Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, August 30, 2000
P-B-T sets tax rate, adds Deishler to board
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members adopted
the budget for the 2000-2001 school year, set the tax rate at $1.50 per
$100 valuation and appointed a new school board member to fill an unexpired
term, during a special meeting held Tuesday evening in the board room.
"We've already gone through all the appropriate steps in setting up
the budget," said PBT ISD Superintendent Don Love.
Love stated that certain steps have to be taken, before adopting the
budget, including publishing it in the local newspaper at least 10 days
before the hearing.
"Now, we have the public hearing and hear from the public before approving
it," he said.
No comments on the budget were made during the public hearing session
of the meeting.
School board members approved the tax rate at $1.50, seven cents above
last year's figure.
"The school district cannot levy a tax rate higher than $1.50," said
Love stated that he felt that the school district needed the $1.50 in
order to run the adopted budget.
"Remember this is estimated money, just what is on paper," said Love.
"If kids don't show up, the revenue will go down."
Love stated that they are expecting a little bit (of money) from the
state. "This is a very, very tight budget," said Love.
"If kids don't show up after Labor Day, we'll lose money," he said.
Love stated that if the district loses money other plans for the schools
will have to be put on hold.
"There's other projects planned for the schools, such as scoreboards,
a new track at one of the schools, and they will have to wait if we lose
money," he said.
"If we don't pick up about 80 more kids, it'll be tough," he said.
Love stated that, this is the reason why he's asking the board to have
a tight hold on the budget. "There are some things we can hold back on,"
Love said he made a statement some time ago, that he'd rather have kids
than taxes. "But right now, I'd like them both," he said.
P-B-T Financial Director Cookie Canon said she would like the board
to adopt the budget by fund and function. "This way it will give administrators
some leverage when they need to move money around," said Canon. "It's nothing
dramatic, but it helps when they have a little lee way," she said.
The board also named Paul Deishler as a new member, to fill the unexpired
term of Frank Apolinar, Jr.
"Mr. Apolinar turned in his resignation on Aug. 10, but since it was
not on the agenda we couldn't discuss it," said Love.
Board members accepted the resignation and opted to install a new member
to fill the position. The board has 180 days to fill the unexpired term.
"I feel it's unfortunate that we have to do this and it should be up
to the people to decide," said board member Steve Valenzuela. "The main
thing is that we strive towards better education for the students, it all
depends on us, it's very important that we have someone here to follow
us and help us," he said.
Valenzuela suggested Deishler, who ran for office in the May elections
and finished in third place. Two seats were up for election in that race.
Board member Billie Sadler stated that she wanted Connie Herrera's name
"A name has to be brought up by a school board member," said board member
Bates told the group that former board member Alberto Alvarez had contacted
him about possibly filling the position and running in next year's elections,
and the board then voted on the three names, with the last name submitted
voted on first.
Alvarez received no votes from any of the board members.
"Don't you have to vote for the name you submitted?" asked Sadler.
"I'm not necessarily obligated to vote for him, I just put his name
in there, because he expressed an interest," said Bates.
Board members Bates, Brent Shaw and Valenzuela then voted for Deishler,
while Sadler and David Flores voted for Herrera.
"Whatever person is elected, I would like to have a consensus on this,"
said board president Louis Matta, adding, "I feel uncomfortable to have
us split like this."
Matta stated that he saw a split board and it bothered him. "We need
to bring in a school board member that is accepted by all of you," he said.
"I urge you two that voted against him to change your vote, if not bring
in someone else," said Matta.
Matta stated that both individuals were good candidates and he was friends
with both of them, but that the split decision bothered him.
"Paul made an effort and ran in the elections, he showed a sincere interest
and desire to be a board member," said Bates. "In my personal opinion,
we should get the next highest vote getter in the last election."
"I don't think we should be political about this, it's up to us board
members," said Sadler.
She said she didn't feel the need for speeches and stated that she has
another side to it. "But I don't see that entering into this debate," Sadler
"We have a split right now, but as a board we're professionals and as
such we can act accordingly," said Flores. "But if our feelings and our
emotions are going to get in the way, we should just do what Kokie (Apolinar)
did and just leave."
Matta cast his vote for Deishler. "Let's just put this situation to
rest, if Deishler will accept this appointment," he said.
Deishler was called to the board meeting to give his decision to the
"I accept the appointment," said Deishler. "I would like to thank the
board and give 100 percent to the board and the school system."
Deishler, an investigator with the Pecos Police Department, said he
appreciated the support and was happy about the board's decision.
"I thank you and I plan to do my best for the students and the district,"
In other action, board members approved a retirement and three appointments.
Juan Abrigo, art teacher at Crockett Middle School, will be retiring
on Dec. 16.
"We'll be sad to see him leave, he's been a great teacher," said Love.
"He wants to retire and go back home to take care of his mother," said
assistant superintendent Gome Olibas.
Olibas stated that Abrigo started teaching in Pecos in 1974 and has
been here for 26 years. "He is well liked by all the students and certainly
an asset to Pecos," said Olibas.
Appointments included, Rhonda Eubank, licensed vocational nurse/board
of vocational nurse examiners/Austin, no experience, assignment-Pecos Elementary
School/Zavala and Crockett Middle School Nurse;
· Robin Manning, Bachelor of Science/Education/Texas A&M
University, no experience, assignment-Pecos High School history teacher
· Filimon Talamantez, Masters of Education/Mid-Management/Sul
Ross State University, 31 years experience, assignment- Bessie Haynes Elementary
School physical education teacher.
Heavy rains strike south, west of town
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - Surrounding areas of Pecos felt relief yesterday
when storm clouds let loose the first major rain in this area since late
June, though the clouds only delivers a few sprinkles of rain inside the
Station Superintendent for the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station
Mike Murphy said the east end of the station property received .95 inches
while the west end received .56 inches.
"This is the largest single amount of rain at one time we have seen
recently," Murphy said.
He also said four miles down Duval Road, where he lives, received .52
inches of rain.
Freddy Schrier, water superintendent in Balmorhea, said about a half
inch of rain fell there. He said it had been cloudy on Monday but they
had not received any rain until last night.
Schrier said the rain was light and lasted about 30 minutes but was
"We appreciate every little rain we get," he said.
Peggy Cox at Madera Valley Water Supply Corp in Verhalen said they received
a lot of rain in town and surrounding Verhalen.
It is reported that Saragosa received considerable rainfall for about
two and half-hours but Alpine seems to have been the town most hit with
Alpine resident Mandy Mauldin reported that the streets in Alpine were
flooded and people could not get in or out of the city.
There has not been confirmation that there were any road closures due
to the rain, but witnesses report that the U.S. 90 West underpass was closed
because of the amount of rain last night, but was open again this morning.
Brewster County Sheriff Steve Whitley said the south side of town, where
he lives, received 1.6 inches of rain.
"It was a surprise," Whitley said. "I didn't think we would ever get
any rain again."
He said it had been cloudy in Alpine for a few days and when it finally
did rain it would downpour and stop and then downpour again.
The National Weather Service in Midland forecasts a 20 percent chance
of rain in Pecos and the surrounding areas for this afternoon but nothing
new is developing for later this week.
WTU pushes up closing date of offices
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - West Texas Utilities offices in Balmorhea at
Fort Davis will close to customer transactions effective Friday, Sept.
"While we announced in February that the office would remain open until
Sept. 30, personnel changes, have made it necessary for us to discontinue
taking `walk-in' payments sooner than we had originally planned," said
Roland Pena, WTU Community Services Manager of Alpine.
All local phone calls to the Ft. Davis and Balmorhea offices will be
forwarded to the WTU Customer Service Center in Corpus Christi, which is
available to accept calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
American Electric Power's WTU subsidiary announced earlier this year
it would close its small offices across Texas, though crews would remain
on site in each town. Representatives at the Customer Service Center will
handle requests for service connection or disconnection, account information,
outage reports or to answer other questions that customers may have. For
customer service, the toll-free number to call is 1-888-216-3523.
Customers currently have several bill payment options available. They
include: mail, automatic bank draft through the DirectAdvantage Plan, internet
electronic bill payment through www.core.transpoint.com, checking
or savings account drafts via the telephone through the ChoicePay, a third
party vendor and walk in pay station at Second Street Station, 177 North
Second Street in Alpine.
Linda Caton, WTU Communications Consultant, said last week that in addition
to the new Customer Call Center, WTU decided to shut its smaller offices
following passage of Senate Bill 7 by the Texas Legislature in 1999.
"In the past we have sold appliances out of our local offices, but under
Senate Bill 7 we are no longer allowed to provide competing services in
the sale of appliances," such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, she
The offices will continue to be used as a base of operations for local
and regional service and line technician employees who work in the energy
delivery area of the business.
"While we're making changes in the way we conduct business, our commitment
to provide superior customer service and reliability hasn't changed," said
West Texas Utilities serves 188,000 customers in a 53,000 square-mile
service area in West Texas, bordered by Oklahoma to the North and Mexico
to the South.
U.S. gives Mexico border warning signs
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - United States government officials handed over
border crossing signs warning migrants of the dangers involved with illegal
crossings along the Southwest border to Mexican officials during a ceremony
in Presidio this morning.
This event signifies another chapter in the relationship between the
two nations along the border and more specifically the border towns of
Presidio and Ojinaga.
Fifty-six metal signs are being placed in key crossing points warning
those who cross and attempt to walk through the desolate and remote areas
of the southern portion of the Trans-Pecos Region and the Big Bend area
of Texas will face hardship and incredibly difficult conditions.
Whether it is summer or winter the environmental conditions are extreme.
A journey through this area is full of danger.
The dangers include: a lack of emergency medical capabilities and evacuations
procedures, the lack of drinkable water and lack of law enforcement _ especially
in the smuggling corridors that have been used for years.
The approval process and review procedures for the placement of the
signs involved several federal agencies at the highest levels of both governments.
Both nations realized that significant efforts must be made to dissuade
migrants from crossing in dangerous areas.
According to a press released, both governments believe the signs are
"Collectively, we feel that efforts to save lives reflect our best instincts
and by working together we can make a difference," government officials
from both the United States of Mexico and the United States of America
said in a statement issued prior to this morning's ceremony.
FSA accepting ag fire damage loan applications
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - Applications for emergency agricultural loans
for damages and losses attributed to fire caused by lightning, that occurred
between May 4 and May 16, 2001 in six West Texas counties are being accepted
at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office located in Ft. Stockton, William
H. McAnally said today.
Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, and Ward Counties have
been recently named by USDA Secretary Dan Glickman to be eligible for loans
to cover part of actual production and physical losses resulting from the
McAnally said producers may be eligible for loans of up to 80 percent
of actual losses or the loan needed to continue in business, whichever
is less. For producers unable to obtain credit from private commercial
lenders, the interest is 3.75 percent.
Applications will be accepted until April 16, 2001. The FSA office in
Ft. Stockton is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
PECOS, August 30, 2000 - High Wednesday 99. Low this morning 69. Rainfall
in Pecos last 24 hours, trace. Rainfall last 24 hours Texas A&M Experiment
Station .72 inch. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent
chance of rain. Low around 70. Thursday: Partly cloudy with highs around
97-100. Thursday night. Partly cloudy, low around 70. Friday: Sunny and
hot. Highs 100-105.
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