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April 28, 1998

PBT chooses teachers of the year

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 28, 1998 - At the April school board meeting,
teachers of the year were presented for each
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD campus, and overall elementary and
secondary teachers of the year were announced.

Trudie Miller was named teacher of the year for Pecos
Kindergarten, Patricia Matthews for Austin Elementary,
Barbara Armstrong for Pecos Elementary, Anna Belle Chavez
for Barstow Elementary, Valerie Martinez for Bessie Haynes,
Betty Cook for Lamar Middle School, Olivia Herrera for
Zavala Middle School, John Kim Anderson for Crockett Middle
School and Jackeline Mandujano for Pecos High School.

Valerie Martinez was named elementary teacher of the year,
and Jackeline Mandujano is this year's secondary teacher of
the year.

Mandujano teaches micro computer applications, business
computer applications and business communications. She said
that in junior high school, she took a couple of business
classes and realized that she wanted to become a teacher. "I
never thought of being anything else," Mandujano said.

She credits her homemaking teacher at Buena Vista High
School in Imperial, Cecilia Tellez, with influencing her to
become a teacher. Mandujano said that she was an average
student but "she believed in me and told me I could do
anything I wanted."

Mandujano didn't go to college directly after high school,
partly because her parents did not have educations
themselves and did not see the importance of an education.
She spent her first year out of high school working in a
grocery store. "To me, that was hard work," Mandujano said.

Then, Tellez came back into Mandujano's life. She offered
Mandujano a three year scholarship, for $1,000 per semester,
that she had been chosen as an alternate to receive. The
original winner of the scholarship lost it, so it reverted
to Mandujano if she wanted it.

Mandujano said that Tellez came to her home and talked to
her parents, who finally agreed to let her go to college.
Tellez then helped her to complete all the necessary

"I opened the door to the rest of my brothers and sisters,"
said Mandujano, the oldest of 11 children. She graduated
from San Angelo State University in 1991. As for her younger
siblings, she has a sister who also became a teacher, two
brothers who are teacher-coaches, one brother with a
business degree, four siblings still in college and two
still in public school, she said.

"My parents now see education as a must," Mandujano said.

In addition to teaching, Mandujano is co-sponsor of the
Business Professionals of America club with Judy Holland and
sponsors students in business-related UIL (University
Interscholastic League) activities as well.

"My students, I think, are the best. A lot of my students
are involved in different extracurricular activities,"
Mandujano said.

"Seeing a student succeed and make something out of
themself" is what makes the teaching profession so special
to Mandujano.

"I think being named high school teacher of the year is an
honor," said Mandujano. "I wasn't expecting it, there were
so many teachers that deserved that award, so I was really

Becoming a teacher was second nature for Martinez, a
fourth-grade teacher at Bessie Haynes.

"My parents have been in education all their lives. Also, I
thought it was a profession I would be comfortable in and be
happy doing," Martinez said.

Martinez first attended Midland College on a scholarship,
she said, then earned both her bachelors and masters degrees
from Sul Ross State University.

"There are so many things" that Martinez loves about
teaching, most importantly the children, she said.

Martinez also enjoys the creativity that the teaching
profession allows. "Every day is something new and
different. You never know what is going to happen every day,
and that's exciting," Martinez said.

"When you work with the caliber of teachers that I do,
representing the profession as teacher of the year is very
important," Martinez said.

"I want to be an engineer for change in the school, maybe be
an advocate for teachers, because sometimes the public
doesn't realize fully what a profound effect teachers have
on children's lives," Martinez said. "Just knowing the
teachers around here, I feel it is a real honor to represent
the teachers as teacher of the year. I just think it goes to
show what kind of teachers we have here in the district. We
have a strong teaching staff."

In addition to teaching, Martinez is active in both student
activities and professional organizations. She is a UIL
coach in oral reading, second vice president of Delta Kappa
Gamma and a member of TAPE, the Association of Texas
Professional educators. In the past, she was a student
council sponsor.

Martinez said that in her classroom, she tries to teach both
to the emotional intelligence and the intellectual
intelligence of her students. She said that now that she has
her masters degree, she may move toward counseling to take
care of the students' emotional needs, but doesn't want to
give up the classroom.

PHA remodeling project ahead of schedule

PECOS, April 28, 1998 - Pecos Housing Authority Board
members received a tour of one of the newly remodeled
apartments located on the south side of town during their
meeting held last Thursday.

Other apartments getting a "facelift" are those located on
Second Street and designated for the elderly.

Architect Shane Sigrist was on hand, along with Louie
Carraveo of Master Builders.

"The project is ahead of schedule and Louie now has all his
materials on the job site," said Sigrist.

The board received an update on how construction was coming
along and both he and Carraveo stated that everything is
coming along great.

Sigrist told the board that he would be working with PHA
Director Nellie Gomez in coordinating the '98 CIAP, and
wanted to start efforts on working on that, which is due on
June 28.

Gomez told the board that due to renovations there are some
items that will need to be disposed of including stove
hoods, stoves, refrigerators, exterior door, heating units
and other miscellaneous items.

"These are items that we no longer need and I wanted the
board's approval to dispose of them, sell them or whatever,"
said Gomez.

The board approved the sale of these items and told Gomez to
go ahead and advertise to get rid of them.

Years of talk might result in local water district

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 28, 1998 - Area farmers, ranchers and
politicians have been talking about forming a local water
conservation district for at least 40 years, according to a
representative of the Trans-Pecos Cotton Growers Association
who spoke to Reeves County commissioners during their
meeting yesterday. The recent passage of Senate Bill 1, that
would allow the state to regulate water conservation if a
local district is not formed soon, might bring about a water
conservation district that would include Reeves County.

"Twenty years ago we tried to form a water conservation
district but it failed because the laws empowering the
creation of such a district were different then than now and
represented problems to those connected to it," said Bob
Bickley. "Now we must form a water district made up of local
citizens or our water will be controlled by state officials.
We've always found that keeping control closer to our own
level results in a better job of regulation."

Commissioner Herman Tarin said that State Representative
Gary Walker was in Pecos last week promoting the formation
of a local water district.

The proposed local water district would include parts of
Pecos, Ward and Loving counties along with Reeves County. A
potential board of five directors must be selected and the
actual boundaries of the water district must be proposed,
Bickley said. Walker will then present the proposals to the
state legislature next year for approval.

If the proposals are approved by the state legislature next
year then voters in the water district will determine if the
water conservation district will actually be formed. As tax
of as much as two cents per $100 of property valuation may
be imposed upon those in the water district to pay for a
water district manager and a small staff, Bickley said.

The water district board would regulate the spacing of water
wells in the district, according to Bickley.

According to a pamphlet handed out by Tarin during the
meeting, the water district board would have the power to:
adopt rules to conserve groundwater; provide for the spacing
of water wells; acquire land to erect dams or drain lakes;
construct dams; install pumps or other equipment necessary
to recharge the groundwater reservoir; make surveys;
purchase or sell surface water; power of eminent domain;
carry out research projects; require permits for
transferring groundwater out of district; require well
owners to cap wells; levy taxes; apply for and receive
grants; and issue and sell bonds.

"The district would provide protection so that if you drill
a good well your neighbor cannot drill another well right
beside yours," Tarin said.

Bickley proposed that a cap be set on the amount of tax that
could be levied to support the water district.

"It would be hard to pass legislation if the voters felt
they would be burdened by an onerous tax," Bickley said.

Commissioners encouraged Bickley and the Trans-Pecos Cotton
Growers Association to continue seeking support for the
water district.

In other business, commissioners approved a proposal by
Tarin to have speed limits installed on County Rd. 314 near
Balmorhea because residents there have complained of too
many high speed vehicles passing through the area.

A bid was awarded for installation of a computer network at
the Reeves County Detention Center by Valcom for $30,868.

Commissioners were informed that GTE has agreed to install a
new phone cable to the Reeves County Courthouse, at no cost
to the county, so that additional telephone lines and
tele-equipment may be installed.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, J.T. Marsh's request for
an additional $400 for supplies and $500 for travel expenses
was approved by commissioners. They also agreed to increase
Marsh's one support staff from working two days a week to
four days a week in his precinct.

Commissioners were also informed that the expansion of
Reeves County Detention Center was on schedule and all work
is expected to be completed by July 27.

Securing a future for local water rights

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 28, 1998 - Entering the Ready Room at Texas-New
Mexico Power Company's regional office windswept and dusty
after another rainless week, area landowners convened on
Wednesday, April 22, to discuss the preserving and
protecting of a treasured resource, underground freshwater

Gary Walker, Texas Representative for District 80,
encouraged landowners from Reeves, Pecos and Ward counties
that the best way to protect local water may be to form a
local underground water conservation district.

"Our best defense is to prove we are managing our resources
properly with local money and local people," said Walker.
"If you formed an underground water district before El Paso
came in, it could limit the amount of water to leave the

Himself a member of an underground water district in Plains,
Walker said that there was only one court case between a
municipality and a water district. This, he said, was over
20 years ago -and the water district won.

While opening the meeting, Trans-Pecos Cotton Growers
Association President Larry Turnbough reminded those present
that the question is not whether we need an underground
district but "to work out the particulars" for that district.

These particulars were quickly raised as participants asked
how water districts are paid for, could cities be excluded
from the district and what were the specific
responsibilities of water districts?

Walker answered the questions, saying that district lines
could be delineated any way the group chose to,
incorporating portions of a city or county only. Districts,
he said, are generally paid for with tax revenues, but a
"cap," or limit, may be used to restrict the upper end of
that tax.

Citing the responsibilities of underground water districts,
Walker referred back to a handout he had circulated earlier
in the meeting. That handout stated the required duties of a
water district, including to "Develop and adopt a
comprehensive management plan for the most efficient use of
groundwater," to adopt necessary rules for implementing the
management plan, requiring permits for drilling, equipping,
or completing wells which produce over 25,000 gallons per
day, and preparing and approving an annual budget.

"Someone is going to manage your ground water," warned
Walker, "I think it will be sooner than we think."

The creation of an underground water district, Walker said,
would require the drafting of a bill, the delineation of the
district and a listing of the preliminary five member board.

The bill would then be introduced, with the specific
delineations and preliminary member names, when the Texas
House of Representative's reconvenes in January.

"Then, in 60 days it will probably be signed by the Governor
into law," said Walker.

A district-wide vote on the proposed water district could
then take place.

Turnbough said at this point that landowners couldn't "sit
back and think it is going to happen." If landowners moved
forward with the plan, he said, it would "be a sign to the
cities" that they were taking charge of their water.

Most attendees agreed that the district should contain all
of Reeves County, possibly excluding Pecos City, the
northern portion of Pecos County and western Ward County.

No action was taken at the meeting. Another meeting will be
called, possibly as soon as next month, to discuss the
matter further.

Juvenile overflow contracts just a precaution

Staff Writer
PECOS, April 28, 1998 - Reeves County's contracts with Ector
and Midland counties to house an overflow of juvenile
detainees is just a precaution, according to juvenile
probation officer Alberto Alvarez.

Alvarez explained that the contracts were negotiated
primarily for the detention of females, but anybody could be
taken to one of the other counties. He said that there will
probably be a similar agreement with a Fort Stockton
facility when it is completed. He said the Reeves County
Juvenile Detention Center was built with three rooms for
females and nine rooms for males because historically there
have always been a lot less female referrals than male

"There were seven or eight, maybe nine females referrals
last month. You can imagine the dilemma we would have been
in if we had had to house them all at the same time," said
Alvarez. "It's a sign of the times."

Alvarez said that the RCJDC has had more female referrals so
far this year than in the past 12 years.

"I asked for contracts with Ector and Midland counties as a
backup service," Alvarez said. "We have come close to having
an overcrowding situation recently, so this is a precaution.
It's just an emergency plan."

Alvarez said that currently, Reeves County is not paying to
have any of its juveniles in custody at another facility,
but a time may come when the contracts are necessary.

"I can't just take a kid somewhere without an existing
contract. We may not ever need to use it," Alvarez said.

Pecos joins state in celebrating tourism

PECOS, April 28, 1998 - For one week in May cities across
the U.S. will celebrate one of the most vital boosters to
localeconomies -tourism. And Texas, the second most popular
tourist destination in the country, isthrowing a hoe-down of
its own.

In conjunction with National Tourism Week, May 4-8, Texas
will kick off its week of festivitieswith a proclamation
from Texas Governor George W. Bush recognizing the
significance oftourism -the third largest industry in the
state. State officials also will encourage
travel/tourismemployees to wear a green ribbon during the
week to create awareness about the economicimpact of tourism.

According to Tracye McDaniel, Director of Tourism for the
Department of EconomicDevelopment, this year's theme, "Texas
Tourism...Something to Celebrate" reflects theexcitement
about Texas and its thriving travel industry.

"Because of our geographic, cultural and historical
diversity, Texas is the second most populartourist
destination in the U.S.," said McDaniel. "Tourism Week is an
opportunity to acknowledgethe importance of this industry
and to celebrate all of the exciting contributions tourism

Travelers to Texas generate $27.5 billion annually. In
addition, more than 464,000 Texans areemployed in
travel-related jobs, such as as hotels and attractions. As
Texas continues to gain intravel destination popularity,
residents will reap the benefits. In 1996, direct travel
expendituresgenerated nearly $4.6 billion in tax revenue.
Without this revenue, each Texas household wouldpay an
additional $667 in taxes to maintain existing government

"Locally, tourism employs more than 190 residents and
generates an economic impact of$14,460,000," said Tom
Rivera, Executive Director for the Pecos Chamber of
Commerce. "Tocelebrate National Tourism Week, we're having a
proclamation signing on May 1. Also, a familywill be
kidnapped off the interstate. This family will receive a
free lunch, a gift basket and warmhospitality. The Visitors'
Center located inside the Chamber of Commerce will be
hosting anOpen House for all those wanting to visit and get

Paul Serff, president of the Texas Travel industry
Association, agrees that the contributionsrealized from
tourism far exceed that from other industries. "Travel and
tourism is one of the fewindustries that makes a dramatic
impression on both urban and rural areas in terms of
economicand societal impact," said Serff. "It can also be
credited for not only saving, but preserving andenhancing
histroical and cultural treasures, our state's diversity and
the vast, natural landscapes.It's an undervalued industry
that impacts us all."

For more information on Texas travel events and vacation
destinations, please call1-800-8888-TEX or view the web site
at For further information on
TexasTourism Week in Pecos call the Chamber of Commerce at


PECOS, April 28, 1998 - Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000
in reward for information leading to the arrest and Grand
Jury indictment of person(s) responsible for the incident
described below. Anyone having any information on this crime
or any other crime including narcotics can call "Crime
Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain anonymous.

On March 31, 1997, a Wal-Mart official advised that over the
Easter holiday, while the store was closed, a person or
persons had taken several trees and a bail of peat moss from
the garden area in front of the store. It was reported that
an orange pickup was seen in the area loading items up.


PECOS, April 28, 1998 - High Monday, 70, low this morning,
41. The storms subsided Monday, but don't be fooled - more
rain is in the forecast for much of the state today. West
Texas skies were cloudy this morning, except for fair skies
in the far West. Light rain fell in the Panhandle.
Temperatures were in the 30s and 40s, with gusty winds up to
20 mph. The afternoon should be partly cloudy with showers
possible in the Panhandle. Highs are forecast in the 60s and
70s with lows tonight in the 40s.

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