February 12, 1998
Student of the year settles for success
By RICK L. SMITH
PECOS, February 12, 1998 - Pecos High School senior Megan
Freeman is the kind of person who believes that making good
grades and succeeding in everything she does will take her
far in life. As a result of that beleif she carries a 4.0
grade point average while participating in several
extra-curricular activities. Last month Megan was chosen the
Pecos Chamber of Commerce Student of the Year.
Second to academics, Megan spends the most time swimming.
She has been a member of the Pecos High School Swim Team
since she was a freshman.
"Being on the swim team has taught me the true definition of
teamwork," she said. "And it has taught me how to persevere
in any situation."
Megan has also been a member of the Pecos High School
Marching and Symphonic bands since she started high school.
She has been first-chair French horn for all four years and
has advanced to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest for the
past three years.
Megan said she has had the most effect on her high school
through participation in the Student Council where she has
been her class vice president and the chairman of the
S.M.I.L.E. Committee since she became a member of the
council last year.
"I have enjoyed being a part of the Student Council because
it has allowed me to help make Pecos High School a better
place," she said.
She is also the vice president of the Pecos chapter of the
National Honor Society as well as the Secretary of Mu Alpha
Megan has the extra challenge of having Diabetes Mellitus
Type I since she was 12. She has to check her blood sugar
level four times a day, take insulin injections twice a day
and follow a strict diet every meal.
"Diabetes has not made my life easy, but it has not stopped
me from attaining my goals," she said. "In fact, having this
condition has made me realize how precious my life is and it
has taught me to never give up, because any obstacle can be
overcome with perseverance, will and determination."
School district reprimands volunteer firemen
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 12, 1998 - Is a volunteer with the fire
department free to leave his job to combat fires? Sometimes
yes and sometimes no, depending on his employer. For
employees of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district, as of
yesterday, the answer is maybe. It depends on the type of
A conflict which had been brewing since Friday, when several
volunteer firemen employed by the school system were issued
official reprimands for leaving school grounds to combat a
local structure fire, was resolved at an 11 a.m. meeting
Fire chief Jack Brookshire and two volunteer firemen
employed by the school district met with Superintendent Don
Love and Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Gome
Olibas and reached a compromise that all parties agreed to.
The problems began on Friday at an 8 a.m. meeting involving
Brookshire and a fire department contingent, including a
fireman representative, a safety officer, the assistant fire
chief and three volunteer firemen employed by the school
district who met with Olibas to discuss the issue. The
position of school administrators at that time was that no
school employee would be allowed to leave during school
hours to respond to a fire.
Ten minutes into the meeting a fire was reported at 408 East
11th Street and the firemen left the meeting to respond to
the alarm. When the three firemen returned to their jobs at
the school district later that day they were met with
letters of reprimand.
"My concern is with structure fires," said Brookshire on
Tuesday, Feb. 10. "We have six trucks and an equipment van.
To get all the trucks out we need 21 people." Brookshire
added that some dumpster and grass fires may be attended to
by one or two firemen.
But the fire at E. 11th was no dumpster fire. And the
department was shy two trucks because of lack of man power
-even with the school employees. In fact, Brookshire said,
the last three fires his team has been called out to found
the team short two trucks because there were not enough
people to man them. Brookshire estimated that about 50
percent of the volunteer firemen work out of town during the
day making them unavailable. This, he said, heightened the
need for those employed in town.
"If an employer is good enough to let these guys off work to
help with fire prevention programs at the schools," said
Brookshire, "then the school system should let the school
employees off to attend structure fires."
According to Brookshire, structure fires represent 25
percent of all fires and require a full contingent of
personnel to combat them. Pecos witnessed about 75 fires of
this type in 1997.
"We're making sure we are taking care of our business," said
Love an hour before the meeting. "We want to make sure we're
not putting our community in any danger. We're willing to
work with the fire department."
Brookshire went into the morning meeting full of optimism.
"They are really making every effort to work with us. I do
appreciate Mr. Love and Mr. Olibas for listening and working
with us on this."
According to Olibas and Brookshire, a compromise had been
reached before noon.
"Due to safety concerns," said Olibas, "we will let them
leave for the remainder of the year for structure fires. But
next year we will have a policy in place that will prohibit
them from leaving during school hours." Olibas said the
matter had been removed from the school board agenda for
Brookshire was also happy with the result of the talks. "I
am happy with the way things turned out and I think Mr.
Olibas and Mr. Love are satisfied," he said.
Of the four volunteer firemen employed by
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district, two are teacher's
aides, one is a janitor and one is a teacher.
Local candidates speak at forum
By RICK SMITH
PECOS, February 12, 1998 - About 80 people attended the
Pecos Business and Professional Women's Club "Meet the
Candidates" forum Tuesday night at the Quality Inn. Most of
the local candidates in the March 10 Democratic Primary
Election were present for the meeting and were allow
five-minute campaign speeches.
Incumbent Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo reminded the
crowd that when he first took office the county had an
$800,000 budget deficit. Galindo pointed out that he has
turned that budget deficit around to give the county reserve
funds while lowering taxes the past two years. He also
pointed out that progressive programs he has supported have
turned the Reeves County Detention Center into one of the
fastest growing employers in the county.
Linda Gholson, seeking to defeat Galindo for the county
judge seat, said she believed county commissioners should
work together as a unified team that would eliminate
controversy in county government. Gholson pointed out that
much of the turn around in the county budget was the result
of revenues generated by the Reeves County Detention Center
into the general budget of the county.
All three candidates for the district clerk position were
Incumbent district clerk Juana Jaquez said that her 11 years
experience as district clerk made her more qualified for the
position than her two opponents. She said that constantly
changing laws made the position of district clerk extremely
difficult. Jaquez pledged to continue providing friendly
professional service to the public if she is re-elected.
District clerk candidate Rosemary Chabarria said her five
years experience with the county tax office has prepared her
for the district clerk position.
Catarina "Kathy" Ybarra, also seeking the district clerk
position, said her recent training in computer systems and
U.S. and Texas government, as well as years of assisting her
mother in community politics has prepared her for the
Unopposed in his quest for the Precinct 2 county
commissioner's seat, David Castillo told those at the
meeting that as a Pecos businessman he is very pro-business.
He said the county should do everything it can to support
local small business.
"We have our roots in Reeves County," Castillo said. "Let's
cultivate the soil for our seedlings."
Incumbent Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh pointed
out he has held the JP-2 position since he was appointed in
1977. In his 20 years as Justice of the Peace Marsh has
attended more than 400 hours of JP training and 20 hours of
Wes Harpham, seeking the JP-2 spot, said his many years as a
peace officer had prepared him for the job.
In the hotly contested Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 race,
three of the four candidates were at the forum.
Janell Ward said she had eight years experience on the
Balmorhea city council and her husband was on the Balmorhea
"We have to train our kids about what's right and what's
wrong and the JP office serves on that level," Ward said.
Rosendo L. Carrasco, owner of Carrasco Grocery Store in
Balmorhea, said he was seeking the JP-3 office because a
number of people in the community had asked him to run for
"Their main concern was that we need a justice of the peace
who will be there full time," Carrasco said. "I will have my
office in the back of my store. The store is open from 6
a.m. until 10 p.m."
David Dominguez Vejil said if he is elected to the JP-3
position he will be available 24-hours a day. He proposes to
keep an office in both Balmorhea and Pecos.
Joel Madrid was not present at the meeting.
For the office of county clerk only Kristina Kaye Talamantes
was present, incumbent Dianne O. Florez did not attend the
Talamantes said she was raised in Reeves County and she
would like to pay back the community for all that was
invested in her as she grew up by serving in the county
clerk's office. She pledged to better serve the public by
leaving the county clerk's office open during the noon hour.
Both candidates for the county treasurer position attended
Incumbent county treasurer Linda Clark reminded those
present that she has held the county treasurer office for
five years and that she had nine years experience in similar
Terry Terraza said her 14 years of banking experience and
her present job as secretary at Pecos High School has
prepared her for the county treasurer seat.
Frank Spencer, who is unopposed on the ballot for county
surveyor, was not present at the forum.
Of the three candidates vying for the Reeves County
Commissioner, Precinct 4 seat only two were present at the
Mari Maldonado told the crowd that while all holders of
public office are public servants, not all office holders
see things from the same perspective. Maldonado said she
believed it was time for a woman county commissioner. "It's
called progress," she said.
Precinct 4 incumbent commissioner Bernardo "Chaquen"
Martinez said that when a community problem is pointed out
to him he always investigates the situation and then takes
the action he deems necessary.
Gilberto M. Rayos was not present.
Unopposed in his bid for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4,
Lamberto Herrera was not present at the forum.
Unopposed incumbent Democratic county chairman Robert Dean
was present for the meeting but did not speak.
Boxer stabbed at Pecos High School
PECOS, February 12, 1998 - One Pecos High School student was
stabbed Wednesday afternoon, but not many details were
available as of presstime.
Boxer Gilbert Plasencia was the victim of a stabbing
incident at Pecos High School Wednesday afternoon, Pecos
Warbirds trainer Roy Juarez said.
Plasencia was taken to Reeves County Hospital, where he was
treated for his injury and released, assistant administrator
Iris Rives said.
Plasencia was scheduled to be one of four Junior Olympic
Division boxers the Warbirds would have in the Golden Gloves
tournament in Pecos this weekend, along with Open Division
boxer Jesus Marruffo.
Pecos Police Department would not provide any information on
the incident and school officials could not be reached for
PECOS, February 12, 1998 - High Wednesday, 67, low this
morning, 42. An upper level disturbance moving eastward is
expected to bring scattered rain to most of the state and
the possibility of some snow to the Panhandle. Forecasts
called for rain possibly mixed with snow in the Panhandle
tonight and Friday. No significant snowfall is expected.
There is a slight chance of showers tonight over the Concho
Valley and Edwards Plateau. Skies will be clearing tonight
and Thursday over the rest of West Texas. Lows tonight will
be in the 30s and 40s, highs Friday will be in the 50s in
the Panhandle and in the 60s and 70s elsewhere in West Texas.
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