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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas

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Nov. 12, 1998

Wright to head hospital staff

By Rebecca Jones
of The News
Joe Wright, interim chief financial officer of Ward Memorial
Hospital, Thursday night, Nov. 5, was appointed the
troubled Hospital's latest administrator.

Wright will be the fifth administrator to guide the
county-operated medical center in less than a year.

The action was taken by the Hospital Board of Managers after
a two hour executive session to discuss candidates for the
post. Hospital trustees also voted to allow Covenant Health
Systems Inc. of Lubbock to negotiate the contract with
Wright. No problems are anticipated. Contract talks are
expected to be finished this week.

Covenant operates Ward Memorial under a management
agreement with Ward County. Covenant brought Wright to
Monahans as interim chief financial officer.

When asked how he felt about his triumph, Wright said, "Very
good, though I usually try not to get too excited till the
deal is inked.

"The board has several tasks to deal with, and one of the
bigger was finding an administrator. It's nice to know
that they're comfortable enough with me to want me to stay."

It's no secret the hospital has gone through several
administrators in the past year. In late January 1998, Ray
Mason took over part-time duties as administrator, right
after William F. O'Brien's resignation.

Then came James M. Robinson, and after him, interi m
administrtor Steve Holmes, like Wright, a Covenant find.
Holmes returns to his

Hopkins charged with burglary

Scott Hopkins, 35, of Monahans is being held in lieu of bond
at the Ward County Jail in connection with the burglary of
a safe at Motor City, reports Jerry Heflin, Sheriff Ben
Keele's chief deputy.

Hopkins is charged with burglary of a building. His arrest
also has triggered an extensive inquiry into several other
comparable burglaries in the Permian Basin, says other law
enforcement officers.

Hopkins was taken into custody on Oct. 30, the day before
Halloween. The burglary in which he is charged was
discovered at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 2. About $2,000 in
cash and checks was stolen.

Fugitive chase ends in pasture

A drifting Floridian fugitive's high speed attempt to
escape West Texas Law in a stolen car ended in a pasture and
a quick trip to the Ward County Jail jail, says DPS Highway
Patrol Trooper Darren Storer.

According to Department of Public Safety reports, Howard
Arthur Seagal, 31, of Tampa, Fla., stopped near Barstow
about noon Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Seagal, who is wanted in Florida on a charge of grand theft,
filled his car with 12 dollars in gas at a Chevron station
just off Interstate 20 and drove away without paying.

Police were called. Highway Patrol troopers, Parks and Wild
Life officers and sheriff's deputies responded.

They found themselves involved in a chase in which speeds
reached more than 100 miles an hour.

Trooper Storer was the first to jump the Florida fugitive.
Storer quickly was joined by Ward County Sheriff's deputy,
Ben Deishler and the Parks and Wildlife officers.

The chase was over in 14 minutes.

It stopped when Seagal tried to cut through a pasture and

No injuries were reported. Seagal is being held pending
extradition to Florida authorities.

He faces local charges of attemptng to evade law officers
and failing to pay for the gasoline he put in the car
reported stolen in Florida.

Pipeline may drop gasoline prices

Ward County will soon be saving money at the gas pump,
although it (and all of West Texas) has historically paid
more for gas than any other part of the state.

Those high prices were largely due to the lack of
competition in the West Texas gasoline market.

But now an intrastate pipeline through the county is about
to start carrying 72,000 barrels of refined fuels and
plenty of competition

Longhorn Partners Pipeline is part of a pre-existing
structure that will, by the end of the year, connect Texas
Gulf Coast refineries with the markets of West Texas

Project supporters say that, aside from introducing
competition, it will create more than 1,000 new jobs, better
the economy, and open new markets for Texas products.

It does have its naysayers, however, especially in Navajo
Refinery, a New Mexico company that has been the major
petroplayer in the West Texas market.

That New Mexico refinery, along with the city of Austin and
the Lower Colorado River Authority, has taken Longhorn to
federal court.

The judge ruled that Longhorn must conduct an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) on the pipeline.

This could delay the operation of the pipeline for at least
a year and a half.

"An Environmental Impact Statement is unnecessary and will
cause the pipeline's economic benefits to be delayed," said
Longhorn Partners president Carter Montgomery. "We have
already submitted the pipeline for review to all the
appropriate state and federal agencies.

And every agency has said that it passes or exceeds their
standards. Four federal agencies have already determined
that no EIS is needed. More study would only cost the
people of West Texas more money."

Longhorn has appealed the ruling, which is now with the
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.


Thirteenth and last of a series
By Clifton L. Stephens
Monahans-Wickett-Pyote Independent School District

The Mission Statement of the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote
Independent School District says:

"The Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD believes that it is
responsible for providing quality curricular, co-curricular
and extracurricular programs and activities which give all
students opportunities to reach their maximum potential and
become productive citizens of our community and country."

Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD is in the process of celebrating
our past with a keen eye on shaping our future.

Giving students opportunities is what education is all
about. Even in tough economic times, the Board of Trustees,
administrators and faculty have continued to make plans for
offering quality instruction at all grade levels in as many
academic and extracurricular areas as possible.

The foundation of our future is built on our present
accomplishments. The Texas Education Agency has designated
the Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD as a Recognized school
district for the 1996-97 and 1997-98 school years. This is
based on a superior performance on state mandated
performance testing, outstanding student attendance and a
reduced dropout rate. We are striving to become an exemplary
school district as measured by state developed criteria.
This challenge was delivered by our Board of Trustees in a
set of goals developed during Summer board workshops.

Academically, our growth will be solidified by those
teachers in our elementary and secondary grades who teach
our core classes of English, math, science and social
studies. As our students grow and mature, the aim is to give
all of them the opportunity to try areas of specialization
and get a taste of many parts of the arts and sciences.

For the children who have any type of disability, we offer
top of the line service. Regardless of whether it is a
learning difficulty or physical handicapping condition, we
will always seek to meet the needs of these children. The
district has just installed reading labs on four of our
elementary campuses to assist students with reading
difficulties and we have changed our physical plant
dramatically in the past two years to assist handicapped
individuals with accessibility. There are long term plans to
increase our reading labs and to continue to upgrade our
handicapped facilities.

Another important area in our school is our extracurricular
offerings. The Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD has along standing
tradition of competing in a quality manner in academic,
musical and athletic arenas.

The most recent examples being the great efforts of our
volleyball team in winning the district title, cross country
teams going to the regional meet, the football team winning
a play off spot and the biggest event at this point this
year was our second place finish in the state marching
contest. Couple that achievement with the recognition of our
concert band as the Class 3A Concert Honor Band in Texas and
we feel that we have the best band program in the state. Our
community expects the students to compete well and our goal
is to continue to prepare our students to be the best. The
opportunities we offer allow every student in school to be
involved in an activity if they show interest and are
willing to spend the time, energy and develop discipline to
take direction and be part of a group.

Our school district organization allows parents ample
opportunity to be part of their child's education. We have
parent organizations and various booster clubs on every
campus. Parent, community members and educators are brought
together yearly to evaluate past year progress by students
and develop new goals for the next year.

The Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD is excited and looking
forward to the 21st Century.

The future for our children is bright.

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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 Ward Newspapers Inc.