February 13, 1998
Volunteers make Pecos a better town
By RICK L. SMITH
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - Some people always seem to find
extra time to help out the community. Donnie Dominguez, the
Pecos Chamber of Commerce 1997 Outstanding Director, is one
of those people.
On top of his job as a correctional officer-3 at the Reeves
County Detention Center, working at his father's business,
Pecos Pest Control, and in addition to his duties on the
chamber board of directors, Donnie takes on many volunteer
"Donnie is a real hard worker and even though he has shift
work he has never let us down," said Paul Hinojos. "He has
always supported the chamber 100 percent, even when he's
tired. His family has always helped the community."
Donnie gets his dedication to the community honestly. Both
his father, Fred Dominguez, and his sister, Velma Dominguez,
have received the Outstanding Director award from the
chamber in the past.
"I got involved when I first got back from the military,"
Donnie said. "My dad and sister were already involved and I
enjoyed doing it.
"I think we are the only family in town to have three
members receive the Outstanding Director award. I'm honored
to get the award and now that I have it I won't stop
performing to the best of my abilities," Donnie said.
Some of the activities Donnie has been involved in include:
chairman of the annual barbecue cook-off for the past four
years, co-chairman of the rodeo grounds for the fall fair
concert last year, setting up for the Golden Gloves bouts
and cleaning up afterward, he is a Meals on Wheels
volunteer, he helps coach his daughter's basketball team and
his son's T-ball team and he is a member of St. Catherine's
"I recall when he was chairman of the barbecue cook-off,"
Hinojos said. "Donnie was there from the beginning of setup
to the end of the judging. He then went home for a 30 minute
shower and came back to work the concert.
"Donnie worked all one night and all the next day, all that
night and all the following day again for the concert. He
worked 48 hours without sleep. There are not many people you
can get out there to do that."
Donnie said he gains a sense of satisfaction from his
volunteer work. One of his favorite duties is the barbecue
"I like the cookoff because it gets everybody together
having fun cooking, seeing who is the best," he said. "Then
we get to give the awards out."
As a member on the chamber board of directors for the next
three years Donnie hopes to see more chamber members
involved in the local Meals On Wheels.
"Last year I got involved with the Meals On Wheels because I
was on the board," he said. "Once I got involved I saw how
this was needed to deliver meals to needy. I wish more
people would get involved, we're always looking for more
About 110 people in the area depend on the Meals On Wheels
program to provide food.
Hinojos added that Donnie's wife, Pamela, is also a big
supporter of the chamber and is often found at his side
"If there were more like Donnie, the town would be in a
better position and condition," Hinojos said.
'97 school expenses exceed by $1 million
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - Hard news from the law firm of
Card, Graham and Co. found its way before the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board in the form of the annual
financial report for the year ending Aug. 31, 1997.
According to Robert Card, CPA, who presented the findings to
Balmorhea may get new natural gas provider
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
BALMORHEA, February 13, 1998 -West Texas Gas representatives
J.J. King and Brendan Cole presented a franchise proposal to
the Balmorhea City Council Thursday to provide natural gas
to the city.
King said West Texas Gas plans to bid on purchase of the gas
distribution system now serving Balmorhea, which Southwest
Texas Municipal Gas is offering for sale.
Should they be the successful bidder, the company would like
to continue serving Balmorhea, King said. If the council
approves the franchise, the city would receive 2 percent
street and alley fees that they don't currently receive
because Southwest Texas does not have a franchise agreeement.
Councilors took the proposal to study and vote on after the
auction sale, which is set for March 23.
They also took copies of a preliminary report on the
planning and capacity building fund grant, for which a
public hearing had been scheduled.
Engineers Abidur Khan and Victor Thompson, with Frank X.
Spencer and Associates, left the report with the council
after learning the public hearing had been postponed.
Khan said his firm is conducting a study similar to that
done in Pecos on the city's sewers.
The council also agreed to fund a web page for the Balmorhea
Chamber of Commerce, using hotel/motel taxes.
In other business the council:
* Added Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to the list of
approved city holidays;
* Adopted an interlocal agreement for mutual aid in disaster
assistance for cities and counties of the Permian Basin
* Agreed to build restrooms in C.T. Gray Park, using city
and volunteer labor;
* Approved use of state prisoners to clean brush from the TP
Lake road and dam;
* Heard a report from Pat Brijalba that state prisoners have
one more week to work on the canal project, with two rock
walls left to be constructed. The rock walls will help to
maintain the canals, Brijalba said. The water will be turned
back on Monday so farmers can begin irrigating.
* Declined to act on a request from the Balmorhea Housing
Authority that some of the $1,763 charge for water lost
during a leak be refunded. Water superintendent Freddie
Schrier said the authority's director knew about the leak
for three days before it was repaired and did not ask for
the city's help.
* Heard a report from Danny Reynolds that the Balmorhea EMS
declined to bid on the Toyah ambulance, agreed to buy their
own oxygen bottle refill tank, and proposed that emergency
medical technicians be paid for on-call time. Volunteers can
no longer afford to pay out-of-pocket expenses and take time
off from work, he said. The council agreed to the plan if
funding can be obtained from Reeves County Hospital or other
The EMS and fire department will hold a demonstration the
first Sunday in March at 3 p.m., in front of the fire
department. The public is invited to watch emergency
personnel extract "victims" from simulated vehicle accidents.
"We want to let the public know what the fire department and
ambulance have to do in order to be in compliance with
everything," Reynolds said. "Especially the ambulance."
The ambulance service is a bargain at $125 per call,
Reynolds said, noting that they have to drive to Pecos to
* Schrier introduced a new water department employee, Luis
Contreras. His department is running smoothly, he said.
* City Secretary Jeannie Clark reported the vote favoring
expanded calling to Pecos was 93 percent.
* Terms of Mayor Ismael Rodriguez and councilmen Rosendo
Galindo and Rosendo Carrasco expire this year, and will be
on the May 2 city election ballot, Clark said.
Rodriguez, Galindo, and councilors Olga Mendoza and Dick
Hoefs were present for the regular meeting, which had been
rescheduled from Tuesday.
Council speaks with Wes Tex reps
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - The City Council of the Town of
Pecos City held session for over two hours on Thursday
morning, Feb. 12, to hear and take action on 17 agenda
items, which included dialoguing with representatives of Wes
Tex Waste over their past performance in Pecos, adjustments
to the chain of command at the Pecos Police Department, and
the closure of an alleyway to facilitate incoming new
Problems with services provided by Wes Tex Waste were
addressed at the Thursday meeting when members of the
council were able to speak with representatives of Wes Tex
Waste, including General Manager Jack Burns and transfer
station Manager Ronnie Ruiz. A representative had been
expected at the last council meeting, but none attended.
Several councilmen have commented at previous meetings that
they have fielded calls from citizens angry over poor pickup
service. Councilman Randy Graham said he had received
complaints from some who say they have called the 1-800
number for assistance to no avail. "They either get the
run-around or there is no 24-hour response," he said.
Burns apologized for problems with the service and advised
that those with problems with trash service call Ronnie Ruiz
at the transfer station for the quickest response. "If you
do call Midland, ask for Jason or myself," he said. As for
complaints, he said, "I personally have not received a call
from Pecos." Wes Tex Waste has recently gone through an
organizational change, Burns said.
Councilmen complained that they had not been receiving
monthly reports from Wes Tex and said that they should be
receiving a complaint log regularly. Burns suggested that
Ruiz may be able to supply one weekly for the council.
Graham asked to also receive the monthly solid waste origin
"My understanding is that we are to provide hand pick-up to
residents once a month," said Burns.
Ruiz said that alleys are filling up very fast with tree
limbs as Pecos residents begin to prune. "That rear loader
can fill up real quick," he said, "I've been out myself
trying to pick up 40 foot branches."
Burns suggested that a comprehensive map explaining the
trash pick up dates and requirements be drafted and
published in the Enterprise to inform residents better of
Wes Tex Waste's services. "I will expend whatever resources
we need to get a decent map put together," said Burns. Burns
said he would collaborate with City Manager Kenneth Neal
putting together the citizen resource.
Chief of Police Clay McKinney presented an annual narcotics
report to the council detailing drug arrests over the past
year, which included a five-year graph that mapped the
felony drug arrests associated with cocaine, heroin and
marijuana. From this McKinney drew some conclusions.
"The decline in heroin activity is great news in the law
enforcement community. The great majority of burglaries are
associated with heroin use," he said. McKinney also pointed
out that cocaine use has risen dramatically over the past
four years, from eight felony arrests in 1994 to 34 in 1997.
This he attributed to the street price of the drug
decreasing as it became more available.
McKinney also asked for, and received, the council's
approval for updating the chain of command at the police
department and creating a position of Second Lieutenant to
head the police patrol, reserves and communications.
City Finance Director Steve McCormick said that if the
position was filled from within the department it would cost
the city an additional $1,500 per year in salary. "Right now
we have only three quarters of a year left," said McCormick.
"As far as salaries, it could be handled." However, if
someone were hired from outside the department, McCormick
continued, it would mean laying someone off.
Clay McKinney said he received six vehicle bids for a new
police car, the best option being the 1996 Chevy Lumina
priced at $10,750 from Valley Motors. The council approved
the purchase of the car for the Pecos Police Department.
The council voted to close the alley across block 123,
original town, and block 4, college addition, on condition
that the developer interested in locating 2-3 retail stores
on the lot begin construction within 90 days and pay for
moving of the sewer lines. The stores could represent as
many at 20-30 new jobs for Pecos, according to chamber
Neal said he had contacted the owners of an abandoned
property located on the lot and was told they would not
sell. Neal speculated later that the developer would have to
"work around" the property.
Larry Levario, maintenance and transportation supervisor for
the Texas Department of Transportation, asked that the city
put a 15-acre lot on the southeastern corner of Highway 17
and Interstate 20 up for bids. He said that the department's
current properties (located at 2100 W. Third and the corner
of 2nd and Oleander) would then be offered to the local
entities, i.e. the city and county, to bid on.
The council agreed to put the property up for bids and look
into the matter further at the next meeting.
Abidur Kahn and Victor Thompson, from the office of Frank X.
Spencer and Associates, were at the meeting to ask that the
city take action in applying for a permit renewal on the
waste water treatment plant, including an amendment that
would incorporate currently abandoned ponds at the
wastewater treatment plant.
The current permit will expire on June 26, 1999 and the
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission requires a
renewal to be filed at least six months prior to expiration.
Johnson expressed solidarity with Graham, who encouraged
putting a financial cap on the project, by saying that he
"always worried about open-ended projects."
Graham said that the city would want to do as much of the
work as possible to help keep the project costs down.
The council agreed to draft a letter of support for the
sewer line rehabilitation lines to go on public record for
future city councils and possibly to be included in the
city's permit renewal application, but decided to take more
time to review the implications of the renewal application.
The council agreed to enter into a multi-county agreement
for disaster relief assistance; to transfer records of
births and deaths from the city to the county; and
investigate whether Odessa College may be interested in a
property formerly owned by Furr's cafeteria before donating
it. Joe Bradley told the council he was interested in
opening a batting cage in Maxey Park and perhaps he would be
interested in running the miniature golf also. The council
recommended he meet with Neal and Johnson to discuss
liabilities before proceeding.
Tom Rivera, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce,
was present to represent the proposed amended hotel/motel
tax expenditures. The council voted to approve the amended
contract with various changes on condition that should money
be received by chamber, it be put back into the community
Also approved were the January Municipal Court report, which
showed 150 cases filed in and 178 filed out, resulting in
$8,617.82 total fines/fees collected; the monthly juvenile
report reporting 12 juveniles detained from Reeves County
and seven from out-of-county; and the January ambulance
The ambulance report listed 114 calls for the month. Over
$28,000 was invoiced and $1,750 was collected. Councilman
Graham said that the collections for the month looked down,
and McCormick responded that part of the decline was due to
Medicare rejections that had to be refiled. City Attorney
Scott W. Johnson said he has still not received the
delinquent accounts from the ambulance service's old
collection agency Management Koncepts. "If this isn't
resolved by our next meeting we may have to put it on the
agenda," Johnson said. "I've done everything I can do."
Accounts payable was approved at $373,622.04.
Voting in Democratic primary begins soon
By ROSIE FLORES
Students invent games to learn
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - Learning can be fun, according to
some very creative elementary school students.
The fifth grade students from Bessie Haynes Elementary have
come up with some "games" that can make learning fun, earn
them prizes and extra credit in school.
Candace Jacobs, Susan Bradley and Sarah Kratzmeyer, are the
inventors of the "Multiplying Go Fish Game."
The girls invented the game in their effort to learn
multiplication faster, easier and better.
"The game is played with three people," said Jacobs. "Each
person gets seven cards and is played similar to the go
fishing card game,'" she said.
For instance, Jacobs explained that a person gets a card
from the table with a multiplication question. "The other
person then has to answer the multiplication question before
they get the card and receives a point at the same time,"
The person with the most points wins. "We've been teaching
some other classes and kids how to play and we receive
prizes such as stickers, and stuff for winning," said Jacobs.
The game is not only fun, but it has helped the students
tremendously in learning their multiplication problems.
"It's been fun showing the other kids and of course it's fun
to win," said Sarah Kratzmeyer.
Susan Bradley thought up the name and the others helped with
the rules. "That's what we were working on in math and
decided to try to make it a little bit more fun," said
"We might do a reading game next," said Jacobs.
All three girls are good students in their other subjects as
well and enjoy reading.
"In my spare time, I enjoy playing with my many cats," said
Bradley. "I love cats and when I grow up I want to be
veterinarian," she said.
Jacobs loves horses and stated that when she graduates from
high school she wants to become a lawyer and a model.
Sarah Kratzmeyer likes dogs, which is obvious from the four
she has at home. "I also enjoy playing basketball,"
Kratzmeyer said. "I want to be a nurse someday," she said.
Multiple Monopoly is another "new game" circulating in the
The game is patterned after the monopoly game, but the
objective is learning.
The girls who came up with the idea were seeking extra
credit and decided to be a bit more creative.
"We wanted to do something different and also something that
would help us," said Myra Payen.
Payen along with Sara Natividad are the creators of this new
"We start on `go', roll the dice, and when it lands on a
problem, you have to answer the problem," said Payen.
"If you land on the letter `c' you get an extra question,
which helps you get more points," Sara Natividad.
Natividad explained that by landing on the `c' the
individual then gets to pick out a card from the stack and
answer another question, thus earning more points.
This too is a mathematical game.
"The first person to pass go and get 100 points wins and
when you pass go you receive an extra 12 points," said
The girls even drew up a rule's list, which is included in
While both are good students at the school, Payen stated
that in her spare time, she enjoys jumping on her trampoline.
Both are also the top readers in their class, and stated
that they enjoy reading.
Of course, the extra points we get for reading which will be
used to purchase items, come in handy, according to Payen.
Five indicted by grand jury
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - A 59-year-old truck driver was
among five persons indicted Thursday by the Reeves County
Dan T. Arrieta is charged with manslaughter in the Jan. 4
death of Lisa Dawn Morales in a two-vehicle collision.
The grand jury alleges that Arrieta was driving a truck/semi
trailer when he failed to yield right-of-way at a stop sign
and collided with the automobile occupied by Morales. She
died of resulting injuries.
Two housing authorities are victims in two unrelated
Manuel Duran Lopez, 49, is charged with forging a $324.17
check on the Housing Authority of the City of Balmorhea and
passing it to Super Shops 130 on Dec. 20, 1997.
Vanessa Marie Hernandez, 25, is charged with theft from the
Pecos Farm Labor Housing, operated by Pecos Housing
Authority. She was a clerk at the time of the alleged
embezzlement in July, 1997.
Claudia Martinez, 26, is charged with forging a $300 money
order on American Express Nov. 29, 1996.
Javier Castillo Navarette, 18, is charged with possession of
marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, Pecos Kindergarten,
on Dec. 4, 1997.
District Judge Bob Parks set bail at $10,000 on each
defendant except for Martinez, whose bail is $5,000.
AREA NEWS ROUNDUP
February 13, 1998
The Fort Stockton Pioneer
FORT STOCKTON, Feb. 12, 1998 -A negotiation process that
has been years in the making apparently came to an end
Tuesday night with the announcement of an agreement between
the City of Fort Stockton and Texas-New Mexico Power Company
that will translate into lower rates for local consumers. By
a unanimous vote, the Fort Stockton City Council adopted a
resolution during its Tuesday night meeting, ratifying the
agreement reached between Public Utilities Commission and
the Texas Industrial Energy Consumers for rate reductions
and a plan for transition to retail competition.
The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Feb. 12, 1998 -The U.S. Air Force public scoping
meeting on the Realistic Bomber Training Initiative (RBTI)
was held at Alpine Civic Center Thursday, Feb. 5. The
meeting took place just a few days after a U.S. military
plane on a low level training flight cut through a cable car
line in Italy and killed at least 20 people.
Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Feb. 12, 1998 -Dorothy
Talamantez, a sophomore criminal justice major at Sul Ross
State University, was killed Sunday in a traffic accident
east of Sanderson. According to Sergeant Luis Najera of the
Texas Department of Public Safety in Fort Stockton, the
one-vehicle rollover occurred before 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8 on
U.S. Highway 90, 32 miles east of Sanderson. Talamantez was
the vehicle's only occupant.
The Sanderson Times
SANDERSON, Feb. 12, 1998 -There will be a calf production
and marketing program in Sanderson, Tuesday, March 31,
according to an announcement in a newsletter sent out by
Mike Barbour, Terrell County Extension Agent-Agriculture.
There will be beef cattle industry people here, displays of
new products on the market, door prizes, free lunch,
continuing education units, and a calf will be autopsied.
The McCamey News
McCamey, Upton County, Feb. 12, 1998 - A local teacher has
been cited for outstanding performance in reading education,
The Institute for Academic Excellence announced. Wanda
Brock, who works at McCamey Middle School, was awarded
Reading Renaissance Model Classroom Level 1 Certification by
the Madison, WI, based Institute. Model Classroom
certification indicates that Brock's efforts to adopt
Reading Renaissance methods have resulted in measurable
increases in student reading performance.
The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Feb. 12, 1998 -School district administrators
Monday, Feb. 9, were asked to review the possibility of a
formal "moment of silence" to begin the day on the school
district's campuses. Board President Johnny White and board
member Steve Hurst said they did not want anyone to think
there is a sectarian motive in the request. And both noted
that the "moment of silence" at other campuses in other
school districts had been a successful focusing factor for
PECOS, February 13, 1998 - High Thursday, 60, low this
morning, 24. Texans had better plan their Valentine's Day
activities indoors because it looks like the state is in for
a rainy weekend. Forecasts called for scattered showers and
even a few thunderstorms around the state tonight and
Saturday. Clouds will be increasing tonight across West
Texas with rain possible in most areas on Saturday. Lows
tonight will be in the 30s and 40s in West Texas, highs
Saturday will be in the 50s and 60s except in the Big Bend
area of Southwest Texas where readings will climb into the
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