Archive for November, 2014

Five Local Youth Place In District 1 4-H Food Show

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

More than 130 youth from 21 Panhandle counties gathered at Bushland High School on Nov. 15 to compete in the District 1 4-H Food Show sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
In the competition, the kids are required to prepare a dish, serve it to a panel of judges and answer questions pertaining to the preparation of the dish, food safety and storage, nutrients in the dish and how the nutrients help their bodies.
Four first place senior 4-H members, ages 14-19, will advance to state competition at College Station in June 2015. Hanna Brainard of Carson County won first place in the Grains category.
In the intermediate age group (11-13), Baylee Ogletree won second place in the Bean Main Dish category and Acacia Barker won second place in the Yeast Rolls category.
In the junior age group (9-10), Spencer Keys won second place in the Bean Salad category and Corbin Throgmorton won first place in the Special Diets category.
Congratulations 4-Hers!

Weather Warning Now Available in CodeRED System

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Carson County, Nov. 24, 2014- Carson County has recently updated its account with Emergency Communications Network, providers of the CodeRED high-speed notification solution. This no-charge update will allow message recipients to easily identify calls coming through the system. Message recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communication or 866-419-5000 for the Emergency database and 855-969-4636 or ECN Community for general database, depending on local telephone providers.
Most relevant for our citizens, says Brenda Vermillion, Carson County Emergency Management Coordinator, “Residents can simply dial the number displayed on their Caller ID to hear the last message delivered. This will greatly reduce the number of inbound inquiries handled by our office and will offer residents an immediate replay of the message.”
The CodeRED system provides Cities of Groom, Panhandle, Skellytown and White Deer and Carson County officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire cities and the county. If you are not sure that you are included in the database, simply log onto the website, and follow the link to the "CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment" page. Those without Internet access may call Office of Emergency Management at 806-537-5395, Monday through Friday, (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) to supply their information over the phone. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, and primary phone number, additional phone numbers can be entered as well.
All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.
Another product from CodeRED will be the WEATHER WARNING which will alert citizens in the direct path of severe weather. Notifications by phone will be sent out moments after a severe thunderstorm, tornado warning, and flash flood warning have been issued by National Weather Service. Text messages will be sent for the above warnings plus winter storms warnings. Only citizens in the immediate impact area will be alerted. “With this new feature of CodeRED residents will receive the notice of weather conditions as soon as National Weather Service issues them,” Vermillion stated. Residents will have to re-add their information and mark which Weather Warning they want to receive.
You will know the call is from CodeRED Weather Warning when you see the telephone number 800-566-9780. If you would like to hear the last message delivered to your phone, simply dial the number back.
Vermillion stated, "CodeRED gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information. The data collected will only be used for emergency notification purposes." Questions should be directed to the Office of Emergency Management at 806-537-5395.

About Emergency Communications Network
Headquartered in Ormond Beach, Fla., Emergency Communications Network, LLC (ECN) has pioneered high-speed emergency notification services capable of reaching millions of citizens in minutes. ECN’s sophisticated network supports a Web-based product suite featuring six major services: CodeRED® which enables local government officials to communicate time-sensitive, personalized messages via voice, email and text messaging; CodeRED Weather Warning™ which provides automated alerts to citizens in the path of severe weather just moments after a warning has been issued by the National Weather Service; CityWatch™, a premise and Web-based, full featured outbound and inbound communication notification system; SmartNotice™, a streamlined notification solution for businesses; My Daily Call™ for scheduling calls to check on at-risk individuals, including the elderly, infirm and latchkey kids and Code-RED® for use by school systems to improve communications with their communities. For more information, visit

Promising Season For J.V. Basketball

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

By Ann Metcalf
Panhandle’s Junior Varsity Panthers opened their basketball season with a 55-13 win over the Wheeler Mustangs.
Kaden Lynch led the local team in scoring with 13 points, followed by Colby Neeley with 12. Dusty Hughey and Dawson Hackett scored eight each. James Rogers scored five, Kade Throgmorton and Bradlee Brandvik four each. Also seeing action were Ethan Neil and Cobi Pace.
Panhandle 19 30 44 55
Wheeler 0 0 2 13
In the Friday night game against Friona, the J.V. Panthers defeated their foe 53-11.
Brandvik and Neeley each scored 15 points to lead the attack. Pace added six points, Rogers five and Throgmorton one. Also seeing action were Neil, “G” Barnett and Hughey.
Panhandle 16 29 40 53
Friona 0 9 9 11
The J.V. Ettes defeated Gruver 25-8. Leading the Pantherette attack was Brianna Chavez with 11 points. Stella Oliver scored six, Madison Hall four, Karson Powers and Madison Jones two points each.
At a tournament in Amarillo this past weekend, the J.V. Ettes came away with two wins and two losses. They defeated Lubbock Monterey 56-26, lost their second game 47-76, then defeated Caprock 34-20 before falling to Palo Duro 16-28.

Gold Team Loses To Boys Ranch

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

By Ann Metcalf
Panhandle’s Gold Panthers dropped their first outing 42-60 to Boys Ranch.
Garrett Barnett led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points. Hunter Whitmire scored 13, Mason Reynolds seven and Noah Ford two.
Other team members are Reese Graham, Braedyn Kowalewski, Hunter Cruz, Pryce Neuwirth, Brandon Jones and Sam Koone.
Panhandle 8 16 33 42
Boys Ranch 14 29 44 60

Varsity Panthers, Ettes Looking Strong

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

By Ann Metcalf
Panhandle’s Varsity Panthers got off to a great start with a 75-41 win over the visiting Wheeler Mustangs.
Leading the Panhandle attack with 18 points, including four treys, was Josh Oliver, who also had three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Red Hughey had 13 points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal while Clayton Wood and Carson Brown scored 10 points each. Wood had four rebounds, two assists, a steal and two forced-turnovers while Brown was credited with four rebounds.
Bryce Cathey and Triston Inman led in rebounds with six each. Cathey scored four points, had five assists and forced two turnovers while Inman had seven points, an assist and two steals. Cole Sims added five points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a deflection and two forced-turnovers and Jett Cates scored five points, had two rebounds and led in the Panthers’ forced-turnovers with four and deflections with three. Rounding out the scoring was Treh McGill with two points, and he had a rebound, a deflection and one forced-turnover. Corey Stribling had a rebound, two assists, a deflection and two forced-turnovers and Riley Graham had two assists and a steal.
Panhandle 17 40 57 75
Wheeler 10 21 29 41
In Friday night’s action, Panhandle defeated Friona 62-54.
Oliver led the Panthers in scoring with 19 points, Wood scored 11, Hughey 10, McGill eight, Sam McKinley six, Cathey and Sims three each and Cates two.
Hughey was the leading rebounder with 12 and had four assists. McGill had 10 rebounds, an assist and a forced-turnover. Wood had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and two forced-turnovers while Inman had four rebounds, and Oliver had four rebounds, an assist and took a charge. Cathey had two rebounds, two assists and took a charge and McKinley had a rebound. Cates forced three turnovers and had a steal and an assist. Sims had a steal and Brown had an assist.
Panhandle 16 29 41 62
Friona 8 25 36 54
The Varsity Pantherettes found themselves in a “nail-biter” that went down to the final buzzer. They dropped a two-point decision to #6-ranked Gruver with a score of 39-41.
Freshman Grace Kuehler led the Ettes in scoring with 14 points while Hunter Heck scored seven, Rylee Albracht six, Kinsley Choate five, Callie James three, Krista Spencer and Keirstyn Kelley two each.
The Pantherettes got back in the win column Friday night with a 56-34 victory over Friona.
Choate was the leading scorer with 16 points, followed by Kuehler with 14. Heck added eight, Kelley seven, Albracht six, Kami Witt three and Spencer two.
Panhandle 21 29 42 56
Friona 7 13 23 34

Shop Panhandle Next Week!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Panhandle will be lit up and bustling next Thursday evening, Dec. 4, as the crowds venture out into the crisp December air to experience Christmas On Our Town. You’ll want to be a part of this annual community festivity, as folks make their way from business to business, shopping, eating and enjoying the fellowship of each other!
Here are some of the businesses that will be participating: Lone Star Ballet will be open from 5 to 7 p.m.; Friends of Carson County Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will offer a cake and book sale; Panhandle Herald will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer pumpkin cake, cookies, hot apple cider and a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD (must register in office or fill out original form from paper and drop in box by Dec. 12 for drawing on Dec. 18 – limit one application per household); Panhandle Inn, hosted by Brooklyn Tompkins and Jessica McCoy, will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer homemade sweet treats, vintage street signs, handcrafted tile mosaics, art by beloved artist Nancy Riley, Panhandle Inn note cards and SAVE THE INN t-shirts; Main Street Gallery will be open from 5 to 7 p.m.; Gypsy Rose will be open all day and will offer an in-store drawing and Panhandle Drug Store will be open all day, Happy State Bank will be open until 6 p.m.; Panhandle Country Club will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer cookies and punch and a chance to win a One Free Month (June 2015) membership; across the highway, Bragnitup will be open all day; Panhandle Animal Shelter will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer special pet treats; City Hall will be open for regular business hours and are asking everyone to stop by and fill out a Parks & Recreation Survey to assist in the City’s planning, or you can fill one out at the War Memorial Building after hours; Coffee Haven will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then 5 to 7 p.m.; A New Look/Buttons, Bows and Balloons will be open all day and will have an in-store drawing; Gram Gram’s Café will be open until 9 p.m.; Panther Pizza will be open until 9 p.m.; Wild West Taxidermy will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; The Red Olive will be open all day; Panhandle Hardware & Feed will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer cookies, hot cocoa and coffee; Panhandle InterBank will be open until 5 p.m. and will offer an in-Bank drawing; Family Care Clinic will be set up at the War Memorial Building from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer healthy chili, hot chocolate and information on their Healthy Life Journey weight loss program, Cross Fit and Pilates classes; the Square House Museum will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. and will offer fun activities and games.
Starting at 7:30 p.m., at the Square House Museum, the Chamber will have individual gift drawings for a Panhandle Country Club Golf Bucket, a Panhandle Herald one-year subscription to the paper, a Panther Pizza gift certificate, a $50 gift certificate from Panhandle Hardware & Feed, a gift certificate from The Red Olive, a Main Street Gallery gift certificate, two $15 Coffee Haven gift certificates, a $20 gift certificate from Gram Gram’s Café, four $20 Bragnitup gift certificates, a gift basket from the Panhandle Drug Store, a gift bag from Happy State Bank, two $25 Wild West Taxidermy gift certificates, a Panhandle Chamber gift certificate Package for a Date Night to the Lone Star Ballet, a gift basket donated by The Shag and a gift basket donated by Brandy Neil.
Bundle up with your mittens, hats and scarves and come Shop Panhandle for Christmas this year!

Cathey and Gonzalez Sign with OPSU

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
The families of Bryce Cathey and JJ Gonzalez stood by as both boys signed with Oklahoma Panhandle State University as part of the Men's Cross-Country Team last Wednesday morning.

The families of Bryce Cathey and JJ Gonzalez stood by as both boys signed with Oklahoma Panhandle State University as part of the Men's Cross-Country Team last Wednesday morning.

EMS Variance Explained

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

By Terry Coffee, EMS Director
I wanted to discuss the public notice in last week’s paper allowing Panhandle EMS to operate on a staffing variance when we need it. What was in the paper was a template that the State of Texas makes us now use to inform the public.
The staffing variance has nothing to do with how your EMS is being operated. The variance gives us a cushion to operate with if we should ever become shorthanded. It allows us to staff a truck with one certified person in the back and obtain a non-certified person as a driver should the need arise. At present, we staff our trucks daily with at least one Paramedic, and most of the time two Paramedics. Our trucks at night have two certified personnel, and you will always have a Medic with you.
Sometimes a run requires more people in the back of the ambulance, and for this reason we asked DSHS for the staffing variance in case we should ever have a need for two trucks out at the same time. Here lately we have had both trucks out on multiple calls at the same time, but we’re able to staff them. There are many factors involved in getting a variance. Most of our part-time employees work out of town. When they go to work there might be a need at some time to obtain another person as a driver. During a fire call, from time to time, we could only have one certified person in town, so the variance may have to be used. With all of this there is never a break in coverage. Could there be a problem? Of course, there could be obstacles from time to time. We could have a truck out and no one here during the day. This is why we have mutual aid agreements with Pantex and White Deer to come in to Panhandle in case this ever happened. We will do the same for them if asked to do so.
By no means are we having any trouble covering our calls, this is a buffer to have as a backup. Soon we will operate with three trucks, use one as a backup, and one for standby situations. With the variance, however, we could run all three trucks at the same time with a Paramedic and a driver should the need arise. At present, we have six Paramedics and two Basic EMTs. These men and women have committed themselves to making sure that Panhandle is always covered. They work hard and train extensively to bring the citizens the best pre-hospital care they can get. Panhandle can be proud of what you have. Other communities do not have the staffing we do, or the number of advanced skilled personnel. I will put our people up against any big city ambulance service for what we have to do. You will always be taken care of and with the best quality care. I cannot be more proud of this group of people for the time they put in to keep you safe. You too, can be proud of their work.
In closing, I just wanted to tell the Citizens of Panhandle that the staffing variance is nothing new. We have applied for this every year since I can remember, they just asked us to word it differently this year and I didn’t want a panic. I hope you as citizens of Panhandle realize how fortunate we are to be in the situation we are in when other communities are not able to cover their runs, or even worse seeing their EMS service fold up. I hope that when you see one of the EMS members that you will tell them how much you appreciate them for what they are doing for you in our community.

Carson County Hazard Mitigation Play Updated

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Carson County – On Nov. 19, Carson County received notice from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) that the last draft of the 2013 Carson County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update submitted for TDEM and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review had been provisionally approved. That notice nearly concludes an effort that has taken over two years to complete.

The first Carson County Mitigation Plan was finally approved by TDEM/FEMA in December 2006. In order for the jurisdictions in Carson County to remain eligible to receive FEMA hazard mitigation grant funding in the future, it has to be updated and re-approved by FEMA every five years.

The plan is a multi-jurisdictional plan that uniquely serves Groom, Panhandle, Skellytown, White Deer and Carson County and identifies appropriate hazard mitigation opportunities suitable to each jurisdiction. The purpose of plan is to identify actions and resources which can help to reduce or eliminate the severity of natural hazards impacts, those to which the County is disposed to, on people and property.

In order for the plan to be finally approved by TDEM/FEMA, each of the jurisdictions that participated in the development of the plan update will now have to adopt the plan. During the next month, Groom, Panhandle, Skellytown, White Deer and Carson County will each conduct a local public hearing before considering the adoption of the plan. Notices will be posted in each jurisdiction as to the date/time of their hearing. The notice will also include the locations were the plan can be accessed for public review.

The plan lists all the members that participated on the Carson County Mitigation Action Team (MAT). Each of these individuals devoted a great deal of time and energy to the update process. It’s not easy to develop a plan that will satisfy all of FEMA’s standards but the Carson County MAT members stayed with the process through to the end

Carson County Library

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

By Mary Hare
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, from your local librarians!
Hope your holidays are filled with Joy and Thanks, and bring along a great book to read and enjoy a rest.
Friends of Carson County Library will host a Book and Bake Sale on Shop Panhandle day, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Come by while you are out shopping Panhandle!
Some of our newest books include: “Pegasus” by Danielle Steel, “Shopaholic to the Stars” by Sophie Kinsella, “Burning Room” by Michael Connelly, and “Blue Labyrinth” by Douglas Preston.
Some new audio books are: “Private India” by James Patterson, “Lila” by Marilynne Robinson, “The Cinderella Murder” by Mary Higgins Clark, and “The Escape” by David Baldacci.
DVD’s we’ve received are: “Green Lantern”, “If I Stay”, and “Maleficent”.
Come by your local library, “Like” us on Facebook or visit us on the web at: