Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, February 28, 2003
RCH expansion groundbreaking ceremony held
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 28, 2003 -- It was a momentous occasion this morning when
community leaders and members had the opportunity to participate in
the Groundbreaking ceremonies for Reeves County Hospital's $8 million
Hospital board members, community leaders, hospital staff and volunteers
were among those on hand to witness the groundbreaking ceremony for the project,
which is expected to take about a year to complete.
Hospital Administrator Robert Vernor welcomed everyone and talked about
the $8 million project that will begin March 11 on the northwest corner of
the hospital grounds in the 2300 block of Texas Street.
The expansion will consist of a new emergency room, specialty clinics,
expanded space for the rural health clinic and physical therapy, along with
a new dialysis center.
Vernor said the need for a new emergency room has existed for many years.
The current layout of the emergency room is not adequate for the high volume
of patients that utilize the facility. Other departments were included in
the expansion to make more efficient use of space and improve the layout
of the 25-year-old hospital.
Linda Gholson, president of the hospital board, told the crowd assembled
that they had been waiting for this day to come anxiously. "We're just very
excited and anxious, we've waited many, many months for this," she said.
Gholson said that she appreciated the staff, the doctors and the community
pulling together in order to make this dream a reality.
"Our biggest concern has been to lets be able to show something to our
city," said Gholson. "And now finally we'll be able to see something in this
spot on March 11."
Gholson said that they wanted this to be the best facility to take care
of the people in Pecos and to meet the needs of this in this community and
the surrounding area.
The scheduled guest speaker for this morning's event, State Rep. Pete
Gallego, was unable to make the trip to Pecos, due to the weather conditions
in Austin, where he is currently in session with the Texas Legislature. Instead,
Kelly Springfield, Legislative Assistant for Gallego, was on hand and spoke
on his behalf.
Springfield thanked Vernor, Gholson, Dr. W.J. Bang, chief of medical staff,
and all those that made Reeves County Hospital what it is today.
"I would also like to express my appreciation to the RCH Physicians, nurses,
and assistants, for they are the ones that are on the front line providing
for the health of others," said Springfield.
This $8 million renovation and expansion project is an example of the
RCH's commitment to providing the most up-to-date healthcare services to
the residents of Reeves, Ward, Loving, Culberson and Jeff Davis Counties,
according to Springfield.
"Excitingly, RCH is one of very few rural hospitals that is fully able
to fund an $8 million dollar expansion project without burdening the taxpayers,"
"This project will provide for a new emergency room, specialty clinics,
rural health clinic, and physical therapy department; enabling RCH to better
serve patients in Reeves and the surrounding counties," said Springfield.
The RCH Dialysis Center is expected to have many local users. According
to Texas Department of Health statistics, in Reeves County alone, there were
702 people diagnosed with diabetes last year. "Thus, the new Dialysis Center
will bring lifesaving procedures closer to home," said Springfield.
"This is an exciting project and I can only imagine the benefits it will
yield in the years to come," said Springfield. "Once again, to all those
that made RCH what it is today and to those that made this project a reality,
thank you," she said.
Others who spoke to the crowd and gave their thanks and appreciation for
all the hard work towards a common goal included hospital board members Chel
Flores, Hugh Box, and Leo Hung, while Bang gave the closing comments for
this morning's ceremonies.
Council hears skateboarders' park proposal
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 28, 2003 -- Parents and their children gathered at City
Hall Thursday to show support for creation of a skateboard/in-line
park in Pecos, during a regular meeting of the Pecos City Council at
Representing the skateboarders, Raul Garcia, made a presentation to the
council on how `skateboarding and in-line skating were fast growing sports
in North America.'
He also added that Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez has been
working with the students and has come to realize that they are unhappy because
`there is nothing to do in Pecos.'
Skateboarding first became popular 38 years ago, and Garcia stated that
there are 9 million skateboarders in the world. Most of them are adolescent
males who are considered to be rebels or public nuisances due to the lack
of good locations to participate in their sport, he added.
Skateboarders like any other athlete have their own equipment, space requirement
and vocabulary, Garcia said.
With any site there would be pros and cons to the location, for which
Garcia said that it would be necessary to locate equipment on a temporary
site for use this summer while a permanent skate park site is determined.
In the proposal presented to the council members, the locations mentioned
would be owned and maintained by the Town of Pecos City but it went on to
say that other options may exist.
The locations that where mentioned where the Miniature Golf area located
on the east side of Maxey Park, the football field across from the basketball
courts on the south side of the park, the abandoned warehouse near the new
police station across I-20 from the park, the old skating rink and the open
lot on Highway 17, going toward Balmorhea near the trailer park.
The proposal also covered the safety factors by stating that skateboarding
is a safer sport than many sports, including volleyball and golf. It said
that protective equipment is required in some skate parks, while signs warn
that helmets are recommended in other parks.
In regards to the construction of the terrain equipment, the proposal
states that it could either be built or it could be bought already made.
On the liability issue, the proposal stated that most municipalities usually
have polices which cover all types of sports played on their property. It
also stated that the insurance agent for the Town of Pecos City policy may
have to be consulted to be sure that skateboarding and inline skating are
covered with no exclusion or special surcharge levied.
Currently there are approximately 80 skateboarders in Pecos who have the
support of the their parents, the Pecos Police Department and the Community
Mayor Dot Stafford said that she agreed with the students that some thing
had to be done, due to the fact that they have seen skateboarders skating
in the concrete drainage ditches.
"It looks like fun," Stafford said. " I have jokingly said that I would
like to try it myself."
Councilman Frank Sanchez said that he has talked to Pecos Police Department
Community Officer Mike Balog about the problem and feels that something needs
to be done.
"I feel the same way Dot and Frank feel," Councilman Michael Benavides
said. "I have seen them skating in the ditches and gullies and it is dangerous."
Sanchez added that he would like to do all that he can for the kids.
The council agreed to look over the proposal and find some grant money
for the establishing the funds for a park.
The council then moved on to the discussion and consideration of a resolution
relating the distribution and selling of glass bottle beverages.
Stafford told council members that an ordinance could not be passed on
Councilwomen Angelica Valenzuela asked City Attorney Scott Johnson if
the resolution included all glass.
"I took it as glass in general," Johnson said, which would also include
other glass beverages, such as ice tea.
Though the resolution calls for a voluntary effort, Valenzuela asked if
all venders and distributors had been notified of the issue.
According to Jim Breese a member of the Pecos Downtown Lions Club, he
said that he had talked to several of the vendors and said that they did
not have a problem.
"There has been no opposition," City Manager Carlos Yerena added.
However, Breese said that when he talked to Coors Distributor John Morrow,
he told him that he did not have a problem with just bringing in cans into
Pecos, unless Budweiser brought in bottles.
Breese said that he did not understand why glass bottles could be banded
from sporting events but not from stores. He also said that he and other
Lions Club organizations have tried to come up with a resolution on the glass
bottles but have run into a dark black wall every time.
Valenzuela asked that a list of all those willing to participate in the
resolution be presented to the council and from there they could go with
what the public wants.
With that said the distribution and selling of glass bottle beverages
was tabled by Stafford.
However, Johnson added at the end of the meeting that he would request
a formal opinion from the Texas Attorney General's office.
The council also heard a presentation by Gari Ward, Director of the Pecos
Economic Development Corporation on the construction of new dairies in the
Ward said that the Flat Top Dairy located 21 miles off of highway 285
would have its grand opening on March 6, in which Susan Combs would be the
"Tours of the facilities will be given," Ward said.
He added that he encourages every one to come out and tour the facilities.
"There is one problem," Ward said. "Milk prices are the lowest they have
ever been since 1972."
In a presentation given by Jeff Lindsay, he informed the council that
his company is about done with the landfill trenches and they are just waiting
for Frank X. Spencer and Associates to make a final inspection.
Lindsay also told the board that his company would like to the care of
the landfill for them and present a proposal before the council if they agreed.
Council told Lindsay to meet with Yerena so they could discuss the issue
and go over the City's current contract with Duncan Disposal.
Contreras selected as new city finance director
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 28, 2003 -- Town of Pecos City Council members selected
a replacement for City Finance Director George Bejarano during their
regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday at City Hall.
City Manager Carlos Yerena presented his recommendation to replace Bejarano,
who submitted his resignation as the Town of Pecos City's Finance Director
on Feb. 10. His final day on the job was last Friday.
"I recommend for Sam Contreras for Finance Director," Yerena said. "He
has a degree in financing and accounting. He has worked for us for one year
and I feel comfortable with him."
Yerena also added that Contreras is also familiar with the city's current
"I feel comfortable," Contreras said when he was asked how he felt. "I
learned a lot from George."
Council member Frank Sanchez made the motion to accept Contreras as the
new finance director with Mayor Pro-Tem Gerald Tellez seconding it.
In other business, city engineer Frank X. Spencer told the council about
a problem regarding the water storage tanks.
Spencer told the council that the Ward County water tank is in bad shape
and that it is the town's main water source.
He also updated the council on the other water tanks, and told them that
it was necessary to keep maintenance on them.
The council received a report on the Pecos Police Department's Racial
Profiling statistics, which was approved by Sanchez and seconded by councilwoman
In other business the council agreed to close Cothran, Massey and Kerr
Streets on March 22 for family health day with councilman Michael Benavides
making the motion and Valenzuela seconding it.
Stafford appointed Spencer, Carl Osborn, Cecil Lee, Alfredo Gomez, Jim
Riley, Leman Barmore and Don Alligood for a two-year term to the Plumbing
Board, with Sanchez making the motion and Valenzuela seconding it.
She went on to appoint Bill Allen, Jack Brookshire, Robert Gooding, C.L.
Elkins, Tommy Terry, Al Wentworth and Jim Ivy for two-year terms on the electrical
board with Tellez making the motion and Benavides seconding it.
The council also approved the purchase of property located at 512 S. Walnut
St., with Tellez making the motion and Benavides seconding it.
Tellez went on to approve the purchase of property located at 1320 S.
Oak St., with Sanchez seconding it.
The council's minutes from its February 13 meeting were approved with
Tellez making the motion and Benavides seconding it.
The accounts payable report was approved with Tellez again making the
motion and Valenzuela seconding it.
The tax collection report was approved with Sanchez making the motion
and Tellez seconding it.
The zoning and planning commission of property located at 2003 S. Eddy
St., was approved, with Valenzuela making the motion and Sanchez seconding
The council also approved the agreement with the Trans Pecos Drug Task
Force with Sanchez making the motion and Valenzuela seconding it.
A resolution for the Pecos Emergency Medical Service to purchase an ambulance
was tabled for the next council meeting.
Miller becomes fourth entry in PBT race
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 28, 2003 -- A fourth candidate has joined the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD Board race, while incumbents in Barstow have all filed to retain
their positions in the May 3 elections.
Amy Montgomery Miller added her name to list of those seeking a position
on the local school board. She joins both incumbents whose terms are up for
election this year and another challenger who filed to seek a three-year
term on the board last week.
David Flores and Steve Valenzuela are seeking new terms on the board.
Flores filed last week and Valenzuela filed on Wednesday, while Randy Baeza
also filed for the school board election last week. Both Flores and Valenzuela
were first elected to the school board in May of 2000.
The school board election is the only contested race so far in the May
3 voting. Three candidates have filed for the three available seats in the
Town of Pecos City election, and three also have filed for full terms in
Barstow, for that city's May 3 council election, and a fourth candidate is
seeking an unexpired term.
In Barstow, incumbents Olga Abila, Dora Villanueva and Ted Porras filed
for a two-year term on the city council and Angel Abila filed for the one-year
In Pecos, Mayor Pro-tem Gerald Tellez filed to retain his seat on the
council last week, as did councilman Frank Sanchez. They're joined by Danny
Rodriguez, who is seeking to return to the council after a one-year absence.
Tellez has been a council member for the past decade, while Sanchez was
elected in 2001, after serving as Town of Pecos City mayor in the mid-1980s.
Rodriguez, who was defeated for re-election last May after serving four terms
on the council. The other council member whose term is up in May is Johnny
In the Reeves County Hospital District board election, Precinct 2 incumbent
and current RCH Board president Linda Gholson filed for a new two-year term
on the board. Gholson's seat is one of two up for election this May, the
other being the seat in Precinct 4, currently held by Hugh Box, who cannot
run for re-election after redistricting moved his residence into a different
Deadline to file an application for a place on the ballot in all local
elections is 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 19.
Tuesday, March 4, will be the first day to accept applications to vote
by mail, and early voting by personal appearance will be held at the Pecos
Community Center, 508 S. Oak St., from April 16-29.
The last day a person may register to vote in the elections is April 3,
and the last day to receive applications for early voting ballots to be voted
by mail is April 25.
City council elections will also be held in Barstow, Toyah and Balmorhea
on May 3, as will elections for the Balmorhea ISD board.
50 years ago this week
PAGE 1: Funeral Rites Slated Today For Automobile Crash Victim.
Auto Fails to Round Road Curve
Funeral services for Milton C. Sutton, 34, were scheduled at 2 p.m. today
in the First Christian Church of Pecos. Burial was to be at Fairview Cemetery
with Carl Bissex, Christian Church minister, officiating.
Sutton, the father of three children, was killed instantly about 9 p.m.
Friday when the automobile he was driving failed to make a curve three miles
north of Pecos on U.S. Highway 285.
Riding with him was A.B. Pointer, who sustained only a cut over his eye
and a torn trouser leg. Pointer did not require hospitalization.
Segregation Hearing Set by School Board
The Pecos school board reminds citizens of a public hearing to be held
at 8 p.m. Thursday at the high school library to determine whether practices
of illegal segregation between White and Latin-American children exists in
the Pecos public school system.
At the hearing, testimony of petitioners charging segregation in the Earl
Bell and West Pecos Elementary schools will be heard.
Nine local residents had filed charges with the State Commissioner of
Education…Supt. Ray Whitley said that the school board had already
adopted a plan for zoning to "eliminate any charge of segregation."
Ralph (Buck) Wheat replaces Jimmy Taylor as Reeves-Loving County Agent.
Rehearsals Open on Junior Play
Rehearsals started last week on the high school junior play, after the
cast had been selected for the play "Dirty Work at the Crossroads."
Cast members are Sandra Townley, W.F. Martin, Jimmy Mayfield, Bill Collie,
Ellen Jayne Maris, Janie Armstrong, Susie Daniel, Maxine McMillan, David
Narrell and Wanda Woods.
Lose Home In Blaze
BARSTOW—A raging, intense fire completely destroyed the home of
Mr. And Mrs. Oscar F. Croft, Barstow pioneers, about 2 p.m. Saturday. All
their belongings were lost.
Croft is the owner of the Barstow Garage.
The Crofts are the parents of Clifford Croft, Barstow; Mrs. Lulon Everidge,
Pecos; Clyde Croft, Pecos, and Gerald Croft, Freeport.
By Mrs. Frankie Kingston
The PTA held its regular meeting at the school auditorium last Wednesday
afternoon with about 40 members present. The subject of the program was "You
and Your Community," led by Mrs. Lillian Stapleton.
Mrs. Hart's Home Will Be Scene of Tea Friday
Pecos Hairdressers' Association will hold a tea at the home of Mrs. A.Z.
Hart Friday evening from 7:30 to 8;30. The tea is one of the several activities
planned by the association during National Beauty Salon Week.
Osborne Motor Co., 1201 W. Third Street
Cadillac, "Where Silence Is Eloquent!"
The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr, in Technicolor
Dream Boat, with Clifton Webb and Ginger Rogers
Acid Delinters, Inc.
Cottonseed, Certified 1517C
"Why not plant the best seed and make the best crop"
Classified: Would like to buy used poultry equipment. Need everything
for big bunch of laying hens. Please list equipment and prices. Write Box
H.A., % Pecos Enterprise
PECOS, Fri., Feb. 28, 2003 -- High Thursday 67. Low this morning 36. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 35. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph.
Saturday: Sunny. Highs 65 to 70. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Saturday
night: Partly cloudy. Lows around 35. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Highs
near 60. Monday: Mostly cloudy. Lows around 35. Highs near 65.
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
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise