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August 7, 1997

Early voting wraps up in tax election

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 7, 1997 - Early voting for the school tax election ended Tuesday with 343 ballots cast, but voters who did not cast a ballot will have another chance on election day, Saturday, Aug. 9.

The proposed constitutional amendment election was called by the state legislature at the urging of Gov. George Bush in an attempt to reduce school taxes. The proposal increases the standard homestead property tax exemptions for residential school property. The exemptions would be increased by $10,000.

Bush says he is attempting, and pledges to continue, to work on reducing property taxes in Texas.

However, some school officials have said the state's formula for determining minimum teacher salaries will force them to increase local property tax rates if the proposal passes.

Bush does not agree with that argument against the proposal, according to Associated Press (AP) reports.

"If districts feel like they have to raise teacher pay, that's up to the folks at the local level," he said. "Just don't blame the state for that. My attitude is, you can't pay teachers enough."

According to AP reports, minimum teacher pay reflects the amount of money the state provides local districts. Because the state is replacing the $1 billion districts will be shorted from the tax reduction if the property tax amendment passes, minimum teacher salaries will have to be increased. As a result, local school property tax rates could increase.

Because of its effect on property taxes the election is an important one.

"I really worked hard to get ballots out and to make the public aware of this special election," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

Florez stated that this election is as important as the local elections and urged everyone to come out and vote.

"We had a good turnout, for it being early voting," said Florez.

The final count in early voting was 341 by personal appearance and two by mail.

"I want to thank all of those individuals who came out and voted early," said Florez.

Anyone wishing to cast their votes and missed the early voting deadline can do so from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Reeves County Civic Center.

"This location is for all in-town voters," said Florez. "All the out-of-town votes will be cast at designated locations," she said.

Those voting Box 4 will vote at Toyah City Hall while Box 5 voters will go to the Balmorhea Senior Center. Those voting Box 6 will cast ballots at the Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center and Box 9 voters will mark paper ballots at the Red Bluff Office in Orla.

Florez has just returned from election school held in Austin recently and stated that a lot of new changes concerning elections will go into effect Sept. 1. "We really learned a lot, it was a very informational session," she said.

Another election has been set for November and primary elections will take place in January.

"Since we'll be having two other elections here real soon, the school came in handy," said Florez. "We really learned a lot and had a fascinating guest speaker who was very knowledgeable," she said.
Secretary of State Antonio Garza was the guest speaker for the event.

Balmorhea spruced up just
in time for Labor Day Festival

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 7, 1997 - Downtown Balmorhea has been receiving a "face-lift" and taking on a brighter look.

"We've been working on the canal, making renovations and trying to make it more attractive," said Balmorhea Chamber of Commerce member Pat Brijalba.

Brijalba is also chairman of the Canal Enhancement Committee.

"Basically what we've been doing is selling bricks for memorials and advertisement," said Brijalba.

The funds raised from selling the bricks are then used for renovations to the canal.

Some of the bricks purchased by the people are for memorials for loved ones, while others just want to advertise their business, according to Brijalba.

"We'll be taking more orders from people who want to purchase a brick and then we'll install them once a year," he said.

Brijalba stated that he wanted to invite everyone who purchased a brick to come by and look at the beautiful downtown area.

Bricks are $50 for a 4"X8" slot and $100 for an 8"X8".

Anyone who would like to place an order can do so by calling the City of Balmorhea at 375-2307.

"I want to thank everyone who purchased a brick and helped us with this very important project, and we hope they enjoy the downtown area as much as we have," said Brijalba.

"We've done a lot of work on the canal and it's for everyone," he said.

The new look is perfect for the upcoming Labor Day Festival scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 30.

"This year it will be a bean and brisket cook-off instead of just beans," said Brijalba.

The group wanted to keep the tradition of beans, but decided to add something extra by incorporating the meat into the festival also, according to Brijalba.

"There will be both, but will be judged separately," he said.

Games, food and festivities are all a part of the agenda for the weekend and everyone in the area is welcome to come out and participate.

Little Joe Davila and the Jetliners will be performing at the special occasion.

Vendors and cookers who would like to participate in the festival can do so by calling 375-2272 or after five call, 375-2323

More Texas, area criminals pay
for their crimes with cash, work

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 7, 1997 - Making criminals pay back their victims for the harm they committed seems to be an idea that is catching on locally and throughout Texas.

State-wide, criminals sentenced to community supervision in lieu of prison paid a record amount of restitution to their victims last year, a 20-percent increase from the prior year, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

Last year, more than 148,000 Texas probationers paid almost $34 million in cash to their victims. They completed more than seven million hours of unpaid charitable and community service work, worth $34.3 million figured at minimum wage.

Figures from the 143rd Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department comprised of Reeves, Ward and Loving counties, also show an increase in restitution.

"Restitution pays victims back for money they've been swindled out of or property they have lost due to crime," said Camilla Blum, director of the division. "The amount of restitution paid locally seems to be growing."

Victim restitution paid in the three-county district in 1995 was $51,838. That amount grew to $89,756 last year. The growth in restitution paid locally is even more striking considering that the number of people on direct probation in the district has decreased from 349 in 1995 to 291 in 1996, according to Camilla Blum, director of the district.

"This is a big increase when you talk about people paying in little increments," Blum said. "We've done an excellent job of collection."

Last year one conviction alone resulted in more than $123,000 of restitution paid to victims of security swindles conducted from as far back as 1989 by Dane Hudall, according to Blum. Because the conviction occurred at the beginning of the 1996-97 fiscal year the payments will appear on 1997 statistics.

In 1995, the 349 persons on direct probation in the 143rd district performed a total of 20,838 hours of community service, worth $88,562. In 1996 ,when the total number of people on direct probation dropped to 291 the amount of community service dropped to 16,281 hours worth $77,333.

District courts where an offender is convicted set the terms of restitution and community service. The 122 local Community Supervision and Corrections Departments (CSCDs) - previously known as local probation departments - that oversee probationers are funded annually by $200 million from the state.

Susan Cranford, TDCJ Community Justice Assistance Division Director, credits courts and local CSCDs for the increase in payments and community service in the state.

"The courts are ordering more offenders to do public service and the CSCDs have sharpened their focus on collecting restitution," Cranford said.

It's a win, win, win situation, according to Cranford.

"Everyone wins in this system," she said. "The victims get the compensation they deserve, the community gets work projects done which it might not otherwise be able to afford and the offenders are given a chance to at least partially redeem the damage their crimes inflicted on their victims and the public."

Community services ordered by the courts have included project such as building playgrounds, stocking food bank shelves, picking up highway and park litter, installing home insulation for the elderly and sorting donations to charity groups, Cranford said.

In Reeves County last month six juvenile offenders paid restitution.

In other local probation department news, the Reeves County Juvenile Court reports 18 juveniles were detained in July, 13 from Reeves County and five out-of-county. Eighteen juveniles currently remain on probation with the court.

Seven of the 18 juveniles were referred to the court by the Reeves Co. Sheriff's Department, nine by the Pecos Police Department, one by parents and one from another source.

Of the 18 juveniles, three were referred to the court for aggravated assault with deadly weapons, one for crisis intervention - home related, one for possession of marijuana under two ounces, seven for burglary of a habitation, two for criminal mischief between $20 and $500, one runaway, one assault causing bodily injury, one resisting arrest or search and one for possession of weapons such as switchblades or brass knuckles.

Fifteen of the juveniles were male and three were female, 15 were Hispanic, two were white and one was black.

Proposal to dump radioactive
waste raises opposition

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ANDREWS, Texas (AP) August 7, 1997 - It was one thing when Waste Control Specialists lobbied to dump toxic waste in a 600,000-cubic yard hole at its Andrews County site on the New Mexico border. Residents offered nary an objection.

Radioactive waste, apparently, is entirely different.

"My concern is that 15 or 20 years from now people in this area will be coming up with leukemia and other kinds of cancer (and) birth defects," said Ken Henderson, president of the area's first organized opposition to radioactive waste here. "They say it's low-level, but the government's idea of low-level is not the same as what a normal person's idea is."

WCS spokesman Ron Hance characterized the waste that would travel through Andrews County as too low-level to cause any problems, even in the event of an accident.

WCS already is processing and storing toxic by-products at its 16,000-acre site in barren western Andrews County. Community support has been strong, particularly from business leaders.

However, a tiny group of activists say more than 60 people in this county of 14,800 have expressed interest in Henderson's organization, Atomic Waste and Radiation Education, or AWARE.

They were to join pro-radioactive waste forces at two Texas Department of Health hearings today. TDH licensing is one of the last hurdles WCS must overcome before bidding to treat and store federally produced radioactive waste.

Some form of opposition was expected to the project, even in this desolate region accustomed to the "poison gas" warning signs and constant tanker truck traffic, WCS attorney John Kyte said.

"This is a community that has put a lot of effort and understanding, looking at how to develop business in the area," Kyte said. "But did I expect opposition to arise? Absolutely. I even told the client (WCS) that a year ago.

"Even at this relatively late stage in the process I expected it."

WCS intends to treat and store contaminated soils and clothing from the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense. Together, they account for 90 percent of government-produced radioactive waste.

The Andrews site also could treat waste headed for a proposed state-run site in Hudspeth County, near El Paso. That proposal has touched off intense resistance among residents of nearby Sierra Blanca. |

Shots needed before enrolling in school.

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Staff Writer

PECOS, August 7, 1997 - This year the Texas Department of Health (TDH) approved changes in the ages at which children who are enrolled in public or private school or licensed, certified or registered child care facilities are required to be immunized. They also made two changes in the types of vaccines which will satisfy the state-mandated requirements. The changes became effective Aug. 1.

According to TDH, all immunizations should be completed by the first day of attendance. However, state law gives local school districts and child care facilities the option of allowing children to attend if at least one immunization in each series has been received, but the remaining immunizations must be completed as soon as medically feasible.

According to Pecos Kindergarten Principal Lucila Valensuela, the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD policy is to enroll all students, then require students to receive all further immunizations as soon as possible.

Valensuela said that, according to state law, if a child does not complete their immunizations on schedule, their parents are required to withdraw them from school.

"So far, it has never come to that here," said Valensuela.

According the health department's requirement revisions, the DTaP vaccine will satisfy the DTP vaccine requirements, and OPV and IPV may be used interchangeably to meet the polio vaccine requirements for all ages. The new requirements reflect recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Also, children may have other additional vaccines, such as for chicken pox, or additional doses of required vaccines.

For families without a regular family physician, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Pecos offers immunizations for $5 per shot for children not covered by Medicare.

Immunizations will next be available at the Texas Tech center from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, on a first come, first served basis. The center is in the old hospital building, located at 700 Daggett.

School Children Immunization Requirements by the Texas Department of Health

Children five- and six-years old are required to have had the following immunizations:

* Three doses of polio vaccine, including one received after the fourth birthday;

* Four doses of DTP/DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis/diptheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis), including one received after the fourth birthday. Proof of pertussis vaccination is vaccination is not required for children five and older;

* One dose MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) received after the first birthday; and

* Two doses of measles vaccine for children born on or after September 2, 1991.

Children ages seven and older are required to have had:

* Three doses polio vaccine, including one received after the fourth birthday. Polio vaccine is not required for students 18 years and older;

* Three doses DTP/DTaP vaccine, including one received after the fourth birthday and one dose within the last 10 years;

* One dose MMR vaccine received after the first birthday; and

* Within 30 days after their 12 birthday, children born between Sept. 1, 1978 and Sept. 1, 1991 must show proof of having received two doses of measles vaccine.

The immunization requirements for children 15-months through four-years of age are as follows:

* One dose MMR vaccine received after their first birthday;

* One dose Hib vaccine received after 15 months of age, unless a primary series and booster have been completed;

* Three doses polio vaccine; and

* Four doses DTP/DTaP.

Children attending licensed, certified or registered child care facilities are required to have age-specific immunizations. No immunizations are required for children under two months old.

Children two- or three-months old are required to have one dose each of polio vaccine, DTP/DTaP and Hib (Haemopilus influenzae type b).

Children four- or five-months old must have two doses each of polio vaccine, DTP/DTaP and Hib vaccine.

Children six- through 11-months old need two doses of polio vaccine, two doses of Hib vaccine and three doses of DTP/DTaP vaccine.


August 7, 1997

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Julio Belis Salcido

Julio Belis Salcido, 88, of Odessa, died Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1997, at Westwood Medical Center in Midland.

Mass will be 2 p.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph's Catholic Church with burial in Rosehill Cemetery. Rosary will be said today at 7 p.m.

Salcido was born Dec. 12, 1908, in Brogado, Tex. He was a retired farmer.

Survivors include: seven sons, Henry Salcido of Sunnyvale, Calif., Raul, Carlos, Rudolfo and Inez Salcido of Odessa, Thomas Salcido of Midland and Natividad Salcido of Pecos; six daughters, Modesta Juarez, Maria Ortiz and Frances Orona of Odessa, Candy Garcia of Ft. Stockton, Jesusita Luna of Kermit and Ema Adame of Hobbs N.M.; and one brother, Jose Salcido of Dinuba, Calif.
Arrangements are by Odessa Funeral Home.


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PECOS, August 7, 1997 - High Wednesday, 94, low this morning, 64. Precipitation overnight totaled .48 of an inch bringing the total for the month to .48 of an inch and for the year to 5.42 inches. Flash flood watches were in effect for the Big Bend area, the Edwards Plateau and a vast area of North Texas in the wake of strong thunderstorms that dumped briefly heavy rainfall across the state. The thunderstorm activity was touched off Wednesday night and early today by a cold front that was located this morning across the Permian Basin eastward into North Texas. Some flash flooding was reported in the Palestine area where 5-6 inches of rain fell between Wednesday evening and early today. The cold front will bring much cooler weather to the northern half of the state where lows could dip into the 60s before dawn Friday. It will be mostly cloudy through tonight across West Texas with a chance of thunderstorms across the entire region tonight and across all of South Texas except for the southern Panhandle, South Plains and low rolling plains on Friday. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and 70s in West Texas. Highs Friday will be in the 80s and 90s.


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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, 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 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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