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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, June 23, 2003

Four wounded in early Sunday drive-by attack

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 23, 2003 -- Four men were shot early Sunday morning in an apparent drive-by shooting in the Lindsay addition just south of Pecos.

According to Lieutenant Mike Dominguez of the Reeves County Sheriff's Department, deputies were dispatched to 5401 Sierra at 1:17 am. Sunday in reference to shots being heard in the area.

Deputies arriving on the scene found four male victims, two adults and two juveniles.

Dominguez said that none of the injuries were life threatening. Two of the victims did go to Reeves County Hospital and two did not, he said.

Dominguez said that the preliminary investigation revealed that the four victims were sitting outside of the house when a vehicle with an unknown number of assailants drove by.

Shots were fired from the car hitting the victims, the house at 5401 Sierra and a parked car.

Sheriff's deputies found three spent hulls from a 12-gauge shotgun nearby during their search of the area.

"The case is still under investigation so there are details that we cannot release at this time," Dominguez said.

Dominguez also said that the Sheriff's Department had not determined if the shooting was gang related, or if it was connected with the two non-fatal shootings of the recent past here in Pecos.

Dominguez said that he was the lead in investigator on the case and urged citizens to call him at the Sheriff's Department if they had any information on this incident.

"Any person calling with information would of course remain anonymous," he said.

Willis selected as head coach, AD for P-B-T



Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 23, 2003 -- Pecos Eagle football players and fans will see a new face on the sidelines at Eagle Stadium during the 2003 football season, after Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members approved hiring a new Athletic Director/Head Football Coach during a special meeting held Friday evening in the Technology Center.

Patrick Willis, currently an assistant coach at Abilene Cooper High School, was selected by the board as the new head coach for the Eagles, who have had four head coaches in the past 121/2 months and have gone through seven head coaches in the last 10 years.

Willis is co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Abilene Cooper High School for the past three years under head coach Randy Quisenberry. He previously served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Rice Consolidated High (Class 3A) for three years; served as Varsity linebacker coach for Kerens ISD (class 2A) for one year and one year experience at Munday ISD as varsity defensive end and running back coach.

P-B-T ISD officials interviewed Willis on Friday, prior to the board's meeting. District personnel director Gome Olibas said Willis would be taking over his new duties as head coach and athletic director on Wednesday.

Others who were interviewed for the position including one current Pecos Eagle assistant coach, Gaylon B. Doan. He has experience as varsity line coach at Spur ISD, varsity backfield and secondary at La Vega ISD, varsity assistant at Bremond ISD, and varsity assistant at Merkel ISD.

Others interviews included Gary Jack, who is presently the head football and baseball coach in Thorndale; Mark White, currently the Athletic Director/Head Football Coach at Early ISD; Ty Robinson, currently Athletic Director/Head Football Coach at Agua Dulce ISD (Class A).

Willis was hired at an annual salary of $60,000 per year on a 261 day, one year, non-certified administrative contract.

Board member Paul Deishler made the motion to approve Willis and Steve Valenzuela seconded the motion, following a meeting held behind closed doors. Board members Amy Miller, Crissy Martinez and Chip Flores voted for the motion as well. Unable to attend the special meeting, were board members Billie Sadler and Lila Cerna.

Willis replaces Bubba Williams as both head football coach and athletic director, after he resigned in May, citing health reasons and a desire to spend more time with his family. Williams was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy in April of 2002, while serving as head baseball coach. He resigned that position in December and replaced Fred Carter, after Pecos went 2-8 during the 2002 football season, winning one game by forfeit over Presidio.

Carter was hired last June after the sudden resignation of Gary Grubbs, who left to take the head football and AD job in the Eldorado ISD. Grubbs served as head coach for three seasons and replaced Dan Swaim, who served in the job for one year. Prior to that, Mike Belew served as both head coach and athletic director in 1996 and 1997, while Felix Urias was head football coach for the Eagles from 1993-95.

He replaced Daylon Whitehurst, who had served in the position for 14 seasons. Whitehurst remained as athletic director during the three years Urias served as head coach.

In other action on Friday, school board members discussed and approved selling property no longer used by the school district. The property is located on Meadowbrook Drive.

"We have already sold some of the property in that area and will now sell these," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love.

"We'll advertise in the newspaper and bring it back to the board in July, if there are any proposals," said financial director Cookie Canon.

Board members approved a change order at the construction of the new girl's softball field.

The change order will include new bleachers for the site, at a cost of $12,500.

"We'd like to put the bleachers up for all the games," said Love.

Love said that the materials would cost $12,500, but the labor was $3,000 more. "Mr. (Joe) Coody has assured me that he and his crew can take care of the labor part of it," said Love.

The bleachers will be made out of aluminum and will sit on cement slab. "Basically, they'll be nailed down," said Love. "There will also be an aisle that people can walk through," he said.

The bleachers will accommodate 94 people, according to Love.

"We have this money in the athletic budget for travel," said Canon.

Appointments in the school district were: Rosa Granado, Bachelor of Arts/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, two years experience, assignment- second grade teacher at Austin Elementary.

Resignations included Bessie Haynes Elementary School Principal Benny Hernandez, who is leaving to take a similar job with the Iraan-Sheffield ISD.

Glenna Herron, second grade teacher/ Austin Elementary.

Reassignments: Barbara Armstrong, 7th and 8th grade reading teacher at Crockett Middle School to 7th and 8th grade Career Investigations Teacher.

Paul Briones from Academics teachers/coach at Lamar/DAEP to science teacher/coach at Pecos High School.

Joe Flores, from AEP teacher/coach at Lamar/DAEP to history teacher/coach at Crockett Middle School.

Bernadette Ornelas from English/Spanish teacher at Crockett Middle School to District ESL/Migrant teacher.

Lawrence Williams Jr. from Physical Education Teacher at Austin Elementary to Speech Communications teacher/coach at Pecos High School.

Area unemployment declines,

while state's rises during May

Staff Writer

PECOS, Mon., June 23, 2003 -- Reeves County's unemployment rate continued its decline from a high of nearly 20 percent last summer, but the county's rate remains well above that for the state as a whole, according to figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission.

According to Pecos TWC director Elva Arreguy, Reeves County has been experiencing a gradual decline since the beginning of the year.

"Reeves County has gone from 14.3 in January to 11.0 in April. In May, we were at a 10.5 percent rate. This is up from the 9.4 percent rate we had the same time last year," Arreguy said.

Pecos' jobless rate was just above 6 percent two years ago and was still at 7.4 percent in April of 2002, before the closing of the Anchor Foods plant, which was both Reeves County's and the Town of Pecos City's largest employer, representing 10 percent of the county's workforce. Following the closing in May of 2002, unemployment soared into double digits, reaching a high of 19.9 percent in August of last year.

The plant has since been reopened by TransPecos Foods, though employment numbers are below the 700 working at the Anchor plant at the time of its purchase by McCain Foods.

Arreguy gave unemployment rates for Pecos County as well. In January, Pecos County was at a 6.1 percent rate and last month, they were at a 5.1 percent rate.

Arreguy said that although Pecos County has a lower unemployment rate, Reeves County is doing well because we are going down at a better pace.

Texas unemployment rate was up to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.8 percent in May, the TWC said. The May unemployment rate is up from April's 6.6 percent and the 6.4 percent figure for this time last year.

The number of people working in Texas rose by 7,500, but unemployment increased by almost 35,000. This increase in unemployment is greater than the usual number for May.

"The increase in the unemployment rate is disappointing, especially after the slight reduction we saw in April," said TWC Chair Diane Rath.

Citywide, Arreguy said that summer time usually shows a boost in the local economy due to summer agriculture. She also said that TWC finds jobs for many local youth, and this also helps the local economy.

"This usually lasts to December through the holiday season," Arreguy said.

State employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities shed 2,600 jobs in May due to continual instability in the airline and other travel related industries. Manufacturing had its largest drop this year, losing 3,800 jobs. This is the lowest that Manufacturing has been since 1992.

"I am displeased with the rise in unemployment, especially the continued loss of jobs in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities," said Commissioner for Labor T.P. O'Mahoney.

The following are the preliminary May unemployment rates for the Texas metropolitan areas, with revised rates for April in parenthesis. The local figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Abilene 4.2 (4.0), Amarillo 3.8 (3.4), Austin-San Marcos 5.5 (5.3), Beaumont-Port Arthur 8.8 (8.5), Brazoria 9.1 (8.2), Brownsville-Harlingen 10.0 (9.9), Bryan-College Station 2.1 (1.9), Corpus Christi 6.6 (6.3), Dallas 7.0 (6.7),

El Paso 9.1 (8.3), Fort Worth-Arlington 6.2 (5.9), Galveston-Texas City 8.0 (7.3), Houston 6.7 (6.3), Killeen-Temple 5.2 (5.1), Laredo 7.1 (7.2), Longview-Marshall 6.6 (6.4), Lubbock 3.2 (2.9), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 11.4 (11.9),

Odessa-Midland 5.6 (5.4), San Angelo 3.7 (3.5), San Antonio 5.1 (4.8), Sherman-Denison 7.1 (6.6), Texarkana N/A, Tyler, 4.7 (4.2), Victoria 5.1 (5.0), Waco 4.8 (4.5), Wichita Falls 4.5 (4.2)

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Bond issuance by RCH board tops June agenda

PECOS, Mon., June 23, 2003 -- Reeves County Hospital Board members will meet at 6 p.m., Tuesday to discuss and take action on the adoption of a resolution authorizing the issuance of $5 million of Reeves County Hospital District Revenue Bonds, Series 2003.

The group will discuss and take action on a tractor/mower for grounds; physical therapy contract and the sale of property located at 1019 S. Oak, 1102 E. Third St. and 812 S. Plum St.

They will listen to the medical staff report and the administrator's report.

Regular agenda items include: monthly tax report, financial statements and budget amendments and payment of bills.


PECOS, Mon., June 23, 2003 -- High Sun. 103. Low this morning 75. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of evening thunderstorms: Then isolated thunderstorms after midnight. Lows near 70. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. The chance of rain is 20 percent. Tues.: Partly cloudy with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Highs near 100. SE winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Highs near 100.


Maria Mendoza

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