Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, October 8, 2003
City's rebates up, RCH falls in new report
PECOS, Wed., October 8, 2003 -- Sales tax rebate totals for October
were up for all three cities in Reeves County, while falling for the
Reeves County Hospital District, according to figures released this
morning by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's office.
The Town of Pecos City received $58,677 back from Austin, as its 1
1/2-cent share of the state's 8 1/4-cent sales tax. That's up 4.7
percent from the $56,042 Pecos received in tax rebate funds in October
of last year, though for the first 10 months of 2003 overall, rebates
are still down slightly from a year ago. The 10-month total is
$633,968, a 1.35 percent decline from the $642,699 sent back in 2002.
The October rebate check is based on sales made during August. Of
the city's total, one-sixth, or $9,779, goes to the Pecos Economic
Like Pecos, Balmorhea and Toyah also saw their tax rebate checks for
August increase over last year, but the 10-month totals remain lower
than in 2002.
Balmorhea saw a 19.4 percent rise in its rebate check, from $724 to
$864 in August, but for the year is down just over 11 percent, having
gotten $8,968 back for its 11/2-cent sales tax. Toyah's $370 check this
month was up by nearly a third over the $278 it received a year ago,
but its 10-month total of $4,465 is down 22.7 percent from last year.
Reeves County Hospital's rebate totals were down for both the month
and the year as a whole. The hospital got back $25,694 this month, a
7.6 percent decline from last year's $27,816, and overall, has gotten
back $265,199 this year, 12 percent lower than for the first 10 months
Most other area cities also saw their tax rebate checks increase
this month, and the state as a whole reported a 2.9 percent rise in
money sent out by the comptroller's office.
Midland again received the largest single check for any city in the
Permian Basin, at just under $1.46 million, which was up four-tenths of
a percent from last year. Odessa's check, for $1.07 million, was up
6.07 percent from last year.
Monahans was one of the few towns to report a decline this month, as
its rebate check fell almost 24 percent, from $94,430 to $71,967, based
on the city's 2 percent sales tax. Fort Stockton, which raised its
sales tax by 33 percent, from 11/2 to two cents during the past year,
saw its rebate check rise just under 34 percent to $112,571 from
Alpine's rebate check was up 1.15 percent, from $66,172 to $66,936
on its 1 1/2-cent sales tax, while Andrews fell 19 percent, from
$73,148 to $59,208, on collections from its one-cent sales tax.
The state's tax rebate total to cities and counties increased from
$201.8 million to $207.6. Houston's rebate check for $25.2 million was
the single largest, and was up 1.8 percent, while Dallas received $13.2
million back from Strayhorn's office, a 2.6 percent drop from last
Anti-drug program schedule on agenda
PECOS, Wed., October 8, 2003 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board
members will discuss setting a date for the Annual Drug Free Pep Rally
and Red Ribbon activities during their regular monthly meeting
scheduled for Thursday.
The group will meet at 6 p.m., Thursday at the Technology Center,
1301 S. Eddy St. and the public is invited to attend the open portion
of the meeting.
Under correspondence: a check from Reeves County Teachers Credit
Union and a check from the Pecos Eagle Athletic Booster Club. A letter
from TEA -PID error rate and a letter from TEA - compliance visit
report will also be discussed under correspondence.
Board members will listen to a report on the new high school
softball field; a report on FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of
Texas) - district status; consider and possible action on memorandums
of understanding between Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and Go Project Head
Start; 2003 tax roll; 2003-04 budget amendments; clarifying or revising
TASB Policy DED Local concerning 12 month employees' vacations;
requests to purchase foreclosed properties; Campus Improvement Plan and
District Improvement Plan; participating in Surplus Auction hosted by
the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce, Nov. 15 and disposal of property
that is no longer necessary for the operation of the district.
The group will discuss AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) status on each
campus and district.
Board members will meet behind closed doors in closed session as
authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code,
Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074: Discuss personnel or hear
complaints against personnel.
They will return to open session and take action, if any on items
discussed in closed session.
Consider and possible action on professional personnel:
appointments, change of contract, reassignments.
Regular agenda items will be: tax report; cafeteria report and
commodities received; depository securities report; current bills and
financial report; investment transaction report; reconciled bank
balance report; Reeves County Community Recreation Department report;
enrollment report; date and time for next meeting; calendar of events
and request for items for next agenda.
Student Council schedules dance for homecoming
PECOS, Wed., October 8, 2003 -- The Pecos High School Student Council
will be sponsoring a dance after the Pecos Eagles' homecoming football
game on Friday, which will end at midnight.
The dance will be held at the PHS Cafeteria and students are
encouraged to dress appropriately.
The Homecoming Court will be announced during the event, which will
follow the crowning of the 2003 Pecos High School Homecoming Queen at
halftime of the Pecos-Kermit football game.
Vasquez says police less busy than decade ago
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Wed., October 8, 2003 -- Juan Vasquez Jr. enjoys his job as a
Patrol Lieutenant with the Pecos Police. He grew up seeing police
officers on TV and in person, saw the respect that they commanded and
the important job they do, and knew that that law enforcement was the
career for him.
Born in 1967 here in Pecos, Vasquez attended Pecos High School,
where he played football and baseball for the Eagles. During high
school he worked at the West of the Pecos Museum for a short period
before getting a job with the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center.
After attending a couple semesters of college and seeing how little
real world application some of the subjects could hold, Vasquez thought
about going into law enforcement a lot, and with a little encouragement
from his wife, joined the police academy being offered in Midland at
"It was easy to make myself grasp the ideas in the police academy
training, they applied then and still do to every day life. I won't lie
and tell you all were extremely interesting, for example Penal Codes
could get rather boring occasionally," Vasquez said.
In 1994 Vasquez joined the Pecos Police as a school officer.
"Back then it we were much busier. There were two rival gangs at the
high school, so we had our handfull with fighting, graffiti, and
criminal mischief, with each incident requiring a report. Between that
and running between all the schools for every call, remember there were
four more schools open at that point, we were busy," he said. "We
averaged between three and four calls a day, with only one officer.
That was quite a work load."
Vasquez observed that the community now has calmed down a little.
The population has decreased a little, but most importantly the police
department and the community seem to have developed a mutual respect
for each other.
"They realize we are not out there solely to write citations, we are
just trying to keep everybody safe, police and public both."
Vasquez recalls one incident that shook him a little. "I was on a
call to the hospital for a mentally unstable man. I was taking the
potentially suicidal subject's statement, when he asked for something
(can't remember what). I went outside to get the nurse, and when I
returned he was screaming. I got close enough to see if any thing was
physically wrong, but as I approached, the man jumped out of bed and
went for my pistol. He got his hands on the butt of it and we wrestled
for what seemed like an eternity, but in all reality was probably about
"All I could think of was the safety of the hospital staff and my
own. Just in time two more officers who were responding to the call
showed up and subdued the unstable man," he added "Not that I would
want to repeat that incident, but it is the close calls that really add
the excitement to this job. That is why I like it so much, everyday it
With helping people being the best part of the job, Vasquez said
that the hardest has to be any incident that involves children.
"Whether it is abuse or an accident, those images stay with you,"
he said. " People say that you eventually become hardened to it but it
hasn't happened to me yet."
Vasquez is an instructor with the police academy here in Pecos,
where he has taught both the physical aspects of training and the
academic. He said the latter is his favorite, because "it keeps me up
to date with the laws and procedures. The regulations and wording of
the penal codes changes often, so teaching it is a way to keep up to
date while helping cadet understand the material."
Vasquez has been honored twice each with patrolman of the year and
supervisor of the year awards. He is a current member of the
city-county joint SWAT team.
In his off time he enjoys coaching his son's pee-wee football team.
"I really enjoy getting to see the kids having such a good time, it
doesn't seem to matter at that age whether they win or lose, they are
just out there for the fun of it."
Officer Vasquez and his wife Christina have two children, John and
Isabella. He is the son of Juan Sr. and Soccoro Vasquez.
PECOS, Wed., October 8, 2003 -- High Tues. 89. Low this morning 70.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of
thunderstorms. Lows 60 to 65. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Thurs.: Mostly
cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs 80 to 85. SE
winds 10 to 15 mph. Thurs. night: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent
chance of thunderstorms. Lows near 60. SE winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri.:
Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the
lower 80s. SE winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri. night: Partly cloudy with a 20
percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows near 60.
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