Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, July 14, 2000

School board hikes employee pay, tax rate

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - Good news for all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD personnel was announced at last night's regular monthly school board meeting, which approved a new salary and compensation plan for administrative/professional and auxiliary personnel for the 2000-2001 school year.

"Cookie (Canon, P-B-T's financial director) and I went to a workshop, where they told us we had to go to a 2 percent or 2.7 percent cost-of-living pay raises," said Assistant Superintendent Gome Olibas.

The Texas Association of School Boards put on the workshop they attended, and the district has opted to adopt the TASB model as far as salary and compensations.

"The look at inflation and the cost of living and they came up with the figure of 2.7 percent, which we didn't think we could do, but we could do the 2 percent," said Olibas.

"Our salary and compensation plans from the TASB model, which we had opted to go with," said superintendent Don Love.

"We started working on proposals and came up with five salary proposals," said Olibas.

He outlined the five different scenarios for the district and gave the board a proposal recommended by both Canon and Olibas and superintendent Don Love.

"Anything that you do, you do from now on and basically we're paying for everything in here, the state is not giving us anything," said Love. "It's up to us to set the budget."

The proposal added $351,817 to the budget, and would include teacher step-raises, a raise of 3 percent for teachers with 21 plus years experience, 3 percent for directors and administrators and 5 percent for all auxiliary personnel.

Love told the board that there are currently 57 teachers in the district with 20-plus years experience and that that number would go up to 59.

Love explained that the raises would begin at midpoint. "The midpoint of $6.40 would be a 32 cent raise," said Love. "A couple of years ago we were giving 10 cents," he said.

For instance for an employee earning $12.92 an hour that would mean a 65 cent pay raise.

"This amount is what I have budgeted, if you choose to down or up it's up to you," said Love.

Board member Frank Apolinar said he would still like to see the clerks, nurses, and manual laborers get larger raises. "Some of them are at the poverty line and they should get more money," he said.

"Do you feel like this is a stepping stone, something these employees can look forward to?" asked board member David Flores.

"I think we've been stuck in the past and we're trying to correct it," said Olibas.

"The beauty of this system is flexibility," said Canon. "There will be a year in there that we're too poor and we're not married to the step-raises," she said.

"If we have a shortfall, what will this do to the budget, with the raises and all," asked vice-president Earl Bates.

Canon stated that this year the state owed the district money. "The money we budgeted is closer, so that it won't be prorated," said Canon. "It's a pretty close estimate."

There are currently 22 administrators/directors/trainers/band in the school system; 207 teachers; 3 nurses; 29 secretaries/clerks; 70 teacher's aides; 44 maintenance/custodians; 45 cafeteria employees and 12 bus drivers.

"Remember that what you give them this year, you can't take it back," said Canon.

Board members approved the pay raises. "I feel like this is a way to start somewhere and not fall back," said Canon.

All board members voted for the proposal with the exception of board member Frank Apolinar, Jr.

Duke chosen as principal for Zavala's sixth graders

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - With the new school year just around the corner, principals and vice-principals for the various campuses were approved during last evening's regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting.

Cindy Duke will be the new principal there for the upcoming school year, when Zavala will be the district's sixth grade campus. She was previously a Crockett Middle School history and gifted and talented (GT) teacher.

Victor Tarin will be the new principal at Austin Elementary School, which includes first and second graders. Tarin had been Lamar Middle School's principal and before that had been the assistant principal at Pecos High School. He replaces Beau Jack Hendrick, who retired in May.

Juanita Davilla will remain principal at Crockett Middle School, but she will now be helped by Frank Morin, who will be Assistant Principal at that campus. The district created the new position because Crockett will now be the campus for both seventh and eighth grade students. The school has only been home to eighth graders for the past 12 years, and the building is currently under construction to accommodate the other students.

Lucila Valenzuela has been named Alternative Education Program Academics Assistant Principal at Lamar Middle School, which will now house the alternative program that had been at the Carver Campus. Valenzuela had been the Zavala Middle School principal prior to her new assignment.

The Carver Campus on East 12th Street will now be home for the Pecos Head Start program, which had been using the old Barstow Elementary School building for the past two years.

The new district's ESL teacher will be Angelica Valenzuela. Valenzuela had been an Austin Elementary School first grade bilingual teacher.

Alvino Garcia will be coaching at the high school level and will be an English teacher. Garcia had been teaching physical education at Austin Elementary School.

Other reassignments include:

· Crissy Dominguez from Zavala Middle School sixth grade special education inclusion teacher to Pecos High School Special Education inclusion teacher;

· Oscar Guerrero from Zavala Middle School sixth grade teacher to Crockett Middle School history teacher;

· Rebecca Jeffries from Zavala Middle School sixth grade teacher to Crockett Middle School Special Education inclusion teacher;

· Betty Diane Paz from Bessie Haynes Elementary School fifth grade teacher to Zavala Middle School sixth grade Special Education inclusion teacher;

· Jesus Prieto from Zavala Middle School sixth grade ESL teacher to Austin Elementary School first grade bilingual teacher.

Appointments were:

· Melvin Paul Davis, Bachelor of Science/Applied Physics/Angelo State University; one year experience, Pecos High School physics teacher;

· Judy Ann Fuentes, Bachelor of Arts/Psychology/Sul Ross State University, no experience, assignment, Pecos Kindergarten Special Education Teacher;

· Virginia Hunt, Bachelor of Arts/Psychology/Sul Ross State University, no experience, assignment, Bessie Haynes Elementary School fourth grade teacher;

· Joy Lewis, Masters of Education/Education/Sul Ross State University, 29 years experience, assignment, Bessie Haynes Elementary School fourth grade teacher;

· John Mitchell, Bachelor Business Administration/Management/University of Texas Permian Basin, no experience, assignment, Zavala Middle School sixth grade teacher;

· Anita Rutledge Moody, Bachelor of Science/Interdisciplinary Studies/Sul Ross State University, 2 years experience, assignment, Bessie Haynes Elementary School fourth grade teacher;

Brian Williams, Masters of Education/Education/Sul Ross State University, 21 years experience, assignment, Pecos High School geography teacher. Williams resigned his former contract as a world geography teacher and coach at Pecos High School.

Resignations came from:

· Lacey Exum, Special Education teacher for the visually impaired/District;

· Martha Franks, fourth grade bilingual teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary School;

· Winnette Hillger, Special Education teacher/Pecos High School;

· Peggy Jones, English teacher/Pecos High School;

· April Malo, Spanish teacher/Pecos High School;

· Lezlie Olibas, English/Journalism/SOL/ESL teacher/Pecos High School;

· Kenneth Ragland, Assistant band director/Crockett Middle School;

· Tabitha Rosales, fourth grade teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary School;

· Dina Williams, fourth grade teacher/Bessie Haynes Elementary School;

· Kenneth Wooley, Special Education teacher/Crockett Middle School.

Retiring will be John Barfield, physics/physical science teacher/Pecos High School.

City discusses extension site, OKs loan plan

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - Terry Holder, Reeves County Extension agent, explained his office's need for a new building to the Pecos City Council yesterday morning.

Holder said the extension office would like to move into the old Billy Sol Estes building on Balmorhea Highway.

The extension offices are currently on the east side of the old Reeves County Hospital on Daggett Street. Holder said that right now they have no storage space. They also have lost their meeting room because of scheduling problems with the Meals on Wheels program.

"The new building could be used at anytime," Holder said. "This will help a great deal to facilitate us for meetings."

Councilman Ricky Herrera asked if there would have to be some renovation.

Holder said that most of the building is in good shape except for parts in the back.

Pecos Fire Chief Roy Pena said that he had checked out the building and two-thirds of it was in great shape. He agreed with Holder that the back area needed to be worked on.

Holder said the biggest expense would be the heating and cooling systems.

Lydia Prieto, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Tax Assessor Collector, said the property would also include barns behind the building and possibly the old beer depot building.

The Council decided to postpone their decision and place it on the next agenda.

Council members did approve action on loans totaling over $8.9 million, which will be used in the construction of the new South Worsham Water Field.

Larry Skiles, Financial Advisor for the city, read notices of combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation to the Council. These notices will soon be published for the public.

The Town of Pecos City will be receiving a loan that will not exceed $8,375,000 from the State to extend the Waterworks System. The city is beginning construction on the South Worsham Well Field and need the money to cover the expenses.

The city will also have a second "backup" loan in the amount of $460,000. This loan will not be used unless needed.

The Council will sell certificates of obligation to the State at a one-percent interest fee but will not receive the total amount of money at one time.

Steve McCormick, Finance Director for Pecos, will receive the construction bills. Once he has looked over and approved the expenses he will send them to the Water Development Board in Austin. That board will then pay the bills.

"We'll only use as much as we need," McCormick said.

The money will only be drawn out as the project progresses allowing the city to pay less interest if the total amount is not used.

The Council approved After approving the request of purchase on the foreclosed property located at 402 South Mesquite Street by Benjamin Munoz for $3,500, City Attorney Scott Johnson asked the Council to consider a policy on tax foreclosed properties.

Johnson suggested that once a bid for a foreclosed property was approved nobody could submit more bids.

Prieto told the Council that in 1996 the school board made a policy allowing only current taxpayers to make bids.

The Council discussed and approved the suggested policy, and in a separate action, reappointed Prieto to the position of tax assessor collector for the Town of Pecos City.

Pecos Health and Sanitation Director Armando Gil discussed three items on the agenda with the Council.

The first was a request to pass an amended ordinance for animal control.

Gil said the ordinance reads that a dog can be unrestrained as long as it is with its' owner. He said there has been problems were the dogs don't listen to their owners when someone walks by, and is requesting that all dogs must be chained up or fenced in at all times.

Councilman Johnny Terrazas questioned the part of the ordinance stating "when an Enforcement Agent has commenced pursuit of an animal running at large, he may continue said pursuit and follow the animal onto any unenclosed private property for the purpose of apprehending it as soon as possible."

Gil explains that the enforcement agent may follow a dog onto private property and still have the authority to pick up the animal.

"This ordinance puts some teeth into it," Johnson said.

The Council approved this amended ordinance.

The second item Gil requested was the amended ordinance regarding the regulations of food establishments.

Gil said there are new rules made by the Texas Department of Health and he would like to add these laws in the ordinance.

Gil would also like to change permit fees. The changes apply to all food vendors, temporary vendors and restaurants as well as seasonal food booths.

The following fee schedule applies to permits issued under this ordinance.

1 or 2 persons employed - $25.00;

2 and not more than 5 - $40.00;

5 and not more than 10 - $50.00;

10 or more - $60.00;

Mobile/Commissary Concessions - $40.00;

Seasonal (one time fee) - $40.00;

Temporary (14 days) - $30.00;

Snow Cone Stands - $40.00;

Gil assured the Council that the permit fee raise is still comparatively low.

"We're still way below the permit fees of anywhere in the Permian Basin," Gil said.

The Council decided to pass the amended ordinance.

The last item Gil reported on was the recommendation from the plumbing board on inspection fees.

Pecos does not have a plumbing inspector right now.

City Manager Kenneth Neal said that both candidates for the plumbing inspector failed the State test to be licensed.

Currently an inspector from Monahans is traveling here to do the city inspections.

Gil recommended that the Council raise the plumbing inspection fees to $12.50 per inspection to cover the cost of not having a city plumbing inspector.

The Council approved an ordinance to provide that fees for plumbing permits be set at $12.50.

These notices of obligation and they will be published in the Enterprise in the near future.

The Council discussed the proposal for the engineering and management services for the Texas Community Development Program projects.

They discovered by hiring both services now Pecos would receive five more points from the state for the projects.

The Council was told that by doing this it was kind of an open application to help Pecos get additional five points to get what the city wants later.

The Council approved hiring Frank X. Spencer and Associates for the engineering services and Carlos Colinas-Vargas and Associates for the management services.

The Council also approved the second reading of the ordinance for closing the railroad crossing on Alberta Street as well as Lillian Creasy's request to move the street dance for the grand opening of the State Theater to July 22.

They approved the accounts payable, the fire report and the minutes of the last meeting on June 22.

Task force's afternoon raid nets suspect on heroin charge

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - A Pecos man was arrested Thursday after a narcotics search uncovered drugs and paraphernalia in the residence.

Officers with the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force made the arrest after executing a narcotics search warrant at 915 S. Cherry St., the home of Armando Martinez and Gloria Hernandez.

"Once the Swat Team had executed the warrant and the residence was secured, I met with Mr. Martinez and Ms. Hernandez and provided them with a copy of the search warrant issued by Judge Amonario Ramon," said Pecos Police Investigator Paul Deishler.

He said the officers then proceed to search the residence for narcotics or other drug related paraphernalia.

Officer Armando Granado located a balloon and a syringe inside the bathroom of the residence. Inside the balloon was an undetermined quantity of a substance believed to be heroin, according to the officers.

Officers continued their search of the premises, and inside the master bedroom officers located packaging material commonly used in the packaging of heroin.

Martinez, 29, was arrested and charged with the offense of possession of a controlled substance (heroin) within a 1,000 feet of a school (Pecos Elementary School).

He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in reference to the packaging material that was located inside his residence. His bond has been set at $25,000 by Judge Ramon.

"The investigation is continuing and more arrests are forthcoming," said Deishler.

Deadline Monday for crop certificates to get to FSA office

Monday is the deadline at the Reeves/Loving County FSA Office for producers in Reeves and Loving County to complete their 2000 spring seeded crop certification. Certifications after the 17th will be charged a late file fee.

Area businesses eligible for SBA fire disaster loans

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - Businesses in New Mexico and five Texas counties that may have been indirectly affected by May's forest fires are eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Economic injury loans are available to small businesses that suffered substantial losses of income as the result of the fires that burned in Texas and New Mexico between May 5 and June 9 of this year. The loans are not intended to cover physical damages resulting from the fires.

Businesses in all areas of New Mexico except for Union and Hidalgo counties, plus Reeves, Loving, Culberson, Hudspeth and El Paso counties in Texas are eligible. For further information, call the SBA's toll-free number at 1-800-366-6303 or 817-267-4688 for the hearing impaired. The deadline for filing in Feb. 13, 2001.

Toone to close grocery after 52 years in Pecos

EDITOR'S NOTE: The last three paragraphs of the story on the closing of Toone's Grocery were left out of Thursday's Enterprise. The full story is printed below:
Staff Writer

PECOS, July 14, 2000 - A longtime Pecos business will be closing its doors soon with a feeling of sadness.

"It's been a most enjoyable 52 years, but I need to close down before I make a career out of it," said a smiling Jimmy Toone, who will be closing the doors to Toone's Grocery Store for the last time this month.

Toone's, located 2136 W. Third St., Has spent over a half century in Pecos providing groceries and supplies to many farmers, ranchers and community members.

Toone came here from the El Paso area in October of 1948, during the Bracero season when Pecos would see between 25,000 and 28,000 cotton pickers in the area.

"We catered mostly then taking care of laborers for the farmers," said Toone.

In about 1946-47, many farmers from the El Paso area moved to Pecos and started putting in new land, drilling wells and growing cotton, according to Toone.

The building was an old army barrack, which was remodeled to resemble a store. "We operated for 2-3 years and saw very few of our customers," said Toone. "Orders were written out in Spanish."

In the early `50's, the store got a Bracero contract and they'd bus laborers here from the El Paso area. "They brought them here to grocery shop," Toone said. "Many times, there would be about 1,000 men waiting outside the store to buy groceries.

"Pecos people have been very supportive and we are greatly appreciative," said Toone, a World War II veteran who served as a pilot, before returning to civilian life, opening up his store in Pecos and raising a family here.

He and his wife, Melba, who died in 1993, raised three children, Sherma, Johnny and Jaime. He also has six grandchildren.

"I'm looking forward to some repairs to old age," said Toone about his upcoming retirement.

Toone plans to have hip and knee surgery that he hopes will get him back on the golf course in the future.

"I hope to be back on the golf course some day and I only dream of being on the tennis court," Toone said.

He added that if his health were better he wouldn't even be thinking of retirement. "If I felt good, I wouldn't think about quitting. It's not my desire to throw in the towel."

Toone said that he and his assistant Joe Herrera, who has been with him almost since the store opened, were thankful for the support of the people and the many friends they made throughout the years.

Herrera has been a Toone's employee for over 40 years.

"It's been a lot of work, but I've enjoyed being associated with Pecos and the people," said Toone. "It has been an enjoyable 52 years."

He thanked the community, farmers and ranchers for the past 50 something years and stated that he would miss each and every one of them. "I'm sure going to miss everyone and visiting with them. But I thank them for being here for us and for being such good friends," he said.


PECOS, July 14, 2000 - High Thursday 104. Low this morning 69. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 70s. East wind 5-10 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High around 104. South wind 10-15 mph. Saturday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 70s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Low in the 70s. High 100-105.

Search Entire Site:

Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise