Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, February 7, 2000
City warms up after weekend gas outage
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - Southern Union Gas customers in Pecos were warming
back up this morning, after spending most of the weekend without heat due
to a loss of pressure on lines coming into the city.
Residents of Pecos were the only ones affected by the outage, according
to Pete Nanos, Southern Union's Permian Basin area manager.
Nanos said Southern Union was not ready to say why both lines feeding
into the city went out. "We're still investigating what the actual cause
was. There are several things that can be gathered that could have caused
the problem," he said. "We lost the main feed, and the backup feed did
"The Railroad Commission (which oversees oil and gas operations in Texas)
is involved and they'll be investigating also," Nanos added.
First reports Saturday said the loss of pressure extended as far east
as Monahans, but Nanos said the area "was just isolated to the Pecos town
Even so, Southern Union had to call in crews from as far away as Luling,
Austin and Mineral Wells to help restore service on Sunday. "We did release
some crews to go home who came the farthest," Nanos said. "The crews from
South Texas and Austin have flown back home, and I figure by noon we'll
probably release the rest of the crews
Southern Union has two lines coming into Pecos from different directions.
"It's not unusual to lose one or the other, but it's real unusual to lose
both," said Nanos. "We've been here since 1947 and we've never had this
Pressure was lost in the early morning hours Saturday, and local residents
woke up to find their heaters fans running with no hot air, along with
no hot water for showers and no gas on their stoves to cook breakfast.
That problem was the most severe for some local restaurants, which were
unable to operate normally over the weekend.
Gas pressure was brought back up about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. But most
customers had to wait until Sunday to get gas for their utilites turned
back on, since crews had to go house-to-house throughout the city to restore
"We had to shut off everything before we could turn it back on, because
some people didn't safeties (interior gas controls). They just has space
heaters, so to do it safely we had to shut off the gas and then turn it
back on, or else some people would have had raw gas in their house," he
"We have a system that shows all the houses, and our crews attempted
to make calls. They hit some houses three or four times before they found
someone home," he added.
A crew of Southern Union employees Bill Goen and Cary Scott were working
the area of Jackson Boulevard and Jefferson Street Sunday morning, trying
to restore service.
"A lot of people may still be at church, so we'll have to wait until
they get back to get to them," Scott said, while some homeowners did turn
pilot lights on their utilities back on after the lines were repressurized
but before the crews went into their houses.
"Anybody who had any hardship cases, we went to them immediately. If
someone had just gotten out of the hospital or was sick, we went to those
houses first," Nanos said.
Temperatures stayed in the 30s Saturday night, after dipping into the
20s in the early morning hours Saturday, when pressure was first lost.
"What a lot of people did was go to Wal-Mart and Gibson's and bought electric
heaters," Nanos said.
"As soon as they started saying the gas might not be back on until Sunday,
we sold out of all our heaters," said Gibson True Value owner Larry Windham.
Local crews will handle restoring the remaining homes in town, along
with businesses that were closed over the weekend. However, the loss of
power also created problems for some homeowners whose gas utilities were
not up to city code.
"We have some where he went into the house and found the lines leaking.
We weren't able to turn those back on, but for the most part we've been
able to light up everything with just a few exceptions," Nanos said.
Loss of service left local restaurants cold
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - This weekend's loss of gas pressure in Pecos
shut down many area restaurants on Saturday, but critical facilities such
as Reeves County Hospital and Pecos Nursing Home were not adversely affected.
"Maintenance was here all night Saturday, but we have up to 24 hours
of hot water in the system so the we (the hospital) were not really affected,"
said Richard Mathis, the chief financial officer for Reeves County Hospital.
Mathis said that the hospital's heating system is run on hot water and
with the 24 hour supply keeping patients warm wasn't a problem.
"We conserved the hot water we had, but since the outage was pretty
short, and we didn't have a large number of patients admitted, it didn't
pose a problem," he said.
Mathis said that in case of a longer-term outage, the hospital has an
agreement with West Texas Gas and Southern Union Gas that the hospital
is a priority customer.
"We would receive gas from alternative sources, if regular delivery
was interrupted for a longer period of time," Mathis said.
Town of Pecos City Police Chief Clay McKinney said that there were no
problems to speak of for law enforcement because of the gas outage.
"We had a few calls complaining about the gas outage, and several calls
about suspicious vehicles in alleys that turned out to be gas company trucks,
but there were no real problems from our standpoint," he said.
Area restaurants didn't fare so well.
"Without gas we can't cook," said Frank Rodriguez, who is the general
manager for Pizza Hut at 524 S. Cedar.
"We had to close all day Saturday, and that really hurts," he said.
Rodriguez said that Saturday was the second busiest day of the week
for him, after Friday.
Ray Ortega, part owner of Cy's Big Burger at 903 East. Third St., reported
"We had to shut down on Saturday," Ortega said. "We got the gas turned
back on about 2 p.m. on Sunday and we were open after that."
"It really hurts to be closed on Saturday. It is one of the best two
days of the week, so we will feel it financially," he said.
According to Jim Lofton, Administrator for Pecos Nursing Home, his facility
didn't have any problems dealing with the outage.
"There were no real effects for us," he said.
"We have plenty of extra blankets for short-term problems like this
and we have contingency plans for long term problems," he said.
Lofton said that in a worst-case scenario, the facility would look for
alternative sources of gas, acquire portable heating, or as a last resort,
place patients at other facilities until the heat was turned back on.
"Our first concern is patient welfare, and we try to plan for any possible
contingency," Lofton said. "Keeping our patients warm during a crisis is
part of that planning."
Fifth Circuit to honor Bunton
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - U.S. District Judge Lucius D. Bunton will be honored
in May by fellow judges of the Fifth Circuit of the United States District
Court, at the group's annual meeting.
Bunton, the former Chief Judge of the Western District of Texas and
current Senior Judge for the Pecos and Midland-Odessa Divisions, will be
honored at the Fifth Circuit's Judicial Conference, according to a memo
sent out by District Judge Royal Furgeson last week. Furgeson added that
Bunton would also be honored by the State Bar of Texas with its Texas Bar
Foundation Fifty-Year Lawyer Award.
"All of us are honored to work and associated with Judge Bunton," Furgeson
said in his memo. "He is one of the giants of the bench and the legal profession.
He is a living legend among us. I know that you join me in congratulating
him and his devoted wife Mary Jane on his well-deserved recognition."
Bunton began his legal career in Uvalde in 1948 and moved to Marfa in
1951. He practiced law in Odessa from 1960 until being appointed to the
federal bench in 1979. Bunton was also instrumental in getting a new United
States Federal Courthouse built in Pecos in 1994, to replace the overcrowded
facility the federal court shared locally with the U.S. Postal Service.
After recovering from cancer surgery last year, Bunton has returned
to regular duty in Pecos federal court, and had several cases listed on
his court docket this morning and afternoon, along with the swearing in
of Presidio County attorney Pene Ferguson to practice in the Western District
Security State adds Saenz to board of directors
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - Security State Bank of Pecos has announced the election
of Oscar Saenz to the Board of Directors for the bank.
Saenz has served as Director of Plant Operations for Anchor West, Inc.,
in Pecos, since 1990. In such position he has full responsibility for over
720 employees and the entire operation. In addition to his responsibilities
in Pecos, Saenz oversees the company's Mexican Operations in Cuauhtomec,
He has been a leader in the Pecos community for many years and has served
on the PBT ISD Board, Reeves County Appraisal Board and is currently President
of the Pecos Economic Development Corporation. He also serves as a member
of the Texas A&M University President's Council and as President of
the Texas Food Processors Association.
Saenz is a member of the State of Texas Food Safety Task Force, the
Executive Council of Buffalo Trail Area Boy Scouts and is a member of the
Finance Council at Saint Catherine Catholic Church in Pecos. He has been
married to Mary for 37 years; the couple has three children and two grandchildren.
"We are extremely pleased to have Oscar Saenz as a Director of Security
State Bank. His depth of involvement and record of achievement in the community
will be of great benefit to the bank as it serves its community in the
new millennium," said Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr. who made the announcement
for the bank.
Security State Bank was acquired last August by TransPecos Financial
Corporation. The company, which is owned by Kennedy already operated Iraan
State Bank at the time of the purchase. The sale occurred following a six-month
search for a buyer by Security State's Board of Directors.
As of June 30, 1999, Security State Bank of Pecos had total assets of
$72 million and stockholders' equity of $9.5 million.
Appraisal review appeal hearings set Tuesday
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - The Appraisal Review Board of the Reeves County Appraisal
District will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday at the district's office, located
at 403 S. Cypress St.
According to Property Tax Code Sec. 25.25, the Appraisal Review Board
will hear three late mineral protests: Aquila Southwest, Norton Drilling,
and Rio Grande Pipeline. The ARB will hear all testimony at that time,
examine, and equalize the appraisal records of the Chief Appraiser according
to Texas Property Tax Code, Chapter 41.
The Appraisal Review Board will review and approve the supplemental
corrections for 1999.
The Appraisal Review Board will be in session on other days, notice
for which will be duly posted.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 09-12-27-35-36-40. Estimated jackpot: $14 million. Number
matching six of six: Zero. Matching five of six: 112. Prize: $1,483. Matching
four of six: 6,022. Prize: $99.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 23-25-33-79. Number matching four of four in Group One:
Zero. Number matching four of four in Group Two: 1. Prize: $25,000. Number
matching four of four in Group Three: 1. Prize: $10,000. Number matching
three of four in any group: 319. Prize: $300.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 15-21-30-31-33. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner:
$89,497. Winning ticket(s) sold in: Killeen, Texas. Matching four of five:
265. Prize: $506.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 7-1-5 (seven, one, five)
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 7-9-3 (seven, nine, three)
Jose "Pepe" Dominguez, 50, of Pecos, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2000, at Odessa
Medical Center Hospital.
Services will be held at 2 p.m., today at Santa Rosa Catholic Church
with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born April 10, 1949, in Ojinaga, Mexico, was a long-time Pecos
resident, a construction worker and carpenter and a Catholic.
Survivors include two sons, Jose Adelarto and Gabriel Dominguez of Odessa;
one daughter, Sandra Dominguez of Odessa; two brothers, Humberto and Guillermo
Dominguez of Pecos; and three sisters, Josefina D. Valenzuela of Ojinaga,
Mexico, Maria De La Luz of Odessa and Hortencia Dominguez of Dallas.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
William Bruce Hart, 56, of Stanton, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000, at his
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Mt.
Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. Bruce Abbott officiating.
He was born Feb. 12, 1943, in Pecos, had lived in Stanton since 1989,
was retired and a Methodist.
Survivors include one son, Jefferey D. Hart of Del Rio; one daughter,
Miera Janell of Brackettville and numerous aunts and uncles.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Guillermo "William" Montoya, 50, of San Antonio, died Saturday, Feb. 5,
2000, at University Hospital in San Antonio.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Santa Rosa Cemetery.
He was born Jan. 28, 1950, in Pecos, was a U.S. Army Veteran, a land
care technician, and a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Otilia Gonzales Montoya; four
brothers, Sisto Barrera Montoya, Pablo Gonzales Montoya Jr., Felipe Barrera
Montoya and Jose Barrera Montoya.
Survivors include one son, William Montoya, Jr. of Dallas; one daughter,
Yvette Montoya of San Antonio; his father, Pablo Montoya, Sr.; five brothers,
Andres B. Montoya of Crystal City, Epifano "Pifi" Barrera Montoya of Pecos,
Rogelio "Roy" Garza of El Paso, Benito Gonzales Montoya and Tiodoso "Tio"
Gonzales Montoya of Odessa; six sisters, Elvira Montoya Mendoza of Crystal
City, Armida Rico, Emma Montoya Carrasco and Ninfa Montoya Hernandez of
Pecos, Otilia "Tillie" Montoya Valenzuela and Delia Montoya of Odessa;
and one grandchild.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, Feb. 7, 2000 - High Sunday 78. Low this morning 35. Fair. Low 30-35.
Light east wind. Tuesday: Partly cloudy and unseasonably warm. High in
the mid 70s. South wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday night: Fair. Low around 35-40.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy and unseasonably warm. Low From the upper 30s
to the lower 40s. High 75-80.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise