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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, February 15, 2002

Drug sniffing dog to get cross training


Staff Writer Pecos, Feb. 15, 2002 - A local drug-sniffing dog will be cross-trained for weapons detection through an amendment to an interlocal agreement between the Town of Pecos City and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, school board members were told during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday

PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love told board members about the agreement at their regular meeting in the new Technology building. "Chief (Clay) McKinney and I have been talking about this, purchasing a bomb dog," said Love.

Love said that their first discussion was about purchasing one. McKinney then suggested cross-training one that the police department already owned, since the dogs are expensive.

"So I suggested cross-training Nouska," said Love, referring to the drug dog currently used by the police department and school district to do locker searchers and as a drug dog on campus.

The desire to have a weapons detection dog comes following two incidents that occurred within three days of each other at the local schools last month. A student brought an unloaded weapon to a local elementary school, while the other incident involved a teacher hiding a weapon for a student at the high school. The sawed-off shotgun was kept in a locker before it was taken off-campus.

"It will cost about $570 to cross-train Nouska and then we'll have a dog that not only detects drugs, but also weapons," said Love.

The total yearly cost will be repeated every year that the school district chooses to re-certify "Nouska" in the Weapons Detection, according to Love.

"I was informed by the K-9 trainer that once Nouska is certified in weapons detection the detection rate will be as follows, for detecting a weapon that has been cleaned and with no bullets: K-9 detection rate 50 percent; detecting a weapon with bullets: K-9 detection rate 75 percent and detecting a weapon with bullets and recently fired: K-9 detection rate 95 percent," said Love.

"I feel that this is our best option," said Love. "We can still provide a higher level of safety for the students at a very reasonable cost," he said.

"This is something our school district desperately needs," said Love. "It will give the students, the teachers, the administrators and everyone in general a little extra security."

In other action, school board members approved a band trip for members of the Mighty Eagle Band to the Dallas area this spring.

Pecos Eagle Band Director Merle Lenfest was on hand for the regular board meeting, along with Band Booster President Bertha Natividad to outline plans for the special event.

"I'm here to ask that we be allowed to participate in an after UIL competition," said Lenfest.

Lenfest told the group that last year about 1,500 had participated in the Sandy Lake Music Festival, which is held in Dallas.

"We're asking that we be allowed to use the travel money that is already in our account," said Lenfest. "The rest will be paid for by a fundraiser that was held recently and by funds from the band boosters."

Approximately 120 students will be traveling to the Dallas on April 25-27, with 17 sponsors, made up of parents and volunteers.

"We'll have plenty of sponsors to watch over the kids," said Lenfest. "There will be seven kids to an adult in every room," he said.

Lenfest said he had a great group of kids that he had faith in. "It's an inside motel, so they can't escape very easily, and they really won't have much time to get into any trouble," he said.

The group is planning to take four buses and Lenfest provided a calendar of events and a list of requirements the students must follow before they are allowed to participate.

"We also have a band auction coming up and those funds can be used as well to pay for the sponsors or any thing else," said Natividad.

"We'll leave Thursday and come back early Sunday morning," said Lenfest.

PHS swimming Coach Terri Morse and her team were recognized during the evening meeting.

Morse was named Coach of the Year and her swim team won both District/Regional competitions.

"We have an excellent group that works really hard and strives for the best," said Morse.

Morse introduced the group and said that she would be losing two swimmers, Rachelle Eisenberg and Patrick McChesney, who will be graduating this year.

"I also want to point out that this year we had a diver that will go on to state competition," said Morse. "I've never coached in state so this will be something new for me and PHS as well."

Sophomore Michael Juarez placed first in regionals and at district competition.

"We're very proud of all these students," said Morse.

In addition, the group is planning Hawaiian Luau Pep Rally honoring the Pecos Eagle Swim Team, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, at the Pecos High School Natatorium.

Everyone is invited to come out and support the swim team and the state qualifiers, who will be in Austin for the Class 4A state meet on Feb. 22-23.

Gil leaving health department job for Big Spring


Staff Writer Pecos, Feb. 15, 2002 - Numerous city and county employees gathered to say goodbye to city Health Director and Emergency Management Coordinator Armando Gil during a retirement party held in his honor yesterday afternoon at the Community Center on Oak Street.

Gil is retiring from the city after 20 years of service and will be starting a new position in Big Spring next Tuesday.

Gil explained that he would be serving the city of Big Spring as the solid waste superintendent, a job he found out about on the Internet.

He said that he was surfing the Internet one day and came across the listing for the Big Spring job, for which he then submitted an application

"I just decided to try it and see what would happen," he said.

After growing up in Toyah and living in Pecos for approximately 40 years, Gil decided that it was time to move on.

Accepting the position in Big Spring gives him the opportunity to move to a bigger city and be closer to his family, according to Gil.

"It will give me the opportunity to move up closer to my kids," he said. "My son and daughter live in Odessa."

Gil said he is excited about moving to Big Spring where he could go to the theater, bowling and golfing.

However, moving away from the small town Pecos and the citizens are what Gil said he would miss the most.

"I'll always miss the small town atmosphere," he said.

Gil explained that the people in Pecos are what is great about the city.

Over the years he has made many friends in Pecos and the surrounding areas who are always willing to lend a helping hand, Gil said.

"If you trip and fall there's always someone there to catch you," he said.

However, Gil does not plan to forget all his friends here in Pecos and hopes to visit often.

"Since it's so close I'll keep coming back to visit," he said.

Gil appreciates all the people and businesses in this area who were so supportive of him in his position as health inspector.

"The businesses I inspected and worked with were very supportive," he said. "They made my job a lot easier."

Gil does not plan to abandon the city and county when he moves to Big Spring, he said he would continue to help out whenever needed.

When Gil turned in his letter of retirement, he said that City Manager Carlos Yerena wished him the best of luck in his new job.

"He told me if there was anything he could do to give him a call," Gil said. "I said the same for me."

Gil explained that if the city or county has any questions about his former position he would be happy to answer them and help out any way he can.

"I they have any questions they can give me a call," he said.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo will be taking over Gil's duties as Emergency Management Coordinator for the time being and Gil plans to help him out as much as he needs.

Plans are also continuing forward to re-construct the city swimming pool, according to Gil, after he is gone.

"They do plan to re-construct the swimming pool," he said. The work is designed to bring the pool up to state health department standards.

Gil said that he is excited about starting a new chapter in his life and is looking forward to starting his new position at Big Spring City Hall next week.

"I'm excited but more than that I'm nervous," he said.

The friendly staff at the Big Spring City Hall has helped him calm his nerves every time he has met with them in the past week or two, according to Gil.

"It's a beautiful atmosphere," he said.

Gil's former assistant Lupe Nieto, who recently resigned from her position with the city, is also moving to Big Spring and will be interviewing for the position of code enforcement officer.

Federal, state workers, banks off on Monday

Pecos, Feb. 15, 2002 - Some local businesses and most state and federal offices will be closed on Monday in honor of President's Day.

The holiday, which usually falls in between the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12 and George Washington on Feb. 22, will be marked with the closing of both the Reeves County Courthouse and Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse in Pecos. U.S. Post Offices in Pecos and other area towns also will be closed, as will both Security State and West Texas National Bank.

The Town of Pecos City offices will be open for business as usual as will Pecos-Barstow-Toyah schools. The Pecos Enterprise will also publish a regular paper on Monday.

Youth swim team entered in Midland championship meet

Pecos, Feb. 15, 2002 - Swimmers from the Pecos Aquatic Club will be among those entered in the 35th annual West Texas Championship Swim Meet, which begins at 6 p.m. today and continues through Sunday at the City of Midland pool at Wadley Ave. and `A' Street in Midland.

The meet will feature over 200 swimmers between the ages of 7 and 14. Along with teams from Midland and Pecos, others entered are from Abilene, Andrews, Amarillo, San Angelo, Lubbock and Odessa, and from Hobbs and Carlsbad, N.M.

Events on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 9 a.m. at the COM pool.


Pecos, Feb. 15, 2002 - High Thursday 74. Low this morning 42. Forecast for tonight: Considerable high cloudiness and light winds. Lows in the upper 20s. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs 60 to 65. Winds becoming south 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s. Washington's birthday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Lows near 40. Highs in the mid 60s.

Antonio Abila

Antonio Jimenez Abila, of Barstow, died Thursday, Feb. 14, 2002, at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., today at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Barstow.

Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church with Father Ben Flores officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.

He was born June 13, 1915, in Barstow, was retired from the Cotton Gin, was a lifelong resident of Barstow and a Catholic.

Abila was preceded in death by one son, Genaro Abila and one grandchild.

Survivors include his wife, Raquel Abila of Barstow; two sons, Alfredo Abila of Barstow, Alberto Abila of Visaila, Calif.; two daughters, Patricia Galdo of Arlington, Hortencia Castillo of La Porte, Tx.; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Pecos Enterprise
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