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Friday, February 28, 1997

Discipline lax at PHS, teachers tell board

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - The discipline problem at Pecos High School
appears comes from a lack of communication, school officials concluded,
following the review of a student survey and report on PHS teacher

Both the survey and report were given to members of the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of Education during their regular board
meeting Thursday evening.

The report was compiled after board member Frank Perea asked that
administrators review the matter. It was first brought up when retired
librarian Betty Capshaw told board members at a previous meeting that
the students at the high school were taking over.

"Communication is the key," said Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Superintendent
Mario Sotelo. He backed an earlier statement by Board President Linda
Gholson, who said "some of these things (mentioned in teacher surveys)
are things we are doing, but are not being enforced."

High school teachers are recommending that administrators meet with the
staff and explain what needs to be reported to the office and what needs
to be handled in the classroom.

"Support teachers," they proposed.

"It's not that there's a lack of support," said Sotelo. "There is a lack
of communication and understanding," about what is expected, pointing
out the first recommendation by teachers.

PHS staff also asked that administrators address the student body and
explain the way discipline is going to be handled.

"Mention grooming aids to be confiscated," Sotelo read. "Surveys show
this is a real problem. A lot of students are polishing their nails and
combing their hair in class," he said, suggesting this can be
distracting to the teachers and other students.

Other items addressed by high school educators were:

- Acknowledge the achievers and most improved; -

On-Campus Suspension students need to remove graffiti and

- Contact police department and ask if they can frequent the school.

The board was also told that students who are not supposed be on the
high school campus "like alternative education (AEP) kids" are
intermingling with those at the Park Street campus. Police could help to
curtail this, said administrators.

Another survey of teachers indicated that, "there is a lack of respect
for authority at the high school. The students have complete disregard
for teacher; students ignore them."

Also, "Students blow off classes to go to AEP. That program needs to be
revamped," Sotelo repeated.

"Students want to be assigned to AEP," he said. "We're working on making
it unattractive (to students)."

Teachers pointed out that there are two types of students causing
discipline problems at high school - the troublemakers, who are loud,
argumentative and disruptive and rule breakers, who are quiet but do
what they want to; they get away with everything.

"Too many students lack motivation," read the survey, which suggested
the "student dress code needs to be addressed; possibly consider

Gholson noted in an early discussion that "by law" the school district
does not have to furnish student uniforms if a dress code that requires
students to wear a standard uniform is passed.

Teachers are requesting these changes to the current dress code:

- All students wear shirts that can be tucked in;

- Shorts, skirts and dresses will be worn three inches above the middle
of the knee;

- All pants, jeans, shorts and skirts must be worn at natural waistline
and fit properly;

- Cheerleaders wear warm-up suits to class - short uniform will not be

- Hats and caps will not be worn in the building - if caught wearing a
hat or cap, they will be confiscated for six weeks;

- No black, metallic or dark shades of lipstick or fingernail polish
will be worn;

- Grooming paraphernalia will be confiscated;

- Gentlemen with hair below the collar must keep it tied back or

- No facial hair and sideburns should be no longer than the ear lobe.

The student survey was developed by high school teachers.

It revealed that the number one problem, "at high school is skipping,"
said Sotelo. "

Of the 123 male students whose replies were tabulated, 22 admitted they
had skipped over 15 times without being caught and 17 admitted to
skipping once and eluding any sort of punishment. Eleven said they
skipped eight, nine or 10 times.

Seventeen female students said they skipped over 15 times and never
caught. These numbers were taken from 100 females whose answers appeared
truthful. Skipping only once, but never caught were 23 female high
school students and eight said they skipped twice.

A question concerning gum chewing showed that the majority of students
are asked to throw it in the trash. The next largest group answered that
they were given detention hall.

Other answers indicated that some gum chewers are given verbal warnings,
taken to the office or asked to clean and sand desks. Two answered that
they were told to share with the class and one reported that the teacher
allowed gum chewing in class.

"In my mind, this reflects a lot of inconsistencies," Sotelo said.

"It appears that we as adults don't understand as adults the
infractions," said Gholson. "We need to understand what we're going to

Board given closing plan for Barstow

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board members
stressed the importance of keeping all lines of communication open
during the research phase of restructuring the district's campuses. But
board president Linda Gholson stressed that, as of now, "There is just
the talk of possibly restructuring."

A financial analysis of Barstow Elementary was presented to board
members during Thursday's meeting, and superintendent Mario Sotelo said
closing the campus and bringing Barstow's 45 students to Pecos would
save the district, "roughly $315,557."

"When you take these figures," said Trustee Frank Perea, it is costing
the district some $7,000 a year per student to keep the Ward County
school operating.

"We cannot continue the way we are," he said. "We may find ourselves
having to raise taxes.

"We're going to have to make a decision very soon," Perea said.

Sotelo told the board that one of the biggest fears Barstow residents
have is that the facility will be abandoned and property values will

"We have talked about making the facility available to the community,"
he said.

Perea added, "I can tell you right now the residents of Barstow are not
receptive to moving the AEP (alternative education program)," to
Barstow, referring to previous conversations about closing the Carver
Center down and relocating its AEP campus.

"This is all in discussion," said Gholson, "We want everybody to
understand the plans on this.

"There cannot and will not be anything done under the table," said the
board president, who said any actions will be formally announced.

A report from the P-B-T ISD Tax Assessor Collector showed that the Ward
County area of the school district, including Barstow, represents 15.9
percent of the current school districts taxable value. For the most
recent taxing period, that represented payments of $831,079.

Currently the Restructuring Committee, headed by Perea, is looking at
the most popular arrangement to cut down the 10 campuses currently
operated by the district. That includes the phasing out of the Barstow
campus, followed by Pecos Elementary and Lamar Elementary.

No action was taken on the matter.

In other business board members acknowledged the Pecos Age Group Swim
Team who donated $2,625 for the purchase of an electronic timing device
and underwater video camera.

"It's very nice, when interested citizens and parents come together to
help the school system reach some of our goals," Gholson said.

The remaining funds needed for the purchase came from the swimming
department's budget, which "did not have to be amended or adjusted,"
said Gholson.

Letters from the U.S. Department of Justice showed no objection to the
recent consolidation of elections for the city, school and hospital

Frank X. Spencer of Frank X. Spencer and Associates was on hand to
present the board with his firm's roofing plans for PHS's Building B,
outlining three different bid options, materials and scenarios for

Board members voted unanimously to go with Spencer's recommendations and
solicit bids.

Pecos High School Band Director Steven Clary told the board that the
current band uniforms are 13 years old and new one, "are needed."

Gholson said " $60,000 was dedicated towards the purchase of new band
uniforms. She reminded the board, "we're working with a deficit budget,"
and added, "we would have to raise taxes," if this purchase is approved.

Sotelo asked Clary if 200 was a sufficient number and if more uniforms
would have to purchased in the future.

The band director said the number was derived by looking at the eighth
grade dropout rate of band students.

The band department's request to purchase was passed by a 5-1 vote, with
Gholson casting the dissenting vote. She said her voted was based on the
tax issue.

Board Member Steve Armstrong was not present.

On a roll, Clary presented the board the department's plan for trip to
Dallas in April.

He indicated that expenses for gas and transportation are covered in his
budget, and students will be paying their way for $70 apiece.

Clary noted that an enchilada plate sale is scheduled and funds will be
used to curtail this cost to the students.

"We want to reward our kids for their efforts," he said, "and let them
see what other bands are doing."

Tickets to Six Flags, said Clary, are covered by funds raised by the
Band Boosters.

The vote passed unanimously.

Elections Coordinator Debbie Thomas was approved unanimously as the
early voting clerk, and board members also approved the presented list
of judges, alternates and other for the May 3 school board election. An
election calendar was also approved.

All trustees present voted on the ratification of the dissolution of CED
26 and 1996-97 budget amendments as presented by Business Manager Cookie

A budget calendar was presented and passed unanimously. It begins Feb.
28 with administrators being handed their worksheets and instructions
and ending August 31 with the adoption of a budget for the 1997-98
school year.

An undivided vote was cast to hire Card, Graham and Company as auditor
for the district as well as a textbook committee of some fifteen campus
representatives. "By law, parents are not allowed," to serve on this
committee, said Gholson.

Making up for a bad weather day used in early January during the
subfreezing temperatures, students and teachers will report to school on
May 30. School district staff will work Saturday, May 31 to make up for
the preparation day.

Alternative Education Teacher Jamie Crisp told the board that AEP staff
request that any decisions about AEP involve all parties.

"We need to sit down and plan together," she said.

She asked that board members keep in mind the curriculum and sufficient
training for teachers and aides as well as seeing that all
administrative procedures be standardized.

Crisp asked that the board consider making AEP staff salaries
commensurate with other AEP's throughout Texas.

She added that the local AEP staff is recommending Benny Hernandez as

No action was taken.

The board voted to approved the resignation of James W. Blackwell as
Zavala Middle School Science Teacher and Jon F. Igo as Alternative
Education Manager.

Freeport crew uses free time to fix home

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - Christmas for 1997 came very early for one
Pecos family, as repair work on their small home began this morning.

Volunteers were busy early today, taking advantage of a beautiful
morning to help someone in need.

"We're just doing this to help others, someone in need who is trying to
help themselves," said Don Lee, just one of the many volunteers busy
fixing the roof, installing screen doors and planting trees at Etta and
Rudolph Evans' home.

The Evans live in a small two-bedroom home located on Olive Street on
the south side of Pecos, where she is raising 11 of her grandchildren.

"We saw a real need here and decided to help out," said Lee.

The "C" Crew, the Caring Crew, worked all night at their regular job, at
the Freeport-McMoRan sulphur mine before beginning construction work at
the Evans home on their days off.

"I think this is a great thing these guys are doing, especially after
having worked all night," said Lee.

He said the group had gathered and talked about helping out the Evans
family after seeing a real need for a new roof on the home, along with
other construction repairs.

"But this won't be the last home we work on, or the last good deed that
we do," he said.

Lee said the Caring Crew wants to challenge other crews at the plant or
in the community to began a project of their own.

"We want to help our community, to better it," said Lee.

Other plans also don't just include construction on homes, but the group
plans to focus on children and in getting children interested in school,
by donating their time and attention.

"We want to help others in the community, either by helping youngsters
stay in school, or by helping them beautify their homes and their
lives," said Lee.

The group says their goodwill doesn't stop here, but that they will
continue to help enrich Pecos and make it a better community to live in.

"We also want to take a trip to Carlsbad and help another family there,
since two individuals from Carlsbad who work with us, are on hand to
help in Pecos," said Lee.

Bobby Enmon donated material and time to help with the ongoing project,
while Gibson's True Value Hardware gave the volunteers a huge discount
on the materials.

Ernest Garcia of Garcia Construction Company donated his time and
equipment early this morning; Bob Burkholder donated funds for the
materials; the Town of Pecos City will be letting the individuals dump
the rubbish free of charge and Buddy Bryan of Bryan's Nursery donated
some trees to beautify the yard.

The group also plans to build a porch onto the home and a patio.

Dedicated volunteers in the group include, Robert Navarrette and Lupe
Lara of Carlsbad, N.M., from Pecos, David Acosta, Eddie Mata, Danny
Florez, Bobby Herrera, Tony Carrasco, J.R. Chabarria, David Terry, Ed
Gonzales, Pete Ybarra, Orlando Alvarez, Ken Hunter, David Macha, Andy
Hannah, Benny Chabarria and Jody Jackson.

Also, Raul Herrera, Manuel Rodriguez, Joe Rodriguez, Dale Haws and Alex
Garcia, along with Lee.

"This was really a joint project, a group of caring individuals who
wants to do something positive," said Danny Florez.

"We want to make a difference, a good difference," he said.

Runaways from ranch caught quickly

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - Jeff Davis County sheriff's deputies returned
one juvenile to a private rehabilitation center and turned another over
to Texas Youth Commission authorities following their escape from the
High Frontier Boys Ranch early Thursday morning.

The boys ranch is a privately-owned placement center, according to
Reeves County Juvenile Probation Officer Alberto Alvarez, who indicated
that residents are placed there voluntarily for treatment.

The incident was a break for Jeff Davis County Sheriff Steve Bailey from
the high-profile case he's recently had to deal with.

"This is the first out of 200 calls that I've gotten that didn't want to
talk about the Republic of Texas," Bailey said this morning. Republic
Ambassador Richard McLaren and his dispute with county, state and
federal officials has drawn worldwide attention to Fort Davis over the
past year.

Bailey said the boys ranch holds about 75 juveniles and a Jeff Davis
County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said it is located about four miles
southeast of Fort Davis on Texas Highway 118.

Bailey said the property is not fenced in. The youth are "not locked
up," he said, adding they attend school on the premises.

The youths were first reported missing about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and one
of the two boys was apprehended on the streets of Fort Davis about 5:30
a.m., said Bailey.

The other teen reportedly broke into "several vehicles" and drove off in
a pickup belonging to Worth Puckett of Fort Davis, headed westbound on
highway 118.

The teen was stopped by an Alpine Police Department unit and charged
with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

He was turned over to TYC officials in Odessa, Bailey said.

Federal grand jurors return 22 indictments

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - Federal grand jurors gathered in Pecos
Thursday for the second time in February to indict 22 defendants on a
variety of charges, including escape from the Reeves County Jail.

Hector Flores-Baeza, Gerardo Jacquez-Caballo and Ruben Perez-Griego are
charged with conspiracy to escape, escape and aid and abet escape for
their Jan. 28 departure from the Reeves County Jail.

The indictment alleges the three inmates made a rope of cloth strips
and jail uniforms, entered a plumbing access closet, moved to the jail
roof, then departed.

Billy Mel Alford of Dallas is charged with five counts each of
importing and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana from
February through November, 1996, enhanced by carrying a firearm during
each of the crimes and by a prior conviction for possession with intent
to distribute more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana.

Dominic Joseph Longo, 25, and John Carl Brown, 23, both of Midland, are
charged with importing and possessing with intent to distribute

Haley Sue Appleton, 29, of Oklahoma City, Okla., is charged with
possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana on Feb. 12,
and with carrying a firearm during commission of a drug trafficking

Charged with importation and possession with intent to distribute
marijuana are:

- Javier Delgado-Gonzalez, 26, of Casetas, Mex., Mar. 24;
- Arturo Martinez-Ceniceros, 24, Asencion Escajeda-Rincon, 35, Valentin
Rosales-Gonzales, 27, Gustavo Gallegos-Solis, 24, and Cesar
Bejarano-Sias, 25, all of Guadalupe, D.B., Mex., Feb. 7;

Indicted for possession with intent to distribute marijuana are:

- Gregorio Contreras-Hernandez, Feb. 23;

- Arturo Contreras-Alvarez, 23, of Col. Esperanza, Chih., Mex., Feb. 13.

Three indictments naming seven defendants are sealed.

Banker can't make suit loan

to couple for courtroom visit

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Staff Writer

PECOS, February 28, 1997 - James Baker was startled Thursday when a
couple walked into the First National Bank where he is cashier and asked
to borrow his coat and tie.

Fellow bank employees immediately suspected Baker's wife, Carolyn, of
sending the couple to the bank, because she is a secretary in the U.S.
Marshal's office, where federal court was underway.

"I knew nothing about it," Carolyn said. "I was sitting here at my desk

Baker said he was standing behind the teller line when the couple
walked into the lobby and looked around.

"I went into my office. They came up to Diane and asked to see me,"
Baker said.

He invited them in, and the woman asked him if he spoke Spanish. "I
said no, and she looked like `Here we go again.'"

Pointing to the west, the woman said "Live El Paso," then placed both
hands on her chest and said, "Brother incarceration."

"I figured they were here to visit somebody," Baker said. "They were
friendly. There was no problem."

She said, "Court," pointing to her husband. "Need coat and tie,"
pointing to the man's ski jacket.

"I understood that," Baker said. "Then she said, `Can we borrow yours?'"

"I said, `What?'"

"Court," the woman said, pointing to her husband. "Coat and tie. Can we
borrow yours?"

"I just kind of rocked back on my heels," Baker said. "I said, `It
won't fit. He can't wear it.'"

The woman said he didn't want to wear the suit; just sit in it, Baker

He repeated, "It won't fit," but the man nodded his head and started to
take off his ski jacket, saying he is a size 42.

"I shook my head and said, `No, 39'," Baker said. "They apologized and
said thank you and left."

J.C. White, security officer at federal court, said he told the couple
when they came in the lobby that he would have to have a coat and tie to
go in the courtroom.

"It was the luck of the draw that led them to the bank," he said. "I
guess it looked like Nieman Marcus. He came back later with a
snug-fitting, coffee colored coat and red tie he got at a pawn shop."


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Thomas L. Hurley Jr.

Graveside services for Thomas L. Hurley Jr., 72, will be at 2 p.m.
Sunday in Chaparral Village Cemetery, directed by Pecos Funeral Home. He
died Thursday, Feb. 27, 1997, at his residence.

He was born Mar. 30, 1924 in Ada, Okla., was a World War II veteran of
the U.S. Army, a Baptist and a retired seismograph party chief.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Hurley of Pecos; two sons, Thomas
Ray Hurley of Pecos and Cal Hurley of San Angelo; four daughters, Kathy
Hurley and Marian Clark of Pecos; Barbara Bailey of Fort Davis and Irene
Eastup of Kilgore; two brothers, Everett Hurley of Ada, Okla., and
Kenneth Hurley of Colorado; one sister, Violet Irene Goodman of Ada,
Okla., and eight grandchildren.


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High Thursday 68, low last night 37. Tonight, decreasing clouds. Low in
the mid to upper 30s. Southwest to west wind 10-20 mph and gusty.
Saturday, sunny and cooler. High 55-60. West to northwest wind 15-25 mph
and gusty, diminishing late.
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