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Friday, January 10, 1997

RCH decides to re-establish own pharmacy

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - Reeves County Hospital District directors on
Thursday rejected all bids for contract pharmacy services and voted
unanimously to establish their own pharmacy.

Looking over the bids from Pioneer Pharmacy Management, Capstone
Pharmacy of New Orleans and Med Management of Albuquerque, N.M.,
Marcella Lovett asked why RCH couldn't run its on pharmacy.

"People are making pretty good off running a pharmacy. Why haven't we
done it?" she asked.

RCH did operate its own pharmacy, but in 1985 Adventist administrator
George Hesseltine opted to advertise for contract pharmacy services,
said Iris Rives, assistant administrator.

Local pharmacist Leo Hung, who with Steve Valenzuela formed Pioneer
Pharmacy Management to submit a bid, said contract pharmacists are not
making large amounts of money.

"I don't know where the figures are coming from," he said. "We put out a
bid. We are in this five and 16 years. We are not amateurs. I don't know
what kind of money you are talking about we are making big. The money we
come up with, I don't think is really like you are talking about."

Terry Andris, chief administrative officer, said he has been in
hospitals where they operated their own pharmacy. RCH would need to use
a consultant for the first three to six months to help set it up to
ensure the charge master and Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement records are
done correctly, he said.

He said he would negotiate with Valenzuela, who is operating the
hospital's contract pharmacy for Capstone Pharmacy of New Orleans.

"He knows the pharmacy, but overall rules, reimbursements,
Medicare/Medicaid, I need help," Andris said.

Lovett said the hospital may be able to contain costs by operating its
own pharmacy, avoiding a tax increase.

Andris said the pharmacy would also serve the new home health
department, and the timing is right.

"We are in good shape financially," he said. "We can do this."

Jesse Prieto questioned the need for a consultant, since Valenzuela has
4½ years experience in the local pharmacy as an employee of Capstone.

"I don't think he can set up the charge master and Medicare/Medicaid,"
Andris said. "Capstone has done this from their corporate office."

Jeannette Alligood said that none of the board members is qualified to
set up a pharmacy and they don't know what the requirements are.

"Terry knows what is necessary and what outside resources he needs to do
that. He is not going to use a consultant any more than absolutely
necessary," she said.

Greg Luna said the proposals include a lot of services the hospital does
not use.

"I think that if it is possible to reduce that management fee, I am
favorable to looking at the possibility of having our pharmacy here and
having Terry negotiate a package, especially since Steve has been here
for some time. I agree we should have a consultant," Luna said.

Andris reported that one of the owners of Gould Group, who won the
emergency room services bid contingent upon approval by the medical
staff and other considerations, will meet with physicians Tuesday.

"If next Tuesday the doctors do not feel comfortable with them, we will
revert back to Spectrum, the second-lowest bid," Andris said. "The
doctors have some questions.

"The one thing I am afraid of is we have good service right now," he
said. "We haven't had a `no show', and that's what the doctors are
afraid of."

Gould is 99 percent in rural and small suburban hospitals, he said.

Bombs Away!

City still seeking solution to downtown pigeon problem

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - "Falling Ice" was the warning on the front
steps of the Pecos Post Office Thursday as the warming sun melted ice
accumulations on the roof and balconies outside upper windows.

But on any day of the week, a greater danger is falling pigeon poop, as
anyone who patronizes the post office can attest. Daily scrubbing clears
the steps for a short time, but soon they are splattered again.

Anyone going to the post office on weekends or early Monday before the
custodian arrives is greeted by a stomach-turning mess.

And post office employees are about ready to get out the big guns to get
rid of the source of the mess.

Clerk Norman Hill said he asked Mayor Dot Stafford if the city could
take some action, but she said the pigeons are protected.

Armando Gil, city health inspector, said the American Society for
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and another group concerned with birds
intervened in earlier attempts to rid the city of what many consider

"The only thing they recommend for pigeons is glue that gives them a hot
foot," Gil said. "There is also an ultra-sound that runs them off."

Post Office employees put the hot-foot glue, called Rid-X, on balconies
and ledges a few years ago, but its effect apparently has diminished.
The friendly birds cluster along the sides and front of the building,
next door at Martinez Funeral Home, across the street at the Reeves
County Courthouse and at the fire station.

"It is bad," Gil said. "We used to have a gentleman with the U.S.D.A.
setting traps and he did a pretty good job getting rid of them."

Bill Everett of Fort Stockton worked about two months last spring, Gil

"We located places where they were major problems. The Texaco station
west of town is a major roosting place, as is the old Shell station at
U.S. 285 and I-20."

Gil said poison is not recommended for the pigeons, because a child
could pick it up, or an animal might eat the carcass of a poisoned
pigeon and become sick or die.

"There is a type of grain you can feed them to irritate their stomach
and deter them from going back and trying to eat in that area," he said.
"It won't kill them."

Pigeons like to be around people, so they roost in town and fly out into
the country to feed.

Because they carry lice and disease, many people do not put out the
welcome mat when they return to town.

Classic adds health channel to local cable system lineup

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - A new channel was added to the listings by
Classic Cable this week, with plans for additional ones in the near

American Health Network can be seen by Pecos cable subscribers on
Channel 44 and is just one of the newest channels approved by General
Manager Rowdy Wittington.

"I know that plans are to add at least two or three more, but exact
dates for those haven't been discussed," said Chief Technician Mark

Fiber optics, an improved form of transmitting digital signals, is in
sight for Kermit viewers, Hamlin added.

Information about fiber optics was mailed out recently to subscribers
in the Pecos area, but Hamlin said, "The only town in the area that we
know of right now which will be getting fiber optics is Kermit."

Hamlin explained that Classic Cable is in the process of rebuilding
Kermit's cable system, using fiber optics as its backbone. New cable
lines were last installed in Pecos in the mid-1980s. Classic Cable
purchased the system from United Video Cablevision two years ago.

Jurors indict Toyah man for shootout with deputy

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - Attempted murder by shooting at a sheriff's
deputy is the charged lodged Thursday by the Reeves County Grand Jury
against the Toyah man who fired at Damon Compton in the early morning
hours of Dec. 7, 1996.

Kerry Lee Williamson allegedly shot at Compton with the intention of
killing him. His bail is $25,000.

Compton approached the van and took the keys from Williamson about 2:30
a.m. Dec. 7, after receiving a theft of service call from Toyah Texaco.

Williamson then reached under the seat to get a weapon and fired four
rounds at Compton through the driver's side window, said Sheriff Arnulfo
Gomez. He fired a fifth shot at DPS troopers who arrived in response to
Compton's call for backup.

Officers from several law enforcement agencies surrounded the van and
waited until after daybreak to arrest Williamson.

Also indicted were Ramon Amaya Lara, possession of marijuana more than
50 pounds but less than 200 pounds on Nov. 15, 1996; bail $10,000;

* Linda Jenkins Franklin, forgery by passing a $25 check on Willie B.
Hall Sept. 23, 1996; bail $7,500;

* Johnny Long, unlawfully carrying a weapon Aug. 16, 1996 on premises
licensed to sell alcoholic beverages; bail $10,000; and

* Felipe Sanchez Jr., uanuthorized use on Nov. 25, 1996, of a 1990 Ford
automobile owned by Reeves County; bail $20,000.

Suspected pot smuggler had prior fed conviction

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - One of 18 defendants convicted of marijuana
smuggling in 1984 apparently returned to his old job after serving his
prison time.

Billy Mel Alford, 46, was indicted by the federal grand jury in Pecos
Thursday of importing and possessing marijuana for distribution on Nov.
27, 1996. The indictment was one of 11 returned Thursday.

Alford was convicted Feb. 15, 1984 in Judge Lucius Bunton's court of
conspiracy to possess over 1,000 pounds of marijuana and of 10 counts of
possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

When arrested Dec. 13, 1996, in the Northern District of Texas for the
alleged importation in Brewster County, Alford was on supervised release
ordered by Judge Bunton in the 1984 sentencing.

Because of his prior record, the enhanced penalty on the current charge
is a minimum of 10 years in prison, up to life and a $4 million fine if
the amount of marijuana is less than 1,000 kilograms.

For more than 1,000 kilograms, the minimum sentence is 20 years and the
fine $8 million. The total amount involved in Thursday's indictment was
not indicted.

Others indicted are:

* Larry Michael Jones Jr., 28, of Sylacouga, Ala., possession with
intent to distribute marijuana Dec. 19, 1996;

* Jose Soto-Soto, 29, illegal re-entry after being deported;

* Natalio Tellez-Muniz, 33, illegal re-entry after being deported;

* Ignacio Mendoza-Moreno, 36, of Juarez, Mex., import and possess with
intent to distribute marijuana on Dec. 15, 1996;

* Jose Eduardo Quezada-Huerta, 29, of Midland, possess with intent to
distribute marijuana on Jan. 6;

* Rocendo Duran-Martinez, 29, of Tyler, import and possess with intent
to distribute marijuana on Dec. 19, 1996;

* Armando Balcorta-Granado, 34, of Cuauhtemoc, Mex., import and possess
with intent to distribute marijuana on Dec. 29, 1996;

* Arturo Natera, 26, of Roswell, N.M., import and possess with intent to
distribute marijuana Jan. 2; and carrying a firearm during a
drug-trafficking crime;

* Christopher Wayne Goodall, 26, of Kansas City, Kan. and Janet Fay
Salvato, 44, of Kansas City, Kan., possession with intent to distribute
marijuana on Jan. 5; and

* Julea Simpson, 19, of Fort Worth, and Michael Christopher, 19, of Fort
Worth, import and possess with intent to distribute flunitrezepam, a
Schedule IV controlled substance, on Nov. 22, 1996.

Schools' Wednesday absences nearly 30 percent due to storm

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Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 1997 - Final totals show that almost 30 percent of
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students did not make it back to class
Wednesday, following a day off because of bad weather.

Pecos High School's figures, which were not available as of press time
Thursday, showed that of the 770 students enrolled at the secondary
level, 185 were reported absent Wednesday.

School was delayed nearly two hours on Wednesday due to the snow and ice
storm that canceled classes on Tuesday, and area roads remained
treacherous until the ice melted away Wednesday afternoon.

The highest percentage of absences was among the youngest students, at
Pecos Kindergarten, who had 123 absences, out of a total 298 students
enrolled for an absence percentage total of 41.27 percent.

Barstow Elementary had the lowest percentage of absences with only eight
students missing out of an enrollment total of 45, or 17.77 percent.

In order, other absentee totals were: 35.71 percent for Pecos
Elementary; 33.11 percent for Austin Elementary; 31.8 percent for Zavala
Middle School 7th Grade; 31.07 percent for Lamar Middle School Sixth
Grade; 28.36 percent for Bessie Haynes; 26.22 percent for Crockett
Middle School Eighth Grade and 24.02 percent for Pecos High School, for
the second highest attendance rate.


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PECOS, Jan. 10, 1997 - High Thursday 52, low last night 39. Tonight,
increasing clouds and turning colder. Low 20 25. East wind 10-20 mph.
Saturday, cloudy and cold with flurries possible. High in the upper 20s.
East to northeast wind 10-20 mph.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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