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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, June 14, 2002

Council accepts tank bid, hears cloud seeding request

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council awarded a contract for  the construction of water storage tanks in South Worsham Water Well  field during the regular meeting yesterday at City Hall.

Frank Spencer, of Spencer & Associates, informed the Council that all the bids for the storage tanks came in over the amount they had budgeted for however that extra money would not cause many problems in overall.

"We have a $200,000 difference than budgeted," he said.

All the bids included a two million-gallon tank as well as a separate 100,000-gallon tank. There was also an alternate bid for another 100,000-gallon tank.

City Manager Carlos Yerena said that the contract was awarded to Tank Builders, out of Euless, for the amount of $834,250.

"They were the lowest responsible bid," he said.

Yerena said the money budgeted for this project was over $635,000.

"This was a little bit over budget on this part of the project," he said. "However, the last project was under budget."

With the money saved from the previous project and expected savings on the water pipeline project, both Spencer and Yerena informed the Council that the completed water field project should come within budget.

"We should still finish within budget," Yerena said.

Spencer explained to the Council that as far as the pipeline project is concerned they did not have to lay as much pipe as previously expected.

Spencer said the pipeline designs have to be re-designed because some of the wells drilled farthest from the main line were not good therefore there would be less piping laid.

In fact, there would be about four miles of planned pipeline not laid in due to the bad wells.

During the public comments section of the meeting, Tom Nance of the Trans-Pecos Weather Modification Association gave a presentation to the Council over the weather modification project the association is working on.

"We going to have this weather modification system at the municipal airport," he said.

Nance explained that two airplanes, one full time meteorologist and a few pilots would work at the airport with the modification, or "cloud seeding" project.

The purpose of the project is to attempt to modify clouds in the area to cause more rain to fall.

"I'm here to ask the council to consider allowing us the use of the airport and hanger space," Nance said.

Nance explained that the project is state sponsored with a 50 percent shared cost.

"It's a very sophisticated project," he said.

He explained that the cloud seeding would be conducted six months out of the year from the end of March to the end of September.

Other areas that have begun using the weather modification have seen an increase in rainfall from 21 percent to as much as 385 percent, according to Nance.

The Council could not take action on the item since it was not on the agenda.

The Council presented a plaque to the family of Jaime Rodriguez during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Mayor Dot Stafford conducted the presentation and honored Rodriguez' wife, Diana, and children, Jessica and Jayme Lee, for their courage and bravery in handling the loss of their husband and father.

Stafford also presented former Councilman Ricky Herrera a plaque honoring his service on the Council.

Herrera thanked the Council and stated that he enjoyed his time serving for the city and will always cherish it.

"I really enjoyed my time here," he said. "I think I'm better for it."

In other business the Council approved the municipal court report, the juvenile monthly report, the accounts payable and the minutes of previous meetings.

School board eliminates special ed teacher

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- An Austin Elementary School teacher expressed her concern  over the elimination of a special ed teacher and aide at the school  during the audience portion of the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD  Board meeting held Thursday at the Technology Center.

Debbie Garcia, a second grade teacher at Austin Elementary, told the board that she was concerned over the loss of the special ed teacher position at the school because that teacher helped so many kids.

"She took it upon herself to go to other classrooms and seek students who needed extra help," said Garcia.

Garcia said that the students the teacher was helping were children who had not been targeted as having a learning disability, but just needed extra help. "They just have some problems that need to be addressed on a one-on-one basis," said Garcia.

Garcia told the group that Karen Oglesby, a special education inclusion teacher, went room to room and set up a schedule with the different students to provide extra tutoring.

"She was helping at least 30-50 students, not just the 12-15 that were identified with learning disabilities," said Garcia.

Garcia mentioned that other schools have a person who provides such services. "I'm just concerned because this helped the children who have problems reading and just need a little extra help," she said. "Will they be able to pass the TAKS?" she said.

"We need all the help we can get, to get these children ready for the higher grade levels," said Garcia.

The concern stemmed from the fact that the change came at one of the lower grade levels. "They could have eliminated a position at the middle school, but the younger students are the ones who need the most help," said Garcia.

Board members approved personnel changes as they were presented and PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love said that the changes made were due to a loss in students and taxes.

"Everybody that has a job with this school district will have a job next year, it might not be at the same campus, but they'll still be employed," said Love during a discussion on summary of finances and 2002 estimated appraisal total.

Appointments approved during the regular meeting included: Calene Anthony, Bachelor of Science/Interdisciplinary Studies/Texas A&M University, no experience, assignment-Austin Elementary 3rd grade teacher;

Evan Bates, Bachelor of Science/Kinesiology and Sports Science/Sul Ross State University, no experience, assignment- Bessie Haynes Elementary P.E. Teacher/Swim Coach;

Stefanie Pharaoh, Bachelor of Science/Interdisciplinary Studies/Howard Payne University, no experience, assignment _ Bessie Haynes Elementary 4 th grade teacher;

Reassignments: Lupe Acosta, from Pre-K bilingual teacher to regular Pre-K teacher at Pecos Kindergarten;

Teresa Bigham, from 4th and 5th grade P.E. teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary to 7th and 8th grade P.E. teacher/coach at Crockett Middle School;

Karen Bradley, from Pre-K teacher at Pecos Kindergarten to 1st grade teacher at Austin Elementary;

Francitia Brooks-Terry, from special education teacher at Pecos High School to special education inclusion teacher at Crockett Middle School;

Jose Flores, Jr., from History/coach teacher at Pecos High School to AEP teacher/coach at Lamar;

Rhonda Foster, from 3rd grade teacher at Austin Elementary to 4th grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Rebecca Jeffries, from special education inclusion teacher to special education self-contained teacher at Crockett Middle School;

Candelaria Leyva, from Kindergarten bilingual teacher to Pre-K bilingual teacher at Pecos Kindergarten;

Robin Manning, from AEP teacher at Lamar to History teacher at Pecos High School;

Francisco Morin, from regular classroom teacher to 5th grade bilingual teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Karen Oglesby, from 3rd grade special education inclusion teacher at Austin Elementary to 5th grade special education inclusion teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Eufemia Salazar, from Pre-K teacher at Pecos Kindergarten to 1st grade teacher at Austin Elementary;

Frances Waldrop, from special education self-contained teacher at Austin Elementary to special education self-contained teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Retirements: Priscilla McNutt, English teacher/Pecos High School, effective May 31.

Resignations also came from two coaches, Stephen Cross, Speech teacher/coach/Pecos High School, effective, June 12 and Gary Grubbs, History teacher/Head Football Coach/Pecos High School, effective: June 13.

Other resignations included, Myra Hernandez, Special Educational teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary, effective: June 6 and Audre Schiller, Special Education teacher/ Bessie Haynes Elementary, effective: June 5.

Change of contracts: Teresa Bigham, from one year term contract to one year term dual assignment contract and Charlie Wilson from one year probationary contract to one year probationary dual assignment contract.

Renovations continue on area campuses

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- Renovations to the different campuses are coming along great  and on schedule, according to Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD  Superintendent Don Love.

"Monte (Hunter, architect) couldn't be here today, but I'll give you an update on what is going on at the different campuses," said Love.

At Austin Elementary School, abatement for phase I has been completed. "Abatement for this project is on schedule," said Love.

The fire alarm system is being installed and work appears to be on schedule and of good quality, according to Love.

"Monte said that he is very pleased with the quality of work and everything is coming along great," said Love. "The only place where they are a little behind is at Bessie Haynes," he said.

Love said that the renovations at the Pecos High School Auditorium would be completed in time for the Golden Girl Pageant scheduled for June 28.

"At Bessie Haynes the abatement is in progress," said Love.

Phase one and two are one week behind schedule, but the contractor indicates he will be back on schedule by the end of Phase three, according to Love.

"Phase one abatement should be completed by June 17," he said.

The Crockett Middle School fire alarm system is 80 percent complete.

"They are installing roof-top units and duct work," said Love.

"At the high school, phase three abatement is completed, and they are one day ahead of schedule," said Love. "They are currently installing windows and preparing the project for painting," he said.

Work at both Lamar and the Kindergarten is coming along on schedules well.

"At Lamar the roof dried in and the gravel is completed," said Love.

"It's looking great, the windows at the high school look fantastic," he said.

Crews are installing roof top units and deck supports at Zavala Middle School as well.

Three arrested in local drug bust

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- Three individuals landed in jail Thursday evening following  a narcotics drug search that turned up some illegal drugs and paraphernalia.

On Thursday, June 13, officers from the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's office executed a narcotics search warrant at 416 S. Walnut Street.

Once the SWAT team had secured the residence, officers proceeded to search the premises for narcotics or other drug related paraphernalia.

"Officers located inside and outside the residence a substance believed to be heroin," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

Officers also found inside the residence, paraphernalia commonly used in the packaging and injecting of heroin.

They completed their search of the premises and arrested Jesus Gochicoa, Ruben Hernandez and Ephriam Rodriguez.

The three were arrested for possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"All three subjects were placed under arrest and transported to the Criminal Justice Center," said Deishler. "They're waiting for arraignment," he said.

Summer sports available for children

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is enrolling children for its summer golf and racquetball classes.

Children interested in the summer golf classes must be between the ages of 5 and 12 years old and will meet two days a week for six weeks.

Children interested in taking racquetball lessons must be between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. The classes will meet two days a week for six weeks.

Parents may pick up enrollment forms for either of these lessons at the recreation office during regular office hours.

The entry deadline for both lessons is June 28 and the parents must provide a birth certificate and both parents' signatures along with $10.

Stolen property awaits owners at police station

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- Once again the Pecos Police Department is asking the  community for help in identifying items to  believed to have been stolen and are currently housed at the Criminal Justice Center.

"We have more items that we believe were stolen and we have them here," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler. "We had some individuals come and identify the ones we listed the last time and that's good, but now we've got some more that need to be identified and picked up," he said.

Stolen property includes a lawnmower, weed eaters, several toolboxes with tools inside, television sets and other items.

"If anybody is missing something, even from two to three years ago, they can come in and identify them," said Deishler. "Chances are, we have their stuff and they just don't know it yet," he said.

"There's always these individuals out on the street that steal items from homeowners and then sell them at a lower price to whoever will buy them," said Deishler. "They sell them for almost nothing, sometimes just to support their drug habit," he said.

Some of the items that were listed the last time and are housed at the new Criminal Justice Center included an air compressor, a weed eater, a chain saw, a tool box with assorted tools inside, a cordless drill and a car stereo.

"If they can identify it in some way, such as color or they have a warranty or purchase slip or something, we'll let them have their stuff back," said Deishler.

The items can be identified at the new Criminal Justice Center, 172 Raul Florez Boulevard.

"We'd like to get these items back to the rightful owners," said Deishler.

Head coach Grubbs resigns to become Eldorado A.D.

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- After being a part of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD coaching  staff family for four years, Head Football Coach Gary Grubbs has accepted  a job with the Schleicher County ISD in Eldorado, Texas.

"This past Tuesday, they asked me to come and interview with them," Grubbs said. "We went and Margaret really loved it. I will be the new athletic director, head football coach and baseball coach. And that is by choice. I enjoy baseball and as director I can put them (coaches) were I want. I will also be teaching several history classes."

Eldorado, a District 2-2A school, began to search for a new athletic director after losing theirs to Sonora ISD.

"The athletic director went to Sonora to be the defensive coordinator, he just told the superintendent that he just didn't want to be the athletic director anymore," Grubbs said.

As of yesterday afternoon Coach Grubbs resigned his position as head football coach and history teacher of Pecos High School.

Several factors contributed to Grubbs' decision, he said.

"One of the big factors is that Eldorado is not far from Del Rio and that is where Margaret's family is from," Grubbs said. "Other factors are that we have lived in a smaller community before and it's a better community for your kids. They gave me everything I asked for and the facilities there are awesome. They also gave me a house to live in."

Grubbs' schedule as athletic director will consist of teaching several classes in the morning and attending three athletic periods during the day.

"I still get to teach several classes but I will be in every athletic period a long with two of my varsity coaches. And there are three athletic periods, seventh grade, eighth grade and high school," Grubbs said.

Though Grubbs will be leaving to be a part of another coaching staff family, he did say that he enjoyed working with the Pecos coaching staff.

"I really enjoyed working with this coaching staff, they are a bunch of fine men," Grubbs said. "We have built a great staff so the kids are going to be in good hands."

Grubbs also added that he would also miss the students.

"Most of all, I am going to miss the kids. That is always the hardest thing as a coach when you move. I treat them like my own kids. I am going to miss them," Grubbs said.

Though Grubbs will not be here to see his athletes compete in the new district, he is very confident that they will be successful.

"The kids are going to be successful in the program," Grubbs said. "They will be in a tougher district but the kids will compete for the district championship."

Grubbs also added that he is thankful for Coach Bubba Williams giving him the opportunity that no one else did and to the people of Pecos particularly Paul Deishler.

"Bubba gave me the opportunity no one else did and I am thankful for that," Grubbs said. "The people here in Pecos have been real good to us, particularly Paul Deishler who went out of his way to make things better for the kids here in Pecos."

Coach Grubbs will be leaving on Monday to work on putting his program in order and so that he may be able to meet the kids of Eldorado. His family will be joining him on July 1.

"I am really excited but scared at the same time," Coach Grubbs' wife, Margaret said.

Coach Grubbs said that his mother is also excited along with his kids.

Coach Grubbs is the third coach to resign his position with the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD. Coaches Tino Acosta and Steve Cross have also resigned and accepted new positions elsewhere.

Davila gets the nod for $61K administrative position

Staff Writer

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- Following a lengthy discussion and a meeting behind closed  doors, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members approved the hiring of  one individual to replace the Career and Technology Director.

Larry Sloan, who had been with the school district for several decades and served as the Career and Technology Director most recently, retired at the end of this school season.

The board had reviewed different options on replacing Sloan and different job titles and duties. They had discussed it at length behind closed doors at a previous meeting and again last night during open session and approved the individual who replace him during closed session.

Several options were presented to the board. Option 1 was a curriculum director; option 2- special programs director; option 3 _ curriculum director/special programs director; option 4 _ PEIMS coordinator/special programs director; option 5 _ testing coordinator and option 6 was assignment of additional duties to existing administrators.

Board members finally approved the position at $61,000 during the open portion of the meeting and approved having all the duties combined. The group approved the individual during closed session.

Current Crockett Middle School Principal Juanita Davila will take over the position.

Board members Crissy Martinez, Chip Flores and David Flores abstained from voting on that motion. However, the motion passed and Davila was approved for the position.

"Larry Sloan was career and technology, PEIMS and student accounting and testing," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love.

"He did a lot of different things and had several duties," said Love.

Teacher Walter Holland said that the group present just wanted to make sure the job was discussed in open session.

"We'll discuss the job in open session, but as far as personnel we won't," said Love. "Personnel is discussed in closed session," he said.

Love told the group that 45 percent of Sloan's salary came from the state and the rest was local. "A lot of these jobs are very important and time-consuming," he said.

Testing coordinator is very time-consuming, especially during TAAS, according to Love.

"Can one individual handle 1-6?" asked board member Paul Deishler. "Or all those duties," he said.

Love said that that would be hard on the individual and even volunteered to take over some of the duties.

"We don't want to overburden anybody, especially you, we know you have a lot to do already," said board member David Flores.

"What can go together to leave it like it is?" said Deishler.

"If you want to save money, 4- through 6 can go together and you can give me career and technology," said Love.

Love said that the current position was paying $57,433 and that's TASB recommends that if they take over all those duties, to start them at $61,000.

"We don't want to stress anybody out," said Flores.

Corrales family reunion begins today

PECOS, Friday, June 14, 2002 -- The Corrales Family Reunion begins today at 5 p.m. poolside at the Quality Inn and events are scheduled through Sunday. Breakfast, dinner and supper are all scheduled for the Posse Barn Saturday with a dance following.

Mary Lou Corrales is coordinating the reunion and may be contacted at 447-9135.

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