Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
Monday, Dec. 23, 2002
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Attendance drop will cost district $1 million
By JON FULBRIGHT
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
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
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
By JENNIFER GALVAN
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
By ROSIE FLORES
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
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
"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 plannedSeveral 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
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.
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
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.
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