Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, May 21, 1998
It shouldn't happen to a dog
Dumped pets disturb city's control officer
By GREG HARMAN
Monday, noontime: A long, silent automobile slows on the
west side of town and is seen stopping near Texas Street. A
young male Doberman Pincher, ears still uncut, is tossed to
the street and the car speeds away.
The dog chases the vehicle for half a block with tail
wagging happily and then, perhaps realizing a chase is in
vain, stills in the middle of the empty street. He turns
slowly and starts walking off in the opposite direction,
maybe towards what used to be his home.
It is impossible to an observer of this scene to know why
the couple got rid of this dog. Perhaps they simply cannot
afford to feed the dog any longer. Perhaps they are moving
to another area, an apartment where larger animals are not
allowed. Maybe they fantasized that a well-off family on the
west side would find this pup and raise it as their own. But
whatever the motivation, the outcome of this couple's
uneducated decision spelled-out disaster for this young
Time passes and life in Pecos goes on as before, workers
drive to lunch, others visit friends, go shopping. It is
several hours before the voice of a distressed woman reaches
Animal Control Officer Thomas Escovedo.
At the woman's Seventh Street home, he finds the discarded
young dog -- curled up on the woman's porch, bleeding from
the rectum, nose and mouth. Along the side of the animal he
discerns what appear to be tire tracks.
There is nothing to be done but collect the dog, transport
it to the pound and "dispose" of it with a lethal injection.
The woman who discovered the animal testified that the car
that struck the dog did not even stop to see what they had
Adding to the tragedy -- as if the dog's own suffering
weren't enough -- Escovedo said a Pecos woman had called the
day before about the dog after seeking it wandering the
streets, and she was hoping to adopt it.
"He wasn't even given a chance to be adopted," said
Escovedo, shaking his head.
At the animal control building one is struck by the clean,
bleach-scrubbed floors, the dogs drying lazily from recent
tick and flea dips, and as Escovedo begins to speak: the
professional demeanor of this -- no, don't call him a dog
catcher -- animal control officer, is clear.
"Just because I pick up someone's animal doesn't mean I'm
going to issue a citation . . . The main thing is that they
get their dog back."
The officer says he understands that animals sometimes do
"real crazy things" that owners cannot control. He gave the
example of a Labrador Retriever that he has picked up
several times, who jumped his seven foot fence every time
there was a lightning storm. The owner was never fined.
Escovedo is constantly running up against old stereotypes of
his chosen profession. The one-year officer and one-time oil
field worker, seen cruising slowly through the streets of
Pecos searching for straying or dangerous animals, hates to
see the way people dispose of unwanted dogs.
And he takes his own medicine. This dog-lover who believes
that it is a privilege to own an animal does not have a dog
of his own because his yard is not fenced, a pair of
parakeets are all that liven up his home from within thin
metal protective bars.
The animal shelter, located in the back of the city yard off
of Walthall Street, is open during business hours, even when
Escovedo is making his rounds. The dogs, which are kept just
under a week, may cost anywhere from $12-$24, depending on
how long they've been kept.
"This is the greatest job I've ever had," he said, "The
people of Pecos are great."
Graduating seniors get scholarships, awards
Several Pecos High School students will receive an excellent
boost in furthering their education, thanks to scholarships
which were awarded Tuesday evening at the Pecos High School
The Pecos High School band was on hand for the processional,
with PHS senior class president Chris Reyes leading the
crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcoming everyone,
while principal Danny Rodriguez gave the welcoming speech
from the staff.
Traditional awards were given out to outstanding students,
including the Dorothy Curfman Award and the Letha Prewit
Basketball Memorial Award to Penny Armstrong and the Bill
Dean Memorial Award to Jeff Brownlee and Matt Ivy.
Athletic awards were given to Lorie Marquez and Jeff
Brownlee, from the U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete
Award and Franciso Rodriguez and Erica Orona received an
award from the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar.
Jacobo Herrera received a scholarship from Aladdin Beauty
College; Megan Freeman, Veronica Munoz, Jamie Corson,
Kenneth Friar and Al Tillman received Academic All-American
in Swimming Awards.
Earl Bell Alumni Scholarship Award winners were Gabriella
Bafidis and B.J. Brack; Burkholder Rodeo Scholarship of Sul
Ross State University recipient was Renea Rasberry; Business
Professionals of America, Sylvia Muniz; Carr Academic
Scholarship Foundation, from San Angelo State University,
were Veronica Munoz, Penny Armstrong, Jamie Corson and Megan
Classic Cable Scholarship recipient was Erica Orona; Comite
'88 award winners were Anna Lisa Gonzales, Beatriz Rodriguez
and Omar Hinojos; District VIII Student Council, Gabriella
Bafidis; Delta Kappa Gamma, Anna Lisa Gonzales; Evelyn
Turpin Dowling Scholarship, Chrisine Gonzales; Evening
Optimist Club Scholarship, Gabriella Bafidis, Rebecca
Herrera, Omar Hinojos, Sylvia Munoz, Veronica Perez, Beatriz
Rodriguez and Melissa Valdez; 4-H Gold Star Award, Jacob
Fowler; Freeport McMoRan Scholarship, Eric Barreno and
Golden Girl Scholarship, Gail Taylor, Stephanie Pharaoh, and
Herrera Scholarship, Cynthia Almanza; Howard College
Scholarship, Renea Rasberry; Knights of Columbus
Scholarship, Amy Barrera, Ana Lisa Gonzales and Laura
Marquez; Downtown Lions Frank Kelly Memorial Scholarship,
Anthony Lopez and Billy Rodriguez; Lubbock Christian
University, Steve Harrison; Pecos Aquatic, Jamie Corson;
Pecos Ladies Golf Association, Kimberly Clark; Pecos-Barstow
employees of Western Gas, Jamie Corson, Christine Gonzales,
Melissa Valdez and Amy Barreno; the Macy Minorities in
Medicine Program, Veronica D. Munoz; McDonald's Scholarship,
B.J. Brack, Jose Contreras, Laura Marquez, Olivia Nieto,
Laura Miranda; Midland College Scholarship, Rebecca Herrera
and Dahlia Valenzuela; J.T. Moore Scholarship, Megan Freeman
and Ollie Springfield Nunn Scholarship, Penny Armstrong.
Jason Abila received a scholarship from Ranger Junior
College; Laura Miranda, Erica Orona and Melissa Valdez
netted scholarships from Reeves County Detention Center
Scholarship fund; Pecos Business and Professional Women's
Club recipients were Kimberly Clark and Maribel Pena; Santa
Rosa Scholarship, Graciela Garcia; St. Mary's in Nebraska,
Lorie Marquez; Pecos High School Student Council
Scholarship, Gabriella Bafidis and Erica Orona; P-B-T ISD
Educational Secretaries Association, Lisa Navarrette and
Veronica Perez; Rotary Club Citizenship Award and
Scholarship, Jamie Corson and Camp Ryla, Casey Love and Tye
The Foreign Exchange Student award went to Vincent Bruels De
Tiecken; Veronica Munoz netted the Sam Walton Community
Scholarship (Wal-Mart); Renea Rasberry received a
scholarship from Sheriff's Posse and from the Texas HIgh
School Rodeo Association.
Texas New-Mexico Power Co. Scholarship recipient was
Gabriella Bafidis; Texas State Teachers Association Local
Scholarship went to Belinda Heard, Eric Aguilar, Kellee
Bagley, LaCrisha Molinar and Joseph O'Callaghan; Twentieth
Century Scholarship, Christine Gonzales; University of Texas
at Austin President's Achievement Scholarship Tier II and
Tier III, Megan Freeman and Erica Orona; UT Merit
Scholarship Award, Erik Barreno; UTPB Freshman Merit
Scholarship, Laura Miranda, Amy Barreno and Melissa Valdez;
Renea Rasberry received scholarships from West Texas A&M
Scholarship, West Texas College Scholarship and Robert G.
Worhsam Memorial Endowment.
Students were also recognized for their leadership and
excellence. Recognition in those categories for students in
band went to, Megan Freeman, who won the Beverly Fabrygel
Musical Achievement; while the John Phillips Sousa Band
Award went to Penny Armstrong; The "Semper Fidelis" Award,
Joseph Michael O'Callaghan; Pecos Band Booster Scholarship
Award recipients were Amy Barrera, B.J. Brack, Kristen
Carreon, Jeremy Thompson, Gabriella Bafidis, Megan Freeman
and Melissa Valdez and the recipient of the coveted Bill
Carrico Band Scholarship was Jeremy Thomasson.
Kellee Bagley was awarded the DeKalb Agricultural
Presidential Awards for Educational Excellence were awarded
to Sylvia Muniz, Luis Sanchez, Jesus Hernandez, Christina
Akins, Belinda Heard, Gabriella Bafidis, Renea Rasberry,
Kenneth Friar, Megan Freeman, Veronica Munoz, Amy Barrera,
Felix Ortiz, Ivy Thorp, Christopher Reyes, Al Tillman,
Melissa Valdez, Alessandra Aguilar, Eric Barreno, Penny
Armstrong, Francisco Rodriguez, Amy Barreno, Sarah Taylor,
Moses Martinez, Randi Key, April Villanueva, Jeff Brownlee,
Erica Orona, Jamie Corson, Dalila Valenzuela and Randa
UIL Awards went to Alessandra Aguilar, Penny Armstrong,
Gabriella Bafidis, Erik Barreno, Jeff Brownlee, Jamie
Corson, Megan Freeman, Kenneth Friar, Belinda Heard,
Veronica Munoz, Erica Orona, Al Tillman, Melissa Valdez,
Dalila Valenzuela and April Villanueva.
Closing remarks were made by Pecos High School student
council president Gabriella Bafidis.
Police, schools on alert for gang violence threat
By GREG HARMAN
Pecos Police are on heightened alert today, and will
continue through the remainder of this end-of-school week,
after an anonymous phone call to Pecos High School warned of
possible violent action, including drive-by shootings, by an
Odessa-area gang the final days of the school year.
In response, the overall police force has been beefed-up,
and several officers have been positioned around Pecos High
School as a deterrent.
Though he didn't want to alarm anybody, Chief of Police Clay
McKinney said that a phone call received by PHS Principal
Danny Rodriguez had caused the department to put extra
personnel on duty.
At the high school, students are not being allowed outside
of the building between classes or during lunch hour.
Rodriguez said the information he received about the gang's
intention was supplied by area parents and confirmed by more
than one source.
"We appreciate the adults who have informed us and we are
taking the precautions to protect our staff and students."
If parents observe any suspicious behavior, Rodriguez
recommended they call either the police, sheriff's office or
the school. "It's better to be safe than sorry," he said.
El Paso JP touts program for tougher rules
By GREG HARMAN
El Paso Justice of the Peace Judge Felix Saldivar will be
getting out of politics next year to give himself to
directing and promoting a tough truancy program known as "No
The program was one of the topics covered by Saldivar,
during his talk Wednesday afternoon on truancy and gang
problems before an audience at Pecos High School.
Co-developed by long-time friend and UTEP Sociology
professor Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, the "No Excuses" program
holds both parents and children accountable for truant
During the presentation to local school and law enforcement
employees in the Pecos High School library, Saldivar - a
thin, tightly-wound man enjoying mid-life - repeatedly
contrasted his memory of childhood with modern-day problems
by referring to his grade school days as the "olden days."
He drew a distinction between these two contrasting worlds
by saying, "Then it was `Yes, Sir.' `No, Sir.' We had prayer
in school and held our hands over our hearts for the pledge
of allegiance. I grew up in a time when the teacher got the
benefit of the doubt. When the principal got the benefit of
the doubt. When children chose `swats' over notes going home
to their parents."
Interspersing his presentation with the adapted humor of
popular comedian Bill Cosby, Saldivar summed up his opinions
of present-day problems and possible solutions.
The message that parents need to take back control of their
homes, was central to Saldivar's address.
Parents, who run the risk of prosecution when they use
physical discipline with their children, need to get more
creative with punishment, he said.
"There is no constitutional right to go to McDonald's," he
told parents, "There is no constitutional right to buy Nike
T-shirts. And there is no constitutional right to get money
Excuses offered by pupils when they don't want to attend
school, which include the adjectives boring, tired,
unpleasant and hard, won't cut it in the work-a-day world,
he said. Saldivar, who worries what kind of adults these
children will make, suggested that those who do not want to
attend school should be learning a trade, not simply hanging
But the most controversial tenant of the J.P.'s message came
when he spoke of having parents handcuffed, jailed and fined
for the delinquent behavior of their children.
"At the elementary age, 98 percent of the time it is the
At the junior high and high school ages, Saldivar gives
community service hours to the students while requiring that
the parent physically present their child to school each day.
"Truancy will not go away unless you take the necessary
measures," he warned.
Those who attended the two-hour meeting mostly nodded in
agreement to the picture Saldivar painted.
"I agree, we definitely have a problem," said Austin
Elementary Counselor Rosie Salcido. "Our current policies
need to be addressed and changed to be more strict."
Saldivar said that many school district surrounding El Paso,
and as far away as Fort Worth, have asked "No Excuses"
representatives to come and educate them on the program.
Silver-Haired Legislature vote set for Tuesday
The election for Reeves County's Texas Silver-Haired
Legislative District IV representative will be held from 10
a.m. to 3 p.m. next Tuesday, May 26.
All registered voters age 60 and over may vote in this
election. Designated polling places are located at Pecos
Senior Center, 119 South Cedar Street, and Balmorhea Senior
Center, on South Main Street.
TSHL representatives will convene in Austin in October to
consider and vote on proposed legislation that concerns the
needs of older Texans. For more info, call 1-800-491-4636.
Oklahoma man given economic coordinator job
By GREG HARMAN
The Reeves County Economic Development Corporation board
made their selection to fill the position of economic
development coordinator Wednesday night, hiring Gari Ward
out of Muskegee, Okla., for the newly-created job.
Ward, has spent most of his adult life in Texas and has
started up economic development projects in many
communities. Most recently his talents led him to Sitka,
Ala., to start an development corporation there.
"He has a wealth of experience with the public and with this
type of business," said board President Oscar Saenz. "We
chose him because he is very aggressive."
Saenz acknowledged Ward's aggressiveness may rub some the
wrong way, but he asked for the communities support in their
"We are committed to giving this all we've got, and we will
stand behind Gari and follow his leadership. We are asking
the community for any in-kind help they can give us."
Ward is expected to take over as Reeves County's economic
development coordinator on June 15. He has been hired at a
six-month salary of $25,000 plus expenses.
Saenz said that if the board met its goals at the end of
those six months the contract with Ward would be
Ward beat out seven other applicants for the position.
Describing the benefits of retaining such an employee, board
member Linda Gholson said, "A full-time employee can spend a
lot more time and attention (on their job) than can those
who operate on a volunteer basis and have other jobs."
Reeves County, the Town of Pecos City and the Reeves County
Hospital District board have all committed funds for the
salary of a full-time coordinator.
High Wednesday 100. Low this morning 68. Forecast for
tonight: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of
thunderstorms. Low in the lower 70s. South wind 10-20 mph.
Chance of rain is less than 20 percent. Friday, partly
cloudy and breezy. High in the lower 90s. southwest wind
15-25 mph and gusty. Memorial day weekend forecast, partly
cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. Highs in the lower 90s
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise