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Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 8, 2005

Autopsy orders in death of man discovered in shed

Pecos police are continuing to investigate the death of a man found in a shed behind a home on the east side of town Monday night.

Police Chief Clay McKinnney said an autopsy has been ordered by Justice of the Peace Amonario Ramon into the death of 43-year-old Arturo Natividad Marruffo, of 702 Stafford Blvd., Apt. ‘A’, after his body was found inside a shed behind 807 S. Locust St. Police said they were called to the site at 9:08 p.m. that evening. “The individual reportedly left his residence at 2 p.m. that day, and the family members started worrying about him,” McKinney said. “They looked around town and found him in the shed.”

Police and EMTs were called to the scene, but medical personnel said Marruffo was not breathing when they arrived. Judge Ramon then went to the scene and pronounced Marruffo dead, and ordered an autopsy at the request of the family, McKinney said. The body was taken to Pecos Funeral Home before being sent for autopsy. Funeral arrangements have been scheduled through Pecos Funeral Home.

Local leaders plan push to pass venue tax proposal

Area officials and local business leaders will mount an effort to publicize the advantages to Pecos and Reeves County of the proposed Joint Venue Tax, which will be on the May 7 election ballot.

The tax proposal was the main topic of discussion on Tuesday, during the quarterly meeting of the Key Opinion Leaders, held at the Reeves County Civic Center. The venue tax has to be approved by Town of Pecos City voters, and would raise the local hotel and motel tax rate by 2 percent, with money from the tax going towards repairs of local facilities, starting with the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena and the Reeves County Civic Center.

“I need your support. I really do,” city manager Joseph Torres told the group. “Talk to your citizens, talk to your friends. We need to pass this.

“The time for thinking about fixing the Rodeo Grounds is over, but it’s contingent on the voters before we can go to the next level,” Torres said. “We need the support of the voters.”

Repairs to the rodeo arena became a major concern last may, when Town of Pecos City Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire condemned the south stands six weeks before the West of the Pecos Rodeo, due to termite damage to the support columns. Emergency repairs were made in time for the start of the rodeo, and will be in place again this year, but officials want to make permanent improvements to the nearly 70-year-old facility, along with improving conditions inside the Civic Center.

A public hearing was held on Monday night in Spanish at the Civic Center about the venue tax proposal, but Torres said only one person showed up for the meeting. Another meeting on the venue tax plan will be held in English this coming Monday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said the public needs to be better informed about what the tax will be used for, because the wording of the proposal on the May 7 ballot could come across as vague to the voters.

“If it’s described as a venue tax, I don’t think the public is going to accept it well,” Galindo said. “It’s an important initiative, but if we describe it as a tax, there may be a negative impact.”

“I don’t think we should just tax people because they’re coming from out of town. There should be a good use for it,” said TransPecos Bank president Bill Oglesby.

The venue tax approval would create a board to manage operations of the facilities, and would be a joint operation between Reeves County and the Town of Pecos City. Torres said that while the rodeo arena is the main priority right now, “the arena is just one of many things we want to do with the county. We’re not going to be handing them a check and say ‘Here’s $1.3 million, do what you want’.”

“The main thing to us is putting people in the seats, that’s what makes money,” said Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney, who is also a member of the West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee. “If we pass this, we won’t have to worry about whether or not the stands are going to be there.”

Pecos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Gholson said additional hook-ups planned for trailers at the Rodeo Grounds wouldn’t affect other sites, such as the Tra-Park Mobile Home Park. “The plug-ins will just clear things up around the Civic Center. Right now the (rodeo trailers) just clog things up there. This won’t take away from anyone.”

“We do need to better inform people, because there’s a lot of confusion right now,” said former Chamber of Commerce President Al Gomez.

Those at the meeting then agreed to sign their named to advertising intended to support passage of the venue tax. The ads are to run in the Enterprise, and on KIUN Radio and Cebridge Cable over the next few weeks.

Hospital hands out art awards to students

Kindergarten and young elementary school students received awards for their artwork this week, as part of a contest during last Saturday’s Reeves County Health Fair. Students in grades kindergarten through were asked to submit pictures depicting health issues for the 19th Annual Health Fair, held at the Reeves County Hospital last weekend. First through third places were awarded to the children and ribbons were handed out. At Pecos Kindergarten, Albert Perez placed first; Giselle Villegas second and no name was available for the third place winner.

At Austin Elementary School, first grade winners were: first place, Bethany Carrasco; second place, Jimmy Gomez and third place, Ben Madrid. The second grade winners were Veronica Navarrete, who won first place; Amber Burleson, who took second; and Marlene Acosta, who finished third.

For the third grader students Julian Ortiz took first prize, Jacqulyn Gomez, won second and Marisa Lujan was the third prize winner

Catholic musician plans Pecos concert, workshop

A Catholic musician will be in Pecos this month for a concert and workshops sponsored by the West Texas Catholic Communities.

Jaime Cortez, musician, educator and composer will present a concert and conduct workshops on sacred music in Pecos, on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23.

Involved in the pastoral music ministry at St. Bridgett Parish in Mesa, Ariz., Cortez has presented workshops throughout the United States on music and culture, bilingual music for the sacraments, and liturgical music.

He was a presenter at the El Paso Diocesan Congress in 2001.

Cortez will present a concert at 7 p.m., April 22, in the Pecos High School Auditorium, and

will conduct workshops from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 23, at St. Catherine’s Parish. Topics of the workshops are: “How to Prepare Liturgical Music for the Mass”; “Voices, Arrangements and Rhythms in Liturgical Music”’ and “Techniques for Parish Participation.”

A question and answer session will conclude the day’s activities.

Cortez is involved in the pastoral music ministry at Saint Bridgett Church in Mesa, Ariz. His involvement reflects his long-term dedication to promote better Hispanic liturgies and bringing cultures together for worship.

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