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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, May 16, 2003

Hospital delivers prizes in birthday celebration

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., May 16, 2003 -- The Reeves County Hospital held its 25th birthday party on Thrusday, with close to 200 people in attendance for the two-hour afternoon celebration.

"This is the first time we have had an event like this," RCH Director Program Development Community Services, Nancy Ontiveros said. "There was great interest specially among the children."

She added that they were pleased with the community response and will now begin working on planning for the grand opening of the expanded facilities, which will open next year on the north side of the current building.

As people came in they were given the opportunity to register themselves for having been born in the hospital.

"It was very exciting," Ontiveros said. "We had two set of twins register."

Ontiveros said that the oldest set of twins were Chris and April Ryan, born in 1981, while the youngest were Michael and John Jesse Nuniz, who were born in 1993.

She added that some parents came to register their child who could not attend.

Children who registered yesterday will receive their commemorative birth certificate in the mail.

"We will send out the birth certificates out next week," Ontiveros said.

By the end of the event, Ontiveros said that they had 94 people register for the birth certificates.

"We had people coming in at the last minute," Ontiveros said. "They just came in for their picture for the birth certificate."

During the celebration, Ontiveros said that people were telling stories of their birth.

"The children were telling us stories their parents told them of when they were born," Ontiveros said. "It was a good time of sharing and celebrating."

Like other birthday parties, gifts were given out to the oldest person in attendance, the person who traveled the furthest distance and to the most recent newborn at the hospital.

"The oldest was Angela Leigh born on March 22, 1978, a week after the hospital opened at this location," Ontiveros said.

The most recent birth took place just 20 minutes before the party began, Ontiveros added, when doctors delivered Oscar F. Baeza. "The father registered the baby immediately," Ontiveros said.

Stetson Owen, from Alpine was named as the person traveling the furthest for the celebration. Owen was born in 2000, Ontiveros said.

She added that they each received a commemorative silver dollar and that the hospital's most recent birth also received special gifts.

"We would like to thank West Texas National Bank and Security State Bank for their donation of the coins," Ontiveros said. "They made it very special for the respective parties."

Balmorhea's park, pool profiled 

in state comptroller's newsletter

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., May 16, 2003 -- A popular vacation spot not far from Pecos is featured in the May issue of City and County Financial Management publication, which is put out by Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Carole Keeton Strayhorn.

Reeves County Treasurer Linda Clark received an advance copy of the article this week, which contained a two-page pictorial on the Balmorhea State Park and Balmorhea Swimming Pool.

"Driving through the Chihuahua Desert of West Texas, the Davis Mountains looming on the horizon, travelers might wish they could find an oasis - a refreshing pool of cool water, inviting them to take a dip," the article says. "If they drive through Balmorhea in Reeves County, they'll find that oasis."

Three Scottish land promoters established Balmorhea in 1906. The town's name is a combination of the men's names: Balcolm, Moore and Rhea. The feature that makes Balmorhea unique in West Texas is a flow of water that runs down the main street of town. The water flows from San Solomon Springs, which gurgle to the surface a few miles away.

The springs have provided water for travelers and irrigation for crops for hundreds of years, according to the Texas Almanac.

The article quotes Balmorhea State Park manager Tom Johnson saying visitors to the area generally come either to take a rest before they head on to the Davis Mountains, Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend or Carlsbad, all of which are within a two-hour drive, or to visit the state park. The park is located on nearly 46 acres in Toyahvale, four miles southwest of Balmorhea.

TPWD's Web site says the park attracts 190,000 visitors per year. Johnson says last year the park had 197,000 visitors.

"It keeps going up every year," he said. The park was deeded in 1934 by private owners and the Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 1 and was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1936 and 1941. The main structure the CCC built is a 13/4 -acre size pool built over the spot where the springs emerge from underground.

"It's one of the largest spring-fed walled-in pools in the world," said Johnson. Before the 77,053-square-foot pool was built, Johnson says the springs flowed freely into the desert.

"It was just a big, shallow marshy area," he said. CCC workers also constructed a bathhouse, a canal system, an 18-unit motel and other park structures.

The springs feed the pool at a rate of 20 million gallons daily. Johnson says about 10 springs bubble up in a circular area at the pool site.

With water entering the pool at such a fast rate, fresh water is constantly entering the pool then being channeled out.

"The pool is completely replenished about every six hours," said Johnson.

The springs feature vegetation and aquatic life, including tetra, a smaller relative of the piranha. Johnson said building the pool drastically altered the eco-system, but a recent project to return a portion of the park to its natural state is reviving the wildlife and bringing more visitors to the park.

Students given awards during C&T banquet

PECOS, Fri., May 16, 2003 -- Local businesses were recognized for their efforts, and Pecos High School students received certificates and pins for their efforts during the past year at the school's annual Career and Technology Banquet, held Thursday night at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Students involved with the Business Professionals of America, the Distributive Education Clubs of America and the Future Farmers of America were honored for their efforts during UIL and FFA competitions for 2002-03, and local businesses who employed students during the past year were also given plaques in recognition of their work.

Texas Tech University sophomore Jessica Drennan was the guest speaker for the banquet. Drennan, who graduated as part of a 15-person senior class from Welch, urged the students to remain motivated about reaching their goals after high school and not to worry about failure in their efforts.

Pins and certificates were given out to the area and state qualifiers, as well as to the FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Team, which also took first place at state and will advance to national competition in Louisville, Ky., this coming fall.

Other students will receivee honors tonight as well, when Pecos High School holds its All-Sports Banquet, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pecos High School gym.

Haircutting event Saturday to fund PHS senior cruise

PECOS, Fri., May 16, 2003 -- A Hair-A-Thon is scheduled from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., at 1405 Johnson St. on Saturday, to help raise money for the Pecos High School Senior Trip Cruise.

Connie Herrera from Hair by Connie and Gilda Vejil from Gilda's Shear Talent will be on hand to cut, trim or style hair.

Come in, take a number and they will be glad to give you a haircut.

For more information call 447-2225.

Look for the purple and gold balloons on Johnson Street.


PECOS, Fri., May 16, 2003 -- High Thurs. 104. Low this morning 64. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Lows near 60. North winds 5 to 15 mph becoming east. Sat.: Sunny. Highs in the lower 90s. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Sat. night: Clear. Lows near 60. Sun.: Clear. Highs near 100. Mon.: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the upper 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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