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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

February 5, 1999

State agencies implement new low income program

Staff Writer
A new program in Reeves County has been set up to assist families in the community.

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the Texas Department of Human Services are working together to provide consumer and family science education to area residents with limited resources, including food assisted recipients.

Better Living for Texans, is a four-year education program focusing on nutrition, food safety, health and money management, and will be headed by Diana Mendoza Crawford.

"It's really great to be back in Pecos," said Crawford, who had previously lived in Pecos before starting her new job.

The Better Living for Texans program is part of the state education plan of the Department of Human Services.

DHS has designated funds to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service to implement this comprehensive educational efforts, according to Marie I. Cardenas, County Extension Agent - Family and Consumer Sciences. She said Reeves and Loving counties will be two of 140 counties in Texas participating in the program this year.

Nutrition, food safety, wellness and money management will be the content focus to assist limited resource families acquire needed knowledge, skills and behaviors for better quality of life, according to Cardenas.

"The topics will be taught so families will be empowered to take greater responsibility for their own health and well-being and move towards self-sufficiency," said Crawford.

Crawford recently moved back to Pecos from Odessa where she was an LVN with Texas Tech Health Sciences in the Women's and Children program (WIC).

"It's good to see familiar faces and I hope I can help a lot of people," said Crawford. "I'm really glad to be back home, it will take some getting used to a small town again, but we're all excited."

Crawford is married to L.G. Crawford, who is head of nursing at the Reeves County Hospital and the couple have two children, 16-year-old "Gito" Lonnie Gus who is a sophomore at Pecos High School and Angel, 11-years-old and a sixth grade student at Lamar Middle School.

"My family is very important and that's why I think I'm really going to enjoy this job," said Crawford.

Funding for the Better Living for Texans program is provided through the Southwest Region Food and Nutrition Services, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Anyone interested in any information can contact Diana Crawford, BLT Program Assistant, or Marie I. Cardenas, County Extension Agent-F&CS at 915-447-9041 or come by the office located on 700 Daggett, Suite E, Pecos.

Commissioners to seek GED tests at RCDC

Two additional positions at the Reeves County Detention Center and an agreement between Reeves County and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD to allow GED Testing for those at the facility will top the agenda on Monday, when commissioners hold their first February meeting.

The commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m., on the third floor of the courthouse.

Other items to be discussed include an agreement between Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City for Detention Services and an agreement between Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City for funding the volunteer fire department on calls outside the city limits.

Commissioners will discuss TXDOT/Reeves County landscaping project and will meet new area engineer Paul Henderson.

Other items on the agenda include:

* Discuss/take action to declare RCDC tools as salvage/surplus.

* Discuss/take action on Banes General Contractor's application for payment #6 for RCDC support shell and recreation building addition.

* Discuss/take action to award bids for RCDC vehicles.

* Discuss/take action on Reeves County Texas Agricultural Extension Service Partnership Agreement.

* Discuss/take action on reports from various departments.

* Discuss/take action on budget amendments and line-item transfers.

* Discuss/take action on personnel and salary changes (county auditor, RCDC and the sheriff's office).

* Discuss/take action on minutes from previous meetings.

* Discuss/take action on semi-monthly bills.

* Spread on minutes: Notice of Over-Axle Over-Gross weight permit; RCDC 1,000 bed addition geotechnical engineering services contract; RCDC 1,000 bed addition construction manager at-risk contract and the RCDC 1,000 bed addition architectural services contract.

Bonilla blasts denial of new border agents

From Staff and Wire Reports
Congressman Henry Bonilla has demanded U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner refute reports that INS field office budgets are being irresponsibly cut, threatening the lives and property of border residents.

Bonilla, whose district includes both Reeves County and a 500-mile stretch of the border from El Paso to Laredo, was part of a bi-partisan group of southwestern congressmen who complained Wednesday about the Clinton administration's decision not to seek 1,000 additional Border Patrol officers next year.

The 1996 immigration overhaul approved by Congress directed the administration to beef up the Border Patrol by 1,000 agents in each of the following five years. Yet the president's 2000 budget, submitted Monday to Congress, doesn't request funds for 1,000 new agents, the lawmakers noted.

Bonilla's office said recent news reports, confirmed by senior INS field officers, indicate that money to be used in the field is not making it out of Washington. Instead, the INS is proposing a virtual shutdown of field operations, with some office activities facing up to a 90 percent budget reduction.

The Appropriations Committee, on which Bonilla sits, provided the INS with a $198 million increase over last year's budget. The new funding covered expenses associated with hiring the 1,000 new agents, along with new equipment and technology. The Appropriations Committee has consistently focused on providing the INS with additional resources in the field, not in Washington.

INS analysts have concluded that under this proposal, crime rates and narcotics smuggling will rise and bandits will re-establish themselves along the border.

"This proposal is nothing less than a green light to drug smugglers and other criminals to cross the border, terrorize U.S. citizens and loot their property," Bonilla said. "It is criminal that any federal agency would support such a policy _ especially when their budget has doubled," he said.

Bonilla called for the INS to refute these allegations. He is demanding an immediate explanation from the INS as to how the money Congress appropriated for INS field offices is being spent.

"American citizens deserve safe borders," Bonilla said. "Such cuts would be criminally negligent. They would seriously compromise the safety and security of border residents," he said.

Along with Bonilla (R-San Antonio) the group was led by El Paso Democratic Congressman Silvestre Reyes, who formerly headed the INS' office in El Paso. Also signing a letter of complaint were Reps. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Mercedes; Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi; Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio; California Republican Reps. Brian Bilbray, Randy Cunningham and Duncan Hunter; and Rep. Joe Skeen, R-N.M.

The Border Patrol's parent agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, is in line for an 8 percent budget increase next year under the Clinton budget, rising to a record $4.2 billion. INS officials say the Border Patrol, which has more than doubled since 1993, needs time to absorb its new recruits.

INS officials said that because nearly 40 percent of all Border Patrol agents have been on the job less than two years the agency is requesting $50 million in "force-multiplying" technologies to monitor the border. The $50 million to purchase infrared cameras and other technologies would have the same effect as adding 1,000 agents, the Clinton administration contends.


High Thursday 72; low last night 38. Tonight, cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms developing after midnight. Low near 50. Southeast to east wind 5-15 mph. Chance of rain is 40 percent. Saturday, mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Decreasing clouds late. High near 60. Northeast wind 10-15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise