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Wednesday, December 15, 1999

Chamber briefed on changes for Rodeo

Staff Writer
PECOS,  Dec. 15, 1999 - Pecos Chamber of Commerce has added new members to their board and will be continuing current many projects into the year 2000, according to outgoing president of that organization.

Chamber members met Tuesday for their last meeting of 1999 and welcomed new members and discussed several items, including changes planned for the 2000 West of the Pecos Rodeo.

"It's been a fast, furious year, there are still some things in the planning stages that will be worked on in the future," said Chamber president Linda Gholson, who presided over her final meeting in that position. "If there was something that didn't get done this, we'll get to it next year."

Gholson said she enjoyed being president of the organization and appreciated the support from everyone, especially the directors of the chamber.

"Thanks for all the help," she said.

New Chamber board members include, Paul Henderson, with the Texas Department of Transportation; George Dominguez with American Home Health; Jarrett Conger with Grady's Western Supply; Rick Arnold with First National Bank; Leo Elliott, Elliott's Printing; Kevin Duke, Colt Chevrolet; Carlos Campos, Flying J; Charles Butts with Reeves County Hospital and Starkey Warren with Airlawn Furniture. President-elect for the year 2000 is Barbara Creager.

Warren told the group that he is also president of the rodeo committee for next year, and added "There will be some changes in the rodeo."

The program schedule that they've used for the past few years will be completely different, according to Warren. "We figured out that the rodeo program was not making any money, we're going to revamp it and circulate it to different cities and try to get more people from out of town to attend the annual event," he said.

The new dates for the rodeo will be July 5-8, with slack scheduled for July 4. That will allow the final night of the rodeo to be held on a Saturday, since the Fourth of July is on a Tuesday next year.

"The parade will probably be held on the first day of the rodeo, but that's up to the chamber," said Warren.

Another change to next year's event will be the rodeo dance held at the Reeves County Civic Center following each rodeo performance. "We won't be having that dance at the civic center," said Warren. "We'll cooperate with the Sheriff's Posse and we won't be competing with them anymore," said Warren.

Instead the group will be helping out with that rodeo dance and they'll donate some funds to the rodeo committee. "They do an excellent job each year and we're glad to help out," he said.

Warren added there would be other things that the rodeo committee has agreed to change. "The contracts are all done and we have a new barrel man, Rodney Gaston, who is full of energy and has some neat ideas," said Warren.

"It's not a secret that the rodeo's lost money in the last few years, but we want to keep paid out the same," Warren said, adding that with these changes and the community's support it can be successful.

Jesse Stephens gave an update on a housing project the group is working on and stated that the first step needed was to procure a tax-free number. He outlined the program and told board members that he would have more information at next month's meeting.

One of his suggestions was to ask two people from each church to a luncheon and have them speak to their congregation about this project.

"The meeting we had recently is a good beginning, but there is a lot more to be done," he said.

Women's Division President Judy Tipton stated that the group has adopted a needy family in the community for the holidays. The new president of that organization for the year 2000 will be Jenny Abbott.

The group is also sponsoring the Christmas Lighting Contest and entries can be called in to the chamber at 445-2406.

Chamber Director Tom Rivera told the group of a special speaker who could come to Pecos to talk to the community. "Ray Stone, is a great speaker that wants to come to Pecos," said Rivera. Stone covers the Dallas Cowboys and broadcasts a daily report on the team on many radio stations in Texas and surrounding states.

Rivera said he's seen his presentation and would like to see about bringing him to Pecos following the holidays.

Rivera also told Chamber members that efforts should be increased to keep local dollars in the community. "We need to start doing something to talk people into shopping locally," he said.

RCH board approves pay raise for workers

Special Correspondent
PECOS,  Dec. 15, 1999 - Reeves County Hospital employees can expect to see a 3 percent cost-of-living salary increase, following the first pay period of the new millennium.

RCH board members voted unanimously during Tuesday's meeting for the increase, following a brief review of the Finance Committee's recommendation in favor of the pay hike. Board president and committee member, Hiram Luna, told the board that all pertinent issues surrounding the pay increase were addressed. "There was a lot of discussion around this," he said.

"(RCH) employees have worked hard to make the hospital what it is today," said Marcella Lovett, board vice-president, speaking in favor of the increase. "Richard ran the numbers," said Lovett, referring to Richard Sherman, RCH accountant, "and it was agreed that the hospital could well afford it at this time."

Sherman told the board that the increase would annually cost the hospital, "a little less than $98,000.

"Only the primary benefits will be affected, like payroll taxes and retirement," he added.

Board member Jesse Prieto asked when the last cost of living increase had been approved. Recording secretary, Nadine Smith, answered, "1989," the year the current hospital district was formed.

"It's nice to be in this position to be able to offer this raise," said Lovett, who added, "of course this goes right back into the community."

The motion to approve the 3 percent pay increase was made by Prieto and seconded by board member Holly Key.

In other business, board members discussed a hospital physician's request to purchase a harmonic scalpel. "One of the physicians asked that we look at this piece of equipment," Luna said, adding that unit with accessories costs $17,000 and the physician, whose name was not mentioned.

"It is being offered to the doctor at a 20% discount," he said.

Luna said requesting physician told him the scalpel, "eliminates a couple of procedures during the surgical process." He said the unit would save physicians time and was, "a safe device."

Lovett asked whether any figures at the current surgery level had been compared regarding, "how long this [scalpel] would pay for itself," and what it would save the hospital once utilized.

"I don't see at this point and time," said Sherman, "what it will do for us." He offered to gather more information on the harmonic scalpel and present to the board during the January, 2000 board meeting. Board members opted to table the item for next year's first board meeting upon Prieto's first motion and a second by Key.

Charles Butts, RCH Chief Executive Officer and Administrator, ensured board members that the physician will be contacted and further details on the unit requested.

Board members were not presented with a Payment of Bills report due to the board meeting being moved up from its usual date, said Sherman.

"Are we still staying current?" asked Lovett. "Most definitely," replied Sherman.

During the medical staff report Butts told the board that current physician's privileges have been extended for 30 days. "This should take us into January [2000]," he said, referring to the next scheduled board meeting.

In his report, the CEO told the board that John Sosa of the architectural firm contracted by the hospital for the emergency room expansion and renovations would be meeting with RCH employees for a work session, to discuss, "space allocation," and other pertinent issues involving construction plans.

He also told the board that the hospital's home health department had another successful clinic at the senior citizen center and passed the floor to Iris Rives, chief RN, who talked to the board about Senate Bill 43.

She said this was a mandate that called for reporting overdoses involving, amongst others, heroin, opium, codeine and hydrocodone, treated in the emergency room and hospital within 24 hours. "No names will be given," she said, "just demographics."

Lovett asked what the number of overdoses in Reeves County looked like. "They're small numbers," said Rives. "One or two a month if any," said L.G. Crawford, of the ambulance service.

"I just wondered, because everyone is always going on about the drug problem (in Reeves County)," Lovett said.

Crawford informed the board that the tires have been replaced on the ambulance unit at a few dollars more than expected, "but the ambulance ride is much better. We're working on getting someone to reevaluate the other tires," he said. He and Rives noted that Smithers Transportation Test Center did, "a great job," with the balancing of the new tires and alignment of the unit.

With all that said, Butts extended his holiday wishes to the board before adjournment.

Chase lands three in field, two in jail

Staff Writer
PECOS,  Dec. 15, 1999 - Two Pecos teens were arrested early this morning and another is being sought in connection with a theft of service and high-speed chase through the south side of town.

The incident began with a call to the Pecos Police Department at 1:58 a.m., in reference to a theft of service at the Town and Country Convenience Store, located in the 800 block of West Palmer Street.

A Pecos Police unit was in the area and made contact with the vehicle, which then just took off and were persued by the officer towards the far west side of town.

The chase ended at the Lindsay Addition, when the vehicle being pursued lost control and ended up in a field, according to police reports.

"The suspects then ran out into the bushes," said Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis.

One individual that was in the vehicle was tracked down right away, while a second suspect was later located riding around in a relative's vehicle in the area.

A warrant was issued for the third suspect who was not located last evening.

The two who found and arrested were identified be police as Jerry Natividad Dominguez, 18 and James Santiago Esparza, 19.

Warrants are out for Matthew Ryan Millan, 18.

"During this investigation another theft of service was cleared, involving Jerry and James," said Davis.

The suspects were charged with theft, engaging in organized criminal activity, three theft charges, deadly conduct and evading arrest.

Helping out with locating the suspects and making the arrests were Pecos Police Officers Cosme Ortega, Jeff Green and Reeves County Sheriff Deputies Richard Natividad, Danny Leos and Bobby Jenkins.

Police Chief Clay McKinney was also at the scene with the infrared scope to help locate the suspects through the dark.

PHA shifts CIAP funds, reviews daycare repairs

News Writer
PECOS,  Dec. 15, 1999 - The Pecos Housing Authority has been given permission to transfer $50,000 of their $238,000 CIAP 99 grant to their regular operating account for capital needs, board members were told during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

The CIAP grant is for improvements to PHA-run facilities around Pecos. PHA Chairman Frank Perea said the board should not spend more than $100,000 of the CIAP grant on the Eastside Daycare Center, which the housing auothrity is hoping to reopen.

"We don't want to get into a situation where we have to start drawing from this (regular) account," Perea said.

"If we spend $100,000 on that place, it better be self-sufficient," added board member Ken Winkles.

Only two daycare building repair expenses stand out, according to Perea. "The only major expenses are the roof and the plumbing," he said.

In a related matter, PHA executive director Nellie Gomez gave the board a 1998 CIAP update. "Vaughn (architects) will be here tomorrow," she said. "The fence is being built around Second Street," she added, referring to the apartments operated by PHA at Second and Willow streets.

"We think it's going to be a real good project," said Gomez.

Also under 1998 CIAP, the board plans to purchase 90 refrigerators from Brownlee Hardware and 95 stoves from Desert Sales and Rentals.

In other action, the board chose Sandra Lira as their resident commissioner. "I'm recommending her," said Gomez.

If approved by Pecos Mayor Dot Stafford, Lira will serve a two-year term as resident commissioner and cannot serve consecutive terms.

Board members also approved all monthly reports.


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Cash Five numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery: 19-23-25-31-33 (nineteen, twenty-three, twenty-five, thirty-one, thirty-three)


AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Tuesday by the Texas Lottery, in order: 5-1-9 (five, one, nine)


Richard R. Hoefs

Richard R. Hoefs, 71, died Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999, at Odessa Medical Center.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, at the United Methodist Church in Balmorhea with Rev. Bruce Abbott officiating. Burial will be in Balmorhea Cemetery.

He was born Oct. 7, 1928, in Reeves County and was a lifelong Balmorhea resident.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Balmorhea Library, P.O. Box 250, Balmorhea, Tx. 79718 or to one's favorite charity.

Survivors include three sons, Mark Hoefs of Austin, Graham Hoefs, and Fred Hoefs of San Angelo; two daughters, Kathy Armstrong of Midland, Julianne Martin of Houston; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


High Tuesday 62. Low this morning 22. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Low in the mid 20s. Southwest wind 5-10 mph. Thursday: Sunny. High in the lower 70s. Southwest wind 10-20 mph. Thursday night: Partly cloudy. Low around 30.

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