Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Hispanic group buys GTE's area systems
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- GTE is selling its telephone systems in Pecos
and other parts of Texas and New Mexico to a group of Hispanic businessmen
led by former New Mexico governor Tony Anaya.
The local system is among 400,000 customer access lines that will be
sold by GTE to dba Communications, LLC, a closely-held new entrant in the
telecommunications industry. About three-quarters of those lines are in
The transaction, according to GTE, includes 197 of GTE's local telephone
exchanges and 307,180 access lines (YE'98) in Texas located in Andrews,
Brownfield, Dumas, Levelland, Perryton, and Pecos in West Texas and Crockett,
Fairfield, and Texarkana in East Texas. The remaining 91,904 customer access
lines are in New Mexico.
Irving, Texas-based GTE on Tuesday agreed to sell the lines for between
$1.1 billion and $1.4 billion, unnamed sources familiar with the deal told
The Dallas Morning News.
At the sale's closing, more than 400 GTE employees in the two states
will become employees of dba Communications. But federal and state regulators
still have to approve the deal.
"There should be no impact on the Pecos office," said Charles Watkins,
GTE Public Affairs Director for the Western Division. "Nothing will change
in that local office," said Watkins.
Watkins said all employees would retain their positions. "That's something
we made sure in keeping with GTE standards, is to make sure employees are
taken care of."
"The other company will be a smaller company, so Pecos will one of the
larger territories in the 400,000 land lines in Texas and West Texas,"
Watkins said Reeves County and Pecos will be the largest territory and
it would take a while for the transition to occur. "It will be the middle
of next year before all that transpires," he said.
Upon closing, dba Communications will be among the 20 largest local
exchange companies in the United States, as measured by access lines.
This is the most recent agreement in GTE's previously announced initiative
to sell approximately 1.6 million telephone lines in the United States.
To date, GTE has agreements to sell more than 1.3 million access lines
in 10 states.
"Today is an exciting day for the Hispanic business community, our new
customers in New Mexico and Texas, and GTE employees in those states,"
read a joint statement by the group of 12 investors. "We look forward to
working with the dedicated employees who are currently serving GTE's customers
in Texas and New Mexico to provide enhanced, high-quality telecommunications
services to these customers."
"We are pleased with this transaction. It represents another significant
milestone in our wire line property repositioning process and a major step
toward increased ownership diversity in the telecommunications industry,"
said John Apple, president-GTE Network Services. "Equally important, the
agreement includes provisions for the fair and equitable treatment of the
affected GTE employees in Texas and New Mexico."
It was also announced that Anne K. Bingaman, formerly a member of the
senior management team at LCI International (now Qwest Communications)
and former U.S. Assistant Attorney General of Antitrust, would serve as
Chief Executive Officer of dba Communications.
"dba is excited about the opportunity to serve our new communities in
Texas and New Mexico," Bingaman said. `We are confident that with the dedicated
team of local employees already in place, dba will continue to offer quality
voice and data communications services and become a valuable partner in
the communities we serve."
Thomas E. McInerney, a general partner at Welsh, Carson, Anderson and
Stowe, said: "dba represents the latest in a series of large transactions
sponsored by WCAS in the telecommunications industry. The formation of
dba Communications to acquire these properties from GTE reflects the belief
that the local access market in rural communities provides a unique investment
opportunity. dba Communications will focus on providing outstanding local
customer service and providing additional services and features to its
customers to allow them to benefit from the continued evolution of communications
technology, including Internet access and high-speed data access."
Federico Pena, senior advisor to Vestar Capital Partners and former
Secretary of Transportation and Energy in the Clinton Administration, said:
"We and the Hispanic investors appreciate the opportunity GTE has provided
to encourage minority entry into the rural telecommunications market and
we look forward to delivering quality service to the communities we will
be serving in Texas."
Since May, GTE has reached agreements to sell:
* 186,839 GTE customer access lines in Arizona, California and Minnesota
to Citizens Utilities,
* 20,564 access lines to Alaska to the Alaska Telephone Exchange Acquisition
Corporation (ATEAC), a consortium of four Alaska-based companies,
* 280,422 access lines to Iowa to Iowa Network Services, Inc.
* 116,149 access lines in Missouri to Spectra Communications Group,
* 213,651 access lines in Arkansas and 64,798 access lines in Wisconsin
to CenturyTel, Inc.,
* 61,612 access lines in Wisconsin to Telephone USA of Wisconsin, LLC,
* GTE Government Systems, except for the Information Systems Division,
to General Dynamics, and
* GTE Airborne to Oak Hill Capital Partners.
Proceeds from the sale of GTE wireline properties - as well as GTE Airfone
and GTE Government Systems - will be used for investment in other strategic
initiatives, including GTE's recent purchase of Ameritech wireless properties
in Illinois and Missouri.
The deals do not affect GTE's offering of wireless, long distance and
Internet services to customers in Texas. Current directory publishing agreements
will continue at least until Dec. 31, 2001. In addition, current rates
will remain in effect, but may be subject to review by state and federal
agencies after the closing of the transaction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Moore land auction blocked by Parks
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- Auctioneers held the attention of dozens of
potential buyers Tuesday in the monthly sale from the steps of Reeves County
Bill McAnally of Fort Stockton drew the largest crowd when he auctioned
several tracts of farmland in the Alamo/Verhalen area. Only one tract sold,
A buyer from Estancio, N.M. purchased 413.29 acres south of Interstate
10, formerly owned by Joe Lee McMahon, McAnally said. Three other McMahon
tracts failed to attract bidders, he said.
Victor Prieto, chief sheriff's deputy, also offered properties, as did
But one tract that has twice been posted for sale was withdrawn on a
temporary injunction signed by District Judge Bob Parks.
First National Bank posted for sale 10,728.57 acres of the former Banky
Stocks Ranch in Reeves, Jeff Davis and Culberson counties, now owned by
John M. Moore and wife, Doris H. Moore.
The Moores filed a petition for injunction to stop the sale on Thursday,
claiming that the bank knew when they loaned Mr. Moore $1.25 million on
Aug. 15, 1997 that he would be unable to pay the note when it became due.
The bank had pulled the first notice of sale, set for Aug. 3, and wanted
to negotiate a settlement with Mr. Moore, the petition alleges.
Moore said he attempted to negotiate a good faith settlement with the
bank, and in the middle of the negotiations, the bank reposted the property
for foreclosure on Sept. 7.
City's housing needs discussed at meeting
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- Several concerned citizens have taken a step
towards meeting the housing needs of the community, following talks last
week with state and federal officials.
Six Pecos citizens concerned with the housing needs of the community
met with officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to learn what
programs were available for our area.
The six individuals include, Tom Rivera, Nellie Gomez, Kenneth Neal,
Linda Gholson, Jesse Stephens and Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford.
Alvino Lopez with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
explained the many programs that were available for the Pecos community.
Frank Arredondo and Miguel C. Rincon, Jr. with the HUD office in Lubbock
talked about their 203(K) program that could help many Pecos people hoping
to buy a home and rehabilitate it or just improve their home.
When a date is set, the two government offices will hold a meeting for
the general public to explain in detail the ways that they can help people
accomplish their housing needs.
"There will be a lot of advertising of this meeting so please listen
for the date, time and place and plan to attend," said Jesse Stephens.
Council to consider budget, tax rate
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- Pecos City Council on Thursday will consider
the proposed $3.2 million budget for the 1999-2000 fiscal year and set
the tax rate.
As proposed, the budget calls for the same tax rate as last year, 69.67
cents per $100 valuation. Because the property valuation is lower, taxes
generated would be $24,000 less than in 1998-99.
Of $804,108 estimated tax collections, $517,109 would go to the general
fund and $286,999 to the interest and sinking fund.
Other revenues come from water and sewer user fees, $2.5 million; sales,
hotel-motel and other taxes, $773,500; Franchises, $332,000; Permits, $6,250;
Interest earned and other income, $36,100; Fines, $71,200; arrest fees,
$5,500; health & sanitation billings, $793,000; land lease, I-20 electric
revenues, swimming pool, storage fees, miniature golf course lease and
recycling revenues, $61,000.
Expenses include a 3 percent wage and salary increase for employees,
with related increases in benefits. Cuts in supplies and new vehicles helped
pare expenses so a tax hike would not be required.
The council will also consider an amended ordinance setting temporary
water rates and possible agreement with Reeves County for mediation.
Reeves County Detention Center, which is outside the Pecos city limits,
has been paying less than the going rate for out-of-town users, under an
agreement that expired years ago.
After setting a new rate of $5.50 per thousand gallons for out-of-town
users, city officials notified Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo that they
would be back-billed for water used since the agreement expired.
Galindo summoned Mayor Dot Stafford and two councilmen to a recent commissioners'
court meeting to discuss the rate.
Other agenda items include sale or lease of city property located at
5202 S. Cedar (abandoned service station that has been condemned), policy
regarding use of city vehicles and rifle range, consider Texas Home Investment
Partnership Program, and hear monthly reports.
In executive session, the council will discuss the position of district
Councilman Ricky Herrera will lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the American
Flag to open the 7:30 a.m. meeting in the council chambers of City Hall.
Larry Levario will voice the opening prayer.
Platt accepts federal court pleas
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- U.S. Magistrate Judge Stuart Platt on Tuesday
accepted "not guilty" pleas from several criminal defendants on felony
charges and heard four pleas of guilty.
Pedro Petino-Torres, 22, of Guanajuanto, Mex., pleaded guilty to illegal
entry after deportation, as did Esequiel Imbarra-Barron, 22, of Monclova,
Jesus Nava-Carrillo, 23, of Williamsburg, N.M., pleaded guilty to possession
with intent to distribute marijuana.
Juan Carlos Arroyo-Hernandez, 21, of Mexico, pleaded guilty to possession
of a firearm by an illegal alien.
School eyes budget, gym addition
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- An interlocal agreement with Reeves County for
the construction of racquetball courts at the old Pecos High School gym,
and 1999-2000 budget amendments will be the main topics of discussion at
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD regular monthly board meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, at 1304 S. Park St. The
public is invited to attend.
The district is in the process of finalizing its budget and tax rate
for the upcoming year, while the plans for the racquetball courts were
drawn up as part of the renovation of the old PHS gym to be used by the
newly created Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department.
Plans to use the small side gym for racquetball courts were rejected due
to the low roof in the area.
In other business the board will discuss and approve a proposal for
facility value assessment by Hunter Corral Associates, along with public
correspondence, the drug-free pep rally and hear the results of district's
Board members will also discuss and approve a recommendation by DEIC
for reasons and time for staff to leave campus early and the job description
for computer technician.
Board members will also discuss and approve:
* Amending job description for Technology Coordinator.
* Commissioner of Education recommended student performance domain or
local development of a student performance domain to be included in the
* Opting out of HIPPA.
* Old obsolete computers, printers, other office machines and equipment
and playground equipment at Barstow are of no further use to the district
and method and place to dispose of property that is no longer necessary
for the operation of the school district (TEC 11.151)(c).
* Y2K report.
* Tax roll errors and corrections for 1998 and prior years.
* Application to TEA for textbook waiver for Zavala 7th Grade Saxon
* Enrollment report.
* Tax Report.
* Depository securities report.
* Current bills and financial report.
* Investment transaction report.
* Reconciled bank balance report.
* Date and time for next regular meeting.
* Calendar of events.
* Request for items for next agenda.
The board will meet in closed session to discuss personnel or hear complaints
against personnel and for a private consultation with the board's attorney.
In open session the group will take action, if any, on items discussed
in closed session.
College info offered at assembly
PECOS, Sept. 8, 1999 -- A Pre-college Senior Assembly will be held at 9:55
a.m., Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Pecos High School Auditorium.
Agenda items to be covered during the assembly include SAT Tests, TASP,
TAAS, College Letters, Scholarships, Common Application and Financial Aid.
The assembly is sponsored by Pecos High School Counselors, Eva Arriola
and Pat Cobos. Parents are welcome to attend this special meeting.
AUSTIN (AP) — Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 1-12-27-29-33. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per
winner: $26,243. Winning tickets sold in: Brownsville, De Soto and San
Antonio. Matching four of five: 191. Prize: $618.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 8-0-6 (eight, zero, six)
Bartolo Sanchez, 74, died Sunday, Sept. 5, 1999, at Medical Center Hospital
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 9, at St. Emily's Church
in Toyah with burial in Toyah Cemetery.
He was born March 19, 1925, in Candelaria, Tx., was a veteran of the
U.S. Army, life-long Toyah resident, a farmer and a Catholic.
Survivors include four sons, Jesus and Bartolo Sanchez Jr. of Toyah,
and Daniel and Domingo Sanchez of Odessa; four daughters, Paula Sanchez
and Elidia Valdez of Toyah, Connie Esparza of Pecos and Delma Machuca of
Midland; two brothers, Ben Sanchez of Toyah and Ted Chavez of Odessa; two
sisters, Catalina Salcido and Nena Marquez, both of Odessa; 29 grandchildren
and eight great-grandchildren.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
High Tuesday 100; low last night 67. Tonight, partly cloudy and cooler
with a chance of evening thunderstorms. Low in the lower 60s. Northeast
wind 10 20 mph. chance of rain 30 percent. Thursday, partly cloudy with
a slight chance of showers. High in the mid 80s. Northeast to east wind
5-15 mph. Chance of rain is 20 percent. Extended forecast: Thursday night,
a slight chance of showers, otherwise partly cloudy. Low near 60. Friday
and Saturday, partly cloudy and a bit warmer. Highs near 90.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise