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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, August 1, 2003

Pledges to flags added to PBT class agendas

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students will start each day with the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag during the 2003-04 school year.

The announcement came at a special school board meeting held Thursday evening in the Technology Center during discussion of the student handbook and the Student Code of Conduct.

Board members also pledged the district to stock Pepsi over Coca-Cola at school campuses for the upcoming year, under a new vending machine contract approved during Thursday's special meeting.

"State law requires students to recite the (Pledge of) Allegiance to the United States Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag each day," said Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez during discussion on the handbook for the new school year.

A minute of silence will follow recitation of the pledges. The student may choose to reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity so long as the silent activity does not interfere with or distract others.

"What if a student chooses not to recite the pledge?" asked board member Crissy Martinez.

"Then that student will have to bring a written note to school," said Rodriguez.

"This will be done at all campuses," said P-B-T ISD Superintendent Don Love.

Pecos Kindergarten Principal Robert Garrett said that even the kindergarteners would begin their day this way.

"The kindergarteners are going to observe a moment of silence too?" asked personnel director Gome Olibas.

"We're still working on that," said Garrett.

Rodriguez and assistant high school principal John Fabela outlined the handbook and Student Code of Conduct. "There's not that many changes in the dress code," said Fabela.

All the principals noted that the handbooks would be pretty much the same as a year ago.

"We have very few changes in the junior high handbooks, other than the changes from the state," said Crockett Middle School Principal Victor Tarin.

Changes in the elementary school handbook included that the OCS (On Campus Suspension) would be held on the campus. "We used to send them off to the sixth grade for OCS, but now we want to have it at our campus," said Austin Elementary School Principal Cindy Duke.

Duke said that last year the students who are first, second and third graders attending OCS with older students. "We just think they're too little and too young to be sent off," said Duke. "We'll just do that on our campus and keep them there."

Another change would be the Reading Academy, a program aimed at strengthening the student's reading and learning abilities.

"Before we were having it for two hours after school," said Duke. "This year, we want to have it for just one hour, but for more days and for a longer period of time."

"With this new policy, the students targeted for Reading Academy will have to attend," said Garrett. "Before it was up to the parent's discretion if they wanted to send their child or not."

Garrett told the board that last year some parents would send their child to Reading Academy and that as soon as they received their snack would come and pick them up. "They weren't really attending the learning part of it, because the snacks were handed out at the beginning of the class and as soon as they received the snack the parent would conveniently come and pick the child up," he said.

Garrett said that this way the teachers would target the students that needed to attend the extra learning period and that it would be mandatory that they attend.

The new policy comes under House Bill 1314 Revised Education Code 25.085(d).

The school district will offer students in need of accelerated instruction the opportunity to attend Reading Academy in grades K-5. Instruction will be offered for six weeks during the fall and spring semesters.

In other action, board members agreed to a vending machine agreement with Pepsi following a discussion on the subject and pending on the council's approval.

"We still have to take it before the council, but I recommend that we go with Pepsi," said finance director Cookie Canon. "We can try them for a year and if we don't like their service change it."

The agreement calls for full service to the schools. The company will provide the machines, fill them and take care of the money. "This way the liability will lie with them and we won't have anything to do with the money," said Canon.

"There's always problems when you're dealing with cash and this way the company will be the one that handles everything," said Love. "I think this is the best way to go."

Coca-Cola had provided the services last year, but principals from the different campuses said that they had provided poor service. Coke had previously provided service to the P-B-T district under a five-year deal in which the bottling company provided funds for a new scoreboard at Eagle Stadium.

New appointments to the district included: David Neighbors- *Certified Secondary Social Studies Composite, Secondary Business Administration (6-12), Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Major in Accountancy & Information Systems, three years experience, assignment: History Teacher/Coach at Crockett Middle School.

Necole Williamson - *Region 18 Teacher Certification Program - Special Education (EC-12), Bachelor of Science, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Major in Computer Science, Minor in Mathematics, no experience; assignment: Special Education Teacher at Austin Elementary.

Glenda Willis - *Certified in Elementary Self-Contained, English (1-8), Secondary English, History (6-12), Language and/or Learning Disabled (PK-12), Masters in Education, University of Texas in Austin, Master of Arts in Teaching, Angelo State University, 17 years experience; assignment: 6th grade teacher (class-size reduction grant at Bessie Haynes Elementary).

Change in Contract: Becky Wein - from one-year dual assignment/term contract for non-certified teacher to one-year dual assignment/term contract for certified teacher.

Reassignments: Kim Anderson from Science teacher/coach at Pecos High School to discipline teacher/coach at Lamar/DAEP.

Erin Campos from 6th grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary to 5th grade teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Diane Minjarez from Special Education S/C Teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary to Special Education S/C teacher at Austin Elementary.

Sandra Reeves from Special Education S/C teacher at Austin Elementary to Special Education S/C teacher at Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Becky Wein from Discipline Teacher/Coach at Lamar/DAEP to 6th Grade teacher/coach at Bessie Haynes Elementary.

Crissy Zuniga from 9th grade Initiative Teacher/Coach at Lamar DAEP to Discipline teacher/coach at Lamar DAEP.

Council awards Lubbock firm software bid

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council awarded the purchase of accounting software to Incode out of Lubbock, during a special council meeting on Thursday at City Hall.

City Secretary Connie Levario said that council agreed to purchase the accounting software from Incode, the company the council had tentatively agreed to award the bid to during their regular meeting on July 24. However, Councilman Danny Rodriguez opposed the awarding of any bid until the other two companies, New World Systems and Springbrook provided an informative package to the council.

Rodriguez was happy with the final decision, Levario said.

New World Systems is based out of Troy, Michigan while Springbrook is based out of Portland, Oregon.

Lions Club cooking breakfast for annual fly-in event

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- The Pecos Downtown Lions Club will provide breakfast this Sunday, during the 18th Annual Fly-In Breakfast held at the Pecos Municipal Airport.

The annual event, which is held every year on the first Sunday of August, will begin at 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. providing a complete breakfast for the pilots, who come into town both for the breakfast and to pick up boxes of Pecos Cantaloupes to bring home.

Downtown Lions Clu 3b President, Mark Zuniga said that the Lions would be providing a breakfast will all the trimmings for the 11th consecutive year.

"Our breakfast will consist of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage," Zuniga said. "We will also provide cantaloupes, coffee and orange juice."

Zuniga added that the public is welcomed to come and that the Lions Club train would also be on hand to provide rides to the those children in attendance. Along with standard private planes, experimental planes flown by their pilots into town also are usually on display near the airport's hangar area.

The public is also invited to join in the full breakfast, but Zuniga said that they are asking for donations.

"It is a fundraiser for us," Zuniga said.

Along with providing a hearty breakfast, Zuniga said that the there would also be a cantaloupe target bombing performed by some of the pilots.

"The pilots have also provided rides around the community to the small children," Zuniga said.

I-20 work planned, Entrada route study sought

Staff Writer

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Rough road conditions on Interstate 20 between the Pecos River and Pyote are due for a long-lasting solution in the near future, while rail and road connections through the area from Lubbock to Mexico were among the items discussed on Thursday during the Texas Transportation Commission's monthly meeting.

The Commission, which usually meets in Austin, held Thursday's meeting at the University of Texas Center for Energy and Economic Diversification Auditorium between Midland and Odessa.

Gary Law, Director of Transportation Planning and Development for the Texas Department of Transportation's Odessa District office, said district engineer Lauren D. Garduno has committed $10 million of the district's upcoming budget towards improving the 160 miles of Interstate 20 within the district. "Considering the district only gets $40 million each year that's 25 percent of the funds," Law said.

Among the I-20 projects planned is the complete resurfacing of I-20 over a 16-mile stretch between the Pecos River and Pyote in Ward County. That section was just resurfaced two years ago, but already is redeveloping ruts in the pavement surface.

"What we did two years ago was just buy ourselves some time," Law said. "We got the ruts out for about a period of three years, but this time we've got a little more money to work with and we're going to go all the way down to the base this time."

Law said the contract for the I-20 project would be let sometime this month.

The main section of Thursday's meeting devoted to public comments dealt with Odessans' complaints over the planned John Ben Shepard Parkway overpass at Business I-20 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. But two other discussions could affect Pecos and Reeves County in the future.

Both dealt with the La Entrada al Pacifico project, which is designed to connect the Lubbock area with Ojianga, Mex., and from there continue on new Mexican highways to the Pacific Coast. Work is scheduled to begin soon on the section of the road between Lamesa and the Midland International Airport, and the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance (MOTRAN) voted in the mid-1990s to support a route that would go south from Odessa to Presidio and travel through Crane, McCamey, Fort Stockton and Alpine.

Law said MOTRAN asked the commission to approve $1.9 million for the Odessa District to conduct a feasibility study on possible routes between Odessa and Presidio. He added that the study could result in a different route being selected for the La Entrada highway.

"The (MOTRAN) trunk corridor was designated by the legislature. As far as highway funding, a feasibility and route study hasn't been conducted," he said.

Signs along the MOTRAN route were put up several years ago, but drivers traveling between Odessa and Presidio continue to use more direct routes, either along State Highway 17 from Pecos through Balmorhea and Fort Davis or along FM 1776 from Monahans through Coyanosa to Alpine.

"It could very well alter the route the legislature designated as the trunk corridor," Law said of the proposed study. He added that the $1.9 million proposal will have to be considered by the Transportation Commission and its staff before any funds are approved.

The commissioners also heard from the La Entrada al Pacifico Rail District, which Law said is a newly created group seeking to build a rail connection between Lubbock and Presidio, using part of the South Orient Railroad line taken over by the state two years ago.

"They're looking at three or four different routes," Law said. That includes one that would use part of the Pecos Valley Southern Railroad between Pecos and the Verhalen area, along with other existing short line railroads between Monahans and Lovington, N.M. and Segraves and Lubbock to create a direct link from the South Plains into Mexico.

However, Law said the group would prefer a route further to the east. "They would like to come through McCamey and Midland-Odessa to Seagraves," he said.

That route would include 120 miles of new rail along U.S. 385 between Seagraves and McCamey. The route using existing trackage would require half as much new rail lines to connect up the existing sections, but would also require the support of the State of New Mexico.

Law said Thursday's meeting was the first in the Midland-Odessa area for the commission since 1999. "Hopefully, we can get them back here again in 2006, so it would be every three years," he added.

Enterprise publisher buys Monahans News

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Pecos Enterprise publisher Smokey Briggs and wife Laura purchased The Monahans News from Buckner News Alliance on Thursday.

Buckner News Alliance has owned the Pecos Enterprise since the mid-1960s and purchased the Monahans paper in 1996.

Ned Cantwell, division manager for Buckner News Alliance, announced the sale.

"The Buckner News Alliance has enjoyed its association with the community of Monahans, its newspaper, and this dedicated newspaper staff during the past several years," Cantwell said. "We cannot envision a more appropriate successor to guide the Monahans News. Laura and Smokey Briggs are a class act, excellent newspaper people who love West Texas."

Briggs said that the purchase will not affect his status as publisher of the Pecos Enterprise.

"I will continue to publish the Enterprise for as long as Mr. Buckner needs me," Briggs said.

"This is a proud day for Laura and I," he said. "To own a newspaper has been a long-time dream of mine. To be able to do so and at the same time continue to work for a first class outfit like Buckner News Alliance is like pouring cream on your peaches. It just doesn't get better than this."

Briggs said that he did not anticipate any major changes at The Monahans News in the immediate future.

"The News is a good newspaper with a great staff - most of us have been colleagues for the past five years. Our only immediate goal is to continue to provide Monahans with a good newspaper - a paper that reports the news objectively on the front page and delivers credible and strong opinions on the opinion page," Briggs said. "That is our job and that is what we will do."

The Briggs family will be the fifth owners of The Monahans News in its 72-year history.

The first issue of The Monahans News hit the streets on February 5, 1931.

B. W. Barnes was the editor and publisher and the paper was published weekly.

Fred Landers bought the paper in the mid 1930s. In 1936 Hugh P. Cooper bought the newspaper.

The Cooper family owned and ran The Monahans News for 60 years before selling it to Buckner News Alliance in 1996.

Briggs joined the Marine Corps Reserve after high school and then earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Texas at Arlington. He later earned a master's degree in journalism from Central Missouri State University and also holds a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.

Briggs passed the bar exam in 1997 and worked as an attorney in Lubbock until moving to Pecos in 1999 to become Enterprise publisher.

Previously he has worked as a reporter for the Clinton Daily Democrat in Clinton, Missouri, and for the Taylor Daily Press, in Taylor, Texas, and was the assistant editor for The National Oil and Lube News for two years.

Laura Briggs earned a bachelor's degree in business from Central Missouri State University in 1994 and worked for Total Home Health Care in Lubbock until the birth of the couple's first child, Ruby Leigh, in 1997.

Their second daughter, Carson Mae, was born in 2000.

The couple met as members of the University of Texas at Arlington rifle team, and both still enjoy competitive shooting as well as most other outdoor activities.

They will celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary next week and currently own a home in Barstow.

For the past three years Laura has served as the President of the Women's Division of the Pecos Chamber of Commerce and is also a member of the Friends of the Library, and a director for the West of the Pecos Museum.

Currently Smokey is president-elect for the Pecos Rotary Club and the president of the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club. He has also served on the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee for the past four years and was chairman for the Pecos Valley Friends of the NRA Committee last year.

He also serves on the board of the Pecos Valley Country Club.

First week schedule set for Eagle Band

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Rehearsals will begin for the Pecos Eagle Band on Monday, and the first week's schedule has been set for 2003-04 band members.

Full Band marching rehearsal will be from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. next Monday through Friday.

Sectional Rehearsals will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m., all brass; 1:30-2:30 p.m., all woodwinds and from 2:30-3:30 p.m., all percussion.

Feds mailing out tax rebate checks

PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- Checks have already arrived in the mail to some individuals who qualified for the Child Tax Credit passed by Congress and signed by President George Bush earlier this year.

The second group of checks were mailed out today, after the first were sent out on July 25. The final group will be mailed out on Aug. 8, and the mailings depend on the taxpayer's social security number.

To find out more about whether or not you qualified for the tax credit, individuals can call 1-800-829-0105.


PECOS, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003 -- High Thursday 101, low this morning 73. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Sunny. Highs around 103. East winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday night: Clear. Lows in the lower 70s. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Highs around 104. Monday: Mostly clear. Lows near 70. Highs around 105.

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Pecos Enterprise
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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