The Daily Press Sweetwater Reporter | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-04-16T09:03:25-04:00's local weather2014-04-16T09:03:25-04:002014-04-16T09:03:25-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterExpect partly cloudy conditions tonight, with a low around 52 and breezy winds from the south-southeast around 20 mph.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableWednesday's local weatherSweetwater team competes in state tournament2014-04-15T11:51:06-04:002014-04-15T11:51:06-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterDestination Imagination is an educational program where student teams use creativity and team work to solve problems and present the solutions.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableDI team competes in state tournamentSweetwater bunny to be at Doug Sitter State Farm2014-04-15T11:49:55-04:002014-04-15T11:49:55-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater Reporter"We have so much fun doing this every year. We love seeing so many adorable children so excited to see the Easter bunny and pick out a treat from her basket. And sometimes we even have an adult or two that joins in on the fun," said Doug Sitter.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableEaster bunny to be at Doug Sitter State FarmSweetwater works with area colleges to collaborate on regional education, workforce initiatives2014-04-15T11:48:13-04:002014-04-15T11:48:13-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterA number of initiatives were proposed including a Regional Transfer Agreement that will align classes and programs across the region to simplify transference among regional partners.  The concept of curriculum alignment was discussed in depth by regional partners who heard from Linda Head, Associate Vice Chancellor of Workforce Education at Lone Star College System in Southeast Texas, on the increasing demand to approach employer needs from a regional, state and even national perspective. “We have to work together to create regional and state collaborations among the leading community colleges in Texas, and build state-wide programs of study to develop core skills required by our employers in order for our students to be viable job candidates,” explained Linda Head. Encouraging participants in the Consortium to address industry’s perspective she said, “A machine operator in West Texas is required by the employer to have the same core skills as a machine operator in Houston. Therefore, why would we have different certificate and degree programs? Although the drilling site might be in West Texas, the U.S. recruiters could be in Houston. The employer sees us as one educational partner rather than multiple, individual entities. Let's do this for our students and for our employers. It is imperative for the state's economy that we work on this as one voice.”The colleges also discussed the creation of Regional Centers of Excellence in Energy Education. Dr. Ian Roark, WTxEC Chair of the Education and Workforce Development Committee and Dean of Career, Technical and Workforce Education at Odessa College described the concept, “Each Regional Center will have a specific disciplinary focus and will serve as the focal-point for curriculum development, educator training, regional coordination, and collaborative agreements facilitating the alignment of curricula and programs for greater regional cohesion for students and employers.” The need for this can’t be understated. As the energy industry continues to grow, education and workforce must be positioned to respond. “Through these Regional Centers of Excellence and the subsequent regional coordination, the Area 2 colleges will be able to more readily and quickly adapt to the ever-changing needs of our employers,” said Dr. Roark. The first Regional Center of Excellence is being piloted at Odessa College in the area of Instrumentation, Process Control, and Automation Technology.  Texas State Technical College (Sweetwater) is also developing a Regional Center in the field of Safety Technology.WTxEC has proposed the formation of Regional Advisory Councils. The Councils will be formed to further align curricula and educational programming with industry needs and expectations, thus playing a key part in mobilizing education and workforce to meet the needs of employers, as well as ensuring the success of Regional Centers of Excellence. These Regional Advisory Councils will be discipline specific and will serve to inform the regional curriculum alignment process that will occur through the Regional Centers of Excellence.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableWTEC works with area colleges to collaborate on regional education, workforce initiativesSweetwater forecast for Tuesday2014-04-15T09:01:33-04:002014-04-15T09:01:33-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterExpect mostly clear conditions tonight, with a low around 44 and south-southeast winds at 10 to 15 mph. Gusts could get as high as 25 mph.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableLocal forecast for TuesdaySweetwater students place in Academic UIL competition2014-04-14T13:31:12-04:002014-04-14T13:31:12-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterJonathon Browning received third place in Spelling and was named a State Alternate.Members of the second place team in Social Studies included Cody Kincheloe (fifth place in Social Studies), Eathen Speer (fourth place in Social Studies), Austin Watts and Francisco Olguin.Members of the second place team in Journalism included Rachel Gray (first place in News, first place in Headlines and second place in Editorials), Allison Winslett, (fifth place in Feature), Taylor McPherson, Caroline Lawrence (fourth place in Feature) and Larissa Locklar.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableSHS students place in Academic UIL competitionSweetwater of Sweetwater benefits local seniors2014-04-14T13:28:29-04:002014-04-14T13:28:29-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterThere will be approximately 25 different food establishments represented at this year’s Taste of Sweetwater. Much of the food is freshly prepared and there is always a large variety — from barbecue to sweets. There will also be drawings for children and adult prizes at the event.The event is hosted by Senior Nutrition Activities Program (SNAP) as a benefit for the organization. SNAP offers many things to the seniors and shut-ins of Sweetwater. The center, which is located at 1701 Elm, is a place for senior citizens to come together for conversation, games and other activities, which include, but are not restricted to, playing pool, cards, dominoes and working jigsaw puzzles.The participants also have the opportunity to play bingo two times each month. In addition to these activities, SNAP participants and employees take trips to events such as Hee-Haw in Sagerton, concerts and plays.The most important role SNAP has in Sweetwater and Roscoe is providing hot, nutritious meals for seniors and adults with disabilities. SNAP currently delivers approximately 175 meals every weekday to the homebound through Meals on Wheels. SNAP also serves approximately 35 meals at the center on a daily basis.What started out as a city-funded program, SNAP’s funding now comes mostly from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services — about 55 percent. Another three percent comes from The Texas Department of Aging and Disability. The Nolan County United Way helps out with another three percent while Nolan County provides one percent. The remaining 38 percent is provided by donations, private contributions, fundraisers, memorials and the City of Sweetwater.Volunteers make home delivered meals possible. These people provide thousands of hours of service each year by driving their own vehicles and delivering meals to the shut-ins of Sweetwater and Roscoe. Currently, there are 17 volunteer routes — 16 in Sweetwater and one in Roscoe.SNAP depends on its volunteers as much as its state funding, grants and donations. Without the help of volunteers, Meals on Wheels would be non-existent. Also, many of the recreational activities at SNAP are possible because of volunteers.In fact, many people who participate in SNAP activities are those that volunteer.They volunteer to organize fundraisers, deliver meals and lead in games and recreational activities.A suggested donation for the meal is $3 for those over the age of 60 and $5 for those who are younger.Director Tonya Challis, secretary Janet Patty and clerk Betty Ramos run the center each day. The kitchen staff is made up of food service supervisor Marie Suggs, cook Marsisa Castellanos and kitchen aides Kayla Capps, Allison Gaytan and Benina Gonzales. Jim Jameson is the van driver delivering meals daily among his other duties at the center.The SNAP center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and everyone is invited to come eat and/or meet and socialize with others.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableTaste of Sweetwater benefits local seniorsSweetwater's weather for Monday2014-04-14T09:50:00-04:002014-04-14T09:50:00-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterTonight will be mostly clear, with a low around 34. Winds will be from the north-northwest at 10 to 15 mph becoming north-northwest at 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.Sweetwater, TXNo author availableSweetwater's weather for MondaySweetwater group visits Nolan Nursing2014-04-12T20:30:51-04:002014-04-11T18:04:46-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterSweetwater, TXNo author availableYouth group visits Nolan NursingSweetwater harvesting making a comeback2014-04-13T09:25:08-04:002014-04-11T18:03:01-04:00Copyright 2010 Sweetwater ReporterCommonly used in the early 1900s to converse water, rainwater harvesting is making a comeback in the state of Texas. The method captures, diverts and stores rainwater for later use, according to the Texas Water Resources Institute.There are several advantages to using rainwater, in that local erosion and flooding from waterproof building covers is decreased because a portion of the rainfall goes into collection tanks, resulting in the management of less-polluted stormwater.Also, the quality of rainwater--as it is one of the purest sources of water available--exceeds surface or groundwater since it does not come into contact with soil, rocks or pollutants. However, the quality of rainwater can be impacted if the rain falls in areas of heavy industry or where air is polluted by various activities.Plants benefit from rainwater in that it often has nitrogen content to offer a slight fertilizing effect. In addition, the softness of rainwater can lower the amount of detergents and soaps used in cleaning, as well as omit the use of water softener, which is often used with well water.In Billy Kniffen's report "Rainwater Harvesting in Texas," he explains that the water conservation method has become popular not only because of the demand for fresh water, but due to the growth of the state population. To estimate how much rainwater can be harvested from a "catchment surface"--any surface (like a roof) that is used to collect rainwater, Kniffen offers the formula that about .6 gallons of water falls on each square foot of roof area in a one-inch rain. Thus, 600 gallons of water could be obtained from a 1,000-square-foot roof for every inch of rain that falls.Once collected, the rainwater can supply water for households, wildlife, agricultural uses and landscape. To be used in the home, which is becoming more common in Texas homes, the storage capacity for rainwater harvesting must be large enough to provide and supply water for several months. To provide water for wildlife, water guzzlers--which require a roof, storage tank and watering device--can be built in remote areas. Rainwater can be collected off existing barns, deer blinds or other structures for wildlife as well.Collecting rainwater for large herds of livestock can be difficult, as one horse or cow can drink 7 to 18 gallons of water daily. However, Kniffen noted that the along with a rainwater harvesting system, a low-water production well and large existing storage tank can be used for smaller herds, individual animals or pets.Landscaping tends to be the easiest way to used stored rainwater, in that drip irrigation is the most practical way to use rainwater for landscapes. It can either be applied by gravity or the additional, combined use of mechanical equipment.And if treated properly, harvested rainwater can even be used for drinking. The system must include pre-filters, a pump, pressure tank, filters and a sanitizing device like an ultraviolet light. Rainwater harvesting can benefit the user in saving money by reducing water bills and reducing the demand on the local water supply. Additionally, rainwater harvesting promotes self-sufficiency, water conservation and energy savings.Sweetwater, TXBelinda SerranoRainwater harvesting making a comebackSweetwater