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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

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 weekend.

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 years.

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 air conditioning.

The last confirmed death was a 71

Newest doctor for area used to small town life

Staff Writer

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 Pharmacy building.

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," he said.

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 second child.

"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 qualifications."

Stockton slaying suspect still at large

Staff Writer

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 Bonding Company.

"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 of cocaine."

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

Staff Writer

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.

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 recent rollovers.

"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 $800-$900.

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

Staff Writer

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

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 Cemetery.

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 100-105.

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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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