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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Early voting starts strongly for local races

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., April 17, 2002 -- Early voting for the city, hospital and school board election has  gotten underway today and already a good number of individuals have cast  their ballots in the Pecos elections.

"We've had a good turnout already," said elections coordinator for city, school and hospital elections, Debbie Thomas.

As of 10 a.m., 45 people had cast their ballots and more were trickling in, she said.

"It's been really good, it's been busy all morning," said Thomas.

Thomas said that about 300 application requests for a ballot by mail have come in already.

Early voting is taking place at the Community Center, located at 510 S. Oak St., next door to the former Pecos Police Department offices. Early voting will continue until April 30.

Early voting is also underway in the Balmorhea city and Balmorhea ISD elections, and will also continue through April 30.

Voting is scheduled for May 4 at the different polling sites, including the Community Center for Pecos; the Balmorhea Fire Hall for Balmorhea; the Multipurpose Center in Saragosa and Toyah City Hall for those individuals in Toyah.

Both races in the Town of Pecos City election are contested this year, as is the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board race.

In the city election, Pecos Mayor Ray Ortega is being challenged by former mayor Dot Stafford, who he defeated two years ago. Ortega is seeking his second two-year term, while Stafford is seeking a third term as mayor.

In the city council race, newcomers Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides are challenging Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board election, both incumbents are seeking new terms. Billie Sadler has filed for a new three-year term on the school board, while Michele Galindo, who was elected last year to fill out an unexpired term on the board, is also seeking a full three-year term to that school board seat.

The two are challenged by Paul Deishler, who was defeated last year in his bid for a full-term on the school board, and Connie Herrera.

In the Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors race, only one of the three races on May 4 will be contested. Jim Breese, of Pecos and Bill Wendt and Janelle Ward, both of Balmorhea, filed for the two-year term on the board for Precinct 3, currently held by Jesse Prieto. Prieto was unable to file to retain his seat, since he now lives in Precinct 2.

Incumbent at-large board member Leo Hung, and Precinct 1 board member Chel Florez are unopposed for re-election.

In Balmorhea, Mayor Ruben Fuentez will be challenged by Balmorhea ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz. In the city council race, Teresa "Terry" Barragan and Yolanda M. Hernandez are challenging incumbent councilmen Eddy Roman and Rosendo Galindo.

In the Balmorhea ISD race the three incumbents up for election are among five people seeking three-year terms on the board. Regina Lozano and Dora Machuca will challenge Jimmy Barragan, Jesus Matta and Javier Lozano in the May 4 election.

Toyah and Barstow city races will be uncontested this year.

In Toyah, current Toyah Mayor Ann Marsh in unopposed in her re-election as is incumbent Sharon Sanchez on the city council and the only other candidate for the two available seats, Shaina R. Enmon.

In Barstow, Mayor Benny Hernandez and council incumbents Robert Ortega and Carol Gonzales are unopposed in their bids for new two-year terms.

Under state law, both Toyah and Barstow can cancel their city elections in order to save money. Although two of the three seats for the RCH board are uncontested, the hospital district will have to hold elections for all three positions on May 4 due to the Precinct 3 race. All county voters are eligible to cast ballots in the at-large hospital board election.

Rodriguez to land on roof over TAAS wager

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., April 17, 2002 -- No, it's not superman on top of the Pecos High School, it's just  the principal fulfilling a deal he made with his students.

Pecos High School decided to challenge the students on their TAAS scores and encourage them to better those scores, and principal Danny Rodriguez is expected to be spending some time on the roof of the school this weekend.

"Our high school principal made a deal with the students, that if they received a `recognized' this year, he would go on top of the school's roof for 24 hours," said assistant principal John Fabela.

Fabela said that when he first came to Pecos at the beginning of the current school year he had outlined that as one his goals. "I want to get the students to do so well, that it becomes a `recognized' campus," he said.

Preliminary scores are in and it's not official yet, but Fabela said they have an excellent change of getting the school recognized when the 2001 TAAS results are released by the Texas Education Agency.

The scores indicate that the number of students that took the reading portion of the TAAS test was 171 and the number that passed was 94 percent, or 161 students.

A total of 172 students took the math portion of the test and 163 passed, which equals 95 percent of the total. In writing, 96 percent passed, 161 out of the 168 who took the test, according to Fabela.

As a result, Fabela said Rodriguez, "will go on the roof at 8 a.m., Friday, April 19, until 8 a.m., Saturday morning."

"This should be very interesting to watch and an experience for him," he added.

"We want to give all the credit to the students, kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and the parents who continue to support Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD," said Fabela.

"Recognized" is one of four rankings given out by the state to schools across Texas based on their TAAS results. "Exemplary" is the highest ranking, followed by "Recognized," "Acceptable" and "Low Performing."

Several Pecos-Barstow-Toyah elementary and middle school campuses have received the "Recognized" rating in recent years, but the high school has always been given an "Acceptable" rating, since the TAAS-based results have been released. Bessie Haynes Elementary and Zavala Middle School received "Recognized" ratings in last year's TAAS report.

Fabela said he was very proud of all the staff and students, because this was truly a combined effort.

"I know we can make this school a recognized and work on other campuses to do the same there," he said.

Rabies clinic set next week for Mentone

PECOS, Wed., April 17, 2002 -- A rabies clinic will be held from 5-6 p.m., next Wednesday, April 24, at the Loving County Courthouse in Mentone.

Individuals both from Loving County and other surrounding communities can take their pets for rabies shots on that day in Mentone.


PECOS, Wed., April 17, 2002 -- High Tuesday 91. Low this morning 66. Forecast for  tonight: Considerable high cloudiness. Lows near 60. South winds 10 to 15  mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs 90 to 95. Southwest winds  15 to 25 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 60. Friday:  Partly cloudy with a slight chance of late afternoon thunderstorms. Highs  near 90. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Saturday: Mostly cloudy with  a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 55 to 60.  Highs 80 to 85.


Dulces Aguilar and Clara Sample

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