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

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Wednesday, October 23, 1996

County eyes higher rates for inmates

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Staff Writer

Reeves County commissioners approved a new, modified budget for the
Reeves County Detention Center during Monday's meeting in hopes of
working out a higher man-day rate payment from the U.S. Bureau of

Because of negotiations currently underway to increase the daily amount
paid to the Reeves County Detention Center for housing federal
prisoners, Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the issue remains

County Auditor Lynn Owens stated that the current man day-rate is, "on a
sliding scale."

The detention center houses prisoners under a contract with the BOP, and
receives a daily sum of $40.45 per prisoner when its population ranges
from zero to 349 inmates. For a population count between 350 to 449 the
rate is $35.26 and $33.50 for a prisoner count of over 450.

Galindo opted to redo the original RCDC budget to strengthen his
negotiation stance, "with a firm number," to take to BOP officials.

Budgeted in the new proposal are the highest salaries available for 163
RCDC staff members, although the funds may not be currently utilized.

Commissioners discussed the idea of hiring a contract oversight person
to act as, "an overall liaison," between the county, prison facility,
BOP and the commissioners court.

Galindo told the court that other contract facilities similar to the
RCDC are working with such an employee.

A $50,000 salary was calculated into the wage totals before
commissioners handed down a unanimous vote on the modified budget.

Because of conservative figures estimated for fringe benefits, Owens
told the court that an additional sum for medical benefits would not
have to figured in.

Revenues of $7,781,720 were figured in the new budget, while
expenditures totaled $7,730,674.91, for a surplus of $51,045.09.

Pecos walkers raise $7,700

at heart association event

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About 150 walking enthusiasts were on hand recently for the American
Heart Association Heart Walk, which raised over $7,700.

Their efforts also exceeded what Fort Stockton raised in competition
against Pecos in the annual event.

"This means I don't have to kiss a goat," said AHA president, Reeves
County Division, David Lovett.

The two divisions had engaged in a friendly wager in which the president
of the division raising the lesser amount had to kiss a goat.

Security State Bank, First National Bank, Pecos Home Health-Rediger's
Pharmacy, American Home Health-Professional Pharmacy, and Lubbock
Methodist Hospital all participated at the sponsorship level and are
greatly appreciated, according to Lovett.

Council to get updated report on water field

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Pecos City Council on Thursday will discuss the hydrology report on
Worsham Well Field and possible further development of the well field.

Councilman Randy Graham asked the council to reconsider an earlier
decision to develop a new field to the south of the Worsham field and to
replace deteriorating lines to the Ward County field.

Engineer Frank Spencer said that the hydrology report shows wells in the
Worsham field are pumping less and less because the aquifer is becoming
depleted. More wells would only add to the problem, he said.

The court will consider approving use of a television camera to continue
a study of sanitary sewer lines that need repairs.

Spencer is directing the study, which was ordered by the Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission to correct problems with the waste
water treatment plant.

Other business includes discussion of the policy regarding advertisement
expenses and use of city tax funds; allowing the Pecos animal control
officer to work in Barstow; approval of 1996 tax rolls and a
proclamation honoring teachers of the year in Region 18.

The meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

September unemployment up slightly in city, county

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Unemployment in Pecos continues its slow upward climb, topping out at
11.8 percent in September. The August rate was 11.6 percent, and the
September rate last year was 11.4 percent.

The number of unemployed dropped 64 in September, due to a drop in the
labor force, but the number of jobs also was down, as summer employment
opportunities came to an end. Jobs in the city fell from 5,307 in August
to 4,750 last month, while the workforce slipped from 6,004 to 5,383.

However, September's job total in the city is up by 165 from September
of a year ago, while the local workforce was up by 206 from last year.

Reeves County's numbers were similar, with a 10.3 percent jobless rate
this month, up from 10.2 percent in August and 10 percent in September
of 1995. The number of jobs fell by 722 from August, while those seeking
work dropped by 794 within the county. Total number of jobs compared to
last September were up by 215, and the county's workforce rose by 261,
with 6,864 people listed in the labor force by the Texas Workforce

The state's unemployment rate fell again in September, but the rate of
job growth in nearly all areas of employment, including the once-booming
electronics industry, slowed, according to the Texas Workforce

The Commission Tuesday reported the unemployment rate in September stood
at 5.3 percent. That was slightly lower than the 5.6 percent
unemployment rate in August.

``While the unemployment rates remained at near record lows and some
areas in Texas showed growth in September, overall the job growth was
relatively slow,'' said TWC Chairman Bill Hammond.

The electronics equipment industry, marred by cutbacks in the
semiconductor market, had its first decrease in two years, Hammond said.
The industry's annual growth rate slowed to 4.5 percent, with the
industry losing 300 jobs from August to September.

Most other industries saw marginal gains or losses in jobs, the
commission reported.

The month's lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Bryan-College
Station area at 2.2 percent. The McAllen-Edinberg-Mission area saw the
highest rate at 17.9 percent.

Rates of unemployment in the urban areas of Texas as announced by the
TWC for September, compared with revised August figures (in parentheses)

Abilene 4.4 (4.9); Amarillo 3.7 (3.8); Austin-San Marcos 3.0 (3.0);
Beaumont-Port Arthur 8.8 (9.4); Brazoria 6.6 (7.0);
Brownsville-Harlingen 11.1 (11.9); Bryan-College Station 2.2 (2.5);
Corpus Christi 8.1 (8.8); Dallas 3.8 (4.0);

El Paso 11.7 (12.1); Fort Worth-Arlington 3.6 (3.8); Galveston-Texas
City 8.0 (8.4); Houston 5.1 (5.4); Killeen-Temple 4.5 (4.8); Laredo 11.4
(12.1); Longview-Marshall 7.5 (7.8); Lubbock 3.5 (4.0);
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 17.9 (18.5);

Odessa-Midland 5.3 (5.8); San Angelo 3.4 (3.4); San Antonio 4.1 (4.5);
Sherman-Denison 4.1 (4.4); Texarkana 7.3 (7.3); Tyler 6.7 (7.1);
Victoria 4.8 (4.9); Waco 3.9 (4.6); Wichita Falls 4.3 (4.6).


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(Source: Texas Employment Commission)

Andrews 10,861 4,122 3,904 218 5.3%
Big Spring 23,258 9,688 9,273 415 4.3%
Fort Stockton 8,712 4,170 3,896 274 6.6%
Kermit 6,925 2,272 2,103 169 07.4%
Lamesa 11,051 4,774 4,416 358 7.5%
Midland 92,005 50,392 48,245 2,147 4.3%
Monahans 8,245 2,861 2,673 188 6.6%
Odessa 91,004 46,460 43,586 2,864 6.2%
PECOS 12,023 5,383 4,750 633 11.8%

Feds approve La Tienda

as Saturday polling site

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It's official.

Early voting in the General Election will be held at La Tienda
Thriftway Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., said Dianne Florez, Reeves
County Clerk.

Florez said the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the voting
site, which will allow voters who were unable to go to the courthouse
lobby during the week to cast a ballot.

Early voting continues at the courthouse through Nov. 1, and regu¬ lar
balloting will be Nov. 5 in the 12 county precincts.

Those who plan to vote for a write-in candidate are reminded that they
should write the candidate's name and office on the punch-card ballot,
not on the booklet listing the names of candidates.


Walter Oren

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Services are incomplete for Walter Kenneth Oren, 83, who died Tuesday,
Oct. 22 at Odessa Medical Center Hospital.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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High Tuesday 64, low last night 29 (first freeze). Tonight, fair. Low
around 40. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Thursday, mostly sunny. High 70-75.
Southwest wind 5-15 mph.

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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
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