Storm to blame for Accident North of O’Donnell

DPS LogoThe weather is likely the blame for an 18-wheeler turning over north of O’Donnell Thursday night.

DPS reports indicate that an 18-wheeler turned over in the northbound lanes of Highway 87.  No injuries were reported.  A storm that blew through the area is likely to blame according to authorities.

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Severe Storms Thursday Afternoon Cause Power Outage and Wind Damage


Wind Damage at the Hockley County Courthouse

A severe storm that developed in Hockley County Thursday afternoon had winds in excess of 60 mph in South Levelland along with numerous cloud to ground lightening strikes.

The wind, is to blame for numerous branches broke out of trees at the Hockley County courthouse and the Levelland Country Club.


Wind Damage at the Levelland Country Club

The West Texas Mesonet recorded 69 mph wind gust at 4:30pm at the weather site just south of Levelland.

Lightening associated with the storm also was to blame for several grass fires in Hockley, Cochran and Lamb Counties.  Whiteface fire department along with a crew from Levelland Fire Department responded at just after 3:15pm to a grass fire west of Levelland, just off of 114, while crews were on that fire, they received a call of a small grass fire on the Levelland airport property near the hanger entrance.  A crew from the Levelland Fire Department responded to that blaze and had it under control in a matter of minutes.  At just before 4pm crews were notified of a grass fire in Lamb County on north FM 303.  A Levelland Fire crew responded to assist crews from Lamb County on that blaze.

Lightening is likely the cause of a power outage which occurred around 4:50pm affecting residents in the south and east part of Levelland.  Xcel Energy reported that at 5:15pm there were over 2,300 customers affected by the outage and crews were assessing the damage and making repairs.  Power was restored to most customers by 6:15pm according to Xcel Energy.  There were several reports coming in around 4:45 of lightening striking an electrical transformer south of town.

The thunderstorm dropped approximately 2/10 of an inch of rain in Levelland.  Northeast of Levelland received over an inch of rain.


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Fire Risk High and Record Heat is On The Way

Crews with the Levelland Fire Department have been fighting several grass fires this week.  With the extreme heat, fire danger is moderate to high on the south plains according to the Texas Forest Service.

Residents on the South Plains are reminded to avoid any outdoor burning during hot and dry weather.  The National Fire Prevention Association has these tips to help avoid a grass and brush fire.  This includes:

  1.  Reduce the risk of sparks by making sure nothing is dragging from your vehicle,  properly inflate tires and be careful when using lawn and garden equipment.

2.  Be aware of any laws pertaining to outdoor burning, including making sure any                  flame is completely out before leaving the area.

3.  Avoid burning on windy, dry days, it is too easy for “controlled” fires to get out of                hand.

4.  Do not use gasoline or other flammable liquid to burn trash and other debris.

With the weather forecast calling for highs in excess of 105 degrees on the South Plains this weekend, it is imperative to follow some tips to avoid heat related illness including….

  1.  Regardless of activity level, stay hydrated, drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.
  2. Stay indoors, if possible in an air conditioned area.
  3. Remember, fans can help however, in temperatures above 90 degrees they cannot prevent heat related illness.
  4. NEVER leave anyone or a pet in a closed vehicle.
  5. Always check frequently on children and the elderly during extreme heat.heat related illness
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Levelland to Host Annual Juneteenth Celebration

letstalkThe 28th annual Juneteenth celebration will be held in the L G Griffith Park in Levelland on Friday and Saturday, June 16th and 17th.

The event begins at 6:30pm on Friday with a bingo bash in the Carver School Cafeteria and basketball teams are asked to meet at 6:30 as well.  At 8:30pm on Friday, a meet and greet will be held at the park with live entertainment and concessions.  The games and activities, along with boys and girls flag football games will begin at 10am on Saturday with a barbecue meal, necrology service, military recognition and the announcement of door prize winners will take place at 1:30pm Saturday.  They will close the celebaration beginning at 7:30pm on Saturday with a fashion show.

All tickets are $2 and door prizes will be awarded.

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Obituary: Don A. Henderson, 79 of Levelland

Don HendersonFuneral Services are scheduled for Don Henderson, 77 of Levelland.  Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, June 15 from 6pm to 8pm in the Krestridge Funeral Home in Levelland.  Funeral Services are scheduled for 11am Friday, June 16 at the Fairview Baptist Church in Levelland.  He passed away on Tuesday, June 13 at his home following a lengthy illness.

For more information:


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Obituary: Darline Sweeney, 90 of Levelland

Darline SweeneyGraveside services are scheduled for Darline Sweeney, 90 of Levelland.  Services are scheduled for Thursday, June 15 at 2pm in the City of Levelland Cemetery.

She passed away on Monday, June 12.  Services are under the direction of Krestridge Funeral Directors of Levelland.

For more information:

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Olton Police Chief Fired by City Council

letstalkThe Olton Police Chief was fired in a called meeting of the Olton City Council Wednesday.  The Olton Enterprise reported that the called meeting included two executive sessions, and the council voted in open session to terminate Police Chief Joe Banda on a unanimous vote.

Banda, has been on administrative leave since January 2017 according to information previously released by the city.  Following the first executive session, a public hearing was held, based on a written complaint concerning the police chief.  Listed in that complaint were numerous allegations including, failure to properly train police department employees, failure to properly maintain police department equipment, failure to comply with a written directive from the Olton Mayor to report for a duty evaluation by a licensed physician along with other serious allegations.  Following the statement by the Mayor, Chief Banda and his attorney were allowed ten minutes to make their statement.  Banda’s attorney summed up the cause of most allegations to be the fault of the City, noting that the City would not fund to hire officers to fully staff the department and would not properly equip the department.

The City of Olton only had two officers to patrol the entire city 24 hours a day seven days a week.  Chief Banda’s attorney indicated they are exploring legal options against the City.

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