Multi-County cloud seeding project that took place between May-August 2017. This is an effort between Haskell County, the City of Haskell and the Development Corporation of Haskell. Participating Counties were Haskell, Jones, Fisher, Nolan and Mitchell.
Summer is almost here and that means it is time for the 22nd Annual Wild Horse Prairie Days Rodeo and BBQ Cook-Off weekend! The rodeo and cook-off will both be held Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3. See the flyers below for team line ups for the rodeo.
Friday, June 2
9 a.m. – Team Roping
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Craft Show (Civic Center)
12 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Project Show (Civic Center)
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Chuckwagon Meal
7 p.m. – Ranch Rodeo
Saturday, June 3
9 a.m. – Ranch Horse Competition
10:30 a.m. – Ranch Horse Competition Finals (Awards at the Civic Center)
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Craft Show (Civic Center)
12 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Project Show (Civic Center)
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Chuckwagon Meal
7 p.m. – Ranch Rodeo
Sunday, June 4
9 a.m. – Barrel Racing
10:30 a.m. – Jeff Gore, Cowboy Preacher at God Loves You Ministries, westside of the downtown square.
BBQ Cook-Off & Cornhole Schedule
Last year was the first year the Haskell Chamber hosted the WHPD BBQ Cook-Off in conjunction with the rodeo and with the help of our event organizer, Tell Stevens, we hope to have an even better event this year.
This year the event will be brought to you by the Haskell Chamber of Commerce and Bailey Toliver Chevrolet. We are also adding several new categories and events to our cook-off including a kids steak competition on Friday night sponsored by Modern Way, cornhole tournaments on both Friday night and Saturday and a welcome event on Friday night. Here is the schedule of all the fun.
Friday, June 2
6 p.m. – Welcome event and cornhole tournament
7 p.m. – Kid’s Steak Competition sponsored by Modern Way (14 and under)
7 p.m. – Steak competition (15 and up)
Saturday, June 3
8 a.m. to 5 pm. – WHPD BBQ Cook-Off. Categories include Bloody Mary, Beans, Chicken, Ribs, Brisket. Turn in times will be throughout the day.
10 a.m. – Cornhole tournament
We will be looking for judges to help with all the categories for both Friday night and Saturday. If you would like to be a judge, please contact Tell Stevens at 2147-500-4506.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur in the Big Country? Would you like to win $15,000 to help you launch your big idea?
The Springboard program helps local entrepreneurs develop their business model at an early stage and get feedback on their business ideas from local investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
The competition includes three phases, each designed to help your team move to the next milestone. The phases include…
- Initial Elevator Pitch (Done in Haskell on January 30, 2017
- Training Workshop and Mentoring to create a business model
- Business Model Competition, ending in the top 3 teams presenting at the Springboard Community Lunch on April 19, 2017, for a chance to win $15,000
Get started today by registering for the Haskell elevator pitch event held on January 30, 2017. All you have to do is share your idea in two minutes or less and get feedback from our judges. Your team could end up winning $15,000 in cash and in-kind resources for your idea. 2017 seems like months away, but it will be here before you know it, and we do not want you to miss this opportunity to turn your big idea into a reality. No idea is to small or to big to compete.To register, call or email the Chamber of Commerce at 940-864-2477.
For additional business resources on launching your big idea, contact the Development Corporation of Haskell at 940-864-3424. Also, for help with business plans, contact the Small Business Development Center in Abilene. For inspiring business podcasts, check out the Dream. Think. Do. podcast.
The City of Haskell will be honored with the “Community Achievement Award” at the 23rd Annual Texas Midwest Conference, Oct. 26th, at the Abilene Civic Center.
According to TMCN Executive Director Kathy Keane, “the award was developed as a way to encourage cities of all sizes in the region to be better prepared for future growth and economic development programs.” Criteria to qualify for the award include vision, pride, youth involvement, connectivity and assessment. The submitted application detailed Haskell’s community-wide plan (vision), beautification efforts (pride), student participation on local projects (youth involvement) and website (connectivity). Individuals from neighboring communities in the region were then assigned to visit the city to conduct a windshield tour of what a visitor sees and experiences when they come to town (assessment). Information from the windshield tour will be provided to local leaders when completed.
The Community Achievement Award will be presented during conference luncheon ceremonies. Haskell will receive the 2016 Award along with the community of Jacksboro.
Texas Midwest Community Network is a regional organization for community and economic development, regional tourism promotion, leadership education, and legislative awareness. It is an organization of “communities working together to accomplish what one community cannot do alone.” For more information about Texas Midwest Community Network visit www.tmcn.org.
TMCN Member cities are: Abilene, Albany, Anson, Aspermont, Baird, Ballinger, Brady, Breckenridge, Bronte, Brownwood, Buffalo Gap, Cisco, Clyde, Coleman, Colorado City, Comanche, Cross Plains, De Leon, Dublin, Early, Eastland, Eden, Goldthwaite, Gorman, Graham, Hamilton, Hamlin, Haskell, Hico, Jacksboro, Jayton, Knox City, Menard, Merkel, Miles, Munday, Ranger, Rising Star, Robert Lee, Rising Star, Roscoe, Rotan, San Saba, Santa Anna, Seymour, Snyder, Stamford, Sweetwater, Throckmorton, Tye, and Winters
If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact the DCOH Executive Director, Jimi Coplen at 864-3424.
By Christina Isbell, Keep Haskell Beautiful
Reasons for volunteering are almost endless. Probably the best reason of all is to help others by making a difference and giving back to the community. A great time to start making a difference in your community is at a young age.
This is why Keep Haskell Beautiful is offering a $500.00 scholarship(s) to a graduating student enrolled in a Haskell County school. Requirements to be eligible for the scholarship are 15 hours of community service during the student’s Junior and/or Senior year. Hours of community service must be documented with a signature. Volunteer hours with Keep Haskell Beautiful will be weighted more than other community service hours. This scholarship can be given to students planning to attend a College, Technological, or Vocational school. Scholarship applications are available in all Haskell County Schools and online by clicking here and are due May 1, 2017.
Community service projects open many doors. They benefit both college and professional resumes. Many college applications require you to have some type of community service. It also sets you up for additional scholarships and programs. Employers also look favorably upon volunteer experience and understand the skill-set it brings to the workplace.
You are not only giving back to your community while volunteering, but you are also learning new skills and sharpening old ones. You are honing your communication skills, developing leadership, learning teamwork, and time management skills.
Whether you want to do your part or make your mark, there are many great reasons to volunteer. And those that benefit from your help will just be happy you did it, no matter the reason. Please watch KHB Facebook page for more information on when community service opportunities are available.
By Christina Isbell
The Haskell Junior High school kids can be credited with the construction of a sand volleyball pit at the park. The 2015 Haskell Leadership class wanted to make the park all-age friendly. In planning, they decided to survey the entire Junior High to see what kind of activities they would like added to the park. The top 3 things the Junior High kids wanted to see were: a Volleyball Court, a Gaga Pit and improvements to the tennis/basketball courts. Other additions they suggested were wall ball, mini skate park and a rock climbing wall, to name a few more.
On August 1, 2016, KHB, the City of Haskell and Haskell County started working together to install the sand volleyball pit, located west of the pool. We hope to see the volleyball court completed by September 9.
On September 10, from 4-8pm, KHB along with other non-profits and the City of Haskell will be holding a Back to School Bash at the park. There will be fun games, prizes and free hot dogs for everyone. We hope to do a dedication of the sand volleyball pit during this event.
Keep Haskell Beautiful is a non-profit that was formed when the 2014 and 2015 leadership classes and the Betterment Committee joined forces to make three small groups into one large group. Prior to the formation of KHB, the 2014 leadership class was given the task of a project that would improve their community. The group wanted to make their impact in the park area. They started by purchasing two pieces of new park equipment and hope to make many more improvements in the future. KHB has been able to join forces with them and the Betterment Committee to add the volleyball pit and make plans for the future.
I’m sure by now you have heard about the Knox-Haskell Rural Leadership Program. You may be wondering, “What will I get out of it?” or “ Why take the time?”
This program is a fantastic opportunity only available in Haskell and Knox Counties. You are meeting people in your community and neighboring community. You are networking with your city and county government. You are touring local businesses, learning about your local hospital, school system and assets around your region.
When you finish this program, you will have gained valuable leadership skills, you will have met people from around the region, and you will know more about your community as a whole. The only way you can gain this kind of insight is to invest the time in a program like this one.
The leadership program kicks off September 23, 2016 and ends in May 2016. We will take you through a fun orientation process where you get to know the group. Our groups are usually 12-15 people. Then, we will meet on the first Friday of each month starting in October. You will spend the morning working through valuable curriculum. Then, in the afternoon you will be on your feet and touring Haskell and Knox Counties. These tours will expose you to various topics such as economic development, agriculture, healthcare and all the things that make up the assets of a community. Each month we will alternate between Haskell and Knox County. Not only will you learn about your county, but you will also learn about your neighbors.
The DCOH is providing the tools, now we hope you will take advantage of the opportunity. We promise you won’t regret it…just ask any of our past participants. Applications can be picked up at the DCOH office or downloaded at www.haskelltexasonline.com. For more information call the DCOH at 940.864.3424.
Haskell County and the Development Corporation of Haskell (DCOH) embarked on Washington D.C., August 17-19, 2016, in order to meet with federal officials who make decisions on placing federal detainees at the Rolling Plains Detention Center (RPDC). The facility is slated to close by end of year if additional detainees are not found to occupy the facility.
Haskell representatives David Davis, Jimi Coplen and Randy Hise traveled to Washington D.C. and met with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Senator Ted Cruz’s office, US Senator John Cornyn’s office, and the US House of Representatives Randy Neugebauer’s office.
The most important meeting was with ICE officials. That is the current detainee population held at the RPDC. The hope is that ICE could fill their new facility at Alvarado and still have enough detainees to fill the RPDC. The three ICE officials that met with the group were attentive and positive. Each of them had visited the Haskell facility in the past and was familiar with it. They assured the group the only reason for building a new facility was logistical and to have detainees closer to the federal court in Dallas. They said the plan was to start moving detainees around December 1, 2016. The group also discussed with ICE the vast number of detainees crossing the Texas border, but then shipped to various places around the United States. ICE officials stated they have not had enough beds in Texas to house them here. Our group assured them there were beds in Texas and soon there would be more beds in Haskell. And, Haskell would like to be considered for additional populations. They agreed to send overflow to Haskell; however, this is not enough to fill the facility. Haskell will need more than 20-40 overflows in order to keep the facility open and thriving.
The group also met with HHS. This organization places unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally into facilities across the United States. Those minors are housed at the expense of the United States until they can go before an immigration judge. The average stay is around 35 days. They are later placed with a foster family. This population is housed differently than a prisoner. They are detained, but it is more of a camp-like environment, large dorms, common areas, etc. The RPDC is not set up for this type of population. The current facility would have to be extremely retrofitted to accompany them. HHS was also attentive and very gracious to hear about the Haskell facility. In order to be considered by HHC, one must submit a grant proposal and it could take up to a year before a child is placed. This is certainly not the ideal population for the RPDC due to the configuration, but it will be taken under considered.
Haskell representatives had hoped to meet with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) while in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that they would no longer be contracting with private facilities. This will be a hard hit on many Texas counties who currently house BOP prisoners. This decision does not affect ICE detainees as are in the Rolling Plains Detention Center because ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security and not the Department of Justice.
Haskell representatives were not able to meet with the US Marshall Service, but did receive a phone call from them. Haskell resides in the Northern District. The acting Marshall who called was very helpful, but said they did not need any beds at this time. The group inquired about a recent article that stated the Odessa district was in need. He told them to call that office directly to see if they would be interested in housing people in the Haskell facility.
Fortunately, Haskell was able to have congressional staff attend meetings with them. Before the group arrived, a joint letter was sent to HHS, ICE, BOP and the US Marshall Service from Texas Senator Charles Perry and Representatives James Frank and Drew Springer. This helped set the stage to get them in the door with Congressional representatives Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and Randy Neugebauer. Because it is August in Washington, only their staff was available. Haskell representatives were able to brief them on the situation, have them attend meetings with them, and they agreed to circle back with these offices in the future.
The current RPDC jail management company, Emerald, is also actively seeking additional inmate populations for the RPDC. They are meeting with groups not associated with the federal government such as other states and various special interest groups who house prisoners. Haskell County is briefed weekly on their efforts. Emerald is interested in staying in Haskell and running the RPDC facility as well as the new facility in Alvarado.
Haskell County and the DCOH hope this article clears up any confusion or rumors that have been floating around the community. They also want the citizens to know that no stone is being left unturned. They are working diligently on this project and will continue to do whatever it takes to keep the RPDC open. It’s a vital part of the community and will have a huge economic impact on every entity in Haskell and the general population if it were to close.
The Haskell Chamber of Commerce, Development Corporation and Keep Haskell Beautiful have joined forces to bring you up-to-date articles about their organization and projects. Each week, one will write about what is going on within their organization. The goal is to keep the public aware of current projects and educate citizens about various topics. The articles will also help to let the public know where the needs are and how to become involved in the community.
The DCOH is hard at work helping the county secure new contracts for new prisoners at the Rolling Plains Detention Center. The DCOH is also accepting store front beautification grant applications. Those are due by September 30, 2016. Also, we are recruiting new participants to our adult leadership program. That deadline is September 1, 2016.
Heads up on the Community-Wide Garage Sale on Saturday, October 1st. This gives you plenty of time to get your garage sale items together. Come by the chamber to learn more about the Chamber’s HOT Grant Program that can help with your organization events.
Keep Haskell Beautiful (KHB) is a non-profit organization that educates and engages the citizens of Haskell to take responsibility for enhancing their community. So far KHB has held two clean-up events, one on the square and one at the park, and added two new pieces of equipment to the park. KHB hosted a volleyball tournament and commissioned the Deep Roots mural downtown. We are now in the process of putting in a sand volleyball court at the park and hope to continually add improvements to the park complex. Keep Haskell Beautiful is also in the process in starting a scholarship fund for the youth in our community.