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Economic Development


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Monday, Dec. 23, 2002

Attendance drop will cost district $1 million

Staff Writer

Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD schools face the loss of over $1 million in state aid due to declining enrollment, school officials said on Friday.

Declines of over 100 students during the past year at both Austin Elementary and Pecos High School has left the district with 2,488 students through the final day of the Fall 2002 semester on Thursday. That's down 227 students from the same time period a year ago, when the district had 2,675 students at its seven campuses.

P-B-T Superintendent Don Love said the decline would cost the school district over $1 million, based on the state funding formula on average daily attendance. "If you figure each child at $5,000 in state funding, that comes out to over $1 million," he said.

Out of the 227 student decline from a year ago, Love said about 210 were in school on an average day, which would translate into a drop of $1.05 million in aid from the state when the attendance figures are submitted.

"We've been hit hard over the last few years. We lost 140 kids last year and we're down 227 right now," said Love, who added most of the decline came in the early part of 2002 and at the end of the Spring semester.

"The good news is when you look at the first six week, the second six weeks and the third six weeks it's not taking the nose dive it did the last two years," he said.

P-B-T ISD has lost nearly 20 percent of its enrollment since the mid-1990s, with the closing of the Freeport McMoRan sulphur mine, the Smithers Tire Testing Center and the Anchor West Onion processing plant since 1996.

The closing at the end of the 2001-02 school year of Anchor West put 700 people out of work, and while the facility has reopened after being purchased by TransPecos Foods, it's operating with only about 30 percent of the former workforce.

"That's what's really hurting us, the closing of Anchor," said P-B-T Personnel Director Gome Olibas. "Hopefully that can level off, and maybe in a few years they can get some people back out there."

Olibas said during the month of December, the district lost two students to drop to the current 2,448 level.

Three of the district's six main campuses actually showed slight increases in attendance over a year ago, but those gains were more than offset by losses at the district's three largest campuses, Austin Elementary, Crockett Middle School and Pecos High School.

Austin's enrollment of first second and third graders dropped by 103 students, from 654 to 551, while Pecos High School saw its enrollment of ninth through 12th graders fall by 106, from 815 students to 709.

The number of seventh and eighth graders at Crockett was down by 27, falling from 420 students to 393, according to the P-B-T attendance report.

Enrollment at Pecos Kindergarten was up by one student from last year, to 219, while the number of fourth and fifth graders at Bessie Haynes Elementary and the number of sixth graders at Zavala Middle School were both up by four students, with 380 at Bessie Haynes and 196 at Zavala.

Olibas said 31 other students were assigned to the Lamar AEP campus, with all of those students coming from the Zavala, Crockett and Pecos High School campuses.

Attendance in Grades 6-12 averaged 95.22 percent, according to the district's figures.

Christian Home needs Christmas goodies

Staff Writer

The Pecos Christian Home has begun preparing its Christmas dinner today. However it is still in need of several food items for Wednesday's meal at the Reeves County Civic Center.

Several of the items of which the Christian Home is asking for are cooked turkeys, dressing, vegetables, deserts, and they are also in need of volunteers to deliver the dinners to homebound residents.

According to organizers of the event they are in need of about 10 cooked turkeys, which if possible have been de-boned.

Organizers said that some of the other items they are in need of are green beans, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

The dinners will be served at the Civic Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., but organizers said they also need other local residents to show up before then, in order to serve as volunteers to help serve and deliver plates to Meals on Wheels customers.

Volunteers are asked to show up between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to help serve and deliver the Meals on Wheels. During the Chrstian Home's Thanksgiving dinner, dinners were delivered to about 100 Meals on Wheels clients, while 225 others came to the Civic Center either to eat or to pick up turkey dinners to bring home.

People wishing to make a donation for the Christmas dinner may bring the cooked turkeys and any other items by the Christian Home or by the Reeves County Civic Center by 9 a.m. on Christmas Day.

Commissioners ask firm to clean up dumped debris

Staff Writer

Reeves County Commissioners took a step towards cleaning up the property located at the Precinct 1 maintenance yard area and turned down a bid for a building located on South Eddy Street during their final meeting of 2003, this morning at the Reeves County Courthouse

"We had brought up this subject up during the summer and contacted the company (Knight Construction) that dumped all the concrete out there," said commissioner precinct 1 Felipe Arredondo.

Knight Construction of Big Spring was the company in charge of replacing two bridges in the Pecos area during the past year, on U.S. 285 about 10 miles south of Pecos and on Business I-20, between Pecos and Barstow. At the time the work began in August 2001, the Texas Department of Transportation said the cost of the two projects would be about $4.3 million.

Arredondo said that they had found out the name of the company that had dumped concrete, asphalt and reinforced steel at that location and that he had the opportunity to speak to an official with Knight Construction. "He said that he would clean it up if he was properly notified," said Arredondo, who said that that's why he had put on the agenda.

"I think bringing it to the commissioners court and us writing him a letter, or getting the county attorney to write him a letter, would be properly notifying him," he said.

"So, you want us to formally request the removal of the materials and you're sure this is the right company," said county judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

"Yes, this is the right company, Knight Construction Company out of Big Spring," said Arredondo.

Galindo made the motion to contact the county attorney to draft a letter for the immediate removal of the concrete and debris at the Reeves County Precinct 1 yard area.

In other business, commissioners rejected a bid for property located at Block 1 Evans Addition _ the old Spa Building in the 1900 block of South Eddy Street. "I don't have the exact address, which is why I listed it this way on the agenda," said county tax assessor-collector Elfida Zuniga.

Zuniga told the board that she had received one bid on the building from Ramona Olivas in the amount of $5,000.

The property is valued at $47,740 and has accrued back taxes in the amount of $48,000. "This building was struck off to the county, but the bid has to be approved by all the entities," said Zuniga.

Galindo told the group that over the past week, or week and a half Sheriff Andy Gomez had been to see him about acquiring a building to establish a fitness facility for local county law enforcement.

"He has some funds that he wants to use for a fitness center for his deputies," said Galindo.

"I spoke to the sheriff and I told him that I had bid and I had to present it to the court," said Zuniga.

"He's looking at purchasing the necessary equipment and it will take between $15,000-$20,000 to purchase that equipment," said Galindo. "I told him we could present it to the court and consider it," he said.

Zuniga told the group that the building was in dire need of repairs and that it was infested with bats. "I think the roof needs repairs also," she said. "It doesn't extend all the way to the back, the back portion is used by the Dollar General Store located next door; it belongs to them."

Zuniga said that the building has a shower and spa and possibly a steam room. "I always present the bids to the court, once they bring them to me and I don't take other bids," she said.

"Are there any other buildings for the sheriff?" asked Arredondo.

"Not like this one, because it has a shower and everything," said Zuniga.

"What did she (Olivas) want to use the building for?" asked Arredondo.

"She said she was going to open a clothing store," said Zuniga.

"Another thing about that building is that it doesn't have any windows or store front," said Galindo.

"Who was going to be using the facility, every law enforcement official, or just county," said Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin.

"No, just his office and the task force," said county auditor Lynn Owens. He noted that he had received an electric bill from the facility.

"The city has their own facility," said Galindo, who made the motion to decline the bid submitted by Olivas. Both Tarin and Precinct 4 Commissioner Hivi Rayos voting for the motion.

Arredondo voted against the motion made by Galindo and commissioner precinct 2 David Castillo was absent.

Commissioners approved an agreement between Reeves County and Behavioral Interventions, Inc., for juvenile offenders.

"This is electronic monitoring for juvenile offenders, she had been using Pro-Tel," said Owens.

Owens said that Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Louise Moore placed the item on the agenda.

"This is actually a cheaper system, we were paying $5 for Pro-Tel and this is $4," said Owens.

The group also approved a contract agreement between Reeves County and Pecos County Juvenile Board, and a separate agreement between Reeves County and the American Guide Services, Inc.

"We've been advertising the golf course in American Guide for about four years and this is just a renewal," said Owens.

Personnel and salary changes included at the recreation department, Stella Garcia, as program director substitute at $8 an hour and a transfer from the Road and Bridges Department to the Reeves County Detention Center budget-purchasing department, Monette Dutchover.

At the Reeves County Detention Center, Carlos Campos was named commissary assistant, transferring from the custody department to the business department; Miguel C. Chavez, Jr. was hired as a Correctional Officer 1 at $19,000 per year; James Fisher promoted to COII at $24,000 per year; several individuals were promoted to Correctional Officers III at $26,000 per year including, Larry Acosta, Catarino Carrasco, Isaac Chabarria, Rosa Dominguez, Danny Esparza, Pete Fierro, Mario Flores, Rosendo Galindo, Eleuterio Garcia, Josephine Granado, Timothy Harrison, Debra Hignojos, Salvador Hinojos, Gilbert Kinne, Beatrice Martinez, Sarah Matta, Josefina Lindsey, Jeremiah Lozano, Veronica Salgado, Samuel Urias, Cinthia Ybarra and Patrick Ybarra.

Christmas services planned

Several local churches will be holding special mass services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Catholic Church in Pecos will hold several mass services in Pecos, Saragosa, Balmorhea and Barstow for Christmas Eve on Tuesday and Christmas Day on Wednesday.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Pecos Nursing Home, 7 p.m. at Christ the King Parish in Balmorhea, 8 p.m. at Our Lady of the Refuge Parish in Barstow, 10 p.m. Santa Rosa Parish in Pecos, and 12 midnight St. Catherine's Parish in Pecos.

The mass schedule for December 25 will be 10 a.m. at Santa Rosa Parish in Pecos and at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Saragosa.

There will be no catholic mass services in Toyah on either of these two days.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church at Fifth and Plum streets will also be sponsoring a Christmas Eve Service Holy Eucharist beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Everyone is invited to attend.

North Temple Baptist Church will also be having a candle light ceremony beginning at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Toyah Methodist has scheduled a Christmas Eve service for 7 p.m. while the First United Methodist Church in Pecos has also scheduled Christmas Eve service for 9 p.m.


High Sunday 61. Low this morning 42. Forecast for tonight: Rain likely. Rain changing to snow around midnight. Lows 25 to 30. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent. Snow accumulation less than one inch. Tuesday: Cloudy with a chance of snow early. Total accumulation of 1 inch possible. Highs near 40. The chance of snow is 30 percent. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy. Lows near 25. Christmas day: Mostly cloudy. Highs 45 to 50. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Highs near 50.

Police Report

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff's Office, or other officers of those agencies.

The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instanced we will indicate payment and release.


Jason Alvarez 30, was arrested at 12:33 a.m. on Dec. 17 in the 2300 block of Country Club Drive for Public intoxication.


Esequivel Venegas was arrested at 5:50 p.m. on Dec. 17, in the 1200 block of West Sixth Street for tampering with the serial number on a rifle.


Michael Louis Long, 48, was arrested at 6:28 p.m. on Dec. 17, at the intersection of Interstate 20 and U.S. 285 on a warrant for marijuana production.


Joe Lee Taylor, 26, and Gary Cooper Woodbury, 46, were arrested at 7:23 p.m. on Dec. 17, at Swiss Clock Inn both for warrants out of Runnells County (Ballinger) for arson.


Estor Martinez, 39, Francis Martinez, 21, and Frank Menchaca, 29, were arrested at 2:07 p.m. on Dec. 18 in the 300 block of Mulberry Street all for possession of heroin.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise