Five things you need to know today, Jan. 5

Take a look at the news in and around Odessa on Friday, Jan. 5. Find complete local news coverage in the Odessa American every day, online at and our daily E-Edition at

1. A group of opponents to a proposal to restructure the Odessa City Council threatened lawsuits over a petition drive seeking to force a May election and accused organizers Thursday of trying to dilute Hispanic votes in an attempt for wealthy east-side Odessans to control the local governing board.

2. Bonham Middle School Robotics Coach Joshua Wimberley was recently awarded funding through Fuel Your School to buy some laptops that will let his students reprogram their robots on the fly.

3. A Medicare website that compares ratings of hospitals nationwide shows Medical Center Hospital comes up short compared to local competitors Odessa Regional Medical Center and Midland Memorial Hospital.

4. Dylan Sanders went through several firsts in 2017 — he started his first year of high school at Odessa High School, he got his first girlfriend, and most recently, Sanders was honored by Family Promise of Odessa for being their first youth volunteer.

5. IN SPORTS: Up by five points with two minutes left, against a stout opponent and plenty of apparent voodoo working the other way, the No. 8 UTPB men’s basketball team needed to play sound, to execute and to toe the line just right to escape with a win Thursday night, and to end a year-long jinx.