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October 29, 1997
No VA clinic planned for Pecos
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - Pecos area veterans needing the services
of a Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic now must travel at least as far
as Fort Stockton. Apparently, there are no plans to change that
situation in the near future.
When applications were made to expand the number of VA clinics a
couple of years ago Pecos was not among those cities chosen to
house the clinics. Of all the applicants who met with VA
representatives in Big Spring at the time, Fort Stockton, Abilene
and San Angelo now have operational clinics.
According to Fred Cox, Big Spring VA Director of Community
Relations, additional clinics in Odessa and Hobbs (NM) will be
operational in three to four months. Clinics in Monahans and
Stanford have also been approved to open some time in the future.
"They said they were going to do all these wonderful things," said
Reeves County Hospital Interim Administrator Terry Andris. "but
Congress didn't allocate enough money."
According to Cox, Pecos was not selected for "various reasons,"
but he could not speculate as to how the Town of Pecos could be
made more attractive to the VA in the future.
Andris said that one of the reasons that no clinic is coming to
Pecos is that "they (VA) wanted clinics in their own
hospitals...So, we're on hold unless there is something new."
Meanwhile the VA in Big Springs, said Cox, will only be working
with the approved cities.
Students, study club brighten downtown
By KAREN OGLESBY
Special to the Enterprise
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - Lamar Middle School students joined
Modern Study Club women Saturday in painting the back side of a
block of old buildings in downtown Pecos. "It was National Make a
Difference Day' and I think we made a difference," said Marina
Underwood, one of the teachers involved in the project. Underwood
and Rhonda Gallagher, teachers in the sixth-grade gifted and
talented program at Lamar, invited all students who were
interested to participate. About 20 students, including some from
the lower grades as well, worked from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the
alley behind the old J.C. Penney building. Modern Study Club
members helped mix paint and add finishing touches to the job.
Several parents were also in the volunteer workforce. The gifted
and talented class teachers wanted Lamar students to participate
in National Make a Difference Day' on Oct. 25, and they were also
aware of Modern Study Club's recent beautification efforts in
downtown Pecos. "Several months ago, the club painted the building
on the corner (Third and Oak streets) and made it very
attractive," Underwood said. "We thought it would be nice to help
the club continue with their project." Saturday, the group painted
from Third to Second Street, more than halfway up the back wall of
the buildings. Study Club member Joyce Morton said she would
enlist the help of someone with a "cherry picker" to complete the
top portion. Morton said the study club has plans for other
painting projects in Pecos in the future.
Separatist leader avoided surrender talks
By EDUARDO MONTES
Associated Press Writer
ALPINE, Texas (AP) October 29, 1997 - Armed separatists were
cooperative during negotiations to release two hostages, but
things changed when it came to attempts to bring them out of the
mountains, a Texas Ranger has testified.
Republic of Texas leader Richard McLaren was not interested in
Lottery sales down, director departs
AUSTIN (AP) October 29, 1997 - Members of the Texas Lottery
Commission were to meet today to discuss mounting problems in the
wake of a report that sales are slumping for the first time in
five years and the departure of the lottery's new marketing
The slumping sales report follows five years of shattering
national sales records.
In addition to discussing the sales slump, the three commission
members will also discuss the future of Lottery Director Lawrence
Officials say that sales for the first eight weeks of the new
budget year are down $7.6 million and well below the amount
legislators were counting on to help balance the state's budget.
Deputy Lottery Director Linda Cloud told The Dallas Morning News
Tuesday that "a combination of things" has caused the sales slump,
but she declined further comment.
The resignation of Don Rogers, who assumed the post as marketing
director in August, was confirmed Tuesday by an agency spokeswoman
who would not say if he resigned or was fired from his
$65,000-a-year job. "It is my understanding he is not employed
here any longer," said spokeswoman Marcy Goodfleisch. "Beyond
that, we don't discuss personnel matters."
Rogers could not be reached for comment, the Austin
American-Statesman reported today.
Last week's ticket sales of $56.8 million were the lowest since
the week ending Sept. 30, 1995, when sales fell to $55.8 million.
The lottery must sell $77 million in tickets each week in order to
meet revenue projections in the state budget that began Sept. 1.
The ticket sales have topped that figure only once when it hit $91
million when the Lotto Texas jackpot was $55 million.
Littwin was hired in June to replace Nora Linares, who was fired
in January after confirming that a longtime friend had worked as a
consultant for lottery operator GTECH.
Less state funds for probation department
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - Probationers supervised by the Community
Supervision and Corrections Department of Reeves, Loving and Ward
counties paid $531,392 in fees during the fiscal year ended Aug.
Felony probation generated $314,880, while misdemeanors accounted
for $216,512, director Camilla Blum told Reeves County
In her annual report, Blum said the department has and will
continue to strive to provide necessary punishment and
rehabilitation for those violators assigned by the courts.
"It is a further objective that this department respect and
protect the right of the public to be safeguarded from criminal
activity," Blum said.
The corrections department offers drug/alcohol evaluation and
education, literacy classes, GED testing, urinalysis testing,
electronic monitoring, surveillance supervision and community
The declining number of individuals being placed on probation in
one of the counties led to funds from the state being cut by
$6,000, Blum said.
"Therefore, the projected amount of fees for fiscal year 1998 may
not equal what has been collected in the past few years," she said.
Goals for 1998 include introduction of a day reporting center for
Reeves and Ward counties, more efficient use of community service
manpower, an in-house life skills program, increased counseling
for substance abuse graduates and their families, victims' liaison
and increased use of all sanctions to provide the community with
diligent supervision of offenders placed on community supervision.
Loving County had two individuals on indirect supervision for
felony convictions, while none were on misdemeanor probation for
the fiscal year, Blum reported. Their community service for the
Loving County Sheriff's Department totaled 165-man hours with a
value of $825 savings to taxpayers.
Probation fees, costs, restitution and fines paid in Loving County
total totaled $2,030. Ward County averaged 74 felons on direct
supervision and 111 on indirect supervision for the year. Another
96 were on misdemeanor direct and 122 on indirect supervision.
Of those, 10 felony and 12 misdemeanor revocations were issued by
Community service restitution man hours in Ward County totaled
8,277.5, for an estimated value of $41,387.
Probation fees, cost, restitution, attorney fees, fines, Crime
Stoppers, extradition and administration fees totaled $207,605,
with more than half contributed by misdemeanor violators.
In Reeves County, the monthly average on direct felony supervision
was 90, with 125 on indirect supervision.
Misdemeanors were evenly divided, with 83 each on direct and
indirect supervision. Nine felons had their probation revoked,
while 23 misdemeanors were revoked by the courts.
Total man hours of community service restitution was 10,509,
valued at $52,545.
Grand total community service restitution for the district was
18,951.1 hours, valued at $94,757 (at $5 per hour).
Reeves County collected $322,758 in probation, costs, attorney
fees, restitution, fines, extradition, administration and Crime
Total district expenditures were $547,809.
Revenue includes state aid, $101,202; probation fees, $188,000;
surveillance supervision grant, $98,334; Literacy grant, $30,952;
substance abuse education grant, $14,694; community corrections
grant, $56,856; and continued counseling grant, $15,471.
Reeves and Ward counties contributed $8,300.
Officials, volunteers will gather to repair lights
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - Hard work will be filled with fun
Saturday morning, when Pecos Chamber of Commerce officials and
volunteers gather to repair Christmas lights.
More volunteers are still needed to help refurbish the Christmas
lights that are placed on Third, Cedar and Eddy Streets during the
"We want to make this a fun occasion, but we will also be working
very hard to accomplish this task," said Chamber of Commerce
Director Tom Rivera.
Rivera told chamber officials at a previous meeting that he
would be cooking hamburgers and making it a fun day for all who
would like to participate in this venture.
The group has raised $7,491 to help refurbish the lights. More
Christmas lights will be placed on Pecos streets during the
holidays this year than any previous year.
The event will begin at 9 a.m., at the airport hangar, located
behind the Pecos Athletic Swimming Pool.
City officials attend Ft. Worth conference
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - Fort Worth, home of Billy Bob's, The
Kimbell Art Museum and Texas Motor Speedway, will host an
assortment of civic leaders, including several from Pecos, at this
weekend's Texas Municipal League annual conference and exhibition.
The conference, that opens tomorrow and runs through Saturday,
Nov. 1, is a great place for networking, said Mayor Dot Stafford.
Representatives from city governments across Texas attend TML
conferences. "We try to all cover different workshops," Stafford
Sessions at the conference include such topics as economic
development, getting citizens involved in government, protecting
city right of ways and creating great councils. Also featured are
updates on water and wastewater and electric deregulation.
Highlighted speakers include U.S. Representative, and former Mayor
of Fort Worth, Kay Granger; Lowell Catlett, Agricultural Economics
and Business Department Professor at New Mexico State University;
and Keith Harrell, former marketing executive for IBM.
Stafford said that, as well as herself, City Manager Kenneth Neal,
Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire, Water Director Octavio Garcia, and
some members of the city council will be attending the conference.
Texas economy remains strong
AUSTIN, October 29, 1997 - As of August, the Texas economy has
remained strong and all signs indicate it will remain strong into
the early part of next year, according to a report recently issued
by the Texas State Comptroller's office.
"The Texas economy has been ticking along at a steady pace so far
this year, and I expect that strong and stable pattern to continue
through at least the early part of next year," State Comptroller
John Sharp said. Sharp released the latest Index of Leading Texas
Economic Indicators, that is at 130.9, up 2.7 percent compared to
one year ago. "The key indicators of continuing economic strength
are consumer confidence, a strong job market and the Texas Stock
Index," Sharp said. The Texas Stock Index was at 430.8 in August,
up 98.1 percent compared to one year ago. The TSI has been the
strongest component of the Index of Leading Texas Economic
Indicators for five consecutive months, reflecting investors'
confidence in the Texas economy and the potential for businesses
to prosper. Texas consumer confidence is up 15.4 percent compared
to one year ago, and up 7.2 percent compared to one month ago.
Texans appear to have few financial worries. Retail sales rose 2.9
percent in August, compared to the same period last year. The
Texas Help Wanted Index, a measurement of job listings in Texas
newspapers, is up 9.15 percent compared to one year ago. New
business incorporations are up 4.2 percent compared to one year
ago. In August, Texas gained nearly 200,000 new jobs, an increase
of 2.4 percent compared to the same month last year. Service
sector employment rose 2.4 percent, manufacturing employment rose
just a fraction, and construction employment grew by 4.5 percent.
Home building accounts for many of those new construction jobs.
Rebounding from last month's dip, the number of new home
construction permits issued in August is up 4.1 percent compared
to one year ago. Nationally, sales of existing homes are at an
all-time high, due to a strong economy and attractive mortgage
interest rates. In Texas, demand for both new and existing homes
remains extremely strong. Texas factories were busy in August. The
average number of manufacturing hours per work week rose 1.2
percent compared to one year ago, and 1.9 percent compared to the
previous month. Orders for durable goods were up 2.7 percent,
while orders for non-durable goods were down 0.4 percent.
Unemployment claims are up 4.1 percent compared to one year ago.
However, the Texas unemployment rate is down by 0.2 percent. The
price of oil is down 11.7 percent compared to one year ago. In
August, Texas crude was priced at $17.72 per barrel. Compared to
the previous month, oil prices were up 2.5 percent. The State
Comptroller's office calculates the monthly Index of Leading Texas
Economic Indicators to help forecast changes in the Texas economy
up to six months in advance. The Index is also useful in comparing
the Texas economy to the nation as a whole. The U.S. Index of
leading Economic Indicators is currently at 104.3, up 1.9 percent
compared to one year ago. Increases in the money supply and orders
for factory goods are the most significant positives for the
national economy, while jumps in unemployment claims are the most
significant negative factor.
After a brief downturn in August, the Texas Stock Index has more
than made up for lost ground by rebounding to 500.8, the highest
level in TSI history," Sharp said. "The Index rose 57.7 points, or
13.3 percent in September, and is now 113.4 percent higher than
one year ago," Sharp said. The Standard and Poor's 500, which
tracks a nationwide sampling of stock prices, also rose in
September, gaining 47.8 points, or 5.3 percent.
Stock markets good medicine for economy
WASHINGTON (AP) October 29, 1997 - Wildly gyrating stock markets
may not be good for investors with weak stomachs, but they could
turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the U.S. economy.
All the market turmoil, both in the United States and many
Southeast Asian countries, will most likely end up slowing U.S.
economic growth in coming months, many analysts are now
predicting. And that slowdown is just what the Federal Reserve had
been hoping would occur to keep inflation at bay.
"This had been an economy that was threatening to grow too fast.
This turmoil could turn out to be a substitute for Federal Reserve
actions to raise interest rates," said Robert Dederick, economist
at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago.
Many analysts predicted that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
Greenspan, scheduled to testify before the congressional Joint
Economic Committee today, would signal less concern about a
runaway economy than in testimony last month.
Before the market gyrations of recent days, many analysts had been
betting the Fed would raise interest rates when it next meets on
Nov. 12. That prediction was based on worries Greenspan expressed
At that time, the Fed chairman fretted that the economy was on an
"unsustainable track" with the re-emergence of inflation the
greatest threat facing the economy.
Greenspan also warned that it would be unrealistic to expect that
the stock market would continue rising at anywhere near the rate
of the past two years.
That warning continued a refrain Greenspan first voiced in
December of last year when he worried that "irrational exuberance"
could be pushing stock market prices to levels not supportable by
the underlying economy.
The market ignored Greenspan's original warning but may have a
more sober view of the situation in light of the record 554-point
sell-off on Monday. Even though the market rebounded Tuesday with
a record 337-point gain, the wild volatility, triggered by turmoil
in Southeast Asian markets, had captured the attention of American
"The markets have been taught a lesson. They were blindsided by
the Asian financial crisis because American investors had become
too optimistic about the earnings outlook and prospect for growth
in the United States," said David Jones, economist at Aubrey G.
Lanston & Co.
Even if the stock market continues roaring back as it did Tuesday,
the sobering impact of Monday's plunge could leave stock owners
less confident of gains and therefore less likely to spend,
knocking down overall consumer spending, which accounts for
two-thirds of economic growth.
Bruce Steinberg, chief economist at Merrill Lynch in New York,
said he was shaving one-half percentage point off economic growth
Analysts said the turmoil in Asian markets will trim American
manufacturing exports. The Pacific Rim already accounts for nearly
one-third of all U.S. export sales.
Also contributing to a belief that the central bank will remain on
the sidelines for the rest of the year and into 1998 was a
favorable Labor Department report Tuesday showing that businesses
are holding the line on wages and benefits despite the lowest
unemployment rate in 24 years.
Wages and benefits increased just 0.8 percent in the
July-September quarter, the same as the previous quarter.
Services are incomplete for Manuel Roman, 41, who died, Wednesday,
Oct. 29, 1997, in Hobbs, N.M. Martinez Funeral Home is in charge
PECOS, October 29, 1997 - High Tuesday, 81, low this morning, 44.
Temperatures will continue climbing across Texas as the warming
trend continues tonight and Thursday. It will be mostly sunny
during the day and fair tonight in West Texas. Lows tonight will
be in the 30s in the mountains and in the 40s and 50s elsewhere in
West Texas. Highs Thursday will be in the 60s in the mountains and
in the 70s and 80s across the rest of West Texas.
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