Olton Enterprise • Copyright 2020 • All Rights Reserved
Number of active cases in Olton and Lamb County drops significantly
Runningwater Draw Care Center is COVID-free and officially Olton only has only seven active coronavirus cases, according to reports released this week.
However, the actual number of active cases in Olton is slightly higher due to delays in how the state reports confirmed cases to the county.
But the good news is that the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in Lamb County appears to be waning. The official number of Lamb County cases is now 240. That total includes 36 active cases, 187 recoveries and 17 deaths. In addition to Olton’s seven active cases, there are officially 23 in Littlefield, two in Earth, two in Sudan and one in Springlake.
“All residents have gone past their quarantine. It went through 100 percent of the building. It got everybody,” RDCC Administrator Dona Thompson said. “As of Thursday we are COVID-free.”
Of the care center’s 63 residents, 50 are no longer active cases and 13 have died. Thompson also reported that 25 of the 26 employees who tested positive also are not longer active cases. “We have one employee that will still be in her quarantine period at home until Aug. 22, but as far as our building, we are COVID-free.”
Lamb County Judge Mike DeLoach said that he’s glad to see the number of active cases declining.
“I am very pleased to see our numbers going down, especially at Runningwater Draw,” he said. “My heart goes out to all the families that have been affected by COVID 19. I would like to say how proud I am of our healthcare system for their help in managing this pandemic. The care center has been hit especially hard, and they have handled this situation with professionalism and grace. I hope the Olton community is as proud of them as I am.”
Read the complete story in the Aug. 14, 2020 issue of the Olton Enterprise
A report of a suspicious person resulted in an 18-year-old man being tased by an Olton police officer last Friday night.
According to police reports, there was a complaint of a suspicious person in the 1000 block of Ave I. The reporting person said there were two people by her vehicles. When the suspects saw the reporting person, they fled but were later identified by police. When officers attempted to detain Johnathan Ramirez a short time later, he ran from the officers, according to Police Chief Reggie Holmes.
“Officers gave chase, and after a short pursuit he was apprehended,” Holmes said.
The police chief confirmed that an officer used a taser to subdue the fleeing suspect.
Olton EMS transferred Ramirez to a hospital before he was arrested for Evading Arrest, which is a Class A misdemeanor, and Possession of a Controlled Substance Greater Than 1 Gram But Less Than 4 Grams, which is a felony charge. He was transported to the Lamb County Jail.
A second suspect was later arrested on a misdemeanor Public Intoxication Charge.
“This means no new taxes,” Mayor Mark McFadden said Monday.
His comment came as Olton City Council members proposed a “no new revenue” tax rate for 2021 of 90.97 cents per $100 of property valaution. Last year’s tax rate was 90.9 cents per $100 of property valaution. But that doesn’t mean your city tax bill isn’t going up. Even if the “no new revenue” tax rate was exactly the same as the previous tax rate, your tax bill would go up if your property value went up. Of course, it also means that your city tax bill would go down if your property value went down.
The council’s action followed a budget workshop that was part of the Council’s regular monthly meeting.
State-mandated tax terminology changed this year, but the property tax rate really didn't change much. What was formerly known as the “effective rate” is known as the “no new revenue rate”. What was known as the “rollback rate” — the rate at which a tax reduction election is possible — is now known as the “voter approval rate”. Those are the terms that will be used when the City of Olton publishes their tax rate notice in the newspaper.
The proposed tax rate was approved on a 5-0 vote on a motion by Councilman Derek Roberson that was seconded by Councilman Tracy DeBerry.
Read more the Aug. 14, 2020 issue of the Olton Enterprise
Emily Catlett was crowned the 2020 Sandhills Sweetheart, Thursday night, July 30, at the Roxy Theater. Giselle Gomez was named the first runner-up and also was selected by contestants as Miss Congeniality.
The Sandhills Sweetheart Pageant featured six contestants. In addition to Catlett and Gomez, the contestants were Savannah Hamilton, Delaney Lowe, Marissa Diaz and Marisa Rodriguez. Although the four-day Sandhills Celebration was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pagenat was held Thursday night, July 30 at the Roxy Theater.
A video of the pageant can be viewed on the Olton Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page. Additional pageant photos can be viewed or
downloaded free at oltonenterprise.shootproof.com. Prints can be
ordered from the site for a charge.
It didn’t take long for Ruth Beelitz to get her first win as a head volleyball coach.
The Olton Fillies defeated the Loop Lady Horns in five sets in their season opener Tuesday night.
“I loved how they stayed on their toes, and especially on that last one,” the coach said. “They were staying alert and ready to play. I liked that. They are fighting for it.”
The Fillies were effectively running plays, which can be uncommon early in a season. But having an experienced team helped a lot.
“They have rotations for offense and defense, and once they got into their groove, they were working those plays,” Beelitz said. “They were really competing.”
Read the complete story in the Aug. 14, 2020 issue of the Olton Enterprise
Kevin McCasland, superindent of Olton schools, has clarified the learning model choices announced last week.
“On campus works just like normal school days,” he wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
Describing the At-Home learning model, McCasland wrote, “All instruction is remote and students will not be required to come to campus.” Students in At-Home learning “will not participate in band, athletics, cheer, welding, etc.” He added, “There is a possible synchronous and asynchronous learning choice with remote that we will expand on later.”
Describing the Flexible leaning model, McCasland wrote, “Flexible learners will participate in most of the school day online, but come to school for some activities like welding, marching band, cheer, athletics, etc. — anything that requires their presence.”
A fundamental divide over decision-making during the COVID-19 crisis became evident during a special school board meeting Thursday, July 23, as trustees considered a resolution delegating authority to Superintendent Kevin McCasland during the 2020-2021 school year.
After a lengthy discussion, trustees adopted the resolution on a 4-2 vote with a provision that the resolution be placed on the agenda of each regular monthly meeting. Alicia Sanchez was unable to attend the meeting and therefore did not vote.
It was Tullie Struve who suggested the compromise language, although McCasland had mentioned earlier in the discussion that the resolution could be revoked at any time. Struve moved to adopt the resolution with review on a month-by-month basis. Jay Gorman seconded his motion, and Vice President Ruben Luera and Michael Ramage joined them in voting to adopt it. President Connie Maxwell and Secretary Jesus “Chuy” DeLaCruz voted against adopting the resolution, seeking a more “return to normal” for the upcoming school year.
Embedded in the resolution was a provision authorizing the superintendent to determine whether students who have chosen to receive remote instruction instead of traditional classroom instruction may participate in extracurricular activities. McCasland had proposed adding a third learning model, a flexible model requiring students to be present for certain courses and extracurricular activities but allowing them to use remote technology for others. Trustees appeared to favor the flexible learning model but were divided over whether the perimeters should be set by trustees or the superintendent.
“I’m definitely for the flexible model as long as the activities can be defined with perimeters,” Gorman said, capturing the sentiment of the board. However, it was who should set those perimeters that divided trustees. Maxwell opposed delegating that and other tasks to the superintendent.
“It came into focus for me that I love the flexible option but that the board should set the policy,” the board president said.
Read more in the July 31, 2020 issue of the Olton Enterprise
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Olton, Texas, United States