Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
P-B-T studies TAKS-based incentive pay
A plan that will give teachers and staff additional incentive pay at Austin Elementary School was discussed during the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting held last Thursday.
Austin Elementary School principal Cindy Duke made a presentation to the board outlining how the group was going to allocate the funds that the school received from the government for their performance on the TAKS.
“This is the plan that we came up with, to use the $75,000 we received from the government,” said Duke.
The teachers and staff are eligible to receive different amounts of money based on the different criteria outlined in the plan, which is based on quantifiable measures of student performance.
Seventy-five percent of the funds will go towards the classroom teachers and will be divided according to chart that was implemented by a committee formed at the elementary school.
“We will also be giving Pecos Kindergarten, our Feeder Campus, $2,400,” said Duke.
Each teacher will have a portfolio and will be doing their own tutoring.
“We will do reports and gather data,” said Duke.
“Who will be in charge of them meeting the criteria?” asked board member David Flores.
“I will, but we will have a portfolio system,” said Duke. “I hope everyone gets all that they can,” she said.
The incentive pay is to improve the students’ performance.
The group approved the reading/math academy and accelerated reading/math instruction (ARM), for students in kindergarten through sixth grades.
In other action, board members approved the Gifted and Talented Plan presented by Juanita Davila, director of special programs.
Davila outlined the long range plan for the program, for the years 2006-2011.
“We have 134 identified in the district,” said Davila, who broke down the numbers and said that 101 are minorities and that they represent 75 percent of the GT program.
“It’s extremely good, because most schools have a small percentage of minorities in the program,” she said.
Davila said that 32 percent was economically disadvantaged, which was also good.
“Out of the 134 in the program, 43 are economically disadvantaged,” said Davila.
She outlined the criteria to be in the program, along with the program history, the definition of gifted and talented, program goals, program evaluation and training and student assessment, and other items related the program.
“Teachers need to have 30 hours of training in the program, and then every years, a minimum of six hours,” Davila told the group. She also said training is available for school board members.
“You can either take training on-line or personally, through a member of Region 18,” said Davila.
“None of the school districts have school boards that go through the training,” she said, adding that she knew this school board were “trail blazers” and would want to go through the training.
“We can have someone from Region 18 come and give all board members training,” she said.
An agreement with the Texas Cooperative Extension was approved as presented.
“This is something we’ve done every year,” said PBT-ISD Superintendent Manny Espino. “I think it’s a good idea, because it keeps them in the no-pass, no-play.”
Extension Agent Tommy Dominguez was on hand for the regular meeting and told the group that the program was recognized by UIL and that they have a good, strong 4-H program.
“Some of these kids attend 10-12 stock shows a year and this will be excused absences,” said Dominguez.
City’s sales tax rebate totals resume climb
After a one-month drop, sales tax rebate totals for the Town of Pecos City resumed their upward trend this month, as the state comptroller’s office sent out a check last week that showed a double-digit increase from the same time a year ago.
Pecos received a check for $82,798 as its 1 1/2-cent share of the state’s 8 1/4 sales tax this month, based on sales made during July. The total was 15.9 percent higher than July of last year, according to Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, while for the year the city has gotten $795,458 back from Austin, a 12.93 percent jump from last year’s $651,242 total.
Toyah also reported a big jump for the month in their tax rebate total, while Balmorhea was down sharply from last year. But tax rebates for both cities remain up from the same time a year ago.
Balmorhea’s $1,783 check this month was a 27.84 percent drop from last year, when the city received $2,741 in September. For the first three-quarters of 2006, the city has gotten $13,874 back from the state, up 3.6 percent from last year’s $13,391 total. Toyah’s September check for $364 was up 14.5 percent from last year’s $277 total, and their nine-month total of $3,798 is up 19.46 percent from last year’s $3,179.
The Reeves County Hospital District showed only a slight rise in their rebate check for September. The hospital’s 1/2-cent sales tax brought in $33,040 for the month, up 0.69 percent from last year’s $32,812. But for the first three-quarters of 2006, the hospital has gotten $358,102 in tax rebates, a 32.32 percent jump from last year’s $270,618.
The rise in oil and gas exploration continues to boost the area’s drilling industry and economy, and most area cities continue to show double-digit increases in their tax rebate checks from 2005.
The biggest jump was Wink, which received a check almost as large as Pecos’ check this month. That city’s $79,096 rebate on its one-cent sales tax was up 1,891.1 percent from last September’s 3,972 total, and boosted that city’s year-to-date increase to nearly 200 percent.
Among other cities collecting a one-cent sales tax Kermit received $36,276 in their rebate check, up 29.63 percent; Wickett received a $5,255 check, down 18.75 percent, and Pyote received an $80.40 check this month, after getting no check in August and a $283 check a year ago, representing a drop of 71.59 percent.
Midland’s $2.3 million check on its 1 1/2-cent sales tax was up 22.88 percent from last September’s $1.8 million, while Odessa’s $1.5 million check on its 1 1/4-cent sales tax was up 19.49 percent from the $1.3 million check it received a year ago.
For other cities collecting the 1 1/2-cent sales tax, Alpine received $81,636 this month, an increase of 12.62 percent from a year ago; Crane received a check for $43,564, up 25.79 percent from last year; Lamesa got $66,858 back from the comptroller’s office, which was up 0.79 percent; while Seminole received a check from Austin for $70,268, which was down 1.77 percent.
For area cities collecting a 1 3/4-cent sales tax, Andrews’ check for $193,933 was up 139.1 percent from a year ago, due with a 3/4-cent in the city’s sales tax since 2005 accounting for part of the rise. Marfa got a check for $17,470, which was up by 17.33 percent; while Van Horn got a check for $38,056, which was up by 21.42 percent from 2005.
For cities collecting the maximum two-cent sales tax, Big Spring received $374,775, an increase of 19.86 percent; Fort Stockton received $141,172, up 10.45 percent; Monahans received a check for $114,484, which was up 42.17 percent from last year; Grandfalls got a $2,072 check, up 28.56 percent; and Presidio received $29,076, up 33.23 percent.
Statewide, Strayhorn’s office sent out August rebate checks totaling $277.6 million, up 13.49 percent from $244.6 million last year. Houston’s $34.3 million check was again the largest one sent out, and was 13.61 percent higher than a year ago. Dallas’ check was next, at $16.4 million, which was up by 16.3 percent from last August.
PEDC change option offered to city council
Converting the city’s Economic Development Corporation from the state’s 4A to 4B rules would help the Town of Pecos City better support projects more in line with the community, city council members were told on Wednesday.
Robert Johnson, Economic Development Specialist for the Texas Historical Commission’s Main Street Program gave council members a presentation on the differences between the two types of economic development corporations, during the council’s evening meeting at City Hall.
Johnson explained that the current 4A economic development corporation rules Pecos operates under in geared more for attracting industrial business, while the 4B corporations were authorized in 1989 and are geared more towards small businesses and tourism. Both are funded from part of the 2-cent local share of the state’s 8 1/4 cent sales tax.
“A 4B corporation addresses conditions of sidewalks and roads in historic districts,” he said. “Tourism is the second leading industry in Texas.”
He said restoration of buildings within historic districts for business and housing usage can also be done with 4B funds. “A 4A is more for manufacturing and development,” Johnson said. “Funds from a 4B can be used for quality of life issues.”
“You can do industrial projects with a 4B, but you also can do quality of life issues,” he said. “It makes sense to take into consideration what our retail sales are doing.”
Other differences pointed out by Johnson were the number of members on the EDC boards, and the appointments to a 4B board versus the current 4A board appointment system for the Pecos Economic Development Corp. Council members took no action after hearing from Johnson, but said they would look at changing from a 4A to a 4B EDC at a later date.
Council members also discussed and later approved the new 2006-07 budget for the PEDC, along with those for the Pecos Chamber of commerce, its advertising and tourism committee, and the West of the Pecos Museum.
PEDC president Mike Burkholder said the corporation spent about $93,000 this year, out of a projected $144,000 budget, and has about $220,000 in the bank. “The PEDC came in under budget, because we did not get to buy land from the city,” he said, adding that the projected 2006-07 budget again has been set at $144,0000.
Burkholder also discussed the PEDC board’s recent decision to cut his salary from $60,000 to $42,000. “My biggest objection is in order to have a qualified individual, you’re going to have to pay him more that what I was being paid in 2005-06,” he said.
Burkholder also said in response to a question from councilman Danny Rodriguez that new construction is scheduled to start in October by Applied Research Associates and the Texas Transportation Institute at the test track east of Pecos. One person is expected to be hired next month to handle the work on the new test facilities.
Bill Oglesby talked to the council about the Chamber advertising and West of the Pecos Museum budgets, which come from the city’s hotel/motel bed tax. “The tax is mainly for heads in beds. That’s where the tax money comes from,” he said.
Oil and gas drilling activity in the area has caused a 25 percent rise in hotel-motel bed tax collections from previous years, which offset the loss in tourism due to high gas prices.
On the museum, he said funds were going to be used to make roof repairs on the 102-year-old building. “We’ve got roof contractors getting bids on the roof of the museum,” he said. “I feel it’s important to the community that we take care of this.”
In other action, the board approved hiring CPA Tracy Tarter of Fort Worth over El Paso SPA Dan Painter. The council was told that Painter, who had done the audit the past 15 years, bid $4,000 lower than Tarter’s $24,000 bid, but voted to hire Tarter on the recommendation of city finance director Scott Johnson.
“Cities normally rotate their auditors,” said Contreras, who added Painter and members of his department had some personal differences during an audit a few years ago. He added that Tarter “has done the audit for Fort Stockton and comes highly recommended.”
Mayor Dick Alligood nominated Rodriguez to fill the position currently held by Burkholder on the Pecos Airport Board, while renominating president Bill Hubbs and members Lynn Owens and city manager Joseph Torres. He said he’s waiting for a reply from one other person before filling the final spot on the board.
Alligood also said the city is close to an agreement with Isabel and Dennis Blanchard on a new management contract for the airport. “We sat down and discussed it, and the last item on the contract a think got a positive head nod,” he said. “We’ve put dome very good things in there for them to rest back on.”
The council also approved a resolution naming city officials who can sign to withdraw funds from the current Texas Community Development Program grant for water and sewer repairs, and a resolution to seek a $350,000 TCDP grant to continue the water and sewer line projects on the north and east sides of town.
City utilities director Edgardo Madrid said the Pecos would have to commit $70,000 towards receiving the grant, which would be used to install new main sewer pipelines. “If we don’t get the grant, we don’t spend the money, but if we get it, we get $350,000 for $70,000,” he said.
Council members also voted to support a letter backing a proposed 44-unit apartment complex south of Interstate 20 at Country Club Drive. Oglesby, who is also president of the Pecos Valley Country Club, said the final sale hasn’t yet gone through on the land, located just west of the club, but should be finished by next month.
Martin Arreguy, in charge of street maintenance for the city, said work on installing new safety zone signs around local schools is going slower than planned, due to budget concerns. He said he originally thought the work would be combined project with Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, but later found that under state law, the city is wholly responsible for the project.
“We did have a little money left in the street fund to get a paint machine,” Arreguy said, which will be used to put down new crosswalks in school zones. “We have the plan. All we need to do is come up with the funding.”
Jobless rate, jobs, workforce show August decline
Reeves County’s unemployment rate was down in August, but the county continues to lose jobs and workers compared with the same time a year ago, according to the latest unemployment figures from the Texas Workforce Commission.
The TWC reported on Friday that unemployment fell by three-tenths of a percent from July to August, and that the August rate of 7.5 percent was .6 percent lower than at the same time a year ago. But according to the commission’s figures, the lower rate was due to a slower decline in the total number of jobs, as compared with the total workforce in the county.
August’s numbers showed there were 4,228 people in the county’s workforce, with 3,911 of those employed. In July, the WTC said there were 4,365 people in the workforce and 4,026 employed, for a 7.8 percent jobless rate, while in August of 2005, there were 4,344 people in the county’s workforce, and 3,990 with jobs, for an 8.1 percent unemployment rate.
However, unlike some of the past numbers, the county’s labor force and job decline is matched by most other area counties. Unemployment in those counties also showed drops, due in part to the resumption of school in most areas during August.
Midland County’s unemployment rate was down a tenth of a percent, from 3.9 to 3.8 percent in August, as the city lost 430 jobs and just over 600 people from its workforce. Ector County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.4 percent, though it’s labor force dropped by 328, and the number of jobs were down 121 from July.
Andrews County’s rate fell from 4.6 to 4.4 percent in August, as the number of workers was up by four while the county added 17 jobs. Brewster County’s rate fell from 3.8 to 3.6 percent, as the county added 71 workers and 81 jobs. Crane County’s rate dropped from 5.7 to 5.4 percent, as the county lost eight workers and two jobs. Culberson County’s rate held at 4.1 percent, with an loss of 37 workers and 36 jobs from July.
Howard County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.3 to 6 percent last month. The county saw a drop of 190 workers and 128 jobs from July. Pecos County’s rate was down from 5.8 to 5.5 percent, as the county lost 208 jobs while its labor force fell by 241. In Ward County, unemployment dropped from 6.3 to 5.7 percent, with the number of jobs rising by five while the workforce dropped by 22 from July. Winkler County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August, with the county’s workforce down by 54 people while the number of jobs fell by 47.
Presidio County’s jobless rate remained the highest in the area, but fell from 13.4 to 12.5 percent last month. The county’s workforce was down by 155, according to the TWC, and there were 104 fewer jobs in August than the previous month. Loving County saw its rate jump from 10.8 percent to 12.9. The county lost six workers and was down to 31 in August, but also lost four jobs, and was at 27 last month.
Hills announce birth of daughter
Karen and Craig Hill are proud to announce the arrival of their daughter, Haylee Ann.
She was born at 6:45 p.m., on Sept. 12, at Odessa Regional Hospital.
Haylee Ann weighed eight pounds, five ounces and was 20 and a half inches long at birth.
Grandparents are Norman and Dorothy Hill and the late Arlene Hill, all of Pecos, and Keith and Carol Lee Waters of Amarillo.
She was welcomed home by her big sister, Laci and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.
Alberto Perez, 25, 1222 E. Second St., was arrested by police on Sept. 3 on a warrant charging him with failure to pay a fine for illegal passing of a vehicle in a turning lane, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at 1:45 a.m. outside the Suavacito Club in the 900 block of South Cedar Street. Perez was transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, and later paid a find of $243.
Arturo Franco Jimenez, 42, 604 S. Mulberry St., was arrested by police on Sept. 3 on a warrant charging him with failure to pay a fine on a change of speeding, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place at 1:45 a.m. outside the Suavacito Club in the 900 block of South Cedar Street. Jimenez was transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center, and later paid a find of $215.
Santiago Jimmy Martinez, 48, 1103 S. Cypress St., was arrested by police on Sept. 4 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 1000 block of South Cedar Street, and Martinez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Ester Hinojos Marquez, 46, 306 S. Mesquite St., was arrested by police on Sept. 4 on a charge of public intoxication, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the arrest took place in the 1000 block of South Cedar Street, and Marquez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Steven Michael Getty, 51, was arrested by police at the Budget Inn, 2128 W. Third St., on Sept. 4 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place at 7:26 p.m. after officers received a call of a disturbance at the motel. Getty was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Humberto Delgado, 47, 913 W. Ninth St., was arrested by police on Aug. 31 on warrants charging him with failure to identify, a Class A misdemeanor; no valid driver’s license, and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container, both Class C misdemeanors. Police said the arrest took place at 12:09 p.m. outside 330 W. 13th St., and Delgado was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Susan Millan Delgado, 43, 813 S. Cedar St., was arrested by police on Sept. 1 and changed with public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place in the 200 block of West Ninth St., and Delgado was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Garcia, 22, 920 S. Orange St., was arrested by police on Aug. 31 on a charge of evading arrest or detention. Police said the incident took place at Garcia’s home, and he was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Zoila Gonzalez Gomez, 29, 428 S. Pecan St., was arrested by police on Aug. 29 on charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle (Family Violence Act) and endangering a child. Police said the arrest took place after Gomez allegedly rammed her vehicle into her boyfriend’s car while she had her 2-year-old child unsecured in the rear seat of her vehicle. Gomez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Irmelinda Nunez Rubio, 54, of Alice, was arrested by police on Aug. 30 on a warrant issued out of the Ward County Sheriff’s Department charging her with insufficient funds. Police said the arrest was made at 8:02 a.m. following a traffic stop at Walthall and Cherry streets, and Rubio was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Robert Guadalupe Ramirez, 20, 718 S. Oak St., was arrested by police on Aug. 29 in the 700 block of West Third Street on a charge of possession of marijuana. Police said the misdemeanor charge was filed after the marijuana was found during a body search following a traffic stop. Ramirez. was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Moses Quiroz, 310 N. Cypress St., was arrested by police on Aug. 26 on a charge of theft over $50 and under $500. Police said the arrest was made at 9:45 a.m. at the intersection of Oak and ‘C’ streets for an incident that occurred at the Flying J Truck Stop, 100 E. Raul Florez Blvd. Quiroz was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Ivan D. Paredez, 19, 2308 Cactus St., Apt. B, was arrested by police on Aug. 26 at the Riverside Ballroom, 1301 E. Third St., on warrant charges of public intoxication and no driver’s license. Police said the arrest took place at 11:59 p.m. and Paredez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Louie Elliot Rico, 26, of Barstow, was arrested by police on a warrant charging him with possession of an open alcoholic beverage container. Police said the arrest was made on Aug. 27 in the 200 block of East Eighth Street, and Rico was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Roberto Rayos Flores, 506 w. 12th St., in Monahans, was arrested by police on Aug. 26 on Ward County Sheriff’s Department warrants charging him with motion to revoke probation on a DWI-Class B misdemeanor; failure to pay fine on theft by check, a Class B misdemeanor, and delivery of a controlled substance, a 2nd Degree Felony. Police said the arrest took place at 1:12 a.m. in the 100 block of South Locust Street, and Flores was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Ruben Esquivel, 20, 1208 E. Second St., and Salvador Ramirez, 23, P.O. Box 158, Barstow, were arrested by police on Aug. 27 on a charge of evading arrest of detention with a motor vehicle, a State Jail Felony. Esquivel was also charged with deadly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, as the driver of the vehicle that attempted to flee officers following a traffic stop in the 200 block of South Pine Street. Both Esquivel and Rubio were then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Robert Guadalupe Ramirez, 20, 718 S. Oak St., was arrested by police on Aug. 22 in the 1000 block of West Fourth Street on a charge of possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Police said the charge was filed after the marijuana was found during a body search following a traffic stop at 10:18 p.m. Ramirez was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
James Howard Leigh, 27, 511 W. Fifth St., was arrested by police on Aug. 24 on a charge of public intoxication. Police said the arrest took place at 12:59 a.m. at the Kwik Stop, 9115 W. Third St. Leigh was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Esquivel, 76, 2323 Country Club Dr., was arrested at 7:37 p.m. on Aug. 23 at his home on a charge of indecency with a child. Police said the arrest was made after they received signed complaints about the alleged incident, and he was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Adrian Lopez, 18, 310 N. Oak St., was arrested by police on Aug. 27 on a charge of evading arrest or detention. Police said the arrest was made when Lopez attempted to leave the scene during an investigation of a broken windshield. He was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Jose Alfredo Lujan, 44, was arrested by police on Aug. 26 on charges of public intoxication and violation of a protective order. Police said the arrest was made following a report of an incident at 412 S. Bois D’Arc St., and he was then transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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