Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Tuesday, April 4, 2000
Ranger's probe fails to find voter fraud
PECOS, April 4, 2000 - Texas Ranger Jerry Villalobos has closed his investigation
into charges of voter fraud in the March 14 Democratic primary election
without finding any violations, the trooper said last week.
Villalobos had been asked by 143rd District Attorney Randy
Reynolds to look into allegations of tampering with a vote rendered by
mail-in ballot by a campaigner involved in the Reeves County Precinct 3
"Technically, there was no violation," said Villalobos, because the
vote in question "was never counted."
Villalobos came up from Fort Stockton to investigate the charge after
a sworn affidavit, filed by a 78-year-old female who lives at the Pecos
Nursing Home, was turned in to him.
In the affidavit the woman said she contacted her granddaughter regarding
her mail-in ballot. Her granddaughter then contacted the Reeves County
Clerk's office about the matter when she was told her grandmother had already
voted and was assisted by Jan Pattillo, wife of Commissioner Precinct 3
challenger, David Pattillo, according to the witness signature on the ballot.
Pattillo is facing incumbent Herman Tarin in the runoff election on
April 11 for the Precinct 3 commissioner's job. Pattillo received the most
votes and Tarin came in second in the four-man race on March 14.
According to the affidavit, officials with the Reeves County Clerk's
office reported the elderly female signed the ballot with an X.
Villalobos said his investigation revolved around the vote cast by the
mail-in ballot. But he explained that the vote was not tallied because,
"She (the elderly female) had already voted curb side."
He said he made his conclusions after meeting with the elderly female
last week, and with Louise Cassell, the woman who in actuality assisted
the nursing home resident to vote.
"I was in fact the person that helped," said Cassell, who also verified
her meeting with Villalobos. "I was not alone," she added.
Becky Perkins said she was also in the room when Cassell helped the
woman fill out her mail ballot.
"I read the ballot to her," Cassell said, "she voted and she started
to sign it when she began to shake."
She said the woman managed to sign, "her first name and initial, and
I told her that was okay and I witnessed it."
"She (the elderly female) worked for me the whole time my kids were
in school," said Cassell, who added she met up with the woman again after
years of non-contact when she ran into her at the nursing home.
"When I put my aunt in the nursing home I ran into (the woman) out there,"
Cassell said she helped her aunt vote and tried to help her former employee
in the process while at the nursing home.
"I didn't know what was going on until after the affidavit came out,"
said Cassell, regarding the investigation by the Texas Rangers. "I don't
know how this (the investigation) got as far as it did."
"She is a sweet woman," she said of the affidavit originator. "I think
she was prompted by somebody," to attest to the misleading affidavit, Cassell
Reeves County Clerk Diane Flores said Wednesday that it is the voter's
responsibility to cancel a request for a mail in ballot if they went ahead
and voted at a designated polling location.
The county officer stated that she did not know how Jan Pattillo's name
got involved or why the elderly female was issued a mail-in ballot after
voting at the polls. Flores refused to comment further until she had a
chance to speak with Villalobos.
Pattillo said she probably did help the woman listed her in her legal
statement obtain a mail-in ballot.
"I went to the administrator (of the nursing home) and asked if they
thought it was a good idea," to help the facility residents register for
a mail-in ballot, Pattillo said. She was given the go ahead, and said she
was accompanied by Pecos Nursing Home employee Janet Martinez as she handed
out the registration forms.
However, Pattillo added, "I did not help her vote."
"This happened in early February," she added, "I went two days."
The affidavit was notarized and signed on March 7, 2000. The signature
shows a middle initial and different last name from that of the name under
which the nursing home resident claims she is registered to vote, which
has no middle initial but a maiden name and different last name.
Villalobos' final report was due to be given to Reynolds late last week.
However, he was not available to comment on the report either Monday or
"I wish the laws would change," Villalobos said about mail-in ballots.
"Anytime you take voting away from a secure location there's always room
He called the events leading up to the investigation, "not right," and,
Intern taking next step after working with Libby
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, April 4, 2000 - There's more to podiatry than just learning
about feet, and one student has done her share of learning right here in
"I feel like I've learned a lot and grown up a lot," said Calandra Theisen,
who has been working side by side with Dr. John Libbie, podiatrist, in
his Pecos office at 880 Daggett St. "Next I'll be going to Kansas to work
for another podiatrist there," said Theisen.
This is normal procedure for a fourth year podiatric student, according
to Theisen, who is a senior podiatric student from Des Moines University/Osteopathic
Medical Center College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery.
"This is the same school I attended," said Dr. Libbie.
The small town atmosphere appeals to Theisen, who said that was one
of the main reasons she chose to come to Pecos and intern here. "That and
doctor Libbie's long resume posted at the school," she said.
Theisen will work with about 12 physicians during the year. "Some hospitals
have more than one physician on staff in which case we'll be around them
more," she said.
She will be doing her residency in Maine and is looking forward to opening
a practice of her own in West Texas or a small town. "I'm looking at Texas,
among other states, but I would like for it to be in a small town," said
Among the many things she has learned this past month with Dr. Libbie
was how to open up a practice, patient management and the timeliness of
patient care. "The hands-on experience beats the books any day," said Theisen.
Podiatric students have to attend school for at least eight years. They
have to do their undergraduate work first, and then go through four years
of medical school. "This is the same as any other physician," said Dr.
One of the aspects of podiatric medicine is surgery. "The foot doesn't
come by itself, it comes with a body attached, so podiatrists learn the
same things a medical doctor does," he said. "While we're getting the same
curriculum, we also get to specialize, which is great"
Podiatrists take the same courses and study from the same medical books
and other medical practitioners. "We have to look at the entire body and
learn how to diagnose a patient," said Theisen. "I've always been interested
in becoming a podiatrist, not many people say that, but I always knew that's
what I wanted to do."
The oldest of three children, Theisen, is currently single and originally
When not busy hitting the medical books and doing hands-on training,
she enjoys hiking and "caving" or spelunking.
"She's really serious about spelunking," said Libbie.
"I also like to collect rocks and found one shaped like a boot once,"
Visiting the Carlsbad Caverns is also something Theisen enjoys doing
and something she will do again before she leaves.
"She didn't get to see any surgery, but she did a lot of post-operative
work," said Libbie. "But who knows, we might have a surgery patient before
In the meantime, Theisen will be here until Friday, staying with Richard
and Lilian Creasey and enjoying the West Texas atmosphere.
"I've really enjoyed it here and I feel I've learned a lot," she said.
Balmorhea pool annual cleaning gets underway
TOYAHVALE, April 4, 2000 - Balmorhea State Park's spring fed swimming pool
will be lowered for it's annual cleaning, which began on Monday and will
continue until next Sunday, April 9, according to the Balmorhea Chamber
With its constant 78 degrees temperature and flow rate of 20 million
gallons of water the 66-year-old pool is open year-round for swimming and
scuba diving. To refill the 3.5 million-gallon pool, it takes about four
hours. It will be ready for swimming and diving on Monday, April 10.
Elsewhere in the area, the Chamber sais fishing has been hot at Lake
Balmorhea. Lots of small bass are being caught along with some big catfish.
Texas Parks and Wildlife continues to stock the lake with bass, catfish,
and sunfish. The bald eagle is still being seen at the lake along with
lots of interesting birds and waterfowl. With spring migration weeks away
expect lots of birds around the lake and in the cottonwood trees in town.
Campsites are available at the lake.
To accommodate travelers, bird watchers, and recreational visitors,
the chamber said Saddle Back RV Park opened in December.
It offers a convenient place to spend the night or a week offering 20
pull through sites with water, electricity, and cable TV, which is located
at mile marker 212 on Interstate 10.
Motels and restaurants are also located in Balmorhea along with motel
and campground at Balmorhea State Park.
The next Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held at the Bear's Den
restaurant in Balmorhea on April 24, at 2 p.m. and everyone is invited
Ordinances limit sign, leaflet use on streets, cars
PECOS, April 4, 2000 - Candidates and their supporters both in next week's
Democratic primary runoff election and in the area city, school and hospital
board elections on May 6 are reminded that placement of signs on city or
private property along streets is against the law, as is placing flyers
on the windshield of vehicles.
Section 3-16 of the city code of ordinances prohibits the placing of
signs on any sidewalk, crosswalk, curb, street right-of-ways or on guard
rails, utility poles, bridges or railroad crossing signs. Section 3-18
makes it unlawful to place leaflets on cars or any other vehicle without
the permission of the owner.
Violators of the city ordinances are subject to fines.
AUSTIN (AP) - Results of the Cash 5 drawing Monday night: Winning numbers
drawn: 2-4-9-21-37. Number matching five of five: 1. Prize per winner:
$80,403. Winning ticket sold in: Universal City. Matching four of five:
237. Prize: $509.
AUSTIN (AP) - The winning Pick 3 numbers drawn Monday by the Texas Lottery,
in order: 4-5-0 (four, five, zero)
Carmen Navarette, 73, of Anthony, N.M., died Sunday, April 2, 2000.
Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 5, at St. Anthony Catholic
Church with burial in Anthony Cemetery in Anthony, N.M.
Survivors include two sons, Frank Navarette of Anthony, N.M. and Ray
Navarette of Yuma, Ariz.; three daughters, Rosa Dwyre of San Antonio, Isabel
Uranga of Anthony, N.M. and Juanita Payan of Anthony, N.M.; one brother,
Jose Arellano of California; two sisters, Estella Villegas of Hatch, N.M.
and Inez Montez of California; 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Easter Mae Walker, 80, of Brownwood and formerly of Pecos, died Friday,
March 31, 2000, at Brownwood Regional Medical Center.
Graveside services were held at 2 p.m., today at Mt. Evergreen Cemetery
She was born April 20, 1919, in Antlers, Okla., was a homemaker and
a member of the First Methodist Church of Pecos. She had lived in Brownwood
for the past four years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William Dennis Walker and
Survivors include three sons, Eugene Walker of Los Lunas, N.M., Dicky
Walker of Las Cruces, N.M. and Jimmy Walker of Silver City, N.M.; two daughters,
Mary Veber of Newton, Iowa and Margaret Moseley of Brownwood; one brother,
Ancel Campbell of Star Valley, Wy.; one sister, Joyce Sutherlin of New
Mexico; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and a number of nieces
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the
Heartland Funeral Home of Early is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, April 4, 2000 - High Monday 62. Low this morning 31. Forecast for
tonight: Clear. Low in the mid 40s. South wind 5-10 mph. Wednesday: Sunny
and unseasonably warm. High 90-95. Southwest wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday night:
Clear. Low near 50. Thursday and Friday: Mostly sunny warm days and fair
nights through the period. Lows near 50. Highs 90-95.
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