Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Council votes for increased PEDC briefings
By BRENDEN BRIGGS
PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 11, 2003 -- The Town of Pecos City Council voted to
require monthly updates from the Pecos Economic Development Corporation
on its activities, after resuming their discussion about public
accessibility to PEDC information and benefits given to its president,
Gari Ward, during their regularly scheduled meeting this morning.
The PEDC was created in an effort to boost the struggling local
economy by attracting new businesses to Pecos. Part of the PEDC's
funding comes from a one-sixth share of the city's 11/2-cent sales tax.
During today's meeting in council chambers at City Hall, Councilman
Danny Rodriguez told PEDC board members that he had one question
regarding the budget that he did not have answered at the last meeting.
"The way I understand it, typically a person is paid for mileage or
car expense, but not both," Rodriguez said.
"In the original contract, the committee assigned with hiring the
PEDC president agreed to terms that would pay both," PEDC board
Chairman Oscar Saenz said.
Local CPA Randy Graham, who has handled the corporation's audits,
added that the $600 per month was paid for car expense, but that the
mileage expense was a way for the taxes to be offset.
"If Mr. Ward doesn't turn in any mileage during a particular month,
then he has to claim the car expense as income," he said. "However, if
Mr. Ward does turn in mileage during a given month, then that takes
away from the amount of car expense that must be claimed as income."
Councilman Frank Sanchez then asked Graham if he thought that the
monthly expenses need additional review other than his own and Saenz's.
"I think they need to be reviewed. I look at the expenses every
month, but the (entire) board needs to look as well," Graham said.
Saenz replied that he had a problem with the statement that the PEDC
board needs to be more accountable.
"As chairman I review the expenses, if I see a problem then I take
it to Mr. Ward and Mr. Graham, but if I see no problem then I don't
understand the need for additional review," he said.
"Does the board call a meeting to review the monthly invoices when
they come in?" Mayor Dot Stafford asked.
"No, when the expenses come in I ask the questions and when they are
answered, I send a report to the other board members and the City
Council," Saenz said.
"As a matter of business practice, the board doesn't meet on a
monthly basis to approve expenses?" Sanchez asked.
"No, I don't see a reason to hold meetings just for the sake of
holding meetings," Saenz said.
"But don't you think it would be better to hold monthly meetings to
allow the public some insight into what the board is doing, at least
then there would be a public opportunity for people to ask questions?"
Sanchez asked. "The public needs to know what is going on, and if you
hold monthly meetings then anyone who wants to come can attend."
"What you are suggesting is that the chairman of the board doesn't
have the discretion to oversee this corporation," PEDC board member
Mike Burkholder said.
"No that not what I said, I just think that it would be in the
public best interest to allow a chance for the taxpayers to ask
questions and find out what their money is going towards," Sanchez
"The problem with that is at those kinds of meetings people want us
to discuss ongoing projects. That kind of release of information causes
us to lose potential business," Saenz said. "That is why economic
development must maintain some sort of confidentiality."
Mayor Stafford stated that those types of issues that required
confidentiality could be discussed in executive session.
"I just feel like there is miscommunication here. If you were to
hold monthly meetings, then the public could feel better about the
situation," Councilman Rodriguez said.
"I would request that in lieu of these monthly meetings, that one
representative of the PEDC board could attend one of the council
meetings per month to deliver the monthly expense report and answer any
questions that the council might have," Saenz said.
"That is what we are looking for, some way for the citizens to
question what is going on," Rodriguez said.
"We have a very big project on the table right now, but it is very
confidential," Ward told council members.
"Right there, that is the type of release of information is bad
because that spreads rumors around town and if the deal doesn't go
through the citizens feel let down even more so," Saenz said.
"Let us move forward in a positive way, if you were to be here for
one of the council meeting per month, I think that would allow the
public the access they desire to the PEDC," Rodriguez said.
"Why don't the people go to the PEDC directly if they have
questions, that is how I was raised, if you had a question then you
went to the source for the answer," Councilman Benavides asked.
"The public may not come to the PEDC office because they are not
aware of its location or availability for questions," Stafford said.
"I think that the problem can be solved if the PEDC were to send a
representative to the second monthly meeting," Rodriguez said.
"I could print off a more detailed report of expenses for each
month," Graham said.
The council unanimously approved the motion from Rodriguez and on a
second from Tellez to have a PEDC representative attend the second
council meeting of every month to answer any questions the council may
have about the corporation's activities.
In other business the council voted to move the second council
meeting to Monday, December 22, due to the Christmas holiday. Also,
Mayor Stafford asked the council members if they had any news on the
water leak reported on the radio yesterday. No one did.
KIUN radio reported Wednesday the city water department was asking
citizens of Pecos to conserve water until the leak was repaired. City
crews have been working on repairing leaks to the Worsham Field water
line since Monday, after leaks were discovered last week. However,
water superintendent Octavio Garcia was on vacation this week, and was
not at this morning's council meeting.
The council also approved the municipal reports for the month of
November and placed on the agenda for the next meeting, the hearing of
bids for the new police vehicles and the establishment of a committee
to screen the applicants for the city manager position.
Police Chief Clay McKinney has been serving as acting city manager
since Carlos Yerena resigned last month to take the same position in
Kingsville. The deadline for applications is Dec. 19.
Area kids receive flu shots, shortages reported
From Staff and Wire Reports
Flu shots were given to over 120 children on Wednesday, as an early
outbreak of the illness across the nation has cut into the available
Pecos Valley Rural Health Clinic was on hand at the Pecos
Kindergarten administering the vaccine to children in the community who
qualified for Medicaid, had CHIPS insurance or no insurance at all.
"It's difficult to determine how many individuals have been
hospitalized because of the flu, the state does not require the number
of cases to be documented in this county," said Nancy Ontiveros,
Director of Program Development/Community Services at Reeves County
Ontiveros said that individuals have been hospitalized for
complications stemming from the flu. "They have been hospitalized for
upper respiratory problems, elevated fever and the elderly and children
are more at risk," she said.
Ontiveros said that doctors in the area have reported a high number
of flu cases. "All the doctors are booked and cases of strep throat,
which is accompanied by high fever," she said.
Texas was the first state this season where the flu was considered
widespread, the most severe ranking by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
The flu season usually stretches from October to May, peaking in
December and January, but this year cases were reported as early as
Doctors and hospitals in Texas are not required to report flu cases,
so Texas does not have flu case counts.
In a typical year 36,000 Americans die from the influenza virus, but
flu researchers expect a higher death toll this year.
Preventative measures can be taken by covering the mouth when
coughing, washing their hands frequently and trying to lessen the
exposure to sick people, according to Ontiveros.
The Pecos Valley Rural Health Clinic will again be administering the
flu vaccine next Wednesday, beginning at 2 p.m.
"We encourage everyone in the community to get their flu shot to
prevent serious illness," said Ontiveros. "Even if they get the flu it
will lessen the severity of the illness," she said.
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, county health departments are running
out of flu vaccines.
Denton County administered its last flu shot Tuesday night after
hundreds of people "came out in droves" to clinics in Denton and
Lewisville the past few days, said clinic director Suzy Hancock.
Collin County ran out before 5 p.m. Wednesday after vaccinating 490
people in one day. As of late Wednesday afternoon, Tarrant County had
200 doses left and expected to run out later in the day.
Because of Dallas County's dwindling supply, health officials on
Wednesday started limiting flu vaccines to high-risk patients and
canceled a weekend flu shot clinic.
Some providers are having to pay more for flu vaccines as the
demand has skyrocketed in recent weeks, said Doug McBride, spokesman
for the Texas Department of Health, which was charged $6.60 per dose
earlier this season but $10 a dose recently by a supplier.
The Texas Attorney General's Office has not received complaints of
clinics or pharmacies charging customers outrageous prices, said
spokesman Tom Kelley.
"Prices are higher because the supply is so tight. That's a
phenomenon of the market," Kelley said.
School board to get update on new field
PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 11, 2003 -- A report on the new Pecos High School
softball field and recognition of the Texas State Champions - Dairy
Cattle Judging Team top the agenda for the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
Board meeting scheduled for tonight.
The board will meet at 6 p.m., in the Technology Center, 1301 S.
Eddy and the public is invited to attend the open session.
The Dairy Cattle Judging Team took top honors at the state
competition last May, while the $298,000 softball field is almost
completed, in preparation for the start of workouts in late January for
the 2004 softball season.
The board will also acknowledge donations from the Pecos Eagle
Athletic Booster Club, the Reeves County Teachers Credit Union and the
Reeves County Tax Appraiser District.
Other items include a letter from the Texas Education Agency -
Certificate of Recognition for Early Implementation of GASB 34 and
2002-2003 School Report Cards from TEA will be discussed.
Board members will discuss and take possible action on revision of
TASB Policy DEC Local -sick leave pool; foreclosed properties; request
by Reeves County Teachers Credit Union to use the Pecos High School
auditorium and waive fees; first reading for TASB Policy Update 71 and
2003-2004 budget amendments.
The group will meet behind closed doors in closed session as
authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code,
Section 551.101 et. Seq., Section 551.074: a. To deliberate the
appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline
or dismissal of a public officer or employee; (1) Discuss extension and
terms of Superintendent's contract. B. To hear a complaint or charge
against an officer or employee.
The board will take action, if any, on items discussed in closed
session and consider and possible action on extension and terms of
Regular agenda items include: consider and possible action on
professional personnel: resignations, retirements, appointments, change
of contract, reassignments; tax report; cafeteria report and
commodities received; depository securities report; current bills and
financial report; investment transaction report; reconciled bank
balance and Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.
N. Temple church marking 50th anniversary
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 11, 2003 -- A food bank, Bible Study, youth
groups and inspirational messages can be found at a church that was
chartered 50 years ago and is celebrating their anniversary this month.
The church was a mission church that spun off of West Park Baptist
Church. "About two years later, December of 1953, it was organized as
an actual church," said church member Kathy Hurley.
Pastor Mac McCormick said that mission church, now called North
Temple Baptist Church and located at 300 N. Walnut St., started as a
mission church in 1950 and was organized in 1953. "During that time,
Rube Patillo was the pastor, when it was a mission church," said
A special Christmas Program is scheduled for this Sunday and an
anniversary celebration will be incorporated into the event. The
service will begin at 6 p.m., Sunday and everyone is invited to attend.
Also, during this time a long-time Deacon at the church will be
celebrating his 45th year in that position.
Clarence Cox has been a Deacon at North Temple since the late 1950s
and will be honored for his many years of service.
"Our church has also been debt free, we've never had to borrow money
for anything," said Hurley.
She said that many renovations have been made to the facility that
began as a little church on the north side of town.
"We've done many things to it and through it all, we have never had
to borrow any money," Hurley said.
Mac McCormick has been the pastor for the past 11 years. "Some
churches change pastors a lot and we're one of the churches that have
not seen many changes in that regard," said Hurley.
The church averages about 70 members and about 50 Sunday school
"For such a small church, we can still support a food bank," said
The food bank is open to non-church members and about 160 boxes are
delivered or picked up by families in need around the community.
"Two years ago, we had about 40 boxes each time, that was when we
first established the food bank," said Hurley. "In October, we had 488
boxes," said Hurley. "We spent about $1,614, from donations from church
members and a few outside donations."
Donations like this are what the keep the food bank going, according
"We have a good group of citizens that attend the church and really
help out," he said.
Some of the programs offered at the church include the Women's
Missionary Union (WMU). "They study about missionary work and do a lot
of donations to mission work," said Hurley.
Children in Action is a program for boys and girls in the first
through sixth grades.
"They study about missionary work and do a lot of local projects at
the nursing home and hospital," said Hurley, while ACTEENS is also a
missionary oriented program for girls in the 7th through 12th grades.
"We sponsor a fall concert and Bible Costume Contest and Chili
Cookoff," said Hurley.
The program was established 18 years ago and is an alternative to
Trick-Or-Treating. "It's usually very well attended," said Hurley.
Revivals are sponsored by the church every year and the next one is
coming up in about three months, according to McCormick.
"We did one at the civic center and will be doing one in March,"
The church sponsors the He-Brews Coffee Shop, not only financially,
but with manpower. Members volunteer their time at the establishment,
which was created for the youth in the community.
"We work with other Baptist churches on local events and have a
puppet ministry every Sunday and have the puppets at the Fall Fair
every year," said Hurley.
Several years ago, church members attended a workshop on
Janet Prewit is son leader and Carol Bagley is the pianist for the
devoted group. Carolyn Winkles is treasurer and Deacons include:
Clarence Cox, Kenneth Winkles, Bob Bagley, Bud Nelson and Harold
"We have excellent Sunday School teachers. They are well-rounded,"
Classes are offered for every age group at the church and everyone
is welcome. Sunday School is from 9:45 until 10:45; Worship Services,
11 a.m. until noon; Bible Study is held Sunday night from 6-7 p.m.;
Wednesday, a Discipleship; Youth group meets from 6-7 on Wednesday and
is open to all junior high and high school students.
The CIA group meets from 5:30-6:45 p.m., on Wednesdays and the WMU's
meet the first and third Thursdays of the month.
"Our church pays for the youth to go to camp, something not a lot of
churches do or can afford," said Hurley.
"We also sponsor Hot Line, on KIUN, every Thursday and the song of
inspiration six days a week," said McCormick. "We also participate in
Tuesdays inspirational message."
The McCormicks were honored in 2001, with the Hidden Hero/Profile
of Courage Award at the annual Pecos Chamber of Commerce Awards
Mac McCormick, who started a career as a railroad telegraph operator
and retired as a Vice President after 40 years, and his wife Billie
received the honor during the banquet.
"These two without any fanfare have silently and gently brought
great influence to this community, including their family, and
countless friends," said Ken Winkles, Sr. who presented the award to
the McCormicks. "Not only by their achievements, but by the way they
have conducted their own lives."
The couple have lived in Pecos since 1948, and Winkles said the city
became a better place, for they came to work, to share, to give of
their talents and to serve God and raise their family, and these things
they did with all their heart.
"It was here in Pecos that he was ordained a deacon in the West Park
Baptist Church, and it was there he felt the call to the ministry, to
which he followed God's will in his life. A life that has impacted many
others since. In 1963 he took his first Pastorate in Orla, and later in
Coyanosa and the past several years at North Temple Baptist Church,"
KPTX to broadcast Fort Davis-Strawn six-man title game
PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 11, 2003 -- KPTX Radio will be broadcasting the
six-man football state championship game on Saturday between the Fort
Davis Indians and the Strawn Greyhounds, scheduled for Ratliff Stadium
General Manager Bill Randal Cole said the 98.3 FM signal now reaches
down into the Fort Davis area, which will make the game available to
residents there beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Fort Davis and Strawn both are 13-1 on the season. The Indians won
the District 6-A six-man title this season, and are seeking their first
six-man championship after dropping down from 11-man football prior to
the start of the 2002 season.
PECOS, Thurs., Dec. 11, 2003 -- High Wednesday 62. Low this morning
29. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows near 30. Southeast winds
5 to 10 mph. Friday: Increasing cloudiness. Highs near 60. Northwest
winds 10 to 20 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows near 30. Northwest
winds 5 to 15 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s. West
winds 5 to 10 mph. Saturday night: Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 20s to
the lower 30s.
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 2003 by Pecos Enterprise