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Friday, March 10, 2000

School board approves campus changes

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD sixth grade students will have more space for learning and extracurricular activities next year, following a decision by the school board at Thursday evening's regular board meeting.

Board members approved reorganization of three campuses, which would involve moving of sixth grade students to the Zavala Middle School Campus. All seventh grade students currently attending Zavala, located at 600 E. Ninth St., will be going to Crockett Middle School, 1801 Missouri St., starting in August, a move previously approved by the school board.

Crockett is currently undergoing renovations and expansion to handle the extra students. Board members had approved the renovations at earlier meetings and construction work has already begun and will be completed by the beginning of the next school year.

"With the seventh graders going to school with the eighth graders the Zavala campus would be empty," said P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love. "They have an automated library, a big gym, music room and now we would like to move the sixth graders over there, so they can take advantage of all those things," said Love.

Students currently assigned to or attending program located at the Carver Center on East 12th Street would then be moved to the Lamar Middle School on West `F' Street. Carver, the smallest of the school district's campus buildings, would be left empty, according to Love.

"Are we all full at the Carver Campus?" asked Love.

Carver Director Jimmy Dutchover stated that with the many students wanting to attend Carver for academics it was posing a problem keeping them separated from the students attending for discipline problems.

"The academic part is growing, the discipline part is not, thanks to the great work of the high school administrators," said Dutchover. "We've got the discipline part pretty much under control," he said.

"We just have no more room, we have too many kids there," he said.

Carver students and administration personnel could use the newest section of Lamar, located on the west side of the campus, while the older section could be kept as a storage area, according to Dutchover.

Love told board members that Dutchover had received a grant to install more computers, which would require more room, also.

"We can't mix the discipline kids with the academics, so we look forward to having more room," said Dutchover. "We can also have another lab out there, which would be great," he said.

A total of six rooms are in the newer section of Lamar, with office space available, restrooms and a cafeteria, according to Dutchover.

"I predict an eighth grade initiative grant, like the one we got for ninth grade, which would offer computer assisted instruction," said Love. "We don't have a problem with dropout rate because of this grant, it's at 1.4 percent."

In conjunction with the move of seventh graders out of Zavala, board members received an update on the construction at the Crockett Campus.

According to a project report, submitted by Monte Hunter, construction workers have cleared the building site and have demolished the sidewalk.

Hunter also provided a bar graph schedule detailing when the parts of the construction will be completed."They've assured us everything will be ready by the beginning of the next school year," said Love.

County could be big loser from census undercount

From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - Two new reports released Thursday gave local officials a big reason to urge area residents to fill out and return their 2000 census forms, because failure to do so could make Reeves County a big loser in the battle for future federal funds.

A study release by a Census Bureau oversight panel Thursday indicated California and Texas would be deprived of more than half of the $11 billion in federal aid that states could lose if the population undercount in this year's census is similar to the undercount in 1990.

At the same time, Census Bureau numbers released Thursday show Reeves County has lost more population between 1990 and 1999 than any other county in West Texas.

According to figures in today's San Angelo Standard-Times, Reeves County's population declined by 1,832 people from 1990 to 1999, falling from 15,852 to 14,020, a loss of 11.6 percent. It was the biggest number decline and the fourth largest drop in percentage in the region, behind only Upton (Rankin/McCamey), Reagan (Big Lake) and Terrell (Sanderson) counties.

That compares with gains of between one and 34 percent for other neighboring counties in the Permian Basin, Trans-Pecos and Big Bend areas, according to the Census Bureau figures.

Funding and grants for many government programs are based on population totals, so an undercount in Reeves County could mean significant losses in state and federal aid after the new census figures are certified sometime next year.

Census forms were mailed out to county residents beginning last week, and a "Complete Count Committee" for Reeves County was organized in January to help with the Census 2000.

Louis Matta is chairman of the Reeves County committee. Sub-committees include government, with Ricky Herrera acting as chairman there. Jimmy Dutchover is chairman for education; George Vasquez for religion; Michael Benavidez for organizations; Johnny Terrazas for business and David Flores for housing.

"It's very important that everyone fill out the questionnaires and that everyone be counted," said Benavidez during the group's initial meeting in January. "They need to give a complete count of each person that's in their house."

"Through this census we can get funding for our county, so we want to make sure everyone in Reeves County is accounted for," added Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo. "This is very important."

The Census Bureau all but concedes it will not be able to count every person in America, leading to a battle between Democrats and Republicans over the use of statistical methods known as sampling to estimate the final count.

Urban counties also would take a financial hit if a more accurate head count does not occur, or if a statistical method known as sampling is not used to account for missing people, said the report released Thursday by the presidential appointees of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board.

According to the study, California would lose $5 billion and Texas $1.9 billion, while the five counties that make up New York City would together lose more than $2.5 billion. It also notes that other states could gain money, predicting a $2 billion windfall for Pennsylvania, and more than $1 billion for Michigan.

"It's less a question of not having as much or having more than it is the money that's intended for other groups," board co-chair Gilbert F. Casellas said. "While on a statewide basis you may consider yourself getting a larger number of dollars because of your count, based on the analysis, certain cities within those states actually lose out because of the effects."

Dr. David Murray, a congressional appointee to the board, said he enthusiastically supported the report if its purpose was to spark more people to respond. More people may send forms back if they know what census results are used for, he said.

"But if the major point is to use this as a weapon in a political fight, then I'd be very disappointed," Murray said. There is a "temptation to say that statistical methods will solve these problems."

The Census Bureau estimates it undercounted 1.4 percent of the population, and favors using sampling to account for those people - mostly children, minorities and residents in urban areas who tend to vote Democratic.

Republicans favor using a strict head count, claiming it provides the most accurate statistics possible.

The study looked at eight federal programs, which comprise 82 percent of the $185 billion, allocated to states in 1998. The study is based on a projected undercount of 1.75 percent in 2000, but said those forecasts are conservative because the Census Bureau has predicted an undercount of 1.9 percent.

A 1999 Supreme Court decision mandated that only non-sampled data be used for reapportioning congressional seats, but left open the possibility of using sampled data to redraw political boundaries and redistribute federal funding.

The Census Bureau is scheduled to release both sampled and non-sampled data. Bureau officials declined to comment on the study.

The study, performed for the board by PricewaterhouseCoopers, forecasted funds for the 10 fiscal years following 2002, when new formulas based on 2000 census figures could kick in.

The eight-member monitoring board was established by Congress to oversee Census 2000 operations. Four members were appointed by President Clinton and four by the Republican-majority Congress.


On the Net: Web site of the presidential appointees of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board:

PHS, Bessie Haynes building repairs OKed

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members went through a lengthy agenda in a timely and efficient manner Thursday, approving several items, including advertising for bids for HVAC project for Bessie Haynes Elementary School and advertising for bids to re-roof sections of Austin Elementary School and Pecos High School.

"We do have the money to do this project," said superintendent Don Love, referring to the HVAC project at Bessie Haynes Elementary School that would include a new air conditioning system for the facility.

"We're ready to have a new air conditioner, we need it bad," said Bessie Haynes Elementary School Principal Marylou Carrasco.

"We had budgeted for a music teacher and since we didn't get one, we have that money still," said Love.

"The great thing about this new system, is that it doesn't have to be turned on in all the classrooms at one time," said P-B-T maintenance director Joe Coody. "One section of the building can have it one at one time, or one room."

"With this we don't have to run the whole unit, if we don't need it," he said.

Board members also approved a project to re-roof portions of Austin Elementary and Pecos High School. "We've got a roofing plan and we definitely need to start at Austin Elementary School," said Love.

The roofing plan includes work on west section of the third east-west wing at Austin Elementary; while work at the high school would include the sections over hallway and rooms 27 and 28; rooms 12-16-22 and 15 and rest rooms, the freshman hall; PHS Cafeteria and PHS Field House.

"That field house has been leaking ever since I was a coach out there," said Love. "I really want to get these roofs fixed."

"We'll take bids on all of them and we feel we can't afford them all we'll just be out the architect fee," said Love. "But I feel we can afford all three."

The board also recognized swim team members, DECA Club members and Business Professionals of America during the meeting.

The groups did excellent this year and attended state competition.

"We're just proud of all these students and the hard work they've put into their respective activities," said Love.

Board members approved a bid for a full-size utility vehicle submitted by Valley Motors. Valley had the low bid on the van, for $25,500.

"We had budgeted $25,000, but since this is the low bid, we'll have to come up with the other $500," said Love.

The board also approved a request from the Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce to use the Pecos High School Auditorium for the month of June and a waiver of the auditorium usage fees. The auditorium will be used for the Golden Girl and Little Miss Cantaloupe rehearsals and pageant.

An offer to purchase a foreclosed property was approved for the amount of $3,050, submitted by Sonny Orona. The property is located at 2019 S. Park.

"We had two offers on this property, and it will still have to go before the other entities," said school tax assessor collector Lydia Prieto.

Tax refunds for overpayment or erroneous payments were approved. "When the amount is over $500, we have to get it approved," said Prieto.

Textbook committee recommendations were approved.

"Pecos Elementary School picked a different publisher, we just need to get it streamlined with the other schools and get the same publisher," said Love.

Commissioners to discuss phone system, bus contract

PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - A new telephone system for Reeves County, a contract for bus service with All Aboard of America and payments for construction at the Reeves County Detention Center will be discussed at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for Monday.

Commissioners will meet at 9:45 a.m., on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse, and the public is invited to attend.

Commissioners will discuss and take action on Banes General Contractor request for payment No. 11, request for payment Scott-Thane Ditching Service and DRG Architect's request for payment invoice No. 165.

A request to advance funds to Juvenile Justice Grant Funds from the general fund will be discussed along with MGT of America, Inc. and Reeves County Agreement.

A resolution authorizing additional penalty on delinquent taxes under section 2: 33.08 tax code; Reeves County lease of real property on county road 204; men's and women's golf association tournament fee policy and Saragosa Catholic Church fund raiser at county park.

In other business commissioners will discuss and approve:

· Bond and oath for Mandy Hinojos, Connie Lozano and Catalina Lozoya.

· Reports from various departments.

· Budget amendments and line item transfers.

· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, road and bridge, recreation department, JDC, election workers-county clerk).

· Minutes from previous meetings.

· Semi-monthly bills.

· Spread on minutes: Notice of over-axle over gross weight permit, appointing order of a district clerk- Pat Tarin; contracts and agreement for detention of juvenile offenders space available and agreement for secure post _ adjudication residential service of juvenile offenders space available FY 2000.

Second incumbent enters RCH race in May 6 elections

PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - Precinct 3 incumbent Jesse Prieto has filed to seek a new two-year term on the Reeves County Hospital District board. He becomes the second of three incumbents to file for the May 6 RCH elections.

Greg Luna filed last week to retain his at-large seat on the board. Neither has a challenger. The third seat up for election, in Precinct 1, is held by Chel Flores.

Through two weeks of filing, only one race, for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board, is assured of being a contested election. Two three-year terms will be decided, and incumbent Steve Armstrong has been joined by challengers Paul Deishler and Steve Valenzuela in filing with P-B-T secretary Jo Allgood.

The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD administration office will be open during Spring Break for those who would like to sign up for a place on the ballot for the school board elections scheduled for May 6.

Office hours while the students are on break will be from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1-4 p.m.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 14-26-27-34-38. Number matching five of five: 0. Matching four of five: 191. Prize: $1,042.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 7-1-0 (seven, one, zero)


PECOS, Mar. 10, 2000 - High Thursday 82. Low this morning 44. Forecast for tonight: Fair. Low 30-35. North wind 10-20 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 60s. Northeast to east wind 5-15 mph. Saturday night: Mostly clear. Low in the mid 30s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s to the lower 40s. Highs in the 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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