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Van Horn Advocate


August 11, 1997

Local voters follow state
average in passing tax cut

From Staff and Wire Reports
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PECOS, August 11, 1997 - A slightly higher percentage of Reeves County voters opposed the property tax change at the polls Saturday than the state average, but the measure still passed locally by a 91 percent margin.

In unofficial results, 690,678 Texans, about 94 percent of those who cast ballots, voted in favor of the measure that triples the homestead exemption from $5,000 a year to $15,000; 41,338 voted against it. The tax break will save the average homeowner about $140 a year.

Locally, of the 616 people who voted, 565 were in favor of the measure and 51 opposed.

Texas voters have given homeowners a slight tax break, but they need to speak up if they want to keep property tax rates and values from continuing their steady rise, Gov. George W. Bush said in an Associated Press story this weekend.

"This is definitely a step," Bush said, celebrating the overwhelming victory Saturday of a $1 billion property-tax cut for homeowners.

Bush, who for two years has pushed an effort to lower and cap school property tax rates, said the issue is hardly resolved.

"Hopefully during the course of this campaign, Texans will make their sentiments known to those of us who are seeking office," said the governor, who is seeking re-election next year.

In November, voters will be asked whether hikes in property value should be capped at 10 percent a year. Voters also would be allowed to defer property tax payments if values rose more than 5 percent, but would pay 8 percent interest to do so.

Since 1995, Bush has said rising property tax rates and values pose a looming threat to home ownership in Texas. He said the state's healthy economy, the newly approved tax cut and increased state funding for education could take the pressure off of rising local school tax bills.

But he added that if Texans want more to be done, they will have to make that known to elected officials.

The constitutional amendment approved Saturday raises the minimum homestead property tax exemption by $10,000, giving most homeowners a roughly $12 a month tax cut. Renters and business property owners were left out of the savings.

Bush and lawmakers tried but failed to pass a larger measure meant to lower and cap property tax rates. The higher homestead exemption was a fall back measure passed after the larger effort failed. The measure also allows Texans 65 and older to take with them a proportionate amount of property tax freezes from home to home should they move.

The constitutional amendment does nothing to keep property tax rates from continuing to rise.

GTE expands service options

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 11, 1997 - GTE has announced that they will greatly expand telephone services in two more West Texas towns soon. GTE will be offering seven new services in addition to five SmartCall services in Balmorhea and Imperial.

None of the services have been available to telephone customers in these areas in the past, according to GTE Public Affairs Officer Charles Watkins.

The following list explains the new services which will be available effective August 14 in Imperial and August 20 in Balmorhea.

*AUTOMATIC BUSY REDIAL: This service keeps trying a busy number and rings you back when your number and the called number are free.

*AUTOMATIC CALL RETURN: Stores the number of the last call you received and lets you return that call at your convenience even though the caller has hung up.

*CALL BLOCK: Intercepts calls from up to twelve numbers you establish and informs those callers their call is not being accepted.

*SPECIAL CALL ACCEPTANCE: Allows you to list up to twelve telephone numbers from which you want to receive calls. Other calls are routed to a recorded announcement that says you are not accepting calls.

*SPECIAL CALL FORWARDING: Lets you decide which telephone numbers, up to twelve, get through to you when you are at another number.

*VIP ALERT: Identifies up to twelve important callers by the sound of the ring.

*CALL TRACING SERVICE: Allows tracing of harassing, threatening or obscene calls. By using the assigned code, the caller's number, as well as the date and time of the call, are sent automatically to GTE's Security Department in case further action is required.

The above services are in addition to the SmartCall services, which include:

*CALL WAITING: Gives you a tone when a person is calling while you are on another call.

*CANCEL CALL WAITING: Lets you cancel the call waiting feature any time you want to avoid interruption.

*CALL FORWARDING: Lets you forward your incoming calls to another local or long distance number.

*SPEED CALLING-8: Stores up to eight of the most often called or emergency numbers for quick dialing.

*THREE-WAY CALLING: Allows you to talk to two people in two different locations at the same time - no matter who placed the call.

Also beginning on the dates mentioned previously, customers in Balmorhea and Imperial will be able to select the long distance company of their choice for calls to locations outside of their GTE long distance calling area. "1+" and "0+" calls made within your long distanced calling area are handled by GTE.

Caller ID (CNID) service will become available in Balmorhea and Imperial starting on October 17. This service is still scheduled to become available in Pecos, Orla and Mentone on October 17 as well, according to Watkins.

Another service is called Anonymous Call Rejection, which allows the customer to reject calls from any caller who refuses to reject calls from any caller who refuses to reveal their number and can bee added to residence or business CNID for $3.50 per month.

Per-call and per-line blocking options are also available.

SmartCall services are optional services available in most areas to most customers and will work on most calls to prefixes within your local calling area.

Also beginning on August 20, GTE will extend local calling for all customers in the Imperial telephone service area. Under the plan, all calls to Coyanosa, Crane, Fort Stockton, Monahans and Odessa will be local calls. Calls from these communities to Imperial will also be local calls.

All customers in the towns receiving the new Extended Local Calling (ELC) will have to dial all seven digits, both for local and ELC calls.

Residential customers with questions about these services should call 1-800-483-4400, and business customers should call 1-800-483-5400.

Late crops expected in next month

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According to Pecos Cantaloupe Company salesman Clay Taylor, Pecos Cantaloupe will begin harvesting both bell peppers and their second crop of cantaloupes sometime between September 15 and October 1.

"The pepper harvest will last until frost," Taylor said.

"The cantaloupe harvest will last about three weeks to a month, probably also until frost," he said.

School buses will hit the roads
full of children this Thursday

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 11, 1997 - Summer vacation ends this week for students in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District, and that means the big yellow school buses full of children will soon reappear on streets all over the city.

According to Dora Villanueva, Supervisor of Bus Routes for the PBT I-S-D, the biggest thing people need to be aware of around school buses is that they must not pass a school bus when its red lights are on.

"Don't pass the buses when they have their red lights on," she cautioned.

"We have our worst problems with that at Austin, Zavala and at the high school, especially with the band buses," Villanueva said.

Kindergarten and elementary school students through sixth grade who live in town will be transported from the elementary school closest to where they live to the school they attend by regular route out-of-town buses.

Busses #4, #8, #10, #12, #14 and #15 will transport in-town students in the morning according to the accompanying schedule. (See box.)

Junior High students needing transportation to their school will also catch busses according to the schedule.

Austin students (first and second graders) will be transported to their home campuses by sixth-grade band busses at 3:10 p.m. To Lamar, take bus #10, which will start at Pecos Kindergarten. To Bessie Haynes, take bus #4 or bus #14. To Pecos Elementary, take bus #8. To the Lindsey Addition, take bus #8 or bus #14.

Pecos Kindergarten students going to Austin Elementary or Lamar will take bus #10. To get to Bessie Haynes, kindergartners should take bus #4, and those living in the Lindsey Addition will take bus #8 or bus #14.

Regular route students board their busses at this time. bus #10 will carry students for routes 6, 9, 12 and 15 to Lamar for transfer to those buses.

Lamar (sixth-grade) students will take bus #4 to Austin, bus #8 or bus #10 to Bessie Haynes and bus #14 to Pecos Elementary.

Bessie Haynes (fourth- and fifth-grade) students will take bus #8, bus #10 or bus #14 to Austin. To get to Pecos Elementary, they will take bus #8 or bus #10 and for Lamar, they will take bus #12 or bus #15.

Pecos Elementary (third-grade) students will take bus #8 or bus #10 to Austin, bus #14 to Bessie Haynes, and bus #12 or bus #15 to Lamar.

Zavala Middle School (seventh-grade) students will take bus #15 to Crockett, and Crockett Middle School (eighth grade) students will take bus #15, with drop-off in the parking lot at Santa Rosa Catholic Church.

Some out-of-town bus routes were recently combined, and their routes are as follows:

Bus #15 - Toyah and Duval

Toyah students are to meet the bus at the school.

6:12 a.m. - Arrive school 6:20 a.m. - Depart Toyah 6:45 a.m. - Arrive County Road 201 7:00 a.m. - Arrive County Road 415 7:10 a.m. - Arrive County Road 404 7:20 a.m. - Arrive B&B Wrecker 7:40 a.m. - Arrive Lamar

Bus #12 - Barstow students meet the bus at the elementary school. 6:25 a.m. - Tree City 6:45 a.m. - Hill - North end of town 7:05 a.m. - Arrive school 7:15 a.m. - Depart Barstow

Bus #8 and bus #14 will cover Lindsey Addition. Busses will depart the bus yard at 6:15 a.m.
Bus #10 - L.E.C. trailer park area 7:30 a.m. - Bus arrive

Local banker warns of mail scams

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 11, 1997 - Local bank officials are warning people about scams currently being used to solicit funds illegally.

"When people receive this type of correspondence it's usually a scam," said Bill Oglesby, a vice-president of Security State Bank.

The correspondence in question is a letter from Nigeria which states: "Request for Urgent Business Relationship."

A Pecos resident recently received such a letter and bank officials are warning any others who receive this type of solicitation to contact law enforcement officials.

A bankers, alert that Oglesby forwarded to the Pecos Enterprise noted that Invesco Ltd. has sent a fax note to TBA-member banks in Eagle Lake, Seminole and Brownwood requesting information on corporate banking and "private banker" services for a company claiming to want to locate a regional headquarters operation for real estate and investment services. The company claims it anticipates minimum balances of $250 million with periodic float potential of up to $10 million.

The fax originated from the Virgin Islands.

This scheme is similar to requests for funds transfers from Nigeria, namely from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters in Lagos involving the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Petroleum Trust Fund.

TBA-member banks in Copperas Cove, Cleburne and Nacogdoches recently received such solicitation. If you receive such a letter Oglesby recommends that you should forward a copy of correspondence to local enforcement officers. Send any Nigerian correspondence to the Nigeria Desk Officer, Office of Africa, Department of Commerce, Room 3317, Washington, D.C. 20230.

Part of the Nigeria solicitation reads, "The source of the funds is as follows; during the last Interim Regime here in Nigeria, contracts were awarded to foreign firms by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Contract Award Committee. Many of these contracts were over-invoiced to the tune of $14,300,000 this was done deliberately by the officials of the contract Award Committee to benefit from the project. But incidentally, they were unable to acquire these funds before the change in Government."

The correspondence further states, "We by virtue of our position as the Contract Review Panel set up by the present Militia government, have identified a lot of inflated contract funds which are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria, ready for payment. However, by virtue of our position as civil servants and members of the Panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names."

In the correspondence the company states in part that "I have been delegated as a matter of trust by my colleagues of the panel to look for an overseas partner, into whose account we would transfer the sum of $14,300,000."

It further states that they have agreed to share the money thus: 30 percent for the account owner; 60 for us (the officials) and 10 percent to be used in setting taxation and local and foreign expenses.

"This type of correspondence is a scam and we want to warn the public not to get involved," said Oglesby.

Computer games activity
of choice when boss is away

Associated Press Writer
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PECOS, August 11, 1997 - When the boss is away, secretaries will play. So will academics, hard-working execs and just about anybody else who sits in front of a computer all day. We're talkin' computer solitaire.

The game is so addictive that many companies, and even state governments, have felt the need to remove temptation by erasing solitaire, and other computer games, from their software.

Tom Toles, a syndicated cartoonist for U.S. News & World Report, recently called attention to the solitaire epidemic with a two-panel drawing entitled: Government Efficiency Report.

In the first panel, a 1970s bureaucrat is shown playing solitaire with cards at the rate of "six games an hour." The next panel depicts a 1990s government worker sitting in front of a computer screen that enables him to play as many as "17 games an hour."

The cartoon must have struck a nerve on Capitol Hill because U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., promptly introduced legislation that would remove solitaire from all federal computers.

State officials across the country also have taken aim at the game, which is included on Microsoft's popular Windows software to help users become familiar with mouse functions. Some state lawmakers also have had solitaire removed from their grasp. In Austin, Texas, all games were erased from the laptop computers that state lawmakers use to track bills while sitting in the House chamber. The trouble goes all the way to the top. Even President Clinton is said to be addicted to solitaire, albeit the old-fashioned "six-game an hour" version played with actual cards.

Solitaire is any card game that can be played by one person. In England, it is known as patience. The aim in most is to segregate the four suits, each in sequence, against the luck of the shuffle.

Microsoft, which includes solitaire and Minesweeper games on its Windows software, says none of its customers has complained about the games or asked that they be removed from the software.

A spokesman for the company's games division admitted, however, that the issue did come up after Hagel's bill was introduced. He then pointed out that it's relatively simple to remove the games from the software.

Some companies that have removed games are especially vigilant in their efforts to remain free of games.

Aetna, the health-care company based in Hartford, Conn., routinely surveys company computers to make sure employees haven't added games or unauthorized screen savers. The New York City Housing Authority is another place where computers are periodically monitored to keep employees from loading their own games into the computers.

A Housing Authority manager, as well as public officials in other states, said solitaire was banned not so much because of rampant game-playing as for the poor image generated when public employees are seen playing games at work.

"If taxpayers walk into offices and see this, they'll wonder, rightly, what the hell is going on," said John White, the finance commissioner in Syracuse, N.Y.

It seems that solitaire also is a problem for solitary workers.

In a survey of its readers, Home Office Computing magazine found that although 80 percent of the respondents said they start working at 9 a.m. or earlier, nearly half also said they often are led astray by distractions including Net surfing and .... solitaire.

Solitaire can even sneak onto the computer screens of those who don't like the game.

"Personally, I hate solitaire," said Adam Achs of PC Magazine in New York. "But a lot of people love it. I always find it on my screen whenever a temp has filled in for me during lunch."


August 11, 1997

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Ernesto Baca

Funeral services for Ernesto Baca, 39, who died Sunday, Aug. 10, 1997, in Odessa, are incomplete. Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Frances Lockhart

Funeral services for Frances Louise Lockhart, 81, of Sundown, who died Friday, Aug. 8, 1997, at her residence, were held this morning at Park Drive Baptist Church in Levelland with Rev. Gil Ramirez officiating.

Graveside services were scheduled for 4:30 p.m. today at Mount Evergreen Cemetery.

Lockhart was born May 14, 1916, in Lincoln, Ark., had been a resident of Sundown since 1982, moving there from Pecos. She was a retired employee of Woolworth and a Baptist.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J.C. Lockhart.

Survivors include: two sons, Benny Martin Lockhart of Sundown, Archie Lee Lockhart of Fort Stockton; three daughters, Jo Nita Tennyson and Judy Puttman, of Sundown and Zoa Lou Brown of Harlingen; a brother, Henry Martin of Susanville, Calif.; one sister, Geneva Lewis of Roswell, N.M.; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren: and two great-grandchildren.

Jose F. Martinez

Jose Fuentez "Tickey" Martinez, 50, of Odessa died Saturday, Aug. 9, 1997, in Lubbock.

A rosary will be said at 8 p.m. tonight at Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home Chapel.

A mass is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church with the Rev. Frank Chavez officiating. Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Martinez was born Dec. 2, 1946, in Pecos and worked for ECISD as a custodian.

Suvivors include: two sons, Freddie and Joe Martinez of Odessa; one daughter, Crissy Payen of Odessa; his parents, Hipolito and Manuela Martinez of Pecos; one brother, Raul Martinez of Pecos; two sisters, Trine Mora of Firebaugh, Calif., and Delma Gonzales of Pecos; and four grandchildren.


>>Return to top >PECOS, August 11, 1997 - High Sunday, 97, low this morning, 71. Scattered thunderstorms are expected through tonight over most of West Texas, including the Panhandle. They will continue on Tuesday in the Big Bend area, the mountains of Southwest Texas and in the Panhandle. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s, ranging upward to near 103 in the Big Bend area and in the 90s elsewhere across West Texas. Numerous showers and thunderstorms dampened portions of the Panhandle, South Plains and low rolling plains before dawn today. > >

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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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