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Wednesday, January 30, 2002

McDonald's fire damage limited to computer area

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 30, 2002 -- Fans of the fast food restaurant McDonald's only had to do  without the local business for a few hours this weekend, after a fire burned in  the back of the business on Friday night.

One Pecos Volunteer Fire Department truck was called to the McDonald's on Cedar Street around 8 p.m., on Friday after the main computer for the restaurant caught on fire. Several other firemen were right across the street when the fire broke out, at the Pecos Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, but no additional fire personnel were needed.

McDonald's employees said that the fire damaged the main computer system, some uniforms, a phone and the fax machine.

The store opened on Saturday morning as usual since the computer system was still working at that time but closed for two hours on Saturday night after the system shut down.

The employees are now having to call back each order by voice until they are able to replace the computer.

There were no injuries resulting in the fire, and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

PHA approves sidewalk construction bid

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 30, 2002 -- The Pecos Housing Authority (PHA) Board of  Commissioners approved the awarding of a contract for the construction of sidewalks  on the east side of Pecos to a Midland company during the regular  meeting held last night at the PHA Administration office on  Teague Drive.

"What happened is that we had advertised for bids on contracts on the second part of the east side sidewalk project," Director Nellie Gomez said.

The PHA has been working on construction additional parking and sidewalks for the property on the Eastside of town and completed that work on Orange Street.

The organization is now planning to use some of the 2001 Capital Funds for construction of the parking and sidewalks on East 10th and 11th Streets.

Gomez informed the commissioners that four contractors bid on the project.

Master Builders Construction Co., out of Midland, turned in the lowest bid of $97,700.

Gomez said that the PHA had worked with Master Builders before and was pleased with their work.

"We worked with (Master Builders) on several projects," she said. "We know (them) well."

Other contractors that bid on the project include Reese Albert, also of Midland, with a bid of $181,463; Jesse Villa, of Andrews, with a bid of $115,803; and Odessa Bridge with a bid of $107,700.

Gomez said that if chosen Master Builders would be able to start on the project on Feb. 11.

"They set a completion date for June 11, 2002, but they'll probably finish before then," she said, and the board then agreed to award the contract to Master Builders.

That same company was the only one to bid on another project for PHA, repairs to the roof of the Eastside Daycare Building.

Gomez explained that the company based its bid of $49,500 on replacing the roof, which is not what she wants.

"We don't have enough money budgeted for that kind of work," she said. "I want to just patch the roof."

Gomez said that local contractors did not bid on the project because of the detailing of the work.

"I want to repair the roof instead of replacing it," she said.

With that in mind, Gomez asked the commissioners to allow her to talk with local contractors about estimates on repairs.

"I'd like to call some of the local area roofers to come look at the building and give me a price," she said.

The commissioners gave Gomez their consent to get more estimates.

"If you can get a local person to do it that's better than getting someone out of Odessa," Commissioner Ray Golden.

The PHA employees will now have new health care coverage after the commissioners approved changing medical plans from the current Mutual Of Omaha to Pacific L&A.

Gomez explained to the commissioners that Pacific L&A turned in two plans. One costs $319.98 more than the other, however that plan has a higher coverage.

The commissioners approved to go with the coverage that included a $5 million major medical maximum.

That plan also has a $500 deductible, $15 doctor and specialist co-pay and a prescription card.

The commissioners also approved a resolution for the pilot waiver that the Town of Pecos City Council approved at the last meeting as well as revised utility allowances for the PHA residents and recommending John Garza for appointment to the Board as resident commissioner.

During the Farm Labor Housing (FLH) portion of the meeting the commissioners approved the purchase of a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup from Colt Chevrolet if the dealership would drop the price of the vehicle to less than $9,000.

Gomez explained to the Board that the FLH is spending a lot of money on repairing the truck that they are currently using.

"We've been repairing everything that has gone out," she said.

The truck that FLH has is currently is a 1985 Ford that they purchased five years ago, according to Gomez.

Colt Chevrolet is selling the Ford Ranger for $9,450 and is in "real good shape," Gomez said.

"The Farm Labor Housing doesn't have much money to pay for a new vehicle," Gomez said. "But we have a reserve account that we could pay with."

However, Gomez explained that what the FLH could possibly do is purchase the 1995 truck that the PHA is currently using and allow PHA to purchase the '98 Ford Ranger.

The commissioners agreed that that possibility would be good however, they believed that the organization would not be able to afford the vehicle at the price Colt is asking for.

"We could only pay up to $9,000 tops," Golden said.

In other business, the commissioners approved to write off the collection losses for the fiscal year ending of 2001 for both PHA and FLH as well as void checks that are 90 days old.

Student, teacher awards given out by Chamber

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 30, 2002 -- A busy senior who currently ranks third in her class was  honored as Student of the Year on Friday, while a fifth grade teacher who  made her career choice early in life was honored as Teacher of the Year  at the Annual Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Rebecca Ann Wein, the daughter of Pat Wein and Becky Wein, was selected as the Student of the Year, one of several awards announced at the banquet at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Wein is the second oldest of five children and a member of the First Baptist Church and was one of five Pecos High School students nominated.

"I think all the five that were nominated deserve this award, too," said Wein, upon receiving her award Friday evening.

Wein thanked everyone for the award, which was given out by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.

"What you accomplish over the years spent in high school is only the beginning of what you'll accomplish throughout your lifetime," said Wein, in her biography. "It reflects who you are and molds your character."

"I had to learn how to manage my time while keeping my grades up and trying to excel in the current sport I was participating in," said Wein. "Despite a few setbacks, I came out on top and learned many life lessons along the way."

In academics, Wein received the Outstanding Student Award for Pre-AP English, her freshman year. As a sohpmore she received the same award in Accounting; as a sophomore she received the honor of being a prospective National Honor Society member and became a member the following year.

Wein plans to graduate on the New-Distinguished Plan and is currently ranked third in her class. "I hope to follow in my brother's footsteps and graduate Salutatorian," said Wein.

She has lettered in six sports and excelled in each of them.

Wein played volleyball for two years and decided to sit her junior year out, only to come back out this year and play. She was an all-district honorable mention for District 2-4A this season.

She was a member of the Eagles tennis team which finished second in district in 1999 and 2000 and received first team all-district honors fourth flight in the fall 2000. Wein received first team all-district honors first flight and in the spring of 2000 when she and her partner placed second at the district tennis tournament advancing to regionals.

Wein has been a three-year starter at catcher on the varsity softball team, which has won three consecutive district titles in that span. As a freshman, she was elected to the first all-district softball team and the past two seasons she was named Most Valuable Player.

As a swimmer, the team placed second at the district swim meet and qualified for regionals in 1999. In that year, she received all-district and all-region honors. The following year, the team placed second at the district meet and not only qualified for regionals, but finished the season as regional runner-ups. As an individual, Wein, received all-district, all-region, and honorable mention all-state honors.

Last year, the swim team not only won district, but won regionals as well. Wein received all-district, all-region and all-state honors, though this year, she decided to play basketball instead of swim.

"I was faced with my hardest decision of high school when I decided not to swim after excelling and winning for three years in a row," said Wein. "My high school experiences have taught me that you have to do what makes you happy in life and that winning isn't everything."

"I believe that leads you in the right direction if you follow it," said Wein. "My heart led me to play basketball."

Wein was the Eagle mascot the past two years, received the title of all-star mascot this past year at camp and voted on by the other mascots, received best all-around mascot at camp as well. She was also in the Mighty Eagle Band for three years where she played the saxophone and the band as a group earned two consecutive Division I titles in marching contest.

For three years now, she has been an active member of Student Council and was elected as treasurer this year. She was president of the Latin Club her junior year and secretary her sophomore year.

Wein was elected as Junior Duchess and currently received the title Most Outgoing and Best Personality, voted upon by her peers.

She plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio where she will study law and one day become a Title IX coordinator.

Before Wein was given her award, Ana Belle Chavez, a fifth grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary School was honored as Teacher of the Year.

She was born in Barstow and even though both her parents are blue-collar workers, they instilled the love for learning and most of all the importance of an education, according to her biography.

"I remember that I did not mind having homework," said Chavez. "I loved my third grade teacher, Miss Floyd so much, that I looked forward to staying after school just to help her clean the chalkboard and erasers."

It was then, Chavez said, that she made the decision to become a teacher. "I found it fascinating to see all the different teaching tools Miss Floyd had, such as maps, chalkboards and even her huge desk," said Chavez.

Chavez graduated from Pecos High School in 1979 in the top 15 percent of her class. While in high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. She attended Angelo State University for only two years, because then she got married and was not able to continue her education at this time.

"Even though I was not able to finish college at this time, my desire to teach was never forgotten," said Chavez.

She was a substitute teacher for several years before she decided to return to college to complete her education.

"With that in mind, I moved to Alpine with my daughter to finish my degree," said Chavez. "I finally graduated from Sul Ross State University in 1990 and even made the Dean's List."

Chavez was then employed by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD in 1992 as a fourth grade bilingual teacher.

At Bessie Haynes she plays an integral part in achieving a recognized status: member of the Bessie Haynes Campus Site Based Team, serve as a mentor to new teachers, serve as member of Public Relations Committee, serve on the Accelerated Reader Committee, Grade Level Planning Committee, attended specialty TAAS workshop, teach UIL Spelling, UIL science fair sponsor, served two terms as Bessie Haynes PTO President, taught reading academy, taught at-risk summer school students, represent Bessie Haynes at District Educational Improvement Council and Bessie Haynes Attendance Committee.

Professional memberships include Delta Kappa Gamma and ATPE representative and community involvements are as a a Little League sponsor, "Make A Difference Day" project sponsored by Wal-Mart and Parent School Volunteer.

New city jail's opening planned next Wednesday

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 30, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City has scheduled opening ceremonies  for the city's new Law Enforcement Center and Police Department for  11 a.m. next Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the center on Raul Florez Blvd.

Work was started last April on the facility, which will house the Pecos Police Department, inmates being held by the Pecos PD and prisoners being held for trial by the U.S. Marshal's Service. Currently, the police department prisoners are kept at Reeves County Jail, while the Marshal's Service houses its inmates awaiting trial in Pecos Federal Court at several facilities across the Permian Basin.

Cost of the new facility was $5.6 million, of which the U.S. Marshal's Service funded $2.4 million.

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 30, 2002 -- High Tuesday 76. Low this morning 51. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows near 30. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Thursday:  Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 20  mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 20s. Friday: Partly  cloudy. Highs 50 to 55. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Lows 25 to 30. Highs near 55.

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Pecos Enterprise
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