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Friday, September 20, 1996

Residents get info on clinic for Balmorhea

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 20, 1996 - Balmorhea residents took their first, "baby
steps," Thursday towards developing a health care outreach program in
their town.

Reeves County Hospital Interim Administrator Terry Andris met with
townspeople at the Balmorhea Senior Citizen Center to explain the
process of getting a clinic established in the rural community.

"There are a lot of baby steps we've got to take to accomplish our
goal," Andris told the crowd of almost 30 citizens. "Our goal is to give
you access to something that you don't have now."

The hospital administrator explained that there are different clinic
programs available to the southern Reeves County community and, "our job
is to make this as economically as possible through RNs (registered
nurses), a physicians assistant and occasionally a physician."

Andris and RCH Director of Program Development and Community Services
Nancy Ontiveros responded to questions from the crowd on the
qualifications of an RN and physicians assistant, how the outreach
program will work and on the hospital's rural health clinic, from which
the Balmorhea program would be an extension.

The rural health clinic at Reeves County Hospital is manned by a
physician's assistant and supervised by local doctors Orville D. Cerna,
Joseph Darpolar, and James Cam, according to Andris.

He told the group that the hospital is currently looking into hiring an
RN, which he said would "free the physicians assistant," for the
Balmorhea clinic 40 miles away.

A rural health clinic, "is the left hand of a doctor's office," added
Andris, "and offers the support services for persons that have just
gotten out of the hospital."

The hospital administrator told the crowd that one of the first steps
was, "to develop a place to do these clinics. But we can't afford a lot
of rent," which, he explained, was one of the major reasons for the
downfall of other similar clinics.

"The people in this community want this clinic," said audience member
David Chapman, who added, that offering a rent-free site was "the least
the community should expect to do."

Andris stated that an examining table will have to be moved into the
building and the site will have to accommodate a waiting area and

Balmorhea Chamber of Commerce President Ellen Weinacht said that a
prospective building to consider is one which currently houses the local
library, but was originally constructed to house a clinic.

"It will be easier to move the library...and look for a place to put the
library," she said.

Andris said, the clinic will probably open about once a week in its
earliest days of operation, and it will be a, "progressive effort," to
increase the number of days the clinic will be open.

"The board's mission is to take care of the people in the county and the
community," said Andris. He estimated the clinic could open its doors
sometime in January.

The next town meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 22 at the
Balmorhea Senior Citizen Center.

At that time the group will submit the results of a second survey, which
they decided to conduct at Thursday's meeting in order to include more
detail and get it out "door-to-door," to the community for more input on
the matter. Ontiveros will be translating the questionnaire in Spanish
for persons with limited English-speaking abilities.

Ontiveros explained that the results of the surveys will be integrated
into a computer program for analysis and taken before the board for
insight into establishing an outreach program in Balmorhea.

Other community members present at the meeting were Balmorhea Mayor
Ismael Rodriguez, Councilman Rocindo Galindo, Committee Chairman Virgil
Gage and Member Annabel Coleman. Reeves County Commissioner for Precinct
3 Herman Tarin, was unavailable to make the meeting, but said later
outside the senior citizen center, "I'm all for this."

Red Bluff board delays action on Miller

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Staff Writer
PECOS, September 20, 1996 - Board members of the Red Bluff Water Power
Control District opted to postpone the reappointment of general manager
and tax assessor/collector Jim Ed Miller until an official opinion on
the long-time employee's legal status is rendered.

Miller status was clouded following his conviction by a Reeves County
jury for a felony charge of tampering with a witness on August 20.
Jurors handed Miller a 180 day state jail stay with no fine, which was
automatically suspended for probation.

He is currently serving that term, but questions were brought up
following the sentenced on whether or not Miller could continue to be
bonded for his position handing RBWPCD funds.

Board Secretary Lloyd L. Goodrich said last month he believed Miller
could continue to serve, since he was bonded to the Red Bluff board and
not to the State of Texas. In the board's Sept. 9 meeting Goodrich
motioned to reappoint Miller to his current position for the legal
period of one year with a 10 percent increase in salary.

The motion was substituted by Board Member Richard C. Slack that action
on an appointment be postponed until Miller's legal status was

Slack aggregated that the matter be put on the October agenda for an
executive session. The alternate move was seconded by Board Member
Manuel N. Lujan, Jr.

The latter motion was carried with a 4-3 vote, with Goodrich and Board
Members Theresa Walker and Charlotte Wilcox casting the dissenting votes.

Comments in favor of reappointing Miller were heard by Don Morton and
Bob Hayes of the Ward County Irrigation District #1, and John Cole
Armstrong, of the Reeves County Irrigation District #2. Both districts
are member entities of the RBWPCD.

In other business, cash disbursements for the district totaling
$32,813.83 and an accounts payable sum of $24,563.30 were approved
unanimously. Board members were presented with the figures by the
general manager and a copy of itemized expenditures were furnished to
each of them.

The board voted 6-1 on a Loving County case settlement between Boatman's
First National Bank of Kansas and Boatman's Trust Co. of Kansas City as
Trustees and the RBWPCD for $50,000 and interest. The funds were placed
in an account by Johnston Ranch for the construction of the low-water
crossing, with RBWPCD putting $250,000 in matching funds.

An agreement with Sun West Salt Corporation of Loving, N.M. was agreed
to by the board. The contract give Sun West 14 months to pump salt water
that integrates with the Pecos River and deposit it into ponds. A small
royalty will be paid to RBWPCD from sales of the salt.

Red Bluff will take over the process following the 14 month time period.


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PECOS, September 20, 1996 - High Thursday 90, low this morning 62.
Tonight, clear. Low in the mid 50s. Light wind. Saturday, sunny. High in
the upper 80s. South wind 5 15 mph.

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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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