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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, February 28, 2003

RCH expansion groundbreaking ceremony held

Staff Writer

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  expansion project.

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," said Springfield.

"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

Staff Writer

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 City Hall.

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 Teen Boosters.

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 this issue.

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 area.

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 keynote speaker.

"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

Staff Writer

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 software system.

"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 Angelica Valenzuela.

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 it.

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

Staff Writer

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 unexpired term.

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 Terrazas.

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 precinct.

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.

Balmorhea News

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!"

Grand Theatre

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.


Enrique Reyes

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