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Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Midland Texas - Be Safe This New Years Eve

by The Underwood Team

MIDLAND TX - Midland Police are gearing up to catch anyone drinking and driving on New Year's Eve.

The department plans to up DWI patrols to keep everyone safe on the roads.

According to the Midland Police, nearly 50 percent of traffic fatalities in Midland are alcohol or drug related.

Drinking and driving can be deadly but it can also hit you in the wallet.  After fines, court costs and attorney fees, police say you could spend up to $10,000 fighting a DWI charge.

So be sure to find a designated driver or call a cab if you want to drink this New Year's Eve.  Staying at home is a very safe options to stay off the dangerous streets.

Midland Texas – Seasonal Volunteers Bringing Joy

by The Underwood Team

Midland Texas - High Sky IMidland Texas - Brian Schroeder with My Community Federal Credit Union rebounds the ball during a basketball game against some of the children at the High Sky Children's Ranch. Cindeka Nealy/Reporter-Telegram

 High Sky Children’s Ranch emergency shelter is a safe house for children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.  This Christmas, volunteers from the community are treating the kids with a weeks worth of games and nurture from those who want to lend a hand.  “You think about these kids not being with their parents and families on Christmas,” said Diane Luna, a volunteer with the credit union.  “We just wanted to bring a little joy to them.” 

Assistant shelter director, Geoffrey Stratton said that the need for a stable environment to send children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services was greater than they anticipated.  The shelter now cares for children between 39-90 days, even though with that time allowance some end up staying longer instead of the original day or two while more permanent placement was found.  “In 30 to 90 days you can really see a lot of progress,” Stratton said.  “A lot of times they have anger and  trust issues or just have trouble expressing their needs.”

Some of the children are from families where drug abuse was an issue, others may have parents who are incarcerated and other children have suffered from some type of abuse or neglect.  Just more than 50% of children who stay in the shelter are reunited with a relative or with their parents after they complete steps necessitated by the state to regain custody.  Other children may be placed in foster homes.

The organization is caring for a total of 37 children this week, 20 of whom live in a shelter designated for those younger than 6 years old. 

A volunteer with My Community Federal Credit Union, Michelle Davis said the company works to do outreach through the year and employees decided to spend time at High Sky, knowing the holidays can be a “tough time” for children living in the shelters.

Midland Texas - High Sky II

Kaydee Snider with My Community Federal Credit Union paints the face of one of the children Tuesday at High Sky Children's Ranch. Cindeka Nealy/Reporter-Telegram

They try to make Christmas a celebration for the children just like it would be if they where in a more typical situation Frances Orosco, an employee at the shelter says.  Santa will stop by on Saturday and several groups, like the credit union, have come out to provide the kids with special treats.

Midland Texas - High Sky III

Midland Texas - A White Christmas for All

by The Underwood Team

Midland Texas Real Estate - White Christmas

Midland Texas - Sheridan and Marshall McCray help their mother, Daria load food itmes into boxes as they and others at First Baptist Church load boxes with food as part of the White Christmas program giving food baskets to needy families. Photo by Tim Fischer/Midland Reporter-Telegram

Monday, First Baptist Church marked the 30th year the church has been participating in “White Christmas,” that feeds those struggling in the community to have their own holiday feast.  

Each year since the first, the program grows with more groceries, donations and volunteers; and this year, the church sponsored their largest with about 304 holiday feast boxes assembled and distributed.  With frozen turkeys, boxes full of dry and canned goods…over 300 families are able to fix a holiday meal this year. About 450 families signed up to be recipients.  A third of those who registered did so by coming to the church office when the registration process began November 1st. The majority of the families in need -- about 65 percent -- were added to the list by the schools and Midland Independent School District staff. 

Hank Henry, associate minister of missions said, "our primary focus is to get people who come here (connected) with a church in the community. It doesn't have to be our church; any church is fine." 

Parishioners chipped in to buy the food items for each box; those involved in Sunday school classes are assigned specific items like boxed stuffing, macaroni and cheese or canned vegetables. Staff also provides turkey to pass out along with the other groceries.

Midland Texas Real Estate - White Christmas II

For those who remembered for Halloween this year, church staff and volunteers moved their annual Trunk-or-Treat event from their parking lot to five area city parks to reach more Midlanders. Continuing to expand their outreach at the community level, Mission trips across the United States and the globe also have taken place this year.  Henry said their members will soon partner with Angel Food to help supply a $24-a-month food box to a hungry child across the state.

It's outreach opportunities like those that the Arrambides said they are grateful to be a part of and help to make the holidays count.  "To us, it's being able to be God's feet, hands and eyes and able to do what he tells us to give here on earth. It just adds to the excitement," Sarah Arrambide said.


Midland TX Grass Fire

by The Underwood Team

Midland TX- Despite the warning about the high possibility for grass fires surrounding Midland Tuesday, a grass fire raged into the night Wednesday, just north of Wadley Avenue about a mile east of North Lamesa Road, scorching about 10 acres before it was extinguished.

There were no injuries and no homes were damaged during the blaze that began around 5 p.m, although the fire was near several homes on the south end of the several-acre lot.  "This fire (was) definitely of concern because it's near homes," said Tasa Watts, city of Midland's public information officer.

A Midland firefighter stands at the fence line to put out any flames from a grass fire that got too close to the alleyway and homes Wednesday evening as he and other firefighters keep a watch on the fire in a field north of Wadley Avenue off Lamesa Road. Photo by Tim Fischer/Midland Reporter-Telegram

Midland Fire Department Battalion Chief Chad Clark said firefighters had some difficulty containing the north end of the fire because of the thick brush, dry conditions and the more than 15 mph winds.  "I've been living in this area for about 14 years, and I've never seen anything this big before," said Roxanne Galarza, a homeowner near the fire.

At about 6:30 p.m. the fire was about 60 feet from the closest backyard fences and flames at its peak were about 9 feet tall, but firefighters were continuously spraying water to suppress the fires and build a barrier.  By the time the fire was extinguished around 7:40 p.m. it had consumed about 10 acres of brush near the residential area, Watts said. She also said city and county fire marshals are investigating the cause of the grass fire.

Midland TX – Storybook Christmas for Our First Graders

by The Underwood Team

Midland TX Real Estate - Storybook Christmas

Ethan Burgard, 7, takes his copy of "Chicken Little" Monday at St. Ann Catholic School. The local Zeta Xi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International are giving first-graders throughout Midland books as part as part of their annual Storybook Christmas program which has a goal of promoting literacy and reading. Cindeka Nealy/Reporter-Telegram 

MIDLAND TX – For the past 20 years, the Midland chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International has spearheaded Storybook Christmas, which provides books for every Midland first-grader.  Many of our local first-graders will spend their Christmas break with “Chicken Little” thanks the Zeta Xi chapter.

The Zeta Xi chapter is a group of former and current educators promoting literacy in early childhood and also participates in Need to Read.  Pat Adams, member of the Zeta Xi says, “it’s thing we are really interested in,”  “I think this encourages children to read, and the books give them a sense of ownership.”

Each year a different book is selected and for some students, this is the first book they ever have owned, and many of them will hold on to the book for the rest of their lives, said member Ann Andrews.

Annually, Zeta Xi raises an average of $7,500 to $8,500 to purchase the books.  People in Midland give most of the money raised because they believe in the cause.  Essentially, “the community is responsible for making Storybook Christmas happen,” Adams said.  “(Delta Kappa Gamma) is responsible for setting it up.”

This year the group donated approximately 2,300 copies of the children’s classic story in English and Spanish to 29 elementary schools.  Each book comes with a Storybook Christmas nameplate and a place for the kids to write their names.  It has become generational. 

Zeta Xi members are accepting donations to Storybook Christmas.  They may be sent to P.O. Box 8769, Midland, Texas 79708.

Midland TX – UTPB is Re-Accredited

by The Underwood Team


Every ten years, colleges and universities received accreditation.  This year, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin has been affirmed of its accreditation, again!  The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges announced Tuesday the institution had been reaccredited without a single recommendation.

“It is rare within all universities to come out without a single recommendation,” says Bill Fannin, UTPB Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Astoundingly, according to the SACS 2010 principles of accreditation, UTPB met all 88 standards set forth by the higher education community.

Focusing on improving students’ critical thinking as a part of their quality enhancement plan, UTPB seeks to improve critical writing skills for students and implement a number of faculty critical thinking training programs.

UPTB’s SACS accreditation signifies that the school has a mission appropriate to higher education standards, the resources, programs and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission.  It affirms that UTPB have specified educational objectives that are consistent and appropriate to the degrees it offers.  Schools that have achieved SACS accreditation have also indicated whether they were successful in achieving those stated objections—all of which, UTPB has passed with flying colors.

This reaccreditation means that UTPB will continue to qualify for federal funding.  It also means that the prospective students and the people of the Permian Basin can be assured the education they receive at UTPB is of the highest quality.

Midland Texas - The Nutcracker

by The Underwood Team

“Nutcracker”, the Russian ballet has become an American holiday tradition.  This year, the Midland Festival Ballet presents it’s annual “Nutcracker” Saturday and December 12 at Lee High School Auditorium.  This year, the production will be the largest staged by Midland Festival Ballet.  Susan Clark, co-director of MFB says they have 116 dancers in the cast; it’s one of their biggest casts ever.  The ballet will be accompanied by the Midland-Odessa Symphony; conducted by Douglas Droste.  Prior commitments kept the symphony’s conductor, Gary Lewis, from leading the symphony in this performance last year and again this year.  “He (Droste) was our conductor last year, and I thought he did a good job,” Clark said of Droste.  “He’s actually a protégée of Gary Lewis.  He was a good dance conductor, and the symphony sounded great.” 

Susan Clark and Judy Coleman, founder and the other co-director of MFB have differing theories regarding what has made this ballet so popular with audiences since its introduction to this country decades ago.  “Everybody is looking for something seasonal to go and see that their kids will enjoy,” said Coleman.  “Maybe they are looking for old-fashioned memories when life didn’t move as fast.”

Clark thinks it is the music.  “I think that Tchaikovsky score is beautiful, and I think we are very fortunate that we are still able to do it with live music” said Clark.

Midland Texas Real Estate - Nutcracker

The role of Clara is being danced by a young girl, Victoria Gilmore, whose two older sisters – Carly and Annie – have in years past danced this role in MFB’s production.  “That’s very rare actually,” said Susan Clark, “The all are very different dancers but really good for the role.  And her parents are doing the roles of Judge Stalbaum and his wife”.  

The ballet is entertaining to all age groups, the theme of Christmas and seeing the younger dancers on stages allows even 3-year-olds to sit through a 45-minute act.  The adults probably enjoy the second act more, seeing the classical dances, and the children can enjoy the mystique and excitement of the first act.


Midland Festival Ballet’s “Nutcracker”

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Dec 12

Where: Lee High School Auditorium, 3500 Neely Ave

Tickets: $20 adults and $15 seniors, student and children

Call: 686-0071 for tickets or go to

Midland Texas - Things to Do - Christmas Nativity Exhibit

by The Underwood Team

Hi Midland, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints invites you all to visit their Midland Christmas Nativity Exhibit at 4805 Gateway.  There are hundreds of uniques and traditional nativities on display.  Admission is free and open to the community as a gift this holiday season!  This beautiful present is open tonight, December 3rd from 6 -9 p.m. and tomorrow afternoon from 2 - 5 p.m.  The warm lights and friendly smiles will really propel you into the holiday spirit.

Midland Texas - Things to Do - Christmas Nativity Exhibit from Underwood Team @ Real Estate One on Vimeo.

Midland Texas. Midland Texas Events, things to do in Midland this holiday season! Brought to you by the Underwood Team! Go to for other featured properties. Please visit for more information or call us at (432) 889-0042.

See you there!

Midland Texas – Midland College Hosts Annual Holiday Evening

by The Underwood Team

Midland Texas

On Thursday, Midland College’s is kicking off their 20th Annual Holiday Evening celebration.  Like previous years, the lighting of the Hodge Carillon Tower is the highlight of the event and several of the college’s organizations are scheduled around it. 

First off, the celebration starts with a Frito pie chili supper fundraiser hosted by Midland College Students in Philanthropy.  Bowls are $4 a piece and will be held in rooms 110 and 111 of the F. Marie Hall Academic Building for an hour long.  The money raised from the event will benefit Students in Philanthropy, who issue grants to several nonprofit agencies the college assists.

Hot chocolate will be served in the Dollye Neal Chapel beginning at 5:15 p.m. featuring a wonderful candlelit ambiance and acoustic guitar playing by Jacob Porter. 

The Chap Singers will also sing Christmas carols during the lighting of the Hodge Carillon Tower ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Following the tower lighting, the Annual Fall Student Art Show opening reception will be held in the McCormick Gallery of the Allison Fine Arts Building.  The art show features works of art by students in all Midland College art classes, including ceramics, painting, photography and printmaking.  

Don’t forget about the 16th annual Midland College Student Art Hallway Sale, also beginning Thursday, taking place from 6 – 9 p.m.  It will be held in the art wing of the Allison Fine Arts Building.  The sale will continue Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Concluding the evening is a performance of the “Sounds of Christmas” by the Midland College Chorale & Midland College Jazz Band inside the Wagner & Brown Auditorium also in the Allison Fine Arts Building.

Kids and kids at heart should keep an eye out during the evening.  It has been rumored from time to time that Santa and Mrs. Claus often take a break from their schedules to stop by Midland College’s holiday evening.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




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