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Friday, December 10, 1999

Schools want public's input on uniforms

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 10, 1999 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD decided to take one more step to explore the idea of school uniforms during their regular monthly meeting Thursday night.

After hearing from most of the principals from the district's schools, the board voted to send a letter to parents informing them that uniforms are under consideration and requesting opinions.

Opinions in favor of uniforms appear to have diminished over the last few weeks. None of the school principals that spoke at the meeting thought that uniforms were necessary at this time.

Assistant superintendent Gome Olibas reported to the board that research indicated that there were several disadvantages to adopting uniforms that might outweigh the advantages. They included having to hear philosophical and religious objections to the uniforms and cost to the district.

"The board would have to be prepared to hear these requests for waivers and the people I've talked too in other districts warn that there are sometimes more than 100 for their board to hear at a meeting," Olibas said.

"My biggest concern is cost. If it cost $60,000 or $70,000 to implement uniforms I think that money would be better spent elsewhere," Earl Bates, school board president, said.

Superintendent Don Love told the board that 63.7 percent of Pecos students qualify as economically disadvantaged and if uniforms were adopted the district could potentially face buying one uniform for each of these students.

"I would estimate the cost at about $48,000," Love said.

No other action was taken on the issue except voting to send the letter to parents.

In other action, Monte Hunter of Hunter Corral Associates presented the board with updated plans for the science lab addition to Crockett Middle School. The new lab is part of the overall project of consolidating seventh and eighth grade classes at Crockett.

"After speaking with the teachers we have designed the building with four combination lab/lecture rooms rather than having separate lecture and lab areas," Hunter said. "The teachers prefer this setup and as an added benefit the project will cost about $8-100 thousand dollars less than originally planned."

The building will house three science labs and one computer lab, Hunter said.

The board approved the design plans and voted to solicit competitive sealed proposals for the construction contract.

The board also took time to recognize Victor Tarin and Mary Lou Carrasco for the letters of congratulations they received from the Region 18 Education Service Center. Both principals were congratulated by the Center for achieving a "Recognized" rating for their schools.

Robert E. Card of Card & Company in Fort Stockton presented a preliminary report on this year's audit of the district's finances. Card is the district's auditor.

He told the board that the district's accounting records were generally "excellent."

"The accounting records were generally excellent. Since I've criticized payroll in the past and found things to be in excellent order this time I wanted to mention that specifically. The payroll department has done a very good job," he said.

Card said that he found only a few problems, and these related to record keeping with activity funds.

"I've talked with Don (Love) already and he is talking with the principals about what needs to be done. I'm confident that this will be taken care of," Card said.

Card stated that the financial condition of the district was much improved from 1998 and that he would present the board with the full report at the next scheduled meeting in January 2000.

In other business the board heard the grievance filed by Brenilda Bauer, a teacher at Pecos High School. The board heard the grievance in executive session and then voted to deny Bauer's grievance and uphold the recommendation of the administration.

The board also approved a Crisis Management Manual and agreed to rent ten classrooms to Odessa College for the spring semester.

According to Love, Odessa College needs the classrooms so that it can offer courses in Pecos beginning in January since the college's permanent facilities at the old Western Auto building in Pecos won't be ready until the summer.

The board voted to charge the college a $15 per-person usage fee, which is the same fee charged other non-school district users to use class rooms, Love said.

P-B-T helped by revisions in valuations

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 10, 1999 - Reeves County Tax Appraisal Board members on Tuesday approved the supplemental certified totals for local taxing entities, which gave a slight boosts to the valuations of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district and the city of Balmorhea, while knocking some value off the totals for the city of Pecos, Reeves County, Balmorhea schools and the Reeves County Hospital District.

Board members approved the supplemental figures, as presented by Chief Appraiser Carol King Markam. They showed mineral valuations within the P-B-T school district increased by $362,670, which offset a $194,260 drop in real estate values. That left the school with a net gain of $168,410 in valuations, which is less than 1/20th of a percent of the district's overall $367.2 million in net taxable values.

The city of Balmorhea, meanwhile, benefited from a $9,330 rise in their real estate valuations. Mineral valuations there were unchanged, and the boost represented .3 percent of the city's overall $3,542,550 in net taxable value.

The bulk of the P-B-T's mineral increase came from land in the Barstow area. Reeves County and the Reeves County Hospital District saw smaller increases in their mineral valuations, but they were offset by drops in real estate values.

Both the county and hospital gained $77,850 in mineral valuations and lost $148,690 in real estate, leaving a decline of $70,840 in their overall $359.4 million in net taxable valuations.

The city of Pecos and Balmorhea ISD saw no change in their mineral values, while both lost over $100,000 real estate. The city lost $119,900, leaving it with net taxable assets of $114.6 million, while Balmorhea saw its real estate drop by $127,410. That's just under one percent of the district's overall valuations of $19,320, 740.

Neither the city of Toyah nor the Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 2 saw any changes in their real estate or mineral totals according to the supplemental figures.

The figures come after the initial figures were presented to the taxing entities in July, to be used in planning their budgets for fiscal year 2000.

In the initial valuation report, Markam said P-B-T gained $1.5 million in net taxable values, while the city of Pecos lost $3.38 million.

Reeves County and the Reeves County Hospital District lost $2 million, and Balmorhea ISD lost $1.8 million.

The school's real estate gains were due to an expansion at the Anchor West plant on Interstate 20. Markham said in July that Anchor's addition benefits the P-B-T ISD because they do not allow for tax abatement while the city of Pecos, Reeves County and the hospital district do. They taxed Anchor last year because of a glitch in Anchor's abatement application.

Regional water planning board to meet here

Staff Writer
PECOS, Dec. 10, 1999 - The Region S Water Planning Group will hold a public meeting at the Reeves County Civic Center this coming Wednesday at 10 a.m.

According to Clark Lindley, the public meeting will give residents a chance to find out what is developing in the water management plan that will eventually encompass Reeves County. Lindley is a citizen of Pecos who has been involved with local water management issues in the past.

"The Water Planning Group was created by Senate Bill 1, passed by the 1997 legislature. The group is charged with formulating a water management plan for its region, which encompasses 32 counties," Lindley said.

"This meeting is an opportunity for residents to get information on the rules that are being made as to water access," he said.

Lindley said that the Senate Bill 1 represents a major step in changing the laws that have governed water in Texas since before statehood.

"Today the "rule of capture" is still the law of the land," he said.

Basically stated, the rule of capture holds that if the water is on your land you can use as much as you want.

The water management plan being created by the group may very well alter this law, Lindley said.

With increasing demand for water, conflicts are developing between agricultural, commercial and urban interests, he said.

The new plan will probably allocate priorities among these interests and this could have far-reaching effects for areas like Reeves County where irrigation is required for agriculture.

"What this boils down to is how water use will be controlled in the future, and land owners and local entities may not have as much say under the new rules as they do now," he said.

Reeves is the further west county in Region S, which stretches east to the Brownwood area.

Bid items take up bulk of county's agenda

PECOS, Dec. 10, 1999 - Reeves County Commissioners will discuss numerous items, most dealing with bids on county purchases, when they hold their regular meeting at 9:45 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the Reeves County Courthouse.

Commissioners will discuss the Reeves County Detention Center contract for Guadalupe Regalado and Reeves County and the contract between Mike LeCuyer and Reeves County.

The group will discuss and take action on computer software contract for Reeves County and inmate transportation bus services.

Several bids will be discussed and awarded including bids for RCDC-2 proposal package 202 part three, electrical and telemetry; RCDC-2 proposal package 602, finish carpentry; RCDC 2- Proposal package 1001, building specialists and miscellaneous equipment; RCDC-1 proposal package 201 building pad and concrete and RCDC-1 proposal package 1502 emergency storage tank.

Other bids to be discussed and awarded are, #18-99 inmate clothing; #16-99 janitor supplies; #21-99 auto insurance; #24-99 property insurance; #19-99 inmate food/supply; #20-99 general liability insurance; #27-99 pharmaceuticals; #28-99 physician service; #29-99 employee uniform; #26-99 laboratory service; #17-99 audit services; #11-99 salad bar cart and #25-99 dental service.

Commissioners will discuss FY 2000 holidays; Reeves County/TxDOT landscaping project resolution; Reeves County/TxDOT Truck Route resolution and approve bond and oath for Tracie Machuca.

Other items for discussion include:

· Reports from various departments.

· Budget Amendments and line-item transfers.

· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, Road and Bridge, Sheriff's Office, JDC and county clerk).

· Minutes from previous meetings.

· Semi-monthly bills.

· Spread on Minutes: Notice of over-axle-gross weight permits; Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission Agency on Aging Contract for Older Americans Act Program (Balmorhea); Continuation of certificate for Toyah Walker and Texas of Office of Attorney General Paternity Opportunity Program Certificate for Dianne O. Florez.

Drug busts nets 23 in Midland-Odessa area

MIDLAND (AP) - Law enforcement officers from 20 local, state and federal agencies moved through Midland, Odessa and other cities in Texas and New Mexico armed with arrest warrants for 31 suspects on federal and state drug-related charges.

By Thursday evening 23 of those named in the warrants were in custody, Lt. Robert Ralls of the Texas Department of Public Safety Narcotics Division told the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

Ralls said 22 of the suspects were being held in the Federal Detention Center in Odessa on federal charges of conspiracy to import controlled substances, primarily marijuana and cocaine.

One person was arrested on a state marijuana possession charge, he said.

Those arrested Thursday were to be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate L. Stuart Platt in Midland.

Eight of the 23 also were charged on federal counts of conspiracy to import a controlled substance.

Elizardo Aranda, the alleged leader of one of the drug network cells, was arrested on the charge of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, Ralls said.

A second cell leader is still at large, he added. Ralls declined to identify that person, saying he might flee the area.

A semi-automatic AK-47 assault rifle, a Tec969 machine pistol and several handguns were confiscated in two homes during the sweep, Ralls said.

Arrested were: Elizardo Aranda, 32; Sara Aranda, 34; Pedro Baeza, 25; Richard Marcias, 21; Felipe Zamora, 25; Sergio Juarez, 51; Jesus Lucero, 35; Dulces Nieto, 51; Guillermo Rodriguez, 38; Rafael Ronquillo, 29; Mario Sanchez, 41; and Auden Minjarez, 28; all of Odessa.

Also arrested were Jose Falcon, 25; Elizabeth Falcon, 26; Aaron Herrera, 37; and Sandra Herrera, 36; all of Midland.

Octavio Herrera, 37, of Ruidoso, N.M., and brother of a Midland attorney, is a former Midland resident.

Arrested from other cities were: Patricio Martinez III, 24, of Beaumont; Steven Lopez, 22, of Big Spring; Reta Baldee Pfolsgroff, 44, of Dallas; Ricky Jones, 49, and Richard Aranda, 32, both of Hobbs, N.M.; and Efrain Pando, 31, of Presidio.

The organization, which had direct ties to Mexican drug rings, used the Midland-Odessa region as a staging area to distribute the drugs to other states, Ralls said.

The drug network operated out of several homes and businesses in the area, including construction companies and a detailing business, he said.

It would be hard to place a dollar value on the organization's operations, Ralls said, but it would be easy to say it involved millions.

"Eventually, we will have a dollar amount," Ralls said, noting that only small quantities of drug contraband and no cash were recovered in this operation.

Thursday's sweep is only phase one of a multi-phase operation, Ralls said.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 19-33-32-01-07. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $79,597. Winning ticket(s) sold in: Bellmead. Matching four of five: 197. Prize: $606.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 0-6-1 (zero, six, one)


Guadalupe Hernandez

Guadalupe Hernandez, 46, died Thursday, Dec. 9, 1999, at Odessa Regional Hospital in Odessa.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, at 609 S. Almond Street.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 14, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with Father Manny Munoz officiating. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery.

She was born March 31, 1953 in Pecos, was a housewife and a Catholic.

Hernandez was preceded in death by her parents, Teresa and Hill Rubio.

Survivors include her husband, Alfonso Hernandez of Pecos; one son, Jose Paul Hernandez of Pecos; three daughters, Sharon, Maribel and Amgelica Hernandez of Pecos; three brothers, Jessie, Javier and Santos Rubio of Amarillo; three sisters, Romelia Hernandez and Celia Chairez of Pecos and Maria Dolores Salinas of Amarillo and three grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home of Odessa is in charge of arrangements.


High Thursday 61. Low this morning 24. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the lower 30s. West wind 10 to 20 mph. Saturday: Increasing cloudiness and cooler with a high in the mid 50s. Northwest wind 10 to 20 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 20s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid to upper 50s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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