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More Saragosa Tornado

County postpones bid action

June 8, 1987

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Staff Writer

PECOS, JUNE 8, 1987 - Reeves County commissioners today postponed until
9 a.m. Tuesday acceptance of bids on development of a mobile home park
in Saragosa and purchase of computer software for the county hospital.

One of the two mobile home tract developers, a representative of T.
Pittman Construction Co. Of Odessa, said he had understood the work to
consist of two phases setting the mobile homes up and group site
development. He said his bid concerned only setting them up, because
engineering work on the streets has not been completed yet.

County Judge Bill Pigman said civil engineer Wes Elliott also requested
postponement, because he has not had time to complete his own work.

County Attorney Scott Johnson told the commissioners they should extend
the time for receiving bids until Tuesday morning, too.

Acceptance of a bid on computer software for use at the hospital was
postponed until Johnson can determine if the offer from Micro-Data
Systems, Inc., allows the county the option of pre-paying the balance
due at any time during the lease period without penalty.

Johnson pointed out to the commissioners that the bid's five year lease
purchase plan amounted to about $89,0000, while the outright purchase
option amounts to $38,622. The county could save about $51,000 if it
could buy the software outright, Johnson noted.

He suggested that when funds from a $750,000 certificate of obligation
issue arrive sometime in July, the county will be able to pay the entire
balance due.

Micro-Data, the only company who submitted a bid on the hospital
software, suggested the county might buy its computer hardware elsewhere
at a lower cost. Johnson said he probably will have an answer regarding
the prepayment penalty in time for tomorrow's meeting.

Also today, the commissioners heard a proposal from Reeves County
Juvenile Detention Center Director Louise Moore that they hire full-time

Since April, part-time help from the LEC and from West Texas Children's
Home have worked there on an as needed basis, she said. She is
concerned, she said, because they have not been certified by the Texas
Juvenile Probation Commission.

Pigman said full-time help cannot be funded at the juvenile center until
the county makes its July payment on the LEC. "After we make that
payment we might see some light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

County Auditor Marguerite Davidson said the LEC will have to borrow
about $200,000 from the county's general fund to make the July budget
but that the financial situation should improve.

Balmorhea High graduates

15 in delayed commencement

June 8, 1987

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Staff Writer

PECOS, JUNE 8, 1987 - Balmorhea High School's graduation was more than
passing a milestone it became a memorial to lost relatives and friends
who died in the Saragosa tornado.

The 15 high school seniors received their diplomas Friday, a week later
than the May 29 date they had set earlier and two weeks after a tornado
destroyed neighboring Saragosa.

Five of the graduates lived in Saragosa and either had friends and
relatives who were injured or died in the tornado, according to
principal Jack Hoffman.

"To surrender is to lose, to continue is to win'' was the class motto
and the graduation speeches, including valedictorian Paul Matta's
reflected a willingness to go on and reach for the future and the
world's fortunes.

The tough road begins after graduation and from now on begins the road
to which each person will march to his own drum, salutatorian Morris
Woods told the audience.

Speaking at the request of the 1987 senior class, Derwood Lane told the
students to think of their life on earth as a journey " being on
a spaceship going to places we've never been before."

Other members of the 1987 graduating class are Delilah Alvarez, Sammy
Carrasco, Lisa Dutchover, Arturo Escovedo, Joey Loper, Elizabeth Lopez,
Eddie Mondragon, Aidee Muniz, Jose Muniz, Irnla Ornelas, Joel Rodriguez,
Octavio Rodriguez and Viola Rodriguez.

Private aid set Tuesday

June 8, 1987

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PECOS, JUNE 8, 1987 - Saragosa residents will begin receiving funds
Tuesday from the private Saragosa Funds Distribution Committee.

Distribution will be done in two stages. The first stage will be from 9
a.m. to noon. Tuesday, at the slab of the old school building in
Saragosa, for residents whose last names begin with the letters A
through M.

For residents with last names N through Z, distribution will be from 1
to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the same place.

The second stage of the distribution will begin Monday, June 15.

Saragosa park building bid okayed

June 9, 1987

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Staff Writer

PECOS, JUNE 9, 1987 - Circle S Mobile Homes of Mineral Wells will begin
setting up mobile homes in Saragosa next weekend, a company official
said today. Reeves County commissioners today awarded contracts to
Circle S, both to set up 20 temporary mobile home units there and
develop the site for a total per unit price of $5,650.

Bill Richardson of Circle S offered to develop the 20-pad site for
$3,850 per pad and move in and install trailers for $1,800 per pad.

The bid opening, held over from Monday to allow civil engineer Wes
Elliott time to complete development planning, drew two other
contractors, both of whom bid only on the moving contract.

Charles' Mobile Home and Truck Rental of Odessa offered to move the
homes in and set them up for $2,250 per pad.

West Texas Mobile Homes of Fort Stockton said they would do the setting
up for $1,934 per pad.

Ed Laundy, resources management officer for the Department of Public
Safety's Division of Emergency Management, said the contract calls for
four days start-up time and seven days to complete the work.

The state will pay for development of the site and setting up of the
mobile homes, he said, but the county is expected to pay for engineering
fees and maintenance of the mobile home park during its 18-month

At Laundy's suggestion, the commissioners hired Wes Elliott to supervise
development of the park for $450.

They also agreed with Laundy's suggestion that County Health Inspector
Armando Gil Jr. should inspect the trailer hook-ups.

Responding to a question from Commissioner Howard Davis, Richardson said
the contract includes a provision for setting up a mobile home in
Balmorhea for a Saragosa resident who requested it.

County Judge Bill Pigman said the majority of the Saragosa residents
want to remain in Saragosa.

Richardson said his crews will be on the job day and night seven days a
week until the work is done.

Also today, commissioners agreed to buy a financial software package
from Health MicroData Systems, Inc., of Madison, Wisc., on a lease
purchase basis for $1,168.66 per month.

Memorial service planned in Saragosa

June 9, 1987

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PECOS, JUNE 9, 1987 - A memorial service for those who died in the May
22 tornado has been scheduled in Saragosa on Wednesday at 10 a.m. on
the foundation where the head start school was located.

The building to be rebuilt on the foundation will be dedicated honor of
the victims, according to Mary Mitchell, director ~~~of the Reeves
County Community Council.

Also on Wednesday, members of the Saragosa Funds Distribution Committee
will disburse $5O to all Saragosa tornado victims whose surnames begin
with the letters N through Z, according to the committee's news release.

Distribution will be at the old school's foundation from I p.m. until 4

The first stage of the distribution program began this morning, with
money distributed to victims whose surnames begin with the letters A
through M.

Others not present, but entitled to funds should contact the committee
on Friday, Mitchell said.

Needs will be determined based on individual loses from the tornado when
the second stage of the distribution begins June 15.

Victims must fill out a questionnaire which will determine how the
committee disperses the balance of the fund, the committee said.

Funds are intended to fill a gap that other aid does not cover,
according to Mitchell.

Food bank requests $50,000 in funds

June 10, 1987

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PECOS, JUNE 10, 1987 - A more nutritious diet will be available to needy
persons in Reeves and 16 other Permian Basin counties if a federal
agency approves a local charity's $50,000 grant application.

Permian Basin Food Bank, Inc., of Odessa has said it will match the
federal grant with $38,000, counting $10,000 from accumulated funds and
$28,000 in salaries for five VISTA volunteers who will help with the

If approved by the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission at their
Meeting today, the grant application will be for forwarded to the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, which would provide the funding.

Food Bank President Ron Clark said the agency is now serving 80 churches
and relief agencies in 12 Permian Basin counties and plans to expand its
services to five other area counties, Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth,
Jeff Davis and Presidio, the agency said.

The agency reacted to the Saragosa tornado by designating The Madera
Valley Food Pantry Balmorhea to distribute its food contributions to
survivors, said Food Bank executive director Dolly Neff.

Food Bank also provided food to volunteer workers assisting in cleanup
operations in Saragosa, Clark said.

Salvation Army to issue

donations from warehouse

June 10, 1987

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PECOS, JUNE 10, 1987 - The Salvation Army has set up a warehouse in
Balmorhea where they are storing food, clothing, bedding, furniture and
appliances for victims of the May 22 tornado in Saragosa.

The Warehouse will be manned by volunteers from the Balmorhea and
Saragosa area, SA Field Representative Ralph Lennon said today. More
volunteers are needed, he said.

"as the victims move into their trailer homes and rebuild permanent
homes, items such as furniture and appliances will be supplied by the
Salvation Army," Lennon said.

A plentiful supply of clothing has already been collected, Lennon said,
but a need still remains for cash donations, food and appliances.

Financial contributions can be sent directly to the Salvation Army,
Balmorhea, Tex., 79718, or to Bill Oglesby, Salvation Army Service Unit
Chairman, C/O First National Bank, Pecos, Texas, 79772.

Blimey, funds from England, too

June 12, 1987

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The following letter was received by Pecos Mayor Bill Hubbs:
The Pecos, West Texas, USA

I am writing to you because your community seems to be the largest one
closest to Saragosa which suffered the terrible ordeal over the last few
days of the typhoon which flattened most of the township and killed many
of its inhabitants including quite a few children.

We have seen pictures on TV and heard radio reports and can only imagine
the appalling injures sustained as well as families losing many or
perhaps all of their possessions.

Would you please see that the enclosed twenty dollars gets put with a
relief fund which I imagine has been set up somewhere nearby. The
tragedy was mentioned in our prayers, at this evening's service in our
local church, by our vicar and was also included in our families'

We hope, given time, the victims will be able to rebuild their township
again and continue with their way of life once more. God bless them all.

Leicester, England

Saragosa memorial dedication

accented by barren landscape

June 11, 1987

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Staff Writer

PECOS, JUNE 11, 1987 - A bare concrete slab in the foreground of an
almost barren landscape that used to be the heart of Saragosa was
backdrop for a memorial service Wednesday in honor of those who died
there May 22.

The concrete slab is all that is left of the head start school building
in which several of the 29 Saragosa victims were killed.

Although the physical rebuilding of the tightly knit community has not
begun, a bright glimpse of the future was displayed when Reeves County
community Council director Mary Mitchell told the gathering that the
memorial was to dedicate to the future head start school site in memory
of the victims.

Mitchell also read the names of those killed in the tornado from a
plaque which will be placed inside the new school building when it is

Also at the memorial were several local, area and national leaders
including Lillie Williams, a representative of the Texas Head Start
Association who presented a $6,079 check showing support from head start
programs across Texas.

The money is to be used by Saragosa residents in the manner they see
fIt, Williams said.

"It will be a challenge to rebuild the head start program in Saragosa, "
Williams said. "A new head start building is very important to help our
children grow and become leaders of our communities. "

"Head Start is gutsy and demands hard work," Dodie Livingston,
commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families,
told the group. "Head Start is a mover and a shaker; a booster and a

Precinct 3 county commissioner Ismael Dutchover in a brief but emotional
appearance, offered to try and obtain assistance for anybody who still
needs help.

Head Start teacher Lisa Carrillo expressed hope for recovery of the
community in a short, taped speech from Medical Center Hospital in
Odessa, where she is recovering from injuries received during the

"I am grateful to all for the prayers and words of encouragement,"
Carrillo said in a shakey voice. "I will keep all of you in my prayers
and may the Lord give you strength to overcome your losses."
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