Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Boicourt becomes 3rd possible Tarin challenger
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 17, 2003 -- One more person has thrown their hat in
the ring to run in the Reeves County Democratic Primary elections.
Elizabeth "Lisa" Boicourt filed her treasurer's designation with the
Reeves County Clerk to run for Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 3.
Boicourt designated Thomas R. "Tommy" Boicourt as her treasurer.
The information filed with the Reeves County Clerk's office is only
one of two steps candidates need to take before January 2 in order to
run in the March 9 primary. The other step required filing either a
petition or paying a filing fee with the local party chairman.
However, Reeves County Democratic Party chairman Robert C. Dean has
said he will not provide any information on candidate filings to the
"I refuse to give the Pecos Enterprise any information because
Smokey (Pecos Enterprise Editor Smokey Briggs) called me a
blackmailer," said Dean.
"That is what I called him," Briggs said, in explaining the incident
earlier this year that led to Dean's action.
"Earlier this year a very upset Mr. Dean came to me to complain
about an ad that had run in the Enterprise. The ad urged voters to vote
in favor of Proposition 12 and was run by a local person. Accidentally
we left off the small print required on political ads that tells
readers who paid for the ad.
"Apparently Mr. Dean was a Proposition 12 opponent.
"I told Mr. Dean that we would be sure to correct the mistake the
next time the ad ran, and he said that wasn't good enough - he wanted
us to run an ad or ads supporting Proposition 12.
"I told him that we would be glad to run his ad," Briggs said.
"Unfortunately, not only did he want us to run the ads, he wanted us to
do it for free to 'make up for the our mistake.' I told him that I was
not going to run his ad for free.
"Then he told me that if I did not run the ad for free he would
report me to the Ethics Commission and then I told him that he was a
blackmailer. I also tried to point out the irony in the situation but
by that point the conversation was somewhat heated. I think he missed
the point," Briggs said.
"Mad or not Bobby's refusal to speak with the paper seems pretty
third grade," he added.
Any candidate that has filed with Dean can call the Pecos Enterprise
directly and provide the necessary information. The Enterprise
appreciates the candidates' cooperation.
Proposition 12, which was approved by Texas voters in September,
allows the Legislature to limit non-economic damages in medical
malpractice and other civil lawsuits.
Proponents of the measure included the Texas Medical Association and
Texans For Lawsuit Reform. They said limiting non-economic damages such
as pain and suffering would help eliminate frivolous lawsuits and
reduce the cost of doing business for physicians and private companies
by getting rid of arbitrary damage awards.
Groups who opposed the measure included AARP, MADD, the consumer
group Texas Watch, and several police associations, who said the
amendment would take away the ability to hold criminals accountable in
Boicourt is the fourth person to file a treasuer's designation with
Reeves County Clerk Diane O. Florez in the March 9 race for Precinct 3
Commissioner. She joined incumbent Herman Tarin and two other
challengers, Manuel "Manny" D. Lopez and Bailey E. Wheeless.
Two persons have filed with Florez's office in the race for Reeves
County Precinct 1 Commissioner. Incumbent Felipe Arredondo filed his
treasurer's designation in September, while Elizer "Chel" Flores, who
currently holds the Precinct 3 seat on the Reeves County Hospital
District board filed with the County Clerk earlier this month.
Along with the county positions, other local offices that will be up
for election on March 9, are Reeves County Attorney; 143rd District
Attorney and 143rd District Court Judge.
Judge Bob Parks filed in Austin to retain his position as 143rd
District Court Judge.
The District Attorney and District Judge positions cover Reeves,
Ward and Loving Counties. Former District Attorney Hal Upchurch of
Monahans already has announced his plans to seek re-election to the
position he last held 12 years ago. Randall W. Reynolds currently holds
the position, and was first elected too office in 1996.
Both the District Attorney and the District Judge candidates will
file their petitions or pay a filing fee in Austin.
Other local incumbents who also plan to seek re-election but as of
now have no opponents include Reeves County Sheriff Arnulfo "Andy"
Gomez; Reeves County Tax Assessor/Collector Elfida Zuniga; Precinct 2
Constable Jerry C. Matta and Precinct 3 Constable Tomas "Tommy"
To file officially, candidates must file a petition with 50 names or
pay a filing fee to the local party chairmen, so the individuals who
have filed with the county clerk, will now have to take this second
step. Almost all candidates in Reeves County run in the Democratic
primary and file Dean.
Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March will
continue through Friday, Jan. 2 .
RCH seeking patient transfer improvements
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 17, 2003 -- The Reeves County Hospital Board
discussed the need for an on-call staff to assist in the transfer time
of critical patients to other facilities and heard from a Balmorhea EMS
representative on their need for additional operating funds Tuesday
night, during their final regular meeting of the year.
According to the administrator's report, the hospital is presented
cases that need to be transferred to other facilities occasionally. "We
need to improve transfer time and quality of staff accompanying the
transfers to other facilities from our ER and from any inpatient
services that require additional care," Hospital Administrator Robert
"We have been trying to get more people involved in the transfer
team, and to accomplish this we have posted a notice of a ECA
(Emergency Care Attendant) course that will be held at the hospital for
the benefit of our employees. We have received 14 applicants already,
and once those people have completed the course, they could move on to
EMS or paramedic in the future," Vernor added.
Board member Bill Wendt said that the ECA qualification could
satisfy the state's requirement as long as two were present in the
ambulance during the transfer. The ECA, or emergency care attendant,
requires a 60-hour course, Wendt added.
Board member Leo Hung asked how the staff on transfer calls would be
paid and whether the hours would apply to the workers' regular weekly
hours that could lead to overtime.
Vernor said that the ECA's would receive $30 on top of their hourly
wage and if the total time for the week was over 40 then the overtime
rate would have to be paid.
Chief of medical staff Dr. W.J. Bang, added that the need for the
transfer staff to "know what they are doing and to be aware of the
complications and treatment needed for some of these time-critical
"For example, there are two types of strokes, hemorrhagic and
ischemic," Dr. Bang said. "For the first, which is bleeding in the
brain, nothing can really be done while it is happening, but for the
second, which is a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain, care can be
given to lessen the effect of the condition. The first response from
the transfer team is critical in these types of circumstances, so
having these transfer teams ready around the clock would make a big
Vernor added that the visit by the future Pecos residents, Dr. Ziad
Abdo and his fiancÈ Lailah Zindani, went very well, and that
when they left their attitude was very upbeat and positive about the
community. He added that Zindani was very enthusiastic and had found a
couple of houses that she liked during the visit.
Vernor also presented the artistic renditions of the new front
entrance of the hospital, which is currently under construction. Vernor
also went on to remind the board that the construction of the new
expanded facility was still under budget and on schedule.
In other business, the board heard from Elia Estrada, of the
Balmorhea EMS service, who attended the meeting as part of the agency's
annual request for funds from the hospital district.
"I am here to report on the total area that the Balmorhea EMS
services and to request additional funds from the board due to the
large area that our EMS covers," Estrada said.
"Originally the Balmorhea EMS only covered the town of Balmorhea and
the Balmorhea Lake. However, our area of coverage now extends to all of
the southern region of Reeves County, including: the convergence of
I-10 and I-20 to the west, the Jeff Davis County to the south, and half
way between Pecos and Saragosa to the north," Estrada added.
"As part of the original agreement, the Balmorhea EMS received
$5,000 from the Reeves County Hospital District annually. However, with
the added coverage area, we are asking for an additional $5,000 per
year," Estrada said.
Board President Linda Gholson asked whether this type of request
could be taken to the administrator and the board could base their
decision off of his recommendation.
Hospital CFO Bill Conger recommended that since the board would not
be meeting again until after the first of the year, when the funds were
typically distributed to the EMS service, that the board could approve
the regular $5,000 and if approved, pay the rest later in the year.
Estrada added that the City of Balmorhea loans the EMS services
$6,000 per year, and collects the money back over the year through the
billing of the EMS's patients. She said that the EMS service had
repeatedly asked the city to separate the EMS's funds from Balmorhea's
general fund, but the city had refused. The separation of the money is
specified in the EMS service's contract with the city, and Board
President Linda Gholson added that she would like the issue taken back
to the city of Balmorhea and have the money handling clarified.
"I don't think that we should put $10,000 into the Balmorhea General
fund. If the accounts were separate, then when the hospital district is
audited, where the money went would be easy to prove," Vernor said.
The board voted to table the discussion on the additional funds
until the issue was straightened out, but to pay the normal amount on
the first of the year. The motion by hung and on a second by board
member Pablo Briones, the motion passed unanimously, with Wendt
abstaining due to a conflict of interest. Wendt is a member of the
Balmnorhea area EMS service.
City's rebates nearly unchanged for month, year
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 17, 2003 -- The final sales tax checks for 2003
were up for all three cities in Reeves County and for the Reeves County
Hospital District, though overall for the year, all four saw their tax
rebate checks from State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's office
drop compared to 2002.
The Town of Pecos City had the smallest increase for the month and
the smallest decrease for the year, according to figures released last
Friday by the state comptroller. The city's 11/2-cent share of the
state's 8 1/4-cent sales tax was $54,523 in December, which was up 1.78
percent from a year ago, when the city got back $53,576 for the month,
based on sales made during October.
For all of 2003, Pecos got back $754,832, which was down
three-quarters of a percent from 2002, when the city received $760,563
back from Austin.
Out of December's total, one sixth of the amount received by the
city, or $9,089, goes to help fund the Pecos Economic Development Corp.
Toyah's numbers were reversed from Pecos' results for the month. The
city reported the largest increase compared with December of 2002, but
their 12-month total was down more than any other taxing entity in the
Toyah got back $502, which was 86 percent above the $270 that city
received last December. For the year, Toyah received $5,739 in sales
tax rebates, which was down 15.6 percent from last year's $6,802 total.
Balmorhea's December check for $664 was 26 1/4 percent higher than
last year, when the city got a check for $525. Overall in 2003,
Balmorhea received $11,085 in tax rebates, down 7.31 percent from
$11,959 in 2002.
The Reeves County Hospital District's tax rebate total for December
on their 1/2-cent sales tax was $ 27,767, which was up 13.36 percent
from last year's $24,494. However, the hospital's total for all of 2003
came to $322,189, which was 9.67 percent lower than a year ago, when
the hospital received $365,717 in tax rebates.
Most other area cities joined Pecos in seeing their rebate checks
virtually unchanged for the month. Midland, Odessa, Big Spring and Van
Horn showed slight increases, while Fort Stockton reported a slight
decrease in their tax rebate check for the month.
The exceptions on the positive side included Alpine, which was up
over 46 percent, and Presidio, which was up 12 percent. Marfa also
reported a double-digit increase, but that was due in part to an
increase in the city's tax rate since last year.
On the negative side, Andrews, which saw a sharp spike in their tax
rebate checks for most of 2002, saw those totals return to more normal
levels in 2003. As a result, its numbers were down for both the month
and the year as a whole by about 25 percent. Monahans also saw a
double-digit drop in its tax rebate check for December, as die Kermit,
Crane and Wink.
Christmas' gifts to be delivered to families today
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 17, 2003 -- Christmas for Kids volunteers are
scheduled to deliver gift to the families of needy children in the
Pecos area this evening, beginning about 5 p.m.
Christmas For Kids organizer Sofia Baeza said the group will be
giving out gifts to 512 children in the area this year, 20 more than in
2002. Anyone wanting to help out with the deliveries can show up at the
Reeves County Sheriff's Department office beginning about 4 p.m. to
prepare for the deliveries.
PECOS, Wed., Dec. 17, 2003 -- High Tuesday 54. Low this morning 28.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Lows near 30. West winds near 10
mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny. Highs 60 to 65. Northeast winds 10 to 15
mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Lows near 30. East winds near 10
mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s. South winds 10 to 15
mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower to mid 30s.
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower to mid 70s. Saturday night:
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower to mid 30s.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise