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Nov. 20, 1996

Mom irked by treatment of second grader

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 20, 1996 - A Pecos mother is upset about the punishment her
daughter received following an incident at Austin Elementary School last

School officials claim that they "were just following procedure" when
they assessed the punishment.

"From what I understand they were just playing around. It was an
accident," said Alice Gomez.

Gomez is the mother of the 7-year-old second grade student who was
punished for the lunchtime incident.

According to reports, the children were coming back from lunch, playing
around with each other, when her daughter reportedly pushed another
child into the water fountain.

"At first they thought his nose was broken, but it turned out it
wasn't," said Gomez.

But what happened next is what really infuriated Gomez, as someone at
the school apparently called the police.

"I just didn't see what calling the police would help a small child,"
said Gomez.

Gomez said that her child is now having nightmares of being taken away
by the police, of being ostracized by the other children and of being
taken away from her own parents.

"They treated her like a criminal, instead of treating the incident like
what it was, an accident that occurred when two children were playing
around," she said.

Gomez said that school officials should also have taken into
consideration that her daughter has been diagnosed with Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

"They should have taken this into consideration before assessing such
harsh punishment and especially before calling the police and scaring
her to death," said Gomez.

Pecos Police Chief Troy Moore said, "No, this is not normal procedure,
they don't usually call the police in this type of situation."

Moore went on to say that the police usually respond to all calls they
receive. "We don't know what the call is about sometimes, but we respond.

"I don't understand why someone would want to file charges on a child
that age," said Moore. "From what I understand the children were just
playing around."

Moore said the police are not authorized to file charges against a child
below the age of 10.

"That was bad enough, but the punishment was also excessive for a child
that age," said Gomez.

Gomez's daughter received five days of on-campus suspension and three
hours of counseling.

"This was just her first offense and she has never gotten into any other
trouble before," said Gomez. "I don't think OCS is right for a child her
age, especially since she attends it with older children."

Gomez said she had gone back the next day to talk to Austin Elementary's
acting principal, Danny Rodriguez, and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
Superintendent Mario Sotelo about appealing the punishment.

Rodriguez, Crockett Eighth Grade Middle School principal, was also
handling duties at Austin Elementary while its principal, Beau Jack
Hendrick, was in the hospital for heart bypass surgery.

"They told me I couldn't appeal it, because an appeal meant they would
have to reverse the decision and that the decision had already been
made," Gomez said.

"They said we could stick with the original punishment or get a
three-day suspension for her," said Gomez. "And what good would missing
three days of school do for my child?"

Sotelo claims that Gomez never objected to the punishment, but rather
the fact that the police were called to the scene.

"She said it was the fact that the police were called and I told her I
couldn't do anything about that since it had already happened," he said.

Sotelo stated that he felt Rodriguez was following the handbook and
doing what he thought was right.

"I just want people to know what kind of school district this really is;
the treatment their children are receiving in school," Gomez said.

Gomez also alleged the acting principal actually wanted the police to
give her daughter a citation for the offense.

Rodriguez declined to comment, while Sotelo said he thought the acting
principal was going by the school district's handbook and handled the
situation as he thought was best.

What type of punishment does Gomez deem reasonable for a child that age?

"I would have recommended more counseling maybe and spending some time
after school at her own campus," she said.

Gomez's daughter is currently being transported to Bessie Haynes
Elementary School to complete her OCS punishment.

"Also, where were the teachers when this happened? Where were all the
teachers' aides?" Gomez asked.

Conflicting stories about the incident are currently being circulated.
The only eyewitness accounts come from several children.

In all their statements the children claim that the child was pushed
into the water fountain, but none of the statements claim that it was

"I'm the one having to cope with my child crying all the time," said

Sotelo said the parents of the injured child are not happy with the
decision either. "They don't think the punishment was enough, that more
should have been done," he said.

"I do sympathize with the other mother (of the injured boy). Had it been
the other way around, I know I would be upset, too," Gomez said. "But
calling the police and the punishment assessed was a little too much.

"They told me that everything that was done, from calling the police to
giving my child OCS was so that the other mother would be happy, so that
she wouldn't sue the school. So who is in charge here, the principal or
the mother?" said Gomez.

"The principal should have waited until he found out how serious the
little boy's injuries were, before calling in the police and doing all
those other things," said Gomez. "He even wanted the police to give me a

RCH given home health service plan

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 20, 1996 - Hospital HomeCare Corp. proposes to develop and
manage a home health care service at Reeves County Hospital that would
profit from changes in Medicare reimbursement.

Based on the number of hospital discharges, Jason Bullard of HomeCare
estimated the first-year revenues at $89,232 and the second year at

Chief executive officer Terry Andris said that estimate is more
realistic than an earlier proposal made by HealthCorp, which was based
on the full potential of the hospital and its market area.

Andris said the HomeCare plan would cost less on start up and during
long-term operation.

Bullard said costs are less because HomeCare charges are only slightly
above cost.

On start up, the management fee is $4 per visit and only four employees
are required. As the number of visits increase, the management fee
increases, thus giving HomeCare incentive to be aggressive in marketing,
Bullard said.

HomeCare was founded in 1984, the first hospital-based consulting
company in America, Bullard said. In 1995 it merged with Medical
Innovations of Houston, a free-standing proprietary home care company.

"We implement and manage hospital-based facilities in 250-300 hospitals
across the United States," Bullard said. "We are not only the biggest,
but try to be the best and most cost-efficient."

They provide operating manuals and staff training, he said. "We have the
best wound-care program on the market."

Bullard said it takes the company about 45 days from the date of
application to get the program operating and three months to receive the
first revenue.

Dr. James Cam said that 40 percent of his patients are on Medicare, and
that 10 to 20 percent receive home health care upon discharge from the

"I see an increase of home health care because of the quick discharge we
have to do nowadays," Dr. Cam said.

Andris said the hospital's home health service would be a natural
extension with the quick discharges, because care would continue with
nurses who are familiar with the patient.

Leo Hung, who operates American Home Health Service, said that Medicare
is becoming more strict with home health reimbursement, and
free-standing services are having to refund some of the payments because
they can't justify their costs.

Bullard said that a hospital is allowed to charge back costs of
administration up to a certain cap, which makes home health service
ideal for them.

"We are shifting monies to the home health agency to absorb excess
revenue being paid by Medicare," he said.

Bullard said half the home health agencies will go out of business when
Medicare changes to diagnosis-based reimbursement, "because they waste
that money so they don't have to pay any back."

Changes are expected to be implemented in 1999 or 2000, Bullard said.

Hospital board members plan to attend a workshop on those expected
changes at Methodist Hospital in Lubbock this weekend.

Ray Mason, community representative for Methodist, said their merger
this week with Lubbock's St. Mary's Hospital should not change their
relationship with Reeves County Hospital, except to provide better

Willie Hamilton reported that the hospital auxiliary's 38 members served
2,802 hours last year. They purchased an area rug for the lobby, provide
ice, drinks and magazine carts to patients twice a day; assist with the
annual health fair, provide for one lifeline patient each year, hold
receptions for new doctors, decorate the lobby for Christmas, and
provide Christmas stockings for the Christmas and New Year's babies.

"We try to get tray favors out for special occasions each month, assist
with blood drives and have several fund raisers each year," Hamilton

The second of two annual cake sales is set for Friday at Security State
Bank, she said.

Some of those funds were used this year to purchase blinds for the

"You do so much, we really appreciate it, and the hospital is a nicer
place to be," said board president Jeannette Alligood.

The board accepted a $6,336 bid for purchase of a gas dryer to replace
one that wore out after 18 years. Andris said the staff will renovate
the laundry room to meet Texas Department of Health recommendations and
install the dryer.

Andris' recommendation that the by-laws be changed to create a new
committee on strategic (and long-range) planning, leaving the joint
conference committee intact, passed unanimously.

The strategic planning committee will consist of the administrator,
director of environmental services, director of nurses, two board
members, one medical staff representative, one member of the auxiliary,
and others who may be invited for their expertise in a particular area.

Alligood said the board will consider procedures for interviewing and
hiring an election coordinator in their December meeting, as will the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board and Pecos city council.

The three entities agreed to consolidate elections and to hire a
coordinator. Andris said the hospital's insurance company has agreed to
provide one-third of the coordinator's liability coverage at no extra
cost if the other two entities do the same.

On the medical staff's recommendation, the board approved consulting and
clinical services privileges for Dr. Elmer Pacheco, an emergency room
physician with Spectrum.

Andris recommended the board accept Pecos Air Conditioning's $8,504 bid
for a new walk-in freezer or advertise for new bids, since Commercial
Ice said they could not complete the project for the $4,300 they bid.

"All of us would like to keep as much business local as possible," said
Marcella Lovett.

"I just hope they're not upset with us," said Greg Luna.

Andris announced the resignation of Sheila Apps, director of nursing.
Apps is moving to Seminole to be near her husband, a hospital
administrator in Hobbs, N.M.

"She is a tremendous individual," Andris said. "She has done a great

Directors Chel Flores and Jesse Prieto were unable to attend the meeting.

New youth commissioners take oaths

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 20, 1996 - A new group of students were sworn in as members
of the Pecos Youth Advisory Commission Tuesday evening, at a special
Town of Pecos City Council meeting.

"We had many applications and these are the top students that were
chosen to serve on this commission," said Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot

Stafford told the group that each council member told her it was a very
hard decision to select 21 students out of the many applications

"The selection is very good. Here we have the top students, the best,"
said Stafford.

"As my mother would have said, `we have the cream of the crop,'" she

The mayor said that everyone was very pleased with the work done by last
year's group, and hoped for the best for the coming year.

There were several parents present for the special meeting and the
induction of the students.

"There's some very good projects planned and I know you'll do very
good," said Stafford.

One project the group will be involved is in distributing turkeys next
week, according to city secretary Geneva Martinez.

"You're getting started on your first project already, so you were sworn
in just in time," said Stafford.

"This is my first time up here, and I just want to say that I'm very
impressed with all of you," said councilman Ricky Herrera. "I was
totally impressed with the things you listed in your applications and in
the discussion we had prior to being chosen."

"What surprises me is that all you get so involved in the community and
I'm truly impressed," Herrera said. "I wish nothing but the best for all
of you."

Students who received the oath for the 1996-1997 year include eighth
grade students, Lyndall Elkins, Meagan Joplin, Christopher Matta,
Rebecca McChesney, Nicole Payne, Nacho Rodriguez and Randall Reynolds.

Pecos High School freshmen are Brandi Harrison and Sara Matta.

Sophomore students include Jonathan Jay Fuentez, Linsey Hathorn,
Elizabeth Parent and Noel Ybarra.

Junior students are Stephanie Gonzales, Maribel Pena, Graciela Garcia
and Belinda Heard.

Senior students chosen for this honor are Marisa Levario, Didio
Martinez, Terrance Bailey and David Zuniga.

Woman's notes foil kidnap try by parents

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 20, 1996 - Hyo Kyong Yi was concerned about visiting her
Korean parents in Fayetteville, N.C. last weekend, because they did not
approve of her planned interracial marriage to Robert Nathon Jesky.

"It can get bad," 25-year-old Yi told a co-worker. "If I'm not back to
work on Monday, notify the police."

Yi left Jesky in Durham, N.C., Saturday morning with the promise to
return later that day. When she did not, Jesky, who is white, attempted
to call her at her parents' home.

Pak Yi, the father, answered and immediately hung up when he recognized
Jesky's voice.

Learning from her sister that Yi was being held against her will and
that the parents were planning to take her back to Korea, Jesky filed a
missing persons report with the Durham, police department on Monday.

On Tuesday, Jesky said he received a call from a Dallas police officer
notifying him that a note was found in the bathroom of a convenience
store/gas station in Dallas. It contained the victim's name and stated
she was being kidnaped by her parents.

"Please help," the note said, and listed Jesky's telephone number.

When Durham PD investigator Phillips went to the parents' condominium,
he found no one at home. Three vehicles registered to the parents were
at the home, but a relative said that Pak Yi and his wife, Kap Shin Yi,
went on vacation with the victim in a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Additional notes were found along Interstate 20, stating the three
Koreans were driving to California on I-20 and giving the Cherokee's
license plate number.

The last one was found in Midland at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, and that
evening, Ward County Sheriff's Deputy Tommy Hernandez of Barstow was on
patrol when he saw a vehicle matching the description he had heard
earlier of the Jeep Cherokee.

Hernandez stopped the vehicle near Pecos and took the suspects to
Reeves County Jail. Yi told Deputy Jeffrey Baeza that her parents were
holding her and taking her from North Carolina to California against her

Charged by the FBI with kidnapping, Kap Shin Yi and her husband, Pak
Yi, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Stuart Platt this morning.

Because they speak little English, court personnel attempted to secure
an interpreter, but were unsuccessful.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Blankenship talked with the couple,
explaining that they could be released from jail if they would promise
to go back to North Carolina for court on Monday.

Explaining that he was not there to talk about their guilt or
innocence, but to explain their rights, Judge Platt said, "From reading
this document, I understand you are not bad people. You have worked hard
all your lives. You have family ties in the community. You made a
mistake for what you believe to be the right reasons. But you can't do

He and Blankenship explained the couple's rights in simple terms, and
they said they understood they could have a lawyer appointed here or in
North Carolina if they cannot afford to hire one.

And they understood that a police officer might want to talk to them
about the alleged kidnapping, but that they don't have to talk to them.

"You can if you want to, but if you do that, it might be used against
you," Judge Platt explained.

When Blankenship explained that they would get their vehicle and all
their belongings back from the jail, the couple flashed one of their
rare smiles. They were also relieved to know they would not have to pay
money for their bail, so long as they appear in court as promised.

Their daughter can return to North Carolina with them if she chooses,
but the government will pay for her plane ticket if she does not,
Blankenship said.

"Is my daughter O.K?" asked the mother through tears.

"Your daughter is O.K." Blankenship said.

"We are sorry about this," Kap Shin Yi said. "We don't know. I don't
understand what you mean `kidnap.'"

"We understand why you were doing it," Judge Platt said. "You just need
to go back to North Carolina and get this thing taken care of."

"My daughter is a good girl," Kap Shin Yi said. "For 25 years, never a
problem; only one time.

"Thank you so much," she told the judge.

Judge Platt said he would give the couple papers to show they were free
on bail in case they are stopped on the return trip to North Carolina,
which they will take alone. Their daughter chose not to accept a ride
with them.

Classic says early notice given on office's opening

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Staff Writer
PECOS, Nov. 20, 1996 - Classic Cable officials feel enough notice was
given to the owner of a local flower shop that the company's new Pecos
office would take over responsibilities of collecting cable customer
payments starting this week.

Virginia Flores, owner of Four Seasons, said during an interview
Tuesday she and her staff wished they had more notice of the change.

However, Classic Regional Manager Roddy Whittington of Brady said today
that Flores was notified by the company's chief technician, Marke
Hamlin, of their plans to open a local office, "several months ago,
before we found an office (location)."

"She was told these things (changes)," he said.

Whittington added that Hamlin again spoke to Flores, about a month ago
about the move and gave her a date.

"We did all this at the urging of the city and community," he said.
"We're trying to be more customer oriented," Whittington said.

"Virginia (Flores) is a really nice lady," said the company's regional
manager, "(But) we're just doing this because the people of Pecos wanted

Whittington was in town for Monday's grand opening. He participated in
the official ribbon cutting, along with Hamlin and Debbie Salcido, the
two employees who are manning the new office.


Raymond J. Soto

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Raymond J. Soto, 27, died Sunday, Nov. 17 at Baylor Medical Center in
A rosary will be held today at 7:30 p.m. at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with burial at Greenwood Cemetery.
He was born Oct. 31, 1969 in Pecos, was a test driver for Smither's Test
Track, a lifetime Pecos resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include his parents, Jesus G. Soto and Maria V. Soto of Pecos;
four brothers, Joe, Gilbert and Tony Soto of Pecos, Jesse Soto of
Odessa; three sisters, Margaret Franco and Lydia Salgado of Pecos and
Lucy Maynez of Odessa.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

TEA releases `report card' on schools

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Staff Writer
The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district's "report card," as the
Academic Excellence Indicator Systems report has been labelled by the
Texas Education Agency, shows that the district is listed as
"recognized" under TEA standards.

Numerous statistics about the district are listed on the TEA report,
including the number of students on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program,
SAT/ACT results and, probably the more interesting to parents, Texas
Assessment of Academic Skills numbers.

The statistical release compares the P-B-T school district with others
both in Region 18 and statewide that have the similar population and
income levels.

In the last few years, the state has required school districts to make
the AEIS reports public.

TEA figures showed that 70.4 percent of third graders in similar school
districts throughout the state mastered all the TAAS tests in the
Spring, 1996 period, a total that was up three percent from the previous
year. The Region 18 numbers showed that 68.8 percent of third graders
performed up to par on the TAAS in 1996, up 2.5 percent from 1995, while
Pecos' 63.3 percent number was down from 76.6 percent in 1995.

In contrast, P-B-T's fourth, fifth and sixth grade numbers went from
below to at or above average from 1995 to 1996.

In 1996, 67.2 percent of the state's fourth graders, who are also
required to take a Writing exam, along with the Reading and Math,
mastered TAAS tests, while Region 18 figures showed that 65 percent
passed. Both figures showed increases from the 1995 totals of 64.1
percent and 64.2 percent, respectively.

Local numbers showed 71 percent of fourth graders passed all tests, up
from 55.7 percent.

Throughout the state, 73.5 percent of fifth graders passed all the TAAS
tests in 1996, while 66.8 percent mastered the exams in 1995. For the
region, numbers showed that 71.1 percent passed all the tests in 1996
and 66.7 in 1995.

Locally, fifth graders passing all the tests climbed from 58.4 percent
to 73.2 percent, according to the TEA report card.

In 1996, 70.1 percent of the state's sixth graders met minimum
expectations on all the TAAS exams, up 8.8 percent from 1995. For the
region, numbers were 70.5 percent for 1996 and 63.6 percent for 1995.
P-B-T's numbers jumped from 64.6 percent in 1995 to 72.4 percent in

Sixty-eight percent of seventh graders throughout the state passed all
the TAAS tests in 1996, 59.4 percent in 1995. In 1996, 66.6 percent
Region 18 seventh graders mastered all the TAAS exams, 60.1 percent in
1995. The local figures showed a rise from 47.8 to 64 percent.

Of the state's eighth graders, who are also required to take Writing,
Science and Social Studies TAAS tests, 53.7 mastered all in 1996, 46.8
in 1995. Region figures show that 49.5 percent pass all their TAAS exams
in 1996 and 43.9 in 1995.

Eighth grade students in the district lagged behind state and regional
numbers, but were still up, with 40.5 percent passing all tests,
compared with 28.6 percent in 1995.

The report breaks down these numbers into passing totals for each of the
TAAS exams for the district, ethnic origins, gender and other special
groups as well.

Copies can be obtained at the P-B-T ISD Administration Office, at 1302
S. Park.

Teachers say `zero tolerance' law works

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Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN - Texas teachers say their students are behaving better since the
Safe Schools Act was passed last year.

An informal survey of about 950 Texas teachers found that threats of
violence, assaults, abusive language and theft have gone down since an
initial survey in 1993.

The survey was released Tuesday by the Texas Federation of Teachers.

The law lets teachers remove violent or disruptive students from their
classrooms and place them in alternative education programs. It also
calls for automatic removal of students who commit violent or
drug-related offenses.

``Teachers are telling us that they finally have a tool they can use to
keep order in the classroom and prevent future disruptions,'' Sen.
Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, said Tuesday.

The Texas Association of School Boards has said some of the language in
the act needs to be clarified.

The law needs to be clearer about what happens to students who are
placed in alternative education programs and are later expelled because
of repeated misbehavior, said Joe Ramos, assistant director of
governmental relations with the association.

Ramos said the law also needs to ensure that a hearing is held to allow
those classified as problem students the opportunity to present their

In May, U.S. District Judge James Nowlin of San Marcos ruled that part
of the Safe Schools Act is unconstitutional because it denies students
due process of law by moving them to alternative education programs
without formal hearings.

While he was off campus, Timothy Nevares, 15, was accused of throwing
rocks at a car, injuring a passenger. Nevares' father filed a lawsuit in
Hays County after the school district told him his son was being sent to
the alternative school.

A provision in the Safe Schools Act provides for hearings based on
on-campus incidents, but not those that occur away from school.

Robert Nash, spokesman for the Texas Federation of Teachers, said
Nevares was given the opportunity to explain his actions, though not in
a formal hearing.

``We take issue with his (Nowlin's) interpretation of the law,'' Nash
said. ``We are in favor of due process. We believe the law provides for
due process now, but if further clarification needs to be made, we
support it.''

Barrientos, who introduced the bill in 1995, said he is willing to work
to clear up some of the language in the law.
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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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