October 7, 1997
High water postpones renovation
BALMORHEA, October 7, 1997 - Fishermen looking for someplace to fish may still enjoy the Balmorhea lake. Renovation of Lake Balmorhea has been postponed due to high rainfall amounts this year.
Texas Parks and Wildlife seeks to eliminate the sheepshead minnow, a non-native species that threatens several types of endangered pupfish, and restore a balanced fish population. Species to be restocked in the lake include Florida and native largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill sunfish, crappie and forage fish.
"It's partly logistics," said Bobby Farquhar, fisheries biologist at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, "It's easier to get a complete kill when the water levels are lower."
The department plans to add Rotenone to the lake when water levels shrink the lake to less than 100 acres in order to kill off as many of the sheepshead minnows as possible.
These minnows are dangerous because they breed with the pupfish-reducing the number of pure pupfish in the lake. Farquhar warned that should the minnows slip into the springs they could wipe out the pupfish there as well.
Rotenone is a fish toxicant that cuts off the intake of oxygen at the gills. It is non-toxic to livestock and, given sunny weather, quits working after about one week.
"We know we can restock (the lake) with sport fish as good or better as before," Farquhar said, "and Reeves County Water Irrigation District has agreed to try to adjust their planting and the way they use water next year" in order to help lower water levels in the lake.
"But if we have another wet year...who knows?" he said. Balmorhea may have to wait longer yet.
The spraying has been pushed back to late summer, 1998, and, according to TPWD officials, "fishing success may suffer for a short time after renovation...and should start providing good angling opportunities within one to two years."
Anger adds to juvenile crimePECOS, October 7, 1997 - "We've got a lot of angry kids," said Chief Juvenile Officer Alberto Alvarez.
The sheer numbers being detained by the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center speak for themselves. "It used to be that we would hold about 25 kids annually," Alvarez said, "now I think we have 60."
Alvarez said that two major problems contribute to the increase in local juvenile crime. Little to no parental control is the main problem, he said, and substance abuse, particularly cocaine, alcohol and marijuana, was another. Parental substance abuse was also a concern.
"We're seeing usage and abuse (of illicit substances) in about 90-95 percent of the homes (of referred juveniles)," he said.
Alvarez related a story wherein he was questioning a youth from Winkler County (which Alvarez says has been "phenomenally busy"). "I asked him why there is so much crime going on in Winkler and he told me 'there's just a lot of drugs up there. . . it makes you think crazy things.'
Reeves County Juvenile Court's September report, released the first of this month, shows a total of 15 youths from Reeves County and 14 out-of-county youths detained.
Of the 16 referrals (only one of which was female), two were from the sheriff's office, 11 were from the police department and one was referred by the fire department.
A broad array of crimes were represented in the report. It stated one case of arson; one school related intervention; two assaults causing bodily injury; one terroristic threat; four cases of evading arrest; one burglary of a vehicle; one case of marijuana possession; one case of deadly conduct; one burglary of a building; one case of hindering the proceedings by disorderly conduct; one violation of a curfew; and one violation of a juvenile court order.
Maine opposes dump in West TexasBy MICHELLE MITTELSTADT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) October 7, 1997 - Last-minute opposition from an unlikely source has complicated House consideration of a deal that would allow Maine and Vermont to ship their low-level radioactive waste to West Texas. The vote was thrown into turmoil Monday, on the eve of its scheduled consideration, as lawmakers pondered a new twist: Opposition to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact by Maine nuclear utility executives.
Initially, compact supporters were open to postponing a vote for two weeks, giving Maine Yankee officials time to make their case. Later, a two-day delay was floated. But by Monday evening, it appeared the vote would be held later today, as scheduled.
The confusion resulted after Maine Yankee's top executive urged Congress to delay ratifying the compact, saying the landscape has changed since the deal was first envisioned.
In a letter to House members last week, Maine Yankee Chairman David Flanagan said his state's participation was based largely on the premise that the nuclear reactor would remain in operation for another decade.
Instead, the owners of the 25-year-old plant voted recently to close it permanently. Decommissioning could be complete long before the Texas waste dump is built, Flanagan said.
Ratification of the compact in its current form could add more than $40 million to the decommissioning costs, raising the cost of electricity in New England, he added.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, the Maine Republican who is spearheading the compact's passage in the Senate, believes it remains a good idea for Maine despite Maine Yankee's opposition.
"Sen. Snowe thinks that the compact is a good insurance policy for Maine people to ensure that no waste is stored in Maine," said spokesman Dave Lackey.
Opponents were heartened by Maine Yankee's reversal, suggesting it could affect the House vote.
Under terms of the compact, Texas would receive $25 million each from Maine and Vermont in exchange for freeing the states from having to develop long-term waste storage solutions.
The cash-for-trash deal was negotiated under terms of a 1980 law which nudges states to find a common solution for their radioactive waste problems.
The compact is supported by the legislatures of the three states, Texas Gov. George W. Bush and more than half of the Texas congressional delegation. Similar legislation was defeated in the House in 1995, setting the stage for this year's fight.
Although the compact is silent on location, Texas officials want to build the dump near Sierra Blanca, 90 miles east of El Paso. The state owns a 15,500-acre ranch near the impoverished town of less than 3,000 inhabitants. As a condition of receiving the dump, the community would receive $5 million.
Backers argue the compact protects Texas from being forced to accept waste from many other states, which it would be vulnerable to in the absence of an interstate agreement.
Critics contend the Sierra Blanca site is environmentally, diplomatically and geologically unsound - located just 16 miles from Mexico and the Rio Grande watershed. The site is in an area rattled in 1995 by the most violent earthquake to hit the region in 60 years. Fault lines run through the proposed site, which sits over an aquifer, raising the possibility of groundwater contamination, opponents say.
Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Mother Goose comes to townPECOS, October 7, 1997 - Children will have the chance to show off their costumes at the Annual Mother Goose and Friends Parade scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8.
Children from birth through 10 years of age are invited to dress up in costume and participate in the parade.
The annual event is sponsored by the Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce.
First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in the following divisions: individual, birth-four years of age; individual, 5-7 years old; individual 8-10 years of age; groups, decorated bicycle.
Honorable mention ribbons will be awarded to all other participants.
Participants should be at the drive-through parking lot of First National Bank, 100 E. Sixth Street, no later than 5 p.m.
Judging will begin promptly at 5 p.m., with the parade commencing at 5:30 p.m.
The parade will travel from the First National Bank down Oak Street to the West of the Pecos Museum. Little Miss Cantaloupe and runner-up have been invited to lead the way.
The Pecos seventh and eighth grade bands will be in the parade, as will the Pecos cheerleaders.
Ronald McDonald will be joining the group this year for the first time, as will the Sonic Cherry Lime and Sonic Hot Dog. For more information, contact the chamber office at 445-2406 or Debra Armstrong at 445-7180.
PBT board will address grievancesPECOS, October 7, 1997 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of Education will hold its regular meeting for the month of October on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Board Room at 1304 S. Park Street.
After approval of the last regular meeting and two special meetings, there will be a closed session to discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel and a private consultation with the board's attorney.
The meeting will then return to open session and the following items are on the agenda:
4-H will have booth at FairPECOS, October 7, 1997 - Local 4-H members will have a display booth at the Annual Reeves County Fall Fair featuring a heritage search.
"People who were former 4-H members or their families can come by the booth and sign up," said county extension agent Marie Cardenas.
Other plans 4-Hers have include a foods and nutrition project.
"It is an opportunity for the 4-Her to get hands on experience on the value of foods and the nutrients that they provide us," said Cardenas.
It is also an opportunity to get involved with other 4-H members from the surrounding area and most of all it is an opportunity for the 4-Her to be able to do something for their community, according to Cardenas.
The County Food Show will be held Oct. 21, but two workshops are scheduled before that, on Oct. 7 and Oct. 14.
"The reward will be knowing that you have participated in a project that was a benefit not only to you, but others in the community," said Cardenas.
Another reward for the 4-Her is that they have a chance to go to the District VI Food Show in Fort Stockton, if they place in either first, second or third, according to Cardenas.
Local youth who would like to participate need to find a recipe that they have been wanting to try or find one of their favorites.
The two workshops that will be held are to get the basics from nutrients to measuring accurately, as well as putting the knowledge learned to the test by preparing the recipes provided for class experience, according to Cardenas.
"Anyone interested in having a good time while they learn is invited to join us," said Cardenas. "Boys are as welcome to join, as are girls," she said.
Learning center to perform playBy CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, October 7, 1997 - The Creative Dramatics Class at the Pecos Learning Center will be performing a dinner theater production at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the center.
A holiday-theme play, "Symbols of Christmas," written by Angelin Beneke and published by Eldridge Publishing Co. will be performed by the drama group.
Tickets to the dinner theater event will cost $2.50 for children 12 and under, $4.00 for adults. Dinner will consist of spaghetti, salad, French bread and iced tea or water. Also, a quilt made by Roy Prewit will be raffled off at the play. Chances for the quilt are $1.00 each and are already available at the Pecos Learning Center.
The dinner theater is being presented to raise funds for the Pecos Learning Center, a non-profit organization.
"Symbols of Christmas" is about a boy named Denny whose leg is in a cast. Other characters are his sister, Betty, his mother, Santa Claus and a mail carrier. In the play, the symbols of Christmas are explored through the young boy's dreams and experiences.
The Creative Dramatics class at the Learning Center currently has 10 members and is taught by Reita Prewit and Terri Spence. All 10 children taking the class will perform in the play.
As well as performing plays, Creative Dramatics teaches children confidence and self-expression. "This will help them when they have to get up and talk in front of people, such as when they have to give a book report in front of their class," said Spence.
"We do a lot of warm-up exercises, such as facial expressions, and talk about expressing emotions," Spence said.
Limit on pay phone costs expiresBy JUAN B. ELIZONDO Jr.
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN (AP) October 7, 1997 - The state's 25-cent limit on the cost of local pay phone calls is expiring, but pay phone owners say they won't hang up on quarters immediately.
Under orders from the Federal Communications Commission, the Texas Public Utility Commission last week was forced to lift the state's lid on pay phone rates for local calls.
Starting Wednesday, owners of the nearly 150,000 Texas pay phones can set their own rates for local calls. FCC officials say they want competition to determine price.
Southwestern Bell, which owns about 120,000 Texas pay phones, plans an announcement regarding its pay phone rates later this week.
But federal officials who forced the impending price changes have yet to determine a key factor in where pay phone operators will set their rates. Because of that, state regulators and owners say prices won't immediately change.
The FCC, developing rules under the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act, is re-evaluating the amount of money credit card and long distance companies pay to phone owners when customers avoid the quarter-charge by dialing toll-free access numbers.
Pat Wood, chairman of the PUC, said if the so-called "dial around" compensation is set at a good rate for pay phone owners, the cost of coin-paid local calls may not need to be raised.
"That may be wishful thinking, but I hope not," Wood said Monday. "An extra dime means the coin tray fills up more quickly and someone has to be sent out more often. Labor costs more."
Scott Pospisil, executive director of the Texas Payphone Association, which represents pay phone owners, said prices eventually will increase.
But he added that few pay phone operators will go to the expense of reprogramming phones and reprinting information cards for higher coin charges until a final decision is made regarding dial around compensation.
"The issue of dial around compensation probably won't be decided until six, eight, ten months from now," Pospisil said. "Within the next year, you shouldn't look for local coin rates to be much different from what they are today."
One phone company's rates won't be going up, regardless of the dial-around compensation decision, its owner says.
Freefone, of Houston, owns just more than a dozen pay phone-like machines around Houston. The company, which sells advertising in its booths, offers free, three-minute local calls. It doesn't offer access to long distance calls.
"We've formalized the courtesy phone," said Patrick Palmer, Freefone president. "You hear all your life, there is no free lunch. With this, there is no hidden agenda."
Palmer said Freefone is in the process of franchising across Texas and the United States.
Freefone's advertising isn't new for the pay phone industry. But Palmer said ads for most pay phone operators is extra income. For Freefone, income comes from the ad space, not calls.
"It's a win-win situation," Palmer said.
Wood, who had not previously heard of Freefone, said he was excited by Palmer's effort. "That sounds like the kind of company we want to welcome," the chairman said.
Dale Elder, facility manager of the Aerodrome in Houston, said a Freefone booth at the practice arena for the Houston Aeros soccer team has cut down on the number of people asking for permission to use office phones and has helped people who otherwise would have been in a jam.
"It's been extremely valuable," Elder said. "It's just a nice gesture and it takes a lot of wear and tear off our phone in the pro shop."
Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Lillie Estelle McAlister, 84, died Monday, Oct, 6, 1997, in Odessa.
Viewing will be held all day, Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Graveside services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9, at Mount Evergreen.
McAlister was born April 5, 1913, in Mount Pleasant, had lived in Pecos since 1957 and was a Baptist.
Survivors include: her husband, Roscoe E. McAlister of Odessa; one son, Gene McAlister of Springfield, Tenn.; one daughter, Donna Jenkins of Odessa; two granddaughters; and one great-grandson.
WEATHERPECOS, October 7, 1997 - High Monday, 90, low this morning, 58. Thunderstorms pounded Texas today and the stormy weather was expected to continue across the state Wednesday. In West Texas, a few areas of light rain continued over the Permian Basin this morning. Temperatures were in the 60s. Winds were variable at 5 to 10 mph. West Texans can expect a chance of thunderstorms over most areas Wednesday. Highs will reach the 70s and 80s, except near the Rio Grande, where temperatures will reach the 90s. Lows will be in the 60s.
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