Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 1998
Three schools rated above average
From Staff and Wire Reports
Three Pecos-Barstow-Toyah schools received "recognized"
ratings for the second year in a row, while both the
district as a whole and the Balmorhea ISD received
"academically acceptable" ratings Monday, in rankings based
on Texas Assessment of Academic Skills testing during the
1997-98 school year.
A record number of school districts and campuses got top
marks from the state this year on the TAAS test, as rating
standards continued to be strengthened, Texas Education
Commissioner Mike Moses said Monday.
The three P-B-T campuses -- Bessie Haynes Elementary, Lamar
Middle School and Zavala Middle School -- that received the
"recognized" rating this year, were one step up from the
district's overall acceptable rating. The schools included
students in grades 4-7 during the past school year.
A total of 328 school districts got the rating "recognized"
this year, Texas schools, which requires at least 80 percent
of students and each student group pass the TAAS test,
compared with 321 last year. This year, 1,641 campuses were
recognized, compared with last year's 1,617.
The other five P-B-T schools rated by the state -- Austin
Elementary, Pecos Elementary, Barstow Elementary, Crockett
Eighth Grade Middle School and Pecos High School -- all
received "acceptable" ratings. Pecos Kindergarten and the
Carver Learning Center were not rated.
For a school district or campus to be rated acceptable, at
least 40 percent of all students and each student group must
pass each TAAS section. That's up from 35 percent last year.
The dropout rate also must be 6 percent or less, and
attendance must be at least 94 percent. P-B-T had a 94.9
percent attendance rate and a 1.5 percent dropout rate last
year, P-B-T superintendent Don Love said.
A total of 581 school districts and 3,310 campuses were
rated acceptable this year. Last year, 650 districts and
3,679 campuses had that rating.
"I'm tickled to death about three campuses being
recognized," said Love. "I know we've got room for
improvement, but the teachers and the students on the
campuses are working hard on this.
"The credit goes to the teachers on those campuses. I know
they targeted the spots we needed to work on," Love said.
"Next year we can shoot for the stars and try and get that
The same three schools were `recognized' last August, when
the state released results of the 1996-97 TAAS tests for
Texas school districts and campuses. Barstow Elementary,
which the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school board voted to close
last month, was also given a `"recognized" rating by the
state last year.
Balmorhea's rating was "acceptable" for the entire district,
matching the rating given to the district's school which
serves kindergarten through 12th grade.
A total of 120 school districts and 1,042 campuses were
given the highest rating -- "exemplary." That was up from 65
districts and 683 campuses last year.
In the area, both the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote and Fort
Stockton school districts had two elementary schools apiece
earn the "exemplary" rating, while two others were
"recognized" by the Texas Education Agency. The junior highs
and high schools in both districts received "acceptable"
ratings, and Fort Stockton's district as a whole was rated
"acceptable" while M-W-P was "recognized."
Other recognized districts include Andrews ISD, Fort Davis
ISD, Valentine ISD and the Culberson County-Allamore ISD.
The Wink-Loving ISD and Wink Elementary received the
"exemplary" rating, with Wink High School being recognized,
while the only West Texas school and district to be rated
"unacceptable" was the Fort Hancock ISD.
School districts rated academically "unacceptable" rose to
six from four last year.
Another two districts were rated unacceptable due to special
circumstances such as governance, management and finance.
That's down from three last year.
Sixty campuses got the state's lowest rating, down from 67
Moses said low performing schools were spotlighted in hopes
that parents, teachers and administrators would find
solutions for change. He said the solutions necessary for
improvement would come more from the local level than the
"Our job is to hold up the results, commend those who are
doing well, challenge those who are not doing well and then
try to support the local efforts that help the schools get
better," said Moses.
Juarez acquitted of federal pot charges
BY PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Aug. 4, 1998 - Federal court jurors deliberated about
two hours Monday before acquitting Gilberto Gonzales Juarez
of Barstow on a charge of possession with intent to
Juarez, 29, was arrested May 4, along with Alma Perez of
Pecos, after they stopped at a roadside park 25 miles south
of Alpine on Texas Highway 118. Border Patrol agents found
530 pounds of marijuana in the tool box and side panels of
the white Chevrolet pickup they occupied.
The pickup was registered to Perez, and she gave agents
permission to search the toolbox, but said she had no key
for it. However, they found one side unlocked and "it was
stuffed full of marijuana," said Agent Steven J. Anderson.
A subsequent search of the entire vehicle turned up
additional bundles inside the rear panels of the extended
Perez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute
marijuana and testified that Juarez knew nothing about the
Juarez said he went to Presidio to drive the pickup back for
Perez because she didn't have a driver's license.
Robert Dickerson of Gateway, Montana, testified that the
pickup pulled in behind his camper before daylight on May 4
and woke him up. He said when nobody got out of the pickup,
he "was just a little bit leery" and didn't go back to sleep.
Anderson testified that he observed the pickup traveling
north at 6:30 a.m., after a sensor alerted him of traffic
coming from toward the Rio Grande.
No other traffic was on the highway at that early hour, he
said. When he stopped at the roadside park to question
Juarez and Perez, Juarez told him they were traveling from
Presidio to Fort Stockton, and that they had spent three
hours in Big Bend National Park.
"He told me he was taking a rest to get a little bit of
sleep," said Anderson. "He said they were coming from
Anderson said he asked for a drug-sniffing dog to check the
vehicle, and it alerted to the tool box.
Scott Johnson represented Juarez in the one-day trial before
Senior Judge Lucius Bunton.
Judge Bunton sentenced two defendants this morning on
marijuana smuggling convictions.
Because Abraham P. Wall filed objections to the pre-sentence
report, Judge Bunton held a hearing before sentencing him to
the maximum 46 months allowed by the sentencing guidelines.
Margarita Wall Friesen, 31, of Seminole, testified that
several loads of marijuana she was caught with belonged to
Wall. She is now serving a 36-month sentence for marijuana
possession, and had previously been sentenced to a probated
term in Arkansas.
"It is not often that I have a hearing on objections to
pre-sentence investigation," Judge Bunton said. "Most of the
time I can make up my mind about what the truths are without
hearing additional testimony.
"In this case, I find it necessary in view of statements you
made about Friesen. I find her testimony credible. Yours, I
believe, lacks, in large part, very much credibility," he
Judge Bunton found that Wall was the organizer and was
instrumental in Friesen becoming involved in carrying drugs,
which increased the guideline offense level and lengthened
In line with the plea bargain agreement, prosecutor Fred
Brigman moved to dismiss counts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the
indictment, which Judge Bunton granted.
Martin Mungia was sentenced to 30 months in prison, with
three years supervised release, with boot camp recommended.
He pleaded guilty earlier to possession with intent to
Quarantine lifted on Balmorhea horses
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
BALMORHEA, Aug. 4, 1998 - Whiskey, the Chestnut mare, a
speckled Appaloosa and five other horses on the Rockin' K
Ranch have been released from quarantine and the blisters
caused by Vesicular Stomatitis, an infectious disease.
Texas livestock health officials ended July by releasing the
quarantine on the 246-acre ranch near Balmorhea where
16-year-old Chris Cook discovered the diseased animals in
Dr. Max Coats, assistant state veterinarian for the Texas
Animal Health Commission, said only two horses were
affected, but all the livestock on the ranch had to be kept
away from other animals for a month.
"Unfortunately, it takes only one infected animal for a
state to suffer from restrictions placed on their interstate
and international movement and trading opportunities," Dr.
Kentucky, for example, a state which has not suffered from
VS outbreaks, has protected its lucrative opportunities for
marketing thoroughbreds to Europe by prohibiting the entry
of Texas livestock during the quarantine period, which
extends 30 days after affected animals heal from the
blisters and open sores caused by the viral disease.
European countries do not have VS outbreaks, and they refuse
to accept livestock from regions that are experiencing
episodes of the disease, or from areas they believe are not
sufficiently protecting themselves from a potential outbreak.
Kentucky continues to maintain its embargo on states with
active VS cases and quarantines.As of July 24, these
included Arizona, which had 15 quarantines, Colorado, with
seven, and New Mexico, which had nine.
"We are fortunate that Kentucky will again accept Texas
livestock, but it is with some special requirements," said
Dr. Coats. "We received notification that Texas horses
moving to Kentucky must have a negative blood test for VS
within 30 days prior to entry.
"Most importantly, a certificate of veterinary inspection
must have been issued within no more than 96 hours prior to
the animal's arrival in Kentucky. A statement must be
included on the health certificate that attests that the
animal has not been exposed to any infected animal, or to
any premise with infected animals, or to animals from an
Three under investigation for firing gunshot
Pecos Police Officers were assisted by deputies when a shot
was fired at them Saturday at 1:30 a.m. by three subjects at
6th and Willow streets.
According to a report filed by the Reeves County Sheriff's
Office, the three men--Felix Guajardo, Myron Jenkins, and
Eric Brown--left the scene and were found at 207 South Plum
Street when they rushed toward a deputy unit. They were then
placed on the ground at gun point and searched for safety
reasons and turned over to an investigating officer. A
story in Friday's <ital>Enterprise indicated <reg.>that
school for all Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD students would begin
on Monday, Aug. 17. School will actually resume on Tuesday,
Aug. 18. Monday will be a staff development day for all
teachers with guest speaker Connie Podesta.
Front brings rain to West, North Texas
From Staff and Wire Reports
The advancing line of a cool front that passed through Texas
on Monday brought a brief evening shower to Pecos, and
dropped even heavier rains in other drought stricken areas
to the north.
The city received .09 inches of rain between 9:30 and 11
p.m. Monday, bringing the year's total to 1.17 inches.
That's still well below the normal amount for the first
seven months of the year, but forecasts for tonight say more
clouds created by the cool front meeting moist Gulf air give
West Texas a 30 percent chance of continued thunderstorms.
The rains were even heavier to the northeast, where rains
created flash flooding problems in Wichita Falls.
``I'm just thankful - with the heat being so bad - that God
has blessed us with some rain to ease things on us,'' said
Connie Sazell, who lives near Wichita Falls.
Ms. Sazell said the rain in Wichita Falls, 125 miles
northwest of Dallas, started with a drop and then came
pouring down minutes later. She said at least 2 inches of
rain fell in her front yard by the time the storm ended 30
``It came down pretty hard,'' she said. ``We had limbs blown
out of our trees. I looked out and started seeing the tops
of the trees just start going back and forth.''
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm
watch for the area Monday after radar picked up a storm -
complete with heavy rain, nickle-sized hail and wind gusts
up to 60 mph - moving over the area.
``I saw it on the radar and it looked nasty,'' said Krista
Villarreal, a meteorologist with the National Weather
Service in Fort Worth.
It was nasty enough to cut short Dallas Cowboy practice. The
team ran for cover when the storm dumped more than an inch
of rain on the field at Midwestern State University.
Measurable rain hadn't hit North Texas for nearly a month.
Villarreal said the region is behind in the amount of
rainfall for the year. On average, there is more than 20
inches of rain by early August. This year, North Texas has
seen only 18.23 inches, including Monday's rain.
``We're still way below normal,'' she said. ``It's going to
take some significant rainfall to break the drought
condition that we're in.''
The atmospheric conditions on Monday were perfect for
brewing storms across the state. Villarreal said the
high-pressure ridge that had been sitting atop North Texas
moved, creating instability in the atmosphere. There was
also more moisture in the air.
``The things you need for a thunderstorm are moisture,
instability and some mechanism for lifting air,'' Villarreal
said. ``These things made the right combination today.''
The rain missed most of Dallas, which has been sizzling for
about a month. Monday marked the 29th straight day of
triple-digit temperatures and the 42nd day overall.
Authorities have reported 103 deaths statewide that are
attributed to the heat.
Monday's storms also brought a respite to portions of Fort
Worth and Tyler, about 100 miles east of Dallas.
Deidre Roberson, a motel clerk in Tyler, said she watched
the much-needed rain come and go in about ten minutes.
``Oh, Lord, I don't know how long it's been since it rained
last,'' Ms. Roberson said. ``It's been so long.''
Other parts of Texas also saw severe weather.
The National Weather Service reported that the Houston area
was hit with heavy rain and wind gusts. Tornado and flash
flood warnings were issued for the area Monday afternoon.
By evening most of the storms across Texas had dissipated.
Services are set for 10 a.m. Wednesday for Ruth Francis
Eubank, 77, who died Saturday, Aug. 1, 1998, at Odessa
Medical Center. Mass will be at the Pecos Funeral Home
chapel with Rev. Bruce Abbott presiding. Burial will be at
Mount Evergreen Cemetery under the direction of Pecos
Eubank was born on Jan. 5, 1921 in Houma, La. She was a
resident of Pecos the past four years, a Methodist and a
Survivors include her husband, Forrest Page Eubank of Pecos;
a daughter, Melanie Parker of Pecos; two sons, William Page
Eubank of Farmington, N.M., and Kirk Ewbank of Katazu, Hi.;
and one brother, John Milton Hatch of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Navajo
Mission, Inc., in Farmington, N.M., the American Lung
Association or the First United Methodist Church of Pecos.
Services for Hattie Smith, 88, will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday
in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, with burial in Eastside
Cemetery. She died Saturday, Aug. 1, 1998, in Reeves County
She was born Aug. 8, 1909 in Hollingdale, Miss. and had
lived in Pecos since 1948. She was a Bpatist and a homemaker.
Survivors include one son, Nathan Fobbs of Dallas; two
daughters, Bessie Wilson and Della Perry, both of Dallas; 10
grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are incomplete for Lady Woodard, 87, who
died this morning in her home, at 1725 Adams St.
Services are under the direction of Martinez Funeral Home.
PECOS, Aug. 4, 1998 - High Monday 102. Low this morning 70.
Rain total last 24 hours .09 inch. Total for month .09
inch. Total for year 1.17 inches. Forecast for tonight:
Mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low 65
70. East wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday, mostly cloudy. A 40
percent chance of thunderstorms. high near 90. East to
northeast wind 5-15 mph.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise