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October 14, 1997

Golf course tops commissioner's discussion

Enterprise Editor

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - Reeves County Municipal Golf Course was one of many topics of conversation for the regular Reeves County Commissioners' Court meeting Monday as they named Royce Cassell to be totally in charge of the golf course.

The session was opened with a moment of silence in memory of Cecil Lee who died Sunday. Lee worked with the county on numerous projects, mostly recently on a grant request for Madera Valley Water.

Cassell has been the concession operator of the course, operating the club house, renting golf carts and taking green fees since the early 1980s and now he will be paid $18,000 as a contract employee and quasi-department head in addition to his other duties as concession operator.

In addition, the court named a former county road employee to assist Cassell. The course has been without a chief greens keeper since the retirement in August of Will Weaver.

In response to requests from some golfers that use the county course and want to use their own golf carts, Commissioner Bernardo Martinez reported that he had collected figures on what the Fort Stockton and Monahans golf courses charge golfers to use their own carts. Use of private carts at the Reeves County course is not permitted. Cassell owns the carts and rents them. Reeves County pays for the electricity to charge batteries in the carts.

In looking at the figures offered by Martinez, Commissioner Felipe Arredondo noted that it would take a long time to pay for a private golf cart with the money saved by avoiding cart rental fees at the course by owning a private cart.

"That's up to you guys," Martinez said in regards to a decision on the matter.

The agreement with Cassell will run concurrent with his current concession agreement which expires Nov. 22, 1998.

Most other items on the agenda were routine, although Martinez challenged County Judge Jimmy Galindo on who has authority to put things on agenda. Galindo noted that the commissioners must approve all agenda items other than those that are required.

The Court approved hiring two maintenance workers for the Reeves County Detention Center (RDCD), earlier than had been budgeted due to the planned expansion of the RCDC. Starting in May, three positions have been budgeted by Warden Rudy Franco who agreed to hiring only two at the present time.

Franco also asked that a Correctional Officer Three, as yet unnamed, be promoted to transportation and that was approved.

Roy Pena, maintenance foreman for the county, reported on the need to make improvements in plumbing at the county jail including three new combination stainless-steel lavatories-commodes costing $1,200 each.

Pena reported that one of the problems in making repairs is that whoever built the jail in 1975 failed to put in cut-offs for various sections so any work on plumbing requires water to be cut off for almost all the jail.

Commissioners approved deputation for the sheriff's office of Alfredo Saldana and a resolution for central counting for the Nov. 4 election. Named as early voting clerks were Nora Briseno, Brenda Casillas and Debbie Riley.

Tarin and Galindo were named to represent the county on the Reeves County Community Council Board of Directors. The Court also agreed to take bids for a two-year term for the annual county audit and approved a county road crossing for Fin-Tex Pipeline Co.

Sandra Yeager was named chemical dependence counselor for the RCDC to fill a position vacated recently.

The high bid of $2,650 was accepted on a 1982 GMC refrigerated van/truck that was repossessed on a failed economic development loan. The bid was one of three and was submitted by Jaime Arredondo. Commissioner Felipe Arredondo abstained from voting due to his relationship with the bidder.

Two contracts for senior citizen centers in the county in connection with the Older Americans Act Program were delayed due to some questions and one contract was not included on the agenda.

Auditor Lynn Owens reported that Renee Cox has been employed by his office to fill a vacancy.

Commissioner Herman Tarin was the only member of the court not present for the meeting.

107 year-old pioneer family member dies

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - A long-time area resident, who was honored in 1996 as the part of a Mexican-American Pioneer Family, died last weekend at the age of 107.

Maria Marquez Briceno, died Sunday, Oct. 12, 1997, at Reeves County Hospital.

She was born Sept. 27, 1890, in San Angelo and was a lifetime West Texas resident.

Maria's parents were Luis and Pascuala Marquez. The family moved to Saragosa in 1895. They traveled in a covered wagon from San Angelo, and the entire trip took them 30 days.

She went to school in Saragosa, in those days the schools were segregated; the Anglos had their own school and the Hispanics had theirs. The Hispanic school was located somewhere behind what is now Candelas grocery store.

Maria and her sister Leonor had basic education, they learned to read and write. She married Natividad Briceno in 1911 in Brogado, while her sister Leonor married Natividad's brother, Pantaleon Briceno.

Natividad and Maria had six children, Luis, Santiago, Natividad Jr., Fermin, Aurora, and Paulina. All the sons worked in the farms around Saragosa and Verhalen. Fermin and Luis joined the military during World War II. After they came back they married. By that time Santiago had married Lucia Brijalba, Paulina had married Augustine Ortega.

Natividad died in 1963 and Maria was still living in Saragasa, in the same house that Natividad built in 1938, until her death.

Recently she had spent most of her time praying the rosary every day. She lost her eyesight due to cataracts in 1980, and was about to have eye surgery when she got very nervous and started crying and the doctor said he couldn't operate on her in that condition. She was totally blind.

Maria had gone through some hard times, during the depression in the 1940s, and had lost loved ones, Natividad, her husband and then Santiago and Natividad Jr.

She lived through the tornado that struck Saragosa in 1987.

Survivors include: two sons, Luis Briceno of Anthony, N.M. and Fermin Briceno of Fort Worth; two daughters, Aurora Briceno of Saragosa and Paulina Ortega of Anthony, N.M.; 23 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; and 30 great-great grandchildren.

Active community leader dies at age 72

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - Cecil Jim Lee, of Pecos, 72, died Monday, Oct. 13, 1997, at Reeves County Hospital.

Lee was born Oct. 22, 1924, in Pecos, to Cecil James Lee and Jennie Mae Maulding Lee, longtime Barstow and Pecos residents, and was a lifelong resident of Pecos.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Mount Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. Bob Sebesta and Rev. Alice Monchke, officiating.

Cecil Jim Lee and the former Sue Buckelew of Barstow were married June 17, 1950 in Clovis, N.M.

He graduated from Pecos High School in 1942 and Texas Tech University in August 1946 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Following his TTU graduation Lee began teaching electrical engineering-power option for TTU. This work continued for three years and then Lee returned to Pecos to join his father in the family lumber and hardware business, which Lee continued to operate. Cecil Jim Lee and his father were joined in that business by son, Cecil James Lee, in 1980.

Lee was active in community affairs his entire life. he became President of Reeves County Water District #2 in 1960 and was still serving in that capacity. As president of the water district he caused dams and canals to be established and a general updating of procedures. He was also the President and Director of the Madera Valley Water Supply for 27 years.

Cecil Jim Lee was an avid supporter of local sports throughout his life. He coached Pecos Little League and was president of the Pecos Pony League for 21 years. He was league president when the Pecos Pony League advanced to the World Series in Washington, PA., in 1971.

Lee served in the U.S. Army, completing basic training at Fort Bliss in El Paso. He spent the entire time of his service career instructing procedures and knowledge of radar to all levels of army personnel.

Water board accepts new insurance plan

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - Red Bluff Water and Power Control Board members approved a contract for workman's compensation insurance with the Texas Municipal League, and discussed the status of the Malaga Bend desalination and the Pecos River salt cedar eradication projects during their regular monthly meeting Monday.

Board members agreed to the contract after talking for a second time with Tommy Taylor about the TML's Intergovernmental Risk Pool for worker's compensation.

Taylor told the board in August that its five employees could be covered for an annual fee of $3,673, and red Bluff General Manager Jim Ed Miller said Monday that its would cost over $7,000 to get the same coverage through a local insurance agency.

Taylor added that the TML board had cut its rates by five percent this past weekend, and the district could earn another three percent discount if they made a lump-sum payment of the annual fee.

"I think we need to do this," said board member Charlotte Wilcox, and the contract was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Lloyd Goodrich the only dissenter.

"We already have (health) insurance," for district workers, Goodrich said, but Taylor said that under state law, the district cannot force an employee to use their own health insurance for on-the-job injuries.

On the Malaga Bend project, Pecos River Compact Commissioner Brad Newton told the board that after a two month wait, the Carlsbad City Council has authorized city manager John R. Tully to negotiated a lease with Albert Wagner of Sun West Salt Co., for lease of 40 acres of land adjacent to the Malaga Bend salt spring.

"After they do that it will go back to the council for approval," Newton said. If and when we get that approval, Albert and I will go up there and deal with the man from the Interstate Stream Condition for a permit to drill a well."

The new well would be drilled near a current eight-tenths of an acre well site used by the district. Salt water which currently flows into the Pecos River would be pumped out to retaining ponds, and Sun West would then mine the salt after the water evaporates from the ponds.

Goodrich said Carlsbad bought the land near the Texas-New Mexico border in order to pump water out of it to keep Lake Carlsbad filled.

In a related topic, a water analysis presented to the board showed the amount of harmful salts in the Pecos River was 50 percent higher below Malaga Bend that above the salt spring site. Harmful salt totals were listed at 4.47 tons per acre-foot above Malaga Bend and 6.58 tons below it, as the river enters Red Bluff Lake.

At the start of the meeting, the board went over last month's seminar in Pecos with state officials on the implementation of a salt cedar eradication project in Texas, similar to the one underway near Artesia, N.M.

The herbicide Arsenal would be used to remove the water-hungry trees from along the Pecos River, though Miller said, "The company that manufactures it needed to get an aquatic (and ranchland use) label. They'll need to fight with the (Texas) Department of Agriculture and get approval."

"At least we know where Arsenal is. It will be two years away before we can do anything," said Newton, who added that tests on birds so far have not shown the herbicide has shown up in their tissue samples.

Board members approved payment of $548.30 for the cost of the Sept. 19 meeting at the Pecos Valley Country Club, which attracted 44 people. It was among the September accounts payable approved by board members, who also approved last month's cash disbursements.

Board members also approved reinstating Miller's name on the district's bank signature card. It was removed while the general manager dealt with allegations of coercing a witness in connection with the probe of Ward County Water Improvement District #1 three years ago. Miller's 1995 conviction was overturned, and the charge against him was later dropped by 143rd District Attorney Randall Reynolds.

The board also said talks are ongoing with Geco-Prakla to do geophysical work on the surface of 1,326.34 acres on two sections of land in Loving County and two sections in Reeves County. Geco-Prakla to do geophysical work on the surface of 1,326.34 acres on two sections of land in Loving County and two sections in Reeves County. The company offered the district $7 per acre, but board president Randall Hartman said other landowners have been getting payments much higher than that figure.

The board also authorized Newton to talk with an official of the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission about a cloud-seeding project over the Pecos River Basin.

Goodrich said the district has tried seeding clouds to boost area rainfall in the past, "but New Mexico does not allow us to seed in New Mexico, where our drainage area is." He said park officials at Guadalupe Mountains National Park also prevent the district from seeding clouds in that area.

Newton said the TNRCC official was in Tucumcari for a cloud seeding project in the Canadian River Basin, which flows eastward into the Texas Panhandle, and that the state may be more receptive now to the project in order to meet their water quota for Texas, as required under the Pecos River Compact.

Miller said costs on the earlier seeding project were also too high to maintain. "I think we should look into (the TNRCC project). I'd like to have an idea of how much it will cost," he said.

Guidance classes open some eyes

Staff Writer

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - Guidance is different from counseling, and is something all students need in their lives, according to Bessie Haynes Elementary School counselor Virginia Caballero.

Caballero says her students are receiving "guidance" classes at the school once per week.

"All fourth and fifth graders attend guidance classes once a week, for 30 minutes," said Caballero. "I wish it could be more," she said.

"Our mission as school counselors is to facilitate a comprehensive guidance and counseling program throughout the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD in order to assure that all students develop positive life skills which will enable them to become productive, law-abiding well-adjusted citizens," said Caballero.

Components of the Comprehensive Guidance Program currently being offered to these students include, guidance curriculum, responsive services, individual planning and system support.

The purpose of the guidance curriculum is to help all students develop basic life skills, according to Cabellero.

The six recommended areas addressed through the year are: during the first six weeks, motivation to achieve, goal setting and planning; second six weeks, career awareness, decision making and drug resistance; third six weeks, communication skills; fifth six weeks, responsible behavior and career awareness; and the sixth six weeks, cross-cultural effectiveness.

"The over-achieving theme is self-esteem," said Caballero. "These guidance areas are taught through objectives, based on classroom lessons," she said.

Drug resistance, taught during this six weeks, will tie in with the red-ribbon activities planned at the school, according to Caballero.

Responsive services are interventions with students whose immediate concerns or problems put their continued personal, social, career, and/or educational development at risk, according Caballero.

Addressing these areas can include one-to-one counseling; group counseling with teachers, parents and administrators; monitoring students' progress; possible referral of students to special programs; and pairing students with adult mentors. Bessie Haynes is one of the schools in the PBT-ISD that participates in the Angels (Assisting the Next Generation with Encouraging Love and Support) Program.

"In individual planning each student is guided to plan, monitor and manage his or her own educational, career, personal and social development through channeling resources to students to help them develop and implement their own plans," said Caballero.

The system support component consists of services and management activities that indirectly benefit students, according to Caballero.

Services include consultation with teachers and administrators, support parent education and community relations, implementation and community relations, implementation of standardized testing programs, participation in campus-based school improvement planning and goal setting and communicating students perspective to policy makers and instructional planners, according to Caballero.

"All components are inter-related and involve counselors, teachers, administrators, parents and the community," she said.

Recently students at the school were asked to write on a cardboard paper, the things students fight about and to list the things adults fight about.

"The responses we received were an eye-opener," said Caballero.

All the responses were anonymous and the students' names were not revealed, however many of the responses were very similar.

"The theme for this was, `Through the Eyes of a Child,' and some of the responses we received were very dramatic," said Caballero.

In some of their responses students stated that children fought about other friends, gossip, being first in line, name-calling and things, such as toys.

The number one response students wrote that adults fought about was money. Others listed included drugs, alcohol, spouses cheating on one another, child support, type of beer purchased and when dad comes home drunk.

"It's amazing how many of the students wrote almost exactly the same thing," said Caballero.

Anyone interested in viewing the display can go by the school and look at the hallway filled with the students' responses.

"That's the purpose of the guidance classes to help them cope with situations like these, to help them deal with these situations," said Caballero.

"Guidance is not the same as counseling, we are trying to guide the students and help them achieve their goals," said Caballero.

"Our goal is to help students develop self-esteem, build self-confidence, and make appropriate life choices to promote personal growth," Caballero said. "We do this by teaching goal-setting, problem-solving and decision-making," said Caballero.

Caballero stated that counselors also counsel with the students individually and in groups to effect changes and promote personal responsibility.

"We seek parental, instructional, and administrative support to collaborative provide a scope and sequence of guidance and counseling," said Caballero. "We strive for professional growth to aid us in this vital and challenging endeavor, she said.

Pecos sales tax rebates decrease

PECOS, October 14, 1997 - Sales tax rebates to the Town of Pecos City for October dropped almost six percent compared to October of 1996. However, the State Comptroller's office has delivered 0.22 percent more revenue from sales tax to Pecos for the year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

This month Pecos received $58,765 on rebates from sales collected in August compared to $62,499 in October last year. Year-to-date Pecos has received $614,383 in sales tax revenue compared to $612,981 for the same period last year.

Balmorhea's sales tax revenue decreased more than 36 percent for the month, dropping from $172 last year to $111 for October 1997.

Monahans increased by 3.60 percent from $46,521 last October to $48,196 this month.

Sales tax rebates to Odessa were up by 13.31 percent from $652,227 for the month last year to $739,040 for October this year.

Midland sales tax rebates increased by 17.33 percent from $822,098 in October 1996 to $964,578 for this month.
Comptroller John Sharp delivered a total of $162 million in monthly sales tax payments to 1,084 Texas cities and 117 counties this month.

"The creation of new Texas businesses and subsequent new jobs are combining to help stimulate the confidence of Texas consumers," Sharp said. "As a result, sales tax rebates are up 6.5 percent over those for the first 10 months of last year."

Sharp delivered monthly sales tax rebates to Texas cities totaling $147.7 million, 11.1 percent higher than last October's payments of $132.9 million. Rebates of $14.3 million to Texas counties were 11.1 percent higher than allocations of $12.8 million in October 1996. Another $4.2 million went to 26 special purpose districts around the state.

This month's payments include local sales taxes collected on August sales and reported to the Comptroller in September by businesses filing monthly tax returns.

The $19.5 million local sales tax allocation to the city of Houston for October reflects a 12.2 percent increase from the $17.3 million sales tax rebate for the same month last year. Year-to-date payments to Houston are running 5.6 percent ahead of those for the first 10 months of 1996.

The city of Dallas received a sales tax rebate of $12.3 million in October, 11.4 percent higher than last year's $11.1 million payment for the same month. Year-to-date payments to the city of Dallas are up by 3.4 percent.

The San Antonio sales tax rebate for October totaled $8.1 million, 7.5 percent above the $7.5 million payment for October 1996. For the first 10 months of 1997, San Antonio's sales tax rebates are 5.6 percent higher than those for the same period last year.

The Austin sales tax allocation for October was $6.9 million, 20.2 percent higher than the October 1996 payment of $5.7 million. Year-to-date, Austin has experienced a 4.1 percent increase in local sales tax payments.

Fort Worth's $3.9 million sales tax allocation was 8.6 percent more than the rebate of $3.6 million for October of last year. Year-to-date rebates to Fort Worth show an increase of 6.1 percent over the first 10 months of 1996. The city of Arlington's $3.8 million allocation was 4.6 percent above the $3.6 million delivered in October 1996, placing year-to-date rebates 5.2 percent ahead of 1996.

El Paso's sales tax rebate of $3 million was 10.7 percent above the $2.7 million payment delivered in October 1996. El Paso's local sales tax payments year-to-date are running 1.1 percent ahead of those through October 1996.

Other cities with notable sales tax rebates in October were: Amarillo, with $2.8 million, and Lubbock, with $1.9 million, for allocations that year-to-date are up 2.5 percent and 4 percent respectively; Abilene with a rebate of $1.6 million, for a year-to-date increase of 3.6 percent; Corpus Christi, with a $1.9 million payment, for rebates that are virtually even with 1996 year-to-date; and Beaumont, with an allocation of $1.6 million, for a year-to-date increase of 2.4 percent.

The monthly rebate to the El Paso City Transit Department was $1.5 million, up 12 percent from October 1996. The Laredo City Transit Department sales tax rebate for October was $204,394, virtually the same as October's allocation of last year.

Twenty-six special purpose districts around the state received payments totaling $4.2 million.

First cold snap moves through

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) October 14, 1997 - The first breath of winter I or at least a reasonable facsimile of fall I has arrived in Texas.

A cold front made a dry run through rain-soaked Texas Monday and left cooler air and clear skies in its wake.

"It's real nice," said Julie Williams, curator of the Museum of the Plains in Perryton, seven miles from the Oklahoma border in the northern Texas Panhandle. "It's not cloudy, and the wind's not blowing too bad."

The National Weather Service predicted near-freezing temperatures in the Panhandle for this morning. On average, the region's first freeze comes in late October.

Rainy, muggy conditions that dominated Texas heading into last weekend were gone by late Monday, replaced by clear conditions and low temperatures in the 30s and 40s for much of the state.

High temperatures for the early part of this week shouldn't eclipse 80 in most regions, forecasters say.

NWS meteorologist Rob Slattery said there isn't another norther on the immediate horizon, meaning sunshine and mild conditions should last into next weekend. That's good news for Lubbock-area cotton farmers. This season's late planting left their fields vulnerable to an early freeze, something that doesn't appear likely now.

"We're stripping some cotton now," said Doris Reding, the wife of a cotton grower. She added that one more mini-heat wave and a dry October will finish off what looks to be a good season.

"If it will just get hot again quickly, that's what we need," she said.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


John Clifton Cobb

John Clifton Cobb, 88, of Andrews, died Sunday, Oct. 12, 1997, at Permian General Hospital in Andrews.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, at McNett Funeral Home Chape, in Andrews, with Rev. Phillip golden, minister of education, officiating.

Cobb was born March 28, 1909, in Bennington, Okla., had worked for D&H Chevrolet in Pecos as the service manager, moved to Andrews in the 1970s from Arlington, had worked for Johnny Smith Fort in Andrews and was a Baptist.

Survivors include: his wife, Linda Lea Cobb of Andrews; one son, Kenneth Cobb of Rowlett, Tx.; three sisters, Ruth Sanders of Escondido, Calif., Thelma Larbee of Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Daisey Briscoe of Midway City, Calif.; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Ivy Weatherby

Ivy Ann Bates Weatherby, 100, died Monday, Oct. 13.

A private cryptside service will be held in Dallas.

Weatherby was a resident of El Paso for several years and a longtime resident of Pecos and had also lived in Ruidoso, N.M. She served her country during WWII in the U.S. Women's Army Corps and had extensive ranching interests in Pecos and Reeves County. She was the former owner of the Courtney Hotel in Pecos, which is now the West of the Pecos Museum.

Survivors include one daughter, Murdell Weatherby Holbert of El Paso; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Contributions may be made to Weatherby Chapel on the Campus of the Mid America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas or your favorite charity.


PECOS, October 14, 1997 - High Monday, 72, low this morning, 39. It will be clear and slightly warmer across all of Texas tonight and Wednesday. Lows dropped into the 30s in northwestern areas of the Panhandle before dawn today. The mercury dropped to 34 at Marfa in the Davis Mountains of Southwest Texas during the pre-dawn hours. The rain ended across South Texas following a day in which more than 4 inches fell at Brownsville, 3.50 inches fell near Wharton and College Station recorded 3.20 inches. Lows tonight will be in the 30s and 40s in West Texas, highs Wednesday will be in the 70s.

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