Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
School board to study costs of campus projects
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- Schedules and cost estimates for Bessie
Haynes and Crockett Middle School HVAC/renovation project, Pecos High
School tennis court renovation and Pecos High School renovations/kindergarten
carpet project/Lamar roofing will be topics of discussion at the regular
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting this evening
Members will meet at 6 p.m. in the board room, 1304 S. Park St., and the
public is invited to attend the open portion of the meeting.
Board members will review letters from ESC 18 congratulating "Recognized"
campuses; letter to TDLR concerning accessibility compliance at Crockett
Middle School and from TEA-DAEP.
Under old business the group will listen to a report on the CATE computer
building, which is nearing completion at Adams and Eddy streets.
Board members will discuss and approve 2001 tax rolls; Reading Academy
for grades kindergarten through fifth; the Patsy Torres Positive Force Tour;
2001-2002 budget amendments; disposal or trade-in of golf cart that is no
longer necessary for the operation of the school district; early release
day March 28, 2002; changes in the Pecos High School Handbook and choice
for purchasing electricity beginning Jan. 1, 2002.
The group will meet behind closed doors in a closed session as authorized
by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et.
Seq., Section 551.074: (1) to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation,
reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee;
or (2) to hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.
Board members will return to open session and take action, if any, on
items discussed in closed session.
Under regular agenda items board members will discuss and take action
Professional personnel: Appointments, reassignments, change of contract.
Depository securities report.
Current bills and financial report.
Investment transaction report.
Reconciled bank balance report.
Cafeteria report and list of commodities.
Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.
Date and time for next meeting.
Calendar of events.
Request for items for next agenda.
Division winners announced for Fall Fair's livestock show
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The 2001 Reeves/Loving County Fall Fair Livestock
show this weekend went well despite the small number of participants,
according to Reeves County Extension Agent Terry Holder.
"I think the stock show went real well," he said. "We were just down
in our numbers as far as animals."
Holder said that stock shows in Dallas and Waco pulled some participants
that would have been in Pecos away this year.
The Texas Club Lamb Association (TCLA) designated the livestock show in
Waco as a Showmanship show, which allows participants to earn extra points
at state competitions
Holder said that the showmanship designation comes around every two years
so Pecos would be eligible for it again next year.
"We'll be in the drawing for it," he said.
Holder said that he thought the show went well and that the judges were
He said that next year there is a possibility that participants could
also enter goats as well as the usual lambs, steers and heifers.
In the lambs division, Taryn McNeil, of Midland, received the Showmanship
honors as well as Grand Reserve Champion while her sister Jordan McNeil,
also of Midland received Overall Grand Champion.
Clayton Puckett, of Fort Davis, received both Grand Champion and Grand
Reserve Champion in the Finewool division.
Taryn McNeil won Grand Champion in the Cross-division while Puckett received
Grand Reserve Champion.
Jordan McNeil won Grand Champion in the Medium Wool division while Taryn
McNeil received Grand Reserve Champion.
Colby Worden, of Kermit, won Overall Grand Champion for the Steer division
while Ashley Skyler, of Big Spring, received Grand Reserve Champion.
Skyler won Grand Champion in the American Steer division while Worden
won Grand Champion in the English Steer division and Gary Henson, of Kermit,
won Grand Reserve Champion in the English division.
In the Heifer division, Overall Grand Champion went to Cody McCann, of
Big Spring, while Katie Lee, of Pecos, received Grand Reserve Champion.
Lee also won Grand Champion in the English and American Heifer divisions
while McCann won Grand Champion in the Exotic Heifer division.
Red Bluff in need of rain for 2002 water allotment
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The water level of Red Bluff Lake didn't drop
much during September, but the level of the lake is so low right now
Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members are concerned they won't
be able to authorize a water release for 2002 unless there's substantial
rainfall in the lake's basin and New Mexico over the next several months.
Board members went through about a dozen items fairly quickly during their
monthly meeting on Monday in Pecos, and did take advantage of the lake's
low level to authorize construction of an extended boat ramp, while approving
a state-mandated increase in monthly director's fees.
The lake dropped only 183 acre/feet during September, according to the
water report given to board members. But at 32,588 acre/feet, it's close
to the 20,000 acre/foot minimum the lake needs to hold to maintain the structural
integrity of Red Bluff Dam.
This year, board members authorized release of 25,000 acre/feet of water
initially, with a final release order of 23,760 acre/feet. Through the end
of September, farmers in the seven water districts along the Pecos River
had used 17,244 acre/feet of water.
The low lake level also makes getting boats down to the water tough, which
is something the board decided to correct by authorizing the boat ramp extension,
at a cost of $2,600.
Board president Randall Hartman said the 50-by-25 foot ramp "will put
it down within reach (of the water) to where anybody who has a boat can get
Board members voted 4-2 in favor of the ramp, with Manuel Lujan Jr. and
Teresa Walker voting against. "I don't have anything against a boat ramp.
I just feel we can use the money better," Lujan said.
Hartman defended the cost of the ramp, while adding, "I hope it (the lake)
fills up and it's never used. I hope it never sees the light of day after
we put it in."
Board members were also told it will cost about $3,000 to $4,000 to spray
concrete filler into cracks on the dam's spillway, to prevent any cracking
down to the rebar supports. But no action was taken on Monday.
"I don't think it's a big money thing, but it can turn into one if we
don't get it done," Hartman said.
The board also discussed, but took no action, on buying new computerized
water meters and fixing up at least two of the weir houses along the Pecos
Hartman said after discussions with officials at Baylor University's department
of geology and hydrology, the district is looking at buying seven Global
Meters, at a total cost of $10,500, plus a laptop computer to plug into the
meters to download water use information.
"We'll be able to read the meters ourselves and maintain a spare to replace
one where needed," he said.
While the meters would only last about 3-4 years, the board was told it
would still save money compared to the $18,000 the district currently has
to pay to have a meter reader come down to calculate the water releases.
On the weir houses, Hartman said Reeves County Water Improvement District
No. 1 was able to use a metal pipe turned vertically and with a metal roof
and cement floor added to create its own weir house for about $800. The board
decided to look into a similar option for their Pecos River weirs.
Also in general discussion, Hartman told local farmer Tom Nance that New
Mexico has yet to take final action on approving the water pumping permit
for the Malaga Bend salt alleviation project.
"He (Pierre Levy, with New Mexico's Interstate Stream Commission) is just
not getting after it. It's not a hold up on anybody's part except he said
he was going to and hasn't," Hartman said.
Hartman also told the board that the latest round of salt cedar spraying
conducted last month covered an area from Barstow Dam down to the Grandfalls
outlet reservoir. Other spots sprayed along the river in 1999 south of Red
Bluff Dam were also re-sprayed, and a section of Salt Creek just south of
the dam was sprayed with Arsenal to kill off the trees.
Earlier in the meeting, the board approved an increase in their monthly
director's fees from $100 to $150 a month. Board secretary Robin Prewit said
the raise was mandated by the Texas Legislature and was effective July 1,
though the Red Bluff board is paid only once a year.
The board also approved new carpeting for the district's Second Street
office, at a cost of $3,500. "We ought to be more proud of the place we come
into," said board member Charlotte Wilcox.
Prewit said the district already had spend $800 on painting the office,
but that cost was being deducted from the district's monthly rent to Pecos
Insurance until the total is repaid. The board approved the new carpet, with
Lujan casting the only `no' vote.
Former Enterprise editor Pitts dies during sailing trip on lake
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- Former Pecos Enterprise managing editor
and columnist John Paul Pitts, who spent the past 17 years as the oil
editor for the Midland Reporter-Telegram, died Saturday in a Brownwood
hospital following an apparent heart attack at Lake Brownwood, where
he had been sailing.
Pitts, who was 64, had heart surgery in recent years and had suffered
an earlier heart attack in the 1980s.
"He was a great professional who was not only dedicated to journalism
in covering business but had a passion for the oil business," said Charles
Spence, the Report-Telegram's publisher in a story in that paper's Monday
Pitts was "an outspoken advocate for the oil business," said Spence, who
said he "lost a very, very good friend.
"I'm sad for John's family and for the Midland Reporter-Telegram family,"
Pitts was held in high regard as a journalist, steeped in knowledge of
the petroleum industry. He published the Enterprise's oil and gas edition
for several years in the 1970s and in 1983, when he returned to Pecos after
moving to Gunnison, Colo.
After working in Pecos as a reporter and columnist in the early 1970s,
he was the Midland editor of "Drill Bit" magazine and later was publisher
of Colorado's Gunnison Country Times. While living in Colorado, he suffered
his first heart attack, and after recovering moved back to Pecos, were he
served as the Enterprise's managing editor for about 10 months in 1983-84
before he joined the Reporter-Telegram's staff in 1984.
Pitts was born in Arkansas in April 1937, grew up in West Texas where
he worked in the oil patch as a roughneck and was graduated from Wink High
School in 1955. He was a high school friend of the late Roy Orbison.
He piloted airplanes in his youth, enjoyed aviation and recently took
"He was doing what he wanted to do _ out sailing" with friends on the
day of his death, said his son, John E. Pitts of Midland.
Pitts earned the bachelor's degree in 1960 at Pasadena College in California.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday at the First Baptist
Church at 2104 W. Louisiana Ave.
Pitts was married to Dee Osborne in April, 1977 in Midland. Survivors
include his wife, Dee Pitts; a daughter, Sarah Pitts of Midland; a son, John
E. Pitts of Midland; a granddaughter, Cassandra Dee Pitts of Midland; his
mother, Grace Conway of Midland; and four brothers, Gary Pitts, J.T. Pitts
of Pecos, and Steve Pitts and Sammy Pitts, both of Midland. A brother, Wayne
Pitts of Odessa, preceded him in death.
Police find stolen items inside home
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The Pecos Police Department is hoping the owners
of some stolen items will come forward and claim property that was
found at a Pecos residence last week.
Investigator Kelly Davis said that the police received information about
stolen property that led to a search of a home on Third Street on Friday.
"We went to a residence where it was advised there was a stolen bicycle,"
he said. "Upon investigation we discovered a quantity of items (the resident)
had bought from drug addicts."
The house in which the stolen items were found is located in the 600 block
of East Third Street, but the name of the resident was not released at this
Items found include several tools, bicycles, CDs, a jewelry box and an
Davis said that the police department had found the owners of two bicycles
that were found and hope to find more owners of the property.
He said that many people do not report items as being stolen and so it
is harder to find the owners of the property recovered.
"We find all this stuff that nobody has reported stolen and we end up
selling it all at auctions," he said.
Davis said that the only way for the police to get rid of the recovered
stolen property, when the owners can't be found, is to sell it at an auction.
"We end up having to sell bicycles and things because they haven't been
claimed, and just to get rid of them, he said."
Davis said that the police have known that the person, in whose home the
stolen items were found, has been buying the items for quite some time but
they had not been able to legally search him.
"We've been working on him for a while and we finally got information
that led to a search," he said.
No arrests were made in this case.
Study Club meeting in home for program on arts
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The Modern Study Club will meet at 3:30
p.m., on Wednesday in the home of Etta Sullivan, 1518 Cowan St. for an Arts
Department Program with Paula Fuller, Department Chairman, in charge.
Author Paul Patterson will present, "What would you like to know about
writing, but you were hesitant to ask?"
The thought-quote for the meeting is _ "Everyone can write if you put
your mind to it." _ Paul Patterson.
Roll call will be answered by members telling what they would like to
The project emphasis for this bi-monthly meeting is the donation of The
Modern Study Club Senior Scholarship to a graduating senior of Pecos High
Club members are reminded of the Western District Fall Board Meeting of
the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs slated for Oct. 20 in Pecos. Each member
is to furnish one door prize for gathering.
Phyllis Stool will be joined by Lena Harpham and Dorothy Barton as hostesses
for the Oct. 10 meeting. All members will be hosting the Western District
ladies at the all-day Fall Board Meeting on Oct. 20.
PECOS, Tues., Oct. 09, 2001 -- High Monday 90. Low this morning 59. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s. South winds 5 to
15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest
winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a 20
percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s.
Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers of
thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Friday: Partly cloudy with
a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the 50s. Highs
in the 70s.
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 2001 by Pecos Enterprise