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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Fireworks operators stocking stands despite limitations

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- As the Fourth of July nears, fireworks distributors are  beginning to stock their local stand operators with plenty of supplies, even  with the limits placed on fireworks use due to the dry conditions created by  the area's ongoing drought.

Cory Stevenson, Mr. W's Firework District Supervisor for the Big Bend area said that they placed ads in area newspapers two weeks before the June 23 start-up date so that people wanting to sell fireworks could call an 800 number to set up an appointment to get interviewed.

"We interview the people that call us," Stevenson said. "We then give them their inventory and advise them on how to sell and finally we make sure everything is running in order."

Stevenson said that it varies each year on the amount of people that call in but that they usually get anywhere from six to seven people.

"During the past few years it has been pretty slow," Stevenson said. "People keep calling through out the year though. But right now we do not have an operator on Third Street," where a stand is located on the east side of Pecos.

He also did say that there are several things that they look at when hiring an operator for their stands.

"The operators must be here 24 hours a day, they must be 18 years or older, they must want to sell and they must have people skills. It's like selling cars," Stevenson said.

Stevenson added that people who sell fireworks get paid on a commission bases of 15 percent starting and if they come back the next year their commission bases goes to 20 percent.

"If any one wants to run one we have one open," Stevenson said.

There are a total of eight Mr. W stands in this area. Stevenson said that they have two here in Pecos and Alpine and one in Monahans, Crane, Kermit, and Ft. Stockton and each stand gets two large shipments.

"They get two large shipments," Stevenson said. "One which is their opening inventory and then we bring twice as much when they start to sell out on certain items. It takes us about ten hours to deliver to all these stands."

Though there are two other stands around Mr. W's Fireworks on South Cedar, Stevenson said that they to well for their location.

"We are cheaper then everybody else," Stevenson said. "The biggest competitor is Truckload which is out of Odessa. However, we do tend to out sell them even in this area."

Stevenson said that their biggest sellouts are artillery shells and Texas Pop Rockers.

Stevenson added that people buying the fireworks must be careful as they set them off.

"Be careful and clean up after yourself," Stevenson said. "Don't leave fireworks laying around."

Commissioners vote to restrict use of fireworks

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- The Reeves County Commissioners Court approved banning the use of all fireworks  on county property during the regular meeting yesterday in the Third  Floor Courtroom at Reeves County Courthouse.

The Commissioners and County Judge Jimmy Galindo approved a restriction of fireworks use in unincorporated areas including Martinez Field during the upcoming holiday.

In an article published last week in the Enterprise, it stated that Reeves, Culberson, Hudspeth and El Paso counties were the only ones in this area that did not have a burn ban in place.

During yesterday's meeting, the Commissioners approved a resolution that bans all outdoor burning along with the fireworks restriction.

The burn ban resolution is set to expire 90 days after adoption unless the county decides to renew the ban at that time, according to the resolution.

According to the resolution, all outdoor burning activities are banned unless they are activities approved by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, are for firefighter training; public utility, natural gas pipeline, or mining operations; or planting or harvesting of agriculture crops.

The Commissioners approved transferring county vehicles to the Community Sports and Recreation Department as well as the use of recreation transportation.

They also approved awarding the bid proposal for inmate work boots to Desiree's Boutique.

The Commissioners approved several requests of payments including LMD Architects payment invoices number 240 and 241 for RCDC III; Trinity Engineering for payment invoice number 27845 for RCDC III.

They also approved change orders from Howard Mechanical, Inc., and Carothers Construction, Inc., for RCDC III.

Personnel and salary changes included new hires at the Reeves County Detention Center Kelly Granado as a temporary accountant for budget purposes at an hourly rate of $13; Terry Halpain and Natalie Evaro as Correctional Officer I at $19,000 per year. Alva Alvarez was hired under a Harvard University Federal Work-Study program through Judge Galindo's office at an hourly rate of $9.30.

Promotions for RCDC include Amy Abila, Maricella Acosta, Debra Brown, Angel Carrasco, Mary Evaro, Joel Garcia, Frankie Grammer, Arnulfo Granado, Rodolfo Hernandez, Robert Jensen, Ismael Juarez, Jaime Jurado, Fred Lozano, Hector Lozano, Felix Machuca, Martina Machuca, Robert Mendoza, Jerri Ornelas, Javier Ortiz, Francisco Ramirez, Tracy Ramirez, Pete Ramos, Jr., Dulces Rodriguez, Chrostopher Ryan, James Thomas, Veronica Valerio and Cesar Zermeno as Correctional Officer III at $26,000 per year; Teresa Lyles and Russell Smith as Case Manager at $28,000 per year; and Olga Florez as Budget Administrator III at $26,000 per year.

In other business, the Commissioners approved budget amendments and line-item transfers, minutes from previous meetings and semi-monthly bills.

Appraisal review hearing changed to July this year

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- Protest of appraisals for local property and mineral rights owners  in Reeves and western Ward County will take place a little bit later than  normal this year.

In years past the Reeves County Appraisal Review board has meet either the third or forth week in June. This year they are not able to meet till July 8 and 9.

The loss of an employee set them back, Carol King-Markham, chief appraiser said.

"We had an employee leave without notice so we had to divide her work," King-Markham said. "We have not replaced her and we are not going too."

The appraisal review board will meet on Monday, July 8th and on Tuesday, July 9th the mineral hearings will begin. Final valuations for the various taxing entities will be set by the Reeves County Appraisal Board following the final decisions of the review board, and budgets and tax rates for the 2003 fiscal year will then be set based on those valuations.

The appraisal review board that handles the real-estate portion consists of Bob McNutt, Chairman, Charles Mitchell, Vic-Chairman and Trey Miller, Secretary. They will meet at the office of King-Markham and hear landowners' protests on proposed appraisals on property for local taxes.

There are nine criteria that allow a property owner to protest in front of the board. Several of those are the appraised or agricultural value of the property; denial of a homestead exemption, determination that an Ag land has had a change of use and is subject to a rollback tax and determination that then taxpayer is the owner of the property.

Property owners protesting may offer evidence or argument, either in person or by filing a sworn affidavit with the ARB. A property owner may appoint another person to present their protest by filing an "Appointment of Agent" form with the Appraisal District.

Property owners should know that the ARB has authority over tax rates or the jurisdictions' spending and will not hear protests on these topics.

Though the board does not meet till July 8th King-Markham did say that they do try to do everything before then.

"We try to handle everything before then," King-Markham said. "What we can't solve we take to the board."

King-Markham did say that they do not have many problems in 22-years the office has been open. She added that Austin does audit them twice a year and that if they do find an oversight they correct it immediately.

Tennis tourney sign-up deadline this Wednesday

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- Wednesday is the deadline to sign up for this weekend's Pecos Cantaloupe Tennis Tournament.

The three-day tournament will be held Friday through Sunday at the Pecos High School tennis courts and is open to both youth and adult players. Entry fee is $8 per player for each event.

Divisions for boys and for girls will be split into 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, 16 and under and 18 and under. There will also be men and women's adult divisions and junior and open divisions for mixed doubles.

Entry fees can be paid by check to Mike Ortiz, 106 W. 13th St., Pecos, Tx., 79772. For further information, call 631-5349.

City Council to view audit on Thursday

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled to review the city's financial audit for 2001-02 during their regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday evening at City Hall.

The Council will also discuss Duncan Disposal's request for a rate increase in their contract with the city.

Duncan Disposal representatives met with the Council during a workshop in early June to discuss a possible rate increases.

During that meeting the Council expressed their concerns on Duncan's performance under the same contract.

Duncan responded by suggesting a new system that would allow customers to call a local number and set up appointments for heavier items to be picked up.

During Thursday's meeting, the Council will discuss and take action on whether or not they would give Duncan an increase.

The Council will also discuss appointments to the Economic Development Corporation as well as discussing the monthly tax collection report, offers to purchase properties located on East Third Street and South Oak Street as well as the accounts payable and the minutes from previous meetings.

Interviews scheduled Wednesday for coach applicants

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD officials are scheduled to interview  candidates for the vacant head football coaching job on Wednesday, and the P-B-T  ISD school board will hold a special meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss  the selection of a new coach, after receiving recommendations from administrators.

The head coaching job for the high school football team came open earlier this month when Gary Grubbs announced his resignation in order to accept the head coach and athletic director positions at Eldorado High School, south of San Angelo. P-B-T Athletic Director Bubba Williams said about a dozen people submitted their applications to fill the vacancy, but not all will be interviewed for the job on Wednesday.

The names of those applications scheduled to be interviewed were not available this morning.

Both P-B-T Superintendent Don Love and assistant superintendent Gome Olibas were out of town today at the Texas Association of School Administrators meeting in Austin, but were scheduled to be back on Wednesday when the interviews will be conducted. School secretary Jo Allgood said the interviews would be held Wednesday afternoon, while the closed door session of the school board will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the P-B-T Technology Building, at Eddy and Adams streets.

Grubbs served three seasons as the Pecos Eagles' head football coach, going 18-15 during that span while making the playoffs all three seasons. The new coach will be the fifth head coach for the Eagles in the past 10 seasons.


PECOS, Tues., June 25, 2002 -- High Monday 99. Low this morning 66. Forecast for tonight: Mostly  clear. Lows 70 to 75. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Partly  cloudy with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Highs 100 to 103.  East winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with  isolated thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. Thursday: Partly cloudy  with isolated thunderstorms. Highs 95 to 100. Friday: Partly cloudy with a  slight chance of thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. Highs near 100.


Dr. R.E. Lovett

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