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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Top Stories

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Y2K bug hitting people, not computers

Systems looking OK as business reopens

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 4, 2000 - While Monday was a holiday for all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students, it was a working day for all staff members.

"We had a Y2K day for all the staff," said Career and Technology Coordinator Jodi Exum. "Every staff member was asked to try out their computers, to find out if there were any problems."

The school is one of the largest computer users in Reeves County and among those who tested out their computers for the first time on Monday after the New Year's holiday.

Exum said that very few problems were reported, and those that were turned out not to be caused by the changeover to the Year 2000. "They were just general technology problems that had nothing to do with Y2K," she said.

She said school district personnel spent hundreds of hours preparing for this year and had already anticipated little problems. "I'm just glad everything went so smoothly," she said.

Exum and her staff were in charge of 1,500 computers, with 21 servers that were termed critical to school operations. "We had adjusted the time on the servers," said Exum. "Even some of our old servers rolled over," she said.

New computers and plenty of preparation helped things run smoothly at the Town of Pecos City offices and the water supply for the community.

"Everything went fine," said Town of Pecos City Mayor Dot Stafford.

Stafford, along with city manager, Kenneth Neal, city utilities director Octavio Garcia, chief of police Clay McKinney, fire chief, Roy Pena, ambulance crew chief, Bill Randall Cole, and emergency personnel Armando Gil and Lupe Nieto were on hand at City Hall on New Year's Eve in case there were any computer problems.

"We didn't have any major problems, just the usual with a man firing shots and a grass fire," said Stafford. "But nothing that had to do with Y2K."

Stafford said city employees had been preparing for the millennium and some new computers were purchased last year.

"We also had a back-up generator here at city hall and one at the warehouse," said Stafford. "Just in case anything happened," she said.

There were no problems with the water and everyone had plenty of it. "We're glad everything went just beautifully," she said.

More than two years of preparations paid off for Texas-New Mexico Power Company with a problem-free rollover to the Year 2000.

The company was staffed with additional personnel to work on New Year's Eve and into the early hours of Jan. 1, to ensure that its computer systems switched over without problems. These systems included those at T-NMP's power plant and the systems used to deliver power to customers.

"This is one time that we're happy to report an anticlimactic occasion," said Jack Chambers, TNMP senior vice president and chief customer officer. "We have a very dedicated group of employees who deserve credit for working hard to make sure that Y2K really was a non-event," he said.

In addition to monitoring the rollover to the New Year, T-NMP personnel also working throughout the weekend to make sure systems continued working well as businesses reopened and customers began using more electricity throughout the weekend. The company will continue to monitor the situation and has plans in place to ensure computer-based systems continue to work smoothly when they encounter leap year on Feb. 29.

Because weather was relatively mild across the TNMP service area, the company also avoided weather-related outages. In all, two outages were reported across the TNMP system, and neither was Y2K-related. One occurred in Dickinson, southeast of Houston, four hours before midnight when a car struck a power pole. Power was restored before midnight. The second occurred in Glen Rose, southwest of Fort Worth, when a fuse blew that delivered power to the community's Expo Center. Power was quickly restored there as well.

Flu reported on rise after holidays end

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 4, 2000 - The Y2K bug everyone knew would hit sooner or later _ the 2000 flu season _ has arrived in the Pecos area, though so far it hasn't his local residents as hard as those in other areas of Texas and the Southwest this winter.

Severe flu outbreaks were reported in Arizona and Southern California around New Year's weekend, and the National Flu Surveillance Network on Monday said a marked increase in cases of influenza have been reported in Texas.

The NFSN upgraded the state to the Influenza Alert stage, and the Dallas area to the Influenza Warning stage. Other cities reporting a rise in flu cases include Odessa and Lubbock, where cases last week were up 92 percent from the week before Christmas.

"I've seen it get started in Midland the week before Christmas and it started in Lubbock the week before that," said Gwen Geltemeyer, who is working as a relief pharmacist for John Rediger at Rediger's Pharmacy this week, and had worked in Midland and Lubbock before the holidays. "People have been traveling and that spreads it."

Iris Rives, assistant administrator at Reeves County Hospital, said, "We've seen a large number of people with flu symptoms. Whether it's because there are a lot more cases of just because there were no doctors to go to see, I don't know."

Rives said a most of the local doctors offices were closed last week, which caused a number of people to seek treatment in the hospital's emergency room. "They only get admitted if they have complications from the flu," she said. "Whether it's the flu or just a cold it's hard to say, but it's out there."

Dr. Orville Cerna said as of now, "I'm not sure if it's the flu or not. There are a lot of upper respiratory inflammation, but it's not documented if it's the flu or not."

Dr. Cerna added that the number of cases is not above average for this time of year.

Cerna's office is adjacent to Professional Pharmacy, where pharmacist Steve Valenzuela said, "We have seen an increase, not only by prescription, but also people come by who have not been able to see a physician and are looking for over-the-counter treatments."

"We've seen the classic symptoms _ fever, cough and congestion," he said. "A lot of that has to do with the weather, in addition to the holidays. People getting together makes the spread of the flu a little more easy."

"It's really hitting you all later than in Midland," Geltemeyer said, though she added the number of cases figures to rise some more, now that Pecos-Barstow-Toyah schools have ended their holiday break. "Schools are the main place where kids just trade viruses they've gotten over the holidays," she said.

"We're definitely having a lot of it going around right now. That's why pharmacists take vacations in the summer," said Wal-Mart pharmacist Cindy Shores.

Flu shots are still available and this may be the perfect time to get one, according to Physician's Assistant Michele Cser with the Reeves County Hospital's Rural Health Clinic.

"This may be a great time with the kids going back to school and coming into contact with those that have had the flu," said Cser.

Flu shots are being administered at the Rural Health Clinic, located inside the hospital, for $10 apiece. The shots can be given to anyone, but are recommended for older people and those who are more prone to get it.

The flu season runs through March and Cser said, "We've been seeing a fair number of cases already, and for those who want to avoid getting sick, this is a good time to get a vaccination."

To schedule an appointment for a flu shot, or for more information, contact the health clinic at 447-3551, extension 239.

"It's still beneficial to get the shot, if you haven't gotten the flu yet," said Cser.

Staff writer Rosie Flores contributed to this report.

Arredondo seeks third term in Precinct 1

PECOS, Jan. 4, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioner for Precinct 1, Felipe Arredondo, has decided he wants to retain his position on the court and has filed for re-election in the March Democratic primary election.

Arredondo, who won as a write-in candidate in 1997, will be seeking a new four-year term on the commissioner's court, and said he would like to thank the voters of Reeves County for giving him the opportunity to serve as county commissioner.

"I received one of the biggest thrills of my life when you elected me as a write-in candidate," said Arredondo. "This is a memory that will be in my mind for many years to come."

During this term, Arredondo said, "I was proud to have been a part of the many improvements made to the Reeves County Detention Center."

For the past three years that he has been in office, Arredondo said a lot of improvements have been made at the detention center and new jobs have been created.

"We have accomplished opportunities for the people of Pecos, and we have also worked hard with the city and school to establish a recreational facility for physical fitness and wellness," said Arredondo.

He said commissioners have been working hard with the federal government to find some ways to expand the prison further to better the economy in the county.

"It has been a pleasure working with the prison professionals, in helping to expand the facility and to improve the economy here in our community," said Arredondo.

Arredondo was a commissioner from 1985 to 1989, during which time the prison was first established. "That experience and what I have learned now will help to expand it into a larger facility, to create more jobs and to better our community economically," he said.

Arredondo resides in Pecos with his wife, Juanita and one son, Jaime. His other children are grown and live elsewhere, including Lydia Arredondo who lives in Oceanside, Gilbert, resides in Round Rock, Christina Rodriguez lives in Odessa; David lives in Benbrook, and Hilda Arivay resides in San Angelo.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 02-16-17-29-36. Number matching five of five: 0. Prize per winner: $0. Matching four of five: 177. Prize: $1,102.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 6-3-1 (six, three, one)


Eulanda Milner

Eulanda Ann Milner, 89, of Pecos, died Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000, at her residence.

Services will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 5, at the First Baptist Church in Pecos with Reverend Greer Willis officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

She was born Aug. 25, 1910, in Pecos, was a lifelong resident, a graduate of Pecos High School, retired and a Baptist.

Survivors include two sons, George LeRoy Milner of Austin, Richard Ryle Milner of Englewood, Colo.; one daughter, Rose Marie Price of Carrollton; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, Jan. 4, 2000 - High Monday 57. Low this morning 18. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low 20-25. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday: Sunny and warmer. High in the mid 60s. Southwest wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Low in the lower 30s. Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 60-65.

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Pecos Enterprise
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