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Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Bank's ATM, name change almost done

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 29, 2000 - West Texas National Bank is finalizing its name change and consolidation with other area banks with a new look and a new automatic teller machine.

Workers with the Lone Star Signs from Midland/Odessa have spent two days replacing the 33-year-old First National Band sign in front of the bank with the new West Texas National Bank logo.

President of the Pecos branch John Grant said the sign in front and on the wall of the bank are the only ones being replaced at this time.

He added that the sign by the drive-thru windows on Oak Street would stay the same because the windows will soon be remodeled.

The workers should be finished replacing the other signs by today, according to Grant.

Meanwhile, the finishing touches of the new automated teller machine are being placed this week, Grant said. To celebrate the addition of the ATM machine the bank is hosting a grand opening from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., on Friday. Dec. 8.

"We're going to be set up by the ATM," Grant said.

Grant said employees from the bank would be outside greeting new and old customers while serving hot dogs and drinks.

He said there would also be giveaways and raffles.

"We're going to have helium balloons to release," he said.

Giveaway certificates would be in a few of the balloons and whoever finds those certificates would be able to redeem them at the bank to receive a prize, Grant said, adding, "We're supposed to have entertainment, weather permitting."

He said the employees would also sign up new accounts and allow current customers to order an ATM card if they do not have one now, or they can come in and order ATM cards right away if they do not want to wait until next week.

The bank recently merged with other First National Banks in Alpine, Seminole, Denver City, Crane, Kermit and Terlingua.

Grant said the merger has gone fine despite a few problems with identical account numbers.

"We've had some problems mainly on the duplicate accounts," he said.

To solve that problem, Grant said all the customers with duplicate accounts received new account numbers.

Grant said the ATM would be available for customer use next week and is not restricted to WTNB customers.

"The ATM can be used by non-customers," he said.

Anyone who has an ATM, debit or credit card with a valid PIN number would be able to use the machine.

"Their account, wherever it is, can be billed for that amount," Grant said.

Grant also said the drive-thru windows would soon have new hours; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., on Fridays.

He said customers are also able to check their balance over the phone by calling the Star Oncall Banker at 915-445-6201 or toll-free at 888-588-8131.

Thanksgiving drug arrests reported

PECOS, November 29, 2000 - U.S. Border Patrol agents in Marfa report the seizure of two separate loads of marijuana in different locations during the Thanksgiving holidays, and have seized about four tons of marijuana during the first two months of the new fiscal year.

In the first case occurred Thanksgiving Day, when Border Patrol Agents at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint detained two U.S. citizens after a K-9 drug detection alerted to the presence of over 395 pounds of marijuana worth over $300,000 in the back of a tractor-trailer. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was contacted immediately and the contraband, the two individuals and the tractor-trailer were turned over for prosecution.

The second arrest occurred at the Presidio border crossing, when agents in cooperation with a U.S. Customs K-9 inspector arrested a resident alien and a Mexican national with over 300 lbs of marijuana in a late model Chevy van.

As of Monday, the Border Patrol office in Marfa reported just under 8,000 pounds of marijuana has been seized by agents during the first two months of the 2001 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. The seized marijuana is valued at about $7.5 million, according to the Border Patrol.

Along with drug interdiction, agents with the Marfa Sector are reminding people headed into Mexico for the Christmas holidays that transportation of any person who is an illegal alien into the United States is a violation of federal law, and the punishment for the offense may carry penalties of twenty years imprisonment on each charge.

RCH board OKs new equipment requests

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 29, 2000 - The Reeves County Hospital Board of Directors approved the requests from the hospital's administrator and staff for the purchase of new surgical and record storage equipment, during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Interim hospital administrator Richard Murphy told the board that he had the opportunity to talk with the staff about much needed equipment.

"They took the opportunity to bring to my attention to some things that need to be done," he said.

Murphy said the research and recommendations made by him, the staff of the companies involved showed they could purchase all the equipment needed within the existing budget.

Murphy first asked the board to consider the purchase of a new sonic cleaner, which he explained is "a process that cleans in deep detail the instruments being used in surgery."

Dr. W.J. Bang told the board that the sonic cleaner that the hospital has been using quit working about a year ago and they have been using a portable sonic cleaner that is normally kept for emergency use only.

Bang said the current machine is one-fifth the size of a regular sonic cleaner.

Murphy said he and surgery department staff have researched different companies to buy the machine from and recommended buying the sonic cleaner from the Steris Corporation for $12,881.37 plus the cost of freight.

Board member Leo Hung asked Murphy if the cost of the machine would include installation.

Murphy said the maintenance department at the hospital would be able to install the machine with no extra cost.

The board approved the purchase of a new sonic cleaner.

The next item the board was asked to approve was IV pumps. and Murphy recommended leasing 20 single line pumps as well as three dual line pumps instead of purchasing.

He said in a memorandum to the board that the pumps at the hospital have been used by the staff for many years and have needed many repairs.

"These pumps have been in use for many years and repair is increasingly becoming more difficult as repair parts are hard to find," the memo said. "As these pumps become inoperative and then used for repair parts, the available number of pumps decreases.

Board members were told that the number of functional pumps has decreased from 16 to seven in the last year.

Murphy reported that he and the nursing staff researched different brands of IV pumps and the cost of leasing both, and the nurses said overall, they preferred pumps from Baxter Healthcare.

"Our nursing staff members have researched and have used in house two brands of IV pumps over a 30-day evaluation period for each pump," the memo said.

By using those pumps the hospital would not have to throw away the IV tubing in stock because the pumps use standard tubing.

Murphy listed the price of both purchasing and leasing the pumps in the memo, but recommended the second option because they would be able to repair them without any extra cost.

"Baxter takes care of the equipment," he said.

"If we leased it they would be responsible for repairs for that length of time," Chairwoman of the Board Marcella Lovett said.

Murphy said the cost of leasing the pumps for 60 months would be $77,772, and the board then approved leasing the pumps from Baxter.

Also approved was the purchase of a new gastroscope/colonoscope system for surgery upon recommendation from Murphy. He said the current system has been in use for eight to nine years and has been sent off for repairs many times.

In this case Murphy said he originally thought leasing the equipment would be better but decided that purchasing it would be more cost efficient.

"It seemed more appropriate to purchase and obtain it for more than three years," he said, because RCH would have to purchase a whole new system instead of just replacing the scopes because the new scopes would not fit the old system.

Murphy recommended that the equipment be purchased through Olympus America Inc.

"Olympus sets the industry standards," he said. "It provides the latest technology."

He added that he believes the physicians working with the scopes would take very good care of them.

"I don't foresee that there would be any pending repair cost," he said.

The board then agreed to purchase the new scope system for $66,504.30

Moving away from surgical equipment, Murphy recommended to the Board to approve the purchase of a new Spacesaver Storage System for medical records.

He explained that he visited the medical record area and realized that the storage space is packed with records with very little room to store incoming records.

"I had no doubt in my mind that something needs to be done," Murphy said.

Currently the medical records department accommodates five staff members with six desks and 6,706 liner feet of fixed storage shelving, according to the memo.

Murphy said the Spacesaver system would increase space to 11,520 liner feet, and recommended the purchase from Western Office Systems, Inc., for a cost of $25,546.50 installed.

"This would be an increase of 4,874 of liner storage space or 72 percent more space than is currently available," the memo said.

Murphy said the company would be able to remove the current shelving and install the new shelving system in a 24-hour period, and would remove all the records in the same order as on the shelves allowing the staff to be able to get to any record.

Murphy also recommended laying down new carpet because the carpet in place now has ripples making it dangerous to walk around without tripping.

In other action, the board approved increasing the amount given in the appreciation awards to the employees this year.

Murphy said in previous years the appreciation awards were in conjunction with the staff Christmas party.

He said staff members have not participated well in the Christmas party in the past so the department managers request increasing the appreciation awards from $25-$50 to$50-$100 in place of the party.

Murphy explained that the last year's party cost $8,790. If the Board approved the increase in the awards it would not cost much more.

He said increasing the amount it would show "goodwill" to the staff.

"A hundred dollars for some folks would go a long way," he said.

Board members also approved allowing Murphy to look into the self-funded insurance for 60 days and then bringing a recommendation to the Board for consideration, and approved sale of three foreclosed properties:

824 N. Elm Street-Tract one and two to Lupe Michaelis for a total of $4,350;

814 S. Cypress Street to Alfred Garcia for $1,000;

609 S. Almond Street to Sergio Rodriguez for $350.

The Board also approved the monthly tax collection report, the error and correction report for 1999 and prior tax rolls, the changes to the patient grievance policy, the financial statement and budget amendments and the payment of bills.

Running a hospital nothing new for Murphy

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 29, 2000 - Richard Murphy is settling into his job as Reeves County Hospital's new administrator, though he has over two decades in the health care industry

Murphy and his wife, Barbara have been in Pecos for six weeks since he replaced former hospital administrator Charles Butts, who resigned in early October to move on to other things.

Murphy graduated from Abilene Christian College in 1965 with a degree in accounting but soon evolved into working in the healthcare profession and now has 22 years of health care experience.

"I started out temporarily to help the hospital in Colorado City solve their computer problems," he said.

In 1979, he became a manager in the data processing department of the Colorado City hospital, staying long enough to eventually become CEO in 1988.

Murphy soon moved on to becoming CEO of a few more hospitals and most recently becoming Chief Operating Officer for the hospital in Port Lavaca, where he served from 1998 till August 2000.

"I elected to devote full time to a managing consulting firm that I own," he said, before accepting the offer from Lubbock-based Covenant Medical Center to become the newest member of the Reeves County Hospital staff.

He said he enjoys being in Pecos and his position at the hospital.

"Managing a healthcare facility today is a daily challenge," he said.

He said he enjoys managing finances and people and "making sure the healthcare needs of patients are met appropriately and cost effectively."

Murphy said he is impressed with the hospital here because of the qualified physicians and having a very good "proportion of hospital employees to meet the needs of the community."

"Pecos has got a very good healthcare system," he said.

Murphy said his favorite part of Pecos is the people he has met in the community and on his staff.

"I find it to be a very friendly community," he said. "Pecos has a very rich heritage which is a very strong attribute."

He added that he finds the history and heritage displayed at the West of the Pecos Museum impressive, and hopes to be able to take the time to go through the whole museum.

Murphy said there are a bunch of good employees at the hospital that work hard for the community.

"They all do their jobs well," he said. "They all wear different hats and do different jobs to insure everything gets done."

Murphy said he plans to work on a good long-term strategic plan and help "the Board, physicians and staff identify the needs of the community and meet those needs."

Christmas Parade, Courthouse lighting set for next Friday

PECOS, November 29, 2000 - The Annual Pecos Christmas Parade and the lighting of the Reeves County Courthouse will be held next Friday, Dec. 8.

The parade is sponsored by the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce and will begin outside Pecos High School, and will travel along Eddy and Third streets to the downtown area, and then up South Oak Street to the Reeves County Courthouse.

Line-up will be held at 5 p.m., at the Pecos High School Parking Lot and the parade will start at 6 p.m. Lighting of the courthouse will take place after the parade ends, sometime between 7 and 7:30 p.m.


PECOS, November 29, 2000 - High Tuesday 77. Low this morning 39. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low around 30. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. High around 70. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 30s. Friday: Partly cloudy. Low from the 30s to around 40. Highs from the mid 60s to lower 70s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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