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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Thursday, January 18, 2001

Snowman Photo

Rare snowman's life brief

Kayla and Nathan Martinez admire the snowman they built Thursday morning after an inch of snow accumulated on their lawn. Snowfall petered out about noon, and most of the accumulation had melted by Friday morning, leaving only icy sidewalks.

Snow, ice cause series of I-10 accidents

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 18, 2001 - The sudden arrival of cold weather caused problems on area roadways to the west of Pecos Wednesday night, causing several accidents and one fatality.

Justice of the Peace Ismael Villalobos pronounced Charles Fanara, 76, of San Jose, Calif., dead at Culberson County Hospital in Van Horn following the accident, which occurred about eight miles west of Kent on Interstate 10.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Fanara was traveling east on I-10 in a 2000 Dodge Durango with two other people when the driver hit a patch of ice and lost control of the vehicle.

The Department of Public Safety in Pecos reported that the vehicle started to skid and turned over in the center median at mile marker 169, about 29 miles east of Van Horn.

The accident occurred at 10:15 p.m., and Fanara was ejected from the vehicle.

Highway Patrolman Andre Matta from Van Horn is investigating the accident.

Several other accidents occurred on I-10 overnight, including a three- to four-vehicle accident at mile marker 186 near the Interstate 10 and Interstate 20 split near the Jeff Davis and Reeves County lines. Reportedly a pickup went out of control on I-10 just west of the Reeves County line, rolled over and landed on its roof in the traffic lanes. Several other vehicles, including a truck-tractor rig, then struck the pickup.

Ambulance personnel from Culberson and Reeves Counties were called for assistance in that accident at about 10:11 p.m., last night. The jaws of life were also requested from Balmorhea to remove one person from a vehicle, and officials blocked traffic on the highway while the injuries were being attended to, but none of the injuries at this accident were reported to be serious.

Snow fell briefly Wednesday night in Pecos, but accumulations didn't begin until the next round of flurries began around sunrise today. However, conditions to the west and south deteriorated after sunset on Wednesday.

Foggy weather and high humidity near the I-10/I-20 junction and around Kent caused moisture on overpasses and roads, and the higher elevations near Gomez Peak caused the surfaces there to freeze before others in the area. Ambulance attendants were sent to another accident this morning at mile marker 172 on I-10, near Kent, though no further information was available.

Road conditions in Pecos and the surrounding areas continue to worsen as snow continues to fall and temperatures stay low. Texas Department of Transportation crews were out sanding roads and bridges on both interstates in Reeves County this morning, along with Highway 17 and farm-to-market roads in Reeves and Ward counties.

For a report on road conditions in Texas call 1-800452-9292. Road condition reports also are available through the TxDOT website, at

City, county unemployment declined again in December

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 18, 2001 - Unemployment in the Permian Basin continued to decline in December, with Pecos' jobless rate dropping below nine percent for the first time since the early 1990s.

According to figures released today by the Texas Workforce Commission the city's unemployment rate fell by four-tenths of a percent last month, from 9.3 to 8.9 percent. The city lost 50 people from its labor force, but that was offset by a decline in the number of jobless in December, from 473 to 451.

Compared with the same time period a year ago, the number of workers in the local labor force is down by 180 workers, from 5,222 in December 1999 to 5,042 last month. But the total number of jobs in the city is up by 48, from 4,543 to 4,591, which allowed local unemployment to drop from the 13 percent level it was at 12 months ago.

Continued improvement in the energy section of the Permian Basin, along with extra hiring by businesses during the Christmas sales period, accounted in part for a decline in unemployment and an increase in the number of jobs across the region.

Reeves County's jobless rate dropped by two-tenths of a percent last month, from 8.0 to 7.8 percent, the TWC said. The local labor force dropped by 61 workers, but the number of people without jobs also fell, from 528 in November to 504 last month.

Reeves County's labor force is down by nearly 200 from December of 1999, the TWC said, while the number of jobs within the county is up, from 5,888 to 5,950. Unemployment within the county stood at 11.4 percent a year ago.

Local unemployment remains above that of the Permian Basin overall. The TWC said the area jobless rate fell from 4.5 to 3.7 percent last month, and statewide unemployment declined from 4 percent in November to 3.4 percent in December.

Ector County saw a 1 percent drop it its jobless rate, from 5.2 to 4.2 percent, as it also added jobs while seeing its labor force decline. The same held true in Midland County, where unemployment dropped from 3.8 to 3.2 percent.

Ward County saw its total number of jobs slip slightly in December, but it was less than the total decline in the labor force, and allowed the county's jobless rate to drop from 6.4 to 5.9 percent. Pecos County saw a .4 percent drop in its rate despite an increase of 70 people in its workforce, as the county added 90 new jobs compared with November.

The TWC said Bryan-College Station continued to have the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in Texas, at 1.3 percent. McAllen-Edinberg and Mission remains the highest, at 12.1 percent, while Presidio County continues to have the region's worst rate, at 21.7 percent. However, that's down from 23 percent in November and from 27.2 percent a year ago.

Rotary Club hears district leader speak

Staff Writer

PECOS, January 18, 2001 - Pecos Rotary Club members heard from their district governor last week, during at the group's regular meeting at the Pecos Valley Country Club.

R.C. Paulette, Governor District 5730, and a member of the Odessa Rotary Club since 1976, was in Pecos as guest speaker, along with his wife of 46 years, Irene.

"It's great to be in Pecos," said Paulette, who had had perfect attendance at his Odessa club's meetings for 15 years.

Paulette said that there are currently 130 new members in the District this year, with nine Districts in Texas. "This is the largest district in West Texas," said Paulette.

"Every club makes a difference," said Paulette. "We have people enthused about what it means to be in Rotary, ask them to come."

Paulette spoke about the many projects that the Rotary participates in, including the student exchange program and the Diabetic Camp, held in June for boys and girls afflicted with the disease.

"We need to get younger people in here, people under 40 years old that can come in and work in all the projects we have," said Paulette. "Ask people if they want to join, tell them more about Rotarians," he said.

"Rotarians never say no to a hungry or thirsty child," said Paullette, after speaking about the Rotarians project to provide clean water around the country and food to hungry children.

Paulette and his wife were born in Midland, but they have lived in Odessa most of their lives. They are both graduates of Odessa High School and The University of Texas System.

R.C. earned his degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1958. He has been a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas since 1964. Irene earned both a bachelor and masters degree from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She taught school at the junior high level for many years. R.C. was employed in the engineering and consulting field until 1981 when he became self-employed in the insurance and risk-management business. Since that time, the Paulettes have worked together in their family business.

R.C. has been a member of the Odessa Rotary Club since 1976 and has 15 years of perfect attendance. He has served his club on many boards and committees and was club president in 1995-1996. That year, the Odessa Rotary Club was selected as, "Club of the Year" in District 5730. R.C. and Irene are both Paul Harris Fellows and Benefactors.

The Paulettes are active in local civic activities including the Odessa-Midland Coalition for Immunization, Permian Basin Historical Society, The Presidential Museum, Friendsd of Ector County Library, and The Ellen Noel Art Museum.

The couple have two grown children and seven grandchildren. They belong to a Bible Study Class and R.C. is a deacon in their church.

During the regular Rotary meeting two new members were inducted. Angela Romero and Kella Taylor were both inducted into the club and both are employees of Texas-New Mexico Power Company.

Member Dot Stafford was presented with a pin for brining in new members and Harold Elder gave a brief history on Rotary.

Stress management workshop planned

PECOS, January 18, 2001 - Desert Springs Medical Center is presenting a stress management workshop at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., next Wednesday in the Reeves County Hospital classroom.

In the workshop, learn to identify good stress and bad stress, learn stress management techniques and learn how different personalities handle stress differently.

To register call 447-3551, ext. 350. Walk-ins welcome and admission is free.


PECOS, January 18, 2001 - High Wednesday 43. Low this morning 32. Forecast for tonight: Decreasing cloudiness. Low in the lower 20s. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High in the mid 40s. Light northwest wind. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low in the mid 20s. Saturday and Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows 25 to 35. Highs from the mid 50s to the lower 60s.

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