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Area Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Ward County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


December 23, 1997

RCDC employees receive big raises

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - Reeves County Commissioners
revised the county budget last night by approving more than
a quarter of a million dollars in additional raises for
employees at the Reeves County Detention Center.

Commissioners amended the budget they had agreed upon last
August by adding more than $287,000 for raises for the RCDC

An entry level position at the RCDC was set at an annual
salary of $16,000. Commissioners increased that amount to
$17,000. Level 2 RCDC staffers would have drawn $17,000
annually according to the budget approved this summer. Now a
Level 2 employee can expect $19,000 a year.

Level 3 salaries were increased from $20,000 to $21,000;
counsellors salaries were increased from $22,000 to $23,000;
case managers from $23,000 to $24,000; the Lieutenant Level
increased from $25,000 to $27,500; and department head
salaries increased from $27,500 to $30,000.

"I want to thank the court (for the increases)," said RCDC
Warden Rudy Franco. "You've given the (RCDC) staff a nice
Christmas present. They'll be much more productive next

Commissioners granted the raises after determining that RCDC
revenues will increase by about $300,000 more than expected
next year.

According to Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo, the RCDC was
expected to bring in about $10.1 million next year. The
revised budget calls for RCDC revenues to increase to $10.4
million next year, according to Galindo.

Currently the RCDC receives $36.50 per day per inmate from
the Bureau of Prisons. The detention center can currently
house 650 inmates and an expansion project set to be
completed by next April will increase the center's capacity
to 910 inmates.

Franco expressed optimism to the commissioners that the RCDC
would have no problem operating at full capacity for the
foreseeable future.

In other business commissioners approved a proposal to sell
property the county has foreclosed on for delinquent taxes.

Under the proposal all taxing entities in the county would
have to agree to the sale of the foreclosed property.
Commissioners plan to advertise the properties for sale and
approve bids by sometimes in March. Bids for the listed
properties would be approved or denied by Reeves County Tax
Assessor/Collector Elfida Zuniga, with final approval by

See tomorrow's Pecos Enterprise for other action taken by
Reeves County Commissioners Monday evening.

Rain expected to continue

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - Lines of showers moved through
Pecos on-and-off throughout the night Monday and early this
morning, while the same front brought snow to the mountains
south and west of town.

The showers, which began Monday afternoon and are expected
to continue through tonight, dropped three-tenths of an inch
of rain in Pecos, while to the south, one to four inches of
snow already had piled up in the Alpine-Marfa-Fort Davis
triangle. Between one and two inches of snow was reported by
the Department of Public Safety to the west of Pecos at the
Interstate 10/20 junction, while up to half a foot of snow
fell at Guadalupe Pass to the northwest.

"The roads are slushy at the junction, with bridge
overpasses icing. Travel is considered risky in the area,"
said DPS communications officer Elaine Capers. She added
that Wild Rose Pass on Highway 17 south of Balmorhea is also
icy, and while TxDOT crews have cleared U.S. 62-180 around
Guadalupe Peak, FM 652 west of Orla was snow and ice-packed
this morning, and travel was not recommended.

A heavy snow warning is in effect today for the western
two-thirds of the Texas Panhandle, a winter storm warning is
in effect for the eastern third of the Panhandle and the
extreme southwestern edge of the Panhandle and in the South

A flash flood watch was in effect for all of North Texas and
all of Southeast Texas.

The bad weather was being triggered by a strong upper level
storm that was headed into Texas from the west early today.

Western sections of the Panhandle may get as much as 4 to 8
inches of snow.

In eastern sections of the Panhandle, forecasters said
freezing rain and sleet was expected ahead of the snow. In
eastern sections of the Panhandle some areas will get as
much as 3 to 6 inches of snow.

In addition to the winter storm warning, a winter weather
advisory was in effect for the central and southern South
Plains and parts of the northern rolling plains.

The flash flood watch for North Texas called for as much as
1 to 2 inches of rain in most areas and as much as 4 inches
in some areas near thunderstorm tracks.

Widespread urban flooding is expected because the area is
still saturated from the heavy weekend rains.

Shortly after sunrise today, thunderstorms packing hail of
up to one inch in diameter and winds of up to 70 mph were
reported in Jack County, about 65 miles northwest of Fort

Most areas of Southeast Texas will get as much as 2 inches
of rain and some areas will get 4 to 6 inches of rain.

Showers and thunderstorms are forecast across South Texas
through Wednesday.

Lows tonight will be in the 20s in West Texas, the 30s and
40s in North Texas and in the 30s in the Hill Country and in
the 40s and 50s elsewhere in South Texas.

Highs Wednesday will be in the 30s and 40s in West Texas,
the 40s and 50s in North Texas and in the 60s in South

Wild weather prevailed across West Texas before dawn today.
Thunderstorms were reported over the South Plains and a mix
of snow and rain fell over the western South Plains.
Freezing rain fell in the Amarillo area and snow was falling
in Dalhart and Borger.

Area businesses, offices closing for holidays

Staff Writer

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - Pecos residents should plan
purchases and payments ahead for the next few days, because
area stores, utility and government offices will be closed
on Christmas Day in observance of the holiday, and will vary
on their hours for the days before and after the holiday.

All county offices will be closed Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day, as well as Dec. 26, and will reopen Monday,
Dec. 29.

City offices will be open during their normal operating
hours on Christmas Day, but will be closed both Dec. 25 and

Both First National Bank and Security State Bank will close
at 1 p.m. Christmas Eve and be closed on Christmas Day. The
banks will reopen on Dec. 26, but Security State will not
reopen from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Texas Department of Human Services will be closed Dec. 24,
25 and 26.

La Tienda will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m Christmas Eve, be
closed all of Christmas Day, and will resume their normal
operating hours Dec. 26.

Bob's Thriftway will also close at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve, be
closed all of Christmas Day, and open during their normal
hours De. 26.

Southern Union Gas Company will be open from 8 a.m. until 3
p.m. Christmas Eve, then will be closed both Dec. 25 and 26.

Texas-New Mexico Power Company will be closed Dec. 24, 25
and 26.

The Pecos Enterprise will be published on Christmas Eve, but
the office will close early. Circulation will remain open
until 4 p.m., all other departments will close at 2 p.m. We
will not open or publish a paper on Christmas Day, but will
operate as usual on Dec. 26.

All she wants is for mom to get healthier


Staff Writer

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - While most children have been
making out a list a mile long for Santa Claus, one Pecos
first-grade student is asking for only one thing.

"I only want that one thing, I didn't ask him for anything
else, and I really don't want anything else," said
six-year-old Natalie Rodriguez.

Natalie wrote, "Dear Santa, This year it's been alright for
me and my sisters. I don't want anything for Christmas, all
I want Santa is for my mom to get better in her health. She
been sick lately. Please Santa make my wish come true. Thank
you, Natalie."

Natalie's mother, Leticia, is a diabetic, who takes insulin
shots. "She just gets very upset, because she has already
had to call 911 for me," said the older Rodriguez.

About two months ago, Leticia went into a diabetic coma,
which left Natalie, the oldest of three children, to decide
what to do during this emergency.

"I don't know where she learned to dial 911, but she did,"
said Rodriguez.

"I just had to think fast, because my mommy needed me," said

Natalie's other siblings, five-year-old Sofia and
one-year-old Clarissa were at home at the time, which was
also frightening for the little girl.

"I don't want that to happen again," said Natalie.

"She's terrified that something will happen to me," said

And the families problems don't end there. Leticia is
scheduled to undergo a tonsillectomy at the beginning of
next year.

"She doesn't want me to have the surgery, because she thinks
I'll go into a coma again," said Leticia.

When Leticia's blood sugar is low, she can't take the shots,
which can lead to a diabetic coma.

"She makes sure I always take my shots and doesn't want to
leave my side," said Leticia.

The family had a few gifts under the tree for this year,
despite the fact that Natalie had not asked for anything,
however, those items were stolen about two weeks ago.

"We went to visit family in Mexico and when we came back we
found they had broken into our home," said Leticia.

A VCR, a television and all the gifts from under the tree
were missing.

"This hurt her even more, because even though she hadn't
requested anything, I still had something for her," said

Leticia is currently unemployed, because of doctor's orders.
"He told me I just couldn't handle a job right now, the way
my health is," said Leticia.

"And now after this burglary, Natalie doesn't want to go
anywhere, because she thinks they might break in again and
take everything else," said Leticia.

Christmas for the Kids and Toys for Tots helped Leticia
replace the missing gifts, but she worries about little

"She's just such a quiet child, and she worries a lot," said

"Now everytime I get sick, even from a cold, she wants to
call 911," she said.

Even though so many things have happened to the family
Natalie said that she's "very excited about Christmas and
knows that Santa will grant her her wish."

Super highway turns some off


Staff Writer

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - The Information Superhighway may
feel a little bumpy to new initiates and old hands alike in
the Pecos area as complaints of sluggish connections and
problems of getting cut-off while surfing the Net appear to
be rising.

Dick Alligood, owner of Oilfield Phone Service, said that
there were so many elements involved that it's
near-impossible to point the finger when service problems
arise. "We (OPS) have Internet components, SW Bell has
components, GTE has components, AT&T, IXC, GST (all have
components) . . . but one problem everyone has is the need
for more bandwidth," Alligood said.

Bandwidth, or the capacity of a network to carry data, is
usually expressed in bits per second (bps). Imagine the
difference in speed a leaf may attain dropped into a roaring
river compared with one loosed into a babbling brook and
that is the difference of bandwidth that today's modems
provide as compared with those on the market a decade ago.
But phone companies can't always provide the speed the
modems are capable of.

With all the demands for bandwidth, not all poor connections
are attributable to too many people on the line - sometimes
the lines are "dirty," said Dick Alligood.

On digital phone lines all information is sent much like a
computer - in various combinations of 0's and 1's - and
error messages on these lines (which are also made up of 0's
and 1's) take up space and time, slowing other information.

Larry Bryer, one of the owners of Ultra-Vision in Pyote,
said he often advises Internet users to turn down their
modem's speed when they are having problems getting knocked
off line. "The phone lines out here are not made for these
high speeds," he said.

Bryer said that 99 percent of the cut-offs are caused by the
user's own settings. Often modems either do not detect the
data transfer at all or are set to time-out after a certain
period of time and simply turn off.

Public affairs manager for GTE, Charles Watkins, said he
knew of no problems with the 445 digital switch that serves
much of Pecos and that problems of those surfing the
Internet may encounter wouldn't be the fault of the phone
line but the provider.

However, Alligood did say that there have been a few
episodes where cards at GTE had gone bad and there had been
no one available to change it. "In this part of the country
the phone companies are often short on personnel - it's a
matter of economics with these larger phone companies - and
we have to wait till they get back in the office (to repair
the problem)."

At his company, Alligood said, they had been fortunate
because card problems had been found relatively quickly.

PBT board plans to hire administrators

PECOS, December 23, 1997 - The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
Independent School District Board of Education will hold a
special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1998 in the board
room at 1304 S. Park Street.

According to the agenda, the meeting will begin with a
closed session in which the school board will deliberate on
the employment of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Superintendent
and on the employment of the P-B-T ISD Administrative
Assistant to the Superintendent/Personnel Director.

Once open session resumes, the board will consider and take
action on the employment of the P-B-T ISD Superintendent,
consider and take action on the employment of the P-B-T ISD
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent/Personnel
Director and then discuss/approve resignations,
reappointments and transfers of professional personnel.

The meeting will adjourn after these three topics have been
discussed in open session.


December 23, 1997

The Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT STOCKTON, Dec. 18, 1997 - Nearly a month after Texas
A&M geology professor Norman Tilford disappeared on a flight
from Bryan to Van Horn, authorities believe they may have
located his body, and the wreckage of the aircraft he was
piloting. On Saturday, deer hunters discovered the body of
the missing professor/pilot in a rural area in northwest
Blanco County, according to a report from the Blanco County
Sheriff's Department.

The Big Bend Sentinel

MARFA, Dec. 18, 1997 - Marfa and Alpine voters go to the
polls on Jan. 18 to determine for themselves the fate of
their public gas utility. Voters in each town will cast
ballots to approve or disapprove a proposal offered to
Southwest Texas Municipal Gas Co. (SWTMGC) by West Texas Gas
Co. of Midland.

The Alpine Avalanche

ALPINE, Dec. 18, 1997 - The personal use of city equipment
by the mayor of Alpine has caught the eye of the District
Attorney. The issue was discussed at a recent city council
meeting where City Manager Doug Lively explained Mayor Bill
Sohl hired city employees and rented city equipment to work
on his ranch in Jeff Davis County. District Attorney Albert
Valadez has reviewed the case and has asked Texas Ranger
Dave Duncan to investigate the incident.

The International, Presidio Paper

PRESIDIO, Dec. 18, 1997 - Federal grand jurors heard hours
of testimony in the civil rights investigation into the
shooting of an 18-year-old Redford student by Marines last
spring, but adjourned last Thursday without reaching a
conclusion in the case. On May 20, U.S. Marine Cpl. Clemente
Banuelos shot and killed Ezequiel Hernandez, Jr., as he
tended his goat herd near the family home in Redford.

The Sanderson Times

SANDERSON, Dec. 18, 1997 - The original date for the pecan
show had to be postponed to the first week in December,
because many of the pecan varieties had not ripened. The
show was sponsored by the Terrell County 4-H and Mike
Barbour, Terrell County Agent, was in charge of the show.

The Monahans News

MONAHANS, Dec. 18, 1997 - State of Texas expenditures in
Ward County for fiscal 1997 totaled $16,961,824, according
to the Texas 1997 State Expenditures by County report
released by the State Comptroller's Office in Austin on
Friday, Oct. 12.


PECOS, December 23, 1997 - High Monday, 63, low this
morning, 36. Precipitation Monday totaled 0.30 of an inch
bringing the total rainfall for the month to 0.98 of an inch
and the year-to-date total to 10.22 inches. Tonight there
will be decreasing clouds and a low around 30 with northwest
winds at 5-15 mph. Wednesday will see partly cloudy skies
with a high around 55 and northwest winds at 10-20 mph. The
forecast for Christmas includes increasing clouds, lows
around 30 and highs around 50.

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