Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, August 31, 2000
Phone company, bank preparing to change names
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - The planned name change for First National
Bank will soon become a reality, and the bank began this week to promote
its new identity.
The regulatory change will take place on Monday, Sept. 18, when First
National Bank will be known as West Texas National Bank, which will also
be the new name for six other banks in West Texas.
"We still using the name First National, but we have sent out some promotional
materials and documents with the new name have already been printed up,"
said bank president John Grant.
The bank will also receive a "face-lift" with the drive-thru area being
remodeled. An automatic teller machine will also be installed within the
next 45 days in the bank's drive-thru area.
Construction on the drive-thru will take place before the year-end,
according to Grant.
"We're also forming a strategic alliance with Mass Mutual Life Insurance
Company for brokerage and investment services and that will be available
by year end as well," said Grant.
The bank is also introducing new products and services that will come
along with the merger. New extended hours for the drive-thru will also
be introduced soon.
Grant had announced that an application to merge had been filed with
the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The parties to the merger
will be the Seminole National Bank, Seminole and the First National Bank
in Alpine. First National Bank, Pecos has existing branches in Kermit and
Seminole National Bank has a branch in Denver City and First National
Bank in Alpine has a branch in Terlingua. First National Bank in Alpine
will be the surviving charter as it is the oldest charter of the three
First National Bank of Pecos was chartered in 1907, and is currently
in its 93rd year of operations. It moved into its present location
at Sixth and Cedar streets in 1967. It has been under the ownership of
J.L. Davis of Midland for the past 15 years.
"The new name is indicative of management's desire to provide competitive
financial services to all of West Texas," he said.
"The local facility will still provide the same services," said Keith
Moore, executive vice-president for the holding company.
"West Texas National Bank will have combined assets of $240 million
and capital of $23 million," said Grant. "Existing board members will continue
to serve as Community Directors to ensure that each branch is responsive
to the needs of our customers and community."
The Board, management and staff are dedicated to providing the highest
quality service and competitive products in our communities, according
Customers of West Texas National Bank will experience hometown banking
at multiple locations. Check imaging, investment and brokerage services,
annuity and insurance products, and internet banking are just a few of
the products and services that are on the drawing board, according to Grant.
West Texas National Bank administrative offices will be located in Midland;
however, local management under the guidance of its community directors
will make daily decisions.
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - At midnight tonight, the newest local phone
service provider in Texas, Valor Telecom, will assume operational control
over 325,000 local phone lines in areas of Texas currently served by Verizon
Valor is a privately held company that owns and operates primarily rural
local access lines in the Southwest United States. Valor's major investors
include Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, Vestar Capital, Citicorp Venture
Capital and a group of 12 Hispanic investors.
Valor will have control of local phone lines in smaller cities all over
the state. In West Texas, those systems include Andrews, Balmorhea, Coyanosa,
Denver City, Imperial, Lamesa, Sierra Blanca and Toyah as well as Pecos.
Valor will also begin operations in New Mexico on September 1 with 95,000
local access lines and has already begun operations of 120,000 lines in
Oklahoma on July 1.
Valor's corporate headquarters is in Irving, Tex., who also was formerly
the home of GTE. It employs approximately 175 people and has a customer
service and repair center in Texarkana with 125 employees.
In a press release Valor expresses the company's excitement to have
operations in Texas.
"Valor Telecom is proud to serve Texas," Chairman and CEO of Valor Anne
Bingaman said. "With our corporate headquarters located in Irving, and
one of our customer service centers located in Texarkana, we look forward
to bringing a strong and lasting business presence to all the communities
we will serve."
According to the press release, On September 1, all customer records
and pending orders will transfer to Valor.
Temporary systems will be used in the first 15 days of the transfer
while transferred records and service orders are loaded into new automated
systems and retested. Current phone service will not be affected by the
transition. Current telephone numbers will not change as well.
Valor has hired additional personnel to handle new service orders and
backlog pending orders.
Valor wants to inform customers that during the months of September
and October they may receive a high volume of calls and customers may experience
delays in placing new orders, however, any delays will be temporary during
this transition period.
According to the press release, phone rates will be the same but the
phone bills will be reformatted. Some of the charges and fees may appear
in a different section.
Also, customers will receive two local phone bills for the month of
September: a Verizon bill for service through August 31 and a Valor bill
for service beginning September 1.
But the transfer will not affect customers' current long distance and
Internet services. However, customers who have selected Verizon as their
long distance and/or Internet service provider will begin receiving a separate
bill for those services.
Valor released phone numbers for customers to use in order to reach
the company beginning Friday.
To change or order service and for billing questions, customers should
dial 811 for residential between 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Friday or between
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays or business between 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday.
For repairs customers could call 24 hours daily at 611 and from outside
customers' local phone service area, they could dial toll free 1-877-520-5220.
"Valor is customer-focused and is committed to being a reliable and
responsive telecommunications provider," a Valor press release said. "We
value your business and look forward to serving you."
For more information visit the Valor website at www.valortelecom.com.
P-B-T teacher competes for top state honor
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - Her love for her profession has earned one
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD teacher several honors, including being named Regional
Teacher of the Year.
Eva Garcia, a third grade teacher at Pecos Elementary, has been named
Regional Teacher of the Year, by the Texas Education Association and will
be competing for the state Teacher of the Year honors.
Her application for the prestigious honor has already been mailed to
TEA in Austin and they are in the process of evaluating it. "In the first
part of October they will select three and out of those three they will
fly to Austin and a panel of judges will select a State Teacher of the
Year," said Garcia, who will be competing against 20 other teachers and
the teacher who is chosen among the remaining three will represent Texas.
"I love to teach," Garcia said. "I love all the kids and my main goal
is to encourage them."
Garcia teaches bilingual education. "I think bilingual education is
a good thing, it's very important," she said.
Along with this honor, the Pecos Chamber of Commerce also named Garcia
Teacher of the Year in February.
She was born to Mr. and Mrs. Francisco Abrego in San Benito, and grew
up in its outskirts in the small town of Los Fresnos. She completed her
early years of education there and then moved to the Texas Panhandle where
she received an Associate of Arts from South Plains Jr. College in 1976.
She then completed her Bachelor of Arts from West Texas AM in 1978 and
began her teaching career in Hereford. To continue improving her teaching
skills, she moved to Fort Worth and attended the Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary to receive training in Christian Education. During this time she
was awarded the Fort Worth ISD Teacher Award for developing a motivational
multimedia tool to use in the classroom. Her interest in bilingual education
persuaded her to obtain a Masters of Arts in that area.
In 1983 she became a published author of curriculum materials for national
distribution through The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
She has written materials in both Spanish and English and has served as
a consultant for the states in the West Coast for the Sunday School Board.
Garcia also taught school in Albuquerque, N.M., for two years and eight
years in the Los Angeles area. Her outstanding achievement was recognized
and she was awarded the Honorary Service Award for outstanding teacher
in 1991. During this time she had the privilege of working with some of
the students of the famous educator, Jaime Escalante.
"He really inspired me a lot," said Garcia.
She was also able to attend talks conducted by Escalante which influenced
her to instill in her students that everyone can become successful learners,
all that is needed is a desire to learn, which is called "ganas."
Garcia carries a picture that she took with Escalante to remind her
to always give her students the best she can of herself.
In 1995 she received a Credential for Administrative Services from the
University of San Francisco and then served as a Bilingual Program Coordinator
in San Jose, Calif. In 1996 she attended the University of Arizona while
teaching in Phoenix and received an Arizona Principal Certificate.
In 1997 Garcia moved back to Texas and began teaching third grade in
Pecos. During her time away from school, she enjoys getting involved in
the community and works with her husband, Paul Garcia, in enlarging a new
Garcia stated that she also enjoys living in Pecos. "I love it here,
I like the people, which is one of the main reasons I decided to stay,
everyone is so friendly," she said.
She strongly believes that the community and teachers should work together
to build a strong team so that everyone will benefit and help make this
work a better place to live in.
"Learning has to be fun _ it has to be exciting for the kids to get
motivated," said Garcia.
Garcia's message about education is simple. "For the children throughout
our country, we need peace and liberty, and for many, this needs to begin
at home and in our educational institutions," she said.
"Our country continues to be one of rich opportunities and freedom,"
said Garcia. "As I drive and pass fields of cotton and other crops, it
brings a grand feeling of victory over me. Having traveled the migrant
path at a very young age and working long, hard hours in the heated sun
made me sensitive to knowing that I wanted something better for myself."
"Dedicated, loving teachers encouraged and motivated me by telling me
that I could choose to do with my life as I pleased. They taught me the
necessary skills where I was able to pursue a higher education, and I can
honestly say they touched my life forever," said Garcia.
"I just hope I can do the same with the children that cross my path,"
Museum to honor Hispanic Pioneer Family
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - Descendants of Manuel and Julianita Renteria
will be honored Saturday morning at the West of the Pecos Museum, after
being chosen as the 2000 Reeves County Hispanic Pioneer Family.
The family will be honored with a program and reception, beginning at
9:30 a.m., Saturday, at the West of the Pecos Museum.
A special family exhibit will be on display all of September and the
public is invited.
Manuel Duarte Renteria was born in 1838 (two years after the fall of
the Alamo). As a young man Manuel was contracted by both the Mexican and
U.S. governments to track renegade Apache bands that were being led by
the Chilitans, known as Chihuahua and Victorio. Manuel also worked in the
Fort Stockton area laying telegraph lines.
He later returned to San Antonio Del Bravo, Mexico to farm some land
that he owned adjacent to the Rio Grande River. On or about 1891 moved
his family to Toyah where he began working with the railroad until about
1905. Manuel married and had four children from a previous marriage.
Pablo Renteria born 1872 in Fort Stockton. He worked for the railroad
as a machinist in 1904 until the early 1930's. In 1934 Pablo went into
business for himself and opened the Pablo Renteria Grocery Store. The store
remained in operation until the late 1970's and was last operated by Pablo's
youngest son Antonio Renteria.
Pablo married Felicita Gonzales the daughter of Eulogio Gonzales, who
lived in Toyah during the late 1800's and later relocated to a farm in
Loving, N.M. Felicita was born in 1865 in San Antonio Del Bravo, Chihuahua,
Mexico. She died in Toyah at age 70 in 1935 and is buried in the Toyah
at age 70 in 1935 and is buried in the Toyah Catholic Cemetery. Children
born to this union Sergio married Bengina Lujan, Saturnina married Petronilo
Patino (the first Hispanic Pecos City Police Officer), Julia and Modesta
Crespina Contreras, Guadalupe married Simon Leos, Bonita married Refugio
Martinez and Antonio who never married. The following siblings died within
a four month period, victims of the 1918 influenza epidemic, Santos, Presiliana,
Lupe, Celestina and Felipe. Maracaela married Irene Gonzales, Fernando
married Dolores Flores, Braulio married Celsa Gonzales.
Manuel married Julianita Matta, who was born on Feb. 28, 1864. Their
children were Felipa who married Julian Flores, Juan married Celsa Acosta,
Begnina born 1893 died May 21, 1935. Maria married Thomas Talamantez.
Manuel D. Renteria passed away on June 6, 1915, in Toyah and is buried
as the Toyah Catholic Cemetery. Julianita M. Renteria passed away in 1916
in Toyah and is also buried in the Toyah Catholic Cemetery.
The last living child of Pablo and Felicita Renteria, Antonio (Tonio)
G. Renteria was born June 13, 1914 in Toyah. He retired as a heavy equipment
operator for Reeves County Road and Bridge Department. Retired 1979 after
35 years of service. Military Service included serving in the 3rd
Army 153rd Infantry regimen from January 1941 (drafted at age
26) until July 2, 1945. He served two years in Northern Alaska and later
in Germany. He was wounded in action while attempting to cross the Rhine
River, when he was grazed in the back by a German machine gun bullet and
on both legs by a German Artillery sharp metal. Antonio was a recipient
of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for valor and his cousin, Alejandro
Renteria Ruiz, was awarded the medal of honor of heroism in the battle
of Okinawa in the Pacific Theater.
Antonio is the last survivor of 13 children. He continues to reside
in a small wood frame house that is located about 100 years from where
he was born. The home was previously owned and inhabited by Maria Gil,
grandmother of Armando Gil, Director of Health and Sanitation for the City
Antonio attended school in Toyah, but only completed the fifth grade.
By the age of 7, Antonio began driving his father's new Model T Ford. Pablo,
Antonio's father, always owned new cars, but never learned to drive. As
a result Antonio became the family chauffeur at a very early age.
At age 17, Antonio joined the Toyah Hispanic community baseball team
known as "Los Tejanos." Antonio played outfielder and he claims that he
was a very good player. The team was managed by Alejandro Bitolas.
Prior to being drafted into the Army, Antonio was a self-employed truck
driver and recalls hauling equipment, feed, hay, etc., to Toyah area ranchers
George Daniels, Albert Tannre, Mr. Calwell and to the KC Ranch near Kent.
Antonio is in good health and is alert and active. He spends his time
just ding things around the house and driving into Pecos. He has fond memories
of his family and his youth, but he is saddened about the deterioration
of Toyah. He enjoys talking about what the town was like when he was growing
"We had two schools, several church buildings, a bank, a pharmacy, a
hotel, several stores, including a large mercantile and a drug store,"
Renteria said. "The railroad roundhouse had over 240 workers and operated
around the clock seven days a week with three shifts of 80 men per shift."
Antonio never married and all he has is memories of his family, as most
family letters, photos and relics were lost to a house fire in the late
Housing board to hear mayor during meeting
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - Pecos Mayor Ray Ortega will meet with the Pecos
Housing Authority and the Pecos Farm Labor Housing Boards at their regular
meetings at 5 p.m., tonight in the PHA/FLH new administration building
on Teague Drive.
The FLH board will review the proposal for architectural services from
Vaugh Architects Plus to provide design and constructions documents based
on the inspection report from February.
They will also consider approving the purchase of three dryers from
the PHA as well as approving the monthly reports for August.
The PHA board will review a letter from the director of the Real Estate
Assessment U.S Department of HUD regarding the PHA advisory Public Assessment
System score for 1999.
The board will also receive an update on the 1998 CIAP Project budget
and review and discuss the designs and cost estimates presented by Vaughn
for the Eastside Development project.
They will finish the meeting by discussing the Cooperation Agreement
with Pecos City and the PHA Annual Contributions Contract and review the
monthly reports for August.
Clerk's office taking applications for election
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - Applications for ballots by mail are now being
accepted at the Reeves County Clerk's Office for the November general election,
said county clerk Dianne Florez.
Individuals can request an application anytime between 8 a.m. and 5
p.m. or for more information call the clerk's office at 445-5467.
The November General Elections will include the position of President
and Vice-President of the United States, U.S. Senate and Congress, The
state legislature and local races for Reeves County Commissioners Precinct
1 and 3; Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector and four Justice of the Peace
Adan T. Garcia, 72, of Pecos, died Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000, in Crane.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church, with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born April 14, 1928, in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico. He was retired,
a longtime Pecos resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Maria R. Garcia of Pecos; seven daughters,
Maria Carrasco of Crane, Lupe Prieto and Elma Gonzalez of Pecos, Elida
Garcia of Las Vegas, Nev., Monica Lopez of Alpine, Sally Cedillo of Odessa
and Bertha Benedict of Round Rock; three sons, Adan R. Garcia Jr. of Pecos,
Ruben Garcia of Monahans and George Garcia of Harlingen; one sister, Socorro
Lujan of Midland; five brothers, Raul, Cano, Beto, Leonel and Alonso Garcia
all of Pecos; 32 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Services are incomplete for Charlie Taylor, 73, who died Wednesday, Aug.
30, 2000, at the Reeves County Hospital.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, August 31, 2000 - High Wednesday 99. Low this morning 70. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Low near 70. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Friday:
Partly cloudy. High 95-100. South wind 10-20 mph. Friday night: Partly
cloudy. Low 65-70. Saturday through Labor Day: Partly cloudy. Lows 65-70.
Highs near 100.
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