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Coleman spared from violent weather

Sunday, April 19, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in General News., Weather

We buttoned up the ranch this last Thursday in preparation for the significant weather that was forecast to hit Coleman county through Saturday; yet here at the ranch, and for most of us in Coleman, we only saw a little rain. Each day a new threat of significant weather, and every day, the storms just seemed to split just as they approached Coleman. 

When we first moved here, I often thought we moved just 8 miles to far west, as it would appear that the grass was just a little greener as we drove towards Brownwood.  Perhaps now; years later, I've come to appreciate the fact that Coleman really could use a LOT more rain, but, we really do not need every weather event to materialize for us. 

Sometimes we really need to appreciate what we have and have received as well as what we have not.

A tornado touched down [last week] in McHenry, Illinois.  Tornadoes hit multiple locations.

Here is some incredible footage of a tornado tipping a truck over and debris flying everywhere. This footage is near Rochelle, Illinois.  Note: This video is public. The "not for broadcast statement" is not pertinent to youtube embedded shares.

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Hi-Rise Enjoying New Renovations

Sunday, April 19, 2015 - Posted by Ashley Gooden, in General News.

Disaster struck several Coleman families a few years ago when their home caught on fire. Residents of the Coleman Hi-Rise Housing Authority were forced to evacuate in 2012, and after years of rebuilding they are finally able to come home.

After a fire in January of 2012, several residents of Coleman Hi-Rise were displaced. Residents say that one room on the second floor is where it all started. Other apartments were damaged more by smoke and water than anything else.

"An alarm went off, I opened the door to the hallway and it was full of black smoke, you couldn't see nothing," said resident, Herman Wilker.

A few residents at a time are able to come back to their homes at Hi-Rise, but many of the rooms are just now being finished. One resident recalls her whereabouts when she learned a fire had broken out and the main water line of the building busted.

"I had already gotten my gown on and house-coat because I was going to go to bed and read my book, my mystery book. My bedroom was flooded and things were destroyed and my book, I never found that book," said June Thompson.

Read the rest of the story and view the video on the BigCountryHomePage.

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Local church unveils new website

Sunday, April 19, 2015 - Posted by Craig, in General News.

Easter Celebrations

To visit the website click the link below.

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Open carry passes Texas House

Friday, April 17, 2015 - Posted by Administrator, in State, Country, International

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill on to second reading that would allow people with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL) to openly carry handguns. The bill (HB 910) came to a vote after several hours of contentious debate over amendments and parliamentary procedural issues. It was approved by a vote of 96-35.

There appear to be some differences between the version that passed the Senate and the House version that passed on Friday. After final passage by the House, one chamber will need to pass the version passed by the other chamber in order for a bill to move forward to Governor Greg Abbott for approval.

A vote for final approval of the bill is expected to happen next week.

Story from:

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Weather Alert for Coleman

Friday, April 17, 2015 - Posted by Administrator, in Weather

The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of 
  western-north and central Texas

* effective this Friday morning and evening from 1150 am until
  700 PM CDT.

* Primary threats include...
  scattered large hail likely with isolated very large hail events
    to 2 inches in diameter possible
  scattered damaging wind gusts to 70 mph likely
  a tornado or two possible

Summary...thunderstorms over western and central TX will track
eastward across the watch area this afternoon and early
evening...capable of large hail and damaging winds.

The Severe Thunderstorm Watch area is approximately along and 85
statute miles east and west of a line from 35 miles southwest of
Cotulla Texas to 90 miles north northwest of Mineral Wells Texas.
 For a complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch
outline update (wous64 kwns wou7).

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Remember...a Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are
favorable for severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch
area. Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for
threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements
and possible warnings. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally
do produce tornadoes.

Aviation...a few severe thunderstorms with hail surface and aloft
to 2 inches. Extreme turbulence and surface wind gusts to 60
knots. A few cumulonimbi with maximum tops to 500. Mean storm
motion vector 25025.


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Politics threatening Texas wind energy, advocates say

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Posted by Rhiannon Meyers, in State, Country, International

Politics threatening Texas wind energy, advocates say

Industry-friendly policies helped Texas retain its position last year as the nation’s top wind energy producer, but partisan politics now threaten that standing, wind advocates said this week as they released an annual report on the state of the industry.

Wind power has long enjoyed support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with Republican former governors Rick Perry and George W. Bush championing policies that helped the industry thrive in the state. In recent years, however, wind power has come under attack from critics who argue that the renewable energy industry should have to stand on its own without subsidies, tax credits and other government help.

A bill that passed the Texas Senate on Tuesday calls for stripping incentives that have boosted the amount of renewable energy produced in the state.

“When you talk to Texans they like wind power, they like oil and gas, they like a diverse energy portfolio,” said Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition, an Austin-based trade association. “This is not the philosophical bent of the average Texan, but this bill is going to send a message to the world about what Texas believes about its energy supply. It’s a foolish attempt to make politics out of a really good policy.”

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, has said the programs are “irrelevant” and no longer needed since Texas long ago surpassed its goal of 10,000 megawatts of renewable power by 2025.

But wind advocates say those policies helped Texas become the epicenter for the industry’s rebirth, according to the market report by the American Wind Energy Association unveiled Wednesday morning.

“(Fraser) is declaring victory and saying, ‘Mission accomplished,’ but we’re still on the battlefield,” Clark said in a meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board on Tuesday. “There’s no reason to do it, other than a political statement.”

The massive investments pumped into new wind farms and transmission lines in the Lone Star State helped the industry rebound from a devastating year in 2013 after U.S. lawmakers failed to renew the production tax credit, a federal subsidy that gives wind generators 2.3 cents per every kilowatt hour of wind generated but requires annual renewal.

Without the federal subsidy, the wind business deflated as developers scuttled projects and laid off nearly 30,000 workers.

Click here for the rest of the story.
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Schlumberger cuts another 11,000 jobs in wake of oil crash

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Posted by Collin Eaton , in State, Country, International

HOUSTON – Oil field services firm Schlumberger announced Thursday it plans to ax another 11,000 workers, kicking off what could be a second major wave of layoffs across the oil industry.

The move will bring Schlumberger’s layoffs up to 20,000 employees, roughly 15 percent of its workforce,  since it began paring back its payroll earlier this year to cope with low oil prices. The nine-month oil slump has  cost the energy industry more than 120,000 jobs so far, according to oil field staffing firm Swift Worldwide Resources.

Oil equipment companies have been forced to fine-tune their workforce as they promise oil companies up to 20 percent in price reductions for rental tools, equipment and other services, said James Wicklund, an analyst at Credit Suisse.

Wicklund said it’s likely another wave of layoffs will sweep through the service industry after this year’s first in recent months, when major players announced more than 40,000 workers would be tossed from the oil-tool suppliers. It’s even possible a third wave will take place in the third quarter, albeit smaller than the first two.

Schlumberger’s workforce peaked in the third quarter of 2014 with 126,000 employees. Spokesman Joao Felix said the reductions are in progress and should be completed in the second quarter.

Schlumberger, based in Houston, Paris and the Hague, said it took a $390 million charge in the first quarter related to the job cuts and a company leave-of-absence program. It blamed the “severe fall” in North American oil field activity as U.S. producers parked hundreds of drilling rigs and cut billions of dollars in spending.

The firm, which is the world’s biggest oil field services provider, said its first-quarter revenues fell to $10.2 billion, down 9 percent from the same January-March period last year. The figure was off by 19 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, a sign that the oil crunch hit sales harder in the new year.

Schlumberger’s North American revenue fell further than its international sales, declining 13 percent compared to the 8 percent revenue drop it saw overseas.  

In a written statement, CEO Paal Kibsgaard said three quarters of the 19-percent sequential drop in revenue came from lower activity and pricing concessions, but the firm was able to mitigate some of the blow to its profit margins by managing costs and accelerating a “transformation” program designed to make product lines and regional units more efficient.

“Schlumberger was already going through a transformational process, identifying ways to be more efficient,” Wicklund said. In first-quarter conference calls, “the thing we will hear most about is efficiency. Efficiency and returns.”

Schlumberger banked a profit of $975 million, or 76 cents a share, in the first three months of the year, compared with $1.59 billion, or $1.21 a share, in the same period last year. That fell below analysts’ expectations of 91 cents a share.

Stewart Glickman, an analyst at S&P Capital, said after a series of cost-efficiency efforts in the service industry in recent years, it’s hard to see where the company and its rivals can cut without slicing into muscle.

“It makes me wonder how much more fat is there to cut beyond what they already did,” he said. “I don’t know there’s a lot of easy pickings in terms of supply chain improvements. If you really need to lower your cost base, you need to roll the dice and use fewer people and hope you’ll get good people again.”

Story copied from: Copied from:

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Austin Energy deregulation bill sent to Senate

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Posted by Tyler Whitson, in State, Country, International

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

A bill that could have major implications for Austin Energy and the city budget passed its first hurdle in the Texas House on Tuesday and now goes to the Senate floor. It could give certain Austin Energy customers the ability to break away from the utility and buy energy on the deregulated market.

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development passed Senate Bill 1945 on a six-vote majority, with Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) casting the sole opposing vote.

Senators Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) and Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) submitted their votes in writing after the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development adopted Senate Bill 1945. Seliger voted in favor of the bill, while Hinojosa and Uresti voted against it.

Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), who filed the bill and chairs the committee, said in a public hearing before the vote that the bill is “not a mandate of competition” but rather a “review of the appeal process” for customers who are unsatisfied with their rates.

However, Karen Kennard, interim intergovernmental relations officer for the city, told City Council last month that the bill could eventually have the same effect as deregulating Austin Energy, in that it could unravel “the entire customer base of the utility.”

The bill would allow heavy-usage customers or groups of customers in the city to petition the Public Utility Commission for a rate review. Austin Energy would have an opportunity to respond, and the PUC would review the rates in question and decide whether they are “just and reasonable” or consistent with comparable deregulated rates.

If the PUC decides that the rates do not adhere to these criteria, it can set new rates or allow the customer or group to purchase power on the deregulated market and pay Austin Energy solely to use its transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Read the rest of the story here at the Austin Monitor.

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April 15th

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - Posted by Townhall, in State, Country, International

Presented with no comment...


Source: Townhall

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The citizens of Coleman have shouted loudly.

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in City news, Videos

A short victory video and thank you to the Coleman citizens!

On, April 10th, 2015, 4:30 pm we turned in the two electrical petitions.

More than 500 signatures total! And they're still coming in!

That's a mighty loud voice demanding change!

For those who have not been following this saga:  Coleman has the highest electrical rates in the state of Texas!

These rates are crippling businesses and wreaking havoc on our citizens. These two petitions ask that the rate be reduced to 12/kWh and the 2nd, requests that the electrical system be sold to a provider that can deliver electricity to us for a substantial discount, removing the middle man (the city of Coleman) from the formula.

If due process is allowed as outlined in the city charter, the petitions will be voted on by the city council within 30 days (after certification). Should the council fail to pass them,  one or both will move to a final vote by the citizens via special ballot within 90 days.  Legal maneuvering may change this process and the time table, yet we fully expect that the citizens will prevail and Coleman will finally be allowed to loose these shackles and begin to heal.

So, here are the final moments as we turn the petitions in and gather our thoughts just afterwards.

For details on the electrical issue and petitions, please visit the forum at:

Produced by Craig and Bernadette Allen in connection with Coleman Connected
Bringing all of Coleman Together.

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