Daily Newspaper for Reeves County, Trans Pecos, Big Bend, Far West Texas

Main Menu|Archives Menu|Classified|Advertising|Monahans|


Tuesday, Augsut 27, 1996

Series of T-storms leave county soaked

Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu

From Staff and Wire Reports

Flash flooding occurred in some parts of Reeves and Ward counties Monday
as heavy rains dotted the area.

Travelers were warned to watch for water on the highways south of
Pecos, where creeks and draws emptying toward the Pecos River normally
cover the roads.

Fred Lujan, chief deputy for the Reeves County Sheriff's Office, said
they received no reports of the roads being flooded out nor travelers
who couldn't cross.

Dale Toone said rains around Saragosa totaled 1.50 inch during the past
several days that clouds spawned by Hurricane Dolly have moved through
the area.

Flash flood watches and warnings were out for most of the day in Reeves
County, while other watches were in effect for Culberson, Jeff Davis and
Brewster counties to the south, and Ward, Winkler, Loving counties and
Eddy County, N.M. to the north and east.

Jody McElroy said the gauge at the Natural Resources Conservation
office in Balmorhea measured .90 inch.

Two lines of heavy thunderstorms came from the south through Pecos
during the afternoon hours on Monday. Overall, Pecos received 1.75
inches, according to the National Weather Service, brining the rainfall
total for the year to over 7½ inches.

Almost all of that total has occurred during the past two months. The
city had received only .75 inch of rain through the first 5½ months of

Not all areas were affected by Monday's storms. Pecos Cantaloupe
Company reported little rain fell on their fields Monday, while James
Calaway reported "just a sprinkle" in Orla.

An area south of Monahans got a deluge Monday afternoon.

In West Texas, scattered showers and thunderstorms continued to develop
over much of the area, the National Weather Service reported. Skies were
partly to mostly cloudy in the rest of the region.

Temperatures Monday afternoon went from 66 degrees at Amarillo to 84
degrees at Childress and Sanderson.

Showers and thunderstorms, some with locally heavy rain, were expected
in the region through Wednesday, along with mostly cloudy to cloudy
skies. Highs could go from the 70s in the north to around 90 in the Big
Bend. Lows are expected in the 60s and 70s.

Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise. All rights reserved. AP contributed to
this report.

School keeps tax rate, OKs deficit budget

Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu

Staff Writer

After adjusting some $700,000 worth of changes, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
school board members adopted a 1996-97 budge for the school district
Monday, with some $434,000 more in amendments, leaving a projected
deficit of $129,000.

Additional changes totaling $434,642 were made after P-B-T ISD Business
Manager Cookie Canon, "went over it (budget) with a fine tooth comb,"
said Superintendent Mario Sotelo. The changes left the initial deficit
projection at $111,970.

Changes were made, said Board President Linda Gholson, from suggestions,
"made by several administrators, not just one."

"We've tried very hard for several years to have input from more than
just one person," she added.

The board conducted several workshops prior to approving the plan for
the 1996-97 school year. Administrators were called to present their
campus and department budgets during these sessions.

The newly adopted budget did not include any additional teacher, teacher
aide, food service or maintenance hiring, said Canon, while two
cafeteria positions were deleted.

Along with the $111,970 deficit, an addition $17,719 for a ten-cent
raise for all hourly wage employees was added into the budget after some

"An additional dime was added," said Canon, to get hourly employees,
"above the (new) minimum wage." The high pay scale will become effective
Oct. 1, following the signing of the minimum wage increase bill by
President Clinton last week.

All present trustees voted to adopt the new budget.

Along with approving the budget, board members unanimously agreed to
leave the school tax rate at $1.40.

"Who would believe," asked Gholson, that for four years the same tax has
been levied, "and we're getting so much more than we used to?"

Broken down, the rate included $1.325 for maintenance and operation and
$.075 for interest and the district's sinking fund.

No action was taken on the issue involving a spit tax payment option,
which would allow a taxpayer, who pays half of his unit's taxes before
Dec. 1, may pay the remaining one-half without penalty before July 1.

Canon explained that, "our payment options with the state leave us
without money during the winter months." She said it would make things
difficult for the school district if the split-payment option were

P-B-T ISD Tax Assessor/Collector Lydia Prieto told the board that out of
11 school districts she surveyed, only three offered the two payment
plan. The three school districts contracted out tax collection services
from other entities, she added.

"The (eight) other school districts said they need the money before
June," Prieto added.

In other business, the Pecos High School "A" Building air conditioning
bid was awarded to the lowest bidder, Darville Company of Odessa. They
submitted a total of $184,000 for the project.

Charles Clark of the Abilene engineering firm that aided the school
district with the Crockett Middle School HVAC project said that the
project there was, "substantially...99 percent complete."

Amendments totaling $163,930 were made to the 1995-96 budget and
involved the moving of funds assigned to line items.

Of the $3,380,950 fund balance, the board voted to designate $1,080,000
of that to health insurance claim reserves - as the district will soon
have to pay for its own pre-existing condition claims - along with the
PHS and Crockett Middle School air conditioning projects, school buses,
computers, school vehicles and band uniforms.

Gholson reminded the audience that these funds cannot be spent until
they are brought back to the board as budget line items.

A cooperative agreement and memorandum of understanding between P-B-T
ISD and the Reeves County Juvenile Board was approved.

Dennis Thorp was asked by board members to approach Coca-Cola Bottling
Company representatives to renegotiate the school district's contract
that included the acquisition of a new scoreboard for the high school
football field in return for the signing of a 10-year agreement with the
soft drink distributor.

Sotelo told the board that last year $47,000 was paid out to Coca-Cola
and he was advised by state financial advisers that 10 years was too
long for a contract agreement.

"But we'd like to express that we appreciate their support for a number
of years," added Board Vice-President Earl Bates.

Appointments approved during the special meeting Monday evening were:
appointments, Joe Brannon, as an Elementary Music Teacher; Audra Lozano,
as PHS Special Education Teacher and Patricia Woods, as a Lamar Sixth
Grade Teacher.

Resignations included: Brian Chapman from PHS Special Education Teacher;
Robin Land from coaching duties only; Anita Palmer from Bessie Haynes
Fifth Grade Teacher; Jay Reiken from PHS Coach and English Teacher;
Russell Smetak from Pecos Elementary Third Grade Teacher and Wanda Kay
Taylor from PHS Home Economics Teacher.

Approved transfers went to: Eliza Acosta to include junior high coaching
duties, as well as her teaching assignment at Bessie Haynes; Alfonso
Gonzales from Lamar Special Education to Pecos Elementary Special
Education; Rebecca Hopson from Lamar Sixth Grade to Bessie Haynes Fifth
Grade; Gabriel Pena from Pecos Elementary Third Grade to Bessie Haynes
Fifth Grade and Barbara Tarango to include junior high coaching duties,
as well as her PHS teaching assignment.

Bond status for Miller uncertain

Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu

Staff Writer

The status of Jim Ed Miller as Red Bluff Water Power Control District
General Manager remains in doubt, due to his recent felony conviction
for witness tampering in 143rd District Court, and state laws that might
affect his position.

William Monroe Kerr, Sr., Attorney for the district, said that in his
opinion, Miller, "is still eligible," to serve as general manager for
the water district, as, "he is an employee in the form of general
manager and does not vote," on any of the issues.

"It would be up to the board," said Kerr, if they wished Miller to
remain serving as general manager to the RBWPCD.

However, Kerr could not comment on whether or not Miller was bonded to
hold his position, but added that different questions could result if he

The RBWPCD gets an interest share of the $13.8 million awarded to Texas
in 1989 as part of a settlement with New Mexico over Pecos River water

Director for the RBWPCD Lloyd Goodrich said Monday that Miller, unlike
directors, was bonded to the board and not to the state. He added that
he would not vote to fire Miller because of his recent conviction.

"There is no dishonesty in Jim Ed," Goodrich said, "There isn't a
dishonest bone in his body."

Similar views are held by RBWPCD Director Theresa Walker, who
commented, "(Miller) is one of the best workers we've every had."

"He works at it (general manager's position) so diligently," she added.
"He works hard at his job."

Board members Manuel Lujan, Jr., and R.C. "Dick" Slack, did not wish to
comment on the matter, while other directors to the RBWPCD were not
available for statements.

District Attorney John Stickels, who was responsible for the case
brought against Miller, was unable to comment on whether or not Miller
can hold his bonded position with a convicted felon record.

Attorney General Dan Morales' office was contacted on the matter but
did not return phone calls on the matter before press time.

Bruce Duston, President of the First National Bank, said that Miller
turned in his resignation as director last week. Duston said that the
board for the financial institution has not met to accept Miller's
decision to leave the bank's board.

Miller was convicted by a 143rd District Court jury on Aug. 15 for
witness tampering, in connecting with a records probe of the Ward County
Irrigation District #1 last year. WID#1 is one of the irrigation
districts that make up the Red Bluff district, for which Miller is
general manager.

District Judge Bob Parks on Friday sentenced Miller to 180 days in
state jail, suspended in favor of two years probation. State law
provides that a probated sentence be imposed for the first conviction on
a state jail felony, said Stickels, who composed the order.

County OKs auditor, Green's salary funds

Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu

Staff Writer

Reeves County Commissioners approved reappointment orders for county
auditor Lynn Owen and his office during Monday afternoon's session of
commissioner's court.

County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo explained that the district judge is the
individual who has final approval on the county auditor and his office
staff's salary.

"We received a re-appointment order from him (District Judge Bob Parks)
and a salary change," said Galindo.

Owen's office will receive a five percent increase, while the county
auditor will receive a two percent increase in his salary.

In other action, commissioners voted 4-1 for a budget amendment to come
out of the county's ending funds balance to subsidize the salary of
County Court-At-Law Judge Lee Green. Precinct 4 Commissioner Bernardo
Martinez cast the lone vote against the amendment.

In Friday's special session the court agreed to a "reasonable salary"
for the court-at-law judge, as ordered by a 143rd District Court jury
following a trial in April. The salary was set at $45,000 annually, with
the amendment that a document be drawn for the Legislature to allow the
judge to practice private law.

The total is about $8,000 below Green's former salary, but $12,500 above
the pay level offered by commissioners which he rejected late last year.

Commissioners also agreed to the reclassification of a Reeves County
Detention Center food service position Monday afternoon.

"I'm requesting that another position be created in the food services
department," said Warden Joe Trujillo.

Trujillo told the court that the food services director Ronnie Jordan
has been doing an excellent job and that food prices have gone down.

"We want to help him some more by having an individual that would serve
as clerk, doing the inventory, budgeting and assisting him in everything
that he needs," said Trujillo.

The warden said that would allow Jordan to spend more time on the lines,
making sure that the quality of the food is right and everything is
running smoothly.

The new position would require no additional funds, according to Owens.

The new individual would also account for employee time sheets and
purchasing items. The employee would also require a background in

The new worker would be in a correctional officer III position,
according to Trujillo.

The position will be filled within, since an opening in that department
has never been utilized. A salary of $19,000 will be set for the


Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu

Eloisa Martinez, who was arrested on Aug. 1 at the Holiday Inn parking
lot, was in fact charged with public intoxication rendered by DPS

A police report published Aug. 22 in the Enterprise, based on
incorrect police information, inadvertently listed her as having been
arrested for possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, by police.

We apologize for the error.


Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Lydia Dominguez

Return to Menu

Lydia Lopez Dominguez, 43, died at McAllen Medical Center.

Mass will be held Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic
Church with burial at Palm Valley Memorial Gardens in McAllen.
She was born in Fort Hancock and had lived in McAllen for 2½ years. She
was a registered nurse at McAllen Medical Center in the Labor and
Delivery Section.
Survivors include her husband, Hector Dominguez of McAllen; two
daughters, Shelly Dominguez of Houston, Kimberly Dominguez of McAllen;
her mother, Aurelia Valdez of Stanton; three brothers, Damas Lopez, Jr.
and Johnny Lopez of Van Horn, Mickey Lopez of Stanton and one sister,
Mary Baeza of Stanton.

J.C. Epley

Return to Menu

J.C. "Snooks" Epley, 81, of Dallas died Saturday, Aug. 24 in Fort Worth.
Service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Stanton
with burial in Evergreen Cemetery.
He was a farmer and rancher in Martin County. He had served on the
Stanton Independent School District school board, as mayor and was a
member of First Baptist Church.

Survivors include two daughters, Mona Baker of Dallas and Joanna McMahan
of Garland; a son, Jim Epley; a sister, Willie Shortes of New Braunfels;
a brother, Ernest Epley of Pecos; seven grandchildren and one


Tuesday, August 27, 1996

Return to Menu
High Monday 75, low last night 68. Rainfall 1.75 inch. August rainfall
2.22 inches. Year-to-date 7.60 inches. Tonight, mostly cloudy. A 40
percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low 65-70. Southeast wind
5-15 mph. Wednesday, mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of showers or
thunderstorms. High 80-85. Southeast wind 5-15 mph.
Return to Menu

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. Neither these AP
Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for
personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for
any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the
transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages
arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Return to Menu

Return to Home Page