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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Rodeo adding "Shotgun" for 2000 shows

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 20, 2000 - This year's West of the Pecos Rodeo welcomes a new clown in town. "Shotgun" Rodney Gaston will step in for retired rodeo clown Quail Dobbs.

According to the 2000 West of the Pecos Rodeo program, "Shotgun" is an eighteen-year veteran and is sure to bring the best quality entertainment to the arena.

He entertains rodeo fans with the help of his animals, which include two trained Brahma bulls, "Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp," a trained white mule named "Silver" and some Roman riding ponies.

But his number one priority is to protect the cowboys. He has many achievements that prove this.

"Shotgun" is a three-time IFR Bullfighting Qualifier, the 1993 IFR Bullfighting Champion, 1992-93 CPRA Finals Bullfighter, and the 1993-94 NPRA Finals Clown/Bullfighter.

Returning bullfighting clowns Michael "Smurf" Horton and Mark Callihan will join "Shotgun" at this year's rodeo.

"Smurf" is a world champion bullfighter and has spent many years risking his life saving cowboys.

He has had many achievements throughout his career. In 1987, he won the World Championship title and was chosen for the National Finals Rodeo in that year as well as 1988. "Smurf" was also selected for the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo in 1987-1990, 1996 and 1997 and has toured with the Bad Company Rodeo from 1984-1991.

"Smurf" then returned to his home state of Florida for four years. South Central Florida is were he grew up working in cattle pens and develop his instinct that he calls "bull savvy and control."

In 1995, "Smurf" returned to Texas to reclaim his role as a Bad Company Rodeo bullfighter. He has worked with many stock companies throughout the years and says his favorite company to work with is Bad Company Rodeo.

"Smurf" appreciated his fans and will be willing to talk with his fans at this year's West of the Pecos Rodeo.

One of the most popular clowns with the kids is Mark Callihan and his Frisbee-catching dogs.

Callihan has thrilled rodeo fans from all over the country and has even appreared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

He has entertained fans in such rodeo events as the Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo, the West of the Pecos Rodeo, several televised rodeos and has toured with Bad Company Rodeo Tours for seven years.

Callihan, who is from Denton, had an extremely successful 1999 season and is ready to bring a new dimension to the role of rodeo clown and bullfighter this year.

These three clowns are dedicated to; first, saving cowboys' lives, and second, entertaining the fans with their comedic skits and wild antics. They can be seen every night of the West of the Pecos Rodeo on July 5 through 8.

After the clowns are done performing and all the cowboys have roped road and wrestled there will be a dance every night of the rodeo.

Country and western band Noel Olivas and Borderline will perform at the Reeve's County Posse Barn located north of the rodeo grounds each night.

Borderline plays a variety of yesterday and today's country music. They have been an opening act for Nashville recording artist Daryl Singletary and for country singer Joe Diffe at concerts across the country.

Borderline has performed in West Texas at Graham Central Station in San Angelo and Odessa, the Cactus Moon in Abilene and the Permian Basin Fair & Exposition.

They will perform each night of the rodeo from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission into the dance is $8 for singles and $15 for couples.

County's job total, unemployment up in May

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 20, 2000 - Reeves County's unemployment climbed back to the 10 percent mark in May, according to figures released last week by the Texas Workforce Commission. But the beginning of harvest season in the area has boosted both the total number of jobs and the workforce within the county.

Reeves County's jobless rate reached a two-year low in April, falling to 9.7 percent, according to adjusted figures by the TWC. May's numbers boosted local unemployment by three-tenths of a percent, as 122 new workers were added to the labor force, while the number of jobs within the county was up by only 89 last month.

The TWC said there were 6,317 people with jobs in the county in May, with 703 others unemployed. Last May, the county's jobless rate stood at 12.6 percent, as 6,038 were employed while 867 were without jobs.

The total number of jobs and the labor force in the county usually is at its highest during the summer months, when migrant workers arrive in the area for the onion, cantaloupe and pepper harvests. The onion harvest began last month, while cantaloupes and bell peppers will begin harvesting in the upcoming weeks.

At the same time, an improving economy due in part to rising oil prices helped lower jobless rates across the Permian Basin during the first five months of the year. The large oil producing counties have seen the biggest drops in unemployment, though much of the decline in some counties has been due to a corresponding fall in the local labor forces, as the two-year oil slump forced many workers and their families to leave the area.

Andrews County's jobless rate has fallen from 12.5 percent a year ago to just 5.9 percent in May, but that was due in part to a 17 percent plunge in the county's workforce, from 6,017 people in 1999 to just 4,962 workers last month. Ward County's workforce fell from 5,269 workers in May of last year to just 4,079 this year, which helped lower the jobless rate there from 10.6 to 8.5 percent.

Both Andrews and Ward County did see .4 drops in their jobless rates in May, while the number of jobs and local labor forces climbed slightly from April's totals.

Unemployment in the Town of Pecos City remained higher than Reeves County as a whole, and also was up .3 percent last month, to 11.4 percent. The TWC said 4,874 people were employed out of a labor force of 5,503 in the city.

The jobless rates in Midland and Odessa, the area's largest cities, were virtually unchanged last month. Midland saw its jobless rate rise by one-tenth of a percent, from 4.9 to 5 percent, while Odessa's rate fell by the same amount, from 6.6 to 6.5 percent. Like Pecos, both Midland and Odessa saw a slight increase in the number of jobs and in their local labor forces last month.

Funds sought for resident facing treatment for meningitis

Staff Writer

PECOS, June 20, 2000 - A Pecos family is asking for the community's help during a time of need.

Gerardo Vela, the son of Alicia Vela and the late Jose Vela of Pecos, is currently in the Lubbock Methodist Hospital with encephalitis meningitis.

"He didn't have any insurance and we're doing our best to hold fundraisers for the medical expenses," said Claudia Gutierrez, Gerardo's brother.

An account has been set up for Vela at the First National Bank for anyone wanting to help the family out. The account number is 05-3499-4.

"We'll also be doing a bake sale and some of his friends are having a raffle," said Gutierrez. "They will be selling tickets for a mirror."

Gutierrez stated that Vela is also a diabetic, who has been in the Lubbock hospital for two weeks. "They don't know how much longer he'll have to be there, but with his diabetes, it isn't helping his medical condition right now."

Gutierrez said the family first noticed he was sick when he had a seizure and a blinding headache. "We took him to Reeves County Hospital where he stayed for two days before being flown to Lubbock," she said.

The 29-year-old Pecos resident is currently in the ICU unit at the Lubbock hospital.

The death of his father two months ago didn't help his medical condition either. "My dad died two months ago and he took it real hard, so we don't know if this had anything to do with it," said Gutierrez.

For more information individuals can contact the family at 915-445-5323.

Any kind of assistance is greatly appreciated by the family.

Community Center fundraising event scheduled Saturday

PECOS, June 20, 2000 - A fundraiser will be held Saturday to help pay for medical expenses for a Pecos woman.

The benefit will be at the Pecos Community Center, 510 S. Oak Street, in Pecos, next to the Pecos Police Department. Asado plates will be for sale for $4 a plate and desserts will be available at 50 cents and $1.00. Tea will also be served.

All proceeds will go towards medical expenses for Brenda Fuentes.

The benefit will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and deliveries will be made on three or more plates. Everyone is welcome to come dine in or take out a plate of delicious food or desserts.

To call in orders on Saturday, call 445-7321.


PECOS, June 20, 2000 - High Monday 92. Low this morning 66. Rainfall past 24 hours at Texas A&M Experiment Station .03 inch. Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Low in the upper 60s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the upper 90s. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low in the mid 60s.

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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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