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December 9, 1997

High-tech steel company considers Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - An Illinois steel company may move
part of its operations to Pecos in what area officials hope
is only the beginning of economic growth for the city.

Bob Curry finished a meeting of the Pecos Economic
Development Corporation (PEDC) last night by announcing that
representatives of Meta Tec Inc. of Lacon, Ill. met with
PEDC members last month and indicated a strong desire to
bring a branch of their company to Pecos.

Meta Tec may locate a high-tech steel mill training center
here to complement a plant the company plans to open in
Ojinaga, Mexico, Curry said. The training center would
employ 10 to 12 people with engineering and computer skills.
In addition, the Pecos plant may serve as a
freight-forwarding center for Meta Tech, he said.

"We are excited about the possibility of the company
locating here and they are excited about our response to
them," Curry said.

Odessa College representatives were also involved in
discussions with Meta Tec, Curry added, because the college
may be involved in training and screening employees for the

"Odessa College is already training some people in this
field," he said. "They are bending over backward to help in
this issue.

"This company is coming to Pecos, folks, one way or another."

Curry said local property owners have already expressed a
willingness to build-to-specs for Meta Tec.

Contrary to modern trends, Meta Tec has not asked for any
form of tax break to locate in Pecos. Instead, Meta Tec
representatives only asked for Pecos officials to do what
they can to help the company locate here, Curry said.

Meta Tec turned its eyes toward Mexico and Texas after one
of its clients, Caterpillar Equipment, advised that the only
way Meta Tec could remain competitive would be to move some
of its manufacturing operations to Mexico, Curry said.

"I think this will be a start in more companies coming to
Pecos to take advantage of trade with border cities like
Ojinaga," he said.

In addition, Curry said the PEDC will be working with area
leaders to develop an industrial park to encourage further
industrial growth.

In other business, five PEDC board members were named. The
five drew lots to determine the length of time they will
serve on the board. Frank Spencer will serve a two year
term; Oscar Saenz, one year; Curry, three years; Linda
Gholson, two years; and Dick Alligood, three years.

Four other board members will be appointed by taxing
entities in the area: one from the Pecos City Council; one
from the Reeves County Commissioners' Court, one from the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board; and one from the Reeves
County Hospital board.

Freddy Lujan has been appointed to the PEDC board by the PBT
school board but the other three entities have not appointed
a representative to the PEDC board.

Chiropractor found player's broken neck

Sports Editor

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - For about 24 hours in early
October it looked like the Pecos Eagles' lone unanimous
choice for the All-District 4-4A football team, senior
lineman Robert Cravey, would probably not even get into
another game, let alone earn first-team recognition from the
five other district coaches.

That was when it was discovered Cravey had played half the
1997 season with a slight fracture of a vertebra in his

After complaining of neck pains during the first five weeks
of play, Robert was taken to see local chiropractor Dr.
Donovan Thomas, who discovered the injury.

"I was the one who sent him to Lubbock," Dr. Thomas said. "I
did orthopedic and neurological tests that pointed to a C-5
fracture. That's why we did X-rays."

Thomas said the injury was "an old one," though Robert was
fitted for a neck brace for the 210-mile trip to Lubbock.
"It didn't press into the spinal cord, but I just wanted to
make sure it was stable. I didn't want him to re-injure it."

Cravey's mother, Kathy, said the doctors at Methodist
Hospital in Lubbock downplayed the severity of the injury.

"They said it wasn't a full break," she explained, while
adding, "It scared us to death." The injury apparently
occurred at the tip of the C-5 vertebra.

Thomas stressed that he is a "licensed physician dealing
with muscular and skeletal symptoms," and is authorized to
order X-rays, MRIs and to transfer patients to hospitals. He
also has taken post-graduate courses in physical

"There are a lot of things I can treat and do that people
don't know about," he said.

The incident occurred midway through the season, but just
prior to the Eagles' District 4-4A opener against Big
Spring. Cravey wound up playing in that game, and missed
only one day of practice.

"After we got through Robert asked `What time is it?' and
when I told him, he said if we leave right now we can get
back before practice ends," his mother said.

Eagles named to 4-4A All-District team

Sports Editor

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - Three Pecos Eagles earned first
team honors on the 1997 All-District 4-4A football team,
while three others were named to the second team in voting
by district coaches.

The selections were made last month and released following
Sweetwater's 39-0 loss to Denison in the Region I-4A finals
on Saturday.

Seniors Robert Cravey and Jason Abila were named to the
first team on defense, while senior Jeremy Thomasson was the
Eagles' lone first team offensive selection. Two other
seniors, Jose Contreras and Jake Fowler, were second team
picks at defensive end and on the offensive line, while the
lone junior named from the Eagles, Oscar Luna, was chosen
both at cornerback and at wide receiver.

Both Abila and Cravey earned their all-district honors
despite playing hurt this season. Abila was hampered by a
late-season wrist fracture that hampered his play at
quarterback and has kept him out of basketball though the
first three weeks of the season, while Cravey's injury came
before District 4-4A play started, but was potentially more

He was diagnosed with a possible fractured vertebrae in his
neck and sent to Lubbock, where further tests showed the
incident had probably occurred sometime during the summer
but healed itself by the time it was uncovered in

Cravey wound up as one of nine unanimous selections on
defense, and was one of five interior linemen selected.
Abila was one of five cornerbacks chosen. He had two
interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and was
boosted by his work on run defense, while the Eagles' other
cornerback, Luna, wound up tops in interceptions during 4-4A
play with four, while earning second team recognition.

Both players were two-way starters for Pecos, with Cravey
also handling the duties at center, in front of Abila at

Coaches selected Thomasson as the Eagles' best line blocker,
the first all-district selection for the two-year varsity
starter. He played

Commissioners approve mutual aid with city

Enterprise Editor

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners moved
through a short agenda quickly yesterday morning, approving
financing for new cars for the sheriff's office and a mutual
aid agreement between the county and Town of Pecos City for
centralized dispatching services and confinement services as
well as a number of other items.

County Judge Jimmy Galindo was out of town. Commissioner Dr.
W.J. Bang presided over the meeting. Commissioner Bernardo
Martinez normally would have presided as the senior
commissioner but he was about 10 minutes late for the

Commissioners approved financing 10 new 1998 Chevrolet
Luminas for the sheriff's office purchased from Colt
Chevrolet-Buick through First National Bank of Pecos at an 8
percent rate for three years. Each car will be financed

The cars have not been turned over to the sheriff's office
pending receipt of payment.

The mutual aid agreement between the county and city also
was approved with the sheriff's office providing free room
and board for city prisoners in exchange for dispatching
services by the city, saving the city about $12,000 per year
and the county about $20,000 plus. The city has been paying
for that room and board while the county has had their own
dispatching services.

There was some discussion about payments from the Permian
Basin for 911 services made to the city that should have
been shared with the county to be used for mapping services.

However, this is being negotiated between the city and
county and is not part of the mutual aid agreement. The city
and county have split payments in the past.

Also approved was a contract for detention of juvenile
offenders in Reeves County for the counties of Moore,
Andrews, and Pecos at a day rate of $70.

Establishing procedures for resale of struck-off delinquent
tax properties in Reeves County was tabled due to a lack of

A bulk service rate of $290.25 monthly for cable service
from Classic Cable for the Reeves County Detention Center
which has 27 TV outlets was approved. Martinez suggested
looking into getting television reception through digital
satellite dishes and saving money. He also suggested the
contract be limited to one year which was approved.

County Grant Administrator Mari Maldonado reported that bids
for the third phase of housing rehabilitation under the
Texas Community Development Program for five homes came in
much higher than anticipated and the construction manager
Norman Roman recommended the bids be rejected and rebid.

There was only one bidder for the five projects, J&J
Construction. Martinez said he wanted Roman's recommendation
in writing. The commissioners approved rejecting the bids as
too high and to rebid the projects.

The Cruz Muniz home was projected to cost $23,000 but bid at
$31,130.97; Abel Sanchez's estimated to be $12,000 but bid
at $21,285; Antonio Muniz's estimated at $6,000 but bid at
$10,170; Brijida Esparza home estimated at $25,000 but bid
at $38,062.11 and the Ismael Dutchover project, estimated at
$22,000 but bid at $26,145.16. Estimates were made by Roman
who did the construction write-ups for the homes.

Other items were routine. It was pointed out there are
problems with the sewer lines at the county jail but
Commissioners Felipe Arredondo reported those problems are
being worked on.

County Auditor Lynn Owens reported that the county's
finances appear to be better than expected with a surplus
that could be about $1 million at year's end.

Board must act to avoid losing control of water

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - Red Bluff Water Power Control
Board members were told Monday they need to come up with a
water usage plan and prepare to gain a voice on the planned
Regional Water Planning Board, or face the prospect of
losing both some of the district's water and a say in Red
Bluff project proposals to communities, groups and
businesses outside the area.

The warning came during the board's monthly meeting, and was
voiced by the district's lawyer, Tim Brown, along with Sonny
Kretaschmar of HDR Engineering. The pair were in Pecos for a
briefing on the impending effects Senate Bill 1 will have on
water usage throughout Texas.

"The state has really been pushing conservation planning,"
said Brown, though to date they haven't impacted on water
usage within Red Bluff's area, which includes parts of
Reeves, Loving, Pecos and Ward counties.

Board members were shown two regional water area plans,
approved last month by the Texas Water Development Board.
One would split the state into 16 regions, with Reeves
County serving as the western border of Region F. It would
stretch as far east as Brownwood and Junction and include
San Angelo and the Midland-Odessa area.

The alternate plan splits the state into eight regions. Red
Bluff would be part of Region 4, which again would have its
eastern border near Junction and Brownwood but would extend
west to El Paso and include all of the Rio Grande area
between there and south of Sanderson.

"Everybody in these areas is going to have to work on plans
for future protection of water rights," Brown said. "The
problems you have in Reeves, Loving, Ward and Pecos counties
are far different than what you have in Brownwood. You're
going to be in a region with people who have very different
feelings about water."

Each of the planning areas will have a board initially made
up of 11 members who will oversee the water conservation
plans for their area. Brown and Kretaschmar stressed that
Red Bluff and other local government entities and private
water users need to be sure they have representation on the
board, whose members will be nominated sometime in the near

"We'll be competing against Midland, Odessa, San Angelo,
Brownwood, TU Electric and a lot of others," said Red Bluff
General Manager Jim Ed Miller, who had questions about how
the district should approach the situation.

"Should Red Bluff divorce itself from the (four) counties
and just develop a plan for Red Bluff, or get together with
the counties?" Miller asked. Board member Lloyd Goodrich
noted that most of the water used for agriculture in the
area comes from underground aquifers that are recharged from
the Delaware Mountains, to the west of Red Bluff's territory.

"You want to try and have as much unanimity as possible,"
Kretaschmar said.

Board president Randall Hartman added, "We'll carry more
weight as a larger county group, because we're going to have
a problem with (low) population out here."

Hartman suggested county water districts "write up thoughts
for themselves to bring in, then we'll draw up a plan for
the whole group."

Brown said every entity in the state which controls 10,000
acre/feet or more of water is required to draw up a water
use/conservation plan. "That plan is added to other plans,
and they go down to the state and put together a big plan,"
he said, adding the Water Development Board would have the
final say on resolving conflicts between plans.

He and Kretaschmar also said other area plans could involve
seizing water considered 'excess' from Red Bluff for their
own use under emergency situations, though the example of
Midland running a pipeline to the lake for use as a drinking
water supply to serve a growing population drew laughs from
the board.

"They can go ahead and pipe it in and drink it, and then
they'll be dead and that will cut the population," Goodrich

Red Bluff's high water usage per acre/feet could be a
problem in the future, the board was told, even though
members said the poor water quality out of the Pecos River
requires a higher water amount than other areas.
Conservation plans such as lining the district's canals with
concrete or using pipelines were called not economically
feasible for the district.

"You have a unique situation, but the law isn't excusing you
because of that," Brown said.

Kretaschmar said the district could also lose their rights
to Pecos River water to other areas by failing to use it for
its allotted purposes over a 10-year period.

"We sell all the water we get right now," Hartman said, but
Brown explained that the district's water rights on paper
are 43,000 acre/feet annually, and "If you use only 20,000,
they can forfeit out the other 23,000."

"You want to register the highest amount you will use,"
Kretaschmar explained.

"You have great water rights, and great resources in a
sparse area. Hopefully, something will materialize in the
future to let you utilize it better," he said. "The first
priority is to protect what you've got. You don't want El
Paso, Midland-Odessa or New Mexico taking your water because
you're not taking good advantage of it."

Brown said that under SB1, in a water rights dispute between
Red Bluff and another group, the district could still lose
its water, while the Texas Natural Resources Conservation
Commission would make the other group put up a bond to be
held until negotiations are complete. He added he didn't
believe this section of the bill was constitutional.

At the end of the talk, the board agreed to visit with Brown
and Kretaschmar again during next month's board meeting, and
to talk about having HDR draw up a plan for the district.

In an earlier discussion, Miller told the board he's
awaiting word from Albert Wagner of Sun West Salt Co. on
final approval of the right-of-way for the Malaga Bend salt
water pipeline. Red Bluff plans to drill a well to pump
water from the salt spring at Malaga Bend away from the
Pecos River and into three artificial lakes Wagner will
build to catch the salt for later mining.

"If he can get the right of way we can get to work right
away getting the drilling permit," Miller said.

The board was also shown the latest water report, which
ended on Nov. 15 when deliveries were stopped from Red Bluff
Lake to farmers along the river. The board was told the lake
is currently up to 87,000 acre/feet, nearly double its total
of four months ago.

"We're in better shape than we were last year," Hartman
said, though Miller added that the extra water, due in part
to releases from New Mexico, have hampered salt content
testing, as they've diluted the amount in the river below
Malaga Bend.

"The one above Malaga Bend should be lower, but in this case
they're doing a big release, so it gives the wrong
impression," he said.

Board members also accepted the investment committee report,
which showed a fund balance of $1,018,528; authorized Miller
to dispose of the district's old Xerox copier and approved
cash disbursements and accounts payable for November.

School board will meet on Thursday

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board
of Education will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 11, in the board room at 1304 S. Park St. The
agenda is as follows.

*Approval of minutes for meetings held Nov. 13 and Dec. 2,

*Audiences - Ms. Burner's enhanced fifth grade's book of
Pecos Bill and other audiences

*Discuss/approve recommendation by DEIC to contract with
Connie Podesta for staff development (1998-99 school year)

*Discuss/approve Pecos High School auditorium sound budget

*Discuss County/PBTISD/City Interlocal Agreement for
wellness program

*Discuss/approve AEIS report/school report card hearing

*Discuss/approve resale of property struck off at previous
tax sales

*Discuss approve a representative to serve on the committee
to sell foreclosed property

*Second reading and discuss/approve Policy Update 57

*Discuss/approve taxpayer Manuel Rubio's concerns

*Discuss/approve girls' softball

*Discuss/approve long-term substitute's pay

*Discuss/approve pay scale for teachers of visually
handicapped students

*Discuss/approve fuel bid

*Discuss/approve 1997-98 budget amendments

*Discuss/approve budget amendment to fund the maintenance
portion of the Zavala Middle School 7th grade library and
lab technology project

*Discuss/approve tax office business hours for all days
school is not in session

*Closed Session for discussing personnel or to hear
complaints against personnel (discuss administrative
assistant applicants and discuss other personnel)

*Discuss/approve salary for Administrative Assistant position

*Discuss/approve Interim Superintendent's recommendation for
Administrative Assistant position

*Discuss/approve professional personnel resignations,
appointments, transfers

*Tax report

*Depository securities report

*Cafeteria report

*List of commodities received

*Discuss/approve payment of current bills and financial

*Date for regular meeting

*Calendar of events

*Request of items for next agenda


Balmorhea Board of Trustees will meet

BALMORHEA, December 9, 1997 - The Balmorhea ISD Board of
Trustees will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday,
Dec. 11 in the board room at First and El Paso streets. The
agenda is as follows.

*Call to order and determine quorum

*Public comments

*Report - School Nurse immunization status

*Report - Grievance procedure caution

*District report card

*Addition of additional secondary special education teacher

*Open discussion of the academic Excellence Indicator system

*Board/Superintendent dialogue

*Auditor's Report

*Reeves County/BISD Interlocal Agreement

*Reeves County Juvenile Officer

*Addition of the color black as an accent color

*Update 57

*Local Policy DAA

*Approve minutes of November 18, 1997


*Accounts payable

*Closed Meeting to discuss personnel -employment,
resignations, assignments, evaluation, reassignment, duties
or discipline

*Reconvene in open session and take any action based upon
discussion in closed meeting

*Future agenda items and announcements


City begins search for police chief

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 9, 1997 - Advertisements are out - in Odessa
and San Angelo papers, and on the Internet. With Chief of
Police Troy Moore's recent announcement of retirement, the
city (along with Moore's help) is shopping to fill the
position. According to City Manager Kenneth Neal, the city
hopes that the advertisements it has placed already will be
sufficient to bring applicants in.

"It would be preferable to land someone from in the area,"
said Neal, "But if there is no response pretty quick we may
go with some more papers." He said that the city has
considered placing advertisements in El Paso and Lubbock

The deadline for applications is January 2, and the city
hopes to fill the position by the 25th of that month, when
Moore plans on vacating his position. If the process should
take a little longer, Moore has offered to stay on with the
police department until a suitable applicant be found.


Armando Garcia

Armando Garcia, Sr., 61, of Lubbock, died Saturday, Dec. 6,
1997, at his residence.

A rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9, at
Martinez Funeral Home Chapel in Pecos.

Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10, in Our Lady
of Refuge Catholic Church in Barstow, with Rev. Antonio
Mena, officiating.

Burial will be in Barstow Cemetery.

Garcia was born Feb. 20, 1936, in Presidio. He was a
carpenter for over 40 years and was a member of the
Carpenters Union, local #1884. He moved to Lubbock in 1963
from Barstow. He was a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic
Church in Lubbock.

Survivors include: his wife, Otilia Garcia of Lubbock; three
sons, Jesus, Armando, Jr. and Cruz Garcia of Lubbock; three
daughters, Virginia Trevino of Dallas, Elodia Hanes of
Lubbock and Corina Flores of El Paso; two brothers, Jose
Garcia of Barstow and Robert Garcia of Lubbock; three
sisters, Flora Baca of Pecos, Elosia Rubi of Riverside,
Calif. and Chavela Ramos of Abernathy; 15 grandchildren; and
five great-grandchildren.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ylario Ortega

Services are incomplete for Ylario (Larry) Ortega, Jr., who
died Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1997, at his residence in Pecos.

Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, December 9, 1997 - High Monday, 72, low today, 45.
It's going to seem more like winter across most of Texas as
a mass of cold Arctic air is headed for the state. The cold
air is expected to arrive in North Texas and West Texas on
Wednesday. There is a chance of snow flurries from the Big
Country and the Edwards Plateau northward into the Panhandle
tonight. It will be mostly cloudy on Wednesday across West
Texas with a chance of light rain or some more snow
flurries. The mass of cold Arctic air will arrive several
hours after a cold front moves through the state tonight and
early Wednesday in North Texas. Lows tonight will be in the
20s and 30s in West Texas, highs Wednesday will be in the
30s and 40s.

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