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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Friday, June 2, 2000

Parent company of Beall's files for bankruptcy

Staff Writer
PECOS, June 2, 2000 - Stage Stores, Inc., the Houston-based parent company of Beall's, filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on Thursday, three years after a major expansion brought Beall's into small towns across the southwest.

The company announced the move in a press release, which added that the reorganization would include the closing of under-performing stores, though the exact locations of those stores have not been announced.

"Because we have taken this most serious step, we believe Stage Stores will survive and be able to prosper once again," said Jack Weisner, Chairman, interim CEO and President of Stage Stores. "Once we reorganize, we will be a stronger company, more focused on our core business. This should result in our becoming a more competitive and profitable company.

Weisner formerly served as CEO of C.R. Anthony Co., which was bought out in a March 1997 deal by Stage Stores for $93 million. The deal was made after the 75-year-old Anthony's chain went into bankruptcy in 1995.

Anthony's store in Pecos and those in other small towns across Texas, Oklahoma Kansas, Arkansas and New Mexico were renamed Beall's. Stage previously had only placed Beall's stores in medium- and large-sized markets, such as Midland-Odessa. It currently operates more than 600 stores in 33 states.

"Despite the difficulties the company has experienced, Stage Stores' basic business concept is viable because the majority of our stores are profitable," Weisner said. "With our Stage, Beall's and Palais Royal stores, we fill an important need by providing brand-name apparel to underserved markets, mostly in small town America."

In its press release, Stage Stores said it is in final discussions for a three-year $450 million debtor-in-possession credit facility with Citicorp USA, Inc. as agent, subject to documentation and bankruptcy court approval. Stage said the money would be used to refinance certain indebtedness and provide for significant levels of incremental working capital.

"While this course of action is very strong medicine for our company, filing bankruptcy can have definite positive aspects for our customers, employees and vendors," Weisner said. "Once signed and approved, the debtor-in-possession credit facility will provide a significant line of credit and access to new capital. Payrolls and benefits will continue. In addition, we have the opportunity to work with vendors to get the merchandise we need flowing back into the stores."

Stage said it would try to offer employees from stores that are closed other job opportunities within the company.

Area gets more needed rain overnight

Staff Writer
PECOS, June 2, 2000 - Rain fell for the second time in three days over the Trans-Pecos early this morning, as the drought-plagued area received some more needed rain.

Thunderstorms moved through Pecos about 4:15 a.m. today, after parts of town received light showers on Wednesday. KIUN studios reported that downtown Pecos received half an inch, while .45 inch fell in the area near Crockett Middle School and the west part of town received 9/10 of an inch of rain.

Coyanosa, which received up to 10 inches of rain Wednesday, did not get anymore rain last night, while to the west, Toyah only had sprinkling. Reports show that up to one inch of rain fell in Barstow and to the south, Fort Davis has had three inches over the past two days.

The Texas A&M Agriculture and Research Station ten miles west of town reported two different readings. One station received 4/10 of an inch and another station a quarter mile away received .85 inches of rain.

The rains came in from the north overnight, and resulted in flash flood warnings being issued for Gaines County and Lea County, N.M.

Flash flooding also was reported by the National Weather Service from near Amarillo and Canyon to near Lubbock Thursday night.

Amounts of 1 to 3 inches have fallen over the region since Thursday afternoon. Some locations have received up to 7 inches of rain, the weather service said.

A flash flood watch was posted for the South Plains and Permian Basin north of the Pecos River.

This morning's rainfall finally brought the year-to-date total to over one inch, according to figures at the A&M Experiment Station. Pecos received just 4.02 inches of rain in 1999 and only 6 ½ inches in 1998.

TxDOT set to begin work on seal coating area roads

PECOS, June 2, 2000 - Reeves County drivers will have a hard time going many places without running into Texas Department of Transportation projects over the next few weeks, as the agency plans to seal coat about 70 miles of road along five area highways during the month of June.

TXDOT project manager Jerry McGuairt said Lipham Construction Co. of Aspermont would be applying new asphalt coverings to two highways in the Pecos area and three in the area around Balmorhea beginning on Monday. The month-long project will involve the following roads:

_ A 16-mile stretch of U.S. 285 from north of the Pecos city limits to Highway 302 near Mentone, and a 12-mile stretch from Orla north to the New Mexico state line.

_ A 20-mile stretch of Highway 17, from the Pecos city limits south to near FM 3334 in the Verhalen area.

_ FM 2448 along its four-mile stretch from Highway 17 south to Interstate 10.

_ FM 1215 along its four-mile stretch from I-10 north through Saragosa.

_ FM 3078 along its 15-mile stretch from Highway 17 in Toyahvale west to Interstate 10, near the I-20 junction.

Motorists along these roads will encounter flaggers, brief lane closures and a reduction in traffic speeds. Drivers are urge to find alternative routes through those areas, if possible.

"We may reduce the speed of traffic in those construction zones, but the flow of traffic will not be stopped," said McGuairt, "Drivers should use caution and always driver carefully in those areas to avoid windshield and paint damage."

The seal coat work in Reeves County in part of summer-long $6.2 million preventive maintenance program involving nearly 400 miles of highways throughout TxDOT's 12-county Odessa District.

Garza outlines agenda during campaign stop

Staff Writer
PECOS, June 2, 2000 - Isidro Garza has a powerful message to share, he told a group of supporters at a stop he made in Pecos during his campaign swing through West Texas on Thursday.

Garza, a Democrat will oppose U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-San Antonio, in the Nov. 7 race for the 23rd congressional district.

A small reception was held for Garza at the Democratic Party Headquarters, 419 S. Oak St. Earlier in the day, Garza had made stops in the Midland-Odessa area.

"We get invited to areas where it's 100 percent Republicans or Anglo Republicans and I ask why are they inviting me to speak to them," said Garza. "It's because they feel a change is due, not just in the District, but of mentality through the country and they want to be a part of it."

Garza won the Democratic Party's nomination in March to face Bonilla, who became the first Mexican-American Republican elected to Congress in 1992. He is seeking is fifth term in office.

Garza said that he is proud to be an American, proud of our country. "They tell me, what about this Mexican-American, like it's not right to be proud of being a Mexican-American," said Garza. "Loyalties shouldn't be questioned."

Garza of Eagle Pass, served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, and is a class of 1973 Texas A&M Engineering graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is a retired captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. After working nine years as an engineer for Union Carbide, Garza became city manager for Eagle Pass.

A son of a fireman, Garza has developed his sense of criteria based on hard work ethics, moral principals, family values and reverence to God.

"I stand for conscience over convenience, issues not partisanship," said Garza.

Garza stated that sometimes "an ugly head crops up." "We should all chop it off as Americans."

"Our agenda should become inclusive," said Garza.

"We have succeeded in balancing the budget and even talk about how we are going to redistribute the hue surplus. In the process we have fallen way short on our moral obligation to provide for the needs of our elderly," said Garza. "The majority of our senior citizens are on fixed income. They send their loved ones to the drug store and ask them to bring back only part of their prescription because they cannot afford the rest."

"Our senior citizens are forced to choose between food and medicine because we as a society have not met our moral obligations to them," said Garza.

"Where is our conscience?" asked Garza.

Garza said he will work towards prayer in school, pro-life, organized labor rights, aid to elderly, disabled and veterans, better education and higher teacher's pay, increase in minimum wage and tax incentives for the paycheck writer.

The biggest problem is partisan," said Garza. "I was born a Democrat and will die a Democrat."

"We need to look at the issues and individuals," said Garza. "Obviously, we've struck a nerve, where Republicans are listening to our message."

Garza stated that we need our conscience to kick in. "These other people see hope in our agenda, an agenda that will be inclusive of all our problems," he said.


PECOS, June 2, 2000 - High Thursday 95. Low this morning 62. Rainfall last 24 hours .54 inch. Total for month .54 inch. Total for year 1.16 inches. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low in the upper 60s. Saturday: Mostly sunny. High in the upper 90s. Saturday night: Mostly clear. Low in the mid 60s. Sunday: Mostly sunny and fair at night. Low in the upper 60s to the lower 70s. High 100-105.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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