A "Rockin' Retiree Parade" was held on Tuesday, May 19th to honor the seven FISD employees who are retiring this year. The "Magnificent Seven" have a combined 191 years of teaching experience between them. The newly retired include (l-r) Lupe Shelby (15 years), Karen Barns (15 years), Judy Rhodes (40 years), Kathi Miller (30 years), Loy McLellan (45 years), Beverly Ingram (27 years), and Linda Welch (19 years). Photos by Sharon White
After 57 years of banking, Gary Brown will be retiring this month from Friona InterBank. Gary has experienced and seen a tremendous amount of change throughout his years here. As he moves into this new phase of his life, we are also pleased to announce that Gary will remain on the InterBank Advisory Board and our local Loan Committee as his expertise is valued and appreciated.
In May of 1963, this young man graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He applied for a job at Friona State Bank and was hired. When Gary started working at the bank, it was located at 7th and Main Street. He made the move to the present bank facility, which was built in 1970.
Gary has had a long and successful career as an agriculture loan officer with the bank. He is highly respected and appreciated by the InterBank organization, as well as many, many customers and friends. His knowledge and experience has been valuable and instrumental in the success of the bank. Gary has moved through the ranks beginning as Assistant Vice President and is currently the Community Bank President here in Friona.
In his banking career, Gary graduated from the prestigious SMU School of Banking, a three year banking school. Also, in May of 2013, Gary was presented with the esteemed and notable 50 Year Banker Award from the Texas Bankers Foundation, and Friona State Bank hosted a sausage wrap celebration in honor of this 50 Year achievement.
In addition to being a full-time banker, Gary has always been a vital part of the Friona community and active in many activities. Among others, he has been President of the Evening Lions Club several times, on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for two terms, Chairman of the Friona United Way, City of Friona Councilman, Friona Man of the Year, a member of the Parmer County Soil Conservation Committee, and active in the Parmer County Junior Livestock Show.
Gary also has a farm and cattle business that keeps him busy from dawn to dusk, but never losing his easy-going smile and friendliness for everyone he meets. Gary and his wife, Barbara, married in March of 1959, giving them an admired 61 years together so far. They have two children and six grandchildren. Their son, Jeff, and his wife, Tonia have three boys, Zach, Josh, and Noah. Their daughter, Julie, and her husband, Jon, have three girls, Jaden, Jaycee, and Jolee.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, InterBank employees are saddened that they will not be able to have a proper celebration for Gary at this time. However, there are plans for a big celebration after everything opens back up, and everyone will be invited to join in on the festivities. Gary will be sorely missed by everyone at the bank, as well as customers. The entire InterBank family is happy that Gary will be able to enjoy some retirement years with his family. Best Wishes!!!
Promotions and Updates
Taking over the role of Community Bank President will be Justin Jeter. Justin has lived in Friona his entire life, with the exception of his time away at college. He graduated from West Texas A&M University with a Bachelor's of Science in AgriBusiness. Justin began his banking career with InterBank (formerly Friona State Bank) in 2004 as an Agriculture Representative; performing inspections and appraisals. Over the last 15 years, he has risen through the ranks, and has been serving as Executive Vice President of lending and operations for both Friona and Vega banking locations for the last 11 years. Justin is a member of InterBank's Advisory Board, ALCO Committee, and Local Loan Committee.
Outside of his banking duties, Justin currently serves the community in the following capacities: Chairman of the Finance Committee for Friona United Methodist Church; a position he has been in for 8 years, member of the Friona Economic Development Committee, member of the Friona High School Curriculum and Technology Committee, and member of the Friona Elementary Campus Improvement Committee. Justin has also served 8 years as Lion's Club Treasurer, 3 years as Secretary for the Parmer County Junior Livestock program, coached Friona kids in soccer in the Clovis Youth Soccer Association, and coached basketball and baseball for our local youths.
Justin has been married to his wife M'Kell for nearly 21 years. She is the principal of the Friona Elementary School. Justin and M'Kell have two sons, Kaden and Brice.
Quent Roach is being promoted to Vice President. Quent is a loan officer, Security Officer for the bank, a member of InterBank's Advisory Board and Local Loan Committee. Quent was born and raised in Arlington, Texas and graduated from high school there. Quent graduated from WTAMU with a degree in Animal Science. He chose WT because he knew the school has a strong Ag department. He joined our banking family in November 2017.
Quent is married to Catie, who is also from Arlington. Catie graduated from Texas Tech with an Ag Education degree. She returned to school at WTAMU and graduated with an accounting degree. She is presently working at McGinty & Associates in Hereford and working toward her CPA. Quent and Catie are expecting their first child in July.
The InterBank lobby is now open for business. Protective panes have been added for the safety of customers and employees. Masks are recommended, but not mandatory. Please use the drive-thru windows if you think you may have any symptoms of the coronavirus.
Congratulations to 3-year old Kaleb Salinas. He is the winner of the Facemask Contest. Kaleb is shown with his $100 worth of Friona bucks to be used at local restaurants. Bon appétit! Photos of all of the contestants are on the back page of the Friona Star.
Parmer County has seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases the past week. Part of the rise is due to the increased amount of testing. Be aware that the Amarillo area is now one of the major "hot spots" in the entire nation. Please wear a mask in public settings.
Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a day for Americans to offer tribute and honor to the heroes who laid down their lives to preserve our freedoms. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War. It was not until after World War I, that the day was expanded to honor those service men and women who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was officially declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.
High School Band Director Chris Rackley and the members of the Friona Chieftain Band will put out crosses at the Friona Cemetery for Memorial Day. There are no scheduled services this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Texas law enforcement officers will be out in force during the Memorial Day weekend looking for impaired drivers. Failing to drive sober immensely increases the chance of being arrested for a DWI. "We want all the citizens of Parmer County to make it home safely this weekend. No one wins when you drink and drive or use impairing drugs and drive," said Wendy Case, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent. Not only could you become a memory in someone's life, you could also cost someone their life, or cause serious, lifelong injuries. The financial burden of getting a DWI can run as high as $17,000 — not to mention the emotional costs associated with a DWI. Plan ahead by using a non-drinking driver or a taxi/rideshare service to get home safely. If that is not an option, sleep at a friend's house. Planning ahead can make this Memorial Day a memorable weekend — while not planning ahead might turn it into a nightmare.
A shout out to Parmer County Farm Bureau and State Farm Insurance for feeding essential workers this past week. See photos on page 6. Thank you to all our essential workers and the work that you perform. Stay safe.
Sign up is now underway for the 12th Annual Pudge Kendrick Memorial Golf Tournament to be held July 25th and 26th at the John Pitman Golf Club in Hereford, Texas. The annual event is a 36-hole two-person scramble and space is limited to the first 80 teams that register. Proceeds benefit the Parmer County and Hereford Cancer Coalitions which provide grants for local cancer patients. The entry fee is $300 per team and you can call the John Pitman Golf Club at 806-363-7139 to sign up.
May 21 — Memo Day
May 22 — Road Trip Day
May 23 — Lucky Penny Day
May 24 — Scavenger Hunt Day
May 25 — Memorial Day
May 26 — Paper Airplane Day
May 27 — Grape Popsicle Day
There are rules and regulations that MUST be followed and your cooperation is appreciated to make this special occasion possible, while trying to keep everyone healthy. The 2020 Friona High School Graduation Ceremony is open only to graduates and their guests. Unfortunately, the ceremony is not open to the general public.
• Each graduate will be allowed to have four (4) guests. Children and infants count as guests. Guests will check in at the gate and must provide identification upon entry. Their name must match the names the graduates have provided.
• Graduates will be screened upon entry as well as their four guests. Please do not attend if you are sick. Any person not deemed eligible will be excluded from the ceremony.
• Each graduate's four member group will be social distanced as marked off in the stands. While entering and exiting the football stadium make sure that you and your four guests are maintaining social distancing. Each family will need to find the marked location in the stadium seats. Each guest must sit as close as possible to the marking. If a small child is one of your guests, make sure that they are not running around.
• After the graduation ceremony, please exit the stadium while maintaining social distancing.
• There will be no entrance onto the football field at any time for non-graduates. It is only for the Class of 2020.
• You must exit the stadium as soon as the ceremony ends, so please save all of your family pictures for a different location.
• Feel free to wear your mask. Everyone wants this to be a safe experience. There will be hand sanitizer at the doors for you
to use. • Make sure that you all DO NOT congregate in the parking lot before or after the ceremony.
The graduation ceremony will be live broadcast both online with KGRW and on 94.7 KGRW radio. WT Services will re-broadcast the recording on local Channel 6.
By Ricky White
As we continue to move forward in these uncharted waters dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to spike in positive cases. Currently, as of May 19th, we have 38 total cases combined from Friona (26 of the 38), Bovina, and Farwell. I listen to the experts and their comments range from "open up the country, let the pandemic run its course" to "shut everything back down to try and control the pandemic." How are we to know the best option when the medical experts are so far apart on their ways to control it. It's been said that the vaccine for the pandemic is still one year away…..there are also different opinions concerning that topic.
There are things that are within our control that we can do locally that will help prevent the spread. They include; (1) washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, (2) wearing a mask in public places (this will minimize the risk), (3) social distancing at least 6 feet apart, and (4) gathering in groups of 10 or less people while keeping social distancing in mind. If everyone would commit to these simple precautions, we can hopefully slow down the spread.
I want to encourage all retail stores to recommend that anyone entering their place of business to wear a mask. It's for their own protection and the protection of their patrons. This is highly recommended. The Governor of New Mexico has mandated that everyone in that state wear a mask in public places. I will never mandate such a city ordinance due to infringing on peoples' civil rights. I hope that people will understand that when you chose to wear a mask it minimizes the risk for you and others.
Governor Abbott will lift the 25% capacity to 50% capacity for all restaurants on May 22nd with the exception of Potter, Randall, Moore, and Deaf Smith counties. Since we are very close to what the Governor has referred to as a "hot spot" location, I want to encourage all restaurant owners to thoroughly sanitize tables and chairs once their patrons leave and before other patrons use that table. I realize this takes extra effort, but it will help in minimizing the spread. Also, with 50% capacity now allowed, please organize the tables where one group of people do not sit beside another table. We hope that business owners will take extra care to protect their patrons and themselves.
This pandemic will not go away anytime soon. It's here to stay for a much longer time than the experts anticipated. As the experts decide what to do and work to eliminate the virus, we can do things within our own control. I would encourage everyone to continue to protect yourself, and in doing so, you will protect the people around you.
as of May 21, 2020
3892 cases, 57 deaths
Armstrong County: 2
Briscoe County: 1
Carson County: 4
Castro County: 27
Childress County: 2
Collingsworth County: 4
Cottle County: 4
Dallam County: 18
Deaf Smith County: 130
Donley County: 26
Gray County: 92
Hansford County: 17
Hartley County: 12
Hemphill County: 1
Hutchinson County: 30
Moore County: 575
Ochiltree County: 40
Oldham County: 3
Parmer County: 38
Potter County: 2,193
Randall County: 616
Roberts County: 2
Sherman County: 23
Swisher County: 15
Wheeler County: 14
Eastern New Mexico:
78 cases, 1 death
Curry County: 43
Quay County: 5
Roosevelt County: 27
808 cases, 4 deaths
Beaver County: 23
Texas County: 784
4,840,384 cases 320,533 deaths
Health Protocols for Voters and Elections (English)
County Disaster Declaration (English)
Friona Community Helpline (English)
2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline (English)
County Clerk PSA (English)
Chamber of Commerce Letter to Businesses (English)
FISD Emergency Resolution (English)