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Wednesday, January 10, 2001

TxDOT helps secure new van for Seniors

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - The Reeves County Senior Citizens Center is now able to service all senior citizens in Pecos with the help of a new wheel-chair accessible van, purchased with a Texas Department of Transportation grant.

Alfredo Gonzales, TxDOT's public transportation coordinator in the Odessa District turned over the keys to the 2001 Ford Aerolite to the Senior Citizens Center's Director, Donna Woodard, earlier this month.

"The vehicle will be used to transport elderly and disabled persons served by the Reeves County agency," Gonzales said. "That's about a thousand to 1,200 trips every month."

Woodard said the Senior Center's staff began fundraising efforts and paperwork for the first time grant in December of 1998.

The new 13-passenger van or "mini-bus" cost about $50,000, according to Woodard and has many safety features including wheel chair locks.

As part of the grant, the Senior Center had to give a 20 percent local match to the total amount, which comes out to be $10,000.

"We've been doing fund-raisers for two years," Woodard said.

Woodard said that not all of the $10,000 has been raised yet but the Senior Center raised enough to be able to receive the van now.

Woodard said the center would begin using the new van once all the final paperwork is finished.

The center currently has a 1995 GMC seven-passenger minivan that has been used to transport senior citizens to doctor's appointments, the pharmacy and local stores.

Woodard said they were unable to transport wheel chair bound people with the old van but are now able to transport them safely with the new van.

Woodard said the Senior Center staff has used the old van for quite a while and have been having a few problems with it mechanically.

"It started having some mechanical problems," she said. "But we'll still keep running it until the wheels fall off."

Because of the cost to run the new van Woodard said the old van, which has over 100,000 miles, will still be used for transporting the elderly in town.

"We will eventually go to that van full time," she said.

Woodard said the new van would be used for the same thing as well as special trips.

"This will allow us to take some day trips," she said.

The Senior Center provides rides to the elderly and disabled to places they need to go.

Woodard said they give priority rides to those who need to go to the doctor's office or pharmacy for medicine.

She asks for those who know they will need a ride to please call ahead of time to make sure they would be able to be there.

The Senior Center are able to book rides up to a week ahead of time just call 445-3272.

The Senior Center is scheduling an "open van" for next month in order to give the public the chance to view the new van.

Chamber discusses plans for concert, July 4 rodeo

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - Pecos Chamber of Commerce Directors talked about upcoming events during their regular board meeting held Tuesday at noon, at the Pecos Senior Citizens Center.

New Board President Barbara Creager presided over the first meeting of the year.

Creager told the group that her philosophy for the coming year is "Get one in 2001."

"I want to work on our membership and that's my new motto for the coming year," she said.

Creager said even though she doesn't live in Pecos, but in Mentone, that is very interested in Pecos and wants to do her best to improve it. "I want us each to try to receive at least one member during this year," she said.

Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera spoke to the group about the upcoming concert featuring Wayanay Inka, a musical group from Peru, has been set for Friday, Feb. 23.

"We had decided to go ahead and host this concert, but now the question is what do we want to do?" said Rivera. "Do we want to have a concession stand, or snacks or what," he said.

Rivera said that the chamber wants to make this a nice evening out and that hopefully they can come up with the sponsorship fee through donations.

The board agreed that they did need a concession stand or some type of refreshments.

"It's a great opportunity to pick up some revenue through the concession," said Rivera.

Rivera said that they are also in the process of refurbishing the chamber office. "I want to at least get the front office fixed up, for the out-of-town visitors," he said.

The Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3. Tickets are $20 per person and can be obtained by calling the chamber office, 445-2406.

"They set a deadline of Jan. 29, but the caterer said she would do a few extras," said Creager.

New Women's Division of the Chamber of Commerce President Laura Briggs told the board that the women's group had discussed decorating for the event.

"The women's division is also sponsoring a membership drive from 5-7 p.m., on Jan. 25 at the Weatherby House," said Briggs.

Rodeo Committee President Brenda McKinney updated the board on the 2001 West of the Pecos Rodeo plans.

"We had a representative from the rodeo committee attend the national finals and entered into a contract with Coors again," said McKinney. She explained that this was a very important contract because more cowboys get involved, which means additional money.

"We also entered into an agreement with Dodge," she said.

The West of the Pecos Rodeo is less than six months away and the group is already working diligently on plans for the annual event.

"We are also having a raffle, we're giving away a big screen television, so if you haven't purchased a ticket, you can get one from any rodeo committee member or either local bank," said McKinney.

During the meeting, Creager told the group that this year, she would be unable to serve as chairman of the Fall Fair Committee. "I just have too much on my plate right now," she said. "But I will be on hand to help whoever wants to take over and try to attend each of the monthly meetings."

Creager said the group will begin talking and planning the fair in March, and have a second meeting in May.

"We want it to be as big a success as it has been for the past two years," said Creager. "We've had the same wonderful people helping and every year there's one or two different ones."

Rivera told the group that a couple of years ago, they had set aside funds for a big billboard to be placed in Fort Stockton.

"It will be placed somewhere on (U.S.) 285 coming in to Pecos," he said.

Creager introduced the new officers, directors and staff of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce.

President: Barbara Creager; president-elect, Kevin Duke; past-president, Jeannette Alligood; treasurer, Rick Arnold; women's division, Laura Briggs; executive director, Tom Rivera; office manager, Stella Ornelas and tourism receptionist Lupe Davis.

Three-year directors are, Angela Romero, Richard Creasy, Mark Zuniga, Dick Alligood, Jenny Abbott, Craig Hill, Dot Stafford and Linda Jones.

Two-year directors will be, Jarrett Conger, George Dominguez, Carlos Campos, Jim Ivy, Leo Elliott, Starkey Warren, Rick Arnold and Kevin Duke.

One-year directors: Bruce Salcido, Barbara Creager, Debbie Thomas, Jeannette Alligood, Larry Sloan, Catherine Travland, Bobby Clark and Jesse Stephens.

One-year appointees: Linda Gholson, Emmitt Moore, Jean Badders and Terry Holder.

Bonilla to chair ag funding subcommittee

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - Five-term congressman Henry Bonilla has been named chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee for the 107th Congress, it was announced this week.

Bonilla, a San Antonio Republican will chair the agriculture subcommittee.

As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Bonilla will oversee all of the national agriculture funding. He will also oversee a wide range of agriculture issues including the nation's food supply and inspection, emergency disaster relief, agriculture research, rural development and farm and ranch programs.

In addition to funding a wide range of important, traditional programs, the subcommittee is also responsible for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appropriations and oversight, nationwide nutrition programs, the Conservation Research Program (CRP), the Animal Damage Control Program, the School Lunch Program and the Federal Food Stamp Program.

"The Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee is about crops, livestock and much more. I am constantly amazed at the wide scope of programs and issues the subcommittee affects," said Bonilla. "Most people are not aware that this subcommittee oversees issues that touch our lives on a daily basis. The type of lunch your children eat at school, the clothing you wear on your back, and the quality of food on your plate are all affected by decisions on this subcommittee."

Nighttime public use of pool on agenda for school board

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - A report on the feasibility of opening the Pecos High School swimming pool for the general public during the week will be discussed at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, in the boardroom, 1304 S. Park. The public is invited to attend the open session of the meeting.

Board members will also discuss and approve assistant principal position for Pecos Elementary/Pecos Kindergarten for remainder of 2000-2001 school year and reassign to Austin Elementary for the 2001-2002 school year; reviewing the Texas Disaster Shelter and Feeding Agreement with the American Red Cross of Southwest Texas; offers to purchase foreclosed property located at: 2025 S. Eddy, 906 S. Plum, 409 E. 5th St., 313 S. Oak, 114 N. Alamo, 616 Ross Blvd. and 606 N. "F" Street; first reading and amendment to Policy DEA (Local): Compensation and Benefits: Leaves and Absences.

The group will discuss and approve 2000-2001 budget amendments, request by American Cancer Society Relay for Life for use of the Pecos High School football stadium and waive fees; split payment for taxes and listen to a report on Crockett Middle School lab addition project and Pecos High School roofing/HVAC projects.

Under correspondence: donation of $350 from Texas-New Mexico Power Company for boys golf team; notice of tech-prep subgrant and invitation from Texas Education Agency for Art Department to display their work at the TEA Building.

Board members will discuss and approve an agreement with Texas New Mexico Power Company for pole attachment.

The group will meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074: Discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel, Section 551.071: Private consultation with the board's attorney. Discuss personnel or hear complaints against personnel. Discuss extension and terms of Administrative Assistant /Personnel Director's Contract.

They will return to open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session.

Regular items on the agenda for discussion and approval include:

Tax report.

Enrollment/attendance report.

Cafeteria report and list of commodities.

Depository securities report.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank statement report.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Time and date for next meeting.

Calendar of events.

Request for items for next agenda.

Church prepares to mark 110th anniversary

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - A big celebration is planned for a local church, which is turning 110 years old this month.

A special worship service is planned for 10 a.m. this Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church, 401 S. Plum, Pecos, and the entire congregation will be a part of the special event. The community is invited to attend the service.

During the special service, the Reverend Dr. Doug Kelly, of Midland, Interim Executive Presbyter of Tres Rios Presbytery will preach. Former member and former Moderator of the 208th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Marj Carpenter of Big Spring, will lead the congregation in the re-dedicating of their newly refurbished sanctuary and Fellowship Hall. The two will join pastor Joe Fields.

The local Presbyterian Church is the third oldest Presbyterian Church in the bounds of Tres Rios Presbytery. It was founded on January 18, 1891.

History reveals that in the early years the Presbyterians had no building, so services were held in other churches at times that would not compete with other churches services. Initially, this area of West Texas was a mission field.

In the beginning, worship services were conducted by the congregation whenever a minister was available. Often ministers were shared with other congregations in nearby towns.

In 1927, the Reverend John Byrd held services in Pecos two Sundays a month, one Sunday in Odessa, and the other Sunday in Coahoma. It was not until the 1930's that the First Presbyterian Church in Pecos was able to maintain the services of a full-time pastor.

Currently, the church shares their pastor, Reverend Joseph T. Fields with its sister church in Monahans, some forty miles away.

In 1909, a parsonage and white frame church were built under the leadership of then pastor, the Reverend A.E. Miller. The frame church served the congregation well over the next 40 years. In fact, the original building was sold to another denomination and moved to a different site in the community and is still in use as a church today. Over the years, one of the great hallmarks of the congregation has been its mission and outreach. As early as 1911 the church, although still considered a part of the mission field, began to reach out to others. It supported two of its own to go and work in Korea through 1930.

The Presbyterian Women, since 1908 have always been a vital part of the life and mission of the First Presbyterian Church. Through bake sales and other fund raising efforts the piano and pews were obtained for the first sanctuary. This group of committed women have supported the Presbyterian Children's Home in Itasca, for at least 87 years. Project Vida in El Paso and a local Christian Home are also on-going recipients of their efforts.

By 1941, there were about 110 members. After World War II and the closing of the Pecos Air Base, the Pecos community saw increased growth due to the increase of farming in the area and the congregation grew with the community. In 1949, the current sanctuary and church building were completed. In honor of its 110th Anniversary the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were recently refurbished and appears much like it did in the late 1940's and early 1950's. By 1969, an educational building with eight classrooms and a courtyard were built and dedicated.

In its long and remarkable history, this congregation has produced both sons and daughters as leaders for service to the larger church.

Carpenter still claims First Presbyterian Church in Pecos, as her church home. Six sons of the church have become Ministers and Sacrament, the Reverends R. Gage Lloyd, James R. Miles, John H. Carlberg, Gordon Garlington III, Matthew Avery and Bob Leurs.

One of the church's "grandsons," the Reverend Matthew Miles is also a Presbyterian minister. One of its daughters Elizabeth Martin Hopper married a minister. Two other "sons" the Reverends Paul Scott and William H. Daughtery serve in other denominations.

Today as always, the congregation continues to be a vital part of the community by offering Wednesday Night Youth Bible Study, an annual Lenten Study, and Vacation Bible School in cooperation with the local Methodist congregation.

Pee Wee football officials to receive honor by council

PECOS, January 10, 2001 - The Town of Pecos City Council will recognize the board members and coaches of the Pop Warner (Pee Wee) Football League during the regular meeting at 7:30 a.m., on Thursday at City Hall.

This year marked the first time in 19 years that Pecos has had a Pee Wee Football program.

The new program brought out 150-160 young football players to make up eight teams including one team from Balmorhea.

The teams are broken up into four teams in the third and fourth grade division and four teams for the fifth and sixth grades.

The Council will recognize the board members that include President Randy Baeza, Vice-President Gary Grubbs, Treasurer Michael Benavides, Secretary Paul Deishler, Raul Palomino, Alvaro Herrera and John Salcido.

In other business the Council is scheduled to discuss the municipal court and financial reports as well as approval of the accounts payable.


Joyce Heinen


PECOS, January 10, 2001 - High Tuesday 56. Low this morning 39. Rainfall last 24 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station: .3 inch. Forecast for tonight: Decreasing cloudiness early. Low in the upper 20s. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Thursday: Mostly sunny and warmer. High in the lower 60s. West to northwest wind near 10 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low near 30. Friday: Increasing cloudiness with a chance of rain late. High in the upper 50s. Saturday: Cloudy with a chance of rain. Low in the mid 30s. High in the mid 40s.

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