Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, May 12
Love happy with time as P-B-T superintendent
A farewell reception was held Tuesday afternoon for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Superintendent Don Love, who will soon be leaving the district after working for it for the past 20 years.
Love will retire from Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD on June 30, with 27 years of service to public education, including serving as P-B-T Superintendent since January of 1998.
When asked why retire now, Love said, “This is the opportune time for me. The district is in great shape financially. The average longevity of superintendents is 2.8 years in a district. We’ve made a contribution to the community.”
“It’ll be hard to walk away from this place. But when I walk away, I want everything to run as smoothly as possible. I want everyone hired, everything done. I don’t want to set the next superintendent up for problems,” he said.
Love’s 6 1/2 years tenure as the district’s superintendent included more $6 million spent on repairing and replacing district facilities without having to call for any bond elections.
The improvements include construction of the new Technology Center, Crockett lab addition, Austin Elementary gymnasium, and the Pecos High School softball field, along with installation of artificial turf and track refurbishing at Eagle Stadium and a awning for the PHS baseball field; along. Major electrical and safety renovations were also made to Austin Elementary, Bessie Haynes Elementary, Crockett Middle School, Pecos High School, Lamar Center, Pecos Kindergarten and Zavala Middle School; and new carpet throughout Pecos Kindergarten.
“I have no regrets. When I leave the house each morning, I pray for this school district and my family,” said Love. “Some people don’t understand how important this district is to the community. We provide great facilities and services to our community. We’re the only game in town, all our decisions are made in the best interest of the school district,” he said.
Known for being conservative, Love said his first superintendent, from Seymour ISD, set the tone for his own years as superintendent.
“If you have $1,000 in your budget, spend it all or next year you won’t have it. If you go over that $1,000, you’re fired,” said Love.
“In looking at the healthy P-B-T fund balance, people ask me, how did you save all this money? There’s a method to our madness. It’s all about the kids. It’s not about me or you, it’s all about the kids,” said Love.
Referring to the various P-B-T School Boards he has served under, Love said, “I have worked for some really good people. We put our money where our heart is. Good people can do great things.”
Before becoming superintendent, Love served as principal of Zavala Junior High for one and half years and as high school assistant principal at PHS from 1994 to 1996. He started in P-B-T at Bessie Haynes under the supervision of principal Sydney Sadler as a P.E. teacher and coach from 1985 to 1988 and moved worked at the high school as a business teacher and coach for the next six years.
Getting into coaching and teaching was natural. Love has participated in sports all h is life. At the age of 11, he was on the Haskell Little League team that played and lost to Pecos 7-4 in the All-Stars Game.
He was an accomplished athlete at Haskell High School where he played football (split end and defensive end), basketball (forward and center), and ran track (hurdler, pole-vaulter and high jumper).
“Friday nights were so important to Haskell. When you start winning, people come out of the woodwork,” said Love.
He was invited to participate in the Green Belt Bowl All Start Football Classic in August 1970 where his queen candidate was a piano playing, 4-H girl, Judy Therwhanger, his future wife.
His educational background includes graduating from Tarleton State University in three years with a BSED in Health, P.E. and Business; a History certification through Midwestern University; a Driver’s Education certification through East Texas State University and two Master’s degrees from Sul Ross State University - in Education/P.E. and School Administration.
In 1973, while the assistant manager of Gibson’s in Stephenville, Love’s former superintendent at Haskell, Mr. Wilkinson, told him a friend at Seymour needed a junior high coach. He recommended Love for the job and told him to go do them a good job. “We could get a Sears credit card with a teacher’s pay,” and so Love’s first teaching stint was in Seymour (1973-74) as coach and history instructor.
From 1975-1978 he worked for Forney schools 9-12 and coaching. One year in Bonham (1978-1979) and on to Clarksville 1979-81. Four years in the oilfield mud plant in Pecos took him out of education for a short time. But, in 1985, at the First Baptist Church, with Judy playing the piano, superintendent Dalton Mosley recruited Love to come back into education to work for PBT.
At PBT he worked for principal Sadler, Sandra Bailey, Joe Shoemaker, John Hodge and Alice Duerkson. He served under superintendents Mosley, Harvey Ramsey, Mario Sotelo and interims Wayne Mitchell and Kenn Norris.
“People were great in all the places I worked, but there’s nobody like the people in Pecos,” said Love.
Love’s dad was a milkman who left early in the morning and went all over the Haskell area, to nearly every school and many grocery stores, delivering milk.
“I was in and out of schools delivering milk with my dad. Dad felt the two most honorable professions were the DPS (my brother, Chris is a Texas Ranger) and being a superintendent. He died before I got this job. But, dad had great respect for the superintendent and school systems,” said Love.
Love’s mother was a nurse when he was in junior high school. When she finished her training and got her first job, “our lifestyle perked up a lot,” said Love. “They were good, hardworking people. Nobody was better,” he said.
He has two brothers, Johnny, a horticulturalist in Antigua and Chris, a Texas Ranger in Round Rock.
Love’s wife, Judy, and accomplished pianist, is a licensed realtor, has her Texas Insurance license, teaches private piano lessons and has played the piano for the First Baptist Church in Pecos for many years. The couple has two sons, Lance and Casey.
Lance is a general surgeon, soon to be in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with wife Lee Ann and new son, Logan Parker Love, born on Good Friday, 2004. Casey is a Pawn Shop broker in the Dallas-Fort Worth for Cash America.
When asked what he planned on doing after retirement, Love said, “I think I’ll look at going into real estate. I think it will be interesting. Matching a lifestyle with the right home sounds like something I would be good at.”
The Loves will be moving to Hopkinsville, Kentucky where Judy will be Lance’s Office Manager in charge of billing, coding, and reception, etc.
They have promised to e-mail friends back in Pecos and have requested pictures of the completed Austin Gymnasium and PHS artificial turf and track facilities as soon as they are complete.
When asked about his secretary Jo Allgood’s pending retirement, Love said, “She’s taken me from when I was wet behind the ears to where I am now….nearly dry. Some folks just can’t be replaced,” he said.
Officials seek ways to repair rodeo stands
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
The south side stands at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena have not been officially condemned, but according to Reeves County Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire the stands will need some work before they can be used for the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo, which will begin seven weeks from now.
Reeves County Commissioners were told on Monday that the south stands near the front of the arena had been condemned, and would not be available for use during the July 4 rodeo. The south stands contain about one third of the seats at the Buck Jackson Arena.
Brookshire said the problem wasn’t as severe as indicated to commissioners, but the problems needed to be addressed between now and the end of June.
He said that to his understanding, the stands were built in the 1930’s, and said that he could see both age and termite damage on some of the supportive beams.
“Some of them have rotted so much that they are no longer in contact with the ground,” Brookshire said. “Right now I think they should have an engineer look at them. They definitely need some work, but I don’t see why they can’t be ready for the rodeo as long as they get started soon.”
Brookshire added that he had not been able to reach County Judge Jimmy Galindo yet but had spoken with Rodeo Committee President Clay McKinney and related his options to him.
McKinney said that he had met with County Road and Bridge Supervisor Russ Salcido, Pecos Economic Development Corp. President Gari Ward, Pecos City Manager Joseph Torres, and Main Street Director Tom Rivera, in addition to Brookshire, and had discussed the options that the committee is looking at currently.
“Jack said that we need to talk with an engineer to find out what beams need repair the most, and how to go about fixing them in time for the rodeo,” McKinney said. “We must get these repairs done. It would be disastrous if we didn’t get the stands ready in time.”
“Half the box seats are located under the awning coming off of those stands and probably a third of the total seating for the arena is located there,” McKinney said. “We probably won’t be able to fix them in time for the junior rodeo scheduled for a week and a half from now, though.”
McKinney added that he did not know which engineer would be working the project, “That will be something for the county to decide. The city has pledged to help with men and equipment, and Russ Salcido has been a big help.”
“So far we have had a really good response. I am really optimistic about getting this fixed before the rodeo. I think that as long as the community works together on it, it will work out.”
McKinney added that the only other major snag for this year’s rodeo has been the rental of a rodeo scoreboard for the event. “We had a state of the art scoreboard under contract, but the man we were working with died in a DWI related accident. So we have had to find another supplier and sign a new contract, but we should have one here in time for the rodeo.”
McKinney did add that the rodeo committee approved a motion to bring in “some of the biggest PBR bull riders in the nation. We will have one full night dedicated to the PBR riders, in addition to the normal PRCA events that will complete the rest of the program.”
The Professional Bull Riders show will be held the night prior to the official start of the four-day rodeo. Added bull riding sections to the regular rodeo, along with barrel racing and slack competition in roping events, have been held in recent years on the night prior to the rodeo’s official opening.
Red Bluff sues Barstow board over vote rules
By JON FULBRIGHT
Red Bluff Water Power Control District has filed suit in 143rd District Court in Monahans against Ward County Water Irrigation District No. 1 in Barstow, seeking to block the seating of Tom Nance to the Barstow area seat on the seven member board.
The suit was filed Tuesday afternoon in Monahans, according to Red Bluff’s attorney Robert Scoggins of Kermit, and came after a contentious meeting on Tuesday in the board’s Pecos office in which Nance was not seated on the board.
“It was all a surprise to us,” Nance said this morning. “They didn’t send us an agenda like they normally do for the regular meetings they have. We weren’t aware of it until yesterday when we called and they faxed us an agenda.”
The agenda item that caused the dispute stated that the board would “discuss and consider to seek judicial review of whether or not an elected director from a converted Chapter 58, Texas Water Code, irrigation district, is permitted by law to serve as director of Red Bluff Water Power Control District, and for the President to engage legal service to pursue a judicial determination.”
Scroggins said the suit only involves Ward County WID No. 1, and he declined to comment on the details of the lawsuit. “It’s just a matter for the courts to interpret three statues,” he said, referring to the rules for voter eligibility, as decided by the boards for the seven Red Bluff sub-districts.
“We can’t have two sets of guidelines,” said Red Bluff Managing Director Randal Hartman. “You can’t have two voting standards.”
Hartman said following the meeting that the dispute involved the eligibility of voters within a water irrigation district, as compared with the eligibility of voters in a water improvement district, though Nance said this morning, “We couldn’t get Mr. Hartman to say anything at all while we were there.”
“We converted from a water improvement district to a water irrigation district in 2001,” Nance said. “We did that in order to give the landowners in our district a voice in the (Red Bluff) board of directors.
“With the way it is, with a water improvement district the landowners don’t have a say-so unless they live within the boundaries of the district,” Nance said. Under the water irrigation district rules, landowners residing outside of the Barstow area can vote in the Ward County WID 1 election.
Hartman said it wasn’t fair to have voting eligibility rules different in Ward 1 than in the other districts, while adding that he wanted the courts to decide whether or not red Bluff was correct in their interpretation of the law.
“We need rules and regulations settled before something happens we’re not aware of,” Hartman said. “We need the court to settle the problem with some kind of legal determination.
The Barstow seat on the Red Bluff board has been vacant for over a year, since board member Manuel Lujan moved out of the area. Nance was unopposed in the election to fill Lujan’s seat on the board.
He said he only found out about the suit filed in Monahans late this morning.
“We have a relationship with a water lawyer based out of McAllen who we have talked to about this matter,” said Nance, adding that the district would reply to the suit, but had no plans to file a counter-suit in the matter.
“We were not planning on taking action because there was nothing to take this action on. We followed the election rules of the state, and until they started the process we had nothing to file suit over; Red Bluff had to instigate it.”
Nance said he was unaware of any similar cases in Texas and added Ward County WID 1 would file a reply with the 143rd District County after they get a chance to look at Red Bluff’s suit.
Relay for Life not bugging out of event site
By ROSIE FLORES
Despite recent rainfalls in the area, the site for the Annual Relay for Life will remain at Martinez Field, and steps have been taken to ensure that participants will be comfortable this Friday night and Saturday morning.
“We went out there yesterday at noon and the field is not wet at all,” said Relay for Life organizer Teresa Winkles.
The Annual Relay for Life, which has been held at the Pecos High School football field for the past few years, will be held at Martinez Field on the south side of Interstate 20 in Pecos. The move was made because Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD officials originally planned to have work underway at Eagle Stadium installing artificial turf and replacing the track around the football field. Problems with the project’s original contractor pushed the start of work back from the spring to early summer, but while the field is available, this weekend’s event will remain at Martinez Field.
“We talked to the city manager who assured us that they will be spraying for mosquitoes tomorrow,” said Winkles. The field’s location, just west of normally dry Mosquito Lake, can cause problems during periods of heavy rains, when the lake can have standing water and live up to its name. Pecos received just under an inch of rain this past Sunday from a severe thunderstorm that built up over town.
Relay for Life, which helps raise funds for the American Cancer Society, is scheduled for Friday night and Saturday morning, at the field. Teams can start setting up at 2 p.m., on Friday. “Any survivor that plans to participate needs to be there at 6:30 p.m., to register and get their T-shirts,” said Winkles.
“This year we have 10 teams participating,” she said.
The opening ceremony for this year’s Relay for Life will be held at 7 p.m., on May 14 and teams will start walking at 7:30 p.m.
“The teams will walk throughout the night until 9 a.m., Saturday,” said Winkles.
A luminary ceremony is planned for 9 p.m., Friday.
Teams that will be on hand include: the Catholic Daughters; Winkles Trucking and M&W Hot Oil; Austin Elementary School; the Movie Gallery; Security State Bank; West Texas National Bank; American Home Health and Hospice; Reeves County Sheriff’s Office; Town of Pecos City; Wal-Mart; the Pecos Nursing Home and the Golden Girl Nominees.
Winkles said that their goal this was $35,000. “Last year we raised over what our goal was, that’s why this year, we decided to raise the amount of our goal,” said Winkles.
The Rotary Club will be cooking hot dogs, Friday evening and the Lion’s Club is in charge of breakfast on Saturday morning.
Cody West and Allan Morton will be D.J.’s for the special event.
“We’ll have a lot of activities planned, other than just the walking,” said Winkles.
Pecos Girl Scouts and Little Miss Cantaloupe nominees will help set up the luminary bags; a magic show and balloons will be held from 7:15 until 8:45 p.m.; a hot dog dinner sponsored by the Rotary Club will be held at 7:30 p.m.; face painting and bubble blowing contest will be held at 8 p.m.; storybook time with “Angel in Blue” at 8:30 p.m.; a talent show at 10 p.m.; a fruit eating contest at 10:30 p.m.; a scavenger hunt at 11 p.m. and a water gun fight at 11:30 p.m.
Other fun events will be held for the participants throughout the night and a Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m., Saturday.
Winkles’ crew includes her husband Ken, who is in charge of underwriters and sponsors; Holly Key, is in charge of activities and entertainment; Tracy Shaw, treasurer; Terri Spence, survivors; Rosemary Varela and Cindy Velez are in charge of the luminaries; Karen Hornberger is in charge of cookie sales and Raymond Hornberger is a “little helper” who does extra chores that need to be taken care of.
“Holly has a lot of good activities planned and plenty of entertainment,” said Winkles.
Council to study water tank repair during meeting
Pecos City Council members will discuss refurbishing work on the city’s water storage tanks during their regular meeting, at 7 a.m. Thursday at City Hall.
The council will discuss work on either the 500,000 or 1 million gallon tanks, and authorize city engineer Frank Spencer to prepare plans for the project.
The council will also discuss closing downtown streets for the Night in Old Pecos/Cantaloupe Festival the final Saturday in June, seek local park planning assistance and discuss a progress report on the new skateboard part; discuss property purchases and discuss and approve regular monthly reports.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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