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Thursday, February 17, 2000

Balmorhea land donation awaits school approval

News Writers
BALMORHEA, Feb. 17, 2000 - Balmorhea Independent School District officials and board members say the announcement of a land donation by the district to Reeves County to be used for the site of the new Balmorhea Community Center has not gone through the appropriate channels yet.

"We haven't discussed this as a board, so it's not something definite yet," said BISD Superintendent Dr. Carl Hoffmeyer about the announcement of the donation by Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin during Monday's commissioner's court meeting.

"We want to let the school know we're working with them, a demonstration of our willingness to work with the school and accept the donation," Tarin told the court.

Hoffmeyer said the item was discussed under "public comments" at the last board meeting, but under that agenda item no action is taken and the item is not discussed at length. "The board asked Mr. Tarin a few questions, but no, it didn't take any action at that time, nor was it discussed fully," said Hoffmeyer.

Paul Ward, Balmorhea ISD Board President, said the comments reported in Tuesday's Enterprise, "were misleading," also explaining that Tarin spoke during a public comments portion of the Feb. 10 school board's meeting.

"It's illegal," to post any action on the subject during this portion of the meeting because the item was not on the agenda, which is required to be publicly posted 72 hours prior to the meeting, Ward said.

Tarin told the school board at the meeting that commissioners have approved $150,000 for the year of 2000 to use towards the building of a community center in Balmorhea. The community center would have a large assembly hall that would seat 95-100 people, a small public library, bathrooms, a kitchen, covered porch, and a lobby.

Tarin told board members the Community Center would cost no more than $350,000, and Balmorhea may have to finance the remainder of the money need.

BISD agreed at the end of this public comment section to have on the next meeting an item of action that would allow the Community Center to be built on one of their lots. Ward said he had spoken with Hoffmeyer to ensure that the agenda item be included for the next regularly scheduled board meeting, which, he said, "will be after the [primary] election," March 14.

"We want to see a community center," said Ward, "and we'll certainly consider it. We'll be glad to help them out," but officially the land has not been donated to Reeves County for the purpose.

"We want to consider the feasibility and legality of it before we discuss the matter," as an official agenda item, Ward said.

For now, he said, "we want to diffuse any problems before they arise."

"(The school district) earlier donated land for the park project," Ward said, referring to a children's park that will be constructed with the aid of funds from a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant. He said more than likely the school district would donate the six city lots, located southeast of San Angelo Street.

"We'll be glad to help them [the county] out," he said. "The other properties the county was looking at (for the community center) were going to cost them and take away from the project."

Tarin also told commissioners on Monday about the community park. However, that action also needs further approval.

"To my knowledge no formal action has been taken," with regards to the adjacent six lots owned by the city," said Balmorhea City Council member Dan Reynolds.

"This has been going on for several months," Ward said about plans for a community center. "Mr. Tarin has been very helpful to us [the board]," he added.

Aside from the community center land donation, there was talk of a workshop about linguistics at last Thursday's BISD board. Carol Garcia, Carley Lethco, Theresa Fuentes, Aldofo Garcia and Luz Barrandey were representatives at the workshop Developing Academic English and Academic Competence Across the Curriculum, a workshop presented in January by Dr. M. R. Montano-Harmon.

Lethco, Carol Garcia, and Fuentes were present at Thursday's meeting to discuss their ideas on the workshop. They say that they have gained information from the workshop to teach their students on when to use Academic English, and when to use their slang language or a language other than English.

In the teachers' experiences, students tend to write in slang languages, or in a conversational form those takes away from students writing. An example that Fuentes used was related to TAAS scoring.

She said that students in her class tended to jump around when writing, instead of using direct language, and added that since she has started using more of the new techniques learned at the workshop that she has been getting many results above the quality that had formerly been there.

The three teachers recommended the school board bring the workshop to Balmorhea, for all of the staff to learn from. It is currently unknown how much the workshop will cost, but will know soon.

GED Classes, taught by Fuentes at BISD, were also discussed. Currently there have been eighteen students return at one time or another to participate in the classes this year. On average, there are twelve students in each of these classes.

Elections were also called for May 6, 2000 and Election Judges Bertha Brijalba, and Lucy Galindo were appointed.

All board members were present at the Feb. 10 meeting.

Magazine writer killed in Stockton track crash

Staff Writer
FORT STOCKTON, Feb. 17, 2000 - The Pecos County Sheriff's Department and officials at the Firestone-Bridgestone Automotive Test Track west of Fort Stockton are awaiting autopsy results before they determine what caused an accident last Friday at the facility that killed a Car and Driver magazine test driver.

Donald M. Schroeder was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident, which was reported at 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to Pecos County sheriff's deputy Cliff Harris. Schroeder was alone test driving a Mercedes Benz on the eight-mile track when the crash occurred, and there were no witnesses in any nearby vehicles.

"They were down performing tests on several vehicles out there," Harris said of the magazine's staff. The Mercedes was undergoing a high-speed test when the crash occurred.

"This particular car they were trying to get up to 200 miles per hour. The most he had gotten it up town was 199.6 miles per hour on the straightaway," Harris said.

The car was apparently attempting to go around one of the curves at the track when the vehicle went off the road, crashed and burned. "The people out there told us when he got to a curve he would slow it to about 160," Harris said.

"We're not sure what happened yet. It happened on the final day. They were getting ready to pack up and leave when it happened," the deputy added.

Fire and emergency medical service crews were alseo called to the scene before Schroeder was pronounced dead. His body was sent to Lubbock, where the autopsy will be performed.

Harris said the Pecos County Sheriff's Department is only investigating the accident due to Schroeder's death. Because the accident occurred at a private facility, Bridgestone-Firestone and Dahlmer/Chrysler officials would likely be the ones to decide on the cause of the crash.

Schroeder was one of the many writers for Car and Driver who report on test results of vehicles. He was one of several drivers to write about testing the Lincoln LS in the February edition of the magazine.

In Sync schedules  sessions on teens, families

PECOS, Feb. 17, 2000 - In Sync will present drama productions covering teenage issues and "communication breakdown" in families at 10 a.m., Saturday.

The group will also be at the Reeves County Civic Center at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The public is invited to attend.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 3-16-17-22-27-31. Estimated jackpot: $4 million. Number matching six of six: 1. Winning ticket sold in: Fort Worth. Matching five of six: 95. Prize: $1,078. Matching four of six: 3,898. Prize: $95.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Wednesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 1-4-7 (one, four, seven)


Ruby Woodley

Funeral services for Ruby Woodley were held Feb. 3, 2000 in the Chapel of Herdegen Funeral Home in Chicago.

She was born Aug. 30, 1914, in Pecos to Ben and Sally Moore. She married J.B. Woodley in May 1936, attended Pecos Church of Christ and was active in her church work including teaching bible classes. She had lived in Pecos for 70 years and in 1984 went to live with her son, Earl Woodley, due to declining health.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J.B. Woodley, one sister, Artie Pickett; two brothers, Roy and Bennie Moore.

Survivors include two sons, Don Pagan of Ft. Smith, Ark., R. Earl Woodley, Ph.D. Chicago, Ill.; one daughter, Myrle Latone Brenham; six grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.


High Wednesday 79. Low this morning 42. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the upper 30s. West wind 15-25 mph and gusty early: Diminishing to 10-20 mph before midnight. Friday: Mostly sunny and cooler. High in the mid 60s. North to northwest wind 10-20 mph. Friday night: Fair. Low in the lower 30s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower to mid 30s. Highs in the mid 60s.

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