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PECOS, April 23, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners yesterday
tentatively awarded bids for eight housing rehabilitation projects which
are part of the county's Texas Community Development Projects (TCDP)
proposal to the state. The county has until Friday to obligate 50
percent of the $350,000 grant approved by the state.
The Commissioners' Court also approved monies for a county grant
administrator, grant administration services and construction
management. However, commissioners determined they would have to ask the
state for a five percent increase in the grant request, a move that they
believed would be approved by the state.
These matters had to be settled before April 25 in order to have 50
percent of the money proposed for the projects obligated so that the
Madera Valley Water Supply can submit a grant proposal to the state.
Yesterday commissioners tentatively approved low bids for the
rehabilitation of six homes and the reconstruction of two homes
totalling $148,831. The bids were approved by the commissioners on the
condition that the references of the contractors prove favorable.
"We want to take the time to call and check the references of the
contractors," said County Judge Jimmy Galindo.
Carlos Colina-Vargas, grant consultant on the project, said, "We already
have good references for Mr. (Bill) Dickson because the state
recommended we contact him."
Galindo quizzed Vargas repeatedly as to whether or not the bids received
were based on construction specifications which would meet the minimum
standards as set by HUD Section Eight for home construction, to which
Vargas repeatedly confirmed that the bid specifications would meet HUD's
Low bids on home rehabilitation were:
Contractor Ernest Garcia who bid $9,480 on case number one, a home owned
by Adan Minjarez, a project estimated to cost $13,417.
Contractor Bill Dickson who bid $19,561 on case number two, a home owned
by Manuel Nunez, a project estimated to cost $19,290.
Contractor Bill Dickson who bid $9,905 on case number three, a home
owned by Jose Candia, a project estimated to cost $10,514.
Contractor Angel Cappas who bid $17,350 on case number four, a home
owned by Tomas Orona, a project estimated to cost $18,547.
Contractor Bill Dickson who bid $14,767 on case number five, a home
owned by Raul Garcia, a project estimated to cost $17,362.
Contractor Angel Cappas who bid $19,400 on case number six, a home owned
by Roman Muniz, a project estimated to cost $23,086.
The two low bids on home reconstruction were both by contractor Angel
Cappas who bid $29,184 each on case numbers seven and eight. The home
for case seven is owned by Federico Lozano. The home for case eight is
owned by Isabel Molinar. Reconstruction for both homes was estimated at
Because the county's original proposal to the state to receive the TCDP
grant was based on spending $15,000 per home Galindo questioned Vargas
on spending $29,184 each to rebuild two homes.
"Would the county need to amend the contract to spend more than $15,000
per home," Galindo asked. "In awarding seven and eight it takes up
funding that could be used for two additional applicants."
Vargas replied that the actual number of homes being rehabilitated did
not matter as much as the fact that the monies were going to benefit low
Commissioners approved a contract with Agustin Hidalgo to oversee the
construction phase of the project at $1,500 per home.
Carlos Colina-Vargas originally asked the county for $25,000 for his
services as a grant consultant on the project. When it appeared
administration funds were coming up short on the project Vargas
voluntarily decreased his request by $2,500.
Funding for Mari Maldonado, a county employee administering grant
awards, was approved at more than $19,000 for the nine-month project.
The five percent increase to the TCDP grant proposal the commissioners
plan to ask the state for will give an additional $52,000, most of which
will be applied to general administration of the project and related
"A lot of this is contingent upon approval by the state," Galindo said.
"We have three days to make sure everything is settled."
Galindo personally thanked Vargas for reducing the amount he was
requesting for his services as grant consultant from $25,000 to $22,500.
PECOS, April 23, 1997 - The Pecos High School Band recently participated
in UIL band competition at Permian High School in Odessa and will leave
during the wee hours Friday morning for another competition.
Last Thursday, they went to the UIL competition, where the Symphonic
Band placed in Division III in both the concert and sight reading
contests. The Concert Band placed in Division II in concert competition
and Division III in the sight reading category.
The Symphonic Band, the Concert Band, and the Mariachi Band are all
sub-divisions of the PHS Band.
This Friday morning at 5:30 a.m., the entire band will leave on a trip
in which they will be able to combine business with pleasure. The PHS
Band will take part in competition at The Sandy Lakes Amusement Park in
The Dallas area. The Mariachi Band will compete at 4 p.m., with the
whole band competing later. They will also take part in an awards
ceremony Friday evening, according to Bertha Garcia, reporter for the
Band Boosters organization.
On Saturday morning, Garcia says, the band will travel to Six Flags Over
Texas, where the Mariachi Band will perform at 11 a.m. in the Mexico
section of the amusement park. The PHS Mariachi Band has existed for
three years and has placed in Division I at UIL competition both this
year and last year, Said Garcia.
The whole band will be able to enjoy the rest of the day at the
amusement park. They will spend Saturday night in Arlington, and return
to Pecos at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Garcia says.
Garcia adds that the Band Boosters appreciate the support that they have
received from the community in the past, and hope that such support will
continue in the future. The PHS Band Boosters Annual Auction is coming
up soon, on Saturday, May 3, and the Band Boosters are still looking for
donations to make the auction a success. Presently, donations can be
taken to the band hall at the school, said Garcia. Starting the evening
of Friday, May 2, donations can be taken directly to Saragosa Hall,
where the auction will be held.
Garcia said that the auction will be televised on Channel 6 again this
year. The auction will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. In addition to
the auction, Garcia said, the Band Boosters will be selling barbecue
plates for $3.50 apiece. She urges the community to check out the
auction and help support the band.
PECOS, April 23, 1997 - Spring cleaning is the activity.
Saturday, May 3, is the date.
That's when the Pecos Chamber of Commerce will kick off its "Adopt a
Block" program with a community-wide cleanup.
"We are asking that all businesses pitch in and adopt a block they feel
needs some sprucing up, and that they are willing to "spruce" as needed
throughout the year," said Paul Hinojos, chamber president.
"All areas of the community are open, but our hope is to tackle the
problem areas that we are familiar with," he said. "We feel that if
everyone does a "little bit," it will undoubtedly go a "long way."
Hinojos said the chamber will be surveying the community for areas of
greatest need. Contact the chamber if you do not have a particular
section in mind or are unsure of ownership.
If the property is privately owned, you will have to get permission from
"We would further like to be able to place small signs around town, much
like the highway department on the road, stating the name of the
sponsoring organization," Hinojos said. "We feel this would not only
inspire pride, but also motivate others to participate."
Hinojos said the project is worthy of community-wide support. For
additional details, call the chamber staff at 445-2406 or Hinojos at
"They will help the chamber paint, pickup trash on lots and do anything
they can to help beautify the city," said City Secretary Geneva Martinez.
Martinez will be among those participating with the youth commission in
the clean-up along with City Manager Kenneth Neal, and City Councilman
Gerald Tellez. Other councilmen may participate but their names were not
available at press-time.
The 20 youth in grades eight through 12 involved in the program will
also participate in the clean-up.
"They have monthly projects and the clean-up will be one of their
projects for this month," Martinez said.
The youth commission exists to assist in minimizing problems with youth
in the community by involving youth in positive community activities,
PECOS, April 23, 1997 - Just under two dozen students from Crockett and
Zavala middle schools spent the past two days at the Comfort Inn,
learning how to deal with some uncomfortable situations involving fellow
The group of 11 eighth graders and 12 seventh graders spent school hours
Monday and Tuesday in the motel's banquet room, participating in a Peer
Mediation Workshop put on by Region 18 service center workers Andy
Sustaita and Steve Brook.
The Peer Mediation program - in which groups of students are trained to
deal with disputes at their schools, was established two years ago at
Pecos High School. "We sort of attempted it last year (at the junior
high level), but it fizzled. This is the first year we're going after it
in earnest," Brook said.
Eight teachers from the two schools serve as the groups' sponsors, and
also attended the two-day workshop.
"The basic goal is to have the students trained to help other students
resolve their conflicts," Brook said. "Last year we didn't get out
everything to flow like it should. With this group of kids, I feel it's
going to go great guns. We have a great group of kids and the sponsors
are just marvelous."
Brook said high school students involved in the program go through a 15
hour workshop, while the junior high program was for 12 hours. A future
elementary school mediation program will involve a nine-hour workshop,
"As far as taking this seriously, when they first got here yesterday
(Monday), they were just glad to be out of class," Sustaita said. "After
going through it, I asked them what the number one thing they learned
that was useful to them in problem solving, and they said
"They learned it isn't just talking, but body language and tone of
voice," he added.
Brook said the workshops were designed to teach, "responsibility,
confidentiality, listening skills and other communication skills, both
verbal and non-verbal."
Among the lessons towards the end of the workshop was splitting the
students into five groups, in which they had to silently assemble five
equal-sized squares out of various cut-out pieces of paper. The students
were only allowed to offer pieces to each other, instead of taking, and
were given a five-minute time limit. Those groups that missed the time
limit were then allowed to talk to each other to solve the problem.
"It showed them team-building activities, such as goal setting and
sharing ideas," said Brook. "They learn how to stay in control even when
dealing with people who may be angry."
With the workshop taking place so late in the current school year, PHS
teacher Betsy Sikes, one of the mediation sponsors at the high school
level, said, "With the seventh and eighth grade mediation teams, the
seventh grade will be for eighth grade (mediation) and the eighth grade
will be for the ninth grade."
"The practices they are doing today give them the pattern for many, many
hours of practice they go through, before they ever sit down with true
peer students," Brook said. "The sponsors monitor the kids very closely
to see if they feel the kids are ready."
He said Midland-Odessa schools and others in Region 18 also are
participating in the program, which was initiated by Texas Attorney
General Dan Morales' office.
"It really doesn't matter what size town or what size campus. When the
program has good support the number of disciplinary referrals has
decreased significantly," Brook said. "I haven't heard of anywhere where
it hasn't worked."
"You know before any of the teachers or anybody else what's going to
happen around school," Sustaita told the group Tuesday afternoon. "You
know when there's going to problems, or there's going to be a fight, and
you have the ability to prevent that.
"Until now, we've been involved in the high school more. We come back
and do follow-up visits, and at the high school ... Andy and I did an
orientation for the parents to show what the kids are doing."
"I asked them if they thought they could be 100 successful, and they
said `yes'," Sustaita said. "But I told them the reality is it's not
going to work 100 percent of the time, but that doesn't mean they didn't
do their job."
PECOS, April 23, 1997 - An increase in the local labor force led to a
rise in Pecos' March unemployment rate, according to figures released
Tuesday by the Texas Workforce Commission.
The city gained 10 jobs between February and March, according to TWC
figures, but a jump in the workforce from 5,223 to 5,280 people boosted
the jobless rate from 11.8 to 12.5 percent. There were 4,618 people with
jobs and 662 without in the city last month, up from 615 in February.
However, the March figures do represent an improvement over March of a
year ago, when the unemployment rate was 13.1 percent locally. The TWC
said the local labor force has grown by 19 in the past year, while the
number of jobs was up by 47 from March of 1996.
Statewide, Texas' unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.7 percent in
March, two-tenths of a percent lower than the rate in February,
according to the TWC.
Reeves County's unemployment rate last month stood at 11 percent, with
739 people without jobs out of a 6,725-person labor force.
There was no trend across the Permian Basin either compared with
February or with March of a year ago, as most cities showed either
slight gains or losses in jobs.
Fort Stockton followed Pecos' pattern, seeing their unemployment rate
rise from February's 7.2 to 7.6 percent, despite an increase in jobs.
The city gained five jobs, but that was offset by a 23 person rise in
their workforce. Monahans lost jobs from March to February, but a
corresponding fall in the city's labor force allow its jobless rate to
drop from 7.2 to 6.7 percent.
The jobless rate in Odessa was down slightly in March for Odessa, while
Midland saw a .1 percent rise in its rate compared to February. The
biggest overall decline was in Kermit, where it's 8.2 percent rate was
down by 1.2 percent from February, and by 1.1 percent from March of 1996.
The commission on Tuesday said nonagricultural employment in Texas grew
by about 19,000 jobs, with the service sector accounting for about 77
percent of those jobs.
The 5.7 percent rate for March equaled the rate in March 1996.
Bryan-College Station had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.2 percent.
That was down from the 2.4 percent rate in February.
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission recorded the highest rate of 19.1 percent,
nearly 2 percentage points lower than the 20.9 percent rate in February.
Rates of unemployment in the urban areas of Texas as announced by the
TWC for March, compared with revised February figures (in parentheses)
Abilene 4.6 (4.4); Amarillo 4.2 (4.3); Austin-San Marcos 3.3 (3.3);
Beaumont-Port Arthur 8.6 (8.1); Brazoria 7.2 (7.3);
Brownsville-Harlingen 12.4 (13.0); Bryan-College Station 2.2 (2.4);
Corpus Christi 8.4 (8.6); Dallas 3.9 (4.0);
El Paso 11.7 (11.9); Fort Worth-Arlington 3.8 (4.1); Galveston-Texas
City 8.5 (8.4); Houston 5.4 (5.5); Killeen-Temple 5.4 (5.3); Laredo 12.1
(12.5); Longview-Marshall 7.8 (8.0); Lubbock 4.0 (3.8);
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 19.1 (20.9);
Odessa-Midland 5.7 (5.8); San Angelo 3.5 (3.6); San Antonio 4.1 (4.2);
Sherman-Denison 5.0 (5.1); Texarkana 7.8 (8.0); Tyler 6.0 (6.3);
Victoria 5.7 (5.9); Waco 4.7 (4.5); Wichita Falls 4.5 (4.5).
New board members elected were Bill Oglesby, Starkey Warren and Cindy
Duke. They succeed outgoing board members Trey Miller, Emily Fernandes
and Beau Jack Hendrick.
Elected vice president was Ray Owen while Tracy Shaw will serve as
Employees, particularly Sharlene Martinez, were recognized for their
year of service to the Club.
Owen gave the financial report showing that the club had a much better
year during the past 12 months than during the previous year.
Among items on the agenda for the regular second meeting of the month
for the council of the Town of Pecos City will be consideration of
taking bids on selling landfill equipment since the city has contracted
out trash services.
Other items on the agenda will be to consider initiating a tax abatement
(incentive) program for the private sector, securing an arid exemption
at the Type I landfill and hear a request from meals on wheels for
$1,500 to help defray utility bills and another request for $1,500 from
the Pecos Day Care Center, also for utility bills.
Another item on the agenda will be consideration of a hangar rental
agreement for the airport for policy regarding storage of crop duster
CPA Dan Painter will give the quarterly report and the council will hear
a report on bed tax collections and operations at the civic center.
Beryle Lockett, 82, of San Angelo died Monday, April 14, 1997, at the
Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Graveside service was at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Counts Cemetery in Runnels
County with the Rev. James Mitchell, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church
at San Angelo, officiating. Arrangements were by Johnson's Funeral Home
of San Angelo.
Lockett was born Feb. 26, 1915, in Santa Anna, Texas and had been a
resident of San Angelo since 1979. She was a retired supervisor for
Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Survivors include her husband, A.L. Lockett of San Angelo; four
daughters, Bettye Cotton of Fort Davis, Barbara Poer of Wichita Falls
and Mary Barfield and Gloria Bowers, both of Pecos; two sisters, Lou
Cowen of Wichita Falls and Mary Duggan of Waco; 13 grandchildren; and 13
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