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August 13, 1997

Tax break to result in higher tax rates,
say school administrators

Associated Press Writer
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AUSTIN (AP) August 13, 1997 - Less than a week after Texas voters gave
homeowners a break on their property taxes, a group of school
administrators says residents shouldn't be surprised by property tax
rate increases.

About 94 percent of the 732,016 voters who went to the polls Saturday
690,678 voters approved a $1 billion property tax-cut plan that will
increase the minimum homestead property tax exemption from $5,000 to

The $1 billion will be sent to schools over the next two years to
replace local tax revenues that schools otherwise would lose because of
the higher exemption.

Gov. George W. Bush and state leaders say they will continue to fund the
higher property tax exemption in future state budgets.

But school officials and members of the Texas Association of School
Administrators say the tax break creates other costs for which the state
isn't paying. Higher school property tax rates will be needed to pay for
those costs, including higher salaries for some teachers, they say.

"TASA strongly supports the property-tax relief efforts," TASA Executive
Director Johnny Veselka said Tuesday. "Our concern lies in additional
costs being funneled back to local districts."

By law, minimum teacher salaries are tied to the amount of state funds
schools get. Because the state is sending $1 billion more in the 1998-99
state budget to schools, those salaries have to be increased.

According to lawmakers, teacher salary increases are covered by the $1

But TASA and other groups say the $1 billion isn't enough.

Bush has warned Texans to be aware of such arguments. He also has
challenged schools to be honest about future tax increases.

Meanwhile, Bush said he would have liked more voters to have
participated in Saturday's election.

A record low 6.9 percent of the state's 10.6 million registered voters
a total of 732,016 participated in the constitutional election. That
was lower than the 7.5 percent of voters who participated in a 1979

"There are never enough voters," Bush said Tuesday. "(It was) certainly
not as many as all of us would like to see but it was a pretty substantial sample of the opinion of Texas."

Some PBT schools will open
with new operating hours

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - During a Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board meeting
last week, new hours were adopted for Pecos Kindergarten and Austin
Elementary students. This was done to be in compliance with Senate Bill
One, which addresses many areas of education in public schools.

One section of the bill stipulates that each school day must be a
minimum of seven hours long. Other schools in the district were already
in compliance with the measure. Kindergartners, first- and second-grade
students will now attend school from 8:10 a.m. until 3:10 p.m. Monday
through Friday. Four-year-olds in the pre-kindergarten program will
still attend half days.

A list follows which designates school day hours at each campus, along
with any registration or orientation schedules that the campus may have

Pecos Kindergarten - Pre-K hours - morning session 8:10 to 11:25 a.m.,
afternoon session 12:40 to 3:40 p.m.; Kindergarten hours 8:10 a.m. to
3:10 p.m. with registration anytime today or tomorrow during the school

Austin Elementary (first and second grade) - School hours 8:10 a.m. to
3:10 p.m.; Registration from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight.

Pecos Elementary (third grade) - School hours 8:25 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.;
Registration 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. today in the cafeteria.

Bessie Haynes (fourth and fifth grade) - School hours 8:20 a.m. to 3:40
p.m.; no registration.

Lamar (sixth grade) - School hours 8:20 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.; registration
at 8 a.m. tomorrow in the students' classrooms.

Barstow Elementary (first through fifth grade) - School hours 8:20 a.m.
to 3:40 p.m.; Assembly and orientation for students and parents at 8:20
a.m. tomorrow in the gymnasium.

Zavala Middle School (seventh grade) - School hours 8:30 a.m. to 3:30
p.m.; Registration 5-6 p.m. today.

Crockett Middle School (eighth grade) - School hours 8:15 a.m. to 3:27
p.m.; Registration 5-6 p.m. today.

Pecos High School (ninth through 12th grade) - School hours 8:15 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.; Registration already completed.

Three Marines offered immunity for talking

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MARFA, Texas (AP) August 13, 1997 - Three of four U.S. Marines involved
in the May shooting death of a West Texas teen-ager have been offered
immunity in return for their testimony, defense attorneys and a
prosecutor say.

"They (the Marines) are appearing voluntarily," Presidio County District
Attorney Albert Valadez told the San Antonio Express-News. "It'll be a
lot better than reading cold, hard statements that can't answer

Conroe attorney Gerald Crow, appointed by the Justice Department to
represent Lance Corp. James M. Blood, told the Conroe Courier on Tuesday
that Blood will appear before a Presidio County grand jury in Marfa on

Also granted immunity for their testimony were Cpl. Roy Torres Jr., 19,
and Lance Cpl. Ronald Wieler Jr., 21.

The three have been offered immunity in the shooting death of Esequiel
Hernandez Jr. not far from his home in Redford.

Valadez declined to elaborate on the agreement Tuesday.

"You grant immunity to those that you want to have testify about facts
that might result in a prosecution," Valadez said. "I can confirm the
agreement, but I can't get into any details."

San Antonio attorney Michael Gross, himself a former Marine, is
representing Torres and visited with him this week at Camp Pendleton.

A testimony arrangement was in the works as of Tuesday afternoon, but
nothing had been finalized, Gross said by telephone from his office.

"There's a plan for my guy to be there; it's a tentative plan," Gross
said. "There are rumblings right now, but nothing is set in stone."

The grand jury is meeting for the second time Thursday to consider
charges in the May 20 shooting death.

Hernandez was killed after crossing paths with a four-man Marine surveillance team while tending his goat herd in Redford.

Council holds zoning change public hearing

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - A public hearing will kick off discussions
during the regular Town of Pecos City meeting scheduled for 7:30 a.m.

The hearing will be to discuss proposed zone changes from C-1 to C-2 on
Eddy Street. The new zone would allow businesses to sell hard liquor and
beer for off-premises consumption.

The council will discuss a request from Anchor West to close Maxey Park
on Sept. 13 for a company picnic.

In other business, the group will discuss and consider a damage claim
for lost cattle by John Clark and consider authorizing Frank X. Spencer
and Associates to apply for easement renewal from Texas General Land
office across Pecos River.

The council will also discuss/consider/proceed with design of Third
Street for sanitary sewer lines and consider a status report authorizing
permit amendment for unauthorized ponds at the wastewater treatment

A resolution authorizing Pecos Ambulance Service, Inc. will be
considered and bids will be awarded for three new pickups along with an
ambulance chief vehicle.

The group will meet in executive session (closed to the public and the
press) to discuss the purchase or exchange of real property in the
Veterans Addition of the Town of Pecos City.

They will also discuss and approve:

* Monthly Report: Municipal court report, tax collector's report,
juvenile court report and financials, (excluding ambulance).

* Accounts payable.
* Minutes of the previous meeting.

School bus safety
It's a community effort

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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - Almost 17 million public school students ride
in about 400,000 school buses every day. The 10 billion rides provided
by school buses every year make them the largest form of public
transportation in the country. Everyone on the road has to drive safely
around these yellow buses to help keep school children safe.

Most child fatalities involving school buses occur as students board or
exit a bus. About 25 children died in school bus loading zone accidents
in 1995-96 and 20 died in 1994-95. Nevertheless, school buses are the
safest form of ground transportation in the country with a fatality rate
of 0.01 per 100,000 passenger miles.

To keep school buses safe for children there are some rules everyone
must follow:


When a school bus exhibits flashing red lights, all vehicles must stop
before reaching the bus, whether the vehicles are approaching from the
same direction the bus is traveling or from the opposite direction,
unless there is a dividing media, then vehicles on the other side of the
road from the bus do not have to stop. Watch for children loading and
unloading from the bus.

Remember school buses stop at railroad tracks.

Children and parents

When loading or unloading, walk in front of the bus, not behind the bus.

Wait until the bus is completely stopped before getting too close.

Be on time for the bus.

Wait for the bus in an orderly manner. Board and unload in the same
manner, in a single file line.

Remain seated when the bus is in motion. Remain orderly on the bus.

Listen to and obey the bus driver.

When crossing in front of the school bus remain 10 feet from the bus and
make sure the driver sees you. In general, stay 10 feet from the bus to
avoid blind spots where the driver cannot see you.

Don't leave the bus and then come back for something. Don't bend down
near the bus where the driver cannot see you.

Bus drivers

Be aware of where the children are and look out for any unsafe conditions.|

Area concerts draw crowds, local bands

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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - About 1,500 people attended the concert last
weekend sponsored by Comite 88.

"The funds raised will go towards our scholarships," said club president
Lorenza Terrazas.

The club gives out scholarships annually to Pecos High School graduates
and have several fund-raisers throughout the year.

"I don't know if we'll have a concert again next year, we haven't
planned that far," she said.

The concert headlined Los Rieleros, Super Odesea, Elida y Avante and
Paco Baron and Nortenos Clan.

Santa Rosa Catholic Church will be hosting the "Celebrant Singers," on
Wednesday following the regular evening mass.

Mass will be held at 7 p.m. with the singers performing shortly

The group has performed in 75 different countries and sang with the Pope in Denver, Colo., during a celebration held there.

Chamber lines up bands for Fall Fair Concert

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - Three bands have already been signed up for the Fall Fair Concert scheduled for Oct. 4 at the Buck Jackson Arena,
according to Chamber of Commerce Director Tom Rivera.

The announcement came at the regular Chamber of Commerce Directors
meeting held at the Pecos Senior Center on Tuesday.

Imprezion, Shelly Lares and Los Nortenos de Ojinaga will be performing
at the arena for the annual event. Five bands will be performing during
the evening.

"We want to make it a tradition to have a local band open up the
concert," said Rivera. "A chairperson is still needed for the concert,"
he said.

Plans are also underway for the annual beef cook off and fair which will
be held the weekend of Oct. 9-11.

Donny Dominguez has again volunteered his services to chair the cook off
and Linda Gholson will be in charge of the school portion of the fair.

"We're currently working on a mail-out list for the cook off," said

Rivera stated that there were only 35 entries last year, which he
attributed to the fact that the entry fee was raised.

"Of course the prize money was also higher, but the entry fee was too
high," said Rivera.

Rivera suggested lowering both the entry fee and cash awards to be able
to receive more entries.

"I think if we lower the entry fee back to what it used to be about two
or three years ago, which was $60, we'll get more entries," said Rivera.

The Annual Mother Goose Parade has been set for Oct. 8, with lineup at 5
and the parade beginning at 5:30 at the First National Bank Parking lot.

Bob Curry, co-chairman of the economic development committee reported
that the group had put together a proposal for a company in China who is
interested in starting up a business in Pecos.

"We along with Del Rio have submitted a proposal and it looks really
good," he said.

Curry explained that the group would need an inter-local agreement with
all entities to share the budget of hiring an economic development

"It takes a lot of people and influence, and I would like to thank Tom
for putting all this together for us," said Curry.

Curry stated that he is very excited about this venture and hopes the
chamber will get something going through this in the form of economic

Chamber president Paul Hinojos told the group that the Meals on Wheels
Program is in dire need of volunteers. The group delivers meals to the
elderly and shut-ins.

"I for one, plan to volunteer a little bit of my time and urge all of
you to do the same," said Hinojos.

Meals on Wheels currently delivers 126 meals to the elderly and shut-ins
and have only one volunteer at this time.

Dick Alligood suggested that members take a look at the chamber's home
page on the Internet.

"We are reviewing some information brought to the committee from another
group that wants us to put our home page on their web site," said

Alligood stated that the group wants to compare the number of "hits"
they are getting at their current site, to the number with the other

"That information is available now, their price is $600 per year and we
are currently paying $240, but if the number of hits is higher we might
want to go with them," he said.

Input is greatly needed from everyone and things look extremely good,
according to Alligood.

Linda Gholson discussed the Moonlight Madness sale held recently and
stated that the participation was low, but it turned out very nice.

"Somehow we need to promote `shop Pecos first,'" said Hinojos.

Hinojos asked the group if they were "inhibited" by the presence of the
press at the monthly meetings.

"Maybe that's why many of you don't speak up at the meetings, for fear
of being quoted in the paper or because you might say something that is
construed wrong," said Hinojos.

"Well you already know how I feel about that," said Curry.

Hinojos stated that many times he had spoken up and said something only
to find out that people took it the wrong way.

"I might have said something, but it came out wrong and not the way I
meant it," he said.

Linda Gholson suggested having an executive session at each meeting, in
which the press would not be present.

"Maybe during this session more people will speak up," said Hinojos.

Hinojos stated that the group would post an executive session on their agenda whether or not they would use it.

Water board studying salt cedar problem

Staff Writer
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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - Jim Ed Miller passed around a 105-year-old
photograph of the Pecos River to members of the Red Bluff Water Power
Control Board during their Monday afternoon meeting in Pecos.

The photo shows a group of men standing in front of a wide, treeless
river channel in the area between Pecos and Barstow. It's a far cry from
today's Pecos River, where salt cedars have clogged the banks of the
river, cutting the flow downstream drastically.

The Pecos may never return to the way it was in 1892, but Red Bluff
officials will get a chance to plead their case for a salt cedar
eradication project to state officials next month, when they hold a
meeting here on implementing a project similar to one begun two years
ago in New Mexico.

"I talked with the TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) about a Sept.
19 meeting on the Arsenal project on the Pecos River," said Brad Newton,
Pecos River Compact Commissioner, during Monday's meeting. He added that
group would include Nancy Palmer, an official placed in the TDA by the
Environmental Protection Agency to monitor the safety of chemicals used
in any eradication program.

Officials from the TDA and from the Department of Fish and Wildlife want
to look at the salt cedar problem and at the Arsenal project south of
Artesia, N.M., Newton said. The herbicide has been used to remove trees
along the west bank of the river over a six-mile stretch in a test
project. Spraying began in 1995 and is being supervised by New Mexico
State University.

"I've seen it at different stages, and it's convinced me it works," said
Miller, the Red Bluff district's general manager.

"If they kill them up there, we'll get more water down here," said board
president Randal Hartman.

Preliminary plans call for the board and state officials to tour the
Pecos River just north of Pecos on Friday, Sept. 19, then hold a meeting
on the eradication project in Pecos. Newton said the officials would
then tour the Artesia test site on Sept. 20, though Miller wondered if
they would be willing to spend that Saturday along the river instead of
back in Austin.

Dr. Keith Duncan of NMSU's Artesia, N.M. branch said in May that, "If
plans are laid out and thought out and maintained you can reduce the
impact of salt cedars on the environment, and what it is doing to us.

"It's the first time a project like this has been done anywhere," Duncan
said. "It's the first time a project like this has been done with the
idea of native plant restoration.

"The whole concept is to remove the salt cedar and replace it with
natural vegetation," which he said was mostly grassland, along with other small trees such as mesquite and wolfberry.


August 13, 1997

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Ernesto Baca

Ernesto Baca, 39, died Sunday, Aug. 10, 1997, in Odessa.

A rosary is scheduled for today at 7:30 p.m. at the Martinez Funeral
Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
burial at Barstow Cemetery.

Baca was born May 30, 1958, in Pecos. He was a lifetime resident, a
Catholic and a seismograph employee.

Survivors include: his wife, Lupe Baca of Pecos; two sons, Ernie Baca,
Jr. and Roland Frank Baca of Pecos; two daughters, Melissa Acosta Garcia
and Yvette Acosta of Pecos; his parents, Flora Garcia and Frank Baca of
Pecos; four brothers, Edward Baca and Pablo Briones of Pecos, Juan and
Frank Baca, Jr. of Odessa; five sisters, Millie Navarette, Grace Lopez,
Erlinda Reyes and Otilia Baca of Pecos and Licha Ortiz of Monahans; and
five grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mercedes Ybaben

Mercedes Ybaben, 72, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 1997, at Reeves County

A rosary will be held today at 7 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church
in Balmorhea.

Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow at Christ the King Catholic
Church with burial in Balmorhea Cemetery.

Ybaben was born Nov. 24, 1924, in Barstow. She was a lifetime resident
and a Catholic.

Survivors include 13 nieces and seven nephews.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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PECOS, August 13, 1997 - High Tuesday, 101, low this morning, 69. Pecos
received 1 inch of rain in the past 24 hours bringing the monthly
precipitation total to 1.01 inches and the year-to-date total to 5.95
inches. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected across most
areas of Texas tonight and Thursday. The showers and thunderstorms were
being triggered by a weak cold front that extended from near McAlester,
Okla., to Sherman to Midland to Sanderson. West Texas will have
scattered mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms through
Thursday. It will be partly cloudy. Lows tonight will be in the 60s and
70s in West Texas, highs Thursday will be in the 80s and 90s. Light rain
and some widely scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms were
reported before dawn today in the Panhandle, the South Plains, Permian
Basin and the upper trans-Pecos.

State News
San Angelo Standard Times
Abilene Reporter News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dallas Morning News
Texas Press Association

National News
USA Today
York (Pa.) Daily Record, Sister Paper to Pecos Enterprise

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
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
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