February 4, 1998
Won't you stamp my Valentine?
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 4, 1998 - Valentine, Tex. may be a small community
(population 220) that's well off the beaten path for most folk, but
there's one thing they do get plenty of, mail.
People from around the globe ship packages of Valentine's Day cards
addressed to the Valentine postmaster. The mail comes from as far away
as Germany, Japan and Italy, but Postmaster Maria E. Carrasco doesn't
get to keep the sentimental notes.
The cards are sent to Valentine for one reason: to receive the mark of a
special, uniquely-designed Valentine's Day postal stamp while on their
journey to their intended parties.
Each year Valentine school children create designs for the Valentine's
Day postal stamp and the local city council choose the one that will be
used that year.
According to Carrasco, the packages began "trickling in" as early as
This trickle had collected to more than 1,000 letters that filled three
boxes and one shelf at the Valentine post office by the end of January.
"This is nothing," Carrasco said of the initial 1,000. She anticipated
many, many more. Leslie Williams, postmaster relief, said that the
office had stamped as many as 30,000 valentines three years ago. "Last
year we did a little more than 22,000," Williams said.
In fact, during the interview Dawn Moore, a tourist from Ontario,
Canada, entered with a handful of Valentine's Day cards explaining that
she had intended to mail them from Sanderson's post office but had been
referred by the employee there to the special Valentine, Tx., stamps.
This apparently happens often.
"We had some journalists from Paris in a few years ago," she said, "and
now we receive several cards every year from around Paris."
This year's stamp, designed by sixth-grader John Porras, is rather
different than the year before and considerably larger. The stamp is an
entire landscape: barren West Texas hills and a lone cacti stand behind
a flower petal-vaned windmill as a heart-shaped sun dips behind a cloud.
The tail vane of the windmill holds an abbreviation for "Love Station."
Carrasco said the regular postal mark will still be printed in black
along the upper right corner, but this larger Valentine's Day mark will
be printed in red in the lower left corner of the envelope.
The larger-sized stamp created a potential space problem with some
envelopes. "When I get a smaller envelope I have to work it in,"
The Valentine post office had previously used replicas of the current
U.S. Post Office "Love" stamp that were supplied by the El Paso branch
post office. But, since 1994, Valentine school children have been
designing them -offering a more unique item for the increasingly
Carrasco spent her younger years in Colorado and Nebraska and even lived
in Pecos for a few years before moving to Valentine. She became
Valentine's postmaster in 1990, after three years as postmaster relief.
All three of her children graduated high school in Valentine and two are
currently attending Sul Ross University.
But Carrasco didn't have to mail away all of the valentines she received
during the recent weeks -one thoughtful person remembered to enclose an
extra valentine just for her.
PBT ISD receives migrant student grant
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, February 4, 1998 - Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD has been selected by
Region 18 ESC to receive a $5,000 grant through the Migrant Staff
This program is a three year research program that provides funding of
$5,000 per year of participation.
The general objectives of the program are to survey current school
district program status, planning program staff development for
effective implementation and program evaluation.
There are currently 45 migrant students enrolled in the district, with
one migrant teacher and several aides, according to Hernandez.
"We have only one teacher that is being paid out of migrant funds, but
we have several aides that assist her," said Blanca Roman, who works
with special services.
The money awarded will be used to promote the migrant program, according
Migrant students are defined as students who have moved from one
district to another within six months for the purpose of seeking
agricultural or fishery related work.
These students are eligible for additional educational or health
services, according to Roman.
"Most of these students are bilingual, and the services we offer to them
are extra tutoring, financial aid and health services," said Roman.
Roman stated that there is currently one senior who is benefitting from
the program in this district. "We're trying to help him with finanical
aid, so that he can continue his education," said Roman.
The grant award will provide the district the opportunity to research
and examine effective leadership practices, pedagogical and curriculum
practices, family and community involvement, and district student
achievement, according to Hernandez.
"I'm very excited to lead this innovative pilot project," Hernandez
said. "We are the only district in the region to receive this award,"
"I look forward to coordinating with Region 18 ESC to implement the
concepts identified by the Effective Border School Research Initiative
to address and meet the educational needs of the migratory student,"
Planning for the restructuring of the local Migrant Educational Program
will be guided and coordinated in cooperation with Region 18 ESC,
according to Hernandez.
Don Love, superintendent, stated that Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD is proud
to have received this recognition and award.
Girl's softball off to shaky start
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, February 4, 1998 - Try to imagine what high school baseball would
be like for the Pecos Eagles if they did nothing but toss slow underhand
pitches to batters while they were in Little League and Senior League,
and there were no passed balls, wild pitches or stolen bases to contend
Welcome to the debut season of the Pecos Eagles' girls softball team.
It's going to be a learning experience for all involved, but things
could improve rapidly, especially when realignment takes effect next
It's not that the 18 girls out at Maxey Park on Tuesday --or those still
in basketball or swimming who will come out over the next two weeks
--have never played softball. It's just that most of them have never
played "fast pitch" softball, where the ball comes into home plate just
about as quickly as in baseball, and runners can steal bases or advance
on balls that get past the catcher, unlike its slow-pitch softball
With that in mind, new coach Tammy Walls spent part of Tuesday looking
for both pitchers and catchers for her team, which will hold its first
scrimmage next Tuesday at home against Monahans, and plays its first
game on Feb. 20 against the Alpine Bucks.
"I think a couple of them seem to have it down, but until they pick up a
bat, I won't know," Walls said. "I've got about 10 or 12 more coming out
from basketball next week, so I really won't know where we are until
"They're all pretty athletic, so I think that's going to be a plus,"
said Walls, who has six weeks before Pecos opens District 4-4A play,
with a March 17 trip to Fort Stockton.
On Tuesday, Walls was working with junior Heather Uptergrove, one of two
out-of-state transfers who played fast-pitch in the past, on developing
a windmill delivery, while trying out senior Gabi Bafidis at catcher,
where her brother Ponchito started as Pecos' catcher for four seasons
back in the 1980s.
"I'm just going to see how they do there," said Walls, who will be
working with assistant coach Becky Wein to try and develop the program
Softball is a relatively new sport to all Class 4A schools, but the
Eagles are the last of the six district schools to take up the sport.
Andrews and Big Spring played a couple of seasons of club softball
before going into UIL play three years ago, and the Mustangs not only
won the District 4-4A title last season, they advanced to the state
tournament in Austin.
Fort Stockton also has a couple of seasons of District 4-4A softball
under their belts, while Sweetwater and San Angelo Lake View joined in
1997. Meanwhile, the Eagles' softball program was just approved earlier
this school year by Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board members, and talks
last Spring about playing club softball for one season before beginning
UIL play failed to produce any results.
So Pecos will be at a disadvantage as far as experience goes when they
face their five district rivals, though that will change next season,
when Pecos moves into its new home in District 2-4A. Canutillo is the
only school that has an established program, while the others - Clint,
Mountain View, Fabens and San Elizario - are joining the Eagles in
starting up programs this season. The first three will play in District
3-3A against Monahans and Alpine, while San Elizario will play a junior
varsity-only schedule this year.
With no fast pitch leagues in place locally, some Pecos girls in junior
high and elementary school have been going to Monahans the past couple
of years to play in their summer fast-pitch league, and Wein's husband,
Pat, said a meeting has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. this Friday at the
Maxey Park softball field to try and organize girls fast pitch leagues
The league would be divided into 8-9, 10-12 and 13-15 year old
divisions, similar to those in the Monahans league. Anyone interested in
coaching or helping out should either be at the field Friday afternoon,
or should call Wein at 447-5612.
Low level bombers may train over Reeves Co.
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, February 4, 1998 - Dozens of residents from Reeves and Ward
counties attended the U.S. Air Force's scoping meeting on the proposed
Realistic Bomber Training Initiative (RBTI) at the Pecos Community
Center on Tuesday evening, with most expressing few reservations
concerning the possibility of low-altitude training in the area.
The open house style meeting, designed to solicit public and municipal
comment and address the potential environmental impact the initiative
may represent while the Air Force drafts their Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS), was hosted by several Air Force personnel who met and
addressed individual questions and concerns on a one-on-one basis.
Pecos City Manager Kenneth Neal, Mayor Dot Stafford and Chamber of
Commerce Executive Director Tom Rivera, all expressed support of the
L.G. Crawford, director of nursing services at Reeves County Hospital,
said he had asked an Air Force representative how CareFlight services at
the hospital may be affected by the initiative. "I was told that
CareFlights will have first priority. That the Air Force would be
diverted when CareFlights were incoming." Crawford said he was told that
both fixed-wing and helicopter CareFlights would be flying at higher
altitudes than the low-altitude bombers.
Manager of Wink Airport and Air Cafe owner, Charles Cooper, was present
at the scoping meeting to gather information to take back to other
residents of Ward County. "I think it's something the military needs to
do for our national defense," he said, "but, I don't own a ranch and I
don't have 5,000 head of cattle."
The initiative would involve decreased military training flights in
parts of Colorado and Arkansas, and increased activity in parts of Texas
and New Mexico. The RBTI consists of three proposed expansions and
modifications to existing military airspace in Texas and New Mexico, and
one "no action" alternative.
Proposed alternatives in West Texas involve the creation of a Lancer
Military Operations Area (MOA) that would cover parts of Borden, Scurry,
Dawson, Fisher, Lynn, Kent, Stonewall and Garza counties in the southern
High Plains region, and the expansion of the Texon MOA over Upton,
Reagan and Irion counties in West Texas.
Under the proposal, B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers from
Dyess Air Force Base near Abilene, Tx., and Barksdale Air Force Base in
Louisiana would issue from these MOA's to perform low-altitude training
over parts of Ward, Reeves, Culberson and Loving counties, before
sweeping south of Alpine and turning toward El Paso.
The proposal would create new military air space across northern Reeves,
southern Loving and central Ward counties, and redefine current military
airspace in the area as "low-altitude." This low-altitude space would
be strung with electronic scoring sites on the land that would sweep
west across southern Reeves County from near the Smithers Test Track,
through the Saragosa and Verhalen area and exit into Culberson County
from central Reeves County near China Draw.
A total of 12 emitter and scoring sites would be placed in this area.
Each would consist of 15 acres of fenced land, electronic and scoring
equipment, parking lot and driveway, telephone and electrical lines.
Bethel Eiland, of Ward County, said that he enjoyed seeing the military
planes in his area and wanted to see more. "I can't imagine anyone
objecting to these boys getting their training."
However, voicing concerns over the RBTI ranging from the threat of
personal injury, damaged livestock, damaged property, and possible legal
violations of the Air Force's CEQ regulations, two representatives from
the Trans-Pecos Protection Group, Kay and Bryan Kelley of Alpine, had
set up their own table at the front of the building to supply those
attending with alternative information.
"The main point is that they want to put our citizens in a war-time
environment during peacetime," said Bryan Kelley. "There is nothing in
any of their EI's (Environmental Impact Studies) that address the impact
of these low-level flights on humans."
The same day of the scoping meeting in Pecos, the Associated Press
reported that a low-flying U.S. Marine Corp. jet had caused the death of
20 skiers in Italy by cutting their gondola's cable. The passengers fell
280 feet to their death.
Kay Kelley said that the pilot responsible for the Italy accident was
not on his route. "People need to understand that they don't stay on
their routes," she said. "These are things that could happen to us."
Lieutenant Colonel Lynn Wheeless anticipated that the final decision on
the proposed RBTI would be made in the Fall of 1999, with full
operations beginnings in the Fall of 2001. He said that as many as 60
employees may relocate to work the scoring sites.
Luciano Salgado, 70, of Pecos, died Monday, Feb. 2, 1998, at Reeves
A rosary is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Martinez
Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 5, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.
Salgado was born Jan. 8, 1928, in Candelaria, Mexico. He was a lifetime
Pecos resident, a retired oilfield worker and a Catholic.
Survivors include: his wife, Tomasa Salgado of Pecos; three daughters,
Amparo Valenzuela and Amy Salgado of Pecos and Aida Salgado of Austin;
four brothers, Ricardo, Tomas, Jesus and Angel Salgado of Pecos; three
sisters, Guillerma Hinojos of Pecos, Consuelo Hinojos of Kermit and
Socorro Carrasco of Presidio; five grandchildren; and three great
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Services are incomplete for Magdalana Rosales, 81, who died Tuesday,
Feb. 3, 1998, at Midland Memorial Hospital.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, February 4, 1998 - High Tuesday, 69, low this morning, 40. A snow
advisory is in effect tonight for the Texas Panhandle and northern
sections of the South Plains. Forecasters say there could be as much as
3-4 inches of snow on the ground before it stops on Thursday afternoon.
The snow is expected as a strong upper level storm system moves slowly
eastward into Texas. The first sign of the storm system will be in the
form of cold rain that will quickly change to snow by early evening. It
will be partly to mostly cloudy across West Texas tonight and Thursday.
Lows tonight will be in the 20s and 30s in West Texas, highs Thursday
will be in the 30s and 40s
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