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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Council votes to keep current insurance firm

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 31, 2000 - The Town of Pecos City Council decided against changing the insurance company that administrates the city `cafeteria' insurance plan after listening to Police Chief Clay McKinney's recommendation in a special meeting of the council Monday night.

McKinney is a member of the council-appointed insurance committee that met with representatives from the currant company, Colonial Life Insurance, and American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) to discuss the advantages each company had to offer in their `cafeteria' plans, which allow city works a variety of options in their insurance.

McKinney said the committee reviewed each policy from both companies, but because of the short deadline were unable to go over every aspect of each policy.

He then recommended to the Council to stay with Colonial and also to have the employees meet with the company before choosing another insurance company.

"They ought to see our provider first," he said.

On a related topic, McKinney also informed the council that a number of complaints have been said about the currant major medical insurance provider, New Era.

Pecos Police Investigator Paul Dieshler told council members that he personally has had problems with New Era not paying bills that their insurance covers.

He said the bills have been coming to him, even though the company told him they have been paid.

"I'm not happy with them at all," Dieshler said. "That's the worst insurance I've seen."

McKinney asked the council permission to allow the committee to look at different companies.

"At least to look and see what we can get or if this is the best we can get," he said.

Along with deciding to keep Colonial as the cafeteria plan administrator, council members also voted to allow the city insurance committee to look at other companies for medical insurance.

The council also requested the committee to meet at least once every quarter.

Council members also appointed McKinney, Interim City Manager Octavio Garcia, Councilman Johnny Terrazas and Mayor Ray Ortega to serve on the site selection committee for the new Pecos Municipal Law Enforcement Center.

The four men will join James Parkey, president of Corplan Corrections and U.S. Marshall Billy Johnson to meet and review various sites for the new facility.

The city is planning to build a new facility, which would serve as the Pecos Police Headquarters along with housing about 100 inmates for the U.S. Marshal's Service who are awaiting trial in U.S. District Court in Pecos. Currently, most of the Marshal's Service inmates are housed in out-of-town facilities before their trials in Pecos.

Early voting rises slightly with election a week away

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 31, 2000 - The pace of early voting is has increased slightly for the Nov. 7 General Election, according to Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

Florez said that 642 individuals have already cast their ballots by personal appearance, as of Monday.

"We have mailed out 196 ballots and have gotten back 57 of those," said Florez. Today is also the last day for voters to request ballots by mail. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. at the County Clerk's office in the Reeves County Courthouse.

Early voting averaged about 95 people a day during the first week it was offered, election judge Norma Briceno said last week, but fewer than 50 took advantage of Saturday's early voting period at the courthouse.

With no local contested races and only one major contested area race, for the 23rd Congressional District, early voting for the election a week from today has run well below the totals for the March Democratic Party primary, but is at about the same as for the April runoff elections. Over 2,100 people voted early in the two-week period before the March election, while for the runoff races in April, 1,068 people cast their ballots early.

Early voting will continue until Friday at 5 p.m. on the first floor of the Reeves County Courthouse. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, all 12 county polling sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for people to cast their ballots.

Voters in Barstow wanting to vote early can either drive to the Ward County Courthouse in Monahans between today and Friday, or call the Ward County Clerk's office to request a mail ballot before 5 p.m. today. On Nov. 7, local voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Barstow Community Center.

Group's visit part of regional tourism effort

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 31, 2000 - The Town of Pecos will be seeing many new faces this week when a tour group from the East Coast pulls through town.

Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera said a group of 21 people, mostly senior citizens, are scheduled to arrive in Pecos at about noon on Thursday.

The group is scheduled to be served lunch at the West of the Pecos Museum before being given an afternoon tour of the museum.

Later that night the group will meet the Richard and Lillian Creasy at the State Theater for a reception and special showing of "The Crew."

Rivera said this group is a direct result of the combined effort of many West Texas communities including Odessa, Fort Stockton, Pecos, the Prude Ranch in Fort Davis and other towns and businesses in the Big Bend area.

The communities got together to raise money to be able to attend a tourism convention in Nashville, Tenn. Rivera said the purpose of attending the convention was to give a presentation about West Texas and to "try and attract some of the tours to West Texas."

He said the idea of attracting tour groups to West Texas has been discussed before.

"This is something that's been discussed on and off for years," Rivera said.

This tour group is scheduled to fly into Midland/Odessa and spend seven to eight days in West Texas. Pecos is the last stop on the tour before the guests fly back to the East Coast.

Rivera said the Chamber is paying for the tour guests to stay one night and hopefully spend money in Pecos.

"It's not costing them anything to come here," he said.

Rivera said hopefully the tour group would enjoy West Texas and the "small town hospitality" so much they would go home and recommend the tour to others.

"It's very important we try to build up our tourism," he said.

Hearings planned on scientific work set for WIPP site

PECOS, October 31, 2000 - The Department of Energy will hold two public hearings in New Mexico in November on a draft environmental assessment for conducting astrophysics and other basic scientific experiments at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The hearings come following the release of the draft environmental assessment on Oct. 23.

The first hearing will be at the Holiday Inn, 4048 Cerrillos Rd., in Albuquerque, N.M. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, while the second will be on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Parks Hwy. in Carlsbad, N.M. Both hearings will be divided into two sessions, from 3 to 6 p.m. CST and from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. CST.

Written comments of the draft assessment will be accepted through Nov. 22. For further information, contact the U.S. Department of Energy, Carlsbad Field Office, at 505-234-7327.


Ruby Walker

Services are incomplete for Ruby P. Walker, 91, of Pecos, who died Monday, Oct. 30, at her residence.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Hilaria Garcia

Hilaria "Lola" R. Garcia, 86, of Barstow, died Sunday, Oct. 29, 2000, at Odessa Regional Hospital.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Martinez Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Barstow with burial in Barstow Cemetery.

She was born June 14, 1914, in Falls City, was a lifetime resident of Barstow, a homemaker and a Catholic.

She was preceded in death by her husband Juan G. Garcia.

Survivors include five sons, Florencio R. Garcia of Barstow, Domingo R. Garcia of La Puente, Calif., Bernabe R. Garcia of Cleburne, Juan "John" Garcia Jr. of Fort Stockton and Santos R. Garcia of Pecos; four daughters, Leonor G. Carrasco of Monahans, Isabel G. Abila, Luisa G. Mendoza and Guadalupe G. Wilkins of Barstow; one brother, Hilario Riojas of Karnes City; 36 grandchildren; 66 great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, October 31, 2000 - High Monday 80. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms early: Then decreasing cloudiness. Low in the mid 40s. South wind 15-25 mph and gusty: Becoming west and diminishing to 5-10 mph. Wednesday: Mostly sunny and cooler. High in the upper 60s. West wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 40s. Thursday: Increasing cloudiness. High 65-70.

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