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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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Archives 1995

Walker reiterates opposition
to sponsoring court-at-law bill

By Rosie Flores

PECOS, April 24, 1995 - State Representative Gary Walker reiterated his decision to not sponsor a bill to abolish the Reeves County Court-At-Law, at a special Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting held Friday afternoon.

However, Walker later said he thought a future county election on the
fate of the court-at-law was not a bad idea.

Walker, R-Plains, was in the town Friday to attend the annual Texas
Aggie Muster at the Pecos Valley Country Club. He met with county
officials for about 25 minutes prior to the Aggie Muster ceremonies.

"Respectfully, Mr. Walker, the topic of discussion is the issue of
abolishment of the County Court-At-Law," said County Judge Jimmy
Galindo. "This is not a confrontation, but a peaceable discussion.

"The intent from the very beginning has been from cost-cutting
propositions," said Galindo. "Cost-cutting and streamlining costs is the
concept of the abolishment."

Walker has been at odds with Galindo and County Attorney Bill Weinacht
over the abolition of the court-at-law, and statements allegedly made by
Walker relating to both the sponsorship of the bill and on cutting funds
from the Reeves County Sheriff's Department to pay for court-at-law

Walker has denied either promising to sponsor the bill or telling
Weinacht and Galindo funds could be taken from the sheriff's budget to
fund the court-at-law.

Weinacht was not at Friday's meeting, but did attend the Aggie Muster at
the country club that night.

Reeves County is currently facing a projected $396,453 deficit for
fiscal 1996, and commissioners had earlier agreed to abolish the county
court-at-law as a measure of cutting the deficit.

"This initiative is only the first step we are looking at, there are
many other steps we'll be looking at to reduce spending," said Galindo.

"The deficit we are dealing with, we hope that we can come to some
reasonable solution," he said. "That's what we're working for."

"Letting the people decide is a reasonable solution to the whole thing,"
he added.

"On Feb. 7, Jimmy (Gallindo) and Bill (Weinacht) came to the office and
brought their proposal to abolish the court by the legislature," said

"They had a lot of information beforehand, and I told him that taxes
were something you were concerned about, loss of revenues," said Walker.

"Actually, (State Senator Frank) Madla said he was going to file the
notice and go from there, to let people of Reeves County know that
something had to be done," he said.

"It has to go before a committee to give the people a chance to
respond," said Walker. "We found an overwhelming response from Reeves
County people that said they wanted to keep it."

"I told him (Galindo) that I had decided that I would not sponsor the
bill," said Walker.

"It's important that everyone know where I come from," said Walker.
"When I campaigned, the first thing I told people is, you need to
respond to your government, your representatives, your county judge."

"And when this thing came up, the response was 229 to 2, I don't know
the exact count, because there were a few more to keep the
county-court-at-law," he said

"If it's going to divide the community, you need to go in another
direction," he said.

"I don't sit on this commissioner's court, so I don't have any say-so in
this area," Walker said.

"It isn't a mandate that a county have a county court," said Galindo.
"There are over 200 counties that operate without one, it's a local
option," he said.

"I've proposed to let people decide, it's the fairest way to resolve the
matter and stop all the finger-pointing," said Galindo. "It puts it back
where it belongs and let the people decide."

"I said that this session I would not file a bill to abolish the court,"
said Walker. "I have made this decision and I don't think it's a bad
idea to have an election."

Ewing calls area honor a surprise

By Rosie Flores

Pecos, May 4, 1997 - Pecos Learning Center Director Kim Ewing received a special surprise recently at a ceremony held at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland.

The ceremony was held to honor child care professionals from the West
Texas Area and Ewing received an award for outstanding child care work.

"I was really surprised because I didn't know I would be receiving this
honor," said Ewing, who has run the learning center since its opening
last year.

The award was given to Ewing from the West Texas Association for the
Education of Young Children for her accomplishments and outstanding
child care. "It's a great honor and I'm really happy to have received
it," she said.

Ewing was nominated by Marilyn Hair, Director of the Odessa College
child care facility.

"I knew I had been nominated by my friend Marilyn, but there were other
directors with a lot of credentials also nominated," Ewing said.

"I met Marilyn in 1980 when I started taking child care classes," she

The other nominees for the award include a child care director from Big
Spring and Rita Stotts, director at the Midland College Children's

"Both women are tops in their field and we didn't find out who the
winner was until that night," she said.

"I've known of Stotts and have visited her center in Midland," said
Ewing, "We do have a lot of the same things, believe in good things, and
share the same philosophy," she said.

"I've always heard great things about both facilities and I want to go
and see the one in Big Spring, since I've already seen the one in
Midland," said Ewing.

Ewing was the child care director at First Baptist Church for 5 1/2
years, before that facility had to close its doors.

"We'll have been here at this facility for a year in August," said
Ewing. "All the same employees that were at First Baptist came here, so
we all came here together," she said.

"This program (the learning center) was prayed about by all of us here,
because we knew we were going to be separated from First Baptist," said

"We first started praying for a building in which to house our center,"
she said. "Thanks to Anchor West which co-sponsors the center, our
dreams came true.

"We started out with three Anchor West children and have gone up to
eight enrolled here," she said. "Oscar Saenz has gone out on a limb for
us, to have this center and make it function properly."

The learning center enrolls children from six weeks through sixth grade,
though the oldest currently enrolled are two fifth graders. It is for
all children, regardless of race or religious beliefs, Ewing said.

"We do talk about God here and out teachings are on the child's
developmental level," she said.

"We encourage parents to come out and visit the center to make sure the
child's needs are going to be met.

"All out parents who bring their children here are concerned parents,"
said Ewing. "We're trying to bring all the cultures together and helping
the children to mix and get along with everyone.

"All the teachers here have their own special talents, they're good
Christian women," said Ewing.

"We all believe in God and we pray a lot and He always has an answer to
our prayers."

She and her husband, Steele, have two children, Jay, 11 and Savannah, 7.

Ewing said all Pecos Learning Center employees have a common goal and
are committed to the children who attend the center.

"We're all dedicated to this center and the pay is nothing, I think the
employees who work here deserve a lot more, they put so much into it,"
she said.

"Marilyn Hair will be coming out this summer to teach child development
classes," said Ewing. "That's where we get all these good employees,
from these classes."

About 70 children are currently enrolled in the center and are hoping to
get about 20 more this summer through West Texas Opportunities.

The group provides child care for single parents, low income parents who
are working and are not on AFDC.

"We at this center try to provide a creative learning center for all
children," said Ewing.

The center not only teaches the children but encourages them with arts,
music and movement.

"I always dreamed about this and feel that all children are smart and
all have different learning styles and in the right environment, we
began to see the uniqueness of the person," said Ewing.

"I haven't seen a child come through yet that we couldn't work with,"
she said.

Ewing also said all the teachers at the center have their own special
talents which enable them to work better with the children.

"I'm not a stay-at-home person. I have to be doing something always and
my children are the same way," said Ewing.

The minimum requirements to be a child care teacher at the facility
requires 20 hours a year of workshop or child development classes. "They
have from Aug.1 until the following August and already a lot of women
have over 30 hours of training," said Ewing.

"When they come back from training they try what they learned on the
children and if it works add to it," she said.

"The women who work here keep getting better, taking classes and
updating themselves," said Ewing.

"One of the staff does problem solving with the children and it really
works," said Ewing. "I have seen where the kids she works with turn a
bad situation around."

The center also is offering dance classes on Tuesday. j"There will also
be classes in the month of June on country swing and line dancing," said
Ewing. "I'm also thinking of teaching the children 'kidnastics,' a form
of gymnastics on Thursdays. That's something we want to build on, in the
month of June," she said.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the center holds aerobics classes for
any individuals interested.

Registration for country dancing will be held on May 23 from 5 p.m.
until 7 p.m. for $30 per person and $55 for a couple.

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