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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Juarezes seek toy donations for Christmas

Children in the community will receive a welcome surprise in the form of new toys thanks to an organization that was formed five years ago in honor of a generous man.

The Tony Juarez Toys for Tots group will once again be handing out toys to children in the community during the holiday season.

“We started this five years ago in honor my dad, the late Tony Juarez,” said Michael Juarez.

Juarez said that his father, who died Dec. 29, 1996, was a very generous man, who was always helping others.

“Even when we went on vacation, if he saw somebody stranded or that needed help, he always stopped and helped out,” he said.

Juarez said that when he was a young boy, he didn’t understand his dad’s generosity and that at it times it irritated him.

“But now that I’m older I realize the importance of helping others and of being more giving,” said Juarez. “We started this organization a few years after he died, but it was something that my mom, Nyda, had talked about often.”

Juarez said that they had talked about doing something to honor his memory. “He loved motorcycles and he was very generous, so we combined the two,” said Juarez, who added that they deliver the toys on motorcycles.

“Our group grew from the first year, when there were about 10-11 of us, now it’s bigger, we have more members helping out,” he said.

Applications to be recipients of the Tony Juarez Toys for Tots Program can be picked up at 701 S. Elm St., beginning Nov. 1 through Dec. 3.

“There will be two boxes set out on the porch, one for the applications to be picked up and the other box, for the applications to be returned,” said Juarez.

Recipients need to meet a certain criteria, such as income, number of children in the family and number of parents.

“We try to help as many kids as we can and we try to help them meet the criteria,” said Juarez.

Last year the group helped over 100 kids. “The first year we did, we helped about 30, but the number seems to grow every year,” he said.

The group buys only toys for the recipients and right now include only Pecos.

“The Christmas for Kids provides clothes and other items, but we only provide toys and for children in Pecos only,” said Juarez. “Hopefully, soon we can expand and include some of the little surrounding communities.”

Right now, the group has their hands full with the children in Pecos.

The gifts will be delivered on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Santa Claus will be on hand for the home-delivered items.

“We also plan to take extra toys in case we see other children that are in need of cheering up,” said Juarez. “A lot of kids fit the criteria, but for some reason or another the parent fails to fill out the application or return it and we want to help them out as well,” he said.

For more information on the program, individuals can contact Michael at 445-1181 or his mother, Nyda at 445-3220.

Helpers begin drawing up lists for ‘Christmas’

Applications began being accepted on Monday and a fundraiser is planned next week to help children in the community enjoy a merrier Christmas.

“We will start accepting applications for our Christmas for Kids Program on Monday,” said elf Sofia Baeza, one of the volunteers and organizer for the program.

The application period opened on Monday and will run through Friday, Nov. 21, at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Department from 8-5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

The group is comprised of volunteers who raise funds to provide the essentials for children in the community, who would otherwise lose out on having a Merry Christmas.

“Our main goal is to provide a happy Christmas for as many children in the community as we can,” said Christmas for Kids Volunteer Sofia Baeza. “We don’t just provide toys, but the essentials, such as coats and shoes.”

To raise funds to buy the items, a barbecue fundraiser is planned from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, at the Reeves County Sheriff’s Posse Barn. Plates will be $6 each.

In addition the group is planning a door to door drive from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 8.

“Families applying for Christmas for Kids must stay within our guidelines and the children must be attending the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD with the exception of toddlers and babies,” said Baeza.

Last year, the group helped a total of 126 families, which included 396 children.

“We also assisted two families throughout the summer who needed help after some house fires,” said Baeza.

Western District President attends board meeting

Catherine Travland of Pecos, Western District President of TFWC and secretary of The Modern Study Club of Pecos attended the 112th Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Board of Directors Meeting held Sept. 18-20 at Holiday Inn Town Lake in Austin.

“Tools for the Mission” was the theme for the meeting, which began with a Welcome Banquet with Marjorie Williamson, TFWC President, leading the opening. A welcome to Austin was given by Ramona McPhail, president of Capitol District. Introduced by Mary Beth Guy, Keynote Speaker Dr. Lawrence Cranberg addressed the topic “Justice for our Elderly.” The management of money, poverty, wills, and estates are all areas in which women suffer severe disadvantages in all societies,” he said. “It would be truly remarkable if older women did not far outnumber older men as victim of injustice,” said Dr. Cranberg, founder of The Elder Justice Coalition of Texas.

Other highlights of the evening included “Tales from the Windy City,” given by Sandra McLeod, the 2008 TFWC LEADS representative, and a GFWC Convention Report presented by Janice Brundrett. Awards from the GFWC Convention, presented by Dorothy Roberts, included second place in the Community Improvement Contest, $3,500 by the Bluebonnet Club of Temle, and the State of Texas itself, with its Leadership Program report written by Leadership Chairman Marjorie Williamson.

Friday’s sessions began with reports given by the TFWC Executive Committee, including the president, President-elect Dorothy Roberts, First Vice President Janelle Holden, Second Vice President Sandi Conway, Secretary Patti Poe, Trustee Chairman Janoma Stephens and Scholarship Chairman Barbara Menking. Reports were also heard from Financial Officer Harriett Berlin and TFWC HF Financial Officer Erna Leutwyler.

Mario Gamertsfelder and Margaret Reed led a Membership Ambassador Team workshop on Friday morning. Other topics and presenters were Throws for Veterans’ Project, Donna Hogue; Communications and Public Relations, Tissa Peterson; The Heifer Project, Sandi Conway, and “Are Junior Projects just for Juniors?” by Kim Miller.

Donna Hogue introduced the luncheon speaker Judith Markelz, whose talk centered on the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. TFWC Juniorette Chairman Mary Vongsavath gave a talk entitled, “Let’s Hear It for the Juniorettes.” Reporting highlights was given by Janelle Holden.

The afternoon session included informational talks on TWU Grants by TFWC/TWU Liaison Ann Barton, Fundraising for GFWC/TFWC by Barbara Winingham, a LEADS report by Marilyn Doughty, a LEADS skit entitled, “Conflict Resolution,” by Cindy Simmons and LEADS graduates, the Yearbook Cover Contest by Midge Lubbock and Gloria Joswiak, and “How to Win $3,500” by Alice Anne Wallace.

Texas House of Representatives member Dawnna Dukes made a special presentation to Bobbie Brownlee, TFWC Clubwoman/Volunteer of the Year, at the “Tools for Enabling Volunteers” Banquet held on Friday evening. Past President Patricia Siegfreid-Giles presented Club Grant awards, followed by M.D. Anderson updates by Minnie Simang. “Hammering Out Reports” was the topic for reporting workshops led by Marjorie Williamson and Janelle Holden for district and state chairman following the banquet.

“Packing up Tools for the Mission!” was Saturday morning’s objective, with tables set up in and around the Sunflower/Marigold Room, where GFWC and TFWC Chairmen displayed and distributed materials pertinent to their program for 2008-2010.

Preceding the final registration and fundraising reports, Marjorie’s Belles Rang in the New Administration. Featured were Patsy Troell of Alamo District, Ramona McPhail of Capitol District, Wilda Joy of Caprock District, Joan Gannaway of Key District, Hazel Scruggs of Magnolia District, Elaine Coleman of Mesquite District, Lynn Long of Pioneer District, Janice Brundrett of San Jacinto District, Cindy Simmons of South Texas District, Barbara Dawkins of Top of Texas District, Shawnee Harding of Trinity District, and Catherine Travland of Western District.

Pioneer District extended an invitation to Spring Convention, and Lynn Long led everyone in reciting the Club Collect. With adjournment, Williamson urged the clubwomen, “Share Your Vision…Launch Your Mission.”

Group seeks support for bed tax, venue tax merger

A proposal supporters say will better use funds from the Town of Pecos City’s bed tax and hotel-motel venue tax revenues was outlined to the Pecos Chamber of Commerce last week, during their regular monthly meeting.

The plan is being backed by members of all four entities receiving the money, and Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Joe Keese talked to both other Chamber members and the Reeves County Commissioners’ Court about the proposal, which Keese said would better direct funds current received from taxes on local motels.

“There are four separate entities receiving bed tax money,” said Keese, who outlined the plan during the PowerPoint presentation.

The entities include the Chamber, the Chamber Advertising and Tourism Committee, Pecos Main Street Program and the West of the Pecos Museum. The plan would merge funding for all four along with the venue tax funds under a Pecos Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB).

The Convention and Visitors Bureau mission is to increase tourism in Pecos resulting in more “room nights’ for local hotels and increased hospitality revenues in the area.

Keese listed the current problems as no consolidated vision or effort toward common goals; duplication of operating expenses; same people are active board members, limits the number of productive meetings; HOT (hotel occupancy tax) money is to be spent on tourism – i.e., put heads in beds.

“We aren’t doing that,” said Keese. “Also, we don’t have an active Convention and Visitors Bureau.”

In 2008, the four entities are projected to receive over $400,000. “What do we have to show for it?,” he said. “We need to get that money more active,” he said.

Keese said that the concept was to put all four entities together.

The chamber staff would now work primarily for the CVB and would man the visitor’s center. The chamber will “indirectly” benefit from the HOT revenue since staff will also deal with chamber related inquiries, brochures and events. Visitor Center staff also assists with coordinating events.

The city’s Main Street would be merged into the CVB, while the museum would retain its separate non-profit status.

Hotel occupancy tax funding from the CVB would support a portion of the operations and maintenance of the museum. The CVB will be responsible for all advertising and promotion of the museum.

The CVB Board of Directors will consist of seven members nominated and elected by the directorship with representation of: four representatives of the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, tourist related retail) and three other business owners.

The first directors will be nominated and elected by the boards of the four entities now receiving hotel occupancy tax revenue. The CVB executive director will be a non-voting member and other non-voting members may come from the city and other ‘vested’ sub-groups (museum, rodeo committee, hall of fame committee, chamber, etc.).

CVB offices would be located at the current Reeves County Civic Center, which would be converted into a convention center as part of the plan to renovate that building and the adjacent Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena with venue tax funds.

“We propose that the CVB sign a long-term lease on the civic center/arena with the county for a nominal annual lease amount,” said Keese.

The CVB will be responsible for all operations and maintenance at the convention center/arena, according to Keese. That would free up venue tax funds for renovations and construction on both that building and the rodeo arena.

The Convention Visitors Bureau will also sign a long-term lease or be deeded all city owned properties/parks in the museum district for a small, nominal lease amount. Area within the railroad tracks to Third Street and U.S. 285 to Cedar Street. The CVB will be responsible for maintenance and upgrades to the facilities and parks in the area.

The CVB would take control of any city owned buildings or lots in the area to govern who buys through the bidding process. Immediate expenditures will include: Centennial Park enhancements; Windmill Square rehabilitation; depot upgrade with ADA bathrooms; move the caboose and flag pole to open view of depot; wireless portable sound system; new lights and electric in Historic District for use in future events (vendors, fairs, etc.)

These will be funded from current surplus funds in the four current entities, or through a larger grant utilizing the surplus funds as matching funds, according to Keese.

The plan would require the approval of both county commissioners and the Pecos City Council before it could be put into effect. Keese earlier told the city’s bed tax committee he hoped the changes would allow renovation work on the rodeo arena and the current civic center to be completed within three years.

VA offers drive-through flu shots

Veterans can receive their flu shot this year without even getting out of their vehicle.

A special drive-through flu shot clinic is scheduled for veterans in the Fort Stockton area on Thursday, Oct. 23.

The drive-through clinic will be set up outside of the Ft. Stockton VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic building located at 2071 N. Main St. Veterans will then be requested to wait the required 10 to 15 minutes following the inoculation.

Veterans residing in the Fort Stockton area may receive their flu shot during the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Veterans currently enrolled in VA Health Care through the Fort Stockton VA Outpatient Clinic will be required to show their VA identification cards in order to receive their shots. Flu shots will be administered to all veterans interested in receiving their immunization with appropriate documentation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs emphasizes prevention of communicable diseases. It is important for veterans to receive their flu vaccination at the beginning of flu season annually.

September unemployment rate for county shows 0.2 increase

Reeves County’s unemployment rate for September increased by two-tenths of a percent from August, according to figures released on Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The TWC said the county’s jobless rate increased from 6.3 to 6.5 percent, as the local labor force shrank by six, to 4,190, from August to September, while the number of workers employed was down by 14, at 3,917. The county’s unemployment is up 1.3 percent from last year, when it stood at 5.2 percent, but the numbers show the job total for the county has risen by 63 since last September, while the total number of workers is up by 125 during that same time.

The county’s jobless totals were again above average for the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos region, while the .2 increase was also slightly above the average for the region, as most counties reported unemployment either unchanged or up a tenth of a percent from August.

Midland remained the Permian Basin’s largest county in terms of both jobs and workforce while reporting a one-tenth of a percent rise in unemployment, from 3.1 to 3.2 percent. Midland County lost 388 workers last month and 450 jobs. Ector County saw its rate increase by a tenth of a percent, to 3.8 percent in September. The TWC said the county lost 157 workers and 187 jobs from the previous month.

For other counties in the area, Andrews reported a 3.4 percent jobless rate for September, up a tenth of a percent from August, but with a job total up by 107 from the previous month and a workforce that increased by 114. Brewster County also saw a .1 percent rise in unemployment, from 3.7 to 3.8 percent. Brewster County lost 111 workers and 112 jobs from July to August. Crane County’s rate held at 4 percent, while the county added 20 workers and 19 jobs. Culberson County saw its rate also remain steady, at 3.1 percent, with the addition of 17 workers and 18 jobs, while Dawson County’s rate was down a tenth of a percent, to 6.1 percent, as it added 134 workers and 130 jobs.

Howard County showed one of the biggest changes for the month, going from 4.6 percent in August to 5.1 percent in September. The county gained 136 jobs, but that was offset by an increase of 212 people in the local labor force. Pecos County’s rate was unchanged from August’s 5.2 percent, as the county lost 29 workers and 25 jobs. Presidio County’s labor force declined by four in September, while the number of jobs increased by 48, causing the county’s unemployment rate to fall from 13.9 to 12.4 percent. Ward County’s September rate was up from 4.2 to 4.3 percent, as it lost 11 workers and 11 jobs, while Winkler County saw a drop in its jobless rate, from 4.2 to 4.0 percent. The TWC said the county lost four workers from August but added three jobs last month.

Loving County only needed the addition of two workers and just one job to see its unemployment rate for September climb from 9.8 to 11.6 percent. The nation’s least-populated county went from 41 to 43 workers last month, and from 37 to 38 people employed.

Weins maintain connection to electrical work

Electricity is in the air when the Wein family gets together.

Pat Wein, owner of A-1 Electric, continues the tradition set by his father and uncles. His brothers have also followed in their father’s footsteps.

Wein was born in Monahans to Charlie and Joan Wein, but moved to Pecos when he was 3. At the age of 12, he was helping Charlie at C&G Electric by cleaning the trucks, holding a flashlight or handing him screwdrivers.

“All four boys did that,” said Wein. The oldest, Charlie Jr., might have played pro football if he hadn’t broken his leg in the last game of his senior year in college. As a linebacker and tackle, he had made all state in high school and played at Trinity and Southwest State in Oklahoma.

“He was going to be a doctor, then a pharmacist, but came out with an accounting degree,” said Wein.

He taught business at Pecos High School and coached football, mentoring his younger brother as a freshman.

“I thought he hung the moon,” said Wein. After Charlie made all-state, Pat decided he wanted to be a pro football player.

“I stayed back in 7th grade, but I didn’t get big until the year after I got out of high school,” he said.

He played center, as did all four Wein boys, and three of them shared the number 55. Charlie was No. 54.

Pat spent four years in Midland College’s technical school learning the trade and qualifying for an electrician’s license, then opened his own business in 1986.

“I like dealing with people and service work,” said Wein. “You are dealing with different people every day and a different atmosphere.”

Crawling in the attic is his least favorite job.

Wein lived in Austin five years, where he met his current wife, Brenda, who is manager of the Winkler County Credit Union’s Pecos branch. She has a son, Colin, an 8th grader.

Pat and his first wife, Becky, have five children. They live next door to Becky and share family time, barbecuing in the backyard and just hanging out.

Craig, the oldest, graduated from Texas Tech and works for Republic Beverage Company in Flower Mound. Rebecca works for Lifetime Fitness in San Antonio, a cheesecake factory, and is trying to finish college. Sarah recently moved to San Antonio and also works for Lifetime Fitness and the Lion and Rose Pub. Michelle lives in Midland, works at Hooters, and is raising Wein’s only grandchild, an 18-month-old boy. Michael is a senior at Pecos High School and a football player.

Wein enjoys visiting his kids, and recently attended an Eagles Concert with Sarah in San Antonio.

“I go skiing with my son at Lake McKinney,” he said.

Family outings to Red Bluff Lake are frequent, with rides on Wein’s jet ski and swimming.

“My kids were all in swimming in high school, and love the water and going to the lake,” he said.

Brother Paul is using his electrical expertise on windmills that generate electricity, and Dean works in the electrical supply business in Fort Smith, Ark. Their baby sister, Jodi, also lives in Fort Smith with her husband, Randy McIvor. She was born with cerebral palsy and was not expected to live, but is now 43 and has two children, said Wein.

“Pecos has been good to me,” he said.

Early voting starts strong locally for Nov. 4 election

Early voting got underway Monday morning for the Nov. 4 general election with a strong turnout, as 70 people in Reeves County cast their ballots within the first several hours of the polls opening.

“We’ve had 70 as of 1:30,” said Reeves County Election Judge Norma Briceno. Early voting will continue this week and again next week, ending on Friday, Oct. 31. Early voting hours daily are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Pecos Community Center, 510 S. Oak St.

Due to the overcrowding in the Reeves County Clerk’s office that has led to extra chairs and tables being placed in the front hallway of the Reeves County Courthouse, early voting this year was moved to the Community Center. However, request for mail ballots will still go through the county clerk’s office at the courthouse.

All of the local races on the ballot are uncontested, but Reeves County voters will still have three propositions that are bond of the county’s $17.1 million revenue bond proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot, along with the contested national, state and regional elections on this year’s ballot.

Democrat Barack Obama, Republican John McCain and Libertarian Bob Barr are the three candidates on this year’s presidential ballot for county voters. In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Republican John Cornyn is being challenged by Democrat Rick Noriega and Libertarian Yvonne Adams Schick, while in the race for 23rd District Representative, Democrat incumbent Ciro Rodriguez is challenged by Republican Lyle Larson and Libertarian Lari Connelly.

The other regional legislative race is for District 74 Representative, where incumbent Democrat Pete Gallego is being challenged by Republican Thomas Kincaid, Jr. The remaining state and regional contested races are listed below:

Railroad Commissioner:

Michael Williams (R), Mark Thompson (D), David Floyd (L)

Chief Justice, Supreme Court:

Wallace B. Johnson (R), Jim Jordan (D), Tom Oxford (L)

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7:

Dale Wainwright (R), Sam Houston (D), David G. Smith (L)

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8:

Phil Johnson (R), Linda Reyna Yanez (D), Drew Shirley (L)

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3:

Tom Price (R), Susan Strawn (D), Matthew E. Ellers (L)

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4:

Paul Womack (R), J.R. Molina (D), Dave Howard (L)

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9:

Cathy Cochran (R), William Bryan Strange III (L)

Justice 8th Court of Appeals District, Place 3 (unexpired term)

Kenneth R. Carr (R), Guadalupe Rivera (D).

The uncontested local races all have candidates running on the Democratic Party line. They include sheriff Arnulfo Gomez; county attorney Alva Alvarez; county tax assessor-collector Rosemary Chabarria; county surveyor Tony Trujillo; Precinct 1 county commissioner Roy Alvarado; Precinct 3 county commissioner Saul Herrera; Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace (unexpired term) Grace Renteria; Constable, Precinct 1 Arutro Granado; Constable, Precinct 2 Jerry Matta; Constable, Precinct 3 Tomas Martinez, and Constable, Precinct 4 John Cole Armstrong. In addition, 143rd District Court Judge Bob Parks and 143rd District Attorney Randy Reynolds also are unopposed in their re-election bids in the three-county district that also includes Ward and Loving counties.

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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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