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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Main St. group seeks clean-up for Perry's visit

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 -- Community leaders are hoping to get all local residents to participate in a citywide clean-up in the upcoming weeks in preparation of the visit of Texas First Lady, Anita Perry at the end of March.

The wife of Gov. Rick Parry will make a special visit to Pecos on Wednesday, March 30, for the unveiling of the first project of the local Main Street Program, which is designed to help improve economies in small Texas cities.

Several individuals from Pecos were on hand for a special Main Street Program meeting in Austin on Monday and Tuesday, including the city's Main Street Director Tom Rivera, program chairwoman Debbie Thomas and board members, Venetta Seals, Bill Oglesby, Nancy Ontiveros and Linda Gholson, and Al Gomez, as President of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce and business owner.

"Between now and March 30, we will be getting very busy, in anticipation of the first lady's arrival," said Gholson. "We have discussed the depot as our first project, but after attending this meeting, I think other things will be more favorable."

The former Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot has been selected as the site for a planned Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame. Initial work on refurbishing the over 90-year-old facility began last year, after the city was given title to the downtown structure by Union Pacific Railroad.

Gholson said that the architect from the Texas Historical Commission who works with the Main Street Program will also be in Pecos within the next few days

"Services provided is the biggest advantage of being in the Main Street Program," said Gholson. "When the first lady comes in March, the presentation of the first project will be made."

Following Mrs. Perry's visit, the Resources Team for the program will be in town April 27-29 gathering information from Pecos and make a recommendation as to the street scaping. "This is like landscaping, the overall appearance," said Gholson. "This is just a service that they provide."

Two planes carrying the First Lady and other program officials will be landing in Pecos, on March 30, and are expected to be in town for just under 90 minutes.

"We want everyone to be involved, the students, community people, retired people, business owners," said Gholson, who added that this was a golden opportunity for Pecos.

"This is an opportunity for everyone to be involved and have an input," said Gholson.

Gholson said that Main Street Program was not just the manager's program, but also a community program. "It will impact everyone in the community," she said.

"This will help bring in tourists and encourage others to look at Pecos in a more favorable way," she said.

Gholson said that the local program officials would meet as a group on Monday to discuss a major cleanup of Pecos.

"We're going to get different committees together to work in different areas," said Gholson. "Main Street is not just Oak Street, but the entire city."

She said that they wanted to be prepared and organized when the first lady gets here, because she will only be available briefly during her local stop. "The press will get to speak to her for about 10 minutes, before the other activities," she said.

"One thing they did state, was that nothing ever stays the same, they either go up or go downhill," said Gholson. "We have to push forward and go up that hill.

"We'll be using all the entities, including the media," said Gholson. "When we get everything settled, it will be remarkable," she said.

Gholson said that the group was very fortunate to have three trained individuals on their team. "Debbie Thomas is trained as Main Street manager, Venetta has been a Main Street manager and Tom Rivera, the current Main Street director, is trained as well," she said.

"We were self-initiated for two years, and it's a big advantage to those just coming in to the program," said Gholson. Pecos was turned down in its efforts to join the program three times before being accepted last fall.

Year In Review

Candidates entered, exited races during December

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the last in a series of stories recapping major news events in the Pecos area during 2003. Today's story covers the month of December.


Dec. 1, 2003 Filing for the Reeves County primary elections in March doesn't officially begin for another two days, but two incumbents have already filed their treasurers designation for the Democratic Primary election. Incumbents Reeves County Precinct 1 Commissioner Felipe Arredondo filed his treasurers designation, naming himself as treasurer as well as incumbent Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin, who also designated himself as treasurer.


Dec. 2, 2003 After some costly last-minute repairs due to a weekend vehicle accident, the Christmas lights are all in place at Maxey Park for this evening's Community Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, sponsored by the Pecos Rotary Club.


Dec. 3, 2003 Increases in water and sewer rates for Town of Pecos City residents and the average household income of local residents were among the items discussed Tuesday by the Pecos City Council, as they reviewed the application for a $9 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make urgently needed repairs in the city's sewer system.


Dec. 4, 2003 Around 30 people turned out on Wednesday to hear from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Community Development representative on the specifics regarding the housing project under construction in the central part of Pecos. The hour-long meeting was held to inform the public on the methods used to purchase a home in the development, located behind Gibson's hardware in the 800 and 900 blocks of Washington Street. The first home on the site was just recently completed, and the Town of Pecos City has planned for as many as 20 homes in the development.


Dec. 5, 2003 A longtime member of the Reeves County Hospital District board has signaled his intention to run for Reeves County Commissioner, as two challengers have joined several incumbents in filing their treasurer's designation for the primary elections in March. Elizer "Chel" Flores, filed his treasurers designation with the Reeves County Clerk on Wednesday, Dec. 3 to run for the office of Reeves County Commissioners Precinct 1. Flores named himself as treasurer of his campaign.


Dec. 9, 2003 The new owners of the Pecos cable company will be returning one channel to the basic cable lineup and adding several others in the near future. However, Barstow cable residents won't be looking at any improvement to the channel line-up for their system in the immediate future.


Dec. 10, 2003 Balmorhea ISD has been selected as one of the state's 26 blue ribbon nominees for the No Child Left Behind initiative due to its efforts in improving the test scores of the students in the district.


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.


Dec. 11, 2003 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 vaccine supplies. 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.


Dec. 12, 2003 The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members heard concerns voiced by district teachers over issues surrounding paperwork requirements for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge Skills (TAKS) test and the allocation of funds to areas other than academic education during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday night. Teachers pointed out areas of the district's policy that are detrimental to the quality of education in the district. The reduction of the number of teachers coupled with the administration's lack of attention to teacher input and the absence of cost of living increases have led to lower teacher morale.


Dec. 15, 2003 Judges toured eight sections of Pecos Friday night to look at homes and businesses adorned in their holiday lights, as part of the annual Pecos Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lighting Contest. The contest was changed a year ago, from picking one house a week in the three weeks leading up to Dec. 25 from homes that were nominated for consideration, to selecting eight houses while doing the judging all on one night in Pecos of all homes with Christmas decorations.


Dec. 17, 2003 The Reeves County Hospital Board discussed the need for an on-call staff to assist in the transfer time of critical patients to other facilities and heard from a Balmorhea EMS representative on their need for additional operating funds Tuesday night, during their final regular meeting of the year.


Dec. 18, 2003 Lindsey Addition residents woke up this morning to dry faucets in their kitchens and bathrooms, after a water line break last night Madera Valley Water crews were rushing to repair today. The break occurred on one of the largest PVC water supply lines for the division. A four-inch line at the intersection of Sacaton and Chinati Streets burst around 11 p.m. Wednesday. according to Madera Valley Water Supply Corporation operator James Akins.


Dec. 19, 2003 Reeves County Sheriff's Department deputy Damian Compton bagged a "most wanted" subject in early December that has attracted attention around the state. But it's not a wanted criminal Compton took down, but a state-record mule deer he shot in western Reeves County. Compton said he shot the deer on Dec. 6 in the Toyah area. The deer has been scored by the state at 26 points, giving it a total of 223 points for its "green score" for what was classified as a "non-typical" mule deer.


Dec. 20, 2003 The Town of Pecos City Council listened to and approved two parts of a presentation today concerning water usage monitoring and energy usage in municipal facilities during the council's second meeting for the month of December.


Dec. 23, 2003 Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin has withdrawn his bid for a fourth term in office, county party chairman Bobby Dean announced today. "Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin has withdrawn his application for a place on the Democratic Party ballot and will not be a candidate for the March Democratic Party election," Dean said in a faxed release to the Enterprise at noon today. Tarin, who was first elected as Precinct 3 Commissioner for Reeves County in 1992, was not available for comment on his decision as of press time.


Dec. 24, 2003 Reeves County's unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent in November, for the first time in the 18 months since the closing of the Anchor Foods plant in Pecos. But the decline in the jobless rate was due to a drop in the number of people living in the county, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.


Dec. 26, 2003 Reeves County Commissioner Herman Tarin said he made his decision to withdraw his bid for a fourth term in office just after originally deciding to enter his name into the March Democratic primary election race.

Candidates' event scheduled Friday at Civic Center

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 -- The Reeves County Democratic Party invites everyone to come to a "Meet the Candidate Chili Supper," at 7 p.m., this Friday at the Reeves County Civic Center.

A drawing for places on the ballot will also be held. A total of 14 candidates are competing for the two available positions on the Reeves County Commissioner's Court, and there will also be contested elections for Reeves County Sheriff and the 143rd District Attorney's job in the March 9 Democratic primary.

School board to study gym, turf proposals

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 -- The installation of artificial turf on the Pecos High School football field will once again be discussed at the regular Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting scheduled for Thursday evening.

In conjunction to discussing the turf, board members will also discuss the prospects of installing structure coat on existing track, or the construction of Austin Elementary School gymnasium and method of procurement.

The group will meet at 6 p.m., in the Technology Center, 1301 S. Eddy St. and the public is invited to attend.

Board members had discussed installing artificial turf for the football, baseball and softball fields during their November meeting. Teachers were on hand to voice their opinion during the regular December meeting, after the item was tabled in November, amid complaints from teachers, parents and other community members that district funds would be better spend on other projects. Those included gym facilities and building improvements for the district's elementary schools, along with upgraded classroom facilities.

Thursday's scheduled discussion does not include plans for artificial turf for the baseball or softball fields.

Following November's discussion, board member Steve Valenzuela made the motion to table the item on purchasing turf fields and look at other priorities and items that need to be addressed.

The cost for installation at Eagle Stadium, including the architectural and engineering fees, was put at $548,800, while track resurfacing at the football stadium would add an additional $43,200 to the total.

P-B-T Superintendent Don Love said prior to the board's November meeting that the funds for the field, if approved would come out of the P-B-T ISD general fund. He said that projecting a 10-year life for the football field, "You can justify the cost based on the savings from the water, the fertilizer and the maintenance," which would include the reduction of one field maintenance position

Artificial turf was installed last summer at fields in Andrews, Odessa, San Angelo and Brownwood. Sweetwater, Denver City, Abilene, Lubbock and Amarillo are other West Texas school districts that currently have AstroPlay or Field Play turf, both of which are improved versions of the original Astroturf, created 40 years ago. Pecos played one football game on an artificial surface this past season, at Lubbock's Lowery Field.

In other business on Thursday, the board will receive a report on vending machine sales, service and product from Pepsi; consider and possible action on 2002-2003 audit; consider and take possible action on foreclosed properties; second reading and possible action for TASB Policy Update 71; update on Summary of Finance 2003-2004; annual review of investment policy CDA and consider and possible action on resolution regarding review of the investment program; third reading and consider and possible action on revision to TASB Policy DEC (Local); consider and possible action on high school writing academy.

Under correspondence: a letter from Texas Association of School Boards proclaiming January as School Board Recognition Month; a thank-you for participating in the 2003 Reeves-Loving Pecan Show and a letter from Oak Timbers.

Board members will meet behind closed doors 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 possible extension and terms of Assistant Superintendent's contract and b. To hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.

The group will reconvene in open session and take action, if any, on items discussed in closed session and consider and possible action on extension and terms of Assistant Superintendent's contract.

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.

Reeves County Community Recreation Department report.

Attendance/enrollment report.

Golf course addition seeks final piece of land

Staff Writer

PECOS, Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 -- Work continues on the three new holes at the county golf course, according to Reeves County Golf Course Superintendent Peter Mora. However, some steps in the construction process have been halted due to a delay in the purchase of the land needed to complete the project.

"A small section of land parallel to the interstate is still owned by the country club," Mora said. "That area is the proposed location of one of the putting greens for the addition."

The course is being expanded from 11 to 14 holes, with the eventual plan to make the 60-year-old course into a full 18-hole layout. Of the three new holes planned for RCGC, one lies within the area of the preexisting course, but the other two are located outside the original facility, according to Mora.

The Pecos Housing Authority donated a majority of the land for the two outlying holes, but the acquisition of the final parcel from the country club is all that is left to be finalized before the construction can continue, he said.

"The Knights of Columbus, Pecos Men's Golf Association and Pecos Women's Golf Association have all pledged their support in helping us get the final section of land, and we are very grateful for their help," Mora said.

The sprinkler systems and most of the rough grating have been finished on about half of the project, with the rest of the job to be finished after the purchase. Once the sprinklers and the grating are complete, the tee boxes and greens can be seeded. The new grass needs a year to grow and establish itself before it can be played upon, giving the new holes a possible opening date sometime in 2005, according to Mora.

Organizers are also holding a meeting tonight for the opening of sponsorship of the holes on the course to local citizens and businesses tonight at the pro shop. The meeting is to be held at 6:30 p.m., and according to Mora, the any interested parties are invited to attend.

"We are offering local businesses the opportunity for some really great advertising here at a reasonable price. The new tee box signs will be very attractive and be seen by a large number of people on a daily basis," he said.

Mora added that the majority of the expenses for the project are past. The purchases of the sprinkler hardware and the seed for the fairways, the greens and the tee boxes have all been purchased. "We also have quite a few trees at the prison that will be ready to be planted along the new holes once seeding is complete," Mora said.


PECOS, Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 -- High Tues. 68. Low this morning 43. Forecast for tonight: Cloudy with a 60 percent chance of rain. Lows near 45. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Thurs.: Cloudy with a 60 percent chance of rain. Highs near 60. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Thurs. night: Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain. Lows in the mid 40s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri.: Mostly cloudy with a 60 percent chance of rain. Highs 55 to 60. NW winds 10 to 15 mph. Fri. night: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Lows in the mid 30s to the lower 40s.


Casimiro Banuelos, Christine Rutledge and Howard Rutledge

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