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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Tuesday, November 7, 2000

Local voters brave rains to go to polls

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - Despite this morning's rain, Reeves County voters were out early casting their ballots in the Nov. 7 General Election.

"We've had quite a few people come in and ask where they should be voting at," said Reeves County Clerk Dianne Florez.

Florez said she had checked at Bessie Haynes, at about 9 a.m., and already 13 individuals had cast their vote at that location. The east side school is one of 12 locations in Reeves County where voters can cast ballots until 7 p.m. tonight.

"We had 1,237 by personal appearance in the early elections with 173 ballots by mail," said Florez. "We mailed out 232," she said.

"It seems like it's going good so far, despite the rain," said Florez.

Florez stated that they won't be having early pickups of ballots during this election.

"All pick ups will start at 7 p.m., after the polls have closed," said Florez.

The Early Ballot Board will start qualifying the early voting ballots at 2 p.m., those by personal appearance and ballots by mail, according to Florez.

Local election voting polls are Box 1, Pecos Community Center; Box 2, Pecos Elementary School; Box 3, Pecos High School new gym; Box 7, Reeves County Library; Box 8, Lamar Elementary; Box 10, Reeves County Annex, northeast corner; Box 11, Bessie Haynes; and Box 12 Texas-New Mexico Power Co. Reddy Room.

Other county boxes are Box 4, Toyah City Hall; Box 5, Balmorhea Fire Hall; Box 6, Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center; and Box 9, Orla-Red Bluff Office.

Ward County voters in Barstow are casting their ballots today at the Barstow Community Center.

There are no contested local elections on Tuesday's ballot in Reeves County, with all races having been decided during the Democratic Party primary election in March and April, and only one contested one regionally, for the 23rd Congressional District, where incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla is being challenged by Democrat Isidro Garza.

Commissioners approve loan to purchase bus

Staff Writer

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - Reeves County Commissioners approved a loan contract to purchase a transportation bus for Reeves County Detention Center during a special meeting held Monday morning.

Commissioners approved a contract with Security State Bank to purchase the MCI Inmate Transportation Bus for the RCDC, at a cost of about $322,400. Under the contract, the county will pay the bank in monthly installments of about $6,500 for five years.

The bus will be used to transport inmates to the facility, which in nearing completion of the 1,000-bed addition, which will double the RCDC's capacity. The bus will also be used on other occasions, and bring in revenue for the county, commissioners said.

Commissioners were given a tour of the bus back in August, when it made a stop in Pecos.

"This is state-of-the art, as far as correctional buses are concerned," said RCDC Warden Rudy Franco at the time. "I felt this would be a good opportunity for us to purchase it and have for us to use."

County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said the RCDC does almost $500,000 a year in transportation for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which supplies the prison with most of its inmates.

The bus can accommodate about 50 inmates and has the ability to rearrange its seating to be able to transport different inmates at the same time. "This bus has the ability to change to accommodate females and separate them from the males," said Franco.

In other business, commissioners approved the appointment of a judge and alternate for today's General Election, after one of the original judges and alternates had a death in the family and were unable to serve.

Ester Alvarez was appointed as judge and Elva Tarango will serve as alternate in today's elections. An alternate judge for Box 7 was also approved. Helen Fuentes will serve as alternate at that voting box.

Area put under winter storm warning

From Staff and Wire Reports

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - A cold front is already brining snow and sleet to parts of the Texas Panhandle and Southeastern New Mexico, though Pecos may only have to endure cold rain though tonight and tomorrow.

Up to five inches of snow were expected in the Panhandle by early Wednesday from the front, which has now stalled along the Rio Grande from near Laredo into El Paso. Another system paralleled the Texas coast from near Beaumont to Alice.

Snow could spread over the Concho Valley and South Plains late Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. It posted a winter storm warning for the South Plains and a heavy snow warning for the Panhandle, with some freezing precipitation also expected in the Permian Basin.

Pecos has a slight chance of seeing some snow later tonight and through Wednesday morning according to the National Weather Service in Midland.

With rainfall today meteorologist Chris Smallcomb said Pecos citizens might see a few snowflakes toward the evening hours.

"There's a chance of light snowflakes mixed with rain," he said. "It probably won't be very significant."

Smallcomb said Pecos and the surrounding areas would be put on a winter storm watch late this afternoon through Wednesday.

There is now a winter storm warning in northern Eddy County, according to Smallcomb.

Snow has fallen in Hobbs, Artesia and Carlsbad and will continue to fall for a few days in New Mexico, with a chance of snow also in the Guadalupe Mountains of northern Culberson County.

Smallcomb said the heaviest snowfall is in between Lubbock and Amarillo. As of this morning Lubbock has received two inches of snow while Amarillo has had four inches.

While snow is falling with the approaching cold front, Smallcomb said there is no chance of an ice storm in this area like the one Alpine had last month, but there would be slick roads in the higher elevations.

Smallcomb said the winter weather is only affecting West Texas, Southern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle.

"Things look pretty tame (in the rest of the state)," he said.

Rain was already falling east of Abilene and west of Fort Worth, along with the Big Bend, Permian Basin and far West Texas.

Early-morning lows ranged from below freezing in the Panhandle and South Plains to around 50 in West Texas. Extremes were 28 degrees at Dalhart and 76 at Port Isabel.

Other readings were 53 degrees at Fort Stockton, 50 at Burnet, 42 at Wichita Falls and 52 in the Temple-Killeen area.

The winter storm arrived in West Texas, as people in the Texas Hill Country and the southeastern part of the state were just starting to dry out from last week's storms that caused areas of flooding, but did bring some lake levels up near Austin and tentatively eased water restrictions for utility customers in San Antonio.

The level of Lake Travis west of Austin rose 20 feet by Monday. The Central Texas lake was at its lowest level in 16 years - 28 feet below average - before rains that started Friday.

"The lake looks happy again," Henry Hasselfield, manager of Anderson Mill Marina, told the Austin American-Statesman in Tuesday's editions.

Combined volumes of water in lakes Travis and Buchanan increased by more than 40 percent over the weekend, officials of the Lower Colorado River Authority estimated.

The Llano River, which flooded parts of the Junction area last week, has been recharging into Lake LBJ, just upstream of Lake Marble Falls and Lake Travis, which has been beneficial for the Highland Lakes' storage reservoirs, officials said.

In San Antonio, the Edwards Aquifer Authority announced the planned lifting of emergency drought restrictions.

"The region cooperated with the restrictions that were put into place and that, combined with the cooler weather and the recent rains have allowed the aquifer to recover," Greg Ellis, general manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority, told San Antonio television station KENS.

Watering restrictions for San Antonio, the largest city in the country to rely solely upon an underground reservoir for municipal water needs, had been in place for 180 days beginning May 9.

But recent rains have brought the aquifer up to 667.2 feet elevation - 17 feet above the 650-foot limit for the first stage of restrictions, which limited lawn watering to certain hours and specific days.

Hotline, web reports offered by TxDOT

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - When West Texas motorists are making plans to travel this winter, there is help available from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Highway condition reports, which offer news about weather-related conditions as well as construction, are available from a TxDOT telephone statewide hotline, a site on the Internet, and from the regional Odessa District office.

"Motorists can call a 1-800 number for information on road conditions statewide," said Glen W. Larum, the Odessa District Public Information Officer. "They will hear a narrative overview of road conditions throughout Texas, then can ask for a more focused regional report," he said.

The hotline number is 1-800-452-9292.

Computer users also can get the same information by accessing a user-friendly, point-and-click TxDOT Internet site at

"We also have our own local highway condition report telephone line here at the TxDOT District Office in Odessa," said Larum. During inclement weather, callers can dial 915-333-9166 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday for an updated highway condition report.

Reports are updated periodically during the day during inclement weather, he said.

`Lantern Tour' set for Saturday at Fort Davis

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - A special `lantern-lit' walking tour of the Fort Davis National Historic Site will be held this Saturday, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a total of nine tours, but since each is limited to 22 people, reservations are required. Each tour is approximately one hour in length and will include stops at a number of the refurbished buildings.

The theme of this year's lantern tour is "From Retreat to Tattoo," with staff members and volunteers dressed in costume to recreate the look of the fort as it was in November 1884.

Those attending are asked to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes, and to be careful walking on the uneven areas and gravel paths around the fort. Because of the paths, wheelchairs and baby strollers are not permitted.

For further information or to make reservations, contact the Fort Davis National Historic Site, at 915-426-3224, ext. 20.

Celebration held by church to mark anniversary

PECOS, November 7, 2000 - Members of Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida (New Life Baptist Church) celebrated their anniversary, honored their pastor, and gave special recognition to his wife _ all in a special celebration service held recently.

The occasion marked the two-year anniversary of their church. Pastor Paul Garcia was surprised when he was honored for his 36 years in the pastoral ministry. He was presented with an appreciation plaque by church member, Claudia Gutierrez.

Eva Garcia, local school teacher and member of the New Life Church, was also pleasantly surprised when she was recognized for being selected as the Teacher of the Year for Region 18. The church presented her with a briefcase with her initials engraved in gold, and Rev. Garcia presented his wife with a lovely bouquet of red roses.

Guest speaker for the service was Rev. Leonardo Gallegos of El Paso. He challenged the church to keep on with its mission of spreading the gospel and participating in outreach ministries. Lazaro Diaz directed the music for the occasion. The Women's Choir of Nueva Vida presented special music for the occasion. Youth member, Vickie Samaguey, also sang a special solo. Charter member Cuqui Puente said a personal testimony about the "New Life" church, and Pastor Garcia gave a brief history of the church.

Opening its doors in 1998, the small congregation met in homes, at the Community Center, and at the TNP Reddy Room before purchasing its building at 301 W. Third Street, where the old Greyhound Bus Station once stood, and later the Pecos Valley Church of Christ. The church is actively involved in outreach ministries including a Food Bank, which serves many needy families in Pecos and surrounding areas. Members are considering expanding by possibly starting a new church growth or ministry.

Following the service, a barbecue dinner hosted by the church's Women's Missionary Group, was served in the fellowship hall. Out-of-town guests from Monahans, Midland, El Paso, Austin, and Chihuahua, Mexico attended the day's activities.

Nueva Vida is presently hosting a tent revival Nov. 5-9, at 301 S. Elm St. The revival begins at 7 p.m., each evening. Guest evangelist is Dr. Homer Martinez of Dallas. Special music is brought by Paul Hinojos of Dallas.

Everyone in the community is invited to attend these special services.

For transportation or for more information about the revival and other church programs, call Rev. Paul Garcia at 445-6695.


PECOS, November 7, 2000 - High Monday 64. Low this morning 48. Forecast for tonight: Occasional rain, which may be mixed with or change to snow. Low in the mid 30s. North wind 10-20 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent. Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain mixed with snow. High near 40. Northwest wind 10-20 mph. Chance of precipitation 30 percent. Some accumulation expected. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy. Low 30-35. Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs 55-60.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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