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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Monday, April 8, 2002

Health Fair draws record turnout

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, April 08, 2002 -- More people attended this year's Annual Reeves County Health  Fair than in previous years, according to organizers of the event, who said  the annual event was a "success."

"We estimated that about 1,200 individuals attended this year's health fair," said health fair committee member Nancy Ontiveros. "This is a record."

She said that the number of individuals who attended the health fair this weekend at the Reeves County Hospital was more because of more services that were offered. "We had additional services that were offered this year and the number of events for children was also higher," said Ontiveros.

"After lunch there were more children at the health fair and there was a constant flow, everything went smoothly," she said.

The number of first time fair attendees was also up this year. "We were surprised at the number of individuals who said it was their first time and that they were amazed at the many services offered," said Ontiveros. "It was great to see the outpouring of support and we have already identified a couple of services we need to add."

Ontiveros said that the total number of people who took advantage of the blood test screening also was a lot more than in the past years, since the test was offered at a considerable savings to the community. "We had more take that test than we have ever had," she said.

There were no backlogs and the line where the blood tests were being held went well and quickly, she added.

"At this time have already received panic values back on individuals that showed the tests were high on some areas, indicating there might be a serious health problem," said Ontiveros. "The lab has already contacted us on a few."

Test results will be mailed out tomorrow.

"Luckily, we have a new system in place that expedites the process of receiving the results," said Ontiveros. "There's a couple of changes in the way they draw the blood as well, that expedited the process and which is why the line moved very quickly. There was very little waiting time."

All the exhibitors at the health fair on Saturday were pleased and a couple of recommendations made, according to Ontiveros.

"The exhibitor that was doing the weight assessment, recommended that individuals follow up with a fitness program," she said. "He feels it's important to get a handle on their health and if there was a problem to follow up with a diet, or a fitness program that fits their needs."

Ontiveros said he also recommended promoting a health fitness program for the community.

Several new exhibitors were on hand for the annual event. "The eye screenings were also a success, this was something new," said Ontiveros. "They found a few cataracts and individuals with glaucoma, but several that needed visual assistance," she said.

The foot doctor, Dr. Niles Foster, has already scheduled 10 individuals for foot surgery, following assessments done at the health fair on Saturday. "He'll be conducting monthly special clinics at the hospital," said Ontiveros. "He wants to make everyone aware of how your feet may affect other aspects of your health, if you have a foot problem it may affect other parts of your body."

Anyone who still has their tickets for the drawings held on Saturday, they need to check the hospital throughout the week, because a few door prizes were left unclaimed, according to Ontiveros. "They need to check their numbers throughout the week and see if maybe their number was drawn and not claimed."

The pancake breakfast sponsored by the Lion's Club also went well, Ontiveros added, while a barbecue lunch was a sell-out, according to Ontiveros.

"The physicians were also pleased with the many questions the fair-goers had," said Ontiveros. "They were asking about their health and it showed they were very interested."

"It shows people are taking more of an interest in their health and we encourage everyone to do so throughout the year," she said.

The health fair committee will be meeting later this week to assess this year's fair and make recommendations and listen to input about next year's event.

"We welcome all suggestions and if there is any out there that would like to join the health fair committee we welcome them to join us," she said.

County's final early voting totals light for run-off races

PECOS, Monday, April 08, 2002 -- Early voting for Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff election in Reeves County attracted only about one sixth of the total number of voters for last month's regular primary election, according to the final figures gathered by the Reeves County Clerk's office.

County Clerk Dianne O. Florez said that 273 people voted early at the courthouse last week, while another 103 ballots were received by mail for Tuesday's election. That compares with the 2,150 people who voted early for the March 12 primary election, with 1,823 people voting by personal appearance and 342 others who voted by mail.

The drop-off is due to the fact that only two races in the March election resulted in runoffs. Only one of those is local, with incumbent Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh facing challenger Jim Riley in the race for the Precinct 2 JP seat. The other runoff race is open to all county voters, and features Ron Kirk and Victor Morales, who are seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Anyone planning to vote on Tuesday while the polls are open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. is reminded that while all three of the Precinct 2 voting sites will be open as usual, other precincts will have their polling sites combined due to the expected low voters turnout.

Polling places in Precinct 2, at the Pecos High School new gym, the Toyah City Hall and the Texas-New Mexico (First Choice) Power Co. Reddy room will be open as normal, while all Precinct 1 voters, for Boxes 2 and 11, will cast their ballots at the Haynes-Sadler Community Center on East 12th Street All voters in Precinct 4, from Boxes 1, 7 and 8, will cast their ballots Election Day at the Pecos Community Center, 510 S. Oak St. Precinct 3 voters from Boxes 5 and 6 in Balmorhea and Saragosa will vote on Tuesday at the Balmorhea City Hall, while the Precinct 3 box in Pecos, Box 10 at the Reeves County Annex, will be open as usual on Election Day.

Barstow voters also have two runoff elections on their ballot, and can vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Barstow Community Center Along with the Kirk-Morales race, Barstow voters will also be able to cast ballots in the election for 143rd District Clerk in Ward County, where Patricia Oyerbides and Pam Bingham are in a runoff.

Ward County has two other runoff elections that Barstow voters, who are part of Precinct 1, will not be deciding. In Precinct 4, Eddie Nelms and Glenn Garland, while voters in Precincts 2 and 3 will decide between incumbent Justice of the Peace Ronold Ray and challenger Elizabeth Polanco.

Local clean-up effort attracts 45 volunteers

Staff Writer

PECOS, Monday, April 08, 2002 -- Several areas of Pecos received a good cleaning this weekend as  locals set out to participate in the statewide "Don't Mess With Texas" event.

Keep Pecos Beautiful Director Michael Benavides said many volunteers made the local clean up a success.

"It went great," he said.

Approximately 45 people showed up to volunteer their time to clean up Pecos including people from the Texas Workforce Commission, Odessa College, Pecos Housing Authority, Crockett Middle School Student Council, the Municipal Court and the Saint Catherine's Conformation Class.

Benavides and the Keep Pecos Beautiful committee planned for the volunteers to work on high traffic areas including Cedar Street, West County Road, Lincoln and Walthall Streets, along with the area near the Pecos Nursing Home.

"We were able to clean up those areas I designated to clean up, and we did it pretty fast," he said.

The group of volunteers met in the parking lot of the Pecos Technical Training Center and then split up into groups to start cleaning.

Benavides said that he is grateful to Duncan Disposal for providing an area to transport the trash to.

Even though Benavides wished that more people would have volunteered, he said he is proud of those who did.

They were able to fill up over 200 bags with trash, which didn't even scratch the surface, according to Benavides.

"That does not even put a dent in the population, as far as trash goes," he said.

After the wind began to pick up yesterday, Benavides said that you might not ever know that they had cleaned those areas with trash and debris flying everywhere.

Area organizations that participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program were also out in full force on Saturday.

"We're back to square one," he said.

The Keep Texas Beautiful committee plans to have another clean up at the end of June, just in time for this year's `Night in Old Pecos' celebration.

"The next one will be in a couple more months," Benavides said. "We plan it for the weekend before `Night in Old Pecos'."

During that clean up, Benavides said that the volunteers would be targeting the downtown area as well as the north side of Pecos. He added that the June clean-up would be an all-day event.

Benavides said that he hopes people noticed the volunteers out cleaning up Pecos this weekend and that they decide to help out next time.

"If people see us cleaning up, I think, it's encourage other people to help out," he said.

Over time, Benavides said that he believes the clean ups will make a difference in the appearance of the community.

"Little by little we can make a difference," he said.

Orla among areas hit by severe weekend storms

From Staff and Wire Reports
Northern Reeves County and parts of Loving County received both  rain and some hail on Saturday, as part of a potent storm front that  drenched other parts of West Texas over the weekend and produced  damaging tornadoes, large hail and record rainfall south of San Angelo  and along the Interstate 35 corridor. Areas in Mentone and Orla received  dime sized hail on Saturday, but little damage was reported, while  Pecos only received a trace of rain from the storm front that swept across  the state on Saturday and Sunday.

The severest weather in West Texas was reported about 150 miles southeast of Pecos on Sunday. Two tornadoes were spotted in Crockett County in an open field in the Ozona area. None of the tornadoes caused any damage. To the east, straight-line winds gusting to 70 mph toppled trees at Fort McKavett, which also received golfball-size hail.

A series of twisters raced through Central and South Texas on Sunday. Three homes were destroyed near Yancy in Medina County, sheriff's officers said and a tornado was spotted in a field near Throckmorton on Sunday afternoon.

Golfball-size hail fell near Floresville, San Antonio, Olney, Bunger in Young County. In some places, storm spotters said, the hail covered highways and accumulated on lawns.

A half-dozen additional tornado warnings were issued early Monday for the areas surrounding San Antonio and Houston. Many airline flights were canceled or delayed, but no additional damage was reported.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, American Airlines canceled more than 150 departing flights on Sunday.

Travelers on Southwest Airlines reported dozens of flight delays in the carrier's system Sunday. An official of the Dallas-based airline did not return a call early Monday from The Associated Press.

"The weather has been consistently bad, but we've been working around the clock to get flights out," American Airlines spokesman Dale Morris told The Dallas Morning News in Monday's editions. "We are working the best we can to get people accommodated."

The National Weather Service said 3.18 inches of rainfall fell on Sunday at DFW Airport, surpassing the 1900 mark of 3.09 inches for the day. Parts of North Texas received up to five inches of rain for the weekend, forcing postponement of the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway until Monday.

High water in Lewisville drove a few families out of their mobile homes, said Kenny Wilkins, division chief investigator for the Lewisville Fire Department. Officials said residents were expected to be able to return to their homes by early Monday.

Crews from Dallas Fire Rescue pulled two people out of White Rock Creek near Medical City Dallas. No injuries were reported.

In Haltom City, two anglers were rescued after getting tipped out of their boat by rising creek waters. They were in the water about 30 minutes before being rescued by fire department officials.

"It goes up quick," said Jeff Davis, one of the two rescued. "I mean you think it's just raining and coming down and before you know it you're going down the stream."

In Austin, heavy showers and thunderstorms moved over Bergstrom Airport. The 0.63 inches of rain broke the previous record of 0.48 inches for the date set in 1976, the weather service said.

In Olney, 94 miles northwest of Fort Worth, two homes lost all or part of their roofs due to high winds, said Olney police department dispatcher Dorraine Slaughter.

"We had a lot of power poles snapped in two," she said.

Softball league's sign-ups continue through April 19

PECOS, Monday, April 08, 2002 -- Sign-ups for the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department's girls softball program will continue through Friday, April 19, at the recreation department's office in the old Pecos High School gym.

Entry fee is $10 per player and the league is open to girls ages 7-15. A birth certificate and signatures from both parents must be provided on the registration form.

For further information, call the recreation department office at 447-9776.


PECOS, Monday, April 08, 2002 -- High Sun. 80. Low this morning 63. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear.  Lows near 45. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Tues.: Mostly sunny. Highs 75 to 80.  East winds 5 to 15 mph, becoming SE during the afternoon. Tues. night:  Partly cloudy. Lows 40 to 45. Wed.: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 80s.  Wed. night: Partly cloudy. Lows 50 to 55. Thurs.: Partly cloudy with a  slight chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s.


Price Hernandez and Barbara Ortega

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