One big thing: COSADC Board approves up to $2 million to ASU for their pilot training facility at Mathis Field
In a meeting that saw an update about the Chamber's year, an announced pause in the search for the next Economic Development Director, and a review of strategic priorities for COSADC, the biggest news was the 4-1 vote that was the first step in disbursing up to $2 million to ASU for its pilot training facility at Mathis Field.
The details: Originally, Angelo State had a budget of $6 million. ASU would contribute $2 million, they would receive $2 million from an EDA Grant, and COSADC would provide the last two million. However, according to ASU Provost Don Topliff, the project budget has risen to $7.4 million. In his comments, Topliff mentioned that ASU was around $1.5 million behind where they wanted to be relating to fundraising, a figure that did not account for the $2 million they were asking from COSADC.
For many of the Directors at COSADC, the problem wasn't the project itself but, instead, the amount of resources COSADC has to disburse for various projects. In an earlier presentation, Interim Economic Development Director Michael Dane said that there was only $5,855,957 in unassigned fund balance for COSADC to spend on an array of projects like the ASU pilot training facility.
To illustrate that point, COSADC President Max Puello had Dane show the number of slides and potential projects the corporation was hearing about, which amounted to around seventeen slides.
Dr. Topliff sympathized with the board, saying, "I certainly understand budget constraints. We deal with those all the time (at ASU)."
The vote: With Clifton Jones recusing himself, the vote was 4-1 in favor of authorizing Puello to execute a contract not to exceed $2 million. Director Joe Spano was the no-vote.
The view from City Airport Director Jeremy Valgardson: Valgardson said that the airport receives around $22,000 annually from ASU. The big impact would come from the increased operations at Mathis Field. With ASU's program, the number of operations would be larger than other similar airports that don't have a college program like ASU's. With increased operations, Valgardson can go to the FAA to receive more discretionary funding. Thus, it is possible for the airport to receive increased funds because of ASU.
What's next: The first public hearing.
The program: This fall, there are around 87 students in the aviation program at ASU. The school expects to add 38 additional in the spring semester. In total, the school anticipates to have 250 students eventually and aims for the program to be the best in the nation. Currently. there are 32 certified flight instructors at around $45,000 annually. The number of flight instructors is expected to increase to 40. According to Topliff, ASU recently received $70,000 from Southwest Airlines to purchase two flight simulators for the program.
Other items in the the meeting:
- It was the first meeting for new Director Carlos Rodriguez, an attorney with Webb, Stokes, and Sparks.
- Dane gave an update about the unfilled role of Economic Development Director. He said the City has been having trouble filling the role. The City plans to pause the search, with Dane possibly spending more time on COSADC. Director Clifton Jones sympathized and said there are roles at ASU that have been similarly hard to fill because of the job market.
Judge declares new Texas law that would erode cities’ power to enact local rules unconstitutional
A sweeping new Texas law aimed at undermining the ability of the state’s bluer urban areas to enact progressive policies is unconstitutional, a Travis County judge ruled Wednesday.
State District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble made the ruling just days before the law — House Bill 2127, which opponents nicknamed the “Death Star” bill — is slated to take effect on Friday.
The Republican-backed law aims to stop local governments from enacting a wide range of progressive-leaning policies by barring cities and counties from passing local ordinances that go further than what’s allowed under broad areas of state law.
The law is still expected to go into effect, but Houston City Attorney Arturo Michel said Wednesday's ruling gives cities fodder to counter any lawsuit against local ordinances challenged under the umbrella of HB 2127.
LCRA donates $3,000 to Concho Valley Community Action Agency
One of the Concho Valley Community Action Agency's longest-running programs is for utility assistance, which covers the electric, gas, and/or propane bills for eligible households. This year-long program saves households an average of $2,000 yearly, depending on the size and number of payments. To help with that program, LCRA donated $3,000 to CVCAA.
What LCRA is saying: “The Lower Colorado River Authority is proud to help support the Concho Valley Community Action Agency and the wonderful work it does to assist people with housing essentials. In this case, we are pleased to provide assistance to help with utility bills during these hot summer days."
- Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs Representative
What CVCAA is saying: While a lot of our funding comes from the state, donations like the one from LCRA are what really make a difference in the people’s lives. There are so many cases where people fall through the cracks because they don’t check every box. This is neighbors helping neighbors.”
-Community Programs Director Tracey Dishon
News you might have missed
- At least 73 people were killed and dozens of others injured in Johannesburg on Thursday when a blaze tore through a building where squatters lived in dangerous conditions, city officials said, in one of the deadliest residential fires in South Africa’s history. The authorities were still trying to determine what caused the blaze. It consumed a five-story downtown building that had become a dilapidated informal settlement where electric cables dangled in dark corridors and trash spilled from windows — a vivid illustration of a political crisis that has resulted in a severe lack of affordable housing in one of Africa’s most populous cities. (NYT)
- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reported three 2022 trips on the private jet of a Texas billionaire in a financial disclosure form released Thursday, and for the first time detailed the businessman’s purchase of three properties from the justice’s family years earlier. In his required annual financial report, Thomas said he opted to fly on the private plane of his friend and benefactor, Harlan Crow, for one of the trips on the advice of his security detail. The justices faced heightened security risks, Thomas noted, after the May, 2022 leak of the court’s majority opinion to eliminate the nationwide right to abortion and overturn Roe v. Wade. (WaPo)
- Consumers increased their spending rapidly in July but modest price pressures will likely keep the Federal Reserve on course to hold interest rates steady next month. Consumer spending, the primary driver of economic growth, rose 0.8% in July, the Commerce Department said Thursday, up from an upwardly revised 0.6% increase in June. Americans spent more on groceries, recreational goods and vehicles, and on services such as housing, dining out, financial services and insurance. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending rose 0.6% in July. (WSJ)
- Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, paused for roughly 30 seconds during a press availability in Kentucky, a little more than a month after a similar episode in the Capitol in late July. His office attributed both episodes to lightheadedness, adding that McConnell would consult on Wednesday with a physician as a precautionary measure (Politico). At the West Texas Legislative Summit, sanangelo.news asked Senator Cornyn about McConnell's health. Cornyn mentioned the high summer temperatures and that McConnell was dehydrated, a claim those in GOP Senate Leadership, Cornyn included, have made to other outlets.
- 27-year-old Regina Stock was named Miss America 2023. Stock has ties to both Odessa and Midland. Stock beat 40 other contestants and was Miss Permian Basin before winning this award.
Flashback: 1962 & 1968 Miss Wool in San Angelo
With news that a West Texan won Miss America, let's look back on a more prestigious pageant (at least in the Concho Valley): Miss Wool. This footage comes from 1962 via ASU's Porter Henderson Library and Texas Archive of the Moving Image.
The late great Rick Smith wrote a column about Miss Wool when he was still at the Standard Times. That column is below:
Meagan Michelle Doyle, 37, of San Angelo passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
Viewing will be from 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM on Friday, September 1, 2023 at Robert Massie Riverside Chapel with a family visitation from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM. Funeral Service will be 10:00 AM Saturday, September 2, 2024 at Robert Massie Riverside Chapel. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery under the direction of Robert Massie Funeral Home.
Mrs. Doyle was born on March 12, 1986 in San Angelo. She graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 2004 and attended Howard College. She was a home health provider for many years. Meagan loved to spend time with her daughter, Kyleigh. She loved going shopping with her Mom and daughter. She has a special place in her heart for Benji their dog. She was funny, outgoing, and loved life. She was the type of person that would always help a friend in need even if she did not have it to give. She was a lover of the latest fashions and loved to dress the look. Meagan will be missed by all who knew her.
She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Mary Lou Stokes.
She is survived by her daughter, Kyleigh Connors of San Angelo; her mother, Marina Garcia and significant other Martin Beltran of San Angelo; her brother, Andrew Garcia of San Angelo; her uncles and aunts, Hermie Densmore and husband Thomas of Dallas, Bobby Stokes and wife Nancy of Porter, Corina May and Nancy Clark both of San Angelo; her Godmother, Mary Jane Fuentez who will miss her dearly. She is also survived by her cousins, Jeremy Sanchez, Chelsea and Harland May, which she had a special bond with, these three were inseparable. You could always find one of them together somewhere. She also had a special bond with Tony Garcia while growing up. She leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends.
The pallbearers will be Jeremy Sanchez, Harland May, Rudy Garcia, Martin Pederaza, Chingy Fuentez, and Fernando Fuentez; and honorary pallbearer, Hayden Fertsch.
Keith "Kebo" Wayne Ligon, a cherished member of the San Angelo community, passed away on August 24, 2023, at the age of 67. He was born on August 25, 1955, in Hondo, TX to his parents Joyce Marie Ligon (Davis) and Paul Arthur Ligon.
Kebo leaves behind cherished memories with his devoted spouse, Karen Ligon of San Angelo, TX, and his two sons Brandon Keith (Taishi) Ligon and Blake Kyle Ligon, and his grandchildren Boston and Maxwell Ligon. Kebo is also survived by his sister, Paula Batteau; brother Darren (Terry) Ligon; brother Clifton Ligon; sister Juanita (Eric) Mackey; and brother Mike (Sandra) Ligon. Kebo's role as an uncle was treasured by his nieces and nephews: Tanisha Peterson, Brian Batteau (deceased), Troy Ligon, Danielle Black, Stephanie Felder, Sydney and Taylor Ligon, Taydem Ligon, Brittany and Brianna Ligon, and Seth Mackey. Kebo also leaves behind his beloved Auntie Jo (JoBeth Taylor), cousins Tracey (James) Garrett; Tasha (Eric) Whitaker; best friend Si Southall; and a host of other cousins, co-workers, and friends.
Kebo was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Denise "Nesie" Ligon.
Kebo's vibrant journey through life was marked by his unwavering passion for athletics, particularly football. He grew up in Hondo, Texas, where his athleticism flourished over the years. His undeniable talent led him to become a star football player for the Hondo Owls, a legacy that continues to be recounted through tales of his illustrious football career. Kebo's prowess on the gridiron took him from Hondo to Tyler Junior College (1973-1974), and then to Angelo State University in 1975 where he continued to excel in football. During his athletic career, he received many awards and accolades including All-State Football, All-Lone Star Conference, Little All-American, and the All-Half Century Angelo State Football Team.
It was in San Angelo that Kebo discovered not only his love for football but also the love of his life, Karen, with whom he celebrated 44 years of marriage and had two wonderful sons. Kebo's dedication to his family was evident in his enthusiastic support of his sons' activities, cheering Blake on during soccer and football games and attending Brandon's plays and speaking events. He was also an active member with the Men's Ministry at his church, Christian Fellowship Baptist Church.
In his professional life, Kebo embraced a variety of roles. He worked at City Lumber, Arco Oil and Gas Company, and finally at West Central Wireless, where he dedicated an impressive 26 years, 4 months, and 18 days of service. Kebo's magnetic personality made him a fixture in the lives of many. His stories and presence were woven into the fabric of the community. Whether encountered around town or in the workplace, everyone had a Kebo story to share – many of which were narrated by Kebo himself.
Upon retiring, Kebo channeled his energy into the art of woodworking. While he may not have been a Bob Villa, he poured his heart into his creations and took immense pride in gifting his handcrafted treasures to loved ones. With an undeniable zest for life, Kebo was the life of every gathering, illuminating the room with his infectious laughter and warmth.
Kebo's departure leaves a void that cannot be filled, but his spirit will live on through the cherished memories shared by his family and friends. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered as a beacon of love and laughter.
The family will receive friends for visitation from 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M., Monday, September 4, 2023 at Harper Funeral Home, 2606 Southland Blvd, San Angelo, TX 76904. A memorial service to celebrate Kebo's life will be held at 11:00 AM on September 5, 2023, at Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, 211 W. 17th Street, San Angelo, TX 76903. Friends and acquaintances are invited to join in commemorating a life well-lived and paying tribute to the indelible mark he left on the world.
Service will be live streamed on the Christian Fellowship YouTube Channel: https://youtube.com/@christianfellowshipbaptist8268
Repast immediately after cemetery: ASU Alumni Association Legrand Center, 1620 University Avenue, San Angelo, TX 76904
Velma Calderon Tabone, 45, passed away Friday, August 25, 2023 in San Angelo.
Public viewing will be from 11:00 AM until 8:00 PM Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Robert Massie Riverside Chapel. Funeral service will be at 10:00 AM Friday, September 1, 2023, at Robert Massie Riverside Chapel with Pastor Craig Meyers from St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Robert Massie Funeral Home.
Velma was born in San Angelo, to Samuel and Alicia Navarro Calderon, where she was raised with her sister. She attended Lake View High School and graduated in 1997 and then attended American Commercial College and obtained a paralegal certificate. Her life became complete in 2002 after she received a true gift from God, her miracle baby, Layla Tabone. She loved being a mother and was truly the epitome of what a mother should be. She loved her Pomeranian Lily, chances are if you saw Velma you saw Lily right beside her. Velma loved baking and cooking, especially during her favorite holiday, Christmas, where she would have the whole kitchen filled with food. She was a best friend to anyone and everyone and always willing to help a person in need.
She is preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.
Survivors include her daughter, Layla Tabone; a sister, Juanita Calderon Garcia and husband Ray of Palestine; a nephew, Anthony Calderon; two nieces, Amanda Marie Moran and Rachel Thibodeaux, all of San Angelo; a great nephew, whom she loved like her own grandson, Samuel Antonino Calderon; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Honorary pallbearers will be Anthony Calderon, Art Arteaga, Raymond Torres and Ruben Navarro.