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PECOS, June 23, 1997 -Reeves County Sheriff's Deputies may no longer
have to supply their own patrol vehicles if a current proposal to
purchase 10 cars for the department is implemented.
The county is accepting bids for the purchase of 10 police vehicles
until July 3 when they will examine bids and possibly make an award July
Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez first requested that the
county purchase vehicles for his department during the May 15 county
"It's getting hard for us to patrol because most of our vehicles are at
least 10 years old," the Sheriff told commissioners. "We are asking you
guys to give us vehicles."
Gomez suggested the county purchase the 10 vehicles for his department.
He asked commissioners to consider the purchase of Ford Crown Victorias
with V-8 engines or if the county could not afford those cars to
consider Ford Luminas with V-6 engines.
"There is no question that your vehicles are old," Reeves County Judge
Jimmy Galindo replied. "Your proposal calls for 10 vehicles. How about
purchasing five and phasing another five in at the first of the year?"
Gomez replied, "I think that would be good. We have to start somewhere."
Gomez said he was concerned about the ability of his department to
respond to emergencies because of the age of its vehicles. He explained
the necessity of good running vehicles as the department must keep two
to three deputies on duty at all times to cover 1,500 sq. miles, and in
times of emergencies, such as bad weather, all the department's deputies
must be able to be mobilized at the same time.
"We've got to look at the economics of it all," Galindo said when
questioned about the proposal later. "If it can't be done all at one
time maybe we can phase them in. We will have to analyze various
options. At this time it is hard to tell which way will be the best way
In addition to deciding between two sizes of vehicles and whether to
purchase them all at once or phase them, commissioners are also
considering the option of leasing the police vehicles.
Galindo offered several reasons why the commissioners were willing to
consider purchasing vehicles for the sheriff's department rather than
requiring officers to continue furnishing their own transportation.
"What the community has seen, and will see in the future, is a team
spirit between the commissioners' court and the sheriff's department,"
Galindo said. "The sheriff has done everything in his authority to bring
in funds to improve revenue for the county. His efforts have really
meant a revenue boost to the county. When you see that type of
commitment you also see a lot of team spirit between the court and
Galindo went on to say that the economic condition of the county is
better than it has been in the last decade and county revenue has
improved in the last two years. The sheriff's department has helped the
county meet projected incomes from supplying confinement services for
federal agencies, Galindo said.
"We've projected a certain amount of revenue for the year from providing
those services to federal agencies. We've already met that projection
and we are only five months into the year," Galindo said.
As for whether Galindo favors the purchase of the 10 vehicles for the
sheriff's department, he responded: "Anything we can do to enhance law
enforcement is a benefit to everybody and I'm all for it."
PECOS, June 23, 1997 - Frances Powell and Joe Osborn are "pulmonary
athletes" who have been training for six weeks just like any other
athletes, only they have been training in their effort to minimize
disability from Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD), according to
Frank Vasquez, RRT, Program Coordinator.
The two are part of the first graduating class of Reeves County
Hospital's Pulmonary Rehab Program. They completed their training on
Friday, June 20.
That training consisted of exercise with the Physical Therapist, three
times a week for six weeks. During exercise, the patients' breathing
status is monitored by the Respiratory Therapist. They also participated
in informative lectures pertaining to their all-around care by a team of
allied health professionals that include a pharmacist, dietitian, nurse,
psychologist, physical therapist, physician's assistant, EMT, equipment
technician and the respiratory therapist.
The program does not promise to cure these patients who suffer from
emphysema, since the damage to the lungs is irreversible, but it does
aim at reversing, to a certain extent, the disability caused by the
disease. Patients who may arrive short of breath, out of condition and
depressed, may leave the program feeling a little better about
themselves. The program helps them physiologically as well as
"We will begin another program as soon as we have six patients signed
up," said Vasquez.
For more information call the hospital's Respiratory Care Department at
447-3551, ext. 295.
PECOS, June 23, 1997 - Texas students begin taking the Texas Assessment
of Academic Skills (TAAS) tests in third grade, and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD students are doing well.
"The scores continue to improve," said P-B-T ISD Superintendent Mario
Sotelo, when initial TAAS results were announced at the June meeting of
the district's Board of Education.
Exit-level testing, which consists of testing in reading, writing and
mathematics, begins in tenth grade. Students must pass all three parts
of the exit-level testing in order to graduate high school. Half of the
students who were sophomores during the 1996-97 school year have already
met that graduation requirement, according to a summary report issued by
the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Results for eleventh and twelfth grade students only reflect the scores
of students who did not pass one or more of the tests in tenth grade.
They are not the same students for whom tenth grade scores are reported.
Scores are not reported on special education students.
Except for eighth grade social studies, at least half of all students
passed each segment of their TAAS tests, including tenth-graders who
took their initial exit-level testing.
These TEA reports were issued in May on spring testing for third through
eighth grade students. The high school reports were issued in April on
the February testing, although tests were also given in April for
students who still needed to retest on one or more sections of the
exam.By graduation time, only six members of the senior class didn't
graduate for TAAS-related reasons, and only two of those six had their
graduation delayed solely because they failed to pass at least one
portion of the testing, according to Pecos High School Principal Alice
Duerksen. Four seniors were missing necessary credits in addition to
needing to pass at least a part of the TAAS exam. One additional student
passed the entire TAAS exam, but did not have enough class credits to
Overall, 66% of third-graders at Pecos Elementary met at least the
minimum expectations on both tests taken, and 100% of third-graders at
Barstow Elementary mastered the test.
Among fourth-graders, 69% at Bessie Haynes Elementary and 44% at Barstow
Elementary passed all three parts of their test.
For the fifth grade, 83% of Bessie Haynes students and 100% of those at
Barstow Elementary passed both parts of their testing.
In the sixth grade, the first grade where students from Barstow attend
the same school as those from Pecos and Toyah, 88% of the youngsters
passed both sections of the exam.
Seventh-graders at Zavala Middle School also took a two-part test, and
73% of them passed both parts.
Students in the eighth grade took an exam consisting of five parts:
reading, mathematics, writing, science and social studies. Thirty seven
percent of those students passed all five segments of the test.
Fifty percent of tenth-graders who took the three-part exit level
testing passed the entire test, and will not have to take it again. The
other half will have additional chances to pass un-mastered parts of the
exam during their junior and senior years of high school.
Larry Sloan, Director of Career and Technology Education, has been
working on a detailed analysis of the 1996-97 TAAS results which will be
presented at the July meeting of the school board. That meeting has been
rescheduled from July 10 to July 17, and will take place at 6 p.m. at
1304 South Park Street.
More than a foot of rain - even more in some areas - drenched the
central portion of the state Saturday and Sunday. Worst-hit was the Hill
Country region around San Antonio, where swollen rivers caused
Bandera County Judge Richard Evans said a woman and her husband, whose
names were not released, were washed off State Highway 16 by floodwaters
in the predawn hours Sunday.
The woman's body was discovered after her husband was found clinging to
a tree, Evans said.
There were no other deaths or injuries directly related to Sunday's
flooding, although one person was killed in a traffic accident blamed on
wet streets, said state emergency management division spokeswoman Jo
Across the region, people were forced to escape flash floods by
scampering up trees or climbing atop their cars. A state helicopter
spent part of the day plucking those stranded to safety.
"Campers and rural residents found themselves surrounded by water," Ms.
Schweikhard-Moss said. "We feel confident that there is no one in
"This is the first weekend of summer and there are a lot of people
taking advantage of that who got caught by the flood waters."
In Bandera County, about 35 miles northwest of San Antonio, the swollen
Medina River washed out homes, trailers and cars.
"Around here we're pretty much used to the water coming up but not this
high," said Karon Byrd of Bandera.
The National Weather Service said at least 18½ inches of rain fell in
Bandera between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. Roads to the town
were cut off by floodwaters, officials said.
The state said 350 people in six counties were evacuated. About 150 of
them were in the Medina County town of Hondo, said Ms. Schweikhard-Moss.
In Boerne, resident Mary Trevino and her mother-in-law were rescued from
their home when the water level jumped to waist-high.
"I looked at the river and they said the water's coming in and I said,
Oh God,"' Ms. Trevino said.
Dick Eastland of Camp Mystic said about 4,000 children who were at
several Hill Country camps during the weekend are safe and away from
Larry Hammond said improvements to the drainage system near Leon Creek
didn't help the flooding situation.
By Sunday afternoon, the creek was knocking at Hammond's front door.
"Years ago I heard we had a similar situation here," he said. "The
county was supposed to correct it by improving the roads, including the
drainage over there by Interstate 10, but obviously it didn't do any
The Llano River jumped 6½ feet in one hour at one point and continued to
rise in Kimble County, but no one was evacuated by Sunday evening,
sheriff's dispatcher Brenda Richardson said.
"We have water everywhere," she said. "I don't know exactly how high it
is at this moment, but we have several roads closed to it and the last I
heard the Llano River crested at 12 feet and is still rising."
The conditions forced dozens of road closures. Officials said U.S. 90
was closed in two spots, while U.S. 281 was closed in Comal County and
Interstate 10 was closed at two places in San Antonio.
Officials said the flooding is expected to continue through this week as
rainwater from North Texas, which also was drenched over the weekend,
"We're watching real closely and asking people in real low-lying areas
to leave in anticipation of continued problems," Ms. Schweikhard-Moss said.
PECOS, June 23, 1997 - A fertilizer truck rollover sent one man to
Reeves County Hospital and closed business I-20 eastbound between Pecos
and Barstow late this morning.
The accident was reported shortly after 11 a.m., about four miles west
of Pecos. Reeves County Health and Sanitation Officer Armando Gil said
the tanker, owned by Winkles Trucking, was carrying Thio, a liquid
fertilizer used on cotton, which was leaking slightly, along with the
truck's diesel fuel tank, following the accident.
Pecos Police officer Paul Videtto said the driver, tentatively
identified as Sam Orona, said he was eastbound on Business I-20 when he
bent down to get something, and the truck veered into a guardrail on the
south side of the highway.
The truck took out all of the guardrail before hitting a bridge abutment
on the east side of the road. The two rear axles of the tanker were torn
off, one remaining on the bridge and the other ending up east of the
bridge on the north side of the highway. The truck continued on past the
bridge, gouging out part of the roadway before overturning on the
Orona was taken by ambulance to Reeves County Hospital, where he was
being treated as of presstime. Officials at the scene were awaiting
arrival of Department of Public Safety troopers, who will handle the
Firemen were also called to the site due to the fuel and chemical
spills, but Gil said the fertilizer being transported was not considered a hazardous material.
The meeting will be an afternoon session beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Bids on food and kitchen supplies for the RCDC will be discussed along
with American Cancer Society's 1998 Golf Pass for Reeves County's Golf
The court will discuss approval of paper ballots (instead of punch card
ballots) for the "special" election to be held Aug. 9.
In conjunction with the paper ballots, commissioners will discuss
consolidation on in-town precinct election boxes for the "special"
election and appoint election judges and alternates. The court will also
consider paying "special" election workers $6 an hour.
In other business the court will take action on the oficial bond and
oath for deputy county treasurer, Lupe Montoya.
Commissioners will also:
- Discuss/take action on reports from various departments.
- Discuss/take action on budget amendments and line-item transfers.
- Discuss/take action on personnel and salary changes (road and bridge
department and golf course).
- Discuss/take action on minutes from previous meetings.
- Discuss/take action on semi-monthly bills.
- Spread on minutes: Notice of over-axle/over-gross weight permit and
notice of "special" election - ordered by Governor Bush to be held on Aug. 9.
The court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that guards at a private prison in
Tennessee never are entitled to the immunity against lawsuits state
prison guards sometimes enjoy.
The decision, although focusing only on prison guards, could affect
private employees engaged in varied tasks - from picking up garbage to
providing medical services - in a period when many state and local
governments are downsizing and contracting out work.
"Our examination of history and purpose ... reveals nothing special
enough about the job or about its organizational structure that would
warrant providing these prison guards with a governmental immunity,"
Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the court.
Private prisons have become a booming business in some states. About
one-third of the states have such enterprises, often under contracts to
exercise all the police powers and traditional public functions
exclusively reserved to a state government.
Texas has led the way, with over 30 private prisons.
In 1986, the Tennessee Legislature authorized state prison officials to
enter into such contracts. The state's Department of Corrections signed
an agreement to have the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of
America run a prison in Clifton, Tenn.
Ronnie Lee McKnight, an inmate at the prison, sued guards Daryll
Richardson and John Walker in 1994. McKnight, who weighs over 300
pounds, alleged that the guards violated his rights by subjecting him to
bodily restraints that were excessively tight while he was taken to
Clifton from Nashville.
McKnight, a convicted rapist serving a 24-year sentence, contended in
his civil rights lawsuit that the restraints required hospital treatment
for extreme pain and swelling.
The lawsuit also said the two guards taunted McKnight when he complained
about the restraints.
Richardson and Walker sought to have the lawsuit dismissed before it
reached trial, but a federal trial judge refused.
The judge and later the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that
guards working for a private, for-profit corporation are not entitled to
the "qualified immunity" that shields state employees who are sued over
actions taken in the good-faith belief that no one's rights are being
Other federal courts, however, had ruled that such immunity is available to such privately employed workers.
PECOS, June 23, 1997 - Pete Saras, 94, died Saturday, June 21 at the
Northeast Baptist Hospital.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 24 at
Fairview Cemetery with Rev. J.E. McCormick officiating.
He was born Jan. 22, 1903, in Greece, was a lifelong Pecos resident, a
retired restaurant owner and a Baptist.
Survivors include one son, Jerry Saras of Longview; two daughters, Gayle
Oates of Nacogdoches, Tx., Jane Weatherford of San Antonio; seven
grandchildren and one great-grandchild.Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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