Planes and Pilsners

This Saturday, from 7:00-10:30 p.m. High Sky Wing is holding its 13th annual Hops and Props Beer Tasting. The location of the event will be at 9600 Wright Drive in Midland, in the CAF High Sky Wing hangar.

The event will include live music, a silent auction with prizes ranging from hotel stays to airplane rides, a bottle cap raffle, food samples from local restaurants, a 50/50 raffle, and a beer tasting with over 50 different kinds of beer.     

Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out a few vintage warbirds.

General admission tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door, non-drinking tickets are $20, and VIP tables seating 8 guests are $500.

 There will be a cash bar and the event will only be open to those 21 years of age and older.

VIP guests will be allowed admission at 6:30 p.m. and for general admission attendees, doors will open at 7 p.m.  .

Proceeds from the event will support the CAF High Sky Wing and the Midland Army Air Field Museum.

For more information on the event, click here. http://highskywing.org/?page_id=4898

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Healthcare Workers at UMC in Lubbock Reflect on Year of Pandemic

After more than a year since the beginning of their fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic, frontline workers at University Medical Center Hospital look back on a battle they never expected to face.

Kristi Valdez, Director of Medical ICU at UMC said, “Here in Lubbock, we started to see our first COVID case back in March of last year. It was an awful virus, and it wasn’t something that we were familiar with.”

Across Lubbock and the world, Healthcare Providers are considering lessons learned from a year of battling the pandemic. She further says, “Last year, for months, we took care of these COVID patients, and it was a challenging time for everyone: our staff, doctors, nurses, our patients, and their families.”

Mike Ragain, Chief Medical Officer at UMC said that after hitting peak cases in November, COVID numbers are now dropping.  A recent hospital survey of employees, revealed shocking results. “We learned that a big toll was taken on our employees. Losing 2, 3, or 4 patients on an ICU shift has an impact. Our caregivers take great care of patients and have good outcome, but being unable to help someone with the virus is tough.  There’s a lot of burnout among healthcare professionals not only here but across the country.”

Valdez and Ragain both said they are thankful for the love and support from the community. Ragain said, “Really just proud of that spirit of let’s get it done, let’s roll up our sleeves and make it happen.” She further encourages everyone to stay vigilant and continue to wash your hands, wear masks, and practice social distancing. 

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Arrington Visits Air Force Base with Acting Secretary of the USAF

Congressman Arrington visits Dyess Air Force Base with Acting Secretary of the Air Force

ABILENE, Texas (Press Release) – This week, Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) visited Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas with Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth.

During their visit, they were briefed on the current challenges and opportunities of the base and its airmen under the Air Force Global Strike Command. They also discussed and viewed the transition and preparations for the B-21 raider, along with recognizing some of the men and women at Dyess for their outstanding service.

“Dyess Airmen, and Global Strike Airmen at large, play a key role in the Nation’s ability to project power and respond to threats anytime, anywhere,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth. “In the last six months alone, Dyess aircraft and Airmen have deployed for Bomber Task Force operations spanning the Indo-Pacific to Europe and the Arctic. Their presence and impact sends a clear message of assurance to our partners and allies, builds interoperability with our friends, and puts competitors on notice that our Airmen are vigilant and ready whenever called upon.”

“The Secretary observed first-hand the strategic importance of our base as well as the deep connection between Dyess and the Abilene Community and their unmatched support for our airmen,” said Rep. Arrington. “My objective is to ensure there is a mutual commitment on the part of the Air Force and Congress to the most lethal and dominant Air Force in the defense of our nation and its interest around the world, which means a seamless transition from the B-1 to the B-21 and Dyess as a leader in the Global Strike Command.”

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Best of Luck LHS FFA

Congratulations to our FFA students on their accomplishments with their CDE competitions. They have Area I competition Saturday at TTU to decide who moves on to State! There are too many to report here, so for complete coverage, please visit https://www.facebook.com/levellandffa.

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Spring Clean Means It’s Time to Sweep Out the Cupboards

VOICES, the Hockley County Anti Drug Coalition is hosting it’s spring medication cleanout Saturday, April 24. The event will be held at Levelland Capitol Elementary from 10 am until 12 pm.

It will be a drive through/drop off event. Chances are that in nearly every house there is a stockpile of old outdated medications or meds that are no longer needed. Medications can sometimes find their way into the wrong hands and can be hazardous and dangerous. Poisonings, misuse, and abuse of drugs may also become a problem.

The following items are acceptable to drop off:

Prescription medications including samples, Non-prescription meds including vitamins and supplements, Pet medications, and Nebulizer solutions.  Items that are not acceptable are: Syringes, Inhalers, IV Fluid Bags, Oxygen tanks, and Nebulizer or glucometer machines. The sponsoring agencies for this medication cleanout are Hockley County VOICES Coalition, Levelland Police Department and South Plains Rural Health.

Also, medications can always be dropped off at the Levelland Police Department, 1310 Avenue H.

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SPC Looking Forward to Fully Reopening in the Fall

Barring any cataclysmic events, South Plains College will look forward to fully opening the school at the beginning of the Fall Semester. President of SPC, Dr. Robin Satterwhite told the Board of Regents that while some  guidelines will remain in place for the Summer Sessions, he expects a return to normalcy when the doors open in the Fall.

The first summer session will be opened to 100% and the technical educational enrollment will be increased to 75% while still wearing masks. All students in the first semester of summer session will still be required to wear masks. The college plans to remove the mask mandate for both students and faculty for the 2nd summer session.

For employees at the college, the mask requirement will be removed May 17.

Quarantine rules will remain for students, faculty, and staff who have not been vaccinated or who have not had Covid 19 within 90 days. This was presented to the Board of Regents on Thursday and they approved the plan.

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Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Police officers who went above and beyond the call of duty were honored by the Abilene Police Department (APD), in an awards ceremony    on Wednesday.

There were more than 20 merit-based awards presented at the ceremony, held Wednesday morning, in the police department’s conference room. Patrol officer Matt Armbruster was presented the Officer of the Year award..

“Ever since I was a kid, I’d watch ‘Cops, so I always wanted to be an officer. When I put on this uniform I try to earn that privilege to be an officer and to earn the badge.” Armbruster said.

Armbruster said he was humbled by the honor and that he thinks other officers were also deserving of this prestigious award.

“They don’t get recognized for it. Every day they’re out there, they’re doing a great job and making a huge impact on this community, and I’m certainly honored to be considered for this, but like I said, I definitely think there’s better officers than I am,” Armbruster said.

Marcus Dudley, Abilene Chief of Police, says Armbruster’s peers say the same about him.

“The people they work alongside felt that they were deserving of that reward, and it’s my honor to be able to provide those rewards to each of those recipients today,” said Chief Dudley.

“There’s really nothing else I’d rather be doing. I certainly think that this is a job that requires a calling and I know that times are tough right now with law enforcement, with the community, with everything that’s going on, but I truly love doing my job and being here everyday,” Armbruster said.

Armbruster says he still has much more to accomplish and he’s happy to be doing a job he loves.

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Working Toward a Healthy State

In conjunction with National Alcohol Awareness Month, Curry County will present its fourth annual workshop on substance abuse awareness.

The virtual event is for anyone who is struggling, in recovery, or knows someone who is, or would just like more information about substance abuse disorders. The event will be offered on Saturday, April 17th, from 10 a.m. – 3p.m.

Mental Health Resources, Arise Sexual Assault Services, and other presenters, will be in attendance.

Registration is available at tiny.cc/CCHSMAW

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How Does Gun Reform Play on the South Plains?

President Biden, feeling the heat from some groups in the U.S. to come up with solutions to the problem of mass shootings around the country, has been using executive orders to deal with it.

Certainly most agree that something needs to be done, but the 2nd Amendment? Many say leave it alone, there are other measures much more effective.

“First off, what he’s trying to pass, won’t have any bearing on safety at all,” said west Texas gun owner Jim Baxa. “And second off, they’re completely unconstitutional.”

Some of Biden’s actions include creating tighter regulations around ‘ghost guns’ — which are guns assembled from kits that don’t have serial numbers and can’t be tracked. 

“Ghost guns haven’t been used in a massive amount of crimes,” said Lonestar Shooting Sports owner Thomas Larson. “Honest people are going to do things, honestly anyway. People that want to circumvent the law, are always going to find ways to circumvent the law.”

“I don’t know that there’s anything we can do to prevent mass shootings,” said Larson.  “Unfortunately, if you take away guns, they’re gonna find something else to use. ”Sentiments expressed by these west Texans seem to be the prevalent viewpoint on the South Plains. What’s plays well in New York City does not necessarily play well out here.

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1 Seriously Injured after Person Struck by Vehicle on I-27 in Lubbock

Early Sunday morning, one individual was struck by a vehicle.

The Major Crash Investigation Unit was on the scene in the 3800 block of I-27. The individual was transported to UMC with serious injuries.

More information will be provided as it is received.

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