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October 22, 1997

City Council takes second look at 97-98 budget


Staff Writer

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - Despite a $500,000 deficit, the City Council of the Town of Pecos City is looking for ways to give additional salary increases.

A special meeting of the city council called last night under the auspices of considering modification to the municipal salary schedules took a step backward to discuss cost-saving strategies among the departments.

Councilman Randy Graham led the discussion into budget matters, but no action could be taken since the public was not informed that budget issues would be discussed.

"I've asked twice that department heads...look into cost-saving strategies. That's why we're here," Graham said.

The meeting came in a response to protests from members of the Pecos Police Department, who entered a council meeting recently to express concerns about salaries. Members of the police force feel that they were overlooked for raises.

Steve McCormick, City Finance Director, who had drafted the previous budget which included three percent merit raises and base pay raises for some city employees, said that he would love to see the police officers all making $12-13 an hour. "But, with a
$500,000 deficit, I can't justify it."

The council spent two hours going over budget details with city department heads, who fielded council questions regarding their budgets, despite the fact they had not been notified in advance as to the purpose of the meeting.

McCormick said that he may be able to save the city $6,000 on carpet and furniture purchases for city hall and up to $40,000 on a new computer system. "I just need to get out there and see what I can get for the money," he said. McCormick also felt he ma
y be able save by re-biding on uniforms.

Police Chief Troy Moore said that in working out the 911 service the department may save up to $10,000 on jail bills, and suggested that future vehicle purchases through the Government Re-Utilization Program could save the city big bucks. The council hel
d that new vehicles were necessary for crime prevention, but alluded to other areas that may save money, such as the alternative light source equipment requested by the police department. According to Moore, the investigative equipment would be a "good a
ddition-if (the city) were healthy financially."

Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire proposed possible savings on house demolitions, for which $27,500 had been budgeted. Brookshire said that his department should be able to demolish and dispose of the properties for under $20,000.

Councilman Gerald Tellez, Jr., asked if allowing citizens to salvage elements from the properties would save the department some money. Brookshire responded that usually people take only the doors and windows, leaving a greater mess, and causing a liabil

Water Superintendent, Octavio Garcia, said that up to $50,000 dollars may be saved by timing repairs on 3rd Street to coincide with state repairs. If anything, the city could save on re-paving the street.

"One key to this working is producing a way for people to move from level one (salary level) to level two, and two to three," McCormick said. "The department heads are the ones that need to create the criteria for this."

Mayor Dot Stafford asked that a special committee be formed, including all four department heads, to devise cost-cutting strategies and report back to the council with their findings at the second council meeting in November.

Texas unemployment rate drops in September

AUSTIN (AP) October 22, 1997 - The state's unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in September.

The Texas Workforce Commission reported Tuesday that the rate fell from August's 5.4 percent and was three-tenths of a percent lower than the September 1996 rate of 5.4 percent.

"Over the year, employer payrolls increased by 233,900 jobs, reflecting a very impressive growth rate of 2.8 percent," said Commissioner Diane Rath, who represents the public.

Of the state's various employment sectors, manufacturing added 2,100 jobs from August to September. The services industry added 6,600 jobs, the commission reported.

Unemployment dropped in all but two of the state's urban areas. The rate remained the same for Beaumont-Port Arthur (7.7 percent) and the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission area (17.1 percent).

The lowest unemployment rate for September was recorded in Bryan-College Station, at 2 percent. That was down from the area's 2.3 percent rate in August.

The 17.1 percent rate in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission was the state's highest for September.

Rates of unemployment in the urban areas of Texas as announced by the TWC for September, compared with revised August figures (in parentheses) were:

Abilene 3.6 (4.0)

Amarillo 3.7 (3.8)

Austin-San Marcos 3.1 (3.2)

Beaumont-Port Arthur 7.7 (7.7)

Brazoria 7.0 (7.6)

Brownsville-Harlingen 11.6 (12.1)

Bryan-College Station 2.0 (2.3)

Corpus Christi 7.1 (7.5)

Dallas 3.7 (3.8)

El Paso 11.1 (11.6)

Fort Worth-Arlington 3.5 (3.7)

Galveston-Texas City 7.6 (8.1)

Houston 4.9 (5.0)

Killeen-Temple 5.0 (5.2)

Laredo 9.5 (9.6)

Longview-Marshall 7.3 (7.6)

Lubbock 3.6 (3.9)

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 17.1 (17.1)

Odessa-Midland 4.8 (5.1)

San Angelo 3.4 (3.5)

San Antonio 4.1 (4.4)

Sherman-Denison 4.4 (4.8)

Texarkana 7.0 (7.3)

Tyler 6.1 (6.3)

Victoria 4.5 (5.0)

Waco 4.6 (5.0)

Wichita Falls 4.1 (4.4)

Directors promote Health Agency at meeting

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - The Board of Directors at Reeves County Hospital voted last night to purchase a new washer for the laundry room from Scott Equipment Company and replace the signage at the front of the hospital that indicate the emergency room l
ocation and promote the Home Health Agency. The cost of the washer is $40,750 plus installation, and the signs will cost $8,800.

Bids were opened for a new ambulance. Out of seven requests, five proposals were returned and reviewed last night. Interim Administrator Terry Andris is to review and analyze the proposals to be voted on at the next meeting.

The tax rolls were discussed with no decision reached, the bills were paid, and the medical staff report was approved.

SWAT team brings in Class A Misdemeanor

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - Information on a late August drug bust was recently released by the Reeves County Sheriff's Department.

According to the report, on August 26, Investigator Clay McKinney was informed that there was a substance believed to be marijuana at the home of Ruben and Gloria Matta, located at 1507 Elizabeth Street.

On August 28, McKinney prepared an affidavit for a search warrant for the residence. The search warrant was issued at 5:15 p.m. by Judge Phyllis Salyer.

Surveillance of the residence was set up while a warrant execution briefing was held at the Pecos Police Department. At 10:38 p.m. S.W.A.T. team members executed the narcotics search warrant at the Matta residence.

During a search of the Elizabeth Street residence, officers located a substance believed to be marijuana.

Gloria Matta admitted that the burnt, suspected marijuana cigarettes which were found in her child's bedroom belonged to her. She was arrested for possession of marijuana over 2 oz. but less than 4 oz., a Class A misdemeanor.

McKinney later stated that she cooperated with officers when she was arrested. She is currently free on $500 bond.

Four siblings who loved the rodeo die together

Associated Press Writer

CENTERVILLE, Texas (AP) October 22, 1997 - They lived for their horses, for the church, for each other.

It seemed fitting that the two brothers and two sisters - none older than 19 - died together on their way home from a Baptist church party at which two had rededicated themselves to their faith.

"They went like they lived - they were all together," their father, Bob Connell, said after Tuesday's memorial service for four of his six children. "They might fight, but they were always all together."

Hundreds of mourners attended the service for the Connell children at Centerville High School, where 17-year-old Laurel was an honor student and homecoming queen nominee and 14-year-old Lee was a freshman who played football.

Also killed were 19-year-old Allen and 12-year-old Sara.

They died early Saturday when the car Laurel was driving collided with a pickup truck a few miles from their home in Crockett. State police said the truck driver, who ended up with cuts and bruises, crossed the center line.

The teens had left a post-football game party at the First Baptist Church in Centerville and were nearing the end of their 20-mile drive home at the time of the accident.

They were buried Monday evening at a ranch where they kept their horses when they were young.

Atop Allen's coffin in the school auditorium was a photograph of him roping a calf. Cowboy hats had been placed on the caskets next to arrangements of yellow, red and pink carnations and roses. Below Laurel's hung a red letterman's jacket with a volleyba
ll tucked inside. The ball had been signed by her friends.

"To the smile that warmed my heart ... and the spirit that will never die!" one wrote.

Belt buckles were displayed on a table beneath a cross, along with a picture of Laurel in a white jacket with fringe and white cowboy boots. An orange jersey hung from Lee's casket, a volleyball shirt from Sara's.

The mourners, many in jeans, boots and embroidered Future Farmers of America jackets, wept as they filed by the caskets.

Allen graduated from the school this year, a few months after he married his high school sweetheart. He got a job operating a bulldozer and was the happy father of a 3-month-old boy, James Taylor Connell.

"He always loved to show off his baby," Allen's widow, Elizabeth, said through tears. "He was so proud of him."

"I just talked to him Friday night at the football game and he was bragging about his job, how his family was doing," Centerville principal Joe Langley said. "He favored the country style of life. 'Course all those kids did."

The teens were remembered for their love of the rodeo and family, from their parents to older brother Billy and their new baby sister, 6-month-old Emily.

"They played with Emily like a toy doll," the Rev. Billy Anderson told mourners. "They almost had fights each morning over which one could get to the baby first."

The red-headed baby slept in the arms of a family friend as teary-eyed mourners gathered in the parking lot after the service.

"She definitely has a purpose now," her father said.

Housing authority refuses to

renew Community Council lease

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - A lease agreement with the Community Council of Reeves County was not renewed last evening during a meeting of the Pecos Housing Authority Board.

The agreement is for a lease on a building located at 902 E. Tenth, in which members of the community council currently have some offices.

"I've been talking with Frank (Perea) about this and it seems our residents need a recreational building," said PHA Director Nellie Gomez.

The lease on the building expired in January of this year and the suggestion put before the board was to take the building back and use it as a community center.

"I've written them a letter explaining the situation to them and I have a copy of their lease agreement," said Gomez.

"We need to build some kind of recreation room for the East side," said board president Frank Perea.

Since the community council relinquished control of Pecos Head Start, they don't require as much room as before and don't have as much staff, such as the Pecos Head Start director, according to Perea.

"I think their main concern is the day care and I told them that right now it wouldn't affect the day care at all," said Perea.

"I really wouldn't want to even touch the day care," said board member Debbie Flores.

"We could have our meetings there and have something for the kids, such as tutorials," said Gomez. "If it's not that essential that they have their own place, I think we have more use for the building," she said.

Gomez explained that there are several other plans for the building.

"Right now, we're not even looking at the day care, that's used everyday and run efficiently," said Perea.

The day care is located across the street from the building in question.

Board member Ray Golden made the motion to terminate the lease agreement and take the office back and Flores seconded it.

The office employees currently in that building have until January of next year, to seek a new location, according to Gomez.

"Most of their other offices are in the old hospital, that's county owned and they could move their offices (the ones located on Tenth Street) over there," said Gomez.

Bids were opened for the 1996 CIAP project and the item was once again tabled until the next meeting. The item was tabled to allow the project architect to gather more information.

Shane Sigrist, Representing Vaughn Architects, said he would speak to the HUD engineer, look at the figures more closely and look at how much money is left over from abatement that can be used towards this particular project.

All bidders had been overbudgeted on base bids previously and the one that came the closest this time was Master Builder's of Midland.

"After we take out some deducts, they were the ones who were the closest to the amount we have to spend on this part of the project," said Sigrist.

The amount the group has to spend for this part of the project is $1.1 million.

The project consists of major renovations to the HUD apartments located on the south side of town and the elderly apartments on Second Street.

During the Farm Labor Housing portion of the meeting, Gomez gave the group an update on the FLH investigation.

"Gerry Villalobos was here and I spoke to him about two hours," said Gomez.

Gomez explained that the person suspected of misappropriation of more than $8,000 in funds, Vanessa Hernandez, had been located.

"He spoke to Vanessa's boyfriend's parents and they told him she was in Midland," said Gomez.

However, Vanessa Hernandez was found in Lubbock and Villalobos left word for her to contact him. She did so and told him, she would not speak to him, but that he could contact her lawyer.

"What he's trying to do now, is gather all the documents needed to present this to the district attorney," said Gomez. "He wants anything that has her handwriting on it, such as receipts, bank deposits and her application," she said.

"If they have enough evidence it will go to the district attorney and then present it to the grand jury," said Gomez.

Gomez told the board that they are doing real well financially, bringing in more than spending.

Red Ribbon week kicks off Friday


Staff Writer

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - Red Ribbon week, to encourage a drug-free society, gets a kickoff locally this week and continues through Oct. 31.

Events will begin with a Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district-wide rally at 10 a.m. Friday at Pecos High School's Eagle Stadium.

"We'll be having a contest between the schools to see who will decorate the most and the best," said Pecos High School counselor Pat Cobos.

A prize will be awarded to the winning school along with a certificate.

Cobos stated that school officials are trying to encourage unity among the schools and to teach drug awareness at an early age.

District drug-free activities will have a theme each day. Monday will be "Put a STOP on Drugs!" and is designated as wear red day; Tuesday, is "Boot Out Drugs!," wear boots; Wednesday is "Put A Cap On Drugs," wear a cap; Thursday, "Black Out Drugs," wear
black; and Friday is "Drugs Turn You Inside Out Day," wear T-shirt (purple-gold day) inside out.

The concept of Red Ribbon Week was born in recognition of DEA Agent Enrique Camerena giving his life in an effort to stop the flow of drugs into our country.

Red Ribbon Week also solidifies a community's commitment to living healthy, drug-free lives. During this time of year we often hear the phrase "Just Say No," unfortunately, sometimes this is difficult to do, according to Cobos.

And it sometimes isn't enough. All of us have been or will be in a situation where we don't feel good at what is about to happen, but don't know exactly what to do or maybe are afraid to do anything because we don't want to seem uncool, according to Cobo

"When you find yourself in this situation try to remember a few key things can help keep you in control," said Cobos.

Cobos and other school counselors put together a list for students of key things to remember including: ask questions; when you suspect that a friend is going to suggest doing something wrong or illegal, make them spell it out and say just what they have
in mind.

Name the trouble; look your friend in the eye and call the trouble by a real name. Example: That's stealing. That's cruel, or, that's against school rules.

Identify the consequences: tell your friend what could happen if we do that, we could wind up in OCS or get suspended, we could get hurt, we could wind up in jail or J.D.C. or I could get pregnant. Be assertive in stating these consequences.

Suggest an alternative: name something you both would enjoy. Instead why don't we ...

Move on; get away from the situation and/or people involved. Let your friends know that if they change their minds they can still come with you. Leave then an "out." Don't let others make your choices for you. You control your own destiny.

"We want students to use the above-mentioned steps to help them keep friends, have fun, keep out of trouble and stay in control," said Cobos.

Community leaders to attend conflict seminar


Staff Writer

PECOS, October 22, 1997 - Reeves County, Pecos public officials and community leaders will get some lessons on resolving community conflicts during a satellite broadcast seminar tomorrow.

"The seminar is designed to show us how to take the heat out of community conflicts so that we can get down to solving real local problems," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo.

The conflict resolution seminar, presented by the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school district and Reeves County, will be held from noon until 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Pecos High School Library. The seminar is produced by the National Association of Counties and w
ill be broadcast in conjunction with the County Judge and Commissioners Association meeting in Conroe.

Attendees of the seminar will receive tips on understanding the separate communities within the larger community and on how differing perspectives contribute to conflicts.

"Most importantly, the broadcast will provide practical ways to handle local conflicts," Galindo said.

Making presentations in the broadcast will be Lyle Sumek, Ph.D., an expert on leadership and local team building; and William Potapchuk and Mary Skelton Roberts of the Program for Community Problem Solving (PCPS), a nationally recognized instrument for c
ollaborative decision making.

"This is a step all communities must go through," Galindo said. "It couldn't have been offered at a better time."

Galindo also said the seminar would present "tools" that community leaders can use to resolve local conflicts.


Iona Enmon

Iona G. Enmon, 73, died Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1997, at her residence in Monahans.

Services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, at First Christian Church with burial in Monahans Memorial Cemetery.

Enmon was born May 25, 1924, in Harrisburg, Ark. She had lived in Monahans since 1991 and was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Taylor V. Enmon.

Survivors include: six sons, Bobby Enmon of Pecos, Vernon Enmon of Nacogdoches, Jerry Enmon of McCamey, Ronny and Danny Enmon of Monahans and Terry Enmon of Trophy Club; three daughters, Shirley Hill of Monahans, Carolyn Upchurch of Odessa and Verna Long
of Chandler, Ariz.; 15 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

Harkey Funeral Home of Monahans is in charge of arrangements.

Maud Robinson

Maud Darington Robinson, 94, died Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997, at her residence in Pecos.

Graveside services will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, at Mount Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. James Sain officiating.

Robinson was born June 5, 1903, in Navarro County. She was a homemaker, had lived in Pecos since 1978 and was a Baptist.

Survivors include: seven grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Maria Subia

Maria Subia, 94, died Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1997, at Reeves County Hospital.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, at Christ the King Catholic Church in Balmorhea with Father Juan Narez officiating. Burial will be in Balmorhea Cemetery.

Subia was born Dec. 31, 1902, in Balmorhea She was a Pecos-Balmorhea resident, a housewife and a Catholic.

Survivors include: three sons, Frank Subia of Pecos, Eloy Subia of Fort Stockton and Isaac Subia of Odessa; two daughters, Eva Garcia and Lydia Rodriguez of Pecos; two sisters, Genoveva Matta of Calif. and Adela Urias of Calif.; 14 grandchildren; 28 grea
t-grandchildren; and five great-great grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, October 22, 1997 - High Tuesday, 63, low this morning, 53. The weather picture for Texas remains rainy through the week's end as a cold front settles over the state. Early-morning temperatures today ranged from 35 degrees at Amarillo to 43 at Wich
ita Falls and 78 at Brownsville. The front extended along a line from Beaumont through Corpus Christi and Del Rio to El Paso, the National Weather Service said. It was raining along the front in deep South Texas. Cooler temperatures and persistent cloudi
ness prevailed behind the system. Winds were generally from the north and northeast 5 to 10 mph and southerly at 5 to 15 mph in the west. A chance of showers or thunderstorms lingered in North and West Texas. The front should become stationary over deep
South Texas and adjacent coastal waters today. Low pressure developing in the Southern Plains will pull the system back north as a warm front tonight and Thursday. Weak upper level disturbances embedded in the upper level flow will produce showers and th
understorms mainly in the southern half of the region. Through Thursday, daytime highs should range from 61 to 72 except for 50s in the West Texas mountains and 80s in Big Bend valleys. Overnight lows should range from the 40s to 59.

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