Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, June 2, 1999
First suit filed over Y2K problem
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June 2,1999--A communications company who provides computer systems
to the transportation industry is the target of a $75 million Year 2000
lawsuit filed in Pecos federal court.
Comanche Springs Truck Terminal, L.L.C. of Fort Stockton filed the suit
on behalf of itself and about 8,000 other businesses who purchased systems
from Comdata Network Inc. to track their transactions.
Comanche claims that Comdata designed, manufactured and marketed defective,
non-Y2K-compliant Trendar systems to the plaintiffs.
Comdata has refused to provide a free upgrade for the systems, and Comanche
was forced to spend $17,522.84 to remedy the defect in the system to make
it Y2K-compliant, the suit alleges.
"Since the mid-1970's, the computer industry has been aware of the problems
associated with the change of the century; namely, that computers and software
which were only programmed to read two-digit dates would, as of January
1, 2000, read the year "00" as "1900," thereby fundamentally impairing
the operation of computer systems," the suit claims.
"At no time prior to the sale of the system to Comanche did Comdata
inform Comanche that the system was not year 2000 compliant, although Comdata
was aware, or should have been aware, of such facts," Comanche alleges.
Comdata is attempting to and is profiting from its own misconduct by
requiring Comanche and the other Class members to purchase upgrades to
fix the year 2000 defects contained in the Trendar Systems, according to
Comanche seeks to try the case as a class action, representing about
8,000 truck stops using Trendar systems in the United States.
The systems purport to allow a national network of 24-hour independent
truck stop service centers to facilitate communications with Comdata's
database and operations centers.
After Dec. 31, 1999, the systems will be unable to accurately record
transaction dates and times, Comanche alleges.
The suit was originally filed in the 112th District Court in Fort Stockton
and removed to Pecos federal court by Comdata, which has its principal
place of business in Tennessee.
Comanche seeks $75 million for the class, plus triple damages under
the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Practices Act.
Texas legislators recently passed a bill that would restrict litigation
on Y2K matters.
Monahans sues business to return grant
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June 2,1999--Monahans Economic Development Corporation celebrated
when they enticed a Philadelphia manufacturing company to open a plant
in Monahans, using proceeds from a new half-cent sales tax as a grant incentive.
Just three months after signing a contract, Reif Manufacturing Inc.
opened its new plant on Dec. 15, 1997, sewing web products for the military.
They employed 40 people.
MEDC financed the startup with a $238,000 grant that was to be repaid
in full if the company failed to employ at least 10 people through May
31, 1999. That repayment was guaranteed by the parent company, M.M. Reif
Citing lack of financing by their home bank, Reif shut down the Monahans
plant on Jan. 28, 1999, and all the management staff has moved back to
Thus MEDC filed suit in Pecos federal court last week seeking repayment
of the full $238,000.
David Mills, Monahans city manager, is handling administrative matters
for the economic development corporation, which is without a staff at this
Sain announces retirement as pastor
By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, June 2,1999--Rev. James Sain, pastor of West Park Baptist Church
for the past 11 1/2 years, on Sunday told the congregation he will retire
as of June 30.
Having purchased a home in Tulia, where he pastored the Calvary Baptist
Church before moving to Pecos in December, 1987, Rev. Sain and his wife,
Jessie, will return there to be near their children and grandchildren.
"I have enjoyed being your pastor, and it is hard to leave," Rev. Sain
said. "But I feel this is best for my family."
During his tenure, the church celebrated its 50th anniversary, supported
members on six international crusades and conducted numerous local crusades.
Rev. Sain is known for his evangelistic fervor, his outreach to the
community and his pastoral work among the church fellowship.
"West Park is known as a friendly church," he often said, giving visitors
to the services a warm welcome.
"I appreciate the business people and general public for their openness
here and the credit they give me for friendship and fellowship and kindness
shown to our church," he said.
He said he especially appreciates favors given through the media to
publicize events at the church.
"I want to thank the families of the community and church that have
allowed me to enter into their times of grief; to minister to them in the
name of the church through the years," he said.
Rev. Sain said he is grateful to the church for the efforts to make
their church property beautiful and appealing and complimentary to the
He cited renovation of the auditorium, new sound equipment installed,
new air conditioning units and trees planted to enhance the property and
provide shade for the auditorium.
"I appreciate the compliments that have been extended to me and the
various ministries, big or little, that we have been able to perform for
people," he said. "I felt like I was open to pastor beyond the membership
of the church. We have had the privilege of ministering in the homes with
our tape ministry - mostly to non-church members."
Once the boxes are unpacked in Tulia, Rev. Sain plans to offer his services
to surrounding churches as interim pastor, Bible teacher, supply preacher
or for revivals.
"We will be going back into Calvary," he said. "The pastor has already
given us a warm welcome to come back."
West Park members will host a going-away party for the Sain family from
3-5 p.m. Saturday, June 12.
"We are inviting the whole town," said Judy Greenwood, hostess committee
Seal coating work to begin on Interstate
PECOS, June 2,1999--Along with the end of school and the unofficial beginning
of summer in West Texas, Memorial Day also marks the annual beginning of
street repaving in the Pecos area, with work scheduled along parts of Interstate
20 and its access roads in Reeves County during the upcoming week.
Drivers on I-20 between Pecos and the Pecos River, and those using I-20's
frontage roads from the Interstate 10 junction to Toyah will see crews
out resurfacing those roads, according to Paul Hoelscher, the engineer
in charge of the project.
The seal coating on the service roads comes after they were used this
past winter by through traffic, due to roadwork on the main lanes of I-20
between the I-10 junction and mile marker 9, 13 miles west of Toyah.
Lipham Construction Co., Inc., of Aspermont, is putting down the new
asphalt surfacing, and the work is expected to be finished by June 10,
barring bad weather
"Motorists along these stretches of highways may encounter flaggers,
brief lane closures, pilot cars moving traffic, and a reduction in speeds
in those areas where seal coat work is being done," said Hoelscher.
State law calls for traffic fines to be doubled when violations occur
within a construction zone. Drivers in the area should also slow down to
prevent loose rocks from being thrown back by their tires, causing windshield
damage to other vehicles.
The seal coat work is part of a summer-long $4.88 million preventive
maintenance program involving 36 separate projects throughout the 12-county
"Seal coat" is a rock and asphalt layer put down on the highway surface
as a preventive maintenance measure to seal the surface and keep moisture
from damaging the road base, according to Hoelscher.
"The seal helps prevent premature aging of the roadway," he said.
Appraisal district sets dates for hearings
PECOS, June 2,1999--Property owners in the Reeves County Appraisal District
will have an opportunity later this month to protest proposed appraisals
of their property for local taxes.
The district's appraisal review board (ARB) will begin hearing taxpayer
protests on June 18 for minerals, while protested on real estate valuations
set for June 21-22.
After the ARB completes its hearings and approves final property appraisals,
local governments will use these appraisals to set 1999 tax rates.
Carol King Markham, chief appraiser for the district, outlined the steps
a property owner must take to file a protest.
First, the property owner must file a written notice of protest that
shows why the owner is protesting to the ARB. The taxpayer must have filed
this notice by May 31 or within 30 days after the appraisal district mails
the taxpayer a notice of appraised value, which is later.
If a person leases property and, by contract, must pay the owner's property
taxes, then the person leasing may protest the property's value to the
ARB, if the property owner doesn't protest.
If the ARB sends a property owner a notice of any other kind of change
in the appraisal records, or if the chief appraiser issues a notice for
a property omitted in the prior year, the property owner has 30 days from
the mailing date to file a protest.
Official forms for a notice of protest are available at the appraisal
district office. "A letter from the taxpayer is also acceptable, as long
as it identifies the property owner and the property protested and indicates
dissatisfaction with some decision or action of the appraisal office, Markham
Each protesting property owner may offer evidence or argument, either
in person or by filing an affidavit with ARB. A property owner may appoint
another person to present the protest by filing an "Appointment of Agent"
form with the appraisal district. Property owners should know that the
ARB has no authority over tax rates or spending and will not hear protests
on these topics.
The ARB will schedule hearings as property owners file protests and
will tell them the time, date, and place of their individual hearings at
least 15 days before the hearing date. Property owners also will receive
a copy of the State Comptroller of Public Account's pamphlet called Texas
Property Taxes: Taxpayers' Rights, Remedies & Responsibilities, a copy
of the ARB's procedures and notice of available evidence at the appraisal
office to be presented at the hearing.
Property owners may protest to the ARB any of the following appraisal
* The appraised or agricultural value of the property;
* Unequal appraisal of the taxpayer's property compared to other property
in the district;
* Inclusion of the property on the appraisal records;
* Denial of a partial exemption, such as homestead exemption;
* Denial of agricultural-use, open-space, or timber productivity appraisal;
* Determination that agricultural or timber land has had a change of
use and is subject to a rollback tax;
* Identification of the taxing unit or units in which the property is
* Determination that the taxpayer is the owner of the property; or any
other action of the appraisal office that adversely effects the property
Markham said that hearings will be held for three days and that the
ARB expects to approve the final appraisal roll by July 20. State law requires
the ARB to review and approve the appraisal records by July 20, or when
not more than five percent of the total property value in the district
remains under protest.
Those protesting their appraisals should not contact ARB members outside
the hearing, the chief appraiser stressed. Each ARB member must sign an
affidavit that he or she has had no contact about the protest with a property
owner or the appraisal office staff before the hearing.
Texas Property Taxes: Taxpayers' Rights, Remedies & Responsibilities
is available at the Reeves County Appraisal District office. For a copy,
contact the appraisal district staff at 403 S. Cypress or call 445-5122.
Holloman Construction Company workers cut out paving patches around a sewer
manhole on West Third Street this morning. The patches, applied after Holloman
replaced sewer lines along 12 blocks of the state highway (Business I-20),
melted in the heat and created hazardous dips in the roadway. The patches
will be replaced with better material, said Octavio Garcia, utilities director
for the city of Pecos. Garcia said the crew will work from west to east
for the next few days.
First Baptist hosts concert Friday night
PECOS, June 2,1999--Celebrating the donation of a new Baldwin grand
piano to First Baptist Church, pianist Judy Love will present a concert
of sacred and secular music at 7 p.m. Friday.
In addition to the "good mix" of classical, popular and American piano
solos, Love will accompany Dr. Orville Cerna on the violin and Dr. Mike
Pharaoh as he sings.
Fred and Ingrid Armstrong donated the piano to FBC.
The public is invited to attend the concert and reception to follow.
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery: 7-8-13-17-38 (seven, eight, thirteen, seventeen, thirty-eight)
AUSTIN (AP) — The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 4-4-2 (four, four, two)
PECOS, June 2,1999--High Tuesday 100. Low this morning 68. Forecast for
tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low in the upper 60s. South wind 10-20 mph and
gusty. Thursday, partly cloudy and breezy. High in the lower 90s. south
wind 10-20 mph and gusty.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, 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 1999 by Pecos Enterprise