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October 3, 1997
Eighth-grade students prepare for future careers
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, October 3, 1997 - Jump ropes, time clocks, paddle balls and
resumes don't seem like items that fit together in one category.
But all are part of the career investigation program which students are
Crockett Eighth Grade Middle School are participating in again this year.
"The kids are discovering their aptitudes. They're finding out what
they're good in," said Crockett teacher Kim Calhoun, one of the teachers
involved with the class. "It teaches them 'Who am I?' 'Where am I
going?' and 'How do I get there?' through self-awareness."
She said the class is designed to improve decision making and set a
course for a possible career after the students get out of school, but
added, "They're not necessarily going to make their minds up now, but
this helps get them to fulfill their interests."
The program includes an 'interest inventory assessment' both at the
beginning and end of the semester. "We do one at the start and another
at the end to see how their interests have changed," she said. "They may
have thought they wanted to be a doctor, and now they want to be an
The students go through 'aptitude discovery' early in the program, which
includes both physical and mental tests. "Somebody with good finger
dexterity might be good at typing or fixing bikes, while some others may
have an aptitude in math," Calhoun said.
The program also gives the eighth graders 'jobs' to do within their
class during the school year. "It's set up like a business, with on-job
skills," she said. "You learn to do applications and resumes, and when
you get your job, you learn about salaries."
Students 'clock in' during the day, and a payroll clerk hands out the
salaries in play money. "The kids have to clock in and clock out, and
learn to calculate their hourly wages," Calhoun said.
Salary levels are based on the job level the student attains during the
course of the semester. "There's different pay for different jobs. In
order to move up to a higher pay level, you have to do a successful job
interview," she said.
As part of the program, students have taken tours of the Anchor West
plant, as well as both local banks and have visited with veterinarian
Dr. Ronald Box and with Mary Barfield of the West of the Pecos Museum,
where some students in last year's career investigations class did
While helping students look towards a future career, the career
investigation class also is designed to help them prepare for next year,
when they'll be moving up the street to Pecos High School.
"We work on how to plan a four-year schedule in high school," Calhoun
said. "Mrs. (PHS Career Planning Coordinator Michelle) Workman comes
over and is real helpful and (Crockett teacher) Nancy Twining also comes
in, and together they teach grade requirements."
Newspapers oppose laws
restricting access to reports
From Staff and AP wire reports
AUSTIN, October 3, 1997 - Two newspaper groups - one representing Texas'
daily newspapers and the other the state's weekly newspapers - have
asked the Texas Department of Public Safety for reports on two accidents
that occurred last month.
What sounds like a rather routine event on Thursday was the latest step
by the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the Texas Press Association
in their fight against a new state law restricting access to traffic
The DPS has agreed to turn the request over to Attorney General Dan
Morales for an official opinion on the new law.
But a spokesman for the attorney general said a prompt ruling may not be
forthcoming since the newspapers have already filed a lawsuit over the
"Our general policy is we don't issue rulings until the litigation is
completed," spokesman Ward Tisdale said. "We'd have to review it first."
One section of a law passed earlier this year by the Legislature
requires that anyone seeking access to a traffic accident report know
the name of at least one person involved, as well as the date or
location of the accident.
Responding to a lawsuit by the newspaper groups, a state district judge
in Austin has issued an injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of
A DPS interoffice memorandum from Asst. Chief Charles Graham in Austin
issued yesterday instructs DPS offices that all information about motor
vehicle traffic accidents can be released except personal information
about survivors such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, driver
license numbers, Social Security Numbers and medical information.
The memo goes on to say that personal information may be released about
deceased traffic accident victims.
Information about the time, place or other general circumstaces of an
accident should also be made public, the memo said.
Man arrested on aggravated sexual assault charge
PECOS, October 3, 1997 - A man wanted for aggravated sexual assault has
brought to justice thanks to a crimestoppers tip.
Felix Ornelas, Jr., otherwise known as "Nunie" has been arrested in
Midland and is awaiting transfer back to Pecos today.
"Reeves County Sheriff's Department officials are on their way to
Midland to transport him back here," said Pecos Police Department
Investigator Kelly Davis.
An anonymous tip to Crimestoppers resulted in the arrest of Ornelas.
A reward was being offered by Crimestoppers and the FBI had been called
in to help with the aggravated sexual assault case, according to Davis.
Midland Police, who had been advised by Pecos Police to be on the
lookout for Ornelas, arrested him not even two minutes after Pecos
Police called them, according to Davis.
Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree felony.
"Hopefully, justice will be done in this case," said Davis, who earlier
had stated that this was a "very serious matter that officials had been
working hard to solve."
Schools get spooky for Halloween
PECOS, October 3, 1997 - Things are already beginning to get spooky with
several events planned by the schools for Halloween.
Pecos Elementary is planning a community-wide Halloween carnival for
Oct. 30 at the Reeves County Civic Center.
Each class at the school will have a booth, as will other campuses that
wish to participate. The Pecos Elementary Parent Teacher Organization
will have a "Spook House." School aides, with help from parents and
other volunteers, will also be serving enchilada dinners at the carnival
again this year.
The enchilada supper will be from 5 to 9 p.m. The carnival will be from
6-9 p.m., all at the civic center.
Proceeds from the carnival will go toward new books for the school
library classroom supplies and books, and school materials and equipment.
Barstow Elementary School will be celebrating "spook night" a little bit
earlier. The school has scheduled a Halloween Carnival for Saturday,
Everyone in the community is invited to participate.
An enchilada supper will be held from 5-8 p.m. while the carnival will
begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m.
The enchilada sale will be held in the school cafeteria and tickets are
$3.50 for adults and $1.75 for children.
Ham and turkey drawings will held, a cake walk and lots of games and
prizes will be a part of the evening's festivities.
A haunted house will be set and a concession stand open offering a
variety of treats.
Judge denies writer access to
information on sheriff's drug arrest
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, October 3, 1997 - Alpine writer Jack McNamara said today he will
not appeal a federal judge's decision to deny him access to records
pertaining to the investigation, arrest and conviction of a sheriff and
his drug-dealing partner.
"I want to get back to my writing about this instead of litigating it,"
said McNamara, who filed a Freeedom of Information Act request with the
U.S. Department of Justice and sued when he was denied the records.
Representing himself, McNamara twice argued his case before Judge
Furgeson in Pecos, the last time on July 18. Judge Furgeson commended
McNamara for his work, but nevertheless granted the government's motion
for summary judgment.
"Your final judgment failed to address many issues raised by this case,"
McNamara told the judge in a letter outlining what he believes are the
Furgeson ruled that McNamara's request falls outside the core purpose of
FOIA, which was meant to give citizens a window on the workings of their
government. The Act is not intended to serve as a mechanism for
obtaining private information on a private individual, the judge ruled.
Former Presidio County Sheriff Rick Thompson, who was sentenced to life
in prison for his part in smuggling more than a ton of cocaine across
the Rio Grande in December, 1991, retains his right to privacy, Judge
His partner, Robert Chambers, is serving a 22-year prison sentence,
reduced from life for his cooperation after his arrest.
"To men and women in law enforcement, it is a dark day when one of their
own goes bad," Judge Furgeson said in the background statement filed
with his ruling.
"Such was the case with long time Presidio County Cheriff Richard (Rick)
Dee Thompson. On the morning of December 4, 1991, after receiving a tip
from an informant, law enforcement officials seized a horse trailer
containing 2,241 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $1
billion. This was the biggest drug bust in West Texas history to date.
"The horse trailer, which was parked at the Presidio County Fairgrounds,
belonged to the Presidio County Sheriff's Office. As soon as news of
the seizure became public, (Thompson) called a news conference, during
which he announced that he himself had placed the drugs in the trailer
in preparation for a reverse sting operation.
"What Thompson did not know was that he had been under surveillance by
federal counter-narcotics agents for sevral months. Evidence had been
collected on Thompson's involvement not only in that haul, but in
several others in the preceding months..."
McNamara claims in his letter that Thompson's involvement dated back to
1986 when he admitted taking payoffs from Chambers.
It was that partnership that McNamara sought records on, and Chambers'
ties to Border Patrol Agent Wayne Wiemers, who had signed him up as a
AREA NEWS ROUND-UP
The Fort Stockton Pioneer
FORT STOCKTON, Oct. 2, 1997 - Seeking guidance and input from the
community at-large, the Fort Stockton Independent School District's
Board of Trustees will turn to the citizens of Fort Stockton as they
consider a multi-million-dollar capital improvements program. As
reported last week, there is debate - both within the school board and
throughout the community - over sending a nearly $18.2-million bond
issue to district voters.
The Big Bend Sentinel
MARFA, Oct. 2, 1997 - The 11th Annual Chinati Foundation Open House is
set for this weekend in Marfa. The Open House will be hosted both by the
art foundation and the newly formed Judd Foundation. Marfa High School
senior Sarah Fellows was crowned 1997 MHS Homecoming Queen at Friday's
football game. Her escort was her father, Robert Fellows.
The Alpine Avalanche
ALPINE, Oct. 2, 1997 - The 52nd Annual Sul Ross State University
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Rodeo is scheduled for this
weekend. The top cowboys and cowgirls in NIRA's Southwestern Region will
be riding for prize money and points Thursday-Saturday in the Sul Ross
San Antonio Livestock Show Equine Center Arena.
The International, Presidio Paper
PRESIDIO, Oct. 2, 1997 - A mural by a Presidio artist celebrating the
official arrival of Christianity to "La junta de los rios" over 300
years ago will be blessed during this year's Santa Teresa de Jesus
Catholic Church Fall Fiesta scheduled for Oct. 18 in Presidio. The
fiesta, held by parishioners each October, commemorates the day in late
1683 when the Spanish church authorities in El Paso granted a request by
a visiting delegation of various La Junta pueblo Indians, the Jumanos,
months earlier and sent priests to minister here.
The Sanderson Times
SANDERSON, Oct. 2, 1997 - The Terrell County Independent School District
board of trustees adopted a tax rate of $1.1464 per $100 valuation for
maintenance and operation and $.0436 per $100 valuation for interest and
sinking. The total tax rate last year was $1.34 per $100 valuation.
The Monahans News
MONAHANS, Oct. 2, 1997 - The Monahans Economic Development Corp. Board
signed off on an agreement with M.M. Reif & Co. Monday afternoon, Sept.
29, during its meeting at City Hall, bringing to a close months of
negotiations. According to the agreement, the tax-supported corporation
will be placing a $238,000 grant in an escrow account at First National
Bank in return for Reif's purchase of the city-owned Camelot Building.
In what is being treated as a formality, Reif will purchase the building
for $170,000 at a public auction at City Hall at 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct.
Myrtle Griffith, 64, died Thursday, Oct. 2, 1997, in Pecos.
Services will be held at a later date in Mountain View Cemetery in
Griffith was born July 12, 1933, in Bowman, N.D., was a retired aide in
a nursing home, had lived in Pecos four years and was a member of North
Temple Baptist Church.
Survivors include: one brother, Harry Robert Farwell of Cheyenne, Wyo.;
two sisters, Phyliss Irene York of El Paso and Caroline Orr of Pecos.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Joseph Strain, 19, died in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 2,
1997, at the Reeves County Hospital.
A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, at the Pecos Funeral
Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 4., at St. Catherine's
Catholic Church with Father Antonio Mena officiating. Burial will be in
He was born July 29, 1978, in Pecos, was a student, a lifelong Pecos
resident and a Catholic.
Survivors include: his parents Rosemary and Edward Strain of Pecos; two
brothers, Edward Strain, Jr. and Johnny Strain of Pecos; two sisters,
Tammy Popell of Abilene and Theresa Strain of Pecos.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, October 3, 1997 - High Thursday, 93, low this morning, 60.
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