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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone at Parmer Medical Center and Friona Rural Health Clinic. Our town, and surrounding area, are fortunate to have such outstanding facilities along with a superior team of tireless healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a very difficult year for everyone, but your dedication has been an inspiration and comfort to many. See more area Christmas photos in our photo section

Project Christmas Card

The Parmer County Hospital Auxiliary is accepting donations for its 2020 Project Christmas Card. This year, proceeds will be used to enhance and upgrade the "COVID-19 Wing" at the hospital. Canisters have been placed around town in various businesses for the collection of donations. The names of donors will be included in a special Christmas Greeting Card in the Friona Star newspaper. Please make sure you put your name with ALL donations. The deadline for donations is Saturday, December 19th.

Empty Stocking Fund

Donations are being accepted for the Empty Stocking Fund which provides clothing and a toy to local needy children. School officials are consulted to determine the recipients. Donations may be made at Friona InterBank or given to project co-chairs Holly Campbell and Jyl Grimsley.

Covid-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program Launched

On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) launched a COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for front line workers at Texas small businesses. This program will help small businesses throughout the state conduct rapid tests on employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Through this pilot program, TDEM will provide local Chamber of Commerce organizations with COVID-19 testing supplies that will then allocate the supplies to local small businesses that choose to participate in the program. These small businesses can then administer these tests to employees who choose to participate. This program has been developed using the framework of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Pilot Program for Texas school systems, implemented by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and TDEM in October, that ensures access to rapid testing for all Texas teachers.

"This rapid testing pilot program will protect the safety of small business owners, their employees, and Texas consumers as we continue to combat COVID-19," said Governor Abbott. "This effective strategy will help us detect and mitigate this virus while ensuring that Texas remains safely open for business. I thank the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing these tests and our participating Chamber of Commerce organizations for partnering with the State of Texas to help protect our communities."

The launch of the pilot program will include six participating Chamber of Commerce organizations with plans to significantly ramp up the program across the state. Participating Chamber of Commerce organizations include: Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Laredo Chamber of Commerce, and Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

Town Talk

Farming, Football, Family. This is the title of a story by Clinton Griffiths about the father/son coaching duo of Don & Colby Carthel. Don came out of "retirement" to fill as "Interim Head Coach" for Stephen F. Austin in their game against Angelo State because Head Coach Colby Cartel was battling COVID-19. Don got the win (#125), but we do not know if counts on his official scorecard. A win is a win. You can read the full story at agweb.com/article/farming-football-family.


The cotton harvest for Friona area farmers is complete. Friona Farmers Co-Op Gin reported that they have ginned 13,124 bales so far this year. But they are not finished just yet. Cotton farmers, with local ties, from the Spearmen area are sending six trucks loaded with 10 round bales twice a day to the local gin. This is equivalent to 30 modules per day. The cotton season should be completed near the end of December.


The Prairie Acres/Friona Heritage Estates "Resident of the Month" is Anna Jo Blackburn. The "Employee of the Month" is Esther Ruiz. She works in the nursing department and has worked at PA/FHE since October 2019. Congratulations and Merry Christmas to both.


The Canadian Wildcats defeated the Childress Bobcats 45-14 last week in the Region 1 Championship Game (State Quarterfinals). The #1 ranked Wildcats will face #2 ranked Gunter (Region 2 Champion) in a State Semi-Final matchup. The winner will face the winner of the other State Semi-Final game between Elysian Fields and #6 ranked Franklin.


Organizers of an upcoming Miss Friona Scholarship Pageant, after seeing other pageants cancelled this year, decided the virtual show must go on and will present the event online after three month of workshops and competition. this year's theme is "Friona, You're My Hero" and will help showcase all the local heroes we have in Friona. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the event will have a different format with winners being announced in a virtual platform on Tuesday, February 9th. If you would like to sponsor a contestant please contact the Friona Chamber of Commerce.


Walkin' on the Sun

Bruce Fleming has gone solar. In the photo above you can see the new photovoltaic (PV) solar system he had installed on the south roof of his house facing the alley. The system is rated to produce 18,845 Kwh of electricity to offset approximately 90% of his annual household electric use.

This system is 'grid tied' so he is still connected to the electric grid and will get the "balance" of his electricity from Xcel Energy. Any excess electricity that is produced will be "pushed back" into the Excel Energy power grid.

The solar panels are made by Mission Solar in San Antonio Texas and are touted as being extremely durable with a 25 year guarantee and a 30 year estimated life span. The manufacturer has online videos of the solar panels being hit with a hail cannon, driven on by a car, submersed under water, and blasted with a flame thrower, all without damage.

The system has its own web connection so Bruce can monitor real time and historical production from his smartphone or computer. With a federal tax credit of 26% of the cost, he has calculated the breakeven point on the system at 10 years. Any future electric rate increases by Xcel Energy would decrease the breakeven point of the solar system. The system will increase your homeowners insurance due to the added value, but a Texas Constitutional amendment exempts home solar systems from property tax.

Bruce is not the only one "catching rays" these days. Apparently there are now 4 solar systems operating inside the Friona city limits.


HPWD Board Member Mike Beauchamp honored for service

By Mr. Carmon McCain, HPWD

LUBBOCK, TX (December 4, 2020) -- Outgoing Precinct Three District Director Mike Beauchamp of Friona was honored for his service during a Nov. 24 special meeting of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors.

Mike Beauchamp was first elected to the HPWD Board in 2012, representing Bailey County, the portion of Castro County within the District, and Parmer County. He served as Secretary-Treasurer from 2013 to 2020.

During the special meeting, the HPWD Board adopted a Resolution of Appreciation thanking Beauchamp for his eight years of service on the HPWD Board of Directors.

A portion of the resolution reads as follows: "Mike Beauchamp served as Chairman of the HPWD Research and Demonstration Project Grant Funding Committee from 2014 to 2020. Under his leadership, the committee approved more than $690,000 in funding for 50 projects designed to further water conservation research, demonstration, and educational efforts."

HPWD Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo thanked Beauchamp for consistently providing insightful thought to Board deliberations regarding adoption of tax rates, conservation initiatives, legislative matters, proposed rule revisions, and other ways that HPWD can improve services for the constituents it serves.

"My time as a HPWD Board Member has gone by quickly. It has been an honor to serve the residents of Precinct Three for the past eight years," Beauchamp said.

Beauchamp did not seek re-election on Nov. 3, 2020. His son, Tony, was elected to succeed his father in the position. He will take office in January 2021.

Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Water District works to conserve, preserve, protect, and prevent the waste of underground water within its 16-county service area. HPWD is the first groundwater conservation district created in Texas.

Be sure to "like" the High Plains Water District Facebook page to receive updates on district activities or follow us on Twitter at @HPUWCD. Visit our website at www.hpwd.org.

COVID-19 Resources:

Health Protocols for Voters and Elections (English)

County Disaster Declaration (English)

March 16 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

March 31 FISD Letter (English) (Spanish)

Letter from City Manager (English) (Spanish)

Friona Community Helpline (English)

2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline (English)

Share The Facts about COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)

What You Need To Know (English) (Spanish)

What To Do If You Are Sick (English) (Spanish)

County Clerk PSA (English)

Chamber of Commerce Letter to Businesses (English)

FISD Emergency Resolution (English)

Covid Risk Chart (English)