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Monday, July 31, 2000

Ceremony marks official opening of Pecos campus

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The formal dedication of Odessa College's Pecos Technical Training Center was held Saturday morning, as college board members, OC and local officials, along with other Pecos residents toured the facility following a 30-minute ceremony.

"I want to extend congratulations to everyone who played a part in making this a reality," said OC President Dr. Vance Gipson, as part of his remarks during the ceremony. Gipson also presented plaques to several people, including Pecos Economic Development Corporation President Gari Ward and chairman Oscar Saenz, who helped secure the funds needed for the college, and Dr. Norman Harris, who donated the old White's Auto Center building in the Airlawn Shopping Center which OC converted into its new Pecos facility.

"This is what we've been working for for years," said Saenz, who recognized the efforts of Lawrence Jacob, the regional operations manager for the Economic Development Administration. "We went up there and he believed in us," Saenz said.

Jacob said he and Pedro Garza of the EDA's Austin office helped Saenz, Ward and the OC officials obtain an $830,000 loan which went towards construction of the new training center. He presented a symbolic blow-up of the check to Gipson as part of the ceremony.

Harris addressed the first part of his speech to the audience in rhyme, and closed by saying, "My wife Charla and I want to salute you for a marvelous makeover and contribution to the city. Pecos, avail yourselves of it."

Those at the ceremony also heard from James Gilliland, chairman of the OC Board of Trustees, who made the trip down to Pecos along with several other board members and college faculty members.

Work on the Pecos Technical Training facility began in January and was completed in time for summer classes to begin in late May, but the first full session of courses won't begin until late next month. The center has both computer training and interactive video classrooms, along with a vocational training for automotive and air-conditioning repair in the area where the service bays for the old White's building had been located.

Michelle Workman, director of the Pecos Technical Training Center, said "We're working with close to 300 people who have done the admissions process, and close to 90 percent of those people have applied for financial aid, and a great majority of them qualified for that money."

She said the student totals include both high school graduates and those still in high school but who are taking college courses. "All high school juniors and seniors now have a chance to obtain college credits pretty early."

Gipson said OC was already service Pecos High School students through its interactive TV system, which also was connected to high schools in Wink and McCamey. That program will continue, but Gipson said the college's current Pyote facility would close with the opening of the Pecos campus.

"We serve an area of over 32,000 square miles, which is the largest service area in the state and one of the largest in the nation. We're extremely pleased to offer this to the people of Pecos and the surrounding area," he said.

"What we plan to do (at the Pecos center) is to use local instructors, with full-time professors conducting classes by interactive TV," Gipson said. "We'll have some come down from Odessa and we will also have some full-time personnel in the area.

"We will mainly use part-time personnel for now, but as the program grows we will be adding full-time employees," he said.

Workman said fall semester registration would be held on Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., with late registration on Aug. 22 and Aug. 25.

"We will have counselors on-site for anyone needing last-minute advisement," she said.

"At 9 a.m. (Aug. 15) we will also have the `OC experience,' which is orientation for all new students. For any new students we would like to invite them to the `OC experience' so they can get some special treatment.

TxDOT awaits state approval for projects

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The Texas Department of Transportation will not know for a couple of months if they will be able to begin construction on a new office building on the southwest side of Pecos.

TxDOT has already purchased the land for the new building next to Colt Chevrolet on Interstate 20. The facility is designed to replace the current one on Business I-20 at Highway 17, but TxDOT Transportation Maintenance Director Larry Levario said the state legislature must vote on whether or not there is enough funding for this project.

"The legislature is already meeting," Levario said. "They are working on the budgets right now."

"We don't know if we'll get it for this fiscal year," he said.

Levario said they might receive funding for the new building in the next fiscal year, which is September 2000-Aug. 31, 2001.

The Pecos City Council approved considering a rent agreement with TxDOT for land at the city airport, which is to be used for the new Pecos office during their meeting last Tuesday.

TxDOT is also trying to get funding approved for reconstruction of Third Street (Business I-20), a project that has been in the planning stages for over two years.

TxDOT was originally going to repave the surface but according to Levario the bids came to them too high. Work was done earlier this year building new sidewalks and curbs along the street, and now, Levario said, "We decided to go ahead and reconstruct the whole road."

However, the start of that project won't be occurring anytime soon.

"It will probably be in three years before we can reconstruct it," Levario said.

When construction does begin, Levario said one lane would be closed at a time.

"There will be times when we have to close the whole street down," he said.

Levario said there has not been any opposition to closing each side of Third Street. TxDOT had a public meeting to discuss the construction but nobody showed up.

"We probably will have another public meeting for the people and the businesses so they could ask questions," Levario said. "We know they will have some concerns."

Levario also said there would be surface construction on I-20 from the Pecos River on I-20 to Beer Hill (Business I-20 exit) in Ward County starting in September. Asphalt was stripped off the westbound driving (right) lane in that area 2½ years ago due to rutting, and has been awaiting repaving since that time.

Actual construction will begin in November and take approximately six months to finish.

"It should be pretty quick because we're only talking about five miles in both directions," Levario said.

The construction will only be on the driving lanes, leaving the passing lanes open for traffic.

School sign-ups begin; shots needed

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 31, 2000 - Kindergarten through second grade students can register early at Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools and apply for lunch meals over the next two weeks.

The first early registration will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday at Pecos Kindergarten.

Parents or guardians must bring the child's shot records, birth certificate and social security card at the time of registration. Bilingual students must be in attendance during registration so that they can be tested.

Students eligible for kindergarten must be five years old by Sept. 1 and student eligible for Pre-Kindergarten must be four years old by Sept. 1.

Early registration at the kindergarten will also be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information call 447-7259.

Pre-registration for all Austin Elementary School first and second graders will be held at 6 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 10, in the school cafeteria.

First-time students to the district need to bring their birth certificate, social security card and immunization record.

School personnel are also taking applications for free and reduced lunches, at the office located behind the baseball bleachers. Individuals can pick up an application from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

School meals for this year will be student full pay breakfast for 75 cents for kindergarten through sixth grade and 80 cents for seventh through 12th grade students.

Student full pay lunches will be $1.10 for students in kindergarten through third grade; $1.25 for students in fourth through sixth grade and $1.40 for students in seventh through 12th grades.

Student reduced breakfast are 30 cents for kindergarten through 12th grades and student reduced lunch in 40 cents for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.

Visitors' breakfast is $1.50 and visitors' lunches are $3.00. Teacher breakfast is $1.25 and teacher lunch is $2.25.

For more information on school lunches call 447-7266.

Immunization records for all students need to be updated before school starts and Reeves County is one of the counties affected by new requirements on immunizations in Texas.

On April 19, 1999, the Texas Board of Health adopted several revision to the "Immunization Requirements for Children and Students in Texas Public and Private Schools, Child-Care Facilities and Institutions of Higher Education" (Title 25. Health Services, Chapter 97. Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

The changes include Hepatitis A Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 1999, children and students attending school or child-care facilities in 32 Texas-New Mexico border counties will be required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A as follows, children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992 will be required to have received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis A Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and students attending school or child-care facilities in 32 Texas-New Mexico border counties will be required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A as follows: children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992, who are two years old, but not yet three years old will be required to have received one dose of hepatitis A vaccine. Children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992, who are three years old or older will be required to have received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.

Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and students attending school or child-care facilities will be required to be vaccinated against varicella as follows, children born on or after Sept. 2, 1994 will be required to have received one dose of varicella vaccine or to present documentation of previous varicella illness. Children born between Sept. 2, 1988 and Sept. 1, 1994 (inclusive) must show proof by 30 days after their 12th birthday of either having received one dose of varicella vaccine or of having previously had varicella illness.

"This vaccine is only for those children that have not had the chickenpox," said PBT-ISD nurse Mary Sanders.

Hepatitis B Vaccine: effective Aug. 1, 2000, children and students attending school or child-care facilities will be required to be vaccinated against hepatitis B as follows, children born between Sept. 2, 1988 and Sept. 1, 1992 (inclusive) must show proof by 30 days after their 12th birthday of having received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. This requirement is in addition to the rule which went into effect Aug. 1, 1998 affecting children born on or after Sept. 2, 1992. These children are required to have three doses of hepatitis B vaccine by the time they turn five years old.

"Parents or guardians need to bring us their shot records every time they receive a new immunization," said Sanders.

Private physicians can administer immunizations or students can receive them at the Texas Department of Health, who administers the immunizations on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, according to Sanders.

For more information on immunizations contact Mary Sanders at the Pecos Kindergarten at 447-7259 or 448-6705.

Gomez seeks bulletproof vest funding

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 31, 2000 - The Reeves County Sheriff's Department is applying for a grant in order to buy new bulletproof vests for the deputies.

Sheriff Andy Gomez said right now there are not enough of the Kevlar vests for all of his deputies, and the vests the department does have are outdated.

Gomez said they hope to get the grant or sell the machine gun they have in order to have money for the new vests.

After getting the new vests the "field officers will be required to wear them all the time," Gomez said.

When the department receives enough money, they hope to buy 10 new vests, enough for every deputy.

CCRC planning event to help buy school supplies

PECOS, July 31, 2000 - Community Council of Reeves County will be sponsoring a flauta plate fundraiser to raise money to buy school supplies for underprivileged students.

The flauta plates will be sold from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Saragosa Hall, Fifth and Peach streets.

Plates will be $4 and for orders call 447-4913 and on Wednesday orders can be called at 445-5225.

Plates will include four beef flautas, rice, beans, salad, sour cream and guacamole and tea for eat-ins only.


Zelma Hale

Zelma Sue McClain Hale, 72, of Odessa, died Wednesday, July 26, 2000 at Medical Center Hospital.

Services were held Friday, July 28, at Grace Baptist Church in Odessa with the Rev. William Chapman officiating. Burial was in Sunset Memorial Gardens.

She was born July 13, 1928, in Lamesa. She was a homemaker, a Pecos resident for 30 years before moving to Odessa in 1996, was a Baptist and a member of the Moose Lodge.

Survivors include her husband, Charles Hale of Odessa; three sons, Wade McClain of O'Donnell, Mitchell McClain of Abilene and Michael McClain of Greenwood; two step-sons, David Hale of Houston and Russell Hale of Monahans; four daughters, Karen Watts of Odessa, Fonda Hale of Pensacola, Fla., Nan Graham of Granbury and Sherma Bowen of Monahans; four step-daughters, Kathy Purcell and Shirley Gutierrez of Seagraves, Kara Sue Hale and Regina Isabell of Brownfield; three brothers, Harrell Gunter of Sacramento, Calif., Donny Gunter of Union City, Calif. and Bobby Gunter of Ceref, Calif.; four sisters, Velma Frost of Oakfield, Wisc., Renee Khoury of Amarillo, Isabel Cannady of Oakdale, Calif., and Nita Chase of Kingman, Ariz.; 20 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Sunset Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Raymundo Salas

Raymundo Salas, 74, of Pecos, died Saturday, July 29, 2000, at his residence.

Mass was held at 10 a.m., today, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Fairview Cemetery.

He was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Fort Stockton. He was retired, a longtime Pecos resident and a Catholic.

Survivors include his wife, Teresa Salas of Pecos; one daughter, Alicia Ramirez of Pecos; two brothers, Frank Salas of Connecticut, Patricio Salas of Pecos; five sisters, Trine Salas, Concepcion Vasquez, Victoria Orona and Mercy Martinez of Pecos, Juana Hidalgo of Houston; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, July 31, 2000 - High Sunday 96. Low this morning 68. Weekend rainfall at Texas A&M Experiment Station .56 inch. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. East wind 5-10 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High around 100. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around 70. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the lower 70s. High between 100 and 105.

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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

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