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Thursday, February 20, 1997

Incumbents seek new terms

in city, school, RCH races

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Town of Pecos City Council and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah School board election
officials are reporting only one candidate apiece has officially entered
the May 3 election race, since the filing period opened on Monday.

Dr. Elvia Reynolds is the only candidate to enter the Pecos City
Council race, said City Secretary Geneva Martinez. He's one of three
incumbents whose two-year terms are up this May.

Other councilmen whose terms expire are Randy Graham and Gerald Tellez

In the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD race, two three-year terms will be voted
on this May, and one of the two current incumbents, Steve Armstrong,
submitted his name Tuesday, according to school secretary Jo Allgood.

He is currently serving out the unexpired term of Oscar Saenz.

The second spot up for grabs is the seat now filled by trustee Hugh Box.

In the Reeves County Hospital District election for directors, board
president Jeannette Alligood and Marcella Lovett have filed for
re-election. Their two-year terms are expiring.

Candidates have until March 19 to file for the May 3 election.

Early voting begins April 14 in the Pecos Community Center, 508 S. Oak

State road fatalities up, but local figures stable

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From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, February 20, 1997 - The death toll on Texas highways went up with
the speed limit last year, and auto insurers say the state is to blame
for increasing speeds before studying the possible effects.

The chiefs of the state's public safety and transportation commissions
said Wednesday they were disturbed by the increase in fatalities - some
500 more last year than 1995 - and are looking at what actions might be

However, Department of Public Safety figures for the Trans-Pecos area
showed a slightly decline from 1994 to 1996 in the number of traffic
fatalities, despite increasing speed limits to 70 mph from 65 on area
interstates and from 55 on two-lane U.S. and state highways and
farm-to-market roads.

An insurance industry spokesman said a more complete study should have
been conducted before speed limits were raised to as high as 70 mph on
many highways beginning in December 1995.

``We predicted early on that there would be a substantial increase in
the number of traffic-related deaths. Unfortunately, that prediction has
come true,'' said Jerry Johns of the Southwestern Insurance Information

``The Department of Transportation did move too swiftly in adopting a
higher speed limit. The prudent thing for them to have done would be to
study the issue before taking such swift action.''

Texas speed limits started going up after Congress voted to repeal the
22-year-old national speed limit law late in 1995.

Public Safety Commission Chairman Jim Francis said traffic deaths rose
17 percent from 1995 to 1996. DPS figures showed 3,172 people killed on
highways in 1995; the preliminary estimate for 1996 was 3,715.

The 3,715 number is not definite, according to Alicia Gamboa,
statistician for the Accident Records Bureau (ARB) of the Texas
Department of Public Safety's Austin office. She said earlier today
that, according to her records the most recent accurate number shows
there were 2,946 persons killed in traffic-related accidents for the
10-month period from January to October of 1996.

She indicated that this number is derived from the number of reports she
has processed to date.

Gamboa did conclude that based on the information she has prepared the
17 percent estimated increase figure is tenable.

Gamboa added that final numbers may not be available for a couple of
months. "I just posted October," she said.

A spokesperson for the local DPS office reported there were 13 fatality
accidents in 1996 for the five-county area that includes Reeves, Ward,
Winkler, Jeff Davis and Loving Counties.

This number includes two persons who were killed while wearing seat
belts, nine without seat belts, one motorcycle and one pedestrian

This number is one incident lower than the 1994 total of 14, as reported
by the Safety Education Department of the Midland district office.

Press releases from the department's Public Information Office are
derived from information attained by the ARB.

In talking about the estimated increase statewide, Francis said,
``Perhaps the single most troubling thing about that statistic is that
fatalities had been going down every year since 1980 until this past

``It is probably premature to say we have a new trend. But it appears
that most of the increase is on rural, two-lane roads in Texas,'' he

Gov. George W. Bush, who called the numbers ``troubling,'' directed the
agencies to respond.

Francis and Transportation Commission Chairman David Laney said
officials would review the fatal accidents and see what actions the
state could take to reverse the increase.

``It is premature to draw any final conclusions,'' Laney said. ``We said
when we set the speed limits that we were going to watch them carefully.
What we have seen concerns us.

Laney also said, ``I don't think it's appropriate'' to lower speed
limits from 70 mph to 65 mph across-the-board.

He said the transportation department would seek information from county
officials and the public, holding hearings in all 25 of its districts
around the state.

And he said the DOT had been prudent in handling the rising speed

``When the national speed limit law was repealed, state law
automatically reverted to a 70 mph speed limit,'' Laney said.

``We were in a limbo situation with no speed limit other than the state
maximum of 70. We acted and worked very hard ... and I do think we very
carefully brought it down where we used our best judgment and thought it
should be lower than 70,'' he said.

Texas rains hit hardest near D-FW

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From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, February 20, 1997 - Rain that started at dusk Wednesday and
continued into this morning deposited about an inch of moisture on
drought-dry West Texas.

The National Weather Service recorded .83 inch overnight, with a light
rain still falling. Cloudy skies hold the promise of more of the same.

Rains were heavier to the east overnight, with a flash flood warning in
effect for several Permian Basin counties, including Crane, Pecos and
Ward, at sunrise.

Rains were even more severe in North Central Texas, where storms on
Wednesday killed at least three people, officials said.

Dean Harrold Olson, 50, of Fort Worth, was struck by lightning and
killed about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday after getting out of his truck because
of an accident on Interstate 20 in Hutchins, southeast of Dallas.

Olson was hit while walking back to check on the occupants of a van that
he had struck, said Sgt. David Landers of the Hutchins police. The
driver of the van suffered minor injuries related to the wreck, he said.

In the northeastern suburb of Wylie, a 22-year-old Plano man was killed
when his compact car swerved on a slick road and slammed head-on into a

Ryan Patrick Ellis died shortly after the 1:45 p.m. accident on FM 544.

In Denton County, north of Fort Worth, an 18-month-old toddler drowned
after he was swept out of a car after Janet Lynn Rayburn of Decatur, his
mother and twin brother escaped the submerged vehicle, Sgt. Roland Ridge
of the Denton County Sheriff's Office said.

The toddler was found in knee-deep water in a field south of Texas 114
after an extended search, Ridge said.

Justin Aaron Rayburn was taken to Denton Community Hospital, where he

Flash flooding stalled traffic in some areas and kept residents from
their homes.

``It was up to the buildings all the way back from the middle of the
highway,'' said Tommie Alvice, a resident of suburban Saginaw, which had
flash floods up to 5 feet deep.

Rainfall across north central Texas averaged about an inch, but some
areas reported more than 3 inches, said Lori Bovitz, a National Weather
Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

Rainfall of 1.77 inches Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International
Airport broke the record of 0.8 inch set in 1941, she said.

So far this year, Dallas-Fort Worth has recorded 5.88 inches of rain for
the month and 6.21 inches for the year. The normal year-to-date level is
2.38 inches, Ms. Bovitz said.

The unusual winter rains have been caused by a strong upper-level storm
system over northern Mexico, coupled with moisture spreading north from
the Gulf of Mexico.

A tornado watch was in effect today for a large area of Central Texas
and South Central Texas as waves of thunderstorms moved across the state.

The watch was issued today for an area along and 80 statute miles east
and west of a line from 60 miles west southwest of Victoria to 35 miles
north northwest of Fort Worth.

The rain will be ending on Friday over most areas.

Cooler temperatures are on the horizon as the rainy weather moves out of
the area. Temperatures in the Pecos area are only supposed to reach into
the lower 50s on Friday and Saturday, with overnight lows around

DA seeking cash, trailer in drug case

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 20, 1997 - District Attorney Randy Reynolds has filed
notice of seizure and intent to forfeit more than $8,000 in cash and a
1976 travel trailer taken as contraband in recent drug cases.

Manuel Quiroz of Balmorhea is the owner of $671.56 seized Jan. 23 by
Clay McKinney.

McKinney seized $7,884.06 from Ismaael Reyes, 717 S. Walnut St., on
Feb. 3.

A 1976 TEC travel trailer was seized Feb. 7 from Glenn Cameron on Farm
Road 1216.

Reynolds asked District Judge Bob Parks to forfeit the contraband to
the state.

Students get lawyer's advice before test

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 20, 1997 - Incorporating persuasive writing and speaking
into daily life was the topic of a guest speaker at Crockett Middle
School this morning.

Local attorney Jeff Parras was on hand at the school, speaking to the
youngsters about persuasive writing and a special program through
Midland College that might be of interest to the eighth graders.

Parras told the group that he utilizes both persuasive speaking and
writing in his daily life as an attorney.

He spoke about ways to "sell themselves," especially during job
interviews and used examples that they could comprehend more clearly.

Parras also showed the students legal documents he has used in
persuasive arguments during court trials.

"My main interests in high school were sports, it wasn't studying," said
Parras, who set up his law practice in Pecos last year.

"He tried to bring himself down ... to their age-group level in speaking
to them," said Career and Technology Coordinator Michelle Workman.

Parras was the speaker for her husband Jim's English class at Crockett
Middle School, which is currently training for the TAAS Exam next week.

"In the TAAS test there might be an area where the students will have to
write a paragraph or short essay on persuasive speaking and writing,"
said Jim Workman, who said the teachers are trying to get the students
prepared for the exam by inviting local career individuals to speak to

A group from Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD traveled to Odessa recently for a
two-day conference and learned a lot about the `School-to-Work' program.

"This group of teachers, administrators, career and technology
individuals, counselors and even a parent attended the conference," said
Michelle Workman.

The main topic of the conference was on bringing in workforce into the

"Jim, as one of the English teachers here at Crockett, was one of the
teachers at the conference," said Michelle. "He's trying to get the
students interested in persuasive writing and practice this for the
TAAS, but also he wants to incorporate the school-to-work program into
his classroom."

"This program is very effective and has been very popular in high
school, but we need to start at an earlier age," she added.

Workman stated that they would like this to become a district goal.

The Career Investigations Class, a course at the middle school,
currently focuses on careers. An extension of this course is being
planned for students at Pecos High School.

"This will be for sophomore students and will be called, `Career
Connections,'" said Michelle Workman.

This extended course will focus more on certain careers and gear
students toward the career they are most interested in, by having
hands-on experience.

"We'll let them, with the help of the community, go to the businesses
and `shadow' a career individual, so that they can see first-hand what
goes on daily," she said.

The Midland College course Parras spoke about can be taken during high
school curriculum.

The Legal Assistant/Paralegal Tech Prep Program will be offered through
the college to junior and senior students in high school.

Each course will be awarded three college credit hours from Midland

"Legal assistants, also called paralegals or legal technicians, work
directly under the supervision of a lawyer and generally perform
background work for the lawyer," said Parras.

The legal assistant/paralegal investigates the facts of the case to make
sure that all necessary information is uncovered, according to Parras.

Students interested in learning more about this courses can contact
Michelle Workman at 447-7262 or go to 1304 S. Park St.

A grade of "B" or above will be required in each course for college
credit to be awarded. Students will not be charged tuition or fees for
credit earned under this agreement.

"We hope to eventually get some type of career course going at the
seventh grade middle school," said Workman.


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High Wednesday 64, low last night 44. Rainfall .83 inch. February
rainfall, .85 inch. Year-to-date 1.22 inches. Tonight, partly cloudy.
Low in the upper 30s. North wind 10-20 mph. Friday, partly to mostly
cloudy, breezy and cooler. High around 50. North to northeast wind 15-25
mph and gusty.
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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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