Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, July 24, 1998
New band directors appointed
By ROSIE FLORES
A new band director, who be bringing with him 14 years of
experience and a new outlook to Pecos High School, was
approved by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members, during a
special meeting Thursday night,
William Goff was approved as new head band director for the
Pecos Eagle Band, along with new directors for Crockett,
Zavala and Lamar Middle Schools.
Goff, who is currently in San Angelo, holds a Masters of
Education/Administration from Sul Ross State University. He
will be joined by Luz Alexander at Crockett Middle School,
Connally Cunningham at Zavala Middle School and Donna
Solberg at Lamar Middle School.
Crockett's new band director holds a Bachelor of
Arts/History/Spanish from the University of Texas of the
Permian Basin, while Cunningham holds a Masters of of Music
Degree/Music from the University of Houston.
Solberg holds a Bachelor of Music Degree/Music Education
from the University of Montana. She will also be a teacher
at Pecos Elementary School and Bessie Haynes Elementary and
has 13 years experience.
In addition the board approved several new hires following
several resignations which were accepted at the last school
John Barrett who has a Bachelor of Science/Elementary
Education/Sul Ross State University. He will be teaching at
Bessie Haynes Elementary School fifth grade special
Priscilla Gray Cook will be teaching at Bessie Haynes
Elementary School fourth grade. She holds a Bachelor of
Arts/Interdisciplinary Studies from Sul Ross State
Jon Waymon Holland will be the girls' volleyball/basketball
assistant coach and junior high boys' golf coach. In
addition he will be a math teacher at Zavala Middle School.
Sherry Holland will be teaching at Lamar Middle School as a
special education teacher. She holds a Bachelor of
Science/Education from Abilene Christian University.
Rebecca Jeffries will be teaching sixth grade at Lamar
Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Science/Special
Learning and Development from Angelo State University; Susan
McDonald will be at Lamar Middle School as an ESL teacher
and holds a Bachelor of Arts/History from the University of
Texas and Jaime Paniagua will be teaching math at Pecos High
School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts/History from the
University of Texas.
Reassignments included Francita Brooks special education
teacher at Pecos Kindergarten/Austin Elementary
School/Zavala Middle School; Annabelle Chavez from first and
second grade teacher at Barstow Elementary School to fifth
grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary School; Amy
Lechuga from fourth grade teacher at Bessie Haynes
Elementary School to fifth grade teacher at Bessie Haynes
Elementary School and Gabriel Pena from math teacher at
Zavala Middle School to math teacher at Crockett Middle
In addition to the special school board meeting the board
also held a workshop sponsored by TASB, Texas Association of
Sonia Colorito of Austin, TASB Policy Consultant/Analyst,
was on hand to review policy manual revisions.
Several individuals, including P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don
Love and Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez, had
visited with Colorito regarding the policy manual.
School board members who attended the workshop received
credit for their attendance. School board members present
included Alberto Alvarez, Daisy Roquemore, Earl Bates, Brent
Shaw and Freddy Lujan.
Colorito pointed out several revisions and told the board
that they could accept the alterations or reject them. "I've
really enjoyed being here, but it's up to you to accept the
recommendations," she said.
"This is an enormous amount of paperwork, but it touches on
the fine points and items that sometimes may come up and
will have to be dealt with," Colorito said.
City hunts part-time grant writer
By GREG HARMAN
The interest is certainly there.
Grant writers seemed to crawl out the woodwork Thursday, as
the Pecos City Council discussed creating a part-time grant
The city had previously contracted with Austin-based
consultant Carlos Colina-Vargas for applying for
water-related grants., while Kenneth Neal was hired as Pecos
City Manager in large part because of his extensive
knowledge and experience in the field of grant writing.
At the same time, the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah School District
has employed Carver Learning Center teacher Jimmy Dutchover
and Pecos High School art teacher Walter Holland to pursue
the private and public monies offered through various
grants. And now, the Pecos Economic Development Corporation
has installed Gari Ward, who possesses a vision of the big
money available in federal grants, as president.
When council member Danny Rodriguez raised the issue of
hiring a part-time grant writer for the city, with Dutchover
as his recommendation, he couldn't have foreseen the stir it
would cause when it finally came up for discussion Thursday
Dutchover addressed the council, relaying his experiences,
and many successes, securing minor grants for the schools.
"It's not hard to get the information, but it takes time,"
he said. "If you feel that it won't pay for itself -- it
Holland reported on the successes that he had experienced.
Spotlighting grants received by both the art and science
departments, Holland told that council that "a couple of
thousand dollars to some of these kids is a fortune."
Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford asked if either had any experience
writing grants for municipalities. Both said they had not.
She further reminded the council that the city did have a
hiring freeze on.
Audience member Mac Arthur Pineda, after raising his hand to
be recognized by the council, asked if grant writing did not
fall into the domain of the city manager. Neal responded
that, while he did writer grant applications, he was often
"snowed under" with the other demands of his office.
Rodriguez voiced his frustration over the lack of actual
grant activity. "For seven years I've seen zero grants. We
are not taking chances (as a city). We've got to go find it.
It's not going to find us."
Councilman Randy Graham agreed with Rodriguez, saying,
"We've been talking grants for a long time, but we haven't
done anything about it."
Ward reminded the council that as far as federal grants go,
they could "write all they want to" but it would not get
funded until an Overall Economic Development Plan (OEDP) is
rewritten and submitted to the Economic Development
Association. Securing an OEDP, he said, "probably has more
effect on job creation than any other thing."
Stafford appointed Rodriguez, Neal, City Finance Director
Steve McCormick, and Dutchover to investigate the topic
further and make a recommendation at the next council
In other action, the council appointed Lydia O. Prieto, tax
assessor-collector for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent
School District, as the officer to calculate the effective
tax rate and the rollback rate for the year. Prieto warned
the council that, because of an increase in its appraised
value, maintaining the current tax rate would generate more
tax revenue in the city next year, and, because of a change
in tax law, would require a public hearing.
Cotton growers push for water district
By GREG HARMAN
A decision may be made at a gathering of area growers,
ranchers and civic leaders at next Tuesday's Underground
Water District meeting on whether to pursue the formation of
a local underground water district and what form such a
district may take.
"It's time to get on or get off," said Executive Director of
the Trans-Pecos Cotton Association Bob Bickley, a prominent
proponent for the district's formation. "This will be a very
The informal citizen's group is hoping to lay down a
boundary line that will decide what areas of Pecos, Reeves,
Ward and Loving counties will be included in the district,
and who will serve as temporary heads of the board.
The district's board, when formed, would be in charge of
developing and adopting a comprehensive management plan for
the most efficient use of area ground water. It would also
regulate where new water wells could be drilled and how much
water could be pumped from them.
The meeting will be held at the Texas A&M Agricultural
Experiment Station at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and will follow
a 4 p.m. hearing there on the formation of a boll weevil
eradication zone for cotton growers in the Trans-Pecos/El
The water district meeting follows one held on April 22,
where State Rep. Gary Walker urged local growers to adopt an
underground district as a means of protecting the area water
interests from the aggressive tactics of larger
municipalities, such as El Paso.
Walker (R-Plains) who represents District 80 in the Texas
Legislature, also manages the underground water district in
his hometown of Plains, southwest of Lubbock.
Trans-Pecos Cotton Association has taken the lead on the
issue, holding several meetings on the topic in recent
Bickley, along with Precinct 3 Reeves County Commissioner
Herman Tarin, solicited, and received, support for the
proposed water district from the Pecos City Council at the
council's July 9 meeting.
Supporters of an underground water district claim that the
formation of a local district in necessary to keep water
practices from being dictated by the state.
Senate Bill 1, passed by the Texas Legislature in its last
session, has divided the state into many Regional Water
Planning Areas. Reeves has been included as the most
westerly county in Region F, a 31 county area. Balmorhea
resident Braulia Natividad was named as the area's
representative on the regional water board.
Men jailed for illegal car use
By JON FULBRIGHT
A Van Horn man driving a rental car and his passenger from
Ohio remain in Reeves County Jail today, two days after
sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle they were riding in
and found $31,000 in cash hidden in the trunk.
Deputies Jesse Franco and Terry Halpain stopped the 1998
Chevrolet the two men were in for speeding. The stop
occurred at 11:37 a.m. on Tuesday near mile marker 33 on
Interstate 20, seven miles west of Pecos.
According to Franco's report, when they asked the driver,
Ivan Cruz, 47, of Van Horn, for permission to search the
vehicle, he said it belonged to the passenger, Johnnie
Boyce, 40, of Toledo, Ohio. Boyce allowed the deputies to
conduct the search, and they found the bundles of $100s,
$50s, $20s and $10s in a white bag hidden behind a partially
unscrewed driver's side panel in the trunk.
Boyce at first denied the money was his, then did claim the
money, Franco said. At the same time, he said a car rental
agreement found in the Chevrolet failed to list either man's
name. The deputies then called the rental company, who asked
them to impound the car.
The vehicle was towed into town, while the men and money
were transported to Reeves County Jail. Franco said Cruz and
Boyce were charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,
and sheriff Andy Gomez said the men were still in the jail
as of late this morning.
Anchor's abatement request denied
By GREG HARMAN
Reeves County Hospital District board members on Tuesday
voted to deny Anchor West a two year extension on its tax
abatement, after refusing Anchor spokesman John Wojtkun's
request to table a decision on the matter until he could
clear up some "gray areas," said hospital officials.
Wojtkun, who failed to provide board members with the
estimated figures they requested at their previous meeting,
explained that Anchor had not received a five year extension
on its abatement from the hospital district in 1995, but a
new, 10-year abatement. He asked that the item be tabled
until he could clear up the dispute with Texas Attorney
General Dan Morales' office.
Board members Marcella Lovett, Jesus Prieto, and Elizer
"Chel" Flores all voted to deny the abatement. Board Vice
President Greg Luna voted in favor of tabling the matter,
and Board President Jeannette Alligood abstained.
Anchor West, a producer of frozen foods, came to Pecos in
1990 and was granted a five year tax abatement by the local
taxing entities in 1991. It currently is the largest private
employer in Reeves County.
The abatement was extended by Reeves County, Pecos City and
the Reeves County Hospital District in 1995 for an
additional five years.
The company has sought the two year extension from the
taxing entities after losing its abatement status this year
by failing to return the proper paperwork by the state
Clinton OKs drought, heat aid for Texas
By CURT ANDERSON
AP Farm Writer
WASHINGTON -- The broiling summer's toll on humans and
agriculture prompted President Clinton to declare a disaster
for Texas farmers and order $100 million to pay electric
bills and buy air conditioners and fans.
The president also repeated his support Thursday for several
measures in Congress to help farmers across the country who
are suffering from incomes that are down 35 percent compared
to 1996, partly because of disasters and partly due to
lagging foreign trade coupled with big harvests.
``We simply can't flourish if we let our rural roots shrivel
and decline,'' the president said from the White House in a
session broadcast to radio stations in farm states.
Clinton, noting that the summer of 1998 is on track to being
the hottest on record, said: ``This scorching heat shows no
sign of abating. It has destroyed crops, led to widespread
power outages and, worst of all, has resulted in the deaths
of over 100 people.''
To help people stay cool in 11 Southern and Western states,
Clinton ordered release of $100 million from the low-income
home energy assistance program.
``Those who cannot afford air conditioning are at real peril
of further health risks as the heat wave goes on,'' Clinton
The 11 states eligible for emergency aid are Alabama,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Hit by drought, chronic wet weather and declining export
markets especially in Asia, the Commerce Department reported
that farm income in the first three months of the year was
$17.8 billion. That is off more than a third from the $27.2
billion farmer earned in the first quarters of both 1996 and
The election-year crisis has Democrats and Republicans
scrambling to respond.
``In Texas, almost three quarters of the cotton crop is
lost,'' Clinton said. ``And in North Dakota, retired
auctioneers are being pressed into duty just to handle all
the families who are being forced to sell all their farms.''
Clinton declared all Texas counties eligible for disaster
assistance, making federal aid available to farmers. He also
said he will send Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to
Texas and Oklahoma next week to inspect areas hit hardest by
the drought and harsh temperatures.
The president urged House Republicans to support the
Democrats' $500 million emergency aid package passed by the
House Speaker Newt Gingrich has tentatively endorsed the
plan, which is particularly aimed at Upper Midwest farmers
who have suffered repeated crop losses due to wet weather
Gingrich and Clinton also are together in supporting
legislation to speed up the $5.5 billion in payments that
many farmers are due to get later in fiscal 1999, which
begins Oct. 1.
``We must never turn our backs on farmers when Mother Nature
or the world economy turns a callous eye,'' Clinton said.
He expressed sympathy with farmers' complaints that the
government's crop insurance program, which is supposed to
protect against calamities, is not working after Congress
rewrote farm laws two years ago to end automatic government
``This is one where an honest error was made and we want to
correct it,'' Clinton said. He invited farmers to suggest
ways to make the program more affordable and fairer. Clinton
also called on Congress to approve $18 billion to replenish
the International Monetary Fund, which would loan money to
foreign governments to buy American farm products.
``American farmers cannot afford to wait,'' the president
said. ``They need help now.''
Clinton acknowledged that the fast-track trade legislation
-- supported by many Republicans but opposed by most House
Democrats -- probably would not be approved before next
year, after the November elections. Many farmers believe it
would help increase agricultural exports once new trade
deals are negotiated.
``I would support voting on fast track whenever we think we
can pass it,'' he said. ``I believe it will pass early next
He said Congress should focus its attention on other
problems, such as the IMF funds and emergency aid for
farmers. ``Why not pass what we can pass now?'' he said.
High Thursday 101. Low this morning 71. Forecast for
tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of
thunderstorms. Low around 70. South wind 5-15 mph. Saturday,
partly cloudy. A less than 20 percent chance of
thunderstorms. High 95 100. South wind 10-20 mph.
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