Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Anchor hosting job fair with closing pending
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- Anchor West employees facing the loss
of their jobs within the next five weeks will have another opportunity
to search for a new job at another job fair planned for Thursday.
With the closing of Anchor West onion processing plant in Pecos scheduled
to begin on May 6 and conclude sometime around Memorial Day, the Job Fair
will be held 1-8 p.m., Thursday, at the Anchor West facilities' lunchroom.
Anchor is Reeves County's single largest employer, with about 650 workers
still employed at the plant on Interstate 20 in Pecos. McCain Foods, which
purchased Anchor's parent company last September, announced plans to close
the facility in November, opting instead to expand a smaller facility the
company already owned in Grand Island, Neb.
McCain officials from there will be among those on hand at the Job Fair,
while locally, the Department of Human Services will be taking applications
for Medicaid, and will also have a list of available jobs.
"We will have a hotel board made up of three hotels, the Swiss Clock
Inn, Quality Inn and Oak Tree and each one will have the positions they
have open posted," said Department of Human Services employee Maribel Alvarez.
R.M.S. Foods out of Hobbs, N.M., will be one of the employers who will
be on hand tomorrow taking applications from prospective employees.
"We're very excited because this company has several job openings,"
said Alvarez. Sam Hausman Meat Packer, Inc. out of Corpus Christi is another
food processing company that will have representatives at the plant.
Wal-Mart and Beall's Department Store will also have the positions they
have open posted at the job fair, aimed at helping the displaced employees,
according to Alvarez.
"We'll have the job fair from 1-8 p.m., but if there are employees that
need special accommodation, they can talk to Jesse Manciaz, who is the
human services representative from Anchor," said Alvarez.
Individuals who want more information on the job fair can also contact
Alvarez at 445-5487 or Nancy Ontiveros at the Reeves County Hospital, 447-3551.
While McCain Foods has not made any changes in recent weeks to its closing
schedule for the Pecos facility, after moving the shut down date back two
months from the original March date announced on Nov. 12 of last year,
company vice president Bob Thomas said that McCain is currently in negotiations
with another company for purchase of the facility.
Thomas said he could not disclose the name of that company.
Anchor began operations in Pecos in 1990 expanding over the next 10
years from one line to four, and from 200 to 700 workers. Of that number
640 people were still employed at the plant as of the end of March. The
640 employees represent about 10 percent of Reeves County's workforce.
McCain-Anchor facilities had an overcapacity of onion production plants,
which is what Pecos primarily produces, Steve Prater, McCain vice president,
said when announcing the plant's closing in Pecos in November. McCain has
not announced plans for the Anchor onion processing facility in Mexico,
and plans to maintain operations at Anchor's jalapeno pepper production
plants in Wisconsin.
Permian Basin, Trans-Pecos gets 432 area code
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- Pecos residents will be changing from
the 915 to the 432 area code next year, the Texas Public Utilities Commission
announced on Tuesday, as part of a move to split the state's largest area
code into three regions.
The Trans-Pecos and Permian Basin will be getting one of the two new
area codes taking effect next year, which are to handle economic growth
in West Texas. The 915 area code will only remain in El Paso and two neighboring
counties after Oct. 5, 2003.
In February the PUC issued an order that divided the 915 area code into
three individual area code regions. The Commission designated the El Paso
area to retain the 915 area code because of its concentrated population,
extensive bilingual network and well-developed international commerce.
The 915 area code will also cover all of Hudspeth and the northwestern
part of Culberson County.
Pecos will be part of the 432 area code, along with Balmorhea, Toyah
and Barstow. Other cities in the 432 area will be Midland, Odessa, Monahans,
Andrews, Kermit, Fort Stockton, Alpine, Fort Davis, Presidio, Crane, Rankin
McCamey, Van Horn and Big Spring.
While the 432 area code will be mandatory for people from other parts
of Texas and the United States calling into Pecos and surrounding towns
after Oct. 5, 2003, the area code itself will be put into effect on April
5, 2003. Customers dialing the old area code will get a recorded reminder
until Dec. 7, 2003. An extensive customer education program to introduce
customers to the new area codes will begin in early 2003.
The 325 area code will be for the eastern section of the current 915
area and will include San Angelo, Abilene, Snyder and Brownwood.
Current estimates predict that the 915 area code will run out of numbers
in early 2004. The three-way split approved by the PUC will prevent the
need for additional area codes in the three regions for an estimated 17
to 20 years.
While approximately two-thirds of customers in the current 915-region
will have to change their area code, the PUC determined the three-way split
is the best way to preserve local interests. For example, the three-way
split allows the Midland-Odessa metropolitan area to continue sharing a
common area code (432). The three-way split also allows customers to keep
seven-digit dialing for local calls. The approved plan received overwhelming
support from both residential and business customers during the public
West Texas is one of the last areas of the state to see its long-time
area code split into separate regions. Growth in the central and eastern
parts of the state of the past 15 years has forced the introduction of
many new area codes due to the increase in phone service, with the Dallas
area by itself sharing three side-by-side area codes, 214, 972 and 469,
while Houston also has three area codes, 713, 281 and 832.
Hospital board delays update on master plan
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- The Reeves County Hospital Board of
Directors tabled discussion on the finalized master plan during the regular
meeting last night in the hospital classroom.
Board member Leo Hung made a motion to table the discussion of the master
plan, stating that he would feel better if they made a decision with all
board members present.
"I would like to digest (the information) until the next meeting since
we have two members missing," he said.
Two of the five board members, Jesse Prieto and Hugh Box, were absent
from the meeting.
Hung brought up many questions he had about the cost of the renovations
and construction outlined in the master plan.
Hospital Administrator Robert Vernor explained that the construction
would be split up into phases over a period of four to five years.
The board is planning to discuss the project further at the next meeting.
The board approved two separate resolutions, both of which are yearly
formalities, according to Vernor.
One resolution is for a trauma designation for the medical staff and
Vernor explained that the designation helps the hospital continue their
trauma certification and keep the staff members trained.
"It helps keep our people on their toes," he said. "It helps keep them
The other resolution authorizes the hospital's Chief Financial Officer
Frank Seals to received information for the TexPool account.
The board also approved advertising for bids on a mineral lease the
Vernor explained that a company had made an inquiry on the lease after
which he explained that the hospital would have to advertise for other
bids on the same property.
The board also approved setting the date to canvas the upcoming election
for May 7.
In other business, the board approved the monthly tax report, financial
statements and budget amendments and the payment of bills.
Kindergarten holding Book Fair this week
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- A Scholastic Book Fair is being held this
week from 8:10 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. daily at Pecos Kindergarten on West
Everyone is welcome to come in and browse.
Student Art Festival scheduled Thursday at Pecos Museum
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- The 15th Annual Student Art Festival
will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday at the West of the Pecos Museum.
Everyone is invited to a special reception and awards program.
The 2002 theme is "Celebrate Your Name."
The art will be displayed at the museum beginning Thursday April 25
until Thursday, May 16.
PECOS, Wed., April 24, 2002 -- High Tuesday 98. Low this morning 64. Forecast
for tonight: Increasing clouds and breezy. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast
winds 15 to 25 mph. Thursday: Cloudy: Breezy and cooler. A 30 percent chance
of showers and thunderstorms. Highs 65 to 70. East winds 15 to 25 mph.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Lows in the lower 50s. Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of
showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Saturday: Partly cloudy.
Lows 55 to 60. Highs 85 to 90.
Alan Hoefs and Mitchell Hoover
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise