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Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Commissioners tour RCDC site, new inmate bus

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 29, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners toured construction at the Reeves County Detention Center Monday morning as part of their regular commissioner's court meeting.

The group also had an opportunity to see the state-of-the art transportation bus for the Reeves County Detention Center and approved the purchase of the new vehicle.

Warden Rudy Franco attended the America Correctional Association Conference and came upon the state of the art inmate transportation bus.

"This was a demo bus they had at the American Correctional Conference," said Franco.

Reeves County plans to purchase the bus to use at the RCDC to transport Bureau of Prison inmates and generate revenue into the county.

Franco said he felt this would be a good opportunity for Reeves County to purchase the 50-seat bus and provide more services to BOP.

Currently, the RCDC does almost $500,000 a year in transportation for the BOP, according to Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

BOP currently has 140,000 inmates and 25 percent qualify for the RCDC, according to Galindo.

The first inmates are scheduled to arrive at the new facility next week. Final work is being done on the RCDC addition, which will double the prison's capacity to 2,000 inmates. The first prisons are expected to arrive by Sept. 6.

In other action Monday, representatives from Inter-Tel of El Paso were on hand to ratify their lease and installation agreement with Reeves County.

Commissioners had approved awarding the telephone bid to Inter-Tel at a meeting earlier this month.

The courthouse, Reeves County Sheriff's Department and the Reeves County Detention Center, will be getting an up-to-date, high-tech phone system.

Installation of the new system is set to begin within the next month.

Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez said the new phone system is something the sheriff's department is looking forward to. "We've been having some problems with the phones for some time now, and we're really excited about the new system," he said.

Commissioners approved keeping the same plan for the county's retirement system, but changing the vesting time from 10 years to eight years.

"When you go to eight year vesting it will be 3-4 years (before workers see) what significant difference it will make on the plan," said Galindo.

Also approved during the meeting was payment invoice #10, to Frank X. Spencer and Associates and an agreement between Reeves County and West Texas Centers for MHMR; insurance for the Balmorhea Senior Citizen Van.

Commissioners approved declaring RCEC washers and dryers salvage and old fixed assets salvage.

Commissioners approved rescinding a bid on tables for the newly constructed dining rooms and day room at the RCDC.

"Neither vendor took exception to the date," said county auditor Lynn Owens. "Now both expressed that it will be impossible to get those items here in time."

"The bid did specify that we needed them by Aug. 29 (Wednesday)," said Galindo.

Galindo told the group that prison officials had found a vendor that can provide these products by Wednesday.

Surgery to give girl chance at full smile

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 29, 2000 - A young Pecos girl is preparing for a second of three major surgeries to correct a birth defect.

Reba Shea Blake is five years old and has already gone through one major surgery, which was the first step in correcting her Mobious syndrome.

Mobious syndrome is a rare congenital defect where some nerves have not formed leaving paralysis in the face that is surgically correctable. In Reba's case the syndrome has only affected the left side of her face but in some cases it does affect both sides of the face.

H. Steve Byrd, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Children's Medical Hospital in Dallas, said no one knows what causes the defect.

Reba is the daughter of James and Jennifer Blake, who said her daughter is unable to smile fully and her eye does not close all the way. She said when Reba sleeps her eye is still half way open causing problems for her when she wakes up.

"In the morning they're irritated," Blake said.

Reba, whose favorite food and drink is pizza and orange juice, will have surgery on September 18 at Children's Medical Hospital.

She will go through a five-hour operation where Byrd and his team will take a nerve out of her leg and place it in her face.

Byrd said this is the first of two surgeries to enable both sides of the face to work together.

"These are fairly extensive procedures to get the face moving," he said.

Byrd said this procedure to move the nerve to Reba's face is not very painful, but results in a lot of swelling and disfigurement from the swelling.

He said it would take about three months for the swelling to go down and "it takes the nerve almost nine months to grow."

After the nerve grows and Reba's face heals she will have to go through another procedure to move a portion of a leg muscle to her face.

Byrd said this procedure would take about eight hours for the team of surgeons to take the muscle and connect it to the good side of her face.

He said the procedures could not be done at the same time because the muscle would suffocate the nerve and not allow it to grow.

Byrd said although the two procedures are extensive they do have a 93 percent success rate.

"If any one surgery fails it's a 100 percent failure," he said.

That is why the surgeries are so far apart, giving Reba time to heal.

Reba's aunt, Lorna Navarette said Reba was only two and a half when she went through her first surgery, to tighten her eye muscles. Navarette said Reba's left eye was unable to correct itself and she could not see out of it because it faced in.

"She wears a patch on the right eye to strengthen the left eye muscles and keep it straight," she said.

Navarette said that as Reba grows she might have to have another surgery to tighten those eye muscles.

Navarette said Reba understands she is different but is a very cheerful little girl.

Blake attests to that, "she's my happy one."

Reba, who has two younger brothers, Tyler James, 3, and Nathan Robert, 6 months, loves to learn and already knows how to add and subtract.

Blake said that Reba loves to help her with her brothers and by the end of Reba's first day at Kindergarten she was already the teacher's helper.

"She's a real good helper," Blake said. "She's real active and always wants to help."

When she is not playing with her brothers or her cousin Nicholas she loves to go swimming. Now that she goes to school everyday she loves to do stuff there too.

"I like color painting and gluing with my fingers," Reba said. "Kindergarten is a good place to play."

Reba said she would like to be a dancer when she grows up and enjoys doing a lot of different things like riding her bicycle and learning how to write her name and other words.

"She likes to do everything," Blake said. "She's one of those kids that's happy in every environment."

Money is being raised for Reba's surgery through a drawing next month. Each ticket is $1 and the winner will be picked on September 10 to win a handcrafted photo album. Tickets can be purchased at the Pecos Enterprise.

Crockett change going smoothly, principal reports

Staff Writer

PECOS, August 29, 2000 - Classes at Crockett Middle School are going very smoothly after the first two weeks of seventh and eighth grade students combined.

"It seems like all of the students and all of the teachers have always been here," Crockett Principal Juanita Davila said.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members voted last year to combine both grades at Crockett for the first time since the 1987-88 school year, as well as construction a new science lab on the south side of the school.

Davila said it seems that the new science wing has always been there as well.

The science teachers are now teaching their students how to make power point presentations that Davila hopes they can show to other students, faculty and parents.

"They're excited," she said. "All the equipment is being put to full use."

The currant enrollment is at 418 students, but is expected to rise a little after Labor Day.

Davila said combining the seventh and eighth grade students has not been a problem, they have not had to deal with any fights or arguments.

"They all get along, they mingle between classes, they eat lunch together and see each other before and after school," she said.

The band is also a combination of the two grades. Davila said there are two band periods and both have seventh and eighth grade students combined.

She also said the band would participate in the Diez Y Seis parade.

Davila said the student council has already met and the volleyball teams have started their season, while the football players having their first game on Thursday at the field behind Crockett.

"We're gearing up and ready to go," she said.

Davila said the teachers are trying to integrate fun into their curriculum because she believes that when they make it fun the students do better.

"When we enjoy what we're doing, I think we are more affective," she said.

Davila is planning an open house for September 12 and invites parents and community members to come and take a look at the school and new building.

Youth volleyball sign-up deadline set for Friday

PECOS, August 29, 2000 - Friday is the final day to sign up for the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department's fall youth volleyball league.

Boys and girls entering grades 3 through 6 are eligible to participate in the league, with a registration fee of $10 per player. The deadline to sign-up is Friday, Sept. 1. For further information, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

Lunch fundraiser planned Thursday at RCH cafeteria

PECOS, August 29, 2000 - An enchilada fundraiser has been set from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Thursday at the Reeves County Hospital Cafeteria.

The fundraiser is being held to help out with medical expenses for Mary Dominguez, and the enchilada plates will be $4 apiece.

For deliveries call 447-3551, ext. 242.


PECOS, August 29, 2000 - High Monday 102. Low this morning 72. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low 65-70. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High around 98. Wednesday night: Mostly clear. Low 65-70. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Low 65-70. High near 100.

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Pecos Enterprise
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