Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, August 3, 2007
Former RCHchief of staff Cam dies at 67
Dr. James L.G. Cam, a former Pecos physician and chief of staff at Reeves County Hospital, died last Sunday at his Washington State home.
Dr. Cam, 67, died on July 29, 2007. He was 67 years of age. His funeral was scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. PDT at St. Louise de Marillac Church in Bellevue, Wash, with internment will follow at Upper Hillside cemetery.
Cam served as a doctor in West Texas, first in Monahans and then in Pecos after moving to Seattle. In Monahans, he was instrumental in building the Ward County Hospital and recruiting other physicians to practice there. After 13 years he decided to move so that his children could attend schools in Seattle before returning to Texas to set up a practice in Pecos while his children continued their education in Washington State.
During his 12 years as a doctor in Pecos, he served as chief of staff and was at Reeves County Hospital when the facility was spun off from Reeves County and became self-supporting. He also helped recruit several new physicians to the area.
Dr. Cam was born February 16, 1940 in Davao, Philippines and studied medicine at UERM Medical University in Manila, Philippines. It was there that he would meet Teresita Cueto, a nurse at the hospital. The two married on August 17, 1968 in Manila.
They moved to Youngstown, Ohio where he was a resident in internal medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital until 1972. Cam then took a position in Minneapolis at Glenwood Hills Hospital before moving to West Texas to establish his private practice in Monahans. While there, their last child, Judy, was born.
Dr. Cam is survived by his wife, Tessie, his four children Jennifer Ligot, Kenneth Cruz, Joanne Tang and Judy Nguyen, five grandchildren and10 brothers and sisters.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance Network (www.pancan.org) or the Eternal World Television Network (www.ewtn.com).
Storms cause flooded roads across region
Heavy rains were blamed for flooding of roads in areas across West Texas late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, though Reeves County escaped the worst of the flooding with no reported road closures.
Rains hit areas of the Permian Basin and Trans-Pecos on Wednesday night, but the first showers didn’t arrive in Pecos until 2 a.m. on Thursday, and the strongest storms passed through the city just before sunrise. Overall, the National Weather Service reported 1.67 inches of rain fell overnight and into the morning at Pecos Municipal Airport.
Some flooding of intersections was reported on Eddy, Cedar and Seventh streets following the rains, which tapered off by late Thursday morning. However, more showers were forecast for Thursday night and Friday, before skies were forecast to clear over the weekend.
Glen Larum, public information officer with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Odessa District office, said in the Balmorhea area the Cherry Creek Low Water Crossing on FM 2903 north of Balmorhea had about 6 inches of water crossing over the roadway early Thursday morning, but remained open. Other low-lying areas on FM 2903 both north and south of the FM 3334 intersection also had up to 3 inches of water is crossing the roadway.
More severe flooding was reported to the south and east of the Pecos area. TxDOT reported the North Frontage Road of Interstate 20 between East Loop 338 and John Ben Sheppard Parkway was closed overnight due to flooding before reopening Thursday morning, while in Midland the Greenwood Highway (FM 307) was reopened after overnight flooding at the I-20 underpass.
Several motorists in Midland required rescue after their vehicles stalled out in high water, officials said.
Joe Reyes, a city of Midland dispatcher, said the fire department helped several motorists get out of their cars after they became stranded in high water."One of our roads turned into a major river and people tried to cross over, and that's where they got stuck," Reyes said.
He said there were no reports of injuries.
Cody Lindsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Midland, said the city recorded more than 3.5 inches of rain overnight."We had some pretty significant flash flooding in both the cities of Midland and Odessa, and there were multiple high water rescues taking place at low intersections in those cities," he said.
In Pecos County, Larum said heavy rainfall throughout the county led to the closing of the South Frontage Road of Interstate 10 between U.S. 67 and Belding west of Fort Stockton, while there was a possibility of flooding at low water crossings along rural highways, especially SH 349, FM 2886 and FM 2400 in eastern Pecos County and eastern Terrell County.
There was also low water crossing flooding on FM 1766 between U.S. 285 and Interstate 10, on FM 11 between Girvin and I-10 at Bakersfield; and on FM 1901 between McCamey and Girvin.
Cantaloupe fly-in on Sunday as 2007 harvest winds down
Members of the Pecos Downtown Lions Club will be up early Sunday morning to prepare breakfast for local residents and out of town visitors, as part of the 23rd Annual Pecos Cantaloupe Fly-In Breakfast.
The event is back in its normal weekend this year, and will take place starting at 7 a.m. at the Pecos Municipal Airport. It is scheduled to run until 11 a.m., with Lions Club members arriving on-site even earlier to prepare the breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs.
“We expect to have between 25 and 35 aircraft,” said Dennis Blanchard, who along with his wife Isabel manages the airport. “The breakfast is free to anybody who flies in.”
The event began with the start of the Pecos Cantaloupe Festival in the 1980s, but remained on the first weekend of August when the Festival was merged with Night in Old Pecos and the other West of the Pecos Rodeo events in late June. Last year, the Festival and Night in Old Pecos were moved to the end of July, in order to assure that Pecos Cantaloupes would be available for the event, and the fly-in breakfast was moved up a week to be part of the festival.
But that caused conflicts for some pilots who normally make the trip to Pecos, while rainy weather in the area also combined to cut down on the number of participants. This year, t he event is back on its normal weekend, while the Cantaloupe Festival and Night in Old Pecos were held this past Friday and Saturday.Those attending the breakfast include locals and others who’ll either fly in Saturday night or come in on Sunday for their breakfast, and to pick up their boxes of Pecos Cantaloupes. Filers and their family members came in for the event from as far as 200 miles away.
Blanchard said the event will also feature the annual Pecos Cantaloupe Bombing Run, in which aircraft take turns at dropping melons into a plastic wading pool set up between the airport’s taxiway and runway. That event normally gets underway about 9 a.m.
The cantaloupes themselves have been a little harder to come by this year, with the number of fields planted lower than in past years due to a shortage of housing space for pickers. The energy drilling boom and the closing of the Farm Labor Housing for financial reasons combined to leave the pickers with few housing options this summer.
“We’ve got a few here, but not even a third of them are here,” said Clay Taylor with Pecos Cantaloupe Co., the area’s largest grower. “We’ve got about two-thirds of them down in Fort Stockton.”
He said the harvest itself has been good so far and should last another week, and the demand for the area’s melon crop remains strong.
“All of the chain (grocery) stores are on us because we can’t get them enough melons,” said Taylor, who added that without additional housing, there’s no way to keep enough workers in the area to get the cantaloupes out of the field.
“Everybody wants to gripe, but nobody wants to help,” he said. The company and Town of Pecos City officials had looked into the possibility of acquiring unused FEMA trailers out of Arkansas to house the migrant workers, but no deal could be reached in time for this year’s harvest season.
P-B-T receives improved rating in TEA report
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools showed a slight improvement in their overall campus ratings this year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Texas Education Agency.
Austin Elementary School in the P-B-T ISD and Balmorhea ISD were given the second-highest rating by the TEA for the second year in a row, when the 2007 accountability ratings were released Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, the other campuses in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD were given acceptable rakings by the state agency, which was a step up for Bessie Haynes Elementary, which received an unacceptable rating last year.
The rankings are based on results from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge Skills (TAKS) tests, which are given to students in Grades 3-12. Austin Elementary, which is home to first through third grade classes for P-B-T ISD received a ‘recognized’ rating, as did all of Balmorhea ISD, where all grades are held in a single school building.
Rated as acceptable were Bessie Haynes Elementary, where fourth through sixth grade classes are held, along with Crockett Junior High School and Pecos High School. No ratings were given to Pecos Kindergarten or Lamar AEP.
P-B-T administrators were unavailable for comment on the TEA report. School personnel have been in meetings throughout the week preparing for the first day of school, which will be Monday, Aug. 27.
P-B-T school board members will review the TEA report at their next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 9. The board met in executive session last week and added a couple of people to their payroll including, Barbara Castillo at the DAEP, Lamar Campus and Ruth Merino, as a kindergarten teacher at Pecos Kindergarten. The board also accepted the resignation of Paul Briones, science teacher at Crockett Middle School.
Balmorhea ISD received a recognized rating from TEA for the second straight year, after being ranked acceptable in the 2005 report.
Andrews ISD had the best overall rating among medium and smaller school districts in the area. All of its elementary and middle school campuses were recognized, while Andrews High School received and acceptable rating from the TEA. At the other end, Presidio ISD also saw its high school earn an acceptable rating, but both its junior high and elementary campuses were rated as unacceptable.
The other district in Presidio County, Marfa ISD, earned acceptable ratings for both its elementary and its junior/senior high campuses. In Brewster County, Alpine ISD had a recognized rating for its middle school and acceptable ratings for its high school and elementary grades. Terlingua ISD’s elementary school was recognized and Big Bend High School received an acceptable rating. All schools within Crane ISD were rated as acceptable.
In Ward County, all schools within the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD were rated academically acceptable, while Grandfalls-Royalty ISD received the same ranking. In Pecos County, Apache Elementary in the Fort Stockton ISD received the highest rating of exemplary, while Alamo Elementary was recognized and the district’s other campuses were rated acceptable. Buena Vista ISD and Iraan’s elementary and high school campuses received the same rating, while its junior high was rated exemplary.
In Culberson County, Van Horn Junior High was hit with an unacceptable rating, while the district’s high school and elementary campuses were rated as acceptable. In Jeff Davis County, High Frontier High School in Fort Davis received an exemplary rating, while Fort Davis High School was rated acceptable and the Dirks-Anderson School was recognized. Valentine ISD was rated acceptable. In Winkler County, all schools in Kermit ISD received acceptable ratings, while Wink High School also was rated acceptable and Wink Elementary received a recognized rating from TEA.
Statewide, about 300 of the state's 8,061 campuses were deemed academically unacceptable, the state's lowest rating, mostly due to low math and science standardized test scores, acting Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said. He promised swift and serious reforms at four schools that have failed to meet state standards for four or five straight years but said none of the campuses would be closed.
Three campuses - Oak Village Middle School in the North Forest school district in Houston, G.L. Wiley Middle School in Waco and Johnston High School in Austin - got the lowest rating for the fourth straight year. Sam Houston High School in the Houston Independent School District has been unacceptable for five consecutive years.
State law calls for a series of increasingly serious sanctions for schools and districts that receive unacceptable ratings. Staff shakeups must occur after three years of low scores, and the state may close a school after four years.
But TEA officials agreed to give all four campuses more time to pull up their scores since abruptly closing them would be hard on the districts and their students.
About half of the state's campuses, educating about 2.7 million children, were rated academically acceptable. To earn that rating, 65 percent of students must pass the TAKS in English/language arts, writing and social studies, 45 percent must pass in math and 40 percent must pass in science.
Twenty-nine percent of schools, or 2,345 campuses, met a more rigorous standard and were rated recognized. About 8 percent of campuses, or 637 schools, were deemed exemplary with at least 90 percent of their students passing each subject of the TAKS.
The number of unacceptable campuses increased from 286 to 301 this year, and Scott said tougher math and science standards were to blame. Last year, only 40 percent of students had to pass the TAKS math section and 35 percent had to pass science.
Scott said the state is working to boost those scores by adopting new math textbooks and launching science, technology, engineering and mathematics centers to develop new ways of teaching the subject.
Statewide, 83 percent of students passed the TAKS English/language arts, writing and social studies sections, 64 percent passed the math section and 56 percent passed the science section.
The tougher standard for counting dropouts increased the state's dropout rate for grades 7 to 12 from 0.9 percent in 2004-05 to 2.6 percent in 2005-06.
Cook honored with graduation luncheon in Pecos
Danielle Lee Cook, a 2007 graduate of Wink High School, was recently honored with a graduation luncheon held at the Pecos Valley Country Club.
Hostesses for the luncheon were Betty Cunningham, Suan and Sarah Cross, Shanna Tredaway, Priscilla Cook, Susie Lambeth and Reggie Dawson.
Cook will be attending West Texas A&M in Canyon, where she plans to pursue a degree in the field of Sports Medicine. She was very active in the athletic program at Wink High School, where she participated in cross country, basketball, and track. She was secretary of the senior class, and a member of the student council and National Honor Society. She was awarded the American Legion Scholarship, the J L Dodd Memorial Scholarship and the Wildcat Scholarship.
Cook is the daughter of Ron Cook of Wink and Adrienne and J B Beltran of Hereford.
She is the granddaughter of Betty and Allan Cunningham of San Angelo and Kathleen Ivy of Pecos.
Gomez, Garcia announce wedding plans
Mirta Gomez and Tommy V. Garcia Jr. plan to marry on Aug. 4, at Eisenhower Church of Christ in Odessa with Jose Payono officiating.
The bride-elect is the daughter of Gustavo and Irma Gomez of Post. She attends the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in pursuit of a degree in Social Work and is employed by Goody’s.
Her fiancé is the son of Tommy and Gloria Garcia from Balmorhea. He attends the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in pursuit of a degree in Computer Science. He is a department manager at Office Depot.
Taylor celebrates seventh birthday
Kellie Kristine Taylor celebrated her seventh birthday, on Saturday, July 21, with a party held in her honor at the Pecos Valley Country Club Swimming Pool.
Theme for the special event was Lilo and Stitch.
Her favorite gift was a trampoline given to her by her parents, Kyle and Myra Taylor.
Paternal grandparents are Steve and Dawn Taylor Midland and Dan and Kathy Painter of El Paso.
Christina Bitolas of Pecos is her maternal grandmother.
Prieto graduates from airline pilot training
Joseph Rey Prieto graduated from Airline Pilot Training in Denver, Colo. and is employed with Great Lakes/United Express Airlines.
Prieto is a graduate of Midland College and has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics from Utah Valley State and is a member of the National Collegiate Honor Society Phi Thetta Kappa.
He is the son of Apolinar Prieto of Big Spring and Sonia Prieto of Austin.
Paternal grandparents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Jose Prieto and maternal grandparents are the late Johnny Hernandez and Bertha Hernandez of Pecos.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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