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Van Horn Advocate |
August 26, 1997
$350,000 grant slated for water system repairs
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By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, August 26, 1997 - Town of Pecos City has received some good news and officials are very excited about the project which will be funded by a new grant.
"It's just really great news," said City Manager Kenneth Neal.
The city has been awarded a $350,000 grant, according to Neal.
This grant will be used to replace 6,800 feet of 24-inch concrete water line between the river booster station and the Ward County Water Storage Tank just east of the Pecos River.
"This is in thanks to Carlos Colinas-Vargas, the grant administrator, who submitted the application for us," said Neal.
In their application for the grant, city officials stated that the Town of Pecos City faces a serious need for improvements in its water system, to assure an adequate supply for the community and to respond to TNRCC demands that water quality be improved.
The town's water supply depends on a deteriorating water transmission line from the Ward County Well Field, 19 miles away. It breaks often and is costly to maintain. Annual repair costs total more than $69,000, according to Neal.
According to the application submitted, sections of the line are near collapsing. If this occurs, all water resources for Pecos will disappear, posing grave threats to health and safety, affecting sanitation, domestic use, sewage, and fire protection.
Existing conditions discourage quality business or industrial development, which will not occur where there is no adequate, reliable water supply. This problem affects a population of more than 10,000 people. Particularly threatened are the low income residents whose jobs are in jeopardy due to the threat of the loss of water service.
Total project cost is $420,000; TCDP funds requested, $350,000 and local contribution is $70,000.
The project will meet a critical need which affects the entire community. The line to be repaired by this project is the only source of water for the entire city of Pecos.
This project will completely (100 percent) resolve the identified problem, according to Neal.
Medical professionals help teach
PHS health science students
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By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, August 26, 1997 - Medical professionals are helping some Pecos High School students further their health science education this year.
In its ongoing attempt to bring the best educational opportunities to Pecos High School students, the Career and Technology Department has found a new way to instruct students who are taking Health Science Technology Education I. High school teachers aren't teaching the course anymore...medical professionals are.
Larry Sloan, head of the Career and Technology Department, said, "We're working with the hospital. The hospital is going to teach the course."
The program is in its sixth year at PHS, but this is the first year that the classes will be taught by hospital personnel.
"I think it's a good example of community agencies working together for the betterment of the students," said Sloan. He said that he wishes more area professionals were willing to work with students in this manner.
The students who are taking the year-long course will be shown all departments at Reeves County Hospital so that they will gain experiences in and knowledge of all areas of health care.
When the students aren't in the classroom, they will be in clinical rotation at the hospital. They will be taken to all areas of the hospital and shown what every department does, so they can get the best possible idea of what aspect of the medical profession they might wish to pursue.
Sloan said that even the maintenance and housekeeping departments must have special training to work in a hospital, and that there are many medical professions that the students might enter, including, but not limited to, those of doctor and nurse.
Some areas that the young people will observe are X-ray, the laboratory, and emergency room. They will observe floor nurses. They will learn about ethics and patient confidentiality. They will be taught first aid and how to take vital statistics, such as blood pressure and temperature. They will also be taught cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and take the CPR certification exam. They will also learn the business end of the medical field, such as how to document and archive records.
Students will get the chance to see how subjects such as math, science and language arts relate to the medical field. By the end of the year, students should know if they want to pursue a career in the medical profession, and in what area.
"I think that by having the students there at the hospital every day, the hospital might be able to take them further than we would be able to," said Sloan.
A few of the wide array of professions in the medical field, in addition to doctor or nurse, are laboratory technician, medical technician, X-ray technician, medical records clerk, dietitian, phlebotomist, pharmacist, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, and counselor. There are many other fields, as well.
"It will give them (high school students) a head start," said Sloan. "We'll be working with them on several avenues that they can pursue after high school if they're interested in a career in a health field."
Commissioners, PBT ISD work
to establish girls softball program
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By RICK SMITH
PECOS, August 26, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners began their meeting last night by meeting the new Home Economics Agent at the Texas A&M Extension Service.
Marie Cardenas was introduced by Mary Strictband and C.W. Roberts of the county extension service. In addition to a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Texas Tech University and teacher certification Cardenas also is a Karate expert who operated her own self-defense school in Colorado City.
In Commissioners' Court regular business, a damaged VCR at the Reeves County Detention Center was scraped because it would cost more to fix the machine than a new one would cost.
Commissioners approved renewal of a data processing contract for the county with Preacher and Abbot. According to County Auditor Lynn Owens the current contract cost the county about $19,500. The renewal increases the cost to about $20,094. Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district Interim Superintendent Wayne Mitchell addressed the court in regards to a proposed inter-local agreement between the county and the school district to provide facilities for a girls softball program at the school. Plans are to make improvements to the Martinez baseball field to make it suitable for girls softball.
"We need to have an agreement on paper that covers the cost of such things as maintaining the field, cleaning the facility and whether this will be an ongoing agreement or it will be for a specific length of time," Mitchell said.
County Judge Jimmy Galindo replied that last year he had began speaking with PBT Athletic Director Mike Belew about the matter.
"Last year we agreed to let the field be used by the school district," Galindo said. "We talked about purchasing a portable plastic fence that can be put up for softball games at the appropriate footage."
Currently, the county is looking into the purchase of lighting for the field at a cost of between $25,000 and $30,000 that would be split between the county and the school district, Galindo said. "I think we can cover all the costs involved in this year's budget."
Meanwhile, attorneys for the county and school district will construct an inter-local agreement between the two specifying the conditions of sharing Martinez Field.
While presenting the County Treasurer's report Linda Clark said, "I think Reeves County looks very good financially."
Commissioner Bernardo Martinez remarked that the county employee health fund balance had been growing rapidly but that growth had now slowed. Clark replied that the fund had experienced several health claims against it recently.Six new employees for the detention center were approved by commissioners. Most were to fill vacant positions. Two new employees were approved for the Reeves County Sheriff's Department.
No official action was taken as a result of an executive session to review courthouse personnel duties and responsibilities.
"We tabled the item," Galindo said. "However, we are going to take steps to let people know what their responsibilities are.
"One commissioners indicated he felt some people are not doing what they were supposed to do. I think it is important to make sure employees know what their duties are. If they don't do it then it becomes an issue."
A public hearing on the county budget set for Thursday has been rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Texas Stock Index experiences
largest ever monthly gain
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AUSTIN, August 26, 1997 - "Like summertime in Texas, the Texas Stock Index is hot, hot, HOT," State Comptroller John Sharp said.
"The TSI leaped an additional 82.9 points in July, to 449.8. That is the largest monthly gain in the history of the Index," Sharp said.
"The TSI is up 108.8 percent compared to one year ago.
"By comparison, the Standard and Poor's 500, which tracks a nationwide sampling of stocks, rose 69.2 points in July. In percentage terms, the Standard and Poor's index rose 7.8 percent, while the TSI soared 22.6 percent," Sharp said.
Texas technology companies were the biggest contributors to the Texas Stock Index's explosive July growth. The technology sector saw its largest-ever monthly gain, rising 449.1 points, or 40.7 percent. Technology stock prices are 280.3 percent higher than one year ago. Houston-based Compaq Computer Corporation saw its stock value rise as the company announced significant price cuts on its personal computers to compete for greater market share.
In response to consumer demand for less expensive computers, Compaq also unveiled two personal computers priced at less than $1,000. Austin-based Dell Computer Corporation stock gained value in July as investors reacted favorably to the company's recent two-for-one stock split. Tandy Corporation stock rose as the Fort Worth based company announced second-quarter income of $28.7 million, triple the level of one year ago.
Texas Instruments, Inc. stock rose as the company announced that second-quarter profits are up $183 million compared to one year ago. The jump is apparently due to TI's efforts to focus on the digital signal processor (DSP) industry. DSPs run the main functions of the cellular phones, modems, and other audio-video devices. Other Texas technology companies whose stock price rose in July include DSC Communications Corporation and Tech Sym Corporation.
Stock prices in the TSI's finance, insurance, and real estate sector rose 46.3 points, or 13.5 percent in July. Financial stocks have gained value for four consecutive months, and are currently at their highest level in nearly a decade. Centex Corporation saw its stock value rise as the company announced a profit increase of 24 percent. American General Corporation's stock price rose, despite a second-quarter loss related to the company's recent purchase of USLife Corporation. Other finance stocks that gained value include Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. and American National Insurance Company.
Energy stock values are at their highest level since 1983. In July, energy stock prices rose 13.2 points, or 10.5 percent, and are currently up 52.5 percent compared to one year ago. The value of Halliburton Company stock grew as the company announced that a consortium led by Halliburton won a $500 million contract to design and build a crude oil plant in Venezuela for Conoco, Inc. and Venezuela's state oil company. Mesa, Inc. stock fell in July as the company reported a second-quarter loss of $14.2 million.
The TSI's general business sector rose 11 points, or 4.6 percent in July, and is currently 22.6 percent higher than one year ago. Continental Airlines and Southwest Airlines both saw their stock prices increase as both announced increases in passenger traffic. In addition Southwest Airlines announced plans to offer non-stop service between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Tampa and Orlando, Florida. Other general sector stocks that gained value include Brinker International, Inc., Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc., and Texas Industries, Inc.|
Feds cut funds to train doctors
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By ALICE ANN LOVE
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) August 26, 1997 - While many rural and inner-city areas of the United States suffer doctor shortages, the federal government has decided to use Medicare money to entice teaching hospitals to train fewer specialists.
Paying hospitals to cut the number of doctor training slots will "avert what would be a substantial surplus of physicians," said Dick Knapp, executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The new policy - quietly agreed to by Republican lawmakers during this summer's balanced budget negotiations - opens to all 1,250 American teaching hospitals a New York state pilot project approved by the Clinton administration earlier this year.
"We're gratified Congress agreed with the goal and design of our demonstration and expanded it nationwide," Bruce Vladeck, administrator of Medicare, the health care program for the elderly, said Monday.
Lawmakers fear that too many doctors - particularly specialists - now are being trained under the old federal incentive system.
That leaves Medicare, which this year will distribute more than $7 billion to teaching hospitals based on the number of doctors they train, paying more for services that could be provided less expensively by other health professionals.
A 1995 study by the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California at San Francisco predicts that the current doctor glut will swell to a 100,000-to-150,000-physician surplus by 2005 - even though many rural and inner-city low-income areas will still run short, and family practitioners are especially needed.
To encourage cutbacks in on-the-job training slots for new medical school graduates - known as residencies - Medicare will temporarily continue to pay fully for teaching programs that discontinue 20 percent to 25 percent of positions.
Hospitals that participate in the voluntary program will be expected to cut mainly specialized residencies - such as anesthesiology or plastic surgery - and keep the percentage of students in general practice training at least stable, if not increase it.
Under the previous policy, hospitals would immediately lose an average of $100,000 per resident in government money if they cut any positions.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that about $900 million will be saved by 2002 as the resident slots - and subsidies - are phased out.
But experts disagree on who will benefit most - the medical profession or consumers.
Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said the medical profession runs counter to the normal rules of supply and demand. The glut of doctors has translated into "people getting operations they don't need," more tests being ordered and resulting higher medical costs as physicians try to maintain their incomes with fewer patients.
But Tom Getzen, director of the International Health Economists Association, said the marketplace is already making its own adjustments without the government's help.
"That's why you've had people who are willing to work more for HMOs and willing to go into some of the more difficult environments," said Getzen.
Health care industry groups lobbied balanced budget negotiators for the new subsidy, arguing that foreign medical school graduates who come to the United States to finish their training, then stay to compete for jobs, were contributing to the glut of doctors.
Border Patrol steps up effort
to stem illegal immigration
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By PAULINE ARRILLAGA
Associated Press Writer
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) August 26, 1997 - Border Patrol agents have taken to the banks of the Rio Grande in force as part of a new initiative aimed at curbing illegal immigration along the Texas border.
Beginning at daybreak Monday, about 30 agents were dispatched to a 2½-mile stretch of river south of downtown Brownsville, signaling the launching of Operation Rio Grande.
Ten green-and-white Border Patrol trucks, positioned just one-eighth of a mile apart, lined the river's edge as other units prowled the winding embankment in search of would-be crossers.
Amid the row of trucks, utility workers installed portable and permanent flood lights that, come nightfall, will illuminate usually darkened paths that shroud river bandits and illegal aliens.
The rush of activity created an imposing site along a stretch of river normally patrolled by just three Border Patrol units daily.
From the Mexican side, a few potential crossers warily watched the action.
By Monday afternoon, no one had attempted to cross into the United States along the targeted section of river, which usually sees more than 100 illegal immigrant apprehensions daily, said Brownsville Border Patrol Chief Ernesto Castillo.
Agents stationed along the river's edge confirmed that activity had ground to a halt, at least for now.
"I think they're curious," Agent Amado Davila said.
Operation Rio Grande aims to reduce illegal immigration along the Texas and New Mexico borders through increased manpower and equipment.
The effort is starting in Brownsville and will expand west along the border as agents detect shifts in illegal activity, said Doris Meissner, chief of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
"I am confident that over time, people living all along the Texas-New Mexico border, as well as in Mexico, will experience substantial improvements in their quality of life ... as we gain and maintain control of illegal immigration," Ms. Meissner said at an afternoon news conference along the river's edge.
On Monday, 69 agents from across the country were deployed to Brownsville to take part in the operation.
August 26, 1997
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Mary Allredge, 75, died Sunday, Aug. 24, 1997, at Medical Center Hospital.
Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, at Presbyterian Church in Barstow with Rev. Rod Peacock officiating. Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.
Alldredge was born Feb. 13, 1922, in Portage, Penn., had lived in Pecos since 1950 and was a member of the First Christian Church.
Survivors include: her husband, Vernon Allredge of Barstow; two daughters, George Ann Collvins of Odessa and Helen Raber of Henderson, Nev.; two brothers, Tom Hodgett of Wink and George Hodgett of Houston; one sister, Mickey Williams of Alamagordo, N.M.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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PECOS, August 26, 1997 - High Monday, 96, low this morning, 64. There is a chance of some showers and thunderstorms in the Panhandle and along the Texas coast tonight and Wednesday. The rest of the state will have clear to partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures. West Texas will have partly cloudy skies to go along with the chance of showers in the Panhandle. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s. Highs Wednesday will be in the 80s and 90s in West Texas, ranging upward to near 107 in the Big Bend area.
24-hour weather info available - See the Pecos Enterprise Website on the Internet at http://www.pecos.net/news for continual radar coverage of area weather. Click on the "News" page and look for the "Weather" link.
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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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