Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, July 31, 2000
Ceremony marks official opening of Pecos campus
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The formal dedication of Odessa College's Pecos
Technical Training Center was held Saturday morning, as college board members,
OC and local officials, along with other Pecos residents toured the facility
following a 30-minute ceremony.
"I want to extend congratulations to everyone who played a part in making
this a reality," said OC President Dr. Vance Gipson, as part of his remarks
during the ceremony. Gipson also presented plaques to several people, including
Pecos Economic Development Corporation President Gari Ward and chairman
Oscar Saenz, who helped secure the funds needed for the college, and Dr.
Norman Harris, who donated the old White's Auto Center building in the
Airlawn Shopping Center which OC converted into its new Pecos facility.
"This is what we've been working for for years," said Saenz, who recognized
the efforts of Lawrence Jacob, the regional operations manager for the
Economic Development Administration. "We went up there and he believed
in us," Saenz said.
Jacob said he and Pedro Garza of the EDA's Austin office helped Saenz,
Ward and the OC officials obtain an $830,000 loan which went towards construction
of the new training center. He presented a symbolic blow-up of the check
to Gipson as part of the ceremony.
Harris addressed the first part of his speech to the audience in rhyme,
and closed by saying, "My wife Charla and I want to salute you for a marvelous
makeover and contribution to the city. Pecos, avail yourselves of it."
Those at the ceremony also heard from James Gilliland, chairman of the
OC Board of Trustees, who made the trip down to Pecos along with several
other board members and college faculty members.
Work on the Pecos Technical Training facility began in January and was
completed in time for summer classes to begin in late May, but the first
full session of courses won't begin until late next month. The center has
both computer training and interactive video classrooms, along with a vocational
training for automotive and air-conditioning repair in the area where the
service bays for the old White's building had been located.
Michelle Workman, director of the Pecos Technical Training Center, said
"We're working with close to 300 people who have done the admissions process,
and close to 90 percent of those people have applied for financial aid,
and a great majority of them qualified for that money."
She said the student totals include both high school graduates and those
still in high school but who are taking college courses. "All high school
juniors and seniors now have a chance to obtain college credits pretty
Gipson said OC was already service Pecos High School students through
its interactive TV system, which also was connected to high schools in
Wink and McCamey. That program will continue, but Gipson said the college's
current Pyote facility would close with the opening of the Pecos campus.
"We serve an area of over 32,000 square miles, which is the largest
service area in the state and one of the largest in the nation. We're extremely
pleased to offer this to the people of Pecos and the surrounding area,"
"What we plan to do (at the Pecos center) is to use local instructors,
with full-time professors conducting classes by interactive TV," Gipson
said. "We'll have some come down from Odessa and we will also have some
full-time personnel in the area.
"We will mainly use part-time personnel for now, but as the program
grows we will be adding full-time employees," he said.
Workman said fall semester registration would be held on Aug. 15 from
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., with late registration on
Aug. 22 and Aug. 25.
"We will have counselors on-site for anyone needing last-minute advisement,"
"At 9 a.m. (Aug. 15) we will also have the `OC experience,' which is
orientation for all new students. For any new students we would like to
invite them to the `OC experience' so they can get some special treatment.
TxDOT awaits state approval for projects
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The Texas Department of Transportation will not
know for a couple of months if they will be able to begin construction
on a new office building on the southwest side of Pecos.
TxDOT has already purchased the land for the new building next to Colt
Chevrolet on Interstate 20. The facility is designed to replace the current
one on Business I-20 at Highway 17, but TxDOT Transportation Maintenance
Director Larry Levario said the state legislature must vote on whether
or not there is enough funding for this project.
"The legislature is already meeting," Levario said. "They are working
on the budgets right now."
"We don't know if we'll get it for this fiscal year," he said.
Levario said they might receive funding for the new building in the
next fiscal year, which is September 2000-Aug. 31, 2001.
The Pecos City Council approved considering a rent agreement with TxDOT
for land at the city airport, which is to be used for the new Pecos office
during their meeting last Tuesday.
TxDOT is also trying to get funding approved for reconstruction of Third
Street (Business I-20), a project that has been in the planning stages
for over two years.
TxDOT was originally going to repave the surface but according to Levario
the bids came to them too high. Work was done earlier this year building
new sidewalks and curbs along the street, and now, Levario said, "We decided
to go ahead and reconstruct the whole road."
However, the start of that project won't be occurring anytime soon.
"It will probably be in three years before we can reconstruct it," Levario
When construction does begin, Levario said one lane would be closed
at a time.
"There will be times when we have to close the whole street down," he
Levario said there has not been any opposition to closing each side
of Third Street. TxDOT had a public meeting to discuss the construction
but nobody showed up.
"We probably will have another public meeting for the people and the
businesses so they could ask questions," Levario said. "We know they will
have some concerns."
Levario also said there would be surface construction on I-20 from the
Pecos River on I-20 to Beer Hill (Business I-20 exit) in Ward County starting
in September. Asphalt was stripped off the westbound driving (right) lane
in that area 2½ years ago due to rutting, and has been awaiting
repaving since that time.
Actual construction will begin in November and take approximately six
months to finish.
"It should be pretty quick because we're only talking about five miles
in both directions," Levario said.
The construction will only be on the driving lanes, leaving the passing
lanes open for traffic.
School sign-ups begin; shots needed
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - Kindergarten through second grade students can
register early at Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools and apply for lunch meals
over the next two weeks.
The first early registration will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Tuesday at Pecos Kindergarten.
Parents or guardians must bring the child's shot records, birth certificate
and social security card at the time of registration. Bilingual students
must be in attendance during registration so that they can be tested.
Students eligible for kindergarten must be five years old by Sept. 1
and student eligible for Pre-Kindergarten must be four years old by Sept.
Early registration at the kindergarten will also be held from 8:30 a.m.
until 4 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday.
For more information call 447-7259.
Pre-registration for all Austin Elementary School first and second graders
will be held at 6 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 10, in the school cafeteria.
First-time students to the district need to bring their birth certificate,
social security card and immunization record.
School personnel are also taking applications for free and reduced lunches,
at the office located behind the baseball bleachers. Individuals can pick
up an application from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
School meals for this year will be student full pay breakfast for 75
cents for kindergarten through sixth grade and 80 cents for seventh through
12th grade students.
Student full pay lunches will be $1.10 for students in kindergarten
through third grade; $1.25 for students in fourth through sixth grade and
$1.40 for students in seventh through 12th grades.
Student reduced breakfast are 30 cents for kindergarten through 12th
grades and student reduced lunch in 40 cents for students in kindergarten
through 12th grades.
Visitors' breakfast is $1.50 and visitors' lunches are $3.00. Teacher
breakfast is $1.25 and teacher lunch is $2.25.
For more information on school lunches call 447-7266.
Immunization records for all students need to be updated before school
starts and Reeves County is one of the counties affected by new requirements
on immunizations in Texas.
On April 19, 1999, the Texas Board of Health adopted several revision
to the "Immunization Requirements for Children and Students in Texas Public
and Private Schools, Child-Care Facilities and Institutions of Higher Education"
(Title 25. Health Services, Chapter 97. Texas Administrative Code (TAC).
The changes include Hepatitis A Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 1999, children
and students attending school or child-care facilities in 32 Texas-New
Mexico border counties will be required to be vaccinated against hepatitis
A as follows, children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992 will be required
to have received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.
Hepatitis A Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and students attending
school or child-care facilities in 32 Texas-New Mexico border counties
will be required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A as follows: children
born on or after Sept. 2, 1992, who are two years old, but not yet three
years old will be required to have received one dose of hepatitis A vaccine.
Children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992, who are three years old or older
will be required to have received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.
Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and
students attending school or child-care facilities will be required to
be vaccinated against varicella as follows, children born on or after Sept.
2, 1994 will be required to have received one dose of varicella vaccine
or to present documentation of previous varicella illness. Children born
between Sept. 2, 1988 and Sept. 1, 1994 (inclusive) must show proof by
30 days after their 12th birthday of either having received
one dose of varicella vaccine or of having previously had varicella illness.
"This vaccine is only for those children that have not had the chickenpox,"
said PBT-ISD nurse Mary Sanders.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and students attending
school or child-care facilities will be required to be vaccinated against
hepatitis B as follows, children born between Sept. 2, 1988 and Sept. 1,
1992 (inclusive) must show proof by 30 days after their 12th
birthday of having received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. This requirement
is in addition to the rule which went into effect Aug. 1, 1998 affecting
children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992. These children are required to
have three doses of hepatitis B vaccine by the time they turn five years
"Parents or guardians need to bring us their shot records every time
they receive a new immunization," said Sanders.
Private physicians can administer immunizations or students can receive
them at the Texas Department of Health, who administers the immunizations
on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, according to Sanders.
For more information on immunizations contact Mary Sanders at the Pecos
Kindergarten at 447-7259 or 448-6705.
Gomez seeks bulletproof vest funding
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The Reeves County Sheriff's Department is applying
for a grant in order to buy new bulletproof vests for the deputies.
Sheriff Andy Gomez said right now there are not enough of the Kevlar
vests for all of his deputies, and the vests the department does have are
Gomez said they hope to get the grant or sell the machine gun they have
in order to have money for the new vests.
After getting the new vests the "field officers will be required to
wear them all the time," Gomez said.
When the department receives enough money, they hope to buy 10 new vests,
enough for every deputy.
CCRC planning event to help buy school supplies
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - Community Council of Reeves County will be sponsoring
a flauta plate fundraiser to raise money to buy school supplies for underprivileged
The flauta plates will be sold from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Wednesday,
Aug. 2, at the Saragosa Hall, Fifth and Peach streets.
Plates will be $4 and for orders call 447-4913 and on Wednesday orders
can be called at 445-5225.
Plates will include four beef flautas, rice, beans, salad, sour cream
and guacamole and tea for eat-ins only.
Zelma Sue McClain Hale, 72, of Odessa, died Wednesday, July 26, 2000 at
Medical Center Hospital.
Services were held Friday, July 28, at Grace Baptist Church in Odessa
with the Rev. William Chapman officiating. Burial was in Sunset Memorial
She was born July 13, 1928, in Lamesa. She was a homemaker, a Pecos
resident for 30 years before moving to Odessa in 1996, was a Baptist and
a member of the Moose Lodge.
Survivors include her husband, Charles Hale of Odessa; three sons, Wade
McClain of O'Donnell, Mitchell McClain of Abilene and Michael McClain of
Greenwood; two step-sons, David Hale of Houston and Russell Hale of Monahans;
four daughters, Karen Watts of Odessa, Fonda Hale of Pensacola, Fla., Nan
Graham of Granbury and Sherma Bowen of Monahans; four step-daughters, Kathy
Purcell and Shirley Gutierrez of Seagraves, Kara Sue Hale and Regina Isabell
of Brownfield; three brothers, Harrell Gunter of Sacramento, Calif., Donny
Gunter of Union City, Calif. and Bobby Gunter of Ceref, Calif.; four sisters,
Velma Frost of Oakfield, Wisc., Renee Khoury of Amarillo, Isabel Cannady
of Oakdale, Calif., and Nita Chase of Kingman, Ariz.; 20 grandchildren
and 13 great-grandchildren.
Sunset Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Raymundo Salas, 74, of Pecos, died Saturday, July 29, 2000, at his residence.
Mass was held at 10 a.m., today, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
burial in Fairview Cemetery.
He was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Fort Stockton. He was retired, a longtime
Pecos resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Teresa Salas of Pecos; one daughter, Alicia
Ramirez of Pecos; two brothers, Frank Salas of Connecticut, Patricio Salas
of Pecos; five sisters, Trine Salas, Concepcion Vasquez, Victoria Orona
and Mercy Martinez of Pecos, Juana Hidalgo of Houston; five grandchildren
and five great-grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, July 31, 2000 - High Sunday 96. Low this morning 68. Weekend rainfall
at Texas A&M Experiment Station .56 inch. Forecast for tonight: Partly
cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70.
East wind 5-10 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Tuesday: Partly cloudy.
High around 100. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy
with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. Wednesday:
Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in
the lower 70s. High between 100 and 105.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise