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Archive 2001

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

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Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Plan updated for emergency response team

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Emergency responders from Reeves County gathered to  discuss newly revised annexes for the county's emergency  management plan yesterday at the Quality Inn.

Emergency Management Coordinator for Reeves County Armando Gil reported that 33 people attended the meeting that was held from 8:30 a.m. to noon yesterday.

"We had a big turnout," he said.

The group gathered with Gil, Assistant Coordinator Lupe Nieto and the Emergency Management Director, Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo to discuss the changes in the annexes.

Gil said that the recent terrorist events were reason for the change of the annexes and the county's emergency management plan.

"It is because of 9-11," he said, referring to the attacks on the United States by terrorists two months ago.

When Gil was named coordinator in 1982, Reeves County had an emergency response plan that totaled four pages.

"Back then the plan was more targeted toward a bomb attack," he said.

After becoming coordinator, Gil said he worked on developing a plan that would cover not only bombing attacks but also natural disasters and bio-chemical attacks as well.

It took Gil about three years to develop the plan, which was finally approved by the state in 1988.

However, just before the plan was approved it and Gil received a major test when the Saragosa tornado occurred in 1987, killing 31 people.

Since then the plan has grown into one that would prepare emergency responders for any type of disaster, natural or otherwise, according to Gil, who once again has to plan for additional forms of disaster.

"The reason we had this program is because all the annexes have completely changed," Gil said. "We had to redo all of them including the plan itself."

"Now we have to develop a plan that would cover any possible threat to Reeves County."

Gil explained that for the plan certain responders are assigned and responsible for the requirements of each of the 22 annexes.

The annexes include preparation for warning, communications, evacuation, emergency public information, recovery, human services and much more.

Also included in the annexes are plans to deal with terrorist incident response and hazardous materials and oil spill response.

Gil said that Reeves County has to prepare for many different disasters including the threat of a plane crash.

"We also have to prepare for the possible threat of a plane crash once we get the Air Force project in place," he said, referring to t he RTBI program that will loop B-1 and B-52 bombers around Pecos on low-level training flight simulated missions. The last major accident involving a military jet in West Texas occurred nine years ago, when a B-1 bomber on a training flight crashed into a mountain in southern Culberson County, killing all four crewmen aboard.

Gil said that the program yesterday went very well and now he and Nieto plan to meet with each group of emergency responders assigned to each annex to go over the annex and make the necessary changes.

Once the changes are made and approved by the state coordinator, Gil said the plan becomes law.

"That's how we're going to respond to any disasters," he said.

Each year, Gil organizes a full-scale exercise that would test the emergency response plan.

This year, Gil said that he is planning to hold that exercise in April or May that would "deal with weapons of mass destruction."

Sometime in February, Gil said that a member of each response agency plans to attend to a training course sponsored by the United States Department of Justice.

Sulphur mine's lab equipment donated to Crockett

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Faculty and students from Crockett Middle School and  Pecos High School have much to be thankful for this  Thanksgiving holiday after receiving donations of approximately $33,000 worth  of science equipment yesterday.

OMC Properties partner Craig Cannon and his wife, Penny, were at Crockett yesterday afternoon along with OMC Properties Operations Manager Steve Taylor and his wife, Dawn, taking a look at the hallway full of science equipment and materials they donated to the school district.

OMC Properties bought the land, buildings and contents of Freeport Sulphur Mines about a year ago, according to Cannon.

Cannon, who is from Boerne, co-owns the cooperation with Roy Oliver of Norman, Okla., and Mike Mullins of Dallas.

Taylor explained that Crockett Science Teachers Jim Workman and Gaston Tarango had expressed an interest in the equipment and materials at the mines before it shut down in 1999.

"These boys had expressed some interest in this back when Freeport was operational," he said.

After the mines closed Workman and Tarango expressed their interest once again and Taylor said decided to discuss donating the equipment with Cannon.

"I knew that they were real short of equipment and funds," Taylor said. "So I new they were in dire need."

Workman said that Taylor contacted him about picking up as much equipment as they need and was finally able to load up the equipment yesterday morning.

Taylor explained that Crockett Middle School Principal Juanita Davila allowed Workman and Tarango to take a few hours from class to travel out to the Freeport site and pick up the equipment because she understands the schools need of that equipment.

Pecos High School Science Teacher Frank Ornelas also helped with loading the equipment and bringing it back to town after taking a half-day off work.

Workman said that he, Tarango and Ornelas were excited about the donations especially after walking through the Freeport doors.

"It's Christmas in November," he said.

Workman also told of Ornelas' reaction to the seeing all the available equipment.

"Once they opened the doors we all walked in and Frank said, `It's better than Toys `R' Us,'" he said laughing.

Even though the teachers were able to load about $33,000 worth of equipment, they did not get all of it, according to Workman.

"We didn't get nearly everything and we could come back and get a lot more," he said.

The equipment that was loaded up included numerous beakers, test tubes and even an electric stirring machine that also heats.

Cannon said that Workman had told him the science department has a budget of $2,000 per year, which is not much considering the cost of science equipment.

Workman said that in one day the Crockett Science Department was able to get many years worth of equipment.

"That's 20 years of budget in four hours," he said.

Taylor said that Cannon and his wife plan to build a home in Pecos soon, which they would use approximately three months a year and wants to help the community since they would soon be a part of it.

"Being a part of the community is important to them," he said.

"I just can't think of anything better it could have gone to," Penny Cannon said.

The group discussed what they remember from their school years and all agreed that conducting science experiments and lab is something that the students would remember.

"That's the kind stuff is what they remember about school," Taylor said.

Workman could not express enough gratitude toward the Cannons and Taylors for the donations.

"I can't tell you how grateful we are," he said.

The students will have the chance to start using the equipment as early as next week once everyone comes back from the holiday, according to Workman.

"This allows us to more hands on," he said. "We're just glad it's going to be used and we're going to use it."

The Cannons said they were happy to contribute to the education of Pecos children.

"I know it's going to good use," Cannon said.

"They're our future," Penny Cannon said.

Workman and Tarango plan to load up more equipment sometime in December and both are looking forward to that day. But for now, the two teachers are going on Thanksgiving holiday and adding the Cannons and Taylors to their Thanksgiving list.

"I can't express how thankful we are," Workman said. "This is not only benefiting us but the students as well."

Odessa doc adds to women's services at RCH

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Pecos women won't have to travel far for quality health care, with  the addition of a new "traveling" doctor to the local medical staff.

Dr. John Molland, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology, is coming to Pecos every other Tuesday to provide health care in this area.

Molland has been in private practice since 1995, is chief of staff at Odessa Regional Hospital and has privileges at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

"We felt there was a need for a women's health provider in this area and decided to look into it," said Molland.

Molland said that the 75-mile commute from Odessa has not been a problem, and enjoys coming to Pecos.

"I teamed up with nurse practitioner Jackie Lehr and we are at the Women's Center," said Molland.

Molland and his staff have their main office in the Women's Center of the Permian Basin, 750 W. Fifth Street in Odessa. But he said, "We felt there was a need for our services here and decided to come down here."

Molland and his staff provide prenatal care, free pregnancy tests, treat women's health problems, annual exams, pap smears, hormonal problems and menopause. He said that the local staff would provide full pregnancy care, sonograms and blood work.

"I'll be coming down here every other Tuesday beginning in January, but Jackie will be here every Tuesday," said Molland.

Molland's office in Pecos is located inside the Reeves County Hospital and hours are from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesdays. He said that they also have a 1-800 number that patients can call.

"If they want to schedule an appointment here in Pecos they can dial that 1-800 number through the Odessa office, and if any of our patients are in Odessa and want to go to the Odessa clinic they can do so also," he said.

"We hope that us coming to Pecos is more convenient for them, especially patients that have problems with transportation," said Molland. "This way, they don't have to go all the way to Odessa or Midland for pregnancy care and gynecological problems."

Office staff will provide proof of pregnancy forms and is working with Medicaid to provide health care.

"The hospital has been very cooperative in providing services and clinic space," said Molland. "Everybody has been very hospitable."

Molland said that they will definitely help with logistics and that this will in turn help patients to receive specialist care not available in this area. "We will our patients throughout their pregnancy, that way they don't have to travel far to receive that care," he said.

Molland said that his office would also provide samples of medication to his patients, "to see if that medication is right for them."

His office staff includes, nurse practitioner Jackie Lehr, office manager Sonya Phillips and Michelle Aguilar, CNA.

Jennifer Gooding has been a patient of Dr. Molland's for a while and said that the convenience of seeing a doctor here in Pecos has helped her and her mother. "I don't have to miss school and my mom doesn't have to miss work to take me to the doctor," she said. "This is really convenient."

Gooding said that Dr. Molland has been providing excellent care to her and her unborn child and that she really enjoys her doctor's visits.

When he's not busy seeing patients and seeing new babies into the world, Dr. Molland has been learning how to fly an airplane and trying to get his pilot's license. "Maybe I can fly over here and it will be quicker," he said.

He also enjoys riding motorcycles and outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing and traveling to the mountains with his family which consists of his wife, Carolyn and his two boys, Brandon, age eight and Trayton, 4-years-old.

Government offices, businesses closing for holiday

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Federal, county and city offices will be closed Thursday and Friday to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

Town of Pecos City will close both Thursday and Friday, along with the Reeves County Courthouse and Lucius D. Bunton Federal Courthouse.

Grocery stores will remain open late tonight with Bob's Thriftway staying open until 10 p.m., to accommodate Thanksgiving shoppers. Both La Tienda and Bob's will open from 7 a.m., until 1 p.m., tomorrow.

Both Security State and West Texas National Banks will close Thursday, but will open for their regular hours on Friday. However, Security State Bank will not re-open in the evening from 5-6 p.m., on Friday as they normally do.

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools are taking a three-day break for Thanksgiving. Schools closed today and will remain closed until next Monday.

No mail will be delivered tomorrow, but the Pecos Post Office will re-open on Friday.

The Pecos Enterprise will also close Thursday for Thanksgiving, but will reopen for regular business hours on Friday.

Museum begins Christmas Tree decoration event

PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- Christmas has arrived at the West of the Pecos Museum with the 12th Annual Decorating of the Live Christmas Tree underway.

Local school children will decorate nine Live Afghan Pine Trees. This year's theme is "Angels, West of the Pecos."

The museum needs nine sponsors for the trees. Individuals, clubs or businesses are encouraged to participate for a $50 donation.

Contact the museum for more details at 445-5076.


PECOS, Wed., Nov. 21, 2001 -- High Tues. 58. Low this morning 35. Forecast for tonight:  Mostly  clear. Lows 40 to 45. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Thanksgiving day: Mostly  sunny. Highs in the lower 70s. West Winds 10 to 20 mph. Thurs. night: Partly  cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. Fri.:  Partly cloudy. Highs 70 to 75. Sat. and Sun.:  Partly cloudy. Lows 40 to 45. Highs in the mid 60s to the lower 70s.


Luciana Garcia and Randy Hernandez

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