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Friona Instructor named finalist for Teacher of the Year

David Towner, Friona High School technology instructor and coach, was named a finalist for 2021 Region 16 Teacher of the Year. His educational background includes Oklahoma Panhandle State University and West Texas A&M University. He began working for the Friona ISD as a teacher and coach in the Fall of 2002.

Region 16 is one of twenty Education Service Centers that serve the state of Texas. The Texas Panhandle consists of 62 school districts and two charter schools with 226 campuses in a 26,000 square mile area.

Region 16 school districts have an average daily attendance of over 80,000 students, with individual districts ranging from fewer than 30 to more than 29,000 students and the total regional school staff numbering more than 11,400. The Region 16 Education Service Center is located at 5800 Bell St. in Amarillo, Texas.

Every year, one elementary teacher and one secondary teacher from each of the 20 Education Service Center regions in Texas are selected as regional Teachers of the Year.

The Region 16 Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, August 6th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually via Zoom. Lori Garrett from Dumas ISD was named the Elementary Teacher of the Year and Katherine George from Spearman ISD was named the Secondary Teacher of the Year. They will represent Region 16 at the state Teacher of the Year ceremony in October.

Friona High School Drum Majors for 2020-21 are (l-r) Daniela Rodriguez and Audrianna Trevino. Daniela is a senior and Audrianna is a junior. Go Band!!!

Local Agent wins awards

Wendy Case, the Family & Community Health Agent for Texas AgriLife Extension in Parmer County, received three awards last week at the Texas Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference in Tyler, Texas. The awards included: Specialty Award - Excellence in Camping; Communication Award - News Story; and Communication Award - Published Photo. Congratulations Wendy!!! She will complete her fourth year with Parmer County this November.


Town Talk

Last week, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced limited visitation rules and enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. Physical contact between residents and visitors is still not permitted, but outdoor visits at Prairie Acres could be a possibility in the future.

To conduct limited outdoor visitations, a facility must meet these criteria; (1) no confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days, (2) no active positive cases in residents, (3) any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures, and (4) facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Administrator Casey Tiffany said that Prairie Acres is prepared to conduct outdoor visitations in the future when all of the criteria are met.


The Friona Noon Lions Club is sponsoring a Friona Community Blood Drive on Thursday, August 20th from Noon until 7:00 p.m. in the Calvary Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 1500 N. Cleveland in Friona.

To schedule your appointment, call 806-331-8833, or visit yourbloodinstitute.org. Every donor can receive a free COVID-19 Antibody Test. Appointment needed to participate. CDC recommendations will be followed. All donors will receive a free t-shirt and other goodies. Thanks for helping rebuild the blood supply. Blood unites us.


Fall Forecast 2020. AccuWeather's team of long-range forecasters have been busy for weeks analyzing global weather patterns and different forecasting tools to paint a picture of what weather will unfold across the United States in the coming months. The team is led by Paul Pastelok, a senior meteorologist who has been with AccuWeather for nearly three decades.

One big factor being taken into consideration is the development of La Niña. This is a phenomenon in which the ocean near the equator of the Pacific Ocean is cooler than normal, a change that can influence the global weather pattern. La Niña is the opposite of El Niño.

In September, it may still feel like summer for many across the U.S. as warm weather holds strong over much of the country. October could be a major turning point. "There's one change that we do see, and a lot of it is probably produced by La Niña," Pastelok said. La Niña could help to amplify the jet stream in October and November, leading to a potentially active weather pattern across the central Plains. As the weather pattern turns more active across the Plains, it will deliver some much-needed rain to drought-stricken areas of the region.


The Friona Squaws opened the 2020 Volleyball Season by hosting Seminole on Tuesday. Head Coach Bryan Masse is starting his 11th season in Friona. Pam Husted will coach the Junior Varsity team and Mayra Olivas will coach the C team. Friona will host Shallowater next Tuesday starting at 5:00 p.m. in the FHS Events Center. See photos on page 10.


Hurricane Hanna came and went with little fanfare but left South Texas with almost $400 million in direct and indirect damages to agriculture, according to a report by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Samuel Zapata, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist, Weslaco, and contributor to the report, said Hurricane Hanna caused extensive damage to South Texas crops July 25-26.

The storm tracked south-southwest of Corpus Christi, with much of the impact focused on the Lower Rio Grande Valley, although numerous counties experience some level of agricultural losses. About 95% of the economic damage occurred in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Zapata said. "We estimate that Hurricane Hanna caused over $366 million in lost agricultural production and associated business activity in the areas affected by the high winds and heavy rain it generated," he said. The storm impacted 32 Texas counties. See related story on page 10.


National Days

August 13 - Left Handers Day

August 14 - V-J Day

August 15 - Relaxation Day

August 16 - Tell a Joke Day

August 17 - Thrift Shop Day

August 18 - Fajita Day

August 19 - Aviation Day


COVID-19 News

As of August 10, 2020

Texas Panhandle:
8,976 cases, 145 deaths
7,273 recoveries
Armstrong County: 8
Briscoe County: 12
Carson County: 15
Castro County: 200
Childress County: 40
Collingsworth County: 11
Cottle County: 18
Dallam County: 192
Deaf Smith County: 750
Donley County: 48
Gray County: 217
Hall County: 11
Hansford County: 73
Hartley County: 91
Hemphill County: 42
Hutchinson County: 126
Lipscomb County: 18
Moore County: 1,050
Motley County: 6
Ochiltree County: 95
Oldham County: 14
Parmer County: 340
Potter County: 3,689
Randall County: 1,747
Roberts County: 7
Sherman County: 40
Swisher County: 80
Wheeler County: 36

Eastern New Mexico:
780 cases, 6 deaths
Curry County: 552
Quay County: 34
Roosevelt County: 164
Union County: 30

Oklahoma Panhandle:
1,093 cases, 7 deaths, 1,092 recoveries
Beaver County: 36
Cimarron County: 1
Texas County: 1,056

523,000 cases
9,304 deaths

United States:
5,150,000 cases
164,000 deaths

20,300,000 cases 741,000 deaths
12,600,000 recoveries

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)