Obituary: Carla Denise Brown, 57 of Levelland

Memorial Services are scheduled for Carla Brown, 57 of Levelland. Services are set for Saturday, September 21st at 2:00 pm in the Krestridge Funeral Home. A visitation reception will be held immediately following the service until 4:00 pm. She passed away on August 30th. Services are under the direction of Krestridge Funeral Home.

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City to Recognize Three Employees For Their Efforts in Rescuing Child from Lake

Family Meets with First Responders and City Employees Friday

The City of Levelland City Council will recognize the three city parks employees who were instrumental in rescuing a child from Lobo Lake.  The three will be recognized on Monday night, September 23rd at 7:00 pm prior to the City Council meeting.

18 month old Nicholi was pulled from Lobo Lake Wednesday afternoon just moments after he fell in.  The child fell in near the shore while Levelland Parks Director, Dustin Reichelt along with Felipe Soto was in the water in paddle boat working on the aerator in the middle of the lake.  Reichelt said he heard the frantic screams for help and immediately yelled at his co-worker, Jeremiah Rodriquez who was working on the north east bank of the lake.  Rodriquez sprinted to the other side of the lake and assisted in pulling the child out of the water and immediately began CPR.  Reichelt dialed 911 while Soto was paddling the boat to the shore.  Rodriquez continued CPR and Reichelt took over as soon as he got to shore.  Emergency crews arrived as the child started laughing and coughing.  He was immediately transported to Covenant Hospital Levelland.  He was kept overnight for observation, and was released Thursday afternoon.

Nicholi and his family met with the first responders and City Employees on Friday at the Levelland Fire Station to thank them for their heroic actions.  The child’s mother said “I am eternally grateful for their actions, without them my child would not have survived.”  The family said Nicholi is doing well and is expected to fully recover.

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EnviroTech Welcomed to Levelland Industrial Rail Park

EnviroTech Representatives are joined by Levelland EDC Board Members, Levelland City Staff and Levelland City Council for the ground breaking.

EnviroTech Chemical Services broke ground on their new $8 million manufacturing facility Friday morning in the Levelland Industrial Rail Park. Representatives of EnviroTech were welcomed to the rail park by a representative of Texas Department of Agriculture Sid Miller’s office who read a welcome from Commission Miller. Miller said in a prepared statement, “we are pleased to welcome EnviroTech to Texas and glad that we were able to provide a $625,000 grant from the Texas Capital Fund to the LEDC for construction of the rail spur for the new facility. City Manager Erik Rejino and Mayor Barbra Pinner were also on hand to welcome the new company. A representative from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office as well as 19th Congressional Representative Jodey Arrington’s office had representation at the event. Levelland EDC Executive Director David Rushing thanked the South Plains Association of Governments for their assistance in administering the grant through the Texas Department of Agriculture. Michael Harvey, EnviroTech CEO said this about the local Texan agencies, “We are very pleased with the level of support and commitment from the City of Levelland and its Economic Development team. Their backing has been a major factor in our decision to expand our local presence, and we look forward to becoming a key employer in the area over the next few years.”

In its first phase, the new facility will employ 25 people directly, with plans to provide 75 new jobs upon completion of a $5m expansion. Onboarding support will be included for all new employees through Enviro Tech’s new advanced training model, which includes company trainers that focus on safety,
quality, continuous improvement and manufacturing efficiency.

The new facility, residing at the Levelland, Texas Industrial Rail Park will initially process around 10,000 tons of domestically sourced raw materials a year, and will be equipped with state of the art automation, rail service, and environmental technologies. The advanced technologies include treatment and reuse of
water, reuse of 90% of solid waste to recyclers, and energy saving plant designs and equipment.

Enviro Tech plans to expand its water treatment chemicals presence in Texas to include EPA registered biocides that are distributed into Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Municipal Wastewater and Food Processing markets. Additionally, this new facility will produce FDA registered no-rinse processing aids for use in the Food and Beverage industry for direct food contact. With the addition of the new site, Enviro Tech will have 3 production facilities in the US, all capable of producing Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliant products that are EPA registered or FDA approved.

“This milestone further reflects the steady progress our teams are making to bring industry-leading innovation to the marketplace,” said Michael Harvey, Enviro Tech’s president and chief executive officer.

Water recycling in the Permian Basin has become a critical operation over the past several years. Envirotech is poised to present environmentally conscious solutions to produced water recycling, which will help relieve stress on water disposal wells. The company is making further investments in research and development of chemical technologies and application techniques to reduce chemical consumption
and increase the viability of water reuse in the Permian Basin and beyond.

The company’s expansion will create new product offerings in new markets and increase production capacity alongside Enviro Tech’s flagship plant in Helena, AR and corporate manufacturing facility in Modesto, CA. Upon facility completion, service companies in the Permian and surrounding areas will be
able to appreciate quick shipments of high-quality chemicals, plus benefit from local expertise and technical assistance as needed. In addition, current water treatment and food processing customers will realize better transit times and increased capacity.

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Levelland Police Execute Felony Arrest Warrants

Levelland police officers executed a felony arrest warrant on Monday night at the Stripes Convenience Store on West Avenue in Levelland. Police located a wanted subject inside the store and asked him to exit the store, he complied. Angel Hernandez, 24 was arrested on two outstanding warrants of failure to maintain financial responsibility. During a plain view search of the suspects vehicle, police located a clear zip lock bag containing a clear like substance which was field tested to be Methamphetamine.

After repeated questioning, the suspect admitted to having the methamphetamine and agreed to allow officers to search the vehicle. Officers also located a glass methamphetamine pipe and an empty metal grinder in the vehicle. Hernandez remains in the Hockley County Jail on the outstanding warrants as well as a Possession of a Controlled Substance Charge.

Officers also made a traffic stop for no tail light on Tuesday night in the 600 Block of Avenue N in Levelland. The driver of the vehicle, Jennifer Clem, 37 was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant for Deadly Conduct out of Amarillo. She remains in the Hockley County Jail, and will be transferred to Potter County to stand for those charges.

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Drowning Child Rescued by City Employees Wednesday Afternoon

Rescue crews were called to Lobo Lake in Levelland Wednesday afternoon, just after 2:00 pm for a drowning child.

When rescue squads arrived, they found the child had been pulled from the lake and CPR was in progress and the child was revived.

According to Levelland Police, the 2 year old child was playing at the playground area at Lobo Lake when he wondered off and fell in the water. The child’s guardian noticed the child in the water and began hollering for help, two city parks employees heard the plea for help and run over and pulled the child from the water and began CPR until paramedics arrived. According to reports the child was revived and paramedics transported the child to Covenant Hospital in Levelland and is recovering.

No further information has been released about the incident.

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Levelland ISD Board of Trustees Hold Regular Meeting

The board met in a regular meeting Wednesday night.

The board looked at refinancing bonds for savings. This would be to refinance the 2011 bond series and save the district money in interest. It would be to refinance the 2011 bond issue in February 2020 when it becomes callable. The district could refinance the bonds for a lower interest rate and see an approximate $538,903 in savings. The amount to be refinanced would be 6.49 million dollars. The current rate is 3-4% and they are looking at a refinance interest rate of 2.18%. Should the district’s finance advisor group, Specialized Public Finance, Inc. not be able to accomplish this savings then the bonds will stay unchanged. The financial advisor will have a contract along with an attorney’s fee to handle getting the approval through the Attorney General Office. Total fees for handling the process is $125,000 which is included in the bonds and the savings estimated is after all fees are paid. The parameters set by the board for the sale of bonds includes Maximum allowable amount of $6.58 million and minimum value savings needs to be 3.00% or better and the maximum interest rate is 3.0%. This savings would be for the taxpayers and would allow the district to lower tax rates. The board gave unanimous approval for the finance firm to work with the Superintendent and the Chief Finance Officer through the process.

The board also accepted the financial reports as presented. Based on the financial report their will some surplus over budgeted items and the district will set a part of it aside for capital expenditures. The district is making plans to have to replace roofing on the high school in the next several years and on the administration building. They are also planning for HVAC replacements as well as future bus purchases. The district plans to have $3-4 million dollars in the Capital Expenditure fund at the end of this year as well as 100 day of operations in the general fund. It was noted that property tax collections continue to come in higher than estimated.

The board also accepted the Annual Investment Report. Their were no changes to the Annual Investment policy from last year. It noted that the district earned approximately $200,000 in interest earnings in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The board received the quarterly finance report, there was little discussion. No action was required, it was only a report to the board.

The board received the academic report from the curriculum office. They discussed the balanced literacy initiative in the classrooms across Levelland ISD which was implemented two years ago. The components include Readers Workshop in the elementary grade levels including a workstation, teacher working with students on new concepts as well as comprehension programs. There is also a writers workshop component. The final component is word study. Phonics are now included in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, where as in early 2000 it was not included. Ongoing professional development, professional learning communities on all elementary campuses and instructional leadership supporting teachers and student growth. Teachers are collaborating together to support the students. The district has a goal that by the end of 3rd grade, 80% or better of the students are performing at grade level.

In the Superintendent’s Report, Jeff Northern shared with the board on a program to build the character of students district wide as well as a plan to increase participation in extra-curricular activities outside of sports. It was pointed out that character changes. He said it is to the district’s advantage to instill good character in students. The district is also working to engage the parents to help with character building. It was noted the more engaged a student is the more successful they will be. School administration will be meeting with campus administrators next week to discuss these objectives. The district is also working on a plan to address teacher turnover. The district has also improved the compensation and benefit plans this year. They also discussed the fact that unused sick and personal days when you retire you will be paid for every day you have unused, based on the minimum cost of a substitute for that position.

The board also received a brief report on a recent meeting with the District Safety and Security Meeting.

The board also accepted the hiring of Kayla Belew as a 4th Grade English and Language Arts teacher at Levelland Intermediate.

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Former D A Hired as Assistant D A

Former District Attorney for the 286th judicial district, Gary Goff was appointed as Assistant D A for Hockley County on Wednesday.

Goff takes the place of Trey Hill who left for a position in Dawson County. Goff has many years experience, he was Hockley County Attorney for many years before becoming District Attorney.

Goff was hired by former DA Chris Dennis who resigned earlier this month. Governor Abbott still has the duty to appoint the next DA. Goff said he is not interested in being appointed to that position.

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