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Daily Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Reeves County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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November 26, 1997

Students to bring cheer to ill, elderly

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 26, 1997 - It started out as a club project
and has branched out to include students at Bessie Haynes
Elementary School.

"We decided to do this project, instead of doing secret
pals," said Delta Kappa Gamma club member Cynthia
Armbruster, who is also librarian at the school.

Fourth and fifth graders made 100 place mats and 100 place
cards to be distributed with Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday
with the county's Meals on Wheels.

"We want to teach these children to be a little bit more
appreciative, to care about others and to think of others,
not just themselves," said Armbruster.

Club members also want to do more to help the community and
those less fortunate, she added.

This project consisted of the students creating
Thanksgiving-related illustrations on construction paper.

"The students are hoping to bring cheer to the ill and
elderly during the holidays," said Armbruster.

Thanksgiving dinner will be available at the Reeves County
Civic Center on Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at
2 p.m. The group in charge of this special event will also
be delivering Meals on Wheels that day and will deliver the
place mats and place cards made by the students.

This idea, which originated from the Delta Kappa Gamma
organization, is just one of many the group has planned.

"Instead of secret pals, we will be doing a project each
month and hopefully include the students again," said

The project for this month and December will be to help
Meals on Wheels, in January and February the group plans to
do something for the hospital and nursing home.

"This is not just for our club," said Armbruster.

Armbruster stated that the group is also interested in
getting the children involved in serving the community.

Two-percent electric reduction delayed

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 26, 1997 - Council members were informed
yesterday morning that the first two-percent reduction in
customer rates, proposed by Texas-New Mexico Power Company
in their transition to competition plan, will not go into
effect on the anticipated date of Jan. 1, 1998.

Pauline Moore, West Texas Business Unit Manager for TNMP,
said she could not give a definite date when the first of
three scheduled rate reductions would become effective,
saying that the company is still in mediation. Jan. 1, 1998,
marks the beginning of the proposed five-year transition
period when residential customers, according to TNMP's
transition plan, were to benefit from an approximate
six-percent reduction of rates.

The council voted to approve and accept a resolution joining
the Town of Pecos City with the Coalition of Texas-New
Mexico Power service area cities in connection with the TNMP
plan. The resolution also holds that the city will employ
the law firm of Naman, Howell, Smith and Lee, P.C., to
represent the interests of the city, with the understanding
that the city will be reimbursed for all "reasonable
expenses" incurred in retaining the firm.

Allen H. King, partner of the law firm, is authorized under
the resolution to negotiate and make agreements on behalf of
the city, after obtaining approval of the Steering Committee.

Representatives of Classic Cable came under questioning by
the council, with Dot Stafford asking that Classic Cable
grant customers a three dollar reimbursement for all the
recent outages. "Since we signed with Classic Cable in '95,
there have been ongoing problems," she said.

Ben Hernandez, Classic Cable chief technician, who just
relocated to Monahans from Wyoming, asked that he be given
until the next council meeting to research the problem.
Hernandez will present his findings to the city council at
its meeting on the morning of Dec. 11.

The city's contract with Butts Recycling was terminated,
with the result that the city will now lease baling
equipment from Butts, employ their own person to run the
machine and Butts will continue to pick up the recyclables:
paying the city the appropriate price for the materials it
recycles. A grant secured by the Permian Basin Regional
Planning Commission, in the amount of $10,000 a year, will
provide for the city's expenses.

Because of the weight of glass bottles compared to the fee
offered for them, the city may not be recycling the bottles.
David Madril, former recycling program manager with Butts,
suggested that the council begin a verbal campaign to
encourage citizens of Pecos to use aluminum cans whenever

County Judge Jimmy Galindo was at yesterday's meeting to
tell the council that he really appreciated the fact that
the city was considering a deal where the city would become
responsible for picking up all dispatch calls for the county.

He said, "If the council is agreeable, we'd (the county)
like to start providing incarceration (for the city)."
County and city officials have been discussing entering into
a contract whereby Reeves County would provide incarceration
of prisoners free of charge to the city in exchange for the
city police department taking charge of emergency dispatch
for the county.

The council voted to renew CPA Dan Painter's contract with
the city for the next fiscal year. Painter will audit the
city's financial reports. Both council members Randy Graham
and Johnny Terrazas were very pleased with what they had
seen of Painter's work so far. His fee is $12,732 annually.

The ambulance collection reports showed some improvement
this month, as City Finance Director Steve McCormick pointed
out. Scott W. Johnson, City Attorney, said that he was in
the process of transferring the accounts and had sent a
termination letter to Management Koncepts. Johnson is
responsible for collecting delinquent accounts after the
contract with Management Koncepts is ended.

Section 22-3 of the Code of Ordinances was amended,
redefining the probationary period for city employees as
three months (six months for police department employees)
with no sick leave or insurance. Also, an ordinance granting
city employees additional rights and credits under the Texas
Municipal Retirement System was passed unanimously.
According to the ordinance, any municipal employee who is a
member of the System and did not receive credit for their
probationary period (and employed prior to Sept. 1, 1989)
may obtain prior service credit for the period.

To acquire prior service credit the employee must turn in a
detailed written statement of the service claimed with the
City Secretary within a year of Nov. 24, 1997.

The council also approved budget cuts, totaling $146,800;
the new line-up of officers of the fire department; tax
collector's report; and city financials.

The streets of Palmer and Pinehurst are to be renamed South
and North Frontage for 911 purposes, but will retain their
former physical addresses. Also, the council approved the
purchase of a used vactor water truck by the water
department, pending the investigation thereof. Water
Superintendent Octavio Garcia said the truck, according to
his sources, is a 1982 model with only 16,000 miles. The
truck, which is housed in Albuquerque N.M., has spent a
number of years in storage and will cost the city $47,900.

The council went into executive session to consider a pay
raise for Geneva Martinez, City Secretary. Martinez received
an increase to her salary and her travel allowance.

High speed chase nets car thieves

The Monahans News

PECOS, November 26, 1997 - Pecos police shot out a tire on
the vehicle of fleeing auto theft suspects at 7:55 a.m.
yesterday on I-20 near the 13-mile marker in an incident
that had its roots in Monahans.

The officer who fired the shots said he had no choice
because the suspects were forcing other motorists off the
highway. When the incident was over, one man was in the
Reeves County Jail, a youth was in the custody of juvenile
authorities and police in Virginia were seeking governor's
warrants for extradition.

Sergeant Jim Vaughn said he and fellow Pecos Officer Mike
Dominguez noticed a suspicious vehicle and eventually pulled
it over on a traffic violation (no seat belts were fastened)
at the 40-mile marker.

As Dominguez approached the vehicle, Vaughn reports, the
driver put the car in gear and took off. Dominguez and
Vaughn pursued in their police cruiser.

When the suspects' vehicle's plates were called in, a
computer check found the white, 1982 Buick had been stolen
from the 800 bock of South Stockton Avenue in Monahans
earlier that morning. The pursuit continued at speeds in
excess of 100 mph from the 40-mile marker to the 13-mile
marker west bound on I-20 until Vaughn shot out the right
back tire of the vehicle.

"The only reason I shot out the tire was they were running
people off the road," said Vaughn. "No one was hurt and
there was no other damage to the vehicle.."

According to Monahans Police Chief David Watts, when the
vehicle's plates were checked, it was found the owner of the
vehicle lived in Monahans and those people were notified.
"We asked them about the car and they said it was right
outside," said Watts. "When they went to look, they said the
car was gone."

"Both suspects are thought to be from Virginia. Both are
male; one is a juvenile; the other is an 18-year-old. They
both confessed to stealing the car and charges will be filed
both in Monahans and in Virginia," reports Watts.

Parents absent from school workshops

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 26, 1997 - What if you threw a party and
nobody came? Well, that is similar to what is happening each
month when workshops are held for the parents of Crockett
Middle School and Pecos High School students.

According to PHS Parental Involvement Aide Olga Valdez, even
parents who attend programs like these when they concern
their elementary school-age children don't attend the
programs for their high school-age children.

Valdez said that she has tried various methods of attracting
the parents of high school students to seminars, workshops
and Parent/Teacher Organization meetings over the past
couple of years, but to no avail.

The parental involvement department gave students flyers
announcing the meetings. Instead of taking the flyers home
to their parents they threw them away. School janitors
brought the flyers back to the department heads telling that
they had found them in trash cans.

"I've been in parental involvement for 10 years, and parents
of elementary students have attended meetings and block
parties, but not the high school sessions," said Valdez.

Word-of-mouth, talking directly to parents and having
notices published in the Pecos Enterprise and read on the
radio haven't worked either, she said.

Valdez added that nobody attended the last workshop that was
held, and she wondered if people hadn't heard about it, and
that is why she had yesterday's meeting announced on the
radio and in the paper.

If any parents of Crockett or PHS students had shown up for
the workshop, they would have had the opportunity to watch a
video called "ADHD in the Classroom - Strategies for
Teachers" followed by a discussion, where the book Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Questions and Answers for
Parents by Gregory S. Greenberg and Wade F. Horn was to be
used for reference.

Valdez said the workshops are different from the monthly
practical parenting seminars held for all
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD parents. These workshops are for
parents of students attending particular campuses and the
parental involvement department tries to hold the workshops
twice a month, although other activities sometimes take
precedence over the workshops.

The workshops are held in the parents resource room,
classroom 11, at the Bessie Haynes Elementary campus.
Mondays and Thursdays are set aside for Bessie Haynes and
Pecos Elementary. Tuesdays are for Crockett and PHS.
Wednesday is the day for parents of students at Lamar and
Zavala Middle Schools, and Fridays are for Austin Elementary
and Pecos Kindergarten parents.

Valdez said that parents have never come to the eighth grade
and high school workshops.

"I don't know if they feel they just don't need it anymore
or don't care or what," Valdez said.

"In a way, I feel disappointed because it tells me the
parents don't even care...I've tried everything different
ways, and it's for the parents to help their children. I'm
reading (the parental reaction as) 'they're not as
important' or 'I don't have the time for that child

Valdez said that she has tried to get students to get their
parents to come to the workshops, and the response of the
students often has been, "My parents don't even care if I'm
in school. They won't care about this."

Economic index indicates strong economy

AUSTIN, November 26, 1997 - A strong Texas economy may be
gaining strength as the year draws to a close, so says State
Comptroller John Sharp.

Sharp recently released the latest Index of Leading Texas
Economic Indicators, which is at 131.2, up 2.9 percent
compared to one year ago.

"The key indicators of continuing economic strength are
homebuilding activity, a strong job market, and the Texas
Stock Index," Sharp said.

For the sixth consecutive month, the strongest of Texas'
economic indicators is the Texas Stock Index. The Texas
Stock Index was at 482.2 in September, up 112.8 percent
compared to one year ago.

"The September TSI reading does not reflect the stock
market's October gyrations. However, investors remain very
confident about the Texas economy and the outlook for Texas
businesses," Sharp said.

The number of new homes under construction rose sharply in
September. Nearly 11,000 construction permits were issued,
up 15.7 percent compared to one year ago, and up 5.3 percent
compared to the previous month. Demand for Texas homes, both
new and existing, remains very strong.

The Texas Help Wanted Index, a measurement of job listings
in Texas newspapers, is up 14 .8 percent compared to one
year ago, and up 5.6 percent compared to the previous month.

Texas gained about 200,000 jobs in September, for an
increase of 2.7 percent compared to the same period last
year. Most of the new jobs are in the service sector, which
has grown 2.8 percent in the past year. Construction
employment is up 4.8 percent.

New business incorporations are up 3.2 percent compared to
one year ago. The average number of manufacturing hours per
work week is up 1.2 percent. September unemployment claims
are up 7.2 percent compared to one year ago. At the same
time, the Texas unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percent.

"Texas consumer confidence is up 9.7 percent compared to one
year ago. Retail sales are up 5.5 percent. Both of these
indicators should boost retailers' optimism about the
upcoming holiday sales period," Sharp said.

The price of crude oil is down 21.1 percent compared to one
year ago. In September, Texas crude sold for $17.34 per
barrel. Oil prices should begin to climb as winter settles
in and demand increases for heating oil.

The Comptroller's office produces the monthly Index of
Leading Texas Economic Indicators to help predict economic
ups and downs before they occur, and to help compare the
Texas economy to the nation as a whole.

The U.S. Index of Leading Economic Indicators is currently
at 104.5, up 2 percent compared to one year ago, and up 0.2
percent compared to the previous month.


Annalou Rochester

Annalou M. Rochester, 78, of Alpine, died Monday, Nov. 24,
1997, in an Odessa hospital.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Wednesday, at Our Lady of
Peace Catholic Church in Alpine with Father Rick Ruiz
officiating. Burial will be in Balmorhea Cemetery.

Rochester was born Nov. 17, 1919, in Ladonia, Tx. She
graduated from Texas Women's College in Denton, with a
degree in Home Economics. Rochester joined the US Navy WAVS
and served in World War II. She moved to Alpine in 1952 and
was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the Alpine
Cemetery Association.

Rochester was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred
Rochester in 1981.

Survivors include numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alpine
Library of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Alpine, Tx.


PECOS, November 26, 1997 - High Tuesday, 85, low this
morning, 39. Thanksgiving Day may be wet in some areas, but
most of the state will enjoy a fair day. In West Texas a
trough of low pressure extended across the south plains and
low rolling plains early this morning. Temperatures ranged
from the upper 30s around the Marfa Plateau to the lower 60s
over the Concho Valley. West Texans can expect low clouds
and fog Thursday and there is a chance of rain. Highs will
reach the 60s and 70s, except for 80s near the Big Bend
Valleys. Lows will be in the 40s.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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