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Top Stories

Monday, March 13, 2000

Early voting tops 2,100 for Tuesday's election

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 13, 2000 - Early voting ended on Friday for Reeves County's Democratic Party primary election, with over 2,100 people casting ballots early for Tuesday's local, state and national races.

According to figures from the Reeves County Clerk's office, a total of 1,726 people cast ballots in person at the Reeves County Courthouse for the election, and another 408 mail ballots had been returned as of Friday. Overall, 568 ballots were mailed out to Reeves County voters by the county clerk's office.

All county voters will be eligible to cast ballots in the primary races for Reeves County Sheriff and Reeves County Attorney, while voters in Precincts 1 and 3 will also be deciding on the Democratic nominee for commissioner on Tuesday.

Voters in Boxes 2 and 11 will cast ballots in the Precinct 1 commissioner's race, where Anita Baeza, Jesse Baeza and Roy Pena are challenging incumbent Felipe Arredondo.

Voters in Boxes 5, 6 and 10 will be voting for commissioner in Precinct 3, where incumbent Herman Tarin is also facing three challengers - James "Jimmy" Gallego, James H. Thomas and David Pattillo.

In the race for Reeves County Sheriff, incumbent Andy Gomez is being challenged by Tony Aguilar, while in the Reeves County Attorney election, incumbent Walter Holcombe is facing Luis Carrasco.

The only other contested local race is for Precinct 2 constable. Voters in Boxes 3, 4 and 12 will decide between Clint Glenn and Jaime J. Salgado. Uncontested races for all voters are for 143rd District Judge, 143rd District Attorney and Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector, where incumbents Bob Parks, Randall W. Reynolds and Elifda Zuniga are unopposed.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday in all 12 election boxes in Reeves County for the primary election. All local candidates are running on the Democratic side, but voters can also cast ballots in the Republican Party primary election, which will include area, state and national races.

Republicans will have only one voting location in Reeves County on Tuesday, at 2323 Tolliver Street. Early voting in the Republican Primary totaled only 17 ballots, with two of three mail ballots returned by Friday, according to the Reeves County Clerk's office.

Aside from the local races, Democratic primary voters will have contested races for the 23rd Congressional District, where Joe Sullivan and Isidro Garza are seeking to run against Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla in November, and in the U.S. Senate race, where five candidates, Bobby Wightman, H. Gerald Bintliff, Gene Kelly, Charles Gandy and Don Clark, are vying to run against Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison this fall.

Three names also are on the ballot in the presidential primary, but Bill Bradley pulled out of the race against Vice President Al Gore last week, leaving Lyndon H. LaRouche as the only other active candidate.

On the Republican side, Gov. George Bush's also saw his main opponent, John McCain, pull out of the race last week, while Hutchison, Bonilla and Gary Walker, 80th District State Representative, are running unopposed.

Ortega, Hung file for city, hospital elections

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 13, 2000 - Two more people have filed to run against incumbents in the May 6 area elections, with nine days remaining for candidates to sign-up for the local city, school and hospital district races.

Local businessman Ray Ortega filed this morning to run against incumbent Dot Stafford, who is seeking her fourth two-year term as Town of Pecos City Mayor. Meanwhile, another local businessman, Leo Hung, filed on Friday to seek the at-large seat on the Reeves County Hospital District board against two-term incumbent Greg Luna.

Ortega is part owner of West Texas Financial, while Hung operates Professional Pharmacy and American Home Health in Pecos.

They currently are the only non-incumbents running in the city and hospital district races.

Stafford and incumbent councilman Danny Rodriguez filed in late February to retain their seats on the Town of Pecos City Council, while the other incumbent whose term expires in May, Ricky Herrera, filed last week for another two-year term on the council.

Candidates have until March 22 to file to run in any of the local elections.

All Reeves County voters will be eligible to cast ballots in the election between Luna and Hung, while hospital district seats in Precinct 1 and 3 also will be decided in May.

Incumbent Jesse Prieto already has filed for a new two-year term as Precinct 3 representative, while no one has filed as of yet for the Precinct 1 seat, held by Chel Flores.

Down in Balmorhea, only one incumbent has filed to run in the city council race, but he'll be seeking a different position this May. Councilman Danny Reynolds has filed to run for the mayoral position currently held by Ismael Rodriguez.

The terms of Reynolds, a Reeves County sheriff's deputy, and Rosendo Galindo also are up for election on May 6, but so far no one has filed for either of the council seats.

In the Barstow City Council race, incumbent aldermen Robert Ortega and Benny Avila have filed, and have been joined by Benny Hernandez, who is seeking the mayoral position currently held by Salvador Villalobos.

The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD election has three candidates seeking the two three-year terms up for election. Incumbent Steve Armstrong is joined in the May 6 race by challengers Paul Deishler and Steve Valenzuela. All three filed in February.

Along with Armstrong, the school board seat currently held by Freddy Lujan is up for election on May 6.

Although students and teachers are off this week for Spring Break, candidates can still file for the school board election at the P-B-T administration building, 1302 S. Park St.In the Balmorhea school board race, only one person, Raymond Carrasco, has filed for one of the two two-year terms up for election. Paul Matta and Reyes Castillo hold the seats that are up for election.In Toyah, terms expiring are also mayor and two council posts. Paul Budlong won the mayor's race in 1998, while the council seats up for election are those won by Clara McConnell and Howard Dennett two years ago.

McCracken moves from reporter to business manager

PECOS, Mar. 13, 2000 - Enterprise publisher Smokey Briggs has named Peggy McCracken as business manager and is seeking a fulltime reporter to replace her.

McCracken will bill and collect advertising revenue for both the print and Internet editions of the daily Enterprise and the Sunday Free Press, disburse checks for accounts payable and payroll, and oversee other office functions.

"I enjoyed my nearly 30 years as a reporter and editor, but it's time for a new challenge," said McCracken. "I look forward to working with our customers to help them make the most of their advertising dollars, in print or online."

Briggs said that McCracken would continue to create banner advertising and web pages that will attract new buyers from among the paper's online readers and Pecos Gab contributors.

"Pecos Gab is dear to my heart," said McCracken. "Pecos exes are drawn into the community by sharing their memories of the past and their present circumstances with one another. I predict that hundreds will be returning for class reunions around rodeo time in July as a direct result of those contacts."

McCracken is not new to the accounting profession. She took an office job with Universal CIT upon arriving in Pecos in 1953 and has continually upgraded her skills, including extensive use of the computer.

"I am pleased that we were able to staff our business office with one who already knows the newspaper trade," said Briggs. "McCracken has proved her capabilities in that area over the past four months, and I am confident that she will continue to be an asset to the paper as she was in the editorial department."

She welcomes e-mail to her new address, Access Pecos Gab at

Commissioners asked to solve phone problem

Staff Writer
PECOS, Mar. 13, 2000 - A new phone system for Reeves County was the topic of discussion at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court meeting that began this morning and will continue after lunch.

Commissioners discussed at length the phone system for the county and agreed that something needed to be done after hearing about recent problems at various county offices.

Reeves County Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Alberto Alvarez told the court that about three weeks ago the system at the Reeves County Juvenile Detention Center failed and they were left without a phone.

"We had 14 telephones and as a result of the weather were left with only one," said Alvarez. "That's one phone for two departments."

Alvarez said he had received a number of complaints from people in the community about their inability to reach the center.

It would take about $2,900 for a new phone system that would include nine phone stations and a fax line, according to Alvarez.

Other departments at the Reeves County Courthouse have experienced similar problems with the phone system, commissioners were told.

County Clerk Dianne Florez said her department is one of the ones with phone problems. "We feel it's very important to have a good phone system," said Florez.

"When it was real windy, we couldn't call out," Florez said. "They could call in, but we couldn't, and we needed to talk to the Secretary of State, about the elections."

The system currently in place is a very old system, according to county auditor Lynn Owens. It was put in place by Contel, when it was the local telephone company. Contel was bought out 10 years ago by GTE, which plans to sell off its area phone systems this year.

"I've spent hours on the phone with them," said Owens.

"I think at some point we should be able to connect all these systems," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo.

He said the county should invest in an upgraded system that would connect all the departments and Reeves County offices.

"We need to get it integrated, it would certainly expedite matters," he said.

Commissioners agreed to advertise for competitive proposals, with each department submitting their existing station and then a "wish list," of items they might need in the future, such as fax lines or internet services.

"We can get each department to submit their existing systems requirements and a wanted system requirements and to add the possibility of a purchase option," he said.

In other action before their lunch break, commissioners approved men's and women's golf associations tournament fee policy to include that if the men's or women's association make a contribution of $800 or more then their fee would be waived during tournament's fee and the invoice turned in to the county auditor.

Council holding special meeting on water deal

PECOS, Mar. 13, 2000 - Town of Pecos City Council will hold a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall to discuss and consider a contract for water distribution services and a settlement agreement with Reeves County.

The city and county reached an agreement after mediation last month over water rates for the Reeves County Detention Center. The city had been seeking back payment from the county for water provided to the prison at the higher rate charged to customers outside the city limits.

The meeting will be held in the council chambers at City Hall.

County tax office closing Tuesday due to elections

The Reeves County Tax Assessor-Collector's office will be closed on Tuesday due to the primary elections being held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The office will serve as the county Voter Registration Department on Tuesday, and will be open to assist anyone on their voting status or where their polling site is in Reeves County. Anyone needing information should call Elfida Zungia at 445-5473 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.


AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Lotto Texas drawing Saturday night:

Winning numbers drawn: 3-7-31-32-38-42. Estimated jackpot: $13 million. Number matching six of six: 0 Matching five of six: 72. Prize: $2,068. Matching four of six: 5,233. Prize: $103.


High Sunday 65. Low this morning 28. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low in the lower 40s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Tuesday: Cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. High in the upper 60s. East to southeast wind 10-20 mph. Chance of rain is 20 percent. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low 40-45. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. High from the upper 60s to the lower 70s.

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Pecos Enterprise
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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