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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

RCH holds retirement reception for Cam

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- Reeves County Hospital staff and several community members  said goodbye to a local icon last week during a special retirement  reception in the hospital lobby.

Dr. James Cam is retiring after working with RCH for nearly 13 years where he specialized in internal medicine.

Many people gathered last Thursday to say goodbye to Cam and his wife, Tessie, who will soon be moving to Seattle, Wash.

Special Programs Coordinator Nancy Ontiveros led a program where several colleagues and friends stood up to say a few words about Cam, his wife and what they mean to the town.

Ontiveros explained to the gathering of friends that Cam came to the hospital at a desperate time when there were few doctors and patients and no money.

"So what in the world could have possibly lured Dr. Cam to Pecos," she said. "Well, Dr. Cam was already well rooted to West Texas and was dying to come back to this area.

Dr. W.J. Bang when speaking of Cam joked that Cam had tried retirement a few times before but decided that he needed to come back to medicine and West Texas.

However, in reality Cam had retired from working in Monahans for 14 years and moved to Seattle, where his children are, before deciding he didn't like all that rain.

"I was more used to the weather in West Texas," Cam said.

Ontiveros said that when Cam came to Pecos over a decade ago the staff believed that he would help the hospital out of its slump.

"When Dr. Cam joined our hospital everyone thought of him as a saviour because he would definitely help us attract patients and was interested in helping us bring more doctors," she said.

In fact, Cam did bring in more patients and he even recruited more doctors to the area including Dr. Orville Cerna.

Cam has been a doctor for 30 years, a fact that which is hard for him to believe.

"Ten years has passed me three times and I didn't even know it," he said laughing.

Cam finished his medical training at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio in 1972.

Before coming to the United States from his home in the Philippines, Cam had been training to be a doctor when he met his wife, Tessie, who was training to be a nurse.

Cam said that his childhood dream was to become a doctor, a dream he thinks stems from growing up around children who all became doctors.

"I always wanted to become a doctor," he said. "I think it was because all my neighborhood friends went to medical school."

Even though he grew up in the Philippines Cam said he has grown old in West Texas, which is something he'll miss.

Now the Cams are moving back to Seattle to be closer to their four children, Jennifer, Kenneth, Joanne and Judy as well as their "two and a half" grandchildren.

Cam explained how he has two and a half grandchildren. The two full grandchildren come from his oldest, Jennifer, which are Logan, 5, and Taryn, 3.

His daughter, Joanne, is expecting her first child in September.

Cam said he doesn't know what he'll do during retirement but knows it won't be long before he figures out some new project to tackle.

"Give me a month and I'll figure out something to do," he said.

The staff of RCH doesn't know how they're going to get along without having Cam around.

During the reception, Ontiveros shared some of the things several staff members would remember of Cam, including his energy, preciseness and sometimes-funny jokes.

Ontiveros also read a poem, which she wrote in tribute to Cam where many of the qualities the staff admired so much are added in.

Cam said that he and his wife would miss Pecos and West Texas and hopes to stay in touch with all their friends.

"All my friends are in West Texas," he said. "I feel sadness in leaving."

However, if retirement doesn't work out for the second time, Cam said he hopes he would be able to come back to work at RCH.

"Pecos will be the only town I come back to work in," he said.

The staff of RCH would welcome him back, but in the meantime they'll never forget him.

"We'll think of you often, come rain or come shine, cuz' there's just no replacing you, you're one of a kind," Ontiveros said.

Parade to travel through Pecos on Wednesday

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- Crowds will be lining Third Street, Cedar and others in the  downtown area on Wednesday, when the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo Parade  is held to mark the official start of the 2002 rodeo. 

"The parade will start off the first night performance of the rodeo tomorrow," Linda Gholson, Executive Director of the Pecos Area of Chamber of Commerce said.

Line-up will begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of West Third Street and the Balmorhea Highway. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and travel east on Third Street and then through the downtown area before concluding at the Reeves County Sheriff's Posse Barn.

As of today there are about 33 floats entered in the parade to be judged and several more that will just participate in the parade. Floats range form horse groups to antique cars.

"People can enter their floats to be judged but don't have to," Gholson said. "It is nice to enter a head of time but it is not necessary. The more that participate the bigger and better it will be."

"We have antique cars but anyone in a car club is welcome to come and join us," Gholson said.

Floats entered to be judged will be that of the nine Golden Girl nominees and Little Miss Cantaloupe. While the floats of Miss Stockton, KG-100 van and several others will just be participates of the parade.

"The Mark Martinez family will be the parades grand marshal and the West of the Pecos Cattlewomen will be honorary grand marshal," Gholson said. "The Rodeo Committee Flag Girls will ride horse back as a group, Old Ft. Davis Honor Guard will also ride as a group. We will have wagons as well as the Gaines County Sheriff's Pose. The Masked Rider from Texas Tech will also ride in our parade."

Gholson said that the reunion class of '82 would also be among the participants of the parade as well as the reunion of Pecos High School '60s. The classmates from the reunion class of the '60 will be '64's most beautiful and '67's Homecoming Queen.

According to Gholson, the class of 2003 will also participate in the parade by riding along in 3 trucks and selling water as they go by.

After the parade ends there will be a barbeque luncheon at the Reeves County Sheriff's Pose Barn. The cost for the plates will be $6 at the door.

"We are excited about having a nice parade," Gholson said. "We appreciate all the participates, the people watching the parade and of course all our sponsors."

Unsure of those in attendance for the parade, Gholson did say that some politicians would be here.

"I am sure we will have politicians show up," Gholson said. "I have not heard anything but usually we have some politicians show up. I feel quite sure there will be some politicians who come in."

Any one wanting to attend Wednesday's rodeo performance or those of any other nights can go by the Chamber of Commerce and purchase their tickets daily until 5 p.m.

"Tickets can be bought through Friday here at the Chamber `till 5 p.m., or at 6 p.m. at the ticket box at the rodeo grounds, said Rodeo Committee member Linda Clark. "On Saturday the ticket box will open at 10 a.m. for advance tickets and continue till show time."

However, Clark said that tonight the gates would open at 6:30 for the Special Bull Riding event with tickets only costing $5.

Gholson would also like to remind everyone of the Windmill Square Players' production of "Heaven help the Po' Tators," that will be preformed again tonight at 7 p.m. and again tomorrow with a matinee at 3 p.m.

"We are just having a great time in Pecos at this moment," Gholson said.

School district awaiting final TAAS results

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- TAAS scores for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools were very  good for the 2001-2002 school year, but PBT-ISD Superintendent Don  Love said that they are still waiting to see if one of the Pecos campuses  would be "exemplary."

"We're very proud of all the students," said Love, during the last regular school board meeting.

Every group must score 80 or better to be a "recognized" campus and all groups must hit 90 percent or better to hit "exemplary," according to Love. The dropout rate also must be one percent or less for exemplary.

"Even though high school might fit into that category, that won't be determined until the dropout rate is," according to Love. "We won't know until the middle of July."

Pecos High School's TAAS scores were 10th grade, reading _ 94, math _ 95 and writing _ 96.

Austin Elementary School third graders TAAS scores were: reading _ 86 and math _ 91; Bessie Haynes fourth grade, reading _ 96, math _97 and writing 93; Bessie Haynes fifth grade, reading _ 93 and math 99; Zavala Middle School 6th grade, reading _ 90 and math _ 97; Crockett Middle School 7th grade, reading _84 and math- 88; Crockett Middle School 8 th grade, reading _ 83, math _ 89 and writing 75, science _ 78 and social studies _ 62.

"We have some really good teachers, we're very proud of the job they are doing academically," said Love.

Area shrimp farmers hopeful on help from state

The Monahans News

The West Texas Desert Shrimp Growers Association may see some  relief from the imported shrimp crisis, said David Tucker, association president,  following his meeting on June 24 with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs.

"It's was just wonderful," said Tucker of his meeting with Combs. "She responded to our concerns very well."

The commissioner is now looking at using Texas Department of Health instrumentation for checking imported shrimp for the presence of chloramphenicol, an antibiotic banned in the United States but used by the shrimp industry in some other countries. That antibiotic has in rare cases caused an incurable and highly fatal anemia in humans. It has been found in some shrimp brought to this country from China and Taiwan, Tucker said.

"They are finding some samples testing positive in Louisiana and Florida. Texas has not received their samples back yet," noted Tucker. "It will be at least another week.

"In the meantime," he grimaced, "I guess we're eating the evidence."

Tucker also noted only 15 tests per week are possible on imported shrimp.

While the Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Denver, Colo. is backed up, Louisiana has been using a laboratory at Louisiana State University to perform its tests, and Tucker and other shrimp industry officials suggested to Combs that Texas do the same by utilizing laboratories at some Texas universities.

Tucker was scheduled to be in San Antonio today, where he will meet with the board of directors of the aquaculture industry in an attempt to get a seafood council, similar to the beef council, named under the Department of Agriculture.

Tucker said Ms. Combs was adamant about resolving the chloramphenicol problem. He also noted, "We are seeing some dumping of imported shrimp and she is trying to get something done about that."

"She is trying take actions to protect our natural estuaries and coastal and inland farms," he added. Combs also told Tucker she would write U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla to get action started on the federal level.

FLH director to resign post at end of year

Staff Writer

PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- Pecos Farm Labor Housing Director Nellie Gomez submitted  her resignation from that position to commissioners on Monday in  order to concentrate on operating the Pecos Housing Authority, while  the commissioners tabled discussion of FLH personnel in order to  consult with their attorney, following a special noon meeting of the board  on Monday.

The board was scheduled to discuss the FLH personnel at the Pecos Housing Authority Administration Building, after Commissioner Juanita Davila requested a special meeting in executive session.

However, Gomez submitted a written request to have that topic discussed in an open meeting rather than "behind closed doors."

"I don't want to keep it away from the public," she said. "I don't have anything to hide."

Gomez explained that she is the only member of the Farm Labor Housing staff and she does not want any problems involving her and her ability to direct the FLH to be discussed privately.

After consulting with Attorney Scott Johnson, Gomez submitted a written request to the board to discuss the topics for executive session in an open meeting. However, the board was unwilling to do so without also consulting Johnson on the legality of the request.

Davila, who requested the executive session, said that the topic of discussion was not intended to be a hearing or grievance against the FLH personnel.

"It's just a meeting to discuss personnel," she said.

Gomez also submitted a letter of resignation from her duties as FLH director to the board, effective at the end of this year.

Gomez has served as FLH and the Pecos Housing Authority Director for the past seven years and said in her letter that she has come to the conclusion that she needs to resign from FLH in order to fulfill the full potential for PHA.

The letter also stated that the resignation would be effective on Dec. 31, 2002.

"During the past several months, I have given serious thought and have come to a conclusion that my ability, efforts and challenge to bring this project to standards and to meet the objectives of the management plan expectations and compliance with applicable laws and regulations have been exhausted," Gomez said.

She explained that she began questioning her own abilities to adequately manage both FLH and PHA after the board discovered that they were in violation of Farm Labor Housing Occupancy Policies during a previous special meeting in April.

During the April meeting, John Perkins, of the Texas Rural Development Board, presented commissioners with a letter dated Feb. 3, 1993, that outlined permission and conditions to rent 25 of the 56 FLH units to ineligible (non-farm labor) persons year-round to generate income for operating and maintenance expenses and to protect the interest of the government.

Perkins when on to say that the agreement was only valid for one year, and in order to continually rent out those apartments the request must have been renewed each year.

Gomez stated that both she and the other commissioners were surprised by that fact and was unaware of the expiration date.

Perkins recommended to the board that they draft another letter that would request permission to rent out Farm Labor Housing to ineligibles for nine months of the year with a lease addendum that states that the apartments must be vacated by June 1 in order to be made available for eligible (farm laborers) occupants.

During Tuesday's meeting, the board discussed a drafted letter requesting permission to do so with several changes.

Board Chairman Frank Perea told commissioners if they requested permission to rent out the apartments for nine months they would not be able to rent out the space after Sept. 1.

Perea said he believed the best plan would to have month to month leases, which would allow the FLH to rent them out any time in the year, with the exception of the three months farm laborers would need the space.

The board also made a change that the lease would state that the ineligibles would have to move out of the apartments by May 31st with notices to vacate going out on April 1st.

Under the revised plan, which the board approved, FLH would be able to rent the apartments to ineligibles as well as eligibles between Sept. 1 and May 31st.

Benefit car wash at Dairy Queen set for Saturday

PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- A car wash is scheduled beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday at the Dairy Queen parking lot on South Eddy Street.

Proceeds will benefit the Children's Miracle Network and a free sundae will be given to all veterans. ID will be required.

A small ceremony is planned for that day at the Dairy Queen.


PECOS, Tuesday, July 2, 2002 -- High Monday 96. Low this morning 71. Forecast for tonight: Partly  cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 65 to  70. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a  30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 90.  East winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a 30  percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows 65 to  70. Independence day: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers  and thunderstorms. Highs around 95. Friday: Partly cloudy with a  slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around  70. Highs around 95.

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