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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

School board to study costs of campus projects

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- Schedules and cost estimates for Bessie Haynes and Crockett  Middle School HVAC/renovation project, Pecos High School tennis court  renovation and Pecos High School renovations/kindergarten carpet project/Lamar  roofing will be topics of discussion at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD  Board meeting this evening

Members will meet at 6 p.m. in the board room, 1304 S. Park St., and the public is invited to attend the open portion of the meeting.

Board members will review letters from ESC 18 congratulating "Recognized" campuses; letter to TDLR concerning accessibility compliance at Crockett Middle School and from TEA-DAEP.

Under old business the group will listen to a report on the CATE computer building, which is nearing completion at Adams and Eddy streets.

Board members will discuss and approve 2001 tax rolls; Reading Academy for grades kindergarten through fifth; the Patsy Torres Positive Force Tour; 2001-2002 budget amendments; disposal or trade-in of golf cart that is no longer necessary for the operation of the school district; early release day March 28, 2002; changes in the Pecos High School Handbook and choice for purchasing electricity beginning Jan. 1, 2002.

The group will meet behind closed doors in a closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074: (1) to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of a public officer or employee; or (2) to hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.

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

Under regular agenda items board members will discuss and take action on:

Professional personnel: Appointments, reassignments, change of contract.

Attendance report.

Tax report.

Depository securities report.

Current bills and financial report.

Investment transaction report.

Reconciled bank balance report.

Cafeteria report and list of commodities.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Date and time for next meeting.

Calendar of events.

Request for items for next agenda.

Division winners announced for Fall Fair's livestock show

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The 2001 Reeves/Loving County Fall Fair Livestock show  this weekend went well despite the small number of participants, according  to Reeves County Extension Agent Terry Holder.

"I think the stock show went real well," he said. "We were just down in our numbers as far as animals."

Holder said that stock shows in Dallas and Waco pulled some participants that would have been in Pecos away this year.

The Texas Club Lamb Association (TCLA) designated the livestock show in Waco as a Showmanship show, which allows participants to earn extra points at state competitions

Holder said that the showmanship designation comes around every two years so Pecos would be eligible for it again next year.

"We'll be in the drawing for it," he said.

Holder said that he thought the show went well and that the judges were good.

He said that next year there is a possibility that participants could also enter goats as well as the usual lambs, steers and heifers.

In the lambs division, Taryn McNeil, of Midland, received the Showmanship honors as well as Grand Reserve Champion while her sister Jordan McNeil, also of Midland received Overall Grand Champion.

Clayton Puckett, of Fort Davis, received both Grand Champion and Grand Reserve Champion in the Finewool division.

Taryn McNeil won Grand Champion in the Cross-division while Puckett received Grand Reserve Champion.

Jordan McNeil won Grand Champion in the Medium Wool division while Taryn McNeil received Grand Reserve Champion.

Colby Worden, of Kermit, won Overall Grand Champion for the Steer division while Ashley Skyler, of Big Spring, received Grand Reserve Champion.

Skyler won Grand Champion in the American Steer division while Worden won Grand Champion in the English Steer division and Gary Henson, of Kermit, won Grand Reserve Champion in the English division.

In the Heifer division, Overall Grand Champion went to Cody McCann, of Big Spring, while Katie Lee, of Pecos, received Grand Reserve Champion.

Lee also won Grand Champion in the English and American Heifer divisions while McCann won Grand Champion in the Exotic Heifer division.

Red Bluff in need of rain for 2002 water allotment

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The water level of Red Bluff Lake didn't drop much during September,  but the level of the lake is so low right now Red Bluff Water Power Control  Board members are concerned they won't be able to authorize a water release  for 2002 unless there's substantial rainfall in the lake's basin and New  Mexico over the next several months.

Board members went through about a dozen items fairly quickly during their monthly meeting on Monday in Pecos, and did take advantage of the lake's low level to authorize construction of an extended boat ramp, while approving a state-mandated increase in monthly director's fees.

The lake dropped only 183 acre/feet during September, according to the water report given to board members. But at 32,588 acre/feet, it's close to the 20,000 acre/foot minimum the lake needs to hold to maintain the structural integrity of Red Bluff Dam.

This year, board members authorized release of 25,000 acre/feet of water initially, with a final release order of 23,760 acre/feet. Through the end of September, farmers in the seven water districts along the Pecos River had used 17,244 acre/feet of water.

The low lake level also makes getting boats down to the water tough, which is something the board decided to correct by authorizing the boat ramp extension, at a cost of $2,600.

Board president Randall Hartman said the 50-by-25 foot ramp "will put it down within reach (of the water) to where anybody who has a boat can get it in."

Board members voted 4-2 in favor of the ramp, with Manuel Lujan Jr. and Teresa Walker voting against. "I don't have anything against a boat ramp. I just feel we can use the money better," Lujan said.

Hartman defended the cost of the ramp, while adding, "I hope it (the lake) fills up and it's never used. I hope it never sees the light of day after we put it in."

Board members were also told it will cost about $3,000 to $4,000 to spray concrete filler into cracks on the dam's spillway, to prevent any cracking down to the rebar supports. But no action was taken on Monday.

"I don't think it's a big money thing, but it can turn into one if we don't get it done," Hartman said.

The board also discussed, but took no action, on buying new computerized water meters and fixing up at least two of the weir houses along the Pecos River.

Hartman said after discussions with officials at Baylor University's department of geology and hydrology, the district is looking at buying seven Global Meters, at a total cost of $10,500, plus a laptop computer to plug into the meters to download water use information.

"We'll be able to read the meters ourselves and maintain a spare to replace one where needed," he said.

While the meters would only last about 3-4 years, the board was told it would still save money compared to the $18,000 the district currently has to pay to have a meter reader come down to calculate the water releases.

On the weir houses, Hartman said Reeves County Water Improvement District No. 1 was able to use a metal pipe turned vertically and with a metal roof and cement floor added to create its own weir house for about $800. The board decided to look into a similar option for their Pecos River weirs.

Also in general discussion, Hartman told local farmer Tom Nance that New Mexico has yet to take final action on approving the water pumping permit for the Malaga Bend salt alleviation project.

"He (Pierre Levy, with New Mexico's Interstate Stream Commission) is just not getting after it. It's not a hold up on anybody's part except he said he was going to and hasn't," Hartman said.

Hartman also told the board that the latest round of salt cedar spraying conducted last month covered an area from Barstow Dam down to the Grandfalls outlet reservoir. Other spots sprayed along the river in 1999 south of Red Bluff Dam were also re-sprayed, and a section of Salt Creek just south of the dam was sprayed with Arsenal to kill off the trees.

Earlier in the meeting, the board approved an increase in their monthly director's fees from $100 to $150 a month. Board secretary Robin Prewit said the raise was mandated by the Texas Legislature and was effective July 1, though the Red Bluff board is paid only once a year.

The board also approved new carpeting for the district's Second Street office, at a cost of $3,500. "We ought to be more proud of the place we come into," said board member Charlotte Wilcox.

Prewit said the district already had spend $800 on painting the office, but that cost was being deducted from the district's monthly rent to Pecos Insurance until the total is repaid. The board approved the new carpet, with Lujan casting the only `no' vote.

Former Enterprise editor Pitts dies during sailing trip on lake

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- Former Pecos Enterprise managing editor and columnist John Paul  Pitts, who spent the past 17 years as the oil editor for the Midland  Reporter-Telegram, died Saturday in a Brownwood hospital following  an apparent heart attack at Lake Brownwood, where he had  been sailing. 

Pitts, who was 64, had heart surgery in recent years and had suffered an earlier heart attack in the 1980s.

"He was a great professional who was not only dedicated to journalism in covering business but had a passion for the oil business," said Charles Spence, the Report-Telegram's publisher in a story in that paper's Monday editions.

Pitts was "an outspoken advocate for the oil business," said Spence, who said he "lost a very, very good friend.

"I'm sad for John's family and for the Midland Reporter-Telegram family," he said.

Pitts was held in high regard as a journalist, steeped in knowledge of the petroleum industry. He published the Enterprise's oil and gas edition for several years in the 1970s and in 1983, when he returned to Pecos after moving to Gunnison, Colo.

After working in Pecos as a reporter and columnist in the early 1970s, he was the Midland editor of "Drill Bit" magazine and later was publisher of Colorado's Gunnison Country Times. While living in Colorado, he suffered his first heart attack, and after recovering moved back to Pecos, were he served as the Enterprise's managing editor for about 10 months in 1983-84 before he joined the Reporter-Telegram's staff in 1984.

Pitts was born in Arkansas in April 1937, grew up in West Texas where he worked in the oil patch as a roughneck and was graduated from Wink High School in 1955. He was a high school friend of the late Roy Orbison.

He piloted airplanes in his youth, enjoyed aviation and recently took up sailing.

"He was doing what he wanted to do _ out sailing" with friends on the day of his death, said his son, John E. Pitts of Midland.

Pitts earned the bachelor's degree in 1960 at Pasadena College in California.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday at the First Baptist Church at 2104 W. Louisiana Ave.

Pitts was married to Dee Osborne in April, 1977 in Midland. Survivors include his wife, Dee Pitts; a daughter, Sarah Pitts of Midland; a son, John E. Pitts of Midland; a granddaughter, Cassandra Dee Pitts of Midland; his mother, Grace Conway of Midland; and four brothers, Gary Pitts, J.T. Pitts of Pecos, and Steve Pitts and Sammy Pitts, both of Midland. A brother, Wayne Pitts of Odessa, preceded him in death.

Police find stolen items inside home

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The Pecos Police Department is hoping the owners of some  stolen items will come forward and claim property that was found at a  Pecos residence last week.

Investigator Kelly Davis said that the police received information about stolen property that led to a search of a home on Third Street on Friday.

"We went to a residence where it was advised there was a stolen bicycle," he said. "Upon investigation we discovered a quantity of items (the resident) had bought from drug addicts."

The house in which the stolen items were found is located in the 600 block of East Third Street, but the name of the resident was not released at this time.

Items found include several tools, bicycles, CDs, a jewelry box and an air tank.

Davis said that the police department had found the owners of two bicycles that were found and hope to find more owners of the property.

He said that many people do not report items as being stolen and so it is harder to find the owners of the property recovered.

"We find all this stuff that nobody has reported stolen and we end up selling it all at auctions," he said.

Davis said that the only way for the police to get rid of the recovered stolen property, when the owners can't be found, is to sell it at an auction.

"We end up having to sell bicycles and things because they haven't been claimed, and just to get rid of them, he said."

Davis said that the police have known that the person, in whose home the stolen items were found, has been buying the items for quite some time but they had not been able to legally search him.

"We've been working on him for a while and we finally got information that led to a search," he said.

No arrests were made in this case.

Study Club meeting in home for program on arts

PECOS, Tues., Oct. 9, 2001 -- The Modern Study Club will meet at 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday in the home of Etta Sullivan, 1518 Cowan St. for an Arts Department Program with Paula Fuller, Department Chairman, in charge.

Author Paul Patterson will present, "What would you like to know about writing, but you were hesitant to ask?"

The thought-quote for the meeting is _ "Everyone can write if you put your mind to it." _ Paul Patterson.

Roll call will be answered by members telling what they would like to write about.

The project emphasis for this bi-monthly meeting is the donation of The Modern Study Club Senior Scholarship to a graduating senior of Pecos High School.

Club members are reminded of the Western District Fall Board Meeting of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs slated for Oct. 20 in Pecos. Each member is to furnish one door prize for gathering.

Phyllis Stool will be joined by Lena Harpham and Dorothy Barton as hostesses for the Oct. 10 meeting. All members will be hosting the Western District ladies at the all-day Fall Board Meeting on Oct. 20.


PECOS, Tues., Oct. 09, 2001 -- High Monday 90. Low this morning 59. Forecast for tonight:   Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s. South winds 5 to 15  mph. Wednesday:  Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds  10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night:  Mostly cloudy with a 20  percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the  lower 50s. Thursday:  Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers  of thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Friday:  Partly cloudy with  a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Lows in the  50s. Highs in the 70s.


Carlota Nunez

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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