Hockley County Endowment Awards Over $12,000 in Community Grants

HCE_checkpresentation2018_1The Hockley County Endowment was created by and for the people of this area, and is an affiliate of the Community Foundation of West Texas.  Today the endowment has over $729,000 and supports funds for 28 organizations including the Hockley County Senior Citizens Center, School Systems within Hockley County, the South Plains Food Bank and many more.  To date the endowment has given 69 grants totaling $157,481 to 69 area non-profits.  Each year, as the endowment grows, the group will be able to give back more to the community.  This year alone the Hockley County Endowment will give almost $13,000 in grants supporting worthy organizations and causes in the area.  Due to generous endowments and donations, the Hockley County Endowment now has over $729,000 in their fund balance, 28 designated funds, and is pleased to award $12,808 during this grant cycle.

The Hockley County Endowment awarded grant checks to four organizations on Friday night just prior to the first home football game.  Those organizations included:

Hockley County Veterans Assistance Office–$2,000 for their Veteran’s Day Event

Levelland Ministerial Alliance–$1,500 for their National Day of Prayer Breakfast Event

South Plains Rural Health Services, Inc.–$500 for their Mental Health Assistance Project

Wallace Theater–$8,808 for Generation Ziglar Live Training.

 

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South Plains College Honor Gerstenbergers During Dedication

IMG_2851The clouds threatened to open up all morning but failed to rain on South Plains
College’s Dedication of the Earl and June Gerstenberger Hall, located at South College Avenue and J.V. Morton Drive on Friday morning.

The South Plains College Board of Regents and administration hosted the dedication ceremony on Friday (Sept. 7) before a crowd of more than 175 friends, family and members of the Levelland community. The event was followed by a ribbon cutting and a reception for the honorees.

Earl Gerstenberger presented the Dedication Response in which he shared memories of his family’s time in Levelland. He spoke about leaving the Brenham area and its lush greenery and trees to help build South Plains College on the flat land of West Texas with its tumbleweed stampedes.  He also spoke about his fears that the college would not have enough students during its first registration, thus, there may not be a need for all of the 15 instructors, four administrators and the tax collector.   Gerstenberger said the college opened on Sept. 15, 1958 with 576 students – 76 more than they expected.

He spent a few minutes sharing funny memories about the students at SPC. He said that in the first semester, more than 30 women over the age of 40 registered for classes. Gerstenberger admitted to being intimidated by the “older women” in his classes.  He talked about Marcellette O’Callaghan, the oldest SPC graduate, who epitomized a
cornerstone of the college’s philosophy of life-long learning. She walked the stage on May 10, 1985, just 13 days before her 80th birthday.

Gerstenberger was the college’s first agriculture teacher. He was responsible for developing and growing the agriculture program as well as sponsoring the Agriculture Club, Rodeo Club and managing the college farm. Because of his knowledge of horticulture, he also served as grounds supervisor and was instrumental in establishing the landscape plan that beautifies the Levelland campus. His teaching abilities were recognized in 1965 when he was named the first recipient of
the Faculty Excellence Award.

Appointed Dean of Men in 1966, Gerstenberger helped shape the college’s early residence life program. He was named Dean of Students in 1974 and provided leadership in expanding student support services at a time when the college was growing in enrollment and educational programming. Dean Gerstenberger was later appointed Vice President for Student and Administrative Affairs, and he served 11 years in this position before retiring in 1993.  June Gerstenberger joined SPC in 1967 as Secretary to the Registrar. This position resulted in a 26-year career of assisting SPC students in the registrar’s office and later in financial aid, special services and the business office.

Now as retirees and friends of the college, the Gerstenbergers have continued to show their support of the college in a multitude of ways, including the establishment of a scholarship endowment bearing their name to benefit students in the agriculture program.

In May, the Board of Regents adopted a resolution on May 10, 2018 to change the name of the college’s newest student residence facility from Southwest Hall to Gerstenberger Hall.

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Authorities Identify Body Found in Cochran County

Texas Rangers GenericThe Texas Rangers released further information on a deceased body found southwest of Morton on Monday.  A passer-by reported the body to authorities on Monday approximately three miles southwest of Morton.

The Texas Rangers said that the preliminary autopsy report was completed this week in Lubbock.  The Medical Examiners report indicate the body identified as Ricky Mendoza, 39 of Morton.  Evidence found at the scene indicate that the body has been there for several weeks according to local authorities.

No foul play is suspected in the death.

The investigations continues with the Texas Rangers and the Cochran County Sheriff’s Office.

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SPC to Dedicate Residence Hall on Friday

GerstenbergersThe South Plains College Board of Regents and administration will host a
dedication ceremony Sept. 7 for the Earl and June Gerstenberger Residence Hall, located at South College Avenue and J.V. Morton Drive.

The event will begin at 10 a.m., and will be followed by a reception for the honorees until 11:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

The Board of Regents adopted a resolution on May 10, 2018 to change the name of the college’s newest student residence facility from Southwest Hall to Earl and June Gerstenberger Hall.  “This is a fitting tribute and wonderful way to honor them for their years of dedication,” said Mike Box, chairman of the South Plains College Board of Regents. In their work together at SPC, the Gerstenbergers’ commitment to fostering opportunities for student success became the standard for the student services program.
“We are proud to recognize the contributions and investments that Earl and June made to South Plains College over the years,” said Dr. Robin Satterwhite, SPC President. “They both served as a foundation for the promising beginnings of the college, and they were instrumental in the growth of the college to what it is today. Without them, South Plains College would be a very different place.”

For more than 60 years, the Gerstenbergers’ association with South Plains College has left a lasting mark on the history and success of the College. Earl Gerstenberger joined SPC as a member of the original faculty and administration who opened the College to students and the community in September 1958.  As the College’s first agriculture teacher, he was responsible for developing and growing the agriculture program, which included sponsoring the Agriculture Club, Rodeo Club and managing the college farm.  Because of his knowledge of horticulture, he also served as grounds supervisor and was instrumental in establishing the landscape plan that beautifies the Levelland campus. His teaching abilities were recognized in 1965 when he was named the first recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award.  Appointed Dean of Men in 1966, he helped shape the College’s early residence life program. He was named Dean of Students in 1974 and provided leadership in expanding student support services at a time when the College was growing in enrollment and educational programming.  Dean Gerstenberger was later appointed Vice President for Student and Administrative Affairs and served 11 years in this position before retiring in 1993.

June Gerstenberger joined SPC in 1967 as Secretary to the Registrar. This position resulted in a 26-year career of assisting SPC students in the registrar’s office and later in financial aid, special services and the business office.

Now as retirees and friends of the college, the Gerstenbergers have continued to show their support of the college in a multitude of ways, including the establishment of a scholarship endowment bearing their name to benefit students in the agriculture program.

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Unidentified Body Found Near Morton

Texas Rangers GenericThe Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety has been called in to assist in the investigation of a body found South of Morton on Monday.

Texas Department of Public Safety released information on Wednesday afternoon.  They said that an autopsy has been ordered by the Cochran County Judge.  The Cochran County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call of the body found in a remote area south of Morton on Monday.  They then requested the assistance of the Texas Rangers.

Due to evidence found at the scene, investigators believe the body may have been there several weeks before being found.  The Texas Rangers have classified the case as a questionable death investigation.  No further information will be released until after the autopsy results have been released by the medical examiners office.

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Littlefield Police Make Arrest for Evading Arrest

Littlefield Police GenericLittlefield Police announced they have arrested a 17 year old of Littlefield and formerly of Lubbock early Sunday, September 2nd at approximately 4:00 am.

Reports from the Littlefield Police Department indicate that the 17 year old was seen by an officer early Sunday morning.  He fled from officers, but was later apprehended by two officers from the Littlefield Police Department.  He was brandishing what appeared to be a gun according to reports, the item was confirmed to be a semi-automatic handgun.  Fortunately the teen was arrested without incident.

The teen was arrested and charged with Evading Arrest with previous convictions and Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.  He also was arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Lubbock for Burglary of a Vehicle.

Littlefield Police also reported that later in the day Saturday, officers received a report of a vehicle burglary in which a firearm was stolen from a vehicle in the 500 Block of East 11th street in Littlefield, it was confirmed that the firearm stolen was the firearm the teen was arrested with.

Police reports indicate that additional charges of a Burglary of a Vehicle and Theft of a Firearm were added to the charged filed against the 17 year old.

 

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Levelland Man in Critical Condition After a Motorcycle Crash Near Plains

DPS LogoTexas Department of Public Safety troopers report a Levelland motorcyclist was in critical condition Saturday following a crash near Plains.

Ryan Johnson, 34 of Levelland was traveling in the area of FM 1780 and Highway 82 and lost control of the motorcycle and crashed.  He was transported by Aerocare to University Medical Center in Lubbock according to DPS reports.  He remains in critical condition as of Saturday night.

The accident remains under investigation of the Texas Department of Public Safety.  A cause for the accident has not been determined.

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