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April 6, 2001

Manpower shortage hampers fight against fire

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 6, 2001 - Pecos Volunteer Firefighters were called out to the second grass fire within a week just west of Duval Road on Thursday afternoon and spent more time than expected at the blaze due to a lack of firemen.

Pecos Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire said the fire started in a ditch were it burned and then spread into an open field next to the ditch.

Brookshire said that it is hard to tell what started the fire but with the grass being so dry anything could have started it.

"It doesn't take much at all to set the grass off," he said.

Pecos Fire Chief Roy Pena said that the fire started close to some electrical poles, which is why they started containing the fire on that side of the fire and not on the side the wind was blowing toward.

"We were trying to make sure it didn't catch the poles on fire," he said.

Pena said that the fire department was shorthanded of the available firefighters who could respond, which led to only one unit answering the call.

The fire department's newly acquired truck was the unit sent to the fire, but the firefighters had to control the water manually because the pony pumper that is designed for grass fires is not yet operational.

Pena said that after extinguishing the fire close to the power lines they moved to the other side to try and contain the fire before it reached a lot of debris in the middle of the field that included numerous tires.

Because of the lack of both manpower and a second unit, the fire reached the tires before they could put it out, Pena said.

Pena said that he requested another unit to arrive at the scene but because of the lack of firemen for the second unit, "It prolonged the actual fire fighting to about two hours," he said. "We would have taken care of that in 30 to 40 minutes if we had enough men."

The land that was burnt belongs to William Wes Jones.

Brookshire said that a fire ban continues for Reeves County and wants residents to be careful when working outside.

"Everybody needs to use extreme caution," he said.

Brookshire said that county residents may still burn trash as long as it is in a container with a spark resistant cover.

Immunizations to be offered for first time at Health Fair

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 6, 2001 - Plenty of immunizations will be available Saturday, during the Annual Reeves County Health Fair.

"For the first time ever, we will be offering immunizations, free of charge at the annual event," said Reeves County Hospital Director of Program Development Nancy Ontiveros.

Immunizations will be given from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday at the Reeves County Hospital, the site for the health fair. A tent will be set up outside the hospital to provide this special service, which is sponsored by the community, Reeves County Hospital, Texas Department of Health, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD nursing and the Department of Human Services.

Immunizations that will be provided include the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A&B, MMR and the Varicella.

"All the immunizations we give now prevent a lot of diseases," said Jose Padilla with the Texas Department of Health for Regions 9&10.

"They done so well, that people think they don't need them anymore," he said, while adding the immunizations are necessary, "because with any infectious diseases are like dominoes, if one gets it, everybody does."

School nurses have identified about 1,000 children that are not properly immunized, according to Ontiveros.

"I think this is attributed to three new vaccines that are now required within the past few years," she said. "In talking to the Balmorhea school nurse, she told us that they have a lot of children not properly immunized because there are only two (immunization) providers."

This problem has resulted for several different areas, according to Ontiveros.

"In Head Start they are required to be immunized at enrollment time, but no requirements after that," said Ontiveros.

There are few providers that offer immunizations, other than to established patients, and it's a time-consuming process, according to Ontiveros.

"Normally it's a long waiting process, the patient has to wait two to three hours in the waiting room, just to receive the immunization," she said. "We measured the time it takes to get an immunization and it took 55 minutes.

"It's very cumbersome that is why the providers require appointments and only take a certain number per day or per week," said Ontiveros.

"One of the things that concerns us about immunizations being delinquent is that it also has an economic impact on the community," said Ontiveros. "Because the schools will start excluding children that are not properly immunized and so is Head Start."

This means that the school loses state funding each time a child is absent, according to Ontiveros.

"TDH is now fining every family who does not have the children current on immunizations," said Ontiveros. "If an individual does not take advantage of these free immunizations, they will have to pay up to $65 per shot, if they don't have preventive coverage on their health plan, which could be very costly for a family that has several children," she said.

"Under the Texas vaccine program, if someone comes in and can't pay, they should give it to them for free, because most providers only see established patients," Padilla said.

During the free immunization clinic, they are requiring that parents bring in the most current immunization card.

"We have partnered with Dairy Queen and will be offering a coupon for a free ice cream to each child that is immunized on Saturday," said Ontiveros.

The children will also receive pencils, stickers and other "goodies."

"The Sonic Cup and the Pecos Eagle Mascot will be on hand to entertain the children," said Ontiveros. "We hope to have a large turnout from the community."

The immunizations have already been delivered and there will be plenty of them, according to Ontiveros.

"The state is providing all the immunizations and supplies," said Padilla.

"We're very pleased that the community has come together on this," said Ontiveros.

Other services will be available at the health fair, according to Ontiveros.

Services that will be available Saturday will be CBC, SMAC and Thyroid Profile for $20, EKG's for $7 and PSA's for men for $20.

"These prices are tremendous cost saving to any individual taking advantage of them," said Ontiveros.

The Health Fair will also offer free hearing screenings, eye exams, dental screenings, balance test, cholesterol screenings, grip strength tests, growth assessment and body fat assessment, among other health-related services.

Paraffin dips will be offered for arthritic patients, a blood drive will be held and CHIPs and Medicaid applications will be made available to health fair attendees.

Spinal screenings, free urinalysis, free blood typing, blood pressure and glucose tests will also be offered.

"This is a county health fair, we do this for the community and this is the one day a year where competitors put their differences aside and are completely focused on offering services to the community residents," said Ontiveros.

Ontiveros and all the health fair organizers are urging the community to take advantage of these services. "We hope to see a good turnout and invite every one to come to the hospital on Saturday," she said. "There will be something for everyone," she said.

A free pancake breakfast will be available for everyone and a Barbecue luncheon is scheduled. Barbecue plates will be $4 and will contain all the trimmings.

Police find stolen items in east side home

Staff Writer

PECOS, April 6, 2001 - Pecos Police Officers recovered over $1,000 worth of stolen property from a home on the east side of town Thursday afternoon.

Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that numerous stolen items were taken out of the home of Catalina Garcia, 76, located in the 400 block of East Fourth Street at about 4:30 p.m., yesterday afternoon.

Davis said that another officer had received some information leading to the search of Garcia's home and the recovery of the stolen property.

"During a narcotics investigation, Investigator Paul Deishler obtained information about some stolen property," he said.

"We went over and got permission to search her residence and located numerous stolen items," Davis said.

Davis said that the stolen items included TVs, VCRs, stereos, galvanized pipe, several hand tools, telephones, CDs, bicycles and a brand new air conditioner.

"Some of this stuff they've had for five, six months and some of it just real recently," he said.

Seven officers helped in the recovery of the stolen property. However, as of now no arrests have been made in the case, which remains under investigation.

Davis said that some of the stolen items were taken in from homes and shoplifted from stores.

"Some items were taken in burglaries in which we've already made arrests," he said.

Davis said that they plan on looking through case files of reported stolen property to try and return items to the original owners.

"We're going to make an effort to find the owners and return their property," he said.

Anyone who has not yet reported any stolen property, contact the police station at 445-4911.

County to study deed for center in Balmorhea

PECOS, April 6, 2001 - A property deed for the Balmorhea Community Center will be the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting on Monday.

The group will meet at 10:45 a.m., in the third floor courtroom and the public is invited to attend.

Commissioners will discuss and take action on a resolution declaring April 22-28, County Government Week; American Cancer Society's Texas Golf Pass Program and DRG request for reimbursement expenses invoice No. 246.

Commissioners will discuss and take action on a proposal for closing three-tenths of a mile of Reeves County Road 203; RCDC clothing bids; selection of grievance committee; property deed for Balmorhea Community Center; deputation and oath for Reserve Sheriff Deputy Victor Marshal Montgomery and property bids.

To spread on the minutes: resolution for District Attorney's Crime Victim Assistance program; resolution authorizing interim Chief Probation Officer to approve payment of bills; railroad commission of Texas Oil and Gas Division; order jury selection plan; agreement between Reeves County and Reeves County Hospital and contract between Reeves County and Sandra Hansen for inmate transportation coordinator services.

Little League set for 2001 openers at remodeled field

PECOS, April 6, 2001 - The Pecos Little League will start up its 2001 baseball season on Saturday with four games, following opening ceremonies set for 12 a.m. at Chano Prieto Field on Walthall Street.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo and executive assistant Randy Baeza are scheduled to throw out the first pitches for the new season, league president Lee Serrano said. The two were involved in helping the Little League install both a new watering system for the field, and new light towers that will allow it to be used for tournament night games in July.

After opening ceremonies, a `C' Division game will open the season at 2 p.m. Serrano said a `B' Division game would follow, while the opening `A' Division games are set for 6 and 8 p.m. on Saturday.


PECOS, April 6, 2001 - High Thursday 98. Low this morning 59. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low 40 to 45. West wind 15 to 25 mph and gusty. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High in the lower 80s.West wind 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the upper 40s. Sunday through Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Lows around 50. Highs in the mid 80s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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