Colored Rock Map of Texas at I-20 in Pecos, Click for Travel Guide

Pecos Enterprise


Pecos Country History
Archive 62
Archive 74
Archive 87
1987 Tornado Photos
Rodeo Photos 88
Archive 95
Archive 96
Archive 97
News Photos 1997
Rodeo Photos 97
Archive 98
News Photos 1998
Rodeo Photos 98
Parade Photos 98
Archive 99
Photos 99
Archive 2000
Photos 2000

Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Red Bluff board OKs $672,000 dam rehab bid

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 12, 2000 - Red Bluff Water Power Control Board members got an unpleasant surprise, when bids for Phase II of the Red Bluff Dam Renovation Project came in well over the estimate made by the district's engineering consultant late last year.

Board members awarded the bid for replacement and repair of the dam's gates and irrigation tunnels to Houston-based Orion Construction, at a cost of $672,000, during their regular monthly meeting in Pecos on Monday. The bid was one of only two received by the board, which voted unanimously to accept it even though it will likely mean the district will have to borrow money to meet overall operating expenses over the course of the next two years.

HDR Engineering gave the district a $750,000 estimate for the entire project last November, after a bid for Phase I of the rehabilitation work at the dam was accepted by the board.

Stolt-Comex-Seaway of Houston was awarded that contract, which involved blocking off water flow into the dam last winter in order to inspect the dam's deteriorating gates and interior valves, for a cost of $122,105, while the contract for the new sluce gates were awarded this past February to California-based Waterman Industries, which bid $97,470 for fabricating the 42-inch gate for the west side of the dam and the 48-inch gate for the east side.

The combined Phase I, Phase II and sluce gate bids come to $891,575, or $141,575 over last November's estimate.

David Wheelock of HDR Engineering attended Monday's meeting, and said Stolt-Comex-Seaway submitted the only other bid for Phase II of the project, at a cost of $695,000. He explained that the bids were a variation on one of three repair options drawn up by HDR in a 1996 report and those variations were to blame in part for the higher-than-expected bids.

"They're going to put a brand-new concrete wall in for the sluce gates," he said, while other repairs to the interior of the dam also are necessary to the corrosion caused by the high salt levels in the water at Red Bluff Lake.

"Anything made out of cast iron or carbon steel is gone. Part of the sluce gate (installed in 1976) is gone, the piping through the dam and the diffuser cone are gone," he said. Replacement parts will be made of stainless steel, as will the gates themselves.

"I don't like the price. It's way more than what we expected, but I don't know what we can do, plus we've already spent the money to build the gates," Red Bluff General Manager Jim Ed Miller said.

Phase I of the project and the cost of the gates came in under what had originally been estimated. Miller said last November he thought Phase I would cost in the $200,000 range, while the estimate at that time by HDR for the sluce gates was $150,000

The district wants Phase II of the project to get underway beginning on Oct. 15, so that it would be completed by March 31, 2000, when the next irrigation season begins. The contract has a 170-day construction window, though Wheelock told the board Orion wanted to delay the start of the work until December, when the construction manager for the rehab work will have finished another project. "We're trying to get them here earlier," Wheelock said.

Currently, only the west gate of the dam is operational, and emergency repairs had to be made in it last year when it was found one of the guides had rusted away. After the Phase II work is completed, both gates of the 64-year-old dam will be available for use.

"They plan to do rehab work on one side, and then do the other, so one side should be done well before (March 31)," Wheelock said. The contract carries a $1,000 per day penalty if Orion fails to complete the work within the 170-day period.

Red Bluff receives a payment of about $1 million a year as part of the 1989 Pecos River Compact settlement with New Mexico, but the added cost of the project means "we'll probably have to borrow money to finish up next year," Miller said.

"It's going to be like old times," added board president Randall Hartman, referring to the time before the district was awarded the $14 million settlement.

"This is something that's been talked about for so long, but we need to do it," added board member Charlotte Wilcox, and the motion to award the contract to Orion passed unanimously.

Hartman said once the construction bills are paid off, "We can probably pay the note back in two years."

State issues new fire ban warning

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 12, 2000 - Reeves County is under extreme fire condition with a fire ban in effect.

This year's rain has not helped the county even though the total is slightly higher than last year, according to Reeves County Extension Agent Terry Holder said.

"It's been dry for the last nine years," Holder said.

He said the drought, which began in 1991 in the Trans-Pecos, has affected ranching in Reeves County.

"We are at about 20 percent of caring capacity for cattle," Holder said. "The ranchers had to sell 80 percent because of no grass."

Pecos Fire Marshall Jack Brookshire said the fire ban prohibits open fires. He said nobody is allowed to burn of grass, weeds or trash.

People who live in the country whose only way of disposing trash is burning should burn it in a container with a screen on top so as not to allow embers fly out, Brookshire said.

Trash burning is not allowed inside the city limits.

"The city has an ordinance against burning in the city limits," Brookshire said.

Violators of the fire ban could be fined and faced with several charges depending on the severity of violation.

"If they're caught burning, they can be fined $500," Brookshire said. "They could also be subject to arrest and liable for any damage caused."

As of September 2, 177 of Texas' 254 counties are under fire ban, including Ward, Pecos, Winkler, Brewster, Presidio, El Paso and Hudspeth counties.

Brush fires caused damage to areas of South Central and East Texas over the Labor Day weekend, while a brush fire earlier this year in the Glass Mountains near Marathon resulted in the death of one firefighter.

The Texas Forest Service is tracking the bans as a public service.

Brookshire said citizens should use common sense and protect themselves from damaging fires.

He said people should keep weeds and grass cut around their homes.

"The less you have around the house the can burn, the better off it will be," Brookshire said.

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service has a list of precautions to avoid considerable damage to homes in case of a wild fire.

- Maintain a 30 to 100 foot safety zone around your home.

- Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs-clear all flammable vegetation.

- Remove flammable materials including leaves and rubbish from under structures where wind blown embers may spark a fire.

- Stack firewood uphill and at least 30 feet from your house.

- Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and barbecue grills.

- Store gasoline, oily rags, and other flammable materials in approved safety cans and place the cans in a safe location away from the base of the buildings.

- Prune branches from trees within the safe zone to a height of 10 feet above the ground. Also remove shrubs, small trees, or other potential "ladder" fuels from beneath large trees.

- Trim branches, which extend over the eaves of your roof. Remove branches within 15 feet of the chimney.

- Regularly clear roof and gutters of needles and leaves to eliminate an ignition source for embers and firebands, especially during hot, dry weather.

- Reduce density of surrounding woodland areas at least 100 feet out from the home site. Thin trees so crowns do not touch each other.

- Post addresses or lot numbers so that it is clearly visible for approaching fire fighters.

- Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries annually or according to the manufacturers suggestion.

- Plan and rehearse a home fire escape drill.

- Know where safety areas are near your home or within your subdivision. Know all emergency escape routes.

- Report all fires immediately to your local fire department.

Brookshire said the Pecos Fire Department is on call 24 hours a day.

Sign-ups scheduled for children's insurance

Staff Writer

PECOS, September 12, 2000 - An effort by community agencies to reach uninsured children in Reeves County will be holding its second registration period Wednesday through Saturday, after surpassing the state-mandated quota during the first sign-up period earlier this year.

Reeves County Hospital, Texas Department of Human Services, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD, Community Council of Reeves County, the Reeves County Judge's Office and West Texas Opportunities, have teamed together to provide an open enrollment for CHIP's (Children's Health Insurance Plan).

CHIPS is the low cost or no-cost health insurance that is available to working families in the State of Texas. To apply parents are asked to provide proof of income for a one-month period, proof of child support either paid out or received, and proof of childcare.

The first Open Enrollment was held this past May and the second would be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in specified Pecos-Barstow-Toyah schools, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

"We feel this is very important, because as a hospital district, Reeves County Hospital is responsible for the health care needs of this community," said Director of Special Services at RCH Nancy Ontiveros.

"We'll actually be doing all of the applications, with our first round of enrollment on May 31," said Ontiveros. "We were able to enroll 350 children into the CHIPS program."

The state had set a quota of 99, so Reeves County signed up 3 ½ times that number in May, according to Ontiveros.

"We were very fortunate to have so many agencies who want to join together for the health care needs of the children in our community," said Ontiveros.

"While we have already exceeded our numbers, statistics show that there are still 1,600 potential (children) eligible," she said, "so our group has set a goal of reaching those children to assure that they are insured by the end of the year."

"We'll also be going to Balmorhea on Sept. 28," said Ontiveros, who added that the Balmorhea superintendent Elizabeth Saenz was very receptive to the program.

"She was delighted that we were coming and enrolling these children," said Ontiveros. "She was very pleased and was totally in favor of the program."

The schedule of enrollment at each school is as follows: Wednesday at Pecos Kindergarten, Austin Elementary and Pecos Elementary schools.

On Thursday, enrollment will take place at Bessie Haynes Elementary School and Zavala Middle School and on Friday, enrollment will be held at Crockett Jr. High School and Pecos High School.

For additional information, call Reeves County Hospital at 447-3551, ext. 350 or TDHS at 445-5487.

City's sales tax totals unchanged from `99

PECOS, September 12, 2000 - Sales tax rebates, both for the month and for the year in Pecos, remain at almost the exact same levels as in 1999, according to figures released on Friday by Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office.

The comptroller's office sent out checks to cities and counties for September last week, based on sales made during July. According to the figures, Pecos' check totaled $60,176, up four-tenths of a percent from the $59,924 it got back from Austin in September of 1999.

For the first nine months of 2000, the city has gotten $583,614 back from the state, based on its 1½-cent share of the 8¼-cent sales tax. That's up three-quarters of a percent from a year ago, when tax rebates for Pecos from January through September totaled $579,246.

Meanwhile, tax rebate numbers for Balmorhea continued to show a sharp increase over last year, while Toyah's rebate totals continued to be down sharply from 1999.

Balmorhea's $621 check this month was up 816.57 percent from the small $77 check it got last September, and for the year the city has gotten $6,588 back, from Austin. That's up 50.45 percent from the $4,379 last year, but the period also included a 50 percent increase in the city's sales tax, from 1 to 1½ cents.

Toyah's September check was for $236, which was down 65.21 percent from the $678 it got from Rylander's office a year ago. For the first nine months of 2000, Toyah's tax rebates are $3,513, down 72.18 percent from the $12,629 it received in 1999.

The Reeves County Hospital District's check for its ½-cent sales tax was $25,081, up 22.19 percent over last year. For all of 2000, the hospital has gotten $233,525 in tax rebates, a rise of 2.8 percent from 1999.

Rebate checks for Permian Basin towns were up slightly overall, though some cities did report lower checks for the month.

Midland received the area's largest check, for just under $1.13 million, which is up 35 percent, but includes a 25 percent rise in the city's sales tax since last year. Odessa's check for $940,665 was up 11.2 percent, while Andrews and Alpine reported increases of over 20 percent in their tax rebate checks.

At the other end, Fort Stockton's rebate check for September was down by more than 10 percent, while Kermit saw its check for the month drop by 15 percent.

Statewide, rebate checks were up 12.43 percent, to just over $194 million. Houston got the largest rebate check from Austin, $23.2 million, an 8.88 percent rise, while Dallas was next, with a $15.5 million check, up 14.76 percent.

Eagles football season tickets on sale

PECOS, September 12, 2000 - Season tickets remain on sale through Friday for the Pecos Eagles' five 2000 home football games. Tickets can be purchased at the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD business office, 1302 S. Park St.

Pecos' 2000 home season opener is this Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Alpine Bucks. Other home games this season are Sept. 22 against Presidio, Oct. 13 against Fabens, Oct. 27 versus Canutillo and Nov. 3 against El Paso Mountain View. Homecoming will be against Clint this season.

Individual tickets will also be available for Pecos home games this year, at a cost of $5 each for adults.


Dru Carruth

Dru Carruth, 63, of Andrews, died Sunday, Sept. 10, 2000, at her residence.

Services will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13, in Means Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. Eddie Marcum, officiating. Burial will be in the Andrews North Cemetery.

She was born June 11, 1937, in Alpine, was co-owner of Chocks Well Service Co., in Andrews, was a member of the Means Memorial United Methodist Church and active with the Andrews 4-H.

Survivors include her husband, Chock Carruth of Andrews; one son, Chris Carruth of Andrews; one daughter, Paula Sommers of Andrews and five grandchildren.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to Andrews 4-H, P.O. Box 103, Andrews, Tx. 79714.

McNett Funeral Home of Andrews is in charge of arrangements.

Ruth Daugherty

Ruth H. Daugherty, 91, of Kerrville, died Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2000 in a Kerrville car center.

Private family graveside services were held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, at Fairview Cemetery in Pecos.

She was born May 6, 1909, in Lamkin, had been a Kerrville resident for three years, after residing in Alpine for 12 years and Pecos from 1930 until 1963. She was a retired childcare worker and a member of the Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Daugherty in 1960.

Survivors include one daughter, Sara Smallwood of Los Angeles, Calif.; one son, William Daugherty of Kerrville; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation or the charity of one's choice.

Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville is in charge of arrangements.

Carmen Sanchez

Services are incomplete for Carmen Sanchez, 84, who died Thursday, Sept. 12, 2000 at Reeves County Hospital.

Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


PECOS, September 12, 2000 - High Monday 106. Low this morning 75. Forecast for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. East wind 5-15 mph. Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 90s. East wind 10-20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 60s. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower to mid 60s. High in the mid to upper 90s.

Search Entire Site:

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

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise