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Friday, January 14, 2000

School Board sends out dress code survey

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Letters to the parents of all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students have gone out, as the first step in exploring the possibility of implementing a uniform dress policy, according to assistant superintendent Gome Olibas, who was on hand for the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting.

"We should get the results of that survey by next Friday, Jan. 21," said Olibas, at the meeting held last evening. "After that we will bring the results back to the board," he said.

Although statistics on school uniforms are still developing, school districts that have adopted a uniform dress policy have reported decreases in first year suspensions, school crime, violence and vandalism. A national survey of almost 1,000 principals who have a uniform policy report that they have experienced improved school image in the community, better student behavior, increased school safety and enhanced student achievement.

The idea of implementing a school dress policy has been one that the PBT ISD has been talking about for a while.

The first step in this process is to survey all parents who have students enrolled in the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD for the 1999-2000 school year in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 11th grade. All parents will be given the opportunity to express their opinions or concerns regarding the uniform policy at this time.

"We ask parents to give the survey some serious thought and consideration as this represents an opportunity to voice your opinion and be heard," said Olibas.

Once surveys are completed and returned and if significant interest exists to pursue a uniform dress policy, a committee task force consisting of interested parents, community members, faculty and staff will be formed to map out specific guidelines. A final decision will be made on a uniform dress policy for PBT ISD before the end of the 1999-2000 school calendar year.

The U.S Department of Education published a manual on school uniforms which indicates that uniforms instill self-esteem in students and sets a more serious tone of respect in school towards education and learning, school personnel, fellow students and school property, according to Olibas.

Uniforms hide income disparities in students, lessen the pressure on parents to buy expensive clothing for their children, decreases student competition over appearance and can work to counteract the power of gangs.

Church billboards spread the word

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Pecos will soon be surrounded by God's commandments, courtesy of local Baptist churches.

Kenneth Winkles, who is coordinating the effort, said that each of five billboards at entrances to the city will have two commandments.

The first billboard went up this week on the Winkles Truck property on the Balmorhea Highway. On the side facing south is the first commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." On the opposite side is the second commandment.

Churches sponsoring the signs will add a message, such as "Learn to Live, Attend Church," that graces the first sign along with the names of four of the sponsoring churches: First Baptist, West Park Baptist, Calvary Baptist and North Temple Baptist.

"That's all we had room for," said Winkles, noting that other churches are cooperating in the effort.

Cooperation is the key word, Winkles believes. He has led in recent months as Baptist pastors and key church leaders have met to pray for Pecos and to plan a campaign to spread the good news that Jesus offers salvation free to all who believe.

Each night this week, a different Baptist pastor has preached to mostly church members who have gathered at West Park Baptist Church, Sixth and Eddy.

Ron Garcia, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, said in the introductory message Sunday morning that he likes Pecos.

"So many people bad-mouth Pecos and say they want to leave," he said. "But Jesus is here. That makes Pecos a good place to be."

A Pecos native, Garcia returned from California a few years ago to work at the Reeves County Detention Center and was soon called to pastor the Calvary church.

Greer Willis, longtime First Baptist pastor; James Henderson, a bi-vocational pastor of the House of Prayer; Bruce Dury, Christian Home director and interim pastor for Mt. Zion Baptist; and Mac McCormick, North Temple pastor; have taken turns preaching.

Carreon will close out the services tonight following special music by the West Park ensemble, "Heaven's Reign," Patricia Matthews and Kristen Carreon. Services begin at 7 p.m., with Nancy McAnally directing the music.

Winkles believes the revival meeting is just the beginning of good things for Pecos.

"Another thing we really want to do is put the 10 commandments back in school," he said. "I believe that we can change Pecos through prayer."

Youth revivals, dramas like the "Heaven's Gates and Hells Flames" presentation, and a city-wide crusade are on the drawing board.

"The pastors have all resolved to work together," Winkles said.

Prayer meetings are held at West Park each Saturday at 7 p.m., he said. All denominations are invited to attend.

P.D., Task Force bust nets drugs and cash

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Pecos Police officers teamed up with the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force recently to fight the war on drugs.

"We received information that this subject was distributing cocaine in the Pecos area, we set up a surveillance, between the P.D. and the task force," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

"They asked us to help out in this effort and we were glad to oblige," said task force commander Gary Richards.

One of the officers stopped the vehicle the subject was in during a routine traffic stop, according to police reports.

During the search of the vehicle, Joel Muniz, 30, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. "When he was asked to step out of the vehicle, a substance, believed to be cocaine, fell out of his pocket," said Deishler.

During the inventory, officers also found a large amount of money, $10,801. "He was the passenger in the vehicle," said Deishler.

The driver, Benjamin Muniz, 37, was stopped for failure to use a signal light. "After he was stopped, they found that he had his driver's license suspended," said Deishler.

Later that evening, officers also executed a search warrant, at 3004 Aggie Street, which Joel Muniz has possession of. During the search, another half ounce of cocaine was found inside the trailer, according to investigators.

"We were glad we could help the Pecos Police Department out, with manpower," said Richards.

Joel Muniz was charged with possession of a controlled substance and posted a $5,000 bond.

Benjamin Muniz was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended and assessed a $750 bond on that charge and time served for the failure to indicate a signal.

Another narcotics search warrant was executed at about 2:08 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12.

"During the search of the residence, at 805 S. Oak, a substance believed to be marijuana was found in the master bedroom and paraphernalia for packaging," said Deishler.

In the closet of the bedroom, the subject was growing marijuana plants. "Over half a pound of marijuana was confiscated, along with $380 in cash," said Deishler.

No arrests have been made in this incident and the investigation is pending.

The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force was formed in 1998 and covers over a half dozen counties in West Texas. It is headquartered in Pecos and is under the direction of Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and commander Gary Richards.

School board finalizes plans for consolidation

Staff Writer
PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Final review of plans and specifications for Crockett Middle School additions were discussed at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting held last evening.

In conjunction, board members approved releasing documents for competitive sealed proposals and listened to an audit report from school auditor Bob Card, with Card and Company, the school's auditors.

"This are the same plans that you have seen before, we've fine-tuned everything," said Monte Hunter, with Hunter Corral Associates. Hunter has been working with the school district in helping to merge Zavala and Crockett Middle Schools.

"We have everything ready, with plans and specs, scope of work summary and cost estimate," said Hunter.

The total cost estimate has been set at $707,593. "I've put in there a $20,000 contingency, which will help expedite change orders and builds a little cushion," said Hunter. "If you don't use it, you won't pay it," he said.

"The plans haven't changed a lot since the last meeting, we've just gotten the details and equipment fine-tuned," said Hunter.

Hunter told the board that on Feb. 1, the sealed proposals would be opened. "You've indicated that this is the way you wanted to handle the proposals," said Hunter.

A legal ad will be published in today's newspaper and a board meeting will be scheduled quickly after that so that they can start construction, according to Hunter. "On the second or third, we'll have a meeting and then we can cut them loose," he said.

"Can we still count on having school on Aug. 1?" asked Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent Don Love.

Hunter assured Love and the board that school will open for the next school year at the appropriate time. "We feel confidant that, yes, school will open at that time," said Hunter. "The only problem, that might arise, will be matching the brick, but school can still resume, while they're finishing that part of the project," he said.

It takes time to match the brick located on the outside of the building, according to Hunter.

School auditor Bob Card, assured the board that funds are available for this particular project.

"We're very, very pleased with the audit report," said Card.

PBT ISD received a "clean opinion," on their recent audit report. "It was a very good report, a very good year," said Card.

One of the things the district did this year to help keep finances down, was to cut down on purchase orders, according to Card. "And that's good for the financial condition of the school," he said.

Revenue almost doubled from last year. "The excess ($825,000), is pretty close to the construction project costs," said Card. "We told TEA of the construction project and the gym expansion," he said.

Any portion that is not used, needs to be designated by school board by Aug. 31, according to Card.

"It's a very good year, we had a downward trend for the past few years, and this is the first year out of six that we have seen an income at all," said Card.

Water sales down, salt sales up


Staff Writer

Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members received a good audit report Monday, and clarified the procedures for appointing members to the seven water sub-districts and on voting in one of the districts as part of their first meeting for the year 2000.

The board met with auditor Randy Graham who said, "You all are pretty well spending what you take in," while adding the district, "is in great shape financially."

Water sales for the district were down from $86,000 in 1998 to $58,000 in 1999, but salt sales rose from $15,000 to $19,000, Graham said. The district's total budget was about $400,000, with 1999's costs coming in at $14,000 below projections, while expenses were $19,000 above, leaving a $5,000 gap overall for the year.

No action was taken on the audit Monday. "We'll look it over, and take action on it at the next meeting," board president Randall Hartman said, and Graham told the board that had been the procedure the past several years.

The voting items came up in separate parts of the meeting. General Manager Jim Ed Miller said the district corrected an error in naming people to the area's water districts, while board member Manuel Lujan got a clarification on who could vote in the Ward County Water Improvement District No. 1 elections.

Miller said in the past, the districts have called their own elections, which apparently was in violation of the Texas Water Code Sec. 49.105. "We're going to correct it. We were letting the districts call the elections, now we're going to call them," he explained on Wednesday.

"For vacancies for unexpired terms, where there was a district where they had enough people to hold an election we should have been doing it ourselves. Instead, we were letting the (county) commissioners appoint them. Noe we will appoint them instead," said Miller.

The number of voters in WCWID No. 1 was brought up by Lujan, who argued with other board members about voting rights for people living inside Barstow.

"According to Liz Corbell and other (WCWID No 1) board members, people in Barstow did pay taxes," to the water district, Lujan said. A check of the records by board member Lloyd Goodrich confirmed that Barstow residents were paying taxes to the water district, making them eligible to vote in the district's elections.

Board members briefly discussed, but took no action on two items related to salt alleviation. The board tabled until February an action on seeking federal assistance with the Malaga Bend Salt Project and took no action on a letter Pecos River Compact Commissioner J.W. Thrasher wrote to Loving Salt Co. owner Albert Wagner.

WCWID No. 1 manager Jimmy Galindo talked with the board last month about a 1954 agreement in which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would aid in the removal of salt from the Pecos River. The Corps built a diversion lake, but took no other action after that lake filled with salt.

Galindo said under the agreement the Corps should have to continue their efforts to remove the salt from the river. However, because Galindo was not at Monday's meeting, the board decide to wait before moving forward on the issue.

"I think we need to try this," Lujan said. "If Jimmy isn't able to help us, we need to try it ourselves."

Thrasher's letter was also discussed first at the December meeting. Board members at the time disapproved of his efforts to obtain further records from Wagner, whose company has entered into an agreement with Red Bluff to divert Malaga Bend water to six man-made ponds for reclamation.

Cash disbursements and accounts payable were also approved by the board at the start of Monday's meeting.

Pecos OC has books available

PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Odessa College Pecos Center will have books available for those students who registered for college courses last week.

The books will be at the Pecos Center, located at the Executive Building, 320 S. Oak, Suite 4, beginning on Tuesday. The office will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of Martin Luther King's Birthday.

Officer hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

THOU SHALT - Baptist pastors whose congregations paid to have this sign erected on the Balmorhea Highway are, from left, Bruce Dury, Mt. Zion interim pastor; Ron Garcia, Calvary Baptist; Greer Willis, First Baptist; Mac McCormick, North Temple Baptist; and Rey Carreon, West Park interim pastor. The pastors have taken turns preaching this week at West Park Baptist Church.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers drawn: 1-6-7-13-30. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner: $80,149. Winning ticket sold in: Nederland. Matching four of five: 284. Prize: $423. Matching three of five: 8,487. Prize: $24. Next Cash 5 drawing: Friday night.


Anne Smith

Anne Margaret Smith, 64, of Broken Arrow, Okla, died Saturday, Jan. 8, 2000.

Services were held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12, at the Broken Arrow Assembly of God with burial in Floral Haven Memorial Gardens.

She was born Sept. 11, 1935, in Honey Grove, Tx., to Harry T. Tyler and Eva L. "Isaacs" Tyler. She was a devoted Christian and a loving mother, as well as an active member of the Assembly of God Church. She married Joe L. Smith on Sept. 8, 1956, and the couple resided in Pecos from 1962-1995. She retired from Security State Bank as an officer in 1978.

She was preceded in death by three brothers: H.T. Tyler, George H. Tyler and Homer R. Tyler.

Survivors include her husband, Joe L. Smith of Broken Arrow, Okla.; one daughter, Lisa Good; one son, James T. Tyler; five sisters, Dorothy L. Musick, Neta Maston, Kathleen Ashing, JoAnn Ard and Jeannette Pettit; six grandchildren and 17 nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to Saint Francis Hospice in honor of Anne's life, at 6600 South Yale Suite 350, Tulsa, Okla., 74136.


PECOS, Jan. 14, 2000 - Today mostly sunny. High in the upper 60s. East to Northeast wind 5-15 MPH. Tonight incrasing clouds. Lowin the upper 30s. Saturday partly cloudy and warmer. High in the mid 70s.

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