Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

Sports|Opinion|Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|


Thursday, January 16, 1997

Reversal asked in Head Start director's firing

Return to Top
Staff Writer

PECOS, January 16, 1997 - Directors for the Community Council of Reeves
County heard testimony from Head Start parents and teachers Wednesday
before voting to recommend the center's former director be re-instated.

Rosa Mosby, former director of the Pecos Head Start center, was placed
on leave without pay Dec. 20, 1996 by administrators and terminated Jan.
2 by the Head Start policy council.

CCRC president Linda Clark said Mosby appealed the termination to the
CCRC board, which acts as a grievance committee for Head Start
employees. Their recommendation will go to the policy council, whose
next regular meeting is Feb. 7.

"The policy council is the only one who can hire and fire Head Start
employees, so we have to make our recommendation to them," Clark said.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the council board met until midnight, most of that
time in executive session regarding problems between Head Start

In the first executive session, board members listened to and questioned
teachers and aides outside the presence of any administrators.

Clark said that session was to receive information only, and no
discussion was held.

Then the board convened the second executive session to consider Mosby's
appeal. Again, administrators were asked to leave, and teachers and
parents of Head Start students were allowed to testify.

Conflict between teachers and between teachers and administrators are
blamed in part for deficiencies noted in a recent monitor visit that
could result in CCRC losing $518,000 in annual federal funding for Head

In other business, the board accepted the annual audit by Ron Kirby of
Odessa; heard the financial report by Dan Painter, added Bobbie Nunn of
Monahans to the board and approved alternates Abraham Florez (for Julian
Florez) and Annabelle Madril (for David Madril).

Austin class celebrates King's birthday

Return to Top

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 16, 1997 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was
celebrated locally by an enthusiastic advocate of the slain civil rights
leader in her classroom this morning.

"We decided to celebrate it today instead of yesterday, which is when
he's birthday really is, because we have more time," said first grade
teacher Patricia Matthews.

The celebration of King's birthday is an annual event that the children
in her class at Austin Elementary School eagerly await, according to

"They look forward to our annual little party," she said, explaining
that the students study King's history, his life, his work and honor him
on his special day. The celebration comes complete with a cake, candles
and decorations.

Matthews is an enthusiastic advocate of Dr. King's peaceful ways to
solve problems through prayer and non-violence marches.

She encourages the children in her class to work their disagreements out
in much the same ways being reminded of the other person's feelings.

"Our world is filed with too much turmoil, therefore, it is refreshing
to be reminded of a man who gave his life for what he believed in that
all men might be free," said Matthews.

Dr. King's life is a reflection of what the life of Jesus Christ was all
about, an unconditional love which covers a multitude of sins, according
to Matthews.

King's birthday will be officially observed as a federal and state
holiday on Monday, Jan. 20. He was assassinated in Memphis on April 4,
1968, and his birthday was made a national holiday 10 years ago.

Fifth grader qualifies for geography bee

Return to Top

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 16, 1997 - An honor student and local livestock show
participant has won the school-level competition of the National
Geography Bee and a chance at a $25,000 college scholarship.

Kelli Rankin, the 10-year-old daughter of Nancy and Kirby Rankin, has
qualified to compete in the national geography bee.

Rankin is a fifth grade honor student at Bessie Haynes Elementary who
enjoys reading and hanging out with friends. She will be participating
in this weekend's Reeves County Livestock Show, presenting her sheep and

The elementary school-level bee, at which students answered oral
questions on geography, was the first round in the ninth annual National
Geography Bee. It's sponsored by the National Geographic Society and
Sylvan Learning Centers.

The kick-off for this year's bee was the week of Dec. 2, with thousands
of schools around the United States and in the five U.S. territories
participating. The schools' winners, including Rankin, took a written
test; up to 100 of the top scorers in each state and territory will be
eligible to compete in the their state bee on April 4.

"I really had to study a lot for this test," said Rankin.

Rankin credited her parents for all the help they gave her in studying

"I don't usually study geography a lot, but I do enjoy reading," she

"These students really enjoy this and they learn a lot in the process,"
said Librarian Cynthia Armbruster.

Parts of the test included a round of questions on U.S. Geography, North
America, cultural geography, a physical geography round, a round on
plants and animals of the world and an economic geography round.

"They have to look at an outline map also and answer questions from
that," said Armbruster.

The students started studying back in November.

"This geography bee was started because educators believed that students
knew less than they about geography and decided to give this a real
push," said Armbruster. A 10-country Gallup survey conducted for the
Society in 1988 and 1989 found that people in the U.S. ages 18 to 24 -
the youngest group surveyed - knew less about geography than young
people in any of the other countries in the survey.

Armbruster said students gain more knowledge from this particular test
through studying for it, and also really enjoy learning more.

The National Geographic Society will provide an all-expenses paid trip
to Washington, D.C., for state champions and their teacher-escorts to
participate in the National Geography Bee national championship on May

The first-place national winner will receive a $25,00 college
scholarship. Alex Trebek, host of "Jeopardy!," will moderate the
national finals.

For the first time, a series of geography contests will be offered on
National Geographic Online's new "kids" site, to debut in early 1997

Border Patrol plans to hire 1,000 agents

Return to Top

From Staff and Wire Reports

The U.S. Border Patrol will be hiring 1,000 new agents over the next two
months to fill half of the positions created by a expansion of the
agency's budget.

Flush with a record $3.1 billion budget, the Immigration and
Naturalization Service is using part of its extra congressional funding
to hire 2,000 new personnel - including 1,000 new Border Patrol agents
and 350 inspectors at land border crossings and airports.

``Our first priority remains to secure the border,'' INS Commissioner
Doris Meissner told a news conference Tuesday.

California will gain 506 of the new agents, inspectors and support
personnel, followed by Texas with 479, Arizona with 224, New Mexico with
98 and New York with 62.

Filing of applications began on Jan. 7 and continue until Jan. 28.
Individuals are encouraged to apply for the positions by calling
912-757-3001, extension 96.

The telephone line is open 24 hours during open period.

By year's end, Texas should have 5,106 INS personnel in place, including
2,208 Border Patrol agents and 711 inspectors. The agents funded with
this year's increases will be deployed throughout the year after
undergoing 19 weeks of training. The McAllen sector will receive 159 new
Border Patrol agents; Del Rio, 37; Laredo, 34; and El Paso, 21.

Following the current applications period, the nearest expedited hiring
location will be in El Paso, and will take place on Feb. 25 through
March 4.

Individuals may choose to participate in expedited hiring by traveling
to El Paso at their own expense or choose to take the nationwide written
test which may be closer to where they are presently living.

Based on responses to questions asked, the Office of Personnel
Management will determine if the individual meets the basic
qualifications for the position.

If they do not meet the basic qualifications, OPM will send additional
information to them regarding the position.

If the individual meets the basic qualifications, OPM will schedule a
written test.

Based on hiring needs, additional "Open Periods" for acceptance of
applications for the Border Patrol Agent position will be established.
If anyone is unable to apply during the Jan. 7-Jan. 28, time frame
stated, they may wish to apply for consideration in the future.

Information on future "Open Periods" will be available through the local
OPM; or, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Border Patrol
special examining unit, 425 I Street, NW., Room 3034, Washington, D.C.
20536 or call 202-616-1964.

A once chronically underfunded agency, INS has seen its fortunes improve
dramatically in recent years while other federal entities have had to
scale back. The budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 is more
than double the $1.5 billion INS received at the start of the Clinton
administration in 1993. This year's allocation is up 17 percent from
last year's.

``Our borders have been greatly strengthened with more personnel and
better technology, workplace enforcement has gotten tougher, and a
record number of criminal aliens have been deported,'' President Clinton
said in a statement. ``Today's announcement represents continuing wise
management of the additional resources requested by me and provided by
the Congress.''

Copyright 1997 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
this report.

Suit against Van Horn doc over trucker's death opens

Return to Top

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 16, 1997 - Culberson Hospital staff and Dr. B.C. Lipsey
did everything they could to save the life of a truck driver who took a
fatal dose of crystal methamphetamine on Aug. 1, 1994, their attorneys
told a federal court jury this morning.

Dr. Lipsey and the Culberson County Hospital District are defendants in
a damage suit filed by the 8-year-old daughter of Lonnie Gaffey, 38, who
died several hours after he was taken to the hospital's emergency room
by a Culberson County Sheriff's deputy.

Gaffey told a nurse that he had taken an eight-ball of crystal meth, a
dose that would kill three men, said attorney Paul Bracken for Dr.

Because Gaffey said it had been "about an hour" since he took the
illegal drug, Dr. Lipsey decided not to administer activated charcoal,
use a stomach wash, nor to induce vomiting, because the meth would
already have been absorbed, Bracken said.

Gerald Hynum, attorney for plaintiff Hanna Hendrix, said that truck
drivers commonly use methamphetamines to try to stay awake on long hauls.

"There is no evidence he was trying to commit suicide," he said. "Even
if he was, they still had a duty to treat him, regardless of what his
reasoning was."

Mark Keene, representing Culberson Hospital, said the staff did what
they could to save Gaffey, despite his statement that he "did it to get
back at my wife and boss."

When Gaffey was brought in at 3:15 a.m., RN Gwen Askew examined him and
called Dr. Lipsey at his home seven minutes later, Keene said.

Dr. Lipsey ordered a relaxant for Gaffey's elevated heart rate and
agitation and procardia for his elevated blood pressure and chest pain,
he said. He was placed on a cardiac monitor and pulse oximeter to
measure oxygen in his blood, and oxygen was administered.

"He was sweating like crazy; losing lots of fluid. The hospital replaced
the fluids," he said. "Later on his blood sugr fell way low, and the
hospital administered sugar water to replace it."

They tried to wash out excess potassium with fluids, Keene said. Despite
all their efforts, Gaffey died at 9:57 a.m. almost seven hours after
arriving at the hospital.

Hendrix, through her mother and "next friend," Sandra Hendrix, claims
they didn't do enough and should pay her damages.

Keene said he "stumbled on" to a suit to terminate Gaffey's parental
rights, which Hendrix filed shortly after her daughter's birth in
Mississippi. Despite her claim that the father and daughter were very
close and that he helped with her support, no record of that exists,
Keene said.

"Hendrix is attempting to place the blame everywhere except where it
belongs," he said. "He intended to take his life with a meth dose 14
times normal. His life could not be saved."

With videotaped depositions and live testimony, the trial is expected to
continue through Friday before Senior Judge Lucius Bunton III.

Pre-TAAS plans given at meeting

Return to Top

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 16, 1997 - Eyebrows and questions were raised following
an update on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district's TAAS program
during Tuesday's school board meeting.

The report was supervised by Superintendent Mario Sotelo, who read
individual TAAS program sketches from each of the campuses.

Board President Linda Gholson commented, "I think it's very
interesting," that some schools are doing what was recommended by the
TAAS Committee and other are not.

"I won't name which ones are and which ones aren't," she added.

The 20-member committee was composed of parents, teachers,
administrators and school board representatives. It was formed following
a dispute last year between the community and the school board over
concerns that the curriculum was being taken over by TAAS objectives and
excessive mock-TAAS testing.

The committee proposed that TAAS remediation classes be established for
grades 9 through 12 for students that have not passed the TAAS, allowing
them to earn an elective credit.

Under the committee's suggestions, mock-TAAS can be administered as
needed in this class along with TAAS objectives and strategies, in order
that TAAS remediation be left out of the regular classrooms.

A memo by Pecos High School Principal Alice Duerksen indicates that
juniors and seniors who have failed two or more parts of the TAAS have
been scheduled into a non-credit TAAS remediation class. Both language
arts and math are being taught in this class, which was transferred from
the Carver Center to the PHS campus.

Remediation plans for students who have failed only one part of the TAAS
were put under the control of department chairmen, who have met with
individual teachers on outlining steps to take with those students.

Scores taken from a 1995 math diagnostic test are being used by math
teachers to identify students who scored below 75 percent. These
students are being scheduled into the computer lab to work on Skills
Bank 3, plus given appropriate paper-pencil activities in the classroom
after regular class instruction has been completed.

English and reading teachers are also taking students to the computer
lab to work on Skills Bank 3, while the TAAS objectives are addressed in
regular daily instruction and assignment.

Duerksen's memo said all departments have copies of the TAAS objectives
and old tests, which they use in their regular class instruction.

"Special Populations instructors have set goals and have access to the
computer lab and other TAAS preparation materials which they use in
instruction and assignments," she said.

The committee recommendation specifies that in all grade levels, TAAS
practice sheets are to be used sparingly and on individual student
levels. Campus principals are to monitor them closely.

A Crockett Middle School report states that eighth graders work on TAAS
objectives everyday within the normal classroom curriculum, with the
exception of band students.

Also, students work TAAS objectives during homeroom for 15 minutes, and
are grouped by previous TAAS scores to improve any area in which they
are deficient.

"Two times during the school year, the students practice taking the TAAS
test with a previous TAAS document," according to the report.

Zavala Middle School Principal Don Love wrote the board stating that the
seventh grade faculty is working, "collaboratively to provide excellence
in education."

They are offering an optional TAAS tutorial period every Thursday and
Friday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to prepare students in mastering TAAS

At this same time on Mondays and Wednesdays mandatory subject tutorials
are administered to "help students master the essential elements."

Seventh graders will be taking one mock-TAAS on Jan. 28 and 29, with an
evaluation of the results being used for tutorial guidelines.

The committee proposal asked that in the seventh and eighth grade levels
a reading class be required, while seventh grade be given only one
mock-TAAS and the state required test.

Eighth graders should take up to two mock-TAAS, plus the state required
test. In addition, both campuses plan on continuing TAAS tutorials
outside of school hours for students who need or want extra help.

Barstow Elementary will be conducting an informal assessment of first
and second graders Feb. 5 and March 18 in Math and Feb. 6 and March 19
in Reading.

Third, fourth and fifth graders will be given informal assessments Feb.
5 in Math and Feb. 6 in Reading with a synchronized mock test with other
campuses on Feb. 25 and 26, Math and Reading, respectively.

Fourth graders will be taking their state mandated TAAS March 3 in
Writing, while third, fourth and fifth graders take the mandated Math
and Reading on April 29 and 30, respectively.

Lamar sixth graders were administered an informal assessment for Math on
Tuesday and will have one for Reading on Thursday.

Lamar students will take a synchronized mock-TAAS on Feb. 25, Math, and
Feb. 26, Reading, with the mandated test being given on April 29, Math,
and April 30, Reading.

Bessie Haynes submitted their test dates. They were:

Jan. 15 - Writing Test for fourth graders, objective (fourth graders)
Feb. 4 - Writing Composition (fourth graders)
Feb. 4 - Fifth graders take Reading Mock TAAS (95 version)
Feb. 5 - Fifth graders take Math Mock TAAS (95 version) - students who
score 90 or above will not have to take the April Mock TAAS
Feb. 25 - State Writing Test Objective and Composition for Fourth Graders
March 4 - Fourth graders take Math Mock TAAS (95 version)
March 5 - Fourth graders take Reading Mock TAAS (95 version) - students
who score 90 or above will not have to take the April Mock TAAS
April 1 - Mock TAAS Math (fourth and fifth) (96 version)
April 2 - Mock TAAS Reading (fourth and fifth) (96 version)
April 29 - State TAAS Tests
April 30 - State TAAS Tests

Bessie Haynes Principal Mary Lou Carrasco wrote that Bessie Haynes staff
have weekly grade level team planning meetings.

In order to reach state essential elements, campus resources include,
"but are not limited to," said Carrasco, "Daily Maintenance lessons in
Math, Writing and Reading, Step Up to TAAS, Excel Math, Kaminco, TAAS
Coach, Dana Grant problem solving lessons and Literature based

She added that Bessie Haynes students have taken two math and reading
six weeks tests formatted similar to TAAS and in October started monthly
writing evaluations covering grammar and language mechanic instruction.

Individual strengths and weaknesses are focused through student
grouping. Early morning and after school tutorials are offered as well,
said Carrasco.

"Another initiative to encourage our students," Carrasco continued, "to
try their best is our weekly Reading Practice TAAS test - Students take
a Reading TAAS formatted test over 3 stories to help them stay focused
for a longer period of time."

Pecos Elementary reported that it continued to integrate the TAAS Coach
and Step up to TAAS into the curriculum, as well as using EXCEL math on
a daily basis.

"We have administered two reading and math assessments and used those
results to prepare for our weekly team planning meetings," stated the
campus update. "We have identified our weakest areas in reading and math
and have scheduled staff development to target those areas with Region
18 ESC. Our two Title I aides have been scheduled to work with either
math or reading in all classrooms."

All third graders are currently attending the CAI Lab daily.

The committee suggested that grades third through sixth be given one
mock-TAAS in addition to the state required test. Also, the discretion
of individual teachers and based on student need, additional informal
tests may be given in the classroom.

TAAS activities at Austin Elementary include the addressing of TAAS
objectives on a daily basis in both reading and math by correlating them
with the essential elements.

State adopted texts in reading and math and thematic resources, as well
as TAAS objective resources, are being utilized, according the report
submitted by Austin Elementary Principal Beau Jack Hendrick.

Educational games and other multi-teaching activities are incorporated
into the lessons taught at Austin Elementary, while webbing, classroom
centers, video-computer media and math manipulative tactics are

Sotelo told the board that Pecos Kindergarten uses an individual student
progress folder to assure appropriate student learning.

The Progress Folder is used to document student achievement and evaluate
student progress on a weekly basis by collecting work samples in
language arts, math, and art.

The teacher conducts individual interviews to assess the progress of
concepts, and skills which have been taught in the Saxon Phonics
Program, "Estrellitas" and the Math Their Way Program.

The Writing to Read Program is assessed by recording student's writing
stages beginning with pre-writing skills (stage 1) to short stories
(stage 4).

The report indicates that the accountability system at the kindergarten
level will provide assurance that students are making acceptable
progress toward the student's learning goals, and will also address the
district's Gifted and Talented identification placement policy.

The TAAS Committee requested that at the kindergarten level portfolios
be used in lieu of TAAS testing.

Other items outlined by the committee included that the possible
addition of a national standardized test - perhaps to be given to odd
number grades - be referred to the P-B-T testing director for further
study to allow student performance to be compared on a national level
and also better prepare college-bound students.

Curriculum alignment will focus primarily on the gifted and talented
program in the coming year, the committee stated.

Return to Top


Celia DeAnda

Celia C. DeAnda, 68, died Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Midland Memorial Hospital
in Fort Stockton.

A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. today at Fort Stockton Funeral Home

Services are scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. St. Agnes Catholic Church
in Fort Stockton with Father Joe Vasquez officiating. Burial will be at
St. Joseph Cemetery.

She was born Feb. 6, 1928 in Terlingua, was a homemaker and a member of
the Guadalupanas of the St. Agnes Catholic Church.

Survivors include her husband, Jose Felix DeAnda of Fort Stockton; four sons, Gregorio, Robert, Ruben and Danny DeAnda of Fort Stockton; one sister, Josefina Rayos of Pecos, and four grandchildren.

Return to Top

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall
not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or
redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Return to Menu

Return to Home Page