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Friday, January 5, 2001

Cellular users set to get back local numbers

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 5, 2001 - The cellular phone numbers of some area residents have been accidentally programmed to become long-distance numbers, but the problem may be corrected by the end of today.

"We found out about the problem when some customers from Balmorhea complained about their number becoming long-distance," said Cellular One assistant sales manager Conchita Hernandez.

Hernandez said that 556 and 557 prefix numbers had been changed by the new phone company, Valor Telecom, after it took over the Pecos area system from Verizon Communications (GTE) on Sept. 1.

"It was long-distance for Balmorhea, but it was local for Pecos customers," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said that checked with Valor and learned that since taking over the local phone operations, they had thrown out the original contract Cellular One had with GTE in the past.

"We found out through them that we were giving out these numbers illegally," said Hernandez. "That's what they were claiming."

But she added that, "They were local numbers when we had a contract with GTE."

When Valor took over the system, they threw away the agreements the two companies had and started from scratch, making the Cellular One numbers long-distance, according to Hernandez.

"Since then we have spoken with corporate headquarters, who told us that they had drawn up new agreements with the local phone company and the numbers will be changed back to being local something this afternoon," said Hernandez.

"They had to enter into a new agreement with them," she said.

Postal services rolls out new stamps, rates

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, January 5, 2001 - Anyone wanting to mail letters and other postal items at the current rate only have a little over 36 hours left to do so.

At 12:01 a.m., on Sunday the cost of mailing a first class letter goes up one cent to 34 cents.

The U.S. Postal Service is raising the price of stamps again to "cover increases in the cost of doing business and to sustain high quality universal service," according to the postal service website,

Acting Postmaster for the post office in Pecos, Herman Armendariz said he wasn't sure if letters mailed on Sunday had to have a 34-cent stamp or a 33-cent stamp with a one-cent stamp added.

"I don't know if there's a grace period or not," he said.

According to the Postal Service, there is no formal grace period but postal officials say that "mail in the system" when the change takes place will be handled.

For example, a letter dropped in a mailbox on Saturday with a 33-cent stamp - but not picked up and postmarked until Monday - should be delivered. But letters sent next week without enough postage are supposed to be returned to the sender, and will not be delivered postage due.

The penny extra does not seem to bother many local citizens.

"It doesn't bother me," Carmen Millan said.

"It's no big deal to me, it's just a penny," Delfa Franco said. "You always leave a penny somewhere, you might as well use it for something good."

Elsie Daniel of Dan's Music and Video said that the penny is not a big deal considering the rise in the cost of other products such as gasoline.

"I don't think that's to bad, it could be worse," she said.

Citing rising costs and declining revenues, the post office proposed the new rates a year ago. On Nov. 13 the independent Postal Rate Commission approved increases that totaled less than the post office had sought.

The post office's Board of Governors ordered the increases into effect under protest and has asked the rate commission to reconsider the cuts it made in some of the proposals.

The 7.6 billion new stamps went on sale on December 15, according to Armendariz, with various designs featured on them including the Statue of Liberty, flowers and an American flag flying over a farm.

Armendariz said the new stamps have no denomination right now but will later be printed with the amount on it.

He said many people have already begun buying the new stamps in preparation of the rate change.

"They won't have to hassle with the one-cent stamps," he said.

For those with a lot of 33-cent stamps left over, Armendariz said there are plenty of one-cent stamps available right now.

Postal Service Spokesman Don Smeraldi said the agency has sent an avalanche of stamps to its 38,000 offices across the country, shipping 4 billion 1-cent stamps to help people use up their leftover stocks of 33-cent stamps.

Armendariz said first class rates are not the only rates going up at this time.

"Other standards of mail are going up, for example express mail, priority and second class," he said.

The 1-cent increase in first-class mail was part of the original post office request, but the commission made cuts in other areas, such as the price for additional ounces of mail and post cards.

For example, while the first ounce of first-class mail will cost a penny more at 34 cents, the cost of each additional ounce will drop to 21 cents, down a penny. The rate for post cards is unchanged at 20 cents, though the post office had sought an increase.

Other rates will also rise including international mail, Express Mail, Priority Mail, parcel post, periodicals and advertising mail.

The new rate for overseas mail will be 60 cents per ounce for Canada and Mexico and 80 cents per ounce for other countries. Previously international rates had been per half-ounce.

The post office's two largest competitors have also announced rate increases.

United Parcel Service will increase its air shipment rates 3.7 percent effective Feb. 5. International shipments will rise 2.9 percent. And ground service - the bulk of UPS's business - will rise 3.1 percent.

FedEx announced that it would increase U.S. air express rates 4.9 percent on Feb. 1.

The stamps are available on the Internet at, at post offices and supermarkets and by phone at 1-800-STAMP-24.

Commishes to get look at new Rescue Cam

PECOS, January 5, 2001 - Reeves County Commissioners will get to see a demonstration of the new Rescue Cam by the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department at their regular meeting, scheduled for Monday morning.

The group will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse and the public is invited to attend.

Commissioners will also discuss and take action on DRG Architect's request for payment invoice No. 224; Banes General Contractor's request for additional approval on request for payment No. 20 and Banes General Contractor's request for payment No. 4 support services building finish-out, dealing with the Reeves County Detention Center expansion project

The appointment of salary grievance committee for FY 2001 will also be discussed, along with transfer of funds from the budget for Commissioner Precinct 2 to Toyah Senior Citizen Center.

Bond and oath of elected officials and deputies are also on the agenda.

Regular items for discussion and action include:

Reports from various departments.

Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, district clerk, library, road and bridge, county attorney's office and sheriff's department).

Minutes from previous meetings.

Semi-monthly bills.

Spread on the minutes: oath of office-Randall W. Reynolds, district attorney and Bob Parks, district judge.

Balmorhea steer entries down, but participation stable

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 5, 2001 - Only one steer will be shown at the Balmorhea Stock Show, but plenty of other animals will be roaming around on Saturday, when judging begins at Balmorhea High School.

The Balmorhea Stock Show will begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 6, in the ag shop at the high school.

"This year only one steer will be shown, but we plenty of entries," said Balmorhea ag teacher Bob Bagley. "There were three on feed, but only one will be shown at this show."

Bagley said that overall, the number of entries in the annual stock show is about the same as last year. "It's pretty constant, we always have more or less the same number of entries," said Bagley.

Hogs will be featured in the morning and after lunch, the goats, lambs and steers, according to Bagley.

A barbecue lunch will be served at noon, at the Balmorhea High School Cafeteria. Cost per plate is $4 and is sponsored by the Balmorhea Ag Boosters.

This year's entries include Adriel Roman who will be showing sheep and goat; Adrienne Bagley, sheep and goat; Adam Roman, sheep and goat; Jennifer Ward, steer, sheep and swine; Jamie Gallego will be showing; JoGina Gallego, sheep; Candice Regelman, sheep; Amber Cook, sheep, goat and swine; Roslynn Fleno, goat; Justin Machuca, goat; Savanna Machuca, goat; Jose Rodriguez, goat; Able Rodriguez, goat and Jacob Moore, goat.

Other entries include, Efrain Rodriguez, sheep; Miguel Rodriguez, sheep; Jay Sanchez, swine; Robert Vasquez, swine; Liberty Wofford, swine; Chris Barragan, swine; Levon Barragan, swine; Sara Matta, swine; Savannah Matta, swine; David J. Matta swine; Tyler Hebbert, goat and Katlynn Hebbert, goat.

"Everyone is welcome to come out and see the show," said Bagley. "And we appreciate everyone who is involved in the show and who comes to Balmorhea to join us."

Sign-up deadline for youth basketball today at rec office

PECOS, January 5, 2001 - Today is the final day for boys and girls to register for the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department's winter youth basketball league.

Sign-ups will continue through 10 p.m. tonight in the RCCRC office in the old Pecos High School gym. The program is open to all boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 12. A birth certificate and signature from both parents is needed at the time of registration, along with the $10 entry fee per player.

For further information, call 447-9776.


PECOS, January 5, 2001 - High Thursday 69. Low this morning 41. Forecast for tonight: Clear and cold with lows around 30. Saturday: Clear skies this weekend with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s. Saturday night. Clear with temperatures in the low 30s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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