Former Whitharral Coach and Teacher Arrested for Improper Relationship with a Student

Photo Courtesy: Hockley County Sheriff’s Office

Earlier this week, investigators with the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office received a report about a former teacher and coach at Whitharral Independent School District related to allegations of an improper relationship with a student. A high school aged student reported the coach, Gregory Austin Flores, was involved in a relationship with the female student prior to his employment ending with the district earlier this year.

According to a warrant affidavit, it was reported that Mr. Flores exchanged explicit social media messages with the student, and engaged in sexual conduct on numerous occasions in and around the Whitharral area. Investigators consulted with the District Attorney’s Office about the case, based on the totality of the circumstances, an arrest warrant was issued for the felony offense of
Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student.

“Allegations such as these, especially when the reported victim is a juvenile, are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” commented Sheriff Ray Scifres. He continued by stating “Our investigators have conducted multiple interviews and continue to collect evidence in order to file a completed case with the District Attorney for prosecution.”

Deputies were advised Mr. Flores was arrested in Lubbock County when he surrendered to the Detention Center on August 16, 2019, and he has since been released on bond.

The investigation into the allegations is ongoing and more information will be released when it becomes available.

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Levelland Police Investigate Two Break Ins of Vehicles

Levelland police are investigating two break ins of vehicles.

Police were contacted around 1:55 pm on Wednesday afternoon in reference to company credit card being stolen from a vehicle and used three different times at a local business. The subject advised police that someone had stolen his company gas card from his company pickup. He stated that the card had been used three times that day at Allsup’s on College Avenue in Levelland. He also stated, he was not sure if the vehicle was left unlocked or not.

Police also are investigating criminal mischief and burglary of a vehicle in the 1200 Block of Avenue D. Reports indicate that someone damaged the drivers side window on a 2018 Ford Pickup. The window appeared to have been hit with a blunt object. It was also repored that a wallet containing money and miscellaneous credit cards were stolen from inside the vehicle.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the Levelland Police Department continue to investigate both cases.

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Fire Department Responds to a Number of Calls This Week

Levelland Fire Department responded to several calls this week.

The department responded to a call of smoke coming from the back of a home near West Houston and Kelly Road. Firefighters arrived, but were unable to locate any smoke. The department noted that a grass fire had occurred in that area several days prior and it was possible that the wind was blowing some of the burned grass.

The department responded to a grass fire on Tuesday around 2:40 pm. The fire was located in a group of trees, they also located a discarded courch burning as well. Three firefighters responded in one truck and had the blaze out within approximately an hour. Approximately one acre of land burned in the blaze according to reports.

Firefighters also responded to a call of grass fire near Denmark and North US Highway 385 on Tuesday morning around 11:45 am. Firefighters found it to be a controlled in the center of a plowed field. Their was a farmer attending the fire, he was advised he is to contact the fire department before any controlled burn.

Firefighters responded to a fire alarm going off at a residence in the 500 Block of East Jackson. When firefighters arrived the homeowner advised that everything was ok and it was a false alert.d

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Accountability Ratings Released by the Texas Education Agency: Levelland ISD Improves from 2018

The Texas Education Agency released the School Accountability Ratings for 2019 on Thursday. All schools in the state of Texas are graded on an A-F scale. Statewide, hundreds of districts and schools improved their overall rating from 2018.

“Performance continues to improve in Texas schools because of the tireless effort of Texas teachers, administrators and staff. I am particularly proud of the educators at the 296 high-poverty schools that achieved an A rating this year,” said Education Commissioner Mike Morath.

The A-F system has remained consistent with last year’s system. As in 2018, districts, charters, and schools are given an overall rating based on performance in three areas:

  • Student Achievement shows how much students know and are able to do at the end of the school year.
  • School Progress shows how students perform over time and how that growth compares to similar schools.
  • Closing the Gaps shows how well different groups of students within a school are performing.

A-F accountability uses a variety of indicators such as graduation rates, college, career and military readiness, SAT/ACT scores, and college prep course completion. The majority of a district’s rating is based on indicators other than the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test. 

Levelland ISD received a “B” grade with a total of 86 points, up from 76 points last year. The district received a “B” in both Student Achievement and School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap.

Smyer ISD received a “B” grade with a total of 85 points, up from 76 points last year. The district received a “B” in both Student Achievement and School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap. The district also was recognized for Post Secondary Readiness.

Anton ISD increased substantially over 2018. They received a “B” grade with a total of 85 points, up from 69 points last year. The district received a “B” in Student Achievement and School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap.

Whitharral ISD received a grade of “A” this year with 90 points, up slightly from 88 points last year. The district received an “A” in Student Achievement and School Progress and a “B” in Closing the Gap.

Sundown ISD received a grade of “A” again this year with 97 points up from 95 points last year. The district received an “A” in Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap. It was noted that the district received a perfect score on Closing the Gap.

Ropes ISD received a grade of “B” this year with a total of 87 points, down from 88 points last year. The district received an “A” in Student Achievement and School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap.

Morton ISD received a grade of “C” this year with a total of 70 points, up slightly from 61 points last year. The district received a “D” in Student Achievement and School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap.

Whiteface CISD received a grade of “B” this year with a total of 86 points, up from 78 points last year. The district received a “B” in Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap.

Brownfield ISD received a grade of “B” this year with a total of 81 points, up from 74 points last year. They received a “B” in Student Achievement, School Progress and a “C” in Closing the Gap.

Frenship ISD received a grade of “A” this year with a total of 93 points, up from 89 points last year. They received an “A” in Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap.

Lubbock Cooper ISD received a grade of “B” this year with a total of 89 points, up from 84 points last year. They received a “B” in Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap.

Lubbock ISD received a grade of “B” this year with a total of 86 points, up from 77 points last year. They received a grade of “B” in Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gap.

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Levelland Police Make Arrest for Drug Possession

Levelland Police was called to a disturbance in the 400 block of 12th street in Levelland on Sunday night.

Police was able to release information early yesterday. Reports indicated that multiple subjects were outside the residence when police arrived. It was reported to officers that one of the subjects had stolen a pre-paid debit card. Police were given the permission to search the residence for the card. The card was not found, however, officers did locate a small amount of methamphetamine. It was located in a bedroom said to be occupied by Ernest Chavez.

Chavez was arrested and was transported to the Hockley County Jail on a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance in drug free zone, because the residence was located across from the Levelland Intermediate School.

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Obituary: Mary Carroll, 92 of Levelland

Funeral Services are set for 10:00 am Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 in the First Baptist Church in Levelland. Burial will follow in the City of Levelland Cemetery. She passed away on Friday, August 9th. Services are under the direction of Krestridge Funeral Home.

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Hockley County Sheriff’s Office Announces Capture in Warrant Wednesday

Hockley County Sheriff’s Office announces the capture of Joshua Floyd in Terry County. He was released as the Warrant Wednesday subject this morning and law enforcement learned he had been picked up in Terry County and will be brought to Hockley County to stand for the warrant charges in the coming days.

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