Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, February 25, 2000
Roof foreman killed in apparent fall
By JON FULBRIGHT
The construction supervisor for a Lubbock roofing company died this
morning when he apparently fell off the top of the former White's Auto
Center building that is being renovated to house Odessa College's new Pecos
The body of Robert Baker, 30, was found this morning by a delivery truck
driver as he passed through the alley between the new OC building and Beall's
in the Airlawn Shopping Center, according to Pecos Police Investigator
"He was working for the roofing company, but I don't know if they called
him the foreman," Davis said. Construction engineer Frank Spencer confirmed
that Baker was the supervisor for the roofing project.
Police were called to the scene at 6:15 a.m. after the body was discovered.
Officials could only speculate on what occurred, because it was still dark
outside and no other workers were at the scene when Baker died.
"We can only summarize he lost his balance, but right now we're still
investigating," Davis said.
Odessa College President Dr. Vance Gipson said, "What I've heard so
far are only sketchy details, but I heard he may have suffered an apparent
Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Amanario Ramon pronounced Baker dead
at the scene and ordered an autopsy. Officials will have to wait until
they receive the autopsy report from Lubbock before they can determine
if a medical condition contributed to the death.
"We're very sorry to hear of this tragedy. We greatly regret this occurred,"
Odessa College's physical plant manager Bob Chastain was already scheduled
to meet with Spencer in Pecos today to discuss the project, and Gipson
said officials had talked with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) about the accident.
Baker was supervising the project for A.G. McKinney Construction of
Lubbock. An official with the company declined comment this morning, and
Spencer said he had not yet talked to the company about their plans following
"I understand the roofing contractor will have to regroup and take care
of the matter at hand," said Spencer. "I have not tried to contact them.
I know he's (McKinney) trying to take care of his people. Next week I will
give them a call."
"I was talking to some of the guys who were working for him, and they
said this guy takes care of all of us," Spencer said. "He was always worrying
Spencer speculated that Baker was "trying to get things together for
his crew," when the incident occurred, but added, "No one was there, so
no one knows for sure what happened."
Work on the roof had just begun Wednesday, after funding for the $860,000
project was formally approved Tuesday by the Odessa College Foundation.
The approval capped a long effort by the Town of Pecos City, the Pecos
Economic Development Corporation and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD to get a satellite
campus built for students in the Pecos area.
Construction was scheduled to run through mid-May, and while Spencer
said Baker's death would cause some delays, he added, "Anything else pertaining
to the project will continue as scheduled," and interior work on the building
was going on this morning.
"It's a great loss on a project that's a high impact on the community.
It's very sad for this to happen," Spencer said. "It's hard to take, and
hard to understand and comprehend, but it's nothing you can do anything
After Baker was pronounced dead, his body was taken to Pecos Funeral
Home, before being sent to Lubbock for autopsy. Pecos volunteer firemen
were also called to the scene after sunrise, to wash away blood from the
spot in the alley where Baker fell.
Three incumbents file for May election
By ROSIE FLORES
Mayor Dot Stafford and city councilman Danny Rodriguez have decided
they want to retain their seats on the Town of Pecos City Council, while
Reeves County Hospital District board member Greg Luna has done the same
in that election race.
Stafford and Rodriguez filed on Thursday with the city secretary for
re-election, in the May 6 city election, while Luna filed at Reeves County
Hospital to remain on that board.
City elections will also be held May 6 in Toyah, Barstow and Balmorhea,
along with elections for local school and hospital board seats.
In the city elections, terms up are for mayor and two council positions,
and all seats are for two-year periods. The hospital district seats also
are two-year terms, while those up for election on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
and Balmorhea school board are three-year terms.
All Reeves County voters are eligible to cast ballots for the at-large
seat on the Reeves County Hospital District board, where Luna is seeking
a third two-year term. Other seats on the RCH board up for election are
the for Precinct 1 and Precinct 3 seats held by Chel Flores and Jesse Prieto.
Three candidates filed earlier this week for the P-B-T election. They
include Steve Valenzuela, who recently joined Paul Deishler and incumbent
Steve Armstrong in seeking one of the two available seats on the school
Two positions are currently open on the board, for a three-year period.
Armstrong is seeking his second consecutive three-year term on the board,
after serving there during the 1980s. The other school board member whose
term is up for election, Freddy Lujan, has not filed yet to run in the
Warren offers Rotary rodeo review
By SMOKEY BRIGGS
Rodeo Committee President Starkey Warren was the featured speaker at
the Rotary Club meeting yesterday.
Warren said that while the West of the Pecos Rodeo had the fourth best
purse in Texas, the event had lost money in recent years.
"People are just not going to the Rodeo like they used to," Warren said.
The rodeo committee is trying to reverse that trend this year.
"We're making some changes this year that we hope will make the rodeo
profitable," he said.
Warren said that the primary change would be the program.
"We've always had a very nice, magazine-format program. We've also always
lost from $3,000 to $4,000 on it each year. In the past we've made that
up with ticket sales," he said.
This year, Warren said that the program would be printed on newsprint
and that 35,000 copies would be printed.
"We're going to distribute the program all over West Texas," he said.
Warren said that the program would be inserted in area newspapers and
also set out at area businesses.
"Hopeful it will give non-residents some information about our rodeo
and will help draw people to it from all around the region," he said.
Warren said the program would also be available at the gate, along with
the day sheet for that day's performance.
Warren also said that because the program would be printed on newsprint,
instead of dedicating the program to someone as in previous years, the
rodeo itself would be dedicated to a selected person this July.
Other changes for the rodeo include a single dance.
"For the last eight or ten years the Sheriff's Posse and the Rodeo Committee
have sponsored dances. This year we will be cooperating with the Sheriff's
Posse, and the Posse will sponsor the dance," Warren said.
"In exchange the Sheriff's Posse is going to do more to support the
Rodeo," he said.
In another promotional effort, Warren told the group that Public Information
Coordinator Mya Griffin of Texas-New Mexico Power had arranged for rodeo
flyers to be added to the company's bills.
"That's 228,000 flyers going directly to TNMP customers in the region,"
Vendors will also be allowed on the rodeo grounds this year.
"We've always said no because we want to have a rodeo, not a carnival.
This year we are going to be real picky about who we let in, but we do
want to foster more of a festival type atmosphere," Warren said.
The last major change Warren spoke of was the scheduling of the rodeo.
"There will not be a rodeo performance on July 4th this year,"
he said. "Since the Fourth falls on a Tuesday and we felt we needed to
work toward the final performance falling on Saturday night, the first
performance of the rodeo will be on July 5."
Warren said that the change was made to help encourage attendance.
"To get people to come from out-of-town we need to start mid-week and
work toward the weekend," he said.
Warren said that although he was hesitant to change long-standing traditions,
he was most interested in keeping the West of the Pecos Rodeo alive and
among the top rodeos in the country.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Thursday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 4-13-35-36-37. Number matching five of five: 2. Prize per winner:
$40,867. Winning tickets sold in: Dallas, Pampa. Matching four of five:
193. Prize: $635.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Thursday by the Texas
Lottery, in order: 7-9-9 (seven, nine, nine)
High Thursday 88. Low this morning 49. Forecast for tonight: Clear. Low
30 to 35. West wind 10 to 20 mph and gusty. Saturday: Mostly sunny and
breezy. High in the upper 60s. West wind 15 to 25 mph. Saturday night:
Dry. Low in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Sunday: Dry with above normal temperatures.
Low in the upper 30s to mid 40s. High in the 70s to around 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