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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, July 23, 1999

MHMR to open Pecos training site

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- Fifteen people who travel to Monahans twice a week for training in the mental retardation training center will benefit from a new center to be opened in Pecos within the next month.

Landon Sturdivant, chief operating officer for the West Texas Centers for Mental Health/Mental Retardation in Big Spring, said that the center will provide a much-needed service that has been lacking in Far West Texas.

"Hopefully, we will make it more convenient for the people and their families," Sturdivant said.

Raymond Rayos, who inserts newspaper sections for the Pecos Enterprise, is one worker who has learned job skills through the Monahans center. He began work with a trainer who coached him each day, but now works independently.

Traveling to Monahans twice a week on the bus, Rayos puts plastic spoons, forks, knives and condiments in plastic bags for sale at the center as picnic packets while learning new job skills like making change.

"I like it," Rayos said of his job and the training center.

"We try to move every individual out into the competitive work force and provide them training toward the occupation of their choice," Sturdivant said. "It may be clerical, janitorial, landscaping..."

Employers can receive tax incentives for employing the mentally challenged trainees, and MH/MR provides that information.

Sturdivant said the center tries to secure contracts for items such as the picnic packets and bird feeders that the trainees can put together in the center.

Anna Salazar, regional employment specialist, said the Pecos center will have a thrift shop where the production items can be sold, along with donated items like clothing and books.

"At the training center, we work on skills like staying on task, following directions and identifying coins," Salazar said. "Our purpose is to get clients independent and employed in the community."

The Monahans Center, in operation for more than two years, has many people employed in the community, she said. Once the Pecos center is open, she hopes that many new clients can be trained and employed.

Negotiations are underway with Johnny Jordan to lease the former Howard's Studio building at 525 S. Oak Street.

"He is remodeling and fixing it up to open, hopefully before Sept. 1," Salazar said.

Three employees will be needed to operate the center, Salazar said. At first, trainers will come from Monahans, but local trainers will be hired.

Sturdivant said that vocational trainers are not required to have teacher certification. Some experience working with mental health clients is a plus, but is not required.

West Texas Centers operates two programs in 23 counties, said Lisa Brooks, public information officer.

Ballinger, Seminole, Big Spring, Sweetwater and Monahans are the locations for training centers for the retarded, and the Pecos center will make a total of six operated by West Texas Centers.

"We operate 15 community mental health centers and have had one in Reeves County for quite a few years now," Brooks said. "Those two programs are under the umbrella of West Texas Centers. We are hoping to bring services to people in the far reaches of the state."

The community MH/MR program has been in place for more than 30 years, she said.

Schools foot bulk of appraisal budget

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD will pay 59.09 percent of the 2000 budget adopted Wednesday by the Reeves County Appraisal District.

Of $246,000 estimated expenses, P-B-T is allocated $136,872, while Reeves County will pay $49,024, or 21.33 percent of the budget.

Allocations are based on estimated taxes assessed from 1999 certified values.

Reeves County Hospital's allocation is $31,488 - 13.70 percent. Other entities contributing are Pecos city $19,858; Balmorhea ISD $7,263; Toyah city $621; Balmorhea city $391; and Reeves County Water Improvement District #2 $483.

Each entity will receive a similar percentage of $7,382 left over from the 1998 budget, which will be returned.

The board allocated $20,000 of the surplus for a new vehicle and $863 for gravel.

Chief Appraiser Carol Markham said that the 2000 budget differs little from this year. Some changes were made in personnel and salaries adjusted, but the total amount remains the same, she said.

Markham's salary in 2000 will remain $38,916. Full-time appraiser salaries are $17,339, $16,344 and $15,406. A part-time field appraiser is budgeted for $3,000.

Expenses for two engineers who helped locate all the pits and quarries in Reeves County were paid out of the 1999 budget.

A 1998 appraisal study by the property tax division of the state comptroller's office showed the Reeves County Appraisal District's median level of appraisal at 99 percent.

Certified appraisals sent to member taxing entities show an increase for the P-B-T ISD, but decreases for the city of Pecos, Reeves County and Hospital District, Markham said.

"It is because of Anchor West. Last year they didn't meet the deadline for abatement, and the city, county and hospital district taxed them. This year they met the deadline so we had to take it off."

The school district does not allow tax abatement, so they benefit from the additions to the plant.

"We re-appraised Anchor with the help of Pritchard and Abbott," Markham said. "Most of the gain is Anchor and farmland. Minerals came in a lot better than we projected."

Some adjustments were made by the appraisal review board when property owners brought in sales contracts showing they paid less for the property than its appraised value, Markham said.

"When they come to the appraisal review board with a sales contract, the board usually gives it to the for one year, but the next year I have to do it over and get everyone back in line," she said. "You can't change the value on just one property. They all have to be appraised the same."

on recommendation by the agriculture advisory board, Roy Lindsay was appointed to replace Fred Armstrong, who resigned for health reasons.

The board approved appraisal schools for the staff in August, September and October. Markham said that all are working toward certification.

Commissioners to discuss task force

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- An interlocal agreement with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force and a delinquent collections contract will be topics of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting.

Commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m., Monday on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend the meeting.

Also on the agenda for discussion is to negotiate bids on site utilities: water storage tanks proposal package 0202; DRG Architects project report for the Reeves County Detention Center expansion; vocational instruction services contract between Odessa College and the Reeves County Detention Center and Western Union services for the RCDC.

Commissioners will discuss a statement of agreement between West Texas Centers for MHMR services in Reeves County; Pritchard & Abbott, Inc. 2000-2002 contract proposal for on-line tax collection and designate a person to calculate the effective tax rate for 1999 tax year.

Other items for discussion and consideration are:

* American Cancer Society Texas Golf Pass Contract for the Reeves County Golf Course.

* Appoint election judges for Aug. 2, 1999 through Dec. 31, 2000.

* Gas line easement on county road FM 3334, section 109 to highway 17.

* Out of county fuel bid.

* Vehicle lease bids.

* Deputation and oath for James W. Semmier.

* Reports from various departments.

* Budget amendments and line-item transfers.

* Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, sheriff's office, district attorney's office, auditor's office, justice of the peace 1, 2, and 3 and county clerk's office).

* Minutes from previous minutes.

* Semi-monthly bills.

* Spread on minutes: Judge Park's order of appointment for Chris Martinez and Census 1990.

PHA board short of quorum

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- Pecos Housing Authority Board members did not meet Thursday afternoon as planned, due to lack of a quorum.

The meeting has been rescheduled for a later date.

Only board president Frank Perea and board member Ray Golden were able to attend the regular meeting.

Police steer woman into jail

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- An accident that occurred at Maxey Park Wednesday night landed one Pecos woman in jail on charges of deadly conduct.

At 9:54 p.m., Wednesday police said an accident was reported at the park and four department units, along with two Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy cars and two ambulances responded.

Delma Romero Rodriguez, 26, was arrested and charged with four counts of deadly conduct, after police said she smashed into a fire hydrant with her car at Maxey Park.

Rodriguez was driving a vehicle near the baseball fields at the park, when she got upset and drove off. She lost control of the vehicle and hit the fire hydrant, according to police.

Rodriguez was taken home from the scene of the accident by her parents, but was later charged with the deadly conduct offense, according to police reports.

She and a friend and three children were in the car at the time of the accident. Two of Rodriguez' four passengers, who were not identified, were taken to the Reeves County Hospital for treatment.

Pecos gets light showers

By PEGGY McCRACKEN
Staff Writer

Flash flooding resulted from 2.46 inches of rain in the Chisos Basin Thursday, hampering traffic on the Highway near Panther Junction in the Big Bend National Park, the National Weather Service reported this morning.

Rain fell for about an hour from a dark cloud that made up over Pecos, shooting lightning bolts and rumbling with thunder.

Pecos received .20 inch of rain Thursday afternoon, but none was reported in Balmorhea, Orla, Toyah and Fort Stockton.

An upper-level ridge of high pressure persisted across West and South Texas this morning, bringing near normal temperatures and isolated showers.

Lows dipped into the 60s in parts of West Texas, which should see partly cloudy skies and a chance of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. Highs mostly in the 90s, with lows in the 60s and 70s.
 

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 4-12-19-25-27. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner: $41,922. Winning tickets sold in: Dallas, Luling. Matching four of five: 327. Prize: $385.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order:

9-1-9 (nine, one, nine)

Obituary

Elidia Muniz

Elidia Muniz, 55, died Thursday, July 22, 1999, at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Saragosa.

Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church with burial in the Saragosa Cemetery.

She was born March 14, 1944, in Candelaria, Tx., had lived in Saragosa since 1972 and was a Catholic.

Survivors include her parents, Roman and Manuela Muniz of Saragosa; six sisters, Brenda Hinojos of Odessa, San Juana M. Bauchan of Kermit, Ermelida M. Pineda of Muleshoe, Eduvigues Muniz, Jesus Maria Lopez and Ysela M. Bordayo of Saragosa; three brothers, Espiridion Muniz of Carlsbad, N.M., Roman Muniz of Saragosa and Oscar Muniz of Pecos.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
 

Weather

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- High Thursday 98; low last night 68. Rainfall .20 in town, .01 at Texas A&M Research Station. Tonight, mostly clear. Low around 70. Southeast wind 10-20 mph, decreasing to 5-10 mph after midnight. Saturday, mostly sunny. High around 100. South wind 5-15 mph. Extended forecast, Saturday night, mostly clear. Low around 70. Sunday through Tuesday, partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Highs in the upper 90s.
 



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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