Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, November 8, 2000
Ward County hospital district plan rejected
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - Ward County officials are trying to decide
what to do next after voters on Tuesday rejected the creation of a hospital
district for the county.
Meanwhile, former 143rd District Attorney Hal Upchurch also
has to figure out what to do next, after his write-in candidacy for Ward
County Attorney fell 52 votes short of incumbent Kevin Acker.
Ward County voters, including those in the Barstow area, went to the
polls to decide on creation of a self-taxing hospital district, similar
to the one created by voters in Reeves County in 1988. That would have
given the financially troubled hospital more control over its own financial
But the measure failed, by an 1,852 to 1,558 margin, putting the situation
back in the hands of the Ward County Commissioners and the Ward County
"We're going to try and keep as much health care as we feel we can afford
in Ward County," said Ward County Judge Sam Massey this morning. "The (hospital)
board will be the main player in this.
"I suggested the consider contracting every service they can out to
other groups and let them do the decisions, but I don't know if that got
the full support of the board," Massey said. "There is going to be a board
meeting on the 9th (Thursday), where they will consider how
and if they're going to be affected."
Ward Memorial Hospital, like Reeves County Hospital, currently has a
management contract with Covenant Heath Services out of Lubbock. Massey
said the board will have to decide if they want to keep that agreement,
or go to a less-costly arrangement where the board would hire management
personnel directly, with Covenant acting only as a consultant.
"The main thing is we've got to be able to afford to pay for it, and
if we want to increase taxes to pay for it," Massey said. "We're already
near our limits … we're going to hit the wall where we're not going to
be able to increase it, even if we wanted to."
The Upchurch-Acker race was one of two involving a write-in candidate
in Ward County, but the only one which Barstow voters could cast ballots
on. Acker, the Democratic nominee, won with 1,761 votes to 1,709 for Upchurch,
who served as 143rd District Attorney for Ward, Reeves and Loving
counties from 1987 through 1992.
Upchurch was unavailable for comment this morning on whether or not
he would ask for a recount.
The county's other contested race was for Precinct 3 commissioner, where
incumbent Ron Widdess defeated write-in candidate Pablo Valles by a 570-399
vote margin. In the area races, incumbent 23rd District Congressman
Henry Bonilla defeated challenger Isidro Garza in Ward County by a 2,550-1,114
vote margin, with libertarian candidate Jeffrey C. Blount receiving 138
votes, and for 73rd District Representative in the Texas House,
incumbent Democrat Bob Turner got 2,166 votes to Republican challenger
Steve Fryar's 1,550.
Bonilla won by a 60-40 margin over Garza district-wide, while Turner
beat Fryar for re-election unofficially with 26,824 votes to Fryar's 22,433.
In the presidential race, Ward County went for Gov. George W. Bush over
Vice President Al Gore by a 2,534-1,256 margin. Green Party candidate Ralph
Nader got 58 votes, Reform Party (independent) Pat Buchanan received 17
and Harry Browne of the Constitution Party got nine votes.
In the uncontested races involved candidates on the ballot in Barstow,
Sheriff Mike Strickland was elected with 3,444 votes, tax assessor-collector
Dolores Hannah Fine received 3,334 votes, Precinct 1 Commissioner Julian
Florez was re-elected with 631 votes and Robert M. Garcia was elected constable
for Precincts 1 and 4 with 1,024 votes.
County voters back Democrats, area, state races go with GOP
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - Reeves County voters went against state trends
in the presidential election, but they may end up on the winning side overall,
depending on the outcome of the recount going on in Florida.
Vice President Al Gore and his running mate, Joe Lieberman, won about
60 percent of the votes in Reeves County in the presidential race against
Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney. Gore received
1,872 votes to 1,271 for Bush.
County voters also went Democratic in the race for United States Senate,
giving "Gene" Kelley 1,601 votes, to Republican incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison's
Statewide, Bush defeated Gore by a 58-38 margin, getting 3,790,992 votes
to Gore's 2,424,281, while Hutchison won with 65 percent of the vote, 4,074,237,
to Kelly's 2,024,938.
Also winning locally but losing overall was Democrat Isidro Garza, Jr.
in his race against incumbent Congressman Henry Bonilla. Garza got 1,693
votes to 1,372 for Bonilla, but the Republican won his fifth term in Congress
with 117,779 to 79,080, a 60-38 margin. Libertarian candidate Jeffrey C.
Blunt (Lib.) had 54 votes.
Other results for Reeves County are listed below:
In the Texas Railroad Commissioner race Charles R. Matthews had 1,145
votes; Carolyn Fields, 411 and Gary Dugger, 137.
Railroad Commissioner, unexpired term, Michael L. Williams, 1,010 votes;
Anthony Garcia, 759 and Charles L. Mauch, 90 votes.
Justice, Supreme Court, Place: Nathan Hecht, 1,083; Mike Jacobellis,
352 and Ben G. Levy, 3.
Justice, Supreme Court, Place 2: Priscilla Owen, 1,175 and Joe Alfred
Izen, Jr. 550.
Justice Supreme Court, Place 3: Al Gonzales, 1,371 and Lance Smith,
Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals: Sharon Keller, 928 and Bill
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place: Charles Holcomb, 1,254 and
Rife Scott Kimler, 409.
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 2: Barbara Parker Hervey, 954
and William R. Barr, 1,819.
State Representative, District 80: Gary L. Walker, 1,472. Walker was
Justice, 8th Court of Appeals District, Place 1, Ann Crawford
Justice, 8th Court of Appeals District, Place 2: David Wellington
District Judge, 143rd Judicial District: Bob Parks, 2,502.
District Attorney, 143rd Judicial District: Randall W. "Randy"
County Attorney: Luis U. Carrasco, 2,249.
District Clerk, Unexpired Term: Pat Tarin, 2,402.
Sheriff: Arnulfo "Andy" Gomez, 2,514.
County Tax Assessor-Collector: Elfida Zuniga, 2,506.
County Commissioner, Precinct #1: Felipe Arredondo, 601.
County Commissioner, Precinct #3: Herman Tarin, 555.
Constable, Precinct #1: Arnulfo H. Granado, 606.
Constable, Precinct #2: Jaime Salgado, 546.
Constable, Precinct #3: Tomas "Tommy" Martinez, 601.
Constable, Precinct #4: Heriberto "Eddy" Rodriguez, 532.
Electoral College system flunks with local officials
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - The Electoral College system got a `thumbs
down' from two local officials today, who said the deciding factor in who
will be the next president of the United States should rest with the people.
"I think that (Gov. George W.) Bush talks about trusting the people
and I think we should trust the people," said Reeves County Judge Jimmy
B. Galindo. "The electoral college doesn't make sense, because things are
very different now, than when they created the Electoral College."
They created the Electoral College, during a revolution, under different
circumstances, according to Galindo. "They created this electoral college
because they were afraid of the people and those conditions don't exist
Bush and Gore are currently awaiting the outcome of a recount in Florida,
which will decide the 2000 presidential election. Should Bush maintain
his current 1,400-vote margin, he will become the first president since
1888 to win election while losing the popular vote. Gore currently holds
about a 250,000-vote lead nationwide.
"Trusting the people is the right thing to do," said Galindo. "In respect
to the system we should trust the people to make the election."
The Electoral College was created in 1787 order to give smaller states
more representation in the presidential election. Each state receives electoral
votes based on its total number of representatives in Congress.
Galindo stated that in every other election such as judges, mayors and
other elected officials the people ultimately decide the election. "Why
should it be any different when it comes to the president."
Town of Pecos City Councilman Johnny Terrazas supported the judge's
comments. "As far as the election, some of the commentators on the news
describe the electoral college as being the ones in control," said Terrazas.
"This is the only place it's used."
"I think the people are smart enough to elect the president," said Terrazas.
"It should be by popular vote and Gore has won the popular vote."
Terrazas stated that now we have so much access to information via the
Internet, the news, the radio, the newspapers, that the voters should be
able to decide the election.
"The voters are very well informed and can make that decision, we should
go with what the voters want, instead of going through the electoral college,"
They didn't have that information available back when they created the
Electoral College, but things are very different now, according to Terrazas.
Reeves County Commissioner Precinct 2 David Castillo stated that, "Something's
messed up somewhere in Florida."
Castillo stated that his main problem with this race is the media and
their portrayal of the results.
"The media, they way they're doing it, doing the exit polls, putting
out erroneous information is not right," said Castillo. "I think they were
putting out this information and possibly influencing the voters in the
western section, where they hadn't finished voting yet."
The media first announced Gore had won Florida at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and
then withdrew that report two hours later. They then announced Bush had
won at 1:45 a.m., and then withdrew that prediction about an hour later.
The media needs to be sure their information is correct before putting
it out to the public, according to Castillo.
"I understand their need to want to put out the information right away
or as soon as possible, but they need to make sure it's correct first,"
said Castillo. "That's my biggest problem with this election."
The media could be argued that they had an influence in this election,
according to Castillo. "It's surprising how close this thing is," he said.
Castillo stated that ultimately the vice-president would be the one
to have the most powerful position. "He might be the one to decide which
way it will go," said Castillo. "In that case, I would feel more comfortable
Castillo stated that Cheney is senior statesman and is the most experience
individual on the ticket. "He'd be in a key position and I would feel more
comfortable with him, even than with the presidential candidates," said
Write-ins fail to win Loving local elections
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - The vote totals for Loving County in Tuesday's
general election were below the number of registered voters for the county,
but still above the county's estimated population, a situation currently
under investigation by the Texas Rangers.
A total of 161 people cast ballots in the county for Tuesday's general
election, in which write-in candidates were beaten in three local races.
That's not a lot of votes, but it's still nearly 50 more than the estimated
population last year of 113 for Loving County, the nation's least populated
Loving County Clerk Beverly Hanson said of the 161, "That's less than
signed up, but it's still more votes than we got the year before."
A total of 212 people registered to vote in Loving County for Tuesday's
election, which prompted 143rd District Attorney Randall W.
Reynolds to order an investigation by Texas Ranger Jerry Villalobos.
Hanson said this morning she had not heard from Villalobos on how the
investigation was coming. Last month, Hanson said a total of 146 people
were registered to vote in the county before the 1999 General Election.
In the three contested races, Democrat Richard Putnam defeated write-in
candidate Tom Jones by a 91-68 margin, Precinct 1 Commissioner Harlan Hopper
(D) beat write-in Buddy Busby by a 37-24 margin and Regena Derrick (D)
beat write-in Beverly Creager for the county Justice of the Peace unexpired
term, 97 votes to 46.
In the uncontested races, Vern Jones received 108 votes for county constable,
Skeet Jones to 31 votes for Precinct 3 Commissioner, while Reynolds received
91 votes for DA and Bob Parks got 100 for 143rd District Court
In the presidential race, Gov. George W. Bush got 124 votes to 29 for
Vice President Al Gore, and one apiece for Ralph Nader, Harry Browne and
Pat Buchanan, running on the Green Party, Libertarian and Independent (Reform
Party) lines. In the race for the 23rd District Congressional
seat, Republican Henry Bonilla won a 106 votes to 23 for Democrat Isidro
Garza and five for Libertarian Jeffrey Blount.
List of city manager hopefuls to be studied
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - The Town of Pecos City Council is scheduled
to discuss the applicants for the position of City Manager in executive
session of the regular meeting at 7:30 a.m., Thursday at City Hall.
The position opened at the end of August when former City Manager Kenneth
Neal resigned to take another City Manager's position in the Dallas area.
City Utilities Director Octavio Garcia has been filling in as interim
city manager since Neal left.
The Council will discuss 16 applicants and review resumes
Applicants from Pecos include Garcia, Emilio Chavez, Sr.; James Dutchover;
Steve McCormick; Tom Rivera and Oscar Saenz. McCormick currently serves
as the city's finance director.
Other applicants include Donald Chittenden of Horizon City; Manuel Fierro
of Kermit; Aref Hassan of Winters; David Hougham of El Paso; Mark Mills
of Euless; James Minor of Cleburne; Jaime Perez of El Paso; Darrel Rhyne
of Toyahvale; Richard Sida of El Paso; Carlos Yerena of El Paso.
The Council will also discuss a claim from John Clark for cattle loss,
and will consider setting new speed limits for the access roads on Interstate
20, while McCormick will discuss with the Council adding an employee of
the Pecos Economic Development Corporation to the city benefit plan and
funding for the same.
Before adjourning to executive session the Council will consider changing
the Council meeting time.
Weather blamed for accidents
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - Snow and ice caused problems with travel last
night and this morning around this area.
The Texas Department of Public Safety reported about eight vehicle accidents
on the highways around Alpine, Fort Davis, Marfa and Marathon from last
night and this morning, along with a multi-car accident on Interstate 10
near Kent on the Culberson-Jeff Davis County line.
A meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Midland said about
an inch of snow fell in those areas.
"We got reports that there was snow over ice," he said.
The ice caused problems from travelers with most of the accidents being
either vehicle rollovers or vehicles skidding off the road.
Most of the accidents occurred in the higher elevations, with the largest
occurring about 10 p.m. Tuesday, when DPS officers got a report of a five-vehicle
accident about 45 miles west of Pecos on Interstate 10.
Ambulance personnel were called to the scene but called back before
arriving at the accident, in the eastbound lanes near the 180 mile marker.
The latest accident report was about 10 a.m., this morning with a truck
tractor rollover on U.S. 90 near Marathon.
The meteorologist said the Odessa/Midland, Snyder and Big Spring areas
got anywhere from three to eight inches of snow.
He said chances of more snowfall are slim.
"It's pretty much over," he said.
Temperatures will be warming up tomorrow with an expected high between
the 50s and 60s.
There is a chance for more rain during the weekend.
Services are incomplete for Marian Morelan, 71, who died Tuesday, Nov.
7, 2000, at her residence.
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
PECOS, November 8, 2000 - High Tuesday 50. Low this morning 34. Rainfall
last 24 hours at Texas A&M< Experiment Station .31 inch. Forecast
for tonight: Partly cloudy. Low near 30. West wind 5-15 mph. Thursday:
Partly cloudy and warmer. High in the upper 50s. West wind 10-20 mph. Thursday
night: Partly cloudy. Low 30-35. Friday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid
50s to near 60.
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