Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 1998
RCH board approves slight tax rate cut
By MAC McKINNON
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - Reeves County Hospital board of
directors Tuesday night set the tax rate for 1998 at .35243
cents per $100 valuation, down slightly from both the
current rate of .35363 and from the previous year.
An increase in tax assessments, plus an increase in sales
tax revenue were given as the reasons for the decrease. The
hospital gets a half-cent sales tax from goods sold in the
While the rate decreased, School Tax Assessor Lydia Prieto
calculated the tax will generate the same amount of money as
last year, based on a 92 per cent collection rate. For 1997,
the collection rate has been at 94 per cent, -- higher than
anticipated and bringing in an additional $20,768.
The hospital board also approved standard exemptions:
$15,000 for those over 65; percentages up to $12,000 for
disabled veterans and $10,000 for medically disabled.
A budget based on the tax rate and anticipated collections
was also approved by the board. That budget was put a
slightly more than $10 million, and without the taxes, the
budget would be $1.4 million in the red. But with taxes and
investments, the budget ends up being $1,260 in the black.
Of that budget, $1.385 million is scheduled for indigent
care and bad debts.
Also budgeted is $805,000 for capital improvements. Of that
amount, $90,000 would be for a new nurses call system;
$85,000 for new laboratory equipment; $239,000 for
information technology, primarily for dealing with Y2K (Year
2000); the change in century situation requiring
reprogramming of computers; $65,000 for work on chillers;
$55,000 for parking lot resurfacing; $35,000 for exterior
renovation and $20,000 for interior renovation.
The capital budget will be used, provided money is
Board Member Marcella Lovett noted that it is a good feeling
that the hospital can start replacing old equipment, some of
it dating back 20 years. All board members with the
exception of Elizer "Chel" Flores, who was not present,
lauded the efforts of the hospital employees and
administration in being able to lower taxes and provide more
Board Member Hiram Luna pointed out his recent personal
experience with the hospital staff was excellent.
One old item that the board approved for replacement was a
sterilizer for surgery. Approved for purchase was a
refurbished sterilizer at a cost of $37,046 as compared to
the price of a new one at more than $100,000.
Also approved was a revised Quality Assessment/Quality
Improvement/Risk Management Plan. The board approved the
medical staff's recommendation to reappoint courtesy staff
and clinical privileges for Orthopedic Doctor Richard Duke.
This will provide for two orthopedic clinics at the
Administrator Charles Butts and Controller Richard Mathis
reported on a session they attended in Lubbock recently on
changes for the new century for the Year 2000 compliance.
One new program will cost about $6,000 to $8,000 and take
about eight months, Mathis said.
Butts noted that a grant had been received for $4,500 for a
new monitor for the hospital's transfer ambulance, but since
that grant has been received, the price for the monitor has
gone down to $3,800. The remainder of the money must be
spent soon, as new grants become available next month.
The grant was from the Trauma J Region of the state.
Butts noted that registered nurses are constantly being
sought. One other position now open at the hospital is for a
indigent health care coordinator.
In the statistical report, hospital usage for July remained
close to what it was for the same month last year with an
average daily census of 8.13 patients as compared to 8.29
for July of last year.
Officals say schools' start went smoothly
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - Things went rather smoothly on the
first day of school at Pecos High School and both Zavala
and Crockett Middle Schools, with just a few minor
`glitches' reported by school officials.
"Everything went pretty smooth, we had a few that hadn't
filled out their enrollment forms, which are needed before
they receive their schedules," said Pecos High School
Principal Danny Rodriguez.
"I took some home to get the forms filled out and today
there are a couple in the library that (either) their
parents went out of town or can't be reached for one reason
or another to get the form signed," said Rodriguez.
Other than minor problems, like sone boys not shaving, the
dress code was adhered to by all. "We did have to send a few
home to shave, but nobody complained and all complied," he
Hilda Woods, the new juvenile officer for the schools,
stated that she too had dealt with minor problems on the
first day of school.
"I had to assist at Carver yesterday with some no-shows,"
said Woods. "Some just acted surprised, pretended that they
didn't know it was the first day of school, but I called
today and they're all there that should be."
Woods also assisted the high school principal in
transporting those that didn't have the enrollment form
filled out home and then brought them back to school.
"Today I am going through all the schedules making sure that
if they're supposed to be here that they will be," said
Woods explained that some have withdrawn from the district
and those schedules be taken out, but "I'll go looking for
those that haven't withdrawn and that should be here, which
aren't very many."
There are currently 769 enrolled at the high school, with
275 freshman, 210 sophomores, 156 juniors and 128 seniors.
Crockett Middle School Principal Juanita Davila stated that
"it's been wonderful," at that school. "We have a great
group of kids and most of them I know."
Some didn't show up yesterday, but are in school today,
according to Davila.
At Zavala Middle School, new principal for the school Lucila
Valenzuela stated that "things were going great, everything
"I just have to pinch myself, because things are going so
well," she said.
Except for a few students who were asked to tuck in their
shirts, all obeyed the handbook rules. "They're going over
the handbooks with them and all seem to be abiding by the
rules," Valenzuela said.
Pecos history goes online
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - What was the country along the Pecos
River like in the late 1800s when settlers began to arrive
with cattle herds and the railroad?
The late Alton Hughes captured the spirit of the old West in
his weekly newspaper columns he titled "Just Musin'."
Early-day ranching, farming, government, rodeo, gunfights
and personalities are among the hundreds of topics Hughes
researched and revealed in his popular columns, written
during the 1970s.
Compiling those Pecos Enterprise columns into two hard-bound
volumes, Hughes made "Pecos, A History of the Pioneer West,"
a treasured part of many personal libraries. Those volumes
are out of print, but the interest in local history has not
Responding to numerous requests from family history
researchers, the Pecos Enterprise has indexed Hughes'
columns and is offering them for sale through our Internet
To view the list of topics, you may access the page at
Payment may be submitted by credit card, either online or
over the telephone; by check or money order. Delivery will
be made by e-mail to the address listed on the form.
"I believe the Enterprise is filling a need by offering
these columns for sale," said Publisher Mac McKinnon. "We
hope to index more of our microfilm files in the future,
making available news and obituaries dating from 1912."
McKinnon said the newspaper already has archived on the
Internet important news stories from the Billie Sol Estes
years, the Saragosa tornado of 1987, a Pecos tornado in
1974, and daily news from 1995 to date.
"We have found that the cost to convert stories from
microfilm to electronic files that can be published on the
Internet is prohibitive," McKinnon said. "Perhaps by
offering them for sale, we can fill the need of researchers
at a modest cost to all concerned."
Goff wants band students to enjoy music
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - Students should learn to love and
enjoy what they are doing, and playing all types of music
will help them do that, according to the new Pecos High
School Band Director William Goff.
"We want to help these kids make the right decision more
conducive to what they need to make it in life and music,"
said Goff, who explained that he and the other new band
directors are working with students in instilling in them
pride and confidence.
"We want them to realize why we want them to practice so
much and to learn to enjoy coming to practice," said Goff.
"We don't just want them to show up because we want them to.
"The habits they establish now are the habits they will be
exhibiting later in life," he said.
About 146 students are currently attending band, but Goff
said he would like to see more students participating in
"Music is an art and fun, it extends the mind and festers
creativity," said Goff, who is new to the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, but not to music programs and
school. He began his teaching career in Sanderson, but his
hometown is San Angelo.
Goff received a Master of education degree in music from
Angelo State University and a Master in education,
administration from Sul Ross State University.
He has taught band most of his life in Sanderson, Coahoma,
West Colonial, Texas and was the principal at Zephyr, near
Brownwood, for two years.
"For some reason, I go into a place where bands need to be
re-built, whether it be the moral, the music, the attendance
or whatever," said Goff. "The only place where that wasn't
the case was in Rankin."
"We want these kids to realize that they are the most
important person here, without them this band couldn't
survive without them," said Goff. "They have so much to
offer," he said.
Goff stated that the band curriculum will consist of lots of
music, period. "And fun music, music that they enjoy and can
come to love," he added.
"They've got to be exposed to a lot of different music
styles," said Goff.
He stated that the students have to have an opportunity to
play music they like, but that there has to be structure.
"They also need to let out some of that energy somehow," he
Some of the music Pecos Eagle Band fans will have an
opportunity to listen to range from the 1997 song "Barbie
Girl" and the 1960's hit "MacArthur Park" to "Journey to the
Past" from last winter's animated film, Anastacia. Some
other favorites are also on the agenda, according to Goff.
"We want to make this band the best ever, but we also want
these students to come to love what they are doing," he
said. "Music is one of the most powerful mediums of
"These kids don't understand that every one of them can do
something important and we're here to help them," Goff said.
"We want them to become disciplined as a person and
Goff also has children of his own -- a 13-year-old son,
Dallas and an 11-year-old daughter, DesaRay.
Goff will be aided this year by band directors Luz Alexander
at Crockett Middle School, Connally Cunningham at Zavala
Middle School and Donna Solberg at Lamar Middle School, all
of who are also new arrivals to the P-B-T district. The
Eagle Band will have its first public performance on Sept.
3, during halftime of Pecos' season opening football game at
Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, which is also the site of the
area band competition in late October.
Williams deals with AD job
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - Longtime Pecos Eagles' baseball coach
Bubba Williams has been dealing with some extra
responsibilities since adding the duties of
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah athletic director to his resume earlier
He's also added on some extra travel as well, including at
least one unnecessary trips to Clint a week ago.
That's where Williams and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Superintendent
Don Love were today, after making the 185-mile drive last
Monday, only to find out the district administrators'
meeting had been canceled.
The meeting was designed to discuss fall sports and other
items for the new District 2-4A, which the Eagles were put
into last January by the University Interscholastic League.
The realignment came just weeks after Williams was named as
the new athletic director for the district, and setting up
schedules for Pecos - which now has no district game closer
than a 350-mile round trip - was one of the first things the
longtime Eagles coach had to deal with.
"The job has been challenging, but I'm grateful to have the
opportunity to try and change something and get our kids to
make a commitment," he said. "I'm proud of Pecos schools and
I'm going to try and get it done."
"This was a job opportunity I thought would never come
true," said Williams, who thanked Love - his former
assistant baseball coach in the late 1980s and early 1990s -
and P-B-T school board members for giving him the chance.
"I'm going to try to the best of my abilities to make this a
situation everyone can be happy with."
Williams, who graduated from Pecos High School, has served
in a variety of coaching positions at PHS for nearly 25
years, including head baseball coach since 1982. Last week,
he was busy making up the non-district portion of his 1999
Williams said coaches for each sport handle scheduling for
the non-district portion of their seasons, after he, Love
and new head football coach Dan Swaim traveled to Clint in
February to help draw up a 2-4A schedule that cost Pecos
athletes as little missed class time as possible. To do
that, virtually all of the Eagles' out-of-town trips this
year will be on Friday or Saturday.
Outside of some District 4-4A swimming titles and a couple
of third place playoff spots in volleyball, Pecos' success
has been limited to individual events for the past couple of
years. However, in the new 2-4A, the Eagles are favored to
win or compete for district titles in football, volleyball
and tennis this fall.
"We're going out west and I feel like the kids are very
motivated," Williams said. "They're working hard, not only
in football, but the volleyball, tennis and the others all
are working hard, so things seem to be looking up.
"I've had great support. All the coaches have been very
supportive, and sitting in a position like this you have to
have that type of support to be successful."
Along with scheduling changes, Williams said the athletic
budgets also had to be altered with travel to district games
alone covering 2,000 miles apiece for the Eagles' varsity
volleyball, basketball baseball and softball teams, along
with the JV and freshman teams in volleyball and the JV
squads in basketball. That's about twice the travel distance
each team had to make as a member of District 4-4A the past
"It's a lot different from the district we've been in, with
a lot more travel, but I feel like the kids will adjust to
it, because we had to travel to Sweetwater and (San Angelo)
Lake View, so it's not like we're not accustomed to it," he
said. "It's just the atmosphere is different compared to the
other district, but we'll just have to go out there and
"I'm looking at all the athletes eventually being
successful." Williams said. "I want them to be successful
both in the classroom and on the field, and I want them to
participate in as many sports as possible."
The numbers already are up in volleyball, and were expected
to climb in football and tennis, after classes got underway
on Thursday. Williams' job includes keeping up on all the
P-B-T athletic teams, which he began doing last January at
the Eagles' home basketball games and at the District 4 swim
meet in Monahans.
"I'm happy to be where I am, and I thank the Lord for giving
me this opportunity," Williams said. "Hopefully, He will
guide me through."
"For every sport we have to allow more for mileage, more for
food," he said. "One thing the administration stressed is to
take care of the kids.
One taken to Odessa hospital after rollover
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - A one vehicle rollover early this
morning resulted in four people being taken by ambulance to
Reeves County Hospital.
According to the Department of Public Safety, the accident
occurred at 3:05 a.m. on Interstate 20 near mile marker 13,
nine miles west of Toyah. A complete report on the rollover
was not available, but of the four people injured in the
wreck, one, identified as Ezequiel Chavez, was transported
to Odessa Medical Center. A condition report was not
avaialable shortly before noon today.
The three others, identified as Lidia Ramirez, Raquel
Ramirez, and Naden Chavez, were treated and released this
morning from Reeves County Hospital.
Pecos Valley Crime Stoppers
At approximately 8:26 a.m., on June 28, 1998, Pecos Police
responded to a burglary of a motor vehicle located at 1748
Jackson Blvd. Upon arrival complainant stated that between
10 p.m. on June 28 and 8:26 a.m. on June 29 person(s) had
gained entry into a blue 1992 Dodge pickup that was parked
outside the residence and had taken a purse from inside the
vehicle. Inside the purse was approximately $80 in cash,
credit cards and four checks totaling $3,700 that were
already made out to the complainant.
Anyone with any information on this crime or any other
crime, call "Crime Stoppers" at 445-9898 and you will remain
anonymous . . . Thank you.
Stricter rules for tenants on PHA agenda
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - Pecos Housing Authority Board members
will discuss and approve an amendment implement of "zero
tolerance" to PHA lease agreements at their regular meeting
scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. at the PHA office, 600
The amendment will include the stipulation that tenants use
reasonable care to keep the apartment in such condition as
to ensure proper health and sanitation standards for
resident, household and neighbors.
Board members will discuss existing group medical/life
insurance coverage and options; retirement plan for PHA/FLH
employees, certification on refrigeration for PHA employees,
Rigo Rubio and Felix Guajardo and PHA/FLH
Under communication the group will listen to Henry Martin,
Martin's Insurance, presentation on employee's retirement
plan; Gary McArron, Martin's Insurance, presentation on
Group Medical, Life, Dental, and Vision Insurance and Gene
Abney, Mutual of Omaha, presentation on Group Medical, Life
and Dental insurance.
Unfinished business includes discussion/approval CIAP 96
update; replace HV/AC system in the administration office;
CIAP 98 review of Aug. 18, by HUD official Ethel Montague
and resolution approving CIAP 98 budget.
Other items to be discussed include monthly financial
statement, June 1998; monthly account payable, June 1998;
monthly occupancy status, June 1998 and rent roll and cash
In the Farm Labor Housing portion of the meeting the group
will discuss replacing existing lift station pump with an
automatic submersible sewage lift pump (opened bids
presented) and monthly financial statement, monthly account
payable, occupancy status and rent roll and cash journal.
Meeting in Alpine on Big Bend's air pollution
ALPINE, Aug. 19, 1998 - In the wide open, scenic wonder that
is Big Bend National Park one can see for miles -- on a good
Air pollution, generated by power plants on both sides of
the United States - Mexico border, is causing increasing
problems in the region. In response, the Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) will host a public
meeting on Big Bend air quality at 7 p.m. on Thursday, in
the Studio Theater of the Fine Arts Building at the Sul Ross
University campus in Alpine.
Representatives will include TNRCC Commissioner Ralph
Marquez, Superintendent Jose Cisneros of Big Bend National
Park and State Rep. Pete Gallego. Representatives of the
Environmental Protection Agency are expected to attend.
PECOS, Aug. 19, 1998 - High in Pecos Tuesday was 96. The low
this morning 72. Forecast for tonight and Thursday: Mostly
cloudy with a chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low around
70. High 85-90. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. chance of rain 30
percent both tonight and Thursday.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise