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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Monday, July 10, 2000

Commissioners briefed on hike in food permits

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - Food vendors will be paying a little bit more for their permit fees, following a brief presentation made this morning by Health and Sanitation Inspector Armando Gil at the regular Reeves County Commissioners Court Meeting.

Commissioners also approved payment to Banes General Contractors in the amount of $1.5 million for construction on the 1,000 bed addition at the Reeves County Detention Center during their brief morning meeting.

"Everything is coming along on schedule, the drywalling is behind a little bit, but we're working on that," said Banes General Contractor foreman Mark Shumacher. "We do have temporary lighting and are making sure we do catch up and are still on target."

Commissioners agreed to tour the construction work at the facility during the next commissioners court meeting.

Gil spoke to the court about the cost of the licenses and the new rules on Food Establishments, which were mandated by the state.

"The Texas Department of Health Bureau of Food Drug Safety has established new rules on Food Establishments which became effective Oct. 6, 1998," said Gil. "The purpose of these new rules is to safeguard public health and to provide to consumers food that is safe and unadulterated."

"Also, I would like some changes in the permit fees for Food Service Establishments," said Gil. "These fees haven't changed in years."

The new permits will cost: for one or two people employed, $25; two and not more than five, $40; five and not more than 10, $50; mobile/commissary concessions, $40; temporary permits, $30; seasonal permits, $40 and snow cone stands will pay $40 for a permit.

Under the new laws, a person may not operate a food establishment without a permit issued by the regulatory authority. Permits are not transferable from one person to another or from one location to another location, except as otherwise permitted by this order. A valid permit must be posted in or on every food establishment regulated by this order.

A food establishment operated solely by a non-profit organization is exempt from the permitting requirements of this order, but is not exempt from compliance with state laws and rules. The regulatory authority may require any information necessary to determine whether an organization is non-profit for purposes of this exemption.

A bed and breakfast establishment with seven or fewer rooms for rent that serves only breakfast to its overnight guests is not a food establishment for purposes of this order. Any other bed and breakfast is a food establishment and shall follow the applicable state rules and must obtain a permit under this order.

Gil said any person desiring to operate a food establishment must make a written application for a permit on forms provided by the regulatory authority. The applications must contain the name and address of each applicant, the location and type of the proposed food establishment and the applicable fee. An incomplete application will not be accepted. Failure to provide all required information, or falsifying information required may result in denial or revocation of the permit. Renewals of permits are required on an annual basis and the same information is required for a renewal permit as for an initial permit.

Prior to the approval of an initial permit or the renewal of an existing permit, the regulatory authority shall inspect the proposed food establishment to determine compliance with state laws and rules. A food establishment that does not comply with state laws and rules may be denied a permit or the renewal of a permit.

Gil told the court that courses will also be offered on food temperature. "It's very important to know how to store food properly, because it can contain bacteria," he said.

A certification program is also available and Gil told the court that as part of his job, he also inspects motels and hotels.

The court requested that Gil provide them with a report each month. "I don't mind getting you a report, I submit one to the city, so we can submit one to this court as well," said Gil.

Allen wins rodeo title, gets rare night at home

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - Not only did Guy Allen get another roping title and an All-Around Cowboy championship at the West of the Pecos Rodeo on Saturday, he also got a rare chance to sleep in his own bed before heading off to his next rodeo performance.

The 14-time National Finals Rodeo champion in steer roping won his fourth title in that event at the West of the Pecos Rodeo and second all-around title Saturday, before heading home to Lovington N.M. for a night's sleep, before heading out to Casper, Wyo., on Sunday.

"I went to Prescott, Window Rock, Cody, Greely, Colo., and Wolf Point, Mont., and just got back here at 8:30," said Allen, who added to his lead in the race for a 10th straight NFR steer roping title and 15th overall. "I'm leaving in the morning to go to Casper, Wyo. I'll go by my home for a couple of hours and lay down and then I'll also be going to Vernal, Utah and Sheridan, Wyo."

Allen had a chance to win his fourth steer roping title in Pecos last year, but missed on his fourth and final attempt. This time, he came into the final round having gone 38.2 on his first three attempts and holding a 6½ second lead over Trevor Brazile, who had won two All-Around titles in Pecos in his first five years of competition.

"I had a big lead, so pretty much all I had to do was get him down," said Allen. "I just had to use my head and get him roped and tied up.

"The (Buck Jackson) arena is a good size. They run them out there and you have to catch them. It's just a good arena," Allen said.

Allen ended up roping his steer in 13.2 seconds, fourth on the night, but still good enough to earn the victory by just under six seconds over rookie roper Bryce Davis of Abilene. Allen also set an arena-record of 51.6 seconds on his four attempts and combined with his results in the team roping competition, took home $7,337 in earnings from this year's rodeo.

Davis won the short go with an 11.5 second time and finished at 57.5 seconds overall, good for $4,581. Dan Fisher of Andrews was second in the short go at 12.5 seconds and third overall with a 58.5 second total. He took home $2,550.

Newscast stages first live show from Pecos

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - NewsWest 9 kicked off their annual Tour Under West Texas Skies in Pecos on Friday, during the third night of the 2000 West of the Pecos Rodeo.

KWES broadcasted live from the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena during their five and six o'clock news.

This is the first time a news station has reported live from Pecos. The station had to use two live trucks and the station's broadcast tower northwest of Kermit to be able to go live, because Pecos' elevation is about 400 feet lower than both the antenna and KWES' studio in the Midland-Odessa area, making a line-of-sight signal impossible to create.

"This is kind of a trial," evening anchor Jay Hendricks said.

He said this is not the first time News West 9 has been here. The station has done stories involving Pecos but has never been able to have live shots.

"The problem is the distance," Hendricks said, adding the crew enjoys coming to Pecos.

"We like Pecos," Hendricks said. "It's a shame we didn't come earlier."

NewsWest 9 has been a sponsor of the West of the Pecos Rodeo for many years and Hendricks said it's time for them to cover the rodeo live.

"We want to give people some idea of why everybody is so proud of this rodeo," Hendricks said.

The rodeo was the first stop for the KWES news crew on their tour of West Texas. Hendricks said his co-anchor Melissa Hendrix would not be able to participate in the longer trips this year.

"Melissa is not traveling with us because she is pregnant," Hendricks said. "She will be with us when we are closer to home."

The entire news crew travels each Friday to a new location in West Texas and broadcasts live. This Friday the KWES team will be in Fort Stockton for the Water Carnival.

Hendricks said that originally the tour lasted one week with the crew at a new location everyday. He said by the end of the week the whole crew was tired and worn out.

Now by having the tour one day a week over the entire month of July, the crew is well rested and able to enjoy each trip more.

"This gives you something to look forward too at the end of the week," Hendricks said.

Hendricks also said the crew loves to visit the towns because of the people.

"We always like coming out to Pecos and these West Texas towns because they are so nice," he said. "They always make us feel at home."

KWES' first live broadcast from Pecos came after a very emotional week for the staff.

They had to endure the painful loss of one of their own. Jennifer Gutierrez, 28, was a reporter for channel 9 and was killed in a vehicle accident on Loop 250 in Midland on July 4.

Hendricks said the loss has effected everyone but work had to continue.

"It's been very tough," he said. "It effected us each deeply."

"You just think it's never going to happen to you," Hendricks said.

KWES invited community members to come out to the rodeo grounds to visit and see how news is produced.

Several citizens were able to experience news broadcasting and enjoyed music played by Noel Olivas and Borderline, who were among those interviewed during the 6 p.m. newscast.

Lack of security blamed for fireworks show fizzle

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - A miscommunication between West of the Pecos Rodeo officials and the man in charge of Saturday night's post-rodeo fireworks show cut the event short just after it started.

David Evaro, who was scheduled to stage a 15-minute fireworks display at the conclusion of the final performance of the 2000 rodeo, said he was only able to launch a couple of fireworks before having to shut the display down due to the lack of security at the east end of the Buck Jackson Rodeo Arena.

"No one showed up," said Evaro, who had talked with West of the Pecos Rodeo Committee President Starkey Warren and Reeves County Fire Marshal Jack Brookshire earlier in the day to make sure all the permits were in order to put on the shot.

"Early in the morning when we went to set up we went out there with Jack Brookshire and he said everything was all right," Evaro said. Fireworks use in Reeves County has been limited due to the ongoing drought, so the fire marshal's approval was needed for any display.

But while the permits were Oked, permission was given by the Marcos Martinez family, whose land the display was set up on, and the cowboys were told to keep their animals away from the area by rodeo announcer Curt Robinson, Evaro said that didn't keep the public out of the area.

"After I started firing them up we had some kids and a couple of cars go past the security area," he said. "I can't shoot the fireworks off and keep people away at the same time, so when the kids showed up I had to shut it down."

"I was shooting up to 16 mm shells and they were coming out of the tubes at 3,000 feet a second, so I had to stop when the kids came around," said Evaro, who added he's been putting on fireworks displays for 14 years.

"I talked to Starkey Warren and he gave me the go-ahead, but later I couldn't get ahold of him or anybody from the sheriff's department. I was out there in the middle of nowhere."

Warren said he didn't know until this morning what had happened Saturday, as he and other rodeo committee members were busy preparing to hand out buckles and saddle bags to the rodeo winners at the opposite end of the arena when the fireworks display fizzled out.

"I just talked to Jack about it," Warren said today. "David told me to just make sure Jack knew we were doing it."

"I know a lot of people were disappointed, and people were coming up to me on Sunday and asking what happened," Evaro said. "I was born and raised in Pecos, but no matter where I am, I don't want to see anyone get hurt or blown up."

Sweep of Third St. car wash nets brothers on drug charge

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - A local car wash has been seized and two brothers arrested in a narcotics drug search which happened Friday and involved local law enforcement agencies.

The Trans Pecos Drug Task Force combined forces, along with the Pecos Police Department and the Reeves County Sheriff's Department, executed a narcotics search warrant at about 3 p.m. Friday, at the Circle M Wash and Lube, 702 E. Third St.

Two brothers, Antonio Lujan Muniz, 39 and Benjamin Lujan Muniz, 38, were arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"The charges are a felony two, over one gram and less than four grams," said Trans Pecos Drug Task Force Commander Gary Richards.

The local business had been under surveillance for some time, according to Richards. "We had received information that drugs were being sold out of the business and that illegal activity was transpiring," said Richards.

During the search officers found some cocaine, an empty plastic bag, which had previously been used for the storage of cocaine in one of the suspect's pockets. "Antonio had an empty baggie that had been used for cocaine."

Also seized was over $1,700, which Antonio had in his possession, along with about $325 found in another bag and $200 in the cash register.

Officers credit "Leo" and "Rocky" two very vital employees with the task force. "They're the ones who alerted us to the cocaine," said Richards.

Leo, is the K-9 drug dog handled by local interdiction officer Billy Hull and Rocky is the dog handled by Andrews County Deputy Mark Greenhill.

Also seized during the narcotics search was a 1990 Chevrolet Extended Cab pickup. "This is also the pickup that their other brother was using when he was arrested," said Richards.

"We had plenty of information on these individuals, we just hadn't been able to get close to them," said Richards. "We've known about them for a long time."

The investigation continues and more arrests are pending, according to Richards.

"It's great teamwork, we did really good," he said. "It's a pleasure working with all the agencies.".

Arson ruled in house fire on 7th Street

Staff Writer

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - Pecos volunteer firemen were called out at 1:30 a.m. today to battle a fire inside an abandoned house at the corner of Seventh and Willow Streets.

Pecos police discovered the house on fire, and crews were called to the site a short time later. It took about 50 minutes for firemen to completely extinguish the blaze.

Pecos Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire investigated the scene this morning and ruled the fire as arson. He said the fire started on the back porch with some old boxes of newspaper.

"It looks like someone just came in and set those boxes on fire," Brookshire said. The fire spread through the rear of the structure and up into the attic area, which forced firemen to break down the front door of the house to get to hot spots inside the building.

The house has been abandoned for about 30 years and was destroyed by the fire.

"It's a total loss on the house," said. Brookshire, who added that the house was already on a list to be demolished.

He said there has not been any witnesses come forward but if anyone has any information contact him, the police department or Crime Stoppers.

Altizer's neck placed in `halo' by Midland docs

PECOS, July 10, 2000 - West of the Pecos Rodeo producer Mack Altizer has been fitted for a halo, but is still very much alive and expected recover from his neck fracture suffered last week as the result of a swimming pool accident.

Altizer, whose Bad Company Rodeo has been producing the West of the Pecos Rodeo for the past 19 years, was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital after fracturing three vertebrae in his neck as the result of the accident. The Sonora resident was able to move around in the hospital the next day, Bad Company Rodeo officials said, but doctors placed Altizer in the `halo,' which is a brace decided to immobilize the fractured bones in order to allow them to heal properly.

Altizer's accident occurred in the swimming pool at the Best Western Swiss Clock Inn, not at the Quality Inn as incorrectly reported in Friday's Enterprise.


PECOS, July 10, 2000 - High Sunday 100. Low this morning 76. Forecast for tonight: A slight chance of isolated thunderstorms. Low in the mid 70s. Tuesday: Partly cloudy and hot, with temerpatured 100-105. Tuesday night: A slight percent chance of isolated thunderstorms. Low in the mid 70s.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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