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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Thursday, July 25, 2002

Pecos resident prepares for entry into Franciscan order

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- A puzzle is coming together and a life put in order is the feeling of  one young man from Pecos who has made the decision to join a fraternity order.

"I feel very much at peace," said Andy Martinez, who will be leaving next Wednesday to Mishawaka, Ind.

Martinez said that he would be at Novitiate for exactly one year and one day, after having completed the two-year candidacy program in San Antonio. "I attended Our Lady of Our Lake University for two years and enrolled in a program called the pre-novitiate which is in preparation for the novitiate, which is where I'm going next," said Martinez.

Martinez is the son of Andres and Hortencia Martinez of Pecos, and has two sisters, Irene Martinez of Midland and Isabel Carrasco of Pecos. He was born in Odessa and then moved to Pecos. He attended Pecos schools and graduated from Pecos High School in 1992.

"I came in contact with the convential Franciscans in El Paso, where they have a parish," said Martinez.

At that time, Martinez was working at another parish, Santo Nino Church, as a Director of Religious Education (D.R.E.).

"While I was there, I met the Franciscans, from the other parish, who are at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and decided to apply and go off with them," said Martinez.

The order which Martinez decided to join is called the O.F.M. Convential _ Order of Friar's Minor Conventiate, founded by St. Francis, the Saint.

Martinez had been a member of Santa Rosa Church while living in Pecos. "My mother was always very involved in the church and I helped her out," said Martinez. "Then in my last year of high school I served as an Altar helper, a catechism teacher and Eucharistic minister and lecturer."

"When I was working in El Paso and met the brothers, I just felt like that's the kind of life I wanted to lead," he said. "They're a brotherhood, and my inclinations were to want to live that way."

Even as a child, Martinez felt that there was a place for him in the church and ministering. "I would help my mom, who volunteered a lot at the church and with the first communion program and it just felt right," he said.

Following this year in Indiana, Martinez will go back to studying. "Most are finished at Washington, D.C.," he said, where the Catholic Church has its national university.

Martinez has already earned his habit, but it will be officially, "invested," on Aug. 2.

"It will be put on us by minister provencial and is actually black or gray," said Martinez. "The gray is more of a missionary color used in Central America and the black is an American color that we use here," he said.

"We'll officially receive it on Aug. 2, but we already have it, we can use it for pictures and things like that, but not in an official capacity yet," said Martinez.

Martinez also wore it to have it measured in San Antonio.

He said that the two years of school in San Antonio have to be paid by the student and after that they order picks up the expenses, if you choose that calling.

"We actually staff churches like El Paso and both churches in Carlsbad and have a retreat in Las Cruces, N.M., Mesilla Park.

"In our order, we're not just parish priests, but we can be hospital chaplains, campus ministers or college and university professors," said Martinez. "When you first come in, they ask you, which direction you want to take," he said.

"Our order is not just priests, it's a brotherhood," he said.

Martinez said that the order was a brotherhood because it is formed after St. Francis. "We have one brother in San Antonio that's a nurse and have brothers who do different kinds of ministry within our order," he said.

"We can be priests or brother, whichever we want," said Martinez, who added that he was leaning towards being a parish priest.

Martinez doesn't know where he'll end up after finishing all his ministry studies. "We go where our provential send us," he said.

"Our provential headquarters is in Mount St. Francis, Indiana," said Martinez. "That's where we all branch out in our province," he said.

"I feel like being in the order, my life is being fulfilled," said Martinez. "There are some people who feel they don't know where their life is headed and my feeling is different, I feel like now I know where my life is headed," he said.

"I feel as I'm moving along, it feels like a puzzle is being put in place," he said.

OC receives federal grant for ed opportunity center

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- People wanting to get a second start on their career and life will  now have the opportunity to learn how thanks to a grant given to  Odessa College.

This week, OC President Vance Gipson announced that the U.S. Department of Education has issued a grant for a total of $960,000 to the college that would be used to develop an educational opportunity center, and provide a part-time advisor for the college in Pecos.

Director of Grant Development and Federal Projects Hyta Folsom said that OC applied for the grant in the hope of helping adults in the Permian Basin find more opportunities.

"What this grant is based on is that there are a lot of adults that don't have education and don't know what they can do," she said.

Folsom said that many adults might need make a change because of loss in jobs or just want to better their education but don't know how to get started in that change.

In order to help adults like that, OC is developing an educational opportunity center in Odessa that would provide information to adults about the opportunities there are for them.

The center would be funded by the grant money, which is broken up into $190,000 per year for five years. OC also received a bonus amount of $10,000 for technology in their first year.

Folsom said the college is excited to be able to provide such an opportunity for adults in this area.

"It'll focus on providing assistance and information to them to help them decide what they want to do," she said. "This will guide them to a post secondary education."

Through the grant, OC will develop the center run by a director as well as providing an advisor who would split their time between Pecos and Presidio. OC already operates a Technical Training Center in Pecos, which was opened with the help of another federal grant two years ago.

Folsom said that the advisor in Pecos would provide the same information offered in Odessa and is open to all adults who "want to find out what's available out there."

Folsom said educational opportunity staff would provide help the adults with information on classes offered, enrollment and financial aid and the center would be a place for the adults to come and ask for help.

"We're the hand holders," she said.

Dean of Distance Education Robert Munoz said that the information should be available in Pecos by November.

Munoz said that the advisors and the center do not recruit students for OC, they just provide the information on the opportunities that OC offers.

"They're doing cheerleading for higher education at OC," he said.

Munoz is proud of the grant and hopes it'll be able to give more and more adults in Pecos several opportunities.

"This just focuses on our commitment to Pecos," he said.

Folsom said she believes the program is wonderful for OC and adults in the Permian Basin.

She explained that there are a lot of opportunities offered to young adults in the area and it is time to offer the same opportunities for adults.

"They need the same kind of options that are offered," she said. "I think this is a great program."

TxDOT sees August, fall completion dates for bridges

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- Work on replacing the U.S. 285 bridge at Toyah Lake should be  completed within the next month, while construction of the new Business Interstate  20 bridge between Pecos and Barstow should be finished sometime early  this fall, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Knight Construction of Big Spring has been replacing both bridges under a contract with TxDOT. Work on the U.S. 285 bridge, about seven miles south of Pecos, began last August, while work on replacing the Business I-20 bridge started at the beginning of last November.

"They've finished pouring the concrete for the decks on both bridges," said Glen Larum, public information officer for TxDOT's Odessa District office. "The next thing they'll do is construct the concrete rail for the BI-20 bridge. That will probably be finished this week, and then maybe next week for the U.S. 285 bridge."

Work has been done differently at both sites. Although dry for years, Toyah Lake is still considered a navigable body of water by TxDOT, so construction on the U.S. 285 bridge replacement has been done one side of the road at a time, with traffic signals controlling the flow of traffic across the one open lane.

The BI-20 bridge crosses a flood plane for the Pecos River, and not the river itself, so traffic has been diverted onto a temporary side road, while work on the entire bridge has been done at the same time.

"I think the 285 bridge will open to traffic at the end of August, and they should finish the BI-20 bridge sometime after that," Larum said. "I would estimate late September or early October."

"There's more work to be done on both bridges than it looks," he said. The bridge between Pecos and Barstow will be higher than the 59-year-old bridge it replaced, so the approaches to the bridge will have to be raised slightly even after work on the bridge itself is done.

"Then we'll do the surface work for the approaches," Larum added.

The reconstruction will be completed in 11 months on that bridge, while work on the U.S. 285 bridge will wrap up almost exactly a year after the project began. At the time construction got underway, TxDOT officials said it would take about 15 months to complete the work on the Toyah Lake crossing.

CCRC extends time to apply for supplies

PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- Community Council of Reeves County has extended the deadline for accepting applications for school supplies for low-income families.

Clients may pick up applications at 700 Daggett, Suite F through Aug. 9.

An appointment will be set up when the completed application is submitted.

PHA to discuss resignation of Davila, seek replacement

PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- The Board of Commissioners for the Pecos Housing Authority and the Farm Labor Housing are scheduled to discuss the resignation of Commissioner Juanita Davila during the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., tomorrow at the PHA/FLH administration office.

The Commissioners will discuss the resignation as well as submit names of prospective commissioners to replace Davila.

Also on the agenda is an update on 2001 Capital Funds projects including the perimeter fencing for the westside of Orange Street, landscaping, the completion of roofing and installation of air conditioning units at the Daycare Building on Tenth Street as well as the completion of a file/storage room.

The Commissioners will also discuss the Farm Labor lease and the FLH occupancy status.


PECOS, Thurs., July 25, 2002 -- High Wednesday 97. Low this morning 70. Forecast for tonight:   Clear. Lows 70 to 75. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Friday:  Sunny.  Highs around 106. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night:  Clear. Lows 70 to  75. Saturday:  Mostly sunny. Highs near 104. Sunday:  Partly cloudy. Lows  70 to 75. Highs near 102.

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