Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, September 15, 2000
Budget changes force school to cut projects
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Projected increases in utility costs and
a loss of students has forced Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD to put several projects
on hold and limit planned spending in the 2000-2001 school year, board
members were told during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday.
Superintendent Don Love reported to the board that due to increasing
utility costs and the lower-than-expected enrollment figures after Labor
Day, the school district has been forced to scale back some projects to
compensate for the higher utility costs and lower state funding the will
go with the lower enrollment.
"They are charging us exactly what it costs them," said Love, referring
to the rising costs of utility bills. "Right now we're about $135,000 short
of what we budgeted."
Love said natural gas would be going up 50-60 percent with the budgeted
amount of $117,600 rising instead to $188,160. "That's $70,560 under-budgeted
for natural gas," he said.
Electricity was budgeted at $456,800. With an 8 percent increase estimated,
that would raise the total to $493,344, or $36,544 above the current budget.
Water was budgeted at $142,150, with a 2-20 percent increase estimated,
raising the district's expenses to $170,580. That figure is $28,430 above
the current estimate.
Total amount under-budgeted for utilities came out to $135,534, according
"I don't understand why the electric bill didn't go up any higher, because
it takes electricity to produce natural gas," said Love.
"This is the best we can guesstimate," said Love. "At this point and
time, we've lost kids after Labor Day."
"We had predicted 64 kids and the amount to make up at this time is
one-half million," said Love.
He said the district could cover that, "as long as we don't lose any
"We'd like to stay in the black," he said.
Love stated that attendance is vital.
"With the school, you're not going to break even, you're either going
to owe the state money, or they're going to owe you money," said Love.
"If we continue with a good trend, we can loosen up, and maybe do some
of these projects," said Love.
"So, what you're asking us to do is wait and see," said board president
Loss in student revenue was estimated at $365,017, with the amount to
make listed as $500,551.
Projects that will be put on hold include carpet, $75,000; scoreboard
$27,700; Bessie Haynes HVAC $128,000; Crockett Gym expansion, $120,000
and extra teachers, $100,000. Total extras amounted to $450,700. With the
deficit being $49,851.
Board members approved Hunter Corral Associates to prepare specifications
to go out for sealed proposals for HVAC project for Rooms 151, 152 and
adjoining offices at Pecos High School Building B.
Board members did approve allowing Hunter Corral to prepare specifications
to out for sealed proposals to repair and roof the Pecos High School Cafeteria
and the Pecos High School Field House.
"These are projects that have been budgeted and I feel that they need
to get done," said Love.
The funds come from state grants and Love stated that this is money
that has to be spent or else give it back to the state of Texas.
"Part of that money comes from Career and Technology," said Love.
These two classrooms in Building B are the last ones that don't have
air-conditioning, according to Love.
"We have leaky roofs at the field house and the PHS cafeteria, so this
should get us in the dry," he said.
City, county reach deal on water pact payment
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo and Town
of Pecos City Council worked out a tentative deal Thursday during an executive
session of the council on fulfilling the county's contract payment to the
city for supplying water to the Reeves County Detention Center, which should
keep city residents from seeing a 20 percent increase in their water and
Council members also voted 3-2 to approve construction of their own
new detention center and police station, as part of Thursday's regularly
scheduled meeting, and approved the fiscal 2001 budget and tax rate, keeping
the rate at its current 69.67 cents per $100 valuation.
The executive session between the council and Galindo was held after
the city said Reeves County failed to meet the Aug. 31 date to make its
first $400,000 payment as part of the March 2000 agreement on supplying
water to the detention center.
Pecos planned to use the money to help secure a loan from the state
to develop the South Worsham Water Well Field. Finance Director Steve McCormick
said the money would be needed to prove to the state that the city would
be able to pay back the loan.
He said that if the County did not pay the council might have to raise
city's water and sewer rates by 20 percent.
After the executive session, Galindo and the council made a principal
agreement in the open portion of the council meeting that Reeves County
would place the money owed to the city in an escrow account until the loan
"When the loan is closed the money would be given to the city," McCormick
He said the city would purchase a certificate of deposit and the money
would be designated to paying off the debt.
McCormick also said that any interest earned on the CD would be split
evenly, with the city writing a check to the county for their share of
Pending finalization of the deal, the council passed two ordinances
dealing with the water and sewer rates upon recommendation from McCormick.
One ordinance is the rates determined with information provided from
a water and sewer rate study that the city had done. The other ordinance
is the same rates with an extra 20 percent added in case the city does
not receive the money from Reeves County.
McCormick explained to the Council that by passing both rates at once
and once they receive the money from the County, it would enable them to
adopt the lower rates.
"Let's be sure to show the ability to pay no matter what," McCormick
He assured Galindo that passing both ordinances is just a precaution.
Galindo assured the council that the money would be paid to the city.
"There is absolutely no question that Reeves County would live up to
the agreement with the city," Galindo said.
The council also approved the city budget and the tax rates. The 67.69-cent
rate has been in effect for Town of Pecos City residents since September
The 3-2 vote on the new detention center and police station authorized
Corplan Corrections for the construct the facility, which is to be located
on the southwest side of Pecos.
Councilmen Ricky Herrera and Gerald Tellez voted against the plan while
councilmen Larry Levario, Danny Rodriguez and Johnny Terrazas voted in
favor of the project, which is designed to hold both city and U.S. Marshal's
Herrera spoke of some concerns he had with the construction of the facility
itself, including whether or not this new facility would bring the city
"I haven't seen any numbers in writing," he said.
Corplan president James Parkey assured the council that all the facilities
that his company has built has made money.
Finance Director Steve McCormick said he's hoping the revenue from the
new facility would be able to cover the city deficit.
"We're hoping that the jail would provide excess funds of one half million
to $1 million within two years," he said. "The more prisoners we get the
better off we are."
In response to a question by Herrera, Parkey said that if a facility
is built in Pecos it would probably be full at all times because the city
has a United States District Courthouse making it a "court" city.
He also said he believes because it is a "court" city, the facility
would make more money per day per prisoner.
"The Marshal, I think, would pay a little bit better than usual, from
$42 to $44 per day," he said.
Terrazas said he believes that building this facility would guarantee
revenue for the city.
He said the Pecos courthouse has double the caseload of the Midland
and more indictments than San Antonio.
In other action, Pecos Health and Sanitation Director Armando Gil made
his recommendation to the Council for the Arid Exempt Landfill Permit.
Gil recommended that Frank X. Spencer and Associates be hired to work
on the application and services for the permit because "time is of the
The Arid Exempt permit would allow the Town of Pecos City to build a
new landfill without a liner.
Gil said the reason the city is applying for a permit for no liner requirement
is the liner would be very expensive to operate, costing over $900,000.
"Hopefully this would be a great savings for the community," he said.
The council approved Gil's recommendation to hire Spencer and Associates.
Abidur Kahn, engineer for Spencer and Associates, presented the council
with a change order for well number 21 in the Worsham Water Well Field.
He said that the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission has
approved the city to drill an emergency well in Ward County.
Kahn explained to the Council that after TNRCC approved it they added
some additional costs that are necessary.
The Council approved the change order.
The Council also approved the request from Santa Rosa Catholic Church
to close two streets in front and beside the church for the 16th
of September Fiesta today and Saturday.
Mayor Ray Ortega recognized all the Hispanic elected officials that
have served the city.
The names of those who have served were read in honor of their commitment
and work for the community.
County's jobless rate falls below 9 percent
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Unemployment in Reeves County in August
dropped below the 9 percent level for the first time in over two years,
according to figures released on Thursday by the Texas Workforce Commission.
With the height of the 2000 harvest season past, the county workforce
dropped by 150 last month, while employment fell by 97 workers, the TWC
said. There were 7,237 people with jobs in the county in August and 701
unemployed, putting the local jobless rate at 8.8 percent, down ½-percent
from July's 9.3 percent level.
That's nearly two percent below the level of a year ago, when with almost
the exact same number of people in the local labor force there were 7,074
people with jobs and 852 unemployed, for a jobless rate of 10.7 percent.
Elva Arreguy with the Texas Workforce Commission said last month's rate
was the lowest since April 1998, when Reeves County's unemployment stood
at 8.6 percent. Joblessness in the area hit its low point in recent years
in September of 1997, when it stood at 7.5 percent, Arreguy said.
Unemployment in the Town of Pecos City remained in double-digits last
month, but just barely, at 10.1 percent. That's down from 10.6 percent
in July and from 12.3 percent in August 1999.
The city's workforce was at 6,212 last month, down nine from a year
ago. But the number of jobs in the city was 5,584, up by 126 from the same
period last year. Unemployment in Pecos was 628 last month, down from 673
in July and from 763 in August 1999.
While the county's jobless rate has been cut by over 5 ½ percent
from the 14.4 percent level it reached in January 1999, when the area's
oil industry was at its low point. Reeves County's jobless rate remains
above most other area counties.
Ector County (Odessa) saw unemployment fall from 7 percent in July to
6.5 percent in August, after standing at 10.1 percent in August of 1999.
Midland County's rate fell last month from 5 percent in July to 4.6 percent,
and is down from 7.2 percent a year ago.
Ward County was one of the only counties to show an increase in its
jobless rate last month. Unemployment climbed from 8.4 to 8.5 percent,
though that's still down from the 10.6 percent mark last August.
Unemployment also went up in Presidio County, which continues to have
the region's highest jobless rate, at 28.5 percent. That's up both from
July's 26.6 percent mark and from the 28.1 percent reported in August 1999.
Meanwhile, neighboring Brewster and Jeff Davis counties continue to have
among the lowest jobless rates in the area, with Brewster falling from
3.4 to 3.2 percent and Jeff Davis from 2.2 to 1.8 percent.
Statewide, the TWC put August unemployment at 4.3 percent, down .2 percent
from last month, and .3 percent from last August.
P-B-T gets $300,000 technology grant
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Technology is reaching Pecos schools, thanks
to grants obtained by the Career and Technology department.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD has been awarded a PS8 Telecommunications Infrastructure
Fund grant for public schools by the T.I.F. Board of Texas, according to
Technology Coordinator Jodi Exum.
Exum updated the board on the newest projects for technology planned
at the different campuses, at Thursday's regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
"We received this grant and it can go towards different campuses," said
Superintendent Don Love.
The awarded for $300,000 will go towards projects at six campuses: Pecos
High School, Crockett Middle School, Zavala Elementary School, Bessie Haynes
Elementary School, Pecos Elementary School and Austin Elementary School.
Campus projects for the PS8 funds include: an interactive video conferencing
system for the high school along with classroom computers for PHS, Zavala,
Bessie Haynes and Pecos Elementary; library computers for Crockett and
Bessie Haynes; Waterford Early Reading Program hardware for Austin; lab
computers for Pecos Elementary and multimedia presentation equipment for
PHS, Crockett, Zavala, Bessie Haynes, and Pecos Elementary Schools.
"These are items that we couldn't have gotten without this grant," said
Exum. "We're just thankful to the state of Texas."
Judy Holland, a teacher at Pecos High School, will be the representative
of Area IV Region 2 on the State Board of Texas Business Technology Educators
"She does a great job for the district, we're very proud of her," said
Also recognized during the board meeting was Regional Teacher of the
Year Eva Garcia, a third-grade teacher at Pecos Elementary School.
Love said this is a big honor and the district was very proud of her.
"She'll be going on to compete for the state title and we wish her luck,"
Insurance costs were also discussed during the regular school board
meeting, along with the new Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS).
"The initial quote was based on the first 10 months, and there was a
significant jump in claims in August," said Love, who added that the amount
budgeted was going to have to be revised.
Enrollments in the CHIP program went really well. "I think this is a
great program, we had them in the schools this week, signing up children,"
He said several teachers also qualified for the program, which would
help with their insurance problem mentioned earlier. "I've already had
some calls about the insurance and staff wanting to cancel theirs, because
they qualified for that one," said finance director Cookie Canon.
Love said the CHIP insurance is funded 75 percent by the federal government
and 25 percent by the state. "I understand the 25 percent comes from the
tobacco settlement," said Love.
The private health insurance is for children from birth to 18 years
of age. "Any family of four, who earns $2,800 or less will have a chance
to qualify, and they will not pay more than $18 per month and it might
even be free," said Love.
Also on Thursday, board members approved the Seventh Day Adventist Church
to use Crockett Middle School's gym and waive fees.
Love stated that the school district has a good policy on using school
property. "Maybe we need to work on it some, but it can't be used at any
time for personal use," said Love.
He said that in his opinion the school district should open up the gym
for a fee, because it costs money to operate and fees for a custodian.
"I think we should continue to charge for the use of the gym," he said.
"If it's a broad public education program it's not a bad deal, but basically
we have to recoup our losses."
Board member Steve Valenzuela stated that he felt the gym should be
free of charge for non-profit use. "I feel like we receive so much money
in taxes anyway and what we're talking about on waiving the fees for the
gym, we're not talking about a lot of money," he said.
Valenzuela stated that he felt this was one way to pay back the community
for what it puts in.
All board members agreed.
Museum planning new park on Oak Street
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Attendance has been good at the West of
the Pecos Museum this year and plans are underway to create a new park
on Oak Street, museum director Debbie Thomas told the Rotary Club yesterday.
"The museum averages between 11,000 and 12,000 visitors a year and most
of those are from out of town," Thomas said. "From April to June of this
year the museum had visitors from 17 different countries and 45 states."
Thomas said that the numbers were bigger in years past but that the
way people are counted accounts for some of the difference.
"The museum used to count everyone that attended a function at the museum.
These days we only count people who come into the museum to see the exhibits,"
"At 12,000 we just about double the population of Pecos over the course
of a year and that is good for Pecos. Presumably, many of those people
at least by gas here and many probably eat a meal or stay the night as
well," she said.
Thomas also told the club that the museum is moving toward creating
a park between two buildings on Oak Street across from the museum.
"The Pecos Tree Board is going to help us plant some native trees there
_ mesquite, screw bean and western soap berry. We hope to create a park
similar to the courtyard at the museum," she said.
The Rotary Club meets every Thursday at noon at the Pecos Valley Country
Fiesta events begin tonight at Santa Rosa
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - The 16th of September Fiesta will
begin at 6 p.m. today with a welcoming invocation by Rev. Ben Flores of
Santa Rosa Catholic Church.
The two-day event will include a ceremony of "El Grito" by Licenciado
Luis Benjamin Lara Escovdeo, representative of the Consulate of Mexico,
set for 10 p.m. tonight. D.J. Ricky Barreno, Mariachi Perla and a dance
with "Maravilla" also are on tonight's schedule at the Santa Rosa parking
area, while the annual 16th of September Parade will be held
on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
Other events at Santa Rosa will run from 12:30 p.m. through 1 a.m. on
Good performances from `Coyote Ugly' stars
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, September 15, 2000 - Touchstone's Coyote Ugly…the guys
will like it, but the girls will too.
This film about a bar and the girls who run it makes moving to New York
City and following your dreams while being a "coyote" look exciting.
David McNally makes his directorial debut with this charming story about
a girl from Jersey who moves to New York to live out her dream.
Violet Sanford, played by Piper Perabo (The Adventures of Rocky and
Bullwinkle-2000), is a talented songwriter who dreams of hearing someone
sing her music.
After finding out that making your dreams come true takes a lot of work,
Violet gets a job bartending at a local bar called Coyote Ugly.
She has to deal with being the new "coyote" while getting over her fears
in order to make her dreams a reality.
Perabo gives a great performance and certainly makes moving to New York,
finding a handsome and nice boyfriend, getting a well paying job AND making
all her dreams come true look very easy.
The ever-charming John Goodman, who is better known as Dan Conner on
the popular television series Roseanne, plays Violet's protective
father who does not want to give his daughter up to the "Big Apple."
Goodman portrays a very loving man who adores his daughter and breaks
your heart when he talks Violet into staying in New York.
Relative newcomer and Australian native Adam Garcia plays Violet's love
interest, Kevin. Garcia's charming accent and good looks makes Violet hate
him and love him at the same time.
Fashion model Tyra Banks also has a small role as Zoe and Country superstar
Leann Rimes makes a cameo appearance as herself.
Co-written by Kevin "Silent Bob" Smith (Dogma-1999, Chasing Amy-1997,
Mallrats-1995), this movie is both a comedy and romance.
Smith's influence is definitely seen when Garcia's character is revealed
as a comic book "junkie," which gives the movie a little more charm.
New York is probably one of the most intimidating cities in the world
(especially for a small-town Texan) and this is evident by camera angles
and choice of locations.
Fast edits and camera angles used during the bar dancing scenes are
sure to make all the guys drool.
The lighting in Coyote Ugly is excellent. All the colors and
shadows the lighting creates brings forth the "reality" of the movie.
To tell the truth I didn't notice much of the technical aspects of this
movie because it didn't need anything fancy. I just sat there and watched
Overall, this movie is great and portrays many things: love, anxiety,
wonderful experiences, dreams, the power of women and life and makes me
want to become a "coyote."
Coyote Ugly is rated PG-13.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report
is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.
The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either
traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered
arrests and will be printed as such unless indicatied that the fines were
paid. In such instanced we will indication payment and release.
San Ignacio Chavez, 20, was arrested at 12:14 p.m., on August 29 in
the 700 block of Sycamore Street on a warrant for possession of stolen
Javier Contreras, Jr., 17, was arrested at 5:11 p.m., on August 28 at
the Sheriff's Office on a warrant for driving with license suspended-class
Alonzo Munoz, 28, was arrested at 9:19 p.m., on August 28 in the 700
block of South Cedar on a Cooke County warrant for driving while intoxicated.
Dante Cerna, 21, was arrested at 12:23 p.m., on August 28 at 7th
and Plum Streets for an illegal weapon.
Jay Fowlks, 30, was arrested at 2:51 a.m., on August 31 at 9th
and Cherry Streets for public intoxication and evading arrest.
David Woods, 43, was arrested at 8:32 p.m., on August 30 in the 2000
block of Nebraska Street for public intoxication.
Orlando Munoz, 18, was arrested at 11:30 p.m., on September 2 at Saragosa
Hall on a Sheriff's Office warrant for delivery of a controlled substance.
Roberto M. Martinez, 26, and Rosalino Carmona, 17, were arrested at
1:16 a.m., on September 3 at Saragosa Hall, both for disorderly conduct.
A male juvenile and Pamela Juarez, 19, were arrested at 2:09 a.m., on
September 3 in the 600 block of Locust Street. The juvenile was arrested
for probation violation and curfew violation and Juarez was arrested for
Georgina K. Lambrano, 25, and Joe Daniel Wright, 22, were arrested at
2:42 a.m., on September 3 in the 400 block of East 2nd Street.
Lambrano was arrested for resisting arrest and interfereing with a police
officer and Wright was arrested for public intoxication.
Don Barton, 46, was arrested at 9:25 p.m., on September 2 at the Del
Rio Bar on a Sheriff's Office warrant for drug possession.
Antonio F. Garcia, 19, was arrested at 8:38 a.m., on September 2 in
the 1200 block of Pecan Street for assault by threat and on a warrant for
theft of $50 and under $1500.
Javier E. Anchondo, 24, was arrested at 11:16 p.m., on September 1 in
the 200 block of East C Street for driving with license suspended.
Albert Prieto, Jr., 19, was arrested at 12:24 a.m., on September 2 in
the 300 block of West 4th Street on a Sheriff's warrant for
motion to revoke-possession of marijuana and a warrant for motion to adjudicate
on aggrevated assault.
Geronimo Menchaca, 57, was arrested at 1:14 a.m., on September 2 in
the 400 block of Sycamore Street for public intoxication.
Hector Perez, 22, was arrested at 1:34 a.m., on September 2 in the 100
block of South Ash Street for assault under the Family Violence Act and
evading arrest and detention.
Jesus Hernandez, 61, was arrested at 2:03 a.m., on September 2 in the
500 block of Mulberry Street for public intoxication.
Fred Lara, 43, was arrested at 3:12 a.m., on September 2 at the Uncle's
on 3rd and Cedar Streets for criminal trespass.
Yvonne D. Scotti, 85, of Pecos, died Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2000, at the
Pecos Nursing Home.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 17, at Pecos
Funeral Home Chapel.
She was born Aug. 24, 1915, in New York City, was a retired registered
nurse and a Catholic.
Survivors include one daughter, Michele Cser of Pecos; one son, Paul
L. Hughes of Aurora, Colo.; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials may be made to
Reeves County Hospital Scholarship Fund.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Thursday 93. Low this morning 67. Forecast for tonight: Mostly
clear. Low in the mid 60s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny.
High 95-100. South wind 10-20 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Low in
the mid 60s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. High in the 90s.
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
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise