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December 15th

No salvia here, council says

December 15, 2010

Big Spring City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the emergency reading of an ordinance making the sale, possession or use of salvia — a hallucinogenic plant native to Mexico — a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.

According to Big Spring Police Chief Lonnie Smith, the use of the drug — also known as Diviner's Sage, ska María Pastora and Seer's sage — has already caused a number of Crossroads residents to seek medical help after consuming the product.

BSISD board to hear preconstruction update

December 15, 2010

It is still several months before actual ground-breaking, but Big Spring Independent School District officials are busy preparing for the start of $63 million in construction projects that will affect every campus.

BSISD trustees will receive an update on those preparations when they hold their monthly meeting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday in the high school board room.

Police/Sheriff/EMS

December 15, 2010

The Big Spring Police Department reported the following activity between 7 a.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. today:
• JOHNNY RAY PAYNE JR., 31, of 1509 Stadium, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of driving while license invalid – DWI related.
• LEAH YVONNE DAVIDSON, 56, of 1205 Ridgeroad, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of failure to identify.
• GARY RAYANDO FRENCH, 31, of 2607 Central, was arrested Tuesday on charges of assault by contact and interference with an emergency phone call.
• SAUNDRA JO GARRARD, 36, of 1107 Wood, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of theft – shoplifting.

December 14th

Festival of Lights begins Wednesday

December 14, 2010

In less than 48 hours, Comanche Trail Park is going to be transformed into a poinsettia paradise.

Millions of lights will switch on for the Christmas holidays at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening when the 14th annual Comanche Trail Festival of Lights begins at the city park.

The event, featuring hundreds of lighted attractions ranging from poinsettias to oversized Christmas cards, is expected to draw more than 20,000 visitors to this year's run, which ends Dec. 31.

Commissioners pass on fireworks ban

December 14, 2010

An apparent mix up in dates prevented Howard County commissioners from passing a ban on fireworks Monday morning, forcing officials to instead rely on informal requests that firework vendors not sell rockets that include sticks and fins.

Howard County Volunteer Fire Chief Tommy Sullivan informed commissioners of the situation Monday morning during the court's regular meeting.

Police/Sheriff/EMS

December 14, 2010

The Big Spring Police Department reported the following activity between 7 a.m. Monday and 7 a.m. today:
• ELIZABETH HOPE LAREZ, 34, of 1111 N. Goliad, was arrested Monday on a warrant for driving while license suspended/invalid with a previous conviction.
• AMBER RODRIGUEZ, 17, of 1003 N. Runnels, was arrested Monday on a charge of criminal trespass.
• JOE OLIVIO JR., 38, of 1109 S. Runnels, was arrested Monday on warrants for evading arrest or detention, failure to maintain financial responsibility and disregarding a stop sign.
• BURGLARY OF A VEHICLE was reported:

December 11th

Jury finds Alon USA negligent, awards $350,000 in damages

December 11, 2010

A 118th District Court jury awarded three Howard County residents a total of more than $350,000 for property repair and medical expenses incurred as a result of the February 2008 Alon Refinery explosion.

The jury verdict came at the end of a week-long civil trial Friday afternoon.

Plaintiffs Beverly Smithie and Ron and Debra Walker sued Alon USA to recoup property and medical expenses they sustained from the explosion, which occurred Feb. 18, 2008.

The jury found that Alon had been negligent in assisting the plaintiffs and awarded the following damages:

Commissioners to mull fireworks ban

December 11, 2010

Howard County commissioners are expected to consider a ban on fireworks Monday morning, approximately a month after the government panel issued a burn ban in hopes of staving off wildfires in the Crossroads area.

County Judge Mark Barr said the county is required to wait until the drought index in the Crossroads area reaches a specific level before issuing a fireworks ban, a level Howard County has already surpassed.

College aims for June completion date on renovations

December 11, 2010

Check off another construction project at Howard College.

The college's administration building is once again open for business after workers recently completed extensive renovation of the facility. That work is part of more than $20 million in renovation projects ongoing across the Birdwell Lane campus.

College trustees will hear about the state of renovation when they hold their monthly meeting at 12:30 p.m. Monday in the student union building's Tumbleweed Room.

Police blotter

December 11, 2010

The Big Spring Police Department reported the following activity:
• MARK ANTHONY SALAZAR, 20, 212 E. Robinson, was arrested on a warrant charging driving while intoxicated.
• MONA ALICIA SALDANA, 25, 1400 Virginia, was arrested on a charge of driving while license suspended/invalid.
• SOMER DANAE LANCASTER, 32, 1804 N. FM 700, was arrested on three warrants from other agencies.
• RENE ANGEL VALDEZ JR., 49, 2205 Johnson, was arrested on a charge of public intoxication.
• TONGCHEN LIU, 28, Ithica, N.Y., was arrested on a charge of hindering officers from discharging official duties.

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