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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Gil says residents should plan for storms

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 5, 1999 -- Oklahoma's devastating tornado is a reminder that disaster can strike anywhere and any time.

Those who survived the mile-wide windstorm that traveled on the ground for four hours had taken shelter in the best way they knew how.

Reeves County residents, mindful of the May 22, 1987 tornado that wiped out most of Saragosa, know the heartbreak that follows such a disaster.

Knowing how to spot clouds that may spawn a tornado, hail or flash flood is one way to prepare, said Armando Gil, emergency management coordinator. Another is to designate a sturdy closet, bathtub or other location away from windows where family members can flee during a storm.

Gil said that advice on how to prepare is listed on the emergency management service's web site at Disaster.

In the event of a disaster, Gil said that information will be posted to the site to keep family members and news agencies up-to-the-minute on victims, damages and recovery efforts.

Links to other sites with preparedness information are also listed.

One such link is to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, www.fema.gov.

Another is the Humanitarian Resource Institute, www.humanitarian.net/prepare.html.

"Every family needs to think of what they would do if basic services water, gas, electricity or telephone were cut off," said Stephen M. Apatow, executive director for HRI. "In the case of potential catastrophic events, families must be ready to respond to warnings and immediate evacuation."

HRI's web site has links to National Weather Service preparedness guides, family disaster plan, disaster planning for pets, livestock and wildlife, and Y2K preparedness information.

Civic Center work to follow end of rodeo

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 5, 1999 -- New restrooms at the Reeves County Civic Center may have to wait until after the July 4 rodeo, said City Manager Kenneth Neal this morning.

That's because sewer lines would have to be upgraded, and the city water and sewer department may not have time to complete the job before the rodeo gets underway.

"We are so near rodeo time. We don't want to get under construction and have a big mess when that happens," Neal said. "I talked to Octavio Garcia (utilities director) and told him if we can't do it in a few weeks to hold off and fix it for next year."

Tom Rivera, executive director for the Pecos Chamber of Commerce, said the proposal for additional restrooms came in a joint meeting Monday of entities who use or operate the civic center.

Representatives from the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee, livestock committee, chamber, city and county are "trying to come up with money for major repairs," Rivera said. "Commitments were made in trying to find a solution on upkeep."

Daily maintenance has been a problem since Reeves County re-assigned the center's full-time custodian to the courthouse. But Rivera said that a part-time custodian before and after events would be sufficient.

"We may go two weeks without an event," he said.

Restrooms in the civic center are not adequate for large events, Rivera said, and the group proposed adding facilities in the rear portion of the building, where livestock shows are held.

"I am very optimistic about the long-term outcome of these meetings," he said. "Especially when they start talking about putting in new bathrooms."

County crews have recently installed ceramic tile in the restrooms and hallway leading to them, Rivera said. That has improved their looks considerably.

Galindo adds second job to pay son's treatment

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, May 5, 1999 -- The after-effects of a January, 1997 accident involving his wife and infant son, and the costs involved since then, have led Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo to take a second job as manager/consultant for Ward County Irrigation District No. 1 in Barstow.

Galindo said he took the second job in an effort to defray medical bills incurred by his son, John, after the 1-year-old and his mother, Michele, were involved in a vehicle pedestrian accident that left Galindo's son with severe bruises and a fractured skull.

"Since the accident, John's speech and language development has been severely stunted and delayed," said Galindo. "He is now three years old and does not speak or utter a single word. This causes us great concern because at this age, John should already have a vocabulary of over 1,000 words by now."

"My dilemma is that we need to find the right medical and educational professionals to help John develop to his appropriate age level," said Galindo. "And, I need to make enough money to provide the necessary care for our son," he said.

Galindo was first approached about the employment opportunity by water district board president, Manuel Lujan Sr. in late November of 1998.

"He requested my assistance and analysis of the various aspects of the water district and at that point I went to Lynn Owens and asked him how I should go about it," said Galindo. "He then gave me his opinion and told me to also request the opinion of the district attorney, which I did," he said.

Before accepting the employment position of manager/consultant for the WCID #1, Galindo sought the opinion of both District Attorney Randy Reynolds and Reeves County Auditor Lynn Owens.

Reynolds responded to Galindo's request with a legal opinion, stating in part that, "It is my opinion that holding the office of Reeves County Judge simultaneously with being employed as a manger/consultant of a water irrigation district would not be prohibited by Article XVI, Section 40 of the Texas Constitution as the position of manager/consultant is not a public office. It is also my opinion that the two positions of Reeves County Judge and manager/consultant of a water irrigation district are not incompatible if one is not subordinate to the other, there is not any present nor reasonably foreseeable any future relationships between the two positions are wholly unrelated."

Owens agreed that the Texas Constitutional prohibition of dual office holding did not apply in Galindo's case.

"The position of Ward County Water Irrigation District manager/consultant is a position of employment and would not be considered an office," Owens wrote. "Although the Ward County Water Irrigation District is a quasi-governmental entity as a special district, your employment would be subject to the oversight of the district board of directors."

Galindo said the driving motive in accepting the responsibility is to meet the special needs of his son and essentially to provide the best services for the district and the public.

"There may be those that criticize me, but I have to look out for the best interests of my family, my son and at the same time do what's in the best interest of the public in everything that I do," he said.

Galindo works at the water district in mornings, from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. or 7-9 a.m., and in the afternoons from either 4:30-6:30 or 5-7 p.m.

Galindo said he and Michelle have taken him to be examined by a number of doctors in Texas in an effort to help him recover from his brain injury. Over the last year, John's recovery has been guided by Dr. Stephanie Ried, M.D., Director of Rehabilitative Medicine for Driskoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi.

Dr. Ried specializes in rehabilitative medicine practices and was a clinical speech pathologist for 10 years before becoming a medical doctor.

"Dr. Ried has been very helpful in assisting us to find the appropriate methods to help John," said Galindo. "She and the staff at Driskoll Children's Hospital introduced us to the Picture Exchange Communication System. This method of communication has helped John to better communicate what he wants or needs," he said.

Galindo also said that they have begun a treatment called Sensory Integration Therapy under Dr. A. Jean Ayres, which focuses on the way in which sensory processing and motor planning are organized and interpreted by the brain. According to Dr. Ayres, this is the foundation for more complete learning and behavioral development.

"Three weeks ago, we took John to Austin to receive therapy," said Galindo. "But in both of these instances the professional care providers are 400-500 miles away.

"The closest certified Sensory Interpretation Therapist is either in Albuquerque or Austin and Dr. Ried is in Corpus Christi," he said, adding that Ried prescribed that John receive speech development therapy four times per week and sensory integration therapy twice per week."

"The problem is that P-B-T ISD has a limited number of professionals available to provide these services," said Galindo. "It has been determined that the best the district can do is provide speech development therapy twice per week and there is no one who is certified to provide sensory integration therapy available in West Texas."

"So, we are left with making a crucial decision which will affect John's life tremendously," said Galindo. "Over the last year and a half, the Early Childhood Intervention program based out of Texas Education Agency Region 18, has provided traditional speech development therapy services for John and we have made very little progress."

Obituary

Concha Ramirez Villescas

Concha Ramirez Villescas, 71, died this morning in Odessa Medical Center Hospital. Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 5-12-30-34-39. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner: $44,376. Winning tickets sold in: Arlington, Conroe. Matching four of five: 198. Prize: $673.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 8-2-8 (eight, two, eight)

Weather

PECOS, May 5, 1999 -- High Tuesday 89; low last night 51. Tonight, clear. Low in the mid 40s. Northwest wind 10-15 mph. Thursday, mostly sunny. High near 80. North wind 10-15 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
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