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March 7, 2001

School board reassigns PHS band director


Staff Writer

PECOS, March 7, 2001 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board reassigned Pecos High School band director William Goff to an assistant band director's position Tuesday night, after meeting behind closed doors for evaluations and renewal of probationary and term contract employees and evaluations renewal of assistant principals' contracts.

The one-year term contract for Goff, who has been the head band director for the past three years, was the only contract not renewed by the board during their regular monthly meeting.

Board president Louis Matta read the terms for Goff's new contract, stating, "Reassignment of William Goff of one-year term contract for certified classroom teacher on an 11-month basis to a one-year term contract for certified classroom teacher for a 10-month basis and his reassignment will change from head band director to assistant band director."

Overall, the board approved one-year probationary contracts and one-year term contracts on a total of 192 teachers. The approvals were for continuing contracts and one-year probationary dual assignment contracts with the professional personnel, one-year term dual assignment contracts and one-year term contracts for non-certified personnel.

One-year term contracts for licensed vocational nurses including Mary Sanders and Alicia Urias were approved and one-year probationary contract for licensed vocational nurse, LaRhonda Eubanks.

One-year term contract for certified administrators including Cynthia Armbruster, Benny Hernandez, Francisco Morin and Lucila Valenzuela were approved.

Resignations included those of John Barrett, Special Education Teacher, Zavala Elementary School, effective May 25, Melinda Flores, Physical Education Teacher, Crockett Middle School, effective May 25 and Alejandro San Martin, Spanish Teacher, Pecos High School, effective May 26.

Retirements included Hiram Luna, AEP Teacher, Lamar Alternative Education Program, effective May 26.

Board members approved the purchase of a new school bus, as recommended by Transportation Director Jimmy Dutchover.

"We're talking about getting a very good vehicle for that price," said Dutchover.

Dutchover told the group that the bus would be delivered here and since it's affiliation is in Odessa, repairs would be made there as well. "We have to go to Odessa to get our buses repaired anyway, but they have a freighter in Odessa," said Dutchover.

The body has a five-year warranty, with the extras having a two-year warranty, according to Dutchover. "This is really a good deal," he said.

Total purchase price was set at $55,564.

Board members approved a request from the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Women's Division for the use of the Pecos High School Auditorium and to waive fees.

"We do this for them every year and have done it for several years," said superintendent Don Love.

The women would like the use of the auditorium for the Annual Golden Girl Revue and for the practices prior to the event.

Two offers to purchase property were approved including a property located at 405 S. Mesquite, appraised at $8,397. The property was approved for sale to Alfred Garcia in the amount of $1,000.

The other property is located at 1401 S. Cypress, appraised at $29,245 and approved for sale to Sylvia Lujan for $2,025.

Council to discuss settlement

of Southern Union Gas lawsuit


Staff Writer

PECOS, March 7, 2001 - The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to discuss a settlement agreement on a Class Action Suit against Southern Union Gas Company, in which Pecos would receive over $17,000.

City Finance Director George Bejarano said the suit involves approximately 35 to 40 cities including Pecos against the Rio Grande Valley Gas Company, a part of Southern Union Gas.

"Pecos is set to receive $17,483," he said.

Bejarano said that the suit "deals with the proper notification in increasing rates" by the gas company.

In order for Pecos and the other cities involved in the lawsuit to receive the money divided among them they must approve an ordinance written up as a result of the suit.

The total settlement comes to the amount of $4.4 million.

The Council is also scheduled to discuss approval of numerous ordinances and resolutions. They involve making claims for certain fire department responses, renaming the Interstate 20 frontage road for former Reeves County Sheriff Raul Florez, along with the renaming of Rancho Street, as well as approving a central counting station for the city election.

In other business the Council will review the ambulance and municipal court reports and the accounts payable.

First incumbent joins race

for Balmorhea ISD board

PECOS, March 7, 2001 - One person has filed to run for one of the two available seats on the Reeves County Hospital District board, while in Balmorhea an incumbent is seeking to retain his post on the school board.

Linda Gholson has filed for a seat on the Hospital Board, in Precinct 2, a seat currently held by Marcella Lovett. The other seat on the hospital board up for election on May 5 is the one for Precinct 2, currently held by and Holly Key.

Along with the hospital board races, area city council seats will also be voted on in the Pecos, Barstow, Balmorhea and Toyah city elections, along with the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah and Balmorhea ISD school district boards.

There have been no new filings this week in the Pecos city or Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD elections, but an incumbent on the Balmorhea School Board has filed to retain his seat. Armando Mondragon will seek a new three-year term on the board.

The deadline to file in all elections is March 21, and filings will continue all next week in the P-B-T election despite spring break, while offices will be open in Balmorhea on Friday, March 16, during the holiday period.

Jo Allgood will be in the Pecos school administration office next week from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1-4 p.m. The secretary in the Balmorhea office will be in on hand on Friday, after lunchtime.

In the P-B-T school board election, Paul Deishler, who was appointed last year to replace Frank Apolinar, Jr., on the board, has filed for one of the full three-year terms along with incumbent Brent Shaw.

Three of the board's three-year terms and Deishler's unexpired term are up for election on May 5. The three-year terms are held by Shaw, Earl Bates and Louis Matta, who is president of the board.

In the Balmorhea city election incumbent Olga Lopez has filed to retain her seat, one of two up for election on May 5. In the Barstow City Council race, all three incumbents whose terms are up have filed to retain their seats.

Aldermen Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Lucio Florez have filed to seek new two-year terms in the upcoming local elections.

In the Town of Pecos City, two of the three incumbents and one former city official have filed. Incumbents Gerald Tellez and Larry Levario are joined by former Pecos mayor Frank Sanchez in the council race. Johnny Terrazas holds the other council seat whose two-year terms expire in May.

If there are no opposed candidates, along with no propositions and no vacancies to be filled by special election in the various city, school and hospital board races, the election may be canceled anytime after this date.

The last day a person may register to vote in the local elections is April 5. Early voting by personal appearance will be April 18 through May 1. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day, May 5.

Board reviews delinquent tax payment plan


Staff Writer

PECOS, March 7, 2001 - Paying local taxes doesn't have to painful or a big ordeal, school officials told local residents Tuesday during the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board's regular monthly meeting.

The board along with tax-assessor-collector Lydia Prieto discussed possibilities at their regular meeting held Tuesday in the boardroom.

The item had been a topic of discussion at previous board meetings, where board member Paul Deishler said that the board just wanted to help the taxpayers.

"We know that times are hard and it's difficult to pay the taxes, but we want to help by providing options," said Deishler.

Several taxpayers were in the audience talking about their taxes and the situations they are facing because of delinquent taxes. They told the board that it was difficult to pay for the taxes due to the bad economy and that they were asking for a chance to keep their property.

Board president Louis Matta said that he would refer them to the tax attorneys and they could work something out with them.

"None of us want someone to lose their property," said Matta. "We don't want to see that."

Those on hand stated that the public is not as well-informed on what the status of their situation is and would like to be better informed.

Prieto said that notices are sent out in October and May. "In May the letter is to notify the taxpayer that if the taxes are not paid by July 5, an additional 15 percent will incur, for the attorney's fees. We also notify them that it they don't pay them by July 1, they will be delinquent," she said.

In addition, Prieto said that the attorneys send out four letters per year, notifying the taxpayer of their status.

Board members approved an acceptance of partial payments until Jan. 31 of each year. "This is just for current taxes, not the delinquent ones," said board member Brent Shaw.

However, Prieto said that her office would accept any kind of payment the taxpayer can make.

"We'll accept anything they can give us and help them to catch up or stay current," she said, adding that her office was willing to help with anything or answer questions the taxpayer might have. "We realize that times are hard and we are willing to work with them."

"The tax office has and will continue to accept tax payments on current taxes if the taxpayer desires to pay one entity per month; taxpayers may also pay one half of their school taxes in a single month and pay the remainder the next month. If there is a balance of unpaid taxes by Jan. 31, penalty and interest will be incurred," said Prieto.

Border Patrol agents

squeeze pot seizure

out of orange truck

PECOS, March 7, 2001 - U.S. Border Patrol agents on Sunday seized over 1¾ tons of marijuana at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint on Interstate 10 in Hudspeth County.

In a press release, the Border Patrol said over 3,600 pounds of marijuana was found hidden beneath a load of oranges in a commercial truck. Agents arrested the driver of the tractor-trailer rig and the passenger, both resident aliens from Cuba.

The El Paso Police Department accepted custody of the trailer, the marijuana and the detained individuals. The total weight of the marijuana was 3647.28 lbs. The estimated value is over $2.9 million.

The seizure was the second-largest of the year so far at the Sierra Blanca checkpoint, the Border Patrol said.


Ageda Nunez


PECOS, March 7, 2001 - High Tuesday 74. Low this morning 43. Forecast for tonight: Occasional rain and a few thunderstorms. Low in the mid 40s. East wind 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is 80 percent. Thursday: Cloudy and cooler with rain likely. High in the mid 50s. North to wind 10 to 20 mph. The chance of rain is 60 percent. Thursday night: Mostly cloudy. Low in the mid 30s. Friday and Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the 30s. Highs in the 60s to near 70.

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