SPC Hosts Groove Day With Sonny Emory

South Plains College Commercial Music Program hosted the 1st edition of what they hope is an annual event in the Tom T. Hall over the weekend. The first ever “Groove Day” featured a masterclass on various drumming and percussion techniques from professor Phil Smith, who got into the ins and outs of the application of various brushes. Some equipment and T-Shirts were given out to attendees before the special guest lecturer was introduced. Sonny Emory has had a long and fruitful career in commercial music, playing with the likes of Earth, Wind, and Fire; Eric Clapton, and more. Emory held an open admission masterclass, and helped judge the “Groove Contest” that was held afterwards before retiring to a smaller and more in-depth masterclass for those who wished to attend.

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YELL Food Drive For Bill’s Backpacks

The Young Emerging Leaders of Levelland were busy this past Saturday at United Supermarket where they held a food drive to support Bill’s Backpacks. Students stood at either entrance to receive donations for the charity, which aims to help provide meals to school children in need on the weekend. From 9a-1p these YELL students represented The Chamber of Commerce, and Levelland exceptionally well. YELL is a chamber-led group which, according to their website, hopes to “engage students and challenge them to take charge of their lives while giving back to their community.”

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Lubbock County Crash Leaves 1 Dead

According to DPS reports a 2-vehicle crash left one driver dead along US Highway 62 in Lubbock County on Wednesday. Around 5:15pm about a mile west of Idalou, a 2021 Jeep Grand Cheroke was traveling East along the highway. A 2018 Nissan Sentra failed to yield right of way at the US 62 and 7th St. intersection, pulling out in front of the Jeep, where the two collided. The driver of the Cheroke, Alexis Heinrich, 27, of Idalou was treated and released from the scene. The driver of the Sentra, 75 year old Sara Yielding, of Lubbock was pronounced dead on the scene.

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Levelland ISD School Board Budget For Chromebooks, Hear Campus Updates

The Levelland Independent School District Board of Trustees had their regular meeting Wednesday evening to cover several items. All Board members were present for this meeting

The District currently has several courses that count as “Innovation Courses” which, defined by the board are “courses to enable students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies not included in the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum.” Currently offered are Sports Medicine I, General Employability Skills, and Methodology for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS). These courses help deepen the skills students learn while in attendance to LISD, but the District seeks to continue that growth, coming before the board to ask for the approval of several more courses: Sports Medicine II&III, Foundation of User Experience, Community Transportation, and Making Connections I-IV. LISD has seen a strong focus on CTE and College level courses recently, with various different programs aimed at preparing students for the workforce when they graduate. This request was easily and unanimously granted by the board.

Summer School is seeing a shift this year for the betterment of the maintenance crews of the district. All summer school students this year will have instruction at the Intermediate and Middle School Campuses this year to clear other district buildings for various renovations. I meetings past the Maintenance Dept. has given road maps for their upcoming projects including floor stripping for most campuses, lawn care, and roof/parking lot repairs. This Maintenance Dept. inherited a lengthy backlog of requests, and are looking to use the summer months to clear some of these from the docket.

LISD provides Chromebooks to several grades to assist with their coursework, and a request had come before the board for approval. The price of 450 Chromebooks would come at the tune of approx. $175K. This is slightly higher than normal, as it was time to replace the laptops for several grades, rather than just ordering them for incoming freshmen as usual. When asked about what happens to the laptops post-graduation, staff informed the board that there are a few options available: the laptop can be sold outside the district, or the student is granted the opportunity to purchase it to take with them after graduation. This item was approved readily by the board

Much like other organizations in the area, LISD School Board has elections coming up in May, however for their positions up for election all candidates ran unopposed. This left the board with the option to cancel the election, leaving Matt Buxkemper for District 5, Carrie Ellis and DeEtte Edens (both at-large seats), to retain their positions within the board.

While the elementary campuses didn’t have reports at this months meeting, Capitol Elementary still had a presentation to give. At the beginning of the meeting Capitol’s Principle Joanna Runkles introduced the campus’ “Goal Getters”. 9 students stood before the board and explained to them what it took for such a distinction: to follow the “Lobo Way” and represent your campus well. The students thanked the Board for their time before opening up for questions.

For the Middle School there was quite a bit to brag on. Middle School Principle Eric Eugenis was happy to give his report on the goings on and achievements of his campus. The campus’ Destination Imagination (DI) team has advanced to State level competition and will be headed to Arlington Friday, March 24th to compete over the weekend. The National History Team also found itself advancing to state competition and will be headed to Austin April 14th -15th. On the front of Campus Improvement, Eugenis and admin had their eyes set on teacher retention. They have implemented 1on1 meetings with teachers to give them a platform to voice opinions, concerns or ideas they may have about the campus or district as a whole. They’ve also implemented teacher recognition with their “teacher of the month” awards. This goes towards the campus’ overarching goal of hiring and retaining the best staff possible.

The High School was in the same vein with much going on, and much to brag about. Dr. Mathew Birdwell, High School Principal stated that enrollment was strong, sitting at 719 students with 94% attendance rate. The HS also has a DI team advancing to State competition the weekend of the 24th, which admin have high hopes for. Senior Alyssa Loafman participated in the San Antonio Stock How Meats Contest, winning first place and earning herself a $10K scholarship to the Meat Judging Team at Texas Tech after graduation as well. After the success if their First Friday Art Trail, the HS is also putting in work to bring a Spring Art Showcase to the community as well. These all went to prove Dr. Birdwell’s main point – Extracurriculars need to be a focus for Levelland ISD. Since his arrival in the District almost 2 years ago, Dr. Birdwell has seen nearly a 10% increase in student extracurricular activity performance, something he hopes to continue to see rise into next school year.

Capitol Elementary came up in the agenda again, though not for anything celebratory the second time around. Staff informed the Board that there was a math class at the elementary that had a ration of 23 students to 1 teacher, which violates the policy approved ratio of 22 to 1. Additional resources have been allocated to this class, and notifications have been sent to families who’s students are effected. Though the ratio is only slightly off, it reminds the board of the urgency of hiring and retaining new staff. The final item on the agenda before an executive session was that of personnel, which saw the district hiring 4 new staff, but 9 resignations and 6 retirements including that of Heidi Blair, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. This ended business for the board as of this meeting.

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3 Vehicle Wreck On Hwy 114

A 3 vehicle wreck shut down traffic on one side of Highway 114 in the early morning hours of Wednesday. Happening around 8am, vehicles and wreckage lay across the West-bound lanes into town, forcing officials to divert traffic in the area of the 114-Alamo Road intersection. According to officials contacted on-scene, the wreck yielded no injuries, but caused some damage to nearby TxDOT equipment. The light control box for the stoplights in that area had been damaged, but there was no word on when TxDOT would have crews on site to fix it. The scene was cleared of wreckage very expeditiously, with crews and wreckage clearing the scene by 8:30a.

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Levelland Mainstreet Gears Up For Summer

The Levelland Mainstreet Program had their regular meeting in the noon hour Tuesday to cover some updates ahead of Mainstreet Coordinator Tania Moody’s expected trip to Boston for training later this week. Board resident Meleta Atchison was absent from the meeting, leaving VP Rob Martin of City Bank to fill the roll.

A T-Mobile grant is currently being pursued for some renovations to a Downtown District icon. The old farmer’s market just off the square has been idle for some time, and in line with other events such as the “Mosaic Mom’s Walk,” is being converted into a “Pocket Park.” A small play ground for children and parents to gather, the park aims to help give more reasons to congregate in Downtown Levelland. Recently Implemented, the “Mosaic Mom’s Walk” has the same objective, giving mothers, grandmothers, and other caretakers to meet and shop on Thursday mornings.

Moody also took this time to announce an ad running in “Travel Host Magazine,” a publication with country-wide distribution. This advertisement aims to bring more guests to the annual Sip and Swirl event coming in June. The event, which is one of the largest to take place Downtown, boasted more than $25K in sponsorships and ticket sales last year.

Several updates for various projects were given such as the new addition of Mainstreet posters in the lightboxes at the local Wal-Mart, as well as the mosaic planters expected to be installed later in the year. Additionally, Moody reminded board members that coming in April would be the ribbon cutting for a bench dedicated to the Founding members of the Marigolds, a women’s club participating in volunteer work and community outreach since 1976. The Levelland Chamber of Commerce will be facilitating a ribbon cutting to celebrate, though the bench is currently installed and on display in front of the Hockley County Juvenile Probation Office on Ave. G.

The meeting ended with discussion around the Mainstreet Volunteer Appreciation Lunch, to be held in the Community Center in City Park April 26th. Surveys are in the works for the various Mainstreet Awards such as the George R. Keeling, Main Street Hero, and Legacy awards. The Board took time to reflect on the last month of business and events before setting their sights on a busy Summer season. This ended business for the Board as of this meeting.

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Levelland City Council Crossed On Food Truck Ordinance

Levelland City Council gathered Monday night for their regular meeting to cover a wide array of agenda items. All members were present for this meeting.

Locals stepped forward to speak their minds on what would prove to be the most time-consuming piece of the agenda: Food Truck Ordinances. This particular ordinance, much like the carport ordinance of months past, has been making its way through the Planning & Zoning Board for quite some time. Several iterations and re-writes went into the ordinance, but it still couldn’t gain traction with the Council. On one hand, Council wants to ensure that Levelland is open and inviting to new businesses, but should they be more lenient with Food Truck requirements, its possible that brick and mortar restaurants in town could be upset. The other side argues that requirements for various things such as vent hoods and fire suppression systems cost thousands of dollars, and becomes a barrier for entry for small businesses. Fire Chief Jay McKay states, however that ordinance or not, the Levelland Fire Code as written requires all commercial kitchens to have certain safety measures, such as fire suppression systems. Whether the kitchen is in a brick and mortar building or a mobile truck/trailer makes no difference. Issues of sales tax and where/if its being paid were also brought up, as were residential restrictions. As residential areas are zoned to exclude commercial business, permits, permission from property owners, etc would be required. Ultimately the ordinance was sent back to the P&Z for another round of revisions, though City Manager Brandon Anderson expects final action to come on this agenda item in the coming month or so.

Periodically the Insurance Services Office will review the local fire dept. and fire suppression services to issue them a score based on several metrics. Levelland currently sits at a rating of 2 (with 1 being the best). The ISO review has come due for the City of Levelland, a fact that was overlooked in this past budget. Looking to the past, the City has hired consultants to assist them in raising their standing with the ISO. In 05′-06′ consultants were hired, helping raise the City’s standing, and they were hired once more in 16′-17′, overall raising Levelland’s ISO rating from a 4 to a 2. According to Chief McKay, Insurance companies use ISO ratings as a measure to base insurance rates of of, and an increase/decrease of even just 1 rating can result in a change of 8-10% on insurance rates. Chief McKay came before the Council to ask for a budget amendment in the amount of $26,500 to hire once again MP Consulting Services, who has assisted the City in the past with ISO reviews, which Council readily approved.

As the Municipal Court begins to become busier, safety training was given to PD officers, as well as other City staff on how to keep the court secure. It was during this training that it was discovered that certain portions of the court’s safety systems were less than optimal. A budget amendment of $5,350 was approved to upgrade the system through the company Johnson Control.

Government ARPA funds from the COVID Era are reaching their end of life, and City officials quickly are needing to find projects to allocate them towards. In meetings past several various projects were suggested, including the payment of internal finance fund payments and the Seal Coat Project for city roads. Late last year in budget talks Council was warned that last year’s tax rate they proposed would not generate enough funds for these projects, and due to several absences of council members, the previous tax rate was set, leaving the City struggling to pay. Government American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds were approved for this use.

Finally the City reported on the sale of their jointly owned ambulance they decommissioned earlier in the year. With decals stripped, the ambulance sold for $21,500, leaving both the City and County with approx. $10K each. This ended business as of this meeting for the Council, the next City Council meeting will be Monday, April 3rd.

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SPC Offers Pharmacy Technician Course

Press Release Provided By South Plains College:

LUBBOCK – South Plains College Lubbock Career and Technology Center is pleased to announce the launch of its Pharmacy Technician/Assistant Training program, designed to provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to pass the national certification exam. The program is a 100-hour course that includes 50 hours of classroom instruction and 50 hours of clinical training. The cost of the course is $752.   

Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in both hospital and retail pharmacy settings, allowing them to develop the skills and confidence needed to excel in their future careers. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including pharmacology, safety, terminology, packing, dispensing, distribution, inventory management, ratio strengths, business math and calculating IV flow rates.

Upon completion of the program, students will earn 10 CEU credits and will be prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam. While the exam is available year-round, students should expect additional expenses to take the licensing exam.

The Pharmacy Tech classes will be taught as a hybrid option. The instructional lectures will be taught at the Lubbock Career and Technology Center in LBC124. The clinicals will be taught at the various United Pharmacies and at Covenant Hospitals. The classroom portion of the training will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 4 through May 25. The clinical training at United Pharmacy and Covenant is TBD by the clinical site and the student. 

The course textbook is “The Pharmacy Technician 7th Edition,” which can be purchased for $99.95 plus tax from the Reese Center Bookstore.

The maximum number of students is 20, so interested parties are encouraged to sign up early.

Steps Required to Register for Pharmacy Tech   

Step 1:  Complete the SPC CE Application   

Step 2:  Provide Proof of Immunizations: 

  • MMR – 2 shot Series or TITER   
  • Current negative TB Test (no older than 1 year prior to the first day of class)   
  • Tetanus (no older than 10 years prior to the first day of class)   
  • Hepatitis Series or TITER (**Note: HEP B – only titer needed if student cannot find shot record or is in middle of series**)  
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) or Proof of Illness   
  • Flu Shot required of all students enrolled between Oct. 1 and March 31   
  • COVID-19 2-Dose Vaccine/ Letter of Exemption   

Step 3:  Provide Identification   

Names must match on all documents and not expire before the end of class.   

  • Valid Driver’s License or ID   
  • Social Security Card   

Step 4:  Register in Person   

Step 5: Complete an application to become a Pharmacy Technician Trainee   


  • The Pharmacy Technician Trainee application is a requirement in order to do clinical work at the clinical sites and externships at the externship sites.  The estimated cost for the application is $65.  
  • Fingerprinting is required for the Pharmacy Technician Trainee Application.  The estimated cost for fingerprinting is $38-$50.   

South Plains College is committed to providing high-quality education and training programs that meet the needs of its students and the community. For more information about the Pharmacy Technician/Assistant Training program, contact Ben Alexander, Executive Director of the Lubbock Career and Technical Center, at (806) 716-4608 or Stephanie Prieto, Administrative Assistant, at (806) 716-4604. Call and ask about tuition assistance. 

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Plane Crash in Lubbock County Kills One

According to DPS Reports a plane crash was reported in Lubbock County over the weekend, leaving the pilot dead. On Friday the 17th around 11:38a a Textron Aviation – Beechcraft, Barron 58P twin engine took off from Lubbock Executive Airpark, but soon after crashed just North of the runway at 11:40a. The vehicle caught fire and the pilot, 26 year old Tyler Blake Christie, was unable to escape. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after. According to the report, The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and will take over the investigation of the cause of the crash.

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Community Storm Preparedness Training

Hockley County Emergency Management recently announced there would be a Storm Spotter/Community Storm Preparedness Training coming to town delivered by the National Weather Service. That training will be held at 6:30p, March 21st in the Levelland Fire Station Training Room for all who wish to attend. The Fire Station is located at 603 5th st. in Levelland.

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