By Camaron Abundes
WEST TEXAS- It was an explosive start in a year full of extremes. In February an explosion at the Alon USA Refinery rocked Big Spring and sent the 80 year old plant off line for months.
Another big headline in 2008, flooding in Mexico sent flood waters barreling down the Rio Grand toward Presidio. Hundreds were forced into shelters and the flood danger lasted for weeks. A small plane carrying officials from the International Boundary and Water Commission went down. Carlos Marin, the head of the IBWC in the United States, and Jake Brisbin a former Presidio County Judge died in the crash.
Dry brush fueled hundreds of grass fires across West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Firefighters stayed busy through July 4th.
The implosion of the old Midland Bank building brought thousands.
In April, a phone call later deemed a hoax, kicked started a state wide raid at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado. CPS officials still say the abuse they uncovered in the raid is real and widespread.
A Midland College Professor, David Roger Allen, plead guilty to child pornography charges.
Inmates fired up over health care, food, and a visit from the Mexican consulate staged a 9 hour hostage standoff with jailers at the Reeves County Detention Center.
In Big Spring, a restoration project aimed at restoring the old Settles hotel to it's former glory stirred the community but the shocking headlines didn't stop. Turf wars and drive-by shootings came to a head in the Fall of 2008 with the indictments of several Latin King members in Lubbock. Some of those arrested were tied to a triple murder in May.
The year also brought unbelievable heartache in the form of several murders across West Texas. An several deaths related to house or trailer fires.