April 1, 1998
UIL Academic members move to regionalsBy ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - Pecos High School students did very
well at UIL Academic competition and some are getting ready
to compete in regionals.
"We are very proud of all the students who competed," said
biology teacher Barbara Scown. "They always pull through for
us," she said.
Scown and several other teachers are sponsors for the
students and help them prepare for competition.
The UIL Academic team attended the district meet at Howard
College, in Big Springs, on Friday, March 27.
Regional competition is scheduled for April 25, at Angelo
State University in San Angelo.
"We want to congratulate all the students that went to
district, and those that will be continue on to regionals,"
The accounting group is sponsored by Charlie Wein. Erin Paz
netted a first place in district competition; Dalila
Valenzuela, placed second; Erik Barreno, third place and
Belinda Heard, fourth.
The first place team consisting of Erin Paz, Dalila
Valenzuela and Erik Barreno, will continue to regionals.
Priss McNutt is in charge of Current Events. In that
category, Jonathan Fuentes netted third place and Tye Graham
News sponsor is Peggy Jones. Brandi Harrison placed second
in district competition and Marissa Jasso netted third in
Feature writing winners included Brandi Harrison, sixth
place; in the headlines category, Erin Paz placed first and
Dalila Valenzuela got sixth place; and in editorials, Erin
Paz placed fifth. Peggy Jones is also sponsor for these
Science teachers include Jerry Workman, John Barfield in
physics and Barbara Scown in biology.
Jeff Lam placed first in top biology and top chemistry while
in top physics Efrain Rodriguez took second place and
Jonathan Fuentes placed fourth.
The first place science team of Jeff Lam, Efrain Rodriguez
and Jonathan Fuentes will compete in regional competition.
Jackeline Mandujano is the teacher for computer
applications. In that category Efrain Rodriguez took first
In informative speaking, Josh Casillas placed third and Eric
Machuca took sixth place. Ben Price is sponsor for that
The following students will advance to regional competition,
Erin Paz, Dalila Valenzuela, Erik Barreno, Jonathan Fuentes,
Brandi Harrison, Marissa Jasso, Jeff Lam, Efrain Rodriguez
and Josh Casillas.
"These students always pull through for us, and we're just
very proud that we have such a hard-working group of
students," said Scown.
PBT officials look to make up $1 million deficit
By CARA ALLIGOOD
and GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - A $1 million plus deficit faced by
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD has district officials
scrambling to find a way to balance the budget. They may
have to cut the budget or raise property taxes, or both,
according to district auditors.
During the February school board meeting, Robert Card, CPA,
representing Card, Graham and Co., told the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD Board of Trustees that the annual
audit for the year ending Aug. 31, 1997 showed total
expenditures exceeding total revenues by $1.1 million.
Card told board president Frank Perea that factors which
caused the deficit were beyond the control of the board.
However, Card said, the school board is at "the point it
either needs to find deep cuts or face up to a tax increase,
or some of both."
The school board has resisted raising taxes for several
years, even though that has meant dwindling state funding.
PBT ISD Business Manager Cookie Canon said "because we have
kept the same tax rate for so long, the state doesn't think
we need help." She said that the tax rate set by the board
has stayed around $1.4 per $100 of property valuation for
the past four to five years. Board member Linda Gholson said
the board had compared the benefits of extra state money
secured by raising taxes with the increased financial burden
that raising taxes would put on local taxpayers and found
raising taxes wouldn't be worth it.
Last August, Texas voters opted to raise the homestead
exemption on property taxes by $10,000, from a $5,000
exemption to a $15,000 exemption. Because property values in
Pecos are rather low as compared with many communities
across the state, that exemption took a large chunk out of
taxable property in the district, and therefore meant even
less local revenue for the district when 1997 taxes were
collected in October, according to PBT ISD Tax Collector
Now, the district administration is trying to find a way to
compensate for the shortfall. "We're working on that, and
we'll have all the information at the regular board meeting
on April 9," said PBT ISD Superintendent Don Love, who
declined to discuss any specifics before the information is
presented to the school board and the public at the meeting.
Love said that nothing concerning the district budget is
definite yet, and "the current figures are projections." He
explained, "I've been going around to schools and talking to
them (district administrators) in the last administrators'
meeting, and talking to them about what things look like and
what we may have to do."
"In June, we'll make our final numbers that we'll send to
Austin," said Love.
Enjoy a day of care at the health fair
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - Where can you get a free pancake
breakfast, a hearty barbecue lunch, free- and reduced-cost
health care services and a free massage? A fancy spa in
Dallas or Houston? Maybe. But this Saturday you can get it
all at the Reeves County Hospital 11th Annual Health Fair.
About 56 booths at the fair will feature health care
equipment, information and affordable health care services
at the Reeves County Hospital. Booths will be located
throughout the hospital and volunteers will be on hand to
help point the way.
Volunteers will begin serving the free pancake breakfast
which consists of pancakes, bacon, orange juice and coffee,
at 8 a.m., to the first 700 individuals or until everything
is gone. The breakfast is sponsored by Reeves County
Hospital, Pfizer and Wyett Pharmaceuticals and the Pecos
"We have several new exhibits and we're very excited that it
continues to grow," said health fair committee member Nancy
Ontiveros. "This is one of the largest health fairs we've
had and while several exhibitors that have been coming every
year, have stated they will be unable to attend this year,
we've acquired some new ones," she said.
"We're just excited about attracting all these new
services," said Ontiveros.
"We always get really excited this time of year and get
ready to work," said committee member Linda Gholson.
Something new this year will be sponsored by Texas-New
Mexico Power Company and is an arching demonstration.
Another new service will be a simulated rollover
demonstration by the trauma unit, according to Ontiveros.
Two different displays by inventors from New Mexico will
feature their inventions and will provide demonstrations.
The displays will be by Whimsies.
A barbecue lunch will be served beginning at 11 a.m. Plates
will be $4 for the public.
Another new service is sponsored by the Odessa Heart
Institute, who will be providing cardiology information,
according to Ontiveros.
Many of the old favorites will also be available including,
the blood package for $20, the EKG's for $7, PSA's for $20,
free dental and hearing tests.
"A blood drive will also be going on throughout the day,"
said Ontiveros. All blood donors will receive free prizes.
Many door prizes will be given out every 30 minutes and
individuals are encouraged to get a ticket upon walking in
at the health fair.
Individuals can pre-register for the health fair on Friday,
from 3 to 6 p.m., in the hospital lobby.
"This is to help them avoid long lines in the morning," said
The health fair committee consists of 15 individuals that
represent various organizations throughout the community.
"We want to encourage everyone to come out and take
advantage of the low cost and no-cost screenings that will
be available on Saturday," said Ontiveros.
"We want to encourage everyone to make a day of it," said
Wanted: Mrs. Pecos?
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - Pecos women with glamour and talent
who are ready to "strike a pose" competing for the title of
Mrs. Texas 1998 are being sought for the nationally
televised Mrs. America Pageant.
Married women from throughout the state are invited to
compete in the event every year.
According to Tana Herrington, the pageant's executive
director, "The pageant exists for one reason only -to
celebrate the beauty of America's married women."
Women of all ages and from all walks of life are welcome to
seek the crown, but they must be married and live in the
state of Texas. "One of our contestants had six children and
several had none," said Herrington recently, "The qualities
that all of the contestants seem to have in common are
self-confidence, a positive outlook and a definite zest for
The winner of Mrs. Texas will receive an all-expense paid
trip to compete in the national program, as well as several
thousand dollars worth of prizes. The pageant will be held
in Houston, Texas, on the weekend of June 26-28, 1998.
For more information, contact Herrington at (407) 566-8260.
Minnow stands to get federal endangered label
By GREG HARMAN
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) pushes back the deadline on public comments
concerning the possibility of adding the Pecos pupfish to
the federal endangered species list, another lesser known
fresh-water minnow is also being proposed for the list.
According to officials at the USFWS, the Devils River
minnow, already on the state threatened species list, is
limited to the spring-fed streams in Val Verde and Kinney
counties and northern Mexico.
Factors in the minnow's demise, USFWS officials state,
include declines in water quality and quantity and predation
from non-native fish, including the small-mouth bass.
Congressman Henry Bonilla has spoken out strongly against
the USFWS move to add the minnow to the federal roster.
"This is a classic example of the federal government once
again jumping in and ignoring the rights of landowners in
Texas," said Bonilla. "The people of South and West Texas
have cared for their land and the environment for
generations. Bureaucrats in Washington can learn a lot from
these folks when it comes to forming a plan that protects
wildlife in these areas.
According to Bonilla, landowners near the Devils River are
working diligently with the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department (TPWD) to devise a conservation plan for the
The USFWS will accept public comments and information on
this proposal until July 27. Once the comment period is
closed officials at USFWS will evaluate all submissions and
decide within a year of the date of the proposal whether the
species will be added to the federal list of endangered
But Bonilla warns that the pattern of the USFWS is to
conduct surveys, illicit public comments and then "go ahead
and push their agenda anyway, without regard for the
concerns of private property owners."
The USFWS is reviewing a conservation agreement developed by
landowners, TPWD and USFWS that may reduce or eliminate the
threat to the species' survival. "That's our hope," said
USPWS spokeswoman Julie Martenson, "that (the conservation
agreement) will be found adequate." With an effective local
initiative in place there would be no need to place the
species on the federal endangered species list.
All comments regarding the proposal should be sent to: U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, 10711 Burnett Road, Suite 200,
Austin, Tx. 78758.
PECOS, April 1, 1998 - High Tuesday, 71, low this morning,
33. Clear skies and warm temperatures prevailed over most of
Texas Tuesday as a cold front that caused some hail and wind
damage left the state. In West Texas, high pressure
continued across the region resulting in sunny skies.
Temperatures were in the 50s to the north and in the 70s
elsewhere. Winds were southwest at 15 to 25 mph. The
forecast for West Texas calls for fair skies Wednesday.
There will be a slight chance of showers. Highs will reach
the 70s and 80s. Lows will be in the 30s and 40s.
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