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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Council told of delays in skateboard park project

Staff Writer

The Town of Pecos City heard updates on the progress of the new skateboard park and improvements to the municipal animal shelter today during their second regularly scheduled meeting of the month.

The skateboard park is a project started a year and a half ago by Pecos Police Department Community Involvement Officer Mike Balog. Balog raised over $8,000 for the project and donations of time and equipment by Jeff Lindsey of Western Construction and Eduardo Madrid of Frank Spencer and Associates. But he told the council that little work has been done recently at the Seventh and Alamo Street site.

“We are at a stand still right now,” Balog said. “Currently we have two things holding up the park, the building behind the Girls Scout Hut and the completion of the dirt work.” Balog added that the park is planned to include onsite bathrooms in the location of the aging building, but the volunteers working on the project do not have the equipment needed to knock down the building and haul away the debris.

“We know the city crews have their hands full, but if the city could help by taking care of that building, I know we have plenty of people in town that can lay blocks and pour concrete,” Balog said.

He added that the dirt work was currently waiting on Jeff Lindsey get a break in his paying jobs, before he can come back and finish the work on the earthen berms that will supply the foundation that the concrete will be poured over. Lindsey has donated work that Balog estimates would cost $15,000-$20,000.

Engineer Eduardo Madrid added that the work on the berms was about 40 percent complete, and said that if the city could help with this phase of the construction as well it would be greatly appreciated.

City Manager Joseph Torres said that all of the city’s heavy equipment was currently at the South Worsham Water Field completing the 10 miles of caliche roads around the facility. “The recent weather, the condemned housing removal and the fact that the county has pulled its equipment off of the job has slowed us down quite a bit.”

The council unanimously approved the pledge of the city’s help to the project as soon as the roads around South Worsham are complete, estimated to be around the end of May to the beginning of June.

In other news the council heard from Police Chief Clay McKinney, who recently took over the management of animal control department for the city, on the improvements to the city animal shelter and changes to the city’s animal control policy.

“We received a letter requesting 18 items having to with the city’s animal control,” McKinney said. “We’ve tried to comply with a lot of these, but a few are still pending.”

Among the items brought to the councils attention in the afore mentioned letter submitted by Ruth Luster and Tenie Crider is the enforcement of city ordinances regarding animals within city limits, a crackdown on animal abuses throughout the city, constructing additional animal pens to reduce crowding, and to provide help to the animal control officer with the euthanization of the animals so they do not have to be shot, among many others.

McKinney said that some of the items couldn’t be complete due to a lack of available funds.

Luster said that fundraisers for the pound could be arranged, and added that she had received support from the community for such a project, and Museum Director Debbie Thomas added that a dog show might be arranged during “Night in Old Pecos” to raise money for some of the projects.

The council also heard from Madrid on the possible refurbishment and/or replacement of an elevated storage tank located in town and a storage tank located near the newly completed South Worsham Field.

In previous meetings the council had instructed Madrid to seek bids on the items together, and once the bids were in, the council would decide whether to continue with both projects based upon bid price.

However Madrid instructed the council that if they were to decide to go with only one of the projects, the cancellation of the other one would void the contract due to the drastic decrease.

“We can bid the items separately, but if you bid them together, a deletion of 50 percent would kill the contract. The reduction can be no more than 18 percent for the contract to remain valid,” Madrid said. “I am just asking the council for permission to seek bids on the projects separately.”

The council decided to table the decision until the rest of the council could be present. Councilman Michael Benavides was away on a work related trip to Austin, and Councilman Frank Sanchez was on a field trip for the high school.

Chamber members updated on rodeo, Fall Fair activities

Staff Writer

Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce Directors listened to reports from various committee members during their regular board meeting held at noon Tuesday.

Women’s Division president Michelle Workman reported that the recent Golden Girl/Little Miss Cantaloupe Style Show held at the Reeves County Civic Center this past Saturday was a huge success, while West of the Pecos Rodeo President Clay McKinney updated the group on the 2004 rodeo preparations and the AJRA Rodeo. The AJRA rodeo is scheduled for May 22-23 in Pecos.

Contracts for the rodeo have been set and McKinney said that he had made a deal with another scoreboard sign company for this year’s event. The committee is also working with city and county officials to resolve structural problems with the south stands at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

The Fall Fair Committee reported that they had everything coming along smoothly and would be taking a couple of months off.

“Booklets should be out within the next week or so,” said chamber director Linda Gholson.

A two-day ranch rodeo will be held during the fall fair, along with Chuck Wagon meals and the Annual Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Championship Barbecue Beef Cook-off. The Pecos Peddlers and Auction will be held May 22 and will be held inside the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. The event was rescheduled from mid-April.

“Anybody that has something to auction off can participate, it’s not just for entities,” said Gholson.

This year hours for Night in Old Pecos will be extended. The event will be held from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., in downtown Pecos.

“There will be a bike and car show and there will be entertainment on Oak Street and a D.J. will be on hand at the Windmill Square,” said Gholson.

During the meeting, guest Heather Scheier gave a report on the return of one Pecos soldier, who was injured recently in Iraq. Spc. Adrian Herrera is reported to be doing well and was in Pecos this past week.

Scheier’s third grade class “adopted” the soldier , along with others and has been in close contact with the soldier.

Presidential and executive director’s reports included events that have happened recently in Pecos.

“We want to encourage everyone to participate in the Relay for Life event, scheduled for this weekend at the Martinez Field,” said Gholson.

County, city, chamber and economic development officials participated in the USDA ranch development meeting recently, according to Gholson.

Allgood ending 45-year career with local schools

After 43 years in the system and after working for eight different administrators, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD superintendent’s secretary, Jo Allgood, is retiring.

“The job has evolved so much through the years. The biggest positive change I have seen is the introduction of technology into the schools. It changed the way everything was done,” said Allgood. “I’m not opposed to change. I was never afraid of it,” she said.

She has worked for superintendent C.W. Wright, assistant superintendent Gerald Grove, superintendents Dalton Mosely, Harvey Ramsey, Mario Sotelo, and interim superintendents Wayne Mitchell and Kenn Norris and current superintendent Don Love.

Currently her job includes being the first point of contact for the public as they enter Central Office or call for the superintendent, taking and reporting records of board and administrative meetings, preparing board agenda packets for each board meeting, being responsible for all aspects of holding board elections, keeping the district calendar current, doing research for the superintendent and board, and so much more than can be said here.

Allgood keeps a history file of the district that has information beginning in 1883 and continues to this day.

Each year she updates it with major P-B-T events/projects. She did calligraphy for the district for many years, until the technology stepped in there to help. One of her extra responsibilities includes getting the Pecos High School diplomas in the correct order to correspond with the line-up of seniors for graduation each year. So far, she has 100 percent success rate.

“Loyalty and protective of my boss,” are the two best professional attributes she feels she possesses.

“My job is to handle the tedious details that relieve the administrator from having to do them and then anything else that makes that person look good,” said Allgood. “In all my 43 years I have never dreaded going to work. I get up and think, ‘YES, I am going to work today,’” she said.

Artistic, great with details and dependable are ways she is described by co-workers.

Allgood recalled her most frightening work moment as years ago when her office was located in the current mail room at Central, the ceiling fell in on her while she was working at her desk. The biggest controversy she recalls through the years was when community opinion was clearly divided as a bond election was proposed to build the Pecos High Natatorium. “And, look what a great thing that turned into!,” she said.

Allgood got into the school business in an interesting way. She was appointed to the Barstow School Board in 1960 and was the first woman to serve on the that board. The Barstow and Pecos school district merged in 1969.

About the time she began serving on the board, Allgood started volunteering to help the Barstow cheerleading squad and started a tumbling team called “The Pixies” which toured and even appeared on television.

She resigned from the board to apply to be an aide where, among other duties, she was a girl’s sponsor, drove a bus, taught Pre-K through first grade to non-English speaking students, decorated the bulletin boards in the Barstow school, and taught a boy’s seventh and eighth grade art class.

“Anybody can learn to draw. Some will do it better than others, but you can learn if you listen to instruction,” said Allgood. “I taught the boys to do the lettering on the football posters that lined the halls and that interested them. They also drew the human body and learned about perspective,” she said.

Allgood was born Jo Twilley in Arkansas and moved with her family to the San Juaquin Valley of California when she was five years old. Her parents later moved to Texas for her mother’s health, but Jo stayed in California and attended the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland until she contracted pneumonia. Her mother insisted she come to Texas to recuperate from her illness and she arrived on Jan. 1, 1949, with two feet of snow on the ground. Around the first of March she met a Barstow born and raised long-haul truck driver, Bobby Allgood. They married on May 7, 1949.

The couple moved to California for a brief time in 1953 for Bobby to attend school where they were foster parents and Jo worked with abandoned children. Their family was completed when they adopted a three and a half month old baby girl, Phyllis. When the baby was six months old, the family moved back to Texas.

Phyllis lives in the Giddings area and Jo and Bobby have two grandsons, Cory of Giddings and Cole of Las Vegas, Nevada and one great-grandson, Jacob of Giddings. Allgood hopes to oil paint and stay busy after retirement.

School board getting turf contract update

A report on the installation of artificial turf and refurbishing of the track at Eagle Stadium will be a part of the items for discussion at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting scheduled for this evening.

Board members will meet at 6 p.m., in the Technology Center and the public is invited to attend.

The board awarded ProGreen the turf contract for $499,950 in March, with an additional $40,000 for the track project. But the company could not be bonded, and the contract was then terminated and new bids were solicited.

The board discussed those bids two weeks ago, and gave officials approval to negotiate with Field Turf/RS Global for the installation of artificial turf and resurfacing of the track. The company’s bid came in at $526,840, $13,000 below the original bid. Superintendent Don Love said last week they had been able to further lower that amount by about $10,000.

Also during tonight’s meeting, a presentation will be made of candidates and announcement of Teacher of the Year, elementary and secondary; recognize band students; recognize Crockett Middle School UIL state qualifiers; recognize 6th grade UIL state qualifiers and state science fair qualifiers; recognize FFA Career Development Events state qualifiers; recognize Distributive Education Clubs of America state qualifiers, One-Act Play students, and three teachers for outstanding leadership in presenting power point in the G/T classroom.

Under correspondence, the board will hear a letter from the Internal Revenue Service. New business will include consideration and possible action on declaring out-of-service computer equipment, on revised long range technology plan, resolution for Media Honor Roll 2004, Summary of Finance 2003-04 and 2004-05, requests to purchase foreclosed properties, summer recreation program, Pecos High School summer school, 2003-04 budget amendments, payday schedule, renting office space or classroom to University of Texas System for overseeing Reading First Grant, employee health care benefits for 2004-05 and dropping 8th grade career investigations class and replacing it with a seventh grade technology applications class.

The group will meet behind closed doors, as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074.

To deliberate the appointment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee.

To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee and consultation with attorney pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.071.

Board members will then reconvene in open session and take action, if any on items discussed in closed session.

Regular agenda items: Tax report, cafeteria report and commodities received, depository securities report, current bills and financial report, investment transaction report, reconciled bank balance, the Reeves County Community Recreation Department report and enrollment report.

Early voting totals finish low for local election

Over 800 individuals cast their votes early in the Town of Pecos City and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah city elections, a total that was not as high as expected by the clerks.

“The number was really very low,” said early voting clerk Debbie Thomas of the totals for this Saturday’s local city and school elections.

There were 605 individuals that cast their vote early by personal appearance and 232 ballots by mail. “There are about 60 ballots still out,” said Thomas.

Thomas said that during the last elections there were 200 voters on the last day to vote, with only 129 during this election. The two-week early voting ended Tuesday, and Thomas said,

“Hopefully, they’ll all come out to vote this Saturday.”

Thomas said that she will have training at 6 p.m., Friday, at the Pecos Community Center, for anyone who would like to watch the film.

Local elections for the Town of Pecos City and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD races will be held May 15 at the designated voting spots. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Pecos Community Center for the city election, and at the center, along with regular polling sites in Barstow, Toyah and Saragosa for t he P-B-T ISD race.

In the Town of Pecos City election, former Town of Pecos City secretary Estella Ornelas will face incumbents Angelica Valenzuela and Michael Benavides for the two available seats in the council race, and incumbent Mayor Dot Stafford will be unopposed in her bid for a fifth two-year term.

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board, election, there will be five persons seeking three available seats.

Incumbents Crissy Martinez, Lila Cerna and Saul “Chip” Florez are challenged by David Flores and Bubba Williams. David Flores is a former school board member and Williams retired last year as athletic director for P-B-T ISD.

The other contested local elections on Saturday are in Balmorhea. In the Balmorhea City elections three individuals are up for re-election, including the mayor’s position, and both races will be contested.

Current mayor Ruben Fuentes will be challenged by Tammy Dean Marmillion. The positions on the council are for two-year terms and those currently serving are Eddie Roman and Rosendo Galindo. The two will go against Antonio Contreras.

In the Balmorhea ISD school board race, five candidates will be seeking two available three-year term. They include incumbents Armando Mondragon and Paul Ward and challengers Susie Carrasco, Martha May and Luis Contreras.

The three incumbents in the Reeves County Hospital Board elections have no contenders and as a result the election will not have to be held under a state law that allows for the cancellation of uncontested elections by taxing entities in order to save money.

Incumbents, for the at-large position Leo Hung; for the Precinct 1 position Chel Flores and incumbent for the Precinct 3 position Bill Wendt will once again serve on the board. The other election that can be canceled under state law is the Barstow City Council, where all incumbents have filed to retain their seats, without opposition.

The three places to be filled are one full term for mayor, one for council and one unexpired term. Angel Abila filed for the positions of mayor, Robert Ortega for the full two-year term and Abram Flores for the one year unexpired term.

Youth softball, T-ball sign-ups due Friday

Friday is the final day to sign up children for the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department ‘s spring and summer girls softball and youth T-ball programs. The softball program is open to girls between the ages of 7 and 14, with a registration fee of $10 per player. Enrollment forms are available at the recreation department office in the old Pecos High School gym between 4 and 9 p.m. between now and 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

T-ball is open to boys and girls ages 4-7 years of age, and also has a fee of $10 per player. A birth certificate and both parents’ signatures must be provided along with the returned enrollment forms. For further information, contact the recreation department at 447-9776.

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