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Friday, June 18, 1999

School board OKs track work, dress code

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, June 18, 1999--Track surface replacement and a strict student dress code were approved by the Pecos-Barstow-ISD in a special meeting Thursday.

The new track surface will make high school and junior high track meets possible once again. And the dress code will encourage students to create a positive image for the high school.

Board members approved an interlocal agreement with the Town of Pecos and Reeves County to improve the track and agreed to advertise for bids on three items.

"We met with the mayor, the county judge, the road and bridges administrator and other indivdiuals who will be helping make this project a reality," said superintendent Don Love.

The meeting was held to map out what everyone would be responsible for during the joint project, Love said.

Love estimated the total cost of the project to be $67,650 to replace the Pecos High School track.

Track meets had not been held in Pecos because the track at the high school did not meet the requirements.

A rubberized layer 3/8 inches thick and striping will be installed at an estimated $44,650; $12,000 is to replace inside curbs; $2,000 for drains (by the maintenance department; $4,000 for 1/2 inch rubberized layer on long jump, high jump and pole vault runway.

"We will bid out the rubberized layer, inside curbs and the 1/2 inch rubberized layer for the long jump, high jump and pole vault runway," said Love.

"I think this is something that will benefit the entire community," said Love. "We're real excited about this project," he said.

Board members also approved the revisions to the dress code. The revisions had been presented to the board at last week's regular board meeting, but still needed to be put forth before the District Educational Improvement Committee for a final look.

"This dress code was approved by the school's attorney," said Love.

The dress policy reads that in order to help maintain an appropriate educational atmosphere at school, students must present a personal appearance that reflects the educational purposes for which school exists. This purpose includes preparing students for employment, teaching the importance of rules and discipline, providing a safe environment, and minimizing disruptions during school.

The school district recognizes that differences of opinion may exist as to dress and grooming issues and that the educators charged with enforcing these rules will be given reasonable discretion in enforcing these rules.

"That was one of the main things we were looking at," said DEIC member Jim Workman. "We're preparing these students for employment, for a good future, and the students to make a good physical appearance and represent us well," he said.

"I want to quote one of Bubba's (Williams) favorite sayings, if you look good, you'll do good," said Workman.

Workman told the board that some students and parents that didn't mind what their kids wore to school wanted to form their own committee and bring their opinions to the board.

"Our objective is to make the students feel better about themselves and at the same time provide a safe environment for all the students," said Workman.

Revisions to the dress code include:

* Shirts may be worn untucked as long as no part of the shirt extends past the bend of the wrist when arms are extended down the sides of the body. "Before it was that the shirts could be as long as the end of the fingertips when the hand was extended straight down," said Workman. "This will eliminate about 4-6 inches for some students," he said.

In addition, shirts may not be worn if any of the student's midriff shows when the student's arms are raised above the head. "Little shirts seem to be in, and this is to eliminate that appearance that when they raise their hands, you can see their belly button," said Workman.

* Shorts must extend to the middle of the thigh and may not be saggy or baggy. "We spent some time on this one," said Workman. "When we mean saggy, it means that they don't fit at the waistline and baggy means that there is either too much material in the front or the back," he said.

* Fingernail and toenail polish may be worn, but colors that are prohibited include all shades of black, brown, blue, green, purple, yellow, orange or any other color an administrator or teacher finds distracting to the educational process. Metallic fingernail or toenail polish is prohibited. No black or dark color lipstick or lip liner may be worn. "The colors were added by the school's attorney to be more specific," said Workman.

* Pants/jeans may not be baggy or saggy or exceed four inches of excess fabric at the thigh or at the principal's discretion.

* A dress code check will take place during the beginning of every class. Students in violation will be sent to the assistant principal/principal. "We had said that a dress code check would be done in first period, but a lot of students don't show up for first period or they can't," said Workman. "It's also because some students may have band first period and there may be too many students to do an appropriate check," he said.

* Jackets and long coats must be taken off and put in lockers upon arrival at school unless the principal approves the wearing of jackets and long coats because of extenuating circumstances.

"If it's too cold, once the teacher sees what the student is wearing underneath, it might not be a problem," said Workman.

Board member Freddy Lujan questioned whether students could wear their coats if they had a class in another building and their locker was in the main building.

"The teacher will make the judgment, I'm sure if the weather is bad or it's raining they can wear their coats and the teacher will make that decision," said Workman.

"A lot of this came from things the students were wearing in May, when the weather is not cold and its nice outside," said PHS principal Danny Rodriguez. "These are just precautions because of things that have happened in the nation," he said.

Rodriguez said that wearing a coat or jacket during the winter months is all right, but that students were wearing jackets in the spring, when the weather was really warm.

"Big thick jackets in April and May are not needed. We have some good air conditioners, but they are not unbearable," said Workman.

"We're doing this because they might be hiding something or their clothing. Sometimes they don't want us to see what they're wearing," said Workman.

PHS assistant principal Victor Tarin said that during the spring several students who were wearing long coats and thick jackets were questioned. "We confiscated a lot of items including those big thick markers," said Tarin.

Tarin said there had previously been a lot of graffitti in the bathrooms and other areas of the school that were done with these markers. Other items found underneath the coats and jackets were cigarrette lighters, a couple of lasers (which are banned at the schools) and a cellular phone.

Gas plant back online after Thursday's fire


By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Staff Writer
Wickett, June 18,1999--Fire engulfed a portion of the Dynegy Midstream Services natural gas plant north of Wickett around noon Thursday.

Mario Alvarez, an equipment operator for Ward County, saw the fireball rise in the sky just after he finished his lunch, a short time after 12 noon.

"I was walking north, and I saw the smoke rising over the hill," Alvarez said. "Then, maybe a minute later, there was an explosion and I could see the fire."

Alvarez estimated that the fireball rose at least 100 feet into the air.

"The fire was really big like that for a couple of minutes and then it died down and there was a lot of smoke," he said.

Other witnesses estimated that the fireball rose 150-200 feet in the air.

The resulting smoke plume was visible from the hill just east of Pecos at 1:20 p.m., about 30 miles away.

Jennifer Rosser, manager of corporate communications for Dynegy, said that no one was injured in the blaze.

"The fire started while a transport truck was being loaded with natural gas condensate," Rosser said this morning. "At this time we don't know the cause of the fire, but it is under investigation."

Rosser said that the plant, which is a natural gas processing facility, was not seriously damaged and that it is fully operational today.

Rosser also expressed her company's appreciation for the fast and effective response of the Wickett and Monahans volunteer fire departments.

"The accident occurred shortly after 12 noon and was contained within two hours," she said. "The firemen did a great job."

Broken bone decks judge


By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, June 18, 1999--Visiting Judge Pat Baskin handled the pre-trial docket in 143rd District Court this morning in the absence of Judge Bob Parks.

Judge Parks, who was limping while in Pecos for a hearing Thursday on a motion for new trial, is at home with a boot on his foot.

Doctors found a broken bone in the foot, Judge Parks said. His court administrator, Kathy Adams, said she does not know how long he will be out of the office.

Judge Baskin will handle the Monahans docket this afternoon.

The Pecos docket today included eight tax suits filed by Rusty McInturff of Calame, Linebarger, Graham; several divorce and civil cases, and 20 criminal cases set for arraignment, attorney appointment, probation revocation and adjudication of guilt, as well as pre-trial motions.

Fleet additions OKd by board

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, June 18, 1999--New vehicles will be added to the fleet for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD while updating school buses is something planned for the future.

Board members on Thursday approved the request by transportation director Jimmy Dutchover to purchase some new vehicles to be used by the district.

A new vehicle for the superintendent, a minivan for the transportation fleet and a minivan or used car for the transportation fleet were included in Dutchover's budget. In addition a bumper trailer will also be purchased.

About $46,000 is in the proposed budget to purchase the vehicles, according to Dutchover.

The old vehicle currently being driven by the superintendent will be passed on to another staff member or put back into the fleet.

"The minivans are more economical because you can put a sponsor in there with them, if they are only taking a few students to the event," said Dutchover.

"We will have a total of seven vehicles we can use," said Dutchover.

There are currently three minivans that can be used, with a new one on the way, according to Dutchover.

One of them is being used daily to transport students to Odessa.

Board president Earl Bates told the group that before the district didn't have very many minivans because of the strict guidelines but that now that things have changed it would be more economical to use the minivans.

Dane Atkinson, with TASB made a lengthy presentation on the salary study and compensation plan for administrative/professional and auxiliary personnel. He handed out booklets for the board members to look at and study.

"This describes what the study did, how we got our information and the surveys we did," said Atkinson.

The booklet covers a myriad of subjects including comparisons to other school districts, state and federal regulations and how they affect the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD.

"This is a how to do it book, to look at and study," said Atkinson.

Review board hears pipeline protests

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer
PECOS, June 18, 1999--Two representatives of pipelines crossing Reeves County signed in early for the appraisal review board hearings this morning to protest mineral values.

Randy Elkins of Tulsa, Okla., said he would protest minor details of the appraisal for the new Longhorn Pipeline that is valued at $5.5 million in Reeves and Ward counties.

The Ward county portion is in the Barstow area where Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD has taxing jurisdiction. Pritchard and Abbott appraisers valued that section of line at $1 million.

Lines crossing Reeves County are valued at $4.5 million.

Total estimated tax for Reeves County, the Reeves County Hospital District and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD is $120,000 for 1999, Elkins said.

"We have worked out most of the problems with Pritchard and Abbott," Elkins said.

Pritchard and Abbott representatives Gary Young and Randy Prince were present at this morning's meeting, continuing telephone talks with property owners.

Tom Davenport of Midland was present to represent the interests of West Texas Gas, who has natural gas distribution pipelines lying within the appraisal district.

Pipelines are classed as personal property.

Real estate hearings are set for Monday and Tuesday in the district office at 403 S. Cypress St.

WIPP plant gets waste shipment

PECOS, June 18, 1999--Nuclear waste from a plant in Colorado has arrived at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., said Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.

The shipment of 26 drums of non-mixed waste, left the Rocky Flats, Colo., site at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and arrived at WIPP Wednesday afternoon. It will be stored 2,150 feet underground.

Non-mixed waste consists of disposable items - like clothing, tools, rags, residues and debris - contaminated with radioactive elements. The waste is not contaminated with chemicals, like cleaning solvents or lead, that would cause it to be regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Richardson said.

Tuesday's shipment from Rocky Flats consisted of old graphite molds used in the former nuclear weapons production process.

"With this shipment we continue to demonstrate our commitment to clean up and close Rocky Flats - and make good on our obligations to the state of Colorado," Richardson said.

"Further, it shows the American people that we are making real progress toward cleaning up the Cold War legacy of nuclear weapons production - and providing for safe, permanent disposal of transuranic waste."

RFETS will send about 2,000 shipments to WIPP between now and completion of the site cleanup.

The 705-mile trip took about 17 hours, including the time required for WIPP drivers to stop and inspect the truck every 100 miles or two hours. The inspection stops are performed in accordance with safety protocols developed by DOE and the Western Governors' Association.

Since opening March 26, WIPP has received 13 shipments of transuranic waste. Eleven shipments came from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. The other two originated from Rocky Flats and the DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Ida.

During the expected 35-year operating life of WIPP, the DOE will transport some 37,000 loads of transuranic waste from 23 locations nationwide.

Dance features Tejano stars


PECOS, June 18, 1999--Little Joe Y La Familia along with Ruben Ramos play for a dance Saturday, sponsored by Committee 88.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Dan's Music and Video, Lucky Partners and Terrazas.

The dance will start at 7 p.m., in the Reeves County Civic Center.

LOTTO

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 3-24-28-36-38. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $85,437. Winning ticket sold in: Leakey. Matching four of five: 167. Prize: $767. Matching three of five: 7,260. Prize: $30. Next Cash 5 drawing: Friday night.

WEATHER

PECOS, June 18, 1999--High Thursday 84; low last night 65. Tonight, partly cloudy. A slight chance of thunderstorms. Low in the mid 60s. Southeast wind 5-10 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent. Saturday, partly cloudy. High around 90. Southeast wind 10-15 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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