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Tuesday, February 22, 2000

Disabled boys have new home with Thorp

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 - A child smiles from his bed, in a room decorated like a nursery, but which looks more like a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.

"This used to be our garage, but I converted it into a bedroom," said Vicky Thorp, who decorated it and painted it to resemble a nursery, for two severely disabled young children who are currently living there.

"We have enough equipment and supplies to resemble a small NICU," said Thorp, who became the mother of the two young boys last Tuesday, when she adopted the two young boys who are currently on life-support.

"These children are so hard to place in foster care, because of their special needs," said Thorp.

Thorp, who is a foster mother, adopted both Gary Daniel, 3 and Devin, 3, last Tuesday, and had previously adopted a 10-year-old-girl, at birth and has a 7-year-old, Casey, who she also adopted some time ago.

Thorp said she chose to adopt the children in order to have them remain with the family. "With the new laws on foster care, they can only stay with a foster family for one year," she said.

Thorp has nurses that help her throughout the day, but the nights are the hardest when she is by herself caring for the special children.

Leo Hung with Professional Pharmacy supplies all the medical equipment in the home. "Gary Taylor has also been a blessing to me and my little family," Thorp added.

Other people in the community have assisted Thorp with her little children, including the Slacks, Gail and Hugh Box and Calvary Baptist Church.

Daniel was in his bed, smiling and gurgling, but Devin, was absent for the interview. "They had to take him to El Paso, because he was bleeding internally and we couldn't figure out from where," said Thorp.

Her medical background has helped her in caring for these children. "I used to work as the nurses assistant with Nurses Unlimited for about five years," said Thorp. "Now, I know how to do everything from drawing blood to doing IV's."

Thorp has cared for about 67 children in her years as a foster mother, which began about 15 years ago. "That's a long time ago, when I first started taking in these children," she said.

Thorp had also had another child living with her for the past seven years, Louis, who she lost last January. "We still grieve for him," said Thorp. "Casey was very attached to him, she had grown up with him."

Casey will be celebrating her 8th birthday on Feb. 26. "I adopted her after I had had her for three years," said Thorp. "They were going to give her up for adoption and said oh, no, you don't she's my baby."

Thorp states that she just hopes God gives her the strength to raise her "special" children.

"It's really hard sometimes, but I look to Him for help," said Thorp. "These special children sometimes don't live very long and that's hard too."

Thorp stated that she has a wonderful relationship with the CPS (Child Protective Services) Midland Group. "The CPS here is great, but I work more with the Midland group," she said.

Last Christmas the nurses who help care for the children, Mary Pacheco, of Fort Stockton, Anita Rivera, Hilda Rodriguez, Myra Bitolas, Margie Windham and Olivia Ramos, Criselda Lara, bought the children a 25-inch television. "I though that was so sweet, because they knew I couldn't afford something like that," said Thorp. "And they really have enjoyed it."

"These children are my life and I've really enjoyed them," said Thorp.

Caring for the children runs into a lot of money, but thanks to the caring people of Pecos, the job hasn't been as bad. "The people are really great, they have helped us so much," said Thorp.

Last year when little Louis died, the family received assistance from several individuals and groups. "The outpouring of help and caring was so great," said Thorp. "The group at Valley Motors paid for his plot and all the churches came by."

The Church of Christ did the service for the family and others helped them out through that terrible time. "I was the one who made the decision to take him off of life support, even though I had not adopted him, I had had him so long the court had given me all the authority," said Thorp.

Thorp stayed by little Louis' side and watched him die a peaceful death, holding his hand last year. "The anniversary of his death was this month and it's been really hard, but I have to keep strong for my other children," she said.

Today, Thorp received a new little one she will be caring for over the coming months. "I have to get to know her and she needs to get to know me," she said.

"I'll keep doing this until I just can't do it anymore," said Thorp, who chose a few years ago to keep special needs children.

"People care for these children, but it's hard to place them in foster care, and they deserve better than to be placed in a nursing home or taken off of life support," said Thorp. "They deserve love and caring and special attention," she said.

Thorp stated that she realizes these children are severely impaired. "But they do know when someone is with them and that they care," she said. "And as long as I'm alive, I'll fight for their lives," she said.

Last year, an individual in the community who wishes to remain anonymous provided the family with an air conditioner. "The water cooler was just not enough, not with all this equipment in here," said Thorp. "And this kind individual sent his crew and put up a new air conditioning system."

Of course, the electric bill is a lot higher now, but the children are a lot more comfortable, according to Thorp.

"These boys are a blessing to me," she said. "I want to make sure they're comfortable," she said.

The children are cared for primarily by an El Paso physician, Dr. David Isaac, along with Dr. George of Fort Stockton.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy with all the stress, but I know this is something that I have to do," said Thorp. "It gets bad sometimes, when the little ones get really sick, we feel like it takes forever for the ambulance to arrive, but it's only a few minutes."

"Nobody knows what I go through," said Thorp. "But this is what I chose and I'll keep doing this."

If you would like to help Vicky out, with her "special" children, contact her at 447-3445 or go by 2222 Hackberry and visit the little ones, at their small NICU, at home.

Deishler joins Armstrong as P-B-T board candidate

PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -A second candidate entered the race for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board on the first day of filing on Monday.

Paul Deishler joined incumbent Steve Armstrong in seeking one of the seats on the P-B-T ISD board, in the May 6 election. Deishler signed up to have his name on the ballot, Monday afternoon, according to P-B-T secretary Jo Allgood.

Two positions are currently open on the board, for a three-year period.

Armstrong trying for his second consecutive three-year term on the board, after serving there during the 1980s. The other school board member whose term is up for election, Freddy Lujan, has not filed yet to run in the May election.

Aside from the school board, area voters will also be casting ballots on May 6 for the Balmorhea ISD board, along with city elections in Pecos, Barstow, Toyah and Balmorhea. Reeves County voters also will cast ballots for the at-large seat on the Reeves County Hospital District board, and the seats on the RCH board for Precinct 1 and Precinct 3 also will be on the ballot that day.

In the city elections, terms up are for mayor and two council positions, and all seats are for two-year periods. The hospital district seats also are two-year terms, while those up for election on the Balmorhea school board are three-year terms.

Area receives much-needed rain overnight

Staff Writer
PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -February is shaping up to be a pretty rainy month for Pecos, at least compared to most other months over the past several years.

A thunderstorm rolled through central Reeves County and western Ward County about 11 p.m. Monday, dropping between one tenth and three-tenths of an inch of rain in a line along Interstate 20 between Toyah and Barstow.

Downtown, KIUN radio reported .2 inch of rain fell, while other parts of the city received up to .3 inch of rain from the storm, which lasted a little over a half hour. Combined with the slower rains which fell in the area on Groundhog Day, it brought February's rain total downtown to .4 inches - not a great amount, but 10 percent of what the city received for all of 1999, when just 4.02 inches of rain was recorded.

To the west, the Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station received .19 inch of rain, while Toyah got a little less, according to Gary Ingram, even though the National Weather Service reported heavy rains and possible small hail in the area.

"We got a tenth of an inch or so, not much more," Ingram said. "The lightning flashed and the wind blew a whole lot, but it didn't rain for more than a couple of minutes."

Over in Barstow, about a quarter inch of rain fell from the storm, according to the Ward County Irrigation District No. 1 office.

The storm was part of a line of showers that past through West Texas overnight, as part of a Pacific front that is passing through the state. The front, which brought heavy rains and flooding to Southern California over the weekend, reached the Texas Panhandle during the night, and wind gusts of up to to 45 mph were recorded as a thunderstorm moved across Lubbock International Airport just before sunrise.

Low clouds were in place over much of the western half of North Texas late this morning. Most stations reported readings in the mid- to upper 50s. Thunderstorms were rumbling across portions of the low Rolling Plains.

Warm weather was expected to continue the rest of the day with temperatures rising to near 80 in the state's southernmost points.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Saturday voting set at courthouse next two weeks

PECOS, Feb. 22, 2000 -Early voting by personal appearance is continuing at the Reeves County Courthouse and individuals who are too busy to do so during the week will have a chance to vote the next two weekends.

Early voting for the March 14 primary elections will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Reeves County Courthouse. The courthouse will again be open on Saturday, March 4, for voting early by personal appearance, from noon until 5 p.m.

Early voting will also run during the week at the Courthouse through Friday, March 10, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

"If they have already sent an application for a ballot by mail and haven't received a response, they need to contact me and we'll let them know why," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

To find out if the application was rejected or not received at all, call the county clerk's office at 445-5467.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers drawn: 5-12-19-23-36. Number matching five of five: 0. Matching four of five: 237. Prize: $818.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 0-8-2 (zero, eight, two)


James A. Daniels

James A. Daniels, 64, died Monday, Feb. 21, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the Barstow Cemetery with Rev. Jim Daniels officiating.

He was born July 18, 1935, in Norman, Okla., was retired, had lived in Pecos since 1967, and was a Baptist.

Survivors include his wife, Verma Daniels of Barstow; three sons, Rev. Jim Daniels, Jerry and Mike Daniels, all of Midland; three brothers, Wayne Daniels of Pecos and Rev. Vernon Daniels and Harry Daniels of Norman, Okla. and five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Barstow Baptist Church in Barstow.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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