Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, November 6, 1998
GTE preparing to dump area's phone system
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Pecos is one of the telephone exchanges that GTE Network
Services plans to sell or trade as it merges with Bell
GTE said it will sell about 1.6 million of the 21.5 million
domestic local access lines held at year-end 1997.
In Texas, 297,300 access lines are available for sale or
trade in 196 service areas, affecting Pecos, Balmorhea,
Coyanosa, Mentone and Toyah.
Jeannette Alligood, co-owner of Allcomm Long Distance and
Oilfield Phone Service, said this morning that she has not
received notification of the proposed sale.
Charles Watkins, public affairs officer, said the
repositioning effort is part of an overall corporate plan
announced in April to generate after-tax proceeds of $2-$3
billion to be re-deployed into other higher growth strategic
The effort is unrelated to GTE's proposed merger with Bell
Atlantic. In addition, the company noted that it plans to
continue to offer its other products, including
long-distance and Internet access services in these markets.
"The offering of these properties for sale or trade is
consistent with GTE's strategic objectives and has generated
a great deal of interest from other telephone service
providers," said John Appel, president-GTE Network Services.
More than 200 prospective bidders who have already expressed
interest will soon receive letters providing more detail on
the properties GTE is making available.
"Preference will be given to bidders whose proposals involve
purchasing or trading an entire regional cluster," Appel
said. "We will also consider proposals for individual states
within those clusters, but it is unlikely that we will
accept offers for individual exchanges."
GTE has approximately 403 employees in the affected
"Our employees are an asset to their communities and to a
new company," said Larry Atwell. "They will continue to
fulfill our service commitments during this process. What's
more, their expertise and dedication will ensure that a
smooth transition will take place at such time as the
properties we are selling or trading transition to the new
GTE said its goal is to reach definitive agreements for all
of the properties by mid-1999. Transition to the buyers will
occur during the remainder of 1999 and the Year 2000.
Other systems in Texas that GTE plans to sell or trade off
include those around Amarillo, Texarkana, and Abilene,
along with others in the South Plains and East Texas. GTE
plans to retain its systems in the Dallas-Fort Worth, San
Angelo, Austin, Bryan-College Station and Corpus Christi
areas, along with other systems in northeast Texas and along
the Texas Gulf Coast.
Vaughn helping local youth with problems
By ROSIE FLORES
Helping youth with drug and alcohol problems, peer pressure
and generally educating teens on important issues is the
goal of the area's new drug and alcohol counselor, Robert
Vaughn is the director of the EXCEL program, a drug and
alcohol treatment program for adolescents, sponsored by
Alliance Hospital in Santa Teresa, N.M., just west of El
"They opened up several programs in Del Rio, El Paso and
will possibly open one up in San Antonio," said Vaughn.
The program in Pecos was set up about two months ago.
"Some of the programs are still in the developing stages,"
said Vaughn. Management officials with the Alliance came to
Pecos and did a survey, before determining that the area was
in need of this particular program. "They looked at the
number of juveniles in the system here and based on that
information felt there was a need for this service," said
Vaughn's office is in a portable facility located next to
the Reeves County Juvenile Center on Locker Road.
Juveniles are referred to Vaughn by the Carver Center, the
juvenile detention center or can voluntarily request his
"I have three clients right now, with five pending
admission," said Vaughn. "Some are voluntarly while others
are required as a condition of their probation."
Vaughn was born in El Paso and holds a Bachelor Degree in
social work from the University of Texas-El Paso. He also
has an associate's degree in construction management. "I
enjoy building things, I know this degree is totally
unrelated to the work I do, but it's something else I truly
enjoy," he said.
He is a licensed chemical dependency counselor, certified
alcohol and drug abuse counselor and certified gambling
"I have 20 years experience in this field, working with drug
and alcohol abuse in the criminal justice system," he said.
EXCEL is a self-supporting program, Vaughn said. "We take
those individuals who are on Medicaid, but if they can't pay
we look for other avenues."
It also is a chemical dependency outpatient treatment
service targeting both males and females, ages 14-18, who
are not in need of medical detoxification, but who are in
need of a highly structured treatment environment in order
to achieve sobriety.
Vaughn stated that they helped gain a grant for the Carver
Center in the amount of $20,000 to increase the availability
of the EXCEL program. "Those juveniles who don't have the
money, who come from Carver, can use this money," he said.
Vaughn said that since he came to Pecos he has received a
lot of support from the Carver Center, Jimmy Dutchover,
along with officials at Pecos High School and the juvenile
"I also attended the recent meeting they had on gangs,
because a lot of people don't realize that gangs and drugs
go together," he said.
The young people in this program have legal issues, usually
related to gang involvement, and are often from
single-parent homes. These youth tend to feel hopeless about
their future and turn to alcohol, drugs, and/or the gangs to
relieve the pain and to gain a sense of belonging and worth.
The first step in entering the program is a referral to the
"We get a referral from one of the facilities such as Carver
or the juvenile center and then do a screening," Vaughn
said. EXCEL will also accept referrals from schools,
ministers, and even desperate parents looking to achieve
some calm in their chaotic lives.
Vaughn stated that the screening, called Substance Abuse
Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI), helps identify what
problems will be encountered, if any, during the program.
"This helps to tell us how the individual will react, their
behavior, whether their depressed or suicidal," he said.
"This helps to tell us how well he'll do in the program."
The goals of the program are met through a combination of
treatment modalities, individualized for each client.
The adolescents attend counseling 20 hours a week, from 3
p.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. "We provide all transportation for
the client along with a healthy snack," said Vaughn. The
adolescents are transported from home or school to the
The goal of the EXCEL program is to help each adolescent
achieve the self-discipline and sense of self-worth required
to abstain from both chemical stimuli and gang involvement.
"We additionally strive to teach these young people to
embrace socially responsible behaviors such as returning to
and completing school, becoming involved in sports or civic
organizations and becoming positive role models for their
peers," said Vaughn.
"We stress community involvement, parental involvement in a
juvenile's life and encourage kids to participate in
programs, because if they don't they won't do it," said
Vaughn. "It needs to be up to the parents to encourage them
to participate in this program if they feel this is what the
The program lasts for seven-weeks, with 135 hours of group,
educational and therapeutic counseling. "It includes 26
hours of individual counseling," Vaughn added.
Although he is the only such counselor on hand right now, a
second person is in the process of being transferred to
Pecos to help out. "I'm hoping it will be a woman, because
young girls can talk easier with a woman than they do a man,
they're not as open with a man counselor as they are with a
woman counselor," Vaughn said.
For more information on the program call 447-6270.
Commissioners to discuss payment
Reeves County Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the
third payment to Barnes General Contractors for work done at
the Reeves County Detention Center during their
regularly-scheduled meeting at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the
Reeves County Courthouse.
Commissioners will meet on the third floor of the courthouse
and discuss the payment to Barnes, which worked on the
support services shell building and the recreation building
addition at the RCDC. Commissioners last approved a payment
to Barnes during their Sept. 14 meeting.
In other business, discussion of liability insurance
coverage for the county's public officials, law enforcement
officials and for real and personal property is also
scheduled for Monday. Commissioners will also:
-- Discuss appointment of the county's representative to the
Reeves County Tax Appraisal Board;
-- Discuss/take action on sheriff's and county auditors'
office items for salvage or surplus;
-- Discuss/take action on a lease agreement for a copier
machine for the sheriff's office;
-- Discuss/take action on reports from various departments;
-- Discuss/take action on budget amendments and line-item
-- Discuss/take action on personnel and salary changes at
the sheriff's office, juvenile detention center and county
Approval of minutes from the previous meeting and
semi-monthly payment of bills round out Monday's agenda.
Volunteer firemen name Pena as chief
Roy Pena was chosen chief for the Pecos Volunteer Fire
Department, in Thursday's elections, which are subject to
approval by the Pecos City Council.
Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire has served as chief for the
Lynn Foster and Arnulfo Rivas were named first and second
Gilbert Ybarra was elected secretary-treasurer, with Freddy
Contreras as fire representative, David Elliott as training
officer, with Mitch Elliott and Amonario Ramon as safety
Abel Dominguez and Oscar Fuentes were named to the
benevolent committee, and Roque Matta to the pension board.
Tiguas seeking return of items with big reward
EL PASO (AP) -- The Tigua tribe of Native Americans has
raised its reward for the return of a sacred drum and masks
to $1 million following a former tribal leader's acquittal
on theft charges.
Jurors last week found former Tigua war captain Marty Silvas
innocent of charges he stole a drum that was considered the
heart of the West Texas tribe.
The Tiguas' ancestors carried the drum from their New Mexico
home during the 1680 Pueblo revolt.
Silvas, who was ousted from his ceremonial position after
his indictment, hid the artifacts several years ago during a
rift among tribal leaders.
He also was accused of stealing a pipe, two religious masks
called ``Los Abuelos,'' a ceremonial bowl and the Red Stone.
The charges against him carried a potential life prison
The Tiguas had been offering $500,000 for the artifacts'
return but raised that to $1 million after Silvas was
``The tribe tonight increased the reward for the safe return
of the juanchido drum and los abuelos masks to $1 million,''
tribal spokesman Marc Schwartz said in a prepared statement.
Silvas' defense lawyer, Tom Hughes, could not be reached for
comment, and Schwartz said the tribe had no comment on the
verdict, the El Paso Times reported today.
District Attorney Jaime Esparza, whose office prosecuted the
case, said the court's mission was to determine if Silvas
committed theft by taking the drum.
As war captain, Silvas was given the sacred drum to protect.
Though he was ousted from the tribal council, he said he
considered his position to be a lifetime post and kept the
drum, valued at more than $200,000.
``The only issue that was being litigated (this week) was
whether or not, when he did that, he committed a theft,''
Esparza said. ``The jury, after hearing the evidence,
believes that his possession of the drum is not theft.''
Esparza said the trial outcome cannot be appealed.
``If the Indians have other avenues (to recover the drum), I
can't speak to that,'' he said.
Silvas was removed as war captain amid a dispute between his
brother, Manny, and other tribal leaders.
Manny Silvas was not permitted to seek election as governor
in December 1994 because of alleged financial improprieties
while he was lieutenant governor in 1993. When the tribe's
chief, Enrique Paiz, supported Manny Silvas he also was
The dispute created a splinter faction that elected Manny
Silvas as governor and restored Paiz as chief, but those
officials were never recognized.
Because of the oaths Marty Silvas took to follow tradition,
he hid the drum and other artifacts he had been entrusted
with and said he could not return them until the current
tribal leadership stepped down.
The Tigua tribe has a small reservation in far east El Paso,
where it also operates a casino.
Juan L. Flores
Funeral services for Juan L. Flores, 78, will be held at 10
a.m. Saturday at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, with burial to
follow in Greenwood Cemetery. A rosary will be held tonight
at 7:30 p.m. at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Flores was born on March 28, 1920 and died Thursday, Nov. 5,
1998, at Scenic Mountain Medical Center in Big Spring. He
was a Catholic, a retired mechanic and a lifelong Pecos
Survivors include his wife, Lydia B. Flores of Pecos; three
sons, Juan Flores of Pecos, Rolando Flores of Texas City and
Francisco Flores of Odessa; three daughters, Jesusita Quiroz
of Pecos, Elida F. Quiroz of Las Vegas, Nev., and Virginia
F. Romero of Pecos; a stepson, Mario B. Sotelo of Pecos; two
stepdaughters, Sue Abila of Pecos and Irma Gochicoa of
Odessa; four brothers, Ciprano Flores and Lorenzo Flores,
both of El Paso, Catarino Flores of Odessa and Pilo Flores
of Pecos; two sisters, Rosa Flores of El Paso and Licha
Flores of Midland; 36 grandchildren and 59
High Thursday 52. Low last night 48. Tonight, cloudy with a
20 percent chance of rain. Low in the mid 40s. South wind
10-20 mph. Saturday, decreasing cloudiness and warmer. High
around 70. southwest wind 10-15 mph shifting west early.
Ned Cantwell, 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