Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, July 19, 2000
State heat wave causes deaths, water shortages
From Staff and Wire Reports
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - Summers in Pecos are supposed to be hot, so 17
straight days of 100 degree weather in the area has not caused many problems
for local residents.
But the high temperatures, combined with higher humidity levels further
to the east have been blamed for at least 12 deaths in Texas so far this
year, and the hot weather is expected to continue at least through the
Tuesday was one of the cooler days so far in July, with a high of only
101 degrees reported at the Texas Agriculture Experiment Station west of
town. July 2 was the last time the theremometer failed to hit the 100 degree
mark, with a high of 97 following a June that was cooler than in recent
Elsewhere, three deaths in the Dallas-Fort Worth area wer blamed on
the heat, with an eighth day of readings above 100 degrees expected today.
Two more lives have been claimed in Central Texas.
Seven deaths were reported in Houston and as many as 10 more deaths
may eventually be attributed to the heat wave, according to the Harris
County medical examiner.
Many of those who have died are elderly, have chronic disease and no
The last confirmed death was a 71
Newest doctor for area used to small town life
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - Small towns are something Pecos' newest doctor
is used to.
Dr. Haitham Jifi, will be moving to Pecos and opening up his practice
at 925 W. Daggett St., the first week of October. His office will be located
next to podiatrist, Dr. John Libbie's office. next to the Professional
Dr. Jifi was in Pecos today and was featured on KUIN's Pecos Talking
show. "I'm also doing some house hunting, making final changes to my contract,
interviewing staff and basically taking care of things for office se up,"
Jifi specializes in internal medicine, general practice and is a cardiac
sonographer and general sonographer.
He has been practicing medicine in Clayton, N.M., in the northeastern
corner of that state, for the past five years and has practiced medicine
in other parts of the country and in France.
Dr. Jifi also does pediatric, basic orthopedics and minor surgical procedures.
"Where I was practicing medicine, it's a small town, so I'm used to
small towns," he said.
Dr. Jifi graduated from Tishreen University Medical School in Lattakia,
Syria, did his internship at the Downstate Medical Center of the State
University of New York in Brooklyn, N.Y. He later did his residency at
Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Amarillo and additional
training in Hospital Neker in Paris, France and the Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Amarillo, where he did sonography and Echocardiography training.
This is Dr. Jifi's second visit to Pecos.
"I came here to do the initial interview, so this is really my second
time here, and so far, I like it," he said.
His initial visit and finding a position here came all by chance. "I
was in a conference in Dallas and that's where I met Dr. (Orville) Cerna,"
said Jifi. "He told me there might be a position here and they invited
me for an interview, which I gladly accepted."
The interview led to him being offered a position in Pecos, which will
alleviate the work some of the other doctors on the Reeves County Hospital
staff have had to handle in recent months.
"Reeves County Hospital is very pleased to have Dr. Jiffi," said public
relations director Nancy Ontiveros. "We have been in need of a new doctors
since Dr. Ma's departure almost a year ago."
Dr. Jiffi will definitely fill that spot, according to Ontiveros. "He
will provide assistance to Dr. Cerna and Dr. (James) Cam, who are overloaded
with patients," she said.
"I also take care of the little ones, anything from colds to bronchitis,"
said Dr. Jifi.
Awards and achievements he has earned include, a Scientific Poster Presentation
Award: 88th Annual Meeting of the Southern Medical Association,
Orlando, Fla, Nov. 1994; a Scientific Paper Presentation Award: 88th
Annual Meeting of the Southern Medical Association, Orlando, Fla., Nov.
1994 and scored the highest among Amarillo Texas Tech residents in the
In-Service Exam, (this is the standardized test given to internal medicine
residents nationwide on an annual basis), Jan. 1994.
Dr. Jifi also has several publications, his first a translation of the
most common symptoms in Pediatrics into Arabic upon graduation from medical
school; Jifi-Bahlool,H., Peripheral Ulcerative Keratitis in the Setting
of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Management with Immunosuppressive Therapy, Southern
Medical Journal, August, 1994 and Jifi-Bahlool,H., Seminars in Arthritis
and Rheumatism Southern Medical Journal.
Jifi also speaks four different languages. Along with his native language,
Arabic, he is fluent in English and French and semi-fluent in Spanish.
He will be bringing his family to Pecos which includes his wife, Serin
and his 15-month-old daughter, Gina. The couple are also expecting their
"We want to welcome him and make him feel at home," said Ontiveros.
"We're very excited about a new doctor in town, especially one with his
Stockton slaying suspect still at large
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - Area law enforcement officials are continuing
to hunt a Coyanosa man who failed to appear in 83rd District
Court in Fort Stockton last week to stand trial for a February, 1999 murder.
"We don't have anything new and we are still looking for him," said
Fort Stockton Sheriff's Department employee Betsy Spencer.
Fabian Douglas Castaneda, 20, was free on a $50,000 bond in the fatal
shooting of Javier "J.J." Tellez Jr., 19, of Fort Stockton when he failed
to appear for the start of his trial on July 10. Tellez's body was found
March 1, 1999, in a brushy area along a farm-to-market road known as "70
road" three to four miles west of Fort Stockton.
Tellez, who had not been seen for three days prior to the discovery
of his body, had been shot several times in his upper body with a small-caliber
pistol, Pecos County sheriff's deputies said.
Bond had been posted for Castaneda by Liberty Bonding Company and B&M
"We are still looking for him and want him back," said Spencer. "Law
enforcement officials are on the lookout for him.
Since he didn't appear for court or proceedings, a reward has not been
set up yet. "They've been talking about setting up reward funds, but that
hasn't gone through yet," she said.
At the time of the slaying, Sheriff Bruce Wilson said he believed drugs
were involved in the shooting death, and deputy Larry Jackson said last
week that Castaneda gave police a statement about the shooting.
"It was over a drug deal," said Jackson. "Two hundred dollars worth
Wilson said that Tellez's body was spotted by a passerby near a fence
just off Farm Road 70 west of Fort Stockton. He apparently had been shot
at another location and dumped alongside the road in a brushy area.
Castaneda appeared before Fort Stockton Municipal Judge Lali Minjarez
last year on the murder charge. Bond was later set in 83rd District
Court, and Castaneda was released after the bonding companies posted it.
Jackson said a fugitive warrant was issued for Castaneda on July 10
and he believes he might be in Mexico. He has been charged with failure
to appear, along with the murder charge.
Castaneda is described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds,
with black hair and brown eyes, a medium build with a light complexion.
If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Castaneda they are
asked to call the Fort Stockton Sheriff's Department at 915-336-3521.
Oilfield truck destroyed in Tuesday fire
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - An oilfield truck was destroyed Tuesday afternoon
in a fire on U.S. 285 near the State Highway 302 intersection north of
Pecos Fire Department responded to the truck fire, 15 miles north on
Highway 285 at 3:55 p.m. But Fire Chief Roy Pena said by the time firemen
could arrive on the scene, the oil field truck and trailer it was pulling
had both burnt to the ground.
"By the time we got there, there was not much we could save," he said.
Pena said all that was saved where some tools and a few tires that were
in the trailer.
Both the driver and passenger in the truck were able to get out of the
vehicle, and no one was injured in the fire.
Two fire trucks responded to the scene and the fire fighters used 2,000
gallons of water.
Pena said he believes the truck was going to New Mexico from Odessa.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Since a house fire the morning of July 10 on West Seventh Street, Pena
said the fire department only been called out to a few dumpster fires and
"It's been slow but that's great for Pecos," he said.
Pena is using the slow time to send some of his men to fire fighting
school. Eight fighters will be heading to Texas A&M University in College
Station this weekend for a week long school.
Pena said the men have been with the department for six years or more
and will be attending the advanced classes.
The fire department sends some of the firefighters to school each March
and July. Pena said the rookies must be in the department for about a year
and a half before they are eligible to go to school.
The reason for this rule is Pena does not want to risk the chance of
a rookie being sent to school and quits the department after returning.
"We don't want to waste the taxpayers money," Pena said.
The cost for a week of schooling for each individual fighter is between
Pena believes sending the veteran fire fighters to advance school will
benefit Pecos because they have more knowledge of what needs to be done.
FBI rounds up roving check forgers
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - Three men armed with a laptop, a printer and
some payroll checks ended up in the Reeves County Detention Center, following
their arrest last week by FBI agents working in co-operation with the Fort
Stockton Police Department.
According to charges filed in U.S. District Court in Pecos, the three
men were arrested by Fort Stockton police on July 11 and were charged with
possession of a controlled substance. The FBI was then called when the
men were discovered with the payroll checks, from Miami Escort, Inc., of
Miami Beach, Fla.
The checks were from Colonial Bank in Miami, but the account number
on the checks were for a different business, the News Café, also
of Miami. According to the complaint filed by FBI special agent Janie Mertz,
none of the three men, identified as Ricardo Alfaro, Abdul Omar Khan and
Galen Hakim Merical, were authorized to draw funds from the account.
Mertz said 15 checks, totaling $6,568,56, had been made out to Kahn,
15 more checks, for $6,542.52, were made out to Alfaro and one check for
over $200 had been printed out for Merical, using the computer laptop.
According to the report, Alfaro told the agent an individual had directed
the three men to specific check cashing locations, where the phony checks
could be cashed, and that all three men knew it was illegal.
Alfaro, Kahn and Merical were charged with possession of counterfeit
and/or forged securities with intent to deceive another person, and were
ordered held in the Reeves County Detention Center, following a hearing
last Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart Platt in Pecos.
Rifle Club sets Saturday match
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club is holding a service
rifle match Saturday at the club range. Entry fee is $6 and the match will
begin at 8 a.m.
There will be two classes: Modern Service Rifle, which will include
most semi-automatic rifles, and Antique Service Rifle, that will include
most bolt action rifles. Shooters are limited to iron sights and shooters
must be able to reload by means of charging strips, en bloc clips, or magazines
to complete the rapid-fire legs of the match.
Interested persons should contact Smokey Briggs at 445-5475 or 445-5155.
School supply aid deadline set for Friday
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - Community Council of Reeves County is accepting
applications for school supplies through this Friday.
Individuals can pick up applications at 700 Daggett St., Suite F. Proof
of income is required.
For more information call 447-4913.
Viola Wein, 94, of Monahans, died Monday, July 17, 2000, at her residence.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, at Monahans Memorial
She was born March 3, 1906, in Jones County, was a homemaker, had lived
in Monahans since 1935, and was a member of the Holiness church.
She was preceded in death by one son, Corbett Wein.
Survivors include three sons, George O. Wein of Odessa, Charlie E. Wein
of Pecos and David C. Wein of Greenville; one daughter, Pal Newman of Monahans;
16 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Harkey Funeral Home of Monahans is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, July 19, 2000 - High Tuesday 101. Low this morning 71. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-10 mph. Thursday:
Mostly sunny and continued hot. High near 102. South to southeast wind
10-20 mph. Thursday night: Mostly clear. Low in the lower to mid 70s. Friday:
Mostly sunny and fair at night. Low in the lower to mid 70s. High between
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