Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, October 5, 2000
FAA probes cause of Grandfalls plane crash
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, October 5, 2000 - Two prominent community leaders in Monahans
were killed Wednesday when the plane they were in crashed a half-mile south
Killed was the pilot and owner of the Thorp T-18C experimental class
fixed wing single engine plane, Dayton Earl "Pat" Ramsey, according to
a report filed by the Department of Public Safety. Ramsey, 78, is also
owner of MR Oil Co. in Monahans.
DPS officials could not confirm the identity is not confirmed of the
second victim, pending autopsy, but she was tentatively identified as Suzanne
"Suzi" Parker Blair, 46, of Monahans.
Ward County Justice of the Peace Ronold Ray of Monahans pronounced both
occupants of the plane dead at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday. Ray also ordered an
autopsy on Ramsey, as both bodies were severely burned in the fire following
The crash occurred near State Highway 18 on the south side of the small
Ward County community, and 200 yards east of FM 11. The plane ignited on
impact in an open field, according to the DPS report.
The plane had taken off from Monahans Municipal Airport, 20 miles north
of Grandfalls, and had just passed over Grandfalls High School when witnesses
said they heard the engine sputter and saw the engine cowling disengage
from the aircraft then fall to the ground, according to DPS reports.
Pablo Navarette, Animal Control Officer for Ward County, was working
in the area around the school when the crash occurred. He said the plane
looked like it was falling apart in mid-air, with the wheels and landing
gear coming apart first, followed by the cowling before the experimental
The crash is under investigation by Troopers Phillip Breeding and Darren
Storer both of Monahans.
Department of Public Safety Trooper Phillip Brady said federal investigators
from Lubbock were scheduled to arrive at the scene Thursday.
Monahans residents were in shock after hearing news of the deaths.
"It's just a terrible tragedy for our little town," owner of Billy Lou's
Flowers and Gifts Billy Lou Harris said.
Ramsey was president of the First State Bank, a member of the First
United Methodist Church as well as owner of MR Oil Co. and "an excellent
pilot," according to Harris.
"He was the leader of our town," she said.
Harris also said Ramsey was a very respected and prominent member of
the community and a father figure to all his children's friends.
"He was a very down to earth person," she said.
Blair was the manager of the Main Street Association as well as a part-time
photographer for the Monahans News, which was busy putting out their weekly
edition when news of the deaths arrived.
Linda Stephens, Editor and Publisher of the Monahans News, said Blair
was a very creative and vibrant person who excelled at whatever she did.
"The community lost a good friend when they lost Suzi," she said.
She was one of the key members who started working for the city's Main
Street Project and was the project's manager at the time of her death.
Harris, who is the president of the board for the Main Street Association,
worked with her from the beginning stages.
"We worked really hard for Monahans to become a Main Street City," she
Stephens said Blair won many awards for her work with the Main Street
Association including Outstanding Main Street Manager of the Year, last
Stephens said Blair started working at the Monahans News about a year
ago as a full-time employee but cut down to part-time when she was given
the job of manager for the Main Street Project.
"That was her dream and that was her vision," she said. "Because of
that the community benefited from it."
Stephens said she and the staff at the Monahans News fell in love with
Blair when they first met her because of her energy and fearlessness.
"There was nothing she wouldn't tackle," she said. "She was like a breath
of fresh air."
"Whatever she did she loved," Stephens added.
Blair was also a member of the First United Methodist Church and is
survived by her husband Ramie Blair and two twin sons.
Ramsey is survived by his wife, Mary Beth Ramsey, three daughters and
Funeral services for both are pending.
Fire department receives $12,000 state grant
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, October 5, 2000 - Town of Pecos City will receive $12,000 in
grant money for equipment and training for the city's volunteer fire department,
following a visit to Austin by local officials this week.
Armando Gil, Emergency Management Coordinator, Roy Pena, Fire Chief
and Jim Riley attended a grant review session before the Texas Commission
on Fire Protection Funds Allocation Advisory Committee in Austin. The three
made the trip in order to provide input and information to the committee,
to justify why they are requesting a $25,000 grant for the fire department.
After the presentation, the Funds Allocation Advisory Committee told
the three that they would put the Pecos Fire Department on the list to
receive $12,000 of the $25,000 grant to purchase the equipment they requested.
Gil made the presentation to the commission, while Pena and Riley were
on hand to answer any questions and provide additional information.
"This is something we've been working on, coordinating with each other,"
said Gil. "We're hoping to work on other grants in the future to be able
to fund other projects."
The grant monies when received will go towards the purchase of three
SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) units, three auxiliary tanks
and also for training of six volunteer firefighters.
"The SCBA's are the ones the firefighters use when going into a burning
building, while the auxiliary tanks are the ones that they use on the SCBA's
as refills," said Gil.
The grant application process originally began about a month ago when
Town of Pecos City Mayor Ray Ortega received information that the Pecos
Fire Department could be eligible to apply for the grant. Ortega, Gil and
Pena were given the grant information from vendors while attending the
International Fire and Rescue Conference 2000 on Aug. 26 in Dallas.
The volunteers will be receiving training at College Station at Texas
A&M, according to Gil.
Gil stated that another grant the city is seeking would fund a training
tower, to be used by firemen simulate fires in multi-story buildings. He
and the mayor have been researching the possibility of applying for a grant
from Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in the purchase of the
The fire department continues to seek funds separately to finance accessories
to their new Rescue Cam, which is used to look for people trapped in buildings
under smoke and fire conditions.
USDA to announce new funding grant
PECOS, October 5, 2000 - A funding announcement for Madera Valley Water
Supply Company Office on State Highway 17 in Verhalen will be held at 2:30
p.m. on Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development is providing funding
to Madera Valley WSC.
John E. Perkins, Community Development Specialist, USDA Rural Development
of Fort Stockton will be on hand along with board members of Madera Valley
Water Supply Co.
Micaela Z. Corrales, 62, of Pecos, died Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000, at Medical
Center Hospital in Odessa.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at Martinez Funeral
Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
She was born Dec. 10, 1937, in Pecos, was a lifetime Pecos resident,
a housewife and a Catholic.
Survivors include her husband, Juan L. Corrales of Pecos and Petra Martinez
Zermeno of Pecos; children, Edmundo and Florence, Tia Marie, Betina and
Edmundo Corrales II of Oak Harbor, Wash.; John L. and Celina, Deanna, Marie
John L. and Aaron J. Corrales of Odessa; Pearl C. and Pete, Kelsey Sloan,
Pete III and Tyler Clay Ramos of Pecos; Jane C. and Jerry, Jasmine and
Jerry II of McAllen; Elizabeth C. and Dre Brooks and Carlos Avila of Oak
Harbor, Wash.; one brother, Ysidro M. Zermeno of Pecos; one sister, Erminia
M. Zermeno of Pecos.
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Alicia Paz Gonzales, 53, of Del Rio, died Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000,
at the Pecos Nursing Home.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today, at Martinez Funeral Home.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6, at Greenwood
She was born Sept. 24, 1947, in Del Rio, was an elementary school teacher
and a Catholic.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jose R. Paz Sr. and Josefa
Survivors include one son, Edward James Gonzales of Austin, and three
brothers, Jose Robert Paz Jr. of Midland, Alfredo and Guadalupe Paz of
Martinez Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, October 5, 2000 - High Wednesday 105. Low this morning 63. Forecast
for tonight: Becoming cloudy, windy and much cooler during the early evening
with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms. Areas of drizzle developing
toward morning along with a slight chance of rain. Periods of blowing dust
and sand possible during the evening hours. Low 50-55. Northeast wind 20-30
mph and gusty. The chance for measurable rain is 20 percent. Friday: Cloudy,
breezy and cool with areas of drizzle and a slight chance for rain. High
in the lower 60s. Northeast wind 15-25 mph and gusty. The chance for measurable
rain is 20 percent. Friday night: Cloudy and cool with a chance of rain.
Lows near 40. Saturday: Mostly cloudy and cool with a slight chance of
rain. High in the lower 60s.
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