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Archive 2002

Area Newspapers
Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Board discusses plans for hospital modernization

Staff Writer
PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- An update on a facility master plan was one of the numerous topics reviewed by the Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors during the regular meeting last night in the hospital's classroom.

Rob Meese, project manager from Hammel-Green-Abrahamson, Inc., gave the board a report on the plans and specs that have been developed to give the hospital a more updated look as well as more room.

Hospital Administrator Robert Vernor explained to the board and the people present at the meeting that the hospital has been working on a master plan for the past couple of months, however, that does not mean that the hospital would follow through with the plans.

"All of this is still in the planning stages," he said. "No decisions have been made."

Vernor said that the plans are being made to determine what the hospital's needs are, the feasibility of those plans and how, if approved, the plans would fit into the budget.

Meese informed the board and the audience that his company took a "broad brush look" at the 24-year-old facility to determine what is needed.

"The entire facility is aging," he said. "It's time for some updates and changes."

Meese started by looking at the exterior of the building and determined that the parking lots need improvement along with an overall update of the look of the building, which would help with the image of the hospital.

For example, he said that there needs to be emphasis on the entry with possibly adding a tower in order to make the hospital recognizable from the highway.

"And it would also be a recognizable symbol for the rest of Pecos," he said.

Meese said even changing the color of the building would "bring the look of hospital to a little more contemporary feel."

As far as the interior, Meese explained that the current emergency room is too crowded and a new addition would be needed in order to expand the area.

With a new addition, Meese said that that would free up a lot of room within the hospital allowing them to expand on some of the departments such as radiology.

The board met in executive session to discuss further information on the master plan with Meese.

In other business on Tuesday, the board awarded a bid for financing of an ambulance and ultrasound equipment to West Texas National Bank, with Board member Leo Hung abstaining from the vote.

Before the board opened the two sealed bids from West Texas National Bank and Security State Bank, Hung explained that he has received many comments from community members about his possible conflict of interest in this subject.

Along with being a hospital board member, Hung is also a board member for West Texas National Bank and stated that many people believe that puts him into conflict of interest.

"Many people don't have an understanding of the conflict of interest law," he said.

In order to determine whether or not he would have a conflict of interest, Hung did some research and even called the Texas Attorney General.

He said that it was determined that he would legally be able to vote because he would not receive a commission as a result of his vote. However, he decided to abstain from the vote anyway.

Board President Linda Gholsen opened the sealed bids and read them aloud to the board and audience.

After reviewing the bids, both of which were for the amount of $157,200 to be paid back in 60 months, the board determined that West Texas National Bank turned in the better bid, based on the finance charges each bank listed.

West Texas National Bank's bid included an estimated finance charge of $18,426.60 at the initial rate of 4.45 percent. Security State Bank's bid was with a finance charge of $29,586.60 at a fixed rate of 7 percent.

The board also approved the ratification of organizational structure, operation policies and procedures for RCH Home Health and approved continuing the employee health insurance plan with their current provider of Blue Cross, Blue Shield.

The board approved a resolution for giving property tax relief to organizations that provide specific charitable services, which the school board recently approved as well.

Also on the agenda was discussion of sale of property at 1607 S. Eddy Street and 503 S. Ash Street, both to Carmen Jasso of Pecos.

In other business the board approved the monthly tax report, financial statements and budget amendments and the payment of bills.

Area churches set Good Friday, Easter services

Staff Writer
PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- Pre-Easter and Easter Sunday services will be held in different churches in the area and the community is invited to attend the one of their choice.

First United Methodist Church invites anyone who is interested to participate in its special pre-Easter services.

A Maundy Thursday service will begin at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the church, located at Third and Elm streets. The communion service is held annually to commemorate Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples.

On Friday, church members and visitors may "come and go" throughout the afternoon to hear scripture readings that tell the Passion story, or the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection. Cathedral music and the smell of myrrh will help set the mood for prayer and meditation. The church will be open from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

"We welcome anyone who would like to share in these services to please come," said pastor Bruce Abbott.

The Methodist church will have its Easter services during morning worship at 10:55 a.m., Sunday.

Area Catholic churches will observe Holy Thursday with special services. Christ the King Parish in Balmorhea will have a service at 5 p.m.; Santa Rosa Parish, Pecos, at 7 p.m. and St. Catherine Parish at 8 p.m.

On Good Friday, March 29, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Saragosa will have a service at noon as will Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Barstow. Santa Rosa Parish in Pecos has a service scheduled for 3 p.m., with Stations of the Cross, in procession from St. Catherine to Santa Rosa; while St. Catherine Parish, Pecos will have services at 6 p.m., Passion and Santa Rosa Parish, Pecos, 7 p.m., Passion.

Easter Vigil will be observed at Christ the King Parish, Balmorhea, at 6 p.m.; Our Lady of Refuge, Barstow, at 6 p.m. and both St. Catherine and Santa Rosa Parishes in Pecos will have services at 9 p.m.

On Easter Sunday, Santa Rosa Parish will have services at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.; St. Catherine Parish, Pecos, 10:30 a.m. and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Saragosa at noon.

Council to discuss contracts for housing project services

PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to discuss an agreement for contractor services for the housing infrastructure project during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., tomorrow at City Hall.

The city hosted a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for a new single family home subdivision on Washington Street.

The city is planning to build the infrastructure before any homes would be constructed. Work on installing water and sewer lines in expected to take about seven months, while the actual construction of the first home is to begin sometime this fall.

The council will also consider a resolution authorizing participation in the "Texas Main Street Program" and designating the Main Street Director to coordinate all program activities.

Also on the agenda is discussion of the interagency agreement with the Trans-Pecos Drug Task Force as well as consider approval of the Pecos Police Department's racial profiling policy.

Driver victim of gambling scam at truck stop

Staff Writer
PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- A "scam" that occurred Monday night at the Flying J Travel Plaza left one truck driver out of a large sum of money.

"It was a scam," said Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez. "I've seen this on television and know that it's been done at other places, but it had never occurred here before."

Reeves County Sheriff Deputy Richard Natividad was dispatched to the Flying J Travel Plaza on Monday, March 25.

Natividad met with Bryan P. Chandler, 39, who said that a group of males had taken his money from him at the Flying J parking lot.

"What they do is get a group of guys who play cards and let one win," said Gomez. "He keeps winning and winning and then that guy turns around and asks another who is standing by watching if he can borrow some money, telling him he can win it back."

In the incident report, Chandler said that while he was parked at the Flying J truck parking lot, he was observing a group of about five male subjects, all between the ages of 35 and 50, gambling on a game of cards. He stated that one male subject asked him for some money to bet on the game and Chandler agreed to lend the male subject $800 and that both would split the profit.

The male subject then lost all the money on the card game and attempted to leave. Chandler said he then told the male subject he wanted his money back and that all five male subjects became angry with him. They told Chandler that he lost his money on the bet and that he couldn't have it back.

"What they were doing was letting that guy win so that Bryan would think that he could win all the card games," said Gomez. "When the guy asked Bryan for some money, he thought he was going to win it back easily, but it was all scam, they were all in on it."

Chandler said that all the male subjects then ran to their vehicles, identified only as one maroon possibly Oldsmobile with a beige top, and a small light blue 4-door Chevrolet, and headed west on the north side service road.

Several Reeves County Sheriff's Deputies attempted to locate both vehicles but were unsuccessful, Gomez said.

Weather Service holding Skywarn program tonight

PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- The National Weather Service will conduct a skywarn program from 7-9 p.m., today, at the Community Center, 508 S. Oak. The public is invited to attend and learn more about weather watching.

Runoff races' early voting starts Monday

PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- Early voting will begin April 1, at the Reeves County Courthouse for the Democratic Primary Run-Off Election, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Election day will be April 9.

The last day for the county clerk to receive applications for ballots by mail will be April 2. If anyone has any questions concerning the Democratic Primary Run-Off Election they can contact the county clerk's office at 915-445-5467.

All county Democratic voters are eligible to cast ballots in the runoff election for U.S. Senate between Ron Kirk and Victor Morales, while Precinct 2 voters also have a runoff election for Justice of the Peace, between J.T. Marsh and Jim Riley.


PECOS, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 -- High Tues. 63. Low this morning 39. Forecast for tonight: Increasing high cloudiness. Lows 45 to 50. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Thurs.: Considerable high cloudiness. Highs around 85. SW winds 5 to 10 mph, becoming west 10 to 20 mph by afternoon. Thurs. night: Mostly cloudy. Lows 50 to 55. Fri.: Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms late. Highs 75 to 80. Sat.: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Highs around 70.


Raymond Bowie, Inez Patino and Petra Zermeno

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