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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Early voting ends for local elections with 11-year high

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 3, 2000 - Final figures on early voting indicate the largest turnout in over a decade for early voting in the city, school and hospital elections, which are scheduled for Saturday.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., on Election Day.

A total of 1,402 people have already cast their vote early by personal appearance, according to Debbie Thomas, early voting clerk for the Town of Pecos City, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD and Reeves County Hospital District elections and nearly 1,600 votes overall have been received by Thomas' office.

"This is an extremely high number of early voters," said Thomas.

A total of 247 people cast their votes on Tuesday, when early voting ended. Election clerks have also mailed out 314 ballots and have received 182 back.

"We'll be going to the post office again to see if we get more back," said Thomas. "We'll probably get 250 or 260."

"I don't remember having this many vote early before, but we're really pleased with the numbers," she said. This year's area elections have more contested races than in the past several years.

The last really big early voting was in 1989, when 1,592 individuals cast their vote early. In 1990, the number was about 300 votes lower, at 1,279, and dropped by another 300 in 1991, when 981 people cast their votes early.

A total of 3,427 votes were cast in 1989, when the city races were also contested.

In this year's Town of Pecos City elections, mayor Dot Stafford will be seeking a fourth two-year term and is being challenged by Ray Ortega. In the council election, incumbents Danny Rodriguez and Ricky Herrera are challenged by Hector "Tito" Roman.

The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD election has four candidates seeking the two three-year terms up for election. Incumbent Steve Armstrong will be joined in the May 6 race by challengers Paul Deishler, Steve Valenzuela and David Flores.

In the Reeves County Hospital District election, the only contested race is for the at-large seat, where incumbent Hiram "Greg" Luna is challenged by Leo Hung. Precinct 1 incumbent Chel Florez and Precinct 3 incumbent Jesse Prieto are unopposed in their bids for new two-year terms.

The names for the candidates in the city, school and hospital elections are all on one single ballot for voters at the Pecos Community Center on South Oak Street.

Barstow City Council voters will also have a contested election for the first time in years, and Balmorhea will again have contested elections in its city and school elections.

A total of 24 people voted early this year in the Balmorhea city election, while more than twice that many, 53, cast their ballots early in the Balmorhea school board race.

In the Balmorhea city races, incumbent mayor Ismael Rodriguez is being challenged by councilman Danny Reynolds and Doug Maynard. Reynolds' seat was one of two on the council up for election this year. The other incumbent, Rosendo Galindo, is seeking another two-year term and will face challengers Tammy Marmillon, Bertha Brijalba and Eddie Roman.

In the Balmorhea School Board election the three-year terms of Reyes Castillo and Paul Matta are up. Matta has filed to seek another three-year term and will be challenged by Dora Machuca, Tommy Ray Dominguez, Louis Rene Contreras and Raymond Carrasco.

Barstow voters will have one contested race, with incumbents Robert Ortega and Benny Avila facing challenger Pablo Navarette. Benny Hernandez will be unopposed in the race for Barstow mayor.

In Toyah the mayor's race is uncontested with only Ann Marsh filing to run for mayor, while Paul Anthony Budlong, Sharon Sanchez and Bart Sanchez signed up for the two available Toyah city council seats.

Task force finds big `nest egg' in T-bird

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 3, 2000 - Almost a quarter of a million dollars in suspected drug money was taken off the streets Monday by the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force, following a traffic stop in western Reeves County.

The incident happened at about 4:30 p.m. Monday at mile marker 24 on I-20, two miles east of Toyah, when Oscar Perez Salgado, 25, was stopped for a traffic violation.

Salgado was driving a 1996 Ford Thunderbird, when Sergeant Investigator Billy Hull pulled him over on the traffic violation.

"During that time we discovered a large amount of money hidden in the rear bumper," said Hull.

Hull stated that the rear bumper had been "re-designed" leaving a hollowed out space, where the money was hidden.

Officers confiscated $228,800 in cash, which was placed in vacuum packs.

"Each package was sealed and labeled with the money amount," said Task Force Commander Gary Richards.

Richards stated that each package was vacuum-sealed and labeled according to how much money it contained.

"They were labeled such as so many $50's, so many $20's and so on," said Hull.

Both the money and the car were seized during the investigation.

Salgado was charged with money laundering (a first degree felony) and bond was set at $25,000 by Justice of the Peace J.T. Marsh.

"He was traveling from Nashville to El Paso," said Hull.

Salgado is a native of Nashville, Tenn. and is currently in the Reeves County Jail.

"We're really excited about this seizure," said Richards. "This is the largest seizure in Reeves County in the past five years."

Richards stated that this seizure helps the local program, which is currently seeking refunding for the 2000-2001 year, which begins for the task force on June 1.

"They've got a drug organization that is running through Reeves County and maybe this will make them think twice before doing it again," he said.

The FBI has been called to help with the investigation.

"Generally in cases like this, we call the FBI and help them assist us on the other end," said Richards. "We'll work it from here, but if it goes outside our area, we'll ask for assistance from them."

Richards said all the other sheriffs whose counties are in the task force are excited and happy about Monday's seizure. "Everybody is real excited about it, I just finished talking to TNCP and they are real happy too," he said.

The money that has been seized can be used later towards the cash match.

The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force was formed in 1998 and covers over a half dozen counties in West Texas. It is headquartered in Pecos and is under the direction of Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez and commander Gary Richards.

Water's not  in TxDOT's island project

Staff Writer
PECOS, May 3, 2000 - No, it's not a fountain.

"We've had a lot of people ask if we're putting a fountain out there, but it's not," said Texas Department of Transportation road supervisor Larry Levario, referring to the two circular objects that have show up in the traffic island on South Eddy Street.

Altex Landscape and Construction Co. has been busy this week placing brick on the traffic island at Eddy and Washington streets as part of a TxDOT-funded beautification project along the state-maintained street. That work included the installation of two planter boxes on the traffic island, which drivers passing by have mistaken for fountains.

"We will probably plant pine trees or some other type of tree there," said Levario, adding that the same type of modular boxes will be placed around the trees outside the adjacent Fairview Cemetery, where Altex workers will soon be building a new sidewalk.

"We didn't have enough money this year to put in the modular walls, but we'll return and put them in at some later date." Levario said.

Both islands at Eddy and Washington will have red brick applied to them, and the sidewalk will then be built alongside the cemetery from Washington to Eighth Street. "We'll probably be done within the next two weeks. They (Altex) had a little problem with getting the materials, so they'll be cleaning up today, then start back on the islands on Monday."

Rabies clinic set this Saturday in Balmorhea

A Rabies Clinic will be held from 1-4 p.m. this Saturday at the Balmorhea Fire Hall.

All other shots will also be available at this time.

CWV's meeting set for Thursday

Catholic War Veterans will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, at 305 Maple St.

New members are welcome.

Acceleration exam sign-up deadline  Friday

PECOS, May 3, 2000 - Examination for Acceleration will be administered for grades 1-6, on May 16 and May 17, at the respective campuses.

Registration will be held until Friday, May 5, with a counselor at the student's campus.

Students taking this test must score 90 percent on a subject matter test at the grade level he or she wishes to skip in each of the following areas, language arts, math, science and social studies.


Adolfo Escarcega

Adolfo Escarcega, 81, of Pecos, died Monday, May 1, 2000, at his residence.

A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today at the Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.

Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, May 4, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with burial in Greenwood Cemetery.

He was born Aug. 9, 1918, in Coyame, Mexico, was a longtime Pecos resident, retired and a Catholic.

He was preceded in death by his wife Maria Escarcega.

Survivors include two daughters, Luz Elena Jurado of Imperial and Elvia Herrera of Pecos; two brothers, Teodulo Escarcega of Presidio and Palcido Escarcega of San Antonio, Mexico; one sister, Elvira Juarez of Tatum, N.M. and five grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, May 3, 2000 - High Tuesday 87. Low this morning 54. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 50s. South wind 10-20 mph. Thursday: Partly cloudy. High in the lower 90s. East wind 10-20 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Low in the mid 50s.

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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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