas A&M University in the fall to major in engineering. He said he hopes to become a mechanical engineer to work in the aerospace industry. Cason is the son of Paul and Missy Smith.


Loraine seniors are set to walk across the stage on Friday, May 30th at 7 p.m. in the school’s cafetorium to officially become graduates. Diplomas will be presented to nine seniors during commencement ceremonies.
Tristan Mosher will receive valedictorian honors and will give the valedictorian address during the ceremony. He has attended school in Loraine for five years and is the son of Anvil and Misty Mosher. He says his ambition is to reach his highest potential, never backing down from a challenge that will allow me to live a better life and overcome adversities for his future.
Timothy Garza earned the number two spot and will be named Salutatorian of the graduating class. He is the son of Edward Garza and Cynthia Madrid, and he has attended Loraine ISD for 12 years. When asked about his future plans, he said, “I want to go out and be successful in life, live with purpose towards God and be a great example to my younger brothers, nephews and sister.”



The Westbrook Class of 2014 will walk across the stage for a final time to take their last steps as students and first steps as graduates Friday, May 30th at 7 p.m. in the WISD Auditorium.
Cole Strain earned the title of class valedictorian and will address the class as such during graduation. He is the son of Jeremy and Machelle Strain and has attended Westbrook schools for four years. He plans to attend Angelo State University to begin his path toward becoming a physician’s assistant.
Jasmine Alaniz, daughter of Patricia Alaniz, will receive Salutatorian honors on Friday. She has attended Westbrook ISD for 13 years. She plans to attend Angelo State University in the fall to work on her bachelor’s degree in education.


Graduation ceremonies for Wallace High School will be held at the amphitheater in Ruddick Park on Thursday, May 29th at 7:30 p.m.


Merrell named CHS Principal

schoolboardswearingMark Merrell, Colorado Middle School Principal, has been selected to replace Dalton West as principal at Colorado High School next year. The Colorado ISD Board of Trustees made the decision during a regular meeting. Superintendent Reggy Spencer consulted board members and Merrell in closed session before announcing the decision last Thursday.
After announcing the in-house transfer, Spencer said that the principal position at CMS will be opened for applications soon. Merrell will continue as administrator at the middle school until his contract renews at the end of July.
Charlie Price of Compass Builders gave the board an update about the ongoing construction of the new K-8 campus. He said that while not much can be seen, construction is taking place underground. Much of the electrical and plumbing work is going on, and he said crews are planning out work that will take place this summer. Price said that steel beams should be going up sometime in the early fall.
Newly-elected board member Veronica Boone was sworn in during the meeting, along with fellow board members John Martinez and Shane Johnson. Boone ran unopposed to represent Place 1, a seat formerly held by Mike Alexander. Martinez defeated Steve Komppa in the May 10th election to be re-elected to represent Place 2 and Shane Johnson also ran unopposed for his seat representing Place 5.
Election of officers was held during the meeting, and officers will remain the same as in the previous period. Sally Neff will serve as board president, Martinez will be vice president and Sheila Plagens was re-elected as secretary.
Colorado City Police Department Chief Luis Aguilar came before the board to request permission to list CISD as a supporter of the department when filing for a COPS Grant. The federal grant would make it possible to hire another police officer by paying 75% of the new officer’s salary for three years.
The district’s interest in the grant lies in the way the new officer will be used, if the department is awarded the grant. The new police officer would serve as a School Resource Officer, and CISD will pay the remaining 25% of the officer’s salary for three years.
Aguilar said that the grant stipulates that the department must retain the officer for another year after the initial three. He said that if CCPD is awarded the grant, salary details can be discussed at that time. Spencer estimated the 25% to be close to $12,500, and board members agreed to pay the percentage if the grant is received and the officer hired as a resource officer for the school campuses.
As a former School Resource Officer himself, Aguilar said that SROs are there to help with behavioral issues, the most important part of his job was to relate to students and guide them to success. “Security doesn’t guarantee safety,” Aguilar said, “but a visible presence helps.”
Aguilar said he expects the grants to be awarded sometime during the next two months.
Contract renewals were approved during the meeting. Contracts renewed at Kelley Elementary include those of Edwina Castillo, teacher; Connie Twilligear, teacher; and Stephanie Chaney, teacher. Staff contracts renewed at Hutchinson Elementary were: Stacie Quinn, 3rd grade teacher; Ami Martinez, 4th grade teacher and coach; Keelin Wiley, 5th grade teacher and coach; and B.J. Graham, P.E. teacher and coach.
At high school, contracts of the following personnel were renewed: Darin Johnson, band director; Ann Bazany, teacher and librarian; Judy Merrell, teacher; and Marina Wilcox, counselor.
The hiring of several new teachers was also approved. At Kelley, Diana Aguayo, Tatiana Aguayo and Ashley McLaurin will be teaching next year. Timothy Huck was hired to serve as a band director and elementary music teacher, as was TeAda Short.
Recommendations were approved for hiring to work in conjunction with the Youth Career Connect Grant. The employment of the new personnel will be contingent upon the grant being funded over a four and a half-year period, starting April 1, 2014 and ending September 30, 2018.
Marina Wilcox will serve as program director, and Rebecca Russell will be the guidance counselor. Melissa Lara was hired as the Avid/CTE teacher, and Brenda Hammond will assume additional responsibilities as the Vocational Program Facilitator. Yvonne Carroll will be the Academic Program Facilitator.

City applying for infrastructure grant

coloradocityclipartA decision made Tuesday evening by the city council designates Grantworks and Jacob & Martin Engineering as administration and engineering service providers to help the City of Colorado City apply for a $460,000 grant to extend sewer and water lines to the north side of the interstate.
The 2013 Texas Capital Fund grant, if awarded to the city, will provide funding to extend utility infrastructure all along the north service road, which will open up the opportunity for the I-20 corridor to be developed, according to City Manager David Hoover. The grant is the same type of funding that made the extension of sewer lines out to the planned Travel Center location possible.
In other business, council members approved the purchase of a used dump truck. Initially, the city budgeted $24,000 per year for the lease of a new truck, but the used truck is cheaper and equipped with a new bed.
Total cost for the pre-owned dump truck is $41,835.97. Since the city is financing the purchase, payments will be $1,844.28 per month.
The truck has a little over 600,000 miles on it, but Hoover said diesel engines like this one are often seen with over a million miles on them.”It’s a good vehicle for that price,” he said.

Mud Bog results listed

mudbog1streyriveraThe mud was flying this weekend at the 11th Annual Mudder’s Day Weekend Mud Bog. The local 4-H fundraiser brought lots of mudding trucks, as well as spectators, to the Mitchell County Arena.
Over 250 mud bog fans came through the gate on Saturday to watch 47 vehicles take their turn in the mud pit. Mudders came from San Antonio; Hobbs, New Mexico; Roswell, New Mexico; Odessa; Sweetwater; Big Spring; Snyder; Roscoe; Rotan; Abilene; Seminole and Colorado City to participate in the annual event.
Local rookie, Ronnie Sumruld, took the opportunity to gain some experience in the sport. Saturday marked his initiation into mud bogging, and he said he plans to continue to compete.
As always, children had the chance to take off their shoes and run through the pit during intermission between preliminary and final runs. This year, a special run was held, bringing in $1,250 for the 4-H.
Several individuals and companies, including Mickey Neff, Wood’s Boot, Red Rock, Carolyn Redwine, Browne Bros., and Trey Womack, pledged the donations to see Gretchen Maddox, Mason Maddox, Audra Graves and Breanna Midwell take a run through the pit.
Supporters of the Lone Wolf 4-H chapter also sold t-shirts and cozies and offered delicious hamburgers, cheeseburgers, nachos, sausage wraps and hot dogs at the concession stand.
Results of the mud bog follow.
Stock Class
1st - Rey Rivera, Colorado City
2nd - Artie Rivera, Colorado City
3rd - Chris Scott, Snyder
4th - Mick Martin, Colorado City
Super Stock Class
1st - Adam Gomez, Rotan
2nd - Freddy Salazar, Colorado City
3rd - Donny Scott, Hobbs, NM
4th - Alisa Owens, Colorado City
5th - Justin Wright, Rotan
Modified Class
1st - Justin Davis, Seminole
2nd - Raymond Martinez, Colorado City
3rd - Chad Pinkerton, Colorado City
4th - Glen Owens, Colorado City
5th - John Espinoza
Open Class
1st - Mark Macy, Hobbs, NM
2nd - Charlie Rich, Hobbs, NM
3rd - Abel Alvarez, Colorado City
4th - Russell Reid, Odessa

Crawfish Fest a favorite for citizens

davidjoneswithcrawdadThe Chamber of Commerce held the 1st Annual Crawfish & Shrimp Fest Saturday, May 3rd, and the event was a rousing success. Close to 320 Cajun food lovers entered the doors of the Railhead Building to enjoy boiled crawfish, shrimp, corn, and potatoes prepared by local cooks.
The “Mudbug Express”, aka Ray Ritchey, traveled to Lubbock last Friday to load up on live crawfish that were caught fresh and flown in. And what do you do with 500 pounds of live crawdads? Well, ice them down of course. Don’t forget the drain holes, so as not to freeze or drown the tasty little creatures.
Local dentist Dr. Shane White is credited with the creole magic that made the event possible, as he and his crew cooked 500 pounds of crawdads, 150 pounds of shrimp, 480 corn cobbettes and 100 pounds of red potatoes. Chamber Manager Amanda Jo Ritchey said that the first batch went into the pot at 1 p.m. on Saturday and the large, hungry crowd kept cooks busy until the last crawdad was boiled.
“We sold out,” Ritchey said excitedly on Monday. “The event would not have been possible without head cook, Dr. White. He had some helpers, Brandon Hoback, Caul Hoback, Royce Clay, Richy Womack, Chris McKinney, Bryan Casares, Ray Ritchey and Shae White. The chamber hopes Dr. White can recover by next year, and we can do this again.”
Chamber Board members volunteered for the evening. They were all over the building, serving and making sure all the details were taken care of. Other volunteers also helped made the event a success.
The night was planned in order to raise funds to pay for re-roofing the Railhead Building, and the $6,000 raised is a testament to its success. Ritchey said sponsors donated enough money to pay for the food, so all proceeds made from ticket sales go directly into a fund for the roofing project.
Thanks go to TXU Energy, Lawrence Hall - Anson, CC Tank, Ellis Productions and LEM Well Service fot the sponsorship of the team.
Those attending had the pleasure of listening to the well-played music of the Sweetwater Community Band while they enjoyed their meal. Local musicians Linda Clay and David Jones performed with the group.
If you missed out, fear not. Ritchey said many more fundraisers will be planned to help fund the five-year note for the roof. She said that construction on the new roof is set to begin May 26th.

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