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Friday, September 1, 2000

Big Bend cities hosting holiday events

Staff Writer
Hot air balloons are on their way back to Alpine with full force this weekend, and several other activities are planned in the Big Bend area.

The Annual Alpine Invitational Balloon Rally is set for Sept. 2-4, with at least 30 balloonists planning to attend.

Dr. Tim Brady, president of the Tri-County Balloon Association in central Texas, will be serving as this year's balloonmeister, according to chamber president Johnny Carpenter. "Tim is thoroughly versed in the safety aspects of hot air balloons and will be overlooking the entire event. As a pilot he has logged more than 1,000 hours of flying, and has flown and instructed all of the major type of balloons," he said.

This year Brady also plans to hold a balloon glow and a community concert.

Launchings for the hot air balloons will continue to be held on the open field next to the Ramada Limited. Scheduled time for the balloon launches will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 7 a.m. Other activities including opening ceremonies will be held at 6:30 a.m. each morning.

The Friday night registration and reception party will kick off the schedule of events for pilots and crewmembers. Saturday will continue on with a morning competitive flight, an afternoon reception, an evening balloon glow, and a community concert. Sunday includes a post-flight basket competition among sponsors.

"It was a blast last year…and we are looking forward to bringing the balloons back to Alpine," said Guy Combs, Executive Director of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce. "What can be better than waking up in the morning to a beautiful sky full of color," he said. "We hope that this year the balloon burn will be remembered as one of the most interesting parts of the events," he said.

Twenty-four miles away there will be the "Marfa Mystery Lights" Music Festival in Marfa. For three straight days famous bands will play almost non-top.

Music concert headliner for this year is Eddie Gonzales, with opening entertainment by Dee Y Grupo Valiente.

This year's festival is Friday, Sept., through Sunday, Sept. 3.

The gates at Vizcaino Park will open at 7 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 2; with the music running from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate.

Gonzalez is one of the youngest performing artists in the Tejano music scene. His fresh sound and delightful energy has added to his growing number of fans as well as radio programmers and has impressed many critics.

Opening for Gonzalez is Dee y Grupo Valiente.

Lead singer Dee Burleson, best known as the former co-lead singer for the band, `Culturas,' has taken Tejano entertainment one step further. Dee y Grupo Valiente is "one of the most exciting stage bands in the history of Tejano history," said Ramiro Burr of the San Antonio Express-News.

For information on purchasing tickets and reserving tables, call 915-729-4942 or 915-729-3551.

Other events for the Marfa Lights Festival weekend include a night parade entitled, "Parade of Lights" to be held Friday evening.

Saturday will also be the day Balmorhea holds its annual Labor Day Festival. Many events are planned, including a few new ones, such as the Gas Grill Fajita Cookoff in conjunction with the World Championship Frijole Bean Cookoff.

Other festivities will begin at 10 a.m. with the Second Annual Yo-Yo competition for the kids and the Washer Pitching Contest for the adults. There is no entry fee for the kids' event, but the washer contest will have a fee of $10 per team, with team trophies being awarded to the winners.

There will also be a Pie Bakeoff at Tami Dean's Main Street Café. There is no entry fee and the first place winner will win a steak dinner for two and second place wins dinner for two.

Also new to the festival this year is team roping at Hoffman's Arena with cash prizes.

The events will end with a free street dance, with Wayne West and his band from Sierra Blanca performing. The dance will begin at 8:30 p.m. and go to 1 a.m.

For more information on any of the events call 915-375-2206 or 915-375-2323.

Workers, students get Monday off  for Labor Day

Businesses, utility companies and both banks will be closed Monday, in honor of the Labor Day Holiday.

Both First National Bank and Security State Bank will take a day off in honor of the holiday, and Pecos-Barstow-Toyah students will be getting a three-day weekend as well.

Utility companies will be closed as well, and the Pecos Post Office will be closed and no mail delivered to the homes.

Town of Pecos City, Reeves County and federal workers will also be off Monday, and both the Reeves County and Lucius Bunton courthouses will be closed until Tuesday.

The Pecos Enterprise will close its office on Monday for the holiday and a newspaper will not be printed on that day. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday.

New pastor looking to strengthen church

Staff Writer
Focusing on the young people and making the church stronger are the main goals of the new pastor at San Pedro United Methodist Church in Pecos.

Sheila Muller-Castellano, who took over in July as pastor for the church, located at 601 S. Walnut St, said that she would like to see it grow and prosper.

"I want to see the church congregation return to what it used to be. I know this church was once strong and very active in the community," said Castellano. "I'd like to see it like that again."

She was born in Matanzas, Cuba, on Sept. 25, 1970. "My family migrated into the U.S., 51 days after my birth," said Castellano. "We lived in New Orleans, La. and New Britain, Conn. before settling in Miami in 1973."

There she grew up and attended Presbyterian Church from age three and converted to Methodism at age 25.

"My parents divorced in 1974 and four years later, my father graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.," said Castellano. "He's been in service with the Methodist Church since his ordination in 1979."

Castellano said she first felt the call to serve at age 13, but was dissuaded by her pastor.

"Then, 13 years later I received the call again, only this time, my father guided me through the steps to ministry and _ here I am," she said.

Castellano completed her primary education from grade school through high school in Miami, and then attended Miami-Dade Community College. While living in Milwaukee she attended Milwaukee Area Technical College and received her licensing to be a pastor at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in May 1999.

Castellano lives in Carlsbad, N.M., where she is pastor at a church there, and comes into Pecos on Thursdays and Sundays.

"After growing up in a big city, seeing a small town is very refreshing," said Castellano. "Pecos seems to need something to help it flourish at this point in time. I have faith that it will prosper again."

She said she would like to focus on the youth, because after all they are our future and hopefully give them an outlet.

"The youth (are) very important to me because they are our future, I would like to develop a strong youth following in our church so that they could go out and work in this, their community," she said, adding she feels that this is her calling and hopes to make a change for Pecos, a good one.

"I hope to reach the youth and help them with their problems," said Castellano, who added that all youth are invited to the church, regardless of their religion.

City officials seek ways to boost local fire safety

Staff Writer
Three Town of Pecos City officials attended a special conference last weekend in Dallas, to learn more about fire and rescue and to hopefully procure some grants to help improve the city's firefighting capabilities.

Mayor Ray Ortega, Emergency Management Coordinator Armando Gil and fire chief Roy Pena attended the International Fire and Rescue Conference 2000 on Aug. 26 in Dallas.

During their attendance they visited with over 20 different fire apparatus and truck companies.

"I've had training, but this is something new for the mayor," said Armando Gil.

"I want to get familiarized with what is going on," said Ortega.

There were over 200 fire trucks on display and the group toured through three different Emergency Management command posts mobile units on display.

"We're hoping to get some grants for a training tower for fire and rescue personnel," said Ortega.

The units on display were fully equipped with all the communications equipment, TV monitors, weather information receiving equipment and a conference room.

Gil is looking for a method to improve the radio communications system between the Disaster/Incident site, Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Response personnel.

"What I enjoyed the most was the being able to see the emergency command center," said Gil. "One of the main things that the state has a problem with, is that during the disaster drills that we have, the major problem has been communications."

"This conference gave us an idea on something to look forward to," said Gil. "This (problem) is something the state frowns upon, when we report to them on an annual basis."

Gil state that communications has caused problems for firefighters during past incidents.

The group also visited with several vendors who provided information on pre-constructed training facilities. These two store towers are used to train fire, rescue personnel.

The vendors also provided information on where to apply for grants to purchase these facilities. Ortega and Gil have been researching the possibility of applying for a grant from Federa Emergency Management Agency to assist in the purchase of a training tower for the City of Pecos.

Ortega and Pena, took advantage of being able to visit with numerous fire truck vendors to discuss equipment and prices for several units.

The fire department is in the process of purchasing a fire truck to add to their fleet, according to Ortega.

Law enforcement center pact, landfill permit on agenda

Town of Pecos City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss an agreement with Corplan Corrections Inc., for the city's new Municipal Law Enforcement Center, along with three other items, starting at 5 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.

The contract will be for construction management for the 100-bed facility, which will handle U.S. Marshal's Service prisoners being held for trial in federal court in Pecos. The new facility, which is expected to be located on the southwest side of town, will also house the Pecos Police Department, and could be expanded to handle more inmates in the future.

In other action, the council will consider hiring for engineering services to obtain an arid exempt landfill permit. The city was denied an arid exempt permit 10 years ago, and had to build a lined trench to dispose of local refuse at a cost of over $1.2 million. The city currently is having its garbage transported by Duncan Disposal to its regional landfill site near Penwell, but the company recently asked the city to approve a sharp increase in its trash hauling rates.

Council members will also discuss/consider the proposed budget for 2000-2001, and will discuss/consider a request from a representative of Wal-Mart to reserve Maxey Park next Saturday, Sept. 9, for its company picnic.


High Thursday 97. Low this morning 65. Forecast for tonight: Mostly clear. Low near 70. South wind 10-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot. High near 102. South wind 10-20 mph. Saturday night: Mostly clear. Low near 70. Sunday and Monday: Partly cloudy. Lows near 70. Highs in the upper 90s to near 102.


Charles Taylor

Charles Rex "Charlie" Taylor, 73, died Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000, at Reeves County Hospital.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2, at 4th and Bois D'Arc Church of Christ, with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.

He was born Oct. 9, 1927, in Lamesa, was a farmer/rancher, had lived in Pecos since 1950 and was a member of the Church of Christ.

Survivors include his wife, Louise Hayhurst Taylor of Pecos; one daughter, Linda Gholson; four sons, Larry Taylor of Henderson, Gary, Randy and Steve Taylor of Pecos; two sisters, Maggie Prentice of Kasilof, Alaska and Joann Hayes of Clovis, N.M.; two brothers, Buddy Taylor of Artesia, N.M. and Idos Taylor of San Angelo; 15 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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