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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, October 28, 2005

Clocks moving back one hour come Sunday

Local residents will get an extra hour a sleep Saturday night and a little more light on their way to work after that, as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end across the nation.

The time change will officially take place at 2 a.m. on Sunday, when clocks will move back an hour. That will mean earlier sunrises and sunsets until the beginning of April, when clocks will move forward again.

The Pecos area is among the furthest western locations in the Central Time Zone, and as a result, sunrise is already after 8 a.m. this week. With the change, sunrise next week will be about 7:10 a.m., while sunset will take place just after 6 p.m.

That problem could get worse under a proposal in Congress that would expand Daylight Savings to the first weekend of March and to the weekend after Thanksgiving in November. Supporters said the change would cut down on energy use, while the plan has been protested by parents groups, who complain the change would leave children across the nation going to school in the dark during mornings in the fall and late winter.

Currently, Arizona and eastern Indiana are the only parts of the nation that do not observe Daylight Savings Time, though Indiana is discussing standardizing the time zone in the entire state.

City’s treatment of stray animals draws complaint

Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney said his department plans to work together with a group of citizens on improving the conditions for stray animals in Pecos, while at the same time saying some of the reports local citizens had heard about how those animals are being treated were false.

“We had about an hour-and-a-half long meeting, which was a positive meeting,” he said on Thursday. “They are willing to help the police department, and are willing to held the animal control officer.”

McKinney met with the group on Wednesday morning, where they voiced their concerns about reports they had heard on how the city’s animal control officer was dealing with strays.

“There were a lot of rumors going around the area that we were shooting dogs, which was the way we were euthanizing them. That was false,” McKinney said.

He added that the group had not met with animal control officer Billy Jack Brookshire, and did not tell him where the rumor about animals being shot by the city originated. Prior to the meeting, members of the group voiced concern that Brookshire was not certified to kill animals humanely.

McKinney said his department would take action on another request by the group, involving 19 dogs being kept at a site on the southwest side of town.

Members of the group said they have been going to feed the dogs, who have been kept in an abandoned cotton gin and were without food when they problem was uncovered.

“We were letting an individual adopt animals out there, but we’ve stopped taking him animals for adoption,” McKinney said. “They had concerns about the quality of the facility, and this group of ladies asked us if we would not take any more animals out there.”

He said the group also filed a public information request to see the city’s line-item budget for the animal control officer’s department. He said officials at City Hall were working on getting those numbers together too give to the group.

“The reason the ladies wanted to look at the budget is in a positive light,” McKinney said. “They said if we’re short on the budget, they’re willing to help us in those areas’ such as animal feed or medicine.”

He said the group also asked about the condition of the heaters in the city’s animal shelter, which McKinney said was in good condition.

“They also wanted to know if they could volunteer to feed the animals while they were in the pound, “ he said.

“I was glad to have a chance to meet with them. We brought some issues to a head to deal with, and I’m going to respond with some assurances within 10 days,” he added.

RCH board approves ventilator purchase

Reeves County Hospital board members approved the purchase of a new ventilator for respiratory therapy, and were given the 2005 tax rolls for review on Tuesday, during their monthly meeting in the classroom at Reeves County Hospital.

Frank Vasquez briefed board members on the hospital’s decision to buy a demonstration model of a ventilator currently in use at Midland Memorial Hospital.

“Dr. (Orville) Cerna asked for the unit,” Vasquez said of the Respronics ventilator, which the board agreed to buy at a cost of $18,500, about $4,500 less than the cost of a new unit.

The hospital currently has two ventilators, but one in about 25 years old and no longer works reliably. “We need two ventilators, one as a back-up, because you never know when you may need it,” he said.

Vasquez said the model selected provides respiratory support, but for people who do not want to be maintained on life support under extraordinary conditions, the machine will not continue to work on its own if the patient stops breathing.

“I have used it at other hospitals and it is really great,” said RCH director of nursing Phylis Muennink.

Vasquez added that because the ventilator is a demonstration model, he planned to look at it first before agreeing to the purchase.

“I recommend Frank proceed with it, and if he approves, to go ahead and get it,” hospital CEO Bill Conder said.

Earlier, Conder told the board that based on the 2005 tax rolls and the hospital’s tax rate, the district could expect to receive just under $2.1 million in property taxes if collections are at the 100 percent rate for the upcoming year, though he added the total would probably come in closer to the $2 million mark.

“Historically, we collected about 92 to 95 percent,” Conder told the board. He later added that delinquent taxes owned the district dropped from $12,516 to $8,884 due to increases collections.

In other action, the board was told by Conder that they would be looking into critical access in relation to what the federal government’s Medicare Advantage program would do to the district. The program allowed private insurance companies to offer plans through the government’s Medicare system in rural areas.

“There’s some concern that it might not pay cost-based reimbursement,” Conder said, though he added, “I don’t think there will be a big interest in this area. You’ve got to have a huge amount of covered lives before private companies take on insurance.”

Conder also said they will need to find a replacement for RCH social worker Peggy Honnacker, who will be leaving the hospital early next year. He said they already are looking at naming a replacement, who must be sanctioned to do work in the hospital’s dialysis unit.

Board members also put Conder’s name on the state list for the hospital’s Rural Home Health operation, something that had not been changed in the past several years. “Every time we change administrations, we have to approve this,” he said.

Conder also told the board mileage expenses for hospital staff was being raised to 40.5 cents a mile, due to the cost of gasoline. He said the district currently has the second-lowest mileage reimbursement rate of any area hospitals, ahead of only Kermit, and that most hospitals pay in the 38 to 48 cent a mile range.

The board also agreed to change the date of their next scheduled meeting from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, due to scheduling conflicts for board members.

Early Halloween activities scheduled in city

Several activities are planned this weekend in conjunction with the spooky Halloween holiday.

Once again this year, city officials have asked parents to move their Halloween events to the weekend, with Oct. 31 falling on a Monday. This year, Pecos will see Trick-Or-Treaters out and about on Saturday, Oct. 29. Town of Pecos City Council officially set the date to go trick-or-treating for Saturday. Law enforcement officials ask motorists to drive carefully and be on the lookout for children who are making their trek door-to-door to receive treats.

A Harvest Carnival will be held at the Reeves County Civic Center, Saturday, from 6-8 p.m.

Enchilada plates will be sold from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at Austin Elementary School. Tickets are $4.50 each.

Also on Saturday, the annual Mother Goose and Friends parade will be held along Oak Street in the downtown area.

Judging will be held from 5:30 p.m., at the West Texas National Bank drive thru.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m., at the bank and continue south on Oak Street for five blocks, to the West of the Pecos Museum.

Refreshments for participants will be served from 6:30-7 p.m., at the West of the Pecos Museum Park located on Oak Street.

Individual judging categories include: birth through 3 years; 4-6 years; 7-9 years and 10-12 years of age.

Group judging category includes groups of two or more (example: Lilo & Stitch). All ages will be placed into this one category.

First, second and third prizes will be given in each category. Young children may use decorated motorized vehicles for the event. No bikes and 4-wheelers will be allowed. The annual event is sponsored by the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division.

Granado honored with SRSU Hall induction

Former Pecos Eagles head volleyball coach Becky Granado was honored this past Saturday at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, where she was inducted along with three others into the school’s Hall of Honor.

Granado graduated from SRSU in 1983 after earning all conferences honors with the Lady Lobos in 1978-80 and in 1982. She was also named an NCAA Division III Athlete of the Year in 1980, and earned AIWA All-District 8 honors during her senior season. Sul Ross won three conference titles, two Texas state championships and the Southwestern Regional crown once, while placing seventh at the Division III national tournament in 1979 and fourth in 1980.

Granado served as a coach for the Pecos Eagles from 1984 though last year. She was assistant coach under Nora Geron beginning in 1987, when Pecos won the Class 4A state title, through 1996, when she took over as varsity head coach for the Eagles. Granado stepped down from that position this past spring.

Former Sul Ross football players James Miller and Albert “Flop” Parsons and longtime KVLF sportscaster Jerry Sotello were the other three inductees into the Hall of Honor during Saturday’s ceremony. The inductions bring the total number of members to 99 over the 20-year history over the Hall of Honor.

TFWC fall board meeting held in Austin

The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs held their 109th Annual Fall Board Meeting in Austin, on Sept. 15-16 , at the Park Plaza Hotel with Barbara Winingham of Bowie, TFWC State President, presiding.

Catherine Travland, of Pecos, representing The Modern Study Club, Pecos, and the Western District of The Texas Federation of Women’s Club as their first vice-president, attended the Fall Board activities. Traveling with Mrs. Travland to Austin was Mary Vongsavath of Alpine, President of the Western District.

On Sept. 15 TFWC committees met and that evening the formal opening of the board meeting was held with the theme “Honoring Our Heritage.” The program during the evening was presented by Elaine Coleman on one of her books entitled, “Ghostly Tales.” After the dinner, first vice-president Travland went to the First VP Counterparts Meeting with Marjorie Williamson of Baytown. They discussed problems and possible solutions to reporting. Attendees also were assigned a part for Mrs. Willamsons’ workshop Friday morning.

When the board meeting resumed on Sept. 16 the executive committee reports were given and then the reporting workshop was held. The workshop was fun and upbeat. Some of the attendees pretended to be reporting forms. Others were the post office, district, state and GFWC recipients of the reports. The meeting was completely unrehearsed and confusing, a lot like reporting, but informative.

Williamson handed out Cds that should help with reporting. WD President Vonsavath is having one made for each reporting chairman to be given out at the WD Fall Board Meeting slated in Pecos in October.

The nominating committee announced their slate of TFWC officers for 2006-2008 as follows: Pat Siegfreid-Giles of Lancaster, president; Marjorie Williamson of Baytown, first president elect; Dorothy Roberts of Aransas Pass, first vice-president; Janelle Holden of Beaumont, second vice-president and Sandi Conway of Albany, secretary. Mrs. Travland, as TFWC Chairman of ESO (Epsilon Sigma Omicron- an honorary educational society), presented the certifications and pins to the ESO members who had completed their reading levels, during the luncheon.

Mrs. Travland also serves as secretary of ESO and is responsible for keeping the records of all TFWC Federated Clubwomen, who are participants, presenting the awards bi-annually in the fall and spring.

Friday afternoon the attendees went to the TFWC Club House for the gala. The refurbishing of the TFWC State Club Hosue has been completed and is very elegant. Minnie Simmang of Giddings, former TFWC President, presented the building and a plaque was presented to the Houston City Federation for their generous donation of $50,000.

That evening the “America the Beautiful” banquet was held. The GFWC Awards were presented and Rose Ditto, GFWC 1st Vice President, gave the keynote address. A reception followed honoring Barbara Winingham and Rose Ditto.

Representing WD District were Emily Munn of San Angelo, Jackie Hendricks and JoAnne McClurg, of Midland, Peggy Kelton and Sherry Phillips of McCamey and Mmes. Travland and Vongsavath.

The 110th Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Fall Board meeting is slated to be held in Austin, October 2006.

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