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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Police say no gun involved in campus incident

Reports of a man with a gun on Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD campuses last week were overblown, according to Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney, but police are continuing to investigate the incident.

McKinney said he has received calls from one Midland-Odessa TV station about the report that a man with a gun had gone to two P-B-T ISD campuses last week, seeking to remove his children from school. He said that while there was some sort of incident at school late last week, “there was no gun involved.”

“Kelly (Davis, Pecos PD investigator) talked to some relatives and received some information,” McKinney said, but added, “At this point the man hasn’t done anything wrong. There’s nothing to charge anyone with.”

McKinney said the incident remains under investigation.

More incumbents file in city, hospital elections

Two of the three incumbents whose terms expire on the Town of Pecos City Council this May have filed for re-election, while both of the incumbents whose seats are up for election on the Reeves County Hospital District board have also filed for new two-year terms.

Pablo Carrasco joined Linda Gholson late last week in filing to retain his position on the hospital district board. Gholson, who represents Precinct 2 and is the board’s president, was the first candidate to file for re-election, while Carrasco is seeking his second two-year term as Precinct 4 representative on the board.

Voters in Precinct 3 will also be casting ballots in the May 7 election to fill an unexpired term, which was created last year by the death of board member Bill Wendt. That seat, along with the Precinct 1 and at-large seats on the hospital board, will be up for election again in 2006.

In the city council election, Danny Rodriguez was the first candidate to file for a new term on Feb. 7, and was joined by Frank Sanchez two days later. Rodriguez is seeking a second consecutive term on the council after regaining a seat in the 2003 election. He previously served on the council between 1994 and 2002. Sanchez is seeking his third term on the council, after serving as Town of Pecos City Mayor for two years in the 1980s.

Incumbent Gerald Tellez is the other council member whose term is up for election in May. Tellez has been on the council for the past 10 years.

No filings have been reported as of yet in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD election, where two three-year terms will be up for election on May 7. Board president Billie Sadler and board member Paul Deishler are the incumbents whose terms expire this year, while filing in the school, city and hospital district elections will run through March 7.

Voters in Balmorhea will also be deciding city and school elections, along with voting in the Precinct 3 hospital board race.

In the city election, voters will be casting ballots for three two-year terms on their council. Sammy Baeza, Dora Woodruff and Ike Ward presently hold those seats. In the Balmorhea ISD elections, the terms of Jesse Matta, Javier Lozano and Jaime Barragan will be up for election on May 7.

Barstow voters will also be deciding three races in the May 7 vote. Olga Abila, Dora Villaneuva and Ted Porras won election two years ago to the seats that will be decided in May.

If there are no contested races in any of the local elections as of the March 7 deadline, those elections can then be cancelled by the group involved in order to save money. Early voting for the May 7 election will get underway on April 20 and run through May 3.

School accepts $425,000 roof, fire alarm bids

Bid proposals for roofing projects at different campuses and fire alarms for the Pecos High School were approved during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting held Thursday evening.

Bids to start work on roofing projects at the Bessie Haynes Elementary School and Pecos Kindergarten campuses were approved during the meeting after architect Monte Hunter told the group that they had received two proposals.

“We asked them to give us a price and how many days it would take to be completed,” said Hunter. “On the fire alarms we received one proposal.”

Hunter said that the company that had bid on the fire alarms has done other fire alarm work for the district.

“We had two other companies interested, but they couldn’t bond it,” he told the board, explaining they couldn’t provide the district with the proper financial assurances without the bond.

The lone fire alarm bid was from D&E Blackwatch, for $68,934, and Hunter said, “All of this has some contingency built into it.”

He said that the fire alarm work would be done this summer. “That’s a little more disruptive work than roofing,” according to Hunter.

He also told the group that both roofing companies that bid on the roofing were good companies. The proposals came from Bostick Roofing out of Odessa for a total of $389,596 and Lydick Hooks out of Midland for $356,210.

“We wanted to get one of them done during spring break,” said P-B-T ISD Superintendent Ray Matthews. “Is there any way possible to get them started before school ends?”

Hunter said that that was actually what both companies had proposed to do if they received the bid award.

“We’ll sit down with the company that you award the bid to and you have your pick of which school to start work on,” said Hunter.

“I think Lydick is a little better roofing company,” said Hunter, and board members accepted the bid offer from Lydick Hooks.

The group also accepted a bid proposal for a utility vehicle from Colt Chevrolet of Pecos. Hunter provided a report on work at the Austin Elementary Gym and the Eagle Stadium track and field.

“The punch list is completed at the gym, except for a few items,” said Hunter. “The contractor has offered $2,500 to accept misaligned roof panels,” he said. The track is completed and ready for use, according to Hunter.

“We’re trying to schedule high jump surfacing for Feb. 20, (before the track meet),” said Hunter. The first track meet, for seventh and eighth graders, is scheduled for Feb. 25. Hellas Construction of Austin agreed to do the track resurfacing work for $28,000, after Field Turf, which installed the new artificial surface at the stadium, requested to be let out of its track resurfacing contract. Hunter told the group that they are exploring the possibility of having Hellas complete the full punch list for Field Turf.

Texas Public School Week 2005 will be celebrated Feb. 28-March 4, at the PBT-ISD campuses.

“This will be the first weekend in March, because any other time it would interfere with spring break or testing,” said Matthews.

The purpose of this week is to focus on the significant gains our state has made in ensuring that every child is successful.

Parents, guardians and community members are invited to visit the school campuses during this week and donate their time if possible.

Toyah Watershed area chosen for new conservation program

The Toyah Watershed, located in portions of Jeff Davis, Reeves and Pecos counties, has been chosen to participate in a second-year government program, and a meeting for local landowners has been scheduled for early March in Toyahvale.

The Conservation Security Program (CSP), authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill and administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), rewards farmers and ranchers who implement conservation on America’s working lands. CSP, now in it second year, is a voluntary program based on conservation accomplishments that recognizes the contributions of the best land stewards and encourages them to do more.

The Toyah Watershed is one of the 202 watersheds nationally selected to offer the CSP in 2005. Of the 202 watersheds, 18 watersheds were chosen for CSP in Texas. Officials said it was selected because of a history of good land stewardship, excellent conservation partnership efforts, high-priority natural resource issues, and the availability of the necessary technical tools to implement the program.

According to Dr. Larry Butler, Texas State Conservationist, “USDA intends to offer a signup for CSP in February of 2005.” The NRCS in the Toyah Watershed will hold informational meetings for farmers and ranchers in the watershed to review eligibility requirements and the self-assessment tool that farmers and ranchers use to determine their eligibility prior to scheduling office visits with NRCS.

The meetings will be held on March 2, from 9 a.m. to noon and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Balmorhea State Park in the Group Meeting Building in Toyahvale.

For a meeting schedule, visit the Toyah Watershed website at or contact your local USDA Service Center for meeting dates, times and locations. “Texas is fortunate to have the Toyah Watershed selected for participation in the CSP,” said Butler. “Our producers, with the assistance of NRCS staff, will have an opportunity to get this program implemented within the watershed. Producers outside of the watershed have the opportunity to watch how the program progresses and prepare themselves for future CSP signups,” he said.

The CSP is a very competitive program. Producers will compete nationally for funding against the nation’s best conservationists. Documentation of conservation activities, such as conservation plans and records or pest and nutrient management, will be required to support the application. Producers within the Toyah Watershed are encouraged to attend the watershed information meetings to learn if they meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

Those producers outside of the watershed are encouraged to complete the self-assessment on-line when it becomes available. Completing the self-assessment now will provide a good idea of actions they may need to meet eligibility requirements in future years. Individuals can contact their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation office for more information.

Tax check shows big jump in local holiday sales

The 2004 Christmas shopping season appeared to be a good one for retailers in Pecos, based on sales tax figures released last Wednesday by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s office.

The February 2005 tax rebate check for the season, based on sales made during December, was up 23.58 percent over the same period at the end of 2003, according to the numbers from Strayhorn’s office. The city received a check for $91,335 for its 1 1/2-cent share of the state’s 8 1/4-cent sales tax, up from $73,906 the previous year. For the first two months of 2005, the city has gotten $155,062 back in sales tax monies, which is 22.74 percent above the first two month total for 2004.

One sixth of the city’s February check, or $15,223, will go to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. for its operations.

While the city showed a sharp rise in sales tax collections for the second straight month, overall, February’s totals in Reeves County were more mixed. Balmorhea’s tax rebate check was also up sharply for the month, but the check going to the Reeves County Hospital District was down slightly and Toyah saw a double-digit drop in its February check compared with a year ago.

Balmorhea’s 1 1/2-cent sales tax netted the city $1,350 for the month, up 39.57 percent from last year’s $967. For January and February, the city has gotten $1,954, which is up 24.96 percent from 2004. However, Toyah’s check was down 13.10 percent, falling from 4404 to $351, and for the first two months of the year, the city has received $577 in sales tax rebates, down 18.16 percent.

The hospital’s 1/2-cent sales tax netted it $33,077 for the month, down 1.97 percent from the $33,744 it received a year ago. The district’s two-month total of $58,698 is down 0.45 percent from last year.

Most of the other cities in the Permian Basin reported increased in their sales tax check from last year, though there were a few exceptions.

For the area’s two main retail shopping centers, Odessa’s 1 1/4-cent sales tax brought in $1.834 million during the holiday season, which was 7.72 percent higher than a year ago, while Midland’s 1 1/2-cent tax rate pulled in $2.67 million, which was up by 6.77 percent over last year.

Among cities with a 1-cent sales tax rate, Andrews’ check for $102.264 was 17.74 percent higher than last year; Kermit got $29,591 back from Austin, a drop of 6.87 percent; and Wink received a check for $4,926, which was 5.02 percent higher than in 2004. For cities like Pecos with a 1 1/2-cent rate, Alpine’s brought in $88,846, which was 7.23 percent above last year; Crane received $49,355, a 31.61 percent rise; and Lamesa received $103,435, a 10.27 percent increase.

For cities with a 1 3/4-cent tax rate, Van Horn’s February rebate check for $33,980 was up 13.19 percent, and Marfa’s check for $21,639 was higher by 16.52 percent. For cities charging the maximum 2-cent local sales tax rate, Big Spring got a check for $443,315, which was 0.85 percent better than last year; Fort Stockton received $139,392, which was down 4.32 percent; Presidio got a check for $33,296, which was down 2.8 percent; Grandfalls received $1,765, down 9.18 percent, and Monahans got a check for $101,525, which was up by 16.4 percent.

Gomez says fundraising events need to follow rules

Town of Pecos City of Pecos Department of Health Inspector Alfred Gomez has provided some sanitary guidelines for conducting a food related fundraising event. Gomez said certain religious, fraternal, and service organizations have traditionally conducted fund raising events in order to make money to support the organizations’ activities. These fund raising events are often food-related, taking such forms as pancake suppers, chili suppers, bake sales, etc.

Fund raising events that sell food to the public are an excellent way to foster good public relations while earning money at the same time. However, Gomez said just one outbreak of food-borne illness attributable to an event of this kind might not only destroy all the good will which was generated toward the sponsor, but it can also lead to extensive financial losses because of civil liabilities.

For this reason, it is of paramount importance that particular attention be paid to maintaining a wholesome food product in order to avoid the potentially disastrous effects of a food-borne disease outbreak.

The health department is charged by law to regulate all enterprises that provide food to the public. Consequently, the following has been compiled in order to outline some of the most important aspects of sanitary food preparation and service.

Food must be from approved sources. Meat, milk, and canned goods used as ingredients must come from inspected facilities. Whether meat is donated or purchased, the meat must have been processed in a State or Federally inspected meat processing plant, as evidenced by the seal on the package label or inked stamp on the wholesale meat cut. For potentially hazardous foods: a. cold foods must be held at 45 degrees Farhenheit, or below at all times, except during necessary periods of preparation; b. hot foods must be maintained at 140 degrees, or above at all times, except during necessary periods of preparation; c. thermometers must be conspicuously provided in all refrigeration units and hot food holding units. *”Potentially hazardous foods” means any food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, edible crustacea, or other ingredients including synthetic ingredients, in a form capable of supporting rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms. Food in the serving line must be protected at all times from falling debris, sneezing, coughing, dust, insects, etc. The most common equipment for serving line protection is called a sneeze shield. Additional protection may be necessary for individual food containers.

A food related fund raising event should either offer the use of single-service utensils and plates/trays, or offer proof of proper washing and sanitization procedures for reusable utensils and serving dishes.

Proper hand washing procedures must be used prior to any handling of food or food containers. Food handlers must not smoke, eat, or drink in food preparation or service areas.

Waste must be discarded in containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent fly breeding and odors.

Ice used for cooling foods may not be used for consumption. Cooling ice must be placed in a container with drainage to prevent the accumulation of contaminated water from melted ice.

A stem-type thermometer must be available at the feeding site and should be used to check the temperature of the potentially hazardous foods being served.

The physical location of the food service operation must provide adequate facilities to protect the food from contamination. Private residences are not suitably equipped to serve as commercial food service operations.

Arrangements must be made to provide sanitary toilet facilities for food handlers. Sponsors of food related fund raising events have a legal responsibility, as well as a moral obligation, to follow all the Rules on Food Service Sanitation.

“Your Health Department can help in interpreting the above items. Please contact us in advance of the event so that we may make a site visit to your operation for the purpose of correcting any problems with sanitation that may be present,” said Gomez.

To arrange for a site visit to your operation, call the Pecos/Department of Health and Sanitation at 445-2421.

Caruth, Hamilton exchange wedding vows

Miss Hilary Queen Caruth of San Antonio, and Mr. Brian Conway Hamilton of Dallas were married in a 7:30 p.m., ceremony Jan. 22, at the First Presbyterian Church, in San Antonio, with the Reverend Ron Scates of Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, officiating.

The Altar area of the church was adorned with two Silver urns filled with Dolce Vita Roses. Candelabras with votives and greenery were on either side of the Altar area and at the entrance of the Sanctuary. A white satin kneeling bench stood in the center and was entwined with greenery. Pews were marked with satin sashes and greenery.

Organ prelude music was presented as guests were being seated. The house party greeted, handed out programs and registered guests. Traditional wedding selections were played. The groomsmen served as ushers. The Groom escorted his mother to her seat. The brother of the bride, and also a groomsman, escorted the bride’s grandmother and mother of the bride to their respective seats.

Procession of the Groom and Groomsmen was to Rondeau by Mouret (trumpet) and bridal attendants was to Canon in D by Pachelbel.

Serving as best man was Jory Nathaniel Guynes, long time friend of the groom. Groomsmen included James William Caruth brother of the bride, William Martin Monroe, Joshua Aaron Schroeder, Wesley James Solomon, Jetawn Dean Spivey, brother-in-law of the groom and Adam Stephen Wilk. Little Seth Dean Spivey, nephew of the groom, served as ring bearer.

Mrs. Caruth, mother of the bride, wore a formal floor length navy gown and wore a wrist corsage of roses. Mrs. Hamilton, mother of the groom, wore a formal floor length blue gown and a wrist corsage of roses.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Montgomery Caruth of San Antonio and the late Daniel Marcus Queen Jr. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Allen of Pecos and the late Dr. and Mrs. Dan Queen, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert Caruth of San Antonio.

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Lynn Hamilton of Caddo Mills, Texas. He is the grandson of the late Theodore Estella Hamilton, and the late Edgar and Nettie Barger. Presented in marriage by her father, the bride wore an original Amsale Blue Label silk faced satin gown in light ivory. The gown featured a strapless, fitted dropped waist bodice of colored ribbon lace. A full A line skirt with a draped gathered back flowed gently into a chapel length train. The bride wore a three tiered imported silk illusion veil, a family heirloom, which was attached to a head piece of pearls and fell below her waist and then extended to the floor and beyond the chapel length train of her gown. To complete the bride’s ensemble, she wore a single strand of pearls given to her by her father several years ago. She carried a bouquet of hand-tied off white roses.

For her “something old,” was the strand of pearls. “Something new,” was her wedding gown. “Something borrowed,” and worn in her shoe, was a six pence which belonged to her Aunt. “Something blue,” was her garter, made by her mother.

Attending the bride as matron of honor was Annamarie Baetz Falvo, of Dallas, a childhood friend of the bride. Her gown was brown satin and she carried a bouquet of varying shades of pink roses. Brides maids were Kimberly Ware Alexander, Amanda Himoff Bezner, Ashley Louise Eversberg, Alexia Fulton, Ashley Kennedy Holbrook, and Allison Terry Sumner. Their gowns were also brown satin and they carried hand tied bouquets of varying shades of pink roses.

Olivia Dion Spivey and Aubrey Lynn Spivey, nieces of the groom, served as flower girls. House party members were Molly Chittim White, Monica Hamilton Spivey, sister of the groom, Kathryn Elizabeth Sammis, and Jennie Cooper Denton. Their gowns were shaded in pink and they carried a single pink roses tied with ribbons.

A rehearsal dinner hosted by the groom’s parents, Bruce and Wynema Hamilton, was held at the Rio Rio Restaurant and Cantina on the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio on Jan. 21, at which time the bride presented her attendants with antique broaches and the groom presented his attendants with silver cased poker sets.

Immediately following the wedding ceremony, the bride’s parents, Jim and Mary Caruth were hosts for a reception held at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The couple enjoyed pre-nuptial showers in Dallas and San Antonio.

The bride graduated from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio and Texas Tech University in Lubbock where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She is a 1998 graduate of Texas Tech and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resources. Currently, she is a regional campus recruiter for the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche LLP in Dallas.

The groom graduated from Ralph H. Poteet High School in Mesquite. He received his bachelors degree from A&M University, and a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. He is employed by the firm of Locke, Liddell, and Sapp LLP in Dallas. Following a wedding trip to the Bahamas, the couple will reside in Dallas.

Police Report

EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release. ***

Pecos police arrested a female juvenile on Feb. 8 at 2:13 p.m. on a charge of terroristic threat to a family household. The arrest was made on a warrant issued by Juvenile Court Judge Walter Holcombe and the arrest was made while the juvenile was at the Lamar AEP building, in the 100 block of West ‘F’ Street. The girl was transported to the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center, where she was turned over to staff. ***

Mingo Jimenez, 26, 2227 Madera Rd., was arrested by police on Feb. 7 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made following a traffic stop at Fifth and Cedar streets. ***

Alfredo Hernandez Carrillo, 31, of 1626 Cowan St., was arrested at his home on Feb. 5 and charged with assault under the Family Violence Act, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to the house following the report of a disturbance. ***

Raul Dominguez Gabaldon, 32, 915 S. Elm St., was arrested by police on Feb. 4 and charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Police said the arrest was made in the 900 block of South Elm Street after Gabaldon was stopped for speeding. ***

Jennifer Levario, 20, 619 S. Orange St., was arrested by police on a warrant for failure to appear, on a charge of allowing an unrestrained passenger in a motor vehicle. The arrest was made on Feb. 4 in the 200 block of South Oak Street after Levario was stopped for driving without headlights. ***

Arturo G. Hernandez, 2203 S. Park St., was arrested by police on Feb. 5 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrest was made after they were called to the Suavacito Club, 900 S. Cedar St., on a report of a disturbance. ***

Sonia Sanchez Olivas, 25, 112 N. Pecan St., was arrested by police on Feb. 2 at her home on a warrant charging her with theft by check. Police said they were called to the home in response to a report of a disturbance, and a records check revealed the outstanding warrant out of Bailey County (Muleshoe). ***

April Valenzuela, 28, 2010 S. Wyoming St., was arrested by police on a warrant service on Feb. 3 on a charge of theft, a state jail felony. Police said the arrest was made at 6:31 p.m. at her home and transported to the Criminal Justice Center. ***

Joe Arthur Salas, 27, 904 S. Oleander St., and Jadson Ephraim, 30, were arrested by police on Feb. 7 and charged with public intoxication. Police said the arrests occurred following a traffic stop at Fifth and Cedar streets.

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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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