Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Monday, May 14, 2001
Storms cause scares, minor damage in area
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Monday, May 14, 2001 -- Residents of Pecos and the surrounding areas
experienced violent weather this weekend when a thunderstorm blew through
this area causing some minor damage, with a possible tornado sending
residents in Saragosa and Balmorhea to area shelters.
Perry Martin, senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service in
Midland, said that it was reported that at about 8:45 p.m., on Friday there
was a report of 60 mile per hour thunderstorm gusts going through this area.
He said that there was a funnel cloud sighting in the Balmorhea area,
but added "There were no confirmed reports of that."
Residents in Saragosa went to the shelter built at the Saragosa Multi-Purpose
Center following the 1987 tornado that killed 30 people, while residents
in Balmorhea took shelter from the storm at the Balmorhea ISD building after
a tornado warning was issued for southern Reeves County.
Local law enforcement were sent out to investigate both the report of
a possible tornado sighting near Saragosa and another on Interstate 20 near
Toyah, according to the Pecos Police reports.
Minor damage can be seen all over town with a few windows blown out as
a result of the high wind gusts and some downed power lines.
The Pecos Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a utility
pole on fire after lighting struck it, while other damage was reported to
buildings along South Eddy Street and a carport canopy was blown down by
the winds on the northeast side of Casa Manana Apartments in the 800 block
of Daggett Street.
Martin said that there were also reports of hail in Ward County near Wickett
He said that there were numerous thunderstorms in this area but they were
"all hit or miss that night."
According to KIUN, downtown Pecos received .56 of an inch with reports
from just under an inch to one and one quarter inches.
Martin said that Pecos has a slight chance of thunderstorms each day this
week that would result in some gusty winds and rain but nothing severe.
"That's just normal for summer here (in this area)," he said.
Area's sales tax rebates mostly up for May
PECOS, Monday, May 14, 2001 -- Sales tax rebate figures for the Permian
Basin and Trans-Pecos region were mostly up for May, according to figures
release Thursday by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander's office,
though the closer towns were to the heart of the oil patch around Midland-Odessa,
the better their rebate numbers appeared to be.
That meant increases in rebate totals of over 20 percent in Andrews, Big
Spring, Crane and Midland, an increase of nearly 15 percent in Odessa, while
Pecos, Fort Stockton and Monahans saw only single-digit rises in their rebate
totals, based on local sales made during March.
Pecos' tax rebate check from Austin was for $75,385, based on its 1½
cent share of the state's 8¼ percent sales tax. That's up 2.36 percent
from a year ago, when the city got $73,645 back from Rylander's office. However,
three straight months of smaller rebate checks left the city down 6¾
percent for the first five months of 2001. Pecos has gotten $313,401 back
so far this year, after getting back $336,148 in the period from January
through May of 2000.
While the latest rig reports show the Reeves County area is as active
as other Permian Basin counties, most of the oilfield businesses remain in
the Midland-Odessa and surrounding areas, all of which have seen sharp jumps
in their tax rebate checks due to the increased drilling activity over the
Midland's rebate check for the month was up 48 percent, though just over
half of that total was due to a 25 percent rise in the city's sales tax during
the past year. Andrews saw its sales tax check for May rise by just over
20½ percent, Big Spring was up by 22.66 percent and Crane was up nearly
Of other area cities, only Marfa reported a similar increase; up 25¾
percent for the month. Monahans' tax rebate check was up just under seven
percent, Fort Stockton's check grew by 2.44 percent, and Kermit saw its check
rise by 8.84 percent.
Balmorhea saw its May rebate check grow by 2.45 percent, from $1,235 to
$1,265, while Toyah's check dropped 14.56 percent, from $665 to $568. However,
for the first five months of 2001, Toyah's tax rebates are nearly double
those of last year, at $3,898, while Balmorhea's five-month total of $3,289
is down by just over eight percent.
Also down was the Reeves County Hospital District, which got back $26,126
this month from its ½-cent sales tax, a 1.34 percent decline from
last year. Overall, the hospital's 2001 tax rebates have brought in $122,131,
down 3.76 percent.
The Pecos Economic Development Corp., which gets ¼-cent of the
city's 1 ½-cent sales tax, got $12,564 this month.
Statewide, sales tax rebate checks to cities and counties in May totaled
just under $276.2 million, up almost 7½ percent from last year. Houston
received the largest single check, for $34.67 million, a seven percent increase,
while Dallas' rebate check was for $22.7 million, which was down one-tenth
of a percent from a year ago.
Police continue to investigate Saturday stabbing on east side
By LEIA HOLLAND
A 35-year-old Pecos man was stabbed at his home on the east side of
town on Saturday, according to the Pecos Police Department.
Edward Villalobos reported to the police that he was stabbed at his home
in the 300 block of South Sycamore Street at 7:56 p.m., on Saturday.
Pecos Police Investigator Kelly Davis said that Villalobos knew the person
who stabbed him but Davis could not release that name until police get more
information from their investigation.
"We don't know for sure who it was," he said.
Davis said that ambulance personnel arrived soon after police did and
transported Villalobos to Reeves County Hospital.
Davis said that the incident is still under investigation.
Bloys helped bring gospel to area cities
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a continuing series of features
on historical locations and events in the Trans-Pecos region
By The Ghost Writer
Circuit riders _ preachers _ traveled from one small city to another
and went to far-flung ranches in West Texas preaching and establishing
congregations. This started as far back as 1888. The influence
of these faithful men is felt to this day. They were dedicated,
true believers who suffered many hardships to preach the Word.
One of the first of these preachers was a Presbyterian, D.W. Bloys, who
started his work in Fort Davis in 1888. The town of Fort Davis was established
in 1854 to protect the area from Apache and Comanche Indians. Ill health
brought him to this dry country. Alpine, Marfa and Valentine and numerous
ranch families were within his working area. The "Cowboy Preacher" continued
his preaching until his death in 1917.
A horse or buggy was his mode of traveling these long distances until
circa 1916 when he acquired a Ford Model T. This made his work a bit easer,
however, a Ford could get stuck and flat tires were common. All Ford owners
were equipped with a jack, hand pump and tire repair kit. The noted historian,
Barry Scobee, and one of Scobee's ranchman friend, helped the Cowboy Preacher
out of a sandy road.
Circuit rider Bloys established Presbyterian churches in the three towns
in the area and wanted to establish an interdenominational camp meeting and
in 1889, at the John Zach Means ranch, plans were made to do just that. Skillman's
Grove was the site decided upon. The land was owned by E.P. Hill who sold
it to the Bloys' Camp Meeting Association. Ranchers and cowboys cleared the
brush and built an arbor and they had a two-day religious meeting. Word spread
and they started having one-day meetings on Sunday but that was too short
a time for people who lived 50 miles away so they extended it to a weeklong
meeting. The camp has grown and many improvements have been made.
The Pecos Enterprise and Gusher reported Sept. 7, 1917, upon the
death of the Cowboy Preacher, that the Bloys' Camp Meeting Association passed
a resolution that a monument to Bloys should be erected and they did just
that. They resolved to "consecrate ourselves anew." And "to follow in his
footsteps, as he followed in the footsteps of the Master."
The Bloys' Camp Meeting continues to have a good influence on people.
They meet every August and Paisano, the Baptist meeting, meets every July.
My "Mature" advisors feel that the note on a screwdriver left in the rich
man's Cadillac door should not have read "You've found the rattle you rich
son-of-a-gun" it should have read "You've found the rattle you rich son-of-a-gun
and thank you for buying this car that has provided me with a job so that
I can clothe, feed and house my family."
P.S. to the young preacher who wanted to know if the car hit by an airplane
back in 1929 belonged to the Ghost Writer. The car belonged to the Ghost
Writer's great-grand son.
Child remains hospitalized in Friday car-train accident
By LEIA HOLLAND
Four people were transported to Reeves County Hospital after the vehicle
they were in was hit by a train early Friday afternoon in Barstow,
and one remains in a Lubbock hospital with internal injuries.
The Eastbound Union Pacific Railroad train struck a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire
as it was crossing the railroad tracks going into Barstow.
A Department of Public Safety representative in Pecos said that the driver
of the vehicle, Martha Williams, of Cisco, was traveling East on Business
20 and turned left to cross the tracks on Farm to Market 516 when she was
distracted and did not see the train coming.
"Apparently she was distracted by the children in the back seat and failed
to see the warning lights," the representative said.
There were six other people in the vehicle at the time of the accident
including Williams' son Jesse, 2, and her baby daughter.
Also in the vehicle was Jennifer Blake of Barstow and her three children,
Reba, 6, Tyler, 4, and Nathan, 1.
It is unknown at this time if all passengers of the vehicle were properly
secured in the car.
Pecos Ambulance personnel transported three of the children and Williams
to Reeves County Hospital.
Williams, who is pregnant, was not injured in the accident but was transported
to the hospital for observation.
Jesse was airlifted to Lubbock with internal injuries and remains in the
hospital there, though the injuries are not said to be life-threatening.
Reba and Tyler were taken to the hospital to be treated for whiplash.
Reba also had some bruising while Tyler had minor bruising to his kidneys
and liver and lacerations.
The accident is still under investigation by DPS Trooper Anthony Moreno
and special investigators for Union Pacific Railroad Police.
Special Agent with the Union Pacific Railroad Police Jerry Janosek said
that they are currently investigating the accident but are still unaware
of exactly what happened at the time of the accident.
"It's just lucky that they're alive," he said. Janoske has been questioning
Barstow residents all weekend to find out as much information as possible.
Area residents to be contacted for city directory
City Directory, Inc. will be publishing a new Pecos City Directory in
the near future. Local personnel are hired to contact all residents and businesses
scheduled to be included in the directory, to verify and update the information.
The directory will be offered at that time to the residents.
City Directory, Inc. has been publishing city directories since 1988 and
is currently publishing directories in over 40 states. CDI is a subsidiary
of Farm and Home Publishers, who have been publishing county directories
for over 10 years and currently does over 600 counties in the Midwest.
High Sunday 87. Low this morning 62. Forecast for tonight: Mostly
cloudy with a slight chance of evening showers and thunderstorms. Low
in the upper 50s. Southeast wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation
20 percent. Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High in the upper 90s. Southwest
wind 10 to 20 mph. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy. Low around 60. Wednesday
and Thursday: Partly cloudy. Lows from the upper 50s to mid 60s. Highs
from the lower 90s to 101.
Cornelio Camacho, Sr., Connie Marquez, Anthony Wilson, Jack Rogers and Victor Chavez
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