Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
RCH sets March 11 date for addition's opening
By ROSIE FLORES
A formal celebration is being planned for the opening and dedication ceremony of the new wing at the Reeves County Hospital, members of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce were told on Tuesday.
This announcement came from hospital administrator Robert Vernor, during the monthly Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting, held at noon Tuesday.
"We have invited some important dignitaries from out of town to come to the grand opening and hopefully we'll have some here," said Vernor about the dedication ceremony, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.
A formal celebration is being planned in front of the new addition, with a ribbon cutting ceremony following and a reception inside. "We'll have tours of the new facility, there will be people on hand to take small groups to the different areas and functions of the hospital," said Vernor.
Texas Department of Health will be in Pecos the first week of March to do a final inspection, according to Vernor. "We can't fill the facility, until they give us their blessing. Hopefully it will be ready for public viewing by the 11th," he said.
For those individuals that cannot make it to the grand opening on Thursday, another "tour date" is planned for Friday. "From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., we'll have some other tours," said Vernor. "We want to welcome everyone in the community and get as many people as we can involved," he said.
Vernor said that this was something everyone in the community should be extremely proud of. "I also wanted to thank everyone for that very prestigious award that I received during the awards banquet," said Vernor, who was named the chamber's Outstanding Director for 2003. "It came as quite a surprise."
In other business, Women's Division President Michelle Workman told the group that the women would be having a membership drive during February. The drive is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Reeves County Civic Center.
"We want to invite all the ladies in the community to come out and join us," said Workman. "We asked all the members to bring a friend and hopefully that friend will want to become a part of the women's division."
Refreshments will be served and other fun activities planned for the evening, according to Workman.
Workman told the group that club members would be really busy soon, with the Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Pageant coming up in June.
"We have declared a date to sign up to become a part of the pageant," said Workman. "The actually orientation date is March 1, this is the day we'll give them a booklet on the rules and day that they will have to ask more questions."
Most of the members of the Women's Division will be on hand that day to talk to the high school junior students who are interested in becoming a part of the Golden Girl Pageant.
"It's like an orientation and will be held at 6 p.m., at the Pecos High School Cafeteria," said Workman. She said it would give the girls two weeks in which to decide whether they wanted to participate or not. "They must turn in all their information within two weeks," said Workman.
A Mother/Daughter Tea would be scheduled later on, according to Workman.
"We need a lot of volunteers, because it takes a lot of different people to make this a success," said Workman. "If you've never been to the pageant, it's something really great and wonderful and the young ladies go all out."
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Gholson asked board members if they wanted to participate in the Relay for Life this year, or make a donation.
"We made a donation last year, but they asked if we wanted to put together a team this year," said Gholson. "A lot of you already belong to a team, so maybe you just want to make a donation like last year," she said.
The Relay for Life event will take place May 14-15 this year. Gholson told the group that they still had time to think about it and decide at the next board meeting.
Barbara Creager gave the group an update on plans for the 2004 Reeves County Fall Fair. "We had a fall fair board meeting last week and 30 attended," said Creager.
Creager said that Jason Garduno had agreed to sponsor the two-day ranch rodeo once again and would be working on the chuck wagon cook-off. "The barbecue beef cook-off will be sponsored by the sheriff's posse, who did an excellent job last year," she said.
Creager said that the quilt show was a big success and that just a few changes were planned for the fair. "We also welcome comments and any input from the community," she said.
Commissioners studying copies of RCDC pact
By ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County Commissioners had the opportunity to review a 78-page agreement between Reeves County and the Federal Bureau of Prisons during a continuation of their regular meeting, held Tuesday afternoon.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo asked the commissioners to review the agreement on housing inmates at the Reeves County Detention Center's Phase I and II units, and would look to take a vote on adopting it later this week.
"I'm sorry I didn't present it to you Monday, but I still didn't have the contract," said Galindo.
"There are a number of aspects from the agreement that document the operational components of the facility," said Galindo.
Galindo said that the BOP had requested that the agreement begin on Feb. 14, instead of Feb. 1. "We have three more days to look over this agreement," said Galindo. "Our attorney in Washington has been in contact with the bureau."
Galindo said that the next three days they would be looking at the agreement in detail and then come back to the court on Friday to adopt it.
"By then, hopefully, only minor changes will be recommended made here and there," said Galindo.
"Any changes to the price?" asked commissioner precinct 3 Herman Tarin.
"No, the price is firm," said Galindo.
"Still set for three years?" asked Tarin.
"Yes, it's on a fixed unit rate basis," said Galindo. "As you can see the (US Department of Labor) wage determination is part of the agreement," he said.
The agreement will increase the man-day rate paid by the BOP to Reeves County for housing federal inmates, along with increasing the total number of inmates held at the RCDC I and II units from 2,065 to 2,200.
The agreement does not include BOP prisoners for RCDC III, the 960-bed, $40 million addition the county completed last March. The lack of prisoners in RCDC III has put the county under severe financial strain over the past eight months, due to the lack of income to meet bond payments on the prison that has cut into the county's reserve funds.
Galindo said that the executive staff at the RCDC would be reviewing the Statement of Work part of the agreement, and would send their recommendations or changes into the judge's office.
Galindo told the group that the agreement was basically worth $109 million over the next three years.
"Will this help us build up our reserves, Mr. Owens," asked Tarin.
"We don't have any reserves whatsoever, so you have to build them up quickly," said Owens. "It's going to take some time, but we've survived some very difficult times."
Tarin said that he was happy that the employees could relax now. "What I like about all this is that the prison plays a very important role in the community and now the employees can relax," he said.
The commissioners agreed to meet again on Friday and take action on the agreement.
In other business, the group opted to table the final payment to Carother's Construction, until all the appropriate paperwork has been turned in.
A contract between Bowie County and Reeves County for juvenile services was approved, another item that was tabled Monday morning.
Reeves County Juvenile Probation officer Louise Moore was on hand to discuss the contract and answer questions about the agreement with Bowie County, which is 600 miles northeast of Reeves County.
"Why so far?" asked Galindo.
"This is in Texarkana and their rate is $40 a day, which is a very good rate, and for girls a $25 a day rate from now through September," said Moore.
Moore said that they were looking into a contract with Bowie County because of the many programs and services that they provide. "We've had 21 girls referred to our department and it's causing us some concerns," said Moore.
"We're trying to come up with ideas and programs to help these girls get back on track," said Moore.
Moore said that they would come to Pecos to pick up the girls or meet halfway. "They have a 164 bed facility and the director said that he wasn't doing this for the money," said Moore.
Moore said that Reeves County would have to purchase the uniforms for the girls for $150. "We're just trying to have different options available," she said.
"We felt the $25 a day was excellent," said Moore.
Moore told the group that this facility offers anger management, counseling, peer pressure, and other programs for youth.
"We've talked to other counties that have used this facility and hear some very good things about it," said Moore.
Front brings rains to area, snow possible
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
The rain that began Tuesday morning and continued on through the night, deposited around 0.15 inches throughout the area, according to the KIUN rain gauge, and according to the National Weather Service, snow could make it into the Pecos area by tonight.
Pecos actually received more rain than most of the surrounding area on Tuesday. Balmorhea State Recreation Area recorded no rainfall, and the post office in Orla reported no measurable precipitation as well. The NWS office in Midland reported the system has released some moisture over the Trans-Pecos Region, with Fort Stockton reporting 0.07 inches, Monahans 0.10, and Fort Davis 0.01.
The forecasters at the service said that the cold front that had moved into the region Tuesday morning, would be remaining in the area until the weekend, and would probably be dropping more precipitation over the next few days. Tonight's forecast calls for cold and windy weather, with lows in the mid-20s and a chance of snowfall or icy conditions throughout the region.
The Trans-Pecos has had only one snowfall so far, and that came in late October, when a cold front dumped snow in the Fort Stockton area, and in the Davis Mountains. Pecos received only rain out of that brief cold snap.
According to NWS, the current cold front moved in out of the north, and met up with moisture traveling eastward from the Baja California area. This mixture has led to the lower temperatures and misty rain that the area has seen over the past 48 hours. Temperatures are supposed to be only around 40 on Thursday, and in the mid-40s by Friday, with the chance of overnight snow or sleet remaining in the forecast.
Council to eye skate park name,
City's rule on running for office
The Town of Pecos City Council will discuss the skateboard park being built at Seventh and Alamo streets Thursday morning and its policy on employees running for elective office, when they hold their regularly scheduled meeting at 7 a.m. in council chambers at City Hall.
Other items to be discussed include the conflict in the city employee's handbook regarding political activity and consideration of the city's "administrative position" on an undisclosed topic, which is slated for an executive session toward the end of Thursday's meeting.
The skate park has been one of Community Involvement Officer Mike Balog's main projects since its inception some time last year. The park has neared completion though the generous monetary donations from members of the community, Eduardo Madrid's donation of the plans for the park, and Jeff Lindsey's donation of much of the labor and equipment costs of the project, Balog said in an earlier interview.
The item concerning the city's current policy of allowing restricted political activities from its paid employees, was raised recently when Pecos Police Department Gang Investigator Mondie Granado withdrew form the Precinct 1 county commissioner's race due to conflict with the city's policy.
It was pointed out to city officials that if the policy was allowed to stand, then it could affect another Police Department member, Paul Deishler, who currently serves on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board. Deishler is a Criminal Investigations Division's Narcotics Investigator for the police department and was first named to the school board in 2000.
When asked over the discrepancy two weeks ago, City Attorney Scot Johnson said that the constitutionality of the policy would have to be checked, before anyone would have to step down.
Alzheimer's group sets local meeting
The Alzheimer's Association Pecos Support Group will meet at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12, at the Pecos Senior Citizen's Center, 119 S. Cedar St.
Everyone is invited to attend.
High Tuesday 45. Low this morning 42. Rainfall last 24 hours at KIUN radio downtown 0.15 inch. Forecast for tonight: Increasing clouds. Colder. A chance of rain mixed with snow after midnight. Lows near 30. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent. Thursday: Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow. Much colder with highs near 35. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow. Lows near 20. East winds 15 to 25 mph. Friday: Cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs near 40. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Warmer. Highs in the mid 50s to the lower 60s. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30.
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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Copyright 2003 by Pecos Enterprise