Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Wednesday, January 31, 2001
AWARD WINNERS - Pecos Enterprise staffers
Rosie Flores (left) and Peggy McCracken pose with their awards given out
this morning. The two were honored for their work down at the Enterprise
during the past year.
Staff awards are given out by Enterprise
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, January 30, 2001 - Two Pecos Enterprise staffers were recognized
this morning for outstanding performance at the newspaper.
Peggy McCracken was named outstanding employee for the year 2000 for
her work as the paper's business manager.
Rosie Flores was named the first-ever recipient of the Pecos Enterprise
Mule award for her work as a reporter.
"When you have a staff like mine it is hard to pick any individual out
of the crowd for recognition," publisher Smokey Briggs said. "Even so,
sometimes a person's performance is so outstanding that it stands out even
in a crowd of heroes."
"Mrs. McCracken took over as business manager just about a year ago
after working for three decades as a writer. Since then she has literally
transformed our business operation. Her initiative, imagination, and work
ethic is an example to all of us and the inscription on the plaque _ for
service above and beyond the call of duty _ says it all."
"Peggy's performance really has been above and beyond the call of duty,"
Briggs said that a Mule award might sound strange at first but that
the award had special significance to him.
"From the time I was 11 until I was 18 I worked with mules. We trained
them for saddle and harness work and for endurance trail riding. During
that time I came to truly admire the breed," he said.
"Mules are terribly underrated because their greatest characteristics
are invisible to the eye _ their toughness and their heart. Everyday, no
matter the circumstances, a mule will show up for the job and get it done.
They just won't quit. That to me is the finest thing you can say about
man or beast," he said.
"Most awards are given for some single achievement _ something that
catches your eye. I think of those as horse awards. Awards for winning
a horse race and such," Briggs said.
"This award is a mule award. It is not about any one event of task.
It is about the kind of steady, quality work that puts our newspaper on
the street everyday," he said.
"Mrs. Flores does that kind of work every day. In the very best way,
she is a mule," he said.
"I think the inscription on the plaque really sums it up. `Nothing flashy
_ just hard work from sun to sun.'"
Bill would punch out local voting system
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, January 30, 2001 - A bill prohibiting the use of punch-card election
ballots, the system currently in use by election officials in Reeves County
has been introduced in the Texas Legislature.
HB 424 is a revised version of the election code filed by Rep Dale Tillery
(D-Dallas) with all references to punch card systems taken out.
If the legislature passes the bill all cities and counties who use the
punch-card system would need to purchase new updated equipment, which local
officials estimate could cost $25,000.
Only 15 counties in Texas used the punch card system, which was at the
center of this year's Florida ballot recount controversy. But among those
counties are the state's largest, Harris County (Houston), along with Ector
County (Odessa) in West Texas.
Debbie Thomas, election coordinator for the Town of Pecos City, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
ISD and Reeves County Hospital District, said the voting system used by
those three entities would also need to be replaced.
"I guess we would have to purchase new equipment," she said.
Thomas said that Pecos and Reeves County have used the punch-card system
for many years and the community seems to be comfortable with the current
system and understand that they are able to receive help if they need it.
"We haven't had to many problems here," she said.
Bobby Dean, Reeves County Democratic Party chairman, said after glancing
at the bill that the language needs to be changed before the Legislature
Dean said that the bill states that the Secretary of State may provide
funding from any source available to anyone seeking assistance, but he
added the state needs to decide who would pay for the new equipment.
Dean also said that although the bill states that there needs to be
an electronic polling device at each polling site, he does not understand
if that means having a touch screen election ballots or an optical scan
ballot. He believes that's an issue the state needs to decide.
"They won't tell what they're going to replace it with," he said.
Dean said he has been looking at the optical scan systems were the voter
would be able to use a paper ballot and simply fill in a circle for the
item they are voting for.
Once the polling centers are closed the ballots would be tallied at
a central location.
Dean said he believes this system would be easier for the mail in ballots
since there would only be one ballot.
If the state decides to go to touch screen-voting systems, Dean said
that would create problems for people who could not come down to the polling
"You still have to have a separate system that people who vote by mail
could use," he said.
Since the city, hospital, schools and county share the current system,
Thomas said that there would have to be meetings to discuss the purchase
of new equipment.
"We'd have to really work to gather up the money and investigate the
new equipment," she said.
Thomas said that election equipment built from 1999 to present has to
be approved by the American Disability Act so people with disabilities
would not need any assistance during the election process.
"All new equipment has to be ADA approved," she said. "There's got to
be a system they could use without assistance."
Thomas said they would need to do a lot of research to find the right
"We're all talking about it right now," she said.
Thomas also added that she and Dean have discussed visiting other surrounding
communities that have different voting systems.
Dean said that Ward County currently has the optical scan system and
he would like to go see a demonstration of it.
"I'm going to try to get some of us to go over there and have a demonstration,"
Dean said that the optical system would cost around $25,000 that would
be divided four ways between the city, county, hospital and schools.
Dean said that whatever system the four entities decide to purchase,
he would like for it to be in place by this coming November for the Constitutional
"I would like to have the system in place by then," he said.
He said that way the voters would be able to learn the new system and
the election officers would be able to learn the "ins and outs" of how
to work it before the first major election in March 2002.
Bomber flight update by AF on Thursday
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, January 30, 2001 - Representatives from Dyess Air Force Base
in Abilene will be on hand tomorrow to give Pecos officials an update.
The group will meet at 1:30 p.m., at the Odessa College-Pecos Technical
"The meeting will be held to give an update to the city and county officials
as to where RBTI is," said Lt. Wes Ticer, with public relations at Dyess
Air Force Base in Abilene.
The RTBI project involves B-1 bombers from Dyess and B-52 bombers from
Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, La., which will fly high altitude bombing
runs over the area between Lubbock and Big Spring, with the low-level flights
scheduled to run in the Permian Basin and Big Bend areas, including a loop
path around Pecos.
The Air Force plans to build a manned electronic scoring site southwest
of Pecos as part of the project, which officials said would employ 31 people
and bring $1.6 million to Reeves County annually.
Three individuals from Air Combat Command and two or three people from
the Dyess Air Force Base will be on hand for the briefing, according to
The Air Force plans another manned electronic scoring site in connection
with the Lancer MOA section of the flight path, to be located near Snyder.
The higher altitude flights over the South Plains have already been challenged
by a lawsuit filed by a group of ranchers and farmers in the area south
"The Air Force has a period of time to respond to the court," Ticer
said earlier this month. "We don't know if it'll have any effect on our
A similar lawsuit against the RBTI portion of the plan could be filed
by ranchers in the Trans-Pecos and Davis Mountains area, who say the low-level
fights have scared their livestock and damaged homes and other buildings
beneath the flight path.
Some of the same ranchers were able to successfully halt plans two years
ago to increase flights over the region by German Luftwaffe jets operating
out of Holloman AFB in New Mexico.
Ticer said that they still stand behind everything in the Environmental
Impact Study. "We will continue with what we have to do within the limits
of the law," he said.
Part of the reason the Air Force officials will be here in February
will be to do an environmental assessment. "They moved the site (location)
where they're going to put it and this also will be discussed," said Ticer.
The site will be located slightly closer to Pecos, one mile north of
the original site selected. It will be located 18 miles southwest of Pecos,
on land within the Conservation Reserve Program.
"It has existing road and power lines," said Ticer.
The Air Force is still looking at a couple of sites for the unmanned
station. "This will be discussed as well and by then they will have more
of an idea of when construction will begin," he said.
Sudden Impact to be featured on EWTN show
PECOS, January 30, 2001 - The local music group Sudden Impact, who was
selected as the 2000 Catholic Group of the Year, will appear on EWTN's
television program, "Life on the Rock."
The hour-long show will feature Sudden Impact and their music on Thursday
live at 7 p.m., on Classic Cable Channel 28. Part of the live show features
a call-in segment where people from around the world can ask questions
of Sudden Impact.
The Pecos boys will also perform during the show. This show will re-broadcast
at 9 a.m., Friday, at midnight on Saturday, and at 10 p.m., Sunday.
Manuel Gonzales, 80, of Pecos, died Monday, Jan. 29, 2001, at University
Medical Center in Lubbock.
A rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m., today, at Pecos Funeral Home Chapel.
Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 1, at Santa Rosa Catholic
Church with burial in Mt. Evergreen Cemetery.
He was born June 7, 1920, in Fort Stockton, was a retired equipment
operator, had lived in Pecos since 1940 and was a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Maria Gonzales in 1996; two brothers
and three sisters.
Survivors include three sons, Saul, Manuel Gonzales, Jr. and Gilberto
Gonzales of Pecos; three daughters, Elva Tarin of Midland and Delma and
Rosie Gonzales of Pecos; one sister, Gabriela Franco of Odessa and eight
Pecos Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Charles McGoldrick, 68, of West Creek, died Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001, at
Sea Crest Village Nursing Home in Little Egg Harbor, N.J.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 3, at Maxwell
Funeral Home, 160 Mathistown Rd., Little Egg Harbor, N.J. Burial will be
in West Creek Cemetery.
He was born in Philadelphia and had lived in Mentone prior moving to
West Creek 1½ years ago. He was a retired chief engineer for the
Merchant Marine, was a commissioned officer for the Texas Guard serving
with two silver bars, was on tour in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and was a deputy
in the reserves in Luma County, N.M. He served as a deputy sheriff in Mentone
for eight years, was a member of VFW and the American Legion.
Survivors include his son, Charles J. McGoldrick III of Philadelphia;
two daughters, Lorraine McGoldrick of Tuckerton, Pa. and Jacqueline McGoldrick
of Philadelphia; one brother, Ray McGoldrick of Philadelphia; two sisters,
Agnes Pharo of Tuckerton, Margaret Wells of Manahawkin; one granddaughter
and many nieces and nephews.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the
Maxwell Funeral Home Inc. of Little Egg Harbor, N.J. is in charge of
PECOS, January 30, 2001 - High Tuesday 57. Low this morning 29. Forecast
for tonight: Cloudy and cold, with lows in the mid-20s. Thursday: Clear
skies early, cloudy in the late afternoon with highs around 50. Thursday
night: Cloudy, with lows in the mid-20s.
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