Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, June 7, 2001
Abi's opens as Cattleman's closes
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- Menu items will remain the same, along with
the same friendly staff to greet you at what was formerly known as
the Cattleman's Restaurant, but will now be called, "Abi's Kitchen."
"We want to keep a lot of things the same, but we did do some remodeling,"
said owner Bertha Porras.
Bertha and her husband, Carlos, have recently purchased the restaurant
located at 425 W. 3rd, after the couple that owned the restaurant
decided to retire.
"We're not planning any other changes as of now," Porras said. "We've
just been remodeling and fixing up the restaurant," she said.
Porras' experience in the restaurant business will come in handy. She
once worked as a waitress and made burritos for a Mexican restaurant.
"I also worked at the Pecos Nursing Home and I loved it, but now we decided
we wanted to do something for ourselves," said Porras.
Porras and her husband came to Pecos five years ago to pastor at the Emmanuel
Assembly of God Church at 512-½ West 3rd Street.
"This business is taking all of our time right now, but we're enjoying
it," Porras said.
Aside from being active at their new venture, the couple plan to remain
active at the church.
Hours for the restaurant will be from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Monday
through Friday. Abi's will be closed on Saturday and open on Sunday, from
6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
"We want to serve the church crowd," said Porras. "A lot of people like
to take a break on Sunday from cooking and eat out right after church," she
Porras said the family is open to suggestions. "We want to keep the regular
customers and welcome their ideas," said Porras, who added that the restaurant
would remain non-smoking.
When they are not busy with church and the restaurant the couple enjoy
spending time with their three children _ Alma, 15 years old, who will be
a sophomore at Pecos High School next year; Isaiah, 10 years old and a sixth
grader at Zavala Middle School, and four-year old Abi.
The name Abi's Kitchen came from a combination of the family's names.
A, for Alma; B, for Bertha and I, for Isaiah. "And it all spells out our
little girl's name, Abi," Porras said.
"We want to keep our regular coffee drinkers and welcome everyone to come
in and enjoy a good meal," Porras said.
Balmorhea ISD awarded $50,000 high tech grant
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- Balmorhea schools will be getting a high-tech
shot in the arm now that the district has received a $50,000 grant to improve
technology infrastructure on its campuses.
The grant comes from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF)
Board, a state agency that provides technology funding for Texas public schools.
The TIF Non-Competitive Grant for Texas Public Schools was designed to
fund up-to-date hardware and connectivity equipment, high-speed workstations,
Internet access, and/or distance learning equipment so that students may
take classes from another school district and/or an institution of higher
education. Additionally, grant funds can be used for technology staff development,
including hardware and software training, network training, methodology training,
and base level technology training. These grant projects officially began
"Students are the future of Texas," said David Carrasco, the Project Director
for this grant. "Today, students are gaining the opportunity to use modern
technology for researching via the Internet, word processing, and learning.
We, as educators, want our students to succeed and become more marketable
because of the education that they received while in school here. Thanks
to TIF, the opportunity to fund this equipment and infrastructure is a reality,"
Since its creation by the 74th Legislature in 1995, TIF has
awarded approximately $592 million in grants to its four constituent groups
_ public schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, and public,
not-for-profit healthcare facilities. The agency receives approximately $150
million per year in revenues from telecommunications assessments to disburse
over a ten-year period, Carrasco said.
Kids of all ages welcome at tennis clinics
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- With the school year over and parents wanting
their children to do something else besides be inside the house, tennis
could be the answer.
Tennis lesson are being offered to children ranging from kindergarten
through high school with a registration fee of five dollars for one child.
Registration for two children is seven dollars and three or more children
of one family costs ten dollars.
Two morning sessions beginning at 8 a.m. last for thirty minutes. Children
from kindergarten through first grade go from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Second
and third graders can go attend the 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Students in sixth through eighth grade can attend the session from 9:00
a.m. to 9:45 a.m., while junior high students can attend the 10:00 a.m. to10:45
a.m. The session from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon is for students in high school.
Lessons are provided by Bernadette Ornelas, who said that the purpose
of the tennis sessions is to introduce tennis to children at a young age.
"We try to introduce tennis using different techniques and game," Ornelas
Games used by Ornelas are Scoop It Up and Honey Comb. The game of scoop
it up allows the younger children to scoop up the tennis ball, pass it to
a friend without letting it bounce more then once.
The game tends to be fun for the younger kids, she said.
"It is more successful because they don't not get discouraged," Ornelas
said. "I do a lot of different games to keep them interested."
Using different techniques the children are then able to practice on their
form. Each session ends with a game that help them practice on their backhand
and forehand serves but yet keep them interested.
Part of the each session consists of Ornelas encouraging teamwork and
good sportsmen ship.
Since Ornelas began playing tennis she says that the sport has changed
in the way in which United States Tennis Association (USTA) is involved.
They now provide members with equipment, literature and encourage every one
of all ages to play.
Children wanting to play that do not have a tennis racket can still join,
Ornelas said. As a member of the USTA seventy-five tennis rackets where donated
for the classes.
At the end of the season a tournament will be held for children wanting
to compete in it. The Black-Gold Tennis Circuit Tournament will be held from
June 22nd through the 24th, with several towns within the West Texas area
No leads in Plum St. drive-by shooting
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- Pecos Crime Stoppers is asking community members
for any information on a drive by shooting that occurred two weeks
Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that the shooting occurred
on May 24 at an unknown time in the 2200 block of South Plum Street.
Davis said that it appears that only one shot was fired at the home of
David and Jan Pattillo with the bullet entering the front of the house. No
one was injured.
David Pattillo said that no one was home at the time of the shooting but
he discovered the bullet hole at approximately 11:00 p.m. when he came home
"I wasn't even here when it happened," he said.
Pattillo said that the bullet entered the house between the front door
"It went all the way through the living room and hit a sliding glass door,"
Davis said that they could not find any evidence of the shooting besides
the bullet hole.
"We checked the area and there were not any other bullet holes or shell
casings," he said.
Pattillo said that the police believe that the bullet came from a .38-caliber
or .380-caliber pistol.
Davis said that after interviewing neighbors they could not find anyone
who witnessed the incident.
"We have no suspects and no leads," he said. "We emplore the public to
come forward and provide information."
Davis said that anyone with any information on this case or any other
Crime Stoppers case should call 445-9898.
Property value protest hearings set
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- Property owners in Reeves County can protest
appraised value for their property at the end of this month during
protest hearings before the Appraisal Review Board (ARB).
The protest hearings for mineral appraisals are scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-2:00
p.m., on June 25 with real estate appraisals scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to
4:30 p.m., the same day. The ARB is also scheduled to hear protests on real
estate again on June 28 and, if needed, June 29.
Chief Appraiser Carol King-Markham said that after the ARB completes the
hearings and approves the final appraisals the local governments would use
them to set the 2001 tax rates.
Markham said that she sent notices out last month to inform the property
owners that they would be able to protest the appraisals before the ARB this
The ARB is made up of a group of citizens who live in the appraisal district
and are appointed by the district's board of directors.
The ARB members are Chairman Bob McNutt, Vice-Chairman Reecia Pigman and
Secretary Charles Mitchell.
The board of directors is also made up of citizens appointed by the governing
bodies of the taxing jurisdiction, according to Markham.
The taxing jurisdiction includes Reeves County, the Town of Pecos City,
the City of Balmorhea, the City of Toyah, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, Balmorhea
ISD, the Reeves County Hospital District and the Reeves County Water Improvement
District No. 2.
Markham said that property owners could begin filing for protest in May
with the deadline ending the protesting period yesterday.
Although the appointed time to file for protest is over, Markham said
that people could still file but have to sign a waiver that would cancel
the 15-day notice for the hearings.
Markham said that so far approximately 53 people filed for mineral protests
while 36 people filed for real estate protest.
"Some of these may be settled before they go to the board," she said.
Markham said that not as many people file for protest now compared to
"It gets less and less every year," she said.
Last year, Markham said that approximately 40 protests were heard by the
Markham said that official forms for a notice of protest were included
with the appraisal letters to property owners but the property owners would
also be able to file for protest in one other way.
"A protest letter from the taxpayer is also acceptable as long as it identifies
the property owner and the property protested and indicates dissatisfaction
with some decision or action of the appraisal office," Markham said.
During each 10-minute protest hearing the property owner may offer the
ARB evidence or an argument for the protest.
The protester could do this either in person on by filing a sworn affidavit
with the ARB, according to Markham.
A property owner may appoint another person to present the protest by
filing an appointment of agent form with the appraisal district, she said.
Markham said that this year the biggest protest will come from Anchor
Foods, which wants to protest for an inventory exemption.
"They decided to protest the abatement values," she said.
Markham said that after the protest hearings have been decided the property
owners would still be able to appeal the decision.
"When the board makes their decision we send the taxpayers a letter stating
what the board has determined," she said. "If they are still not happy they
Attached to the final order notice is a form for appeal.
Markham said that although all the property owners have an opportunity
to appeal most never take the process that far.
"People very rarely appeal," she said.
Markham said that she and her staff would soon send out notices of appointment
to the property owners who have filed for protest.
The protest hearings will be held at the Reeves County Appraisal District
office located at 403 South Cypress Street.
Bake sale scheduled for Friday
PECOS, Thurs., June 7, 2001 -- A bake sale is scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday,
June 8, at both Security State Bank and West Texas National Bank.
The fundraiser is sponsored by the 2001 Golden Girl nominees and the Women's
Division of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce.
Homemade baked goods will be for sale and everyone is invited to come
by and help out the local beauties.
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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