Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, November 25, 1998
Hospital staff works to avoid Y2K problems
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Federal agencies may rate a "D" for their efforts to fix the
computer glitch that could disrupt basic public services on
Jan. 1, 2000, but Reeves County Hospital's staff deserves an
"E" for effort.
Richard Mathis, who as chief financial officer heads the Y2K
committee, said progress toward removing the glitch "is
coming along great."
"We are not in this by ourselves," Mathis said. With 12
other hospitals in the Methodist (now Covenant) group, they
have contracted with a consulting group, H.M.C. Hamilton,
who has experience in computerized health care.
"They are providing us the guidance to address the upcoming
change into the new millennium," Mathis said.
Hospital staff in each department are taking an inventory of
their hardware and software to determine what needs to be
upgraded or replaced.
"Two of us are working on it day-to-day," he said. "All
department mangers are responsible for their portion."
Besides the in-hospital equipment, the staff is concerned
with third parties who pay for patient care, such as
insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid.
"We all have a certain amount of leg work and due diligence
to ensure we have, first of all, patient care, and second,
still bill and get paid," Mathis said.
"We are going to be out plenty of money upgrading or
replacing systems and equipment," he said.
Mathis believes the hospital's computers and equipment will
be ready when the clock rolls past midnight in the new
But federal agencies are not so sure they will be ready, the
Associated Press reports.
``The picture is a gloomy one,'' said Rep. Stephen Horn,
R-Calif. At the current rate nearly one-third of
mission-critical systems will not meet the president's March
1999 deadline for being Year 2000-compliant, he said.
But President Clinton's chief authority on the problem, John
Koskinen of the Year 2000 Council, said Horn's latest
assessment understates the progress being made and predicted
that almost all federal ``mission-critical'' computer
systems will be ready for the new millennium.
Some departments, such as the State Department and the
Health and Human Services Department, face ``significant
challenges,'' but the bigger problem, Koskinen said, is the
local governments, small businesses and foreign countries
that ``are at square one'' in addressing the issue.
Horn, chairman of the House subcommittee on government
management, information and technology, has been issuing
quarterly ratings of how 24 federal agencies are coping with
what is known as the ``Y2K'' problem.
He gave eight agencies an improved grade from August, while
marking down only one: The Defense Department fell from
``D'' to ``D-.'' But he said the overall administration
grade was still a ``D'' because many of the largest agencies
were among the worst performers.
He gave failing grades to the departments of Justice,
Energy, State, and Health and Human Services, which oversees
Koskinen, appointed in February to lead the new Year 2000
Council, cited Horn's figures showing that 61 percent of
systems are already fixed and predicted that 85-90 percent
will meet the March deadline.
Horn, he said, has ``served a valuable function in terms of
trying to raise awareness,'' but he stressed that ``by the
next quarter report it will be clear the federal government
is ahead of most private-sector areas.''
Many computers are programmed to recognize only the last two
digits of a year, and there are fears of massive
malfunctions after Jan. 1, 2000, when machines will assume
it is 1900. Many computers have embedded microchips that
must be physically replaced.
In a worst-case scenario, Medicare and other federal
benefits could be held up, airport traffic control could be
disrupted, electric grids could break down and military
computers could fail.
Horn said the Pentagon needs to focus on its strategic
systems. ``It goes without saying that there is zero
tolerance for error when you are dealing with the defense of
our nation,'' he said.
The Pentagon, which runs almost 40 percent of the
mission-critical systems in the government, ``has an
aggressive program to make sure that our systems can face
the Year 2000 challenge,'' spokeswoman Susan Hansen said.
She said the Pentagon has set up a series of exercises in
1999 ``to make sure we are 2000-compliant at the turn of the
A State Department official, speaking on condition of
anonymity, said Horn was correct that only 36 percent of its
major systems are ready for 2000, but substantial
improvements are expected in the next report and the
department plans to complete the work by next August.
Congress last month approved more than $3 billion in
emergency spending to address the Year 2000 issue, and
Clinton signed a bill making it easier to share technology
on approaches to remedy the problem.
Horn did give ``A's'' to three agencies: the Small Business
Administration, the Social Security Administration and the
National Science Foundation. The Social Security
Administration, he said, began working on the problem in
1989, eight years before most government agencies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Food Bank handing out 150 holiday baskets
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Thanks to compassionate donors, hundreds of families will
have a good Thanksgiving meal Thursday, said Mary Apolinar
for the Santa Rosa Food Bank. And more donations are welcome.
"We have given out about 150 baskets, but the day is not
over yet," Apolinar said just before noon today. "We are
just there for everybody that needs it."
Apolinar said that unemployment has swelled the ranks of
those needing help this year, and none is overlooked.
"I know it's temporary, but a lot of people don't have a
job," she said.
Most come to the food bank, located in the rear of Santa
Rosa Catholic Church, but baskets are delivered to the
Baskets include turkey, green beans, corn, desserts, cake
mixes, pasta, bread, oil, milk -- "just about everything
they need to eat for that day," Apolinar said.
Food was purchased early for the holidays, and it filled the
small store. Now it is just about gone, she said.
"It is a wonderful work; I wouldn't change trades for
anybody," Apolinar said. "This gives me the most joy this
time of the year."
A loving community is what makes the work so enjoyable,
"I don't know that there's any other like this one," she
said. "It is a small town; there are no big-paying jobs, but
when somebody needs help, it is there. The compassion is
part of the life of this community."
Apolinar said she would not try to list all the donors, but
noted that two businesses are especially helpful, and 10 to
15 individuals donate funds regularly for the holiday meals.
The Pecos Post Office picked up donated canned food from
residences this year, in addition to the annual canned food
drive by volunteers. Cash donations are also solicited by
volunteers stationed at street intersections from time to
"We also get some food from the Odessa food bank," Apolinar
said. "And people bring food on and off. This year, we had a
hard time during the summer, with the bad time of summer
Most of the fund raising efforts are from August through
"Then we just get along with whatever people bring or what
we can get," she said. "We have three sponsors that help us
every month. This year the Lions Club helped us and the
Christian Home and Compassionate Care."
Apolinar said her job is to look for sources of funds and
food, while others make the deliveries and tend the store.
"The Lord is just there," she said. "The boxes are going out
the door and packages keep coming in."
Commission formed for Economic Development
By ROSIE FLORES
Reeves County commissioners approved formation of a Reeves
County Industrial Commission on Monday, to help the Town of
Pecos City's newly-created Economic Development Corporation.
Commissioners approved formation of the committee in order
to comply with state laws on providing financial assistance
to the corporation, which was formed following passage on
Nov. 3 of the 4A Sales Tax referendum.
"The county has been a participant in economic development
since the beginning," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B.
Galindo, who explained that the county had agreed to
appropriate $20,000 for this effort.
"There is one way to appropriate and that's by forming what
the statute calls for, the county's industrial commission,"
said Galindo. He added the funds can be moved to the Pecos
Economic Development Corporation only by a county
"I propose that we form the commission using the original
five members already on the Pecos Economic Development
Corporation and installing two more," said Galindo. "This
calls for seven members and using the five already there and
adding two more will form the commission," he said.
Galindo suggested adding a member of the commissioners court
to the commission and one from the Town of Pecos City
Council. Members appointed were Precinct 4 Commissioner
Bernardo Martinez and City Council member Johnny Terrazas.
"This will go hand in hand with what the community wants to
do," said Galindo. "I think there's opportunity out there
for us to get more economic development in this community."
Galindo stated that this would be the proper vehicle for the
county to participate in economic development.
"The city council member would provide the link back to the
city and my office will offer the support they need," said
The PEDC is expecting to receive about $127,000 in sales tax
funds from the 4A Sales Tax initiative, which allocated
one-quarter cent of the city's 1 1/2 cent sales tax for
economic development. The county's funds will cover the rest
of the PEDC's planned $154,000 budget for fiscal 1999.
In other business, at the regular meeting, commissioners
approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Statement
of Work contractual modifications.
"Their proposal is for the inmate day-rate to be based on a
sliding scale and the only problem was with their scale,"
Galindo's proposal to the Bureau of Prisons would be a scale
of 1-699 inmates at $43; from 700-899 at $38 and from 900 on
up at $36.50 per day.
According to Galindo the scale the BOP had proposed was a
little bit lower.
Bids for auto liability and physical damage insurance was
awarded to Texas Association of Counties. Wynn Hamilton was
appointed to serve as a representative for the county on the
Reeves County Tax Appraisal Board.
Deputation for Reserve Deputy for the Reeves County
Sheriff's Office for Gary Kim Richards was approved.
New hires at the Reeves County Detention Center included Joe
Vasquez, Eric Scott, Art Gomez and Eric Abila. Gilbert
Martinez was upgraded to food services II at the Reeves
County Sheriff's Department and Estella Anaya was hired on a
part-time basis in the county clerk's office. Francisco
Javier Ramirez Jr. will be working on a part-time as needed
basis at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center.
Semi-monthly bills, minutes from previous meetings were also
approved during the meeting.
Stores to close, dinners prepared for Thursday
Turkey is the meat of choice for Thursday's Thanksgiving
feast throughout Pecos. Restaurants and La Tienda Thriftway
are offering special "turkey and all the trimming" dinners.
The Cookery at Flying J will serve a holiday buffet of roast
turkey or cured ham with all the trimmings from 11 a.m. to
10 p.m. Thursday.
Alpine Lodge Restaurant' offers turkey, pit ham or brisket
on their buffet. Quality Inn's buffet opens at 11 a.m. with
turkey, dressing and all the trimmings.
McDonald's will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday for
the breakfast bunch.
La Nortena Tortilla Factory will close Thanksgiving Day.
First National Bank and Security State Bank will close
Thursday. Security State will not re-open from 5 to 6 p.m.
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah schools have already started their
holiday break, and will remain closed until Monday.
Government offices closing Thursday and Friday include the
City of Pecos, Reeves County and State of Texas. Federal
offices will close Thursday, but will open Friday with a
The Pecos Enterprise staff will join their families for a
day of Thanksgiving Thursday, but will return to the normal
publication schedule on Friday.
Parks hands down sentences in cases
District Judge Bob Parks on Tuesday sentenced Ismael Saldana
to two years in state jail -- probated for five years -- and
a $1,500 fine for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Terms of probation include restitution of $10,699.99 to the
victims of an unadjudicated theft and unauthorized use of a
motor vehicle, plus $266.25 in court costs and 100 hours of
Adam Natividad was placed on three years probation for
burglary of a building on Feb. 3, 1997. He is to pay $1,290
in restitution and $314.50 court costs.
Judgment was rendered after Natividad violated numerous
terms of his probation on the original conviction. He was
credited with 48 hours time served in jail.
District Attorney Randy Reynolds dismissed an aggravated
kidnapping indictment against Juan Daniel Sanchez.
"There is further evidence necessary to be obtained before
proceeding to trial, which will not be available prior to
the trial setting," Reynolds said in the dismissal notice.
The evidence may be submitted to a future grand jury.
Sanchez was charged with kidnapping a woman on Sept. 5 with
intent to commit sexual assault and abuse.
Callie R. Bevill
Funeral services are incomplete for Callie R. Bevill, 90,
who died Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1998 at her residences in Pecos.
Services will be under the direction of Pecos Funeral Home.
High Tuesday 74, low last night 39. Tonight, fair. Low in
the upper 30s. East to southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thanksgiving
Day, mostly sunny. High in the mid 70s. Southwest wind 10-20
mph. Rest of Thanksgiving weekend forecast, partly cloudy.
Lows in the 40s. Highs mainly in the 70s.
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