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Tuesday, February 29, 2000

Feds OK increase in rate for inmates at RCDC

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners approved an inter-governmental agreement between Reeves County and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that will increase the rate paid to the county for housing BOP inmates.

Commissioners approved several other items during their regular meeting held Monday morning, including DRG Architect's invoice #162 for reimbursement of expenses; DRG Architect's invoice #161 for support services finish out; Banes CM Proposal for support services finish out and their proposal for the racquetball court.

The first inter-governmental agreement between Reeves County and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons was established in 1987, according to Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"We will essentially follow the same format with very few exceptions," said Galindo.

The number of inmates the county will be housing at the Reeves County Detention Center is expected to double from 1,000 to 2,000 by the end of this year, and the most important item and biggest change to the agreement was the new mandate rate, which was set at $41.48.

"This is up from $36.50," said Galindo, and represents an increase of 13.6 percent from current levels.

"It think is very significant, it will help us move into the year 2001," said Galindo. "We have a number of costs coming up with various projects and this new mandate rate will help us to achieve some of those thresholds," he said.

The agreement with the BOP has to be re-negotiated every three years, according to Galindo.

Partial release of Banes retention day room addition project was also approved in conjunction with on-going construction at the Reeves County Detention Center.

Another new item on the agreement is the certification of cost allocation plan. "This is a tremendous benefit to the county to be able to justify those costs," said Galindo.

"Franco (Rudy Franco, the warden at RCDC), has done an excellent job and has created an excellent staff," said Galindo.

"When I first came here three years ago, price seemed to be the biggest factor," said Franco. "But that's not the case anymore."

Franco said the local prison doesn't have to compete for inmates with anybody, because they are provided solely by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

"Now the biggest factor is service," he said.

"We won't compete for inmates as opposed to those private prisons, because we are covered through this intergovernmental agreement," said Franco.

"The BOP is very pleased that we have these retired (federal correctional workers) and very professional individuals working at the facility," said Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3 Herman Tarin. "They're well known and know what they're doing."

"I know you take a lot of heat, because we're not local and I do too, but my function is to provide a service," said Franco. "A quality of service and the staff I brought with me is dedicated to that."

Racquetball court construction and a proposal from Banes General Contractors, construction manager, was approved after an initial plan for the addition to the old Pecos High School gym had come in over budget late last year.

Galindo told the group that both he and the contractor, Mark Schumacher, had worked on trimming the amount for construction of the racquetball court and had finally arrived at a figure.

"It has been part of the overall proposal for the recreation area," said Galindo.

The maximum price to build the courts was estimated at $188,000, according to Galindo.

One way to finance the courts was to use the monies set aside for the construction at the RCDC. "Some of these monies will be used, but we're under budgeted at the time and some can go towards the racquetball courts," said Galindo.

Another way would be to borrow the money and pay it out under certain terms. "This would be like we purchased the sheriff's department vehicles," said Galindo. "The payment wouldn't start until next year."

Funds could also come from 1999 service bonds for completion of the construction, according to Galindo.

During reports from various departments, Galindo gave the court an update on the community center for Balmorhea.

The $150,000 appropriated by Reeves County will serve as the down payment for the project, according to Galindo.

Galindo told the court that he had spoken with the Rural Development Administration who expressed interest in financing the rest of the funds for the facility at a four percent interest rate.

"The $150,000 plus the $24,000 annual payment," said Galindo of the total price tag.

It will have to be budgeted annually. "By law we can only do the budget once a year," he said.

Commissioners approved leasing property to Transit Mix Concrete Company. "They're providing the materials for construction work at the facility and also for the improvements on the curbs," said Galindo.

In conjunction they agreed to advertise to lease the property at RCDC for location of the concrete mix plant. "The county can lease property, if they go through proper procedure, if they bid the minimum price they've covered their legal process and we've covered ours," said Galindo.

Personnel and salary changes included new hires at the RCDC, for correctional officers at a starting salary of $19,000 per year. New hires were: Billy Kingston, Steve Reyes, Linda Terry, Trina Almos, George Martinez, John Wotjkun, Jason Trammel, Charles Hannah and Michelle Hernandez. Vanessa Simmons was promoted to training assistant at $23,000 per year.

Hendrick set to end 33-year P-B-T career

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - He's been known to his first and second graders for several years now as Cowboy Santa Claus and Dr. Seuss, among other things, but soon he'll be just a cowboy.

Beau Jack Hendrick will be retiring from the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school system after 33 years and plans to spend more time at his little ranch and doing things to help improve Pecos.

Hendrick's mother, Hazel Eisenwine, was born and raised in Pecos, which gave him the opportunity to spend the summers here. "I would ride the train back and forth, so Pecos has always been my second home," said Hendrick.

He received his education at Sul Ross State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree, Education and a Masters in Administration.

His teaching career began in 1967 at Pecos High School where he taught Social Studies and coached seventh grade level the first few years. Since then he has taught in different grade levels and coached at different schools. He will be retiring as principal of Austin Elementary School, first and second grades, a position he has handled for the past seven years.

"I've really enjoyed all the grades," said Hendrick. "But middle school is really fun because you can follow them through high school."

The disadvantage of teaching lower grades is that they mature, so that you don't recognize the student, according to Hendrick. "In middle school you can watch them mature and get their education and still recognize them," he said.

Hendrick's love for teaching stemmed from his losing his own father at a very young age, when he was only eight years old. "I always knew I wanted to work with kids," said Hendrick. "I just wanted to help kids that didn't have a male figure in their lives."

As the principal at Austin Elementary School, Hendrick has helped implement many programs aimed towards making the student's life easier and helping them learn in a more efficient manner. He helped implement the Accelerated Reader Program, Classroom Phonics, Excel Math, Mock TAAS Testing and the Achievement Test.

"By the time I finish here, every classroom will have two computers," said Hendrick. He also helped put in the second grade, CI, Computer Assisted Lab.

During the school year, he dons many hats. He plays Cowboy Santa Claus during the Christmas Season and reads to all the classrooms.

Hendrick is Cat In the Hat during Dr. Seuss celebration and during Public School Week, he dresses up in western wear and reads the story about Pecos Bill to all the children.

Along with the Pecos Bill story, the students experience a branding operation. "They learn to read, draw and brand during western heritage week," said Hendrick.

It's not only a fun time, but the children also learn a lot about what letters are used for branding and which ones are better than others.

Hendrick plans to spend more time at his little ranch, located on the outskirts of Pecos and continue the heritage of the Eisenwine Ranch Family. He also plans to play a lot of golf and start a positive campaign on Pecos.

"You hear a lot of negative things about Pecos, but there's a lot of good things, too," said Hendrick.

He will be seeking the assistance of all the groups, organizations and entities in Pecos, to help promote Pride in Pecos. "I haven't gathered all my thoughts together about how I will go about this, but I want to become involved and promote Pecos, think positive," he said.

"This is just my own idea, I'm tired of hearing negative things about Pecos," said Hendrick.

One of Hendrick's ideas is for everyone to wear buttons, proclaiming Pride in Pecos. "We can have all the kids come up with a catchy saying," he said.

His family includes his wife, Tina, a Physical Education Teacher at Crockett Middle School and the Pecos High School girls' golf coach, one son, Beau Tate Hendrick, who works for Southwestern Bell in Dallas and his wife, Laura, who is employed with an investment firm.

His coaching accomplishments are also many. "I like to be known as an educator, but I also did really well during my coaching career," said Hendrick.

As an eighth grade coach, at Crockett Middle School, his A&B football teams never lost a game in five years. In 1974-75 and 1975-76, his boy's golf team went to the Class 3A State Competition at the high school level. "I also took one girls golf team to regionals," he said.

After spending two years at Pecos High School, Hendrick spent from 1969-1971 as a physical education teacher at Crockett Junior High and was a seventh grade coach; and for 10 years after that, he served as physical education teacher and eighth grade coach at Crockett, along with serving as Pecos High School golf coach. From 1981-1988, he was assistant principal at Austin Elementary School; from 1989-1991, he was principal at Pecos Junior High School; from 1991-1993, he was principal at Crockett Junior High School and from 1993 until now, he has been principal at Austin Elementary School.

"I'll miss all the kids and the things we did here at Austin," said Hendrick. "But I'll be keeping busy," he said.

Jobless rate revised down, then raised up

PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - Post-holiday unemployment in Reeves County was up in January, though the revised numbers for December showed the jobless rate then was not as bad as first reported by the Texas Workforce Commission.

January's jobless figures for the region were released Monday by the TWC, and most area cities and counties saw their labor forces drop and unemployment rates rise after the Christmas holiday season. Reeves County followed that pattern, losing 93 jobs, while seeing its labor force decline by 55 workers. The net result was to cause a rise in the overall unemployment rate, from 11.4 to 12.1 percent.

The December number was revised down from the original total released by the TWC. It showed a 12.4 percent jobless rate, with 751 people unemployed out of 6,111 workers in the county. The new numbers showed 759 people jobless in December out of 6,647 in the labor force.

In Pecos, the unemployment rate for January was higher, at 13.8 percent. There were 714 workers without jobs in January out of 5,185 people in the workforce.

Both the city and county saw unemployment spike up in December, in part to the final layoffs at the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine northwest of Pecos. The numbers are still down, however, from a year ago, when the oil price slump was at its lowest level, and related businesses were lay-off most of their field workers.

Pecos County also saw its labor force grow last month by 162, but the jobless total fell there from 446 to 417, resulting in a drop in unemployment from 6.9 to 6.3 percent, while the nation's least-populated county, Loving, added 11 people to its labor force, while unemployment there dropped from 9 to 7, lowing its jobless rate from 8.6 to 6.5 percent.

Other area counties showed more normal January jobless totals, with unemployment up and the labor force down, as businesses lay-off part time workers following the Christmas shopping season.

Ward County's labor force dropped by over 750 workers, while the number of people without jobs grew from 388 to 424. That boosted its unemployment rate from 8.0 to 10.3 percent. Andrews County had 600 fewer workers but 18 more people unemployed, which raised the jobless rate from 6.6 to 7.8 percent.

Midland's jobless rate grew by 100 people and Odessa's by more than 200, which raised jobless rates in both cities by one-half percent.

Statewide, unemployment was also up a half percent, from 4.2 to 4.7 percent. Bryan-College Station continued to have the state's lowest jobless rate among major markets, at 1.8 percent, while Lubbock was at 2.6, Dallas was a 3.2 and El Paso was at 8.9 percent.

Presidio County continued to have the state's highest unemployment rate, at 29 percent, up 1.8 percent from December. The TWC said 1,154 of the county's 3,985 workers were without jobs in January.

Barstow incumbents file for new terms on council

Staff Writer
BARSTOW, Feb. 29, 2000 - Two of the three incumbents whose terms are up for office in the Barstow city election, Robert Ortega and Benny Avila, have filed this week for new two-year terms.

Both aldermen filed for re-election, in the May 6 elections on Monday with city secretary Jo Allgood. The other seat up for election in Barstow is for mayor, and is currently held by Salvador Villalobos.

Ortega and Avila were the first to file this week for May's area elections, after several candidates entered races during the first week in which to file.

Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford and city councilman Danny Rodriguez filed last week to retain their seats on the Town of Pecos City Council. They are seeking two of the three seats up for election. Councilman Ricky Herrera holds the third two-year term that will be voted on May 6.

Along with the council and mayor's races, elections will be held that day for area school and hospital boards.

Like the city races, the three hospital district seats also are two-year terms, while those up for election on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea school board are three-year terms.

Candidates who have filed for a spot on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board include Steve Valenzuela, who joined Paul Deishler and incumbent Steve Armstrong in seeking one of the seats on the P-B-T ISD board, in the May 6 election. Deishler and Armstrong entered the race on Feb. 21, the first day to file for area elections.

Two positions are currently open on the board, for a three-year period. The other school board member whose term is up for election, Freddy Lujan, has not filed yet for as new term.

In the hospital board race, Greg Luna filed last week to retain his at-large seat on the board. The other seats up for election are the Precinct 1 post held by Chel Flores, and the seat in Precinct 3, currently held by Jesse Prieto.

Little League sets meeting for tonight

PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - The Pecos Little League will be holding a meeting at 7 p.m, tonight in Saragosa Hall on East Sixth Street for all coaches or persons interested in coaching either Little League, Junior League or Senior League teams this year.

Registration and tryouts for the 2000 seasons for boys and girls ages 8-16 will begin later this month.

Lights out tonight due to ramp work on Interstate 20

PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - The Texas Department of Transportation is cautioning all drivers along the north I-20 service road (Pinehurst Street) to use extra caution tonight between U.S. 285 and Country Club Drive.

Lights normally on near the exit ramps will be turned off while power lines are moved, according to TxDOT spokesman Glen Larum. The move is part of a relocation of the westbound entrance ramp from U.S. 285 to allow trucks leaving the Flying J Travel Plaza an easier re-entry to the highway.

As part of the project, the Country Club Drive exit ramp is also being moved to the west, from near the Anchor West plant to Staley Drive. Construction is expected to continue through the early part of spring.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 1-20-27-34-39. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $78,285. Winning ticket sold in: Marshall. Matching four of five: 190. Prize: $618.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 3-0-5 (three, zero, five)


PECOS, Feb. 29, 2000 - High Monday 85. Low this morning 47. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low around 40. Northeast wind 5-10 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 70s. Southeast wind 10-20 mph and gusty. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 70s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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