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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, July 11, 2003

School board planning to maintain current tax rate

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members will maintain the school district's current tax rate for the 2003-04 school year, board members decided during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday.

The board received an update on Summary of Finances and approved a calendar to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate, and decided that the tax rate will be set at $1.50, the same as last year, according to PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love.

"The biggest hit is worker's comp and we were considered a hazardous employer," said Love.

Love said that since the time the district was considered a hazardous employer, they had hired a professional and attended several seminars and had that lifted.

There will still be a lot of changes by the state before the budget is adopted and everything is final, according to Love.

"I just hope we don't lose any more kids," said Love.

"I think we'll be fine until 2005," he said. "I think we'll be stuck with what we have for a few years and I think that will be good."

Love recommended that the board approve tax collector-assessor Lydia Prieto to calculate the effective tax rate for the school. "She will be working closely with me and Cookie (Cannon, school finance director)," said Love.

Love said that he had been hoping to give two percent raises this year, "but times are tough out here in West Texas," he said.

Board members will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 26, to discuss the budget and set the tax rate. "That's an important date," said Love. "We need to publish it in the paper, so it's better if we do it on Tuesday and not on Thursday."

He also gave the board an update on the renovations at Austin Elementary School, the new Pecos High School gym, mold removal work at the high school and the new softball field.

New rooftop units are in place at Austin Elementary, gas piping is being installed, opening at old mechanical unit is being enclosed, duct being installed and wiring is being installed.

At the Pecos High School, the mold areas have been cleaned, the gypsum board replaced and the crew is in the process of resealing the wall, according to Love.

"The floor in the new gym is really beautiful," said Love. "The gym floor looks first class," he said.

Eagles have been painted on both ends of the gym and school personnel are talking about doing other floors. The work is the first floor renovation since the gym was built in 1983.

At the softball field, foul line fences, backstop fence, and infield is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, in time for high school football teams to begin workouts on Aug. 4. The rest of the field will be completed by Oct. 15.

"PBT-ISD has completed installation of water service line," said Love.

The work is in general compliance with project requirements and on schedule, according to Love.

Several property bids on foreclosed property were approved during the regular meeting. Some property located at Meadowbrook was approved in the amount of $400, a bid by Becky Chabarria.

"Are we sure we really don't need this property anymore?" asked board member Lila Cerna.

"No, that's why we decided to go ahead and advertise it in the paper," said Love.

A bid for a house (foreclosed property) located at 1110 S. Pecan St., was approved in the amount of $750, by LeAndrew Tyson; property located at 918 S. Willow St. in the amount of $200 by Lucy Villa; 510 Comal St., Barstow, in the amount of $800 a bid by Juanita Galindo and a lot on Comal Street, Barstow in the amount of $220 by Stella Guerra was approved.

Appointments to the district included: Erin Campos, (one-year nonrenewal permit); Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Major in Spanish, Minor in History/University of Texas of the Permian Basin; no experience; assignment-6th grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary School;

Amy Chabarria, (one-year nonrenewable permit); Bachelor of Arts, Major in Spanish, Minor in History/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment-Spanish Teacher at Pecos High School and Coach at Crockett Middle School;

Delia Dominguez, (certified in Elementary self-contained, bilingual ESL-Spanish, Elementary Spanish, grades 1-8), Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Major in Spanish/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment, first grade teacher at Austin Elementary;

Lindsey Hathorn, (one-year nonrenewable permit), Bachelor of Science, Major in Kinesiology, Minor in English/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment- 7th and 8th grade reading teacher/coach at Crockett Middle School;

Evalyn Mazone, (certified in Elementary self-contained and elementary psychology, grades 1-8), Bachelor of Science in Education, Major in Education, Minor in Elementary Education/North Texas State University; 19 years experience, assignment- 1st grade teacher (class-size reduction grant) at Austin Elementary;

Omar Salgado, (one-year Nonrenewable Permit), Bachelor of Arts, Major in Spanish, Minor in History/University of Texas of the Permian Basin, no experience, assignment- 7th and 8th grade History Teacher/Coach at Crockett Middle School;

Graciela Sanchez, (certified in Generalist, grades EC-4), Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies/Sul Ross State University, three years experience, assignment- 3rd grade teacher at Austin Elementary;

Shannon Shorter, (emergency permit), Bachelor of Science, Major in Human Performance, Minor in English/Jarvis Christian University, no experience, assignment- P.E. Teacher/Coach, Austin Elementary;

Mary Skelton, (certified in elementary self-contained, elementary bilingual, grades K-8), Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Minor in Bilingual/Eastern New Mexico University, one year experience, assignment- 5th grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary School.

Resignations: Priscilla Cook, 1st grade teacher/Austin Elementary;

Brian Gibson, math teacher/coach/Pecos High School;

Cynthia Lopez, 3rd grade teacher/Austin Elementary;

Sonia Mendez, 6th grade teacher/coach/Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Delma Molinar, 6th grade CAI teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Diane Paz, Special Education Teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Frank Perez, Spanish teacher/Coach/Pecos High School;

Harmony Rogers, 4th grade teacher/coach/Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Edwina Ybarra, 5th grade teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Reassignments: Ruben Cervantes, from Principal at Zavala Elementary to Principal at Bessie Haynes Elementary;

Joe Flores, from History Teacher/Coach at Crockett Middle School to History Teacher/Coach at Pecos High School;

Judy Hayes, from Math Teacher at Pecos High School to Academics Teacher at Lamar DAEP;

Diane Minjarez, from Special Education S/C Teacher at Austin Elementary to Special Education S/C Teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Board allows new AD Willis to keep program

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Weightlifting will continue as a part of extracurricular activities at the Pecos High School, following a decision at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting.

New P-B-T Athletic Director Patrick Willis spoke to board members Thursday evening about the program, which was deleted earlier this year from the high school athletic program.

"I was told that the program was deleted because we only had three kids, but I have here 17 names of students that were in powerlifting," said Willis. "There might have been only three that went on to compete at a higher level, but there were a lot that participated."

Willis said that powerlifting was just another opportunity for the kids to compete and that the program was not expensive.

"This not only gives the kids a chance to compete, but also builds up their self-esteem," he said.

"I met one young lady where I came from, that had no self-esteem," said Willis. "The girls coach came up to me and asked me if I had any girls on the team."

Willis said that the young lady went on to compete in state competition where she placed fifth. "This was a girl with no self-esteem, few friends and very shy, and all of a sudden everybody knew her and she got involved in other things and made friends," he said.

"This is just another way to get my kids to go lift and compete," he said. "This is just another way for those kids to be successful."

Willis said that they didn't have to buy suits, that there were about 30 suits and that all the equipment necessary was stored at the school.

"And you don't have to pay for another coach," said Willis.

"Will you be doing the coaching?" asked board member Crissy Martinez.

"Yes, I'll be doing the coaching and coach (Rudy) Jurado will be my assistant," he said. Willis handled powerlifting while serving as an assistant coach at Abilene Cooper High School, before taking the Pecos job.

Superintendent Don Love said that it would cost an average of $8,000 to re-instate the program.

"If we have to go to a playoff it will cost another $3,000," said Willis. "But the 3-4 meets that they will go to, it won't be $8,000," he said.

Love said that he fully supported the program and Willis received approval from all board members.

"I'm glad you're thinking so positive," said Martinez.

City's July tax check jumps nearly 20 percent

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Sales tax rebate checks for July were up across most of the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos area, according to figures released today by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's office.

The increases included the Town of Pecos City, which saw it's rebate check jump by nearly 20 percent over last July's total, after seeing checks for the first six months of 2003 decline slightly from a year ago. Balmorhea saw a small increase in their July rebate check, which is based on sales taxes collected during May, while Toyah's rebate check was down sharply, after an unusually large check went to the city in July of 2002.

Strayhorn's office sent Pecos a check for $64,540 this month based on its 1 1/2 cent share of the state's 81/4 percent sales tax. That's up 19.38 percent from a year ago, when the city received $54,062 in July. One sixth of that total, or $10,757, will go to the Pecos Economic Development Corp.

The increase of just over $10,000 put Pecos' year-to-date total at $435,737, which is .61 percent behind a year ago, when the city had gotten back $438,415 from Austin. The stability in rebate check totals comes despite an increase of about three percent in the city's jobless rate compared with the same period last year. May 2002 was the final month the Anchor Foods plant in Pecos was open, and unemployment in the city jumped from below 10 percent to 22 percent, before falling back to 121/2 percent in May of this year, the latest unemployment reporting period.

Balmorhea's check for the month was $770, which is up 11/4 percent from last year, when the city got $761 back in tax rebates for July. However, Toyah's check for $480 represented a 71.6 percent drop in its rebate check, after the city got $1,724 back from Strayhorn's office last year.

For the first seven month of the year, Balmorhea has gotten $5,617 back, which is 201/4 percent lower than a year ago. Toyah has received $2,708 back so far in 2002, which is a drop of 36.3 percent.

Andrews, Monahans, Van Horn and Wink also reported double-digit drops in their tax rebate collections, but almost all other reporting cities show increases in their checks this month. That included an increase of 121/2 percent in Odessa, which received $1.16 million from Austin, and Midland, which got back $1.55 million, which was an increase of just under 6 percent from last year.

Outside of Pecos, the largest increase in tax rebates for area cities were in Fort Stockton and Marfa, though both were helped by increases in their tax rates during the past year. Fort Stockton got back $122,770 based on its 2 percent tax rate, an increase of 61.9 percent, while Marfa's rebate check for $15,863 was up 107 percent from last year. Marfa raised it's tax rate from 11/2 to 13/4 percent, and Fort Stockton's rate also was 11/2 percent a year ago.

The Reeves County Hospital District, after a couple of sharp drops in its rebate checks, saw July's total hold stable from a year ago. The hospital got back $25,151 based on its 1/2-cent sales tax, up .79 percent from last year. However, for the year, the hospital remains 12.33 percent below 2002's totals, having gotten $184,514 back from Strayhorn's office.

Statewide, the comptroller sent out $208.5 million in rebate checks to Texas cities and counties, up 2.8 percent from a year ago. Houston's check for $24.6 million was down 3.2 percent but was still the largest single rebate check sent out, while Dallas had the second largest check, for $12.7 million, which was 8.7 percent below their July 2002 total.

Carrasco named new Balmorhea superintendent

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- After being named as one of the three finalists last month, former Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD principal and current Balmorhea High School principal Mary Lou Carrasco has been named as the Superintendent for the Balmorhea Independent School District.

"We hired Mary Lou Carrasco," outgoing Superintendent Elizabeth Saenz said. "So we are now looking for a principal."

She added that they currently have plenty of applicants for the position of principal and would begin interviewing candidates on July 28.

Saenz resigned her position of Superintendent after she was accepted into a prestigious two-year program at the University of Texas in Austin.

"I've been accepted into a doctoral program," Saenz said in an earlier interview.

Carrasco is the former principal of Bessie Hayes Elementary. She had also been a teacher while living in Pecos, before taking over as Balmorhea principal at the start of the 2002-03 school year.

County to get August extension service update

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Reeves County Commissioners will hear a discussion and explanation of the status of the Reeves County Extension Service next month, including an update on the service's two unfilled local positions.

District extension director, Brenda Rue will be attending the meeting and will be explaining the process of recruiting individuals for the positions of county extension agent and consumer service agent. The meeting is to take place August 11th.

The meeting was set up this morning after a discussion between County Judge Jimmy Galindo and Rue, who also talked about on the signature authorization by the county judge and commissioners, which will allow the positions to be filled.

Galindo said that the county approved the budget in September, and money was allocated for the extension service. As to the signature for authorization, Galindo said that he did not understand why this was necessary if the two positions were approved in the budget.

Rue said that this was a formality that had to take place before posting the position.

"Written approval is something that is required in order to touch base with the court," Rue said.

According to Galindo, this is the first time that the extension service has asked for authorization. Galindo said that since he has been in his position, there had been two previous times that a position had to be filled, and a signature was not asked of him for either one.

Galindo also said that he understood that the county would have input on the selection process.

"We affirmed our commitment to the extension service, and our desire to have input on the applicants," he said.

Rue said that this was possible. Both Rue and Galindo said that there had been little contact between the two offices; therefore, neither knew what the other wanted or needed.

"It really comes down to keeping open communication," Rue said.

As to the hiring process, Rue said that after the extension service found who they believe to be the best candidate for the job, the court would meet and get acquainted with this person. The extension service would then get input from the court.

"If the court is not satisfied with the applicant, we will find another. There may be two great applicants that the courts can choose from," Rue said.

Galindo also asked about the status of the budget. Rue said that the two positions had been funded.

Galindo also asked for the best time to speak to Rue or a representative from the extension service and was told by Rue that she would send a meeting announcement to the court's office in order to be put on the agenda for the court's first meeting in August.

"I would like to help explain the process of posting positions and recruitment," Rue said.

Dairy Queen seeks donations Saturday

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Dairy Queen employees will be at the corner of Seventh and Eddy Streets, on Saturday, July 12, asking for donations for the Children's Miracle Network.

All donations will be greatly appreciated.

VBS classes planned for Eastside Center next week

PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- Vacation Bible School will be held from 9-11:30 a.m., beginning Monday, July 14 until Friday, July 18, at the Eastside Community Center, located at the corner of Locust and 11th streets.

All kindergarten through youth are invited to attend.

Games, crafts, treats and Bible Stories will be a part of the activities.

The Bible school is sponsored by Baptist Alliance of Pecos.


Marriages for May 2003, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk's Office.

Mason Lee Abila and Monica Contreras Meza.

Raul Briceno and Ruby Contreras.

Marriages for June 2003, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk's Office.

Enrique Lara Sais and Patricia McCollum.

Gari J. Ward and Elsa Villalobos Velasquez.

Jaime Ortiz Gomez and Stephanie Ann Segovia.

Marriages for July 2003, as filed with the Reeves County Clerk's Office.

Efrain Quintana Rodriguez and Marlyn Garcia Prieto.


Divorces for June 2003, as filed with the Reeves County District Clerk's Office.

Corey Trent Davis and Amanda Reid Davis.

Marion Estell Rousey and Sandra Jeane Rousey.

Guadalupe R. Orona and Michael A. Orona.

Alfredo G. Herrera and Hazel A. Herrera.

Sylvia Matta Carrasco and Jesse Talamantez Carrasco.


PECOS, Fri., July 11, 2003 -- High Thursday 104. Low this morning 71. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Lows near 70. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny. Highs from the upper 90s to 101. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Clear. Lows near 70. Sunday: Clear. Highs in the upper 90s. Monday: Clear. Lows in the mid 60s. Highs in the mid 90s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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