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Drug dog, street closing on city's agenda

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- The Town of Pecos City Council will discuss the purchase of a drug detection dog, along with entry into the Texas Home Investment Partnership and the closing of a street through the Maxey Park Zoo during their regular meeting on Thursday.

The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall to discuss those items, which were touched on earlier this month.

The purchase of a drug-detection dog was discussed by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board at their October meeting. It would be bought for use both in the local schools and the Pecos Police Department, the board was told by police chief Clay McKinney.

Cost to buy the dog, along with three weeks of training, would by $5,300, plus an additional $1,185 for the trainer's travel expenses. McKinney estimated the total cost to the city and school district would be $17,951, spread out over a six-year period.

The council was given a briefing at its Oct. 14 meeting on the Texas Home Investment Partnership, for which applications are due by Dec. 20. Recommended grant amount is $240,000, and cities will be notified by the state next spring on whether or not the grant is approved.

The council will be hearing the second reading of an ordinance closing the 2500-2600 block of Toliver Street, after voting unanimously to adopt the measure two weeks ago. The street runs through the middle of the zoo, and will be closed in order to improve the security of animals in nearby cages.

Other items on Thursday's agenda include:

Discuss/consider 1998 errors and corrections for 1998 and prior tax rolls;

Discuss/consider 1999 tax rolls;

Discuss/consider resolution authorizing additional penalties on delinquent taxes;

Discuss/consider an ordinance establishing a Municipal Court Technology Fund;

Discuss/consider a new telecommunications franchise fee collection law:

Discuss/consider and approve a meeting by Municipal Court Judge Amanario Ramon and Mayor pro-tem Gerald Tellez with an El Paso County Justice of the Peace to discuss the truancy prevention program in use there.
 

Christian Home seeks Thanksgiving help

By ROSIE FLORES
Staff Writer
PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- Plans are already underway for this year's free Thanksgiving dinner, sponsored by the Pecos Christian Home and set for Nov. 25 at the Reeves County Civic Center. But the man in charge says help is needed to make the event a success.

"Last year we fed about 210-250 people and hope to have the same crowd this year," said Christian Home Director Bruce Dury, who is asking for the community's help in providing enough food for the dinner.

Dury said turkeys, hams, vegetables and desserts will be needed for the annual event.

"And of course, we'll need volunteers," said Dury.

The Thanksgiving Dinner is held for those individuals who otherwise don't have a place to go during the holiday. Meals are also served to those on the Meals On Wheels Program.

"We'll be delivering the meals to the homebound as well," said Dury.

If you would like to donate an item or volunteer to help serve the meal contact the Christian Home at 445-2049.

The Christian Home sponsors the free holiday dinners each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Early voting going slowly

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- With no major national, state, or local offices up for election this year, turnout has been low during the first 10 days of early voting at the Reeves County Courthouse.

"It's been really slow, but we want to let everyone know they still have a chance to vote early," said Reeves County Clerk Diane Florez.

Early voting will end Friday and so far, only 35 votes have been cast. "We've only received one ballot by mail, and we mailed out three," said Florez.

Items on the ballot include 17 propositions, summaries of which have been appearing in the Pecos Enterprise.
 

Props deal with homestead, spousal aid

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth in a series of articles on the proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution voters will cast ballots on in next Tuesday's general election. Today's story includes information on both Proposition 6 and Proposition 7 on Tuesday's ballot.

By PEGGY McCRACKEN

Staff Writer

Proposition 6: Increasing the maximum size of an urban homestead to 10 acres, prescribing permissible uses of urban homesteads, and preventing the overburdening of a homestead.

Background: Section 50, Article XVI protects a homestead from forced sale for the payment of debts except for debts resulting from purchase money to acquire the property, construction of improvements, taxes due, certain partitions, refinance of a lien, and the acquisition of a home equity loan or reverse mortgage. Section 51, Article XVI, limits an urban homestead to a lot or lots consisting of not more than one acre and permits the homestead to be used as either a home or a place of business. A rural homestead is limited to 200 acres.

The proposed amendment increases the size of an urban homestead from one acre to 10 acres, permits only a single lot or parcel constituting contiguous lots to be considered an urban homestead, and permits it to be used as a home or as both a home and a place of business.

Arguments for: 1. The proposed amendment extends the opportunity to obtain home equity loans to a wider range of Texas property owners. Lending institutions are unwilling to accept only the portion of the property owner's residential property that constitutes homestead property as collateral.

2. Rejects the line of Texas case law that classifies certain lending practices as creating an additional burden on homestead property and permits lending institutions to offer loans routinely approved in other states.

Arguments against: 1. The wording of the proposition is vague and does not provide voters with sufficient information to understand the effects of the amendment, one of which is to further expand home equity lending. The effect of the amendment expands the circumstances under which property owners may obtain home equity loans without making this effect apparent to voters in the wording of the ballot proposition.

2. Reverses an established line of Texas case law developed over the past 60 years prohibiting certain lending practices that the courts have indicated create an additional burden on homestead property.

Proposition 7: Authorizing garnishment of wages for the enforcement of court-ordered spousal maintenance.

Background:

When a person owes a debt, the law provides several different ways through which the lender may collect. The first step is to sue. If he gets a judgment or court order and the debtor still fails to pay, he may use various remedies. Among them are execution, which involves sending an officer to seize and sell the debtor's property, and garnishment, which requires a third person who has property belonging to the debtor to transfer the debtor's property to the lender.

In general, Section 28, Article XVI does not permit garnishment against an employer if the person who owes the debt is working for wages. In 1983, the constitution was amended to allow the garnishment of wages only for the enforcement of court-ordered child support. Before 1995, child support was the only type of family support that could be ordered in Texas, and that remains the only type of family support for which wages may be garnished.

In 1995, in reforming the welfare laws, legislators authorized limited spousal maintenance following the dissolution of a marriage in an attempt to keep a spouse with limited job skills and financial resources from having to rely on governmental assistance programs for support.

Court orders for spousal maintenance have been difficult to enforce without a garnishment provision.

In 1999, the Legislature adopted a law that will permit a judge to order garnishment of wages to pay the spousal maintenance. But the law will not take effect unless voters approve the amendment.

Arguments for: 1. Most other states authorize the garnishment or involuntary assignment of wages for certain obligations.

2. Spousal maintenance in Texas is limited to circumstances in which the recipient spouse is unlikely to be able to provide for the person's own support and would therefore be likely to have to rely on governmental assistance programs. The state has adopted other programs to assist spouses who are displaced because of divorce, including job counseling programs.

Approval of the constitutional amendment would expand the types of assistance available and would allow a dependent spouse to have secure support for a limited period while the person becomes financially independent without imposing an additional burden on the taxpayers.

Arguments against:

1. Garnishment of wages places the burden of collecting and paying spousal maintenance on the employer rather than the employee.

2. The obligation to pay spousal maintenance is only one of many obligations that a person may have, including payment of taxes, judgments and other debts. Expanding the authorization for garnishment beyond court-ordered child support logically will encourage adoption of additional exceptions to allow garnishment to pay other types of obligations.

Taken from the Texas Legislative Council's publication, "analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments. Next: Proposition 8, to provide that the adjutant general serves at the pleasure of the governor.

School moves balloon release  time

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- Time for the release of balloons at Bessie Haynes Elementary School has been changed from morning to afternoon.

On Thursday, balloons will be released at 2 p.m., and parents are welcome to participate. The time was changed from 8:30 a.m., to accommodate school administrators who will be on hand for the special event.

Bessie Haynes Elementary School is participating in different activities throughout the week in honor of Red Ribbon Week.

The balloons will have a note attached to them, written by the students, and if anyone finds the notes they are asked to contact the school at 447-7244.

Firemen spraying cars in fundraiser

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- Pecos Volunteer Firemen will be using plenty of water on Saturday, but it won't be to douse a fire.

The firemen will be having a Car Wash at the Central Fire Station on South Cedar Street.

Cars, trucks and vans can get washed from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Small and large cars will be washed for $8, while the cost to get vans washed will be $12 and trucks will cost $10.

Obituaries

Margaret Bragg

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- Services are incomplete for Margaret Bragg, 81, who died Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1999, at Reeves County Hospital.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Julia Ward

PECOS, Oct. 27, 1999 -- Julia Hampton Ward, 93, died Oct. 6, 1999, at the Pecos Nursing Home.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Bruce Abbott officiating.

She was born Oct. 7, 1905, in Pecos, was a lifelong Pecos resident and retired.

Lotto

AUSTIN (AP) Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers drawn: 13-25-18-28-26. Number matching five of five: Two. Prize per winner: $38,299. Winning ticket(s) sold in: Glenn Heights, El Paso. Matching four of five: 238. Prize: $483.

***

AUSTIN (AP) The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 2-5-1 (two, five, one)
 

Weather


High Tuesday 85. Low this morning 46. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low around 50. South wind 5-15 mph. Thursday, partly cloudy. High around 80. Southeast to south wind 5-15 mph.



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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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