April 22, 1998
Frustration voiced at Reeves County Hospital
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - The frustration of a family over the
treatment a relative received at Reeves County Hospital was
given voice at last night's meeting of the Reeves County
Hospital Board by Debbie Flores, daughter of Bea Herrera.
Flores lodged her complaint about the way her mother was
handled last month at the hospital by Dr. Richard Debendetto.
"He was the rudest doctor ever," she told the board. "He
made comments that were uncalled for and told us `Your
mother is not going to die.'"
When the ambulance arrived and her mother was loaded for
transport, Flores said that Dr. Debendetto told her mother,
"Ma'am, you might die on the way."
Flores also complained about the length of time it took
before an ambulance was provided to transfer her ailing
mother to Odessa.
"The doctor in Odessa said if we had been on the road for 20
more minutes she could have died."
Interim Administrator Charles Butts, who said he thought the
issue had already been settled, told the board that the
situation was not as bad as it sounded.
"If it was my family I'd be upset too," said Butts. The
administrator said he did speak to the doctor about the
incident. Saying only, "He had somewhat of a different
According to L.G. Crawford, director of nurses, part of the
delay in getting an ambulance to transport Herrera to
Odessa was because the hospital's newest ambulance was not
certified by the state for use. The other ambulance was
unable to run because it was in the shop for repairs. He
said that the Pecos ambulance, normally used as a back-up in
such instances, was unavailable.
With one Wes-Star ambulance already on the way to Pecos from
Odessa for another patient, Crawford said they called and
asked if the crew would be able to transport two patients at
once. Told that it was not possible, they called for a
second Wes-Star ambulance from Odessa to transport Herrera.
Crawford said that the ambulance arrived soon after Herrera
was ready for transport. "We couldn't have sent her sooner
because she needed stabilization."
Before leaving the room, Flores said, "I just don't want
anybody else to have to go through that again. Thank you for
The hospital's new ambulance was certified only days after
this incident and is now in use, said Butts in an interview
Moving on to other business, the board quickly approved the
donation of the older ambulance to the City of Balmorhea;
the renewal of liability insurance; a new time and
attendance recording system; and the lease of property
located in Shackelford County, which was accepted several
years ago in lieu of payment for medical treatment.
Richard Mathis, hospital controller, who recommended leasing
out the Shackelford County property, said, "Not in our
lifetime will it pay off that bill."
The board approved the tax collection reports for the months
of February and March. The March report shows an outstanding
balance of $542,014.40.
The hospital's financial statements and budget amendments
were passed, and the bills were approved to be paid as money
One budget item scrutinized, costing the hospital several
thousand dollars last month, was Nurse Finders, a temporary
nurse placement organization.
Crawford said that the service was used "only when we
absolutely have to. We are utilizing every licensed nurse we
have access to."
The hospital is still having difficulties hiring full-time
In response to medical staff reports, the board approved
removing clinical privileges to several doctors who are no
longer employed by the hospital. These doctors included:
Patrick Riggs, Nikolas Gajic, Daniel Fish and Sung Kim.
The board also approved granting emergency room privileges
for Dr. Richard DeBendetto and clinical privileges for
chiropractor Edward Sigh.
The board did not discuss the pharmacy contract listed on
First National acquires Kermit bank
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - The First National Bank of Pecos
announced Tuesday that it has purchased Western National
Bank's Kermit branch. The branch will be called First
National Bank, Kermit Branch. First National Bank, Kermit
was originally established in 1959 as First National Bank of
Kermit, according to Keith Moore of the Davis Bank Group.
Jack. L. Crouse has been elected by the First National Bank
to serve as its Kermit president. He has 30 years of
commercial banking experience including 19 years at the
First National Bank of Kermit, where he served as president
J.L. Davis, Chairman of the board of the bank, expressed
confidence in Crouse, "We are very pleased to have someone
of Mr. Crouse's experience and local knowledge join our
bank. We believe in community banks. We want a banker who is
sensitive to the specific needs of the bank's customers and
of the community. We feel Mr. Crouse is uniquely qualified
to conduct bank affairs in such a manner as to achieve that
First National Bank, Kermit Branch will be affiliated with a
group of banks comprised of The First National Bank of
Pecos, The First National Bank of Ft. Stockton, Seminole
National Bank and Denver City Bank.
The association of the banks in Pecos and Kermit will result
in customers with an account at one bank being able to do
business at the other, but the banks in Ft. Stockton,
Seminole and Denver City are separate, according to Bruce
Duston, president of First National Bank in Pecos.
The branching of the two banks will not result in an
Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) being added to the Pecos
facility immediately, Duston said. "We'll get one sooner
rather than later, but I can't hazard a guess as to when,"
Total financial resources of the group will be approximately
$200 million in assets, $185 million in deposits and $60
million in loans outstanding.
No Earth Day observance in Pecos
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - Today is Earth Day 1998. Although
the observance has not generated much local notice in recent
years, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is marking the occasion
with a series of speeches across the nation this week.
Pecos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Rivera said
that he did not know of any Earth Day observances planned
for the Pecos area. Judy Tipton of the Pecos Tree Board said
that organization didn't have anything planned for Earth
Day, but was planning to plant trees on Friday in observance
of Arbor Day. School officials did not know of any teachers
or campuses planning school-related Earth Day observances.
In a statement released yesterday, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
President Thomas J. Donohue outlined a proactive
environmental message for American business.
"It's time for business to stop hiding on the issue of the
environment," Donohue said. "After spending $1 trillion on
environmental clean-up and protection, we have made
substantial progress with our air, land and water getting
cleaner by the day. We don't need to apologize," Donohue
"But before we spend a nickel of the next trillion dollars,
business has earned the right to be heard on this important
subject," Donohue said. "What business is saying is that the
next generation of environmental protection needs to focus
on performance not paperwork. Going forward, environmental
regulations must be based on sound science and a clear
articulation of the costs and benefits."
Donohue cited the example of the Superfund Cleanup program.
Since 1980, only 200 of 1,200 priority sites have been
cleaned up at a cost of $32 billion -and 50-70 percent of
that was spent on lawyers, lawsuits and consultants.
"We need flexibility, sound science, and careful
cost/benefit analysis," Donohue stated. "Above all, there
needs to be a clear understanding that technology and strong
economic growth are indispensable to environmental progress.
Remember, without a strong economy and the technological
advances developed by business, we would have neither the
resources nor the means for our present accomplishments or
our future goals," Donohue said.
Donohue said that several new environmental issues, promoted
by the federal government and the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), threaten to severely harm the nation's
economic growth while having questionable impact on cleaner
air or water. The include the new NAAQS (National Ambient
Air Quality Standards) regulations, the global climate
treaty and an environmental justice policy.
On the subject of the NAAQS standards, Donohue said that
"these regulations are a prime example of how far Washington
regulators have strayed from Common sense. With many of
EPA's own scientists questioning the need for new, more
costly clean air goals, EPA moves forward with regulations
that guarantee to cripple economic development plans in
hundreds of communities across America.
Rivera said that many environmental laws, including the
NAAQS, don't really have an impact in Pecos because this
area doesn't have the industrial or population density to
create pollution levels near the legal limits like bigger
Rivera said that there are some environmental laws that do
affect local businesses. He pointed out examples such as
laws regulating what chemicals dry cleaners can use and
regulations on how items such as used tires and motor oil
can be disposed of as environmental laws which do impact
local businesses, but said those laws don't have a damaging
effect on local businesses.
Donohue said the global climate treaty would "cede control
of domestic policy to the United Nations," and that the
environmental justice proposal would establish a procedure
in which individuals, in low-income or minority areas, can
bring lawsuits against states or local governments demanding
that special conditions be placed on facilities operating in
those areas, leading to lawsuits and a loss of jobs. "This
proposal undermines any and all incentives on the part of
business to locate in the more than 70 enterprise and
empowerment zones," Donohue said.
"You can't handcuff the economy in the name of environmental
purity, because a booming economy is what's going to pay for
further progress," Donohue said.
City Council meets tomorrow
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - The Pecos City Council will meet at
7:30 tomorrow morning to discuss with Duncan Disposal the
disposition of animal carcasses at the landfill; consider
the lease of the old shop building at the Pecos Municipal
Airport to Nelson Aero; approve a contract with Raba-Kistner
Consultants Inc., for the closure of Trench One Area B
closure; and discuss possible newsletter and television
The council will also review the monthly reports from the
juvenile probation department, municipal court, tax
collector and city financials. The council will enter closed
session to discuss the performance of a police reserve
officer, and then consider in open session the performance
of Utilities Director Octavio Garcia and Health Department
Director Armando Gil.
PHS students exhibit Spanish skills
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - Pecos High School students proved
their fluency for the Spanish language bringing home several
honors from a contest held Friday.
"We didn't place in the top three, but we did really, really
well," said Spanish teacher and sponsor Barbara Tarango.
The students participated in the Foreign Language Festival
at Angelo State University.
One group performed a skit in Spanish," said teacher Barbara
The skit, which is titled, "Todo Por Una Maleta," was
derived from the Spanish language hit show "Sabado Gigante,"
according to Tarango.
Ribbons of "excelente" and "superior" were given out, with
"superior" ribbons rating the highest.
The Spanish skit won superior and was performed by, Gladys
Izquierdo, Herman Seijas, Bacilio Ortega, Roy Ramos, Heydy
Gomez and Angela Martinez.
"Gladys and Heydy really saved the day, they ad-libbed when
the guys would forget their lines and their fluency was
excellent," said Tarango.
"Everybody did a really great job and others placed in
different categories," she said.
Other students participated in prose, poetry, sight reading,
extemporaneous and a written test.
The students who performed the skit received points for
fluency, how well they remembered their lines and their
actions. Everything was put together and they were judged on
all of it, according to Tarango.
Over 30 schools participated in the annual event.
In poetry, the following students received ribbons: Michelle
Gabaldon, Herman Seijas, Veronica Marruffo received
superior. Adriana Lara, and Suzanne Carrasco received
In prose, Griselda Muiz, Michelle Gabaldon, Adriana Lara,
Gladys Izquierdo, and Marissa Salgado received excelente.
Marissa Salgado, Herman Seijas, Adela Garcia and Freddy
Caballero netted superior ribbons in the sight reading
portion of the contest.
In extemperoneous, Karina Castillo and Gladys Izquierdo both
received a superior.
In the written test, Isabel Madrid, Noemi Perrez, Freddy
Caballero, Marissa Salgado, Heydy Gomez and Roy Ramos
received superior. Elma Gomez, Karina Castillo and Veronica
Marruffo netted an excelente ribbon.
"We are so proud of them and hope they do this well again
next year," said Tarango.
Teacher sponsors along with Tarango, are Jacqueline
Mandujano, Juan Dominguez and Rick Martinez.
New store in town
By CARA ALLIGOOD
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - Stafford's Place is no more. Now
Pecos has Thrift World, with expanded inventory and hours,
according to one of the store's new owners, LaTosha Belaire.
Belaire said a friend of the family had been working for
Stafford's Place owner Joe Stafford, when he decided to go
out of business. When the friend told Belaires and her
husband, Dawayne, of Stafford's plan, she said. "Dawayne and
I discussed it and thought maybe we could do something with
Belaire said, she and her husband bought Stafford's
inventory, rented the building at 211 South Cypress Street,
where Stafford had operated his store, and before that a
cleaning business for many years, and changed the name of
the business to "Thrift World."
In addition to Stafford's old inventory of used appliances,
the Belaires have added more merchandise for their
customers. "They can find tools, nick-nacks, lamps, living
room stuff, office stuff, things for birthday parties,
electronics, you name it, we've got it," Belaire said.
Belaire said that business has been "great, it's been real
good," since Thrift World opened.
In addition to the new offerings, the Belaires will buy,
sell or trade used appliances, and will make some repairs.
She said the store has had a fairly steady flow of customers
since opening on April 1. "We have our slow moments, but
everybody has their slow moments," she said.
Thrift World is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through
Friday, and about the same hours on the weekends for now,
although weekend hours are on an experimental basis at the
The Belaires have lived in Pecos for about two years and
have five children. Dawayne is originally from Pecos and
LaTosha is from Odessa.
"We're nice and friendly and we welcome anyone who comes in,
PECOS, April 22, 1998 - High Tuesday, 73, low this morning,
40. Mostly clear skies this morning should lead to a sunny,
warm afternoon across the state. This afternoon should be
partly cloudy with highs in the 70s. The night should be
clear with lows in the 40s. Skies were partly cloudy over
the Panhandle and fair elsewhere in West Texas. Temperatures
at 5 a.m. were in the 40s and 50s, with winds under 10 mph.
A mostly sunny day is in store, with highs in the 70s and
80s. Overnight lows should drop to the 30s and 40s. The
afternoon should be sunny and warm with highs around 80s
degrees and winds around 10 mph. Overnight lows should range
from the 40s to the 60s.
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