Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
March 22, 2001
Deadline filings add to crowded P-B-T race
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - At least one area election is on the verge of
being cancelled while another will be very crowded on May 5, as new filings
before Wednesday's deadline brought the total number of candidates to 10
in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board election.
The Barstow City Council race faces cancellation after the three incumbents
whose terms are up were the only ones to file to run in the election. Aldermen
Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Lucio Florez will automatically be elected
to new two-year terms in the upcoming local elections if no one files to
run as a write-in candidate by next week.
Most of the other area elections gained enough candidates in the past
week to avoid cancellation, with two last-minute filings adding to what
is now a crowded field in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board race.
Ruben Salazar filed for the one-year unexpired term on the P-B-T ISD
board on Wednesday, joining Michelle Galindo and Francisco "Frankie" Rodriguez.
The spot is currently held by Paul Deishler, who filed to run for a full
three-year term on the board.
That race gained a seventh candidate on Wednesday, when Julio Torres
joined the race. Along with Deishler and incumbent Brent Shaw, the other
challengers Veronica "Ronnie" Dutchover, Saul "Chip" Flores and Crissy
Martinez. Voters will elect three full term spots on the school board in
May, with the other two currently held by Earl Bates and board president
Louis Matta, both of whom opted against seeking new terms.
There were no final day filings in the Town of Pecos City election,
where five candidates will compete for the three council seats. Mary Patino
was the last person to file on Tuesday, joining incumbents Larry Levario,
Gerald Tellez and Johnny Terrazas and former Pecos mayor Frank Sanchez
in the race.
Balmorhea voters will also have a contested school board race to decide
on May 5. Two seats are up on the Balmorhea board and incumbents Armando
Mondragon and Paul Ward are being challenged by Cathy Carrasco for the
available three-year terms.
In the race for the Reeves County Hospital District board, two of the
five seats are up for election on May 5, but only voters in Precinct 2
may have to cast ballots in May. Linda Gholson and Clark Lindley are seeking
the seat currently held by Marcella Lovett, who did not file for re-election.
Incumbent Holly Key also did not file for a new term on the RCH board from
Precinct 4, where Hugh Box was the only person to file for the two-year
term. The current hospital board will have the option of canceling the
Precinct 4 election if no write-in candidate enters the race within the
In the Balmorhea city election incumbents Olga Lopez and Ike Ward have
filed to retain seats on the council. Voters will decide on three council
seats in the May 5 elections.
Incumbent Velma Robey has joined the other incumbent, Diana Tollet of
Toyah in filing to retain their seats on the council. The two are joined
by challengers Danny Wayne Enmon and Laura E. Budlong. There are three
positions open in the Toyah election.
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.
Long distance calls disrupted after cable cut
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - Long distance service into and out of Pecos
was down for about two hours late Wednesday morning and early that afternoon,
due to a cut cable on the main line between Pecos and Odessa.
Valor Telecom Communications Representative Erika McMinn said that Southwestern
Bell accidentally cut a Valor fiber cable between Monahans and Odessa.
"So that affects Pecos," she said.
Vice President of West Texas Operations Danny Ammons said that Southwestern
Bell is currently installing 100 miles of fiber optic cable along the existing
lines, which follow the old U.S. 80 (I-20 and Business I-20) route through
"They are plowing in a new cable next to an existing cable," he said.
Ammons said after the line was cut, Pecos residents could make local
calls but not long distances calls. "No one in Pecos could call long distance,"
he said, though some long distance cellular calls were possible while the
underground cable line was broken.
McMinn said the long distance service was only out from about 11:40
a.m. to 1:45 p.m., but added that because Southwestern Bell is laying down
100 miles of cable, they could accidentally cut the cable again.
"It won't be out for long periods of time," she said, and any outages
would be repaired quickly by the phone company crews at the site..
Ammons said that when something goes wrong with service and the cables
Valor knows about it immediately because everything is hooked up to alarm
"When something like this happens we're aware of it," he said. "It just
doesn't happen and know one knows it."
Ammons said that Valor is not worried about this happening again because
they understand that it would be fixed as soon as possible.
"We know that they're going to jump on these things as quickly as they
can," he said.
Local unemployment continues to decline
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - Unemployment in the Permian Basin continued to
decline in February, with both Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City
among those reporting fewer people without jobs last month.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Reeves County's jobless
rate dropped from 7.7 percent in January to 7.3 percent in February, while
Pecos' rate declined from 8.8 to 8.3 percent.
The TWC report said that while there were 112 fewer jobs in Reeves County
in February, the workforce declined by over 150 from January, which allowed
the unemployment rate to continue its recent downward trend. Compared to
February of 2000, the county's unemployment rate is down by nearly 3½
percent, as the workforce has declined by nearly 180 people while the total
number of jobs in the county has risen by 77.
Pecos' numbers show the same trends. The total number of workers in
the city is down from 5,536 a year ago to 5,368 last month, but the number
of jobs has risen during that same time from 4,861 to 4,920, which has
allowed unemployment to fall from 12.2 to 8.3 percent. The city's workforce
was down from January by 122 people while the number of jobs declined by
87, the TWC said.
The numbers for the city and county matched those for the Permian Basin
as a whole, as the total number of jobs in the region declined, but were
offset by a drop in the labor force. Regional unemployment fell from 4.4
percent in January to 4.1 percent last month, and is down from 6.9 percent
a year ago.
Midland County's unemployment rate fell from 3.7 to 3.6 percent, while
Ector County saw its jobless rate drop from 5.2 to 4.6 percent. Ward County's
jobless rate fell from 6.3 to 5.9 percent, while Pecos County was the only
nearby county to report an increase in unemployment last month, though
it was slight, rising from 4.9 to 5.0 percent.
One noticeable change was the TWC's statistics for Loving County. The
county's labor force in the January report was listed at 145 workers, but
that was before the new U.S. Census figures showed Loving County's population
had declined to only 58 people.
The TWC's revised numbers for the county now show a workforce of only
48 people, all but four of whom are employed, giving the county an 8.3
percent jobless rate. The January number listed seven people without jobs,
but because of the much higher workforce number, the county's jobless rate
was only listed at 4.8 percent.
Statewide jobless totals for February were put at 3.8 percent, down
from 4.1 percent in January and from 4.6 percent in February of 2000.
City says cost of water field cause of sewer bill increases
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - Community members may have noticed that the
local sewer rates have recently gone up, and city officials said the cost
of developing Pecos' new water field are behind the higher bills this month.
City Manager Carlos Yerena said that the new rates were changed to match
the average use during the three winter months, December, January and February.
During October the Town of Pecos City Council agreed to raise the business
and residential sewer rates in order to pay of a debt to the Texas Water
Yerena said that the city received an approximate $8.3 million loan
from the water board that would be used in the development of a new water
"We did this so we could fund the additional lifespan of our water wells,"
A 1994 report to the Town of Pecos City Council said the city's Worsham
and Ward County water fields would only be able to provide adequate water
supplies to the city through the year 2008. Since then, Pecos has been
in the process of locating and developing a new water field that will come
on line before that time.
The field in development is the South Worsham Field, located southeast
of Pecos, and as part of the loan agreement for building the new field,
the TWDB mandated that the city would conduct a study on existing water
and sewer rates.
Yerena said that because of the size of the loan the city would have
to have some kind of revenue to be able to pay off the debt.
Once passed last year by the city council, the new rate immediately
went into effect for local businesses. However, the residential rates only
recently came into effect in order to give the city time to monitor the
average use for the winter months.
"We didn't implement that until now," Yerena said.
By borrowing the loan from the state the city will know be able to develop
more water wells, increasing the city's water supply by 50 years.
"They (the Council) wanted to make sure we have a continuous water supply,"
Weather spotter class scheduled for next Tuesday
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - The National Weather Service in Midland will be
conducting the Basic Weather Spotters training class next Tuesday, March
27, at the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak, from 7-9:30 p.m.
Not only are these classes for emergency personnel and amateur radio
operators, but also for the general public is welcomed and encouraged to
participate. During this class the primary goal will be to become proficient
in recognizing visual characteristics that indicate a storm may be severe
or may become severe. Particular emphasis will be placed on local severe
weather events and situations.
John Mitchell, 84, of Pecos, died Tuesday, March 20, 2001, at Medical Center
Hospital in Odessa.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, March 23, at Fairview
He was born Jan. 26, 1917, in Valentine, was a U.S. Army WWII Veteran,
a retired mail carrier and a lifelong Pecos resident.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Frank "Tig" Mitchell.
Survivors include his wife, Elidia Torres Mitchell of Pecos; three sons,
John, Frank and Bob Mitchell of Pecos; two step-daughters, Maria Elena
C. Rodriguez and Gloria C. Arredondo of Pecos; one half-brother, Jack Lindsay
of Georgetown, Tx.; three grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - High Wednesday 91. Low this morning 52. Forecast
for tonight: Increasing cloudiness. Low in the mid 40s. Northeast wind
10 to 20 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy and cooler with a slight chance of
showers or thunderstorms. High in the lower 70s. East wind 5 to 15 mph.
The chance of rain is 20 percent. Friday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight
chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the lower 40s. The chance of
rain is 20 percent. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.
Highs in the 60s.
Thursday, March 22, 2001
Former Pecosite part of special choir
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - Briana Sutlive, formerly of Pecos, has been named
a charter member of Celebration Singers, a recently formed district-wide
choir in the United Independent School District in Laredo.
The 28-member choir is composed of fourth through sixth grade students
from the 21 elementary schools and seven middle schools in the UISD. Members
of the Celebration Singers are required to be active members of the honors
choirs at their individual schools. They were chosen by audition. The schools
have choirs for each grade level. The honors choir members are chosen from
the grade-level choirs in each school. Celebration Singers consists, therefore,
of the best singers from each elementary and middle school in the UISD.
Briana, the granddaughter of Manuel and Hortencia De La Garza of Pecos
and daughter of Chuck and Maby Sutlive (formerly of Pecos) is a 10-year-old
fifth grade student at Finley Elementary. She has been a choir member at
Finley since 1997 and has been an honors choir member at the school the
last three years.
According to Danny Harold Dixon, founding conductor of Celebration Singers,
the group was created, "to foster a lifelong commitment to the arts, especially
singing. It is the goal of this ensemble to perform at a level that is
consistent to the performance level of professional children's choirs."
Briana and the other members of Celebration Singers performed with the
Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra in December and held their first concert
on Friday, Feb. 2. A second concert is scheduled for May.
In addition to his duties with Celebration Singers, Dixon is the bass
section leader for the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale, and is the music teacher
at Perez Elementary in Laredo.
Pushing children puts them at risk
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - Most children who play sports have fun, get exercise
and learn important social values as cooperation and teamwork. But parents
who push their children too hard put them at risk for physical and psychological
"Parents naturally want their kids to succeed," said Dr. Albert Hergenroeder,
chief of adolescent and sports medicine at Texas Children's Hospital in
Houston. "My sense is many children are being pushed harder than ever,
and more young athletes are sustaining overuse injuries."
Young athletes tend to have problems with the legs, shoulders and elbows.
For example, overuse of bone can lead to a stress fracture. Overuse of
the knee can lead to patella femoral pain, an overuse of muscles, tendons
and/or cartilage, Hergenroeder said.
Some children also may suffer from psychological problems leading to
or caused by a lack of self-esteem because they aren't living up to their
Females are particularly at risk for a condition known as the "female
athlete traid": disordered eating, absent or infrequent menstrual periods
Hergenroeder attributes many sports-related injuries to the increase
in children training in just one sport.
"Children should be allowed and encouraged to play different sports,"
he said. "Younger children shouldn't play sports every day. Daily practice
is too much before middle school, and even then may be too often."
In Hergenroeder's opinion, grade-school children should participate
in two practices and one game per week, while middle-school students can
practice one additional time per week.
Parents should recognize children's complaints about persistent aches
and pains, loss of enjoyment, worsening performance and unwillingness to
practice as signs of potential burnout.
"Parents don't have to hold back children who are talented and enjoy
playing sports," Hergenroeder said. "They just need to make sure the kids
play sports for fun, not to please mom, dad or coach. Parents should encourage
their children, but not push them too hard."
For more information on Texas Children's Sports Medicine Center, call
832-824-3660 or visit www.texaschildrenshospital.org.
Enchilada plate sale set
PECOS, March 22, 2001 - An Enchilada Plate Sale is scheduled from 10 a.m.
until 2 p.m., Friday, March 30, at the Santa Rosa Hall.
A choice of three red or green enchiladas, rice, beans and salad for
For orders call 445-2302.
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