Pecos Country History
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, February 14, 2000
Wheelis given Chamber's Citizen award
By ROSIE FLORES
A standing ovation greeted the recipient of the Citizen of the Year
at Saturday's Annual Pecos Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
Starkey Warren presented the award to former Pecos High School agriculture
teacher Bailey Wheelis, who has been involved in many aspects of the community.
"Looking back at the life of a man who's work and fun have been dedicated
to service, it is interesting to see how he became such a hard worker,
excellent horseman, cowboy, cook, teacher, craftsman and most of all, special
friend that his family and acquaintances know him to be," Warren said in
He added that the honoree has been around livestock, ranching, rodeo
and youth all his life. As a young man, his parents were involved with
the feedlot industry and later with a sheep ranch running 2000 head of
sheep. Then, when his father became deputy sheriff for Presidio County,
the family lived in the jailhouse where dad worked.
The award was the last of eight presented Saturday night at the banquet,
which was held at the Reeves County Civic Center.
Dr. Vance Gipson, president of Odessa College was guest speaker for
the evening. Gipson entertained the full house with quips, jokes and light-hearted
He also spoke of the new OC Campus in Pecos and praised Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD Superintendent Don Love and Pecos High School Principal Danny Rodriguez
for their support. "The city mayor and council did the right thing when
they voted for economic development," said Gipson. "That says a lot for
"We also want to acknowledge and thank Norman Harris for donating the
building for this great cause," he said.
Gipson stated that the group has recently received an $860,000 grant
for the remodeling of the facility. "We'll have a first class facility,"
Gipson passed out copies of the proposed layout of the facility, which
will include a director's office, computer labs, a technical training center,
lounge area and science labs.
"We hope to have full-time people attending classes there," said Gipson.
"The trade center will offer courses customized to fit Pecos," according
to Gipson. "We'll look at using tools that Pecos will be able to utilize,
as industry is brought into this area," he said.
"As we face challenges for the new millennium, let's you and I build
together," he said.
Wheelis has been in Pecos for the past 36 years, and is a lifelong resident
of West Texas, Warren told the audience. He was born in Ballinger, attended
Marfa High School; was an active member of the Marfa FFA where he showed
sheep and steers; rode bulls and roped calves and steers during his American
Junior Rodeo Association days; won the AJRA bull riding event in the Pecos
arena in 1957 and graduated from Marfa High School that same year.
He attended Sul Ross State University and went on to graduate in 1961
from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos with an agriculture
While on his first teaching assignment in Fort Hancock in 1963, he met
the love of his life, Patsy Posey, on a blind date; and in 1964 they were
married in Fort Stockton. The same year they both began their teaching
careers with the Pecos schools. Along the way, they were blessed with two
daughters, Staci and Tobi, and many, many friends, according to Warren.
Some of his previous honors include: the Chamber's Teacher of the Year
award in 1971; Honorary State FFA Degree; Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree;
Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Outstanding Agriculture Teacher Award; Outstanding
Committeeman of the Reeves-Loving Junior Livestock Show and in 1997, the
West of the Pecos Rodeo dedicated their souvenir program to him.
"Although he retired from active teaching with the Pecos schools in
May of 1999, dozens of people, in all walks of life, all around this country,
and several probably in this very room, can and do make tribute to his
35 years of service to the agriculture program at the Pecos High School
and the Pecos community. No one knows how many miles or how many students
he and Patsy have hauled around the state of Texas to judging events, stock
shows, FFA conventions or contests," said Warren.
"It has been noted that eight of the former presidents of the West of
the Pecos Rodeo, plus the current president, and countless rodeo committee
members through the years have been former students of his," said Warren.
"It seems that instilling community involvement, pride, motivation and
self-confidence in young people is a specialty of."
"What a special tribute to a person _ to have young people you work
with go on to emulate your serving spirit for their community," said Warren.
Wheelis delivered the shortest acceptance speech of the evening, stating
his thanks to everyone.
The Hidden Hero/Profile of Courage Awards were combined this year and
were awarded to a husband and wife, Mac and Billie McCormick, who were
applauded loudly as they accepted their award.
"Pecos has given us very much, we've had a good livelihood and enjoyed
it very much," said Mac McCormick.
"These people are at the nursing homes, hospitals, people houses and
anywhere that they are needed," said Ken Winkles, Sr., who presented the
couple with their award. "They are truly hidden heroes, because not everybody
knows, about everything that they do."
Winkles said the couple has inspired many in the community and have
helped many. "They are there when they are needed and are truly a blessing
to us all," he said.
"God has been good to us and I thank him for the bottom of my heart,"
Mac McCormick said. "I don't deserve this award, God does.
"Because it's because of him, that I am who I am and I thank him for
using me this way," said McCormick.
The Agriculture Service Award went to Mike Murphy; Student of the Year
was Kevin Bates; Educator of the Year, Eva Garcia; Law Enforcement Officer
of the Year, Tony Dawdy; Outstanding Director, Barbara Creager and the
Women's Division Award of Service went to Judy Tipton, as outgoing president
of that organization.
Vandals target political campaign signs
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Local political candidates are having a hard time keeping their signs
up in Pecos and anyone caught vandalizing the signs could face criminal
"This is childish and ridiculous," incumbent County Attorney Walter
Holcombe said. "It's also criminal."
Holcomb said that he had about 30 of his smaller campaign signs torn
down over the weekend and that other candidates have reported similar problems,
both with the small yard signs and larger, more expensive signs advertising
"It's a crime. Depending on the size of the sign the person could be
charged with a Class A, B or C misdemeanor and could face punishments from
a $500 fine up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine," Holcombe said.
He explained that if the sign was simply destroyed the appropriate charge
would be criminal mischief, while if the sign was stolen, theft would be
Candidate for county commissioner of Precinct 3, David Patillo, has
also had a problem keeping his signs up.
"It sure seems like somebody is tearing them down, especially the big
ones," he said. "The large signs are a composite material that is pretty
tough, stronger than cardboard. We keep putting them back up though."
Patillo said that some of the signs could have blown down, but that
many completely disappeared on days when the wind wasn't blowing.
"We put them up and somebody else takes them down. We plan to keep putting
them up," he said.
Sophia Baeza, wife of Precinct 1 county commissioner candidate Jesse
Baeza said that her husband has had similar problems.
"You can tell that some of them were knocked down or torn up with a
hammer. You can see the imprints from the hammer," she said.
"We've had one sign knocked down twice, but we just put it back up."
Baeza said that the sign war seemed to be a part of Pecos politics.
"I don't know why people have to be this way but it seems to happen
every year. I've worked on campaigns in the past and we've had similar
problems," she said.
"We just grin and bear it. There is no use getting angry. I think we
should all be friends before, during and after the elections, but some
people can't do that. It is a shame," Baeza said.
RCDC inmate hangs self in cell
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
A Reeves County Detention Center inmate died Friday afternoon, after
he was found hanging from his neck by a bed sheet at 1:35 p.m.
According to RCDC Associate Warden Leonard Lopez, Jose Maximino-Hernandez
(prison identification number 04351180) was found in his single-occupancy
cell by a correctional officer just five minutes after the last documented
"We were checking on Mr. Hernandez every fifteen minutes _ he had had
some psychological problems and was being held in one of the medical units
in the special housing unit," Lopez said.
Lopez said that Hernandez had been seen by a psychologist and a psychiatrist,
and had not been diagnosed as a suicide risk, but that as a precaution
he was held in the special housing unit where a corrections officer would
check on him every quarter-hour.
The corrections officer last had contact with Hernandez at 1:30 p.m.,
Lopez said. Hernandez asked the officer for something and the officer told
him he had to take care of a few things and would be right back.
When the officer returned five minutes later Hernandez was hanging from
the sheet, Lopez said.
According to Lopez staff members began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) efforts as soon as Hernandez was discovered in his cell.
Pecos EMS continued efforts to revive the man as he was transported
to Reeves County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:41 p.m., Lopez
Autopsy results are pending on Hernandez, an El Salvadorian national,
who was serving a 90-day sentence for illegal entry and was to be released
this coming Friday, February 18, 2000.
Lopez said that when released, Hernandez would have been turned over
to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for further processing.
Voter sign-up deadline today for primaries
Today is the deadline for area residents to register to vote in order to
cast ballots in the March 14 primary elections.
Voters have until 5 p.m. to register to vote in either the Democratic
or Republican primaries next month, while the deadline to submit an application
by mail is March 7.
Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez said anyone wanting an application
for a ballot by mail can contact her office at 445-5467. Early voting by
personal appearance will begin on Feb. 26 and the last day to vote early
by personal appearance has been set for March 10, according to Florez.
Absentee voting is from Feb. 28 until March 10, or individuals can vote
in person from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 14.
Enrique Almanza, 52, of Pecos, died Sunday, Feb. 13, 2000, at Reeves County
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Saragosa Cemetery.
He was born Nov. 20, 1946, in Pecos, was a lifelong Pecos resident,
market manager for Toone's Grocery and a Catholic.
Survivors include his wife, Leticia Almanza of Pecos; two sons, Mark
Almanza of Midland and Mario Almanza of Arlington; one daughter, Cynthia
Almanza of Midland; three brothers, Fidel Almanza of Carlsbad, N.M., Gomisindo
Almanza, Jr. of Pecos and Jose Almanza of Arlington; two sisters, Teresa
Alvardo of Balmorhea and Carmela Carrasco of Irving and two grandchildren.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Services are incomplete for Ramon Garcia, 82, of Pecos, who died at Reeves
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Marriza R. Pallares
Marizza R. Pallares, a newborn girl, died Thursday, Feb. 10, 2000 at Denver
Health Medical Center Hospital in Denver, Colo.
Mass was held at 10 a.m., today at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial
in Greenwood Cemetery.
Survivors include her parents, Jose Pallares of Denver, Colo., and Diana
Rodriguez Pallares of Pecos; grandparents Donaciana Romero Pallares of
Chihuahua, Chih. Mexico; and one sister, Kindra Marie Rodriguez of Pecos.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Clifford Skelton, 79, of Big Spring, died Friday, Feb. 11, at Mountainview
Lodge, following a long illness.
Services were held at 2 p.m., today at Myers and Smith Chapel, with
Gary Burton and Craig Felty, officiating.
Graveside services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, at Calidonia Cemetery
in Rusk County.
He was born Oct. 18, 1920, in Rusk County, was a veteran of World War
II, serving in the Army Air Corps and was a disabled veteran.
He was preceded in death by wife, Agnes Worsham Skelton.
Survivors include one son, Lanny Skelton of Big Spring; one daughter,
Rosalie Ripley of San Antonio; one brother, Wilford Skelton of Lumberton;
four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Myers and Smith Funeral Home of Big Spring are in charge of arrangements.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 3-10-17-36-37-48. Estimated jackpot: $4 million. Number
matching six of six: One. Winning ticket sold in: Brenham. Matching five
of six: 86. Prize: $1.313. Matching four of six: 3,785. Prize: $107.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Friday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 01-07-20-25-32. Number matching five of five: 3. Prize per winner:
$29,201. Winning tickets sold in: Burnett, Baytown, Marshall. Matching
four of five: 231. Prize: $569.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Texas Million drawing Friday night: Winning
numbers drawn: 5-26-30-71. Number matching four of four in Group One: One.
Prize: $1 million. Number matching four of four in Group Two: Zero. Number
matching four of four in Group Three: Zero. Number matching three of four
in any group: 358. Prize: $300.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Friday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 6-2-2 (six, two, two)
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Saturday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 9-2-3 (nine, two, three)
High Sunday 74. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy.
Low around 40. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High around
80. Southwest wind 10-20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low around
40. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High around 80.
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.
John Capriotti, 17, was arrested at 3:18 p.m., on February 2, in the
600 block of Plum Street, on a warrant for theft.
Debra M. Villalon, 29, was arrested at 7:34 p.m., on February 3, in
the 500 block of Mesquite Street, on a warrant for theft.
Rosalinda Munoz, 51, was arrested at 10:22 p.m., on February 3, in
the 600 block of Fourth Street, for public intoxication.
Albino Tarango, 41, and Raymond Vega, 33, was arrested at 10:54 p.m.,
on February 3, at La Offecina Club, for public intoxication/disorderly
Elizabeth Jimenez, 28, was arrested at 12:48 a.m., on February 4, at
La Offecina Club, for public intoxication/disorderly conduct/resisting
James Esparza, 19, was arrested at 2:28 a.m., on February 4, in the
2000 block of South Eddy Street, for providing a false report to a peace
Gonzalo Armendariz, 20, was arrested at 6:59 p.m., on February 4, at
the corner of Eighth and Cherry streets, on a warrant for theft over $20
and under $200.
Victoriano Prieto, 41, was arrested at 9:13 a.m., on February 5, in
the 1100 block of East Eighth Street, on warrants out of Ward County.
Gloria Menchaca, 22, was arrested at 11:20 p.m., on February 5, in
the 900 block of South Cherry Street, for making alcohol available to a
Eric S. Garcia, 28, was arrested at 3:34 a.m., on February 6, in the
700 block of Fourth Street, for assault under the Family Violence Act causing
Manuel Trevino, 31, was arrested at 8:56 p.m., on February 6, in the
2200 block of Park Street, for evading detention.
William Graves, 59, was arrested at 1:16 p.m., on February 7, at Flying
J, for public intoxication.
Enrique L. Sais, 48, was arrested at 7:20 p.m., on February 7, in the
900 block of South Ash Street, on a warrant for assault causing bodily
Leobardo Gonzales Esquivel, 37, was arrested at 10:30 p.m., on February
7, in the 2300 block of Rhodes Street, for assault under the Family Violence
Ricardo C. Gonzales, 20, Jesus Flores Jr., 22, and Daniel Rivera Jr.,
21, were arrested at 11:24 p.m., on February 7, at the corner of Eddy and
Normandy streets. Gonzales and Flores were charged with public intoxication;
Rivera was charged with deadly conduct.
Joseph David Roberts Jr., 31, was arrested at 10:03 a.m., on February
8, at Flying J, for theft over $50.
Ruben T. Levario, 35, was arrested at 7:55 p.m., on February 8, at
Cut Rate Liquor, on a DWI refusal.
Jaime Armendariz, 40, was arrested at 11:29 p.m., on February 8, at
Anchor West, on a warrant for a simple assault.
Steve Green, 48, was arrested at 4:25 a.m., on February 9, in the 300
block of Willow Street, for criminal trespass.
Regina A. Dennett, 31, and Noe Cano Ruiz, 55, were arrested at 6:19
p.m., on February 9. Dennett was charged with public intoxication; Ruiz
with possession of cocaine.
Andres Martinez Baeza, 55, was arrested at 11:10 p.m., on February
9, at the corner of Eighth and Pecan streets, for public intoxication
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