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Auditors from the state office completed their work months ago, asked
produceers to bring in documentation on their acreage, and made a
recommendation on payment of government subsidy checks that have been
held up since September.
Then a team from Washington, D.C. went over the same records, returned
to Washington and reported their findings.
Betty Kellogg of the southwest office in Washington, D.C. confirmed this
moyying that several officials from the headquarters office, including
the office of general consul, will be in Pecos most of this week to go
over those same records.
"They have assured us they will make a rapid decision," Kellogg said.
Kellogg said that 80 percent of the producers were paid their final 1996
payment, but none served by the Reeves County FSA office have received
their advance payments for 1997.
She could give no dollar amount for the payments that were held up. Bob
Bickley, executive director for the Trans Pecos Cotton Association, said
that three payments are involved: the final 1996 payment due in
September, a Crop Reserve Program payment usually made in October; and
the advance for 1997, usually paid in December.
Farmers depend on the government checks to pay off their bank loans and
to finance a new crop.
Henry Bonilla, U.S. representative for the 23rd District, said he asked
Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman about USDA plans to restore the
Reeves County producers are not to blame for the sloppy record keeping
and FSA miscalculations in the crop acreage base on the land farmers
intended to enroll in the program, Bonilla said.
"Reconstructing every file for each piece of property involved could
take months and may, in fact, be impossible," he said. "Farmers make
planting, planning and credit decisions in reliance on these payments.
Farmers in Reeves County have been put on hold right now."
Bonilla also asked about the status of a proposal submitted by the Texas
state office of the USDA.
Kellogg said that recommendation has neither been accepted nor rejected,
and the team from Washington will make their own determination of what
should be done.
Bonilla said that Glickman is cautious about making payments without
further investigation, but acknowledged the dire situation of farmers in
Reeves County and vowed to get to the bottom of the situation.
Kellogg said the checks cannot be issued "until things are kind of
She said a variety of different problems over the years "just
compounded," to create the crisis.
"I was encouraged by the USDA's concern and I hope that the team going
down next week will find a solution quickly," Bonilla said. "Reeves
County producers deserve to get the payments they are contractually
entitled to and they deserve to get them now."
Bonilla ws newly appointed to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Agriculture, which oversees funding for the USDA. Bonilla is the only
Texan serving on the subcommittee.
FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service are working together to
provide assistance to interested individuals, Ross said.
Barney Lee, district conservationist with NRCS, said eligibility
requirements are site specific for every farm.
"Rental rates are based on soil productivity, land value and cropping
history," he said. "Bid caps will be made for each county, but are not
known at this time."
Priority areas have been designated at the national level and within
each state to better address conservation and environmental issues in a
planned and coordinated manner.
Reeves County is not in a priority area, where land does not have to
meet any other land eligibility cirteria.
Ross said the CRP also considers environmental benefits such as
protection of wildlife habitat, wetlands and streams.
"Locations are site specific and must meet specific criteria to be
approved," he said.
Ross and Lee said they are working closely together to make the 15th CRP
signup as easy as possible for producers. Call 445-2616 or 445-3196.
Esta informacion tambien se encuentra disponible en Espanol. Por
favor comuniquese con la oficina de Servicios para la Conservacion de
los Recursos Naturales al telefono 817-298-1214, estamos para
PECOS, March 3, 1997 - With only a few hours to deadline, four men have
applied for the job of executive director with the Community Council of
Reeves County, said board president Linda Clark this morning.
Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. today, and the council will consider
applications in a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
They will also select a committee to review and update the personnel
policy and another to review and update the by-laws.
The four are seeking to fill the opening left when Yvonne Martin
resigned last month as CCRC director. She stepped down after the CCRC
board voted to reinstate the director of the council's Head Start
Head Start monitors have encouraged the board to hire an executive
director as soon as possible in an effort to correct deficiencies by
April 26. The program faces a loss of funding if the problems are not
Interim executive director Frank Perea has made some progress on the
corrections, Clark said. She plans to write a letter to Head Start
outlining the progress made and plans to complete the work, asking for
an extension of time.
A former Head Start teacher who owns his own business, and managers or
associates of three local businesses are the men seeking the position.
Tommy Rey Jr., 613 S. Almond, owns Tommy's Place Restaurant on East
He was a teacher and parent coordinator for Head Start from January,
1990 to March, 1991, and from September, 1985 to May, 1989. He has also
worked as summer food program site supervisor for JTPA and as an aide in
Enrique Dominguez, 1719 S. Eddy St., manages Motel 6. Previous to that,
he managed the Best Western Motel, 900 W. Palmer St.; Pizza Properties
Inc. in El Paso and Park Inn International in El Paso, Country Kitchen
Restaurant and Village Inn Restaurants.
Michael Benavides, 1221 S. Walnut St., is Wal-Mart assistant manager,
supervising 97 employees. He was support manager/personnel manager for
Wal-Mart in Fort Stockton and sales representative for Sears Product
Alvian H. Venegas is associate at Family Dollar on Eddy Street. He has
experience in computers, clerical and assisting people.
Clark said the board will discuss the applicants in executive session,
then open the meeting to consider hiring one.
PECOS, March 3, 1997 - Dr. Elvia Reynolds is one "Old Mossback" who has
found the on-ramp to the Information Highway and regularly surfs the
Internet, looking especially for information that will help city
Learning Thursday that his photo, taken at the Pecos City Council
meeting, would be posted on the Enterprise pages on the
World Wide Web portion of the Internet, Dr. Reynolds asked how to access
Told that he should merely type in the Enterprise's web
address: http://www.pecos.net/news, Dr. Reynolds said he thought only
online subscribers could access the pages.
At one time, the Enterprise did have a subscriber-only
bulletin board service that cost $7.50 per month. But when Oilfield
Phone Service made local access to the Internet available, the switch
was made to the web site.
So far, access to the web site is free, said Publisher Mac McKinnon.
"Once we get more of our back issues on our web site, we may want to
charge for access to that," said McKinnon. "But for now, anyone with a
browser can read our daily news, sports, opinion and classified pages
and our archives."
Monahans' weekly paper is also included, as are advertising and Home
The most recent addition is a Home Page for the local Christian band,
"Sudden Impact," said McKinnon.
"You can hear clips from two of their original compositions on that Home
Page," McKinnon said. "It takes a while to download after clicking on
the song's link, but it is worth the wait."
The English selection is "America the Beautiful? Why, Tell Me Why." The
group also sings in Spanish, and offers a clip of Mi Senor.
A color photograph on the page shows Issac Vasquez, Jason Alvarez,
Mickey Vasquez and Eddie Vasquez posing on the railroad tracks.
Viewers who like what they see and hear and want to book the band can
contact them through telephone numbers listed on the page or by clicking
on the e-mail link to send a message immediately.
Like Dr. Reynolds, people all over the world are learning how convenient
Internet access can be.
PECOS, March 3, 1997 - Juvenile Court hearings have been held for two
teenage boys on charges of aggravated armed robbery, in connection with
a failed hold-up at the Lucky Partners food store in mid-January.
However, the results of the hearings have not satisfied the owner of the
east side grocery.
Police were called to the store, located at the corner of Fifth and Ash
streets on Saturday, Jan. 11. Patrolman Armando Garcia said store clerk
Eric Martinez told him he had been held at gunpoint by two juveniles,
whom he named, while they took an undisclosed amount of money from the
Both youths were apprehended quickly by police and since then, the older
of the two, a 16-year-old, has been tried as a juvenile in county
The youth was found guilty of engaging in delinquent conduct. He was
charged with aggravated robbery and pled true to the offense.
During a disposition hearing the recommendation was for the teen to be
committed to the Texas Youth Commission and be under court supervision
until his 21st birthday, according to Reeves County Juvenile Probation
Officer Alberto Alvarez.
"This also means he will be mandated to serve a minimum of nine months
or more, it's up to the Texas Youth Commission," said Alvarez.
Juveniles who are sent to the Texas Youth Commission from Pecos go to
the Marlin Unit, where they do a diagnostic review and they determine
what type of program the juvenile needs to be involved in, according to
"Everything from the type of schooling, to psychological testing and
reviews and where the juveniles will be detained is determined," said
The other juvenile involved in the attempted robbery, a 15-year-old, had
a certification hearing, during which County Court-At-Law Judge Lee
Green decided he would sentence him in juvenile court as opposed to
Prosecutors and defending attorneys agreed that juvenile be ordered to
remain in the community and be detained at the Reeves County Juvenile
Detention Center for 12 months. He would then be placed in intensive
supervision up until his 18th birthday.
Both subjects were ordered to make restitution in full to the victims
within 15 days. Total amount in question was put at over $435.
"This process was also done because the acting county attorney discussed
it in detail with the victim's parents and they both stated they felt
comfortable with this decision," said Alvarez.
However, Eric Martinez's parents, who own Lucky Partners, have said they
are not happy with the outcome. They also claim they were never notified
of whether the two were going to be tried as juveniles and when this
"They did come over and explained the difference between being tried as
a juvenile and being tried as an adult," said Mary Martinez. "But what
they led me to believe is that if they were tried as adults, they would
be out on the streets that same day."
Martinez is upset because she doesn't think the punishment fits the
crime, especially since a loaded weapon was used during the robbery.
"My son's life was at stake here, does that not mean anything to them?"
"The victim's mother did have some concerns about what could have
happened, since one of the juveniles was armed," said Alvarez, who
agreed punishment was essential in this matter.
Both teens were given credit for time already served, which is about a
month and a half.
Martinez said she believed the only reason the second juvenile was
allowed to stay in the community is because his father cried and pleaded
during court proceedings.
"But never did they come and ask me if I was comfortable with what they
were going to do, they decided all that on their own," said Martinez.
PECOS, March 3, 1997 - Pecos Elementary has been recognized as an
Honored campus for its 1996 TAAS performance, after two years on the
list of Commended schools, while four other campuses were declared
Board members recognized all campuses during Thursday's regular board
Barstow Elementary, Zavala Middle School Seventh Grade, Lamar Middle
School Sixth Grade and Bessie Haynes Elementary made it on the Commended
School list, according to Texas Education Association standards.
Criteria for being named an Honored school is being recognized as a
Commended school for at least two previous years.
A Commended campus has 70 percent or more of its participating Title 1
students pass the reading and mathematics sections of the Texas
Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) exam.
Principal Juanita Davila said her entire third grade campus is a Title 1
She proudly noted that Pecos Elementary was the only school in the area
that was placed on the Honored list.
This accomplishment, said Davila, "takes a lot of dedication from the
students and teachers...and hard work on their part."
"We have high expectations for all of our students," she added.
"It's an honor to be honored," Davila said.
So what does it take to become an Honored campus?
Davila said her staff informally assess the students to pinpoint their
strengths and weaknesses and, "tailor more to individual needs."
"We always incorporate TAAS elements and essential elements into the
Also recognized during Thursday's meeting were Career and Technology
Education students who participated in Business Professionals of America
BPA sponsor Judy Holland was on hand to present students to the board.
State qualifiers include: Claudia Garcia, Jonnie Fuentes, Sulema
Mendoza, Desiree Melendez, Cynthia Dominguez, Mezthly Martinez, Haydee
Garcia, Cheryl Acosta, Elizabeth Montgomery, Liza Brown, Diana Prieto,
Olivia Valenzuela, Denise Camarena, April Villanueva and Maribel Pena.
Alternates were: Lisa Navarrette, Esperanza Torres, Melissa Valdez,
Christina Falcon, Haydee Garcia, Cole Hilliard, Cheryl Acosta, Annabell
Ramirez, Amy Barrera, Beverly Gallego, Jaime Jurado, Jessi Ortiz, Josh
Dominguez, Jamie Herrera, Maribel Pena, Matt Metler, Christine Gonzales,
Cynthia Almanza, Anna Carrasco, Veronica Perez and Efrain Rodriguez.
Participators in general competitive events were: Melissa Valdez, April
Villanueva, Elizabeth Montgomery, Olivia Valenzuela, Salvador Hinojos,
Elizabeth Montgomery and Annabell Ramirez.
Lindley Workman gave trustees a brief report on her trip to Washington,
D.C. as a school district representative to the National Young Leaders
"I was proud to represent our region in Texas," said Workman, and added
that she learned a lot about U.S. government.
"I had a fantastic time," said the Pecos High School senior.
PECOS, Mar. 3, 1997 - High Sunday 67, low last night 48. Rainfall .02
inch. March rainfall .02 inch. Year-to-date 1.47 inches. Tonight, clear.
Low around 40. Southwest to west wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday, sunny. High
around 70. Northwest wind 10-20 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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