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1995 Archives

Hospital board told finances in better shape

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 29, 1995 - Reeves County Hospital is way ahead
of last year on patient revenues and cash on hand, chief
financial officer John Lowery told the board of directors

Lowery said patient revenue is up $357,466 for the quarter
ending Oct. 31, compared to the same three months in 1994.
And the unrestricted cash balance was $318,702, an
improvement of $306,993 over last year.

Indigent care for the ten months ending Oct. 31 was
$414,871, up from $379,404 for the same period last year but
3.4 percent below this year's budget.

Because of changes in staffing patterns, total paid
full-time equivalent employees improved by 9.9 percent from
Oct., 1994, Lowery said. Wages and benefits dropped $14,479
for October over last year. For the ten month period, wages
and benefits were 12.5 percent less than the same period
last year.

At the same time, patient revenues increased $531,164.

Fees and purchased services also dropped, due to the
reduction in contract nurses.

Accounts payable and accrued expenses were down $34,327 from
last year, Lowery said.

For the month of October, net operating loss was $23,566,
and $743,839 for the ten months. That is down from $1.1
million last year, due primarily to reduced labor costs, he

In approving bills totaling $371,980, directors' actions
reflected recent controversy in Reeves County Commissioners
Court regarding conflict of interest.

Marcella Lovett made a motion to pay all the bills except
for telecommunication bill.

Jeannette Alligood explained that telecommunications bills
would be separated out so she could abstain from voting
because her company has an interest.

"I don't believe what you are stating is required," said
chairman Raul Garcia. "What you have to do is file an

"I have already filed an affidavit with the hospital,"
Alligood said.

Garcia said he was not aware the affidavit had been filed.
"We have enough people to vote, and there's no reason to
separate it out," he said.

Alligood said she had consulted the district's attorney,
Scott Johnson, and it was his recommendation that the
telecommunications bills be separated out for the vote.

"There's no need to do that," Garcia said," The only thing
here is if she desires not to vote."

He said he would check out the proper procedure "without
legal eagle," but insisted that the vote be on all the
bills. Alligood abstained.

Terry Andris, former administrator for Permian General
Hospital in Andrews, attended the meeting as acting
administrator representing Lubbock Methodist Hospital.

He asked the board to place the matter of hiring a permanent
CFO on the agenda for the next meeting. "That's one position
we need to be sure of; it is a key position," Andris said.

Lowery is interim CFO for Quorom, but he would be allowed to
apply for the permanent position when their contract expires
in January.

Board members received copies of a proposed management
contract with Lubbock Methodist, which they will consider in
the next meeting if Lubbock Methodist approves it.

The two entities have signed a "letter of intent" to enter
into the contract, which would become effective when
Quorum's contract ends.

Andris complimented the board for filing suit against Dr.
Eunice Anderson to recover more than $104,000 advanced to
her when she opened a pediatric practice here, then closed
it before her contract expired.

Former administrator Carolyn Riley was in 143rd District
Court when District Judge Bob Parks ruled in the hospital's
favor and ordered Anderson to pay the full debt, plus
attorney's fees.

Dr. James Cam said that two radiologists are interested in
establishing a practice here, purchasing their own equipment
for mammography and offering mobile MRI services to
surrounding towns, such as Fort Stockton and Kermit.
"That are qualified and willing to get some equipment out of
their own funds," Cam said.

Lowery asked who would own the equipment and how much it
would cost the hospital to house and provide electrical

Cam said the doctors would own the equipment.

"What the board would have to look at is the amount of space
required," said
Garcia. "We have talked about this previously, and it wasn't
favorable at the time. We can take a look at the legality of
this. Before we can okay this to come in, we would have to
talk to our plant engineer and get some expenditures."

The board agreed to meet only once in December, setting the
date for Dec. 19.
Riley reported that Harrell Connelly is preparing to assume
the duties of interim administrator on Dec. 4 for Quorum.

"He has been supplied with copies of my monthly reports,
miscellaneous memos, and newspaper articles, board by-laws,
medical staff by-laws and personal policies and procedures,"
she said in her written report. "Additionally we have had
several lengthy conversations regarding the status of the
hospital. I anticipate that he will be well prepared."

Brookshire says fire was accidental

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 29, 1995 - A Saturday fire that sent one
volunteer fireman to the hospital has been ruled accidental,
according to Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire.

"The cook stove was left on with one of the burners covered
with a metal plate and the fire was ruled accidental," said
Brookshire in his report on the fire. "I spoke with the
owner of the residence located at 815 South Mesquite, Mary
Gallegos, who advised me that at the time of the fire she
had turned on three of the burners on the stove to warm the
house and left the residence for a while."

Brookshire's report states that when Gallegos returned to
the house she could smell smoke and when she opened the door
to the residence she noticed that the kitchen was on fire.

"While investigating the fire, I noticed that the three
burners that were left on were the two front burners and the
back left burner. The back left burner appeared to have
about a ten inch round metal plate covering the burner, just
to the left of the stove there was a metal cart with plastic
containers on the cart," said Brookshire.

He added that the covered back burner apparently became hot
enough to set the nearby plastic containers on fire, which
in turn set the southwest corner of the kitchen.

A plastic table cloth which was on the wall behind the stove
was set ablaze and apparently fell off the wall behind the
stove and set the floor on fire, according to the report.
Brookshire added that the metal head on the left back burner
was the only burner on the stove that was melted.

The kitchen sustained heavy fire and smoke damage and the
rest of the house appeared to have smoke and heat damage.
Fireman Bobby Herrera was treated at Reeves County Hospital
after being cut by glass broken out in the burning kitchen.

Gallegos' house was incorrectly identified as belonging to
Robert Vasquez in information to the Enterprise for a story
in Monday's paper.

Ward jurors convict Villalobos of theft

Staff Writer
MONAHANS, Nov. 30, 1995 - Ward County jurors on Wednesday
convicted Precinct 1 Commissioner Ben Villalobos for theft
as a public servant, a third-degree felony.

Jurors were continuing to deliberate as of 11:30 a.m. in the
punishment phase of the trial, held at the Ward County
Courthouse in Monahans.

Special prosecutor Tom Lee of Del Rio said the eight of a
12-count indictment were related to the theft of specific
items purchased from an auto parts store.

A store employee, Joe Larry Lopez, has already admitted to
his part in a scheme to falsify invoices submitted to the
county and has pleaded guilty, Lee said.

Villalobos' precinct foreman, Paul Valles, is also charged
in the scheme, and his trial is pending. The three were
indicted on Sept. 21 by a 143rd District Court grand jury in

Lee said one of the counts on which Villalobos was convicted
was approbation of an auto spoiler. Another was approbation
of a spa hot tub heater. A third count ties them together to
make the violation a state felony. Villalobos' role as a
public servant makes it a third-degree felony, punishable by
prison time.

Evidence in the three-day trial before visiting judge Larry
Fuller of Austin showed that Lopez changed the description
of items on the invoices submitted to the county.

"Evidence revealed a scheme developed where auto parts were
purchased," Lee said. "The code number on the invoice was
correct, but the description of the part was changed so when
you looked at the bill, you might think you are buying a
tire when in fact you are buying a hot tub heater."

Tony Chavez of Odessa is representing Villalobos.

Feds packing for move to new courthouse

Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 30, 1995 - Friday is move-in day for federal
courthouse staff who will occupy the new quarters at 410
South Cedar Street.

Jay Crawford, project manager for Dominion Leasing, said he
is pleased that construction on the new U.S. District Court
building was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
Dominion will lease the building to the federal government.

Local realtor Steve Armstrong is building manager for

Because it is privately owned, the courthouse will go on
local tax rolls Jan. 1, 1996, said Carol King Markham, chief
appraiser for the Reeves County Appraisal District.

If the estimated $4 million valuation stands, the property
would generate $121,234 in taxes for the City of Pecos,
Reeves County, Reeves County Hospital District and
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District at present
rates, Markham said.

Since income taxes collected throughout the United States
will be used to pay the $700,000 annual lease payment to
Dominion, local taxpayers' pro-rata share will be minimal.

General Service Administration officials have accepted the
building for occupancy, and vendors are installing
telephones and security equipment.

Deputy Marshal Billy Johnson is overseeing installation, and
court security officers are stationed in the building to
ensure that only authorized personnel are admitted.

Steve Balog, lead court security officer, said he had
enlisted the help of former law enforcement officers to
complete the permanent CSO staff.

J.C. White, a retired U.S. Border Patrolman, and former
Alpine Police Chief Jim Smith are on duty this week. Gary
Ingram, retired chief deputy sheriff for Reeves County, will
come on board Monday. All three speak fluent Spanish and
will be an asset in the 41,000 square-foot building, Balog

Balog helped the marshal staff pack records and small items
this week in preparation for Friday's move. He said movers
provided cardboard boxes and color-coded labels so they will
know which office to put the cartons in.

Deputy District Clerk Karen White, Jamie Weatherman and
Johnny Terrazas are packing all the files and evidence in
the clerk's office. They are looking forward to vacating
their cramped quarters to occupy a spacious office with all
new furnishings

Others moving over the weekend will be the probation and
pre-trial services staffs, which are located in the
Executive Center on Oak Street.

Crawford said the building's exterior complements the U.S.
Post Office and Reeves County Courthouse.

"I think the architecture blends in well with the two other
buildings to complete the triangle," he said. "We used the
same architectural elements -- similar color brick and clay
roof tile -- to have it blend in."

Spires between the windows on the front give the building a
Texas flavor, he said.

"I really like the colors Judge Bunton picked for the
courtrooms. The dark red mahogany stain stands out well with
the burgundy carpet," he said.

Judge Bunton has seven civil trials and several criminal
matters on the Dec. 11 docket for his new courtroom.

Crawford was packing this morning to move to southern
Virginia to build a prison that will be leased to the
Commonwealth of Virginia.

Dominion owns six other new office buildings leased to the
GSA in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico, including the
federal building in downtown Del Rio.

"Facilities such as the Pecos and Del Rio courthouses
represent the company's investment strategy which favors
stability and long-term occupancy over short-term gain,"
said Calvin Burgess, Dominion president.

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