Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, August 20, 2002
Opening day P-B-T enrollment drops 8 percent
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD saw a loss in students
on the first day back for the new school year that was double the predicted
total by school officials, who said they have plans to deal with the
problem if the enrollment numbers do not pick up.
"We had budgeted on 100 less kids," said PBT-ISD Superintendent Don Love,
but for the first day of classes, the district's campuses reported 207 fewer
students than a year ago.
That represents a drop of about 8 percent in enrollment for P-B-T ISD
from last year. Part of the state's funding plan for Texas school districts
is based on the number of students enrolled; however, Love said, "There's
a law that says that after 98 percent the state will help out the loss."
The state has about $11 million a year to help school districts that experience
big losses in students, however, the amount is divided among all the school
districts, according to Love.
"We'll experience about a 96.5 percent loss and had budgeted on 96 percent,"
said Love. "If we end up losing 98 percent the state will come in and help,"
Love said that other schools are facing the same dilemma and the amount
of help will have to reach all of the districts. "That's if Houston schools
don't take a lot, because all the districts are experiencing the same thing,"
"If we went down to 180-200 kids, we would be in the 98 percent law and
the state would come in and help, but then what do you do next year," said
Pecos High School reported 648 students on the first day of school this
year with 695 reported on the first day of school last year. That's 47 less
students at that campus.
LDAEP "Lamar AEP" reported that they had 22 students this year, double
the first day total from last year of 11 students.
Crockett Middle School had 367 register this year, with 407 last year
on the first day of school. The number is down 40 this year.
Zavala Middle School had five fewer students this year than last. This
year the number at the sixth grade campus was at 180 and last year it was
Bessie Haynes Elementary School also reported a loss of five students.
The school had 358 fourth and fifth graders this year on the first day of
school and last year the number was 363.
Austin Elementary, which houses first through third graders, reported
the biggest loss in students on the first day of school. The campus reported
522 students compared to last year's 629, which is a loss of 107 students.
Pecos Kindergarten lost 14 students this year compared to last year's
first day of school. This year's number was 194 and last year 208.
The total number of students on the first day of school was set at 2,291,
compared with last year's first day of school report, 2,498.
"We're hoping some more will trickle in every day," said Love. "And we're
definitely hoping some more will show up after the Labor Day holiday," which
is something that happens sometimes, he added.
City starts mosquito spraying quickly after rain
By JENNIFER GALVAN
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- After last night heavy rains, the Town of
Pecos City sent out it truck to spray for mosquitoes after switching
the spraying machine over to another truck.
According to Octavio Garcia, Utilities Director, the truck on which the
spraying machine was on had broken down.
Garcia said that the spraying is done with one truck, one machine and
one person in a span of three days.
"We spray on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays," Garcia said. "Sometimes
we spray on Mondays and Tuesdays."
The entire town of Pecos is sprayed within the three days, Garcia said.
The past decades drought has made the mosquito spraying truck an unfamiliar
sight around town in recent years, but Garcia said that they have been spraying
for several weeks now.
He said that a truck was out last night to spray after the rain had stopped
and will continue to spray to the middle of next month.
"We will stop about the middle of September, unless we have heavy rains
after that," Garcia said.
According to Garcia, they begin to spray one-third of the city at about
8 p.m. and continue till midnight or one o'clock in the morning.
"It (the spray) works better when the sun is not out," he said. "It will
evaporate with the sun."
Garcia said that the spray would not affect people that are in the area
that is being sprayed but did say that for safety purposes children should
stay away for the truck.
Garcia added that this years mosquitoes have not been as bad as in past
Heavy rains in the 1980s and early 1990s left large pools of standing
water on the southeast side of Pecos, where mosquitos were able to easily
breed and become a nuisance to local residents.
This year, concerns about mosquitoes in Texas has grown with reports that
some of the insects may have transmitted the West Nile virus in areas around
Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and other parts of East Texas.
The Associated Press reported Monday that a 52-year old Houston women,
Ethel Meneffe, died Friday due to the West Nile virus.
Meneffe became the first Texas fatality.
According to the Texas Department of Health, 25 people have been infected
with West Nile, 13 of them in Harris County.
Five other counties-Dallas, Jefferson, Montgomery, Orange and Trinity
have reported human cases.
Across the state, 31 counties have reported West Nile in humans, birds,
horses or mosquitoes.
Kathy Barton, spokeswomen for the Houston Department of Health and Human
Services, said that it will be two weeks before the Center for Disease Control
and Prevention can confirm if Menefee died from the West Nile.
The disease, which is transmitted to humans through mosquito bits, causes
symptoms of fever, headache and body ache. Severe cases can result in coma,
paralysis or death. The virus cans cause encephalitis, which is the swelling
of the brain.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Surprise storm causes street floods, brief power outage
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- Huge raindrops were a much-needed relief
from the hot, humid weather that has plagued West Texas.
KIUN radio reported 1.2 inches of rain fell in downtown Pecos Monday night,
and intersections in the central part of town were underwater after a thunderstorm
formed over the city shortly after 7 p.m.
Lightning from the storm briefly knocked out power to sections of south-central
Pecos, and other areas to the north of town were also hard hit by Monday's
rains. Power was restored too most areas by about 9 p.m.
The Texas Agricultural Extension Agency reported .70 in rainfall for their
area seven miles west of Pecos, the same number the National Weather Service
in Midland officially reported for the city Monday.
The storm moved off towards the northeast about 45 minutes after it began.
Coyanosa, 28 miles east of Pecos, didn't get any rain at all this time, according
to the Coyanosa Gin Co-op, while to the south, Balmorhea reportedly received
only .03 inch, according to National Weather Service spokesman Michael Young.
"Pecos did really well," said Young. "That's really a pretty good rate."
Young said that the forecast for the next few days calls for isolated
"Isolated thunderstorms and wind, will be in the area throughout Monday
of next week," said Young. "But that's only less than 20 percent chance,"
Monahans, which was hit hard by two thunderstorms last Tuesday that dropped
hail in part of town, got more rain on Monday. The city officially received
.29, according to Young. Though more rain was reported in other parts of
Ex-Enterprise publisher to oversee suburban paper
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- Former Pecos Enterprise publisher Ray Stafford,
who has served as publisher of The Monitor in McAllen since 1994, has
been promoted by that paper's parent company to executive vice president
and general manager of The Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif.
Stafford, a 1966 Pecos High School graduate who served as publisher of
the Enterprise from 1980 through 1984, has previously served as publisher
of two newspapers in northern California. He returned to Texas in 1991 when
he was hired by Freedom Newspapers as publisher of the Odessa American.
Before returning home in 1980 for his first job as publisher, Stafford
worked at the Fort Worth Star Telegram. His father, Joe Stafford, formerly
operated Stafford Cleaners in Pecos, while his month, Dot Stafford, was a
longtime officer at First National Bank in Pecos and is currently mayor of
the Town of Pecos City.
Freedom is based in Orange County, Calif., and the Register is the company's
largest single newspaper, serving the southern part of the Los Angeles metropolitan
area. Stafford, 54, will begin overseeing day-to-day operations at the 360,000-circulation
Register on Sept. 30.
While Stafford was publisher, The Monitor became the largest of Freedom's
community newspapers in both profitability and circulation. He also
lobbied successfully for a new building and printing presses.
Stafford's appointment comes two weeks after a meeting of the family-held
company announced they did not plan to sell off the business or any of its
major assets, including the Register.
"The company is not for sale," announced Freedom Communications Board
Chairman, R. David Threshie on Aug. 11. "We have agreed to explore ways to
transfer significant ownership to the younger generation."
The private, two-day Freedom Family Shareholders Liquidity Forum on Aug.
10-11 allowed 43 family shareholders of Freedom Communications, Inc., the
opportunity to explore 12 liquidity options, ranging from redeeming individual
shares to selling the company. Threshie is married to Judith Hoiles Threshie,
the granddaughter of Freedom founder, R. C. Hoiles
M. Olaf Frandsen, publisher of the Appeal-Democrat in Marysville, Calif.,
will replace Stafford at the Monitor starting in November.
Frandsen will assume Stafford's position as division vice president
of Freedom Communications Inc.'s Southwest region, which includes 10
community newspapers in Texas, New Mexico and Missouri.
Frandsen, 47, was editor of the Odessa American in 1987 when the paper
won the Pulitzer Prize for spot photography for coverage of Jessica
McClure's rescue from a Midland well.
During his 20 years with Freedom, he has been publisher in Marysville
for six years and a former political editor at the Register.
Frandsen holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University
of Arizona and a master's in business administration from the University
Freedom Communications, Inc., headquartered in Irvine, Calif. is a privately-owned
diverse media company of newspapers, broadcast television stations and interactive
media businesses. The company publishes 28 daily and 37 weekly newspapers,
with a combined daily circulation of more than 1.2 million subscribers. The
broadcast division includes eight stations including five CBS and three ABC
County Clerk can issue birth certificat copies
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez is
reminding everyone that her office is equipped to issue birth certificates
for anyone born in the state of Texas.
Cost for a birth certificate from any of the state's 254 counties is $11,
and the individual making the request must be a qualified applicant.
For more information contact the clerk's office at 445-5467.
PECOS, Tues., August 20, 2002 -- High Monday 98. Low this morning 70.
Rainfall last 24 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station .70 inch.
Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms. Lows
in the mid 70s. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy
with isolated thunderstorms. Highs near 103. Southeast winds 10 to
20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with isolated evening thunderstorms.
Lows in the mid 70s. Thursday: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms.
Highs near 102. Friday: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms.
Lows in the mid 70s. Highs around 100.
Darrell Grogan and Georgia Hayes
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise