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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, August 8, 2002

Head Start happy to get Pecos Elementary camps

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., August 8, 2002 -- A new playground, a library and more space are just some of  the "perks" that Pecos Head Start employees and students will  be enjoying this new school year.

"Right now we're still busy trying to move in and cleaning up," said Head Start Director Linda Briceno this morning at the former Pecos Elementary campus, 901 S. Willow St., where the preschool program will be moving this year.

Head Start had been holding their classes for the past two years at the old Carver Center, 300 W. 12th and before that had been situated in Barstow and in a smaller building on East Fifth Street in Pecos.

Head Start has moved into Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD buildings as the school district has consolidated their elementary school campuses. The program moved to Barstow Elementary after it was closed by the school district four years ago, then relocated to the smaller Carver Center in 2000 when the district's Alternative Education Program moved to the old Lamar Middle School campus.

The move to Carver made travel easier for most Head Start parents, but the building was smaller than the Barstow Elementary campus. That problem will be solved this year with the move to Pecos Elementary, which the school district shut down following the 2000-2001 school year.

"We're all excited, because now we will have more space," said Briceno.

Registration is being held in an office, located in the East side of the building, with classrooms scattered throughout that hall.

"We'll be using this entire hall and also the library, which is just great," said Briceno.

Early registration began this past Monday and will continue until the facility is ready to open its doors to the students. "They can still register throughout the year," said Briceno.

The facility will be ready for the students the day after Labor Day, Sept. 3, and classes will begin then.

Individuals wanting to register their children need to bring the child's birth certificate, social security card and shot records. "We go by income guidelines and as long as they bring all the appropriate documents we can register the child," said Briceno.

Briceno said that right now they have enough children registered to open up two new classrooms. "We have 94 currently enrolled and five classrooms to accommodate them," she said.

"With the amount of children interested in attending, we could probably open up two more class rooms," said Briceno. "And because we now have more space," she said.

Briceno said that now each office staff will have their own office, when before there were two individuals to an office. "We were really crowded, but now they'll have their own privacy, their own space," she said.

Briceno said that the facility would now have a library, a resource room, and a parent room. "We plan to do activities with the parents at least once a month," she said.

Parent orientation, which will include a tour of the facility, will be held sometime during the week of Aug. 19. "We'll know for sure on which date and let everybody know, so they can come out and look at our new classrooms," she said.

At this time, parents are also coming in to pick up school supplies. "These school supplies are for the children who will be making the transition to the kindergarten," said Briceno. "Next week we'll be closed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for staff orientation, but they can pick up school supplies Friday, Monday and Tuesday," she said.

Most of the equipment that was being used at the Carver school has been moved to the new location, according to Briceno.

"We just need to bring in our fence, to fence in our playground and some other pieces of large equipment that will be moved in next week," she said.

Briceno said that the staff and teachers are excited about the move. "It's been a lot of hard work, but they love it," she said. "The only thing is, some air conditioners are not working, but hopefully they will be by the time the children come in," she said.

"The sheriff (Andy Gomez) and his trusties have been very helpful in helping us move in, along with the staff and their spouses," Briceno said. "We have a group of very devoted staff that has been helping us out all summer."

Briceno said that the executive director Betty Carter has worked up a proposal, which she has turned in to accept even younger children at the facility. "She went to some training and has worked up the proposal and maybe next year we'll be allowed to accept even younger children," she said.

If the proposal is approved the facility will be allowed to accept children 0-4 years of age. "There's a great need for child care and we've been approached about that," said Briceno. "If the proposal goes through, we'll be able to help them out and we do have the space now."

Right now, Head Start is for pre-school children ages 3-4. "Once they turn three they can transfer to the three-year olds and when they turn four transfer to the four-year old classrooms and after that they are ready for kindergarten," Briceno said.

Pecos Head Start is operated under Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin.

Police interview suspects, victim in shooting

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., August 8, 2002 -- Pecos Police are following some leads on a shooting that  occurred on the 1200 block of South Cherry four days ago, but as of this  morning have still not made an arrest in the early Sunday morning incident.

"We are following some leads on a possible suspect," Pecos Police Department Lt. Kelly Davis said.

Davis said they have interviewed seven witnesses, but the four boys that were arrested still refuse to give statements in connection with the shooting of a 16-year old boy, later identified as Ysidro Acosta, who remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

Acosta was shot in the head with a small-caliber weapon following an incident around 2:50 a.m. on Sunday.

"The victim seems to be doing better," Davis said, and police were able to interview Acosta in connection with the shooting.

According to Davis the incident started because of a problem between two people.

"We don't know what actually started it (the fight)," Lt. Davis said. "We just know that there was a problem between two people."

Police on Monday said of the four boys who were arrested, three were charged with disorderly conduct and the fourth was charged with evading arrest and disorderly conduct.

However, no further charges have been filed on the boys, Davis said, and three of the four have been released, while the other remains at the Criminal Justice Center.

As of now no information on the gun that was used in the incident has been provided by the four or any others police have talked to, Davis said, and the gun used in the shooting is still missing.

"I sure would like to find the gun," Lt. Davis said.

Though the incident involved three Brown Pride Gang (BPG) members, Davis does not believe that this was a gang on gang incident. He said police do not believe that the victim is a member of a gang.

City seeks bids for new landfill, housing projects

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., August 8, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council approved advertising for bids for  two major projects this morning, during their regularly scheduled meeting  in Council Chambers at City Hall.

They approved advertising for bids for the construction of two trenches at the Pecos Landfill and for advertising for bids for the FY2001 Pecos Subdivision Housing infrastructure improvement projects.

Action of the landfill bids was motioned by Councilman Johnny Terrazas and seconded by Councilman Michael Benavides.

According to Askek Rana, a representative of Frank Spencer and Associates, a Type I trench will have a life span of 2½ years. While the Type IV trench will have a life span of nine years.

Councilmen Frank Sanchez made the motion to approve the authorization for bids for the FY2001 Pecos Subdivision, with Terrazas seconding the motion.

According to Rana, the project is with in the $4,000 budget.

Council members also looked at two 2002 planning calendars, and opted to approve the 2002 No Tax Increase Planning Calendar. The council will follow its procedures for upcoming city council meetings, leading up to the approval of the FY 2003 budget.

The motion was passed with Councilmen Frank Sanchez approving the calendar and Councilmen Terrazas seconding the motion.

The council also approved the Texas Property tax code 26.04-Submission of roll to governing body. The motion involves presenting the tax roll to be used for the upcoming year, and according to Lydia Prieto, the estimated collection rate for the current year is 88 percent.

Council members read for the second time the ordinance of the Town of Pecos City designating certain areas of the city as the Town of Pecos City Historical District.

"Being designated as historic goes hand in hand with the Main Street Program," the program's coordinator, Tom Rivera, told the council during a meeting on July 23.

The section of Pecos included in the historic declaration covers approximately 18 blocks in the original portion of the city from Seventh Street to First Street and from Ash Street to Elm Street. It will consist of all blocks 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 30, 31, 32, 42, 43, 44, 65, 81 and lots 7 thru 18 of block 64, lots 7 thru 18 of block 82, lots 1 thru 12 of block 80, lots 1 thru 14 and 17, 18 of block 66, lots 1, 2 of block 67 lots 1 thru 6 of block 41 lots 1, 2, 11, 12, of block 33, original addition /Pecos, Town of Pecos City and Reeves County, Texas.

Councilmen Benavides approved the motion with Councilwomen Angelica Valenzuela seconding the motion.

Rivera said last month that the historical designation would help qualify property owners for grant funding and tax incentives as well as give property owners access to technical assistance from the THC staff.

The designation would also help assist government and private groups in planning new development and recognizing properties of local, state and national significance.

Council members today also approved the minutes of the regular council meeting of July 23, and the accounts payable report.

The council members then went into an executive session in which Councilmen Sanchez made a motion to raise the salary of city secretary Connie Levario to $25,000 a year, effective immediately. Councilwomen Valenzuela second the motion.

The council's next meeting was set for August 22, at 5:30 p.m.


PECOS, Thurs., August 8, 2002 -- High Wednesday 95-. Low this morning 70. Forecast for  tonight: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows 70  to 75. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy with a 20  percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs 90 to 95. Southeast winds 5 to 15  mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of  thunderstorms. Lows 70 to 75. Saturday: Partly  cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs around  90. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms.  Lows around 70. Highs 90 to 95.

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