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PECOS, May 20, 1997 - The entire Pecos-Barstow-Toyah I.S.D. school board
met yesterday evening to swear in new trustees, reorganize and discuss a
variety of subjects.
Freddy Lujan and Steve Armstrong both took the oath of office just after
the meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. Both Linda Gholson and Frank
Perea were nominated to the presidency, and Perea is now the president
of the P-B-T I.S.D. school board for a term of one year.
Alberto Alvarez was the only board member nominated for the vice
presidency, and was elected by acclimation. Daisy Roquemore remains the
Secretary of the Board, also elected by acclimation.
After approving the minutes from both the last regularly scheduled
meeting and the special meeting held on May 6, one woman addressed when
audience comments were called for. She said she was a parent of a senior
in special education, and thanked Audra Lozano and Jimmy Dutchover for
their hard work and dedication.
A group of Pecos High School students who participated in University
Interscholastic League (UIL) competition during the year and some of
their coaches were then recognized for their efforts. Both academic and
athletic competitors were congratulated on their achievements. Several
academic teams competed at district level.
"They've done an outstanding job this year," said UIL coordinator
PHS senior Brian Brownlee was specially recognized for his high
placement at the state level track meet in Austin by PHS Athletic
Director Mike Belew. Brownlee took fourth place in the shot put event
and second in discus. He has already been offered a scholarship to Texas
A&M University, and has stated plans to become a doctor, Belew told the
Alberto Alvarez expressed the desire to have another board member become
the delegate to the Texas Association of School Boards. "I feel this is
in the best interest of the board," said Alvarez. Linda Gholson will be
the new TASB delegate.
P-B-T I.S.D. Superintendent Mario Sotelo then explained his wishes to
have a discussion on revising the 1997-98 school year at the next board
meeting in June.
Sotelo states his reason for wanting to have the calendar revised as
concern over students and teachers not being able to attend summer
school if calendar isn't modified. He wants the school year to both
begin and end earlier. "This would allow everyone a few days off in
between," he said. This revision would also make the controversial issue
of students having to attend classes on Memorial Day a moot point.
In the continuing debate over a restructuring plan for the district, it
has been agreed to have a meeting with Barstow residents at 6 p.m. on
May 27. When asked what town the meeting was to be held in, the new
school board president assumed that it would be in Barstow.
There still has been no decision made on what to do with the West Pecos
Gym and Warehouse. However, Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire is preparing a
report on the safety of the buildings.
The PHS Building B just may have a new roof in time for the next school
year. Engineer Frank Spencer addressed the school board and announced
that there were several more bidders because the job had been reopened
for bids after the last meeting.
"I believe we've got very good bids this time," said Spencer.
Spencer recommended that the board award the contract to Southwestern
Roofing, the lowest bidder.
"From everyone I've talked to, they recommend them highly," Spencer said.
Although the full cost of the repairs isn't available under the current
budget, the roof is in "dire need" of repairs, agree several board
members. "It's getting worse every time it rains," said Sotelo.
The contract was awarded to Southwestern Roofing in the amount of
$185,392, on a motion from board member Earl Bates.
According to Business Manager Cookie Canon, the district has an
inventory of $7.5 million, not including buildings or land.
Debra Thomas gave a report on the success of the city/school/hospital
election and handed out a report of media coverage. "I felt real good
about it," said Thomas, adding, "All the voters loved the consolidation.
Just a couple of voters didn't understand it, and there was only one
complaint, she said. "my workers were great," Thomas said.
A plan to curtail discipline problems at the high school was discussed,
but no final action was taken. Currently, student infractions are not
carried over from one semester to the next, but that will change with
the new policy, according to PHS vice president Robert Hernandez.
Perea asked why that policy had to change, and Hernandez replied, "I
A recent change to the dress code at PHS, implemented without much
advance notice and in the midst of the school year, caused confusion and
sparked protests at the high school. Concerned parents organized and
attended last month's school board meeting, with representative Louis
Matta voicing their concerns.
Recalling all the problems encountered by the speedy adoption of the new
dress code, Bates was cautious about approving a discipline policy that
he believed had not been thoroughly discussed by the whole faculty, all
of whom will have to enforce whatever policy is chosen.
"We have to have the entire faculty sign off on this and be in agreement
with this before we present it," said Bates.
"We'll get it on there next month," said Perea, meaning the policy would
be on the school board's official agenda for the June meeting.
The school board voted to offer the Reeves County Hospital District a
tax collection service, at the request of Terry R. Andris, RCH Chief
The junior high grading scale was discussed on the first reading. There
is a concern that if a junior high school student takes an advanced
placement course, which is more difficult, and fails, they will be
unable to participate in extracurricular activities. There are
provisions to let students continue to participate under certain
circumstances at the high school level, but not at junior high. This may
discourage athletes from taking the more challenging classes.
Job descriptions will be reviewed by the affected departments before
they are approved.
Budget amendments for the 1996-97 school year were discussed very
briefly. Canon says it is just a matter of a couple of departments
moving dollars around within the current budget to be able to finish out
the year. New budget meetings have been set on July 22 and 24 for
administrators to meet with the board and discuss the 1997-98 budget,
which must be adopted no later than August 31.
A Region 18 Education Services Center Personnel Services Interagency
Agreement was approved for $1,000. The summer recreation program was
A request to lease property at 1104 South Cedar Street to the East Side
Boxing Club for $100 a year was discussed, but the school district's
attorney advised against approval at this time, mainly because of
questions regarding insurance liability and maximum coverage amounts,
since juries often make awards far in excess of what insurance will
cover when someone gets injured and sues a property owner. Also, the
building is in need of extensive repairs, and goes up for auction in
Perea suggested that the group look at buying the building when it is
auctioned off, instead of trying to lease it and risk having it sold out
from under them.
Tammy Marquez, one of the people making the inquiry about the lease,
said that she and her husband were willing to make the repairs, but was
not so quick to offer to have the club buy the building for themselves.
"There are $26,000 owed in back taxes, and we don't feel it's worth
that," Marquez said. The school board's attorney suggested that the
group determine what they believe the building is worth and offer that
to the tax assessor before the auction.
The school board went into closed session for about an hour and a half.
When they reopened the meeting, they approved settlement of tax
litigation with Bledsoe Petro Corporation, cause number 18,458, but
could not discuss the amount.
Also approved was settlement of a billing dispute with McFall-Konkel &
Kimball. The disputed amount was $28,000; the district has agreed to pay
Action was only taken on one probationary contract employee, and it was
decided to non-renew Brandon Lee's contract.
Discussion of goals for the superintendent and district was tabled.
Routine financial reports were gone over and approved.
There were a few personnel changes. Resignations and retirements are all
effective May 31. Resigning are Jerry May, third grade teacher at Pecos
Elementary and Brannon Jackson, history teacher at Crockett Middle
Nora Geron, PHS girls physical education teacher and head volleyball
coach is retiring, along with Cecil Stickles from PHS special education
and John Stickles, history teacher at Crockett Middle School.
Jessica Molinar will transfer from special education at Pecos Elementary
to regular education at the same campus.
Parents and school board members will present diplomas at the school
graduation again this year.
"I think it went really well last year, it was very well-received," said
Sotelo about the new twist to last year's graduation ceremony.
A special P-B-T I.S.D school board meeting has been scheduled for a
hearing on Special Education teacher Audra Lozano. It was unclear this
morning if that will be an open meeting or an executive session,
according to Perea. Lozano can request either, he said.
The next regular meeting of the P-B-T I.S.D. school board has been set
for June 12 in the board room at 1304 S. Park Street.
PECOS, May 20, 1997 - Luis Villalobos Ybarra is innocent of sexual
assault, a 143rd District Court jury decided Monday.
Ybarra, 37, was indicted for the alleged sexual assault of a female. The
jury deliberated less than an hour on the verdict after a brief trial.
Windel M. "Hoot" Gibson represented Ybarra.
U.S. Senior Judge Lucius Bunton accepted a plea of guilty to one count
of a two-count indictment this morning from Margaret Wall Friesen, 30,
Friesen admitted possessing a large amount of marijuana for distribution
on March 2. She had earlier demanded a jury trial, and a panel was
Judge Bunton has another criminal trial on the docket for Wednesday.
Pecos City sales tax revenues continue to decline, according to the
latest report from the State Comptroller.
On the other hand, sales tax revenues in Monahans increased by almost 71
percent this month compared to May of last year, rising from $41,367 to
$70,679. For the year, sales tax monies returned to Monahans increased
almost 54 percent, growing from $175,198 to $269,563.
Sales tax revenues in both Midland and Odessa are showing increases.
Rebates to Midland for May grew by more than 15 percent, from $1,128,325
to $1,299,231. Year-to-date totals for Midland increased from $4,918,050
Year-to-date sales tax rebates to Odessa increased by 2.31 percent, from
$4,089,359 last year to $4,184,215 this year. For May sales tax revenues
to Odessa increased almost 12 percent compared to May last year, from
$916,931 to $1,024,970.
A total of $216.5 million in monthly sales tax payments were paid to
1,086 Texas cities and 117 counties this month.
"The Texas economy continues its slow, steady expansion and May sales
tax rebates to Texas cities and counties are $19.7 million higher than
those for May 1996," John Sharp said. "Year-to-date, Texas allocations
are running 5.6 percent ahead of the first five months of last year."
Sharp delivered sales tax rebates totaling $199.3 million to Texas
cities, 9.9 percent higher than last May's payments of $181.3 million.
Rebates of $17.1 million to Texas counties were 1 1.1 percent more than
allocations of $15.4 million to counties in May 1996. City transit and
special purpose districts received a combined $7.7 million in May
This months sales tax rebates include local sales taxes collected on
March sales by businesses filing monthly returns and reported to the
Comptroller in April, and those businesses filing quarterly returns for
January, February, and March.
The city of Houston received a sales tax rebate of $27.2 million in May,
6.8 percent higher than last year's $25.5 million payment for the month.
Year-to-date payments to the city of Houston are up by 3 percent.
The $17.9 million local sales hex allocation to the city of Dallas for
May reflects a 8.3 percent increase from the $16.5 million in sales tax
rebate for the same month last year. Year-to-date payments to Dallas are
running 2.5 percent ahead of those for the first five months of 1996.
The San Antonio sales tax allocation for May was $10.4 million, 5.2
percent higher than the May 1996 payment of $9.8 million. Year-to-date,
San Antonio has received a 4.5 percent increase in local sales tax
The Austin sales tax rebate for May totaled $7.8 million, 5.8 percent
higher than the city's May 1996 payment of $7.4 million. For the first
five months of 1997, Austin's sales tax rebates are 2 percent higher
than those for the same period last year.
The city of Fort Worth's $6 million allocation was 6.9 percent over the
$5.6 million delivered in May 1996, placing year-to-date rebates 3.6
percent ahead of 1996. Arlington's $5.6 million in sales tax allocation
was virtually the same as the rebate for May of last year. Year-to-date
rebates to Arlington show an increase of 3.7 percent over the first five
months of 1996.
Likewise, El Paso's sales tax rebate of $3.5 million was almost
identical to the payment delivered in May 1996. El Paso's local sales
tax payments year-to-date are 1.6 percent ahead of those through May of
Other cities receiving notable sales tax rebates were: Irving, with a
May sales tax rebate of $3.7 million, for a year-to-date increase of 7.9
percent; Amarillo, whose $3.6 million payment places that city 2.3
percent ahead of 1996 year-to-date; Plano, with a May sales tax rebate
of $3.1 million, for a year-to-date increase of 6.5 percent; Corpus
Christi, with a $2.8 million rebate, placing that city's allocations
year-to-date virtually unchanged from those of last year; and Abilene,
with a $2.3 million payment, for a year-to-date increase of 2.7 percent.
The monthly rebate to the El Paso City Transit Department was $1.8
million, 1.2 percent more than for the same period last year. The Laredo
City Transit Department sales tax rebate for April was $296,604, which
is 20.5 percent higher than the May 1996
Twenty-four special purpose districts around the state were sent monthly
payments totaling $5.6 million.
PECOS, May 20, 1997 - Flexibility and accommodation are the two things
that the new Physician's Assistant at the Pecos Valley Rural Health
Clinic will be working towards.
"I want to accommodate all my patients as best as I can and to offer
flexibility," said PA Sheila Brown.
Brown is originally a native West Texan, who attended Midland schools,
was a special education school teacher up until 12 years ago when she
moved to the Houston area.
"I went to work at a very small school and one of the things I go to
supervise was the primary medical infirmary," said Brown.
Brown was very impressed with the work done in the medical field at the
"I told my boss how much I enjoyed that part of it and would like to
pursue it, I thought he was just going to hire someone else, instead he
gave me the opportunity to go to school," said Brown.
Because of the primary medical services being done by the physician's
assistant at the school, Brown got very excited about the field.
"I was just really impressed with him, he was a real inspiration with
him," said Brown.
The physician's assistant at the school was a very dedicated individual
who took time to spend with the children he attended and was very
attentive to the work he did, according to Brown.
Brown attended the University of Texas medical branch in Galveston.
"There are only four programs in Texas where they offer a physician's
assistance program," said Brown.
"There's a new one in the valley, where medical services are very
scarce, there's a great need for this there," she said.
Brown stated that she specifically decided to move to the West Texas
area after completing her schooling.
"I wanted to move back to West Texas and raise my son here," she said.
Brown has a 12-year-old son, Bren and an older son, John Crall who
recently moved to attend the Texas A&M University.
"He and his wife, Nancy just moved so that he could attend school, I'm
very proud of him," said Brown. "But I moved here because I wanted to
raise my son in an atmosphere that I can understand, with people who's
attitudes I can understand," she said.
Brown says she plans to stay in Pecos and would like to raise her son in
"I like the small home town life, and I want to see my son grow up in
it," said Brown. "I know what I want and I've lived here before and
respect it," she said.
West Texas people match her parenting style, according to Brown.
The clinic is currently open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., but those
hours could change according to the needs of the patients.
"We may want to change that, according to what we see that is needed,"
For instance, the clinic may need to open later and possibly stay open
later in the evening.
"If there's not that many patients in the mornings, we may want to stay
later for those who can't come in the mornings or don't want to," said
Brown said her strategy is to provide better quality care that is more
accessible to patients.
Brown also plans to be a part of the community and to be a physician
that people feel comfortable going to.
"I want to make them comfortable enough to come back and we'll do our
best to accommodate them, maybe even start opening on Saturdays," said
"I'm pretty flexible and as soon as I get really moved in, we'll start
looking at what is needed," she said.
Brown is also a big believer in God and thanks him for the opportunity
to be here.
"He plays a big part in our lives, I like to visit different churches
and listen to the different ministers," said Brown.
"I have felt peace when praying about this decision to move to Pecos and
I feel that we're very blessed," she said.
"The Lord is always taking care of me and that's one of the things I
stress to my son, to just believe in him, no matter what religion you
might be," she said.
"Texas consumers are optimistic about the future, investors are
confident, new businesses are starting up in communities all over the
state, and many employers are hiring. These are all signs of a stable
Texas economy that is growing at a moderately strong pace, with no dark
clouds on the economic horizon," John Sharp said, as he released the
latest Index of Leading Texas Economic Indicators.
Currently at 129.4, the index is up 2.4 percent compared to one year ago
and 0.5 percent compared to one month ago.
"Of the 10 components of the index, six point to extremely strong growth
in the Texas economy during the coming months, three indicate moderate
growth, and only one, the price of crude oil, suggests a slowing
economy," Sharp said.
The Texas Stock Index (TSI) is the strongest component of the March
Index of Leading Texas Economic Indicators. The TSI tracks the stock
prices of selected Texas businesses. The TSI hit a record 295.2 in
March, up 32.4 percent compared to one year ago, reflecting extremely
strong investor confidence in Texas businesses.
Texas consumer confidence is up 5.8 percent compared to one year ago.
As usual when consumer confidence is high, retail sales surged in March,
growing 4.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
The Texas Help Wanted Index, a measurement of job listings in Texas
newspapers, is up 5.8 percent compared to one year ago, and up 1.0
percent compared to one month ago. In March, Texas gained more than
193,000 new jobs, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to March, 1996.
Just over 160,000 of the new jobs are in the service sector.
In other job-related economic indicators, new business incorporations
are up 5.6 percent compared to one year ago. The average number of
manufacturing hours per work week is up 2.1 percent.
March unemployment claims are down 0.7 percent compared to one year ago,
and down a whopping 8.2 percent compared to the previous month.
The Texas unemployment rate is down 0.4 percent compared to one year
ago, but unemployment is up 0.1 percent compared to the previous month.
New home construction is up 1.7 percent compared to one year ago, with
9,278 construction permits issued in March. However, home construction
is down 8.2 percent compared to the previous month. Double-digit growth
in home building is over. Economists say the building boom was
unsustainable, and that the current pace is more realistic, and more
accurately reflects the moderate steady growth in the Texas economy.
The only negative economic indicator for March, crude oil prices are
down 2.0 percent compared to one year ago. Texas oil was $19.00 per
The State Comptroller's office produces the monthly Index of Leading
Texas Economic Indicators to help forecast changes in the Texas economy
up to six months in advance, and to help compare the Texas economy to
the nation as a whole. The U.S. Index of Leading Economic Indicators for
March is at 103.6, up 2.0 percent compared to one year ago, and up 0.1
percent compared to last month.
AUSTIN (AP), May 20, 1997 - Reconciling the differences between two
proposals meant to lower local school property taxes has reached impasse
in a statehouse conference committee.
The lawmakers can continue discussing differences between the plans - as
they have done for the last week, Sen. Chris Harris, R-Arlington, said
Monday. Or, he said, they could start looking for a compromise.
``There may not be one,'' said Rep. Paul Sadler, D-Henderson, chairman
of the conference committee.
The committee of five senators and five representatives has been trying
to reconcile two proposals that would raise some state levies to give
property tax relief.
The House and Senate both have passed plans to lower local school
property taxes by raising state taxes. The House plan would cut the
taxes by about $5 billion every two years. It raises nearly $3.8 billion
in state taxes to pay for it.
The Senate plan would lower the taxes by about $2.5 billion every two
years. It raises about $800 million.
Both plans rely on additional state funds to make up the differences.
A major sticking point for the committee is a House-approved proposal to
tax all business property at the state level. That would bring all
business property tax revenues to Austin, from where it would be
distributed to the state's 1,044 school districts.
Currently, local districts tax the business property in their areas.
That means some districts get more revenue from their local school taxes
than others because they have more business property to tax. To level
that out, the state forces about 90 districts to share their income with
districts that have little business property to tax.
Sadler says the House plan does away with that forced sharing, known as
Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, on Monday said the House plan actually
expands the Robin Hood system.
Sen. Ken Armbrister, D-Victoria, is vice chairman of the committee. He
says the Senate will not approve a statewide business property tax under
The Senate also has problems with the size of the House plan. Sen. Teel
Bivins, R-Amarillo, says that can be worked out.
But Sadler said the House is committed to the magnitude of the proposal
``You mean you have no point below which you would accept a bill,''
``We have the number in our bill,'' Sadler said.
Armbrister said if House members are unwilling to decrease the size of
their plan, the Senate will have little incentive to increase its plan.
The committee has until June 2 to reach a compromise. It would have to
pass the House and Senate before going to voters on Aug. 9.
The tax bill is HB4. An accompanying constitutional amendment is HJR4.
FORT STOCKTON, May 15 - Challenger for city council Eddie Munoz
petitions the city for a recount after he lost is bid for the second of
two seats on the council by the slimmest of margins, finishing behind
incumbent Charles Slater by a single vote, 579-578. Incumbent councilman
Ralph Hernandez easily won the first of the two seats, receiving 650
votes. Three other city council candidates finished well behind the top
MARFA, May 15, 1997 - The Honorable Lucius D. Bunton III, Senior United
States District Judge of the Western District of Texas, was the keynote
speaker Saturday when the Marfa and Presidio County Museum Association
dedicates a Texas Historical Marker at the new museum. The event was
free to the public.
ALPINE, May 15, 1997 - Community Health Systems of Tennessee gained the
interest of the hospital's Long Range Committee in its search for a
buyer of the local system. In their letter of intent offered to the
hospital district, CHS proposed to build a new $9 to $10 million fully
equipped 35-bed facility and lease the property on which it will be
constructed for 30 years with two 10 year options. The lease would be at
$1 per year.
PRESIDIO, May 15, 1997 - Sabina Lozano and head coach Bobby Fowler
traveled to Austin to compete in the state's track meet, May 9-10.
Lozano was a regional qualifier in the 100m and 200m dash in Odessa,
which was held April 25-26. She placed 8th in both 100m and 200m dash.
Seniors Elko D. Aranda and Carrissa Ann Muniz are named Mr. and Miss
P.H.S. for 1996-1997.
SANDERSON, May 15, 1997 - Valedictorian of Sanderson High School for
1996-97 school year is Annette Flores, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Santiago
Flores. Overall grade is 94.83 on the advanced curriculum. She plans to
attend The University of Texas at San Antonio and major in
business/accounting. Lydia Rodriguez was named salutatorian of Sanderson
High School with a grade point average of 91.55. She is the daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Roland Rodriguez and has been accepted at New Mexico State
Junior College where she will also be a cheerleader.
MONAHANS, May 15, 1997 - Ward County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 in
their regular meeting to accept a bid from First State Bank to act as
the county's official depository for the next two years. First State
holds the current county banking contract. Renewal of the contract with
First State did not go unnoticed at the meeting by Mark Gatzki,
president of First National Bank. He questioned the commissioners'
action to renew the depository contract with First State.
McCAMEY, May 15, 1997 - Gary D. Edmiston, president and CEO of Security
State Bank in McCamey, has been named a director of Texas Independent
Bank. His 35-year plus banking career includes serving as vice-president
for First State Bank in Crane and serving as chairman of the Bank
Education Committee for Independent Bankers Association of America.
PECOS, May 20, 1997 - Evelyn Dutton, 87, died Monday, May 19 at the
Reeves County Hospital.
Graveside services were held this morning at the Mount Evergreen
Cemetery with Derrel Evins officiating.
She was born April 20, 1910 in Uvalde was a homemaker, a Methodist and
had lived in Pecos since 1974.
Survivors include one daughter, Franky Ramsey of Pecos; two
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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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