Pecos Country History
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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, January 21, 2005
P-B-T board hears salutatorian, salary disputes
By ROSIE FLORES
The status of a current Pecos High School senior’s class ranking and a former principal’s salary compensation were brought up before Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board members, during their meeting held last Thursday in the Technology Center.
Board members listened to concerns from the mother of the student who is currently ranked second in her senior class.
“Even though she is ranked second, the policy states that she can not be salutatorian,” said Grace Omitogun, the mother of PHS senior Jummy Akinyode.
Omitogun said that because of the Pecos High School handbook and the requirements for being Valedictorian and Salutatorian, her daughter would not have the opportunity to be named Salutatorian.
“Because of the six semester requirement to be eligible for Valedictorian and Salutatorian she will not be able to have the honor of being Salutatorian, even though she has the grades,” said Omitogun.
Omitogun said that scholastically her daughter was ranked second, but because of this policy she would be unable to have the honor. “I don’t want to bump anybody down, maybe they could share the honor,” she said, during a previous school board meeting held in December.
“We have been in the school district for two years,” said Omitogun. Her daughter began attending school in Pecos as a sophomore, in the spring of 2003.
Omitogun said that at that time she did not plan to be here and had moved her business to Dallas. “My daughter came to me and told she did not want to move, but wanted to graduate from here, because she had invested a lot in track and her coaches had invested a lot in her,” she said.
“She wanted to somehow pay them back and to see where this would lead her. All the schools will see her as second, but we’d like for her to have the honor,” Omitogun said.
She said that the policy was not consistent with this area and said that she had heard of other students moving out of this district because of this policy.
“The Bangs moved their child to Midland to be Valedictorian, because he could not have received that here,” she said, referring to Dr. W.J. Bang and his wife, whose daughter transferred her senior year from Pecos in the mid-1980s in order to qualify as a valedictorian.
“In this day and age, parents move around a lot,” said Omitogun.
Omitogun said that she felt the school board should take up this issue now, so that other students would not have to go through what her daughter is facing.
Libby Horsburgh also spoke on the same subject and stated that her daughter Ashley is ranked second.
“I’m concerned that the board will change the requirements, without extensive research,” said Horsburgh. “I think it would be very sad if one individual could change the rules.”
The board took no action on the subject, which was on the agenda as a discussion matter only.
Board members also listened to a complaint from former Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez, who said he brought along a friend, Town of Pecos City Attorney Scott Johnson, to discuss his pay compensation by the district.
Rodriguez, who is currently a member of the Town of Pecos City Council that employs Johnson as city attorney, had stated during the December regular board meeting, that he was due funds from vacation time that he never took.
At that time, he asked the board to discuss and consider the cost and effect of the November 2003 DED (Local) concerning 226 day employees and 240 day employees. He asked that his concern be placed on the January board meeting.
“According to the policy he is not owed anything,” said PBT-ISD Superintendent Ray Matthews. “According to the policy he was referring to.”
The high school principal is on a 12-month (226 days) contract, and does not receive paid vacation days. Central office and other employees are on a 12-month (240 day contract and they do receive paid vacation days during the school year, according to Matthews.
Teachers are on a 10-month (187 days) contract, and they get paid over the 12-month period, but do not receive paid vacation days.
Johnson spoke on behalf of Rodriguez, who said he was owed money from vacation time he never took.
“According to the policy, before it was changed, Rodriguez is due some money,” said Johnson.
“Rodriguez and other people fit under the contract,” said Johnson. “Their contract read in accordance with 240 day policy, before it was changed to 12-months,” he said.
“We discussed this last year and I still feel that our attorney has addressed this issue very well,” said board member Amy Miller.
She said that she had a copy of the letter the district’s attorney had written to Rodriguez in reference to his request and that it stated that under the policy, the district felt that Rodriguez was not due any money and that he did not fall under the category that gave employees vacation time during the school year.
“Under the board’s interpretation, Rodriguez has not qualified for this back pay,” said Miller. “I feel like they interpreted it really well,” she said.
Johnson told the group that the previous administration did not interpret it correctly.
“I think he’s entitled to back pay according to the policy in existence,” said Johnson.
“He took no vacation or vacation pay and he’s entitled to that pay,” he said.
Career and Technology Director Juanita Davila told the group that she signed a contract right after Rodriguez had.
“I understood clearly that I had to work 226 days and now that I’m on 240 day, I’m on a different schedule,” she said.
Employees who are on a 240-day contract or in an hourly position working 240 days or more and have worked for the district less than 10 years shall earn vacation time at the rate of five-sixths of a day per month of employment, not to exceed 10 working days per year.
Employees are asked to use the vacation time within the school year (September 1 through Aug. 31). Employees may carry over unused vacation days, but must use them within the next calendar year. Employees may elect to be paid for unused days at the regular daily rate of pay.
If a holiday falls within the approved vacation period, the holiday is not charged to vacation. Vacations are granted on the basis of continuous years of service. Persons on leave of absence do not break continuity years of service; however, only years actually on duty in the district shall be counted in determining earned vacation allowance.
Show’s division winners for 2005 announced
By ROSIE FLORES
Avid animal lovers who spent all year grooming and getting their animals ready for show were participants at the Annual Reeves-Loving County Junior Livestock Show and Sale held this weekend at the Reeves County Civic Center.
The participants received prizes for their efforts and the animals participated in a sale on Saturday evening with cash awards handed out.
In the Goat Show, light weight division: first place went to Heath Armstrong; second, Conner Armstrong; third, Adrian Muniz; fourth, Casey Dutchover; fifth, Dailynn Mondragon and seventh, Diego Estrada.
In the light medium: first, Clay Teague; second, Heath Armstrong; third, Kendra Villanueva; fourth, Mia Roman; fifth, Brittany Alligood; sixth, Derek Teague; seventh, Daniel Estrada; eighth, Casey Dutchover; ninth, Joseph Dutchover and tenth, Clay Teague.
In the medium weight: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Marcus Muniz; third, Ryan Salcido; fourth, Isaiah Vela; fifth, Gabriel Salcido; sixth, Kendra Villanueva; seventh, Victoria Carrasco; eighth, Breanna Rodriguez; ninth, AriAnna Alligood; tenth, AriAnna Alligood.
Goat Show, Light Heavy Division: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Ryan Salcido; third, Gabriel Salcido; fourth, Albert Lopez; fifth, Dominique Vejil; sixth, Jogina Gallego; seventh, Mysela Alvarez; eighth, Vanessa Garcia; ninth, Jose Rodriguez; tenth, Dailynn Mondragon.
In the Heavy Division: first, Chris Martinez; second, Chris Martinez; third, Sarah Lujan; fourth, Kelly Lease; fifth, Adrienne Bagley; sixth, Stephanie Fuentez; seventh, Adrian Muniz; eighth, Teg Lozano; ninth, Brandi Machuca; 10th, James Tarin; 11th, Anastasia Contreras; 12th, Derek Teague.
In the Heavy Heavy Division: first, Mayle McElroy; second, Mayle McElroy; third, Kendra Villanueva; fourth, Mayle McElroy; fifth, Marcus Muniz; sixth, Adrian Muniz; seventh, Jennie Canon; eighth, Victoria Salcido; ninth, Cutter Crider; tenth, Dillon Garcia and 11th, JoeAbel Rodriguez.
Grand Champion Goat: Chris Martinez; Reserve Grand Champion Goat: Adrienne Bagley; Jr. Showmanship: Mayle McElroy; Sr. Showmanship, Jennie Canon.
In the Lamb Show, Finewool, lightweight division:
First, Adrienne Bagley; second, Michael Lee; third, Mayle McElroy; fourth, Mia Roman; fifth, Michael Lee.
In the Heavy Weight: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Katie Lee; third, Adrienne Bagley; fourth, Mayle McElroy; fifth, Zack Morton; sixth, Mayle McElroy.
Breed Champion: Adrienne Bagley and Reserve Breed Champion, Katie Lee.
In the Cross Lightweight Division: first, Katie Lee; second, Adrienne Bagley; third, Adrienne Bagley; fourth, Mayle McElroy; fifth, Adam Roman; sixth, Jogina Gallego; seventh, Trey Graham.
In the Heavy Weight: first, Zack Morton; second, Michael Lee; third, Marissa Tarango; fourth, Teg Lozano; fifth, Trey Graham.
Breed Champion: Zack Morton and Reserve Breed Champion: Michael Lee.
Medium Wool, Lightweight: first, Katie Lee; second, Katie Lee; third, Michael Lee; fourth, Mia Roman; fifth, Mayle McElroy; sixth, Jamie Gallego.
In the Heavy Weight: first, Adrienne Bagley; second, Adrienne Bagley; third, Adrienne Bagley; fourth, Mayle McElroy; fifth, Adam Roman; sixth, Mateo Tarango.
Breed Champion: Adrienne Bagley and Reserve Breed Champion Katie Lee.
Grand Champion Lamb: Adrienne Bagley.
Reserve Grand Champion Lamb: Katie Lee.
Jr. Showmanship: Mayle McElroy and Sr. Showmanship, Katie Lee.
In the Steer Show:
Light: first, Nathan Box; second, Clay Teague; third, Amber Cook.
In the Medium: first, Morton Zack; second, Katie/Michael Lee; third, Michael Hardwick; fourth, Amber Cook.
Grand Champion Steer: Zack Morton.
Reserve Grand Champion Steer: Katie Lee.
Jr. Showmanship: Michael Hardwick and Sr. Showmanship: Katie Lee.
In the Duroc, Light Weight Division: first, Ariel Garcia; second, Josh Elliott; third, Derek Teague; fourth, John Nunez; fifth, Michael Nunez; sixth, Victoria/Zachary Carrasco; seventh, Joseph Dutchover; eighth, Haley Kington.
Heavy Weight: first, Marcela Fierro; second, Clifton Brantley; third, Joseph Rodriguez; fourth, Savannah Ewing; fifth, Matt Elliott.
Breed Champion: Marcela Fierro and Reserve Breed Champion: Clifton Brantley.
Hampshires, Light Weight: first, Derek Teague; second, Joel Madrid; third, Matt Lindemann; fourth, Josh Cobos; fifth, K’Dee Gulihur; sixth, Clay Teague.
Medium Weight: first, Clifton Brantley; second, Liza Vejil; third, Amber Cook; fourth, Trey Graham; fifth, Justin Hannsz; sixth, Nathan Box; seventh, Joshua Matta.
Heavy Weight: first, Mysela Alvarez; second, Matt Martinez; third, Anisha Vasquez; fourth, Montgomery Miller; fifth, Bill Moody; sixth, Dustin Windham; seventh, Kristie Rodriguez.
Breed Champion: Clifton Brantley and Reserve Breed Champion: Derek Teague.
Yorks, Light Weight: first, Levon Barragan; second, Joseph Dutchover; third, Jennie Canon; fourth, Ariel Garcia; fifth, Lorissa Rodriguez; sixth, Dillon Garcia.
Medium Weight: first, Casey Dutchover; second, Russell Garlick; third, Ryan Woodruff; fourth, Amber Cook; fifth, Matt Martinez; sixth, Anisha Vasquez.
Heavy: first, Josh Elliott; second, Trey Graham; third, Robert Vasquez; fourth, Noelee Garcia; fifth, Nathan Box.
Heavy Heavy: first, Matt Elliott; second, Clifton Brantley; third, Cutter Crider; fourth, Mayle McElroy; fifth, Joseph Dutchover.
Breed Champion: Matt Elliott and Reserve Grand Champion: Clifton Brantley.
Light Weight: first, Sada Orona; second, Marissa Tarango; third, Gorge Armendariz; fourth, Justin Workman; fifth, Terri Jasso; sixth, Gorge Armendariz; seventh, Liza Vejil.
Heavy: first, Clay Teague; second, Chris Martinez; third, Terri Jasso; fourth, Victoria/Zachary Carrasco; fifth, Ty Kington; sixth, Haley Kington.
Breed Champion: Clay Teague and Reserve Breed Champion, Chris Martinez.
Light Weight: first, Jennie Canon; second, Emily Rodriguez; third, Victoria Carrasco; fourth, Niki Lindemann.
Heavy: first, Matt Elliott; second, Lauren Elliott; third, Derek Teague; fourth, Chris Martinez; fifth, Matt Martinez; sixth, Ty Kington.
Breed Champion: Matt Elliott and Reserve Breed Champion: Lauren Elliott.
Crosses, Light Weight: first, Mateo Tarango; second, Kailynn Hernandez; third, Mason Baeza; fourth, Justin Hannsz; fifth, Cutter Crider; sixth, Casey Dutchover; seventh, Curtis James; eighth, Nathan McCormick; ninth, Montgomery Miller.
Medium Weight: first, Matt Martinez; second, Levon Barragan; third, Harlee/Teg Lozano; fourth, Robert Vasquez; fifth, Ty Kington; sixth, Dominique Vejil; seventh, Derek Teague.
Heavy: first, Jennie Canon; second, Anabel Ramirez; third, Clay Teague; fourth, Clifton Brantley; fifth, Lauren Elliott; sixth, Andrew Lopez; seventh, Albert Lopez.
Heavy Heavy: first, Mysela Alvarez; second, Justin Workman; third, Josh Cobos; fourth, Nathan Box; fifth, Frank Deishler; sixth, Joel Madrid; seventh, Travis Walker.
Breed Champion: Jennie Canon and Reserve Grand Champion, Mateo Tarango.
Grand Champion Hog: Jennie Canon; Reserve Grand Champion Hog: Clifton Brantley; Jr. Showmanship: Lauren Elliott and Sr. Showmanship: Robert Vasquez.
Reeves-Loving stock show sale nets $62,000
Youngsters at the recent Reeves-Loving County Livestock Show and Sale this past
Saturday night fared well, with competitors receiving over $62,000 during the auction sale for their efforts.
The total bids this year came in about $1,500 above the total from the 2004 show, and $12,500 above what was raised from the 2003 stock show auction sale.
The largest single bid at the show was received by Zack Morton, who got $3,000 for his Grand Champion Steer bought by Pecos Feed and Supply, Don/Joyce Morton, Morton Pumping, Tammie Lobstein, Dr. Russell Subia, Don Huey Backhoe Service, Underwood Electric, Moore, Inc., Warren/Mary Smith, Wild Cat Production, Physicians Network Assoc., Gray Pumping Service, Strickland Pump and Supply.
Grand Champion Lamb, Adrienne Bagley, $1,300 bought by Trans Pecos Banks; Grand Champion Goat, Chris Martinez, $600 bought by Miller Steel; Grand Champion Hog, Jennie Canon, $900, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; Reserve Champion Hog, Katie Lee, $1,200, bought by West Texas Gas, Miller Steel, Pecos Animal Clinic; Reserve Champion Hog, Clifton Brantley, $800, bought by Hi-Lonesome Ranch; Duroc Hog Breed Champ, Marcela Fierro, $550, bought by Cisco Ford; York Hog Breed Champ, $600, bought by Matt Elliott, bought by West Texas National Bank.
OPB Light Hog Breed Champ, Clay Teague, $500, bought Trans Pecos Banks; Cross Lamb Reserve Breed Champ, Michael Lee, $800, bought by Pecos Enterprise, Dan Painter, Clay Lee and KIUN; Hamp Hog Reserve Breed Champ, Derek Teague, $550, bought by Jimmy Galindo; OPB Dark Hog Reserve Breed, Lauren Elliott, $450, Trans Pecos Banks; Cross Hog Reserve Breed Champ, Mateo Tarango, $725, Fred/Marsha Pearce, Pecos Ins.,
Bob Parks; 1st Light Weight Goat, Heath Armstrong, $900, bought by Carson Farms, Lloyd and Carol Carson; 1st Lt. Steer, Nathan Box, $2,500, bought by Walker Wells Ranch; 1st Light Duroc Hog, Ariel Garcia, $450, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 1st Hvy. Hamp Hog, Mysela Alvarez, $450, bought by Pecos Cantaloupe; 1st Light York Hog, Levon Barragan, $775, bought by Latson Parts & Equip., Tres/Jody McElroy, Lethco Farms, Victor’s Convenience Store, Crider Dairy; 1st Medium York Hog, Casey Dutchover, $600, bought by Balmorhea Ag Boosters; 1st Heavy York Hog, Josh Elliott, $450 bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 1st Lt. OPB Light Hog, Sada Orona, $450, bought by Wild Horse Pecan Farms; 1st Medium Cross Hog, Matt Martinez, $400, bought by Fisher Construction; 2nd Light Wt. Goat, Conner Armstrong, $900, bought by Carson Farms, Lloyd and Carol Carson; 2nd Hvy. Med. Wt. Goat, Marcus Muniz, bought by Cody Falwell, Valor Telecom, Popular Thriftway, Bear’s Den.
Second Lt. Hvy. Wt. Goat, Ryan Salcido, $425, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 2nd Hvy. Hvy. Goat, Mayle McElroy, $1,700, bought by Crider Dairy; 2nd Lt. Hamp Hog, Joel Madrid, $1,100, bought by West Texas National Bank, Balmorhea Ranches, Trans Pecos Banks; 2nd Med. Hamp Hog, Liza Vejil, $475, bought by Fisher Construction; 2nd Lt. York Hog, Joseph Dutchover, $700, bought by Hi Pro Feeds, Lone Star Dairy Producers, Crider Dairy, Don Cross; 2nd Med York Hog, Russell Garlick, $750, bought by McCoy Building Supply.
2nd Hvy York Hog, Trey Graham, $600 bought by Trans Pecos Dairy; 2nd Lt. OPB Light Hog, Marissa Tarango, $500, bought by Trey/Amy Miller; 2nd Lt. OPB Dark Hog, Emily Rodriguez, $550, bought by 2T Cattle Company; 2nd LT. Cross Hog, Kailynn Hernandez, $600, bought by Jimmy Wofford, Leman/Kay Barmore, Luis/Mary Lou Carrasco, Crews Adams, Leonard/Carley Lethco, Roger/Neyma Cross; 2nd Hvy. Cross Hog, Anable Ramirez, $450, bought by Dairy Mart, John/Linda Clark, Dr. Cerna, Pecos Radio, Parday Inc., Crider Dairy; 2nd Hvy. Hvy. Cross Hog, Justin Workman, $600, bought by AB Foster; 3rd Lt. Steer, Amber Cook, $2,100, bought by Roswell Livestock Auction; 3th Med Steer, Michael Hardwick, $2,100, bought by Pecos Animal Clinic; 3rd Light Wt. Goat, Adrian Muniz, $400, bought by Texas-New Mexico Power Company. Bob/Garlene Burkholder; 3rd Light Med Wt. Goat, Kendra Villanueva, $550, bought by West Texas National Bank.
3rd Lt. Hvy Wt. Goat, Gabriel Salcido, $500, bought by Turnbough Farms, Marilyn Moore in memory of Charlie Moore, Western Abstract, Crider Dairy; 3rd Hvy. Goat, Sarah Lujan, $750, bought by Forrest Tire, NAPA Bob/Carol Bagley, Baeza Foods, Crider Dairy; 3rd Hvy Duroc Hog, Joseph Rodriguez, $575, bought by Colt Chevrolet; 3rd Lt. Hamp Hog, Matt Lindemann, $450, bought by Fisher Construction.
3rd Hvy. Hamp Hog, Anisha Vasquez, $600, bought by Balmorhea Ag Boosters; 3rd Med York Hog, Ryan Woodruff, $600, bought by West Texas Gas, Joe/Ida Garcia, Jimmy Barragan, Crider Dairy; 3rd Hvy York Hog, Robert Vasquez, $850, bought by McCoys Building Supply; 3rd Hvy. Hvy. York Hog, Cutter Crider, $1,400, bought by West Texas National Bank, Cee Sales, Miller Steel, Pecos Animal Clinic, Trans Pecos Banks, Metco; 3rd Lt. OPB Light Hog, Gorge Armendariz, $450, bought by Reeves County Teacher’s Credit Union, Bob’s Thriftway; 3rd Hvy. OPB Light Hog, Terri Jasso, $450, bought by Fisher Construction.
3rd Lt. OPB Dark Hog, Victoria Carrasco, $400, bought by Ray Matthews, Raul Molinar; 3d Lt. Cross Hog, Mason Baeza, $425, bought by Duke Outdoor; 3rd Med Cross Hog, Harlee Lozano, $450, bought by Mona Cook Memorial Fund; 3rd Light Cross Lamb, Josh Cobos, $500, bought by Corplan Corrections & Inmate Communications; 45h Hvy Wt. Cross Lamb, Teg Lozano, $500, bought by Colt Chevrolet; 4th Lt. Wt. Med Wool Lamb, Mia Roman, $650, bought by Alamo-Kerley Gin, Crider Dairy, Hollye Kingston; 4th Hvy. Med Goat, Isaiah Vela, $450, bought by Pecos Valley Railroad, Jim/Michelle Workman, A-1 Motors; 4th Lt. Hvy Goat, Albert Lopez, $425, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 4th Hvy. Goat, Kelley Lease, $875, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 4th Lt. Duroc Hog, John Nunez, $700, bought by Trans Pecos Banks, Dudley Montgomery, Lois/Candice Roach; 4th Hvy. Duroc Hog, Savannah Ewing, $550, bought by Harold May; 4th Hvy. Hamp Hog, Montgomery Miller, $1,050, bought by Patty Montgomery; 4th Hvy York Hog, Vanessa Garcia, $700, bought by Crider Dairy.
4th Hvy OPB Light Hog, Zackary Carrasco, $425, bought by Walker Wells Ranch; 4th Light OPB Dark Hog, Niki Lindemann, $450, bought by Rocky/Darla Blackstock; 4th Lt. Cross Hog, Justin Hannsz, $800, bought by Bob/Peggy Walker, Pecos Feed and Supply, Rediger’s Roy Kelly-Moorman Feeds, Bob/Maxine Farmer; 5th Lt. Cross Lamb, Adam Roman, $600, bought by Balmorhea Ag Boosters; 5th Light Wt. Goat, Dailynnn Mondragon, $750, bought by West Texas National Bank; 5th Lt. Med. Goat, Brittney Alligood, $550, bought by A&G Oil, LLC; 5th Lt. Hvy. Wt. Goat, Dominique Vejil, $475, bought by Randy Graham and family; 5th Light Duro Hog, Michael Nunez, $700, bought by Trans Pecos Banks; 5th Lt. Hamp Hog, K’Dee gulihur, $700, bought by Trans Pecos Dairy; 5th Hvy Hamp Hog, Bill Moody, bought by Miller Steel; 5th Lt. York Hog, Lorissa Rodriguez, $600, bought by West Texas National Bank; 5th Hvy. OPB Light Hog, Haley Kington, $625, bought by Lindsay Construction; 5th Med Cross Hog, Ty Kington, $700, bought by Pecos Well Service.
5th Hvy Hvy Cross Hog, Frank Deishler, $910, bought by Trans Pecos Banks, West Texas-T Inc., Jason Belew; 6th Hvy Cross Lamb, Jogina Gallego, $710, bought by West Texas National Bank, Jason Belew; 6th LT Med Wool Lamb, Jamie Gallego, $610, bought by Balmorhea Ag Boosters, Dick Slack, Paul/Janelle Ward, Jason Belew; 6th Lt. Hvy. Wt Goat, Mariable Rodriguez, $610, bought by Ed Strain Construction,, Jason Belew; 6th Hvy Goat, Stephanie Fuentes, $610, bought by Donald/Cheryl Bippes, Reef Chemical, Jason Belew; 6th Hvy Hamp Hog, Dustin Windham, $910, bought by Fisher Construction, Jason Belew; 6th Lt. York Hog, Dillon Garcia, $560, bought by Armstrong Gas Labs, Coastal Chemical, AA Chemical & Supply, Hugh/Gail Box, Danny Rasberry, Mrs. Loring Box, Jason Belew; 6th Hvy Cross Hog, Andrew Lopez, $760, bought by Trans Pecos Banks, Jason Belew.
Bezos’ launch site proposal called no threat
By JON FULBRIGHT
Being downrange from a rocket launching site can be dangerous at times. And since most rockets and other spacecraft that people are familiar with normally travel from west to east after blasting off from Earth, Reeves County and the Pecos area would appear to be downrange from the proposed launch site of the company started up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
But a spokesperson for Bezos’ Blue Origin company said no residents in Reeves County - or for that matter, Agent K from “Men In Black” - will have to be worry about any unwelcome surprises falling on them from outer space any time in the future.
Bezos announced to the Van Horn Advocate on Jan. 13 he had bought the Corn Ranch, located north of Van Horn in Culberson County, where his Blue Origin venture is looking to build and operate a private aerospace testing and operations center. According to a press release, the company is looking at the site for a variety of activities, including engine and vehicle testing, and possibly flight operations in the future.
The release said that flight operations could begin in as soon as six to seven years, but Gwen Griffin of Griffin Integrated Marketing, the company handling publicity for the venture, said that the proposed launches, “would be vertical launches,” in which the rocket and launch vehicles would remain over the Corn Ranch site, and would be expected to land in the same area or come down in that area should any malfunctions occur.
Griffin also pointed out that while Bezos, who made his fortune as the first major online retailer, has bought the ranchland north of Van Horn, the use of the site for rocket launches hasn’t been finalized.
“All we announced is that’s a preferred site. We haven’t determined anything yet,” she said.
Bezos’ proposed outer space development site ironically is just to the west of a ranch purchased several years ago by Tommy Lee Jones, who played an agent in “Men in Black” who was assigned to keep track of aliens landing and living on Earth. Jones’ ranch, located north of Interstate 10 in Culberson County, was used back in October for shooting scenes of “The Three Burials of Melquides Estrada,” a movie Jones is both starring in and directing.
Pecos was subject to an object falling out of the sky by surprise two years ago, when a U.S. Air Force fighter jet operating out of Holloman AFB in New Mexico accidentally dropped a dummy ordnance onto a lawn on West Fifth Street. Similar bombs crashed into the bathroom of a home in Monahans and into a highway in Maljamar, N.M.
The fighter plane was one of many that uses the Pecos area for training missions operating out of New Mexico, while B-1 bombers flying out of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene also circle the Pecos area and travel into Culberson County on their low-level training flights.
Air Force officials at Dyess said they have not had any talks about Blue Origin’s proposed launch site, and whether it might coflict with their combat flight training area. But Bezos told the Advocate his company already has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration about plans to use the 165,000 acre ranch as a private space vehicle launch site.
The FAA regulates nongovernmental launch facilities, and spokesman Hank Price confirmed that Blue Origin was in the midst of the pre-application process for a launch site license. A similar launch site already has been used twice southeast of Fort Stockton in Pecos County by a private company, JP Aerospace, which sent up a vehicle in 2002 height of 17,000 feet and a second launch last year, which reached a height of 100,000 feet.
Fort Stockton is also seeking to be home of the federal government’s proposed Spaceport site, and is among several areas in the southern part of the United States seeking to host the project, including one near Bayport on the Texas Gulf Coast. Most of the government’s rocket launches in the past have been from sites near coastal areas, such as Cape Canaveral in Florida or Vandenberg AFB in California, so that the launches could be pointed out over the ocean and debris from any malfunction would fall into the water instead of over land.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information contained in the Police Report is obtained from reports filed by the Pecos Police Department, Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, or other officers of those agencies. The serving of warrants by an officer for outstanding fines of either traffic citations, animal control violations or other court costs are considered arrests and will be printed as such unless indicated that the fines were paid. In such instances we will indicate payment and release.
Two persons were arrested by Pecos police on Jan. 18 on drug related charges, following a traffic stop in the 800 block of East 12th Street. Police said a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu was stopped at 8:58 p.m. and the driver of the vehicle, identified as Robert Patino, 51, of 1846 Adams St., was allegedly found to be in possession of a small amount of cocaine. He was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, under one gram, and transported to the Pecos Criminal Justice Center.
Along with Patino, a passenger in the Malibu, identified as Christopher Sims, 30, of 624 E. 13th St., was arrested and changed with possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, after a marijuana-smoking pipe was found in his possession. He was also transported to the Criminal Justice Center.
Miguel Angel Fierro Enriquez, 41, of Wichita, Ks., was arrested by police on Jan. 15 in the 700 block of East Third Street on a charge of operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license. Enriquez was transported by police to the Criminal Justice Center.
Roger Daniel Matta, 21, of 902 N. Hickory St., Felipe Anthony Guajardo, 22, of 2406 Country Club Dr., and a male juvenile were all arrested by police on Jan. 13 at 7:10 p.m. on charges of possession of marijuana under two ounces. Police said the arrest was made in the 1000 block of West Fourth Street after the 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer they were riding in was stopped for a traffic violation.
Police said two marijuana cigarettes were reportedly found inside the vehicle. Matta and Guajardo were transported to the Criminal Justice Center, where they were formally charged, while the juvenile was taken to the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center and turned over to the staff there by the arresting officers.
Water district holds ribbon cutting ceremony
A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held by the Directors of the Loving County Water Improvement District, on Jan. 11, for their new office.
The Board of Directors of the Loving County Water Improvement District dedicated the yard, equipment shed, and office building to the farmers and land owners of the district.
The group also memorialized two families.
First, the Goodrich family who were among the first to come to Loving County in 1906, farmed by irrigation from the Pecos River along with several other families who made up the town of Porterville which was less than a quarter mile up the road from the office building on FM 867 and no longer exists. While all the other farmers left, the Goodrich family remained through three generations of farming until the death of Lloyd Goodrich on March 9, 2004.
Second, the Renteria family whose patriarch, Efren came from Mexico as a young man, settling in the District in the 1940’s reared a large family, supporting them entirely by farming. He was very proud when he obtained his American citizenship. At Efren’s passing, his son Seledoneo kept the farm going, also rearing a large family supporting them by farming. He is the last farmer in the district whose sole income was from farming. Seledoneo is now retired. His son Joe is Commissioner of Precinct #2 of Loving County. His son Ysidro is the District’s director to Red Bluff Water Power Control District.
K of C group plans anti-abortion march
Catholic Daughters and Knights of Columbus will be participating in the Annual Pro-Life March on Jan. 23, to mark the anniversary of the 1976 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court holding laws against abortion to be unconstitutional and are inviting the community to join them in this event to make a stand against abortion.
The event will begin at 4 p.m., at Santa Rosa Catholic. It will be followed by a procession to St. Catherine and end with reflection and prayer.
Refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the hall afterwards.
February GED test dates announced
GED Testing will be held Feb. 1-2, at the 3:45 p.m., at the Pecos High School.
Registration is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31, from 1-4:30 p.m., at the Pecos High School Counselor’s Office.
Examinees must present a Texas driver’s or Texas Department of Public Safety ID Card.
For more information call Pat Cobos/Eva Arriola, Pecos High School Counselors at 447-7229.
Local residents get free Museum admission
Individuals in the community can tour the West of the Pecos Museum for free.
This invitation goes out to all the Reeves County and Barstow residents, from January through May 2005.
Just mention that you live in Reeves County or Barstow and you will automatically be able to tour the museum free.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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