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September 8, 1997

Texas teachers' certificates
may get harder to keep

Associated Press Writer
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AUSTIN (AP) September 8, 1997 - While Texas schools struggle to lure
qualified teachers, state officials are considering new requirements for
people to get and maintain teaching certificates.

The proposals include an internship period for beginning teachers and a
five-year renewal of professional certificates, with requirements for
continuing education to keep the certificate active.

Teachers currently don't have to renew their lifetime certificates.

Backers say the proposals would heighten the teaching profession's
credibility and give teachers the tools they need to be effective in the

"Once you add greater credibility, I think that's going to encourage
people to move into the profession," said Mark Littleton, executive
director of the State Board for Educator Certification, which will
consider the proposed changes.

At least half of Texas' educators are teaching at least one subject
outside of the field in which they are certified.

The most common shortage areas are bilingual education, math, special
education, science and English as a second language, according to the
Texas Association of School Boards.

In mathematics alone last year, more teachers without certification in
that subject conducted classes (13,994) than did certified teachers
(13,938). At the same time, student performance in math is lagging.

Some say the answer to getting certified teachers into the classroom
isn't requiring them to jump through more hoops. Teachers already spend
time on professional development training, Littleton noted. He said the
difference with this proposal might be training that's more focused on
teachers' and students' specific needs.

But John Cole, president of the Texas Federation of Teachers, said tying
training to certificate renewal "is addressing the wrong problem."

"You won't increase the quality of teaching by imposing more
requirements on those people who have made a commitment to the
profession and stuck with it," he said.

"The most obvious reason (for a shortage of classroom teachers) is that
it's not financially rewarding enough to be in teaching. There are other
reasons, too. Teachers are not treated as professionally as they ought
to be."

Cole cited the basic skills test teachers were required to take more
than a decade ago, which infuriated and insulted many in the profession,
and teacher appraisal systems that he finds lacking.

"Now they're talking about taking licenses away from teachers who don't
get enough continuing education. It reminds me of the old saying: The
floggings will continue until morale improves," he said.

Both sides have a point, said Linda Darling-Hammond, executive director
of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future and a
professor at Columbia University Teachers College.

In a report last fall pointing to the close relationship between student
achievement and teacher skills and practices, the commission looked at
10 teacher quality indicators in the states. They ranged from mentor
programs to hiring of unqualified people. Texas got a zero.

"The licensing requirements and teacher education requirements that the
state allows for teachers are weaker in Texas than most states around
the country," said Ms. Darling-Hammond, although she added there are
some good individual preparation programs.

With weak requirements, people may pick up a teaching certificate as a
hedge against unemployment and never use it, she said with the state
picking up much of the tab for the wasted training.

"When the requirements to enter teaching are made more rigorous and
teacher education programs are strengthened, the proportion of people
who go through programs who enter and stay in teaching is much higher,"
she said.

Most states also have requirements for maintaining teacher
certification, Ms. Darling-Hammond said.

She added, however, "The other half of that equation is working
conditions and salaries."

Texas ranked 36th in teacher salaries in 1995-96, paying $31,633 a year.
The national average was $37,643.

Lawmakers in 1995 increased the minimum salary and tied it to state
spending on education. But just about 25 percent of teachers are at the
minimum scale, according to teacher groups. School districts can pay
over the minimum, and a number add stipends for teachers in high-demand

"I don't know that you can ever pay a teacher what they're worth to
society," said certification board member Virginia Collier,
superintendent of Brenham Independent School District.

But at the same time, she said, teachers do not work year-round as other
professions do. She said salaries reflect the time, work and training

"If you increase requirements and expectation, you have some grounds for
increasing pay again," she said. "I doubt it's terribly out of line."

Joan Bertino, a teacher at Austin's Travis Heights Elementary, said she
believes an internship period in which beginning teachers work with
mentors would be useful. Certificate renewal isn't asking too much
either, she said.

But what's required to address the teacher shortage, she said, is
society placing a higher value on those who educate their youngsters.

"People admire teachers like they admire social workers," she said, "but
they probably encourage their children to do other things ... so they
can do better financially."

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be Published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Area cities to set tax
rates early this week

Staff Writer
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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - Toyah and Balmorhea city officials expect to
settle on budgets and tax rates this week.

The City of Toyah tax rate last year was 1.05 per $100 of property
value, and the total budget was about $109,000. This year's total
budget for the city has increased to $121,260, according to Elpedia
Valdez at Toyah's City Hall. This year's tax rate will be set at a
council meeting tomorrow night.

The 1997 property tax rates for Balmorhea ISD include the effective tax
rate, set at 1.500397 per $100 of property value, and the rollback rate,
set at 1.638691 per $100 of property value. Last year's total tax rate
was 1.5 percent.

The 1997 property tax rates for the City of Balmorhea is set to increase
0.5 percent. Last year's total tax rate for the city was 0.411433 per
$100 of property value. The effective tax rate is set at 0.415909 per
$100 of property value, and the rollback rate (the highest rate the city
may adopt before taxpayers may begin rollback procedures) is set at
0.449181 per $100. This year's total tax rate will be set at tonight's
council meeting.

Barstow has no tax structure, but provides for the city's needs,
according to Joe Allgood, Barstow's City Secretary, through the water
department's sales and the little revenue brought in by a 2 percent
street and alley tax (where the utility companies pay for use of the
streets and alleys).

Last year's financial statement showed a total income for the town of
approximately $109,000 and total expenses of $105,000, leaving a net
gain of $4,000.

Bob Allgood, Water Department Superintendent for Barstow, said that this
coming year may be much the same but will depend on how much water they sell to the area and that will depend on the rainfall.

Commissioners meet in
regular session today

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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners met in regular
session at 10 a.m. this morning. A complete report of the meeting will
be published in tomorrow's Pecos Enterprise.

The commissioners court heard the presentation of the 1996 Audit Report
from Card, Graham & Company.

Items for discussion or action on the agenda included:

Surety bond requirements at Reeves county Detention Center.

Annual review of the statement of agreement between MHMR and Reeves

Adult Protective Services contract.

Contract and agreement of detention of juvenile offenders (Brewster,
Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presido counties.)

Appoint Reeves County Representative to the Reeves County Community
Council Board of Directors.

Reports from various departments.

Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

Personnel and salary changes (sheriff's office, Juvenile Detention
Center, RCDC)

Minutes from previous meeting.

Payment of semi-monthly bills.

Spread on minutes (over axle/over gross weight permits, deputation and
oath on Jesse Franco, Deputy Sheriff).

Bids on 1982 GMC truck.

Declare salvage property at annex. Change order for the TCDP housing
rehabilitation program - contract 714-160. The Reeves County
Commissioners' Court meets on the third floor of the county courthouse at the corner of Cedar and Fourth streets.

Duncan honored for passing legislation

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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - State Senator Robert Duncan was honored
recently by Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (TEC) for sponsoring
legislation to benefit electric co-op consumers.

During the 75th session of the Texas legislature, Duncan successfully
led the effort in the Texas Senate to change the law requiring electric
cooperatives to remit unclaimed capital credits funds and customer
deposits to the unclaimed Money Fund in the comptroller's office. The
amended law allows coo-ops to retain these funds for use as scholarships
and for economic development in communities served by co-ops.

TEC, which represents the state's 85 electric cooperatives, passed the
resolution during the organization's 57th annual meeting this summer in Austin expressing appreciation to Duncan.

11 juveniles referred to Reeves JV court

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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - Eleven juveniles were referred to the Reeves
County Juvenile Court in August.

Of the 11 juveniles referred to the court, eight were male and three
were female. Nine of the referrals were Hispanic and two were white.

A breakdown of the referrals indicates two were for burglary of a
habitation, one was for home related crisis intervention, one was for a
municipal curfew violation, one was a runaway, oen was for assault
causing bodily injury, one was for a terroristic threat and four were
for violation of a juvenile court order.

Eleven juveniles from Reeves County were detained by the Reeves County
Juvenile Detention Facility in August while four out-of-county juveniles
were held.

There are 17 juveniles on probation in the county and three on courtesy
supervision. Six juveniles paid monies for restitution in August.

Three juvenile cases were referred to the court by the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office, four by the Pecos Police Department and four from other sources.|

Brit press to back on young princes

Associated Press Writer
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LONDON (AP) September 8, 1997 - British newspapers, under attack by
Princess Diana's brother and facing pressure from the government and
Prince Charles, promised today to respect the privacy of the young

Meanwhile, the British flag that flew at half-staff over Buckingham
Palace in respect for the princess was lowered today as the nation tried
to return to normal.

But a steady stream of people going to Kensington Palace to sign books
of condolence continued throughout the night and showed no sign of
slowing down today.

"If we are not all sadder and wiser, we ... ought to be," The
Independent said in a front-page editorial today. "The hunt became a
blood sport. The quarry dead, let us find gentler pursuits."

The newspaper will never again carry photographs of Prince William, 15
and Prince Harry, 12, in private situations, it said.

"There is a market for pictures like this. Diana sold an awful lot of
newspapers one way or another. But look at the result. We all have to
think again," Independent editor Andrew Marr later told BBC radio.

The Independent, a serious broadsheet, has never been as lucrative a
market for the paparazzi photographers that the tabloids were.

Some of them, the country's most sensational newspapers and most avid
followers of the royal saga, also vowed today to change policy, after
Earl Spencer's eulogy on Saturday accused them of turning his sister
into their prey as the most hunted person of modern times.

"Spencer's bitter attack on newspapers will force every editor and every
journalist to reflect deeply on the way they conduct themselves," wrote
The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper.

"The Sun, for its part, has no intention of carrying photographs which
invade the privacy of Princes William and Harry," said the tabloid,
which has a national circulation of 4 million.

After Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver died in a Paris car crash Aug.
31 while pursued by paparazzi, Spencer said editors who had bought
paparazzi photographs of her private moments had "blood on their hands."

A spokesman for the boys' father, Prince Charles, called Sunday for the
media to stay away from Eton College where William goes to school and
Ludgrove school that Harry attends.

"The last thing they need is to face a blast of flashguns when they go
back to school," he said.

U.S. newspapers picked up the call. The New York Post and Daily News
both had front pages today that showed the same picture of Prince
Charles and his sons at the funeral, with an identical headline that
screamed: "Leave my kids alone."

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people showed up at Kensington Palace,
more than on any other day since Diana's death, the British national
news agency Press Association said. Another 100,000 mourners signed
their names in books of condolence.

The government said the flowers, toys and other tributes pinned to
railings will be given to hospitals and homes for the aged.

No official estimate was available Sunday, but the numbers in the
capital were judged even greater than on Saturday, the day of her
funeral. Diana was buried later Saturday at her Spencer family's
ancestral home in the English countryside.

Donations also poured in to a fund for Princess Diana's favorite
charities as Britain planned a permanent memorial. Gifts to the fund
ranged from a child's 20-pence coin stuck on a card, worth about 30
cents, to a $4.8 million corporate gift.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had conferred with Diana about a new
public role, perhaps as a goodwill ambassador for Britain, appointed a
committee to work with Diana's family on a permanent memorial. Blair
also called on newspapers to respond to public anger over paparazzi.

Blair was skeptical about calls for Britain to introduce laws to protect
privacy. Indicating his preference for greater self-regulation by the
media, he told BBC TV on Sunday, "They need to reflect and learn some
lessons and I believe that they will."

Viscount Rothermere, proprietor of the tabloid the Daily Mail, later
Sunday announced: "In view of Earl Spencer's strong words and my own
sense of outrage, I have instructed my editors no paparazzi pictures are
to be purchased without my knowledge and consent."

Another tabloid, The Mirror, pledged today, "The Mirror will now work
swiftly with the Press Complaints Commission to protect these boys from
intrusive paparazzi photography."

The Daily Star wrote: "Earl Spencer's angry words... were echoed in most
people's hearts. No paper or magazine, no editor, journalist,
broadcaster or photographer should allow words like that ever to be
uttered again." The tabloid pledged to secure privacy and respect for
the young princes.

The Financial Times, meanwhile, reported that newspaper sales had risen
18 percent since Diana's death.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Bands lined up for fall concert

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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - Five popular bands will be on hand for the
annual Fall Fair Concert scheduled for Oct. 4 at the Buck Jackson Rodeo

David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, Shelly Lares, Gary Hobbs, Los Nortenos
de Ojinaga and Imprezion of Pecos will all be on hand for the special

The gates will open at 5 p.m., with the concert kicking off at 6 p.m.
and concluding at 1:30 a.m. Tickets are $16 in advance and $19 at the

The Best Western Swiss Clock Inn and The Quality Inn will be offering a
special overnight package for those wishing to stay overnight.

This year's concert is sponsored in part by: KIUN/KPTX, KMRK "Tejano
96", Newswest 9, Pecos Enterprise, Rio Pecos Sales, Valley Distributors,
The Quality Inn and the Best Western Swiss Clock Inn.

Area ticket outlets include: in Pecos, Airlawn Furniture, Dan's Music
and Video, Lucky Partners and the chamber office; in Fort Stockton,
Western Outfitters; Odessa, Lechugas Video; Midland, Al's Grocery; Fort
Davis, Baeza's Grocery; Alpine, Baeza's Grocery; Presidio, Baeza's
Grocery; Carlsbad, N.M., Lucy's Restaurant; and Hobbs, N.M., Casa Madril.

The Pecos Chamber of Commerce will present the 25th Annual World
Championship Barbecue Beef Cook-off Oct. 3 inside the Reeves County
Sheriff's Posse Arena.

Entries are $65 per team, with a capacity limit of 85 teams. Divisions
are open to pro, amateur and club groups. Grand prize is $300 and a
silver plate; first prize in each division is $200 and a trophy; second
prize in each division is $100 and a trophy. Awards will also be
presented for Worst Barbecue and Best Camp.

The chamber will be also sponsor the 53rd Annual Reeves County Fall Fair
and Livestock Show Oct. 9, at the Reeves County Civic Center. This
year's theme is "The 50s." There will be culinary and art contests,
craft and novelty booths, a pet show, school exhibits and one of the finest carnivals in Texas.

Texas prison fueds with Montana
corrections officials over report

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HELENA (AP) September 8, 1997 - Feuding continues between Montana
corrections officials and the company running a Texas prison that holds
250 Montana inmates, in the wake of a state report criticizing prison

After the state released the report Friday, the Bobby Ross Group asked
for more time to formally reply and suggested the state's deadline of
Tuesday was unfair because there was not enough time.

"We do not desire weeks to prepare our responses. However, we do expect
fair consideration in appropriately compiling our information into a
formal response," Terry Pelz, the company's director of operations, said
in a letter to the state.

Montana officials agreed to an additional week, but only if company
representatives come here to meet with Montana corrections
administrators and discuss alleged violations of the $3.6 million-a-year
contract between the state and the company.

Dave Ohler, chief attorney for the Corrections Department, said the
agency has twice before asked for such a meeting and the company has
never answered.

In a letter to Pelz, Ohler scolded a Bobby Ross Group executive for
implying the state is being unfair in its insistence on a prompt

"We have provided you with a year to come into compliance with the
contract terms to which you agreed and for which you have been paid,"
Ohler wrote.

"Many, if not all, of the deficiencies of this audit are the exact
deficiencies which were brought to your attention seven months ago," he
said. "The department has been more than fair."

Pelz did not return a phone call to his Texas office Monday.

The report found operation of the Dickens County Correctional Center in
Spur, Texas, does not fully comply with 15 of 22 provisions of the state

Violations include inadequate food service, medical care and security.
The company also has mismanaged inmate transfers, disciplinary actions
and inmate medical records, according to the report.

The audit was compiled from reports of inspection teams that visited the
prison earlier this year. It will be used to help corrections officials
decide whether to cancel the Texas contract and move Montana inmates

The inmates were transferred to Texas in the summer of 1996 because of
severe overcrowding in Montana's prison system.

Since then, the Dickens County prison has had persistent problems. One
inmate was killed in a May brawl and another was injured in a fight last
week. A near-riot had to be halted by gunfire from guards last fall, a
warden was fired, and two Montana escapees remain on the loose.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Stray bullets pelt homes

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) September 8, 1997 - Two Bexar County men say their
rural homes look like a war zone because they're in the line of fire
from a shooting range.

Outside walls at the houses of Donald "Sonny" Noel and Danny Marr have
numerous holes. Both men say they've had some near-misses and heard
bullets whizzing overhead from the nearby Bullet Hole Shooting Range.

The homeowners contend the firing range faces in their direction, with
gun owners sometimes firing over a protective berm at the end of the
range that is supposed to stop the bullets.

"This is definitely a noise nuisance, as well as a danger," Marr told
the San Antonio Express-News.

Shots are fired seven days a week. Both men have complained to the
range, called Bexar County sheriff's deputies and given them the slugs
they found in their homes, but the shooting goes on.

But Vernley Hester, the range's owner, denied the accusations and
insisted he's obeying all laws. He contends the complaints stem from his
longtime feud with Noel in the far western Bexar County settlement off
U.S. 90. He says the bullets on their property may be coming from
hunters in the rural area.

Noel says bullets have passed through his trailer home and that a
refrigerator stopped working after a slug pierced one of the coolant
lines. He's afraid to park his pickup truck at home.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Mary K. Hightower

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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - Mary K. Hightower, 95, died Sunday, Sept. 7,
1997, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, at First Christian
Church with burial in Fairview Cemetery.

She was born Oct. 21, 1901, in McKinney, Tx., was a lifelong Pecos
resident and a retired nanny.

Survivors include: two daughters, Doris Calley Kelton of Pecos and Nancy
Snailum of Fort Stockton; five grandchildren; and six
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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PECOS, September 8, 1997 - High Sunday, 94, low this morning, 65. High
pressure kept the weather sunny and warm over most of Texas on Sunday,
just as it had the rest of the weekend. Temperatures statewide were
mostly in the 90s, although a bit warmer than on Saturday. Low
humidities and light southerly breezes kept conditions comfortable in
most areas. High temperatures Sunday ranged from 97 in several places,
from Dallas and Fort Worth to Alice and Cotulla. The lowest high was 88
at Galveston. West Texas and the Panhandle expected fair to partly
cloudy skies Monday and Monday night, with a slight chance of
thunderstorms in the Panhandle. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s, except
for near 100 in the Big Bend. Lows will be in the 60s, except for 50s in
the mountains.|

State News
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Dallas Morning News
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National News
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York (Pa.) Daily Record, Sister Paper to Pecos Enterprise

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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