Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, July 2, 2004
McFadden’s second night of riding more successful
Cory McFadden didn’t have a bad night at the inaugural Profession Bull Riders’ competition on Tuesday night at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena. But he stands to do a lot better as the result of his ride Thursday, on the second night of the 2004 West of the Pecos Rodeo.
McFadden, who placed seventh in the average in the PBR competition, took the lead in the PRCA bull riding event on Thursday with an 89-point ride on board “Devil Dan”, one of six rides of 80 points or higher on the night. Cord McCoy, who was given a re-ride after scoring just 50 points on his first attempt, took over second place in the standings with an 85 point effort along with Jarrod Ford, who opened Thursday’s section of bull riding with an 85-point ride.
Also taking over the lead on Thursday was Bray Armes, whose 4.9 second time in the second go-round of steer wrestling gave the Stephenville cowboy the lead both there and in the average, with a 10.6 time. Cash Myers is second on the average, at 11.7 seconds, while Clint Shofner is tied with Armes for first in the second go, also with a 4.9 time.
Scotty Rodgers took over the lead in bareback riding on Thursday, scoring 86 points on “Little Richard” to put him five points up on Ron Leger, who had an 81-point ride on “Sierra Madre.” In saddle bronc riding, opening night leader Jeremiah Diffee’s 85-point score on “Coffee Bean” held up through the second day of competition, as did second place Cody Demoss, who scored 84 points on Wednesday riding “Nadine.”
Jade Conner leads in the tie-down (calf) roping with two days left in the second go. His combined time of 18.9 seconds puts him .7 second up on Kyle Hughes, who won the first go round. John Driskill leads the second go with a 9 flat time, followed by Carter Edmonson at 9.1 seconds.
Eight-time world champion Jake Barnes and his partner Allen Bach remain tied for the lead in the average in team roping with Matt Tyler and Kory Koontz, both teams with 14.7 times for their two attempts. Tyler and Koontz are also in second place in the second go round, at 7.0 seconds, while Joe Beaver and Mike Bacon lead with a 6.1 second time.
Tied for first in the third go-round of steer roping in 17 time world’ champion Guy Allen. He and Rod Hartenss both have 12.8 times on their third attempt and Hartness leads in the average with a 43.5 time on his three efforts.
In second place is J.P. Wickett at 44.8 seconds, while Wickett and Chad Davis are tied for third in the third go-round, with 12.9 second times. Steer roping is the only event with three go-rounds this year at the West of the Pecos Rodeo.
In the barrel race, Wednesday’s leader, Amy Still, maintained first place through the second night of competition with a 17.65 time. Two other cowgirls have broken the 18 second barrier so far; J.J. Thompson, with a 17.90 time and Jody Masters Dodson, who had Thursday’s best time with a 17.94 effort.
Friday and Saturday are the final two nights for the 2004 West of the Pecos Rodeo. Starting time both nights is 8 p.m. at the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.
City, hospital still at odds on ambulance costs
By JON FULBRIGHT
Town of Pecos City and Reeves County Hospital officials are back in talks over funding the city’s Emergency Medical Service ambulances, after the council rejected the hospital district’s latest offer during their Thursday meeting.
The hospital district’s board of directors voted on June 22 to pay up to $45,000 a year towards funding the ambulance service, based on a $40,000 expenditure, with a $5,000 cap on any additional costs. But the council was told that would still leave the city facing a deficit in fully funding the service.
“There’s no way we can live with that,” said mayor Dot Stafford. “We are broke. We can’t live with that.”
Stafford praised the work of the local EMS service, many of whose members were in attendance at the 7 a.m. meeting, and told them to “please bear with us while we work something out.”
Both officials with the city and with the hospital cited shortfalls from Medicare and Medicaid payments as the reason for the current funding problems.
“Medicaid doesn’t pay a lot,” said city finance director Sam Contreras. “We send them a $500 bill and they only pay $150 and we have to write off the rest.”
“Medicare pays 29 to 33 cents on the dollar, and we have to write the rest of it off,” said Bill Conder, acting CEO for Reeves County Hospital, who said he was asking the city to provide information on their total collectables, minus charges and expenses.
“We have provided information several times,” said city manager Joseph Torres, who said he has met twice with hospital board members about the ambulance funding. “We still have a situation where we’re seeing losses. Someone has to pay their fair share.”
Hospital board member Leo Hung said, “We would not object to negotiating on the cap amount,” but added the hospital has no control of how the city handles its billing collections.
“We’re willing to negotiate, but we can’t afford a blank check,” Hung said. “We really need to put a cap on our risk. … We want to put a reasonable cap on. We don’t want to look at it and have you say ‘you owe us $250,000’.”
Contreras said part of the problem has been the difficulty in collecting bills owed to the city for ambulance service, while the reimbursement rate paid by Medicare fell from 15 to 7 percent in January.
Councilman Danny Rodriguez and Conder both mentioned seeking help from Reeves County with funding the service, since EMS services handles calls throughout the central and northern parts of the county. “This is the first county I’ve ever been in where the county, city and hospital district don’t share in the ambulance costs,” Conder said.
However, EMS Chief John Cravey said, “The city and county used to split 50-50, but one of the points made when the hospital district got voted in (in 1988) was the county would be relieved of that problem.”
Ward County Commissioner Julian Florez noted that his county pays the Pecos EMS $3,000 a year to handle ambulance services in the Barstow area since 1994. But others at the meeting said it was unlikely Reeves County would contribute any money to subsidize the EMS service, given the county’s ongoing budget crisis related to problems with financing the Reeves County Detention Center.
In the end, the council set no new date to discuss the contract, but agreed that additional talks on the problem would be held in the upcoming weeks.
“Our new CFO (chief financial officer) in Frank Seals. I’ll get with him and get together with Mr. Contreras to come up with some kind of scenario we can work with,” Conder said.
The discussion on the ambulance took up about half of the council’s two-hour meeting on Thursday. Most of the rest was held in executive session, and dealt with appointing new members to expired and unexpired terms to the Pecos Economic Development Corp. board of directors.
However, the council also voted to take no action on this matter, following their 45-minute closed-door session. Council members did talk to PEDC board member Frank Spencer about getting a letter of resignation from Oscar Saenz, the former head of the board who moved to the Dallas area two months ago.
Spencer also told the board he is still getting estimates on the cost to either fully repair or patch the rusted floor of one of the city’s two large water storage tanks. Council members were told on June 24 the city faced a cost of $250,000 to replace the floor, while Spencer said at the time he didn’t have an exact estimate on patching the floor as a short-term solution.
The council also asked city attorney Scott Johnson to go back through his records on funds taken from the Texas Water Development Board’s $8.8 million loan to fund the South Worsham Water Field project. Spencer said he believed enough money remained out of the loan to fund most of the replacement cost for the 3 million gallon tank’s floor.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, the council heard local resident Randy Blount complain about clean-up efforts in alleys by Duncan Disposal. He said one dumpster on his West Fifth Street block had not been emptied in nine days, and that he could only speak to an answering machine when he called the company to complain.
Torres said he has made cleaning up the city one of his major agenda items since taking over as city manager in February, but added that some Pecos residents will illegally dump new trash in alleys just after Duncan crews have cleaned up earlier debris.
“Unless you can catch them in the act of dumping, you have no grounds for enforcement in Municipal Court,” he said.
Blount also asked the city to increase food inspections at the local grocery stores, citing problems with out-of-date meat he has bought recently.
“We get a report from our sanitation officer on a monthly basis that indicates it has been checked,” Stafford said. Blount was urged to take his problem to the store, or if that fails to contact local newspaper, radio and TV outlets about the problem.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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