March 18, 1998
Pecos goes out for Texas Public Schools WeekBy ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - Parents are invited to visit all the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools this week in honor of Texas
Public Schools Week.
The week of March 16-20 has been designated as Texas Public
Schools Week and everyone is invited to visit the schools
and talk to the teachers, according to Superintendent Don
Parents who would like to eat lunch with their children in
the PBT ISD should contact their child's school before 9
a.m. that day.
Education is the key to the future for Texas' young people.
More than four million young Texans will be celebrating that
journey in March as they observe Texas Public School Week.
This year's theme, "Celebrate Texas Public Schools,"
emphasizes the array of academic and extracurricular
opportunities available to students attending the state's
Schools today face bigger challenges than ever before in
their efforts to provide state of the art learning
opportunities for all students. Yet every day in classrooms
across Texas, teachers, coaches, sponsors, volunteers and
administrators make a committment to help every student
succeed in learning and in life.
"Your investment in public schools pays off each day as
students grasp a new concept, and again each year as public
school graduates carry their success to a college, a
university, or a job in your company," said Love.
"This year's Texas Public Schools Week is a celebration
filled with opportunities for you to get involved in your
Texas public schools," he said.
"Stop by for a visit during the week of March 16-20, we
think you'll be impressed," said Love.
Bessie Haynes Elementary kicked off events Tuesday evening
with a Parent's Reading Night.
Parents were encouraged to visit the school and read with
"The parents and students read together and then they took a
comprehension test," said school librarian Cynthia
Armbruster stated that they would then receive points, which
would be added to the student's reading points.
"With these points they can purchase items, such as
basketball balls, pencils, giga-pets and other items," said
Students have been involved with this program throughout the
year and have already accumulated a large number of books
"After they get enough points, they can either purchase an
item or save them to buy a bigger item," said Armbruster.
The top reader in fourth grade is saving all his points to
purchase a boom box.
The points are awarded according to difficulty of the book.
Books range from Little Women, which is worth 36 points, to
Clifford, which is worth one point.
After the reading program, parents were then invited to tour
the school and look at the many projects the students have
been working on. Refreshments were also served to the many
"We're just so excited about this reading program, it has
really been educational and fun," said Armbruster.
Through this point system students are encourage to read and
comprehend what they are reading. "They not only read the
books, but the comprehension test tells us that they do
understand what they are reading," said Armbruster.
A reading program for fifth-grade students at the same
school is scheduled for Thursday, 6-8 p.m., in the school
Pecos Kindergarten will feature a program, sponsored by the
bilingual classes at 7 p.m., Thursday, at the school
Everyone is invited to attend this special presentation.
Pecos Elementary has been celebrating the week, by dressing
up in different attire. Monday was "Hats Off to Texas Day,"
all students were encouraged to wear hats. Tuesday, was
"Kick Off Your Boots to Texas Day," everyone wore boots.
Wednesday, "Wrap Yourself Up In Education Day," students
were encouraged to wear belts, buckles and bandanas.
Thursday, at Pecos Elementary School is "Pecos Bill Day,"
students will wear western clothes. Friday, everyone is
encouraged to wear red, white and blue in honor of "Texas
Students at Austin Elementary School have been listening to
the Pecos Bill story read by principal Beau Jack Hendricks.
On Thursday, students will have "Branding Day" and pictures
will be taken that day.
Western day, everyone is encouraged to wear their western
clothes, will be held Friday at the school.
School district refuses veterans group request
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - Catholic War Veterans still do not
know if they will be the new owners of foreclosed property,
the Mesquite Lounge, at Third and Mesquite streets.
"I want to see the Catholic War Veterans get the property,
but I don't see how we can legally do it if we have a letter
from our tax lawyer advising us to reject the bid," said
Trustee Earl Bates during the PBT ISD board meeting last
night. Bates was referring to a letter advising the board to
reject the veterans' bid because the school board had
previously rejected a higher bid.
Board president Frank Perea said that personally, he and
other board members would like to see the non-profit
veterans organization receive the property, which they bid
$10 for. Perea's brother was killed in Viet Nam and is one
of the veterans the organization is named after. However,
there had been a previous bid of $1,100 for the same
"As a board, we try to do what is best for the district and
for the taxpayers," Perea said.
Lydia Prieto, the district's tax assessor/collector, said
that a committee was formed back in October to address the
issue of a mass sale of delinquent property. When the mass
sale is held, the board agreed, the Catholic War Veterans
will have another chance to acquire the property, but so
will other interested parties.
In other business, Crockett Middle School will have one less
teacher next year as a result of a unanimous vote by the
school board. The board of trustees voted to send a notice
of non-renewal of his contract at the end of the contract
period to probationary employee Phillip Garrison, an
eighth-grade history teacher and coach, during last night's
The school board voted to renew other one-year contracts
that were up for renewal as discussed while the board met in
closed session and a list of those employees will be
available this afternoon.
Superintendent Don Love announced early in the meeting that
the Pecos Swim Team Booster Club had received a donation of
$900 which was spent on new touch pads that he said were
Elementary Spanish classes may begin during the 1998-99
school year. Love met a few weeks ago with a committee of
concerned parents who want Spanish taught in elementary
grades. Last night, he said that the idea merits further
discussion and would be brought up at next Monday's
administrators' meeting. Love also said that he has spoken
with textbook committee chairman Danny Rodriguez and the
necessary books are available for grades one through six.
Lori Lee, Program Specialist, inspected the district's
school lunch and child nutrition program last month and
reported only two administrative problems. Love said the
food service department had done and outstanding job.
The textbook committee's recommendations were unanimously
approved. Most approved books were priced at or below the
amount the state of Texas will allow per book, so the
district will only have to pay a small amount for the books
it wants. Only three books, one in a foundation subject and
two in enrichment subjects, cost more than the state
New textbooks were approved for foundation subjects:
spelling -grades one through six; algebra I and II,
geometry, biology I, advanced placement biology II and
enrichment subjects: art -grades 1 through five, business
computer applications I, computer science I and II,
microcomputer applications and Latin I and II. Textbooks
were not approved for exploratory languages -grades 6-8 or
The books with price tags higher than the state allowance
were AP biology II, allowed at $48.25 and costing $59.89,
Latin I, allowed at $40 with a cost of $42.47 and Latin II,
allowed at $40 but priced at $41.59.
The interlocal agreement between PBT ISD and Reeves County
for using Martinez Field, which belongs to the county, for
use by the high school girls softball team was approved
Gome Olibas, recently appointed to the post of
administrative assistant to the superintendent/ personnel
director, was named as Title IX and 504 Coordinator. The
positions have to do with the district's compliance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the complaint department.
As things stand now, professional personnel will not receive
attendance incentive pay for the 1998-99 school year. Love
recommended not promising the extra pay right now because of
budget constraints, but said the board can reconsider the
issue again closer to when the new school year starts, maybe
in August. He did not want teachers to believe they were
going to receive the pay when they sign their contracts for
next year and then find out there wasn't enough money in the
Even though the high school may be holding Texas Assessment
of Academic Skills testing during their event, the board did
approve a request by the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission to
waive the fee for them to use a district facility when they
host an upcoming youth leadership conference.
The board also voted unanimously to approve professional
personnel resignations, a transfer and a retirement.
Resigning are Zavala Middle School principal Mike Belew,
Crockett math teacher Jose Paz, Austin Elementary bilingual
teacher Rebecca Paz and Crockett history teacher Dana Titus.
Juanita Perez will transfer from teaching English as a
second language at Lamar Middle School to ESL teacher at
Pecos Elementary. Fariss Murphy will retire as a math
teacher at Crockett.
Other unanimous approvals by the board include the policy on
board member elections and returns, a resolution celebrating
Texas Public Schools Week, 1997-98 budget amendments, the
sale of old school buses to the highest bidders. Also, the
current bills will be paid.
Canvass of election returns from the May 2 election will be
held on May 5, and the next regular meeting of the school
board will be April 9.
City not responsible for police
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - St. Patrick's Day was more blue than
green for several defendants in 143rd District Court, where
numerous guilty pleas drew probated sentences, one failed to
appear, and one plaintiff lost her claim against the City of
District Judge Bob Parks granted summary judgment in favor
of the city in a damage suit filed by Norma Garcia and her
daughter, Jennifer Holguin.
Garcia claims she and her daughter suffered physical and
mental stress as a result of a drug raid on their home at
502 S. Pecan St. May 10, 1995. During the raid Police
Patrolman Cosme Ortega accidently fired one round from his
service revolver. The bullet stuck a wall near where the
claimants were seated on a bed.
City Attorney Scott Johnson said in his motion for summary
judgment that the city is not liable for actions of its
police officers, and the facts do not support the damage
One criminal defendant failed to appear for arraignment on an indictment for forgery, and Judge Parks forfeited his
$10,000 bail. Manuel Duran Lopez is charged with forging a
check on the Balmorhea Housing Authority, where he was
Judge Parks granted a motion by District Attorney Randy
Reynolds to have Lopez arrested and his bail raised to
Pleading guilty were:
--Aaron Jay Howell, possession of marijuana Oct. 30, 1997;
five years deferred adjudication probation and a $1,500
fine. In the plea bargain, the state agreed to dismiss a
petition for forfeiture of Howell's 1982 Chevrolet pickup.
--Daniel N. Fuentez, delivery of a controlled substance June
20, 1996; five years community supervision and a $1,500 fine.
--Michael Ray Bragg, theft June 19, 1997, five years
deferred adjudication probation, plus a $1,500 fine and
--Clemente Urquidez III, delivery of marijuana Nov. 21,
1997, five years community supervision, $1,500 fine. A
second marijuana delivery charge was dismissed in the plea
--Thomas Munoz Chavez, hindering apprehension Nov. 29, 1997,
three years deferred adjudication probation, $1,500 fine.
--Don Wesley Barton, forgery Sept. 9, 1997, five years
community supervision, $500 fine.
--Kenneth Lee Terry, failure to stop and render aid Nov. 1,
1997, five years community supervision, $1,500 fine.
Judge Parks has also entered judgment in one of several
damage suits filed against Recovery and Reclamation, a
battery recycling plant now known as Battery Conservation
BCTI was earlier dismissed as a defendant in the suits,
which were consolidated for trial. Eight plaintiffs claim
injuries resulting from a fire at the plant Oct. 7, 1993,
and two claim injuries from toxic waste while working in the
Although Judge Parks granted default judgment for all
defendants, only one has submitted a proposed order.
Margarito Carrasco won a $300,000 judgment for injuries he
claimed result from exposure to mercury while working at the
Defendants are Recovery and Reclamation Inc., Sand Hill
Products Inc., P.O.A. Inc., Recovery and Reclamation
Trucking Inc., Rose Traders Inc., Reeves County General
Contractors Inc., William M. & Associates Inc., Advanced
Consulting and Environmental Services Inc., and B.J.B.
Health clinic coming to Balmorhea
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - Receiving health care should soon
get a little easier in Blamorhea since the Reeves County
Hospital District board voted unanimously last night to
accept a revised lease agreement to establish a clinic
there. The clinic will be located at 125 W. North Main.
According to hospital estimates, the refurbishment of the
building will cost about $4,000 and total start-up costs
will run about $8,700. Board member Marcella Lovett, who
thought the $300 a month lease was a little expensive for
Balmorhea, said that while the hospital will be providing
the service to the taxpayers she only hoped that "the
citizens will utilize it."
Interim Administrator Charles Butts assured the board that
many of the improvements to the property that the hospital
will be making can be taken with them when they leave. In an
apparent reference to recent squabbling between the Pecos
Housing Authority and the Community Council of Reeves
County, board President Jeannette Alligood warned Butts,
"But don't touch that carpet!"
By way of making a motion to support the lease agreement,
Vice President Greg Luna said he saw the rental agreement as
"Phase 2" and looked forward to "Phase 3," when the actual
construction would begin. The board accepted the lease
Ralph Hernandez, representing the interests of Catholic War
Veterans, came before the hospital board seeking property
located at 310 South Mesquite for his organization. The
county and the city have already accepted the veterans
symbolic offer of $10 for the property.
"At one time we were very active and were able to offer
scholarships for students . . . now we are like orphans with
no place to meet," Hernandez said. Continuing, Hernandez
said he sought the property, which had at one time been
slated for demolition and would have cost the taxpayers
$3,000, to build up their membership and hold fund raisers.
Alligood asked if the board accepted the $10 bid would the
property then be placed back on the tax rolls or would they
then be exempt. Hernandez answered that the organization
would be exempt from property taxes. Lovett made the
concession that at least "it would be taking care of an
eyesore" to grant the property to the veterans organization.
Luna asked Hernandez why the school board, who heard his
proposal at their February meeting, had rejected the
veteran's bid. Hernandez blamed it on personal conflict,
saying, "Me and Perea (the president of the school board)
are against each other all the time." He suggested that the
school board may accept the bid at its March meeting, held
last night, because a different representative was going
before the board this time.
Luna sought to table the item, saying he preferred to wait
and see how the school board voted on the issue. But board
member Chel Flores urged the board to proceed with a vote,
and the bid was accepted. Hernandez assured the board,
"We'll make you proud of us."
The board took no action on offers from different entities
to purchase various oil and gas interests owned by the
hospital district. One property that received an offer took
the entire board by surprise, with several commenting that
they knew nothing about the property. "It makes me wonder,"
said one member, "what else we have across the state."
Lovett suggested that the board send the offers through the
finance committee, "at least for informational purposes."
Financial statements, payment of bills and medical staff
reports were all approved with little discussion. George I.
Choumorov, MD, and Charles Silver, MD, were both granted
clinical privileges on recommendation of the medical staff.
On the monthly board report, Butts informed the board that
Balmorhea Ambulance Service has approached the hospital
about the possible donation of the old ambulance; issues of
storage space for hospital records are still being
evaluated; staff changes at the hospital pharmacy -L.G.
Crawford, director of nursing, is now in charge; and the
issue of paid time off, tabled at the February meeting, was
tabled until the budget process for 1999. The paid time off
policy, said Butts, would not make a great deal of
difference for personnel and would require over $185,000 to
start-up. "I wouldn't recommend it at all," said Butts.
Greg Luna reported briefly on the training conference for
hospital trustees that he attended in Dallas along with
Alligood and Lovett. He said they were instructed in
Medi-Care billing, compliance issues, quality assessment and
patient satisfaction. Luna said there may be a conference
held in San Antonio specifically for rural hospital issues
Darpolor re-elected to family physicians group
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - Joseph K. Darpolor, M.D., of Pecos,
has been re-elected to maintain active membership in the
American Academy of Family Physicians through the year 2,000.
This re-election is based on fulfillment of his continuing
medical education requirements.
Darpolor's re-election was in January 1998. In addition, he
was also accepted to become a Fellow of the American Academy
of Family Physicians in March 1998.
His acceptance was based on his six years of continuous
active membership; fulfillment of continuing medical
education requirements and board certification status.
Darpolor is a residency trained, board certified family
physician who is trained to work in all major areas of
medicine including, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Adult Medicine, and
Jose Guadalupe G. Botello, 64, died Tuesday, March 17, 1998,
Judy Trammell, 57, died Tuesday, March 17, 1998, at
Eulalia Marrufo, of Monahans, died Monday, March 16, 1998,
PECOS, March 18, 1998 - High Tuesday, 73, low this morning,
51. The Texas Panhandle is under a winter storm watch
tonight - it is still winter, you know. Spring arrives at
1:55 p.m. Friday, but first some more snow. The National
Weather Service said there's a chance of rain changing to
snow over the Panhandle and South Plains tonight, with heavy
snow possible tonight and Thursday. The snow should end
Thursday. Highs today should be in the 50s north to mid-80s
along the Rio Grande. Tonight's lows should range from about
30 degrees north to the 40s south. Thursday's highs should
range from the 30s to the mid-70s. An area of dense fog
formed across the central South Plains this morning.
Otherwise, skies were fair to partly cloudy with variable
winds at 5 to 15 mph. Fog reduced visibility to one-fourth
mile or less over the upper Texas coast this morning.
Otherwise, skies were partly to mostly cloudy over South
Texas with mostly clear skies reported over the middle coast.
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