ODESSA, TEXAS/OCTOBER 16, 2017 – ARLO CHAVIRA ANNOUNCES HIS INTENT TO RUN FOR ECTOR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, PCT. 4.
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I must admit I am a bit of a dreamer when it comes to the way I see the world. I remain eternally hopeful that someday, despite recent evidence to the contrary, we will continue our journey toward greater support and understanding for each other. A few months ago, we shared with you our efforts to improve the world by sharing ‘good news’ on social media, primarily through Twitter. The work that many of us on the Odessa College team are doing is designed to remind us all, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that the arc of the universe is long and bends toward humanity for all.
In January 2021, I started looking for opportunities to share words of support, opportunity, and encouragement on Twitter in an effort to bring more positivity to ‘our corner’ of society and social media. At that time, I set a personal goal to Tweet every day, and I wanted to gain 1,000 followers. Now after 195 days in a row and many Tweets later, I currently have over 1,260 followers and that continues to grow. There have been a lot of great people who have helped me to achieve this milestone, and we are just getting started. This initiative is not about me, but about us! One person can only do so much, and I understand to make a real difference and a real impact, we must assemble a team of like-minded people to help us change our world.
Part of our College’s mission is to grow well-informed citizens of our community, our state, our nation and our world. Odessa College continues to normalize kindness and positivity, and we are looking for students who can be ambassadors for those efforts by becoming Positively OC Presidential Scholars.
In celebration of achieving the first milestone of 1,000 Twitter followers, we have created a new program under the Positively OC umbrella. The program will allow 10 Odessa College students to receive two years of tuition and fees, leadership development coordinated with the Office of the President and other campus leaders, and many more Positively OC Presidential Scholar opportunities.
Any new or continuing Odessa College student pursuing a certificate or associates degree at the college with a minimum 3.0 GPA is eligible.
Even though we have reached our initial goal, our work continues. We need more people to join the positivity movement! The we can do this movement! The I am enough movement! The we are in this together movement! So, as the positivity movement grows and my Twitter followers reach 3,000 and 5,000, Odessa College will increase to 20, and then to 30, the number of Positively OC Presidential Scholarships awarded annually.
Call to Action: Help us identify these outstanding citizens in our community who will help to make all of us better. https://www.odessa.edu/current-students/PositivelyOC/index.html
Follow us on Twitter to learn more @OdessaCollege @OCPresGDW
Washington, DC – Thursday, Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) held a press conference at the U.S. Capitol demanding the release of two U.S. Marine Veterans being held hostage in Russia as political pawns: Pfluger’s constituent Trevor Reed, and Michigan resident Paul Whelan. Pfluger was joined by Trevor’s father Joey Reed, Paul’s sister Elizabeth Whelan, and a bipartisan group of House leaders, including House Foreign Affairs Republican Leader Michael McCaul (TX-10), Paul Whelan’s Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11), and members of the Texas Delegation and House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rep. August Pfluger represents Trevor Reed of Granbury, Texas, a former U.S. Marine who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for a crime he did not commit. Trevor has been detained for 713 days, since August 16, 2019. He was recently transferred to a Russian gulag to serve out his nine year prison sentence. A resolution spearheaded by Rep. August Pfluger calling for the release of Trevor Reed passed the House on June 29, 2021.
Livestream of the presser available here.
To my colleagues, and Rep. Stevens, thank you. This is a bipartisan effort. We are united as Americans. It’s been 43 days since President Biden met with Vladimir Putin in Geneva and brought up the cases of Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan to Putin.
“We are here to gather with the families of Trevor and Paul in united solidarity. Trevor has been detained for 713 days. Now, he has been moved to a labor camp at an undisclosed location.
“The Russian kangaroo court, and the trial, as just described by Representative Stevens trial was a sham, treatment inhumane, and his detainment and separation from his family heartbreaking.
“To Trevor’s parents Joey and Paula, to Paul’s sister Elizabeth, who is here with us today, and other loved ones, the United States Congress stands with you in united solidarity.
“To Vladimir Putin, we are demanding that you immediately restore consular access. That you immediately restore medical care. That you immediately restore communication between these two gentlemen and their families.
“To Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Sullivan, thank you for your continued efforts, for your tireless efforts, the United States Congress is behind you.
“President Biden, today, in the Washington heat, we, as Congress, are turning the heat up on Russia. We ask that you turn the heat up on Vladimir Putin. That you bring the pressure and the full weight of the United States government to bear behind this. We will not compromise until we bring Trevor and Paul home. We will not tolerate American citizens being unlawfully held by the Putin regime.”
Washington, DC – Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security advanced Rep. August Pfluger’s bill to mitigate criminal activity on the border. Pfluger’s bill, the DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act (H.R. 4209), aims to secure the southern border by directing CBP to develop a plan to counteract illegal underground tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border. This bill will thwart drug cartels and human traffickers who utilize the more than 230 tunnels currently in existence to smuggle narcotics, weapons, and cash back and forth on the border.
“I am thrilled that my bill to seal cross-border tunnels has advanced through the markup process in committee,” said Rep. August Pfluger. “We cannot secure our border if we continue to allow drugs, narcotics, weapons, and to be smuggled unabated back and forth underground and right under our noses. We must seal these tunnels and defend American communities.”
Ector County ISD took a historic step forward this morning when it became just the third school district in Texas to be approved for its own teacher preparation and certification program. The State Board for Teacher Certification approved the program, Odessa Pathway to Teaching, unanimously. A press release is attached. As are three photos from the meeting. ECISD representatives are, left to right: Executive Director of Talent Development Ashley Osborne, Director of Talent Development Debbie Bynum, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Muri.
The Odessa Police Department Honor Guard attended the funeral today for Fallen Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Josh Bartlett. Last week, four law enforcement officers were shot by a barricaded subject. Sergeant Bartlett was transported to a hospital in Lubbock and later pronounced deceased by medical personnel. His funeral was held this morning at the Trinity Church in Lubbock.
The Odessa Police Department would like to congratulate Lieutenant Sammy Berzoza on his retirement. Lieutenant Berzoza dedicated over 33 years of hard work to the Odessa Police Department. We are sad to say goodbye and wish him the best of luck!
With the start of the 2021-22 school year just over three weeks away, Ector County ISD is offering several
opportunities for parents who have yet to register their children for school to do so now.
Friday, July 23, will be the third and final Registration Roadshow stop. The Registration Roadshow is designed for
parents who have limited or no internet access and need assistance with the registration process. The Roadshow
will be set up at the Music City Mall, 4101 E. 42nd Street, between the movie theater and At Home from 1:00 – 7:00
p.m. on Friday.
Then on Thursday and Friday, July 22 & 23, ECISD will host face-to-face registration for Prekindergarten students.
These Pre-K Roundups will be hosted by Carver Early Education Center, 600 College Avenue, and Lamar Early
Education Center, 501 Lettie Lee Avenue. These days are for both three-year-old children and four-year-old
children. For three-year-olds, representatives from the Odessa Family YMCA will be at each location to talk about
its facility and the new PK-3 partnership with ECISD. The hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on July 22; and 7:30
a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on July 23.
ECISD offers online registration for all parents through the ParentPortal. That portal has been closed for a system
update, and will re-open on Thursday, July 22. Parents can find registration information on the ECISD website and
can contact their child’s school for information or assistanc
Register now for courses to prepare for the Texas High School Equivalency (GED®) exam. Midland College (MC) offers FREE courses to qualified students starting August 23. Registration deadline is August 13 for courses that begin in late August/early September. Students may choose from morning, evening, online and Saturday options.
MC will offer additional courses in an accelerated 10-week format beginning September 27. Students can register for the 10-week courses until Friday, September 17.
Space is limited for all courses, so students should register as soon as possible.
Shana Hannsz, GED coordinator, advises that students can access the GED registration link at www.midland.edu/ged-enroll-form to start the registration process. Staff will also assist with registration in person, Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on the MC main campus, 3600 N. Garfield in the Technology Center, Room 128. Questions can also be emailed to MC staff at email@example.com Telephone assistance is available by calling (432) 685-4700 or (432) 685-6817.
The MC Adult Basic Education division also offers English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and Spanish GED courses. More information about those programs coming soon.
July 19, 2021 — Rusk sixth-graders’ prowess in investing earned them first- and second-place finishes playing the Stock Market Game in the El Paso Region’s Middle School division. In the process they learned about local companies and that in trading “anything can happen.”
“It was a fun day when one group had invested in GameStop only to learn what happened in the trading day!” said Avery Pullin, an ELAR and Social Studies teacher who brought the game to her Rusk sixth-graders for the first time.
The Stock Market Game teaches students about investing. Students get $100,000 in imaginary funds to invest in simulated trading.
Over the 10-week course, one student saw GameStop in the news and purchased shares at about $120 amid the late January buying frenzy that sent to price to nearly $350. “Unfortunately, they couldn’t sell at the peak because, like everyone else who was trading real GameStop stock, their shares were frozen,” Pullin said. “They learned that investing comes with risk, and they still had fun watching their shares and reading about GameStop in the news.”
Pullin learned about the Stock Market Game when she was a student teacher in Greenbrier, Arkansas, and decided to implement it here because of the life skills it teaches students. “It is a beautiful culmination of learning our ELAR/Social Studies standards but putting them into a real-life scenario that could really affect their lives on multiple levels.”
“In ELAR we paired learning about Texas-based publicly traded companies with persuasive writing techniques,” Pullin said. “We’re looking at local companies like Diamondback, really analyzing their growth and what analysts are saying about them, creating marketing packages to persuade clients to buy their product and buying shares of their stock — all in sixth grade.” As students learn more about companies, they recognize them outside of class, such as on signage at RockHounds games. “Maybe one day they’ll work at the local companies they researched!”
Pullin summarized her Rusk students’ first-ever try at the Stock Market Game in one word: Exhilarating. “We’re in sixth grade. We don’t have football state championships or a national debate team or one act plays to compete in yet. So to be in sixth grade and win something in such a large region where you got to compete against not just your classmates, but other kids all over West Texas, that’s fun!”
The SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game gives students firsthand lessons about the value of long-term investing to boost student’s math, economics and personal finance knowledge, as well as to teach them essential skills to be financially independent. More information is available at stockmarketgame.org.
At the Garriga Law Firm, we value education as a key element to success in our community. That’s why it’s so important to encourage our local kids to strive in their academics in preparation for their future. As we approach the start of the new school year, we want to award area students who value their education.
The Garriga Law Firm is launching its “Why is Education Important to Me?” contest for students K-12th grades. Students can win by submitting either a short essay, short video or a picture of their artwork that explains the importance of education. The Garriga Law Firm will be donating 9 total gift cards to deserving students.
The contest is open to all West Texas students. The contest will be broken down into three categories: Elementary (K-6th), Junior High (7th – 9th), and High School (10th – 12th). Each category will have three winners. 1st place wins a $500 gift card. 2nd place wins a $250 gift card. 3rd place wins a $100 gift card.
Entries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winners, along with their entries, will be announced on August 5th on The Garriga Law Firm Facebook
Permian Basin Adult Literacy is holding its’ first ever
Readathon Fundraiser. The fundraiser began in July and will run through September 30th
only will we be raising essential funds for our Adult Literacy Program, but our students will be
reading and improving their literacy skills- forming a legacy of reading. PBALC students have
committed to reading a minimum of ten books by September 30th
Sponsors will be assigned a participating student and will have the opportunity to learn about
what their student accomplishes over the course of the Read-A-Thon. Sponsors can choose to
provide sponsorship for multiple students. Please consider sponsoring a student to help us close
our funding gap, ensuring students can continue improving their lives through literacy. This is a
true win-win for everyone.
Both individual and corporate sponsorship options are available. For more information about our
sponsorship opportunities, please contact Alba Austin at email@example.com, or call (432)682-
9693. General donations to PBALC are always welcome at https://pbalc.org/donate.
Odessa, TX– The United Way of Odessa recently opened the annual Community Impact funding application. The funding supports fiscal year 2021 – 2022. It is intended to subsidize non-profit organizations spanning from Ector County to Brewster County, who provide an array of health and human social service programs in the areas of Health, Education and Self Sufficiency.
Community Investment Review members screened and scored 29 program proposals totaling over $1,241,191. Following the screening process, members deliberated over each program proposal to determine the applicant agencies to receive United Way funding and each individual funding award.
United Way of Odessa is excited to report that an investment of $759,200 will be allocated to local non-profit organizations and will announce partners soon. The funding is provided to agencies on a monthly basis for 12 months. The agencies set to receive funding must meet various criteria to qualify and agree to provide measurable semi-annual program outcomes.
United Way of Odessa supports 20 agencies and 29 programs.
To learn more about the United Way of Odessa, please contact (432) 332-0941.
On Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 8:58 p.m. Midland Police Department Officers and the Midland Fire Department responded to a major traffic collision at the intersection of N. Big Spring Street and W. Wadley Avenue.
The Midland Police Department Traffic Division was also called to the scene to investigate the accident. During the investigation it was determined that a 2015 Chevy Silverado was traveling east on W. Wadley Avenue and entered the intersection of N. big Spring Street with a green light. A 2017 Toyota Sienna was turning south onto N. Big Spring Street from W. Wadley Avenue, failed to yield right of way and collided with the Chevrolet Silverado.
The Toyota Sienna had three occupants in the vehicle, all three sustained injuries in the accident. The two adult occupants were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The one child occupant sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to an out-of-town hospital. As of June 30, 2021 the child is in stable condition.
The investigation is ongoing.
The Odessa Police Department has recently received several complaints in reference to a scam involving criminal investigations. Citizens have reported receiving calls from someone pretending to be Lieutenant Sherrie Carruth. The calls are transferred to a foreign call center. They claim the citizen is under investigation and in order to get it resolved, they’ll need to pay.
At no time will OPD ever ask for money in this manner. Should anyone receive a call from this person, simply hang up and do not provide any personal information. To report these scams, please call 432-335-4961.
AUSTIN – Two of Texas’ Top 10 Fugitives are back in custody after arrests earlier this month. Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Heriberto Cardenas was arrested on July 7, in Laredo, and Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender Ralph Ballard was arrested on July 8, in College Station. Crime Stoppers rewards will not be paid in either case.
Heriberto Cardenas, 22, of Laredo, is affiliated with the El Cuatro gang. He was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, including Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Special Agents. Working off investigative information, they located and arrested Cardenas at a residence.
Cardenas was added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list on June 15, 2021. He’d been wanted by authorities since July 29, 2020, after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles issued a parole violation warrant for his arrest. Cardenas was also wanted by the Laredo Police Department for evading arrest/detention, and by the Webb County Sheriff’s Office for a probation violation. For additional information, view his captured bulletin.
Ralph Deandre Ballard, 27, of Springtown, was added to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender list on June 30, 2021. He was arrested following a traffic stop conducted by DPS Special Agents and Brazos County Sheriff’s deputies.
Ballard had been wanted by law enforcement since March 2020, after he absconded from his last known address in Springtown. He had an active arrest warrant for a parole violation. Additional warrants, including failure to register as a sex offender, unlawful possession of a firearm, theft of property and larceny were also issued. He was initially convicted in Robertson County in 2014 of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. For more information, view his captured bulletin.
Texas Crime Stoppers, which is funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, offers cash rewards to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of one of Texas’ 10 Most Wanted Fugitives or Sex Offenders. So far this year, DPS or other agencies have arrested nine Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offenders, including four gang members and four sex offenders. In addition, $17,500 in rewards has been paid for tips that have yielded arrests.
To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities using one of the following methods:
All tips are anonymous, regardless of how they are submitted, and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.
DPS investigators work with local law enforcement agencies to select fugitives for the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Sex Offender lists. You can find the current lists — with photos — on the DPS website.
Do on attempt to apprehend these fugitives; they are considered armed and dangerous.
On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office arrested Midland Police Department Sergeant Jeremy Swilling on one charge of retaliation.
The Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance on Monday night involving Sgt. Swilling. After deputies left the scene, Sgt. Swilling allegedly threatened the complainant.
Sgt. Swilling has been placed on administrative suspension from the Midland Police Department.
On 5-24-21 at approximately 2121 hours, Odessa Police responded to 3310 Andrews Highway (Art of Fadez) in reference to a hit and run. Investigation revealed that the driver of a silver Jeep crashed into a business (barber shop) and left the scene without meeting necessary legal requirements. Anyone who recognizes the suspect’s vehicle shown in the surveillance photo is encouraged to contact Hit & Run Investigator T. Yelley at 432-335-5759 or Odessa Crime Stoppers at 432-333-TIPS and reference Case #21-0008413.