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MIAMI (AP) - A woman retracing the steps of Amelia Earhart in a replica
of the aviation pioneer's plane made her last stop in the U.S. mainland
Monday, giving a thrill to several hundred fans who watched her land.
``We're doing this to remind people that they can achieve their goals,
how to make big goals and break them down,'' Linda Finch said while
signing autographs at Kendall-Tamiami Airport.
``You can look at this as 30 little goals - each leg of our voyage is
one little goal.''
The 46-year-old Texas millionaire left Oakland, Calif., on March 17 -
the same day Earhart took off in 1937 in a bid to become the first woman
to circumnavigate the globe. She's made stops in Burbank, Calif., Tucson
and New Orleans.
She leaves Miami next Monday for Puerto Rico in the restored Lockheed
Electra 10E, a duplicate of Earhart's twin-engine propeller plane that
also has modern navigational devices.
Finch plans to pay tribute to Earhart by dropping a wreath in the ocean
after taking off July 2 from New Guinea, the last place Earhart was
Three commissioners, along with County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo, voted for
the measure with newly elected commissioner Felipe Arredondo voting no.
The issue was placed on the agenda due to reports that two commissioners
- Bernardo Martinez and Arredondo - wanted to go back to the
commissioner-run road system for each precinct.
Galindo gave a brief report on the history of the unit road system,
which was instituted in 1991 after county vote overwhelmingly endorsed
the plan. Any change would require another public vote.
All four county road precincts were combined to save money on equipment
and manpower, as well as to make improvements on an as needed basis
rather than due to politics.
Former County Judge Dick Slack reported during the meeting that efforts
had been made during the late 1940s and 50s to have such a system, due
to a boom in farming during that time, but support for the measure did
not materialize. Slack gave the unit road system his total support as
did audience members Birdie Slack and Jesse Stephens.
The unit road system - now headed by Russ Salcido - has been very
popular, and residents of most county areas have noted that the county's
roads have never been in better shape.
Commissioner Dr. W. J. Bang, who was instrumental in getting the unit
road system in place, reported on how and why the unit system is being
used. He said he continues to support it, making it possible for people
who have no expertise in road maintenance to serve as commissioners.
Galindo passed out a chart showing the money savings under the unit
system, then asked each commissioner for their comments.
Arredondo made "no comment," and when pressed on the issue by Galindo -
due to comments during Arredondo's campaign for the office last year -
the new commissioner told the county judge, "you don't know what I'm
thinking," and stood by his "no comment."
Commissioner Herman Tarin said it was an issue that was decided by the
taxpayers, and the taxpayers should get what they want. Martinez said
the unit road system had made time for the commissioners to take on
other matters, including fighting sludge and creating jobs at the prison.
When the vote was called for, Arredondo asked who had sought to put the
item on the agenda.
Galindo responded that he, Bang and Tarin wanted it to be voted on so as
to give strong support to the program, after which Arredondo voted "no"
on the endorsement.
In a rather lengthy agenda, which lasted from 5:30 to shortly after 9
p.m., commissioners covered a number of topics. Several others were
tabled and will be considered when the recessed meeting is reconvened at
5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The court voted to approve an agreement between Reeves County and the
Immigration and Naturalization Services. Tarin said the deal will
generate money that can eventually go into the general fund, though
Galindo said that first the money needs to be used to make certain
improvements at the Reeves County Detention Center.
Presently, there are no INS prisoners at the facility, but the county
has brought in $150,000 by housing such prisoners in recent months.
Galindo noted that it is possible to use the existing RCDC to
exclusively house INS prisoners and build an entire new facility to
house the type of prisoners, mostly U.S. Bureau of Prison inmates, now
housed at RCDC.
In a discussion with County Engineer Frank Spencer, a change in the
perimeter fence at RCDC was approved at a cost of slightly more than
$1,000. Salcido reported the project should be finished in about two
Galindo noted that the cost for the total project will be less than
$350,000, after it was originally believed it would run about $500,000.
The savings were credited to using county manpower and resources.
A contract between DRG Architects and the county for the expansion of
the RCDC was approved as had been discussed in previous meetings.
Spencer reported on the installation of septic tanks in a project with
Southwest Texas Ventures, a project that is now 88 per cent complete
with 79 of 91 tanks installed.
Commissioners voted to issue a change order to the project to add 20
new sites for septic tank installation at a cost of $61,679to make the
contract total to date of $324,569.
Next up were two items that were tabled. No action was taken on the
first, a grant resolution for Madera Valley Water Corporation, due to a
meeting today with a grant writer to determine what was wrong with last
year's application that was turned down.
The item will be discussed again in Wednesday's meeting.
Also to be discussed then will be a request from Toyah for the county to
pay liability insurance for that city's three fire trucks. That item was
tabled because no information was available for the county to discuss
Also to be discussed Wednesday will be revision of a section of the
personnel policy and position descriptions at the RCDC.
A tax abatement agreement as recommended by a special committee with the
support of the economic development committee of the Chamber of
Commerce, was approved by the commissioners. Each commissioner and
Galindo has appointed a member to the committee. Such an agreement will
help existing industry and businesses to expand or attract new business
and industry into the county.
The county voted to accept the only bid of $50 per acre for 37½ acres
for oil & gas lease from Pecos Petroleum. Martinez mentioned the
possibility of selling the land and Galindo said he thought that was a
good idea and that an inventory of county owned land needs to be
assembled for possible auction.
The county renewed its hardware maintenance and software license
agreement on voting tabulation equipment with the same company it has
been doing business with for a cost of $1,991, as compared to $1,896
this past year.
Inmate uniforms costing $42.08 were purchased from ICS in Waco, the
lowest bid with Robinson Textiles of California bidding $45.05. That
costs covers three shirts, three pants, three briefs, three pairs of
socks, three T-shirts, one pair of shoes and one pair of shower shoes
for each inmate.
There was a long discussion on appointing a loss control coordinator,
with Lilia C. Franco reporting on a personnel seminar she attended in
regards to this issue. Galindo noted that such a person could have a
great impact on safety meetings and workmen's comp insurance and claims.
There was no action taken, although the matter was brought up again
during reports from departments, when a job description for a personnel
officer was discussed. Martinez said that job needs to be on the next
agenda, while Bang said he still does not want to see more jobs at the
county, rather to have fewer people doing more.
During this time, there was also an extensive discussion on county
offices staying open during the noon hour to serve taxpayers.
Commissioners noted they cannot make elected officials in those offices
do anything, as those officials answer to the voters and not to them.
County Clerk Diane Florez reported that she tries to stay open during
noon, but at times it's just not possible, due to the demands on her
office and a shortage of personnel.
Galindo noted that it is a matter of management.
One other matter that came up was voluntary payroll deduction for Reeves
County employees for annual greens fees at the golf course. Franco
reported that a survey shows about 30 to 40 employees are interested.
Galindo noted that would be a big help to the employees and the golf
course and said such a service could be offered to the city and school.
Joe Baeza was hired as food services director at the RCDC at a salary of
$27,500. There were several temporary hires approved for road and bridge
department and promotions approved as well as new hires at RCDC.
But they also asked Duerksen and other PHS officials to draw up a plan
during the next two weeks on how to deal with recent disciplinary
problems at the high school.
The moves came following Monday evening's meeting to discuss contract
employees, during which the board also suspended junior high tennis
coach Brandon Lee with pay.
After calling the meeting to order, the board went into executive
session with their attorney, Paul Hund, who remained for the entire
When the board members came out of the closed session, they voted to
extend Duerksen's contract for the 1997-98 school year.
After voting the renewal, board president Linda Gholson read a statement
about the PHS disciplinary plan.
"The board requests the superintendent to obtain from the high school
administration a plan for addressing student discipline and
administrative leadership. This plan should be delivered to the
superintendent on or before noon, April 7," Gholson said.
She pointed out that this was not a board motion, but a request to the
Only two board members were absent, Frank Perea and Alberto Alvarez.
A new PHS dress code, which was approved by the P-B-T school board
during their Feb. 27 meeting, resulted in four days of protests by high
school students earlier this month. Students were upset about new rules
involving the types of shirts allowed in school and the way they could
be worn, and on limits on the colors of lipstick, nail polish and other
grooming items that could be brought to school.
The changes were made as a result of recommendations made by a group of
teachers on ways to improve discipline at the high school.
In action on the agenda item of providing notice of intention to
non-renew a term contract employee, the board motioned to provide
contract employee Brandon Lee with a notice of intention to non-renew.
Gholson notes that this is not and actual non-renewal, as a notice of
intention to non-renew a contract must be given to an employee at least
45 days before the end of the school year.
Next was a motion to suspend Lee with pay until further notice.
The action stemmed in part from an incident at the Olive Garden
Restaurant in El Paso the weekend of Feb. 28-Mar. 1 involving Lee and
members of the Pecos High School tennis team. The team was in El Paso
for a two-day tournament, and school officials said wine was served to
the students during their dinner at the restaurant.
In addition to Lee's suspension, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Athletic Director
Mike Belew also accepted the resignation of varsity coach J.R. Torrez from his coaching
duties. Belew cited that incident, plus a lack of structure in the program,
for the move.
"As far as being good people and honest people, I feel they are," Belew
said Monday. "I hope they learn from the situation and go on to be good
tennis coaches in the future."
Both Torrez and Lee were hired over the summer to replace tennis coaches
Greg Howard and Pat Howard. Belew said he took the junior high tennis
team to a tournament in Fort Stockton this past weekend, along with the
coach Greg Howard replaced, Zavala Middle School teacher Ken Garlitz,
and PHS senior tennis player David Zuniga.
Pecos' varsity tennis team has two more tournaments remaining this
season, and Belew said that one of Garlitz' former players, Bernadette
Ornelas, will take over coaching duties at least through the end of the
"She's already a certified teacher at Bessie Haynes (Elementary) and she
got in contact with me," he said. "She was an outstanding tennis player
here, and went to regionals.
"She's someone who really wants the job, and has a lot of energy and
enthusiasm. I feel like she'll do an excellent job," he added.
A final decision on the tennis coaching position will be made later this
School board member also voted Monday to provide a notice of non-renewal
to provide probationary employee Audra Lozano with a notice of intent to
non-renew her contract for the 1997-98 school year.
At their next meeting, the school board will have to vote to non-renew
if things work out that way, says Gholson.
The hit and run pedestrian accident occured at 9:15 p.m. on Friday on
Interstate 20 in Ward County, about nine miles west of Monahans.
No vehicle description is available at this time and officials are
asking for anyone that has any information or can be of help to contact
them so that the individual driving the vehicle will be found.
The pedestrian was identified as David Almanza Ramirez, 17, a white
male of El Paso. He was struck by the unknown vehicle and thrown into
the eastbound barr ditch.
He was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Ronald Ray
of Monahans, and his body taken to Harkey Funeral Home. Next of kin has
Trooper Shannon Gray of Monahans is investigating the accident.
An enchilada plate supper was held Friday to raise funds for the trip to
Six Flags in Arlington and the Sandy Lake Amusement Park in Dallas, and
PHS Band Director Steven Clary said, "We don't know yet exactly how much
money was raised, but we did really good."
There were long lines for the benefit supper, and Clary thanked everyone
that participated in the fundraiser and apologized for any
inconveniences they might have had.
"We didn't have much time to prepare for the event, since it was held in
the evening, but it was a huge success," said Clary.
The community really came through for the band members and the
attendance was overwhelming, according to Clary.
"We learned many valuable lessons and we hope you will forgive us for
the long wait," said Clary.
Each individual band student worked on the fundraiser to pay towards
"One dollar of every ticket will go towards food and the other to the
account, towards the $70 needed for every student," said Clary.
The trip to Six Flags is scheduled for April 25-27.
The PHS band will be performing in Dallas at the Sandy Lake Festival
during that weekend.
Sandy Lake Amusement Park will celebrate 27 years of Fun-Fest and the
Pecos High School Symphonic and Concert Bands will participate in the
27th Annual Music Festival.
The PHS band will be among 1,250 bands, choirs and orchestras performing
during the 31 days of competition in April and May.
"The contest is designed to give students the opportunity to perform any
type of music. Fun-Fest has a very informal atmosphere, with the groups
receiving positive but constructive criticism, which keeps groups coming
back year after year," says Suzy Self, Fun-Fest Coordinator.
A first, second, or third division trophy will be awarded to each group
depending upon performance, and each classification is presented an
outstanding trophy at the end of each day.
"On Saturday we will be taking the students to Six Flags, something that
they really deserve," said Clary.
In addition, the PHS Mariachi Group will perform at Six Flags.
Clary stated that the students have been working very hard and are doing
very well and deserve this reward.
"Friday we will be going to the Hard Rock Cafe, something everyone is
looking forward to," said Clary of the visit to downtown Dallas.
The PHS bands will also be going to contest on April 16-17 at Permian
The concert band will perform in Odessa on April 16, while the symphonic
band will perform on April 17 in the UIL Concert Sight Reading Contest.
On April 11, Crockett Middle School Band will be traveling to Odessa to
compete in UIL Concert Sight Reading Contest at the Ector Junior High
On April 19, the Pecos High School Mariachi Band will be participating
in the Mariachi Festival scheduled in Pecos.
"We have a busy month ahead of us, and the students are all excited,"
said Clary. "They've done nothing but work hard and we're very proud of
them," he said.
U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla will discuss important issues and current events
with concerned citizens at a press conference in Pecos April 2.
All interested citizens and members of the media are invited to meet
with Bonilla at the Reeves County Courthouse from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
"Bring your ideas and friends for an informative discussion," Bonilla
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. - The man who helped discover the
Hale-Bopp comet watched as the first in a series of arrow-like rockets
was launched to unlock the comet's secrets.
The rocket launched Monday night carried a telescope that would try to
detect whether the comet contains the gases neon and argon.
``When we're studying the comets like this, we're getting some real
clues about what conditions were like at the formation of the universe.
It's like a time machine going back 4½ billion years,'' said Alan Hale,
who first discovered the comet from a telescope at his home in nearby
The gases form only under certain conditions. If the gases are found,
they could help determine when and where the comet originated, said
James Green, University of Colorado astronomer conducting the
The rocket is the first of four being launched to collect data on the
comet's composition, including gas emissions and dust particles. Each
carries a different set of instruments.
The rockets won't reach orbit. The highest will go 240 miles high and
provide only five minutes of data before parachuting back. But
telescopic equipment can provide a clearer picture than possible from
Earth, bringing back information scientists may never get otherwise.
University of Wisconsin astronomer Walt Harris said the rockets help
fill gaps between observations made on the ground and those made in
space by equipment like the Hubble telescope.
Hale-Bopp is one of the largest comets ever cataloged, with a tail
estimated at 10 million to 20 million miles in length. It is roughly
three to four times bigger than Halley's comet,
Green indicated it could take several months to analyze data from the
experiment. He said the results could provide a small piece of the
puzzle over the birth of the universe.
``It is not going to happen in our lifetime that we are going to get the
final answer,'' said Green. ``But we are making progress.''
YUMA, Ariz. - Half a century after he bailed out of a World War II
torpedo bomber, former President Bush fulfilled a promise to himself by
strapping on a parachute and leaping out of a plane today.
With the blessing of his wife, Barbara, the 72-year-old Bush made the
jump from a civilian plane 12,500 feet over the Army Yuma Proving
Bush, the only American president ever to parachute from an airplane,
sailed through the cloudless sky over the Arizona desert, deploying his
orange, yellow and blue parachute at 4,500 feet. Two jump masters held a
harness attached to Bush until he opened his chute.
Bush touched down about 12 noon CST on the desert floor, where about a
half-dozen people rushed to assist him. He landed with no apparent sign
Medical emergency personnel were standing by on the ground.
The landing site was at the base where the Golden Knights, the Army
precision parachuting team, train eight weeks a year. The base, where
Army equipment and weapon systems are tested, covers 12,000 square
miles, an area larger than Rhode Island.
Bush jumped with eight other parachutists.
Bush made the promise that he would someday skydive just for fun in 1944
as he bailed out of a bullet-torn torpedo bomber over the Pacific Ocean
during World War II.
Bush's bomber was struck by weapons fire from the Japanese navy on Sept.
2, 1944. His two crewmates were killed. At the Parachute Industry
Association convention in Houston last month, Bush said his chute was
damaged and he landed in the Pacific and began swimming toward the
nearest land, then held by the Japanese. But he was picked up by a U.S.
submarine and eventually awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
``According to President Bush's people, he made a promise when he bailed
out of his plane in World War II that someday he would make a parachute
jump that wasn't an emergency jump,'' said Army spokesman Doug Smith.
The U.S. Parachute Association provided one of the parachutists who
jumped alongside the former president.
``He did express an interest in wanting to jump again if it was OK with
Barbara,'' said Madolyn Murdock, the group's Gulf region director.
Bush began his eight-hour training with the USPA after arriving with
Mrs. Bush in Yuma on Monday afternoon.
The USPA also provided Bush his gear, which included a parachute and a
red, white and blue jumpsuit, Murdock said.
Murdock noted that Bush's age was not any concern.
``He's in good health, fit and perfectly capable of doing it,'' she
said. ``If he wasn't, we wouldn't be letting him do it.''
Services for Miguel Paz Hernandez, 74, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Saragosa, with burial in
He died Saturday, March 22, 1997, at his residence in Balmorhea. He was
born Oct. 11, 1922, in Saragosa, was a farm laborer and a Catholic.
Survivors include five sisters, Geneva Gomez of Poteet, Delfina Gomez
and Rebecca Sanchez of Balmorhea, Severa Navarette of Woodland, Calif.
and Isabel Arenivas of Sweetwater.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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