March 4, 1998
Another strep infection death; total reaches 13 statewide
No dangerous cases reported in Reeves County
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, March 4, 1998 - A 5-year-old Houston-area boy has
died from a virulent bacterial infection caused by group A
streptococcus, bringing to 13 the number of recent strep
deaths across Texas.
Harris County Health Department officials are trying to find
people the boy had contact with before his death Sunday.
Reeves County has experienced some cases of the infection,
but none have developed into a dangerous condition,
according to area health specialists.
"We've had some cases of strep throat, but even though they
were the same type of strep throat, strep A, the cases we've
had here weren't as serious, and have been treated with
antibiotics," said Pecos Valley Health clinic nurse Joseph
"We usually get one or two cases a week and we put them on
antibiotics and they have been resolved in two or three
days," said Ortiz. "As far as I know, we haven't had any
cases where anyone has had to be hospitalized."
Ortiz said that if it becomes hard for someone to swallow,
or they experience symptoms such as painful swallowing or a
sore throat, they should come in and be checked out. He said
that strep throat is not always the cause of such symptoms,
other factors such as allergies can cause the same symptoms,
but if it is strep throat, treating it as soon as possible
with antibiotics is recommended.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Harris County health department
spokeswoman Linda Forys said, no other cases of group A
streptococcal illnesses had been reported in the dead
5-year-old boy's family or preschool.
"We are working with the school district to make
recommendations to identify contacts with that child to
provide preventative treatment," she said. "It can be
treated with many antibiotics."
The Harris County Health Department has recorded 15 cases
since Dec. 1.
As of the end of February, 72 people across the state had
been infected with group A strep, according to the Texas
Department of Health. Twelve had died, including another
person in Harris County.
The group A streptococcus is found in the throats and on the
skin of up to 20 percent of the population but may not cause
symptoms. It can cause infections resulting in a range of
illnesses, from a mild sore throat to life-threatening
Two of the most severe but least-common forms of invasive
group A strep are necrotizing fasciitis, also known as the
"flesh-eating bacteria" and streptococcal toxic shock
syndrome, a rapidly progressing infection that injures
internal organs such as the kidneys, liver and lungs.
The Channelview-area boy, whose name was not released,
became ill with the toxic shock syndrome last Friday, Forys
Symptoms are sometimes like those of the common flu, along
with a skin rash and abdominal pain.
Good personal hygiene, such as washing hands before eating,
can prevent infection.
Editor's Note: The Texas Department of Health has set up a
phone line to answer questions about the virus. The phone
line will be open through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The toll-free number is (888) 388-6332 or (512) 834-6795 in
the Austin area.
For information on where to get chickenpox vaccinations, the
toll-free number is (800) 252-9152.
Mother, daughter killed by drunk driver
FORT STOCKTON, March 4, 1998 - Martha Galindo, 20, Fort
Stockton, and her four-month-old baby died after being hit
by a vehicle driven by a drunk man, according to Texas
Highway Patrol Sergeant Luis Najera.
Although the investigation into the fatal accident is not
complete, authorities do know that Galindo was walking west
on Gonzales Loop in Fort Stockton with her baby, whose name
is not yet available, at 6:45 p.m. yesterday when she was
struck from behind.
Raul Arana, 36, of McCamey, was driving a Chevrolet S-10
pickup and had been drinking when he hit Galindo and her
baby, according to law enforcement reports.
"He has been charged with intoxication manslaughter at this
time," said Najera.
Students explore future careers
PECOS, March 4, 1998 - Fourth-and fifth-grade students at
Bessie Haynes Elementary have been exploring careers they
may enter when they finish their educations.
"Educating young people about the importance of developing
good academic and work skills is an important component of
building a highly-skilled work force," said Michelle
Workman, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Career Planning Coordinator.
To ensure that students are prepared to make a smooth
transition from school to careers, Workman said, the whole
community must be involved -schools, families, students, and
business and community leaders. She said that students
achieve more when they see the connection between learning
Bessie Haynes counselor Virginia Caballero has been teaching
guidance lessons using career exploration workbooks and the
school recently hosted guest speakers, who gave
presentations on their career fields and how school subjects
relate to the world of work to the youngsters.
Both Workman and Caballero would like to thank the following
speakers for meeting with the students:
Felipe Villalobos -Pecos Police Department, Linda Gholson
-retail store co-owner, Johnny Terrazas -deputy court clerk,
Dia Renteria -driver's license examiner, Gabriel Martinez
-Reeves County Detention Center mechanical services
director, Adiee Madrid -RCDC teacher, Kristina Talamantez
-legal secretary, Bertha Cordova -sales, Fred Dominguez
-pest control/entomology, Charlie Marmolejo -RCDC Assistant
Warden, Garrett Timmins -bank vice president/cashier, Hilda
Woods -Reeves County Sheriff's Department deputy, Jesus
Franco and Boddie -sheriff's deputy and drug dog, Joey
Martinez -musician and middle school teacher, Vaughn Garnto
-RCDC captain, Lawrence Williams -PBT ISD athletic director,
Mark Zuniga -funeral director, Leticia Gutierrez
-phlebotomist, Linda Lester -court reporter, Kim Ewing -day
care center director, Jamison Reed -U.S. probation officer,
Louise Moore -juvenile probation officer, Clay McKinney
-chief of police, Lydia Prieto -tax assessor collector,
Henry Dominguez -manager, Dot Stafford -mayor, Rey Carreon
-Department of Human Services manager, Butch Renshaw
-automotive technician/owner and Armando Gil -emergency
Bessie Haynes parental involvement aides provided the
speakers with refreshments.
Workman also provided the following suggestions on ways that
parents and families of elementary school children can get
involved in development of career awareness among their
1. Have your child use his or her leisure time to volunteer
for a charity or community organization. This will enable
your child to better the community and to develop
interpersonal and organizational skills.
2. Help your child in developing basic competency -following
directions, speaking, reading, writing and basic math. Help
your child practice these skills through homework, housework
and other activities that reinforce basic skills.
3. Become involved with an existing Career Day at your
child's school. Bring in tools, materials, uniforms or
pictures that represent your work and allow the children to
handle the items and ask questions.
4. Encourage friends, relatives and acquaintances to talk to
your child. Arouse your child's curiosity about their life
and work rolls.
5. Spend time telling stories about your career, discussing
the highs and lows and obstacles and challenges you may have
6. Encourage your child to use your local library or the
career and technology office (447-7262) as resources on
careers and information gathering.
7. Help your child develop a strong awareness of self.
encourage your child to talk about his or her feelings in
terms of goals, values, wishes, interest, likes, dislikes
8. Talk about how talents, interests and hobbies can turn
into careers. Discuss your own hobbies and encourage your
child to develop his or her own hobbies.
9. Make an occupational family tree indicating the careers
in your family.
Cowboy poet honored by peers
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, March 4, 1998 - Paul Patterson nearly dropped his few
remaining teeth when he heard his biography being read
during the awards ceremony at the 13th Annual Texas Cowboy
Poetry Gathering in Alpine Saturday.
The 88-year-old (nearly 89) writer attended all three days
of the gathering, reading some of his new poetry, plus some
old favorites by request -a poem from "High Wide and Then
When the widow of a famous poet, the late Buck Ramsey, was
called to the podium during the awards ceremony, Patterson
thought Ramsey was to receive the Heritage Award
But not so. When he heard Mrs. Ramsey begin the biography
detailing his birthdate and place "and what I had done and
hadn't done," Patterson realized he was the man of the hour.
"I'm the oldest one still alive, if I am alive, and they
awarded me that," Patterson modestly opined.
Although he's written six books of poetry, two novels, a
children's book and articles in numerous book compilations,
Patterson said his main claim to literary fame is noted
Western writer Elmer Kelton, whom he taught in high school.
"I taught him more than I know myself about writing,"
Elmer was just out of high school when Patterson published
his first book, "Sam Magoo."
"I sold it for just $2, but it died early of poor
circulation," Patterson said of Magoo. "Now a freshman at
Sul Ross State University said he paid $150 for a copy."
His second book, "Crazy Women in the Rafters," is out of
print, but the printer sells it for $100 per copy -none of
which Patterson gets.
"I didn't even make my money back on that one," he said. "It
didn't pay until the secod printing, and it didn't have a
Old age has slowed Patterson to the point he attends only
two cowboy poetry gatherings a year -Alpine and Lubbock. He
no longer travels to Arizona and several gatherings in New
Mexico. The rarefied air in Ruidoso is too much for him
nowadays, he said.
He and his wife, Marjorie, live in Pecos fulltime now at 512
S. Oleander, except for an occasional visit to Crane to "pay
my bills." They have a home provided for them in Crane, and
"It is hard to look a gift house in the mouth," said the
Patterson's Heritage Award leather notepad cover was hand
tooled at the Big Bend Saddlery in Alpine. It sports an
engraved silver orb with the inscription "Texas Cowboy
Poetry Gathering, 1998.
With his name in block letters on the front, Patterson is
not too worried about someone else mistaking it for his own.
Frances Elkin Wilson, 98, died Monday, March 2, 1998, at a
Midland nursing home.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Thursday,
at Fairview Cemetery with Reverend Tommy Potter officiating.
Wilson was born Nov. 13, 1900, in Abilene. She attended the
College of Industrial Arts, later known as Texas Women's
College. Wilson lived in West Texas all of her life, had
worked at a bank in Pecos. She had taught school in
Balmorhea and Stanton. She moved back to Midland from
Lubbock in 1974 and was a member of First Christian Church.
Wilson was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard Lee
Wilson in 1956.
Survivors include three nieces and one nephew.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to
Manor Park, 2208 North Loop 250 W., Midland, Tx., 79707.
Ellis Funeral Home of Midland is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, March 4, 1998 - High Tuesday, 78, low this morning,
38. Ready for some stormy weather across Texas? Clouds and
temperatures are on the increase across the state as low
pressure over the South Plains and Panhandle begins setting
the stage for thunderstorm activity, the National Weather
Service cautioned today. Most Texas towns were reporting
readings in the 50s and 60s as south to southeast winds at
10 to 20 miles an hour continued to pump moisture into South
Texas. That was one of the ingredients for possible
thunderstorm activity later today, weather officials noted.
Temperatures were expected to increase as the day progressed
with temperatures in the 80s possible by late afternoon
across South Texas. "Showers and thunderstorms will develop
over the course of the day, becoming more numerous later
this afternoon and this evening. There is the potential for
some of these thunderstorms to become severe," the weather
service said in a morning statement. An area of surface low
pressure was located early today along the New Mexico state
line near Dalhart, and a trough extended southeast into the
Abilene area. The combination of low pressure over the
western half of the state and high pressure over the
southeastern United States caused southerly winds nearly
statewide, which results in an inflow of moisture from the
Gulf. At 4 a.m. today, temperatures were 10 to 15 degrees
warmer than at the same time on Tuesday, ranging from 45 at
Wichita Falls to 55 at Abilene. Elsewhere, it was 48 at
Austin and 66 at Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen. Across
West Texas, the early morning readings ranged from 32 at
Dalhart to 58 at El Paso. Highs were expected to range from
the 70s north to the middle 80s in the Big Bend.
Temperatures on Thursday were expected to be cooler.
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