Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Hospital has plan to fight off Y2K bug
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Dec. 29, 1999 - Reeves County Hospital has been making their
own plans to deal with any possible computer-related problems resulting
from the Y2K bug. But controller Richard Mathis is hoping some other groups
also have their Y2K problems solved in order to make the hospital's upcoming
"We rely on the city and the power company to provide us with our water
and electricity," said Mathis, who is serving as the hospital's Y2K preparedness
"We rely on the city to provide us with water and remove waste," he
said. "I've talked with (city water superintendent) Octavio Garcia, He
said we're on the same (sewer) line with the prison, and he said the lift
station is one of their top priorities.
"We're on a different water line from the prison, so that should help,"
Mathis said even if there were problems with power or water, the hospital
has a contingency plan.
"If Texas-New Mexico (Power) has a problem we're not so reliant on the
utility. We've got a contingency plan that can carry us for at least seven
days," he said. "We've got to carry a generator. It's required by Medicare."
For the water and waste, Mathis said, "We have personal hygiene kits
and waterless baths. With the staff we've got those individual hand cleaners,
and we're bringing in some of those portable toilets for the staff just
"Y2K is closely aligned with the disaster plan we modify every year,"
he said. "We diligently plan for it every time, so for the most part we've
been training for it for many years."
"We went through and tested what we think are our mission-critical devices,
and from our testing, we don't have anything we feel will pose a problem,"
Mathis said. He added that a company which has tested between 75 and 100
hospitals also has looked at Reeves County Hospital's system. "Of the rural
hospitals, we fared better than most of them."
As far as staffing goes, Mathis said he, RCH administrator Charles Butts,
and other department heads would be at the hospital Friday night and early
Saturday morning, in case an emergency does arise.
The medical staff has added one extra doctor this week to deal with
any problems, and for the weekend, "We've got our typical on-call folks.
We do have our first-wave response folks, which is six additional staff
on-call in case there is a response."
The hospital will also have its usual weekend staffing personnel in
the emergency room, which will run from 7 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. on Monday.
For those on the nursing staff not on call, Mathis said, "If they wake
up (Saturday) and find any disruption of utilities, they are to report
to the hospital."
The hospital also has stocked up on some medical supplies, Mathis said,
"Whether it be Ivs or antibiotics. Any kind of heart medicines or things
that would be critical we'll have on hand."
"We also have to take care of some patients that are homebound who are
in our home health program, along with those in other programs," Mathis
said. "They've told us we're their first option."
Nationwide, hospitals are making preparations for possible New Year's
problems, and have spent $8 billion so far. They range from high-tech items
to items to $5 bells for patients to call nurses if buzzer systems are
At New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, the hospital will hand out
penlight flashlights to patients. A staff member will be with each patient
at midnight, too, said spokeswoman Janice Sullivan.
Like many hospitals, a special Y2K-compliant command center will be
set up to make sure all is well, Ms. Sullivan added.
At Swedish Hospital in suburban Denver, some, but not all, patients
will get a bell or whistle.
"You wouldn't want to have a whole floor of bells and whistles," said
hospital spokeswoman Sara Spaulding. "We have identified the patients who
are the highest risk if the power goes out, and those folks will be given
a choice of a bell or a whistle."
Rick Wade, spokesman for the American Hospital Association, said hospitals
have spent $8 billion to get ready for Y2K, from the infrastructure to
He said he had not heard of the bell and whistle buys, but could understand
how the noisemakers might be reassuring.
Hospitals have a larger-than-normal percentage of elderly patients during
the holidays, since many younger patients go home and little elective surgery
Wade said no matter what happens New Year's Eve, it won't be new for
"They deal with disasters all the time," he said. "They are all prepared
for power failures, like in North Carolina during the hurricane."
Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., emptied its swimming pool
to flush toilets during Hurricane Floyd. And nurses from North Hanover
Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C., rescued stranded patients
with a Humvee during Hurricane Bonnie.
"We been through six hurricanes in the last four years and in many ways
we are treating this like another one," said Scott Whisnant, spokesman
for New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Traffic stop west of Pyote nets $30,000, Jeep
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Dec. 29, 1999 - A routine traffic stop on Wednesday west of
Pyote netted more than $30,000 in currency and officers confiscated a 1993
The incident happened at about 2:06 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 28, when Sgt.
Billy Hull, an investigator with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, conducted
a traffic stop on a 1993 green Jeep, at mile marker 63 on Interstate 20
westbound, two miles west of Pyote in Ward County.
Hull found $30,800 in currency, hidden behind the glove compartment
and inside the center console, eight bundles of currency.
Further investigation linked the U.S. currency to a drug transaction,
according to task force commander Gary Richards.
Both the driver and the passenger were taken into custody and transported
to the Ward County Jail in Monahans. The currency and the jeep were seized.
The driver was identified as Jesus Ayala, 27 of Fabens and passenger
and owner of the vehicle, Jorge Pacheco, 23, of Tornillo.
Charges on Ayala were dismissed, while Pacheco was charged with money
laundering. Bond was set at $10,000 on Pacheco today.
Investigator Hull was assisted by deputies with the Ward County Sheriff's
Commissioners plan to discuss golf course fees
PECOS, Dec. 29, 1999 - Proposed policies and fee changes for the Reeves
County Golf Course and a golf agreement between Reeves County and the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD will be topics of discussion at the final Reeves County Commissioners
Court meeting of the year, scheduled for Thursday.
Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m., on the third floor of the courthouse
to discuss several items aside from the golf course, which were late additions
to the Thursday agenda.
The court will discuss and take action on Reeves County Senior Citizen
Grant Coordinator/Writer; classify new position of H.S.A.; classification
of WHS/Safety Manager Position and FY 2000 budget amendments.
In other business, commissioners will discuss and take action on employee
uniforms; discarded food products and surface treatments.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on:
· Reports from various departments.
· Budget amendments and line item transfers.
· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, maintenance department,
county clerk, county treasurer and sheriff's office).
· Minutes from previous meetings.
· Semi-monthly bills.
· Spread on minutes: district court administrator Cathy L. Adams
salary and continuation of education of Lynn J. Owens, county auditor.
The court will also meet behind closed doors to discuss litigation between
Reeves County and City of Pecos.
Construction set for I-20 near Odessa
Drivers headed east on Interstate 20 in the first few months of the year
2000 can expect to see a detour and some possible delays, as they head
into Odessa, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
TxDOT will begin construction on a new interchange at Moss Avenue on
I-20, between the FM 1936 (Odessa) and FM 866 (Goldsmith) interchanges.
According to Dan Dalager, the TxDOT engineer in charge of the project,
a portion of Moss Road and the north frontage road of I-20 will be closed,
and interstate traffic will be closed down to a single lane for about a
Work will begin first on the westbound lanes, and traffic will be diverted
onto the eastbound side of I-20 beginning Monday, Jan. 3. The project is
expected to cost $6.7 million, TxDOT said.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Tuesday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 01-14-15-24-36. Number matching five of five: one. Prize per winner:
$75,746. Winning ticket sold in: Houston. Matching four of five: 186. Prize:
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 6-7-0 (six, seven, zero)
Velma R. Smith
Velma R. Smith, longtime resident of Pecos, died December 21, 1999 at her
home in Yukon, Oklahoma.
She is survived by two daughters, Alta Bechtel of Yukon, Okla. and Jean
Keffer of Dallas; three grandsons and one great grandson.
Vincent Jeremiah Lara
Vincent Jeremiah Lara, a three-day old baby, died Dec. 26, 1999, at Lubbock
He was born Dec. 23, 1999 in Pecos and was a Catholic.
A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., today at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 30, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
Survivors include his parents, Bobby and Diana Lara of Pecos; grandparents
Richard and Lydia Thompson of Littlefield, Ruben Navarette of Monahans
and Ana Navarette of Pecos.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Nancy Holt Rediger
Nancy Holt Rediger, 85, of Pecos, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 1999, at a Katy
Visitation will be Thursday morning, Dec. 30, at Pecos Funeral Home.
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery
with Rev. Bruce Abbott officiating.
She was born July 29, 1914, in Ogemaw, Ark. and was co-owner of Rediger's
Survivors include her husband, F. John Rediger of Pecos; one son, John
T. Rediger of Pecos; one daughter, Deborah Rediger Kahn of Dallas; two
granddaughters and two great-grandsons.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, Dec. 29, 1999 - High Tuesday 69. Low this morning 34. Forecast for
tonight: Fair skies. Low 35-40. West wind 5-10 mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny.
High in the lower 70s. Northwest wind 5-15 mph. Thursday night: Clear.
Low around 30. Friday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 60s.
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